• Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Security of Pakistani Nuclear Assets - Interview of Director, SPD Pakistani NCA

Discussion in 'Pakistan Strategic Forces' started by EagleEyes, May 24, 2007.

  1. Javed3

    Javed3 FULL MEMBER

    May 25, 2009
    +0 / 126 / -0
    Intrinsically safe Nuclear Weapon is one that cannot be used once needed.

    Obsessive Security Controls and US supplied PAL's compromise Visibility and Uncertainty that are the only real safeguards for our nascent Nuclear program depends upon.

    Perhaps we have made ourselves too vulnerable to a "friendly" snatch by the US:

    U.S. Has Plan to Secure Pakistan Nukes if Country Falls to Taliban
    American intelligence sources say the military's chief terrorist-hunting squad has units operating in Afghanistan on Pakistan's western border and is working on a secondary mission to secure foreign nuclear arsenals if the Taliban or Al Qaeda overwhelm Pakistan.

    The United States has a detailed plan for infiltrating Pakistan and securing its mobile arsenal of nuclear warheads if it appears the country is about to fall under the control of the Taliban, Al Qaeda or other Islamic extremists.
    American intelligence sources say the operation would be conducted by Joint Special Operations Command, the super-secret commando unit headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C.
    JSOC is the military's chief terrorists hunting squad and has units now operating in Afghanistan on Pakistan's western border. But a secondary mission is to secure foreign nuclear arsenals -- a role for which JSOC operatives have trained in Nevada.
    The mission has taken on added importance in recent months, as Islamic extremists have taken territory close to the capital of Islamabad and could destabilize Pakistan's shaky democracy.
    "We have plans to secure them ourselves if things get out of hand," said a U.S. intelligence source who has deployed to Afghanistan. "That is a big secondary mission for JSOC in Afghanistan."
    The source said JSOC has been updating its mission plan for the day President Obama gives the order to infiltrate Pakistan.
    "Small units could seize them, disable them and then centralize them in a secure location," the source said.
    A secret Defense Intelligence Agency document first disclosed in 2004 said Pakistan has a nuclear arsenal of 35 weapons. The document said it plans to more than double the arsenal by 2020.
    A Pakistani official said the U.S. and his country have had an understanding that if either Usama bin Laden, or his deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, is located, American troops and air strikes may be used inside borders to capture or kill them.
    What makes the Pakistan mission especially difficult is that the military has its missiles on Soviet-style mobile launchers and rail lines. U.S. intelligence agencies, using satellite photos and communication intercepts, is constantly monitoring their whereabouts. Other warheads are kept in storage. U.S. technical experts have visited Pakistan to advise the government on how to maintain and protect its arsenal.
    Also, there are rogue elements inside Pakistan's military and intelligence service who could quickly side with the extremists and make JSOC's mission all the more difficult.
    "It's relatively easy to track rail-mounted ones with satellites," said the intelligence source. "Truck- mounted are more difficult. However, they are all relatively close to the capital in areas that the government firmly controls so we don't have to look too far."
    JSOC is made up of three main elements: Army Delta Force, Navy SEALs and a high-tech special intelligence unit known as Task Force Orange. JSOC was instrumental in Iraq in finding and killing Abu Musab Zarqawi, the deadly and most prominent Al Qaeda leader in the Middle East.
    There is speculation in the intelligence community that a secondary reason for Army Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal being named the next commander in Afghanistan is that he headed JSOC in 2006-08 and is read-in on its contingency missions in Pakistan.
    Adm. Michael Mullen, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, this month said that based on the information he has seen Pakistan's nuclear warheads are safe.
    "I remain comfortable that the nuclear weapons in Pakistan are secure, that the Pakistani leadership and in particular the military is very focused on this," he said. "We the United States have invested fairly significantly over the last three years, to work with them, to improve that security. And we're satisfied, very satisfied with that progress. We will continue to do that. And we all recognize obviously the worst downside of -- with respect to Pakistan is that those nuclear weapons come under the control of terrorists. "
    Rowan Scarborough is the author of "Rumsfeld's War: The Untold Story of America's Anti-Terrorist Commander;" and "Sabotage: America's Enemies Within the CIA."
  2. zavis2003

    zavis2003 FULL MEMBER

    Oct 25, 2008
    +0 / 240 / -0
    what is this NCA and whats this sd???????
  3. m.faisalfani

    m.faisalfani FULL MEMBER

    New Recruit

    Aug 23, 2010
    +0 / 2 / -0
    very nice articles
  4. quynh012012

    quynh012012 FULL MEMBER

    New Recruit

    Jan 5, 2012
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Thanks very much for this comment. It help me to think about my ideals.

