The GPM Global Forecast is a bi-weekly, members-only article series for 2016. It provides analysis and short-term forecasting on key military, political, and economic events around the globe.
India-Pakistan Tensions Spike on Kashmir Line of Control
Armed militants stormed an Indian army base in India-administered Kashmir over the weekend, killing 17 soldiers – many as they slept in their tents. The incident has propelled Kashmir, one of the world’s long-simmering geopolitical flashpoints, back into the headlines as the Indian government considers its response.
Kashmir has long been a key front in Pakistan’s proxy war against India. It’s an open secret that elements of the Pakistan government, notably the Inter-Services Intelligence, have been involved in training anti-India militants in Kashmir. In the case of this attack, the militants were highly-trained, used specialized incendiary ammunition, and their equipment bore Pakistani markings according to statements from Indian officials.
India-administered Kashmir had already been swamped with mass protests following the killing of Burhan Wani, a popular militant leader, by Indian security forces back in July. The territory was put under curfew for nearly two months; it was lifted on August 31, but has now been re-imposed following last weekend’s attack.
The covert nature of Pakistan’s support to militant groups, along with its nuclear arsenal, conspire to limit India’s options in responding to the attack. A conventional military response is out of the question for now, and on the diplomatic front, India-Pakistan relations are already as bad as they could possibly be short of open conflict.