Avoiding Armageddon

Avoiding Armageddon: America, India, and Pakistan to the Brink and Back

Bruce Riedel
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 230
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt4cg8f4
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  • Book Info
    Avoiding Armageddon
    Book Description:

    India and Pakistan will be among the most important countries in the twenty-first century. InAvoiding Armageddon, Bruce Riedel clearly explains the challenge and the importance of successfully managing America's affairs with these two emerging powers and their toxic relationship.

    Born from the British Raj, the two nations share a common heritage, but they are different in many important ways. India is already the world's largest democracy and will soon become the planet's most populous nation. Pakistan, soon to be the fifth most populous country, has a troubled history of military coups, dictators, and harboring terrorists such as Osama bin Laden.

    The longtime rivals are nuclear powers, with tested weapons. They have fought four wars with each other and have gone to the brink of war several times. Meanwhile, U.S. presidents since Franklin Roosevelt have been increasingly involved in the region's affairs. In the past two decades alone, the White House has intervened several times to prevent nuclear confrontation on the subcontinent. South Asia clearly is critical to American national security, and the volatile relationship between India and Pakistan is the crucial factor determining whether the region can ever be safe and stable.

    Based on extensive research and Riedel's role in advising four U.S. presidents on the region,Avoiding Armageddonreviews the history of American diplomacy in South Asia, the crises that have flared in recent years, and the prospects for future crisis. Riedel provides an in-depth look at the Mumbai terrorist attack in 2008, the worst terrorist outrage since 9/11, and he concludes with authoritative analysis on what the future is likely to hold for America and the South Asia puzzle as well as recommendations on how Washington should proceed.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-2409-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  4. CHAPTER ONE MUMBAI ON FIRE
    (pp. 1-25)

    THE VIEW FROM my room in the Oberoi Hotel was beautiful at dusk, with the sun setting over the blue Arabian Sea while down below the traffic flowed on Marine Drive, which curves along the beachfront in Mumbai. As the lights came alive in the late afternoon sky, the streets of the financial capital of India throbbed with activity. Mumbai, formerly Bombay, the most populous city in India and the sixth most populous in the world, has more than 20 million inhabitants, from some of the world’s richest billionaires to some of the world’s most destitute poor.

    I was there...

  5. CHAPTER TWO AMERICA, THE RAJ, AND PARTITION
    (pp. 26-44)

    THE CABINET DINING room at Number 10 Downing Street is a historic, impressive place to meet. I was a guest of Prime Minister David Cameron, who had invited me to participate as an outside expert in a meeting of the United Kingdom’s National Security Council in December 2011 to take stock of British policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan. More British soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan than to any other conflict zone in the world, and many have paid the ultimate price in service to their country. The key decision-makers of the United Kingdom—the prime minister, deputy prime minister, chancellor...

  6. CHAPTER THREE IN THE SHADOW OF THE COLD WAR: THE FIRST FORTY YEARS
    (pp. 45-80)

    HAWAII WAS AN unlikely place to meet with the Pakistani minister of defense and the fiftieth anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II was an unlikely occasion for the meeting. But in 1995 Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and I were in a conference room of a five-star hotel there to honor Pakistan’s role in Japan’s defeat and to discuss the future of U.S. relations with Pakistan after the cold war. It was all a bit absurd. Pakistan had not existed in World War II, but it was invited to the commemoration ceremony to represent the Indian soldiers...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR THE CARTER AND REAGAN YEARS
    (pp. 81-102)

    TAMPA, FLORIDA, IS a long way from South Asia, but in mid-2011 I was there to attend a conference at the headquarters of the U.S. Central Command on Pakistan as a guest of General David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan. CENTCOM is the regional command of that part of the U.S. military whose area of responsibility includes Pakistan, but not India. I have been to CENTCOM many times over the past three decades to discuss American war plans and military missions. This time I was to review Pakistan’s role in supporting the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. My message was...

  8. CHAPTER FIVE FROM CRISIS TO CRISIS: BUSH AND CLINTON
    (pp. 103-136)

    THE OFFICE OF the deputy national security adviser to the president of the United States is tiny. In many American homes, the walk-in closets are larger. But in the White House, proximity is power, and the deputy sits near his boss, the national security adviser to the president, who has a much more spacious, lavish office in the corner of the West Wing directly across from the Oval Office. In the fall of 1991, the deputy national security adviser was Robert Gates, a career CIA officer who had been chosen by Brent Scowcroft to be his deputy in 1989. Gates...

  9. CHAPTER SIX BUSH, MUSH, AND SONIA
    (pp. 137-160)

    PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH was a man in a hurry, pacing the Treaty Room of the White House. The Treaty Room, on the second floor of the mansion, is a private study for the president; a large painting hanging there depicts President Lincoln, General Grant, General Sherman, and Admiral Porter in a meeting in early 1865 to decide the final offensive campaigns of the Civil War. The room is usually a place of refuge, but on that day the usually relaxed president was agitated. He was eager to get the war started. On September 11, 2001, al Qaeda had destroyed...

  10. CHAPTER SEVEN OBAMA AND SOUTH ASIA
    (pp. 161-180)

    THE PRINCIPALS COMMITTEE of the National Security Council is chaired by the president. On March 20, 2009, in the White House Situation Room, Barack Obama was chairing the committee’s last meeting on his new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan; later he was to give a nationally televised speech laying out his thinking to the American people. As the chairman of the strategic review of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, a job that the president had personally asked me to do, I opened the meeting with a few key points that summarized my thoughts on the issue. Obama sat at one...

  11. CHAPTER EIGHT PROMOTING GAME CHANGE IN SOUTH ASIA
    (pp. 181-204)

    THE THAR DESERT of Rajasthan, an arid wasteland astride the Indian and Pakistani border, is a forbidding place. In the summer, it can be as hot as any spot on earth. Fortunately, I was staying the night near Jodhpur in a hotel that was once a maharaja’s palace. My delegation, from the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Defence Studies, was visiting the subcontinent for a month in September 2002, and on this particular day we were guests at an advanced Indian air force jet fighter base. After a tour of the MiG-29 jets on the tarmac, we had a briefing...

  12. NOTES
    (pp. 205-218)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 219-230)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 231-231)