    Tks again and pls keep posting.
  5. quynh012012

    quynh012012 FULL MEMBER

    New Recruit

    Jan 5, 2012
    +0 / 0 / -0
    It is really silent post, you can go an other link to make funny
  6. airbus101

    airbus101 FULL MEMBER

    Oct 29, 2007
    +0 / 109 / -1
    No PR58/2012-ISPR Dated: April 2, 2012
    Rawalpindi - April 2, 2012:
    Lieutenant General (R) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, Director General Strategic Plans Division (DG SPD) has said that all available resources have been put in place to safeguard the National Strategic Assets of the Country comprehensively. While reviewing an impressive Passing Out Parade of the first ever, newly raised Special Response Force (SRF), at the SPD Training Academy near Rawalpindi, he said that the addition of SRF to SPD’s Security Force marked the achievement of a qualitative milestone in its rapid response capability.
    Addressing the newly passed out SRF troops, Lt Gen. (R) Kidwai expressed deep satisfaction over the high standard achieved and emphasized in unequivocal terms the responsibilities ahead. “You were chosen, well trained and have been tasked to perform a very important task, and I am sure if ever challenged, your response actions will serve to make an example of any potential aggressor.” He urged the men to discharge their duties with utmost commitment, sincerity and with national pride.
    It is note worthy that this is the first ever specialized force that has passed out from the SPD Academy. The training was well chalked out and delineated in which highly qualified instructors from Pakistan’s elite Special Services Group and a number of other experts in security and crisis management trained the new force.
    The Chief Guest congratulated the successful personnel and conveyed his special thanks to all the faculty members and instructors for their good work. Earlier on arrival at the Training Academy, he was received by the Director General (Security) SPD, Major General Muhammad Tahir.
    :: ISPR :: Inter Services Public Relations - PAKISTAN
  7. mdcp

    mdcp FULL MEMBER

    Mar 17, 2012
    +0 / 391 / -2
    Doodh ke rakhi billa karay, we cant expect usa to defend our assets rather their intention are always clear to rob us, we should have definite plan in case of any such attempts we must use them even if we sacrifice other muslim countries can live in peace but israel india and all american aircraft carriers should be targeted
    Our neuclear program is solely for defence purpose and cuz of this Pakistan is not like iraq, afghanistan libya chechenya etc as it happend in 1971
    We should properly secure and make smart bombs so even americans cant locate
    We should not tolerate this propaganda, accesss security movement is also dangerous for secrecy of our assets and we got strong people to support
  8. Skywalker

    Skywalker SENIOR MEMBER

    Sep 3, 2006
    +0 / 3,232 / -16
    If there major weapon is an obsolete ak47 then God bless our nuclear assets. Sorry to say not impressed at all.
  9. airbus101

    airbus101 FULL MEMBER

    Oct 29, 2007
    +0 / 109 / -1
    I think ak is just for the Parade Use...thats what I think....like SSG use Ak in parade but in reality they use different weapons along with ak
  10. Windjammer

    Windjammer ELITE MEMBER

    Nov 9, 2009
    +157 / 113,362 / -4
    United Kingdom
    ‘Robust Nuclear Security Mechanism in Place’, Says General Wynne

    eneral Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) visited the Headquarters of the Security Division of Strategic Plans Division (SPD) at Rawalpindi, for a review of security plans for Pakistan’s Strategic Assets.
    A comprehensive briefing was given by Director General Security Major General Muhammad Tahir covering details of the operational preparedness of the Security Division.
    Expressing complete satisfaction in the security arrangements, the CJCSC commended all concerned for their professional approach in enhancing nuclear security.
    CJCSC witnessed an operational display of state of the art Security equipment. Earlier, on arrival at Headquarters Security Division, CJCSC was received by Director General SPD Lieutenant General Khalid Ahmed Kidwai (Retired) and Director General Security Major General Muhammad Tahir.


    General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee witnessing the operational display of state of the art security equipment during his visit at Headquarters of the Security Division of Strategic Plans Division Rawalpindi.


    General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee being briefed on operational preparedness by Director General Secu rity Major General Muhammad Tahir during his visit at Headquarters of the Security Division of Strategic Plans Division Rawalpindi.
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  11. fatman17


    Apr 24, 2007
    +81 / 32,936 / -0
    Pakistan’s nuclear command and control.


    Pakistan has significantly improved the institutional frameworks and operational procedures for its nuclear weapons and moved from a clandestine nuclear weapons program to greater openness.

    However, three major developments—the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2003/2004 A. Q. Khan scandal, and the recent instability in Pakistan—triggered concerns in the international community that Pakistan’s control over its nuclear weapons may be weak. This perception has wide-ranging strategic diplomatic, political, and economic implications for Pakistan.

    Pakistan’s new Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led coalition government needs to build international—governmental and nongovernmental—confidence in its nuclear command and control system and the security of its nuclear weapons if it is to have any hope of securing a more stable regional environment, a more stable economic and security environment, or any hope of gaining access to civilian nuclear technology.

    Overview of Pakistan's nuclear capability

    Pakistan developed its nuclear capability in three phases. During the first phase (1954–1974) Pakistan acquired basic knowledge about nuclear energy and built its first research reactor in 1965.

    During this phase, development was slow because of the government’s weak commitment and lack of skill, technology, and investment. India’s May 1974 “peaceful nuclear test” was a major turning point. It heightened the country’s sense of vulnerability and marked the beginning of the second, more robust and military focused phase (1974–98).

    During this phase, Pakistan learnt to enrich uranium and to manufacture components for a nuclear weapon.
    Although it is likely to have achieved the technological capability to carry out an explosive nuclear test by mid-1980s, it did not do so until late May 1998 (after India carried out an 18 May nuclear test).

