Comparative study of India, China and Pakistan

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by pyromaniac, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    PART 1: Where we stand

    India lies in a very unenviable position, it is sandwiched between two neighbors to the north that seek to cause mayhem and to mold India into a country that is more suitable to them. Long standing border disputes are but one of the many problems India faces with these countries. However, with both India's and china's economy booming, it has thrown into sharp contrast the differences in how china has successfully approached this conflict whereas the Indian govt. has once again been lethargic and have seriously compromised national security in the pretense of seeking peace with two countries that don't seem too interested in it. It is evident that an all out conflict in the subcontinent seems unlikely as it will escalate into an all out nuclear war that will bring about the death of untold millions and possibly billions. However, such a drastic option must always be on the table when facing such aggressive adversaries. China has tried its best and succeeded for the most part in enveloping India. India has already fallen behind China when it comes to "recruiting" its neighbors.

    [​IMG] Bases under Chinese control

    [​IMG] Naval presence of the Chinese




    However, one needs to take a step back and look at the bigger picture at hand. Every nation in the world strives to meet one goal; protection, i.e. the capacity to protect its investments and itself from a foreign threat. So going by that logic, the reason for this rapid expansion by the Chinese is because of a simple reason; Fear. The fear that China would be starved into submission..not through food but rather the element that drives every modern country and one that is even more necessary for an emerging powerhouse like China; that is Oil. It is estimated that by 2020 China would need about 600 million tonnes of crude oil to fulfill its demands and even though they have tried their best to diversify, the majority of China's Oil comes from the middle East through the worlds shipping lanes. This places them in a very vulnerable spot as their repeated conflicts with India has made India an untrustworthy ally at best and given the geographical importance of India...it is in China's interest to expand its reach. Going by this logic, India will seek to strike at the heart of the Chinese war machine in the event of war and to do this India too needs to expand....

    The next 2 parts will focus on Pakistan's role in this and PART 3 will examine what India will need to do to combat this





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  3. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    The importance of Sea power and Gwadar

    PART 2: Pakistans Role and Gwadar

    An alliance with Pakistan against China was never a feasible option and Pakistan has sought to strengthen its ties to China disdain India from making any strong military action to retake Kashmir in addition to the proxy war in Kashmir. However, with the construction of gwadar port China and Pakistan severely threaten the Indian Economy in the event of war. Especially if it is war with China then they can effectively blockade India's oil supplies and literally starve India to death. To successfully navigate this, India needs to stay a step ahead of the curve.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see from the picture the port is at the very "edge" of Pakistan and is placed strategically at the entrance of the Gulf. The port is also very deep and is naturally suited to be a deep water harbor. China if it so chooses can place an entire fleet there, with Pakistan providing technical support as well as servicing the ships. This will seriously hamper India's energy freedom as China and Pakistan can control the oil that flows to India.
    However, even through all this hardship Indian still has an ace up her sleeve; her strategic geography will force China to invest heavily in her maritime forces to completely overwhelm India in case of of a war. This is because even though the Chinese have tried their hardest to rid themselves of their Achilles heel they have not succeeded. This major chink in the armor is the Chinese's dependency on using Sea lanes as transport for their oil.

    Although Pakistan and China share a land border, it is in Jammu and Kashmir and as such any ground transportation of Oil would require them to traverse over steep mountains and gorges. Given India's air superiority over Pakistan it can be feasible that china would be not willing to allow the flow of precious oil under such duress. Even if the Chinese were willing to spend the substantial amount of money to necessitate such a transport and provide a comprehensive anti-aircraft protection, the area that is in question is largely uncontested and there is relatively no govt. presence there. Also given the fact that it is in close proximity to Afghanistan controlled by the northern alliance, who India has helped for a long time would make china think twice about putting in something like that a spitting distance away from two potentially hostile countries.
    It would be impossible to transport the necessary Crude oil by air and therefore the only feasible option is to transport it on a ship to transport large quantities of Oil, they still have to rely on the Ocean and this is where India's coastline comes into the picture. Now, its India's time to go on the offensive...and the thing is, India might be well on its way to doing it.

    TBC


    EDIT* - I should have part 4 up the by the weekend....
     
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  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Nice one m8. Did you write it up yourself?
     
