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“No one loves the ‘Awaited One,’ and no one fears him,” he said.
Rogue states, old and new
Pakistan and Venezuela are in danger of becoming 21st century rogue states, as older rogue regimes such as Libya and Syria move toward becoming less-dangerous failed states, according to Hoover Institution senior fellow Thomas H. Henriksen.
“Pakistan is the ultimate nightmare scenario,” Mr. Henriksen said in an interview, noting the possibility of an Islamic takeover of a country with an estimated 100 nuclear weapons.
Because of its large number of Islamic radical groups, Pakistan — currently a democracy and quasi-ally of the United States — could fragment and become “the ultimate rogue state” in the future, Mr. Henriksen.
“It’s not quite there, but it bears watching,” Mr. Henriksen said earlier in a speech. “It’s probably the one state that should keep everybody up at night because it does have this nuclear capacity.”
Venezuela, too, is not part of the small group of post-Soviet rogue states, but under the regime of Hugo Chavez also could move into that category based on its anti-U.S. posture and growing links to countries such as Iran, Mr. Henriksen said.
The Chavez regime is seeking to create a new anti-U.S. coalition and is fomenting unrest and instability in neighboring states.
“It bears watching,” he said.
Of the original countries recognized as rogue states that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Iran, North Korea and Cuba remain, although the communist regime in Havana is also losing its status as a rogue nation, Mr. Henriksen said Monday.
The rogue states benefited from Soviet Cold War support that provided arms, training and high-technology weapons and also spawned the use of terrorism as state policy, he said.
The rogues worked as surrogates for Moscow against the United States.
Modern-day rogue states are characterized by their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear arms, as well the export of terrorism. Other features include efforts to destabilize their regions, flaunt international laws and rule by dictatorships that violate human rights and suppress dissent.
Iran has remained at the top of the list of rogues since the Islamic revolution in 1979 because of its pursuit of nuclear arms and its international sponsorship of terrorists, specifically Hezbollah and Hamas.
North Korea also remains one of the more dangerous nuclear-armed rogue states. Once loyal to the Soviet Union, Pyongyang is falling more into the political orbit of China, which provides energy and other goods.
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About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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