By CNN's Wolf Blitzer
(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann made an important point on Pakistan during the recent CNN national security debate. She said Pakistan is “too nuclear to fail.”
She added: “We’ve got to make sure that we take that threat very seriously.”
The United States and its friends around the world must do whatever it takes to ensure that Pakistan remains friendly and that its nuclear arsenal remains secure.
The last thing anyone in the region or the world needs right now is an extremist takeover of Pakistan.
Bachmann, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, is privy to top-secret information. At the debate, the congresswoman said that Pakistan has 15 nuclear sites spread out around the country and that six attempts “have already been made on nuclear sites.”
I don’t know if those numbers are precise, but they are chilling - if true.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last few days as U.S.-Pakistani relations have deteriorated in the aftermath of an NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, according to Pakistani officials.
The U.S. image in Pakistan was dismal before this latest incident; it is now even worse.
That’s why it’s so important for leaders in both countries to take a deep breath and move on in a constructive way. The nuclear stakes are simply too enormous.
For years, successive U.S. administrations have made major efforts to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. The fear is that Islamist extremists in control of nuclear weapons in Iran would be devastating.
Pakistan already is a nuclear power. It’s imperative that everything be done to prevent Islamist extremists who hate America from taking power there.
In short, the United States must work closely with the Pakistani government to find strong bonds of cooperation despite all the serious differences.