Nuclear Learning in South Asia: The Next Decade

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Khan, Feroz Hassan
Jacobs, Ryan
Burke, Emily
Date of Issue
June 2014
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
This collection of selected papers brings together findings from the Center on Contemporary Conflict’s (CCC) South Asian Nuclear Learning project. With support from the National Nuclear Security Administration, a group of regional scholars from India, Pakistan, and the United States convened in Bangkok, Thailand in 2012 to discuss the concept of nuclear learning and apply it to the regional context of South Asia. Participants presented research findings assessing regional perspectives on nuclear learning, doctrinal developments, command and control setups, deterrence strategies, and approaches towards arms control, and confidence-building measures.
The selected papers explore a range of factors that have shaped/induced and inhibited nuclear learning in South Asia. Feroz Khan and Ryan Jacobs start the conversation by summarizing the key findings over the five year period of this research project. They explain the divergent learning pathways that India and Pakistan took and analyze proposals to enhance nuclear learning proffered during the round table discussions at the two iterations of the project. Happymon Jacob and Naeem Salik provide theoretical insights into India and Pakistan’s respective nuclear learning experiences. Next, Vipin Narang and Mansoor Ahmed identify technological trends and their impact on security doctrines as well as emphasize the role of political leadership in promoting stability. They also assess the implication of military modernization on strategic stability in the region. Contributing authors Naeem Salik and Sadia Tasleem describe steps Pakistan has taken to develop institutional mechanisms to manage its nuclear capability and tackle the relationship between nuclear learning and doctrinal thinking in Pakistan. Christopher Clary’s chapter traces the differing trends and analyzes the forthcoming challenges in command and control in both India and Pakistan. Following, Ghulam Mujaddid critically analyzes Pakistan’s existing command and control structure and advocates a single joint strategic force command for the future. In her chapter, Manpreet Sethi explains the causes of regional failure on restraint and détente and offers suggestions for improving nuclear arms control and regional confidence building measures. Last, Zafar Jaspal discusses the instability likely to affect in South Asia with the introduction of Ballistic Missile Defense. Both Sethi and Jaspal emphasize the importance of constructive dialogue and ultimately an arms control arrangement to ensure strategic stability. The following chapters are produced as written and researched by the authors and edited for content, brevity, and scholarly convention. The views and content are the authors’ alone and do not represent the official policy of any government, the editors, the Naval Postgraduate School, or the project’s sponsors.
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National Security Affairs
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This 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.