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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-30-09 08:27 AM
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Pakistan's Nukes Change Hands
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The Toll - 11/29/09 - Pakistan's Nukes Change Hands
November 30, 2009 03:27 AM EST (Updated: November 30, 2009 03:40 AM EST)

President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan handed control of the nations nuclear arsenal over to Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gillani on Friday night. Zardaris move confirmed the uncertainty of his political future as an amnesty that has shielded him from prosecution for corruption expired today.

Gillani does not appear to be that solid either. In 2001 he was sentenced to prison for corruption and served six years. Last July he gave a major speech in which he appeared visibly confused, although the blame for his poor showing was later attributed to his staff.

Its clear, however, that the political situation has become less stable and, undoubtedly the west is hoping that elements of the military that are sympathetic to the insurgency do not take advantage of the leadership void to stage a coup.

Meanwhile, the U.S. president is expected to announce an additional troop surge in Afghanistan of about 30,000 on Tuesday evening. This will bring the number of our military personnel to around 100,000, up from 30,000 when Obama took office. The president will make a case for the temporary nature of the surge and will emphasize an exit strategy that is expected to start reducing the number of troops within two to three years.

It was not long ago, however, that General McChrystal told a London audience that it would take more than five years to accomplish our mission. Past would-be conquerors from Alexander the Great to the U.S.S.R. might feel that even that is optimistic.

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