Curley, Mary K. “Kashmir and the Shadow of Nuclear War”, Boston College, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:108505.
Since 1947, India and Pakistan have gone to war four times and faced several other regional crises over the disputed status of Kashmir. Since 1998, the Kashmir conflict has been characterized by increasingly aggressive nuclear rhetoric and signaling. Nuclear use by either India and Pakistan, even for counterforce targeting, would result in the deaths of millions on the continent and forever damage the taboo surrounding nuclear first-use. This paper will explore the ways in which the ongoing Indo-Pakistan conflict in Kashmir may escalate to the nuclear level. I will argue that a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, in reference to the Kashmir conflict, is within the realm of plausibility and therefore deserves careful consideration. I will map out four plausible pathways to nuclear first-use to draw conclusions about what aspects of the Indo-Pakistani relationship are most threatening to regional stability.