Territorial Conflict paper

Territorial Conflict paper - James Graham Explaining...

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James Graham Explaining Interstate Territorial Conflict The territorial dispute between Pakistan and India, a decades-long problem that has spawned war, state-backed separatist movements, and perpetually bad relations between the two states, continues to generate interstate conflict (Tremblay; Reviving 1). Currently, the state of affairs between the two states is characterized by virtually non- existent trade or exchange between populations, and military-readiness along their shared border (Reviving 1). Unfortunately, the outstanding duration and violence of this territorial dispute between Pakistan and India is not unique. Rather, “territorial disputes [have been] the single most common issues contributing to war” since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 (Russett 199). Not surprisingly, it has been found that conflict is very common between states with border disagreements that have not been settled legally (Kocs 173). Further, wars containing a territorial aspect have proven exceptionally difficult to bring to a peaceful conclusion, with governments showing a “surprising unwillingness to negotiate over land” as a means to end or avoid costly conflicts (Walter 137). So, given that interstate conflict as a result of territorial dispute is exceptionally prevalent and difficult to resolve, the question remains: what factors cause territorial dispute to perpetuate interstate conflict and why? One of the main factors that cause territorial dispute to perpetuate conflict is the existence of transnational ethnic ties between the populations of the contested territory and the state fighting to gain control of the territory. Another factor is the extent of domestic turmoil in either state, as such turmoil may incline a state to resort to diversionary tactics. A final important factor is the existence of various disaffected groups within the state seeking to maintain control of the
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contested territory. It is my intention to prove that these are the main factors that cause and perpetuate territorial conflict, specifically regarding the conflict between India and Pakistan. Background Before continuing, it is important to more fully understand the current situations in, and relationship between, India and Pakistan. Territorial conflict over Kashmir can be traced back to the 1940’s, during which the Muslim-majority Kashmir region became an integrated part of India. Since then, Pakistan has sought unification with the Kashmir region by both supporting insurgent groups in Kashmir and engaging in war with India (Tremblay). Today, the rightful ownership to Kashmir remains a hotly contested issue, with leaders of neither state showing much willingness to make concessions in order to resolve the issue. As a result, cooperation and trade between the two states are almost non-existent, both governments are aggressive in their foreign policy towards each other, threats of force of frequent, and military personnel are perpetually mobilized along their shared border (Reviving 1). So, it is clear that India and Pakistan are in a state of conflict
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Territorial Conflict paper - James Graham Explaining...

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