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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.

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

Poll closed Jul 19, 2017.
  1. Yes

    21 vote(s)
    31.3%
  2. No

    15 vote(s)
    22.4%
  3. Should keep an ambigious Policy

    19 vote(s)
    28.4%
  4. Threat Specefic Policy

    12 vote(s)
    17.9%
  1. Golden_Rule

    Golden_Rule Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Modi and Doval have tried all possible ways of Saam & Daam to deal with the two power center cults of hatred - pakistan and china. The cross border surgical strikes in Myanmar was a signal to China and the 29 Sept SS was a direct warning to pakistan. Shifting gears, Modi & Doval are now into a full time deployment of Danda & Bheda Ops. And with conviction I can say that the shrewedness and cunningness of these two leaders will accrue desired results.
     
  2. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    What are the odds of India's nuclear first strike against Pakistan?
    Atomic stuff is exotic and esoteric but at the end of the day, certain universal rules still apply.



    Although, why we are debating whether India is abandoning its policy of no first use of nuclear weapons at this juncture is extremely puzzling.

    The NYT piece quotes "circumstantial evidence" in the form of a "triad" of statements — by former NSA Shiv Shankar Menon, a retired head of India's Strategic Forces Command (SFC), Lt Gen BS Nagal, and then defence minister Parrikar — as the trigger.


    But how is any of this new? The key provocateur in the latest rerun of this debate, Vipin Narang of MIT, had already highlighted this triad in November 2016, so what has changed since then except a high profile think tank event that needed some radioactive grist so as not to appear run of the mill?


    Another contention is that India has now moved away from using nuclear weapons for counter value targeting (essentially cities) to counter force targeting (essentially military targets).

    But why would Indian planners regard these as mutually exclusive in the first place, especially when the doctrine is centered around massive retaliation?


    [​IMG]
    If we think a first strike will neutralise all Pakistani nuclear strike capability, that's just a chimera. Photo: Reuters
    Moreover, the Indian doctrine goes further than even ambiguous US threats in Desert Storm by promising nuclear retaliation for biological and chemical weapon attacks.


    The enemy's chemical and biological weapon facilities — which in this context fall under a counterforce definition — have always been in the cross hairs.

    Also, is Rawalpindi — home to Pakistan Army's general headquarters as also millions of civilians — a counterforce target or a countervalue target? What about Karachi?

    Pakistan's most populous city is also a base for its submarines, now supposedly armed with cruise missiles with nuclear warheads, giving them a nascent second-strike capability.

    Counterforce versus countervalue distinctions only go so far, and the lines blur frequently.

    Coming back to the triad of statements, let's consider Parrikar's. His maverick pronouncements on NFU led to his own ministry immediately distancing itself from them. This is a man who once said India must "neutralise terrorist through terrorist", but we didn't see counter-terrorism experts confirming the return of CIT-X and CIT-J as an instrument of the Indian policy.


    Why then should his nuclear pronouncements be taken seriously?

    How are Lt Gen Nagal's strong words suggesting that an NFU posture was somehow "morally wrong" proof that India is shifting to a first-use posture?

    If anything, his angst seems to suggest status quo, why else would he be channelling his inner Sundarji and advocating a change of what he perceives is a flawed policy.


    Primarily, extracts from Shiv Shankar Menon's book have been cited as the most credible evidence of a change in status quo.

    Narang offers Menon's statement that "Pakistani tactical nuclear weapons use [or imminent use] would effectively free India to undertake a comprehensive first strike against Pakistan" as the clincher.

    Unfortunately, he is mixing up Rules of Engagement (ROE) that exist at the tactical level with a shift in doctrine.

    Menon's statement on "imminent use" is consistent with a positive indication of hostile intent.

    "Do Not Fire Until Fired Upon" is a Hollywood catchphrase and does not apply to real world ROE, which almost always prioritises intent over action. Look no further than the US Navy's shootdown of Libyan Mig-23s in 1989 that it is a standard practice to be the first to fire if "hostile intent" is assessed and self-defence becomes the priority.


    Yes, nuke stuff is exotic and esoteric but it's still warfare at the end of the day and certain universal rules still apply.

    Regardless, if we think a first strike will neutralise all Pakistani nuclear strike capability, that's just a chimera.

    For India to adopt a Pakistani version of a nuclear first strike — a nuclear response to an overwhelming conventional attack — makes little sense given the respective military capabilities of the two nations.

