Indian Reactions to the US Nuclear Posture Review

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By deemphasizing the role of nuclear weapons in US security policy, the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) could lead India to slow or halt the growth of its nuclear weapons capabilities and to adopt a less assertive nuclear doctrine; however, the NPR is unlikely to have this effect on India's nuclear program. This is the case for two reasons. First, Indian leaders do not seek to emulate US nuclear behavior; they formulate policy based primarily on their assessment of the security threats facing India. Second, Indians do not think that the NPR augurs major changes in US nuclear policy. Thus, it will not alter the international strategic environment sufficiently to enable India to relax its nuclear posture. In fact, Indian strategists believe that the new US policy fails even to match India's current degree of nuclear restraint. Therefore, according to Indian experts, the NPR will have little impact on India.

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