nuclear deterrence between india and pakistan pdf

Nuclear deterrence between india and pakistan pdf

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Nuclear Deterrence Thinking in Pakistan

Login Sitemap Contact. Recent events in South Asia have put all these into question. These are dismal times for peace.

First, when stable strategic equilibrium is achieved, it preserves peace and maintains stability. It diminishes the security dilemma, raises the threshold of nuclear use and the possibility of peace increases. States behave rationally; asymmetry goes down, and consequently, the probability of war decreases. Second, when deterrence becomes unstable, the nuclear threshold declines, asymmetry increases, and the probability of deterrence failure and war increase. Peace then becomes precarious and chances of nuclear employment become high.

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Login Sitemap Contact. Recent events in South Asia have put all these into question. These are dismal times for peace. Since the tests of May and their overt nuclearization, Pakistan-India relations have visibly deteriorated.

Crisis has followed crisis and nuclear weapons have played an increasingly prominent role. The massive military mobilisation and threat of war in spring of exposed several important features of the dynamics shaping nuclear South Asia, especially the repeated use of nuclear threats and the apparent fearlessness of policy makers and the public when faced with the prospect of nuclear war.

The context for these developments is a growing unwillingness among political and military leaders in South Asia to confront changed realties but as Einstein famously remarked, the bomb has changed everything except our way of thinking. An arms race is growing, in fits and starts, as best as the two states can manage. Military doctrines are inter-linked in ways that lead inexorably to nuclear war.

The poor are uneducated, uninformed and powerless. The well-to-do are uninformed or possessed by the religious fundamentalism — Islamic and Hindu — that is rapidly changing both countries.

These forces are now being wedded to nationalism in ways that suggest restraints that were at work in previous India-Pakistan wars and crises may increasingly be over-ridden or suppressed. We are moving down a steep slippery slope whose bottom we have yet to see. The efficacy of nuclear deterrence is predicated on the ability of these weapons to induce terror.

It presupposes a rational calculus, as well as actors who, at the height of tension, will put logic before emotion. We therefore fear that perhaps a new chapter may someday have to written in textbooks dealing with the theory of nuclear deterrence. Time is short. The role of the United States is key. It has begun to worry more about the spectre of nuclear armed islamic terrorism than the prospect of a South Asian nuclear war.

There is a fundamental link between crises and nuclear weapons in South Asia. Soon after the defeat of Pakistan by India in the war, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto called a meeting of Pakistani nuclear scientists in the city of Multan to map out a nuclear weapons program. Pakistan was pushed further into the nuclear arena by the Indian test of May , seen as a means to further consolidate Indian power in South Asia.

Challenged again in May by a series of 5 Indian nuclear tests, Pakistan was initially reluctant to test its own weapons out of fear of international sanctions.

Belligerent statements by Indian leaders after the tests succeeded in forcing it over the hill. But success brought change. Pakistan saw nuclear weapons as a talisman, able to ward off all dangers. In the minds of Pakistani generals, nuclear weapons now became tools for achieving foreign policy objectives.

The notion of a nuclear shield led them to breath-taking adventurism in Kashmir. Led by Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan sent troops out of uniform along with Islamist militant fighters across the Line of Control to seize strategic positions in the high mountains of the Kargil area.

The subsequent Kargil war of may be recorded by historians as the first actually caused by nuclear weapons. As India counter-attacked and Pakistan stood diplomatically isolated, a deeply worried Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flew to Washington on 4 July , where he was bluntly told to withdraw Pakistani forces or be prepared for full-scale war with India. Bruce Reidel, Special Assistant to President Clinton, writes that he was present in person when Clinton informed Nawaz Sharif that the Pakistan Army had mobilized its nuclear-tipped missile fleet.

Despite the defeat in the Kargil War, Pakistan political and military leaders insisted that Pakistan had prevailed in the conflict and that its nuclear weapons had deterred India from crossing the Line of Control or the international border.

This belief may be especially strong in the military, who would otherwise have to accept that their prized weapons were of no military utility. On 13 December , Islamic militants struck at the Indian parliament in Delhi sparking off a crisis that has yet to end.

Although an embattled Musharraf probably had little to do with the attack on the Indian Parliament, India cut off communications with Pakistan. The Indian ambassador in Islamabad was recalled to Delhi, road and rail links were broken off, and flights by Pakistani airlines over Indian territory were disallowed.

