Nuclear weapons in India’s defence policy

Achieving conventional–nuclear synergy

Authored by: Verghese Koithara

Handbook of Indian Defence Policy

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138939608
eBook ISBN: 9781315674742
Adobe ISBN: 9781317380092

10.4324/9781315674742.ch24

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Abstract

Viewed logically and strategically, nuclear weapons are unusable weapons. Yet, major political or military bungling by one or both adversaries can precipitate their unwitting use. In mitigating the risk of deterrence breakdown and in coping with its aftermath – should it happen – the critical role the defence forces need to play is obvious. This is why nuclear weapons policy must be an important part of any nuclear power’s overall defence policy. At the same time, the consequences of nuclear weapons use are so horrendous that these forces need to be commanded and controlled far more tightly than conventional forces. Every nuclear power has to find the right organisational mix to develop nuclear forces that are both efficacious and tautly controlled.

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