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Much closer to nuclear war : Pakistan deploys tactical nuclear weapons
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02/19/2013 01:52 AM
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[link to www.spacedaily.com]
Analysis: New Pakistani Tactical Nuclear Weapons - Implications And Ramifications
Pakistan test fired a short range battlefield nuclear capable tactical missile, according to a press release and statement by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the press relations arm of their military intelligence. (Image from Facebook page of ISPR)
This was a long term goal of Pakistani Armed forces to introduce battlefield tactical nuclear weapons. With a range of 60 kilometers, and suitable low yield, this missile and a nuclear warhead can be used against a tank battalion or armored brigade. It could also be used to obliterate a large number of soldiers at one strike. (For a backgrounder, read this analysis by Shashank Joshi)
This move is also, however a dangerous escalation of the military nuclear doctrine and ethics in the World. Nuclear weapons are considered defensive weapons, primarily for deterrence and balancing, for ultimate destruction, to be used as the last act of a country after a devastating first strike. That had been the unspoken norm of nuclear doctrine.
The "Long Peace" after Second World War was due to the " ritualistically deplored fact that each of these superpowers is armed with a large nuclear arsenal", as John Mearsheimer opined.
This Pakistani missile, makes nuclear weapon tactical and offensive, to be used against enemy soldiers, in a limited and controlled battlefield situation.
The move is dangerous as it significantly reduces the threshold of a country to use nuclear weapons, which, since second world war, for better or for worse, were always considered as the last and ultimate weapon.
Also, since this weapon is clearly targeted at India, as Pakistan is not currently facing any other significant short range battlefield threat, real or perceived this move will also change the Indian nuclear doctrine in the foreseeable future.