India DM: No First Use of Nuclear Weapons, ‘For Now’

Warns future policy 'depends on the circumstances'

In comments Friday, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh played up his country’s status as a nuclear-armed nation, saying that India has remained committed to a “No First Use” doctrine on nuclear arms.

Singh suggested that this commitment was more than a little soft, and that it remained in place “so far” in as much as India hadn’t carried out any attacks with nuclear weapons as of yet.

But as tensions mount with Pakistan, Singh says that India’s not conducting preemptive nuclear strikes “depends on the circumstances” in the future, which is the opposite of a commitment or a policy.

Other analysts said India’s government has “an open mind” on their long-standing “no first use” stance, and might conduct a first use strike in the future if they think it is to their benefit

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.