India's Nuclear Doctrine

Should India have tested a Megaton warhead during Pokran?


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Chinmoy

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The problem for the decision maker in a scenario where ballistic missiles have been launched at India, is that, there is no way of knowing if the missile carries a conventional warhead or a nuclear one. And for a country like India, which does not possess a reliable second strike capability, launching nuclear missiles immediately after detection of hostile BM maybe the only attempt at survival before the entire C&C network is wiped out.
Just imagine a scenario when two nuclear powered neighbors comes at a point of nuke exchange.

Each and every BM launched against India would be countered by ABM. But those which would pass though would show its effect of whether being conventional or Nuclear tipped. Now in case of such a warfare, India too would be ready for any eventuality. So a nuke warhead would give India the very right of massive retaliation.

As far as C& C network is concerned, if you are aware of India's plan in this, you would have been least worried of it.
 

indus

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I don't think always; perhaps majority of times..?
How do we determine origin country of SLBM?
Isnt SLBMs a second strike weapon rather than first strike. BMs can be detected by satelites and aircrafts given area denial. Under such scenario when a decapitating strike has already killed most of country's leadership and comm structures a submarine remains the most likely platform to remain alive. A BM launched from somewhere in Bayof Bengal or Ind ocean would be very hard to detect and destroy by an adversary.
 

Chinmoy

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I don't think always; perhaps majority of times..?
How do we determine origin country of SLBM?
How many countries do have the capability?

Moreover how many of them has gone nuts of launching one without provocation?
 

Chinmoy

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So this means a 250km range cruise missile capable of carrying a N tip can fool India in believing it to be conventional weapon and getting the hit. Pakistan may do it, China too.

I believe now days the threat perception would be , even launching a nuclear capable CM could be confused with a nuclear strike 'initiation' and may lead to nuclear flash point and retaliation.
As I have already told, present day CM are not to carry nuclear warhead. They are battle field weapon and apart from brain dead Pakis, no one is advertising CM for nuke attack.

For once, why would you want to use a nuclear tipped CM to take out a enemy HQ or a Ship or a specific single target in battle filed situation. These could be carried out by conventional weapon too.

For example, India too is thinking of arming BRAHMOS with variety of mission specific warhead and a nuclear warhead is nowhere in list among those.
 

patriots

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I think India's no first use policy is only for Pakistan....(as we are conventionally better than paki).... but for China. if China invades India. ...then definitely. India will attck with nuclear weapons
 

indus

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As I have already told, present day CM are not to carry nuclear warhead. They are battle field weapon and apart from brain dead Pakis, no one is advertising CM for nuke attack.

For once, why would you want to use a nuclear tipped CM to take out a enemy HQ or a Ship or a specific single target in battle filed situation. These could be carried out by conventional weapon too.

For example, India too is thinking of arming BRAHMOS with variety of mission specific warhead and a nuclear warhead is nowhere in list among those.
Yes. Only suicidal Pakis have incorporated nukes on a battle field weapon. Nasr is all abt tactical nukes only. While India will still give massive retaliation to TNWs. Another point of differentiation is the potential targets of an attack. In a Counter force attack one would target the millitary installations as compared to a Counter value attack where civillian/ industrial centres will be targeted. IMO a suicidal Pak will go for maximum destruction of India meaning they are likely to target Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar than Jhansi, Jodhpur or Ambala.
 

Chinmoy

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I think India's no first use policy is only for Pakistan....(as we are conventionally better than paki).... but for China. if China invades India. ...then definitely. India will attck with nuclear weapons
The same I said during Doklam issue............ India and China would not engage each other in conventional warfare. Its neither in interest of India, nor in China. The warfare we would see soon enough would be economical in between us.

Same is what we could expect between Russia and USA.
 

