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Mega Thread-India Pakistan Nuke Scenario..NFU/massive Retaliation/ decapitating strikes/scenarios

Discussion in 'Indian Military Doctrine' started by nik141993, Mar 19, 2017.


Should India abandon its ‘no first use’ nuclear policy?

Poll closed Jul 19, 2017.
  1. Yes

    21 vote(s)
  2. No

    15 vote(s)
  3. Should keep an ambigious Policy

    19 vote(s)
  4. Threat Specefic Policy

    12 vote(s)
  1. nik141993

    nik141993 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

    Oct 22, 2016
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    Former NSA says “massive response” provides counter force option (Above: an Indian Agni-4 IRBM)

    By Ajai Shukla
    Business Standard, 18th March 17

    Former national security advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon has shed new light on an especially worrying aspect of India’s nuclear doctrine --- New Delhi’s barely credible promise of automatic, “massive” nuclear retaliation against any adversary that targets India, or Indian forces anywhere, with weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

    The credibility gap in this strategy of “massive retaliation”, as pointed out by critics worldwide, is that it would cause carnage in the adversary’s towns and cities but leave intact much of his nuclear arsenal. With those surviving nukes (second-strike capability), the adversary would then wreak havoc on Indian towns and cities.

    It is hard for New Delhi, globally regarded as a restrained power, to convince analysts and adversaries that it would knowingly trigger the catastrophic deaths of millions of civilians on both sides by responding “massively” to a far smaller attack --- even, a single Pakistani Tactical Nuclear Weapon (TNW) that killed perhaps a hundred Indian soldiers deep inside Pakistani territory.

    Yet, India’s nuclear doctrine, promulgated on January 4, 2003, undertakes that “Nuclear retaliation to a first strike [by an adversary] will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage.”

    Now Menon, in his recent book entitled “Choices: Inside the making of Indian foreign policy”, indicates that India’s threat of “massive retaliation” need not involve nuclear strikes against Pakistani urban centres (“counter-value”, or CV strikes). Instead, India’s “massive response” could take the form of targeting Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal (“counter-force”, or CF strikes), leaving that adversary with a greatly diminished capability of striking back at India.

    In a key paragraph in his book, Menon --- who, as NSA, oversaw nuclear targeting policy --- analyses the meaning of a “massive” strike. He says: “There would be little incentive, once Pakistan had taken hostilities to the nuclear level, for India to limit its response, since that would only invite further escalation by Pakistan. India would hardly risk giving Pakistan the chance to carry out a massive nuclear strike after the Indian response to Pakistan using tactical nuclear weapons. In other worlds, Pakistani tactical nuclear weapon use would effectively free India to undertake a comprehensive first strike against Pakistan.”

    Menon carefully differentiates between “first use” (which Indian nuclear doctrine forbids) and “first strike”, which --- in widely-accepted nuclear vocabulary --- refers to a disarming CF strike aimed at leaving an adversary without nuclear recourse.

    Menon clearly enunciates the logic of a disarming CF strike: “India would hardly risk giving Pakistan the chance to carry out a massive nuclear strike after the Indian response…” In other words, India’s “second strike” (in response to a TNW against its forces) must leave Pakistan with little or no “third strike” capability.

    But does a disarming counter-force strike (which Menon terms a “comprehensive first strike”) amount to a “massive” response, which Indian doctrine mandates? A senior Indian official asks: “Who says a “massive” response must necessarily be directed at CV targets?

    Menon’s insights extend the focus of India’s second-strike well beyond counter-value targets to counter-force targets.

    Contacted by Business Standard, Menon declined to elaborate, stating only: “India’s nuclear doctrine has far greater flexibility than it gets credit for.”

    Menon’s book has been in print since November, but only now has this nuance been noted by Vipin Narang, a highly regarded nuclear strategist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This week, Narang tweeted: “Indian strategy following Pak tacnuke (tactical nuclear) use is neither proportional response nor massive retaliation. But [rather, it is a] disarming counterforce strike.”

    Even so, serious question marks remain over how effectively, or whether at all, India can actually execute a disarming CF strike that takes out most of Pakistan’s nukes. Partly because of the possibility of Indian attack, Pakistan is building up its nuclear arsenal faster than any other country, running its Khushab nuclear reactor at full tilt to produce plutonium. It is currently estimated to have 120-130 nuclear warheads.

    Especially difficult for India to target are Pakistan’s small, highly mobile TNWs that are basically truck-mounted, tube-launched artillery.

    Furthermore, any impression in Pakistan of Indian counterforce strikes, or the fear that the nukes might soon be lost, would incentivize their early use --- the “use them or lose them” dilemma.

    Indian public debate has traditionally focused on another aspect of our doctrine --- the commitment of “No First Use” (NFU) of nuclear weapons. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) questioned NFU in its pre-2014 election manifesto, before backing off quickly. Then, last year, former defence minister Manohar Parrikar raised questions over the need for NFU, before the BJP dismissed that as his “personal view”.

    However, given Pakistan’s conventional military weakness in the face of a sudden Indian offensive under the “Cold Start” doctrine, Rawalpindi’s operationalization of TNWs, and its declared plan to use them early in a conflict, make India’s response a matter of life and death for millions.


