Topic: Security management in border areas
6) Balakot operations have established air strikes as an effective tool of deterrence in dealing with Pakistan. Discuss.(250 words)
Why this question
The article discusses the recent precision airstrikes in Balakot and analyzes why this changed strategy of using airpower is a valid strategy in dealing with Pakistan. The article examines the reasons why India hesitated from using such an option in the past and discusses the opportunities provided by such strikes.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to bring out the fact that air strikes in counter-terrorist operations are the preferred first option across the Western world. The question expects us to discuss why India hesitated from using such an option in the past and the impact of using airstrikes as a means of deterrence. Finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced conclusion and discuss the way forward.
Discuss -This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain about the recent Balakot air strike in response to Pulwama strike.
- Highlight the significance of the strike – a calibrated, decisive and yet restrained show of force, the Indian Air Force (IAF) converted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of punitive action into reality as it pounded jihadi training camps in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) in a series of coordinated air strikes
- Discuss why such an option was not explored by India in the past – responsibility, restraint and escalation
- Discuss what makes these airstrikes an effective strategic option –
- while many of these reasons — responsibility, restraint and escalation — may hold true while conducting sub-conventional operations in the hinterland, different paradigms have existed in Jammu and Kashmir ever since Pakistan raised the tempo of its covert war by employing proxies like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
- Discuss the impact of this strategy critically highlighting both the pluses and the minuses
Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view and discuss way forward.