Nuclear South Asia

A Guide to India, Pakistan, and the Bomb | taught by Nuclear Learning | A Stimson Initiative
Nuclear Learning | A Stimson Initiative
Nuclear Learning | A Stimson Initiative

About the instructor

Michael Krepon, Co-Founder & Distinguished Fellow

Michael Krepon co-founded the Stimson Center in 1989. He served as Stimson’s President and CEO until 2000. He was appointed the University of Virginia’s Diplomat Scholar, where he taught from 2001-2010. He is the author and editor of twenty-one books, most recently Off Ramps from Confrontation in Southern Asia and The Lure and Pitfalls of MIRVs: From the First to the Second Nuclear Age. He worked previously at the Carnegie Endowment, the State Department’s Arms Control and Disarmament Agency during the Carter Administration, and on Capitol Hill. He received the Carnegie Endowment's Thérèse Delpech Memorial Award in 2015 for lifetime achievement in non-governmental work to reduce nuclear dangers.

Sameer Lalwani, Senior Fellow & Director

Sameer Lalwani is a Senior Fellow and Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center where he researches nuclear deterrence, interstate rivalry, national security decision making, crisis behavior, and counter/insurgency. He is also a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations, a Contributing Editor to War on the Rocks, a non-resident fellow with the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University (GWU), and a 2019 National Asia Research Program Fellow. He has been an Adjunct Professor at GWU’s Elliott School of International Affairs and was previously a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the RAND Corporation. His work has been published by Security Studies, the Journal of Strategic Studies, The Washington Quarterly, Asian Survey, Small Wars & Insurgencies, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the New York Times. 

Lalwani’s dissertation research focused on South Asian national security decision making. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in India (including the Kashmir Valley), Pakistan, and Sri Lanka (including the former LTTE stronghold of Jaffna), as well as archival work at the British National Archives and British Library. He has also conducted interviews on U.S. Asia strategy in China, Japan, and Taiwan. 

Lalwani was previously a Predoctoral Fellow at GWU Elliott School’s Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, an Adjunct at the RAND Corporation, a Visiting Fellow at India’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses and at Pakistan’s Lahore University of Management Sciences, a Research Fellow at the New America Foundation, a Tobin Project Scholar, and a Smith Richardson World Politics and Statecraft Fellow. He has also been selected to participate in the German Marshall Fund’s Young Strategists Forum, the Center for a New American Security’s Next Generation National Security Leaders Fellowship, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Nuclear Scholars Initiative. He currently serves on the International Research Committee of the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (Colombo, Sri Lanka).


What Is Nuclear Learning?

Nuclear Learning is an online initiative produced by the Stimson Center’s South Asia Program to sharpen strategic analysts’ understanding of nuclear programs, doctrines, and postures in South Asia and beyond. Nuclear Learning pursues this mission by making diverse viewpoints accessible via open online courses, nurturing vibrant communities of “nuclear learners” on social media, and providing opportunities for students to engage with experts in the field.

What Is "Nuclear South Asia?"

The first Nuclear Learning course—“Nuclear South Asia: A Guide to India, Pakistan, and the Bomb”—is available for free at "Nuclear South Asia" is the most comprehensive collection of perspectives regarding India and Pakistan's nuclear trajectories available online. It includes video interviews with more than 80 leading practitioners and scholars from India, Pakistan, and the United States, including former senior diplomats and military officers. In addition to lectures, the course includes multiple-choice quizzes, recommended readings, and a pass/fail final exam.

How to Enroll in "Nuclear South Asia?"

"Nuclear South Asia" is a public good, and will always be free for users. To enroll in "Nuclear South Asia," click the "Enroll" button above. All you need to do is provide your name and email address, and then create a password. Read the detailed enrollment instructions.

Why Enroll in "Nuclear South Asia?"

Upon completing "Nuclear South Asia," students will be able to:

  • Understand the factors motivating India and Pakistan’s nuclear programs, doctrines, and postures;
  • Assess the impact of emerging policies and capabilities on deterrence stability;
  • Describe India and Pakistan’s positions vis-à-vis the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other elements of the global nuclear order;
  • Analyze crisis episodes, management challenges, and confidence-building efforts on the Subcontinent; and
  • Propose innovate solutions to reduce nuclear competition and dangers in South Asia.

Can Students Earn a Certificate for Completing "Nuclear South Asia?"

Yes! Nuclear Learning provides free certificates of course completion issued through our partner Accredible to recognize the achievement of course graduates and facilitate their academic and career advancement. These digital credentials allow students to present a portable, trustworthy record of their achievements to anyone at any time.

Accredible is an industry-leading digital credentialing platform, which allows users to securely issue, manage, track, and verify their certificates. Its platform is used by over 400 organizations worldwide, including Google, UC Berkeley, and IEEE. More than 1,000,000 students have received certificates or other credentials through their platform.

Each certificate displays the following information by default:

  • Your name, the Stimson Center logo, and the title of the completed course; and
  • A signature from Stimson Center Co-Founder Michael Krepon.

Each certificate is downloadable as a PDF file. You can also share your certificate on via LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, or a unique URL.

To earn a digital certificate, students must watch the video lessons, complete the quizzes, and pass a final exam. Download the course checklist and follow the instructions to ensure your progress toward a digital certificate.

Can Students Stay Connected to Nuclear Learning after Taking "Nuclear South Asia?"

Yes! After completing "Nuclear South Asia," students can stay connected to the Nuclear Learning online community and continue learning about evolving nuclear and strategic dynamics in South Asia and beyond by subscribing to the Nuclear Learning YouTube channel, following the Nuclear Learning Facebook page, and following Nuclear Learning on Twitter.

How can instructors promote Nuclear Learning and "Nuclear South Asia?"

This PDF gives more detailed information about Nuclear Learning and promoting the initiative on social media. There are three main ways you can promote the initiative:

  • Post about Nuclear Learning on social media using graphics and sample language available in this Social Media Kit. Remember to tag @nuclearlearning (on Twitter) and include a hyperlink to
  • Visit Nuclear Learning’s Instructor Resources page for instructional materials and suggestions for integrating “Nuclear South Asia” into the classroom.
  • Share Nuclear Learning’s exclusive interviews on strategic dynamics in South Asia with your networks on social media. The interviews are available via Nuclear Learning’s YouTube channel.

Course Contents

64 Videos
7 Quizzes
3 Surveys
20 Texts
2 PDFs
12.0 hrs

Course Curriculum

Intro Survey
Exit Survey and Statement of Academic Integrity