Under PM Modi, India more likely than in past will respond with military force to external threats: US Intel
New Delhi, Apr 14: The US Intelligence Committee has said that the tensions between India and China remain high. While the India-Pakistan crisis is likely to intensify, the chances of a war remains remote, the committee further said.
In its annual assessment of threats around the world, the committee said that India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is more likely than in the past to respond with military force to real or perceived threats or provocations from Pakistan.
On China, the report said that the country was seeking to use coordinated, whole of government tools to demonstrate its growing strength and compel regional neighbours to acquiesce to Beijing's preferences.
"China's occupation since May 2020 of contested border areas is the most serious escalation in decades and led to the first lethal border clash between the two countries since 1975," the report also added.
The report also said that as of mid-February after multiple rounds of talks, both sides were pulling back forces and equipment from some sites along the disputed border. The US has been following the border conflict closely and even condemned China's aggression apart from expediting certain military supplies as requested by India.
India has said it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence and that the onus is on Islamabad to create an environment free of terror and hostility.
According to the ODNI report, the fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria has a direct bearing on US forces, while tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan remain a concern for the world.
The iterative violence between Israel and Iran, the activity of foreign powers in Libya, and conflicts in other areas - including Africa, Asia, and the Middle East - have the potential to escalate or spread, it said.
On Afghanistan, the ODNI report assessed that prospects for a peace deal will remain low during the next year.
"The Taliban is likely to make gains on the battlefield, and the Afghan Government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support. Kabul continues to face setbacks on the battlefield, and the Taliban is confident it can achieve military victory," it said.
"Afghan forces continue to secure major cities and other government strongholds, but they remain tied down in defensive missions and have struggled to hold recaptured territory or reestablish a presence in areas abandoned in 2020," the report said.