7 security nightmares India must prepare for

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by Yusuf, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    When India tested nuclear bombs in 1998, its leaders hailed it as some sort of a scarecrow that would deter its enemies from adopting aggressive designs. But ironically, the last 12 years have seen an increase in hostility against India. Its sphere of influence has shrunk as neighbours yield to the Chinese temptation. Amorphous, boundary-less terrorist networks have become powerful adversaries in their own right. Naxal violence has removed any semblance of governance in wide areas and home-grown Jihadists are proliferating. The problems are too many but there is no clarity on what long-term strategies the government has developed to face them. Here are seven worst-case scenarios that India must prepare for, though some are low probability.

    Pakistan’s Nuclear Capacity Falls into the Hands of Rogue States/Terrorists

    Pakistan is a perennially failing state, but one that won’t fail entirely. A dysfunctional democracy keeps resurfacing after every assault from a power-hungry army that often leans on Jihadists for support. India hasn’t yet figured out whether to talk peace with Pakistan or show aggression, as both strategies have failed repeatedly.

    Pakistan is also a principal source of nuclear proliferation to rogue states. A section of Pakistani nuclear scientists with fundamentalist inclinations may have volunteered to work for al-Qaeda, as has been reported over the last few years. The possibility that a crude, untested nuclear warhead has been developed by Osama bin Laden’s gang cannot be ruled out.
    But this is only during peace time. In the eventuality that there is a political meltdown in Pakistan and there is a danger of nuclear warheads falling into Jihadi hands, India will be particularly vulnerable having been named by al-Qaeda as an enemy. “These threats are very real [though] they may sound improbable today,” says Rajesh Rajagopal, head of the Department of International Relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
    In that event, India’s interests lie in joining international efforts and providing logistics support to secure Pakistan’s nuclear warheads, says an ICRIER paper ‘Conventional Threats to India’s National Security’ authored by Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies. A more radical situation could emerge if the US and Israel decide to launch a joint operation to “take out” the nuclear facilities when terrorists begin controlling them. The second situation seems extremely unlikely, though.

    War on Terror Fizzles out and the Taliban Returns

    Commander Stanley McChrystal’s jibes are just a rolling stone in the exhausting saga of American presence in Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai isn’t a popular leader and his government survives only on American crutches. He has set a target of 2014 to take over the primary responsibility for internal security from the hands of the US forces. But the Americans may lose patience even before that and want to leave. “When Americans depart in two years, the Taliban who are now very strong will take over in a very short time,” says Raphael Israeli, an Islamic affairs expert and a fellow of Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. “If Afghanistan falls, the Taliban in Pakistan — they exported the Taliban to Afghanistan — might follow suit in the long run. India will find itself straight on the boundary of terror.”
    Here again, India will need to develop a network of partners to offer an integrated response to the threat. It could appoint a ‘Roving Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism’ who must be highly credible and capable of turning the global debate in India’s favour. Israeli suggests that India must work with countries like Israel to boost its own counter-terrorism skills.

    China Encircles India and Launches a Limited War

    With China, India is always in a capability vs. intention dilemma. China has a vastly superior conventional force and a decisive advantage in nuclear capability and can attack India at will. But it isn’t overly aggressive and professes peaceful co-existence. What should India prepare for?
    India’s unresolved territorial and boundary dispute with China and an un-demarcated Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the Indo-Tibetan (India’s official position is the Tibetan autonomous region of China) border do not augur well for long-term peace and stability between these two Asian giants. The next major incident on the LAC could lead to a localised border conflict as either Indian patience with Chinese intransigence wears thin or the Chinese look at Indian attempts to build infrastructure and develop the border areas as the adoption of an aggressive forward posture. Hence, in the foreseeable future, a limited border war between the two cannot be entirely ruled out.
    Even the Sino-Indian maritime relationship has an adversarial potential as China is engaged in developing a “string of pearls” strategy to acquire port facilities around India at Hangyi, Hambantota, Gwadar and in the Maldives. While Chinese nuclear submarines can operate in the northern Indian Ocean for extended periods even today, India’s insecurity would be heightened when China establishes its naval presence in the Indian Ocean through deployment of its surface ships and when port facilities become available to it by about 2015.
    China has been following a policy of peace and tranquillity with India at the strategic level while simultaneously keeping up the pressure at the tactical level through claims to the state of Arunachal Pradesh followed up by frequent intrusions, refusal of visa to residents of Arunachal Pradesh and objections to the approval of an Asian Development Bank loan to India because Arunachal Pradesh would also have been a beneficiary. Clearly, China’s strategy is not to rock the boat too hard but to give itself leeway to raise the ante whenever it finds it convenient to do so. India must also utilise this window of relative tranquility with China for its economic development while simultaneously upgrading its military capabilities to squarely face any future Chinese threat.
    India’s trade with China, which has crossed $ 50 billion in 2008-09 may not by itself be able to completely deter conflict. Hence, it is necessary for India to ensure that its national power grows comprehensively along with its growing economy.

