In This Review

Brasstacks and Beyond: Perception and Management of Crisis in South Asia

Brasstacks and Beyond: Perception and Management of Crisis in South Asia
By Kanti P. Bajpai et al.
205 pp, Manohar, 1995
Purchase

This case study of the India-Pakistan crisis of 1986-87 was precipitated by India's yearlong Brasstacks Exercise. The largest military exercise conducted in South Asia in recent decades, it was comparable to the largest NATO and Warsaw Pact military maneuvers. At one point, India positioned its armed forces such that they could cut Pakistan in half. Pakistan responded by threatening India's province of Punjab.

The authors are Indian, Pakistani, and American academics. Two were serving in their governments at the time. The project members interviewed virtually all living senior officials in the three governments associated with policymaking during the crisis. The result is probably the most thorough academic case study of a South Asian crisis ever written. It raises important questions about the propensity of both India and Pakistan to drift into conflict. And it offers some very sensible conclusions about avoiding or managing future confrontations. This book should become standard reading in international relations courses on crisis management.