A FRAGILE SHIELD: INDIA’S BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENCE
Keywords:BMD, TMD, India, Pakistan, China, Nuclear Deterrence
India’s interest in developing Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) originates from its desire to counter ballistic missiles threats emanating from its traditional rivals in the region. Therefore, in 2001, India positively responded to United States of America’s offer of BMD, which created consternation among the regional countries particularly in Pakistan about its effects on the prevailing strategic stability and prospective arms race in the region. India’s ability to develop a BMD has been debated due to fallibility of the system particularly taking the lessons from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty 1972, when USA and former USSR decided to enter into the treaty due to the weakness of the shield and degeneration of nuclear deterrence, which could provoke a nuclear war. This article analyses India’s rationale and current ability to develop the ‘defensive shield’ and questions the assertion that BMD as a concept is a ‘defensive mechanism’ given India’s geographical vulnerabilities and availability of cost-effective offensive strategies to counter BMD.
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