Limitation in Nuclear War: Doctrinal Implication for India of Pakistani Nuclear Use
Discussants: R. Dahiya and Gaurav Kampani
Aim and Scope
- Democracy as the chosen political system in India
- India’s war strategy which is offensive, broad front, highly lethal, short duration and red line cognisant vis-à-vis Pakistan’s counter strategy which is likely to comprise war avoidance, conventional defence, counter offensive with strategic reserves if possible, and a resort to asymmetric war.
- Nine factors which contribute to deterrence instability are:
- ‘First use’ not ruled out by Pakistan
- Pakistan’s lack of strategic depth
- Questions about the credibility of India’s nuclear doctrine
- Momentum of conflict
- Strategic rationale of the Pakistan army
- Right wing pressure in Pakistan
- Fog of war
- Nuclear signaling
- The possibility of nuclear use increases with the increase in threat to vital interests. Nuclear threat would heighten as the war progresses and the weaker the Pakistan army gets, especially if it is apprehensive about India’s aims.
External Discussant I (R. Dahiya)
- Nuclear weapons are not for use, but to deter others from using them.
- Will rationality prevail in a scenario of nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan?
- The imperative of controlling the escalation ladder especially by India at every stage of the conflict.
External Discussant II (Gaurav Kampani)
- The paper must also include the naval and air dimensions and not restrict itself to the land component.
- Include a discussion on Pakistan’s civil-military relations
- The paper must reduce its dependence on secondary sources and include primary sources such as interviews of retired and serving officers of the armed forces.
- The paper also needs to be clear as to what “cold-start” doctrine actually is.