The Strategy Trap: India and Pakistan Under the Nuclear Shadow

Air Cmde Arjun Subramaniam is a serving officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF). The views offered are his own and do not reflect the views of the IAF.
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  • January-March 2019

    Ever since India and Pakistan emerged as declared nuclear weapon states in 1998, national security ideation in both countries has factored in the nuclear dimension in significantly different ways. While Pakistan views its nuclear arsenal as an offensive weapon against what it perceives to be an existential threat from India and a conduit to wage a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), India has a nuanced perspective of nuclear weapons as primarily a credible deterrent and not a weapon of war fighting. How these divergent perspectives have shaped both Indian and Pakistani security doctrines and strategies over the past few decades is what the author, Lieutenant General Prakash Menon attempts to explain in his recent book, The Strategy Trap: India and Pakistan Under the Nuclear Shadow. Apart from being an accomplished practitioner-scholar, his stint as a Military Advisor to the National Security Advisor adds significant value to his narrative, albeit within an overarching limitation of caution and restraint that comes after being part of the inner circle of national security decision making.

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