Jump to search Jump to main navigation Jump to main content Jump to footer navigation

Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

Produced by
NationalJournal logo

U.S. Holds Blueprint for Securing Pakistani Nukes, Sources Say

The United States has prepared an in-depth plan to take control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons if militant forces appeared on the verge of conquering the country, Fox News reported yesterday (see GSN, May 13).

"We have plans to secure [the weapons] ourselves if things get out of hand," a U.S. intelligence source said, amid Islamabad's continued offensive against the Taliban. "That is a big secondary mission for [the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command] in Afghanistan."

"Small units could seize them, disable them and then centralize them in a secure location," the source said of the Pakistani arsenal, which is believed to consist of at least 60 warheads.

Pakistan maintains a portion of its nuclear arsenal on mobile launchers that Washington has monitored closely using satellite and communications resources, Fox News reported. Islamabad keeps other nuclear warheads in storage bunkers.

"It's relatively easy to track rail-mounted ones with satellites. Truck-mounted are more difficult. However, they are all relatively close to the capital in areas that the government firmly controls so we don't have to look too far," the intelligence source said.

The United States has given Pakistan extensive funding and technical assistance aimed securing the nuclear stockpile. Still, concerns exist that personnel within Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies might ally themselves with militants, undermining the country's nuclear security and complicating any U.S. mission to assume control of the weapons (Rowan Scarborough, Fox News, May 14).

Note to our Readers

GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.

NTI Analysis

  • Keynote Address at the Arms Control Association's Annual Meeting

    Oct. 23, 2014

    NTI Vice Chairman Des Browne delivered the keynote address at the Washington-based Arms Control Association's annual meeting, covering a range of nuclear policy issues.

  • Ukraine Must Not Become a New Berlin Wall

    March 13, 2014

    On Friday, March 14, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. Five statesmen from Germany, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States call for the urgent formation of a Contact Group of Foreign Ministers to address the crisis and more broadly, create a new approach to building mutual security in the Euro-Atlantic region.

Country Profile

Flag of Pakistan


This article provides an overview of Pakistan’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

Learn More →