Limited War in South Asia: From Decolonization to Recent Times


Gates, Scott & Kaushik Roy (2018) Limited War in South Asia: From Decolonization to Recent Times. Abingdon: Routledge.

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This book examines the origins, courses and consequences of conventional wars in post-colonial South Asia.

Although South Asia has experienced large-scale conventional warfare on several occasions since the end of World War II, there is an almost total neglect of analysis of conventional warfare in the Indian subcontinent. Focusing on China, India and Pakistan, this volume, therefore, takes a unique approach. Regional rivalries between India and Pakistan are linked with global rivalries between the US and USSR (later Russia) and then China, and war is defined in a broader perspective. The book analyses the conduct of land, sea and air warfare, as well as the causes and consequences of conflicts. Tactical conduct of warfare (the nature of mobile armoured strikes and static linear infantry combat supported by heavy artillery) and generalship are studied along with military strategy, doctrine and grand strategy (national security policy), which is an amalgam of diplomacy, military strategy and economic policy. While following a realpolitik approach, this book blends the development of military strategies and doctrines with the religious and cultural ethos of the subcontinent’s inhabitants. Drawing on sources not easily accessible to Western scholars, the overall argument put forward by this work is that conventional warfare has been limited in South Asia from the very beginning for reasons both cultural and realpolitik.

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