Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Don’t fight 1962 all over again



The Nyamjang Chu river, just after it flows into India at Khinzemane, near the Namka Chu, where the Sino-Indian war of 1962 began 

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 16th Oct 12

Who won the 1962 Sino-Indian war? This might seem a fatuous question, especially to those reeling under the tsunami of gloomy articles leading into the 50th anniversary of the war that began on the Namka Chu rivulet on Oct 20th, 1962. But consider this fact: since 1962 Arunachal Pradesh has turned increasingly Indian, emphatically regarding itself a part of this country. Meanwhile, Tibet simmers resentfully as Beijing’s relationship with those easygoing people is conducted through the might of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA); a plethora of truncheon-happy Chinese paramilitaries that arrest protesters before they can protest; a demographic invasion by hundreds of thousands of ethnic Han Chinese workers; and a coercive relocation of locals that has shattered traditional pastoral lifestyles.

So how is it that, even after having been whipped in war, India is winning the peace? And that China, despite having “taught India a lesson” in 1962, and having subdued Tibet with a brutal occupation, feels challenged today from both sides of the McMahon Line --- the disputed border in the Eastern Himalayas between Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh. In Tibet, since 2008, Beijing confronts a rising tide of protest. And in India it sees a growing military build up, and a Tibetan exile organisation that amplifies worldwide the repression that China perpetuates within Tibet.

In contrast, India’s restraint and sensitivity and reluctance to use military force in establishing administration across the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) --- as Arunachal was then called --- certainly won over locals to the idea of India, but it also contained within it the seeds of the 1962 defeat. The aversion to overt demonstration of force was evident during India’s 1951 occupation of Tawang, when Assistant Political Officer, R Kathing, marched into that border town with just one platoon (36 soldiers) of the paramilitary Assam Rifles.

And at Achingmori in 1953, when Tagin tribals massacred an Assam Rifles platoon, Nari Rustomji, the Special Advisor to the Governor of Assam who administered NEFA, famously stopped Nehru from retaliating with a burn-and-slash military expedition or executing his threat to bomb the Tagins. Instead, Rustomji sent a largely civilian expedition into Tagin country, arrested the culprits, convicted them after a procedurally impeccable trial in a makeshift bamboo courthouse, and jailed them for a few years. Word spread quickly across the area.

But placing local sensibilities above national security also created the mindset that led to the 1962 defeat. The same mistrust in force that won over the local people also underlay the reluctance to deploy the army in adequate numbers, even though that was essential for backstopping an ill-considered “forward policy” that involved establishing Indian posts along a unilaterally decided border. The result: a stinging military defeat for India that undermined its image in local eyes.

Today, 50 years later, with a wealthier and more assertive India comfortable with the idea of deploying and wielding military power, it is important to remember the lessons of the 1950s in planning how to counter any Chinese adventurism. Firstly, in-your-face military deployment is not something that Arunachalis are comfortable with, even though the military is sometimes the only government that tribal people in remote areas actually see. In the 2010s and 2020s as in the 1950s and 1960s, local support for India will count for as much as military power in ensuring that Arunachal remains a part of India.

India’s military, like every self-perpetuating bureaucracy, has made a convincing case for raising four new divisions to defend the eastern sector, including two divisions that will be part of a proposed mountain strike corps. The two defensive mountain divisions are already functional, while the mountain strike corps and an armoured brigade are currently being cleared.

But no amount of soldiers can provide a foolproof defence along hundreds of kilometres of rugged mountain terrain. And in raising division after division of defensive troops, India risks falling into the Pakistan trap: getting involved in a competitive military build-up against a giant neighbour that has far greater resources of money and military power.

Instead, the Indian Army needs to rethink its strategy, relying on local partnership as in the 1950s, rather than on an overwhelming presence that could start being resented. This must involve a three-fold action plan: firstly, recruit at least twenty territorial army battalions from local tribes, which will defend their homeland fiercely against the Chinese, rather than relying on regular army battalions that are posted into these unknown areas from their bases thousands of kilometres away. These local tribal battalions must form the first line of defence.

Secondly, rather than committing the bulk of our regular army battalions into defensive deployments aimed at stopping the Chinese at the border, reorganise these formations into offensive strike groups that are geared, trained and equipped to retaliate against any Chinese incursion with counter-incursions into Tibet. There should be 8-10 such fully developed contingency plans ready for execution, along with the resources to execute them with.

