Nuclear Mangos says US aid on Pakistan nukes did not include PALs

There have been news reports that the US provided ~ $100 million assistance to Pakistan over the last few years to "secure" their nuclear weapons, and there was some speculation as to whether this included providing them with Permissive Action Links.
Apparently not

The armscontrolwonk concurs.

Not good, messy.
Since Pakistan is not an NPT signatory any US help risks being seriously illegal, and if the US was providing physical security or protocols, rather than something like PALs to block unauthorized detonation, then the US risks pissing India off - if Pakistan nukes are physically more secure but still liable to be detonated without top level authorization, it increases the threat to India.

Foland also has an interesting article on the IAEA report on Iran - so far Iran is staying within NPT.
Russia is also now reported (somewhat reliably) to be readying fuel for Bushehr.
Sounds like they'll ship after christmas and have reactor running by the summer of 2008.

There were interesting press stories on the US and Israel "preparing for a nuclear Iran" - implying policy studies of how to react politically to the reality of a nuclear armed Iran.
But there were also reports that Israel is looking at Iran having nukes in early 2009 (surprising choice of date...) and their "red line", as I understand it, is Iran being six months from having nukes...

The press is still focused on the uranium enrichment (with some awful reporting on what is involved and how difficult it is). If all of Iran's centrifuges are running at spec, then they are indeed about a year from having 10-20 kg of highly enriched, possibly bomb grade, U-235.
I still worry more about their ability to reprocess plutonium, if they are willing to break from the IAEA and reprocess their fuel they can have several nukes very quickly.
If the Iranian physicists are as competent as they ought to be.

Interesting times.


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