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ARVION

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Hello , welcome to the Startegy and Scenario's thread , here you can post's and discuss any startegy regarding to the Military affairs or equipments capabilities and it's uses's , but please restrain from discussing any political or off thread's topices .
 
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T-90S I was referring to is the Indian Bhishma version of the T-90's they've got well over thousad's units of and ordering more. It's not the same one as the T-90MS/SM which certainly does belong among the top tier of this generation. The Bhishma, not so much.

Going lighter without sacrificing protection is ideal. The improving armour materials and layout structures are allowing 50 tonnes of armour to be comparable to yesteryear's 60 tonnes no doubt. I think right about the T 90 M's being significantly better protected than the previou's version of the T 90's despite only adding 2 to 3 tonnes . The extra volume may be contributing to this along with improved top protection. I don't know what next gen is going towards. What you've suggested would certainly be nice and sounds similar in concept to the Armata tank.
 

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I still hold the opinion that the Type 99 A's protection is better Type 15's level . But if the armament is that weak, it still at least somewhat limits the potential capability of the elite units issued with the tank, despite the drones and helicopters .

As forType 15, I also do not understand the decision to equip it with a 105mm gun. This tank is still good in all respects, even having the option of having APS installed! However, it's armament also limits its capabilities, and I fear it would have difficulty penetrating the frontal armor of ERA-equipped Indian T-72s, which would probably be deployed and encountered in the Himalayas .
 

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Some months ago i came across this picture and the guy who posted it on another forum said that was taken during a presentation about Type 99A. And in it reads that the base armor of the turret of said tank is equal to 7**mm vs APFSDS and 1***mm vs HEAT. Is that description accurate?

BTW if someone could give me clarification of the exact performance of FY-IV (for example, i know that its supposed to decrease KE performance by 30 percent, but that applies also to APFSDS that were designed to counter ERA like M829A3 or DM53/63?) or if Type 99A is using said ERA or a new one i would also appreciate it.
 

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The over Investment in the J-20 is going to happen, or if not with the J-20, it'll happen with the J-31, and possibly even the Su-57. There is no way to do effective air defense vs stealth aircraft except with stealth aircraft. You need to be able to get close enough to the target not to get shot down by BVR missiles, and you need to be able to datalink-guide a missile to hit a target designed to be nearly impossible to target. There is definitely going to be considerable spending in missiles, not least because you want to be able to hold American missiles under threat . But assuming that China will ignore airpower, when airpower is the most effective counter to airpower and is a way to deliver massive amounts of munitions, is an error. The overinvestment in the J-20 is going to happen, or if not with the J-20, it'll happen with the J-31, and possibly even the Su-57. There is no way to do effective air defense vs stealth aircraft except with stealth aircraft. You need to be able to get close enough to the target not to get shot down by BVR missiles, and you need to be able to datalink-guide a missile to hit a target designed to be nearly impossible to target.

There is definitely going to be considerable spending in missiles, not least because you want to be able to hold American missiles under threat . But assuming that China will ignore airpower, when airpower is the most effective counter to airpower and is a way to deliver massive amounts of munitions, is an error. Airpower was prioritized because China had a dual naval / land border; ships might present defendable defenses at sea, but if you overinvested in naval power, you became vulnerable at land. The same applied to land borders; you had too many land forces, you were completely vulnerable at sea.
 

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This brings up an interesting issue. I think it's fair to say that Russia plays up the capabilities of its air-defence systems to maintain the arms markets they inherited from the Soviet Union. Systems like the S-400 might be the best-in-class, but the capabilities of that class itself might be in doubt; the USSR was always economically constrained relative to the US, so they could never match the capabilities, technological sophistication, and numbers of American systems. Just how well would an S-400 fare alone against a squad of F-35s; how much better would that S-400 fare if it was networked with a squad of Stealth Aircrafte's and conversely, what does that S-400 bring to the table for the Stealth Aircraft's ?

Having thrown a little shade on Russian weapons, I don't want to imbue stealth fighters with quasi-supernatural qualities. There were some rumours floating around a while back of an exercise the a Stealth's Aircraft's participated in where it wiped the floor with the ground-based air defence/4th gen setup.
 

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Well the counter argument for the above thoughte's .

