Countering Insurgencies in India: An Insiders View
Similarly, intra-group dynamics between JeM and emerging global jihadist groups may have incentivized the former to revive old tactics to signal its commitment to the Islamist cause. This status quo provides a foundation for a boom-and-bust cycle of violence that Indian policymakers have been unable or unwilling to resolve, sparking periodic crises with the potential to escalate. The word crisis stems from the word Greek word krisis , which some translate as a decisive moment or decision point.
Crisis Onset. Our research suggests that Pakistan-backed terrorist attacks in India do not automatically thrust the state into crisis. Such selection is often, though not always, a part of crisis decision-making.
Drivers, Decisions, Dilemmas: Understanding the Kashmir Crisis and its Implications
In this case, the provocation is especially sensitive for Modi given its timing with respect to upcoming Indian national elections scheduled to begin in April. Indian Retaliation. High-end, complex operations like limited ground offensives are constrained by Indian military deficiencies e. More important, though, are the political effects India seeks. All three paths are fraught.
Are India-Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn? - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Compelling a change in behavior is inherently difficult, coercive diplomacy has historically low rates of success , and re-establishing general deterrence is difficult against asymmetric threats like terrorists, who may have nothing of value to hold at risk. Degrading terrorist infrastructure e. We expect India will likely split the difference between the second and third options as it did with the post-Uri surgical strikes, though these had a limited impact on terrorist violence in Kashmir.
After satiating public demands for revenge through some military retaliation, India will likely supplement that response with a longer-term campaign to condemn and isolate Pakistan globally, raising reputational costs and economic pressures i. While Pakistan will be cushioned by some all-weather allies like China and Saudi Arabia, its options and bargaining power will be circumscribed.
This extended non-military approach actually suits the BJP well, giving it an easy way to keep the issue alive in the minds of voters through Indian elections in the spring, while crowding out other issues hampering its electoral prospects like jobless growth. Pakistani Counters.
As the adage goes, the adversary gets a vote. For instance, it might be able reinforce potential targets in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir with additional personnel to heighten the ramifications of any Indian strikes, or it could vacate these positions to make them easier targets, tacitly permitting India to satisfy its domestic compulsions for retaliation.
In addition to whatever it does in advance of Indian action, Pakistan can also make a decision about how to react. After the surgical strikes, it managed to sidestep escalation pressures by denying that the strikes had ever taken place. It is unlikely that Pakistan will be able to credibly deny another round of strikes without looking craven, especially if India employs more conspicuous means like air or missile strikes.
Ultimately, if India retaliates militarily, Pakistani leaders may have high incentives to escalate and a hard time backing down. This could be due to fear of public disapproval, but it could also be a result of an effort to rally the Pakistani public around the flag, potentially to distract from an unimpressive six months since the new government came to power. In sum, India seems to have entered an inter-state crisis with limited options that incentivize a more symbolic militarized exchange followed by an extended punitive diplomatic campaign.
Though Washington has been relatively silent about the unfolding crisis, it has interests in the region that will undoubtedly be affected by any outcome.
In previous South Asian crises, the United States played the role of neutral broker and crisis manager between the two nuclear-armed rivals, but that role has been changing over the past decade. Not only is the current administration less predictable and committed to engagement and crisis prevention; there is also a sizeable camp in Washington that wants to cement the U. Shamim Yasin Manto". Karachi: Defence Journal Shamim.
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Countering Insurgencies in India - An Insiders View
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