First Use of Nuclear Weapons

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Postby B Singh » 01 Nov 2006 02:26

Neerajsoman wrote:I
don't know, but I am willing to bet you want to argue it is the second.


I would argue that any attack that involves a radioactive device is, in essence, a nuclear attack. as for smuggling by sea, or rann of kutch, i would think that you would need more than a posse of islamists to unload & transport such a device into a city. It would require a lot of suspicious manuvering which, i dare say, is more likely to be intercepted than a Pakistani ballistic missile.


What would smuggling something in from the sea need ? You start off from Bangladesh, sneak into Indian waters (something that happens all the time - so the Coast guard will not be on hair trigger alert), transfer a device from the boat to another boat run by some IM fishermen, who bring it into dock and then a truck takes it wherever they want.

Its far far easier than placing it on top of a "genetically modified" mule trying to make its way across the heavily militarized LoC or even somewhere in the Thar.

The dirty bomb scenario is easier - but its effect is mainly that of civilian disruption, not destruction. Destruction is definitely their preferred aim.

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Postby B Singh » 01 Nov 2006 02:27

Neerajsoman wrote:
These two statements clearly show that you know didly squat about Israel and the events surrounding the partition vote of 1948


Don't bring up UN votes. Israel has little or no respect for the UN



Would any rational non-Muslim country ever have any respect for the UN ?

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Postby KLNMurthy » 01 Nov 2006 02:33

Sadler wrote:
KV Rao wrote:
Sadler wrote:
A political consensus to launch a first strike against a moslem nation requires that your governments (both the liberals and conservatives) set aside oft-practised minority appeasement policies. I doubt your liberal Congress that is heavily dependent on moslems will muster the political will to do so. The same applies for a retaliatory strike. Unless the mechanism to speedily launch a retaliatory strikes are quickly put in place, endless debates, invocation of gandhi and the loss of innocent lives etc will almost assuredly hamstring your decision making ability.
Shalom.


War with Pakistan has never been a Hindu-Muslim issue for India. Hindu-Muslim relations in India are qualitatively different than Jewish-Muslim relations in Israel. Granted, Indian muslim community is not monolithic, and of late, some confused politicians are equating Pakistan with Indian Muslims, but by and large, Indian Muslims are not a fifth column for Pakistan. If they were, we wouldn't be thrashing that country with monotonous regularity all this time.


I'll accept the above for now although there is evidence even on this forum that the gist of your arguments above are not strictly true.


KV Rao wrote: But one thing is for sure, we won't touch Mecca under any realistic circumstances.


This is precisely why you will almost certainly face a JDAM in the near future. In fact, when your last nuclear tests were conducted, CNN showed quite a few interviews with porki jehadis. Their rationale, the same as the jehadi threat that Israel faces, is that nukes will destroy the Hindus but islam will survive (EXACTLY the logic we face in that a nuclear strike will destroy the Jewish faith, but islam will survive).

Well in our case, islam will not survive. Arabs will pay the price and this includes their holy sites. To argue that islam would survive such devastation is wishful thinking.

I'll repeat. Your very reluctance to "touch" mecca will prove your undoing. When your enemy knows fully well that you will restrain yourself out of humanitarian concerns, he has already achieved a significant advantage. When that enemy is a moslem, that advantage becomes a crucial one.


I think you don't really 'get' India.

* Hindu-Muslim friction, badmouthing of Muslims by Hindus and vice versa, concerns about power distribution, ideological conflicts and worries about survival etc. are always going to be there. But the essential nature of the Indian state is pluralistic and democratic, not the pretend-propaganda kind but the real thing. And India the country is the physical manifestation of this concept of an Indian state. That means (a) the Indian state will go to any lengths to defend its territorial integrity and (b) Indian Muslims are very much a part of India and the democratic system, therefore there can be no question of waging a war against their core interests, therefore the idea of India attacking Mecca would be preposterous.

It is easy for an outsider who doesn't actually know India to mistake India's lackadaisical attitude as a lack of national 'steel' a quality that you acknowledge in the army, but pointedly left out in your evaluation of the larger political system. Are you really naive enough to think the Indian army comes from somewhere other than India? Or that it is not an integral element of Indian society?

We already know what India (the country not the army) will do when overtly confronted with aggression. What you are seeing here is the process of evolution of a national doctrine of what to do with this kind of covert warfare that Pakistan has been waging. We'll make a lot of mistakes, take a lot of losses, experience a lot of frustration, but eventually we'll prevail.

And never believe that we are about to go around having a civil war with our own Muslim compatriots no matter how much frustration and resentment you see expressed here.

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Postby Vijay J » 01 Nov 2006 02:35

Sadler,

Deterrence will not always work. Sometimes things fall apart. They could fall apart in India or Israel public dramatics non-withstanding.

Just as Indian's can't claim any expertise in providing food and water for everyone, an Israeli can't really be relied upon to know anything about running national security policy in a large multicultural multiethnic democracy.

We and the Jews have known each other for an exceptionally long time, so you don't have to pretend anything the way you do to keep the Mel Gibsons of this world off your back. Perhaps you can explain to Mel Gibson why the Pakistanis keep talking about a Jihadi nuclear strike on lower Manhattan?

Are we begging for Israeli weapons? Is that really true? Why don't you ask around Tel Aviv? From what I hear in New Delhi, you might be misinformed. All I hear in New Delhi is that the Israeli love affair with sections of the Indian military is even more public than my amorous interlude with Valkan.

Voting against Israel at the UN? I thought Israeli security consciousness was all about doing without the UN which is dominated by a bunch of Europeans?

Scenario two has been staring us in the face for the last 30 years. You come here and pretend that this was only possible after September 13th 2001. Why don't you tell Mel Gibson this, I am sure he will declare his undying love for Israel after you tell him this. I am sure that his Saudi financier will arrange for him to make a movie about Israel's recently successful campaign in Lebanon.

Yes a Jihadi could ride a bullock cart into an Indian city, but you see Jihadis have more reason to hate Musharraf and drive a bullock cart into Rawalpindi these days. From I hear bullock carts is something we don't exactly have a shortage off.

Just because an Indian Muslim called Kalam objected to the purchase of the Barak over the Trishul, are so-called well meaning Israelis to go around telling India that because it panders to its muslims, its leadership will not be able to push the big red button?

You know sure we were friends with Arafat, very good friends, but then you were very very good friends with Zia Ul Haq also. From what a certain businessman in Karachi says Israel is are very good friends with Musharraf and what I have heard is that Israel is extremely good friends with China.

There is an unfathomable strain of Eurocentric thinking in Israel that could potentially turn present day Palestine into a new Germany but I reserve further comment on that. Ofcourse if deterrence fails, I don't imagine Israelis will be rushing to America, the land of Henry Ford and his magical internal combustion engine.

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Postby KLNMurthy » 01 Nov 2006 02:47

Neerajsoman wrote:
The cost of nuclear strike on India must be made prohibitive to the porkies. If the porkie-jehadis (pj, hereafter) are willing to sacrifice a part or whole of their country using the rationale that their "faith will survive", then you have no deterrence unless you are willing to lash out. Apparently indiscriminately, if necessary.


Sadler you forget that india has a large muslim minority numbering 160 million. Thats more than the population of Bangladesh. Imagine for a minute that the political leadership has the balls to nuke mecca. Now imagine the fallout (no pun intended) at home. There wouldn't just be chaos, the whole of india would burn, inside out. You have seen what havoc the jihadist palestinians can play. Now imagine that those Jihadist Palestinians occupied the highest positions of your institutions, and you'll see what India would be like if it nuked mecca.


I don't know why we are even discussing nuking Mecca. Every culture has some essential characteristics. Are we a culture that nukes holy places of another religion? that too, when they are arguably, 'our' holy places, since Indian Muslims are 'our' people. In any case, what is the upside of nuking Mecca for India?

Now, if it is a matter of nuclear blackmail of saudi arabia to force them to make Mecca an international site, with Indian Muslims getting a proportional share of the management, I'd be all for it.

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Postby Sadler » 01 Nov 2006 03:13

S.Valkan wrote:
Your understanding of what is "prohibitive" to Porkies is seriously flawed.

Nuking Mecca openly would only delight the Salafi jihadis who seek an armageddon, and are iconoclastic enough to raze all Islamic edifices themselves.


I will certainly concede that I have a lot to learn about the jehadist nature of the porkies that India faces. And i am certainly in complete ignorance of the nuances of the salafi vs other schools of islamic thought.

I outlined the "mecca" rational as certainly something that works as a deterrent for Israel. I will also certainly argue that restricting an indian deterrence to just porkistan is flawed, no matter what reasoning one can come up with. Porkistan is a hired gun, no more no less. So, for an effective deterrence, the "hurt" has to be spread. Whether that spread encompasses Shanghai or mecca is for indian strategic thinkers to decide. What i would frankly like to know is if Indian stragegic thinkers have evaluated such options and accepted/rejected certain retaliatory scenarios. I am sure such decisions are not always present in open source literature.

Your posts were informative. Thank you.

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Postby ramana » 01 Nov 2006 03:35

Sadler this is new or neo-Islamism. Mecca etc are not so important for they want to create new Medinas. Mecca is important to the KSA types.

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Postby Sadler » 01 Nov 2006 03:36

KV Rao wrote:

I think you don't really 'get' India.

* Hindu-Muslim friction, badmouthing of Muslims by Hindus and vice versa, concerns about power distribution, ideological conflicts and worries about survival etc. are always going to be there. But the essential nature of the Indian state is pluralistic and democratic, not the pretend-propaganda kind but the real thing. And India the country is the physical manifestation of this concept of an Indian state. That means (a) the Indian state will go to any lengths to defend its territorial integrity and (b) Indian Muslims are very much a part of India and the democratic system, therefore there can be no question of waging a war against their core interests, therefore the idea of India attacking Mecca would be preposterous.


Quite possible. That is the one short-coming of relying on books to learn about a country as vast as India. While the Indian-porki relations may not be a hindu-mslem issue for you (indians), it certainly is a hindu-moslem issue for porkis.

I could answer the second part of your comment above but that would serve to side-track this thread even further (than i already have). Suffice to say that at least a couple of threads on this forum suggest that even after living together for a millenia, moslems in India have not really assimilated into India. If not, why the need to worry about moslem demographics etc.

So, while I may not "get" india, i dont believe my knowledge of india is so thin as to not "get" a few basic facts right.

KV Rao wrote:

It is easy for an outsider who doesn't actually know India to mistake India's lackadaisical attitude as a lack of national 'steel' a quality that you acknowledge in the army, but pointedly left out in your evaluation of the larger political system. Are you really naive enough to think the Indian army comes from somewhere other than India? Or that it is not an integral element of Indian society?


I think the last leader that india had who really had cojones was Ms. Indra Gandhi. Rather ironic, dont you think? After her, the only "uncharacteristic" thing India has done were the nuclear tests. That jolted the world out of the complacence of taking India for granted. As regards to the "steel" of india politicos, i am not the only one who has questioned it. There are any number of indians on this forum who have questioned this "steel" in even harsher terms than i have. Perhaps they are naive as well, eh?

KV Rao wrote:

We already know what India (the country not the army) will do when overtly confronted with aggression. What you are seeing here is the process of evolution of a national doctrine of what to do with this kind of covert warfare that Pakistan has been waging. We'll make a lot of mistakes, take a lot of losses, experience a lot of frustration, but eventually we'll prevail.


Quite agree. India will have to learn its way around this mess. However, i have yet to see any "evolution" of a doctrine that you allude to. It appears (and i stress appears) that India is caught with its pants down (no offence, so were we vs. the hezbis) after every terror attack and seems basically to shake its fist and make threatening noises each time. IOW, basically reacts. Again, i stress it "appears" so. So, you may be right. There may be a behind the scenes evolution of a doctrine. Or just possibly, you might be pissing all over your feet and have convinced yourself it is raining. Time will tell. FWIW, I will EAT CROW big time should India prove otherwise. Again, FWIW, it would give me great personal satisfaction to see some of this "steel" that you claim your politicians have.

KV Rao wrote:

And never believe that we are about to go around having a civil war with our own Muslim compatriots no matter how much frustration and resentment you see expressed here.


Takes two to tango. you may not have wanted a civil war, but you did get one despite the likes of gandhi during your independence.


Getting back to FU/NFU: I will re-iterate what i said earlier. Beside words, i have seen no evidence of any resolve on the part of GOIn that would suggest a FU. And in case of a P-JDAM, i still maintain that your decision to retaliate would be seriously hampered by political considerations. There will be enough morons who, for whatever axes they have to grind, will advocate restraint and will likely succeed. A retaliatory strike by India is by no means a certainty.

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Postby Sadler » 01 Nov 2006 03:41

Vijay J wrote:Are we begging for Israeli weapons? Is that really true? Why don't you ask around Tel Aviv? From what I hear in New Delhi, you might be misinformed. All I hear in New Delhi is that the Israeli love affair with sections of the Indian military is even more public than my amorous interlude with Valkan.

Why don't you tell Mel Gibson this, I am sure he will declare his undying love for Israel after you tell him this.


Please note that my weapons comment was in response to a one individual stating that we were essentially selling crap to you. As far as the word begging goes, we are selling and you are paying in hard currency. So, where does begging arise? I'll look through my previous posts to see if anything i wrote might be construed as begging on the part of india.

Similarly the Mel Gibson remark by me was in response to another moronic remark by the same poster who invoked "worldwide jewish financial interests." That rather smacked of a mel gibson-ish understanding of how "jews start all wars."

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Postby Sadler » 01 Nov 2006 03:46

ramana wrote:Sadler this is new or neo-Islamism. Mecca etc are not so important for they want to create new Medinas. Mecca is important to the KSA types.


Hi Ramana, the mecca part was to illustrate a point. For both Israel and India, a rationale for a JDAM on the part of jehadis is that it will wipe out "Judaism (or hinduism)" while islam will still survive.

Where have i said that get up one day and fire nukes at mecca without any provocation? Let it be clear that the destruction of judaism (or hinduism) is the stated aim of the jehadis for the rationale stated above. THEREFORE, if one were to devise a strategy to combat that rationale and prevent a JDAM in Israel (or India) to begin with, it makes no sense to completely ignore the jehadi mindset of destroying someone else's religion while thinking that their own faith or holy sites are off-limits. IOW, a state cannot ignore the central rationale of the jehadis and devise a response to combat it.

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Postby Vijay J » 01 Nov 2006 03:53

Sadler,

There need not be an open discussion or voicing of every single thought that comes to mind.

Our deterrence paradigm is our deterrence paradigm, and yours is yours. We do not question you, if you do not question us.

Maybe it is best left at that.

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Postby Sadler » 01 Nov 2006 03:53

Heres' the two comments in question.
Sadler wrote:
Vijay J wrote: In substance, while Israel is the only real home the Jewish people have, if the needs of Israel come into conflict with the needs of international Jewish financial interests, who is to say what will happen?


Ah! INTERNATIONAL JEWISH FINANCIAL INTERESTS! You've been watching too many Mel Gibson movies there. This comments is so disturbing to me on so many levels that i will leave it at that. Suffice to say, it is very rare that an Indian would make comments such as this.


self explanatory.


Sadler wrote:
Vijay J wrote:or is it part of some pitch for some as yet untested, untried technology system that someone is floating a tender for?


As far as i know, we were not begging you to buy Israeli weapons. Its a buyers market. Feel free to call/email your government to not buy Israeli weapons - tested or otherwise. BTW, it certainly comes as news to me that our AWACS are un-tested. But, you seem to be the expert here, so i will defer to you.


Again, i said we (ISRAEL) were NOT begging you (INDIA)......

Now, how does this translate to India begging Israel, i dont quite understand. Truly a shining example of the oft-maligned lahori logic, if i ever saw one.


Now the clinching evidence of lahori logic (or putting words in my mouth):

Vijay J wrote:Just because an Indian Muslim called Kalam objected to the purchase of the Barak over the Trishul, are so-called well meaning Israelis to go around telling India that because it panders to its muslims, its leadership will not be able to push the big red button?
Last edited by Sadler on 01 Nov 2006 03:57, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Sadler » 01 Nov 2006 03:54

Vijay J wrote:Sadler,

Our deterrence paradigm is our deterrence paradigm, and yours is yours. We do not question you, if you do not question us.

Maybe it is best left at that.


Errrr..... Then what is the point of this thread??

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Postby Vijay J » 01 Nov 2006 03:59

Indians can speculate on ways in which deterrence might breakdown with Pakistan or China.

Where do Israelis get off questioning India's resolve to use nuclear weapons?