    None of this is to say that a greater debate about India's nuclear weapons posture isn't required. In fact, there is an overwhelming need for it; but I daresay on more vexing issues.

    Watch this space to know what that might look like.

    http://www.dailyo.in/politics/india-pakistan-nuclear-war-n-arms-exchange/story/1/16522.html
     
  3. Golden_Rule

    Golden_Rule Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    I just read this article at IDRW http://idrw.org/no-takers-for-indian-nuclear-submarine-project/#more-130431 , it says in the last paragraph that INS Arihant was decommissioned quietly in October last year. Can someone verify this?
     
  4. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    No takers for Indian nuclear submarine project
    Published April 6, 2017 SOURCE: IANS

    While the Indian Navy badly needs nuclear submarines to bolster its strength underwater as well as replace ailing fleet, it is not finding any builders to take up the project. It should be recalled that the Union government announced that six nuclear submarines would be built, following clearance given by the Cabinet committee on security. The project was estimated to cost Rs 50,000 crore and would have given a boost to the ailing shipyard. The submarines were to be designed by navy’s Directorate of Naval Design. Even the state-owned Hindustan Shipyard said that it will not build nuclear submarine in its yard. “We will not build any nuclear submarine for the Indian Navy,” said chairman and managing director of Hindustan Shipyard Limited Rear Admiral (retired) LV Sharatbabu. He refused to elaborate further. Even Reliance Defence and Engineering is not coming forward to develop its shipyard at Rambilli village in the district, though the company had signed a MoU with the state government during partnership summit here in 2016.It should be noted that the Reliance Defence and Engineering has proposed to build nuclear submarines and much needed aircraft carriers for the Indian Navy in association with Russian companies. “They are yet to come forward to take up the project. The government has already issued a GO paving the way for allotment of land,” said general manager of District Industries Centre A Ramalingewara Rao.Indian Navy has 13 conventional submarines and two nuclear powered submarines-INS Chakra taken on lease from Russia in 2012 and INS Arihant which was de-commissioned quietly in October last year. Defence sources said half of the conventional submarines are aged and ready for medium refit. Indian Navy badly needs more submarines to counter the presence of Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean. Chinese submarines came close to Indian waters six times during the last few years.

    idrw.org . Read more at India No 1 Defence News Website http://idrw.org/no-takers-for-indian-nuclear-submarine-project/#more-130431 .


    WTF INS Arihant Decommissioned? Can someone confirm this news or is it typo?
     
  5. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Worried Pakistan says change in India's N-strike policy highly irresponsible, dangerous
    IANS | Last Updated: Friday, April 7, 2017 - 00:05


    [​IMG]


    Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday termed the change in Indias nuclear arms usage policy as "highly irresponsible and dangerous", and said it will "not help in promoting strategic restraint and stability in a nuclearised South Asia".

    "Pakistan has long maintained that the ambiguous no-first-use declaration is not verifiable and hence nothing more than an empty political statement," said Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria.

    The spokesman added that such ambiguous declaration cannot substitute for verifiable arms control and restraint measures.

    "Pakistan has to consider capabilities and not intentions, which can change anytime," said Zakaria in its weekly briefing.

    Recent reports suggested India may be considering revisiting its "no-first strike" policy, allowing its nuclear establishment to carry out a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Pakistan in the event of a war.

    According to a media report, this would not only formally change India`s nuclear doctrine, which bars it from launching a first strike, but would loosen its interpretation to deem pre-emptive strikes as defensive.

    Earlier, former Defence Secretary Lt. Gen. (retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi claimed that Pakistan possesses second strike capability against India.

    The second strike provides a military with the capability to hit back at an enemy in a situation where its land-based nuclear arsenal had been neutralised.

    The nuclear deterrence, said the former Defence Secretary, had been augmented by the second strike capability, efficient delivery systems and effective command and control system.

    Pakistan in January 2017 attained the credible "second strike capability" after successfully test-firing nuclear capable submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) Babur-III.

    US Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley recently voiced concerns over the India-Pakistan tensions, saying Washington wanted to play a role in de-escalation.

    The move, however, was promptly rejected by India, which has for long argued that Kashmir is a bilateral dispute, and will not accept any third-party mediation over it.

    Pakistan, on the contrary, has welcomed the offer of mediation to resolve the longstanding issue. "The world`s concerns have been developed in the backdrop of the deteriorating human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

    "We welcome the statement of Ambassador Nikki Haley, expressing concerns over the rising tensions between Pakistan and India and the offer of mediation."

    The spokesperson regretted that India reacted negatively to the US offer.

    "India wants to speak of terrorism! We also insist on speaking of terrorism, which forms one of the elements of the comprehensive dialogue process. We need to address the Indian-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan. Kulbhushan Jadav and many other examples are irrefutable proof of Indian involvement in Pakistan," he said.

    Source
     
  6. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    India’s Nuclear Policy: Is No First Use perfectly OK?
    Published April 6, 2017
    SOURCE: Brigadier Arun Bajpai (Retd) / MERI NEWS

    [​IMG]

    BJP in its election manifesto during the 2014 general elections had said that it will examine in depth the nuclear threats to the country and if found necessary, may change India’s No First Use (NFU) policy vis-a-vis Pakistan.

    As BJP completes three years of rule in May this year, a recent book has come out in the market written by former NSA Shiv Shanker Menon which advocates that if India comes to know for sure that Pakistan is about to use its nuclear option against India, then India cannot keep on waiting for Pakistan to nuke India before responding.

    Almost similar views have been propounded by Lt Gen BS Nagal. Needless to say, this has become a major discussion issue in Pakistani media and its strategic community. It is common knowledge that Pakistan propounds the view of first use of its nuclear arsenal and has been waging proxy war against India, content that India will never use its nuclear arsenal first. However, if India decides to keep its option open of both first use and NFU then Pakistan will definitely be in a quandary.
    The truth is that the Modi government has said nothing on the issue so far and all this comes under speculation, or at best, this a debatable point. In my view, India must maintain its nuclear doctrine as NFU for the following reasons:

    · It will be next to impossible to be sure of the inputs that Pakistan is about to go for a nuclear strike against India. It will be a horrific mistake if India launches its nuclear strike on wrong presumptions.

    · No Pakistani General or politician is going to launch a nuclear strike against India. They are fools but not stupid. Indian counter strike will obliterate Pakistan from the face of the Earth due to its lack of depth. Then what happens to Pakistani Army’s 20 billion dollars’ business in their country and the sprawling bungalows and farm houses of the Generals?

    · India can continue with its Cold Start doctrine against Pakistan because if Pakistan uses its tactical nuclear weapons against India’s Cold Start then as per Indian nuclear doctrine of the day, India can launch its own nuclear strike with all its might.

    · A nuclear conflagration between India and Pakistan will wipe out China’s all investments in Pakistan including the China-Pakistan economic corridor costing China 47 billion dollars’. So, China can ill-afford a nuclear conflict.

    · India is trying its best to be member of the Nuclear Supplier Group. It cannot at this juncture change its nuclear doctrine to First Use option.

    The best option for India is to go for more Arihant type nuclear powered ballistic missile firing submarines. Three of such submarines are about to join the Indian Navy in the near future. India should go for three or four more of these submarines. It is worth remembering that it is impossible to detect these submarines once deployed underwater. Imagine three of these submarines at any point of time deployed in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean with their nuclear capable ballistic missiles ready to be launched at Pakistan with the press of a switch. Which Pakistani General or politician will then dare launch a nuclear strike against India?

    In other words, Offence is the best form of defence.
     
  7. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    India has thrown cats among the pigeon. It has reversed Pakistan's threat game. Earlier every week someone from Pakistan used to threaten India by saying "India yeh na bhoole ki Pakistan ek ATMI Qoovat hai". Now after India's new doctrine they are running from pillar to post to save their BUMb.
     
  8. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Islamic radicals are well known for suicide attacks.They will gladly nuke India even if it means their qaum ceases to exist.
     
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  9. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    I have two questions in regard to this possible new doctrine/posture.

    1. Pakistan keeps its TNWs road mobile (literally in random trucks) and scattered, how would we locate and neutralize them all?
    2. They've been working on deep underground tunnel systems, especially in mountainous parts of their country, so again, how do we plan to neutralize even most if not all of their nukes (unless Pakistan is stupid and their underground stores are reachable by nuclear bunker busters)?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
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  10. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

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  11. A_poster

    A_poster Captain FULL MEMBER

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    TNWs are not our major problem. Even if a TNW is dropped dead in center of Delhi or Mumbai, casualties would barely exceed some thousands (probably tens of thousands), and if used on Armor, death caused would barely exceed 500.

    It is big strategic nukes that are our problem. Small TNWs do not have much destructive power, and in some cases, even conventional weapons exceed them in destructive power.

    Bunker buster need not necessarily be nuclear. They could be conventional too. I have even suggested space based kinetic energy weapon (about whom I read in popular science) few posts above. One thing to remember is that there is no natural igneous mesa rock structure in Pakistan, thus a nuke strike would penetrate very very deep. India has some of these structures in Maharashtra and Satpura range, USA's NORAD command center is located in Cheyenne range, and China has them in many places. A strike on tunnel network made in sedimentary rock mountain structures is going to cause widespread collapse and may render nukes stored inside unusable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  12. Golden_Rule

    Golden_Rule Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    why need a 3 men crew in each station. Just lob a 4 ton satellite in Geo Orbit, declare it as failure, then on as needed basis you can keep extracting a 200-400 kg nuclear weapon with guidance to re-enter earth at enemy's deck. Once every 3-4 years, send a fuel refill mission to the satellite
     
  13. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Indian Nuclear Weapons Are Much More Than Mere Weapons Of Devastation
    Book Excerpts- Apr 16, 2017, 5:39 pm [​IMG]
    SNAPSHOT


    India pledged to never use its nuclear weapons first. An excerpt from Shivshankar Menon’s Choices: The making of Indian Foreign Policy tells us why.



    After publicly testing her nuclear weapons for the first time at Pokhran, India under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government swore by the no-first-use doctrine. For these weapons of destruction beyond human imagination were not just that. They were political armament that could redefine power equations among the nuclear weapon states (NWS) in the nuclear age.

    Though India declared that these were the nation’s defence against nuclear threat and blackmail, it was also made clear that if anyone dared use any such weapons against us, retaliation was assured, an unapologetic one at that.

    Author and diplomat Shivshankar Menon’s decades of experience in various critical positions that include being the national security adviser to former prime minister Manmohan Singh, and the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, and Sri Lanka and the ambassador to China and Israel, in his book Choices: The making of Indian Foreign Policy, sheds light on the nitty gritty of the reasons behind five crucial decisions that the nation has made, one of which is the thought behind India’s No First Use nuclear policy.

    Here is an excerpt:

    There has been debate in India over whether the country’s no-first-use commitment adds to or detracts from deterrence. Successive Indian governments that have reviewed the question repeatedly since 1998 have been of the view that a no-first-use policy enhances India’s deterrence efforts.

    India’s situation and approach are very different from those of the United States. The United States saw its problem as not just deterring the Soviet Union but figuring out how to deter conventional and nuclear aggression against exposed allies confronting local conventional inferiority. In other words, the United States was to provide extended deterrence to its allies. The United States, therefore, distinguishes between first strike and first use of nuclear weapons and argues for preemption in self-defence. Most US scholars would argue that a no-first‑use or a first-use policy is neither inherently destabilising nor stabilising and that the effect of either would depend on the country’s capabilities and adversaries.

    For India, on the other hand, the country’s geographic and strategic situation meant that nuclear weapons were not seen as the answer to problems of conventional defence. India’s problem has been how to deter Pakistan’s or others’ first use of nuclear weapons against India and further attempts at nuclear blackmail to change India’s policies.

    What are the alternatives to no first use? Announcing that India would strike first if it considered it necessary, as Pakistan and the United States do? Some say that our declaration is already meaningless as it is only a pious hope and does not cover other NWS. If it is meaningless, why the fuss? But that aside, a first-strike doctrine is surely destabilising, and does not further the primary purpose of our weapons of deterring blackmail, threat, or use of nuclear weapons by an adversary against India.

    It is hard to see how it would. As for other contingencies, there are ways for India to handle them other than by using nuclear weapons. India’s nuclear weapons are to deter other countries’ use of nuclear weapons; hence the no-first-use commitment is to nuclear weapon states (NWS). There is a potential grey area as to when India would use nuclear weapons first against another NWS. 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. But India’s present public nuclear doctrine is silent on this scenario.

    Another idea that is often mentioned as an alternative to no first use is proportionate responses to a nuclear attack. There is nothing in the present doctrine that prevents India from responding proportionately to a nuclear attack, from choosing a mix of military and civilian targets for its nuclear weapons. The doctrine speaks of punitive retaliation. The scope and scale of retaliation are in the hands of the Indian leadership.

    Besides, what is a proportionate response to weapons of mass destruction except other weapons of mass destruction? So it is not clear what the advocates of proportionate response are really asking for. These are weapons of mass destruction whether one chooses to call them tactical or strategic, and with its no-first‑use doctrine, India has reserved the right to choose how much, where, and when to retaliate. This is an awesome responsibility for any political leader, but it is the price of leadership and cannot be abdicated to a mechanical or mathematical formula or a set of strategic precepts. No first use is a useful commitment to make if we are to avoid wasting time and effort on a nuclear arms race, such as that between the United States and the Soviet Union, which produced thousands of nuclear weapons and missiles and economically contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    In our geography, the use of nuclear weapons as weapons of war is hardly useful militarily. For nine months of the year prevailing winds on the India-Pakistan border are westerly, and population densities on both sides of the border guarantee that there is little distinction in effect and practice between the use of tactical or strategic nuclear weapons in the India-Pakistan context.

    I recall that the Pakistan Army started talking of developing and using tactical nuclear weapons in response to India’s alleged Cold Start doctrine for conventional forces only when there was a real risk of the Pakistan Army losing its internal and external relevance and when General Musharraf seemed close to settling the Kashmir situation and taking some steps against jihadi terrorists. If there was a real fear of a Cold Start strategy among Pakistan Army strategists, it is hard to understand the steady move of Pakistani forces away from the Indian border and toward performing internal security and other functions in western Pakistan since 2004.

    As Pakistan’s is the only nuclear weapons program in the world controlled exclusively by the military, it is also likely that sheer institutional momentum and interests led to decisions by Pakistan to increase the number of its warheads and to develop and deploy “tactical” nuclear weapons, despite the problems of command and control of these weapons, which must be devolved down the military chain of command, and the limited military utility of nuclear weapons against India in the specific India-Pakistan context.

    Other recent Pakistani decisions, such as setting up separate strategic forces commands for the country’s air force and navy, also seem to be similarly driven by service and institutional interests rather than by rational calculations of national interest. Since India’s doctrine is based on no first use, our posture and nuclear arsenal have to survive a first strike by any enemy or potential combination of adversaries. Hence India’s decision to go in for a triad of delivery systems, by land, sea, and air. Once the SSBN Arihant, the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, is fully commissioned, the triad will be in place.

    Today, India has effective deterrence against both China and Pakistan. This has been a huge and largely secret effort and has been achieved by India faster than by any other NWS. We are sometimes accused of excessive secrecy in relation to our own people and scholars. That is because the purpose of the nuclear weapons program is to deter our adversaries, not our own people or scholars. And our adversaries will, in any case, believe what they think they have discovered and ferreted out, not what we say in public. Of course, we will be most convincing if what we say matches what they find out for themselves.



    [​IMG]
    Book Cover of Choices: Inside the Making of India’s Foreign Policy


    Excerpted from Choices: Inside the Making of India’s Foreign Policy by

    Source
     
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  14. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    The hovering nuclear clouds
    Published April 26, 2017
    SOURCE: Oorvani Media

    [​IMG]

    The latest kerfuffle on the nuclear front has been stirred up by comments made last month by a Harvard faculty member of Indian origin at a conference at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC. He opined that India has shifted or is shifting its nuclear doctrine from a retaliatory one to a one based on first-strike, which could well be in a preemptive mode. This means that India might well abandon no first-use, either soon as part of this shift or in face of provocation.

    The Harvard academic derives this intent from Choices, a book by the last national security adviser Shivshankar Menon, and buttressed by his perusal of the writings of Lt Gen B.S. Nagal, former custodian of India’s strategic weapons and currently head of the Indian army funded think tank, Center for Land Warfare Studies.

    While Menon refers to the possibility of a disarming first strike – aiming to take out Pakistan’s nuclear capability – as a response to Pakistani nuclear use, for his part, Nagal, makes the following case:

    …planning is needed to destroy a large number of counter-value targets to include population centers, industrial complexes and important infrastructure, and available counter-force targets as well. The retaliatory strikes must cause destruction to the extent that recovery and reconstruction is long-drawn and costly, incapacitating the population, regressing the economy, defeating the military, and decimating the political leadership that took the call to go to war (p. 11).

    Anticipating the shift, a back of the envelop calculation done in this column two years back had it that at least 50 weapons would require to be dropped for setting back Pakistan’s retaliatory capability.

    A JNU professor has it that it requires 60 weapons. Nagal, for his part wants to ‘send it back to the stone age’ (to quote the US Assistant Secretary of State threat to Musharraf while persuading him to join Bush’s global war on terror). Adding for this, the overall tally can go up by a third, making a total of about 80 warheads.

