Possibility of a Nuclear War in Asia: An Indian Perspective
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This book attempts to fuse two topical subjects and deal with them in a holistic manner. It is oft said and is also widely believed that the 21st century belongs to Asia and that the two giants of Asia, namely, China and India are going to dominate the world in the ensuing decades. It is also implicitly accepted that nuclear weapons are going to be there, at least for the foreseeable future. These are the two topics that have been analysed in this book; nuclear weapons and the emerging epicenter of global affairs, namely, Asia. The book deals with the fundamental nature of nuclear weapons itself. It purposely steers away from the Cold War mindset of viewing nuclear weapons in a western manner and attempts to unravel the manner in which the nations of Asia view these weapons in their own unique way. It is also about the nature of disputes in Asia and the security environment in Asia, both presently as well as in the foreseeable future. Since it is a fact that there are unresolved disputes in the region, the book also deals with the aspect of analysis of potential conflict scenarios. Will the countries succeed in settling their disputes diplomatically? Can deterrence succeed? What will happen if that fails? What will be the shape of future conflicts? This book makes a modest attempt to provide answers to some of these perplexing questions that plague policy makers and strategists in Asia today. Since the study is from an Indian perspective, the focus is naturally biased more towards South Asia vis-à-vis the other parts of Asia. Though the book attempts to answer all questions, some tough questions typically deny neat solutions. As the author admits, the aim of the book is to get both the policy and decision makers as well as the professional military to think about these issues, so that, in time, workable solutions can be evolved.
state-of-the-art tactical conventional military. This, they opine, is necessary because Pakistan lacks spatial depth and should not unnecessarily waste its resources in a static conventional war.19 It is further thought that the adoption of the No-First-Use concept would make nonsense of the concept of nuclear deterrence.20 The threshold level of nuclear weapons of Pakistan appears to be very broad and includes almost every potential threat, if one goes by the threshold levels put forward by
between Beijing and Islamabad that has surfaced over the last few years is Chinese concern over some Chinese Uighur separatists receiving sanctuary and terrorist training on Pakistani territory27. The Chinese province of Xinjiang is home to eighty lakh Muslim Uighurs, many of whom resent the growing presence and economic grip of the Han Chinese on the region. Some Uighurs has agitated for an independent “East Turkestan.” To mollify China’s concerns, Pakistan has begun to clamp down on Uighur
crisis, and apparently communicated this stance to Pakistani leaders. The Chinese position during the Kargil episode helped spur a thaw in Indian–Chinese relations. During the 2001–2002 Indo–Pakistani military crisis, China stayed neutral and counseled restraint on both sides, declaring that China was a “neighbor and friend of both countries.”26 Two weeks after the US Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden, it was reported that the Pakistani Prime Minister had flown to Beijing and invited China to
States. Clearly, the issue is mired in regional and global geopolitics, making a concerted effort very difficult. The conduct of democratic by-elections and the victory of Aung San Suu Kyi are welcome signs and could well be the harbinger of dramatic changes in the long term. Overall Analysis of Myanmar’s Nuclear Status Although recent reports by the DVB and other entities conclude that the available evidence indicates that Myanmar does not have the capability to develop nuclear weapons in the
highest level in twenty-eight years”9 Though the initial media reports of events in the remote high altitude region of Kargil district of Kashmir during the late winter and summer of 1999 often used language like “conflict” and “misadventure,” it was clear that Kargil was, in fact, “the fourth Indo-Pakistani war”—the first since the 1972 settlement at Simla. When casualty figures became available (an estimated 1,714 Indian and 772 Pakistani personnel died)10, the gravity of what had taken place