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Pakistan builds low yield nuclear capability

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by Sid, May 16, 2011.

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  1. Sid

    Sid Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    SINGAPORE: Pakistan’s successful test of a missile able to carry short range nuclear weapons threatens to raise tensions in a region already nervous that the death of Osama bin Laden will create more instability.

    Tactical nuclear weapons, as these are called, are often seen as more dangerous than the traditional strategic weapons because their small size and vulnerability to misuse. Theft makes them a risk to global security.

    The biggest concern is that these low yield weapons are seen as less destructive and therefore more likely to be used than other classes of weapons, forcing most nuclear states to minimise the risk by cutting back stockpiles.

    Pakistani experts say the country has been forced to develop tactical nuclear weapons because of India’s “Cold Start†plan under which Indian troops are primed to carry out a lightning strike inside Pakistan if another Mumbai-style attack is traced back to Pakistan-based militant groups.

    The military said it had tested last month the 60-km (36-mile) range NASR surface-to-surface missile which carries nuclear warheads to boost “deterrence at short rangesâ€.

    Security experts in the United States, India and Pakistan said it meant the military planned to deploy these weapons in the battlefield, escalating the regional nuclear competition that has often seemed a replay of the US-Soviet rivalry during the Cold War.

    “Pakistan’s development and testing of nuclear-capable short-range missiles is a destabilizing and potentially dangerous development,†Daryl G. Kimball, the executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, said.

    “It suggests that Pakistan would seriously contemplate use on the battlefield in the event of an incursion by Indian forces.â€

    India may yet respond by mounting nuclear warheads on its shorter range missiles to meet the Pakistani threat. It tested low yield nuclear devices in 1998 but there has been no word since then on whether it has added them to its arsenal.

    “Our capability in the area of low yield fission devices is well known,†a former Indian defence scientist involved in the 1998 tests said, declining further comment.

    Pakistan responded to India’s tests with explosions of its own. Both nations have since been expanding their arsenal, Pakistan even more and at a pace that Western experts say may, within a decade, make it the fourth largest weapons power, behind the United States, Russia and China.

    Pakistan says it has invested a lot of resources to ensure that its nuclear facilities, materials and weapons are secure.

    But Pakistan’s support for militant groups including al Qaeda and the Taliban, who have found sanctuary along the Afghan border, has always heightened concerns about its ever expanding armoury. These worries have deepened after al Qaeda leader bin Laden was found and killed in a garrison town.

    If there was one nuclear-armed country that kept him awake at night, it was Pakistan, senior White House coordinator on weapons of mass destruction and terrorism, Gary Samore said.

    “What I worry about is that, in the broader tensions and problems within Pakistani society and polity…even the best nuclear security measures might break down,†Samore said in an interview published in the May 2011 issue of Arms Control Today.

    “You’re dealing with a country that is under tremendous stress internally and externally, and that’s what makes me worry.â€

    DISPERSED WEAPONS

    The problem with deploying tactical weapons to the battlefield is that command and control has to be dispersed down to military units on the ground.

    This increases the risk of things going wrong, either through miscalculation, an accident or the nightmare scenario of infiltration by militant groups, nuclear experts say.

    In either case, once Pakistan had fired off the missile, it would invite retaliation, the extent of which is unknown.

    Within Pakistan itself, security experts have questioned the logic of deploying tactical weapons, arguing that it exposed the country to bigger risks rather than improving security.

    Ejaz Haider, a Pakistani security expert and columnist, said if Pakistan is going to unleash these weapons as the Indian military crosses the border, it would effectively be dropping them on its own soil.

    “We are, of course, not even considering how our own troops and population would be exposed to the fallout from a TNW (tactical nuclear weapon),†Haider said.

    But several experts also say that India’s Cold Start doctrine, even if it is not fully operational, is seen as a real threat in Pakistan.

