By Rajesh Rajagopalan, Atul Mishra

This dictionary offers a entire and prepared advisor to the main innovations, matters, people, and applied sciences on the topic of the nuclear programmes of India and Pakistan and different South Asian states. this can function an invaluable reference specifically because the nuclear factor remains to be a tremendous household and overseas coverage concern.

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What role do external powers have in controlling such escalation? Looking forward is necessarily a speculative exercise. There are limits to considering how decision-makers might behave in crises, especially one that possibly directly threatens their own lives. having said that, we judge that the threat of nuclear escalation in South Asia is very unlikely, though not impossible. Though nuclear crises could involve a number of scenarios including nuclear accidents, we consider here only nuclear crises resulting from deliberate state behavior.

Just a few weeks after the test, in late August 1998, Prime Minister Vajpayee told the indian parliament that india would only maintain a minimum nuclear deterrent force and that the indian deterrent force would be guided by the principle of not using nuclear weapons first and not using them at all against non-nuclear states. A few months later, Prime Minister Vajpayee restated many of these points in parliament but suggested a couple of additions: the importance of the minimum deterrent force being also credible, and the need for the force to be survivable.

Second, intelligence sharing by external intelligence agencies, especially about terrorist planning and attacks could prevent a crisis. The US is best placed to do this, though some european powers could also potentially help. Such intelligence sharing and public and private warnings could reduce Pakistan’s incentives. in addition, if there are divisions within the Pakistani establishment, such warnings can help more moderate elements rein in extremist elements. After a crisis begins, international involvement remains the best means to prevent escalation.

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