The reality in South Asia is that the two biggest countries, India and Pakistan are de facto nuclear powers. These neighboring countries with a long land border have a history of hostility, conflict and wars because of unresolved territorial and border issues. They are self declared nuclear weapon states and have evolving nuclear programs that involve progressive improvement in nuclear and technical facilities, systems and delivery means. India set the tone for this in her draft nuclear doctrine by stating an intention to develop a triad of strategic forces. Both countries have stated that their development strategy is based on the concept of a ‘minimum credible deterrence’ but the minimum for credibility has never been defined. It can be assumed that both have growing stockpiles as they have never considered capping production nor have they bilaterally discussed such a possibility. The fact that India seeks to deter or match China while Pakistan focuses on India further complicates the problem by making it a tri-state issue. As the Carnegie report on Universal Compliance noted china would look at its imbalance with Russia who in turn would consider its own imbalance with the US. Thus the nuclear capability in the group of three - India, Pakistan and Israel cannot be undone. It is there to stay.
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