Officials Say Asian Nuclear Testing Won't Affect U.S. ... Just Yet
Posted May 31, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — The nuclear showdown between Pakistan and India has the world watching. Superpowers used to be the only ones with nuclear weapons, but not any more.
It's been years since the US has had to worry about a nuclear threat. Now, the task of keeping watch is on again. A former Air Force General says testing weapons of mass destruction in small countries may not seem like a reason for concern, but it is.
General Robert Springer says the more these small countries test nuclear devices, the more they may want to develop them into nuclear weapons.
"I don't see a deployment of military forces," said Springer.
Springer says nuclear testing in India and Pakistan is not going to effect the US military at this point, but that doesn't mean the military is sitting back.
Many soldiers agree, it is usually the smaller countries they worry about, saying those countries could threaten anyone.
With nuclear tests being exploded underground in these small countries, Springer says larger countries like the US need to worry about terrorism.
"These smaller nations could work with terrorists or with terrorist states, such as Iran would probably love to use those somewhere around the world," said Springer.
The General says there is another concern. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, nuclear weapons have become less of a threat so the military is less nuclear equipped.
"We have been taking the military forces and converting them from being nuclear capable to being more conventional capable," said
A Department of Defense Spokesperson says it could be a humanitarian crisis if the testing continues, sanctions increase and aid is cut. India and Pakistan have said their testing is complete, but Springer says we must still watch closely.
A spokesperson at Fort Bragg says soldiers are trained in nuclear defense measures as part of their routine training, but there has been no heightened training as a result of recent Asian testing.