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The real nuclear crisis: danger of India-Pakistan nuclear war

Billions Dead: That’s What Could Happen if India and Pakistan Wage a Nuclear War, This is the real nuclear crisis the world is missing. National Interest, by Zachary Keck 14 Feb 19, Armed with what they believe is reasonable intelligence about the locations of Pakistan’s strategic forces, highly accurate missiles and MIRVs to target them, and a missile defense that has a shot at cleaning up any Pakistani missiles that survived the first strike, Indian leaders might be tempted to launch a counterforce first strike.

With the world’s attention firmly fixated on North Korea, the greatest possibility of nuclear war is in fact on the other side of Asia.

That place is what could be called the nuclear triangle of Pakistan, India and China. Although Chinese and Indian forces are currently engaged in a standoff, traditionally the most dangerous flashpoint along the triangle has been the Indo-Pakistani border. The two countries fought three major wars before acquiring nuclear weapons, and one minor one afterwards. And this doesn’t even include the countless other armed skirmishes and other incidents that are a regular occurrence.

At the heart of this conflict, of course, is the territorial dispute over the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, the latter part of which Pakistan lays claim to. Also key to the nuclear dimension of the conflict is the fact that India’s conventional capabilities are vastly superior to Pakistan’s. Consequently, Islamabad has adopted a nuclear doctrine of using tactical nuclear weapons against Indian forces to offset the latter’s conventional superiority………https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/billions-dead-thats-what-could-happen-if-india-and-pakistan-wage-nuclear-war-44682

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February 16, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Climate change brings water shortage to India and Pakistan

Water wars: Are India and Pakistan heading for climate change-induced conflict? DW , 30 Jan 19,
Across the world, climate change is sparking conflict as people struggle over dwindling resources. The fight over water could quickly escalate between India and Pakistan — and both have nuclear arms.

Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just some of the places where climate change is increasingly regarded as a root cause of violent conflict. But while much of the focus on climate change-attributed conflict has predominantly been on Africa and the Middle East, a potentially even deadlier clash over resources may be looming on the horizon in Asia.

That’s because India and Pakistan — bitter rivals over water — both have nuclear weapons in their arsenal.

The two countries have a long but strained agreement over sharing water from the Indus River and its tributaries. Waters from the Indus, which flow from India and the disputed Kashmir region into Pakistan, were carved up between India and Pakistan under the 1960 Indus Water Treaty (IWT).

Read more: Water scarcity in Pakistan – A bigger threat than terrorism

The IWT divides the six major rivers of the Indus basin between Pakistan and India. Pakistan was granted rights to most of the water in the region’s western rivers — the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab — which flow through Indian-administered Kashmir.

The dispute over the Kashmir region — a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for more than six decades — is hugely intertwined with water security. Both countries claim the whole region, but each only controls a part of it.

While the IWT has managed to survive the wars and other hostilities, it is increasingly being strained to its limit. Pakistan has accused India of throttling its water supply and violating the IWT by constructing dams over the rivers flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir.

“Any country with nuclear weapons, if they’re backed into a corner because they have no water — that’s really dangerous,” said Jeff Nesbit, author and executive director of non-profit climate communication organization Climate Nexus.

‘A matter of survival’

For Sherry Rehman, Parliamentary Leader of the left-wing opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate, water security, especially in South Asia, “has become a regional security threat.”

“We are now facing challenges brought about by climate change which were not a primary focus during the negotiations for the Indus Water Treaty,” she told DW.

“It has become a matter of survival,” she continued. “Aside from the lack of formal dialogue, the rhetoric floating around suggesting a possible water war is particularly alarming.”

A treaty under threat

For Pakistan, the Indus waters are a lifeline: most of the country depends on it as the primary source of freshwater and it supports 90 percent of the country’s agricultural industry.

And while Pakistan was considered relatively plentiful with water, a mixture of mismanaged irrigation, water-intensive agriculture and climate change has reduced the Indus to a trickle in parts.

A 2018 report from the International Monetary Fund ranked Pakistan third among countries facing severe water shortages.

When the rapidly-melting glaciers in the Himalayas, which feed the Indus waters, eventually disappear as predicted, the dwindling rivers will be slashed even further…………

Elsewhere in Asia, other conflicts have also been linked to climate change. For instance the unprecedented flooding in Thailand in 2011 which sparked major protests over unfair emergency supplies distribution and ultimately led to a military coup that overthrew the democratically-elected government in 2014. The military junta is still in power to this day.