The two things are not connected.

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Postby Sadler » 01 Nov 2006 04:05

Vijay J wrote:Indians can speculate on ways in which deterrence might breakdown with Pakistan or China.

Where do Israelis get off questioning India's resolve to use nuclear weapons?

The two things are not connected.


Once again, let me repeat this slowly---------

So far, you have ONE ISRAELI (singular, not plural) who has questioned the resolve of the current GOIn when using nuclear weapons in either the FU mode or in retaliation. I have elaborated my reasons for questioning. The two things are not un-connected.

I still maintain that india (even your conservative Mr. Vajpayee) has shown no indication of being capable using nuclear weapons first. And i still am not convinced that you will retaliate under the Scenario 2 that i mentioned earlier. I believe India will retaliate under scenario 1, where there is a clear out break of hostilities leading to war. Not in Scenario 2, where the porkis using indian moslems to carry out said JDAM.

Now, if it was the '70's and Indra Gandhi your PM, i would not be posting any comments on this thread except offering my best wishes.

my last word for the day.

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Postby Vijay J » 01 Nov 2006 04:14

Sadler,

Fine in that case, if you insist on talking like an idiot let me be the first to join you.

I do not believe that Israel has the technical capability for a nuclear strike.

Israel has never tested its nuclear weapons and consequently its deterrence based on first strike or no-first strike has absolutely no credibility.

Israel's nuclear deterrent is largely a product of a US based media hype.

The Saudi and Kuwaiti royal family's purchases of major media outlets in the US reflect poorly on Israeli ability to sustain this hype and thus maintain any existential deterrence.
Last edited by Vijay J on 01 Nov 2006 04:18, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Rye » 01 Nov 2006 04:14

I am trying to grasp the concept of the "credibility of a FU threat/doctrine" with the entity that pushes such a doctrine, so please pardon this rather long-winded setup in order to pose a question.

Consider a village consisting of various armed landlords, each having their own "territory", and also consider a kilo of plastic explosives as a "weapon of mass destruction" in this context, i.e., if one landlord uses plastique on another, that is the end of the line for the other landlord. Now consider two of the landlords: Nallapayyan (N) and Morattupayyan (M), who are both under threat from a group of other landlords who crave to take over territory under the control of N and M.

These landlords have lived in the same area for a long time and have observed each other over the years. Nallapayyan, true to his name, is a good soul who believes in the "if you don't go looking for trouble, trouble won't come looking for you" doctrine. However, sensing that a set of rival landlords have evil designs, Nallpayyan makes a huge show of unloading a truck with the words "Plastic Bum Inc. (a family company) -- Exploding stuff for over 20 years", so everyone in the village is aware that Nallapayan has the plastic bum. Nallapayan then tells his rivals that he is now to be considered armed and that anyone who messes with him will be sorry. Morattupayyan also does the same thing to show others that he is now to be considered "armed and dangerous".

However, the reputations and the history of N and M are rather different: Morattupayyan is known to be an agressive fellow, who does not take assault on his property or his employees lightly -- the last time someone tried to steal a light bulb from his property, the culprit went missing and was found a couple of days later in a ditch with a sylvania-laxman tubelight sticking out his nether end --- a warning to anyone who thinks of doing the same. Nallapayan's history, on the other hand, was a sad story. His family members had been assaulted by other (much poorer) landlords, many times in the past, but being a man of peace, N. gave a stern rebuke to those who assaulted his family members, and not wanting a conflagration in the village, he tries to build bridges with the landlords who assaulted his employees. In fact, he repeats this behavior even after he has told everyone that he has enough plastique to take out the entire village.

Some years down the line, one of the landlords starts to get greedy and colludes with some other landlords in order to grab the land of N or M by force. Of course, being competent thieves with an MBA background, they do a careful risk analysis of the situation. They know that N and M both possess lots of explosives to blow them up, and they also know that M. was known to stick tubelights up people's backsides for far lesser provocations, whereas N could be depended on to not want to aggravate a bad situation and for being extremenly reasonable even in the face of extreme provocation. In fact, N. did not use his plastique even when various rivals repeatedly stole his cattle and burned his barn.

Who would these covetous rival landlords pick as their target? N or M? N, of course, since the perceived risks of taking on N is rather minimal.

It is a different matter that when the landlords attack N and kill most of the family and the cattle and destroy the barns, N gets medieval and crazy and destroys the landlords that were responsible. Great....but that is not going to bring back N's family or the priceless family heirlooms that were destroyed.

In this context,

1) how much value did the "advertisement" of unloading plastic explosives have in deterring the coveting landlords from taking on N (which was clearly an act of foolishness on their part in hindsight, since they were destroyed)?

2) How much value did the act of inserting a tubelight up the butt of the thief who stole the lightbulb from M's farm have?


------

I am not sure whether this analogy is valid, and if it is not, it would great if the gurus could explain why this analogy sucks. But otherwise, if this analogy is even partially sound, doesn't it imply that a FU or NFU doctrine is less relevant as a deterrent than the history of the entity that wields the deterrent.

Sorry for the really long winded question, but I do not understand why a NFU doctrine would be taken seriously in a world where there a trust deficit between all nations.


PS: Ramanaji, I am still pondering over your Talikota question. I will reply when I have something meaningful to say.
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Postby John Snow » 01 Nov 2006 04:23

but I do not understand why a NFU doctrine would be taken seriously in a world where there a trust deficit between all nations.


I would be taken seriously,only if the political will and leadership follow thru when prevoiusly enunciated and well broadcast red lines are crossed, needless to say such a doctrine gets strengthened when you have the proven hardware to execute..

