Why did India and Pakistan test nuclear weapons in May 1998, and how did the United States and the international community respond?

How did the United States engage with India and Pakistan post-1998?

Within eight months of the nuclear tests, Pakistan, under General Pervez Musharraf, infiltrated military units into the Kargil sector of Indian-administered Kashmir. In May 1999, when these units were discovered, any negotiations towards the signing of the CTBT took a back seat to U.S. crisis management efforts to prevent a nuclear war over Kashmir. After 9/11, the United States’ strategic priorities in South Asia shifted, as it sought Pakistani help to fight the “war on terror.” As a result, any remaining sanctions were lifted in September 2001.

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South Asian Voices

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The Real Requirements of Deterrence


With Trump’s tweet, suddenly the conversation on nuclear deterrence and arms has started again. Today’s needull discusses deterrence.

One gets to thousands of nuclear weapons by subscribing to requirements for extreme redundancy—not just a nuclear triad of bombers, submarines, and land-based missiles, but also air- and sea-launched cruise missiles to accompany them. Some missiles and all bombers carry more than one warhead. Massive targeting lists are needed to make sense of large numbers of warheads. Add to this the requirement to launch within minutes of learning about a nuclear attack. Add also short-range, “tactical” nuclear weapons. Then add the option of using nuclear weapons first as well as in retaliation.

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Michael Krepon — Foreign Affairs

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