Stimson in the News

Stimson reports cited in ISN on nuclear terrorism in South Asia

in Program

Since India and Pakistan conducted their nuclear tests in 1998, every
danger associated with nuclear weapons – proliferation, instability, and
terrorism – has been linked to the region. And despite nuclear
deterrence and the modernization of nuclear forces, South Asia is a far
cry from achieving stability. Indeed, the security situation in South
Asia has deteriorated and violent extremism has surged to
unprecedentedly high levels. In the past decades, both states have
operationalized their nuclear deterrent forces, increased production of
fissile material and nuclear delivery means, and developed plans to
field a nuclear capable triad. Concurrently, both countries are
expanding civilian nuclear facilities in their quests for a cleaner
source of energy to combat current and future energy shortages. As
tensions and violence in the region have increased, both states blame
the other’s policy choices for the scourge of terrorism that has seized
the region. New leadership in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan however,
creates an opening to tackle the immediate scourge of violent extremist
organizations and unresolved historic conflicts. Ironically the
traditional stabilizing force in the region – the United States – is
drawing down in Afghanistan and shifting its focus to the Asia-Pacific
region and to Russia where new tensions have erupted. Within this
security context, India and Pakistan will be left on their own to devise
mechanisms to mitigate and eliminate the regional risk of terrorism.


South Asia has a long history of developing innovative Confidence
Building Measures (CBMs).[32] Yet so far, there has been no substantive
progress on conflict resolution or the structuring of an arms control
regime that encompasses conventional force balances, nuclear restraint
measures, and other forms of risk reduction.

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