31 January 2017

In 1984, Indian Air Force could have 'inflicted major damage' on Pakistan's nuclear facilities, CIA believed

Shailaja Neelakantan| Updated: Jan 30, 2017, 
In 1984, India's acquisition of MIG-29s was a better deal than Pakistan buying F-16s, as the former had superior ""medium-range capability", a 1984 CIA document reveals
It states further that if India attacked Pakistan's nuclear plants, it would take a while for Islamabad's nuclear program to get back on track

NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force (IAF) could have "inflicted major damage on Pakistan's most critical nuclear facilities", in 1984, says a secret CIA document from November of that year.
The secret "intelligence assessment", made soon after then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination, also said that an attack by the IAF could "destroy or sufficiently damage the facilities to prevent Islamabad from producing nuclear weapons for several years."
Surprisingly, the CIA document also says that MIG 29s - which India at the time was awaiting delivery of - had "medium-range capability superior to" that of the F-16s, which were and still are made by the US. Notably, Pakistan possessed F-16s.

Because of "poor command, control, and communications, we judge that Islamabad could not blunt a massed Indian airstrike", the document says. It adds, though, that "surprise and speed" by the IAF were critical for a successful strike on Pakistan's 'most critical' nuclear facilities. According to the CIA, those facilities were the Kahuta Enrichment Plant and PINSTECH-New Laboratories facility, both of which were just 30 minutes away by plane from India.
India's air force was "larger and better" than Pakistan's, the 1984 CIA document says.
"We believe that the Pakistanis can neither provide effective air defense for their military and industrial targets against a concerted Indian air attack nor seriously threaten most strategic targets in India," it adds.

In the event of an IAF strike on Pakistan, the IAF would have most likely used its MIg-23s and its Jaguar aircraft, the CIA believed at the time.
Top CommentWhy did we not do that... Of course Congress would have never done that to appease their PET VOTEBANKS.... Alas, today we Hindus are paying the price of this endless torture... THE SAME MISTAKE PRIT... Read MoreRCH Ram
"The best window for a preemptive strike, in our opinion, would be during November through February. Low precipitation and lack of clods make visual target identification the easiest in this period," the CIA document explains.
The US intelligence agency document detailing this scenario is one of thousands of recently declassified CIA documents.

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