About the 4GW between India and Pakistan

I strongly recommend reading this analysis of the 4th generation war between India and Pakistan.  This is one of the world’s great flashpoints.  The last few paragraphs should send a chill down the spine of every reader. 

 This is an excerpt; the article deserves to be read in full.  Hat tip on this to Marc Faber.  Tomorrow I’ll post some of my speculation about this 4GW.

Building war hysteria to cover up failure on home front“, MD Nalapat, Organiser, 21 December 2008 — An excerpt appears below, with background about the author and the Organiser following.

A note about the accuracy of Nalapat’s story 

Much of current events lie in the realm of hidden history, revealed only a generation or two later. For instance, the military history of WWII we learned in school was largely false. The reputation of UK and US generals was trashed with the revelation in the 1970’s of Enigma (we read almost all their coded messages) and the treason of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris (head of the Abwehr, military intelligence). During the war Canaris gave the UK most of Hitler’s war plans, which they ignored.

So despite Nalapat’s distinguished reputation, his detailed account should be considered speculation. How accurate, I have no way of knowing.


Summary: Why did the Pakistan army make its terrorist ancillaries go this far? Clearly, the generals were determined to punish Washington for continously prodding the Pakistan army to take action against its ally, the Taliban.

Kayani wanted an Indian mobilisation. He should not get it. War is not the option, at least for the present. And it is surprising that Senator John McCain sought to generate the sort of hysteria that the Pakistan army was seeking by claiming that the Manmohan Singh government was very close to such a course.

That an attack on Mumbai was being planned within the highest echelons of the Pakistan military was no secret to the US, Saudi Arabian and Chinese secret services. The Saudi state has traditionally valued the interests of the Pakistan army above those of the 156 million Muslims of India, while the PLA has since 1958 been in favour of any action by any source that it sees as weakening India.

… Why did the Pakistan army make its terrorist ancillaries go this far? Clearly, the generals were determined to punish Washington for continously prodding the Pakistan army to take action against its ally, the Taliban. Angered by the constant US pressure to act in less than the present deliberately ineffective way in FATA, senior generals within the Pakistan services led by (the US-approved) Ashfaq Parvez Kayanidecided to take revenge on the US and its closest European ally, the UK, by choosing locations where nationals of both countries congregated, the Taj and Trident hotels on Mumbai’s waterfront. The training of the “terror commandos”, their equipping and the entire logistics of the operation was handled by the Pakistan army, acting through officers “on leave”.

The expectation within the Pakistan military was that such a show of vulnerability of their own nations would divert the attention of the US away from its focus on the western border of Pakistan to fight the Taliban towards the traditional Pakistan army project of creating a Talibanisedstate in Kashmir with US-EU help. In other words, towards a repeat of Kosovo. The Mumbai attacks would be used by the Pakistan establishment to illustrate “the cost of not solving the Kashmir issue” to the advantage of the Pakistan army, and would thus assist policymakers in the US receptive to the Pakistan army in making President-elect Barack Obama keep his promise of pressuring India to change the status quo in Kashmir.

… Fortunately for the country, Manmohan Singh’spacifist nature (which renders him unable to respond withforce even if faced with a nuclear attack) for once proved to the correct medicine, as his spokespersons made it repeatedly known that war was not on the table. A mobilisation of troops towards the Pakistan border would have played into the hands of the Pakistan army, which is eager for an excuse to move away from the Afghan to the India border, aware that its policy of talking tough against the Taliban while secretly helping them prevail in the field has become visible even to the most moonstruck admirers in the US and the EU-and these are many-of “Jehad” Kayani and his merry men.

Given the propensity of these self-proclaimed “pious Muslims” towards the hedonistic lifestyle, had the US made the UN impose sanctions on the pro-jehad generals in the Pakistan army, most would have abandoned the path of terror rather than forsake the comforts of London and New York. Sadly, rather than be reviled and shunned, “Jehad” Kayani and his team are feted by their very victims.

… War is not the option, at least for the present. … On the contrary, India needs to give upto 36 months (or 24, depending on the frequency and scale of future attacks) to Washington in that ally’s efforts to steer the Pakistan military away from its policy of helping jehadis attack India.

