>Hence: the US will do everything in its power to prevent India from retaliating against Pakistan in an existential manner for a JDAM attack against India. Quite likely, upto and including a nuclear strike against India to cripple our retaliatory capacity.
And at present, there is nothing we can do to deter them
Let me understand your thought process:
1. A JDAM goes off in India.
2. To prevent India from nuking Pakistan, the US nukes India.
3. India can do nothing about this because India does not have a Surya.
Let me now point out the flaws in this process:
1. Pakistan has far fewer nukes compared to India.
Evidence? Or more calculations? I've heard estimates of 40-90 nukes each. Only a fool would place all his bets and do all his risk calculations on the assumption that India has 1000 nuclear warheads armed and ready to go,
when far more conservative estimates exist, and when no certifiable information is available either way.
2. As such it is far easier for the US to be certain that it has taken out all Pakistani nukes by attacking Pakistan rather than attacking India and risking that 20% of the 1000 Indian nukes survive such an attack.
Again, not at all certain. Firstly, this is based on the highly questionable re-iteration of the "1000 nukes" figure once more.
Secondly, a nuclear attack on Pakistan that cripples the military regime and plunges the country into ungovernable chaos makes it *more* likely, not less, that Al Qaeda will get their hands on dirty-bomb material at the very least, if not functioning nukes. That is because of the nature of the Pakistani state, already crawling with Al-Qaeda and its sympathizers up to the top ranks of its intelligence community, as opposed to the Indian state. All tantamount to an unacceptable risk for the United States.
Thirdly, by various estimates the Pakistani nuclear arsenal is diffused. There may very well be Pakistani nuclear assets in KSA, certainly there are some in China, and there may even be some in other nations involved in the AQ Khan chain so far... Malaysia? Iran? This is the basis on which Pakistan has assured its own second-strike capability vs. India. Merely nuking the hell out of Pakistan far from ensures that all Pakistani nuclear weapons will be destroyed and therefore secure. As opposed to India whose nuclear assets lie entirely within the borders of India itself.
3. Because if those 200 Indian nukes are intact and and even without the Surya, India determines that the US was responsible, India can cause enough damage to the world including vital US interests such as Middle Eastern oil and its industrialized partners such that the world economic system will collapse.
You do realize the time frame we are talking about here. Even assuming that India had 1000 nukes, and 200 survived a US attack (with perhaps upto 5000 warheads involved)... how many of the 200 would be in the form of launch-ready warheads? How many of the alleged 1000 are, in the first place? As far as I know they're all kept de-mated. In the horrible aftermath of a US nuclear attack on India, could the GOI conceivably start putting together 200 warheads and missiles without US detection and then prepare to aim them at US interests without anyone noticing? What would have become of our counter-intel and logistical capability by that point? .Could we even do that in the aftermath of a single Pakistani JDAM attack, and launch them against Pakistan before we were stopped?
Assuredly if the US saw us readying our alleged 200 surviving nukes to launch at their interests, another strike would come to wipe out whatever was left. And this time around we'd be far more defenceless
However you look at it, only the development of a fully functional and deployed Surya arsenal, ready to launch within hours, provides any reasonable deterrence from this kind of scenario.
4. On the other hand with active collaboration from India, it will be far easier to takeout the balance of the Pakistani nukes that the US currently does not monitor.
See (2) for why there is nothing easy about doing so, to an extent that will secure all possibility of an Al-Q nuke attack on the US.
5. If you were making US policy and had these two choices i.e. neutralize 1000 Indian nukes or 5-20 Pakistani nukes which the US does not monitor, what will be easier target to go after?
If I were making US policy I would have nuked Pakistan already, on September 12th 2001
. However, that's beside the point.
If I had hard evidence that India had 1000 nukes, I would pressure and pressure the Indians to cut down their arsenal, to produce less and less fissile material, and try to prevent them from ever acquiring the capability to threaten the US with those nukes in any manner. Given that the Indians are greedy SOBs who like money very much, that's easy enough to do... hold out tall promises of energy security and economic superpowerdom and watch them make all the concessions. (Sound familiar?) I would make sure, in other words, that those nukes never became a threat to the US, because then I would have the option of making sure that they were never a threat to Pakistan either.
Pakistan is an entirely different problem... the same leverages do not even begin to apply. So simplistic number games of "1000" Indian nukes vs. "5-20"
Pakistani nukes are hardly the basis on which I would decide how to go about dealing with it. The delivery system of a Pakistani nuke against the US is JDAM... it has nothing to do with any "conventional" deterrence mechanism. By its very irrationality and unresponsiveness to conventional deterrence mechanisms, I cannot predict what will happen in the ensuing chaos after I wage a nuclear strike on Pakistan. Indian nukes I can destroy with my own nuclear missiles if I act fast enough... leaving the Indians without any delivery options. A couple of jihadis with a suitcase? Far from certain.