STRONGER US PRESENCE NEED IN PAKISTAN

Sen. Joe Biden: Stronger US presence needed in Pakistan to secure nukes if Musharraf eliminated  Monday, 22 October 2007 ABC News

Senator Tells George Stephanopoulos the United States Is Not Doing Enough Inside Pakistan

By LINDSAY HAMILTON
Oct. 20, 2007

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., thinks the United States needs a stepped-up presence in Pakistan, and the presidential candidate tells ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that if terrorists were to eliminate Pakistani President Perez Musharraf, he would “probably” go in to secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal if he were president.

“Here, you have a country that is on the edge, called Pakistan, with nuclear weapons and missiles to carry them that can strike the entire portion of that world, the subcontinent, all the way to the Mediterranean,” Biden said.

In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Stephanopoulos asked Biden, “If President Musharraf or the elected leader of Pakistan were taken out, you would consider, as president, going in with the military?”

“What I would consider is uniting the world,” Biden said. “It’s in everybody’s interest, not just the United States alone. The first thing I would do, I would call a meeting. I would ask for a meeting of the Security Council. I would be on the telephone with everyone from Putin to the Chinese premier to our allies in Great Britain and NATO. This cannot be a U.S.-alone operation.”

Biden added that the United States was not doing enough to promote democratic institutions in Pakistan.

“There is a significant portion of the Pakistani population that is middle class and moderate,” Biden said. “If you don’t have a fair electoral process allowing them to express their anger, their frustration, you force it all underground. You force it to the mosque, and the terrorists — the extreme elements of that country, which are a large percentage in relative terms — are going to take over.”

Biden added, “We have a Musharraf policy. We do not have a Pakistan policy.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman proposed a reconfiguration of U.S. aid to Pakistan.

“We should be in there,” he said. “We should be supplying tens of millions of dollars to build new schools to compete with the madrassas. We should be in there building democratic institutions. We should be in there, and get the rest of the world in there, giving some structure to the emergence of, hopefully, the reemergence of a democratic process. But what are we doing?”

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