Ballistic Missile Proliferation in Southern Asia: Options for Stabilization

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Cooperative Monitoring Center Occasional Paper (2004)



This study assesses the destabilizing and stabilizing effects of ballistic missile development, induction, and deployment in Southern Asia. India's relations with China and Pakistan are characterized by poor communication and mutual distrust. Within this context, the delivery systems for nuclear and conventional weapons strongly influence each country's threat perceptions and military strategy. The study reviews the respective national missile programs and the concept of deterrence within the context of national nuclear and missile strategies. The recent concept of limited war is also reviewed. The study goes on to develop practical concepts that could decrease the instability resulting from the introduction of ballistic missiles. The analysis process uses three regional scenarios to identify stabilizing and destabilizing factors and assess potential options for improvement. The study presents options that could be initiated within the current regional political environment and presents additional options that could be applicable if political conditions improve. The stabilization options include political, operational, and communication initiatives. These initiatives are both unilateral and cooperative (bilateral between India-Pakistan or India-China)


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