South Asia Monitor: India and Pakistan: Defining Security with the Bomb - February 1, 1999
February 1, 1999
Eight months after India's and Pakistan's nuclear tests, strategic thinkers in both countries are beginning to define minimum deterrence in quite similar ways. They have not really come to grips with the changes in their defense structure and the need for command and control that flow from a declared nuclear capability. Nor have they dealt with its impact on their conventional doctrine. In discussions with the United States, both countries are attempting to bargain hard with their willingness to sign the Conventional Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and other nonproliferation agreements -- and both risk overplaying their hand. While both support nuclear risk reduction in principle, neither sees it as an urgent priority. The asymmetries between India and Pakistan, and between India's relations with Pakistan and with China, are a serious obstacle to the establishment of a reliable risk reduction system.