How credible is India's second strike capability?

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by A.V., Sep 22, 2009.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    india has always maintained no first use policy but are they actually right in their approach or do they need to rethink on this matter with the changing times and geo-poitical equations?

    how would the future indian policy look and how much of it would affect the stability of the region?
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India's no first use policy has to ensure a credible second strike capability.
    pros-India has completed the nuclear triad,MIRV,miniturization
    cons-missile ranges,lack of adequate testing,and sub Megaton warheads.
     
  4. tharikiran

    tharikiran Regular Member

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    I am in for India using No-First strike.Having a second strike capability makes the enemy think twice as they will be worried about possible retaliation/response by India.As the ball is in our court. We can play it/hit back anywhere we want to.

    Using a No-first strike option also calms the nerves of neighboring countries.It lets them know that we are not the aggressors and are only defending our existence.The last being moral upper hand.
     
  5. prabhatmthr

    prabhatmthr New Member

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    How effective is India's second strike capability.

    The best thing in the current scenario is to bunk all the previous principles of 'no first use', but don't elaborate any further. Keep them guessing our intentions.
    1.If not thermonuclear, the plutonium based deterrent should be very much in place. Give subtle hints regarding this.
    2. Continue with full speed and resources, the hush hush work on miniaturisation and perfection of fusion based warheads with lessons learnt earlier.
    3. Equally important is the mating with the delivery system, which should be
    ready at a very short notice, or better still in 'full readiness mode'.
    4. Keep testing and perfect the delvery vehicle for all potential targets.
    5. Only a Unified Srateigic Command ( and no politicians ) should be authorised to speak and give statements. All others should be under the oath of secrecy, or else it would be termed treason with punishment.
    6. Bluff, bluff and counter-bluff. Keep them guessing.
     
  6. sameer

    sameer New Member

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    Yes,
    we do need to rethink!
    Unless we have a credible Anti Ballistic Missile Shield and a proven defense against cruise missiles we should not opt for "No first use policy".

    The Pak-China Military axis can overpower India at present so we better have "First Strike to neutralize, Second to annihilate totally" Policy.

    We can't afford a first strike against us as we have a lot of things to loose including population.

    Also our "No first use" policy may give us some positive image on world stage but it leaves us with lot of strategic disadvantages.
    If we follow "No first use" policy, we wont have anything to defend in case of multiple nuclear strikes/saturation strikes.

    So best thing for now is "First Strike to neutralize, Second to annihilate, totally!"
     
  7. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    This is what i have always said, on this very forum , in other posts, indeed i stated that india's NFU should be only as a "peace concession " only to Pakistan and none else. india is not big enough to be so magnanimous as to have an universal NFU policy. However and i hope he is listening, my idea was usually politely brushed aside my one of the moderators whom i shall not name here out of courtesy although im sure we are friends as most of us are on this forum. As for the actual viability of india's nuclear weapons which is now being questioned nationally, perhaps the debate is a great way of keeping would be enemies guessing as to what is the real situation.
    Mark my words ; the real solution is that india has to follow the example taken by russia, namely the same concept of missile defence ; an equivalent large number of nuclear missiles and staretegic positioning which India has at the moment self denied itself the benefits of such. All that hermitism has to come to an end , and the sooner the safer.
     
  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    A good ABM does not guarantee that we will be completely safe. ABMs can be fooled and overwhelmed by a barrage of missiles.

    Your most important assertion regarding a first strike, again as I have said in other threads, our is not a first strike arsenal. We DO NOT have the cabability to strike first and take out Pak or Chinese aresenal. With about 90-100 nukes we cannot take out nothing. That will leave us naked to enemy strikes.

    NFU ensures that the enemy will be deterred by our nukes and not use one at all.
     
  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Roma I'm sure you are talking about me.
     
  10. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    we have to start with what is credible minimum deteriance for second strike/counter strike and with respect to which country, then we have to move forward with the discussion.
     
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Right this threads topic was on credible second strike but moved away to NFU. I think we will allow it and consider changing thr topic to indias strategic options.

    But on the question of second strike, the survivability of our assets is the key and that includes both the warheads, delivery systems and offcourse the 3C. The completion of the triad will make sure we have survivable nukes even after a first strike by an enemy.

    We need enough numbers of delivery systems. Someone mentioned keeping the warheads mated with the missiles. Well for a small arsenal like ours it's not a good option. Keeping the nukes away from the missiles means the enemy has to work that bit harder to take out both. Otherwise we have something that survives. Even china follows this policy.
     
  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Right this threads topic was on credible second strike but moved away to NFU. I think we will allow it and consider changing thr topic to indias strategic options.

    But on the question of second strike, the survivability of our assets is the key and that includes both the warheads, delivery systems and offcourse the 3C. The completion of the triad will make sure we have survivable nukes even after a first strike by an enemy.

    We need enough numbers of delivery systems. Someone mentioned keeping the warheads mated with the missiles. Well for a small arsenal like ours it's not a good option. Keeping the nukes away from the missiles means the enemy has to work that bit harder to take out both. Otherwise we have something that survives. Even china follows this policy.
     
  13. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Yes, desired second strike capability in response to Pakistan and China is not same. In case of Pakistan keeping in mind its smaller arsenal and lack of territorial depth our arsenal and delivery mechanism is enough. But in case of China we still dont have the effective second strike capability at present, though we are going ahead to achieve it but I think not before 2017. Most of the Chinese cities are out of reach of Agni I and Agni II. Introduction of Agni III is an utmost necessary if we need credible second strike capability.Our only SSBN is not operational yet. Even if it become operational within next two years ( we will have 3 SSBN ) we will need supporting SSNs to escort it to reach within a striking distance. Till then we are volnurable if China decide to use nuclear weapons against India.
     
  14. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    I totally agree with Sabir, on this respect, China and Pakistan are in totally different sphere to counter, still we don't have proper second strike capability for China, We should have Agni-5 , need to speed up testing and induction process, and also speedy trial of Agni III SL.

    Regards
     
  15. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    now comming to what should be our CND, we have to consider pakitan first, then China and even US (which is very rare chance of happning).

    (I will detal with pakistan only at present)
    First Pakitan, this is country which will not think twice to use its nukes against india, if its very survival is threatned. Even if US and other powers attack its nukes, they will try to use its nuke against India. (They want to take us down with them).

    Latest reports say that Pakitani nukes have risen to 90 (upper limit) which is cause of concern to our military. What can be CND against pakistan, if they chose to attack us?

    that is first question. Any attack on India if their is sanction by Pakistani Army, will be targeted againt New Delhi, mumbai, Chandighar, and other cities.
    What should be second strike/counter strike for such an attack so that Pakistani army will be deter not to even think of such a stupid act ?

    We have proven fission bomb, fusion bomb is still questioned in our country and it is tested only once, we have booster fission bomb. how much damage are we looking against the Pakistan so that they will pay dearly against such an act ?

    about 90% military, 90% industrial and economy, __ % population. etc.

    What will happen if the nuke attack is not by pakistani army, but by some general(s) ??
     
  16. NSG_Blackcats

    NSG_Blackcats Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009 Senior Member

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    India declared its no first use policy after conducting the nuclear explosion in 1998. This is declared unilaterally by GOI. So it is not a treaty and it is not binding on GOI to follow it during war time. Every ballistic missile that is fired by our opponent will be suspected to be carrying nuclear payload. So India will retaliate appropriately without waiting the missile hitting us.

    Now let’s talk about the credibility of our minimum nuclear deterrent. We never had the intention of pilling up nuclear arsenal like US, Russia. Our intention is to have deterrence that makes China 1000 times before using nuclear weapon against us. (I am not mentioning Pakistan here because they never think about the consequences. They will use nuclear weapon against us irrespective of whether we have it or not.) Now we have conducted 6 tests in 1974 and 1998. Whereas US, Russia, UK, France, China has conducted 1054, 715, 45, 210, 45 test respectively (Source : Wikipedia). So how much data we have from this 6 tests so that we can simulate those tests in computer is questionable. I feel we must conduct at least 5/6 more tests. So that we have enough data for simulating these tests in computer.

    When we talk about minimum nuclear deterrence we have to see the delivery mechanism . Now the most reliable weapon that can survive after a nuclear strike is SLBM. We are a long way from deploying a SLBM with nuclear warhead. We cannot say we have a credible nuclear deterrence until we deploy SLBM.
     
  17. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Would abandoning a no first use policy also cause an arms race specifially a nuclear arms race,Is India ready to start mass producing nukes???
     
  18. MIG_ACE

    MIG_ACE New Member

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    How does our NFU policy stop China and Pakistan from mass producing nukes?
    For all we know they might already be doing it. The number of nukes that China or pakistan has is only limited by the amount of fissile material they can acquire.

    We are faced with two hostile nuclear armed neighbors, we have active disputes with both of them and we have fought wars with both of them. Neither of them has a NFU policy and both are active proliferators.

    Our NFU policy is completely useless in this environment. Infact IMHO a NFU policy is useless in any environment.
     
  19. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Our no fist use policy makes our nukes a deterrent it puts us in a defensive posture. If we abandon this policy it would put us in a more offensive posture which would make both produce more just to keep up? China also has a no first use policy. Just because we have NFU does not prevent what you have mentioned.
     
  20. MIG_ACE

    MIG_ACE New Member

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    The effectiveness of our weapons and delivery systems is the deterrent. Our policy has no bearing on it.

    Also, as NSG mentioned in the post above yours the NFU policy is not an agreement with anyone. If we happen to detect a Ballistic missile launch from china or pakistan during a war, I do not expect the PM to wait and see if its really carrying a nuke payload before hitting back.

    IMVHO, the NFU policy is just to convince ourselves that we are on a moral high horse.
     
  21. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    thread topic and content differ

    The content and the first line of the of the thread are slightly at odds. The content leans towards a discussion of NFU so i shall go by the content rather than the title.

    Continuing from my earlier post, the reason given by most including the "knowledgeable" is that "sigh" india doesnt have enough nukes to cunduct a first strike, but that logic must surely fall flat on its face when we consider that neither has pakistan enough nukes to conduct an effective first strike yet they have kept the option open and so in india's case where the number of nukes and corresponding missiles is expected to be considerably larger hence the guess factor is more applicable, thus it is a worthwhile proposition for india to revoke the NFU declaration but make an exception for pakistan as another olive brance to support our NO War Pact with them and also because as everyone knows " we love them so much " ( we do share the same group of languages and each others' films and songs ).
     

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