17 December 2007

"Star Wars" catches on

While the West has obsessed, needlessly as it turns out, with Iran developing nuclear weapons, nuclear activity elsewhere heats up. In addition to supplementing its armoury with a nuclear-capable missile with a range of 6,000 kilometres, India has announced it is developing a missile shield, capable of tracking and shooting down incoming missiles, which it hopes to have in place by 2010.

It isn't alone. Japan's parliament has authorized spending $2.5-billion to develop a missile defence system. Meanwhile, the United States continues to spend half a trillion dollars a year on its system.

Pakistani response to the Indian announcement was indicated by defence analyst Ayesha Siddiqa who observed,
"The first impulse is to ask how does Pakistan get [a missile defence system]. The next will be to increase the number of missiles to make sure it has enough to evade the shield." Pakistan is rapidly building up its stock of short- and medium-range missiles and recently tested a cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

According to K. Subrahmanyan, an Indian who writes on defence issues, India has to raise the "uncertainty levels for Pakistan." It's doing a pretty damn good job of raising the uncertainty levels for the rest of us as well.

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