Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

ShauryaT
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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby ShauryaT » 14 Jun 2008 07:52

Rahul M wrote:
enqyoob wrote:The real lesson from the Cuban Missile Crisis was that if there is any new clear detergent on either side, he who has conventional superiority and is willing to use it, wins.


exactly !
a limited deterrent with small no of bombs none of which exceed 45 kT (assuming the worst case scenario and all these fizzle business to be true) is enough for India's needs.
Just for the record, the users, how have chosen to speak on the issue and especially the ones, who have deliberated on this matter and some respected strategic secrurity analysts of the Indian establishment - DO NOT AGREE - that 45 KT is enough for India's needs.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby ShauryaT » 14 Jun 2008 07:58

ramana wrote: And all this irrational stuff is all hogwash. When faced with assured destruction everyone gets rational.
One can extend that very legitimate rationale further and in fact game it. If India were to convert its doctrine of NFU to FU, only in the context of TSP, the seemingly irrational will become rational, very quickly. :)

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Chandi Prasaad » 14 Jun 2008 08:01

ShauryaT wrote:
Rahul M wrote:
enqyoob wrote:The real lesson from the Cuban Missile Crisis was that if there is any new clear detergent on either side, he who has conventional superiority and is willing to use it, wins.


exactly !
a limited deterrent with small no of bombs none of which exceed 45 kT (assuming the worst case scenario and all these fizzle business to be true) is enough for India's needs.
Just for the record, the users, how have chosen to speak on the issue and especially the ones, who have deliberated on this matter and some respected strategic secrurity analysts of the Indian establishment - DO NOT AGREE - that 45 KT is enough for India's needs.


My sources and respected strategic security analysts (plural) of the Indian establishment are also telling me the same. :wink: 8)

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Rahul M » 14 Jun 2008 08:37

Just for the record, the users, how have chosen to speak on the issue and especially the ones, who have deliberated on this matter and some respected strategic secrurity analysts of the Indian establishment - DO NOT AGREE - that 45 KT is enough for India's needs.


could I have a source citing a military officer for the same ??
I might have missed it.

My sources and respected strategic security analysts (plural) of the Indian establishment are also telling me the same.


And what is the reason behind that in terms of deterrence philosophy ?

BTW, Arun_S , why are you still carrying on with this split personality business ??
This is getting to be extremely irritating !!
And it certainly is gross misuse of BRadmin powers, IMO.

Why do you think posting under a different name changes anything at all, especially when you have already revealed your identity ??
The rationale is certainly beyond reasonable logic.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby John Snow » 14 Jun 2008 09:01

What is the source of irritation, its not the poster, its is the content that matters.

If there is logic and reasoning it doesnt matter if its Sophia Moron or Hardly Davidson who is pos(t)ing the questions or opinions? No?

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby ShauryaT » 14 Jun 2008 09:21

Rahul M wrote:
Just for the record, the users, how have chosen to speak on the issue and especially the ones, who have deliberated on this matter and some respected strategic secrurity analysts of the Indian establishment - DO NOT AGREE - that 45 KT is enough for India's needs.


could I have a source citing a military officer for the same ??
I might have missed it.
I must have posted these at least 6 times in the past two years. I think it is in the earlier version of this thread also. So, just an excerpt this time from memory. Few names for you. Gurdeep Kanwal, Raja Menon, Vijay K. Nair, . Also, not as a matter of public record, but I believe V.P Malik too endorses their views.

My sources and respected strategic security analysts (plural) of the Indian establishment are also telling me the same.


And what is the reason behind that in terms of deterrence philosophy ?
Primarily, Assured massive retaliation. But, gets into complex gaming scenarios of risks and rewards. Essentially, one has to mad to believe all that but humans are known to display that behavior. Again, read Raja Menon's Nuclear Strategy for India and his feedback to Kanwal in his IDSA paper Circa, 2000. Also, read BC, BK, Dr. G. Balachandran and some China analysts, on the issue. Their materials are out there, including BK's books. Apart from that there are other contributors to some papers at IDSA. Bottom Line: Until MIRV is not available, MT weapons are preferred but if MIRV are available, then a switch to 250-400 KT warheads can be made. The overall payload is still MT class.
Last edited by ShauryaT on 14 Jun 2008 09:34, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby JE Menon » 14 Jun 2008 11:07

paramu, any more baiting from you will not be let pass.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby JE Menon » 14 Jun 2008 11:29

I am skeptical about whether we can rely on rational thought and action on the part of religion-dependent political power - in particular Islam at this point in history. There is sufficient cause for concern that the idea that it does not matter much if one Muslim country is destroyed by nukes, if that results in the Islamic cause as a whole being advanced globally, is not anathema among some Muslims. A few statements have been made to that effect here and there but I don't have them archived. Google will help.

Secondly, a rational approach may lead to a fairly robust argument in favour of deploying nukes via jihadis...

Thus it is quite conceivable that if Pakistan, or one of its Jihadi instruments, smuggles and assembles a nuke into the US across the Mexican border and sets it off somewhere, say LA, under an Iranian false flag, the net expected outcome would be considered "tactically brilliant" by those in the Pakistani military establishment who must sanction such an operation at some level.

In other words, nuke the US (a wonderful goal in itself from their part) and sow indescribable terror there, get the Iranians fried in particular and the Shiites in general, and give a massive strategic leg up to the Sunnis. Cause you know Sam, who's he gonna turn to for access to Iran?

Sounds plausible?

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Rahul M » 14 Jun 2008 11:45

John Snow wrote:What is the source of irritation, its not the poster, its is the content that matters.

If there is logic and reasoning it doesnt matter if its Sophia Moron or Hardly Davidson who is pos(t)ing the questions or opinions? No?

Then it is ok for any poster to have multiple identities, isn't it ?
AFAIK, BRF's restrictive email ID rule is there just to prevent that eventuality.

ShauryaT wrote:I must have posted these at least 6 times in the past two years. I think it is in the earlier version of this thread also. So, just an excerpt this time from memory. Few names for you. Gurdeep Kanwal, Raja Menon, Vijay K. Nair, . Also, not as a matter of public record, but I believe V.P Malik too endorses their views.

Thanks ShauryaT, I will come back to that after going through the references and older threads thoroughly.
Unfortunately, it will take a couple of weeks since I have an exam next week.

ShauryaT wrote:Primarily, Assured massive retaliation. But, gets into complex gaming scenarios of risks and rewards. Essentially, one has to mad to believe all that but humans are known to display that behavior. Again, read Raja Menon's Nuclear Strategy for India and his feedback to Kanwal in his IDSA paper Circa, 2000. Also, read BC, BK, Dr. G. Balachandran and some China analysts, on the issue. Their materials are out there, including BK's books. Apart from that there are other contributors to some papers at IDSA. Bottom Line: Until MIRV is not available, MT weapons are preferred but if MIRV are available, then a switch to 250-400 KT warheads can be made. The overall payload is still MT class.

I still don't buy the logic of this philosophy, primarily because of the successful soviet example
I had posted last page. However, I need to read up more and am yet to come at a reasonably concrete conclusion.

I am not responding to paramu's post as JEM has removed it.
However, I feel that Arun_S, for whom I have nothing but respect has recently behaved in a juvenile manner(the chandi prasad affair) that goes against accepted internet forum ethics and also reduces his credibility.
Once he has made whatever point he was trying to make, viz.
Arun_S wrote:So when this thread started, I wanted to give "Abhay-Daan" (Fearlessness) to people who would like to debate with me as an equal, but rightly or wrongly feared the Admin power I wielded.
Also Admins/webmasters have personal opinions that are not related to their administrative role on BR.
So as an exception I created an ordinary BR Froum user "Chandi Prasaad" to post my perspective. I am sure some of you would have guessed that from the message and style.

continuing to post under this identity serves no further purpose other than setting a poor example in front of us commons.
JMT.
If this is OT, I can take it to the rona dhona thread.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Rahul M » 14 Jun 2008 11:56

JE Menon wrote:I am skeptical about whether we can rely on rational thought and action on the part of religion-dependent political power - in particular Islam at this point in history. There is sufficient cause for concern that the idea that it does not matter much if one Muslim country is destroyed by nukes, if that results in the Islamic cause as a whole being advanced globally, is not anathema among some Muslims. A few statements have been made to that effect here and there but I don't have them archived. Google will help.


JEM, so what's your take ?
only a samson option will do ??

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby ramana » 14 Jun 2008 12:20

JEM let others worry about themselves. Indians need to worry about India.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Chandi Prasaad » 14 Jun 2008 12:50

Rahul M wrote:BTW, Arun_S , why are you still carrying on with this split personality business ??
This is getting to be extremely irritating !!
And it certainly is gross misuse of BRadmin powers, IMO.

Why do you think posting under a different name changes anything at all, especially when you have already revealed your identity ??
The rationale is certainly beyond reasonable logic.

For BRFites benefit let me repost my old post on this subject:
Arun_S wrote:A note for fellow BRFites.
A month or so ago in the nuclear discussion, some debating partners had expressed apprehension of openly debating with me for fear/risk of getting banned just because I also carried the Webmaster title and Admin privilege. It is another matter that I had NEVER banned anyone just because he/she had opposing view and crossed debating sword with me. NEVER. When I donn Admin powers on BRF it is invariably clearly marked as an Admin action with "Admin Hat On" signature. And of course BR Forum's strength as a debating platform is that it is administered by a group of principled Admins and Webmasters who would balk at improper use of Admin privilege by anyone.

So when this thread started, I wanted to give "Abhay-Daan" (Fearlessness) to people who would like to debate with me as an equal, but rightly or wrongly feared the Admin power I wielded.

Also Admins/webmasters have personal opinions that are not related to their administrative role on BR.

So as an exception I created an ordinary BR forum user "Chandi Prasaad" to post my perspective. I am sure some of you would have guessed that from the message and style.

So please be aware that I carry both "Arun_S" and "Chandi Prasaad" user handle. BRF does not allow users to post under more than one id's. An exception is herewith made for Admins/Moderators/Webmasters, who may also carry an ordinary user ids/moniker.

Thank You.
-Arun_S {Admin Hat On}

In fact BR Admins are now arriving at common understanding that in future all Admin/webmaster participation in BRF discussion (I.e. while not administering the forum) will post as ordinary BRFites (ostensibly under a different handle) with no special privileges, immunity or exceptions. So BRFites will eventually see my participation under the Non-Admin moniker. So from today I am just practicing conscious switchover to post consistently under "Chandi Prasaad" handle, while I will wield the "Arun_S" Admin moniker as and when I need to appear in "Chandi" roop for administrative task/role.

I hope that addresses your concern.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Rahul M » 14 Jun 2008 12:55

ramana, JEM's scenario can be applied with modification to India's context too.

viz.
Thus it is quite conceivable that if a pakhtun faction of the taliban or al qaeda, or one of its Jihadi constituents, smuggles and assembles a nuke into India across the Indo-Pak border and sets it off somewhere, say Mumbai, under an TSParmy false flag, the net expected outcome would be considered "tactically brilliant" by those in the anti-Pak military faction in the pakistani taliban who must sanction such an operation at some level.
In other words, nuke kufr India (a wonderful goal in itself from their part) and sow indescribable terror there, get the Pak establishment fried and the jehadis get a massive strategic leg-up in pakistan.

Sounds plausible?

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby JE Menon » 14 Jun 2008 13:05

Ramana,

I am not sure that approach works anymore. We are no longer, and we should no longer view ourselves, as playing in the subcontinental sandbox alone. Indians will have to worry about India and the world at large, and we must start doing so. We need to be concerned if Iran decides to go apeshit in the Gulf area, and that may involve nukes. We make a lot of our money and livelihoods there. We need to be concerned if a jihadi is sneaking a nuke into the US, cause needless to say, we make a lot of money there too. We must be clear about this. Primarily, its about the money and the associated power. Without either, the handwringing about why we are not taken seriously, or why we are being civilisationally undermined in our own country by evanjehadis or their ilk, will come to nought.

Ultimately, the goal should be integration with everyone at such a level that each country dealing with us must conclude of its own accord that a stable and unified and strong India, a happy India, is in its own interest.

In the meanwhile, we can be fairly certain that those countries that oppose this for the reason that their own strategic autonomy might be circumscribed as a result, will undoubtedly work towards the opposite - i.e the gradual separation and break up of India, based on our own internal divisions, rather than an outright war - which is ruled out given the military balances overall. This will also keep the economies of the areas humming, so easier for the adversaries to deal with and digest on a case by case basis.

One should be far more concerned about the simple things, and keep a very close eye on them, than on the obvious ones. I anticipate efforts to:

1. Exacerbate inter-state, linguistic and inter-caste issues, while simultaneously providing fora for these issues overseas. We can already see this happening to some degree. The Dalit example has been tried and tested to an extent already. Ditto for religious issues. The fire will not be lit, it will only be fanned. And that might be sufficient.

2. Undermine development by emphasising "return to roots", "environmental issues", and so on...

3. Promote absolutist thinking through religious indoctrination, not just among monotheistic faiths and through evangelisation, but among Hindus as well. We need to be especially wary of this. This sort of thinking is the path to the quick-fix approach, the revolutionary rather than the evolutionary, ideological conflict rather than an intellectual compromise.

3. Widen anti-semitic tendencies in India (to split both Hindus themselves, and Hindu/Muslim/Christians). Make no mistake this will be done more likely by our friends, like some of the Europeans and maybe to a lesser degree, the US.

The challenge of diplomacy would be to grasp this paradoxical situation, and ensure that policies and actions are directed towards the accumulation of wealth to the level that all of the above can be easily handled, and that the adversaries increasingly see it as being counter-productive to continue with such policies - so that their focus is diminished, and maintain that state for the longest possible time. But it is unlikely that the focus will ever be shifted, so wariness and pragmatic paranoia must be the order of the day so long as India exists.

Our nukes are the insurance. I am confident that we are not with our trousers down in this respect, going by the assurances given by our senior scientists repeatedly. It is a matter of choosing who to believe - given that, as Shiv said, everyone must be assumed to be a liar. I choose to believe the people who conducted the texts and explained it later. I tend also not to go too much by the written word - we on BR often tend to mistake opinion for fact.

As for the Indo-US nuke deal, I believe that it is a good thing for India if we manage it well - and I am confident we can. Contrary to the state of affairs at present, where the consensus seems to be that the deal will collapse, I'm quite certain it will move forward. It is about changing the way the world works. The Americans need a fig leaf (Hyde). They can have it.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Rahul M » 14 Jun 2008 13:06

In fact BR Admins are now arriving at common understanding that in future all Admin/webmaster participation in BRF discussion (I.e. while not administering the forum) will post as ordinary BRFites (ostensibly under a different handle) with no special privileges, immunity or exceptions. So BRFites will eventually see my participation under the Non-Admin moniker. So from today I am just practicing conscious switchover to post consistently under "Chandi Prasaad" handle, while I will wield the "Arun_S" Admin moniker as and when I need to appear in "Chandi" roop for administrative task/role.

I hope that addresses your concern.


Thanks for the reply.

All this dual identity is absolutely un nescessary and an extremely round about way of showing egalatarianism while it changes absolutely nothing on the ground.(not that it should).
Do you really think posting under a different moniker makes you a regular poster devoid of any privileges or powers ?
Other admins have yet to comment on this issue and none has posted with another handle to my knowledge. I hope for the sanity of BR that this idea gets shot down.

P.S I can only request you to at least restrict this identity to the nuke threads and continue posting elsewhere under the Arun_S handle.
I for one, would still love to see you posting in the future Agni threads under the Arun_S avatar.

Regards.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby shiv » 14 Jun 2008 14:40

In light of the confidential information being revealed by Chandi Prasad, it seems that India had no credible deterrent between 1974 and 1998, when a working fission warhead was tested. Because 45 kt itself was insufficient, I take it that 15 kt could hardly have been enough.

Now we know in 2008 that what was done on 1998 was not enough and that we still do not have a credible deterrent - at least in the views of more than one member of the Indian defence establishment as told in confidence to Chandi Prasad.

Sorry to revert to an old question that I asked earlier.

Given that the number and quality of tests by India are insufficient to meet the demands a credible deterrent can it be safely concluded that:

1) India still does not have a credible deterrent
2) Since re-manufacture of warheads to a proven design specification takes at least a decade from the time that a design is proven, India will continue to not have a credible nuclear deterrent for at least a decade after another series of tests - assuming that those tests are to the satisfaction of Chandi Prasad's nuclear-knowledgeable defence contacts.
3) This is a good time to attack India because nuclear retaliation from India is unlikely to be effective.
4) Delaying India's conventional build up right now would be a good adjunct to keeping India weak, because any effort by India to test could be utilized to further delay any improvement and modernization in addition to moves made right now to delay material and technology.

Surely, If I can reach these conclusions - anyone who matters can also reach these conclusions both in India and abroad.

In addition, if anyone who matters in India can also reach these conclusions, what steps could they take to bypass what appears to me like a checkmate against India?

Will anyone actually bother answering these questions?

They were not answered last time around when I asked similar questions. I would also be willing to listen if anyone can point out to me as to how my conclusions are wrong. I am particularly interested in knowing if there is such a thing as "partial deterrence" in anybody's view? i don't believe that there can be partial deterence. Either we have it, or we don't and Chandi Prasad's insider information seems to indicate in public (unbacked by a quotable source) that India does not have a working nuclear deterrent.

Would you consider taking a shot at these questions Chandi Prasad?

May I add in public that I do not recall any admin consensus that admins would use dual identities in future, but Chandi Prasad's identity will remain because he has been open about it. I intend to post as I always have done.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby JE Menon » 14 Jun 2008 15:19

Rahul M,

I don't think the Samson Option can be articulated as a policy by anyone - including Israel, which does not admit to having nukes; but of course that was not your question.

My feeling is that we must build up a capacity to deter anyone and everyone (including the other three military powers capable of seriously threatening us at the moment), and this must include the last resort Samson Option as a capability.

The issue, of course, is whether under the Indo-US nuclear deal, we can do that. There is wide difference in the forum on this issue, and I confess to being lost in the technical arcana coming in from all directions. But I submit that this is not quite so relevant as it might seem prima facie.

Can we continue to build up our military nuclear capability if the deal is struck? The answer is clearly yes. The issue is whether we can take it to the extent a Samson Option requires.

So then, can we build up a Samson Option capability? Whether we get our feedstock from outside or inside, the answer to this still must be yes (what will change is how we do it - no need to go into moral detail here).

The real question, therefore, is whether we have the gumption to go for it. In my personal judgment, India prefers to go about it correctly, having sufficient legal leeway to maintain the moral high ground on the issue - as we do now. Otherwise, a slightly more complicated moral tightrope walk might be necessary; this, I think, is what those who are concerned by the Hyde Act are primarily worried about - and they might be right. There is never anything as cut and dried as we like in this world. Nevertheless, it can be done. Do you know anyone who can split hairs better than one of our babus?

In that case, can we do the necessary tightrope walk? Past experience, from Tarapur to POK 1 to POK II and since, suggests that in this regard we are at least as capable as the Americans - who are the main interlocutors in what is essentially a dialogue with the nuclear club, which includes countries that have bought into the basic rulesets laid down in the alphabet soup of treaties. We are negotiating our way into this group. Being a member should be no problem. We have essentially been following the rules anyway.

But, having been outside so long, a reluctance on our side to realign some of our worldview is natural, a degree of suspicion inevitable, and a need for reiteration of confidence in each other necessary. On the other hand, the movement of broadly like-minded nations towards each other in today's world is inexorable.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 14 Jun 2008 16:13

The simple response to both ShauryaT and ChandiPrasadArunS is that we would all be very disappointed if the serving military and military analysts did NOT argue vehemently for the biggest bums and the most number of those, and the most frequent and comprehensive testing. So it is perfectly fine that they argue that route.

But I have to stop myself from saying: "More Power To Them". Because the power should stay with the civilian elected leaders, who must balance these arguments against the equally powerful arguments from other parts of Indian society.

So far as I can figure out from the articles and discussions posted here, or anything that I've read anywhere else, (not what THEY say but what I figure out) I cannot agree that there should be more live supercritical testing anytime in the near future unless there is a drastic deterioration in the security environment (like America being taken over by a Caliph or a civil war in the US or Russia, or Pakistan being given 1MT bums by China). Even then, it is very doubtful if the testing should be for increased-yield weapons, or for reliability of smaller weapons.

If the military and security analysts stop to read their own articles with a bit wider perspective, they may avoid coming across as articles that don't consider a wider perspective.

The argument that "I have sources that I can't reveal who say this is needed though their own articles don't make a case that survives a minute's thinking", is fine to make, but is not as credible as an argument that gives good reasons.

For that matter, I also think the 126-fighter deal should come under far closer scrutiny. There too, the "I am an expert" syndrome is blanking out good thinking. The Indian Air Force is close to wasting a generation's worth of resources on perhaps buying a whole fleet of lemons that don't come anywhere near the advertised performance. (And I too have knowledgeable sources .....)

As for this multiple-postor personality accompanied by 1CBT, it does create some baaaaad problems. Inhibits "free speech" :roll:

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby shiv » 14 Jun 2008 18:17

cross post from nuke thread:
Harish wrote:
Cohen said the US should go beyond encouraging better safeguards when it comes to nuclear security, and consider a criteria-based nuclear “deal” with Pakistan as a way of encouraging it to limit and secure its existing nuclear weapons, and that Pakistan could receive support for its civilian nuclear programme in exchange for greater assurances regarding the security of its nuclear assets and technology, and transparency regarding past leakages.

What's with mentioning nuclear weapons and the deal in the same sentence? The deal negotiated with India concerns itself solely with civilian uses - that is energy. And that alone. India will not limit its military nuclear options and that has been drilled into the head of every two-bit US official of any importance.

Is Uneven blurting out what has long been in unkil's mind with regard to the deal - to slowly and steadily acquire influence and say over how India deals with the military nuclear program? And that in the case of Pakistan those objectives acquire prime importance than in the case of India, where it will happen more slowly and over a longer time.


Good observation.

But the words I have always read from the US are "Cap, roll back, eliminate"

From all the discussions that I have seen - it seems to me that the US has already achieved "cap" in terms of the Indian arsenal. All that remains is roll back and eliminate.

Is this realization of US intent too late? But OTOH the intent was known all the time. If it was easy for India to take the route of testing, why have we found it so difficult to test - to the extent that tests were ordered and canceled by Narasimha Rao, a couple of years before ABV ordered them. "Cap" seems to be working pretty well and has been working for several decades.

All that remains is "roll back" and "eliminate" and it is so sooo convenient that India's official policy for the last whatever number of decades has been to demand roll back and eliminate from everyone else - with India leading from the front. It all seems to fit in doesn't it - India and the US are hand in glove.

Raju

Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Raju » 14 Jun 2008 18:43

once US has been allowed into the capital markets, then it indicates the end of sovreignty. Informal agreements on testing, capping might already have been reached then and just the formalisation remains. Just like the formal agreements that are signed before a major world bank bailing out of an economy.

Before Joe Stiglitz was fired he took a large stack of documents out of the World Bank. These documents from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund reveal that the IMF required nations:

1. to sign secret agreements of 111 items

2. in which they agreed to sell off their key assets - water, electric, gas, etc.

3. in which they agreed to take economic steps which are really devastating to the nations involved

4. in which they pay off the politicians billions of dollars to Swiss bank accounts to do this transfer of a countries fixed assets

If they do not agree to these steps they are cut-off from all international borrowing.


||ly The carrots here are economic investments and access to manpower into US and west, opening of western markets. The stick is economic terrorism or proxy war via Pakistan.

Our youth wants to have it both ways, they want a high growth economy that provides plenty of jobs and a strong independent defence policy that indicates a big schlong. Sadly in this world we can't have both ways until we take risks and win wars, the dollar denominated global system is completely out of our control and huge energy dependence that has been cultivated on imported means is not helping. The winners of the second world war have imposed their hegemonic order on the rest of the world. That can only be overturned by winning a war against them or curtailing their ability to wage wars against our interests. From India current position any increase in strategic capability will need a calculated risk or a risk that seems completely irrational,

following all the rules and regulations as is happening currently means that it is a losing battle and our side has surrendered.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby S.Abhisheik » 14 Jun 2008 20:28

once US has been allowed into the capital markets, then it indicates the end of sovreignty

By this yardstick China,Russia,Brazil not to mention India are non sovereign at the moment.

Informal agreements on testing, capping might already have been reached then and just the formalisation remains

Those supposed informal agreements didnt stop PVN from ordering a nuke test and ABV from detonating it.

the dollar denominated global system is completely out of our control and huge energy dependence that has been cultivated on imported means is not helping


its has gone out of control of west also.and energy dependence is a problem for europe,though i agree its gonna hit developing countries like India really hard.

Raju ,dont get me wrong.USA or west are not exactly benign powers when it comes to India or for that matter any other country.Since waging a war against them is ruled out how do you convince them about waging war against our interests,by integrating or by standing alone?
What I am unable to understand is your despondency when in a different thread you posted nothing can stop the rise of india,not even indians(quoting from memory,could be wrong).Yet you are saying we have surrendered.
what exactly do you propose we should do?

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Shivani » 14 Jun 2008 20:46

Disclaimer: I have been away from BR for a few weeks, and only started reading this series of threads (Future testing: pros and cons) yesterday, and have not yet finished reading all the posts. Now then...

Far too many people are obsessing over the technical nature of weapons while possessing limited information and qualifications to do so. All the while people are totally ignoring the strategic implications of future weapon testing that go beyond mere economic sanctions and technology denials.

While a lot of techical discussion has taken place on the science of weapons themselves, and the consequences or lack thereof of testing in near future, one question that has not been asked prominently is "If the 1998 testing is insufficient, why hasn't India tested after 1998?"

This question in particular should have been asked -and answered to the best of their bias- by all those who believe / feel that existing weapon designs are inadequate and less than perfect.

I am not sure if any members still recall this, but around time when Brahmos was first tested, one of the western members who vented here (TSJ?) lost his composure and claimed, paraphrasing "Indian Navy should be prepared for their ships to be blown up in ports because the 300Km range of Brahmos makes it extremely dangerous to USN." Words to that effect.

It was a rare moment of honesty and great insight into a part of western mind that most of us tend to ignore or gloss over: Just because we are comfortable with Pakistan et al acquiring all manners of missiles -or utterly unwilling to do 'things' to prevent it- does not mean they are as accomodating of our increasing capabilities.

What has this got to do with nuclear testing? Everything. A bomb, either 45Kt or 200 Kt is by itself useless because we need a delivery mechanism to go along with it. Analogy:

We can complain that the existing .22lr bullet is too weak to kill the rabid dog that terrorizes the neighbourhood, and promptly jump to make a .338 Lapua. What we tend to forget that this rabid dog is a pet of city's crime boss who not only has the big bullets, but also the guns to deliver them. And he does not want anyone else to have them. This boss works overtime with four other gangsters to make sure that no one gets these two great equalizers: a bullet, and a gun to deliver it at long distances. He even shares his profits with them to make sure they all play along.

As it is, we are an eyesore to these people in that we have a .22lr pistol. The sole consolation for the crime boss being that he can outrange and outgun us from his big guns, and laugh whenever the dog harasses us.

Now, if we suddenly take out a .338 Lapua magnum cartridge out of our ammunition box, this will alarm the boss big time. Because it means we are halfway there on fundamentally and permanently altering the balance of power with respect to Uncle Crime & Co. This means that the boss will have to share resources with yet another party, and there's always the risk that some day this new party might decide to settle some past scores.

Now, this crime boss hasn't gained and retained his position at the top of food chain by being complacent, and has a pleasant history to prove it. He does not believe in Vasudeva Katumbhakam and other such absurd notions. Why will he take the chance now?!

This new big-bullet is all the excuse the gangsters need. So the crime boss will use all his energies in making sure that while we may have got the 'right' 200 kiloton bullet, we'll never have a suitable gun to shoot it at appropriate distances.

This means not only will there be different kinds of sanctions, there is a good possibility that the rabid dog -which incidentally is becoming really uncontrollable even for the master- will be induced into one final suicide attack on those uppity SDRE brown-niggers.

This rabid dog has NL2L. {Nothing left to lose} A dream scenario for Uncle, two kills for the price of none.

Sure, we can and will eliminate Pakistan (much to the relief of Uncle), but is it really a victory when most of the bigger cities are destroyed courtesy No First Use, and UN is moving in all kinds of forces to help "re-build" the country?

At the beginning of this discussion, our moderator suggested that we assume that all politicians, scientists, babus etc are traitors, incompetent, malicious, cowards and so on. I understand why this was done to carry forward the discussion. But I'd postulate quite the opposite: people who get to decide on nuclear testing are infact quite competent, calculating, patriotic and intelligent.

They know the score: We are not in the fight with the dog(s), but their owner(s).

Were the 1998 Shakti test a success or failure? I'll tell you, there are 190 countries on this planet that would love to have a nuclear bomb that "fizzles" at 45 Kt. Present moratorium on nuclear testing has nothing to do with economic implications of testing. It has much to do with technological sanctions on the weapon delivery side, and the *very real* threat of hostile actions that will cripple us permanently. It makes a lot of strategic sense to not test now, and let Uncle be occupied elsewhere.

Our national planners seem to be under no illusion about what kind of creatures we are dealing with. For all we know, BARC are ready with new designs but holding back on testing for the rest of the package to come together.

This theory also allows me to predict when we will conduct the next series of tests. A few years from now, there would be fifth and final (user) trial of the new Agni VII. However, unlike the four other missiles before it, this particular Agni VII will not travel 5000 KM south into the Indian ocean, but instead take the great circle routing northwards and travel 13000 KM over China, Russia, Canada, US and land into the Gulf of Mexico.

That would be the right time to test at Pokhran, both to verify the 1998 work, as well new developments. We'll finally have the gun, and we can fine tune the ammunition all we want. We'll arrive to the party with the gun loaded, pointed to the head of criminals just like they have one pointed towards our at the moment.
This is one equal=equal I am very much looking forward to. :)

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby shiv » 14 Jun 2008 21:07

Wah Shivani wah! What a post!

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby prashanth » 14 Jun 2008 21:46

Superb post shivani! No doubt even our politicians and scientists have brains..... Found one more member who opposes immediate testing.

This is the best!
Were the 1998 Shakti test a success or failure? I'll tell you, there are 190 countries on this planet that would love to have a nuclear bomb that "fizzles" at 45 Kt

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby kshirin » 14 Jun 2008 21:55

Sam Nunn, of the Nunn-Lugar initiative to secure loose nuclear materials left over in the former USSR, has endorsed Obama and is in his team of security advisors. He advocates rapprochement with Russia (rather than China perhaps), full nuclear disarmament and US and everyone signing the CTBT. Where would that leave us (if Obama won that is, recall he was responsible for some killer amendments on the nuclear deal), considering none of these pious objectives ever seem to constrain the big 5 and always end up being applied selectively to us?

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Raju » 14 Jun 2008 22:02

S.Abhisheik wrote:
once US has been allowed into the capital markets, then it indicates the end of sovreignty

By this yardstick China,Russia,Brazil not to mention India are non sovereign at the moment.

China and Russia are not in the same boat as us. Russia is the biggest producer of oil and has surpassed Saudi Arabia in 2008. http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=170556
It is not energy dependent on imports. And once Putin chased off the oligarchs and reduced their influence, the Russians have regained sovreignty.

China shares a land border with Russia, so Russian energy can easily be supplied to China without any interference from west. So they do not have the energy leverage against China. More importantly China is a nation that takes risks, it is ready to launch wars against forces that are inimical to its interests esp in its neighbourhood. It is also said Mao was more of a geopolitician than an politician. Which means as per Shivani's terminology it is ready to kill the dog and eat it, though it is not quite ready to face up to its owner. Brazil is closest to our current situation perhaps worse.


Informal agreements on testing, capping might already have been reached then and just the formalisation remains

Those supposed informal agreements didnt stop PVN from ordering a nuke test and ABV from detonating it.

yes, but after ABV's test Kargil happened.
It was a message to India on what could happen if we crossed the red-line.
In other cases there can also be terrorism through the capital markets. If the managers of those markets have not prevented 'hot money' from dubious western sources entering in a big way then it can create havoc with the economy even if no overt war is launched. It is economic terrorism.
It can affect those sections of the economy which have no relation to any of these scams.
So we need to study the events preceeding market crashes. Also in this case the managers of capital markets are distrusted by default until they win trust.

the dollar denominated global system is completely out of our control and huge energy dependence that has been cultivated on imported means is not helping


its has gone out of control of west also.and energy dependence is a problem for europe,though i agree its gonna hit developing countries like India really hard.

Raju ,dont get me wrong.USA or west are not exactly benign powers when it comes to India or for that matter any other country.Since waging a war against them is ruled out how do you convince them about waging war against our interests,by integrating or by standing alone?
What I am unable to understand is your despondency when in a different thread you posted nothing can stop the rise of india,not even indians(quoting from memory,could be wrong).Yet you are saying we have surrendered.
what exactly do you propose we should do?

You have good memory, I had said nothing can stop the rise of India.
But we have to set up a land bridge with ME via Iran.
This is the risk we must take inorder to circumvent future problems.
And for that TSPA has to go swaha.
They have two options, either they accept our terms and cede way
or else they are neutralized via a surprise assault which also dents their retaliatory capability.
Latest actions by Kiani has indicated that he can be made a good scapegoat.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby CPrakash » 14 Jun 2008 22:05

We can complain that the existing .22lr bullet is too weak to kill the rabid dog that terrorizes the neighbourhood, and promptly jump to make a .338 Lapua. What we tend to forget that this rabid dog is a pet of city's crime boss who not only has the big bullets, but also the guns to deliver them. And he does not want anyone else to have them. This boss works overtime with four other gangsters to make sure that no one gets these two great equalizers: a bullet, and a gun to deliver it at long distances. He even shares his profits with them to make sure they all play along.

As it is, we are an eyesore to these people in that we have a .22lr pistol. The sole consolation for the crime boss being that he can outrange and outgun us from his big guns, and laugh whenever the dog harasses us.

Now, if we suddenly take out a .338 Lapua magnum cartridge out of our ammunition box, this will alarm the boss big time. Because it means we are halfway there on fundamentally and permanently altering the balance of power with respect to Uncle Crime & Co. This means that the boss will have to share resources with yet another party, and there's always the risk that some day this new party might decide to settle some past scores.



One of the best analogies I have seen on the forum for a long time

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby ramana » 14 Jun 2008 23:01

Shivani, Thanks for the post.
Please read the sub-text of the posts by sraj which talk about the US Administration certification to US Congress of India's working towards MTCR adherence and the FMCT compliance for the 123 agreement with to take effect. In other words there wont be any A IV or whatever that will travel that distance. it will still be limited to 3500 km not even nautical miles. Nor will there be anything but flowers to put in the payload.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Gerard » 14 Jun 2008 23:07

He advocates rapprochement with Russia (rather than China perhaps), full nuclear disarmament and US and everyone signing the CTBT


Nunn doesn't advocate "full nuclear disarmament".

He advocates "working towards" the "goal of full nuclear disarmament".

This goal, as always, is in the far distant future. It is all about arms control and nothing about disarmament.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Prem » 14 Jun 2008 23:08

The onlee way to play the successful game is to hold all the cards weather be economical, military or moral. This is one reason we have been reactionary most of the time . We want sure success and even small sign of alleged weakness stir hornet nest. We should retain the right to test and when time come do it if necessary. Testing right now will be a sign of weakness not of strength. Why sould India show her cards to every TDH and expect to be a worthy player.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Harish » 14 Jun 2008 23:10

Shivani - a truly brilliant and eloquent post. Now that you said it, it looks very obvious why further testing has not happened yet.

But - while it makes sense to wait till we have the delivery capability for our nukes - in what way will technology denial regimes hurt our ability to produce that ICBM capability? How much foreign inputs do our missiles like Agni currently contain? And how many are future Agnis likely to contain?

None at all, if what is being said about our missile capabilities are true. Our IRBM and the coming ICBM must be absolutely indigenous and if they are not / will not be, we are in big trouble.

In what way can US and her allies - the group of gangsters in your excellent analogy - hurt India in the domain of nuclear and missile technology? It is critical to understand exactly how they can hurt us and over what timeframe. Overestimating their ability to hurt us - either with their big guns or through their rabid pet dog - only creates an inhibitory effect that may be one of the desired outcomes of the gang - an outcome achieved through projection of a power that does not exist than through demonstrated use of existing power. In other words, we misread the gang's ability to hurt us and that exactly serves their purpose.

Dont the gangsters know our game? They do, and they would know right now is the time to squeeze us and throttle our programs - both nuclear and missile. I do see an effort to stop our nuclear program - the US nuclear deal can be interpreted in that manner. What I dont see happening is any effort to stop us producing longer and longer range ballistic missiles.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Raju » 14 Jun 2008 23:24

the final idea is to win the ultimate war .. the defeat of forces led by the western hegemonists. The ultimate dharamyudh.
But in preparation, we have to stir up the neighbourhood and create instability. Whereby we can hope to remake and reshape the neighbourhood in our own image. this would be the first salvo.
this also allows us to take a vantage position where none can spring a surprise on us while claiming deniability, which is most dangerous situation to be caught in while in a wider conflict.
Ultimately there is going to be a war whichever way we see it,
nuke deal can be seen as part of precautionary moves by the opposing camp to prevent us from springing a surprise.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Harish » 14 Jun 2008 23:25

shiv wrote:cross post from nuke thread:
Harish wrote:
Cohen said the US should go beyond encouraging better safeguards when it comes to nuclear security, and consider a criteria-based nuclear “deal” with Pakistan as a way of encouraging it to limit and secure its existing nuclear weapons, and that Pakistan could receive support for its civilian nuclear programme in exchange for greater assurances regarding the security of its nuclear assets and technology, and transparency regarding past leakages.

What's with mentioning nuclear weapons and the deal in the same sentence? The deal negotiated with India concerns itself solely with civilian uses - that is energy. And that alone. India will not limit its military nuclear options and that has been drilled into the head of every two-bit US official of any importance.

Is Uneven blurting out what has long been in unkil's mind with regard to the deal - to slowly and steadily acquire influence and say over how India deals with the military nuclear program? And that in the case of Pakistan those objectives acquire prime importance than in the case of India, where it will happen more slowly and over a longer time.


Good observation.

But the words I have always read from the US are "Cap, roll back, eliminate"

From all the discussions that I have seen - it seems to me that the US has already achieved "cap" in terms of the Indian arsenal. All that remains is roll back and eliminate.

Is this realization of US intent too late? But OTOH the intent was known all the time. If it was easy for India to take the route of testing, why have we found it so difficult to test - to the extent that tests were ordered and canceled by Narasimha Rao, a couple of years before ABV ordered them. "Cap" seems to be working pretty well and has been working for several decades.

All that remains is "roll back" and "eliminate" and it is so sooo convenient that India's official policy for the last whatever number of decades has been to demand roll back and eliminate from everyone else - with India leading from the front. It all seems to fit in doesn't it - India and the US are hand in glove.

And what have we capped so far?

We still produce poo for weapons from our reactors. We still produce longer and longer range birds, and we have announced that yet another will fly soon.

We have capped nothing. The real danger is when we commit to such stringent clauses as contained in the nuclear deal as offered to us, we allow for a little interference and over time it grows so much that it cannot be ignored or removed any more. If we give an inch, they will take a mile.

Going by Shivani's analysis, shouldn't we also postpone any nuclear deals for when we have both the missiles and the inventory necessary to load them up? If we haven't tested yet due to fear of sanctions crippling us before we are ready with an ICBM capability, we should also we equally wary of attempts to strangulate our nuclear capability before we are ready with fully-tested thermonuclear warheads.

That's why uneven's words have an alarming ring to them - they may be indicative of US thinking on this issue.

However - the very fact that this puts me on the same side as communists makes me uncomfortable to say the least. Surely there is a lot to gain from the deal - if we negotiate carefully and after we have acquired a bare-minimum ICBM capability and some good thermonukes to go with them. Till then we should dilly-dally, hold chai-biskoot sessions, drag our feet, sermonize, blame our chaotic democracy, lack of funds, AIDS problem etc to buy time with the amreekans.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Rye » 15 Jun 2008 00:24

Harish, so what exactly is the reason that you agree with Shivani but then come to the opposite conclusion?

Going by Shivani's analysis, shouldn't we also postpone any nuclear deals for when we have both the missiles and the inventory necessary to load them up?


No. If you break this down, the choices are to (a) delay signing the deal until the development of ICBM+atimbums+beam weaponsetc.etc. (b) delay the development of weapons until local capability to build hi-tech items is at a considerably higher level and stay in a recessed posture until then.

You are claiming that (a) is obvious right choice, when (a) is the one that will not open the door to improve local capability and rapidly reduce the time taken to reach optimal capability and (b) is the route that gives us that choice.

but a country's cumulative capability at a given time t, CC(t) = EC(t) + MC (t) + ETC(t) + NC(t)....(add your own)

EC(t) is Economic Capability at time t EC'(t) is the rate of change of the economic capability
MC(t) is MilitaryCapability at time t MC'(t) is the rate of change of military capability
ETC(t) is External Trade Capability at time t and ECT'(t) is the rate of change to military capability
NC(t) is the nuclear capability with higher values indication a bigger boom in the Indian bum.

if t_o is some initial time,

EC(t) = EC(t_o) + integral of EC'(t)*dt over the interval t_o,t
MC(t) = MC(t_o) + integral of MC'(t)*dt over the interval t_o,t
ETC(t) = ETC(t_o) + integral of ETC'(t)*dt over the interval t_o,t
NC(t) = NC(t_o) + integral of NC'(t)*dt over the interval t_o,t

EC(t_o), MC(t_o) and ETC(t_o) are India's current capabilities in the different dimensions.

Now, signing this deal or not signing this deal has an effect on the rate of change of these different capabilities.

let EC'_a(t) be the rate of change of economic capability in scenario a
let EC'_b(t) be the rate of change of economic capability in scenario b
Ditto for MC'_a(t) etc.


Now, the thesis of most people who have been intimately familiar with the Indian govt.'s capabilities
is that for any t > t_now, where t_now is today.

(i) EC'_a(t) < EC'_b(t) -- reason: option B allows access to capital, investment and trade with richer countries
(ii) MC'_a(t) < MC'_b(t) -- reason: deal gives India access to a tonne of previously denied conventional mil capability
(iii) ETC'_a(t) < ETC'_b(t) -- reason: deal gives India better ability to trade with nations that have the money to trade with India.


This thread is dealing with the question of NC'(t) only -- i.e., India's ability to increase its bum effectiveness.
The naysayers think that this is CRE, i.e., NC_b(t_now+100 years) = zero, assuming that Uncle-ji beats us
with a cane and takes away our bum as suggested on these threads.

The counter-argument is that NC'(t) is a derived function that is a function of the rate of increase of local engineering and manufacturing capability, and therefore, realistically, if (i), (ii), and (iii) are true then realistically, NC'_a(t) < NC'_b(t) too, because the ability of Indians to create better technology increases with (i), (ii) and (iii). The legalese-driven theorists argue that NC'_a(t) >= NC'_b(t) because the 123 is only about civilian nuke capability but has the potential to reduce the nuclear capability if the treaties become restrictive down the line.

What I want to know from those with the legalese view is: why do they believe that the more capable, i.e., more powerful, India will be beholden to a legal system without a real enforcement mechanism? (only weak states can be forced to obey in this legal system, not the states with the ability to damage world trade).

Clearly, the effectiveness of any international legal system in holding back India is inversely proportional to India's cumulative capability, i.e., Indian Power in the power politics sense.

Since EC'_b(t) is likely to be much higher than EC'_a(t) by the above argument, the conclusion would be that India would have more capability in scenario b to resist external pressure, compared to scenario a.

If we haven't tested yet due to fear of sanctions crippling us before we are ready with an ICBM capability, we should also we equally wary of attempts to strangulate our nuclear capability before we are ready with fully-tested thermonuclear warheads.


So only the capability to have big massive bombs is worth anything? What about the capability to rapidly develop local capability to build any hi-tech item on our own?( from core design to ultimate implementation using 100% Indian capabilities..let's call it meta-capability. Is there no value to such a thing?


Note: If you read this post thinking that the "right to test" is a capability, then you won't understand a freaking thing written in this post. So please do not respond to this post if that is your worldview.
Last edited by Rye on 15 Jun 2008 00:54, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby enqyoobOLD » 15 Jun 2008 00:26

Going along the path suggested by Harish:

And then go all out, and put all our money into building 10MT ICBMs?

The world will have moved on by then, and an ICBM will be a NBT4BB (Nice Big Target for Big Bang). And once the Agni or Surya is completely tested, India will nicely sign MTCR and lay off all the DRDO ppl working on Air Liquefaction and Nozzle Recombination and supersonic flame stabilization and hypersonic vehicle stability augmentation. Or they will emigrate. I keep saying this, and of course ppl claim not to understand: A deterrent based on big missiles is a 21st Century Maginot Line. Or a Strike Force made of elephants.

The nuke experts and Strategic Thinkers so idolized here don't know diddly (no disrespect intended) about this part of the deterrence equation and threat evolution.

You can put 2000 10 MT warheads on ICBMs with 10m CEP, and the probability games will say that not a single one will reach their target. So they will be completely useless and a huge liability. Meanwhile the country can he held hostage using the 21st century equivalent of the Afghan/ Persian horse cavalry.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby vsudhir » 15 Jun 2008 01:00

N^3,

With all due respect, thanks for getting off the pinglish wagon. Your arguments make a lot of sense.

While no one denies a "10000 swarm of UAVs/ drones could sneak in and take out every defence, mil, tech and command station in this country tomorrow, whence N deterrence", there's good reason why such hasn't happened yet. Not to play down investments in conventional tech, but this wmd thing has a quality all of its own.

* P5 knows India intends to develop 'maassive WMD' capabilities and will someday get there.
* Delhi knows biggest threats are from JDAMs going off coordinatedly in our top 10 cities, say.
* P6 knows TSP can and will be happy to plausibly deniably hand deliver such JDAMs - whose designs first go missing in massaland and the products endup miraculously 'made in cheena'.

Why then 10 yrs since POKII has such not happened yet? (Of course one series could go off tomorrow).

My subprimal hypothesys:

If A uses TSP to deliver JDAMs against B and on the surface, in diplomatic enclaves and newsrooms B refrains from blaming A directly or indirectly *but* everyone not born yesterday knows what just happened, how is B to retaliate? Will B adopt gandhigiri and forgive and forget and do GUBO (i.e. CRE) then? I doubt it.

One answer strikes me as plausible but dunno if things at the geopolitical level really work that way. What is to stop B from operating an underground walmart of suitcase bums to any and every nonstate actor - from drug mafias to freedom fighters to religious cults? What will save A's cities tomorrow? Bottomline - deterrence holds whether plausible deniability holds or not. Two can play that game.

Going back to shivani's excellent analogy - if the master owns the dog owns the rabies, the master's musharraf is where the buck will stop, ultimately. No wonder TSP used a clown general to declare that any attack on TSP's clown jewels by massa will invite retaliation on Dilli. And am sure Japan must have conveyed to Beijingoland that any NoKo misadventurism will invite retaliation on cheeni musharrafs.

JMRs and all that.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Shivani » 15 Jun 2008 02:26

Harish wrote:Overestimating their ability to hurt us - either with their big guns or through their rabid pet dog - only creates an inhibitory effect


We just do not want to accept the reality, but they have already deployed the rabid dog once: Kargil.

There were so many potential benefits just waiting to come out of that wonderful conflict, but unfortunately for US over 500 Indian soldiers made the supreme sacrifice and more than 1300 suffered injuries to ensure none of their desires came true, and we survive to have this little discussion.

That was 1999. Today, Pakistan is in even worse position, and truly desperate. We haven't really grown up as much as we needed to. US can already see the emerging India affect them, if only economically at the moment. There is a hint of desperation in US too.

There will be no holding back this time. What has Pakistan got to lose? What have we got to lose? What do we gain if we put a gun to uncle's forehead first, and then test the bombs?

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Abhibhushan » 15 Jun 2008 02:28

N^3

A deterrent based on big missiles is a 21st Century Maginot Line. Or a Strike Force made of elephants.


I find myself nodding to your statement as if I am still an instructor in a military strategy class where one student has the insight and courage to speak against a prevailing (confused) consensus.

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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Chandi Prasaad » 15 Jun 2008 02:30

And as Shiv outlined earlier the standard operation principle for this thread:
shiv wrote:No personal attacks on anyone please under the general guideline that everyone is a jackass, a traitor and an incompetent liar including GOI, armed forces and all Indians and everyone who posts on here - so repeating that accusation is pointless. We put away this point as a "given" and state opinions. Everyone's opinion is brahma satya and equal. Nobody gets more or less points for his opinion and there is no sense is breaking one's head trying to bash down an opinion that is contrary to one's own belief.

I am not sure if it was coincidence that ramana asked about cognitive dissonance. Even on an issue such as this any information that is contrary to long held views can cause the anger of cognitive dissonance - so please - let us try and follow a guideline that is followed in a very civilized list that I subscribe to: "Assume goodwill"

Having established that one is totally free to take my words as brahama-satya or idle musing of a fellow BRFite.

As for fission based deterrence:
shiv wrote:In light of the confidential information being revealed by Chandi Prasad, it seems that India had no credible deterrent between 1974 and 1998, when a working fission warhead was tested. Because 45 kt itself was insufficient, I take it that 15 kt could hardly have been enough.

Now we know in 2008 that what was done on 1998 was not enough and that we still do not have a credible deterrent - at least in the views of more than one member of the Indian defence establishment as told in confidence to Chandi Prasad.
    1.) Firstly before 1998 no working fission warhead was ever tested.

    2.) Of course India did not have credible deterrent till the first warhead was crafted by re engineering the 1974 PNE. I am sure one can easily find references that it happened much later than 1974.

    3.) As for credible deterrence since the time fission warhead was crafted, or after 1998 when fission warhead was first tested, and the thermonuclear weaponisable test fizzled, it might be useful to get rid of technical/scientific language and communicate using analogies in a manner that is easily absorbed.

    A.) India as a nation has changed and evolved since 1974 and the threat perception and deterrence requirements have changed. So one size fits all deterrence posture that is frozen in 1974 or 1998 is not a useful concept.

    B.) As for Indian deterrence after 1998, I will try use Shivani style analogy (Thanks Shivani for that post, it is good post, however I don't agree with your assumptions and conclusions).

    Bengal was ravaged by many great famine during British raj there. At that time even reasonably well to do people were forced to survive by eating “Nyeka” roots (read Fission bum) from nearby village ponds (or small creek/tributaries). The village people can live off that mode for some time (small challenger), but not for famine that runs longer (big challenger) {balanced diet, depletion, too much work to dig. etc.}. One could argue that the village can dig 100 ponds around the village and live off eating “Nyeka” roots all their lives and their progenies to outlive the long famine (big challenger). But the rustic but practical village people think there is better way. That of lifting water off village pond/creek and convert some of the Rain-God farm into irrigated farm that much more and sustainable crop yield barley or maize (crops that take less water/maal) that will not only be healthy but keep the village people fighting fit confident of their future. The dacoits in the jungles will be deterred from picking a village that is not living by scavenging the village pond, but by a farming community whose least common denominator is both the sign of prosperity, confident and ability to vigorously punish trespassers.

    So the current deterrence based on small fission bum is like surviving by eating “Nyeka” roots for the first year of famine. A more healthy and robust way to appropriate part of rain fed farm into pond water irrigated farm (higher yield, less fissile material consuming weapon design).

    The 1998 experiment to build the pipeline and water lifting apparatus might not have succeeded, but we can learn from our mistakes and do it right next time around. BUT it is wrong to sign away for perpetuity village's right to build pond based irrigation apparatus for safety of the village (the US India civil nuclear agreement).
So the eating “Nyeka” roots is a short term option that unfortunately can't become long term solution.

Given that the number and quality of tests by India are insufficient to meet the demands a credible deterrent can it be safely concluded that:

1) India still does not have a credible deterrent
2) Since re-manufacture of warheads to a proven design specification takes at least a decade from the time that a design is proven, India will continue to not have a credible nuclear deterrent for at least a decade after another series of tests - assuming that those tests are to the satisfaction of Chandi Prasad's nuclear-knowledgeable defence contacts.
3) This is a good time to attack India because nuclear retaliation from India is unlikely to be effective.
4) Delaying India's conventional build up right now would be a good adjunct to keeping India weak, because any effort by India to test could be utilized to further delay any improvement and modernization in addition to moves made right now to delay material and technology.
Surely, If I can reach these conclusions - anyone who matters can also reach these conclusions both in India and abroad.

In addition, if anyone who matters in India can also reach these conclusions, what steps could they take to bypass what appears to me like a checkmate against India?

Will anyone actually bother answering these questions?

They were not answered last time around when I asked similar questions. I would also be willing to listen if anyone can point out to me as to how my conclusions are wrong. I am particularly interested in knowing if there is such a thing as "partial deterrence" in anybody's view? i don't believe that there can be partial deterence. Either we have it, or we don't and Chandi Prasad's insider information seems to indicate in public (unbacked by a quotable source) that India does not have a working nuclear deterrent.

Would you consider taking a shot at these questions Chandi Prasad?

I will respond at a time, place and platform of my choosing.

My choice to not quote my source does not automatically make it insider information (like press reports that quote unnamed/unidentified official) , much less confidential/secret information. And why would anybody in Indian defense establishment give a civilian nobody (like me), information that is classified/secret/confidential?

My first half of the reply only partly address some aspects of the questions.
Last edited by Chandi Prasaad on 15 Jun 2008 04:21, edited 1 time in total.

Gerard
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Re: Future Nuclear testing: pros and cons-2

Postby Gerard » 15 Jun 2008 03:23

Of course India did not have credible deterrent till the first warhead was crafted by re engineering the 1974 PNE. I am sure one can easily find references that it happened much later than 1974.


Rajiv Gandhi ordered nuke weaponisation, says Brajesh
Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi ordered the weaponisation of India’s nuclear capability in 1988 or 1989, the country’s first National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra asserted in an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times.


Behind India's Veil of Nuclear Ambiguity
It was Rajiv Gandhi, according to the famous Indian defence analyst, K Subrahmanyam, who finally authorised weaponisation in 1988. Shortly afterwards, in 1990, a secret Indian nuclear arsenal came into existence


http://www.fas.org/news/india/1998/05/0829059806.htm

SHRI INDER KUMAR GUJRAL:
From Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi onwards, every Prime
Minister -- if I may say, in my humble opinion, up to me -- we were committed
to denuclearisation of the world. We feel that every country in the world will
be more secure if there is denuclearisation. But at that time, Rajiv Gandhi
had performed another duty also. And, that duty was the duty of the Prime
Minister. He performed it very well. And, without letting any secret outside
to which I am sure, I would only say that Shri Rajiv Gandhi initiated the
process and that process has been well taken care of by all his successors
and, that is, that the Indian security is very safe, that the Indian nuclear
deterrent is absolutely in the form that you did not do nuclear tests. We
wanted to have a deterrent all the time.
Last edited by Gerard on 15 Jun 2008 03:43, edited 1 time in total.


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