(Muhammad Suleman Shahid)
There is no common definition of the “strategic stability” on which all international political’ scholars agree. Almost every writer describes it in his own way. Generally, stability can be defined as the equal military balance among two rivals. However, in the broader context, the stability can be defined as a situation among two rival countries, strong enough militarily, politically but economically and where each would not be in position to launch first strike on other’s strategic forces. Thomas Schelling and Morton Halperin define the strategic stability in their book “Strategy and Arms Control”. According to them, “stability is a situation in which chances of war are very low because both sides possess no motivation to strike first and this calculation or estimation is “reasonable, secure against shocks, alarms and perturbations.” According to some eminent experts, stability is defined as, “the absence of armed conflict between nuclear-armed states;” and broadly as, “a regional or global security environment in which states enjoys peaceful and harmonious relations.
Crisis and arms race stability are two main ingredients of strategic stability. Crisis stability can be defined as a condition, where neither side perceives an advantage to initiate the first strike due to the fear of nuclear retaliation. While the arms race stability is due to the lack of perceived motivation to expand a nuclear force out of distress which in a crisis enemy takes advantage of a meaningful benefit by using the nuclear weapons first.