Time to rethink NFU

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50757
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 13 Jan 2003 21:39

Kaka's statement means that a review was done and present policy found adequate.

saint
BRFite
Posts: 109
Joined: 19 Jun 2002 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby saint » 13 Jan 2003 22:15

imho: kaka's words were for public. there exists a private no-nfu thoughts, that cannot be killed for strategic reasons. for NSAB, these public words and the private thoughts protect them.

;)

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50757
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 13 Jan 2003 22:26


Bibhas
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 55
Joined: 08 Nov 1999 12:31
Contact:

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Bibhas » 13 Jan 2003 23:30

I could not find a suitable thread for posting this. Admins move it if necessary.

(Thefool) Bidwai writes in rediff...

Creating the Nuclear Command

It is sad fact that mother India gave birth to such idiots :mad: .

Prateek
BRFite
Posts: 310
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Prateek » 14 Jan 2003 00:42

Originally posted by ramana:
Kaka's statement means that [b]a review was done and present policy found adequate.[/b]
NFU as a political tool is fine. But India needs to add some ambiguity to our policies. Because what we accept in theory is something I would never advocate in practice, when we deal with dangerous things like being attacked by the nukes. Atleast, I am not ready to sacrifice Delhi, Mumbai, BLR to save some Pakistanis and terrorists in Kashmir. Hence adding a little ambiguity to our policy may not hurt us after all! I still wish that NFU is our official state policy, but India will not use nukes ONLY as long as we don't see any preceived threat of India being attacked by the WMD's, something on that lines....

We must learn to appreciate what Donald Duck says on the pre-emption theory in this regard, to some extent, may not be in public.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50757
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 14 Jan 2003 21:29

Muddur LKA's statement had to do wiht Internal Security. Please observe some restraint in posting sundry articles in this thread thanks. ramana

Meantime Ashok Mehta writes in Pioneer..( Usually he is voice of Army Hq)...

Nuclear India: Clear & credible

Ashok K Mehta

Much excitement was generated over the announcement recently of the formation of the long-awaited Strategic Forces Command (SFC) and the nuclear chain of command-the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA)-to order and implement a retaliatory nuclear strike. Also debated in the media was the issue of alternate leadership, both political and military, and its location in the event of a decapitating first strike as well as the soundness of 'no first use'. The matter gained prominence because Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had declared on December 30, 2002, that Pakistan would have used its nuclear weapon had even a single Indian soldier crossed the Line of Control or the International Border during the 10-month long stand-off called Operation Parakram.




The internal debate following General Musharraf's admission has revolved around the survivability after a first strike of not just nuclear arsenal but also of the NCA, which is to ensure a devastating response in order to prevent the use of the nuclear option by Pakistan in the first place. It entails the protection of the political and the military authority and their standbys in the run-up to a warlike or war situation in which the use of a nuclear weapon by the adversary is likely or imminent.



It will be instructive to recall that the threat of a Pakistani nuclear strike was taken seriously for the first time in 1987 during Exercise Brass Tacks when our High Commissioner in Islamabad was served a nuclear threat. At that time, Pakistan was known to have 5-7 bombs of the 12-15 KT variety, and India had none though it had been nuclear capable since 1974. In fact, a year later, Pakistan used a chemical weapon in Siachen which sent our scientists scurrying for a matching response. It was after these two developments that India's security planners pleaded that the country should take appropriate defensive measures against a Pakistani nuclear, biological and chemical strike (NBC) and reconsider its nuclear option.



The then de facto Defence Minister, Arun Singh, and Army Chief, General Sundarji, pressed Rajiv Gandhi to at least start the preliminaries of a secure and safe system for nuclear command and control. Not only was one leg of the strategic nuclear triad operationalised, but serious work done on the NCA, its chain of succession and most notably the construction of a National Command Post (NCP).



In its programme on global terrorism, the BBC recently came up with a graphic but chilling account of how the US protected its NCA in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, showing underground shelters (NCP), dispersion and deception methods and adoption of the highest state of alert since the 1973 Middle East war. The Indian NCP and its alternative structures, both on the ground and in the air, were war-gamed and funds committed for the minimum essential protection to withstand an NBC and Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) threat from Pakistan. It was funny that Pakistani and Indian nuclear experts at the time were scouting in the same countries for the software for NCP and NBC kits. The origin of the NBC cell in service headquarters can be traced to the late 1980s.



So shy were we those days about nuclear use even in print that Sundarji wrote his book, The Blind Men of Hindoostan (The A-Z of Nuclear tactics, Strategy and Holocaust), as a series of dream sequences. Air Marshal Brajesh Jayal followed suit and authored another book in the form of Mandarins and Martyrs wherein political leaders and bureaucrats were daydreaming about the nuclear threat. Fifteen years later with Sundarji gone, nuclear architecture is a stark reality. The point is that India's nuclear doctrine, still not perfect, and the command and control structures have not come up from scratch nor after the nuclear tests of 1998, but have evolved since at least 1986, if not 1974.



It is a fortuitous coincidence the man who kickstarted the nuclear process in 1980s, Arun Singh, reappeared during Kargil and after to steer higher defence reforms which included the SFC. The approach paper on this subject was authored by him and was ready by September 2001 before it did a 12-month tour of the services and various departments of the Govern-ment. The SFC nuts and bolts in place was ready for notification by September last year. On December 31, a day after General Musharraf's doomsday declaration, a Cabinet Committee on Security was scheduled for January 4, 2003-this was planned for late December but the Prime Minister chose to go to Goa-where the SFC along with the country's nuclear doctrine (a refined version of the August 1999 paper) were formally adopted.



The SFC, the nation's third post-reforms triservice command/establishment, as expected went to the air force, the first two-Integrated Defence Staff and Andaman and Nicobar Command- having gone to the army and navy. The Commander-in-Chief of SFC will now be allotted strategic nuclear assets which in the not too distant future will constitute the triad of land-based missiles, air or space-delivered weapons and sea-based platforms. Some doubts have been expressed on the location of the SFC. Will it be under the Prime Minister, the National Security Advisor or the Chiefs of Staff Committee? Neither the Prime Minister nor the NSA who head the political and executive councils of the NCA can or will exercise direct operational control over the SFC. It is the Chairman, COSC, who, in the absence of the most wanted Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) part of the executive council, will 'administer' the SFC whose commander will report to him. The primary chain of command will therefore run from the Prime Minister to the Chairman COSC/CDS to the C-in-C, SFC. There should be complete transparency and clarity and no ambiguity in this. The word 'administer' needs clarification. The other two newly created organisations-IDS and A&N command report to the Chairman, COSC. In the US, the NCA runs from the President to the Defence Secretary, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff and Strategic Forces.