  5. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    yeah dude...I was in the mood haha. I have two more parts coming up...one dealing with what India needs to do to counter this and the other one is more about foreign relations and stuff. Glad you like it :)
     
  6. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Love it. You have excellent style and a natural flair for writing. Looking forward to the rest :D

    P.S: While you're at it, I wonder if I could trouble you to take a look at an essay (kinda lengthy :-") I typed up on the Sino-African engagement, entitled 'Enter the Dragon' in the Chinese Defense & Military section, and tell me what you think.

    Edit: Linked
     
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    here is a map of Chinese military and Naval strenght as you can see they are vulnerable in many areas and also Chinese trade and economy which depends on indian ocean would cease if anything happened.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Nice...they really seemed to have concentrated on Taiwan
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    One more point there is only one highway from china into pakistan to gwadar and it's close to India

    [​IMG]
     
  10. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Right again..I was gonna touch on that when I did part 3 but yeah you are absolutely right. Then again the Chinese are involved in this so they will invest heavily in building more transportation between the port and major cities
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    but they will not remove their vulnerability, also we have a road from afghanistan to Iranian port and defense pacts with middle eastern countries,japan,russia and a naval listening station in madagascar the Chinese are no USA where they can fight far from home so to me in a limited conflict they can be eliminated quickly.
     
  12. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    I am gonna cover this in my next section too....about how ports in Iran and how a port in Oman would let India exert tremendous pressure on China.
     
  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    also relations with USA are kept secrets we have done naval exercises with USA and air exercises and we have a more strategic partnership maybe USA would also possibly be involved if 2 or more countries are involved it would be a world war type scenario another reason for USA to be involved get rid of China get rid of US debt and have good economy in USA again just some great reasons right there.
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Chinese trade is thru Indian ocean they want war they won't have anymore trade thru our waters Brhamos will see to that and no more oil tanker going to china either.
     
  15. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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  16. Atul

    Atul Founding Member

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    Pakistan Air Force Bases
     
  17. Atul

    Atul Founding Member

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    pakistani naval Bases
     
  18. Atul

    Atul Founding Member

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    Pakistan Motorway
     
  19. foofighter

    foofighter New Member

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  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-36140468_ITM

    China and the United States in the Indian Ocean: an emerging strategic triangle?(Essay)

    Publication: Naval War College Review

    Publication Date: 22-JUN-08
    Author: Holmes, James R. ; Yoshihara, Toshi

    COPYRIGHT 2008 U.S. Naval War College

    The Asian seas today are witnessing an intriguing historical anomaly--the simultaneous rises of two homegrown maritime powers against the backdrop of U.S. dominion over the global commons. The drivers behind this apparent irregularity in the Asian regional order are, of course, China and India. Their aspirations for great-power status and, above all, their quests for energy security have compelled both Beijing and New Delhi to redirect their gazes from land to the seas. While Chinese and Indian maritime interests are a natural outgrowth of impressive economic growth and the attendant appetite for energy resources, their simultaneous entries into the nautical realm also portend worrisome trends.

    PROSPECTS FOR A STRATEGIC TRIANGLE

    At present, some strategists in both capitals speak and write in terms that anticipate rivalry with each other. Given that commercial shipping must traverse the same oceanic routes to reach Indian and Chinese ports, mutual fears persist that the bodies of water stretching from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea could be held hostage in the event of crisis or conflict. (1) Such insecurities similarly animated naval competition in the past when major powers depended on a common nautical space. Moreover, lingering questions over the sustainability of American primacy on the high seas have heightened concerns about the U.S. Navy's ability to guarantee maritime stability, a state of affairs that has long been taken for granted.

    It is within this more fluid context that the Indian Ocean has assumed greater prominence. Unfortunately, much of the recent discourse has focused on future Chinese naval ambitions in the Indian Ocean and on potential U.S. responses to such a new presence. In other words, the novelty, as it currently stands, of the Indian Ocean stems from expected encounters between extraregional powers. But such a narrow analytical approach assumes that the region will remain an inanimate object perpetually vulnerable to outside manipulation. Also, more importantly, it overlooks the possible interactions arising from the intervention of India, the dominant regional power. Indeed, omitting the potential role that India might play in any capacity would risk misreading the future of the Indian Ocean region.

    There is, therefore, an urgent need to bring India more completely into the picture as a full participant, if not a major arbiter, in the region's maritime future. In order to add depth to the existing literature, this article assesses the longer-term maritime trajectory of the Indian Ocean region by examining the triangular dynamics among the United States, China, and India. To be sure, the aspirational nature of Chinese and Indian nautical ambitions and capabilities at the moment precludes attempts at discerning potential outcomes or supplying concrete policy prescriptions. Nevertheless, exploring the basic foundations for cooperation or competition among the three powers could provide hints at how Beijing, Washington, and New Delhi can actively preclude rivalry and promote collaboration in the Indian Ocean.

