India’s Nuclear Deterrent: A desire for Immunity

Generation Why: South Asian Voices, Stimson Center, January 22, 2015

Aditi Malhotra, Senior Research Fellow, National Institute of Advanced Studies

gen why“While Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent is for security, India’s is for status.” As soon as I read these words, I wondered if the terms ‘security’ and ‘status’ are mutually exclusive when understanding South Asia’s nuclear deterrent. Also, if ‘security’ is the right term to use for the Indian context. Scholars have asserted that India’s nuclear deterrent is merely for status, prestige, or greater global recognition. While the arguments are interesting and much needed for greater academic debate, the premise on which the viewpoint rests has some inherent gaps. This post points out the gaps and asserts that India’s nuclear deterrent is for security.

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