Time to rethink NFU

ramana
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Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 02 Jan 2003 07:28

The post Dec 13th and Kaluchak camp attack crises and the subsequent rattling of nukes by TSP and the recent admission by many force commanders and by TSP leadership elite of th threat of nuke first use brings us to the question of is it time to rethink the NFU or at a minimum supplement it or nuance it.
NFU in the Indian context was formulated to:
1) Assure the world community that it was a status quo power not ready to upset the strategic balance
2) Due to confidence in its conventional superiority it was a measured way of scoring diplomatic points vis a vis TSP.

After the Musharraf coup and the 911 events which are bringing forward the true jihadic face of the TSP elite, and the constant rattling of nukes for trivial reasons and the subsequent detrimental effects to the Indian economy it is time to nuace the NFU. Post kaluchak all that TSP has to do is not even mobilize it just has to rattle and threaten in public forum for the things to come crashing down.

Also Leila-1 has shown the nuke dangers in very clear prespective. Current Indian doctrine needs nuancing vis s vis terrorist regimes.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby jrjrao » 02 Jan 2003 07:30

On the Pakis rattling nukes for trivial reasons, this editorial (cross-post):

Naked Musharraf
http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/03jan02/edit.htm#1

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby kgoan » 02 Jan 2003 08:23

Ramana, I sincerely doubt whether GoI will ever formally retract the NFU. It's far more likely to die a quite death with GoI spokespeople and pollies letting the issue drop by simply not mentioning it at all.

As far as Pak goes, it's interesting to note that Mush's nuke rattling as per JRJ's link is consistent with the "redlines" given in the Landau Network document.

i.e. There are no "redlines". Anything can be construed as a redline depending on how they feel on any given morning.

Lets hope the donkeys stay true to their nature and keep braying. Sooner or later nations other than India are going to start wondering what they might accidentally do which may cross a Pak "redline".

The South East Asian nations spent years telling the US and everyone else that Vhina was no problem especially in the Spratly's. After all, China never attacked anyone other than Vietnam. So they said. Of course things changed when the Chinese attacked and kicked the Philipinos of a couple of islands.

I expect the "tactically brilliant" Paks to do something similar to a nation other than India. Not necessarily attack, but thet will start waving their ding-dongs about. The donkey will bray.

That's when a re-assesment of the NFU will be practical. That's the only circumstance I can think off that would allow GoI to formally retract the NFU.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby vkrishna » 02 Jan 2003 08:41

Ramana,
There is an article in the Deccan Chronicle which also speaks about the same topic. The article is on the discussion on Karnad's book.

My question is, doesnt this introduce instability? After all Pakistan has crossed many conceivable redlines for a first use by India. It is unlikely that there will be as unambiguous a ground for this as in the wargame.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Umrao » 02 Jan 2003 08:56

Amazing that some folks still think that TSP stupidity is going to hurt a distant uncle and he inturn will take on TSP and thereby solve our TSP problem.

This is further extension of the silly notion that TSP army is our friend.

It is very well documented by this time (for that matter in BRF itself) that TSP is behind 9-11 attacks, yet you don’t see uncle decimating TSP. As a matter of fact it is being resurrected to full vigor.

The NFU India adheres to is , another of those silly short term strategy to bluff /appease the powers be. This has already started to show the diminishing returns in the form that Mushy can openly talk Nuke black mail and we pretty much wring our hands.

The way N Korea is able to catch the attention of Uncle and the way Iran is racing to catch up is a clear indication that nations that stand up to what they believe in get what they want. i.e. like the wheel that creeks gets the oil.

We can neither administer a telling blow in a conventional war nor do we have the wherewithal to go Nuclear.

The snails pace at which GOI goes about these matters are any indication the second strike will have to wait for the second coming, by which time the others will not be found tweed ling thumbs.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby James Bund » 02 Jan 2003 09:02

It would be understandable if India ammended NFU to exclude states that threaten it with first use. I don't think anybody but the Paks are going to bray about that one-but then Paks will bray about anything at the least pretext-one of those cultural things, I guess.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby kgoan » 02 Jan 2003 09:03

And a Happy New Year to you to JUmraoji!

I'm not talking about "Uncle solving our Pak problem". In fact, I'm not actually talking about the Paks nukes at all. I'm simply putting forward one set of circumstances under which a formal retracting of the NFU may occur.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby MohanJ » 02 Jan 2003 09:12

I want some clarifications from Gurus,
Will the knowledge that a missile has been readied for launch with nukes itself warrant a nuclear retaliation from India? Or should we wait for the missile to be launched, watch it fly and then see the cloud to signal our counter-launches?

Now, after General Musharat's rant about nuking India the very moment Indian soldiers cross even the LoC, it is imperative that we are facing possible DAY 1 nuclear war..

Following this, we are trigger ready for any signs of nuclear attack the very moment a confrontation flares up..

what if suddenly we face a threat of a impeding launch? will that threat itself translate into pre-emptive launches or will we have to wait untill the launch has actually been made.. or even wait for it to land on Indian soil with its payload?

What if a Paki nodung missile, with nukes is launched, but fails to fly to its target? or what it is taken out with SAM?

In short, will a launch or even an impeding launch give us the necessary reason to retaliate?

Please shed light on how exactly does the NFU translate into action in various scenarios.. (I can't find sources to do necessary reading hence the question. sorry for laziness of not doing the necessary research by myself.. am taking the easiest way out:) )

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Kumar » 02 Jan 2003 09:16

A possible nuancing of NFU could be:

NFU will automatically cease to apply towards potentially hostile nuclear regimes undergoing unnatural hence unpredictable transitions of government. NFU policy towards that country will be reinstated only by an explicit decision by GOI after having assessed the situation for a certain time period (say 3 months).

This would automatically suspend NFU with respect to Pakistan if there is a military coup or a Jehadi takeover.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Kumar » 02 Jan 2003 09:26

Mushy's bragging that TSP will launch nukes the moment Indian troops cross LOC is a bluff. I have full confidence that mushy's bluff will be called by India when the time comes.

Pakistan wants to keep India gussing about its "red-line". But in its enthusiasm it has defined the red-line as LOC which even its own troops didn't respect in Kargil and through which they are continuously sending terrorists into India. I have to say that Pakis are being too optimistic (a euphemism :) ) if they think India is going to accept LOC as a red-line. And lets ourselves not even entertain the thought that crossing of LOC by Indian troops is really a red-line for TSP itself.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Calvin » 02 Jan 2003 09:29

Isn't the challenge faced related to the intestinal fortitude of the political masters?

Afterall, the putative decapitation of FU does not eliminate the possibility of a Pakistani nuclear attack on India.

It appears that the primarily deterrent we are faced with is self-deterrence.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby shiv » 02 Jan 2003 09:36

IMO NFU is a great propaganda line to follow as long as you are not really serious about it - at least as far as Pakistan is concerned.

The "related topics" that come to mind when I type this are "truth", "honor", "agreements", "pledges" etc etc. I mean - does anybody REALLY subscribe to all this?

All nations say one thing and do another - and so it must be for India and its NFU vis a vis Pakistan.

Prior to 1965 - The US, while supplying Sabre jets and Patton tanks to Pakistan, said "These are for defensive purposes and not for use against India" (or something to that effect)

Musharraf pledged to stop cross border terrorism less than a year ago.

Let us eschew naive beliefs that "statements" and "postures" like NFU have anything to do with real intent. (And I hope the Indian nuclear button controllers agree with me on this.)

I mean, are we more worried about being called "bad boy" for first use and less worried about being "bad boys" for retaliation with nukes?

A NFU "pledge" adds confusion to the existing nuclear weapon tamasha in this world.

Added later:

Why should India be under any obligation to make an elaborate retraction of NFU before using NW ina first strike?

It can for example, strike first and say "Oops sorry. We struck. We realised that we didn't need NFU" Or India, under threat, can retract NFU one day and strike the next day.

For example, the US is under no obligation to warn before striking. Warnings and strikes have uses that depend on the intended objetive.

The intended objective of India's NFU doctrine is a posture that is designed to paint Pakistan as an agressor with aggressive nuclear intent and to place India on an equal "as holy as you" posture with China.

