Friday, September 14, 2012

Battlefield Nukes For Pakistan: Why Hatf IX (Nasr) Is Essential For Pakistan’s Deterrence Posture & Doctrine


The American targeting of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and their development continues unabated. The latest attack is on Pakistan’s development of the Nasr missile in the Hatf short range ballistic missile (SRBM) series.
The new attack manifests itself in a provocative report published by Foreign Policy magazine, which is part of the Washington Post Company.
Badly argued and primarily conjectural, American nuclear expert Tom Hundley attacks Pakistan’s plan to develop what is known as tactical battlefield nuclear weapon in a report titled,
“Pakistan’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea to develop battlefield nukes” (5 September 2012).
Mr. Hundley’s report is alarmist rather than factual. As a follow up, a group of American nuclear experts landed in Islamabad this week, representing two think tanks: Stimson Center and Carnegie, in a visit designed to meet pro-US lobbyists in Pakistan to develop a narrative supportive of American policy goals with regards to Pakistani nuclear capability.
Project For Pakistan In 21st Century, an independent Islamabad-based research group, releases a policy brief titled, Why Hatf IX (Nasr) Is Essential For Pakistan’s Deterrence Posture & Doctrine.
Authored by eminent Pakistani defense and nuclear expert Dr. Shireen M. Mazari, this Policy Brief bolsters Pakistan’s policy position by explaining the rationale behind developing battlefield nuclear weapons. The arguments listed in the brief strike at the alarmism that Washington seeks to create around Pakistani nuclear plans. While attempting to explain the thinking of Pakistani policymakers, Dr. Mazari inadvertently shows the responsible and sophisticated nuclear security thinking of the Pakistani nuclear establishment.
At the same time, the Brief proposes that Pakistan offer India a Strategic Nuclear Dialogue designed to reduce nuclear risk that includes what the author describes as Confidence & Security Building Measures [CSBMs] in the nuclear area. The paper lists Pakistani nuclear risk reduction ideas shared with India over a decade without a positive Indian response, and suggests a way forward for Islamabad and New Delhi.

About the Author: Shireen M. Mazari, PhD, is a Pakistani political scientist and a prominent geostrategist, currently serving as Vice President for foreign and security affairs of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf [Pakistan Movement of Justice]. She is the former director-general of Islamabad Institute of Strategic Studies [IISS]. For information on how to reach reach, use media@projectpakistan21.org

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