Future Nuclear Testing: Pros and Cons-1

John Snow
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Postby John Snow » 04 Jun 2008 20:51

Just few thoughts.

Just after the POK when the elite claimed with 6 tests we have data for simulation for upkeep, modernisation, and better designs, that in it self was questioned

1) Because the sample size was not sufficient

2) Because it could be interpreted we have evry thing so dont need to test any more for technology reasons but may be strategic reasons

3) The unilateral moritotrium declared even before sanctions were inposed in itself was a wasted trump card which could have been played only after significant negotiations and in an advantageous agreement

4) Having not signed any three letter or four letter treaties like shitty bitty
we had (on paper) preserved our in alienable right to test. By signing the J18 or J123 a defacto and enforcable linkage has been established between our condut (of tests or other foriegn policy) and our right. People might say even with out treaty they can hurt by sanctions, if it is so why do they need these restrictive clauses, because it legitimizes by contractual agreements. Even with out signing NPT evey tom dick and harry on talk show compares India to Iran as if we proliferated where as the TSP walmart of Nukes is scott free where is the good faith?

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Postby satyarthi » 04 Jun 2008 21:42

ramana wrote:No. As has been laid out all are above any blame- scientists, government officials, politicians. All have acted honorably and above reproach. Only jiingos are not exempt. They are same as NPA mullahs.

The sarcasm is well put. It is an awful stretch of the neurons to the breaking point, to suggest that jingos parrot NPA interests.

The divisive rancor created by MMS and govt is not restricted to nuke deal related issues. Their internal policies have been based on actively creating such divisions within India based on religion and caste. In that light one may even wonder whether the inept political handling of the nuclear deal leading to such divisions and rancor, is merely coincidental or follows a pattern.

Only pattern that can be seen is Congress Party's visceral dislike of BJP. Congress has tried to either sideline or neutralize the BJP. But now the nuke deal is moribund and Gujarat and Karnataka are in BJP hands. I think it all started with a deliberate anti-BJP policy, and has started to bite back.

Blaming people who reacted to the mess, however strongly, and with whatever desperate measures, but keeping the original mess-makers in hallowed shrines, is pointless.

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Postby shiv » 04 Jun 2008 21:43

India is in a bind whichever way you look at it,

Questions that occur to me are "Whom to blame?" and "What is gained by blaming that entity?"

Blaming anyone is totally pointless because the people we blame are not going to rescue us from the rut of history. But the blame game only results in ill feeling and inflamed passion and counter blame which is difficult to shake off. It is difficult to accuse entity X of being dishonorable and then shake of the counter accusation that you might yourself be dishonorable.

We have to move forward on available information and the available information is contradictory.

Under the circumstances what we get on the forum is exactly like a political game with lobbies, opponents and proponents and veiled accusations. To an extent this has led to a blowback on the forum and the site judging from private emails I received. This was in fact the reason for locking the series of threads on the nuclear deal. I was being asked to be accountable for defamatory or accusatory posts that I was not competent enough to handle when they were made and it appears that none of the other moderators or webmasters paid heed to the degeneration of the quality of discussion. The original reason for not allowing politics on BRF was based on the prediction that this is exactly what would happen, to the detriment of BR.

What was happening was that every time someone was blamed, a counter blame was being made against the forum or the moderators as being less than neutral in an emotive issue. This is a sad way for the forum to go, and I would like to set that right without blaming anyone.

Maybe I am naive, but I do not believe that any of the Indian protagonists in discussion are actually traitors, least of all forum members, jingos or not. They just have differing views on what is good for India. I do believe that there are a lot of anti-Indian entities which include Pakistan, China, the US and the NPA

But forum sensitivities IMO demand that we need to be diplomatic and moderate in the language we use in voicing opinions about people, because harsh language always hurts someone or the other and that someone reacts in a manner that is ultimately detrimental to the quality of discussion and the value of any knowledge that is exchanged on the forum.

That is why I started these threads with the demand that everyone be considered equally traitorous or innocent, hoping that we could bypass bad blood on that account. Parliaments that function well, function on the basis of respect for all - with no personal insults or expletives, or even physical fights. A forum that works well IMO should be able to mirror an ideal parliament.

JMT
Last edited by shiv on 04 Jun 2008 22:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 04 Jun 2008 22:02

They do throw chairs and bang shoes on the podium in Parliament. In South Korea and Japan they have good fist-fights.

The issue here is a ("jingo") demand that India should conduct more live nuclear tests. The technical reasoning has been explained in intricate detail on some issues, but there is little coherence in this argument.

On the one hand, a need for demonstrating large yield using mainly fusion is cited. On the other, demonstration of higher-yield tactical nukes is argued. But the arguers do not seem able to rebut the position that there are other things that take much higher priority over live nuke testing, if deterrence is the objective.

So I am left wondering whether deterrence is the issue, or is it politics? Is it more important to really deter Pakistan and China (and Fiji, I suppose) or to derail or delay the US-India agreement (or at least delay it until the next election is over and someone else can take credit for it?)

Is the rhetoric in favor of live testing heating up because the negotiations with the NSG are going well, so there is a "danger" that India will come out with a very useful agreement?