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Postby ramana » 01 Nov 2006 06:10

Rye what happened at Talikota? What was the Modus Operandi? Can we relate to modern times? Would NFU still hold in a Talikota parlance?

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Postby shiv » 01 Nov 2006 06:34

Rye wrote:
I am not sure whether this analogy is valid, and if it is not, it would great if the gurus could explain why this analogy sucks. .


A super and absolutely fascinating analogy. Nallapayyan is a good friend of mine.

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Postby Johann » 01 Nov 2006 06:39

Anoop wrote:
Johann wrote:- escalate and hit one of Pakistan's second tier cities like Peshawar as well. Present them with the opportunity to accept Indian peace terms and halt further escalation, or reap the whirlwind.
---
The IA would probably continue offensive operations until the GoI decided and executed its response.


The above option would be consistent with our promise of disproportionate retaliation to a first use. It would also leave the Pakistani Army with the prospect of inheriting a functioning state (as opposed to destroying Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad), thus giving them an incentive not to destroy our major population and economic centers.


An alternative target set for the first round of escalation could be Sargodha, Khushab *and* Kahuta. Ie hit the regime's symbols of prowess, and avoid alienating the Afghans and Pathans who might be helpfully inclined.

The bulk of our NBC preparedness has been geared towards our military surviving a first strike and continuining operations (although the last part seems rather optimistic)


Efficient tactical nuclear use against armoured vehicles is challenging, particularly if they are in dispersed formation, are NBC equipped, or the enemy holds reserves, etc.

as opposed to preparing our cities for a fallout. This appears to be a signal to Pakistan that we expect them to use their nuclear weapons on our troops, not on our cities and that they would still be left with a functioning entity at the end of our retaliation.


Conventional civil defence is a waste of time when you are faced with nuclear weapons, let alone thermonuclear weapons. That was the consensus opinion after decades of research and thought from many different angles.

What matters are continuity of government, de-centralisation of the economy, preparation for post-attack relief, recovery and sustainment*, etc.

* Rather than building bomb shelters for people in Bombay that means maintaining stocks of things like kelators, saline solution, dressings, morphine, blankets, tents, etc in a number of locations within a day's drive from Bombay, Delhi, etc. It means establishing clear, realistic lines of authority for disaster management for a major city assuming most of top level state and city government have been destroyed, and the national govt has other things to worry about. It means setting up some kind of emergency alternative site for the stock exchange, getting companies to back up their records someplace else, etc.

There is a difference between unrealistically trying to prepare a city for survival (missile/air defence would be a far more useful rainbow to chase after), and preparing for the aftermath of loss and destruction.

The message being, we will bounce back quicker than you expect. The nation-state will survive, the economy will survive.

What posture can India take to de-legitimize the Pakistani nuclear arsenal? Current Indian discourse accepts the Pakistani nuclear arsenal as a stabilizing (via reassurance to the weaker adversary) force. However, we need to chip away at that foundation that justifies the Pakistani arsenal because, in contrast to ours, theirs is a first use doctrine.

It will be interesting to see how the Western nuclear debate moves away from MAD to the mechanics of deterring a substantially weaker, paranoid and dead-end foe (North Korea). Perhaps we can use that evolving paradigm to delegitimize the Pakistani arsenal. I may be faulted for attempting to piggy-back on the West in this matter rather than evolving an indigenous response, but there is something to be said for the power of numbers acting in concert. Wouldn't it be a delicious irony if the NPAs actually were to serve some useful purpose to India? :)


Realistically whenever nukes are introduced its just a waiting game, an attritional battle of cohesion, ideology and economy.

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Postby Paul » 01 Nov 2006 06:46


Rye what happened at Talikota? What was the Modus Operandi? Can we relate to modern times? Would NFU still hold in a Talikota parlance?


One part of this analogy is true to some extent....the decline of Superpower of those days ie Portugese support to Vijayanagar is similar to the decline of the Superpower USSR and it's inability to come to help India militarily

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Postby Rien » 01 Nov 2006 11:47

The question arises: Is the probability of Pakistan launching a nuclear attack on India increasing? I would argue yes. The longer and more islamised Pakistan becomes, the more certain it becomes that eventually there will be a nuclear attack on India. It would be better to have the attack sooner rather than later.

Would it be better for India to be hit with a hundred warheads or with fifty? The idea that Pakistan can destroy one Indian city, yet still deter India when every Pakistani city is in ruins, seems questionable at least. Sometimes a leader has to accept a little short term pain for a great long term gain.

Possible Scenario A: Do nothing about Pakistan. Pakistan accumulates more and more nuclear weapons. Eventually some incident, whether by accident or deliberate, causes all out war. Hundreds of millions of Indians die.

40 nuclear warheads * 0.9 * 0.5 = 18 warheads. Six times the damage they can inflict in a first strike.

Scenario B: Launch an all out pre-emptive strike now. Pakistani nuclear bombs are provably unreliable. Only half of their nuclear bombs exploded, and none at the yield they were designed for. North Korean missiles have a proven unreliability, and most of their airforce is flying planes that are 20-30 years old.

Assuming 40 nuclear warheads to start with. A first strike can destroy about 90-95% of them, let's assume a 20% survival rate to be conservative. 8 warheads left.

If they can mate those 8 warheads to missiles, chance of any missiles reaching india is:

Probability of missile launch successful * probability of bomb exploding * evading BM defence.

Assuming incredible performance for Paki technology:

0.9 * 0.5 * 8 * 0.9 = 3.24.

