Recent events and scholarly analysis suggest that South Asia may be trending toward yet another nuclear-tinged Indo-Pakistani crisis. Meaningful dialogue between Pakistan and India has stalled, the disputed territory of Kashmir has seen regular exchanges of fire across the Line of Control (LOC), and Indian strategic elites worry about the possibility of another Mumbai-style terrorist attack. This talk assesses the robustness of Indo-Pakistani deterrence stability. More specifically, it analyzes the likelihood that another mass-casualty attack on Indian soil, carried out by terrorists sponsored by elements of the Pakistani state, would escalate to conventional – and perhaps nuclear – war between Pakistan and India. This question is considered in the context of previous Indo-Pakistani crises in 1999, 2001-02, and 2008; recent quantitative and qualitative improvements in Pakistani and Indian nuclear forces; the growing superiority of India’s conventional military forces over Pakistan’s; and the more muscular foreign policy adopted by the new government of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.
Devin T. Hagerty is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Global Studies program at UMBC. He teaches on international relations, national security policy, and South Asia. Hagerty is the author of The Consequences of Nuclear Proliferation: Lessons from South Asia (MIT Press, 1998) and co-author (with Sumit Ganguly) of Fearful Symmetry: India-Pakistan Crises in the Shadow of Nuclear Weapons (University of Washington Press, 2005). He edited South Asia in World Politics (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005). Hagerty has published in International Security, Security Studies, Current History, Asian Survey, the Australian Journal of International Affairs, and other journals. He co-edits the journal Asian Security. Hagerty has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A.L.D. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.A. from Rutgers University.
Sponsored by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; and the Social Sciences Forum.
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