“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jihadis thrice attacked Pakistan nuclear sites

NOTE:( – President Obama does not see the terrorism challenge as a fight against “jihadists” because that conveys an undeserved religious legitimacy and risks reinforcing the view that the U.S. is at war with Islam, his counterterrorism adviser said Thursday.

Jihadis thrice attacked Pakistan nuclear sites
Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN 11 August 2009, 08:35am IST Times of India

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's nuclear facilities have already been attacked at least thrice by its home-grown extremists and terrorists in little

reported incidents over the last two years, even as the world remains divided over the safety and security of the nuclear weapons in the troubled country, according to western analysts. ( Watch )

The incidents, tracked by Shaun Gregory, a professor at Bradford University in UK, include an attack on the nuclear missile storage facility at Sargodha on November 1, 2007, an attack on Pakistan's nuclear airbase at Kamra by a suicide bomber on December 10, 2007, and perhaps most significantly the August 20, 2008 attack when Pakistani Taliban suicide bombers blew up several entry points to one of the armament complexes at the Wah cantonment, considered one of Pakistan's main nuclear weapons assembly.

These attacks have occurred even as Pakistan has taken several steps to secure and fortify its nuclear weapons against potential attacks, particularly by the United States and India, says Gregory.

In fact, the attacks have received so little attention that Peter Bergen, the eminent terrorism expert who reviewed Gregory's paper first published in West Point's Counter Terrorism Center Sentinel, said "he (Gregory) points out something that was news to me (and shouldn't have been) which is that a series of attacks on Pakistan's nuclear weapons facilities have already happened."

Pakistan insists that its nuclear weapons are fully secured and there is no chance of them falling into the hands of the extremists or terrorists.

But Gregory, while detailing the steps Islamabad has taken to protect them against Indian and US attacks, asks if the geographical location of Pakistan's principle nuclear weapons infrastructure, which is mainly in areas dominated by al-Qaida and Taliban, makes it more vulnerable to internal attacks.

Gregory points out that when Pakistan was developing its nuclear weapons infrastructure in the 1970s and 1980s, its principal concern was the risk that India would overrun its nuclear weapons facilities in an armored offensive if the facilities were placed close to the long Pakistan-India border.

As a result, Pakistan, with a few exceptions, chose to locate much of its nuclear weapons infrastructure to the
north and west of the country and to the region around Islamabad and Rawalpindi - sites such as Wah, Fatehjang,
Golra Sharif, Kahuta, Sihala, Isa Khel Charma, Tarwanah, and Taxila. The concern, however, is that most of Pakistan's nuclear sites are close to or even within areas dominated by Pakistani Taliban militants and home to al-Qaida.

Detailing the actions taken by Islamabad to safeguard its nuclear assets from external attacks, Gregory writes that Pakistan has established a "robust set of measures to assure the security of its nuclear weapons." These have been based on copying US practices, procedures and technologies, and comprise:
  • a) physical security;
  • b) personnel reliability programs;
  • c) technical and procedural safeguards;
  • d) deception and secrecy.

In terms of physical security, Pakistan operates a layered concept of concentric tiers of armed forces personnel to guard nuclear weapons facilities, the use of physical barriers and intrusion detectors to secure nuclear weapons facilities, the physical separation of warhead cores from their detonation components, and the storage of the components in protected underground sites.

With respect to personnel reliability, Gregory says the Pakistan Army conducts a tight selection process drawing almost exclusively on officers from Punjab Province who are considered to have fewer links with religious extremism (now increasingly a questionable premise) or with the Pashtun areas of Pakistan from which groups such as the Pakistani Taliban mainly garner their support.

Pakistan operates an analog to the US Personnel Reliability Program (PRP) that screens individuals for Islamist sympathies, personality problems, drug use, inappropriate external affiliations, and sexual deviancy.

The army uses staff rotation and also operates a "two-person" rule under which no action, decision, or activity involving a nuclear weapon can be undertaken by fewer than two persons. In total, between 8,000 and 10,000 individuals from the SPD's security division and from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau agencies are involved in the security clearance and monitoring of those with nuclear weapons duties.

