Essay on Nuclear Security Policy for India

Submitted By Jkirk90
Words: 850
Pages: 4

Ever since India’s independence in 1947 India’s nuclear security policy has evolved in increments over the years. Important factors that have gradually pushed India’s nuclear weapons program toward development are factors such as India’s external threats from China and Pakistan, the non-proliferation regime, which sought to freeze a nuclear status quo that excluded India, and also the liberalization of their economy during the 1990’s, which accumulated to enormous economic growth, showing evidently in the late 1990’s. Even though the first two factors are practical reasons to obtain a nuclear weapon, throughout India’s nuclear development process, at times, its economic growth has not always been so permissive like it was in the late 90’s, which significantly helped with the Pokhran II tests in 1998. Prior to their liberalization of the economy it played a very restrictive role on its nuclear security policy. For instance, during the 1960’s, the Lyndon Johnson administration suspended American aid in India, which had a negative affect on the progression of its nuclear option. Furthermore, during the early 1990’s, India’s economic growth was restrictive on its nuclear development program because of a serious balance-of-payments crisis. However, as a result of increasing economic growth it seems as though India’s economy will no longer have to play a restrictive role in the foreseeable future. With more sustained economic growth, India will have by-far emerged onto the international level as a powerful global leader and will not have to be pushed around by the United States and the other nuclear states like they have done in the past. Therefore, I believe that the only reason why India adheres to a minimal credible deterrent nuclear arsenal is because of their economy and how it restricts them from being able to produce more nuclear weapons, which are so obviously very expensive to produce. In the foreseeable future, their economy will facilitate a transition away from a minimal credible deterrent nuclear arsenal and lead them to obtaining more nuclear weapons.
Financial costs were one of the central issues that shaped India’s nuclear security policy prior to both of their testing’s. For instance, after the Chinese government first tested in 1964, India was trying hastily to develop its nuclear program because it was growing anxious that China had now joined the club of other nuclear countries and at that time China was a very immediate and dangerous threat. After the humiliating defeat of India in the Indo-Sino War of 1962, the Chinese nuclear test was very shocking to the Indians, which put them in a position of uncertainty. This helped them move faster on the development of their nuclear weapons program. Also, along with another war happening in 1965 between Pakistan, India most likely feared a two front war and thus it created even more of an incentive for India to push for nuclear procurement, regardless of what the non-proliferation countries believed. However, not only was the non-proliferation regime blocking their way to joining their nuclear status quo but also the financial costs of financing a nuclear program was another factor that was hindering India’s nuclear development. As a result of the Pak-Indo War of 1965, the United States President Lyndon Johnson suspended military aid to