The Mumbai attacks have provoked a mixed response, ranging from jingoistic knee-jerk reactions to sober analysis based on facts and reasoning. As our blog is better known for the latter, it was indeed a surprise to read Dilip's post appearing to make a strong case for war as an option. Some of the readers have pointed to the obvious flaws in his reasoning in the comments section. The purpose of this post is not to join issue with him, but to share his anguish,which led him to choose such an extreme option, and look for answers other than war, to some of the questions which he has raised. Thankfully, there have been enough articles in the media addressing precisely the concerns articualted by Dilip, and I am glad to post links to those articles here. All of us, including Dilip, would like to avoid a war if it will not help to stop terrorism, and if the consequences of war are likely to be graver than the current phase. This is what the following articles suggest.
1. The Limits of Limited War by Suba Chandran. This 2003 post seems to raise valid concerns about limited war.
2. This research paper warns that the new Cold Start doctrine of Indian Army carries the risk of precipitating a nuclear war.
3. Swaminathan S.Anklesaria Ayyar in Times of India on dangers of Bushspeak.
4. Sitaram Yechury's forthcoming piece in People's Democracy
5. Vir Sanghvi on the rampaging elephant
6. This article on the scope of Article 51 of the U.N.Charter, concludes that allowing States to use force against those responsible for terrorism, without sufficient and recognised benchmarks, would set dangerous precedents.
7. B.S.Raghavan on why Israeli type of action against Pakistan will not succeed
8.Michiko Kakutani's review of Unintended Consequences: How War in Iraq strengthened America's enemies by Peter W.Galbraith