Nukes in India and Pakistan; and where were we when all this happened?

by Paul Hsieh

There has been nothing more disturbing since Chernobyl. In the second half of May 1998, India ran 5 vey public underground nuclear explosions tests. Only days later, Pakistan did the same with 5 similar tests of their own. Now there is a lot of history between these two countries, having fought in 3 wars in only the last few years.

So what can be said of this that hasn't already? Simple: where were the americans when this was going on?

Admittedly, this was not easy to see, but apparently, the indians were able to dupe the spy satelites by simply timing their movements and moving about during the night! We can be fairly certain that the indians were trying very hard not to be seen. But we americans ... we have an ace up our sleave. They are more commonly known as Stealth aircraft. If our country weren't so hypocritical, we'd step up to the plate and be the purveyors of peace, just like George Bush and Lyndon Johnson said we were. Instead of fighting cowardly wars that make no sense. Our intelligence community would not have let this one slip between our fingers.

Why should we help? What precident do we have that says we should lift a finger to help with international issues? Simple: we've done it before, we've done it correctly and it has been to the greater benifit of mankind. I submit the following as evidence:

Now this little paranoid conspiracy theory may leave very little impression on you, but I just can't help but be compelled to think that we are partially to blame here. There is no question that we americans are the most self centered, egotistical, selfish people on earth. What we call patriotism, can only objectively be seen as nationalism and isolationism. How do you think a guy like Patrick Buchanen even makes a decent run at the presidency in this country? The people that voted for him are those that can openly admit we are a bunch of self serving nationalist scum. Those that didn't simply can't admit to it, and hypocritically voted for Dole, a guy nobody believed would even remotely challenge Clinton.

Anyhow, back to India and Pakistan. This can end in only one way. Nuclear stalemate. As much as we want to paint a picture of mad countries that might do anything, the people running these countries are not insane. They know that nobody wins a nuclear war. India made the foolish mistake of starting it, and I can only believe that they did so under the dillusion that they could get ahead of Pakistan, and thus have the upperhand for as long as they needed, perhaps to "finish" the war that started so long ago. Slightly mad, but the arguments against it probably were not strong enough to stop them from going ahead with their program anyways, for what ever other contigencies they thought nukes would help them with.

But they were clearly mistaken. They could only proceed provided they could beat Pakistan to the technology, and that the only reason Pakistan didn't have it themselves, was because their own program was further behind than has been speculated. Had they known, Pakistan could turn around and build a nuke themselves and start arming long range missiles with them in a matter of days, I cannot imagine that India would have actually conducted tests.

The facts speak for themselves. While openly, India accuses Pakistan of starting the nuclear arms race in the first place with their own nuclear program it is clear that Pakistan had no intention of really going through with tests, and weapons armament; otherwise why would they just be sitting on their technology and only now, in retaliation to India's tests start flexing their muscles?

This was a big mistake on India's part. They need to sit down, admit their mistakes, sign a treaty and acknoledge that military conflict between the two countries is now totally futile. Their jihad means nothing now. The nukes are bigger than they are, just like they were bigger than the US and the USSR.

Update: N Rajagopal has emailed me with the following facts and theory:

  1. The main objectives for India were - Domestic Politics and Opportunity to get Pak out in the open.

  2. The new party in power gave orders for control over the tests to a civilian-controlled nuclear establishment within days of coming to power and they reaped huge benefits politically ever since.

  3. Pakistan has been buying components from China and North Korea for years India decided 'smoke them out' with the tests knowing fully well that Pakistan's economy would suffer far more than India's due to Pakistan's dependence on hand-outs.

    In general, India has been very sensitive about the US distancing itself from India and has always hoped for a nice little courtship. This is also the reason why Clinton visiting India is seen as a major compliment in that country. India sees itself as a major world power regardless of military realities and is quite scared of China, its neighbor. India also feels that finally the time has come to take center-stage thanks to a booming software industry.

Update: Well, apparently since this time, Pakistan and India have narrowly averted a war (over Kashmir I believe?) Somehow, believing that this is somehow just some political maneuver to get the US somehow involved, does not jive with the reality of what is happening over there.

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