On a global level, Janani Vivekananda, climate security expert at consultancy Adelphi, is somewhat more hopeful about how the struggle over water will play out.

“The trend is people cooperate rather than fight over water because it’s just too important and I think this is what will happen just out of necessity,” she told DW. “Because there’s too much to lose.” https://www.dw.com/en/water-wars-are-india-and-pakistan-heading-for-climate-change-induced-conflict/a-47203933

January 31, 2019 Posted by | climate change, India, Pakistan | Leave a comment

Security dangers in South Asia increase as India and Pakistan develop nuclear weapons programmes

Nuclear programmes of India, Pakistan increase risk of security incident in South Asia: US spymaster, Economic Times, Jan 30, 2019  WASHINGTON: There is an increased risk of a nuclear security incident in South Asia due to continued growth and development of Pakistan and India’s nuclear weapons programmes, America’s top spymaster told lawmakers on Tuesday.

The remarks of National Intelligence Director Daniel Coats is part of US intelligence community’s assessment of worldwide threats in the year 2019.

While Pakistan continues to develop new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical weapons, sea-based cruise missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, and longer range ballistic missiles, India this year has conducted its first deployment of a nuclear-powered submarine armed with nuclear missiles, he said.

“The continued growth and development of Pakistan and India’s nuclear weapons programmes increase the risk of a nuclear security incident in South Asia, and the new types  .. ……..

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/nuclear-programmes-of-india-pakistan-increase-risk-of-security-incident-in-south-asia-us-spymaster/articleshow/67751526.cms

January 31, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, safety, weapons and war | Leave a comment

How India & Pakistan Deal With The Bomb -“Brokering Peace in Nuclear Envi­ronments “

Diplomacy In The Nuclear Age, Kashmir Observer, HAIDER NIZAMANI • Aug 28, 2018, How India & Pakistan Deal With The Bomb

India and Pakistan ‘gatecrashed’ the nuclear club in May 1998. Children who were born right after the nuclear tests, carried out by the two countries in that year, are now able to vote — a generation, particularly in Pakistan, that has grown up on a steady diet of nuclear national­ism that portrays weapons of mass destruction as guarantors of national security and sources of col­lective pride. In times when the country can showcase little by way of achievements, we always console ourselves by saying that we have nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons and their delivery systems are made by experts trained in science and engineering but there is also another ‘nuclear expert’ whose bread and butter is linked to writing about these. There was only a small group of such ex­perts two decades ago but nuclear tests by India and Pakistan have opened up many new spots for them. They are camped mainly in think tanks in New Delhi, Islam­abad and Washington DC.

An overwhelming majority of them use the lens of political realism that sees states as key actors who pursue their national interests in competition with each other. Moeed Yusuf also belongs to this tribe of nu­clear experts. He defines the crises explored in his book as “exercises in coercion through  adversaries seek to enhance their relative bargaining strength vis-à-vis their opponents”………..

limitations of Yusuf’s book Brokering Peace in Nuclear Envi­ronments   are, in fact, the limitation of realist theory that focuses on state actors and their actions and does not delve into the social, economic, political and strategic fac­tors that cause those actions and determine their direction and outcome. Additionally, many Indian and Pakistan security experts consciously or un­wittingly end up echoing official versions as the true versions of history. In many parts, Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments also follows the same path which makes its analysisa bit lopsided and its prescriptions a little too Pakistan-centric.

Its strength, however, is the large number of interviews that Yusuf has conducted with poli­cymakers, especially from the United States and Pakistan, who played key roles during the three crises mentioned above. For this reason alone, if for nothing else, his book should be seen as a good addition to the academic literature available on war and peace between India and Pakistan. https://kashmirobserver.net/2018/feature/diplomacy-nuclear-age-35464

August 29, 2018 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Imran Khan and Pakistan’s nuclear bomb

Managing Pakistan’s Bomb: Learning on the job, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientisrs, By Pervez HoodbhoyZia Mian, August 17, 2018 “…….the biggest and most important challenge Imran Khan will confront as prime minister is something he did not mention at all in his speech—how to manage the Bomb. The lives and well-being of Pakistan’s 200 million citizens and countless millions in India and elsewhere depend on how well he deals with the doomsday machine Pakistan’s Army and nuclear complex have worked so hard to build.

