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India & Pakistan

2002-06-01 18:17:16+00 by Dan Lyke 14 comments

India and Pakistan claim the situation is "stable", even after Pakistan has withdrawn troops from the Afghanistan border to redeploy them in Kashmir. I'm not following the logic: If nuclear weapons is what's got everyone wigged out, it seems to me the right way to threaten the opponent is to withdraw troops from the region.

[ related topics: Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-06-01 18:55:11+00 by: meuon

very astute.. and I agree, why nuke your own troops? War is more like poker than chess.

#Comment made: 2002-06-01 18:55:48+00 by: TheSHAD0W

On the contrary; both sides have medium-range missiles that might be capable of lofting those nukes at strategic targets or population centers. Using nukes on troops is stupid, especially when they know the threat is there and will be sufficiently dispersed to make those fission bombs ineffective.

#Comment made: 2002-06-01 19:34:09+00 by: meuon

Aahh.. a person that belives in 'strategic limited nuclear warfare". I have lived among survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki... (on Okinawa) there is no such thing, even modern 'tactical nukes' are weapons of strategic importance, and the military prays not to have to use them.

Unfortunately, these nations are mad, not practicing it. (MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction).

#Comment made: 2002-06-02 04:25:56+00 by: dexev

As I understand it, India and Pakistan aren't *choosing* not to go MAD, they simply don't have enough weapons to do the job. Strange, it may be more dangerous to have fewer nuclear weapons.

#Comment made: 2002-06-03 04:20:48+00 by: ebradway

And our greatest fear is someone getting ONE nuke, tactical or otherwise. The cold war wasn't really about the weapons - it was about maintaining detente and out spending the other guy.

BTW, does anyone know why Kashmir is so damned important? Doesn't it consist of some rather worthless land filled with people of an ethnicity that is neither Hindu nor Muslim?

#Comment made: 2002-06-03 06:21:47+00 by: dexev

Because you can very comforable sweaters from it.

#Comment made: 2002-06-03 15:12:05+00 by: Daze

There's also the Zeppelin factor.

#Comment made: 2002-06-04 02:46:59+00 by: dexev

Really, I don't think that kashmir has any importance other than being the land in between India and Pakistan, who have never gotten along well at all. It's a similar situation to, say, North and South Korea or 1930's France and Germany.

#Comment made: 2002-06-04 18:21:37+00 by: petronius

Friends of mine who have visited there tell me it is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Imagine Colorado with mountains twice as high as a backdrop. The final scenes in the film "A Passage to India" were filmed there. The place also has some strategic value due to its proximity to China.

#Comment made: 2002-06-05 04:06:48+00 by: TheSHAD0W

"Strategic limited nuclear warfare"? Was this directed to me? Who said that?

In a ground war where both sides have nuclear weapons and are willing to use them, nukes are not extremely useful against prepared ground troops, especially when those weapons are "only" fission devices and when only a limited number are available. The troops would have gas masks and body suits to limit most of the exposure, and while they'd get murdered by long-term effects, anything except a very near strike wouldn't affect them much in the short term. They would disperse themselves in order to limit how many troops would be taken out by a single strike. This dispersion would potentially subject them to a defeat in detail, but the enemy would have to concentrate their troops in order to do so, and would therefore become a big fat target themselves. So all that's left is to threaten the other side with strikes against industrial and population centers.

#Comment made: 2002-06-07 12:12:41+00 by: meuon

Me. It was directed in your general vacinity. Not a direct strike, as you were not concentrated in a place. But the long term effects may be fatal. Certainly the short term effects are demoralizing, disheartening and will test your resolve. If you were conscripted into your point of view, rather than it being something close to your heart, you would flee.

#Comment made: 2002-06-07 12:43:11+00 by: pharm

If you control Kashmir, you control the Indus river, which supplies water to both Pakistan and India. Water is a crucial economic resource, so it's not just 'ethnic' tension, although that is clearly a strong element.

#Comment made: 2002-06-07 14:02:20+00 by: Larry Burton

About those soldiers surviving the nuclear blast, I can't think of anyone more dangerous to me than the person I might mortally wound without immediately disabling them.

#Comment made: 2002-06-07 22:54:33+00 by: meuon

Larry gets a prize! he's write, if I'm dying, I may as take out as much as I can of the enemy...