The Talibans Atomic Threat

#1
The Taliban's Atomic Threat
The extremists who harbored al Qaeda could get control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

By JOHN R. BOLTON

At his press conference Wednesday evening, President Barack Obama endorsed Pakistan's official position that it has secure control over its nuclear-weapons arsenal. Mr. Obama said he was "gravely concerned" about the situation there, but "confident that the nuclear arsenal will remain out of militant hands."

His words are not reassuring in light of the Taliban's military and political gains throughout Pakistan. Our security, and that of friends and allies world-wide, depends critically on preventing more adversaries, especially ones with otherworldly ideologies, from acquiring nuclear weapons. Unless there is swift, decisive action against the Islamic radicals there, Pakistan faces two very worrisome scenarios.

One scenario is that instability continues to grow, and that the radicals disrupt both Pakistan's weak democratic institutions and the military.

Often known as Pakistan's "steel skeleton" for holding the country together after successive corrupt or incompetent civilian governments, the military itself is now gravely threatened from within by rising pro-Taliban sentiment. In these circumstances -- especially if, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified recently, the nuclear arsenal has been dispersed around the country -- there is a tangible risk that several weapons could slip out of military control. Such weapons could then find their way to al Qaeda or other terrorists, with obvious global implications.
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#2
The construction of a thermo nuclear device in India or Pakistan by irregular forces is limited to using conventional explosives to detonate Uranium material and create a Dirty Bomb as opposed to a nuclear one.
It is unfeasible that, in the event of a change of leadership within the Pakistan army, the Engineers employed on the current nuclear programme would be allowed to continue there work uninterrupted.
The threat here is insignificant.
 
#3
Old Walrus Moustache still peddling his sh*t then?

Thanks to him and others like him, we arrive where we are now.
 
#4
I stopped reading after this bit: By JOHN R. BOLTON

Blah blah blah blah etc.
 
#5
jemadarjo said:
The construction of a thermo nuclear device in India or Pakistan by irregular forces is limited to using conventional explosives to detonate Uranium material and create a Dirty Bomb as opposed to a nuclear one.
It is unfeasible that, in the event of a change of leadership within the Pakistan army, the Engineers employed on the current nuclear programme would be allowed to continue there work uninterrupted.
The threat here is insignificant.
Are you saying that there is absolutely no capability in the PA to make a TND? If rogue elements take power, would they not seek to use this capability - forcing engineers down that route if necessary? Is there any real difference in outcome between being under a dirty bomb or a TND? You say It is unfeasible (sic) that, in the event of a change of leadership within the Pakistan army, the Engineers employed on the current nuclear programme would be allowed to continue there (sic) work uninterrupted.
The threat here is insignificant
What way do you see the change in their work being interrupted?
 
#6
jemadarjo said:
The construction of a thermo nuclear device in India or Pakistan by irregular forces is limited to using conventional explosives to detonate Uranium material and create a Dirty Bomb as opposed to a nuclear one.
It is unfeasible that, in the event of a change of leadership within the Pakistan army, the Engineers employed on the current nuclear programme would be allowed to continue there work uninterrupted.
The threat here is insignificant.
Sorry am I missing something? Where does the article mention thermo-nuclear devices or are you assuming that when he talked about "further development" this is what he meant?

Unlike the general consensus so far I think there is a danger of the current breed of Pakistani nuclear weapons falling under Taliban control.
 
#7
Thank you oldredcap for exposing the errors in my syntax but English is not my first language and I trust it did not detract from your understanding of my proposition,
Pakistan and India have had a nuclear capability for over 30 years, the difference with Pakistan is that they developed there weapons with very little outside help. It is believed that Pakistan has at least 250 Nuclear weapons spread around 15 plus sites, with a mixture of delivery systems.
It is quite probable that each site has been given the ability to destroy the weapons each has, to prevent there use by an advancing enemy. This ability could be/ is available to the USA should it be required, for many complex reasons, including the survival of the engineers and scientists employed there. This would prevent the weapons from being deployed by any religious extremists.
It has been pointed out that there is a significant flaw in this reasoning and that is should any change in control of the army, not the government, reveal a majority of the officers having extreme religious views, until now kept to themselves, there may be an upsurge of Islamic violence orchestrated by the army themselves. In which case the American saying “all bets are off” will stand.
 
#8
Destroy them all. We used to own that part of the world and look at the disaastrous way how they have tried to build it. \destroy them all, they contribute zilch to the world other than terrorism and we can all get on woth our lives . paki shop owners excluded
 
#9
(All my bold)
jemadarjo said:
Thank you oldredcap for exposing the errors in my syntax but English is not my first language and I trust it did not detract from your understanding of my proposition,
The main text is very well written if English is not a mother tongue. There/their stands out in amongst this. Put it down to my being nasty in my old old age.
Pakistan and India have had a nuclear capability for over 30 years, the difference with Pakistan is that they developed there weapons with very little outside help. It is believed that Pakistan has at least 250 Nuclear weapons spread around 15 plus sites, with a mixture of delivery systems.
It is quite probable (but not 100% confirmed)that each site has been given the ability to destroy the weapons each has, to prevent there use by an advancing enemy. This ability could be/ is available (in the sort of event we may face, could and is are critical to any decision making) to the USA should it be required, for many complex reasons, including the survival of the engineers and scientists employed there. (These same engineers would/could one assumes circumvent any built in control mechanism - under duress or because of a new loyalty) This would prevent the weapons from being deployed by any religious extremists. (Sorry - from my foregoing, I cannot be sure of this)
It has been pointed out that there is a significant flaw in this reasoning and that is should any change in control of the army, not the government, reveal a majority of the officers having extreme religious views, until now kept to themselves, there may be an upsurge of Islamic violence orchestrated by the army themselves. In which case the American saying “all bets are off” will stand.
(And that is when sand would become glass in some or other area of the world)
 
#10
I've always thought that only the terminally stupid would actually use a nuke and even the Taliban aren't that dumb. There’s only one possible response to firing off a nuclear weapon, complete annihilation, what benefits would that bring to any cause?
 
#11
Ord_Sgt said:
I've always thought that only the terminally stupid would actually use a nuke and even the Taliban aren't that dumb. There’s only one possible response to firing off a nuclear weapon, complete annihilation, what benefits would that bring to any cause?
The Taliban become Shaheed and take the Magic Carpet Ride to Paradise and the 72 Virgins/Raisins. :roll:

Never, EVER dismiss any possibility on the grounds that nobody is stupid enough to do it! 8O
 
#12
Werewolf said:
Ord_Sgt said:
I've always thought that only the terminally stupid would actually use a nuke and even the Taliban aren't that dumb. There’s only one possible response to firing off a nuclear weapon, complete annihilation, what benefits would that bring to any cause?
The Taliban become Shaheed and take the Magic Carpet Ride to Paradise and the 72 Virgins/Raisins. :roll:

Never, EVER dismiss any possibility on the grounds that nobody is stupid enough to do it! 8O
You're probably right, there is always one as the saying goes ;)

Although I don't feel less safe today than I did when Ivan and Seamus were the bogey men, despite this governments best efforts to scare us all to death. :D
 
#13
Ord_Sgt said:
Werewolf said:
Ord_Sgt said:
I've always thought that only the terminally stupid would actually use a nuke and even the Taliban aren't that dumb. There’s only one possible response to firing off a nuclear weapon, complete annihilation, what benefits would that bring to any cause?
The Taliban become Shaheed and take the Magic Carpet Ride to Paradise and the 72 Virgins/Raisins. :roll:

Never, EVER dismiss any possibility on the grounds that nobody is stupid enough to do it! 8O
You're probably right, there is always one as the saying goes ;)

Although I don't feel less safe today than I did when Ivan and Seamus were the bogey men, despite this governments best efforts to scare us all to death. :D
Fair one. I grew up at the height of the Cold War, when Ronnie Ray-gun was President and the threat of MAD was very real. 8O

Ah, the Good Old Days! :D
 
#14
Insane actions are the hallmark of a terrorist - their aim is to create terror as a precursor to change of government. I agree there might not be a monster bang as Hiroshima but a limited yield dirty bomb - say 5 mile radius - would make their point. Total kill - maybe double 9/11 so not too scary in their view. I see he biggest risk arising from reaction post terrorist bomb. If it went off in Israel we would all be meeting at the river pretty quick. If a Yank thing, they would retaliate in the wrong place. Interesting would be if they set it off in India.
 
#15
OldRedCap said:
Insane actions are the hallmark of a terrorist - their aim is to create terror as a precursor to change of government. I agree there might not be a monster bang as Hiroshima but a limited yield dirty bomb - say 5 mile radius - would make their point. Total kill - maybe double 9/11 so not too scary in their view. I see he biggest risk arising from reaction post terrorist bomb. If it went off in Israel we would all be meeting at the river pretty quick. If a Yank thing, they would retaliate in the wrong place. Interesting would be if they set it off in India.
If the Taliban look to be close to gaining control over Pakistan's nukes, I'd expect India to get it's retaliation in first! 8O

If that does'nt happen, and we assume a worst case scenario where the Taliban have total control of the Paki's nukes(unlikely but not impossible)what kind of range are we talking about here? Could they hit the USA or Isreal? Could they hit us?
 
#16
What makes you think only Terrorist's would be that dumb? You could put a small red button, in a secret cave miles beneath the earth with a sign saying "End of the World Button, DO NOT PRESS" and the dust would barely have time to gather before someone went and pushed it. I've given up hope long ago over the stupidity of some of the other members of the 'ooman race, it seems built it.



Edited because I type like a mong child
 
#17
Yeoman_dai said:
What makes you think only Terrorist's would be that dumb? You could put a small red button, in a secret cave miles beneath the earth with a sign saying "End of the World Button, DO NOT PRESS" and the dust would barely have time to gather before someone went and pushed it. I've given up hope long ago over the stupidity of some of the other members of the 'ooman race, it seems built it.



Edited because I type like a mong child
You are Sir Terry Prattchet and I claim my £10! :D
 
#18
Wonk_Mog said:
Destroy them all. We used to own that part of the world and look at the disaastrous way how they have tried to build it. \destroy them all, they contribute zilch to the world other than terrorism and we can all get on woth our lives . paki shop owners excluded
I'm glad you said that last bit - our corner shop Asian brethren have been bailing out alkies for year!
 

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