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Nuclear Strategy in the Modern EraRegional Powers and International Conflict$
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Vipin Narang

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159829

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159829.001.0001

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(p.94) Chapter Four India
Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era

Vipin Narang

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores India's nuclear posture. Like China's, India's nuclear posture is classified as one of assured retaliation. There have been various dramatic moments in India's nuclear weapons history that were often driven by domestic political considerations, most notably its nuclear tests in May of 1974 and 1998. Nonetheless, the capabilities, envisioned use, and command-and-control apparatus that Delhi has erected for its nuclear forces have been persistent and consistent with an assured retaliation posture since 1974. The reason for this, as illustrated by optimization theory, is that India is in a relatively secure position but with highly assertive civil–military relations, driving it toward an assured retaliation nuclear posture that emphasizes firm civilian control over the arsenal.

Keywords:   India, assured retaliation, nuclear weapons, domestic political considerations, civil–military relations, civilian control

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