The Expanded Missile Drive of India Agni 5 missile

T
o be worried about the consequences, to think of the prevailing systems, the flight test of a surface to surface, intercontinental ballistic missile "Agni-5" developed by India added more element of confusion in missile proliferation in South Asia. It will also add more ability to the Indian military muscle flexes giving it a long strike range of 6,000 kilometers.

India's growing thirst for achieving the maximum in both nuclear and missile developments is creating a more reformed form of instability paradigm in the region. It’s deep and intense , poised to grow even more concentrated. The developments are mounting and vulnerabilities are increasing.

Besides, rapid increasing missile range,   the additional incremental stockpile growth will cause perturbations in Asia, where India has ratchet upwards the advent of MIRVs with a specific focus on the cascading effect of strategic modernization in Asia. Where, MIRV is a type of intercontinental nuclear missile carrying several independent warheads capable of being aimed at independent targets from a group of multiple targets.    

Subsequently, Modis government’s intent for this specific missile is to counter Chinese threat that doesn’t really exist. Modi’s keenness is to fulfill his pledge of overhauling the hegemonic designs, where he is missing that the country is almost jockeying for influence in Asia , their relationship is coloured by territorial disputes at both ends of Himalayas.    

Now interestingly, India is downplaying by joining the Hague code of Conduct (HCoC) against Ballistic Missile proliferation in Vienna. This is an agreement under which legally non-binding confidence building and transparency measures are taken that seek to stop the proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

The Indian controversial position is lacking in reaffirming its commitment to HCoC, because as a signatory India has to provide a pre-launching notifications for its missile testing. Moreover, under this agreement, it also requires a pre-launch notification of space launched vehicles and tests flight.

The overt nuclearisation has been growing since 1974 Smiling Buddha. The only uniqueness for India is its increased number of missile and nuclear proliferation in the region which if seem through this lens of development is also a clear cornerstone of New Delhi's foreign policy.

The basic decision to weaponise the region with Agni started in 1996-97, where the technical demonstration was taken three times with a range of 25,00Km testing it for three times in May 1998. Importantly, China is also referring to Resolution 1172 passed by United Nation Security Council. Where Paragraph 7 of the resolution says the UNSC

“Calls upon India and Pakistan immediately to stop their nuclear weapon development programmes, to refrain from weaponisation or from the deployment of nuclear weapons, to cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, to confirm their policies not to export equipment, materials or technology that could contribute to weapons of mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering them and to undertake appropriate commitments in that regard;”

There exists no room for any doubt that India being a regional hegemon has always acted as a novice in creating linkages between its civilian nuclear and space advances, and its nuclear weapon and missile programs. Similarly, there is a need to stop the dual-use technology mentioned under the Indo-U.S. defense framework and joint statement that has the potential to further assist India in strengthening its regional competitiveness and boost its scientific and international prestige with its ongoing pursuit of advances in nuclear weapons technology, longer range ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Finally, it is need of the hour to stop pitting India against China. Because, in doing this the United States unknowingly may set up India to, instead, serve as a future strategic counterweight to U.S. interests in Asia and abroad keeping in mind the extended version of Agni V tested at the year end.

Graduated in Defence and Strategic Studies
Freelance writer and blogger

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