Deterrence

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ShauryaT
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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 23 Nov 2009 02:43

vera_k wrote:and then there's the TINA factor.
Apparently there is. A key factor for BM, not to probe the matter beyond a certain point. The BARC is a world of its own. If one reads the history of the BARC and how Homi Bhaba managed to get this institute isolated from the rest of the government, one will understand the TINA factor and also appreciate the advantages the nation received from such an arrangement and also its disadvantages.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 23 Nov 2009 06:08

ShauryaT wrote: Page 68 from BK's book, scanned and available in this thread.


Shaurya, I re read that and there is a clear contradiction between Chengappa and Karnad.

Having said that page 67 of your scan speaks of Chidambaram's views after the 1998 tests (about no further testing needed) but page 68 flashes back to 1995 in which Karnad describes PVNR as having latched on to the simulation option. Unless you can provide data from other pages what BK has said is, in effect as follow:

"Since RC claimed that the 1998 tests provided enough data (page 67 of your scan) and that no further testing was needed, PVNR in 1995 agreed to simulation(page 68 of your scan)" This is impossible without time travel

Bharat Karnad clearly uses rhetoric (about 60,000 years etc but manual calculations were OK in 1974) to further his viewpoint. Nothing wrong in that but one viewpoint even that of BK is not convincing enough - especially when he is blatantly tying up little rhetorical knots like what I have described above. There are many other viewpoints with no clear indicator and that one view is "more true" than others.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 23 Nov 2009 06:30



Thanks. I do have this archived. I take it that you are stating that a former RAW official who dealt with matters of national importance and (as per your view) has released RAW viewpoints in the lay media, is now appealing to the Prime Minister via the lay media in an article that is clearly mocking someone else by the use of expressions like " Why? Sour grapes following the TN device failure.."

Shaurya this is laughable. Has the man lost his influence to such a degree post retirement that he must resort to this kind of feeble appeal?

Let me state what I have refrained from saying on the forum. Santhanam may be the most credible and dependable person on earth. But he damages his own credibility by resorting to what appear to be desperate and feeble measures when every retired person I know (or whose opinion I read) is able to voice his views in a way that does not suggest that he has a chip on his shoulder. For a matter of such great national import his methods and language are laughable enough to be dismissed as humor. And they are being dismissed by more than just people like me. If KS is doing a favor to anyone it is not himself or the nation. If he is looking for public support by issuing appeals in the lay media, he does not appear to be getting much. To me "the nation" is hardly waiting with bated breath.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 23 Nov 2009 06:56

Shivji: I am sure you will come to your own conclusions. You may even find it laughable, and that is your choice. You may not like the method or the tone. You may be even right that it is ineffective. However, the message remains.

It was not KS choice to come out like this. For the record, here is the sequence of events:

- KS speaks on a CTBT related conference at IDSA under Chatham rules (BK was there at this same conference)
- A reporter of DNA violated the Chatham rules and reports KS comments
- Subsequently, there are 2-3 more interviews by the press (mostly ineffective DDM types, which angered me immensely)
- A storm is raised in the country, leading to almost every current and past GOI member involved, making one statement or the other, in defense of the official line. Some like MKN mock KS in the process.
- KS replies in anger, gets support from many retired members of the establishment
- Ramachandran writes an article seemingly on behalf of BARC
- KS refutes the Ramachandran article

What I read from the tone of the message are the following:

- KS anger at being ignored for all these years, when he was raising the same issues from within the system
- KS feeling that the nation will be under additional pressure to sign a CTBT and that this government may sign it
- KS feeling that he does not have much to loose (personally) anymore (The act of serving larger interests, greater than your immediate self interest becomes easier, once your self interest is served. Call it hypocrisy, but it is a fact of life)
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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 23 Nov 2009 07:28

>>"shiv"

>>Having said that page 67 of your scan speaks of Chidambaram's views after the 1998 tests (about no further testing needed) but page 68 flashes back to 1995 in which Karnad describes PVNR as having latched on to the simulation option. Unless you can provide data from other pages what BK has said is, in effect as follow:

I am a little confused on where you are confused. The PVNR 1995 comments is sourced to this article from K. Subrahmanyam, see quote below. Read the comments of AN Prasad's view of 1995 on page 68 and the last sentence on pages 67, that continues to page 68 (sourced to K. Subrahmanyam), together and not each in isolation, to create the complete picture.

I asked him why he called off the nuclear test of December 1995. He said there was no consensus on the test. There were divisions not only among the economists and administrators but also among the scientists themselves. He felt that he would conduct the test if he came back to office.


>>Bharat Karnad clearly uses rhetoric (about 60,000 years etc but manual calculations were OK in 1974) to further his viewpoint. Nothing wrong in that but one viewpoint even that of BK is not convincing enough - especially when he is blatantly tying up little rhetorical knots like what I have described above. There are many other viewpoints with no clear indicator and that one view is "more true" than others.

OK, a book has to be readable and the facts explained in context or it becomes a drag. The 60,000 years etc is to illustrate a point, that Indian computing facilities could not have matured in a short order to such a degree that complete TN weapons could be simulated successfully. This point is explained with other issues on the simulation theory, namely the lack of test data. I can post the references BK provides for these, but I sense that you are more interested in either saying BK can do non sense too and hence all are equally non sense or you are jumping to conclusions about his works, prematurely.

Added: Cannot speak for Chengappa's works.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 23 Nov 2009 08:35


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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 23 Nov 2009 08:51

Shaurya that is a very balanced appraisal.

I have personally tried not to look at the nuclear issue from the filter of KS's view or RC's view or any particular person's viewpoint. I have assumed that all these individuals have played some small part in taking India to where is is today. Most importantly I have tired to avoid the "If only X had done Y in the year Z" argument because I see that as the same as "If my aunt had a d!ck she would have been my uncle"

From my perspective I currently view things as follows:

Although Indira Gandhi and Homi Bhabha were both far sighted and set India on the course to make nuclear bombs, Indians have been too inward looking (through the 1970s and 80s) to see how far China and Pakistan would go to try and damage India.

It seems to me that India woke up very late ( and partially) to the reality of nuclear weapons aimed at us from both Pakistan and China. Even after that India remained a reluctant nuclear player. India could have tested again in the 1980s - long before the CTBT was in the horizon, but did not do so, despite having built an arsenal of about 25 (air dropped?) bombs in the 1980.

After having sat on its butt doing nothing from 1974 to the 1990s, the urgency to test came in in the early 1990s when all the worlds nuclear powers, having done lots of tests themselves, decided to stop testing. Even the 1998 tests were done surreptitiously, in a hurry and not in a way that other nations did relaxed and spaced out tests to gather data from one test and analyse before making corrections and doing a second test. This peculiar set of circumstances had both political and scientific constraints and the circumstances were hardly the handiwork of one man.

I believe that there was a political decision made at the highest level (PMO) regarding the exact wording and timing of the announcement to be made after the tests including the part about a moratorium on further testing.

Any marginally technically adept person will understand that 5 tests will give more data than 1 test, but 25 tests will give more data than 5. But there never was any political intention to "test at will" right from the 1980s. It appears that for India "simulation" and manual calculations were reeliable enough to have an arsenal until 1998. In contrast to this - everyone talks like a weapons designer. There have been lots of designs and lots of claims. Even PK Iyengar has plainly spoke about "previous" weapon designs. It is not wrong to ask for more tests after 1998, but there appear to be severe geopolitical constraints to testing. For that reason the number of weapon designs in India are always going to be far more than the number of designs tested. Also - India seems to have a far larger number of weapon designers who have actually designed weapons than the number of designs that get tested. Whose weapon design gets tested is dependent on who is in charge at a particular time. I believe it was Ramanna/PKI in 1974, not Sethna. It was RC/Kakodkar/Sikka in 1998 and not someone else. It is hard to see how a man who has designed weapons will be happy at not seeing his design tested while someone else's design gets tested.

What did 1998 prove? 1998 proved only that the 15 kt fission bomb (which was an actual weapon) worked as expected. To that extent India's "deterrent" was "proven" as reliable. Everything else was an experiment for data. Nothing else was ever claimed by the scientific community.

Let me state some of my personal opinions below (FWIW)

India is a country that has relied on "manual calculation" and simulation from 1974 to 1998. A sudden spurt of test data was obtained in 1998. There is currently no option for India to do anything other than rely on that test data and perhaps hydrodynamic test data to make weapons. In fact the meaning of this should become perfectly clear if you spend time reading about nuclear bombs and designs. It means
1) India has reliable fission weapons
2) India probably has reliable boosted fission weapons
3) India has more than one design of thermonuclear weapon and can build them, but if built, their reliability is not proven.

How reliable are India's fission weapons?

I cannot give a figure for this, but my reading tells me reliable enough to serve a credible nuclear threat.

Why do I say this?

Apart from two first-time successful explosions (three if you take the fission primary of the TN) all internet sources say that it is possible to reliably test all components of a fission bomb without an actual nuclear explosion, making a weapons quite reliable.

Does India need a proven thermonuclear bomb?

This depends on whether you think that you cannot respond to a megaton bomb with three 50 kt bombs. This whole thread was started to discuss that and so this is where my views come full circle.

My reading tells me that most countries are moving out of megaton bobs into bombs in the low hundreds of kilotons because the hardened targets that megaton bombs were designed to hit still do not ensure that nuclear retaliation cannot occur. Is 400 kt better than 100 kt? That is moot and has been discussed earlier in this thread.

