In a report, the United States intelligence community has told Congress that India, under its Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is more likely than in the past to respond with military force to perceived or real Pakistani provocations.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) in its Annual Threat Assessment report to the US Congress, said although a general war between India and Pakistan is unlikely, crises between the two are likely to become more intense, risking an escalatory cycle, news agency PTI reported.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is more likely than in the past to respond with military force to perceived or real Pakistani provocations, and heightened tensions raise the risk of conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, with violent unrest in Kashmir or a militant attack in India being potential flashpoints,” the report quoted the intelligence community as saying.
According to the ODNI report, the fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria has a direct bearing on US forces, while tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan remain a concern for the world.
The report added that iterative violence between Israel and Iran, the activity of foreign powers in Libya, and conflicts in other areas – including Africa, Asia, and the Middle East – have the potential to escalate or spread.
On Afghanistan, the ODNI report assessed that prospects for a peace deal will remain low during the next year.
“The Taliban is likely to make gains on the battlefield, and the Afghan Government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support. Kabul continues to face setbacks on the battlefield, and the Taliban is confident it can achieve military victory,” it said, according to PTI.
“Afghan forces continue to secure major cities and other government strongholds, but they remain tied down in defensive missions and have struggled to hold recaptured territory or reestablish a presence in areas abandoned in 2020,” the report said.