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India-Pakistan Nuclear War Would Leave 125 Million People Dead

peagle

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The tragic result of two adversaries armed to the teeth with more than 280 nuclear warheads between them.

Here's What You Need to Remember: There are even questions about New Delhi rethinking its nuclear no-first-use doctrinePakistan’s nuclear doctrine remains purposely ambiguous, with the Pakistani military stating that Islamabad would not hesitate to use a tactical nuclear weapon to defend itself against a conventional Indian invasion.

India and Pakistan, two nuclear-armed rivals with one of the world’s oldest, unresolved territorial disputes, have fought three wars and numerous skirmishes. The two countries nearly went to war again in 1999 when Pakistani troops crossed the Line of Control into Kargil, an offensive that could have spiraled into a full-blown nuclear exchange were it not for firm crisis diplomacy led by President Bill Clinton and his national security adviser, Sandy Berger.

Because of the adversarial history, the intense regional competition, and nationalistic politics in both countries, there has always been a dark question hovering over the India-Pakistan relationship: what would happen if New Delhi and Islamabad used their nuclear weapons during a conflict?
Ten researchers across the United States gamed out scenarios in order to answer this exact question. Writing in the journal Science Advances, the researchers calculated that as many as 125 million people could perish on both sides of the India-Pakistan border.

The numbers are staggering, a result of two adversaries armed to the teeth with at least 280 nuclear warheads between them.The full study is full of scientific measurements that can be difficult for the layperson to understand, but the conclusion is anything but. An India-Pakistan nuclear war would make the world’s previous conflicts look like small battles. If both governments decided to aim those warheads at major population centers to exert maximum damage, the carnage could only be accurately described as a modern-day apocalypse.

“Because of the dense populations of cities in Pakistan and India...even a war with 15-kt weapons could lead to fatalities approximately equal to those worldwide in WWII,” the authors write. A war fought with 100-kt weapons could result “2.5 times as many as died worldwide in WWII and in this nuclear war, the fatalities could occur in a single week.”
And those are only the direct casualties that result from the weapons themselves. The environmental impact of a nuclear war between these South Asian neighbors would be just as devastating, with its consequences reaching far beyond the immediate region. Surface sunlight would decrease by 20%-25%, causing temperatures to decline by as much as 41 degrees. The temperature change would have massive global repercussions on the food supply, with a 15 to 30% hit on agriculture.

One would hope that the mere thought of losing tens of millions of people would deter India and Pakistan from even pondering a nuclear option. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. There are even questions about New Delhi rethinking its nuclear no-first-use doctrinePakistan’s nuclear doctrine remains purposely ambiguous, with the Pakistani military stating that Islamabad would not hesitate to use a tactical nuclear weapon to defend itself against a conventional Indian invasion. ; in the International Security Journal earlier this year, M.I.T.’s Viping Narang and the University of Albany’s Christopher Clary write that “serious national security thinkers in India have increasingly discussed the permissibility and strategic benefits of...a nuclear disarming strike in certain extreme circumstances.” A preemptive nuclear strike on Pakistani nuclear targets is not foreclosed for many Indian strategists. Any doctrinal change from India would naturally elicit more paranoia in Pakistan, a country that would simply further bandwagon on the nuclear card for its external defense (Pakistan is conventionally outmatched by India and spends less than one-fifth of what its larger neighbor spends on defense).
President Ronald Reagan once said that “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” For the sake of the planet and their own survival, Indian and Pakistani leaders should start adopting the mantra asan official position.

Daniel R. DePetris is a columnist at the Washington Examiner and contributor to the National Interest.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/r...ar-would-leave-125-million-people-dead-179883
 

NAS & GOA

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President Ronald Reagan once said that “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
India fears strategic miscalculation more than we do...... Pakistan's nuclear threshold Is ambiguous..... And it's a two edged sword.......
India will definitely try to play at the fringes of this threshold to inflict paralysis....... At best this can be achieved through 'internal destabilization'.......
The advantage of such effort is that india could then breach the other thresholds without fearing nuclear retaliation.......
however, since our national COG has recently repositioned towards civilian leadership from military leadership after decades (plz refer to warden's five rings theory.. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warden's_Five_Rings )...... This shifting of COG has taken away the advantage of inflicting early paralysis fron the endians....... Which means that a nuclear retaliation would be must till such time this civilian leader is around.......
Therefore, in present scenario, a military adventure by india to breach nuclear threshold is unlikely.... Let's pray for internal stability .....
 
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Signalian

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Has to be seen how many tactical warheads are thrown at Indian army formations. The image of nuclear mushrooms rising in densely populated cities is treacherous and scary.
 

lightoftruth

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This analysis will change after deployment of S-400.
They usually never talk about thermobaric/chemical/biological weapons though ,they are equally if not more deadly.
 

TheSnakeEatingMarkhur

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This analysis will change after deployment of S-400.
They usually never talk about thermobaric/chemical/biological weapons though ,they are equally if not more deadly.
S400 has its own disadvantages in hands of india... no inter connectivity between indian radars and russian ones (a big thing if not solved)

Then Fateh-1 Nasr and Babur will be a threat and lets not forget MIRV tech like Ababeel missile..
 

jamahir

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Division of sub continent still not completed must be completed either peaceful way or nuclear....I don't care about how many millions would die....take my two cents....period.....
Thankfully, the people in the top of Pakistan government and military are not impatient and hotheads as you. They wouldn't want millions of Pakistanis to die, especially when an issue can be resolved politically.
 

peagle

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India fears strategic miscalculation more than we do...... Pakistan's nuclear threshold Is ambiguous..... And it's a two edged sword.......
India will definitely try to play at the fringes of this threshold to inflict paralysis....... At best this can be achieved through 'internal destabilization'.......
The advantage of such effort is that india could then breach the other thresholds without fearing nuclear retaliation.......
however, since our national COG has recently repositioned towards civilian leadership from military leadership after decades (plz refer to warden's five rings theory.. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warden's_Five_Rings )...... This shifting of COG has taken away the advantage of inflicting early paralysis fron the endians....... Which means that a nuclear retaliation would be must till such time this civilian leader is around.......
Therefore, in present scenario, a military adventure by india to breach nuclear threshold is unlikely.... Let's pray for internal stability .....
I completely agree with you, the usual analysis is to blame Pakistan as the instigator of a nuclear conflict, that's largely because we are extremely dumb when it comes to protecting our national interest as individuals s and as a nation. Because there is no credible answer to this accusation, it keeps getting repeated.

As a prime example, there is widely held belief across the western world and especially among senior journalist in the UK that Pakistani nuclear weapons are a packaged gift awaiting delivery to Saudi Arabia, whenever they require it, I have heard it many times from senior journalist, it is so entrenched. It matters not that it does not make sense. If Pakistan refuses to take sides in Iran/Saudi conflict or dance to the Saudi drums in Yemen, Pakistan is hardly likely to hand over nuclear weapons to the Saudis, who are only likely to use them on a Muslim country.

But the above message still keeps getting repeated. They obviously get such thinking from the nation's secret services or established structures, to portray a certain viewpoint. If the same essential point is used in the same manner it betrays a single origin. We in Pakistan start to cry foul about the establishment and this and that. That makes it so much harder to present a unified front.

Indians are adept at constructing and spreading their arguments, Pakistanis can hardly recognize a well-structured argument let alone building an echo system for a structured argument. We can discuss this point further if you wish, or I can open a new thread, I have only met very few Pakistanis here on PDF able to recognize a beautiful argument, and none in real life, including PhD holders.

For the record, I recognized the stupid reasonings in this article, but I ignored it to highlight the higher point of 125 million dead, although in reality, it is likely to be larger, and more catastrophic than we realize.
 

Baibars_1260

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We must individually prepare for the eventuality of getting nuked.

