Sanders: U.S. must keep nuclear weapons from terrorist groups in Pakistan

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(Host) Senator Bernie Sanders says the United States has to be certain that nuclear weapons in Pakistan don’t fall into the control of terrorist groups in that country.

Speaking on VPR’s Vermont Edition, Sanders said he hopes that a critical situation in Pakistan can be stabilized without deploying thousands of U.S. soldiers.

Sanders thinks there are some alternative strategies that should be used to help reduce the influence of terrorist groups in Pakistan:

(Sanders) "The question is what do we have to do? Do I want to see American troops bogged down as we were in Vietnam or as we were in Iraq?  Absolutely not. Do I want to see the Taliban or Al-Qaeda gain control of nuclear weapons? No – that can’t happen. The essence of what we clearly have got to do is win support from the democratic forces in Pakistan. We’ve got to strengthen the Pakistani army to be more effective in opposing militarily Al-Qaeda."

(Host) But if the situation in Pakistan gets worse, Sanders says the United States will have to do whatever is necessary to ensure the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal:

(Sanders) "The last thing in the world that you need is international terrorists blackmailing the entire world with nuclear weapons or, in fact, even using those weapons. That’s not an option – that can’t happen."

(Host) Congress is currently considering a plan to provide about a billion dollars in economic and military assistance to Pakistan.

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