Saturday, November 10, 2012

Is Pakistan's Paranoia Pushing it Into a Nuclear War with India?

Is Pakistan’s Paranoia Pushing it Into a Nuclear War with India? [excerpt]

The possibility of a nuclear war between Pakistan and India grows every day. If the Pakistanis do not bring under control the terrorist groups in the country and resolve the conflicts with India, it is not a matter of if it will happen, but when.

Satellite photos and other sources estimate that there are fifteen locations where weapons or nuclear materials are likely to be kept. Six of these have been attacked by terrorists, although no weapons or materials have been taken.

The assurance that the weapons are safe from attackers collapses once a warhead leaves the guarded facilities. Weapons are being moved frequently in lightly defended ordinary vehicles along public highways to prevent Indian and American spy satellites or snooping drones from tracking the movements. There is little doubt that various extremist organizations have penetrated the military and are aware of the schedules and routes, but ISI acts as if it has enough control over the terrorists to prevent an ambush.

India nearly retaliated against Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai attack. That was before Pakistan had begun deploying tactical nuclear weapons. India would have been able to use its superior forces to crush Pakistani defenses.

Should there be another deadly attack by a Pakistan based terrorist organization, especially if it involves a stolen nuclear warhead, the Indians will not hesitate to retaliate. This time, the Indian army will encounter nuclear weapons in the field. Then, Delhi that has no tactical nuclear weapons will have to decide if a strategic response is to be used. The survival of South Asia and far beyond will be depending on that decision.