Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

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shiv
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Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 25 Nov 2009 08:35

Having spent months reading little other than issues about nuclear weapons it occurs to me that nuclear "deterrence" is aimed at rational nation states who are looking for continuity, survival and prosperity. Deterrence can have no meaning for an irrational terrorist group.

But reading tells me that the "usual scenarios" published about nuclear terrorism comes from Western minds and built up from western fears. And western actions are naturally aimed at soothing those fears. I will quote a typical example of those western fears and western conclusions as to how nuclear terrorism might occur and how it might be prevented.

Much of this is complete trash from the Indian viewpoint which is frightening because the majority of Indians automatically read English literature and acquire a western viewpoint.

First a quote from a logically written source about nuclear terrorism
http://www.chemcases.com/nuclear/nc-12.html

Nuclear Terrorism
Most recently, attention has centered on the possibility of “rogue” nations or terrorist groups obtaining a fission device. Two possibilities exist: the acquisition of an intact weapon or the construction of an improvised nuclear device (IND) device from components either stolen or acquired illegally from a rogue state.

In the first case, an organized group must obtain the financial resources to initiate this act of extreme violence. The group must then acquire an intact weapon through purchase, theft, diversion, or as a gift. It then has to ascertain how to bypass or disable safeguards incorporated in the weapon to prevent its unauthorized use. Lastly, the weapon must be transported to a high value target and detonated. The challenges involved with the successful completion of each step are formidable.
The second case would also involve sizeable obstacles. As in the first case, an organization and funding would be required. The group would have to acquire sufficient fissile material, fabricate it into a fissile component, and assemble an IND. This would require significant technical expertise. A device similar to a uranium gun-type bomb (Figure 2) would be easier to build than a plutonium implosion weapon. Transport and detonation of an IND would involve greater risks than those associated with the intact weapon.

The lack of complete control of fissile materials and the economic conditions in the former Soviet Union have increased the possibility that HEU and plutonium from weapons programs might be available on the international black market.....



Let me quote the suspect sentences which have become totally meaningless:

In the first case, an organized group must obtain the financial resources to initiate this act of extreme violence. The group must then acquire an intact weapon through purchase, theft, diversion, or as a gift.

Pakistan/China can give a proxy group a weapons. The US is funding Pakistan to do exactly this.


It then has to ascertain how to bypass or disable safeguards incorporated in the weapon to prevent its unauthorized use.

That comes with the gift


As in the first case, an organization and funding would be required. The group would have to acquire sufficient fissile material, fabricate it into a fissile component, and assemble an IND. This would require significant technical expertise.

:rotfl: How stupid. Abdul Qadeer "Xerox" Khan has been doing this for years. His photo is on the same page as the link. How blinkered are these "Western experts"?



The lack of complete control of fissile materials and the economic conditions in the former Soviet Union
This is the most insincere and idiotic statements I have seen

The very same page has the map of proliferation that I linked in the deterrence thread. Just see who has given what to whom? The morons who write such things talk as though

1) terrorists are separate from nation states
2) terrorists have don't have enough money

How dumb is that?

Terrorists are supported by states like Pakistan and China
States like Pakistan are being funded by the US

Under the circumstances it will be impossible to prevent an act of nuclear terrorism.

Can anything be done at all?

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Jarita » 25 Nov 2009 09:18

The reason why the US has not had an act of major terrorism since 2001 because of 2 factors
- Strengthening of intelligence gathering by a significant multiplier to preempt any movements
- Disproportionate retribution - 2 buildings, 2 countries is what I have heard (also add to this rendition and patriot act etc)

Unless the Indian state has appetite for the above, we will perpetually be sitting ducks.
A complete fear of retribution is what will halt these folks and a precedent probably needs to be set.
In addition, our intelligence machinery is in disarray. Fixing this will go a long way in preventing attacks

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Ananya » 25 Nov 2009 09:31

cut a diamond with a diamond and unless you apply the sharia laws to them in terms of punishment they would never understand

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Johann » 25 Nov 2009 09:38

Shiv,

The thinking of a lot of the open source activist types was shaped by the events, or perhaps we should say headlines of the 1990s.
- Pakistan did not test until 1998
- In Russia of the 1990s military pay were sometimes months in arrears, and you had generals selling tonnes of (conventional) weapons on the black market
- there were a number of cases of smugglers from the FSU trying to get fissile material on the black market in Europe.

Regardless, given GoI certainty over the degree of Pakistani state control over jihadi terrorism aimed at India, why wouldn't state sponsored nuclear terrorism be deterred by the same means that keeps the PA from launching its big mijjiles?

