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Title: The role of opacity and transparency in achieving strategic stability in South Asia.

Abstract

According to international relations theory, deterrence can be used as a tool to achieve stability between potentially hostile nations. India and Pakistan's long history of periodic crises raises the question of how they can achieve deterrence stability. 'Transparency' describes the flow of information between parties and plays a key role in establishing a deterrence relationship. This paper studies the balance needed between opacity and transparency in nuclear topics for the maintenance of deterrence stability between India and Pakistan. States with nuclear weapons are postulated to implement transparency in four categories: potential, capability, intent, and resolve. The study applies these categories to the nuclear components of the ongoing India-Pakistan Composite Dialogue Working Group for Peace and Security including CBMs. To focus our efforts, we defined four scenarios to characterize representative strategic/military/political conditions. The scenarios are combinations of these two sets of opposite poles: competition - cooperation; extremism - moderation (to be understood primarily in a religious/nationalistic sense). We describe each scenario in terms of select focal areas (nuclear doctrine, nuclear command and control, nuclear stockpile, nuclear delivery/defensive systems, and conventional force posture). The scenarios help frame the realm of possibilities, and have been described in terms of expected conditions for themore » focal areas. We then use the conditions in each scenario to prescribe a range of information-sharing actions that the two countries could take to increase stability. We also highlight the information that should not be shared. These actions can be political (e.g., declarations), procedural (e.g., advance notice of certain military activities), or technologically based (e.g., seismic monitoring of the nuclear test moratorium).« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. (New Delhi, India)
  2. (Islamabad, Pakistan)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Laboratories
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
974409
Report Number(s):
SAND2005-4957
TRN: US201009%%73
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; ASIA; INDIA; INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS; MAINTENANCE; MONITORING; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; OPACITY; PAKISTAN; SECURITY; STABILITY; NUCLEAR DETERRENCE; Pakistan-Politics and government.; Deterrence (Strategy); International relations.; Technology and international affairs; India-Foreign relations; Pakistan.

Citation Formats

Rajain, Arpit, and Ashraf, Tariq Mahmud. The role of opacity and transparency in achieving strategic stability in South Asia.. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/974409.
Rajain, Arpit, & Ashraf, Tariq Mahmud. The role of opacity and transparency in achieving strategic stability in South Asia.. United States. doi:10.2172/974409.
Rajain, Arpit, and Ashraf, Tariq Mahmud. 2005. "The role of opacity and transparency in achieving strategic stability in South Asia.". United States. doi:10.2172/974409. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/974409.
@article{osti_974409,
title = {The role of opacity and transparency in achieving strategic stability in South Asia.},
author = {Rajain, Arpit and Ashraf, Tariq Mahmud},
abstractNote = {According to international relations theory, deterrence can be used as a tool to achieve stability between potentially hostile nations. India and Pakistan's long history of periodic crises raises the question of how they can achieve deterrence stability. 'Transparency' describes the flow of information between parties and plays a key role in establishing a deterrence relationship. This paper studies the balance needed between opacity and transparency in nuclear topics for the maintenance of deterrence stability between India and Pakistan. States with nuclear weapons are postulated to implement transparency in four categories: potential, capability, intent, and resolve. The study applies these categories to the nuclear components of the ongoing India-Pakistan Composite Dialogue Working Group for Peace and Security including CBMs. To focus our efforts, we defined four scenarios to characterize representative strategic/military/political conditions. The scenarios are combinations of these two sets of opposite poles: competition - cooperation; extremism - moderation (to be understood primarily in a religious/nationalistic sense). We describe each scenario in terms of select focal areas (nuclear doctrine, nuclear command and control, nuclear stockpile, nuclear delivery/defensive systems, and conventional force posture). The scenarios help frame the realm of possibilities, and have been described in terms of expected conditions for the focal areas. We then use the conditions in each scenario to prescribe a range of information-sharing actions that the two countries could take to increase stability. We also highlight the information that should not be shared. These actions can be political (e.g., declarations), procedural (e.g., advance notice of certain military activities), or technologically based (e.g., seismic monitoring of the nuclear test moratorium).},
doi = {10.2172/974409},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2005,
month = 8
}

Technical Report:

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  • The security environment in South Asia has been marked by instability for several decades. The foremost causes of regional instability are the nuclear weapons-cum-missile development program of China, North Korea and Pakistan, the strident march of Islamist fundamentalism, the diabolical nexus between narcotics trafficking and terrorism, the proliferation of small arms and the instability inherent in the rule of despotic regimes. Instability on the Indian sub-continent is manifested, first and foremost, in the continuing conflict in Afghanistan, its tense relations with Iran and the Central Asian Republics (CARs); Pakistan’s struggle against the Taliban, the emerging fissiparous tendencies in Balochistan andmore » Pakhtoonkhwa, the rise of Jihadi Islam and what some fear is Pakistan’s gradual slide towards becoming a ‘failed state’ despite some economic gains in the last five years. Also symptomatic of an unstable and uncertain security environment in the South Asian region are what some see as Sri Lanka’s inability to find a lasting solution to its internal challenges; the potential for Bangladesh’s gradual emergence as the new hub of Islamist fundamentalist terrorism and its struggle for economic upliftment to subsistence levels; the continuing negative impact of Maoist insurgency on Nepal’s fledgling democracy; the simmering discontent in Tibet and Xinjiang and what some see as a low-key uprising against China’s regime; and, the Myanmar peoples’ nascent movement for democracy. In all these countries, socio-economic development has been slow and, consequently, per capita income is alarmingly low. Transborder narcotics trafficking – the golden triangle lies to the east of South Asia and the golden crescent to its west – and the proliferation of small arms, make a potent cocktail. Ethnic tensions and fairly widespread radicalization, worsened by the advent of the vicious ideology of the Islamic state, add further to regional instability.« less
  • As an ongoing part of the collaborative efforts between the Cooperative Monitoring Center (CMC) at Sandia National Laboratories, the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), staff from the CMC served as faculty in conducting a workshop in Shanghai, China. Sponsor of the workshop was the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS) based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The workshop included participants from throughout South Asia and China. The CMC presented four sessions related to the role of monitoring technologies in promoting regional security and building confidence among nations. Participation in these workshops supportsmore » U.S. efforts to further regional cooperation and promote arms control, nonproliferation and other cooperative securily measures and supplements efforts funded by DOE and ACDA over the past four years. The RCSS Shanghai meeting permitted a continued CMC involvement in regionally conducted training for anew generation of leaders in government, the military, and academia throughout South Asia and China. Nuclear issues are clearly a dominant South Asian concern since the nuclear tests of May 1998. However, there remains a strong interest in identifying opportunities for increased trade and reduced tensions in other areas. The RCSS and other regional organizations are enthusiastic about continued CMC involvement in future regional courses.« less
  • Policymakers in both India and Pakistan have concluded that the potential capability to develop and deploy nuclear weapons serves their national security and political interests. International efforts to reverse these conclusions are unlikely to succeed, particularly if these initiatives center on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) regime. The present state of tension and the ambiguous balance of nuclear capabilities and ballistic missiles between India and Pakistan is not sustainable over the long-term because deterrence could break down in a crisis. Nuclear armed missiles could be deployed or even used, by one or both parties, perhaps for pre-emptive purposes. Even withoutmore » a crisis, escalating domestic and regional tensions may lead India and Pakistan into declared nuclear weapons programs. A nuclear arms race, analogous in nature (but not in magnitude) to that between the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War, could follow. Traditional global arms control regimes cannot address the problem. A new security approach by the United States and other concerned governments is warranted one that freezes the weapons programs of these de facto nuclear powers at current levels by mutual agreement with international assurances. As the first step toward constructing a new regional approach to South Asian security this could avoid nuclear weapons escalation in the near term, and might eventually lead these two countries to agree to accede to international non-proliferation regimes.« less
  • The succession of nuclear tests by India and Pakistan in May 1998 has changed the nature of their missile rivalry, which is only one of numerous manifestations of their relationship as hardened adversaries, deeply sensitive to each other's existing and evolving defense capabilities. The political context surrounding this costly rivalry remains unmediated by arms control measures or by any nascent prospect of detente. As a parallel development, sensible voices in both countries will continue to talk of building mutual confidence through openness to avert accidents, misjudgments, and misinterpretations. To facilitate a future peace process, this paper offers possible suggestions formore » stabilization that could be applied to India's and Pakistan's missile situation. Appendices include descriptions of existing missile agreements that have contributed to better relations for other countries as well as a list of the cooperative monitoring technologies available to provide information useful in implementing subcontinent missile regimes.« less
  • India and Pakistan have created sizeable ballistic missile forces and are continuing to develop and enlarge them. These forces can be both stabilizing (e.g., providing a survivable force for deterrence) and destabilizing (e.g., creating strategic asymmetries). Missile forces will be a factor in bilateral relations for the foreseeable future, so restraint is necessary to curtail their destabilizing effects. Such restraint, however, must develop within an atmosphere of low trust. This report presents a set of political and operational options, both unilateral and bilateral, that decreases tensions, helps rebuild the bilateral relationship, and prepares the ground for future steps in structuralmore » arms control. Significant steps, which build on precedents and do not require extensive cooperation, are possible despite strained relations. The approach is made up of three distinct phases: (1) tension reduction measures, (2) confidence building measures, and (3) arms control agreements. The goal of the first phase is to initiate unilateral steps that are substantive and decrease tensions, establish missiles as a security topic for bilateral discussion, and set precedents for limited bilateral cooperation. The second phase would build confidence by expanding current bilateral security agreements, formalizing bilateral understandings, and beginning discussion of monitoring procedures. The third phase could include bilateral agreements limiting some characteristics of national missile forces including the cooperative incorporation of monitoring and verification.« less