The US And Pakistani Nuclear Horns (Daniel)

Nuclear War: Pakistan, India Test Nuclear Weapons; US Spends $1 Trillion For Arsenal

Nuclear War: Pakistan, India Test Nuclear Weapons; US Spends $1 Trillion For Arsenal

There is greater safety in mutual show of ability and might. This is long held assumption showing that an assured mutual destruction would lead to cessation of actions, which can lead to a deadly war. It seems, however, that neither Pakistan or India are done showing off their arsenal and capabilities with another. Some are even worried that their continued practice may take on a deadly direction.
In fact, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has just found that Pakistan is actively “rehearsing the use of nuclear weapons.” Last year, retired Pakistan general Khalid Kidwai has said that the country was already able to develop a number of “short range, low yield nuclear weapons” as they believe there is no longer any “space for conventional war.”

At the same time, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has also once declared that his country might just use nuclear weapons against India. In response, India continues to conduct its training against such weapons. According to a report from the Fiscal Times, India is yet to disclose information about their nuclear weapons stockpile as well as on overview of their present and future nuclear capabilities. Meanwhile, Pakistan is also yet to do the same.

While tensions continue to brew in South Asia, the U.S. is busy enhancing its nuclear weapon capability in response to any nuclear aggression in the world. According to the latest report from the Arms Control Association, the total cost of the country’s nuclear weapons program is expected to cost as much as $1 trillion over the next 30 years. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office puts the cost of nuclear forces between FY 2015 and FY 2024 at around $348 billion.

The country is said to be in the process of modernizing and refurbishing its existing warheads. They are either being replaced with new systems or getting completely rebuilt using new parts. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work has also told the House Armed Services Committee that the process of “modernizing and sustaining” the countries nuclear weapons will cost around $18 billion a year between 2021 and 2035 if estimated in FY 2016 dollars. With the combined cost of maintaining the country’s current nuclear weapons, however, that cost roughly doubles, going from three percent to seven percent of the overall defense budget.

As of the moment, the U.S. has already deployed as much as 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads on Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), and Strategic Bombers.

Pakistan And India Prepare For Nuclear War (Revelation 9)

Nuclear battles in South Asia

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Pervez Hoodbhoy

Zia Mian

The armies of Pakistan and India are practicing for nuclear war on the battlefield: Pakistan is rehearsing the use of nuclear weapons, while India trains to fight on despite such use and subsequently escalate. What were once mere ideas and scenarios dreamed up by hawkish military planners and nuclear strategists have become starkly visible capabilities and commitments. When the time comes, policy makers and people on both sides will expect—and perhaps demand—that the Bomb be used.

Pakistan has long been explicit about its plans to use nuclear weapons to counter Indian conventional forces. Pakistan has developed “a variety of short range, low yield nuclear weapons,” claimed retired General Khalid Kidwai in March 2015. Kidwai is the founder—and from 2000 until 2014 ran—Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division, which is responsible for managing the country’s nuclear weapons production complex and arsenal. These weapons, Kidwai said, have closed the “space for conventional war.” Echoing this message, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry declared in October 2015 that his country might use these tactical nuclear weapons in a conflict with India. There already have been four wars between the two countries—in 1947, 1965, 1971, and 1999—as well as many war scares.

The United States, which at one time deployed over 7,000 tactical nuclear weapons in Europe aimed at Soviet conventional forces, has expressed alarm about Pakistan’s plans. Amplifying comments made by President Barack Obama, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained in April 2016 that “we’re concerned by the increased security challenges that accompany growing stockpiles, particularly tactical nuclear weapons that are designed for use on the battlefield. And these systems are a source of concern because they’re susceptible to theft due to their size and mode of employment. Essentially, by having these smaller weapons, the threshold for their use is lowered, and the[re is] risk that a conventional conflict between India and Pakistan could escalate to include the use of nuclear weapons.”

Responding to US concerns, Kidwai has said that “Pakistan would not cap or curb its nuclear weapons programme or accept any restrictions.” The New York Times reported last year that so far, “an unknown number of the tactical weapons were built, but not deployed” by Pakistan.

India is making its own preparations for nuclear war. The Indian Army conducted a massive military exercise in April 2016 in the Rajasthan desert bordering Pakistan, involving tanks, artillery, armored personnel carriers, and 30,000 soldiers, to practice what to do if it is attacked with nuclear weapons on the battlefield. An Indian Army spokesman told the media, “our policy has been always that we will never use nuclear weapons first. But if we are attacked, we need to gather ourselves and fight through it. The simulation is about doing exactly that.” This is not the first such Indian exercise. As long ago as May 2001, the Indian military conducted an exercise based on the possibility that Pakistan would use nuclear weapons on Indian armed forces. Indian generals and planners have anticipated such battlefield nuclear use by Pakistan since at least the 1990s.

Driving the current set of Indian strategies and capabilities is the army’s search for a way to use military force to retaliate against Pakistan for harboring terrorists who, from time to time, have launched devastating attacks inside India. In 2001, Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed credit for an attack on India’s parliament. India massed troops on the border, but had to withdraw them after several months. International pressure, a public commitment by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to restrain militants from future strikes, and Pakistan’s threat to use nuclear weapons if it was attacked caused the crisis to wind down. Following the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants, General Deepak Kapoor, then India’s army chief, argued that India must find a way to wage “limited war under a nuclear overhang.”

Paths to destruction. It could come to pass that Pakistan’s army uses nuclear weapons on its own territory to repel invading Indian tanks and troops. Pakistan’s planners may intend this first use of nuclear weapons as a warning shot, hoping to cause the Indians to stop and withdraw rather than risk worse. But while withdrawal would be one possible outcome, there would also be others. It is more likely, for instance, that the use of one—or even a few—Pakistani battlefield nuclear weapons would fail to dent Indian forces. While even a small nuclear weapon would be devastating in an urban environment, many such weapons may be required to have a decisive military impact on columns of well-dispersed battle tanks and soldiers who have practiced warfighting under nuclear attack.
India’s nuclear doctrine, meanwhile, is built on massive retaliation. In 2003, India’s cabinet declared nuclear weapons “will only be used in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere … nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage.” According to Admiral Vijay Shankar, a former head of Indian strategic nuclear forces, such retaliation would involve nuclear attacks on Pakistan’s cities. Kidwai describes such Indian threats as “bluster and blunder,” since they “are not taking into account the balance of nuclear weapons of Pakistan, which hopefully not, but has the potential to go back and give the same kind of dose to the other side.” For nuclear planners in both countries, threatening the slaughter of millions and mutual destruction seems to be the order of the day.

There are also risks short of war, of course. Nuclear weapon units integrated with conventional forces and ready to be dispersed on a battlefield pose critical command-and-control issues. Kidwai believes that focusing on “lesser issues of command and control, and the possibility of their falling into wrong hands is unfortunate.” He claims “Our nuclear weapons are safe, secure and under complete institutional and professional control.” The implication is that communications between the nuclear headquarters and deployed units in the field will be perfectly reliable and secure even in wartime, and that commanders of individual units will not seek—or have the capability to launch—a nuclear strike unless authorized.

It is difficult to believe these claims. Peering through the fog of war, dizzied by developments on a rapidly evolving battlefield, confronting possible defeat, and fuelled by generations of animosity towards India as well as a thirst for revenge from previous wars, it cannot be guaranteed that a Pakistani nuclear commander will follow the rules.

Add to this the risks in what now passes for peacetime in Pakistan. The Strategic Plans Division may dismiss fears that its nuclear weapons will be hijacked. However, the military has rarely succeeded in anticipating and preventing major attacks by militant Islamist groups in Pakistan. Look no further than the May 2011 attack on Karachi’s Mehran naval base. The attackers, who may have numbered up to 20 and had insider help, “scaled the perimeter fence and continued to the main base by exploiting a blind spot in surveillance camera coverage, suggesting detailed knowledge of the base layout,” The Guardian reported. It took elite troops 18 hours to regain control of the base.
It is also unclear how the officers who are in charge of Pakistan’s military bases and those who make security-clearance decisions are chosen, and whether their own commitment to fighting Islamic radicalism is genuine. In 2009, the former commander of Pakistan’s Shamsi Air Force Base was arrested for leaking “sensitive” information to a radical Islamist organization. In 2011, a one-star general serving in Pakistan’s General Headquarters was arrested for his contacts with a militant group. In a religion that stresses its own completeness, and in which righteousness is given higher value than obedience to temporal authority, there is room for serious conflict between piety and military discipline.

Grasping at straws? A first step to reducing all these nuclear dangers is to prevent an escalation of tensions. This must start with Pakistan tackling the threat of Islamist militancy at home and preventing militant attacks across the India-Pakistan border. The outlook is mixed on both fronts. Pakistan’s army accelerated its war against radical Islamist groups after a 2014 attack on an army school in Peshawar that killed more than 140 students and staff. Despite military claims of success, though, responding with massive force and inflicting countless deaths will not resolve what is at its core a political and social problem. Ending the threat of radical Islam in Pakistan will require sweeping changes in public attitudes and major policy reversals in many areas. These are nowhere in sight.

To its credit, Pakistan has recently been more forward-leaning in dealing with militants who attack India. Following the assault on India’s Pathankot airbase in January 2016, Sartaj Aziz, foreign affairs adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, made the surprising revelation that a mobile phone number used by the attackers was linked to the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed based in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. To collect evidence for possible legal action against Jaish-e-Mohammed leaders, Pakistan sent a fact-finding mission to Pathankot with the approval of the Indian government. This kind of cooperation by the two governments is unprecedented.

Rather than limit cooperation to crisis management after an attack, Pakistan and India could agree on a South Asian version of the Open Skies Treaty to provide each with limited access to the other’s air space for surveillance purposes. India has an interest in monitoring possible militant camps within Pakistan and border areas where militants may cross. Pakistan seeks early warning in case India is preparing to mount a surprise attack. The 1992 Open Skies Treaty, covering the United States and fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organization members and Russia and its former Soviet and Eastern European partners, allows for controlled surveillance flights with agreed instruments such as photographic and video cameras, radar, and infrared scanners. The goal is to promote “greater openness and transparency in their military activities” and “to facilitate the monitoring of compliance with existing or future arms control agreements and to strengthen the capacity for conflict prevention and crisis management.” The United States and other parties to the Open Skies Treaty could share their technical tools and flight management experience with Pakistan and India, as well as what they’ve learned about the value of the agreement.

The two countries should also prepare in case things go wrong. The 1999 Lahore Agreement committed Pakistan and India to “notify each other immediately in the event of any accidental, unauthorised or unexplained incident that could create the risk of a fallout with adverse consequences for both sides, or an outbreak of a nuclear war between the two countries, as well as to adopt measures aimed at diminishing the possibility of such actions, or such incidents being misinterpreted by the other.” The question is, who will each side call and how? One possibility is a direct line of communication—a hotline—from Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division chief to the head of India’s Strategic Forces Command. There are other hotlines, and they are not always used or used wisely, but in a crisis this may be better than relying on television, Facebook, Twitter, or Washington.
Progress towards even such limited measures will confront the fact that in both India and Pakistan, nationalist passions forged over seven decades are being reinforced by the institutional self-interests of emerging nuclear military-industrial complexes and their political patrons and ideological allies. The United States and Soviet Union saw such deepening militarization during the Cold War. The institutional forces and ideas—what the great English anti-nuclear activist, thinker, and historian E.P. Thompson called “the thrust of exterminism”—proved so strong that even when the Cold War ended, and the Soviet Union fell, the Bomb remained. With expansive and costly nuclear arsenal modernizations underway in the United States, Russia, and the other established nuclear weapon states, the Bomb now seems ready for a second life. Increasingly subject to the same exterminist forces, South Asia may be locked in its nuclear nightmare for a very long time.

The Nuclear Threat From Pakistan (Daniel 8:8)

Are Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets Under Threat?

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April 28, 2016
The fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit, held in Washington D.C. on March 31- April 1 2016, once again reiterated the apocalyptic threat of nuclear terrorism. Having over 1,000 atomic facilities across 50 odd countries, all having different standards of security, is bound to raise alarm bells in an age where terrorist organizations have expressed their intention of using the “absolute weapon.” The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) even asserted in the May 2015 issue of its propaganda magazine Dabiq that it can buy a nuclear bomb through links to corrupt officials in Pakistan. While there is no evidence of these alleged links, such statements are part of the group’s psychological war of spreading fear. They also accentuate the Islamic State’s interest in acquiring the bomb.

With al-Baghdadi’s group losing ground in both Syria and Iraq, ISIS is becoming more and more desperate to carry out spectacular attacks and reaffirm its strength. Already numerous reports have claimed that the Islamic State has enough radioactive material to make a dirty bomb and use it in Europe. The recent incident of a Belgian nuclear plant worker shot dead and his security pass stolen, alongside reports of two Belgian nuclear plant workers joining ISIS, signify the colossal threat confronting European states.

At the same time, some experts, journalists, and government officials have insinuated that Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile, especially its tactical weapons developed in response to India’s “Cold Start” doctrine, could be stolen by terrorists, including ISIS. President Barack Obama also mentioned in his speech at the Summit that “small, tactical nuclear weapons … could be at greater risk of theft.”

Do terrorist pose a threat to Pakistan’s nuclear assets? The answer is both yes and no.

Security of Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets

More than once, Pakistan has come under the limelight for not ensuring the security of its nuclear assets. For instance, in January 2001, Pakistani nuclear scientists with extremist sympathies created a what was supposedly a humanitarian nongovernmental organization, Ummah Tameer-e-Nau (UTN). Bashiruddin Mahmood, the former head of Pakistan’s Khushab plutonium reactor, was its chairman. In November 2001, at the request of the United States, Pakistan’s intelligence services arrested a number of UTN associates and members, including Mahmood. Mahmood later confessed that he met with Osama bin Laden and they discussed the possibility of developing a nuclear bomb.

Similarly, the discovery of the infamous AQ Khan network in 2004 almost jeopardized Pakistan’s entire nuclear program. The father of the country’s nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, was found proliferating nuclear technology to other countries, including Libya, North Korea, and Iran. While members of al-Qaeda also tried to contact Khan’s associates for assistance with their weapons program, the AQ Khan network reportedly rejected them.

The aforementioned events, together with the General Headquarters attack in 2009 by Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP), underscore that Pakistan’s nuclear security might not be impregnable.

However, time and again Pakistan has expressed confidence in the security arrangements of its nuclear weapons. Even at the Nuclear Security Summit 2016, Pakistan reiterated that its nuclear assets are secure, and of a modest level, in accordance with the country’s doctrine of minimum deterrence. While the entire program is engulfed in secrecy, reports have ascertained that Pakistan is doing enough to prevent its weapons being used by rogue elements, including terrorists.

For instance, according to Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, who has been closely involved with the country’s nuclear program, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are stored in “three to four different parts at three to four different locations.” Therefore, they are stockpiled in component form, which means if the weapon is not about to be launched then it is not in an assembled form.

With the warheads disassembled, they cannot be used by terrorists. Similarly, Islamabad has improved the reliability of its nuclear personnel by making security clearance procedures more stringent, decreasing the likelihood of an insider threat. However, Islamabad recognizes more can be done to control its nuclear expertise. The Nuclear Security Summit has raised awareness and the sense of urgency of increasing nuclear security among all nuclear states. Pakistan, being part of the NSS, has also pledged to take the necessary steps.

ISIS in particular does not have a profound presence in Pakistan and exists only in the form of small, independent cells. It’s extremely doubtful it can steal Pakistan’s nuclear material. However, a threat does emanate from local militant groups who can exploit the already unstable security environment in South Asia. India’s Cold Start doctrine and Pakistan’s acquisition of battlefield nukes are a cause for concern, and can be exploited by terrorists.

Exploiting Cold Start Doctrine and Tactical Nuclear Weapons

The Cold Start doctrine was developed after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament. India claimed that the attacks were perpetrated by Pakistan-based militant groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, who were in cahoots with some institutions of Pakistan. In response, the Indian state initiated the largest military build-up since 1971. However, it took India three weeks to get to the international border. By that time Pakistan was able to counter-mobilize, which allowed for the United States to intervene and forestall the conflict from precipitating. Then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf also denounced terrorism, and promised a crackdown. This reduced India’s political justification for a military action.

Unsatisfied with this slow response, India developed the Cold Start doctrine. The said doctrine involves offensive operations, allowing India’s conventional forces to perform holding attacks in order to prevent a nuclear response from Pakistan. In reply to this, Pakistan developed tactical nuclear weapons to deter any military action from India.

This situation should raise concern. If terrorist attack is plotted against India from Pakistani soil and India operationalizes its doctrine, presumably, in reaction, Pakistan will deploy its tactical nuclear weapons. India too then is likely to use its conventional nuclear weapons, inviting a full-blown nuclear war between the two neighboring states.

As such, the combination of tactical nuclear weapons and the Cold Start doctrine provides an opportunity for terrorist elements to initiate a nuclear war. Both India and Pakistan need to work out a plan whereby India gives up its Cold Start doctrine in the event of a militant attack, and in response, Pakistan abandons its tactical nuclear weapons. Otherwise, there will always be room for militants to ensure a nuclear attack by conducting traditional acts of terror. If a terrorist can compel a nuclear war between two nations, how is that different from nuclear terrorism?

Shahzeb Ali Rathore is a Research Analyst at the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore.

Obama’s Policy STARTs To Unravel (Ezekiel 17)


The New START Treaty and Russia’s nuclear surge

Putin’s strategic force grows while Obama’s shrinks

By Keith B. Payne and Mark B. Schneider –
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Russia is surging its nuclear capabilities. This may be surprising because the Obama administration’s 2010 New START Treaty was supposed to have put a brake on such old Cold War bad behavior.
The U.S. State Department claimed that the treaty would require Russia to cut its strategic nuclear forces by about one-third. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed counterclaims by treaty critics who feared that it would not require Russia to make cuts, stating that such claims were a “perfect example” of how “analysts who just don’t believe in arms control treaties at all from my perspective are, very unfortunately, slanting a lot of what they say.” Yet, as former Vice Chairman of the Russian Duma Defense Committee Aleksey Arbatov later observed with obvious glee, “[New START] is essentially a treaty on limiting the American strategic forces.

When the treaty entered into force, Russia already was below New START’s ceilings on deployed warheads and deployed delivery systems, and thus, would have to make no cuts in those systems. Indeed, since the new START Treaty came into effect, Russia has proceeded to build up its nuclear forces, not reduce them.

By mid-2015, in all three categories of nuclear capability limited by New START — deployed warheads, deployed delivery vehicles, and the combined number of deployed and nondeployed delivery vehicles, Russia had increased nuclear numbers to levels above those that existed when the treaty entered into force. In contrast, the United States has reduced its deployed nuclear forces in every category. As a result, the number of Russian deployed strategic nuclear warheads has surpassed American by 110 weapons. Amazingly, State Department annual reports on New START have failed to remark that Russian strategic nuclear forces are increasing under the treaty, not decreasing.
A disparity in deployed U.S. and Russian warhead numbers also is likely to come from Russia’s exploitation of treaty loopholes. These are the result of how the treaty defines weapons that are accountable, and thus, limited under the treaty. Bombers are deemed to carry a single nuclear weapon when, in fact, they typically can carry many more. As a result, Russia’s Sputnik News says Russia will have 2,100 actual deployed strategic nuclear warheads rather than the treaty’s 1,550 ceiling. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that the actual number is approximately 2,500. Russia has announced it will produce at least 50 more Tu-160 nuclear bombers. Each reportedly can carry 12 nuclear cruise missiles, potentially creating another 550 unaccounted Russian nuclear warheads and bringing the total Russian number of deployed warheads to about 3,000, almost twice the New START ceiling. In addition, Russia has announced its plans to modernize 98 percent of its ICBM force by 2021 and deploy eight new Borey-class submarines carrying new Bulava-30 submarine-launched ballistic missiles by 2020.

In contrast, the number of deployed U.S. warheads and delivery systems is apparently about to drop further. In late September, the Air Force announced 30 of the U.S. nuclear-capable B-52s had been denuclearized.

Russia may not intend to ever make any numerical reductions under New START. In February 2014, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Security and Disarmament Issues, Mikhail Ulyanov, stated that U.S. missile defense deployment would create “a situation where Russia will be forced to exercise [its] right of withdrawal from the [New START] treaty.” A year later, he said that Russia might withdraw because of U.S.-imposed Ukraine sanctions. If so, the only impact of New START will have been the reduction of U.S. nuclear forces.

Perhaps even more dangerous are Russian threats to use nuclear weapons first to support its military attacks on neighboring countries such as Georgia and Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia was ready to alert its nuclear forces during its takeover of Crimea in 2014; other Russian officials have said openly that Russia was similarly ready to alert its nuclear forces during its military attack against Georgia in 2008. The use of nuclear forces in such an aggressive fashion is considered unthinkable in the West and in 2015, Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work said Russia “is literally playing with fire.”

The accepted wisdom in Washington for more than two decades has been that the United States and Russia will cooperate in a benign new world order in the post-Cold War era. Western thinking about defense clearly has been geared to this optimistic presumption. Yet, Russia under Mr. Putin now pursues military aggression in Europe, increases its nuclear arsenal, makes nuclear first-use threats to U.S. allies, disdains new nuclear arms control agreements and violates previous agreements.
As the late Yogi Berra’s said: “The future ain’t what it used to be.” A new, realistic understanding of the post-Cold War era must begin to underlie U.S. defense planning. Continued U.S. unilateral nuclear force reductions are likely to be viewed by Mr. Putin only as a sign of weakness and encourage him to even greater provocations.

• Keith B. Payne is the director of the Graduate School of Defense and Strategic Studies at Missouri State University and a former deputy assistant secretary of defense. Mark B. Schneider is a senior analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy and a former senior official in the Defense Department.

Nuclear Ban Conference = FAIL (Rev 16)

vanunu-iran-israeli-nukes-cartoon

Middle East nuclear weapons ban proposal stumbles at U.N.

Tue May 12, 2015 1:50am BST

By Louis Charbonneau
Western officials said Arab proposals drafted by Egypt for a major nuclear non-proliferation conference at United Nations headquarters in New York could torpedo the process and push Israel to walk away
Israel neither confirms nor denies the widespread assumption that it controls the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal. Israel, which has never joined the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), agreed to take part in NPT meetings Monday as an observer, ending a 20-year absence.
The head of Egypt’s delegation, Assistant Foreign Minister Hashim Badr, rejected any suggestion that Cairo was a spoiler and insisted that he wanted to move the process forward, not kill it.
“Egypt has come to New York to secure a conference (on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East), we want a conference,” Badr said in an interview. “This is a key issue for Egypt for a long time, for decades, since 1974-75.” 
Egypt, in a proposal officially backed by all Arab countries and outlined in a “working paper” submitted by Arab delegations, called for Jaakko Laajava, the U.N. coordinator for organising the conference, to be dismissed. The 2010 NPT review meeting had called for a Middle East conference in 2012, but it never took place.
Egypt’s proposal said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should convene a conference on a regional ban of weapons of mass destruction within 180 days after the NPT conference ends on May 22 and demanded that Israel immediately join the NPT as a non-nuclear arms state.
Despite the official backing of Arab delegations, several diplomats, including two Arabs, told Reuters that Saudi Arabia, Iraq and United Arab Emirates have reservations about Egypt’s proposal. “Egypt wants to be in charge,” a diplomat said.
Israel’s delegation declined to comment on the proposal.
The Jewish state has said it would consider inspections and controls under the NPT only if was at peace with its Arab neighbours and Iran.
Washington and Israel say it is Iran’s nuclear programme that threatens the region. Iran says its programme is peaceful. It is negotiating with world powers to curb it in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
Finnish diplomat Laajava managed to get Israel, Arab states and Iran to attend a preparatory session in the Swiss city of Glion in October 2013. Western officials cite that as progress.
Washington has not given up hope. “We have seen significant progress in the regional consultations that have taken place,” a U.S. official said.
Arab delegates said Israel was not serious about a conference on banning weapons of mass destruction. Israel has conditioned its participation on an agenda being agreed in advance and says it wants to discuss regional security, conventional weapons and the Middle East peace process.
(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Grant McCool and Ken Wills)

Despite Their Best Intentions: The END Is Inevitable (Rev 15:2)

 

2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 27 April to 22 May 2015, Statement of the ICRC

Five years ago, States Parties to the NPT recognized for the first time the “catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons”. Along with this historic acknowledgement, the 2010 Review Conference Final Document committed nuclear-armed States Parties to accelerating progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament and to take further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons. This built on the promises made at previous Review Conferences to fulfil the disarmament commitment of Article VI of the Treaty. Yet 45 years after the NPT’s entry into force, there has been little or no concrete progress to fulfilling this goal. In fact, the ongoing modernization of nuclear weapons by some States suggest that their role in security policies is not being reduced.

… until the last nuclear weapon is eliminated, more must be done to diminish the immediate risks of intentional or accidental nuclear detonations.

Since nuclear weapons were first used 70 years ago, the body of evidence of the devastating human cost of any use of nuclear weapons has continued to grow. In the last three years in particular, the inter-governmental conferences held in Oslo, Nayarit and Vienna on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons have given the international community a much clearer grasp of the effects that a nuclear detonation would have on people and societies around the globe, as well as on the environment. At this pivotal moment of the NPT, it is crucial that States Parties take into account the new research, risks and perspectives on nuclear weapons that have come to light, draw the necessary conclusions and take concrete action to eliminate these horrendous weapons.

The evidence before us today shows:

that nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power and in the scale of human suffering they cause and that their use, even on a limited scale, would have catastrophic consequences for human health and the environment;

that the effects on human health can last for decades and impact the children of survivors through genetic damage to their parents;

that the humanitarian consequences of a nuclear-weapon detonation would not be limited to the country where it occurs but would impact other States and their populations;

that, in most countries and at the international level, there is no effective or feasible means of assisting a substantial portion of survivors in the immediate aftermath of a nuclear detonation, while adequately protecting those delivering assistance; and finally
that the risk of accidental nuclear-weapon detonation remains a very real danger.

In the view of the ICRC, these findings should prompt all States to reassess nuclear weapons in both legal and policy terms. We urge NPT States Parties to seize the moment of this Review Conference and heed the 2011 appeal of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement for States “to ensure that nuclear weapons are never again used”, and “to pursue in good faith and conclude with urgency and determination negotiations to prohibit the use of and completely eliminate nuclear weapons through a legally binding international agreement, based on existing commitments and international obligations”. Nuclear weapons are the only weapon of mass destruction not explicitly and comprehensively prohibited under international law today. In light of the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons, which the NPT States Parties have recognized, filling this gap is a humanitarian imperative.

In a speech delivered to the Permanent Missions of Geneva on 18 February 2015, the President of the ICRC, Peter Maurer, urged States Parties to make this Review Conference a turning point for decision-making and progress on nuclear disarmament. States Parties can do this by taking concrete steps to fulfil the commitment contained in Article 6 of the NPT and establishing a time-bound framework to negotiate a legally binding international agreement and to consider the form that such an agreement could take. A number of proposals in this regard have been made by States here and in other fora.

And until the last nuclear weapon is eliminated, more must be done to diminish the immediate risks of intentional or accidental nuclear detonations. We urge nuclear-armed States to reduce the number of warheads on high alert and to be more transparent about action taken to prevent accidental detonations. A greater effort must also be made by nuclear-armed States and their allies to reduce the role and significance of nuclear weapons in their military plans, doctrines and policies. Many of these steps derive from long-standing political commitments and the 2010 NPT action plan and should be followed through as a matter of urgency.

In the coming months, the international community will mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This anniversary is a stark reminder of the appalling human costs of nuclear weapons. It should inspire all States to reaffirm their commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons and to take concrete action in this direction. We know now more than ever before that the risks of nuclear weapons are too high and the dangers too real. It is time to bring the era of nuclear weapons to an end and we urge this Review Conference to take the bold steps needed to achieve this noble goal.

It Should Be Called Hot Start Doctrine (Rev 15:2)

India’s Cold Start Doctrine gives Pakistan sleepless nights

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What does India’s Cold Start Doctrine mean for the lay man ?
South Asia and in particular the Indian sub-continent is perhaps the last hold-out spot for the conventional battlefield scenario, the kind recorded in literary documentation down the ages. India has two or rather three blocks with their armored divisions in columns, one formation along the Indus valley and the other on either sides of the Himalayas.
India’s military might stretches to meet threats from two simultaneous fronts. On the western side from Pakistan and on the eastern front from China. For a big and huge working democracy like India, securing its territorial borders since its inception in 1947 has been the number one priority.
India was now ready to set it eyes beyond it immediate shores to safeguard its interest and asset across the world. India felt bolder and safer after acquiring thermo-nuclear capability.
India’s bitter lesson of terrorist attacks from Pakistan
But as it turned out, that was not the case in the coming years especially in the months following the Parliament attack in New Delhi in December 2001 and again in November 2008 when Pakistani terrorist attacked Mumbai. In both cases, Pak backed terrorists had stepped up their assault against India, on Indian soil and in the absence of a working model of a tri-forces military doctrine under an elected leadership, India’s image took a beating.
Under this concept, neutralizing Pakistan inside the first 72 hours of the offensive was the primary objective. The ‘Cold Start Doctrine’ is based on SPEED, FAST MOBILIZATION of armored strike divisions & retaining the element of SURPRISE. All this appears to be a story from a fairy tale but this is now a stark reality for Pakistan.
India now has an acknowledged military doctrine. The ‘Cold Start Doctrine’ was not an overnight concept. It came about with a bitter lesson the authorities had learnt in the aftermath of the Parliament attack in 2001. The Armed forces since 2004, with many military drills being conducted have now perfected the mobilization of half a million troops in less than 48 to 72 hours.
With the onslaught of the co-ordination between the Army and the Air Force under the ‘Cold Start Doctrine’, the Indian Navy is highly capable of enforcing a total naval blockade of Pakistan within 48 hours of the first attack. This will leave the country without the most important commodity that is needed to fight a war, and i.e. OIL.
Foreign and Indian Military analyst point out that it is an apt time for India to assert its Naval power to claim the entire Indian Ocean area as it inches closer towards a ‘Blue Water Navy’.
Setbacks during the Parliament Attack and Troop Mobilization
Orders were given to mobilize half a million troops during operation ‘Parakram’ in 2001. Indian forces were dispatched, some up to the linear positions along the western border with Pakistan. Not many of us know that soon after the parliament attack, all three Chiefs of Staff had called upon the then Prime Minister Mr. Vajpayee and sought his permission to attack Pakistan. The plan was to slice Pakistan into two separate units from its middle and Mr. Vajpayee had turned down the plan.
Operation ‘Parakram’ brought to light some bitter truths. As against a given timeline of 48 to 72 hours for mobilization of troops, India took full three weeks (21 days) to move Army columns from various locations across the country. By the time India’s strike force took position along the Indo-Pak border, the element of ‘SURPRISE’ had evaporated. Pakistan had got all the time to bring its forces closer to the Indian border.
Operation ‘Parakram’ had failed.
Failure of Operation ‘Parakram’ made Pakistan bolder and inspired it to carry on more attack on Indian soil and that’s what it exactly did in 2008 when Pakistani terrorist attacked India’s financial capital Mumbai.
Making the ‘Cold Start Doctrine’ a deadly reality for Pakistan
There is an URGENT need for a unified command integrating the Army, Navy and the Air Force. For a successful and a decisive military doctrine, a unified command of all the three forces is a must.
Apart from the visible disconnect between politicians and military leaders, there has also been an inter-services rivalry which has crippled a series of modernization projects in the past. The story in the country’s Military Doctrine is no different. The Indian Air Force believes that it is a much superior force and plays a decisive role in the outcome of a war. The Navy which does not operate within India’s territorial boundaries but is deployed away from the countries shores always has a different line on the terms of engagement.
India does not have a Tri-Services Military Doctrine.
A Military Doctrine for China
A new strike force comprising of about 90,000 troops is being raised only to counter the Chinese forces. This strike force will be deployed predominantly in Arunachal Pradesh which China claims in its entirety.
India has learnt many of it military lessons the hard way, particularly those that came in the aftermath of the 1962 war with China, a military engagement that went horribly wrong in all possible ways.
Defence experts say that apart from the traditional theatres of war which are Land, Sea and Air, two more dimensions have been added, SPACE and CYBER war. Wars of the future it is said will take place in another less visible but more lethal realm. Expect the first salvo to be fired by an advancing army in the Cyber World followed closely by the Space dimension.
India’s Military Transformation
In order for India to acquire an Asian Super Power Military status, it needs the most important task to be completed at an early date for a viable military doctrine. At the centre of all this is the need to establish a Tri-Services Military Command Structure to effectively use Military Force against an adversary like Pakistan or China.
The deadly ‘Cold Start Doctrine’ which is in existence with the Indian Military has the capability to cut Pakistan into half within the first 72 hours and make it surrender unconditionally. Now can you imagine what would a TRI-SERVICES Cold Start Doctrine’ do to a country like Pakistan.

Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Was Just A Short Delay Of The Prophecy (Rev 16)

NPT spoof

 

BY RAMESH THAKUR

In contrast to the total and scandalous failure of its 2005 predecessor, the Eighth Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference of May 2010 was a modest success.
By the end of 2012, as reported in my Centre’s inaugural “Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play” report, much of this sense of optimism had evaporated. By the end of 2014, as our followup report “Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015″ documents, the fading optimism has given way to pessimism.
North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in early 2013 and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is yet to enter into force.
Cyber threats to nuclear weapons systems have intensified, outer space remains at risk of nuclearization, and the upsurge of geopolitical tensions over the crisis in Ukraine produced flawed conclusions about the folly of giving up nuclear weapons on the one hand, and open reminders about Russia’s substantial nuclear arsenal, on the other.
As part of the Global Attitudes survey conducted by the U.S. Pew Research Center from March 17 to June 5, 2014, a total of 48,643 respondents in 44 countries were asked which one of the following five poses the gravest threat to the world: nuclear weapons, inequality, religious-ethnic hatred, environmental pollution, or AIDS and other diseases?
No Latin American country has nuclear weapons The continent’s anti-nuclear commitment was reinforced by the negotiation of the regional nuclear-weapon-free zone in 1967 under the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which consolidates and deepens the NPT prohibitions on getting the bomb.
Since then virtually the entire Southern Hemisphere has embraced additional comparable zones in the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and Africa.
Consequently looking out at the world from our vantage point, we see no security upsides by way of benefits from nuclear weapons; only risks.
Indeed it helps to conceptualize the nuclear weapons challenge in the language of risks. Originally many countries acquired the bomb in order to help manage national security risks.
As the four famous strategic heavyweights of Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, William Perry and George Shultz — all card-carrying realists — have argued in a series of five influential articles in The Wall Street Journal between 2007 and 2013, the risks of nuclear proliferation and terrorism posed by the existence of nuclear weapons far outweigh their modest contributions to security since the end of the Cold War.
Viewed through this lens, the nuclear risks agenda has four components:
• Risk management.
We must ensure that existing weapons stockpiles are not used; that all nuclear weapons and materials are secured against theft and leakage to rogue actors like terrorist groups; and that all nuclear reactors and plants have fail-safe safety measures in place with respect to designs, controls, disposal and accident response systems.
• Risk reduction.
This means strengthening the stability-enhancing features of deterrence, such as robust command and control systems and deployment on submarines. As part of this, it would help if Russia and the U.S. took their approximately 1,800 warheads off high-alert, ready to launch within minutes of threats being supposedly detected.
If other countries abandoned interest in things like tactical nuclear weapons that have to be deployed on the forward edges of potential battlefields and require some pre-delegation of authority to use to battlefield commanders. Because any use of nuclear weapons could be catastrophic for planet Earth, the decision must be restricted to the highest political and military authorities.
• Risk minimization• .
There is no national security objectives that Russia and the U.S. could not meet with a total arsenal of under 500 nuclear warheads each deployed in the air (a few), on land (some), and at sea (most). And if all the others froze their arsenals at current levels, this would give us a global stockpile of 2,000 bombs instead of the current total of nearly 16,400.
Ratifying and bringing into force the CTBT, concluding a new fissile material cutoff treaty, banning the nuclear weaponization of outer space, respecting one another’s sensitivities on missile defense programs and conventional military imbalances etc. would all contribute to minimizing risks of reversals and setbacks.
None of these steps would jeopardize the national security of any of the nuclear-armed states; each would enhance regional and international security modestly; all in combination would greatly strengthen global security.
• Risk elimination.
Successive blue ribbon international commissions, from the Canberra Commission through the Tokyo Forum, Blix Commission, and Evans-Kawaguchi Commission, have emphatically reaffirmed three core propositions.
The only guarantee of zero nuclear weapons risk, therefore, is to move to zero nuclear weapons possession by a carefully managed process.

The Pakistani Nuclear Threat: The Third Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Adnan R. Khan

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Pakistan India Nukes
Last week was supposed to offer a noteworthy moment in the history of nuclear disarmament. Iranian negotiators met in Vienna with leaders from the United States, Russia, France, China, the U.K. and Germany, and got down to the tricky business of finding a way out of a growing nuclear standoff. It was touted as the most promising opportunity in years to reach a deal that would, once and for all, put the brakes on what many fear are Iran’s secret plans to build a nuclear bomb.

That deal, however, never materialized. When the talks ended on Nov. 24, the best U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry could offer was some promising rhetoric: “Today, we are closer to a deal that would make the entire world . . . safer and more secure,” he said.

But while the world’s major powers fretted over Iran’s “breakout” potential—the time it would take to produce enough fissile material to build one nuclear device—a report by the Council on Foreign Relations, timed to come out during the Vienna talks, warned that other countries have not only broken out, but appear to be running wild. This is the reality of the “second nuclear age,” the report stated. Even as the traditional nuclear powers reduce their stockpiles, emergent states in Asia—Pakistan and India, in particular, but also North Korea and China—are becoming increasingly tangled in a new arms race, one that is much more complex and difficult to control than what the world witnessed in the second half of the 20th century.

According to the report, Pakistan currently has the world’s fastest-growing nuclear arsenal, with enough fissile material to build 120 bombs and the potential to build at least 80 more by 2020. India has the ability to build 110 nuclear devices, but is also reported to have ramped up its production capacity.

Iran, according to the report, is only one piece in an increasingly complex nuclear puzzle. There is reason to be concerned about its nuclear program, of course. A brooding Middle Eastern Cold War pitting Shia-led Iran against Sunni Saudi Arabia poses some serious international security threats. If Iran does “break out,” the experts say, the Saudis will be sure to follow, igniting another nuclear arms race in what is the most unstable region in the world. (Pakistan’s nuclear program, reportedly, owes its success to Saudi funding.)

More worrying for the near term, however, is the existing arms race. While Indian and Pakistani arsenals are paltry compared to the word’s nuclear powerhouses (Russia and the United States have thousands of strategic warheads deployed), the threat they pose to global security is more dire, considering the geopolitical challenges of the region. The potential for nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan has hovered over the world since 1998, when Pakistan first entered the nuclear club. The two rivals have fought three conventional wars since 1947 and have come dangerously close to a fourth.

Over the past 15 years, the environment has shifted dramatically. Pakistan’s struggle with Islamist extremism and its consequences for India, including a devastating 2008 shooting rampage in Mumbai, are redefining the military landscape. India has moved away from its defensive posture and embraced a more “proactive strategy,” says Walter Ladwig, assistant professor in the department of war studies at King’s College London. “Their new military doctrine, originally called Cold Start, has been evolving since 2003,” he says. “It remains the foundation of India’s military procurement, including modernizing its conventional capabilities to allow for a more mobile and offensive response against Pakistan in the event of another attack inside India.”

Pakistan, concerned by the fact that it cannot compete in conventional military terms against a much richer India, has responded by developing its nuclear capability to include tactical warheads, giving it the ability to strike back with precision nuclear weapons targeting advancing Indian troops, without resorting to all-out nuclear war. “India’s strategy has created a lot of consternation in Pakistan,” says Ladwig, who has written extensively on the evolution of India’s military. “The U.S. has put pressure on India to back away from the Cold Start strategy.”

While Indian authorities have disavowed the Cold Start name, the strategy itself remains intact, Ladwig adds, but will take many years to reach operational levels. The Indian army, he says, is still too outdated to achieve the desired goals of a Cold Start offensive at the moment, but, 10 or 15 years down the road, things could change dramatically.

If that happens, which appears likely, considering India’s current rate of weapons procurement, it would push the nuclear Armageddon clock forward significantly, warn experts such as Ladwig and the authors of the Council on Foreign Relations report. The chain of events that could lead to a nuclear confrontation are relatively straightforward: In the event of a large-scale terrorist attack in India blamed on Pakistan-based militants, Indian authorities would demand action (as they did following the Mumbai attack). Pakistan would almost certainly deny involvement. Under Cold Start, India would (unlike after Mumbai) launch a military strike inside Pakistan. The goal would be to disorient the Pakistanis and, before they could recover, control a buffer zone inside Pakistan 10 to 15 km wide—providing it a strong position for any negotiations.

But, as Ladwig points out, “an operational Cold Start capability could lead Pakistan to lower its nuclear red line, put its nuclear weapons on a higher state of readiness, develop tactical nuclear weapons or undertake some equally destabilizing course of action.” For Pakistani generals, Cold Start might not look like a limited operation, but rather a prelude to a wider invasion or a tactic to subjugate Pakistan to India’s will. Neither side would want to use its nuclear weapons, but the trigger could be as simple as an overzealous Pakistani artillery commander armed with a tactical nuke, or a miscommunication on the Indian side.

For the time being, the potential for that scenario to play out remains low, says retired colonel Baseer Malik, a military analyst in Islamabad. “India knows it outmatches Pakistan in conventional terms,” he says. “But, in terms of nuclear, it is a different story. India would not be so short-sighted as to provoke Pakistan in this way. They know how quickly things could escalate.”

The threat of escalation now has as much to do with advances in conventional weapons as it does with nuclear imbalances. “Strategic stability is no longer just a product of the interaction between comparable nuclear forces,” the Council on Foreign Relations report says, “but, increasingly, between nuclear forces and non-nuclear technologies, such as missile defences, anti-satellite weapons, conventional precision-strike weapons, and cyberweapons.”

Thankfully, the worst-case scenario for India and Pakistan is not likely to play out any time soon. India’s modernization of its conventional arsenal is still in its infancy, says Ladwig. But as long as it aggressively pursues advanced weaponry, Pakistan will feel threatened and respond with the expansion of its nuclear option. With no end in sight to the animosity between the two countries, the end result can only be bad.