Khan ‘3 (Feroz, Brigadier General and Former Director of Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs in the Strategic Plans Division of the Joint Services Headquarters in Pakistan, Arms Control Today, “The Independence-Dependence Paradox: Stability Dilemmas in South Asia”, Volume 33, Issue 8, October)
This logic is vividly applicable in the case of South Asia. Both countries hurl themselves into crises that deepen, escalate, and reach a point of spiraling out of control, only to unwind with outside intervention-notably by the United States. One author has suggested that "India and Pakistan brinkmanship is not wild-eyed but designed to meet policy objectives.... Pakistan ratchets up tensions to garner external (mainly U.S.) pressure on India to come to [the] bargaining table, India uses coercive diplomacy to bring pressure on Pakistan to halt support for militants.... In using brinkmanship both India and Pakistan want ultimately [to be] held back while having the United States push their interests forward." 20 But this strategy leaves the region in a dangerous limbo because the decision is left to the United States to determine whether it intervenes or not.21 The South Asian protagonists have thus become more dependent than ever on the United States. Yet, much to the chagrin of the region, the United States has neither the time nor the patience to accord priority to the region, which President Bill Clinton once described as the "most dangerous place."22 Consequently, a dangerous pattern has set in: India and Pakistan push a crisis to the brink, anticipating U.S. intervention, and the United States might take its time in the belief that South Asian crises are manageable through "firefighting diplomacy" and that there is no urgency to launch a proactive process of conflict resolution. The brinkmanship is not aimed to fight a war but to win the crisis, and both hope that the U.S. intervention would be helpful. One scholar has noted, "Each has misread its closer ties to the United States as evidence that Washington has embraced its perspective. Each has treated the intense engagement and military presence of the United States as insurance against escalation to war, or indicated an inclination to ratify an impending Fissile Material/Cut-off Convention.