Debate: Will sea-based capabilities strengthen deterrence?


Point, Counter-Point offers four perspectives on a current topic. This round, South Asian Voices bloggers debate sea-based deterrence in South Asia. India and Pakistan have both expressed interest in – and made active moves towards – sea-based nuclear capabilities. Do these efforts threaten or strengthen stability in the region?

Read below for point and counter-point from both sides:



In “Troublesome Trajectories for Minimalist Strategy,” Muhammad Sadiq concludes that “the bottom-line of the argument is: without a concerted effort to integrate sea-based nuclear assets more effectively into both nations’ strategic thinking and into a bilateral dialogue, New Delhi and Islamabad may be unable to avoid escalation.”

In “Sea-based nuclear deterrent – a strategic stabilizer?Reshmi Kazi argues that “despite the complications, one has to be realistic… neither India nor Pakistan will refrain from relinquishing their desire sea-based nuclear deterrence capabilities. So what is the middle path? As responsible nations, India and Pakistan must display adequate and appropriate strategic restraint.”



In “…STABILIZING* (T&C Apply)Sitakanta Mishra contends that “the development [of sea-based nuclear capabilities] is inevitable and both countries will learn to live with it.”

In “To Sea or not to Sea – a Nuclear Triad in South Asia,” Amina Afzal contends that “nuclear weapons have helped deter more than just nuclear war in South Asia. During the Cold War too, nuclear weapons helped maintain a strategic equilibrium as both the US and Soviet Union were convinced of their opponent’s destructive capability. The same holds true for contemporary South Asia whereby the presence of nuclear weapons at sea will serve to strengthen deterrence stability in the region.”

6 thoughts on “Debate: Will sea-based capabilities strengthen deterrence?

  1. All human are God subjects. A good hindu or a good muslim is an asset for humanity. Why sense does not prevail to get away from hatred against each other forgetting the past. Enemity can go for generations with fresh wounds like Bangladesh etc Everyone planning to get revenge of past and so it is Continuing process with all wars possibly nuclear exchange. Even in muslims enemity exists within many sects with illiterates population living under illusions dictated by Mullahs. Hindus have number of Gods with Manusmiriti dictates to deal poorly with lower castes. Therefore, in present age of perfect knowledge, let humanity survive with no hatred practiced on religious grounds. Thus india and pakistan may unite for future of our children and grandchildren.

  2. Mukesh kumar’s stand resonates that of many…including me. Hearty ovation!

  3. We indians need such nuclear capabilities like nuke subs,long range slbms’ to deter pakistan from supporting anti – indian islamist groups to cause terrorist attacks on indian soil. All of this for protection of our people …

  4. India must mend its ways with China,Pakistan will automatically fall in line.

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