Future Nuclear Testing: Pros and Cons-1

Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 03 Jun 2008 02:23

prashanth wrote:If India wants to test then must go in for full fledged testing, ie around 30 to 40 tests in one season. Testing just 3 or 4 weapons will make sure that we will be arguing about the yields for decades to come.


30-40?
Expend a significant portion of India's fissile stockpile on testing? For what?

This is not the 1950s when each little tweak had to be tested out. Computers, simulations and understanding of the physics has increased immensely since those times. The number of tests required has dropped with each increase in computer power. Look it up.

The W88 primary was apparently tested 8 times.
It was flight tested (nuclear package replaced with telemetry equipment) just 4 times.

Similarly, the [deleted] primary has been used in eight nuclear tests. One of these was a one-point safety test that demonstrated near subcriticality even in an explosive detonation.


Note:
Dr. Ray Kidder of LLNL estimated in December 1991 that production of a safer new warhead design incorporating IHE to replace the W88 warhead would require four nuclear explosive tests -- three development tests and a production verification test


How Much Warhead Reliability Is Enough for a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty?[quote]During this period, the failure rate of the nondevice hardware suggests an expected weapon failure rate of 1–2% for the stockpile.â€

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Postby Jayram » 03 Jun 2008 03:21

shiv wrote:
enqyoob wrote:Anyway, my point is that even this won't do any good as far as stopping
The manner in which India is intertwined with the the global economy is not always apparent on BRF.

A little bird tells me that the aviation grade Aluminium metal block for each LCA is manufactured in only two countries, USA and Phrance and blocks have to be ordered well in advance because the A 380 is hogging up huge amounts of this.

I don't know what CNC milling machines do - but at least some have firangi maintenance technicians crawling all over the place in factories where you and i will not get security clearance to visit.


On the Aluminium thingie - I have a personal tale to relate here. I was fresh faced kid out of College in the late 80's working on producing Al extrusions for HAL at a huge pvt company based in Kerala. An import substitution prodoct. We were trying to provide HAL with extruded aircraft grade AL spars for Dhru Rotor blades. At that time import substitution was the mantra. The problem related to the capcaity of the extruder whose limits we were pushing literally. The extruder could only do 12 inches diameter which resulted in non-uniform coarse grain formation at the edges of the extruded product which is really bad in metallurgical terms esp for Aircraft. At that time we addressed the problem by adding a couple of extra maal into the AL Alloy to reduce the grain growth. We succeded albiet at a high rate of rejection and charged HAL something like a 3 time premium on the product. HAL could care less- they were still coming out ahead in terms of FE saved and were happy to deveop some indigenous capacity. I left the company a little later.

Well fast forward to today -> I happend to check the website of the said company today and guess what the limits on the extruder are the same. They have not needed to upgrade the equipment in anyway at all. And BTW they are still offering that particular recipe developed internally. However the point is apprantly the economics of supplying this product and other products of this type are not enough to justify the huge capital cost reqd to upgrade to a higher capacity machine by the Pvt sector.
So there you have it the pvt sector will not invest unless there is a clear market in front of it and we leave ourselves to vulnerable unless we develop this capacity indigenously.
Anyway sorry for the tangential post on this topic. Back to nuclear discussion.

-- Jayram

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Postby ramana » 03 Jun 2008 03:28

Long ago in L&T the factory in charge said it was always more economical for them to buy used machines and add some modern parts to it due to lack of demand.

While at it what happened to the Al-Li alloy plant that MDNL was to start as part of the LCA production program? Was that a vaporware too?
Refs are the Interavia circa 1988 by Hormuz Mama. Might find it in uty library archives.

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Postby svinayak » 03 Jun 2008 03:49

Gerard wrote:
prashanth wrote:If India wants to test then must go in for full fledged testing, ie around 30 to 40 tests in one season. Testing just 3 or 4 weapons will make sure that we will be arguing about the yields for decades to come.


30-40?
Expend a significant portion of India's fissile stockpile on testing? For what?

This is not the 1950s when each little tweak had to be tested out. Computers, simulations and understanding of the physics has increased immensely since those times. The number of tests required has dropped with each increase in computer power. Look it up.

The W88 primary was apparently tested 8 times.
It was flight tested (nuclear package replaced with telemetry equipment) just 4 times.

Similarly, the [deleted] primary has been used in eight nuclear tests. One of these was a one-point safety test that demonstrated near subcriticality even in an explosive detonation.


Note:
Dr. Ray Kidder of LLNL estimated in December 1991 that production of a safer new warhead design incorporating IHE to replace the W88 warhead would require four nuclear explosive tests -- three development tests and a production verification test


What is your estimate for India. - Three or 4 for a TN test

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Postby Gerard » 03 Jun 2008 04:28

The French resumed testing in 1995 and had a final series of six tests (20 kt, 110 kt, 60 kt, 40 kt, 30 kt, 129 kt yields) out of eight originally planned. These were for (a) determining the reliability of aging warheads (b) testing the newly designed 100kt TN-75 warhead of the M51 SLBM, a considerably more sophisticated warhead design - miniaturized, hardened, stealthy (1991 vintage) than its predecessors (c) obtaining data for simulation.

One of those French tests was presumably the full yield TN-75 proof test that President Chirac ordered.

They were then able to sign the CTBT.

They have of course built a ICF laser facility and beefed up their simulation capability. These will be used to design the TNO warhead.

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Postby shiv » 03 Jun 2008 05:29

HariC wrote:At the very least will the admin who edited it atleast post an explanation as to why it was edited out? and why it is forbidden to post what i posted?


Hari C I deleted that post. I initially gave an explanation and requested you to delete it and since you were not around I deleted it myself.

Please do not bring in discussions from other fora that are likely to cause more anger or irritation on here. We cannot control what people may say about anyone in the internet, but I certainly wield the power to exert some control on what gets posted on here. I am not sure if you have been on BR long enough but you must recall that some posts will get deleted without explanation. That will hold for your posts too if they are completely non contributory.

Please note that I will not discuss this any further and any posts about this on this thread or forum will be deleted outright. BR ultimately is a privately run forum by people working out of personal interest and nobody has an automatic right to post anything that is considered unnecessary or off topic by any of the admins.

Thanks for understanding.

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Postby shiv » 03 Jun 2008 05:56

Jayram wrote:Well fast forward to today -> I happend to check the website of the said company today and guess what the limits on the extruder are the same. They have not needed to upgrade the equipment in anyway at all. And BTW they are still offering that particular recipe developed internally. However the point is apprantly the economics of supplying this product and other products of this type are not enough to justify the huge capital cost reqd to upgrade to a higher capacity machine by the Pvt sector.
So there you have it the pvt sector will not invest unless there is a clear market in front of it and we leave ourselves to vulnerable unless we develop this capacity indigenously.
Anyway sorry for the tangential post on this topic. Back to nuclear discussion.

-- Jayram


I am sure this is true for every one of ten thousand different import substitution products.

We can make them ourselves at the expense of higher cost and more delays while the products are adjusted to meet quality standards. As always it is a trade off.

What do we trade off in order to make enough skeptics believe that we need to make 20 kiloton bombs into 200 kiloton bombs?

Development is a 100 % requirement. It is needed no matter what.

Nuclear weapons are not a 100% requirement for most nations in the world, but we feel we need them and have developed them. What is the exact urgency in trying to prove that we can make 200 kiloton bombs?

My words may sound obtuse but that is deliberate. The arguments that I have heard do not convince me. In India decisions of national level importance are often done with a degree of support from the public. Those things that are done without public support can be forced through political manipulation - but if there is any negative fallout the parties that force it through get punished.

Sorry to digress - but see the way in which the Congress party on BRF are called traitors. That is fine - the Congress are no better. They openly describe the BJP as a "communal" party and generate fear among Muslims so that they can garner votes. This kind of language evokes so much emotion that people who make any decision tread very carefully and decisions take ages to make in India unless there is public support.

I can see nothing particularly convincing about the arguments made regarding needing to test again. Technical arguments are unlikely to gel. There has to be a strong political need felt for testing that has to be passed on and approved in india.

Just my thoughts

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Postby ShauryaT » 03 Jun 2008 07:09

Shiv: Why are you so sure that the India can buckle from the general trajectory of nuclear technology and strategic doctrines?

The west may have been crazy to practice MAD and build 35,000 nuclear warheads by the 1990's but are we sure there is nothing to learn from this experience, except to say that the west was mad?

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 03 Jun 2008 07:29

The French H-bum tests are evidently much admired herre. They did, as u say, blow up several islands in the Mururoa Atoll in the 1970s, in the 1980s (remember the Greenpeace boat that was sunk) and then most outrageously, in 1998.

What exactly did this do for France? OK, it keeps Belgium and Algeria from invading them, I suppose, but they have no defence against Islamists burning cars in their streets, and the French military is still viewed as a bunch of wimps who will surrender to anyone who will accept surrender. This despite an excellent aerospace industry building superb fighter planes, and a Space program.

The point is that big nukes are yesterday's weapons. Completely wasted investment, beyond the first few tests that proved the point that you HAVE nukes.

Same with India's nukes. The first 5 tests and the 100 or 200 weapons derived from them are a necessary investment, and they kept Musharraf from destroying India in 1999 and resulted in the nook-noodity of Pakistan in 2002. But beyond that, the metric to use is
Pakis pest-e-sha'eed per $B (PPPB)
It is exactly zero for any billions spent on developing more powerful H-bums.

On the other hand, the same money invested in sensors, HumInt, border monitoring, UAVs, fast-response heliborne divisions, would all be far better investments. I am really disappointed to see all this mindless chest-thumping about nuke testing here.

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Postby shiv » 03 Jun 2008 07:33

ShauryaT wrote:Shiv: Why are you so sure that the India can buckle from the general trajectory of nuclear technology and strategic doctrines?

The west may have been crazy to practice MAD and build 35,000 nuclear warheads by the 1990's but are we sure there is nothing to learn from this experience, except to say that the west was mad?


ShauryaT - I believe that an endless degree of absurdity can be introduced into the argument that you have made - and people like me will definitely introduce that absurdity in order to knock down or at least shake the argument.

Let me explain.

In what cases has MAD worked so far?

It seems to have worked between the US and the former USSR.

So how did MAD work between those 2 entities?

They had thousands of weapons and myriad delivery systems and performed hundreds of tests.

Therefore it can be concluded that the particular situation in which a two way MAD deterrence can be successfully achieved is by means of "thousands of weapons and myriad delivery systems and hundreds of tests."

