12 Items

Indian Army missile on display in parade

(AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

India’s Counterforce Temptations: Strategic Dilemmas, Doctrine, and Capabilities

| Winter 2018/19

Since 2003, India has been building its nuclear arsenal beyond what is necessary for a purely retaliatory or minimum deterrence capability. India’s actions could lead to a regional arms race or even the use of nuclear weapons in a war with Pakistan.

Strategies of Nuclear Proliferation: How States Pursue the Bomb


Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Strategies of Nuclear Proliferation: How States Pursue the Bomb

| Winter 2016/17

Understanding which nuclear proliferation strategies are available to states and how to thwart them is crucial for global security. Analysis of the strategies chosen by potential proliferators, and particularly the history of India’s nuclear program, shows how states choose among four possible proliferation strategies: hedging, sprinting, hiding, and sheltered pursuit. Each strategy has vulnerabilities that can be exploited to prevent proliferation.

An Indian soldier takes cover as the Taj Mahal hotel burns during gun battle between Indian military and militants inside the hotel in Mumbai, India, Nov. 29, 2008.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Pakistan's Nuclear Posture: Implications for South Asian Stability

| January 2010

"...[E]xtremist elements in Pakistan have a clear incentive to precipitate a crisis between India and Pakistan, so that Pakistan's nuclear assets become more exposed and vulnerable to theft. Terrorist organizations in the region with nuclear ambitions, such as al-Qaida, may find no easier route to obtaining fissile material or a fully functional nuclear weapon than to attack India, thereby triggering a crisis between India and Pakistan and forcing Pakistan to ready and disperse nuclear assets—with few, if any, negative controls—and then attempting to steal the nuclear material when it is being moved or in the field, where it is less secure than in peacetime locations."

Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf addressed Pakistani Air Force veterans on Dec. 30, 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan. Musharraf said that he had been prepared to use atomic weapons if India had invaded Pakistan earlier that year.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Posturing for Peace? Pakistan's Nuclear Postures and South Asian Stability

| Winter 2009/10

India and Pakistan are both nuclear-armed states, but their divergent nuclear postures have led to a stark difference in their deterrence capabilities. India has maintained an assured retaliation posture, but Pakistan has shifted from a catalytic to an asymmetric escalation posture, allowing it to pursue aggressive policies without significant fear of retaliation. Furthermore, to make its posture credible, Pakistan has had to relinquish some central control over the security of its nuclear arsenal. The implications for South Asian and international stability, therefore, are grim unless India and Pakistan can minimize the dangers of their current postures, and the United States can help Pakistan to better secure its nuclear arsenal.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Featured Fellows - Focus on Research

| Winter 2009-10

Melissa Willard-Foster discusses key components to a lasting peace agreement and Vipin Narang explains Taliban threat to Pakistan nuclear weapons. Willard-Foster is a research fellow with the Belfer Center's International Security Program (ISP) and Narang is a research fellow with the ISP and Project on Managing the Atom.

Book Chapter - Stanford University Press

Pride and Prejudice and Prithvis: Strategic Weapons Behavior in South Asia

| 2009

Vipin Narang's chapter "Pride and Prejudice and Prithvis: Strategic Weapons Behavior in South Asia" in the book Inside Nuclear South Asia was published by Stanford University.  Narang examines the ballistic missile flight-testing pattern in the region as a proxy for nuclearization and as an indicator for both states' strategic weapons decisions, attempting to clarify the variables that drive both India and Pakistan to test strategic weapons when they do.