The Pakistan Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8)

How Pakistan Is Planning to Fight a Nuclear War

Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine are continually evolving to match perceived threats. A nuclear power for decades, Pakistan is now attempting to construct a nuclear triad of its own, making its nuclear arsenal resilient and capable of devastating retaliatory strikes.

Pakistan’s nuclear program goes back to the 1950s, during the early days of its rivalry with India. President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”

The program became a higher priority after the country’s 1971 defeat at the hands of India, which caused East Pakistan to break away and become Bangladesh. Experts believe the humiliating loss of territory, much more than reports that India was pursuing nuclear weapons, accelerated the Pakistani nuclear program. India tested its first bomb, codenamed “Smiling Buddha,” in May 1974, putting the subcontinent on the road to nuclearization.

Pakistan began the process of accumulating the necessary fuel for nuclear weapons, enriched uranium and plutonium. The country was particularly helped by one A. Q. Khan, a metallurgist working in the West who returned to his home country in 1975 with centrifuge designs and business contacts necessary to begin the enrichment process. Pakistan’s program was assisted by European countries and a clandestine equipment-acquisition program designed to do an end run on nonproliferation efforts. Outside countries eventually dropped out as the true purpose of the program became clear, but the clandestine effort continued.

Exactly when Pakistan had completed its first nuclear device is murky. Former president Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Bhutto’s daughter, claimed that her father told her the first device was ready by 1977. A member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said design of the bomb was completed in 1978 and the bomb was “cold tested”—stopping short of an actual explosion—in 1983.

Benazir Bhutto later claimed that Pakistan’s bombs were stored disassembled until 1998, when India tested six bombs in a span of three days. Nearly three weeks later, Pakistan conducted a similar rapid-fire testing schedule, setting off five bombs in a single day and a sixth bomb three days later. The first device, estimated at twenty-five to thirty kilotons, may have been a boosted uranium device. The second was estimated at twelve kilotons, and the next three as sub-kiloton devices.

The sixth and final device appears to have also been a twelve-kiloton bomb that was detonated at a different testing range; a U.S. Air Force “Constant Phoenix” nuclear-detection aircraft reportedly detected plutonium afterward. Since Pakistan had been working on a uranium bomb and North Korea—which shared or purchased research with Pakistan through the A. Q. Khan network—had been working on a uranium bomb, some outside observers concluded the sixth test was actually a North Korean test, detonated elsewhere to conceal North Korea’s involvement although. There is no consensus on this conclusion.

Experts believe Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile is steadily growing. In 1998, the stockpile was estimated at five to twenty-five devices, depending on how much enriched uranium each bomb required. Today Pakistan is estimated to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 nuclear bombs. In 2015 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center estimated Pakistan’s bomb-making capability at twenty devices annually, which on top of the existing stockpile meant Pakistan could quickly become the third-largest nuclear power in the world. Other observers, however, believe Pakistan can only develop another forty to fifty warheads in the near future.

Pakistani nuclear weapons are under control of the military’s Strategic Plans Division, and are primarily stored in Punjab Province, far from the northwest frontier and the Taliban. Ten thousand Pakistani troops and intelligence personnel from the SPD guard the weapons. Pakistan claims that the weapons are only armed by the appropriate code at the last moment, preventing a “rogue nuke” scenario.

Pakistani nuclear doctrine appears to be to deter what it considers an economically, politically and militarily stronger India. The nuclear standoff is exacerbated by the traditional animosity between the two countries, the several wars the two countries have fought, and events such as the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, which were directed by Pakistan. Unlike neighboring India and China, Pakistan does not have a “no first use” doctrine, and reserves the right to use nuclear weapons, particularly low-yield tactical nuclear weapons, to offset India’s advantage in conventional forces.

India Becomes A Nuckear Threat

India could launch ‘preemptive’ nuclear strike against Pakistan if threatened, says expert

PTI

India could launch a preemptive first strike against Pakistan if it feared a nuclear attack was imminent, reversing its well-known no-first-use policy, according to a leading nuclear strategist.

This first strike, however, will not be aimed at urban centres and conventional targets but against Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal. The strategic assessment is in clear contrast to New Delhi’s ‘no-first strike’ policy of 2003.

“There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first,” Vipin Narang, a nuclear strategist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said at a conference on nuclear policy hosted by Carnegie, a think tank, on Monday, according to the Hindustan Times.

India would launch “a full ‘comprehensive counterforce strike’ that attempts to completely disarm Pakistan of its nuclear weapons,” Dr Narang said.

He explained that policy-makers in New Delhi decided to go for the nuclear option to ensure that “India does not have to engage in iterative tit-for-tat exchanges and expose its own cities to nuclear destruction”.

New Delhi declared the ‘no-first strike’ policy, undertaking not to start a nuclear war in a neighbourhood packed with nuclear actors such as China and Pakistan.

Narang said he was not basing the assessment on fringe extreme voices such as those of Bharat Karnad or retired Indian Army officers frustrated by the lack of resolve they believe their government had shown in multiple provocations.

This assessment, he said, was based on what he learned from no less than a former Strategic Forces Command C-in-C Lt Gen B.S. Nagal and from the highly respected and influential former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.

“We may be witnessing … a ‘decoupling’ of Indian nuclear strategy between China and Pakistan. The force requirements India needs to credibly threaten assured retaliation against China may allow it to pursue more aggressive strategies — such as escalation dominance or a ‘splendid first strike’— against Pakistan,” Dr Narang said.

The MIT expert argued that the conventional wisdom that a nuclear war in South Asia could start with a terrorist attack from Pakistan may no longer be valid.

Relations between the neighbours are at the lowest ebb since the attack on Indian military base of Uri in occupied Kashmir last year. Following the attack, India claimed to have carried out ‘surgical strikes’ against militant launch pads in Kashmir, which were denied by the government, as well as the military.

However, in February, both countries extended a bilateral pact, dealing with reducing the risk of nuclear weapon-related accidents including a war, for a period of five years.

India Will Change Its No First Nuke Policy (Revelation 8)

India may abandon its ‘no first use’ nuclear policy: Expert

Misil+India+PRITHVI-2

During the 2017 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, Narang said, “There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first”.

WASHINGTON: India may abandon its ‘no first use’ nuclear policy and launch a preemptive strike against Pakistan if it feared that Islamabad was likely to use the weapons first, a top nuclear expert on South Asia has claimed.

The remarks by Vipin Narang, an expert on South Asian nuclear strategy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before a Washington audience was though a negation of India’s stated policy of ‘no first use’.

During the 2017 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, Narang said, “There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first”.

He said India “may” abandon the policy and launch a preemptive strike against Pakistan if it believed that Pakistan was going to use nuclear weapons or most likely the tactical nuclear weapons against it.

But, he pointed out, India’s preemptive strike may not be conventional strikes and would also be aimed at Pakistan’s missiles launchers for tactical battlefield nuclear warheads.

“India’s opening salvo may not be conventional strikes trying to pick off just Nasr batteries in the theatre, but a full ‘comprehensive counterforce strike’ that attempts to completely disarm Pakistan of its nuclear weapons so that India does not have to engage in iterative tit-for-tat exchanges and expose its own cities to nuclear destruction,” Narang said.

He said this thinking surfaces not from fringe extreme voices or retired Indian Army officers frustrated by the lack of resolve they believe their government has shown in multiple provocations, but from no less than a former Commander of India’s Strategic Forces, Lt Gen BS Nagal.

It also comes perhaps more importantly and authoritatively, from the highly-respected and influential former national security adviser Shivshankar Menon in his 2016 book ‘Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy’, the nuclear strategist said.

“Serious voices, who cannot be ignored, seem to suggest that this is where India may be heading, and certainly wants to head,” Narang said.

“So our conventional understanding of South Asia’s nuclear dynamics and who, in fact, might use nuclear weapons first and in what mode may need a hard rethink given these emerging authoritative voices in India who are not content to cede the nuclear initiative to Pakistan,” he said, adding that this would mark a major shift in Indian strategy if implemented.

“In short, we may be witnessing what I call a ‘decoupling’ of Indian nuclear strategy between China and Pakistan.”

Sameer Lalwani, senior associate and deputy director South Asia at the Stimson Center, an American think-tank, said Narang’s remarks challenged the conventional wisdom of South Asia’s strategic stability problem.

Based on recent statements and writings of high-level national security officials (serving and retired), Narang argued that India may be exhibiting a “seismic shift” in its nuclear strategy from ‘no first use’ to a preemptive nuclear counterforce allowing for escalation dominance or a “splendid first strike” against Pakistan, Lalwani said.

Iran May Break Nuclear Deal

Iran suggests it is unwilling to honour nuclear deal

Image of meeting discussing Iran's nuclear programme on 30th March 2015 [United States Department of State/Wikipedia]

Foreign Ministers and other officials of P5 +1 meet with Iranian delegates to Iran’s nuclear programme on 30th March 2015 [US Department of State/Wikipedia]

The challenge raises the prospect of a confrontation with the new US administration of President Donald Trump because diplomats say Iran is only months away from reaching that cap.

The 2015 deal restricts Iran’s atomic activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against Tehran. One restriction is on its stock of heavy water, a moderator used in a type of reactor that can produce plutonium, like an unfinished one at Arak that had its core removed under the accord.

Iran has already exceeded the 130-tonne limit on its heavy water stock twice, including under the Obama administration. The latest standoff with Washington over the issue was only defused in December when Iran shipped the excess amount to Oman, who has good relations with Iran, where the heavy water is being stored until a buyer can be found.

In a letter to the UN nuclear watchdog circulated to member states on Thursday and posted on the agency’s website, however, Iran argued that the deal does not require it to ship excess heavy water out of the country.

“Nothing in the [agreement] requires Iran to ship out the excess heavy water which is made available to the international market but has not yet found an actual buyer to which the heavy water needs to be delivered,” Iran said.

The deal says all excess heavy water “will be made available for export to the international market based on international prices and delivered to the international buyer”.

Trump is a vocal critic of the deal who has said he wants to “police that contract so tough they [the Iranians] don’t have a chance”. His administration has stuck to the previous US position thus far.

“Any excess heavy water in excess of the firm cap of 130 metric tons cannot remain in Iran,” the United States said in a statement to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting last week.

Western officials say they are concerned that Tehran continues to produce heavy water far more quickly than it is consuming or selling it. It had 124.2 tonnes of heavy water on its territory a month ago.

The IAEA, which is policing the deal, told member states at a meeting on 28 February that if Iran kept producing heavy water at the current rate, it would reach the 130-tonne limit by May, several diplomats who attended the meeting said.

A possible maintenance shutdown at its production plant might delay the timing slightly, some added. One diplomat said June was a more likely time for Iran to hit the cap.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Terrorism

Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal Could Easily Become a Hazard

By Lisa Curtis | March 15, 2017 | 9:37 AM EDT

(AP Photo/AP of Pakistan, HO)

Michael Krepon, co-founder of the U.S.-based Stimson Center, whose views are widely respected both in South Asia and in Washington, has written a thought-provoking piece on the future of U.S. policy toward Pakistan.

In the article, Krepon argues in favor of a status quo U.S. policy toward Pakistan that relies solely on inducements and engagement, rather than exerting pressure on Pakistan.

Krepon acknowledges that this policy approach has been ineffective in convincing Pakistan to crack down on some terrorist groups that endanger core U.S. national security interests in the region. Nonetheless, he argues for a status quo policy that does not levy consequences on Pakistan for continued support to international terrorist groups.

Krepon’s main reason rests largely on the idea that the nuclear issue is more important than the terrorism issue. Krepon seems to believe that if the U.S. penalizes Pakistan for its continued support for some terrorist groups, the U.S. will lose leverage over Pakistan in keeping its nuclear weapons safe and secure.

Krepon also argues that “the future of Pakistan is more important to the United States than the future of Afghanistan.”

Both of these assertions rely on false choices and confuse the problem at hand.

One of the primary U.S. concerns regarding Pakistan’s nuclear weapons is the danger that they could fall into terrorist hands. A second concern is that Pakistan would use its nuclear weapons in a potential conflict with India.

Additionally, if the Taliban make further territorial gains in Afghanistan—aided by having a sanctuary inside Pakistan—this will facilitate the revival of al-Qaeda in the region and boost the morale of Islamist extremists across the globe.

