Nuclear Threat Reduction Measures for India and Pakistan

CRS Report for Congress
Nuclear Threat Reduction Measures
for India and Pakistan
Updated February 17, 2005
Sharon Squassoni
Specialist in National Defense
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

Nuclear Threat Reduction Measures
for India and Pakistan
Since India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons in 1998, there has been a
debate on whether the United States should provide assistance in making those
weapons safer and more secure. In the wake of September 11, 2001, interest in this
kind of assistance has grown for several reasons: the possibility of terrorists gaining
access to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons seems higher, the U.S. military is forging new
relationships with both Pakistan and India in the war on terrorism, and heightened
tension in Kashmir in 2002 threatened to push both states closer to the brink of
nuclear war. In October 2001, media reported that the United States was providing
assistance to Pakistan to keep its weapons safe, although those reports have not been
confirmed. Revelations in 2004 that Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan was selling
nuclear technology (and reportedly a nuclear bomb design) to Iran, Libya, and North
Korea also helped to renew interest in making, in particular, Pakistan’s nuclear
weapons program more secure from exploitation. The report of the 9/11 Commission
also called for continued support for threat reduction assistance to keep weapons of
mass destruction (WMD) away from terrorist groups.
In the 108th Congress, the Nunn-Lugar Expansion Act (Section 1308 of FY2004
Defense Authorization Act, PL 108-136) allowed the Department of Defense to
spend up to $50 million in unobligated funds on cooperative threat reduction (CTR)
measures outside the former Soviet Union. In the 109th Congress, it is likely that
similar legislation will be introduced again. The Bush administration used $20
million of CTR funds to dismantle chemical weapons-related items in Albania, but
proponents of expanding CTR have mentioned many other countries as possible
recipients: India, Pakistan, China, North Korea, Iraq, and Libya, to name a few.
This paper describes why Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) programs
developed for the former Soviet Union are considered models for assistance
elsewhere and their potential application in India and Pakistan. The paper considers
the types of assistance provided under CTR and potential constraints on U.S.
assistance in this area, including domestic and international legal and political
restrictions on cooperation with states outside the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
(NPT); the low level of cooperation and transparency exhibited by India and
Pakistan; lack of incentives for India and Pakistan to pursue threat reduction
measures; and potentially competing objectives of threat reduction and nuclear
This report, which will be updated as events warrant, complements CRS Report
RL32359, Globalizing Cooperative Threat Reduction: A Survey of Options, and CRS
Report RS21840, Expanding Threat Reduction and Nonproliferation Programs:
Concepts and Definitions.

In troduction ......................................................1
Congressional Action...........................................3
Cooperative Threat Reduction........................................4
CTR as Precedent..............................................5
CTR’s Critics.................................................7
South Asia Context................................................7
Nuclear Material Security.......................................8
Nuclear Material Safeguards: IAEA Safeguards......................8
Nuclear Weapons Security.......................................9
Personnel Security............................................10
Nonproliferation Context...........................................11
U.S. Nonproliferation Laws.....................................13
Current U.S. Nonproliferation Policy.............................14
Constraints on U.S. Assistance......................................15
International Legal Constraints..................................15
Domestic Legal Constraints.....................................17
The Atomic Energy Act....................................17
Export Regulations.......................................19
Technical Constraints..........................................21
Political Constraints...........................................21
Policy Options...................................................22
Site Security.................................................23
Material Security.............................................23
Nuclear Weapons Security......................................24
Personnel Security............................................24
Issues for Congress...............................................25
Costs .......................................................25
Certifications ................................................25
Other Considerations..........................................26

Nuclear Threat Reduction Measures
for India and Pakistan
The September 11, 2001 attacks reinforced the importance of efforts to stop the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In particular, many analysts agree that
some countries need greater protection against terrorist access to weapons of mass
destruction (WMD) on their territories. The report of the 9/11 Commission called
for continued support for threat reduction assistance to keep WMD away from
terrorist groups.
Pakistan, because of its location, the nature of its relationship to the Taliban and
Al Qaeda, and its weapons of mass destruction programs, has generated particular
concern. Repeated assassination attempts on President Musharraf, AQ Khan’s
nuclear sales to North Korea, Iran, and Libya, and a continuous battle with terrorist
elements within the country, have made Pakistan the most crucial node of the nexus
of terrorism and WMD proliferation. Moreover, a combination of doctrinal
preference (for first use of nuclear weapons) and conventional force inferiority has
given Pakistan strong incentives to forward-deploy its nuclear forces, leading many
observers to conclude that assistance to secure Pakistan’s nuclear warheads could be
critical. Analysts inside and outside government have raised the possibility of U.S.
assistance to help reduce the threat of nuclear weapons losses in India and Pakistan.1
Suggested measures have ranged from “guards and gates” around nuclear sites to
permissive action links (which act as locks) on nuclear weapons to prevent
unauthorized use.
In a speech in December of 2001, Senator Lugar noted that concerns had been
raised immediately following September 11, 2001 about the security of Pakistan’s
nuclear weapons program and that “similar questions will be raised about India’s.”
He then noted uncertainties about the WMD programs of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya and2
North Korea. In contrast to those five countries, four of which are on the State
Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism, Senator Lugar noted that “the closer

1 See, in particular, two papers written on this subject: Gottemoeller, Rose, with
Longsworth, Rebecca, “Enhancing Nuclear Security in the Counter-terrorism Struggle: India
and Pakistan as a New Region for Cooperation, Carnegie Endowment Non-Proliferation
Project Working Paper Number 29, August 2002. See also Lee Feinstein, James Clad,
Lewis Dunn, David Albright, “A New Equation: US Policy toward India and Pakistan After
September 11,” Carnegie Endowment Non-Proliferation Project Working Paper Number 27,
May 2002.
2 Sen. Lugar, Richard, “The Lugar Doctrine,” December 6, 2001, available on
[ ]

ties that have developed since September 11th with India and Pakistan offer new
opportunities to discuss nuclear security with both countries, including safe storage
and accountability. We must attempt to establish programs that respect their
sovereignty and go far to help insure their security.” Lugar also suggested that
cooperative programs with Iran, Syria, or Libya should not be ruled out.
In an article published in July 2002, Senator Lugar explained that
The precise replication of the Nunn-Lugar program will not be possible
everywhere, but the experience of Nunn-Lugar in Russia has demonstrated that
the threat of weapons of mass destruction can lead to extraordinary outcomes
based on mutual interest...Nations cooperating on securing instruments of mass
destruction might also pledge to work cooperatively on measures to retrieve
weapons or materials that are in danger of falling into the wrong hands, and to3
come to the aid of any victim of nuclear, chemical, or biological terrorism
In the specific case of India and Pakistan, there may be key differences from
the FSU that limit the program’s applicability. Many of those differences stem from
the fact that India and Pakistan are not “legal” nuclear weapon states under the
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), as Russia was. The United States is
currently prohibited from providing many kinds of assistance to non-nuclear weapon4
states, particularly those without full-scope nuclear safeguards. Most types of
assistance the United States can feasibly provide would probably focus on helping
secure nuclear materials and providing employment for personnel, rather than on
security of nuclear weapons. Extreme sensitivity in India and Pakistan about their
nuclear weapons and programs will also likely restrict access to facilities, which in
turn will limit how well assistance can be tailored to potential problems. Also,
technical measures to make weapons safer from unauthorized use may make those
weapons more deployable or usable and thus inadvertently undermine the goal of
reducing the nuclear threat. Nonetheless, some measures may be useful.
This paper takes CTR programs as a starting point and analyzes their potential
application to India and Pakistan. In providing context for assessing U.S. policy
options, the paper outlines the proliferation threat in South Asia and U.S.
nonproliferation policy. The paper distinguishes between assistance oriented toward
making nuclear weapons more secure, and assistance oriented toward making nuclear
material more secure. Given the existing framework of nonproliferation-related laws
and policies, measures focused on nuclear material and personnel may be more
feasible in the short term.

3 Sen. Lugar, Richard. “The U.S.-Russian Front Against Terrorism and Weapons
Proliferation” in U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda, p. 4. Available at
[ ournals/itps/0702/ij pe/lugar.htm] .
4 Non-nuclear-weapon states party to the NPT are obligated to place all nuclear material on
their territory under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, known as full-
scope safeguards. See CRS Report RL31559, Proliferation Control Regimes: Background
and Status.

Congressional Action
Congressional action on expanding the application of CTR began in the 107th
Congress, when Senator Lugar introduced a bill (S. 206) to allow DoD to use up to
$50M in unspent CTR funds in countries outside the former Soviet Union (FSU).
The provision would have allowed DoD to “respond to emergency proliferation risks
and less urgent cooperative opportunities to further nonproliferation goals.” The
House bill prohibited such uses of CTR funds, and in conference, both sides agreed
to drop the provisions.
The 107th Congress also specifically addressed Indian and Pakistani
nonproliferation issues in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act Fiscal Year 2003
(P.L. 107-228), which contained a provision on nuclear and missile proliferation in
South Asia . That provision stated that it will be the policy of the United States to
encourage India and Pakistan to “establish a modern, effective system to protect and
secure nuclear devices and materiel from unauthorized use, accidental employment,
or theft.” P.L. 107-228 stipulated that any assistance must be consistent with U.S.
obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Section 1601 in Title
XVI states that it shall be the policy of the United States, consistent with its
obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to
encourage and work with India and Pakistan to achieve the following by September


!nuclear test moratorium
!commitment not to deploy nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles that
could carry nuclear weapons and to restrain the ranges and types of
missiles developed or deployed
!agreement by both countries to align their export controls with
international nonproliferation regimes
!establishment of export control system for sensitive dual-use items,
technology, technical information and material used in the design,
development, or production of WMD and ballistic missiles
!bilateral meetings between senior Indian and Pakistani officials to
discuss security issues and establish confidence-building measures
with respect to nuclear policies and programs.
A separate subsection stated that it shall be the policy of the United States,
consistent with its NPT obligations, to encourage, and where appropriate, work with
the governments of India and Pakistan to achieve not later than September 30, 2003,
the establishment of “modern, effective systems to protect and secure nuclear
devices and materiel from unauthorized use, accidental employment, or theft.” The
conferees noted that “any such dialogue with India or Pakistan would not be
represented or considered, nor would it be intended, as granting any recognition to
India or Pakistan, as appropriate, as a nuclear weapon state.”5 The section required
the President to submit a report to Congress no later than March 1, 2003 on U.S.
efforts to achieve the objectives and likelihood of success by September 2003.

5 See Conference Report 107-671.

In the 108th Congress, the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L.
108-16, Sec. 1308) authorized the Bush Administration to spend $50 million of
unobligated funds from the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program in states outside
the former Soviet Union. As of January 2005, the Administration had spent such $20
million only in Albania for the purpose of eliminating chemical weapons stockpiles.
On November 16, 2004, Senator Lugar introduced S. 2980, which sought to remove
some restrictions associated with using CTR funds outside of the FSU. In brief, the
bill would remove CTR program-wide restrictions on spending the money (including
certifications), remove the $50-million cap, remove restrictions on spending money
for chemical weapons destruction, and provide “notwithstanding” authority.
Although the legislation remained in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it is
likely to be introduced again in the 109th Congress.
In the 109th Congress, Senator Biden introduced S. 12, the Targeting Terrorists
More Effectively Act of 2005, on January 24, 2005. The bill identifies proliferation
of nuclear weapons and promotion of democracy as two of several issues that
threaten the United States’ relationship with Pakistan and would authorize $10M in
the Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining and Related Programs account
(State) to be spent in Pakistan. However, the bill would bar any military or economic
assistance appropriated for the fiscal year unless the President certifies that such
assistance is not going to individuals that oppose or undermine U.S. nonproliferation
Cooperative Threat Reduction
Congress enacted the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR)
program in 1991, addressing, in Senator Lugar’s words, “the dominant international
proliferation danger: the massive nuclear, chemical and biological weapons
infrastructure of the former Soviet Union.”6 The CTR program had four key
!Destroy nuclear, chemical, and other weapons of mass destruction;
!Transport, store, disable, and safeguard these weapons in connection
with their destruction;
!Establish verifiable safeguards against the proliferation of these
weapons, their components, and weapons-usable materials; and
!Prevent the diversion of scientific expertise that could contribute to
weapons programs in other nations.
According to Senator Lugar, the CTR program to date has separated 6,564
Russian nuclear warheads from their missiles and stored fissile material from those
weapons. Over 30,000 tactical nuclear weapons have been stored, and non-weapons
employment provided for thousands of Russian nuclear scientists.7

6 Sen. Lugar, Richard, “The Lugar Doctrine,” []
7 See CRS Report 97-1027, Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Programs: Issues
for Congress, and CRS Issue Brief IB98038, Nuclear Weapons in Russia: Safety, Security
and Control Issues.

CTR programs have encompassed three areas of effort: destruction and
dismantlement; chain of custody; and demilitarization. Destruction and
dismantlement activities included removing warheads, deactivating missiles and
eliminating launch facilities for strategic weapons under the START I agreement.
Efforts to improve the safety, security, and control over nuclear weapons and fissile
materials have included providing storage containers, bullet-proof blankets, secure
rail cars, and building a plutonium storage facility at Mayak. Demilitarization
projects have included defense conversion projects and International Science and
Technology Center projects to help WMD scientists pursue work with peaceful
objectives and military-to-military contacts.
CTR programs have evolved and expanded over time, adjusting to Russian, NIS,
and U.S. priorities, as well as to changing perceptions about which threats posed the
greatest risk. The programs have also bowed to bureaucratic intransigence and
practical considerations upon occasion. In one notable incident, the Department of
Energy provided blankets to facility guards, because DoE officials discovered that
they were leaving their posts to collect wood to build fires. As the economy
worsened in Russia in the mid-1990s, CTR projects were developed to provide
alternative employment and sources of income for unpaid or out-of-work WMD
scientists. At the same time, more frequent reports of theft of nuclear material
highlighted the need to allocate CTR resources to material protection, control and
accounting (MPCA) measures for nuclear material, consolidation of nuclear weapons
and material; and secure transportation. The United States developed a practical
approach: “quick-fixes,” like bars on windows, blast-proof doors, fences, followed
by a second stage that included more sophisticated security measures like sensors,
cameras, and personnel access measures. 8
CTR as Precedent
The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, at its inception, was a novel
approach to a novel problem. The idea that two former adversaries could cooperate
on such sensitive matters as nuclear weapons and material security was radical, but
so too was the prospect of Russia’s WMD infrastructure unraveling. Although some
of the kinds of assistance and measures undertaken in the CTR program are clearly
applicable to India and Pakistan, the circumstances that have led to the development
of a similar nuclear terrorist threat are quite different. Among the many factors that
have made CTR successful, one of the key factors was a basic level of agreement
about the threat and a willingness to cooperate. Russia had already agreed to
strategic nuclear reductions under START I — the only question was how to
implement those reductions quickly and who would pay for them. The fact that
Soviet nuclear weapons had been targeted at the United States for so many years
presented a compelling reason for the United States to help.

8 See remarks by Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy UnderSecretary for Defense and
Nonproliferation in the Department of Energy, in a transcript of Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace Nonproliferation Roundtable, held on September 23, 2001, entitled
“Pakistan’s Nuclear Dilemma.” []

Obviously, there is no similar agreement between India and Pakistan or with the
United States. Moreover, India has long maintained that it will disarm when the
other nuclear weapon states reduce their stockpiles to a similar level. Thus,
destruction and dismantlement activities are not now applicable. CTR chain of
custody programs applied to the weapons and material that were taken out of service
and thus did not raise questions about enhancing safety, security and control over
Russia’s active nuclear weapons stockpile. Doing similar things for India and
Pakistan might be desirable from a security standpoint, but questionable politically.
Establishing verifiable safeguards against the proliferation of existing nuclear
weapons, components, and materials is the most applicable of all the CTR objectives
for India and Pakistan. However, the situation of Pakistan and India is different from
that in Russia and offers one major complication: threat reduction measures aimed
at an outside/terrorist threat may conflict with nuclear deterrence. For example,
making materials and weapons safe from theft or espionage may logically lead to
consolidating material and weapons at as few sites as possible. However, that
consolidation could increase one’s vulnerability to a preemptive strike by an
adversary. In the case of Russia and the NIS, the risk of a preemptive strike did not
weigh into calculations of risk; any obstacles to consolidation have been primarily
those of cost and effort in constructing adequate facilities (like the Mayak plutonium
storage facility). For India and Pakistan, however, the fear of a preemptive strike is
prominent. Rumors of an Indian or even Israeli preemptive attack on Pakistani
nuclear weapons capabilities have erupted in Pakistan predictably during crises.9
The last objective — that of preventing diversion of scientific expertise — is
also applicable to India and Pakistan. However, the underlying causes for concern
are different, and therefore may call for different solutions. In the Russian case, the
lack of financial security has been a documented incentive for scientists to offer their
services abroad;10 in Pakistan, the incentive is more likely to be associated with
sympathy for terrorist aims. “Brain drain” projects in the NIS have been predicated
on the assumption that there are more scientists than can be paid or are needed, but
there are no indications that Pakistani and Indian scientists are superfluous to their
nuclear weapons programs. Both India and Pakistan are probably interested in
retaining their nuclear experts. Although it has been politically acceptable to fund
former WMD scientists in Russia and the NIS to do non-weapons-related work, it
might be politically unacceptable to fund current WMD scientists in India and
Pakistan at higher levels simply to keep them “in the program.” Brain-drain projects
in India and Pakistan, if such projects were implemented, would likely focus on
personnel reliability testing and psychological profiling.