Command and control of nuclear arsenal in democracies is a joint politico-military function though under civilian control, unlike in Pakistan, the only nuclear weapons state with the army in sole and full control. Though the National Security Advisory Board had recommended scrapping no first use, the Government's reemphasis but with the caveat that a first strike on India and its armed forces anywhere with NBC weapons will attract punitive and unacceptable retaliation, is both sound and cost-effective. In any case, no first use is an option and can be reviewed any time. For example, a smart Alec asked the question what would happen if Indian soldiers were struck by biological or chemical weapons while operating in a UN peacekeeping operation in Africa or elsewhere.



Pakistan is, for the foreseeable future, the only country likely to resort to the nuclear blackmail as its conventional military forces are easily contained by India's relative superiority. No first use also ensures that India does not need to maintain its nuclear assets in a state of high alert, thereby avoiding accidents and also obviating the complexities of first strike readiness. The NSAB had also recommended India not feel obliged to stick to its voluntary moratorium on nuclear tests announced after Pokhran II in 1998.



Nearly five years after the nuclear tests and four years after unveiling its unofficial nuclear doctrine, India's minimum credible nuclear deterrence is certainly more credible and the military at last inducted in the nuclear loop. The new year's proclamation India's nuclear capability is defensive and will be used only in retaliation, its control in civilian hands, and the NCA and NCP together with the alternate leadership and location and the conviction it will be able to inflict unacceptable punishment for the first strike, is a strategic upgradation of the existing system. The SFC's formation and greater clarity in nuclear doctrine are force multipliers for India's security. With the SFC in place, can the CDS be far behind?
-----------------
Did anyone catch Zeenews last night(Jan 13th.)? There were 'expert' opinions from Pravin Sawheny and Brahma Chellaney!

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50757
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 14 Jan 2003 21:45

SIFY link of AFP report

India finetunes nuclear doctrine: experts
New Delhi, Jan 14




Five years after India came out of the nuclear closet, New Delhi is in the process of evaluating and finetuning its strategic doctrine to meet new threats, a military expert said.

Another expert said India had in fact already shifted from its "no-first-use." doctrine.

Earlier this month, the Cabinet Committee on Security reaffirmed its commitment that nuclear weapons would only be used "in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere," while leaving control of the nuclear button in the hands of civilians rather than the military."

A cabinet statement added, however, that "in the event of a major attack against India, or Indian forces anywhere, by biological or chemical weapons, India will retain the option of retaliating with nuclear weapons."

According to C.U. Bhaskar, deputy director of the government-funded military think-tank the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, this "extends the scope of the core mission of the use of nuclear weapons," to meet new security threats.

India's draft nuclear policy made public in August 1999, just over a year after New Delhi tested five nuclear devices, had stated the government "shall pursue a doctrine of credible minimum nuclear deterrence."

The draft policy had further stated "India will not be the first to initiate a nuclear strike, but will respond with punitive retaliation should deterrence fail."

A member of an important military advisory board associated with India's National Security Council said the decision to use nuclear weapons in retaliation to a chemical or biological strike in fact represented a review of New Delhi's no-first-use policy.

"All five nuclear weapon states - the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China reserve the right to launch nuclear weapons first.

Then why should India not do so?" said the official, a member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB).

"India's nuclear doctrine is a dynamic and evolving one and is constantly being reviewed," he said, asking not to be identified.

The Hindustan Times on Friday reported that the NSAB, comprising retired military personnel from the army, navy, air force, former diplomats and academics, had advised the government to abandon its no-first-use position.

The report said the board had submitted a 100-page report to National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra in December on the subject.

"India must consider withdrawing from this commitment as the other nuclear weapon states have not accepted this policy," the Hindustan Times quoted the board as saying.

The NSAB official described a statement by Defence Minister George Fernandes on Monday of India standing by its policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons as a "political" one.

He said India already had put in place a minimum credible nuclear deterrent and the announcement of a command and control system for the country's nuclear forces was the "next logical step."

India's Nuclear Command Authority comprises two bodies, an executive council to coordinate the administrative work chaired by the national security adviser and a political council headed by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

On Friday, the government announced the appointment of Air Marshal Teja Mohan Asthana as commander-in-chief of the command and control system.

kgoan
BRFite
Posts: 260
Joined: 30 Jul 2001 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby kgoan » 14 Jan 2003 21:51

Ramana, many thanks for the Mehta article.

The information about the 80's stuff seems to validate, IMO, the critique about Tellis' paper made here, with respect to the static nature of Tellis' analysis.

By extension, it should also put to rest, well among BRites anyway, the "force-in-being" theory. Not that GoI would want to point it out. Tellis' theory takes some pressure of us and so is useful in the interminable rearguard battle that will have to be fought with the non-prolif theologists.

So while "force-in-being" and it's b@stard child, "NFU" may well be necessary for the external front, I think they're already buried internally.

Sunil
BRFite
Posts: 634
Joined: 21 Sep 1999 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Sunil » 14 Jan 2003 23:03

Praful Bidwai and his kin in the Internationalised Indian Elite have consistently held that that the Indian polity is not "mature enough" to handle the challenge imposed by nuclear power.

Their position is usually supported by various examples of political immaturity that have cropped up in the past in India. They also routinely resort to logic which says "but all the politicans are uneducated people" etc...

A lot of the reasons given for this position are just deeply held insecurities within the Internationalized Indian Elite. Looking too deeply into this does not serve any purpose from the point of a serious debate on security issues.

Even if we take Bidwai's argument (which is quite similar to Pakistani arguments) about the lack of political unity in India at face value and accept his conclusion that per-this-alone the nature of Indian debate on nuclear issues is "poor", we are still left with the question of how to improve it. On that issue Bidwai and Co. feel that such a task is impossible, so India should simply abandon its nuclear capability.

Against this background it makes perfect sense that Bidwai and Co are not comfortable with the SFC formation and the Agni test although they themselves had lambasted GoI for lack of transparency on nuclear issues just a few months ago.

Bidwai and Co do not like the present development for the following reasons:

a) The SFC and Agni test in their view does nothing to actually improve the "maturity of the Indian political class" and

b) The SFC actually devolves the authority to use the WMD to a "multiply-redundant" command structure. This latter part is beyond the scrutiny of Bidwai and Co, and this makes them very uncomfortable. With the creation of this highly secret mechanism Bidwai and Co. have absolutely *no* chance of ever intervening in the process of a nuclear strike.

Perhaps for the first time Bidwai and his city dwelling counterparts feel the sheer powerlessness that the agriculturalists of Kashmir or Punjab have felt for years now. The Internationalized Indian Elite have now lost the ability to pretend that the cities they inhabit are now not as much on the frontlines as village in J&K or Punjab.

Perhaps it has not dawned on the Internationalized Indian Elite that the core of Pakistan's nuclear policy was to carry out a nuclear strike and then wait for the Indian polity to crumble under the strain or perhaps they simply refuse to believe it.

Most of these people certainly do not comprehend the massive potential for a terroristic nuclear strike looming in the conflict with the Islamists of Pakistan and the absence of an alternative to credible nuclear deterrence.

Apparently the notion that Pakistan's Army and its Islamist cohorts are genocidal fanatics totally tuned to the idea of using weapons of mass destruction without thought to the consequence has not quite penetrated their perception.

Atleast Gen. Mehta has seen it fit to discuss the chemical weapons use in Siachen. But then perhaps that is not enough, the Indian Internationalized Elite needs to be reminded that Pakistan has signed several intenational treaties that expressly forbid the use of these weapons.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50757
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 14 Jan 2003 23:05

You are welcome kg!

I think the Indian security posture is an n-dimensional body in dark space that is projected on any one plane by occassional revelations. The job of the serious student is to reconstruct the body from these plane projections.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50757
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 14 Jan 2003 23:08

Sunil instead of Internationalized Indian elite they should be termed as the non communist Left. One prof( Guatam Sengupta) at LSE wrote an article in Indian Express about this phenomenon called " The Third World Left and the West" Try to find it. Maybe we can contact him at LSE and ask for a copy.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby svinayak » 15 Jan 2003 00:50

Sunil, As Ramana says they should be called non-communit left of India. They have been cultivated by lot of outside (shall we say) agencies to create confusion and chaos with respect to policies and other things.
But the main reason for Praful to belittle the situation is something different. With NCA and NCP the center becomes stronger in Indian political system and all the states will focus on the center with the authority which was not there before. The setup of the chain of command has created a powerful institution which will be followed by every state and central institution in the country including political parties thereby eliminating any centrifugal forces.

Sunil
BRFite
Posts: 634
Joined: 21 Sep 1999 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Sunil » 15 Jan 2003 01:12

Ramana,

I am merely using the same terms used by R N Kao.

I have long wondered what any of what Bidwai says has to do with communism, never once have I seen any of these guys talk about wealth redistribution.

Most of their discourse revolves around discrediting the polity and questioning legitimacy of all political interest groups and initiatives.

These people are the self appointed "sarpanches" of the great Indian political village, the self-promoted "monitors" of the milleu.

Despite any professed aversion to capitalism, the ease with which they scoop up funds dispersed by American "research foundations" under the guise of promoting "non-proliferation" etc... never fails to amaze me.

To dignify these people by suggesting that the possess some contorted allegience to Marx and Engels is to give these people too much of a political constituency.

I strongly feel Sri. Kao is right, we are dealing with a Internationalized Elite with an acute sense of what is politically fashionable not with real flesh and blood communists.

I use the term Internationalized Indian Elite as opposed to just plain old Indian Elite, which people like you and me fall into.

Acharya,

I will need more time to consider the point about increased centripetal tendency.

Anaath
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 27
Joined: 14 Jul 2002 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Anaath » 15 Jan 2003 01:29

There are other threads where this can be analyzed at length. But it must be said that even conceding "plain vanilla" Indianness to Mr. Bidwai and such is a folly, elite or not.

Apparently Indian Anti-Indian (AIAI) may be more appropriate as is good old RNI.

Arun_S
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2800
Joined: 14 Jun 2000 11:31
Location: KhyberDurra

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Arun_S » 15 Jan 2003 02:11

Ramana:Did anyone catch Zeenews last night(Jan 13th.)? There were 'expert' opinions from Pravin Sawheny and Brahma Chellaney!
Yes, I did. Also to me the news was that the Agni-1 has been assigned to Army instead of Air Force.

putnanja
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4390
Joined: 26 Mar 2002 12:31
Location: searching for the next al-qaida #3

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby putnanja » 15 Jan 2003 05:15

Cutting through the nuclear fog
By AOCinC Vinod Patney ( Retd)


More importantly, the ‘no first use’ policy is indicative of strength for the same reason that reserving the option to strike first is a sign of weakness. Again, a ‘no first use’ policy does not reduce our inherent capacity or capability to strike first if so warranted. The option to hit first always remains if the circumstances have so altered as to force a major change in our nuclear policy.


Anoop
BRFite
Posts: 311
Joined: 16 May 2002 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Anoop » 15 Jan 2003 05:27

From the above linked article by AOC-in-C Vinod Patney

It is unlikely that Pakistan will ever take such an irrational step; the chances will be even lesser if, as reported in some quarters, (N^3? :D ) the United States is actually exercising control over Pakistan’s nuclear capability

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby svinayak » 15 Jan 2003 06:38

From Mehta's article posted earlier:

In fact, a year later(1988), Pakistan used a chemical weapon in Siachen which sent our scientists scurrying for a matching response. It was after these two developments that India's security planners pleaded that the country should take appropriate defensive measures against a Pakistani nuclear, biological and chemical strike (NBC) and reconsider its nuclear option.
Does this mean that Pakistan is the second rogue country which has used CHEMICAL WEAPON in modern times? It signed the chemical weapons convention treaty in 1996(?). But has used the chemical weapon before that which shows that it should be considered for disarmament just like Iraq.

Umrao
BRFite
Posts: 547
Joined: 30 May 2001 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Umrao » 15 Jan 2003 07:26

DIVIDED AUTHORITY
- India’s nuclear command structure needs greater purpose and clarity
V.R. Raghavan
The author is former director general military operations and currently director, Delhi Policy Group

The new year was rung in by the government with the announcement of a nuclear command authority. It was overdue, after nearly five years have elapsed since the nuclear tests of 1998. The government had made its nuclear policies and philosophy known at different times and through different fora. There was, however, no formal document which laid down the nuclear command structures or control mechanisms. Other than the prime minister’s statements after the tests in 1998 or his promises made at the United Nations general assembly soon after, there have been a series of pronouncements by ministers or the national security advisor, but no document or government paper on the subject had been issued. The nearest thing to a policy document was the nuclear doctrine announced at a press conference and soon thereafter termed by the government as a draft doctrine.

The government’s most preferred medium for announcing nuclear policies still remains the press. Neither Parliament nor any political party gets a chance to be consulted or taken into confidence, before issues of national security are announced through the medium of a press conference or press release. The NCA was no exception. Perhaps this method of policy promulgation is preferred for its ease of managing criticism. A parliamentary debate can raise awkward questions which the ministers — at best inadequately competent on nuclear matters — would find difficult to answer.

A policy document gets set up as the proverbial straw-man and gets hammered nationally and internationally for its inadequacies. A press statement allows many escape-routes for an uncertain government. Not surprisingly therefore, within days of the NCA press release, government spokespersons were active elaborating, explaining and expiating on what the NCA means.

What the NCA announcement — even if only a press release — does is to reiterate some of the principles by which this government would operate its nuclear weapons policy. It confirms its commitments to minimum credible deterrent, a moratorium on further nuclear tests, about not transferring nuclear technology, and the major principle of no first use of nuclear weapons. It extends the scope of their use by stating that nuclear weapons will also be used against those who attack India or Indian troops with chemical or biological weapons. Above all, the NCA incorporates three tiers of command and control over nuclear weapons.

India’s nuclear decision-making process, which had remained vague and raised many questions in the strategic and policy communities within and outside the country, has been put on a firmer footing. A political council comprising the cabinet committee for security will be the highest decision-processing body. The decision to launch nuclear weapons would be the exclusively that of the prime minister. The political council would come to its conclusions based on the inputs to be provided by an executive council led by the national security advisor.

The composition of the executive council has not been made known. It would without doubt comprise those who would need to implement the decision. This would mean that intelligence, nuclear-scientific and defence-services chiefs would be part of the second council. The NCA announces the creation of a strategic forces command whose commander-in-chief has recently been appointed from the air force.

In major nuclear weapons states, the commander of the strategic forces takes orders directly from the head of the government. This is to ensure that there is no room for doubt or debate once the decision to launch nuclear weapons is taken. New Delhi apparently wants to spare the prime minister the bother and has created a different arrangement. It is the national security advisor, heading the executive council, who will convey the prime minister’s decision to the strategic forces commander-in-chief. Officials in New Delhi added another caveat to this by stating that the strategic forces head would be operating under the chiefs-of-staff committee.

The decision process is thus already a multi-layered one. If one adds the real time dimension of these senior personages, either lost by the enemy’s nuclear strike or located at different places to avoid such a strike, the magnitude of uncertainty gets multiplied manifold. No amount of explanations, about Indian nuclear response not having to be on hair-trigger alert and so on, mitigates the uncertainties built into the system. Simpler crises like Kargil, the war deployment of 2002 or the Kandahar hijack did not show up reliable decision-making as the government’s asset.

The NCA has a strategic force commander, but is silent on where the nuclear or strategic forces would be. Ideally, the commander-in-chief of the strategic forces should have full control over them. This is necessary to train, prepare operating procedures, and ensure full and reliable compliance of orders in emergencies. It is also essential to coordinate and collaborate with nuclear scientists, the three defence services and the government departments who would be involved in budgeting, logistics, personnel policies and communication links.

Indian operational processes in the nuclear weapons field are yet to evolve fully and this purpose is best obtained through a single-point command structure. If the missile units are going to remain separately under the army, air force and the navy, and the nuclear warheads located at different locations in the country, the strategic forces commander would spend most of his time and energies chasing the parent service to get synergies built into the system. Inter-service turf wars, inter-operability problems and diverse personnel policies would all come in the way of an effective nuclear force being built up.

A chief of defence staff would be the best single-point commander for the nuclear forces. He and not the chiefs-of-staff committee should be the operational focal point of the NCA. He would have the stature and experience needed to deal with the prime minister directly in times of grave national threats. He would have the authority to rapidly develop operational doctrines, coordinate between the political, scientific and military hierarchies, and to lay the foundations of a credible nuclear deterrent.

The creation of the chief of defence staff is a decision recommended by the group of ministers to the cabinet since more than a year past. Its implementation is nowhere in sight. In its absence, the NCA’s inadequate, but still useful, intentions are unlikely to be met. The uncertainty which has marked India’s nuclear plans and concepts will continue to remain unresolved. It proves once again that ad hoc approaches with mere good intentions are not enough to be a nuclear power. The political leadership needs to be clear about the state and speed of nuclear readiness India must have. The urgency so far demonstrated has not inspired confidence. It will only make the journey from the tests in Pokhran to a credible nuclear deterrent a long and uncertain one.

That the NCA reiterates firm and clear civilian control over nuclear weapons is appreciated and applauded around the world. This is reaffirmation of India’s democratic beliefs and confidence in its political system. The position in Pakistan is starkly different. The much-publicized nuclear command set-up was put out by Islamabad as combining the best measures for stability. The prime minister of Pakistan was to be the controller of the nuclear decision. Not long after the civilian government was installed, Pervez Musharraf quietly shifted that control to himself. There was not a murmur in Pakistan either by the prime minister or the strategic analysts.

The Indian model stands out in its firm commitment to deterrent stability through civilian control over nuclear weapons. What is urgently needed is to introduce a greater sense of purpose and clarity in India’s nuclear command structure.

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Johann » 15 Jan 2003 07:29

Acharya actually it would be the fifth if the incident could be confirmed.

The first in post-war era being the Egyptians against Royalist resistance in North Yemen (63-67). The Israelis expected thousands of dead from CW attacks but the Egyptians didnt use them, most likely thanks to the ambiguity of Israel's nuclear position.

Iraq and Iran against eah other 1983-88

Libya Against Chad in September of 1987.

The Iraqis remain in a special category for targetting them against purely civilian targets, and if anything could be worse Iraqi civilians.

Sunil
BRFite
Posts: 634
Joined: 21 Sep 1999 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Sunil » 15 Jan 2003 08:13

Looks to me like the Pakistanis used the weapon regardless of India's "ambigious" nuclear status.

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Johann » 15 Jan 2003 08:30

Originally posted by sunil sainis:
Looks to me like the Pakistanis used the weapon regardless of India's "ambigious" nuclear status.
Egypt in 1967 and since certainly didnt enjoy the nuclear fuelled confidence of Pakistan in 1988.

Does any other source describe Pakistani use of CW in Siachen? Any identification of agents? If Indian authorities could confirm CW usage it would be interesting to know why the GoI didnt make it an international issue.

The Iraqis first used riot control agents such as CS on the Iranaians before their mustard gas production was up and weaponised in sufficient quantities.

Ashutosh
BRFite
Posts: 150
Joined: 04 Mar 2002 12:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Ashutosh » 15 Jan 2003 08:32

Originally posted by sunil sainis:
Looks to me like the Pakistanis used the weapon regardless of India's "ambigious" nuclear status.
And yet sadly enough, we have AOC-in-C expecting them packees to behave "rationally"!

It is unlikely that Pakistan will ever take such an irrational step; the chances will be even lesser if, as reported in some quarters, the United States is actually exercising control over Pakistans nuclear capability

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 19640
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Philip » 15 Jan 2003 09:15

The stark fact remains that to be effective,our deterrent should have the minimum time to reply to a first strike,or "wave" of first strikes,which could clearly cripple our ability to respond.That is,until our deterrent is carried aboard nuclear powered subs,mobile and invisible,with the greatest survival capabilities of any leg of the triad.

It means that both the delivery sytems and the warheads should be in the same base/facility to ensure a rapid mating of the weapon.Or even already mated with only the codes and targets to be fed in during a crisis.The codes should be divided and carried by both civilians and military staff at the base.It is impossible to fly out warheads from nuclear reactor sites,which may have already been hit in a first strike,or across the country in a war.How do you arm a rail mobile Agni that has no warhead at its hideout?One secure method is that used aboard nuclear subs,where launches are impossible unless the right codes are communicated from the Strategic Command and even then only after verification has been made.

This also means that there should be several command centres across the country,which can withstand a nuclear strike,including the US's new deep penetrator warheads being developed for so-called "rogue" states.Should all the centres and the political leadership be neutralised....the decision to launch should be with another hierarchy of military commanders of the three services.

