India: The Paradox of Proximity

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Soon after U.S. special operation forces killed Osama bin Laden in a raid deep into Pakistani territory, a journalist asked India’s army chief, Gen. V.K. Singh, whether his nation’s armed forces had the capability to carry out a similar operation. The military man gave a straightforward answer. “If such a chance comes,” he said, “then all the three arms [of the armed forces] are competent to do this.” The domestic and international reactions to his statement exemplify the paradox of proximity: Having a fragile state in the neighborhood makes the capability to intervene important, but puts structural constraints on a […]

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