9 According to George Perkovich, this occurred in the 1982 and 1990 crises, and the period
in 1998 before Pakistan tested its nuclear devices. See Perkovich’s remarks at September

23, 2001 Carnegie Endowment roundtable on “Pakistan’s nuclear dilemma.”

10 See study by Tikhonov, Valentin, Russia’s Nuclear and Missile Complex: The Human
Factor in Proliferation, Study for Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2001.

CTR’s Critics
Some arguments against expanding CTR challenge its effectiveness. Opponents
have suggested that assisting Russia has simply created opportunities for the Russians
to spend their money in other defense-related areas. Some supporters, in contrast,
argue that CTR has not done enough quickly enough. Those that argue that CTR has
not done enough have suggested that the programs have focused misguidedly on
nuclear weapons rather than nuclear material security, wherein the greatest threat
Some analysts believe that any assistance at all sends the wrong message to
India and Pakistan (e.g., acceptance of their possession of nuclear weapons), that
assistance could be misused or misappropriated and that, in the end, U.S. assistance
may wind up improving Indian and Pakistani nuclear capabilities in ways we had not
foreseen. Proponents of the CTR program in the NIS have argued that the program
was implemented with a key principle — that cooperation would serve the objective
of enhancing physical security and protection of nuclear assets and not enhance any
operational capabilities.12 Some argue that this principle, particularly since India and
Pakistan have not joined the NPT and are de jure non-nuclear-weapons states
(NNWS), must also be adhered to in the case of any assistance to those states.
South Asia Context
Simply put, there are two basic nuclear risks in South Asia: first, that terrorists
will acquire nuclear material or nuclear weapons, and second, that nuclear war will
erupt through miscalculation, through preemption, or through sudden escalation. The
threat of terrorism calls primarily for greater physical security at weapons sites and
sites where nuclear material is produced or stored, particularly weapons-grade
material (highly enriched uranium or separated plutonium). The threat of accidental
nuclear war calls for safer nuclear weapons, whereas reducing the risk of preemptive
or sudden war would require enhancing command and control and possibly
transparency between the two states. Some observers have suggested that making
nuclear weapons safer (through insensitive high explosives or shaping the cores so
that they will not give a nuclear yield if improperly detonated) also makes them more
deployable and thus increases the risk of their use. Given the questionable
desirability of measures to enhance Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons
capabilities, this paper will assume that any nuclear threat reduction measures will
focus on physical security measures, rather than safety measures.

11 GAO study — WMD: Reducing the Threat from the Former Soviet Union: An Update.
GAO/NSIAD-95-165 June 1995.
12 Gottemoeller, Rose, with Longsworth, Rebecca, “Enhancing Nuclear Security in the
Counter-terrorism Struggle: India and Pakistan as a New Region for Cooperation, Carnegie
Endowment Non-Proliferation Project Working Paper Number 29, August 2002.

Nuclear Material Security
Nuclear material security is a concern for all states in the context of a terrorist
threat. Physical security has long been considered a subset of international
safeguards, but it has never been a prerequisite for placing nuclear material under
international safeguards. It can be a requirement of bilateral nuclear trade, however,
and the United States requires physical security measures on some of the nuclear
material it exports, mostly in conjunction with military programs. Often, physical
security measures are implemented as a matter of course in implementing safeguards,
since states have to account for missing material in their physical inventories.
India and Pakistan may provide particularly attractive targets because they have
weapons-grade material on their soil, but terrorists’ interest in a radiological dispersal
device may make any or all radioactive sources potentially attractive to steal. India
and Pakistan became parties to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear
Material in 2002 and 2000, respectively. This Convention, which entered into force
in 1987, was designed to protect nuclear material in transit between countries. The
CPPNM defines a range of nuclear terrorist activities and requires parties to
criminalize those activities. It does not cover physical protection of domestic
nuclear material in storage or use, nor does it cover byproduct material.13 The United
States and other members of the Convention have been working for several years to
expand the scope of the agreement, and agreed in September 2002 to extend physical
protection to domestic use and storage. The IAEA has circulated proposed
amendments to the convention, which may be considered in 2005. Both India and
Pakistan have been active in discussions on expanding the Convention.
Since 1995, the International Atomic Energy Agency has conducted (although
mostly outside of the regular budget) physical protection assessment programs, called
International Physical Protection Advisory Service missions. States must request
assistance, and then an international team conducts a confidential vulnerability
assessment and recommends measures to address physical protection shortfalls.
Neither India nor Pakistan has requested such a mission, and in the opinion of some
observers, they are unlikely to do so because of the sensitivity of their facilities.
However, in May 2002, the IAEA conducted a joint safety and security workshop in
Islamabad. While Pakistan has participated in IAEA technical cooperation programs,
India has not participated since the 1980s. In 2002, India requested a regional
workshop on physical protection focused on security awareness and culture. India
was among several states in which the IAEA conducted physical protection-related
seminars in 2003.
Nuclear Material Safeguards: IAEA Safeguards
Most of the material and facilities in India and Pakistan is not subject to
international safeguards. In India, there are safeguards on 6 reactors (Tarapur 1 & 2,
LEU-fueled power reactors; Rajasthan RAPS-1 and -2, which use natural uranium;

13 Many concerns about radioactive “orphan” sources would not be addressed under the
convention, because that material is considered to be byproduct material — that is material
that is produced as a byproduct of irradiating special nuclear material.

and Koodankulam-1 and -2, LEU-fueled power reactors). In addition, the Tarapur
plutonium reprocessing facility (Prefre) is safeguarded when safeguarded fuel is used
in the facility and the Tarapur MOX fuel fabrication plant has safeguards when it
runs safeguarded material through it. The Hyderabad fuel fabrication plant has
partial safeguards.
Key nuclear weapons-related facilities in India that are not subject to IAEA
inspections include the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) in Trombay, which
houses the Cirus and Dhruva research reactors for plutonium production, plutonium
reprocessing plants and a pilot-scale uranium enrichment plant.14 These sites, as well
as storage sites for weapons-grade material or for weapons themselves could be
highly attractive to terrorists because they may contain weapons-usable nuclear
Pakistan has IAEA safeguards on a few facilities. The KANUPP power reactor,
which uses natural uranium, Chasma-1, LEU-fueled power reactor, and two research
reactors at Rawalpindi that have used HEU in the past are under international
safeguards. The following facilities are not under safeguards: the Khan Research
Laboratories at Kahuta, which include a uranium enrichment plant and facilities for
fabricating HEU into weapons; centrifuge enrichment plants at Sihala, Golra and
Wah/Gadwal, the Chasma reprocessing plant, and PINSTECH and SPINSTECH
facilities related to reprocessing at Rawalpindi.15 These nuclear material production
sites, as well as weaponization, storage and assembly sites (if separate facilities
exist), could be high-value targets for terrorists.
Nuclear Weapons Security
Since the 1998 nuclear tests, India and Pakistan appear to have accelerated
nuclear weapons development and, possibly, deployments. Most observers still
believe that neither Pakistan nor India has deployed warheads mated with delivery
systems. Fissile material components (pits) are thought to be kept separately from
the rest of the warhead. Such a physical separation helps deter unauthorized use and
complicates theft. In the early years of the U.S. nuclear weapons program, fissile
material components of warheads were physically separated; in the earliest bombs,
the two were mated in the bomb-bay of the aircraft. When nuclear missiles entered
the U.S. inventory, the warheads were physically separated from the missiles. In
addition to physical separation, however, there need to be rules and procedures for
authorized use; it is not clear what those are for India or Pakistan. India and Pakistan
have been moving towards more structured nuclear command and control authority,
organization, and strategic planning. However, there is no information on whether
they have implemented two-man rules (a requirement for the concurrent involvement

14 See Cirincione, Joseph, with Wolfsthal, Jon B. and Rajkumar, Miriam, Deadly Arsenals:
Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction (Washington DC: Carnegie Endowment) 2002, pp.
201-205 for listings and maps of Indian nuclear facilities, both safeguarded and
unsafeguarded. (Referred to hereafter as Deadly Arsenals)
15 See Cirincione, Wolfsthal, and Rajkumar, Deadly Arsenals, pp. 217-219 for listings and
maps of Pakistani nuclear facilities, both safeguarded and unsafeguarded.

