US intelligence fears armed confrontation between India-China, India-Pakistan

Armed forces personnel stand deployed near the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch. [File Photo]

The American intelligence community on Wednesday told lawmakers that it apprehends increased tension between India and Pakistan and India and China with the possibility of a conflict between them, PTI reported.

This assessment forms part of the annual threat assessment of the US intelligence community that was submitted to the US Congress by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during a Congressional hearing.

While India and China have engaged in bilateral border talks and resolved border points, relations will remain strained in the wake of the countries’ lethal clash in 2020, the most serious in decades, said the report.

The expanded military postures by both India and China along the disputed border elevate the risk of armed confrontation between two nuclear powers that might involve direct threats to US persons and interests, and calls for US intervention. Previous standoffs have demonstrated that persistent low-level friction on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has the potential to escalate swiftly, it said.

According to the report, the crises between India and Pakistan are of particular concern because of the risk of an escalatory cycle between two nuclear-armed states. New Delhi and Islamabad probably are inclined to reinforce the current calm in their relationship following both sides’ renewal of a ceasefire along the Line of Control in early 2021.

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