To be fair, it is not clear that Imran Khan will have much choice regarding nuclear policy. For Pakistani politicians, the options largely come down to either support the Bomb, or keep quiet about it. Like other prime ministers before him, Imran Khan may go and have his picture taken with the missiles that will carry nuclear warheads and pose with the scientists and engineers that make them and the military units that plan and train to fire them.

Imran Khan’s two-decade-long political career overlaps with the creation of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, but he has had very little to say about the Bomb. When he has spoken, it has been as a Bomb supporter…….

Imran Khan also has courted the support of Abdul Qadeer Khan (no relation), the man most closely identified in Pakistani minds with the country’s Bomb.  ……..

This history suggests that Imran Khan may be likely to support the continued build-up of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. It is estimated that the arsenal now is on the order of 150 nuclear weapons, with Pakistan being able soon to deliver these weapons from airplanes (either via bombs or cruise missiles), on land-based ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, and on cruise missiles launched from submarines…….https://thebulletin.org/2018/08/managing-pakistans-bomb-learning-on-the-job/?utm_source=Bulletin%20Newsletter&utm_medium=iContact%20email&utm_campaign=August24

August 25, 2018 Posted by | Pakistan, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Missile defense systems bad for India-Pakistan nuclear détente

Asia Times, By MOHAN GURUSWAMY AUGUST 24, 2018 It has been reported that theDefense Acquisitions Council (DAC), chaired by Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has approved the “acceptance of necessity” (AoN) for the acquisition of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II) worth around US$1 billion from the United States. However, in 2002 the US had vetoed India’s bid to acquire the Israeli Arrow-2 missile interceptor system.

Consequently, India’s Defense Research and Development Organization began developing the Prithvi Air Defense (PAD), which will provide long-range high-altitude interception during an incoming ballistic missile’s mid-course phase as well as interception during the terminal phase. At various times these systems had different monikers, such as ballistic missile defense (BMD) or anti-ballistic missile system (ABM).The people who decide on such things reside in New Delhi and understandably their safety gets priority. So it is the National Capital Region that will get the expensive and exaggerated sense of protection such systems tend to generate.But no air defense system can be deemed impenetrable. The Americans and Russians realized long before the Cold War ended that the costs involved were prohibitive, even for them. But the idea was seductive
……….We need to learn from how nuclear-weapons strategies evolved during the Cold War, instead of mimicking US and Soviet follies. The notion of deterrence between the US and USSR was based on no escape from MAD.

Cold War follies peaked with the two antagonists together deploying almost 70,000 warheads each aimed at a specific target. At the height of this madness almost every open ground was targeted as possible tank-marshaling or military-logistics areas.

Hence the last thing India wants is to get into a numbers game with Pakistan or China. Credibility depends on reducing the uncertainty of use from the opposite perspective. The Indian PAD missile defense system only increases them.

India and Pakistan have ensured a modicum of confidence by not mating the warheads and delivery systems, giving a vital period to roll back the unleashing of Armageddon. But now both countries will have to evolve a launch-on-warning doctrine.

Clearly, the two South Asian nuclear powers have a local version of MAD in place. The Pakistani doctrine “commits itself” to use battlefield nuclear weapons if an Indian conventional assault threatens its essential nationhood, and hence it has steadfastly refused to accept the notion of “no first use” (NFU). The Indian doctrine emphasizes NFU but also makes it explicit that any Pakistani use of nuclear weapons on India or its forces will be responded to with a massive retaliation.

India may have fewer nuclear weapons, not because it cannot make more, but because what it has is enough to ensure the complete annihilation of Pakistan, which is geographically a much smaller country.

For its part, China has moved on from NFU to a doctrine now called “credible minimum deterrence.” But how much is credible?

Mercifully, nuclear doctrines these days are couched in such abstractions since MAD requires a degree of predictability, ironically ensured by opacity. The United States’ “single integrated operational plan” (SIOP) began with the ominous words that its objective, after the outbreak of a general war with the then Soviet Union, was to turn it into a “smoking, radiating ruin.” This was written by its certifiable US Air Force chief, General Curtis Lemay Jr, based on whom the character played by George C Scott in the Stanley Kubrick classic Dr Strangelove  was created.

But it was people like Lemay who gave MAD credibility. Since no one of a sane frame of mind would even contemplate the enormity of the disaster of a nuclear war, uncertainty of use was a key element of MAD. It has been written that Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev used to have sleepless nights thinking of a man like Richard Nixon with his finger on the button.

India’s nuclear strategy documents in detail who the nuclear command would devolve to in the unlikely event of a decapitating first strike on New Delhi with the aim of eliminating its national leadership. It is said that the chain of nuclear command keeps descending to a major-general, a modern-day Raja Parikshit so to say, who will perform the final obsequies.

At last count India had more than 600 military officers at that level. Decapitating all of them is a near statistical and physical impossibility. It would take tens of thousands to precision nuclear weapons to annihilate India’s military chain of command, and it can be speculated whether even America or Russia could achieve that, let alone Pakistan.

Ironically, the evocative acronym MAD is an eminently sensible doctrine. Good sense should tell us: Enough of this madness, and leave MAD alone. http://www.atimes.com/missile-defense-systems-bad-for-india-pakistan-nuclear-detente/

 

 

August 25, 2018 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear terrorism, “dirty bombs” and Pakistan’s measures to prevent this

Pakistan’s Nuclear Safety and Security https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/08/14/pakistans-nuclear-safety-and-security/ August 14, 2018 By Sonia Naz  Wyn Bowen and Matthew Cottee discuss in their research entitled “Nuclear Security Briefing Book” that nuclear terrorism involves the acquisition and detonation of an intact nuclear weapon from a state arsenal. The world has not experienced any act of nuclear terrorism but terrorists expressed their desires to gain nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has observed many incidents of lost, theft and unauthorized control of nuclear material. The increased use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes has intensified the threat that terrorist can target these places for acquiring nuclear materials. They cannot build a nuclear weapon because production of a nuclear weapon would require a technological infrastructure. Thus, it is the most difficult task that is nearly impossible because the required infrastructure and technological skills are very high which even a strong terrorist group could not bear easily, but they can build a dirty bomb

A dirty bomb is not like a nuclear bomb. A nuclear bomb spreads radiation over hundreds of square miles while nuclear bomb could cause destruction only over a few square miles. A dirty bomb would not kill any more people than an ordinary bomb but it would create psychological terror. There is no viable security system for the prevention of nuclear terrorism, but the only possible solution is that there should be a stringent nuclear security system which can halt terrorists from obtaining nuclear materials.

The UN Security Council and the IAEA introduced multilateral nuclear security initiatives. Pakistan actively contributed in all international nuclear security efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism. For example, United States President Barak Obama introduced the process of Nuclear Security Summit (NSS)in 2009 to mitigate the threat of nuclear terrorism. The objective of NSS was to secure the material throughout the world in four years.

Pakistan welcomed it and not only made commitments in NSS but also fulfilled it. Pakistan also established a Centre of Excellence (COEs) on nuclear security and hosted workshops on nuclear security. In addition to all this, Pakistan is a signatory of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 and affirms its strong support to the resolution. It has submitted regular reports to 1540 Committee which explain various measures taken by Pakistan on radiological security and control of sensitive materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) transfer. Pakistan is the first country which submitted a report to the UN establishing the fact that it is fulfilling its responsibilities. Pakistan ratified Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) in 2016. It is also the member of Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT). It can be rightly inferred that Pakistan is not only contributing in all the international nuclear security instruments but has also taken multiple effective measures at the national level.

Pakistan created National Command Authority (NCA) to manage and safeguard nuclear assets and related infrastructures. The Strategic Plan Division (SPD) is playing a very important role in managing Pakistan’s nuclear assets by collaborating with all strategic organizations. Establishment of Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA)in 2001 is another development in this regard. The PNRA works under the IAEA advisory group on nuclear security and it is constantly improving and re-evaluating nuclear security architecture. National Institute of Safety and Security (NISAS) was established under PNRA in 2014. Pakistan has also adopted the Export Control Act to strengthen its nuclear export control system. It deals with the rules and regulations for nuclear export and licensing. The SPD has also formulated a standard functioning procedure to regulate the conduct of strategic organizations. Christopher Clary discusses in his research “Thinking about Pakistan’s Nuclear Security in Peacetime” that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals are equipped with Permissive Action Links (PALs) for its stringent security. According to Pakistan’s former nuclear scientist Samar Mubarakmand, every Pakistani nuclear arsenal is now fitted with a code-lock device which needs a proper code to enable the arsenal to explode.