More realistic number gives this:

0.7 * 0.5 * 0.9 * 2 = 0.63. There is only a probability that one warhead will hit India successfully. BM defence is crap, so we can assume only a 10% chance of shooting down a BM. So at best, the Pakistanis will only be able to assure three nuclear warheads will actually hit Indian cities. This is the equivalent of a nuclear hangnail today. This may not be true in the future. The Chinese may give them thermonuclear weapons, reliable nuke designs and/or reliable missiles. Can the possible loss of millions of lives justify not taking them out now? It's a choice of 18 warheads vs 3. Or only the chance of one, if you take more realistic numbers for realiability of NK missiles. Sadly BMD are going to be useless for the immediate future.

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Postby Rye » 01 Nov 2006 11:56

The Talikota situation in my rather iffy understanding was: Ramaraya's brother Tirumala held the north bank, venkatadri held the
south bank, and Ramaraya backed up venkatadri. Of the 1/2 million troops of Ramaraya, of which two divisions were commandeered b
y muslim commanders who had been evicted by the Shah of Bijapur.

Ramaraya was wiping the floor with Qutb and Nizam's forces, and his military superiority over the two shah's was very obvious ---
this left the Shah's with no choice but to resort to subterfuge.

Qutb and Nizam Shah worked with Adil Shah (who has issues with Qutb and Nizam shah) and then played Ramaraya as follows: Q and N
convinced Adil Shah to join forces with them (the external perception was that Adil Shah was not on good terms with Nizam and Qu
tb -- a perception that Ramaraya took for granted). Adil shah told the hindu commander of Ramaraya that he was staying out of the
fight, while simultaneously convincing the Ramaraya's muslim commanders to betray Ramaraya by appealing to their islamic jihad se
ntiments (Ramaraya had a secular army unlike his predecessors who did not trust muslims in the army).

Then the following sequence of actions happened:

1) Ramaraya's north front (lead by Tirumala) was attacked first, and was successfully whipped by Tirumala.

2) However, the attack on Tirumala's troops was actually meant to provide a diversion to allow Nizam and Qutb's troops to cross t
he Krishna river -- an event that would significantly weaken Ramaraya's war strategy.

3) However, even after crossing the river, the shahs found the going tough and Ramaraya and Venkatadri gave the Shahs a run for t
heir money and beat back the shahs.

4) However, the Shahs had already turned the two muslim commanders of Ramaraya secretly, and Ramaraya depended on these commanders
to guard the rear, except they actually ended up fighting for the enemy, and slaughtered Ramaraya, causing resulting in Ramaraya
losing the battle and also his extermination.


Don't have any scenarios that are not really stupid...will keep trying.
Last edited by Rye on 02 Nov 2006 03:14, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby Rye » 01 Nov 2006 12:08

Shiv wrote:
A super and absolutely fascinating analogy. Nallapayyan is a good friend of mine.


Thanks, Shivji. I figured you and Nallapayyan were tight :)

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Postby Singha » 01 Nov 2006 12:11

one of the differences would be nations like india are run by a coterie of top leaders backed by a large number of MPs in parliament, armed forces institutions and same replication at state level involving police.

Such a structure is more resilient than in the old days where the leader being killed was enough cause for most armies to lose heart and break away.

but what you say has shades of truth. Nepal army and people are still overwhelmingly pro-india though, seeing as how so many nepalis earn their living in India including in highly educated posts. I myself have two colleagues from nepal.

the subversion & prostitution of the political class in NE is a reality. started
in 1970s. there are senior cabinet ministers if not CMs actually in the pay
of extremists funded by foreign money and who owe their seats to BD
immigrant support. they will obviously do nothing for India if things head south...they exist within India for eating development funds not out of love for the land. high level contacts and funds in the Gulf are stashed away for later.

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Postby Singha » 01 Nov 2006 12:16

one of the problems for IA is even in the armour divs there are infantry elements who dont all have IFV-with-NBC-overpressure systems. they move in trucks.

the 3rd ID march on Baghdad or some of the old soviet divisions were formations where every man was within some form of NBC protected vehicle...guess the 3rd ID had a few hummers for scout work.

so question of continuing the fight after a N-strike doesnt arise much...we simply havent invested and reorged for that..i,e, removing the infantry and adding stuff from the indep armd brigades.

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Postby Rye » 01 Nov 2006 12:36

Singha wrote:
Nepal army and people are still overwhelmingly pro-india though, seeing as how so many nepalis earn their living in India including in highly educated posts. I myself have two colleagues from nepal.


I am not sure that the average Nepali being on India's side is going to help, if the Nepali maoists consolidate their grip on Nepal. The Maoists just have to feign "dropping their weapons" at this time (helping the maoists come to is also the position of the GoI for some reason) just to come to centerstage, while they make contacts with the Chinese on arms supplies, which I am sure the chinese will oblige willingly.

The Indian govt. seems to operate from the notion that helping the maoists come to power and "bringing democracy to the Nepalis" will swing them towards India...seems just as delusional as the GOTUS's initial views on Iraq, where they expected eternal gratitude for bringing "freedom and democracy" to the Iraqis. Once the maoists consolidate their grip on Nepal, they have no need to keep their "word" with India -- they will easily sell out to China if the price is right.

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Postby Anoop » 01 Nov 2006 18:01

The problem with arguing for or against GoI's willingness to use nuclear weapons - first or second - on an open forum is that it essentially ends in a stalemate because neither side can speak with any authority on the matter. Indians and Israelis need not be convinced of our deterrence, only Pakistanis and Chinese need to be.

If the argument is that India's past (in)actions against Pakistani terrorism gives us a clue that India will not respond disproportionately, let us turn that question around and ask - if Pakistan, after acquiring nuclear weapons, has not been willing to take J&K by military force, what does that speak of their willingness to up the ante or for the credibility of their First Use doctrine? Why do they not attack J&K under the threat that an Indian conventional response to their aggression will be met with a nuclear first use - so India should choose between losing J&K and losing New Delhi? Why instead, have they chosen the impossible route of terrorist attacks or inadequate infiltration? Does this mean that India does not take the Pakistani threat of first use seriously?

