To Pull Back From Nuclear Missile Race USA, Russia And China Must Take Guidance From India
As the world urges the nuclear powers to pull back from an unbridled nuclear-tipped missiles race, it is imperative to tell USA Russia and China, to seek guidance from India and work under it, to enable a permanent agreement on a ceiling on nuclear weapons and their ultimate removal.
The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is the sole nuclear arms control agreement between the US and Russia. Like the old START, it has enforced an upper limit of 1,550 strategic offensively deployed nuclear weapons on no more than 700 deployed launchers. This is backed by rigorous joint verification.
Some Americans think that they should now also involve China in the talks because China is on way to becoming a modern strategic nuclear force with the imminent induction of Dong Feng 41 that will have a range of 10,000 kms thus posing a threat to every nook and corner of the US, India and, in an uncertain world, even its current ally Russia as well. The Dong Feng – 41 will be mated with the already-developed dissociable warheads that can be mounted easily on the intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The westerners think that in tune with its growing economic and military strength, China is beginning to match the US and Russia not just in the range of its nuclear missiles but also more powerful delivery systems on land, air and sea.
There is the growing fear that China will soon match the Big Two in other equally lethal means of delivering nuclear weapons. From air, it will soon be capable of inducting a heavily redesigned bomber (Hong-6) capable of carrying air-launched cruise missiles. This will catapult China in the same league as the Americans and the Russians.
In the sea too, despite derision from western think-tanks, China has started secretly patrolling the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and South China Sea with Julang 2 submarine launched ballistic missile fitted on its four operational nuclear-powered submarines. More worryingly, it is poised to deploy the next generation Type 096 SSBN fitted with the more advanced Julang-3 missiles with an effective range of 15,000 km and fitted with up to 10 warheads.
Since Western think tanks have always been equating India with Pakistan, they think India is inferior to China. Though with ASAT test, Mangalyan and Chandrayan 2 and Arihant, India has given enough hints about its capability.
The Think Tanks still think that China’s involvement in a new treaty to limit deadly ultra-long range missiles tipped with multiple nuclear warheads will check the domino effect on India and Pakistan that are experimenting with similar longer range ballistic missiles with implications for the stability of the subcontinent.
They forget that India is no more just experimenting. It has the minimum to reply to anyone no matter located where, it is just that India believes in self restrain.
India is just not only an economic powerhouse and possessing a top drawer conventional military, but has already become capable of matching Russia, America and China in any deadly multiple-warhead laden long range delivery systems. In a few things India may have surpassed also.
The world can hardly afford to overlook the emergence of India, a country capable of replying to any nuclear attack from any corner of the world. However it always seeks to eliminate nuclear weapons.
whereas US President Donald Trump has already abrogated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia on grounds that Moscow secretly violated it by developing 9M729 missile. The New START between Russia and the US will expire in two years.
Preliminary talks may have already begun. But the matter of long range missiles and delivery systems coupled with China’s latent capability to double the number of warheads from the existing 300 to 600 in next to no time, makes it imperative that countries talking of limiting arms race in space must take similar steps on earth as well.
US, Russia, China may not agree to each other but they all will listen to India as has been seen since 2014.