The power of suggestion: Nudging India into a conflict?

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, said:

“Al-Qaeda is trying to destabilise the whole of South Asia hoping to provoke war between India and Pakistan. India might not show restraint if it suffered another attack like the one in 2008 on Mumbai.”

Hard to tell if he is is echoing India’s frustrations, or if he is nudging India – after all, the power of suggestion is pretty strong. India has shown extraordinary restaint so far, and 26/11 was not a unique case. What makes Mr. Gates think the next attack could be the last straw? I wonder if he is suggesting to India that she could make the next one the last straw if she so chose.


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