What was said of the Prussian state and its military is true of Pakistan: It is an army with a state. Pakistan’s army has dominated the state ever since its independence in 1947. Pakistan’s security-intelligence establishment has locked the country in an enduring rivalry with India that has included four full-scale wars, none of them a clear-cut Pakistani victory, and one of them (in 1971) resulting in the loss of Pakistan’s most populous province, modern Bangladesh, to independent statehood. Unable to compete with India using conventional military forces, Pakistan’s army has employed non-state actors and continued to build its nuclear arsenal.
In Fighting to the End, Dr. C. Christine Fair answers the critical question: “Why does Pakistan’s army persist in pursuing revisionist policies that have come to imperil the very viability of the state itself?” After analyzing decades’ worth of the army’s own defense publications, Fair concludes that “from the army’s distorted view of history, it is victorious as long as it can resist India’s purported drive for regional hegemony as well as the territorial status quo. Simply put, acquiescence means defeat.”
To discuss Fighting to the End in the context of Pakistan, its army, and the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, Hudson Institute hosted a book talk with Dr. Fair, assistant professor in the Peace and Securities Studies program at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Hudson Senior Fellow and former Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States Husain Haqqani moderated the event.