US has 'snatch-and-grab' plan for Pak's nuke weapons

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Parthy, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Parthy

    Parthy Air Warrior Senior Member

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    The US has a contingency plan to "snatch-and-grab" Pakistan's nuclear weapons, if and when the President believes they are threat to either America or its interests, a media report has said, amid strains in bilateral ties.

    Plans have been drawn up for dealing with worst-case scenarios in Pakistan, NBC news reported quoting current and former US officials, who say that ensuring security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons has long been a high US security priority even before 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Among the scenarios drawn by the report is Pakistan plunging into internal chaos, terrorist mounting a serious attack against a nuclear facility, hostilities breaking out with India or Islamic extremist taking charge of the government or the Pakistan army.

    NBC said the greatest success of the US war on terrorism, the military operation that killed Osama bin Laden in his safe house in Pakistan in May..., has fuelled concerns about Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

    The report said there were increasing suspicions among US officials that Osama had support within the ISI and the Abbottabad operation had emboldened those in Washington who believe an orchestrated campaign of lightning raids to secure Pakistan's nuclear weapons could succeed.

    In the aftermath of the bin Laden raid, US military officials have testified before Congress about the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons and the threat posed by "loose nukes" - nuclear weapons or materials outside the government's control. And earlier Pentagon reports also outline scenarios in which US forces would intervene to secure nuclear weapons that were in danger of falling into the wrong hands.

    Such discussions of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, now believed to consist of as many as 115 nuclear bombs and missile warheads, have gotten the attention of current and former Pakistani officials.

    In an interview with NBC News, former Pakistan military ruler Pervez Musharraf warned that a snatch-and-grab operation would lead to all-out war between the countries, calling it "total confrontation by the whole nation against whoever comes in."

    "These are assets which are the pride of Pakistan, assets which are dispersed and very secure in very secure places, guarded by a corps of 18,000 soldiers," said a combative Musharraf, who led Pakistan for nearly a decade and is again running for president.

    "...(This) is not an army which doesn't know how to fight. This is an army which has fought three wars. Please understand that," he said.

    Pervez Hoodboy, Pakistan's best known nuclear physicist and a human rights advocate, rarely agrees with the former president. But he, too, says a US attempt to take control of Pakistan's nukes would be foolhardy.

    "They are said to be hidden in tunnels under mountains, in cities, as well as regular air force and army bases," he said. "A US snatch operation could trigger war; it should never be attempted."

    Despite such comments, interviews with current and former US officials, military reports and even congressional testimony indicate that Pakistan's weaponry has been the subject of continuing discussions, scenarios, war games and possibly even military exercises by US intelligence and special forces regarding so-called "snatch-and-grab" operations.

    "It's safe to assume that planning for the worst-case scenario regarding Pakistan nukes has ready taken place inside the US government," said Roger Cressey, former deputy director of counter-terrorism in the Clinton and Bush White House. "This issue remains one of the highest priorities of the US intelligence community ... and the White House."

    Jeffrey T Richelson, an intelligence historian, has written extensively about the possibility of a US military operation aimed at Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, notably in his 2009 book 'Defusing Armageddon.'

    The book focuses on the US Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST), which might play leading a role in disarming Pakistani weapons along with elements of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

    The nuts-and-bolts of how such an operation would work - such as whether teams would attempt to disarm or destroy the weapons - remain highly classified.

    But Richelson notes that without referring to Pakistan by name, Gen Peter Pace, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in 2006 discussed two types of operations where in which the US military would seek to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of al-Qaida or other militants.


    US has 'snatch-and-grab' plan for Pak's nuclear weapons - The Times of India
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
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  3. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    its not an easy job

    fact Pakistan is out of control

    like a kid with ak47
     
  4. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    The very fact that such reports are coming out, shows that US has completed gathering all the intelligence it needs to conduct such an operation. Else even rumors of such a thing wouldn't slip out.

    In other words, when such an operation happens, no "secret stash of warheads" will be spared.

    Then there's the issue of "when all of Pakistan's warheads are gone, China will ship some, and so America's operation will be futile". The way I see US will tackle this is by quickly following up the snatch-and-grab of Pakistan's warheads with disintegration of the Pakistani state, in tune with its plans of reorganization of the Middle-East. There was a wonderful map showing that plan, but I can't seem to find it.
     
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  5. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    and we will just see every thing silently

    do you think usa is fool , do every thing us for free
     
  6. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    US isn't a fool, it's not doing this for us.
     
  7. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    then

    come on you cant gain something without paying the value

    usa will only do the work which is gainful for them we should not be happy that usa will do work for ourself
     
  8. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Thats one possibility. The other possibility is that US is spreading these rumours to scare Pakistan and to make them cooperate with them.
     
  9. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    It is virtually impossible for US alone to capture or destroy all the nuke warheads. What if, some of the warheads are stored in POK where PLA is present, US is not gonna try any operation out there, as it will be like having a war with China -PAK combined.

    Only possibility of grabbing the most of warheads is to have revolt in PAk Army & the rebellion faction comes in support of the operation.
     
  10. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    I wouldn't worry much about grabbing those nukes. Remember that the US has decades of close working relationship with the Pakistan military, some in the military maybe ideologically antagonistic to the US but the rest are still sympathetic to it. Especially so since almost certainly Dollars will be involved...
     
  11. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    if bomb and missile are in equal numbers then total comes to 230 bomb and missile are guarded by 18000 which means 78.2 soldier per missile or nuke.

    Given the past experience i think half of the missile can be captured by US, may be other half would be given to talibs by Pakistan.
     
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  12. debasree

    debasree Regular Member

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    do it now otherwise it will be too late,the whole nuke weapons will go to the hand of mullahas and jehadi elements of the millitary.
     
  13. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    only fools think nuclear weapons as assets.
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    I doubt this is true especially after the recent Pak-China nuke deal.
     
  15. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    The gain for US is knowing that when Pak's warheads land in the hands of a nutjob, it won't be used against Israel, or other oily Middle-Eastern countries (because there won't be any).

    Pakistan is the most dangerous nuclear-state in the world, and US stands to lose the most with Pakistan's arsenal in the wrong hands. The far, far, far more expensive way of making Pakistan a safer nuclear state is stabilization of Pakistan, which will cost a ton of aid and political reform. Not feasible.
     
  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This stabilization would take a 100 years to bring Pakistan out of the dark age and into the modern world, and no guarantee with leaders being killed on a regular basis.
     
  17. himanshugoswami

    himanshugoswami Regular Member

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    Logistically, there is no way on earth US can pull this off without India's involvement, even if such involvement is covert or limited only to logistic support......now ask yourself, is the GOI gutsy enough to go ahead....NO!.....so there go any such plans up in smoke.

    An op like this would need a lot of manpower and back up plans and contingency scenarios, all of which would need massive logistical support. there is no way they can launch this op from AF- so India is the only logical option. Also, any start of thi sop would invariably attract retaliation from pak towards India and we may see the odd nuke lobbed over......not a pretty thought.

    so this looks more like a wet dream IMHO
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Even if this were successful China will just send them more.
     
  19. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    That would be the height of Chinese irresponsibility. How can it send nuclear weapons to a by then already failed/imploded state?
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    same way they have done in the past and do so for north korea. They have also given the failed state a nuke deal.
     
  21. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Well for me the best thing that is possible is a terror attack in the US linked to Pak. That would be all.
     
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