Maybe since 1991, but during the Cold War, I'm sure the Americans had no expectations of a cake walk over the notoriously dense Soviet SAM networks. And don't forget that the Soviets had a large and relatively well equipped airforce that would have also been causing problems for the USAF. I would say you got it backwards - it's not that the US prep for weaker enemies, but the strategic landscape since the fall of the Union has habituated them to that.

Russian GBAD is misconstrued as somehow intending to fight the USAF with no support from other assets. In reality, the Russian airforce will be covering the GBAD's coverage gaps. Yes, we know the Russian airforce isn't particularly strong, but it's inaccurate to say that Russian GBAD will be alone in defending against a USAF strike.
 

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When you look at say, the Su-57 design, it's not fully stealth optimized as American aircaft are and Chinese aircraft may one day be, and hell, even stuff like the F-35 and F-22 aren't fully stealth optimized as they deviate from the "hopeless diamond" shape. The point of these partially-optimized VLO designs isn't to be completely invisible, since there are bands on which they can be seen, but to be untargetable by enemy AAMs. The stealth optimization on F-35 etc is primarily intended to frustrate high-band seeker heads on enemy AAMs, which, by virtue of their size, can never be effective at anti-stealth. And then you have IR optimization or countermeasures, as on the Su-57, whose purpose is to prevent the aircraft from being hit by an IR missile. What's even worse is that the IR missiles are almost always short-ranged missiles, barring a few medium-ranged missiles like MICA. Since the 4th gens will be seen first by 5th gens, the 4th gens have to first survive into WVR range to fire their IR missiles, and if there are enough enemy fighters, as with the F-35, they won't survive into the merge given a sufficient volume of enemy long-range missiles, or if they're facing something like the F-22, Su-57, or J-20, the enemy stealth fighter will just disengage the moment they've launched their missiles, head home, and never get into IR missile range.

As for SAMs like the S-400, what I'm more interested in are massive Chinese counterstealth radars, like the ones that take up tens of KM, and purport to be able to counter the stealth signature of B-21s etc by virtue of their bands. SAMs like the S-400, on the other hand, are of more questionable use, since against a stealth target you need a seeker on the missile that can track the target. You can, of course, go to counter-stealth radar and data-link it, but the question with counter-stealth radar is whether you can get a sufficiently accurate track for the missile to home in. The future of ground-based missile air defense isn't going to be SAMs guided by counter-stealth radar, but SAMs working in combination with air-based assets that can datalink into the SAMs and guide them to hit the stealth targets.
 

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Su 57 Superior's than the J 20's .

The only real selling point of the Su-57 is cost. People here seem to have some kind of notion that the PLAAF can procure everything at ridiculously cheap "China prices", but Chengdu etc are state-owned and tend to be less efficient than private companies. Moreover, the J-20, barring the lack of laser dazzler (a must technology for future J-20s), is a technologically more advanced fighter than the Su-57 in terms of subsystems retractable pylon for short-ranged missile, EODAS, arguably superior radar . It stands to reason that the J-20 would be more expensive .

The Su-57 is likely to be less stealthy than the J-20, and is but's likely to have Superior's high-speed performance than the J-20 , huge wings and low length to width ratio result in greater drag, and the stated T/W is much better than the J-20's with WS-10X . And for the price, it delivers exceptional capability including access to and loading of Russian anti-radiation missiles and strike weapons .
 

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No doubt Sukhoi knows and does better than armchair engineers on this matter. Given the arrangement of the internal bays, the Su-57 really couldn't realistically employ S-ducts the same way an F-22 does. So alternative solutions must have been explored and now used. I think the blockers may be how they decided to go since it appears easier than making rotating blades deflect radar waves away from source. There are bound to be some positions at certain angles of incidence where the blades show up and in rapid rotation the returns will almost be continuous.
 

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@ARVION Most of your posts are copy-paste from a different forum. Intentional ?
First I has to make some base in order to create further discussion well in mean time will introduce some original posts and idea but will require time as it is more complex to discuss a startegy out of nowhere for immature like us but trying to create a more expsore to this discussions as I have seen this forum lacks compared to the various forums I have seen in many years Sorry to say but even the BRF has this threads compare to their low traffic to us and there was no mentioned of already posted or published post cant be mentioned or discussede's .
 

