5. How Safe Are Pakistani Nukes PDF

Click here to load reader

  • date post

    25-Dec-2015
  • Category

    Documents

  • view

    13
  • download

    3

Embed Size (px)

description

This document explains the safety of Pakistan nuclear arms

Transcript of 5. How Safe Are Pakistani Nukes PDF

  • CHAPTER 8

    POST BIN LADEN L L : THE SAFETY AND

    SECURITY OF PAKISTAN P P S NUCLEAR

    ARSENALPervez Hoodbhoy

    There is great concern across the world about the security of

    Pakistans nuclear weapons, and Pakistan goes to great lengths to

    assure the world that its weapons will not fall into the hands of

    extremist groups. This chapter assesses the threat to Pakistans

    nuclear weapons from within the country. In this context it will be

    important to understand the forces that shape attitudes within the

    Pakistan military, as well as those which are operative within the

    general public.

    Broadly speaking, Pakistans nuclear weapons face four categories

    of potential threats:

    s &ROM )NDIA AND THE 5NITED 3TATES EITHER INDEPENDENTLY ORtogether. Israel is a distant possibility but not to be ruled out.

    s &ROM OUTSIDE )SLAMIC MILITANTS ATTACKING A NUCLEAR STORAGE SITEor facility with the purpose of capturing a nuclear weapon, or

    a sizeable amount of HEU that could be fashioned into a crude

    nuclear device.

    s &ROM INSIDE )SLAMIC ELEMENTS IN THE ARMY WHO HAVEresponsibility for protecting and operating nuclear sites,

    facilities, or fissile materials.

    s &ROM INSIDE AND OUTSIDE A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT

    Before 11 September 2001, there was little urgency to safeguard

    Pakistans nuclear weapons. But, faced with George W. Bushs

    ultimatum, General Pervez Musharraf had to choose between are

  • Post bin Laden: The Safety and Security of Pakistans Nuclear Arsenal 169

    you with us or against us. Thereupon he made his famous U-turn

    and abandoned the Taliban. Acceding to U.S. demands was necessary,

    said Musharraf in his public address to the nation; else Pakistan

    would have lost its nuclear assets and its Kashmir cause.1 The

    weapons that were supposed to defend Pakistan now had to be

    defended.

    The subsequent history is well-known: efforts to persuade Mullah

    Omar refused to break with Al Qaeda failed, and Pakistan joined the

    U.S. in its war against terror. Foreseeing opposition to this new

    alliance, Musharraf removed two of his close former associates.

    Both were strongly Islamist generals: the head of Pakistans ISI

    intelligence agency, Lt. General Mehmood Ahmed, and Deputy Chief

    of Army Staff, General Muzaffar Hussain Usmani. Multiple new

    dangers were created. Although the government insisted that its

    nuclear weapons were safe, it did not take chances. Several weapons

    were reportedly airlifted to various safer and more isolated locations

    within the country.

    Keeping nuclear weapons away from predators is now an

    overriding concern for the Pakistan Army, which is the custodian of

    Pakistans nuclear weapons. Who could these predators be and why

    would they want nuclear weapons?

    It is likely that those currently fighting the Pakistan Army

    Muslim extremists of various persuasions with various levels of

    sophistication and weaponrywant the bomb. Their motives can

    only be guessed. Some may want a weapon, perhaps deliverable by

    truck or ship rather than by aircraft or missile, for use against some

    U.S. or European city. Targets could also include Western economic

    interests in the Gulf and neighbouring areas. But other groups may

    consider attacking an Indian or Pakistani city desirable. This is not

    implausible: truck bombs have been frequently set off in crowded

    city locales in Pakistan. There is no obvious taboo against the use

    of a larger bomb in a South Asian city, perhaps hidden inside a

    container truck. This would not only be logistically easier but could

    ignite total war between Pakistan and India. Such a goal would be

    consistent with the apocalyptic vision of Al Qaeda type groups which

  • 170 CONFRONTING THE BOMB

    have, as a matter of strategy, frequently targeted other Muslims (as

    well as Shias or those considered infidels). In the extremist mindset,

    it is preferable if only enemies are killed but collateral Muslim

    deaths are acceptable. On this matter, one notes that Osama bin

    Laden appears to be a man of peace when compared to his bloody-

    minded deputy, Aiman Al-Zawahiri.2

    Recognizing that new concerns had to be addressed, General

    Pervez Musharraf formally instituted a nuclear command and con-

    trol mechanism in February 2000. This comprised of the National

    Command Authority (NCA), Strategic Plans Division (SPD), and

    Strategic Forces Command. The SPD acts as a secretariat for the

    National Command Authority (NCA) and has a security division with

    a counter-intelligence network. Employing at least 12,000 personnel,

    the SPD has physical custody of the weapons. Through one of its

    outreach publications, Pakistan Defense, it provides the following

    self-profile:

    0!+)34!.3.5#,%!2#/.42/,3*s MEMBER .ATIONAL #OMMAND !UTHORITY IN CHARGE OF ALL .UCLEAR

    Facilities.

    s 4HEPRESIDENTWILLBETHEAUTHORITYSCHAIRMANANDTHEPRIMEMINISTERits vice-chairman. The authority will include ministers of foreign

    affairs, defense, interior, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

    Committee, chiefs of army, navy and air force, and director-general

    of the Strategic Plans Division. The director-general of the Strategic

    Plans Division will be the authoritys secretary.

    s 3TANDARD @4WO-AN2ULE TO AUTHENTICATE ACCESS TO NUCLEAR RELEASEcodes.

    s .UCLEAR 7ARHEADS @DEMATED FROM MISSILES OR BOMB CASINGS ANDcomponents are to be put into operation only with the consent of a

    National Command Authority.

    s 0AKISTANHASDEVELOPEDITSOWNVERSIONOF@0ERMISSIVE!CTION,INKSor PALs, a sophisticated type of lock the U.S. uses to prevent

    unauthorised launching.

    * http://www.defence.pk/forums/wmd-missiles/

  • Post bin Laden: The Safety and Security of Pakistans Nuclear Arsenal 171

    s !COMPREHENSIVE INTRUSIVE0ERSONNEL2ELIABILITY3YSTEMALONGTHElines of one in the U.S.) that monitors employees, before, during and

    after employment.

    s ! TENTHOUSANDMEMBER3ECURITY&ORCE LED BY A TWOSTAR'ENERALdedicated to guarding the Nuclear facilities.

    s 0OSSIBLE @PHONY BUNKERS AND DUMMY WARHEADS TO DETER RAIDS BYinternal and external threats.

    s 0OSSIBLY BETWEEN TO NUCLEARWARHEADS .UMBER OF-ISSILEDelivery Systems unknown).

    Publically, Pakistan has consistently denied that its nuclear weapons

    have ever been under threat. On many occasions the Foreign

    Ministry has emphatically stated that, our [nuclear] assets are 100

    per cent secure, under multiple custody. In June 2011, Interior

    Minister Rehman Malik went a step further by declaring them to be

    200 per cent safe.3

    Trust us, says the SPD. But the crux of the problem lies in the

    following: whatever the procedures and equipment Pakistan may

    adopt, they can only be as good as the men who operate them.

    Mindsets and intentions matter more than anything else. Certainly

    better weaponsor more personnel deputed to protect himcould

    not have prevented Governor Salman Taseer from being gunned

    down by his own security guard.

    4(%%.%-97)4().At one level every country that possesses nuclear weapons is a feared

    entity because of the catastrophic destruction that it could unleash

    against an adversary. This could be by design, and may be initiated

    by extreme emotions or fears existing in a severe crisis. But some

    wars in history have happened although neither side wanted it.

    Human error, misjudgment, and miscalculation are impossible to

    rule out. This could be catastrophic if countries also have nuclear

    weapons. During the Cold War it was seen that in spite of every

    possible precaution, false information can be provided by radar and

    other detection systems, aircraft carrying nuclear weapons can

    crash, test missiles can veer off course, and so forth. These are

  • 172 CONFRONTING THE BOMB

    normal fears. But Pakistan must deal with another possibility as

    well: that of nuclear weapons or fissile material escaping the

    protective custody of the SPD and the Pakistan Army. The fear of

    loose weapons comes from the fact that Pakistans armed forces

    army, navy, and air forceharbour a hidden enemy within their

    ranks. Today all bases, installations, headquarters, and residential

    colonies are protected by massive barricades and sand-bagged

    machine gun nests. But this has not been enough. Those wearing

    the cloak of religion freely walk in and out of top security nuclear

    installations every day.

    The fear of the insider is ubiquitous and well-founded. Pakistans

    current crop of generals know they are faced with Islamic militant

    groups fixated upon attacking both America and India, and a heavily

    Islamicized rank and file brimming with seditious thoughts. Some

    want to kill their superior officers; they achieved near success when

    General Musharraf was targeted twice by air force and army officers

    in 2003. A military court sentenced the mutineers to death, and a

    purge of officers and men associated with militants was ordered. But

    in a spectacular jail break at Bannu in May 2012, Musharrafs would-

    be assassins escaped a death sentence together with at least 384

    other prisoners.4 It is also reported that prison guards stood aside

    and then raised slogans in support of the Taliban attackers and

    imposition of Sharia law.

    The Pakistani mil