Cover: Limited Conflicts Under the Nuclear Umbrella

Limited Conflicts Under the Nuclear Umbrella

Indian and Pakistani Lessons from the Kargil Crisis

Published 2001

by Ashley J. Tellis, C. Christine Fair, Jamison Jo Medby

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This report examines the views of India and Pakistan on the significance of Pakistan's foray into the Kargil-Dras sector in a limited war that has come to be known as the Kargil conflict. The goal of the analysis is to assess both combatants' perceptions of the crisis, with a view to evaluating the possibilities of future Kargil-like events and the implications of the lessons each country learned for stability in South Asia. The analysis is based almost exclusively on Indian and Pakistani source materials. The Kargil crisis demonstrated that even the presence of nuclear weapons might not appreciably dampen security competition between the region's largest states. However, the question remains of whether or not the Kargil war represents a foretaste of future episodes of attempted nuclear coercion if India and Pakistan believe that their nuclear capabilities provide them the immunity required to prosecute a range of military operations short of all-out war.

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's National Security Research Division.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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