Gregory says despite formal command authority structures that cede a role to Pakistan’s civilian leadership, in practice the Pakistan Army has complete control over the country's nuclear weapons.

It imposes its executive authority over the weapons through the use of an authenticating code system down through the command chains that is deployment sites, aspects of the nuclear command and control arrangements, and many aspects of the arrangements for nuclear safety and security (such as the numbers of those removed under personnel reliability programs, the reasons for their removal, and how often authenticating and enabling (PAL-type) codes are changed).

In addition, Pakistan uses deception - such as dummy missiles - to complicate the calculus of adversaries and is likely to have extended this practice to its nuclear weapons infrastructure.

Taken together, these measures provide confidence that the Pakistan Army can fully protect its nuclear weapons against the internal terrorist threat, against its main adversary India, and against the suggestion that its nuclear weapons could be either spirited out of the country by a third party (posited to be the United States) or destroyed in the event of a deteriorating situation or a state collapse in Pakistan, says Gregory.

However, at another point, he says "despite these elaborate safeguards, empirical evidence points to a clear set of weaknesses and vulnerabilities in Pakistan's nuclear safety and security arrangements."


  1. It's like that scene from 2001 Space Odyssey

    Like the monkeys with the bones.....

    Give the nukes to the death cult, with any luck it will explode in their hands...

  2. Let them do what they do but please don't refer to them as jihadis.

  3. Jihadists already control the Pakistani nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

    Just do not refer to them as al-Qaida or Taliban.

    Jihadist is to broad a brush, for US to use, in our overseas adventures and containment missions.

  4. As mentioned, just yesterday, we have an "Enemies List" that we are working.

    No worries.

  5. One would expect a large number of jihadists, in Islamixc Republics.

    Those are what we've established, Islamic Republics, so we are allied with jihadists, by definition. That is US policy in Iraq and Afpakistan.

    Trans-administrative policies, at that.

  6. Jihad is a central tenent of the Pakistani Army. Our main ally in the Afpakistan conflict. Recieving over $10 billion USD in direct aid, since 9-11-01.

    The motto of the Pakistani Army reads: "Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah". Translated into English, it means "Faith, Piety, Striving in the path of Allah (The God)".

    Jihadists all, those Pakistani Army men.

  7. The title of the thread, it could just as easily read

    "Jihadis thrice attacked while defending Pakistan nuclear sites"

    And still be just as accurate a report.

  8. c'mon rat, don't cloud the issue. It is soooo much simpler to portray jihad as being like a kamikaze - simply a suicide bomber.

    I guess the good news is that the attacks failed.

    On the health care front it is also easier to portray the health plan as the institution of socialized euthanasia boards.

    Gotta luv political debate in the good ole USA.

  9. Totally non-related news,

    Chevy Volt to get 230 mpg in City

    It, also, runs on E85. That means it will get, on average, over 1500 Miles on a Gallon of Gasoline.

    Fuck you, Jihadis.

  10. Please give me a shout when I can go grab one of these miracle machines.

  11. Last part of 2010, they say.

    They're building about 10/month, now.

  12. Chevy Volt to get 230 mpg in City

    "Basically, you will be able to drive the Volt for about 40 miles using the lithium-ion batteries. For those driving less than that, gas mileage is essentially unlimited. It is only after 40 miles that the Volt will start using gas.

    "Most Volt drivers will operate on a daily basis without having to use a single drop of gas," said Henderson, saying that three out of four drivers travel 40 miles or less a day."

    So, the deep thinkers are telling us that cars that run on electricity get good gas mileage.


    Thank you so much, for bringing this to our attention Rufus, old buddy, old pal.

    What a shit-for-brains article designed for a shit-for-brains public!

    From now on, Rufus, I'd advise you to use toilet paper when you blow your nose.

  13. To lighten up:

    From Patriot humor.

    Body Found In Salt River.
    Champaign County Sheriffs Department reports finding a man's body in the Salt Fork river just west of the Kelly's Tavern Historical Site Bridge.

    The man's name will not be released until his family has been notified. The victim apparently drowned after consuming an excessive amount of alcohol.

    He was wearing black fishnet stockings, a red garter belt with matching bra, and an Obama T-shirt.