Once such an agreement is in place, and fuel and technology are flowing freely, and India starts hosting recycling facilities, perhaps testing becomes completely irrelevant, because the other option, of developing many more weapons with proven technology, becomes much more cost-effective.

Also, once the India agreement is in place, maybe the pressure towards nuclear disarmament worldwide starts increasing?

After all these threads, there is no coherent case that I can see, in favor of live testing in the Indian context.

Some people argue for just a few more (4-5?) tests in 2008/2009. This will apparently satisfy all the data needs. But in 1998, the GOI said the same about the 5 tests then, and it's now 10 years since then. Maybe 4-5 more tests will only last another 5 to 10 years before another 4-5 become necessary?

The world wants an end to nuclear testing, period. So any tests will have a steep cost to India. Are people arguing that India should "shoot itself in the foot" every ten years? [/i]

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Postby svinayak » 04 Jun 2008 22:04

enqyoob wrote: So any tests will have a steep cost to India. Are people arguing that India should "shoot itself in the foot" every ten years? [/i]

Even this has been argued that there is no steep costs for India. What else is the reason

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Postby satyarthi » 04 Jun 2008 22:12

enqyoob wrote:So I am left wondering whether deterrence is the issue, or is it politics? Is it more important to really deter Pakistan and China (and Fiji, I suppose) or to derail or delay the US-India agreement (or at least delay it until the next election is over and someone else can take credit for it?)

Is the rhetoric in favor of live testing heating up because the negotiations with the NSG are going well, so there is a "danger" that India will come out with a very useful agreement?

I do think that imminent signing of nuke deal by MMS led govt, which has managed to create such a fine public-opinion-fission device, did contribute to calls for tests.

But I think the motivations of those calling for tests were more charitable than just politics.

The fear that the present govt is led by a peacenik, and may tie Indian strategic interests for coming decades while primarily looking for economic benefits, was genuine. In that sense a renegotiated deal signed by BJP will be far more acceptable (a public-opinion-fusion device), especially since Congress party would have to be supportive of that.

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Postby ramana » 04 Jun 2008 22:14

The other option is to scrap the NFU.

My point is that nukes have a deterrence value yet the prinicpal conclusion of Gen V.P. Malik after Kargil is that war can happen under nuke umbrella ie is there is no deterrent value to the nukes.

I think that changes have to be made to the doctrine to prevent wars so that the economy that everyone is worried about gets to grow.

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Postby satyarthi » 04 Jun 2008 22:32

shiv wrote:Under the circumstances what we get on the forum is exactly like a political game with lobbies, opponents and proponents and veiled accusations. To an extent this has led to a blowback on the forum and the site judging from private emails I received. This was in fact the reason for locking the series of threads on the nuclear deal. I was being asked to be accountable for defamatory or accusatory posts that I was not competent enough to handle when they were made and it appears that none of the other moderators or webmasters paid heed to the degeneration of the quality of discussion. The original reason for not allowing politics on BRF was based on the prediction that this is exactly what would happen, to the detriment of BR.

A sort of unity of jingo view was achieved at BR since 1998. This was helped by Indian establishement having a working consensus on strategic matters. But when the MMS govt, perhaps unknowingly, tested the public-opinion-fission device, it split the strategic viewpoints like never before. It also brought the strategic discussions closer to same kind of rancor and lobbies as political discussions can be. BRF had earlier managed to impose some unity by banning political/historical/cultural discussions. Although that action also led to a division of sorts in BRF ranks. The same kind of division has been introduced in strategic viewpoint by this nuke deal. BRF can't get out of this mess by banning such discussions as it would lose its raison d'etre. So, the inevitable followed, and bitterness increased. When one side was unable to quiet other side, even a sort of division happened.

I don't envy BRF admins/mods job in this respect. It could become utterly thankless/demoralizing to be asked to take sides in such an issue which is so divisive to start with.

That is why I started these threads with the demand that everyone be considered equally traitorous or innocent, hoping that we could bypass bad blood on that account.

I think this is the approach which has the best prognosis.

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Postby abhischekcc » 04 Jun 2008 22:39

One major shortcoming of the debate here has been the inability to connect the military posture vis-a-vis the political posture, as well as to distinguish between the two.

Remember that India's NFU is a political posture, whereas Pakistan's FU doctrine is politico-military, and China's NFU against non-nuclear state is a political posture.

The important thing to keep in mind is how and when does the political posture for all 3 countries change into a military posture - IOW, how will the decision to use or not use be taken?

In India's case, sadly we know by past experience, such a decision is unlikely to be ever taken, because all Hindus are hidden buddhists. THAT is why we need a credible MILITARILY USABLE weapon.

In the case of Pakistan and China, we know the state is mad enough to use the bomb if need be. Especially so in the case of pakisatan. That's why they need not test their weapons beyond a point.

((Pakistan has gone a step forward in ambiguity by 'testing' its weapons in a mountaineous region, instead of plain-topography region. - So the veracity of its weapons is even less credible))

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

India's decision to go for NFU is based on its national priority of maintaining stable political climate.

But we cannot prevent any adventure from paksitan or china if they believe our weapons don;t work.

Hence, (repeating my argument again) - India needs to prove beyond a shadow of dount that its weapons work IF it wants the NFU doctrine to be the foundation of poitical stability on South Asia.

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Postby shiv » 04 Jun 2008 22:40

Acharya wrote:
enqyoob wrote: So any tests will have a steep cost to India. Are people arguing that India should "shoot itself in the foot" every ten years? [/i]

Even this has been argued that there is no steep costs for India. What else is the reason


I believe the steep cost is for the Indian Armed Forces. India will thrive economically as everyone is arguing. And as Gen Malik has said wars can still occur, and it is the armed forces, hampered by sanctions, who will have to fight.

Ramana's idea of changing NFU to first use sounds good on the face of it, but it puts the onus on our political class to use it first, and they will be challenged sooner or later by a war imposed on us. It is likely that they will choose not to use nukes. I say this because NFU has been designed to reflect the thoughts of our political class, and not as a doctrine that is being imposed on them by someone else- which would change their behavior the minute the doctrine changes.

Besides, NFU may be a perfectly honest appraisal of our own nuclear capability and will power.

When we don't have great nuclear strength, why gamble away our conventional strength that has kept us in relatively good stead?

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Postby Satya_anveshi » 04 Jun 2008 22:50

Excellent summation, Satyarthi. If I may add further, Admins can also be further divided into those that restrict to moderation duty and those that also want to create public opinion or awareness towards what they believe is right. We must also remember that the public opinion is a constraint upon which the political leaders gain space for negotiation. In this case, that space was used by the current administration, to much chagrin of eminent scientists of Indian nuclear establishments, to make what I call potentially deadly compromises. Limiting that space of negotiations by awareness is/was a good strategy to prevent progress towards the deal.

However, IMO there has to be certain limits in which this awareness has to be restricted and to what extent that awareness should be spread. This is an area where we have issues. But ascribing NPA motives to these is bit too much and rightly rejected here. For gods sake...let this place be for jingoes who are otherwise shunned like rodents elsewhere in Indian media.

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Postby ramana » 04 Jun 2008 22:55

Abhishekcc, Here is the military link to the debate from USI.

x-posted...



As you can see the NFU was first formulated by Gen Sunderji in context of TSP and the mileu of the Cold War. With break up of FSU and the rise of other power centers the doctrine needs to be re-examined.

thanks for being engaged.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 04 Jun 2008 23:38

ramana: with unkil designing nukes for tunnel excavation etc., would it be correct to argue that "NFU" is irrelevant? NFU presumes a scenario where a hot war breaks out, and there is substantial threat to territory (invasion threat). The side that has preponderance in conventional forces is the only one that can credibly advertise "NFU" as in "We don't need nukes to F*** U"

In the case of TSP, India is presumed to have conventional superiority, but the expected course of war is that TSP invades Kashmir, India moves towards RYK and Lahore. So "NFU" means no use of nukes unless TSP uses nukes, presumably at our strike forces. But if TSP breaks through at Chicken Neck, cuts off J&K, starts genocide there and moves into the plains of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, does "NFU" make sense?

The other presumed adversary is PRC. There "NFU" merely says: "don't wipe us out - we won't hit your cities, we'll surrender and learn mandarin to get the good clerical jobs in the Le-Education Centels". It is advertised from a position of weakness.

In neither of these, IMO, does "NFU" have any credibility in the eyes of a potential invader. TSP Generals go to war with (however unrealistic) dreams of "Dilli Chalo" not "RYK dowdo". PRC, if they feel inclined to take over Arunachal Pradesh, just don't give a **** about whether India has promised NFU or not, they have massive new clear detergent.

So, NFU fools no one except ourselves, and buys nothing in any negotiations. OTOH, there is no great value in any advertised "FU" except to say that the leaders of the country are wackos. Why have any advertised doctrine at all? The orders to the strategic forces may be given in secret, the public does not need to know.

Regarding tests and sanctions, the plan to buy 126 fighters from some foreign power scares me much more. These buggers can hold India hostage by denying parts and engines, like was done to TSP's F-16s.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 04 Jun 2008 23:44

Acharya, You posted something very interesting. So your take IS that there is no steep cost to India, to doing live tests, say every 10 years? It's important to establish this in the further discussions. So you guys ARE advocating periodic live nuclear tests as Indian policy? It certainly makes for an interesting way to impress the world....

I don't disagree with the concerns expressed about the MMS govt, but when push came to shove, remember that MMS took along the knowledgeable experts and they came back apparently satisfied with the 123. Also, in all the fine chit-chat about the 123 here, it was not shown that there was anything worse about the India 123 than the China 123 (in fact India's was far far better). So my take that the pressure to "tests" is political, remains. Especially in view of the position that there is no steep cost to Indian interests from following a practice of doing live nuclear tests every few years.

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Postby Anujan » 04 Jun 2008 23:44

ramana wrote:As you can see the NFU was first formulated by Gen Sunderji in context of TSP and the mileu of the Cold War. With break up of FSU and the rise of other power centers the doctrine needs to be re-examined.

thanks for being engaged.


