GEORGE PERKOVICH (for Info only, not official)



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    ... Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar expressed personal doubts about India’s nuclear no-first-use policy last week: “Why should I bind myself? I should say I am a responsible nuclear power and I will not use it irresponsibly.” The statement elicited buzz in South Asia and among nuclear cognoscenti around the world, even though Parrikar is unlikely to shape Indian nuclear policy. Intentionally or not, the defence minister’s rhetoric provides an opportunity to think seriously about the dilemmas in the making of a sound national security policy in media-age democracies. The musings on no-first-use were not Parrikar’s first moment of impolitic candour. In May 2015, just as Pakistani military and civilian leaders were mounting a public campaign against Indian covert operations in Balochistan, Parrikar blurted in New Delhi that “we have to neutralise terrorists through terrorists only. Why can’t we do it? ...

    Indian Express on Nov. 15, 2016, 12:04 a.m.

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    ... Whatever verified facts eventually emerge about the September 29 surgical strikes across the LoC, it appears that the operation was as carefully calibrated as any use of force could be. One danger now is that media triumphalism in India could increase pressure on various actors in Pakistan to “teach India a lesson” and demonstrate their own manly resolve. If the result were a high-casualty attack in the heartland, Indian leaders would feel the need to do something more dramatic than the well-practised tit-for-tat violence across the LoC. This could fuel a harder-to-manage dynamic of actions and reactions whose end point would be difficult for anyone to predict or control with confidence. India’s key leaders know this, of course. ...

    Indian Express on Oct. 6, 2016, 12:05 a.m.