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Opinion: What happens when the Taliban gets a hold of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal

By Sam Faddis

(Opinion) All administrations attempt to put a certain amount of spin on reality. They tried to paint things in the most favorable light. The Biden administration has taken this to an entirely new level. It has dispensed with reality altogether.

It has created an entirely fictional universe.

A few weeks ago, the Biden administration trumpeted the killing of a not particularly significant terrorist leader in Syria. This was obviously intended to convey the message that Joe takes threats to the homeland seriously.

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Meanwhile, a new terrorist super state that dwarfs anything previously seen in Central Asia is completely ignored. Afghanistan is not just under the control of the Taliban. It is now a terror behemoth armed to the teeth with the latest in American weaponry.

The Afghan Taliban that now rules in Kabul have made a formal alliance with the Pakistani Taliban – their brothers in arms. Open war has been declared on Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban have made clear their intention to overthrow the government in Islamabad and create and substitute – an Islamic state.

Pakistani security services are fighting an intensifying insurgency. Casualties are mounting. Increasingly the insurgents are found to be armed with American weapons and even utilizing American manufactured vehicles.

Now, however, the real struggle is taking an increasingly dangerous direction because the economic stability of the nation-state of Pakistan is seriously threatened.

Pakistan is heavily dependent on both Russian and Ukrainian wheat. Both of those supplies have now been interrupted. Severe hunger is now a genuine threat.

The rise in oil prices has also hit Pakistan hard. Between 2020 and 2021, the cost of oil imports to Pakistan rose by 85%. As of the end of June 2022, Pakistan’s trade deficit stood at $50 billion. That was an over 50% increase over the year before. The government in Islamabad was forced to issue an order forbidding importing over 800 luxury items to keep the deficit from increasing.

Inflation in June rose to 20%. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut off subsidies. The prices of both oil and gas have skyrocketed.

The value of the Pakistani rupee has collapsed. Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have been cut in half.

The World Bank warns that Pakistan could soon face “macroeconomic instability.” Societal collapse would soon follow such an event. Pakistan has limped along for decades with an anemic economy, widespread corruption, and domestic instability. It does not have the financial or otherwise reserves to withstand significant economic stressors.

Oil refineries are on the verge of closing down because of a lack of oil imports. Power outages of 10-12 hours are now routine. Put simply, Pakistan has run out of money. The chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue has described the nation as “bankrupt.”

The world has just seen Sri Lanka collapse under the weight of the economic forces sweeping the globe. There is nothing unique about that event. What happened in that island nation will soon occur all around the world as economies implode under the pressure of rampant inflation and collapsing supplies of critical materials like food and fuel.

In Pakistan, an economic collapse will cripple the ability of the military to continue to combat the Taliban. It will also turn loose all the fury of the ethnic, religious, and tribal hatreds the nation has fought since independence. Significant cities like Karachi and Lahore will explode into violence. Areas along the Afghan border will rapidly cease – in any meaningful fashion – to be under the control of Islamabad.

All of this will happen in a nation armed with somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 nuclear weapons. Those weapons are fully operational and forward deployed to operational commanders around the country to facilitate their early use in any conflict with India. The potential for nuclear weapons to be seized by insurgents or handed over to them by sympathetic military commanders is increasing by the day.

These weapons are fully operational. Pakistan also possesses the means to deliver these weapons to its targets. That includes aircraft and missiles. All of those systems will be at risk when Pakistan collapses as well.

We may very well wake up one morning and find that an Islamic Emirate now exists in what was once Pakistan and that this radical Islamic state enjoys the capacity to kill millions, if not hundreds of millions, of people throughout South and Central Asia.

It is said that elections have consequences. That has never been truer. We are now living with the consequences of what happened in 2020 when a corrupt incompetent was installed in the White House. Those consequences will get much, much worse.

A terrorist super state is expanding even as its nuclear-armed neighbor stands on the verge of disintegration. Joe Biden and his mandarins will do nothing to rectify the situation. The whole world may soon find out what happens when the Taliban gets ahold of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

Sam Faddis Is A Retired CIA Operations Officer. Served in Near East and South Asia. Author, commentator. Senior Editor AND Magazine. Public Speaker. Host of Ground Truth.

This post is mirrored and was published first in AND magazine

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