Nuclear dilemma of India/ some answers
Pakistani military has realized that in case of any future India – Pakistan war, the possibility of either side achieving a clear-cut victory or suffering an abject or total defeat is no more a possibility under the current NUCLEARIZED circumstances.
While a clear-cut, decisive or total victory is not conceivable for Pakistan because of the vast differential in conventional military capability between India and Pakistan, the availability of a viable and credible nuclear capability with Pakistan precludes the spectre of an abject Pakistani defeat and thus, a corresponding total victory for India. So the Pakistani military thought of a strategy of sub-limited confrontations or even limited indirect conflicts but ensuring that these are not permitted to escalate to a stage where either of the sides to the conflict is forced to contemplate the employment of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction. Kargil is a test case of this strategy. While their hyped-up domestic public opinion(created by media) might go along with their decision to wage a war, the leaders would be required to show some achievement for it when it is all over. In fact, the very survival of the political structure that took the country to war in the first place would depend to quite an extent on the outcome of the war.
So TERMINATE THE WAR IN FAVOURABLE NOTE BEFORE UN VOTE is the MANTRA.
Kargil gave General Musharaff the following advantages.
1.The perception of failure was put on the elected civilian leadership Nawaz and he was ousted from power.
2.Then Indian leadership legitimized Military dictatorship of Gen Musharaff by inviting him to Agra under again American influence.
The Pakistan Military was very satisfied by terminating a war against more powerful India with a favorable stalemate. So Kargil in a sense is a favourable outcome militarily for Pakistan with so called irregulars occupying territory across LOC in Indian held Kashmir. But it also proved one thing to Pakistan Military leadership that Indian POLITICAL LEADERSHIP WILL NOT DO ANYTHING WITHOUT OK FROM USA which includes LAUNCHING OF NUKES or conventional war. So politically also it is gain for their think tanks.
Pakistan military knows now that it will have sufficient warning before Nuke option or conventional strike is exercised by India. But its first option and keeping it almost always ready to launch is not only the key to its survival as state but also making the very launching of conventional military strike by India into a question mark for its planners.
The most obvious manifestation of this accepted Indian weakness is the fact that Pakistan, unlike India, has reserved the right of ‘first use’ of nuclear weapons. Pakistan’s leadership are fully aware that being militarily weaker in the conventional realm, they are far more likely than India to reach their nuclear threshold earlier and as such cannot under any circumstances subscribe to the option of ‘no first use’ as India has stated in her draft nuclear doctrine.
Although Pakistan also espouses the desire of possessing a triad-based nuclear force, it currently just like India has only the potential of using either manned aircraft or surface-to-surface ballistic missiles for delivering nuclear warheads, with the third leg of the triad still being developed. It is precisely this realization that Pakistan would be most probably be the first one to resort to employing nuclear weapons using her two-dimensional nuclear potential that has motivated India’s quest for anti-ballistic missile systems such as the Russian Su-300 / Israeli Arrow-212 and the Phalcon AEW13 that she is desirous of inducting as soon as possible. While the former would serve to provide an element of defense against Pakistan’s ballistic nuclear-tipped SSMs, the latter would pose a strong defense against any efforts of the Pakistan Air Force to deliver nuclear weapons, by interdicting these aircrafts in air itself.These very purchases also confirms to Pakistan that India will not strike first with Nukes.
Moreover in my reckoning, a nuclear threshold does not really apply to India(when Pakistan is the adversary) since Pakistan does not currently possess the conventional potential to force India’s reaching a point where she is forced to employ her nuclear weapons.Of course when China or any other P5 become an adversary then the Nuclear threshold can be rapidly reached.From the Pakistani perspective, nuclear weapons are not only meant to deter the onset of a war but rather these are weapons are also required for deterring and possibly averting an abject defeat. In other words India cannot reach that nuke thresehold even when the Indian Army is winning!!!
Deterrence in South Asian environment has to be viewed as a two-tiered concept, especially from Pakistan’s perspective. The massive and almost decisive conventional asymmetry that confronts Pakistan could lead it to view its deterrence policy according to the following requirements.
First and foremost, the purpose of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is to preclude the possibility of India embarking on any military adventure against it, even if it is limited to a purely conventional conflict. This is the traditional form of deterrence that this world has witnessed earlier also. By fielding a credible nuclear force, Pakistan wants to deter the initiation of any military operations by India on the basis of her established nuclear capability that is liable to be employed if India not does abstain from embarking on military operations against it. From this perspective, Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence could be classified as an instrument for deterring conventional war. Pakistan’s military thinking could be summed up by saying that she would project her nuclear arsenal to convince India of the futility of embarking on a full fledged conventional war against her by insinuating that the availability of nuclear weapons with Pakistan obviates the possibility of the Indian military achieving any significant objectives during a conventional limited war.
