The global economic crisis could cause great political upheaval across the world, Hillary Clinton told ABC News in one of her first interviews since becoming secretary of state.
Her comments came less than a week after the Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the global economy's downturn presents the greatest national security risk to the United States.
"This economic crisis, left unresolved, will create massive unemployment," she said. "It will upend governments, it will unfortunately breed instability, and I appreciated his putting that into the context of the threat matrix."
Clinton worries that as the economic crisis deepens, already unstable countries such as Pakistan will fall further into chaos.
"Look at Pakistan, a country that we know has to be stabilized for the benefit of not only South Asia, but beyond," Clinton said. "It is where the terrorists and their allies have found haven. But the economy in Pakistan is under even greater pressure now because of the global economic crisis. If Pakistan becomes even more unstable, that increases the danger we will face by the extremists to the Pakistan government."
On Monday, Pakistan announced a peace deal with Taliban militants in the Swat Valley, a former tourist haven that's become a war zone. The deal would allow the Taliban to impose hardline Islamic law, or sharia, in return for an armistice. Human rights organizations and NATO criticized the announcement while the United States has remained mum.
Clinton told ABC news that she would not comment until she "got the whole picture."