India vs. Pakistan

Hardly a surprise, but just to confirm that India massively outguns Pakistan:

  • India’s advantage on my CMP index, an attempt to objectively quantify military power, has increased from 60% in 1988 to almost fivefold today by 2015.
  • Military spending (2017): India – $60 billion; Pakistan – $10 billion
  • This is reinforced by a quick look through military inventories on Wikipedia. India has 1,650 T-90’s and 124 Arjuns; Pakistan has ~700 equivalents (T-80UD’s and Al-Khalids). And even that won’t matter much, as India has total air dominance: It has ~300 4+ gen fighters (mainly Su-30’s and Mig-29’s) to Pakistan’s 45 4 gen fighters (F-16’s).
  • Historical record: India has won (to varying degrees) all of the four wars it has fought with Pakistan.

A more interesting problem is what will happen if they were to fight a nuclear war. They are about equally matched in atomic weaponry, though Pakistan has more in the way of tactical nukes, while India’s are more for balancing against China.

A classic study published in 2007 estimates there would be 12 million fatalities in India and 7 million in Pakistan if they were to exchange 50 15-kt nukes in urban strikes. That sounds about right. At current growth rates, it would take Pakistan two years and India less than a year to replenish their populations.

In this scenario, I expect Pakistan to cease to exist as a state.

There have also been many studies that even a limited nuclear war could produce catastrophic climate effects. I don’t find that too plausible. Even 100 15-kt bombs constitute just 3% of the power of the Tsar Bomba, and that didn’t really do much. You’d need all of the world’s nuclear weaponry just to equal the Mount Tambora eruption in 1815.

EDIT: Errata – chart’s left axis should say “Comprehensive Military Power (as % of US in 2000)”.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. I hope this thread will be flooded with thousands of comments from Indian and Pakistani ultranationalists.

  2. Leander Starr says

    Well that was cheerful

  3. Abelard Lindsey says

    You’d need all of the world’s nuclear weaponry just to equal the Mount Tambora eruption in 1815.

    I agree. I’ve always considered all of the nuclear winter and global warming scenarios to be loads of hype. If India and Pakistan sling nukes at each other, the rest of us will watch it on the internet and carry on with our daily lives. Such a war would be quite a humanitarian disaster within the region itself, and no one right in the head wishes it upon them. However, the effects will be strictly local.

    The geo-political effects will be much wider. The disintegration of Pakistan as a country will not be received well by much of the MENA region (fellow Muslims) and there would be some animosity between them and India, with China running interference every which way that benefits them.

  4. peter mcloughlin says

    The danger of conflict between India and Pakistan shouldn’t be overlooked, though I’d suspect it is more likely to occur as a consequence of hostilities between the US and Russia/China, for example. The real danger of a nuclear war between the two is the knock-on, that fatal interconnectedness that’s a feature of world war: New Delhi drawing Beijing into a conflict with a number of nuclear weapons, just enough to force China to us part of its arsenal against the US while responding to India; the US would retaliate against China but also attack Russia; the Kremlin in turn would respond against America and Europe. And the pattern of history does point to another world war.

  5. Another German Reader says

    India will be chugging along and reach emerging economy status in the early 2030s.

    Pakistan will be struggling between economical growth and population-growth. In absolute numbers the young angry men from lower middle-class families, who are stuck between a rock and a hard place, will rise. Terrorism will not end. Climate change will hit hard. Brain Drain will continue.

    India will build one of the world’s most extensive border wall to stem the flood of illegal migrants.

    Who will collapse first?

    Pakistan – Egypt – Nigeria

    Place your bets!

  6. Abelard Lindsey says

    Yes, the risk is geo-political rather than physical climate.

    The elites of both China and the U.S. are probably dumb enough to get sucked into WW1 style conflict.

  7. I find it hard to believe that there will be only 20 million deaths in a nuclear war. The panic and the collapse in the economy will surely lead to famines.

    It also must be mentioned that there would be a real world camp of saints (as the book used Indians as the people that engulfed Europe), tens of millions would move to Europe.

  8. Thorfinnsson says

    Long-term problem for India: differential fertility rates between Mohammedans and Hindoos.

    After partition Mohammedans were 10% of the Indian population. Today they are 14%.

    Islamic TFR is higher than that of any other “community” in India.

    The Indian government itself predicts that the Islamic TFR will converge with the rest of the country and that their share of the population will stabilize at one-fifth, which strikes me as wishful thinking.

    India’s alleged Hindutva government is, as is all too typical, actually cuckservative. Hindoos are prohibited from attending government-funded religious schools while paying for other “communities” to attend government-funded religious schools.

    The high-achieving Parsis are also in the process of disappearing from existence.

    Recipe for trouble regardless of what happens in Pakistan.

  9. Agreed on Modi’s cuckservatism.

    This blog post makes that point really well:

  10. The difference in India between Hindus and Muslims is mostly not racial I am guessing, that being the case I don’t see how this will make a big difference in the end as racial demographics are a much bigger factor in overall wealth than religion ever is.

  11. German_reader says

    The difference in India between Hindus and Muslims is mostly not racial

    presumably it would have been mostly members of lower castes who converted to Islam. And genetic differences between castes (which apparently have really been mostly endogamous for a very long time) seem to be significant.
    So maybe Indian Muslims are genetically quite different from the more high-functioning groups in India (or maybe not, I doubt there are good studies about such a sensitive issue).
    Islam is pretty negative anyway, an increase in the number of Muslims (no matter their racial background) spells trouble.

  12. 1990 | per capita

    India: $363
    Pakistan: $371

    2017 | per capita

    India: $1983
    Pakistan: $1541

    Economies have moderately diverged in India’s favor but why did military strength become so absurdly divergent?

