Connect with us

Defense

Pakistan’s Quid Pro Quo Plus: A Key Strategic Determinant

Avatar photo

Published

on

Since the formulation of its 1999 ‘Draft Nuclear Doctrine’ (DND), India has gone through gradual shifts in its doctrinal posture. India’s stance initially was that it would maintain a policy of ‘No First Use’ (NFU). However, the first amendment to this draft which came out in January 2003which was based on the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security’s (CCS) review of the nuclear doctrine. It stated that if the Indian armed forces or its people were attacked with chemical and biological weapons, India reserves the right to respond with nuclear weapons. Subsequently the notion of a pre-emptive nuclear strike has emerged within the discourse surrounding the Indian strategic community. Moreover, quite recently, in an apparent shift from its NFU Policy, on August 16, 2019 India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that India might review its NFU policy based on future circumstances. Such assertions would likely provoke Pakistan to further strengthen the policy of ‘quid pro quo plus’ as a viable response option against nuclear and conventional threats from India.

Unfortunately, the current security architecture of South Asia revolves around India’s irresponsible behavior as a nuclear state. Pakistan due to the Indian desire to establish its regional hegemony has maintained a certain balance of power to preserve its security. Contrary to India’s declared NFU policy, Pakistan has never made such a commitment or statement and has deliberately maintained a policy of ambiguity concerning a nuclear first strike against India. The ‘minimum credible deterrence’ which forms the very basis of Pakistan’s deterrence posture has over the years evolved into an assurance of full-spectrum deterrence. Furthermore, this posture asserts that since Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are for defensive purposes in principle, they are aimed at deterring India from all kinds of aggression. In the same vein, even now, Pakistan is likely to keep its options open and still leave room for the possibility of carrying out a ‘first strike’ as a viable deterrent against India if any of its stated red lines are crossed. In this regard, Pakistan’s policy of ‘Quid Pro Quo Plus’ (QPQP) that has been assured with the combination of nuclear deterrence and conventional capabilities seems to be an appropriate and reliable strategic resort given the emergent security dynamics of South Asia especially since the year 2019.

It is pertinent to highlight that, the ‘Quid Pro Quo Plus’ (QPQP) is based on an assertion that India would not be allowed to consider Pakistan’s nuclear capability as a bluff. Also, Pakistan reserves all other options as well to protect its territorial and ideological integrity. In addition to the full spectrum deterrence (FSD), Pakistan has maintained credible conventional responses keeping in view India’s desire to wage either a limited and low-intensity conflict. Pakistan’s FSD is believed to be not aimed at deterring a surgical strike by India; rather it is intended to deter a war, ranging from a limited to an all-out war. This has not only strengthened the credibility of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence but has also enhanced the conventional deterrence against India, which enjoys significant conventional superiority. With such a strategic trajectory, Pakistan would likely maintain a vital strategic balance in the conventional and nuclear equation vis-à-vis India. This would serve as a key determinant of the current state of strategic stability in South Asia. 

It is worth mentioning here that, Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine and policies are aimed at assuring its security and preserving its sovereignty. This has been carried out by deterring India with the employment of both minimum credible deterrence and full-spectrum deterrence capabilities. In this regard, Pakistan has developed its missile technology based on; short, intermediate and long-range ballistic missiles. Pakistan’s tactical missile ‘Nasr’ for instance, is believed to be introduced essentially in response to India’s limited war doctrines. This aims to further assure that India would be denied initiating a low-intensity conflict and dominating the escalation ladder which could provoke Pakistan to go for a massive retaliation. Moreover, the induction of ‘multiple independently re-entry vehicles’ (MIRVs), the development of land, air, and sea-launched cruise missiles and the provision of a naval-based second-strike capability have all played a significant role in the projection of the ‘quid pro quo plus’ notion.

Hence at the present, it seems likely that India aspires to increasingly project itself as a regional hegemon and a potential superpower. India’s policies are aimed at destabilizing Pakistan’s pre-existing deterrence framework comprised of nuclear and conventional force postures. In such circumstances, Pakistan’s threat perception would likely remain increasingly inclined towards its eastern border. Pakistan, based on its principled stance of being a responsible nuclear weapon state does not want to counter India toe to toe concerning its military aspirations and hegemonic designs. Based on the undeniable threats from India to its existence, Pakistan must preserve the deterrence equilibrium vis-à-vis India and maintain the ‘balance of power’ in the South Asian region. Pakistan is already punching well above its weight, and nuclear deterrence along with conventional preparedness would be the only way through which Pakistan can maintain a precise balance of power to preserve its security. This could be further carried out by deterring India with a resort to restrain based on ‘quid pro quo plus’ policy.

Haris Bilal Malik is a researcher at the Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies (CASS), Islamabad, Pakistan. He can be reached at cass.thinkers[at]gmail.com

Continue Reading
Comments

Defense

The US military is operating in more countries than we think

Avatar photo

Published

on

“Irregular warfare” is defined by Pentagon as “competition… short of traditional armed conflict” or “all-out war.” A new report finds that Pentagon uses ‘security cooperation’ programs for ‘secret wars,’ recommends that Congress rein them in.

U.S. military forces have been engaged in unauthorized hostilities in many more countries than the Pentagon has disclosed to Congress, let alone the public, according to a major new report released by New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice.

“Afghanistan, Iraq, maybe Libya. If you asked the average American where the United States has been at war in the past two decades, you would likely get this short list,” according to the report, Secret War: How the U.S. Uses Partnerships and Proxy Forces to Wage War Under the Radar.

“But this list is wrong – ‘off’ by at least 17 countries in which the United States has engaged in armed conflict through ground forces, proxy forces, or air strikes.”

“This proliferation of secret war is a relatively recent phenomenon, and it is undemocratic and dangerous,” the report’s author, Katherine Yon Ebright, wrote in the introduction. “The conduct of undisclosed hostilities in unreported countries contravenes our constitutional design. It invites military escalation that is unforeseeable to the public, to Congress, and even to the diplomats charged with managing U.S. foreign relations.”

One such program authorized the Defense Department to “provide support to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups or individuals engaged in supporting or facilitating authorized ongoing military operations by United States special operations forces to combat terrorism.”

According to the report, that “support” has been broadly — or, more accurately, too broadly — interpreted by the Pentagon. In practice, it has enabled the U.S. military to “develop and control proxy forces that fight on behalf of and sometimes alongside U.S. forces” and to use armed force to defend its local partners against adversaries (in what the Pentagon calls “collective self-defense”) regardless of whether those adversaries pose any threat to U.S. territory or persons.

“I’ve got guys in Kenya, Chad, Cameroon, Niger [and] Tunisia who are doing the same kind of things as the guys in Somalia, exposing themselves to the same kind of danger,” bragged Brigadier Gen. Donald Bolduc (ret.), who commanded U.S. special forces in Africa until 2017 and is currently running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire. “We’ve had guys wounded in all the types of missions that we do.”

The report, which relies on published work by investigative reporters, interviews with knowledgeable officials and congressional staff, official documents and records, as well as the author’s legal analysis, identifies such countries as: Somalia, Cameroon, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Niger, Nigeria, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.

But it stressed that the list is almost certainly not exhaustive.

Fifty countries, from Mexico to Peru in the west to Indonesia and the Philippines (where U.S. forces are known to have taken part in combat operation) in the east, and covering 22 countries in North and sub-Saharan Africa alone (not to mention Ukraine) had programs in place as of mid-2018, according to the report.

“Broadly speaking, the purpose of the authority is to take the Pentagon’s approach of creating and controlling partner forces and wield it against countries like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea,” – according to the report.

International Affairs

Continue Reading

Defense

Gung-ho statements by India’s jingoist military and civil leaders

Avatar photo

Published

on

Cross fire between Indian and Pakistan forces was a recurrent phenomenon. It usually hurt the unarmed civilians rather than the troops. Realising futility of intermittent exchange of fire across the border, India and Pakistan, always at daggers drawn, agreed to ceasefire that is still being upheld. However, an agreement on no-firearms use between the two countries, akin to Sino-Indian agreement, is nowhere in the offing. Despite the accord, India and China still engaged in fisticuffs at Galwan.

As if in deliriums tremens, India’s Northern Army Commander Lt General Upendra Dwivedi shouted, “As far as the Indian Army is concerned, it will carry out any order given by the Government of India [to annex Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan “(Whenever such orders are given, we will always be ready for it, The News International, November 22, 2022).

His statement is a sycophantic follow-up to a similar statement by India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh “of taking back PoK”. Besides Rajnath many other Indian leaders including Bipen Rawat, Ajit Doval and Narendra Modi have made provocative statements about AK and GB. Pakistan’s army chief has replied to Dwivedi’s statement in befitting words. In 1994, India’s lok Sabha (house of people) passed aresolution under the then prime minister Narasimha Rao. The resolution stated that AJK and GB are an integral part of India by virtue of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India.

India’s claim to accession of the Jammu and Kashmir is unfounded. India never showed the so-called Instrument of accession to the United Nations. The UNO passed two resolutions to outlaw probable accession by the puppet JK assembly to India. The UN resolutions recognise that the dispute could be resolved only through a plebiscite. Till about 1954, India continued to owe allegiance to the UN resolutions. Then in a volte face, Nehru declared that the UN resolutions are mediatory, not mandatory in nature. India’s unilateral renunciation of the UN resolutions eminently qualified it as a rogue state subject to international sanctions.

India treacherously annexed over 500 other princely state by hook or by crook. For instance, Junagadh annexation is still an unresolved item on UN agenda.

Dwivedi means ‘one who knows two vedas’. In Sanskrit, Dvi means ‘two’ and Vedi means ‘to see’. Therefore, a Dwivedi is one with ‘two-fold vision’, or someone who is able to distinguish between right and wrong. The general’s statement reflects that he has purblind vision, not seeing consequences of a war between two nuclear armed neighbours. Victory in case of a nuclear confrontation will, at best, be pyrrhic.

Dwivedi appears to have been infatuated by provision of K9-Vajra self-propelled howitzer (50 mile range) is being manufactured by Larsen and Toubro in Gujarat. China has already provided Pakistan similar howitzers to neutralize India’s fire power (China supplies mounted howitzers to Pak to maintain arms parity with India, Hindustan Times Jan 27, 2022).

Dwivedi appears to be oblivious of facts about Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.

Gilgit Baltistan

On November 1, 1947, the governor of Gilgit, Brig Ghansara Singh surrendered to the Gilgit Scouts and signed an instrument of surrender on November 3, 1947. The people of the region proclaimed Gilgit as part of Pakistan and hoisted Pakistan’s flag. Skardu was liberated after about a year on August 14, 1948, when Lt Col Thapa of 6th Jammu and Kashmir infantry along with 250 soldiers surrendered to liberation forces.

Historian Yousaf Saraf if of the view that Gilgit –Baltistan is a part of Azad Kashmir as is evident from Accord signed between AK and Pakistan government. Sartaj Aziz committee recommended to the federal government to make Gilgit-Baltistan a full-fledged province with representation in both the houses of parliament.

A psycho-analytic view” Indian leaders “frogs”

Indian civil military leaders suffer from a fight-and-flight complex. The human beings, particularly the macho typos, like Indian military leaders, think they are independent decision makers. But, subconsciously they are slaves to the subconscious to the scripts they have learned to live with. In his book, Scripts People Live, Claude Steiner analyses “life scripts” which we choose at an early age and which rule every detail of our lives until our death. Steiner postulates that people are innately healthy but develop a pattern early in life based upon negative or positive influences of those around them. Thus children decide, however unconsciously, whether they will be happy or depressed, winners or failures, STRONG or dependent, and having decided, they spend the rest of their lives making the decision come true. For those who choose a negative script, the consequences can be disastrous unless they make a conscious decision to change.

The tragedy is that the person who needs to rewrite his or her life script most is unwilling to admit that he needs to revamp his life script.

Narendra Modi is such a person who by his conduct and political statements reflects that he suffers from a negative life script. He wants to pose as a “prince”, though he is actually a “frog”. Modi’s recent statements provide a clue how he is neurologically programmed.

Concluding reflections

Modi is convinced that his electoral achievements are due to his Macho (strongman) image. Lest his image should be shattered he delayed withdrawing anti-farmer laws for about a year since the farmers began protesting. He trumpets his “surgical strikes”, celebrates “Kargil victory”, and anti-Muslim citizenship laws.

Modi is still fettered to his teen-age memory of being a waiter at a tea-stall. The Modi government should turn a new leaf in India’s relations with its neighbours by shunning the strong-man image. He could do better by attending to the economic welfare of the masses and promoting social harmony.

Continue Reading

Defense

Ukraine recruits fighters from Africa

Avatar photo

Published

on

“If Ukraine decides to pay me a very good amount of money, which I know I cannot earn here, I will definitely go there and fight,” Kimanzi Nashon, a student in the Kenyan capital Nairobi said. “When we go there, and then the war ends before anything happens, I will come back to Kenya and be a millionaire.”

And Nashon isn’t alone in harboring such naive thoughts of being a hired fighter in Ukraine.

“If an opportunity presented itself for me to fight in Ukraine as a mercenary, I would be on my heels running there,” Beatrice Kaluki, who is unemployed in Kenya, told ‘Deutsche Welle’. “I would rather die on the front line in Ukraine knowing that my family would be compensated even after my death, rather than die from depression because of the insane unemployment rate!”

However, African countries have come out strongly to condemn Ukraine’s call for African fighters to join the “international legion” against the Russians.

Now Nigeria, Senegal and Algeria have criticized Ukraine’s efforts to enlist international fighters as it resists a Russians. Analysts say those who have responded to the call need to reconsider.

According to Ryan Cummings, director of ‘Signal Risk’, a South African-based security risk management consultancy, ‘President Zelenskyy might be capitalizing on Africa’s challenging socio-economic conditions to lure African fighters to Ukraine.’ According to the Nigerian daily, ‘The Guardian’, more than 100 young men registered their interest in fighting for Ukraine at the country’s embassy in Abuja.

A spokesperson for Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister, Francisca Omayuli, said Nigeria would not allow its nationals to volunteer as mercenaries.

Senegal has also expressed its displeasure with Ukraine’s government, saying that at least 36 people in Senegal were ready to confront Russian forces. Senegal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it was astonished to learn that the embassy of Ukraine in Dakar had posted an appeal on its Facebook page for foreign citizens to come to Ukraine’s military forces.

In a statement, the Senegalese government criticized the initiative and warned its citizens that recruiting volunteers, mercenaries, or foreign fighters on Senegalese soil is illegal.

“These young people who want to get involved [in Ukraine] have not fully considered political or religious implications,” said Serigne Bamba Gaye, a researcher on peace, security and governance at the US-based Peace Operations Training Institute (POTI).

“They are only interested in answering a call without perhaps understanding the issues surrounding the Ukrainian conflict,” Gaye said.

For security and risk analyst Ryan Cummings, African countries need to consider the implications of allowing their citizens to travel to Ukraine as hired guns. “Russia has stated any country that is actively assisting Ukraine in this war, or as Russia calls it: ‘A special military operation to demilitarize and de-nazify Ukraine,’ will be considered at war with Russia,” he said.

He warned that the Kremlin could also retaliate by ending diplomatic relations with African countries that support Ukraine in this way.

International Affairs

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Reports1 hour ago

Azerbaijan Can Accelerate Its Green Economic Transformation

A report launch and policy dialogue organized by the World Bank jointly with the Republic of Azerbaijan National Coordination Council...

Reports3 hours ago

Digitalization Advances Financial Inclusion for Women and Micro Business Owners but More Is Needed

The World Economic Forum launched today the ASEAN Digital Generation Report 2022, the sixth edition of the report since 2017....

Health & Wellness5 hours ago

Breast cancer: an aggressive variant triggers a hunt for cures

By Vittoria D’alessio Breast cancer is the most common type in women and, in Europe alone, causes almost 92 000 deaths a...

Americas6 hours ago

What democrats and republicans expect from U.S. foreign policy

Partisanship colors Democrats’ and Republicans’ foreign policy priorities in ways that will matter substantially for companies, global supply chains and...

Americas8 hours ago

Gun violence: human rights situation in the United States is very dismal

The United States is known as the world’s largest democratic or full democracy country. From this introduction, the question may...

Russia10 hours ago

Russia-Ukraine’s Winter’s War

More than 10 months have passed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, and the conflict is still ongoing....

South Asia12 hours ago

It’s all about India’s odd but subtle tit-for-tat perception

India has been known as an actor in world politics that had always chosen to refrain from any comment or...

Trending