Sem:South Asia & WMD
In the realm of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), South Asia is one of the key regions of analysis. This course takes a comprehensive look at the role of WMD in the strategic thinking of various actors involved in the South Asian security framework. It is important to note that South Asian nuclear issues cannot be studied in isolation from other regional and global dynamics. States such as the U.S., China, and Russia are crucial players in the South Asian strategic framework. The course examines various reasons behind WMD acquisition by India and Pakistan, concentrating especially on nuclear weapons. These factors include threat perceptions, domestic imperatives and nationalistic attitudes. A key element of nuclear weapons programs is the development of effective delivery systems such as missiles and aircraft. Analysis of such programs provides an indicator of current and future strategy. In this context, both India and Pakistan have made major strides in their cruise and ballistic missile programs to make their nuclear strategy more credible. At the same time, neither side has a clearly enunciated nuclear doctrine, although attempts have been made in this direction. This is crucial in context of a reliable command and control system and for crisis stability. Another major issue covered in this course is the proliferation of WMD materials to non-state actors or aspiring nuclear states by proliferation networks connected to South Asia. Relatedly, policymakers in the region and elsewhere are also concerned with the danger of nuclear terrorism. These are some of the prominent issues concerning weapons of mass destruction in South Asia. The two sides have periodically taken steps to prevent nuclear crises situations. Apart from nuclear weapons, this seminar also examines chemical and biological weapons policy in the two countries.