Danger of rogue elements starting the First Nuclear War: Revelation 8

Danger of Pakistan nuclear assets landing with rogue elements

New Delhi, Oct 3: Highlighting the multiple dangers of Pakistani nuclear power, the international community should watch Islamabads nuclear program cautiously at least till such time some form of stability returns to Afghanistan in order to prevent the countrys nuclear assets from landing in the hands of rogue elements, French journalist Roland Jacquard writes in the in Global Watch Analaysis.Pakistan’s association with its nuclear programme and adherence to nuclear safety norms has always been marred by lack of clarity and shrouded in mystery, including the very acquisition of nuclear know how, Jacquard said.
From the very inception of the process of creating a nuclear weapon, Pakistan was aware that it was not in a position to put together a weapon system on its own. Moreover, Pakistan’s aspiration for acquiring a nuclear weapon saw an element of urgency as it needed to keep pace with India, which was confidently surging ahead with its own self sufficient nuclear program. This desperation compelled Pakistan to resort to unethical means to acquire sub systems for their nuclear program from different sources. Jacquard said.

With the Taliban coming to power setting up the ‘Islamic Emirate’ and trying to evolve as a viable nation, the overall political dynamics in the Pakistan – Afghanistan theatre is bound to remain fluid for some time to come. Given the several challenges Pakistan faces in sustaining itself as a stable and responsible member of the global community inspite of a weak political establishment in place, the international community should closely focus on ensuring the safety and security of vital assets including the nuclear assets in Pakistan, he writes. 

With the Taliban coming to power, there has been an enthusiastic narrative among the conservative members of the Pakistani society including government establishment who are excited and motivated by this development. In the event of any deteriorating political situation, the threat of hard core radical elements taking over the government or the vital national assets cannot anymore be considered remote. The role of IAEA and the larger global community would be crucial in this regard, Jacquard writes. 

Most significantly, in the past, Taliban-linked groups have successfully attacked government and military targets in the country. In 2012, armed Islamist militants used rocket propelled grenades to attack the sensitive Minhas (Kamra) Air Force base which hosts the Pakistan air Force’s Research and Development facilities. Significantly, the then Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan stated that the Taliban was proud of the operation as their leadership had decided to attack the Kamra air base a long time ago. The base was also targeted earlier in 2007 and 2009 by suicide bombers.

In the past, Al Qaeda leaders had called for attacks on Pakistani nuclear facilities as well. Likewise, in September 2014, an attack was carried out by AQIS on Pakistani nuclear ship Zulfikar, docked at Karachi Naval Dockyard which had also drawn concern from the international community on the capability of such cadres to target vital facilities in Pakistan. Authorities in Pakistan had even alleged that the ship had been taken over by the AQIS operatives, Jacquard writes.

The years of recruitment of conservative minded individuals in the Pakistani armed forces has also ensured the presence of large number of service personnel who could get easily influenced by radical groups and leaders to pursue their agenda. Several members of ISI and Pakistani Army and Navy are also incorporated within the cadres of AQIS and affiliated organisations for coordination and facilitation. A classic case was that of Adil Abdul Qudoos, a senior AQIS leader, who was a Major in the Pakistani Army’s Signals Corps. It is from his home in Rawalpindi from where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (9/11 mastermind) was arrested in 2003. There have been other such cases in the past of defence personnel being linked to these organisations. 

It has also been noticed that the Taliban inevitably maintains links with the Al Qaeda and its affiliates such as AQIS, LeT, Al Badr, IMU etc., which continue to operate in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban. The AQIS has operated very closely with the Taliban and were involved in fighting foreign forces alongside the Taliban. Such association from the battlefield cannot be written off overnight and the Taliban will continue to maintain these links while denying such connections.

Rules of the Game Impossible in the Era of Nuclear Weapons: Revelation 8

Are Rules of the Game Possible in the Era of Nuclear Weapons?

ByTimofey BordachevOctober 4, 2021

Despite the fact that power competition has historically been the most familiar way of interaction between states, for several centuries there has been a search for a more disciplined order. Moreover, such a task became urgent after the emergence of the “nuclear world order”, the central systemic feature of which is the insurmountable military superiority of a narrow group of states over the rest. It is insurance against the outbreak of destructive wars, but at the same time it guarantees that the conflict between the nuclear powers will be the last in the history of mankind. This makes it necessary to search and establish relatively stable rules, at least at the highest level, regulating the inevitable competition. The question is, to what extent are such rules really necessary for the survival of those who can create them?

The official Russian doctrine is based on an unquestionably positive answer to this question and regards the UN Charter as a set of general “laws” for the world of sovereign states. China and most countries in the world follow the same approach. The United States and its allies in the West believe that the UN is, of course, the main international institution, but in addition to formal equality of rights in world politics, there is a system that gives primacy to the strong. This approach promotes a “rules-based international order” and has often received legitimate criticism from Russia. However, if we take a close look at the modern world order, we see that at the centre are laws that are far more powerful than any formal or informal rules that are under discussion.

The inglorious end of the US military intervention in Afghanistan (and in the Middle East) made it possible to speculate that the end of the domination of the Western powers in world affairs has finally come. The only problem standing in the way of a more just international order is America’s inability to recognise the new balance of power in world politics and economics. That is why most modern foreign assessments of American foreign policy are based on the basic hypothesis that this power has lost touch with reality.

We must admit that such an assumption is based on a significant amount of empirical experience that it is difficult to argue with. Moreover, it makes no practical sense to enumerate evidence that the most powerful military and economic power in the world, represented by its elite, is unable to recognise the irreversible nature of changes in the balance of power among the leading states.

There is little doubt that such a failure is objective, since it is impossible to detect even small signs that the foreign policy strategy and culture of that country may change, especially if we take into account that none of the military adventures of the West after the end of the Cold War were connected with its vital interests. Unlike European states after World War II, the United States has not yet suffered a defeat that could have a significant impact on the assessment of its place in the world. And it is unlikely to face this, if we take into account the nuclear weapons factor.