There are a few points about thermonuclear bombs that pose a problem for all powers who have them and an even bigger problem for India. For those who already have them - the aging of their arsenals and 1970s -80s designs may not be reliable without testing. Tritium keeps decaying and needs to be replaced. For India the problem comes even before that and I have mentioned it earlier.

To recap: The amount of fissile material India has will give India:
X fission bombs
X+Y boosted fission bombs
X-Z thermonuclear bombs

In other words the maximum number o bombs we can have is by boosted fission (currently). In future we may have enough fissile material to do more.

In short India has to maintain some deterrent and that deterrent has to be maintained within the constraints that India faces. India has made some choices and not everyone is agreed that they were the right choices. The latest source of disagreement is the Santhanam episode which can be summarized (minus the rhetoric) as "test more".

I would love to see India testing, but I do not believe that India is going to test. And even if India does test - I think the tests should not be over in 2 days. We should test repeatedly over many months to make design flaw corrections. I don't see that happening. The other point is that if public sources are to be believed, then by doing 8 tests India would use up 10% of its nuclear stockpile.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 23 Nov 2009 09:09

The other point is that if public sources are to be believed, then by doing 8 tests India would use up 10% of its nuclear stockpile.


Indo-US agreement?

Besides the posted URL talks of Rao dealing with operationalization and deterrence during his PMship.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 23 Nov 2009 09:16

NRao wrote:
The other point is that if public sources are to be believed, then by doing 8 tests India would use up 10% of its nuclear stockpile.


Indo-US agreement?

Besides the posted URL talks of Rao dealing with operationalization and deterrence during his PMship.

Which posted url?

As regards the Indo-US agreement etc - I see your point. But as I see things - we have to stay within the box of publicly available data. The Indian stockpile and capability take on a completely different color if you make two presumptions - i.e that estimates of India's WGPu are higher than is known to the public and that the Venn diagram has been changed by new alliances and personal interaction. But I am not heading into that territory at all.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 23 Nov 2009 11:00

Which posted url?


Narasimha Rao and the Bomb

WRT the others, I am not concerned. This fizzle topic got me researching and I have gained a very healthy respect for these BARCiets since.

Outside of the yield of S1, I do not see any issues with this particular controversy.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby Sanku » 23 Nov 2009 18:10

ShauyraT, excellent set of posts.

If you allow me a bit of piggy back riding, I will like to claim that you speak for me, word for word.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 23 Nov 2009 19:47

I do not recall seeing this article, thus the post:

Sept, 2009 :: K. Subrahmanyam :: Thinking through the unthinkable

India has rightly been called the ‘reluctant nuclear power’. No other country in the world allowed twenty-four years to lapse between its first nuclear test and declaring itself a nuclear-weapons state. The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officially published the first study on the effects of nuclear explosions in the ’50s and it became a textbook for campaigners for the test ban treaty. No country campaigned as vigorously for nuclear disarmament as India, which was finally compelled to declare itself a nuclear weapons state because of the extremely delicate security situation in which it found itself. Two of its neighbours, with active disputes with India and who have fought wars with this country, are nuclear-weapons states with an ongoing proliferation relationship. Both of them have breached international norms on proliferation. Placed in this situation, India had to safeguard its security and yet found no reason to abandon its commitment to campaign for nuclear disarmament. India also had before it, the lessons of the irrational pursuit of a nuclear theology by major powers who built obscenely large arsenals at great cost ( subsequently were compelled to dismantle them at equally great cost). India has taken note of the joint declaration of President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev that a nuclear war cannot be won. After its first use in a situation of asymmetry, when it was dropped on a nation attempting to negotiate its surrender, nuclear weapons have not been used in the last sixty four years.

There is a near-universally shared perception that deterrence has worked and the Indian official nuclear doctrine is based on this premise. However there are, as is to be expected — especially in an argumentative country — different views on its interpretation and scope. That leads to espousals of differing strategies and policies.Therefore, a rigorous examination of the concept of deterrence is called for.

Most of the literature on nuclear deterrence has been produced by US strategists, and they relate to a two-player game between the US and USSR. In the initial stages of the Cold War, the US used the perceived Soviet conventional superiority in Europe as justification for developing tactical nuclear weapons. Then, the vulnerability of airborne forces to a totally disarming strike (the ‘delicate balance of terror’ thesis) led to the development of silo-based and submarine-based missiles. Very fanciful assertions of the punishment the Soviets were capable of accepting, in terms of population and industry loss, became the basis for hiking up the requirements of these silo and submarine-based missiles. Then came the technology of multiple warheads. The final result was an arsenal exceeding 20,000 warheads on each side. While the USSR, in the initial stages, was able to exercise deterrence vis a vis a vastly superior nuclear arsenal of the US with a fraction of that number, in subsequent years it expanded its arsenal to match and exceed that of the US — mostly to seek parity in terms of super-power status. Though the USSR espoused an aggressive ideology, a basic feature of that ideology was that the direction of history was inexorably in one direction; the USSR need not push it militarily in areas of vital interest to the West, but should take advantage of opportunities in the developing world. The result of this approach was that USSR behaved almost like a status-quoist power, very rarely threatening the US directly. The only crisis when the homelands of both powers came under threat was the Cuban missile crisis.

While the nuclear deterrence between the two super-powers operated without any external constraints, that was not the case in the game of deterrence between other powers — such as, for instance, between China and the USSR. The Chinese, following Soviet warnings of potential escalations in the border confrontation, decided to make a complete U-turn in their policy, respond to US overtures, and have a tacit alliance with them — thus enhancing uncertainty for the Soviets in any nuclear threat towards the very weak nuclear China of the ’70s and ’80s. The game of nuclear deterrence among the lower-rung nuclear nations must necessarily take into account the potential behaviour of the two foremost nuclear powers, which are in the case of India and Pakistan beyond the possibility of any realistic retaliation. There is not much, if at all any, literature on the game of deterrence among the second- and third-rung nuclear nations under such conditions of uncertainty. So we have to think for ourselves.

Deterrence has been defined as discouraging someone from doing something by instilling in them the fear of consequences. In India’s case, it would mean that the ability of the country to retaliate against a nuclear attack on it by either of its two nuclear neighbours, should be credible to the potential adversary. In other words, the retaliation should result in unacceptable damage in terms of population and property. However, deterrence is not a function of the exchange ratio of the damages inflicted by both sides. It is directly related to the population and property damage which the aggressor will calculate he can accept in the inevitable retaliation that is bound to follow his initial nuclear attack, irrespective of its magnitude. In today’s context, when missile defence is still to become optimally effective, so long as India has a survivable retaliatory force, the punishment is certain. Even a fission warhead of 15 kilotons will cause more than 100,000 immediate fatal casualties in the densely populated cities of South Asia and China. It is immaterial if a 100 kiloton warhead flattens a major city or if that is done by three smaller 15-kiloton warheads. Deterrence depends on the adversary’s perception of the explosive yield that will be delivered on his cities by a retaliatory strike. There are both advantages and disadvantages in delivering the retaliation in big packages with fewer delivery systems, or with larger numbers in a distributed way. The crux of deterrence is survival of the retaliatory force and the adequacy of the survived force to inflict unacceptable punishment.

There can be all kinds of fanciful calculations on what would constitute unacceptable punishment, and what would be the survivability factor of one’s own force against the adversary’s first strike of different magnitudes. The adversary cannot disarm himself in his first strike and he should have enough warheads left after he is hit by retaliatory strikes. Then, allowances have to be made for failures of warheads and failures of delivery systems, and delivery vehicles missing the target by a large margin in the exchanges between both sides. Depending on the mental and emotional make-up of the calculator, the figure can vary over a large range. In the real world of today, will even 6-10 hits by fission warheads, let alone 100-kiloton thermonuclear warheads, be considered acceptable to attain a conceivable strategic, political, or economic objective? Exercise of a credible deterrence calls for sound judgement on this issue.

To be concluded See below


Sept, 2009 :: K. Subrahmanyam :: Because the bluff might just be called

Taking all the factors (elaborated on these pages yesterday) into account, the national security advisory board recommended to the government in August 1999 that India should adopt a strategy of ‘no first use’ and a credible minimum deterrence. This was accepted with some modifications by the government in January 2003. There have always been critics of the ‘no first use’ strategy. It is argued that if there is absolutely foolproof intelligence that the adversary is preparing to strike, why should not there be a pre-emptive strike? These critics do not follow up their own scenario further and explain how the pre-emptive strike will avoid a retaliatory strike which the adversary is bound to carry out. While the pre-emptive strike, because of its very nature, will be a counter-force one, the adversary’s retaliation is bound to be a counter-value one compelling the initiator of the attack to follow up the pre-emptive strike with a second strike to inflict commensurate counter-value damage. In a situation where a pre-emptive strike is considered, there may still be a miniscule possibility that the adversary may have a very last minute change of mind; but a pre-emptive strike will compel him to strike back. Therefore, it is not clear what advantage will be gained by resorting to a pre-emptive strike.

It is argued that the adversary’s first strike may be designed to decapitate the command and control of the country and the nuclear force, and in such circumstances the pre-emptive strike would be advantageous. The country should take all necessary precautions to ensure the continuity of command and control under all circumstances. The most effective way of ensuring that the adversary will not succeed in his objective in carrying out such a decapitating strike is to ensure a continuity in respect of succession in both political and military commands. If that is in place, the decapitation strike will lose all its strategic significance. It will evoke a punitive response. The ‘no first use’ strategy is a signal to potential adversaries that the country is in a position to weather a nuclear attack and retaliate punitively.

There was a time when, in the nuclear discourse in the US, people talked casually about millions of casualities. Now a couple of hundred casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan per year is considered unacceptable. A limited Pakistani army campaign against a few hundred insurgents produces more than a couple of million internally displaced persons. Imagine what could happen if a few cities of Pakistan are hit with nuclear weapons. Apart from fatalities in hundreds of thousands and wounded many times that number, millions of persons will be running away not only from cities already hit, but also from cities which will be considered potential targets. And governance will collapse. Medical services will not be able to cope up with it. Herman Kahn raised the pertinent question: whether in those circumstances the living will envy the dead?

Robert McNamara, the US defence secretary of the sixties who made those fanciful calculations of what percentage of the Soviet population and industry should be threatened with assured destruction for deterrence to be effective, wrote in Foreign Policy in May/June 2005 that launching a nuclear weapon against a nuclear armed adverasary would be suicidal. He said he had never seen any US or NATO war plans that concluded that initiating the use of nuclear weapons would yield the US or the alliance any benefit. He also said that his statement to this effect had never been refuted by NATO defence ministers or senior military leaders, Yet, it was impossible for any of them, including US presidents, to make such statements publicly because they were totally contrary to established NATO policy.

In respect of conventional war, the side with military superiority used to be able to dominate the battle field, the air space and the seas and inflict disproportionate losses to the side with lesser resources till a militarily meaningful result was achieved. Even this does not happen in respect of asymmetric war as happened in Vietnam where the US won all the battles, inflicted millions of casualties on the Vietnamese and yet lost the war at the end. A similar fate overtook the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. In the case of a nuclear war with long reach missiles, whole countries on both sides become battlefields and irrespective of the relative strengths of nuclear arsenal, two neighbouring countries engaging in a nuclear exchange will inflict unacceptable damage on each other without being able to achieve any meaningful military results. Once the first missiles are launched, it is impossible to control and regulate further launches for fear of losing the missiles before they are used. In these circumstances, nuclear weapons are rationally usable only as a deterrent against nuclear threats since a nuclear asymmetric situation will give the nuclear threatener an enormous advantage in coercive diplomacy and subject the armed forces of the nuclear unarmed country to enormous psychological disadvantage. Dr A.Q.Khan has disclosed that the Pakistani bomb was ready in 1984 and they did not test it because General Zia did not want to annoy the US at that stage. The Kargil Committee report records that in 1987, at the time of Brasstacks crisis, the Indian high commissioner was summoned and told that Pakistan was capable of inflicting unacceptable damage (code word for use of a nuclear weapon) on India if India violated Pakistani territorial integrity. Pakistan at that stage had a proven Chinese nuclear weapon design to copy . The book The Nuclear Express by the Livermore nuclear scientist Thomas Reed and Los Alamos nuclear physicist Danny Stillman, discloses that China conducted a nuclear test for Pakistan at the LopNor test site on May 26 1990. China and North Korea armed Pakistan with a panoply of missiles of different ranges through the ’90s.

In 1996, the Chinese managed to include India as one of the 45 countries that should sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in spite of India’s opposition to it, to bring it into force by 1999. Then came the Ghauri missile test by Pakistan in April 1998. Faced with this nuclear asymmetric situation, it became rational for India to carry out the Shakti series of tests and declare itself a nuclear-weapons state and exercise deterrence vis a vis its nuclear neighbours. ‘No first use’ strategy is the optimal compromise between India’s commitment to nuclear disarmament and its nuclear security imperatives.
Last edited by NRao on 23 Nov 2009 22:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 23 Nov 2009 22:49

Folks, I recently came across this site dipity.com, quite useful in doing a time track on a topic. Have not explored it much, but here is an example on the nuclear issue. Enjoy.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 23 Nov 2009 23:09

Questions on the K. Subrahmanyam line of argument, which has been covered before but not in this series.

- What is the view of the Indian military with respect to the type, number and quality of weapons we need?
- How many nuclear weapon states, who face another set of NWS, subscribe to the theory that is being proposed?
- What are the geo strategic assumptions for India, for the theory of MCD and NFU to be its guidelines? Is the assumption a defensive one only, with existing lines on the borders, official or by default?
- What are the assumptions for levels of nuclear power to perceived or real levels of national power? To what degree does nuclear power play a role?
- To what degree is the current strategy dependent upon the intent of our opponents?

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Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 23 Nov 2009 23:35

ShauryaT wrote:Questions on the K. Subrahmanyam line of argument, which has been covered before but not in this series.


From what I have read/researched so far (and based on some of your own posts, mine is a subset):
(I think we need another thread for such topic/s.)

- What is the view of the Indian military with respect to the type, number and quality of weapons we need?


As far as I can tell, they are not in that loop. No plans on that being changed either. I think Indian SciCom tells them what can be provided (type of devices) and what they can expect (yield, CEP, etc). Numbers if I am not mistaken is computed by some party - I think it is the group that does the deterrence part.

- How many nuclear weapon states, who face another set of NWS, subscribe to the theory that is being proposed?


Does not matter, unless there are nations clubbing together. Each nation has had her own theory that has evolved over time and is subject to changes as they go along. IMHO, India has learned from others and has applied that to her own policies, but has not mimicked.

- What are the geo strategic assumptions for India, for the theory of MCD and NFU to be its guidelines? Is the assumption a defensive one only, with existing lines on the borders, official or by default?


It is one of deterrence - neither defensive nor offensive. K Sub has written quite extensively on this, including those in my last post.

- What are the assumptions for levels of nuclear power to perceived or real levels of national power? To what degree does nuclear power play a role?


No idea. Never thought of it.

- To what degree is the current strategy dependent upon the intent of our opponents?


100%. It has to only depend on their intent. even Indian R&D is reliant on this intent. Also for a view: 2008 :: K. Subrahmanyam :: Pragmatic China countervails US through India partnership

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Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 24 Nov 2009 01:37


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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 24 Nov 2009 01:43

NRao: I will respond after some time. These questions are not just in response to your post about the KS article, who has made his views clear many times before and is the key architect of our MCD/NFU doctrines. I have studied this issue and there needs to be a debate, counter views presented. But, the assumptions are key to our understanding of the existing doctrines. Associated with this, we might well as debate our NCA procedures and its effectiveness.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby Ananya » 24 Nov 2009 02:19

NRao wrote:
Which posted url?


Narasimha Rao and the Bomb

WRT the others, I am not concerned. This fizzle topic got me researching and I have gained a very healthy respect for these BARCiets since.

Outside of the yield of S1, I do not see any issues with this particular controversy.


a very thought provikng article, sheds light on PVN and perhaps the architect of What india is today

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Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 24 Nov 2009 05:27

ShauryaT wrote:NRao: I will respond after some time. These questions are not just in response to your post about the KS article, who has made his views clear many times before and is the key architect of our MCD/NFU doctrines. I have studied this issue and there needs to be a debate, counter views presented. But, the assumptions are key to our understanding of the existing doctrines. Associated with this, we might well as debate our NCA procedures and its effectiveness.


Sure. Thanks.

However, I think we need a new thread for that. Suggest that we leave this for S1 issues, specifically Santhanam raised issues.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 24 Nov 2009 06:15

:D Relevant in this thread as well

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 262395.cms

India's nuclear-capable intermediate range Agni-II missile, test-fired for the first time after sunset on Monday, reportedly failed to get the desired results.

The Army test-fired the surface-to-surface Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) from Wheeler’s Island, Bhadrak district, around 7.50pm.‘‘The liftoff and the first stage separation was smooth. But it faltered just before the second stage separation and behaved erratically, deviating from its coordinated path. Further analysis is on to ascertain the cause,’’ said a source

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Re: Deterrence

Postby Viv Sreenivasan » 24 Nov 2009 06:31

I see that mention has been made that the US is downsizing the yield of its nuclear arsenal. While this may be the case remember that the US has MRVED missiles, and its a proven fact that hitting a target with 6*400KT nukes is much better than a single 2.4 MT nuke hitting the same target. So dont read too much into the US reducing the yield of their nuclear weapons. All they are trying to do is make it more effective. India cannot afford to sitback and say 'oh see the US is reducing their yeild so therefore its allright for us to have small yield nukes'. AFAIK India does not have MIRVED nuke capability so your comparing apples with oranges. India until it can develop MRVED capable AGNIs, needs to work on increasing the yield of its nukes. If you look historically this is how nuclear weapons have evolved.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 24 Nov 2009 06:36

ShauryaT wrote:- What is the view of the Indian military with respect to the type, number and quality of weapons we need?

No exact answer. The first, by Adm Arun Prakash is the best. There are structural problems worse than the yield-number game that we are playing on here
http://www.maritimeindia.org/pdfs/STRAT ... MAKING.pdf
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090903/edit.htm#6
http://publication.samachar.com/pub_art ... ws%20&more





ShauryaT wrote:- How many nuclear weapon states, who face another set of NWS, subscribe to the theory that is being proposed?