Should the US fail to achieve such a result during this timeframe, India should launch a war against the Pakistan army. This can be initially confined to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in the first instance, and against military targets only, including of course terrorist infrastructure.

Should Pakistan respond by retaliating against India beyond military targets in Kashmir, our counter-attack should be expanded to cover the whole country, again initially with only military targets being selected. Should the Pakistan military at any stage respond with an attack on civilian areas, an all-out offensive should be launched, designed to ensure the shutting down of rail, road, sea and air traffic in Pakistan, to demonstrate the costs of nurturing terrorists. In the unlikely event that a nuclear device will be deployed against an Indian target, the top 10 cities in Pakistan should be automatically and repeatedly bombed with nuclear weapons. Massive nuclear retaliation is the only sane response to such an escalation of aggression by the generals in Pakistan.

While India needs to hold its military fire now, the entire country must begin preparations immediately for war with Pakistan within 36 months, should US effiorts fail.

Should Washington fail to defang the jehadi beast that it still believes to be its ally rather than the single biggest present threat to international security, there would be no other option other than war for India, if the country is to avoid the deadly bleed caused by jehadist violence that has been the country’s fate since the 1980s, and which has accelerated since Sonia Maino took over its fortunes (in some senses, literally) in 2004. The public in India needs to be prepared for the prospect of a war that could see the end of Pakistan, possibly at the cost of significant destruction in India. However painful this may be, it is nevertheless preferable to suffering jehaditerror indefinitely, and this time, the war needs to end only with the dismantling of the terror camps (in the scenario where the Pakistan army responds rationally to the limited Indian offensive and conducts only a limited response) or the destruction of Pakistan as a viable country (in the event that a nuclear device get used by Pakistan). This has to be the final India-Pakistan war.

About Madhav Das Nalapat (from Wikipedia)

{He} holds the UNESCO Peace Chair and is a Director of the Department of Geopolitics at the Manipal University, an elite private university in Southern India. A one-time resident editor of the Times of India, Prof. Nalapat writes extensively on security issues and international affairs, and is a columnist for UPI. Nalapat has no formal role in the Indian government, although he influences policy at the highest levels.

About the Organiser (from its website):

ORGANISER, one of the oldest and most widely circulated weeklies from the {India’s} capital, first hit the stands in 1947, a few weeks before Partition, Edited and enriched by eminent personalities likeA.R. Nair, K.R. Malkani, L.K. Advani, V.P. Bhatia, Seshadri Chari and now R.Balashanker to name but a few, ORGANISER has come to believe that resistance to tyranny is obeisance to God.

REPEATED attempts to muffle its voice and the motivated opposition to it by some powers did not succeed.

GURUJI Golwalkar (the second Sarsanghchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) once said: “For clear, straightforward, impartial views on subjects of national and international importance and for imbibing unadulterated patriotism, it is useful to readORGANISER. It will fulfil the expectations for correct guidance in all current affairs.


If you are new to this site, please glance at the archives below.  You may find answers to your questions in these.

Please share your comments by posting below.  Per the FM site’s Comment Policy, please make them brief (250 words max), civil, and relevant to this post.  Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

For more information from the FM site

To read other articles about these things, see the FM reference page on the right side menu bar.  Of esp relevance to this topic:

Other posts about India and Pakistan:

  1. Is Pakistan’s Musharraf like the Shah of Iran? (if so, bad news for us), 8 November 2007
  2. Terrorism in India, a roster of incidents, 16 May 2008
  3. “Food scares are exaggerated, but good copy for the media”, 28 May 2008
  4. Stratfor says that our war in Pakistan grows hotter; Palin seems OK with that, 12 September 2008
  5. NPR tells us more about America’s newest war, in Pakistan, 14 September 2008
  6. Pakistan warns America about their borders, and their sovereignty, 14 September 2008
  7. Damage Reports from home and abroad, 12 October 2008
  8. Weekend reading about … foreign affairs, 19 October 2008
  9. To good a story to die: eliminate legitimate grievances to eliminate terrorism, 9 December 2008

13 thoughts on “About the 4GW between India and Pakistan”

  1. This piece has the flavor of propaganda, but I lack the knowledge to highlight its distoritions or omissions. The claim that the Pakistani army has a long term project of creating a “Talibanized” Kashmir is one I haven’t heard before, seems unnecessaru to the main argument, and therefor might be a sign of the emotional purpose of the piece.

    Furthermore, the nuclear sabre-rattling is beyond the pale for educated, democratic discourse. It’s more reminiscent of the bullying style of Israel’s leaders, or lately, the mad-wing of the American neocons.

  2. I agree with Seneca. One of the elements of 4GW is making sure that your story drowns out the competition’s story.

    Totally off topic, what does Fabius think of Paul Krugman’s article in the NYT?

  3. To the contrary, I think that it should have been fairly obvious for at least the past decade that Osama bin Laden has been a “Mr. Phelps” for the ISI – and only one of several, at that.

    Whether in 2001 / 2002 the Bush administration could have solved this problem by addressing Pakistan as “the central front in the War on Terror, is debatable, but clearly Pakistan – not Iraq – was the problem.

    That does not mean – necessarily – that we should have attacked Pakistan. More likely it should have meant we should have used James Bond / Great Game style tactics. If terrorism is cancer, we should typically use chemo rather than surgery.

    By now, however, the ISI/ Al Quada / Taliban / Laskar e Toiba / etc. network has metastasized.

    One sidenote, English has become the lingua franca of multilingual India. Though they use our vocabulary and obey our rules of grammar; they do not speak our language – as the quoted text illustrates.
    Fabius Maximus replies: I cannot prove that you are wrong, but on the other hand your theory of OBL – ISI is not “obvious” to me.

  4. Add this to the current mess in Gaza, and our inability to really do anything about either, and that probability counter of a limited nuclear war in Asia keeps going up and up. One can easily place historical blame on the British, and then the USA, but in the end the locals with their tribal, religious, and nationalist conflicts will bear the primary blame for whatever happens, although to some extent all of humanity will suffer the consequences. This is somewhat appropriate given that the true source of the problem is human nature, and psychological evolution lagging behind technology.

    On an individual basis, it would seem we should address our attention to firewood, water, arable land, and some sort of localized self-defense. For the bigger picture, prayer seems the best alternative, or the hope that flying saucers with particle beams will appear and render all the warheads into lead, reversing traditional alchemy in a way;-).

  5. Please enlighten me. If Pakistan is such a “bad actor,” why no mention of Saudi-sponsored Wahabbism?
    Fabius Maximus replies: As I recommended, read the full article. This is just an excerpt. The author does touch upon that.

  6. Good call, Fabius. While Pakistan/Afghanistan may be where the problem manifests, IMO solving the problem of Saudi petro-finance Wahabbism is an order of magnitude more difficult (unless alternative energy sources can be realized).

  7. “…the military history of WWII we learned in school was largely false. The reputation of UK and US generals was trashed with the revelation in the 1970’s of Enigma (we read almost all their coded messages) and the treason of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris (head of the Abwehr, military intelligence).”

    I really think this statement is intelligence-centric nonsense. Few if any serious military historians would endorse it. The notion that there is a “hidden history” is pure mythology; what I find remarkable is how little impact the Enigma revelations have had on the long-established reputations of the senior Allied commanders. Make such a statement in front of a first-rank historian of World War II — Williamson Murray, for example — and I think you would be laughed out of the room.
    Fabius Maximus replies: A fascinating comment.

    “The notion that there is a “hidden history” is pure mythology;”

    So Enigma was in most history books about WWII before publication of “The Ultra Secret” (1974) by Frederick William Winterbotham. Quite remarkable! I look forward to seeing some evidence of this (otherwise it would have been “hidden history”, and we would not want you to be “laughed out of the room”!

  8. Fabius Maximus replies: I cannot prove that you are wrong, but on the other hand your theory of OBL – ISI is not “obvious” to me.

    1) Pakistan, and the ISI in particular, set up the Taliban. Do you dispute this?
    2) The Taliban host Al Qaeda.

    This suggests an ISI / Al Qaeda link and – to the extent it is deniable – further suggests the nature of the link is of the “Mr. Phelps” variety. Which leaves us with a semantic dispute over what is meant by the word, “obvious.”
    Fabius Maximus replies: It is not that simple. Here’s an alternative theory:

    We aided the Afghanistan insurgents (and were perhaps the primary agent of their victory). Also, Pakistan is one of our major allies (receiving much support from us). Therefore there must a strong link between the US and al Qaeda, perhaps of the “Mr. Phelps” variety (which explains why the evidence is invisible). QED!

  9. I enjoy the insight here. Don’t wish to re-route the thread, but this must be noted on Canaris.

    Tis the victor who pens the history books.

    Without doubt, there are indeed certain “hidden histories” in all of humanity and beyond. The fact last year’s bombshell drama “Letters from Iwo Jima” was not produced prior (like say, right after WWII) speaks volumes about how only time can allow the telling of certain sensitive truths. Such is the nature of geopolitical triage and fresh wounds.

    Circa 1946, America was more into “Sands of Iwo Jima” than “Letters from Iwo Jima.”

    The Allies were all jockeying for position far in advance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Do US history books teach that Patton highly likely was delayed intentionally so the Soviets could get to Berlin first? The US was right on Berlin’s doorstep. Was this merely Truman’s pre-Cold War diplomatic olive branch to the USSR? Similarly, current history won’t be accurately portrayed for another 20 years, although with the Internet one never can tell (first bit of irony in this post).

    It can be more than safely presumed that post-WWII scheming began in 1938 (year of the Polish genocide) and witnessing that macabre massacre was U-boat commander-turned Rear Admiral-turned Ahwehr chief-turned alleged traitor Wilhelm Franz von Canaris. Notwithstanding that Canaris was a German WWI national hero, a fierce nationalist with an Iron Cross and every decoration conceivable, he was repulsed by the inhumanity of the mass murder. Thus began his anti-Hitler mission.

    Canaris was at the very epicenter of all pragmatic attempts to not only assasinate Hitler, but ensure a reasonable replacement thereof. I only say “traitor” because that’s what Hitler concocted to have Canaris hung in 1945, one year after the July 20 plot to assisinate Hitler and just weeks before Germany surrendered. This all came out at the Nuremberg Trials, as told mainly by former Canaris confidant Hans Bernhard Gesevius, generally viewed as a reputable witness.

    As well, it has been highly documented that Canaris conspired continually with British and American intel chiefs, sometimes in person, other times through the Vatican or via underlings. Ultimately their alternative peace initiatives were not backed – for various reasons – by either Truman or Churchill. But information was exchanged in a number of areas that was not in the best interest of the Nazi party.

    It couldn’t ever possibly be just about killing Hitler. His likes and worse (worst) lurked (Goebels, Mengele) and took their own “absence of Hitler” precautions. Then there was the question of capitulation to German interests post-Hitler, and the Allies that late in the war were in the enviable position of being able to dictate unconditional surrender. It seems that Canaris’ peace efforts were doomed early on because Hitler was so popular, and later because Germany was on its last legs.

    Having suffered by quantum leaps the most aggregate casualties of all nations involved in WWII, the USSR wanted Berlin first and foremost(later, they got half all Germany), and the USA and Britain were of course after their own spoils. No way Truman was going to let those little minor details get into the minds of young, impressionable American students. Let them figure it out when they become adults, and let them figure it out via non-government “official” position statements.

    This is not a value judgement on the part of Truman and Churchill or the “new world order” for lack of a better term. These men were heroes and visionaries, men who knew the reality of having to cut one’s losses and make deals (although, maybe Patton was right after all; did the US have the Soviets right where they wanted them? Doubtful, but that’s a story for another day).

    Tom Cruise took the popularly-expedient path of the actual “kill” with the 2008 film “Valkyrie,” and it was indeed a story long overdue for the telling. But history may also soon vindicate Canaris and show him as one of the most courageously influential persons ever to walk the Earth, opposed to a mere foot-soldier such as Claus von Stauffenberg. I predict that one day, US textbooks will indeed portray these men as sympathetic characters not too indifferent than the title chacaters in “Letters.” That is, friends of civility and men of honor.

    In 2008, German theologean Deitrich von Bonhoffer was inducted into the Hall of “Righteous Gentiles” by international Jewery. His philosophical disciple Canaris is next. Canaris is already being promoted by international Jewish websites. History is being written this very moment.

    Canaris as head of German intel at Abwehr hired and fiercely protected multitudes of half-Jew agents – under various guises and cloaks. Unfortunately, he might very well have “war-profiteered” with Jewish gold in Swiss banks. But that’s another story. Some German was going to do it. Better the ilk of Canaris than that of the Nazi party. We’re talking cutting losses here folks. Pragmatic stuff, not fairy tale idealism.

    It should be noted that Canaris never signed on to the Nazi party, contrary to some revisionist historians. Now there’s some irony. Revisionist historians, that is. Canaris, in fact, hated the Nazi’s. But in 1935, when Canaris was hired by Hitler to lead intel, the dynamic Hitler was seen as the great hope for an economic revival to a depressed Treaty of Versais-strangled nation. Not to mention, Hitler had yet to authorize or advocate the extermination of entire populations of peoples (although Mein Kempf came razor-thin close).

    The victor tis not the only who shall write history. Time itself has a way of etching the underlying truths. Mine might not all be 100-percent accurate, and for this please forgive (and do correct). But know this:

    Wilhelm Canaris will one day go down in history as a man who resisted the ultimate evil, all the while knowing full well that the ultimate cost was his very own life.

    This doesn’t change the magnitude of the contributions of Allied military servicemen. They are all heroes. But it does un-sanitize some degree of misinformation found in most modern-day American textbooks.

    I’d be entirely naive to believe otherwise.

  10. Part of the problem with Enigma was that the Allies did not want to take actions that revealed to the Germans that they had broken the code. If the Germans suspected and changed things, and sent false information using the old codes, many thousands of Allied lives could be lost, and the war greatly prolonged. There were instances where convoys and air raids were allowed to proceed in spite of intel that they could be intercepted.

    Not everything the Germans sent over Enigma was actionable by the German troops receiving the orders, and reports back to HQ were often discounted or ignored by the high command. Hitler ordered his armies to do things that they no longer could accomplish (think about the objectives of Watch Am Rhein, which was not revealed by Enigma), and disbelieved his generals reports of real conditions at the front. So the Allies could not sweep aside the German military just because they had an idea of what strategically the Germans wanted to do.

    Back to the main point. It seems insane that anyone (other than an Iranian president, from a US perspective) would be advocating a nuclear onslaught and obliteration of a country. The attacks on Mumbai were awful and tragic, but to advocate crossing the nuclear rubicon over an incident that pales next to 9/11, Russia/Chechnya, and current events in Gaza, well, that is pretty extreme and I cannot imagine it represents the mainstream of political thought and policy in India.

  11. Good point about Enigma. Can’t be penny wise, pound foolish. Plus, Hitler only wanted yes men. They just went along after awhile because it was the most expedient and path of least resistance. That’s why Germany lost the war, that and the fact they stubbornly devoted prescious resources to killing Jewish civilians instead of killing enemy soldiers (a big DUH here).

    Regarding a nuclear holocaust with India/Pakistan or even Iran/Isreal for that matter, these are cards in a poker game, nother more. But you’ve got to keep the option open, or at least for PR purposes, to extract your full leverage.

    One would think.

  12. Fabius, are you familiar with Hindu Nationalism, RSS, Hindutva, Golwarkar, Savarkar etc and indian politics in general? I think some context might be necessary for readers of your blog unfamiliar with recent indian history and politics.
    Fabius Maximus replies: Any suggestions where people should go for background, other than Wikipedia (which is not reliable on issues like this)? There are 3 more articles about the sub-continent going up in the next two weeks.

    Also, this is a persistent problem to which I have no solution: this site focuses on things on the edge of the known, often inadequately covered by the mainstream media and unfamilar to most Americans. Hence background is required. But the average blog post is aprox 250 words, and articles on this site average an already too-loong 1000 words. Adding background would overtax my resources (both time and mind), and make the articles unsuitable for a general audience.

  13. That article reeks of hysteria ;) We have to look at who benefits from the whole Mumbai event – clearly not Pakistan. (I suspect that even if that last terrorist hadn’t been caught, India would have still blamed Pakistan – like they did with the Parliament attack.)

    So who benefits?
    Fabius Maximus replies: Perhaps it is hysteria. Or – perhaps a calm attitude towards such events — conducted by such people — comes from distance, and non-involvement. If it happened in your town — to your family — what would you say?

    Who benefits is, of course, always the key question. In 4GW it is often difficult to determine.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top