    Presuming Pakistan manages to sneak in some of its own nuclear attacks timely and, later, its scattered nuclear forces fire off any remaining warheads in India’s direction, we could add some 20 nuclear strikes, not all of which will be impacting India since the early nuclear use by Pakistan might be in form of tactical nuclear weapons on its own territory against advancing Indian military columns. There would also be some knock-on detonations of Pakistani nuclear weapons subject to Indian strikes. Thus, we have a figure of about a 120 detonations, of which about a tenth could well be in India.

    Though India would in this case receive strikes in the lower double digits, these might be tellingly directed at India’s nerve centers. The belief in India is that its ballistic missile defences over the likely Pakistani targets can preserve these from much damage. However, some skeptics believe that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) always over promises.

    Early in this decade, Pakistan set up the Naval Strategic Command and half a decade on it is learnt to be creating a sea based deterrent. Unlike India’s undersea deterrent which is nuclear powered, Pakistan is relying on diesel electric submarines modified for the purpose. Thus a few warheads of such payloads managing to reach India should be added. These might be more precise strikes.

    A rough estimate is that India can expect up to 10 nuclear incoming strikes from the Arabian Sea. Assuming DRDO manages to down 5 of these, an overall 15 impacts would be the price to pay for ‘wiping Pakistan off the map’ in George Fernandes’ unforgettable phrase.

    Nagal perhaps anticipating the criticism he would receive for his recipe of strikes takes care to add, ‘In conducting retaliatory strikes, care must be taken to avoid destruction of the environment and damage due to radioactive fallout that will have an effect on the country, the region, and the world.’ Airbursts are one way of taking care of this.

    Giving Nagal his due, assuming that two thirds of India’s strikes are airburst, about 25-30 Indian strikes will raise a dust, as would the 15 Pakistani bombs that manage to get through. Thus, we have a figure of about 45 mushroom clouds in the subcontinent, at least some of which would be in urban settings.

    It is possible that given the dispensation currently in power in Delhi, there would be no compunction in eliminating Pakistan. Since the nuclear aftermath would provide an opportunity for gaining a firm grip over India, ostensibly to prevent chaos, there are incentives for a regime pre-disposed towards an authoritarian system.

    Given this propensity, strategists would be well advised to think one-up. By selling first-strike as a doable proposition, they may end up with a political decision maker – with a self-belief in being a strong man and decisive – grasping the nettle.

    How will this turn out?

    At a DRDO function on weaponry for chemical and biological warfare, the then defence minister, Parrikar, claimed implausibly that chemical weapons had been used in Afghanistan. The army chief said that these could be used against Indian forces. We know India’s no first-use does not hold against a chemical attack, which leaves nuclear retaliation as the only option. Further, we are now told that India is moving towards a preemptive first-strike doctrine.

    What does putting the two propositions together tell us? Ensuring that the 15 retaliatory warheads do not come India’s way requires flawless damage-limitation strikes. This is best done by seizing the initiative rather than leaving it to the adversary to provoke.

    India could well manufacture a nuclear trigger in the form of a chemical attack on its forces – a’la Tongking Bay incident that brought the US directly into the Vietnam war. Recently in Syria, purported chemical weapons used by the regime led to the US missile strikes. Similarly, attribution of chemical attacks to Pakistan could open it up for pre-emptive nuclear retribution, with information warfare later cluttering the truth.

    Clearly, South Asia is closer to a nuclear conflict than strategists care to let on. They need to take nuclear scaremongering more seriously, and so must the prospective nuclear decision makers.

    Given all this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be apprised of the possible dangers.

    Firstly, Modi would be wise to query the numbers. He should double the numbers of Pakistani warheads credited here as striking India’s solar plexus. It would take considerably more chutzpah than he needed to face the critics of demonetization.

    Secondly, he could be arraigned for genocide, if not in front of the International Criminal Court – which India has in anticipation taken care not to sign up to – but in innovative global criminal tribunals set up for accountability.

    Thirdly, even if Pakistan is history, the saffronites’ ‘Muslim problem’ would not have gone away. Not only would Pakistani refugees inundate the border-states but they would be a conduit for a jihadi, hybrid war.

    In this nuclear era, what should matter to the decision maker is not what we can do to the enemy but what the enemy could do to us.
     
  15. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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