As noted on Reason 24/7 this morning, in defense of a nuclear-armed world in the House of Lords, John Gilbert suggested threatening to drop a neutron bomb on the Afghan-Pakistan border to stop insurgents from crossing. "I am absolutely delighted that nuclear weapons were invented when they were," Lord Gilbert said according to the Huffington Post UK. Gilbert claimed only goat herders occupied the area and that a good nuking would create a "cordons sanitaire," or "quarantine zone."
The former minister of state for defense in Tony Blair's government apparently does not think the concept of mutually-assured destruction applies to Pakistan's conventional nuclear weaponry, which likely can't reach Britain yet, or any speculative dirty bomb detonation it might facilitate. Since Pakistan announced it had developed a nuclear weapon in 1998, there have been no large-scale wars between India and Pakistan. There were three major conflicts between the two countries before India tested a "peaceful" nuclear device in 1974, and countless border incursions and skirmishes since, but few in the last decade. Perhaps Lord Gilbert should have suggested offering Afghanistan nuclear weapons instead. Let's hope Iran doesn't blow it out of proportion.