An IDC Analysis


New Delhi, 29 August 2006  

In recent months a great deal has been said in the media India's nuclear arsenal –– it seems to us that the Officials Secrets Act 1923 is not applicable to ministers, editors and other higher ups –– but only to War Room leakers and such. Jaswant Singh, Shekhar Gupta and Arun Singh have been forthcoming about our past in the media. The commissions in Tehelkha took the toll of service officers only but not of any one else –– Kapil Sibal in Parlaiment accused the BJP of corruption and taking hard cash in Tehelkha and we saw silence of BJP Leaders on TV.

In any case people in uniform appear to be the only ones subject to the draconian Officials Secrets Act in this information revolution. Newspapers officially report secret notings from files they claim are in their possession and this is becoming pass้. Shekhar Gupta gave out all the secrets of India's nuclear quest and how PM's secretly carried out the programmes to fruition.

Do we think Iranians are dumb? Just because they signed the NPT are they happy to see India and Pakistan go nuclear with no effects and both countries being rewarded with F16s and Harpoons from USA while Iran is threatened with sanctions? Twenty-five years ago Pakistan said they would eat grass but go nuclear, and would Iran have been sleeping? No nation worth its salt sleeps on National Security and India too has woken up. USA showed a blind eye to Pakistan's nuclear quest and AQ Khan gave Iran PI centrifuges and P2 designs which seem to be in production now. More recently Iranian missiles in Hezbolla hands played hell into Israel and now Europe is worried and sending 10,000 troops and Israel wants no Muslims in those lot. India should immediately withdraw its 800 UNIFIL in Lebanon if we are a ‘secular’ country and pay our Jawans the full pay as they go there for the money and should not suffer. We have spare UN money lying in New York where two officers control it and the CAG wants it to be put out on interest!

Iran thus feels compelled to go nuclear and their Dy Foreign Minister comes next week to Delhi and lets see what he discusses. Shekhar Gupta who was on the Defence beat and had the confidence of many past PMs has been regarded as one of India's most investigative editors which also means media savvy. He has been quoting ex PMs and as editor of Indian Express hold s a special place in India as he controls a newspaper and also has best connections with NDTV –– a cut above others with Pranoy Roy. Inida's nuclear secrets are coming out and the longer the Government keeps shut on its spending on nuclear issues like the ATV the more the Government is likely to be embarrassed as the days of secret spending except on Intelligence should be avoided. India has a track record of corruption and black money and all steps should be taken to see India comes clean as a nuclear power. Russia kept many things secret and suffered when it broke up and tried to be a democracy. We are not China where everything can be kept secret. The secrets of Israel's nuclear capabilities are out in the article below and this is another factor that will egg Iran to go nuclear faster. The genie is out of the bottle and cannot be put back easily. Go nuclear is the new mantra all over.

Associated Press | August 25, 2006

JERUSALEM - With the purchase of two more German-made Dolphin submarines capable of carrying nuclear warheads, military experts say Israel is sending a clear message to Iran that it can strike back if attacked by nuclear weapons. The purchases come at a time when Iran is refusing to bow to growing Western demands to halt its nuclear program, and after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." The new submarines, built at a cost of $1.3 billion with Germany footing one-third of the bill, have diesel-electric propulsion systems that allow them to remain submerged for longer periods of time than the three nuclear arms-capable submarines already in Israel's fleet, the Jerusalem Post reported. The latest submarines not only would be able to carry out a first strike should Israel choose to do so, but they also would provide Israel with crucial second-strike capabilities, said Paul Beaver, a London-based independent defense analyst.

Israel is already believed to have that ability in the form of the Jericho-1 and Jericho-2 nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, which are buried so far underground they would survive a nuclear strike, he said.

"The Iranians would be very foolish if they attacked Israel," Beaver said.

German officials have said the contract for the new submarines was signed July 6, and the Jerusalem Post reported this week the subs will be operational shortly.

Israel, operating on a policy of nuclear ambiguity, has never confirmed or denied whether it has nuclear weapons. It is believed, however, to have the world's sixth-largest stockpile of atomic arms, including hundreds of warheads.

Iran so far has resisted calls by the U.N. Security Council to halt uranium enrichment, which can produce, among other things, the material for atomic bombs. The council set an Aug. 31 deadline that is accompanied by the threat of sanctions.

The dispute over Tehran's nuclear program revolves around Iran's insistence it wants to master the technology simply to generate electricity. Critics say Iran wants to make nuclear weapons.

The Dolphin submarine could be one of the best deterrents, Beaver said. The technology on the subs makes them undetectable and gives them defensive capabilities in the case of attack, he said.

"They are very well-built, very well-prepared, lots of interesting equipment, one of the best conventional submarines available," Beaver said. "We are talking about a third string of deterrence capabilities."

Michael Karpin, an expert on Israel's atomic weapons capabilities who published a book on the issue in the United States, said nuclear-armed submarines provide better second-strike capabilities than missiles launched from airplanes.

"Planes are vulnerable, unlike nuclear (armed) submarines that can operate for an almost unlimited amount of time without being struck," Karpin said. "Second-strike capabilities are a crucial element in any nuclear conflict."

In Germany, members of two opposition parties criticized the deal. Winfried Nachtwei, national security spokesman for the Greens, said the decision was wrong because Germany had obtained no guarantee the submarines would not be used to carry nuclear weapons.

"This red line should not be crossed," Nachtwei was quoted as saying by the newspaper Taz. "Otherwise it is a complete renunciation of Germany's policy of non-proliferation."

David Menashri, an Israeli expert on Iran, said Tehran is clearly determined to obtain nuclear weapons and "the purchase of additional Dolphin submarines by Israel is a small footnote in this context."

What also makes Tehran dangerous, Beaver said, is that it may not understand the consequences of carrying out a nuclear strike.

"They (Iran) have a belligerent leadership and that's why Israel is prudent in ensuring that it has that deterrent capability," Beaver said. "What they (the submarines) are is a very good insurance policy

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