    The deputy removed the Obama T-shirt to spare his family any unnecessary embarrassment.

  14. 0 - 60 in 7 seconds, and, probably, in the area of 40 mpg on the highway.

    You must own stock in Saudi Aramco.

  15. shhh..

    Obama is going to use cap and trade to make electric cars more competitive...

    (lets see)

    restrict coal plants...

    introduce electric cars...

    triple electric rates...

    quadruple gasoline rates...


    230 miles to the gallon and it will cost 40 dollars a day in electricity to drive 5 miles...

  16. for once rat is correct..

    the title could have been jihadists attacked while protecting their own nukes...

    pakistan is a clusterf*ck waiting to happen...

    I hope one day soon, India and Pakistan will slug it out...


    who cares...

  17. From:
    "Chevy Volt to get 230 mpg in City"

    "and, probably, in the area of 40 mpg on the highway."


    Rufus, there are a lot of cars that can exceed 40 mpg and are designed for the hwy.

    The Volt is a city car. After it has used up its electrical banana what kind of city mpg will it get?

    Oh, oh! I knew that if I continued reviewing your remarks there would be trouble.

    "It, also, runs on E85. That means it will get, on average, over 1500 Miles on a Gallon of Gasoline."


    Rufus, my poor, demented, innumerate warrior, WTF are you drinking??

    And can I get it in Canada?

  18. Electricity can easily be generated while not so easily stored.
    This guy will tell you how, for $50.

    Figured for $50, I could figure it out, for myself. Actually, this lady already did the design work and provides all the instructions, for free.

    So, no matter what Mr Obama does to electric rates, you and your "Volt" can rock steady.

    Provided that you have access to sunshine. Which we in AZ have an abundence of.

    Once you're on the path, wi"o", you'll find yourself looking at rural locales, small established communities, where a self-sustaining lifestyle could be implemented, if it had to be, someday.

    A good sized 'Victory' garden, a well and electrical generating capacity. Then one best have some practical abilities, as well.

    If one wanted to 'step up', build a distillery, and you could have a cache of that liquid fuel that will be in such short supply.

    Do not be a victim.
    At least do not wallow in self-fulfilling victimhood for fear of a future that may not arrive.

  19. viktor, the operative word, is "gasoline".

    E85 is juust 15% gasoline.
    So if the vehicle got 40mpg of fuel, that'd be 266.4 miles per gallon of gasoline.

    The factor, in this hypothetical,

    We can grow our own ethanol.
    That certainly makes it greener than gasoline, for the US economy.

  20. If that 320 mpg of E85 was computed, accurately, than 2,100 miles of accumulated city driving could be had, on a gallon of gas.

    Now if these fellows are really developing fast charge capacity on houshold 120v current, then it will not be long until the cars will be able to charge themselves, while driving.

    Which would be a whole new ball game

  21. Most push carts get well over 1000 mpg...

    It's the turns that spill the gas and evaporation that lowers it's rating...

    Better gas can technology can push MPG rates for hand powered push carts well over 2000 MPG soon!

  22. Rufus, my poor, demented, innumerate warrior, WTF are you drinking??

    And can I get it in Canada

    He's just channeling mat, Viktor. So, chances are you can get it in Canada, whatever 'it' is.

  23. Bob's smiling?

    I will have you know, bob, wherever you are, that I am positively rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.

    Posted 'specially for Ash, from Breitbart, Aug. 9:

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday charged that Colombian troops had entered Venezuela across the Orinoco River, a move he warned was a "provocation" by his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe.

    "We are not talking about a patrol with a few soldiers that strayed over a border" into Venezuela, he said.

    "These troops crossed the Orinoco River in a boat and carried out an incursion into Venezuelan territory," Chavez said on his weekly television show "Hello President."


    Can I, um, have a glass of that Two Buck Chuck? Surely you haven't plowed through the whole case already.

  24. A full case awaits your arrival back in the land of Trader Joe and red dirt roads, Trish.

  25. Very kind. I'll bring a bottle of 25 year old Ron Zacapa.

  26. Actually, Rat, that's ezackly what the Volt does. It has No drive train from the flexfuel engine to the wheels.

    Even when the initial charge is gone the "engine" charges the battery, and the battery powers the car. Like a Diesel/hybrid locomotive.

    That way the E85 engine can run at "Optimum" rpms all the time that it's running. No wasting gas, er E85 idling, and no "kicking" it into "Passing Gear."

    Also, of course, anytime you apply the "brakes" it's "recharging" the battery (like the Prius, or any other "Hybrid."

    I think they'll sell a lot of them in the "City." Take my son. He's a salesman; and puts on about 100 miles/day, almost all city. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't look really hard at this car.

    I know, if I lived in L.A., and was commuting every day, I would be looking at it.

    Especially, if we wake up in 2011, and gasoline is $4.00 +/gallon.

  27. C'mon, Ash, don't disappoint me.

    Fuel subsidies to Colombia have been brought to a halt as a consequence of this intolerable act.

  28. Also, she/US/the Colombians categorically deny it.

  29. Needs confirmation, but what doesn't these days.

    Have at it.

    The Dept. of Homeland Security is sending every cop - in every local community - every local law enforcement officer throughout the USA — to Mob and Riot Control training - something that’s never been done before. The all-expenses paid training is being held over the course of 3-days at the Military Police Training Center at Ft. McClellan Army Base, Alabama. Cmdr. Wagner says that this has NEVER before been done, and the training is already underway.

    DHS originally wanted just one person from each police department, who would then go back and teach his fellow officers, but for some reason DHS changed its mind and decided to send ALL of the nation’s 350,000 cops — who will be rotating through the training in the coming weeks. It is not known how long the process will take. Classes have already begun


    More stimulus?

  30. desert rat said:
    "viktor, the operative word, is "gasoline"."

    You're right.

    "Criticize in haste, repent at leisure."

    This round is yours.

    And Rufus, I withdraw the word "innumerate" from my remarks.

  31. Let me throw this one out there.

    230 mpg is over 10 times the mpg of the average vehicle on the road, today.

    The Average person does drive a little less than 40 miles/day (I think.)

    We might have enough ethanol, counting the plants that are currently under construction, and will be open by the end of 2010, to operate our Entire fleet of passenger cars, and light duty trucks.

    Think that one over.

  32. I do not think that is accurate, rufus.

    It may be that if all of the fleet were hybrids than it could be possible.

    But I doubt we'll build bew and replace everyone 300 million existing vehicles by then.

  33. Well, lineman, if there is a need for having the police of the United States to be profecient in riot control techniqques, then getting the best training for them is paramount.

    The propensity for Civil Unrest is high in many locales within the US. Why just having Air Force One fly over NYCity put people there into the streets, it was reported.

    Those that remember the streets of Chi-town, in 1968 want to see a standardized response, from Law Enforcement. If every policieman is given the training, they are legally accountable if the standards are abandoned.

    Team Obamaamerica does have a predisposition that the police are always on the edge of using their authority to excess, including the use of force.

  34. Good news, trish, that the Colombians lose that fuel subsidy.

    The resulting increase in smuggling will cost Hugo plenty.

    The two countries shared $7 billion in commerce last year, with Venezuela exporting oil and chemical products in exchange for food and textiles.

    Venezuela has some of the world's cheapest gasoline, which costs just a few U.S. cents to fill a large tank and makes contraband sales to more costly Colombia big business.

    The OPEC nation says it loses 27,000 barrels per day and $1 billion per year to traffickers ranging from small-time peddlers to large-scale smuggling

    Let Hugo eat that billion bucks. If it costs the Colombians a few bucks, too, well that's just part of their cost structure for US being there to help.

  35. This is even more telling, expecialling citing those "Volt" numbers.

    Colombia's ethanol program began in 2002, based on a law approved in 2001 mandating a mix of 10% ethanol with regular gasoline, and the plan is to gradually reach a 25% blend in twenty-years. Sugar cane-based ethanol production began in 2005, when the law went into effect, and as local production was not enough to supply enough ethanol to the entire country's fleet, the program was implemented only on cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants, such as Cali, Pereira, and the capital city of Bogotá. All of the ethanol production comes from the Department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia's traditional sugar cane region. Cassava is the second source of ehtanaol, and potatoes and castor oil are also being studied.

