Prolif good – War


AT Indo-Pak Proves Deterrence



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AT Indo-Pak Proves Deterrence




Indo-Pak crises prove deterrence failure is possible and nukes don't prevent escalation.


Mistry ‘9  (Dinshaw, Associate Prof. Pol. Sci. and Dir. Asian Studies – U. Cincinnati, Security Studies, “Tempering Optimism about Nuclear Deterrence in South Asia”, 18:1, InformaWorld)

The analysis in this article contributes to scholarship on nuclear proliferation and has policy implications as well. Its first scholarly contribution is to answer calls for a detailed investigation into the political and military behavior of new nuclear powers. Commenting on this issue, David Karl notes, “The task now before scholars is to go beyond rote arguments over whether proliferation is good or bad and undertake empirical investigations into the actual behavior of new nuclear powers.” 113 Proceeding with such an investigation, this article shows that, first, non-nuclear factors, such as U.S. diplomacy, averted military escalation and ended the 1999 and 2001–02 crises. Thus, contrary to the optimists’ position, nuclear deterrence was not the main factor that ended these crises. Second, a credible case can be made that significant military escalation was quite likely if these crisis-ending factors were absent. In short, the detailed empirical investigation in this article lessens confidence in the deterrence optimists’ emphatic position that, as Waltz puts it, “The obvious conclusion to draw from Kargil [and the 2001–02 crisis] is that the presence of nuclear weapons prevented escalation from major skirmish to full-scale war.” 114 The Optimists and Escalation The above point about nuclear deterrence not averting military escalation has additional scholarly implications—it engages the optimists’ position on escalation in three ways. First, as noted previously, one group of optimists affirms that in a crisis between nuclear rivals, “not escalation but de-escalation becomes likely.” 115 Contrary to this position, this article convincingly shows that escalation, rather than de-escalation, was likely if Washington had not intervened in South Asia’s crises. Second, another group of optimists accepts that some escalation could occur in a crisis but still argues that escalation would be very limited. Those optimists suggest any escalation would involve much less than, say, a few tens of thousands of troops that make up one strike corps. They reason, “Why would any Indian or Pakistani leader order a strike corps across the international border in the face of possible nuclear retaliation?” 116 Yet this article shows that escalation in South Asia’s crises could have involved far more than one strike corps. In June 2002, India was prepared for military operations involving all of its three strike corps (on the order of over one hundred thousand troops), and this represents a case of very significant rather than just limited escalation. Thus, this article challenges the optimists’ position that nuclear deterrence would limit escalation in a crisis. Third, while optimists accept the possibility of limited escalation, they do not fully examine the pressures and provocations in regional security environments that contribute to escalation. Those factors—related to domestic political pressures, the provocative nature of an attack on national leaders, and the seriousness of the issue of terrorism—can cause military escalation to far exceed the limited escalation optimists suggest. First, domestic pressures for military escalation may arise when one side is taking high casualties and because of political compulsions for governments to not appear weak, especially near a time of elections. Domestic pressures stemming from high casualties were very prominent in the Kargil crisis. They caused India’s political leaders to repeatedly warn about expanding the conflict despite nuclear deterrent signals from Pakistan. Second, particularly provocative acts such as attacks on national leaders can induce a very strong militarily response. India’s security elites interpreted the December 2001 militant attack on Parliament as an attempt to wipe out the political leadership. They considered this to be a very serious provocation that warranted a strong military response, and they were not deterred from military escalation in this situation. Third, the issue of terrorism can be viewed by national governments as a serious provocation that warrants a strong and “decisive” military response; this is an issue optimists have not considered. In the words of Prime Minister Vajpayee, India was prepared for a “decisive battle” against terrorism. 117 Further, Pakistan’s nuclear forces were not deterring India’s leaders from such a battle. India’s leaders repeatedly mentioned that they would risk a nuclear strike from Pakistan to stop what they regarded as nearly two decades of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. 118 In addition, the post-September 11 war on terrorism, and the more permissive international environment for cross-border military action against terrorism, makes national leaders more willing to militarily escalate in the face of terrorist-related crises. Recognizing that the United States undertook a military campaign against terrorism in Afghanistan, India’s political establishment made the case that they too had the right to pursue a military campaign against Pakistan. To summarize, this article more fully engages the optimists’ position on escalation in three ways. First, it refutes the arguments of some optimists that de-escalation rather than escalation is likely in a crisis. Second, it shows that escalation could have been very significant rather than just limited as the optimists suggest. Third, it specifies particular factors in regional security environments that can lead to significant escalation. These pressures and provocations for significant military escalation can contribute to the break down of nuclear deterrence
South Asia proves nothing. Escalation was deterred by US intervention, not nuclear weapons.

