Author: Dr Manpreet Sethi, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies
This year, in the month of May, India will mark 25 years as a state with nuclear weapons. The period since 1998 has been spent operationalizing its credible deterrence. Much has changed in the region and the world since India went nuclear. Global geopolitical complexities are evident in the existence of multiple adversarial nuclear dyads and strategic chains of nuclear nations. Emergence of new technologies in the realms of offence and defence, speed and modes of delivery, command and control, and transparency are upping established ways of practicing nuclear deterrence. Nuclear modernization seems to be the order of the day and strategies of major nuclear powers are reflecting arsenal expansion, exercise of brinkmanship and ‘acceptance’ of ideas of limited nuclear war. At this juncture, India’s approach towards nuclear deterrence stands out amongst the nine nuclear armed states. How and why?
NuClearly Put will bring out a series of monthly articles examining issues of nuclear doctrine and capability from an Indian perspective. Released on the last day of every month, each piece will answer a different question to steadily build a mosaic of understanding around nuclear India. The attempt will be understand the historical context in which decisions were taken, to take stock of the contemporary situation, recall some basics, and look ahead. Each article will also offer a set of recommended readings to further understand the issues and their nuances.
Questions from readers are welcome.