    @PARIKRAMA @Abingdonboy @AbRaj @Ankit Kumar 001 @Lion of Rajputana @indu
  2. A_poster

    A_poster Captain FULL MEMBER

    Nov 8, 2016
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    Why not before?

    PARIKRAMA Captain IDF NewBie

    Mar 24, 2016
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    If i remember correctly and what i had discussed with my good friends and collaborated to @Hellfire , i believe if India sees the strategic strike package moving out of its regular storage area, then there is a chain of process which gets initiated.. irrespective of whether Pakistan fires the Nuke or not, the credible threat of moving out involves a grid and under a risk adjudged higher, India will fire a opening strike to take them out even before the nukes actually are fired against us.

    This kind of puts us not as first use but definitely its a first strike based on the heightened risk. TBH NFU thus becomes just a paper piece..

    @Hellfire correct me if i am wrong in any manner...
    Also tagging one of the very informed person on this @NS52 - Sir would love to hear your comments on this.
  4. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    Adding on to what @PARIKRAMA has said above.

    The Indian Doctrine has defined itself on the line "the use or threat of use of any WMD against Indian Forces and/or Indian territory".

    In an ongoing hostility, for example a conventional war between India and Pakistan, any move by Pakistan to deploy their assets, may invite a pre-emptive strike for neutralisation, limited to the particular threat, thereby 'managing' the conflict.

    Notwithstanding, since threat assessment and response formulation is a realtime and continuous process (it occurs even on a mundane day when the biggest news is of Kohli knocking a century) the level or scale of strike can be upgraded/expanded depending on the assessment of the time.

    The Indian doctrine also lets out a fact that the choice of weapon is not fixed. The 'neutralisation' may be carried out using munitions of both conventional/non-conventional or limited to conventional.

    I would not take Ajai Shukla too seriously. He was a proponent of Siachen Pullout, and was part of a group of 'experts' who undertook a massive campaign to underscore the 'tremendous costs India is paying'.

    This may be a red herring/attempt to pry exact details from Indian establishment over it's current posturing as the ambiguity of Indian Doctrine and posture leaves limited flexibility to any enemy nation's planning parameters and forces it to factor in contingencies which may be needless, but nevertheless, due to ambiguity, need to be factored in and thus, impose significant costs in terms of economic and technological input.
  5. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

    Oct 30, 2016
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    Meanwhile pakistani ISPR studio churning out videos like this


    Both military ( in some weird camo ) and poor 'kashmiri' talking in typical Punjabi.
    " vaedio bena rahe ho"

    watch and enjoy
    @Levina@Abingdonboy@nair@MilSpec @Gessler,@Robinhood Pandey ,@randomradio,@vstol jockey,@Hellfire @NS52@BlackOpsIndia @Rain Man @Grevion ,@Nilgiri @GSLV Mk III @SrNair @dadeechi @Ankit Kumar 001@kaku1@Golden_Rule@IndiranChandiran @Lion of Rajputana@thesolar65 @Sathya@Butter Chicken @AbRaj @Agent_47@bharathp @Aqwoyk@GuardianRED @PeegooFeng41@Indx TechStyle @Ved Mishra@ni8mare @A_poster@Kalmuahlaunda @zebra7@Marqueur @PARIKRAMA
    PS: @Hellfire BTW they are getting serious with their propaganda . look at this ISIS style video its completely new even in past history of conflict.
    Also I've seen some foreign looking propaganda news sites mimicking Russian and western media houses churning out a lot of propaganda articls about India.
    Govt should take it seriously and plan counter strategy IMO
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  6. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    What an exaggerated way of beating by policeman. Can make out the farce in a second
  7. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

    Oct 30, 2016
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    They should have hired actors from POK instead:mrgreen:
  8. Vyom

    Vyom Captain IDF NewBie

    Aug 9, 2013
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    So I read this article in IE and it made me think :
    India may abandon its ‘no first use’ nuclear policy: Expert

    India may abandon its ‘no first use’ nuclear policy and launch a preemptive strike against Pakistan if it feared that Islamabad was likely to use the weapons first, a top nuclear expert on South Asia has claimed.

    The remarks by Vipin Narang, an expert on South Asian nuclear strategy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before a Washington audience was though a negation of India’s stated policy of ‘no first use’.

    During the 2017 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, Narang said, “There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first”.

    He said India “may” abandon the policy and launch a preemptive strike against Pakistan if it believed that Pakistan was going to use nuclear weapons or most likely the tactical nuclear weapons against it.

    But, he pointed out, India’s preemptive strike may not be conventional strikes and would also be aimed at Pakistan’s missiles launchers for tactical battlefield nuclear warheads.

    “India’s opening salvo may not be conventional strikes trying to pick off just Nasr batteries in the theatre, but a full ‘comprehensive counterforce strike’ that attempts to completely disarm Pakistan of its nuclear weapons so that India does not have to engage in iterative tit-for-tat exchanges and expose its own cities to nuclear destruction,” Narang said.