of at least two people to be able to fire a weapon) or other procedures for ensuring
no unauthorized use.
There is no reliable information on where fissile material is shaped or machined
into components for weapons, or where fissile cores are kept if they are separated
from other weapon components and delivery systems for India and Pakistan. Some
observers believe that nuclear weapons parts are “probably distributed in a number
of tightly secured facilities at different locations throughout Pakistan.”16 Physical
security in the case of Pakistan is provided by the military. India has kept strong
civilian oversight of the weapons program, with the military kept predominantly at
arm’s length. However, the details of security in both cases are unknown. In April
2000, the Indian government ended independent safety oversight at BARC, the
“nerve center” of the Indian nuclear weapons program. Some analysts have
interpreted this change as an indication of accelerated nuclear weapons work at
On October 2, 2001, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement that “Our
nuclear assets are 100% secure, under multiple custody.” Media reported that
Pakistan had moved nuclear weapons components to several undisclosed locations.
Subsequently, President Musharraf reorganized elements of the Pakistan Atomic
Energy Commission (PAEC) and investigated several nuclear weapons scientists who
reportedly had ties to Islamic extremists.
Personnel Security
In terms of personnel security, concerns have focused mostly on Pakistan, and
most recently, on the activities of Pakistani nuclear freelancer Dr. A.Q. Khan.18 At
the end of 2003, evidence from Libya revealed that Khan had sold a variety of
nuclear materials, technology, equipment, and even a bomb design, to Libya, Iran,
and North Korea over two decades. Although there were reports that President
Musharraf knew of improprieties regarding Khan in 1999, Musharraf took no steps
to rein in Khan until 2001. At that time, Khan was “forced” to retire as director of
Khan Research Laboratories and given a job as special advisor to President
Musharraf.19 Before that, however, he had amassed millions of dollars in selling
nuclear technology to rogue states. Pakistani officials claimed that they tightened
controls on their nuclear weapons program with the creation of the National
Command Authority (NCA) in February 2000. One of the features of those controls
is the screening of key people in the Pakistani nuclear weapons program every two

16 Kampani, Guarav, “Safety Concerns About the Command and Control of Pakistan’s
Strategic Forces, Fissile Material, and Nuclear Installations,” Center for Nonproliferation
Studies, Monterey Institute of International Affairs.
17 Cirincione, Wolfsthal, and Rajkumar, Deadly Arsenals, p. 195.
18 See CRS Report RL32745, Pakistan’s Nuclear Proliferation Activities and the
Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission: U.S. Policy Constraints and Options.
19 See Sharon Squassoni, “Closing Pandora’s Box: Pakistan’s role in Nuclear Proliferation,”
Arms Control Today, April 2004.

years by the Inter Services Intelligence Agency, Military Intelligence, the Intelligence
Bureau, and the Strategic Plan Division of the NCA. However, “top-level people
(including scientists) are controlled by their organizations and not psychologically
screened.”20 Much less is known about Indian personnel security. Although India
set up a Nuclear Command Authority similar to Pakistan’s in January 2003, there is
little information on whether associated personnel screening measures have been
Nonproliferation Context
Until North Korea’s February 2005 declaration of a nuclear weapons capability,
India and Pakistan were the only states outside the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of21
Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to declare, openly, their nuclear weapons status. When
India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons in 1998, a curious dilemma emerged for
the international community — was it possible to acknowledge a nuclear weapons
capability without conferring nuclear weapons status? Several months after the test,
then Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott stated in Foreign Affairs that the
United States “cannot concede, even by implication, that India and Pakistan have by
their tests established themselves as nuclear-weapons states... To relent would break
faith with those states that have forsworn a capability they could have acquired.
Moreover, it might inadvertently provide an incentive for other countries to blast
their way into the ranks of the nuclear-weapons states.”22 The international
community so far has sidestepped questions of nuclear weapons status, but some
have suggested that India and Pakistan have become a model for new nuclear weapon23
On the question of nuclear assistance to non-nuclear weapon states, however,
consensus in the international community is strong, well-established, and embodied
in the NPT. Before the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty entered into force in 1970,
views on sharing nuclear technology and even nuclear weapons swung wildly
between sharing everything and sharing nothing. According to one source, the
United States contemplated giving India some nuclear weapons to counter the24
Chinese nuclear arsenal, shortly after China’s first nuclear test in 1964. Nuclear

20 Report from a visit to Pakistan conducted by Paolo Cotta-Ramusino and Maurizio
Martellini in 2001 and published in “Nuclear safety, nuclear stability and nuclear strategy
in Pakistan: A Concise report of a visit by Landau Network-Centro Volta.”
21 Other states that have made declarations about either nuclear weapons (e.g., South Africa)
or nuclear weapons programs, have done so in the context of relinquishing those programs
or weapons and thus relinquishing such status. North Korea withdrew from the NPT on
April 10, 2003 and declared it had a nuclear weapon on February 10, 2005.
22 Talbott, Strobe, “Dealing with the Bomb in South Asia,” Foreign Affairs,
January/February 1999, Volume 78, No. 2. p.119.
23 One Chinese official publicly stated that North Korea wants to become the next India or
Pakistan. Proceedings from a conference in Beijing author attended, February 2, 2005.
24 Perkovich, George, India’s Nuclear Bomb, (CA: University of California Press, 1999), p.

weapon states have voluntarily shared technology among themselves and some have
spied on each other. China initially advocated nuclear proliferation as an inevitable
and possibly stabilizing factor in world relations (although it joined the NPT in
1992). Nuclear weapon states have also shared technology with those states outside
the NPT, the most notable example being China’s reported sharing of nuclear
weapons blueprints with Pakistan. And, reportedly, Pakistan shared that design with
Li b ya . 25
Negotiators of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in the mid-1960s
realized that almost any kind of international nuclear assistance is potentially useful
to a nuclear weapons program.26 Nuclear weapons — more than biological or
chemical weapons, or missiles — require such precision in design and construction
that any assistance, from technical information, to hints about solving technical
problems (for example, how to shape the fissile core), to equipment or components
— can be valuable to an aspiring nuclear weapons state. Therefore, nuclear weapon
states, under Article I of the NPT, commit “not to transfer to any recipient
whatsoever nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices or control over such
weapons or devices, directly or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage or
induce any non-nuclear weapon state to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear
weapons or nuclear explosive devices.”27 In contrast to the obligation of the non-
nuclear-weapon states under Article II not to receive nuclear weapons or related
assistance, this commitment incurred no verification measures. In part, this omission
may have rested on the assumption that holders of nuclear weapons technology
would not impart the most sophisticated and directly weapons-relevant information
to non-nuclear weapons states. Clearly, however, negotiators felt comfortable with
focusing verification on the recipient states. All states are obliged under Article III,
paragraph 2 of the treaty not to provide source or special fissionable material or
equipment to any non-nuclear-weapon state unless the material is subject to IAEA
Nuclear safeguards are the primary means “to establish and clarify the peaceful
purpose of most international nuclear assistance.”28 Not simply an invention of the
NPT, safeguards existed in bilateral arrangements since the earliest nuclear trade as
a way of preventing the misuse of material with obvious military applications.
Beyond their technical importance in ensuring that states cannot develop nuclear

24 (...continued)

116. The author cites State Department Study S/P-66-34-UNNC4.

25 See CRS Report RL32745, Pakistan’s Nuclear Proliferation Activities and the
Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission: U.S. Policy Constraints and Options.
26 Willrich, Mason, Non-Proliferation Treaty: Framework for Nuclear Arms Control (VA:
The Michie Company, 1969), p. 94. Willrich was assistant general counsel at the US Arms
Control and Disarmament Agency from 1962 to 1965.
27 For more information on the obligations of nuclear weapon states under Article I and
those of non-nuclear weapon states under Article III, see Shaker, Mohamed I., The Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty: Origin and Implementation, 1959-1979, (NY: Oceana
Publications, Inc., 1980) and Willrich, Mason, Non-Proliferation Treaty.
28 Willrich, Mason, Non-Proliferation Treaty, p. 94.

