US Special forces on standby to snatch Pakistani Nukes

Special forces on standby over nuclear threat

US special forces snatch squads are on standby to seize or disable Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal in the event of a collapse of government authority or the outbreak of civil war following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

The troops, augmented by volunteer scientists from America’s Nuclear Emergency Search Team organisation, are under orders to take control of an estimated 60 warheads dispersed around six to 10 high-security Pakistani military bases.

Military sources say contingency plans have been reviewed over the past three days to prevent any of Pakistan’s atomic weapons falling into the hands of Islamic extremists if the administration of President Pervez Musharraf appears threatened by civil unrest.

Some of the special forces are already believed to be in neighbouring Afghanistan and on alert for the mission. It is also understood that satellite surveillance of Pakistan has been stepped up to keep track of the possible movement of nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems.

According to a US Congressional report published in November, Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent consists of warheads for missiles and bombs dropped from aircraft.

To maintain security, the weapons are not stored fully-assembled. Warheads, detonators and missiles are kept separately, but able to be married up “fairly quickly” in the event of a national crisis such as confrontation with India.

While the US has stated publicly its confidence that Pakistan’s military has the weapons “under effective technical control”, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice admitted two years ago that if there was a radical Islamic coup, the US was “prepared to try to deal with it”.

Internal security at Pakistan’s nuclear storage sites is the responsibility of a 10,000-man security force commanded by a two-star general. Every member of the force is vetted with the aim of weeding out sympathisers of the Taliban and al Qaeda or anyone with extreme Islamic views.

US diplomatic and military initiatives since 2001 have concentrated on trying to ensure that pro-western commanders were in charge at the most sensitive sites.

There has also been pressure to keep Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency, thought to contain a number of high-ranking pro-Taliban supporters, out of the nuclear loop.

via//Herald, The

Posted in Pakistan, Politics, United States, WMD
2 comments on “US Special forces on standby to snatch Pakistani Nukes
  1. veteransabroad says:

    I still support Ron Paul because this threat needed to have been dealt with during the first 3.5 years of the War on Terror, in the same manner that WW2 only lasted 3.5 years.

    We cannot give neocons forever and a day to “deal with threats”. Plus, I have to assume that Mushareff already helped us snatch those nukes.

  2. Mairaj says:

    well the risk of Pakistan Nukes to get into the hands of so called militants is at least as imminent as Indians nukes. In certain parts of India there is armed rebellion against state. India is a fanatical society. The clear evidence to it the Hindu extremist organizations who always openly announce that they will kill and decimate muslims if come in power. The Gujrat carnage is not an old story. What Hindu fanatics did to helpless muslims is an unpardonable crime. What do you think such people would do if they get their hands on nukes. You claim to be democratic, without any prejudice or discrimination. But when it comes to Pakistan these double standards become evident. Don’t you think it is scar on your face.

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