Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press
Release Date January 2010
India faces the real prospect of another major terrorist attack by Pakistan-based terrorist organizations in the near future, an event that would jeopardize important U.S. security interests in South Asia. This Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum by Daniel Markey examines the factors that would condition India’s response; the consequences of Indian military retaliation and Pakistani counterretaliation for the United States; and Washington’s policy options for preventing and containing the crisis. Markey concludes that a terrorist attack is unlikely to trigger a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. He argues that U.S. efforts to prevent an Indo-Pakistani crisis should combine a range of counterterror tactics with measures that increase Washington’s ability to limit escalation by either side.