Nonetheless the nuclear terrorism is a global concern and reality because terrorist organizations can target civilian nuclear facility in order to steal nuclear material. The best way to eradicate the root of nuclear terrorism is to have a stringent nuclear security system.

Western media and outsiders often propagate that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals can go into the wrong hands i.e. terrorists, but they do not highlight the efforts of Pakistan in nuclear security at the national and international level.   The fact is that Pakistan has contributed more in international nuclear security efforts than India and it has stringent nuclear security system in place.

August 19, 2018 Posted by | Pakistan, safety, weapons and war | Leave a comment

  AQ Khan: Nuclear hero to Pakistan, villain to West.

 THE EXPRESS TRIBUNEBy AFP, June 30, 2018 ISLAMABAD: 
Pakistani atomic scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan is hailed as a national hero for transforming his country into the world’s first Islamic nuclear power but regarded by the West as a dangerous renegade responsible for smuggling technology to rogue states.

Revered as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, Khan was lauded for bringing the nation up to par with arch-rival India in the atomic field and making its defences “impregnable”.

But he found himself in the crosshairs of controversy when he was accused of illegally proliferating nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Khan was placed under effective house arrest in the capital Islamabad in 2004 after he admitted running a proliferation network to the three countries. ……. A court ended his house arrest in February 2009, but Khan has to inform authorities of his movements in advance, even within Islamabad, with security accompanying him on his every step. …. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1746448/3-q-khan-nuclear-hero-pakistan-villain-west/

July 2, 2018 Posted by | Pakistan, safety | Leave a comment

India and Pakistan have increased their stockpiles of nuclear weapons

India, Pakistan expanding their new nuclear weapons stockpiles: SIPRI  https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/india-pakistan-expanding-their-new-nuclear-weapons-stockpiles-sipri-2605161.html  There are nine countries which have nuclear warheads. They include Russia, the US, the UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea, Moneycontrol News@moneycontrolcom , 19 June 18 

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in its 2018 edition of the yearly report on the current state of armaments, disarmament and international security said despite the overall decrease in global nuclear weapons year-on-year, India and Pakistan have increased their stockpiles.

India, which had an estimated 120-130 nuclear warheads as per 2017 report, now has 130-140 warheads. Similarly, Pakistan, which had 130-140 warheads now has increased to 140-150 warheads. Both countries are also developing new land, sea and air-based missile delivery systems.

Another nuclear country in Asia, China continues to modernise its nuclear weapon delivery systems and is slowly increasing the size of its nuclear arsenal. The country now has an estimated 280 nuclear warheads. In 2017 report, the number was 270.

The US and Russia still constitute a major share of approximately 14,465 nuclear weapons that exist in the world. Both together account for nearly 92 percent of all nuclear weapons despite reducing their strategic nuclear forces pursuant to the implementation of the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.

Moreover, the cold war-era rivals also have long-term programmes underway to replace and modernise their nuclear warheads, missile and aircraft delivery systems, and nuclear weapon production facilities.

“The renewed focus on the strategic importance of nuclear deterrence and capacity is a very worrying trend,” says Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board.

“The world needs a clear commitment from the nuclear weapon states to an effective, legally binding process towards nuclear disarmament.”

Other countries which are a nuclear state include the UK (215 warheads), France (300 warheads), Israel (80 warheads) and North Korea (10-20 warheads). The figures for North Korea are uncertain, the report said, however, there was no doubt that it has nuclear weapons.

In 2017, North Korea has made technical progress in developing its nuclear weapon capabilities, including the test of—what was claimed to be—a thermonuclear weapon, in September. North Korea also demonstrated unexpected rapid progress in the testing of two new types of long-range ballistic missile delivery systems. These testing led to a crisis in the Korean peninsula.

However, in a meeting with US president Donald Trump, North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un vowed to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Koran peninsula.

 

June 20, 2018 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India and Pakistan – growing risk of nuclear war there should not be ignored

Another nuclear crisis in the making? Great power competition and the risk of war in South Asia, BAS, Moeed Yusuf 5 June 18, In May 1998, India and, later, Pakistan conducted multiple nuclear tests to become the first pair to go nuclear in the post-Cold War era. Two decades on, these South Asian rivals remain locked in a deeply antagonistic relationship that constantly threatens to boil over.