  13. Swarthy Greek says

    Nigeria will collapse first. In order to determine whether Egypt or Pakistan will collapse will mostly depend on how much cash the saudis and chinese are willing to burn to prop up either Pakistan or Egypt’s regime. Still, i expect Pak to collapse first. Egypt will have some gas money coming along the way for the next decade and has marginally better human capital (there are a few Coptic businessmen that can keep the economy chugging along,whereas Pak has done everything to ethnically cleanse its Hindus,including Brahmins).

  14. For all the cucking, don’t they maintain a pretty strong border? And promote the ethnic conquest of the West by their coethnics?

    I wonder if they might really be pan-nationalists – secretly advancing the idea of a pan-Indian superstate encompassing both Pakistan and Bangladesh and perhaps more, but judging it premature to try to eliminate the borders now, as it would hamper economic development. Strategically, Hinduism may need to take a prone stance in order not to alarm the white left, who prefer Muslims over all others.

  15. The Indian economy is 10x larger than Pakistan’s (both nominal and PPP). This is inevitable, unless Pakistan spends an increasingly unsustainable percentage of its GDP on the military. Moreover, I assume it is this growing conventional military gap that has forced Pakistan to rely more on nukes and terrorism.

  16. Thorfinnsson says

    For all the cucking, don’t they maintain a pretty strong border?

    Yes, especially given their limited resources and state capacity.

    And promote the ethnic conquest of West by their coethnics?

    This is hardly intentional. If it was, India wouldn’t tolerate nonsense like half of medical school graduates being women.

    It’s some sort of ego thing–Indians perceive visa restrictions as an insult and thus lobbying foreign governments for higher immigration quotas is a long-term foreign policy priority. India also refuses to allow visa-free entry for any nationality because it insists on reciprocity. Obviously no developed country is going to permit visa-free entry from a gigantic Third World country.

    The former policy robs India of precious human capital. Indians cheer that Microsoft, Google, and Adobe have Indian chief executives. They ought instead lament this fact.

    The latter policy inhibits FDI, which is supposedly a policy priority of the Modi government. They did at least double the length of the multiple-entry business visa from five years to ten.

  17. Nigeria has a lot of weak neighbors. I’ve entertained the idea that they might seek stability by invading them. But that would probably require a big change in the global order. And, still, odds are against them in the long run. Too much religious conflict for one thing.

    I don’ know if gas adds to Egypt ‘s stability or takes away from it. Bigger tourism sector than Nigeria or Pakistan. Maybe, that will provide some level of healthy scrutiny.

  18. Swarthy Greek says

    Nigeria cannot invade one of its neighbors. The Nigerian army can’t even do counter insurgency correctly on home turf. Trying to invade a neighbour would result in even more instability as whatever ruling clan and its minions in the armed forces would be humilated and would become the laughing stock of all of Africa after being humiliated by a bunch of ragtags with AKs.As fr gas money creating stability, my calculus is simple: Gas money= more gibs for unproductive sloths that would otherwise blow themselves up, more coin to buy bullets and armor to remove undesirables, more resources to share for the elite (the army).

  19. In my experience hindus in India occupy the extremes; a lot of super intelligent people and an awful lot of cattle. Indian Muslims tend to be be middle class. Pakistan, in theory, ought to be more egalitarian than India, but the caste system seems to have survived informally there and they have the same extreme inequality in human capital as India. Elite Pakistanis are some of the smartest, most creative people I’ve known, the underclass are animals. Indian Muslims are generally more moderate than Pakistani Muslims despite generally belonging to a much nastier strain of islam (Shafi vs Hanifi).

  20. I don’t think I’ve seen many Pakistani nationalists on the Internet; I can’t imagine being a nationalist for a country whose name is an acronym

  21. Thorfinnsson says
  22. Numbers count for something even in a tribal society, and Nigeria is on the path to 750 million. I’m not even sure the US could stop 750 million Nigerians – I doubt it is ruthless enough to. Perhaps, the Chinese could. Of course, there is the obvious question of how much growth the outside world is willing or able to facilitate.

    Natural resources of course play into the whole India vs. Pakistan thing. There is firstly the direct support of Islamic oil states, then the potentiality of Pakistani migrants taking them over, if their political leaders cuck enough.

  23. It might not be visa free, but it’s hardly a serious visa if you can just fill out a form online and pay a bit of money. The uk is supposedly in the us’s ‘visa waiver’ program, but the amount of expense and bs for us to go there is far worse than the actual ‘visa’ India makes us get.

  24. What if Pakistan sent a bunch of cows over carrying nuclear weapons? Or maybe better – strapped one to each of their tanks.

    (Joking but inspired by the battle of Pelusium, and the story of the Persians carrying cats to ward off Egyptian archers, which is probably a tall tale)

  25. Thorfinnsson says

    If you’re from a high-income country of any kind getting a nonimmigrant visa anywhere isn’t particularly difficult (unless there’s some sort of political conflict).

    It’s still an additional friction which India hardly needs given the dire state of its economy and low FDI stock.

    Getting the multiple-entry business visa requires a letter of invitation, some paperwork, and a few hundred dollars. It also takes a week or longer to get, and you have to physically ship your passport to get it (very uncomfortable).

    The US admits over four million Britons annually via the Visa Waiver Program (more than any other country). US passport control is inefficient and unpleasant but what expense and b.s.? The only thing a Briton has to do is possess a valid passport and purchase a round-trip flight. You talking about the stupid I-94 landing card?

    I realize it’s ridiculous to have to certify you weren’t an SS concentration camp guard each time you come to America but that’s hardly difficult…

  26. At the same time, let’s not forget that there have been quite a few cases in history where the less equipped army won due to tactics and strategy. Economic determinism isnt always true.

  27. The usefulness of tanks would be hampered by terrain.

    Then there is the elephant in the room: China. They’d more than likely provide some level of support to Pakistan, not to mention many Gulf states that would do the same.

    In actuality, this preponderance may be good for Pakistan, since it probably won’t exhaust itself in an arms race, trying vainly to match India.

  28. War for Blair Mountain says

    The real battle is India-Pakistan-China versus THE HISTORIC NATIVE BORN WHITE AMERICAN WORKING CLASS MAJORITY….a war that will take place within the borders of the US….

  29. You are THE definition of a wigger.

    i) You see race in everything, much like the blacks in BLM.
    ii) You have a low IQ, like a black person.

    Hence, you are a wigger.

    Mainstream whites like me see you as the most pernicious and committed type of parasite of all. You just want to mooch off of successful whites.

  30. prime noticer says

    india military is over 30% of US capability? not even close. unless i don’t understand what that graph says.

  31. I was hoping for a horde of militant Hindutva ultranationalists storming my blog, not cubicle pajeets with a massive chip on their shoulder towards white people, but it will have to do, I guess…

  32. There was an extremely awful bestseller called “World War Z” by Max Brooks, son of Mel.

    One plot point was Iran and Pakistan destroying each other with nukes. Seemed very, very vicarious.

  33. Indians and their military spending does not necessarily translate to military power. See Saudi Arabia.

    Indians are the very antithesis to what can be called a martial people. Aside from drone strikes done from a cubicle, I doubt the effectiveness of any Indian military effort.

    Not sure about Pakistanis, but I would guess Pakistan would have the higher caliber soldier.

    A nuclear war would collapse both countries by the way. Pakistan would not nuke a goat farmer in the sticks, they would target the tier 1 cities in India and a lot of the Indian elite would be wiped out. Imagine a billion Indians trying to flee that shithole.

  34. Thulean Friend says

    Indians are the very antithesis to what can be called a martial people.

    This has been a slur against Indians for a long time, arguably starting with Kipling’s views of the “shifty Hindoo” compared with the “martial Mohammedan”. The reality, of course, is that India has won each and every of its wars with Pakistan.

    An analogy could be made to whites vs blacks (though the differences are far starker here, the same pattern resides). Blacks are more aggressive and violent in a one-to-one interaction but as a collective they are far less capable in inflicting serious harm in an inter-group conflict. Black dysfunction in the US is largely a function of benign neglect from the authorities. It could easily end if there was a will to do it, but it won’t due to intra-white public opinion. If whites really had one of those “race wars” that some of the fringes dream about, the process would be extremely short.

    The same holds in India vs Pakistan, but to a lesser extent due to the greater similarities. Indians are more peaceful on an indidividual basis but are more capable, even if you strip out the demographic advantage. Their economy is now increasingly more sophisticated and so is their social organisation, so even beyond demograpic numbers, they have these advantages, which translates into military effectiveness as well. Pakistan has not improved its literacy in ten years, for instance. Its progress on stunting and other social maladies are also extremely slow. The human capital stock between the two are starting to diverge substantially.

  35. India has won its wars because a majority of their soldiers are from the states that border Pakistan, the so called martial races like the sikhs. Equipment, technology, and number of soldiers also help.

  36. /pajeet/ isn’t an Aryan name.

    Here’s a russian monkey to converse with instead:

  37. I read recently the indian army has displaced china’s as the biggest army
    The big bulk of indian military budget went to manpower and pension expenses. I read only 20% are spent on acquiring new weapons. While other major military powers have been cutting manpower, it has been rising steadily in india. They did recently try to stop that trend but proved difficult for a country with very high unemployment(or under-employment as india gov calls it) and the military is one of the few big institutions where young people from an unprivileged background can get a living wage and pension. Other casualties of such manpower complex are low ammos stockpile and low spending on domestic military tech RnD.
    India to make (modernized)AK-47 rifles…

  38. anonymous coward says

    Who will collapse first?

    Pakistan – Egypt – Nigeria

    Pakistan, no contest. Whichever place has more Muslims will be more incompetent, that is always a sure-fire predictor.

  39. You actually agree with ‘War for Blair Mountain’? Here I was thinking that Anatoly Karlin was more intelligent that Steve Sailer (which isn’t a very high bar, but still).

    I am not a ‘pajeet’, btw. You yourself once said that I am ‘woke as fuck’.

  40. The only thing that concerns me is the potential tsunami of so called ‘migrants’ from the subcontinent.
    The political scum/trash which run Europe are dumb enough to take them all in.

    Otherwise, I really, honestly, absolutely could not give a shit.

  41. Sorry, but Arabs when roused absolutely couldn’t give a damn about ‘niceities’.
    Don’t compare them to the shit-trash which runs Europe.

  42. Duke of Qin says

    I never took you for a masochist. Why you would want such attention is beyond me. FYI Pakistan is claiming 2 IAF aircraft downed and they have been parading a captured pilot on TV.

  43. Not so fast, buddy.

    ‘Germany’ will be the first to fall. Old Frau Frump/Baggyface (Merkel) blazed the trail, and the Greens/lefties will finish the job!, (as Churchill or Bomber Harris might have put it).

  44. They can turn on the proverbial ‘sixpence’.

    If the pakis started giving them gyp, then mark my words, ALL of them will be rounded up and kicked out the very next day – and a bunch of non threatening Pinoys brought in to replace them.

  45. Another German Reader says

    We are talking about the three biggest laggards in the developing world.

    But OK,

    who will collapse first in Europe?

    the United Western Provinces of Pakistan, Capital: London

    the Senegalese-Algerian Federation, Capital: Paris

    the Federal Republic of North Syria, Capital: Berlin

    the Confederation of North-Bosnia & New Somalia, Capital: Stockholm

    Place your bets!

