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Does India Need Tactical Nuclear Weapons?

janon

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There are some scenarios i can think of where tactical weapons can be used without Instigating A full scale countervalue Nuclear retalliation by India.
Incase it is used inside our territory and against Indian Invadeing forces only when our conventional forces cannot stop them.
It is not about India clearly stating it or not , It just doesn't make sense. It will be a very disproportionate response :undecided:
It is India's stated position that any use of nukes on it's territory or it's forces will invite a disproportionate and all out nuclear response. The reason that bolded part is part of our doctrine, is precisely to show that it doesn't matter on who's territory it happens.

It does make sense, from India's POV - because we have a no first use policy. This part of our doctrine is a deterrent to smaller forces from using the nuke on us as a way to tackle our conventional superiority. It would be senseless if we had a no first use policy, and did not lay it out plain that any use of tactical nukes would invite a strategic response. Because in such a case, it wouldn't matter how much conventional superiority we have against Pakistan - as soon as our divisions or battle groups move into Pakistan, they can simply use low yield nukes to wipe them out. In other words, we would have no abitility whatsoever to attack pakistan. But if we make it plain that the cost of using the nuke on our invading forces would be wiping out cities or MAD, then Pakistan will not be so trigger happy with its nukes. Losing 50 sq kilometers on the border to an Indian RAPID would not be worth risking losing the entire country.

In other words, this policy of ours is meant to enforce a red line.
 
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@Rajaraja Chola @Capt.Popeye @Mav3rick @Rashid Mahmood @nair
There are some scenarios i can think of where tactical weapons can be used without Instigating A full scale countervalue Nuclear retalliation by India.
Incase it is used inside our territory and against Indian Invadeing forces only when our conventional forces cannot stop them.
It is not about India clearly stating it or not , It just doesn't make sense. It will be a very disproportionate response :undecided:
It depends on the doctrine. For now PA have taken a stance(or is believed to be) to use tactical nukes on its own territory against invading Indian forces. Second line of you is correct. I don believe India will attempt to run over Pakistan till Islamabad, nor it is going to be very easy for IA. I think, IA might venture upto a punishing retaliatory response of 10-20km, that too mostly in Kashmir region. In that case using a nuke is will be destructive for both Pak as well as India, and we duno how kashmir's protective ecosystem will respond to a nuclear attack.
In India policy is quite clear. Attack on Indians anywhere shall be responded with full force. But since it is not specific, govt may be left to decision making at that time.
Even if Pak uses Nuke in its own territory its going to be MAD. :sad:
 

Capt.Popeye

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There are some scenarios i can think of where tactical weapons can be used without Instigating A full scale countervalue Nuclear retalliation by India.
Incase it is used inside our territory and against Indian Invadeing forces only when our conventional forces cannot stop them.
It is not about India clearly stating it or not , It just doesn't make sense. It will be a very disproportionate response :undecided:
Lol. Of course, its all about stating it and stating clearly what India's response will be and in what circumstances. Otherwise the posession of Nukes is itself meaningless; unless there is a clear statement of its use, is'nt it? :-)
That is what deterrence is all about.

And finally; lets face one thing. Nukes are disproportionate Weapons to start with. And are by their very nature, disproportionate. So their use; esp the "First Use" is also disproportionate. Then the reaction to that First Use will also be naturally disproproptionate.
 

Alpha1

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then Pakistan will not be so trigger happy with its nukes. Losing 50 sq kilometers on the border to an Indian RAPID would not be worth risking losing the entire country.
Tac nuke will ofcource will not be launched at the first site of the enemy they will used incase certain thresholds have been crossed , the thresholds vary in diffrent situations Incase Pakistan has to use Tactical Nuclear weapons , and India decides to retaliate massively, it will be met with a massive retalliation from Pakistani side too,
and i bet New Delhi knows that there will be no winners in this nuclear exchange ,
So my guess is India will not retaliate massively, because ''No one'' wants the subcontinent to become a nuclear wasteland.
so what will New Delhi do?
  • Withdraw it's troops?
  • Respond with a tactical nuclear strike?
In the former case it will be stupid to think Pakistan won't respond
Don't you think it will lead to an uncontrollable exchane and a massive nuclear exchange ; eventually?
Won't it be better if Indian troops didn't cross the border in the first place?
 

