Are the rules of the game possible in the age of nuclear weapons?

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The portents are that the United States has once again found a convenient scapegoat to blame for the Afghan debacle. Wow, the American generals swore. “We need to fully consider the role of the Pakistani shrine. They stressed “the need to probe how the Taliban resisted US military pressure for 20 years.” Claiming that the Taliban was and remains a terrorist organization, Senior US General Milley said, “It remains to be seen whether or not the Taliban can consolidate their power or whether the country will become further shattered in civil war.

Joint Chief General Chairman Mark Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “we felt that an accelerated withdrawal would increase the risks of regional instability, Pakistan’s security and its nuclear arsenals.” The two generals, however, declined to discuss further their concerns about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and the potential that they could fall into the hands of terrorists.

They acknowledged, “We need to fully consider the role of the Pakistani shrine. The general stressed the need to probe how the Taliban resisted US military pressure for 20 years. They implied that it was Pakistan’s tour de force that helped the Taliban win. They said they would discuss this and other sensitive issues in camera with senators.

Aim of the denigration of Pakistan

The denigration of Pakistan is the result of pressure from India, which wants a counterpart for participation in QUAD. The United States wants to go back to the good old days when Pakistan provided vital air corridors to bomb Afghanistan.

Familiar model

The denigration of Pakistan has a familiar pattern. After a lull, they pull out the old skeleton of nuclear proliferation and flog it in the international media. India is still at the forefront of this orchestrated campaign.

For example, the Press Trust of India of January 10, 2006 reported that “Pakistan continues to be the hub of the nuclear black market involved in the trade of surplus goods to other countries despite the discovery of the proliferation network of the former senior scientist AQ Khan two years ago. , said a report today citing European intelligence sources. The Khan network may not have been completely disabled, said an anonymous administration official quoted by the ‘Washington Times’9 and not the Washington Post). … “Khan was sidelined, but other younger people took over,” David Albright, a nuclear analyst who follows the AQ Khan Network at the Institute for Science and International Security, told the daily. The European intelligence agencies have come to the conclusion that Pakistan continues to obtain supplies – including in Europe – well beyond its needs ”. It is believed that there are up to 20 Pakistani government offices, laboratories, companies and trade organizations that are actively involved in the procurement effort, with end users being front companies of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. or commercial companies operating on behalf of Islamabad. “To develop its nuclear facilities, Pakistan depended on supplies of equipment from abroad, especially from Europe,” according to a July 2005 intelligence assessment, which noted that since 2004 there had been attempts to sourcing with the range of materials procured going “clearly beyond” Pakistani spares requirements “.

Unfortunate bias

It is unfortunate that Pakistan is being unduly reprimanded in the media. All countries buy dual-use equipment by secret means. In India, for example, Sidney Emery Jr, managing director of US firm MTS Systems Corp, confirmed that his company, along with five other companies, was under investigation by US government agencies for possible violation of laws. federal regulations on exports. The charge against MTS Corporation and five other companies was for illegally selling high-tech materials testing equipment to the Bhabha Atomic Research Center and the Indira Gandhi Center for Atomic Research. The equipment, using hydraulic pressure, was designed for nuclear weapon research. In several other cases, Indians have been arrested and punished in the United States for attempting to procure dual-use equipment for export to India.

A dossier on nuclear proliferation by Pakistan only

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has published a “research” dossier entitled “Nuclear Black markets: Pakistan, AQ Khan and the rise of proliferation networks‘. Much of the information in the dossier is from old churned wine in new bottles. Yet there are glimmers of hope in the matter.

The title of the dossier suggests that it is exclusively focused on Dr. Qadeer. However, it sheds light on the bomb espionage activities of several other countries, including India. The dossier is accompanied by an introductory statement by Dr Johan Chipman, Director General of the IISS. This statement gives a fair view of Pakistan’s motivation to go nuclear.

Dr Chipman points out that “Pakistan’s motivation to acquire nuclear weapons was triggered in large part by competition with India. .. the major boost [to Pakistan’s weapons programme] arrived in December 1971 after Pakistan’s traumatic defeat by India. The bitterness over the loss of East Pakistan has also provided psychological motivation for Dr AQ Khan who offers his services to his home country by stealing enrichment technology from his workplace in the Netherlands. With this boost, it took only ten years for Pakistan to reach the point where it could produce a nuclear weapon, despite the withdrawal of nuclear assistance from Western countries.

Despite his pro-Indian bias, the record admits that “Khan may have acted largely of his own accord, for his own gain” (page 2). “Khan’s nuclear activities were largely unsupervised by Pakistani government authorities, and his orders for many more components than Pakistan’s enrichment program required, have apparently gone undetected” ( p. 66). “Most of Khan’s transactions were carried out on his own initiative” (DG, IISS, press release of May 2, 2007).

The dossier clearly reflects Pakistan’s efforts to strengthen its nuclear safety and security controls. . A strong command and control system is now in place to protect Pakistan’s nuclear assets against diversion, theft and accidental misuse. AQ Khan and his known cohorts are bankrupt ”.

The dossier also notes that “a new defense policy was adopted in March 2004. This policy would aim to” further strengthen the institutionalization of the control of strategic assets “and” to transform all policies and decisions into secrecy. invisible in solid documentary form following the recent proliferation scandal ”(p. 36).

The dossier realizes the dangerous implications of Agreement 123 (revised version on the anvil) for Pakistan. Extract: “Fears that the India-US nuclear cooperation agreement would release Indian national uranium for additional military use gives Pakistan additional motivation to continue to produce fissile material on its own.” military grade. Pakistan has resisted any non-proliferation regime that it says would give India a “perpetual advantage”. This is one of the reasons why Pakistan has been the most reluctant country to negotiate a Fissile Material Ban Treaty ”.

Aside from its disparaging headline on Pakistan, the dossier observes that “Pakistan was not the only country to evade nuclear export controls to promote a secret nuclear weapons program (page 7). “Almost all countries that have conducted nuclear weapons programs have obtained at least some of the necessary technologies, tools and materials from suppliers in other countries. Even the United States (which detonated the first nuclear weapon in 1945) used refugees and other European scientists for the Manhattan Project and the subsequent development of its nascent nuclear arsenal. The Soviet Union (which first tested an atomic bomb in 1949) acquired its technological bases through espionage. The United Kingdom (1952) received a technological boost through its involvement in the Manhattan Project. France (1960) discovered the secret solvent for reprocessing plutonium by combing through American open source literature. China (1964) received extensive technical assistance from the USSR.

According to the file, we learn that Asher Karni, an Israeli businessman, and Alfred Hempel, a former Nazi who died in 1989, are the co-fathers of the “native” bombs of India. Hempel, a German nuclear contractor, helped India overcome heavy water shortage difficulties by arranging for the illicit delivery of a consignment of over 250 tonnes of heavy water to India’s Madras-I reactor, via China , Norway and the USSR. The duo also organized the transfer to India of sensitive nuclear components.

Final remarks

One unmistakable conclusion from the case is that Pakistan’s motivation to go nuclear was well founded. Given the restrictions on nuclear exports, Pakistan did what other countries did to make its bomb.

Yet Pakistan should prepare for a long period of nuclear bashing.


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