Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One Bullet Away.. Really?

Is General Musharaf really one bullet away? What would happen to Pakistan, nuclear warheads and the war on terror? A NYTimes article tries address some of these questions and what is evident is there is shift in US position. It has significantly hardened from General Musharaf being irreplaceable to limited damage.
For years, the notion that Mr. Musharraf is all that stands between Washington and a group of nuclear-armed mullahs has dictated just how far the White House feels it can push him to root out Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives who enjoy a relatively safe existence in Pakistan.

“I am not particularly worried about an extremist government coming to power and getting hold of nuclear weapons,” said Robert Richer, who was associate director of operations in 2004 and 2005 for the Central Intelligence Agency. “If something happened to Musharraf tomorrow, another general would step in.”
So, the larger questions are 'Is there a coup underway' 'Would US cut aid to Pakistan'.. My take is neither would happen. US would continue to apply various types of pressure on General Musharaf, but would stop short of cutting aid or engineering a coup.