Missile Race in South Asia: Security Challenges for Pakistan in the 21st Century



The article assesses the nature of missile competition between India and Pakistan and how it impacts deterrence and strategic stability in South Asia. It also analyses how their respective ballistic and cruise missile programmes developed. Taking the action-reaction model of arms racing, it concludes that there is indeed such a dynamic at play between the two countries. The missiles competition is very much linked to the nuclear competition as well. India’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system also factors into the competitions, whereby Pakistan was forced to develop missiles that could saturate and defeat it. The missile and nuclear competition has an overall negative impact on deterrence and strategic stability in South Asia. Pakistan’s biggest security challenge is to achieve security and deterrence against a hostile India without falling into the trap of an economically ruinous arms race.

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