Mistry ‘9  (Dinshaw, Associate Prof. Pol. Sci. and Dir. Asian Studies – U. Cincinnati, Security Studies, “Tempering Optimism about Nuclear Deterrence in South Asia”, 18:1, InformaWorld)

In examining the consequences of nuclear proliferation, scholars and practitioners have extensively debated the question of whether nuclear deterrence prevents war among regional nuclear rivals. Proliferation optimists argue that nuclear deterrence prevents war while pessimists challenge these arguments. 1 South Asia has become an important test bed for assessing these contending claims—India and Pakistan are among the world’s newest nuclear powers, and they were involved in two military crises after their 1998 nuclear tests. In 1999, the two sides fought a limited war in the Kargil region of Kashmir that caused over one thousand fatalities. In 2001–02, they mobilized a million troops on their borders and were prepared for a wider conflagration. Eventually, these two military crises did not escalate into larger conflicts, and optimists argue that nuclear deterrence kept the peace in South Asia. Based on this, optimists note that the South Asian case provides one of the strongest pieces of evidence to support deterrence theory. For example, Kenneth Waltz notes, “South Asia is said to be the acid test for deterrence optimists. So far, nuclear deterrence has passed all of the many tests it has faced [in the region].”


Indo-Pak crises prove deterrence failure. Escalation was assured without US intervention in spite of nuclear deterrence.

Mistry ‘9  (Dinshaw, Associate Prof. Pol. Sci. and Dir. Asian Studies – U. Cincinnati, Security Studies, “Tempering Optimism about Nuclear Deterrence in South Asia”, 18:1, InformaWorld)

