South Asian Nuclear Deterrence Instability: Challenges and Opportunities
1st Edition Year: 2015
Edition: First edition
As argued throughout this paper, in order to understand the complex reasons behind the lack of India–Pakistan NDS it is important to examine the causes of the enmity between them, the product of a historic rivalry largely based on territorial disputes. Whereas the United States and the former Soviet Union achieved relative stability at the nuclear level, their disdain for one another was channeled through proxy wars that increased instability at the sub-conventional level, as exemplified by the protracted Vietnam War. India and Pakistan, however, are locked into instability at the nuclear, conventional and sub-conventional levels, a situation made worse by their close geographical proximity and ongoing disputes over natural resources. In reality, the the small steps Delhi and Islamabad have taken over the last three decades – namely the half-hearted implementation of various confidence building measures (CBM) – have done little to promote NDS. The study identifies four prominent factors which could potentially improve India–Pakistan NDS: increased regional economic integration; domestic politics in favor of détente; a precedent of successful treaties; and the involvement of external arbiters in reducing South Asian nuclear deterrence instability.
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