Publication of the week: Dr Julian Richards10 November 2015
Richards, J., “Pakistani intelligence and India”, in P. Maddrell (ed.), The Image of the Enemy (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2015), ch.7. ISBN: 978-1-62616-239-6 (pbk), 9781-62616-238-9 (hbk).
This chapter, in a volume edited by Paul Maddrell, explores the development of Pakistan’s intelligence capability and the manner in which it has focused on the question of India. It suggests the presence of a number of structural weaknesses which have meant that intelligence has not always served defence decision-making and policy very effectively in Pakistan, leaving a sense of frustration that the question of Kashmir in particular has remained the oldest unresolved item on the United Nations’ agenda. Many of the problems are addressed in Ernest May’s five “injunctions” to governments faced with the task of “knowing one’s enemies” (as identified in May’s classic 1986 volume of the same name). In particular, the question of “who are ‘they’ and who are ‘we’” in security and intelligence planning has, perhaps, not been examined carefully enough within senior defence and intelligence circles within Pakistan, and has been muddied by a bellicose prevailing wisdom about India’s supposed nefarious intentions. This chapter suggests a foundational myth that has taken root in Pakistan, that India has been determined to see the dismemberment and collapse of Pakistan from the beginning, and will take every opportunity to make this happen. This has shaped every plan and action. Consequently, May’s injunction to “look hard at all presumptions” is a particularly prescient one for Pakistani defence planners.
Dr Julian Richards is Senior Lecturer in Intelligence Studies at Buckingham, and Deputy Director of the Buckingham Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies (BUCSIS).