Cover image for India's emerging nuclear posture : between recessed deterrent and ready arsenal
India's emerging nuclear posture : between recessed deterrent and ready arsenal
Tellis, Ashley J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Monica, CA : Rand, 2001.
Physical Description:
xxx, 885 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
General Note:
"Prepared for the United States Air Force."

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Format :


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Material Type
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UA840 .T45 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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After a hiatus of almost 24 years, India startled the international community by resuming nuclear testing in May 1998. Pakistan responded later the same month with five nuclear tests of its own. The belief that nuclear tests in South Asia have not only altered the strategic environment in the region (and, perhaps globally) but also transformed New Delhi into a nuclear weapons power recurs constantly in Indian strategic political analyses. This work addresses these issues in the context of a broader understanding of India's strategic interests, its institutional structures, and its security goals. The author argues that the truth of the matter is much more complex than most Indian analysts believe and that despite demonstrating an ability to successfully undertake nuclear explosions, India still has some way to go before it can acquire the capabilities that would make it a consequential neclear power.

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Choice Review

The Copernican Revolution, which kicked humanity off the center of the universe, had a jolting effect on the Catholic Church, which took a long time to accept this fact. Likewise, it is not easy for the hegemonic West to reconcile itself to the fact that non-Western countries can also make and explode nuclear weapons. In this context it is useful and necessary not just to recognize that science and technological capabilities transcend national and ethnic boundaries, but also to understand the cultural, political, and psychological factors that provoke countries like India to expend significant chunks of their resources to make nuclear weapons. Aside from geopolitical pressures and threats, real and perceived, from not-always-friendly neighbors, India has often felt that unless a nation is listed as a nuclear power, its prestige in the international arena is never high enough to be taken seriously; e.g., membership on the UN Security Council. In this thoroughly researched scholarly book, based on extensive reading and interviews with key people, Rand researcher Tellis offers a remarkably cogent and factual account of the context of India's joining the Nuclear Club. Certainly informative and insightful, this work will be very valuable to US planners working in this new world. Upper-division undergraduates and up. V. V. Raman emeritus, Rochester Institute of Technology

Table of Contents

Prefacep. v
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Acronymsp. xxiii
Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
Chapter 2 Strategic Factors Affecting India's Nuclear Posturep. 9
Chapter 3 Assessing Alternative Indian Nuclear Posturesp. 117
Chapter 4 Toward a Force-In-Being (i): Understanding India's Nuclear Doctrine and Future Force Posturep. 251
Chapter 5 Toward a Force-In-Being (ii): Assessing the Requirements and Adequacy of the Evolving Deterrentp. 477
Chapter 6 The Strategic Implications of India's Nuclear Posturep. 725
Bibliographyp. 767
Indexp. 863