Deterrence

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Muppalla
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7084
Joined: 12 Jun 1999 11:31

Re: Deterrence

Postby Muppalla » 12 Nov 2009 07:54

Every definition has to be changed after India signed the Nuke deal and we cannot digest-food or we cannot sleep if we even remotely think that Nuke deal is bad ( because we clearly signed something similar to CTBT with no test clause). Hence to satisfy ourselves we have to change a lot of defenitions:
1) Capability of removing all the TSP army generals is the best detterence and for which Nukes are not even needed
2) We really don't need 200KT or MT bombs because they are useless anyway ( because a new test is needed if we go by Santanam and he is also a scientist as capable as Chidambaram)

Several threads are going with 50 pages or so with same themes. Several super-duper, knowledged members are either deeply hurt/left or still throwing things at each other.

The simple fact is there is irreconcilabe ideological divide and it is now just a belief system.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 12 Nov 2009 07:57

Manish_Sharma wrote:But Shiv wouldn't it be a victory to Chinese civilization in long run, as even after going through the pain of losing 10 cities they will be back on the climb in 100-200 years while, Indian civilization would cease to exist. Shouldn't the NW stockpiling take into consideration post deterrent post nuclear war vision. On how our civilization survives?


Manish I saw your earlier post about degradation from X yug to Y yug which I found very interesting. I find this post of yours interesting - but I can fill up an entire thread with my views on this but I think most of it will be OT.

But in brief let me state that on this thread I am restricting myself to tangible benefits and losses during a single lifetime and I am not heading out into unknown territory of what might happen to civilizations after 100, 200 or 500 years. That is astrology.

But as an aside - do you really think that the Chinese are civilized after their cultural revolution? I think that it is a now nation of boors that has destroyed its own civilization. Sorry to go OT - I couldn't resist. I am going to drop the subject here and now. If you can start a new thread about civilizational war I will be willing to state what I think on that thread.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 12 Nov 2009 08:04

Muppalla wrote:2) We really don't need 200KT or MT bombs because they are useless anyway ( because a new test is needed if we go by Santanam and he is also a scientist as capable as Chidambaram).


Mupalla without disputing the capabilities of either Chidambaram or Santhanam, do you know that it is feasible to build bombs of 200 kt and higher without going the thermonuclear route? And due to some technical reasons it is possible to test them more easily without doing a live nuclear test. The information and history of weapons is openly available on the net. We are restricting our minds to the "R Chidambaram(lies)-Santhanam(truth)-fission only-25kt" box because of previous discussions peculiar to BRF. One needs to break out of that shameful and needless episode.

negi
BRF Oldie
Posts: 13099
Joined: 27 Jul 2006 17:51
Location: Ban se dar nahin lagta , chootiyon se lagta hai .

Re: Deterrence

Postby negi » 12 Nov 2009 08:19

If this is as good as it is being made out to be then why did we in the first place test a TN device ?

And why this fascination for non TN route if TN was successful ?

I mean one can be on only one side of the debate , isn't it ?
Last edited by negi on 12 Nov 2009 08:27, edited 1 time in total.

Jarita
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2260
Joined: 30 Oct 2009 22:27
Location: Andromeda

Re: Deterrence

Postby Jarita » 12 Nov 2009 08:21

shiv wrote:
Jarita wrote:Why are we not using propaganda as a deterrance tool?

Do you know if we are not using propaganda to give the impression of being weak in terms of nuclear weapons?



?? Was this a response for the sake of a witticism? Why on earth would India give the perception of weakness to a China?

Jarita
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2260
Joined: 30 Oct 2009 22:27
Location: Andromeda

Re: Deterrence

Postby Jarita » 12 Nov 2009 08:28

shiv wrote:But as an aside - do you really think that the Chinese are civilized after their cultural revolution? I think that it is a now nation of boors that has destroyed its own civilization. Sorry to go OT - I couldn't resist. I am going to drop the subject here and now. If you can start a new thread about civilizational war I will be willing to state what I think on that thread.



:rotfl: That's what they are called in South America - nation of loonies

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 12 Nov 2009 08:28

Jarita wrote:
shiv wrote:Do you know if we are not using propaganda to give the impression of being weak in terms of nuclear weapons?



?? Was this a response for the sake of a witticism? Why on earth would India give the perception of weakness to a China?


The impression of weakness could be given to the US/Russia/France/UK so that we do not appear as a threat. Why do you think none of our missiles are planned to have ranges over 5000 km and out public declaration of nuclear capability has never gone beyond 200 kt? We are ready to fight adversaries up to a particular range and do not want to threaten anyone beyond a particular range. We are telling the powers of the world "We do not oppose all of you, we oppose only some of you"

Jarita
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2260
Joined: 30 Oct 2009 22:27
Location: Andromeda

Re: Deterrence

Postby Jarita » 12 Nov 2009 08:33

Good pt

ldev
BRFite
Posts: 1664
Joined: 06 Nov 2002 12:31

Re: Deterrence

Postby ldev » 12 Nov 2009 08:42

negi wrote:If this is as good as it is being made out to be then why did we in the first place test a TN device ?

And why this fascination for non TN route if TN was successful ?

I mean one can be on only one side of the debate , isn't it ?


To answer that question you need to know what was the brief given to the scientists by the political leadership in the weeks leading upto May 1998. Nobody directly involved in that process has spoken out. Sanathanam was not directly involved in the brief. Only the design team would have been involved.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 12 Nov 2009 08:51

negi wrote:If this is as good as it is being made out to be then why did we in the first place test a TN device ?

And why this fascination for non TN route if TN was successful ?

I mean one can be on only one side of the debate , isn't it ?


The argument here is exactly the same as the point you made earlier - i.e. "Only 25 kt are tested and proven" All open refs on the net indicate that is you can make that much work, you can get much higher yields from boosting.

"Fascination for TN route" is a different subject

1) For example either Karnad or Chellaney (or both) have opined that only megaton level bombs are useful for deterrence and the most convenient route to megaton yield is TN.

2) Everyone is agreed that for credible, reliable TN warheads you need many tests. Even Chidambaram is on record (I have the ref) as saying that what the 1998 test did was to validate the capability for "minimum nuclear deterrence and that if the government changed its definition of minimum, more tests would be required"

I do not even want to enter into a TN/non-TN argument. I have (for a long time now) assumed non TN and for arguments sake I have accepted the "25 kt fission only box". I don't think the choices are that restricted and I believe it is safe to assume yields of up to 200 kt for Indian warheads. But I suspect that those warheads will be reserved for adversaries between the range of 1000 to 5000 km from India while less than 100 kt will be reserved for cousins who are physically closer to our hearts.

PS - footnote added later. It is possible to build a theoretical TN bomb with a 50 kt primary and a theoretical yield of 1 megaton. If its reliability has not been proven by repeated testing you might get a yield ranging from 50 kt (full fizzle) to 1 megaton. That degree of uncertainty is obviously no good for planning. One's best bet, in the absence of live nuclear testing is to develop what can be developed most reliably by hydrodynamic testing.

Manish_Sharma
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4225
Joined: 07 Sep 2009 16:17

Re: Deterrence

Postby Manish_Sharma » 12 Nov 2009 09:58

shiv wrote:
Manish_Sharma wrote:But Shiv wouldn't it be a victory to Chinese civilization in long run, as even after going through the pain of losing 10 cities they will be back on the climb in 100-200 years while, Indian civilization would cease to exist. Shouldn't the NW stockpiling take into consideration post deterrent post nuclear war vision. On how our civilization survives?


Manish I saw your earlier post about degradation from X yug to Y yug which I found very interesting. I find this post of yours interesting - but I can fill up an entire thread with my views on this but I think most of it will be OT.

But in brief let me state that on this thread I am restricting myself to tangible benefits and losses during a single lifetime and I am not heading out into unknown territory of what might happen to civilizations after 100, 200 or 500 years. That is astrology.

But as an aside - do you really think that the Chinese are civilized after their cultural revolution? I think that it is a now nation of boors that has destroyed its own civilization. Sorry to go OT - I couldn't resist. I am going to drop the subject here and now. If you can start a new thread about civilizational war I will be willing to state what I think on that thread.

Shiv I have created a new thread title Survival of Bharat.
Here is the link:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5285

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 12 Nov 2009 10:15

Manish_Sharma wrote:Shiv I have created a new thread title Survival of Bharat.
Here is the link:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5285


Well - it got locked before I even saw it. Never mind - maybe some other time in some other form.

Sanku
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12526
Joined: 23 Aug 2007 15:57
Location: Naaahhhh

Re: Deterrence

Postby Sanku » 12 Nov 2009 12:24

shiv wrote:
Sanku wrote:Hmm, I will tell you what the victory would be, the victory would be not a defeat where :
-- India, can take out 3 * 1/2 Chinese cities in response to China taking out 30 Indian cities. This is the victory I am seeking!!

I will leave it to China to worry about the whether they want to impose the cost of 30 Indian cities to defeat them.



When one calculates that China can destroy 60 India cities and claims that China will not feel pain by losing even 5 cities, then the war is already lost (as I stated earlier). One is then talking about fighting nuclear war against an adversary who will laugh at several tens of millions dead and injured. That is an irrational enemy and it matters little whether you have more or less weapons than that irrational enemy - you (India) are going to feel unacceptable pain even if you have destroyed him at the end of the exchange.



Unfortunately, you have extrapolated the necessary acceptance of losses in a war as irrationality.

As such all war is irrational -- it still happens -- as you point you fire bombing Dresden during WW II or such acts were clearly irrational towards the Dharmic goal of winning the military war against the Axis but they happened.

There is a difference between thinking like a Indian and being able to think ONLY as an Indian.

There is a difference between understanding the world and choosing a response and behaving like the world.

There is nothing irrational in the choice by Chinese of loss of a few half cities to destroy India and humble it (maybe destroy it as a nation forever and be a protectorate of joint Chinese and its allies) which would happen with loss of 30 cities.

India would be cleansed lebensraum for others to use.

These are scenarios which have been made to happen before (as close as 40-50 years ago) and have kept happening through the time.

Our artificial definition of rationality (for others) is not seen outside the country. A different rationality rules there.

It is all rational, just that we are doing a poor job of understanding them.

I find it also very very sad that you reduce it to "one lifetime or astrology rhetoric" -- it is not about one life time at all -- heck I dont care about my one life time either.

Neither did Capt Vikram Batra and others who died in Kargil, they were not thinking of their one lifetime. Or did they believe in astrological predictions of Indian victory that they gave up their lives for?

If all you that can be thought of is how to survive one life time, the right place to go to Wal street economy forums and not these threads.

Sanku
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12526
Joined: 23 Aug 2007 15:57
Location: Naaahhhh

Re: Deterrence

Postby Sanku » 12 Nov 2009 12:25

Muppalla wrote:Every definition has to be changed after India signed the Nuke deal and we cannot digest-food or we cannot sleep if we even remotely think that Nuke deal is bad ( because we clearly signed something similar to CTBT with no test clause). Hence to satisfy ourselves we have to change a lot of defenitions:


Absolutely, just change the definition much easier that way instead of burning your blood for the moon.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 12 Nov 2009 14:32

Sanku wrote:I find it also very very sad that you reduce it to "one lifetime or astrology rhetoric" -- it is not about one life time at all -- heck I dont care about my one life time either..


Rubbish. Tens of millions of people in India say "I don't care about this life" while they make themselves and family as safe and as fat and as wealthy as possible in this life. That is what is wrong with my damn country. Vikram Batra gave his life and you say you don't care for this life. How easy is it to invoke a dead hero's name and anoint oneself with vicarious glory. You're alive. He is dead. I don't believe a word of what I believe to be mere rhetorical brownie points. If you care about your country today you have to worry about your countrymen's lives today and in this lifetime and not have a ready made excuse to postpone it to some other lifetime.

I think the era for "thinking of eternity" people is over in India. The damn country has promised its people too much at some unspecified date in future life like Pakis and their 72s. IMO that is the crap that has allowed sloth to set into India. I do give a damn about what happens to me and my countrymen in this lifetime and I doubt if we are going to agree here. Balls to 500 years from now - in the long term we're all dead.

We are not going to agree and I will drop the subject right here
Last edited by shiv on 12 Nov 2009 14:47, edited 2 times in total.

Sanku
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12526
Joined: 23 Aug 2007 15:57
Location: Naaahhhh

Re: Deterrence

Postby Sanku » 12 Nov 2009 14:41

shiv wrote:
Sanku wrote:I find it also very very sad that you reduce it to "one lifetime or astrology rhetoric" -- it is not about one life time at all -- heck I dont care about my one life time either..


I think the era for "thinking of eternity" people is over in India. The damn country has promised its people too much at some unspecified date in future like Pakis and their 72s. I do give a damn about what happens to me and my countrymen in this lifetime and I doubt if we are going to agree here. Balls to 500 years from now - in the long term we're all dead.

I am just going to drop the matter here.


What a turn around from your usual positions Shiv, on many matters, and all in a span of few months.

BTW just because you turned in your thinking would mean that all of us must -- also note that giving a damn about what happens in one life time and giving a damn in what happens after I am gone are not necessarily contradictory.

However not giving a damn about what happens after I am gone and yet worry about what happens when I am still around (w.r.t. India) does not square to me, except in one narrow way.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Deterrence

Postby svinayak » 12 Nov 2009 20:19

Sanku wrote:
However not giving a damn about what happens after I am gone and yet worry about what happens when I am still around (w.r.t. India) does not square to me, except in one narrow way.
If all you that can be thought of is how to survive one life time, the right place to go to Wal street economy forums and not these threads.

Hilarious. That too in a deterrence thread.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 12 Nov 2009 21:16

Anyhow I am still interested in the nature of this mysterious beast called "deterrence".

Deterrence as far as I can tell has nothing to do with numbers and yields of nuclear weapons at least in a linear relationship as in "I have more and bigger nukes therefore he is deterred". That appears to me to be a fallacious argument I will try and explain this

Let me go back to a question that was asked on this thread. Why has China not nuked India so far? Whether anyone likes it or not "deterrence" has held since 1964. It cannot be numbers, quality or size of Indian nukes that have stopped China from nuking India. So what has stopped China from nuking India?

The most straightforward answer that occurs to me is that "China could have nuked India at any time since 1964 but has not thought it necessary or wise to nuke India" That means deterrence against a Chinese nuclear attack on India has nothing to do with India's nuclear arsenal.For exactly the same reason, building up India's arsenal vis a vis China cannot add to deterrence. Deterrence is already present courtesy China's will and fancy.

So what are Indian nuclear weapons doing about "nuclear deterrence" in the Chinese context? Quite possibly nothing. Zilch. India nuclear weapons have played no role in deterring China so far. However they may be an added factor in damaging China in future. If the Chinese are civilised enough to understand what sort of damage a nuclear bomb can cause they may even be a little further deterred by Indian bombs - fizzles or gigabooms.

What Indian nukes are doing is giving India an added capacity to nuke China which it did not have earlier. It only means that if China were to change its mind about using nuclear weapons on India, it can expect nuclear retaliation, which was not possible say 25 years ago. So in addition to a basic built in reluctance to nuke India that has deterred China all these years there is now the headache of Indian nuclear weapons. The point I am trying to make is that nuclear weapons are an additional factor in deterrence and not the sole basis of deterrence. In fact the reason why nuclear weapons are called "destabilizing" is that a country like China could hope for conventional victories in conflicts with a non nuclear India in an era when India had no nuclear weapons. India's weapons now increase the risk of nuclear weapon use because one or the other China or India, may have to use them in a desperate situation. The "destabilization" is for China. China now has to re think what it is going to do having sat cosily for years when India had no nukes.

Now if China did not care about a nuclear attack and casually dismissed the loss of 4 or more cities as necessary sacrifices to keep the Chinese civilization alive after 500 years, then no amount of weapons in India's hands will make things any better for us. China will only increase its own stockpile to match and stay ahead of India.

But if China does care about its cities and people and considers that a stable and intact civilization today is the mother of tomorrows civilization, they will seek to reduce damage to their own cities. If they respond to India's nuclearization by increasing their weapons numbers and missiles, India will do exactly the same. And if Indians are irrational and believe that India must lose few cities to have a great civlization after 500 years then the situation will become even more critical for a China looking for survival intact (unlike mad Indians trying to lose cities for a better tomorrow) The best way for China is to then seek dialogue and peaceful settlement of issues. The surest way to frighten India into making more weapons is to threaten India more or aim more missiles at India.

So what Indian nuclear weapons do is buy peace with China. They are supposed to deter war, not just nuclear war. Despite what people tend to say, the Chinese are rational. they can be frightened. And you can frighten them by making more nuclear weapons. If you find China building more nukes and stationing more missiles aimed at India, you can be sure that they are frightened at least to some extent and Indian nuclear weapons are having some effect on their behavior. It is possible then to get into a nuclear arms race with them - because they are hardly likely to sit still if we keep on increasing our arsenal. That means that we have a way of affecting Chinese behavior by modifying our own behavior. We have a handle on the "inscrutable" Chinaman.

In this sort of situation we can aim for either war with China or try for peace with China. We are obviously frightened by Chinese nukes and the Chinese too are frightened by Indian nukes and an increasing Indian capability. In addition, if India and China have a nuclear war, only unkil will win in the end. In the ideal situation both the Indian and Chinese civilizations will survive. Losing cities is a "been there done that" thing for India after all, Somnath, Hampi etc are all evidence of brainy Indians who were wiling to lose cities to stop invaders in their tracks. India must not go that route again. NEVER.

Sanku
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12526
Joined: 23 Aug 2007 15:57
Location: Naaahhhh

Re: Deterrence

Postby Sanku » 12 Nov 2009 22:18

Lots of fallacies here I as I see it..

the end is the most.

shiv wrote: Somnath, Hampi etc are all evidence of brainy Indians who were wiling to lose cities to stop invaders in their tracks. India must not go that route again. NEVER.


Somnath and Hampi are evidences of brainy Indians who did not do enough to stop invaders in their tracks, and did not have deterrence.

The cities were lost after the invaders ran through them, and losing either city did not stop invaders in their tracks.

Basic historical inaccuracy in the statement above.

shiv wrote:The most straightforward answer that occurs to me is that "China could have nuked India at any time since 1964 but has not thought it necessary or wise to nuke India" That means deterrence against a Chinese nuclear attack on India has nothing to do with India's nuclear arsenal.


No it does not mean anything remotely like that. All it means that the cost and benefit calculation did not cause China to use nukes at that point of time.

Any further extrapolation is completely unnecessary -- there is no reason that same cost and benifet calculations will exist in future. Short of astrology we cant be sure that the above condition will repeat and will repeat forever, however even without astrology, we can think of many probable scenarios which WILL be different.

In fact what China did with Nukes was to deter India -- we had territory snatched away from us, yet we cant restore the balance? Why because China has nukes. So China successfuly deterred India from attacking it to regain territory.

So what are Indian nuclear weapons doing about "nuclear deterrence" in the Chinese context? Quite possibly nothing.


We need to first know if we have any nuclear weapon in Chinese context before we decide whether they are doing anything or not and to what extent.

So in addition to a basic built in reluctance to nuke India that has deterred China all these years


I do not go about solving every problem that I have around me, I prioritize, this can not be extrapolated to say that I have any reluctance to solve those problems. I merely leave it for later.

Another HUGE extrapolation here.

The point I am trying to make is that nuclear weapons are an additional factor in deterrence and not the sole basis of deterrence.


The point is only in context of situation where a nuclear use can be considered. A country will not use Nuke wantonly.

The "destabilization" is for China. China now has to re think what it is going to do having sat cosily for years when India had no nukes.


Sat cozily? So what was the development of various sorts of Nuclear weapons and proliferation and all that?

Sitting cozily? Or preparing for the very eventuality?

China will only increase its own stockpile to match and stay ahead of India.


Yes, till MAD balances things out.


In addition, if India and China have a nuclear war, only unkil will win in the end.


No loss of a few minor industrial cities is hardly a loss for China. Which is all we can do right now.

Rudradev
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3510
Joined: 06 Apr 2003 12:31

Re: Deterrence

Postby Rudradev » 12 Nov 2009 22:43

shiv wrote:
Rudradev wrote:If India's policymakers honestly believe that the Chinese have been "deterred" for 30 years by our arsenal of 25-kt weapons, they may be in for a rude shock, because it seems that calculations in Beijing are changing.


Rudradev - apologies. I do read your views but since i believe that you are a coherent thinker I am going to challenge you on a couple of points

You seem to be quite confident about how the "calculatons in Beijing" work and change. Can I ask you to say what degree of confidence you have that India has only 25kt weapons? There is a BRF disease that started with Santhanam and his forum support from he who must not be named to assume 25 kt.

Suppose you heard it from some other figure of authority that India actually has - say 250 kt weapons (OK perhaps tested designs stolen from someone), how would that change your calculus. I see a lot of scenario building that assumes whatever yield/thought process that is convenient (for the argument) for the Chinese or other adversaries, but restricts India to a 25 kt box.


Ok, first of all, I am not going to comment on the epic squabble between you and the One who must not be named, and the Other one who went off and started a blog where a running commentary on BRF is kept up etc. As far as I am concerned none of you possesses or has shared enough information to be convincing about your respective points of view. Sort it out between yourselves, or don't... it's of no consequence to me.

Dr. Santhanam, IMO, has far more locus standi than any internet squabblers to comment on the state of India's deterrent... because of his qualifications, and the extent of his involvement with the nuclear program.

That he has made a shocking claim... one which, in the act of being made, has done untold damage to India's credibility which is an essential component of India's deterrent... is obvious.

I simply cannot imagine that a person such as he, who has devoted his entire life's work to strengthening the defense of India, would make such a public claim that damages India to such an extent... unless he honestly believed that silence would be even more damaging in the long run.

Of course one could put forward the conjecture that Dr. Santhanam is motivated by evil personal gain; that he has received secret payoffs in exchange for turning traitor and damaging the credibility of India's nuclear deterrent. It could be that he is the visible hand of a dark hidden agency trying to undermine India. But then, one would have to say that Brahma Chellaney and Bharat Karnad, and others who support his shocking contention, are also tools of that dark and hidden agency. Postulating the involvement of all these people in a heinous plot, makes the hypothesis by definition a conspiracy theory.

I don't see why such a conspiracy theory should be any better than an alternative conspiracy theory which says that Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi are in fact keen to roll back and give up our nuclear weapons, that they are actively engaged in defanging and enervating the nation of India so that we can become a client state of Western powers and our people easy prey for the "Christist/MNC" (copyright Rahul Mehta) cabal.

No evidence exists for either of those viewpoints even though hundreds of pages on BRF and elsewhere were used to broadcast them with increasing shrillness.

What we are left with, is the fact that like it or not, the strength Indian nuclear arsenal has been called into *doubt*. Like it or not, Santhanam has sufficient authority to cast reasonable doubt given his position and the implications of his statement.

The only way to erase this doubt and replace it with certitude is for the GOI to test what it has. There are obvious reasons why GOI cannot undertake a test trivially, and I do understand that. Nonetheless, until we see for ourselves that Santhanam is wrong, we cannot be sure he is not right. At least, I cannot be.

So I find myself in the position of someone who is informed that his bank account may have been hacked; that he may not actually have $200 in it, as per his passbook, but in fact only $25.

In that situation of course, I would strive mightily to contact the bank and demand an explanation from a person in authority. If the person in authority did not answer my questions but only blustered and obfuscated I would be more certain than ever that something was black in the lentils.

But supposing I simply could not contact a responsible person in the bank (because it was the weekend or whatever).

You know what I absolutely would not do? I would not count on being able to make a purchase of more than $25 on my debit card. Not till the matter was entirely resolved to my satisfaction. If it turned out that I did in fact have $200, that would be a happy surprise... but an error in the other direction could ruin my credit.

In this case an error in the other direction could amount to suicide on a national level. Thanks but no thanks.

***

Also: it is unfortunate that you are forced to distort opposing arguments to a maximal level of absurdity in order to counter them... rather than countering them in their original form.

For example
shiv wrote:All this talk of China making "B country unlivable" in India etc is technically unsound rhetoric considering that they do not have more than 400 weapons (probably fewer) and not more than 50 (perhaps less) are in the multimegaton range.


I haven't heard anyone say that China could make all of India's B country unlivable. It is well understood that only the US and USSR, with arsenals more than an order of magnitude larger than China's, ever had the capacity to nuke every square inch of the other's B country.

What I have pointed out is the asymmetry in B Country between India and China. Not only is China's B Country better developed with infrastructure in the first place. But China also has a given capacity to damage India's B Country while India has no capacity whatsoever to target China's B Country.

Why is the B Country important in nuclear war? Because it is vitally critical for
1) Storing food and medical supplies that will be needed in cities that get nuked
2) Housing populations of cities who survive the initial nuclear strike, to get them out of a region where they would develop radiation poisoning. Failing to do this would multiply your eventual casualties by a huge factor.
3) Containing the infrastructure that allows you to transport the survivors out of the cities, and food and medical supplies to the survivors.
4) In the longer term, containing the farms that will grow food and prevent people from starving.
5) In the longer term, containing the mineral, lumber etc. resources that must be harvested for rebuilding the cities.
5) In the longer term, containing the industries that will manufacture tools and machinery to rebuild the cities.

India cannot do jack to China's B-Country (which is anyway better developed than India's B-Country), because India has only 25 kt weapons which are only useful if you airburst them over cities to kill populations.

China cannot make India's entire B-Country unlivable. But consider what they can do. Their megaton groundbursts (whether aimed at our industries, infrastructure or military targets) will irradiate tons of material from the earth's crust, which will be hurled upwards into the atmosphere as heat from the blast rises. That radioactive material over the following months and years will spread out based on prevailing weather patterns, and then fall to the ground over a much wider area. That's what is known as fallout.

Groundstrikes that result in fallout over our bread-basket territories, such as Punjab, will be disastrous to our ability to grow food. This is true wherever the groundstrike might initially have occurred... over an airbase or a suspected missile depot or whatever. The Chinese can create fallout over our most valuable territories without a huge number of megaton nukes, if they plan with prevailing weather patterns in mind.

Fallout is just a side-effect of the primary effect of megaton groundstrikes, which will be to take out our industries, our infrastructural hubs and our logistical storage sites.

If the Chinese nuke Delhi, and then use megaton groundstrikes on
1) Military storage sites where reserves of food, medicines and emergency supplies (besides war-fighting materiel) are kept
2) Railway yards that would be critical in our ability to bring those supplies and emergency workers to Delhi (or ferry survivors away from Delhi)

Far more people will die in Delhi than if they had simply airbursted a 50-kT weapon over Delhi. It could mean the difference between being able to save and rebuild the city eventually or losing it entirely. Note the Chinese would not necessarily be "wasting" their megaton devices on groundstrikes against the military storage sites and railway yards. Those might be on their target list anyway in order to restrict our conventional warfighting capability.

Meanwhile, we cannot carry out groundstrikes on Chinese military storage sites or railway yards. None of our kiloton devices will send irradiated earth into the atmosphere over China, to eventually create fallout in China.

China does not have to be able to make our B-Country "unlivable". Neither do we have to develop a capacity so great as to make China's B-Country "unlivable". What must be recognized is that the quantum of damage China is capable of doing to us, far exceeds what we are capable of doing to them.

