Abhijit Iyer-Mitra

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When the Bharatiya Janata Party announced it would “revise and update” India’s nuclear doctrine if elected this month, the proposal was widely interpreted to mean that the party would renege on India’s 1998 pledge never to use nuclear weapons in a first strike. The party has since backtracked, ostensibly because of the media backlash. That’s unfortunate. Although the “no first use” doctrine, known as N.F.U., may seem prudent in theory, India has diluted the concept to the point of absurdity, with dangerous consequences: a buildup of its conventional forces, which has caused Pakistan to harden its nuclear stance.

In August 1999 a panel of independent experts convened by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee issued a draft nuclear doctrine containing a commitment to N.F.U.…  Seguir leyendo »