18 June 2014

Editorial: Asia’s Coming Nuclear Arms Race

By Zachary Keck

The introduction of MIRVed missiles in Asia is likely to prompt a major nuclear arms races in the region.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the future of nuclear weapons is Asia, not the Middle East.
The Pacific Realist outlines one reason for this conviction in an article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on Tuesday. The piece argues that the U.S., Russia, China, India and Pakistan should negotiate a ban on land-based multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) ballistic missiles. Currently, the U.S. and Russia both deploy such missiles, and Beijing and New Delhi are both intent on acquiring them.
Should they succeed in this endeavor, there is likely to be a nuclear arms race in Asia among China, India and Pakistan, which could very quickly spread to Russia and the United States. MIRVed missiles are highly destabilizing because they put a premium on striking first. Because MIRVed missiles can strike multiple targets at once, and concentrate multiple warheads on single targets, they increase the danger that a nuclear armed power will have its nuclear arsenal destroyed by a surprise first strike. In addition, possessors of MIRVed missiles need more nuclear warheads in order to arm their MIRVs. 

Read the full story at The Diplomat