  46. Modi’s fucked they got one of our pilots.

    Our government both Congress and BJP are so grossly incompetent that our pilots are still flying MIG 21!! WTF the airforce has been crying out for modern fighters for two decades and still don’t have them.

    The capture of the pilot has boxed in Modi – this is an election year and he has no choice but to escalate, he already was in electoral trouble and this is very bad news for him.

    BTW I support the idea of limited retaliation after a terrorist attack Pakistan should know that nuclear parity doesn’t give you a license to fuck around without consequences.

    India’s strategic situation is nightmarish. Once the US runs away from Afghanistan lots of those mad dog Jihadis will come to Kashmir bringing the latest and formidable Islamic guerrilla warfare techniques here like multiple suicide bombing and then sending a suicide strike force. Add to that China’s open support to Pakistan both military and financial we have to prepare for a two front war which we will most certainly lose. What a nightmare.

  47. LOL!

  48. France – it’s already started.

    Just one more Islamist atrocity – and the calculated revenge by a deep seated ethnic French former military tough guy – and the whole shit-show will begin in earnest.

  49. Leaving aside the question of alliances (would China let India run over Pakistan), there is the problem of what to do with Pakistan if you conquer it. You have a large population of people who have deep-seated religious and ethnic hatred toward Hindus and India, and you throw gasoline on it by conquering them. Huge problem of counter-insurgency and how does India really benefit? Its probably better to have an anemic rival and a loading zone for disaffected Muslims.

    I suppose a Hindu Generalplan Ost might do the trick to clear the real estate, but I don’t see any way that India could pull that off. If you look at Israeli territorial gains, they are won more modestly, and still receive a lot of International condemnation, and its Israel we are talking about, not India. While I do not believe that Israel secretly runs the world like some on this blog, they would seem to have significantly more political influence than India.

    Thus, at best I think India could gain control of border/buffer areas and perhaps “re-settle” Hindu populations at the margins, along the lines of Israel’s settlement policies, but this would still cause a lot of International blow-back, and Pakistan would still exist and would be only more hostile. Besides which, I don’t want to stereotype, but to put it delicately, Hindu’s in general seem to lack the spiritedness of the Israeli nationalists. Not a lot of per capita lean body mass on the sub-continent either. I suppose the Sikh’s could probably do it though, but that would probably make things more complicated.

  50. Thanks for your perspective.

    But India does have lots of modern jets, why was it using Mig-21’s over Pakistan? Also do you think that China will seriously involve itself in any Indo-Pak war? I know Pakistan is China’s ally (though I don’t think China has any treaty obligations towards it… does it?), but to stop India from crushing Pakistan any Chinese intervention would need to be really large-scale. WW3 scale.

  51. Mostly agreed, though if Pakistan was to nuke India – a possibility if it is losing – I am not sure the rest of the world would much care about what India then does to it.

    My understanding of Pakistan is that a large majority – the peoples of Sindh and Punjab – are actually rather docile and physically weak, like the Hindoos. It is the northern hill tribes that are bellicose Chads, but there’s like 10-20 million of them.

  52. Our government both Congress and BJP are so grossly incompetent that our pilots are still flying MIG 21!! WTF the airforce has been crying out for modern fighters for two decades and still don’t have them.

    To be fair, even China still operates MiG-21s. However, their inventory of 4th generation (and 5th gen!) fighters is the second largest in the world and 3x bigger than India’s (+ a modern IADS).

    By the way, if it’s confirmed that India shot down an F-16, that would probably be good PR for Russian fighters and MIC. From now on the pro-Russian side should start using the incident actively in their propaganda, just like the Americans like to do with Israel vs. Arab and US vs. Iraq kill ratios, this doesn’t happen every day.

    Oh, and Pakistan has a sizeable fleet of JF-17s. Are they 4th gen planes? I guess that’s very debatable, and Block 1 is the only variant that’s operational (atleast I think so), but those planes are still worth mentioning and the airframes are new.

  53. And even that won’t matter much, as India has total air dominance: It has ~300 4+ gen fighters (mainly Su-30’s and Mig-29’s) to Pakistan’s 45 4 gen fighters (F-16’s).

    Oh, and Pakistan has a sizeable fleet of JF-17s. Are they 4th gen planes? I guess that’s very debatable, and Block 1 is the only variant that’s operational (atleast I think so), but those planes are still worth mentioning and the airframes are new.

    Pakistan has around 100 JF-17s; Block 2 is operational.

  54. Punjabis do not have a reputation for physical weakness or lack of martial spirit. The Sikhs are maybe a plurality of Indian Punjab. They are 25% of the Indian Army officer corps but only 2% of the Indian population. In South Asia, the major group that is exceptionally non-martial are the Gujaratis. They are 60 million strong but I bet there aren’t even 100 of them in the combat units of the Indian Army.

  55. But India does have lots of modern jets, why was it using Mig-21’s over Pakistan

    The only reason I can think is that they don’t want to place their best assets on the frontline for fear of losing them to a first strike but they should have anticipated the Pakistani response and put their modern fighters in Kashmir. The initial Indian strike was carried out with Sukhois and Mirages from bases in the heartland of India. When Pakistan retaliated with F16s we only had Mig 21s to respond with – seriously retarded planning.

    Also do you think that China will *seriously* involve itself in any Indo-Pak war? I know Pakistan is China’s ally (though I don’t think China has any treaty obligations towards it… does it?), but to stop India from crushing Pakistan any Chinese intervention would need to be really large-scale. WW3 scale.

    China is investing tens of billions of dollars in terroristan infact without Chinese investment Pakistan would financially collapse. I don’t know if China would declare war with India to stave off a Pakistani defeat but we have to consider that possibility and prepare for it – which means ruinous military spending. We always had a Pakistani problem now we have a Chinese one as well and that’s the reason we are in the American Camp (The only thing worse than being America’s ally is to be her enemy). I don’t know if America will help us in case of a two front war I am hoping that they will otherwise we’re finished.

