COMMENT: The Atlantic has published an article that should scare the Hell out of anyone with half a brain. It is no secret that Pakistan, while nominally a U.S. ally and the recipient of vast amounts of U.S. aid, actively supports the Taliban and Haqqani fighters, who are killing U.S. troops, as well as Islamist terror groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Following the Abbotabad raid to neutralize Osama bin Laden, the Pakistani political and military leadership have been taking steps to see to it that the United States cannot conduct a similar raid to seize their nuclear arsenal.
Among the tactics they are using is the employment of low-security delivery vans to move virtually battle-ready nukes around through everyday traffic. This would make it especially easy for those weapons to fall into the hands of terrorist groups, known to have infiltrated Pakistani security forces and enjoying the support of that country’s ISI intelligence service.
The entire article is worth reading and taking to heed. It is not for the fainthearted.
EXCERPT: . . . .Still, General Kidwai promised that he would redouble the SPD’s efforts to keep his country’s weapons far from the prying eyes, and long arms, of the Americans, and so he did: according to multiple sources in Pakistan, he ordered an increase in the tempo of the dispersal of nuclear-weapons components and other sensitive materials. One method the SPD [Security Plans Division] uses to ensure the safety of its nuclear weapons is to move them among the 15 or more facilities that handle them. Nuclear weapons must go to the shop for occasional maintenance, and so they must be moved to suitably equipped facilities, but Pakistan is also said to move them about the country in an attempt to keep American and Indian intelligence agencies guessing about their locations.
Nuclear-weapons components are sometimes moved by helicopter and sometimes moved over roads. And instead of moving nuclear material in armored, well-defended convoys, the SPD prefers to move material by subterfuge, in civilian-style vehicles without noticeable defenses, in the regular flow of traffic. According to both Pakistani and American sources, vans with a modest security profile are sometimes the preferred conveyance. And according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, the Pakistanis have begun using this low-security method to transfer not merely the “de-mated” component nuclear parts but “mated” nuclear weapons. [Italics are mine–D.E.] Western nuclear experts have feared that Pakistan is building small, “tactical” nuclear weapons for quick deployment on the battlefield. In fact, not only is Pakistan building these devices, it is also now moving them over roads. . . .