Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Cope India, the myth is busted - The simulated combat exercises between the US Air Force and the Indian Air Force

by Adnan Gill

Lately, the military pundits seemingly cannot get tired of expressing their surprise and shock over how Indian Air Force (IAF) topped the United States Air Force (USAF) during the most recent in the Cope India series of joint Indo-US military exercises. Reportedly, overwhelming air battle victories - about 90% - were awarded to IAF, as they achieved their objectives time and time again.

But what both gloating Indian and surprised American military analyst hesitate in telling the world is the well masked relevance in which Indian victories took place and how the Americans did not go to India to win? If today, both of these Air Forces would go against each other in anger, would India be able to embarrass the USAF like it did during the 'Cope India, 04?' Not at all.

Following is a brief history of what actually took place, its context, and the most likely American agenda for going to India.

In February 2004, supposedly the best of the best from United States Air Force (USAF) and Indian Air Force (IAF) took part in simulated air-to-air multi-bogey combat engagements over the skies of Gwalior, IAF base. These mock battles were part of an exercise named "Cope India, 04."

Gwalior is an Indian airbase, about 150 mi. south of New Delhi. It is the home of the IAF's Tactics Air Combat Development Establishment/operational training, testing and national-level exercises. The station is the only Indian air force electronic warfare range. Typically upgraded (reportedly equipped with a "gray-market" Bison radar and avionics upgrade) MiG-21 Fishbeds as fighter escorts and MiG-27 Floggers in strike roles operate out of this IAF establishment. It might be significant to highlight that the TACDE is the closest establishment that the IAF has to the USAF's Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB. For the duration of exercise IAF's Mirages 2000s, MiG-29s, Sukhoi Su-30s and an Antonov An-32 as a simulated AWACS all called Gwalior their home.

For their part, the US Air Force assets in the exercise included six F-15 aircraft and approximately 140 personnel from Elmendorf AFB, took part in the exercise.

If anything, the USAF military planners sitting in Pentagon used the exercise to their advantage. They wanted a close look at what the latest Russian technology had to offer, wanted to evaluate their own tactics honed against the non-western adversaries, and most importantly wanted to create a crises in the US congress to ensure uninterrupted congressional funding for the development and production of both F/A-22 (Raptors) and F-35 (Joint Strike Fighters). Expectedly, the results of Cope India shocked some in Pentagon who used the event to renew calls for modernizing the US fighter force with stealthy F/A-22s and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

After the conclusion of the exercise, the Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper immediately went to Congress to guarantee the survival and prosperity of his favourite projects. While lobbying for the uninterrupted congressional funding for the development and production for F/A-22 and F-35 aircraft, the Air Force Chief told the Senate Appropriations defence subcommittee in March that the results of Cope India were "very revealing". He successfully used Cope India as a justification that the extremely expensive F/A-22s are vital for the continued US air superiority.

In the halls of US Congress too the friends of US top brass like Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA) did their part in scaring the daylights out of rest of their colleagues to ensure F/A-22's future. The Congressman told the House Appropriations defence subcommittee that the US F-15Cs were defeated more than 90 percent of the time in direct combat exercises against the IAF.

Some facts of the Cope India
At India's request, manoeuvring limits as well as considerable weapons employment limits were put on the USAF. The US agreed to mock combat at 3-to-1 odds which were highly favourable for the IAF. Indians also requested USAF not to use the simulated long-range, radar-guided AIM-120 AMRAMS. The rules of exercise put severe limits on the AIM-120 capability. Its range was limited to a 20 nautical miles while keeping the target illuminated in attack missions and 18 nautical miles. defensive in defensive missions. It meant that the missile could not be simulated to be used as active seeking BVR missile.

In an interview with Aviation Week & Space Technology (10/04/2004), Maj. Mark A. Snowden, the 3rd Wing's chief of air-to-air tactics and a participant in Cope India, revealed the root cause of beating USAF got from the Indians. He explained that none of the six 3rd Wing F-15Cs which had been to Singapore for another exercise were equipped with the newest long-range, active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars. USAF could have easily brought the AESA-equipped F-15Cs with them from Singapore, but the excuse given for not bringing them was that they didn't want to bring along the additional maintenance package needed to support such F-15Cs.

The other reason Maj. Snowden attributed for the drubbing they got was the USAF handicap of manoeuvring limits as well as considerable weapons employment limits put on the request of Indians. "That's what the Indians wanted to do," Maj. Snowden explained. "That [handicap] really benefits a numerically superior force because you can't whittle away some of their force at long range. They were simulating active missiles [including] AA-12s" (Aviation Week & Space Technology, 10/04/2004, page 50). This means, while the USAF could not use simulated long-range, radar-guided AIM-120 AMRAMS, the Indians had an overwhelming advantage of using the missiles with their integral on-board radar transmitter and didn't depend on the launch aircraft's radar after launch. The Indian Mirage 2000s also carried the long-range active MICA missiles.

Skeptics also believe that USAF fought the losing battles in attempts to convince Pentagon for the development of a new long-range air-to-air missile that would be able to complement the F-22's radars with ability to find targets more than 120 nautical miles away. They also wanted to ensure the F-22's air superiority fighter role by providing incentive to Pentagon to start rapid production of the new AIM-9X high-off-boresight launch capable missile, and its helmet-mounted cueing system. Experts doubt that the SU-30 MK would face difficulty shooting their BVR missiles from considerable distance against relatively small Radar Cross-Section (RCS) F-16 or F-18s and certainly against the stealthy F-22 or F-35. In fact, Pakistan Air Force's F-16s with their smaller RCS would have had better chances of winning in Cope India.

Whatever the hidden agendas Americans might have had for fixing the outcome of the exercise, one thing is for sure, they didn't return from India without gaining respect for their worthy foes, who they thought of underrated and ill-trained pilots. Americans went to the exercise with the belief that the IAF still used the Soviet-style tactics of ground-controlled interceptions. But returned with new respect and understanding that Indian pilots were quite capable of showing innovation and flexibility in their tactics. Americans were surprised that the Indians used more advanced tactics, which Maj. Snowden thought were developed "somewhat in a vacuum".

Had the USAF gone to India to win, they would have sent ASEA equipped F-15Cs and fought without debilitating handicaps of manoeuvring limits as well as considerable weapons employment limits, which clearly favoured the numerically superior IAF. It could be argued, that in reality USAF went to India with the objectives to get a closer look at the latest Russian hardware, and wanted to evaluate their own tactics developed against the non-western adversaries, and most importantly wanted to guarantee uninterrupted governmental funding for the development and production of both F/A-22 and F-35.

More articles by Adnan Gill

Modern Military Leadership - The requirement of leadership of modern high-tech armed forces

by Adnan Gill

In an ideal world, there is no need to raise and sustain an outrageously expensive military.
In this particular world, military has become an indispensable tool to cover up colossal failures of political and diplomatic machinery. That is why we pick the best of the best for our military and sacrifice our share of bread and butter to equip our military with the best tools available, so they could meet the ends that we had failed to meet politically and/or diplomatically.

Why do politicians and diplomats historically and consistently fail? That is a debate outside the scope of this topic.

Whether we like it or not, the fact is that we cannot afford to live in a fantasy world where we do not need a highly trained, motivated, disciplined and best equipped military. Therefore, the question cannot be whether we need a military? The question should be how good is Pakistani military? A simple answer is very good (under the given circumstances).

The next question should be, is that good enough? A simple answer is NO!

In terms of technology, the Third World militaries (including Pakistani and Indian) are at least 25-50 years behind the leader, the U.S. Currently the US spends well over $550 billion per year on its military, while respectively Pakistani and Indian militaries spend close to $2.5 billion and $13 billion annually.

Both India and Pakistan are still using obsolete weapons such as WWII howitzers, and communications equipment. Most of their ammo storage are from the days of British. With few exceptions, their military aircraft are from the Vietnam era. Almost all of their naval ships are the discarded or retired ships of other advanced nations. All of their S2S missiles are derived from the designs of 50s and 60s. Their logistics are still tracked on paper. Half of the time, they even do not realize what is in the depots; whether the shelf lives of ammo and weapons have expired some 20 years ago or not. In such antiquated militaries, sure the soldiers desperately need the leadership throughout the chain of command. Actually, all the way up to the chiefs. But can we afford such a structure in the future too? Absolutely not.

The most advanced and most powerful military of the world, the US military is moving leaps and bounds towards "Network Centric Warfare". Currently, the US commanders don't even have to be in the theatre. Sometime they are sitting in Florida command center while running a war in Afghanistan. They are not only able to view the theatre action in real-time, but sometimes they are actually controlling Unmanned Aircraft (UAV) from thousands of miles away too. Every moment the US commanders are aware of missions, locations, and status of each aircraft, each tank, each artillery gun, each ship, and each special operations company on the ground. Soon the commanders will not only be able to task, track, execute, and re-task each UAV, but they will also be able to track and communicate with each soldier on the ground, while viewing what the soldiers view in real-time. If the commander chooses, he/she will able to even check their soldier's heart and breathing rate, while sitting thousands of miles away.

In such an advanced military, seeking leadership all the way up from the military chiefs is not only rendered redundant, but somewhat useless too. Increasingly each US military unit and sub- units are specializing in their own missions. They don't have time nor they can be concerned who are above their immediate commanders. For all they care a monkey could be their chief of staff, as long as the monkey can convince the civilian leaders in Pentagon and the White House for additional funding. They no longer seek a General who would inspire his/her troops with motivational speeches and leading the attack with a sword in his/her hand.

Increasingly, the US military is automating and inducting unmanned/automatic equipment. Its human force is training day in and day out, as they say, "we train like we fight and we fight like
we train".

The modern militaries will no longer require inspirational leaders with the hearts of lion to lead and execute their missions, but they will certainly need politically savvy thinkers with the ability to comprehend and digest high doses of information.

Any military which will fail to embrace the ever-evolving military technologies will be in for a rude awakening. In order to embrace new technologies and understand the fluid dynamics of the future warfare, they will need not only brave and highly motivated leaders, but also highly educated thinkers too.

The Pakistani military doesn't have enough time to even catch-up with new warfare technologies and tactics, not to talk about running a country.

Every time Pakistani military is needed for internal matters (because the civilians can't get their act together), they should swiftly move in, fix the source of problem, and leave immediately. They do not, and cannot afford to waste their precious time on running inefficient civilian sector.

Once Pakistani military will reach close to the required levels of maturity, the fruits of modernization are bound to trickle down into the civilian sectors. Historically, it's the modern military which acts as a catalyst to kick start and sustain a healthy economy.

Till our military will reach the required levels of sophistication, soldiers will still look for and require outstanding leaders to lead them to the victory, as politicians and diplomats almost always fail to do their job.

Note: No matter how sophisticated, automated and technological savvy a military will become they will still need boots on the ground to stake their claim. Therefore, the soldiers will always need leadership at least from its immediate leaders.

More article by Adnan Gill

Mini-Nukes - Tactical Weapons or Terrorist’s Weapons?

by Adnan Gill

On 7 September 1997, the world held its breath in shock and awe, when in a CBS newsmagazine ‘Sixty Minutes’ broadcast, the former Russian National Security Adviser Aleksandr Lebed dropped a bombshell on an unsuspecting and unprepared world. He claimed that the Russian military had lost track of more than 100 suitcase-sized nuclear bombs, any one of which could kill up to 100,000 people. The accuracy or the substance of Mr. Lebed’s claim has yet to materialize, but the world quickly found itself in a situation it was utterly unprepared for. Suddenly, everyone was asking the same question, how safe are we from these Mini-Nukes?

General Lebed was not the only person to have made such breathtaking claims, after the USSR broke apart, then Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi also noted that some tactical nuclear weapons were missing but never explained what had happened to them? To this day no one can really say if it was a political stunt by Mr. Rutskoi, or account and tracking error, or whether they fell into rogue hands?

In an era of religious and political fanaticism, the world is forced to play Russian roulette by few countries that are hell-bent at producing and retaining mini-nukes. Such nuclear weapons are also known as Suitcase Bombs, Small Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM), Tactical Nukes, Nuclear Artillery Shells (NAS), Deep-Penetration Nuclear Warhead, Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator and so on. The physical size of such weapons makes them much harder to secure and track. But the worst and most dangerous drawback of miniaturization is that it comes at the cost of safeguards against an unauthorized use. Imagine the devastation and mayhem, if one of such weapons would somehow fall into the hands of a terrorist organization like Al-Qaeda, a dictator like Saddam Hussein, a fascist like Solobdan Milosovic, or into hands of nihilists like Timothy McVeigh?

If a device like this would ever make its way into a major city, it could destroy everything within several miles radius from the center of detonation. Within hours, prevailing winds would carry the nuclear fallout throughout the city.

The race to manufacture and deploy the smallest possible nuclear device started in 1950s. Initial hysteria of politicians and weapons designers of building the nuclear weapons with the highest possible yields produced world’s largest thermonuclear devices (50-100 Megatons) such as Soviet "Tsar Bomba" ("King of Bombs"). Their impractical large size had almost zero military utility. This insane obsession was soon replaced by military planners’ strategy of lobbing the highest number of nukes as far as possible, as quickly as possible and in as many ways as possible. Without giving a thought to the future consequences of such a shortsighted strategy, the focus suddenly shifted from building the biggest to the smallest nuclear weapons. Despite the fact, the Mini-Nukes have practically reached the smallest size and their inherent risk of falling into wrong hands, the military planners are still pushing the designers to build even lighter and smaller nuclear weapons.

