Friday, October 19, 2007

Pakistan, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and Nuclear Weapons

Here's something to think about.

Pakistan has Granted, Pakistan may not have nuclear devices much more powerful than the 25 to 36 kiloton devices they had in 1998. That's not much, compared to the 100 megaton H-bombs that turned islands into craters in the Pacific.

But let's remember that the bomb that made Hiroshima famous was a 15 kiloton nuclear bomb.

So, what if some collection of suicide bombers managed to kill Bhutto, convince some of Pakistan's leadership that the Taliban / Al Qaeda version of Islam was right, and kill the rest?

We'd have a bunch of jihadists who wouldn't have to bother with developing nuclear weapons: They'd have them in stock. With the missiles to deliver them.

Pleasant dreams.

4 comments:

American Interests said...

My reading over the years (since Pakistan acquired nuclear weapons) gives me confidence that the U.S. is well aware of this and has real and uncompromising contingency plans in place.

Plans were made as early as 2001 to ensure this is the case, measures that have been reviewed many times since.

http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2001/10/16_wolfsthal_contingency-plan.htm

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/terrorism/pakassist.html

http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/tst062707.cfm

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

American Interests,

Thanks for the links.

A recurring rant in American news media is "Pentagon Plans Invasion of [country]." A little checking has, to date, shown that each example of 'imperialistic, militaristic warmongering' has been a case of the U.S. military doing their job, drawing up contingency plans.

So, I'm not concerned by the U.S. military being unprepared.

My concern is more with those American citizens who don't pay attention (and, happily, often don't vote), and national leaders like Representative Stark ("During a debate on children's health care Thursday, Rep. Pete Stark accused Republicans of sending troops to Iraq to 'get their heads blown off for the president's amusement.'" (The Seattle Times, October 20, 2007)

Since civilian leaders, not the military, make policy decisions, I am very concerned that someone with a distorted, even delusional, view of what is real in this world might get into a major decision-making position.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Here are active versions of the links American Interests provided:

U.S. Needs A Contingency Plan For Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal (October, 16, 2001)

Securing Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal: Principles for Assistance (October 4, 2001)

U.S. Policy and Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Containing Threats and Encouraging Regional Security (July 6, 2007)

Alex said...

What do you think of this http://samsonblinded.org/blog/dont-buy-reformism.htm ?

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.