What Nuclear Safety??? (Daniel 8:8)

India Pakistan Nuclear Missiles

Nuclear safety

IT’S not easy to make nuclear weapons, build missiles to carry them long distances, and to produce highly enriched uranium or plutonium. But the hardest part of making nuclear weapons is keeping them safe so they do not detonate except under orders from the National Command Authority. Because escalation control will be extremely difficult after the appearance of a single mushroom cloud, an accidental, inadvertent or unauthorised detonation can lead to ruin.

Nuclear safety and security techniques and practices are designed to prevent these eventualities. Gates and guards and personnel reliability programmes help with nuclear security. Nuclear weapon design features and other safety techniques help provide insurance against accidental, inadvertent or unauthorised detonations. Nuclear safety and security reinforce each other. Sometimes these categories merge. For example, authorisation codes required to arm and use a nuclear weapon, called permissive action links, can be considered as essential for both nuclear safety and security. Additional design features are also required.

The US has a ‘one-point safety’ standard for its nuclear weapons. This means that the probability of achieving a nuclear yield greater than four pounds of TNT must not exceed one in a million for any event involving the initiation of the warhead’s high explosive at a single point on its periphery. The US achieved this exacting safety standard after decades of effort, significant investment, and a learning curve from nuclear testing.

Warhead safety mechanisms will be put to the test in the event of conventional warfare. During crises, both Pakistan and India rely for deterrence purposes on missiles that are advertised to carry nuclear warheads as troops are mobilised in fighting corridors. In past crises, Pakistan has used missile flight tests and movements of medium-range missiles to clarify resolve to India. Medium-range missiles can be kept far from potential zones of fighting and are hard to target.

Short-range missile systems constitute a new feature in deterrence equations on the subcontinent. India has flight-tested the Prahaar, a missile with up to 350 kilometre range. Pakistani analysts assert that the Prahaar could carry nuclear weapons. Pakis­tan has flight-tested the nuclear-capable Nasr with a range of perhaps 60 kms. It has been advertised as being capable of carrying nuclear warheads to reinforce “full spectrum deterrence”, so as to dissuade Indian leaders from authorising military advances on Pakistani territory.

To have their proper deterrent effect, short-range missile systems need to operate close to the forward edge of prospective battlefields. In the event that crisis management fails and warfare begins, these missiles can either be in motion or be fixed targets. Either way, the Pakistani and Indian air forces are trained to employ aggressive tactics, and these missiles will be fair game. If they are struck, if they are carrying nuclear weapons, and if these weapons do not incorporate advanced safety features, mushroom clouds could result.

While much is known about how to make nuclear weapons, fissile material and delivery vehicles, little information is in the public domain about mechanisms for nuclear safety. States that already have decades of experience can share best practices regarding nuclear security, but some critical information regarding nuclear safety is highly classified. Even if long-time nuclear weapon states were willing to share sensitive information, potential reci­pients would not allow outsiders anywhere near their nuclear design information. In other words, there is a mutual taboo about in­­formation exchanges relating to nuclear safety.

Understanding nuc­lear safety issues is hard for political and military leaders. They are not trained in nuclear physics, mechanical engineering and chemistry. They cannot make independent judgements about nuclear weapon safety and must rely on guarantees provided by technical experts and lab heads.

US presidents have relied on competing design teams at different nuclear labs to double check assurances they received and to confirm technical calculations. Because US labs had comparable design capabilities and were highly competitive, this proved to be an effective way to confirm assurances given. In addition, junior analysts at national labs were encouraged to question the design decisions of their elders, and could do so without sacrificing their professional advancement.
Nuclear safety begins with avoiding intense crises and warfare. Nuclear safety can be advanced by a competitive but collaborative laboratory culture. Rethinking dangerous military practices is another way to improve nuclear safety and security. Weapons that are hardest to maintain control over in wartime and closest to live fire are, by definition, the least safe and secure. If weapon designs are not one-point safe, making them hard to find and keeping them at a distance from ongoing military operations is the best insurance policy against the accidental, inadvertent and unauthorised use of nuclear weapons.

The writer is author of Better Safe than Sorry: The Ironies of Living with the Bomb.
Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2015

Pakistan Prepping Tactical Nukes (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan wants short-range nuclear weapons

Pakistani military personnel stand beside a short-range surface to surface NASR missile system during the Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad, March 23, 2015. Getty
WASHINGTON Pakistan needs short-range “tactical” nuclear weapons to deter arch-rival India, a top adviser to its government said Monday, dismissing concerns it could increase the risk of a nuclear war.

Khalid Kidwai also rejected concerns over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, insisting that adequate safeguards are in place to protect what analysts have described as the world’s fastest-growing atomic arsenal.

Pakistan’s development of smaller warheads built for use on battlefields, in addition to longer-range weapons, has increased international concerns that they could get into rogue hands because of the pervasive threat of Islamic militants in the country.

Pakistan and its larger neighbor India have fought three wars. They have held on-off peace talks over the years but are involved in a nuclear and missile arms race that shows no sign of abating.

Neither side discloses the size of its arsenal. But a recent report by the Council on Foreign Relations think tank estimated that Pakistan has enough fissile material to produce between 110 and 120 nuclear weapons, and India enough for 90 to 110 weapons.

For 15 years, Kidwai led the administration of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile weapons program. He now serves as an adviser to the National Command Authority, a committee of the top civilian and military leaders that sets the country’s nuclear weapons policy. He spoke Monday at a conference on nuclear security organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

On the sidelines of the conference, Rakesh Sood, former Indian special envoy for disarmament and nonproliferation, said it was “extremely destabilizing for any country to develop tactical nuclear weapons” and that India has no plans to. He contended that Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine is “cloaked in ambiguity” which undermines confidence between the two countries.

Kidwai said nuclear deterrence had helped prevent war in South Asia. He said Pakistan’s development of tactical weapons — in the form of the Nasr missile, which has a 37-mile range — was in response to concerns that India’s larger military could still wage a conventional war against the country, thinking Pakistan would not risk retaliation with a bigger nuclear weapon.

Peter Lavoy, a former senior U.S. defense official, questioned whether such intermingling of conventional forces and nuclear weapons in a battlefield could increase the risk of nuclear war.

Kidwai replied that having tactical weapons would make war less likely.

He said given the strength of the rest of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the fear of “mutually assured destruction” of the South Asian rivals would ensure that “sanity prevails.”

At the other end of Pakistan’s missile inventory is the Shaheen-III missile that it test-fired this month. It has a range of 1,700 miles, giving it the capability to reach every part of India – but also potentially to reach into the Middle East, including Israel.

Kidwai said Pakistan wanted a missile of that range because it suspected India was developing strategic bases on its Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal. He said the nuclear and missile program was “India-specific” and not aimed at other countries.

India and Pakistan have not fought a major conflict since 1999, when Pakistani military infiltrated into an Indian-held area of disputed Kashmir called Kargil, sparking fighting that left hundreds dead on both sides. Tensions, however, have sometimes escalated dangerously since then. In 2008, Pakistan-based militants attacked India’s commercial hub of Mumbai, killing 164 people.

Pakistan Is Changing The Game In Nuclear Warfare (Rev 16:8)

Washington: The US has anticipated that Pakistan will continue developing cruise missiles and close-range “battlefield” nuclear weapons to augment its existing ballistic missiles, a top US intelligence official has said.
The 21st Century: Short Range Nuclear Warfare

The 21st Century: Short Range Nuclear Warfare

Wednesday, Feb 04, 2015 | Last Update : 09:30 PM IST
Deccan Chronicle

“Pakistan continues to take steps to improve security of its nuclear arsenal. We anticipate that Pakistan will continue development of new delivery systems, including cruise missiles and close-range ‘battlefield’ nuclear weapons to augment its existing ballistic missiles,” Lt Gen Vincent R Stewart, Director of Defence Intelligence Agency told members of the House Armed Services Committee during a hearing on global threat assessment.

