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Emerging Technologies as potential Risks to Arms control in South Asia

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The relationship between Nations in south Asia  create a classic military security dilemma involving the proliferation of military technologies, the arms race and the intervention of national policies in defense . Scholars and Military experts say that the Emerging technologies are tend to generate Technological Revolution in  Strategic affairs. Emerging technologies have the potentiality of altering  the Balance of power among Great and regional powers.These havepushed military planners toreview defence planning and countermeasures.These technologies have given Articulated run posture in the form of Arm Race where powers portfolio  would turned to be Drivers for the complexity of International peace and security .

The conventional, missile and nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan increases insecurity in the subcontinent and poses a serious threat to strategic stability in South Asia. Pakistan is seriously engaged in a comprehensive dialogue to replace enmity with enmity, yet both sides remain committed to their policies of strategic competition and the enduring priority of military security.  Military security is primarily about the interaction between states  actual armed offensive and defense capabilities on the one hand, and their perceptions of each other’s capabilities and intentions on the other. Currently India has massive advantage in obtaining real time intelligence, Surveillance and reconnaissance therefore equal advantage in space based Military capabilities.Pakistan is alsoEffectively working on real time ISR capabilities, which could enhance the  command for both Army and Air force.Historically, before the fall of USSR; both the super powers competed for technological edge over each other for dominance. With the passage of time Coldwar remained cold but it had even more psychological ramifications on other countries Like Pakistan and India. Still these countries are working to build technological marvels which left US and USSR nothing but indulge in unendinggame of deterrence and pave the way for mutually assured destruction( MAD) and psychological superiority over each other.

Turning towards South Asia India and Pakistan are in the race of forming disparity over conventional and nuclear capabilities. The driving factors are definitely to give rise to the Race of Armament and superiority over each other. Some of the substantial technologies such as Hypersonic Missile, Supersonic weapons, Artificial Intelligence, Anti-Ballistic missile system, unmanned weapons,Cyber warfare and Tactical nuclear weapons.However  India has tested an indigenously built hypersonic weapon that will serve as the basis for a nuclear capable cruise missile, according to officials involved with the launch. These proponents of hyper cruise missiles which India is pursuing they have advantages over ballistic missile. This test which was conducted in the Dr Abdul Kalam island in the Bay of Bengal, similarly this Met all parameters of technical aspects.According to DRDO (Defenceresearch and development organisation) chief G SatheeshReddy, this has pave way for more advanced Hypersonic System.

Secondly,amid the ongoing tensions with China,India is all set to showcase the massive firepower of Brahmossupersonic cruise missile as three defense forces would carry out multiple firings within the Indian ocean region. This supersonic missile named as Brahmosis the worlds fastest operational system in its class and range. Recently DRDO has extended the range of this missile from the existing 298KM to around 450 Km. Pakistan’s Director General of Munitions Production (DGMP) has shed some light on development of a supersonic missile for Pakistan Navy, this Disclosure was proceeded accordingly participation of MODP in 2017- 2018.

Thirdly,autonomous Weapon system, a system that once activated can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human operator. Thedeployment of fully autonomous weapons system poses numerous challenges to International security and Arms control by Initiating with a potential insuperable threat to the laws of war and International Humanitarian Law. These are killer  Robots which can be ethically challenged view and machines in  replacing humans in taking critical tactical decisions and  Owing to responsibilities for a misfire would be the main hurdle in deployment and this could have the solidifying of commissioning of Artificial Intelligence shows the generic source of variabilities of techniques for investing machines with an ability to monitor their surroundings in physical world or cyberspace this could lead to take independent actions in response to various stimuli. Further to over  invest these  machines with certain  capacities, engineers have developed complex algorithms or computer based sets of rules to govern their operations .

India ‘s Strategy  known as “ AI for all” focuses on the responsible build of Artificial intelligence solutions at scale to which can drives the intentions to make India the AI garage of the world, this probably meant to be a trusted nation to which the world can outsource AI related Work, meanwhile AI solutions built in India will serve the world.

Risks to Arms control due to Emerging technology tackling the arms control implication with in the southAsia by developing these Technologies. This is now becoming a matter of ever increasing urgency as the pace of their development is getting speed and their potential applications to warfare are multiplying. Major risks of these acquisition of weapons technologies by India and Pakistan is Risking arms control in South Asia region. Major Risks are like Technological asymmetry, Erosion of concept of deterrence, threats to laws of War and international humanitarian law, most importantly arms race  and strategic instability in region. First technological asymmetry like investments in AI, Hypersonic weapons could creates tensions for both India and Pakistan. Pakistan is trying its best to cope up but is lacking behind owing to the economic conditions.On the other hand space has become geostrategic contested domain. India recently demonstrated that anti space prowess by destroying one of its satellites highlighting that space power is shifting from west to East. This technological asymmetry between Pakistan and India is bringing a shift in the Balance of power and Instability in South Asia. Erosion of Concept of deterrence with new technologies could undermine nuclear second Strike capabilities,  the basis of deterrence and strategic stability . Further this could threat towards the laws of war and international Humanitarian law .

The current state of nuclear affairs in South Asia leaves much to be desired.  In fact, the challenges that have been posed before can only be met if the participants concerned share a common sense of sanity over the dangers posed by nuclear weapons and the urgent need to prolong the fuse of a common crisis.  It is with this hope that such a day will dawn, sooner rather than later, some suggestions,  made below are vital in this regard.  This is to increase confidence by facilitating conceptual explanations, from mutual initiatives to more specific proposals on the weapons system.  Each recommendation either first strike instability, arms race instability. they  can  work to avoid theexacerbation ofpolitical conflicts by enhancing predictability, transparency, and constraint.  Nuclear  learning  in  South  Asia this will  improve  if  both sides develop an  understanding  or mutually agreed upon proscription or limitation on acquisition, deployment,  or use  of  some  weapon system. Pakistan is trying to balance terrorism with India.  In terms of strategic balance, it is not far behind in the South Asian arms race.  Admittedly, in the conventional arms race, it cannot afford to maintain or maintain harmony with India due to its economic and demographic barrier.

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Defense

India’s Sprouting Counterforce Posture

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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.  

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A pig in a poke of Lithuanian Armed Forces

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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.

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Defense

Fatah-1: A New Security and Technological Development About Pakistan’s Indigenous GMLRS

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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.

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