Do you think a cyberattack is a possible retaliatory measure for the strategists who are sitting in New Delhi? Examine this in light of Indian counter operations against Pakistan.

Published: July 3, 2019

The US has conducted cyberattacks against Iranian military command following the rise of tensions between the two. India, whenever faced with Pakistan-based terrorist attack, has only a few options to work around like airstrikes, surgical strikes, covert operations and stand-off strikes, etc. There are three implicit criteria in the Indian response against Pakistan. It is important for him to meet and also work out the meeting of these criteria before any operation is included in the Indian choices of retaliatory operations. These are:

  • Pre-emption: This will allow India to both argue and justify various operations on international platforms. This comes under the ambit of the exception of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter via self-defence.
  • Non-Military: The primary aim is not to target people or military of Pakistan.
  • Deterrence: This involves imposing substantial damage on the enemy leading to deterrence.

The possible route of a cyber attack will be both pre-emptive and non-military but will not be deterrence. It will be seen as an attempt to render both the Pakistani military and people futile. Also, such an attack will invite many counter-attacks and a possible escalation.

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