According to some Indian politicians, India should invade Bangladesh.

India is a big military power. No doubt, this would have been absolutely possible during the Cold War era.

However, given the current international politics and world order, is India able to invade and annex full or part of Bangladesh and keep that annexed part under its rule?

  • I’m voting to close this question because it is not based on a realistic hypothesis. Declarations from publicity seeking politicians should be taken with a pinch of salt.
    – FluidCode
    Nov 8, 2021 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


There are three questions here.

The first is the military practicability. I'm not prepared to offer a final opinion on that, but consider how the United States failed to occupy either Iraq or Afghanistan effectively.

The second is the legality on an invasion. The justification might be construed under something like the Responsibility to Protect. However, R2P envisions an international consensus and an international response. There are precedents for a consensus without the UNSC (i.e. without some of the veto powers of the UNSC), e.g. some of the events around Syria. Still, just one country going it alone would be pushing things.

The third is the legality of an annexation. When one goes in under R2P, that is ostensibly to protect the local population, not to grab a piece of territory. The response to a blatant land grab could be sanctions by some (but not all) of the international community, as in the Crimea exampe.

On balance, the answer is a qualified no. India would pay a massive political and economic price. Nationalists might decide to pay it.

  • I would argue that it would be easier for India in bangladesh that it was for the US in Iraq or Afganistan the logistic is just not the same. Then keeping control of an occuped territory is mostly a matter of commiting enough manpower for long enough probably not worth it but probably doable Nov 8, 2021 at 8:44
  • @Bougainville, Seems to be a good point. Please, elaborate and post your own answer.
    – user366312
    Nov 8, 2021 at 10:14
  • What would be the expected role of China and Pakistan in this regard?
    – user366312
    Nov 8, 2021 at 11:58

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .