- War tensions are being racketed up in the Indian subcontinent,
between India and Pakistan. They have fought three major wars since what
was once called India in the British Empire obtained its freedom and India
and Pakistan split apart. There is great distrust and hate between Hindu
India and Islamic Pakistan. The real danger comes from the fact that both
are now nuclear armed neighboring states with very short warning times.
It has been estimated that the leadership of both India and Pakistan would
have as short as two minutes warning once enemy nuclear armed missiles
are spotted and confirmed, before first impacts/detonations . That tends
to put things on a 'hair trigger'. A surprise nuclear attack would be aimed
at dramatically reducing the opposing state's ability to strike back with
weapons of mass destruction giving the nation striking first a strong advantage.
The response to this is to fire at first warning a full counter battery
- A war could easily escalate from a Indian 'limited non-nuclear
surgical strike' into a all out nuclear war targeting not only enemy military
sites but also enemy population centers.
- A review of Indian and Pakistani weapons of mass destruction
and delivery systems shows just how scary the Indian subcontinent is at
this present time.
- Pakistan's nuclear weapon program dates back to at least
1974 and is very advanced, although not as advanced as larger and richer
India's is. Since 1987 Pakistan's nuclear weapons have been miniaturized
to allow delivery by Pakistan's Air Force fighters and by its IRBMs (intermediate
range ballistic missiles) and cruise missiles (including ground/air/naval
surface/submarine launched versions).
- Pakistan uses both highly enriched uranium and plutonium
for its nuclear weapons. The Khushab nuclear site has sufficient plutonium
production for 40 to 50 warheads a year by itself. This site is coming
on line and is a major expansion of Pakistani plutonium reprocessing capabilities;
a fact that concerns a number of nations including America, India, and
Israel. In 2000, US military intelligence reportedly estimated Pakistani
nuclear weapons at approximately 100 in number. A number of 200 in late
2008/early 2009 is very probable.
- The sixth Pakistani nuclear test (May 30, 1998) at Kharan
was a successful test of a sophisticated, compact, but powerful bomb designed
to be carried by missiles. The Pakistanis are believed to be spiking their
plutonium based nuclear weapons with tritium. Only a few grams of tritium
can result in an increase of the explosive yield by 300% to 400%.
- The Pakistani strategic capable missiles include the
following: the Hatf-X (also called Tipu), 4000 km + range (new, unknown
number in service); the M-11, 300 km range (new, unknown number in service);
the Hatf-VIII (also called Ra'ad), an air launched cruise missile (new,
unknown number in service); the Hatf-VII (also called Babur), a naval submarine
launched and surface launched and ground launched cruise missile, 700 km
range (up to 1,000 in service); the Hatf-VI (also called the Shaheen-II),
2500 km + range (over 200 in service); the Hatf-VA (also called the Ghauri-II),
2400 km + range (over 100 in service); the Hatf-V (Ghauri-I), up to 1500
km range (approximately 300 in service); the Hatf-VI (Shaheen-I), 750 km
range (150 or so in service) the Hatf-III (Ghaznavi), 290 km range (100+
in service); Hatf-I and IA, up to 100 km range (over 100 in service).
- In addition to nuclear weapons, these missiles can carry
advanced biological warheads, chemical warheads, advanced conventional
weapons, and high explosive conventional warheads.
- The Pakistani Air Force has the following aircraft types
capable of delivering nuclear warheads, as well as a full range of NBC/advanced
conventional/conventional weapons: The Chinese A-5s, JF-17s (FC-1), J-10s;
the French Mirage IIIs and Vs; the American F-16s.
- India's first nuclear weapons test occurred on May 18,
1974. Numbers of actual Indian nuclear weapons vary but assembled weapons
are thought to be in the low hundreds with India having perhaps 4200 kg
of reactor grade plutonium - enough to build 1000 additional nuclear weapons.
- The Indian strategic delivery systems are extensive and
include land based IRBMs and cruise missiles (with true ICBMs under development),
sea based surface and submarine launched cruise missiles and naval air
launched weapons from Indian aircraft carriers, and air launched missiles
- Indian ballistic missiles include: Prithvi I, Army version
with 150 km range and in-flight maneuvering capabilities; Prithvi II, Air
Force version with 250 km range; Prithvi III Navy version with 350 km range;
the Agni missile family (Agni I, II, III, IISL and the coming V ICBM version)
with ranges up to 5000 km. The Agni family of missiles have demonstrated
an advanced maneuvering warhead (endo-atmospheric evasive maneuvers, terminal
guidance reentry vehicles).
- Indian cruse missiles include the: Russian 3M-54 Klub,
250-300 km range with subsonic to Mach 2.9 speeds,; the Israeli Popeye,
the Russian P-70 Ametist; the very dangerous Russian Moskit (also called
Sunburn). Additionally, the Indian Akash air defense SAM can use nuclear
- The Indian Navy is one of the most powerful navies on
earth with nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers and a wide assortment
of quality surface and subsurface vessels.
- India is one of only four nations (including the USA,
Russia, and China) still flying long range nuclear strategic bombers with
17 in service including the Tupolev Tu-142 (naval version of the Tu-95
Bear bomber), the Tupolev Tu-22M3 "Backfire", and the II-38.
Fighter jets capable of nuclear missions include the advanced Russian Sukhoi
Su-30MKI, the Mig-27M, the Mig-29 and Mig-29K (Indian Naval version), the
French Dassault Mirage 2000, the French-British Jaguar, and the Indian
- Global Effects of a regional India-Pakistan War: A nuclear
war involving the use of only 50 Hiroshima-sized weapons could cause a
"Nuclear Winter" over large areas of North America and Eurasia
with catastrophic climatic effects for years. The 'Proceedings of the National
Academy of Science' in 2008 published a study that found a war including
a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan could create a near-global
ozone hole with column ozone losses at over 20% globally, 25-45% at mid-latitudes
and 50-70% at northern high latitudes persisting for five years with continuing
substantial losses for five additional years.
- As the world has kept its attention on several other
things lately, like the US Presidential election and transition, the global
economic Crash of 2008, Christmas, etc., the old trouble spot of the Indian
subcontinent has suddenly gone 'warm' if not 'hot'. If it goes 'hot', the
entire planet and all life on our Earth, could be in real trouble.