From our partner RIAC

Danger of Starting the First Nuclear War: Revelation 8

Source: IANS

Danger of Pakistan nuclear assets landing with rogue elements

Source: IANSNew Delhi:

Pakistan’s association with its nuclear programme and adherence to nuclear safety norms has always been marred by lack of clarity and shrouded in mystery, including the very acquisition of nuclear know how, Jacquard said. 

From the very inception of the process of creating a nuclear weapon, Pakistan was aware that it was not in a position to put together a weapon system on its own. Moreover, Pakistan’s aspiration for acquiring a nuclear weapon saw an element of urgency as it needed to keep pace with India, which was confidently surging ahead with its own self sufficient nuclear program. This desperation compelled Pakistan to resort to unethical means to acquire sub systems for their nuclear program from different sources. Jacquard said. 

With the Taliban coming to power setting up the ‘Islamic Emirate’ and trying to evolve as a viable nation, the overall political dynamics in the Pakistan – Afghanistan theatre is bound to remain fluid for some time to come. Given the several challenges Pakistan faces in sustaining itself as a stable and responsible member of the global community inspite of a weak political establishment in place, the international community should closely focus on ensuring the safety and security of vital assets including the nuclear assets in Pakistan, he writes. 

With the Taliban coming to power, there has been an enthusiastic narrative among the conservative members of the Pakistani society including government establishment who are excited and motivated by this development. In the event of any deteriorating political situation, the threat of hard core radical elements taking over the government or the vital national assets cannot anymore be considered remote. The role of IAEA and the larger global community would be crucial in this regard, Jacquard writes. 

Most significantly, in the past, Taliban-linked groups have successfully attacked government and military targets in the country. In 2012, armed Islamist militants used rocket propelled grenades to attack the sensitive Minhas (Kamra) Air Force base which hosts the Pakistan air Force’s Research and Development facilities. Significantly, the then Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan stated that the Taliban was proud of the operation as their leadership had decided to attack the Kamra air base a long time ago. The base was also targeted earlier in 2007 and 2009 by suicide bombers. 

In the past, Al Qaeda leaders had called for attacks on Pakistani nuclear facilities as well. Likewise, in September 2014, an attack was carried out by AQIS on Pakistani nuclear ship Zulfikar, docked at Karachi Naval Dockyard which had also drawn concern from the international community on the capability of such cadres to target vital facilities in Pakistan. Authorities in Pakistan had even alleged that the ship had been taken over by the AQIS operatives, Jacquard writes. 

The years of recruitment of conservative minded individuals in the Pakistani armed forces has also ensured the presence of large number of service personnel who could get easily influenced by radical groups and leaders to pursue their agenda. Several members of ISI and Pakistani Army and Navy are also incorporated within the cadres of AQIS and affiliated organisations for coordination and facilitation. A classic case was that of Adil Abdul Qudoos, a senior AQIS leader, who was a Major in the Pakistani Army’s Signals Corps. It is from his home in Rawalpindi from where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (9/11 mastermind) was arrested in 2003. There have been other such cases in the past of defence personnel being linked to these organisations. 

It has also been noticed that the Taliban inevitably maintains links with the Al Qaeda and its affiliates such as AQIS, LeT, Al Badr, IMU etc., which continue to operate in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban. The AQIS has operated very closely with the Taliban and were involved in fighting foreign forces alongside the Taliban. Such association from the battlefield cannot be written off overnight and the Taliban will continue to maintain these links while denying such connections.

The US must be set to break up with Pakistan: Daniel

File image: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. US President Joe Biden has chosen to snub Prime Minister Khan by choosing not to arrange a phone conversation, in normal circumstances a small diplomatic courtesy.

Is the US set to break up with Pakistan?

The United States is already working to bypass Pakistan’s geographical advantage in the region, and it isn’t as invested in maintaining the geopolitical order in the Middle East any more.

File image: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan. US President Joe Biden has chosen to snub Prime Minister Khan by choosing not to arrange a phone conversation, in normal circumstances a small diplomatic courtesy.

Thousands had gathered, one November morning in 1974, outside the United States Embassy in Islamabad, vowing vengeance against America. A day earlier, the millenarian Islamist leader Juhayman al-Otaybi had seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, seeking to replace the Saudi monarchy with a theocracy. Islamist student leaders at Islamabad’s Quaid-e-Azam university spread rumours that America was behind the outrage. Jama’at-e-Islami cadre, bussed in under the benign gaze of the police, torched the diplomatic mission.

Embassy personnel desperately tried to call Pakistan’s military leader, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, for help. The calls weren’t taken, recalled Barrington King, a diplomat present in the embassy that day: General Zia’s staff claimed their boss “had taken to riding bicycles, and he was having a bicycle ride, and he was greeting his constituents”.

“I think the non-arrival of the Army for the next five hours is very suspicious,” King noted. “The response was unsatisfactory, to say the least. Some people explain that they wanted to teach us a lesson about a few thing.”

For months now, the United States seems to have set about returning the favour—with interest. US President Joe Biden has chosen to snub Prime Minister Imran Khan by choosing not to arrange a phone conversation, in normal circumstances a small diplomatic courtesy. Even though Pakistan has complained bitterly of the slight—with National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf using language more commonamong spurned teenagers than diplomats—the White House hasn’t relented.

Last week, after Republican senators moved a bill seeking a probe into Islamabad’s role in the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, rumours that the United States might impose sanctions on Pakistan led stocks to plunge and its rupee to crash to a record low.

The message seems to be simple: the United States is no longer willing to tolerate Islamabad’s cultivation of proxies who engage in terrorism. Although Pakistan says it has “other options”—a threat to deepen its ties with China—the United States is calling its bluff.

Is the United States to finally walk out of its decades-old, toxic relationship relationship with Pakistan? The answer isn’t a simple one—and what happened in 1979 understands the complex calculations at work.

From 1953 to 1961, Pakistan had received billions of dollars in aid because of its participation in the anti-Communist treaty system; in turn, it allowed United States spy planes to operate against the Soviet Union from Peshawar, and brokered talks with China. General Zia’s military coup in 1977, and a steady flow of intelligence on Pakistan’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, began to sour that relationship, though—and in the summer of 1979, US President Jimmy Carter cut off aid.

The embassy attack of 1979 was, possibly, an unsubtle message from the General about what a breakdown of the relationship could mean, in a region plunged into crisis because of the Islamic revolution in Iran.

In December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan—settling the debate in Washington on how best to handle Pakistan. The invasion proved a gift from General Zia, just as 9/11 would be for another military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf: in return for Islamabad becoming the main conduit for aid to jihadists fighting the Soviet Union, US President Ronald Reagan’s administration agreed to a five-year, $3.2 billion economic and military aid package.

The defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, though, saw the United States turn away from its ally, and onset of a long chill in the Islamabad-Washington relationship. The issue of nuclear weapons again acquired centre-stage, with the United States slashing both military and economic aid, and refusing to deliver 71 F-16 fighters ordered by Pakistan.

It wasn’t until 1998 that Washington refunded $324.6 million Islamabad had paid for the F16s, and resumed some limited economic aid—part of a wider effort to re-engage with the region, notably by seeking to establish a relationship with the new Taliban emirate in Afghanistan.

The tilt towards New Delhi, though, was accelerated by the Kargil war in 1999, and General Musharraf’s military coup later that year. India’s growing economy appeared, to many in Washington, to make it a much more attractive and reliable partner than a crisis-mired Islamabad.

Like in 1979, 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan led to a surge in aid for Pakistan—followed by disillusionment, as General Musharraf and his successors failed to act against the Taliban. The United States’ strained relationship with both Iran and Russia left it completely dependent on Pakistan for the logistical routes needed to sustain its war effort in Afghanistan. Even though the United States knew the jihadists attacking its forces in Afghanistan had the patronage of Islamabad, there seemed to be no option other than to make the most possible from this bad situation.

For the Generals, the decision not to act against their jihadist proxies was a pragmatic one. General Musharraf’s limited actions against some jihadist groups after 9/11 led to a fracture with the Pakistan Army’s clients, leading many to turn against the State. This led Pakistan into a savage confrontation with terrorist groups, and a breakdown of a long relationship with political Islamists who had legitimised the Army’s control of politics.

The strains in the relationship, though, finally reached the point of no-return after al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed in a raid inside Pakistan in May 2011—followed, in quick order, with a United States attack on Pakistani military positions along the Afghanistan border, which killed 26 of its soldiers. Even though both sides attempted to heal the fracture, there was little success; aid, data from the United States Congressional Research Service show, steadily declined thereafter.

The Generals, in essence, gambled thus: in spite of their continued sponsorship of jihadist groups, the United States would have no choice but to do business with Islamabad, in pursuance of its wider interests.

For three reasons, that gamble now seems ill-judged. First, Pakistan doesn’t really have the option of risking its relationship with the West. Even though significant investments have come from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the costs have been high, and returns lower than expected; Islamabad has been compelled to seek debt rescheduling from Beijing. Islamabad remains dependent, moreover, on finance from Western-led institutions like the International Monetary Fund, and access to the markets of the United States and Europe.

Secondly, the United States is working to bypass Pakistan’s geographical advantage. Talks are already underway with Russia for joint use of military bases in Central Asia towards counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan. It’s not inconceivable, either, that ongoing negotiations with Iran on its missile and nuclear-weapons programmes could end in entente.

Third, the United States has much less interest in maintaining the geopolitical order in the Middle-East, than it once had when it was dependent on the region’s hydrocarbons. Today, the United States produces almost all of its own natural gas, and can replace imported oil with domestic production, if needed.

Little clarity exists on what has provoked President Biden’s extraordinary coolness to Prime Minister Khan, but one plausible explanation is that the message is in fact directed at the country’s all-powerful Generals. In the long build-up to the collapse of Afghanistan’s government, Islamabad promised to use its influence with the Taliban to build an inclusive political order, and ensure terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and the Haqqani Network were shut down.

Irrespective of whether Islamabad wouldn’t, or couldn’t, keep its promises,  it is now facing the consequence.

How far will the United States be willing to go? In 2011, US President Barack Obama famously told the movie star George Clooney that Pakistan was the one country that kept him awake at night. The prospect of Islamabad exporting its nuclear weapons technology to rogue regimes, or the state itself being captured by jihadists, he appeared to suggest, were nightmares that world leaders had to confront. Those strategic threats remain.President Biden, for now, appears to be willing to bet that pressure will compel Islamabad to alter its behaviour—an argument New Delhi has long made. Islamabad, though, will hoping another geopolitical crisis might change America’s calculations, as it did so often in the past.

Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile will be the world’s Achilles heel

Will Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile be the region’s Achilles heel?

Oct 1, 2021 – 12:21 am EDT@theindpanorama0

“Some non-nuclear States have historically opposed the resolution in response to India testing nuclear weapons and becoming a nuclear-armed State in 1998. India can and needs to do more to get countries to reconsider their opposition, especially in light of Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan that has already led to rise in India-Pakistan tensions.

“While there are enough pundits predicting that Taliban and Pakistan will make for the most volatile bedfellows, there is no denying that the region’s power dynamics have been dramatically and drastically altered. A change that has taken everyone by surprise only goes to show that nothing can be ruled out. So, speaking of Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile falling in the hands of Taliban is not as far-fetched as one would imagine.”

 By Priyanka Khanna

The predictable India-Pakistan rhetoric during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York and accusations flying right and left at the ongoing 48th session of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva are shadowing the simmering worry as to what will happen to Pakistan’s growing nuclear arsenal.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly raised doubts about Pakistan’s intentions
(Photograph / Jay Mandal- on assignment)

The 140-150 nuclear warheads that are currently stockpiled in Pakistan’s central storage facilities in its southern parts remain outside both the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

With the Afghanistan takeover by Taliban and given their bon homie with Pakistan, especially its intelligence, it is singularly worrying that Pakistan is the sole country that is blocking negotiations of the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT).

While there are enough pundits predicting that Taliban and Pakistan will make for the most volatile bedfellows, there is no denying that the region’s power dynamics have been dramatically and drastically altered. A change that has taken everyone by surprise only goes to show that nothing can be ruled out. So, speaking of Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile falling in the hands of Taliban is not as far-fetched as one would imagine.

The UN is not doing enough to push Pakistan to undertake disarmament. (Photograph / Jay Mandal- on assignment)

Which brings us to the question of why the UN is not doing enough to push Pakistan to undertake disarmament. In fact, according to the advocacy group – Unfold Zero – the UNGA was not even able to come together on nuclear disarmament resolutions. In the last nuclear disarmament UN meeting, nuclear risk-reduction was perhaps the only measure countries could come together for.

A resolution reducing nuclear danger submitted by India received 127 votes in favor (mostly non-aligned countries). It failed to get support of nuclear-armed or European countries, primarily because it only calls for nuclear risk reduction measures by ChinaFranceRussia, UK and USA – leaving out the other nuclear armed States – India, Pakistan, DPRK and Israel, according to unfoldzero.org.

A resolution on decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems submitted by a group of non-nuclear countries, was much more successful receiving 173 votes in favor, including from most of the NATO countries and from four nuclear armed States (China, DPRK, India, Pakistan).

A resolution on the Treaty on the Prohibition nuclear weapons (TPNW) was supported by 122 countries. This is more than the number who have signed the Treaty, which is 68 (with 19 of these countries having now ratified). The vote indicates that more signatures are likely. However, the resolution was not supported by any of the nuclear-armed countries, nor any of the countries under nuclear deterrence relationships, i.e., NATO, AustraliaJapanSouth Korea. The opposition of nuclear-armed and allied States to the resolution is another indication that they do not intend to join the new treaty. In general, this means that they will not be bound by the treaty’s obligations. However, the customary law against the use of nuclear weapons which is re-affirmed by the treaty will apply to all States regardless of whether or not they join.

India’s External Affairs Minister has voiced India’s concern about Pakistan’s stockpile of nuclear weapons to the world, including the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres. (Photograph / Jay Mandal- on assignment)

A resolution on the prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons submitted by India received 120 votes in favor, including from themselves and another three nuclear-armed States (China, DPRK and Pakistan). Some non-nuclear States have historically opposed the resolution in response to India testing nuclear weapons and becoming a nuclear-armed State in 1998. India can and needs to do more to get countries to reconsider their opposition, especially in light ofTaliban’s takeover of Afghanistan that has already led to rise in India-Pakistan tensions.

This nightmare WWIII scenario will soon become reality: Revelation 8

‘2034’: This nightmare WWIII scenario could soon become reality

Sep. 30, 2021

This is a highly appropriate time to read “2034: A Novel of the Next World War,” a thriller published in March that describes a chain of events leading to a third world war. 

Its coauthors are seasoned veterans of the U.S. military. One is James Stavridis, 66, a retired Navy admiral who served in a variety of command positions. In 2009 he was named supreme commander of NATO and the top U.S. commander in Europe, positions he held until his retirement in 2013. The second, Elliot Ackerman, is 25 years his junior. A journalist and author, he served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry and special operation officer, including a brief stint with the Ground Branch of the CIA’s Special Activities Division. Ackerman served multiple tours of duty with elite covert CIA units in the Middle East and southwest Asia, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Despite a New Atomic Chief, a Nuclear Taliban Will Happen: Revelation 8

With Naming of New Atomic Chief, Is a Nuclear Taliban Possible?

By Tom O’Connor On 9/29/21 at 4:16 PM EDT

The new Taliban-led administration in Afghanistan has inherited an entire nation to run, and with it a wide range of responsibilities, one of them being a fledgling peaceful nuclear agency established a decade ago under the previous government.

With the naming of a new atomic chief, the Taliban appears poised to press forward in this field. That has raised questions as to whether the Islamic Emirate could seek to militarize nuclear energy to develop a weapon of mass destruction, though experts remain deeply skeptical of such an endeavor at this juncture.

Officially, no policy to this end appears to have been adopted, nor has the Taliban yet ruled out such an outcome.

“There has been no decision so far on the development of nuclear weapons,” one Taliban official told Newsweek on the condition of anonymity.

But a number of observers took notice last week when a list of official postings for the Taliban’s interim government decreed by Taliban Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada and shared by the group’s spokespersons identified “Engineer Najeebullah” as “Head of Atomic Energy.”

Out of the 17 names on this list and dozens of others announced since the formation of the acting Taliban government earlier this month, Najeebullah has the distinction of only being mentioned by surname, casting intrigue on his identity and why the new administration sought to obscure it.

Reached for comment, the International Atomic Energy Agency said it was following the situation.

“We are aware of the media reports you are referring to,” IAEA head of media and spokesperson Fredrik Dahl told Newsweek.

But as a matter of protocol, he declined to weigh in on how this might affect the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s relationship with Afghanistan.

“In line with standard practice related to Member State decisions and appointments,” he added, “we have no comment.”

Taliban, Islamic, Emirate, soldiers
Fighters of the Taliban’s newly established Islamic Emirate pose in this image posted September 8 by the group’s Al Hurat media outlet. Al Hurat

Afghanistan was among the founding members of the IAEA in 1957, and cooperated with the international organization for more than two decades. That relationship was interrupted in the late 1970s by civil unrest and an intervention by the Soviet Union against mujahideen rebels backed by the United States and Pakistan. The conflict stretched throughout most of the following decade, ultimately ending with a Soviet withdrawal and an eventual Taliban takeover in the 1990s.

IAEA cooperation would not restart until after the first iteration of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate was dismantled by a 2001 U.S.-led invasion that followed the 9/11 attacks conducted by Al-Qaeda, a Taliban ally at the time. In 2011, the Afghanistan Atomic Energy High Commission was established to explore nuclear technology for civil society.

As the Taliban began to resurge nationwide, however, the Afghanistan Nuclear Energy Agency began to voice concerns that instability could endanger its work.

In an address to the IAEA given in February of last year, then-Afghan ambassador to Austria Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel warned that “the current security situation in Afghanistan is such that some areas of the country are controlled by insurgent groups and national and international terrorist groups are active across the country,” and “as a result, we have a serious concern about the illegal transportation of nuclear materials through Afghanistan by these groups.

