Time to rethink NFU

venkat_r
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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby venkat_r » 04 Jan 2003 22:10

We need to focus on building the resolve to strike
I think that will deter them Pukes more than the nukes or the conventional weapons. If there seems to be more excercises in military and civilian areas to survive a nuclear blast and how to tackle emergency.

1. More education on how to deal with the emeregency in civilian areas
2. News of training of Hospital staff and NGOs on how to deal with the fall out
3. More military exercises to deal with the Nuclear fallout and second strike.
4. News about the second strike capability

this will trun Mushy and Mulla yellow alike

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby debjani » 04 Jan 2003 22:12

Lets hope that the guy who is to order the retaliatory strike is alive to do so.

Am I contradicting myself? Maybe. A chakravyu.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Rudra » 04 Jan 2003 22:18

FU on strike by Chem/Bio is logical and followed by existing powers. india no need to be virgin there.

only thing I didnt like is this self-flagellation of testing moratorium...even if no present intent why shout it out and promise decent conduct ?

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Kaushal » 04 Jan 2003 22:35

Pakistan's view of India's NFU.

http://mission.itu.ch/pakistan/CD-Indian%20Nuclear%20Doctrine-19%20August%2099.htm

"4. Neither Pakistan nor the international community, can be taken in by India's so-called "no-first-use" policy. No-first-use has never been accepted as the basis for determining the deterrent postures of any of the Nuclear Weapon States. Indeed, India itself places no credibility in `no-first-use'. If it did, it should have accepted China's assurance of `no-first-use' and of non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon States. This would have obviated the need for India's nuclear weapons acquisition and made unnecessary the operational deployment of nuclear weapons. Non-deployment, in turn, would make `no-first-use' declarations unnecessary.

5. India's `no-first-use' declaration is, in fact, designed to secure for itself "recognition" as a nuclear weapon State which would flow from the "acceptance" of its no-first-use and non-use "assurances". It is for this purpose that India has offered to ratify the non-use assurance Protocol to the Treaty establishing the South-East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. Secondly, India will seek to justify the acquisition of a large nuclear arsenal by arguing that its nuclear forces should be large enough to sustain and retaliate against a nuclear first-strike. The doctrine issue yesterday states that India's nuclear forces "shall be designed and deployed to ensure survival against a first strike and to endure repetitive attrition attempts with adequate retaliatory capabilities". It envisages a triad of nuclear forces including "aircraft, mobile, land-based missiles and sea-based assets". This would require a huge arsenal. According to a study published in the United States, India possesses over 1600 kg of fissile material which can be used to produce over 400 nuclear warheads. This will have to be taken into account by all countries which are threatened by India's nuclear weapon arsenal"

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Sridhar » 04 Jan 2003 22:54

Here's the unadulterated press release on the meeting of the CCS today, from PIB. It is extremely significant in many ways. Other than the action points like the setting up of the Nuclear Command Authority and the Strategic Forces Command, this signifies the conversion of the Draft Nuclear Doctrine into an operational Nuclear Doctrine.

http://pib.nic.in/archieve/lreleng/lyr2003/rjan2003/04012003/r040120033.html

Since this is an important document that I am sure we will analyze, I am posting it in full (don't know PIB's archiving policy).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CABINET COMMITTEE ON SECURITY REVIEWS PROGRESS IN OPERATIONALIZING INDIA’S NUCLEAR DOCTRINE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) met today to review the progress in operationaizing of India’s nuclear doctrine. The Committee decided that the following information, regarding the nuclear doctrine and operational arrangements governing India’s nuclear assets, should be shared with the public.

2. India’s nuclear doctrine can be summarized as follows:

Building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent;

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;

Nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage.

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

Non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states;

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;

A continuance of strict controls on export of nuclear and missile related materials and technologies, participation in the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty negotiations, and continued observance of the moratorium on nuclear tests.

Continued commitment to the goal of a nuclear weapon free world, through global, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament.

3. The Nuclear Command Authority comprises a Political Council and an Executive Council. The Political Council is chaired by the Prime Minister. It is the sole body which can authorize the use of nuclear weapons.

4 The Executive Council is chaired by the National Security Advisor. It provides inputs for decision making by the Nuclear Command Authority and executes the directives given to it by the Political Council.

5. The CCS reviewed the existing command and control structures, the state of readiness, the targetting strategy for a retaliatory attack, and operating procedures for various stages of alert and launch. The Committee expressed satisfaction with the overall preparedness. The CCS approved the appointment of a Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Forces Command, to manage and administer all Strategic Forces.

6. The CCS also reviewed and approved the arrangements for alternate chains of command for retaliatory nuclear strikes in all eventualities.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Sridhar » 04 Jan 2003 22:58

Ray: Your question is answered by the CCS press release, which talks about alternate chains of command - signifying their existence - without spelling out what these are.

RS: Perhaps it is because the establishment genuinely feels confident that it requires no further testing and wants to use this as a major political tool. Others have pointed out before the great strides made by BARC in the computational testing area even before Shakti. Shakti would have calibrated and confirmed these simulation models. Perhaps there has been data obtained from other sources (Russia?). Who knows! But one thing has been repeatedly proved by history - India does not close its options unless it feels it is absolutely ok with it. In any case, a moratorium does not close options like a treaty would. India probably realizes that it cannot test unless there is some really important reason for it. The thinking probably goes that in the meantime, why not make political capital out of what it is anyway forced to do?

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Sunil » 05 Jan 2003 03:43

I think that CCS press release should be nailed to the door at BR.

Although I don't see it in the press briefings today, if indeed the present position vis-a-vis Non-Use against non-nuclear states has been upped to No First Use against non-nuclear states, then this seems roughly in line with what the US is talking about in the context of Iraq. This is a tool to deal with recessed nuclear deterrents.

I notice the Pakistan writeup about DND as usual has technical flaws in it. The PRC *never* gave India an assurance that it considered India a non-nuclear state.

I wonder to what extent Pakistani nuclear policymaking relies solely on taking their studied ignorance of India to new heights.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Calvin » 05 Jan 2003 03:49

Non-use against non-nuclear states is not new

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Y I Patel » 05 Jan 2003 03:50

In the debate on NFU, the first question to ask is: what would prompt FU? The only situation I can think of is when an imminent danger of a nuclear attack on India is perceived, and India moves to preempt. Now this leads to the following issues:

(a) how did the situation get to a point where India could credibly detect an imminent danger of nuclear attack without acting to arrest the situation? In other words, what were we and the rest of the world doing while the nukes were cooking? Leila-1 conjures up such a scenario, but it must be stressed that the situation conjured up in the game is the product of someone's imagination, albeit a very convincing one

(b) how did India's own nuclear option fail to deter state or non-state players of India's seriousness of intent or credibility of capability? Mushraff can squak all he wants, but in his heart of hearts, does he believe that he will walk away if Pak uses nukes against India?

(c) why are India's conventional assets considered insufficient that nukes have to be used? In this day and age, advances in precision weaponry and real time intel gathering means have made conventional weapons as effective as nukes for most if not all operational scenarios. Acquiring such assets is not beyond India's means. Acquisition and even use of such assets has far less negative international repercussions. Use of such assets is far more wide ranging and flexible. I can think of ten different situations where PGMs can be used, in half a second. I can think of only one situation when nukes can or should be used. If India does not currently have the capability to acheive tactical/operational objectives with conventional weapons, then it behooves India to acquire that capability ASAP. Splitting hairs over NFU is not the answer.

So in concluding, I would submit that this is a discussion over a non-issue. If NFU is preceived to be inadequate, then the right question is how can we remove those inadequacies. Removing NFU is not the answer.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Kiran » 05 Jan 2003 04:07

Sainis: In addition to the comment about Chinese NFU; the Chinese NFU does not apply on what the chinese consider to be chinese territory. IOW, NFU is not operational in Aksai Chin, Arunachal and Taiwan (among others). This implies that there is no Chinese NFU towards India.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby NRao » 05 Jan 2003 04:56

YIP,

Some of your argument/s seem to be Pakicentric (gathering real-time intel for example). It would be disasterous if China, the main culprit, is in the footnote. In fact, I would consider the Saudi Arbians, Pakis and China as a group: any one of them does any thing we have to be prepared to bring the others down too.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Y I Patel » 05 Jan 2003 11:32

