Taliban strategy could threaten Pakistan’s nukes

From Col Lang's blog a piece on Tehrik-e-Taliban, by Richard Sale
According to U.S. and Indian intelligence officials, the TTP are perhaps the most formidable of the jihadi groups because it contains a growing number of ex-servicemen from the Pakistani army. Members of the Pashtun tribe contributed a large number of trained and experienced soldiers and officers to the Pakistan army when Pakistan was established in 1947.

According to recent statements by Bahukutumbi Raman, a former senior Indian intelligence expert, the Pakistani government neglected these servicemen after their terms of service were up, and the TTP was quick to utilize them, not only for the training of new recruits but also for conducting operations.

Their superiority in conventional military and guerilla operations is unquestioned, several sources said. Using ambushes, diversionary attacks, flanking movements, frontal assaults and asymmetric warfare methods including suicide attacks, the TTP fought the Pakistani Army to a stalemate in the Swat Valley, then began operations in the Baajur Agency, the Kurram Agency and North Waziristan where it again outfought Islamabad’s regular forces.

But the latest attack is clear evidence that the TTP has devised a new strategy that focuses more of its power in attacking key, highly sensitive military facilities, acting on its vow to topple the Pakistan government and seize its nuclear weapons. The July 2 assault nearly embarrassed the Islamabad government, which claimed that the plant that employed the targeted workers was “non-nuclear,” a statement vigorously denied by U.S. experts. “That’s just plain bull,” said a congressional source, noting that the wounded were treated at a hospital run by the Kahuta nuclear lab.

For several former CIA officials the strike demonstrated the excellent and timely intelligence possessed by TTP operatives. “The attackers had very exact information,” said one.
Under the terms of secret agreements, U.S. personnel have been stationed in Pakistan whose sole function is to guarantee and secure the safety of Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal and keep it out of the hands of terrorists, according to several serving and former U.S. officials.

The United States has spent $100 million in bolstering security for Islamabad’s arsenal, including securing warheads, storing missiles and triggers in separate facilities, and putting together a more invulnerable system of command and control.

Some of the American technicians have had direct access to the nuclear weapons themselves, these sources said.

In any case, Pakistan’s nukes are currently secure, in the opinion of several former and serving U.S. officials. “They are for now,” said one.

Yet doubt still lingers.

Asked if Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was safe, former senior CIA official Milt Bearden was skeptical. “We don’t even know where it all is,” he said.

But South Asia expert Anthony Cordesman replied, “If the Pakistanis thought we knew where it all was, they’d move it.”

According to Pakistani Ministry of Interior figures, from June 2007 to the present, 2,267 have died in 158 Taliban suicide attacks.
Direct attacks on Pakistani engineers, scientists involved in the nuke program and Kahuta Research Laboratories seems a pretty dumb tactic. Looks more like TTP lashing out at symbols of state power. If your goal was getting your hands on WMD, you'd want some of the wet wear to be cooperative. This is complex machinery not a couple of tons of Semtex. On the other hand if you just wanted to draw DC into preemptive action it might have its merits.

If you actually want the nukes infiltrating the security around the program would be a better idea. As the TTP have obvious links to the Pak military that's a worrying prospect.
And if they want India to luanch a massive pre emptive strike on Pakistan, all they have to do is actually succeed in getting a nuke.
carlbcfc said:
The_Coming_Man said:
And if they want India to luanch a massive pre emptive strike on Pakistan, all they have to do is actually succeed in getting a nuke.
Fu.ck it, let them have the nukes in that case.
:wink: Can we try and get the troops some factor 7million sunscreen first mind!

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