Ramana-saar,
That seems to not be the case. From my reading of the article, Sundarji's justification for the bum seems to arise from two sources
(a) Post cold war ear would likely be unipolar and we are likely to be subject to coersion if we dont have the bum
(b) Pakis have the bum, its an open secret, we might as well acknowledge our bum, be transparent about operational scenarios and pre-plan our response. For example, if a TNW was used against an Indian division, which has penetrated paki border by 50km, should we retaliate in a massive scale against their population centers ?

From the article:

He was mindful of the impact of nuclear weapons as guarantors against coercion in the early post-cold war years of unipolarity.

* Aim to avoid to the extent possible any action that might lead to hostilities;
* Permit Pakistan the option of compromising without loss of face;
* Modulate offensives in scope and depth of ingress to stop before Pakistani resort to nuclear weapons;

Implicit in his recommendation, is his assessment that Pakis are rabid crazies who wont hesitate to press the button to safeguard their "honor". Maybe Sundarji's opinion is based on the quality of defense analysis and thinking coming out from Paki top echelon their theory of "strategic depth" in afghanistan for example, or the theory 8 Hindu=1 Paki, or the theory that whole of valley will rise up in revolt if pakis attack us in kashmir (op gibraltar anyone ?), or the theory that Indians are fatigued after Kashmir operations and if pakis occupy territory in kargil, Indians will roll over and give them Kashmir. Pakis are irrational, have existential paranoia and their attitude, governance and society is set up such that assured massive retaliation against their population centers is not enough to deter them.

So in summary, (a) it doesnt seem to be the case that Sundarji's doctrine was influenced by cold war, in any case, he is aware and acknowledges the end of cold war and unipolarity his view of the bum is an insurance against coersion (b) His recommendation is to pre-plan and be transparent about our response, while making sure that the lives of our population and jawans are safeguarded, because it is his assessment that the threat of paki nuke attack against us (maybe even on a limited scale) is very high.

Both scenarios have not changed between the time he has made his analysis and now. World is still unipolar, pakis are still rabid and crazy. Why revisit NFU ?

But as N^3 pointed out, if we bring chinis into the picture, the game changes.....I would recommend a NFU if we attack first, FU will all our bums if you attack first posture.
Last edited by Anujan on 04 Jun 2008 23:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Chandi Prasaad » 04 Jun 2008 23:48

shiv wrote:
Chandi Prasaad wrote:Once more of the truth is told to them (all of it in fact), Jigoes fizzle claims become all irrelevant. I hope it is realized that Jingoes are not precipitating this issue. The issue is simply rooted in defense forces knowing that they are not in the circle of truth, and they are not drinking from the watering hole there are being lead to (that is grounded in nothing but personal assurances of DAE big wigs that high yield maal set aside from them is kosher). Jingos did not indoctrinate Gen Malik and other senior officers, or the DAE scientist, who have raised this issue. How are jingos stopping "more of the truth is told to them, All of it in fact." from happening?


Interesting train of thought.

I personally believe (and I have no inside information) that when the scientific establishment create a little space in the missile nosecone (or musharraf or wherever they create spaces) for a warhead - they have to ask someone in the nuclear establishment the size and shape and weight and where all the electronics and wires need to go.

I also believe, without proof or inside information that when the army takes delivery of such a missile, they have some idea of
a) what type of warhead the missile can have (conventional or nuclear)
and
b) What targets they may want to hit with the said missile.

I personally do not believe that the army is so dumb as to not ask about the size and type of warhead that they will get and its yield. their entire plan of using a nuclear warhead is dependent on knowing its capability. I believe that you are alleging here that they have been told lies and that you, Shri Chandi Prasad knows this but the army does not know this.

To my mind, the idea that nobody in the army is in the circle of truth can at best be a myth, unless the Indian army consists of phenomenally stupid people - which I doubt. Somebody, somewhere in the army will know the truth and the capability and will have readied plans based on that capability and not necessarily on what is open source information. The same argument will hold good for the Air Force, planning the delivery of a warhead. The idea that nobody in the Indian army will ask how a given warhead can be 200kt when the announced yields were far less sounds far fetched to me. If unknown entity Chandi Prasad knows this and announces it to the world, the idea that the army is being told lies and they believe it is hard to swallow.

Once we accept that someone in the army and air force knows the real truth, one could ask the question why the army is not openly revealing the fact that the warheads are 20-40kt and not 200 kt like we brahma satya speakers are doing on Bharat Rakshak forum?

"Official secrets act" is the most likely explanation. But even if it is not the right explanation. how would it serve the army's interest to openly reveal as we do on here that there are only 20 kt warheads and not 200 kt warheads? Would that be wise or desirable for the army?

So just because the army does not say it does not mean that the army does not know it. To that extent I find myself hard pressed to accept this ""Army outside the circle of truth" argument.

I wholly accept that the jingo fizzle claim is irrelevant and therefore should not be used at all to either defame or blame anyone, which is pointless, or to use as a single plank reason to ask for testing because testing is essential in many other ways anyway, and for many other reasons. We can ask for it without getting into a dirty blame game and bringing ourselves down and creating new opponents on our own side in the process of defaming someone.

