Flawed Paradigm

Flawed Paradigm
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The incipient war talk between India and Pakistan has mellowed or even whittled down. While the bellicose rhetoric emanating from both countries was just rhetoric and not a prelude to actual war, but still this escalation could have been ominous. The actual nature of relations between India and Pakistan falls in the rather grey zone of “no war, no peace” despite the shrill rhetoric that emanates from either from time to time and localized hostilities along the LoC. The “no war, no peace” formulation or the paradigm that obtains between the two arch foes is an amorphous condition that does carry the seeds and potentiality of war between the two. But, what actually prevents a full blown or even “total war” is the existence of nuclear weapons in the equation between India and Pakistan. Broken down, this means that it is actually the deterrent capacities of nukes that prevent a fuller, militarized conflict or, in other words, it is the equalization of force and the implied usage of nuclear weapons that keeps “peace” between the two. (In this sense then, nuclear weapons keep peace and might be even a force for good given the nature of the dyadic pair of India and Pakistan’s relations). But, in the final analysis, this is an artificial condition. Consider a hypothetical. The deterrence paradigm between India and Pakistan is a human construct: it is not fallible. And, human beings being human, and defined by bounded rationality , can crack under stresses and strains leading to a decision making framework, that can disavow rationality( the concept , under which deterrence rests) and gyrate to emotion(s). Under these conditions, belligerence of even rhetorical variety, can be dangerous and perilous, especially for the peoples of the region that constitutes South Asia. So, human rationality, being what it is, cannot be the pedestal upon which the all too important question of war can be predicated upon. The more prudent and even practical approach then is to create a fresh paradigm that redounds to the benefit of all and which does not rest on assumptions of human rationality( which can, to repeat, under conditions of stress break down). The paradigm in condition can be the broad conceptual framework to rejigg relations but the all important corollaries to this would be the resolution of sticking points between the two, that actually and potentially disrupt the paradigm. It is then that a movement from the “ no war, no peace” condition can be possible.