Johann wrote:What you have said about nuclear weapons, deterrence and conventional conflicts is not quite right. In many, if not most cases nuclear weapons were meant to offset conventional military disadvantages.
True Sir, but my point is nukes do not prevent conventional wars. I do agree that in situations where the conventional capability gap is very high, nukes do step in (as a cost efficient alternative).
Johann wrote:Israel acquired nuclear capabilities most of all to prevent itself from being overwhelmed and overrun by conventional forces. There was a moment in 1973 when they thought they might have to use them tactically (ie against enemy military forces in the field).
Sir, my belief is that the threat of a Soviet invasion crapped the daylights out of the Israelis, and convinced them to "explore" the nuclear path. Against her adversaries, Israel's conventional military strength suffices.
Johann wrote:It was the same for NATO's (including France's) Cold War nuclear doctrine - tactical weapons were intended to offset the massive Soviet/Warsaw Pact numerical advantage. This ended with the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Eastern Europe and the CFE Treaty.
Sir, the 1967 Soviet warplans called for 200+ (probably more) nukes within the first hour of the war itself. One of the targets was Lyon. Won't the French go for Moscow? The bottom line is that both sides knew that there are no tactical nukes, strategic nukes will follow.
Johann wrote:The Pakistanis believe their nuclear weapons deter India from using its conventional advantage to attempt another 1971 or worse on it.
Sir, that can be one of the conclusions. But orbat.com has stressed (at least) on one occasion that IA does not consider Pakistani nukes to be that much of a factor. Also, did Pakistani nukes help during Operation Parakram?
Johann wrote:Mao counted on nuclear weapons as part of the mix to deter and defeat both US backed RoC/Taiwanese invasion and march on Beijing as well as a Czechoslovakian-style Soviet invasion to enforce CPC leadership change.
And Mao was bluffing. Mao did not have enough nukes to deter the two superpowers and neither did he have nukes capable of being fit into a missile. It was the Soviets (a nuke power) who first protected Mao from an American (the other nuke power) nuke strike; later, this destroyer-protector order was reversed. Had the Soviets and the US decided to "take care of" PRC once and for all at the same time, lovely mushroom clouds would have been visible all over the Middle Kingdom regardless of what or how many the Chinese nukes were.
Johann wrote:Russia since the 1990s has depended on nuclear weapons to prevent invasion by NATO, China, etc because of the severe decline of its conventional forces.
I doubt that Sir. Yes, Russia used her nukes to preserve her influence as much as she could, but there was no intention to invade Russia on part of the West and PRC. Also, why would then Russia go down from 60000 nukes to under 20000?
Johann wrote:The Kim Family mafia in North Korea depends on nuclear weapons to deter invasion and regime change by the US/RoK/Japan, and anyone else, including the PRC and Russia.
Sir, the artillery guns over Seoul and the bio-chemical shells they can throw are a bigger threat than Kim's wannabe nukes.
Johann wrote:In all of these cases, while wars have broken out since nuclear weapons have been introduced (apart from NATO-WP), no one has dared to allow it to go beyond a border skirmish or unconventional warfare. No one is going for the 'jaguar vein'.
Spot on Sir.
Johann wrote:Did the Indian state count on nuclear weapons to deter conventional invasions?
I do not think so Sir; India has been capable of successfully dealing with a two-front war for a long time now. This raises an interesting question Sir, why did we develop nukes? Would love to discuss that with you.
Johann wrote:Would the GoI use nuclear weapons if it looked like it was about to lose Tawang or Arunachal Pradesh to a PLA advance?
No Sir, GoI would not. (This is purely a speculative opinion of mine.)
Johann wrote:Perhaps, if the leadership thought the Indian Republic's very survival was imminently threatened.
Given our capabilities, Sir a land invasion of Delhi or any of our other major nerve-centers (Assam and Punjab come to mind) is out of the question. The only way to threaten Indian Republic's survival is a decapitating nuke strike. This, then, raises another interesting question: Did somebody (US or PRC or both) threaten to turn Delhi into a radioactive marsh, which then compelled India to weaponize her nukes? Or is it that our big-power ambitions (which are completely just in my opinion) mandated nukes?
Johann wrote:However, as far as anyone can see the IA/IAF counts on conventional capabilities to stop the Chinese in their tracks. That is after all how they've done it since 1962 and before the tests of 1974 and 1998.
True, but then why did we decided to develop nukes? Was there a need other than "reputation"?
Johann wrote:Nuclear capability has enhanced India's status as a major up and coming economic power with a very large conventional forces, but its military situation has not been fundamentally changed by Shakti. That does not mean the same is true of all other nuclear powers at all other times.
Spot on Sir. But how big a role did nukes play? I’m not being sarcastic, genuinely curious.
Johann wrote:Besides the historical cases Israel, Russia, Pakistan, North Korea, and some of NATO's eastern most states still count on nuclear weapons to deter invasion, state collapse and regime change or erasure.
Sir, out of the abovementioned states, only Pakistan seemingly fits the bill.
PS: Sorry to have broken down your argument into bits; it is just that this is the only way I'm able to address all the counter-points raised.