US Intel Report Warns Of Largescale Indo-Pak War

According to an assessment by the US government’s National Intelligence Council, India and Pakistan “may stumble into a large-scale war neither side wants, especially following a terrorist attack” similar to the terror attack in Pulwama in 2019.

The Global Trends report released in Washington focuses on immediate as well as distant futures said: “Miscalculation by both governments could prompt a breakdown in the deterrence that has restricted conflict to levels each side judges it can manage,” it stated.

The ability of some militant outfits to conduct attacks in India, New Delhi’s resolve to retaliate against Islamabad post such an attack, and Islamabad’s determination to defend itself “are likely to persist and may increase” in the next five years.

The report warns policymakers in Washington that “a full-scale war could inflict damage that would have economic and political consequences for years.”

The US policy in Afghanistan and its impact on the neighbouring countries is top on a list of key uncertainties in South Asia that are underlined in the report.

“US actions in Afghanistan during the next year will have significant consequences across the region, particularly in Pakistan and India,” it said.

This would be “especially true” if a security vacuum emerges in Afghanistan that results in a civil war between the Taliban and its Afghan opponents, expanded freedom of manoeuvre for regional terrorist networks, or criminals and refugees flowing out of the country, it adds.

The report predicts that such an outcome would exacerbate political tensions and conflict in western Pakistan and sharpen the India-Pakistan rivalry by strengthening longstanding judgments about covert warfare in Islamabad and New Delhi.

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