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...Representational photo In December 2016, Ashley J. Tellis, a renowned South Asia scholar, delivered a frank and incisive talk with a stark title — “Are India-Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn?” — at an event organised by Carnegie India. Those who missed the talk can now read his monograph: Are India-Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn? The author’s major conclusions reflect a deep understanding of the state of play in South Asia and are unexceptionable: “The international community’s routine call for continuous India-Pakistan dialogue is not only misguided but also counterproductive. This entreaty… fails to recognise that the security competition between the two nations is not actually driven by discrete, negotiable differences. ...Indian Express on Nov. 1, 2017, 12:05 a.m.
... 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.” The essence of the defence minister’s introspection was that ambiguity enhances deterrence. This view has been expressed by several nuclear strategists. ...Indian Express on Nov. 16, 2016, midnight