Last week, India reported some surgical strikes on terror cells. Troops achieved “significant casualties” then returned home safe. That sounds like a successful operation, and it was but for one factor: these military raids were on the Pakistani side of the contested Kashmir territory between the two states. India boldly crossed the Line of Control (LOC) to retaliate against terrorist camps that had organized recent attacks on Indian troops.
Taking the names of the nations out, armed troops crossed a border and killed people. By some technicalities, that was an act of war.
Pakistan told a different story but did warn that if such a cross-border mission were undertaken, a counterattack would be considered self-defense and war would be sure. This is an especially alarming stance since both nations are nuclear-capable. A nuclear war could be imminent.
To be clear, like other contested borders around the world, small skirmishes are common along the LOC. But the possibility of two nuclear powers declaring war on each other has dire implications.
Hopefully the situation blows over, not up.