Niranjan
Point taken. Some of these arguments are Paki centric, but regarding China, can you outline a scenario where we would want to break NFU? Note that nuking China after Pak nukes us can not be construed as first use. Regarding Saudi Arabia, reality is that we can contemplate nuke use only as a "Sampson Option" ie we are going down and we want to take the rest with us.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Prateek » 05 Jan 2003 11:57


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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Prateek » 05 Jan 2003 14:09

Nuke command: India sends tough message to Pak
<a href="http://headlines.sify.com/1533news1.html?headline=Nuke~command:~India~sends~tough~message~to~Pak">Link</a>

Brahma Chellaney, a defence analyst, told Aaj Tak television channel: "The timing of the announcement was calculated to send a tough message to Pakistan."

Analysts said the structure would help India to ensure a swift retaliatory strike and avoid any confusion that was bound to unfold if it faced a nuclear, chemical or biological attack.

It said India's more complex political and military circumstances posed a more demanding problem: New Delhi is up against Beijing's strategic modernisation programmes as well as against Islamabad's

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Kaushal » 05 Jan 2003 14:28

I wonder to what extent Pakistani nuclear policymaking relies solely on taking their studied ignorance of India to new heights.

Studied or feigned ignorance , same difference.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby shiv » 05 Jan 2003 17:27

Originally posted by muddur:
Nuke command: India sends tough message to Pak
<a href="http://headlines.sify.com/1533news1.html?headline=Nuke~command:~India~sends~tough~message~to~Pak">Link</a>

It's important in these tense days of extreme nuclear uncertainty and anxiety not just in the Pakistani case but with North Korea. A responsible power will <u>distinguish itself from the fly-by-night criminal enterprise</u>," he said.
:rotfl:

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby jrjrao » 05 Jan 2003 20:29

cross-post:

World should not expect India to remain restrained
JN Dixit
General Pervez Musharraf has one utility for India that cannot and should not be denied. Since becoming a player in the power structure of Pakistan from late 1998 onwards, he has repeatedly performed the task of giving India, and the world at large, clear assessments about the efficacy or otherwise of India's Pakistan policy....

The inescapable conclusion is neither India's diplomacy nor its military posture served its interests in any meaningful manner.

It is important that New Delhi structure its response to Musharraf's postures and possible international attitudes towards his policies.

First and foremost, New Delhi must fashion its military and strategic doctrines in relation to Pakistan on a categorical assumption that Pakistan will resort to weapons of mass destruction against India at any moment where it feels that not only its existence is threatened but even its image or military credibility is challenged.

Once this becomes the fulcrum of its defence policy, India should first consolidate and then augment its nuclear weapon and missile capabilities, signaling clearly a devastating retaliation against Pakistan -- a signal that should be tangible enough for Pakistan to take note of.

It is equally important that India should convey to the US and other major world powers that given Musharraf's declared claims, assertions and intentions regarding his weapons capabilities, the world should not expect India to remain restrained.

[color=blue]At some point Musharraf's bluff would have to be called. That point may not be too far. At certain thresholds in political affairs, reason has to be replaced by use of structured force as the final arbiter for resolving issues.</font>

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_132195,0008.htm

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Calvin » 05 Jan 2003 21:01

Gentlemen:

Dixit's comments, especially taken in conjunction with the official release of discussions on NCA and operationalizing the nuclear doctrine, are quite informative.

A compare and contrast exercise with the Draft Doctrine may be educative. Perhaps BR should carry the text of both documents, and BRM conduct an indepth analysis of the differences and the rationale for the differences.

The Draft Nuclear Doctrine may be found here.
http://www.indianembassy.org/policy/CTBT/nuclear_doctrine_aug_17_1999.html

The one point that jumped out was that the DND noted that a nuclear attack on Indian forces would trigger a response. The press release from the CCS clarifies this further ("indian forces anywhere").

I believe this is a response to Musharraf's claim that he deterred India through his threats. A claim that Dixit takes to be valid. India's reiteration of its deterrent structure serves to reassure the Indian polity. It also reminds Musharraf that there were other reasons, unrelated to Pakistani threats, for the LOC/IB to remain uncrossed.