    India’s Nuclear Deterrence Fails

    India’s policy of nuclear deterrence lacks credibility with our aggressive neighbours. India lacks the inter-continental ballistic missile capability which means it will not be able to reach the far ends of a large neighbour. Its Agni missiles have not been tested adequately. At a maximum of 80, the number of warheads available to India does not fulfil even the low-end requirements of minimum deterrence. Add to all this the lingering doubts over the efficacy of the thermonuclear device tested in 1998. The outside world doesn’t believe India is ready to respond to a nuclear conflagration.
    Pakistan has been more aggressive. The nuclear warheads and delivery systems there are controlled by the military unlike in India where civil leadership is supreme. Even four years ago, it had amassed 30 to 85 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium and 1,300 to 1,700 kilograms of weapon-grade highly enriched uranium. In short, it had accumulated enough fissile material to make 70 to 115 nuclear weapons. The conclusion? Pakistan is moving quickly to close the nuclear warhead quantity gap with India and may even overtake it.
    China, on its part, has 400 nuclear warheads and can attack every nook and corner of India. It does have a “no-first-use” policy in general. But it may not extend that courtesy to India even though it does not recognise India as a nuclear power. It has consistently refused to discuss confidence building measures or nuclear risk reduction measures with India.
    India must sign mutual no-first-use policy agreements with its neighbours just like China has done with Russia.

    Naxalite Rule Replaces Government in Wider Areas

    At least 194 districts in 22 states are currently afflicted by Left Wing extremism, at various intensities. The Maoist movement in India is a well-planned and calibrated attempt by an organised and ideologically motivated political grouping to wrest power through the principles of Maoist ‘Protracted War’, and the threat it projects is enduring. The Maoist strategy of mobilisation has been extraordinarily successful over wide areas of the country, and it is misleading to assess the Maoist potential purely in terms of visible violence. Indeed, the potential for violence that has already been harnessed may well be in excess of present official assessments, and has certainly attained a geographical spread well beyond areas traditionally associated with the Maoist movement.
    The central and state authorities aren’t coordinating well in their response to Naxalism. Intelligence sharing remains poor. India may lose the war unless these shortcomings are reversed.
    The restoration of the authority and functions of governance, including development, health, education and basic social and human security, is imperative, and must constitute an integral part of any comprehensive approach to counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism. This can only be done after the restoration of a modicum of law and order, and efficiency in the operation of the justice system.

    Home-Grown Jihadists Spread

    While neighbours have all along exported terrorism to India, it is crucial to recognise that Islamist terrorism has always had an Indian face. The separatist movement in Jammu & Kashmir was initiated by Indian Kashmiris. The various Islamist terrorist groups that have been assembled in Pakistan, over the years, moreover, have a substantial Indian membership.
    Several terrorist groups have emerged on Indian soil as well. The most significant among them is the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). SIMI has been involved in terrorist activities, principally as a facilitator to various Pakistan-based groups, since the 1990s, providing a range of services such as couriers, safe havens and communication posts, for specific terrorist operations or terrorist cells. Pakistan sought to project the operations in India as ‘indigenous terrorism’ purportedly sparked by discontented Muslims in ‘Hindu India’. Today, the top leadership and cadres of SIMI receive safe haven and training and resources from Pakistan.
    A small section of the 35,000 madrassas in India act as recruitment hubs for radical and extremist organisation. A number of illegal madrassas have also mushroomed around the country. Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) spends a considerable amount of money to fund these madrassas.

    The Rest of South Asia Turns Hostile

    There has been increasing evidence of operational co-operation between Pakistani and Bangladeshi intelligence agencies and Jihadi organisations, particularly in their efforts to target India. A number of recent terrorist attacks in different parts of India have exposed evidence of joint Pakistan-Bangladesh operations and terrorist modules, as well as a pattern of highly decentralised and anonymous synchronised multi-group operations coordinated by handlers located in Pakistan or Bangladesh.
    The ambiguity on border demarcation between the two countries creates the conditions conducive for terrorist crossovers and illegal migration. There is an urgent need to create the population profiles of border areas to know who lives there.
    Nepal, on the other hand, has traditionally been a friend of India. But the land-locked country is rapidly moving away and leaning towards China in a quest to balance its relationship with its larger neighbours. India must ensure China doesn’t use the roads it builds in Nepal to launch offensive operations against India. Of course, China doesn’t need to come in through a third country when it can directly operate across the Indo-Tibet border.
    Various reports have exposed the rise of the madrassa network on both sides of the India-Nepal border. Over a 10-kilometre stretch inside Nepal, there has been an unprecedented proliferation of madrassas and mosques in recent years. This network is something that Indian intelligence must keep a very close watch on.
    In the following pages: Beginning with a list of the seven threats that could trip our triple transition, we delve into India’s game plan for participation in future standard setting bodies, market access, water security and energy. You will find how India has shaken off past baggage to engage with its neighbours without being scared of competition.
    7 security nightmares India must prepare for - India News - IBNLive
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
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  3. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    I find this type of sensationalist journalism rather funny. Mostly because it is blatantly targeting India's growing misplaced "nationalism" while overlooking the unsavory root problems.

