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Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy

 
Bharat Karnad (Author)
Synopsis

This book deals comprehensively with the evolution of Indian nuclear weapons strategy, policy and posture.  The first half of the book constitutes a substantial revisionist history.  In the main, tracing the country's strategic ethos and culture to the Hindu machtpolitik of Vedic India, dispassionately deconstructing Mahatma Gandhi's doctrine of non-violence, which was more a political tool to discomfit the British Raj than a blueprint for independent India's defence, and disclosing Jawaharlal Nehru's basic realpolitik orientation.  Archival evidence is marshaled to show that Nehru championed disarmament while pursuing nuclear weapons capability, expressed abhorrence for military alliances but ensured India's protection by the Western security alliance - the Pentagon's plans and the British government's measures for the 'defence of India' are here revealed for the first time, and projected India as Third World leader in the Non-Aligned Movement with the help of the United States and the United Kingdom.  In the second half of the study, the politics of India’s programme of 'nuclear weaponisation by autopilot' is analysed in telling detail, as is the gradually changing strategic calculus and thinking about nuclear weapons and deterrence within the Indian government, the nuclear and defence establishments, the military, the bureaucracy, and the strategic community at large.  The domestic and international pulls and pressures over the last five decades to weaponise or to desist from doing so are dissected, and actions contemplated to neutralize nuclear threats, like preemptive air strikes on Pakistani nuclear facilities, exposed.  In a prescriptive vein, various nuclear postures and force planning options are examined at length in the context of the emerging international and regional scenarios and the nonproliferation order, and on the basis of a thorough analysis, the option of maximizing political and strategic military benefits with a megaton thermonuclear deterrent with an intercontinental ballistic missile reach, is recommended.  Based on research into primary source material - recently declassified documents in the US and British government archives and extensive interviews with decision-makers in the Indian nuclear policy loop - this is an authoritative study about India's 'hesitant' rise as a nuclear power by a recognized expert in the field who was also member of the committee that drafted the nuclear doctrine.

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About the author

Bharat Karnad

Bharat Karnad, educated in the United States (BA in Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, MA in International Relations and Security Studies, University of California, Los Angeles), he is Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He was Member of the (First) National Security Advisory Board, National Security Council, Government of India (and as such, Member of the Nuclear Doctrine Drafting Group); and was formerly Adviser on Defence Expenditure to the (Tenth) Finance Commission. He has been consulted by the Strategic Warfare and Air Concepts Cell, Air Headquarters, Indian Air Force and the Financial Planning and Perspective Planning Directorates, Army Headquarters, and lectures regularly at the National Defence College, College of Naval Warfare, College of Air Warfare, in the programme on nuclear, biological and chemical warfare at the College of Military Engineering, the Foreign Service Institute, and the National Police Academy. His writings on nuclear issues have attracted worldwide attention. Former US President Bill Clinton's Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott described them as 'muscular". Other reputed American South Asia experts have referred to him variously as 'one of India's most prominent civilian hawks', ' the leading theoretician' and ' the most articulate proponent' of nuclear 'maximalism' and as a 'super-realist'. He has published research papers and review essays in professional journals in India and abroad, contributed Chapters to several Indian and international anthologies, and edited the volume, Future Imperilled: India's Security in the 1990s and Beyond (1994).

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Bibliographic information

Title Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy
Author Bharat Karnad
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 2nd ed.
Language: English
isbn 1403926476
length iv+xxxviii+757p., Annexure; Bibliography; Index; 25cm.