Manohar Parrikar has been criticised for suggesting a re-evaluation of ‘no-first-use’. But nuclear doctrines are not written in stone.
While speaking at the launch of The New Arthashastra: A Security Strategy for India (HarperCollins India, 2016), the book I have edited on India’s national security strategy, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that there should be an element of unpredictability in the country’s military strategy.
Thinking aloud while answering a question, he wondered whether India’s nuclear doctrine should be constrained by a “no first use” posture. He mentioned the advantages of unpredictability and said, “If a written strategy exists, you are giving away your strength. Why should India bind itself (to no first use)? India is a responsible nuclear power and (it should suffice to say that) we will not use nuclear weapons irresponsibly.”