Reuters blog archive
from Afghan Journal:
India and Pakistan exchanged a list of each other's nuclear installations on Saturday like they have done at the start of each year under a 1988 pact in which the two sides agreed not to attack these facilities. That is the main confidence building measure in the area of nuclear security between the two countries, even though their nuclear weapons programmes have expanded significantly since then. Indeed for some years now there is a growing body of international opinion that holds that Pakistan has stepped up production of fissile material, and may just possibly hold more nuclear weapons than its much larger rival, India.
Which is remarkable given that the Indian nuclear programme is driven by the need for deterrence against much bigger armed-China, the third element in the South Asian nuclear tangle. The Indians who conducted a nuclear test as early as 1974, thus,may be behind not just the Chinese, but also Pakistan in terms of the number of warheads, fissile material and delivery systems.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in a global report in August 2010 estimated that India had assembled 60 to 80 warheads and produced enough fissile material for 60-105 nuclear warheads. Pakistan is estimated to have assembled 70–90 warheads and produced missile material for as many as 90 warheads. China's arsenal was estimated at 240 nuclear warheads. Here's a PDF of the report prepared by Robert S.Norris and Hans M.Kristensen.
The majority of India’s and Pakistan’s warheads are not yet operationally deployed, the researchers said. Both countries are believed to be increasing their stockpiles although the competition is nowhere near the intensity of the race between the United States and Russia during the Cold War. Indeed even today the combined total of Indian and Pakistan warheads will only be slightly more than the number carried by a single U.S. Trident submarine.
from Afghan Journal:
At about the time WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, including one related to a secret attempt to remove enriched uranium from a Pakistani research reactor, a top Pakistani military official held a briefing for journalists that focused on U.S.-Pakistan ties.
Dawn's Cyril Almeida has written a piece based on the officer's comments made on the condition of anonymity, and they offer the closest glimpse you can possibly get of the troubled ties between the allies.
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
In the State Department cables released by Wikileaks and so far reported, the most eye-catching as far as Pakistan is concerned is a row with Washington over nuclear fuel.
According to the New York Times, the cables show:
"A dangerous standoff with Pakistan over nuclear fuel: Since 2007, the United States has mounted a highly secret effort, so far unsuccessful, to remove from a Pakistani research reactor highly enriched uranium that American officials fear could be diverted for use in an illicit nuclear device. In May 2009, Ambassador Anne W. Patterson reported that Pakistan was refusing to schedule a visit by American technical experts because, as a Pakistani official said, “if the local media got word of the fuel removal, ‘they certainly would portray it as the United States taking Pakistan’s nuclear weapons,’ he argued.”
from India Insight:
India took its deserved place at the world's most powerful table on Tuesday, winning a two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council with the resounding support of 187 of the assembly's 192 countries.
Immediately, the country's U.N. Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri began talking of his intent to use the tenure to push for reform, with an eye on a permanent berth for the Asian giant.
from Reuters Investigates:
Just because it was summer, doesn't mean we weren't busy here at Reuters. Here are a few of our recent special reports that you might have missed.
Tracking Iran's nuclear money trail to Turkey. U.N. correspondent Lou Charbonneau -- who used to cover the IAEA for Reuters -- followed the money to Turkey where an Iranian bank under U.S. and EU sanctions is operating freely. Nice to see the New York Times follow up on this today, and the Washington Post also quizzed Turkey's president about it.
from Afghan Journal:
Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari is in China this week, making good his promise to visit the "all weather ally" every three months. During his previous trips, his hosts have sent him off to the provinces to see for himself the booming growth there, but this trip may turn out be a lot more productive.
Zardari may well return with a firm plan by China to build two reactors at Pakistan's Chashma nuclear plant, as my colleague in Beijing reports in this article, overriding concern in Washington, New Delhi and other capitals that this undermined global non-proliferation objectives.
from Global News Journal:
As if they didn’t have enough to think about, planners trying to pin down the unintended consequences of a strike on Iran may be required to reorder their lengthy worry list.
The concern? Iceland’s volcano, or rather, the vivid reminder the exploding mountain provided to governments of the importance of civil emergency planning.
from Africa News blog:
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe backs Iran's controversial nuclear programme and has accused the West of seeking to punish the two countries for asserting their independence.
"Be also assured, comrade president, of Zimbabwe's continuous support of Iran's just cause on the nuclear issue," Mugabe told Ahmadinejad at a banquet he hosted for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who arrived in Harare on Thursday for a two-day visit..
from Afghan Journal:
Pakistan is conducting its biggest military exercises in 21 years and at the weekend thousands of troops backed by fighter jets took part in a mock battle to repel a simulated Indian military advance and inflict heavy casualties. The manoeuvres were designed to test a riposte to India's Cold Start doctrine of a rapid and deep thrust into Pakistan in a simulated environment, but you are never far from real action on the heavily militarised border between the two countries.
from Oddly Enough Blog:
Blog Guy, I worry that President Obama is under too much pressure, what with the economy, health care reform and all that stuff. Any sign that he may not be able to handle the stress?
Well, you're not the only one who is concerned about that.
At this week's Nuclear Security Summit here in Washington, the president seemed to be imagining guests who weren't there.