Symbol, nuclear WMD
The latest news out of Pakistan is some Taliban fighters attacked an air base some 37 miles north of the capitol Islamabad that "could" have been housing nuclear weapons. The attack was repelled with only a fighter plane and an airplane hangar damaged. Pakistan denied any nuclear weapons were present at the site.
Of course the attack made news here in the U.S. because of Pakistan's alleged lax security in protecting its nuclear arsenal (which they vehemently deny).
But this supposed lack of security has been a constant reminder planted in the minds of the American public over the years and promoted by the U.S. media particularly the idea of terrorists being able to steal a Pakistani nuclear weapon and detonating it over the U.S.
The propaganda surrounding such an occurrence has escalated ever since the U.S. invasion of neighboring Afghanistan in 2001. Chattering insinuations by the talking heads over Pakistan's unstable government, its ambivalence in following U.S. insistence of being more diligent in going after the Taliban inside the country, the alleged ties between the Pakistani security apparatus (ISI) and the Taliban, plus their alleged knowledge of and supposed sanctuary of Osama bin Laden (before U.S. Special OPS took him out) has also contributed to the suspicion and lack of trust over the country's security of its nuclear arsenal.
Thus the underlying buzz in the U.S. media remains how secure are Pakistan's nuclear weapons and how likely is it for terrorists to get their hands on one.
Now let's be clear; any attack using nuclear weapons is insane and security of all existing weapons should be a top priority. And of course elimination and banning of all nuclear weapons should be the world's number one goal, but that's a discussion for another day.
For now let's dwell on the probability of terrorists somehow stealing a nuclear weapon and ask the following questions:
- How would they transport it?