Again, no exact answers but
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20080511/edit.htm#1
Though India carried out a nuclear test in 1974, it was not followed up with further weapon development effort. Meanwhile Pakistan with China’s active support and tacit US acquiescence overtook India in the development of nuclear weapons.
By 1987 they had assembled the weapon and tried out nuclear blackmail in 1987 and 1990. China continued to arm Pakistan with missiles and supplied ring magnets to Pakistani centrifuges in 1994 even after it had signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
India could not get US nuclear deterrent protection as Japan could. The entire industrial world from Vancouver to Vladivostock was under nuclear deterrent protection.
So were Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. No other country in the world faced the two-front threat as India did from China and Pakistan.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 24 Nov 2009 06:41

Viv Sreenivasan wrote:I see that mention has been made that the US is downsizing the yield of its nuclear arsenal. While this may be the case remember that the US has MRVED missiles, and its a proven fact that hitting a target with 6*400KT nukes is much better than a single 2.4 MT nuke hitting the same target. So dont read too much into the US reducing the yield of their nuclear weapons. All they are trying to do is make it more effective. India cannot afford to sitback and say 'oh see the US is reducing their yeild so therefore its allright for us to have small yield nukes'. AFAIK India does not have MIRVED nuke capability so your comparing apples with oranges. India until it can develop MRVED capable AGNIs, needs to work on increasing the yield of its nukes. If you look historically this is how nuclear weapons have evolved.


India is increasing the number of nukes it has (from 75 to 100) and the US is decreasing the number (from 10,000 to maybe 2000). So what is the comparison you are referring to? If you think a comparison of US and India is an apples to oranges comparison why do you feel that we should take the same route as the US and increase yields without going into the technical reasons of why and how the US apple increased yields and what problems the India orange faces in doing that?

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 25 Nov 2009 06:52

The following interesting graphic supports India's "principled stand" on proliferation, but the Venn diagram is bent

http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2008/ ... APHIC.html

Source: http://www.chemcases.com/nuclear/nc-12.html

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 25 Nov 2009 07:17

Reactor grade Plutonium weapons
http://www.ccnr.org/plute.html

While reactor-grade plutonium has a slightly larger critical mass than weapon-grade plutonium (meaning that somewhat more material would be needed for a bomb), this would not be a major impediment for design of either crude or sophisticated nuclear weapons.
The degree to which these obstacles can be overcome depends on the sophistication of the state or group attempting to produce a nuclear weapon.
At the lowest level of sophistication, a potential proliferating state or subnational group using designs and technologies no more sophisticated than those used in first-generation nuclear weapons could build a nuclear weapon from reactor-grade plutonium that would have an assured, reliable yield of one or a few kilotons (and a probable yield significantly higher than that).
At the other end of the spectrum, advanced nuclear weapon states such as the United States and Russia, using modern designs, could produce weapons from reactor-grade plutonium having reliable explosive yields, weight, and other characteristics generally comparable to those of weapons made from weapons-grade plutonium.


Nevertheless, even if pre-initiation occurs at the worst possible moment (when the material first becomes compressed enough to sustain a chain reaction) the explosive yield of even a relatively simple first-generation nuclear device would be of the order of one or a few kilotons. While this yield is referred to as the "fizzle yield," a one-kiloton bomb would still have a radius of destruction roughly one-third that of the Hiroshima weapon, making it a potentially fearsome explosive. Regardless of how high the concentration of troublesome isotopes is, the yield would not be less.


Also see
http://www.ccnr.org/plute_bomb.html
:D info not revealed because of Proliferation sensitivity - RC in the US?

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 25 Nov 2009 08:59

Look at the following graphic carefully, assuming that it is a correct estimate of who has how much Plutonium. After that we can talk about how many thousand bombs of high yield we can make

Image

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Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 25 Nov 2009 09:48

Yikes.

That is from Jan 2007 or so?

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Re: Deterrence

Postby Manish_Sharma » 29 Nov 2009 02:03

In 0.68 MT, what does MT stand for? And how many warheads could be made out of them, in fission or boosted fission let's say 50-80 kt range?

Is it possible that 6.4 MT of our Excess military material be turned into additional bombs?

The reports in TOI that Porkis having 70-90 and Bharat having 60-90 warheads based on this?

Caught myself drooling at Russian friends stockpile, can they transfer some under civilian purpose? Hmmmm.............. dreams !!! :)

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Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 29 Nov 2009 02:26

MT in this case is Metric Tons.

Perhaps the best source for estimating how many devices could be built from a given amount (for India) is Tellis (I had posted the URL within the past few pages).

ToI report and all such reports are estimates that a researcher comes up with.

Russian stuff is taken: by the US. And, some perhaps is already in the black market (since 1994).

As a FYI:

Global Stockpiles of HEU in 2008

Image

The graph Shiv posted above is for Plutonium (2007).

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Re: Deterrence

Postby Manish_Sharma » 29 Nov 2009 12:58

^^Thanks! :)

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Re: Deterrence

Postby Pranav » 10 Dec 2009 05:53

"The PM [Churchill] said the Hindus were a foul race “protected by their mere pullulation from the doom that is due” and he wished Bert [Bomber] Harris could send some of his surplus bombers to destroy them."

http://www.newstatesman.com/asia/2009/0 ... j-pakistan


pullulation - a rapid and abundant increase.
To breed rapidly or abundantly.
To teem; swarm: a lagoon that pullulated with tropical fish.


