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India and Nuclear Asia: Forces, Doctrine, and Dangers, Yogesh Joshi and Frank O’Donnell

Reviewed by Jason A. Kirk



This book offers a compact yet comprehensive overview of India’s nuclear forces and doctrine. It provides enough empirical detail and insightful discussion to be of interest to the specialist (or semi-specialist) reader while also serving as a fairly accessible introduction for nonspecialists.

Yogesh Joshi and Frank O’Donnell’s monograph may work best for scholars and policymakers who have scrutinized India’s nuclear policies only episodically. The book comes exactly two decades after the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests that marked the overt nuclearization of South Asia, and one decade after a U.S.-India agreement that culminated in the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) granting India a waiver on access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel.

The book makes a compelling case for how much the landscape of “nuclear Asia” has evolved since these watershed developments. The authors suggest that already the Indian doctrine of “minimum credible deterrence” may be shedding its minimalism, even in the absence of formal review and revision—which they urge India to undertake.

The authors also survey the history of India’s “substantial commitment to curtailing global proliferation” (p. 168), including as a de facto nuclear weapon state since 2008 (with the conclusion of

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