Such a sweep, it turns out, would do the Indian state no good either.
Because, reportedly, at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s prodding the Indian army started ‘Operation All Out’ to kill all the militants by the end of 2017, only to find out that even after killing 215 militants (the total strength at the beginning of the year), there were about 200 more at the end of the year.
Boot also states that since 1945, although the success rate for insurgents has gone up to 40.3 percent, counterinsurgents still won 50.8 percent of the wars.
The Kashmir insurgency also appears to be nowhere near any of its stated goals – independence or merger with Pakistan.
This, for a total population of around 12 million residents.
Kashmir's might be the only contemporary armed insurgency that operates solely on the merits of the legendary AK-47.However, like the proverbial tortoise, it has outlived most of them and has acquired a distinct rhythm, a dynamic of its own, in which the lives of ordinary people have become nearly indistinguishable from the rebellion.Last month, a Ph D student posted a picture of himself on Facebook brandishing an AK-47 rifle: the signature way youths announce their entry into a guerilla outfit in Kashmir these days.It is not close to even a compromised solution agreeable to the three conflicting parties: Kashmiris, India and Pakistan.How does one then evaluate the three decades of the anti-India revolt in Kashmir keeping in mind the inadequacy of the typical success-failure binary at this stage?In no other insurgency in recent times have unarmed civilians attempted to chase away an army with stones and slogans during a raging gun battle to save armed insurgents.There was a time when such popular political struggles inspired movies in the West.Right now, this highly popular insurgency can only be termed as a colossal tragedy wilfully overlooked and unnoticed by the world.On the Margins The insurgency in Kashmir began around the time the Soviet Union collapsed, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, and Francis Fukuyama announced the ‘End of History’. For the world at large, Kashmir has always remained a sideshow compared to the much bloodier wars and insurgencies elsewhere.The average life of an insurgent in Kashmir is a year or two at present.A couple of children picked up arms in this dramatic fashion before the Ph D scholar, and were killed in gunfights with soldiers and policemen within a couple of years of becoming militants.