24 January 2018
Confrontations between nuclear-armed states in Northeast and South Asia conform to a historical pattern of brinkmanship mixed with caution. But with risks still serious, a more effective response is required.
The spectre of nuclear war, once thought to be receding with the end of the Cold War, is back. In recent months, three confrontations have occurred between nuclear powers. North Korea conducted a possible thermonuclear test in September 2017 and announced in November that it had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile with the capability to target the American mainland.
Washington reacted with tightening sanctions, military exercises, and preparations for a possible war. In South Asia, India’s troops stopped the Chinese from constructing a road in Doklam, an area disputed by Bhutan and China close to the Indian border. In the meantime, border tension between India and Pakistan escalated with heavy small arms fire, shelling and occasional small-scale troop engagements at the Line of Control (LoC) separating their forces.
… Rajesh Basrur is Professor of International Relations at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 30/01/2018