Nuclear Deterrence and Strategy


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Concept of Nuclear Deterrence & Nuclear Strategy for Pakistan:

Concept of Nuclear Deterrence & Nuclear Strategy for Pakistan

Slide 2:

Nature of warfare Nuclear weapons have qualitatively altered the nature of warfare and strategy

Slide 3:

Nature of Strategy Projection of military capability at the political level Militarily, object of nuclear strategy is to prevent use of nuclear capability

Slide 4:

Nature of deterrence Deterrence is the main component of nuclear strategy Nuclear deterrence differs from conventional deterrence Deterrence and defence inextricably linked in conventional deterrence Nuclear deterrence seeks to distinguish between the two

Slide 5:

Basics of deterrence One basic prerequisites is clear communication A basic level of a common strategic language is needed Where communication is not direct, tacit communication, through unambiguous actions, has to take place

Slide 6:

Basics of deterrence contd . Specific forecast inputs viz costs and risks for party to be deterred also required Military capability is critical to make threat credible Unambiguous threat Lack of empirical evidence viz nuclear deterrence means doctrines and beliefs become central in creating a reality

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Nuclear Deterrence Paradox Antagonists cannot be locked in a zero sum game environment Nuclear deterrence requires prevalence of conflict and common interests between the antagonists

Slide 8:

Implications of this paradox That only one side makes concessions Can lead other side to take greater risks

Slide 9:

Impact of BMD on nuclear deterrence BMD has highlighted the dialectical nature of nuclear deterrence strategy BMD threatens the prevailing foundation of mutual vulnerability with its two components: NMD and TMD

Slide 10:

Impact of BMD on nuclear deterrence contd. BMD challenges the whole nuclear regime comprising bilateral and multilateral arrangements It contravenes the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 Undermines Article VI of the NPT Challenges the NWFZ arrangements Threatens to scuttle FMCT negotiations going on in the CD

Slide 11:

IMPLICATIONS FOR PAKISTAN Nuclear capability has provided Pakistan with a new sense of security stability in terms of its external threats

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External Threats All-out war Low Intensity Conflict and/or Limited War

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DETERRENCE STRATEGY FOR PAKISTAN Deterrence will be primarily of the bilateral kind Important factor to remember is that for India nuclear deterrence is multilateral Thus in India-Pakistan equation there will always be asymmetry of nuclear capabilities

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India’s Nuclear Doctrine It is premised on a nuclear Triad of forces Second-strike capability. So it requires massive capability far beyond the stated “minimum deterrence” Development of ICBMs Development of space-based systems Survivability NFU merely a ploy

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WHAT IT MEANS In military terms The doctrine’s reach extends across Asia Its naval reach threatens the entire Indian Ocean region The Indian nuclear doctrine will instigate a nuclear arms race No commitment to reduce conventional forces

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In political terms it shows Indian intent to retain and develop its nuclear capability To use this capability to blackmail the world into giving it “great power” status A direct threat to the prevailing nonproliferation regime

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What should Pakistan’s Nuclear Doctrine include? One-rung escalation ladder Highly cohesive, state of the art tactical conventional military Therefore need to acquire sophisticated technology at tactical level Maintain a one-rung escalation posture at strategic level

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Basic components of Pakistan’s Nuclear force? Mainstay should be land-based missiles backed by air and sea-launched missiles Deployment and control Land-based systems premised on mobile launchers until second-strike capability and solid-fuelled missiles are assured Dispersed deployment A separate missile force

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Basic components of Pakistan’s nuclear force? Contd. Targeting Primarily counter-value focusing on Indian urban and industrial centres With more precise devices, can include counter-force targets Command and Control C 4 I stabilisation critical to maintain nuclear strategic stability. Pakistan has already given out its command and control structure


NATIONAL COMMAND AUTHORITY (NCA) Head of Govt (Chairman) Secretariat SPD Employment Control Committee Deputy Chairman–Foreign Minister Members Minister for Defence Minister for Interior Chairman JCSC Services Chiefs Secretary , Director General Strategic Plans Division By Invitation . Others as required Development Control Committee Deputy Chairman - CJCSC Members Services Chiefs Heads of concerned strategic organizations i.e Scientists Secretary , Director General Strategic Plans Division Services Strategic Forces (Operational Control - NCA) Army Navy Air Force (Technical, Training, & Administrative Control)

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Thus: a need to have agreement over deployments and numbers India’s Pakistan-specific missiles need to be equitably equated with Pakistan But need to have a stable mutual nuclear deterrence

Slide 22:

Limitations of nuclear strategy and deterrence New unconventional warfare Terrorism, both by the weak and strong LIC Now, politics, economics, psychological warfare and all other state activities that reflect an element of force and terror are “the continuation of war by other means”

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