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India's Options in Pakistan

What Will Follow the Attack in Kashmir

People hold candles and placards during a vigil for the soldiers who were killed after gunmen attacked an Indian army base in Kashmir's Uri on Sunday, in Mumbai, India, September 19, 2016. Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Over the weekend, terrorists attacked an army base in Kashmir, killing 18 Indian soldiers. Soon after, the Indian army announced that it believed that the terrorists had ties to Pakistan. With India apparently preparing to respond to the strike—Prime Minister Narendra Modi proclaimed that “those behind the attack will not go unpunished” and Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said Wednesday that this “will not remain a mere statement”—U.S. officials could soon find themselves scrambling to manage a nuclear-shadowed crisis.

This would not be the first time. In December 2001, terrorists attacked the Indian parliament complex in New Delhi, prompting the Indian government to mobilize roughly 500,000 troops toward the border with Pakistan. U.S. officials spent months shuttling and phoning back and forth between the leaders of the two countries urging a non-military resolution. India, understandably, sought clear assurances from the Pakistani president, General Pervez Musharraf, that the country would end

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