Nuclear

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  • NPT@50: The Genesis of a Flawed Bargain

    Even after five decades of its entry-into-force, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is largely seen as a Cold War era instrument that has failed to fulfill the objective of creating a pathway towards a credible disarmament process.

    March 31, 2020

    Kudankulam: One Incident, Many Facets

    The existing approach to cyber security is heavily tilted towards practising deterrence by denial, essentially by building defences. However, the concept of deterrence needs further tweaking to make it workable in cyberspace.

    December 16, 2019

    Vivek Dhattarwal asked: What is the role of nuclear submarines for the Indian Navy?

    Abhay Kumar Singh replies: A nuclear submarine is a submarine powered by a nuclear reactor. Since nuclear propulsion does not require atmospheric oxygen, it frees the submarine from the need to surface frequently, as is necessary for conventional submarines. Due to the long interval between refuelling of the reactor, the sortie duration of nuclear submarine remains limited by food embarked and crew fatigue. Simply put, a nuclear submarine has a nearly limitless range and superior manoeuvrability.

    India’s ‘No First Use’ Nuclear Doctrine

    The Defence Minister’s recent statement on ‘no first use’ basically underlines the fact that India’s current nuclear doctrine is working well.

    September 16, 2019

    ‘No First Use’ is Not Sacrosanct: Need a Theatre-Specific Posture for Flexible Options

    Nuclear doctrines and postures are dynamic processes that evolve with the security environment. Twenty years after India’s nuclear doctrine was first drafted, the time is ripe for a comprehensive review and suitable revisions.

    August 27, 2019

    India and the Nuclear High Road: Nuclear Cooperation Agreements with Japan and Australia

    Apart from the United States, India's nuclear cooperation agreements with Japan and Australia have been the most contentious domestically within those countries. The 'slow embrace' of India's civil nuclear credentials by Japan — given the four years for negotiations to begin (after the December 2006 Joint Statement which talked about discussions regarding such an agreement with India) in addition to the six years it took for negotiations to bear fruit — took place despite the strategic context of increasingly closer economic, political, and security ties.

    2019

    In Awe of the Atom: Proliferation, Threats, and Costs of Nuclear Management

    ince the time of their invention and the first-and-only use on 6 and 9 August 1945 on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively, nuclear weapons have been seen by the states that possess them, or the ones that seek them, as the ultimate guarantors of their security.1 It is believed that these weapons are key to achieving victory in a war that otherwise may go on for a long time or may end in defeat if fought in conventional ways by a weaker country; in other words, nuclear weapons are believed to act as instruments of deterrence.

    April-June 2019

    Sowmya Sai asked: Why is Pakistan's lowering of nuclear threshold a problem for India and its doctrine?

    A. Vinod Kumar replies: Unlike India’s declaration of a nuclear doctrine centered on a no-first-use (NFU) posture, Pakistan has not publicly shared a similar doctrinal document but has repeatedly declared its intention to use nuclear weapons first, citing India’s conventional superiority. Yet, there has been no formally declared threshold for such nuclear use though Pakistan has exploited this ambiguity to engage in brinkmanship in the years after overt nuclearisation.

    Bharath asked: How is it that India has woefully performed in indigenous defence manufacturing while it has excelled in space and nuclear technology?

    G. Balachandran replies: There were many reasons. But the primary reason was that in the space and the nuclear sector the developers and users were the same. Secondly, they could proceed at their pace. If there were delays or targets not met, there was no question of the users importing since that option was not available.

    Rinkesh Garg asked: What are the chances of proliferation of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal or knowhow to non-state actors and what is India's preparedness in this regard?

    A. Vinod Kumar replies: Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme is assumed to have come through proliferation channels that were harnessed and promoted by A.Q. Khan, the supposed architect of Pakistan’s nuclear programme. Subsequently, Khan was investigated for his role in running a nuclear black market that directly or indirectly benefited some countries that clandestinely sought resources to develop nuclear bombs.

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