Analysis: Former USAF Secretary discusses hidden history of nukes

It is not necessary to agree with Thomas C. Reed’s worldview in order to appreciate his deep knowledge of the history of nuclear politics. His argument, for instance, that “the world is safer for having all the permanent UN Security Council members possess nuclear weapons” may be seen as absurdly myopic -especially in light of numerous instances in which the US and the USSR came close to annihilating the entire world during the Cold War. Nevertheless, the former nuclear weapons designer and US Air Force Secretary always has interesting insights to share on the dark history of nuclear proliferation. For instance, in a recent interview with US News & World Report, Reed discussed how Klaus Fuchs, the nuclear scientist who was jailed in 1950 for having spied for the Soviets, also shared his immense nuclear knowledge with the Chinese, following his release from prison. He also outlined the Chinese contribution to nuclear proliferation in the Third World, which he attributes to a 1982 decision by the Chinese leadership, under the Chairmanship of Deng Xiaoping, to “proliferate nuclear technology to communists and Muslims” around the world. Among other things, Reed summarized the Chinese assistance to Pakistan, and even went so far as to allege that the Chinese tested Pakistan’s first nuclear bomb in 1990, that is, eight years prior to Pakistan’s first publicized nuclear weapons test (strangely, he fails to discuss the well-publicized information pointing to silent complicity by successive US Administrations in allowing the Pakistanis to advance their nuclear designs). Reed also points to Chinese nuclear collaboration with Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and North Korea, at different times. In the case of North Korea, Reed suggests that “[w]hen the North Koreans decided to test [in 2006], they clearly did so without a Chinese permit and it really frosted the Chinese”. The reason for the negative Chinese reaction, according to Reed, has its roots in foreign policy factions currently battling for dominance within the Chinese Communist Party. One faction views the spread of nuclear technologies to countries antagonistic to US supremacy as inherently positive for China’s interests. The other faction objects to this, in light of China’s export dependency on the US economy. In Reed’s words, members of the latter faction “don’t want to see Los Angeles blown up because they just sold us 10,000 pairs of sneakers”. [JF]

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

One Response to Analysis: Former USAF Secretary discusses hidden history of nukes

  1. neel123 says:

    The articles at the following links provide details of how American officials were involved in helping Pakistan to get nukes :

    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/They_sold_out_world_for_F16_0426.html

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3137695.ece

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