Such Indian reactions have played into the hands of jihadists in Kashmir who now operate as a third force almost autonomous of the Pakistani state this operational autonomy is typical of such large scale covert operations, where there is a political need for the state patron to be able to plausibly deny responsibility for any particular action taken by such forces — the U.

There is a real possibility that jihadists will commit some huge atrocity — such as a mass murder of Indian civilians. Indeed, their goal is to provoke full-scale war between India and Pakistan, destabilize Musharraf, and settle scores with America. Nuclear threats started flying in all directions. This is not the first time this notion has been exercised, but it has now gained astonishingly wide currency in Indian ruling circles and carries increasingly grave risks of a misjudgment that could lead to nuclear war.

As a member of the delegation, one of us PH expressed worries about a nuclear catastrophe on the Subcontinent. Gujral repeatedly assured PH — both in public and in private — that Pakistan was not capable of making atomic bombs. The Prime Minister was not alone. Senior Indian defense analysts like P. Chari had also published articles before May arguing this point, as had the former head of the Indian Atomic Energy Agency, Dr.

Raja Ramana. The assumption is that, in case of extreme crisis, the US would either restrain their use by Pakistan or, if need be, destroy them. To fearlessly challenge a nuclear Pakistan requires a denial of reality, which some Indians seem prepared to make. It is an enormous leap of faith to presume that the United States would have either the intention — or the capability — to destroy Pakistani nukes. Tracking and destroying even a handful of mobile nuclear-armed missiles would be no easy feat.

During the Cuban missile crisis, the U. Air Force had aerial photos of the Soviet missile locations and its planes were only minutes away, yet it would not assure that a surprise attack would be more than 90 percent effective.

More recently, in Iraq, U. It would be fantastically dangerous because one needs percent success. Nonetheless, there are signs that India is boosting its military capability to where it might feel able to overwhelm Pakistan. Since the nuclear tests, there have been very large increases in Indian military spending. A further increase of 4. A missile regiment to handle the nuclear-capable Agni missile is being raised.

A recent World Bank report is worth quoting at length: 8. From independence to the late s, Pakistan outperformed the rest of South Asia. Then in the s progress ground to a halt. Poverty remained stuck at high levels, economic growth slowed, institutions functioned badly, and a serious macroeconomic crisis erupted. Pakistani generals know why they want nuclear weapons. They anticipate that in the event of hostilities, India is likely to take losses in a terrain unsuitable for heavy armour or strike aircraft.

So it could shift the theatre of war — escalating horizontally but without attacking nuclear facilities. Thereafter India would have several options available to it:. Destroy the infrastructure of the Pakistan military communication networks, oil supplies, army bases, railway yards, air bases through the use of runway busting bombs.

They have articulated a set of conditions under which they will use their nuclear weapons. India creates political destabilization or large scale internal subversion in Pakistan India, in turn, has started to prepare its military to be attacked by nuclear weapons on the battlefield and to continue the war.

The major Indian war game Poorna Vijay Complete Victory in May , the bigggest in over a decade, was reported to center on training the army and airforce to fight in a nuclear conflict. In early , with a million troops mobilised and leaders in both India and Pakistan threatening nuclear war, world opinion responded fearfully, seeing a fierce and possibly suicidal struggle up ahead.

Foreign nationals streamed out of both countries, and many are yet to return. But even at the peak of the crisis, few Indians or Pakistanis lost much sleep. Stock markets flickered, but there was no run on the banks or panic buying. Schools and colleges, which generally close at the first hint of crisis, functioned normally. What explains the astonishing indifference to nuclear annihilation?

In part, the answer has to do with the fact that India and Pakistan are still largely traditional, rural societies, albeit going through a great economic and social transformation at a furious pace. The fundamental belief structures of such societies which may well be the last things to change , reflecting the realities of agriculture dependent on rains and good weather, encourage a surrender to larger forces.

Because they feel they are at the mercy of unseen forces, the level of risk-taking is extraordinary. But other reasons may be more important. In India and Pakistan, most people lack basic information about nuclear dangers. First hand evidence bears out these judgments.

Even educated people seem unable to grasp basic nuclear realities. Some students at the university in Islamabad where one of us teaches PH , when asked, believed that a nuclear war would be the end of the world. Others thought of nuclear weapons as just bigger bombs. Almost none knew about the possibility of a nuclear firestorm, about residual radioactivity, or damage to the gene pool. For the masses, they are symbols of national glory and achievement, not of death and destruction. Previous crises have also seen such lack of fear about the threat and use of nuclear weapons.

