India’s Flailing Influence on South Asia’s Crisis Dynamics

Key Points:

  • Spurred on by its economic power and global diplomatic heft, India has tried to pursue hegemonic ambitions and an offensive military strategy in South Asia.
  • India’s latest military tension with Pakistan (2019) and China (2020) shows that despite military modernisation push and doctrinal changes, the Indian military has its limitations and weaknesses that depreciate operational effectiveness of its forces including operational planning, preparedness, interoperability, jointness and training.
  • The Indian military has failed to deliver deterrent messages despite its aggressive action during the latest crises with its neighbours.
  • Balakot-Rajouri and Ladakh Crises demonstrate the Indian Army’s shortcomings in battlefield performance.
  • India’s regional assertiveness shows its national approach is likely to work towards a three-pronged strategy of technological modernisation, the threat of a full-scale war, and proxy war.
  • Experts believe that the prospects of a false flag operation and India’s two-front war theory to acquire political, diplomatic, and foreign military support add more vulnerabilities in the already fragile strategic stability of South Asia.

Asma Khalid

Asma Khalid is a Research Associate at the Centre for Strategic and Contemporary Research. She is also a South Asian Voices Visiting Fellow at the Stimson Center.

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