These are three potentially very dangerous scenarios that the U.S. must work to prevent. Putting pressure on Pakistan to crack down on terrorist groups within its territory is key to making sure these scenarios don’t come to pass.

Appeasement Will Not Work

Krepon’s status quo policy would likely lead to the growth of anti-India terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which conducted the 2008 Mumbai attacks that nearly led to military conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

Moreover, U.S. acquiescence to Pakistan’s continued support for some terrorist groups would allow an overall conducive environment for terrorism to thrive in the country—something that puts Pakistan’s long-term stability at risk.

It is precisely because of these dangers—the threat of an Indo-Pakistani conflict that could go nuclear, the potential nexus between terror and nuclear weapons, instability of the Pakistani state from the blowback of supporting terrorism, and the need to stabilize Afghanistan—that the U.S. must adopt a more pointed policy approach with Islamabad.

This line of reasoning is spelled out in a report that I drafted with former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani and with input from several other U.S.-based Pakistan experts.

The report recommends the Trump administration take a sharper, more clear-eyed policy approach toward Pakistan that includes consequences for Pakistani failure to rein in terror groups that threaten stability in Afghanistan, as well as raise tensions with India. Consequences should include things like enforcing conditions on military aid and revoking Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally.

The report stops short of recommending that the U.S. declare Pakistan to be a state sponsor of terrorism this year—though it recommends keeping that option open for the future.

I have stated my personal opposition to doing this on numerous occasions. Designating Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism would preclude the U.S. from providing any kind of aid to Pakistan and would lead to an irreparable breach in the relationship.

While tightening U.S. counterterrorism policies toward Pakistan is necessary, it’s also not in the U.S. interest to make an enemy out of Pakistan.

Our report revolves around the notion that evoking change in Pakistani terrorism policies is desirable not only for U.S. security objectives, but also for the sake of Pakistan’s own future.

Contrary to what Krepon’s article suggests, raising the bar on the Pakistanis is not an effort to stigmatize them. Krepon’s article wrongly suggests that any policy other than the status quo amounts to disengaging with Pakistan.

Krepon’s argument seems to be that the U.S. should allow Pakistan to continue support for some terror groups and wait patiently until Pakistan itself realizes the cost of its dangerous behavior through what he calls a “clarifying process.”

The Path to Stability

But the risks in the region are too acute and immediate to wait patiently and assume that Pakistan will eventually change its policies without incurring some international cost. Pressure from the United States is needed.

At the same time, the Trump administration should both publicly and privately maintain avenues for Pakistan to become a U.S. ally in the future. As we state in the report:

“Were Pakistan to cease its current tolerance of and support to terrorist groups, one can envisage grounds for common interest and policies on a range of issues that would form the basis of mutual interest. This could involve a package of trade and investment cooperation that would be mutually win-win for the economies of the United States and Pakistan.”

Far from stigmatizing Pakistan or proposing a witch hunt, our report provides a sound and practical way forward for improving the prospects for stability in the region, reducing global terrorist threats, and providing the basis for a stronger U.S.-Pakistan partnership over the long term.

Lisa Curtis analyzes America’s economic, security and political relationships with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other nations of South Asia as a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published by The Daily Signal.

The Pakistani Nuclear Hazard

COMMENTARY BY

Michael Krepon, co-founder of the U.S.-based Stimson Center, whose views are widely respected both in South Asia and in Washington, has written a thought-provoking piece on the future of U.S. policy toward Pakistan.

In the article, Krepon argues in favor of a status quo U.S. policy toward Pakistan that relies solely on inducements and engagement, rather than exerting pressure on Pakistan.

Krepon acknowledges that this policy approach has been ineffective in convincing Pakistan to crack down on some terrorist groups that endanger core U.S. national security interests in the region. Nonetheless, he argues for a status quo policy that does not levy consequences on Pakistan for continued support to international terrorist groups.

Krepon’s main reason rests largely on the idea that the nuclear issue is more important than the terrorism issue. Krepon seems to believe that if the U.S. penalizes Pakistan for its continued support for some terrorist groups, the U.S. will lose leverage over Pakistan in keeping its nuclear weapons safe and secure.

One of the primary U.S. concerns regarding Pakistan’s nuclear weapons is the danger that they could fall into terrorist hands. A second concern is that Pakistan would use its nuclear weapons in a potential conflict with India.

Additionally, if the Taliban make further territorial gains in Afghanistan—aided by having a sanctuary inside Pakistan—this will facilitate the revival of al-Qaeda in the region and boost the morale of Islamist extremists across the globe.

These are three potentially very dangerous scenarios that the U.S. must work to prevent. Putting pressure on Pakistan to crack down on terrorist groups within its territory is key to making sure these scenarios don’t come to pass.

Appeasement Will Not Work

Krepon’s status quo policy would likely lead to the growth of anti-India terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which conducted the 2008 Mumbai attacks that nearly led to military conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

Moreover, U.S. acquiescence to Pakistan’s continued support for some terrorist groups would allow an overall conducive environment for terrorism to thrive in the country—something that puts Pakistan’s long-term stability at risk.

It is precisely because of these dangers—the threat of an Indo-Pakistani conflict that could go nuclear, the potential nexus between terror and nuclear weapons, instability of the Pakistani state from the blowback of supporting terrorism, and the need to stabilize Afghanistan—that the U.S. must adopt a more pointed policy approach with Islamabad.

This line of reasoning is spelled out in a report that I drafted with former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani and with input from several other U.S.-based Pakistan experts.

The report recommends the Trump administration take a sharper, more clear-eyed policy approach toward Pakistan that includes consequences for Pakistani failure to rein in terror groups that threaten stability in Afghanistan, as well as raise tensions with India. Consequences should include things like enforcing conditions on military aid and revoking Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally.

The report stops short of recommending that the U.S. declare Pakistan to be a state sponsor of terrorism this year—though it recommends keeping that option open for the future.

I have stated my personal opposition to doing this on numerous occasions. Designating Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism would preclude the U.S. from providing any kind of aid to Pakistan and would lead to an irreparable breach in the relationship.

While tightening U.S. counterterrorism policies toward Pakistan is necessary, it’s also not in the U.S. interest to make an enemy out of Pakistan.

Our report revolves around the notion that evoking change in Pakistani terrorism policies is desirable not only for U.S. security objectives, but also for the sake of Pakistan’s own future.

Contrary to what Krepon’s article suggests, raising the bar on the Pakistanis is not an effort to stigmatize them. Krepon’s article wrongly suggests that any policy other than the status quo amounts to disengaging with Pakistan.

Krepon’s argument seems to be that the U.S. should allow Pakistan to continue support for some terror groups and wait patiently until Pakistan itself realizes the cost of its dangerous behavior through what he calls a “clarifying process.”

The Path to Stability

But the risks in the region are too acute and immediate to wait patiently and assume that Pakistan will eventually change its policies without incurring some international cost. Pressure from the United States is needed.

At the same time, the Trump administration should both publicly and privately maintain avenues for Pakistan to become a U.S. ally in the future. As we state in the report:

Were Pakistan to cease its current tolerance of and support to terrorist groups, one can envisage grounds for common interest and policies on a range of issues that would form the basis of mutual interest. This could involve a package of trade and investment cooperation that would be mutually win-win for the economies of the United States and Pakistan.
Far from stigmatizing Pakistan or proposing a witch hunt, our report provides a sound and practical way forward for improving the prospects for stability in the region, reducing global terrorist threats, and providing the basis for a stronger U.S.-Pakistan partnership over the long term.

India Nuclear Horn Goes Supersonic

India test-fires supersonic cruise missile

Pakistan has already urges world to check Indian conventional, nuclear arms build-up
India on Saturday test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which is ‘capable’ of carrying a warhead of 300kg, from a test range along the Odisha coast, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The cruise missile was test fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore in Odisha at about 11.33am, the news service quoted unnamed officials of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as saying. “It was an ‘excellent’ launch and a great success,” they said.

The PTI reported that the supersonic missile was capable of carrying a warhead of 300kg. “The two-stage missile, one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant, has already been inducted into the army and navy, while the air force version is in final stage of trial,” the officials said. The Indian Army is already equipped with three regiments of Block III version of Brahmos missiles.

On Thursday, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said in Islamabad that India’s massive arms build-up and testing of inter-continental ballistic missiles was a source of concern for the region. However, Pakistan would not indulge in the arms race, he said. “Pakistan will maintain minimum deterrence capability to safeguard its national security,” he said.

“India’s massive arms buying spree, making it one of the top arms importers in the world, was driven by its desire for regional hegemony and global power status,” he said. On the other hand, Pakistan had been compelled to acquire and maintain a deterrent capability to ensure its national security, he said, adding that Pakistan never wanted to engage in any kind of arms race, nuclear or conventional.

Several international reports and independent observers had drawn attention to the rapid expansion in India’s capability to produce fissile material for military use, which had been made possible by the 2008 NSG waiver granted to India without appropriate non-proliferation safeguards and the subsequent nuclear deals struck with different countries.

In February, the Foreign Office urged the international community to check Indian conventional and nuclear arms build-up that had caused strategic anxiety in the region. “With conventional weapons balance already disturbed, India’s nuclear weapons build-up has dangerous proportions to tip the strategic balance and endanger peace of the region and beyond,” he said.

The Nuclear Horns of South Asia

OPINION | Nuclearization of Indian Ocean: A Pakistan’s Perspective

By Beenish Altaf

The emanating threat to peace of Indian Ocean is mainly due to the nuclearization initiated by Indians. Out of which, the chief elements or the challenges to peace in the ocean that could be counted among are listed as its militarization, increased missile capabilities, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and power projection by foreign militaries, in addition to piracy, illegal fishing, human, drugs and arms smuggling, maritime pollution and climate change.
The Indian Ocean, geo-strategically is present at the world’s most fundamental part. It is the third largest oceanic division of the world and commands strategically important sea lanes of communication (SLOCs) that link the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia with Europe, East Asia, and the US. Around 80 percent of the world’s energy trade passes through the choke points of this region.

Pakistan is concerned with the alarming modernization of India’s exasperated capabilities with regards to its missile and nuclear weapons. It would be pertinent to mention here that with the demonstration of the test launch of the K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on March 31, 2016, India’s movement towards fielding an undersea deterrent is well taken. It was an indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine, the INS Arihant.

Due to the India’s ‘unrestrained behavior’, it became necessary for Pakistan to take a step forward towards a sea-based deterrent. Therefore, for this reason, Pakistan decided over an equivalent measure and successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile, Babur-III on January 9, 2017, that is considered a compelled step.

Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz while speaking at an international forum in Pakistan said that this trend is likely to intensify in the coming years. And that “we are aware of our national interests and every effort will be made to strengthen our capacity to ensure that we remain ready to meet the emerging maritime security challenges. For us, to remain oblivious of the developments taking place in the Indian Ocean region is not an option.”
A statement issued by the Foreign Office states, “The reported Indian tests of a submarine-launched ballistic missile and development of a nuclear submarine fleet are serious developments, which impact the delicate strategic balance in the region. It has resulted in the nuclearization of the Indian Ocean.” India wants to exercise its supremacy in the whole region by its nuclearization of Indian Ocean. It will certainly exacerbate the already fragile strategic balance in South Asia.
There is another concern gaining hype nowadays regarding the un-demarcated borders in the Sir Creek. Pakistan has to be more careful about defending its borders, land or sea routes because if the communication link with the vessel is disrupted, it could prove to be extremely risky. Consequently, a good amount of naval pressure is necessary to keep our sea lanes open and safe. Nevertheless, the Sir Creek border issue has a potential to cast a shadow on the maritime security.

Projection of military and nuclear power into the seas will grip the region into an arms race and inevitably place it at the risk of a nuclear showdown. Mr. Aziz said that the Indian navy’s substantial expansion was a cause for concern for Pakistan and that Pakistan has a strategic stake in the peaceful navigation and security of the Indian Ocean region.

The Indian Ocean region is being taken with a sense of war whereas it is not all about war it has a potential of economic growth as well. It is a catalyst for peace and prosperity, cooperation, collaboration, connectivity, regional stability, and security. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah emphasized the substantial role being played by the Pakistan Navy in the sustenance of peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region that operationalisation of the CPEC and the Gwadar Port would lead to an exponential increase in maritime activities of the country’s coast. “Consequently, responsibilities of Pakistan Navy for maintaining a secure maritime environment will also increase manifold. The Recent establishment of the Task Force-88 is also a step forward in this regard.”

Ironically, India is heading day by day towards boosting massively its missile, conventional and unconventional capabilities. Pakistan has declared its intention of highlighting the dangerous implications of India’s plans to nuclearize the Indian Ocean at all relevant international fora through a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Last but not the least, India is playing a dangerous game in pursuit of achieving the status of a great power and regional hegemony. As a result, it is the collective responsibility of all the involving states to share the burden to maintain security in the region keeping and acknowledging it as a common goal.

India Prepares For Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

India gears up to fight nuclear attacks

CC
THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJIB KR BARUAH
Published : Mar 5, 2017, 6:34 am IST
Updated : Mar 5, 2017, 6:49 am IST

DRDO hands over to Army recce vehicle to counter chemical, biological hits too.

New Delhi: The strong possibility that chemical weapons were used in Wednesday’s attacks in Afghanistan has brought the dangerous reality to India’s doorsteps. Pakistan’s growing arsenal of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and the declared intent of terror outfits like Al Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS to acquire non-conventional weapons, including chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, has resonated very strongly in India and rapid steps are already underway to combat such attacks, be it from state or non-state actors.

“We have not faced nuclear or chemical attacks, but we will have to be prepared at every moment to deal with the issue,” defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursd-ay. Alluding to reports of chemical attacks by the Taliban in Afghanistan on Wednesday, he said: “While these reports are yet to be confirmed, I have seen photographs of the local population suffering from blisters and burns and they are quite distressing.”

Significantly on Thursd-ay itself, the state-owned Defence Research and De-velopment Organisation (DRDO) handed over to the Army the NBC (nuc-lear, biological and chemical) Recce Vehicle which is all set to be deployed.

Resembling a battle tank and equipped with GPS navigation, meteorological sensors and radiation sensors, the NBC Recce Vehicle is capable of conducting effective reconnaissance of radiological and chemically contaminated areas, demarcation of contaminated zones, real-time communication of digital data after analysing the solid and liquid samples to the supported formation.

“The utility of the NBC Recce Vehicle goes beyond warfare and will prove to be indispensable in any NBC disaster situation too,” said a source who has worked on the development of the vehicle.

Going beyond, the DRDO has also introduced a bouquet of radio-protectors and radio-mitigator drugs that are required to reduce the effects of gamma irradiation substantially in the aftermath of a nuclear, chemical and biological attack.

In a nuclear disaster, a person is exposed to gam-ma radiations. In high dos-es, radiation syndromes can kill in hours to days to a few months, while in low doses, genetic and cancer disorders may result.

Radio-protectors and radio-mitigator drugs are required to reduce the effects of gamma irradiation substantially. The drugs have been put to Drug Controller General for special approvals, while provisioning to Indian armed forces has already started as these are life-saving drugs.

“The DRDO has also provided a NBC kit to the Indian defence forces although it has been segregated into elements for field use and in the hospital on the advice of the Army authorities,” said a top DRDO official on condition of anonymity.

The Next Terrorist Attack (Revelation 15:4)

Test blasts simulate a nuclear attack on a U.S. port

This detonation at Aberdeen Proving Ground last October simulated the effects of a nuclear blast in a ship’s hull.

Aberdeen Proving Ground

By Richard StoneFeb. 28, 2017 , 5:00 PM

Under cover of night, a blacked-out fishing boat slips into Baltimore, Maryland’s Inner Harbor. A U.S. Coast Guard cutter moves to apprehend the intruder. But before officers can board, both boats and much of Baltimore disappear in an intense flash: A nuclear bomb hidden on the boat has detonated. As first responders rush to victims, nuclear forensics specialists scrutinize data on radiation and acoustic and seismic waves from sensors placed around the city in a breakneck effort to decipher the bomb’s design and perhaps determine who was behind the blast.