Note that anything less than this brings up the argument "Where has this worked in the past?"

So we need "thousands of weapons and myriad delivery systems and hundreds of tests.". No less. If we aim for anything less than that, then every "adjustment" and "rationalization" we make to reduce the number of tests/weapons/yield can be questioned for "lack of proof that it has ever worked anywhere in the world". If the requirement of "thousands of weapons and myriad delivery systems and hundreds of tests." can be reduced even by 10%, then we can whittle it down using the same arguments to 5 tests and a few dozen weapons. After all nothing less than thousands of weapons and myriad delivery systems and hundreds of tests." has been known to work.

if you look at the arguments that have been made about our current deterrent status, I can see no argument that says that the US or Soviet style of testing and perfecting hundreds of weapons is wrong. Even you are saying that. That is the ideal we are looking at, but we fall somewhere along the way and are trying to convince ourselves that something less than that is "OK and acceptable"

Where in the world is there any evidence or precedent that anything less than what the US/USSR did is successful for MAD? Unless we aim for thousands of weapons and myriad delivery systems and hundreds of tests we might as well satisfy ourselves with something less. the only argument here is "How much less is going to be satisfactory?" and "Whom does it satisfy"?"

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 03 Jun 2008 07:48

For that matter, the US and USSR went about madly building MORE warheads and delivery systems precisely because they "thought" (or convinced Congress and the Communist Party respectively) that anything less was completely "destabilizing" and would invite a sudden and immediate all-out attack from the other side on the "SALE ENDS TODAY!" theory. I remember several of these hooplas. There was NEVER a feeling of security - it was always:
HUGE WINDOW OF VULNERABILITY
You HAD to have Pershing missiles because otherwise the 100,000,000,000 SS-18s and 500,000,000,000 SS-20s would be launched IMMEDIATELY in a shock attack to take over Oirope. Any momentary delay in deploying the Pershings would convince the Soviets that the Window of Opportunity was open to launch the 700,000,000,000 tanks backed by 250,000,000,000 MiL-31 helicopters across the Fulda Gap, reaching Dunkirk in 48 hours, and raping every West German Fraulein 350,000,000,000,000,00 times. The Soviets HAD to have SS-21s because the US SLCMs could otherwise "take out" Moscow, Leningrad etc in seconds, unless they vaporized in the blasts from the missiles stationed in Turkey. What a disaster if the Kremlin discovered that Minsk was targeted with ONLY 25 five-megaton warheads, while Chattanooga had 36 aimed at it! DESTABILIZING!

You HAD to have SDI to counter the Soviet satellite weapons. And so on and on. The numbers exceeded 25,000 warheads on each side, before the reduction agreements began, and then they tried to go to MIRVs to increase the warhead count with fewer launchers. Or larger submarines to launch more missiles per sub. 24 IRBMs per sub. Each IRBM with 10 warheads, each a Megaton. And then they were worried about CEP. And bunker-busters. And EMP. And Nuclear Winter (which BTW is the ultimate answer to Global Warming).

In the end, what did all this buy? The Al Qaida is winning in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Chinese are taking over the economy, and none of these nukes can do a damn thing about it. But it sure is fun to exchange technobabble about Pu-239 and high energy neutron flux and shaped charges.

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Postby Gerard » 03 Jun 2008 07:53

The point is that big nukes are yesterday's weapons.


Which is why the TN-75, the only French warhead still in production, the most advanced one they have produced, has a yield of only 100 kt. They primary reason for the 1995 series was to proof test this.

The only weapon in the UK arsenal is the 100 kt W76 on their Trident D5 SLBMs.

The speculated warhead for the Chinese DF-31a is 90kt.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 03 Jun 2008 08:01

Gerard: ALL nuclear powers omit their tactical weapons from their nuke number counts. Those are the most dangerous things, since they are far more likely to be used, and since the Pakis are more likely to get their hands on those. The speculation is that China and Russia each have on the order of 12,000 to 15,000 "artillery shells" with nuclear warheads. I have no idea how big these are or how they are built. The US just won't talk about how many it has. Same with UK and France.

Again, I think UAVs and vehicle-sensing cluster bombs render these obsolete. The same genocide can be achieved without messing up the countryside.

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Postby ShauryaT » 03 Jun 2008 08:14

shiv wrote:Where in the world is there any evidence or precedent that anything less than what the US/USSR did is successful for MAD? Unless we aim for thousands of weapons and myriad delivery systems and hundreds of tests we might as well satisfy ourselves with something less. the only argument here is "How much less is going to be satisfactory?" and "Whom does it satisfy"?"
Surely there is a happy mix somewhere between the two extremes of 1000+ and 5. China is one example. Also, I think for the purpose of this discussion, two more axioms need to stated.

1. The political will to use nuclear weapons, in response to threat scenarios is assumed
2. The reliability of test results can be ascertained, without undue prejudice, in the quarters that matter

How much is satisfactory?

The experts have had their say and their numbers fall between 50 and 400. Most fall under 150.

Whom does it satisfy?

The men entrusted to uphold our security, the men in charge to defend Indian interests and our opponents/enemies.

