Deciphering Vajpayee’s Security Strategy Through India’s Nuclear Tests

Vajpayee’s Security Strategy

On two days 11th and 13th of May 1998 Vajpayee government declared that they had done five nuclear tests and India had become a nuclear weapons state well it didn’t happen that way because what they did on these two days was the big bangs and from the big bang to making an actual device is a lot of distance patience that is required for which you need among various thing you need a proper command and control so there the Vajpayee government should have focused instead what did the prime minister did he wrote the confidential letter to the American President BILL CLINTON explaining him that why India had tested.

The prime minister of India gave two reasons, he said that China is a nuclear weapon state and there is an increased illegal Nexus between China and Pakistan on nuclear trade however, the letter was leaked to the press.

Within 48 hours of this announcement that India has become a nuclear weapon state the Deputy prime minister and home minister Lal Krish Adwani told the Media that now Pakistan needs to rethink its Kashmir policy In response what did Pakistan do the Army Chief of Pakistan that time General Jangir Karamat on the 28th of May he said we have done six nuclear tests and now there is parity at the strategic level as far as the Nuclear Deterrence Is concerned. 

Vajpayee's Security Strategy

At that time Chinese were also furious so their instructions, Incursions, and infiltration on the line of actual control of the border that is with China increased manifold, and the nuclear nexus between China and Pakistan became more intense and intertwined with the result that very soon the Military dictator of Pakistan General Musharraf declared that Pakistan had Acquired tactical nuclear weapons and the Nuclear full spectrum capability deterrence.

We are aware that in 1974 under Prime Minister Indra Gandhi peaceful nuclear explosions were done what that meant was nuclear weapons had come to India and Pakistan also followed nuclear weapons but they were kept in the closet so the requirement of deterrence at the nuclear level an urgency of a arms race was avoided by both sides

The liability after 1998 had increased if there was anybody sensible person in the Vajpayee government that person should have realized and learned a lesson from the American first off-set strategy done by President Aenar in the 50s and that was that there was a need eventually when they were looking at Soviets they realized that offset strategy which was about the soviets had overwhelming superiority in Conventional so the tactical nuclear weapons were created but once the Soviets achieved parity in Nuclear weapons then it had run its course hence the American had to go with second offset strategy.

In the case of India and Pakistan where India has a no-first-use policy and Pakistan has not declared its declaratory policy but if we see their conventional capabilities and topography It became very clear that with Lahore and Amritsar being 40km away and with huge density and population neither side will use the tactical nuclear weapons but a deterrence was to be created.

Vajpayee's Security Strategy

The second event during the Vajpayee government was the 1999 Kargil conflict. The originator of this conflict was the Pakistan Army chief General Musharraf and what he wanted to do which he has written in his book “IN THE LINE OF FIRE” was to avenge Sachien.

The third event was the Genesis of Operation Parakram all started with 9/11 when President Bush declared a global war on terror, now inspired by that when there was a terrorist attack on 1st October 2001 on the Jammu and Kashmir assembly Prime Minister  Vajpayee publicly warned Pakistan that if there`s another attack it will be dealt with severely, therefore when on the 13th of December of December 2001 terrorist they struck the Indian parliament when the parliament was in session then the Prime Minister was left with no choice but to take action certain demands were put on Muharraf the Pakistani ruler which he rejected.

On the 17th of December, the cabinet committee on security met under the Prime Minister and on the 18th of December 2001 the Prime Minister his National Security adviser Brijesh met the three service chiefs and told them to mobilize for war because the Army was to take the maximum time for mobilization and the army chief who also happened to be the chairman chiefs of staff committee general ESP pagan be asked the political leaderships what is the war objective.

In the meantime perhaps at the urging of the Indian government President Bush spoke with President Musharraf and Musharaf also had a problem with that because everything was happening so suddenly that two of his divisions which had a role in Afghanistan in the Eastern side against India were involved in operation enduring freedom which was the American war on terror they had to pull back. so looking at the situation general Musharraf publicly said that he would not allow his toil to be used by terrorists against India against any foreign country.

So what was accomplished?  First Pakistan was not coerced, next India`s conventional capabilities were blunted by this operation when you said that you would go to war the army thought they were going to war and they just came back so that was blunted now when your conventional capabilities are blunted and Indian coercion fails, which means that when you have to new build up the credibility of your conventional war you have to double up convince not only this adversary but the other adversaries also.

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