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Gambling with ViolenceState Outsourcing of War in Pakistan and India$
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Yelena Biberman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190929961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190929961.001.0001

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(p.157) 7 Conclusion
Gambling with Violence

Yelena Biberman

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the book’s key findings. It then considers the policy implications, directions for future research, and lessons for South Asian security. The chapter makes a recommendation to military commanders to abstain from outsourcing violence. Weaponizing civilians and former combatants is unethical and violates international humanitarian law. It is also of questionable long-term value. In all of the cases examined in this book, the victories states achieved with the help of nonstate allies were either ephemeral or incomplete. The chapter also calls for greater scholarly attention to changes in actors’ motivations, covert and illicit state behavior, and the problem of chance. It concludes by highlighting three powerful narratives the book challenges about South Asian security: (1) Pakistan’s uniqueness in outsourcing violence; (2) India as a model great power; and (3) the ability of powerful states to manage their allies in foreign-led counterinsurgencies while avoiding serious backlash and unintended consequences.

Keywords:   motivations, qualitative methodology, policy recommendations, counterinsurgency, international humanitarian law, South Asian security, terrorism, chance

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