In providing a worldwide threat assessment to the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, discussed Pakistan’s expanding nuclear delivery systems.
“We anticipate that Pakistan will continue [its] development of new delivery systems, including cruise missiles and close-range ‘battlefield’ nuclear weapons to augment its existing ballistic missiles,” Stewart said during his opening statement, according to an official transcript.
Tactical nuclear weapons are low-yield, short-range nuclear missiles designed for use against opposing troops on the battlefield, rather than against enemy cities like strategic nuclear weapons. Both the U.S. and Soviet Union deployed them in Europe (among other places) during the Cold War, and Washington and Moscow continue to deploy them today. They are not covered in existing U.S.-Russian arms control treaties like New START. Continue reading