Policy Brief: How the Pakistan Military Learned to Love the Bomb
Pakistan is undergoing a period of unprecedented transition after recent elections marked the first time two civilian governments succeeded each other peacefully. The new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, last held that position when Islamabad tested its first nuclear weapons. While civilian leaders were historically the primary drivers behind the decision to pursue nuclear weapons (something not widely known), the Pakistani military gradually came to value these weapons and eventually dominate the country’s nuclear debate.
Will Pakistan’s emerging civilian government again grapple with control over nuclear decisionmaking? This Policy Brief by Christopher Clary – Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the RAND Corporation and a participant in the Rising Powers Initiative’s Nuclear Debates in Asia project – provides an understanding of how control over the Pakistani nuclear arsenal evolved over time and what the future might hold should the civilian government continue to consolidate its power.