- Students’ Column
- War and Military
A nuclear briefcase is a specially outfitted briefcase used to authorize the use of nuclear weapons. U.S.A has one that has been codenamed “Nuclear Football”. It is a black briefcase, the contents of which are to be used by the President of the United States of America to authorize a nuclear attack while away from fixed command centers, such as the White House situation room. It functions as a mobile hub in the strategic defense system of the United States.
While its Russian Version has been codenamed “Cheget”. Cheget has a little different working. It is connected to a special communications system codenamed Kavkaz. It is assumed that similar briefcases have been given to the Minister of Defense and the Chief of General Staff of the Russian Federation.
It is very important for any country with nuclear arsenal to have one of these as they mobilize the ability to attack and can be very useful in times of war, especially if the Chief of Defense is away from a defense command center. India is one of those nuclear-armed countries which doesn’t have a nuclear briefcase. It means that if there is a war or nuclear attack on the country, the President will have to travel to a command center or call them to confirm a nuclear attack. But if such a system is to be brought in India, the problem again arises that who will have the supreme authority over it. The President is the supreme commander of the Defense Forces of India. But most of the decisions are taken by the Prime Minister and the Parliament of India. This means that President is not free to use the briefcase. Then comes the Prime Minister. He cannot be trusted too because the Prime Minister works under pressure from the ruling party or the coalition. It has been proved by the book written by Sanjaya Baru about PM Manmohan Singh and how he worked under pressure from Sonia Gandhi. Neither can be the Chiefs of Different Defense Forces can be trusted as they could be moles of different intelligence agencies or things like that. Many intelligence agencies bribe soldiers to sell information about their country.
It will be interesting to see if this device is ever made in India and it will be more interesting that who is vested with its power. This device is very important and it will be very useful in war situations.
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