Since jingos did not indoctrinate anyone or stop the whole truth from being told, jingo should equally abstain from blaming someone or the other.


Chandi Prasaad wrote:I think one of the anguish of armed forces is due to the "stay away from nuclear weapons" dictate since 1998, while being called to mat/war in Kargil and Op-Parakram, and told to deliver victory against Puki army (and also Chinese army in 1998) that clearly and unambiguously wields nuclear weapons. (May be because powers to be didn't want to spill the beans to its military customers)

If armed forces are co-opted as equal partners in this nuclearization process based on mutually verifiable & truthful basis of Indian nuclear arsenal, I think they are realist enough to reconcile to what the reality is, and build from there. Else the agony will continue and become worse when ATV take to sea, and but wander the sea with piddly potency.


I think you appear to have inside information about what the armed forces do and do not know about the nuclear forces, and the fact that they were specifically held back in Kargil and Op Parakram and the fact that they are not equal partners in the truth. You may be privy to information of the ATVs likely deficiencies.. I cannot therefore comment on this.

What surprises me is why you should want to post your inside knowledge on an open forum like this rather than writing about your concerns privately to the chief of Army staff or even to retired personnel whom you might know - who might be able to find some contacts for you. Even I have such contacts in the armed forces and I could help in making such contact. If you have already shared your concerns at the highest level I would be curious to find out their reaction. What could be your motivation to share what appear to be secrets that are kept away from the army with everyone reading this forum, instead of telling the army, which should be your first priority IMHO.

Or is your knowledge open source and you are posting it here to make a public criticism of the system? But how can it be open source if the Army is not into all this in a mutually verifiable and truthful basis as you have stated? You know about it, but not the army? Strange.

Shiv,
Your arguments are well taken and heeded to. In lieu of the sensitivity of the issues, we can take it off the forum and discuss. Your valued & learned inputs will be deeply appreciated.

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Postby ramana » 05 Jun 2008 00:40

In the locked thread I had asked:
ramana wrote:Lets start from fundamentals:

What is the purpose of nukes for India?

1) Deterrence
2) Retaliation
3) War termination
4) Deter BCW usage
5) What else?



The answer to the Hamletian question will be found if the above question is answered.

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Postby svinayak » 05 Jun 2008 00:42

enqyoob wrote:Acharya, You posted something very interesting. So your take IS that there is no steep cost to India, to doing live tests, say every 10 years? It's important to establish this in the further discussions. So you guys ARE advocating periodic live nuclear tests as Indian policy? It certainly makes for an interesting way to impress the world....
Especially in view of the position that there is no steep cost to Indian interests from following a practice of doing live nuclear tests every few years.


I posted with regards to economic costs which has been convincingly argued here that India can surmount the challenge in a short time.
Periodic live test was not part of the discussion in these thread till now. But can be considered as a possible replacement for NFU. If India has to be accepted as equivalent then it has to surmount the debilitating effect of sanctions and ganging up against India. Even a war has to be fought to be accepted as a legitimate power with China.
Being a nuke power requires some sacrifice.

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Postby rocky » 05 Jun 2008 00:58

India's nukes are certainly more for retaliation than for deterrence. Otherwise there wouldn't be any NFU.

Acharya, well said.

For those who are contending that India's future growth will be stunted due to testing - they are implying that India's growth is coming at the mercy of it's trading partners. This, however, is not true.

Continuing on the same note, Condi proclaiming that India will be made another power; and the argument by some about growth (allegedly coming at the mercy of India's trading partners) also seems to imply that power-status or growth is a "family joint" that is going around in circles, to be shared amongst the ones that are deemed to be privileged enough.

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Postby svinayak » 05 Jun 2008 01:12

X Posted from Army thread.

ramana wrote:We need to wait and see what the 'experts' said at the conf that Tim is talking about. Lets see.

Meantime an obituary to Maj Gen D.K. Palit



I am going to post the most relevant para . India's decision which we are debating here will have long term affect throughout ASIA and the WORLD.


Palit topped that by writing perhaps the first great treatise on nuclear weapons and strategy – War in the Deterrent Age – by an Indian in 1966 when he was Major General commanding the 23 Infantry Division. It was remarkable he found the time to research and write while still in service, this very perceptive tome advocating India’s acquisition of nuclear weapons to countervail China – a line that went against the thinking of the Indian government. Instead of going full tilt with testing a nuclear bomb, Delhi at that time was seeking a joint security guarantee from the United States and the Soviet Union against China, something Palit dismissed in his book as ‘more a conference table proposal than a practicable solution.’ His strong language was complemented by the quality of his strategic insights. He argued, for instance, that from a military point of view nuclear deterrence ‘is at best relative and at worst sterile’ but that if India failed to obtain a nuclear bomb it should ‘be prepared to abdicate the right to strategic (and therefore, …political) decision-making’, and warned that if India did not match China’s nuclear clout, it would have to reconcile to the fact of ‘stability in Asia [being made] forever conditional on the Chinese goodwill.’ It is an argument that continues to have relevance.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 05 Jun 2008 01:45

ramana: The trouble is that there are two (suspected / alleged / hoped-for) items under "What else?"

1. "Superpower status"
2. To get a particular political party elected over another party

It's not different in India than it was in other countries during the cold war. I bet the frantic testing by France in 1996 was also about politics as much as about military necessity. I haven't understood who France was protecting itself against - or was it because they HAD to run that full range of tests to get enough data for all time? If so, we might as well give up now - can u imagine India conducting so many massive H-bum tests? It is as unacceptable as Mr. Moo-Moo's thesis on how to solve the problem of terrorism. But France did it, I know, and most people have forgotten even that France has H-bums.

What I have seen here does not remove suspicious of #2, though most of those who are really driven by #2 will claim it's #1 or all the other things like "deterrence". This is why ppl seem to get so mad when it is pointed out that POK-2 showed the presence of nuke weapons convincingly enough for that ASPECT of deterrence.

Many people may want to see India test again, just to convince themselves that India will stand up to the whole world, and this satisfies them that the GOI will also pull the trigger if the Real Thing were needed, under attack. However, I believe that continued development of missiles and subs and guidance is enough proof that GOI is serious.

When one reads the "evidence" in support of more testing, it looks more and more scary - about what is accepted as evidence. Sowing doubt and dissent among the rank and file of the Armed Forces who are not cleared to know the precise weapon yield, etc., does seem to be a very dangerous game. It's 1975 multiplied 10 times over.

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Postby ramana » 05 Jun 2008 01:54

N^3, If there were measures in place to augment a no test policy one could be less strident. I submit not everyone who calls for retaining the option to test is a political hack. This is same as the scientists being accused of malice and incompetence.

I think the French and PRC were in a testing frenzy as they were validating their design and maybe knowhow- self and acquired. Note the similarity in yield for both countries. Isnt that a coincidence? I hadnt seen it like that. And add the UK to the mix and issues of certification looks like that number is the new standard!
Last edited by ramana on 05 Jun 2008 03:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 05 Jun 2008 02:01

OK, Acharya, so your thesis is now that

1. India must test, to achieve nuclear parity with the PRC. Not just the assurance of catastrophic retaliation to checkmate any nuclear threat, but PARITY with the Chinese. Match them weapon for weapon. Yield for yield. IOW, a nuclear arms race to catch up with China's 30-year head start in nukes.

2. It has been proven that India will quickly get over any economic pressure / global contempt / anger that this fine effort may entail. Over the 30 or 40 years that it may take to catch up with China in nuclear weapons. If the Chinese stand still on development, and don't launch pre-emptive attacks.

3. Periodic testing is of course needed to achieve (1) - that doesn't require any argument, I agree, though no one may have introduced that level of elementary thinking at the forum as you point out.

4. These are based on the writings of a tank division commander in 1966, who pointed out that without nuclear parity, "stability" in Asia would always mean being on good terms with the Chinese.

Of course I have to agree that an all-out nuclear arms race will guarantee that there will be neither stability in Asia nor good relations with the Chinese. Or the Americans. Or the Russians. Or the Japanese. Or the British, or French, or Ukrainians, or Nepalese, or Bangladeshis, or Norwegians or Swedes or Danes or Sri Lankans. But all will agree that India is a Great SuperPower. With 900 million people facing famine, 90% unemployment, no foreign exchange to buy kerosene, but a Great SuperPower. Lots of Nukes. Many of them H-Bums!

Thanks for helping to clarify your position.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 05 Jun 2008 02:13

ramana, you are probably quite right in that there may be a set level of tests needed to get assured data on certain processes occurring at certain yield levels. It may be a question of EOS under extreme conditions etc. as Arun said. But I submit that this level was set by Cold War parameters. I am not saying it wouldn't be nice to get to this level of assurance, but I am saying that the immense costs (technical, economic, political, and in neglecting other vital aspects of security) are not worth the possible benefits. I think the French and Chinese tests in 1996 were a complete outrage.

Is it true that these data then allow the French and Chinese to develop smaller and more efficient/effective weapons for all time?

Why not skip that stage and go on to refine delivery systems and defense systems that render such weapons useless? Is India at risk of nuclear attack today, or will India be at such risk in future, simply because we don't REFINE our nuclear warheads? I've never been convinced by that argument in the US either - it usually comes across as demands for more R&D and weapon system funding for the relevant companies and govt. labs, situated in the constituencies of the Senators arguing for it.

In the case of a nuclear deterrent, isn't it smarter to just build more weapons and distribute them so that there is no way to hit them all? Also to ensure that there is enough redundancy in hitting certain targets, to overcome any uncertainties in warhead performance?

Sorry if this was explained before, I am too lazy to read all the posts, and have not been paying much attention because too much of what I read seemed to be beyond question, driven by #2. Not all of it, of course, but too much of it.
Last edited by enqyoobOLD on 05 Jun 2008 02:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby ramana » 05 Jun 2008 02:16

N^3, unfortunately both must be done - refine and disperse. Thats the imperative from NFU or just give up . Its not a trishanku swarga anymore.