Thirdly, create the infrastructure of roads and railways in Arunachal and Assam that will be needed to mobilise the offensive strike groups and transport them to the border fast enough to pre-empt any Chinese counter deployment. This is perhaps the most essential step needed, since it will serve both a military and civil purpose. In providing road connectivity to villages along the McMahon Line, we are providing a lifeline that ties them to India.

34 comments:

Sajeev said...

The idea of massive deployment and strike corps at border may look good. But if you look from Chinese point of view, what they are seeing is a set of countries in their east, which may not support them in an event of war. US military installations in Sea, Korea, Guam, Japan as well as newly coming military facilities in Northern Australia. Now, if India is building up an army beyond certain limits 'close' to her southern borders, Chinese will seriously concentrate on a strategy to fight simultaneously on multiple fronts - in short a bigger build up.

This will definitely lead to massive deployments in Indo-Sino border. As you already mentioned, both sides will fall in to the trap of spending heavy resources in the border.

What you think? Isn’t better to have enough army (with artillery and infrastructure support) deployed on borders to stop any Chinese incursions or blitzkrieg attacks, and strike corps somewhere in the planes from where India can easily deploy them to borders in huge numbers? In such a course, what we need to do is, make an exponential increase in our heavy lift capabilities, so that army as we well as artillery pieces can be transferred quickly to the border.

Sajeev
http://xpsajeevk.blogspopt.com

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWb1K0kdDxQ

So when the Army planners decide to raise additional formations they are a self perpetrating bureaucracy because god forbid if we want to go on the offensive with your concept of "offensive strike groups" we can get the necessary 8 to 1/10 to 1 attacker to defender ratio by just recasting existing manpower?

Not a word mentioned about the PLAAF buildup and the resulting IAF buildup, so without factoring in air power it looks like you are the one who wants to fight 1962 all over again.

What's the fascination with the territorial army thing - are you looking for a photo op with a NE celebrity like Mary Kom?

What is wrong with the Ladakh Scouts template for local troop formations?

If you have a doctrinal difference with the present plans please objectively lay it out instead of creating strawmen in the form of "division after division" of defensive troops when by your own admission just 2 more defensive raisings have been sanctioned.

Really?!!

Rustom said...

The suggestions are good, but how does one make the IAS work for the nation?

It is not that the administrative and bureaucratic class needs waking up. They are wide awake and thus artistically maneuver chaos, dys-functionality and apathy causing the nation to disintegrate. The IAS also is the only class that goes without any scrutiny and it shields its mis- doings (LIke OROP CASE) by maneuvering laws and as the last resort blames the politicians as no one bells that cat.

Disturbances and ill -doings however small in number in contrast to the armed forces functioning is always highlighted etc, yet not one IAS has been tried for implementing policies and abatement of duty that has caused severe damage to the nation due to gross negligence.How many more years do we want to keep on repeating the same about infrastructure enhancement in the east to counter chins's strategies? The IAS will not pay a direct price When China decides to aggressively use its infrastructure which it has the right to, as much as Indians now should exercise their right to question and throw out the ill functional IAS cadre.


Suggestions should pour out on how to get the administrative class wa

Anonymous said...

1, 2, 3,... can we... systematically... timebound... and have... the political will... to implement the plan...

Broadsword said...

@ Anonymous 09:08

I'd certainly prefer to have my photo taken with a "NE celebrity" like Mary Kom (actually, I think of her as an Indian celebrity, but chauvinistic jerks like you continue to behave as if the NE is from another country)... than having a photo taken with some twit who posts anonymously on blogs.

Now that we're done with the mutual compliments, let's talk strategy.

Nothing wrong with the Ladakh Scouts template. If someone says, forget TA battalions, let's raise 20 battalions of Arunachal Scouts, I'll be happy to back that.

I've laid out my doctrinal difference with the current plans quite clearly in my article. It's just that you're so focused on trying to criticize that you haven't had the time to read it. My doctrinal difference is: it is foolish to adopt an entirely defensive deployment, and that too focused almost exclusively on the areas in which the Chinese attacked in 1962 (as if to say that the Chinese would just dust out the old plans and re-implement those, instead of coming up with an entirely new plan).

Instead of trying to unilaterally fight the 1962 war all over again, we should let them come in, defeat them in depth, and simultaneously launch ripostes in pre-decided sectors with pre-prepared, pre-rehearsed and properly supported strike groups.

Shouldn't be too difficult to understand. Not even for an Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

If you have problems with Anonymous posters disable that option.

Calling me a jerk and twit instead of responding to all the points I have raised (instead of one where you may agree e.g. Ladakh Scouts) is such basic ad hominem that it reveals your character without me having to resort to any colorful adjectives of my own.

And spare me the pseudo nationalistic BS of me being the one who is playing the NE vs. Indian card when you spend half the article emphasizing how the Arunachalis will resent having an overwhelming Army presence in their midst - the Punjabis and the Rajashtanis don't -so you are making them a special case yourself.

The Anonymous at 9:08...who knows better than to rise to Internet baiting

Jaimon Joseph said...


LHM

Hello,

I'd have loved to share this article on Facebook and Twitter. I can't - i'll have to copy the link and manually paste it in both sites. A plug in to the blog template that allows automatic sharing would be useful :)

Jaimon Joseph
Ph: +91-9899692342

Anonymous said...

Simple, Realistic and easily Achievable. The most important aspect of your strategy which I like is the prospects of employment, training and advancement in quality of life for the locals recruited to the territorial formations apart from a sense of patriotism and dedication to a democratic, secular nation. We need more realistic strategists like you, not the chair-warmer NSA types who only base their strategies on theoretical "research" which is totally useless. I don't understand why we even waste tax-payers money for such lunatic NSA guys. There should be some criteria for selection of strategists in their domain. Playing politics with strategy is a sign of mental instability. Broadsword you have articulated a well-devised strategy. Wish the NSA learns something from it.

Anonymous said...

Thought provoking article there Ajai. Which is why so many people are responding with their understanding of possible flaws. Sometimes articulating it in the form of personal attacks.

For me, the key question is large scale manouvre warfare has a huge political component. Whether it is the decision to draw in the enemy deep into our territory with the objective of trapping and destroying him, or the decision to penetrate deep into enemy territory and hold it and supply it in the face of counterattacks and escalations into the nuclear realm.

Those were my thoughts/questions/concerns, and it would be great to hear your views on these.

Anonymous said...

Very good balanced visionary article weighing pro and cons of past and present policies and plans of India, regarding Arunachal Pradesh.

I have been to Arunachal Pradesh and was amazed to see every house adorned framed pictures of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhagat Singh and so on.In a way they are more Indians than rest of Indians.

You very rightly pointed you that Offensive formations are more critically vital than just defensive formations.Taking battle to their own courtyard ,especially in simmering Tibet will be a great idea as it will open up new battle field/s,create new headaches in TAR,territory in control will give bargaining chip later on and would give a signal to China that India is not averse to fighting an all out war this time !!

Ajai, dont you think now that with all Nuclear nations having almost given India their 'approval' as a nuclear power,with all NSG waivers granted, all of nations ready to do nuclear trade with India, now India should do away with its No First Use Policy ??

India should declare it ,well audible to China and Pakistan, so they will think twice before embarking on any sort of adventurism.Unpredictability of India's options will prove very critical with both China and Pakistan as former will think twice before going full fledged with India or even starting a skirmish and latter will not even think of Kargil style operation.What's your opinion on that??

Unknown said...

Ajai,

Nice post. A few points:

You post seems to be Army centric, surely the tri-services Andaman command has an anti-china posture i.e. blockade of the Mallaca Straits? IAF posture in the NE region also needs to be considered esp new airfields and deployment of frontline fighters and addition of new heavy airlift capabilities.
One also has to consider the new armour capabilities being considered for the NE. The naval aspects of an anti-China strategy needs more discussion.

I like the idea of an Arunachal unit staffed with locals, something like the Ladhakh scouts. Perhaps the additional strength sanctioned for the army could be made up of local Arunachalis.

That being said, I agree with the point about infrastructure. For too long we have deliberately kept infrastructure weak so as to slow the advance of an invading PLA. I think we need to move on from such a defeatist and self-harming attitude. Good governance, economic opportunity and excellent infrstructure will keep the locals strongly pro-India. China would not like to add another restive area to its already restive Tibet and areas with Islamic extremist problems.

I agree we should not try into a race with China, so our posture has to be of punitive retaliation, rather that of proactive action.


I like the idea of soft-touch governance and rule of law. Democracy is our greatest weapon.

Going to the 50th anniversary of the war, I dislike the morose analysis and endless hand wringing in the media. 50ys is a long time. People err and so do nations. People change, get over mistakes, learn from them and move on. And so should we as a nation.


China is trying to be the next super power, and true super powers do not have the same issues as lesser nations like border disputes and squibbles over islands.

Would be nice to hear your views.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ajai,
I like the post, as it brings out certain aspects of our NE strategy that are usually neglected. I do think your posts make very interesting reads. That said, I have a few points:
1. I think the post is Army centric. The other forces are doing a lot to counter China; Consider the Navy, the Andaman command can be used to throttle the Chinese trade via the Malacca straits. The Lakshadweep islands are as yet not yet developed to throttle the Chinese oil trade via the northern Indian Ocean. A lot more needs to be done, perhaps development of an Island command?
2. Btw – How is the procurement of the light tanks coming along?
3. The post does not consider the air power aspects of the China strategy. The IAF has developed forward airfields and deployed frontline fighters to the NE. In next 4-5 yrs the IAF would be a vastly improved one, with SU30, Rafales, Tejas, C-130J and C5’s – having retired the Mig21, 23 and other ageing aircrafts. This new IAF does have a technological edge over the PLAAF. The new heavy airlift capabilities are also important factors. We should be able to leverage new airlift capabilities provided by the C5s, C130s and the Dhruvs to formulate a more flexible force concept.
4. I do like the idea of locals in an ‘Arunachal Corps’ (something along the line of Ladakh Scouts). This will surely help bind this far flung outpost to India.
5. I also agree with the point about infrastructure. A lot can be said about the deliberate slow pace of infrastructure in the NE i.e. to slow down the advance of an invading PLA. I think that is a defeatist and negative outlook. NE is a part of India and no part of India should be willfully and deliberately underdeveloped. A lot more needs to be done to develop the road, rail and telecom infrastructure of the NE.
6. The post does have an excellent discussion on the local sensibilities Vs national security in a remote and far flung part of the nation. I think the debate has moved– the NE is a lot more integrated to the mainland India than it ever was in the 1950s and 1960’s. We have to do a lot more to make the NE fully Indian and fully pro-India. We should promote the growth of telecommunications, free press and local governance. There is nothing China hates more than to invade an area with an entrenched democracy, free press and pro-India population. It has enough problems with restive East Turkestan, Xinjiang and Tibet – and would not like to take another monkey on its back.
7. I cannot agree more that the last thing we need is to get into an arms competition with China. Our strategy should be one of punitive counterattack than one of proactive action.
8. I think the post could also touch on the new China arm of our foreign policy. Our new found love for Japan, Vietnam and SE Asia has a strong China element to it.
Lastly, one cannot read anything sensible about the China war that does not have a morose, hand-wringing feel to it. Though we need to learn from our mistakes, we also need to understand that the defeat was a mistake, we need to learn from it and move on. We are a different nation from the resource constrained, weak, and mildly armed nation we were in the 1950s.

Unknown said...

Hello Ajai,
I like the post, as it brings out certain aspects of our NE strategy that are usually neglected. I do think your posts make very interesting reads. That said, I have a few points:
1. I think the post is Army centric. The other forces are doing a lot to counter China; Consider the Navy, the Andaman command can be used to throttle the Chinese trade via the Malacca straits. The Lakshadweep islands are as yet not yet developed to throttle the Chinese oil trade via the northern Indian Ocean. A lot more needs to be done, perhaps development of an Island command?
2. Btw – How is the procurement of the light tanks coming along?
3. The post does not consider the air power aspects of the China strategy. The IAF has developed forward airfields and deployed frontline fighters to the NE. In next 4-5 yrs the IAF would be a vastly improved one, with SU30, Rafales, Tejas, C-130J and C5’s – having retired the Mig21, 23 and other ageing aircrafts. This new IAF does have a technological edge over the PLAAF. The new heavy airlift capabilities are also important factors. We should be able to leverage new airlift capabilities provided by the C5s, C130s and the Dhruvs to formulate a more flexible force concept.
4. I do like the idea of locals in an ‘Arunachal Corps’ (something along the line of Ladakh Scouts). This will surely help bind this far flung outpost to India.
5. I also agree with the point about infrastructure. A lot can be said about the deliberate slow pace of infrastructure in the NE i.e. to slow down the advance of an invading PLA. I think that is a defeatist and negative outlook. NE is a part of India and no part of India should be willfully and deliberately underdeveloped. A lot more needs to be done to develop the road, rail and telecom infrastructure of the NE.
6. The post does have an excellent discussion on the local sensibilities Vs national security in a remote and far flung part of the nation. I think the debate has moved– the NE is a lot more integrated to the mainland India than it ever was in the 1950s and 1960’s. We have to do a lot more to make the NE fully Indian and fully pro-India. We should promote the growth of telecommunications, free press and local governance. There is nothing China hates more than to invade an area with an entrenched democracy, free press and pro-India population. It has enough problems with restive East Turkestan, Xinjiang and Tibet – and would not like to take another monkey on its back.
7. I cannot agree more that the last thing we need is to get into an arms competition with China. Our strategy should be one of punitive counterattack than one of proactive action.
8. I think the post could also touch on the new China arm of our foreign policy. Our new found love for Japan, Vietnam and SE Asia has a strong China element to it.
Lastly, one cannot read anything sensible about the China war that does not have a morose, hand-wringing feel to it. Though we need to learn from our mistakes, we also need to understand that the defeat was a mistake, we need to learn from it and move on. We are a different nation from the resource constrained, weak, and mildly armed nation we were in the 1950s.

Anonymous said...

I have read your strategy posted to this other Anon. However, remember china has said AP is south Tibet but their main claim is Tawang. This means I don't think they will buy into your ambush by stretching their logistics too deep too fast.

What I understand is they will fight for the whole of AP but will see what more besides Tawang they can take. If they can't they will just hold onto any territory they have and move to the negotiating table. This itself would be a victory as they would be negotiating from a position of strength.

I only agree with you in that India cannot have a defensive mindset in such a war. Offensive manoeuvring to keep the enemy guessing and limited invasion will give one brownie points at negotiations.

Ravi said...

My dear Ajai,

There you go again, making logical suggestions for the Govt and the Army! In India we have a rule: the probability of an action being taken is inversely proportional to its good sense!

You are absolutely correct, defensive does not win wars, only offensive does. "He who defends everything ends up losing everything". Given the terrain, light infantry screening forces backed by offensive units and formations is only way to go. Anon should not get aggravated: we already have SFF, Arunachal & Sikkim Scouts, we just need more. Perhaps we should convert several Assam Rifles battalions for the screening role? Perhaps this would meet Anon's objections about raising more troops.

Today a wide variety of new weapons makes light infantry much more powerful than in the past. Give the screen units air and atk hel support, and we may have to give up little ground till the offensive units arrive.

Cane-an said...

Colonel Shukla.
You write quite well. Unfortunately you have the tendency to come out all guns blazing on anyone who tries to differ with you even a little bit.
It would really be nice if you were to curb your temper in your responses. Its very nice to read your article. Its not so nice to read your comments.
--K

Aditya said...

There is a book titled "Rivers of sorrow" by Maj Gen Kalyan Verma about battle at Namka Chu. Worth a read.

Anonymous said...

fuck offf mother fucker

Anonymous said...

asshole

Anonymous said...

Actually Ajai Ji,
You are unable to jerk off your Mud Corps thoughts and apprehensions about two more Infantry Divisions and one more Mountain Corps. You are happy with 20 Arunanchal Scouts battalions but not the superstructure of bigades and Divisions to command them. So arag tag force is being advocated by the great Mud Corps strategist.

Keeping in mind your past utterings who does not know what are your apprehensions? The great proportional representations called pro-rata which you are so loath of !! But why to hide your real reasons with absurd military logic.

So you will get manpower for 20 Arunanchal Scouts battalions? That shows how much you know Arunachal Pradesh. You at best have a claim to tourist visit to one of the border hamlet of Arunachal Pradesh and are propagating TA-isation of Infantry. Even a policewala would not advocate that.

Bravo! Bravo !

yah, I am also anonymous. Does that make any difference to the comments? or to the number of your readership?

Hari Sud said...

This is first time in your columns you have written a a pacifist column. You have quoted a few instances where a civil official disagree with another pacifist Nehru on slash and burn and captured the hearts and minds of the locals of NEFA.

You have a good suggestion of raising locals NEFA or Arunachal Rifles and withdrawing the army from these foeward duty. It is diplomatically and politically sound move. It gives the locals a mindset to defend their own land.

My disagreement with you are greater than agreements i.e.

The 1962 disaster is heavily blamed on Nehru & Menon. It is convenient that way. It is the political price to be paid for any debacle. But the grater fault is with the Indian Army of that era. At that time, it was much more of a parade ground army with no mind set for a fight, although Chinese intentions were known for eight years earlier, they never prepared.

Parshad, Dalvi, Hoshiar Singh did not put up a fight. They simply ordered each time to abondon positions and retreat. You know what happens in a disorderly retreat ..... slaughter. None of these generals, brigadiers, colonels had practiced or had experience in battlefield command or management decision making. They took the easiest route .... abondon and run.

It is five times more harder for attacking troops to dislodge troops waiting at the hieghts of Sela Pass or Bomdilla (the world recently learnt in 1999 that two dozen Pakistani soldier sitting on each heights in Kargil, kept the Indian army at bay for long time). Indian command structure could have done that, but they did not do it.

My point here is that the army command structure did not have any idea as to how to put up a fight. They knew only one command and that was retreat.

I think we should bear in mind that 1962 was a political disaster but it was a greater military command failure at all levels. That is why I belive T. B. Henderson Brook is not made public.

Jai Hind

Hari Sud
Toronto.

Mr. RA said...

>>Recruit at least twenty territorial army battalions from local tribes, which will defend their homeland fiercely against the Chinese, rather than relying on regular army battalions that are posted into these unknown areas from their bases thousands of kilometres away.<<

Great idea!

However before going further on war with China, it had to be clarified that in 1960 the western powers were silently and subtly angered over India on the issue of liberation of Goa. This led to finding of a suitable expansionist adversary in China against India.
Indian leaders were gradually coaxed in to working and advancing proactively against China and finally China invaded India on a large scale. Now the same western powers stopped India from making active use of the Air Force on the wrong pretext that Chinese have a much superior air force than India. India got heavily defeated because their leaders were made to fight without the active use of the Air Force.

Now after full fifty years, almost everyone has fully understood that India could have then effectively blocked China, if they had directly used the Air Force in to the war.

Since Chinese army is the largest in world, I prefer the theory of death trap against them within India and even within Tibet.

Deshdaaz said...

"far greater resources of money"....How long that remains the case is yet to be determined. The mass manufacturing machine may come to squeaking halt if Obama's "Made in America" gains traction post election. We are NOT,NOT,NOT limited by money power, rather money mafia in power (UPA).

"reorganize these formations into offensive strike groups"

जनाब, आपने ख़यालात तो नेक है पर इस पर अमलीकरण कौन करेगा? ये नेहरूवादी उल्लू जो सत्ता में बैठे है?

Returned to Unit (RTU) said...

What should be India’s response?

India should tell China where it thinks the McMahon Line lies on the ground (expressed in 10 figure Grid Reference). That it considers the line as a de-facto Sino-Indian border. That India is the largest democracy and a peace loving country. That it believes in Panchsheel (five principles of peaceful coexistence)

However any infiltration by even a section of PLA across this line will be taken as an act of war. It will be considered enough provocation for India to undertake a punitive action by launching its multi megaton nuclear warheads on Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen which will result in 50 million people evaporating into thin air in a fraction of a second. This is the price that China will have to pay for 10 people plus a political advisor crossing the international border.

Give this the widest publicity in all possible World forums. Than stand back and relax. Watch the fun. See how property prices drop across Chinese cities. Listen to the debate how China from being the second strongest economic power will tumble to the 99th in the list.

India is a developing country and is considered amongst the poorest of nations. No one can threaten us “We'll bomb you to Stone Age” as we are already there. This, precisely should be considered our strongest point. A country which has nothing to lose can prove to be the most dangerous.

Pardon me if I have plagiarised a few lines from the book of foreign policy of one of our neighbouring countries.

Anonymous said...

@Ajai

I am just curious. Wont this be discussed and war gamed during OTA / NDA residency ?

sents said...

The first one is a very good idea and the third one needs to be done immediately, that will increase the confidence on india for the locals too.
Also artillery modernization needs to be done quickly. Too much delay in taking decisions, i don't know why?
Around 75% of the scam complaints can and should be rejected by our defence ministry, without taking it for consideration. That is one way of speeding up the process.

SachinWRT said...

@Ajai

The strength and capacity build up is almost similar to US-soviet russia. The soviets tried to match up to the americans and bankrupted themselves in the process. India should learn from it.

The other thing is the cost of holding a territory. China has to invest in a continuing supply of men and material in tibet. It has to protect tibet from tibetans rather than india. On the other, india has to protect AP from china(not from tibetans).

Both india and china can invest in men and material because they have an economy. If you want to disturb his supply(hold on territory) then something bad needs to happen to the economy. The only thing i can think of a major oil crisis that lasts for decades.

You see, it is actually china who has to invest in holding the territory.

Anonymous said...

And this riposte thing that you talk about - its just another defensive thingy. Gain land in Tibet to trade off against the Chinese getting land in AP/Sikkim/HP/JK.

Objective must be to not only comprehensively rout the Chinese inside India, but to take parts of Tibet and retain them. Teach the Chinese a lesson instead.

Not that its going to happen in my lifetime. The road infrastructure, at least in Sikkim, is pathetic (and this is before the earthquake, likely to be worse now). I have little doubt that the infrastructure is better elsewhere. Not to mention that the dear, beloved, current chief is reportedly against the MSCs.

joydeep ghosh said...

@Ajai sir

the offensive strike groups you are talking about are in line with the Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) as per the so called 'Cold Start' battle doctrine (that doesnt exist).

But to be effective in mountains the IBGs that will fight it out and launch incisive strike into enemy territory, will need a lot of things, such as

1. Huge number of attacked/armed helicopters (Apache/LCH) for each group as fast flying aircrafts may miss targets in mountain crevices, slopes

2. Large number of MBRLs/NLOS Rockets/TBMs for each group (Pinaka, Prahaar, Smerch) for sustained bombing of enemy launch pads

3. Large number of powerful arty guns (Bofors 52/155 that cover wider areas and Bofors M777 39/155 that can be lifted to earlier impossible areas)

4. Large number of lighter tanks (tank Ex or upgraded vijanta) to operate in hilly areas as T90s or Arjuns cant operate there.

5. Numerous Armed APCs with ability to strike on their own like BMP-T

6. Not just Arunachal Scouts will do but also Sikkim Souts, Garhwal Scouts are needed beside battalions on Territorial army.

7. Beside roads, bridges, helipads, airstrips a network of tunnels is also needed to stockpile everything for any eventuality

8. Revive the Tibetan element of E22/SFF

but all these needs huge investment and time (several years), until that happens we will have to make do with the situation and keep silent despite repeated provocations by China.

most importantly we need to take steps to reduce the feeling of alienation of people from the 7 states, lets not make them feel like guest in their own country.

oh btw can you tell difference between attack helo and combat
helo

thanks

Joydeep Ghosh

Anonymous said...

War is won not just by fire-power or number of soldiers, but by intimate understanding of terrain. The Army needs to learn from Vietnam on how to fight guerilla warfare against a superior enemy. Our Army needs to be intimate with the geography of the area and also of enemy territory. All formations need to be compulsorily rotated in Arunachal to get intimate with the terrain and devise strategy based on terrain. If our soldiers can find their way around in the darkest of nights in Arunachal, then I would say we are ready, if not, then buying bigger guns is useless.

Anonymous said...

A very perceptive article that raises excellent points. I see a lot of merit in the offensive strike corps ideas.

Also with an push by the dragon into this area, there is quite a generous "buffer zone" which is sparsely populated (not to mention the sheer beauty of the plance - but I digress) to absorb their intial foray into this area of India.

Thereafter, hit the mothers.. hard and so furiosly with a massive counter punch and drive them back deep into Tibet.

All the best

PHL.

Anonymous said...

shouldn't let tibetans... to be left high and dry again... by chu#$#a kashmiri... nehru-gandhi family... even if politicos does their... politics... military should contemplate... scenarios... and coordinated action in tibet...

Anonymous said...

Sir,
your article only highhlights ur lack of basic knowledge about inf tac,mountain warfare and geographical layout of arunachal.
1. TA Bns to fight and take battle across : you are kidding or as some one has accused you, playing to tin soldiers gallery.Get over this parochial outlook atleast now when u have hing ur uniform. Prorata is not what the article was about, i thot in the beginning atleast.
2. RRF can work for them as the TAR is a pleatue at that height, we cant because back in the interiors we cant keep forces acclimatised, hts are closer to LAC.I hope u read up on 3rd stage acclimatisation some day.
3. I did not have much regard for your tac acumen,today u lost respect as a journalist because of that rude response to anonymous.

kulari94 said...

Colonel Shukla:

You start the article by asking, Who won the 1962 war? A lot of the Indian media seem to think that China won the war, but how did China win when China did not gain any territory in the war, and India successfully defended its territory? The only "win" by China may have been convincing the Indian media that it won the war.