Approaching The First Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

6:07 pm 12 Mar, 2017 
India aims to isolate Pakistan diplomatically. Ever since the Uri terror attacks, New Delhi has been making all efforts to corner Pakistan and expose its backing of terror outfits from its own soil.
“India’s public policy to ‘diplomatically isolate’ Pakistan, hinders any prospects for improved relations,” General Votel told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
According to the General, isolation attempts and military actions are “troubling as a significant conventional conflict between Pakistan and India could escalate into a nuclear exchange.”
Pakistan has around 130 nuclear warheads; 10 more than India’s. But while New Delhi has ratified the “no first use” policy, Islamabad continues to ignore it. And what is even more concerning is that Pakistan’s ruling establishment openly issues nuclear threats.
Pakistan’s defence minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif has issued such threats twice – first against India and then against Israel.
He said that though Pakistan has made a few moves, there has not been any permanent action against terrorist groups such as the Haqqani network “which poses the greatest threat” to US-led forces in Afghanistan.

The Nuclear Prelude (Revelation 8)

Updated: Mar 10, 2017 10:38 IST
By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
A top US military general has warned that India’s policy to “diplomatically isolate” Pakistan hinders of the improvement of ties between the countries enhancing the risk, thus, of conventional conflict leading to a nuclear exchange.
General Joseph L Votel told the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee at a hearing on Thursday that attacks in India from terrorists based in Pakistan and the reaction “likelihood for miscalculation by both countries” and “India’s public policy to ‘diplomatically isolate’ Pakistan hinders any prospects for improved relations”.
The general spoke of India’s concerns about lack of action against India-focused militants based in Pakistan and the surgical strike undertaken by the Indian military against terrorist camps across the border in Pakistan in 2016.
The general’s command overseas US operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan and he echoed the country’s mounting concern with Pakistan, who he called a critical partner in counterterrorism, when he said that “of particular concern to us is the Haqqani Network (HQN) which poses the greatest threat to coalition forces operating in Afghanistan”.
To date, he stressed, “the Pakistan military and security services have not taken lasting actions against HQN” despite repeated calls from to the “Pakistanis to take the necessary actions to deny terrorists safe haven and improve security in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region”.
Saying “there are challenges with respect to the US-Pakistani relationship, we have endeavoured to maintain a substantial level of engagement with our Pakistani military counterparts”.

The "Limited" Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

There’s no such thing as ‘limited’ nuclear war

 March 3
Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, represents California in the U.S. Senate.
Last month, it was revealed that a Pentagon advisory committee authored a report calling for the United States to invest in new nuclear weapons and consider resuming nuclear testing. The report even suggested researching less-powerful nuclear weapons that could be deployed without resorting to full-scale nuclear war. This is terrifying and deserves a swift, full-throated rebuke.
The report comes from the Defense Science Board, a committee made up of civilian experts. The board recommended “a more flexible nuclear enterprise that could produce, if needed, a rapid, tailored nuclear option for limited use.”
Let me be crystal clear: There is no such thing as “limited use” nuclear weapons, and for a Pentagon advisory board to promote their development is absolutely unacceptable. This is even more problematic given President Trump’s comments in support of a nuclear arms race.
As Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work testified in 2015, “Anyone who thinks they can control escalation through the use of nuclear weapons is literally playing with fire. Escalation is escalation, and nuclear use would be the ultimate escalation.”
Nuclear weapons present us with a paradox: We spend billions of dollars building and maintaining them in the hope that we never have to use them. The sole purpose of nuclear weapons must be to deter their use by others. Designing new low-yield nuclear weapons for limited strikes dangerously lowers the threshold for their use. Such a recommendation undermines the stability created by deterrence, thereby increasing the likelihood of sparking an unwinnable nuclear war.
Congress has stopped these reckless efforts in the past. During the George W. Bush administration, attempts to build a new nuclear “bunker buster” weapon were halted thanks to the leadership of then-Rep. David Hobson (R-Ohio).
Today, proponents of building new low-yield nuclear weapons claim that our nuclear arsenal is somehow insufficient to meet evolving threats around the globe. That is simply not true.
First, we already have low-yield weapons: One such bomb, the B61 gravity bomb, is currently being modernized at an estimated cost of as much as $10 billion. Second, our existing arsenal of deployed strategic weapons is more than adequate to deter aggression against us and our allies.
Our nuclear arsenal consists of approximately 4,000 stockpiled warheads, enough to destroy the world several times over. That’s roughly the same number of warheads as Russia and almost four times more than all other countries combined.
We currently have two warheads in reserve for every warhead deployed, a “hedge” of 2 to 1. As we modernize our stockpile, we should strive to reduce both hedge and deployed warheads. In fact, a 2013 report by the Defense Department stated that our deployed arsenal could be further reduced by one-third while maintaining deterrence.
The Defense Science Board also suggested we should consider resuming nuclear testing to have confidence in our nuclear deterrent. That is also a wrongheaded position.
The Energy Department has ensured the safety, security and reliability of the nuclear stockpile for decades without conducting nuclear tests. The department’s work has taught us more about our stockpile than we could ever learn from relying primarily on explosive testing. In fact, the National Nuclear Security Administration has reported that the country is in a better position to maintain the nuclear arsenal than it was before the testing ban went into effect more than 20 years ago.
Resuming nuclear testing would only encourage others to follow suit. The world is made far less safe if other nations begin testing and continue to pursue new nuclear weapons and capabilities. Instead of following the panel’s recommendations, the Pentagon should follow its own 2013 guidance and further reduce our nuclear arsenal in concert with other nations.
To start, we can lead the way by working with Russia to develop a global ban on nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. These weapons are particularly dangerous because they can be mistaken for conventional cruise missiles, increasing the likelihood of an accidental nuclear exchange.
When it comes to nuclear weapons, victory is not measured by who has the most warheads, but by how long we last before someone uses one. This latest proposal may lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons, and the secretary of defense would be wise to reject it.

Cold Start Could Lead to a Hot War (Revelation 15)

Cold start doctrine a real threat, warn experts

Source: Published in Current Affairs on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

WASHINGTON: Pakistan views India’s cold start doctrine as a real threat to its security and is unwilling to give up the defensive mechanism it has built to counter this threat, officials and experts said.
India’s cold start doctrine, and the tactical weapons that Pakistan has made to counter this threat, drew international attention when US President Barack Obama mentioned them at his news conference last week.

On the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on April 1, President Obama urged both India and Pakistan to stop moving in the wrong direction as they develop their military doctrines.

President Obama also expressed concern over a rapid increase in “small tactical nuclear weapons, which could be at greater risk of theft”.

“President Obama indirectly vindicated Pakistani position that cold start exists and it is a move in wrong direction,” said a Pakistani nuclear expert while responding to the US leader’s statement.
The expert agreed that Mr Obama had also noted the existence of tactical nuclear weapons in South Asia but insisted that Pakistan was forced to make those weapons to counter the Indian threat.

Another Pakistani expert explained that the cold start doctrine or the proactive operations strategy, as India now preferred to call it, was not a putative or ‘hypothetical’ theory.

“It’s neither merely a concept nor a myth. It is an operationalised reality that has compelled Pakis­tan to take suitable deterrence measures,’ the expert added.

Both experts insisted that Pakistan had taken “minimal measures to credibly deter India” across the strategic, operational and tactical spectrum of threat.

“In the doctrine, caveats like ‘even the threat of use of nuclear weapons will invoke a nuclear strike’ indicate that India’s Not First Use policy is just a diplomatic jargon,” one of them said.

Both experts pointed out that India too possessed short-range tactical nuclear weapons like Prahaar and Pragati. Prahaar — with 150km range — was tested two months after Pakistan developed Nasr.
Later, Pragati — with 70km range — was also developed and is exhibited for sale.

“It would be a very dangerous assumption to enact cold start with a hope to dominate escalation and keep such a war limited and under nuclear threshold,” one of the experts warned. “Cold start can lead to hot wars.”

Pakistan’s First Strike Policy (Daniel 8)

First strike
April 08, 2016Print : Newspost
According to media reports, Foreign Secretary Aziz Chaudhry has said that Pakistan may use nuclear weapons first in a future war with India. How does this scenario play out with small (tactical) nuclear weapons?
Our tactical nuclear weapons are meant to counter India’s large conventional army. It essentially means Pakistan is ready to use them on its own soil and nuke its own people should a need arise. This means Pakistan will not hesitate in using them against say a regiment of Indian tanks that crosses the Wagah Border and enter into Lahore. This strategy is flabbergasted. We should avoid resorting to nuclear warfare. We need to cut back – not continue to increase – nuclear weapons.
Unzila Tahir Huda

Pakistan Rejects Nuclear Requests of Babylon (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan Rejects US Calls for Curbing Tactical Nuke Weapons

A Pakistani-made Shaheen-III missile, capable of carrying nuclear war heads, loaded on a trailer rolls down during a military parade to mark Pakistan's Republic Day in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 23, 2016.

A Pakistani-made Shaheen-III missile, capable of carrying nuclear war heads, loaded on a trailer rolls down during a military parade to mark Pakistan’s Republic Day in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 23, 2016. 

Ayaz Gul
Pakistan’s top nuclear security advisor has rejected growing U.S. pressure and safety concerns about its production and deployment of battlefield nuclear weapons.

We are not apologetic about the development of the TNWs [tactical nuclear weapons] and they are here to stay,” said Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, an advisor to the so-called National Command Authority (NCA) and a longtime custodian of the country’s nuclear arsenal.

The institutions responsible for planning storage and operational deployments do make sure that “it is so balanced on ground in time and space that it is ready to react at the point where it must react and at the same time it is not sucked into the battle too early and remains safe,” Kidwai told a seminar at Islamabad’s Institute of Strategic Studies.

Response to US

He was apparently responding to last week’s testimony before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller, where she praised the “excellent” steps Pakistan has undertaken to secure its nuclear arsenal, but said Washington is troubled by the development of battlefield nuclear weapons.
She insisted that battlefield nuclear weapons, by their very nature, pose security threats because their security cannot be guaranteed when they are taken to the field.

“So, we are really quite concerned about this and we have made our concerns known and we will continue to press them about what we consider to be the destabilizing aspects of their battlefield nuclear weapons program,” Gottemoeller said.

Nuclear Security Summit

The tensions come ahead of next week’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington (March 31 – April 1), where President Barack Obama and other global leaders will discuss terrorism threats related to radiological weapons and review proposed safety measures. Leaders of Pakistan and its nuclear-armed archival India will also attend.

Islamabad’s tactical nuclear weapons have been straining its traditionally rollercoaster ties with Washington since 2011, when Pakistan first tested and began producing its nuclear-capable “Nasr” ballistic missile, which has a range of 60 kilometers (36 miles).

FILE - A Nasr missile is loaded on vehicle during the Pakistan National Day parade in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 23, 2015.

FILE – A Nasr missile is loaded on vehicle during the Pakistan National Day parade in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 23, 2015.

Pakistani officials justify their development of tactical nuclear weapons by citing India’s so-called “Cold Start” doctrine, which they say is aimed at undertaking a quick, punitive, conventional military strike inside Pakistan.

While Pakistan’s long-range ballistic missiles can hit anywhere in India, Kidwai insisted the tactical nuclear weapons have been developed to keep the neighboring country’s conventionally huge military from imposing a limited conflict on his country for achieving “political objectives.”
“It compelled us to plug the gap that existed at the tactical level within the nuclear system,” the Pakistani advisor asserted. He reiterated Islamabad’s “full spectrum” nuclear weapons program is “India-specific” and described the neighboring country as “Pakistan’s only enemy.”

Pakistan-India rivalry

He criticized decades of U.S.-led international moves to penalize Pakistan for developing the nuclear program while “ignoring” Indian advancements.

FILE -A surface-to-surface Agni V missile is launched from the Wheeler Island off the eastern Indian state of Odisha April 19, 2012. India test-fired the long range missile capable of reaching deep into China and Europe, thrusting the emerging Asian power into an elite club of nations with intercontinental nuclear weapons capabilities.

FILE -A surface-to-surface Agni V missile is launched from the Wheeler Island off the eastern Indian state of Odisha April 19, 2012. India test-fired the long range missile capable of reaching deep into China and Europe, thrusting the emerging Asian power into an elite club of nations with intercontinental nuclear weapons capabilities.

Kidwai insisted that the punitive actions might have caused political and diplomatic setbacks to his country but said it has not impacted its efforts to defend the country against another Indian aggression.

“Pakistan would not cap or curb its nuclear weapons program or accept any restrictions. All attempts in this regard… are bound to end up nowhere,” he added.

The Pakistani advisor particularly criticized the American media for being “completely negative, hostile and biased” towards Islamabad’s nuclear program, accusing it of publishing misleading reports and claims that Pakistan possesses the world’s fastest growing nuclear program.

“I think it is politically-motivated because the developments that are taking place in Pakistan are of a very modest level, very much in line with the concept of credible minimum deterrence, and they are always a reaction to an action that takes place in India. So, Pakistan does not have the fastest growing nuclear program,” he said.

Babylon Moves Into Tactical Nukes (Daniel 8)

JANUARY 11, 2016
As North Korea dug tunnels at its nuclear test site last fall, watched by American spy satellites, the Obama administration was preparing a test of its own in the Nevada desert.
A fighter jet took off with a mock version of the nation’s first precision-guided atom bomb. Adapted from an older weapon, it was designed with problems like North Korea in mind: Its computer brain and four maneuverable fins let it zero in on deeply buried targets like testing tunnels and weapon sites. And its yield, the bomb’s explosive force, can be dialed up or down depending on the target, to minimize collateral damage.
In short, while the North Koreans have been thinking big — claiming to have built a hydrogen bomb, a boast that experts dismiss as wildly exaggerated — the Energy Department and the Pentagon have been readying a line of weapons that head in the opposite direction.
Mr. Obama has long advocated a “nuclear-free world.” His lieutenants argue that modernizing existing weapons can produce a smaller and more reliable arsenal while making their use less likely because of the threat they can pose. The changes, they say, are improvements rather than wholesale redesigns, fulfilling the president’s pledge to make no new nuclear arms.
But critics, including a number of former Obama administration officials, look at the same set of facts and see a very different future. The explosive innards of the revitalized weapons may not be entirely new, they argue, but the smaller yields and better targeting can make the arms more tempting to use — even to use first, rather than in retaliation.
Gen. James E. Cartwright, a retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who was among Mr. Obama’s most influential nuclear strategists, said he backed the upgrades because precise targeting allowed the United States to hold fewer weapons. But “what going smaller does,” he acknowledged, “is to make the weapon more thinkable.”
As Mr. Obama enters his final year in office, the debate has deep implications for military strategy, federal spending and his legacy.
The B61 Model 12, the bomb flight-tested last year in Nevada, is the first of five new warhead types planned as part of an atomic revitalization estimated to cost up to $1 trillion over three decades. As a family, the weapons and their delivery systems move toward the small, the stealthy and the precise.
Already there are hints of a new arms race. Russia called the B61 tests “irresponsible” and “openly provocative.” China is said to be especially worried about plans for a nuclear-tipped cruise missile. And North Korea last week defended its pursuit of a hydrogen bomb by describing the “ever-growing nuclear threat” from the United States.
The more immediate problem for the White House is that many of its alumni have raised questions about the modernization push and missed opportunities for arms control.
It’s unaffordable and unneeded,” said Andrew C. Weber, a former assistant secretary of defense and former director of the Nuclear Weapons Council, an interagency body that oversees the nation’s arsenal.
He cited in particular the advanced cruise missile, estimated to cost up to $30 billion for roughly 1,000 weapons.
“The president has an opportunity to set the stage for a global ban on nuclear cruise missiles,” Mr. Weber said in an interview. “It’s a big deal in terms of reducing the risks of nuclear war.”
Last week, Brian P. McKeon, the principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy, argued that anyone who looks impartially at Mr. Obama’s nuclear initiatives in total sees major progress toward the goals of a smaller force and a safer world — themes the White House highlighted on Monday in advance of the president’s State of the Union address.
“We’ve cleaned up loose nuclear material around the globe, and gotten the Iran deal,” removing a potential threat for at least a decade, Mr. McKeon said.
He acknowledged that other pledges — including treaties on nuclear testing and the production of bomb fuel — have been stuck, and that the president’s hopes of winning further arms cuts in negotiations with Russia “ran into a blockade after the events in Ukraine.”
He specifically defended the arsenal’s modernization, saying the new B61 bomb “creates more strategic stability.”
Early in his tenure, Mr. Obama invested much political capital not in upgrades but in reductions, becoming the first president to make nuclear disarmament a centerpiece of American defense policy.
In Prague in 2009, he pledged in a landmark speech that he would take concrete steps toward a nuclear-free world and “reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy.” The Nobel committee cited the pledge that year in awarding him the Peace Prize.
A modest arms reduction treaty with Russia seemed like a first step. Then, in 2010, the administration released a sweeping plan that Mr. Obama called a fulfillment of his atomic vow. The United States, he declared, “will not develop new nuclear warheads or pursue new military missions or new capabilities.”
The overall plan was to rearrange old components of nuclear arms into revitalized weapons. The resulting hybrids would be far more reliable, meaning the administration could argue that the nation would need fewer weapons in the far future.
Inside the administration, some early enthusiasts for Mr. Obama’s vision began to worry that it was being turned on its head.
In late 2013, the first of the former insiders spoke out. Philip E. Coyle III and Steve Fetter, who had recently left national security posts, helped write an 80-page critique of the nuclear plan by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a private group that made its name during the Cold War, arguing for arms reductions.
American allies and adversaries, the report warned, may see the modernization “as violating the administration’s pledge not to develop or deploy” new warheads. The report, which urged a more cautious approach, cited a finding by federal advisory scientists: that simply refurbishing weapons in their existing configurations could keep them in service for decades.
“I’m not a pacifist,” Mr. Coyle, a former head of Pentagon weapons testing, said in an interview. But the administration, he argued, was planning for too big an arsenal. “They got the math wrong in terms of how many weapons we need, how many varieties we need and whether we need a surge capacity” for the crash production of nuclear arms.
The insider critiques soon focused on individual weapons, starting with the B61 Model 12. The administration’s plan was to merge four old B61 models into a single version that greatly reduced their range of destructive power. It would have a “dial-a-yield” feature whose lowest setting was only 2 percent as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
The plan seemed reasonable, critics said, until attention fell on the bomb’s new tail section and steerable fins. The Federation of American Scientists, a Washington research group, argued that the high accuracy and low destructive settings meant military commanders might press to use the bomb in an attack, knowing the radioactive fallout and collateral damage would be limited.
Last year, General Cartwright echoed that point on PBS’s “NewsHour.” He has huge credibility in nuclear circles: He was head of the United States Strategic Command, which has military authority over the nation’s nuclear arms, before serving as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In a recent interview in his office at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington, General Cartwright said the overall modernization plan might change how military commanders looked at the risks of using nuclear weapons.
“What if I bring real precision to these weapons?” he asked. “Does it make them more usable? It could be.”
“Mr. President, kill the new cruise missile,” read the headline of a recent article by Mr. Weber, the former assistant secretary of defense, and William J. Perry, a secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton and an author of the plan to gradually eliminate nuclear weapons that captivated Mr. Obama’s imagination and endorsement.
The critique stung because Mr. Perry, now at Stanford, is a revered figure in Democratic defense circles and a mentor to Ashton B. Carter, the secretary of defense.
Mr. McKeon, the Pentagon official, after describing his respect for Mr. Perry, said the military concluded that it needed the cruise missile to “give the president more options than a manned bomber to penetrate air defenses.”
In an interview, James N. Miller, who helped develop the modernization plan before leaving his post as under secretary of defense for policy in 2014, said the smaller, more precise weapons would maintain the nation’s nuclear deterrent while reducing risks for civilians near foreign military targets.
“Though not everyone agrees, I think it’s the right way to proceed,” Mr. Miller said. “Minimizing civilian casualties if deterrence fails is both a more credible and a more ethical approach.”
General Cartwright summarized the logic of enhanced deterrence with a gun metaphor: “It makes the trigger easier to pull but makes the need to pull the trigger less likely.”
Administration officials often stress the modernization plan’s benign aspects. Facing concerned allies, Madelyn R. Creedon, an Energy Department deputy administrator, argued in October that the efforts “are not providing any new military capabilities” but simply replacing wires, batteries, plastics and other failing materials.
“What we are doing,” she said, “is just taking these old systems, replacing their parts and making sure that they can survive.”
In a recent report to Congress, the Energy Department, responsible for upgrading the warheads, said this was the fastest way to reduce the nuclear stockpile, promoting the effort as “Modernize to Downsize.”
The new weapons will let the nation scrap a Cold War standby called the B83, a powerful city buster. The report stressed that the declines in “overall destructive power” support Mr. Obama’s goal of “pursuing the security of a world without nuclear weapons.”
That argument, though, is extremely long term: Stockpile reductions would manifest only after three decades of atomic revitalization, many presidencies from now. One of those presidents may well cancel the reduction plans — most of the candidates now seeking the Republican nomination oppose cutbacks in the nuclear arsenal.
But the bigger risk to the modernization plan may be its expense — upward of a trillion dollars if future presidents go the next step and order new bombers, submarines and land-based missiles, and upgrades to eight factories and laboratories.
“Insiders don’t believe it will ever happen,” said Mr. Coyle, the former White House official. “It’s hard to imagine that many administrations following through.”
Meanwhile, other veterans of the Obama administration ask what happened.
“I think there’s a universal sense of frustration,” said Ellen O. Tauscher, a former under secretary of state for arms control. She said many who joined the administration with high expectations for arms reductions now feel disillusioned.
“Somebody has to get serious,” she added. “We’re spending billions of dollars on a status quo that doesn’t make us any safer.”

Nukes Will Eliminate Us (Revelation 16)


Thomas C. Fox | Aug. 10, 2015 NCR Today
INDEPENDENCE, MO. A leading nuclear arms expert, exploring what he called the dangerous and “logically illogical” world of nuclear weapons, endorsed the Iran nuclear treaty Aug. 9 as a vital step towards moving the world to ban these weapons of mass destruction.
Richard Rhodes, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” and four other books on nuclear weapons, said the recently signed treaty buys time, slowing nuclear proliferation. “The treaty is a good deal,” he said in a talk that was part of a commemoration ceremony on the 70th anniversary of the U.S. dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. That bomb, dubbed “Fat Man,” burned out an entire city, immediately taking some 36,000 lives.
The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, Rhodes said, ushered the world into “an unparalleled moment of global danger, one that threatens human life on the planet.
Nuclear weapons continue to be stockpiled — some 13,000 worldwide — based on false thinking, Rhodes said, that they deter war. This is the deterrence theory, Rhodes said. Behind this theory is the notion of “mutual assured destruction,” or, MAD, the idea that no enemy would ever strike first with a nuclear weapon because it would mean certain retaliation. So any use of a nuclear weapon would be suicidal, as Rhodes explained the theory.
Deterrence advocates, Rhodes said, like to cite the fact that deterrence has worked and that nuclear weapons have not been used for 70 years as a result of deterrence. He called this dangerous, misguided and shortsighted thinking.
Rhodes argued that deterrence theory is a “fig leaf” laid over 70 years of “unsustainable dumb luck” and that the real story is one of “close calls, freak accidents and near misses.”
Rhodes attempted to peel back the psychology of building and stockpiling weapons that, if used, would lead to self-annihilation.
He questioned the logic of modernizing nuclear arsenals by making weapons smaller and more precise delivery systems. Such weapons and delivery systems, he said, bring the world perilously closer to crossing the taboo boundary from conventional to nuclear war. Once crossed, he said, most experts agree that an escalation to larger and more deadly nuclear exchanges is almost certainly inevitable.
Nuclear weapons are as useless as they are dangerous,” Rhodes told an audience of several hundred at the Community of Christ Temple. Their use is “logically illogical,” he said, adding that this makes “the immense cost of their upkeep and security less and less acceptable to military leaders and to responsible elected officials.”
Why such irrationality? Rhodes asked. Why build weapons that can never be used?
The answers, he said, can be found in the work of psychologists who have interviewed U.S. government officials on their thinking about nuclear weapons.
“When pushed into the logical corner that their illogical arguments led them to, all fell back on the same justification for maintaining a world-destroying nuclear arsenal. Which was, that it made the American people — and by extension the Russian people, the Chinese people and so on — feel safer.”
No government official, Rhodes says, wants to publicly admit what scientists well know — that all people are vulnerable in the nuclear age and that no government can protect them. So officials preach illusions.
“When the primary role of government is to protect its citizens, no officials wants to admit such protection is impossible to provide,” Rhodes said. This same reluctance to speak honestly, he said, has led President Obama, who in 2009 in Prague pledged to work towards a nuclear-free world, to more recently propose spending half a trillion dollars across the next decade, and another half-trillion in the two decades after that, to modernize U.S. weapons and their delivery systems.
“The first obligation of every government is to protect the people it serves. The careers of politicians and military leaders depend on doing so. With nuclear weapons in the world, they are unable to meet that requirement. So they pretend to do so and we pretend to believe them. They may believe sincerely in what they do. We may believe sincerely that they are succeeding. But at some level of awareness, they know they aren’t and we know — we should know — that we’re kidding ourselves.”
However, Rhodes said he is cautiously optimistic we can break out of our illusions and can ban nuclear weapons from the planet. He says we have only one or two generations of time to choose between banning nuclear weapons or being destroyed by them.
If nuclear weapons make us all vulnerable, he said, “the solution is to accept that collective vulnerability and work together internationally to outlaw and eliminate them.”
He dismissed those who say nuclear weapons cannot be eliminated because the technology can’t be uninvented.
Rather he said they can be made illegal, and tough international policing can prevent nations from secretly breaking out of an agreement.
“One requirement for nuclear elimination will be continuous worldwide monitoring and physical inspection on demand as well as airtight accounting for fissile materials, for highly enriched uranium and plutonium,” he said.
Rhodes cited a positive trend that he said is setting the stage for banning nuclear weapons. He said there is a scientific consensus today that even a limited nuclear exchange, such as an exchange of several bombs between India and Pakistan, would alter global temperatures by several degrees, leading to mass starvation across the planet.
Rhodes admitted the path to nuclear zero could be arduous. He said it needs collective will. Rhodes cited the Australian diplomat, Richard Butler who, in 1995, was instrumental in extending the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Bulter told Rhodes a global ban on nuclear weapons could be done in a morning. “All the nuts-and-bolts stuff might take another five or ten years.”
“For fifteen or twenty years now we have not lacked clear knowledge of the nature of the problem, of its urgency, and of the steps that can be taken to solve it, Butler once told Rhodes. “What we’re confronted with, however, is political cowardice — politicians kicking the can down the road. … as long as nuclear weapons exist, they will proliferate, they will be used, and any use will be catastrophic.
Echoing Butler’s remarks, Rhodes concluded his talk saying, “We will eliminate nuclear weapons one way or another: we will agree to remove them from the arsenals of the world or we will eliminate the human world by exploding those arsenals, burning it down and freezing it in nuclear holocaust.”
[Tom Fox is NCR Publisher, is on Twitter @ NCRTomFox and can be reached by email at]

Pakistan Nukes Will Soon Backfire (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan’s army is building an arsenal of ”tiny” nuclear weapons—and it’s going to backfire

C. Christine Fair December 21, 2015

Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal and, within the next five to ten years, it is likely to double that of India, and exceed those of France, the United Kingdom, and China. Only the arsenals of the United States and Russia will be larger.
In recent years, Pakistan has boasted of developing “tactical nuclear weapons” to protect itself against potential offensive actions by India. In fact, Pakistan is the only country currently boasting of making increasingly tiny nuclear weapons (link in Urdu).
Pakistanis overwhelmingly support their army and its various misadventures. And the pursuit of tactical weapons is no exception. However, there is every reason why Pakistanis should be resisting—not welcoming—this development. The most readily identifiable reason is that, in the event of conflict between the two South Asian countries, this kind of weaponization will likely result in tens of thousands of dead Pakistanis, rather than Indians. And things will only go downhill from there.
Why would Pakistan want “the world’s smallest nuclear weapons”?
In late 1999, Pakistan’s general Pervez Musharraf (who took power of Pakistan through a military coup in Oct. 1999 and remained in power until 2008), along with a tight cabal of fellow military officials began a limited incursion into the Kargil-Dras area of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. While planning for this began in the fall of 1998, by the time Pakistani troops were discovered there in May of 1999 Pakistani forces had taken territory that was several miles into India-administered Kashmir.
Because the Pakistanis had the tactical advantage of occupying the ridge line, India took heavy losses in recovering the area from the invaders. The so-called Kargil War was the first conventional conflict between India and Pakistan since the two conducted nuclear tests in May 1998. International observers were wary that the conflict would escalate either in territory or aims, with the potential for nuclear exchange.
Fearing such escalation, then Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif sought support from China and the United States. Both were adamant that Pakistan respect the line of control, which separated the portions of Jammu-Kashmir administered by India and Pakistan.
Under international pressure and branded an irresponsible state, Pakistan withdrew its forces from Kashmir. It initially claimed that the intruders were mujahedeen—but this was later found to be pure fiction. While Pakistan was isolated internationally, the international community widely applauded India’s restraint. The Kargil War provided the United States with the opportunity to reorient its relations away from Pakistan towards India, while at the same time, demonstrated to India that the United States would not reflexively side with Pakistan.
In retrospect, the Kargil war catalyzed the deepening security cooperation between the United States and India. It also galvanized a serious rethink in India about its domestic security apparatus, intelligence agencies’ capabilities, and overall military doctrine.
Crucially, India learned from this conflict that limited war is indeed possible under the nuclear umbrella. In Oct. 2000, air commodore Jasjit Singh, who retired as the director of operations of India’s air force and headed India’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses until 2001, laid out the lineaments of an India’s limited war doctrine. However, no apparent effort was made to make this a viable military concept immediately and India persisted with its defensive posture. In late Dec. 2001, Pakistani terrorists from the Pakistan-backed military group Jaish-e-Mohammad attacked India’s parliament in New Delhi.
In response, India’s government began the largest military mobilization since the 1971 war, which resulted in the liberation of Bangladesh, then East Pakistan. Just as the crisis was subsiding, another group of Pakistani terrorists, Lashkar-e-Taiba, attacked the wives and children of Indian military personnel in Kaluchak, Kashmir. India again seemed poised to take military action but ultimately backed down. The crisis was officially defused after India held elections in Kashmir later that fall. Pakistan concluded that its nuclear arsenal had successfully deterred India from attacking.
As Walter Ladwig has written, analysts identified several problems with India’s posture during that crisis. First, the Indian army took a long time to mobilize which gave Pakistan time to internationalize the conflict and to bring international pressure to bare upon India. Second, the mobilization of India’s strike corps had no element of surprise. Even Pakistan’s modest surveillance capabilities could easily detect their movements, and given their “lumbering composition,” could quickly discern their destination. Third, according to Ladwig, India’s holding corps’ were forward deployed to the border but lacked offensive power and could only conduct limited offensive tasks.
In response to these collective inadequacies, and the prospects of enduring threats from Pakistan, the Indian defense community began formalizing what came to be known as “Cold Start.” Ladwig, who wrote the first comprehensive account, claims that the doctrine aimed to pivot India away from its traditional defensive posture, and towards a more offensive one. It involved developing eight division-sized “integrated battle groups” that combined infantry, artillery, and armor which would be prepared to launch into Pakistani territory on short notice along several axes of advance.
These groups would also be closely integrated with support from the navy and air force. With this force posture, India could quickly mobilize these battle groups and seize limited Pakistani territory before the international community could raise objections.
India could then use this seized territory to force Pakistan into accepting the status quo in Kashmir. While Indians insist that this doctrine never existed, other analysts discount Indian demurrals and note slow—but steady—progress in developing these offensive capabilities. Irrespective of India’s protestations, Pakistanis take “Cold Start” to be a matter of Quranic fact.
Worried that its primary tools of using terrorism fortified by the specter of nuclear war, and fearing that India would be able to force acquiescence, Pakistan concluded that it could vitiate “Cold Start” by developing tactical nuclear weapons. As Pakistan’s former ambassador the United States and current ambassador to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, explained, the basis of Pakistan’s fascination with tactical nuclear weapons is “to counterbalance India’s move to bring conventional military offensives to a tactical level.’’
Pakistani military and civilians often boast of their fast growing arsenal of the world’s smallest nuclear weapons and routinely update the world on the progress of the short-range missile, the Nasr, that would deliver this ever-shrinking payload.
Why should ordinary Pakistanis care?
While Pakistanis overwhelmingly applaud their army’s continued efforts to harass India in pursuit of Kashmir—a territory that Pakistan was never entitled to but fought three wars to acquire by force—there are numerous reasons why Pakistanis should be more sanguine, or even alarmed by Pakistan’s development of tactical nuclear weapons.
The first reality that should discomfit ordinary Pakistanis is that there is really no such thing as a “tactical nuclear weapon.” Even the smallest so-called tactical nuclear weapon will have strategic consequences. (Simply calling them “battlefield nuclear weapons” does not obviate this serious problem.) If Pakistan should use such weapons on India, there is virtually no chance that India will be left responding alone. The international community will most certainly rally around India. The response to Pakistan breaking a nuclear taboo that formed after the Americans used atomic bombs on Japan will most certainly be swift and devastating.
Second, as Shashank Joshi, a war studies researcher at the University of Oxford, has argued, these weapons do not have the military benefits that Pakistan’s military boasts, yet they exacerbate the enormous command and control challenges, including the possibility that nefarious elements may pilfer them once they are forward deployed. For one thing, tactical nuclear weapons do not have significant battlefield effects on enemy targets. For another, it is not evident that these weapons are in fact capable of deterring an Indian incursion into Pakistan.
Third, while Naeem Salik, a former director for arms control at Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Directorate, has said that Pakistan has shifted away from merely doctrinal thinking towards “actual nuclear war fighting,” such thinking is hardly viable for the simple reason of faulty math.
Even if, for the sake of argument, one assumes that Pakistan deploys its one hundred odd weapons of 15 to 30 kilotons at India’s major cities, it is unlikely that Pakistan would be able to deploy all of these weapons to conduct a “splendid first strike,” by which Indian capabilities are completely destroyed.
Moreover, it takes considerably fewer weapons of similar magnitude to utterly destroy Pakistan. Pakistan has thoughtfully concentrated all but three corps in central the Punjab region, which is also its most populous province and the country’s industrial and agricultural center. In short, Pakistan will cease to be a viable political entity while India, though grievously hurt, will survive as a state. Even if Pakistan obtains a functioning triad and retains launch capabilities from submarines, they will be launched in defense of a state that, simply put, no longer exists.
There is a fourth problem that should disquiet Pakistanis perhaps even more than the triggering of the destruction of their country through the deliberate or inadvertent use of their micro-weapons—these tactical nuclear weapons are intended to be used first against Indian troops on Pakistani soil. According to a conference report by the Naval Post School, which hosted Pakistan’s military and diplomatic officials, one Pakistani luminary opined that the “Nasr creates a balancing dynamic that frustrates and makes futile the power-maximizing strategy of India.”
He envisages the Nasr’s shells being used to carry atomic explosives that would annihilate advancing Indian armored thrusts in the southern deserts and blunt Indian advances toward major Pakistani cities, such as Lahore. Retired military general S. F. S. Lodhi, in the April 1999 issue of the Pakistan Defence Journal, laid out four stages of escalation in Pakistan’s use of tactical nuclear weapons which aligns with this view as well.
The consequences of Pakistan nuking itself to keep the Indians out should disturb Pakistanis. According to calculations by Jaganath Sankaran, Pakistan would have to use a 30-kiloton weapon on its own soil, as this is the minimum required to render ineffective fifty percent of an armored unit.
Using Lahore as an example, a 30-kiloton weapon used on the outskirts of the city could kill over 52,000 persons. As Indian troops move closer to Lahore and as the population increases, such a weapon could kill nearly 380,000. Sankaran notes, as an aside, that this would “genuinely destroy a larger battalion or brigade.” Consequently, many more Pakistanis would be likely to die than these horrendous figures suggest.
All of sudden, Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons don’t look so fun for any Pakistani who thinks through the math.
Fifth, Pakistanis should be derisive of this new weapon in the national arsenal because it cannot do what the army promises: protect Pakistan from an Indian offensive. Would any Indian military planner take seriously Pakistan’s threat to use nuclear weapons on its own soil when the casualties are so high? Pakistan may have been willing to eat grass to get its nuclear weapons, but is it willing destroy its own center of gravity to maintain its ability to harass India with terrorism over territory to which it never had any legal claim? If the Indians do not take this threat seriously, how is it a deterrent against them? What additional deterrent capability do these weapons afford Pakistan that its strategic assets do not that compensates for the enormous risks they convey?
Finally, if India took Pakistan’s threats seriously, it does not have to invade Pakistan to coerce the country’s leaders to detonate one of these weapons on its own soil. Presumably simply looking adequately likely to cross the international border and threaten a major Punjabi city could provoke a “demonstration detonation.”
I am not encouraging a nuclear Armageddon upon Pakistan; rather expositing the limited utility that these weapons confer upon Pakistan.
Even if Pakistan fully inducts these weapons in its arsenal, it still has an army that can’t win a conventional war against India and nuclear weapons it cannot use. This leaves only an industrial farm of terrorists as the only efficacious tool at its disposal. And given the logic of the above scenario, India and the international community should consider seriously calling Pakistan’s bluff. The only logical Pakistani response to a limited offensive incursion is to accept the fait accompli and acquiesce.
So far, the West has seen Pakistan’s nuclear weapons as a proliferation threat rather than a security threat. The implications of this has largely been appeasement. The United States, worried that Pakistan’s weapons may fall into the hands of non-state actors or that Pakistan will once again reopen its nuclear weapons bazaar to aspirant nuclear powers, perpetually argues for engaging Pakistan diplomatically, militarily, politically, and financially. In essence, Pakistan has effectively blackmailed the United States and the international community for an array of assistance exploiting the collective fears of what may happen should Pakistan collapse.
In recent months, some US White House officials have even argued for a potential nuclear deal to reward Pakistan for making concessions in fissile material production, limiting the development and deployment of its nuclear weapons among other activates to address Washington’s proliferation concerns. Unfortunately, Washington has yet to seriously formulate punishments rather than allurements to achieve these ends, even though Pakistan has shown no interest in making such concessions.
There are reasons why the United States and the international community should begin to see Pakistan’s nuclear weapons as a direct security threat. For one thing, these nuclear weapons have always been intended to allow Pakistan to harass India through the use of militant proxies. Consequently, Pakistan has become an epicenter of Islamist terrorism.
Had Pakistan not had these nuclear capabilities, India could have sorted out Pakistan some time ago. Moreover, the critical time period for Pakistan’s nuclear program was in the late 1970s, when Pakistan was on the threshold of obtaining a crude weapon. (We now know that Pakistan had a crude nuclear weapon by 1984 if not somewhat earlier.) The United States even sanctioned Pakistan in 1979 for advances in its program.
The United States relented in its nonproliferation policy with respect to Pakistan after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Reagan, after getting sanctions waived in 1982, began supporting the so-called mujahedeen produced by Pakistan for use in Afghanistan. (Pakistan actually began its own jihad policy in 1974 on its dime without US assistance.)
Saudi Arabia matched America’s contributions. While al-Qaeda is not truly the direct descendent of the Afghan mujahedeen, there can be little doubt that the structures built to wage this jihad gave birth to the group. Had the United States remained focused on nuclear weapons in Pakistan, and used a different strategy in Afghanistan, a wholly different future could have been realized.
As tensions between the United States and Pakistan deepen, and as Pakistan’s arsenal expands and permits it to target US assets in South, Central, and Southwest Asia, the United States should begin considering Pakistan’s proliferation of nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles as a direct threat to its security, rather than merely a proliferation problem to be managed.

