The Tradition of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons

By T. V. Paul | Go to book overview

6 THE SECOND-GENERATION NUCLEAR STATES:
ISRAEL, INDIA, PAKISTAN, AND THE TRADITION

in this chapter, the nuclear policies of three second-generation nuclear states—Israel, India, and Pakistan—are analyzed. The effort is to see how their nuclear policies have supported or diminished the tradition of non-use, the reasons for their particular approaches to nuclear weapons, and the future implications of their policies for the tradition. In particular, an analysis of their behavior in crises and wars involving nuclear and nonnuclear powers is useful for understanding the robustness of the tradition as far as these states are concerned. In terms of the tradition of non-use, the Israeli nuclear policy is the most significant of the three, as it confronted nonnuclear Arab states in several crises and wars since it became a de facto nuclear state in 1966, and made ambiguous threats of nuclear use in case its opponents crossed certain redlines. The discussion will also illuminate how these states—India and Pakistan in particular—plan to use nuclear weapons in a future conflict situation. India has announced its commitment to a non-use policy toward nonnuclear states and a no-first-use policy toward nuclear states. Pakistan has not articulated an explicit non-use policy vis-à-vis nonnuclear states, as its main focus is on a first-use threat with the intent of deterring any conventional attacks by India. Therefore, the discussion on Pakistan will largely center on its nuclear doctrines vis-à-vis India, another nuclear state, although the tradition as I study here is focused on nuclear versus nonnuclear states. However, Pakistani supply of nuclear materials to other countries and terrorist groups that are more likely to use nuclear weapons suggests that the tradition has been indirectly challenged by Islamabad and its officials involved in such transfers.

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