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Literture Review Of Asymmetric Warfare In South Asia

1. Introduction to Book. The book is a compilation of research and analysis by analyst and practitioners from India, Pakistan and US on the Kargil conflict, its causes, conduct, consequences and lessons learnt. The book offers military students, scholars and policy makers an opportunity to dwell how two nuclear armed neighbouring countries interacted during the Kargil conflict and concluded the crisis without playing the nuclear card.

2. Introduction to editor. Peter R Lavoy is the Deputy Director of the National Intelligence for Analysis. Previously he served as director of the Center for Contemporary Conflict at the Naval Postgraduate School and director of counterproliferation policy in the office of the Secretary of Defence.

Setting of the Book and Subject in Brief

3. Setting of the book. The setting of the book is as follows: -

Cover. The cover of the book is impressive with a 155 mm Bofors gun in the background of high Kargil mtn rgs. The cover displays original colour and presents a pleasant view. The jacket is designed by Hart Mc Leod and jacket photograph is contributed by Brig Gurmeet Kanwal.

(b) About publishers. All details about the publisher are given in Part I.

(c) Contents. The contents of the book are given out in the subsequent paras . They assist a reader in following the sequence of the book.

(e) Maps. Six maps are used for illustration. Half of the maps describe the events before the Kargil conflict and remaining during the conflict. Smaller scales maps are used and it requires detail reading.

(f) Layout and the main chapters. The layout of the book facilitates easy understanding and it transforms from causes and conduct of Kargil conflict to lessons learnt. The layout is arranged in three parts:-

(i) Part 1: Causes and conduct of conflict (Pp 39 to 206).

(ii) Part II: Consequences and impact of the conflict(Pp 207 to 307).

(iii) Part III : Lessons learned (Pp 309 to 396).

4. Title of the book. The main title of the book "Asymmetric Warfare in South Asia" is provocative and the sub title is "The Causes and Consequences of the Kargil Conflict". The title and sub title of the book conveys clearly the main subject of the book which is the Kargil conflict.

Detail Analysis of the Subject

5. The introduction and the following fourteen chapters explain how and why Pakistan and India started, fought, and terminated the 1999 Kargil conflict, the impact this event had on the pol, social, and military life of each country, the influence of outside powers, especially the US, and the lessons learned, or more ominously not learned, by key gps within the Indian and Pakistani Govts, armed forces, and societies. The anatomy of the Kargil conflict provides unique insights into the evolving nature of South Asia's enduring pol- military rivalry and the effects and limitations of the nuclear revolution in the post Cold War world.

6. Of the many wars fought betn India and Pakistan, the Kargil conflict assumes importance as it was first military clash betn two nuclear-armed powers since the 1969 Sino-Soviet war. If the Kargil conflict is measured in terms of cas and duration, it may not look significant, but the mere fact that the conflict contained a very real risk of nuclear escalation, brings home the fact that ltd wars may eventually bring two nuclear armed states in the brink of a nuclear war. The Kargil conflict also brushed aside the notion that the nuclear deterrence and proliferation occurred largely on the theoretical level. The study of the subject attains importance because it provides practical lessons on how new nuclear wpn states react during ltd wars and local conflicts.

7. The book attempts to clarify few controversies related to the Kargil conflict. Firstly, that the mujahedeen's has occu the Kargil hts and not the Pakistan reg tps as advocated by the Pakistan was a carefully planned Pakistani denial and dxn campaign. The second controversy is whether the Kargil conflict falls in the realms of asymmetric W. The book says so by citing the force asymmetry betn India and Pakistan. Also Musharraf boasts in his autobiography - "In the Line of Fire" of Pakistan's ability to tie down disproportionately large No of Indian forces on the Kargil hts. The Kargil conflict was a classic case of a weak opponent perceiving great incentives to surprise its stronger opponent using military means ( con, cunning, dxn) that the stronger opponent would not expect.

8. The third controversy is related to the impact of the nuclear arms on the Kargil crisis. The book illuminates five maj aspects about the role of nuclear wpn before, during and after the Kargil conflict. First, as indicated in chapter two and three Pakistan planners were convinced that show of a nuclear card by them will not deter India from counterattacking. Second, neither countries readied their nuclear arsenal for offn emp. Third, neither sides tried to raise the risk of nuclear escalation to win crisis. Fourth, as chapter seven and 14 highlights, the fear of nuclear war did drive the international community to end the crisis as quickly as possible. And fifth, as brought in chapter 12 and 13, that the lessons India and Pakistan drew from the crisis did not significantly lessen the likelihood of another military crisis or the prospect of it escalating out of cont, as the world witnessed during the 2001-2002 military standoff.

9. The fourth controversy the book clarifies is the issue how close two countries came to turning the Kargil conflict into a maj conventional war. As far as India goes, the book claims that India was prep to go to war on short notice. This the author claims as Gen V P Malik, Army Chief ordered his sr cdrs on 18 Jun to be prep for escalation - sudden or gradual- along the LOC or the IB and be prep to go to declared war at short notice. This Indian response however changed with the victory at Tololing, which turned the tide of the battle because Indian forces were now able to op inside of Pakistan's def perimeter and recapture several other military posts. Viewed from the Pakistan side, the army leadership assessed that India was in no posn to launch an all out offn on land, air, or sea as most of the Indian fmns were occu inside Kashmir valley with little response capability to react elsewhere.


10. The book is a rigorous, comprehensive, and obj case study of the causes, conduct, and consequences of the Kargil conflict. The deep analysis of the Kargil conflict offers military students, scholars and policymakers a rare acct of how nuclear armed states interact during a military crisis. It differs from existing literature like The Kargil Review Committee Report, as it is the product of an indep committee appointed by the Indian Govt. Also the Pakistani literature on Kargil is even more one sided. Written by the analysts from US, Pakistan and India, this unique book draws extensively on primary sources, incl unprecedented access to Indian, US and Pakistani officials and military offrs who were actively involved in the conflict. The exorbant price tag of the book should not deter serious military students as this MUST READ book is comprehensive and blends theory and policy analysis in the best way.

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