Security Dilemma in South Asia: Building Arsenals and Living with Distrust
Khan, Feroz Hassan
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India and Pakistan are engaged in a subtle strategic competition and a gradual arms race where technological innovations, military modernizations, and growing nuclear arsenals are raising the stakes for stability. India’s military investment is driven by a strategic rivalry with China, but the pace of development finds Pakistan increasingly vulnerable to exploitation; to reduce the level of disparity, Pakistan turns to China, and though willing and able to bolster Pakistan’s strategic capability, the assistance is not enough to enable Pakistan to meet multiple conventional force contingencies. Islamabad therefore depends even more on nuclear weapons to offset its force imbalance with India. In this classic security dilemma, where competition is intensifying and mutual distrust is swelling, the potential for an outbreak of military crisis in South Asia is increasing. The situation demands a structured peace and security architecture to initiate détente and ensure stability between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. Without such an agreement, the consequences of an unchecked India-Pakistan security competition could reverberate beyond South Asia into the Asia- Pacific and Middle East regions.
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