Nuclear Doctrine

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  • Managing India’s Missile Aspirations

    The Agni-VI and Prahaar both signify unnecessary missile projects, which have been developed in the interests of DRDO technical and bureaucratic ambitions rather than the stated interests of India’s nuclear doctrine.

    February 10, 2013

    Pakistan’s ‘First Use’ in Perspective

    The article fleshes out Pakistani first use options for an informed discussion on the implied nuclear threat that Pakistan sometimes resorts to.

    May 12, 2011

    Did India Change its Nuclear Doctrine?: Much Ado about Nothing

    Fears by some analysts that India has recently altered its nuclear doctrine, and particularly its no first use policy, are unfounded.

    March 01, 2011

    Reconciling Doctrines: Prerequisite for Peace in South Asia

    Reconciling Doctrines: Prerequisite for Peace in South Asia

    This paper suggests an approach towards building conditions necessary for peace between India and Pakistan. Identifying the Pakistani army as a power centre in Pakistan, the hypothesis is that a strategic dialogue with it would achieve doctrinal balancing and help mitigate its threat perception.


    Pakistani Nuclear Use and Implications for India

    The robustness of India's nuclear doctrine would face a severe challenge in the case of conventional military offensives into Pakistan in a future Indo-Pak conflict. Such offensives are possible in case Pakistan's nuclear threshold is taken as high and its doctrine one of 'last resort'. However, Pakistani nuclear use options may include lower order nuclear use. In light of this, it recommends that India take a serious look at the Limited War concept as well as revise its nuclear doctrine to 'flexible nuclear retaliation'.

    July 2010

    R P Singh asked: Can we define "minimum" in India's nuclear doctrine of minimum nuclear deterrence?

    K. Subrahmanyam replies: The minimum deterrent should spread over three media, air, land and sea (under the sea). It should be sufficient to absorb a first strike by the adversary and then retaliate. It should be sufficient to deter two adversaries who have a nuclear proliferation relationship of over 34 years. This cannot be less than hundred but the optimum figure is a matter of strategic judgement.

    De-linking CBW from Nuclear Deterrence

    President Obama’s Nuclear Posture Review1 has raised hopes of universally fine-tuning nuclear deterrence; using it ‘fundamentally’ against the nuclear threats. This article attempts to underline the issues involved in de-linking Chemical and Biological weapons’ threats from nuclear use.

    April-June 2010

    The Political Factor in Nuclear Retaliation

    That a nuclear taboo exists indicates the divide between conventional and nuclear war. It is no wonder then that India – though a nuclear weapons power – deems nuclear weapons not for military use but for deterrence purposes. These are, therefore, taken as political weapons. Seeking to deter use of nuclear weapons against India or its forces anywhere, India's nuclear doctrine promises ‘massive’ punitive retaliatory strike in case of nuclear use by its enemy. This is evidence that the Indian leadership is cognizant of the special status of nuclear weapons.

    March 2010

    Re-visioning the Nuclear Command Authority

    In a new book Nuclear Strategy: India’s March Towards a Credible Deterrent, Dr. Manpreet Sethi has recommended a restructuring of India’s Nuclear Command Authority. Since India’s nuclear doctrine is premised on ‘Assured Retaliation’, nuclear retaliatory attacks can only be authorised by the civilian political leadership through the Nuclear Command Authority. Presently, the Nuclear Command Authority, as approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security on 04 January 2003, stipulates:

    September 09, 2009

    The Interface of Strategic and War Fighting Doctrines in the India–Pakistan Context

    There has been a shift to a deterrent strategic doctrine with an offensive bias. India's strategic doctrine is thus potentially a compellent one. However, cognizance of the need for limitation to conflict in the nuclear age entails identification of the implications of compellence for both conventional and nuclear doctrines. On the conventional plane, the hiatus between pivot corps and strike corps offensives is taken as a key 'exit point' for war termination efforts.

    September 2009