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A recent report from Usman Haider, a research assistant at the Strategic Vision Institute in Islamabad, Pakistan, highlights the potential impact of the enhanced-range BrahMos missile on the deterrence equation between India and Pakistan. The extended-range BrahMos (BrahMos ER) has the capability to complicate the existing deterrence dynamics in the region.

India has been actively seeking precision strike systems to execute counter-force strikes, and the BrahMos ER is seen as a continuation of these efforts. This advanced missile system provides India with the strategic ability to strike targets deep within Pakistan’s territory. Its features, including maneuverability and high speed, make it challenging to intercept, adding a new dimension to the deterrence equation.

The key distinction lies in the precision, speed, diversity, and maneuverability of the BrahMos. Unlike ballistic missiles that follow pre-defined paths and lack precision, the BrahMos offers a level of accuracy and flexibility that makes it an ideal counter-force weapon. Additionally, its versatility allows it to be launched from transport erect launchers, naval ships, or fighter jets, making it a top choice for Indian decision-makers.

The extended range of the BrahMos missile introduces potential risks of a first strike by India during future crises in South Asia. This development could undermine strategic stability in the region, as it enables India to target distant locations with pinpoint accuracy. This shift in the deterrence equation raises concerns and highlights the need for continued efforts to maintain stability and peace in South Asia.

The BrahMos ER’s enhanced capabilities serve as a reminder of the delicate balance that must be maintained in the region to prevent unintended escalations and conflicts. Both India and Pakistan need to consider the implications of this development and work toward strategies that promote peace and security in South Asia.

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