A Nuclear-Armed Pakistan Teeters on the Edge

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the intensification of the political crisis in Pakistan at the end of the year brings into sharp relief our most immediate nuclear threat. It comes not from Iraq or Iran, but Pakistan. With an unstable military ruler, enough material for 50 to 100 nuclear bombs, strong Islamic fundamentalist influences in the country and armed, Islamic fundamentalist groups--including Al Qaeda--operating with its territory, Pakistan is the most dangerous country on earth. The nuclear weapons and material are believed secure for now, but increased instability could split the military or distract the units guarding the weapon materials, providing an opening for a raid by an organized radical group.

For all the focus on Iraq and Iran over the past six years, it is in Pakistan that Osama bin Ladin may have his best chance of getting the nuclear weapon we know he wants.

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