42 thoughts on “No war ahead”

  1. I thought likewise.

    A few more terror strikes and things might change. Or not. Pak effectively has gotten away clean with achieving all its objectives from the Mumbai op:

    1. Withdraw its forces from the western border
    2. Unify Pak opinion across the spectrum (from the Pakiban to the track-2 wallahs) on the anti-india platform
    3. Demonstrate the army’s centrality in all key decision making in pak
    4. Signal continued reliance on ‘non-state actors’, ‘ex-soldiers’ and the like for continuing the proxy war against India now that Dilli’s tough bluff has been called.

    Again, like I always maintained. They played their cards very well. And yes, they will get away with killing Indians once again. Would dearly love to be wrong on this one though.

    OTOH, with the J&K polls completed, the putative Dec 26 deadline approaching, with the western command head of the IAF giving inteviews to the press (no doubt with GoI clearance) about 5000 identified targets in Pak for the IAF, maybe – just maybe, something short of war is brewing up as a response to 26/11….

  2. And we dont war either. Not because war is what Pakistan wants. But because I do not trust the present leadership to help India come out successful.

    With people like Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi at the top, there’s a very good chance of screwing up the war.

    India cannot afford that.

  3. Yes, war is definitely not the right solution but if we ask a common man on street what he thinks should be done, he would say “bomb Pakistan”. Public opinion is surely supporting a war on Pakistan. If UPA doesn’t listen to this, it might be interpreted as not listening to its people. UPA is in a desperate state to do something. Not sure what it will do being an indecisive coalition!

  4. No war please. As a peace gesture, we can offer Pranab Mukherjea in exchange for Masood Azhar.

  5. >> Without Mukherjee, this government won’t run for a single day.

    which probably explains his hysteria!

    For the first time in ages, we looked like having won some sympathy from the civil society in Pakistan. But Mukherjee’s war mongering has brought every disparate element there (kayani, nawaz, zardari and even mehsud!) to the common anti-India platform. A job well done, I say.

  6. @sud,

    Something short of war? No such thing. Just like there is no such thing as being a little pregnant. If we strike, they retaliate in kind, can we afford to end it there? Methinks not.

  7. At some level Delhi’ll have to decide whether 26/11 was an act of war, or not.

    If it is war then some response is called for. If it is not, why, its biz as usual. Just pray you or your dear ones aren’t torn asunder by the next act-short-of-war from Papistan!

    Merry x’mas, all!

  8. I don’t see any of the current leadership doing their part. They’re utterly impotent, and it’s obvious that the terrorists will be able to conduct further massacres at will.

    My concern is that India is now deteriorating into a one-party state, with the Centre ruled by a Congress Party patronized by the USA, and hanging onto power at all costs. With the deficiencies of Congress rule advertising themselves louder than ever through these Mumbai attacks, the Congress will simply resort to raw vote-buying to win re-election. If India can’t throw off Congress domination after Mumbai, it will simply become another Banana Republic, held in place by the USA.

    Lashkar, AlQaeda, etc will keep stirring the pot by launching more and more attacks, over which the Congress will routinely reiterate its “outrage” every time while doing nothing substantive. This time our crooked media mandarins have saved Congress by broadly deflecting blame onto politicians in general. The next time, they’ll have to come up with some new canard.

  9. Sud, as far as Congress is concerned, there’s only one war – the Congress War for Power. Whatever terrorist attacks befall the little people are of little concern to the big people of Congress, just as long as the political repercussions can be contained.

    Meanwhile, Stratfor is predicting that there will be war between India and Pakistan within days:


  10. PM says, we don’t want war. PM (Pranab Mukherjee) says, all options are open. For Pak (Civilian part), they don’t know which PM to hear. Other part (Pak Army), is quite clear on PM (Pranab Mukherjee). Prehaps, this time, PM (Prime Minister) saw logic(!!) in Zardari’s statement that they are also affected, but still they don’t fight with non-state actors. Pak affected worse than India, according to Zardari. Finally, doing all the math, Prime Minister decided no war.

    Not so unrelated topic : China decides to send 3 of its Naval ships to Arabian Sea. Don’t speculate, they are there just to keep pirates off from the sea.

