Some experts think the tough, recent Russian rhetoric on nuclear weapons reflects the Putin government’s efforts to regain international respect it believes was lost when the former Soviet Union broke up. “Russia’s goal is to be recognized as a great power, a nuclear superpower, equal to the United States,” says Arbatov of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Pakistan, which has had numerous coups through the years and has Taliban in its northwest frontier, is falling “farther and farther behind India on nearly all other attributes of national power,” including economic strength, according to nuclear scholars Toby Dalton, co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment, and Michael Krepon, co-founder and senior associate of the Stimson Center, an international affairs think tank in Washington. And “the weaker Pakistan becomes, the more the dangers associated with its growing stockpiles of nuclear weapons and fissile material will be compounded,” they said.
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