Unless, of course you're suggesting that Pakistani state control has broken down to the extent that jihadis could get control of a critical mass of fissile material without PA COAS approval. In which case maintaining the standard deterrent posture will provide all the more encouragement to maintain full authority.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Mort Walker » 25 Nov 2009 11:14

Shiv,

I'm more worried about a TSP uranium based weapon that is detonated but doesn't go critical. It could become a serious radiological hazard and become an ecological disaster.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby svinayak » 25 Nov 2009 11:33

Jarita wrote:The reason why the US has not had an act of major terrorism since 2001 because of 2 factors

You forgot the most important reason.
Uncle taught everything to Paki

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 25 Nov 2009 17:59

Johann wrote:Regardless, given GoI certainty over the degree of Pakistani state control over jihadi terrorism aimed at India, why wouldn't state sponsored nuclear terrorism be deterred by the same means that keeps the PA from launching its big mijjiles?

Unless, of course you're suggesting that Pakistani state control has broken down to the extent that jihadis could get control of a critical mass of fissile material without PA COAS approval. In which case maintaining the standard deterrent posture will provide all the more encouragement to maintain full authority.


The superpowers always had weak states as proxies, not people within their own state. The danger of having heavily armed proxies in one's own country is that the so called "legitimate state" can be brought down by those proxies. This problem was held at bay by the Pakistanis by developing very close links with the proxies to the extent that at one particular level, there is no distinction between the Pakistani army and the proxies. The desperate scramble to keep Pakistan together is in part related to this - i.e the idea of having the cold war "ally" the Pakistani army as the most powerful entity.

Clearly this is a failed policy at a human level although the policy remains successful at a material level in that only the Paki army has aircraft, nukes and missiles. As more of the Pakistan military "retire" (voluntary or forced) and join the proxies, the risk of a proxy actually getting a weapon increases.

However there may be some good news in this for India. As you say - both the proxies and the state may be deterred by the same Indian deterrent, but as long as the leak of humans is there I am certain that other entities like Somalia may end up being the place where nuclear material can be stored and assembled into something usable.

In the medium term the Pakistani ability to make fissile material has to be arrested. Their worst fears must be made to come true.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby enqyoob » 25 Nov 2009 18:43

Shiv:
How about an article on this? The points made are excellent, but need better visibility: the necessary and sufficient conditions for terrorists to obtain weapons and logistics, have been met:

1. China supplies the weapons
2. US supplies the funding to Pak
3. Pak supplies the funding to the terrorists.

Each is now clearly shown, quantitatively and authoritatively, citing Xerox Khan, GOTUS figures on aid to TSP, GOTUS statements and other US/French articles on TSP official sponsorship and ownership of the terrorists, and TSP channeling US aid to fund terror.

Once the core references are accumulated, we can tie them to all the "less-authoritative" reports over the past many years that nail the issue.

If needed, will ask evil 4th cousin to collaborate as well.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 25 Nov 2009 18:56

enqyoob - the way my mind works - I will have to enmesh in the argument several other factors including what you have suggested. But sure - I would like to give this a shot. Need to do some more referencing though. Will keep posting on this thread to keep the cogs of my mind active on this topic.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby rajpa » 25 Nov 2009 19:35

look at kennedy's response to the cuba missile crisis.. the west or anyone can face up to nuclear terrorism.. what is required is an asymmetric response - to eliminate it...

do not fear the weapon - rather the hand that wields it.. the west actually fears that tsp is not a rational actor - a continuation of the white man's burden...

knowing our enemy only too well, we can say that tsp uses the nuclear card as a shield - only to wield the real weapon of jeehard terrorism.. it is another case of tactical brilliance from the tspees..

those jeehards are not going to detonate anything else but - only when they want their 72. heh.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby RamaY » 25 Nov 2009 20:07

IMPO, India’s nuclear policy must include -

No First Use.

But in the event of a WMD (clean or dirty) attack of any size on Indian interests within or without its borders, assured destruction of centers of all civilizations across the planet. To achieve this deterrence level, India must develop at least 20 ICBMs, and 80 IRBMs, each one having a >100KT lotus flower on its tip.

I hope that such a posture would deter any gift/wift type interests.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Pranav » 25 Nov 2009 20:57

Yes, this is a well-known viewpoint, and it's called the "Samson option" in Israel.

RamaY wrote:IMPO, India’s nuclear policy must include -

No First Use.

But in the event of a WMD (clean or dirty) attack of any size on Indian interests within or without its borders, assured destruction of centers of all civilizations across the planet. To achieve this deterrence level, India must develop at least 20 ICBMs, and 80 IRBMs, each one having a >100KT lotus flower on its tip.

