A “pink flamingo” is a term recently coined by Frank Hoffman to describe predictable but ignored events that can yield disastrous results. Hoffman argues that these situations are fully visible, but almost entirely ignored by policymakers. Pink flamingos stand in stark contrast to “black swans“—the unpredictable, even unforeseeable shocks whose outcomes may be entirely unknown.

The tense nuclear stand-off between India and Pakistan may be the most dangerous pink flamingo in today’s world.

The Indian subcontinent—home to both India and Pakistan—remains among the most dangerous corners of the world, and continues to pose a deep threat to global stability and the current world order. Their 1,800-mile border is the only place in the world where two hostile, nuclear-armed states face off every day. And the risk of nuclear conflict has only continued to rise in the past few years, to the point that it is now a very real possibility.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since they gained independence in 1947, including one that ended in 1971 with Pakistan losing approximately half its territory (present-day Bangladesh). Today, the disputed Line of Control that divides the disputed Kashmir region remains a particularly tense flashpoint.

Read More: Quartz

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