India in Nuclear Asia Evolution of Regional Forces, Perceptions, and Policies

19 June 2018, New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan India’s leading publishing house has launched a new book titled, India in Nuclear Asia- Evolution of Regional Forces, Perceptions, and Policies. The authors of the book are Yogesh Joshi who is a MacArthur Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University and Frank O’Donnell, who is a Stanton Junior Faculty Fellow in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

This book isthe culmination of a multi-year collaborative research project, also yielding ashorter monograph and several peer-reviewed articles and policy  briefs.

Onreleasing the book Yogesh Joshi said, “India has come a long way from being a nuclearpariah to a de facto nuclear weapon state. The need now is to see that Indiamaintains a credible nuclear deterrent while avoiding dangers of accidental andinadvertent escalation.

FrankO’Donnell said, “Twentyyears after India became a nuclear weapon state, it’s nuclear capabilities haveseen tremendous improvement. However, how this technological force developmentinforms its national security strategy has not been adequately addressed. Anofficial defence review, which integrated its nuclear and conventionalstrategies is therefore necessary.

This bookexplores technical advancements in the Indian nuclear force, the nucleardoctrinal evolution and force development of Pakistan and China, the historyand present contours of Indian nuclear thought and India’s approach toglobal-non proliferation policy.

Indiain Nuclear Asia alsoexamines the unique development of India as a nuclear weapons state, since itconducted a series of nuclear tests in 1998. When India’s first nucleardoctrine was declared in 1999, revised in 2003, the Indian government portrayedan image of a responsible and restrained nuclear power. However, thecontemporary picture of India in the nuclear field is beginning to differ fromthese initial expectations. What explains India’s evolving nuclear posture? Howis this technological drive complicating the questions of regional and globalsecurity?

Addressingthese and other issues, India in Nuclear Asia analysesthe unique development history of India’s nuclear force and its role within thelarger nuclear order.  It provides an overview of the Indian nuclear forceas it stands in 2018; studies the implications that the nuclear postures ofIndia’s two main adversaries, Pakistan and China, have on its nuclear strategy;and the formation of India’s nuclear doctrine and challenges it faces. The bookalso explores India’s relations with countries such as Iran, North Korea andSyria, and how these reveal India’s global non-proliferation policy approaches.

The authorsdiscuss key nuclear concepts such as ‘no-first-use’, ‘credible minimum deterrence’,‘full spectrum deterrence’ and ‘minimum deterrence’ in the context of theemergence of the Arihant nuclear-armed submarine fleet and the Agni-V andprospective Agni-VI intercontinental-range missiles. The book states that forIndia to reorient these new elements of the nuclear force with its publicdiplomacy, significant reforms requiring greater public  communicationwill be needed in its nuclear management.

This bookhas also argued that Indian security would be furthermore well-served by conductinga public official defence review. India’s nuclear doctrine has not been updatedsince 2003, and its general defence policy and force development have neverbeen subjected to a review process.

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