Christopher Bluth and Uzma Mumtaz, India-Pakistan Strategic Relations: The Nuclear Dilemma
Ever since the advent of nuclear weapons, the role of coercion in international politics has been a subject that has attracted attention of many a scholar. There are two sides in the coercion spectrum: deterrence and compellence. Due to their sheer capacity to wreak havoc, nuclear weapons are said to be great instruments of deterrence. That said, states possessing nuclear weapons also look to create spaces to extract compellence. Strategic relations between nuclear dyads are marred when at least one state in the equation feels that mutual deterrence can be circumvented. Today, rationality and mutual vulnerabilities are being deemed of as hindrances by states that want to attain strategic ends through the use of force. The resultant risks are not adding value to deterrence, but are rather contributing towards making it less stable. In such an environment, it is imperative to enrich the discourse on the impact of nuclear weapons on coercion. In this regard, how states interact, under a bilateral deterrence framework, is an important area of study. The Indo-Pak nuclear dyad has enthralled scholars in more ways than one. One of the reasons for academic interest in nuclear South Asia is its similarity and dissimilarity to the dyadic relationship between the US and the erstwhile USSR during the Cold War.