Michael on War Between India and Pakistan

January 1, 2002

Q. In Michael's opinion, how likely is war between India and Pakistan?

A. While we do not predict, we would have to say that much of this conflict is colored by various obvious and unobvious groups and factions some religious, some political, some commercial, and some military. Depending on which group can maintain the "upper hand" in both countries, the possibility of war shifts its likelihood according to the most pervasive "flavor"; the least bellicose of the groups, of course, is the commercial ones [sic]. The most aggressive are the religio-political groups who do not see nuclear devastation as a "bad thing" if done in a "good cause". It is also, of course, the ultimate "nyah-nyah", and there is a little more than posturing going on at present.

Another factor, incidentally, in this situation is the press of population in an impoverished region, which leaves many with a sense they have nothing to lose, and the risks of war are therefore less unappealing than [to] those who are aware that war is no answer to poverty.