America's Secret Pakistan Nuke Deal

The United States government is negotiating with Pakistan's military, attempting to allow the U.S. to help secure Pakistan's nuclear bombs in the case of a national crisis, Seymour Hersh reports in this week's New Yorker. Pakistan has 80 to 100 warheads, and those in Washington and around the world are increasingly worried that the chaos of recent weeks—a takeover of the army's main headquarters; the assassination of a general—might put them in danger. Also adding to American anxiety is a rise in Islamic fundamentalism among soldiers in Pakistan's army. The secret plans are complicated by the fact that many in Pakistan see potential American assistance as a threat to their sovereignty, an effort to control, rather than to protect Pakistan's nuclear complex. While officials on both sides publicly denied the existence of any secret agreement, The Daily Beast's Leslie H. Gelb told The New Yorker that any accord would be undependable anyway. "I don't think there's any kind of an agreement we can count on," Gelb said.