West Should Buy Out Pakistan's Nukes

Trading needed aid dollars for elimination of WMDs would be cheap compared to bailout
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2008 4:05 PM CST
Pakistan-made missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to different ranges are on display at the Defense Exhibition in Karachi, Pakistan.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal has done nothing to steady its economy or deter terrorism, Bret Stephens notes in the Wall Street Journal—so why not sell it to the West? Pakistan has already lobbied for economic aid; for eliminating “its entire nuclear stockpile and the industrial base that sustains it,” Stephens writes, “the US and other Western donors would agree to a $100 billion economic package.”

Many countries have determined that the risks of an arsenal don’t justify uncertain rewards. “There’s no compelling reason Mr. Zardari and his military brass shouldn't reach the same conclusion,” Stephens continues, “assuming excellent terms and desperate circumstances.” Not all Pakistanis would agree, but those “who have subsisted on a diet of leaves and grass so Pakistan could have its bomb might take a more pragmatic view.”