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|June 27, 1998||
US offers India, Pakistan early warning technology to avoid accidental war
The United States has offered India and Pakistan American technology that could build mutual confidence and help avert an accidental war, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Karl F Inderfurth said.
The United States was offering help in verifying and monitoring sensitive areas and lending the two sides remote monitoring technology, Inderfurth told reporters. The remote techniques most frequently used are black boxes that detect troop or vehicle movements and transmit the information to military commanders.
India and Pakistan have already agreed on a series of measures between themselves, including hotline telephones between military commanders and agreements to notify the other side of military exercises or large troop movements.
US arms control experts believe the greatest danger following the nuclear tests by both India and Pakistan in May is an accidental war.
One scenario, laid out by Jack Mendelsohn, deputy director of the Arms Control Association, is based on the fact that both sides' nuclear weapons would be vulnerable to sneak nuclear attacks by the other side.
Thus, Mendelsohn said, each side knows it must use them or lose them. The defensive strategy known as launch on warning is dangerous since any possibility of an attack by the other side or even a false warning from defective equipment would tempt commanders to launch their missiles before they are wiped out by the enemy.
Inderfurth said the United States is encouraged by the agreement by the prime ministers of India and Pakistan to meet on July 29 in Colombo.
He said the United States would like the prime ministers to discuss the underlying problem of the current crisis, the future of Kashmir.
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