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  • Author: Ramesh Thakur
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: India's nuclear breakout in 1998, foreshadowed as early as 1974, may have been understandable for reasons of global nuclear politics, a triangular regional equation between China, India and Pakistan, and domestic politics. Yet the utility of India's nuclear weapons remains questionable on many grounds. Nuclear deterrence is dubious in general and especially dubious in the subcontinent. Nuclear weapons are not usable as weapons of compellence or defence. They failed to stop the Pakistani incursion in Kargil in 1999 or the terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008. They will not help India to shape the military calculations of likely enemies. And India's global status and profile will be determined far more crucially by its economic performance than nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, they do impose direct and opportunity costs economically, risk corrosion of democratic accountability, add to global concerns about nuclear terrorism, and have not helped the cause of global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Because the consequences of a limited regional war involving India could be catastrophic for the world, others have both the right and a responsibility to engage with the issue. For all these reasons, a denuclearized world that includes the destruction of India's nuclear stockpile would favourably affect the balance of India's security and other interests, national and international interests, and material interests and value goals.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, India
  • Author: Zia Mian
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In the four decades since Pakistan launched its nuclear weapons program, and especially in the fifteen years since the nuclear tests of 1998, a way of thinking and a related set of feelings about the bomb have taken hold among policy-makers and the public in Pakistan. These include the ideas that the bomb can ensure Pakistan's security; resolve the long-standing dispute with India over Kashmir in Pakistan's favour; help create a new national spirit; establish Pakistan as a leader among Islamic countries; and usher in a new stage in Pakistan's economic development. None of these hopes has come to pass, and in many ways Pakistan is much worse off than before it went nuclear. Yet the feelings about the bomb remain strong and it is these feelings that will have to be examined critically and be set aside if Pakistan is to move towards nuclear restraint and nuclear disarmament. This will require a measure of stability in a country beset by multiple insurgencies, the emergence of a peace movement able to launch a national debate on foreign policy and nuclear weapons, and greater international concern regarding the outcomes of nuclear arms racing in South Asia.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Rudra Chaudhuri, Theo Farrell
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Success in war depends on alignment between operations and strategy. Commonly, such alignment takes time as civilian and military leaders assess the effectiveness of operations and adjust them to ensure that strategic objectives are achieved. This article assesses prospects for the US-led campaign in Afghanistan. Drawing on extensive field research, the authors find that significant progress has been made at the operational level in four key areas: the approach to counterinsurgency operations, development of Afghan security forces, growth of Afghan sub-national governance and military momentum on the ground. However, the situation is bleak at the strategic level. The article identifies three strategic obstacles to campaign success: corruption in Afghan national government, war-weariness in NATO countries and insurgent safe havens in Pakistan. These strategic problems require political developments that are beyond the capabilities of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). In other words, further progress at the operational level will not bring 'victory'. It concludes, therefore, that there is an operational- strategic disconnect at the heart of the ISAF campaign.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Governance
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan