Foreign Policy Blogs

NY Times Op-Ed: "Pakistan's Nuclear Folly"

The New York Times published  an op-ed  this past Sunday on Pakistan’s insistence on a nuclear arsenal that assures it a minimally credible deterrence at a time when tens of millions of her people are going uneducated and ill-fed.  Now, of course, there are many in Pakistan who think otherwise– for instance the hardline military is happy as the specter if its Indian interference into Pakistan’s domestic politics is kept at bay by some ill-advised cunning; nevertheless this is a story worth your attention.

Here’s the strong opening salvo of the piece:

“With the Middle East roiling, the alarming news about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons buildup has gotten far too little attention. The Times recently reported that American intelligence agencies believe Pakistan has between 95 and more than 110 deployed nuclear weapons, up from the mid-to-high 70s just two years ago.”

“Pakistan can’t feed its people, educate its children, or defeat insurgents without billions of dollars in foreign aid. Yet, with China’s help, it is now building a fourth nuclear reactor to produce more weapons fuel.”

Whatever the opinion on the street in Karachi, Islamabad and Washington D.C., it is fair question to ask whether Pakistan really needs a nuclear arsenal that is larger than the one that the United Kingdom maintains.  What are the real risks to Pakistan’s sovereignty?  Is India really interested in invading Pakistan?  If so- is a swelling nuclear arsenal the right strategy when Islamist militants stand ready to seize the red trigger?  If not-why maintain the strong line?

There are too many questions here; and as many competing answers.

 

Author

Faheem Haider

Faheem Haider is a political analyst, writer and artist. He holds advanced research degrees in political economy, political theory and the political economy of development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and New York University. He also studied political psychology at Columbia University. During long stints away from his beloved Washington Square Park, he studied peace and conflict resolution and French history and European politics at the American University in Washington DC and the University of Paris, respectively.

Faheem has research expertise in democratic theory and the political economy of democracy in South Asia. In whatever time he has to spare, Faheem paints, writes, and edits his own blog on the photographic image and its relationship to the political narrative of fascist, liberal and progressivist art.

That work and associated writing can be found at the following link: http://blackandwhiteandthings.wordpress.com

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