After Pulwama: What Are India’s Retaliation Options?

Media Coverage | February 19, 2019

A Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) suicide attack conducted and claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway (NH-44) in Pulwama District in Kashmir struck a Central Police Reserve Forces (CRPF) convoy on February 14, 2019, killing more than 40 Indian personnel. At the time the convoy included some 70 vehicles transporting some 2,500 troops from 12 different battalions. The attack brought to fore the 2016 Uri attack in which 19 soldiers had perished. In response India had claimed it had conducted “surgical strikes” to avenge the attack. The casualties inflicted in the Pulwama attack are the highest for a single attack and consequently an India-Pakistan military crisis seems imminent. As India weighs its military options, it is likely that a naval blockade may provide it with the least risky option.

Is an Indian Military Response Likely?

Crisis learning between India and Pakistan seems to have been at play in the responses to the crisis, and a predictable template has been followed by both sides. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) convened on the morning of February 15, 2019, and chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and Indian Army (IA) Chief General Bipin Rawat. Modi stated that the act will not go unpunished and that a befitting reply will be given.

Read the full article here on The Diplomat.