The Third Nuclear Horn Is A Global Threat (Daniel 8:8)

By
By Jai Kumar Verma

The fourth heavy water reactor at Khushab in Pakistan became functional in January 2015. The new heavy-water reactor would enhance the production of weapon-grade plutonium.

Pakistan considers India as its prime adversary and it apprehends that it cannot match India in conventional warfare hence it is increasing its nuclear capability faster than India, and presently Pakistan possesses more nuclear warheads than India.

Analysts say that by 2020 Pakistan will possess more than 200 nuclear warheads. Pakistan has neither signed the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) nor Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Pakistan initiated its nuclear weapons programme in 1972 after a humiliating defeat by India. Pakistan was isolated in the international arena and no country, including United States of America or Peoples Republic of China (PRC), helped Pakistan against India. Consequently, Pakistani authorities decided that the country has to inculcate capability indigenously against India, and therefore it developed nuclear warheads.

It detonated five nuclear devices in May 1998 in Ras Koh Hills in Balochistan a few weeks after India’s second nuclear test. The nuclear bomb of Pakistan can be delivered by aircraft, ships and missiles. Pakistan has declined to accept a “no first use” agreement with India.

The Khushab nuclear site, which is in a highly restricted area, is situated at Jauharabad in Khushab district. It is about 200 km from Islamabad. Pakistan does not provide any information about Khushab reactors. Khushab I became operational in 1998 and Khushab II started producing plutonium and tritium from 2010. Khushab III became fully operational in 2013. Khushab IV which appears to be different from other three reactors became operative from January 2015.

According to satellite imagery brief, Pakistan is building Khushab V where it would produce miniaturized plutonium based nuclear weapons.

The analysts feel that Pakistan had uranium-based warheads hence now it is developing plutonium-based warheads also. The Khushab Nuclear Complex and Kahuta nuclear plants are not subject to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections. The plutonium programme of Pakistan is indigenous and developed by Pakistani scientists with Chinese assistance.

Pakistanis stress that the nuclear weapons are not only against India, but if any power including USA tries to hit its strategic assets Pakistan would not hesitate in using nuclear warheads.

India and Pakistan have signed three agreements on nuclear affairs which includes not to attack the other country’s nuclear facilities; informing each other on ballistic missile tests; and report to the other country in case of a nuclear accident in the country.

Besides creating nuclear warheads Pakistan has also developed second strike potential by constructing very strong and deeply buried storage and nuclear devices launch capability.

PRC is the foremost supplier of nuclear and missile technology, warhead designs, highly enriched uranium etc. It also assisted in development of nuclear infrastructure, including nuclear plants at Chashma Nuclear Power Plant (Chasnupp) in Punjab, K Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (Kanupp) etc. A uranium centrifuge plant at Kahuta is operative since 1984 and in 1991 it was extended.

Pakistan has a big arsenal of nuclear weapons and the international community is worried about safety and security of Pakistani nuclear facilities and nuclear warheads. The analysts claim the Pakistani government may not misuse the nuclear weapons but the probability that terrorists may obtain it through dubious means cannot be ruled out.

In the past, Abdul Qader Khan, the mastermind of Pakistani nuclear bomb, secretly helped Iran, Libya and North Korea in their nuclear programme.

The US is worried because of increasing anti-American sentiments in Pakistan especially in the Pakistani Armed Forces. In the past there were several assaults on strategic establishments, including nuclear facilities. The US authorities are also not fully aware about the locations of all Pakistani nuclear establishments, hence protecting them is also quite difficult.

Pakistan claims that it is the only Muslim country which possesses nuclear warheads, therefore Jews, Western countries and India are involved in malicious propaganda that nuclear weapons are not safe in the country. Pakistan refused to accept Permissive Action Link (PAL) technology as Pakistani scientists apprehended that USA may put “dead switches” and Pakistan may not able to use these devices at the hour of need. However, Pakistan claims that it has developed PAL system indigenously and is using it in defending its nuclear warheads.

Pakistan has constituted a National Command Authority (NCA) which includes civil and military personnel and it will be responsible for safety and security of nuclear weapons. It also started a Personnel Reliability Programme (PRP) under which extremists/fundamentalists would not be employed in nuclear installations.

The US gave various equipment, including helicopters, night-vision devices and nuclear detection, apparatus to Pakistan to safeguard its nuclear installations, warheads and nuclear material. It is also reported in the media that US has trained a few commandos who would attack and seize the nuclear weapons from extremists if terrorists succeed in obtaining them.

Although Pakistan professes that it has an infallible security system and all the nuclear facilities, warheads and nuclear material are in safe hands, but facts contradict the claim. Fundamentalism is enhancing very rapidly in the country. Terrorists attacked military bases, including Minhas (Kamra) Air Force Base. Terrorists also attacked areas near Khushab and Gadwal nuclear plants.