Pakistani Nuclear Horn Resists American Pressure (Daniel 8:8)


December 19, 2015 RECORDER REPORT

Pakistan has been successful in deterring India’s aggressive designs by developing tactical nuclear weapons and the government should reject Western pressure to limit its nuclear programme, said Zamir Akram, Pakistan’s former representative to the UN office in Geneva and Conference on Disarmament. He was delivering a lecture on ‘Politics of Nuclear Non-Proliferation, NSG and Way Forward for Pakistan’, here at Strategic Vision Institute (SVI).

A pressure is being exerted to restrict Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programme,” he said adding that Pakistan should categorically convey to Western powers that it could not cap its strategic programme. He suggested that Pakistan could counter the pressure on its nuclear programme by leveraging its strategic importance for the Western powers in the context of its counter-terrorism efforts.

Rejecting the Western concerns about Full-Spectrum Deterrence, he said that it could be achieved at the minimum level and there was no contradiction between the two concepts. On one hand, he said India had adopted Cold Start Doctrine, while on the other Pakistan was left with the choice of either matching India’s Defense expenditure or opting for the cost-effective tactical weapons. He opined that the strategy of developing short-range missiles had worked for Pakistan, which should be kept continued.

He was of the view that the West had been particularly biased towards Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programme. “On one hand it [West] does not acknowledge Pakistan’s national security compulsions for maintaining the programme and spares no opportunity to criticise us, while on the other hand, Pakistan is not being given the opportunity to build its case, particularly in the Western media,” he added. According to him, the campaign against Pakistan’s nuclear programme was an orchestrated effort instead of an occasional criticism.

Referring to the discriminatory attitude of the West towards Pakistan, he said that India was being given a free hand to expand both conventional and nuclear capabilities. He further said that India was globally one of the top spenders on Defense acquisitions and had also developed triad of delivery systems. He pointed out that India was pursuing second strike capability, besides building Ballistic Missile Defense System and reportedly making a secret effort towards producing a thermonuclear device or a hydrogen bomb.

Zamir Akram further said that India was a beneficiary of dynamics of international strategic environment where the US wanted to promote it as a mean to counter China’s rise as a global power. “The attempts to admit India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is manifestation of the hypocrisy of the global non-proliferation regime,” he said, adding it was ironic that NSG, which was set up after India’s nuclear tests of 1974, for preserving the non-proliferation regime, was now considering to include the same proliferator in its ranks.

He said that India’s entry into NSG would be a disadvantage to Pakistan, adding such an eventuality should be prevented. About importance of getting NSG’s membership, he said, “it is a measure of one’s status as a nuclear power. Otherwise Pakistan is not to gain much in terms of access to civilian nuclear technology, for which it already has a well functioning arrangement with China”.
He further said that an export of civilian nuclear technology could possibly be another area where Pakistan could benefit in case it got NSG membership. “Nevertheless, it is not a question of do or die for Pakistan. The US may have been mistaken in assuming we are desperate for it,” he observed. Earlier, Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema, President, SVI, said it was illogical to ask Pakistan to revert from Full-Spectrum Deterrence to Strategic Deterrence and unilaterally sign the CTBT that the US itself had not ratified.

He pointed out that India was not only given a free hand to augment its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities but in fact was being offered advanced nuclear technologies and systems like ballistic missile Defense (BMD) that would undermine strategic stability in South Asia.