    As a first step in this endeavor, this article examines a key ingredient in the expected emergence of a "strategic triangle"--the prospects of Indian sea power. While no one has rigorously defined this international-relations metaphor, scholars typically use it to convey a strategic interplay of interests among three nationstates. In this initial foray, we employ the term fairly loosely, using it to describe a pattern of cooperation and competition among the United States, China, and India. It is our contention that Indian Ocean stability will hinge largely on how India manages its maritime rise. On the one hand, if a robust Indian maritime presence were to fail to materialize, New Delhi would essentially be forced to surrender its interests in regional waters, leaving a strategic vacuum to the United States and China. On the other hand, if powerful Indian naval forces were one day to be used for exclusionary purposes, the region would almost certainly become an arena for naval competition. Either undesirable outcome would be shaped in part by how India views its own maritime prerogatives and by how Washington and Beijing weigh the probabilities of India's nautical success or failure in the Indian Ocean.

    If all three parties foresee a muscular Indian naval policy, then, a more martial environment in the Indian Ocean will likely take shape. But if the three powers view India and each other with equanimity, the prospects for cooperation will brighten considerably. Capturing the perspectives of the three powers on India's maritime ambitions is thus a critical analytical starting point.

    To provide a comprehensive overview of each capital's estimate of future Indian maritime power, this article gauges the current literature and forecasts in India, the United States, and China on Indian maritime strategy, doctrine, and capabilities. It then concludes with an analysis of how certain changes in the maritime geometry in the Indian Ocean might be conducive to either cooperation or competition.

    INDIA'S SELF-ASSESSMENT

    While Indian maritime strategists are not ardent followers of Alfred Thayer Mahan, they do use him to underscore the importance of the Indian Ocean. A Mahan quotation (albeit of doubtful provenance) commonly appears in official and academic discussions of Indian naval power, including the newly published Maritime Military Strategy. (2) That is, as an official Indian press release declared in 2002, "Mahan, the renowned naval strategist and scholar[,] had said over a century ago[,] 'whosoever controls the Indian Ocean, dominates Asia. In the 21st century, the destiny of the world will be decided upon its waters.'" (3) Rear Admiral R. Chopra, then the head of sea training for the Indian Navy, offered a somewhat less bellicose-sounding but equally evocative version of the quotation at a seminar on maritime history: "Whoever controls the Indian Ocean controls Asia. This ocean is the key to the Seven Seas." (4)

    Quibbles over history aside, India clearly sees certain diplomatic, economic, and military interests at stake in Indian Ocean waters. In particular, shipments of Middle East oil, natural gas, and raw materials are crucial to India's effort to build up economic strength commensurate with the needs and geopolitical aspirations of the Indian people. Some 90 percent of world trade, measured by bulk, travels by sea. A sizable share of that total must traverse narrow seas in India's geographic neighborhood, notably the straits at Hormuz, Malacca, and Bab el Mandeb. Shipping is at its most vulnerable in such confined waterways.

    Strategists in New Delhi couch their appraisals of India's maritime surroundings in intensely geopolitical terms--jarringly so for Westerners accustomed to the notion that economic globalization has rendered power politics and armed conflict passe. The Indian economy has grown at a rapid clip--albeit not as rapidly as China's--allowing an increasingly confident Indian government to yoke hard power, measured in ships, aircraft, and weapons systems, to a foreign policy aimed at primacy in the Indian Ocean region. (5) If intervention in regional disputes or the internal affairs of South Asian states is necessary, imply Indian leaders, India should do the intervening rather than allow outsiders any pretext for doing so.

    Any doctrine aimed at regional preeminence will have a strong seafaring component. In 2004, accordingly, New Delhi issued its first public analysis of the nation's oceanic environs and of how to cope with challenges there. Straightforwardly titled Indian Maritime Doctrine, the document describes India's maritime strategy largely as a function of economic development and prosperity:

    India's primary maritime interest is to assure national security. This is not restricted to just guarding the coastline and island territories, but also extends to safeguarding our interests in the [exclusive economic zone] as well as protecting our trade. This creates an environment that is conducive to rapid economic growth of the country. Since trade is the lifeblood of India, keeping our SLOCs [sea lines of communication] open in times of peace, tension or hostilities is a primary national maritime interest. (6)

    The trade conveyed by the sea-lanes traversing the Indian Ocean ranks first among the "strategic realities" that the framers of the Indian Maritime Doctrine discern. Roughly forty merchantmen pass through India's "waters of interest" every day. An estimated $200 billion worth of oil transits the Strait of Hormuz annually, while some $60 billion transits the Strait of Malacca en route to China, Japan, and other East Asian countries reliant on energy imports. (7)

    India's geographic location and conformation rank next in New Delhi's hierarchy of strategic realities. Notes the Indian Maritime Doctrine, "India sits astride ... major commercial routes and energy lifelines" crisscrossing the Indian Ocean region. Outlying Indian possessions such as...
     
  21. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Part 3: First strike

    PART 3: First strike

    To recap, in the previous two parts we have seen what the current situation is and how the major players; i.e. the immediate neighbors are positioned. Looking at the maps that have been included in the previous 2 parts, it can be deciphered that the port of Gwadar will play a vital role, both in economic and more importantly in military terms. In spite of the fact that the majority of India's eastern neighbors are "in league" with china; it does not wield the same amount of control over the more strategically located middle East countries, in particular Oman and Iran. Both these countries are very strategically placed and whom they chose to ally with could very well decide the economic aspect of the war and along with it the final outcome.
    Naval warfare has not changed much over the course of 2000 years; that is to say that the mission of the Navy remains the same; to starve an enemy into surrender. Albeit, the ships of this era are armed with cruise missiles and nuclear armed ballistic missiles but a constricted and tactical conflict would not include the latter. The point is that for India to successfully control the oil flowing into China it has to start looking beyond its borders. It has to expand and recruit new ally's. Those who are willing to allow India to station its naval vessel on their soil and thereby force the Chinese navy to spread its forces thin.
    On any given day, the Chinese navy can destroy any Indian fleet due to their numerical superiority but if they are forced to spread their forces thin to protect their many investments, it becomes a game of cat and mouse with both sides having a good chance at victory. So in this sense India needs to force China to commit to defending key locations all over its coastline and this is easier than it might seen. China still has long standing disputes with Taiwan, Japan, Korea and due to this they have to place a considerable amount of their resources on safeguarding this region from any misadventure. India needs to play into this fear and in the event of war and send a cruise missile/ballistic missile carrying submarine fleet there to keep the attention of the Chinese navy. This will serve as a deterrent to the redeployment of any major Chinese fleet.

    Now moving back to the Indian ocean and given the geographical importance of the Gwadar port, any Indian fleet that is tasked with the blockade of such a port would have to stationed close by. Two countries immediately come into mind, Iran who have had close ties with India and Oman; who is becoming a fast ally.

    [​IMG]

    Judging from the above picture, Oman is very strategically located as ships stationed there are capable of controlling trade in and around the Gwadar port. A relatively humble submarine fleet that is in the area can maintain a gridlock over the adjacent area and can considerably disrupt the movement of oil. Another tactical importance is that if the blockading fleet is under threat, it can withdraw to a number of locations. For instance, it can travel further up the Gulf or simply retreat to the vast expanses of the Indian ocean.

    [​IMG]

    Another important port is the chabanar port that is found in Iran; spitting distance away from Gwadar and one that will offer any fleet positioned there a much better chance of disrupting trade in the Gulf. Chabahar is the closest and best access point of Iran to the Indian Ocean. For this reason, Chabahar is the focal point of Iran for development of the east of the country through expansion and enhancement of transit routes among countries situated in the northern part of the Indian Ocean and Central Asia. As such, it is planned to have an extensive amount of roads and railways connecting it to the rest of the country and this will help to transport urgently needed equipment in a relatively short amount of time. Stationing a fleet there will give India the same advantages as stationing a fleet in Oman.

    Stationing its fleet in either country will give India a tactical edge as it can effectively blockade Gwadar from two different sides(Mumbai and one of this). Given India's growing relationship with Iran and the recent treaty signed between Iran and India that will allow India the use of Iranian bases in the event of war against Pakistan, the next logical step is to set up a permanent base. As far as oman is concerned, Oman already views India as a strategic partner and as a friend; it is feasible that with the right offer, India can acquire the necessary permission.

    However, there are problems to this proposed idea. India is playing a dangerous game as it tries to strike a friendly tone with the USA and Israel while at the same time playing coy with Iran. The next section will discuss how to navigate that contingency and how a conflict would play out.
     

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