India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation

Front Cover
University of California Press, 2001 - History - 641 pages
2 Reviews
"The most likely site for a nuclear war is the Indian subcontinent, but we have little understanding of India's nuclear program. This will change with George Perkovich's fascinating and important study. It is informed, free from bias, and a great read as well."--Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics, Columbia University
"George Perkovich has written a comprehensive and thoughtful book on one of the most troubling security problems of the day--the introduction of nuclear weapons to the already dangerous confrontation between India and Pakistan." --William J. Perry, Professor, Stanford University, Former US Secretary of Defense
"George Perkovich's India's Nuclear Bomb is an authoritative account in Indian decision-making. I have found no other statement as comprehensive and persuasive. It provides unique insights into Indian politics and is an invaluable contribution to American thinking about nonproliferation." --Frank G. Wisner, U.S. Ambassador to India, 1994-1997
"With a great deal of empathy and understanding of the Indian psyche, George Perkovich leads us through contradictory perceptions of events to give us a sense of the evolution of nuclear decision making in India. What emerges is a highly nuanced and sensitive narration of the complex interaction between domestic and external factors that led to the nuclear tests of May, 1998 and the shattering of a number of Indian and international myths about nuclear weapons and their role in global politics." --K. Subrahmanyam, Consulting Editor The Times of India and The Economic Times, Chairman, Indian National Security Advisory Board
"George Perkovich's book is one I wish I had written. India's Nuclear Bomb appears at a critical moment in global nuclear history, and it will have an important impact on the current policy debate in the United States, India, and Pakistan, as well as on the future histories of Indian politics and international security policy." --Stephen Cohen, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC

What people are saying - Write a review

India's nuclear bomb: the impact on global proliferation

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Perkovich (W. Alton Jones Foundation) painstakingly describes the evolution of India's nuclear arsenal from 1947 to 1998. The stockpile resulted not from military need but rather from the efforts of ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

BY Allama Muhammad Yousuf Gabriel
Books on the topic of Islamic Bomb have appeared in World Press. These books, as well might have been expected, are based on a particular design, and having a politico-journalistic, quasi-technical, and strategic approach interwoven with nuclear statutory fabric having a tinge of plaintive hue interlined with reproaches. The overall spectacle of these books is that of a woman accusing, altercating, bickering, hurling defiance at the adversary and expressing regret at the wrong and the folly of the other. Two books of this kind have appeared in English language, and both could be expected to deal with the same questions in the same field, and having similar approach. Even if two hundred had been produced, they would have the same pattern. Such books even if written with admirable ability, in great detail and with exquisite beauty, could excite neither appreciation in me, nor could be of much benefit from my point of view, for they do not touch the real base of the problem, and merely play about in the outer crest of the malady, while treatment of the topic "Islamic Bomb" should be basic, philosophic and should be concerned with the fundamental points of nuclear science. Let it be remembered, that unless the basic root of this nuclear problem is held, and eradicated, no superfluous or partial treatment will be of any avail, till ultimately the last stage of the process has arrived in the flames of the nuclear hell, to eradicate this mankind, and indeed all life on earth in actual misery, affliction and disgrace.
Of these books one is named as "Pakistan's Islamic Bomb" and is written by Maj.Gen. D.K.Plait and P.K.S. Namboodiri jointly, both of India. It appears strange to observe that these authors regard the nuclear threat as a universal threat to all life on earth, and they negate the efficacy of the nuclear proliferation treaty, and yet instead of tackling the problem with a view to ridding the world of this plague, they dwell at length and exclusively on the nuclear war strategies, preparations, precautions, tactics of assault and defence besides trying to shift the blame on the other party. How deeply this world appears to have been hypnotized by the nuclear doom, may be judged from these books, whose authors, whether they themselves know it or not, may be seen as men playing with the brands snatched from the fire which is consuming their own house. These authors appear in their seemingly capable discussions of their topic, as completely ignorant of and indifferent to the real nature of nuclear phenomenon and its consequent hazards. How dearly it is wished that they had known that no other alternative was left for this mankind but either to vanish under the hails of atomic bombs suddenly, deservedly, or to perish, slowly, lingeringly and deservedly under the stings of deadly radiations in misery and affliction after a spell of existence on earth as cancer-ridden chimeras.
The book, “Pakistan’s Islamic Bomb" revolves about the Pakistani nuclear bomb, and the effects of its birth on Indian nuclear programme. The two countries being neighbours with constantly estanged mutual relations.
The line of argument assumed by these authors to prove the necessity and the subsequent birth of the Pakistani nuclear bomb is this: that because Israel has the nuclear bomb and Arabs have not, the Arabs will want to have one. Further because the Arabs have the necessary money but Pakistanis have not, and because the Pakistanis have the necessary talent for building a nuclear bomb which the Arabs have not, the Arabs will want Pakistan to build a nuclear bomb for the Arabs. And because the Pakistanis and not the Arabs will build the nuclear bomb, it is natural that it is the Pakistanis that will be in command of the bomb built by them for the Arabs. But what is really worrying these authors are the point that Pakistanis will retain some nuclear bombs for India, being their close adversary. India will thus be




Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2001)

George Perkovich is Director of the Secure World Program of the W. Alton Jones Foundation and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. His work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the Washington Post, and other publications.

Bibliographic information