    As I mentioned in another thread, the statistical probability of an Indian succumbing to a Pakistani nuclear attack, Chinese invasion, Naxalite ambush, a Taliban suicide bomber, Pakistani terrorist, home grown terrorist, or a "three pronged attack" from all sides is negligible when compared to death by starvation, disease, malnutrition, inadequate health care and suicide.

    While it is far more sexy to harp about the first group it's rather silly to completely avoid the latter reality.

    Economic and bureaucratic reforms leading to prosperity would not only make life better, but also minimize the inherent instability that makes India susceptible to "security nightmares."

    I believe only an enlightened middle class can proliferate this message to the government and the masses. And that middle class getting bogged down by paranoia, jingoism, and misplaced nationalism is about the worst thing that can happen in the near future.
     
  4. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    All though i agree with you that some in the elite of Indian broadcast and media have lost touch with reality, you must also understand this is an defense forum and we like to talk about defense scenarios. You could post an article on poverty in the Economy section and it wont be miss placed.

    Its sad thought how some people in the name of positive thinking trump our growing population as an "population dividend" rather than a disaster. May be the scale is too large that people are scared to look at it, after all fear means reluctance to see. People are shit scared to see the track this country is going in and they rather think positive and hope for the best than worry over what is clearly a disaster waiting to happen.

    The Naxal problem itself is an outgrowth of population explosion and our inability to provide a better life style to them.
     
  5. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    You're missing the main point mate; economics is the new frontier of national security and conflict, if you really want to talk about relevant defense scenarios this should be your first concern. Mulling over "who would win between JF-17 and LCA" is for all practical purposes a moot point.

    India's internal security threat, inability to protect its borders effectively and inability to act decisively in the face of open hostility are all directly related to the inherent problem of functionality. Also the naxal threat isn't a direct cause of population growth, and the concept of the government being able to provide anyone with a good lifestyle is faulty.

    The concept of population dividend on the other hand is correct and not just a figment of some optimist's imagination. The caveat of course is whether the government will get around to executing an effective education program. It is this that will determine whether India will benefit from a demographic dividend or suffer a demographic disaster.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Economic power and military power compliment each other one is incomplete without other.there has to be balance in military power to protect soft power of economics.And there has to be economic power to feed the hard power of military.
     
  7. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    We Indians are COMPLACENT by nature about security .It is in our DNA
    Unless there are security threats and challenges we prefer to sleep.

    What this article implies that we have to be on our toes all the time
    because all these threats are real
     
  8. tony4562

    tony4562 Tihar Jail Banned

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    The only real security nightmare is number 6 on your list, namely Home-Grown Jihadists. And it is real and happening every minute and every where in india, and there is no way stopping it.

    The way radical islam is spreading like wild fire these days, I would not be surprised if india becomes a muslim country, AGAIN, in 30 years.
     
  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    You are day dreaming tony. Jihadists are not as big an issue as the maoists. India is not going to become a muslim country. India will remain a free society.
     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    That would be good.Then there will be one big muslim super power of nearly 2 billion people from central asia to south east asia which gonna dominate most of asia and the oceans and will be real nightmare for middle kingdom and the atlanticists.=heheh
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  11. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    What is this?

    Are you implying spread in radical Islam= India becoming muslim country?

    if yes, then this is the silliest post I have ever seen
     
  12. hungo

    hungo Regular Member

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    Of all of the above i can count only number 5 as being credible.I just hope if ever the government does tackle the Naxals they don't go the Kashmir way with regaining peoples support in those areas reclaimed from them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    All the above 7 threats as mentioned above can be managed and dealt with firmly.Real threat to india comes from indians itself who dont ve strategic geopolitical education and mired by the social engineering through main stream media which bats for foreign powers than india.
     
  14. samarsingh

    samarsingh Regular Member

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    I beg to differ on the population issue. For years Germany and Japan had a higher per capita income in spite of having a higher density of population compared to us. Israel, Singapore are more densely populated than India but are comparatively well off (economically).
    At home there is no naxalism in densely populated cities like Mumbai and Delhi. The forests are actually scarcely populated. Reasons for naxalism and many of our problems are neglect and bad economics by our politicians. Population "explosion" serves as an easy diversion from the real issues, but our government starts brainwashing us early when in school textbooks they teach us about "vicious cycle of poverty" and imply that all our problems are because of population explosion.
     
  15. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    In my opinion among these 7 possible scenarios Naxalism is going to become biggest problem if ignored .They have gained enough man and firepower . Many politicians are openly supporting them for sake of votebank . They are like cancer. They are part of your body and will eat you from within. We can fight our external enemies but this fight should start at home and once our home is problem free then only we can take fight to other countries.
     

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