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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 10:33 PM
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On the consequences of nuclear proliferation
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Edited on Sat May-28-11 10:36 PM by kristopher
Within the academic community the risks of nuclear proliferation related to the spread of civilian nuclear isn't really a disputed issue. At places like Harvard and MIT the danger is accepted as real and the discussion focuses on how the risk might be mitigated. The general consensus that prevails among those who promote or accept as inevitable the spread of dual use nuclear technology under the umbrella of energy security is that the problem can be best be managed by careful international oversight watching over a system where there are a controlled number of fuel supplying nations that serve the needs of the fuel consuming nations. There is also consensus that this system is not yet in place.

Most critics think that is a view of reality that can't be supported in context of the known human behavior. Governments change, allegiances shift, economies collapse, madmen rise to power, and wars abound. The fundamental nature of global political reality, it is asserted, is uncertainty. That being the case, deployment of a technology that could endure as a sudden nuclear weapons threat for more than a century is an example of a particularly dangerous type of delusional thinking.

In contrast with the academic community the world of the internet fields a vocal contingent of nuclear supporters that has difficulty even admitting that there EXISTS an issue related to proliferation with the sale of dual use nuclear technologies to countries that have little claim to stability.

The foundation for this remarkable claim seems to come from three beliefs.
- The first is that the technology will never be appropriated for nuclear weapons because of the existence of potential sanctions against those who violate the NonProliferation Agreement.
- The second is that if a country should nuclear weapons do what they would never do and acquire nuclear nuclear weapons, then they would never use nor supply them to terrorists because the consequence of retaliation would be so great.
- The third is the belief among some that nuclear weapons proliferation is desirable. This is argued with the same arguments that unlimited gun rights advocates use; if everyone has a weapon we will all be safer because the bad guys know they can't push around the good guys (if I might paraphrase).

It is against that discussion that this event should to be considered.

It also fits into another part of the discussion on what kind of energy world we want tomorrow to bring - the terrorism risks associated with hostile use of civilian nuclear power as an in-place WMD. This threat is routinely dismissed as not possible because of the degree of security at the plants. That too, is a discussion on civilian nuclear power that this article informs.Having seen both I can assure you that the level of security around nuclear plants is as nothing compared to that of nuclear weapons facilities.


Signalling the launch of nuclear jihad!
May 29, 2011 8:13:32 AM

Kanchan Gupta

After the Talibans daring raid on PNS Mehran, a heavily guarded naval base in Karachi, the world, and not only the US, has reason to worry, if not be alarmed. This is not just another incident of radical Islamists demonstrating their ability to strike terror with the help of brainwashed young men desperate to die in the hope of frolicking with 72 nubile nymphets in the other world; it signals enhanced capability on part of Pakistans terrorists to attack high security targets. As Prof Shaun Gregory, director of the Pakistan Security Research Unit at Bradford University (we shall return to him later) says, This is a blueprint for an attack on nuclear facilities.

That fear has been stalking nations around the world ever since Pakistans descent into jihadi violence and chaos began in the closing years of Gen Pervez Musharrafs rule. The fig leaf of order that had been held in place by the General and his men dropped the evening Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. After that, the Pakistani state, such as it existed, began imploding with an effete civilian Government, happy to be putty in the hands of a corrupt, unreliable and unstable Army, watching from the sidelines. With each passing day of blood-curdling violence a suicide bombing here; a shootout there the jihadis are inching closer to achieving their goal: Capturing the worlds only Islamic state with a nuclear arsenal.

Till recently, Pakistan posed a different kind of problem. It was a terror-sponsoring state with little or no control over its Army and rogue institutions like the ISI. It was, as former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright famously said, An international headache. There was also the fear that unless terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and its affiliate organisations like the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, treated as strategic assets by the Pakistani Army, were brought under control (destroying them root and branch was never quite an option as the dragons teeth sown by Gen Zia-ul Haq, ironically with the help of the Americans, would ensure a fresh crop of jihadis after one lot had been put down) they would lay their hands on strategic assets of another kind: Pakistans nuclear arsenal.

Every time that fear was expressed, Pakistan would retort with the standard response: Our nuclear facilities are safe and secure. There is also the other detail which would be touted in defence of Pakistan nuclear bombs are not readymade gadgets that one picks up and detonates at will. True, thats not how nuclear weapons are stored. The fissile core is kept separately from the device that triggers the explosion, which is not coupled with the launch vehicle. Its only when the three are mated that you have a weapon of mass destruction.

If the Pakistanis (and their patrons in America) ...
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