A new report from a team of scientific experts says Pakistan has a growing stockpile of as many as 140 nuclear warheads and questions the Muslim nation’s strategy for dealing with the authority to launch any of those weapons, says a new report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
They found the nation’s nuclear structure includes “missile garrisons for short-range nuclear-capable missiles, unique underground facilities potentially intended for nuclear weapons storage, and air bases with possible nuclear-related facilities.”
“The tactical nuclear-capable launchers do not present a strategic threat to India due to their short range, but their introduction into the Pakistani armed forces raises important questions about early dispersal of nuclear warheads and launch authority in a crisis as well as potential earlier use of nuclear weapons in a conflict with India,” the report said.
“We estimate that Pakistan currently has a stockpile of 130-140 nuclear warheads and is building more. But we also take note of statements by some Pakistan officials that the country might not intend to continue to increase [its] arsenal indefinitely but may soon reach the goal for the size of its full-spectrum deterrent.
“Whether and when that will happen remains to be seen. For now the Pakistani arsenal is in a dynamic phase.”
The Muslim nation has been a nuclear power since shortly after its neighbor and foe India detonated a nuclear bomb in 1974. Pakistan has been mostly an ally to the United States, receiving billions of dollars in aid over the years and a U.S. relief effort following a 2005 earthquake, although there have been periods of falling over the war on terror.
Relations hit a low point when the U.S. military entered Pakistan secretly and conducted a raid in Abbottabad in which terror leader Osama bin Laden was killed.
The report said Pakistan identifies now with “a full-spectrum nuclear deterrent posture, which is though[t] to include strategic missiles and fighter-bombers for so-called retaliatory strikes in response to nuclear attacks, and short-range missiles for sub-strategic use in response to conventional attacks.”
“Over the past several years, commercial satellite pictures have gradually brought into light several facilities that might form part of Pakistan’s evolving nuclear weapons launcher posture,” it said.
The report cited 10 facilities, including five or six missile garrisons and two to four air bases with fighter bombers.