The Cabinet Committee
on Security (CCS) met today to review the progress in operationaizing
of India’s nuclear doctrine. The Committee decided that the following
information, regarding the nuclear doctrine and operational arrangements
governing India’s nuclear assets, should be shared with the public.
2. India’s nuclear
doctrine can be summarized as follows:
- Building and maintaining a credible
- A posture of "No First
Use" nuclear weapons will only be used in retaliation
against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian
- Nuclear retaliation to a first
strike will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable
- Nuclear retaliatory attacks
can only be authorised by the civilian political leadership
through the Nuclear Command Authority.
- Non-use of nuclear weapons against
non-nuclear weapon states;
- However, in the event of a major
attack against India, or Indian forces anywhere, by biological
or chemical weapons, India will retain the option of retaliating
with nuclear weapons;
- A continuance of strict controls
on export of nuclear and missile related materials and technologies,
participation in the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty negotiations,
and continued observance of the moratorium on nuclear tests.
- Continued commitment to the
goal of a nuclear weapon free world, through global, verifiable
and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament.
3. The Nuclear
Command Authority comprises a Political Council and an Executive
Council. The Political Council is chaired by the Prime Minister.
It is the sole body which can authorize the use of nuclear weapons.
4 The Executive
Council is chaired by the National Security Advisor. It provides
inputs for decision making by the Nuclear Command Authority
and executes the directives given to it by the Political Council.
5. The CCS reviewed
the existing command and control structures, the state of readiness,
the targetting strategy for a retaliatory attack, and operating
procedures for various stages of alert and launch. The Committee
expressed satisfaction with the overall preparedness. The CCS
approved the appointment of a Commander-in-Chief, Strategic
Forces Command, to manage and administer all Strategic Forces.
6. The CCS also
reviewed and approved the arrangements for alternate chains
of command for retaliatory nuclear strikes in all eventualities.