JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

The 1965 Indo-Pak War: Through Today’s Lens

Ali Ahmed was Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • July 2015
    Volume: 
    9
    Issue: 
    3
    Focus

    This article seeks to analyse the lessons of the 1965 Indo-Pak war that are applicable today. It finds that the current army doctrine, Cold Start, has some similarities to the opening round of the 1965 war. It argues that even the attritionist strategy adopted in 1965 may have more to give today than the manoeuvre war approach of its more famous successor, the 1971 war. In particular, the article appraises Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s firm political control during the war and finds that it was ably reinforced by the prime ministers who were at the helm in India’s later wars. Knowing when to stop is key to avoiding nuclear thresholds, and in that the 1965 war, which stopped short of decisive victory, serves as a suitable precedent to potential future conflicts.

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