Change India's policy on "No First Use" (NFU) of nuclear weapons in case of two-front war
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No first use (NFU) is a policy taken unilaterally by a nuclear power not to use nuclear weapons against an enemy, unless and until attacked by that enemy using nuclear weapons. India has taken this pledge in 2003 through the release of a Nuclear Doctrine (see Appendix I below).
As the stand-off between India and China continues at the tri-junction (Dokalam) of Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet, the Chinese through it's media has been threatening India about a two-front war with China and Pakistan. In wake of this situation, the time has come for India to review it's Nuclear Doctrine for the special case of two-front war or multi-front war.
There are many limitations for a country, especially the military logistics, in case of a prolonged two-front war. The situation is especially grave, when no other country is available (or willing) for help. Additionally, conventional warheads has limitation in preventing large troop movements through Chinese controlled Tibet. The "Tactical nuclear weapons" (TNW) are handy in such scenarios, which are designed to be used on a battlefield, close to the border or friendly troops. These low yield nuclear weapons are used against large military formations as opposed to high yield weapons that targets mostly a city or a civilian population.
A revision of the NFU policy against a multi-front war or large-scale conventional aggression, will deter China against any possible misadventures of a large scale war with India. A Russian military doctrine in 2000, mentioned that Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons "in response to a large-scale conventional aggression".
The main features of India’s nuclear doctrine (CCS press release of January 4, 2003) is summarized as follows:
1. Building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent;
2. A “No First Use” posture; nuclear weapons to be used only “in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere”;
3. Nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be “massive” and designed to inflict “unacceptable damage”.
4. Nuclear retaliatory attacks to be authorized only by civilian political leadership through the Nuclear Command Authority.
5. Non use of nuclear weapons against non nuclear weapon states.
6. India to retain option of retaliating with nuclear weapons in the event of a major attack against it with biological or chemical weapons;
7. Continuance of strict controls on export of nuclear and missile related materials and technologies, participation in FMCT negotiations, continued moratorium on testing;
8. Continued commitment to goal of nuclear weapon free world, through global, verifiable and non discriminatory disarmament.
P.S.: The author is the original architect of India's "Two stage antiballistic missile defence system".
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