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4) India’s active pursuit of nuclear-armed submarines undermines its stated international position and reflects a security assessment that is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Examine.(250 words)

Topic – Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

4) India’s active pursuit of nuclear-armed submarines undermines its stated international position and reflects a security assessment that is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Examine.(250 words)

The hindu

Directive word

Examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.  

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the issue and bring out as the reasons as to why India’s active pursuit of nuclear-armed submarines undermines its stated international position and also why reflects a security assessment that is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Structure of the answer

Introduction

Write a few introductory lines about the topic E.g   India’s first indigenous ballistic-missile armed nuclear submarine (SSBN), successfully completed its first deterrence patrol” and it has been claimed that this “accomplishment” would “always be remembered in our history”.

Body

Discuss the reasons as to how India’s pursuit of nuclear powered SSBNs is against its internationally stated objectives. E.g India is not a signatory to either the NPT or the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), but did accede to the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in October 1963. India is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and four of its 17 nuclear reactors are subject to IAEA safeguards etc

Discuss how the pursuit is strategically misplaced and reflects  a security assessment that is becoming increasingly irrelevant. E.g nuclear-armed submarines increase the risks of an accidental conflict; the crew of a nuclear-armed submarine will have both the custody of nuclear weapons and the ability to launch them at short notice. Even though reports suggest that nuclear weapons on Indian SSBNs will be safeguarded by electronic switches, called “permissive action links”, such a setup can dangerously weaken the civilian command-and-control structure; Indian submarines will be smaller, and perhaps cheaper. However, even if their costs are only half as large as the lower end of the British and American estimates, the total cost of maintaining a fleet of four SSBNs, over a 40-year life cycle, will be at least ₹3 lakh crore etc; SSBNs were first deployed during the Cold War and justified as a tool of last resort. If an adversary were to launch a devastating first-strike on a country, destroying its land-based missiles and paralysing its air force, the submarine — undetected at sea — could still deliver a counter-strike, assuring the “mutual destruction” of both countries; India faces no such threat today; inability to help against the policy of tactical use of weapons by Pakistan etc.

Conclusion – Based on your discussion form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.