Nuclear weapons proliferation king AQ Kahn blames India for Pakistan’s nuclear program in a Newsweek article (why Newsweek gives Kahn a public platform of any kind is another issue altogether). Kahn says:
I would like to make it clear that it was an Indian nuclear explosion in May 1974 that prompted our nuclear program…
In Pakistan, blaming India is a pretty safe strategy, so Kahn is staying on script.
By the early 1990s, Pakistan had nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Kahn adds:
For a country that couldn’t produce bicycle chains to have become a nuclear and missile power within a short span—and in the teeth of Western opposition—was quite a feat.
Yes, it was quite a feat. So who should we credit the assist to? China or Russia? Given the geography and the history of the region, I favor China (and massive industrial espionage by Kahn and his team).
Kahn moves on to the topic of nuclear deterrence:
India doesn’t need more than five weapons to hurt us badly, and we wouldn’t need more than 10 to return the favor. That is why there has been no war between us for the past 40 years…
Don’t overlook the fact that no nuclear-capable country has been subjected to aggression or occupied, or had its borders redrawn. Had Iraq and Libya been nuclear powers, they wouldn’t have been destroyed in the way we have seen recently. If we had had nuclear capability before 1971, we would not have lost half of our country—present-day Bangladesh—after disgraceful defeat.
Kahn’s statement shows why the global zeros are unlikely to achieve their goals, unless something more asymmetrical than nuclear weapons are developed or unless missile defense becomes a ubiquitous, highly available, ready, and credible capability.
From the comments section on Kahn:
This criminal, this merchant of death peddled WMD technology to various terrorist nations of the world. When he says there is no reason to be afraid, that is exactly the reason to not believe that.
So did Kahn really do that stuff? If you can believe the the Wikipedia entry on Kahn, yes.
In early February 2004, the Government of Pakistan reported that Khan had signed a confession indicating that he had provided Iran, Libya, and North Korea with designs and centrifuge technology to aid in nuclear weapons programs…