The Utility of Force in the India-Pakistan Context
Discussants: Col. Vivek Chadha and Shri Anit Mukherji
- In the 1980s NATO had created the Air Land Battle Doctrine in Europe to fight against the USSR. However, it used this doctrine only during Iraq war. There was a Pakistan connection in September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as well as in the recent Times Square plot. Mr. K. Subrahmanyam asked as to why did not the US carry out military operations against Pakistan?
- One participant asked how the three scenarios detailed by Ali Ahmed applied to incidents like the 26/11 Mumbai attacks? Moreover, the idea of sweetener has to be fleshed out.
- Another participant pointed out that one does not go to war to concede. Moreover, if the fundamental cause of using force against Pakistan is regime change, then it would bring about the worst result. Instead, the focus should be on changing the behaviour of the Pakistan Army.
- How can a limited war gravely affect India’s economy? This assertion needs to be substantiated. Second, a limited war cannot be fought to effect regime change in Pakistan, but at best to influence the calculations and strategy of Pakistan. Moreover, to talk about a general peace with Pakistan at the end of such a conflict is also far-fetched. Further, instead of attempting the rather difficult task of compelling Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism, it would be far more easier for India to exploit the internal turmoil within Pakistan as a means to influence its decision makers.
- In view of the escalation and de-escalation of war, de-escalation of war is a very rational choice for India while escalation of war is a rational choice for Pakistan. By escalating limited war, Pakistan can build international pressure on India. Question is what would be Pakistan’s nuclear option during this limited war.
- So far as giving sweeteners to Pakistan is concerned, this has failed in the last 60 years. Whether Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Lahore diplomacy or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s opening to Pakistan and providing money to flood victims, everything fails. During Kargil war, it was because of US and China’s pressure that Pakistan withdrew troops from Line of Control. Then what kind of sweeteners do you want to give to Pakistan? What is your framework? What you want to exclude and include?
- Engagement through dialogue fails against Pakistan and does not help improve the situation. Can military and intelligence strategy make Pakistan hesitant?
- Many people are worried about the Cold Start doctrine. It was prepared after Operation Parakram. India has fought four wars with Pakistan. After the incidence of 26/11 Mumbai attack, where you could put the Cold Start doctrine against Pakistan. During chemical or biological war what could be done?
- In the last ten years, the international environment has changed significantly. The US fought two wars – Afghanistan and Iraq which led to geopolitical change in this region. India links Pakistan in its Central Asian strategy. India and Pakistan relations will depend on this. What can be done in this regard?