    Cold Start is aimed at mounting rapid military incursions into Pakistan to punish it, take limited amounts of territory, and then negotiate to compel Islamabad to rein in militant groups that act against India.

    It is not aimed at threatening the Pakistani state into resorting to its final, nuclear option, but it’s a risky gamble.

    Pakistan builds low yield nuclear capability | | DAWN.COM
     
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  2. Tailchopper

    Tailchopper Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Indeed a very self explanatory article , thanks for posting .
     
  3. Sid

    Sid Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    I assume you have read about what Ejaz Haider has to say.
     
  4. Capt.Popeye

    Capt.Popeye Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Ejaz Haider has a noteworthy point in his reaction. The Pakistani doctrine seems to be evolving. There is now a serious element of a "scorched earth policy" that is discernible.



    BTW, the Soviets/Russians used it as a "measure of desperation. So?????
    And of course, Low yield weapons have some riposte/antidote(?) to them too.
     
  5. Optimist

    Optimist Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    :triniti:

    Even a yield in decimals will be the last nail in the coffin of Pak. Any EXPERT from across the border, who feels they can fire away these low yields without expecting a DEAFENING retaliation is either understimating India's nuke prowess or is a fool.

    India is going China way by not disclosing its assets. Seeing the way things are evolving and the neighbour is being fooled, i feel it's a right and fruitful TRAP.
     
  6. Tailchopper

    Tailchopper Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    and what makes you think that we are disclosing the right strength of our assets ?
     
  7. Sid

    Sid Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Its not a numbers' game brother, You can have 1000 nukes in your kitty, but it wont be of no use, if you can't protect yourself.
     
  8. True Patriot

    True Patriot 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    So are you going to use all your nukes at once? I hope Pakistanis too, like others in the world, want to live. The size of your arsenal does not matter much. Its how much you are able to take without collapsing. A limited nuclear exchange will result in Pakistan collapsing. India would suffer but not break up.
    But in case you use all your nukes and say destroy a hundred cities, your masters the Chinese would get atleast two dozen of their cities Nuked and forget about super power dreams.
    And obviously Chinese retaliation would be Massive, But I don't worry.I would rather be vaporized than die a slow death in a radioactive chaotic society.
    So stop threatening with the size of your arsenal as if you are going to use all that at once and get completely obliterated by retaliation.
     
  9. MUHARIB

    MUHARIB FULL MEMBER

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    Hypothetically theres a war between India and paikistan and Indian strike corps are deep inside Pakistan ..lets say near Lahore and its going to fall...then pakistan command decides to nuke our forces on their own land using low yeild nuke capability and it decimates out forces ...will India respond with another nuke or will it respond with conventional strikes ..taking into account the nuke was dropped in the enemies own territory and no Indian civilians were harmed.
    So how will our govt respond?? Will we just use conventional strikes because the nuke strike was not inside our border or will we also resort to nuking the enemy because they nuked our forces inside enemy territoty??
     
  10. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    so is it low then our nuke tested at pokhran-2
     
  11. True Patriot

    True Patriot 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Who know's? Our's is proven0.3 kt .Their's is not.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  12. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    it mean they stole our idea .
    sala kuch to inka aapna hota
     
  13. A haseeb A

    A haseeb A Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Ji nai....after 2002,Pakistan is tapping into every possible system that can deliver a nuclear warhead...we have variety...
     
  14. Skull and Bones

    Skull and Bones Doctor Death Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Really?

    Do we have a low yield nuke device?
     
  15. True Patriot

    True Patriot 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Just copy pasted from Wiki

    Shakti III

    An experimental boosted fission device that used reactor grade Plutonium for its primary with a yield of 0.3 kt. This test device was used to test only the primary stage. It did not contain any tritium required to boost the fission. This test was designed to study the possibility of using reactor grade plutonium in warheads and also to prove India's expertise in controlling and damping a nuclear explosion in order to achieve a low (sub-kiloton) yield.
     
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