Not War, Not Peace By George Perkovich, Toby Dalton

An old military adage by Moltke which says that every plan meets that of the enemy pretty much holds true in how states take forward ties of an adversarial nature. In a classic case of divergence of interests, one state tries to dissuade and force the other. The strategic fraternity uses the terms “deterrence” and “compellence” in place of the two, respectively. George Perkovich and Tony Dalton from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace have co-authored a detailed and the first of its kind book on an issue which is central to peace in South Asia: The Indo-Pak Confrontation.


The recent war of words between the militaries of India and Pakistan epitomized the simmering rivalry between these nuclear-armed neighbors while amplifying the dangers of further escalation. “[…] If we will have to really confront the Pakistanis, and a task is given to us, we are not going to say we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons. We will have to call their nuclear bluff,” said Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat while delivering the annual Army Day lecture.

Evaluating Counter Terrorism Strategies: Way Forward for Pakistan

Terrorism is a rationally selected tactic usually employed in the pursuit of ideological objectives. However, some individuals or small violent organizations that employ terrorist means may not always be concerned with particular causes or an avowed ideology. These terrorists may be motivated purely by a desire to commit violent acts. Some terrorists have utopian goals regardless of their aims.

Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Challenges

ASince 9/11, Pakistan has been beset with certain foreign policy challenges. The first of them is related to the sovereignty of Pakistan which is violated mostly by drone strikes and occasionally by Afghan National Army. Second, Pakistan felt embarrassed and helpless when the US forces raided a compound in Abbottabad in May 2011 to recover and kill Osama bin Laden, without taking Pakistan into confidence.

Pakistan’s US problem: the first betrayal

As per conventional wisdom about small states and their foreign policy formation, neo-realism or systemic and structural-level theories provide rich insight to predict small states’ foreign policy priorities given their focus on the dynamics between ‘power’ and ‘security’. According to the neo-realists, small states are driven to form alliances with big powers due to their external constraints, more specifically motivated by their ‘security’ concerns rather than by their domestic or internal compulsions.

The correct narrative on Pressler

THE Pressler amendment, passed by the US Congress in August 1985, was a blessing in disguise for Pakistan. Thirty-two years since its passage, it is time to set the record straight.n examination of the legislative history of the Pressler amendment to the US Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961, Section 620 E (e) reveals that it saved Pakistan-US security relationship at a critical time, allowing the US to continue providing economic and military assistance to Pakistan under the aid package passed in 1981-82 to fight the Soviets in the region.

Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry’'s ‘Revelations

In his recent address to Pakistani-Americans at a community dinner in Houston, Pakistan’s Ambassador to United States, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, noted that ‘realignments in Asia are posing new challenges to Pakistan’. Without elaborating how the ongoing ‘realignments’ in Asia are different from those in the past, Mr Chaudhry — taking a leaf from General Yahya’s book — claimed that ‘Pakistan had acted as a bridge between the United States and China and was willing to play that role again’.

Who does Donald Trump represent?

Once considered a ‘wild-card’ for the American ‘Deep-State’ or ‘Military-Industrial-Complex’ (MIC), Donald Trump is now dubbed as a puppet in its hands. The neo-cons hawkish and warmonger’s fear that Trump might become ‘America First’ isolationist, undermining the role and power of military establishment and damaging the profit of military contractors have evaporated in the thin air after he retracted from his promise to depart from the ‘interventionist-policy’ of the previous presidents, especially Barack Obama.

Deconstructing Gen (r) Janjua’s claims

peaking a few days ago at the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) in Islamabad, National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Gen (r) Nasir Khan Janjua had made some interesting assertions regarding the Afghan War of the 1980s.

Who Really Controls US Foreign Policy?

One wonders as to why President Trump has pledged to expand United States’ nuclear capacity, undermining decades of efforts – both by the Republicans and Democrats – to reduce the strategic role of nuclear weapons and strengthening the non-proliferation regime. Why is his administration shoring up a war of rhetoric with China, especially when Chinese are ready to fully embrace the capitalist-order and rubbing their hands in glee to be the next ‘guardian’ of free-market economy?

