FEATURE: The proliferation game

How the world helped Pakistan build its bomb

Globalization, what a concept. You can get a burger prepared your way practically anywhere in the world. The Nike Swoosh appears at elite athletic venues across the United States and on the skinny frames of t-shirted children playing in the streets of Calcutta. For those interested in buying an American automobile — a word of warning — it is not so unusual to find more “American content” in a Japanese car than one built by Detroit’s Big Three.

So don’t kid yourself about the Pakistani bomb. From burgers to bombs, globalization has had an impact. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal — as many as 120 weapons — is no more Pakistani than your television set is Japanese. Or is that American? It was a concept developed in one country and, for the most part, built in another. Its creation was an example of globalization before the term was even coined.

So where to begin? Some argue that Pakistan started down the nuclear road under President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1953 Atoms for Peace program, billed as a humanitarian gesture aimed at sharing the peaceful potential of atomic energy with the world. But Atoms for Peace was a misnomer — a plan to divert growing domestic and international concern over radioactive fallout from America’s nuclear tests. It would prove to be a White House public relations campaign to dwarf all others.

In fact, Atoms for Peace educated thousands of scientists from around the world in nuclear science and then dispatched them home, where many later pursued secret weapons programs. [complete article]

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