I hope that such a posture would deter any gift/wift type interests.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 25 Nov 2009 21:29

Old - but I am putting it here as a ref article
Stuff that was smuggled to Pakistan from Germany (Pakistanis married to Westerners)
http://www.nci.org/pdf/nt-book/Spector.pdf

Terrorists have attacked Paki Nuclear sires 3 times
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 792397.ece
The most serious attack was a strike by two suicide bombers on the Wah Cantonment Ordnance Complex, thought to be one of Pakistan’s main nuclear weapons assembly plants, about 18 miles northwest of Islamabad, in August 2008. The incident, which claimed 70 lives, was widely reported but little mention was made of the nuclear risk.

Other attacks included the suicide bombing of a nuclear missile storage facility at Sargodha, in central Punjab, in November 2007 and a suicide attack on Pakistan’s nuclear airbase at Kamra, near Wah, on December 10, 2007.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 25 Nov 2009 21:41

As I search for material on nuclear terrorism I am repeatedly reminded of two words - blinkered and stupid.

http://terrorism.about.com/od/n/a/NuclearTerror.htm
This link says terrorists could purchase or build a nuke. Pah!

FAS talks like the guy who repaired a beautiful girl's motorbike. She stripped and said "Take what you want" and he took the bike.

http://fas.org/irp/crs/RL32595.pdf

FAS mentions Russia, NoKo and Libya as sources of nuke leakage for terrorists. But for f*ks sake what about China and Pakistan? Are these guys dumb or what?

One chap has thought about Pakiland. Kudos
http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/nuclear.cfm
Pakistan
Another potential source of diversion is the Pakistani nuclear arsenal, estimated to number around 30-50 atomic bombs with explosive yields ranging from 1 to 15 kilotons. The weapons are probably assembled at Wah (50 miles from Afghanistan), and are stored primarily at Sargodha near a missile complex close to the border with India and only about 250 miles from Afghanistan. Pakistan's military government is walking a tightrope between pressure from the Bush administration on one side and anti-American Islamic militants on the other. Growing street opposition from the latter could certainly de-stabilize or even topple the regime, and in the midst of such dissolution, the weakening of nuclear security would inevitably occur. The ranks of government and military personnel are also fairly riddled with sympathizers of the radical Islamic faction, posing a distinct risk of insiders colluding to spirit away a bomb or two for bin Laden or other terrorists.

In any case, control over Pakistan's arsenal could all too readily buckle in a serious crisis inside the country. Pakistani weapons are believed to lack sophisticated locks and other safeguards to prevent their unauthorized use. Loose nukes in the region would have unpredictable consequences, almost all of which would militate against the U.S. cause, not to mention the safety of U.S. forces dispatched there.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Ananya » 25 Nov 2009 22:42

RamaY wrote:IMPO, India’s nuclear policy must include -

No First Use.

But in the event of a WMD (clean or dirty) attack of any size on Indian interests within or without its borders, assured destruction of centers of all civilizations across the planet. To achieve this deterrence level, India must develop at least 20 ICBMs, and 80 IRBMs, each one having a >100KT lotus flower on its tip.

I hope that such a posture would deter any gift/wift type interests.


ans also the policy must include in a 1000K radius any body trying to aquire an arsanel, thier infrastructure would be taken out on a first strike basis

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Virupaksha » 25 Nov 2009 23:20

What exactly are required for a nuke? I have read somewhere,long long ago, that the fission material can be id'ed. Is this so?Can we determine the design of the bomb after the detonation?

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby KLNMurthy » 25 Nov 2009 23:25

Johann wrote:...

Regardless, given GoI certainty over the degree of Pakistani state control over jihadi terrorism aimed at India, why wouldn't state sponsored nuclear terrorism be deterred by the same means that keeps the PA from launching its big mijjiles?

Unless, of course you're suggesting that Pakistani state control has broken down to the extent that jihadis could get control of a critical mass of fissile material without PA COAS approval. In which case maintaining the standard deterrent posture will provide all the more encouragement to maintain full authority.


I am a bit surprised at your question.

Pakistan (the state) practices plausible deniablity, as should be evident from what happened a year ago. And the widely-accepted view on this forum is that, from an Indian perspective, there is no distinction worth the name between the jihadis and the Paki army (there hasn't been, since 1947).

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Johann » 26 Nov 2009 00:17

shiv wrote:Clearly this is a failed policy at a human level although the policy remains successful at a material level in that only the Paki army has aircraft, nukes and missiles. As more of the Pakistan military "retire" (voluntary or forced) and join the proxies, the risk of a proxy actually getting a weapon increases.

However there may be some good news in this for India. As you say - both the proxies and the state may be deterred by the same Indian deterrent, but as long as the leak of humans is there I am certain that other entities like Somalia may end up being the place where nuclear material can be stored and assembled into something usable.

In the medium term the Pakistani ability to make fissile material has to be arrested. Their worst fears must be made to come true.


enqyoob wrote:Shiv:
How about an article on this?


Shiv, N,

Whether its for this thread, or for this discussion, I would suggest turning the argument around and looking at it from a different angle;

India's willingness to hold Pakistan's government and society responsible for the terrorism it sponsors allows it to use nuclear deterrence to prevent nuclear terrorism.

Nuclear terrorism emanating out of Pakistan is also the West's current number one nightmare

Given the deepening and widening Western acknowledgment that the PA's officer ranks are *far* from unequivocally committed to defeating Salafi Jihad, deterrence is a far more stable form of defence against nuclear terrorism than bribery to unreliable, profit-seeking, pro-jihadi allies.

Western unwillingness to hold the PA responsible as a state sponsor of terrorism fatally undermines their ability to deter nuclear terrorism from Pakistan, which as most real experts agree today is the number one proliferation risk in the world

Therefore, contrary to conventional wisdom, the West's best course of action may be to emulate India - to establish open nuclear deterrence against Pakistan, to hold it responsible for supporting salafi jihadi terrorism, all the while seeking dialogue.

The flip side is that the day India weakens its deterrent posture, or loses the will to openly hold the PA responsible, the more likely it is to find itself in the Western position of essentially paying tribute to the PA to keep its goons in partial check, and waiting for the big one.

In any case, I dont think the 'probably not' in the title represents what is possible, and should be removed.

There are very few people, or groups of people in the world who can take fissile material, or a unarmed nuclear weapon and turn it in to a working bomb, instead of a fallout machine.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby dipak » 26 Nov 2009 01:59

Why NFU against an adversary which is hell-bent on destroying India and uses plausible deniability for all their terrorirst acts?

As is amply evident and further emphasized by 26/11 - if at all, any nuke attack by TSP against India could be carried out with impunity while claiming plausible deniability in the name of non-state actors.
In the immediate aftermath of (hypothetical nuke strike by 'non-state' actors in TSP) -

From TSP side there would be -

* tremendous sysmpathy for the victims
* a flurry of activities as to nab the culprits
* assured actions aginst the perpetrators in shortest possible time
* building up the picture that TSP is equally victim of terrorsim, so support them to eliminate this monster
* frequent requests via channles and media not to doubt the TSP intention to fight this common enemy against mankind

From Indian side, it would be something like this (among other reactions) -

* arguments and fierce debates by WKK that eye for eye is not our way of dealing with such incidents - peace, dove, candle light march
* arguments by WKK that who are dead are dead, can't be brought back by killing innocent TSP citizens
* extremely harsh warnings by govt, enough is enough, zero tolerance policy towards terrorism against mankind
* dismantle all terrorist infrastructure


This non-state actors shikandi type attack could also affect the decision making process of Indian govt.

While observing NFU, what is to be done should be clear against a normal 'state' actor.

But what about the abnormal state, aka 'non-state' actors perpetrating a nuke strike?
What if, immediately after strikes, the TSP also condemns the attack in strongest possible terms, expressing solidarity with the Indian people and condolences to the deceased. To augment it further, it can be claimed that TSP are themselves facing similar attacks, and terrorists are friends of none, neither TSP not India.
Would the Indian govt follow the same 'unacceptable' response to TSP? But TSP declares it has not conducted the strike.

So how will you attack against TSP?

And, if not against TSP, would India consider attacking terrorists? How - on their bases, hideouts, sympathizers, where ... or against all of these? What will happen to our NFU in that scenario?

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Gagan » 26 Nov 2009 04:53

There has not been a major terror attack on the US after 911 because:
1. Unkil has bribed the terror masters in the Pak Fauj to not direct terrorism at them. Why do you think are the liberal payoffs being given inspite of common knowledge that the money is being siphoned off by the crore commanders to their swiss bank khaatas?

There is no other source of major terrorist threat to the US than the one arising from Af-Pak. The one arising in Af-Pak is solidly in the Pak Fauj's hands via their ISI (International Soosai-mission Instructors).

This is the whole truth, the complete truth and the only truth, the param satya

The means and methods adopted may be different, the US has gone after the perpretators of 911, OBL and the arab terrorists had to be taken out after the hullabaloo raised in the US. But no one's accused massa of being stoopid yet. They know how 911 happened, why it happened.

They have charted a certain path to see to it that:
1. No fresh terror attacks take place on the homeland after the running start the terror brigade got after 911.
2. The terror sponsoring military junta in pakistan's is engaged. Their main greivance seems to be that they were cast away after having their hands in the cookie jar during the afghan war. They feel that more payment is due to them for the rental services they provided in bringing an end to the cold war. This was the first time that the US disengaged so completely from Pakistan after all these decades of being the handle behind the blunt pakistani knife - a knife that was thrust mostly into India's body. Pakistan has no other source of sustenance - No one including the Saudis or the super-bania chinese will sustain them. What could the ogre do hain ji?
3. As a result of an understanding between the military junta and massa, the massa went in to rid the military junta of the common abdul terrorist who had become a liability for the pak fauj as it is. Liability because, the mullahs had been vying for control of the terror army, and it was only a question of when not if, when the mullahs were in total control. Massa was doing both itself and the Pak Fauj Jernails a favor by taking out the abduls.

GWB, having taken these steps felt fairly confident that there would be no more attacks on the homeland, shifted focus on the dictator in Iraq who had eluded the US.
(PS: OBL is probably dead. The going rumor in foggy bottom is that he was in a cave that was bombed, and the cave caved-in)

Now from India's POV, the Jernails are still in power, their animosity towards India is still alive. They are now flush with funds and arms and are eagerly itching to launch yet another round of terror on india in pursuance of their death by a 1000 cuts policy.
There is a small snag - India is an economic giant now, headed to become a rival of China. Massa has dehyphenated India and Pakistan, and is now not so eager to coercing india using the terror tool. Only China is eager to do that now, for the chinese see that their quest for dominance of Asia and the world can be retarded by the emergence of yet another contender with a similar size and economic profile.

Hence the pakistanis efforts towards requesting massa for re-hyphenation, and to china for the N option, weapons and joint military movements to coerce India.

India is taunting Pakistan for the depths that they have fallen to, being now at the mercy of China and the US. If the paksitanis are no longer a N power, India knows that, or if their bums failed to go off, India knows that too.

Now any N-bum going off in India will be:
1. Supplied by china
2. Will be at the behest of China.

The terrorists and the Pak Fauj Jernails are mere tools.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Prem » 26 Nov 2009 05:43

If Tibbetan and Uigher get invloved in Nuclear terroirsm then it will be hard for Chinese to prevent such incidents .It is in their interets that Pukes do not cross the redline and causing untold harm to China's future.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 26 Nov 2009 05:55

Johann wrote:Whether its for this thread, or for this discussion, I would suggest turning the argument around and looking at it from a different angle;

India's willingness to hold Pakistan's government and society responsible for the terrorism it sponsors allows it to use nuclear deterrence to prevent nuclear terrorism.

Nuclear terrorism emanating out of Pakistan is also the West's current number one nightmare

Given the deepening and widening Western acknowledgment that the PA's officer ranks are *far* from unequivocally committed to defeating Salafi Jihad, deterrence is a far more stable form of defence against nuclear terrorism than bribery to unreliable, profit-seeking, pro-jihadi allies.

Western unwillingness to hold the PA responsible as a state sponsor of terrorism fatally undermines their ability to deter nuclear terrorism from Pakistan, which as most real experts agree today is the number one proliferation risk in the world

Therefore, contrary to conventional wisdom, the West's best course of action may be to emulate India - to establish open nuclear deterrence against Pakistan, to hold it responsible for supporting salafi jihadi terrorism, all the while seeking dialogue.

The flip side is that the day India weakens its deterrent posture, or loses the will to openly hold the PA responsible, the more likely it is to find itself in the Western position of essentially paying tribute to the PA to keep its goons in partial check, and waiting for the big one.

In any case, I dont think the 'probably not' in the title represents what is possible, and should be removed.

There are very few people, or groups of people in the world who can take fissile material, or a unarmed nuclear weapon and turn it in to a working bomb, instead of a fallout machine.


Good points Johann. I will leave the title as it is though - because that is my preference - I am making a particular case (for the purposes of this thread) and will be happy to hear other viewpoints.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 26 Nov 2009 06:00

Prem wrote:If Tibbetan and Uigher get invloved in Nuclear terroirsm then it will be hard for Chinese to prevent such incidents .It is in their interets that Pukes do not cross the redline and causing untold harm to China's future.


Looking at this very honestly and bluntly, it is to India's advantage to allow the Uighurs to get Pakistani nukes. No? Every party in this game is doing things out of self interest

1) China gave Pakistan nukes to keep India occupied
2) The US did not care and continued to fund and arm Pakistan because they wanted to befriend China
3) That policy continued even after a nuclear armed Pakistan started using proxies against India and created the artificial differentiation in which the same terrorists from the same training camps in Pakistan were "freedom fighters" as long as they fought India.

As a result ALL Paki nukes are aimed at India. The removal of even one nuke to be pointed at someone else is to India's advantage.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby enqyoob » 26 Nov 2009 06:11

Johann:

It has always been our understanding here that the PA is the organizer of terrorism, because they have very explicitly embraced that mode of warfare.

Post 9/11, we in fact believed that the TSPA had finally gone and done it, and would in short order get destroyed. When TS Jones told us that nothing of the sort would happen, we simply could not believe it.

He was right.

We have tried to rationalize why the "West" continued to prop up the Pakistani terrorist regime, and the best I can do is to conclude that nuclear weapons have already been placed and hidden inside western nations, so that if certain "redlines" are crossed, a couple of cities will go "boom", a price too high for western leaders to contemplate.

This is incompatible with the notion that the terrorists can't put nuclear bombs together. AQKhan has "revealed" that China gave fully built nukes to Pakistan (and I say to North Korea), and by the same token, so can Pakistan give those to their agents to conduct the attacks.

So it's back to the situation where a nuke detonation in a city is "when and where" not "if", as shiv points out.

Given this fact, the West's hands are still tied. They haven't found the hidden weapons, if those exist. So indefinite rationalization and pretense are just degrading the West's credibility and the Pakis are getting cockier.

The Afghanistan War could be ended in 3 days, if only the US were willing to bomb Islamabad.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Prem » 26 Nov 2009 06:16

Shiv Sir ji
Whole world knows paki Nuke scientist Al Qiada Khan was the operater of Nuclear Wal Mart with Made in China stuff. One can never be sure to whom he sold the goods which might be bound for Shanghai or Shenzen. All people know is Uighers are mad at China.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 26 Nov 2009 06:25

Prem wrote:Shiv Sir ji
Whole world knows paki Nuke scientist Al Qiada Khan was the operater of Nuclear Wal Mart with Made in China stuff. One can never be sure to whom he sold the goods which might be bound for Shanghai or Shenzen. All people know is Uighers are mad at China.


Prem this is precisely the point. When you look at the articles that emerge about nuclear terrorism this is what you see:


It's the bloody Russians who leaked nuclear material
No. It's going to be NoKo who got nukes from Dr.Xerox Khan
No. Iran will start nuclear terrorism
No. Algeria
No. It will be Nauru!
No. Bechuanaland - Noko ships were seen there
No. It will be the Comoros!



Guess who is being left out. The one country in the whole goddam world that is sponsoring all terrorism, is nuclear armed and has terrorists as its closest, ideological allies?

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 26 Nov 2009 07:24

If you read the history of Pakistan (Who the fck wants to know history? :evil: ) it is clear that the Pakistani army, when faced with a threat that it could not handle or defeat, has consistently used motivated Islamic militias to do their job.

In case people have forgotten, the Taliban, and the Lashker e Toiba are motivated Islamic militias.

There is synergy between the Pakistani army and these groups. The Pakistani army too, is a motivated Islamic militia. Check the statement made by Gen Kiyani, the Pakistani army chief in the last 2 days:

http://thenews.jang.com.pk/updates.asp?id=92203
PESHAWAR: Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said that
Pakistan was achieved in the name of Islam and the religion can never be
expelled from the country.


Why would this country actually want to oppose or fight Islamic militias?

Here is a video of a retired Pakistani general, Hamid Gul, speaking about the role of Islamic militias including the Lashka e Toiba etc in Pakistan with a promise that the Indian city of Bangalore will be nuked:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw3VqBt7aKA


It is clear that India faces a nuclear threat from a Pakistan whose Army considers Islamic terror groups as its allies.

Now guess who will help to hide and control Pakistan's nuclear bombs if the Pakistan army feels that they are threatened.
    The Vatican
    India
    Tel Aviv
    Pakistani military officers serving with the jihadi terrorist groups

Currently the ONLY difference between the Taliban, Lashkar e Toiba (LeT) and the Pakistan armed forces is that the latter (armed forces) control the heavy weapons - i.e artillery, tanks and aircraft. In Pakistan as in any other nation, retired military personnel become reservists. In Pakistan those reservists are free to work with the Taliban/LeT

The US has spent 9 years unsuccessfully trying to locate Osama and Mullah Omar. They will never locate a couple of nukes that have been spirited away to some other hiding place.

More later..
Last edited by shiv on 26 Nov 2009 07:38, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Pranav » 26 Nov 2009 07:26

As I see it there are two possibilities:

1. Pak slipping nukes to its Jihadi pets.
2. Somebody else slipping some nukes to Paki Jihadis with the goal of making Indians and Paks nuke each other.

As regards the Samson option: I think it would be better to have refined Samson option: Make a list of hostile individuals / entities, and their economic assets. There should be no doubt that if we go down, they will go down with us.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 26 Nov 2009 08:03

The problem with nukes is that they are not like ordinary grenades or RDX that any random citizen from Pakistan is trained to use.

The complexity of nuclear weapons makes it unlikely that a terrorist group could build one. And the chances of a "terrorist group" having the infrastructure to make fissile material is said to be zero.

But the Pakistani state and the terrorist groups are one and the same. So all objections vanish. The funding is there. The fissile material is there. Ready made nukes are there. The manpower to handle all this is already there.

But let me list out the reasons why Pakistan based terrorist groups, armed and funded by the Pakistani army and the USA (via the Pakistani state) cannot have nuclear weapons

1) Pakistan realises that the jihadi groups are a danger to Pakistan

Really? :shock: Pakistan "realises this" does it?

2) The US and India believe that Pakistani nukes are in safe hands

Hmm - that is interesting. Why do they believe that? Do they have a count?

3) It takes great expertise to handle, deliver and detonate a nuclear weapon.

I see. And where is the evidence that such expertise, that was given to NoKo by Pakistan cannot be given to their brothers the Taliban? The people are available right there.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Prem » 26 Nov 2009 08:12

Samson is /was a Universal hero, any option with his name must have the same charachter otherwise someone , some where will always have the itch to retry the terrorism as an instrument of State policy , just like Pakistan and China doing right now. While dicussing terrorism we must do equal equal between Paki and Chini state. I am not an engineer but i am sure there must be genius out there who can put Paki fingreprints on Uoo of Non paki origin so all roads can lead to Islamabaad.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Deans » 26 Nov 2009 14:44

Pakistan (state and non state players being the same) has the means to assemble a
bomb, bring it to India and detonate it.

It seems to me that the only way India can deter this, is to explictly state that ANY weapon of mass destruction directed against India, will be assumed to be the work of Pakistan only. The response will therefore be directed against the Pakistani State (use of Nukes not being ruled out).

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 26 Nov 2009 15:38

Deans wrote:Pakistan (state and non state players being the same) has the means to assemble a
bomb, bring it to India and detonate it.
:lol: That's the fun of it. Pakistan will get punished if terrorist explodes a nuke in India. So if Pakis are going to nuke India they can do it directly. What is important is that a jihadi nuke can be reserved for all sorts of non Indian targets.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby rajpa » 26 Nov 2009 16:27

^^^^
including Rawalpindi - or Khushab :twisted:

(We did this scenario in the other thread.)

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 26 Nov 2009 16:54

rajpa wrote:^^^^
including Rawalpindi - or Khushab :twisted:



Spot on.

A terrorist nuking India will be assumed to be Pakistan army nuking India. So the purpose of handing a nuke to a terrorist group would not be to merely nuke India but to further the policy of Global jihad and/or ensure that Pakistan is left with nukes to hit someone if their crown jewels are somehow "lost".

If you ignore the India threat (on which the Paki army is concentrated) the forces of jihad have agenda beyond that. One would be to try and get the US out of Afghanistan. Another would be to threaten Israel and/or Europe - particularly the UK.

The US and UK are out of reach so actually delivering a nuke there would be difficult. But there are other things that a jihadi organization might do. I have been gaming that in my mind to see which might be useful and which would be counterproductive and I would like inputs on what people think about the following scenarios - ie would it be advantageous for the Islamist jihadists to do one or more of the following with a few nukes from the Pakistani arsenal

1) Nuke Kabul
2) Nuke a smaller Afghan or Pakistani town
3) Nuke Islamabad
4) Nuke a base with a huge American presence
5) Hide nukes in the mountains
6) Smuggle nukes into Iran for future use
7) Smuggle nukes to Somalia for safekeeping

Which of these scenarios would
1) Get the US off Paki backs
2) Save nukes for a later date
4) Facilitate global jihad

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby shiv » 26 Nov 2009 19:50

shiv wrote:1) Nuke Kabul
2) Nuke a smaller Afghan or Pakistani town
3) Nuke Islamabad
4) Nuke a base with a huge American presence
5) Hide nukes in the mountains
6) Smuggle nukes into Iran for future use
7) Smuggle nukes to Somalia for safekeeping


Taking a shot at my own question

1) Nuking Kabul: Nuking Kabul is a risky action. It's like poking a rod up a tiger's ass - the US is right there and nuking Kabul is going to tell the US that nukes are on the loose and that all-lie Pakistan will have to be squeezed. Dangerous and counterproductive option.

