Disengagement Milestones
Raja Menon
NUCLEAR RISK REDUCTION IN SOUTH ASIA by Michael Krepon Vision Books, New Delhi, 2004, 340 pp., Rs. 495.00
May 2004, volume 28, No 5

The Stimson Center and Vision Books have brought out a well-researched paperback on a subject which the Center has pioneered in South Asia – Confidence Building Measures and Risk Reduction. The hopes that motivated the Stimson Center, led by Michael Krepon, on leading India and Pakistan to a “progressive and cumulative set of CBMs between 1991 and 2003, have been belied, owing to ‘geopolitical realities’”. In other words as Krepon has suggested while leading from the front in the first essay ‘Is Cold War Experience Applicable to Southern Asia,’ the key to the success of CBMs in the Cold War arose from an early understanding not to change the status quo in Europe. The South Asian handicap is that changing the status quo lies at the heart of the dispute. Krepon has set out ten key elements that constitute the progressive disengagement milestones that were negotiated between the early seventies and the late eighties, and modestly ascribes their success to ‘hard work, good fortune, divine intervention—or just plain dumb luck’

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