At a time when a bomb smuggled by terrorists is as big a concern as one from a foreign power, delivered by missile or airplane, an attack at a port is “definitely a more likely scenario,” says Thomas Cartledge, a nuclear engineer with the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. But forensic experts, who rely largely on nuclear test data collected years ago in Western deserts, lack a clear picture of how energy from a detonation would propagate in the highly saturated geology of many U.S. port cities. To remedy that, DTRA last October quietly staged Humming Terrapin: a 2-week test series at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland that detonated nearly 2 metric tons of conventional explosives to simulate nuclear blast effects in shallow water.

Since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government has mounted a major effort to prevent a nuclear bomb from being smuggled into a port. It has outfitted points of entry with radiation detectors, and it is working with foreign ports toward a goal of having all U.S.-bound cargo scanned for nuclear materials before departure. But it’s well nigh impossible to track the myriad small craft flitting in and out of the 361 U.S. ports and 153,000 kilometers of open shoreline. “There are a zillion fishing boats that leave U.S. ports and nobody inspects them when they come home,” says Matthew Bunn, a specialist on nuclear terrorism at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. “If there is highly enriched uranium metal that’s shielded and below the water line, it’s going to be really tough to detect at long range.”

In case the unthinkable happens, a sensor array called Discreet Oculus that is being installed in major U.S. cities would capture key forensic information. The array, which DTRA is still developing, would record radiation and seismic waves emanating from the blast. “Discreet Oculus is up and running in several U.S. cities now,” Cartledge says. A sister system—a portable array that runs on battery or solar power called Minikin Echo—will be deployed at major events such as the Olympics or the Super Bowl. Data from Cold War–era nuclear testing and simulations are being used to calibrate the sensors.

Yet past U.S. testing is a poor proxy for detonations at a port, says Tamara VanHoose, a U.S. Army major and nuclear engineer at DTRA. A closer analog is a little-known campaign in 1963–64 in which the U.S. Air Force conducted a series of detonations of as much as 10 tons of chemical explosives at the bottom of Lake Superior. The tests offered a wealth of data on how seismic waves traverse the land-water interface, but they “were not instrumented to meet our needs,” VanHoose says.

Humming Terrapin aims to fill that gap. VanHoose and colleagues set up Discreet Oculus and two Minikin Echo arrays at Aberdeen, adding hydrophones, which are not currently included in either array. Another set of sensors probed how seismic signals ripple through East Coast rock layers. “These are wet-type geologies versus the granite geologies that we see out at the typical desert sites where we’ve done historic testing,” VanHoose says.

The team set out to test several scenarios. “We were looking at how a weapon might be delivered,” Cartledge says. A detonation above the water line—say in a container on the deck of a cargo ship—would produce a mostly acoustic signal, he says, whereas a detonation in a ship’s hull, below the surface, would be mostly seismic. “Really challenging,” he says, is the seismo-acoustic coupling “right at the surface”—a scenario one might expect for a detonation aboard a smaller boat.

Finally came the big bangs. Working with U.S. Navy hydrosound experts, the DTRA-led team detonated eight 175-kilogram TNT explosions at Aberdeen’s Briar Point Test Pond, as well as one 455-kilogram TNT explosion at a nearby underwater explosives facility. The team sheltered in a bunker about 450 meters away and watched the explosions on closed-circuit TV.

Less than a second after a detonation, the seismic waves arrived. The bunker “really rocks,” Cartledge says. “Wow, you don’t think it would shake us much as it does. That’s the fun part of the job.” A moment later came the airborne shock wave: “a very intense bang,” recalls Mark Leidig, a seismologist at Weston Geophysical Corp., a consulting firm in Lexington, Massachusetts, that designed the tests.

Now comes the hard work of sifting the data and “building our models to account for the coupling effects of the water we observed,” VanHoose says.

DTRA will stage its next test series back on dry land at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, where an unshielded “fast-burst” nuclear reactor is normally used to test how military hardware might withstand a nuke’s high-energy neutron barrage. In June the DTRA team will verify that the speed-of-light sensors it is developing—detectors for gamma rays, radio waves, and light—can capture and model the fast burst, or the exponential rise of the nuclear reaction going critical. Such data provide “valuable forensic insight into weapon characteristics,” Cartledge says. Revealing a weapon’s design would speed the government’s response to a once-unimaginable act of terrorism, wherever it took place.