STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Nuclear Armed for Uncertain Times

Dr Sheel Kant Sharma is Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi. A career diplomat, he was Ambassador of India to Austria and Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Vienna and IAEA, Indian Governor to IAEA Board of Governors (2004–2008), and Secretary General SAARC (2008–2011).
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  • May 2018
    Volume: 
    42
    Issue: 
    3
    Strategic Essay

    India can look back with more than a fair measure of satisfaction on the past two decades since its nuclear weapon tests of May 1998. Those tests signalled a strategic shift. This article therefore looks at the international situation and tendencies that prevailed in the run up to these tests. It then presents an assessment of the international reaction as a consequence of that bold and courageous action; as well as of the comprehensive endeavour to address the challenges and maximise the opportunities presented. The Essay also looks at issues in nuclear diplomacy that were central to the resulting sequence of events, and discusses the far-reaching, wider impact of the transition triggered by the tests. Finally, conclusions are drawn concerning the situation that has since emerged, related benefits and attainments, as well as the likely downsides.

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