US analysed India`s military contingency plans

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 09:59

London: American embassy cables leaked by
whistleblower website WikiLeaks reveal that the US conducted its own secret analysis of India`s military contingency plans codenamed `Cold Start`, the Guardian reported.

"It is the collective judgment of the mission that India
would likely encounter very mixed results. Indian forces could
have significant problems consolidating initial gains due to
logistical difficulties and slow reinforcement," according to
an American cable.

But the US ambassador to India, Tim Roemer warned in
February that for India to launch Cold Start, would be to
"roll the nuclear dice".

It could trigger the world`s first use of nuclear weapons
since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"Indian leaders no doubt realise that, although Cold
Start is designed to punish Pakistan in a limited manner
without triggering a nuclear response, they cannot be sure
whether Pakistani leaders will in fact refrain from such a
response."

US diplomats in Islamabad were told that Pakistan was
working on producing smaller, tactical nuclear weapons that
could be used on the battlefield against Indian troops.

"The result of this trend is the need for greater stocks
of fissile material.... Strategic considerations point
Pakistan in the direction of a larger nuclear force that
requires a greater amount of fissile material, Pakistani
officials argue," an extract from one of the cables published
by the daily said.

A senior US intelligence official was "unrelentingly
gloomy" about Pakistan.

Peter Lavoy, national intelligence officer for south
Asia, concluded in November 2008 that nuclear-armed Pakistan`s
economy was "in tatters" and the country could "completely
lose control of its Pashtun territories over the next few
years", according to a leaked US cable.

More than a third of people were unemployed or
underemployed, he said.

"Pakistan`s population is becoming less and less
educated, the country lacks sufficient energy and clean water
resources to serve its population, and there is minimal
foreign investment."

A few months later, in April 2009, US official Patterson
was slightly less gloomy, saying Pakistan was not a "failed
state".
"We nonetheless recognise that the challenges it
confronts are dire. The government is losing more and more
territory every day to foreign and domestic militant groups;
deteriorating law and order in turn is undermining economic
recovery.

"The bureaucracy is settling into third-world mediocrity,
as demonstrated by some corruption and a limited capacity to
implement or articulate policy."
She said: "Extremism... is no longer restricted to the
border area. We are seeing young Punjabi men turn up in [the
tribal areas] and Afghanistan as fighters recruited from areas
of southern Punjab where poverty, illiteracy and despair
create a breeding ground for extremism."

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 09:59

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