Complex weapon systems are inherently prone to accidents, and this latest launch is one of a long history of military accidents in India
“The mistake that is of greatest concern is a false alarm of an incoming nuclear attack, possibly directed against nuclear forces. Indian or Pakistani—or Russian or NATO—policy makers may find themselves under immense pressure to launch a preemptive attack, thereby compounding the crisis…Nuclear war, even of a limited nature, between India and Pakistan could lead to millions of deaths in the short term and even graver consequences in the longer term for the region and beyond.”
Last month, while most of the world focused on the war in Ukraine and worried that a beleaguered Russian leadership might resort to nuclear weapons, thus escalating the conflict into a direct war with the U.S.-led NATO nuclear-armed alliance, a nearly tragic accident involving India and Pakistan pointed to another path to nuclear war. The accident highlighted how complex technological systems, including those involving nuclear weapons, can generate unexpected routes to potential disaster—especially when managed by overconfident organizations.