Peacekeeping is India’s forte, not only because of its military’s professionalism but also due to its political acceptability globally. India’s image as a benign rising power can be exploited and enhanced in raising its peacekeeping profile.
Even though the respective military exercise held by Pakistan and India are about handling of respective offensive reserves, the message that emerges is that their employment is best avoided.
Nuclear exchanges in accord with targeting limitation would serve as powerful nuclear signaling to the other side in case of deterrence breakdown.
While limitation in aims set is acknowledged as the primary way of conflict limitation, the point lost sight of usually on the politico-military facet is war termination.
To prevent intelligence failures there is a need to incorporate the additional and fresh areas of intelligence interest brought on by the asymmetric and nuclear dimensions of future conflict.
The nuclear ‘backdrop’ carries dangers even in a single front let alone a ‘two front’ situation, particularly since a move to rescind the NFU tenet of doctrine may be necessary.
The point of significance is that even as the Army prepares for the worst case, it would be a political-diplomatic-strategic exercise to ensure that such a scenario does not arise.
Getting the hard core Taliban to concede the fight without loss of face is preferable to destroying them. The latter course is rendered risky by the linkages between the Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban and Punjabi Taliban and their penetration of the Pakistani state and society.
The Indian Army is likely to come under assault from changes occurring within society which are predicted to speed up considerably over the coming decade.