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Limited Conflicts Under the Nuclear Umbrella

Limited Conflicts Under the Nuclear Umbrella

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Published by axiom8229
PREFACE

This report presents the results of a quick-turnaround study conducted by RAND at the request of the U.S. government in the months leading up to the November 2000 presidential election in the United States. The study was intended to support a variety of internal reviews and briefings that took place around the time of the election. The broad purpose of the study was to understand how India and Pakistan viewed the significance of the Kargil conflict, what lessons they drew from this conf
PREFACE

This report presents the results of a quick-turnaround study conducted by RAND at the request of the U.S. government in the months leading up to the November 2000 presidential election in the United States. The study was intended to support a variety of internal reviews and briefings that took place around the time of the election. The broad purpose of the study was to understand how India and Pakistan viewed the significance of the Kargil conflict, what lessons they drew from this conf

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Published by: axiom8229 on Jan 01, 2013
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iii
PREFACE
This report presents the results of a quick-turnaround study con-ducted by RAND at the request of the U.S. government in the monthsleading up to the November 2000 presidential election in the UnitedStates. The study was intended to support a variety of internal re-views and briefings that took place around the time of the election.The broad purpose of the study was to understand how India andPakistan viewed the significance of the Kargil conflict, what lessonsthey drew from this conflict, and the implications of those lessons forfuture stability in South Asia. Consequently, this report is not an all-source document: it has deliberately avoided the use of all U.S. gov-ernmental documents and for most part many other open-source American materials as well. Instead, the source materials used arealmost exclusively Indian and Pakistani.Since the significance of the Kargil conflict as appreciated in Indiaand Pakistan is a complex matter, with many different and oftenconflicting strands of opinion, this report focuses mainly on captur-ing thematically the dominant ideas circulating in the subcontinenton this issue. As a result, not every view pertaining to Kargil isrecorded and, further, many nuances and variations on the mainthemes recorded here are excluded unless judged by the authors torepresent viewpoints that ought to be of interest to policymakers inthe United States.It was initially intended that the lessons learned by India and Pak-istan in regard to Kargil would be published separately, but the inter-esting symmetries in the perceptions of the two sides that were
 
ivLimited Conflicts Under the Nuclear Umbrella
discovered during the course of the research and interviewsultimately justified a unified publication.This report is by no means intended to be the final word on Indianand Pakistani assessments about Kargil. In fact, it explicitly repre-sents an early view of this issue, since Indian and Pakistani judg-ments may themselves evolve with time. As official documents onthe conflict come to light, more systematic research on some of the key issues touched on in this report—the genesis of the conflict;the character of the operations; the perceptions, judgments, anddecisions of the national leaderships; the significance of nuclear weapons; and the role of outside powers—will be possible, and moreconsidered conclusions may be derived. Until that time, however,this preliminary assessment is offered for public consumption in thehope that it will contribute to a better understanding of the problemsof stability in South Asia.The information cutoff date for the material used in this report wasMarch 2001. No effort has been made to update the analysis to ac-count for events occurring after this date, for two reasons. First, any effort of this sort risks being overtaken by events, and second, updat-ing the study would not have advanced the original objective of theU.S. government, which was to assess Indian and Pakistani percep-tions in the aftermath of the Kargil war rather than to provide real-time analysis of changing India-Pakistan relations. Consequently,this analysis serves as a benchmark permitting the reader to assesshow India-Pakistan relations have changed subsequent to our evalu-ation.The research described in this report was conducted within RAND’sNational Defense Research Institute (NDRI). NDRI is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Commands, thedefense agencies, and the Department of the Navy.
 
ix 
SUMMARY 
In spring 1999, details of the “Kargil conflict”—the latest chapter inthe long-standing India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir—emergedpublicly. For these two largest South Asian states, this conflict repre-sents a watershed, in part because it demonstrated that even thepresence of nuclear weapons might not appreciably dampen theIndia-Pakistan security competition.The goal of this analysis was to assess both combatants’ perceptionsof the Kargil crisis with a view to evaluating the possibilities for futureKargil-like events. Kargil represented a departure from the low in-tensity combat (LIC) operations that have most recently typified themilitary dimension of the Kashmir dispute. Whereas these types of operations typically pit insurgents against Indian police and para-military forces, Kargil saw both sides engage with regular military forces across a de facto border in the face of Pakistani attempts toseize and hold territory. The lessons both belligerents took from thecrisis and their respective judgments of whether their actions weresuccessful could suggest the prospects for future military actions of greater intensity.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE KARGIL CRISIS
The crisis is significant at several levels for both Pakistan and India.For Pakistan, it reconfirmed LIC as a legitimate tool for attaining po-litical goals, but it probably also caused the Pakistani leadership toconclude that Kargil-like operations are not legitimate in the currentinternational environment. Moreover, Kargil stands as yet another

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