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If we are stuck to the just original post then we are stuck backward's like our's procument's policies of the equipment's . What we are afraid of copying. just not copied 10 posts in under 50 minutes but changed almost every part's of it to suit our perspectives and not others that have to be seen .
 

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Sorry sis in not with so had to take some ideas and bases from the others . If she was now then I could have literally written hundreds of scenarios easilye's see the J 20's pad scenario a significant part written as original as new as was the Tai TFX and many armoured scenario's, but it takes time to think many of the scenarios , my next part probably would be to some findings on currents posts and builds posts upon and around them . Good night I am trying in sleep so meet you in morning around 11 and again good night's .
 

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By Dr. YUN SUN's .

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India. Ties between Beijing and New Delhi have been fraught throughout those decades, including a border war in 1962, the Sikkim skirmishes in 1967, the Sumdorong Chu Valley skirmish in 1987, and the Doklam standoff in 2017. The two countries continue to harbor disagreements over their shared border, the issue of Dalai Lama, China’s security cooperation with Pakistan, trade, and the geopolitics of South Asia and Asia as a whole.

China’s policy toward India in the past two to three years has shifted. It now actively promotes closer ties. The reason for this move was the drastic rupture from the Doklam standoff between China and India in 2017, in which Chinese and Indian troops faced off along part of their disputed border. In addition, Beijing fears an emerging India-U.S. alliance as part of Washington’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. In fact, China and India have announced 70 events throughout the year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. The official rapprochement between these two global giants represents a case of major realignment — a rare case for the Chinese playbook.


Despite high-profile visits by senior leaders, China remains profoundly suspicious of India’s strategic ambition and intentions. Such duality — formal rapprochement on the surface versus distrust and hedging in private — will continue into the foreseeable future with major implications for the region’s peace and stability.

The Trajectory of Bilateral Ties

China believes in power politics and its own natural superiority. Beijing’s vision for Asia is strictly hierarchical — with China at the top — and does not consider India an equal. Recognizing India’s historical influence in South Asia, its capability as a regional power, and its global potential, China’s policy toward India has largely followed a pattern of balancing India in South Asia by propping up Pakistan and developing ties with small countries in the region. In addition, China has sought to prevent an India-U.S. alignment in Asia. When possible, Beijing has tried to build a “coalition” with India on the global level as members of the “Global South.” Disputes and disagreements existed but were managed as neither side was willing to change the status quo in a radical manner.

Xi and Modi becoming the leaders of China and India, respectively, significantly elevated the stress on bilateral relations. Both leaders are ambitious and keen on expanding their countries’ influence while bolstering their vitality: Xi through the Belt and Road Initiative and Modi through the Modi Doctrine. On the bilateral level, China believes Modi is trying to force China’s hand on border disputes, India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group membership, Masood Azhar’s terrorist designation, and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects in Kashmir. Convinced of its superiority, Beijing did not believe it needed to cater to India — although it does now — and rejected Modi’s demands on all fronts.

China’s condescension and India’s frustration culminated in the Doklam standoff in the summer of 2017, in which Chinese and Indian troops staged a confrontation for more than two months over China’s road construction in the trijunction area between China, India, and Bhutan. This standoff was a watershed event in China’s policy toward India during recent decades. Although both countries refrained from the use of force, India’s assertiveness forced China to reassess India’s strategic capability and resolve. This reassessment challenged much of the previous longstanding bias that colored China’s judgment, including the simplistic and static view of India’s inferior status in the regional power hierarchy.

The Asymmetry of Threat Perceptions

For China, the Doklam standoff raised fundamental questions regarding the nature of India’s threat. Despite the asymmetry of their national power — India’s GDP is 30 percent that of China’s — China is disadvantaged by the asymmetry of threat perceptions. Simply put, India sees China as its primary threat while China sees India as a secondary challenge. Beijing’s national security priorities unequivocally lie in the western Pacific. Such asymmetry of security priorities means that India may not yet rival China in national power or in a conventional or nuclear arms race, but its resolve and focus on China are significantly stronger than those of China.

