War and Escalation in South Asia

War and Escalation in South Asia

War and Escalation in South Asia

War and Escalation in South Asia

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

The research reported here was part of a study called War and Escalation in South Asia, which was sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Director of Plans (XOX); Commander Central Command Air Forces (CENTAF/CC); and Commander, Pacific Air Force (PACAF/CC); and conducted within the Strategy and Doctrine Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF). This monograph focuses on the highlights that emerged from an examination of the potential for regional conflicts, tensions, and instability in South Asia to endanger U.S. goals and objectives in the region and more broadly, U.S. equities in the Middle East and greater Asia. Because India and Pakistan are both nuclear weapon states with a long history of tensions and sporadic violence between them, much of the monograph focuses on their relations and the potential for future trouble. This study deals with other sources of friction and conflict, although in a more limited scope. The research should be of interest to anyone concerned with regional stability issues.

Other recent RAND research on South Asia includes the following: The Counterterror Coalitions: Cooperation with Pakistan and India, C. Christine Fair (MG-141-AF, 2004). This monograph examines U.S. strategic relations with India and Pakistan both historically and in the current context of the global war on terrorism. It concludes that the intractable dispute over the disposition of Kashmir remains a critical flashpoint between India and Pakistan and a continual security challenge and offers five policy options on how the United States might proceed.

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