This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 6, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This report is nothing short of outrageous. According to the Pakistani army, the Taliban is kidnapping Pakistani boys, grabbing them from their homes and dragging them to militant camps where they were trained, brainwashed to be suicide bombers and killers.

Some of these boys are reportedly as young as seven years old.

Keep in mind this is a country that is one of our allies and which has nuclear weapons. It's Pakistan. Joining us live is John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

I find it - I'm speechless on this one.

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.N. AMBASSADOR: It shows the methods the Taliban uses. They don't necessarily want to be popular in the areas like the northwest frontier provinces. They use this as a form of intimidation.

Each worse, some of these children are being sold by their own families. Some are sold to the Taliban. Girls are often sold into trafficking. It's a tough territory.

VAN SUSTEREN: And these young boys are actually out there fighting and killing themselves?

BOLTON: They're being indoctrinated by the Taliban and sent to places possibly for use as suicide bombers. The Pakistani army is trying to show people just the conditions that they have to put up with there.

VAN SUSTEREN: How is that army? I know that Pakistan is one of our allies and I'd like to think things are on the straight and narrow there. But I'm highly suspicious that this is a country that's on the right path.

BOLTON: Well, I think it's a very difficult situation. There is corruption unquestionably. Perhaps even worse, there's infiltration of the army itself by Muslim radicals, by Taliban supporters, and that obviously make it very hard to deal with at a tactical level.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it getting better or getting worse?

BOLTON: I think it's getting worse.

I think as the intelligence agencies and the Pakistani military, as the young recruits rise through the ranks, it's becoming more difficult. And if we don't do something, eventually the nuclear arsenal is going to be very much at risk.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do what, though? What can we do? I know the nuclear arsenal is terrifying, and you've got India next door, and they hate each other. But what can we do?

BOLTON: Well, I think in Pakistan, the military, which the people there are call the Steel Skeleton, because it's the one institution of government that really holds the country together, we have to make sure that does not turn against us. That's not going to be anything we can do in a few days or a few months. It's a long-term proposition.

If we lose that struggle, though, and the radicals take over in Pakistan, they've got dozens, maybe hundreds of nuclear weapons to use against India or to give the terrorist groups that can be used around the world.

The stakes in Pakistan are very high, I think today higher than Afghanistan or Iraq.

VAN SUSTEREN: Can you -- I mean, we hear from our government that the nuclear arsenal is safe, that it's under control. I don't know why, but I don't feel comfortable with that. Can you convince me that that's true?

Because I know that even A.Q. Khan, who to me is almost like the devil because he was like the Wal-Mart of nuclear weapons.

BOLTON: A great entrepreneur.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, he's giving nuclear weapons all over the world, North Korea, Syria, we hear all these stories. And he's a hero in North Korea. And the worst thing they do is give him house arrest and the let him go anyway. But he's a hero.

So it's hard for me to think that this is a country where, don't worry, our nuclear arsenal is under control.

BOLTON: On the security side, I dealt with that when I was in the government, and from a technical point of view it's very unlikely that you'll have accidental detonations of nuclear weapons.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm not worried about the accidental.

BOLTON: I'm not that worried, that's right. The real problem is the political control. And if that fragments, if the military comes apart, if radicals take over on the civilian side of government, you can have all the technical protections you want, those weapons can be given to terrorists or used by the people in political control. That's where the risk is. It's not a technical problem.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so now you have the Pakistani army, which is the best that's going on there for us, and you've got them fighting the Taliban in the northern part of the country, and if they are ineffective to keep even children from being taken from their homes, even protecting the children, why in the world should we think that they're so effective in protecting their nuclear arsenal? It sounds like an infiltrated or an overwhelmed military, at best.

BOLTON: Increasingly at risk of being fragmented. Obviously, the nuclear weapons are Pakistan's ultimate defense against India. So the military's done its best to keep them under control.

But that was even before the Islamists began working their way through the military hierarchy. That's one reason we're at risk. We haven't paid enough attention to this problem over the years, so we're down in a pretty difficult situation.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what do we do?

BOLTON: Well, I think you've got to try and use the pro-western, pro- American parts of the Pakistani military to work with us. I think we made a mistake in effectively forcing President Musharraf out of office, and I think a lot of people in Pakistan understand that now.

This is a divided country. It's not entirely against us. But we are in a desperate and really end-game struggle here.

VAN SUSTEREN: That is not another important part. The country is divided. They don't all want to work with us. Some are completely - they're almost our enemies.

BOLTON: Some are, particularly those areas that have been funded by radical Islamists from outside of Pakistan and these madrassas who have turned out a young generation of radicals.

Really, it's many of the older population that had more contact with the west, especially in the military, who are more likely to be on our side. But it's not something we can give up on. If we lose in Pakistan and they get control of that nuclear arsenal, our concern about Iran getting nuclear weapons will look small by comparison.

VAN SUSTEREN: Terrifying. Terrifying.

BOLTON: Exactly.

VAN SUSTEREN: Ambassador, thank you, sir.


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