janon

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Tac nuke will ofcource will not be launched at the first site of the enemy they will used incase certain thresholds have been crossed , the thresholds vary in diffrent situations Incase Pakistan has to use Tactical Nuclear weapons , and India decides to retaliate massively, it will be met with a massive retalliation from Pakistani side too,
and i bet New Delhi knows that there will be no winners in this nuclear exchange ,

So my guess is India will not retaliate massively, because ''No one'' wants the subcontinent to become a nuclear wasteland.
so what will New Delhi do?
  • Withdraw it's troops?
  • Respond with a tactical nuclear strike?
In the former case it will be stupid to think Pakistan won't respond
Don't you think it will lead to an uncontrollable exchane and a massive nuclear exchange ; eventually?
Won't it be better if Indian troops didn't cross the border in the first place?
Now apply that logic to the other side as well. Pakistan knows that if it uses tactical nukes, the retaliation will be massive, and possibly the counter retalitation as well. Islamabad knows there will be no winners in such an exchange, so would they really use nukes (tactical or otherwise) on an Indian division, simply to prevent the capture of some border territory?

India's case is quite straightforward - we will not initiate nuclear war, but if the other side does, we will make sure that we will go all the way.

Now I want you to think carefully and answer your own question as to what India would do, if Pak used a tactical nuke on our troops. One of the choices you gave was India withdrawing its troops. You really think that ould happen? That India will send eight IBGs into Pakistan, and as soon as Pak uses a tactical nuke, we would accept defeat, withdraw our troops and start a new life? Sorry, that's not going to happen. If our soldiers are nuked, there will be no choice for us but to respond massively. That's the shallow pakistani internet warrior's way of thinking, that as soon as a Nassr is used, India will simply accept defeat and go back. I'm sure Pakistani soldiers and generals know better than to underestimate Indian willpower to such an extent. Only a non nuclear country will behave in that manner, not a nuclear one with massive conventional superiority and enough nuclear wepaons to end it all. There will be massive counter nukes on Pakistani troop concentrations, airfields and cities, and several more Indian divisions will march in. From then on, even if there are no winners, there won't be situation where Pak can simply sit back and say "Our Nasr thwarted India". Nasr is no silver bullet, and in fact there is no such silver bullet that can completely nullify massive military superiority, unless you have some technological advantage that the other side doesn't - like USA and Japan in WW2.

You should understand something - India's aims have never been to invade and conquer Pakistan - indeed, what would India do after such a deed, even if it was possible? Pakistan is a separate country, and we are far better off keeping Pakistan separate. Our aim has always been to make sure Pakistan does not take our territory, by hook or by crook. It is Pakistan that has initiated all the Kashmir wars (including the latest one at Kargil) to take Indian Kashmir. India has never tried to take Pakistani Kashmir or Punjab or SIndh, and has no desire to. So this talk of "certain thresholds and red lines" by Pakistan, by which they mean if the very existence of Pakistan being threatened by a foreign power, is never going to be reached. India is never going to try and march into Islamabad, because what exactly are we supposed to do after that? Rule Pakistan? India has two aims in a potential war - 1) If Pakistan attacks us conentionally to take Kashmir again, then prevent that from happening, as we have always done. 2) If Pakistan is a nuisance and keeps doing "non state actor" terror acts like the parliament attack or the mumbai massacre, then do punitive strikes on Pakistan to extract some form of agreement or concessions from Pakistan. In the past we have had only mixed succes on that front. We couldn't do much after the mumbai massacre, but when the parliament was attacked, and we launched op Parakram, we were able to get Pakistan to agree to a ceasefire on the border for the first time, which has held to this day, which means Pakistan de-facto accepting the LoC as a border.

Now all this talk about India's plans under the nuclear umbrella is in continuation of this, and to be launched in case of another scenario (2) described above. We would try to caputre some territory or make minor intrusions from eight different axes, and force Pakistan to come to the negotiating table from a position of weakness, without crossing the red lines.

But if Pak decides to press the nuclear button even for that, well, that's where the massive retaliation part kicks in.