This also brings into question the number of N-warheads and delivery systems that we need to defend ourselves from both China,Pakistan and any other extraneous threats-such as N,Korea,Saudi Arabia and trans-continental threats.The number of mini-nukes below 5kt could be large,which would be meant to hit specific military targets without wider devastation.The sad thruth is that in the absence of any move on the part of the world's nuclear hypocrasies to reduce and eliminate N-weapons,we will have to make plans for fighting a nuclear war,without which the dangers of being attacked in such fashion remain high.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50757
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 15 Jan 2003 09:47

The important thing is that RG authorized both the N and CW programs after that incident in 1988. When India went public with the CW as part of CWC, there were derisisive comments from experts like Brhama Chellany about the nature of weapons. In retrospect, they were tit-for-tat weapons. Also TSP signed as a non weapon state for CWC and had to destroy its stock before accession. Same with China. But not India for it has ten years after accession to destroy the stocks. So the NFU wont be breached till then.

I think it was very good move on part of GOI to raise the ante with regard to NFU in case of BCW use. Since the TSP signed on CWC and might still have stocks it is on notice.

The new doctrine shows Army inputs for CW was used on them in Siachen and they control Agni-I&II. When ACM Mehra was asked at Stanford CSIAC if he would retaliate with nukes in case of BCW he said no as the damage by those weapons is not so great as nukes. Tim you should check with Sott Sagan what he thinks of the nuance in CMD.

Hats of the AVM Patney for bouncing back after his retirement. He speaks as the wielder of the Sword and knows his stuff. So take it easy.

My feeling is there is hectic debate on NFU inside the GOI kitchen cabinet and hence these articles from Patney and Mehta.

Could some one post Jasjit Singh's article for sake of completeness. The one that talks of a TSP test in China in 1983.

From the CW use in 1988 in Siachen, TSP seems to have lost it in that time frame between 1986-1988. Wonder what was going on? And also how did GOI convey to the dictator ZIA flush with the Afghan success that it would not be found wanting? Wonder if Sri Kao was used for this?

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50757
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 15 Jan 2003 09:49

Philip with utmost humility I ask you to re-read my What next? article in BRM for I have considered most of the new info already!

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby svinayak » 15 Jan 2003 10:32

And also how did GOI convey to the dictator ZIA flush with the Afghan success that it would not be found wanting?
The answer is leasing of SSN(INS) Chakra which convinced Pak and its supporters than India means business.

Umrao
BRFite
Posts: 547
Joined: 30 May 2001 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Umrao » 16 Jan 2003 03:30

ramana garu>> at your service!

From Indian Express
N Korean crisis is India’s headache too

Jasjit Singh
New Delhi, January 13: North Korea may be geographically far away, but the series of developments climaxed by North Korea’s withdrawal from the NPT and announcement of restarting nuclear programme and missile tests has far reaching implications for India and its security.

North Korea is believed to possess about two nuclear weapons, and would now be capable of producing four or more (plutonium-based) bombs this year. To start with, the events of the past three months re-emphasise the role of nuclear weapons for coercive political role as indeed we saw Pakistan trying to do on more than one occasion.
Even in the face of unambiguous threats Washington is severely constrained in use of force against the ‘‘evil axis’’ state. And US options have been progressively narrowing due to short-term concessions to past proliferation as we have seen in the case of Pakistan.

‘‘What North Korea shows is that deterrence is working,’’ said Professor Joseph S. Nye Jr., former US Assistant Secretary of Defence last week. He added, ‘‘The only problem is that we (the US) are the ones who are being deterred.’’ Secondly, The axis of nuclear-missile proliferation is now clear and extends from Pakistan-China further to North Korea. It will remain a matter for study and speculation how much of North Korea’s strategic capabilities (like the 1,500-km ballistic missile transferred to Pakistan) came from China which (according to Pakistan government) earlier had supplied missiles directly to Pakistan.
[b]<I>Pakistan’s nuclear weapon design had reportedly come from China and Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, the nuclear scientist in-charge of Chagai tests in May 1998, had stated one year later that they had tested a ‘‘nuclear device’’ in 1983.
The nuclear test in Lop Nor in China’s nuclear test range at that time was attended by General Yakub Khan, the then foreign minister under Zia ul-Haq. Now evidence has emerged to indicate that Pakistan has provided the technology to North Korea to build nuclear bombs based on highly-enriched uranium technology. What direction could this cosy relationship move in future? </I></B>

Missile technology in North Korea and nuclear weapon technology in Pakistan have reached a certain level of autonomous capabilities that would allow them to proceed with minimal further assistance from any other source. Both N Korea and Pakistan are not party to NPT, and nor are they bound by any international treaty or agreement to stop them from proliferating these capabilities to third countries, and among themselves. Both have a record of proliferation to other countries. In a way their capabilities are complementary: N Korea stronger in ballistic missiles and plutonium extraction from spent fuel for bombs, and Pakistan stronger of the two in highly-enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.

Half-a-dozen missing nuclear scientists from Pakistan for the past three years could be in N Korea, or some newly emerging nuclear nation. A North Korean merchant ship quarantined in Kandla port a few years ago provided enough evidence of what was already going on.

Only a few weeks ago NATO warships intercepted a North Korean consignment of ballistic missiles, which was later allowed to go its destination in Yemen. In fact, the deployment of missile defences would lead to further spread of nuclear-missile capabilities worldwide by countries seeking to oppose US hegemony. And Pakistan, seeing itself as a champion of the Islamic world has sought a role labelled ‘‘strategic defiance’’ by the then army chief General Aslam Beg.

Of greater immediate concern to us would be the potential supply of plutonium to Pakistan for building smaller size warheads to be fitted on ballistic missiles. Pakistan has a small plutonium-based nuclear reactor (supplied by China) which is outside international safeguards.

This would provide the fig leaf for accumulation of plutonium from other sources to expand the nuclear arsenal. Pakistan claims to be developing even longer-range (3,000-km plus) ballistic missiles (which would cover even Israel). But this could only be done with assistance from N Korea which has been engaged in building such a missile for some time and even tested one in 1998 across Japan.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16052
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby NRao » 16 Jan 2003 03:33

Philip ,

Some thoughts:

Although the issue of when to mate is present on land, the issue will not exist on the sea leg of the triad. Both the nukes and the delivery system have to be present on the sub at all time.

Now, the land based problem. I would expect the nukes to be farmed out as the threat level goes up.

For all I know they are already dispersed contrary to what the GoI states. If they were all at the BARC site, then even a terrorist could accidentaly get to it and potentially diasable some/all of them - guess it is not that trivial.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby svinayak » 21 Jan 2003 00:46

No need to review nuclear policy: air force chief

Krishnaswamy noted the issue of controlling the nuclear arsenal had been "studied very intricately, analysed and lot of time spend on it before the new nuclear and missile command was announced". Any further debate on the issue would be meaningless, he said.

Reports have suggested that the last National Security Advisory Board, the term of which ended last year, had recommended that the no-first-use policy should be scrapped.

