Why Is Pakistanâ€™s Latest Nuclear Missile Test Different? By Shireen Mazari Welcome to the Strategic Command and Control Support System. Now Pakistani leadership can â€˜stay in the strategic loopâ€™ 24/7. Our command structure is completely indigenous. Pakistanâ€™s latest test of its medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) is a welcome development. The significance of this test is not in the Ghauri missile per se but in the working of the now fully automated Strategic Command and Control Support System (SCCSS). This included not just the test firing of the liquid fuelled MRBM Hatf V (Ghauri)-now already a part of the Strategic Missile Force of Pakistan Army with a range of up to 1300 kilometers-but also testing the SCCSS. It was the testing of the latter that was the central purpose of this exercise today. The fully automated SCCSS enables robust Command and Control capability of all strategic assets. The National Command leadership is now able to monitor round-the-clock situational awareness in a digitized network-centric environment. In other words, monitoring of the strategic assets can be done from the National Command and Control Center through the automated control support systems. The successful test of the Ghauri â€“ with the ability to carry nuclear warheads, via the linkage with SCCSS â€“ has strengthened the security and robustness of the strategic nuclear assets and also enabled the national leadership to be constantly in the strategic loop 24/7. This centralized control enhances safety and security of the strategic assets by ensuring centralized leadership control at all times. The most significant part of the testing of the SCCSS through the launch of the Ghauri series missile as part of the field training exercise of the Army Strategic Force Command was proving the viability of the increasingly indigenous structured architecture of Pakistanâ€™s nuclear command and control. Our civilian leadership has now been totally brought into the strategic nuclear command and control structures. It is up to them to understand these structures and the role they must play to sustain and strengthen them. It is a grave responsibility and they must educate themselves wisely in bearing it responsibly. 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]. Why Is Pakistanâ€™s Latest Nuclear Missile Test Different?