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Highlighting the salient features of India, Pakistan Nuclear Doctrine

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Strategic culture of South Asia is comprise of hostility between India and Pakistan. Conventional war, territorial issues, arms race, rising insecurities eventually led to the acquisition of nuclear weapons.India and Pakistan became nuclear weapons states in mid-1998. A debate emerged at international level about the nuclear doctrine for the region. Nuclear doctrine is “the set of principles or rules governing the employment of a capability”. The basic use of this concept is primarily in political, military and strategic sides. If we see doctrine specifically in military terms it contain those rules and principles in which military forces maneuvers. In nuclear doctrine state mainly address two main objective first management of the nuclear weapons and second operational positioning. To avoid all type of issues related to nuclear weapons states needs to develop rules and principles to determine in which conditions these weapons will be used. Nuclear doctrine is an important piece of paper for policy maker in war like situation or in unstable situation. There are mainly two types of nuclear doctrine offensive and defensive.

India and Pakistan both states are nuclear weapon states and play a significant role in peace of South Asia. India developed its nuclear weapon in 1974 and named it as peaceful nuclear explosion. Nuclear doctrine was drafted in 1999 by National Security Advisory Board but that was never approved. In 2003 Indian government spelled out its nuclear doctrine. India opted NFU and declared its nuclear weapon program as only for deterrence purposes. NFU but retaliation is must in response to an attack on India and Indian forces anywhere. Credible minimum deterrence is there to attack aggressor with punitive retaliation with nuclear weapons. No weapons against non-nuclear weapons states or not align with nuclear power. India will retain the option of using nuclear weapons in response to any attack of chemical and biological weapons. Using of nuclear weapons against any aggressor will be in hands of elected people .e.g. Prime Minster. Lastly India will promote nuclear free world without any discrimination.

So every nuclear or conventional doctrine have some controversies which are difficult to explain and implement. No first Use is the most controversial part of Indian nuclear doctrine. Indian NFU is conditional and number of times its officials declared that they will reverse it as per the condition. It clearly means that their No First Use posture is not credible enough with regard to their adversaries. Numerous strategist and Indian officials brought Indian NFU in spotlight to evaluate its credibility. Some of them are entirely against this posture. Indian defence minister said that India should not bind itself with No First Use and say that India will react responsibly. There were number of calls during past year to revise the No First Use posture. Bharatiya Janata Party included this in its election manifesto but because of public pressure they later declared that there wouldn’t be any reversal in nuclear doctrine. It’s important to know what are the pros and cons of NFU to evaluate why NFU is so much controversial in Indian case. Those who are in favor of NFU claim that it will represent India as responsible nuclear weapon states. As late K. Subrahmanyam pointed said, as far as deterrence is concerned perception matters instead of number. So having NFU as nuclear doctrine wouldn’t matter. On the other side those who are against NFU claim that NFU is “not so much a strategic choice, but a cultural one”. They claim that if India found advantage in attacking first in any crisis, it will bring serious consequences as having No first Use posture.Bharat Karnad says that NFU is for peace time and it is not suitable for India.

Another point which is a question over Credible Minimum Deterrence, India is spending huge amount of money on military modernization and initiating arms race in the Region and at the same time they claim that they have credible minimum deterrence posture. Number of Indian strategist says that Indian Nuclear doctrine lack clarity which can lead to any situation in future.

Pakistan acquired nuclear weapons for security purposes to create a strong deterrence against India. Initially Pakistan was stick to peaceful use of nuclear technology but Indian certain actions over time provoked Pakistan to go nuclear. So Pakistan did managed to get nuclear capability. Later these elements became the foundation of Pakistan Nuclear doctrine. Pakistan nuclear posture is truly Indian centric. Pakistan has no official nuclear doctrine but official statements from military and political leadership clearly define the agendas which are part of Pakistan nuclear policy. There are some salient elements in Pakistani nuclear doctrinefirst nuclear weapons are for national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Main purpose of Pakistani nuclear weapons are to counter Indian aggression. Pakistan nuclear doctrine is consist of few main elements, first Pakistan will maintain Credible Minimum Deterrence, Secondly Pakistan will avoid any type of strategic arms race with India. Thirdly Pakistan will stop testing but it is subjected to Indian actions. Pakistani command and control structure is part of it as well. Lastly Pakistan doesn’t have No first Use policy. Pakistan put certain conditions for using nuclear weapons first.

As Pakistani nuclear capability is Indian centric so Indian further actions provoked Pakistan to bring some sort of change to counter Indian hostile and belligerent policies. Pakistan moved from Credible Minimum Deterrence to Full Spectrum Deterrence. India is modernizing its conventional forces. Developing Cold Start Doctrine type of policies which is a huge threat to stability of south Asia. So Pakistan is taking certain actions to balance Indian actions.