The US-North Korea showdown, the upcoming summit, and the fate of the Iranian nuclear deal have consumed the global nuclear debate over the past year. During this time, India and Pakistan have slipped into an active low-level confrontation largely unnoticed.Violence on the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the Indian and Pakistani controlled parts of the disputed territory of Kashmir has been at its highest level since the two sides agreed to a ceasefire in 2003. In 2017, the bloodiest year since, there were nearly 3,000 ceasefire violations. Persistent tit-for-tat military shelling across the LoC has caused significant casualties and damage. Civilians have been targeted and killed at an unprecedented rate, as well.

Previous wars and major crises between the two sides were triggered by miscalculated military maneuvers in Kashmir or, in more recent years, by terrorist attacks. Neither can be ruled out in the current context; either could unleash a deadly escalatory spiral.

The risks involved in such a scenario would quickly remind the world why US President Bill Clinton dubbed the LoC as “the most dangerous place” on Earth at the turn of the century. India and Pakistan lack robust bilateral escalation control mechanisms. In the past, they have depended heavily on the United States and other strong third-party states with influence in the region to mediate crisis outcomes. These third parties have responded eagerly and acted with remarkable coordination in pursuit of de-escalation.

The next crisis may demand the same—but the global powers may be found wanting. The antecedent conditions that previously drove their positive engagement have already eroded. Never since South Asia’s nuclearization has global politics been so uncertain, great power relations so fraught, and competing global priorities so distracting. This reality combined with the continued absence of alternative tested crisis management experiences in South Asia may force a break from the successful crisis management patterns of the past.

A look at the past. South Asia’s nuclearization in 1998 not only ushered in a new era of regional nuclear competition but it also forced a rethink of the established norms of nuclear crisis management. The Cold War was dominated by the two superpowers. No stronger third parties able to readily influence their crisis behavior existed. Virtually all examination of nuclear contests therefore assumed bilateral contexts. While the United States and Soviet Union regularly intervened in regional crises in support of their allies, they used these moments primarily to compete and advance their global interests vis-à-vis the other.

The advent of regional nuclear dyads fundamentally altered the incentives for the United States and other strong powers to compete through regional proxies. The worry of second-age nuclear powers like India and Pakistan stumbling into nuclear war on their own proved overbearing. Crisis moments were now marked by the urge to ensure the absence of catastrophic escalation—above all prior policy preferences, no matter how important or urgent.

India and Pakistan are no strangers to crises. Since 1998, they have experienced at least three major and several modest bouts of high tension.  ……

A future different from the past? The importance of third party crisis management in South Asia has only grown over time. India and Pakistan have been unable to agree on dependable risk reduction and escalation control mechanisms with a direct bearing on crisis moments. Simulation exercises continue to point to their likely inability to terminate escalated crises. In fact, as reluctant as India and Pakistan are to admit this, they have learned from previous crisis iterations and internalized third-party roles as part of their crisis planning. Worryingly, some of their doctrines and crisis strategies assume the option of third-party bailouts.

These South Asian rivals have not ruled out conflict under the nuclear umbrella. India now boasts an operational limited war doctrine, Cold Start, that envisions swift military action against Pakistan—before international actors can pressure India to forego aggression

……….. The aura of unpredictability that presently surrounds US foreign policy has brought America’s willingness to act as that leader into question. Simultaneously, the precipitous decline in US relations with surging competitors like China and Russia and increasing difficulties in transatlantic relations has tempered global confidence in the ability of the great powers to operate collectively as agents of peace. ……..https://thebulletin.org/another-nuclear-crisis-making-great-power-competition-and-risk-war-south-asia11876

June 6, 2018 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear politics between India and Pakistan need attention and understanding

The other nuclear powers that need attention https://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/the-monitors-view/2018/0531/The-other-nuclear-powers-that-need-attention

Beyond Iran and North Korea, the nuclear-armed rivals of India and Pakistan need help to prevent a war. A cease-fire in disputed Kashmir shows progress, but a deeper reconciliation, especially an understanding in their shared history, is needed. May 31, 2018, By the Monitor’s Editorial Board

As long as he is already trying to denuclearize North Korea as well as permanently ban Iran from building a nuclear weapon, President Trump may want to pay heed to India and its neighbor Pakistan. The two nuclear-armed powers have gone to war three times since they achieved independence in 1947. And over the past year, regular skirmishes along their disputed border in Kashmir have killed dozens and displaced 50,000 civilians.