My point is that these two are not directly linked for two reasons - decision making is predicated as much on the adversary's capability as it of his intention and second, there is always a cost-benefit analysis that precedes pushing the envelope. As long as India retains a credible nuclear arsenal and delivery mechanism (the capability factor) and as long as we have sufficient conventional and economic strength (cost-benefit factor) to wage a battle of attrition, the deterrence remains in place.

It is also not necessary that India needs to be assured of its ability to completely destroy Pakistan's nuclear weapons in a first strike for us to adopt this posture. If that were a necessary condition, no country on earth would be have been able to adopt the first use posture against its likely opponents - the US against USSR or China against the West or Pakistan against India or China against India.

In the Indo-Pak or Sino-Indian contexts, nuclear posture is intended to wrangle gains on the conventional front.

Let's return the thread to the original question - under what conditions is it favorable for India to (a) use nuclear weapons first (b) adopt a first use doctrine (c) shift to a more ambiguous doctrine?

- If India were to keep a small fraction of its arsenal on full readiness (i.e. missiles mated with warheads or aircraft dedicated to this role, early warning and redundant C&C chain) yet still politically proclaim NFU, does this stabilize deterrence or upset it? Will Pakistan be less certain of using a nuclear weapon and hoping that international pressure during the intervening delay in the Indian response (that would have otherwise occurred) to dissuade India from a disproportionate response? Does that, in turn, give more time for the Indian conventional forces to consolidate gains? Or would the available conventional force ratio dictate its own schedule, independent of the nuclear overhang?

- If India were to suffer a dirty bomb attack that kills, say, 5000 people, would it be better for India to retaliate conventionally in PoK with the threat of nuclear use against Pakistan, to retaliate with nuclear weapons on Pakistani nuclear sites as a warning against any further use or to threaten complete nuclear destruction of Pakistan unless Pakistan unilaterally surrendered all its nuclear weapons and dismantled its nuclear weapons program and ceased the import of Chinese weapons all to be verified by permanently stationed Indian and international inspectors? I realize that here I am hand-waving over the capability issue here, particularly over the last option, but which of these is preferrable from an Indian viewpoint?

Johann,

In the total battle of attrition (ideological, military, economic), what avenues are open to India to de-legitimise Pakistan's nuclear weapons program?

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Postby John Snow » 01 Nov 2006 18:54

POK is India territory.

Therefore Karachi Lahore and Islamabad, Rawalpindi (and their environs) should be the areas of opportunity.

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Postby Vijay J » 01 Nov 2006 18:57

Creating the perception of credibility in the minds of the adversary relies on carrying out a successful media campaign that gets your point across.

If you cannot entirely control the media, as for example Israeli leadership recently failed to do during the situation in Lebanon, then you cannot project any information into the minds of the enemy - deterrence or anything else will not work under such circumstances.

As I said on the second post on this thread, the problem with such discussions is that we quickly end up in a situation where we cannot respond without compromising our interests.

I won't push an Israeli into a corner if he doesn't push me into a corner.

Does the opinion of one Israeli matter? I think it does, there is only about 4 million of them and 1 million are in the army. They all study about India from textbooks written by Colonial Europe or by Americans in the Cold War. Those books are full of garbage.

If one person says this, how soon will be before a dozen people from Herzliya say such things? I think it very much matters what one Israeli says.

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Postby JCage » 01 Nov 2006 19:02

KV Rao wrote:
Neerajsoman wrote:
The cost of nuclear strike on India must be made prohibitive to the porkies. If the porkie-jehadis (pj, hereafter) are willing to sacrifice a part or whole of their country using the rationale that their "faith will survive", then you have no deterrence unless you are willing to lash out. Apparently indiscriminately, if necessary.


Sadler you forget that india has a large muslim minority numbering 160 million. Thats more than the population of Bangladesh. Imagine for a minute that the political leadership has the balls to nuke mecca. Now imagine the fallout (no pun intended) at home. There wouldn't just be chaos, the whole of india would burn, inside out. You have seen what havoc the jihadist palestinians can play. Now imagine that those Jihadist Palestinians occupied the highest positions of your institutions, and you'll see what India would be like if it nuked mecca.


I don't know why we are even discussing nuking Mecca. Every culture has some essential characteristics. Are we a culture that nukes holy places of another religion? that too, when they are arguably, 'our' holy places, since Indian Muslims are 'our' people. In any case, what is the upside of nuking Mecca for India?
Now, if it is a matter of nuclear blackmail of saudi arabia to force them to make Mecca an international site, with Indian Muslims getting a proportional share of the management, I'd be all for it.


I cant even figure out that entire culture bit.

If tomorrow a KSA/ Pak combo threaten to nuke Tirupati or the like, then what? I even read a Pak policy paper that made the claim that since the Ramayana claims that Hinduism will be around as long as the Vindhyas are, how can one take the Vindhyas out, would nukes work? :roll:

I would rather we are a culture pragmatic enough to fight so as to win, not just survive, lick our wounds and then doff the moral hat, whilst inwardly raging at the indignities India has already suffered under imperial Islam. Yes, nukes sound very harsh- but one wonders how many non Muslim read Hindu/ Buddhist holy places were happily razed by all the but shikans and ghazis.

India has always deluded itself that its struggle with Pak has nothing to do with Islam and that bad bad Pak apart, Islam is actually getting on quite well with India and other religions. Were that the truth was so simple.