Meanwhile for the math afficinadoes Two Olgas seminar proceedings

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Postby svinayak » 05 Jun 2008 03:46

enqyoob wrote:OK, Acharya, so your thesis is now that

1. India must test, to achieve nuclear parity with the PRC.

This is something which has been analyzed 40 years ago by experts who say It is still relevant now. That is all I am posting here.

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Postby ramana » 05 Jun 2008 04:04

In the locked thread I had talked about parity coming in two flavors: quanitative and qualitative. I think understanding the challenges that PRC has that qualitative parity is not so needed. However at same Time India does have other challengers than PRC and that has to be taken inot account.
On matter of qualitative I think that India has to match atleast the last PRC tests, if not the megatonne ones which are really Samson option weapons. Otherwise it will be a derringer in a gun fight.

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Postby ramana » 05 Jun 2008 05:07

Thanks gerard!
Gerard wrote:THE LAST TO DISARM?
The Future of France’s Nuclear Weapons
http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/npr/vol14/142/142tertrais.pdf


Confirms the French test logic and others.

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Postby enqyoobOLD » 05 Jun 2008 05:44

ramana: The aim to achieve qualitative parity with the PRC's last tests is not a realistic one: Starting 30 years behind, if India comes anywhere close with live tests, the PRC will simply move out ahead. There is no magic there.

Acharya: The fact that someone posted it 40 years ago, and that it is still true, does not change the reality that trying to go for parity with China today is a completely unrealistic objective. Posting this as the goal for India is a clear indication that the the push for more "testing" is not based on a good faith evaluation of the best courses for India.

Ramana: I read through the article about the French deterrent to try to find out why the French felt they HAD to test in 1996. Could not see the justification. France of course has a very large private defense industry, and the regime has public support to be very imperial and conservative. But the notion that it was the nuclear deterrent that allowed France to vote against the Iraq war, is completely ludicrous. Clearly the writer was reaching to find some justification for the grossly overblown "Force de Frappe". Felt like reading some posts on BRF - clearly jingoistic, and seeming to assume that the reader was pretty naive. NOTHING there that justifies what they have done to Mururoa Atoll and the people of that neighborhood. Bloody criminals, the French.

So there are 3 reasons I can imagine for continued testing:
1. Miniaturize the weapon design for the same yield in order to put it on missiles for longer range. Same can be achieved by making the missile bigger. India now makes rockets that can put 4000kg in GEO, so delivering a city-buster in a shallow elliptic orbit is not an issue.

2. Miniaturize a weapon to fit a nuke submarine. Same effect can be achieved by changing the nuke submarine. Not cheap, but does not have the destructive effects of a live nuke test on the national image and economy.

3. Confirm weapon reliability. This will take many tests. Same effect can be achieved by building more weapons to account for some fizzle.

4. Increase yield for the same mission. Again, can be done using multiple weapons to hit the target area.

So what am I missing about the need for continued testing?

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Who let the Dogs of neagtivity out !!!

Postby Prem » 05 Jun 2008 05:48

Edited

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Postby svinayak » 05 Jun 2008 06:01

enqyoob wrote:

Acharya: The fact that someone posted it 40 years ago, and that it is still true, does not change the reality that trying to go for parity with China today is a completely unrealistic objective. Posting this as the goal for India is a clear indication that the the push for more "testing" is not based on a good faith evaluation of the best courses for India.

Actually it is. It shows that in that 40 years China has increased its influence in the theater that India had to breakout in 1998 but still has miles go before it can withstand the hegemony.

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Postby satyarthi » 05 Jun 2008 06:06

enqyoob wrote:The aim to achieve qualitative parity with the PRC's last tests is not a realistic one: Starting 30 years behind, if India comes anywhere close with live tests, the PRC will simply move out ahead. There is no magic there.

I guess one needs to define what one's notion of qualitative parity is.

To me, pure fission, fusion boosted fission, and TN are three distinct categories, competence in which shows the qualitative level of a nuclear power wrt the P5. Every P5 power, including China, has demonstrated competence in these three categories.

India's competence in categories 1 (F), 2 (FBF) is accepted, but in 3 (TN) is disputed here. The fact that India's TN device test claim was for a rather modest yield, and not 100-200kt, gives life to the doubts about established capability in the TN arena.

If India can demonstrate TN capability with a TN test of 200kt, then that would bridge the qualitative gap.

Periodic testings are NOT needed for this qualitative parity. Afterall what China is going to do after India unambiguously demonstrates TN capability? Test another TN? How does that change the qualitative parity?

After a successful and convincing TN demo by India, only way China can qualitatively pull ahead of India would be by testing something completely new, like a pure fusion weapon. But the opinion seems to be that to "test" pure fusion weapons one wouldn't need to do "nuclear" tests with large yields and involving fissionable materials. So, as far as qualitative parity in current idea of "nukes" is concerned, TNs are the holy grail.

