Nuclear Defence : Shaping the Arsenal


India's nuclear tests of May 1998 were a defining moment in the post-cold war international order a seminal event that tilted the axis between the old and the new so decisively that the international power structure would never be the same again. India was convinced that the International community could not be allowed to have a veto over whether or not India should opt for nuclear deterrence. That is a sovereign decision that India had to make in keeping with it legitimate security requirements and its emerging worldview. India believes that nuclear weapons are political nuclear weapons  are political weapons and not weapons and not weapons of "warfighting". Their sole purpose is to deter the use and the threat of use of nuclear weapons. Hence, India has justifiably opted for a minimum deterrence doctrine with a no first use policy.

Nuclear Defence: Shaping the arsenal is the first full scale critical analysis of the nuclear force structure the India should build for a credible nuclear deterrent. This book suggests a comprehensive national security strategy for the nuclear environment; recommends a counter value targetting philosophy for a retaliatory Indian nuclear strike and examines whether tactical nuclear weapons would serve any useful purpose.

The author establishes that deterrence is not a numbers game and suggests a rational method for determining the number of nuclear warheads that India requires for its minimum credible deterrence based on a triad with thermonulcear weapons. He recommends the creation of a tri-services strategic forces command under a chief of Defence Staff as part of a National Command Authority for civilian control over India's nuclear weapons. After analysing the likely cost of N-deterrence, he concludes that India's modest nuclear forces are eminently affordable.