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India and Nuclear Asia: Evaluation of Regional Forces Perceptions and Politics- Book Review

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India and Nuclear Asia: Evaluation of Regional Forces Perceptions and Politics by Dr Yogesh Joshi’s and Frank O’Donnell

The advent of nuclear weapons to the international arena revolutionized the global strategic affairs. Due to the immense catastrophic potential of nuclear weapons, many prominent scholars and politicians advocated and argued that the main purpose of the state should be to avert a war rather than to win it. It was the fear of ultimate destruction that could be caused by nuclear weapons which convinced the world powers to advocate for non-proliferation. The history of two South Asian giants, Pakistan, and India is marked by enduring rivalry since their independence in 1947. The two countries went overtly nuclear in 1998 and since then they have been engaged in a quest for more and more warheads. particularly India ultimately forcing Pakistan into a nuclear dilemma. Therefore, The authors have done a rigorous job of unwrapping the structures that have constituted India’s nuclear journey, especially since May 1998, when it officially went nuclear. They simplify the main aspects of India’s developments in nuclear power, the evolution and challenges facing its nuclear doctrine and the key rationales as they see New Delhi’s non-proliferation policies underpinning. It is important to determine the factors that provide a stimulus for India to enhance its nuclear capability.  In 1958, India’s Prime Minister Nehru sanctioned uranium enrichment. After India faced a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Chinese army in the year 1962, it seriously considered the option of nuclear weapons and by 1964, India had acquired nuclear capability. India went on to test its nuclear device in 1974 terming it a smiling Buddha or a Peaceful Nuclear Explosion. India’s conversion into a nuclear weapons state provided Pakistan with the best opportunity to bring out its nuclear program from the shadow of ambiguity and overtly declare itself a nuclear weapons state. Since then nuclear deterrence has played an important role in averting a full-scale confrontation between the two countries and a state of nuclear peace has been maintained. But there are challenges to this nuclear deterrence in South Asia. Among them is the astonishing upsurge in the nuclear proficiency of India besides other technological advancements relevant to nuclear weapons. After failing to achieve its objective from the military standoff of 2001-2002 with Pakistan, India developed the Cold Start Doctrine (CSD) which mandates India to go for “a pre-programmed, predetermined, posture, commencing at the tactical level, graduating rapidly to the operational strategic level”. This offensive strategic posture of India is undeniably is a serious challenge to the delicate strategic balance in South Asia. India quest to achieve a second strike capability dates back to the declaration of its DND in 1999 which requires an assured second strike capability based on the concept of a Nuclear Triad.

India wanted to have nuclear triad and started its nuclear submarine program in 1970’s. In 2009, India acquired its first ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) and is now also developing its own ballistic missile submarines and nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN). In comparison, it has K4, K15, Brahmos and Dhanush sea-based missiles. The production of the 2nd strike capability from India’s perspective is a reasonable decision, but it has changed the strategic equilibrium between India and Pakistan. India has created a new arena for South Asian rivals in the nuclear arms race. But Pakistan can’t just sit in denial with India’s massive nuclearization and naval expansion, and needs to develop its second strike capability.It is important for Pakistan to develop second strike capability more than ever because with huge investment in CPEC and Gwadar Port, Pakistan wants to claim its piece in the Indian Ocean Region for its economic development as well.  Developing a credible capacity for a second strike will allow Pakistan to safeguard and promote its interest in the Indian Ocean Region, where Indian naval vessels patrol throughout the year.

 Recently India moved one step closer to complete its nuclear triad when reportedly it successfully tested nuclear-capable K-4 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM) from its nuclear-powered carrier INS Arihant. Achievement of a second strike capability by India will result in an arms race in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), and will force  Pakistan to pursue such capability to maintain a strategic balance in the region.India has also pursued vigorously the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMD) which although does not guarantee interception and destruction of all the ballistic missiles, it can create uncertainty in the mind of an adversary about the efficacy of its  own ballistic missiles. This development has also fueled the already operating arms race in South Asia and motivated Pakistan to counter India’s CSD with Multiple Independently Launched Re-entry Vehicles (MIRV) technology which reduces the efficacy of BMD as it can only intercept individual ballistic missiles. India had already acquired this capability in 2012. The three major tenets of the earlier Indian doctrine, No First Use threat of massive retaliation and a policy of Credible Minimum Deterrence are no longer relevant to the Indian nuclear or conventional conversations and actions of today. This upsurge in Indian nuclear capabilities has time and again the delicate strategic balance in the South Asian region. US-Russia arms control measures haveencountered in the recent past, coupled with the modernisation anddiversification of nuclear force profiles across the board, requiring Indiato be more open and forthright about its onward nuclear journey sounds off key. The book’s value though is in placing in context several of thekey doctrinal and regional nuclear policy issues enveloping India’s postPokhran II nuclear journey, for the benefit of experts as well as theinformed public.


The security implications of continuing modernization and upgradation of nuclear weapons and their warheads for the strategic environment of South Asia cannot be overestimated. Without any doubt, India’s nuclear posture and expansion is forcing Pakistan, a relatively weak state in terms of conventional capability, into a security dilemma. Once the international community turned a blind eye towards Indian nuclear test that eroded stability in South Asia, Pakistan had to act to ensure deterrence stability in the region. Likewise, Indian nuclear and military modernization including acquisition of BMD systems, MIRVing, and nuclearization of Indian Ocean Region is ignored by the international community. Furthermore, Indian completion of the nuclear triad is also a case in point, because, if only one adversary acquires an assured second-strike capability, it destabilizes deterrence. Pakistan will obviously stop at a point where it feels it has enough to deter India but whether the same applies to India is uncertain. Without nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s national security interests will always be in jeopardy. However, it is also evident that due to Chinese threat and extra-regional factors involving the US, vertical proliferation cannot be stemmed until and unless nuclear disarmament is achieved at the global level. In addition, the US old strategy to use different countries around the world to achieve its own objective create unnecessary problems for other states. It thus become difficult maintain an environment of mutual trust among regional countries.

To achieve peace treaty or an agreement is required for cooperation from the three countries. Hence, some steps can be taken to ease tensions. Firstly, India must rethink Pakistan’s proposal of Strategic Restraint Regime which the latter offered in 1998 for substantial peace in South Asia. It emphasizes a comparable reduction in the armed forces, stable deterrence, and a peaceful resolution of all disputes between the two countries. Secondly, the countries must reach an agreement to develop treaties to control the arms race. Thirdly, they must develop a mutual Crisis Management Mechanism to prevent accidental use of nuclear weapons. Lastly, must have mutual dialogues in good faith.  If an environment of peace based upon mutual trust is maintained in South Asia, then countries of this region can devote their resources towards reducing poverty which is the biggest problem for the people living in this area.

Tahama Asadis a graduate of Strategic Studies from National Defense University, Islamabad.Her major areas of interest include Strategic Stability of South Asia, Geo-Politics in Indo-Pacific Ocean, and National Security. Currently, she is enrolled in M.Phil. Strategic Studies from National Defense University, Islamabad.

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Rising Powers in the Asia-Pacific: Implications for Global Stability



For a long time, the Asia-Pacific region has been the epicentre of rising economic growth and strategic influence, gradually changing the dynamics of world power. Because of the rapid rise of China and India, the increasing influence of ASEAN, and the steady comebacks of Japan and South Korea, its significance has only increased in the twenty-first century. Given the ongoing challenges to the traditional dominance of Western powers, this shifting environment raises intriguing questions about the future of global stability.

The rise of China stands out as the most significant factor in this dynamic. China’s phenomenal economic growth, along with its more assertive foreign policy and military modernization, have propelled it to the forefront of the global stage since the economic reform policies of the late 1970s. The Belt and Road Initiative, companies like Alibaba, and military actions in the South China Sea are just a few of the ways it is increasingly challenging the US-led international order. Due to its second-largest economy, China’s actions and policies have a significant impact on the stability of the world.

Despite lagging behind China, India is another growing Asian power that has started on a path of significant economic expansion. It has the potential to play a significant role in the region due to its distinct demographic dividend, IT industry, and geostrategic location. However, it problems a insufficiency in infrastructure, social inequality, and enduring poverty hinder its potential and raise the level of complexity in the power dynamics of the area.