I guess deterrence by pullulation is another strategy for Yindoos.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 15 Dec 2009 07:20

Cross post from Paki thread
Gagan wrote:Pakistan's failed N Bomb design, drawn from AQ Khan's blackboard.

Image

Image


Nice work Gagan. I wonder what that enlargement off to one side on the blackboard is. Is it some kind of trigger.

This drawing, if authentic is an implosion type device in a hollow pit using Uranium. I think it would be possible to make a guesstimate of the actual size of the device (and weight) and therefore infer its deliverability.

Any takers - I will try later - as soon as I have some time to check some refs.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 15 Dec 2009 09:00

My guesstimate is as follows - using a hollow sphere of 15 Kg U 235, and 5 cm thick U 238 tamper I arrive at a guesstimate of a warhead that weighs about 500-600 kg with a diameter of about 70-75 cm

That would need a missile to deliver IMO because I am not sure which Paki aircraft can carry a 70-75 cm diameter munition.

Yield at 10% efficiency should be 25 kt I guess..

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Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 15 Dec 2009 10:00

I wonder what that enlargement off to one side on the blackboard is. Is it some kind of trigger.


On the right side?

Seems to me the "bomb" is drawn with the fins on the right side and the device within the bulge.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby negi » 15 Dec 2009 10:13

:lol: Are we serious trying to guesstimate TSP's nukes from what photochor has scribbled on blackboard ? Btw if I read it right the line below the BUM reads 1Kg U235=20kT. :eek: :mrgreen:

And what about the reports of the CHIC-4 design which are pretty much consistent across the web as far as TSP's nukes are concerned ?

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 15 Dec 2009 13:57

negi wrote::lol: Are we serious trying to guesstimate TSP's nukes from what photochor has scribbled on blackboard ? Btw if I read it right the line below the BUM reads 1Kg U235=20kT. :eek: :mrgreen:


Actually that it pretty close to the real figure of 17 kt for 1 Kg of U 235 fissioning fully but this is the only picture I have even seen of a Uranium based implosion device.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 15 Dec 2009 13:59

NRao wrote:
I wonder what that enlargement off to one side on the blackboard is. Is it some kind of trigger.


On the right side?

Seems to me the "bomb" is drawn with the fins on the right side and the device within the bulge.


I was wondering if it was a depiction of an enlargement of the detonators.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 15 Dec 2009 21:57

EBuzz : Dec 15, 2009 :: DRDO chief dismisses doubts over deterrence


First Published : 15 Dec 2009 05:12:53 PM IST
Last Updated : 15 Dec 2009 06:22:43 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Rejecting doubts raised by some scientists over India's nuclear deterrence, DRDO chief V K Saraswat today said the country is "self-sufficient" and has the capabilities it "needs to have".

"In terms of deterrence, India has the capability, which it needs to have. Any deterrence is the function of what is the threat against which you are creating it and in that particular aspect, we are totally self-sufficient," he told reporters on the sidelines of a DRDO seminar here.

Saraswat was asked about the effectiveness of India's nuclear deterrence after doubts raised over it by nuclear scientists K Santhanam and P K Iyengar.

"In terms of capability, what matters is the efficacy of your deterrence and not the numbers. I can assure you that in terms of efficacy, we are at par with whatever adversaries we are looking at," he added.

Saraswat said India's deterrence capabilities were fully safe and all the infrastructure required was also in place.

Asked about the Agni-2 ballistic missile not meeting all the parameters during its last two trials, the DRDO chief said, "these are the production gaps, which need to be sorted out. Particularly it's not the numbers but the quality of production that needs to be ensured."

Maintaining that there was nothing to worry, he said the missile was now into the production stage and there was a need for fine-tuning the industry involved in its production to achieve higher efficiency.

"I can assure that the hand-holding required between the designers, developers, prototypers and the industrial sector is totally in place and we are ensuring that whatever gaps are there, they are filled at the right time and at the right level," the DRDO Chief added.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 15 Dec 2009 23:11

OK, look at the words used in the above article, now tell me, if it is not reasonable for a skeptical mind to ask some questions and have some doubt.

Added: I am not referring to the missile parts of the above article. In terms of the failure of Agni 2, I am glad, for it will give an opportunity to really learn how to work with private players to ensure quality and once that is done, up the numbers. We really need private players involved in this process.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ramana » 16 Dec 2009 00:03

Its not lack of private players but a lack of dedication to the work at hand. The quality issues usually are people issues of not following process. For all we know the compoenents could be from private players. So lets see.


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