Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2017 - India - 313 pages
When India and Pakistan held nuclear tests in 1998, they restarted the clock on a competition that had begun half a century earlier. Nuclear weapons restored strategic parity, erasing the advantage of India's much larger size and conventional military superiority. Yet in the years that followed Pakistan went on to lose decisively to India. It lost any ability to stake a serious claim to Kashmir, a region it called its jugular vein. Its ability to influence events in Afghanistan diminished. While India's growing economy won it recognition as a rising world power, Pakistan became known as a failing state. Pakistan had lost to India before but the setbacks since 1998 made this defeat irreversible.

Defeat is an Orphan follows the rollercoaster ride through post-nuclear India-Pakistan, from bitter conflict in the mountains to military confrontation in the plains, from the hijacking of an Indian plane to the assault on Mumbai. Nuclear weapons proved to be Pakistan's undoing. They encouraged a reckless reliance on militant proxies even as the jihadis spun out of control outside and inside Pakistan. By shielding it from retaliation, the nuclear weapons also sealed it into its own dysfunction -- so much so that the Great South Asian War, fought on-and-off since 1947, was not so much won by India as lost by Pakistan.


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Defeat Is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

MacDonald (Heights of Madness), a former Reuters correspondent and specialist on South Asian politics and security, begins her account of Pakistan’s decades-long slide into instability with a gripping ... Read full review


The Spiders Web
From 1947 to the Nuclear Tests
Pakistans Defeat in the Kargil War of 1999
From the Kargil War to the Agra Summit
Pakistan and Afghanistan
From the September 11 Attacks to the End of 2001
The Trial of Afzal Guru
The IndiaPakistan Military Standoff 20012002
The IndiaPakistan Peace Talks 20042007
The Attack on Mumbai
Pakistans Relationship with its NorthWest Frontier 19472011
The Closing Years
A Jaw for a Tooth

A Short History of the Kashmir Dispute from 1846 to State Elections in 2002

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About the author (2017)

Myra MacDonald is a journalist and author specializing in South Asian politics and security. She was a correspondent for Reuters for nearly thirty years, and also published a book on the Siachen war. She lives in Scotland.

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