Is Pakistan a regional hegemon

Waltz and the Indo-Pakistani conflict

Table of Contents

1. Indo-Pakistani Conflict: An Overview

2. Theoretical framework
2.1. Waltz's Theory of International Politics
2.2. Waltz and the existence of nuclear weapons

3. Empirical part.
3.1. Case study I: The 3rd Indo-Pakistani War 1971
3.2. Case study II: The Kargil crisis in 1999.
3.3. Lessons from the Past: A Conclusion

4. Outlook and forecast

5. Literature

1. Indo-Pakistani Conflict: An Overview

The Indo-Pakistani conflict is considered to be one of the longest, most difficult and most dangerous conflicts in the world. Branded with four wars, numerous conflicts, two nuclear tests, constant proliferation efforts and a permanently conflicting status quo, one thing above all is significant: its persistence. “The degree and form of crisis in relationship - the rhetoric that goes with it - has varied with time, events and personalities; but the substance of it has remained "(Jalalzai 2005). Jalalzai particularly identifies an antagonism between the two countries, which has just been strengthened by the length of the conflict. This antagonism is not only reflected in the way the conflict is resolved, but also in the respective capabilities, i.e. power and security potentials of states in the Waltzian sense (cf. Waltz 1979). Figure 2.2 from Paul 2006 shows the results of all conflicts since the independence of the two states from 1947 to 2006. A particular asymmetry can be seen here with regard to the success of armed conflicts in favor of India. Figure 2.1 also illustrates the military asymmetry between the two countries. If you add the annual economic growth of the countries, as well as the population, overall military strength and geographic size (all capabilities in the Waltz sense), the antagonism increases significantly. India's economy grew by 9% in 2007, while Pakistan's economy only grew by 5.8%. In terms of population, India has almost a billion more people, and the overall military strength is also clearly in India's favor with a ratio of approx. 585 million Indian soldiers to approx. 83 million Pakistani soldiers. India itself is also almost four times the size of Pakistan (cf. for all figures CIA Factbook). All in all, there is a lot to be said for the asymmetrical distribution of capabilities in the South Asian region that Jalalzai diagnosed. If you look at the regional, Indian preponderance in comparison to the hegemonic powers during the East-West conflict, the USA and the USSR, one thing becomes clear: India is a regional hegemon, but not a major global power.

What does this mean for the empirical, historical basis and relevance of the work? From a Pakistani point of view, a balancing of India is a logical consequence (in the tradition of structural realism). States balance (allies against the most powerful state) instead of bandwagoning (allies with the most powerful state) because the risk of being swallowed up by the more powerful state is greater than protecting oneself from it by forming an alliance with other states. Since this is done by conventional means (the most important indicator of this is Pakistan's consistently higher defense spending: since 1962 to 1980, the mean value for Pakistan has been 6.37%, for India 2.96%; cf. for figures Regional Center for Strategic Studies) however above which remained unsuccessful for decades (see also Figure 2.2), Pakistan pursued a parallel foreign policy of forming alliances. "In reality, Pakistan has been the challenger but it was not necessarily the weaker party because Pakistan had enjoyed near-parity in the military sphere with India in the 1950s as a result of its military ties with the US" (Paul 2006). For example, the USA and Pakistan concluded a series of bilateral agreements in the 1950s in order not only to balance Nehru's non-alignment policy or, for example, the communist states of the USSR (here in particular as a reaction to the Soviet nuclear test of 1949) and China, but also to establish a regional base for any operations (the Iranian regime and its oil policy in particular turned out to be a potentially long-term problem for the USA). Among them many the treaty for the "Mutual Defense Assistance" 1954, the "Baghdad Pact" 1955 or the "Bilateral Agreement of Cooperation" 1959. In addition, the USA was (and still is) the largest donor of Pakistan (approx. $ 400 million per year at the beginning of 1960).

Figure not included in this excerpt

Source: Paul 2006

Figure not included in this excerpt

Source: Paul 2006

The Indo-Pakistani conflict is thus framed by the influences of the great powers USA, USSR (and later Russia) and China, who see their interests represented not only in maintaining the conflict, but also in the form of external balancing (see below) . During the East-West conflict, the USA saw Pakistan not only as a balancer with India in the South Asian region, but also as an alliance partner against the USSR. Russia, on the other hand, saw itself prompted at the latest by Nixon's rapproachment with China in 1971 to see India as an alliance partner. China, as the smallest major power of the three, saw India and Russia as two powers that lived in the immediate vicinity. An alliance to balance these (great) powers with the USA was only a matter of time.

If you add the nuclear dimension that has accompanied this conflict since the mid-1980s, not only its explosiveness becomes clear, but also its necessity for a solution or even pacification. From a political science point of view, this is a very classic case of conflict research in the context of international relations that gives rise to analysis, especially a prognostic one.

The work is basically devoted to three question patterns that follow a neorealist paradigm. First, what structural factors led to a purely conventional war between India and Pakistan during the East-West conflict? Second, what structural factors pacified the conflicts after the end of the East-West conflict? Third, which prognostic cycles can be worked out from this? The first question is case study I: The third Indo-Pak war. For the second question I use case study II: The Kargil Crisis.

In a first step, a theoretical foundation should be created to answer the questions, which is based entirely on Waltz's structural realism (cf. Waltz 1979 and see below). It must be mentioned that in the context of this work, the Waltz theory can only be dealt with in part and not in its full breadth and depth. Within this theory-related part, it is also important to make two distinctions clear: On the one hand, Waltz's theory of structural realism (see Chapter 2.1) and, on the other hand, Waltz's structural realistic view of the existence and proliferation of nuclear weapons (see Chapter 2.2). This is important because the subdivision of the case studies makes a possible development of the conflict resolution recognizable and this should ultimately lead to a prognosis. Expressed empirically: Case study I deals with conflict resolution without nuclear weapons, while case study II deals with conflict resolution with the simultaneous presence of nuclear weapons. The dependent variable is always the foreign policy behavior of the states involved, whereas the independent variable, in the Waltzian sense, represents the international system. In the second step, the two case studies are analyzed and classified using the theoretical framework. An interim conclusion should answer the first two questions. Important: The processing of the first two questions does not have to explain the behavior of the two states. Rather, it is a matter of making clear the structural circumstances that led to a conventional or asymmetrical war. Waltz says: “Balance-of-power theory is a theory about the results produced by the uncoordinated actions of states. The theory makes assumptions about the interests and motives of states, rather than explaining them ”(Waltz 1979, p.122). In the third and last step of the work, the third question will be dealt with, i.e. the previous findings relating to the predictability of Waltz's theory. Ultimately, a conflict cycle should be developed that is primarily based on the structural influences of the international system and secondarily on the direct relationship between the two states. After all, according to Waltz, the structure of the international system is the independent variable that determines the behavior of the states and thus provides a prognostic approach here.

2. Theoretical framework

The following is about the theoretical foundation of the object of analysis. In doing so, recourse is made to structural neorealism according to Kenneth N. Waltz. While Chapter 2.1 creates a framework for the case studies, Chapter 2.2 deals in particular with terms that can be operationalized. Waltz initially based his theory on three levels within international relations, which he classified in his essay "Man, the State, and War" in 1982. Basically, he is concerned with explaining the conditions under which there can be war or a negative peace (i.e. abstinence from war). The human being (first level) provides the anthropological framework within which he surrenders to his natural state. "Wars result from selfishness, aggressive impulses, from stupidity" (Waltz 1982, p.8-9). A positive prognosis is only conceivable if people or their natural state can be changed through moral, intellectual or sociological education. If this does not happen, it remains pessimistic.

According to Waltz, the second level is the state, or more precisely, the internal constitution of states. At this level he gives various analysis approaches: “Was most often promotes the internal unity of each state involved. The state plagued by internal strife may then, instead of waiting for the accidental attack, seek the war that will bring internal peace ”(Waltz 1982, p.10),“ Or the explanation may be given in terms of defects in a government not itself considered bad ”(Waltz 1982, p.10). While both of these declarations aim at the aggressive behavior of states in transition, or at least have limited legitimacy, his third approach aims at the geographic and economic constitution of the state (cf. Waltz 1982, pp. 10-11). In summary, the first two levels mean for him: "The actions of states, or, more accurately, of men acting for states, make up the substance of international relations" (Waltz 1982, p.11). Without a classification of these two levels in the third, the structure of the international system, the explanatory power for war or peace is not sufficient for him, because the actions of the states are guided by the first two levels but are determined by the structure of the international system : “The third image describes the framework of world politics, but without the first and second images there can be no knowledge of the forces that determine policy; the first and second images describe the forces in world politics, but without the third image it is impossible to assess their importance or predict their results. "(Waltz 1982, p. 17). It is precisely this international system according to the neo-realistic reading that is the subject of the following chapter and the basis of this work.

2.1 Waltz's Theory of International Politics

The structure of the international system according to Waltz is initially characterized entirely according to the classically realistic paradigm. According to this, states are the most important actors in international politics. According to Waltz, states are sovereign nation states. In addition, they are actors who act rationally with a cost-benefit calculation. This calculation can be traced back to the fundamental fact, which can be attributed to Waltz ’above all to the first level, that states have the safeguarding of their own existence as a fundamental goal. The central preference of the states is therefore to ensure their own survival. "In any self-help system, units worry about their survival, and the worry conditions their behavior" (Waltz 1979, p. 105). They achieve this (and this is where the most obvious distinction between classical and neorealist realism lies) by striving for security and not by expanding their power. States implement this security thinking through an end-means-rationality, so they strive for rational profits and not absolute profits. The safeguarding of one's own existence always takes place through an orientation towards the stronger. This orientation is connected with a calculation of the respective power relations of the states. This “measurement of states” is basically the assessment of their capabilities, i.e. their available power potentials such as population, territory, economic prosperity or military strength. There is therefore no functional differentiation between the actors, but a structural one. "A state becomes a great power not by military or economic capability alone but by combining political, social, economic, military, and geographic assets on more effective ways than other states can" (Waltz 1981, p.3).

This differentiation is necessary above all due to the structure of the international system, which determines and prescribes the foreign policy action of the states. It's anarchic and, according to Waltz, a self-help system. In short: every state is basically on its own and sees politics as a permanent struggle for survival. The fact that all states strive for their own security means that there is no trust within the international system, and cooperation is unlikely. Since there is no higher authority or organization that can offer all states a certain level of security, all states live in a permanent security dilemma.


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