The second distinction pertains to the use of B&C weapons. The DND makes only one reference to these weapons ("Unlike the other two categories of weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical weapons which have been outlawed by international treaties.."), in the context of their putative irrelevance. The ambiguity in the context of the real possibility of a chemical/biological weapon attack was discussed on this forum (Ramana's thread on this topic may still be archived). That ambiguity has been removed by the CCS's comments yesterday. As to why the CCS felt compelled to lift this ambiguity, we can only speculate - Shiv's post (on another thread) regarding the purchase of gas masks and activated carbon by the Pakistani military may suggest that there is an imminent threat of such an attack and the GOI is moving to forestall it.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby jrjrao » 06 Jan 2003 01:45

A sidebar. From the TIME cover story on the North Korea nukes:
Some U.S. military officials believe that a conventional exchange with North Korea could result in as many as 1 million South Korean casualties. Even so, a senior Bush Administration official says, <u>the chief impediment to U.S. military action is the possibility, however remote, that Pyongyang might try to use nuclear weapons on the battlefield.</u> Says the official: "You can't ignore the fact that nuclear weapons are a game changer."
Unless events unfold unexpectedly, in a few short months, Saddam's Iraq will be gone, while the Pakis and North Koreans will stand unscratched, and will perhaps even extort, by promising to suppress their grin and smugness, more bribes from the US.

So, in 2003, the world is fixin' to learn a grand new lesson, by way of a live demo - that nuke dripping countries, chanting "First Use", "First Use", "F..." can really say to any and all - FU, FU, FU....

One wonders, when the dust settles, if this will be the biggest fallout of 9-11 (no pun).

In 2004, this lesson, by then digested well, will be put to use by all small and sundries. Why, who knows, I should perhaps expect even the fire ants that swarm us in the Texas summer months to be marching with grains of enriched uranium in their teensy claws.

A warning that Hoagland alerted us to in a recent column as well....

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Calvin » 06 Jan 2003 02:30

Manoj Joshi repeats the conclusions of this forum, along with repeating his pet peeves regarding the missile based deterrent.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?artid=33503010

N-option seeks to allay army's fears
MANOJ JOSHI

[...]
It appears that Musharraf's now modified December 30 statement threatening "unconventional war" if India were to but cross the international border or the Line of Control was the catalyst in persuading the cabinet to spell out India's nuclear doctrine and its command authority.

In signaling to Pakistan that India has a credible nuclear deterrent which it will not hesitate to use if attacked, the government has sought to reassure not just the public but the armed forces of the country as well. The government's silence had brought in an element of ambiguity in Army planning. While everyone was aware that India would not use nuclear weapons first, it was not clear as to how the government were to respond to a nuclear strike on Indian forces on Pakistani soil.

Now it has been clarified that a nuclear, chemical or biological attack on India "or Indian forces anywhere" could invite a massive nuclear response.
[...]

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Raj Singh » 06 Jan 2003 02:51

Jrjrao

Unless events unfold unexpectedly, in a few short months, Saddam's Iraq will be gone, while the Pakis and North Koreans will stand unscratched, and will perhaps even extort, by promising to suppress their grin and smugness, more bribes from the US.

So, in 2003, the world is fixin' to learn a grand new lesson, by way of a live demo - that nuke dripping countries, chanting "First Use", "First Use", "F..." can really say to any and all - FU, FU, FU....

One wonders, when the dust settles, if this will be the biggest fallout of 9-11 (no pun).

In 2004, this lesson, by then digested well, will be put to use by all small and sundries. Why, who knows, I should perhaps expect even the fire ants that swarm us in the Texas summer months to be marching with grains of enriched uranium in their teensy claws.

That would mean, another round going to China. US, for a change, would be more in catching up/defensive position in geo political terms, than be an undisputed leader (in the event of many more countries acquiring and declaring nuke capabilities). And that wouldn't bode good for anyone.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby member_4997 » 06 Jan 2003 06:05

RS:

That would mean, another round going to China. US, for a change, would be more in catching up/defensive position in geo political terms, than be an undisputed leader (in the event of many more countries acquiring and declaring nuke capabilities). And that wouldn't bode good for anyone.

Despite about 186 signatories on NPT document, the declared nuke members have increased in size and numbers, and all this with stringent control of MTCR regime over wannabees.

Threshold states are growing against all the odds, its a natural flow, where discrimination by rich and powerful countries (and greed by others like russia and china)have made sure that they get some competition in this arena without carrot or stick.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Surya » 06 Jan 2003 07:23

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/xml/comp/articleshow?artid=33503010

I can't take these shameless DDM anymore. MJever since he has been out of favour of the establishment has taken to this sort of vicious writing. SOmetime I wish we could put him, Rahul Bedi etc in a a little boat and leave it inthe middle of the ocean :mad:

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Rudra » 06 Jan 2003 10:27

Being resigned to economic eclipse by China in 50-75 yr timeframe, like any responsible aging high networth individual Unkil is acting fast to control the Gulf Oil supplies end-to-end. its the 401k policy.

This leverage will be used to 'contain and manage' China, give itself a role in E.Asia and protect & manipulate sundry poodles.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby member_4997 » 06 Jan 2003 10:59

Rudra:

This leverage will be used to 'contain and manage' China, give itself a role in E.Asia and protect & manipulate sundry poodles.

China is a different ball game owing to its far reaching nuke capability which can strike western interests in cash or kind, combined with their ultimate international legal weapon (VETO), china is unassailable because there is no dissent in china, it works silently with one voice, beleives in greed/blackmail, and has resolve unlike india.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Arun_S » 06 Jan 2003 12:08

Originally posted by Y I Patel:
Niranjan
Point taken. Some of these arguments are Paki centric, but regarding China, can you outline a scenario where we would want to break NFU? Note that nuking China after Pak nukes us can not be construed as first use. Regarding Saudi Arabia, reality is that we can contemplate nuke use only as a "Sampson Option" ie we are going down and we want to take the rest with us.
Pakistan and China are tantacles of the one & the same Octopus. Another situation like 1971 may well slip into a situation where China explicitly teams up to threaten India. In such a situation a FU by TSP is undistinguishable from FU by China and vice versa, perticularly since India does not have national technical means to know where was the missile fired from ! (Not to mention the radar and material signature of Chines M-11 is same a Puki M-11 missile). Lacking the space based EW satellite capability, does India sit blind-folded for months before it gets to know who fired the first shot? When nukes are fired the country does not have that kind of time (IMHO at most 3-5 days), or does it blindly trust the US intelligence report? making a decision to fire nukes based on someone elses information is an unacceptable exposure to Indian abelity to fight a nuclear war! What if US is playing devil, trying to fish in troubled waters? A definite no-no.

Thus at this juncture India has no reliable way to retaliate against a nuclear strike since it can not reliably determine who shot the first nuclear shot. The only situation it can handle yet is if there is a one-on-one hostility with TSP or China, but to get to a situation that one of them does a FU on India, it must necessarily be a situation that has deteriorated where TSP and China have ganged up against India. Thus in my books unless India pose a very credible Second strike capability against China, it is useless deterring TSP with second strike threat.

Deployment of Green Pine in Kashmir does help to some extent, but that is far from being a missiles EW system (limited coverage and % reliability). On has to have a chain of Greenpine at ~500Km spacing all along the land and sea front! That will take a while.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Kaushal » 06 Jan 2003 12:58

Absolutely Arun. That is a point - that there must be a credible and robust second strike capability against China - that Karnad had made (see the Karnad thread). To reduce India to the stature of TSP and claim we have a credible second strike against TSP - is not a credible stance for India esp. in the eyes of the P5. India has the 4th largest GDP (PPP) and is ahead of every country except US, China and Japan. That is the league India should play in, not for reasons of prestige but for reasons of survival as a nation and as a civilization. China , has decided to throw in its lot with TSP and Iran and is actively aiding both on a variety of weapons projects, in collusion with NKorea.

Huntington remarks on this collaboration(page 188, Clash of civilizations) and gives detailed numbers of weapons that China has transferred to both these countries .He believes such an alliance between China and the Islamic world is a long term strategic one and especially the one with TSP is directly aimed at India. For all intents and purposes China is using TSP as a proxy and a bulldog(in their words it is their israel).

Kaushal

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby JE Menon » 06 Jan 2003 17:55

There is an apparent redundance between NFU and non-use against non-nuclear states.

I can see only one nuance, which is that after FU by one nuclear power there may be concern among some that Indian retaliation may expand to non-nuclear powers. Hence the reiteration of non-use against non-nuclear. But is there another shade to it?

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Umrao » 06 Jan 2003 20:21

'A bomb in every back yard (of a country) and ICBM in court yard is the only way to survive or to promote universal disarmament'
spinster 1999.

I think N Korea and Iran are zipping real fast, thanks to the wisdom of our new Sheriff by naming them openly axis of evil with out knowing where Korea is.

The amusing thing is our SHeriff is not advocating a regime change in N. Korea unlike in Iraq.

If the N. Koreans and Iranians are watching Mushy make uncle dance around hime why on earth would they give up Nukes?.

That brings to the question of India (as Arun Guru rightly notes) has been up against One Nuke powered nation and his do paisa chela. Our enemy as George Kaka rightly said is China and our Long March is to reach Bejing period.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby NRao » 06 Jan 2003 21:51

Originally posted by Y I Patel:
Niranjan
Point taken. Some of these arguments are Paki centric, but regarding China, can you outline a scenario where we would want to break NFU?
Yes. Trust.

BTW, I am more inclined to support NFU if it were not for the presence of Chicom.

Note that nuking China after Pak nukes us can not be construed as first use. Regarding Saudi Arabia, reality is that we can contemplate nuke use only as a "Sampson Option" ie we are going down and we want to take the rest with us
Sampson Option (learn something new) is the only language either Chicom or TSO can understand.

I think the ONLY reason I do not support NFU is China and the 'hood we live in. They (re)write anything and everything as they please (even history!!!!) and we have to follow logic and rules?

IMHO, India will be forced to drop the N at some point in time. We seem to have gone from a very generic NFU (we will attack if someone nukes us) to a more diluted form (if Indian forces ANYWHERE are attacked) to a even more diluted NFU (Indian forces are attacked by B&C weapons too). Why not just drop the "No" - just two alphas - and we can then add them at a more appropriate time (maybe when CP resigns?)?

If TSP/China did not have nukes, I would have NO problem with NFU. If TSP AND China had more sane leaders I may still be convinced to go along. But at this time and under these conditions I think we need a bigger and stronger stick.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 06 Jan 2003 22:16

From Hindu, 1/6/03....

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/01062005.htm

Missile groups to form nucleus of Strategic Command

New Delhi, Jan. 6. (PTI): Two operational Missile Groups of the Indian Army with 150-250 km short-range Prithvi and longer version 2,500 km Agni missiles, both capable of carrying nuclear warheads, are being transferred to form the nucleus of new Strategic Forces Command.

The Strategic Forces Command, which would report to the Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee, headed by Naval Chief Admiral Madhvendra Singh, will also locate assets like some squadrons of Mirage 2000-5 and Su-30MKI and nuclear capable naval warships and submarines to form the country's first ever nuclear arm, highly placed defence sources said.


The sources said that an official notification would be issued soon naming the head of the Strategic Forces Command as well location of its headquarters. Air Marshal TM Asthana AOC-in-C IAF Training Command, who is at present attached to the Air Headquarters here, has been cleared to head the new Command as its first Commander-in Chief.

The Strategic Command, sources said, would be the country's second Tri Service Command and function in coordination with the Chief of the Integrated staff as the Andaman based Tri Service Command.

Sources said that besides those from the Services, the Strategic Command would have a fair number of civilian staff including nuclear experts from the Indian Nuclear Energy Commission and missile experts from the DRDO.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Umrao » 07 Jan 2003 01:20

Bhishma KS in TOI.
********
LEADER ARTICLE
Essence of Deterrence
K SUBRAHMANYAM

[ TUESDAY, JANUARY 07, 2003 12:03:16 AM ]

Finally the cabinet committee on national security has come out with its decisions on what are popularly called nuclear command and control.

Not surprisingly, it has accepted the draft nuclear doctrine released in August 1999. It has endorsed the main principles incorporated in the draft doctrine that the Indian nuclear capability will be used only in retaliation, but that the retaliation will be punitive.

It also endorses that the nuclear force will be based on a strategic triad, the policy being to have a minimum credible nuclear deterrent, supremacy of civilian control of the release of weapons and no delegation of powers of use to the armed forces.

The draft doctrine vested the power to release the weapon in the prime minister and his designated successors. The cabinet committee on national security has now announced the formation of two councils, a political and an executive one. Councils are useful in discussing strategy, plans, logistics, targeting policy and information campaigns. But councils cannot replace command and control functions. In the 1960s, countries like Germany demanded a finger on the nuclear button. After a lot of deliberation, the US created the NATO nuclear ministerial planning group but kept the nuclear button in the exclusive possession of Washington.

Two years ago, there was a seminar in Bangkok comprising Indian, Pakistani and US strategists. The Pakistanis made a song and dance about their having committees for nuclear command and control while the Indian draft nuclear doctrine vested the power solely in the prime minister and his designated successors. I asked the former US defence secretary, William Perry, who was present, for his views. He said committee deliberations would be possible if a nuclear action was being planned but when there has to be a response to a nuclear attack that has to be, in all probability, an executive decision.

New Delhi is not going to plan a nuclear attack and under its ‘no first use’ doctrine will only respond to an attack. While contingency planning for such a retaliation can be deliberated upon, planned for and projected by the two councils, they cannot play an effective role in command and control which is essentially an executive function. This decision has to be taken in minutes. That was the reason why the national security advi-sory board vested the power in the prime minister and his designated successors.

The crux of command control is the command chain when the prime minister is in a position to exercise it and when he is not because of a decapitation attack on the Capi-tal wiping out the entire political and military leadership. The credibility of the Indian retaliatory ability which would deter a sabre-rattling Islamabad depends on the explicit and transparent projection of such a survi-vable command and control system. This, in turn, calls for, as has been done in the US, a clear projection of political and military succession and the survivability of command and control to carry out punitive retaliation. The first step is to have the strategic forces’ command far away from New Delhi with full knowledge of targeting plans for retaliation.

Second, the political succession has to be clearly defined. In the US, on 9/11, the president was taken to the strategic forces headquarters and the vice-president whis-ked away to a secret location. Whenever a threat is anticipated, the vice-president is separated and kept in an unknown destination in constant touch with the president and other members of the National Security Council through safe and uninterruptible communication channels. US law provides for succession of up to more than 20. Military succession too is well defined.

The command chain runs in normal times from the president, to the defence secretary, the chairman, joint chiefs of staff and the strategic forces both in the US and NATO. This is what command and control is all about. Islamabad had earlier announced committees like our newly-announced councils. But that was to obfuscate the reality of its nuclear weapons being in the sole command of the chief of army staff.

The Indian ‘no first use’ policy and consequent retaliatory strategy requi-res a delicate balancing between the imperatives of ensuring the survivability of the retaliatory capability through deception, camouflage, mobility and redundancy in strike capabilities. It must also impress upon the adversary that he cannot successfully target the force and get away without punitive punishment. While the former considerations justify secrecy, the latter calls for a transparent projection of capabilities without compromising secrecy. This is where the strategic triad in the strike force comes in. The command and control chain from the political level to the implementing level should also reflect its survivability under the worst conditions of decapitation attack. That is the essence of deterrence.

How we proceed will be watched by our adversary who has been indulging in provocative nuclear sabre-rattling without much international disapproval. The alternative chain of command and arrangements to continue the vital institutions of the republic without interruption in case of a decapitation attack and the capability for punitive retaliation should be impressed on the adversary and should be credible to our own people.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby jrjrao » 07 Jan 2003 01:55

Heh heh... Reacting to the new Indian Nuke Command, Pak Dung embraces some panic...
The report that Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has taken over the nuclear command really carries no message of hope if it is merely designed to make the execution of a decision to use nuclear weapons more efficient. What would have mattered, had the change of control also implied an inbuilt delay mechanism in the use of nuclear weapons. :rotfl: ....This makes the whole exercise of ensuring that the control and use of the nuclear hardware is in responsible hands pointless. It is no longer important whether an elected prime minister has his finger on the nuclear button or that responsibility is exercised by an executive president or even a general.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby NRao » 07 Jan 2003 02:00


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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby venkat_r » 07 Jan 2003 02:03

From the above NDTV link

Obviously the United States approaches India differently than it approaches North Korea or Iraq.
Obvious is the missing Al-lie

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Umrao » 07 Jan 2003 02:21

from HT.

Managing nuclear weapons
January 6

The structure of India’s nuclear command was some six months overdue, but it has at last arrived. This is a relief. Possessing nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them without having a well-understood set of rules — pertaining to ‘doctrine’, operating principles, and chain of command — under which these are to be used can be both pointless and dangerous.

If the rules are not clear, the capacity to respond effectively in the event of a nuclear threat — to head it off through a credible deterrence posture in a crisis or to order retaliation — can be compromised, pointing to the futility of possession. On the other hand, if confusion prevails in respect of rules regarding use, a panic reaction in an emergency can set off untold consequences. Unlike us, our nuclear weapons neighbours are not democracies that reflect public debate and a representative government. Potentially, such systems can trigger nuclear weapons-related developments, as was evidenced recently through irresponsible observations of Pervez Musharraf, though these were later modified. In the absence of an effective nuclear command, the capacity of our nuclear deterrent to meet a serious situation would not be credible.

Mercifully, that lacuna has now been addressed, though technical experts may still discuss the issue of state of readiness of NW deployment for establishing absolute credibility of deterrence. However, once the fundamental structure of the nuclear command has been put in place, it can be subject to refinement and revision depending on need. Indeed, a necessary modification has already been made. Now we are saying that we could conceivably order a nuclear strike even if India or its forces are attacked with biological or chemical weapons anywhere in the world. But we are yet to address the question of such weapons being used against us by non-State actors such as terrorists or terrorists instigated by State actors.

As proper in a Westminster-style democracy, the nuclear doctrine and command structure announced last Saturday underlines that the PM will be the ‘sole’ authority to order a nuclear strike. <u>But our present system of electing a PM is a matter of several steps even when an incumbent is suddenly incapacitated. This matter will now need serious consideration. A tangential outcome of Saturday’s decisions appears to be that the country’s strategic command will not be in the hands of the proposed chief of defence staff, as envisaged earlier.</u>.

****
This rasises the question, if the battle begins and enemy uses nukes, even then (if the PM is alive) does our force wait for orders to lob a nuke back, or If nuked automatically nuke back is the SOP?
If not then is this not like Nehru telling folks on the line in cold wait till I tell you to shoot from Delhi?

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Sunil » 07 Jan 2003 02:48

I would really like to see the wording is it "Non-use" now or is it "No First Use"

The former is an explicity denial of any hostile intention towards non-nuclear states.

The latter indicates that although a state is professedly non-nuclear, should a WMD attack originate from its national space, we will respond accordingly.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby NRao » 07 Jan 2003 03:35

Meaning of each and every word is of utmost importance. The word "Containment" was discussed today on a program called Odyssey on WBEZ, Chicago - the local NPR station. The changes in the way an admin defines it is very interesting. It is a hour long discussion in audio format.

The New "Containment"

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby ramana » 07 Jan 2003 04:11

Sunil the PIB site has the official release. The words are non use aganst non-nuclear states. This is a reiteration of the negative security garauntee.

Umrao, Happy New year!
George kaka had said in an interview to JDR that the Defence Minster is next in line for this function. Actually in Westminster type of govt., whoever the PM designates as the button pushers it is so till new cabinet is appointed.

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Re: Time to rethink NFU

Postby Arun A » 07 Jan 2003 04:23

http://jang.com.pk/thenews/jan2003-daily/07-01-2003/main/main4.htm

About India's nuclear command authority, Aziz said after the nuclear explosions in May 1988 that declared India's nuclear weapons capability, "the establishment of its command and control structure was long overdue".

He, however, deplored India's announcement that "it will use nuclear weapons if attacked with biological and chemical weapons". He said, "It signals an important extension of India's policy of using nuclear weapons".

He said, "This proves once again that first use of nuclear weapons is very much a part of India's strategic policy." In response to another question about the nuclear control and command structure of Pakistan, Aziz said, "We have it in place for a long time. Our nuclear weapons are in safe hands and there exists a reliable system of command, control, communication and intelligence."

When asked as to who would push the button in case of an eventuality, the spokesman reiterated, "The control of the nuclear weapons is in safe hands." When asked whether the control lies in the hands of the president or the prime minister, he said, "I will have to check on this and would get back to you."




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