Author : Arun Prakash

Two important developments, within this eventful month, have served to significantly alter India’s strategic profile in the region: the commissioning of the nuclear-propelled attack submarine, INS Chakra, and the successful test-firing of the 5,000-km-range ballistic missile Agni V. Since both convey strong messages in the context of China’s hegemonic intent, they have the potential to be regional “game-changers”; the former by altering the maritime balance of power in the Indian Ocean, and the latter by providing a much-needed boost to the credibility of India’s 14-year-old nuclear deterrence.

The long-awaited launch of Agni V has led to justifiable jubilation amongst DRDO scientists and aroused a degree of jingoistic pride among the citizenry. The purists, who are quibbling over whether this range entitles the weapon to be dubbed an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) or merely an intermediate-range missile, should note that the distance from Jorhat in Assam to Khabarovsk, in the Russian far east, right across China, is just about 4,200 km. However, those dancing on the streets must also bear in mind that for India, committed as it is to “no first use”, Agni V is neither a weapon of war nor a sabre for rattling. It will become a vital component of India’s nuclear deterrent, whose sole purpose is the prevention of nuclear war.

At the same time, the diehard pacifists in our midst would do well to recall the ancient Athenian wisdom that, in a realist world, “The strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must.” Even short of war, there is much that India needs to guard against — coercion, compellence, arm-twisting and blackmail — in order to retain its strategic autonomy. Given that our current geo-political environment is fraught with hazards, Agni V should bring reassurance to our security planners. As we undertake a realistic assessment of the impact of this weapon-system on our security, it is important to strike a balance between hyper-scepticism, of which enough will be forthcoming from foreign detractors, and delusionary self-congratulation that Indians are prone to indulge in. In the strategic arena, it is important to keep one’s feet firmly on the ground because others, especially potential adversaries, will be undertaking detailed and painstaking appraisals of our newfound capability on their own.

While it was heartening to hear the DRDO chief V.K. Saraswat declaring Agni V to be 80 per cent indigenous, one hopes that the remaining 20 per cent, which comes from external sources, does not pertain to vital technologies such as the solid-propellant rocket motor or the high-precision guidance system. The effectiveness of this missile as a weapon of deterrence will be a function of its accuracy and the explosive yield of its nuclear warhead. Since boosted-fission nuclear warheads are India’s preferred choice, their limited yield of 200-300 kilotonnes demands much higher navigational accuracies so that detonation takes place close enough to the intended target to inflict “unacceptable” damage. This would require the missile to impact within a few tens of metres after traversing 5,000 km. Given their past record, Indian scientists are perfectly capable of mastering these technologies, but should there be any gaps, they need to be bridged at the earliest.

India’s security planners have, so far, downplayed the significance of numbers as far as nuclear warheads and their missile carriers are concerned, and remained vaguely coy while defining a “minimum” deterrent. However, numbers assume critical significance for a “no-first-use” power such as India because it has to risk losing a major part of its arsenal to a first strike, before retaliating with its residual weapons. India’s tardy decision-making and slow production rates have resulted in even Pakistan overtaking us in terms of number of warheads and variety of carrier missiles. It is important that as soon as Agni V completes its test programme, sufficient resources are dedicated to its serial production in sufficient numbers.

In a related context, even the mobility of a containerised truck or rail-mounted Agni V may not provide it immunity from an adversary first strike because very little remains hidden from aero-space surveillance nowadays. It is, therefore, essential that the technological gains of this programme be used to produce a new class of missiles capable of underwater launch from nuclear submarines like the Arihant, or her sisters in the offing. Only then will India’s nuclear deterrent become truly invulnerable and credible.

In the midst of all this excitement, it is important not to lose sight of the overarching strategic vision which must underpin these undertakings and where we seem to be lacking considerably. In the paradigm that India has chosen to follow, the scientific lobby enjoys exclusive and unfettered access to the apex political authority, whereas the users of their end-product (the armed forces) have no say. Not only has the PM been deprived of strategic advice from the end-user of weapon systems, but time and cost overruns as well as performance deficits in our strategic programmes go unchecked.

Now that India aspires to be a major power, it is essential that we create institutions which will not only help us take major decisions regarding strategic technological programmes, such as anti-ballistic missile defence or space warfare, in a rational manner but also subject them to close oversight.

(The writer is a retired chief of naval staff and the former chairman of the National Maritime Foundation. This article first appeared in the Indian Express on April 23.)
redirect link online
why do wife cheat men and women how to cheat on husband
married men that cheat why men cheat on beautiful women why do men have affairs
spy cell phone tracking how to spy on cell phone spy text messages
free aids testing aids hiv prevention aids treatment news
why do men cheat on their wife dating for married men
wanting to cheat go just found out my husband cheated on me
how to tell if wife has cheated my wife cheated
marriage counselor joke classic adult jokes jokes stories humor funny adult japanese love stories wife adult stories
kristens adult stories hindi erotic sex stories
sex stories in hindi written adult stories with animals and humans having sex
statistics about abortion surgical aspiration abortion
adult intimate sex stories erotic sex adult stories fiction free
walgreens prints coupon codes click walgreens photo prints coupon
celecoxib 200mg thyroxine 50mcg
dapoxetine 60mg viagra 25mg
drug discount coupons site pfizer viagra coupons
viagra coupon 2016 viagra free coupon
acheter viagra en france livraison 48h acheter viagra en france livraison 48h
cialis coupons 2015 prescription savings cards
prescription coupon card read discount prescription drug card
cialis cvs coupon cheap cialis
voltaren dolo voltaren dolo voltaren dispers
gino-canesten creme gino-canesten corrimento rosado
chloramphenicol krema read chloramphenicol mast bez recepta
cyklokapron cyklokapron dosering
prescription discount coupon free discount prescription cards new prescription coupon
free discount prescription card cialis coupon lilly
microlite pill when to start microlite spc
oxcarbazepine mylan oxcarbazepin
verapamil wikipedia verapamil horton
abortion pills cost facts on abortion pill third trimester abortion pill
how much do abortion pill cost chemical abortion pill
losartan pro medicin losartankalium
cialis trial coupon prescription drug coupons cialis coupon lilly
types of abortion pill how to have an abortion pill pros and cons of abortion
clomid testosterone clomid proviron
vermox vermox vermox sirup
about abortion pill how much is the abortion pill definition of abortion pill
clomid proviron clomid clomid
non surgical abortion pill abortion pill information abortion pill complications
cialis free sample coupons free cialis coupon cialis sample coupon
abortion pill laws medical abortion pill
information on abortion pill herbal abortion pill medical abortion cost
amoxicillin antibiyotik fiyat amoxicillin antibiyotik fiyat amoxicilline
vermox mikor hat vermox prospect
how late can you get an abortion pill how much is a abortion pill abortion pill cost
chemical abortion pill abortion pill services abortion pill quotes
voltaren nedir voltaren nedir voltaren ampul
cialis 20 mg cialis kopiprodukter
addiyar newspaper addyi addyi
abortion pill clinics in md abortion pill process abortions cost
acetazolamide spc acetazolamide 250 mg tablets
amoxicilline amoxicillin antibiyotik fiyat
low dose naltrexone australia injectable naltrexone naltrexone weight gain
naltrexone generic name injection for alcohol craving
naloxone alcohol treatment go naltraxone implant
naltrexone cocaine naltrexone used for
naltrezone link naltrexone food addiction
desloratadin 0 5mg desloratadin und alkohol desloratadin fexofenadin
lidocain nebenwirkungen lidocain synthesis lidocain zahnmedizin

Back To Top