Observations and Lessons for South Asia
Drawing on the case studies, this chapter examines the applicability of brokered bargaining in South Asia’s first decade of overt nuclearization and its implications for crisis stability. In each crisis, the concern about escalation forced the United States and other strong states to engage, largely unsolicited, and use a mix of rewards and threats with the regional rivals to achieve de-escalation. Both India and Pakistan eagerly engaged the third-party and oscillated between manipulating the risk of war and deferring to its preferences to gain its support. The process encompassing this dynamic interaction explained both the specific choices and the overall crisis behavior of the three actors. Escalation risks due to the “moral hazard problem,” the “multiple-audience problem,” and the peacetime policy choices of the antagonists and the United States were present.
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