Also, I am arguing for maintenance of certain capabilities and not necessarily a number of tests or warheads or even yields. I believe that with current sub critical testing and other simulation capabilities, the number of additional tests required, to gain credibility with the users and gain assurance on capabilities to match ALL future probable scenarios, under 3/4 letter treaties can be had and the number of additional tests can be kept, to a minimum. Foremost, in a decision to retest, is the impact on the economy due to likely sanctions, which can be offset to a degree with careful planning and geo-political strategems deployed.

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Postby Gerard » 03 Jun 2008 08:26

15000? I don't think China has the fissile material for even 1/10th of that. C+C is another problem... such weapons in the hands of a regional commander would be a nightmare for the CPC.

The UK decommissioned its last WE-177 tactical bombs in 1998.

Anyway, the point I was making was that the quite formidable strategic arsenals of the UK and France are based on 100 kt yield weapons (<200 total for UK, <300 total for France).
Last edited by Gerard on 03 Jun 2008 08:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Sanatanan » 03 Jun 2008 08:27

lakshmic wrote:. . .
Sanatanan-saar,
. . . . .


Thanks Lakshmic. I located my error (confusion between FBT(est)R and PFBR)

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Postby ShauryaT » 03 Jun 2008 08:31

Gerard wrote:[The speculated warhead for the Chinese DF-31a is 90kt.
Gerard: All of these are based on proven TN designs and hence favorable yield to weight ratios. Also, I think the capability of the missile carrying the payload seems to be a major factor. The DF31a, a derivative of the DF31 seems to have compromised on payload to achieve a higher range and an MIRV capability.

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Are those numbers accurate?

Postby Anant » 03 Jun 2008 09:17

Enqyoob,

Do you have a source for your artillery shell count or where are you speculating from? That number seems really really high even for Russia. I doubt either of them has that many squirreled away as shells. I would think that fissile stock could be better used in other delivery systems.

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Postby sauravjha » 03 Jun 2008 10:07

maulana enqyoob,


you seem to have a deep rooted belief in the police state. A U.S general recently remarked that any half-assed person can learn to build anything from the internet. we aren't discussing anything on the nooklear side of things that is even remotely close to aiding such low li*** .if any of us do get sent to siberia or worse or even worse , it won't be because of what we wrote on BRF.


My own answers to these question in my mind are very very clear. I see no reason whatsoever for India to test. If I was asked to vote for or against testing I would vote against. OTOH if some government did test - I would assume that the government has enough knowledge and sense to get the country past a possible mess.



See Adminullah, this is the precisely the problem. the answers to your *own questions* are already *very clear* in your head. has it ever occurred to you that they may not be the *best questions* to ask?given the state of the governments we have , if you are optimistic enough to assume that they will "manage" any subsequent *mess* , i could argue that the *mess* in the event of a nuclear test would not be that dicey anyway.

And let's cut the economy bullshit. we are stronger today then we were in 98 (mismanagement notwithstanding) and the U.S is at the brink of a recession , if not already in it. Tech denial may actually be the boost that indigenous weapons development requires. simultaneously we must stop acting the *good boy* and get tech one way or the other.

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Postby Singha » 03 Jun 2008 10:33

imo the french strategy is correct, do a joint test with old warheads to
prove their shelf-life and a couple of new designs to replace the old ones.

there is everything to love about a 100KT warhead of 200kg delivered with
50m CEP @ 15000km.

all I see is love.

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Postby Sanku » 03 Jun 2008 10:35

Some people actually believe the thread is to clown around and for amusement. They have said exactly that much and have continued to mock and use terms deriding others and so forth.

Would at least some Admin at least clarify whether this is a "washing dirty laundry" thread a la some previous threads or does it have any sensible reasoning for the thread. The other posters can re calibrate their expectations accordingly.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@Sauravjha/Shiv -- I made a post on


PostPosted: 02 Jun 2008 07:25 pm Post subject:

In reply to Shiv's opinion on testing -- I pretty much am in sync with the responses that Saurav has.

The real questions are not being asked (they have been asked before though) and everybody is avoiding the "cost" answer.

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Postby amit » 03 Jun 2008 11:04

sauravjha wrote: And let's cut the economy bullshit. we are stronger today then we were in 98 (mismanagement notwithstanding) and the U.S is at the brink of a recession , if not already in it. Tech denial may actually be the boost that indigenous weapons development requires. simultaneously we must stop acting the *good boy* and get tech one way or the other.


Saurav,

Unlike some others here who share your view about the "economy bullshit" I find you write with greater understanding and depth.

So I would be interested if you expouse just why you smell the "bullshit" in the economy argument.

Oneliners like "we are strong today than we were in 98 and the US is at the brink of a recession" aren't very illuminating. Why don't you spend some time and effort in amplifying your line of reasoning for the benefit of all posters on BRF who don't share your viewpoint. I for one would be willing to be convinced with good, solid reasoning.

Afterall all those who can't smell the "bullshit" in the economy argument have tried - imperfectively perhaps - to explain why they subscribe to that famous quote: "It's the economy, stupid!".

Nothing happens in a vacuum, excepting vaccum bulb blasts in the La La Land across our western borders. Let's try to dispense with the vacuum in understanding the "economic bullshit" argument and sift the "bull" from the "shit". That would be a good way forward for this thread, IMO.

Cheers!

