The Most Dangerous Country on Earth by Joseph Cirincione

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Joseph Cirincione is president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. This article is adapted from his forthcoming book, Nuclear Nightmares (Columbia University Press, 2013). The author gratefully acknowledges the substantial research work by Alyssa Demus and Leah Fae Cochran for this article and the earlier research of Rizwan Ladha, all of whom worked as research assistants at Ploughshares Fund.

Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world. Within this decade, experts estimate that Pakistani nuclear capability could include 150 to 200 warheads…”
 
Dealing primarily, or even exclusively, with the Pakistani military leadership has had its tactical benefits, but at great strategic cost…”
 

In any given week, there is significant competition for the title of “most dangerous country in the world.” Some may believe it is Syria or Mali, Iran or North Korea, China or Russia, or dozens of others. As tragic as conditions may be in these countries, as potentially harmful as their policies may seem, no state truly comes close to the multiple dangers inherent in Pakistan today. Trends in this nation may converge to form one or more nuclear nightmares that could spread well beyond the region to threaten international security and the lives of millions.

Experts estimate that Pakistan has between 90-110 nuclear weapons and enough fissile material to produce 100 more. It has an unstable government, a fragile economy, strong extremist influences in its military and intelligence structures, and Al Qaeda, as well as half a dozen similar terrorist groups operating inside the country. The confluence of these factors not only increases the potential for a nuclear escalation between Pakistan and its regional rival, India, but perhaps the even more terrifying scenario that a terrorist group will acquire fissile material, or an intact weapon, from Pakistan’s burgeoning stockpiles. Both of these risks are unacceptable. The United States can and must take concrete steps to reduce the risks posed by Pakistan’s unique combination of instability, extremism, and nuclear weapons… (purchase article…)

 

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22 Comments

  • August 10, 2013

    Ali Gohar

    I dont know how on earth people always bring it down to the nuclear arsenel, there is a command and control system, which is still to be breached, and cannot be breached, yes situation is not stable, but why? because the US left us a dis-integrated Afghanistan in 90’s and rolled back to have a grand honey moon, leaving people here to go and get involve in the Witch hunt, And the US mind it is apparently getting ready to commit the same mistake.
    The dangerous most country on planet earth is Pakistan, lets just see, the USA is responsible for Chaos in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Egypt. With Iraq and Afghanistan being used as a pretext of waging war against Al-Qaeda, and Syria and Libya as a breeding ground for terrorists where the US actively and monetarily alongside mechanically supported Al-Qaeda. so does that makes the US the dangerous most country or Pakistan which is burning in fire due to a war started by the US?
    and why forget those thousands of thousands of innocent people who died/dying in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and in Pakistan. with the CIA admitting in case of Iraq that it lied thousands of time. on whose hands is to be blamed the blood of those who died just because they were innocent people.
    Also remembering the Incidents occurring in Iraq where the US marines often killed people for fun.

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