The threat of inadvertent Nuclear War in South Asia
Gurgel, Matthew G.
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis assesses the potential for a specific type of accidental nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan. Known as inadvertent war, such a conflict would be the result of a mistaken attempt at preemption, the launching of a nuclear attack by one nation in the mistaken belief that the other was doing likewise or was about to do so. While nuclear weapons can ordinarily be expected to exert a sobering influence on decision-makers, an escalating spiral of military activity during a crisis may generate different situational imperatives. Inadvertent war becomes possible when decision- makers perceive that conflict is inevitable and that there is a significant advantage in striking first. Evidence suggests that there is good reason for concern about the threat of inadvertent nuclear war in South Asia. The nuclear force structures adopted by India and Pakistan can be expected to exert a particularly strong influence on the potential for both of the necessary conditions for inadvertent war. The current arsenals of these countries, small and heavily dependant upon aircraft for weapons delivery, may invite preemption in the event that nuclear war appears imminent. If India and Pakistan increase their nuclear delivery capabilities by deploying nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, the potential for inadvertent war will be even greater. In the context of a military confrontation in South Asia, ballistic missiles are likely to contribute both to perceptions of first-strike advantage and to reinforcing military alerts that can lead to the belief that nuclear war is inevitable.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Smith, Stephen A. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2002-12);Conventional warfare between India and Pakistan could inadvertently escalate to nuclear warfare. Asymmetries in military doctrine and capability undermine deterrence stability and could lead to the use of nuclear weapons ...
Khan, Feroz; Masellis, Nick (2012-01-25);"The Center on Contemporary Conflict (CCC), with support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), held the sixth iteration of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue (Track II) on September 18-19, 2011 in Phuket, ...
Center on Contemporary Conflict; Cossa, Ralph; Twomey, Christopher; Glosny, Michael (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2015-05);Objective: China is currently modernizing its military capabilities, including its nuclear arsenal, and there remains a lack of official discussions on these issues. This communications gap increases the risks to strategic ...