This new report prepared by Rodney Jones and recently released by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, analyzes India's and Pakistan's nuclear force capabilities, policies, and postures, and their implications for military instability and conflict.
Traveling through Afghanistan, one is struck by stark contrasts and divisions. With different factions and militias ruling in different regions, the prospects for a prolonged peace seem dim--or at least would require a serious international effort. But the Bush Administration's attention has already passed to its plans for a war in Iraq, and it seems ready to forget Afghanistan once again.
After the September 11 attacks, the global threat of radical Islamist terrorism gave the United States an opportunity to rally much of the world behind it. But by mixing up the struggle against terrorism with a very different effort at preventing nuclear proliferation, and by refusing to take the interests of other states into account, the US risks endangering itself and its closest allies.
President Bush commended visiting Pakistani President Mussharaf this week, as "a leader with great competence and vision." He assured Pakistan that the U.S. is "committed to the continuance of our friendship. A friendship based on principles, common goals and vision." In a country where people are still bitter about being "abandoned" by the U.S. in the past, Washington's broadly stated commitment to a long-term relationship with Islamabad was the top story in Pakistan.
The United States and India have revived military-to-military ties for the first time since they were severed in the aftermath of India's nuclear tests in May 1998. For India, these ties reflect the country's growing global status, confirmed by President Bush in his State of the Union address, when he praised relations with India in the same breath as relations with Russia and China.
Rhetoric and missile tests may be flying, but for many Indians nuclear war seems a remote prospect. At the height of tensions between India and Pakistan, people in the bustling city of Bangalore, India's answer to California's Silicon Valley, had decided that they were far more concerned about the dismal state of the IT economy than they were concerned about nuclear Armageddon. Fear of nuclear war in this South Indian city is conspicuous in its absence.
Special meeting with Mark Malloch-Brown, United Nations Development Programme Administrator
The new US military presence in Uzbekistan is one more sign of how the dominant geopolitical paradigms of the last half of the twentieth century are no longer operative. The Cold War and its aftermath post-Cold War period are at an end.