Chinmoy

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Yes. Only suicidal Pakis have incorporated nukes on a battle field weapon. Nasr is all abt tactical nukes only. While India will still give massive retaliation to TNWs. Another point of differentiation is the potential targets of an attack. In a Counter force attack one would target the millitary installations as compared to a Counter value attack where civillian/ industrial centres will be targeted. IMO a suicidal Pak will go for maximum destruction of India meaning they are likely to target Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar than Jhansi, Jodhpur or Ambala.
Right.......... So when you talk about warfare tactics, you do study your enemy rather then going for tried and tested doctrine for all.

Just imagine a Doklam like standoff in between India and Pakistan. What would have been Indian response then.
 

no smoking

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I think India already made a paradigm shift in its NFU policy when it said that it would retaliate to any kind of nuclear attack with massive retaliation, irrespective of the fact where and what extent the nuclear attack takes place.
There is no shift of the NFU policy. NFU policy has always been response of nuclear retaliation to any scale of nuclear attack. The point is: the nuclear war fighting countries-Russia and US adopt nuclear escalation policy because they have the number to do that. On the other hand, the number of nuclear weapons of NFU countries survived from enemy first strike will be only enough for one strike.

That was why when American tried to convince everyone that the use of tactic nuclear weapon is not beginning of nuclear war, Chinese replied: there is no difference between tactic nuclear weapon and strategic nuclear weapon.
 

no smoking

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In case China launches a missile at it's detected as BM. India will immediately deploy the BMD and carry out the retaliation.
It's China and others to understand that launching any missile towards India can lead to nuclear war. And that's how escalations are prevented and that's what real nuclear deterrence is.
No, the idea of nuclear deterrence is: The NFU countries only have MINIMUM amount of nuclear weapons enough to cause unacceptable damage to your enemy (generally 20 cities) but they have no chance to win in a nuclear war. As long as nuclear war starts, they lose. So, they would risk losing all their nuclear weapons rather than starting a nuclear war.
 

kalakaar

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What I wrote was, in the documents India says, ''India will not be first one to initiate a nuclear strike.'' @Chinmoy

Initiation of nuclear strike means making a decision to press the button. But no where says that India will wait until it gets hit. So If Pakistan launches a BM and India tracks it then India will not wait until it falls. Immediately India will retaliate.

Now since even Cruise missiles and ASM can be fitted with N tip. It is possible that if China launches any CM towards any big cities in India, India may regard it as initiation of nuclear strike by China and as a benefit of doubt may retaliate with nuclear strike, vice versa. In military there cannot be any loop holes that, oh we can't expect Chinese to make a CM N tip missile. Analysis has to be professional.

So use of missiles in this scenario may immediately escalate to nuclear flash point.


No, the idea of nuclear deterrence is: The NFU countries only have MINIMUM amount of nuclear weapons enough to cause unacceptable damage to your enemy (generally 20 cities) but they have no chance to win in a nuclear war. As long as nuclear war starts, they lose. So, they would risk losing all their nuclear weapons rather than starting a nuclear war.
 

tsunami

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AFAIK Indian NFU says if any country use nukes against India or try to hit our nuclear installation or if planning/about to do so in a war time situation we can use nukes. Correct me if I am wrong.
 

indus

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What I wrote was, in the documents India says, ''India will not be first one to initiate a nuclear strike.'' @Chinmoy

Initiation of nuclear strike means making a decision to press the button. But no where says that India will wait until it gets hit. So If Pakistan launches a BM and India tracks it then India will not wait until it falls. Immediately India will retaliate.

Now since even Cruise missiles and ASM can be fitted with N tip. It is possible that if China launches any CM towards any big cities in India, India may regard it as initiation of nuclear strike by China and as a benefit of doubt may retaliate with nuclear strike, vice versa. In military there cannot be any loop holes that, oh we can't expect Chinese to make a CM N tip missile. Analysis has to be professional.