2) Nuking a smaller Afghan town is the same as nuking Kabul.

3) Nuking a smaller Paki town or Islamabad. This option is in keeping with the Paki ethos (Pukistaniyat). The consequences of this depend on who might want to do this nuking and what might be achieved.

Nuking a town in the NWFP with some Paki army presence (the personnel having been evacuated beforehand) can serve several ends. The Pakistani army can claim that it is losing control and needs more money, more aid, more arms. It is also a signal that it will be too late to clamp down on Pakistani nukes - because they are on the loose. It will be a strong signal to the US that says "Keep helping us or we are finished and our stolen nukes will take you down too"

Nuking Islamabad is unlikely unless there is a grave rift between army and those who have nukes. It could form the basis of a coup when Islamist forces have control of at least a few nuclear bombs.

4) Nuking a US base=poking tiger in butt with 6 inch scale. No No.

5) Hide nukes in the mountains
6) Smuggle nukes into Iran for future use
7) Smuggle nukes to Somalia for safekeeping

These three are definite. I am sure the Pakis have already done one or more of these things.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Kanson » 26 Nov 2009 20:38

As Nuclear warfare is strategic in nature so is Nuclear terrorism. Nuclear terrorism will not happen as separate individual event. It will be along with some other events. It will more likely be used as blackmail. Still it is not very clear what led to Kunduz airlift.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Umrao Das » 26 Nov 2009 21:08

sorry shiv ji I joined this party little late as I was traveling.

Pakistan has proved repeatedly with India (as a subject), it took so long to understand this piskological event? waste of bandwidth sir and proliferation of needless threads.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Gagan » 26 Nov 2009 21:44

I can show you the tunnels around Tarbela damsite where there is a Pak Fauj facility possibly storing N weapons. There is another facility inside the Sargodha weapons storage facility where there are tunnels dug into the mountain. All easily visible on google earth.

Tarbela
Image

Sargodha
Image

Karachi, Possible N storage area close to Masroor Airforce base. (If the pakistanis carry out a N strike at Mumbai it will be from weapons stored here)
Image

Are the pakis actually planning a JDAM as Hamid Gul threatened?

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Rahul M » 26 Nov 2009 22:01

Are the pakis actually planning a JDAM as Hamid Gul threatened?

IMVVHO, it's a question of when, not if.

26/11 demonstrated how easy that would have been. as paki statehood unravels the RAPE faujis will become more and more desperate to put an end to the internecine conflict and focus the aggression outwards (read India)

a JDAM blast in India would be one of the more obvious ones to do it, at least to a paki mind.
even that will be temporary at best, but hey no one accused paki generals of any ability to think over long-term implications of an action. it will be tactically brilliant, that's all that counts.

it will be a race between which happens first, the destruction of TSP as we know it or a last ditch effort to save it by a desperate delusional paki ruling crop.

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Re: Can nuclear terrorism be prevented? Probably not.

Postby Gagan » 26 Nov 2009 22:23

It is one thing to threaten a JDAM and quite another to actually carry it out.
Military strategy was never one of the pakistani general's strong points, more so with the ill equipped armed forces and small numbers that they have. But this is sheer stupidity.

I don't believe that pakistan is going to unravel in the immediate term. It has been badly destabilized, but as soon as rahe-na-ijjat comes to a close, and the mehsudes are stopped being targetted, this daily IED mubarak is going to stop too.

In 26/11 they thought that they'll pin it on some Indian deccan mujahideen group, even as RAW will figure out they did it, and India mobilizes letting them off the rehe na ijjat wild goose hunt.

Meanwhile a JDAM will ensure that not only India will retaliate, but will destroy pakistan punjab as the pakistanis know it.

AFAIK about the leadership in India, even MMS is not a dove when it comes to Pakistan, SES non withstanding.

I don't think the pakistanis are that stupid.

(PS: looks like india is about to make things difficult for ombaba by threatening pakistan, and allowing it to move its fauj back to the indo pak border thereby easing off on the rahe-na-ijjat)
(Or IOW, if the pakis want their fauj back on their eastern borders, India has provided them with the reason by Gen Kapoor's statement, so that they don't have to do a terror strike on India to achieve that)


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