Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, Aizaz Chaudhry, has confirmed what many already knew: Pakistan’s nuclear program is mainly a deterrent against India’s conventional and nuclear military capability.
“Our nuclear program is one dimensional: stopping Indian aggression before it happens. It is not for starting a war. It is for deterrence.”
One might not take notice of this seemingly common-sense statement, as so-called MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) has characterized the world’s nuclear arms race since the Cold War. As of 2010, the number of nuclear warheads in the world stands at approximately twenty-six thousand. These weapons are enough to destroy all life on Earth hundreds of times over and even alter the Earth’s North Pole by one quarter of an inch.
However, what is at issue in the latest press release by Pakistan is not the huge blasts that the largest nuclear bomb could release, but rather so-called “tactical nukes,” i.e. low-yield nuclear weapons, which are smaller bombs designed to obliterate bunkers and armor.
Tactical nukes have purportedly been used in the Ukraine, Yemen and Syria, as illustrated below:
To get an idea of the comparison of various nuclear bomb yields, Nuclear Darkness has created the following chart.