Pakistan and India each recognize a nuclear war would be mutually devastating. Yet they need help in overcoming a deep suspicion and animosity, driven in part by diverging narratives of their shared past, that could someday trigger a full-scale conflict.

With the border fighting in Kashmir getting out of hand in recent months, the two countries agreed May 29 to honor a cease-fire pact that was first put in place 15 years ago. The agreement is a welcome step. Yet it provides only a pause in hostilities without a commitment to a peace dialogue and, more important, the creation of a culture of reconciliation.

Iran and North Korea are still a long way from any attempt to reconcile with their perceived foes. Ending their nuclear threat has required outside pressure. Pakistan and India, however, have tried at times to come to terms with each other since the violent partition of British India into their respective countries, one largely Muslim and the other largely Hindu. Sometimes their leaders talk or the countries share a sports contest. Nonetheless, trade and travel between the two remain minimal given the size of their economies. And the Kashmir dispute as well as terrorist attacks keep them apart.

Religious differences have mattered less in their relations than the role of nationalist politicians who find it convenient to whip up hatred and fear of the other side. The ill will is generated in large part by competing histories of the 1947 partition – who started it, who killed more people, and who were the heroes and villains. Over the decades, the official history textbooks in each country have become political weapons to create an enemy and build up national unity.

Peace between India and Pakistan will require some sort of agreement on their shared history, one that must reduce old grievances and lessen the paranoia that could trigger a nuclear war. In Northeast Asia, Japan, South Korea, and China have tried in the past two decades to write a joint history in hopes of reducing the use of old resentments. The efforts have largely failed.

Yet this past winter, India and Pakistan achieved some success in transcending nationalist histories with the first citizen-level attempt at a joint telling of their shared history. Two history professors, one in Pakistan and the other in India, held a semester-long course titled “Introduction to South Asian History” that included more than 20 students from each country connected online. The teaching took place mainly over Skype and included a visit of 11 Pakistani students to India in May.

The two teachers, Ali Usman Qasmi of the Lahore University of Management Sciences and Pallavi Raghavan at OP Jindal Global University, reported that the students were amazed to discover what they did not know about the other country. They achieved an “overlapping consensus” on historical events with respect and understanding. The success of the course, they wrote, “shows that an alternative imagining of the past conducive to achieving peace and harmony in the region is … possible.”

Cease-fires in Kashmir, even a peace dialogue or a full opening of trade, will help India and Pakistan avoid the worst kind of wars. But much of that may not matter until the two peoples can craft a shared understanding of the past in order to reconcile for a better future.

June 1, 2018 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Submarines with nuclear weapons bring nuclear war closer for India and Pakistan

India and Pakistan are quietly making nuclear war more likely, Both countries are arming their submarines with nukes. Vox, 
By Tom Hundley  Apr 2, 2018 “……….
The audacity of a bloody attack inside one of the most heavily secured naval facilities in Pakistan was jarring enough. Even more jarring was the source of the attack: al-Qaeda, which claimed responsibility for the strike and praised the dead men as “martyrs.” Five more naval officers implicated in the plot were later arrested, charged with mutiny, and sentenced to death.

The Zulfiqar incident is the most serious in a long string of deadly security breaches at Pakistani military installations, from multiple attacks on nuclear facilities near Dera Ghazi Khan (2003 and 2006) and on the air force bases at Sargodha and Kamra (2007 and 2012) to the the gruesome 2014 attack on a school for the children of military officers in Peshawar that left more than 140 people dead, including 132 children.

But even if Pakistani bases have been hit before, the Zulfiqar strike is particularly alarming. That’s because Pakistan is preparing to arm its submarines and possibly some of its surface ships with nuclear weapons — which means terrorists who successfully fight their way into a Pakistani naval base in the future could potentially get their hands on some of the most dangerous weapons on earth.

