14 June, 2021

Neither India Nor Pakistan Is Really Prepared To Fight A Conventional War

What are the thresholds at which the N-option kicks in?

More Than Fire
India's missile Agni-V for ­carrying ­nuclear warheads
Neither India Nor Pakistan Is Really Prepared To Fight A Conventional War

Just how far India can escalate tensions with Pakistan without going to war is difficult to forecast. The Indian air strikes of February 26 have rejigged the spectrum of possibilities. For decades, conventional wisdom was that the use of air power was somehow an escalation.

So, India did not use its air force in the 1962 war, where it may have prevented our disastrous defeat. In 1965 too, operations went on through August in J&K minus the use of air power. Only when Pakistan attacked Chamb  and threatened to cut the Jammu-Poonch road, the IAF was hurriedly brought into the battle by then defence minister Y.B. Chavan at around 4 pm. He sought and got the cabinet sanction for his action later.

Over the years, the Indian and Pak­is­tani forces have battled it out, at times through mortar and artillery duels along the LOC. At other times, they have conducted commando strikes against each other across this line. Pakistan initially tried to pass off the Kargil incursion as one made by militants, but this did not wash, and it was soon evident...

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