Indian Nuclear Command and Control Dilemma   [open pdf - 2MB]

"The aim of the thesis to analyze the India's nuclear weapons command and control dilemma as a consequence of its 1998 nuclear tests. The small size of India's nuclear weapons does not imply that its command and control structure would be simple. It would require the same infrastructure, capabilities, and operating concepts possessed by countries with larger number of nuclear weapons, but maybe on a smaller scale. A small arsenal is easy to control, but then it is vulnerable to attack, and hence the issue of command and control becomes more complex. India's No-First- Use (NFU) policy and the de-mated nuclear posture also make the command and control of nuclear weapons look simple, affordable, and easy to implement. But the nuclear policy and posture must be examined through the prism of peacetime, crisis and wartime situations. The smooth transition from peacetime to crisis and, if required, to wartime demands a robust command and control system. This thesis examines the requirements and then provides recommendations for the command and control structure for Indian nuclear operations. The thesis will investigates the U.S. command and control model and draws lessons for a suitable option for India. While NFU has many challenges, it can be effective provided that India adopts an operational capability of Launch After Attack (LAA), which would require a significant upgrade of command and control structure and procedures. In particular, this thesis demonstrates the role that civilians and military could effectively play to strengthen 'minimum credible deterrence' within the established financial, political, and strategic parameters."

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