In late November 2008, a terrorist incident of extraordinary scale and duration occurred in Mumbai, India s largest city and commercial hub. Over three days at multiple Mumbai tourist and cultural landmarks, 172 people were killed. It quickly was determined that the attackers were members of Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT) who had come by sea from Pakistan to conduct the attack. The Mumbai crisis is now part of the long legacy of violent incidents short of full-scale war between India and Pakistan.
The purpose of this study is to provide policymakers in Washington, Islamabad, New Delhi, and beyond, useful insights into the conflict-management efforts in multiple capitals during and after this particular crisis. It also documents in vivid detail the events themselves, reminding us that international security analysis need not be dry and clinical, but can capture all the human drama and intrigue that are part of political relationships in times of crisis. Polly Nayak and Michael Krepon have made a valuable contribution to the literature on US policy towards South Asia and on counterterrorism. In a decade where many people perceive the US military as the key player in US global engagement, this study reminds us of the critical roles of diplomats, intelligence officers, and law enforcement professionals in defusing crises and managing the geopolitical consequences of a terrorist incident.
This study is the latest in a series of works by Stimson co-founder Michael Krepon and collaborating authors on South Asian security topics, from works on how to strengthen deterrence stability and prevent nuclear war between India and Pakistan, to a more recent focus on terrorism and crisis management.
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