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16 October 2015 - USA - Pakistan nuclear cooperation agreement 16-10-2015

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Oct 16, 2015


Mainstreaming a nuclear Pakistan


Understand the following terms first


  1. Non weaponized nuclear deterrence

Recessed Deterrence allows for the fabrication of warheads and other components of nuclear weapons. Non-Weaponized Deterrence, as the name implies, suggests that the two parties could retain fissile materials and nuclear weapon components but would stop short of manufacturing warheads. With Recessed Deterrence, nuclear weapons have no tactical role and are only to be used to deter a nuclear attack. However, Non-Weaponized Deterrence, along with confidence building measures, would help in deterring the nuclear genie without the costs and instabilities of deployed nuclear arsenals. To achieve a stable Non-Weaponized Deterrence regime, both India and Pakistan would have to pledge that they will neither assemble nor deploy nuclear weapons or nuclear capable ballistic missiles. Some steps that could lead to Non-Weaponised Deterrence may be the following:


  • Non-deployment of nuclear capable missiles
  • Cessation of fissile material production
  • Non-configuration and exercise of force for nuclear role
  • Furtherance of nuclear confidence building measures


  1. Full spectrum deterrence of Pakistan –
  • In recent years, Islamabad has focused on ramping up its plutonium production capabilities and developing lower-yield tactical weapons in order to deter India s superior conventional forces.
  • Pakistan s pursuit of full-spectrum deterrence abilities to mean it will continue to focus on producing "smaller nuclear weapons with larger yields."


  1. Tactical nuclear weapon vs strategic nuclear weapon – Tactical nuclear weapon is used in battle field and strategic nuclear weapon is used to destruct the cities and to cause mutually assured destruction.
  2. Cold start doctrine( Indian blitzkrieg) – It involves rapidly mobilizing the troops to the border in case of war and gain a strategic victory before the world intervenes. It is aimed at paralyzing Pakistani response. Pakistan is trying to back up with tactical nuclear weapons.


  1. What is Hyde act and 123 agreement?

The Hyde Act, or, the Henry J. Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006, to give the act its full title, is a piece of legislation, introduced by Congressman Henry Hyde, passed by the US Congress, which creates the legal basis for co-operation between the United States and India.

US law declares that the United States cannot enter into Nuclear collaboration with a country that is not governed by the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. India, Israel, and Pakistan are countries that have not joined the NPT and the CTBT. North Korea joined, but later withdrew. Iran, for instance, is a signatory. (which is why it has to allow for International Atomic Energy Agency inspections, which it does, dodgily)

US law permits the United States to enter into nuclear energy collaboration with declared non-nuclear weapons states who have signed the NPT and the CTBT under section 123 (titled – “Cooperation with Other Nations”) of the United States Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Hence, the United States enters into ‘123 Agreements’ with other countries. At the present moment, 25 such agreements have been signed, including with countries such as Morocco, Ukraine, Romania etc.

The Hyde Act, which incidentally includes provisions inserted by Democratic representative for Illinois, Barack Obama to restrict fuel supplies to India at a scale commensurate only with “reasonable civilian reactor requirements” is a way, a one time exemption being made by US lawmakers to India. It may come as surprise to some, but the United States has refused, and continues to refuse to make the same exemption even for its close ally, Israel.


USA – Pakistan Nuclear doctrine – should INDIA oppose it?

What are the strategic advantages to India?

  • It may promote the international nonproliferation regime and pave way fro FMCT.
  • It is in the best interests of India to ensure that Pakistan’s nuclear program is under international safeguards. It will bring clandestine china-Pakistan nuclear relations in to international scrutiny.  A nuclear deal ensures a responsible behaviour from Pakistan.
  • The number of conditionality’s that will be imposed on Pakistan will may make her to compromise her on full spectrum deterrence and force her to commit her to recessed deterrence. It will also limit their tactical nuclear weapon production.
  • Pakistan may be forced to sign CTBT delinking it from India signing the same.

On the other side, the antagonists argue that it may hyphenate the India and Pakistan again once the deal passes through. There is a remotest possibility, if we take Pakistan’s poor proliferation record into consideration.

In this context, India’s best strategy is to offer conditional support to Pakistan’s inclusion in to global nuclear order. The conditions it can impose are – no first use policy from Pakistan and non-stalling of FMCT negotiations.


Mind without fear

  • In India, excessive stress on obedience than developing inquisitiveness, fear at school and home, hyper competition, academic stress, lack of practical relevance of the education, critical thinking skills, proper work environment that promotes innovation are the major reasons for the brain trap. These archaic social and educational systems need to be changed to create an environment of creative thinking. 


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