Nayyar, 12 - Research Fellow at Institute of Strategic Studies (Ghazala, “Nuclear Deterrence”, May 23, 2012, Business Recorder, Vol. XLVIII No. 143, lexis)//AE
'Democrats always assure us that deterrence will work, but when the time comes to deter, they're against it' Nuclear weapons are believed to be used as a 'political tool' rather than as a 'strategic weapon' to be used in wars.¶It is widely accepted that democracies are less conflict-prone. But in the transitional phase of democratisation, countries become more aggressive and fight wars with other democracies.¶ The paramount function of nuclear weapons was to deter a nuclear attack. Nuclear deterrence was not considered a tool of non-proliferation. The primary instruments for halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons were the non-proliferation regime established by the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968.¶ The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.¶ In order to attain security, states sought the acquisition of nuclear weapons. The concept of credible nuclear deterrence remains effective against rogue states' use of WMD, if not against attacks by obsessive terrorist organisations.¶Unlike terrorist groups, rogue states have critical assets that can be held hostage to the threat of devastating retaliation, although no rogue state has ever used WMD against an enemy capable of such retaliation¶ In the perspective of Pakistan and India, the imperative peak is the benefits and disadvantages of the development of nuclear weapons by each of these adversaries is as a possible precedence for further proliferation and as a means by which to deter and prevent a regional conflict.¶The stability of nuclear deterrence between the two countries is therefore a matter of great urgency. In the context of Pakistan and India this entails that neither state has the enticement to go into a major conflict, knowing that the other has nuclear weapons, for doing so would apparently lead to a nuclear exchange.¶ The recent India-Pakistan crises have played out under a deepening US engagement in South Asia, though the possibility of intervention may help stabilise the regional deterrent balance, it might also have the opposite effect: either Pakistan, or India or both, may have incentives to amplify their confrontational intentions in order to raise American fears of a nuclear war, in the hope that US intervention might lead to a product more favourable to their regional interests.¶ South Asian deterrence is a dynamic circumstance, in which both states have experimented with escalation, Pakistan in the 1999 Kargil War and India in 2001-02 intentionally cut-off all direct communication, instead signalling provocatively through indirect means and major military mobilisation along the international border, only to see the strategy backfire and the US intervention temporarily limited rather than expanded their strategic options.¶ Civil-military relations in both India and the United States were greatly affected by the development of nuclear weapons.¶ The presence of nuclear weapons raised new and different questions for the division of industry between civilians and the military.¶ The September 11 terrorist attacks on US territory have transformed calculations about the threats posed by non-state actors, especially those who largely are inspired by a global, anti-state ideology such as the al Qaeda network.¶ Since the 11 September incident, a new dimension has arisen the possible possession and use of nuclear weapons by terrorists and non-state actors.¶ Structural designs for nuclear weapons and other such materials were seized from the underground hideouts of the al Qaeda terrorist groups in Afghanistan. John F. Kennedy said, 'we all inhabit this small planet, we all breath the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal.' The involvement of non-state actors on the international scene after the post-9/11 era, has questioned the credibility of nuclear deterrence.¶The asymmetric warfare is taking the world into a new dimension where nuclear deterrence seems anachronistic. Hence lot more is required to be done in the ongoing debate.