03 December, 2020

Cut Out The Bombast

To declare that India needs the bomb to deter Pakistan's bomb is rather perverse. For, if New Delhi did indeed give up the nuclear option, Pakistan's 'bluff' would be called.

Cut Out The Bombast

NO country needs nuclear weapons—not any of the nuclear weapons states and not India or Pakistan (or Israel for that matter). The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is making a historic mistake in committing itself to exercising the nuclear option. The party's manifesto and, more recently, its national agenda state that a BJP government will "induct" nuclear weapons into India's defence. To the extent that this is a serious objective, it is profoundly mistaken. It is a mistake for a number of economic, diplomatic, political and moral reasons. But most of all it is a mistake for strategic reasons.

Nuclear weapons, it is usually argued, are necessary for deterrence or a balance of power against nuclear weapons powers. In India's case, nuclear weapons would be aimed principally at Pakistan and China. Neither deployment is warranted.

Those who advocate an Indian bomb as a way of deterring Pakistan's bomb invert history. India exploded a bomb in 1974. That Pakistan was moving towards a nuclear weapons capability before 1974 is...



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