    During the third phase (1998–present) Pakistan has focused on designing more sophisticated nuclear weapons and delivery systems.1 Pakistan probably wants to develop a plutonium based weapon, improve the range of its surface-to-surface missiles, and gain naval and cruise missile capability.

    The details of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons capability and doctrine remain uncertain because of Pakistan’s need to maintain strategic ambiguity. But, Pakistan is estimated to have between 50 and 60 nuclear weapons and the capability to deliver them either by aircraft (modified F-16s and Mirages) or surface-to-surface missiles. Pakistan has not formally announced any nuclear doctrine. However, statements by senior Pakistani military and government officials suggest that the objective of its nuclear doctrine is to deter all forms of external aggression that could endanger Pakistan’s national security or strategic forces.2 It is not clear what would constitute a severe enough danger to Pakistan’s national security to trigger the use of nuclear weapons, but a variety of events have been suggested. This threshold could be a loss of a significant part of Pakistani territory, a destruction of a large part of Pakistan’s military, economic strangulation, or social destabilization.3

    Pakistan believes that it can achieve deterrence against aggression through a combination of conventional and strategic forces.4
    Pakistan has not agreed to a no-first-use but will not use nuclear weapon against non-nuclear weapon states.5

    Evolution of Pakistan's nuclear command and control system

    Little is known about Pakistan’s command and control system during the first two phases (1954–1998) but it is likely to have been relatively weak.6 The government’s focus during the first two phases of Pakistan’s nuclear development was on building a weapon and little attention was therefore paid to developing a nuclear command and control system. For example A. Q. Khan’s laboratory was granted a largely free hand to pursue its research.7

    Since 1975 Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program has been controlled by the National Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) and the National Nuclear Command Committee (NNCC).8

    There are different views on the composition of the NNCC and the balance of power between its key members. Originally, this committee is likely to have had six members including the president, the prime minister, and the chief of army staff. The balance of power between these key members is likely to have shifted in line with the wider political environment.9 In the 1990s, the membership of this committee is likely to have increased and the role of this committee is likely to have been formalized.

    In 1998, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the military to prepare a new institutionalized command and control system.

    Since 1998 Pakistan’s nuclear command and control system has been transformed in four stages with the end result being a mature system.

    During the first stage (1998–1999) Pakistan started to consider a more institutionalized command and control system.

    During the second stage (2000–2001) Pakistan introduced its first reforms. On 7 February 2000, Pakistan announced a formal chain of command over nuclear weapons. This system was put into operation during 2001.

    During the third stage (2001–2003) Pakistan further strengthened oversight over its nuclear weapons. This was a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which focused international attention on Pakistan and put pressure on Pakistan to secure its nuclear weapons.10

    The final phase (2003–present) has been marked by the investigation into the A. Q. Khan nuclear network and related improvements in the command and control system, and export controls.11 Finally, in December 2007 President Pervez Musharraf transformed the ordinance establishing the system into a law.12

    The current command and control system is likely to remain unchanged under the new government. Both the PPP and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) argued in their election manifestos that nuclear command and control system should be overseen by the cabinet defense committee chaired by the prime minister instead of the NCA.

    However, in April 2008 the PPP-led government announced that the nuclear command and control system will remain unchanged.13 Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani even expressed satisfaction with the current system.14

    The government is likely to understand the need to consolidate and build on the existing, well-functioning system.

    Moreover, the government probably wants to focus on more urgently needed reforms, such as strengthening democracy, tackling the economic and power crisis, and fighting terrorism and Islamic militancy. However, the balance of power within the system is likely to shift to the prime minister in line with the wider political environment.

    While the military will retain operational control, the government will have more say on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
    Overview of Pakistan's nuclear command and control system

    Pakistan’s nuclear command and control system is considered to be relatively sophisticated and balanced. It has civilian and military involvement, checks and balances between the participating institutions, and a clear division of responsibility between the institutions.

    The system is based on a three-tier structure: the National Command Authority (NCA), the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), and the three services’ strategic forces command. The composition and role of each of these institutions is outlined in the following sections.

    National Command Authority (NCA)

    The government created the NCA in 2000 as the highest decision-making body in the nuclear command and control system. It has ten members including the president (chairman), the prime minister (vice-chairman) and the chief of army staff.15 It is responsible for formulating policies, deploying the strategic forces, coordinating the activities of all strategic organizations, negotiating arms control/disarmament, overseeing implementation of export controls, and safeguarding nuclear assets and sites.16 It has two committees: the Employment Control Committee (ECC) and the Development Control Committee (DCC). The ECC is responsible for directing policy-making during peace time and deployment of strategic forces during war time, making recommendations on the evolution of nuclear doctrine, establishing the hierarchy of command and the policy for authorizing the use of nuclear weapons, and establishing the guidelines for an effective command and control system to safeguard against accidental or unauthorized use.

    The DCC is responsible for exercising technical, financial, and administrative control over the strategic organizations involved in the nuclear weapons program, and overseeing development of strategic weapons programs.17

    Strategic Plans Division (SPD)

    The SPD was created in 1998 as the permanent secretariat for the NCA. The SPD is headed by a director general who is appointed from the army and comprises some 50–70 officers from the three services.18 It is responsible for formulating policy options (nuclear policy, strategy, and doctrine) for the NCA, implementing the NCA’s decisions, drafting strategic and operational plans for the deployment of strategic forces.19 Moreover, the SPD carries out the day-to-day management of Pakistan’s strategic forces, coordinates the activities of the different strategic organizations involved in the nuclear weapons program, and oversees budgetary, administrative and security matters.20

    The SPD has eight directorates—including the Operations and Planning Directorate, the Computerized, Control, Command, Communication, Information, Intelligence and Surveillance Directorate (CCCCIISD), Strategic Weapons Development Directorate, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs Directorate—and several divisions.

    One of the main divisions is the security division, which has a 10,000-strong force charged with guarding and protecting Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.

    The Services' Strategic Forces Command

    The Services Strategic Forces Command is raised from all the three services, which all have their respective strategic force commands. It is responsible for daily and tactical operational control of nuclear weapon delivery systems (the NCA is still responsible for overall strategic operational control).

    This operational control includes technical, training, and administrative control over missiles and aircraft that would be used to deliver nuclear weapons.

    Decision-making procedures

    The NCA has established strategic operational policy guidelines and plans for the deployment of nuclear weapons systems (these are national secrets). A decision to launch a nuclear strike is made by consensus within the NCA with the chairman casting the final vote. The NCA will communicate the decisions and delegate authority to implement the decision to the SDP and down the institutional hierarchy/structure.

    The details of this delegation are unclear.

    Nonetheless, Pakistan applies a two and/or three-man rule to the authorization of assembly and use of nuclear weapons. 22

    While the number of people required in different parts of the hierarchy is likely to vary because of technical reasons no single individual in any part of the institutional hierarchy is in a position to launch a nuclear strike or operate a nuclear weapon on their own.

    In addition, the NCA has the ability to cancel the decision to launch a nuclear strike up until the last minute before delivery systems are activated.23 There is likely to be also contingency guidelines and plans in case of a disruption to the established guidelines.

    Risks to Pakistan's nuclear command and control system

    There are two major scenarios, which could subvert Pakistan's nuclear command and control system: Islamist takeover of the government or the military, and the assassination or elimination of key individuals in the command and control system. These scenarios could lead to either Un-authorized access to nuclear materials (and proliferation of nuclear materials) or use of nuclear weapons.

    Both of these scenarios seem unlikely given the political realities in Pakistan and sophistication of the nuclear command and control system and the fact that the military maintains significant influence over the nuclear command and control system and the operational control of nuclear weapons. The military sees nuclear weapons as a major source of its influence and status and is therefore motivated to maintain the security of the weapons and materials.

    This makes it unlikely that even if conservative Islamic political forces were to control the government that they would be able to gain immediate access to nuclear weapons and materials.

    There are also concerns that conservative Islamic forces could increase their influence over the military and gain access to nuclear weapons and materials.

    This scenario is based on the fact that the Pakistani military is becoming socially, ethnically, and religiously more diverse, with an increasing number of soldiers from low-income and religiously conservative backgrounds. Additionally, some elements within the military are known to have had links to Islamic extremist militant groups (such as the Taliban).

    This is also an unlikely scenario because Musharraf and his successor have carried out major reshuffles in the military, removing officers believed to have sympathies for conservative Islamic forces or values, or who are suspected of having links to extremist groups.

    The new Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani is considered a liberal and is will probably move to prevent this scenario from emerging. Even if some extremist individuals were to assume influential positions in the military, a decision to launch of nuclear weapons requires consensus among the military and civilian members of the NCA. Moreover, these individuals would need to secure the cooperation of several senior officers in order to gain access to nuclear weapons or materials.

    Assassination or elimination of key leaders

    The second major scenario involves fears that extremist Islamic elements could assassinate or eliminate key individuals in the command and control system and create a dangerous vacuum in the system that might make nuclear weapons and materials vulnerable to un=authorized access or use.

    But despite the litany of such attacks this remains an unlikely scenario because it would require the simultaneous assassination and or elimination of several individuals within the command and control system. In addition, it ignores the fact that Pakistan has contingency plans in place to respond to such scenario.

    Strategic implication of concerns about Pakistan's nuclear command and control system

    Since 1998 Pakistan’s nuclear command and control system has been significantly improved. In the process, the risk of a failure in the system that would allow un=authorized access to nuclear materials or use of nuclear weapons has been considerably reduced.

    The main improvements include the establishment of the NCA and SPD, the integration of the command and control system, and the use of a two/or three-man rule and indigenous Permissive Action Links (PALs) on nuclear weapons.

    This belief is shared by senior members of the US military including Admiral Michael Mullen, the former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who in 2007 said that he did not “see any indication right now that [the] security of those weapons is in jeopardy.”26

    Nonetheless, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2003/2004 A. Q. Khan scandal, and recent instability in Pakistan have created the perception of weakness in the nation’s command and control system.

    This has caused concern among the international community. In January 2008, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohammad ElBaradei expressed concerns that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of extremist groups in either Pakistan or Afghanistan.27

    These concerns highlight the fact that institutional and technical improvements need to be accompanied by efforts to combat negative perceptions in order to build international confidence.

    In order to do this, Pakistan needs to demonstrate openness (without sacrificing national security) and provide details about its command and control system.

    Pakistani officials have started this process with steps to brief the government and parliament about the nuclear command and control and security measures. On 16 April 2008, the head of the SPD, Khalid Kidwai, briefed the new PPP-led government on the command and control system, and security measures.28

    Kidwai has also started to engage diplomats, academics, and journalists. In January 2005, he visited the US and spoke in academic think thanks about Pakistan’s nuclear command and control system.29

    In January 2008, Kidwai also organized two unprecedented briefings for Islamabad-based diplomats and journalists to further explain the system.30

    Kidwai said that Pakistan has "instituted command and control structures and security measures in a manner so as to make these foolproof."

    These briefings have increase international community’s understanding on the level of sophistication related to the command and control system.

    The PPP-led government and military—under Kiyani’s leadership—should continue this approach. Failure to do this will have wide-ranging diplomatic, political, and economic consequences for Pakistan.

    The fallout from a failure to build international confidence will also include slower foreign investment in Pakistan, something that could hurt the economy.

    Pakistan is facing a looming economic crisis: it has large fiscal (9.5%) and current account (9.2%) deficits, and an inflation rate of 10%.

    Moreover, it was reported in April 2008 that there has been a 46% year-on-year drop in foreign investment during the first nine months of the 2007–2008 fiscal year from $5.55 billion to $2.98 billion compared to the same period a year earlier.32

    After the 18 February election, the country received about $300 million in foreign investment, which is much lower figure than expected. This suggests that the drop in foreign investment was not just related to the February elections and related political instability but because of much wider concerns related to the political, economic and security environment in the country, including perceived growing Islamic extremism and presence of nuclear weapons.

    Therefore, there is a risk that the current trend in foreign investment will continue, slowing Pakistan’s economic growth. The PPP-led coalition government has already been forced to scale back its GDP growth target to around 6% from an earlier 7%.
    Pakistan’s failure to tackle this issue could also hinder development of civilian nuclear capability and efforts to tackle the country’s power crisis.

    Pakistan is currently facing a power shortage of about 3,000 MW, which is expected to increase to over 7,000 MW by 2010 with the growth of the population, and domestic and industrial power consumption.

    Pakistan currently generates about 400 MW of its power from nuclear plants and hopes to gradually increase this to 8,800 MW by 2030.

    Pakistan is not able to produce nuclear power using its own technology and needs access to foreign civilian nuclear technology and uranium.

    Pakistan wants access to Western technology. Press reports indicate that high-level military officials want to move that way. Press reports from 25 October 2006, cited a senior Pakistani military official as saying that Pakistan wanted to leave behind the A. Q. Khan scandal, improve its image in the US/West and get access to nuclear technology for civilian use.33

    Musharraf’s government expressed its interest in a civilian nuclear agreement similar to the 2006 US/India deal and the new government is likely to have similar interests.

    There has been no US or Western involvement in Pakistan’s civilian nuclear industry since late 1970s —due to international nuclear proliferation concerns—and this has forced Pakistan to rely on China for nuclear cooperation. Although China has offered to build six more nuclear plants, Pakistan is interested in larger and more effective Western-designed plants.


    Since 1998, Pakistan has taken a more mature approach to the command and control of its nuclear weapons and started to promote openness. The command and control system has been significantly improved, considerably reducing the risk of unauthorized access to nuclear materials or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons.

    While Pakistan feels that it has already met international standards, it needs to continue to strengthen the NCA’s and SPD’s control over nuclear weapons, to improve operational procedures and promote openness.

    Failure to do this could cause problems for the new government. The PPP-led government has announced that it wants to continue the dialogue with India, to develop a more independent strategy to tackle terrorism and Islamic militancy, and to tackle its power shortages, and its economic problems.

    In order for the government to achieve these key political and economic goals, it needs to improve international confidence in its nuclear command and control systems and the safety of its nuclear sites and assets.

    SAISS - London
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. Jango


    Sep 12, 2010
    +24 / 18,146 / -0
    Can somebody provide info on PMO (Project Management Organization). It is based on the outskirts of islamabad.

    It is a EME organization, and develops Babur etc etc. thats all i know.

    What is it's exact role in the development of a missile or platform.
  13. fatman17


    Apr 24, 2007
    +81 / 32,936 / -0
    Pakistan's Military Sanguine on Avoiding Wartime Nuclear Calamity

    April 3, 2013

    By Elaine M. Grossman

    Global Security Newswire

    RAWALPINDI, Pakistan -- Defense officials here say they are confident that if conflict once again breaks out with India, Pakistan’s longtime rival to the east, the two nuclear-armed powers could prevent a catastrophic acceleration in violence.

    To effectively control a wartime escalation, a nation must believe that its adversary is willing to use nuclear weapons, a senior official with the Pakistani army Strategic Plans Division, which oversees the atomic arsenal, told U.S. reporters last month.

    Pakistan's strategy for its estimated 100-warhead stockpile is based on "credible minimum deterrence," said the official, who requested anonymity in addressing sensitive military topics. Realists, the senior figure noted, see Pakistan’s weapons as intended for staving off aggression, not for actual warfighting.

    India has a nuclear arsenal similarly believed to number roughly 100 warheads.

    Pakistan and India have fought four wars since British partition in 1947, including one -- the 1999 Kargil conflict -- after the two nations acquired nuclear arsenals. Concerns linger that hostilities could flare anew as a result of unresolved issues between them, such as disputes over the Kashmir region or the use of proxies to advance each state’s interests abroad.

    “It’s a crisis-prone relationship,” said Maleeha Lodhi, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States and now a political commentator. “Sometimes crisis breaks out between the two countries even if the two countries don’t want the crisis to happen.”

    Regional experts worry that a future war could go nuclear. Moreover, any exchange of “limited” atomic blasts might quickly escalate out of control, as each nation becomes confronted with a possible existential crisis, the thinking goes.

    Drawing from nuclear strategies devised decades ago by Cold War superpowers the United States and Soviet Union, any conflict should offer opportunities for “deliberate pauses, permitting time for adversaries to de-escalate by going to the table,” the Pakistani official said in comments sent subsequently by e-mail to a reporter.

    Others have taken different lessons from the Cold War.

    Nuclear strategy scholar Robert Jervis has described the danger of “undesired escalation” as “always present” in a crisis between two nuclear-armed states.

    “The room for misunderstanding, the pressure to act before the other side has seized the initiative, the role of unexpected defeats or unanticipated opportunities, all are sufficiently great -- and interacting -- so that it is rare that decision-makers can confidently predict the end point of the trajectory which an initial resort to violence starts,” the Columbia University professor said in a 1984 book, “The Illogic of American Nuclear Strategy.”

    The Pakistani nuclear official noted that Islamabad’s arsenal is under a multifaceted set of controls that reduce the risk of hasty or unauthorized launch.

    Safety and security measures include monitoring scientific personnel; periodic intelligence reports; material accounting and control; special vehicles and security for sensitive materials transport; a requirement for two or more persons for carrying out key functions; the use of “permissive action links” or codes to help prevent unauthorized detonations; physical security; and the creation of personnel reliability programs and nuclear emergency security teams, the official said in a prepared briefing.

    Pakistani control initiatives are also believed to include storing warheads separately from delivery platforms during peacetime, according to issue experts.

    The defense official did not address that particular aspect, but did say the nation does not keep its nuclear arms in a “launch-on-warning” readiness status. This suggests Pakistan would not necessarily respond precipitously to any indications that India had fired an atomic weapon.

    “When tensions escalate, one expects a rational-actor behavior from all parties,” the senior Pakistani nuclear official said.

    Outsiders, though, have said either or both nations could unwittingly get caught up in the dynamics of competing battlefield strategies and lose rational control.

    After Pakistan first tested nuclear weapons in 1998, India is widely believed to have formulated a so-called “Cold Start” strategy in which it would be prepared to dash across the border and seize key assets -- perhaps even cities, such as Lahore -- within reach. Under the strategy, which Indian officials have at times denied preparing, New Delhi would hope to prevent any use of Pakistani nuclear weapons.

    In counter-reaction, Pakistan has expanded its atomic arsenal and devised plans to disperse these arms at the outset of any major war so they could not be captured, according to issue experts.

    This dispersal might also make the use of nuclear arms more likely, some observers say.

    Specifically, the worry is that spreading nuclear arms throughout Pakistani army units on a chaotic battlefield could make warheads more vulnerable to terrorist theft, unauthorized detonation or approved use based on misunderstanding.

    “With dispersal, the loss of control is quite easy and that is one great fear,” said Abdul Hameed Nayyar, a retired scholar at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad.

    The Pakistani military has developed “tactical” or shorter-range nuclear arms for possible battlefield use. It has also planned for a “shoot-and-scoot” tactic in its plans for war against India, which would involve moving atomic-tipped missiles on mobile launchers to help evade enemy targeting, Nayyar said.

    In such an approach, “you are actually delegating responsibility” to commanders at “very, very low” echelons, he said. “And delegating authority [over] nuclear weapons at that low level is very dangerous and I think that is something we all are very afraid of.”

    “Use of tactical weapons is not an element of stability in the whole Indo-Pakistan strategic equation,” agreed retired Pakistani army Lt. Gen. Talat Masood. “There are dangers in delegation of authority as far as use of nuclear weapons are concerned.”

    The Pakistani military has said that launch authority would remain at high levels, though some reports suggest otherwise, he told reporters visiting Islamabad.

    “But the only problem is if the conditions are unstable, and if you are that close to the border, then you can’t really exercise physical control,” Masood said.

    Even if strict high-level control over nuclear use were retained, “we are not going to detonate [once] and remain limited to that,” Nayyar said, calling the use of theater nuclear weapons by Pakistan “an escalatory step” in response to India’s military doctrine.

    “Deterrence is an abstract notion that sometimes fails real-world tests,” South Asia expert Michael Krepon observed in a 2011 blog post.

    “Every crisis that results in the increased readiness to use nuclear weapons also increases the likelihood of accidents and loss of control over nuclear assets,” he wrote more recently in a December analysis of Pakistan’s nuclear posture. “The probability of first use as a result of accidents and unauthorized use … appears greater than a deliberate command decision to cross the nuclear threshold.”

    After a conflict breaks out, “crisis management and escalation control then become paramount,” but “there is no reliable playbook for escalation control once a crisis transitions to hostilities between nuclear-armed states,” Krepon said.

    “India and Pakistan still lack the means to manage a crisis, frankly,” said Lodhi, the former ambassador. She added that the United States in the past has acted as a “fire brigade,” returning to the region repeatedly to “put out the fires.”

    The United States helped calm tensions between the two antagonists in the course of four crises between 1990 and 2008, according to Krepon, a co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington. Whether that role could be repeated into the future to successfully prevent a nuclear war is far from certain.

    Nayyar attributed the introduction of tactical nuclear weapons into South Asia to “the Pakistani urge to match India in all possible ways.” India’s Cold Start doctrine and the Pakistani response of nuclear force expansion and dispersal during conflict has become “a recipe for an all-out nuclear war,” he said.

    Though Pakistani leaders could seek to temper their own responses to India’s use of its superior conventional capabilities, New Delhi has threatened outsized retaliation to any atomic attack.

    Even “a very limited first use on Pakistani soil” could not necessarily “provide insurance against uncontrolled escalation, since Indian doctrine asserts that the use of nuclear weapons against Indian forces, wherever they may be situated, would prompt massive retaliation,” Krepon said in his recent analysis.

    “Pakistani decision-makers understand that escalation control, even in the event of a single use of a tactical nuclear weapon, would be immensely problematic and could well have profoundly tragic consequences,” he said. “Nonetheless, they appear to view this option as being less problematic than relying solely on large-scale, long-range nuclear strikes, especially as the conventional military balance with India grows more adverse.”

    Tags Cold War Era,Minimum Deterrence,Nuclear Doctrine,Tactical/Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons
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  14. fatman17


    Apr 24, 2007
    +81 / 32,936 / -0
    May 20, 2009

    Out of Control!

    The World Doesn’t Have a Pakistan Nukes Problem … It Has a David Albright Problem

    by PETER LEE

    As AFP tells us, the Institute for Science and International Security just published a report on Pakistan’s nuclear program that seems designed to pour gasoline on the “the Pakistani nuclear program is outta control” story.

    And, when you look at the story, there isn’t a whole lot of there there

    The commercial [satellite] images reveal a major expansion of a chemical plant complex near Dera Ghazi Kahn that produces uranium hexalfuoride and uranium metal, materials used to produce nuclear weapons.

    Big whoop, I must say. The Pakistanis love their nuclear weapons, and it’s not surprising—as a sovereign state outside the NPT—they might decide to make some more.

    The only conceivable takeaway from this report is muddled alarmism, which ISIS obligingly provides.

    Given turmoil in Pakistan with the army waging war against Taliban militants in the northwest, the ISIS said the "security of its nuclear assets remains in question."

    "An expansion in nuclear weapons production capabilities needlessly complicates efforts to improve the security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets," it said.

    I don’t get it. How are things suddenly more complicated by an expansion in capacity?

    Washington, apparently believing that it doesn’t have enough on its plate with al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistan Taliban, is suddenly awash with dramatic plans to add a self-created problem to the mix: a quixotic effort to wrest Pakistan’s nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Army if the situation deteriorates.

    And selling that idea seems to require fomenting an irrational panic concerning Pakistan’s nuclear program, as a metastasizing cancerous problem that’s getting BIGGER and BIGGER if we don’t DO SOMETHING.

    You know what it smells like to me?

    It smells like an effort by some to put a radical U.S. nuclear counterproliferation doctrine on the table now, so when it’s the end of the year and it’s time to deal with that other Muslim country with the destabilizing nuclear capability—you know, the one on the other side of Afghanistan, the one that the Israelis are so upset about—public opinion has been primed to accept the idea that some combination of air strikes, special ops, and insertion of U.S. forces is needed to save the world from an Islamic nuclear program that’s…outta control!

    A crisis in Pakistan—and high-profile U.S. handwringing over those dangerous Muslim nukes—might be the best thing that happens to Benjamin Netanyahu this year.

    We’ll see.

    Anyway, I don’t think we have a Pakistan nukes problem.

    We have a reckless and cynical fearmongering problem that should ring alarm bells for anybody who remembers the Iraq war.

    In a small way, I think we also have a David Albright problem

    ISIS is run by David Albright.

    Scott Ritter delivered a devastating rip job on Albright in Truthdig last year, entitled The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was.

    He characterized Albright as a dilettante wannabe nuclear weapons guy, who has self-promoted himself, his honorary doctorate, and his institute using the flimsiest of pretexts.

    More importantly, Ritter identifies Albright’s key credential as a willingness to offer up uninformed and tendentious alarmism when the situation demands it.

    Ritter’s conclusion sums up his feelings about Albright’s role in the nuclear non-proliferation debate:

    Albright, operating under the guise of his creation, ISIS, has a track record of inserting hype and speculation about matters of great sensitivity in a manner which skews the debate toward the worst-case scenario. Over time Albright often moderates his position, but the original sensationalism still remains, serving the purpose of imprinting a negative image in the psyche of public opinion. This must stop. It is high time the mainstream media began dealing with David Albright for what he is (a third-rate reporter and analyst), and what he isn’t (a former U.N. weapons inspector, doctor, nuclear physicist or nuclear expert). It is time for David Albright, the accidental inspector, to exit stage right. Issues pertaining to nuclear weapons and their potential proliferation are simply too serious to be handled by amateurs and dilettantes.

    Amen to that.

    PETER LEE is a business man who has spent thirty years observing, analyzing, and writing on Asian affairs. Lee can be reached at peterrlee-2000@yahoo.
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  15. fatman17


    Apr 24, 2007
    +81 / 32,936 / -0
    Pakistan’s Rickover

    By krepon

    3 June 2013

    Pakistan’s national security decisions are usually choreographed between senior active duty military officers in Rawalpindi and government officials in Islamabad. If military leaders feel strongly about a particular policy or initiative, they can usually count on the consent of politicians. Conversely, if political leaders do not have military support, their favored initiatives are likely to fail. There is usually little daylight between Rawalpindi and Islamabad with respect to Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent.

    Pakistan’s nuclear program is a rare success story and a great source of national pride. Those who have been instrumental in this record of accomplishment have been given broad leeway to pursue requirements as they see fit. These requirements are set by very few individuals, almost all with military backgrounds.

    Every nation’s nuclear weapon-related programs have elevated a few individuals into positions of extraordinary authority. Some have remained in the shadows, a few have become national embarrassments, and others have gained public renown. The “father” of the U.S. nuclear navy, Admiral Hyman Rickover, had such a high profile and was deemed to be so essential by his supporters on Capitol Hill that his retirement from active duty was postponed until the ripe old age of 81.

    Pakistan’s closest approximation to Admiral Rickover is Lt. General (ret.) Khalid Kidwai, who presently is in his thirteenth year as the Director-General of the Strategic Plans Division at Joint Staff Headquarters. The SPD oversees strategy, doctrine, research, development, production and protection of Pakistan’s nuclear assets.

    Admiral Rickover and General Kidwai could not be more dissimilar in personality or conduct. Rickover’s steel will did not brook dissent over questions of submarine design, personnel, training and related matters. Rickover would imperiously circumvent his military superiors when he suspected or opposed their judgment. General Kidwai is a man of low-key demeanor with a sense of humility who works through military channels. Like Rickover, his competence inspires the view that he is indispensable. Unlike Rickover, my sense is that General Kidwai would contest this conclusion.

    General Kidwai faced retirement in 2005 because his time on active duty would extend beyond those who were about to out-rank him. At that juncture, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Ehsan ul-Haq, and Chief of Army Staff (and President of Pakistan) Pervez Musharraf decided to keep General Kidwai in place at the SPD after his retirement. While many retired military officers have been given plum assignments overseeing civilian institutions in Pakistan, the appointment of a retired military officer to be in charge of the nuclear program was very unusual.

    General Kidwai has a long gallery of pictures on his wall of the successful strategic modernization initiatives he has overseen. He has cleaned up the mess at the A.Q. Khan Labs. He has improved security at sensitive sites. He has set up institutional mechanisms that are sound and that can handle a baton pass.

    There aren’t many more tests for General Kidwai to pass. There is one test, however, that founding fathers of nuclear programs usually flunk. It’s the test of avoiding excess.

    This is not a Pakistan-specific problem. Most of the founding fathers of the US and Soviet nuclear programs also flunked this test. Regardless of nationality, nuclear enclaves share a common assumption that more capability equals more security – especially when an adversary is engaged in a nuclear build-up. In this view, the more foreboding the edifice of deterrence looks, the less inclined your adversary will be to cross red lines.

    There is no hard evidence to support this article of faith. A small, survivable nuclear arsenal might also be sufficiently persuasive as a deterrent, and there might well be many other reasons that induce caution in national leaders. But it’s understandably risky to take this for granted; the closer one is to the Bomb, and less risky it appears to choose more firepower. The equation of more nuclear deterrence with greater security can easily become a bedrock belief — even though the more adversaries compete, the less secure they feel.

    It’s natural for nuclear enclaves facing stiff competition to reject constructs of minimum or finite deterrence in favor of additional targeting and use options. Unlike nuclear-armed states that have no reason to expect a hot war or rapid escalation, Pakistan and India are moving toward widely diversified deterrents that place greater stress on command, control, safety and security in times of crisis. Under these circumstances, weak points become distributed within the edifice as it grows. Crisis and deterrence stability become shakier.

    As discussed in an earlier post, the question, ‘How much is enough?’ becomes perversely more difficult to answer when one success follows the next, and when an adversary responds in kind. The answer to this question cannot come from outsiders. Security dilemmas and nuclear weapon requirements can only be moderated by domestic reassessments, economic imperatives, negotiations, more normal ties with a competitor, or the demise of one of the contestants.

    Within Pakistan, politicians usually shy away from questioning nuclear orthodoxy, whiz kids are not welcome, and criticism, no matter how sound or well meaning, is dismissed as being pro-India. The significant expenses associated with nuclear weapons are good for just one important thing: to reinforce caution. Meanwhile, other expenses and aspects of national security are short-changed. Pakistan faces terrible economic and energy crises as its nuclear enclave gears up to go toe-to-toe against India.
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