India Pakistan Reworking the Escalatory Ladder Post Operation Balakot

Concerns over escalation in the context of two nuclear armed states India and Pakistan who have a series of legacy disputes including a contentious land border that has not been formalised are but natural. Given that Pakistan does not have a published nuclear doctrine adds to the stress and immediately so due to recent tests of the Nasr battlefield nuclear tipped rockets in the month of January. It is however clear that Pakistan has a nuclear first use concept given the conventional deficit in the armed forces. The first use policy along with the newly developed Nasr rockets is believed to provide deterrence particularly against India’s Cold Start Doctrine. Though there is no official version of the Cold Start Doctrine, the basic philosophy is of a punitive response to a major terrorist attack in India such as the Pulwama suicide bombing which led to the death of 49 central policemen on 14 February in Jammu and Kashmir................................

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