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  • Should India Sign the Convention on Supplementary Compensation?

    This paper argues that the CSC does not confer any benefit to India and that it may in fact prove to be detrimental to Indian interests and why it should, therefore, not be signed.

    October 27, 2010

    Thinking about Pakistan's Nuclear Security in Peacetime, Crisis and War

    Thinking about Pakistan's Nuclear Security in Peacetime, Crisis and War

    This essay seeks to collate, sort through, and organise the reams of publicly available information and speculation to provide a systematic assessment of Pakistan’s nuclear security.

    The Nuclear Posture Review: Not a Credible Game-Changer for Nuclear North Korea

    The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) emphasis two realities, first the challenge of nuclear terrorism and proliferation; and second, it affirms the end of the Cold War rivalries. But the “resetting” of relationship with Moscow had created an enemy vacuum for the U.S. To fill this gap, North Korea has been constructed as an enemy which justifies the continuity of the “nuclear umbrella” in the Northeast Asian region. But as an asymmetrical, surrogate enemy it is actually the pretext to maintain ‘critical bases’ in Northeast Asia which functions as hubs for U.S. global military power projection.

    July 2010

    Iran and the IAEA: Continuing Contentions

    The latest IAEA report dated September 6, 2010 to the Board of Governors, delineating Iran’s compliance or otherwise with the provisions and requirements of the IAEA and UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, indicates that contentious issues have not been resolved. As sanctions tighten, the US, China and Russia have urged Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA.

    September 10, 2010

    India's Response Options to Pakistani Nuclear First Use

    The promise of 'massive' nuclear retaliation may prove inadequate in staying Pakistani nuclear hand in face of Indian offensives. Inflicting 'unacceptable damage' may appear disproportionate to its leadership if in response to lower order nuclear first use. Therefore, nuclear retaliation could well be of quid pro quo or quid pro quo plus levels with damage not amounting to an 'unacceptable' order.

    April 2010

    North Korea's Nuclear Issue: Security Implications for Asia

    The security environment of Asia is threatened by the nuclear weapons development programme by North Korea. Threats of economic sanctions by denying economic aid and resolutions by the UN Security Council to punish Kim Jong-il regime have only reinforced Pyongyang's resolve to pursue its chosen path. Not only the future of the Six-Party Talks seems uncertain, there seems to have little hope to bring the recalcitrant country to the negotiating table.

    April 2010

    If India Tests? The Implications for the Indo-U.S. Civil-Nuclear Deal

    In the event of a test, it’s a safe bet that several factors will play into determining U.S. response. This response will be constrained by the strength of the U.S.-India relationship. Further, due to India's deepening nuclear ties with the rest of the world, any U.S. response may have only a modest impact on India.

    August 26, 2010

    The Civil Nuclear Liability Bill

    This study attempts to put the Bill in some perspective in relation to the Indian energy security, the protection that needs to be afforded to the Indian public in case of a nuclear incident, the advancement of Indian nuclear industry in the global market, taking into account all national and international factors.

    July 23, 2010

    Jens Heinrich asked: Why is nuclear (and conventional) arms control a "non-issue" in the current (and past) talks between India and Pakistan?

    A. Vinod Kumar replies: Nuclear or conventional arms control could figure as a key element in a dialogue only when it amounts to be the most potent point of contention between the two states or when it makes a drastic transformation in the equation. In the case of India and Pakistan where the core political issues are terrorism and Kashmir, quasi-political matters like water-sharing, arms control or nuclear confidence-building measures could only follow a larger political understanding. It could be noted that this point has not been achieved in the Indo-Pak talks. Another factor is the element of stability that is perceivably existent in the nuclear equation of these two countries.

    Though Pakistan had fought a limited war in Kargil and has undertaken a prolonged low-intensity conflict, both under nuclear conditions, and notwithstanding the Western notion of South Asia as a nuclear flashpoint, there were very few opportunities when both countries went the extra mile on nuclear Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) – the two instances being the agreement to abstain from attacking nuclear facilities and giving prior notice of missile tests. While the potential for nuclear or conventional CBMs to dramatically impact this relationship is minimal when the core political issues remain unresolved, such measures could be significant when there is threat of conflict escalation, leading to nuclear brinkmanship. Besides, there are conditions like an Indian push for ballistic missile defences, which could prompt Pakistan to seek countermeasures or push for arms reductions in the region.

    US Sanctions on Iran and their Impact on India

    Will the recent US Treasury sanctions and impending Congress sanctions on Iran influence Indian companies from doing business with the Islamic Republic?

    June 21, 2010