Center for American Progress

Enhance Efforts to Keep Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal Safe and Secure
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Enhance Efforts to Keep Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal Safe and Secure

Given its strategic threat perceptions, Pakistan is unlikely to respond to U.S. pressure to reduce the size of its nuclear arsenal, even at the risk of substantial aid cuts, making regional and international diplomacy the top priority for forestalling a regional arms race.

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Pakistan currently has a sizable nuclear arsenal that experts estimate consists of 50 to 100 weapons, and the nuclear stockpile is reportedly growing. Admiral Michael Mullen, the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs, who warned of its expansion also noted that the United States has worked with Pakistan’s security establishment to safeguard its nuclear arsenal. Cooperation on screening programs and facility security should be increased to prevent the illegal transfer of nuclear technology and expertise and to safeguard the arsenal from unauthorized access. Given its strategic threat perceptions, Pakistan is unlikely to respond to U.S. pressure to reduce the size of its nuclear arsenal, even at the risk of substantial aid cuts, making regional and international diplomacy the top priority for forestalling a regional arms race.

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