Defence Minister George Fernandes too had recently ruled out such a review.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50757
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 21 Jan 2003 23:20

Niranjan, WOP by Chengappa states that there are alternate command and dispersal sites.
The NSAB recommendation to scrap the NFU and the subsequent offcial statements show that it was considered and the present policy found adequate. It is interesting that GOI has reappointed to the new NSAB the chairman of the previous NSAB that recommended the scrapping in first place. I also find it interesting that AVM Vinod Patney is on the new board and he wrote about retaining the NFU. So there is confidence in pre-emption capablity referred to by Dr. R.R. Subramanian?

Arun_S
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2800
Joined: 14 Jun 2000 11:31
Location: KhyberDurra

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Arun_S » 23 Jan 2003 14:54


Y I Patel
BRFite
Posts: 507
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Y I Patel » 23 Jan 2003 20:55

ramana: AVM Patney was on the old board as well.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50757
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 23 Jan 2003 23:04

From Telegraph, 1/24/2003....

WINTER OF NUCLEAR CONTENT
- India’s statement about nuclear command authority is perfectly timed
Manvendra Singh
Nuclear weapons are political weapons. They are not military weapons. Professional militaries do not factor in nuclear weapons as war fighting assets for the simple reason that they are not the preserve of the military. Operational plans may cater to the “possible” induction of nuclear weapons into the theatre of combat, but these are not central to the campaign per se. Professional militaries are organized to conduct conventional military operations using conventional weapons and strategy.

Those militaries that do are either roguish, or are habituated by extended periods of supremacy over society. Brutal regimes remain wedded to notions of nuclear weapons as if providers of military incomparability. Their armed forces, made as roguish as the state they seek to shelter, use actual, or perceived, possession of nuclear weapons as an advancement of their twisted vision.

Nuclear weapons are political assets to psychologically impair the enemy, threaten unacceptable retaliatory damage, and contain escalation within conventional levels. In other words, they are psychological weapons, used solely to prevent rather than promote war. Even when they were used in 1945, their singular purpose was to psychologically hammer a Japan that had already been defeated militarily. If, god forbid, they are to be used, then it would be as weapons of last resort: to protect the country from further damage, or to impose unacceptably high retaliatory destruction on the enemy. These thoughts are the conditions under which professional militaries function, and the sole determinants of such actions remain the political leadership of the country.

This much is amply clear from the statement of the cabinet committee on security announcing the formation of the nuclear command authority. Before running a toothcomb through the text of the statement, and some really interesting first-time declarations, it is only proper to assert that the timing of the announcement couldn’t be better. The multiple-office, all-purpose general, suffering from an incurable foot-in-the-mouth disorder having once again choked on his own words, his trading partner in Pyongyang blustering over the same technology, and the neo-Mesopotamian emperor with a rapidly shrinking reign-span, all seem to be stepping out of line in tandem. Ménage a trois of the alarming, ringing the nuclear bell to the horror of the decorous.

Long in the making, but timed to perfection, India then releases the first pointers to its nuclear posture and planning. It was overdue, and most welcome. Civilian supremacy, a nuanced no-first use guideline and a further declaration of universal non-discriminatory disarmament principles reign supreme through the statement. While they remain the bedrock of Indian policy, that policy itself continues to be determined by the civilian political leadership. Living in a neighbourhood given to shelling first and then retreating, this is most heartening. The benefits are immediate, and yet intangible. “Nuclear retaliatory attacks can only be authorized by the civilian political leadership through the nuclear command authority,” declared the CCS.

The procedures being as they will be, and the constitution remaining supreme over the self, this guideline removes the possibility of a talibanized nuclear war-monger giving the go-ahead to peremptory strikes, on windmills, or otherwise. This reassurance will go a long way, especially at a time when the world has its hands filled with a troika of nuclear deviants.

The really interesting departure from the past positions is a new take on the “no-first use” policy. Read “a posture of ‘No First Use’ nuclear weapons will only be used in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere” and then follow it up with “however, in the event of a major attack against India, or Indian forces anywhere, by biological or chemical weapons, India will retain the option of retaliating with nuclear weapons”. This is significant on two counts.

The “no first use” position is not an open-ended proclamation any more. The invitation to bio-chemically wound the country has now been revoked. Even as it once gave a “moral” stamp to the possession of such weapons of mass destruction, it did leave the country and its assets vulnerable to threats from other types of weapons of mass destruction, biological or chemical agents. The retaliatory option was tied down by limiting weapons of mass destruction attack to within the nuclear confines only. With India signing on the chemical weapons convention, it had ruled itself out from launching a tit-for-tat response to such weapons of mass destruction attacks. Indian assets would then have been vulnerable in perpetuity had one of the roguish types limited attacks to just chemical or biological. The declaration that a WMD attack could be returned by a WMD response has greater deterrence value than simply possession. Particularly when taken together with the other interesting departure.


There is a great deal of intent, meaning and vision in the line “or on Indian forces anywhere”. The obvious implication is that Indian troops will operate under a nuclear umbrella if so required. But the deployment intentions become so much broader when that umbrella is taken to mean “anywhere” that Indian soldiers, sailors or airmen may find themselves positioned. There is finally, therefore, a realization that India’s security interests could include deployment well beyond the cartographic limitations of the country. And if the armed forces have still to be effective, their operational value cannot be constrained by the absence of an implementable shield. A larger vision of India’s security concerns, and possible activities, is finally coming to be accepted, and enunciated. But for this nuclear cover to be made as inviolable as possible, a little tinkering with the executive council of the NCA is required.

The most effective, and secure, nuclear weapon is a missile launched from a submarine. The submarine platform itself gives more secrecy than is achievable anywhere on land or air. Coupled with that is the issue of targeting priorities, an executive council function. Targeting to be efficacious, however gory as this may read, requires human as well as technical intelligence inputs. An initial human sourced input would then have to be zeroed in through technical means. And in this era there is nothing more useful than satellites, for transmitting imagery, coordinates, as well as command directions. Satellite feeds for submarine-launched missiles will, therefore, be the key to actualizing the declaration “or on Indian forces anywhere”.

Which then also means the appointment of a commander-in-chief strategic forces. Command must not be taken as the preserve of a particular service. A rotational approach has to be maintained in manning this office, especially when the intention is to put together an effective deterrent based on a nuclear triad. That will ensure an equitable distribution of resources in the development of the triad. Competition at that stage, and level, will only delay and possibly deny an efficacious deployment of the triad. There must be a flexibility inbuilt into the appointment of the commander-in-chief. For inherent in that flexibility is secrecy, and deception: key to possessing nuclear weapons.

Kakkaji
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3163
Joined: 23 Oct 2002 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Kakkaji » 24 Jan 2003 01:09

Former Army Chief critical of defence strategy

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_145256,0008.htm

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50757
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 24 Jan 2003 01:40

Very interesting that the NSAB members are still pursuing this line even after the GOI felt it had settled the matters early Jan. Interesting work by members to sell the idea to aam janta.

