Are we ready to take on China? | Opinion
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Are we ready to take on China? | Opinion


Are we ready to take on China? | Opinion

Published on :4 Sep,2017 By :- UNT News Desk

Astro India Automobile Pvt. Ltd, Jammu

Srinagar:After about 10 weeks of face off at Doklam, Indian and Chinese troops have expeditiously disengaged. The Indian Army’s swift response to prevent PLA (Army) building road up to the strategically located Doklam in Bhutanese territory, for ease of China’s future military offensive against India, is what led to a face-off. In furtherance of China’s well planned strategy for territorial dominance, she has stationed a number of Armoured, Field and Air Defence Artillery, and Infantry formations in her Western Theatre Command (WTC) responsible for launching her offensive from Southern Tibet. For Indian Army the defence of Doklam is a must since it provides a strategically depth to Indian ‘Chicken Neck’, a strip of land, connecting Indian North-East states to the Rest of India. It is satisfying that China has realised that she has no locus standii to claim area up to Doklam notwithstanding her  lopsided reason for guarding her sovereignty and territorial integrity in consonance with her historical conventions.
China was hopeful that India would buckle under psychological pressure and the media war unleashed by her state owned media which were re-enforced by her MOD and MEA. India on the other hand, was very gentlemanly and fair in its approach for settling the issue amicably while backing the Indian Army in her resolve to hold her grounds at all costs. China had no other option but agreeing to an amicable withdrawal of the troops of both sides from Doklam. This action of China was necessitated by a few factors, vis her inability to dislodge well entrenched Indian troops on tactical advantageous ground, China’s face-off in South China Sea with South Eastern neighbours and belligerent presence of US Navy in that area and further avoiding her embarrassment in BRICS Summit on 3rd September if Doklam issue was not resolved by then
Notwithstanding the achievement of Doklam, economically and militarily strong China is capable of more Doklam like situations in many areas of her choosing along her 4057 kms long LOAC where Indian Army may not be placed as strongly as in Doklam. This is due to the fact that scheming China, with her dubious intentions, has acquired extensive network of railway lines, metal top roads, air bases, radar and logistic instalments to support her sustained offensive against India. As per media reports, China in a few months time is capable to bring to bear upon the Indian defence positions a combat troops ratio 3:1 in most areas along the LOAC. This combat ratio is likely to be enhanced to 7:1 at the point of decision in a protracted war with India. The presence of PLA (Navy) in Indian Ocean reflects China’s expansionist and dominating her neighbours’ policy, which needs to be contained.
It is strange that the successive Indian Governments have not given adequate importance to building infrastructure and rail and road communication leading to the LOAC, resulting in only 40% planned roads being built at present, whereas the project for the railway lines in stuck at survey level. This will surely jeopardise the timely deployment of own troops and their lateral movement, if the situation so demands. There is an urgent need to expedite road building on a war footing. However, the MOH has now instructed all agencies concerned to finish constructing the remaining 43 roads by 2019.  Also, as per media reports, the Army has operational deficiencies in Artillery Guns (Howitzer), State- of-Art infantry weapons, light helicopters, night fighting equipment and the like.  The IAF is short of roughly ten fighter squadrons, mid air refuelling capability and AWAC. The Indian Navy is struggling with shortage Of Submarines, Mine Sweepers, Multi-Role Helicopters And Light Utility Choppers. All these shortages are estimated to come through in the next two to eight years from now. Unless the procedure for acquisition is truncated. Incidentally, Army does not hold adequate war wastage reserve (WWR) for a planned 40 days intense /normal fighting.  Notwithstanding the above, the MOD has of late resorted to a fire-brigade action and released huge amount of funds to the Army for immediate procurement to mitigate shortages to a large extent.
Strangely, the Govt. in its wisdom has stalled the equipping of a newly raised Mounted Strike Corps for want of resources. It will be in place to mention that like Armed forces of USA, the PLA is now aiming to become an expeditionary force since she doesn’t need large Army to guard her borders. Hence, she can reduce and modernise her existing forces to have more carrier base battle groups, marine corps and nuclear tipped missiles and robust missile defence system to guard her strategic interest and assets outside her hinterland. However, in case of Indian Army, its role is to defend the sovereignty and territorial sanctity of India’s large borders comprising of varied type of terrain requiring a large number of conventional force to take on two dubious neighbours around the year. Traditionally Indian Army’s deployment with LOAC with China is by and large in defensive mode with limited offensive capability.  Due to this, China has been needling us at her own will and ground of her own choosing. To offset this, there is a definite requirement of two Mountain Strike Corps for executing a meaningful repost to China’s offensive at a pre-planned location at the LOAC as well as restore an adverse situation when required.  This reserve force will also act as a deterrent for PLA (Army).  Like in case of Pakistan, this capability will make our Army more aggressive and pro-reactive when dealing with China’s transgression and place Govt on equal terms when negotiating for a solution in future face-off with China.
There is not even an iota of doubt that the Indian Armed forces will deliver under all adverse situations in future conflict with China. However, it will be prudent to assume that in case of war with China at any point in time in future, Pakistan will ensure that Indian troops remain engaged in Northern, Western and South Western theatres making it difficult for Indian Army to move a large force to reinforce Eastern theatre .
Hence, it is imperative to have dedicated adequately acclimatised reserves located ab-initio for Eastern theatre for obvious reasons. Also with changing  geo-strategic scenario in the Indian Sub-continent and Russia being generally soft with China, India needs to take forward the USA Presidents’ offer to enhance peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region by establishing a new 2 by 2 (Defence & Foreign) ministerial dialogue to elevate strategic consultation between two of the largest and mature democracies . Also, considering that China-Pakistan nexus against India is strengthening by the day, it will be far-sighted to plan out a Security Accord with the USA on the lines of ‘No war Agreement’, India had with the then USSR, before the start of 1971 war with Pakistan.

Nexa Peaks Auto, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu