US Nuclear Posture Review 2018 – Indian Perspective & Adaptation

The United Nuclear Posture Review 2018 (NPR) provides an excellent backdrop for reconsidering India’s strategic posture which unlike the United States is faced with the dilemma of confrontation in multiple dimensions – nuclear, conventional and sub-conventional. The United States has shifted to a threat based rather than a capability-based approach in the NPR indicating a realist perspective which presages force as a principal element in countering adversaries. Indian nuclear and conventional approach is threat based and is gradually progressing to a threat cum capability based though this may fructify in a later time frame. In the nuclear spectrum, India faces two potential adversaries China and Pakistan. China’s minimalist atomic doctrine with a civilisational approach of “No First Use,” replicates that of India in many ways, yet investments in the conventional forces modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) poses a dilemma given the slow process of capacity building of the Indian Armed Forces. In case the conventional force capability gap between India and China increases than there could be a call amongst elements of the Indian strategic community to expand the nuclear arsenal to meet the threat..............

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