Shockingly Lax? Yes

Former Air Force Secretary Thomas Reed has co-authored a new book that makes the case that China has intentionally proliferated nuclear technology to dangerous regimes such as Pakistan and North Korea since the 1980s and is still debating internally whether to continue the flow of materials and know-how abroad. US News and World Report reported Jan. 2 that Reed’s work, The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation, claims that China even tested the first Pakistani bomb in 1990 for the Pakistani regime of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. This test and additional Chinese help, Reed told the magazine, enabled the Pakistanis to respond within three weeks of India’s nuclear test in 1998 with their own underground nuclear test. When asked if China’s policies were both shockingly lax and shortsighted, Reed responded, “Shockingly lax? Yes. Shortsighted, I’m not so sure.” Reed served as 11th Air Force Secretary from January 1976 to April 1977 under the Ford and Carter Administrations. Earlier, he worked on nuclear weapons at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory of the University of California. His co-author for the book is Danny Stillman, former director of the technical intelligence division at Los Alamos National Laboratory.