Could this be price of the 'no war'? What I mean is GOI had mobilized thrice in recen tyears- 1999, 2000 and 2001 and yet did not follow through for its own reasons. If conventional hostilites are ruled out is the NSAB trying to sell the public about the need to go to next step?
Realisitically the deployment has clarified the Paki redlines. Before they were muddled about their First use on their own territory and Uneven Cohen was making a virtue of that stance.

After the deployment Mushy has realized that he has to prevent all wars and not just strikes Hence his stance that LOC or anything is a redline. Geopoliticians will later conclude that the deployment has had the effect of clarifying the defacto status of the LOC. Kashmir has been taken out of his jaguar vein.

jrjrao
BRFite
Posts: 862
Joined: 01 Jul 2001 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby jrjrao » 26 Jan 2003 17:05

Somewhat related here. LA Times op-ed, on the active planning underway by the US Strategic Commmand to use nukes against Iraq.
<hr>

The Nuclear Option in Iraq
The U.S. has lowered the bar for using the ultimate weapon.
By William M. Arkin

January 26 2003

WASHINGTON -- One year after President Bush labeled Iraq, Iran and North Korea the "axis of evil," the United States is thinking about the unthinkable: It is preparing for the possible use of nuclear weapons against Iraq.

At the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) in Omaha and inside planning cells of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, target lists are being scrutinized, options are being pondered and procedures are being tested to give nuclear armaments a role in the new U.S. doctrine of "preemption."

According to multiple sources close to the process, the current planning focuses on two possible roles for nuclear weapons:

* attacking Iraqi facilities located so deep underground that they might be impervious to conventional explosives;

* thwarting Iraq's use of weapons of mass destruction.

Nuclear weapons have, since they were first created, been part of the arsenal discussed by war planners. But the Bush administration's decision to actively plan for possible preemptive use of such weapons, especially as so-called bunker busters, against Iraq represents a significant lowering of the nuclear threshold. It rewrites the ground rules of nuclear combat in the name of fighting terrorism.

It also moves nuclear weapons out of their long-established special category and lumps them in with all the other military options -- from psychological warfare, covert operations and Special Forces to air power in all its other forms.

For the United States to lower the nuclear threshold and break down the firewall separating nuclear weapons from everything else is unsettling for at least three reasons.

First, if the United States lowers the nuclear threshold -- even as a possibility -- it raises the likelihood that other nations will lower their own thresholds and employ nuclear weapons in situations where they simply need a stronger military punch. Until now, the United States has reserved nuclear weapons for retaliation against nuclear attacks or immediate threats to national survival, a standard tacitly but widely accepted around the world. If the president believes that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein poses that kind of danger to the United States, he has failed to convince the world -- and many U.S. citizens.

Second, the move toward thinking of nuclear weapons as just one more option among many comes at a time when technology is offering a host of better choices. Increasingly, the U.S. military has the capability of disabling underground bases or destroying biological and chemical weapons without uncorking the nuclear bottle, through a combination of sophisticated airpower, special operations and such 21st century capabilities as high-powered microwave weapons and cyber warfare.

Third, there are dangers in concentrating the revision of nuclear policy within a single military command, STRATCOM, which until now has been focused strictly on strategic -- not policy -- issues of nuclear combat. Command staff members have unrivaled expertise in the usage and effects of nuclear weapons, but their expertise does not extend to the whys of weapons usage.

Entrusting major policy reviews to tightly controlled, secret organizations inside the Pentagon is a hallmark of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's tenure. Doing so streamlines decision-making and encourages new thinking, advocates say.

But it also bypasses dissenters, many of whom are those in the armed services with the most knowledge and the deepest experience with the issues. The Bush inner circle is known to be a tight bunch, prone to "group think" about Iraq and uninterested in having its assumptions challenged. But there are opinions they need to hear. While most military officers seem to consider the likelihood of our using nuclear weapons in Iraq to be low, they worry about the increased importance placed on them and about the contradictions inherent in contemplating the use of nuclear weapons for the purpose of eliminating weapons of mass destruction.

The administration's interest in nuclear contingency plans stems from its deeply held conviction that the United States must act against Iraq because of a new and more dangerous terrorist threat involving weapons of mass destruction.

"The gravest danger our nation faces lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology," Bush declared in the introduction to his national security strategy, issued last fall. It said enemies of the United States "have openly declared that they are seeking weapons of mass destruction."

In May, Bush signed National Security Presidential Directive 17, officially confirming the doctrine of preemptively thwarting any potential use of weapons of mass destruction.

"U.S. military and appropriate civilian agencies must possess the full range of operational capabilities to counter the threat and use of WMD," the president reiterated last December in his National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The current nuclear planning, revealed in interviews with military officers and described in documents reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, is being carried out at STRATCOM's Omaha headquarters, among small teams in Washington and at Vice President **** Cheney's "undisclosed location" in Pennsylvania.

The command, previously responsible for nuclear weapons alone, has seen its responsibilities mushroom. On Dec. 11, the Defense secretary sent Bush a memorandum asking for authority to place Adm. James O. Ellis Jr., the STRATCOM commander, in charge of the full range of "strategic" warfare options to combat terrorist states and organizations.

The memo, obtained by The Times, recommended assigning all responsibilities for dealing with foreign weapons of mass destruction, including "global strike; integrated missile defense; [and] information operations" to STRATCOM. That innocuous-seeming description of responsibilities covers enormous ground, bringing everything from the use of nuclear weapons to nonnuclear strikes to covert and special operations to cyber warfare and "strategic deception" under the purview of nuclear warriors.

Earlier this month, Bush approved Rumsfeld's proposal. On the surface, these new assignments give the command a broader set of tools to avoid nuclear escalation. In reality, they open the door much wider to contemplating American use of nuclear weapons. The use of biological or chemical weapons against the U.S. military could be seen as worthy of the same response as a Russian nuclear attack. If Iraq were to use biological or chemical weapons during a war with the United States, it could have tragic consequences, but it would not alter the war's outcome. Our use of nuclear weapons to defeat Hussein, on the other hand, has the potential to create a political and global disaster, one that would forever pit the Arab and Islamic world against us.

How great a change these steps represent are revealed in the fact that STRATCOM owes its existence to previous post-Cold War policymakers who considered it vital to erect a great firewall between nuclear and conventional forces.

Now, with almost no discussion inside the Pentagon or in public, Rumsfeld and the Bush White House are tearing that firewall down. Instead of separating nuclear and conventional weapons, Rumsfeld is merging them in one command structure with a disturbingly simple mission: "If you can find that time-critical, key terrorist target or that weapons-of-mass-destruction stockpile, and you have minutes rather than hours or days to deal with it, how do you reach out and negate that threat to our nation half a world away?" Ellis asked in December.

The rapid transformation of Ellis' command reveals his answer to that rhetorical question. Since 9/11, Ellis and his command have been bombarded with new demands and responsibilities. First, the Pentagon's nuclear posture review, signed by Rumsfeld in December 2001 and issued in final form in early 2002, directed the military to reinvigorate its nuclear capability. STRATCOM was to play a leading role in that reinvigoration.

