By Ashley J. Tellis
After a hiatus of almost 24 years, India startled the international community by resuming nuclear testing in May 1998. Pakistan responded later the same month with five nuclear tests of its own. The belief that the nuclear tests in South Asia have not only altered the strategic environment in the region but also transformed New Delhi into a nuclear weapons power recurs constantly in Indian strategic and political analyses. This book will address these issues in the context of a broader understanding of India's strategic interests, its institutional structures, and its security goals. The author argues that the truth of the matter is much more complex than most Indian analysts believe and that despite demonstrating and ability to successfully undertake nuclear explosions, India still has some way to go before it can acquire the capabilties that would make it a consequential nuclear power.