weapons “the quick way,” safeguards have become the acid test for a state’s
nonproliferation-worthiness. U.S. export control laws, arms export control laws and
nonproliferation policies have incorporated the distinction between those states with
full-scope safeguards (on all material in their state) and those without. Moreover, the
international nuclear nonproliferation regime has taken its cues from laws and
policies developed by the United States. When, for example, the Nuclear Suppliers’
Group adopted full-scope safeguards as a prerequisite for nuclear supply, it was
adopting a policy that the United States had implemented a decade earlier. Since the
discovery of the Khan network, efforts have accelerated to make the new
nonproliferation acid test the adoption of the Additional Protocol.
At the same time, efforts to prevent proliferation have not blinded states to
concerns about the safety and security of proliferant states’ nuclear weapons. To
some observers, however, proposals to provide security and safety measures seem to
be tainted by a certain hubris — that is, nuclear weapon states have considered
themselves to be responsible with their nuclear weapons, whereas lesser
industrialized states could not be as responsible.29 Until China’s nuclear test, the
only nuclear weapon states were those with large, industrial economies. To some
extent, global concern about terrorism might lessen sensitivities about whether or not
India or Pakistan “need” help. Nonetheless, repeated Pakistani officials’ statements
to the press about the security of their arsenal appear to reflect a”hands-off” attitude,
implying that Pakistan is quite able to protect and secure its own weapons.30 India,
for its part, has remained silent on the subject. More importantly, however, the
sensitivity surrounding nuclear weapons is such that even between the closest of
allies — for example, the United States and the United Kingdom — proposals to
share permissive action links (PALs, which only allow authorized parties to arm the
warhead) reportedly have been met with disinterest.31
U.S. Nonproliferation Laws
In the years following the first Indian nuclear test in 1974, it became clear that
Pakistan was seeking to attain a nuclear weapons capability to counter what it
perceived as the Indian threat. A 1976 cooperation agreement with China and
nuclear shopping expeditions in Western Europe in the 1980s helped Pakistan’s
program to forge ahead. Congress enacted the Glenn-Symington amendments in
1977 (amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, Sec 669 and 670), which
cut off aid to countries that imported enrichment or reprocessing capabilities. The
Carter, Reagan and Bush (George Herbert Walker) administrations waived sanctions
required by sections 669 and 670 because of Pakistan’s support to Afghan refugees

29 Congressional hearings related to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 reveal that the United
States even had concerns about France and its drive for nuclear weapons.
30 Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry issued the following statement: “Our nuclear assets are 100%
secure, under multiple custody.” Kyoto News Service, October 2, 2001.
31 Stein, Peter and Feaver, Peter, Assuring Control of Nuclear Weapons: The Evolution of
Permissive Action Links, Center for Science and International Affairs, CSIA Occasional
Paper No. 2, Harvard University, 1987, p. 86. Stein and Feaver wrote that the United States
attempted to describe PAL technology to the British, but they did not show a great deal of

and guerillas. In 1985, Congress passed the Pressler amendment (Section 620(e)),
which conditioned aid to Pakistan on a Presidential determination that Pakistan did
not “possess a nuclear explosive device and that the proposed U.S. assistance
program will reduce significantly the risk that Pakistan will possess a nuclear
explosive device.” In 1990, shortly after the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan,
President Bush did not make that certification and aid to Pakistan was terminated.
Between 1990 and 1995, Pakistan and India were subject to the following
restrictions: no U.S. assistance other than humanitarian or food aid, no military sales
or financing, no US-government-backed credit or financial assistance, no U.S.
support for international financial institutions’ loans, no U.S.-backed loans, no
licenses for exports, and no assistance from the Export-Import Bank. In 1995, the
Pressler amendment was modified to apply just to military assistance.
In 1998, with the nuclear tests, however, sanctions were tightened. President
Clinton was required by law (Section 102b of Arms Export Control Act, or Glenn-
Symington and Pressler amendments) to place sanctions on India and Pakistan as a
direct result of their 1998 nuclear tests. Other countries also responded to the tests
by imposing economic sanctions. Many of those states, including the United States,
lifted sanctions quickly thereafter. Nonetheless, prohibitions regarding nuclear trade
with countries are still in place.32 These prohibitions can be grouped into three
categories: those related to cooperation on nuclear weapons themselves; those related
to nuclear trade cooperation (for peaceful uses); and, those related to dual-use trade.
These are discussed in detail in the section below on Constraints on U.S. Assistance.
Current U.S. Nonproliferation Policy
U.S. policy on South Asian nuclear proliferation presently is in limbo. The five
nonproliferation benchmarks of behavior that were promulgated after the 1998 tests
have not been articulated publicly since the end of 2000. These benchmarks, briefly,
1. halting further nuclear testing and signing and ratifying the Comprehensive Test
2. halting fissile material production and engaging in negotiations in Geneva on a
multilateral treaty to stop fissile material production for use in nuclear weapons;

3. refraining from deploying or testing missiles or nuclear weapons;

4. maintaining and formalizing export controls;

5. reducing bilateral tensions, including Kashmir.33

Although India and Pakistan have not tested nuclear weapons since 1998, they
are unlikely to sign and ratify the CTBT, particularly in the absence of U.S.
ratification of the treaty. The Bush Administration will not pursue a Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty and although it has stated that it supports a fissile material
production cutoff treaty, which has been on and off the Conference on

32 See CRS Report 97-343, Proliferation Control Regimes, and CRS Report RS20995, India
and Pakistan: Current U.S. Economic Sanctions.
33 See CRS Issue Brief IB94041, Pakistan-U.S. Relations.

Disarmament’s agenda since 1993, statements in the summer of 2004 that such a
treaty is inherently unverifiable are unlikely to move the process forward in Geneva.
According to Assistant Secretary of State Christine Rocca, the administration is
“working to prevent an open ended nuclear and missile arms race in the region,
discourage nuclear testing, and prevent onward proliferation to other countries.”34
Currently, there may be more opportunities for the United States to exert
leverage than in the past. New military cooperation and sharing of information on
terrorism and in other areas may build trust between the United States and Pakistan
and between the United States and India. However, it is not clear that that trust will
extend to issues related to nuclear weapons, given the long U.S. history of trying to
keep India and Pakistan from acquiring such weapons. On the other hand, Bush
administration statements have tended toward a certain fatalism in the case of India’s
and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. For example, Assistant Secretary of State for
Nonproliferation John Wolf remarked in 2002:
South Asia is a special case. They have weapons. We won’t be successful in
pressing them to beat them into plowshares, but we need to be more inventive in
getting them to understand much better how to manage the dangers that the
weapons pose. There are a variety of confidence building measures they could35
take bilaterally and unilaterally.
Constraints on U.S. Assistance
Constraints on U.S. assistance can be grouped into three categories. The first
category encompasses legal prohibitions, embodied in international treaties and U.S.
domestic law. While domestic laws can be changed, or provisions can be waived,
international treaties are more difficult to amend. The second category includes
technical limitations, given what little we know about Indian and Pakistani nuclear
weapons and their secret nuclear facilities. In addition, assistance should be guided
by the impact it would have on the technical capabilities of the Indian and Pakistani
nuclear arsenals — that is, assistance should not advance the nuclear weapon
programs of India and Pakistan, nor should it encourage testing, deployment or
increased operational readiness. The third category covers political limitations,
including Indian and Pakistani willingness to engage in cooperation and the impact
of assistance on the nonproliferation regimes.
International Legal Constraints
The primary treaty constraint on the United States is found in Article I of the
NPT. Article I requires nuclear weapon states to commit:

34 Testimony of Christine B. Rocca before House International Relations Committee, “U.S.
Interests and Foreign Policy Priorities in South Asia,” June 22, 2004.
35 John S. Wolf, “U.S. Approaches to Nonproliferation,” Monterey Institute meeting,
Stockholm, Sweden, September 6, 2002. See []

not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive
devices or control over such weapons or devices, directly or indirectly; and not
in any way to assist, encourage or induce any non-nuclear weapon state to
manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive
devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.
Under Article I, the United States is prohibited from transferring to any state
(nuclear weapon state, non-nuclear weapon state, party or non-party to the Treaty)
nuclear weapons, nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or devices,
directly or indirectly. It is not readily apparent what is meant by “control” over such
weapons; a narrow interpretation would focus on the ability of another state to use
such a weapon. The history of NPT negotiations reveals that concerns over
transferring “control” over such weapons focused primarily on allies (e.g. NATO)
being able to make command and control decisions for U.S. nuclear weapons
deployed in Europe.36
The second part of the obligation lies in not assisting, encouraging or inducing
non-nuclear weapon states to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or
other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices.
The negotiating history reveals that negotiators intended to interpret “manufacture”
broadly, from the beginning of the acquisition cycle to the end.37 Non-nuclear-
weapon states party to the NPT are obligated not to seek or receive any assistance in
the manufacture of such weapons under Article II.38 Presumably, this would cover
assistance that enhanced command and control of weapons, including permissive
action link (PAL) technology. However, India and Pakistan, while they are legally
non-nuclear weapon states, are not party to the NPT, and so are not bound by such
an obligation.
As defined by paragraph 3, Article IX of the NPT, India and Pakistan are
considered to be non-nuclear weapon states because they did not explode a nuclear
device before 1967.39 In the case of providing assistance to Russia, there was no
parallel concern because Russia is a nuclear weapon state under the NPT.
It is difficult to interpret what might constitute a violation of Article I under the
NPT. In the ratification hearings before Congress in 1968, U.S. administration

36 See Willrich, Nonproliferation Treaty, p. 71 ff. Stein and Feaver argue that Permissive
Action Links were introduced as a result of Congressional concern about loose command
and control of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe. See also Feaver, Peter Douglas, Guarding
the Guardians, (NY: Cornell University Press, 1992), pp. 199ff.
37 Willrich, Nonproliferation Treaty, pp. 91-93.
38 “Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer
from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or
of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture
or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek
or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive
devices.” Article II of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
39 “For the purposes of this Treaty, a nuclear-weapon State is one which has manufactured
or exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device prior to January 1, 1967.”

officials noted that the treaty does not specify what can be done, but rather what
cannot be done. There is no currently publicly available legal view from the State
Department on what might constitute a violation of Article I, but legal advisors have
considered this question by examining precedents in the application of U.S. domestic
law. In general, the closer assistance is attached to the nuclear weapons programs,
the more likely that it could run afoul of U.S. legal obligations, both under
international treaty obligations and domestic law. Thus, some kinds of aid (e.g., food
or humanitarian aid) could be considered, in the extreme, to be assisting or
encouraging a nuclear weapons program because they free up resources that the target
government can put towards a nuclear weapons program but are permitted in practice
because they do not have a close association with a nuclear weapons program. If
assistance took the form of transferrable funds, however, the possibility of linkage
to a nuclear weapons program might be considered to be greater.
Domestic Legal Constraints
As noted earlier, U.S. domestic law covers restrictions in the following areas:
nuclear weapons cooperation, nuclear material trade, and dual-use exports. U.S.
domestic laws have incorporated significant nonproliferation requirements over the
years, which complicate cooperation with India and Pakistan.
The Atomic Energy Act. (as amended; 42 U.S.C. 2011 and following)
governs the military and civil uses of nuclear energy, including those related to
international cooperation. Prior to the development of international safeguards, U.S.
law required that states receiving U.S.-origin nuclear material or equipment not
retransfer it and place it under adequate physical security. The 1978 Nuclear
Nonproliferation Act amended the AEA to require that significant cooperation,
regardless of the purpose, requires an Agreement for Cooperation. The United States
does not currently have an Agreement for Cooperation with India or with Pakistan.
Releasing Sensitive Information. Section 144 of the AEA covers the
release of sensitive nuclear information. The Secretary of Energy may release
Restricted Data on various aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle except those related to
the design or fabrication of atomic weapons. The Secretary of Defense may exchange
Restricted Data if it is necessary to a) develop defense plans; b) train personnel in
employing and defending against nuclear weapons; c) evaluate the capabilities of
potential enemies in employing nuclear weapons; d) develop compatible delivery
systems for nuclear weapons. It is unlikely that any of these circumstances would
develop in the case of cooperation with India or Pakistan.
The President can authorize the Secretary of Energy, with the assistance of the
Department of Defense, to exchange Restricted Data on atomic weapons with another
country provided that a) communication of Restricted Data is necessary to improve
that nation’s nuclear weapon design, development, or fabrication capability; AND
b) that nation has made “substantial progress in the development of atomic
weapons.” When the language on “substantial progress” was added in 1954, the only
nation that met the qualification was the United Kingdom. In general, most weapons-
related data, including some on safety, security, fuze and firing, are classified as
restricted data or formerly restricted data. Since it is not in the U.S. interest to
improve India or Pakistan’s nuclear weapons capability, and neither could be

considered to have made “substantial progress in the development of atomic
weapons” according to the intent of the Atomic Energy Act, it is unlikely that the
President would authorize such an exchange of Restricted Data under this provision
of the Atomic Energy Act.
Agreements for Cooperation. The Atomic Energy Act was amended in
1978 by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act (NNPA). Section 123 of the NNPA
requires states with which the United States conducts significant nuclear trade to sign
an Agreement for Cooperation. Examples of significant nuclear trade include
provision of nuclear reactors, nuclear material or major reactor components.40 The
Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulates significant nuclear trade; the Department
of Energy regulates the transfer of know-how, technology and technical services.
Section 123 of the NNPA requires recipient states that are “non-nuclear-weapon
states” to maintain IAEA safeguards on “all nuclear materials in all peaceful nuclear
activities on their territory.” Unless cooperation falls under the category of sale, lease
or loan of non-nuclear parts of atomic weapons (which would require that the
recipient nation has made “substantial progress in the development of atomic
weapons” and that the transfer would not contribute significantly to that nation’s
atomic weapon design, development, or fabrication capability), the recipient state
must guarantee that “no nuclear materials and equipment or sensitive nuclear
technology transferred under the agreement will be used for any nuclear explosive
device, or for research on or development of any nuclear explosive device or for any
other military purpose. In addition, the Secretary of State, who negotiates the
Agreements for Cooperation, must provide a nuclear proliferation assessment
statement (NPAS) to the President. The NPAS must analyze whether the proposed
agreement is consistent with each of the criteria contained in Section 123 of the AEA
and whether safeguards and other control mechanisms and the peaceful use
assurances in the agreement for cooperation are adequate to ensure that any
assistance furnished will not be used to further any military or nuclear explosive
The President may exempt a proposed agreement for cooperation from any of
the specified requirements if he determines that including such requirements would
be seriously prejudicial to achieving U.S. nonproliferation objectives or otherwise
“jeopardize the common defense and security.” There is no precedent for exempting
an agreement from the full-scope safeguards requirement.
Section 128 of the NNPA describes the conditions for terminating U.S.
cooperation. It states that
No nuclear material and equipment or sensitive nuclear technology shall be
exported to: (1) any non-nuclear-weapon state that is found by the President to
have, at any time after March 10, 1978 a) detonated a nuclear explosive device;
or b) terminated or abrogated IAEA safeguards; or c) materially violated an
IAEA safeguards agreement; or d) engaged in activities involving source or
special nuclear material and having direct significance for the manufacture or

40 Major reactor components include primary coolant pumps, pressure vessels, control rod
drive systems, and on-line fuel charging and discharging equipment for CANDU reactors.

acquisition of nuclear explosive devices, and has failed to take steps which, in
the President’s judgment, represent sufficient progress toward terminating such
Export Regulations. Transfers of nuclear-related equipment or nuclear
material that do not meet the requirement for an agreement of cooperation could
possibly still require full-scope safeguards as a condition of supply under the Nuclear
Suppliers’ Group (NSG) guidelines. Since 1992, NSG member states have required
full-scope safeguards as a condition for supplying items on the NSG “trigger list.”41
In addition, the Department of Commerce requires a license for exporting items on
the NSG’s dual-use list (those with nuclear and other applications) to states outside
the NSG. Neither India nor Pakistan is a member of the NSG.
U.S. export regulations function in several tiers. The Commerce Control List
specifies what items are regulated and why, but an equally important consideration
is the question of the end-user. One technique for streamlining the export control
system and making it more understandable for exporters was the development of the
entities lists. The Department of Commerce maintains a list of entities subject to
license requirements (see Supplement 4 to Part 744 of the Export Administration
Regulations). At present, the entities of proliferation concern are located in China,
India, Israel, Pakistan, and Russia.
In response to the sanctions imposed on India and Pakistan after the 1998
nuclear tests, the number of Indian and Pakistani organizations listed on the entities
list grew dramatically. At the time, the Department of Commerce policy was to deny
licenses for exports to India and Pakistan of items controlled for nuclear
nonproliferation or missile technology reasons, and presume to deny items on the
Commodity Control List to Indian and Pakistani military entities. In 2001, these
restrictions were lifted when the President determined that sanctions were not in the42
national security interest of the United States. Exports of items controlled for
nuclear proliferation and missile technology reasons are reviewed on a case-by-case
Currently, Indian nuclear-related facilities on the entities list include:
!Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC)
!Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Center
!Indian Rare Earths

41 The “trigger list” governs the “export of items that are especially designed or prepared
for nuclear use. These include (i) nuclear material; (ii) nuclear reactors and equipment
therefor; (iii) non-nuclear material for reactors; (iv) plant and equipment for the
reprocessing, enrichment and conversion of nuclear material and for fuel fabrication and
heavy water production; and (v) technology associated with each of the above items.” The
“dual-use” list governs the export of nuclear related dual-use items and technologies, that
is, items that can make a major contribution to an unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle or
nuclear explosive activity, but which have non-nuclear uses as well, for example in industry.
See [].
42 Federal Register, Vol. 66 No. 190, October 1, 2001, p. 50090.