Among other things, the still-classified posture review said, "nuclear weapons could be employed against targets able to withstand nonnuclear attack (for example, deep underground bunkers or bioweapon facilities)."

The review called upon the military to develop "deliberate pre-planned and practiced missions" to attack WMD facilities, even if an enemy did not use nuclear weapons first against the United States or its allies.

According to STRATCOM documents and briefings, its newly created Theater Planning Activity has now taken on all aspects of assessing chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons facilities worldwide. Planners have focused intelligence gathering and analysis on seven priority target nations (the "axis of evil" nations along with Syria, Libya, China and Russia) and have completed a detailed analysis of intelligence data available on all suspect sites. According to U.S. Central Command sources, a "Theater Nuclear Planning Document" for Iraq has been prepared for the administration and Central Command.

What worries many senior officials in the armed forces is not that the United States has a vast array of weapons or contingency plans for using them. The danger is that nuclear weapons -- locked away in a Pandora's box for more than half a century -- are being taken out of that lockbox and put on the shelf with everything else. While Pentagon leaders insist that does not mean they take nuclear weapons lightly, critics fear that removing the firewall and adding nuclear weapons to the normal option ladder makes their use more likely -- especially under a policy of preemption that says Washington alone will decide when to strike.

To make such a doctrine encompass nuclear weapons is to embrace a view that, sooner or later, will spread beyond the moral capitals of Washington and London to New Delhi and Islamabad, to Pyongyang and Baghdad, Beijing, Tel Aviv and to every nuclear nation of the future.

If that happens, the world will have become infinitely more dangerous than it was two years ago, when George W. Bush took the presidential oath of office.

kgoan
BRFite
Posts: 260
Joined: 30 Jul 2001 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby kgoan » 26 Jan 2003 17:53

>> . . .the moral capitals of Washington and London. . .

And so Alice moves through the Looking Glass into Wonderland. . .

Umrao
BRFite
Posts: 547
Joined: 30 May 2001 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Umrao » 27 Jan 2003 22:47

India Must Stick to No-First-Use
K SUBRAHMANYAM

[ SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, 2003 11:58:47 PM ]

The government in its decision of January 4, 2003 has accepted the doctrine of no-first-use recommended by the first national security advisory board after a six-month intensive deliberation devoted entirely to the nuclear doctrine.

Apparently, the third NSAB had suggested scrapping this doctrine among its various recommendations in the annual national security review. It is desirable to have a debate on the rationale of the no- first-use strategy. Its roots go back to Indian strategic thinking over the last two decades. The US and western powers did not agree to this doctrine in their updated NATO nuclear posture statement released in 1999.

It has been pointed out that except for China, which watered down its 'no-first-use' posture declared in 1964, the other four nuclear weapon powers have not adopted this strategy. The Soviet Union did from 1982 till its dissolution. The US strategy - consequently that of Britain and France - was that nuclear weapons would be used to deter a conventional aggression by an adversary believed to have massive superiority in that respect.

Pakistan today puts forward the same argument vis-a-vis India. Subsequently, the use of nuclear weapons was projected as an instrument for extended deterrence for allies who depended on the US for their security.

India is not likely to face an adversary with massive conventional superiority even in respect of China as the forces Beijing can deploy (not the forces China has) against India on the Himalayan front cannot exceed what India can.

Washington's nuclear policy during the Cold War was not deterrence but compe-llence. The US was attempting to use its superior nuclear capability to impose its policies and the Soviet Union with a smaller N-arsenal up to the mid-'70s was able to deter Washington. If New Delhi is not to adopt a no-first-use strategy, it would imply that India would consider the possibility of a deliberate nuclear aggression under certain circumstances.

The US and the USSR had tens of thousands of N-weapons ranging from tactical weapons deployed in forward areas to intercontinental weapons in fixed silos. The wisdom that a nuclear exchange at a tactical level could not be limited without it escalating to theatre and global strategic levels in a very short period of time came about only in the eighties. With thousands of weapons, the bulk of them in fixed installations, there were pressures that either they had to be used or they would be eliminated by an adversary strike. Under those circumstances, strategies of launch on warning and launch under attack were developed. All these strategies were the products of two nuclear powers with tens of thousands of weapons who could take on the rest of the world without having to worry about any other nuclear weapon power.

India, Pakistan and China do not function under similar conditions. They have to take into account the existence of other major nuclear powers and their reactions to their use of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear deterrence, in essence, means persuading the adversary to believe that any use of a nuclear weapon by him will result in a retaliation that would be unacceptable in terms of damage.

A first strike, including a decapitation strike, on a national capital cannot be prevented at the present stage of technology till effective missile defence is available. Therefore, that contingency is independent of whether we adopt no-first-use or not.

The effectiveness of our deterrent posture depends on the adversary being convinced that our retaliation will be punitive and would not be worth his while even if he can strike first at our capital.

Given the limited arsenals in the developing world and their likely dispersal, it is inconceivable for a nuclear power to hope for a total disarming strike of its nuclear adversary and thereby escape retaliation. The Indian arsenal will be dispersed, mobile and camouflaged with various deception measures to make the adversary's task more difficult.

In addition, India building up a strategic triad will ensure the effectiveness of our retaliatory capability. In these circumstances, no-first-use is the rational way of enhancing deterrence in the minds of adversaries.

While such a policy will contribute to strategic stability, giving up that policy and both sides being committed to first-use will lead to an extremely unstable situation, especially during a crisis as the one witnessed in the first half of 2002.

The stability of the situation in May-June 2002 was largely attributable to the Indian no-first-use posture. The NATO doctrine updated in 1999 argues that its first-use policy is a political one intended to make clear to all potential adversaries that war is not a rational option for them.

Washington argues that this is necessary to ensure deterrent protection to their allies against rogue nuclear states. India is not likely to be in such a situation.

The theory of deterrence and no-first-use go together. The first aggressive use of a nuclear weapon will be a confession that deterrence has failed and nuclear war fighting had become inevitable.

It is recognised all over the world that nuclear war fighting between two nuclear weapon states would not lead to any meaningful military decision beyond appalling losses to both sides. In these circumstances, no-first-use appears to be the appropriate policy for India.

Umrao
BRFite
Posts: 547
Joined: 30 May 2001 11:31

Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Umrao » 27 Jan 2003 23:11

Bush for pre-emptive strikes

WASHINGTON JAN. 26. The U.S. President, George Bush, has signed a top secret directive authorising pre-emptive strikes against nations close to acquiring nuclear weapons. The directive, okayed last May, authorised the Pentagon and the CIA to launch such strikes, Time magazine said, adding the Energy Department's nuclear weapons experts are ``training Special Operations Group personnel in attacking nuclear facilities.'' But the magazine said, "in the current crisis with North Korea, the U.S. so far is committed to diplomacy to pressure Pyongyang to give up atomic weapons programme". — PTI


Return to “Strategic & Security Issues Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest