The Risk of Inadvertent Nuclear Use Between India and Pakistan; Strategic Insights: v.2, issue 2 (February 2003)
Lavoy, Peter R.
Smith, Steven A.
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Although the Indian and Pakistani governments strongly desire to avoid a fourth war, the coercive diplomacy pursued by each side has brought them to the brink of major conflict on more than one occasion in recent years. Today tensions remain high, and war is a distinct possibility. Should hostilities break out, what are the chances that the fighting could be confined to the use of conventional military force? Although both Indian and Pakistani leaders would do everything in their power to avoid using nuclear weapons, this document examines three situations in which a large-scale conventional conflict between India and Pakistan could inadvertently escalate to nuclear warfare because of the nations' asymmetries in doctrine and military capabilities.
This article appeared in Strategic Insights (February 2003), v.2 no.2