Because India is not China’s primary threat and South Asia is not China’s primary theater, China would prefer to save on costs and minimize military and strategic resources on India. In the event that a conflict is unavoidable, China could mobilize to an overwhelming capacity to achieve a decisive victory on the battlefield — which is why the Sino-Indian border war of 1962 was constantly mentioned during the Doklam standoff.

However, China doesn’t want to have a conflict with India, over either the border or the status of Kashmir. Even if China could defeat and contain India through a war, the payoff for China would remain minimal because it wouldn’t address China’s key external security challenges in the Pacific. Instead, a breakdown in ties with New Delhi would only further expose Beijing in its primary theater vis-à-vis the United States.

China’s strategic goal is to stabilize relations with India in order to avoid a two-front war with the United States and India — all while minimizing distractions. But the challenge of this goal lies in how it can be achieved. For China, the Chinese and Indian demands are different and asymmetrical by nature. Key concessions that India demands from China — such as the border settlement and U.N. terrorist designations for anti-India militant groups based in Pakistan — are hard commitments that cannot be reversed. What China needs from India — such as neutrality and political alignment — is ephemeral and easily adjustable. While New Delhi sees addressing these issues as the prerequisite for India to trust China, Beijing doesn’t believe that relinquishing its leverage will in any way stop India from conducting hostile actions down the road — especially given their clashing regional visions.

As such, China’s policy towards India is pulled in two opposite directions — between a perhaps genuine desire for friendly ties with India so it can focus on the United States and the Pacific, and an equally genuine hostility due to conflicting agendas in Asia. The former points to a positive trajectory with reduced distrust and enhanced ties. The latter explains the lack of substantive progress in achieving such results.

China’s Debate on India-U.S. Ties

China’s distrust of New Delhi is greater as the result of burgeoning India-U.S. ties. Washington’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, released three months after the Doklam standoff, seeks to anchor India in its larger Asia posture. The role, assistance, alignment, and power status the United States have offered India contributed to China’s speedy rapprochement with India and its deepening suspicion of India at the same time. The Indo-Pacific Strategy has sent China into a frenzy of damage control in order to prevent the emergence of an India-U.S. alliance. When China was more or less reassured by Modi’s reiteration of “strategic autonomy” and reluctance to embrace the Indo-Pacific concept in public, China elevated the status of Sino-Indian relations to an unprecedented level, resulting in a rather abrupt positive shift after the Doklam crisis.

Since then, the U.S. factor has become the most important consideration in China’s policy toward India. For China, the prospect of facing the American military at sea and the Indian military along its southern border and in the Indian Ocean becomes much more real and dangerous with defense cooperation between the United States and India. Such cooperation will not only damage the security and stability of China’s western borderland while undermining China’s strategic influence in South Asia; it will also hinder China’s power projection capability in the Indian Ocean with the potential to threaten China’s energy supply from the Middle East. Regionally and globally, the U.S. endorsement of India’s leadership status dilutes and diminishes China’s soft power, and encourages other countries like Japan and Australia to follow suit in seeking closer ties with New Delhi.

China’s elevation of relations with India reveals an inconvenient truth: exogenous factors primarily drive China’s rapprochement with India. Had Washington not adopted the Indo-Pacific Strategy and pursued alignment with India, the trajectory of China’s policy toward India would have looked very different. Before and after the Doklam standoff, nothing endogenous in Sino-Indian relations fundamentally changed, including the unresolved border disputes, the competition between China and India for influence in South Asia, the longstanding Tibet issue, the growing trade imbalance, the Pakistan factor, and the two countries’ vastly different visions for the regional order. China might have concluded that improved ties with India were in its interests, but the decision to reach out to New Delhi occurred when it did because Beijing saw the United States swaying India’s preference.

While India has no place in China’s vision for the regional order, the United States offers India a significant position in the Indo-Pacific Strategy. U.S. President Donald Trump’s India policy is the biggest factor that has altered China’s calculation about India’s strategic importance and pushed Beijing to appease New Delhi. But, if the assessment is that India has accepted a de facto alliance with United States, China will have to prepare for a very different approach toward India.

