The drivers of India’s nuclear weapons program
Glosny, Michael A.
Kapur, S. Paul
MetadataShow full item record
Since it openly became a nuclear state in 1998, India has dramatically expanded the quantity and quality of its nuclear arsenal. This thesis examines the factors currently driving India’s nuclear weapons program. It explores India’s threat perceptions of China, its threat perceptions of Pakistan, its desire to achieve great power status, and domestic organizations relevant to its strategic program. After comparing each factor, the thesis concludes that India’s threat perception of China is the strongest driver. Due to the capability gaps in both conventional and nuclear forces that exist between the two states, India is committed to creating a strong strategic arsenal as its only means of credibly deterring China from possible conflict. The second strongest factor is its desire for great power status. India is still not accepted by every nuclear power as a peer, and by improving its capabilities, India hopes to gain greater recognition. Domestic elements are the third strongest factor since they have waned in influence as organizational changes have emphasized security concerns. Finally, India’s weakest driver is its security fear of Pakistan; its nuclear arsenal has reached the point where its leaders are confident they can deal with Pakistan in a strategic sense.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Newman, Sean A. (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2019-09);This thesis analyzes the nuclear motivations of three states (Japan, India, and Pakistan) and asks whether Japan may acquire nuclear weapons moving forward. The analysis found that, for Japan, nuclear restraint stemmed ...
Wolf, John L. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 1992-06);This thesis examines U.S. nonproliferation policy and the problem of nuclear proliferation in India and Pakistan. Its central hypothesis is that the end of the Cold War has created an opportunity to advance US. nonproliferation ...
Smith, Stephen A. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2002);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 ...