On the first anniversary of the Mumbai attacks, many observers discussed the implications of the events that took place last Nov. 26. But few have commented on the implications of what did not take place: New Delhi did not mobilize its armed forces. It did not retaliate against terrorist safe havens, nor did it go to war with the country -- Pakistan -- where they were located. Rather, it limited its response to calling upon its neighbor to shut down the terrorist cells and extradite the masterminds and abettors of the Mumbai attackers.
Islamabad responded half-heartedly. It failed to bring key players responsible for plotting the attack to justice, refused to shut down the organizations behind them, and offered no reassurance that it would not be the home for future attacks.
All of which prompts the question, why didn't New Delhi retaliate, as did Washington in Afghanistan following the attacks of 9/11? The answer remains murky, but history provides an inkling: Nuclear deterrence probably tempered the impulse.