 

Baibars_1260

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This analysis will change after deployment of S-400.
They usually never talk about thermobaric/chemical/biological weapons though ,they are equally if not more deadly.
A S-400 cannot protect against a sea surface skimming cruise missile in a coastal attack from a submarine, aimed at a high population density port city like Mumbai. Pakistan has SLCMs and modified anti-ship missiles such as Harpoons. Also an S-400 cannot protect against a nuclear artillery shell lobbed at a city close by such as Amritsar which is within shelling range from Wagah.Nuclear booby trapped trucks left behind or driven close to the border or in the path of an advancing army would also not be intercepted by S-400s.
In an all out nuclear war Pakistan would be launching every single one of its assets along with decoys, immediately as there will be no more wars to fight "tomorrow".
The S-400 was designed by Russia for protection over its vast territories where flight times make detection far easier. The other nuclear adversaries are separated by distance and don't share a contiguous border.
India and Pakistan share a border with close proximity of it's population centers. Even the threat to Israel is not that close or severe, since Iran is much further way.
With India, even a "suitcase bomb" could be delivered by suicide squads.
There is a reason why no country likes a nuclear armed neighbor. USA ensured Mexico never acquired nuclear weapons technology even though a Mexico US conflict is remote..
 
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NAS & GOA

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We must individually prepare for the eventuality of getting nuked.

The best preparation by a weak country (economy & numbers) against a nuclear threat is Credible deterrence...... And mind u it's affordable also....

deterrence is lifeline...... U see.... Why do u think responding to IAF balakot stupidity was important...... To let them know that deterrence has not failed..... They played on the fringes of military threshold and got smacked........

Therefore, the best investment.... Till such time at least that we are a fragile economy..... Is to invest in deterrence...... Whether physical means are required or pscycological domain is concerned
 

Titanium100

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Pakistan being conventionally outmatched is a major misconception in this article. I will provide more realistic scenario taking both ends into account.

Conventionally as it currently stands Pakistan consistenly keeps parity on the conventional level but a war breaking out between both countries is highly unlikely in fact according to my personal prediction a natural disaster will start WW3 and not only in the India-Pakistan theater but globally as no major power or regional power wants to break status quo due to realizing nobody wins and that the globally economy collapses under such massive war but if you take out the one thing that is standing in front of the war via a huge natural global disaster like an unexpected comet or asteroid hitting earth.

Now back to the real scenario and lets assume such scenario occurs after a global disaster in the future lets assume around mid century. Both countries will rapidly develop where parity is kept each country may be ahead of the other in some fields but eventually there is parity on average.

despite being smaller country Pakistan has more cohesive unity and more drilled armed forces with a strong belief they can overrun India whereas majority of India specifically the central and south will not play major role or be a major obstacle to pakistan especially when the condition of the war is worsened with such as chemical, biological and nuclear weapons with nuclear winter kicking in on global level this will be a harsh environment one majority of Indians don't have heart or stomach for and once Pakistan smashes the north then the central and south is open without much resistance and the key to Pakistan's victory lays exclusively in the north. Global disaster level favors pakistan they are more hardy people because at that point your fuel is faith as everything is laid to waste.

Pakistan's ultimate doctrine is blitzkrieg and to be inside India as quick as possible despite the toxic and chemical warfare it is like a 100m dash for them. To have quickly forces in Delhi terriories, Gururat etc etc.
 

Chhatrapati

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espite being smaller country Pakistan has more cohesive unity and more drilled armed forces with a strong belief they can overrun India whereas majority of India specifically the central and south will not play major role or be a major obstacle to pakistan especially when the condition of the war is worsened with such as chemical, biological and nuclear weapons with nuclear winter kicking in on global level this will be a harsh environment one majority of Indians don't have heart or stomach for and once Pakistan smashes the north then the central and south is open without much resistance and the key to Pakistan's victory lays exclusively in the north. Global disaster level favors pakistan they are more hardy people because at that point your fuel is faith as everything is laid to waste.
The usual 1 : 10 hubris.
 

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