Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

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

| Winter 2018/19


As India struggles to deter threats from Pakistan, the leadership in Delhi appears to be developing a nuclear arsenal that extends beyond the country’s declared policy of credible deterrence and no first use of nuclear weapons. Statements from former Indian defense officials and India’s quest for enhanced nuclear capabilities reveal a possible strategy of a preemptive strike against Pakistan’s nuclear forces in a crisis. This strategy could produce a cycle of escalation between India and Pakistan with implications that extend far beyond South Asia.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Christopher Clary and Vipin Narang, “India’s Counterforce Temptations: Strategic Dilemmas, Doctrine, and Capabilities,” International Security, Vol. 43, No. 3 (Winter 2018/19), pp. 7–52,

The Authors