Experts believe lighter and smaller nuclear weapons pose a much more serious threat to the world safety and security than the larger nuclear and thermonuclear devices ever did during the cold war. Their dramatic fears stem out of the continued manufacturing of mini-nukes like the American B61-11 -- Deep Penetration Nuclear Weapons, unaccounted ex-Soviet Tactical Nuclear Weapons, and almost nonexistent safeguards against the unauthorized use of such devices. These fears are shared by both American and Russian experts, like Russian researcher Dr. Viktor Mikhailov and American Ex-General Eugene Habiger. They contend that today the nuclear arms race has shifted from building more powerful bombs to the construction of smaller devices, which inherently increases the odds of terrorists getting an access to such weapons.

Upon getting possession of such a nuclear device, all the terrorists will have to do is deliver it to the target in a suitcase or in a trunk of a car, and detonate it. Such nuclear weapons are far more dangerous than conventional explosives of equivalent yield due to the intense radiation emitted during the fission reaction. A 20 ton fission explosion (which is equal to the yield of the lowest yield nuclear warhead ever deployed by the US -- the W-54 used in the Davy Crockett recoilless rifle) can produce a lethal 1350 rem exposure at 300 meters and a very dangerous 500 rem radiation exposure at 400 meters from the burst point. Nuclear and radiological weapons kill people not only by its explosion and shock wave, but also by the radioactive material they emit. People caught near the burst point can be immediately exposed to fatal levels of radiation, which can be absorbed by the body or can pass completely through it. People at farther distances could get radioactive poisoning as contaminated solids, liquids, or gases are released into the air. The harmful materials can be absorbed by the body via the lungs, gut or wounds. Finally, the exposed population can get fatally radioactive dose when the radioactive particles reach the body cells, tissues and organs such as bones, liver, thyroid or kidney.
During an interview with PBS’ Frontline show, ‘Russian Roulette’, Alexei Yablokov (Former Science Advisor to Yeltsin) spoke about the power and horrible consequences of tactical/mini nuclear weapons falling into rogue hands. He told the US congress subcommittee in October 1997, that the power of suitcase bomb “is about one kiloton, possibly less, but a powerful charge. You cannot destroy Moscow or London, but the Kremlin, you can destroy ... Capitol Hill can be wiped out by such a bomb”.

During the interview, Mr. Yablokov busted the myth that only the most senior leadership of nuclear powers can authorize and initiate the use of a nuclear weapon. He stated, “I talk about tactical nuclear arms, and including mini-nukes, nuclear [suitcases], because I believe that, after the end of the cold war, the situation with nuclear arms has become much more dangerous. During the cold war, everything was under strict control, now it's not the case anymore. Now, it's becoming clear to us that tactical nuclear arms pose a great threat in people's minds. People think that, ‘Well, the American President and the Russian President have nuclear cases and only after the President presses a button in it, then something happens.’ But that's not the case regarding tactical nuclear arms. [In a terrorist version of tactical nuclear arms and small briefcase bombs], it's not going to be up to the President to decide where and at what time to set the bomb off. So, tactical nuclear arms exist under less control than the strategic nuclear arms. The power is much smaller of tactical ones, but the control is also much weaker. Therefore, it now poses a greater threat to society, that's why I keep talking about it.”

Mr. Yablokov also warned of dangers emanating out of the politically unstable environment in Russia. According to him, if there would be a power struggle between fascists and nationalists, “[The] danger comes from within [Russia]. We've got about one hundred organizations of a fascist nature. These fascist organizations have got many military personnel, who know where these bombs are located, who know how to use them. And if, inside the country, there's a struggle for power, and these fascists and nationalists get hold of these bombs--there's a small chance, but there is that chance... if that happens, that will be terrible. That's why I'm talking about this, that's why tactical nuclear arms, these small nuclear bombs, ought to be destroyed as soon as possible.”
Instead of heeding to the w
arnings of inherent dangers posed by the mini-nukes, the US government accelerated the development of these weapons, which was only followed in-kind by the Russians, who did not wish to be left behind in the mad rush to make the nuclear weapons smaller and smaller.

In Sep 1988, the US defense department began a program for deep-penetration nuclear warheads to be used against “rogue states”. During the same year, the by US Assistant Secretary of Defense Kenneth Bacon in a particularly alarming statement refused to rule out the use of B61-11 Deep Penetration Nuclear Weapons as a tool for achieving US military objectives in Iraq. In Nov 2002, the ‘Mercury News’ reported to be in possession of a Bush Administration’s memorandum circulated to the ‘Nuclear Weapons Council’. Backed by the defense authorization bill that congress approved in 2002, the memo asked the three leading US nuclear weapons labs to study the costs and benefits of reducing time to prepare for testing the “Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator” weapons.

Not to be left behind, soon the Russian hawks like Andrey Kokoshin (Vice President Russian Academy of Sciences) and Dr. Viktor Mikhailov (who is the research head of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov. The FNC is Russia's leading research establishment for nuclear weapons programs where all Russian nuclear bombs have been built) also started to voice their support for developing and testing such weapons. Dr. Mikhailov said, "The philosophy of thermonuclear weapons has changed today, and on the agenda is the development of high-precision and deep-penetration nuclear bombs."

Russian government has steadfastly denied the existence of Soviet Small Atomic Demolition Munition/Suitcase Bombs. While the U.S. officials do not deny the existence of such Russian weapons, but they cast doubt on claims that some of suitcase bombs may have gone missing since the end of the Cold War. Former FBI Director Louis Freeh told congress, "We have not seen any hard evidence of suitcase-sized nuclear devices unaccounted for or falling into the hands of terrorists or rogue states."

Even though, both the Russian and US governments consistently try to downplay the fears of vulnerability and accessibility of mini-nukes by the rogues of the world, but their efforts to push the mini-nuke development into high gear is only making the world more insecure. The last thing the world needs is increasing number of highly portable and insecure nuclear weapons. Combined with antiquated tracking and storage procedures of Russia, its not if terrorists will get their hands on such device(s), but its when they will get it, provided they are not already in possession of one? As long as, Miniaturized Nuclear Weapons will exist, there will always be a chance of someone stealing or selling them to people who may not view life in same light, as rest of the civilized world does. Is the world prepared to see mini-nukes falling into the hands of terrorists, dictators, fascists, or nihilists? If not, then how will the world ward off such a catastrophe from happening? The solution: the civilized world needs to make an all out effort to buy, beg, or steal all such mini-nukes and permanently destroy them before some fanatic detonates them in the middle of a city.

More articles by Adnan Gill

Forgotten Children of the World

by Adnan Gill

Recently, the heart piercing screams of bewildered mothers clutching to the lifeless bodies of their angel faced children jolted our slumbering souls out of comma. The media flooded the airwaves with horrific images of a stunned small Russian town, which lost nearly 400 of their loved ones in a heinous terrorist attack. Nearly half (about 200) of the dead were once the blossoming children of Beslan.

As we cry over the tragedy of Beslan, I hope the world will save some tears for the children of oblivion too, who were also cut in their bloom. The children whom we have forgotten as if they never were.

We owe to the children of Beslan, that our indignation be equally strong against those who kill children by dropping bombs on them from airplanes displaying a nation’s insignia or by raining mortars and artillery shells fired by soldiers wearing a nation’s emblem or by tanks firing rounds while flying a nation’s flag or by strafing gunships flying off the airbases built with the tax revenues or by snipers shooting to kill while wearing a nation’s uniform and fulfilling the orders of their elected or otherwise leaders, or even by bloodthirsty mobs protected by their elected leaders as they pull live fetuses out of their screaming mothers’ wombs.

One wonders whether the enraged world can or does distinguish between children loosing lives at the hands of terrorists, and children who loose their lives at the hands of those whose salaries are paid with taxpayers’ money. Is there, or should there be a distinction between stateless terrorists, and the state paid killers? After all, both are guilty of terrorizing the innocents.

The Beslan tragedy could have been avoided had we shed a few tears, when in last decade alone children were being butchered all over the world. In places like Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kashmir, Gujarat, Iraq, Palestine and Rwanda children were the worst victims. We should have shown the same passion for them too.

We should look deep into our souls and honestly ask ourselves, how many tears did we shed over the forgotten children of Rwanda?

It is estimated that out of some 800,000 people whose lives were snuffed out during the Rwanda genocide, several thousands of them were hapless children.

By the time the Rwanda genocide ended in 1994, 95,000 children had been orphaned. As late as April 2004, the UNICEF said, “Ten years after the genocide in Rwanda that took the lives of 800,000 people, the country's children continue to struggle with the lingering impact of the atrocities.” Its spokesperson further stated, "The children of Rwanda witnessed unspeakable violence. Tens of thousands lost their mothers and fathers. Thousands were victims of horrific brutality and rape. Many were forced to commit atrocities. The impact of the tragedy simply cannot be overstated."

Had we seriously condemned and stood up against the killings of Rwandan children, maybe just maybe today we might have saved the 200 children of Beslan too.

We should look deep into our souls and honestly ask ourselves, how many tears did we shed over the forgotten children of Bosnia?

According to U. B. Lindström, Secretary-General for UNICEF in Finland, some 16,000 children were killed during the ethnic cleansing campaign in Bosnia alone, and wounded children are believed to be about ten times of that number.

One 6 April 2002 Times (London) put the total of Bosnians ethnically cleansed at 200,000, including 15,000 children, women and men dead in the siege of Sarajevo, and 8,000 massacred in Srebrenica.

Had we seriously condemned and stood up against the killings of Bosnian children, maybe just maybe today we might have saved the 200 children of Beslan too.

We should look deep into our souls and honestly ask ourselves, how many tears did we shed over the forgotten children of Iraq?

According to Global Policy Forum, credible estimates suggest that sanctions on Iraq alone are responsible for the deaths at least 400,000 young Iraqi children (5 years and younger).

In September 2004 Zaman (Turkish award wining newspaper) published bone chilling numbers of Iraqi children dying each month. It reported, “[Currently] in one month, 3000 children [are dying] in Iraq; on average, that is 100 per day.”

The UNICEF estimates that 500,000 Iraqi children have died between 1991 and 1998. According to its research team (Ali, Blacker and Jones, 2003), “On average, 170 young children died in Iraq each day between 1991 and 1998.”

Had we seriously condemned and stood up against the killings of Iraqi children, maybe just maybe today we might have saved the 200 children of Beslan too.

We should look deep into our souls and honestly ask ourselves, how many tears did we shed over the forgotten children of Afghanistan?

On February 1, 2002, a respectable and well known New York Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristof reported, “In each of the last few years, without anyone paying much attention, 225,000 children died in Afghanistan before the age of 5, along with 15,000 women who died during pregnancy or childbirth.”

During the winter of 2001 UNICEF warned that during last few years on average, 300,000 children died per year in Afghanistan, and it was possible for the number to increase by a further 100,000. "Half of the children in Afghanistan are already chronically malnourished," warned Nigel Fisher of UNICEF. "The situation might get extremely critical if [due to the war] aid cannot be promptly delivered to the needy."

Had we seriously condemned and stood up against the killings of Afghani children, maybe just maybe today we might have saved the 200 children of Beslan too.

We should look deep into our souls and honestly ask ourselves, how many tears did we shed over the forgotten children of Israel and Palestine?

It is believed vast majority of Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces were killed while attempting to go about their daily lives in circumstances where they should have been completely safe from Israeli aggression. Similarly on their way to schools the Israeli children too became victims of suicide bombers.

On July 31, 2004 the Defence for Children reported, since the beginning of Intifada-II (since September 2000) a total of 608 Palestinian children were killed due to direct military actions of Israeli forces. There are approximately 324 Palestinian children in Israeli detention. In contrast the statistics indicate that 178 Palestinian children were killed during Intifada-I (1990-1993). Dozens of Israeli children also fell prey to Palestinian suicide bombers.

While credible numbers over children deaths during first Intifada could not be found, but it can be assumed that a considerable ratio out of total 1,759 dead Israeli and Palestinians were of children.

Had we seriously stood up against the killings of Israeli and Palestinian children, maybe just maybe today we might have saved the 200 children of Beslan too.

We should look deep into our souls and honestly ask ourselves, how many tears did we shed over the forgotten children of India?

Diplomatic and Human Rights Organizations’ reports are full of narrations of mass killings in which hundreds if not thousands of Indian children belonging to minorities and lower classes lost their lives. It is almost impossible to get accurate estimates as Indian government never made an honest effort to collect and compile data of children’s deaths due to violence; neither has it allowed independent NGOs to collect such data. Therefore, it is believed that since 1984 New Delhi riots several thousands of children have lost their lives to violence perpetrated by Hindu fundamentalists and the state agencies in places like Kashmir, Gujarat and New Delhi.
According to AP (July 2001), per human rights activists and opposition leaders in Kashmir alone between 60-80,000 people were killed, plus 2,500-3,000 Muslim men missing at hands of security forces.

A 2002 US State Department report describes the Gujarat pogrom, “In February communal violence in Gujarat resulted in the deaths of many women. The violence began on February 27 after a Muslim mob in the town of Godhra attacked and set fire to two train cars carrying Hindu activists. Fifty-eight persons were killed, most of them women and children. In the subsequent riots, Muslim women and girls were raped, and an estimated 2,000 Muslim persons were killed.”

Had we seriously condemned and stood up against the killings of Indian children, maybe just maybe today we might have saved the 200 children of Beslan too.

We should look deep into our souls and honestly ask ourselves, how many tears did we shed over the forgotten children of Chechnya?

In September, 2004, a Russian news organization the NewsInfo reported that since the beginning of the Second Chechen War (since 1999), some 3,500 Chechnyan children have lost their lives due to the savage Russian campaign initiated by President Putin against the Chechnyan separatists.

Had we seriously condemned and stood up against the killings of Chechnyan children, maybe just maybe today we might have saved the 200 children of Beslan too.

There should be no distinction between those who we call terrorists, and those who kill and terrorize our children under a nation’s flag.

It’s our collective silence of decades over somebody else’s children’s death that has paved the way for monstrosities like Beslan massacre. We need to wakeup and strongly condemn each instance of organized terror/violence against anybody’s children, even if they were who some people consider as nobodies like Rwandans, Afghans, Iraqis, Bosnians, Kashmiri, Chechnyans and so on. We need to display zero tolerance to the intolerant. It is incumbent upon us to do something to save the future of the world, our children. We should build special world tribunals against those who as a policy or systematically hurt children, and/or organize non-violent protests against such violence. Doing something is better than allowing the savages to once more butcher our children in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kashmir, Gujarat, Iraq, Palestine and Rwanda.

The world has two choices. Either it can keep on dispatching the plight of somebody else’s children to oblivion, or it can start protecting everyone else’s children as their own at the slightest hint of violence even if it is perpetrated by a state.

More articles by Adnan Gill

Abu Gharib scandal

by Adnan Gill

Amnesty International’s Secretary General Irene Khan said, "The US has lost its high moral ground and its ability to lead on peace and elsewhere." Could it be true?

Late last April, a CBS' "60 Minutes II" broadcast of nauseating and humiliating pictures taken at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison of torture and inhumane treatment of Iraqi prisoners by the American soldiers shook the Bush administration to its core. An administration, which thought 9/11 investigations during the election year, was its worst nightmare come true was totally blindsided and caught like a deer in headlights by the scandal of unparalleled proportions.

For the first time in memorable history not only the American administration, but the whole nation found itself at the receiving end of what appeared to be whole world’s stinging criticism, wrath and disgust. No sooner the pictures of torture and abuse became public the battle lines were drawn. There were those who viewed the United States as a nation with imperialistic design felt their convictions were vindicated and then there were those like Rush Limbaugh who conspicuously tried to shrug off the fire storm by calling the prison torture "a college fraternity prank". Whether Rush and Saddam were members of the same college fraternity is a debate for another time. One thing is for sure, the whole world is up in arms over the abuse and the moral superiority America enjoyed for generations is in grave danger of being lost for a long time. No matter whether America is targeted fairly or unfairly, but we have to ask one question: how did we get ourselves into this mess?

In order to figure out how we got here, one does not have to go any further then the tragic day of 9/11. It was a day of unspeakable horror, shock and grief. Not since the Pearl Harbor attack the nation felt so stunned, traumatized and vulnerable. That is the time when a small group from within the U.S. administration, -- known as Neo-Conservatives (Neo-cons) -- perhaps with the best intentions, but without any hesitation took over the reins of the U.S. government. They asked the shocked nation, ‘trust us’, and promised to provide effective protection and safety, but in return asked for lack of oversight and transparency. Without giving a second thought to the future consequences, the traumatized nation, including the President and the Congress handed over America’s reins to this small but cunning group of Neo-cons. In the name of fighting terrorism these Neo-cons made the defense department a ‘all departments in one’ with virtually unlimited administrative powers and hardly any checks and balances. It practically started to run a parallel State Department, Justice Department, Homeland Security Department, CIA, FBI, and its very own prison system. Soon after consolidating their power, it seemed, these Neo-Cons started to loose the concepts of checks and balances, and became a Maverick Department. Thanks to the arrogance and the feeling of invincibility this Maverick Department run by Neo-Cons single handedly brought an embarrassment to the American nation that it has never experienced before.

Right off the bat, the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced to the world of setting up of a prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, under the command of cut and dry Major-General Geoffrey Miller -- its the same General who was later on dispatched to Abu Gharib to introduce his tough practices and his contempt for the Geneva Convention. In a stark contradiction to the Geneva Convention, Mr. Rumsfeld made another shocking announcement that the Guantanamo prisoners – mostly from Afghanistan, Middle East, and Pakistan – will not be accorded Geneva Convention protections. His decision was based on the argument, since terrorists and the Taliban do not abide by the Geneva Convention rules and are not part of any recognized government; therefore, the U.S. too will not abide by any such rules. It seems, at the time no one bothered to read the Geneva Convention – to which the United States is signatory – and if anyone did, they did not raise their voice. The Article 2 and Article 4 (especially Article 4.3. Source: ) clearly contradicts Mr. Secretary’s argument. Had this violation of Geneva Convention been debated, protested or questioned at the time, today the U.S. might have saved itself from loosing the moral superiority.

The second chance to save the U.S. from the embarrassment was missed when the President and the Congress bought Neo-Cons’ delusional rhetoric of saving the world by waging a war against Iraq. Once again, the whole nation bought their extremist rhetoric without asking any questions about waging a war of choice and ended up bogged down in a war that was based on lies, false data, and broken promises.

The third opportunity to save America’s prestige was lost when Mr. Secretary refused to provide the safety and security to the Iraqi public – another violation of Geneva Convention – by calling the lawlessness and looting in Iraq as "Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."

Next opportunity to save America’s face was relinquished when the Secretary Rumsfeld decided to bring Gen. Miller to Iraq. The General promised to "Gitmo-ize" the U.S. military prison system.

The final opportunity to save America’s honor was forfeited when Secretary Rumsfeld and his fellow Neo-Cons failed to full fill their constitutional duty of informing the President and Congress of abuses reported by the ICRC and even by the U.S. Army Major General Antonio Taguba’s investigation. General Taguba’s report cited "numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees" in Abu Ghraib.

