In a rash of news articles around mid November it was revealed that America has spent about $100 million in an effort to get the Pakis to better guard their nuclear weapons. It is reported that they possess between 50 and 150 devices. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/washington/18nuke.html?hp. Certainly it is prudent to help Pakistan be absolutely sure that the nukes are safe. Despite public pronouncements to the contrary, the Pentagon is less than sanguine about the security of Paki nuclear weapons. http://www.guardian.co.uk/pakistan/Story/0,,2220126,00.html. In fact, the architect of the US troop surge in Iraq, Fred Kagan, apparently called the White House to have it consider a wide range of negative scenarios in Pakistan. And this was around the beginning of December well before the turmoil caused by the recent Bhutto assassination. Of course considering all possible future demands on the US military is only prudent, and it is what guys like Kagan get paid to do. While I do not think some of the Kagan scenarios are likely, it gives one great pause to consider our challenges if the following were to occur simultaneously: - The need to seize Pakistan's nukes: imagine trying to war game that, much less actually attempting to do it. - The need to rush thousands of US troops into the tribal areas of western Pakistan to fight the terrorists hiding there. - The need to militarily help occupy Islamabad and the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan if requested by a "fractured Pakistan army." Kagan has argued that the rise of Sunni Islamic extremism in Pakistan, coupled with Paki army infiltration, and terrorists from the western provinces, might be enough to seize power. Extremists cannot be allowed to possess nuclear weapons. Clearly, if that were about to unfold, America would have to try to stop it...but could we? Is Pakistan very far away from an Islamic extremist coup? How much has the Paki army been infiltrated? We never thought it would happen in Iran, but of course it did.