  11. a war between the armed forces of India and Pakistan

    I noticed that you have chosen your words carefully 🙂

  12. Well, despite choices in wording, war has already been declared – by them on us. And since Indians have no means of fighting other than through their armed forces, then we’re stuck being completely on the receiving end.

  13. A relief, the warmongering & impulsive Advani is not at the helm of affairs, or that emotional fool would have again spent a few billions & acheived naught…& to top that- the Sushama Swaraj’s & Yashwant Sinha’s would have been matching the gutterly Zardari / Geelani & Co.

  14. frog,

    The jihadi attacks are obviously Pak’s attempt to start the war all by itself. Terrorism spans a spectrum that allows it to commit killings on a war-like scale. So clearly Pak can keep using the terrorism to wage war to its heart’s content, without worrying that terrorism won’t be effective as full-scale war.
    They’re in a win-win situation — if India responds with war, then Pak has an excuse to abandon the War on Terror. If India stays docile like a lamb, then Pak can continue killing us and achieve victory that way. What downside do they face from such a strategy? None.

  15. Aam Insane, apparently anyone who stands up to the Pakistanis is a “warmonger” to you. What I dislike about Advani is that he’s too soft, instead of war-like. I still remember his tearful blubbering in Pakistan regretting Babri Masjid, Partition, etc. What an idiot.

    I’d really prefer it if you and I could live in different countries — like the Ant and the Grasshopper. Then when the jihadis come to massacre you, I can listen to your last screams of regret at your own folly.

    Not everybody likes the thesis of Charles Darwin, but we all have to bow the rules articulated in it.

  16. ”For the first time in ages, we looked like having won some sympathy from the civil society in Pakistan. But Mukherjee’s war mongering has brought every disparate element there (kayani, nawaz, zardari and even mehsud!) to the common anti-India platform.”

    Balaji, surely you kid! The so-called civil society in Pakistan counts for nothing.

  17. Pak may endup starting the war itself.

    Don’t ask me why Pak will do something like that when the consequences for Pak will be terrible. They have a record of strategic myopia masquerading as tactical brilliance.

    And a Pak initiated war (remember Op Gibralter, anyone?) is probably the only way Indian military will see any action.

    In any case, the next war should logically be the last Indo-Pak one. Leaving Pak behind as a viable entity after the war is done is not an option anymore. Anything less than a balkanized pak after the next war is tantamount to a war lost for India.

  18. Again, why would Pak tip its hand by overtly involving uniformed soldiers? It’s much more effective to keep launching anonymous jihadi attacks again and again. There’s nothing to lose from that strategy, and everything to gain.

  19. Sanjay,

    >>Again, why would Pak tip its hand by overtly involving uniformed soldiers? It’s much more effective to keep launching anonymous jihadi attacks again and again. There’s nothing to lose from that strategy, and everything to gain.

    Pak has a history of using ‘irregulars/lashkars/tribesmen/etc etc’ to further its military aims. Was seen in ’47-48, then in ’65, then in ’71 (recall the Razakars in Bangladesh) and then in Kargil ’99 (where their Northern Light Infantry or NLI shed their uniforms and pretended to be mujahids) against India and has been seen since the 80s repeatedly against Afghanistan.

    The tactical brilliance in this scheme of using irregulars is that these cannon fodder endup with a life and mind of their own. And they have a histiry of biting the hand that created and fed them. The irregulars are today’s pakiban. taliban, al qaeda, LeT-JuD, UJC jihad factory.

    They extract a toll higher than any gains that could be had from creating and nurturing them. They are responsible for the half of Kashmir with India, for half the present country breaking away west of the Indus into pakhtunkhwa or something and tomorrow, will be responsible for converting pak into a taliban level shariat based theocratic hellhole.

    But thats another laddoo. I trust we’ll get to savor it soon enough west of the Indus with its mediveil tentacles reaching into Pakjab with ever more vigor. In fact India would do well to quietly help the worst and most regressive islamic elements within Pakistan so as to make it an even more relaxed and enjoyable place to live in. Reduce their industry, education, media etc to Arab standards and they will no longer pose even a military threat to us.

    Right now, these irregulars have become the world’s headache. Every terror plot in the world seems to emanate from Pak. Every police and intell chief curses Pak, every global leader is worried abt Pak. Won’t be long for Paki passports to be unwelcome in most countries worldwide, for Paki trade such as it is to collapse into itself, for Pakis to hide their nationality in international company. And yes, should these jihadist irregular Frankensteins get close enough to the WMD, the world will have no option but to act.

    But in the short term, they make juicy tactics indeed.

    /Have a nice day.

  20. Sud writes:
    The tactical brilliance in this scheme of using irregulars is that these cannon fodder endup with a life and mind of their own. And they have a histiry of biting the hand that created and fed them. The irregulars are today’s pakiban. taliban, al qaeda, LeT-JuD, UJC jihad factory.

    They extract a toll higher than any gains that could be had from creating and nurturing them. They are responsible for the half of Kashmir with India, for half the present country breaking away west of the Indus into pakhtunkhwa or something and tomorrow, will be responsible for converting pak into a taliban level shariat based theocratic hellhole.


    Yes, we all see that command and control is low or non-existent with the use of irregular levee-en-masse forces. But hence the main point of constantly raging against the Infidel. If you keep your irregulars constantly pointed at the external adversary, you won’t have to worry about them causing chaos at home. Even the French Foreign Legion was never allowed to be stationed on home soil.

    The only reason why the jihadi irregulars are blowing up the Mariott in Islamabad is because the Pak civilian ‘leadership’ has sided with the Infidel USA against the jihadi masses. Even the Pak public are angrily protesting their govt’s alliance with the West. The Pak military is deftly using all of these things to slow the War on Terror which it doesn’t believe in.

    So it’s short-sighted of you to say that using jihadist irregulars is a losing strategy with more losses than gains. From what I can see, the gains far outweigh the losses for Pak. They get plausible deniability, they get unlimited recruits, they get to inflict death by a thousand cuts.

    Because of the unexpected intrusion of the Bigger American Infidel, whom Pak leaders have to bow to, then yes, this has resulted in a clash between jihadis and Pak society. But it has also resulted in widespread public antipathy against the Americans. The Pak Army merely has to keep up its taqqiya doublespeak to manage the doubts of the naive Americans. And the Americans have shown an overwhelming propensity for gullibility here. That gullibility seems to be enough for Pak to milk the situation to its advantage. We don’t see any threats of cutting off aid, but only more offers to increase the aid. QED.

  21. Sanjay,

    Fair enough. I see what you’re trying to say.

    My response is that the threat from illiterate cannon-fodder jihadist legions is way, way overrated.

    Think about it – how much damage can rag-tag militia do when confronted against a technologically superior enemy in full-blown, no-holds-barred war? The pigheadedness of the jihadists is that they struck too soon and against too many sleeping kaffirs. All the allah-ho-akbar sloganeering and beheading videos may impress madrassa going teenagers but do they worry professional military spines? Am not too sure that is the case.

    This is the age of high-tech warfare. It doesn’t come off right now as very impressive because we play by a set of humanitarian rules. We try to avoid collateral and civilian damage. Rest assured that when we kafirs are faced with an existential threat due to which we suspend our ideals of decency, fairness and humanism, when we play these jihadists by their rules, we won’t have to get off the couch to exterminate these vermin.

    Think NBC. A single virus can wipe out the entire livestock of the fierce pakhtun. Sure, the pakhtun never tires or fears or shows weakness or mercy etc etc but what will he and his women and kids do when there’s nothing to eat? What’ll any momeen however pious do when all water in a 100 mile radius is poisoned permanently? And I’m not even beginning to describe the more horrific things that should never be used – nuclear weapons and contagious germ warfare.

    One dirty nuke going off on NATO soil and you can rest assured, every town, village, building and tent, anywhere in darul-islam that has any chance of being involved will be vaporized, ethics be damned. One suicidal attempt at poisoning a city’s water supply in India and the demons will have been let loose. What will follow be verily tandav itself. Our civilizational memory has dimmed perhaps but such things as total annihilation were’nt always unheard of. When the jihadists are faced with a choice of convert or die and death is liberally handed down, we’ll see how far imaan and AoAs take the momeen lashkars.

    Cannon fodder illiterate jihadists with AK 47s can only do so much. Beyond that, when the free world decides to free itself of scruples, the islamic world stands no chance. None. Hulagu khan and Vlad Drakul aren’t forgotten in Baghdad and Turkey. And in the coming war, regardless of what Zaid hamid and Hamid Gul say, rest assured that when the tables turn, the sane, rational, educated guys will still retain overwhelming destructive superiority.

    Or not.

    Our decency, our humanism is right now being used against us. We have a lot to lose by giving these up, which is why we don’t. But when existential threat beckons, all bets are off.

    /Whew. Scary outcomes these. I hate to think it may someday come to that. I just hope it doesn’t.

  22. Sanjay,

    Between the PM and Stratfor, I would unquestionably trust the former.


    Glad you caught it.


    In the post you quote, I go on to say In either case, it is India that will have control over the escalation.

  23. Nitin,

    Perhaps Stratfor is naive to think that India has a conventional govt that follows conventional rules, when instead it has a Neville Chamberlain at the helm. Stratfor has always openly maintained that all leaders have to follow the compulsions of reality, regardless of who’s in office, but the difference between Chamberlain and Churchill speaks volumes to the contrary.


    The problem is that India is thwarted from engaging in No-Holds-Barred War, and is instead forced to endure the Death-By-Thousand-Cuts situation that Pak has confined it in. The War on Terror has now prompted Pak to accelerate the size of these cuts and the rate at which they occur — now it’s Death-By-Thousand-Hacks-and-Slashes.

    India’s tendency is to try to avoid nuclear brinksmanship that could invite international intervention into the bilateral disputes. But clearly our impotence in the face of these attacks has shown that India does not have the wherewithal to manage the bilateral dispute. India is now trying diplomacy to generate international pressure on Pakistan to cease its terrorism, which isn’t likely to produce results. I feel it’s time for India to look at how brinksmanship could bring international intervention in a way that favours India.

  24. Even if Pakistan gains from using Terrorists against us, If going to war with Pakistan means we lose more than Pakistan, then we must not go to war. It will be a very unpopular decision in India, but PM’s job is not to score points but to ensure India progress. I am sure ppl will agree our PM is an intelligent man and knows his job well.

    Perhaps, India wants to tarnish Pakistan’s Image as much as possible, so that by the time India does actually attack Pakistan – the world only does what it does best –pay lipservice 🙂

  25. Bala, if India cannot go to war against Pakistan, then what alternative do we have? Have you considered that Pakistan is already waging war on us, through terrorism? If they are already waging war on us, but we are unwilling to fight back, then what do we do? Just die? Do you not understand that continued terror attacks like Mumbai will eventually destroy everything we have? Chidambaram won’t even put an NSG hub in Bangalore, where I’m certain the next attacks would take place. Instead, Congress will just brush off such attacks by making brief noises of outrage and then go back to doing nothing.

    Bala, how many more such attacks will we have to suffer before you realize that war is our only way out?

  26. Sanjay,

    Until, the time comes …

    Its better and more effective to work with other countries, to apply bans, sanctions on pakistan. Only “lip-service” is free in the world, so Indians must pay and buy other countries help in pushing pakistan. Indian economic success means Indians can afford to burn some cash – they must do it.

    India must build Afganistan as a counter-rival of Pakistan. India must work to make Taliban and Pak Army go at each-other. I think US is trying to do the very same.

    I am sure there must be lots of covert things India can do, without sending in the Army.

  27. Only the redrawing of borders can rectify the current raging disease infecting Pakistan and Afghanistan, which are both artificial states that have shown their inability to develop. India has proven its right to exist due to the fact that it doesn’t send crazed suicide-attackers around the world, instead choosing a more benign if uneasy path of progress.

    Maybe we should start organizing local separatist groups in Sindh to give Pak its share of terror pain for a change.
    If they’re not going to stop terrorizing us, then we have nothing to lose by starting terror against them. And we can give them more of it, because we’re stronger than they are. I would rather buy off the cheaper Sindhis than buy off the expensive Europeans who prefer Islamic jihadis over their adversaries in Moscow anyway.
    We need to fuel Sindhudesh movement with maximum expediency. Sindh can be used to ignite Baluchistan, just as Punjab was used to ignite J&K.

    This is the path we should pursue once BJP/nationalist forces get back into power at the Centre.

  28. They say, there are no winners in a war. What the heck, why should we be the only ones losing out then?? Or should we also resort to cross border terrorism (Malegaon type)?! Of course, I’m anti extremism and am against either side supporting any extremist behavior. But hell, what justification/reason do the terrorists have for the Mumbai attack?? ‘Cos someone’s got to give us answers and be punishable for this!

  29. Nitin : thanks, but does “having control over escalation” also mean that we will be able to avert a war they start? Say, if there is unprovoked firing on border or so?

  30. Nitin says there’s “No War Ahead” and yet both countries are behaving like a military conflict is about to occur. I think Nitin has misinterpreted Manmohan’s statements when he said, “Nobody wants war”

    What he meant was that he had to launch a military strike, even if reluctantly, due to Pakistan’s unwillingness to act against its terrorist groups.

  31. Rahul,

    I agree, but not in name. If India responds in a like manner, it would be counter terrorism not terrorism. The intent of our attacks are not to harm civilians, they are to go after terrorists. As a long term strategy, India should place operatives in Pakistan and strategically attack the terrorist infrastructure and those ISI personnell who support it.

    However, surgical strikes, if that is what India decides to do, should not target the LET. You do not want to risk nuclear war, over a bunch of empty school buildings. The LET is a simply an appendage of the Pakastiani milatry and so if attacks like Mumbhai are to be made prohibitively expensive India should attack prized military infrastructure. It is the Pakistani military that controls the on/off switch, and so they should ulitmately understand the consquences of allowing such attacks.

    Before attacking however, India should cut the supply of oil and water to Pakistan. The international community has so far shown that it will not whole heartedly support India, only offer condolences. But before India acts unilaterally, let it see if the world will allow us an embargo. If it does, this would send an expensive message to Pakistan (perhaps making the surgical strikes unecessary), and also weaken the enemy prior to a possible war.

  32. A variety of news reports are showing signs of preparation by both countries for a military conflict:


    Again, I submit to you that Nitin is incorrect about his prediction of “no war”. He has wrongly misinterpreted Manmohan’s comments. As I said in a previous post, it looks like we’re going for a token strike, under an expectation brokered by the US. The goal of this is to politically salvage Congress’ political prospects so that they can claim some nominal superficial ‘victory’, while the powers-that-be in Pak can claim some kind of ‘victory’ on their side, in some kind of bizarre Rashomonic theatre. Manmohan will say ‘we taught Pak a lesson’, while Zardari or Kayani will say ‘we resisted the Hindooo aggressors’. Uncle Sam will of course bolster each claim in front of its local domestic audience, while ensuring its ‘War on Terror’ remains uninterrupted.

    And AlQaeda/Lashkar will prepare to strike again. They are not refined theatre-going types, you see.

  33. I think the PM’s statement was very generalized, of the type that nobody in the world likes wars but everyone does end up fighting them when confronted with the possibility.

    In India’s case, not only have we been confronted with possibilities but collectively backstabbed by the same ones who say they want to give peace an option. They say that today and attack tomorrow.

    A war is waiting to happen.

  34. More extreme terror is in store for India’s aam janta in coming months. just see how bad it gets, it is beyond our imagination. And there will never be any war, we are not capable of it anymore let whatever ours PMs and Chiefs say.

  35. Is PMs word a true gesture or a strategic ploy? Israel too sent out deceptive message before going through with the stricks. In fact they even played to have some sort of high profile cabinet meeting in evening on the day strickes too place. And pretty much everyone thought nothing would happen before the meeting.

    This is not say I want war, but only that if the Congrees party plans to strike, it will probably want to do it as close to the elections as possible

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