May 29, 2018
We are pleased to announce the release of a special video series, “Retrospectives on India and Pakistan’s May 1998 Nuclear Tests,” to mark the 20th anniversary of the subcontinent’s overt nuclearization. This series will begin with interviews with three figures who were involved in high-stakes U.S. diplomacy following India and Pakistan’s tests:
- Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state at the U.S. Department of State;
- Robert Einhorn, a former special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control at the U.S. Department of State; and
- Gen. Anthony Zinni, a former CENTCOM commander.
Here's a preview of the video series:
The full series can be viewed on Nuclear Learning's YouTube channel.
After the tests, President Bill Clinton directed then-Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott to engage in “strategic dialogues” with senior officials in India and Pakistan. The Clinton administration wanted both countries to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, limit the deployment of ballistic missiles, and subscribe to other measures of strategic restraint. Neither country was willing to adopt measures beyond tightening export controls.
India and Pakistan have implemented a few confidence-building measures and improved nuclear security in the intervening years. These positive steps have been undermined by negative developments. Stockpiles of missiles and warheads have been expanding. The interactive nuclear competition among China, India, and Pakistan shows no signs of slowing down. Counterforce capabilities suitable for warfighting doctrines appear to be in the offing. Severe interstate crises have occurred despite the presence of nuclear weapons. Diplomacy to resolve bilateral disputes has stagnated. And an increasingly assertive China is introducing a new element of uncertainty in regional security calculations.
Amid these evolving strategic dynamics, Stimson’s South Asia Program has launched an open online course, “Nuclear South Asia: A Guide to India, Pakistan, and the Bomb,” which is available for free at www.nuclearlearning.org. It includes 8.5 hours of video content and features lectures from more than 80 renowned scholars and practitioners. 1,500 students (and counting) have enrolled and many have gone on to complete the course requirements and earn a Stimson-issued certificate. A second course on deterrence will be released next year.
We are deeply indebted to Mr. Talbott, Mr. Einhorn, and Gen. Zinni for agreeing to participate in this special series. We hope students of “Nuclear South Asia” will take advantage of this opportunity for supplementary learning twenty years after India and Pakistan detonated nuclear devices.
For more on the 1998 nuclear tests, including Indian and Pakistani perspectives, we encourage you to enroll in “Nuclear South Asia” at www.nuclearlearning.org.
- Mansoor Ahmed, "Revisiting Pakistan's Nuclear Restraint," Pakistan Politico, June 7, 2018.
- Zamir Akram, "Twenty Years After," The Express Tribune, May 28, 2018.
- Salman Bashir, "Pakistan's Nuclear Tests: Twenty Years On," Pakistan Politico, June 7, 2018.
- "Benign Fallout of India's Nuclear Tests," The Economic Times, May 11, 2018.
- "India and Pakistan Nuclear Tests - Virtual Special Issue," The Washington Quarterly: May 2018.
- Feroz Khan, Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012).
- Michael Krepon, "Looking Back: The 1998 Indian and Pakistani Nuclear Tests," Arms Control Today, June 11, 2018.
- George Perkovich, India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact of Global Proliferation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).
- George Perkovich, "Test and Effect," The Indian Express, May 11. 2018.
- T.P. Sreenivasan, "Pokhran II, Twenty Years Later," The Hindu, May 11, 2018.
- Strobe Talbott, Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bomb (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2004).
- Two Decades after the Nuclear Tests in South Asia (Islamabad: Center for International Strategic Studies, 2018).
- Moeed Yusuf, "Pakistan's Nuclear Evolution: A Primer," Herald, May 28, 2018.
- Travis Wheeler and Heather Byrne, "20 Years After Pokhran-II: Have Nuclear Weapons Made India More Secure?" The Diplomat, May 30, 2018.
- Travis Wheeler, "Nuclear Arms: Does Washington Need to Be Neutral in South Asia?" Herald, May 28, 2018.