Nuclear Politics in South Asia. On the current trajectory, there is within the next two decades a significant possibility that there will be a nuclear war in South Asia, while it’s also possible that South Asian atomic weapons will most likely Pakistan`s be used against one or more countries.
As Greg Koblenz pointed out in a recent CFR study South Asia region is most at risk of a breakdown and strategic stability due to an explosive mix of unresolved territorial disputes across borders, terrorism, and growing nuclear arsenals.
Nuclear Politics in South Asia
Nuclear Politics in South Asia, Unlike the remaining P5 countries, China is increasing and diversifying its nuclear arsenal. Pakistan and India have been involved in a nuclear and missile arms race since 1998 that shows no signs of abating. Pakistan has the fastest-growing nuclear program in the World. Nuclear war in South Asia.
Regarding strategic stability was expected that nuclear weapons would have a stabilizing effect. In South Asia, instead, it seems to have the opposite effect. Pakistan is reportedly encouraged by its nuclear umbrella to become much more aggressive against India.
Following its acquisition of nuclear weapons, Pakistan, in the spring of 1998, infiltrated the Kargil area of Kashmir and seized territory held by India. There have been several Specific crises in addition to the Kargil crisis.
War in Asia, When we look at the history of the US-Soviet nuclear relationship, we see the possibility of miscalculation, reflected in several close calls with the soviet union. For Example, Russia in 1995, the launch of a Norwegian weather rocket prompted fears in Russia that a surprise attack was under ways leaving Yeltsin and his top aides just a few minutes to decide whether to undertake a retaliatory strike; fortunately, relations between the US and Russia were good enough that Yeltsin agreed there must be a mistake the US wouldn’t possibly be attacking absences similar reservoirs of goodwill between India and Pakistan.
Why might South Asia nuclear weapons be used elsewhere?
War in Asia, As we know, Pakistan has already been a leading proliferation of nuclear technology to rogue states, with AQ Khan now freed from even the minimal punishment of house arrest. The weakness of the Pakistani state is that there`s a significant possibility that Pakistani nuclear weapons could end up in the hands of non-state actors, perhaps not due to the Pakistani leadership decision but rather a decision by Rogue officers.
War in Asia There were persistent rumors that seem to be well-funded that Saudi Arabia financed Pakistan`s nuclear program in return for a promise that if Saudi Arabia asked, Pakistan would transfer technology or even warheads.
In addition, there have been significant tensions between Pakistan and Iran. For example, In October 2014, Islamabad reportedly filed a diplomatic protest with Iran after attempts by Iranian security forces to chase militants across the border led to the death of a Pakistani soldier.
Nuclear Politics in South Asia, A nuclear war between Pakistan and Iran is conceivable if Iran acquires nuclear weapons. Chinese Indian strategic stability is eroding. India and China fought a brief border war in 1962 and have several potential flashpoints. India`s 2012 test of an Intermediate-range Agni 5 Ballistic missile marked the first time that major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai came within the range of India`s nuclear weapons.
The US angle in the India-Pakistan relationship every new American government that comes in has the very ambitious goal of wanting to be a peacemaker in South Asia, solve the Kashmir conflict, and introduce rapprochement into the region. Still, the main interest of the US is not a mediator in Peacemaking. It`s actually to prevent any bilateral between India and Pakistan so that those tensions don`t lead to a nuclear escalation.
Suppose you strip away the other interests that the US has in the region on Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda, and economic interests in India. In that case, you`re left with the nuclear issues at the end of the day, and that is the most consistent interest of the US in the region.
Nuclear Politics in South Asia, Afghanistan is the new landscape for this conflict to unfold, which the US is particularly concerned about. In recent years, there have been attacks on Indian interests in Afghanistan. The build-up of the Indian presence in Afghanistan is also a concern on the Pakistan side, so this is a new landscape.
We don`t know what these triggers might lead to, even though Indian interests have been attacked. In Afghanistan, we haven`t seen any escalation on the nuclear side, but it remains very much a possibility in the US, and for sure, the US would be more concerned about that.
The Modi government in India is a bit more Nationalistic than the previous one. Still, just because of the Nationalistic approach, it doesn`t mean they are more inclined towards nuclear weapons as an option regarding their national policy towards Pakistan.
Nuclear Politics in South Asia, When discussing wars in South Asia, it`s important to separate conventional war from Nuclear war. The threat of conventional war is ever present and perpetual following the crisis that Order discussed. However, nuclear war is an escalation that neither country wants to engage in.
Nuclear Politics in South Asia, Significant triggers in 1999,2001, and 2008 worried everyone about what would happen in the region. In all those instances, the Indian government showed abnormal behavior and tried to move toward war.
Unlike the Cold War rivals, South Asia has recessed postures of its nuclear weapons and flexible storage policies, which means that its delivery systems and their warheads are not mated together. They are kept separately at a distance, so at any time they want to escalate, they will first have to go and spend anywhere between two to four days preparing for something that may look like a usable weapon system.