Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia: Crisis Behaviour and the Bomb

Front Cover
Sumit Ganguly, S. Paul Kapur
Taylor & Francis, Aug 6, 2008 - Political Science - 252 pages
2 Reviews

This edited volume explores competing perspectives on the impact of nuclear weapons proliferation on the South Asian security environment.

The spread of nuclear weapons is one of the world’s foremost security concerns. The effect of nuclear weapons on the behaviour of newly nuclear states, and the potential for future international crises, are of particular concern. As a region of burgeoning economic and political importance, South Asia offers a crucial test of proliferation’s effects on the crisis behaviour of newly nuclear states. This volume creates a dialogue between scholars who believe that nuclear weapons have stabilized the subcontinent, and those who believe that nuclear weapons have made South Asia more conflict prone. It does so by pairing competing analyses of four major regional crises: the 1987 "Brasstacks" crisis, the Indo-Pakistani crisis of 1990, the 1999 Kargil war, which occurred after the nuclear tests; and the 2001–2 Indo-Pakistani militarized standoff. In addition, the volume explores the implications of the South Asian nuclear experience for potential new nuclear states such as North Korea and Iran.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

by muhammad shoaib.
Introduction:
This edited volume explores competing perspectives on the impact of nuclear weapons proliferation on the South Asian security environment
.
The spread of nuclear weapons is one of the world's foremost security concerns. The effect of nuclear weapons on the behaviour of newly nuclear states, and the potential for future international crises, are of particular concern. As a region of burgeoning economic and political importance, South Asia offers a crucial test of proliferation's effects on the crisis behaviour of newly nuclear states. This volume creates a dialogue between scholars who believe that nuclear weapons have stabilized the subcontinent, and those who believe that nuclear weapons have made South Asia more conflict prone. It does so by pairing competing analyses of four major regional crises: the 1987 "Brasstacks" crisis, the Indo-Pakistani crisis of 1990, the 1999 Kargil war, which occurred after the nuclear tests; and the 2001-2 Indo-Pakistani militarized standoff. In addition, the volume explores the implications of the South Asian nuclear experience for potential new nuclear states such as North Korea and Iran.
For the most part, the evidence of the 1990s would seem to suggest that the stability and prosperity of Asia-Pacific have flowed in part from the widespread adherence by regional countries to the non-proliferation norms and regimes, the centrepiece of which is the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT dates back to 1968 when seventy states signed the NPT, which came into force in 1970. Since then, the number of states party to the NPT has increased considerably. By now, 176 states have signed the treaty and thus opted to give up nuclear power for military purposes. Some states, for example, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Romania, gave up their nuclear stockpiling programme. Algeria, after building up a large nuclear research facility with China's support, eventually joined the NPT in January 1995.
But the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in May 1998 shattered the strategic status quo on the sub-continent, fuelling global concerns that the two long-time protagonists were moving close to a nuclear confrontation. By exploding ten nuclear bombs in two weeks, India and Pakistan together have blown the nuclear non-proliferation regime to pieces and fundamentally altered the nuclear balance of power. In April, things got worse when India tested a missile capable of carrying this nuclear device. The campaign for nuclear disarmament is failing just when success seemed at hand. A Nuclear Weapons Convention based on the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention could be one way out of the imbroglio. But the harsh reality is that none of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council is contemplating the idea of dismantling its nuclear weapons. The new nuclear arms race arguably calls into question the nature and durability of the US leadership in world affairs.
The political and strategic after-shocks were felt beyond the borders of India and Pakistan. Strategic analysts, security planners and policy-makers even in Australia became worded about the balance of power implications, the consequences for the non-nuclear proliferation regime, and the spillover effects for the Asia-Pacific region. Such worries were demonstrated in a seminar entitled 'India and Pakistan: A New Nuclear Weapons Imbroglio', organised by the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, held on 21 August 1998 and the US Deputy Secretary of Defence Strobe Talbot's most recent visit and talks in Islamabad over nuclear non-proliferation. This nuclear proliferation in South Asia has raised the need to re-examine the question of nuclear non-proliferation within the context of international security. This article aims to focus attention upon arguments about substance and mandate rethinking basic issues. In my discussions, I am guided by the vision of
 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

To Read

About the author (2008)

Sumit Ganguly is a professor of political science, holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations, and is director of research of the Center on American and Global Security at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 15 books on South Asia.

S. Paul Kapur is associate professor in the Department of Strategic Research, U.S. Naval War College, and visiting professor at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Bibliographic information