Indo-Russian Military and Nuclear Cooperation: Implications for U.S. Security Interests [open pdf - 385KB]
This paper analyzes the history of Indo-Russian military and nuclear cooperation. The "special" Moscow-New Delhi relationship during the Cold War, it concludes, was based upon Indian needs, American ambivalence, and Soviet opportunism. In the post-Cold War era this relationship has persisted due to continued American ambivalence, short-term Indian military needs, and Russian economic needs. This bond, therefore, may be fractured by an eventual improvement in Indian military self-reliance or a deepening in Indo-American military cooperation. India's strategic culture, rooted in Indian history, geography and political culture, has created an Indian strategic mindset impervious to American nonproliferation efforts. The paper finds, moreover, that there are no short-term "silver bullets" to cure the current Indo-American rift, which flows from causes in addition to India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998. While short-term measures can be taken to improve the bilateral relationship, the historical rift that has emerged between the two states cannot be easily mended. The United States, therefore, must strive to ensure that Indian nuclear expansion is conducted in a controlled, safe and limited manner.
INSS Occasional Paper 31, Proliferation Series