mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Off To The Races
Pakistan Building Nukes at a Brisk Clip

Well what do you say about this bit of news, via the Washington Post? Interesting:

A new report by two American think tanks asserts that Pakistan may be building 20 nuclear warheads annually and could have the world’s third-largest nuclear stockpile within a decade.

The report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center concludes that Pakistan is rapidly expanding its nuclear capabilities because of fear of its archrival, India, also a nuclear power. The report, which will be released Thursday, says Pakistan is far outpacing India in the development of nuclear warheads. […]

Pakistan could have at least 350 nuclear weapons within five to 10 years, the report concludes. Pakistan then would probably possess more nuclear weapons than any country except the United States and Russia, which each have thousands of the bombs.

Gosh, I wonder what Islamabad might want to do with such a vast surplus of nukes? Pakistan would certainly never sell the extras to an ally, like, say, Saudi Arabia—an ally that’s rumored to have bankrolled its nuclear program, and that’s been there with an open checkbook when times have been tough. Because, well, doing that might just put the Middle East on course to a multipolar nuclear arms race—the dreaded mousetrap proliferation scenario. And the Obama Administration has repeatedly assured us that one of its main goals in negotiating its deal with Iran has been to prevent just such a scenario.

No, it couldn’t be that. Never mind, carry on, nothing to see here.

Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • Misanthrope

    It’s not just the Saudis. Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Oman – Sunnis will surround Iran with a ring of nukes.

  • http://radical-moderation.blogspot.com/ TheRadicalModerate

    Worries about further proliferation pale in comparison to the danger presented by a near-failed state possessing that many nukes. Sooner or later there will be enough crazies guarding the stockpile that a few ready-to-go warheads will get into the hands of terrorists, and then the real fun will start.

    I continue to think that the only way to solve this is with a policy where we formally designate certain states (North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan would do nicely) as rogue nuclear states, and commit to nuclear retaliation on all of them if a nuke from any of them–or an unsourced nuke–is used against us. I can’t think of another way of making the consequences of owning nukes dire enough to outweigh the advantages.

  • bittman

    One of the issues I see is that Al Queda may be able to take over Pakistan in the very near future and I do not trust Al Queda or ISIS or the Taliban to use nuclear bombs. Another concern is why is Pakistan building so many nuclear bombs — are they planning to sell them to Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc., who do not have the same degree of trust in an Iran with a nuclear capability that evidently Europe and the Obama Administration have. Of course, they’re closer to Iran…but Europe has forgotten that it suffer from the nuclear fallout — even if it is not bombed.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service