“In light of this, we believe that such illegal activities will make the current situation more complex and may put the lives of thousands of people in danger,” he said at the time. “Thus we sincerely request IAEA members to pay careful attention to this matter.”

Unrest in Afghanistan only worsened, however, and two weeks later, the Trump administration reached a deal with the Taliban that paved the way for a U.S. militarywithdrawal from the country. The Biden administration completed the exit last month.

But the leadup to the pull-out was accompanied by rapid Taliban gains nationwide, and by the time the last U.S. military plane left Afghanistan, the group had established full control of Kabul with little resistance. For the second time in a quarter of a century, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was officially declared.

Though the new Taliban-led government remains unrecognized by any nation, it has pledged cooperation with the international community. This includes pledges to curb the spread of transnational militant groups, combat climate change and foster trade.

But in addition to worries about how the developments in Afghanistan could affect human rights issues, especially as they relate to vulnerable groups such as women and non-Pashtun minorities, some officials and commentators have raised the alarm over how any turmoil might undermine the security of neighboring Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

In a testimony that contradicted White House claims that the Pentagon backed a timely U.S. withdrawal by the August 31 deadline that had been set, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair General Mark Milley told lawmakers Tuesday he and his team “estimated an accelerated withdrawal would increase risks of regional instability, the security of Pakistan and its nuclear arsenals, a global rise in violent extremist organizations, our global credibility with allies and partners would suffer, and a narrative of abandoning the Afghans would become widespread.”

Adding to these concerns, Pakistan has a history of extraterritorial nuclear proliferation. Nuclear physicist A.Q. Khan, commonly referred to as “the godfather” of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, has long been at the center of international accusations that he provided classified information, including centrifuge designs, to Libya, Iran and North Korea.

Libya shuttered its nascent nuclear program as part of a deal reached in 2003 with the United States, which earlier that year had invaded Iraq over what proved to be false allegations of weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. would also go on to intervene in Libya and help overthrow its government in 2011.

Iran maintains a robust nuclear program, despite international accusations and assassinations of its scientists. Tehran has consistently denied any military aspirations for its program and has blamed the assassinations on Israel, which is also widely believed to have nuclear weapons.

North Korea possesses a full-fledged nuclear weapons program, complete with far-reaching missiles it credits with staving off foreign interference.

Pakistan, for its part, set out to attain nuclear weapons in response to rival India’s first test in 1974. That test came a decade after China, also locked in a violent territorial dispute with India, conducted its first nuclear weapons test.

The Taliban finds itself in the midst of these geographic and geopolitical feuds, which persist to the present day, as it seeks to govern Afghanistan once again.

Afghanistan, Nuclear, Energy, Agency
The logo for the Afghanistan Nuclear Energy Agency is seen as present on the agency’s website and social media channels, which have gone inactive since the Taliban took Kabul in mid-August. Among the stated goals of the agency included innovations in the fields of security, economic growth, nutrition, medicine, water management, the regulation of radioactive activities, mining and nuclear electricity. Afghanistan Nuclear Energy Agency

And while Pakistan has maintained close ties to the Taliban throughout its rise, fall and resurgence, there remain concerns even in Islamabad that certain separatist and fundamentalist groups could take advantage of the situation to threaten the region.

Former Trump national security adviser and veteran Washington war hawk John Boltonhas amplified this anxiety to the point of suggesting that the Taliban’s return to ruling Afghanistan creates an imminent threat to Pakistan and the security of its nuclear weapons.

“The Taliban in control of Afghanistan threatens the possibility of terrorists taking control in Pakistan too, and there are already a lot of radicals in the Pakistani military,” Bolton told the WABC 770 radio show on Sunday. “But if the whole country gets taken over by terrorists, that means maybe 150 nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists, which is a real threat to us and our friends.”

Pakistani permanent representative to the United Nations Munir Akram responded to this take by Bolton, whom the senior diplomat argued had sought to disarm Islamabad’s nuclear stockpile to no avail.

“Well, I believe that Mr. Bolton tried very hard to get his hands on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and he failed miserably,” Akram told Newsweek. “If Mr. Bolton couldn’t get his hands on our weapons. I do not believe that somebody like the Taliban are capable of doing so.”

Daryl Kimball, who has served for two decades as the executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Arms Control Association nonprofit membership group, shared skepticism toward the notion that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal faced any heightened threat in the wake of the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan.

“I just don’t think that there’s an added risk today versus a year ago vis-à-vis Pakistan, even though John Bolton is out there making some wacko claims,” Kimball told Newsweek. “Is Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure more vulnerable today than it was a year ago? I don’t think that anybody can say it is.”

He argued that when it comes to the Taliban itself, acquiring or developing nuclear weapons was far from being in their interest, both as a result of technological shortcomings and their proven strategy of beating superpowers through conventional methods.

“I think the motives for the Taliban…to acquire nuclear weapons is extremely low or it should be, because their strategy of guerrilla resistance for the last two decades against the United States and the U.S.-supported government in Kabul has ultimately succeeded,” Kimball said. “So their lesson from their history is that they can resist and they can do that without resorting to the most destructive of all weapons, nuclear weapons, which are outside of their reach.”

But he did raise the prospect of another threat that has existed for some time: a more rudimentary “dirty bomb” in the hands of militants less invested in Afghanistan’s stability and more focused on wreaking havoc in the region. He recalled how evidence emerged in past years that Al-Qaeda had explored plans to obtain such a device.

Kimball said that even in the limited amount nuclear materials used for medicinal purposes in hospitals, “you’ve got radioactive sources that could be stolen or could be sold and used as a dirty bomb.” He explained that this kind of product may yield enough material to create “an IED,” or improvised explosive device, “with radioactive material,” a weapon that could inflict serious damage, but far from the scores of casualties associated with nuclear warheads.

