Engaging India and Pakistan: Resolving Conflict and Establishing Trust Through an Aerial Observation Confidence and Security Building Measure
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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United States engagement in the South Asian region over the last fifty-five years can best be characterized as sporadic and zero sum at best. Generally, the U.S. saw both Pakistan and India as relevant, although minor, actors during the Cold War however, any favoritism in the form of military or financial assistance shown to one nation was typically met with a corresponding decrease in diplomatic influence with the other. This quandary only served to frustrate U.S. diplomatic efforts in the region and led to a policy of engagement only when immediate U.S. interests were threatened. Surprisingly, the events of September 11 may have provided a unique opportunity to change the status quo and create greater regional stability in South Asia. Both India and Pakistan have publicly denounced terrorist activities, and Pakistan has backed up its rhetoric through its valuable support for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. Similarly, India has been relatively reserved in its typical condemnation of Pakistani support of terrorist operations in Kashmir and has acted with remarkable restraint following the December 2001 bombing of the Indian Parliament, allegedly by Pakistani supported terrorist groups.
- Government and Political Science