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Postby KannanM » 03 Jun 2008 11:17

Sanku, it’s really frustrating to see you keep derailing important threads one after another. I don’t mind skipping your post however it’s frustrating to see you block others valuable contribution. Anyway look like you are determined to derail this thread on purpose, keep it up.

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Postby Sanku » 03 Jun 2008 11:20

amit wrote:Unlike some others here who share your view about the "economy bullshit" I find you write with greater understanding and depth.

So I would be interested if you expouse just why you smell the "bullshit" in the economy argument.


While Saurav speak; the other simpletons would also like to say ---

Its actually quite simple; looking at past examples there is no case to substantiate the economy claim.

OTOH its quite possible that I and "others" who take the economy bullshit are idiot simpletons who don't see the great depth. In which case I would request the not so idiot guys to put together a post detailing the cost.

This is my N^3 (where N --> inf) request for some serious backing to the "world is ending" claim. Unfortunately no one wants to take me up on it where as being too keen to make the claim.

The above two put together basically lead the simpletons to believe that the matter is actually quite simple.

Meanwhile we have statements like "Nukes failed to stop 9-11 hence useless" being made and perhaps IITs are useless since they did not produce enough learned politicians to lead India. :roll: :roll:

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Postby sauravjha » 03 Jun 2008 11:42

Before we get into The exact contours of the " its the economy .. stupid argument" I just want to say a few things. the thread itself is very topical .

so the debate from my side will no longer be on the need to test , but on


1. how debilitating the cons really are ,
2. how the so called cons may be turned into pros
3.and the extant geo-economic environment which actually gives us the latitude to test .


Before I get into detailed posts ... I have one observation to make . thus far I find some of us , myself included, compelled to continually answer a set of questions that keep changing form like Mahishasur . if those posing these questions are already *very clear* about the answer, i would request them to forgive me if I don't try to answer them from my perspective, in the course of this debate.

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Postby Sanku » 03 Jun 2008 11:50

sauravjha wrote: if those posing these questions are already *very clear* about the answer,


Saurav; if I may. Some of those playing the shape shifting game are actually carrying out at piskological exercise (my one sin on Pinglish since thats actually the right word here). It would be IMVHO a folly to take what they say to be their own actual opinions. In some cases it is deliberate provoking of a thought process to get contrary opinion; for people to speak up and to build a consensus by actually occupying the other pole so to say.

I have seen some the above in action before so I can say with some confidence.

However I am sure this is only applicable for "some" posters and its easy to separate the wheat from the chaff :wink:

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Postby sauravjha » 03 Jun 2008 11:57

Last off topic post without getting into Debate mode .

On a different note I am glad that the moderators have opened this thread and shut the previous one , where incessant arguments advanced in the favour of not testing had to be rebutted , to the level of exasperation. it was quite evident that a fair degree of "devil's advocacy" was at play and I think that thread has indeed exhausted all the latent steam in BR's eco-system.


My post from the first page . i would only say that I will try to take the debate forward. And the other pole (if it indeed be the case) needs to be satiated at some point and move on to the next set of questions and if i may humbly add , give due diligence to some of the questions that the others pose as well.
Last edited by sauravjha on 03 Jun 2008 12:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Sanku » 03 Jun 2008 12:03

sauravjha wrote: if i may humbly add , give due diligence to some of the questions that the others pose as well.


To that I completely agree and echo too many important questions have been side stepped here.

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Postby amit » 03 Jun 2008 12:17

sauravjha wrote:Before we get into The exact contours of the " its the economy .. stupid argument" I just want to say a few things. the thread itself is very topical .

so the debate from my side will no longer be on the need to test , but on


1. how debilitating the cons really are ,
2. how the so called cons may be turned into pros
3.and the extant geo-economic environment which actually gives us the latitude to test .


Before I get into detailed posts ... I have one observation to make . thus far I find some of us , myself included, compelled to continually answer a set of questions that keep changing form like Mahishasur . if those posing these questions are already *very clear* about the answer, i would request them to forgive me if I don't try to answer them from my perspective, in the course of this debate.


Saurav,

Fair post I don't have any issues with it. Look, I personally think we need to test at some point of time or the other.

However, the question is when is the right time?

Whenever that time is, I’m sure it’s not in the next 10 years. The Indian economy will be at a particularly vulnerable point during this period. I'll repeat what I wrote in the previous version of the thread to explain why I think so.

The economy is in a far better shape than it was in 1998. However, the downside of that is the economy is much more integrated with the world economy today than it was in 1998.

The caveat is, it is not yet massively enough engaged to ensure if a sanctions regime is put on us by say the US, they will hurt just as much as we would - I personally think China has already reached that particular inflexion point and hence the US treats them with kid gloves, despite Tibet.

Unfortunately there exists no econometric equation, which can predict exactly what the dollar figure is - for the GDP - for India to reach such an inflexion point. As a result we have to, much to the displeasure of some, work with notional numbers of what that figure could be. Using China’s example, I would hazard a guess that a $2.5- $3 trillion figure would be a pretty safe bet. Take this number for what its worth.

Look boss it's not just about a sanction regime, which denies, using Doc Shiv's example, aluminum for the LCA. It can be a far more insidious and harmful. As an example I would postulate that if a sanctions regime were in place then all the big-ticket acquisitions made by Indian firms, like Tata taking over Corrus, as one example, would not have taken place. Heck the Tata's would have been hard pressed to get the Nano on the road at the price point it is looking at present.