And again, no amount of piskological hand-waving will affect that reality.
Last edited by Rudradev on 12 Nov 2009 23:12, edited 1 time in total.

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Deterrence

Postby Johann » 12 Nov 2009 23:12

Rudradev wrote:On what grounds do you assert that the Politburo were *deterred* (i.e. prevented under duress by threat of external punishment) from prosecuting any major conventional war in 30 years?

It seems to me the Politburo under Deng made a conscious decision to seek an economic path to empire-building, 30 years ago. Engaging in conventional wars would have been detrimental to this programme until its goals: economic prosperity, large-scale industrialization, a favourable trade balance with the West, extensive buildup of infrastructure and a global trade presence were fulfilled. China wanted to be seen as a guarantor of trade and economic security, winning the confidence of east and south-east Asian trading partners; not a bully which started wars and disrupted international commerce.

In spite of this there were instances where the PLA's true colors showed through the new benign mask of economic expansion: Sumdorong Chu 1987, the grab for Johnson Reef in 1988, Kargil 1999 (when the PLA engaged in aggressive posturing in the Ladakh sector). So clearly, when the Chinese perceived a core interest as being threatened (as with the resource-rich Spratlys, or the chance of India overwhelming Pakistan with a cross-IB assault) they were quite ready to take military action... and hence, were not "deterred" in any commonly understood sense of the term.

If India's policymakers honestly believe that the Chinese have been "deterred" for 30 years by our arsenal of 25-kt weapons, they may be in for a rude shock, because it seems that calculations in Beijing are changing. The Chinese have come a long way... a lot further than us... in establishing themselves as a global economic power.


We're talking about the ability to deter major conventional war, not the ability to deter someone from sabre rattling or skirmishing, or conducting irregular warfare.

How does deterrence work? The ability to persuade an adversary, or potential adversary to change course by threatening to impose unacceptable costs.

When a country's direction changes, so does its perception of what are acceptable costs.

The CPC has two choices - stay in power by keeping its people happy by delivering growth through globalisation
, or ignore popular desires and stay in power through isolation, totalitarianism and autarky.

The latter is the Mao/Kim family style. Although the Kim family has stayed in power, its turned North Korea in to an economically struggling, technologically frozen museum state. The same thing happened after Mao went power mad in the 1960s.

That choice will remain with the CPC as long as its political structure remains the same, regardless of economic conditions.

In fact the wealthier the Chinese people get, the less keen they are on dying.

Major conventional wars have huge diplomatic, economic and political costs that can only be ignored if you win. If you don't win....there are real consequences, and those consequences frighten the CPC and any current generation of leadership, who will be thrown under the bus by competing factions in order to save the CPC.

That is what the CPC learned from the one major war Deng did fight when Vietnam was invaded in 1979. Although the war exposed Soviet mutual-defence guarantees to Vietnam were exposed as a hollow joke despite its world-killing nuclear arsenal, Vietnam's military forces inflicted much heavier costs on the PLA than the Chinese expected.

Despite the serious tensions that endured until the cold war ended in 1988, it never escalated beyond border skirmishes again.

I think there is a substantial chance that China will, over the next four years, escalate hostilities with India to the level of a conventional war in order to resolve its border issues and demonstrate its regional military supremacy.

Unless we substantially improve our conventional warfighting capability (including logistics and infrastructure), or upgrade our nuclear arsenal to the point where we can inflict damage on them that is comparable to their capacity for damaging us... the Chinese may decide that the potential costs of such escalation are well worth it.


Sumdorong Chu was only one part of a much larger Indo-Chinese confrontation in the 1980s, which was tied with Chinese paranoia about escalating unrest in Tibet, as well as their confrontation with the Soviets. It is something that deserves very serious study - tensions did not end because of Rajiv Gandhi's visit to Beijing in 1988.

The fact remains that China blinked. While the story is more complex than is often told, Operation Chequerboard does seem to have made an impression on the Central Military Commission. In particular the Chinese were impressed that the IAF could maintain air superiority, and generate very significant airlift.

The other factor may have been the problems encountered diplomatically after Tiananmen Square.

The point is that strong *conventional* capabilities do more to deter conventional war with economically rational states.

Certainly, the Chinese believe that - in their quest to discourage US military guarantees to Taiwan they have spent tens of billions more on conventional means to defeat, or at least impose unacceptable military costs on any US intervention through SSMs, ASBMs, a large modern submarine fleet, ocean surveillance, anti-satellite weapons, lasers, etc. Their strategic arsenal on the other hand has seen very slow change despite the massive asymmetry with the US.

This is also why Vietnam is far more concerned with building its conventional military abilities than acquiring nuclear weapons

If India wants to make it clear that it is not intimidated by the PLA's conventional military potential, it has to build its capacity and demonstrate them through realistic exercises as it did in the 1980s, and making sure that China will face international problems even in a limited war.

Demonstrating the will to employ nuclear weapons if the need arises is the most important element of deflecting nuclear threats.

No matter how many, or how big India's nuclear arsenal, the CPC is going to assume that India is behind every Tibetan uprising, and they will try to find a way to put pressure on India or reduce its influence over Tibet - if they cant use conventional or nuclear intimidation, they will try to use economic or diplomatic means.

Their clout in this arena has grown so much that even the US is now appeasing and placating them in return for assistance with managing the world economic crisis. The Russians, meanwhile, are wooing the Chinese to set up a counter-bloc against the West, currently known as the SCO...

So the Chinese can rest assured that now of all times they are unlikely to face US or Russian interference (conventional or nuclear), with any military adventures they might be plotting against India. Possibly less likely than at any time over the last 30 years.


The question remains - how did the PRC achieve nuclear deterrence against the US and Soviet Union with such a small, short ranged and vulnerable stock of strategic weapons that was totally incapable of offering MAD?

Why has the PRC still refrained from embracing MAD? Why haven't they aggressively moed to MIRV and expand their strategic missiles?
Last edited by Johann on 13 Nov 2009 00:56, edited 1 time in total.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16420
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 13 Nov 2009 00:38

I DO NOT think either Santhanam NOR MMS/RC/AK are traitors or close to it.

IF at all - after reading Santhanam's essays a few times - my take is that 1) he has not been able to communicate what he REALLY wants to say, and 2) since he has not been able to communicate that very well (in fact IMHO he has done a very poor job - not a knock, just a statement of observation) the synthesis IMHO is that India has deterrence (Santhanam said that in an interview) but will be unable to retaliate to cause enough pain (which is what he seems to be stating WRT to the TN fizzle issue) ONCE the deterrence fails. Since Santhanam mentions that deterrence is not an issue, his concern needs to be discussed in the post deterrence segment of a discussion.

Having said that I would like to add to what Johann has posted. The deterrence "equation" has to be re-calibrated ever so often. It just CANNOT have stayed stagnant for the past 10 years, there is absolutely no way it could have remained the same.

Then, with all due respect to Santhanam (and I mean it), he is just one of many on the "deterrence team". Such a "team" has - for good reasons - people representing as aspects of the spectrum, it better have. So, his saying that India does not have proper post deterrence capability cannot be set aside, but certainly India cannot act based only on this one mans views. Great as they are, it is just one among the "team"s many.

Lalmohan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 13262
Joined: 30 Dec 2005 18:28

Re: Deterrence

Postby Lalmohan » 13 Nov 2009 03:19

my take is simpler. he was creating a political space where we would not agree to a test ban so that further weapons testing could continue for more sophisticated bombs. that does not mean that our existing weapons are not sufficient deterrence, just that by agreeing to a test ban, we are potentially limiting our options

Amber G.
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6723
Joined: 17 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Deterrence

Postby Amber G. » 13 Nov 2009 03:19

From NRao's post about So unclear on the nuclear front

I find some parts rather odd coming out from K Santhanam specially considering that he is a scientist and had responsible post to know details... here are the kind of statments...

First there is a lot of scientific mumbo joumbo (showing off ... eg ... "my experts" are more respected than "your experts" ... others are "totally" unaware/ wanted to hide facts/ innuendos etc..).. could be okay for an ordinary reporter but not expected from a scientific type of person.

Then again and again refrain of 'yield is lower then what is claimed without once coming out straight forward that what was the yield measured?' (Its numeric value vs simply stating "other guy was wrong") ... after all you are claiming that you have valid data...

Here are some quotes and few comments in italics..


The US National Security Agency and US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) weapons laboratories placed the yield at 20-25 KiloTonnes, not 45 KT (1 KT is the energy release equal to 1,000 tonnes of TNT). [ Does not say if he agrees with 20-25 or 45 directly] Balachandran is totally unaware that ....., a highly specialised science and technology agency.... ....its state-of-the-art seismic array, tailor-made for detecting and measuring the yield of nuclear tests. Independent of both the DRDO and the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (Barc), the ARC unambiguously established in its classified report to the government the following:[ No need to impress that xyz is highly respected and Balchandran is "totally" unaware ..

just tell us what are the facts as you know them..[

And here he keeps on telling is the yield is 'different/lower' in stead of giving a figure...

.
1) the yield of th TN device was substantially lower than 45 KT; ..... Thus, the TN device yield would, at best, be 20 KT only.

.... The CORRTEX system also gave a far lower TN yield than the Barcclaimed figure of 45 KT..

A....Pokhran I yield was lower than claimed by Barc.



Why not at least once, give the values which was measured. I think we can easily deduce for ourself if that number is lower than one claimed or not :idea:

And here are few examples where rhetoric is used instead of numbers...
Why was the MS method not used by Barc in Pokhran II? Or was it used and its results again suppressed -- this time by Chidambaram because they were `inconvenient'?...


The NDA government and its successor the UPA blindly endorsed -- and continue to endorse -- the Barc claim. This attitude has seriously compromised our national security....

Balachandran also conveniently `forgot' to mention....


I know a scientist should be able to put the data quantitatively yet he does not do that. I don't know how one can deduce (using those scientific data) that UPA endorsement was "blindly" of some one's forgetfulness was "convenient" .etc.. :?: .

D Roy
BRFite
Posts: 1176
Joined: 08 Oct 2009 17:28

Re: Deterrence

Postby D Roy » 13 Nov 2009 03:43

India's deterrent is not based on "must have" , "good to have" kind of notions.Between '71-91 there was an entity called the soviet union which gave us top cover. when Gorbachev started his glasnost etc and also started making friends with the chinese again i.e late 80s India began weaponizing.Then there was also Sumdurung Chu.

Deterrence has held for over 22 years since the soviets started a rapproachement with the chinese. throughout this period the chinese had 3MT weapons.

deterrence holds.

Kanson
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2983
Joined: 20 Oct 2006 21:00

Re: Deterrence

Postby Kanson » 13 Nov 2009 06:17

Amber G. wrote:From NRao's post about So unclear on the nuclear front

I find some parts rather odd coming out from K Santhanam specially considering that he is a scientist and had responsible post to know details... here are the kind of statments...

Then again and again refrain of 'yield is lower then what is claimed without once coming out straight forward that what was the yield measured?' (Its numeric value vs simply stating "other guy was wrong") ... after all you are claiming that you have valid data...

Here are some quotes and few comments in italics..


The US National Security Agency and US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) weapons laboratories placed the yield at 20-25 KiloTonnes, not 45 KT (1 KT is the energy release equal to 1,000 tonnes of TNT). [ Does not say if he agrees with 20-25 or 45 directly] Balachandran is totally unaware that ....., a highly specialised science and technology agency.... ....its state-of-the-art seismic array, tailor-made for detecting and measuring the yield of nuclear tests. Independent of both the DRDO and the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (Barc), the ARC unambiguously established in its classified report to the government the following:[ No need to impress that xyz is highly respected and Balchandran is "totally" unaware ..

just tell us what are the facts as you know them..[

And here he keeps on telling is the yield is 'different/lower' in stead of giving a figure...

.
1) the yield of th TN device was substantially lower than 45 KT; ..... Thus, the TN device yield would, at best, be 20 KT only.

.... The CORRTEX system also gave a far lower TN yield than the Barcclaimed figure of 45 KT..

A....Pokhran I yield was lower than claimed by Barc.



Why not at least once, give the values which was measured. I think we can easily deduce for ourself if that number is lower than one claimed or not :idea:

Not a suprise...otherwise that yield claim could be countered as done earlier.

And here are few examples where rhetoric is used instead of numbers...
Why was the MS method not used by Barc in Pokhran II? Or was it used and its results again suppressed -- this time by Chidambaram because they were `inconvenient'?...


The NDA government and its successor the UPA blindly endorsed -- and continue to endorse -- the Barc claim. This attitude has seriously compromised our national security....

Balachandran also conveniently `forgot' to mention....


I know a scientist should be able to put the data quantitatively yet he does not do that. I don't know how one can deduce (using those scientific data) that UPA endorsement was "blindly" of some one's forgetfulness was "convenient" .etc.. :?: .

I think it is of usual Santhanam style - a "dry satrie" as claimed by B. Raman(?) i guess. I dont think Balachandran qualifies to be deried as "conveniently..forgot".

G Balachandran

Visiting Fellow
Dr. G. Balachandran is a Visiting Fellow at the IDSA. He has a PhD in Economics and Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin. His specialization includes issues related to economics and technology.

He is associated with the National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi. He is a Consultant both to the Americas Division of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and to the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Dr. Balachandran has conducted studies and published widely on the India-United States Next Steps in Strategic Partnership as well as on India-US Civil Nuclear Co-operation Agreement. He has also carried out studies on Pakistan’s Defence Expenditure, on US Export Control Procedures and policy. He is currently engaged in a study on Pakistan’s Energy Security.


Sorry, i think Santhanam lost steam, no more he can drop any shoes or nothing new he can add. I wish to see this as - as someone said - he could be part of deep deep establishment. Thats it. Infact it is a fact too na, this episode comes in handy under any CTBT discussion.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 13 Nov 2009 06:39

Rudradev - I believe you are repeating yourself. You are saying that India will lose a nuclear war with China. That is well known and has been the case for decades. What you haven't explained is how having bigger and more nukes will help India win a nuclear war with China or anyone. You have yourself retreated from your original position claiming that more and bigger nukes will serve as a deterrent. In fact nobody has explained how losing 10 cities and inflicting more damage than that on another country is a "victory" for anyone.

I will merely comment on a few specific areas that I have problems with, where I believe rhetoric has overtaken both reason and fact. You have stoutly defended Santhanam's views over the views of internet squabblers. And you are right. But how do you so stoutly defend Santhanam's views over and above the other people whose lives have been devoted to defence. A 200 kt capability has been clearly stated. ( I have several links but will not post them again) You ignore that when you say 25 kt and you have failed to address my question of why your calculus does not change. When you choose to believe one side (Santhanam) and not the other (who are also scientists and professional military men) it is you who are in error, not the internet squabblers.

Secondly, you have grossly inflated the fallout potential of China's 20 or so megaton yield bombs and assumed that they will all be used on India (contrary to your earlier position) . I put it to you that your views are more drama than substance and that you have made no effort to actually calculate what areas can be affected and to what extent. Your scenario is far from believable and falls squarely in the category of the same internet squabblers whose opinions you view critically.

Lastly, let me quote some sentences that I find amusing

Why is the B Country important in nuclear war? Because it is vitally critical for
1) Storing food and medical supplies that will be needed in cities that get nuked
2) Housing populations of cities who survive the initial nuclear strike, to get them out of a region where they would develop radiation poisoning.


May I ask which continent you were thinking of when you wrote the above sentences? It can't be India. If Indian cities are destroyed the India B country is not going to work the way America planned for its B country to work in the 1960s cold war games that you are copy-pasting on here. You have yourself indicated a glimmer of knowledge that Indian B country is worse than Chinese B country which offers great expanses of livable space in the Gobi and Tibet.

Rudradev - we are not going to agree on your reasoning about the size and yield of India's arsenal. I have stated my case time and again and you too are only repeating your views. I think we both have India at heart and I would suggest we drop the discussion.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 13 Nov 2009 06:47

Kanson wrote:
Sorry, i think Santhanam lost steam, no more he can drop any shoes or nothing new he can add. I wish to see this as - as someone said - he could be part of deep deep establishment. Thats it. Infact it is a fact too na, this episode comes in handy under any CTBT discussion.


Kanson - I think we can drop that discussion. The other shoe has already dropped and has been eaten by a dog. The latest article contradicts itself in several areas. Whatever the truth in these arguments - for the purpose of discussion we can assume that India has reliable boosted fission warheads of up to 200 kilotons. This sentence takes into account both Santhanam's objections (Thermonuke did not work) and statements made by others. No megatons. No TN. It is best to leave it at that IMO.

Kanson
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2983
Joined: 20 Oct 2006 21:00

Re: Deterrence

Postby Kanson » 13 Nov 2009 07:02

Rudradev wrote:Dr. Santhanam, IMO, has far more locus standi than any internet squabblers to comment on the state of India's deterrent... because of his qualifications, and the extent of his involvement with the nuclear program.

:) So are Chidambaram, Kalam and others.

That he has made a shocking claim... one which, in the act of being made, has done untold damage to India's credibility which is an essential component of India's deterrent... is obvious.
Sorry, not for people who followed this incident(aftermath of Pok-II) from 1998 or before. This shock was expresed before when PKI raised his suspicion.

I simply cannot imagine that a person such as he, who has devoted his entire life's work to strengthening the defense of India, would make such a public claim that damages India to such an extent... unless he honestly believed that silence would be even more damaging in the long run.

As you exactly mentioned, it is in your imagination to believe or not to believe.

Of course one could put forward the conjecture that Dr. Santhanam is motivated by evil personal gain; that he has received secret payoffs in exchange for turning traitor and damaging the credibility of India's nuclear deterrent. It could be that he is the visible hand of a dark hidden agency trying to undermine India. But then, one would have to say that Brahma Chellaney and Bharat Karnad, and others who support his shocking contention, are also tools of that dark and hidden agency. Postulating the involvement of all these people in a heinous plot, makes the hypothesis by definition a conspiracy theory.

If what you say is true, this consipracy theory and conjecture, could be run in reverse asking why Chidambaram & co acted in such a way.

No evidence exists for either of those viewpoints even though hundreds of pages on BRF and elsewhere were used to broadcast them with increasing shrillness.

Good point.

Nonetheless, until we see for ourselves that Santhanam is wrong, we cannot be sure he is not right. At least, I cannot be.

So I find myself in the position of someone who is informed that his bank account may have been hacked; that he may not actually have $200 in it, as per his passbook, but in fact only $25.

In that situation of course, I would strive mightily to contact the bank and demand an explanation from a person in authority. If the person in authority did not answer my questions but only blustered and obfuscated I would be more certain than ever that something was black in the lentils.

But supposing I simply could not contact a responsible person in the bank (because it was the weekend or whatever).

You know what I absolutely would not do? I would not count on being able to make a purchase of more than $25 on my debit card. Not till the matter was entirely resolved to my satisfaction. If it turned out that I did in fact have $200, that would be a happy surprise... but an error in the other direction could ruin my credit.

In this case an error in the other direction could amount to suicide on a national level. Thanks but no thanks.

Nice cogent argument. Infact i prepared to reply is becoz it appears so cogent. But i ask you a question. In a fight which appears you are not winning, with your back to the wall, what you do of these two choices ?
a. Surrender; accept disgrace, suzerainty etc
b. fight back with whatever you have and whatever you can throw against.

If your choice is 'a' then our discussion ends here and pls dont proceed to read further.

Coming to the discussion, accepting 25 kt or 200 kt comes only if deterrence fails. I think you can easily agree with that. If deterrence holds there is no war and B country fallout etc.

When deterrence fails and nuclear war progress, as you talk about nuking the B country with megaton dont you think, we having sitting on the stockpile of huge Pu will throw everything at them ? As Shiv talks about theoretical TN, let say suppose, our weapon can give only 60% yield as Santhanam claims, if we make 3 MT bomb, with 60% yield only, can it give in MT yield, theoretically speaking. So dont you throw these theoretically 60% MT bomb at the B country which you talk about(like the Americans did to Japan)when your back is against the wall. Whether it is going to give 60% or 80% or 30% is moot. Question is will you throw whatever you have at them or not. Even at 30% it will give a same fallout effect that you talk about to B country. Agreed ?

PS: Shiv has already replied before i press submit

Kanson
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2983
Joined: 20 Oct 2006 21:00

Re: Deterrence

Postby Kanson » 13 Nov 2009 07:14

shiv wrote:
Kanson wrote:
Sorry, i think Santhanam lost steam, no more he can drop any shoes or nothing new he can add. I wish to see this as - as someone said - he could be part of deep deep establishment. Thats it. Infact it is a fact too na, this episode comes in handy under any CTBT discussion.


Kanson - I think we can drop that discussion. The other shoe has already dropped and has been eaten by a dog. The latest article contradicts itself in several areas. Whatever the truth in these arguments - for the purpose of discussion we can assume that India has reliable boosted fission warheads of up to 200 kilotons. This sentence takes into account both Santhanam's objections (Thermonuke did not work) and statements made by others. No megatons. No TN. It is best to leave it at that IMO.

Sorry, he is not adding anything new; not answering to BARC's clarification. The question is not about deterrence which he aceepts we are having minimum deterrence. All his arguments are realated to TN. Yes for the argument sake we can assume that. It doesnt have to mean that we dont have TN.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 13 Nov 2009 07:51

If we are going to talk about breakdown of deterrence and moving to B country, here are two maps - one of population density and the other of water resources
Population density
Image

Rivers
Image

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 13 Nov 2009 07:55

India population density
Image

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16420
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 13 Nov 2009 07:57

Lalmohan wrote:my take is simpler. he was creating a political space where we would not agree to a test ban so that further weapons testing could continue for more sophisticated bombs. that does not mean that our existing weapons are not sufficient deterrence, just that by agreeing to a test ban, we are potentially limiting our options


Santhanam mentioned CTBT WRT Obama being elected, but CTBT has been a non-issue ever since CTBT came into existence. I would expect him to retract that one concern of his now that MMS has stated CTBT is a non-issue.

All Santhanam has done so far is to state that no one outside of BARC has had a +ve result set WRT S1.

On a lighter note I am glad Santhanam did/does not have access (in his articles) to the all pervasive: :) :D :mrgreen: :rotfl:

Sorry. :mrgreen:

More seriously Santhanam NEEDS to get editorial help and reviewers.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16420
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: Deterrence

Postby NRao » 13 Nov 2009 08:18

NatGeo has, as I post, a show on dirty bombs!!!!

The scenario is a small car is blasted (the normal jihadic idea), but it contains a "dirty bomb". Initial blast is about 200 ft radius.

10 minutes into the program: Contamination has spread via wind to a few blocks, BUT anyone who was around has taken contamination with them wherever they went - miles and miles away!!

samuel
BRFite
Posts: 818
Joined: 03 Apr 2007 08:52

Re: Deterrence

Postby samuel » 13 Nov 2009 09:05

Some basic defs, to recollect:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_deterrence
This MAD scenario is often referred to as nuclear deterrence. The term deterrence was first used in this context after World War II; prior to that time, its use was limited to legal terminology.

In practice, the theory proved both utterly effective and exceptionally dangerous (e.g., Cuban Missile Crisis) through the end of the Cold War. Today, all lesser nations are believed to be keenly aware that any use of nuclear weapons, in any context, is the recipe for their annihilation. Significant nuclear powers, such as the United States, the Russian Federation, and the People's Republic of China (PRC), operate under the deterrent effect of potential retaliation with respect to "first use" in the conduct of brush fire wars and other lesser conflagrations. The U.S., as possessor of the largest and most deployable stockpile of nuclear weapons,[citation needed] continues to exercise its vast nuclear might as a cornerstone of its foreign policy with regard to rogue states and communist nations that currently or may soon possess nuclear weapons technology. U.S. military forces stand on permanent alert in order to deter potential nuclear adversaries. Likewise, non-democratic nations cannot use nuclear weapons against the U.S., or her critical allies (United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Germany, Israel, Australia, and South Korea) without threat of (as U.S. President John F. Kennedy said) a "full retaliatory" response by the United States.[2]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexible_response
A staged plan was devised to counter any Soviet military action other than a first strike. It consisted of three stages:

Direct defense: In case of a conventional Soviet attack (meaning non-nuclear or this would be considered a first strike) initial efforts would be to try and stop the Soviet advance with conventional weapons. This meant that the foreseen Soviet attack on West-Germany would be tried to be forced to a halt by NATO's European forces, Allied Command Europe.

Deliberate Escalation: This phase was entered when conventional NATO forces were succumbing under the Soviet attack. This was actually expected as intelligence indicated Soviet divisions outnumbered NATO divisions by far. In this phase NATO forces would switch to a limited use of nuclear weapons, such as recently developed tactical nuclear weapons (like nuclear artillery).

General Nuclear Response: This was the last phase or stage which more or less corresponded to the mutual assured destruction scenario, meaning the total nuclear attack on the Communist world. If the Soviets had not already done so, this would make them switch to all-out attack as well.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_retaliation
In theory, as the U.S.S.R. had no desire to provoke an all-out nuclear attack, the policy of massive response likely deterred any ambitions it would have had on Western Europe. Although the United States and NATO bloc would be hard-pressed in a conventional conflict with the Warsaw Pact forces if a conventional war were to occur, the massive response doctrine prevented the Soviets from advancing for fear that a nuclear attack would have been made upon the Soviet Union in response to a conventional attack.

It can be argued that, however, aside from raising tensions in an already strained relationship with the Soviet bloc, massive retaliation had few practical effects. A threat of massive retaliation is hard to make credible, and is inflexible in response to foreign policy issues. Everyday challenges of foreign policy could not be dealt with using a massive nuclear strike. In fact, the Soviet Union took many minor military actions that would have necessitated the use of nuclear weapons under a strict reading of the massive retaliation doctrine.

A massive retaliation doctrine, as with any nuclear strategy based on the principle of mutually assured destruction and as an extension the second-strike capability needed to form a retaliatory attack, encourages the opponent to perform a massive counterforce first strike. This, if successful, would cripple the defending state's retaliatory capacity and render a massive retaliation strategy useless.

Also, if both sides of a conflict adopt the same stance of massive response, it may result in unlimited escalation (a "nuclear spasm"), each believing that the other will back down after the first round of retaliation. Both problems are not unique to massive retaliation, but to nuclear deterrence as a whole.

Umrao Das
BRFite
Posts: 332
Joined: 11 Jul 2008 20:26

Re: Deterrence

Postby Umrao Das » 13 Nov 2009 11:16

Reminds me of of SD statement

"At this time we ae unable to detrmine conclusively that PRC has transfered M11 Missiles to Pakistan against the MTCR signed by PRC" While The spokesperson and Robin Raphel were staring at Crates of M11 in Sargodha base by Zia bhai with Red paint clearly indicating this side up in English for the benefit of Customer Paksitan to aviod confusion which side is to point towards India.. (RAW deterrent experts later determined that Pakistani Deterrent Analysts used to reading URDU would errrect it other way and hence needed red paint and a clear arrow head showing which siode is up and to point at India))
Reference citation here

M-11s and Sanctions. Transfers of the PRC's M-11 short range ballistic missiles or related equipment exceed MTCR guidelines, because the M-11 has the inherent capability to deliver a 500 kg (1,100 lb) warhead to 300 km (186 mi). U.S. sanctions were imposed on transfers of PRC M-11 missile-related technology (Category II), not complete missiles (Category I), to Pakistan. Sanctions were imposed twice under Section 73(a) of the Arms Export Control Act and Section 11B(b)(1) of the Export Administration Act. In June 1991, the Bush Administration first imposed sanctions on China for transferring M-11 technology to Pakistan. The sanctions affected exports of supercomputers, satellites, and missile technology. The Administration later waived the sanctions on March 23, 1992. On August 24, 1993, the Clinton Administration determined that China had again transferred M-11 equipment (not whole missiles) to Pakistan and imposed new sanctions (affecting exports of some satellites). Later, Secretary of State Christopher and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen signed a joint statement on October 4, 1994, that Washington would waive the August 1993 sanctions and Beijing would not export "ground-to-ground missiles" "inherently capable" of delivering a 500 kg warhead 300 km. The sanctions were waived on November 1, 1994.

The Washington Times (March 14, 1997) said that "numerous" intelligence reports have indicated that M-11 missiles are "operational" in Pakistan, but these findings were disputed by some policy-makers. In a March 1998 report on Nuclear Nonproliferation in South Asia, the Secretary of State acknowledged concerns about reports of M-11 missiles in Pakistan, but added that there is no determination that such transfers occurred. Gordon Oehler, former head of the CIA's Nonproliferation Center, testified on June 11, 1998, to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that in November 1992, "the Chinese delivered 34 M-11s to Pakistan." In July 1998, the Rumsfeld Commission reported that China had transferred complete M-11s to Pakistan. Still, some said that sanctions were not imposed for transfers of complete M-11s, because the missiles remain inside crates at Sagodha Air Base (Wall Street Journal, December 15, 1998). Others said that the Administration avoided making any determinations in the first place.

Then, on September 9, 1999, the CIA publicly confirmed for the first time that "Pakistan has M-11 SRBMs from China" and they may have a nuclear role. Nonetheless, the State Department responded on September 14, 1999, that it required a "high standard of evidence" and had not yet determined that Category I sanctions are warranted, despite the intelligence judgment. (Category I sanctions would deny licenses for exports of Munitions List items, among other actions, and Congress in 1998 transferred satellites back to the Munitions List.) On November 21, 2000, the Clinton Administration said it determined that PRC entities had transferred Category I and Category II missile-related items to Pakistani entities, and sanctions would be waived on the PRC for the past transfers, given its new missile nonproliferation commitment. In February 2001, the DCI reported that, in the 1st half of 2000, PRC assistance helped Pakistan to "rapidly" move toward serial production of solid-fuel SRBMs.



Now back to the topic
It is like that with the powers be saying it was 45 caliber not 25 caliber, Dr. Santanam has to show how not it is 45 Caliber, besides he does not have Caliber to say anything about 45 we saw.. He is "just" after all an independent (contractor/Consultant) agent in the dress of white and black stripes refree Of US football game, where you can kick and run with ball too. We 45 caliber wallahs appointed him to put his LTI (Left Thumb impression) on the form (like Pakis Told this side up), some of us even wanted to hand hold be done with it, some in retrospect think it was wrong to have waited till the main event was done, It should have been done well before be done with this independent contractor.

At this time therefore there is no negetive fall out of evidence that 45 caliber did happen, besides who is this 25 caliber wallah with no data to psoitively say it is not 45 caliber, thank god we never showed him our caliber....

Rudradev
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3510
Joined: 06 Apr 2003 12:31

Re: Deterrence

Postby Rudradev » 13 Nov 2009 12:41

shiv wrote:Rudradev - I believe you are repeating yourself. You are saying that India will lose a nuclear war with China. That is well known and has been the case for decades. What you haven't explained is how having bigger and more nukes will help India win a nuclear war with China or anyone. You have yourself retreated from your original position claiming that more and bigger nukes will serve as a deterrent. In fact nobody has explained how losing 10 cities and inflicting more damage than that on another country is a "victory" for anyone.


I don't see where I have retreated from that position. I believe deterrence can be affected by many things, including missile defense, early warnings, and the clearly demonstrated capability to field more and bigger nukes.

Extrapolating your view about "10 cities" one might go on to say that no war of any kind can possibly end in "victory" because of the cost in human suffering. In the most abstract moral sense it could be argued that war itself is unethical and impossible to "win". But still, countries prepare for war. They should prepare for wars of all kinds that they may not want to fight but might conceivably have to fight... including nuclear wars in which 10 or more cities can be lost. Unless India can be guaranteed by some 100% credible magic-wand-waver that we will never, ever face the threat of nuclear war under any circumstances, we have to prepare for one. Semantic questions of "what is victory" are totally irrelevant.

I will merely comment on a few specific areas that I have problems with, where I believe rhetoric has overtaken both reason and fact. You have stoutly defended Santhanam's views over the views of internet squabblers. And you are right. But how do you so stoutly defend Santhanam's views over and above the other people whose lives have been devoted to defence. A 200 kt capability has been clearly stated. ( I have several links but will not post them again) You ignore that when you say 25 kt and you have failed to address my question of why your calculus does not change. When you choose to believe one side (Santhanam) and not the other (who are also scientists and professional military men) it is you who are in error, not the internet squabblers.


There are scientists and professional military men who have repudiated his view; however, one might conjecture that their motivations for doing so are clear. In any organization there are obvious motivations for its members to circle the wagons when the organization's credibility is put in doubt. Toeing the organization's line is default behaviour, only to be expected. It is the whistle blower who risks a great deal more. Whether he risks it for an altruistic purpose (warning that India does not have the deterrent we were led to believe) or for some dark and sinister purpose, he is the one upending the status quo.

Dark and sinister purposes can be attributed to both sides with equal credibility and I'm not entertaining any of those conspiracy theories. To me the most simple explanation is that Santhanam said what he said because he believed he was right.

You may believe that I am in "error" in believing Santhanam, that is your opinion and (for all the evidence you have furnished so far) nothing more than your opinion.

I had not addressed your question about 200 kT, though I believe I explained quite clearly why I would not count any chickens that I hadn't observed hatching. 200 kT weapons put us in a better position to carry out groundstrikes against some of China's strategic assets, industrial and logistical sites... but many critical sites may be fortified beyond even the capacity of a 200 kT warhead to take out. So yes, better to have 200 kT than 25 kT, but even then we remain overmatched by Chinese capacity to field 1 MT plus warheads.

Secondly, you have grossly inflated the fallout potential of China's 20 or so megaton yield bombs and assumed that they will all be used on India (contrary to your earlier position) . I put it to you that your views are more drama than substance and that you have made no effort to actually calculate what areas can be affected and to what extent. Your scenario is far from believable and falls squarely in the category of the same internet squabblers whose opinions you view critically.


I have "inflated"? :D Indeed, it seems you are the one continuously deflating, from "50" to "20 or so", the number of China's megaton warheads with each successive post. I would like to know where these estimates of yours derive from, actually.

Also, I have not at all contradicted my earlier position. What I said earlier was that China needs to distribute its warheads among multiple enemies while keeping all contingencies in mind. This is relevant in peacetime because it relates to China's deterrence equation. However, if China actually found themselves escalating to all-out nuclear conflict with India, it makes sense to assume they would re-target the bulk of weapons that ordinarily pointed at other nations towards the immediate and imminent threat. If an exchange begins, I certainly think they would all be used on India, or as many of them as the Chinese could bring to bear. As they say, when one flies, they all fly.

I have actually drawn up no specific "scenario" of exact areas being affected by the Chinese arsenal because, given the number of specific unknowns, pretending to "calculate what areas can be affected and to what extent" amounts to peddling hot air. Some posters here might concoct "scenarios" along the lines of "Amritsar was hit by a 1 MT weapon and lost 400,000 people and suffered fallout over X many hectares" to make themselves sound authoritative. However, they have no idea exactly how many 1 MT weapons the Chinese have or whether Amritsar is on the target list of those weapons at all. I cited Delhi/Punjab as a very general example... with no claims of putting up a "scenario".

The fact remains: using blast computers to play with figures derived from rectal extraction does not lend "substance" to arguments.

Instead, I have had the intellectual honesty to restrict myself to statements of a generality backed up by the few facts we do know. Such as: China has megaton weapons, and we don't. China can achieve groundstrikes against logistical, industrial, infrastructural and strategic targets in India, and we can't achieve anything of the kind against theirs. That is all I have claimed. So where is the issue of "substance"?

As for "drama", I wasn't the one posting hair-raising stories of Hiroshima survivors or pictures of weeping American Generals :mrgreen:

Lastly, let me quote some sentences that I find amusing

Why is the B Country important in nuclear war? Because it is vitally critical for
1) Storing food and medical supplies that will be needed in cities that get nuked
2) Housing populations of cities who survive the initial nuclear strike, to get them out of a region where they would develop radiation poisoning.


May I ask which continent you were thinking of when you wrote the above sentences? It can't be India. If Indian cities are destroyed the India B country is not going to work the way America planned for its B country to work in the 1960s cold war games that you are copy-pasting on here. You have yourself indicated a glimmer of knowledge that Indian B country is worse than Chinese B country which offers great expanses of livable space in the Gobi and Tibet.


The extent to which a space is "livable" isn't inversely proportional to its population density.
There is a reason why so much of Western China has almost zero population density. That's because, despite the best efforts of China to construct infrastructure, they are not livable.

In fact, the many districts of India in the map you posted where there are upto 400 people per sq. km. are probably better suited to relocate the survivors of a nuked Indian city than Tibet or the Gobi desert (or would be, if we had the infrastructure to get them there).

These are areas where villages are nearby, and water is accessible if not readily available... and where the climate isn't prohibitive with frigid temperatures, lunar aridity and enormously rareified air pressure.

Much of Indian "B-Country" is climatically more hospitable for relocating survivors than the vast tracts of Tibet and the Gobi Desert you've been referring to.

The advantage China has is not its wide open wildernesses... many of those are useless. The relevant B-Country where it could relocate survivors and draw resources for rebuilding would be Manchuria and Central China as far west as Yunnan and Sichuan. The advantage China has is two fold: one, it has infrastructure to access its relevant B-Country efficiently. Two, we can't touch their B-Country at all while they can ruin substantial portions of ours.

And no, this has nothing to do with Cold War games. As I hope you realize, the Soviets acquired enough warheads to ensure that none of the American B-Country would be any use at all.

Rudradev - we are not going to agree on your reasoning about the size and yield of India's arsenal. I have stated my case time and again and you too are only repeating your views. I think we both have India at heart and I would suggest we drop the discussion.


Maybe you are not going to agree on a matter of principle. I'm here to learn what I don't know as I've learned a lot on BRF over the years. If I am convinced by the information and viewpoints offered, I am open to changing my views. I agree we both have India at heart, and if you don't want to carry on the discussion that's fine. But surely you see the irony of asking to drop the discussion in the same post where you have challenged posts that I made earlier.

Rudradev
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3510
Joined: 06 Apr 2003 12:31

Re: Deterrence

Postby Rudradev » 13 Nov 2009 13:10

Kanson wrote:
Rudradev wrote:Dr. Santhanam, IMO, has far more locus standi than any internet squabblers to comment on the state of India's deterrent... because of his qualifications, and the extent of his involvement with the nuclear program.

:) So are Chidambaram, Kalam and others.


They are of the organization and hence more apt to toe the organization's line. I don't blame them. But I can't believe in what has not been tested, especially once doubt has been cast.

That he has made a shocking claim... one which, in the act of being made, has done untold damage to India's credibility which is an essential component of India's deterrent... is obvious.
Sorry, not for people who followed this incident(aftermath of Pok-II) from 1998 or before. This shock was expresed before when PKI raised his suspicion.


I am well aware of P K Iyengar's assertion and the "Partial Burn" controversy. There seemed to be good arguments made by RC and others to counter that. Santhanam claiming that a test was an outright failure goes beyond this.

I simply cannot imagine that a person such as he, who has devoted his entire life's work to strengthening the defense of India, would make such a public claim that damages India to such an extent... unless he honestly believed that silence would be even more damaging in the long run.

As you exactly mentioned, it is in your imagination to believe or not to believe.


A willingness to believe in our weapons capacity without seeing the evidence is also an act of imagination.

Of course one could put forward the conjecture that Dr. Santhanam is motivated by evil personal gain; that he has received secret payoffs in exchange for turning traitor and damaging the credibility of India's nuclear deterrent. It could be that he is the visible hand of a dark hidden agency trying to undermine India. But then, one would have to say that Brahma Chellaney and Bharat Karnad, and others who support his shocking contention, are also tools of that dark and hidden agency. Postulating the involvement of all these people in a heinous plot, makes the hypothesis by definition a conspiracy theory.

If what you say is true, this consipracy theory and conjecture, could be run in reverse asking why Chidambaram & co acted in such a way.


I have asked that also. But Chidambaram & co. have a valid reason for sticking with the official line. It is the whistle-blower who risks all... whether out of patriotic or treacherous motives.



Nonetheless, until we see for ourselves that Santhanam is wrong, we cannot be sure he is not right. At least, I cannot be.

So I find myself in the position of someone who is informed that his bank account may have been hacked; that he may not actually have $200 in it, as per his passbook, but in fact only $25.

In that situation of course, I would strive mightily to contact the bank and demand an explanation from a person in authority. If the person in authority did not answer my questions but only blustered and obfuscated I would be more certain than ever that something was black in the lentils.

But supposing I simply could not contact a responsible person in the bank (because it was the weekend or whatever).

You know what I absolutely would not do? I would not count on being able to make a purchase of more than $25 on my debit card. Not till the matter was entirely resolved to my satisfaction. If it turned out that I did in fact have $200, that would be a happy surprise... but an error in the other direction could ruin my credit.

In this case an error in the other direction could amount to suicide on a national level. Thanks but no thanks.

Nice cogent argument. Infact i prepared to reply is becoz it appears so cogent. But i ask you a question. In a fight which appears you are not winning, with your back to the wall, what you do of these two choices ?
a. Surrender; accept disgrace, suzerainty etc
b. fight back with whatever you have and whatever you can throw against.

If your choice is 'a' then our discussion ends here and pls dont proceed to read further.

Coming to the discussion, accepting 25 kt or 200 kt comes only if deterrence fails. I think you can easily agree with that. If deterrence holds there is no war and B country fallout etc.

When deterrence fails and nuclear war progress, as you talk about nuking the B country with megaton dont you think, we having sitting on the stockpile of huge Pu will throw everything at them ? As Shiv talks about theoretical TN, let say suppose, our weapon can give only 60% yield as Santhanam claims, if we make 3 MT bomb, with 60% yield only, can it give in MT yield, theoretically speaking. So dont you throw these theoretically 60% MT bomb at the B country which you talk about(like the Americans did to Japan)when your back is against the wall. Whether it is going to give 60% or 80% or 30% is moot. Question is will you throw whatever you have at them or not. Even at 30% it will give a same fallout effect that you talk about to B country. Agreed ?

PS: Shiv has already replied before i press submit


If it was tested, it wouldn't be moot. Of course in a war we will throw everything we have... we can throw chappals at them too. But the question is how reliable is our capacity to damage them?

A 3 MT device may give us only 50 kT per Santhanam's allegations. You can't assume 30% fusion yield with any more confidence than you can assume 100%.

We may be able to develop a theoretical TN, but banking on that for deterrence is like assuming our assets to already include squadrons of LCAs, Arjuns, Agni Vs, and super-duper nuclear powered aircraft carriers when making operational plans for a conventional war. We can do lots of things in theory. It's a long way from that to achieving reliable weaponization and operational readiness.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 13 Nov 2009 16:51

Back to deterrence.

"MAD" is an overused expression

"Mutually Assured Destruction" held true only for the US and FSU with more than 20 thousand warheads each. 20 thousand warheads is serious numbers. You can "assure destruction" only with such numbers.

But why has China with 250 to 400 warheads deterred the US with over 10,000 warheads?

Why has India deterred China?

Mutual deterrence between countries with gross asymmetry cannot be explained on the grounds of numbers and yield of weapons. There is something more than that calculus.

I have stated in an earlier post that India has been spared because that was China's will and fancy. Perhaps that is what ensured that nuclear war has not broken out between nuclear armed adversaries despite gross asymmetry. And all the while every nation, nuclear armed or not has been busy fighting conventional wars sometimes even losing wars despite nuclear capability and even a superiority in nuclear weapons numbers and yield. One could ask why the country has nuclear weapons if it is going to lose a war against a non nuclear adversary or an adversary with fewer weapons.

If you look at the number of treaties that are attempting to ban nuclear weapons and the number of nuclear capable countries that have voluntarily forsworn the right to build nuclear weapons, there is clearly, at a global level a definite feeling that nuclear weapons must not be used at all. Maybe it gets easier to understand if you consider that of 200 plus countries in the world, the US, USSR, China and India occupy about 25% of the area (India being the smallest) and if you set aside Australia, Canada and Brazil - you find that 95% of all sovereign countries occupy 50% of the world area. Some these countries can get knocked out by a single nuke and so it is no use for them. So there is, at the very least a global level pressure against the use of nukes.

Countries like Japan and Germany can become nuclear weapon powers virtually overnight while Italy, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and other nations can build nuclear weapons at short notice. Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Iran, SA, Libya. A host of other countries would move towards nuclear weapons if deterrence were to fail. Many of those nations would get wiped out even with a few dozen nukes, but they would still build them in order to punish an attacker if it became clear that it is OK to use nuclear weapons because more countries are building them.

So I suspect that deterrence is a far more complex phenomenon at global level than the bilateral context would make it seem. In the India-China context - a gross disparity between China and India does not necessarily mean that China can actually use those weapons. But at the same time, India too is probably not free to openly declare the intent to enter into a nuclear arms race with China.

Tanaji
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3251
Joined: 21 Jun 2000 11:31

Re: Deterrence

Postby Tanaji » 13 Nov 2009 16:57

Naive question:

Why do you need 25 Kt or 15Kt bombs for deterrence? These bombs will not cause infrastructure damage as Shiv himself is pointing out. So why not build weapons that release massive amounts of radioactivity designed to kill living things and make things inhabitable for near and medium term future? So, basically just load up some Co60 type of things that will release massive radioactivity. Will kill a lot of people...

Dont know how much "KT" is required for the above. Why isn't the above deterrence?


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dhyana, Karan M, MSN [Bot], ravikr, sanjayc, Vidur and 51 guests