Tensions have been high in South Asia, to say the least. India and Pakistan are nuclear powers, and any time one nuclear power attacks another it reminds us how easy it would be to trigger nuclear annihilation. All it takes is one miscalculation or mistaken intention for none of us to be here anymore. Though these concerns are valid, they are sometimes overblown. The laws of deterrence that have governed nuclear brinksmanship since the advent of nuclear weapons are still in place today. And since India and Pakistan are constrained by these laws too, they were always unlikely to nuke each other into oblivion.
Still, the fact that they do occasionally engage in skirmishes makes the situation in South Asia unique among all territorial disputes and nuclear war games. Because the stakes are so high, it’s important to understand how India and Pakistan got to this point and why nuclear weapons are likely to prevent a major conventional conflict, even if nuclear war can’t be ruled out a
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