Nuclear South Asia: Course Content and Structure

Nuclear South Asia: Course Content and Structure

Nuclear South Asia: A Guide to India, Pakistan, and the Bomb is divided into seven chapters:

  • Introduction to Nuclear South Asia: Introduces key nuclear debates, provides an overview of the course structure, and explores why the international community cares about “nuclear South Asia.”
  • Nuclear History: Explores the origins of India and Pakistan’s nuclear programs as well as the factors that prompted both countries to test nuclear weapons in 1998.
  • Nuclear Policies and Postures: Outlines the key elements of India and Pakistan’s respective nuclear doctrines and postures. Experts also debate such issues as India’s “Cold Start” doctrine, Pakistan’s development of tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs), and deterrence stability and credibility on the subcontinent.
  • The Global Nuclear Order: Examines the global nuclear order, identifying India and Pakistan’s respective positions within this international regime. This chapter also covers the strategic rationale behind the U.S.-Indian civil nuclear deal, India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and Pakistan’s quest to become a “normal” nuclear state.
  • Nuclear Crises and Crisis Management: Considers the role of nuclear weapons in the 1999 Kargil Conflict, the 2001-02 Twin Peaks Crisis, and other crises in South Asia. Special attention is paid to crisis management and lessons learned.
  • Confidence-Building and Nuclear Risk-Reduction Measures: Identifies ways that confidence-building and nuclear risk-reduction measures can help improve relations and reduce nuclear dangers. Past failures and successes, such as the Lahore Process, are considered as starting points for future CBMs and NRRMs.
  • The Future of “Nuclear South Asia:” Assesses what the future holds for “nuclear South Asia.” The potential impact of new capabilities, such as multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), are weighed alongside potential doctrinal shifts, nascent naval nuclear dynamics, and China’s future crisis-management role.

Each chapter includes video lessons, links to recommended resources, and a multiple-choice quiz. The course concludes with a pass/fail exam.

The course is comprised of 8.5 hours of video content. We estimate that most students can complete the course in 10-12 hours.