All said and done, India will not atttempt to threaten the very existence of Pakistan. It will be Pakistan's choice whether to go down that road, dragging India with it. Whether the complete destruction of both countries is a fair price to pay for small intrusions, is something Pakistan will have to figure out. The very fact that they talk about the existence of red lines tells me that they know the answer.
 
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Capt.Popeye

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Tac nuke will ofcource will not be launched at the first site of the enemy they will used incase certain thresholds have been crossed , the thresholds vary in diffrent situations Incase Pakistan has to use Tactical Nuclear weapons , and India decides to retaliate massively, it will be met with a massive retalliation from Pakistani side too,
and i bet New Delhi knows that there will be no winners in this nuclear exchange ,
So my guess is India will not retaliate massively, because ''No one'' wants the subcontinent to become a nuclear wasteland.
so what will New Delhi do?
  • Withdraw it's troops?
  • Respond with a tactical nuclear strike?
In the former case it will be stupid to think Pakistan won't respond
Don't you think it will lead to an uncontrollable exchane and a massive nuclear exchange ; eventually?
Won't it be better if Indian troops didn't cross the border in the first place?
Your basic premises; aka "Guesses" are very incorrect; to start with...............................:-)
 

Bang Galore

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Won't it be better if Indian troops didn't cross the border in the first place?
It really would be better if Pakistan didn't encourage/ do something that might necessitate an Indian troop incursion. Your logic, like that of many Pakistanis here is not clear. The Pakistani bluff only works if India was deterred from crossing the border, once it has, the clear logical line that has to be followed is that India is prepared for a nuclear salvo if things were to come down to it. What is the Pakistani reaction from a logical point of view in such a scenario? Make sure that whatever provoked India to react so aggressively in the known presence of nuclear weapons is dealt with or to continue on the path of mass suicide in the aid of some "non-state" actor & some "state" supporters?
 

janon

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@Alpha1 :

I have modified my post above.

As @Bang Galore says above, as long as Pak doesn't do something to provoke India, there will be no Indian divisions crossing the border. As has been historically the case, it was always Pakistan that provoked India into doing something. India has no desire to annex Pakistan (heaven knows we can do without that), and it is Pak that wants to take Indian territrory, and since the 80s, has been using "non state actors" to cause mischief. As long as Pak doesn't do that, you can rest assured that IA will not cross the border.
 

Capt.Popeye

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It really would be better if Pakistan didn't encourage/ do something that might necessitate an Indian troop incursion. Your logic, like that of many Pakistanis here is not clear. The Pakistani bluff only works if India was deterred from crossing the border, once it has, the clear logical line that has to be followed is that India is prepared for a nuclear salvo if things were to come down to it. What is the Pakistani reaction from a logical point of view in such a scenario? Make sure that whatever provoked India to react so aggressively in the known presence of nuclear weapons is dealt with or to continue on the path of mass suicide in the aid of some "non-state" actor & some "state" supporters?

HeHeHeHeh; somebody is now talking about the very basics now; which our 'cross-border friends' including @Alpha1 are tending to overlook with the new found infatuation for "TacNukes". And which is even getting displayed in some rather "misplaced myopic mindsets" coming through in the recitation of the "Benefits of Nukes; particularly TacNukes".
One Fallacy that is on display in some views here is that posession of Nukes in the first place, precludes all possibility of Conflicts and Wars. That is incorrect. It only introduces another dimension in to the Matrix of War/Conflict. Nothing else. As we have seen already.
 

SQ8

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HeHeHeHeh; somebody is now talking about the very basics now; which our 'cross-border friends' including @Alpha1 are tending to overlook with the new found infatuation for "TacNukes". And which is even getting displayed in some rather "misplaced myopic mindsets" coming through in the recitation of the "Benefits of Nukes; particularly TacNukes".
One Fallacy that is on display in some views here is that posession of Nukes in the first place, precludes all possibility of Conflicts and Wars. That is incorrect. It only introduces another dimension in to the Matrix of War/Conflict. Nothing else. As we have seen already.
Yet, on the flip side; the presence of Tac nukes and other nuklar weapons suggests that any pokes or incursions all have the very real and very guaranteed possibility leading to nuclear apocalypto for both. Hence, the suggestion that tac nookes prevent war.. or that "total" retaliation prevents tac nookes and ipso facto buys "victory" is rather dubiously a shady grey(if there werent enough adjectives yet). The whole lynchpin in all these cold shuruwats and tic tac nookes is the calculation of Indian leadership in such decisions. Are they prepared to sustain the cost/benefits of whatever moves get them the results? Are they willing to bet on the absence of the martydom insane in Pakistan's command structure? Will they accept the death of millions(and the ruined life of a collective billion) in the subcontinent on these calculations?

Quite simply, I doubt it now. I dont see strategic land grab incursions nor do I think they will have the success that is so associated with them. 5 troops dead the the LoC.. a Chopper too close to the LoC brought down.. or perhaps in the Kutch...that is the worst both sides will dare to do to each other now...

..Unless, Pakistans nuclear capability is compromised.. and by compromise I do not refer to being destroyed.. but rather neutered. How, who and why I leave to everybody's imagination(of which there is plenty as is evidenced)
 

Capt.Popeye

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Yet, on the flip side; the presence of Tac nukes and other nuklar weapons suggests that any pokes or incursions all have the very real and very guaranteed possibility leading to nuclear apocalypto for both. Hence, the suggestion that tac nookes prevent war.. or that "total" retaliation prevents tac nookes and ipso facto buys "victory" is rather dubiously a shady grey(if there werent enough adjectives yet). The whole lynchpin in all these cold shuruwats and tic tac nookes is the calculation of Indian leadership in such decisions. Are they prepared to sustain the cost/benefits of whatever moves get them the results? Are they willing to bet on the absence of the martydom insane in Pakistan's command structure? Will they accept the death of millions(and the ruined life of a collective billion) in the subcontinent on these calculations?

Quite simply, I doubt it now. I dont see strategic land grab incursions nor do I think they will have the success that is so associated with them. 5 troops dead the the LoC.. a Chopper too close to the LoC brought down.. or perhaps in the Kutch...that is the worst both sides will dare to do to each other now...

..Unless, Pakistans nuclear capability is compromised.. and by compromise I do not refer to being destroyed.. but rather neutered. How, who and why I leave to everybody's imagination(of which there is plenty as is evidenced)

Yes , of course. The reality is simply this........Nukes will not prevent War/Conflicts, but Nukes will certainly prevent only Nuke Wars/Conflicts.
That is all that they are good for.

Total War is not a scenario in the Sub-Continental Context and has NEVER been one. The closest that we saw to that was 1971. Occupation/Over-running a Country is hardly a Military Aim now. Warfare and its aims have changed radically from the "Classical Sense" of the term that we so easily (and amusingly) fall back upon. Even the meanings of the terms Victory/Defeat are very different in contemporary times.

Most of all Conflict/Warfare is waged by many means, which have lesser to do with Guns, Shells, Bombs and Nuklear Bumbs than with other means; that I do feel amused that there is so much sabre-rattling around Nukes now.
 
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SQ8

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Yes , of course. The reality is simply this........Nukes will not prevent War/Conflicts, but Nukes will certainly prevent only Nuke Wars/Conflicts.
That is all that they are good for.

Total War is not a scenario in the Sub-Continental Context and has NEVER been one. The closest that we saw to that was 1971. Occupation/Over-running is hardly a Military Aim now. Warfare and its aims have changed radically from the "Classical Sense" of the term that we so easily (and amusingly) fall back upon. Even the meanings of the terms Victory/Defeat are very different in contemporary times.

Most of all Conflict/Warfare is waged by many means, which have lesser to do with Guns, Shells, Bombs and Nuklear Bumbs than with other means; that I do feel amused that there is so much sabre-rattling around Nukes now.
You tend to rattle whatever you have.. You can be a PhD and wave your degree all around in the air.. but chances are the street smart 6th standard pass is going to run circles around you in the trade business and make millions while you are telling your first contact about your thesis.
 

Capt.Popeye

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You tend to rattle whatever you have.. You can be a PhD and wave your degree all around in the air.. but chances are the street smart 6th standard pass is going to run circles around you in the trade business and make millions while you are telling your first contact about your thesis.
That @Oscar is really a "good one" :tup:
Very succintly put.
 

asad71

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Tactical nukes are also nukes. Any side using one will in fact see the start of a no-holds barred use of nukes.
 

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