    He said this thinking surfaces not from fringe extreme voices or retired Indian Army officers frustrated by the lack of resolve they believe their government has shown in multiple provocations, but from no less than a former Commander of India’s Strategic Forces, Lt Gen BS Nagal.

    It also comes perhaps more importantly and authoritatively, from the highly-respected and influential former national security adviser Shivshankar Menon in his 2016 book ‘Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy’, the nuclear strategist said.

    “Serious voices, who cannot be ignored, seem to suggest that this is where India may be heading, and certainly wants to head,” Narang said.

    “So our conventional understanding of South Asia’s nuclear dynamics and who, in fact, might use nuclear weapons first and in what mode may need a hard rethink given these emerging authoritative voices in India who are not content to cede the nuclear initiative to Pakistan,” he said, adding that this would mark a major shift in Indian strategy if implemented.

    “In short, we may be witnessing what I call a ‘decoupling’ of Indian nuclear strategy between China and Pakistan.”

    Sameer Lalwani, senior associate and deputy director South Asia at the Stimson Center, an American think-tank, said Narang’s remarks challenged the conventional wisdom of South Asia’s strategic stability problem.

    Based on recent statements and writings of high-level national security officials (serving and retired), Narang argued that India may be exhibiting a “seismic shift” in its nuclear strategy from ‘no first use’ to a preemptive nuclear counterforce allowing for escalation dominance or a “splendid first strike” against Pakistan, Lalwani said.

  9. Veeran


    Mar 21, 2017
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    I just want to see the news "Pak Punjab nuked by alien nukes".
  10. Levina

    Levina Guest

    India should keep its nuclear policy ambiguous. This so because I believe that there should be an advantage of unpredictability in the country’s military strategy.
    With a written nuclear policy, NFU,we give away our strength.

    India is a responsible power and we have proved this to the world many times.
    Let the more responsible NATO states first adopt NFU and then we will follow the suit.
    Inactive and Schwifty like this.
  11. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel REGISTERED

    Nov 22, 2013
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    Our nuclear doctrine is already clear about this. That even the threat of use will lead to a pre-emptive strike.
  12. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Mar 15, 2011
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    Yes. Let there be no doubt about it.
  13. nair

    nair Guest

    There is nothing called "NFU" just play of words......
    WhyCry and Inactive like this.
  14. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

    Sep 9, 2015
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    India could strike Pakistan with nuclear weapons if threatened, says expert
    INDIA Updated: Mar 21, 2017 16:11 IST

    Relations between the neighbours are at the lowest since a string of militant attacks on Indian military installations which New Delhi blames on Pakistan-based militants. India last year claimed to have carried out surgical strikes against militant launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir but Islamabad denied any such operation took place.

    In February, both countries extended a bilateral pact, dealing with reducing the risk of nuclear weapon-related accidents including a war, for a period of five years. India hand Pakistan have fought three full-fledged wars besides the 1999 Kargil hostilities.

    As evidence for his theory, Narang cited recent remarks and policy prescriptions from leading Indian strategists and a book by Shivshankar Menon, who oversaw nuclear targeting for India as National Security Adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Narang also quoted Menon as telling Ajai Shukla, a defense analyst with Business Standard, that “India’s nuclear doctrine has far greater flexibility than it gets credit for”.

    To buttress his theory, Narang cited this para from Menon’s book, “Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy”, which was released in November 2016 but has found a new celebrity recently, to build his case: “There is a potential gray area as to when India would use nuclear weapons first against another NWS (nuclear weapon state). Circumstances are conceivable in which India might find it useful to strike first, for instance, against an NWS that had declared it would certainly use its weapons, and if India were certain that adversary’s launch was imminent.”

    New Delhi declared its no-first use strike policy in 2003, undertaking to not start a nuclear war in a neighborhood packed with nuclear actors Pakistan and its hermetically stoic backer China, countries that had fought wars with India.

    Read more

    But it set aside some key exceptions, gray areas, such as reserving the right to strike first if it came under biological or chemical attack, that may have left the door open, for arguments sake, to a latter day switch to a more aggressive stand.

    Under its earlier policy India had hoped to use the threat of “massive counter-value retaliation” — read civilian targets such as urban populations mostly — disproportionate in intensity to the attack, as a disincentive for a nuclear attack against it.

    But as Pakistan, which has the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal, segued to smaller battlefield nuclear weapons, called tactical weapons, to offset Indian superiority in conventional warfare, New Delhi was forced to rethink its choices.

    There are also worries in India that New Delhi might not have full information on the whereabouts of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and tactical warheads that are much smaller and mounted on lorries to be driven around to escape detection through satellite imagery.
  15. Domain

    Domain Developers Guild Staff Member IDF NewBie

    Nov 3, 2016
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    India should sell its " NO FIRST USE POLICY ON NON NUCLEAR STATES " as it has been doing.

    Its a good marketing policy and st the same time , release alternate papers on how a massive first strike policy on its primary enemy would cripple any sort of response. This will give two stances , one the government one which mentions " non nuclear state " and second the operational papers which keeps the option of first strike on a massive extent.

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