What Did India Gain Getting the Bomb?
Policy Briefs

What Did India Gain Getting the Bomb?

APLN Policy Brief 7

The following is a summary. Click on the adjacent link to download the full brief.

The utility of India’s nuclear weapons is questionable on many grounds. Nuclear deterrence is dubious in general and especially dubious in the subcontinent. Nuclear weapons are not usable as weapons of compellence or defence. They failed to stop Pakistani incursion in Kargil in 1999 or the terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008. They will not help India to shape the military calculations of likely enemies. And India’s global status and profile will be determined far more crucially by its economic performance than nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, they do impose direct and opportunity costs economically, risk corrosion of democratic accountability, add to global concerns about nuclear terrorism, and have not helped the cause of global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

About the Author

Ramesh Thakur is Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament in the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy. He was formerly Senior Vice Rector of the United Nations University (and UN Assistant Secretary-General) and then Foundation Director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario. He was a Responsibility to Protect Commissioner and Principal Writer of the Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s 2002 UN reform report.


Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Related Articles
  • Should India Revise its Nuclear Doctrine?

    Should India Revise its Nuclear Doctrine?

    8 Dec 2014 | Rakesh SOOD

    In the face of a changing world and an outdated doctrine, periodic reviews will be needed to keep India's nuclear policies relevant.

  • Worse Than Expected, Please Do Not Ratify

    Worse Than Expected, Please Do Not Ratify

    25 Nov 2016 | SUZUKI Tatsujiro and Jayantha DHANAPALA

    Experts urge the Parliaments of Japan and India to consider carefully the dangers of ratifying a flawed treaty.  

  • Limits of Practising Nuclear Brinksmanship

    Limits of Practising Nuclear Brinksmanship

    23 Dec 2016 | Manpreet SETHI

    Brinksmanship strategies that appear to be working raise the salience of nuclear weapons and increase their attraction for proliferation. None of this is good for international stability and security.