Regional Nuclear Challenges: South AsiaSharad JoshiMonterey Institute of International StudiesNovember 13, 2009
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia Introduction • Why is this such a crucial issue? • Nuclear weapons on both sides + deep rooted conflict • Prospect of horizontal proliferation • Nuclear weapons Terrorist groups • Rationale for nuclear weapons • Security threat perceptions • India vis-à-vis Pakistan and China • Pakistan vis-à-vis India • Nationalistic, domestic, scientific-bureaucratic reasons Jammu & Kashmir
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Stability/Instability Paradox • Strategic stability • Increased violence at sub-strategic level • Strategic instability • Increased violence at sub-strategic level • Helps link non-state violence and nuclear postures in South Asia
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Currently • Nuclear weapons deployed by both • Deterrence posture (stable/unstable?) • Periodic crises situations (e.g. 2001/02) involved nuclear threats • Nonproliferation regime positions • Both India and Pakistan outside Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) • Debate in India over CTBT • Varied positions on Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) • Pakistan’s problems with FMCT
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Expansion of specific capabilities • Continued production of fissile material • Continued development of more lethal delivery systems • Introduction of cruise missiles, longer-range ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles • Consideration of missile defense systems
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Capabilities and Strategies • India • Tests in 1974, 1998 • Estimated 40-50 nuclear devices • Ballistic missile capability – Prithvi, Agni I&II • Acquisition of cruise missiles (BrahMos) • Deterrence strategy • No first use doctrine Prithvi (India)
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Capabilities and Strategies • India • Quest for ‘credible minimum deterrent’ • Agni III long range ballistic missile • Submarine launch capability sought • Nuclear submarine (INS Arihant) launched in July 2009 • Approval for Agni-V • Restricted increase in range-5,000 km • Testing of missile defense systems Launch of Sagarika/K-15, Feb. ‘08 Agni-III test, May ‘08
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Capabilities • Pakistan • Tests in 1998 • Refusal to adopt a no-first use policy • Put forward a “No War pact” • Credible minimum doctrine • Estimated material for 50-110nuclear devices. • Missile capability covers most of India – Ghauri, Shaheen • Development of cruise missiles – Babur nuclear delivery role • F-16 deal with U.S. November 16, 2006 photo showing then Pakistani PM Shaukat Aziz in front of the Ghauri V (Hatf) missile just before it was test fired.
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia Source: CNS Source: Dept. of Atomic Energy, Government of India
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Capabilities and Strategies • Pakistan • Concern over security of nuclear weapons • Both countries: • Development of cruise missiles • Pakistan – Babur, Ra’ad (nuclear capable) • India – BrahMos, Nirbhay • Implications for military strategy • How do cruise missiles fit into broader thinkingon security and deterrence issues in South Asia? Babur cruise missile (Pakistan) BrahMos cruise missile (India)
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Capabilities and Strategies • Missile defense • Two tests by India in 2006/2007 • Quest for cruise missile defense • Nuclear Confidence Building Measures • Missile test notification • no cruise missiles • Agreement for reducing risk of nuclear accidents • Exchange of nuclear facilities lists India’s Endo-atmospheric interceptor test, Dec. 2007
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement • Current situation • IAEA safeguards agreement approved in August 2008; signed in March 2009 • NSG approval in September 2008 • Nuclear Deal with France – Sept. 30, 2008 • U.S. Congressional approval for bilateral pact in October 2008 • Benefits for India • Nuclear technology, materials from external suppliers • Domestic sources of uranium can be diverted to military • Enhanced energy supply • De facto approval of nuclear status IAEA Board of Governors meeting in Vienna on August 1, 2008, to consider the Indian safeguards agreement.
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement • U.S. goals • Strategic partnership with India • Some regulation of India’s nuclear facilities • Business incentives for U.S. nuclear industry • Will lessen India’s dependence on fossil fuels • Unstated objective: Building India as a regional counterweight to China
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement • Negative Consequences • Breaks the nonproliferation regime • Bad precedent • More difficult to stop DPRK and Iran • Pakistan’s quest for similar agreement • China’s proposed nuclear assistance to Pakistan • Allows India to produce more fissile material • Could actually stabilize India’s nuclear capabilities? • Indian argument • India needs to be part of nuclear energy trade • Regime ineffective anyway
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Proliferation From South Asia • A.Q. Khan network • Evolution from an import role to an export role also • Lingering questions • Has the network (or similar networks) been rounded up? • Pakistan political and military establishment involved? • Important implications • What all was transferred? • Introduction of more stringent export controls by Pakistan
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia Export side of the A.Q. Khan proliferation network
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Security of Pakistan’s Nuclear weapons • Growing Pakistani nuclear arsenal + expansion of delivery systems • Political instability and violence • Implications for security of nuclear weapons and materials. • E.g., meetings in 2001 between Pakistani scientists and Al Qaeda leadership • Technological hurdle towards a workable nuclear device, i.e., intent does not necessarily equal capability • But, dirty bomb possible • Psychological effect of nuclear materials use Source: McClatchy
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Striking at ungoverned spaces and weak states • Increasing attacks in vicinityof nuclear facilities • Instances of kidnapping of nuclear personnel • Unclear about motivations • Signifies potential inadvertent or deliberate access to nuclearpersonnel and facilities • Security of Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons Source: The New York Times
Regional Nuclear Challenges: South Asia • Conclusions • Expansion of nuclear capabilities and changes in Indian position in nonproliferation system • South Asian proliferation also has to be seen in context of Asia-Pacific power dynamics, especially the rivalry between China and the U.S. • India-Pakistan nuclear stalemate leading to changes in conventional strategies? – e.g., BrahMos • Importance of Confidence Building Measures in other areas of contention, e.g., Siachen glacier. Can facilitate Nuclear CBMs. • Security of nuclear materials and facilities from terrorist and proliferation networks remains a key problem.