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Nonproliferation: A Plan for Dealing with Pakistan

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Research paper

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Since Pakistan embarked on an effort in 1972 to acquire a nuclear bomb, the United States has worked to block that development through a series of foreign policy decisions. Beginning 1 October 1990, U.S. aid and most arms sales to Pakistan were suspended. But despite the aid cut-off, Pakistan has not taken adequate steps, in Congress view, to stop its weapons-related programs. As a result, there is now considerable debate within Congress and the policy community as to the next step the United States should take to obtain an appropriate Pakistani response. To understand the dynamics driving the push for nuclear weapons in South Asia one needs to consider the basic security concerns of the regions nations. This paper discusses the nations of and near South Asia that possess nuclear weapons and their inter-relationships. The specific relationships discussed are China and Russia, India and China, and Pakistan and India. Because of Congress interest in the nonproliferation issue several different initiatives have been incorporated into law. Continued efforts by the United States to focus the nonproliferation issue in South Asia on Pakistan are doomed to failure. The United States instead needs to first focus on preventing India and Pakistan from assembling nuclear weapons to reduce the risk of any India-Pakistan conventional conflict from going nuclear and to support world-wide nonproliferation efforts. An ultimate solution for South Asia will need to consider the interrelated security concerns of Pakistan, India, and China. The United States should play on those security concerns to promote the establishment of a Greater South Asian Nuclear Free Zone GSANFZ that will eliminate the proliferation problem in Pakistan and India.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Nuclear Warfare
  • Nuclear Weapons

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