Saturday, October 01, 2016

Reach Out and Touch Someone

India struck back at Pakistan after a Pakistani-sponsored terror attack killed a number of Indian security forces. I imagine this was a message to reassure India's public and to warn Pakistan that India's people expect their government to resist Pakistani terror support.

This was an up-close-and-personal way of striking back at Pakistan:

Early Wednesday morning, Indian Special Forces paratroopers crossed the Line of Control in Kashmir, carrying out “surgical strikes” against terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. India has carried out cross-LoC raids in the past, but what’s notable about Wednesday’s strike, which comes in the aftermath of the Uri attack earlier in September, is wide public messaging regarding the strike. On Thursday, reports of the strike proliferated across the Indian press after a press briefing by Indian Director General-Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh.

Artillery or air power could have done the job. But ground troops add a level of seriousness to the mission.

And the notable publicity makes sense to me.

As I mentioned, India has to be seen defending India because India is a democracy and its people vote for those who rule (and defend) them. So the public messaging reassures Indians that their government doesn't just think that bathtub slip and falls are a bigger worry in the larger scheme of things.

And it reminds Pakistan that India can't just let these attacks slide without responding--so beware of doing anything that creates a public demand for even bigger retaliation--or even preemptive action.