    On March 2009 the Colombian government enacted a mandate to introduce E85 flexible-fuel cars. The executive decree applies to all gasoline-powered vehicles with engines smaller than 2.0 liters manufactured, imported, and commercialized in the country beginning in 2012, mandating that 60% of such vehicles must have flex-fuel engines capable of running with gasoline or E85, or any blend of both. By 2014 the mandatory quota is 80% and it will reach 100% by 2016. All vehicles with engines bigger than 2.0 liters must be E85 capable starting in 2013. The decree also mandates that by 2011 all gasoline stations must provide infrastructure to guarantee availability of E85 throughout the country. The mandatory introduction of E85 flex-fuels has been controversial

    The Colombos can grow their fuel, y Hugo'll have a hard-on.

  36. la estrella - ‎20 hours ago
    Chavez also halted shipments of subsidized fuel to Colombia, saying Venezuela should not be sending cheap gasoline to an antagonistic neighbor. ...

    He is quoted as saying:

    "Let them buy it at the real price. How are we going to favor Uribe's government in this manner?".

    It seems reeasonable, with Colombia moving towards independence from the oil cartel, by mandating E85, that Hugo sees a provocation.

    Hugo is looking for a staged fight, any excuse will do. Those Panamax tankers that Charlie Chi-com has been building should be about ready. That refinery for Hugo's extra heavy crude, too.

  37. Can the fix be in?

    It just may be that people who are part of the fix are incapable of seeing themselves as part of it. The people at Goldman Sachs undoubtedly believe that their success and influence and power are merely the result of hard work—which, I’ll bet, is exactly what Frank Rich thinks about his success and influence and power (and what his children think about theirs).

    Or, it may be that liberal people—and Rich has become ever more liberal as his columns have become ever longer—think only the illiberal, the “corporatists,” in Rich’s description, put the fix in (liberals, when they put the fix in, are, instead, contributing and adding their voice).

    Or, simply, that the more you become part of the fix, the more the system confirms that you are right and others wrong.

    Frank Rich is one of the great exemplars of naked ambition in the media business. And it’s paid off. He’s a go-to guy

    "that the more you become part of the fix, the more the system confirms that you are right and others wrong".

    The "Fix" is civilization itself, right?

  38. "Back in three hours."

    Oh. Take your time.

  39. Political News & Analysis by Chris Cillizza, writing @ The Fix,

    Nevada Rep. Dean Heller has decided not to run against Harry Reid (D-Nev.), robbing Republicans of their top recruit against the Senate Majority Leader in 2010, according to an informed source.

    Heller, who was elected to the vast 2nd district in 2006, called National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) earlier today to pass on his decision.

    Heller turned down the race despite internal Republican polling -- conducted by the Tarrance Group -- that showed him leading Reid by nine points. Many Republicans believe that Heller would have made the race had it not been for the political implosion of Nevada Sen. John Ensign (R). Ensign's acknowledgment of an extramarital affair with the wife of his former chief of staff is seen as extremely damaging to the Republican brand in the state.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. I don't know if any of you read my essay but here is an excerpt:

    [Barbarian] males are governed by their impulses. The primary personal characteristics of impulsive males are that they are easily bored, act without thought for consequences, lack perseverance, are easily angered, are seekers of sensation, and are not governed by any articulated moral code.

    My wife read my essay and said "that sounds like you." And you know, she may be right.

    But it got me thinking about old men in power.

    Speaking only for myself here, I am impervious to social pressure. It is social pressure that keeps people in line. Civilization is like a garden. You have to tend to it all the time or it reverts back to a natural state. Social pressure is the "tending to the garden" or the weeding out of undesirable traits.

    I have more than enough money to last me until the end. The friends I have are all fellow racers. We have the same ethos, if it can be called that. If we have an appetite for something then we indulge ourselves. We look like we conform to social norms but it is only appearances.

    Still, auto racing and other risky activities only affect the participants. But suppose we held political office?

    Which brings me back to old men in power. Some questions: can they be trusted? Do we have the means to hold them in check? Should there be an age limit for elected office?

  42. Gosh, viktor, I have to retire. Look at the time.