So use of missiles in this scenario may immediately escalate to nuclear flash point.
Distance between Karachi to Mumbai is abt 900 Kms, Lahore to Delhi abt 400 Kms. A BM launched from Lahore towards Delhi would reach India within 2 minutes taking an RV velocity of 3.5 Kms/second. Actual speeds may be higher. Point is you hardly got any time to decide NFU or No NFU from the moment BM launches till the time it rains. So a BM launch itself is considered an initiation of nuclear strike. Even if you track ur BM once the RV separates there are very less chances of it being destroyed midair by BMD. Esp when multiple launches take place simultaneously. Coming to CM, long range cruise missiles are subsonic as super/hyper sonic long range CMs are not feasible. And subsonic CMs can be easily countered by BMD coz of less speed. So i wont believe somebody will throw nuclear maal on CM. Experts on CMs may pour more light on this aspect if i am wrong.:)
 

Chinmoy

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What I wrote was, in the documents India says, ''India will not be first one to initiate a nuclear strike.'' @Chinmoy

Initiation of nuclear strike means making a decision to press the button. But no where says that India will wait until it gets hit. So If Pakistan launches a BM and India tracks it then India will not wait until it falls. Immediately India will retaliate.

Now since even Cruise missiles and ASM can be fitted with N tip. It is possible that if China launches any CM towards any big cities in India, India may regard it as initiation of nuclear strike by China and as a benefit of doubt may retaliate with nuclear strike, vice versa. In military there cannot be any loop holes that, oh we can't expect Chinese to make a CM N tip missile. Analysis has to be professional.

So use of missiles in this scenario may immediately escalate to nuclear flash point.
Lets have a look at the NFU policy formulated at 2003.

What is India’s nuclear doctrine?

  • India’s nuclear doctrine was first enunciated following a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting in January 2003.
  • Some of the main features of India’s nuclear doctrine are -
  1. Building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent
  2. A No First Use posture i.e nuclear weapons to be used only in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere,
  3. Nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be “massive” and designed to inflict “unacceptable damage”.
  • The concept of “credible minimum deterrence” is used in conjunction with the concepts of “No First Use” and “Non Use” against nuclear weapon states.
  • It clearly indicates that India envisages its nuclear weapons as only a deterrent merely for defensive purposes and not as a means to threaten others.
http://www.iasparliament.com/current-affairs/indias-nuclear-doctrine

Now look at point 2 and 3. It clearly mentions that India would retaliate only after absorbing the first hit. Actually this very point is the bone of contention which SS Menon and recently Manohar Parrikar said about.

@no smoking , it has shifted a bit for India. NFU is not only about Nukes this time. It about retaliation against any WMD
 

Chinmoy

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AFAIK Indian NFU says if any country use nukes against India or try to hit our nuclear installation or if planning/about to do so in a war time situation we can use nukes. Correct me if I am wrong.
Our policy is that we would absorb the first hit on us and then only would retaliate. Unless and until a nuke or any other WMD is not used against us, we would not use nuke.
 

kalakaar

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Lets have a look at the NFU policy formulated at 2003.

http://www.iasparliament.com/current-affairs/indias-nuclear-doctrine

Now look at point 2 and 3. It clearly mentions that India would retaliate only after absorbing the first hit. Actually this very point is the bone of contention which SS Menon and recently Manohar Parrikar said about.
4.
THE DETERRENT
4.1
India shall maintain a credible minimal deterrent, where credibility
comprises three specific components
-
leadership credibility, force
credibility, and technological credibility.
4.2
The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) shall advise the Prime Minister on the
qualitative and quantitative aspects of credible minimal deterrence, which
shall have to be determined by him/her from time to time.
4.3
In adherence to a policy of no first use, India will not initiate a nuclear strike


NO FIRST USE

Art 4.3: In adherence to its policy of no first use, India will not initiate a nuclear strike.

Initiation’ covers the process leading up to the actual use of a nuclear weapon by an adversary.


This would include mating component systems and deploying warheads with the intet This will

enable the Prime Minister to gain the flexibility to decide upon an appropriate response.


This formulation also avoids the constraints placed on the NFU policy in regard to using the nu-

clear deterrent against WMDs adopted in the 2003 CCS decision

http://www.nuclearsecurityproject.org/uploads/publications/Indias_Nuclear_Doctrine.pdf
reference: institute of peace and conflict studies.

PS: This means India wouldn't wait to receive the hit.
 

Chinmoy

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4.
THE DETERRENT
4.1
India shall maintain a credible minimal deterrent, where credibility
comprises three specific components
-
leadership credibility, force
credibility, and technological credibility.
4.2
The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) shall advise the Prime Minister on the
qualitative and quantitative aspects of credible minimal deterrence, which
shall have to be determined by him/her from time to time.
4.3
In adherence to a policy of no first use, India will not initiate a nuclear strike


NO FIRST USE

Art 4.3: In adherence to its policy of no first use, India will not initiate a nuclear strike.

Initiation’ covers the process leading up to the actual use of a nuclear weapon by an adversary.


This would include mating component systems and deploying warheads with the intet This will

enable the Prime Minister to gain the flexibility to decide upon an appropriate response.


This formulation also avoids the constraints placed on the NFU policy in regard to using the nu-

clear deterrent against WMDs adopted in the 2003 CCS decision

http://www.nuclearsecurityproject.org/uploads/publications/Indias_Nuclear_Doctrine.pdf
reference: institute of peace and conflict studies.

PS: This means India wouldn't wait to receive the hit.
The document you quoted from is not a official one. Its a set of suggestion forwarded in backdrop of disagreement on various point sof what has been formulated at 2003.

2
This project aimed to review the India’s nuclear doctrine (as officialised on 4 January 2003),
and through a constructive critique, attempt an alternative blueprint to suit the new
developments in the security and political environment within and outside India over the
last decade. Towards achieving this, the Nuclear Security Programme (NSP) at the Institute
of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) constituted a task force of experts from the Indian
strategic community
-
academia, bureaucracy, military and scientific.
Look at what the document is envisioned for.

We are hopeful that it would generate public interest since the issues involved vitally
concerns civil society. In matters relating to nuclear weapons there are no distinctions
between frontlines and safe rear areas. We look forward to answering questions and
criticism of this effort.
P R Chari
Chairman, IPCS Task Force on India’s Nuclear Doctrine
Just have a look at what the Chairman of Task Force has quoted here.


2
This project aimed to review the India’s nuclear doctrine (as officialised on 4 January 2003),
and through a constructive critique, attempt an alternative blueprint to suit the new
developments in the security and political environment within and outside India over the
last decade. Towards achieving this, the Nuclear Security Programme (NSP) at the Institute
of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) constituted a task force of experts from the Indian
strategic community
-
academia, bureaucracy, military and scientific.
 

kalakaar

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The document you quoted from is not a official one. Its a set of suggestion forwarded in backdrop of disagreement on various point sof what has been formulated at 2003.



Look at what the document is envisioned for.



Just have a look at what the Chairman of Task Force has quoted here.


2
This project aimed to review the India’s nuclear doctrine (as officialised on 4 January 2003),
and through a constructive critique, attempt an alternative blueprint to suit the new
developments in the security and political environment within and outside India over the
last decade. Towards achieving this, the Nuclear Security Programme (NSP) at the Institute
of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) constituted a task force of experts from the Indian
strategic community
-
academia, bureaucracy, military and scientific.

The new document also doesn't explain what is the thresh hold either, whether India would take a hit and then retaliate or just deploying the N tip till launch would be considered as strike.

There is no formal definition to it. It's for various reasons under speculation. Even Menon had once made wrong declaration due to typographical error but the formal definition is still unclear. Which gives India a benefit of doubt to retaliate when the adversary has begin the process for nuclear strike.
 

indus

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IMO discussion shld move beyind NfU or no NFU.
I was thinking, cant we also develop Tactical nukes specific to China. Origins of TNWs lie in the situation of Soviet invasion of eastern Europe. TNWs were thought of as a solution to stop Soviet armada from marching into Europe wherein small countries would fall like cookies. Paks have also devised their strategy from the same concept. Basically it disrupts a strategy of fighting conventionally when a loss to a larger adversary is imminent. Cant the same rule be applied to India vs China. Lets say Chinese decide to send their armour and artillery towards India, can India use tactical nukes in Tibet under such a situation to save herself.
 

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