In the midst of this power shift, Japan and South Korea, two countries that are already major global players, have been rearranging their positions. The balance of power in the region is greatly influenced by their advanced economies, sizable military capabilities, and strategic alliances with the US. A crucial role in the region is also played by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). A seat at the table for shaping the future of the region has been secured for ASEAN despite its diversity and disparities thanks to its prominence in regional diplomatic structures like the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

Additionally crucial to this shifting dynamic are the Pacific powers, particularly the US and Australia. While the US remains the most powerful country on the planet, it must deal with these new regional forces, necessitating a reevaluation of its Asia-Pacific strategy. Australia’s position has changed as well as a result of its efforts to strike a balance between its regional economic interests and its long-standing alliances. The effects of these changing power dynamics on world stability are significant. First, there is a chance that a power vacuum in the area could cause unrest and possible conflict. This is amply demonstrated by the South China Sea dispute, in which numerous nations are asserting territorial claims and frequently supporting them with military showdowns.

Second, the spread of power might also create more significant opportunities for cooperation and multilateralism. However, much of this depends on these countries’ ability to manage disagreements and rivalries as well as build inclusive and effective regional institutions. Thirdly, these changes might result in new economic structures that reshape international economic relationships and structures. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement involving 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific, is a good illustration of this. Last but not least, the changes in power may significantly affect international institutions and norms. As Asia-Pacific nations gain power, they may try to change international institutions so that they better represent their interests.

The main worry, however, is that these changes could result in more tensions and conflicts as countries with various political ideologies and systems compete for influence. For instance, the rivalry between the US and China goes beyond merely a contest of political and economic power. Several things are essential to preserving global stability in the midst of these shifting power dynamics. First and foremost, it is essential to promote a cooperative regional order based on mutual respect and gain. Second, preventing the escalation of regional disputes into conflict requires ensuring that they are settled peacefully in accordance with international law. Third, safeguarding and bolstering regional and international institutions will be essential for preserving stability and offering forums for communication and cooperation.

In conclusion, it is undeniable that the power dynamics in the Asia-Pacific are shifting. For the stability of the world, this evolution poses both danger and promise. How well we navigate this shifting landscape, handle potential conflicts, and seize opportunities for cooperation will determine whether the world can continue to be peaceful and stable.

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Beyond the Battlefield

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Since the beginning of time, wars and conflicts have been an inextricable part of human history. As such, they have developed in lockstep with the complex interactions between social, political, and technological changes that have shaped our world. Warfare’s methods and goals have undergone a significant metamorphosis, moving from crude and simple engagements to ones that are sophisticated and complex. Armed conflicts have expanded to take on global proportions with the advent of destructive world wars, and are no longer restricted to simple tribal or regional skirmishes. In addition to transcending their religious roots, these conflicts are now driven by nationalistic imperatives, giving rise to wars with geopolitical goals.

However, in the fierce race to reach the pinnacle of technological achievement with the introduction of a revolutionary artificial intelligence-powered search engine, issues of veracity and the widespread dissemination of false information are the most crucial issues of our time. These worries are well-founded because the consequences of a poorly functioning search engine could distort reality, worsen the already virulent spread of false information, and cause irreparable harm to the fabric of truth.

Additionally, warfare has changed from being characterized by linear battles to being characterized by maneuver warfare, placing greater emphasis on flexibility, agility, and strategic maneuvering. Armed engagements have evolved from primitive first-generation manifestations to the complex dynamics of fourth-generation warfare. They now involve a variety of unconventional tactics such as asymmetric tactics, psychological operations, and information warfare. Thus, in order to successfully navigate the complexity of the modern battlefield, this evolution calls for both a thorough understanding of the many facets of modern warfare and the adoption of adaptive strategies.

Simultaneously, the concept of fifth-generation warfare, also known as hybrid warfare, denotes a paradigm shift in contemporary military tactics, where the importance of cultural warfare, information warfare, and unconventional methods surpasses the conventional use of brute force on the battlefield, as seen in third- and fourth-generation warfare. India is said to be using 5th-generation warfare strategies against Pakistan to sow seeds of enmity and spread false information in an effort to block Pakistan’s progress. Moreover, India is using all of its resources to undermine Pakistani society in a number of different domains. Pakistan to modernize its weaponry and armed forces given the strategic landscape of South Asia, which is becoming more complex and volatile, especially given India’s use of fifth-generation warfare against Pakistan.

Relatedly, information warfare has undeniably grown significantly important in the effort to effectively project Pakistan’s narrative both domestically and internationally. A well-calibrated national response reinforced by a clearly defined foreign policy is required in light of the double-edged nature of fifth-generation warfare. Modern times see a rapid spread of irregular wars across the spectrum of conflict, amid intensifying great power competition, as the nature of warfare changes continuously.

Modern warfare has undergone a sea change as a result of the advancement of information technology, which makes it easier for nontraditional actors like violent extremist groups to communicate. We find ourselves ensconced in a world permeated by high tension, accompanied by a flood of tweets, ranging from the tumultuous battlefields in Ukraine to a pernicious terrorist attack on mass transit inside the borders of the United States. Our insatiable appetite for knowledge is driven by a desire to protect our safety, show compassion for those who are suffering, or see wrongdoers brought to justice. Despite our desire for knowledge, we must maintain an appropriate level of skepticism toward the sources that provide it. After all, we are living in a time that is frequently referred to as the “golden age of fake news.

Today’s conflicts are largely not fought between nation-states and their armies; instead, they are increasingly fought with the mighty arsenal of words rather than with traditional weapons. In recent years, policy discussions, popular discourse, and academic analyses have given priority to a particular breed of weaponry: “fake news” and viral disinformation. In reality, disinformation used in warfare in the digital age may not differ much from other forms of warfare; after all, wars are fought to establish power, with some reaping financial rewards while the most vulnerable suffer the most.

The problem of fake news has gotten worse since the Internet and social networks were invented. The conventional news model, which involved a small number of media outlets run by experienced journalists who interviewed reliable sources and meticulously verified the information before it was published, has been overturned by the current media environment. Today, there are numerous channels, a never-ending stream of messages, and an environment where contradictory information is frequently overlooked that all contribute to the relative ease with which conspiracy theories and rumors can spread. The temptation to cling to a simpler fiction rather than taking on the laborious task of dissecting a more complex reality grows as we are frequently presented with contradictory messages.

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United States Donates $9 million in Weapons, Equipment to Support Somalia National Army

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Photo: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Zoe Russell.

Official reports here said the United States through its diplomatic office in Mogadishu has presented $9 million in weapons, vehicles, medical supplies and other equipment to the Somali National Army (SNA). The ceremony was attended by Minister of Defense Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Jama and U.S. Ambassador Larry André.

Aside from heavy weapons, equipment included support and construction vehicles, explosive ordinance disposal kits, medical supplies, and maintenance equipment for vehicles and weapons.  Most of the supplies are already on their way to Hishabelle and Galmudug States to support SNA troops.

“We cheer the success achieved by Somali security forces in their historic fight to liberate Somali communities suffering under al-Shabaab,” said Ambassador André.  “This is a Somali-led and Somali-fought campaign. The United States reaffirms commitment to support country’s efforts.”

Minister of Defense Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Jama thanked the United States, saying, “Allow me to convey the appreciation of the Federal Government of Somalia to the Government of the United States of America for the continued support to Somalia’s peacebuilding process and the support for the fight against terrorism.  This support comes at a critical time for our forces as we boost their capabilities to combat al-Shabaab.”

The Minister was joined by Chief of Defense Forces Brigadier General Odowaa Yusuf Rageh for the ceremony.  

The weapons, including light and heavy machine guns were purchased with U.S. Department of Defense funding. They are marked and registered pursuant to the Federal Government of Somalia’s Weapons and Ammunition Management policy, designed to account for and control weapons within the Somali security forces and weapons captured on the battlefield.  

Notification to the UN Security Council is conducted by the Federal Government of Somalia in close coordination with the Office of Security Cooperation of U.S. Embassy Mogadishu in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

The weapons will support SNA-Danab battalions, including battalions currently participating in operations in Hirshabelle and Galmudug. The weapons will provide a significant increase in the lethality and mobility of the SNA-Danab units participating in these operations. Somalia and its neighbouring States have come under frequent heightened militant attacks in the Horn of Africa.

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