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, Stewart said Pakistan’s Army and paramilitary forces remain deployed in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

Army ground operations in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) have cleared anti-state militants from most population centres. “We expect the military will continue targeting remaining militant strongholds in 2015,” he said.

The December 2014 Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attack against the Army-run school in Peshawar that killed more than 140 people, mostly children, has emboldened military efforts against anti-state militants, including intensified airstrikes against TTP leadership and fighters, he said.

The government and military are also working together to implement a national action plan against terrorism, which includes the establishment of military courts, he added.

“Despite ongoing military operations, Pakistan will continue to face internal security threats from militant, sectarian, and separatist groups. Additionally, Pakistan remains concerned about ISIL outreach and propaganda in South Asia,” the intelligence official said.

On Afghanistan, Stewart said the still-developing Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) remain stalemated with the Taliban-led insurgency.

“In 2015 we expect the ANSF to maintain stability and security in Kabul and key urban areas while retaining freedom of movement on major highways. However, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and their extremist allies will likely seek to exploit the reduced Coalition presence by pressuring ANSF units in rural areas, conducting high profile attacks in major population centres, and expanding their safe havens,” he said.

Pakistan Left Out In The Nuclear Cold (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan Criticizes India’s Inclusion in Nuclear Suppliers Group

By SALMAN MASOOD | New York Times
JANUARY 27, 2015

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — In an unusually critical statement, a senior Pakistani official said that Pakistan remained opposed to India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and feared that the country’s growing nuclear cooperation with the United States could harm deterrence efforts in South Asia.

The statement by Sartaj Aziz, the Pakistani national security adviser, came after President Obama wound up his visit to India, during which the United States and India announced an array of trade and strategic agreements.

Pakistan and India have had an antagonistic relationship since the end of British rule and their partition in 1947. In recent years, Pakistan has viewed growing United States-India cooperation with apprehension.

In addition to Mr. Aziz’s criticism, the Pakistani Army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, went to China on Sunday for a two-day visit with political and military leaders. The trip directly coincided with Mr. Obama’s visit in India, and Pakistani news organizations covered the parallel trips prominently — particularly statements by Chinese officials that “Pakistan’s concern is China’s concern.”

“Pakistan is opposed to yet another country-specific exemption from N.S.G. rules to grant membership to India, as this would further compound the already fragile strategic stability environment in South Asia,” Mr. Aziz said Tuesday in the statement. The Nuclear Suppliers Group is a 48-nation body established 40 years ago to ensure that civilian trade in nuclear materials is not diverted for military purposes.

In addition to opposing India’s membership in the group, Mr. Aziz also criticized American support for granting a seat to India on the United Nations Security Council.

“A country, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions on matters of international peace and security, such as the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, by no means qualifies for a special status in the Security Council,” the statement read, referring to the Himalayan region of Kashmir, over which Pakistan and India have fought three wars.

Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable short-range missile ‘Hatf III’

Pakistan's New Short Range Nukes

Pakistan’s New Short Range Nukes
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday successfully test-fired a short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Hatf III, capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads up to a range of 290 kilometres, that could cover parts of India.The “successful training launch” concluded the Field Training Exercise of Strategic Missile Group of Army Strategic Forces Command, the military said in a statement here, 16 days after it conducted the previous test launch of Hatf III, also called the Ghaznavi.
“The successful launch was the culminating point of the Field Training Exercise of Army Strategic Forces Command which was aimed at testing the operational readiness of a Strategic Missile Group besides upgradation of various capabilities of weapon systems,” the statement said.
The launch was witnessed by the Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and other senior military officials and scientists.

Addressing the participating troops in the exercise area, the Gen Sharif appreciated the troops on displaying a very high standard of proficiency in handling and operating these strategic weapon systems.