The second tier of Pakistan’s deterrence will come into play once hostilities have broken out between the two countries and the war is not going well for Pakistan. In this situation, with its back to the wall, Pakistan could be forced to employ the nuclear weapons as a weapon of last resort to forestall an imminent scenario of abject defeat. The objective here would be for Pakistan to threaten India with its use of the nuclear weapons unless that war is brought to an abrupt and complete stop. This would be a really desperate situation from the Pakistani viewpoint that could well justify the employment of nuclear weapons against India. In order to keep the Indians guessing, it can be expected that Pakistan would intentionally maintain an element of ambiguity about her ‘nuclear threshold’ while simultaneously ensuring that it is taken into consideration in the preparation of its war plans by India.
Conversely, India’s nuclear deterrence, unlike Pakistan’s, is not aimed at preventing conventional war. Rather, it is designed to avert the Pakistani usage of the nuclear weapons. This indicates that while Pakistan’s nuclear wherewithal is aimed at preventing a conventional war, India’s is designed to prevent a nuclear exchange. This is a significant difference between the deterrence philosophies of the two South Asian nations that must be taken into account. From this it also flows that while Pakistan’s nuclear prowess has more of a ‘first use’ connotation, India’s nuclear arsenal is designed more as a second strike or retaliatory option and the draft Indian nuclear doctrine more than amply elucidates these two aspects.
The fundamental purpose of Indian nuclear weapons is to deter the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons by any State or entity against India and its forces. In this policy of ‘retaliation only’, the survivability of Indian arsenal is critical.Has India ensured it?This stark difference between the nuclear philosophies of India and Pakistan highlights the point that while Pakistan’s nuclear potential is contributing to the maintenance of conventional stability in South Asia, that of India is essentially instrumental in the maintenance of nuclear stability in the region. While the former is aimed at preventing the break-out of a conventional war, the latter serves to dissuade both the countries from going nuclear. This difference in the nuclear philosophies of India and Pakistan would figure very prominently in any future military conflict in South Asia unless India changes its philosophy due to the games Permanent five is playing in Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan.
If a train of events is set in motion by India opting to commence a limited intensity campaign disregarding the threat of a Pakistani first use of her nuclear weapons possibly on the premise that the limited end-objectives of this campaign would not warrant crossing of Pakistan’s nuclear threshold. The COLDSTART theory of 8 independent action Brigades comes out of this premise.It is quite possible that India’s hand could be forced into using them by an increased involvement of Pakistan in the Kashmir or an attack like that of Mumbai(which was meant to deny its own involvement) Planning for this phase of operations has to be very carefully articulated keeping mind the perceived nuclear threshold of Pakistan and would have to be integrated with a massive media campaign aimed at convincing not only the domestic populace but also the entire global community that India’s hand was forced by the prevailing situation and the adoption of a military option being warranted, India was justified in adopting this extreme course of action. India would also have to ensure that the objectives stipulated by it for the military offensive are so limited in nature and magnitude that these preclude any overstepping of Pakistan’s nuclear threshold.
Having been unable to deter India from embarking on a conventional conflict, Pakistan must be following a two-pronged strategy – a diplomatic offensive aimed at heightening the concern of the international community simultaneously with the adoption of a higher state of readiness of its nuclear forces. The second step will signify Pakistan’s resolve not only to India but also to the other interested parties of the world like USA, UK and China.
India’s persistence to violate Pakistan’s nuclear threshold will involve a nuclear strike by Pakistan. If India does not get dissuaded by the danger and possibility of a Pakistani nuclear first strike and continues the conventional conflict, this might put Pakistan in a corner with no option but to go nuclear. It is this type of argument which the west is lapping it up and Pakistan laughing all the way.
Pakistan by keeping its nuclear decision making option from its elected political leadership has kept the prying eyes of USA from deciding the security of state of Pakistan unlike Indians. Though President Zardari is head of their Nuclear command authority every one knows the true picture.
Perhaps the most widely quoted statement of a Pakistani official on the issue of nuclear thresholds surfaced after an interview that Lt. Gen. Kidwai, the Director General of the Strategic Plans Division gave to a group of Italian social scientists. In this statement, General Kidwai was quoted as having said, It is well known that Pakistan does not have a “No First Use Policy”. Pakistani nuclear weapons will be used, according to Gen. Kidwai, only “if the very existence of Pakistan as a state is at stake”. This has been detailed by Gen. Kidwai as follows:
a. India attacks Pakistan and conquers a large part of its territory (space threshold)
b. India destroys a large part either of its land or air forces (military threshold)
c. India proceeds to the economic strangling of Pakistan (economic strangling)
d. India pushes Pakistan into political destabilization or creates a large scale internal subversion in Pakistan (domestic destabilization)
He also made it very clear that his weapons are directed against INDIA only.
