Workshop on Verified Dismantlement of Retired Short Range Ballistic Missiles: The South Asian Context
Hilton Residence, Colombo, Sri Lanka
The Workshop on Verified Dismantlement of Retired Short Range Ballistic Missiles: The South Asian Context was the second part of a project to assess how the dismantlement of designated SRBMs can enhance strategic stability in South Asia. The first part, conducted in March 2010, convened a group of international experts to review the history of nuclear capable missile elimination around the world and the effects of those actions on regional strategic stability. A group of Indian and Pakistani strategic thinkers at the first meeting applied the history and experiences of other countries to the specific circumstances of India and Pakistan.
The next phase of the project is to develop a plan to guide missile dismantlement in South Asia. By making a virtue of a necessity, India and Pakistan can solidify a shared understanding of the nuclear balance between them and remove an unneeded element of uncertainty from their strategic calculations. Moreover, a joint dismantlement plan could include limited transparency measures that will build confidence that the missiles have actually been removed from active duty, and therefore are not a factor in worst case force planning or cause for miscalculation if a conflict does occur.
A core group of highly qualified strategic analysts – two each from India and Pakistan – attended this workshop. This group convened in Colombo, a neutral location with a small cadre of US and international missile dismantlement and verification technical experts to draft a plan for mutually agreed, parallel SRBM dismantlement. The group discussed the technical requirements of dismantlement and assess possible transparency measures acceptable to both sides. The goal of the workshop was to produce a draft plan for mutual and verified dismantlement of retired missile systems. The plan would be disseminated to official circles in both countries.