Nukes of China, India, Israel and Pakistan pose serious threat to Asia, world peace!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
- Weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
Nuclear weapons are the deadliest tool developed by nuclear powers to end human race and destroy all living beings on earth, do not target only select person in a crowd but annihilated masses in one go and hence they are known as weapons of mass destruction (WMD). However, nuclear powers have not taken the issue as seriously as it really merits.
Nuclear disarmament refers to both the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclear-weapon-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated. Nuclear disarmament groups include the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Greenpeace, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Mayors for Peace, Global Zero, and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Proponents of nuclear disarmament say that it would lessen the probability of nuclear war occurring, especially accidentally. Critics of nuclear disarmament say that it would undermine deterrence.
In 1945 in the New Mexico desert, American scientists conducted “Trinity,” the first nuclear weapons test, marking the beginning of the atomic age. Even before the Trinity test, national leaders debated the impact of nuclear weapons on domestic and foreign policy. Also involved in the debate about nuclear weapons policy was the scientific community, through professional associations such as the Federation of Atomic Scientists and the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs.
On August 6, 1945, towards the end of World War II, the Little Boy device was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Exploding with a yield equivalent to 12,500 tonnes of TNT, the blast and thermal wave of the bomb destroyed nearly 50,000 buildings (including theheadquarters of the 2nd General Army and Fifth Division) and killed approximately 75,000 people, among them 20,000 Japanese soldiers and 20,000 Koreans. Detonation of the Fat Man device exploded over the Japanese city of Nagasaki three days later on 9 August 1945, destroying 60% of the city and killing approximately 35,000 people, among them 23,200-28,200 Japanese civilian munitions workers and 150 Japanese soldiers. Subsequently, the world’s nuclear weapons stockpiles grew.
Operation Crossroads was a series of nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean in the summer of 1946. Its purpose was to test the effect of nuclear weapons on naval ships
Radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing was first drawn to public attention in 1954 when a Hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific contaminated the crew of the Japanese fishing boat Lucky Dragon. One of the fishermen died in Japan seven months later. The incident caused widespread concern around the world and “provided a decisive impetus for the emergence of the anti-nuclear weapons movement in many countries”. The anti-nuclear weapons movement grew rapidly because for many people the atomic bomb “encapsulated the very worst direction in which society was moving”. Peace movements emerged in Japan and in 1954 they converged to form a unified “Japanese Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs”.
Only insane people can love deadly WMD. One can love Pakistan, India or China as their favorite nation for some specifically positive reasons except for the nukes they possess because loving or supporting their nukes qualifies them to be the enemies of humanity seeking peaceful environment. Jews all over the world can rejoice at the Israeli nuke arsenals obtained illegally without UN approval but the Jewish nukes are not less dangerous as many in USA seem to believe. Israel can destroy the world if it is not allowed to be an arrogantly fascist in Mideast.
Israel, a close ally of USA retains the exclusive right to own nukes illegally without having the obligation to report to the IAEA or UN and big powers, including declared nuclear powers doo not question Israeli nukes, threatening peace in West Asia. They remain monstrous threat to human civilization.
It is argued sometimes by nuclear powers that nuclear arsenals help maintaining peace and therefore they are graceful deterrence. They also argue conventional arms cause tensions between nations. Nuclear powers India and Pakistan in South Asia have sustained mutual hatred, mutual suspicions causing tensions and regular cross fires.
- Promotion of self-destruction by Asian WMD
The size and shape of the US nuclear arsenal has always been inherently tied to the defense of its Western European allies, with the Asia-Pacific as a secondary consideration. Relatively recent literature on the subject suggests that it is indeed allies that have always been a major hindrance in US-Russian nuclear arms-control negotiations.
Certainly there was constant debate about what constituted “stability” between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but there were a number of factors that could be applied to evaluating the degree of instability, leading to a nuclear exchange. These included arsenal size, readiness and alertness, MIRV numbers, survivability of forces, and megatonnage. These factors, in turn, would help analysts assess the strength of concepts such as deterrence, pre-emption, second-strike capability, escalation control, and escalation dominance which, in turn, would be used to assess “stability” between NATO and the Soviet Union.
Asia with large sections of hungry people without shelter is in danger. China as the exclusive veto power of Asian continent has freedom to blast and manufacture as many nukes as the red Army desires. India and Pakistan keep on adding more nukes for “peaceful purposes” when many people this largest democracy sleep on pavements and in leaking huts all over the country. In order not to lag behind India, Pakistan too is busy increasing its nuke arsenals, while more and more, and haplessly poor Pakistanis, also terrorized by NATO-Pak joint military attacks on them, continue to eat grass if allowed by the military. Rich Pakistanis, including Islamic media lords, however, enjoy life with cocktail parties in US embassy.
Chinese may love their nukes as much as Indians do the same but Pakistanis love nukes the most because its conventional arm arsenals are inferior to Indians and they would unhesitantly use nukes if India for any reason attacks it for a long war. Islamabad has made the point clear to India as a matter of caution if not warning. So far they fought only short wars and exchanged cross fires over the issue of Jammu Kashmir which both occupy along with China. Indian occupational strategy has been extra brutal.
Humanity in Asian continent should seriously consider the existential threat the nations of this continent face from the ever increasing nuke arsenals of China, India and Pakistan. Thank god Bangladesh is not in nuclear race with India or Pakistan, while Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal do not have the resources for extensive nukes. Afghanistan, badly destabilized by NATO democracies in order to end Islamization process by successfully enacting Sept-11 hoax, has not time to think about nukes at all. Maldives is more worried than Sri Lanka about climate change that threatens its existence than nukes.
The Asian nuke powers – China, India, Israel and Pakistan – must be proud of their nukes and damn sure nothing would happen towards any credible denuclearization or disarmament and world powers are just making gimmicks by way of summits and talks. Arms reduction treaties are also not very encouraging. But people in these nuke enabled countries in South Asia region as well as Asian continent in general should be deeply concerned about the perpetual threat from nuclear arms they face in the neighborhoods.
Pakistan now has an arsenal of as many as 110-120 nuclear weapons and is expected to triple that in a decade, and an increase of that size makes no sense, especially since India’s nuclear arsenal, estimated at about the same 110-120 weapons, is growing more slowly.
Reports emanating from Washington and London say that Pakistan has got the world’s fastest-growing nuclear arsenal, and is unquestionably the biggest concern for Asia, especially in South Asia. Reports say Pakistan plans to purchase eight diesel-electric submarines from China, which could be equipped with nuclear missiles, and test-firing a ballistic missile that appears capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to any part of India. It noted that a senior adviser, Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, reaffirmed Pakistan’s determination to continue developing short-range tactical nuclear weapons whose only purpose is use on the battlefield in case of a war against India – the only country Islamabad fears. When India blasted its first bomb in Rajasthan, close to Pakistan, the ruling elite got panicky as Pakistanis were taken aback by the big explosion in India.
Advanced military equipment – new submarines, the medium-range Shaheen-III missile with a reported range of up to 1,700 miles, short-range tactical nuclear weapons – are of little use in defending against such threats. Even more troubling, the Pakistani Army has become increasingly dependent on the nuclear arsenal because Pakistan cannot match the size and sophistication of India’s conventional forces. But Pakistan is hardly alone in its potential to cause regional instability. China, which considers Pakistan a close ally and India a potential threat, is, according to estimates, continuing to build up its nuclear arsenal, now estimated at 250 weapons.
India, a corrupt but vibrant democracy, has focused so far on becoming a regional economic and political power. Achieving a nuclear free nation is the last thing New Delhi wants because India would not have got nukes in the first place had it not been its motto. In contrast, Pakistan, terrorized by occupation forces for the West and insurgency from within to drive the forces away from Islamabad, has sunk deeper into chaos, threatened by economic collapse, the weakening of political institutions and, most of all, a Taliban insurgency that aims to bring down the state. Islamabad also does not want to make Pakistan WMD free in the region and Asia at large, at least so long as India remains a nuclear power.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, like Indian media lords, thinks that the 2008 Mumbai attack was committed by Pakistanis who had come to India’s financial capital by a fishing boat , unnoticed by Indian Navy’s big high precision radar screens monitored by experts. Under pressure from USA and on duress from New Delhi which wants to increase cross border trade with Indian businessmen Pakistani government tired a few Muslims charging them with terror attack on Mumbai but recently one by one they are set free by the judiciary since they had nothing to with boat or Mumbai attack. However, Narendra Modi has made it clear that Pakistan can expect retaliation if “Islamic militants” carry out a terrorist attack in India, as happened with the 2008 bombing in Mumbai.
Compared to China’s expansionist tendencies today, the role of the Soviet Navy was primarily to defend coastline, and Moscow did not rely on the seas so much for trade as the United States did. But the focus has shifted, with nuclear strategy and conventional deterrence becoming much more important in the Asia-Pacific.
- Nuclear arms vs. conventional weapons
Nuclear path is very costly and dangerous. Increasing number of nukes is said to be a rationale that denies common people their legitimate share in terms of welfare measures and also allows the generals to maintain maximum power over the government and demand maximum national resources. Military intelligences maintain their control over policies so much that governments have to divert maximum money for military. No questions are asked in parliaments on the military expenditures, making military the super power of governments.
Nuclear reductions and disarmament are not necessarily smart ideas especially no nuclear power wants to rid of its nuke arsenals. Dependence on WMD made the conventional arms look primitive and their role unimportant. Even with the successful elimination of nuclear weapons, the tasks of strategy – deterrence, extended deterrence, and arms control – do not go away. Instead, they become even more difficult to manage. That is disturbing, given that Asia is now the center of global strategic gravity.
Given escalating tensions between the USA and Russia and China, nuclear disarmament will not happen any time soon. US President Barack Obama’s initial goals of further reducing the U.S. nuclear stockpile should force us to think very carefully about the desirability of relying on conventional military balances for deterrence, because a world with significantly fewer nuclear weapons would graphically expose conventional imbalances between states, which in many instances have remained partially hidden in the current nuclear age. It is upon these imbalances that any remaining system of deterrence would increasingly rely.
Historically, the South and East Asian regions, rather the wider Asia-Pacific, has been much less interested in arms control than Europe. Indeed, most arms control and disarmament policies (both conventional and nuclear) have been conceived and adopted by non-Asian countries. Arms control is desirable, and could help alleviate regional tensions, achieving agreement on limitations is fraught with difficulties linked to geography, defense spending, cross-cutting geopolitical interests, alliance dynamics, re-armament capabilities and the dual nature of evolving military technology.
The British did not like submarines, pointing to the indiscriminate destruction they had wrought in previous naval battles. Syria repeatedly stated that it would not agree to a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone (WMDFZ) unless Israel renounced its air superiority. For Iran to agree, the U.S. would need to significantly reduce its presence in the region, and Israel would need to limit its offensive capabilities and its aggressive rhetoric. Indeed, Syria’s build-up of Scud-B and Scud-C missiles since 1974 was a direct response to Israel’s conventional superiority and Syria’s growing regional isolation. It was believed that, mated to chemical and biological warheads, some of these could provide a deterrent also to Israel’s use of nuclear weapons against Syrian territory.
Do the nuclear weapon states focus on reducing their nuclear arsenals as a precondition for conventional disarmament? It would be a good idea to reduce nuclear weapons before reducing conventional forces. However, the discourse by all the nuclear weapons states except the United States indicates that nuclear weapons are seen as but one component of the overall military balance between states.
Even the Cold War saw significant attempts at non-nuclear arms control, the most important of which was the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. These initiatives were influenced by the nuclear forces of both the U.S. and USSR. Russia recently withdrew from the Treaty and threatened nuclear weapons against Denmark if it decided to host U.S. missile defenses. For Russia, NATO expansion was a means of bypassing the provisions of the Treaty.
Consider questions about the relationship between nuclear and conventional military power for arms control. Could the United States still continue to “extend” deterrence with conventional forces only? Any buildup of U.S. conventional forces in the Asia-Pacific region would surely be provocative for challengers (say China or Russia) to the current regional order.
Alliances were a major factor in the ultimate failure of the League of Nations that led to its exit and replacement by UN. In all its history up until the Second World War, the United States was a more or less isolationist power. It is also easy to take for granted just how impressive a feat it was for the United States to establish alliances with countries in Asia, for instance, half a world away. U.S. nuclear capabilities, and their long-range delivery systems, played an important part in that enterprise. Without the bomb, Washington might have had neither the appetite nor the audacity to undertake such vast and significant security commitments.
The efforts for total disarmament and denuclearization have failed owing to disconnect between USA and Russia , the nations with largest nuke arsenals, over issue while all nuclear powers have continued to manufacture more nukes even as readying with nuke enabled high precision intercontinental missiles.
The challenges of strategy, both on the road to nuclear “zero” and in a “disarmed” world, are significant. If one advocates for nuclear disarmament, then the responsible corollary task is to advocate for formal arms control agreements that benefit the greatest possible number of states in the international system; to create an alternative system of strategic stability. However, as my research on the historical record shows, international politics has thus far been incapable of yielding any enduring limitation on conventional military forces. Issues of conventional military power will re-emerge with new prominence and increase in danger, especially in the Asia-Pacific where the Asian tigers have not yet figured out how to share a mountain.
The issues of non-nuclear arms control might, in fact, make it even more difficult to assess and navigate the relative balance of power in international politics. Indeed, one of the biggest issues in the realm of conventional arms control is finding any agreed concept of equilibrium. Would the condition for the Chinese giving up their nuclear weapons be the complete withdrawal of US power projection capabilities from the region? Importantly, many issues illustrate the fact that proponents of arms control agreements (especially the NPT, the INF, and CFE Treaties) commit the mistake of assuming that the world can remain static, both geopolitically and militarily.
In January, Pope Francis touted nuclear disarmament as a major goal alongside climate change in his speech to the Vatican’s diplomatic corps and last year the Vatican submitted a paper calling for total nuclear disarmament to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. However, unless the nuclear powers decide to dismantle their own arsenals first emerging nuclear nations won’t be assured of any nuke free world.
Pope could not lend his high office to repeat what Israel or USA says Iran and would do well by asking Israel to dismantle its WMD at the earliest so that world has at last some hopes for peace. Maybe, he should press the White House, responsible for Israel obtaining nukes illegally, to positively influence Tel Aviv to destroy its deadly nukes.
One more word: Arms control should be able to contribute to reduce the probability of war, and to minimize death and destruction if war comes. But world has not yet begun debating conventional arms control agreements so that credible talks could take place on denuclearization. Many Indians, who are worried about increasing nuke arsenals in India and Asia at large, however, sincerely want more nukes in Indian arsenal until USA and Russia disown their nuke arsenals first, paving way for credible disarmament and denuclearization.
On the way to formal arms control, great powers should be willing to drastically reduce their conventional forces so that denuclearization process becomes credible and serious. World leaders should now ensure that.
There is no alternative to disarmament and denuclearization in a step by step manner!