!Nuclear reactors, fuel reprocessing and enrichment plants, heavy
water production facilities and their co-located ammonia plants
The Pakistani nuclear-related facilities that currently appear on the entities list
!AQ Khan Research Laboratories
!Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and subordinate
entities, including National Development Complex, nuclear reactors,
fuel reprocessing and enrichment facilities, all uranium processing,
conversion and enrichment facilities, heavy water production
facilities and any co-located ammonia plants, Pakistan Institute for
Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH)
It appears that equipment, material or information exported for the purposes of
cooperative nuclear threat reduction would need to be licensed if it was destined for
the facilities listed above. All of the facilities are unsafeguarded and all are sensitive
sites. On the other hand, such sites may have good security already, since they are
associated with the nuclear weapons programs.
A potentially greater concern is how the United States’ unwritten policy of not
supplying any items to unsafeguarded nuclear facilities would fit with exports to
India and Pakistan under a CTR-like program. Under the 1990 Enhanced
Proliferation Control Initiative (EPCI), the Department of Commerce can impose
licensing requirements on exports and reexports of goods and technology that would
normally be uncontrolled where there is an unacceptable risk of diversion to activities
related to nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or missile proliferation. U.S.
exporters are required to apply for a license if they have knowledge of or have reason
to know that such exports will be used directly or indirectly in any one of the
following activities: nuclear explosive activities, unsafeguarded nuclear activities, or
safeguarded and unsafeguarded activities to produce special nuclear material
(through reprocessing or enrichment), produce heavy water or fabricate nuclear fuel
that uses plutonium. Section 744.2 of the Export Administration Regulations
provides eight criteria for assessing license applications. Potentially, the most
significant of these criteria is the nonproliferation credentials of the importing
country, which include whether the state adheres to the NPT, has full-scope
safeguards, and has an agreement for cooperation with the United States and whether
the actions, statements, and policies of the state support nuclear nonproliferation.43

43 Paragraph 744.2 (d) License Review Standards for Restrictions on Certain Nuclear End-
Uses, Part 744 of Export Administration Regulations. Factors used by the United States to
determine whether to grant or deny license applications include (paraphrased here): 1)
whether the items/software/technology are appropriate for stated end-use and end-user; 2)
significance for nuclear purposes of items; 3)whether the items will be used in connection
with reprocessing or enrichment; 4) types of assurances against nuclear explosive purposes
or proliferation; 5) whether end-user has been involved in clandestine/illegal procurement;

6) whether previous applications have been denied or diversions have taken place; 7)

whether te export would present an unacceptable risk of diversion to a nuclear explosive
activity or unsafeguarded nuclear fuel-cycle activity; and 8) nonproliferation credentials,

Technical Constraints
Descriptions of the Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons programs are
incomplete and their accuracy is not reliable. Although the two states have
exchanged lists of nuclear facilities since 1991 as part of a confidence-building effort,
critics charged that the lists initially were incomplete. More is known about fissile
material production sites than weapons machining or assembly sites, but overall there
is a high level of secrecy attached to both nuclear weapons programs. Without
knowledge of where vulnerabilities lie, it will be difficult to target even the most
rudimentary assistance. In the case of Russia and the NIS, U.S. government officials
have complained for years that Russia has not provided the kinds of access necessary
for the United States to ensure that its goals are being met. With respect to the
material protection, control and accounting programs, most of the material, according
to one report, remains outside of the program because the United States cannot gain
access to sensitive facilities.44
A significant concern is whether U.S. assistance, if it is targeted at making
nuclear weapons more secure from unauthorized use, would improve Indian or
Pakistani nuclear weapon capabilities. Permissive action links, which were
developed by the United States in the 1960s, were designed so that unauthorized
users would not be able to produce a nuclear yield from the weapon. As one observer
has remarked, however, another intended consequence is that weapons with PALs on
them are more deployable. One of the goals of U.S. nonproliferation policy presently
is to keep India and Pakistan from deploying their weapons.
Political Constraints
U.S. assistance is likely to be a sensitive issue for the Indian and Pakistani
governments. Neither state will want to be seen as needing assistance. India has
refused to participate in technical cooperation programs with the IAEA except on a
regional basis precisely for this reason. On the other hand, India has welcomed talks
with the United States on reactor safety and a U.S. delegation traveled to India in
2003 for meetings on that topic. It may be possible to make such assistance less
sensitive if it is focused on physical security of the nuclear fuel cycle and not linked
to nuclear weapon capabilities. Pakistani officials have been quite vocal in insisting
that their nuclear assets are safe and secure and that U.S. assistance is not required.
However, one Indian report noted that the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson
Aziz Ahmed Khan admitted that the U.S. had offered to train Pakistani personnel on

43 (...continued)
based on a) adherence to NPT or international nuclear nonproliferation agreement; b) full-
scope safeguards or equivalent; c) agreement for cooperation with US; d) whether state
supports nuclear nonproliferation; e) degree to which state cooperates in nonproliferation
policy; and f) intelligence data on state’s nuclear intentions and activities.
44 U.S. General Accounting Office, WMD: Reducing the Threat from the Former Soviet
Union: An Update. GAO/NSIAD-95-165, June 1995.

safety and security of nuclear assets.45 A Pakistani report in early February 2003
stated that”General Musharraf’s decision to assume control of the Nuclear Command
Authority has prompted the Bush Administration to ask Islamabad for installation of
U.S. nuclear weapon command and control.”46 According to some government
officials, U.S. assistance needs to have a low profile in order to succeed.
Another constraint is the current level of cooperation between the United States
and India and Pakistan. Although Pakistan has been cooperating closely with the
United States in the war on terrorism, the United States has been pushing for both
nations to give up their nuclear programs for almost thirty years. Perceptions of
mistrust may be difficult to overcome, impeding the level of cooperation that may be
needed. Following Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq, some in Pakistan apparently
are wondering whether Pakistan could be the next target of U.S. counterproliferation
efforts. Qazi Hussain Ahmed, leader of Pakistan’s largest Islamist party, told Reuters
in April 2003 that “Thinking that our turn will not come is like closing your eyes to
the truth.”47 On the other hand, the Bush Administration did not impose sanctions
on Pakistan for aiding North Korea’s clandestine uranium enrichment program, and
has not pressed the Pakistani government for direct access to A.Q. Khan, both of
which could be interpreted by Pakistan as reluctance by the Bush Administration to
upset relations.48 In addition, the designation of Pakistan in 2004 as a major non-
NATO ally has probably also bolstered Pakistan’s confidence in the United States.
On the whole, despite some progress in Kashmir, there are still few indications
that India or Pakistan would want to enhance transparency to build confidence, either
with each other or with the United States. Between the two states, there appears to
be more interest in threat enhancement than threat reduction. In addition, Pakistan’s
reliance on foreign procurement sources could also make transparency measures
difficult. A culture of secrecy for India and Pakistan, not easily overcome in the case
of Russia, may be difficult to transcend. On the other hand, professional pride in their
accomplishments may provide some leverage for scientists’ or military officials’
Policy Options
The legal, technical, and political constraints described above appear to
foreclose assistance that would directly involve a) access to nuclear weapons; b)
measures that would enhance operational capabilities of nuclear weapons; c) direct
access to sensitive nuclear facilities. Senator Lugar suggested in November 2004 that
“We can promote exchanges between Pakistani and Indian security experts, and offer
assistance on export controls, border security, and the protection, control and

45 “Pak. ‘No’ to Joint Nuke Command with U.S.,” The Hindu, February 22, 2003.
46 Ibid, quoting the February 6-12, 2003 Pakistan English weekly Independent.
47 “Pakistanis wonder — will they face Iraq’s fate?” Reuters, April 21, 2003.
48 “Nuclear proliferation: North Korea and Pakistan,” International Herald Tribune, April

21, 2003.

