Obama’s biggest national security concern is Pakistan.
This was revealed by a book “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret War and Surprising Use of American Power” written by David E. Sanger, chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times
His biggest worry is that its Nukes may be taken away by the extremists when (and not if) Pakistan disintegrates.
The book identifies Pakistan as President Obama’s “biggest single national security concern” and it quotes Mr Obama telling his senior aides that he had “the least power to prevent” a possible disintegration of this nuclear-armed country. And he also could not control the scramble for Pakistani nukes that this disintegration would cause.
The fears on Pakistani nukes arose very early on in the Presidency for Obama. In the very first summer of his taking the office, there was a scenario that unfolded. Information was received that Tehrik-e-Taliban had gotten its hands on a nuclear weapon. Pakistanis rubbished this, but Obama couldn’t take chances and dispatched the experts to track the nuclear weapon – most possibly a “Dirty Bomb”. Eventually, nothing came out of it, but it remained a strong impression.
Meanwhile, backdoor diplomacy has been ongoing since then to secure Pakistan’s nukes and make sure the weapons don’t get into the hands of extremists on disintegration. US sent Thomas D’Agostino, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, and Robert Einhorn at the State Department, while Pakistan sent Gen. Khalid Kidwai and his senior staff at the Strategic Planning Director. The two teams would meet stealthily in London, Abu Dhabi etc in ways that no one would find out.
The Americans came back impressed at the level of security the Pakistanis have. However, they aren’t quite sure that these security measures will hold on when Pakistan implodes and starts to disintegrate.
Ironically, what was singularly an Indian concern, has now become America’s greatest nightmare. Ironic because all through 80s and 90s, US did everything to provide Pakistan with a Nuke base and weapons. It turned a blind eye when China was handing down DIY Nuke Weapon kits to Pakistan. The folly is visiting the country now!