As you have earlier noted, in Pak we face a dangerous imperialist motivated by religion. Again, its not all Paks fault- Islam by itself has had a role to play in the whole process. We have to look at it dispassionately.

The only rational explanation for not nuking Mecca is that it would cause a huge problem for India with so many Indian Muslims, as you have pointed out. There are and always have been issues of integrating Mulsims into the mainstream, nuking Mecca or the like will put paid to that and cause a civil war.

That apart, I couldnt give a damn, this culture shulture business is pointless. Israels Samson option has worked for it, we cannot use it because of our substantial Muslim population, but thats about it.

Lets leave morals out of it please. The other issue with an Indian samson option is world opinion, to which we are still beholden. The mere mention of any such opinion would have them rip into hindu fascist indians who are oppressing the poor muslims and missionaries and the like.

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Postby Vijay J » 01 Nov 2006 19:53

A threat to nuke mecca will not work. It will only succeed in inflaming Islamist passions across the world, including India.

The Pakistani Islamists as Ramana said, want to build new Medinas, or more precisely they want to assume the leadership of the Islamic world.

A crisis that puts the security of Mecca at risk plays into their hands.

The Iranians have always said that the Saud were unworthy of the title of the guardians of Mecca. Nuking Mecca will prove their point.

Of all the first use ideas this is the least useful.

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Postby S.Valkan » 01 Nov 2006 20:21

B Singh wrote:I seriously doubt that :

1. Pakistan has an internal fifth column that is willing to detonate nukes, no matter what their problems with Pakistan are - they are still Muslims, who will balk at mass murdering fellow Muslims.


I am not sure what your understanding of Indian "assets" in Pakistan is.

Quite a few of them are not "fifth column".

Moreover, the "fifth column" need not know whether the "bum" they are planting contains gelatine sticks or a small radiological device.

2. China even has anything approaching a live dissident group with logistical capability of doing this.


Once again, I'll just leave you with a faint hint,- think ITBP in mufti.

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Postby Rye » 01 Nov 2006 20:36

Vijay J.,

Aren't these notions of deterrence and capability etc. that India is currently using also originate from western cold war constructs? The entire discussion here seems to focus on just one adversary instead of all (current and potential) adversaries --- why is that okay? Also, does deterrence theory work when the other side cannot tell the difference between deterrence and detergent (e.g., the paki jihadis)? I don't know the answer -- I am just asking.

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Postby John Snow » 01 Nov 2006 21:06

If anybody is counting on new crop of US media or leaders to have a rational look at India's stance on issues relating to diplomacy, radical Islam Nuke proliferation , you are deluding yourself.

Last week on CSPAN ( on SUnday)
this lady

Carla Anne Robbins NY times First Assistant Editor proclaimed herself to be an expert in International relation and Nuke proliferation etc. and utter this gutter nonsense
in the context of Indo US nuke deal and Prez Bush policies

India is know outlaw in NPT circles because it voilated NPT and exploded Nukes
( I am quoting from memory)

If this is the caliber of a so called premier publication then imagine the scholarship of next generation Journos and leaders...


***
More about this person here

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=105317&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=879340&highlight=

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Postby S.Valkan » 01 Nov 2006 21:09

JCage wrote:If tomorrow a KSA/ Pak combo threaten to nuke Tirupati or the like, then what?


Are you being serious, or ridiculous ?

The target of a nuclear strike is either counter-force or counter-value.

It makes no strategic or tactical sense for KSA or Pakistan to nuke either Tirupati or Kashi Visvanath, while leaving Indian Air Force, Indian Naval Expeditionary Force and Indian Army Strike Corps free to do their business, or Indian economic assets to keep humming the war machine.

The Taliban types may blow up Bamiyan Buddhas and - in doing so - destroy world heritage sites.

What advantage does it confer ? Do the Buddhist nations capitulate and embrace Islam at the sight of the crumbling sandstone at Bamyan ?

Lets leave morals out of it please.


The logic of not nuking Mecca is grounded in reality, not morals.

The external military adversary in question here is the Pakistani state, not Islam ( although an internal threat of rising Islamic fundamentalism does indeed exist as a challenge ).

No matter what the Ashraf Syeds in Pakistan say or think, Mecca isn't any dearer to the scions of Rawalpindi GHQ than their "pure Arab blood" family sipping Lassi and munching Yakhni Pulao in Lahore and Multan.

That should keep things in proper perspective.

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Postby Vijay J » 01 Nov 2006 21:27

Rye,

It is not entirely a western construct, though the obsession with deterrence is most certainly a product of cold war thinking.

Ultimately all things made by man will fail. Why should deterrence be any different?

Will it be a case of Talikota or Los Navas de Tolosa, we don't know.

I am simply questioning that given this western obsession with stablity, what is the impact of arms sales to Pakistan, are they necessarily stabilising?
Last edited by Vijay J on 03 Nov 2006 02:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Rye » 01 Nov 2006 21:34

Vijay J. wrote:
I am simply questioning that given this western obsession with stablity, what is the impact of arms sales to Pakistan, are they necessarily stabilising?


By posing this question, aren't we assuming that the US's intent is to stabilize?

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Postby S.Valkan » 01 Nov 2006 22:01

Rye wrote:By posing this question, aren't we assuming that the US's intent is to stabilize?


The US intent is to stabilise and protect US interests in the region.

This involves stabilising Afghanistan, containment of a "runaway" China through India, and the containment of a "runaway" India through Pakistan.

Arming Pakistan, while keeping tabs on the Paki nukes from forward bases in Dalbandin, Pasni and Jacobabad allows that hedge bet to play out quite beautifully.


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