Pentagon planners have plenty to deal with these days – Iran in search of nuclear-weapons technology, suicide bombings in Afghanistan, and the final pullout of US troops in Iraq potentially leaving behind a security vacuum in the Middle East. But in war games in Washington this week, US Army officials and their advisers debated three nightmare scenarios in particular. Here are the doomsday visions that Pentagon planners have been poring over:
Members of the Azad Welfare Society burn a replica US flag Sunday during a rally to condemn NATO air strikes on Pakistani troops. (Anjum Naveed/AP)
1. Collapse of Pakistan
Following the assassination of the Pakistani president in a scenario that begins in 2013, Pakistan begins to descend into chaos. It is a time of great uncertainty, in which Pakistan’s “Islamist Army faction and its militant Muslim allies” decide to act.
Their plan, according to the war game: “to exploit that country’s growing civil disorder to seize power and create a radical Islamist state.” Compounding this chaos is the confusion over who will gain control of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal, estimated to number 80 to 120. These weapons are believed to be located at a half-dozen or so sites around the country.
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