Pakistan, nuclear, missile, parade, National, Day
Pakistani military helicopters fly past a vehicle carrying a long-range ballistic Shaheen III missile as they take part in a military parade to mark Pakistan’s National Day in Islamabad on March 25. Pakistan is one of the world’s nine suspected nuclear powers, alongside Russia, the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom, Israel and North Korea. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images

Such a scenario, however, would almost certainly prove as devastating for the Taliban as it would the intended target. The new Afghan administration already finds itself in conflict with the Islamic State militant group’s national Khorasan affiliate (ISIS-K), and has attempted to portray the Islamic Emirate as the answer to Afghanistan’s decades-long security issues.

Toby Dalton, co-director and a senior fellow of the Carnegie Endowment’s Nuclear Policy Program, found a more compelling argument for the Taliban to continue the previous administration’s relationship with the IAEA, and saw the appointment of an atomic chief as likely evidence of this.

“Presumably the new Taliban government in Afghanistan would wish to continue cooperation with the IAEA for the good of the Afghan people, so the appointment of a new minister to oversee these issues makes sense,” Dalton, who formerly served as acting director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Safeguards and Security and senior policy adviser to the Office of Nonproliferation and International Security, told Newsweek. “Most countries have ministries for such applications, so Afghanistan is not unusual in this respect.”

And, like Kimball, he emphasized how far away Afghanistan was from establishing even the most basic foundation for a nuclear weapons program. Such an effort would require “substantial outside assistance, whatever the political or military rationale it might have for seeking such weapons.”

He also said the group’s hesitation on taking a nuclear weapons stance might be strategic. By seeking to ensure continued cooperation with the IAEA, they could open yet another door to the international community.

“I’m not especially concerned that the government has not reiterated its commitment as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to not seek nuclear weapons,” Dalton said. “If the Taliban government formally renounced its commitment to abjure nuclear weapons, that would be pretty noteworthy and unusual – only North Korea has done that before. It would also, practically, end Afghanistan’s ability to cooperate with the IAEA on peaceful uses of nuclear technology.”

The agonizing problem of Pakistan’s nukes: Revelation 8

Marvin KalbTuesday, September 28, 2021

“This is a new world,” President Joe Biden declared, when justifying his pullout from Afghanistan and explaining his administration’s war on global terrorism in an August 31 speech. It will go “well beyond Afghanistan,” he alerted the world, focusing on “the threats of 2021 and tomorrow.”

The president will not have to look too far. Bordering Afghanistan, now again under Taliban rule, is Pakistan, one of America’s oddest “allies.” Governed by a shaky coalition of ineffective politicians and trained military leaders trying desperately to contain the challenge of domestic terrorism, Pakistan may be the best definition yet of a highly combustible threat that, if left unchecked, might lead to the nightmare of nightmares: jihadis taking control of a nuclear weapons arsenal of something in the neighborhood of 200 warheads.

Ever since May 1998, when Pakistan first began testing nuclear weapons, claiming its national security demanded it, American presidents have been haunted by the fear that Pakistan’s stockpile of nukes would fall into the wrong hands. That fear now includes the possibility that jihadis in Pakistan, freshly inspired by the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, might try to seize power at home.

Trying, of course, is not the same as succeeding. If history is a reliable guide, Pakistan’s professional military would almost certainly respond, and in time probably succeed; but only after the floodgates of a new round of domestic warfare between the government and extremist gangs has been opened, leaving Pakistan again shaken by political and economic uncertainty. And when Pakistan is shaken, so too is India, its less than neighborly rival and nuclear competitor.

Pakistani jihadis come in many different shapes and sizes, but no matter: The possibility of a nuclear-armed terrorist regime in Pakistan has now grown from a fear into a strategic challenge that no American president can afford to ignore.

Former President Barack Obama translated this challenge into carefully chosen words: “The single biggest threat to U.S. security, both short term, medium term and long term,” he asserted, “would be the possibility of a terrorist organization obtaining a nuclear weapon.” (Author’s italics).

The nation that has both nuclear weapons and a dangerous mix of terrorists was — and remains — Pakistan.

No problem, really, Pakistan’s political and military leaders have quickly assured a succession of anxious presidents. Whether it be Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Tehreek-e-Labaik, al-Qaida, or the Afghan Taliban’s Quetta Shura — these terrorist organizations have always been under our constant surveillance, checked and rechecked. We keep a close eye on everything, even the Islamic madrassas, where more than 2 million students are more likely studying sharia law than economics or history. We know who these terrorists are and what they’re doing, and we’re ready to take immediate action.

These official assurances have fallen largely on deaf ears at the White House, principally because one president after another has learned from American intelligence that these same Pakistani leaders have often been working surreptitiously with the terrorists to achieve common goals. One such goal was the recent defeat of the Kabul regime, which had been supported by the U.S. for 20 years. During this time, the victorious Taliban secretly received political and military support from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. Shortly after 9/11, for example, the terrorist mastermind, Osama bin Laden, escaped U.S. capture, in part because sympathetic of ISI colleagues. Bin Laden fled to the one place where his security could be assured — Pakistan. In 2011, when the U.S. finally caught up with bin Laden and killed him, Obama chose not to inform Pakistani leaders of the super-secret operation, even though the target was down the street from a Pakistani military academy, fearful that once again bin Laden would be tipped off and escape.

The U.S. has learned over the years not to trust Pakistan, realizing that a lie here and there might be part of the diplomatic game but that this level of continuing deception was beyond acceptable bounds. That Pakistan was also known to have helped North Korea and Iran develop their nuclear programs has only deepened the distrust.

Indeed, since the shock of 9/11, Pakistan has come to represent such an exasperating problem that the U.S. has reportedly developed a secret plan to arbitrarily seize control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal if a terrorist group in Pakistan seemed on the edge of capturing some or all of its nuclear warheads. When repeatedly questioned about the plan, U.S. officials have strung together an artful, if unpersuasive, collection of “no comments.”

Even though U.S. economic and military aid has continued to flow into Pakistan — reaching $4.5 billion in fiscal 2010, though on other occasions capriciously cut — America’s concerns about Pakistan’s stability and reliability have only worsened. Since the debacle in Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s barely disguised role in it, serious questions have been raised about America’s embarrassing predisposition to look the other way whenever Pakistan has been caught with its hand in a terrorist’s cookie jar. How long can America look the other way?