accounting of nuclear arsenals. This will require some diplomatic and administrative
skill to stay within our NPT obligations.”49 The measures outlined below are limited
but feasible and could help mitigate some aspects of the nuclear threat in India and
Site Security
Improving site security would help guard against the threat of weapons or
materials or components leaving a sensitive site either through theft by someone
within the facility (a worker) or from outside theft. Perimeter security measures,
such as gates and other barriers like barbed wire and personnel identification systems,
can help minimize the threat of unauthorized entry. Sensors to detect unauthorized
actions (movement, tampering) can help against both insider and outsider threats.
Measures to protect against inside theft include checks on personnel leaving facilities
(typically onerous without technical detection measures for material or components),
cameras in sensitive areas and accounting and access procedures. Armed guards
could help, as would operational and administrative controls.
In the Russian case, U.S. officials toured sites and conducted vulnerability
assessments. Even perimeter visits would likely be viewed as too sensitive by India
and Pakistan. However, the United States could offer information or briefings on
how security is conducted at sensitive (not necessarily nuclear) facilities in the United
States. Ideally, assistance could cover types of requirements for personnel vetting
and training and development of a security culture. As noted above, assistance of
this kind has been provided under IAEA auspices. If materials, such as cameras or
sensors, were intended to be installed at unsafeguarded facilities, they would likely
require licenses. It is likely, however, that commercial versions of security systems
would be cheaper and more palatable for India and Pakistan to install themselves if
they are not already present.
Material Security
Measures to enhance material security generally fall into the category of material
protection, control and accounting (MPC&A). In some cases, securing material in
a storage site with tamper-proof seals, cameras, and other monitoring techniques is
adequate, but most often the material is intended to be used in processes (like
enrichment or reprocessing, or fuel fabrication). This requires a system of accounting
and control that can follow material flows. International safeguards rely heavily on
state systems of accounting and control (SSACs) in measuring physical inventories
of materials. Some technical exchanges in these areas may be possible. Some new
techniques for securing material in place could be shared (one innovative approach
used in Russia was placing heavy cement blocks over plutonium containers).
Pakistan’s and India’s participation in multilateral programs on physical protection
of material could be encouraged as well as their participation in experts’ training
sessions conducted by Sandia National Laboratory on physical protection (Indian
experts attended one in May 2002). It is also possible to provide equipment for
physical protection (cameras, seals, locks, or barriers) under license.

49 See []

Nuclear Weapons Security
Assistance on nuclear weapons security would be extremely limited if it were
considered desirable. The objective of such measures would be to ensure that
weapons could not be stolen or detonated by an unauthorized person. Again, the
simplest measures are armed guards; undoubtedly both India and Pakistan are aware
of the advantages of protecting their nuclear weapons. Advice or equipment to
ensure no unauthorized use of nuclear weapons, such as PALs, would require access
to nuclear weapons. General information on permissive action links, such as
concepts or approaches, is publicly available and would not require access to
weapons. In all likelihood, however, both India and Pakistan have probably
exhausted public sources of information on that topic. Beyond the warheads
themselves, measures to ensure that command and control systems work would also
help ensure no unauthorized use, but could possibly enhance operational capabilities.
Personnel Security
The types of measures for personnel security that could be implemented absent
Pakistani and Indian disarmament are limited. Obviously, if there are ongoing
nuclear weapons programs, the two governments are unlikely to welcome proposals
to divert their scientific expertise into civilian enterprises. However, there are clearly
training programs in physical security and personnel vetting that could provide more
security to those nuclear programs without enhancing their nuclear deterrents in a
way that would contravene the NPT. Strictly civilian cooperation could have a
positive spillover effect. On January 12, 2004, President Bush announced a new
strategic partnership with India, to cooperate in three areas: civilian nuclear
technology, space technology and high-technology trade.50 U.S. officials reportedly
stated that any civilian nuclear technology must not be used in India’s nuclear
weapons program, although it is unclear how that would be achieved.51 Reportedly,52
cooperation has allowed for exports to safeguarded nuclear facilities. This program
might have the potential to develop relationships with Indian scientists that would
benefit any future, more intrusive cooperative threat reduction program.
With respect to Pakistan, assistance may be more difficult. Pakistan has denied
U.S. officials direct access to AQ Khan, and although this might be an exception
because of Khan’s unique status, it could also become the rule. Pakistani officials,
both with respect to the nuclear arsenal and nuclear scientists, appear to have taken53
a “hands-off” attitude.

50 See [] for press
51 “U.S. to Send India Nuclear, Space Technology,” Washington Post, January 13, 2004.
52 See [].
53 Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry issued the following statement: “Our nuclear assets are 100%
secure, under multiple custody.” Kyoto News Service, October 2, 2001.

Issues for Congress
India’s and Pakistan’s nuclear programs are far smaller than Russia’s and
unlikely to incur the kinds of costs that the CTR program has thus far incurred. On
the other hand, data are scarce on the state of nuclear materials in India and Pakistan,
so it is difficult to determine the scope and time frame of any such program. At a
minimum, however, such a program is likely to be incrementally implemented. Costs
could be minimal if a quick-fix, low-technology, information-oriented approach is
taken or they could be more substantial if a sophisticated, high-technology approach
is taken that would incorporate cameras, encryption, remote monitoring, and other
In 1991, the legislation that created the Nunn-Lugar program stipulated that U.S.
assistance in destroying nuclear and other weapons may not be provided to the Soviet
Union, any of its republics or successor entities unless the President certifies to the
Congress that the proposed recipient is committed to:
!making a substantial investment of its resources for dismantling or
destroying such weapons;
!forgo any military modernization that exceeds legitimate defense
requirements or is designed to replace destroyed WMD;
!forgo the use of fissile materials and other components from
destroyed nuclear weapons in new nuclear weapons;
!facilitate U.S. verification of weapons destruction that uses U.S.
!comply with all relevant arms control agreements; and
!observe internationally recognized human rights, including the
protection of minorities.
Initially, Presidents George H. W. Bush and Clinton certified that the recipient
nations — Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan — met those conditions. The
Clinton Administration withdrew its certification of Belarus for human rights abuses
in FY1998 and the George W. Bush administration withdrew its certification of
Russia in 2002 for its failure to comply with arms control agreements, namely, the
Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention. The Bush
Administration subsequently requested a waiver from Congress for the certification.
It is not clear whether Congress would opt to apply the same certification
requirements to recipient states outside the former Soviet Union. However, S. 2980,
which was introduced by Senator Lugar in the 108th Congress, sought to remove the
need for certifications, as well as other restrictions. The 109th Congress may consider
this issue more fully if legislation is once more introduced.

Other Considerations
U.S. nonproliferation laws have been strengthened over the years, first to
account for states that were not parties to the NPT, then to target critical capabilities
like enrichment and reprocessing, and finally, to target the transfer of nuclear
weapons or actual detonation of a nuclear explosive device. Once a state has
exceeded the maximum prohibition (i.e., possession or detonation of a nuclear
device), a logical question to ask is whether lesser restraints (for example, in
providing nuclear technology not directly related to nuclear weapons) are necessary
or useful. Applied more broadly to overall nonproliferation policy, some observers
have argued that the nuclear weapons “cat” is out of the bag and U.S. policy should
reorient itself to “manage” the nuclear situation in South Asia. At its extreme, this
approach would include accepting the nuclear weapons status of India and Pakistan
and relaxing all restrictions. Other observers have argued that the purpose of
restraints was to inhibit proliferation and that relaxing the rules for “successful”
states would set a bad precedent and result in the collapse of the nonproliferation
A broader issue is whether the United States should strive for consistency in the
treatment of states’ WMD programs. Although India, Pakistan, and Israel are not
parties to the NPT and therefore have not violated any treaties, their nuclear weapons
programs conflict with U.S. nonproliferation objectives and policies. Assistance to
countries outside the NPT may be viewed as a “wink and a nod” to nuclear weapons
development. At the same time, the use of military force to disarm Iraq of its
weapons of mass destruction provides a strong counterpoint to such assistance. As
such, this could threaten international consensus to combat nuclear proliferation.
Should the United States move in the direction of accepting Indian and Pakistani
nuclear weapons status, say some observers, would there be pressure to do the same
for Israel? If so, such action could have a significant impact on security and stability
in the Middle East.
Other considerations include tradeoffs between nonproliferation policy and
counterterrorism cooperation, as well as the promotion of democracy. On January
24, 2005, Senator Biden introduced S. 12, the Targeting Terrorists More Effectively
Act of 2005. The bill identifies proliferation of nuclear weapons and promotion of
democracy as two of several issues that threaten the United States’ relationship with
Pakistan. The bill would authorize $10M in the Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism,
Demining and Related Programs account (State) to be spent in Pakistan, but would
bar any military or economic assistance appropriated for the fiscal year “unless the
President submits to Congress for such fiscal year a certification that no military or
economic assistance provided by the United States to the Government of Pakistan
will be provided, either directly or indirectly, to a person that is opposing or
undermining the efforts of the United States Government to halt the proliferation of
nuclear weapons.”
S. 12 does not contain similar prohibitions for the lack of progress in the
promotion of democracy. Although the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004
(PL 108-458), signed on December 17, 2004, extended the President’s authority to
waive coup-related sanctions for Pakistan through FY2006, it may be necessary for
the 109th Congress to revisit this issue for FY2007. On the same day PL 108-458 was

signed, President Musharraf announced he would remain chief of the army beyond
the end of 2004. Although the 9/11 Commission Report specifically noted that
keeping nuclear capabilities out of the hands of terrorists depends critically on
supporting Musharraf’s vision of a moderate, modernizing Islamic state, President
Musharraf has done very little to move his country toward more democratic rule.