America has usually been the decisive voice of calm, but its influence has waned under Trump

During previous military outbreaks of tension between India and Pakistan, US presidents used personal diplomacy to convince both sides to pull back from the brink.

Such was the case in 1999 during the Kargil war and then again in 2002. Similarly in December 2008 it was Condoleezza Rice, as US secretary of state, who travelled to India to persuade the government to pull back from a planned severe response after the Mumbai attacks, putting the onus on Pakistan to co-operate transparently.

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Read More Who will pull India and Pakistan back from the edge this time?

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