It is ludicrous and inconsequential to even imagine using the American soldiers as scapegoats for the mistakes and lack of effective leadership of their civilian leaders. Because its the civilian leadership which time and time again set very bad examples and sent wrong messages down the chain of command through their arrogant and callus actions. The soldiers merely laid their lives online by following the orders of misguided leaders.

Had there been no pictures or had it not been a presidential election year there is a strong possibility the prison abuse reports would have met the same fate of oblivion as many other reports did. The abuse reports against the U.S. had been rampant since the Afghan invasion, but they consistently fell on deaf-ears of the leadership. It turns out; many other ICRC and Human Rights Watch reports preceded Major General Antonio Taguba’s report. These reports protested the lack of access to the American military prisons and were consistently raising red flags to the U.S. government regarding the human rights and prisoner abuses.

The administration did not only shun ICRC’s reports, but it also shunned the scrutiny of independent rights monitors like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The administration presumed that suspected agents of terrorism did not deserve prevailing legal protections, and it presumed that American interrogators could always tell a terrorist from an innocent bystander. These reports also included the protests over the deaths of two detainees in the U.S. custody in Afghanistan, which the medical examiners declared as "homicides". Indeed, to this day, no one has been prosecuted for those two deaths. Accounts of former prisoners at Abu Gharib and other military detention sites in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo itself suggests there has been systemic, and gratuitous brutality against people who in many cases are not guilty of any crimes.

While the majority of world is busy gloating over catching the United States in its moment of weakness and publishing the gory details of abuses, the Americans themselves have started to ask millions of questions like:

  • Our government told us that by going to war with Iraq we will be saved from Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but where are they?

  • We were told Saddam was helping Al-Qaeda, but where is Al-Qaeda?

  • We were told the road to Middle-East peace runs through Baghdad, but then why is Middle East burning all over?

  • We were told after the war, the prices at gas pumps would go down, but then why are we seeing record high gas prices?

  • We were told Iraqis will shower us with flowers for liberating them, but close to 800 of our soldiers have lost their lives from the shower of mortars. Where are the flowers?

  • Neo-Cons gave us their word that once the thugs like Saddam will be caught the Iraqis will come out of fear and embrace us with open arms, but then why did they savagely murdered four Americans and dragged their dead bodies through the streets of Falluja?

  • We were told those who brutally killed and dragged the bodies of four Americans will be swiftly brought to justice, but then why are the Marines still sitting at the outskirts of the city?

  • We were told the war will pay itself off from the revenues of Iraqi oil, but then why are we still spending more than a billion dollars per week in Iraq out of our pockets?

  • We were told we will gift the Iraqis their first taste of democracy and freedom, but then what were our soldiers picturing the naked Iraqis for, or why did the soldiers posed for pictures as they rode an elderly naked Iraqi woman, or why did the soldiers raped women Iraqi prisoners?

  • We were told we did not know anything about the prison abuses, but the ICRC claimed it sent several reports to the Ambassador Bremer and Secretary Powell. Why did both of them failed to inform the President and Congress about the ICRC reports?

  • We were told the American military is so advanced, disciplined and streamlined that it could instantly track every single soldier around the globe, but then why we still do not know whose orders placed Col. Thomas M. Pappas in charge of prison policy where Brig Gen. Karpinski's MPs worked?

  • We were told the US military actually broke the abuse news and started the investigation, but then why did Gen. Myers and the Secretary Rumsfeld waited for months to read General Taguba's report over the prison abuse? Even worst, why did the highest military and civilian leaders conveniently forgot to read reports after reports about the Geneva Convention violations?

  • We were told it’s an act of few bad apples but then where did ICRC, human rights organizations and American media itself came up with examples of widespread abuses?

  • We were told yes there were probably some abuses but at least we did not kill people in cold blood like Saddam used to, but then why do journalist like Seymour Hersh (New Yorker) tell stories of U.S. investigators dumping off bodies after beating the detainees to death?

  • We were told the Geneva Convention is enshrined in the U.S. military law, but then why did the Criminal Investigation Command (CIC) reported incidents, like when a prisoner detained by Navy commandos died in what is described as "blunt force trauma to the torso and positional asphyxia," or why the Army interrogators from a National Guard unit attached to the Third Infantry Division, are blamed for having "forced into asphyxiation numerous detainees in an attempt to obtain information?"

  • We were told we would punish those responsible for it, but then why only few handful low ranking reservists are being court-marshaled, while we even do not know who ordered them?

  • We are told by the political leaders like Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma to be "outraged by the outrage" as he doesn’t think the Iraqis deserve protection of Geneva Convention, because they were not detained for traffic tickets, but then why the NGOs like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Red Cross believe over 70-90% detainees in American military prisons are innocent?

  • We are told that our military has no better friend in Washington than the Bush administration, but then why are people like the Under Secretary of Defense Stephen Cambone, were trying their best to upstage Gen. Taguba during the senate hearing?

Unfortunately, the list of questions, broken promises and illusions of is so long that one would have to write a book over it.

Impulsively, the disappointed world is demanding the ouster of the Neo-Cons from the offices of American government, but now is not the time to oust the Neo-cons out of the government for eternally embarrassing the United States. Now is the time to demand they follow Secretary Powell’s ‘pottery barn rule’ and insist they clean up their mess under the strict scrutiny of the U.S. Congress, media and the human rights organizations. The time to call foul was when the Neo-cons announced to the world of their intentions not to abide by the international laws.

The Neo-cons did their best to keep the abuse hidden and failed to do their constitutional duty by not taking their president or Congress into confidence. Commonsense demands a thorough investigation and accountability of them for violating their constitutional duty. But the tragedy is, the Neo-Cons still neither admit their faults, nor they have shown any remorse for embarrassing their nation. "My impression," Rumsfeld told reporters at the Pentagon, "is that what has been charged so far is abuse, which is different from torture. Just a minute, I don't know if the, it is correct to say what you just said, that torture has taken place, or that there's been a conviction for torture. And therefore, I'm not going to address the 'torture' word."

There is still time to salvage whatever is left of the American moral authority. President Bush can still demonstrate the American commitment to the decent and humane treatment of prisoners to the world. In order to restore America’s severely tainted image, and without severely handicapping the American soldiers from doing their duty, the President could take the following steps:

First. In an expedient manner America has to publicly announce to the world, who ordered what?

Second. America needs to -- in no ambiguous terms -- needs to announce to the world its unconditional and absolute respect for International Law and its enforcement, at least as far as the human rights are concerned.

Third. America has to publish the human rights organizations’ reports over the abuses and the steps taken by the U.S. to address their recommendations.

Fourth. Instantly abolish all of ‘no go’ areas in American military detention centers for the human rights organizations in order to assure the transparency and fairness.

Fifth. Train whole American military in clear words, what is covered under conventions and human rights treaties, so they would know exactly what they can or more importantly can not do?

Sixth. Apologize in no uncertain words to the victims and their families, and handsomely pay compensations for their hardship.

Seventh. America should stay in Iraq till it stabilizes the country politically and economically, so it doesn’t fracture into multiple states. Till then U.S. has to provide physical and economical security and safety.

Finally. The Neo-Cons and their allies in Congress should stop trying to shift responsibility by accusing those who want to ask tough questions by accusing them of being disloyal to the troops and the war effort.

There is no shame in respecting the human rights and honoring the international treaties, because that is what the civilized nations do. Calling its allies like France and Germany an "old Europe" and unilaterally pulling out of international treaties will only isolate the U.S. politically and morally.

Thomas Friedman (of the New York Times) concluded the tragedy with wise and enlightening words; "We are in danger of losing something much more important than just the war in Iraq. We are in danger of losing America as an instrument of moral authority and inspiration in the world."

More articles by Adnan Gill

Genesis of Nuclear Proliferation

by Adnan Gill

An open season has been declared on Pakistan in the wake of Doctor A Q Khan's bold confessions. It seems that Pakistan and its scientists are the first and only proliferators in the history of nuclear weaponry.Nuclear proliferation was born with the first set of nuclear weapons. Its a half century long saga of strategic maneuvering, clashes of ideologies, espionage, love, hate, deceit, back stabbing and personal greed.

History bears witness to the fact that there is nothing extraordinary, new or unique about Pakistan proliferating nuclear know-how, if at all. The United States started the tradition by gifting it to the UK and France. The rogue (socialist) elements in the UK and US exported the same technology to the Soviet Union, who in turn gave it away to countries like China and India. China in kind, passed it to Pakistan who is said to have kept the tradition alive by trying to pass it on to the Iran, Libya and N. Korea. India and Israel did their part by bringing South Africa and Brazil onboard.

For their share of proliferation the French passed the nuclear technology to Israel. Despite De Gaulle's opposition and direct orders to shut the technology pipeline built by Shimon Peres, his atomic energy minister Jacques Soustelle kept the transfer going on. Was Soustelle punished for going rogue and breaking the laws against the proliferation? Not that the world knows of.
If anything, it is the United States, which unintentionally, or otherwise, initiated the nuclear proliferation. The US was the first to let the nuclear genie out of the bottle, the rest merely followed in its footprints.

The US proliferation started even before the first nuclear device was ever detonated. It began when the US started to train the foreign scientists from Britain, Canada and France in the art of “Atomic Bomb” making during the Manhattan project. The fear of expansion of communism right after the WWII was so intense, that the US started to pass the nuclear technology willy-nilly to its friends under the garb of a program called “Atoms for Peace”. To this day the world has not been able to recover from this massive US proliferation.

At times the US looked the other way when its friends were building the nuclear network, and even pretended like nothing happened when its spy satellites detected an atmospheric nuclear explosion over the Indian Ocean on September 22, 1979. The episode was swept under the rug because there was a strong possibility that it was one of the American allies who conducted the test, namely Israel.

The recent transfer of simulation software to France enabled it to check the health of its nuclear weapons without detonating one is an example of American proliferation. A pledge to cooperate with India in the dual use nuclear and space technology is only the latest example the American proliferation.

Though the United States merits the dubious distinction of being the original proliferator, it was soon joined by a host of other wannabes. Following is a brief history of international proliferation, the actors involved and the end results.

Soviet Union/Russia: Despite the fact that great Soviet minds such as Yakov Zel'dovich and Yuli Khariton were already tinkering with the nuclear technology even before the WWII started, the Russians were still far from crossing the threshold. It took no less than complete design and data of American nuclear weapon supplied by the “Atom Spies” like Klaus Fuchs and Rosenbergs to detonate its first nuclear device four years after the United States.

Outcome of proliferation: The Soviets detonated their first nuclear device on August 29, 1949.

Britain: The British program directly benefited from the American “Manhattan Project” when its first rank scientists like Geoffrey I. Taylor and William G. Penney were sent to Los Alamos under the cover of 1943 Quebec Agreement. These American trained British scientists provided the nucleus for British post-war atomic weapons development efforts.

Thanks to the Quebec Agreement, Canada supplied plutonium was incorporated into the core of first British nuclear device, code-named Hurricane.

Outcome of proliferation: Britain detonated its first device on September 15, 1952.

France: Just like the British scientist, the French scientists like Dr. Bertrand Goldschmitt also worked with the Anglo-Canadian team on the Manhattan Project. After the war, he continued the weapons work in France and gave it its nuclear weapon.

Outcome of proliferation: The first French nuclear test, code-named Gerboise Bleue, was conducted on February 13, 1960 at Reggane in Algeria.

China: China was never a direct beneficiary of American proliferation, but it made tremendous gains from the blatant Soviet proliferation. In 1951 Peking signed a secret agreement with Moscow through which China received massive Soviet nuclear assistance in exchange uranium ores.

In 1957, China and USSR signed an agreement on new technology for national defense, which included additional Soviet nuclear assistance. The Soviets also provided China with a major gaseous diffusion facility for production of enriched uranium.

Outcome of proliferation: China's first nuclear test was conducted at Lop Nor on October 16, 1964.

India: India is a prime example of American initiated nuclear proliferation under the cover of “Atoms for Peace” program. During the 1950s and then in 1960s the United States and Canada helped India to lay the foundation for its nuclear weapons technology.

In 1956, Canada built 40 megawatt Canadian-Indian Reactor in India. The United States supplied the heavy water for it. This reactor will later become the source of plutonium for India's first nuclear device.

In 1963, India ordered two 210-megawatt boiling-water reactors for the Tarapur Atomic Power Station from General Electric.

India received its first heavy water production plant from Germany in 1962 and then built additional seven heavy water plants with help of France and Switzerland.

The United States continued to display a total disregard for all of non-proliferation conventions. In 1964, its assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs John McNaughton proposed to initiate a program to train and equip Indian forces to use nuclear weapons, and create a stockpile to disperse to India in times of crisis.

In 70s, the Soviet Union assumed the role of India's main supplier of heavy water, and covert and overt nuclear proliferation. During the 80s, India clandestinely acquired and developed centrifuge technology from the USSR and built uranium enrichment plants at Trombay and Mysore.

During the same decade, a German exporter and a former Nazi, Alfred Hempel shipped tons of heavy water via Dubai to India. This clandestine supply enabled the Indians to use its reactors like Dhruva to create plutonium for its atomic weapons program. The suppliers of heavy water included China, Norway and Soviet Union.

In January 1996, in a barefaced show of defiance of a “Nuclear Suppliers Group” ban, Moscow and New Delhi, reached an agreement to build two Russian light-water nuclear reactors at Kudankalam in Tamil Nadu.

Outcome of proliferation: India conducted its first so-called “peaceful nuclear explosion,” on May 18 1974.

Israel: France laid the foundation of Israeli nuclear program on October 3, 1957, when it signed an agreement to build a 24 MWt reactor (although the cooling systems and waste facilities were designed to handle three times that power), and a chemical reprocessing plant in Israel. A secret nuclear complex was constructed outside the IAEA inspection regime, at Dimona, in the Negev desert under the leadership of Col. Manes Pratt of the IDF Ordinance Corps. France not only built a nuclear and reprocessing plant for Israel, it also supplied the heavy water and delivered Uranium for the Israeli plant. The plant went critical in 1964.

Since 1958, the United States had been well aware of the Israel nuclear program, but it did nothing to stop it. Walworth Barbour, US ambassador to Israel from 1961-73, allegedly said at one point that “The President did not send me there to give him problems. He does not want to be told any bad news.” After the 1967 war, Barbour even put a stop to military attachés' intelligence collection efforts around Dimona. When in 1966, the US embassy staff sent a warning message to Washington upon learning that Israel was beginning to put nuclear warheads on its missiles, the message disappeared in thin air and was never acted upon.

Outcome of proliferation: Israel is speculated to be in possession of between 100 to 200 nuclear weapons, and in 1979 is suspected to have conducted a nuclear explosion over the southern Indian Ocean in collaboration with South Africa.

South Africa: Israel introduced South Africa to the exclusive nuclear weapons club. Israel provided South Africa with technical assistance on its weapons program, in exchange for S. Africa's 300 tons of uranium. “Oppenheimer of Israel” Ernst David Bergmann and several other Israeli nuclear scientists visited South Africa in 1967.

In 1974, Moshe Dayan is reported to have made a secret visit to South Africa and discussed nuclear weapon cooperation, including the possibility of nuclear tests.

Between 1977 and 1978 Israel received 50 tons of natural uranium from South Africa and in return supplied 30 grams of tritium, in 12 separate shipments. Israel is also believed to have provided the bomb design.

Outcome of proliferation: Till July 1990, South Africa was in possession of six nuclear devices as well as the partially completed seventh device.

Argentina: Argentina's nuclear program was supported by a number of countries. Canada and West Germany supplied the power reactors, while China and Switzerland supplied a heavy water plant. The Soviet Union supplied other nuclear equipment. In the absence of international safeguards, hot cells were operated from 1969-1972.

Outcome of proliferation: Argentina came stones throw away from building a nuclear device, as a number of sites and facilities were developed for uranium mining, milling, and conversion, and for fuel fabrication. A missile development program was also pursued for some years.

Brazil: The US proliferation to Brazil goes way back to the 1940s when it signed an agreement to transfer the nuclear technology in exchange for cooperative mining of uranium and monazite. In 1965, the US provided Brazil with medium-grade enriched uranium for its first nuclear reactor.

In 1975, Brazil signed a technology transfer agreement with Germany (not covered under the IAEA safeguards) for a complete nuclear fuel cycle, including enrichment and reprocessing plants. The agreement called for West Germany to transfer eight nuclear reactors, uranium enrichment facility, plutonium reprocessing plant, and Becker “jet nozzle” enrichment technology.

Outcome of proliferation: Brazilian nuclear weapons program code-named “Solimões” was exposed by the members of CPI (Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito). In its report it was revealed that the IEAV (Instituto de Estudos Avançados) had designed two atomic bomb devices, one with a yield of twenty to thirty kilotons and a second with a yield of twelve kilotons. In September 1990, a nuclear test shaft was closed at Cachimbo, in Pará State.

Iraq: Iraqi nuclear weapons program's root are also traced back to the American “Atoms for Peace” program and to the Soviet supplied research reactor - the 2 megawatt IRT-5000, which was later upgraded to 5 MW in 1978.

In 1976, Iraq and France concluded an agreement for MTR reactors. MTR reactor was a derivative of the French Osiris reactor which was a pool-type reactor fuelled by 93% enriched weapon grade uranium.

In 1979, Iraq sent engineers to visit India's nuclear establishments and scientists.
During the same year, Iraq contracted with the Italian company SNIA-Techint for pilot plutonium separation and handling facility, and a uranium refining and fuel-manufacturing plant (not covered by IAEA safeguards).

Iraq also obtained large amounts of uranium - 100 tons of natural uranium from Portugal, and additional large shipments from Brazil and Nigeria.

During 1998 and 2001, an Indian company, NEC Engineers shipped several consignments of rocket fuel ingredients to Iraq via Dubai.

Outcome of proliferation: On behest of the IAEA, a group of nuclear weapon designers from the United States, Britain, France, and Russia met in April 1992 to assess the progress of Iraq's nuclear program prior to the Persian Gulf War. The group suggested Iraq's nuclear weapons program plan was established in 1988. Iraq's objective was to produce its first nuclear by 1991.

Those who view Pakistan's amateurish attempts at nuclear proliferation as unique or as a new phenomenon either harbor malice in their hearts or are selectively oblivious of history of nuclear proliferation. Their attempt is as spiteful as it is deliberate.

If the world community is really interested in finding the real nuclear proliferators, then it has to look no further than looking at the two superpowers. The Americans initiated the nuclear proliferation, while the Soviet Union setup the one stop nuclear superstore.

A parting word on pardons too. In the name of extraordinary services, the history is full of famous personalities going scot-free for their clear disregard of laws. For example, despite Oppenheimer's open association with the Communists, he was allowed to run the nuclear program till 1953. Eventually, he was quietly sidelined for his Communist associations, but only after he gave the US its nuclear bombs. Shouldn't the hush hush sidelining of a diehard Communist spy and a true “father of the Atomic Bomb” be called a “mother of all Pardons”?
How about Casper Weinberger receiving the pardon and a “Medal of Freedom” for the breakup of the communist block despite his utter disregard for the US laws, and his clear role in the Iran-Contra deals?

Lets not even talk about President Clinton pardoning the drug runners and other criminals, because it's beyond any logic and reason.

Last but not the least, how about President Gerald Ford pardoning Richard Nixon for making a mockery of the US constitution and laws?

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is any way so discriminatory that it was rightly called as “disarming the unarmed”. Those moralizing to Pakistan are well advised to do some honest soul searching.

Pakistan is only a window to the Nuclear Proliferating World, but certainly not the door to it.

More articles by Adnan Gill