The Pakistan navy is likely to soon place nuclear-tipped cruise missiles on up to three of its five French-built diesel-electric submarines. It has also reached a deal with China to buy eight more diesel-electric attack submarines that can be equipped with nuclear weapons. These are scheduled for delivery in 2028. Even more disturbing, Pakistani military authorities say they are considering the possibility of putting nuclear-tipped cruise missiles on surface vessels like the Zulfiqar.

Pakistan says its decision to add nuclear weapons to its navy is a direct response to India’s August 2016 deployment of its first nuclear submarine, the Arihant. A second, even more advanced Indian nuclear submarine, the Arighat, began sea trials last November, and four more boats are scheduled to join the fleet by 2025. That will give India a complete “nuclear triad,” which means the country will have the ability to deliver a nuclear strike by land-based missiles, by warplanes, and by submarines.

The submarine is the key component. It’s considered the most “survivable” in the event of a devastating first strike by an enemy, and thus able to deliver a retaliatory second strike. In the theology of nuclear deterrence, the point of this unholy trinity is to make nuclear war unwinnable and, therefore, pointless.

When it comes to India and Pakistan, by contrast, the new generation of nuclear submarines could increase the risk of a devastating war between the two longstanding enemies, not make it less likely. ……..

……. India and Pakistan are mortal enemies that have dozens of nuclear warheads aimed at each other. That was scary when those nukes were only on land. It’s a much scarier situation now that those nukes have been put onto submarines that move deep underwater, holding the deadliest payloads imaginable.

Tom Hundley is a senior editor at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.https://www.vox.com/2018/4/2/17096566/pakistan-india-nuclear-war-submarine-enemies

 

April 4, 2018 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA Commerce Department sanctioned seven Pakistani companies – alleges links to nuclear trade

Axios 29th March 2018,  The Commerce Department this week sanctioned seven Pakistani companies for
alleged links to nuclear trade. Their place on an “Entity List”
requires them to obtain special licenses to do business with the U.S. This
move follows other U.S. penalties against Pakistan, including a successful
push to put Pakistan on a “gray list” of countries not doing enough to
stem terrorist financing and a freeze on all U.S. security assistance to
Pakistan.

But Commerce’s action should not be seen as part of the
existing campaign to pressure Pakistan to crack down harder on terrorists.
Why it matters: Commerce’s move does underscore Washington’s concerns
about Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation record — even as nuclear
watchdog groups cite improvements in Pakistan’s nuclear security.
https://www.axios.com/nuclear-security-worries-drive-latest-us-penalties-on-pakistan-1522259525-d5bea2f2-a2aa-47e6-a5e8-b376e8e3853a.html

April 2, 2018 Posted by | Pakistan, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

New types of nuclear weapons being developed by Pakistan

Pak developing new types of nuclear weapons: US, Economic Times, Feb 13, 2018,

  Pakistan is developing new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical ones, that bring more risks to the region, America’s intelligence chief warned today.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’ remarks came days after a group of Pakistan -based Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists struck the Sunjuwan Military Camp in Jammu   on Saturday , killing seven people including six soldiers.

“Pakistan is developing new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical weapons,” Coats told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing on worldwide threats organised by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Pakistan continues to produce nuclear weapons and develop n ew types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical weapons, sea-based cruise missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, and longer-range ballistic missiles, he warned.

“These new types of nuclear weapons will introduce new risks for escalation of dynamics and security in the region,” Coats said, reflecting on the risks involved in developing such types of nuclear weapons. …….https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/pak-developing-new-types-of-nuclear-weapons-us/articleshow/62907167.cms

February 14, 2018 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pakistan and India exchange information on their nuclear installations and facilities.

Uneasy neighbors share information on nuclear facilities, http://www.mywabashvalley.com/news/uneasy-neighbors-share-information-on-nuclear-facilities/896851253, 2 Jan 18, ISLAMABAD (AP) — Uneasy neighbors Pakistan and India, who regularly trade gunfire in the disputed Kashmir region, are sticking to a 20-year-old agreement to exchange information on their nuclear installations and facilities.

In a statement Tuesday, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the 1988 agreement requires each country to hand over the list on Jan. 1 each year, which the representatives of the two countries did on Monday. It has been adhered to every year since 1992, the statement said.

Although neither country is signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), they both became declared nuclear powers after India conducted an underground nuclear weapons test in 1998 and Pakistan followed suit a few weeks later.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since the 1947 creation of Pakistan from a larger India.

January 3, 2018 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment