Real mission for James Bond: infiltrate India's nuke programme
Washington, Nov 13 (IANS) Ahead of the latest James Bond film's release in the US this Friday, a foreign policy journal has listed out five missions it would like the most popular fictional spy to take up, including infiltrating India's nuclear programme to find out if the country has got a hydrogen bomb.
'James Bond is out for revenge in the new film, 'Quantum of Solace', opening in the United States on Nov 14. But here in the real world, the intelligence community is badly in need of a superspy to solve some of its biggest conundrums. Here are five missions we'd love Agent 007 to tackle,' writes Jerome Chen in an article, 'Five Real Missions for 007', on the web edition of the highly regarded American journal Foreign Policy.
Here is how the article describes the mission number one for the superspy: 'Infiltrate the nuclear weapons programmes of India, Pakistan, and North Korea to determine which ones possess the hydrogen bomb.'
And here is the briefing for the job: 'It's long been assumed that these smaller nuclear powers possess inferior nuclear weapons. During the Cold War, only superpowers had the ability to make advancements in nuclear weaponry, such as developing the hydrogen bomb. But the barriers are no longer so high.'
'The idea is out,' the article quotes John Pike, director of the defence and intelligence news website GlobalSecurity.org as saying.
According to Pike: 'The computational power available to design a device and conduct tests is leaps and bounds above what was available to Cold War-era scientists.'
Moreover, required materials such as plutonium, uranium, and tritium are available to any country with a nuclear reactor, notes the article.
'Do the newer members of the nuclear club possess weapons only as potent as the Nagasaki bomb? ... Possession of the H-bomb could also complicate certain conflicts, such as the long-simmering dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.'
The other missions for the top spy are:
-- Spy on the top-ranking officers of China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Determine its current strength and plans for future expansion.
-- Gain the trust of the leaders of Russia's natural gas industry. Determine their intentions in Central Asia.
-- Travel to the mountainous Pashtun regions of Afghanistan and gather information on tribal leaders. Determine which ones are connected to the Taliban and if they can be lured away with money and other incentives.
-- Enter North Korean ruler Kim Jong Il's inner circle and determine who is in line to be his successor.
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