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      Cruise Missiles in South Asia: Implications for Regional Strategic Stability



            In the last decade, there has been a growing interest in cruise missiles in India and Pakistan. A characteristic counterforce weapon with high speed and precision, stealth capabilities and multiple launch platforms, cruise missiles are linked to the preemptive capabilities of a state; an antithesis to mutual vulnerability important to maintain nuclear deterrence. However, like any other weapon, they cannot be neatly described as either weapon for offense for first strike or weapon for defense in second strike. This makes it imperative to study the implications of the cruise missiles of Pakistan and India on strategic stability. The paper is divided into three parts; the first part studies the characteristics of cruise missile and builds a theoretical framework to understand how counterforce systems like cruise missiles impact strategic stability between two states. The second part studies the impact of cruise missiles in South Asia on regional strategic stability from three aspects: deterrence stability, crisis stability and arms race stability. In the third part, the conclusion, it is found that while the dynamics of deterrence stability and crisis stability are not affected by cruise missiles, it proves to be destabilizing for arms race. Cruise missiles in South Asia reinforce the cyclic dynamics of offense and defense, prompting both countries to invest in their security, which on the long run will impinge on deterrence stability and crisis stability between the two countries.


            Author and article information

            Policy Perspectives: The Journal of the Institute of Policy Studies
            Pluto Journals
            : 13
            : 1
            : 115-134
            Ms. Kulsoom Belal is Assistant Research Coordinator at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad.
            © 2016, Institute of Policy Studies

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Education,Religious studies & Theology,Social & Behavioral Sciences,Law,Economics
            Arms Race Stability,Crisis Stability,Deterrence Stability,Strategic Stability,South Asia,Cruise Missiles


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