If Brzezinski thinks that the eight reactors that are going to remain on the military side will be used by India to make more than 50 weapons per year then what makes him think India is not producing atleast that number of weapons if not more with nearly double that number of reactors that it has at its disposal right now? And if India is not producing that many weapons now even though it has the reactors to do it with, then what makes him so sure that it will start doing so in the future when it will have fewer reactors to do it with? He is clutching at straws here.
I'm not saying that there is any merit to Brzezinski's arguments per se... they are the usual callow and hypocritical NPA-giri
we can expect from him. That's not my point at all.
What's interesting is this tangent: Brzezinski has raised the spectre of China arming itself with more US-specific nukes as a response to India increasing her nuclear arsenal. Why would he even propose such a thing?
Under what circumstances, we may ask, does that make any sense? Why on earth would China develop more US-specific nukes in response to India building up her arsenal? The answer: it makes sense only if Brzezinski's intended audience, i.e. the US strategic community, is considering seriously the possibility that the Chinese might react to an Indian nuclear attack on them, by nuking the United States.
Two responses. One, the whole issue of a Asian nuke balance was peripherally alluded to by John Kerry in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nuke deal. From the US standpoint, any additional warheads with anyone else is bad whether mounted on IRBMs or ICBMs. Chinese IRBMs threaten in addition to India, US allies such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and the ASEAN region. There is a certain global warhead/delivery mechanism equilibrium currently which satisfies the status quo powers. India striving for its security by increasing its warhead/delivery mechanism capabilities disturbs that equilibrium i.e. it is a domino effect. Whether specifically intended or not, a Chinese increase in warheads/missiles will threaten all other nuclear powers. I would not link it to the Beg paradigm specifically. As far as ZB himself, I think he is now on the fringes of the real power centers in the US and I will be surprised if he has any real input in policy even in a Democratic administration.
This actually serves to illustrate my point. Zbignew could have easily made his argument by talking about an increase in the number of Chinese IRBMs that would threaten ROK, Japan etc. (though without question, the Chinese have a sufficiently large IRBM force to obliterate most of those nations already). Yet, he chooses to *specifically* put this in terms of the 18-20 ICBMs that China possesses which are capable of hitting the United States, as he clearly mentions. Why?
As for ZB himself, he may be in the twilight of his career but his legacy is very much around. The Clintonista establishment of Allbright and co. hold entirely with the Internationalist school of US Foreign Policy, on which Zbignew wrote the book. The Internationalists are *the* American foreign policy alternative to the rapidly-fading Neocons who currently hold the Pentagon and State Department... I would, in fact, bet on a resurgence of Zbignew-heads in the event of a Hillary adminstration.
I think the whole Beg paradigm issue is overblown. I think in reality the US will be relieved if the two countries in the world with a population of 2.5 billion and competitors for all the increase in resource consumption in the world (especially oil) blow each other up and set themselves back by 500 years. A big bonus for the US is that the close to 1 trillion in dollars held by the Chinese as foreign exchange no longer have to be paid back by the UST. Towards that end, the US is not going to help India over China or vice versa. The US will respond only if it sees the Chinese missiles being fuelled up and will target those missiles.
Don't you see, that's exactly it. India would be very happy and relieved, if Al Qaeda jehadis exploded a nuke under Mush's tush (or say, Israel nuked Pakistan) and that was the end of the Pakstory. But it won't be. Pakistan will nuke India no matter who hits them...the original Beg paradigm.
Likewise. China would be very happy and relieved if India and Pakistan just nuked each other. Stripped of all moralpolitik implications, when we on BRF discuss retaliating against China for a Pakistani/Jehadi WMD attack, what are we *really* talking about? Beg paradigm again.
Maybe we shouldn't really call it the "Beg paradigm", because honestly it has been around longer than Beg's brag. That's just a convenient shorthand for non-bilateral nuclear retaliation, which the Israelis refer to as the Sampson option. South Africa had a somewhat similar doctrine which Graham Greene alludes to in "The Human Factor" as "Uncle Remus"...but probably went by a different name in reality. But "Beg paradigm" will have to do for now, as a matter of convenience.
China threatening the US with nuclear retaliation if India nukes China, is nothing but a further extension of the same logic. It is *precisely* this which will not allow the US to remain securely relieved if India and China nuke each other, depriving the US of its resource competitors, evaporating their $1T debt to Beijing, etc. That is exactly why the Chinese will not allow it to stop with an Indo-Chinese nukefest. The logic of it is, you will feel our pain too. Sheer nuclear blackmail... but it has replaced cold war notions of MAD in a hurry.
As someone pointed out in an earlier post, you have different categories of jehadis. AQ if it posseses a JDAM will use it on the US, if it can transport the device physically into the US, not easy now with all the sensors/sniffers at US entry points as well as at various US highways/bridges etc. Similarly Hamas/Hezbollah if they have a JDAM will use it against Israel. The question is where will they get their hands on material to make even a dirty bomb. That is where Herr Musharaff's country comes in and the Pakistan Army's brazen blackmail wherein it essentially tells the US, "All bets are off if you threaten our existence". It is a completely different situation vis a vis China i.e. the US is not threatening China.
Jehadis threatening the US or Israel with nukes are not really India's concern. It is the ones who threaten India that we're worried about, and the discussion on this thread has to do with the scope of our retaliation to a JDAM. In the same way as the US is not threatening China, China is not the one threatening India with a JDAM... Pakistan is. Yet we talk about extending retaliation to China as well, because of Chinese proliferation to Pakistan in the first place.