Extremists also tried to kidnap officials working in nuclear facilities. The possibility, that terrorists could kidnap or allure some official working in the nuclear establishment and the rogue official supply nuclear material to terrorists, cannot be ruled out.

The Pakistani military, which controls nuclear facilities, has nurtured several terrorist groups. These terrorist outfits as well as several Pakistani military officers are so fanatical that they can go up to any extent to damage India, USA or Afghanistan. Terrorists, including Al Qaeda leaders, had showed interest in procuring Pakistani nuclear warheads.

The terrorists may have already penetrated nuclear installations or the Pakistani army, and once they need the nuclear material their planted stooges would smuggle it.

There are reports that Pakistan has abandoned the system of keeping nuclear warheads and launchers separately. Now short-range nuclear missiles are deployed near Indian borders where security measures are relaxed.

In the tactical deployment of nuclear warheads junior officers have the authority, which is also a very risky proposition. Pakistan has a history of military takeovers and turmoil and the chances that the terrorists capture some nuclear device in that chaos cannot be ruled out.

Pakistanis consider possession of nuclear warheads as a great honour and will not tolerate its dismantling, destruction or occupation by any external power. Pakistanis also consider nuclear weapons as a fool-proof defence against its foremost enemy India.

The danger of acquiring nuclear warheads by terrorists is real and its consequences would be appalling. Hence all the nuclear plants of Pakistan must come under jurisdiction of IAEA and Pakistan should sign NPT and CTBT immediately.

The international community is required to press Pakistan for signing the no-first-use agreement with India. China, US and other countries should chalk out a plan for the security of Pakistani nuclear weapons as well as for nuclear material. In the security system, the International community should also be involved. The postings in nuclear installations must be strictly checked and only Pakistani security officials should not be entrusted with this sensitive work. The international community should also chalk out an emergency plan that, in case terrorists are able to get hold of nuclear warheads, how they can be recaptured again before they are misused.

*Jai Kumar Verma is a Delhi-based strategic analyst. He can be contacted at contributions@spsindia.in

Israel Cannot Stop The Iranian Horn (Dan 8:3)

Not a false alarm: Iraq as a metaphor

iranvsisrael
Newsletter Thursday February 19, 2015
Omer Dostri

Efforts to portray the Iranian threat as some kind of electioneering campaign are nothing new. Former security officials desperate to remain in the limelight have repeatedly claimed that the Iranian threat is being exaggerated and used for personal political purposes. These days various media outlets are trying to rewrite history and downplay the threat once posed to Israel during the reign of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and present the geopolitical reality under Saddam’s Baath party as having been better for Israel than the current reality. By doing so they imply that to get involved in Iran would be to repeat a past mistake that will likely negatively impact Israel’s security.

But this implication, and those claims, crumble when held up to reality and history. The Baath party tried to get its hands on weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear arms, since day one. In the 1970s, Saddam said that as long as Israel has nuclear arms, Iraq would not be able to attack it freely, and that he planned to use that kind of weaponry to “drown the enemy in rivers of blood.”

Saddam Hussein’s first attempt at acquiring nuclear arms failed in 1981, after Israel bombed the nuclear reactor in Osirak and carried out numerous other operations to hamper Iraq’s progress toward an atomic bomb. Months after the Osirak strike, Iraq appealed to France to purchase another reactor, but the many sanctions imposed on Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war made it difficult.

After running into trouble trying to get Western assistance, Saddam decide to develop a secret uranium enrichment program in Iraq. This new program, with its many facilities, spread throughout Iraq in secret underground compounds, requiring a budget 15 times that of the Osirak reactor.

Between 1981 and 1987, Iraq’s nuclear efforts revolved around research, and only between 1987 and 1990 did they advance to an operative phase of actually developing weapons. The nuclear program was halted by the entry of coalition forces into Iraq during the First Gulf War.

In 1998, then-U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered the launch of Operation Desert Fox, a four day bombing and missile strike campaign against Iraqi targets in response to Iraq’s refusal to comply with a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for American inspectors to come make sure Iraq was not developing weapons of mass destruction. The stated goal of that operation was to diminish the Iraqi regime’s capacity to produce, store or use such weapons. Operation Desert Fox paved the way for the Second Gulf War and the U.S. invasion of Iraq during George W. Bush’s presidency, which resulted in the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The claims that Iraq is now more dangerous than before and that the Islamic State group developed as a direct result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq are simply wrong. Iraq currently has no desire or ability to produce weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, the country poses no threat to Israel. This crucial change allows Israel to invest its resources in more pertinent and volatile areas.

Secondly, Islamic State is the result of many factors, and not necessarily a direct response to American involvement. It is possible that the group would have never formed, even after the U.S. occupation ended, had the U.S. acted more wisely. It is not unreasonable to think that had U.S. forces stayed in Iraq longer and bolstered the central Iraqi government, instead departing early and abandoning the land, they could have thwarted the rise of Islamic State.

If the U.S. had imposed a Western/American standard of civilian involvement in the central Iraqi government, and allowed for better representation of the Iraqi population, it could have prevented the sectarian tension that currently exists between the government’s Shiites, sponsored by Iran, and Sunnis who were brutally oppressed after the fall of Saddam — another factor that contributed to the establishment of Islamic State.

In retrospect, Israel’s call for intervention in Iraq, and the subsequent intervention by the U.S., served to defuse a very serious threat facing Israel. When confronting Iran, the same approach should be adopted. Iran must be forced to give up its nuclear ambitions, at any cost

India Sends A Nuclear Warning To Pakistan

India test-fires nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile from Odisha
Misil+India+PRITHVI-2
Foreign14 HOURS AGO BY AGENCIES

India test-fired nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha on Thursday.

The missile was test-fired several times earlier and has a strike range of 350 kilometres.

The Prithvi II missile was inducted into India’s Strategic Forces Command in 2003 and is the first missile developed by DRDO under India’s IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program). It is capable of carrying 500 to 1000 kilograms of warheads according to The Hindu.
On January 31, India also succeeded for the first time in using a mobile launcher to test-fire a long-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead deep inside rival China.

Although the launch was the third test of the Agni V missile, it was the first time the weapon was fired from a so-called canister mounted on a truck rather than from a concrete launchpad used in previous trials. The new delivery mechanism gave the armed forces increased operational flexibility.

The Third Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)

What If ISIS Spreads to Pakistan?

Pakistan's Nuclear Terrorism

Pakistan’s Nuclear Terrorism

Michael Rubin | @mrubin1971 02.18.2015 – 11:55 AM

Nature may abhor a vacuum, but terrorists love one. The U.S. military-led surge in Iraq largely pushed al-Qaeda in Iraq into oblivion, but the uprising against the Arab Spring created a space for radical Islamists to incubate. The Bashar al-Assad regime ironically found the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh)’s presence useful both because he could hold them up as the alternative to his rule and because they often did the dirty work targeting the more moderate opposition. For his part, President Obama opposed any military action in Syria. Rather than excise the tumor when it was small, the United States sat aside as it metastasized, creating the circumstances that last summer enabled the Islamic State to bulldoze through much of Iraq and Syria. Even this was not inevitable: tumors need oxygen, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s Islamist dictator, provided it, allowing men and munitions to traverse the Turkey-Syrian border. Libya increasingly risks being the next Syria.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s declaration of the caliphate might sound overwrought in the West, but Arab security experts in the Middle East with whom I have spoken in recent weeks say it has been tremendously inspiring to Islamists across the world. In Libya, the Sinai, and the Sahel, Islamist terrorist groups swore loyalty to the Islamic State. Boko Haram seeks its own caliphate, but nevertheless expressed its support to Baghdadi.

Clearly, the Islamic State brand reverberates. No matter how much the White House and State Department deny the Islamic basis of the Islamic State, it is resilient and attractive to many in the Islamic world. Right now, the Islamic State talks about conquering Rome, and while lone wolf and sleeper cell terrorism in Europe will continue to be a threat, a full-fledged invasion of Europe is unlikely. The nightmare scenario about which policymakers should be most concerned is a spread of the Islamic State to Pakistan.

Before 9/11, I spent a few weeks with the Taliban in Afghanistan. At the time, the group was desperate for recognition as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. It declared an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and continues to embrace an essentially nationalist vision. Ditto the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the Pakistani Taliban group which continues to dominate and terrorize Pakistan’s tribal territory, with ambitions throughout Pakistan. However, as Osama bin Laden once said, everyone loves the strong horse, and the Islamic State—which dismisses modern nationalism as illegitimate—has certainly proven itself that. If Pakistani radicals and militants—and there are no shortage of these in Pakistani society—shift their focus to the Islamic State, then all bets are off.

Pakistani officials might deny or even sneer at such suggestions that they are vulnerable to the Islamic State. But a consistent problem in Pakistani society has been that the elite believe that they can harness radicalism toward Pakistani ends in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and not pay the price. Simply put, the elite bubble is like a one-way mirror: Islamists can see in, but the Pakistani elite can see only their own reflection.

The danger for the West is, of course, that Pakistan is a nuclear power. What a tempting target Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal could be for the Islamic State or its fellow-travelers. And while Western officials have long fooled themselves into thinking states like Iran developing a bomb could be contained because Iran isn’t suicidal, clearly the Islamic State prioritizes ideology above pragmatism.
Pakistan today might seem safe, but the allure of the Islamic State is a game changer. Indeed, it can change the game in a matter of months, as it has shown in Libya. The West allowed the Islamic State to metastasize. Unfortunately, policymakers still have no clue about how horrendous its terminal phase might be.