He said that Pakistan has configured one of the best command and control systems and Armed Forces of Pakistan are fully capable of safeguarding Pakistan’s security against any aggression.
The test launchhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jgjLzkWCH0 was also appreciated by the President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who congratulated the participating troops, the scientists and engineers on their success, the release said.

Pakistan’s Mobile Tactical Nukes

Terrorism isn’t Pakistan’s gravest nuclear danger
Mobile Tactical Nuclear Weapons

Mobile Tactical Nuclear Weapons
Published: May 7, 2014

In addressing the recent nuclear security summit in The Hague, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif refuted the caricature often painted of his country as the poster child of nuclear terrorism. He insisted that “Pakistan has maintained a safe and secure nuclear programme for several decades”.

It is true that Pakistan has experienced no nuclear thefts or seizures and no major nuclear accidents. It should also be noted that Pakistan understands the problems of nuclear terrorism and has taken steps to keep its nuclear assets protected. No country devotes more attention to nuclear security.

In a wider sense, however, Pakistan presents several nuclear dangers. The greatest is the potential for a nuclear war sparked by Pakistan-based extremists conducting another spectacular terrorist attack in India like the one in Mumbai in 2008 and the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.

The mood in New Delhi, and not just within the BJP camp, is that next time there is an attack which is seen to have Pakistani state fingerprints, India cannot again turn the other cheek. Over the past decade, for example, the Indian Army has promoted a ‘Cold Start’ doctrine of reprisal via incursion by several battle groups across the border.

In response, Pakistan has developed short-range, battlefield use nuclear weapons and asserted that they will be used against attacking conventional forces. The fact that India’s civilian leadership has never endorsed Cold Start makes it no less threatening in Pakistani eyes.

The development of what might be called tactical nukes, launched by 60 kilometres range Nasr missiles, lowers the threshold for nuclear use. This has caused serious alarm among outside observers. So, too, India’s vow that it will employ massive retaliation in response to a nuclear attack, even if against Indian forces operating outside national borders.

With nuclear arsenals numbering not too much more than 100 and systems on a low level of alert status, the strategic arms race in South Asia pales in comparison to the nuclear excesses of the Cold War superpowers. But the introduction of battlefield-use nuclear weapons adds a destabilising element.

Due to the ‘use them or lose them’ choice that could face local commanders, deployment of these systems can lead to rapid escalation if deterrence fails. Pakistan’s need to portray credibility about firing first could sacrifice central government control over strategic weapons in a crisis situation. Pre-delegation can lead to unauthorised use.

These are some of the reasons that Nato moved away from tactical nuclear weapons, which were found to be a costly encumbrance with little practical value. Pakistan insists that its short-range systems will not be pre-deployed, nor will use be delegated to field commanders. In the fog of a crisis, however, even the most robust of command-and-control systems cannot preclude human error.

It is not hard to imagine how accidents, misperceptions and miscalculations could all trigger a South Asian nuclear war. The development of cruise missiles, sea-based platforms and other ambiguous dual-use systems heightens the potential for misperception.

The underdeveloped mechanisms for crisis resolution in South Asia and the absence of dialogue on the factors behind nuclear risks are further reasons for concern. India and Pakistan need to engage each other on the issues that could spark a nuclear clash. Deterrence stability and the factors that contribute to growing nuclear risks should be central topics of dialogue, covering both conventional and nuclear forces.

It is also time to offer Pakistan a path to nuclear normalisation, so that it has an incentive to stop blocking negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, stop producing plutonium and highly enriched uranium and sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Addressing Pakistan’s sense of unfair treatment will enhance prospects for rethinking its tactical nuclear weapons path. Offering nuclear legitimacy is also the most effective way to communicate that the United States and its allies do not seek to forcefully or stealthily disarm Pakistan, and that the Western goal, rather, is deterrence stability.

Holding out the prospect of a nuclear cooperation deal akin to the one accorded India, albeit with stronger non-proliferation conditions, is the most powerful tool Western nations can use to positively shape Pakistan’s nuclear posture.