The anguishing problem for the Biden administration is now coming into sharper focus: Even if the president decided to challenge Pakistan’s dangerous flirtation with domestic and regional terrorism, what specific policies could he adopt that would satisfy America’s obvious desire to disengage from Afghan-like civil wars without at the same time getting itself involved in another nation’s domestic struggles with terrorists?  Disengagement has become the name of the game in Washington.

One approach, already widely discussed, is that the U.S. can contain the spread of terrorism in South Asia by relying on its “over-the-horizon” capabilities. Though almost every senior official, including Biden, has embraced this approach, it’s doubtful they really believe it’s a viable substitute for “boots on the ground.”

Another possibility would be the Central Intelligence Agency striking a new under-the-table deal with the ISI that would set new goals and guidelines for both services to cooperate more aggressively in the war against domestic and regional terrorism. Unfortunately, prospects for such expanded cooperation, though rhetorically appealing, are actually quite slim. Veterans of both services shake their heads, reluctantly admitting it is unrealistic, given the degree of distrust on both sides.

But even if Biden, despite knowing better, decided to continue to look the other way, hoping against hope that Pakistan would be able to contain the terrorists and keep them from acquiring nuclear warheads, he will find that Prime Minister Imran Khan is not a ready and eager ally, if he ever was one. Lately he’s been painting the Biden administration as damaged goods after its hurried exit from Afghanistan. And he has been rearranging Pakistan’s regional relationships by strengthening his ties with China and extending a welcoming hand to Russia. Also Khan may soon discover that his pro-Taliban policy runs the risk of backfiring and inspiring Pakistani terrorists to turn against him. To whom would he then turn for help?

Khan, who won his mandate in 2018, surely knows by now that he runs a decidedly unhappy country, beset by major economic and political problems, waves of societal corruption and the no-nonsense challenge coming from domestic terrorists eager to impose a severe Islamic code of conduct on the Pakistani people. Sixty-four percent of the population are under the age of 30 and more desirous of iPhones and apps than of religious zealotry.

Pakistan is a looming problem with no satisfactory solutions. For Biden, no matter what policies he pursues, it remains a recurring nightmare, the stuff of a paperback thriller: a scary mix of terrorists who may one day be able to seize power and, with it, control over the nation’s stockpile of nuclear warheads — all of this happening in a shaky, strategically-located country that was once an ally.

Since the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, geostrategic relationships on the Asian subcontinent have been undergoing important changes. Pakistan has tilted its future towards a closer relationship with China, while its principal adversary, India, has tightened its ties to the United States, both of them sharing an already deep distrust of China. In this increasingly uneasy atmosphere, the U.S. remains concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile falling into terrorist hands. If this seemed to be happening, the U.S. would feel the need to intervene militarily to stop it. Pakistan would likely turn to China for help, setting the stage for the U.S. and China, because of Pakistan’s nukes, to head towards a direct and possibly deadly confrontation which neither superpower wants or needs.

The Taliban Will Definitely Have Nukes: Revelation 8

Afghanistan: Taliban could get their hands on up to 150 nuclear weapons, says John Bolton

By Lauren Lewis For Dailymail.Com 08:21 EDT 27 Sep 2021 , updated 17:01 EDT 27 Sep 2021

The could get their hands on up to 150 nuclear weapons after America’s catastrophic withdrawal from , former Trump security advisor John Bolton has warned.

Bolton said it was possible the nuclear weapons could end up in the hands of the Taliban if the Islamists take control of in an interview with WABC 770 on Sunday. 

‘The Taliban in control of Afghanistan threatens the possibility of terrorists taking control of Pakistan … that means maybe 150 nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists,’ he said.

The US completed a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 31, leaving behind military equipment that has already been seized by the Taliban, after the Islamists swept to power in a lightning offensive of the country.

Pakistan has an arsenal of approximately 160 nuclear warheads including 102 land-based missiles and F-16 combat aircrafts with 24 nuclear launchers.

The Taliban could get their hands on up to 150 nuclear weapons after America's catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, former Trump security advisor John Bolton has warned
The Taliban could get their hands on up to 150 nuclear weapons after America’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, former Trump security advisor John Bolton has warned 
The US completed a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 31 after the Taliban swept to power in a lightning offensive of the country
The US completed a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 31 after the Taliban swept to power in a lightning offensive of the country 
Former security advisor Bolton warned the Taliban could gain control of Pakistan's 160 nuclear warheads (pictured a Shaheen II) if they overrun the country
Former security advisor Bolton warned the Taliban could gain control of Pakistan’s 160 nuclear warheads (pictured a Shaheen II) if they overrun the country 

How big is Pakistan’s nuclear inventory? 

Pakistan first tested a nuclear warhead in 1998, becoming the seventh country in the world to officially do so. 

Its arsenal is seen as a defense against India, which first tested nuclear warheads in 1974.

Number of nuclear warheads: 160 

Air capabilities: F-16 combat aircrafts with 24 nuclear launchers with a range of 1,600 km, Mirage III and V aircraft with 12 launchers with a range of 2,100km, and Ra’ad air-launched missiles with a 350km range

Sea capabilities: Recently tested a Babur 3 from a submerged platform and are working towards firing from a submarine

Land capabilities: 102 land-based missiles, six operational nuclear capable ballistic missiles

Bolton, who served under then President Donald Trump between April 2018 and September 2019, slammed Joe Biden’s management of the withdrawal, warning allies are ‘wondering if he has a grip on his own administration’s foreign policy.’ 

Biden and the White House have repeatedly insisted they were blindsided by the swept Taliban takeover because the Afghan security forces gave up so easily. 

It led to scenes of chaos with thousands of Afghans swarming the airport as they desperately tried to flee the country before the Islamists imposed their rule.

Thousands gathered at the perimeter of Kabul airport – some standing in sewage, others attempting to scale the walls and many brandishing travel documents – as US soldiers attempted to control the chaos. 

Early evacuation flights saw hundreds of young men sat on a fin below the US military’s plane’s turbine as it barreled down the runway, only to then fall hundreds of feet to their deaths.

At least two people fell to their deaths from a C-17 on August 16 and the remains of another were discovered in the wheel well of the jet when it arrived in Qatar. 

Videos captured snapshots of the chaos showed US soldiers being handed babies over barbed wire fences as desperate Afghans gathered at the edge of the airport. 

Meanwhile other footage emerged of women pleading with US troops to let them onto an evacuation flight, telling them ‘the Taliban is coming’. 

And days later a suicide explosion claimed by ISIS-K, an Islamic State offshoot based in Afghanistan’s Khorasan region, left 170 dead, including 13 US service members.  

Biden later claimed the withdrawal was an ‘extraordinary success’ and local soldiers for the mess in Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover – a claim the White House has repeated in recent weeks. 

The President also laid the blame for the chaos on his predecessor Donald Trump for striking a peace deal in February 2020 with the Taliban. Trump’s peace deal had promised US withdrawal by May if the Taliban did not harbor terrorists or attack US forces or allies. 

Bolton’s warning comes after the Taliban seized much of the equipment abandoned by the US during the chaotic end to the 20-year war in Afghanistan.  

Anwari was among young Afghan men were seen clambering onto the USAF jet as it took off from Kabul on Monday. At least three of them died, two teenage brothers by falling from the wheels and Anwari was reportedly found dead in the wheel well
Anwari was among young Afghan men were seen clambering onto the USAF jet as it took off from Kabul on Monday. At least three of them died, two teenage brothers by falling from the wheels and Anwari was reportedly found dead in the wheel well 
At least three bodies were seen falling from the USAF jet as it climbed into the air on Monday
At least three bodies were seen falling from the USAF jet as it climbed into the air on Monday 

Days after the withdrawal ended, the Taliban paraded dozens of US-made armored vehicles and weaponry captured from Afghan forces during the group’s takeover. 

One event, in the southern city of Kandahar, even featured a fly-past from a Black Hawk helicopter flying the flag of the Taliban. 

Meanwhile a long line of green Humvees and armored fighting vehicles drove in single file along a highway outside Kandahar – the spiritual birthplace of the militant group. Many of the vehicles had the white and black Taliban flag attached to them.

Footage posted on social media showed a helicopter flying overhead trailing the Taliban’s standard behind it as fighters waved from below.  

One event, in the southern city of Kandahar, even featured a fly-past from a Black Hawk helicopter (pictured) flying the flag of the Taliban
One event, in the southern city of Kandahar, even featured a fly-past from a Black Hawk helicopter (pictured) flying the flag of the Taliban 
The parades of the hardware, captured during the group's takeover of Afghanistan, were held just hours after U.S. President Joe Biden defended his decision to end two decades of American presence in the country
The parades of the hardware, captured during the group’s takeover of Afghanistan, were held just hours after U.S. President Joe Biden defended his decision to end two decades of American presence in the country 

Taliban spotted in Afghan army truck provided by US Military

US withdrawal from Afghanistan: 

April 14, 2021 

Biden announces U.S. forces will withdraw unconditionally by Sept. 11, implementing the agreement reached with the Taliban by his predecessor, Trump.

July 2, 2021

U.S. troops abruptly pull out of their main base at Bagram airfield 60 km (40 miles) north of Kabul.

August 15, 2021 

After a stunning week-long advance capturing cities across the country, the Taliban seize Kabul without a fight. President Ashraf Ghani flees the country. The United States and Western allies launch an urgent airlift from Kabul airport to bring out their own citizens and tens of thousands of Afghans who aided them.

August 26, 2021

Islamic State offshoot ISIS-K launches a suicide bomb attack on the crowded gates of Kabul airport, killing scores of civilians and 13 U.S. troops.

In the days that followed, the U.S. conducted drone strikes on ISIS-K assets in Kabul in response. ISIS-K also fired five rockets towards Kabul airport as U.S. and western forces tried to get the last American citizens and Afghan allies to safety. 

August 30, 2021 

U.S. General Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, announces completion of the U.S. troop withdrawal. The Taliban celebrated with gunfire in the streets as Western forces finally left after 20 years.

There were still at least 250 American citizens stranded on the ground and thousands of Afghan allies – SIV applicants are those designated as vulnerable – left to face the Taliban.

The Taliban could get nukes from Pakistan due to Afghan withdrawal: Revelation 8

National security advisor John Bolton at press conference at King David (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Taliban could get nukes from Pakistan due to Afghan withdrawal – Bolton

Donald Trump’s former national security advisor said a potential Islamist takeover of Pakistan could supply nuclear weapons.

US President Joe Biden’s widely-criticized military withdrawal from Afghanistan could lead to the Taliban, the country’s new Islamist rulers, obtaining nuclear weapons from Pakistan, former US national security advisor John Bolton said Sunday on the WABC 770 radio station. 

Bolton, who served as national security advisor under then-President Donald Trump, said it was possible that these nuclear weapons could be obtained from Pakistan should Islamist insurgents get ahold of them.

He criticized Biden’s withdrawal from the country, which allowed the Taliban to rapidly take over, bringing it once again under Islamist rule. Since serving as Trump’s national security advisor, Bolton has become a vocal critic of American foreign policy, in addition to being critical of his former boss. He has also been vocal in his views of US policies regarding the Middle East, especially Iran, and has expressed his support of Israel’s right to act in its own security interests.

In particular, he has voiced strong support for preemptive strikes against hostile regimes, specifically Iran and North Korea.

Royal Navy ambush submarine seen near Scotland (credit: Courtesy)

Royal Navy ambush submarine seen near Scotland (credit: Courtesy)Bolton also had plenty to compliment Biden for, however, specifically regarding the nuclear submarine deal with Australia. 

The deal, he explained, was an example of a broader US response to China. This does not mean that Washington is giving Australia nuclear missiles, just nuclear submarines. 

“These are what we call hunter-killer submarines,” Bolton explained to WABC 770, saying that it allows the US through Australia to watch China as it builds up a significant naval force that could, in theory, allow it to go after Taiwan or enter the Indian Ocean. 

“It’s a huge step forward for us in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean,” he said: “It’s a real signal to China that we are determined not to let them just run wild.”