States which try to secure their national security “must balance against any rival state that develops nuclear weapons by gaining access to a nuclear deterrent itself”.
The ‘animus dominandi’ or the desire for power of a state could be satisfied by enhancing its hard power prowess and nuclear weapons especially tipped with ballistic missiles are the best options.
Kenneth Waltz had also stated in Man States and War that power appear as a possible useful instrument rather than as a supreme value that men by their very natures are led to seek.
By adopting a ‘No first strike policy’, India made it clear to the world that nuclearisation is a compulsion for India given the threat it is subjected to from China and Pak.
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Hence, nuclear weapons would only be used in what is termed as punitive retaliation in case country is attacked by nuclear weapons by adversaries.
The No first use strengthens India’s deterrence posture by being defensive, rooted in its cultural and traditional beliefs.
Credible minimum nuclear deterrent was adopted as India felt that nuclear weapons are more of political weapons and not military ones and their only purpose is to provide deterrence against the use and the threat of use of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons have been the “Second force to working for peace in post war world” as had been put forward by Kenneth Waltz, K. Subraniam had stated that if M. Gandhi was alive, he too would have been in favour of Nukes. Mahatma Gandhi had even said once those nations having atomic warheads are feared even by their friends.
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One could rightly say that since the development of nukes in both PAK and INDIA, both the countries have avoided conflict even at a limited scale.
Relations between China and India are also not as strained as it was before India’s nuclearisation.
India could choose this movement as an opportunity for convergence with Pakistan. Both India and Pak could stand up against Nuke Apartheid and the global zero and justify their cause of possessing nuke weapons that if the developed countries could possess them, the developing countries could possess them too.
States have the sovereign right to possess nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are resulting in an arms race in the region. Even though this is seen as a matter of concern, it must be understood that the arms race strengthens the stability-instability paradox in the region. However, in a few years, when arms escalation reaches its peak, both India and Pak could decide to call for talks on arms reduction.
Nuclearisation has also enabled India to look beyond Russia and build new defense relations with countries like Israel, the US n’ France, enabling India to acquire sophisticated weapons. India now talks of 5G aircraft and missile defenses. Large part of Indian budget goes in building Intermediate Range Ballistic
Missiles, Short Range ballistic Missile, acquiring aircraft like the Mirage category and the Jaguars.
In a few years or so India would also be able to develop sea based deterrent which include submarine launched ballistic missiles and submarine launched cruise missiles. India is also working towards an Inter continental Ballistic Missile of the Agni variant.
There is an effort to develop multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles for the Agni class of missile. Long range ballistic missiles for developing countries become feasible only when they’re fitted with nuclear weapons. India’s quest towards developing a credible survivable option would mean that India must keep its nuclear options ready. India’s shift from liquid propelled fuel to solid propelled fuel is a step towards achieving survivability since the latter is best suited for road and rail mobility.