Our reaction to Mumbai attacks has convinced Pakistan that;
1.Cold start of the 8 independent brigades have no autonomy.
2.The Indian political leadership has no S.O.P for a situation like that of Mumbai in which our Military leadership is given autonomy to retaliate quickly without waiting for political permission in any place of its choosing in J&K OR even across international border.
The recent Poonch encounter must have convinced Pakistanis of this perception.
1. UK suddenly linking the solution of Kashmir problem as the root of all Jihadi problems between India and Pakistan and also Afghan stabilization .
2.The new US ambassador to UN is talking about Kashmir as an international problem along with Palestine?
3.The attempt to nominate Richard Holbrook as special ambassador for India/Pakistan on Kashmir.
4.The recent Haqqani media blitz in USA could NOT be carried out without wink from Obama security team.
Indian leadership has by now known;
1. That UK and USA are both coordinating their strategy to denuclearise not only Pakistan but also India.
2.Their national interest is more attuned to getting a fig leaf of a deal with TALIBAN(mullah Omar) in Afghanistan with power sharing.They just want to protect the illegal drug trade being carried with connivance
of ISI and some elements of Afghan government who are beholden to SAUDIES.
3.Indian largese to Afghanistan in the guise of infrastructure is not helping in any way Indian national interest while weakening our real friends the northern alliance. The following statement by General Kidwai of SPD on 13th january 2009 should also be taken with
lot of care by India.
“What Kidwai is very keen to do is reassure the international community that as things sort of get worse and worse in Pakistan in terms of terrorism and Taliban and all the rest of it; still the Pakistan military can be trusted to keep these weapons safe and secure,” said Shaun Gregory, director of the University of Bradford’s Pakistan Security Research Unit.
Kidwai has been trying simultaneously to dissuade India and the United States that they could somehow destroy or remove Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in a time of crisis, according to another expert.
“The first point would be, if you think you can target our weapons, India, they’re secure, forget it. If you think you can find out where our weapons are, the United States, they’re secure, forget it — and we’re not going to give you that kind of access, no matter how many hundreds of millions of dollars you give us. These are two very important messages that any patriotic Pakistani logically would want to emphasize,” said Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Education Policy Center.
“They’re very concerned about the possibility that there will be a commando attack against their infrastructure, if we knew enough, in a crisis, and that at the end of the day they would end up with no (nuclear) weapons. And that’s their worst fear,” agreed Ken Luongo of the Partnership for Global Security.
Luongo said Kidwai’s public relations efforts were suspect because Pakistan has not allowed the United States or others to see the nation’s security measures firsthand.
“It’s all coming out of the SPD officials, and there hasn’t been any way to independently verify what exactly it is that they’ve done, or how they’ve instituted the (security) improvements, or how they’re working. They won’t let anybody close enough. This is all being done on kind of an arm’s length basis,” he said .
Pakistan army is not a fool that they will expose their nukes to aerial attacks by Indians or Israelis even in case of conventional war between both of us unless we reach their nuclear thresehold fairly quickly.But they are capable of bringing in surprises.The size of Individual nukes is the key and whether they have miniaturized enough to fit in torpedoes of submarines or missiles.Whether missiles could be neutralized before their launch is the key.The Indian mujaheddin, naxalites could be used by Pakistan to sabotage Indian launch pads of our missiles and airbases.
So we must prepare our self for this eventuality and then only think of launching a conventional strike.Also SWAT and Wazirstan and Saudi arabia are the places the Pakistan bomb could be hidden by UMMA Tameer-nau.
1.India must change its strategy into Nuke first option with regard to Pakistan and announce its openly.
2.Talk with Pakistani security establishment especially the Army Chief,foreign Ministry, etc and address their security concerns instead of going through western interlocutors. They want deactivation of our forward airbases and also movement back of Indian Army. They may even ask for parity and siachen withdrawal. SIACHEN should be part of overall Kashmir settlement and no piece meal agreement on any issue. Our media should be told to IGNORE everything about Pakistan especially the escapades of their cricketers. Do not differentiate between privitised terrorism and State terrorism.
3. Never allow Richard Holbrook to visit India and Pakistan together.
4. Give Bangladesh all credit for a successful transition to democracy and also have frequent interactions with CITIZENS of that country.
5.Cut down on aid to Afghanistan and increase it to Bangladesh.
6. Pay more attention to Chinese military and prepare for deterrence against that neighbour. Our Missile and Airforce deployment against Chinese should be credible to the Chinese.
More posts by this author:
- Indian Army protecting Pakistani Army!!!
- As India sleeps Pakistan goes nuclear
- Pakistani Cricket/My view
- NRIs,NRpakistanies,NR bangladeshies/One of a kind
- JEHADIES TO PONDER ?