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From Rogue Nuclear Programs, Web of Trails Leads to Pakistan

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It is astonishing that the US so grossly underestimated Pakistan's skills, aggressive marketing, capacity to assemble a covert supply chain of component manufacturers, and its specific enrichment support to Libya, Iran, and the DPRK. But as the threads ultimately began to become clear, "political necessity" intervened to prevent our curbing the "Nukes 'R' Us" approach of a significant segment of the Paki military, intelligence, and scientific corps. This could be the "blowback" -- unintentioned consequence -- of all time in that the critical path of fissile package production is, short of outright theft, enrichment and not the design and manufacture of the device itself. If the technology is now reasonably available, and everyone in need knows where to order it, it makes the production of nuclear weapons all that much easier for both state and stateless entities. I am of the camp that a certain segment will continue to proliferate -- for a combination of financial, nationalistic, and religious grounds -- despite whatever government assurances are made to the contrary.

It would not surprise me to see critical Pakistani technologists go the way of Gerald Bull, a truly remarkable weapons designer assassinated in Brussels in March 1990 by the Israelis for his work in helping Iraq build a "super-cannon" to attack Israel. Bull extrapolated his work on HARP (High Altitude Research Project) that fired instrumented cannon rounds over 80 miles into the upper atmosphere. Iraq was building enormous underground tunnels to house these super-guns pointed at Israel. Israel exercised its national interest after repeated warnings to Bull had no effect.

Gordon Housworth



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