In “Pakistan's Battlefield Nuclear Policy,” Jaganath Sankaran argues that Pakistan's threat to employ tactical nuclear weapons in a war with India is not credible because the use of such weapons would cause the immediate deaths of hundreds of thousands of Pakistani civilians while achieving negligible military effects.1 Sankaran, however, misunderstands how Pakistan is likely to employ nuclear weapons during wartime; he overstates the likely number of Pakistani civilian casualties from the initial use of tactical nuclear weapons; and he understates the potential negative battlefield consequences for the Indian army. Why would any rational Pakistani leader pull the trigger if it inevitably meant the death of so many Pakistani innocents and only a few Indian military personnel? If Sankaran's analysis is to be believed, no leader would. Thus, Pakistan's threat to use tactical nuclear weapons to deter Indian conventional operations has been a bluff. That conclusion is dangerous, because if...

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