Pak’s conventional deterrence
While Indian and Pakistani militaries stared at each other after 48 hours of a hot air show over the lofty mountains of disputed Kashmir, the world watched with breathlessness as two nuclear armed neighbours slugged it out.
The Cold War military strategy espoused by General Andre Beaufre and Lawrence Freedman as well as many who followed, had established that nuclear weapons were primarily for deterrence and there could be no nuclear strategy which may be applied in wartime; however they, probably, had not catered for a modern day Hitler like Narendra Modi operating in Post Truth era.
Despite being predictable, the Indo-Pak Military standoff has raised new questions and highlighted the efficacy of conventional military deterrence to forestall a nuclear Armageddon.
First is the escalation ladder, despite previous thinking on Indian side that they could manage the escalation ladder on a more predictable and gradual slope, current events after 26 Feb have clearly indicated that the slope was neither predictable nor gradual, it was almost vertical. Events on the emerging steep slope climbed so fast that in first 48 hours, India resorted to strategic posturing, and as stated by Pakistani leadership, India conveyed the intent of missile strikes.
Pakistan responded in the same coin and jumped the escalation ladder by many rungs to show intent of retaliating with more missiles. Doval-Modi circus pushed by some foreign powers and few jingoistic generals in Indian military did not realize that they had brought South Asia on the brink of a nuclear Armageddon within 48 hours of the first skirmish.
Imagine nuclear powered and armed submarines lurking and hugging the coast line of South Asia and frenzy gripping the crews staying underwater for weeks, with orders passed in advance and waiting for a nod from their higher commands, or, missile crews readying their primed warheads to hit opposite sides within 40 seconds. In my view this was worse than Cuban missile crises, especially when reaction time between India and Pakistan has reduced to less than 30 seconds.
How could Indian head honchos in South Block and Raksha Mantralaya contemplate such a drastic move? This is a million dollar question.
While RSS leaders and insane Indian generals are boasting about calling Pakistan’s nuclear bluff and are trying to justify their reckless strategy, they may now sit down and think about how Pakistan’s conventional response, re-established nuclear deterrence within 24 hours. Pakistan also displayed her ability to fulfil the intent of political leadership, do remember Imran Khan’s words, “Pakistan will not think once, Pakistan will retaliate”. This displayed capability through PAF counter strike has also established the new normal in South Asia, irrespective of the bravado and threat of use of force, Pakistan will not only retaliate to Indian aggression but also dominate the escalation ladder through full spectrum of deterrence.
Second question relates to Jingoistic cabal gathered under the RSS ideology; what do you do with a narcissist Modi or likes of Major Gen GD Bakshi, when you have intentionally built a mob of millions nurtured through RSS warmongering. Current political leadership in India has put the absurd republic on a hate train with a one way ticket to a nuclear crevasse.
Third question relates to some countries providing ill advice to warmongers in Indian establishment, why have they pushed Modi and Indian Military establishment into a military confrontation with Pakistan? Whatever the larger design, one thing is certain that these countries have no worry on possibility of things getting out of control. If the aim was to embarrass Pakistani military and create an environment of Indian Hegemony in the region, they have badly failed and Indian leadership must realize that it was Indian Military who got embarrassed. Now same countries are pointing figures at Indian inability to project herself as a counter weight to China and become the Sherriff in Indo Pacific, main arguments being that Indian arsenal is obsolete, the military needs more fire power, may be to entice India into a weapon buying spree. Modi’s desperate remarks that “if Rafale was there, the outcome would have been different”, is a slap on the face of Military leadership of the 3rd largest Military in the world.
Fourth question relates to the fear factor being peddled by likes of Gen GD Bakshi about rise of Taliban in Afghanistan and how it will squeeze space for India in the region. India had invested billions of dollars in Afghanistan to create disproportionate space and launch her indirect maneuver against Pakistan on the premise of the so called Doval doctrine. Indian anti- Pakistan policy makers feel that their maneuver has not only been checked but will be rolled back completely, some like Gen Bakshi project that loss of strategic space in Afghanistan will start affecting Occupied Kashmir and Kashmir freedom movement will become more emboldened.
Another important factor that has emerged out of this ongoing crises is the public pressure on leadership though call for immediate action. It appeared as if entire region has becomes a theatre of absurdity where emotionally charges public through social media gossip and anger started affecting decision making by politico military leadership. As I mentioned in my article “Republic of Absurdity” published on 3rd March, public sloganeering and barbershop gossip became a strong driver for a narcissist Modi to use such irresponsible rhetoric like,”Ghuss ke maren gay”. Did the international community realize that Modi was behaving like a vagabond in this crises of gigantic proportions and this ignoramus and ninny heading the MAD(Modi-Amit- Doval) circus has become a serious threat to regional and international peace? Can this cabal of warmongering besots be entrusted with reins of the so called “biggest democracy in the world”, armed with nucs?
Saner voices within India and international community must realize that when you condone misplaced swashbuckling and lunacy of a modern day Hitler and encourage RSS goons due to corporate interests, and, when you look the other way on human rights abuse of 12 million innocent Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir, this MAD Circus will think it has gained legitimacy for anything.
South Asia has become a spectacular hippodrome, where 1.75 billion people have become frenzied spectators for their own extinction. Surveys done by Indian media asked some absurd questions after 26 Feb ‘Tree Strike’ by Indian Airforce, one option was “Dill mange More” and 70% Bhakts responded in favor of it. These hate train drivers like General GD Bakshi and Arnab Goswami pampered by RSS political goons have brought South Asia closer to a nuclear winter.
For Pakistani public and especially those who keep on questioning the defence forces for getting so called ‘disproportionate share of budget’, this crises has a basic lesson. Conventional deterrence and preparation for war is essential as this is the only recipe to ward of the threat of a nuclear war in South Asia. If Indian military and Modi are crying like babies for more funds and Rafale air crafts, despite the fact that current defence allocation stands at almost 60 billion dollars, why Pakistani military is criticized for a fair share of defence budget which is seven times lesser than Indian allocation.