The most likely setting for the world's first nuclear war, observers generally agree, is South Asia. In a RAND study prepared for the U.S. Army, Senior Associate Ashley J. Tellis identifies several paths to conventional and perhaps nuclear war. Most alarmingly, the study finds that India and Pakistan both assume that outside powers, mainly the United States, will intervene to stop any major war on the subcontinent within two weeks after it begins. Thus, misperceptions of U.S. policy may contribute to instability and raise the possibility of nuclear use.
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