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Mullen says he is comfortable with Pakistani nukes

03 April, 2009

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NEW YORK: The top US military officer said on Thursday he is reasonably comfortable Pakistans nuclear weapons are secure.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a lunchtime audience at the Hudson Union Society, said the US has invested in an effort to keep the weapons secure and that Pakistan has taken significant steps in recent years, so Im comfortable.

My biggest concern is that if Pakistan gets to a point where it implodes, youve got a country that could be an Islamist, theocratic country with nuclear weapons which could both use them and proliferate them. One of our goals is to make sure that doesnt happen, Mullen said. He also explicitly linked the Inter-Services Intelligence to elements of the insurgency inside Pakistan, a connection that others have said helps empower extremist groups. Theyve got an intelligence organisation that must, in my view, change its strategic approach and be completely disconnected from the insurgents. And theyre not right now, he said.

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