Mending Fences: Confidence and Security-Building in South Asia

In This Review

Mending Fences: Confidence and Security-Building in South Asia

Edited by Sumit Ganguly and Ted Greenwood
Westview, 1996
243 pp. $61.50
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This is a very thoughtful collection of essays, with an excellent introduction, that discusses whether confidence-building measures that have been used successfully in Cold War Europe and some other regions can be applied in South Asia to improve relations between India and Pakistan and between India and China. The two editors introduce the volume with a summary of broad propositions. Then there are thorough studies of the Sino-Indian and Indo-Pakistani disputes, two illuminating chapters on the experience with medium-range nuclear-armed missiles in Europe and the Middle East, and an extremely insightful essay by Jasjit Singh, director of the Institute of Defense Studies in New Delhi, on mutual threat perceptions. He discusses the need for serious dialogue on the subject, with the greatest payoff coming from addressing peacetime deployments of military power. If close to "expected operational areas," he says, "these deployments can create an "almost permanent strategic surprise capability."