Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

ramana
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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ramana » 24 Sep 2009 06:50

Sanjay wrote:NRao - not true. In 2002 the armed forces were fully appraised of the limitations. General Padmanabhan asked and was told TN were not weaponised. Nobody counted on the TN except in nice books. However, he was told that fission and FBF were weaponised...


So whats the problem? This is good news. You have written books and might have data that you post as needed.

That Hindu article was low blow for not only me but a lot of people and the author was made aware of it. By supporting a deterrent based on such a low number when a week or two before that was quite an about turn. The same case could be made without referring to those numbers.

BTW, as vera_k posted, government ministers also thought it was prospective. So not just in nice books.

Anyway what was that about Hammerblow? Can you tell us and its antecedents?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby enqyoob » 24 Sep 2009 06:55

OT, I know... but someone should pls invite this guy to this thread. Would fit right in.

BTW, shiv, of all the genocides I have read about, the one in Rwanda is the one that chills me the most. Done mostly using machetes. The sheer remorseless evil of it cannot be matched for "fear value" by any megaton or gigaton bum. Reminded me of what the Partition and the massacres of Nadir Shah or Timur must have been like. These guys who try to scare me with Megaton ICBMS make me :rotfl: . I've gone to work for the past 1,700,000 years, it seems like, in a Fallout Shelter. And everyone knows it is a complete waste of time to go there if there really is a nuclear war. I know it takes 37 minutes to drive home if I go as fast as I dare, but in such conditions the road will be gridlocked. And there are so many "MT-level" targets around that there will be flashes all round. It's only a matter of seconds at most.

So it is a complete waste as a deterrent. I know that whoever does it would suffer so badly that they will never dare. That's all the deterrent that anyone needs.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sudeepj » 24 Sep 2009 06:58

shiv wrote:
Finally, just the threat of incoming Chinese Dongfeng-21 IRBMs carrying warheads in the 1-3.3 megaton range would so psychologically cripple Indian political leaders with only 20 KT firecrackers to bank on, they will likely throw in the towel.
- this is a most laughable assertion. This shows that Karnad is an Anglophone eliteman who does not understand Indians but chooses to use the piskology word when he feels like using it.

Sorry Karnad ji. Try again.


How about this scenario:~

1) China takes over border posts in 'South Tibet'
2) India manages to achieve local preponderance in certain theaters.
3) China nukes div. headquarters/other tactical objectives, resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths, but mostly army.
4) China delivers a threat through the UNSC for India to 'vacate their aggression in South Tibet' or face total devastation.
5) At this point, what does the Indian leader do?
(a) Nuke Chengdu [What does that achieve? It leaves China in control of AP and you loose Delhi/Bangalore/Mumbai]
(b) Nuke Chinese tactical positions [Think really hard before you do that, China may take a counter value posture and you loose everything you have achieved in 60 years]
(c) Nuke Beijing [Kiss your ass goodbye.]
(d) Accept a ceasefire, however bad its terms may be.
(e) Deliver a counter ultimatum to the Chinese.

My point in this post is not to argue that things will follow a certain path, only to argue that once such a process of escalation is started by an adversary armed with larger and more numerous weapons than India, Indian choices become difficult and limited.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 07:07

vera_k wrote:This was Vasundhara Raje's statement.

http://164.100.47.5:8080/members/Websit ... qref=17918
RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 2676
TO BE ANSWERED ON 17.08.2000
TESTING OF A NEUTRON BOMB


ANSWER

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ATOMIC ENERGY
(SMT. VASUNDHARA RAJE)

(a) Yes, Sir. Government is aware of the press report. On & the other hand, many experts believe that neutron bombs,

(b) also called enhanced radiation weapons, are essentially tactical weapons and have limited utility in terms of deterrence. Therefore, although capability for design of a neutron bomb exists, the Indian credible minimum nuclear deterrent is currently based on a range of possible weapons systems from low yields upto 200 kilotons involving fission, boosted fission and two- stage thermonuclear designs. Research and development on all aspects of the nuclear programme would continue.


Let me disagree here with Vasundhara Raje ji

A Neutron bomb produces neutrons from fusion. This whole goddam tamasha is whether India's tests produced high energy neutrons from fusion or not.

If you can successfully test a neutron bomb the route to using that core to clad it with suitable fissile material and make a much bigger bomb is clear. Why are you not testing? When you have a bellyache and doctor keeps giving you pills is it wrong fro you to ask "Doc - can't you do some tests - your pills are not making me feel better"? :)

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 07:12

sudeepj wrote:
How about this scenario:~

1) China takes over border posts in 'South Tibet'
2) India manages to achieve local preponderance in certain theaters.
3) China nukes div. headquarters/other tactical objectives, resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths, but mostly army.


My answer:

At this point:

If India stands by its stated nuclear doctrine India will nuke Beijing. Shanghai, Chengdu and other cities with whatever we have got.


Anything less than that and we have no deterrence.

It is a different thing to believe that your leaders as psychologically incapable of doing that as Bharat Karnad writes, but then his argument becomes even more stupid. If Indian leaders are psychologically incapable of fulfilling Indian stated doctrine then even 5000 x 50 megaton Tsar Bombas in Indian hands will not help.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby samuel » 24 Sep 2009 07:12

sudeepj,
China will never use a nuclear weapon against India because then it will face massive retaliation and lose 1/4 of every major city (which is unmentionable damage) and lose face in the world. Its economy will collapse because the world will come to the support of beleaguered India. They won't allow such a thing to happen to the largest democracy. After that 1/4 return however, India won't exist as we know it.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Kanson » 24 Sep 2009 07:15

PratikDas wrote:I don't think this one has been discussed yet... apologies if mistaken

Government rubbishes claims that Pohkhran-II was failure
On Board Air India One, September 24, 2009
The government has rubbished the claim by a retired senior scientist that the nuclear tests India conducted 11 years ago were a failure and questioned the timing of his statement.

"He is a perennial doubter. Why has he waited for five years of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government to make the claim?" a top government official said referring to the claim by the former scientist with a state-run agency.

"Out of eight different tests, one may not have yielded the same set of results that we may have talked about. But the rest of the seven have been a success," the official said on condition of anonymity, during an informal interaction with journalists accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on way to Pittsburgh, US, for the G20 Summit.


Which one?


I think, by eight tests, he means 8 different measurements. Obviously, it could be Seismic. Anything else ?
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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Kanson » 24 Sep 2009 07:19

- self-deleted-
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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 07:21

samuel wrote:sudeepj,
China will never use a nuclear weapon against India because then it will face massive retaliation and lose 1/4 of every major city (which is unmentionable damage) and lose face in the world. Its economy will collapse because the world will come to the support of beleaguered India. They won't allow such a thing to happen to the largest democracy. After that 1/4 return however, India won't exist as we know it.



Actually - an I am making a wild guess here - China does not have the nuke power to knock out even 1% of India's land area - but I will be back with a more accurate figure.

But yes India will not be there as you know it But more than 75% of Indians will escape. For some of them life will no be diffferent because their lives are rubbish right now. But for me and my hoity-toity anglophone relatives and social group - life, if it exists will not be the same.

Same is true for Chinese cities and city folk.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Satya_anveshi » 24 Sep 2009 07:24

shiv wrote:It is a different thing to believe that your leaders as psychologically incapable


Shivji,

Not to interfere your debate with Sudeepj but being a pisko expert, you would know that part of (IMO major part) of our leaders being psychologically incapable is because they are either not aware or don't have the power it takes for them to be seen powerful and sometimes use that power.

We need to empower them with all the tools and training the their incapability will be fixed.

Do you think our politicos are psychologically incapable in dealing with Indian janta? They will screw them many times over and yet not get tired because they know what power they have. Similarly, Indian politician will need to be given that confidence in armed forces and the various tools including mega bums.

Inspite of severe limitations some of our leaders thought of leading part of the world (let it be the third world), there is no reason to think they can't do that more effectively with better tools in their hands.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Kanson » 24 Sep 2009 07:28

Sanjay wrote:NRao - not true. In 2002 the armed forces were fully appraised of the limitations. General Padmanabhan asked and was told TN were not weaponised. Nobody counted on the TN except in nice books. However, he was told that fission and FBF were weaponised...


Sanjay

Is it possible to find the lastest timeline, where there were any indication of TN being not weaponised. Like you done here.

My feeling is the consternation in govt/mil circles wrt to Santhanam's assertion is due to the presence of TN weapon.

I may also like to give some timeline regarding the same where i feel TN is weaponised. As so much been talked about this, i think it is nothing is sharing this piece. During the N deal discussion where the question of testing was talked about, some gents hinted about the Indo - US understanding didnt happen in vacuum. I'm suspecting the year 2004 could be of some landmark, which prompted the UPA govt to forge ahead.
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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby samuel » 24 Sep 2009 07:30

What I want to know is how many kilotons of nuclear bomb does it takes for India to react with its 1/4 total recall. I think the doctrine calls for >0. but after that logic fizzles. I think we should conduct a poll...

Will India retaliate with "all it got" when

0.1KT of explosion over Arunachal.
0.5KT
1KT
5KT
10KT
25KT
50KT

For example, at 0.5KT, it may be better to "make china lose face" for the rest of time than total recall.
S
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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 07:30

Sanjay wrote: General Padmanabhan asked and was told TN were not weaponised. .


I think if the likes of Bharat Karnad could stop foaming at the mouth, accusing people and talkng incoherently they could make a much less laughable argument.

The fact that TN are not weaponised suggests that more testing is needed and that is a perfectly sensible thought.

The GoI is not testing because of political considerations and is likely hiding behind the hijab that enough tests have been done. Tests are never enough.

But by tearing one's hair out, calling all people who disagree as wimps or liars is not the way to send a message that will be heard. Bharat Karnad who throws out the piskology word so easily is in need of some piskolgical education himself. What a bunch of own-goal scorers who want to show themselves as "More patriotic than thou" Pah! No wonder India is what it is. He sounds like my grandmother being derisive of some lesser caste mortal.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby enqyoob » 24 Sep 2009 07:37

My answer:

At this point:

If India stands by its stated nuclear doctrine India will nuke Beijing. Shanghai, Chengdu and other cities with whatever we have got.

Anything less than that and we have no deterrence.

It is a different thing to believe that your leaders as psychologically incapable of doing that as Bharat Karnad writes, but then his argument becomes even more stupid. If Indian leaders are psychologically incapable of fulfilling Indian stated doctrine then even 5000 x 50 megaton Tsar Bombas in Indian hands will not help.


I don't know how the debate got to this, but here I would agree with Sudeepj that India desperately needs "TNs" (TACTICAL nukes).

This is the problem with the Doctrine and why the lack of tactical nukes is the horrible chasm in Indian deterrence.

Everyone knows that Indian PM will not launch towards Beijing and Shanghai (thereby wiping out Dilli, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai, Bengalooru and Malgudi) just because 5000 Indian soldiers are wiped out in a tactical nuke attack somewhere deep in a snow-covered valley in Arunachal.

The GOI will simply deny that the event occurred.

OTOH, if it is known that India has 3000 tactical nukes, that attack would simply not happen.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby samuel » 24 Sep 2009 07:39

Bingo, we need Tactical Nukes.
The "Top" is covered, but the "bottom" remains exposed.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sudeepj » 24 Sep 2009 07:41

shiv wrote:
sudeepj wrote:
How about this scenario:~

1) China takes over border posts in 'South Tibet'
2) India manages to achieve local preponderance in certain theaters.
3) China nukes div. headquarters/other tactical objectives, resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths, but mostly army.


My answer:

At this point:

If India stands by its stated nuclear doctrine India will nuke Beijing. Shanghai, Chengdu and other cities with whatever we have got.


Anything less than that and we have no deterrence.

It is a different thing to believe that your leaders as psychologically incapable of doing that as Bharat Karnad writes, but then his argument becomes even more stupid. If Indian leaders are psychologically incapable of fulfilling Indian stated doctrine then even 5000 x 50 megaton Tsar Bombas in Indian hands will not help.


Shiv ji

I remember watching an interview with a British 'boomer' submarine commander. The interview was about how the authority to launch devolved onto individual commanders if the British govt. machinery was decapitated by a Soviet nuke strike. The interviewer posed the question to the commander, would you have launched your missiles at Moscow if such a thing had happened?

The commander said no, because it would only have resulted in innocent people dying.

What I am trying to say is, people faced with such a decision will make unpredictable choices. They will have to consider a second wave of attacks and a third wave and so on. Its all too easy to say, we will launch our missiles on XYZ cities, but wont you consider a second round in your equation? If you accept a ceasefire, what have you lost - except face and a couple of divisions and a few thousand square kms of territory that wasnt well connected with the rest of the country anyway, and if you launch, you loose everything, perhaps even India as a nation state.

What you lack in MTs, you seek to make up in the hardness of your posture. As the opposing side makes increasing progress, in 2nd strike capability, in ABM capability, in RMA, your stand will need to become incrementally harder until it resembles Pakistans' - "you as much as pee in my direction and I will nuke you with all I have".

But this stance is also brittle and fragile. It cant tolerate small escalations. One hammer blow(*) and it will collapse in smithereens. It may take your adversary down with you, but who has won?

(*) apologies for sounding like a neighbour general, but this is the reality of this posture.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 07:45

Satya_anveshi wrote:they are either not aware or don't have the power it takes for them to be seen powerful and sometimes use that power.

We need to empower them with all the tools and training the their incapability will be fixed.

Do you think our politicos are psychologically incapable in dealing with Indian janta?.


Warning - we are heading seriously off topic here. As someone said it is better to stick to technicals and do another 100 pages of disagreement because we have very little data about yields and no data about high energy neutrons produced.


1) they are either not aware or don't have the power it takes for them to be seen powerful and sometimes use that power.
Clearly your idea of "power" and desire fro India to be seen as "powerful" is based on the model that has been quoted here - like the P5 - with a lot of big nukes. You will first have to convince Indian leadership (and a new generation of leaders) that bigger atom bombs results in the sort of power that the US, Russia, France, Britain and China have. I believe that you need to sort out what you mean by "power" to make a good case.

2)We need to empower them with all the tools and training the their incapability will be fixed.
-Bigger nuclear bombs are being suggested as "the tool" but GoI says the real tool is social and economic development and upliftment of millions who just want better lives.

3)Do you think our politicos are psychologically incapable in dealing with Indian janta?
- if you are asking me what I think, I will state my thoughts. I think that people asking for bigger bombs have less of a pulse on the Indian janta than any two bit politician. No matter how flawed the democracy - votes come from the janta and if you want to scare he janta about Chinese megaton nukes they will ROTFL and say those megatons would be better than their current lives.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 07:49

sudeepj wrote:What you lack in MTs, you seek to make up in the hardness of your posture. As the opposing side makes increasing progress, in 2nd strike capability, in ABM capability, in RMA, your stand will need to become incrementally harder until it resembles Pakistans' - "you as much as pee in my direction and I will nuke you with all I have"..


This is India's doctrine. I want a change from NFU to an even more threatening posture where we might nuke even if you don't pee.

sudeepj wrote: One hammer blow(*) and it will collapse in smithereens. It may take your adversary down with you, but who has won?
.


This is the truth about nuclear war. After your side gets nuked - unless you nuke back, the other side will win. So in order to say "nobody wins" you will have to nuke back. It gets easier when you know that your family in Mumbai/Delhi/Chandigarh are dead or dying.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sudeepj » 24 Sep 2009 07:50

narayanan wrote:
My answer:

At this point:

If India stands by its stated nuclear doctrine India will nuke Beijing. Shanghai, Chengdu and other cities with whatever we have got.

Anything less than that and we have no deterrence.

It is a different thing to believe that your leaders as psychologically incapable of doing that as Bharat Karnad writes, but then his argument becomes even more stupid. If Indian leaders are psychologically incapable of fulfilling Indian stated doctrine then even 5000 x 50 megaton Tsar Bombas in Indian hands will not help.


I don't know how the debate got to this, but here I would agree with Sudeepj that India desperately needs "TNs" (TACTICAL nukes).

This is the problem with the Doctrine and why the lack of tactical nukes is the horrible chasm in Indian deterrence.

Everyone knows that Indian PM will not launch towards Beijing and Shanghai (thereby wiping out Dilli, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai, Bengalooru and Malgudi) just because 5000 Indian soldiers are wiped out in a tactical nuke attack somewhere deep in a snow-covered valley in Arunachal.

The GOI will simply deny that the event occurred.

OTOH, if it is known that India has 3000 tactical nukes, that attack would simply not happen.


OK. Lets say that I am the Chinese General, and India has tactical nukes too.

In response to one Indian division being wiped out, the Indian general launches two tactical nukes and takes out two Chinese divisions (or one or whatever tactical objective demands).

Now, I launch a 75KT nuke on Dibrugarh and Siliguri rail yards. Considering these are eastern most railheads, these are plausibly valid targets. I kill 15000 soldiers and paramils in each city and 75000 civilians.

I also launch tactical nukes at 5 other purely tactical objectives and wipe out 2 more Indian divisions.

I deliver an ultimatum to you, to pay war damages to kin of Chinese soldiers killed in the ruthless Indian attack and to vacate 'South Tibet'. Meanwhile, I have also managed to make significant tactical/strategic advances at the border in Sikkim and AP because of my use of tactical nukes combined with conventional power.

Through my agents in the UNSC, I place a resolution to immediately cease all hostilities and call upon the combatants.

Your move. What do you do next?

(a) Launch whatever-we-got at Shanghai?
(b) ????

---

The debate got here because you want to figure out what your objectives are before you go about building tools for them. We all thought we had a specific tool and that was sufficient for our objectives. It turns out that the artisan who was involved in building that tool now has doubts whether it will work or not.

One group says what we have is sufficient.

Other says, we need the original version of the tool.
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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby samuel » 24 Sep 2009 07:52

So, this has all been gamed before -- is MAD the only viable deterrent posture with respect to your immediate adversaries?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sudeepj » 24 Sep 2009 07:58

samuel wrote:So, this has all been gamed before -- is MAD the only viable deterrent posture with respect to your immediate adversaries?


Desis keep saying MCD or CMD and NFU, but I havent seen any 'games' in which this posture stops an adversary with greater depth in WMD and conventional capacity, from achieving its limited goals.

total war, yes - you may have avoided that, but limited war/border war?

You avoid that only by making every conflict a total war, like our neighbours.
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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby samuel » 24 Sep 2009 07:59

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deterrence_theory
Psychology and deterrence
A new form of criticism emerged in the late 1980s with detailed analyses of the actions of individual leaders and groups of leaders in crisis situations (historical and theoretical).
A number of new or nuanced criticisms of "traditional" deterrence theory emerged. One was that deterrence theory assumed that both sides had common rational peaceful goals. In some real-life situations, such as the Yom Kippur War, leaders felt that internal or external political considerations forced a conflict. One of the essays in,[4] regarding the internal military and political discussions within the Egyptian high command in 1973, indicates that senior civilian leaders (including Anwar Sadat) believed that they had to fight a war in order to have enough internal political support to negotiate for peace.
In another miscalculation, Israel rationalized that the Israeli military dominance would deter any attack, and believed that no rational Syrian or Egyptian leader would attempt such an attack. Sadat felt unable to avoid a war, and Syria's leadership misjudged the military situation and believed they could be victorious. Israel assumed rational and well-informed opponents with clear objectives, and its deterrence failed.
Another observation is that crisis situations can reach a point that formerly stabilizing actions (such as keeping military units at bases, and low alert levels) can be seen as a sign of weakness, and that perceived weakness can then induce an opponent to attack during the perceived time of advantage. Thus, an inversion point exists, after which some formerly stabilizing actions become destabilizing, and some formerly destabilizing actions become stabilizing.
Finally, studies of the specific group psychology of several leaders and leader groups, including the Israeli and Arab leaders in 1973 and the Kennedy Administration during the Bay of Pigs Invasion and Cuban Missile Crisis, indicated that in many cases executive groups use poor decision-making techniques and improperly assess available information. These errors can and often do preclude truly rational end-behavior in deterrence situations.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 08:00

If China uses a tactical nuke against our forces it would be a mistake not to nuke the hell out f Chinese cities.

It would be a serious error to play a small escalation game and use a tactical nuke knowing that China will be able to destroy at least half of our missile forces and nuclear forces. if China destroys half of them or more we will have less to hit them back with.

So the right thing to do if China uses a tactical nuke against our forces is to nuke the hell out of Chinese cities and wait for China to nuke us back which they will. At least - by the time China gets nuked and reacts - (1-2 days) a few people can evacuate the cities

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby samuel » 24 Sep 2009 08:01

Deterrence really is the threat that we are capable of sustaining and escalating the conflict to assured destruction of our adversary. It is the threat of mutually assured destruction that prevents the conflict from starting. It does the nash equilibrium thing.

S

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 08:03

sudeepj wrote:[b]total war, yes - you may have avoided that, but limited war/border war?


This is the situation that India is in right now with its NFU.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby John Snow » 24 Sep 2009 08:05

The possession of TNWs gives Pakistan an edge over India. The army emphasises that though India has an enormous "second-strike" capability, our timing of response may not be quick enough to escape international pressure. "Given the fact that our command and control system is not geared for a swift counter-strike, international pressure on us not to use a strategic nuclear weapon in retaliation will be tremendous. That's where we'll lose out," a general told Outlook.


A small refreshing news from the past.
http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?215975

That is why our H bum has a small yield its deliberate intentional to make it just stop at 25 KT.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?215977



interview
"Yes, Pakistan Has Tactical Nukes"
Lt Gen D.B. Shekatkar (retd) on Pakistan's TNWs and the options before us.
Interviews D.B. Shekatkar

Image


Just What Is A TNW?
Davinder Kumar
The term tactical nuclear weapon (TNW) is used to describe smaller versions of nuclear weapons with relatively low destructive capabilities and an impact radius confined to a limited area as against conventional nuclear warheads which can wipe out an entire city.
Lower-yield versions or miniaturised nuclear weapons can be used to inflict damage on strategic military deployments of the enemy. Hence, TNWs are often referred to as battlefield nuclear weapons or baby nukes. Since the damage is localised or confined to a certain area, the danger of impacting on the civilian population is greatly reduced as compared to a strategic nuclear weapon of the Hiroshima kind.

The TNWs include a broad range of atomic explosive devices like nuclear artillery shells, nuclear landmines and nuclear warheads which can be air-dropped from planes, launched on missiles or fired from artillery guns. The yield of these warheads, measured in terms of kiloton (kt), varies from 0.1 kt to 10-15 kt. A nuclear explosion of a 5-kt yield is estimated to spread total destruction in a little over a one-mile radius.

But nuclear experts warn that though of lower yield, TNWs can be easily misused. Since they are small in size and can be easily transported and stored, they're also susceptible to non-judicious use and even theft by terrorist networks. Not surprisingly, the US administration had panicked at the possibility of Pakistan's nuclear warheads being stolen by Al Qaeda terrorists during the Afghanistan strikes.

Many defence experts hold the view that in the hands of a military regime (like Pakistan), TNWs are far more vulnerable to accidental or unauthorised use than conventional nuclear weapons. Given the fact that they can be deployed on the frontline, they could be fired by commanders in a crisis situation without observing the stringent safety precautions that otherwise govern the launch of strategic nuclear weapons. Furthermore, any misuse of TNWs in civilian areas could potentially lead to a broader nuclear exchange.

So far, only the US and Russia are known to possess TNWs. The US is believed to have about 2,000 of them, of which around 1,700 are supposedly deployed on the mainland and the rest across bases in Europe. The Russians, on the other hand, are suspected to have about 15,000 TNWs including the ones that are deployed, stored or are in the process of being decommissioned. However, the third most prominent player is China, which is suspected to have about 120 TNWs. It is from this stock that some warheads are believed to have been delivered to Pakistan. India does possess strategic nuclear missiles but does not have TNWs.

This perhaps explains Islamabad's nuclear rhetoric. Pakistan is suspected to have 20-30 nuclear warheads but it is not known how many TNWs it has managed to obtain. Significantly, in the past, Pakistani officials have often reiterated that TNWs are part of their nuclear deterrence policy.

Acknowledged international security experts like Eric Arnett have observed that should Pakistan exercise its nuclear option, it might target Indian tank divisions in the Rajasthan desert or iaf bases. These attacks might be perceived as striking at the military since relatively few civilians are likely to be killed.

"Unlike India, the nuclear command and control in Pakistan is in the hands of a few generals. Hence the danger of a strike is more. We have to factor this in while planning our strategy, and not by believing they won't strike," says defence analyst Maj Gen (retd) Afsir Karim.
Last edited by John Snow on 24 Sep 2009 08:12, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sudeepj » 24 Sep 2009 08:06

shiv wrote:If China uses a tactical nuke against our forces it would be a mistake not to nuke the hell out f Chinese cities.

It would be a serious error to play a small escalation game and use a tactical nuke knowing that China will be able to destroy at least half of our missile forces and nuclear forces. if China destroys half of them or more we will have less to hit them back with.

So the right thing to do if China uses a tactical nuke against our forces is to nuke the hell out of Chinese cities and wait for China to nuke us back which they will. At least - by the time China gets nuked and reacts - (1-2 days) a few people can evacuate the cities


Thats the stupidest thing I ever heard.. What have you gained? You loose your victim status, you loose all your cities in the bargain and all those mothers with babies - they will all become statistics, I guarantee it.

My point is, that its a really difficult decision. Our goal should not be to trust the army wallahs and kurta wallahs to make the right decision, but to obviate the possibility of this difficult decision being thrust upon us.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 08:08

John Snow wrote:Shivji looks like you id has been hacked by Prafool Bidwai.? :?:

The reasons you mention are absolutely right, India has no business to be in Nuclear weapons or Arihant like boats.

If we cease to make Arihant we will not have Ari in the first place no?


Snow-garu it can be argued (while many people ROTFL or say hack-thoo while listening to the argument) that India is "leading" in its own way. It is charting out a route that no other nation is managing to chart out by not using their own tools in the way they used them, but at the same time not saying those tools are useless and unnecessary. It is a neither fully here nor fully there game. You and I may not like it - and that is why the issue is so emotional - but that is what is happening

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 08:12

sudeepj wrote:
shiv wrote:If China uses a tactical nuke against our forces it would be a mistake not to nuke the hell out f Chinese cities.

It would be a serious error to play a small escalation game and use a tactical nuke knowing that China will be able to destroy at least half of our missile forces and nuclear forces. if China destroys half of them or more we will have less to hit them back with.

So the right thing to do if China uses a tactical nuke against our forces is to nuke the hell out of Chinese cities and wait for China to nuke us back which they will. At least - by the time China gets nuked and reacts - (1-2 days) a few people can evacuate the cities


Thats the stupidest thing I ever heard.. What have you gained? You loose your victim status, you loose all your cities in the bargain and all those mothers with babies - they will all become statistics, I guarantee it.



This is the shakiness and uncertainty that will make retaliation fail. For this sort of shakiness and uncertainty ( shivering in dhoti) even 5000 tsar bombas in our hands are of no use.

No disrespect intended - but in a war situation I would prefer to be leader rather than have you as my leader. I would use those nukes and be done with it.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby SSridhar » 24 Sep 2009 08:15

samuel wrote:sudeepj,
China will never use a nuclear weapon against India because then it will face massive retaliation and lose 1/4 of every major city (which is unmentionable damage) and lose face in the world. Its economy will collapse because the world will come to the support of beleaguered India. They won't allow such a thing to happen to the largest democracy. After that 1/4 return however, India won't exist as we know it.

Samuel, IMO, it is not as simple as that.

China has a significantly large number of nuclear weapons, high-yield weapons which can exert a large overpressure and take out hardened silos, and long-range missiles with good CEPs. This means that China has a far better counterforce arsenal that can take out most of our fixed weapon sites in a surprise first attack. Only our mobile weapons have a chance of survival.

Indian arsenal are also not in an assembled form ready to be fired which means that it will take a few hours before this can be done. There is every possibility that world powers will intervene during this period and prevail upon India not to retaliate and assure us that they will sufficiently punish China politically. India may or may not withstand that pressure but going by the record of most of our leaders, we may succumb to that. It is incorrect to expect that world will come to India's rescue. If China does not invoke sympathy, it certainly invokes fear in others.

Even if we use our surviving and modest 20 kT fission bombs on demographic centres in a countervalue attack, which will certainly cause heavy damage, China can retaliate with a much more ferocious counter attack which will be unacceptable to us.

Besides, Pakistan might use this opportunity to lob some bombs from its side as well. It knows that if it initiates a first strike, it will incur an unacceptable retaliation from us. Its calculation therefore will be to take advantage of a Chinese attack on us. In fact, it might even be a well-coordinated twin strike on us. The two-pronged attack on us will stretch us and we do not have an answer, given our limited means.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby John Snow » 24 Sep 2009 08:15

this should be a cause for a little worry no?

The possession of TNWs gives Pakistan an edge over India. The army emphasises that though India has an enormous "second-strike" capability, our timing of response may not be quick enough to escape international pressure. "Given the fact that our command and control system is not geared for a swift counter-strike, international pressure on us not to use a strategic nuclear weapon in retaliation will be tremendous. That's where we'll lose out," a general told Outlook.


the above is what Sridhar garu is saying.

this why I said long back that India might need minimum of 750 to 800 weapons in stock.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby samuel » 24 Sep 2009 08:19

Err Sridhar, ok to admit I was being a tad bit sarcastic?

S

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sudeepj » 24 Sep 2009 08:20

shiv wrote:
sudeepj wrote:
Thats the stupidest thing I ever heard.. What have you gained? You loose your victim status, you loose all your cities in the bargain and all those mothers with babies - they will all become statistics, I guarantee it.



This is the shakiness and uncertainty that will make retaliation fail. For this sort of shakiness and uncertainty ( shivering in dhoti) even 5000 tsar bombas in our hands are of no use.

No disrespect intended - but in a war situation I would prefer to be leader rather than have you as my leader. I would use those nukes and be done with it.


:rotfl:

Shiv ji

My point is, its a difficult decision. For all your bravado, no one knows how even someone like you will react in that situation. Posture is one thing, reality, quite another. For e.g. look at the example of the Brit submarine commander I cited above (I think the movies was McNamaras famous interview documentary, but I am not sure).

Your quip actually illustrates the 'hard but brittle' Indian posture I was talking about.. Think about it.
Last edited by sudeepj on 24 Sep 2009 08:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ShibaPJ » 24 Sep 2009 08:21

Sanjay wrote:NRao - not true. In 2002 the armed forces were fully appraised of the limitations. General Padmanabhan asked and was told TN were not weaponised. Nobody counted on the TN except in nice books. However, he was told that fission and FBF were weaponised...

Sanjay,
I have a basic Q. Many of us supported the Indo-US deal with the understanding that the TN (Thermo-nukes and not tactical nukes) work, hence India has a deterrence force in place for entire P5 and only delivery mechanisms need to be perfected. Now, if TN is not weaponized and A2 & A3 onwards only have atmost mated FBF warheads, then deterrence is not complete (I mean for all P5). Even though a land-based ICBM would be a good enuf deterrent in short- and medium-term, we can't load our SSBNs with true TN-MIRVed missiles, so triad also remains incomplete.

What gives? Did I miss something or does GoI assume that a deterrence against lizard is all that matters? I remember Arun_S mentioning India's Monroe doctrine, now that would be a bluff without thermo-nukes in Indian arsenal.. I agree on the scenarios of 3 25-KT warheads on a city, but this assumes a lot higher probability of warheads getting thru the ABMs, IMHO not a very plausible scenario. If we assume 50% survivability, using 4 MIRVed 60- or 80-KT TNs than 4 25-KT warheads would give a far better bang for buck on Armageddon day.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Satya_anveshi » 24 Sep 2009 08:22

shiv wrote:[Warning - we are heading seriously off topic here. As someone said it is better to stick to technicals and do another 100 pages of disagreement because we have very little data about yields and no data about high energy neutrons produced.


My points are nothing to do with data; it is only about unambiguous Y/N to the deterrance of WAR. It is about the end of Indian combative deaths while defending India.

Of course the whole discussion above is "strategic" in nature and not technical. Some bradmin can help us move all this to strat folder and the "deterrance bluff" thread.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 08:22

SSridhar wrote:Besides, Pakistan might use this opportunity to lob some bombs from its side as well. It knows that if it initiates a first strike, it will incur an unacceptable retaliation from us. Its calculation therefore will be to take advantage of a Chinese attack on us. In fact, it might even be a well-coordinated twin strike on us. The two-pronged attack on us will stretch us and we do not have an answer, given our limited means.



That is why it is important to hit China with all we have even if a tactical nuke is used. Once nuclear war is started we must not hope to win by assuming that Allah will come and stop the war if you use tactical nukes in return. We just have to launch every nuke we have at China.

But you have a god idea there. Better to reserve 5 nukes for Pakistan also. Just like that.

That way we will lose, but others don't win

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 24 Sep 2009 08:25

sudeepj wrote:My point is, its a difficult decision. For all your bravado, no one knows how even someone like you will react in that situation. Posture is one thing, reality, quite another. For e.g. look at the example of the Brit submarine commander I cited above (I think the movies was McNamaras famous interview documentary, but I am not sure).


sudeep - do you know why a major, a MARCOS man and two soldiers got killed in Kashmir yesterday and you and I are alive. It is because they are trained to do and not think.

Our nuclear forces have to be trained to do, and not think

India gets nuked. We nuke back. Period. That is the law that has been spelt out.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sudeepj » 24 Sep 2009 08:27

shiv wrote:
SSridhar wrote:Besides, Pakistan might use this opportunity to lob some bombs from its side as well. It knows that if it initiates a first strike, it will incur an unacceptable retaliation from us. Its calculation therefore will be to take advantage of a Chinese attack on us. In fact, it might even be a well-coordinated twin strike on us. The two-pronged attack on us will stretch us and we do not have an answer, given our limited means.



That is why it is important to hit China with all we have even if a tactical nuke is used. Once nuclear war is started we must not hope to win by assuming that Allah will come and stop the war if you use tactical nukes in return. We just have to launch every nuke we have at China.

But you have a god idea there. Better to reserve 5 nukes for Pakistan also. Just like that.

That way we will lose, but others don't win


Assuming you are a UP or a Karnataka politician, why would you want to risk the wellbeing of your family and friends (not to mention votes) in Bellary or Lucknow for Siliguri or Jalpaiguri or Dibrugarh? The question is not what you would do (we know you are a misanthrope :-) [said in jest]) but what the leader ji would do.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sudeepj » 24 Sep 2009 08:28

shiv wrote:
sudeepj wrote:My point is, its a difficult decision. For all your bravado, no one knows how even someone like you will react in that situation. Posture is one thing, reality, quite another. For e.g. look at the example of the Brit submarine commander I cited above (I think the movies was McNamaras famous interview documentary, but I am not sure).


sudeep - do you know why a major, a MARCOS man and two soldiers got killed in Kashmir yesterday and you and I are alive. It is because they are trained to do and not think.

Our nuclear forces have to be trained to do, and not think

India gets nuked. We nuke back. Period. That is the law that has been spelt out.


You have the wrong idea. Until the political leadership is alive, they have the button, not SFC, not any gernail kernail. Thats the way I like it too.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby SSridhar » 24 Sep 2009 08:41

shiv wrote:sudeep - do you know why a major, a MARCOS man and two soldiers got killed in Kashmir yesterday and you and I are alive. It is because they are trained to do and not think.

Our nuclear forces have to be trained to do, and not think

India gets nuked. We nuke back. Period. That is the law that has been spelt out.


Shiv, but that is a political decision. The Strategic Forces Command may never get a green signal from Delhi. They might have been wiped out in a decapitating first strike and the only ggod thing that may come out of such an eventuality (pardon me for saying this), is that a younger leader in the hierarchy of succession replaces the geriatric leader incapable of taking a tough decision.


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