India's perception about Pakistan's Nuclear Program in the 1970s
Presented in CSSPR-NPIHP International Conference on Nuclear History

Chairman Mr. Banuri, Prof. David Holloway, Dr. Christian Ostermann, Fellow panellists, other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is my proud privilege to be a part of this joint endeavour to chronicle the international history of nuclear weapons in our region by the Centre for Security, Strategy and Policy Research (CSSPR), University of Lahore and Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP), Woodrow Wilson Center.

Trump tension

If we want to understand how Pakistan-U.S. relations are likely to be affected by a Donald J. Trump presidency, it would help to step back and take a historical overview of how they have developed over the years to ascertain their likely direction in the coming years.

The Fragility of Nuclear Stability in South Asia

To state the obvious, strategic stability in South Asia is fragile. While India and Pakistan have satisfactorily achieved the technical requirements for ensuring strategic stability by institutionalizing their nuclear command and control systems, raising their missile forces and establishing mutual nuclear deterrence, the political requirements still remain a challenge.


It is day 89 of unrest in Kashmir. But no one is talking about thousands of pellet-ridden faces and bodies of men, women, and children in Kashmir that are victims of sheer brutality by the Indian Army. The Uri attack happened on September 18 before the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) session, and India used the incident as a chance at face-saving with regards to Kashmir.

The view from Pakistan: Angry rhetoric after Uri attack will hurt both countries

Since the Uri base attack that killed 18 Indian soldiers, the war of words and escalation rhetoric has reached a crescendo between India and Pakistan. On the issue, the Indian media is portraying Pakistan as expecting an imminent and swift cross-border retaliation from the Indian military. Some outlets have even reported that a cross-border operation has already taken place on Pakistani side in Kashmir.

Regulating Borders: Crucial Need for Islamabad

Pakistan’s recent policy of stricter border control on its western front with Afghanistan “is likely being driven by the former’s apprehensions regarding the latter’s increased capabilities”—that is, the possibility of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), infiltrating Pakistan.

Islamabad’s PNE Gossip

“WE do not have any hard intelligence to support the Islamabad gossip about a test this year. I think we still have some time to wrestle with the problem. Since the problem is as much, if not more an Indian one than an American one, I think we should give New Delhi some time to stew in the juice that they squeezed by conducting a nuclear test in 1974.”

Bhutto & US nuclear politics

ZULFIKHAR Ali Bhutto’s ‘eating grass’ comment after the 1965 Indo-Pak war is famously related to his determination to nuclearise Pakistan. In his reply to a question about Pakistan’s response if India went nuclear, Bhutto, minister of foreign affairs at the time, had remarked with great resolve, “Then we should have to eat grass and get one or buy one, of our own”.

US-Pakistan: The Hijab of Expectations

The United States-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue is a platform to manage the relationship at various levels. Notwithstanding mutual interests, there is deep-rooted suspicion and distrust of each other’s motives and intentions that has given rise to heightened expectations on both sides. While Nawaz Sharif’s government would like to prioritize expanding trade and investment cooperation between the two countries, other U.S. concerns might take priority in this latest round of dialogue.

Pakistan Needs a Nuclear Future, Not a Nuclear Deal

Regardless of the conditions, Pakistan should not pursue any civil nuclear agreement with the United States. Pakistan should review its national security concerns and decide whether it wants to be bound by the rules of conduct of an unbalanced nuclear order. There are three main reasons why Pakistan wants a civil nuclear deal with the United States.

Deterrence by Design: Sino-Pak Strategic Cooperation in Gwadar

F.S. Aijazuddin in his excellent book on Pakistan’s role in 1971 U.S.- Chinese rapprochement wrote that “Pakistanis love China for what it can do for them, while China loves Pakistanis despite what they do to themselves.” These lines have stood the test of time. In 1965 during the Indo-Pak war, Pakistan sought Chinese assistance and was advised by the Chinese Prime Minister, Zhou Enlai to change its strategy.