Despite nuclear deterrent signals, if the crisis had not eased in both midJanuary and early to mid-June, there is much evidence that India was likely to have militarily escalated. Pakistan had signaled its nuclear deterrent repeatedly during the crisis. President Musharraf later observed, “I personally conveyed messages to Prime Minister Vajpayee through every international leader who came to Pakistan, that if Indian troops moved a single step across the international border or Line of Control, they should not expect a conventional war from Pakistan.” 88 In early June, Musharraf sent three emissaries to Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East, carrying letters with similar messages. One of these emissaries, former army chief General Jehangir Karamat, claimed in Europe that Pakistan would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons and also spelled out some “red lines” that would trigger nuclear use—an economic or sea blockade, a military threat in the plains, intervention in Pakistani politics, or blockage of Indus River waters by India. 89 Earlier, in December, General Khalid Kidwai, director of the Strategic Plan Division of the Pakistani Army, informed visiting Italian researchers of similar red lines. 90 Finally, the movement of Pakistani missiles in December-January and in May-June, and, more specifically, Pakistan’s three missile tests on 25–28 May, signaled that Pakistan had a capable nuclear deterrent against any Indian military strike. 91 The Indian Army’s own assessment was that Pakistan issued a nuclear signal “during Parakram at least twice—once each by President General Musharraf and foreign minister Abdul Sattar.” 92 Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities did not deter India’s political leaders from being willing to authorize the use of force against Pakistan—they mainly held back from a military attack while nonmilitary options were exhausted. As noted previously, these officials and India’s security elites had been actively exploring the concept of limited war since the Kargil conflict, and in a postSeptember 11 environment, they were also making the case that, like the United States in Afghanistan, New Delhi had the right to cross international borders to fight terrorism. 93 Neither was India’s military deterred from an attack against Pakistan. India’s military came close to attacking Pakistan on two occasions. The first occurred in January when the Indian Army was prepared for two operations in the Kashmir sector. One involved launching air strikes with precision-guided munitions on militant camps across the border and raids across the Line of Control to occupy infiltration points; India’s government had approved this operation and only delayed it (the military was ready to begin this operation on 7 January) while it explored nonmilitary options. 94 A second plan was to occupy areas of operational significance in Pakistan-held Kashmir, such as the Bugina Bulge, the Lipa Valley, or the Hazipir Pass; this operation would require some ten thousand troops, and the Indian government held back on authorizing it. 95 The Indian Army also deployed a few hundred thousand troops along the Kashmir line and the international border. Confronted with even a limited Indian attack in Kashmir, Pakistan’s military was very likely to have retaliated and clashed with these Indian forces. It had instructed its soldiers to respond immediately after the first Indian attack and also issued orders for at least one counter-attack. 96 Pakistan’s army was well positioned for such operations as it had deployed its forces more quickly than India could fully field its strike corps. 97 Second, in May and June, the Indian Army was prepared to launch a larger military campaign not restricted to the Kashmir sector. India’s military plan was to seize Pakistani territory, to draw Pakistani forces into combat and attrite them, and to trade Pakistani territory for concessions in ensuing negotiations. 98 It was prepared for such a campaign for several months. Thus, since January, the Indian Army had moved three mountain divisions from eastern India to the Jammu corridor and had also moved 1 Corps to Rajasthan. The Indian Army then had all three of its offensive strike corps—1, 2, and 21 Corps—in the Rajasthan area. To counter these, Pakistan would have had to use its Army Reserve South and to move its Army Reserve North southward. India’s military was confident that the ensuing attrition battle would end in India’s favor. 99 In short, while India’s leaders were cautious about a military attack, the evidence indicates they were not being deterred from major military action. Confirming these points, India’s national security advisor said, “I don’t think anybody relished the idea of war .... But there was the inevitability that if we don’t do this, Pakistan will get away with something horrendous.” 100 Further confirming these points, Prime Minister Vajpayee unambiguously noted that if Pakistan had not agreed to end infiltration, and if Richard Armitage had not conveyed that guarantee to India (in June), then war would not have been averted. 101 More central to this article’s argument, Pakistan’s nuclear forces were not deterring India from its planned military action. Prime Minister Vajpayee emphasized that India was ready to risk a nuclear strike from Pakistan to stop what India regarded as nearly two decades of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. 102 Indeed, three times in late December and early January, India’s political and military leaders declared that India could absorb a nuclear strike and retaliate against Pakistan. 103 Further, interviews with India’s senior-most political leaders indicate that nuclear weapons were not stopping plans for war. Such interviews reveal, for example, that for one full day in January, India’s political leaders intensely discussed and came close to a decision to initiate war, and at key moments in both December-January and May-June, they consulted extensively on war plans with the military Chiefs of Staff committee. In all these deliberations, there was no indication that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were halting India’s war plans. 104 If India had launched offensive operations against Pakistan, the resulting conflagration would have been significant. While it is not possible to accurately predict the extent of such a conflagration, a rough order of magnitude assessment is possible. Both the Indian and Pakistani militaries had mobilized a few hundred thousand troops on their border. India’s first military operations in the Kargil crisis or in January 2002 may have been confined to the Kashmir sector. Thereafter, depending on Pakistan’s response, India could have expanded operations to other sectors, and these operations would, even initially, have involved tens of thousands of troops. (Simulated military exercises of such offensives involved some 25,000–40,000 Indian troops advancing 50–80 kilometers into Pakistan). 105 In June 2002, India planned an even larger offensive, involving all three of its strike corps and over a hundred thousand troops. In such a situation, within a few weeks of combat, some twenty-eight Indian divisions would be clashing with twenty-one Pakistani Army divisions on Pakistani territory. 106 All this indicates that any IndiaPakistan military confrontation would have been substantial.



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