One could look at these examples and say, righteously, so what? We have to make sacrifices for our Honour and Dignity and for the security of Mother India. Which is absolutely true. You, me and I dare say everyone else who takes time to come to this forum would understand the need to do so.

However, how do you convince the aam janta about the need to go through pain? That's the big dilemma IMO.

From a sanctions regime, there may be small little pain points, each looking managable on their own. But taken together it could be enough to seriously derail economic growth.

We are already half crippled by the oil shock as you’ve posted in the Economy thread. Can you imagine what a sanctions regime on top of that would entail? And less discount the fact that this UPA government is bad, corrupt etc. As Doc Shiv has said, let’s take all that as a given.

The question is will the benefits from one test of 20 tests be worth the pain that it will entail if we undertook one in the next 10 years? That's the question being asked by the folks who don't think the "economy bullshit" argument is valid. And, finally, how do we get a buy in from a majority of Indians for this?

I for one am convinced that irrespective of which government comes to power in the next election we are not going to have any tests unless there is some major geopolitical event which forces a test by India.

JMT, so please take it for what it’s worth.


Added later: After seeing your other posts, I must also say that you also have to answer why you think the economy can absorb a sanctions regime that will inevitably follow a nuclear test. That question shouldn't be sidestepped either.

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Postby arnab » 03 Jun 2008 12:33

very interesting topic. some data to help the discussion perhaps.

1. Rate of growth of the Indian economy (did the nuke test trip the growth trajectory?)
http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publica ... /80415.xls

2.outstanding liabilities of the Central Govt. There does not appear to have been any major impact. Infact the balance of trade might have improved a bit due to import sanctions !!

http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publica ... /80304.xls

3. India's foreign trade. The sharp dip in 1998-99.
http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publica ... /80311.xls

4. FII inflows fell from 5 billion to 2 billion in 1998-99. What could be the impact on the Indian economy when inflows are roughly $26 billion now.

http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publica ... /80341.xls

However, I do agree that the long-term impact of the sanctions have been low. The following caveats apply though:

in 1998-99 the base of the economy was low and India was rather less integrated with the world economy. Maintaining future growth momentum would not be easy and frankly we need all the help we can get.

In the long run we are all dead as Keynes famously remarked - so short term pain should be a factor in our calculations.

Floating RIB type of instruments to allay future sanctions are a very bad way to go IMHO because it imposes a huge interest burden on Government fiscs.

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Postby Sanku » 03 Jun 2008 12:40

Amit you are repeating yourself -- hence I will raise the same questions as before; this time try and not side step them.

amit wrote:The caveat is, it is not yet massively enough engaged to ensure if a sanctions regime is put on us by say the US, they will hurt just as much as we would - I personally think China has already reached that particular inflexion point and hence the US treats them with kid gloves, despite Tibet.


Thats a big IF isnt it? What is the probability of a economic sanction today? On what basis would they put "economic" sanctions on us? What in US rules today allow them to put a blanket economic sanction on us today? Could you please tell?

And China has always been treated with Kid gloves for last 60 years even when it was not economically engaged?

Given that US did not put a economic sanction on us in 98 why would they do so now when they have more to lose than in 98.

98 also had Billy Boy; the worst POTUS from our stand point. With a more favorable POTUS why should the situation be worse?

Unfortunately there exists no econometric equation, which can predict exactly what the dollar figure is - for the GDP - for India to reach such an inflexion point. As a result we have to, much to the displeasure of some, work with notional numbers of what that figure could be. Using China’s example, I would hazard a guess that a $2.5- $3 trillion figure would be a pretty safe bet. Take this number for what its worth.


The problem with the above is that it is not worth anything. There is too much of personal "I think" in the statement. Thats why the displeasure of "some". This kind of pulling figures out of the blue does not merit for any sense of meaningful discussion.

There is also a great fallacy in the above -- China was behaving in a very dangerous manner all through out and much before it became the economy it is. Including 80s and 90s. So there is a fundamental disconnect here.

As such a equation is proposed where the cost was 0 in 98 will be zero at 3 trillion but very high today. So a equation which goes from zero to high and back to zero with money.

As an example I would postulate that if a sanctions regime were in place then all the big-ticket acquisitions made by Indian firms, like Tata taking over Corrus, as one example, would not have taken place.


Why do you postulate that? I mean "you think" fine. But why should a nay sayer not say "oh Amit is just a scardy cat" After all Dr Singh was also quaking that the economy would be destroyed after 98 and said so in the parilament. Turns out he was wrong then and wrong now.

Whats the backing of the postulate?


Heck the Tata's would have been hard pressed to get the Nano on the road at the price point it is looking at present.


Again why? Which exact costs to Tata or technologies to them would be denied?

One could look at these examples and say, righteously, so what? We have to make sacrifices for our Honour and Dignity and for the security of Mother India.


Actually no one is saying that. What people are saying is that balance has to be found and the cost is currently just a postulate of "fear" and has no rational basis and none have been demonstrated with examples of past history; US laws or such like.


Which is absolutely true. You, me and I dare say everyone else who takes time to come to this forum would understand the need to do so.

However, how do you convince the aam janta about the need to go through pain? That's the big dilemma IMO.


