Challenges for Pakistan’s Nuclear Security

Naeem Salik and Kenneth Luongo

PAKISTAN_summit_USState

photo credit: U.S. State Department

The attack last August against the Kamra military air base in Pakistan reignited concerns about the threat that terrorists could pose to the security of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. There is no doubt that recent attacks on military targets in Pakistan have increased in number and boldness. So far, however, the targets of the attacks have not been military installations that contain nuclear weapons or components.

Yet, the confluence of increased terrorist activity in Pakistan, the country’s ongoing political instability, and the growing size of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal is increasing the challenge to Pakistan’s nuclear security. The number of facilities and people that produce and use sensitive nuclear materials and technologies in Pakistan is increasing, raising the bar for personnel screening and infrastructure protection. Last summer, there was a reported threat by the Taliban to attack the nuclear complex at Dera Ghazi Khan, a remote town in southern Punjab, but the attack failed to materialize.

Read more in Arms Control Today.