But why should we imagine that China will allow themselves to be set back 500 years from Indian nuclear attacks if India is determined to extend such retaliation to them? Why will the Chinese let the US get away unscathed in the event of such an impending threat to themselves? I'm sure they wouldn't like the US to go laughing happily to the bank with $1T worth of debt forgiven while they find their own superpower aspirations dashed back to the stone age.
The Chinese have always gone to war with the objective of attaining specific political objectives. Even if they have not *won certain wars*, they achieved the political objectives they set out with. Committing national suicide is not one of their political objectives, even for the sake of their pet rabies infected dog a.k.a. Pakistan. And based on their past behaviour of ultimately meeting rational objectives it will be inconsistent for them to want to commit national suicide by attacking the US.
I think you might be confusing some fundamentally different political concepts here. Deterrence is not about suicide-- it's about imposing the threat of unacceptable costs. Convincing the enemy that you are ready and willing to impose those costs even at the risk of your own annihilation , a.k.a. brinkmanship, has always been a part of deterrence mechanisms. The political objective is not something you achieve by fighting a nuclear war... the political objective IS never having to fight the nuclear war.
Hence, as KG has explained, the Chinese will achieve a very important political objective by threatening the US with retaliation in case of an Indian nuke attack on themselves. They will leave the US with only one relatively safe option... an agreement along with China to nuke India immediately following a Pakistani or Jihadi nuclear attack on India, terminating the Beg chain of events at that stage.
The Chinese will say, if the Indians make an India-Pakistan nuclear exchange into an India-Pakistan-China nuclear exchange, we will take it further into an India-Pakistan-China-US nuclear exchange. You, the Americans, have only one choice... you collaborate with us to ensure that it *stays* an India-Pakistan nuclear exchange, by nuking India along with us, and ending the whole story right there on the subcontinent.
This is a safe option for the US because, as I said before, China *has* the ability to stage a nuclear attack on the United States, while India *does not*.
I would say that unlike China, India's political leadership is not ruthless (and given India's political system cannot afford to be ruthless) enough in the pursuit of its national objectives. As such, testing a Surya IMO will be very counter productive from the viewpoint of India's overall interests. It will do India more harm than good at this point in time. If you look at the obvious holes in the logic of the Beg paradigm, especially Chinese behaviour in terms of their national political objectives, the subsequent logic for developing the Surya currently becomes superflous. A non country specific SLBM capability is far more credible and less threatening.
If we say that India should predicate its geopolitical strategies on the assumption that our leadership is incapable of being ruthless, we've lost already.
I honestly do not see any holes in the Beg paradigm. An observation of Chinese behaviour in terms of their objectives thus far, cannot be extended to cover this eventuality... Indian nuclear retaliation against them because of irrational Pakistani/Jehadi nuclear attack against us... because it is an entirely unique situation driven by an irrational actor (who may or may not be within Beijing's power to keep on a tight leash at this point).
Thus far all nuclear threats to them have come from the USSR (later Russia) or the United States, both of whom understood and played by the rules of cold-war deterrence. *If* India explicitly or implicitly threatens the Chinese with such retaliation... that is the basis on which all of this discussion is predicated... the Chinese can either face the prospect of such retaliation by themselves ,or they can threaten to involve the United States to gain more leverage. I don't think there's any doubt which way they will go.
As for SLBMs, "long-range sub-orbital bombers" and so on... Johann has offered such pacifiers to BR jingos before. I don't believe they have any credible deterrence value vis-a-vis the United States. Think about it... we don't even have an indigenous nuclear-*powered* submarine, quite necessary if we're going to base missiles in the ocean for long periods of time... nor any tested means of launching anything from our submarine fleet. In that technological realm we're not even at square one, and it could be years if not decades before we even approximate that capability. The US, meanwhile, already has decades of experience tracking and hunting SLBM boats, which would prove a distinct advantage. Also, there is little doubt in my mind that as we came closer to actually having an SLBM capability, the US would suddenly decide to find that quite as threatening and country-specific as the Surya. Talking of SLBMs , IMO, is nothing but a way of postponing the inevitable.
On the other hand we already have the GSLV, and a well-funded, concerted effort could possibly yield a fully functional Surya in a year or less. Hadn't this best be done before we enter into any sort of ill-advised deal with the US whereby we'd be dependent on their noblesse oblige for nuclear fuel?
Adding to the urgency, of course, is the fact that the jehadis will not operate on a convenient or predictable time schedule. They might have a JDAM in Bangalore or Hyderabad next month; they might have one assembled right now. They will not wait for us to develop SLBMs or sub-orbital-whatsits. It is all very well to say "Hunooz Dilli Door Asth" today, but if we suddenly find ourselves facing KGoan's scenario... we had better have the ability to deter the US from going along with any Chinese plan to confine the resulting nuclear conflagration to the Indian subcontinent.
Ultimately the Chinese have to be made to realize that by directly threatening India's security by providing nukes to Pakistan, that they could end up paying the price for their reckless behaviour. That it is in their own interest to keep their rabid dog on a tight leash. Surely they do not want to have to pay the price of reverting as opium junkies for the misdeeds of Pakistan. They have to be made to understand that their reckless behaviour will have consequences on their own safety.
Anything else will reinforce the image of India as a pushover, however slick the rationalizations are and by whatever name they are called. India has built up its fissile material capacity for a reason i.e. to be able to talk to the Chinese mano a mano, not to rationalize away Indian inaction.
Absolutely, I agree with you there. The only ingredient missing is the level of deterrence which will prevent the US and Chinese from colluding to restrict an India-Pakistan nuclear exchange to the Indian subcontinent by collaboratively nuking India. The stakes being what they are, this is not a risk we can allow ourselves to take.