  56. China would have to become involved somehow, perhaps in providing unlimited lend lease to Pakistan. What is the value of the alliance with China if China doesn’t step in to aid Pakistan during a war? Indian foreign policy choices have exacerbated pressure on China to come to the assistance of Pakistan. China has tried very hard since 2015 to persuade India to join the Belt and Road Initiative (infrastructure financing and investment probably in the hundreds of billions of dollars). India has completely balked at participating. India’s refusal to work with China on connectivity has only made the alliance with Pakistan more crucial for China in securing a line of communication from the Pakistani coast to China, which helps alleviate the geostrategic problem posed by the Malacca Dilemma.

    China most certainly does not from the outset have a plan to use Pakistan to encircle or undermine India. The gap between China and India is still as wide as ever $14 trillion v. $3 trillion this year. The gap will widen further, maybe to 7x. The gap could be as wide as that even in 2050. China could handle India by itself currently and well into the future so would not need to aid Pakistan with the intention of containing India. However, the worst scenario for China in the region is for India to join the US/Japan/Australia as a 4 power alliance called the Quad.

    Indian elites are wishful in thinking they are currently temporarily embarrassed and the gap will almost completely close by 2050. Under elite Indian wishful thinking it follows that Chinese would support Pakistan to destabilize India’s likely rise as a peer competitor. It’s really an illustration about how lack of HBD knowledge leads to terrible foreign policy choices. Indian elites are determined to make decisions that will solidify the China-Pak relationship because of their lack of awareness of the strategic consequences of national IQ.

  57. I don’t know if China would declare war with India to stave off a Pakistani defeat but we have to consider that possibility and prepare for it – which means ruinous military spending. We always had a Pakistani problem now we have a Chinese one as well and that’s the reason we are in the American Camp

    Your government’s actions against the Belt and Road Initiative in boycotting it and spreading propaganda about a debt trap across South Asia have only made the alliance with Pakistan more strategic and therefore created more pressure to come to the aid of Pakistan to sustain the super vital relationship.

  58. By the way, if it’s confirmed that India shot down an F-16, that would probably be good PR for Russian fighters and MIC. From now on the pro-Russian side should start using the incident actively in their propaganda, just like the Americans like to do with Israel vs. Arab and US vs. Iraq kill ratios, this doesn’t happen every day.

    Impossible to know what really happened but it might well be true – what we know was there was a dogfight at the border and one of our planes went down but the Pakistanis didn’t hit anything inside and did not try again so some kind of deterrence was achieved. Its highly possible that an F-16 went down the media are airing clips but difficult to make out anything.

  59. It 1990 the Indian economy was 8x as large as the Pakistani economy. So why wasn’t it’s military way more formidable even if Pakistanis spent twice as much of a share of its economy on the military?

  60. Abelard Lindsey says

    Well, as a normal human being, I prefer not to see suffering, even if it is self-inflicted due to general stupidity. However I agree with you that one of the effects of such a war will be the massive wave of refugees from the war zone. Iran, in particular, will be inundated with them.

    In any case, the Indians and Pakistanis are going to do what they want regardless of what the rest of us think. The Chinese will sit on the side like the Cheshire Cats that they are and look for whatever opportunities that present to them for economic and political benefit.

  61. This is probably a better troll if posted on Saker’s blog. The Indian air force was using Russian equipment, the Pakistanis used US equipment.

  62. the potential tsunami of so called ‘migrants’ from the subcontinent

    I don’t want millions of Indians or Pakistanis die in such a senseless stupid conflict, but yes, that’s also a major concern for me, too.

  63. He was kidding, I guess. At least that’s how I understood it.

    But I’ve seen tons of Pakistani and Indian commenters occupy each and every comment thread on Facebook under news sites like CNBC or the WSJ. So I know what he was talking about. I’m pretty sure smart Indians and Pakistanis are embarrassed by those commenters.

    Anyway, let’s celebrate the fact that now we have two Indian commenters capable of producing quality comments (Annatar and Vishnagupta).

  64. to stop India from crushing Pakistan any Chinese intervention would need to be really large-scale. WW3 scale.

    I’ve read somewhere that it might trigger US and then Russian involvement, too. (Like China throwing a volley at the US, which then in turn would do the same thing to Russia. The reason would be that after a nuclear war they wouldn’t want their rival stay unharmed…)

    Fittingly, it would be even more stupid than the Austrian crown prince. Last year when it looked like there was a chance for WW3 over… Syria, we thought, “it cannot get any more stupid than that.” Now with Pakistan-India-China the world leaders might be saying, “hold our beers!”

  65. I wouldn’t expect things to escalate to a nuclear exchange although one can never be entirely certain. They’ll probably be satisfied to have clashes and raids where each can tell their respective populations about some triumph somewhere, parade captured pilots, showcase enemy wreckage, etc. This could potentially go on for a very long time, flaring up and cooling off without things coming to a head. India cannot countenance Pakistan’s constant terror provocations that have been going on for many years now and will have to ramp things up to show that real damage is going to result. This recent incident can’t go unpunished and no government would just let it pass.
    Pakistan is an artificial country patched together with Islam as it’s supposed unifying principle which is why they’ve emphasized Islam so much what with all their Islamic schools. Without it what else do they have in common, Punjabis and Pashtuns and Sindhis in the same state? Of course India itself has a large Muslim population which really can’t be trusted so there’s internal issues there also. Much depends on the actions of other countries who’ll allow India and Pakistan to save face and taper things down.

  66. True, but nuclear weapons are primarily for deterrence. If Pakistan was to nuke India, they would not only lose the war, but there would be serious victor’s justice meted out afterwards.

    On the other other hand, if Pakistan can ally with China or someone who also has a nuclear arsenal, and who threatens a response, then you would have a nuclear domino effect, and the risk of full scale war goes down significantly because you are now looking at WWIII.

    Despite Pakistan’s disadvantages in terms of military might, it is a nice piece of real estate for someone seeking to curb Indian influence and someone seeking a base of operations to hamstring India through internal terrorism or border disputes, thereby distracting them from grander geopolitical targets. Hence, I don’t see why Pakistan can’t get a decent alliance with America, Russia or China. [Since China has an interest in India, then America and Russia have an interest in Pakistan to leverage China and India.]

  67. America

  68. India nukes Pak which cease to exist . Pakistan goes home to find piece in sere prediction of Anatoly Karlin.
    No it wont happen that way. Retaliation of Pak will be in those areas that border it. The borders touch Gujarat Punjab . The people would be displaced and some will die from radiation. This will help arouse communal tension which will help rehabilitate those fleeing but will not help everybody.
    A dislocated social system will evolve that will impact economy and security . If Pak manages to drop one nuke in this are, te Hindu heartland will be affected beyond repair

    South India doesn’t give a damn o north India.

    Indian dream of a super economy will die but it will survive and be back to 1900. that will serve China and US well.

  69. YetAnotherAnon says

    “United Western Provinces of Pakistan, Capital: London”

    That must include what was East Pakistan up to 1971, as Bangladeshis are the biggest Muslim group in London. Outside London (Birmingham, Bradford, Blackburn etc etc etc) Pakistanis predominate (and tend to predominate in the dock at “grooming” trials).

    Today’s news

  70. YetAnotherAnon says

    “I don’t see why Pakistan can’t get a decent alliance with America, Russia or China.”

    India and China don’t get on – they fought a border war in 1962 and still dispute the Aksai Chin and some other border areas.

    China and Pakistan get on fairly well, despite China putting their Muslim brothers in internment camps.

  71. the peoples of Sindh and Punjab – are actually rather docile and physically weak, like the Hindoos

    This isn’t a boxing match. Jews didn’t have much of a reputation for being fighters yet in a short period of time the Israelis cleaned the clocks of the supposedly warlike tough-guy Muslims. How’d that happen? The bellicose and warrior tribal types in Pakistan are good at small scale guerrilla warfare but that’s it. They wouldn’t be able to handle tanks or fly planes and are unsuited psychologically for regular modern military operations on a large scale. The Hindus have already beaten the Muslims a number of times. Muslims generally are just good for raids and plundering.

  72. Isn’t it funny how the Taliban was great when they were targeting the Soviets, and then when they started targeting the U.S., they went from freedom fighters to enemies of the People?

  73. John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan says

    I have no idea who The War for Blair Mountain is, but, I grew up on the northern edge of Appalachia, and let me tell you, anyone named after the Battle of Blair Mountain (Coal companies + Corrupt WV politicians versus Coal Miners versus US Army Air Force bombers) has to be a cool dude. He might be crazy as all get out, but he’s gotta be cool.


  74. The Aksai Chin claim reflects India’s expansionist mindset. The area was never under the control of the Raj nor India. The reason is very simple. Aksai Chin (literally means China’s white pebble beach) sits on a plateau in the Himalayan very easily assessible from China and almost impossible to trespass into from India because of the difficult terrain. And this is manifested in the fact that China was able to build a highway on it for two years without India even knowing it. India start disputing the area when the Indians read about the highway in an article published by China.

    The real dispute between India and China is with regards to South Tibet. India invaded and annexed South Tibet in 1951, four years after the British Raj has already left. South Tibet is the birthplace of the Sixth Dalai Lama and home to a four hundred years old Tibetan monastery. In 1987 India made South Tibet a state and named it Arunachal Pradesh. South Tibet officially becomes a United Nation recognzied disputed territory in 2009. Today South Tibet is under AFSPA, just like occupied Kashmir.

    China didn’t put anyone in internment camps. Those are mandatory vocational training center designed to prevent Muslims who are demographcially vulnerable (young, jobless) to become radicalized by extremism.

  75. Jews are stereotyped as being weak-limbed pansies, seemingly by themselves, as a variant of Jewish humor, but a fair number of famous athletes were Jews. I’m not sure the stereotype is true.

    Indians, in general, of course, don’t seem to put serious efforts into sports. While, I view that as positive, seeing how negrafied sports have become, I’m not sure it says anything one way or another. Maybe, something about vegetarianism or their poor diet? The only meat forbidden to the Sikhs is “the meat of sin.”

  76. One thing to note is that India, being the much bigger power than Pakistan and dwarfs all its other smaller neighbors should have no problem resolving its border disputes with its smaller neighbors. Yet India has testy relations and unresolved border disputes with all its smaller neighbors. This says a lot about India.

  77. Agree that Pakistan is an artificial country, but then so is India, possibly to a larger degree than Pakistan. South Indians have nothing in common with North Indians, and the English speaking elite is what holds the country together.

  78. Minor comment: you may well be right that a nuclear war between Pakistan and India won’t cause much in the way of environmental effects, but be warned that bomb effects do not scale linearly.

    100 10 kiloton bombs are a LOT more destructive than a single 1 megaton bomb. A lot of the energy in the single big bomb is dissipated internally, while the multiple smaller ones engage with the world more completely.

    I mean, suppose you have a single forest fire started by an oxyacetylene torch, versus 100 forest fires each started with a single match?

  79. Hyperborean says

    Jews are stereotyped as being weak-limbed pansies, seemingly by themselves, as a variant of Jewish humor, but a fair number of famous athletes were Jews. I’m not sure the stereotype is true.

    I think this is true and still important, but I would also add that Israelis are generally better at wielding advanced weaponry than Arabs.

    Interestingly, H.G. Wells wrote a science fiction novel, whose name eludes me, where a martial nation is defeated by their limp-wristed traditional rivals due to their use of ‘land Ironclads’ and superior arsenal.

  80. Hippopotamusdrome says

    China didn’t put anyone in internment camps. Those are mandatory vocational training center designed to prevent Muslims who are demographcially vulnerable (young, jobless) to become radicalized by extremism.

    Hey…That system worked for Nazi Germany’s Communists.

  81. Don’t be silly.

  82. LOL.

    My bet’s on Paris, too.

  83. A factor to consider in any India / Pakistan armed conflict: the proficiency of Pakistani pilots. Chuck Yeager was quite impressed with their combat skills. (Pakistan flying skills may be a surprise for some; it certainly was for me!)

  84. Hyperborean says

    Physical strength was probably a more significant factor when ordinary people were unable to get enough nutrition, e.g. the poor state of malnourished British conscripts in the past compared to the well-fed, athletic German conscripts.

    A bigger problem nowadays for the military is more likely to be obesity.

  85. I read about Pakistani flying skills before. I’m pretty sure it exists, at least relative to India.

  86. Effort has nothing to do with it.

    Indians are a physically weak people. It is genetic.

  87. Thorfinnsson says

    Is this still a thing?

    Chuck Yeager was posted to Pakistan almost fifty years ago.

  88. Bao Jiankang says

    Punjabis are big. Or maybe it’s just the Sikhs? Also being a Chad doesn’t get too far now a days. The Vietnamese are a gentle, petite race. Still were able to beat the French and Americans (nationalism is a helluva drug). Comparatively, Arabs are more alpha, but they haven’t won many wars in the past few decades.

  89. Bies Podkrakowski says

    So the camps are there for their own protection?

    That is so XXI Century.

  90. Pakis don’t break nearly as many planes as Indians. So I’d guess that, relative to India, they are still better.

  91. I think the Indian claim that a Pakistani F-16 was downed is suspect.

  92. With all due respect speculating whether India can invade Pakistan or vice-versa is just intellectual masturbation versus plausible analysis. It is akin to speculating whether Russia can invade say even a non-NATO Turkey. Ultimately a full scale invasive (versus defensive or border) war is a means to acquire wealth and it makes zero sense for either of these relatively low income countries to spend blood and treasure to prosecute a war, subdue and manage tens of millions of people in the current global economic age where a country’s wealth is very much tied to its perceived stability for business. India especially has much more to lose.

    Also, while it’s fashionable to lump all Indians or Hindus (or Hindoos to use the archaic British English spelling) into one nice box to aid facile analysis, India is a fairly complex nation more akin to Europe as a whole than any nation state within Europe. Virtually every state has its own history/culture/language/script/cuisine..and that’s not even getting into the sub-groups within each state (like even tiny Belgium is made of at least three different groupings) without even bringing religion into it.

    Among groups that identify as Hindus, in the west there are the Rajput and Marathas who are famously warlike. (There are other similar groups scattered across India). During the Kargil border war, Indian soldiers scaled steep mountains against deep odds (losing many) to overrun superior mountain top positions (with aid from the Air Force).

    Punjabi’s – an ethnic community that is split across religious lines across the border – can be physically quite imposing and are well represented in the armed forces of both nations. (Pakistan also has Pathans which are also in Afghanistan who are also famously warlike – Pakistani PM Imran Khan is one)

  93. The sport that’s most widely played in India (and Pakistan) with fierce completion is cricket which in India alone is worth $5.3 billion in their premier league. (and some multiple more if one takes into account PPP valuations).

    India is on top of the Cricket Test rankings and second in the Cricket One Day rankings
    which includes countries like Australia (where Cricket is also a national passion and a country which no one accuses of not taking sports seriously)

  94. Wow you seem to be either exclusively reading Chinese propaganda or in the business of manufacturing it.

    Firstly, all the disputes between China and India go back to the status of the borders that were drawn when the British ruled India and with who the Chinese either refused to negotiate or did not recognize. So Aksai Chin is claimed by India as part of the Johnson line while China claimed a different (Macartney-MacDonald) line and the status quo was that China was already occupying this area. Meanwhile the McMahon Line demarcated what is now the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh from Tibet and which was negotiated with Tibet whose sovereignty to negotiate was not accepted by China.

    So while India does not accept Aksai Chin as part of China and China doesn’t accept Arunachal Pradesh as part of India, both these problems arose from before India and China gained independence and became modern states.

  95. A couple of things:

    India used the Mirages for the (alleged – no visuals have been presented as of yet) strikes.

    The MiG-21 that was shot down was for defensive sorties. It was an upgraded version so it’s not as simple as to compare it with a version first manufactured in 1959. Eg see this “Could Indian MiG-21 have downed Pakistani F-16? Military expert says it’s up to pilot, not plane”

    Secondly, for short border missions, aircraft such as the MiG-21 are quick to service and turn around. An Indian acquaintance, a senior engineer, who worked on both Mirage and MiG fighters at an Indian defense factory a couple of decades ago said a key difference with the MiGs was they could land and be up in the air in hours whereas it took more than a day for advance aircrafts. They were workhorses and with the right pilot could do a lot. He compares it to driving an automatic vs a stick. Sure an automatic is easier for the average driver but a skilled driver could do a lot better with a stick.

    As the linked article about says, ultimately a pilot can make a huge difference.

  96. Vishnugupta says

    For those of you wondering what exactly is my take

    After a terror attack in Kashmir which killed 44 paramilitary soldiers less than 2 months from a general election in a country with a Hindu Nationalist government in power…

    1. India sent 12 Mirage 2000s to bomb targets in Pakistan the bombs used were Israeli SPICE 1000 series which have auxiliary electro optical guidance so one can safely assume high quality visuals exist which will be released gradually over the next two months and milked for all its worth during the national elections due next month(Indian elections have an electorate of 850 million + and occur in phases over 5 weeks which will begin in April week 1.

    2.Pakistanis send fighters in to counter strike but are in Indian airspace for a few minutes before turning tail..since India is not presently at war rules of engagement presently dictate that visual identification is required so no BVR missiles or SAM were fired..the bombs don’t hit any military targets (depending on who you want to believe this was either intentional or due to incompetence of the PAF) but do explode in Indian territory.The Mig 21 flying closest to the scene chases the escaping F16s which as per plan are flying back at supersonic speed (which means afterburner is engaged and a massive IR signature) the Mig 21 while chasing fires an R 73 Archer IR guided WVR missile which homes in on the engine exhaust and destroys the F 16 ( No fancy dog fighting took place) another F 16 of the PAF fires the AIM 120 C AMRAAM BVR missile at the Mig 21 destroying it either inside Indian territory/just across the border the momentum carries the plane inside Pakistani territory where the pilot ejects and is captured by the Pakistanis.

    1. Not exactly keen for a war with a country with an airforce with 400+ modern aircraft and an incomparably more powerful Navy the pilot is sent back to India today with a lot of pious talk about ‘Pakistan wants peace..please let us talk..terrorism is our common enemy..let us be friends..’.Great move by the Pakistanis BTW…

    Conclusion: This is basically it..nothing more will come out of this. There will be no further escalation unless Pakistanis are stupid enough to launch a major terror attack at this time..

  97. reiner Tor says

    Thanks, great analysis. Is there a proof of the F-16 being shot down?

  98. reiner Tor says
  99. Vishnugupta says

    No at present there is no photographic proof yet of the downed F 16 just like there would be no proof had the Mig 21 wreck fallen in Indian instead of Pakistani Kashmir.

    As I clearly stated this is my individual attempt of trying to ascertain what is likely to have happened.

    Pakistanis initially claimed 1 Indian pilot is in custody two more parachutes spotted and they are on the lookout for 2 more Indian pilots.

    Then they deleted all references to this and stated only one Mig 21 was shot down and no F 16 was involved..

    India provided spent remains of AIM 120 which can only be fired by F16 in Pakistani service so we know F 16s were there.

    Mig 21 is a 2 nd gen interceptor inferior in dogfighting to other second gen aircraft like Mirage 3,Saab Drake etc leave aside F 16 the only real chance of it shooting down an F 16 without using BVR missiles (Indian Mig 21 are armed with R 77 adder as well) whose use is forbidden in peacetime under present rules of engagement is a tail chase + R 73 deployment against a supersonic F 16(fighter maneuverability declines with speed so any aggressive high g pull at supersonic speed would lead to structural failure)

    The fact that F 16 fired an AMRAAM BVR missile is also strongly indicative of the Mig 21 shooting down an aircraft as in peacetime using BVR is only permitted in such situations as per codified rules of engagements signed off by both sides( The Pakistanis obviously don’t want a free for all with BVR missiles on the border given India has 10X more BVR missiles of many makes( R 77,mica,mica ir,derby,Astra, R 27,super 530 d,K 172 etc.)else the F 16 would have at best fired a sidewinder missile at the Mig 21..

  100. Topgun203 says

    Actual intelligence based version of events

    1) Indians tried to raid Pakistani territory over the line of control in an election time stunt designed to garner votes. They were challenged and left dropping their loads into an empty forest. However, Indians claimed that they killed 350 miscreants. They have no pictures no films no photos. No graves or even a spot of blood, just a few craters in the dirt. At the same time, Multiple security agencies of various countries who are stakeholders have received evidence that the triggering event that happened in the new territory was likely a false flag operation.

    2) since India entered Pakistani territory the Pakistani armed forces responded. There were no F16’s used. Had F16’s been used the USA government would have jumped in due to violation of restricted use covenant. The Pakistanis used jf17 aircraft in their raid.

    3) Three Indian planes were downed including a su30 by the jf17. The Indian western . Initially John Bolton national security advisor USA said India has the right to do this, but then after Pakistan took down multiple Indian planes from the sky and captured the Indian pilot then the secretary of state said they call for restraint on both sides. The damage which the Pakistanis has inflicted has only been about 30% reported, for the package inside, revealing how much damage they actually inflicted on Indian territory is not in their interest, and on the Indian side certainly revealing how much damage was inflicted at the hands of what was taught to be a week or Pakistani Air Force is also not in their interest.

    4) today PM modi admitted defeat saying outcome would’ve been different if India had the Rafale fighters they wanted.

  101. Topgun203 says

    The chief of western air command of India was immediately dismissed from Western air command and transferred to Eastern air command which is a quiet front. It goes without saying that I had there been some great success then the chief of Indian western air command would not have been dismissed from the western command. It is the assessment of multiple security analyst that in the days ahead or at most weeks ahead, the Indian air chief will also be dismissed

  102. Vishnugupta says

    Yeah sure you downed a Su 30 mki and haven’t proudly paraded the wreck of IAF’s flagship fighter in front of the world..

    Very believable.

  103. reiner Tor says

    I drop this here, too. The argument is that in 1999 neither side had delivery systems for their warheads and they didn’t use their air forces to attack the other country’s territory.

  104. reiner Tor says

    It was definitely not an Indian victory, especially with the embarrassment of the Indian pilot taken prisoner.

  105. sher singh says

    The chief retired after his service. Mandatory retirement fkn isi propaganda bot.

    Pakistani Kuriya Ta Vaisey Patakaa Hundi Aa