A far more likely scenario: Islamabad turns the F-16s they ordered from Washington -- remember those? -- into atomic bombers. "It is believed those planes are nuclear capable," says Thompson. Still another option for both nations is nuclear terrorism: Sneaking a device beyond the other's border via truck or boat. It may be farfetched -- but now that the subcontinent's gone nuclear, such scenarios are a necessary part of the balance of terror.
Having the bomb is only half the battle. In the deadly game of nuclear deterrence India and Pakistan are now playing, the next level is all about finding the means to drop it on the other. With a little help from China, Pakistan has built what is, for the moment, a better mousetrap: The Ghauri missile, which has a range of 900 miles and could theoretically knock out most major Indian cities. But Pakistan's parts don't necessarily add up, according to TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson. "Just because they have tested a bomb and tested a missile doesn't mean they yet have the technical ability to build a bomb that's small enough, and able to withstand the high G-forces involved in a missile launch," he says.