War and Escalation in South Asia

War and Escalation in South Asia

John E. Peters
James Dickens
Derek Eaton
C. Christine Fair
Nina Hachigian
Theodore W. Karasik
Rollie Lal
Rachel M. Swanger
Gregory F. Treverton
Charles Wolf
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 2
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 120
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  • Book Info
    War and Escalation in South Asia
    Book Description:

    This monograph highlights key factors in South Asia imperiling U.S. interests, and suggests how and where the U.S. military might play an expanded, influential role. It suggests seven steps the military might take to better advance and defend U.S. interests in South Asia, the Middle East, and Asia at large. Washington should intensify involvement in South Asia and become more influential with the governments there. Given the area's potential for violence, it should also shape part of the U.S. military to meet potential crises.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4091-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. Acronyms
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    As this monograph will show, South Asia¹ has grown in importance to the United States as India and Pakistan acquire maturing nuclear capabilities and as ongoing operations in and stabilization of Afghanistan focus American attention on the region. Stability between India and Pakistan remains hostage to the ongoing struggle over Kashmir² and to each state’s expectations about how its nuclear arsenal will affect the other’s behavior in a future crisis. Moreover, revelations of Abdul Qadeer Khan’s role in nuclear trafficking have escalated concerns about past and further nuclear proliferation from the region. The jihadi movement, mobilized in the 1970s in...

  10. CHAPTER TWO U.S. Security Cooperation in South Asia
    (pp. 9-18)

    This chapter begins with recent U.S. security cooperation, aid, and investments in the South Asian region, then moves to summarize U.S. responses to earlier crises, and closes with some observations about what types of events would help and hinder U.S. efforts to pursue its policy objectives.

    This section considers American “soft power”¹ and its potential to help the United States achieve its goals in South Asia. Understood broadly, soft power includes a state’s diplomatic, commercial, and cultural influences and the leverage they provide to help the state achieve its international objectives. Much of soft power is hard to evaluate and...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Regional Sources of Conflict
    (pp. 19-52)

    Many forces work to undermine stability in the region. Of these, the overarching one is the security competition between India and Pakistan. The growing gap between Indian and Pakistani economic development, and especially in their respective military capabilities, creates conditions that bode ill for stability. These two countries also clash over territory—most dangerously, Kashmir—water, and energy. Terrorism, insurgency, autonomy movements, communal strife, and ethnopolitical violence plague Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, and Sri Lanka. Moreover, clan, tribal, and ethnic influences serve as alternatives to civil society in some parts of the region (especially Afghanistan and along the...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Extraregional Sources of Trouble
    (pp. 53-60)

    This chapter considers how tensions, conflict, and instability from areas around South Asia might affect the region. Neighboring Central Asia faces its own struggle with terrorism, clan and tribal influences, and radical Islam. Tajikistan went through an ugly civil war in the 1990s. These influences and others could migrate down into South Asia. The following pages summarize the major sources of extraregional trouble.

    Growing populations and industrial expansion in India and China generate new demands for energy. The Middle East, especially the Persian Gulf, Central Asia, and Russia, are all potential suppliers of oil and natural gas. Given the size...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Illustrative Pathways to Conflict
    (pp. 61-70)

    Against the backdrop of the factors—internal to the region, beyond it, and in structure—the scenarios that follow illuminate how some of these factors might come together to produce conflict, escalation, and war in South Asia in ways that might endanger American interests that otherwise might not be evident. Note that the scenarios represent a heuristic exercise to explore how events might interact with each other; the scenarios are illustrative in nature, making no attempt to predict the future, but, rather, explore how various factors might combine to produce future strife, how trouble might spread, and how conflict on...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Impact on U.S. Goals and Objectives
    (pp. 71-88)

    Given the multitude of forces highlighted in earlier chapters that confront U.S. interests in South Asia and more broadly in greater Asia and the Middle East, what can be done? This chapter surveys the policy tools the United States has at its disposal and their value in addressing specific U.S. goals. Next, the chapter answers the questions posed at the beginning of this book to consider what else the United States might do to advance and defend its goals and objectives.

    It is worth matching existing U.S. policy tools, including military ones, to America’s objectives and interests from Chapter One....

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 89-98)