Indian and Pakistani Conventional Military Doctrines

Authored by: Frank O'Donnell

Routledge Handbook of the International Relations of South Asia

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032159881
eBook ISBN: 9781003246626
Adobe ISBN:


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India and Pakistan are developing limited war concepts that focus upon rapid seizure of rival territory, backed by fast-moving armored formations and precision-strike munitions. The scope of these plans intentionally test thresholds for major conventional or nuclear war and threaten unplanned escalation if applied in a conflict. Instead of these cross-border strike packages, this chapter recommends that both states focus on developing conventional deterrence-by-denial postures. This will demonstrate to the adversary that any attempted military solutions to their disputes will end in failure. To further avert the risk of unintended escalation, confidence-building measures should be more robustly built into their military deployments.

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