Obama Says He is Confident About Pakistani Nuclear Security

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 24, 2013, 9:02 a.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama as­ser­ted he was con­fid­ent Pakistan is com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing se­cur­ity around its nuc­le­ar ar­sen­al on Wed­nes­day, just weeks after it was re­vealed the U.S. in­tel­li­gence com­munity has made sur­veil­lance of the South Asi­an coun­try’s nuc­le­ar sites one of its top pri­or­it­ies.

In a joint state­ment re­leased fol­low­ing a meet­ing at the White House between Obama and Pakistani Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif, the U.S. lead­er “re­it­er­ated his con­fid­ence in Pakistan’s com­mit­ment and ded­ic­a­tion to nuc­le­ar se­cur­ity and re­cog­nized that Pakistan is fully en­gaged with the in­ter­na­tion­al com­munity on nuc­le­ar safety and se­cur­ity is­sues.”

The U.S. gov­ern­ment in the past has pub­licly touted Is­lamabad’s com­mit­ment to nuc­le­ar se­cur­ity when new con­cerns were raised that Pakistani-based ex­trem­ists — who have car­ried out at­tacks in re­cent years on large Pakistani mil­it­ary bases — might be able to pen­et­rate one of the coun­try’s fa­cil­it­ies where nuc­le­ar weapons or ma­ter­i­als are held. The valid­ity of those pub­lic as­sur­ances took a hit in Septem­ber when it was re­vealed — through doc­u­ments leaked by former NSA con­tract­or Ed­ward Snowden — that keep­ing tabs on the se­cur­ity of Pakistan’s nuc­le­ar, chem­ic­al and bio­lo­gic­al fa­cil­it­ies was con­sum­ing a grow­ing share of U.S. in­tel­li­gence agen­cies’ black budget.

An ana­lys­is of the doc­u­ments leaked by Snowden to the Wash­ing­ton Post shows the U.S. gov­ern­ment is con­cerned about the lack of in­form­a­tion it has on how ex­actly nuc­le­ar ma­ter­i­al is spread out around Pakistan’s fa­cil­it­ies.

The con­cerns of the U.S. in­tel­li­gence com­munity were not in evid­ence in the pub­lic state­ment re­leased on Wed­nes­day. Rather, Obama noted his ap­pre­ci­ation with “Pakistan’s con­struct­ive en­gage­ment with the Nuc­le­ar Se­cur­ity Sum­mit Pro­cess and its co­oper­a­tion with the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency and oth­er in­ter­na­tion­al for­ums” and ac­know­ledged “Pakistan’s ef­forts to im­prove its stra­tegic trade con­trols.”

The state­ment did not touch on con­cerns by the U.S. gov­ern­ment that Pakistan’s re­cent fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing com­pact lower-yield nuc­le­ar weapons might make it easi­er for ex­trem­ists groups to steal off with an en­tire war­head, the New York Times re­por­ted.

What We're Following See More »
WORKS AT EX-IM
Trump to Name Scaramucci Communications Director
1 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"Trump's plans to appoint" financier Anthony Scaramucci "came as a surprise to Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who found out after the plans had already been made."

Source:
TRUMP CONTINUES TO LAWYER UP
Kasowitz Out, John Dowd In
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."

Source:
ALSO INQUIRES ABOUT PARDON POWER
Trump Looking to Discredit Mueller
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.

Source:
INCLUDES NY PROBE INTO MANAFORT
Why Yes, Mueller Is Looking into Trump Businesses
13 hours ago
THE LATEST

In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Source:
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
19 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login