Since the nuclearization of South-Asia in 1998, the region’s security dynamics have changed considerably. This has had a profound and irreversible impact on regional and extra-regional politics, the security architecture of South Asia and the international nuclear order. India had carried out its nuclear tests between 11-13 May in 1998. Consequently Pakistan, due to the emerging scenario also had to carry out its nuclear tests on 28th May 1998. Hence this May marks the 21st anniversary of the nuclearization of South Asia. During this period the nuclear doctrines of both countries have gone through several phases of evolution.
Since the evolution of doctrinal projection of nuclear program, India had emphasized on a ‘no first use policy’ (NFU) in its first ever official document the 1999 ‘Draft Nuclear Doctrine’ (DND). India has since however gone through gradual shifts in its doctrinal posture from its DND since the first amendment came in January 2003this stated that if the Indian armed forces or its people are attacked with chemical and biological weapons, India reserves the right to respond with nuclear weapons anywhere, a clear termination of its NFU policy. Subsequently the notion of a preemptive ‘splendid first strike’ has emerged within the discourse surrounding the Indian and international strategic community. According to this, if in India’s assessment, Pakistan is found deploying nuclear weapons, India as a contingency would resort to such a ‘splendid first strike’.
The notions of limited war under India’s 2017 Joint Doctrine of the Indian Armed Forces (JDIAF) and the 2018 Land Warfare Doctrine (LWD) are all based upon a proactive strategy and indirect threats of preemptive strikes which unofficially abandons the NFU policy. Through considerable technological advancements India has shifted has shifted its approach from a counter-value to a counter-force posture, as it demonstrates its ambitions of achieving escalation-dominance throughout the region.
India’s military expansion and its technological advancements include its missile development programs which include; super-sonic missiles, hyper-sonic missiles, ballistic missile defence system (BMD), space capabilities for intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) and the induction of nuclear submarines. India’s recent anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon testis also indicative of this continuing trend. These technological advancements are clear indicators that India’s policies are aimed at destabilizing the existing nuclear deterrence equilibrium in South Asia.
Pakistan due to the Indian desire to establish its regional hegemony, maintained a certain balance of power to preserve its security. Pakistan’s doctrinal trajectory on the other hand has shifted from strategic deterrence to ‘full spectrum deterrence’ (FSD) by adding tactical nuclear weapons which, it claims, falls within the threshold of ‘minimum credible deterrence’. In this regard Pakistan too has developed its missile technology based on; short, intermediate and long range ballistic missiles. Pakistan’s ‘Nasr’ missile for instance was recently introduced essentially in response to India’s Cold Start Doctrine (CSD) as a ‘weapon of deterrence’ aimed at denying space for a limited war. The induction of ‘multiple independently reentry vehicle’ (MIRV), the development of land, air and sea launched cruise missiles and the provision of a naval based second-strike capability have all played a significant role in the preservation of minimum credible deterrence and the assurance of full spectrum deterrence at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.
In the contemporary complex security environment of South Asia, Pakistan’s ‘full spectrum deterrence’ (FSD) has recently been put to test. After the 26th February 2019air space violation by the Indian Air Force (IAF) following the Pulwama incident, Indian analysts have questioned the credibility of Pakistan’s FSD. Negative nuclear signaling was also evident in the statements of the Indian political leadership including Prime Minister Modi and several high-level government and military officials that have been trying to undermine the credibility of Pakistan’s FSD. Within this scenario however India’s conventional strikes was responded to via conventional means, that was widely perceived as an ‘appropriate response’. Furthermore, the situation did not escalate further because of Pakistan’s FSD remaining as one of the primary factors that remained applicable throughout the situation thus preventing the use of nuclear weapons by India.
As has been long evident India has held long term strategic ambitions to become a great power. For this purpose, India is continuously advancing its nuclear doctrines based on increasing the range and speed (supersonic and hypersonic) of its nuclear capable missiles. The current security architecture of South Asia revolves around this Indian behavior as a nuclear state. In contrast, Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine is based solely on assuring its security, preserving its sovereignty and deterring India either by ‘minimum credible deterrence’ or ‘full spectrum deterrence’. The possession of nuclear weapons by Pakistan has assured the perception of ‘massive retaliation’ in Indian politico-security hierarchy and thus prevented crisis situations from escalating further. Based on the undeniable threats from India to its existence, Pakistan must preserve this deterrence equilibrium vis-à-vis India and maintain the ‘balance of power’ in the South Asian region.
India’s Sprouting Counterforce Posture
In recent years, the technological advancements by India in the domain of counterforce military capabilities have increased the vulnerability of the South Asian region. While trying to disturb the strategic stability in South Asia, India through its adventuresome counterforce posture against Pakistan is on the verge of becoming a rogue state. Notwithstanding the repercussions, India is voyaging towards destabilization in the South Asian Region.
India’s enhanced strategic nuclear capabilities which includes-the development of Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs), Ballistic Missile Defence System (BMD), Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), supersonic and hypersonic cruise missiles, and acquisition of nuclear-capable submarines- indicate that India is moving away from its declared policy of ‘No First Use’ (NFU) towards a more aggressive, counterforce posture against Pakistan. The BMD and MIRV technology along with the provision of an advanced navigation system under BECA would embolden India to go for the first strike against Pakistan. While having reliance on BMD, as to be sheltered in return. These technological advancements made by India are sprouting a new era of counterforce posture, which would further make the South Asian region volatile and vulnerable to conflicts.
India’s urge to acquire counterforce capability is strongly associated with its doctrinal shift. As the stated posture requires flexibility in the use of nuclear weapons, which fortifies the first strike capability, and thus a deviation in India’s declared policy of ‘No First Use’ (NFU) has become more significant, particularly concerning its impact on regional stability. India’s declared policy of NFU, set out in Draft Nuclear Doctrine in 1999, followed by its first amendment in January 2003 has since then been into hot debates. Pakistan has long doubted the Indian policy of NFU, as the actions and statements by the officials of the latter have always been aggressive and protruding towards the former. India, now, is drifting away from its policy of NFU with the acquisition of counterforce capabilities, particularly against Pakistan. This is further evident from the statement issued by India’s Defense Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh, back in August 2019. It stated “Till today, our nuclear policy is ‘no-first-use’ (NFU). What happens in the future depends on the circumstances.” A change at the doctrinal level is evident in the Indian strategic enclave. Notwithstanding the challenges and repercussions caused by the counterforce strategy and with an attempt to destabilize the nuclear deterrence in the region, India would go unjustifiably low to attain such measures.
In the same vein, India has been enhancing its nuclear capabilities for strategic flexibility against its regional rivals. By the same token, it wants to attain nuclear dominance, which would ultimately result in chaos in the region. The counterforce capability by India would compel its adversaries to heed towards the preemptive strike, in case of a crisis, out of the fear of the use of Nuclear weapons first by the patent enemy. Moreover, the counterforce capability pushes the enemy to put the nuclear weapons on hair-trigger mode, which is directly linked with the crisis escalation. The acquisition of counterforce capability by India would likely provoke a new arms race in the region. This would further destabilize the already volatile South Asian region. The far-reaching destabilization which India is trying to create, just to have an edge on the nuclear adversary, would be back on India’s face, faster than she knew it.
On the contrary, Pakistan has been maintaining a posture of Credible Minimum Deterrence (CMD) and does not claim to have a No-First Use (NFU) policy. Moreover, Pakistan’s nuclear capability is defensive in principle and a tool for deterrence. Given the Indian evolved notions of counterforce preemption, even now Pakistan would be left with no choice but to leave room for carrying out a ‘first strike’ as a feasible deterrent against India. Nevertheless, with the advent of technological innovations, its countermeasure arrives soon, too. Presently, there are two aspects that Pakistan should take into consideration; the growing Indo-US nexus and India’s concealed innovations in the nuclear posture. Though India is far from achieving counterforce strikes against Pakistan’s nuclear targets, concrete steps are required for maintaining future deterrence stability. With that intention, Pakistan might need to look towards its allies for getting hands-on the modern capabilities which includes- advanced communication and navigation systems, sensors, and advancements in artificial intelligence and otherwise, is essential for strengthening its deterrent capability. Pakistan should heed towards the development of absolute second-strike capability; as, what is survivable today, could be vulnerable tomorrow. Therefore, advancements in technology should be made for preserving nuclear deterrence in the future as well.
Summarizing it all, the existence of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence has created a stable environment in the region, by deterring full-scale wars on multiple occasions that might have resulted in a nuclear exchange. With the revolution in nuclear technology, the threat of nuclear war has emerged again. Instead of going towards the attainment of peace and stability in the region, India has been enhancing its counterforce capabilities. This would likely remain a significant threat to the deterrence stability in the region. Moreover, any kind of failure to maintain nuclear deterrence in South Asia could result in an all-out war, without any escalation control. India, in its lust for power and hegemonic designs, has been destabilizing the region. Both the nuclear states in South Asia need to engage in arms restraint and escalation control measures. This seems to be a concrete and more plausible way out; else the new era of destabilization could be more disastrous.
A pig in a poke of Lithuanian Armed Forces
The proverb “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” perfectly reflects the situation in the Lithuanian armed forces. It is it unclear how the army will carry out its tasks, if everything that happens there runs counter to common sense.
The conscription took place in Lithuania. The recruits once again were revealed by an electronic lottery on January 7, 2021. 3,828 recruits were selected from the list of 38 thousand conscripts aged 18 to 23.
The idea of using electronic lottery in such a serious procedure arises a lot of questions among Lithuanians. Young people are suspicious of this method and fully admit the possibility of corruption. Nobody could check the results and so nobody could be blamed for random selection. The more so, the armed forces could get weaker recruits than in case of using usual ways of choosing among candidates. So, the army buys a pig in a poke.
This approach to recruitment in Lithuania results in presence of those with criminal intents and inclinations. Сases of crimes committed by Lithuanian military personnel have increased. Incidents with the involvement of military regularly occurred in Lithuania in 2020.
Thus, a soldier of the Lithuanian army was detained in Jurbarkas in October. He was driving under the influence of alcohol. A Lithuanian soldier suspected of drunk driving was detained also in Siauliai in December. Panevėžys County Chief Police Commissariat was looking for a soldier who deserted from the Lithuanian Armed Forces and so forth.
Such behaviour poses serious risks to public safety and leads to loss of confidence in the Lithuanian army in society.
Lithuanian military officials have chosen a new way to discourage young people from serving in the army, which is already not popular.
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” The ministry of defence decided to run a photo contest that would reflect service in the country’s armed forces. It is doubtful that such pictures will attract to the army, but the real situation is provided.
Usually, popularization is the act of making something attractive to the general public. This contest served the opposite goal. Look at the pictures and make conclusions.
Fatah-1: A New Security and Technological Development About Pakistan’s Indigenous GMLRS
Islamabad: It seems like 2021 has been a good start for Pakistan specifically with regard to stepping up its missile testing. On the 7th of January, the Pakistan military has successfully conducted a purely indigenously developed missile test flight known to be Fatah-1. As stated by various reports, Fatah-1 is an extended-range Guided Multi-Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) which itself is a developed variant of the guided MLRS family.
According to the recent statement given by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) about the newly developed rocket, it was stated: “The weapon system will give Pakistan Army capability of a precision target deep in the enemy territory.” Director-General of Pakistan Army, Media Wing, major general Babar Iftikhar on 7th January tweeted: “Pakistan today conducted a successful; test flight of indigenously developed Fatah-1, Guided Multi Launch Rocket System, capable of delivering a conventional Warhead up to a range of 140 km.”
Defense analyst Mr. Syed Muhammad Ali also stated in his capacity: “the new system was very fast, accurate, survivable, and difficult to intercept”. A video was also shared by ISPR on their official website, in which the missile launch can be seen while being fired from the launcher however, the details on when and where the test flight has taken place, along with the specification of the rocket system are yet to be announced.
Currently, Pakistan Army owns a wide range of Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM), Medium-Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBM), Battlefield Ballistic Missiles (BBM), Rocket Artillery, and Surface to Surface Cruise Missile (SSCM). In the previous year, Pakistan had also maintained prime success in conducting the Ra’ad-II cruise missile and Ghaznavi surface-to-surface ballistic missile (SSBM). Besides, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on 30thDecember made apt progress when it comes to the national air defense arsenal as it was announced that PAF is beginning the production of the State-of-the-art JF-17 Thunder Block 3 fighter jets, at the same time acquiring the 14 dual-seat Jf-17 aircraft.
According to various reports, the JF-17 Thunder Block 3 will be said to have a new radar operational capability which will be far better in the practical domain as compared to the Raphael aircraft acquired by India. Whereas, the exchange of 14 dual-seat aircraft, manufactured with Pak-China cooperation were also given to the PAF which will be used for extensive training.
The recent successful testing of Fatah-1 has been considered to be another milestone for Pakistan as it tends to be a fitting response to the recent developments in the conventional capabilities carried out by India and also to India’s Cold Start Doctrine.
UN agencies supporting mammoth India COVID-19 vaccine rollout
India has begun what is the world’s biggest COVID vaccination campaign so far, deploying hundreds of thousands of health workers,...
Is Erdogan’s Obsession with Demirtas a Personal Vendetta or a Calculated Strategy?
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Grand Chamber ruled that the former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party...
Spectre of unrest, violent repression looming over Haiti
Increasing political tensions in Haiti coupled with insecurity and structural inequalities could result in protests followed by violent crackdowns by...
Russia and Belarus: An increasingly difficult alliance
Way back in 1991, while the crisis of the Soviet system was leading to the disintegration of that galaxy of...
Independent panel finds critical early failings in COVID-19 response
The global system for pandemic alert and response is “not fit for purpose”, highlighting the need for a new framework...
The World Needs to Wake Up to Long-Term Risks
For the last 15 years the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report has been warning the world about the dangers...
Saudi-Turkey Discourse: Is a Resolve Imminent?
The two prominent Muslim countries: Saudi Arabia and Turkey have had an undulating relationship over the course of decades and...
East Asia3 days ago
The Belligerent Chinese Diplomacy and Its Failure
Europe2 days ago
The projection of Turkish power in the Eastern Mediterranean
Middle East3 days ago
Egypt’s search for a fig leaf: It’s not the Handball World Championship
South Asia2 days ago
Is India fearful of internationalisation of the Kashmir dispute?
Reports3 days ago
Turkey: A full recovery from the COVID-19 crisis will take time
Americas3 days ago
A Disintegrating Trump Administration?
Tech News3 days ago
Earth Observation Data Could Represent A Billion-Dollar Opportunity For Africa
Middle East2 days ago
Morocco Increases Pressure on Hezbollah by Arresting One of its Alleged Financiers