No formal retraction is needed. The ambiguity is well understood in realpolitikspace.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Kumar » 02 Jan 2003 10:17

There may be a few advantages for India in nuancing the NFU.

. Nuancing the NFU lets India retain most of the diplomatic advantages of a NFU policy while making it defunct when it is most likely to become a liability.

. Having a nuanced NFU makes diplomatic negotiations, subsequent to an actual nuclear use by India (hopefully it never comes to that), a bit more convenient.

. I can't say how politicians' minds would work when an actual FU is being considered. But I suspect, having a rigid NFU policy is going to weigh on most politicians' minds even during a crisis, affecting their decisions to a certain degree. Nuanced NFU removes that psychological factor a bit. Unless we have veritable Chanakyas leading India all the time.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Kaushal » 02 Jan 2003 10:44

NFU is a propaganda tool as others have remarked. It has the commendable quality that it provides an excellent rationale for a robust second strike capability.

Most people in the trade, do not seem to attach much importance to NFU pledges by a nation for the very simple reason that the policy can be reversed in a very short time, IOW it is unenforceable and fails the Reagan test (trust but verify). Bharat Karnad dismisses India's NFU as 'rhetorical bravado' and as an 'overstatement of political intent'

Here are some contrary thoughts on NFU from Herbert York ( past director of LLNL)

http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people/York/york82-con2.html

"Some people criticize "no first use" on the basis that it would just be a statement in the wind, which could be reversed, just by deciding to reverse it and in no time at all. That's probably true the day after it's first enunciated, but I believe it is possible to turn a no-first-use pledge into something that's genuinely concrete over a period of time. For example, one ought to accompany such a pledge by a series of developments and plans for deployment which move us away from those deployments of weapons which are most useful in connection with first use, such as nuclear artillery, for example, and towards those which have higher survivability and, therefore, are not so ... don't have first use or early use built into the system itself. So one way to make a no-first-use pledge concrete is to change the deployments and to change the nuclear technology in a direction that's consistent, that's genuinely consistent with a genuine no-first-use policy."

Charles Krauthammer on NFU

http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/08/26/time.nukes/

"Which brings us to objection B: What use are weapons of mass destruction anyway? Well, we had a quite extraordinary demonstration of their efficacy this summer. Just a few weeks ago, India and Pakistan appeared on the verge of war. It never happened. Not only did the feared war not go nuclear, but it did not even go conventional. Why? Many reasons, but perhaps the most important was, paradoxically, the nukes themselves. India made clear that it would not be the first to use nuclear weapons. Pakistan, however, did not follow suit. "We ... do not subscribe to a no-first-use doctrine," declared Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S.

Why? Simply put, because Pakistan is the weaker party. And the weaker party, if nuclear capable, invariably holds out the threat of nuclear war as a way to deter conventional attack.

Pakistan was saying to India, You have a much stronger army. You could probably launch a war and overrun not just Kashmir but much of Pakistan as well. That is why we built our nuclear arsenal. Of course, we do not want to use it. But if you overrun us, we just might strike first. Think about it.

India did. The iron law of the nuclear age is this: nuclear weapons are instruments of madness; their actual use would be a descent into madness, but the threat to use them is not madness. On the contrary, it is exceedingly logical. "deterrence is a politically correct way of exerting nuclear blackmail. It's power lies in the belief that a state will use nukes when needed, not in actually using them. So, every so often, one can expect Mush to say that 'we are going to use them ' and drop the threshold level one notch. The fact that India refrained from attacking TSP, means that his tactics are working.It is the belief that he will use them that matters.Whether he wil actually use them or not , is not the main issue

Kaushal

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby debjani » 02 Jan 2003 12:52

Notwithstanding Musharraf's brouhaha about nuclear strikes, I don't think that he is totally vacant between his ears!

Therefore, I for one, don't take the hot air seriously.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Ashutosh » 02 Jan 2003 12:57

NFU expands to a lot of combinations when it comes to usage of nuclear weapons:
1) NFU - No First Use.
2) No Farking Use.
3) Not meant For U.
4) Not me, First U.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Kaushal » 02 Jan 2003 13:08

Of course Mush is not vacant behind his ears. Yes, WMD are meant for deterrence and not to be used, and yes , Mush means what he says, when he says he will use them, because if he doesnt believe in what he says,they are completely useless. That is how the game is played.

TSP has won this round and established that India will not attack it conventionally for fear of a first strike by TSP. It is up to India to come up with a counter strategy. My suspicion is that India will stick to Plan A and not make any changes in its NFU posture, which essentially means a carte blanche to TSP to continue with its proxy war and cross border terrorism. India may have decided she can live with this and endure such a war till eternity.

Kaushal

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Prateek » 02 Jan 2003 13:14

Think, rethink, re-rethink and still nothing is going to change.

NFU is here to stay, atleast until India gets prepared with a credible nuclear TRIAD capable of deterring China is going to be in place. IMO, there is no point in creating more unstability among the MAD mullah's like Pervez Mushraaf. they are already $hit scared of India, on top of it if we tell them that India can use nukes before they do, you never know how unstable Mushraaf can be. So let's be cool. Let Mushy think that India will not use the nukes, and see the element of surprise that India can achieve using the NFU (I am assuming that Indian policy makers are very sensitive about getting nuked by the Pakis too!).

NFU is not a bad policy at all, and I bet Indian planners have given a lot of thoughts to have accepted NFU as our state policy. We are not going to WAR with Pakistan any time soon. So we don't have to worry about NFU, atleast now.

One must remember that NFU is a self imposed state policy. We have not signed any international treaties or anything like that. We have no obligation to stick with that policy at any point of time. It's our own policy and when in need, it can be changed and twisted any time. Nothing is going to STOP us from breaking our own policy. We can change the norm just before we declare the WAR and do what ever we like, once the war is on and declared.

We must also remember that in luv and war, everything is fair. So even dumping our own policy can be dumped, when ever a credible threat is faced when we are at WAR.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby daulat » 02 Jan 2003 15:47

Mushy's deterrence ramblings are for domestic consumption. Its a case of 'look everyone, i've saved you yet again!!' It gives a people without hope a straw to clutch to as the ship goes down ever lower in the turbulent waters... (and ofcourse lets ignore the fact that the captain himself opened the stopcocks to let the water in!)

India's use of the NFU pledge is entirely politial, it scores huge points in international fora and demonstrates maturity. it robs Mushy of repeated claims of being the poor maligned victim.

I would suggest that even in a hot war, it may be beneficial in the longer term to still call the Pakistani bluff re first use - if they come close to using and Uncle stops them at the last second - then they become pariah no 1.

if they actually did use it, and even if India did not respond, Pakistan becomes Pariah number 1 for ever.

On the other hand if they did use and India retalliated, imagine what that would do for the bulldozer business!? I'm off to buy some shares in Caterpillar...

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Umrao » 02 Jan 2003 20:03

Consider this, If Mushy could tell every Tom **** and Harry who visits Islamaintbad that he will use nukes on Indians should they do this or that, why couldnt our own Pujaya Atalji draw a line and say, look if TSP is going to go after institutions like parliament, pilgrims, places of worship via assymetric warfare we will precipitate the crisis with pre emptive strikes which may not exclude use of nukes.

On the contrary our Vinod Mahajan tells every two bit dignitaries that we are purely defensive no offence meant. :)
****
A very happy new year to all here. Just a small deviation,
The Imperial war museum did not mention any where the contribution of India during the second world war.

The museum at Invaldes (Paris) mentions 55,000 Indian soldiers died for the cause of Allies.
Canada 47,000, Austrialia 23,000, Newzealand rougly 13,000 (all from my memory).

Not a single photograph of Indians in action any where.

At the St. James Palalce the change of guards a soldier from the Granadeirs slipped and fell with a loaded Automatic rifle and was seen pushing his fuzzy hat with bayonet of his rifle much to the amusement of feloow soldiers and tourists ( it was drizzling then).

The size of the 'fat man' was truly ammazing as it was lean mean and small for the amount of destruction it caused.

The complexity of the (cut way section) of V2 was amazing no wonder even scuds must be pretty challenging to make.

I really wished that I had one month time to completely go round the museums. Next time for sure.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Umrao » 02 Jan 2003 20:26

http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/jan/02ashok.htm

read the 'Jhapad' option advocated by the Gen, and also how Atalji caved in to uncle.

When you are dealing with shameless creatures like Pakis who inspite of getting beating after beating dont change we should continue to administer the the 'Jhapad' after 'Jhapad like Terrance Hill does in the movie 'My name is Nobody'.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 02 Jan 2003 21:26

The idea of calling Mushy names etc does not help when he keeps drawing the conclusions that India was deterred and after he threatened. The bottom line is India did not folow through with its threat of use of force to achieve its objectives. Unless they make clear why the mobilization did not lead to its due conclusions, TSP and the world will draw the same conclusions - India was deterred by TSP nukes. Has cross border terrorism reduced significantly? Have the criminals on the list of 20 shown up anywhere? Ashok Mehta writes brave words and reiterates the kgoan that the redlines are getting lower everywhere. In response to the Mushy speech they reveal a titbit about an 800m intrusion that was repelled. The question should be what offensive action did you take as evicting intruders is a defensive measure.

Jagan, What is the response if the TSP lets of a nuke in an Indian city using its jihadi and underworld connection and never claims responsibility?
Also if any moves are detected then pre-emption with conventional strikes is a possibility under current doctrine.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby shiv » 02 Jan 2003 22:19

Originally posted by John Umrao:
Consider this, If Mushy could tell every Tom **** and Harry who visits Islamaintbad that he will use nukes on Indians

On the contrary our Vinod Mahajan tells every two bit dignitaries that we are purely defensive no offence meant. :)
*
Jumrao. Happy new year - I trust you had a nice time with fine wenches and french wines in London.

What could be worse than threatening first use?

Ans: Threatening first use and then not using them.

It is better that we pretend to be holding back with NFU. If we say FU, Pakistan will say "Eff You too" and do something and then we will not nuke them. And guess who will complain? Not "sthithapragnas" like me.

At least this way we can pretend that we are waiting for the to nuke first.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Umrao » 03 Jan 2003 01:57

from Pioneer Editorial

Pervez's bombshell

The Pioneer Edit Desk

Grand-standing Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's assertion he would not have hesitated to use nuclear weapons to counter an Indian offensive across the Line of Control last year should not be taken lightly.
It was a candid admission of Islamabad's operational deployment of nuclear weapons and clandestine development of nuclear capability. Viewed against the backdrop of Pakistan's recently-exposed nuclear barter with North Korea, President Mush-arraf's statement should alarm the international community as well, betraying as it does the casualness with which he can talk of something as serious as a Hiroshima-like nuclear apocalypse. It is time the world community pulled up Pakistan for its cavalier attitude to endangering global peace. More so, since this is not the first time President Musharraf has played Dr Strangelove. Even during the Kargil war of 1999, General Musharraf as Chief of Army Staff had planned limited use of nuclear weapons to defang the Indian counter-offensive. Post-9/11 investigations have revealed that at least two of his top nuclear scientists were known to be aiding the Taliban and the Al Qaeda in developing or acquiring nuclear weapons. As recently as last December, the UN team searching for biological and chemical weapons in Iraq discovered a secret memo that made another incriminating revelation: Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, Dr AQ Khan, had offered to help Iraq make a nuclear bomb. More alarming is a recent news report on the mysterious disappearance of several scientist-members of Pakistan's nuclear establishment in the past few years. It did not rule out the possibility of these missing scientists joining the Al Qaeda's ranks.



President Musharraf's ominous statement should force an urgent review of India's nuclear strategic doctrine, especially its unreciprocated 'no-first use' policy. Though former Army Chief, General S Padmanabhan, assured the nation the army would counter every act of aggression, there is a growing feeling among strategic and military planners that Pakistan's persisting nuclear blackmail must be blunted. One way is to rethink 'no-first use', which many in the defence and intelligence establishment believe gives Pakistan a decisive advantage in times of crisis. India must also press ahead with the development and deployment of nuclear delivery systems. The decision to testfire the army version of the intermediate range ballistic missile, Agni, is a correct step. But more needs to be done. Sea launch capability should be given priority and the proposal to get a nuclear-powered submarine on lease from Russia pushed through. Similar impetus is required on the development of the indigenous missile defence system incorporating the Akash missile and the Rajendra phased array radar system. Finally, there has to be strong political will to exercise the nuclear option to make the adversary think twice before pushing the button.
************************************************
Latest comment: "The editorial is based on incorrect facts, faulty analysis and non-objective assumptions. First of all, Mr. Musharraf's threats are not a new disclosure in official quarters of the international community as they were the bearers of these threats to Mr. Vajpayee. Mr. Musharraf is merely making it public for local consumption, worst-case scenario he is sharing the war policy statement vis-a-vis India. Pakistan's implied 'first use' policy is in line with the policy of USA and western countries against the Soviet Union during the cold war days. The premise for the 'first use' policy for USA was that they did not believe in the so called 'no first use' proclamations as given the compelling reasons, nothing would stop the adversary to use the nuclear arsenal first and gain upper hand in the war. With good historical merits, Pakistan obviously views Indian 'no first use' policy with same suspicion and disdain as the US did against USSR and hence is not even considering it as part of the decision making calculus for its nuclear arsenal. So the suggestion of adopting 'first use policy' will not yield any policy changes on the Pakistani side. The second strike capability via sea is probably better suited to be viewed under the context of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) rather than a primary deterrent. It needs to be pointed out that while the threats can be labeled as 'cavalier', there is no denying that the war didn’t occur and it would be reasonable to assume the threats being the primary handicap in Indian war plans. If Pakistan didn’t have nukes, wouldn’t there have been a war? The answer is Yes. As for Pakistan's proliferation of nuclear technology, that particular event came to light in after the 1991 war and not recently. The recent news was merely recycling of old news under the context of alleged nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and North Korea. It is important to point out that apart from reports, no one has come forward with any tangible evidence. As for Pakistani Scientist, let alone Top Scientist, helping Al-Quaeda, USA's FBI has conducted direct interrogation of the scientist in question and has let them go free of any charges. Continuing to repeat allegation and to present them as facts is a disservice to your readers and to the people of this great sub-continent. The path to salvation for Pakistan and India is to resolve all issues by discussion and mutual respect for each other. Not by deploying more weapons of mass destructions."

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Sunil » 03 Jan 2003 02:41

To summarize, the guarenteed second strike is valid as a deterence principle only when Musharraf seeks to under take adventurist action under the belief that

a) the international community will save him from the reprecussions fearing that the conflict will go nuclear.

b) His nuclear strike will deliver a debilitating blow to the Indian nuclear response framework.

The draft nuclear doctrine calls take both of these into account and calls for a guarenteed second strike capability. And consequently neither of those is realistically possible.

Now ofcourse with General Musharraf's statements seem to indicate that he will not wait for (a) or (b), but will launch a first strike regardless of the consequences.

To attempt to re-contextualize a guarenteed second strike into "Mutually Assured Destruction" is to fall into a Pakistani pseudo-logic trap. There is *no MAD* at work in the India-Pakistan context.

Firstly even if Pakistan does its worst, India will remain. Consequently the logic of MAD is *not* sufficient to deter India.

Secondly if MAD was the operating principle Musharraf would be deterred by the `Assured Destruction' part of that argument. His sayings presently do not seem to indicate that he is, i.e. the logic of MAD is not sufficient to deter Pakistan.

Conceptually Pakistan still seems wedded to the notion that it can somehow use nuclear threats to deter Indian counter-terrorist operations. By now Musharraf should have got the message on this front.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby venkat_r » 03 Jan 2003 03:23

India needed the NFU policy immediately after the POK II. India's position as a matured nuclear power had to be conveyed to the world and NFU was one of the best ways. I think the objective was well achieved as noone calls India's Nukes as rouge bombs or Hindu Bombs.
Instead We get the western press also as being a matured power with nukes. This image building is very essential. Also there are so many people to reassure that India does not intend to use these nukes against non nuke countries. The special circumstances India is in, NFU gives a good press for India.
Also the real chances of using the nukes are slim and even if we define FU, then the threshold should be defined and if Kashmir terrorism is taken as a threshold, then there is a chance that entire world wants to involve themselves on this issue.
ABV in one of his election meetings i think, said "if pak think that we shall wait to be hit by the nukes to retort back, then it is living in a fool's paradise". That gives kind of peak into what the policy might be. NFU does not mean that we want to be hit, but just might mean that we shall not be the agressors, we might aswell use the nukes in defence, if we believe sufficiently that we are about to be attacked. That opens up so many possibilities. The Mushy braying to his public is giving out juicy news quotes which can be used against Pak in any future conflict.

ArunK
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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ArunK » 03 Jan 2003 03:33

Well, why change the NFU? After this statement from Mushy, it is quite obvious that to everyone what we face from Pakistan. Given the situation, if we feel the need, we will just bomb the hell out of them if we feel that is the only course, FU or NFU be damned. No explanations are needed. If the Pakistanis are stupid enough to believe our NFU then we have an edge on them. On the other hand, if they don't believe our NFU as it stands, the joke is on them because the international community respects our NFU policy.

Why should we formally discard the NFU? Let us just let it be as it is. It is perfectly valid for most other countries.

MohanJ
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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby MohanJ » 03 Jan 2003 03:37

Excuse for ignorance, but What is the relationship between NFU, FU and pre-emptive nuclear attack?

Pre-emptive Nuking can be first use, it can ALSO be NFU compliant.

If we have PROVABLE evidence that a nuke attack is being readied for deployment, we can pre-emptively nuke Pak and still the NFU is being adhered to... Right or wrong?

shiv
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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby shiv » 03 Jan 2003 06:52

Have you ever ben confronted by a huge security guard with a machine gun?

Have you even stood by and watched a coconut being chipped by a muscular man with a machete while he prepares it for someone to drink its contents? Ever argued with him?

The fact that your head is not chopped off or blown off by these guys is a matter of trust. He has the weapon. You trust him not to lop off anything important to you.

Thet is the principle of NFU. The trust is what is sought to be projected. If the guard or the machete wielder actually threatens all and sundry - they are criminals - and dangerous ones at that. That is the equivalent of Musharraf's words.

We are a cynical bunch on here, but the fact is we ARE talking morality and human decency here. Morality and decency CAN exist with an armed person, as with a respectful armed guard or gentle, muscular machete wielder who only threatens coconuts.

But how do you react to the threatening guy? Do you threaten him back with a gun or machete? Is that your idea of the way things should work? Being threatened is not a nice feeling, but DO NOT threaten back unless you are sure of being able to kill the guy and accept some damage to yourself - like a chopped off arm. Or else, look for a good way to save yourself fully, while ensuring that the other guy gets screwed.

Get real.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Ashutosh » 03 Jan 2003 08:04

This is an interesting site ... there's more stuff in the archives too ...

India to Review “No-First-Use” Nuclear Weapons Doctrine

http://www.islam-online.net/english/news/2003-01/02/article11.shtml

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby debjani » 03 Jan 2003 08:19

Originally posted by Dr.JaganMohan:


If we have PROVABLE evidence that a nuke attack is being readied for deployment, we can pre-emptively nuke Pak and still the NFU is being adhered to... Right or wrong?
It would be being being a little less crafty than the Chinese who couch their aggressive intent with morally positve benign and peaceful homilies like 'no first use', 'peace and development', 'non use of force for dispute resolution [1962?], 'non intervention in the internal matters of other countries', 'support for nuclear free zones' etc. These lofty sounding assertion obfuscate and downplay the aggressive intent of Chinese national development programme and its approach to the use of force, which is contingent rather than passive or defensive.

I reckon one can nuke Pak in an academic way, but in practical terms neither Pakistan nor India can shoot its bolt without the say so of others, who too would be running scared of the consequences.

Therefore, morally it is Right; in pratical terms, Wrong.

I hope I dont raise a hornets nest!

shiv
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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby shiv » 03 Jan 2003 08:51

Originally posted by Ashutosh:

[b]India to Review “No-First-Use” Nuclear Weapons Doctrine


http://www.islam-online.net/english/news/2003-01/02/article11.shtml[/b]
some reports said installations Tuesday, January1 , some reports said New Delhi would review its established doctrine not to be the first party to use nuclear weapons :eek:
I'll bet my left ball that this guy is speculating based on this very thread.

So far I have not seen any other news item suggesting that "New Delhi" would review this (at least in public)

Remember,

You heard it here first . .

There will be a denial from New Delhi soon that there was any intent to review NFU.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Ashutosh » 03 Jan 2003 09:22

shiv, that site is really interesting. Do read my post in the TSP News and discussion folder.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby daulat » 03 Jan 2003 15:53

Its all very well for Mushy to threaten first use, but given that they have around 30 or so ~20kt warheads at best, this will not give them sufficient guarantees of being able to decapitate India's retalliation capability

so, their use of Nukes is also political (a threat), or for tactical war fighting aims - perhaps as a last ditch defence

Mushy's blathering sounds like preference for political usage (as in extreme fear drives him to threaten their use and not just rational force posturing)

I think Paddy is right, we can deal with them
I think George is right, yeh to bakwas hai

at the end of the day, whatever happened last year, the people in the know, do know what went down. public opinion is another matter

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Kumar » 03 Jan 2003 22:50

It seems the idea of changing the NFU policy is catching on.
R Sengupta on PAK
It's a question of timing.

Suppose, at a time when Musharraf was on the verge of collapsing, India publicly and formally renounced its no first strike policy, saying it reserved the right to strike at any nation which it perceived as a threat to its security.

ArunK
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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ArunK » 04 Jan 2003 00:00

My point is still valid. Why change the existing policy? Why even bother to nuance it?

We have a policy in place. We have done nothing to violate our own policy. That does not preclude us from taking action when it becomes necessary. If it becomes necessary and we do take action, then "breaking" our self-imposed NFU will be the least of our or anyone else's problems. There will be a nuclear holocaust to deal with.

So, leave it be. It is a good policy. But let us realize that it is OUR policy. We reserve the right to change it without notice if we feel OUR national security is threatened. We don't need to EXPLAIN this to anyone.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Calvin » 04 Jan 2003 19:28

Gentlemen:

Q1. Is there a point beyond which an Indian strike on Pakistan is guaranteed?

Q2. Does this require a Pakistani claimed nuclear attack on India?

IF Q2 is the necessary condition, then any and all discussion of NFU/FU is premature. We need to focus on building the resolve to strike. Perhaps we need another thread to discuss the various means through which BR can create the resolve to strike. This means we need to write articles on the web, BRM, letters to editors, wargame scenarios what-have-you.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby shiv » 04 Jan 2003 20:16

Originally posted by Calvin:
We need to focus on building the resolve to strike. Perhaps we need another thread to discuss the various means through which BR can create the resolve to strike. This means we need to write articles on the web, BRM, letters to editors, wargame scenarios what-have-you.
Absolutely!

That is what we need.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby kirtisimha » 04 Jan 2003 20:38

The eight O Clock DD news a few minutes ago had two very interesting things to say.

1. Establishment of the new strategic command is in place
2. India's Nuclear doctrine has been enhanced

From the snippets I could catch, the enhancement revolves around a qualifier to the Non First Use principle by adding 'Non First Use against Non Nuclear states'. The report went on to say that India retains the right to first use even in the event of a chemical or biological attack. ...... :) Looks like the boys are busy :lol:

Shall eagerly wait for the mornings paper for the details

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby venkat_r » 04 Jan 2003 22:05

India's first Strategic Forces Command set up http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/xml/comp/articleshow?artid=33382162

It also outlined an eight-point nuclear doctrine that included a posture of "no first use" of nuclear weapons which would only be used in retaliation of a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere.
The CSS reviewed and approved the arrangement for alternate chains of command for retaliatory nuclear strikes in all eventualities.

The doctrine said the nuclear retaliatory attacks can only be authorised by the civilian political leadership through the Nuclear Command Authority.

It envisaged the building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent and said nuclear retaliation to a first strike would be massive and designed to include unacceptable damage


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