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Ali Ahmed’s Work Published in Indian Defence Review

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  • January 30, 2012

    Research Fellow, IDSA, Mr Ali Ahmed’s analytical report, ‘Legal warfare: The neglected dimension’, has been published in the Indian Defence Review journal.


    The legal dimension is usually taken as an after thought, coming to fore post conflict. This is no longer the case. The legal arena is now very much where the conflict plays out, even as the contest continues across the spectrum, in diplomacy, cyber space, and space and through information war. Legal arguments have so far buttressed political positions and information war campaign and will continue to do so. It is time therefore to see the legal sphere as a purposive arena to further conflict strategy.

    India has not been wanting in this. It has made a sustainable legal case prior to and during all its wars. That the adversary has also resorted to the same means, not only making its case and under-cutting India’s, indicates that the legal sphere cannot be neglected. For instance, Pakistan had Alastair Lamb write up its narrative of the 1947 War. In the 1962 War, the legal dimension was based on cartography and diverging historical narratives. India presented a plausible case for humanitarian intervention in the 1971 War, even though it deployed the self-defence argument at the UN for its offensive action in East Pakistan. The legal case in the Kargil conflict was so clear that it was sufficient to gain the political and moral high ground for India that India’s restraint in not crossing the LC resoundingly reinforced. The legal dimension is of significance in internal conflict too; witness the legal arguments for and against AFSPA.

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