With each crisis, there seems to be a lessening of political restraints and greater nuclear brinksmanship.

A key factor is the absence of an informed and organized public opinion able to keep political and military leaders in check and restrain them from brandishing nuclear weapons. Close government control over national television, especially in Pakistan, has ensured that critical discussion of nuclear weapons and nuclear war is not aired.

It is harder to understand the absence of such critical debate in India. Because nuclear war is considered a distant abstraction, civil defense in both countries is non-existent. No serious contingency plans have been devised—plans that might save millions of lives by providing timely information about escape routes, sources of non-radioactive food and drinking water. We have not been able to provide homes, food, water and health care to so many even in peace time.

There is, nonetheless, something to be said for having credible plans to save as many as possible from the folly of their leaders. The development of and debate over such plans, in itself, may serve to convince some people of the horrors of what may be in store and motivate them to protest to survive.

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Don't have an account? This chapter examines how Pakistani strategic analysts think about the main components of nuclear deterrence: threat perceptions; force architecture and posture; conditions of nuclear use; targeting; testing; command and control; the relationship between nuclear and subnuclear conflict; missile defence; and measures to establish strategic stability. This is conducive to a significant degree of stability between the two countries. Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter. Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. This book examines the theory and practice of nuclear deterrence between India and Pakistan, two highly antagonistic South Asian neighbors who recently moved into their third decade of overt nuclear weaponization. It assesses the stability of Indo-Pakistani nuclear deterrence and argues that, while deterrence dampens the likelihood of escalation to conventional—and possibly nuclear—war, the chronically embittered relations between New Delhi and Islamabad mean that deterrence failure resulting in major warfare cannot be ruled out. Through an empirical examination of the effects of nuclear weapons during five crises between India and Pakistan since , as well as a discussion of the theoretical logic of Indo-Pakistani nuclear deterrence, the book offers suggestions for enhancing deterrence stability between these two countries. Devin T. JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser.

In extremis, if both states adhere to the threats issued in their doctrines a Pakistan-supported militant attack on Indian soil could escalate into an all-out nuclear exchange. It is a development that has been met with great concern by many analysts for its detrimental impact on deterrence stability. Since the doctrines are believed to have become operational, at least four incidents occurred which could have sparked this cross-domain escalation spiral. And yet, crisis behaviour proved vastly different from what doctrine predicted. What does this say about deterrence stability on the subcontinent? This chapter assesses deterrence stability on the basis of perfect deterrence theory, which is argued to provide a more nuanced view of deterrence relationships than classical deterrence theory.


Pakistan is not interesting in expanding the missile range. But it needs cruise missiles and tactical nuclear weapons. • Very important difference between India​.


Nuclear Deterrence Thinking in Pakistan

The India-Pakistan relationship is complex and choreographed with wars, protracted conflicts and active disputes. Although the presence of nuclear weapons has decreased the probability of an all-out conventional war, the frequency of minor conflicts and crises have increased manifold. India considers nuclear weapons a deterrent against nuclear strikes, whereas Pakistan assumes that these would deter a nuclear as well as a conventional war.

What will the spread of nuclear weapons do to the world? Horizontally, they have spread slowly across countries, and the pace is not likely to change much. Short-term candidates for the nuclear club are not very numerous.

Pakistan is one of nine states to possess nuclear weapons. As pointed out by Houston Wood, "The most difficult step in building a nuclear weapon is the production of fissile material"; [13] [14] as such, this work in producing fissile material as head of the Kahuta Project was pivotal to Pakistan developing the capability to detonate a nuclear bomb by the end of Moderate uranium enrichment for the production of fissile material was achieved at KRL by April Pakistan's nuclear weapons development was in response to the loss of East Pakistan in 's Bangladesh Liberation War. Bhutto called a meeting of senior scientists and engineers on 20 January , in Multan , which came to known as "Multan meeting".

E. Sridharan

The tried-and-tested concept of MAD has ensured that. Since Pakistan tested its nuclear devices in May , it has not formally declared an official nuclear use doctrine. For example, issues like the possibility of nuclear first use and a unilateral moratorium against nuclear testing remain constant. Minimum credible deterrence and basing the nuclear posture on nondeployment and de-mated weapons are some of the disputed issues. Its diversification of delivery means also indicates a shift from massive retaliation to graduated response, coupled with changes in future targeting strategies.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Deterrence and Strategic Stability

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