JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

Positive Prospects for Limited War in South Asia

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  • April 2011
    Volume: 
    5
    Issue: 
    2
    Focus

    There is sufficient space for India to wage a limited war against Pakistan. Fears of escalation to the nuclear realm are grossly exaggerated by the critics of limited war, who ignore or misinterpret several factors (such as nuclear deterrence and international pressure) that would prevent conflict expansion in South Asia. While the current level of political-diplomatic-military planning in India lacks the capacity to meet the essential tenets of limited war, this can change and the requisite conditions can be achieved through better synergy and collaboration between different spheres. Second, not only is there potential space, but that by exploiting this space India can extract critical gains vis-à-vis Pakistan, which would compensate for the risk (less than assumed) inherent in that exploitation. Furthermore, a limited war posture can work in tandem with and even bolster India’s long-term grand strategy in its relationship with Pakistan.

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