POLITICAL DRIVERS OF INDIA'S BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENCE PROGRAMME AND IMPLICATIONS FOR SOUTH ASIAN SECURITY
Keywords:Ballistic Missile Defence, Political Drivers, Indo-US Strategic Partnership, Strategic Stability, Countermeasures
The reasons for the birth and continuation of India's BMD programme argue for security concerns. However, those are not reflected in on-ground realities. The paper explores said gap and the resulting security implications and highlights defence policy options. The drivers behind India's BMD programme can be analysed by considering the external and internal political drivers that shape India's security interests. India's BMD programme started before formally declaring itself a nuclear weapon state. It grew parallel with the Indo-US strategic partnership to build India's political and military standing as part of the US-led Indo-Pacific strategy. An increase in India's military potential will likely have severe repercussions for security and strategic stability between two nuclear neighbours, India and Pakistan. BMDs could lead to a false sense of protection for the possessor state and provide an incentive for launching a 'first strike' against the adversary. In response, Pakistan can contemplate several options without embroiling itself in a BMD race. Pakistan has already developed several versions of air, land, and sea-launched cruise missiles and is expanding its MIRVs that can sufficiently evade and penetrate India's BMD systems. Additionally, indigenously built UAVs could counter India's BMD system and disrupt or degrade associated ISR through electronic warfare and jamming capabilities.
Haider, Faraz and Dr Adil Sultan (2023) “Political Drivers of India's Ballistic Missile Defence Programme and Implications for South Asian Security” NDU Journal. 37: 1-15.
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