Its simple; you put it on your manifesto and do it when elected. :wink: Big ticket items are not done by referendum on each action item. Some one has to push through hard decisions and take the political risk. Using the strategy of total risk free least common denominator politics gives us UPA.

From a sanctions regime, there may be small little pain points, each looking managable on their own. But taken together it could be enough to seriously derail economic growth.


May be/Could be/perhaps? Yes may be could be and perhaps, but will it actually happen its the probability which is critical.

Can you imagine what a sanctions regime on top of that would entail?


Again if you could put down the lines of sanction regime it would be worthwhile.

The question is will the benefits from one test of 20 tests be worth the pain that it will entail if we untook it in the next 10 years? That's the question being asked by the folks who don't think the "economy bullshit" argument is valid.


And the question being asked by others is that what justifies the "fear"


I for one am convinced that irrespective of which government comes to power in the next election we are not going to have any tests unless there is some major geopolitical event which forces a test by India.


The question is not whether the next Govt will do so; but should the next Govt do so. Not all that should be done is done by GoI and not all that is done by GoI is what that should be done.

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Postby amit » 03 Jun 2008 12:41

arnab wrote:very interesting topic. some data to help the discussion perhaps.
>
>
>
However, I do agree that the long-term impact of the sanctions have been low. The following caveats apply though:

in 1998-99 the base of the economy was low and India was rather less integrated with the world economy. Maintaining future growth momentum would not be easy and frankly we need all the help we can get.

In the long run we are all dead as Keynes famously remarked - so short term pain should be a factor in our calculations.

Floating RIB type of instruments to allay future sanctions are a very bad way to go IMHO because it imposes a huge interest burden on Government fiscs.


Arnab,

Very good points, thanks.

One other thing that should be added IMO is the demographic factor which seems to be totally overlooked.

India is at the cusp of a demographic dividend with a very young population. While this entails purchasing power, it also entails that the vast majority of youngsters entering the market place get suitable jobs. Despite so many years of reforms, thanks to stupid policies, job growth has not kept pace with economic growth in the way it should have.

However, even a few years of skewed growth would make the situation even worse, leading to bad consequences. India does not have all the time in the world to become a rich nation. It is acceptable to be a poor nations full of young people. It is not acceptable to become a poor nation full of old people - bringing the associatated costs of a an aging society.

India just can't afford to waste even one year in economic growth IMO.

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Postby Chandi Prasaad » 03 Jun 2008 12:47

Raj Malhotra wrote:I think that there will be breakout of testing around 2015-2025 due to ageing weapons of P-5 and the fact that the generation of scientists who did earlier test would be retiring


Much before 2025 the definition of nuclear testing will be frozen to what is defined in CTBT. Now do you you see the catch there?

So when environmentally clean and benign hydrogen energy powered MOAB is available, I ask why will there be a breakout of testing (testing as defined in CTBT)?

IMHO only the trishanhku's left in the field as suckers will cry for nuclear testing. Who else but wise, principled & argumentative India will lead that dishonorable pack. We have forgotten to ACT, taking the easy path to talk. Talk is so cheap, easy and so democratic.

I cry to think of that, but will by that time have no more tears to cry.

Question: Can a castrated nation later grow vital organs? {Read "castration" = "Civil Nuclear Deal"}

What good is 2025 then?

Given a choice what will one choose:
1. A poor but honorable man (vital organ intact), {with IT/YT booming the prospects of rich future for himself and his children}

OR

2. Option to castration with promise to turn nuvo-rich tomorrow. Well fed but hijdaa, and forget having pretty females, but welcome prospects of being had by whims of passing Tom Dick and Harry?

Now think what you choose for India!
Last edited by Chandi Prasaad on 03 Jun 2008 13:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Sanku » 03 Jun 2008 12:58

Arnab; many thanks; some question I have --

1. I guess the impact of the tests was seen the fiscal year 98-99 correct?

arnab wrote:1. Rate of growth of the Indian economy (did the nuke test trip the growth trajectory?)
http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publica ... /80415.xls


The GDP from the above chart went from 4 in 97-98 to 6.4 in 98-99 column 2. So it seems to me that the GDP growth actually went up post test? Evidently you are saying the opposite? I am confused.

3. India's foreign trade. The sharp dip in 1998-99.
http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publica ... /80311.xls


As I see from the chart; the imports actually grew marginally. The exports however fell from 35 to 33 (same as 96 level) Is that what you call the sharp drop?

4. FII inflows fell from 5 billion to 2 billion in 1998-99. What could be the impact on the Indian economy when inflows are roughly $26 billion now.

http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publica ... /80341.xls


Again the figures seem to confuse me; the FII inflows are FDIs and porfolio (which I assume mean share market). The FDI actually went from 3557 to 2462 and then 2155 next year.

So the picture that I see is not really the sharp drop that you seem to be looking at.

The questions that need to be asked are -- what were the types of sanction in 98 and why did the exports fall.

What would be the same this year.

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Postby Sanku » 03 Jun 2008 13:12

Chandi Prasaad wrote:Given a choice what will one choose:
1. A poor but honorable man (vital organ intact), {with IT/YT booming the prospects of rich future for himself and his children}


Chandi; I dont think the case for poverty if we test is made yet; there would be some impact perhaps but seems to be in 10% range from 98 figures.

Secondly it is not clear that if we castrate we will get rich by castrating; its likely we will be poor hijda and not reach one.

Unfortunately the problem with castration is that in case we are wrong and we were fooled by the promises of harem guard ship into going for the operation -- it will be too late to do anything.


OTOH if we have the organs we can always chose to castrate should the opinion arise? :wink:

One thing that is forgotten is that the timid will be treated as timid and the force ful will command respect -- this is history.

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Postby Chandi Prasaad » 03 Jun 2008 13:20

Sanku wrote:Secondly it is not clear that if we castrate we will get rich by castrating; its likely we will be poor hijda and not reach one.

Unfortunately the problem with castration is that in case we are wrong and we were fooled by the promises of harem guard ship into going for the operation -- it will be too late to do anything.
.

So apt. I hope this sinks into peoples head.

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Postby Chandi Prasaad » 03 Jun 2008 13:26

From previous thread:
lakshmic wrote:Instead, we need a second underground or mountain test range with no "Khetolai 3 Kms onlee" and as Arun_S saar suggested, set off a 400Kt there. Dunno if there is space anywhere. Rajasthan is good because of lack of groundwater. Wonder if we have any nice atolls.


That is not an issue. Bharat Karnad recently said that India has test shafts ready. The shaft that had canceled S6 test shot still awaits conversion to a proper crater.

Buzdil nahin, dimaag main dum chaiyay.

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Postby Tanaji » 03 Jun 2008 13:41

For those in favor of testing, perhaps it might be useful if some numbers were put on the table. Some of them may be guesses but will have to do for this argument:

How many tests do you propose and in what time frame?
What should be the yields that should be tested?
What would be the economic costs of these tests? We should consider the cost of the tests + the cost of economic sanctions.

Having arrived at a figure, we should compare it to what we get in return. Enqyoob has suggested a $ / shaheed number, but lets try to get some more specifics. Obviously, testing should improve reliability which would help reduce the required number of warheads per target. What would be the $ saved by this? There is also a cost of "security" or of not "being castrated" as Arun_S has put it which is more difficult to quantify.

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Postby sauravjha » 03 Jun 2008 13:48

Gentlemen, the impulse for the Indo-U.S nuclear deal is business , security/NPA lobby is the constraint on which a utility maximization problem is being done. Big business is pushing the deal and they have tried to keep an age old U.S lobby somewhat mollified. However when push comes to shove they will vote with their feet.


Big Business in America realised that post-pokhran they were losing out on the world's biggest defence market and the potential number one energy market. the russians happily sold us rust-buckets and reactors at Koodankulam whereas the half-brights continued to be piqued b y India's breakaway.

Focusing purely on trade and investment, let's see how a post -test environment plays out.

1. the no.1 investor in India is actually Mauritius. In the world of offshore finance , no government can restrain a company that wants to invest somewhere from doing so. In the case of the U.S big business drives policy not the other way round.




2. India's export basket has been diversifying . the United States has lost considerable ground and remember it is the U.S which needs cheap imports to sustain its consumption basket not the other way round.post Iraq no western consensus will emerge on "sanctioning India" . Everybody's woken up to India's potential and even if a "western consensus" emerges on "sanctioning India" , we still have export markets in Asia , Latin America and surprise surprise Africa to fall back on.

3. India has joined that select group of nations that allow America to simultaneously carry on with the world's largest fiscal and trade deficit. these countries do so by holding reserves that allow America to finance its imports. Forex reserves are generally invested in American T-bills that allow them to bridge over the current account deficit.

4. As far as the emergence of Indian MNCs is concerned , it hasn't happened due to the support of the west but rather in its absence. Who do you think receives the maximum amount of FDI in the world? once you answer this question and see point no.3 carefully , you will understand why the West will continue to import capital.

5. Workers in the west , are more keen to be merged with an Indian conglomerate than a Chinese one. An added advantage.

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Postby Sanku » 03 Jun 2008 13:56

My take (probably wrong but we need to start some where) with the understanding that I am probably the least qualified to answer them I am sure the follow up answers from Chandi et al will be better.

Tanaji wrote:How many tests do you propose and in what time frame?


Looking at the French example around 4-8 tests should suffice.

What should be the yields that should be tested?


A range from 45-250 KT. Basically a full range validation. This should be done when
1) A full govt with majority lead by nationalists (necessary condition)
2) A geo-pol climate of major instability with US being on back foot. (Matter of time it will happen)
3) We should be ready to sign CTBT post tests (meaning tests should take us there where CTBT is okay for us)

As in Tripur the conditions only line up once in a while for Shiv's arrow to destroy them.

What would be the economic costs of these tests? We should consider the cost of the tests + the cost of economic sanctions.


Cost of tests alone -- insignificant.
Cost of test economically -- around 10% drop (at worst in GDP growth)
Highest cost
Drop in strategic involvement. Sanctions on ISRO. DRDO etc etc. -- around 30% delay in LCA?

There is also a cost of "security" or of not "being castrated" as Arun_S has put it which is more difficult to quantify.


I think the issue here is exactly that -- the trade off for some aspects can not be "quantified"; I mean what is your survival worth to you, if I may try my hand at humor---

Cost of one nuke 10 Cr
Cost of economic sanctions 1000 Cr
Cost of strategic edge 10000 Cr

Staying alive and Indian in 100 years from now -- Priceless


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