Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War, C. CHRISTINE FAIR

Reviewed by Feroz Hassan Khan



This book is but the latest in a series of recent works—including T.V. Paul’s The Warrior State and Aqil Shah’s The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan—that criticize the Pakistan Army for its supposedly revisionist ideology. Nonetheless, C. Christine Fair deserves commendation for conducting firsthand research in Pakistan despite the internal disturbances wracking the country. Her considerable research and unprecedented access to the Pakistan Army have yielded some insight into the organization’s strategic culture, but her bias against the Pakistan Army has prevented her from uncovering the deeper motivations of the state.

Fair makes several key points. She argues correctly that the Pakistan Army attributes too much aggressiveness to Indian intentions and simultaneously dismisses India as ideologically inferior. These perceptions have fed a sense of distrust and overconfidence evident in previous conflicts. Fair presents a well researched analysis of how “the Pakistani army manages the Afghan threat” (p. 119). Having inherited a troubled frontier from the British Raj, Pakistan has a natural interest in a friendly Afghanistan across the turbulent border. The concept of strategic depth was never intended to create physical space for military exigencies during a conflict with India, as

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