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Postby Prem » 05 Jun 2008 06:20

Acharya wrote:
enqyoob wrote:

Acharya: The fact that someone posted it 40 years ago, and that it is still true, does not change the reality that trying to go for parity with China today is a completely unrealistic objective. Posting this as the goal for India is a clear indication that the the push for more "testing" is not based on a good faith evaluation of the best courses for India.

Actually it is. It shows that in that 40 years China has increased its influence in the theater that India had to breakout in 1998 but still has miles go before it can withstand the hegemony.


Economic muscle will play greater role than the military strength. India dont need to throw a challenge but only to deter if challenged . Chinese will have more to loose if they start war and Pukes can be punished with Cold Start. Best policy for India can be to accumulate all the strengths rather than getting stuck in muddy economic , political upheavel by Testing and squandering energy . Priority ought to be to accumulate Trillions in Reserve and then take the panga with anyone anywhere and anytime.

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Postby svinayak » 05 Jun 2008 06:25

It is only about qualitative parity as previous poster has described
If India can demonstrate TN capability with a TN test of 200kt, then that would bridge the qualitative gap.


India has to surmount all other barriers including economic.
The most important is the China TSP link to be broken

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Postby Paul » 05 Jun 2008 06:31

The most important is the China TSP link to be broken


More important than this is US-PRC link....IMO this has been blunted to some extent

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Re: Cold War , MAD , Parity are Relics not Building Blocks

Postby ShauryaT » 05 Jun 2008 06:33

Prem wrote: India dont need to throw a challenge but only to deter if challenged .
China did challenge India by gobbling Tibet and Aksai Chin and the Karakoram ranges and India did squat. So, China is sitting pretty on all it wants and moreover has TSP as a proxy. No need for China to challenge and from their perspectives, they already have all they want. i.e: India locked into a tight space in the region called South Asia, while PRC lords over in Asia and challenges the US of A. How many times do we have to learn that Military strength does not have to be at the expense of economic strength. Both reinforce each other. That is the only basis for a long lasting independent policy or else better to be part of a larger grouping.

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Postby shiv » 05 Jun 2008 06:37

Petrol prices went up yesterday in India, but I also played golf yesterday. I brought the caddie home so that he could pick up an old cellphone I had promised to give him.

This chap has studied up to 6th std. He mentioned the rise in fuel prices. he was not bothered about Petrol or Diesel, but asked about cooking gas. I asked if he used gas at all at home - but he said that he used a kerosene stove. On asking he said it cost him Rs 100 per week for kerosene. He had been told that gas would become available in his area. We passed by a BMW that costs Rs 40 lakh in India and I remarked that the BMW owner would not really be hard pressed by an increase is fuel prices. I tried o explain to him that in theory a man who could afford a 40 lakh car would, if push came to shove, be able to buy a 5 lakh car and spare Rs 35 lakhs for petrol.

Nuclear bomb parity with China is not a pressing problem for most Indians. Relevant to our discussion, energy - with fuel or power to cook food every day is a major issue for most Indians. No Indian would disagree with the notion that we need to match or surpass China in armed might, but if asked about priority of matching China in nuclear might versus getting inexpensive energy to cook food, a large majority of Indians would choose the latter. I believe that most politicians in India are acutely clued in to this fact, petty politics aside.

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Postby tejas » 05 Jun 2008 06:52

I can't believe I'm saying this (as my political views would make most jingoes here look like lefties) but what incremental benefit is there to test now? Unlike in 1998, there is no CTBT hanging over us threatening to close our window of opportunity forever.

Time is now our ally. The economy should double in dollar terms in the next 7 years. By that time we should be able to indigenously manufacture our own gas turbine engines for fighters, AESA fire control radars for fighters, tank engines and have SSBN's up and running.

By 2015 we should be able to test with impunity. For now a FBF 150 kt bum is ok. Why rock the boat for another 50 kt (200 kt TN) ?

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Postby ShauryaT » 05 Jun 2008 06:53

shiv wrote:Nuclear bomb parity with China is not a pressing problem for most Indians. Relevant to our discussion, energy - with fuel or power to cook food every day is a major issue for most Indians. No Indian would disagree with the notion that we need to match or surpass China in armed might, but if asked about priority of matching China in nuclear might versus getting inexpensive energy to cook food, a large majority of Indians would choose the latter. I believe that most politicians in India are acutely clued in to this fact, petty politics aside.
If put it that way, then no doubt - no one will oppose this priority. The question is, is it really an either or?

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Postby paramu » 05 Jun 2008 06:55

shiv wrote:Nuclear bomb parity with China is not a pressing problem for most Indians. Relevant to our discussion, energy - with fuel or power to cook food every day is a major issue for most Indians. No Indian would disagree with the notion that we need to match or surpass China in armed might, but if asked about priority of matching China in nuclear might versus getting inexpensive energy to cook food, a large majority of Indians would choose the latter. I believe that most politicians in India are acutely clued in to this fact, petty politics aside.

Issue right now is price of energy and not shortage of energy (shortage will come later) and it is obvious that current energy price is artificial. Did anybody guarantee that the nuke power will be much cheaper?

If current high energy price is the justification for signing nuke deal, then I have to suspect whether energy price manipulation is a strategy of uncle to encourage India to sign to deal.


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