Here's what I think (and B Singh I'd be happy to mail you my chillum so you can get off the crack that clearly makes you a bit aggressive):
You mean the marijuana joint that raises you above the real world to a spiritual place where all is peace and all is harmony and all Pakis keep their word ?
No, thanks. I will pass on that offer
(1) The Pakistani incentive to retake Siachen has decreased: There is plenty of evidence that the Pak army is sick of the conflict and its costs, and officers have been quoted bad mouthing Col Kumar for "starting the whole thing". The strategic value of the area has decreased since the 1980s since the construction of new highways by India has made it less of a bottleneck and Dzingrulma is a less prized possession at this point.
I must have missed a beat. The Pakistani army is still butchering people in Balochistan, fighting a half-hearted war against their former allies, the Taliban, in NWFP, still shooting across the LoC at our boys and sending terrorists across the border.
I think you took too deep a drag on that joint
Most importantly this is difficult terrain to supply and I'm not entirely clear how major offensives can be sustained across the terrain to other objectives, particularly in comparison to other areas they could try and grab and under fire from Indian air power and artillery. Perhaps others can comment on the logistical aspect (I am no expert) but there are at a minimum questions about how effective a Saltoro offensive would be in the big picture. So I am positing that the Pakistanis will be reluctant to reopen the theater given the experience of the last 20 years.
Its possible you mislaid the map of the region when you were deep in the fumes but the Pakistani supply base is less than 12 km from their forward positions on Siachen, while Indian supply base is a 75 day trek from ours. The only way to supply our positions is by air.
(2) Now let us assume that they do want to retake Saltoro and turn down my offer to do a study for the Institue of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on why this is silly. They have a stirling record of "tactical brilliance" (sarcastic here) and we can't rule that out as many people have pointed out (dear me, I had no idea...).
That's when diplomatic and military costs come in (and for those geniuses who concluded that Kofi Annan and Uncle Sam are the only tools I was referring to, kindly reread my original post). Just because the army didn't have data on high altitude characteristics of weapons in 1999 doesn't mean it can't have it in 2006, 2007, 2008... It would be much smarter to hit them and then retaliate somewhere we have superiority. The army in 1999 had planned for multiple limited offensives across the border but the government chose to rely on its diplomatic strategy to complement the local military effort. This basic principle is far more preferable.
If the Indian army's offensive in other sectors is limited, then all that will accomplish is paint the Indians as the aggressor (I can almost imagine the Europeans and Americans telling us "Why are you risking starting a war over such a frozen hell of a place ?") while impose no serious conditions on Pakistan. In 1999 during Kargil, the Americans did not need Pakistan to fight for them on Afghan border. Today they do, and they are not going to stand by and watch their proxy destablized from power just for some frozen hell of a place that Indians consider important. In 2002, Pakistanis attacked the Indian parliament - and even then the Americans exerted extremely heavy pressure to make India stop the retaliation. Pakistani infiltration into India continues even today - they killed a bright Math prof in Bangalore last year. Can you imagine what they are going to do if all that is at stake is a frozen glacier ?
If the Indian army's offensive in other sectors is heavy and seriously threatens the viability of Pakistan, the Pakis are going to use the nukes - they have no no-first use policy, and even if they did, it would not be worth paper it was written on. Needless to add, the Americans are going to twist India's arms to the breaking point in that case.
So what is your bloody problem ? You want to risk a future unwinnable conventional war from an Indian standpoint so that the world you see while you are stoned persists with you when you come back down to earth ?
The Indian army has already stated - they cannot retake the heights. I would trust the seasoned military minds of our army over a pinko marijuana addicted idiot any day.
So IMO we have an agreement, move out over time, they probably won't renege, and if they do they get pummelled at those heights and are
A country's national interests and its strategic posture cannot be predicated on the possible good faith of its enemies.
deprived of territory that is far more valuable and visible elsewhere. And after a Siachen agreement I think there should be a clear political statement of this that commits major political parties to such a retaliatory approach (with sufficient vagueness as to where retaliation will occur).
So you think India is going to occupy Bahawalpur or Karachi in retaliation and Uncle Sam is going to let that happen ? Tell me, did someone commit you to an asylum before they let you have the computer you are using right now ?
So, no there are no rock solid guarantees but I don't see why we have to hang on to Siachen just because we happen to have it right now. It's a long LoC.
[sarcasm] India's borders are very long, maybe we should all withdraw to Delhi and cede everything to Pakistan, China and whoever else will relieve us of the burden of maintaining our borders. [/sarcasm]