Millions of Americans are learning more than ever before about
the terrible consequences of a nuclear war between India and
Pakistan, thanks to an incredibly sophisticated computer model made
available to journalists by The Heritage Foundation's Center for
Media and Public Policy.
As a result, in recent days viewers of Fox News, CNN and ABC's
This Week saw incredibly detailed graphic depictions of the deaths
and destruction caused by nuclear strikes against such cities as
Pakistan's capitol, Islamabad, and India's capitol, New Delhi.
Readers of The Washington Times saw similar graphics in a
front-page story last week, and a host of other major newspapers
are also preparing stories using the computer model.
The computer model made available to journalists by the Media
Center is a version of the Consequences Assessment Tool Set (CATS)
system used by the Pentagon's Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
Possible Nuclear Conflict Scenarios:
Pakistan Uses A Nuclear Device on Attacking Indian
India and Pakistan Trade Attacks on Border
India Attacks Pakistani Capital
Pakistan Attacks Indian Capital
The Pentagon agency uses CATS to assess the likely harm that
would be done by a nuclear, chemical or biological attack on any
point on the globe, including deaths and injuries, commercial and
residential property damage and environmental effects. Besides
population and property impacts, CATS considers real-time weather
conditions and a host of additional factors in its projections.
Besides modeling nuclear strikes, CATS can simulate biological
attacks using agents like anthrax and chemical agents such as Sarin
gas that was used in the Tokyo subway attack several years ago. The
software can also be used to model natural disasters such as
earthquakes and hurricanes.
The Times report, Scenario
of Nuke Strikes Weighed,
Factoring in weather conditions, the
size and type of the nuclear missile used, the population at the
target site, and the delivery method employed, the software
produces detailed tallies of the likely casualties at ground zero,
as well as the projected damage from nuclear fallout.
For the United States, the CATS analysis can give a virtual
block-by-block assessment of a nuclear, chemical or biological
warfare attack, including strategic sites and public infrastructure
likely to be destroyed or disabled.
After the Times report appeared,
broadcast media requests pored in to the Media Center. Reporter
George Stephanopolous of ABC's "This Week," for example, used
Heritage's computer models to simulate the damage from some
specific "war games" scenarios.
Among the scenarios used by the ABC program were strikes aimed
at ground troops; tit-for-tat targeting of cities; with a
progression up to capital (highly-populated) cities; and then an
all-out nuclear exchange in which both sides use all of their
Similarly, CNN used the CATS scenario to report the
Computer modeling done by The Heritage Foundation shows that if
India hit the Pakistani capital of Islamabad with its largest
nuclear device, a 43-kiloton bomb, the initial blast would kill
107,000 people and extend two miles. Fallout would be lethal for
about 3.3 miles from ground zero. Of course a Pakistani nuclear
strike on New Delhi would cause similar devastation and inevitably
the death toll would grow as tens of thousands more died of
radiation poisoning, disease and starvation in the weeks and months
conducted by Dexter Ingram
Center for Media and Public Policy at The Heritage