New Delhi– Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is more likely than in the past to respond with military force to perceived or real Pakistani provocations, as per the 2022 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community.
Crises between India and Pakistan are of particular concern because of the risk — however low — of an escalatory cycle between two nuclear-armed states.
Pakistan has a long history of supporting anti-India militant groups, the report said. Each side’s perception of heightened tensions raises the risk of conflict, with violent unrest in Kashmir or a militant attack in India being potential flashpoints.
On China, the report said relations between New Delhi and Beijing will remain strained in the wake of the lethal clash in 2020, the most serious in decades.
“We assess that the expanded military postures by both India and China along the disputed border elevates the risk of armed confrontation between the two nuclear powers that might involve direct threats to US persons and interests and calls for the US intervention,” it said.
Previous standoffs have demonstrated that persistent low-level friction on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has the potential to escalate swiftly.
This report will be provided to the congressional intelligence committees as well as the committees on the Armed Services of the House of Representatives and the Senate. (IANS)