Pakistani Nuclear doctrine which is ambiguous and unwritten and there is only one source of information which is official statements. Inside Pakistan there is no clash over Pakistan nuclear policy. Both Military and political leadership are on the same page. Nuclear doctrines mainly serve two purposes first it play a great role of signaling to your adversary intentionally or unintentionally. Second it clarify the role of Nuclear weapons and identify the threshold. Nuclear weapons states adopted mix sort of approach, few have declared nuclear doctrine and few remained ambiguous and Pakistan is one of them.

Having an explicit nuclear doctrine can benefit a state because it clearly indicate threshold. Ambiguous and unwritten nuclear doctrine can be harmful in case your adversary imagined the threshold very low and took certain action which is intolerable. Secondly clear nuclear doctrine will help the states to gain the support of International community not only in peacetime but in crisis time as well. So in my opinion if Pakistan declare its nuclear doctrine it would help Pakistan to gain the status of responsible nuclear weapon state and it will stop India taking further actions like Balakot and claiming false surgical strikes.

As Pakistani nuclear program and doctrine is Indian centric, so the threat perception remained in India. Pakistani included no to arms race in its unofficial doctrine but on the other hand Indian military modernization is pushing Pakistan to increase its capabilities and declare its involvement in arms race as well.

Pakistan kept the option of first use as it didn’t deny it as such. But the problem lies with practicality of this concept. First use require high degree of military intelligence, early warning system and high degree of proficiency. All these concepts are debatable in context of Pakistan.

Lastly Pakistan Full Spectrum Deterrence is more or less related to NATO’s Flexible response and to keep that intact, continues up gradation in military strategy and weapons is necessary. Current economic situation and after effects of COVID-19 would create serious challenges for Pakistan to maintain FSD in future. 

Both states are nuclear weapon states and play a crucial role maintaining peace in South Asia. India had declared its nuclear doctrine but Pakistan remained it ambiguous by not declaring it officially. Both have some sort of controversies in their nuclear doctrine which can lead to any misadventure by both side. Credibility of nuclear doctrines can serve the purpose of peace well.  

Aamira Bibi is an M.Phil. scholar of Nuclear and Strategic Studies at National Defence University. She received her education at National Defence University with a Graduation in International Relations. She is an avid researcher and her work has been published in Daily Times. The area of her research is Geopolitics of South Asia, more specifically relationship between India and Pakistan and its impacts on regional security and stability.

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The Reagan Institute poll: Americans are losing trust in the military

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The current era is marked by fading trust in U.S. institutions, but confidence in one pillar has held up: the military. But now even that is eroding, and the question is whether the brass will get the message, writes “The Wall Street Journal”.

The Reagan Institute releases an annual survey of public attitudes on national defense, and this year only 48% reported having “a great deal of confidence” in the U.S. military in results first detailed here. That’s down from 70% in 2018, and within the margin error of last year’s 45%.

Some 52% also had reduced confidence in uniformed officers.

General Mark Milley’s speech to Congress last year that he wanted to understand “white rage,” in response to reasonable inquiries about whether cadets at West Point should be learning critical race theory, was a lapse in judgment. Many Americans think the military is no longer an institution that runs on excellence, merit and individual submission to a larger cause.

The Pentagon denies this is a problem, but it surely is if half the public believes it.

Americans on the left have their own reasons for declining confidence in the military: 46% cited right-wing extremism, even though this scourge has been wildly overstated.

This drop in confidence comes at an ominous moment, as the public seems to know.

Some 75% in the Reagan survey viewed China as an enemy, up from 55% in 2018, and the percentage of those worried about Russia has doubled. Some 70% are concerned China might invade Taiwan within five years, and 61% support increasing the U.S. military’s Pacific footprint.

International Affairs

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Ukraine Crisis: International Security and Foreign Policy Option for Pakistan

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Impact on International Security:

When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Russia presented it as a matter of its own under the “Special Military Operation”, but it has major repercussions on the regional as well as global security. It proved to be the most predominant driving force of escalation in the European region which had huge ramifications on the rest of the world. It is a seismic international issue, because it has spillover effects on the world’s security i.e., traditional, and non-traditional security, proliferation of weapons, global energy, economy, refuge crisis and the food security. It aroused refugee crisis and around 5.8 million refugees from Ukraine moved to Poland, Hungry and Romania etc. This war has brought a surge of new challenges for the globalized world and a challenge to Pakistan’s foreign policy.

The primary imminent threat to international security is the food security, which is the second goal of the SDGs by UN. Ukraine and Russia provide ample amount of food for about “four hundred million people,” out of which “fifty%” sunflower oil, “ten%” grains and “thirteen%” corns are exported by both. These substantial supplies are exported to countries like India, China, Pakistan, North African countries and to Europe. In March both the countries have imposed ban on the export of fertilizer and food, but countries like India is making agreements for less price. Analyzing the above statistics, the extraordinary sanctions on Russia have touched the world in a more horrific way, and it has increased the risk of food insecurity.

Curiously, the Russian invasion has ignited the issue of energy insecurity in the entire world. This issue has been further accelerated by the sanctions that are imposed by the EU, and US on Russia. It had also impacted the EU, currently they are working on projects to reduce the dependence on Russian oil and gas till 2024. According to some statistics, European countries were the major importers of Russian oil and gas for about 40-49% and almost 30-38% the Asian countries and rest were imported by other countries. This war has also increased the prices of oil unprecedently in the international market to 108$ per barrel of crude oil in April 2022. Along with it the high rate of dependance of the European countries notably Germany has been affected so much.

Furthermore, these crisis poses a threat to the traditional security of states and have led to a security dilemma, as the British industrial complex BEA shares have increased up to 14%, Rheinmetall (Germany) up to 29% and Lockheed Martin (US) shares are also increased. The world is not unipolar now, but the unipolarity of the world has been challenged and yet multipolarity is on its rise. Once again, there is a clash between the Western-US bloc and the communist bloc. China also supports Russia in this cause indirectly because China did not stand in the UN resolution with the Western-US bloc, so there is the clash of world powers again and Western-US bloc is consistently supporting Ukraine with an economic aid and providing the military assistance. There is also an imminent threat to Taiwan as US did not intercept Russia in these crises directly so it would not be able to constrain China from Taiwan. This would increase the proliferation of conventional as well as non-conventional weapons. The major ramification of Ukraine crisis is on the militarization of countries to ensure its security, because till now 3.4 billion dollars military package has been provided by US to Ukraine along with latest military equipment. Moreover, Russia is a nuclear weapon state and if it uses its nuke so its impacts cannot be constrained till Ukraine’s border and the usage of nuclear weapons in Ukraine is in consideration as the allies of Putin are also advising him.

Impact on Pakistan’s Foreign Policy:

When it comes to “Bloc politics,” there is always a gigantic pressure on the foreign policy of Pakistan because of the close historical ties with US and China both. The sentiment of “Neutrality” during the visit of Ex-PM Imran Khan to Moscow, built the tensions. Bilateral relations between the Russia and Pakistan are growing but not to the pace as with US, as exports of Pakistan grown at the rate of 13% and imports at 10% annually with Russia. Pakistan also abstained from voting in UN, from condemning Russia’s aggression along with thirty-four other countries. This resulted in a hype of growing mistrust and disrupted the mechanism of communication between Pakistan and US during Ukraine’s crisis. Pakistan’s move in the UN has provided an opportunity for its historical rival, India. It has strengthened its ties with US by 2+2 Dialogue which followed to “Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)”, which is defense agreement between them.


For the international security following are some of the recommendations:

  1. Firstly, these crisis needs to be mitigated by a neutral body (UN) because if it is prolonged too much, it would indulge the world into a havoc, because both Russia and Ukraine are enormous contributors to the “Global source markets,” in energy, food, and fertilizer etc.
  2. Secondly, a new “Common and acceptable agenda” must be initiated by the UN, which is acceptable to both, because without a common agenda no party is willing to stay back among both the countries.
  3. Thirdly, “Disinformation and misinformation” must be controlled because both sides are using their national and social media for their own, as early it was speculated that the Ukrainian crisis is purely Russia’s internal security issue.
  4. Finally, one option for Pakistan’s foreign policy is to take the edge of “Neutral foreign policy,” as India is also signing agreements with Russia for 30 % less price of the oil while also maintained strategic ties with the US and signing defense agreements with the US. This would help Pakistan to gain its national interest and its political objectives from both the blocs, because US still have the status quo and Russia is the rising power after Soviet Union fall in 1991 and Russia is also supported by China as well.
  5.  Another option for Pakistan’s foreign policy is that Pakistan should revisit its foreign policy with US and take a pragmatic approach. This is because historically, Pakistan was aligned with US in “War on terror” and Pakistan also received economic and financial assistance from US-bloc under “Coalition support fund” and both EU and US have largest trade relations with Pakistan than Russia. US also have a great amount of trade partnership with Pakistan, imports of Pakistan from US were $237.092 million during May,2022 while exports were $499.686 million in July 2022.

Thus, from above mentioned policy options, it can be concluded that Pakistan must condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine because this is the violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine.  Pakistan should not abruptly change its bloc towards Russia, but to continue with the US-bloc, because the situation in Ukraine is uncertain and ambiguous. Russian economy is also destabilized and if Pakistan went towards Russian-bloc, it would suffer a lot. Moreover, Pakistan has better trade ratio with US and EU as compared to Russia. Similarly, Russia can only provide oil and gas to Pakistan, providing energy security but on contrary, US can support Pakistan in economic and defense security as proved in the history because US has provided billions of dollars to Pakistan under different agreements and moreover Pakistan should not left a space to India in South Asia because it can exploit the opportunity of bad Pak-US relations in its own national interests.

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Internet of Military Things (IoMT) and the Future of Warfare



The Internet of Military Things (IoMT) is a class of heterogeneously connected devices employed for future warfare. It has wide applications in advanced combat operations and intelligence-oriented warfare. For example, it allows real-time connection among devices, such as between unmanned vehicles and a central command station. Likewise, it would enable a broader warfighting concept interpreted as Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) by the United States (US) military. JADC2 is based on a similar network of sensors that connect all battlefield devices.

A majority of highly advanced military units have integrated IoMT into their battlefield operations to enhance their surveillance and response strategies. This concept offers multiple strategic options to militaries. For example, deployment of multiple sensors of IoMT across various domains (air, land, sea, space and cyber) can support data to acquire comprehensive situational awareness and understand the information ecosystem of the battlefield. This will ultimately speed up the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop of decision-making and help in prompt and accurate planning and execution in future warfare.

IoMT can connect not only battlefield devices but also military troops through wearable devices. Under challenging terrains such as mountains, jungle or deserted terrains, wearable devices such as a jacket or a wristband can sense and track troops’ health status, weapon state, atmospheric conditions, relative locations and communicate all such information to the central command. The central command can analyse the tactical data of the soldiers to make decisions, based on incoming real-time information. It is expected that with the advancement of neural networks, wearable devices will also be able to evaluate the physical, psychological and emotional state of Air Force pilot. It is also anticipated that automated battleground devices, such as mechanised snipers would be equipped with IoMT. Such a sniper would have two units, a firing unit and a control unit. A webcam and a sensor would detect movement while the control unit would order fire.

Cloud computing would be essential for the storage of data gathered from multiple sensors of IoMT. A 5G connection would, therefore, be vital for data transfer through high bandwidth and low latency. Likewise, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics would be crucial for data processing.

The US and China have actively invested in IoMT. The US military has developed an integrated warfighting network that converges and combines all the data from IoMT sensors, radars, and satellites. This data is filtered to pinpoint critical data for successful missions. IoMT solutions have also been used to integrate the Army’s ballistic missile defence system and classified communication networks into one central hub to interact with and engage threats. US defence contractors such as Lockheed Martin, L3Harris and Northrop Grumman have worked on various elements of this integrated battle network.

Similarly, China has also shown great interest in IoMT. The model China has adopted to develop IoMT includes a high level of collaboration between academic and government research organisations, the private sector and defence industrial complexes. Like the US, China has also developed a strategic outline for integrated warfare. The Chinese National Defence White Paper (NDWP 2019) characterised future warfare as ‘Intelligent Warfare.’ A round of cutting-edge IoT technologies would drive the development of an intelligent military and ultimately create a modern military force for the future. This process is expected to be completed by 2035.

The Indian Army is using IoMT for communication purposes. It has been developing an LTE-based mobile communication grid with integrated IoMT sensors to provide a secure and failsafe communication system. This communication system would have layered security for voice, data and video, and protect the network from intrusions and interceptions. This communication system would be provided to formations and units along Pakistan and China’s border. For developing this IoT-based communication grid, the Indian military would choose only Indian vendors and those foreign companies who have registered offices with production, maintain and repair infrastructures in the country.

The IoT ecosystem in Pakistan is nascent as the country lacks the basic infrastructure to produce IoT devices on a large scale. Presently, small start-ups have been engaged in building IoT devices through outsourcing, mainly to China. These start-ups have developed wearable medical devices, smart home appliances, trackers for electric consumption­, etc. IoMT devices require a large upfront budget; however, these applications offer long-term benefits. As Pakistan is heavily inclined towards developing its capacity in emerging technologies, IoMT should not be neglected as it could be a force multiplier that facilitates the network of communication and data transmission. Coupled with advancements in the telecom industry and 5G, IoMT can deliver effective and precise military capabilities that would help in tackling any future threat environment.

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