Moon of Alabama – Feb 27, 2019
Two nuclear powers are currently engaged in a tit for tat military exchange that could easily escalate into a nuclear war.
On February 14 a suicide car bomb hit a police convoy in Pulwama in the Indian controlled part of Kashmir. The suicide bomber was a local man. The Pakistan based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility and uploaded a video of the attacker.
General elections in India are due in May and the Hindu-fascist Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is under pressure. The incident in Kashmir led to violence of Modi followers against Kashmiri people. Pakistan denied any involvement in the incident and called for a joint investigation.
After the suicide attack Modi immediately threatened to retaliate against Pakistan. He did so yesterday. In an elaborate operation Indian fighter jets released stand-off weapons, purchased from Israel, against an alleged JeM training camp near Balakot. India made explicit that it hit a “non-military” target.
While the Indian jets did not enter Pakistan’s airspace the target was within Pakistan’s undisputed borders. Small scale ground combat between Indian and Pakistani at the line of control in Kashmir is nothing unusual. But the air attack exceed the limits both sides so far held to.
Pakistan saw the incident as a failure of its deterrence. India has about 140 nuclear weapons while Pakistan has about 100. Pakistan’s conventional military is inferior to India’s. It therefore follows a doctrine of asymmetric escalation which allows for nuclear strikes in response to conventional military attacks.
Pakistan could not leave the hit within its own borders without response. Not responding would have set a precedence and invite further Indian attacks. Earlier today two Pakistani J-17a jets flew into the airspace of Indian controlled Kashmir and released bombs against what its military claimed to be a “non military target”: