Deterrence in the Twenty-first Century

Deterrence in the twenty-first century - Air University Press


retariat, the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), is an able threestar

general, who recently retired from the army.

To stabilise their nuclear relationship, both countries agreed

in June 2004 that their nuclear capabilities constitute a factor

for stability. Since then, several nuclear confidence-building

measures have been agreed upon and implemented. These include

the June 2004 agreement to establish a dedicated hotline

between the two foreign secretaries to reduce nuclear risks, the

October 2005 agreement on the advanced notification of ballistic

missile flight tests, and the February 2007 agreement focused

on reducing risks from accidents relating to nuclear

weapons. On 1 January 2009, both countries exchanged their

lists of nuclear installations for the eighteenth successive year

in relation to their 1998 agreement on prohibition of attack

against nuclear installations and facilities. Yet, these nuclear

confidence-building measures needed to be bolstered and institutionalised

to ensure that misperceptions and misunderstandings

are reduced during periods of tension. Hostile nuclear

signalling has been carried out by both countries during

past conflicts and crises. In the Kargil conflict, Pakistan conveyed

only veiled nuclear signals to India, even as a former

senior Clinton administration official claimed in May 2002 that

Pakistan was preparing its nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles for

possible deployment at the height of the conflict in July 1999. 21

In contrast, the 2001–2 military confrontation demonstrated

unprecedented nuclear signalling—in the form of forceful public

pronouncements and flight-tests of ballistic missiles—between

the two countries, amidst the disruption of normal diplomatic

channels of communication for much of the time. Both

countries sent signals on nuclear as well as conventional matters

with their public statements or deafening silences, with

the issuance of provocative and inflammatory statements, and

with subsequent denials or clarifications. These signals were

multiple in nature, carried out at multiple levels, and addressed

to multiple constituencies, to their domestic audiences, to each

other, and to the United States and the United Kingdom.

Whereas New Delhi wanted the United States and the United

Kingdom to help pressure Pakistan to cease cross-border infiltration

of militants into Indian-controlled Kashmir, Islamabad

wanted the United States and the United Kingdom to restrain


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