Elite perception and biased strategic policy making [Elektronische Ressource] : the case of India's nuclear build-up / vorgelegt von Karsten Frey

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Inaugural Dissertation zu Erlangung der Doktorwürde der Fakultät für Wirtschafts und Sozialwissenschaften, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg Elite Perception and Biased Strategic Policy Making: The Case of India’s Nuclear Build-up vorgelegt von Karsten Frey, M.A. Am Fürstenweiher 61 69118 Heidelberg Oktober 2004 ii C O N T E N T 1. Introduction 1 PART I: The Model: Nuclear Weapons and National Interests 7 2. Theory: Balancing Interests 9 2.1. Defending the Old-fashioned 9 2.2. Structural Causes of Nuclear Arms Races 10 2.2.1. Structural Realist Paradigms 10 2.2.2. The Concept of Nuclear Deterrence 12 2.2.3. The Emergence of Nuclear Arms Races 14 2.2.4. Opacity and Transparency in Nuclear Proliferation 15 2.3. Power Politics and the Balance of Interests 17 2.3.1. Power, Security, and Interests 17 2.3.2. Status Change and Reputation of Power 19 2.3.3. Bringing Morgenthau’s ‘Policy of Prestige’ Back In 21 2.3.4. The ‘Neoclassical Realist’ Approach 23 2.4. Foreign Policy and Domestic Government 29 2.4.1. Psychological Factors in Nuclear Policy Formulation 30 2.4.2. The Problem of Public Opinion 31 2.5. Nuclear Arms and the Risk of War 34 3. Model: Elite Perception, National Interests and India’s Nuclear Policy 38 3.1. The South Asian Security Environment 38 3.2.

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Inaugural Dissertation
zu Erlangung der Doktorwürde
der Fakultät für Wirtschafts und
Sozialwissenschaften,
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg








Elite Perception and
Biased Strategic Policy Making:
The Case of India’s Nuclear Build-up




vorgelegt von

Karsten Frey, M.A.
Am Fürstenweiher 61
69118 Heidelberg




Oktober 2004
ii




C O N T E N T


1. Introduction 1


PART I: The Model: Nuclear Weapons and National Interests 7


2. Theory: Balancing Interests 9
2.1. Defending the Old-fashioned 9
2.2. Structural Causes of Nuclear Arms Races 10
2.2.1. Structural Realist Paradigms 10
2.2.2. The Concept of Nuclear Deterrence 12
2.2.3. The Emergence of Nuclear Arms Races 14
2.2.4. Opacity and Transparency in Nuclear Proliferation 15
2.3. Power Politics and the Balance of Interests 17
2.3.1. Power, Security, and Interests 17
2.3.2. Status Change and Reputation of Power 19
2.3.3. Bringing Morgenthau’s ‘Policy of Prestige’ Back In 21
2.3.4. The ‘Neoclassical Realist’ Approach 23
2.4. Foreign Policy and Domestic Government 29
2.4.1. Psychological Factors in Nuclear Policy Formulation 30
2.4.2. The Problem of Public Opinion 31
2.5. Nuclear Arms and the Risk of War 34


3. Model: Elite Perception, National Interests and India’s Nuclear Policy 38
3.1. The South Asian Security Environment 38
3.2. Status Seeking as National Interest 42
3.3. An Explanatory Model to India’s Nuclear Policy Making 44
3.4. Elite Perception and Nuclear Policy Making 47
3.4.1. Who are the Elite? 47
3.4.2. The military-strategists 52
3.4.3. The politico-strategists 53
3.4.4. The scientific-strategists 54
3.5. Psychology and Strategy 55
3.6. Related Explanatory Concepts of India’s Rise as Nuclear Power 58
3.6.1. India as Emerging Power 58
3.6.2. The Concept of India’s Strategic Culture 60

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4. Methodology 62
4.1. The Unit of Analysis 62
4.2. Period Anaylsis 64
4.3. Explanatory Variables 67
4.4. The Synthesis of Quantitative and Interpretive Methods 70
4.4.1. Methods of Quantitative Analysis 71
4.4.2. Positivist Epistemology and Interpretive Methods 72


5. Elite Perception and India’s Nuclear Course: Tracking Empirical Evidence 76
5.1. India’s Elite: Between Diversity of Opinion and Bomb Lobbying 76
5.2. The Crucial Years: Changing Attitudes on the Bomb 78
5.2.1. Debating Nuclear Issues: Some General Trends 78
5.2.2. Phase I: The Strategic Debate 80
5.2.3. Phase II: The Non-proliferation Debate 81
5.2.4. Phase III: The Determined Debate 82
5.2.5. Phase IV: The Liberated Debate 83
5.3. Towards A “National Consensus” 84
5.4. Findings of the Quantitative Analysis 86


6. The Origins of India’s Nuclear Weapons Programme 88
6.1. Preconditions for India’s Nuclear Development
6.1.1. Nuclear Weapons and the Nation-building Process 88
6.1.2. Nehruvian Moralism 90
6.1.3. Development and Security 92
6.1.4. Pre-Independence Developments 96
6.1.5. The National Endeavour 96
6.1.6. Institutional Developments 99
6.1.7. Self-Reliance and International Cooperation 101
6.2. Establishing the Nuclear Weapons Option 103
6.2.1. Nuclear Energy for India’s Development: End of a Myth 103
6.2.2. Institutional and Political Adjustments 105
6.2.3. Creating A Nuclear Weapons Infrastructure 108
6.2.4. Indira Gandhi’s Rise 109
6.2.5. Vikram Sarabhai: Realism not Symbolism 111
6.2.6. The Ritual of Demonstrations 114
6.3. The Period of India’s Nuclear Slow-Down, 1974 – 1979 117
6.3.1. Which Course after Pokhran I? 117
6.3.2. Domestic Turmoil 118
6.4. Developing Nuclear Weapons Capabilities 119
6.4.1. Changing International Patterns 119
6.4.2. Indira Back Again 120
6.4.3. Towards Technological Breakthrough 122

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7. Structure and Process of India’s Nuclear Policy Making 125
7.1. Nuclear Authorities 126
7.1.1. Formal Nuclear Decision-Making 126
7.1.2. Institutional Flaws and Imprudent Nuclear Decisions 127
7.1.3. The Post-Brasstacks Debate on Institutional Reforms 129
7.1.4. The Post-Pokhran Institutional Reforms 134
7.1.5. Consolidating Nuclear Command and Control 138
7.2. Nuclear Science 141
7.2.1. Between Science and Politics: The Scientific Establishment 141
7.2.2. Self-Reliance and Indigenous Development 148
7.3. Nuclear Politics 154
7.3.1. Nuclear Weapons and Partisan Politics 154
7.3.2. Pokhran II: Electoral Politics BJP Style? 156


PART II: Nuclear Weapons and India’s Security 161

8. Systemic Proliferation Incentives within the South Asian Region 163
8.1. The Structure of India’s Regional Strategic Environment 163
8.1.1. Pakistan’s Nuclear Threat 164
8.1.2. Chinese Nuclear 167
8.1.3. Pakistan-China Threatening Axis 170
8.1.4. Extra-Regional Nuclear Threats 171
8.2. India’s Strategic Thinkers 172
8.2.1. The Military: Politics of Self-Restraint 172
8.2.2. The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) 176

9. The “Diabolic Enemy” Stereotype: Indo-Pakistan Relations 180
9.1. The Roots of Indo-Pakistani Antagonism 180
9.1.1. Regional Balance of Power 180
9.1.2. Introducing the Nuclear Dimension 181
9.2. Indo-Pakistani Nuclear Shadowboxing 184
9.2.1. Getting Down to Brasstacks 184
9.2.2. The Hidden Nuclear Competition 188
9.3. After Pokhran II: Learning to Live with Pakistan’s Bomb 190
9.3.1. Redefining Indo-Pakistani Nuclear Relations 190
9.3.2. From Pokhran to Kargil 195
9.3.3. The Period of Consolidation 197
9.3.4. The Stability-Instability Paradox 199
9.3.5. Pre-Emptive Strike Imperatives 208

10. The China Factor in India’s Strategic Thinking 210
10.1. The Emergence of the Sino-Indian Strategic Relationship 210
10.2. Elite Perception and the Chinese Threat 212
10.2.1. Rajiv’s Policy of Rapprochement 212
10.2.2. The Changing Image of China in the 1990s 213
10.2.3. Redefining Sino-Indian Relations after the Tests 216
th10.2.4. Indo-Chinese Relations in the Post-September 11 World 224

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PART III: Beyond Security: Nuclear Weapons and National Prestige 225


11. India’s Self-Image as Emerging Power 229
11.1. Elite Perception, Nuclear Weapons and International Status 229
11.2. The Emerging Debate 230
11.3. From Prestige to Security and Back Again 236
11.4. Axiomatic Arguments 240
11.5. Joining the ‘Nuclear Club’ 245
11.6. India as Emerging Power: Prepared Ground 256

12. The “Colonialist” Stereotype: Indo-US Relations 259
12.1. US Non-Proliferation Pressures and Indian Sensitivities 259
12.2. The USA and the International Non-proliferation Regime 264
12.3. The Strobe Talbott Mission 268
12.4. From Non-proliferation to Test Ban 274
12.5. India-US Relations after the Tests 277
12.6. Paradigm Shift in Indo-US Relations 280

13. The Symbol of “Injustice”: The International Non-Proliferation Regime 291
13.1. The Emergence of the Non-proliferation Debate 291
13.1.1. Restrictions on Civilian Nuclear Technology Transfer 291
13.1.2. Negotiations on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, 1968 293
13.1.3. The Revival of the International Non-proliferation Debate 296
13.2. The Period of Unambiguous Ambiguity 297
13.3. Escalating Rhetoric on the International Non-proliferation Debate 304
13.3.1. The Bomb Lobby and its Challengers 304
13.3.2. Hardliners’ Emerging Dominance 309
13.3.3. Mounting Pressures from the Nuclear Scientific Community 315
13.3.4. Indefinite Extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, 1995 318
13.4. Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty 320
13.5. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, 1996 324
13.5.1. The Domestic CTBT Debate: Dialogue of the Deaf 325
13.5.2. Creating the CTBT Stalemate 331
13.5.3. The Lonely Moralist: The Geneva Negotiation Process 332
13.5.4. After the CTBT: Cutting the Losses 338
13.5.5. The CTBT Debate in the post-Pokhran Period 340
13.6. Joining the Club and Closing the Door 347

14. Conclusion: Regional Ties and Global Aspirations 351

Appendix A: Note on Methodology 377

Appendix B: List of Cited Newspaper Articles 381

Bibliography 389

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Tables:


Table 4.1.: Phases of India’s Nuclear Development 64
Table 4.2.: Regrouped Variables 69
Table 5.1.: Attitude towards the bomb (issue-wise) 76
Table 6.1.: Chronology of India’s Nuclear Course, 1947 – 1960 98
Table 6.2.: ChronologyNuclear Course, 1962 – 1974 106
Table 6.3.: Chronology of India’s Nuclear Course, 1980 – 1986 121
Table 7.1.: India’s Scientific Leadership 142





Charts:


Chart 2.1.: Patterns of Balancing Interst 28
Chart 3.1.: The ‘Nuclear Subsystem’ 39
Chart 3.2.: Nuclear Weapons and India’s National Interests 45
Chart 3.3.: The Role of India’s Strategic Elite 51
Chart 5.1.: Attitude Scale Time Series Comparison 78
Chart 5.2.: Issue-wise Nuclear Reporting 79
Chart 5.3.: Issue-wise Nuclear Reporting (mid-1986 – mid-1991) 80
Chart 5.4.: Issue-wise Nuclear Reporting (mid-1991 – mid-1996) 81
Chart 5.5.: Issue-wise Nuclear Reporting (mid-1996 – mid-1998) 83
Chart 5.6.: Issue-wise Nuclear Reporting (mid-1998 – mid-2003) 84
Chart 5.7.: Polarisation Index of 11 Variables 86
Chart 7.1.: Frequency of Articles on Domestic Issues (in % of total sample) 125
Chart: 7.2.: Reform Proposal of India’s Security Making Institutions by B.S.
Raghavan (1989) 131
Chart 7.3.: Strategic Decision Making in India after the Institutional Reforms of
1998/99 136
Chart 7.4.: Suggested Nuclear Command and Control Structure (1998) 138
Chart 7.5.: Nuclear Command Structure established in January 2003 139
Chart 8.1.: Frequency of Articles on Security Related Issues 163
Chart 11.1.: Frequency of Articles on Issues Related to the Int. Nuclear Order 229
Chart 13.1.: Nucl. Status Distribution in the Perception of India’s Strategic Elite 360


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List of Abbreviations


AEC Atomic Energy Commission
AEET rgy Establishment Trombay
AS Attitude Scale
BARC Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
BJP Bharatiya Janata Party
BWC Biological Weapons Convention
CANDU Canadian Deuterium-Uranium (Reactor)
C³I Command, Control, Communication, and Intelligence
CBMs Confidence Building Measures
CCPA Cabinet Committee for Political Affairs
CD Conference on Disarmament
CIA Central Intelligence Agency
CIRUS Canadian-Indian Reactor, U.S.
CSIR Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
CTBT Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
CWC Chemical Weapons Convention
DAE Department of Atomic Energy
DRDO Defence Research and Development Organisation
FMCT Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty
GoM Group of Ministers
H-Bomb Hydrogen Bomb
HEU Highly Enriched Uranium
HQ Head Quarters
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
IAS Indian Administrative Service
IB Intelligence Bureau
ICJ International Court of Justice
IDSA Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
IGMDP Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme
IMF International Monetary Fund
INF Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
IPKF Indian Peace Keeping Force (in Sri Lanka)
IR International Relations
IRBM Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile
ISRO Indian Space Research Organisation
JCSC Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
JIC Joint Intelligence Committee
LEU Low Enriched Uranium
LoC Line of Control





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MAD Mutually Assured Destruction
MBT Main Battle Tank
MoD Ministry of Defence
MoFA Ministry of Foreign Affairs
MOX Mixed Natural Uranium and Plutonium Oxide
MRBM Medium Range Ballistic Missile
MTCR Missile Technology Control Regime
MW MegaWatts
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NCA National Command Authority
NCP National Command Post
NMD National Missile Defence
NNWS Non-Nuclear Weapons States
NPT Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
NSAB National Security Advisory Board
NSC National Security Council
NSG Nuclear Suppliers Group
NSNC National Strategic Nuclear Command
NWFZ Nuclear Weapons Free Zone
NWS Nuclear Weapons States
PAEC Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission
PI Polarisation Index
PM Prime Minister
PNE Peaceful Nuclear Explosion
PSU Public Sector Undertaking
RAND Research and Development Corporation
RAW Research and Analysis Wing
R&D Research and Development
RAPS Rajasthan Atomic Power Station
Rs. Rupees
RSS Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
SAARC South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation
SFC Strategic Forces Command
SIPRI Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
SPG Strategic Policy Group
SSM Surface to Surface Missile
START Strategic Arms Reduction Talks
TIFR Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
UN United Nations
WMD Weapons of Mass Destruction

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