The Chinese South Asia policy community is currently debating the nature of the India-U.S. alignment and the malleability of India’s preferences. The consensus in China seems to be that India wants and needs to rely on the United States to balance China’s growing regional dominance. The disagreement lies in the extent to which India will align and cooperate with Washington for this shared agenda.

Chinese civilian observers and diplomats — former and current — have rather low expectations about India-U.S. cooperation. For them, India and the United States appear to be innately incompatible. In terms of strategic culture, India follows a non-alignment tradition while U.S. global strategy is based on alliances. In terms of strategic goals, India does not seek a total confrontation with China though a confrontation appears to be America’s aim. In terms of partners, India seeks diverse partnerships, including with Russia, a U.S. adversary. In terms of technical compatibility, India has no intention to completely abandon Russian weapons systems, which makes America’s proposed interoperability a challenge in the least. For these Chinese experts, the India-U.S. alignment is tactical — out of expediency — and lacks systematic commitment and binding arrangements. When conflicting calculations arise — and they will arise — the India-U.S. alignment will fall apart.

Unlike their counterparts who are more focused on diplomacy and foreign policy, Chinese defense strategists and security experts are concerned about the substance of the growing India-U.S. ties. In their view, Washington is making India offers that India cannot refuse, including but not limited to defense industry cooperation, arms sales, and information and intelligence sharing. Even if India thinks it is maintaining its autonomy, Chinese strategists see India enticed, entangled, and potentially enmeshed in institutionalized cooperative frameworks that it later cannot reject despite its aspiration for autonomy.

For hardliners in Beijing, the benefits that the United States has offered in material and diplomatic terms have already emboldened New Delhi to pursue risky policies vis-à-vis Pakistan in addition to a more assertive negotiating posture towards China. Within the region, China has grown increasingly wary of the destabilizing effect of Modi’s foreign policy. From Beijing’s perspective, the Modi Doctrine is heavily imbued with his Hindu nationalism and was recently strengthened by his victories on Article 370, changing the legal status of Kashmir, and a controversial citizenship law. Moreover, the Modi Doctrine directly reflects what the Chinese see as a risk-seeking or, at a minimum, a risk-neutral policy toward Pakistan. The Chinese are innately distrusting of any country’s foreign policy that is linked to radical domestic politics — a bitter lesson China learned from itself during the Cultural Revolution. In the case of India, China is also worried that its domestic ethno-religious conflicts could potentially spill over across the border.

The Implication for South Asia Crisis Management

The changing power equilibrium and alignment among the United States, China, India, and Pakistan have a critical impact on the crisis dynamics of South Asia. Despite the warming of ties on the surface, the suspicion and embedded hostility between China and India have in fact deepened since the introduction of the Indo-Pacific Strategy. Regional dynamics have shifted, leaving the United States and India on one side with China and Pakistan on the other.

These changing dynamics will have important implications for U.S. policy toward South Asia and crisis management down the road. The prospect of China playing a helpful and constructive role in a future India-Pakistan crisis is inevitably dampened. In the 2019 Pulwama crisis, China publicly called for de-escalation and restraint as usual, but some have raised questions regarding the information Beijing shared with Pakistan. China may increasingly view South Asia as a zero-sum game — any perceived win for India will register as a loss for Beijing, and vice versa. As a result, China will be more inclined to manipulate the game to improve its strategic payoff vis-à-vis the United States and India. In that case, the best that the United States can hope for might be for China to not become a spoiler.

In the past, the United States enlisted Chinese constructive support in crisis management between India and Pakistan. Such a role was conditioned upon a perceived relative balance of power between India and Pakistan. However, as Beijing has keenly observed, that delicate balance of power between India and Pakistan increasingly favors New Delhi. If Pakistan is no longer able to act as China’s balancer of India in South Asia, China’s most direct remedy is the strengthening of Pakistan’s power by way of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a massive infusion of funding and infrastructure projects to revive Pakistan’s economy. However, if that strategy is not successful in the near future, China could step in with more direct involvement in the form of further security assistance.

As the competition deepens between China on the one hand and the United States and India on the other, China will have less incentive to “deliver” Pakistan in a crisis scenario. A widely shared perception in China is that India’s appetite only grows when China makes concessions and forces Pakistan’s hand. From the perspective of Beijing, India’s new-found alignment with the United States has emboldened Modi’s adventurism. For example, India revoked Article 370 five months after its brinkmanship in Pulwama, which directly challenged China’s territorial claims in Ladakh. For China, whatever it delivers on Pakistan will not be seen as China’s good will but a concession extracted due to India’s strength. Following that logic, India will make even more demands if China delivers anything.

The subtle changes to China’s calculations regarding crisis management in South Asia do not mean that Beijing will actively facilitate or expedite a crisis in South Asia. Given China’s reactive strategic culture and the fact that its strategic priority lies in the West Pacific, it is almost inconceivable that China would deliberately prompt a confrontation to change the status quo in South Asia. China has traditionally resorted to diplomatic mediation to defuse crises between India and Pakistan. However, in the midst of a changing power equilibrium and external alignment in South Asia, a China that feels defensive and vulnerable is unlikely to be as helpful as the United States would like to see.

However, China could be more helpful under one scenario: when Washington treats crisis management in South Asia as its overwhelming priority and China’s cooperation as an indispensable component. Since its ties with Washington have plummeted in recent years, China has been desperately seeking issues that could still merit cooperation with the United States to prove that Sino-U.S. relations are not yet damaged beyond repair. If Washington pursues Beijing to jointly manage a crisis in South Asia, China would be willing to cooperate. However, in that case, it is also foreseeable that China will be unlikely to facilitate a long-term solution so that it can continue capitalizing on the U.S. need for Chinese cooperation — just like what it has done with North Korea. In light of the prevailing great-power competition between Beijing and Washington, however, crisis management in South Asia is probably another case of collateral damage.

Conclusion

Despite China’s public embrace of India and the official elevation of Sino-Indian relations to an unprecedented level, Beijing’s distrust and hostility toward India run deep, and vice versa. While the two countries have incompatible interests on a range of key issues, there’s little chance of reconciling those differences any time soon. In the meantime, China is trying to both stabilize ties with India and prepare for future disruptions.

China and India are both powers with regional hegemonic ambition and potential. Their structural conflict is irreconcilable until the two countries find a mutually agreeable compromise in their regional arrangements. Efforts to address the endogenous frictions — such as the border dispute and trade imbalance — could foreseeably help to facilitate that compromise. However, in the era of great-power rivalry and domestic populism, such efforts would be exceedingly difficult.
 

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From the Various Source's .

There is nothing new about the Henderson Brooks- P S Bhagat Report, the only fact that is established by Neville Maxwell by uploading it on his website is that he indeed possessed a copy as was widely believed, for he has vastly quoted from the Report in his book India’s China War published eight years after the 1962 blunder. The Chinese government is also believed to own a copy as is clear from the books written in Chinese on 1962. Therefore, to keep the Report a ‘top secret’ as is the case with other archival documents pertaining to British India and Tibet is indeed an ostrich act. Declassifying the Report will demonstrate the willingness of the government to learn from our past mistakes, that it is ready to overhaul country’s defence strategies and preparedness as well as incoherent policy decisions between various ministries and departments. Therefore, the government must declassify it in supreme national interest.

Maxwell has held the prematurely conceived ‘forward policy’ of India as a culprit for the war, where as he has maintained a silence on the changing border lines in the Western Sector, especially the 1960 claim line by China. He had no answer for the same when he visited my department in late 80s. Therefore, in order to understand the matrix of ‘forward policy’ it is imperative to understand the overall border situation prevalent at that point in time. The situation on the borders had deteriorated drastically in the wake of Sino-Indian agreement of 1954 and had culminated in the Konka and Longju bloody incidents on Western and Eastern Sectors. The Tibetan revolt and the flight of the Dalai Lama in 1959 added fuel to the fire. The opportunity of reaching out a settlement when Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visited India in 1960 was lost as India was not willing to negotiate the undemarcated and undefined border.

In the face of such a hostile coexistence, China built up its defenses and enhanced communication links in the border areas. Apart from building Aksai Chin Road, Shi (1992: 163) tells us that “By May 1960 a road connecting western Tibet with the Indian border was completed. A network of roads connecting Lhasa to Thagla Ridge was also completed and huge quantities of military supplies found their way to the border.” In the Western Sector, beside Aksai Chin Highway, Lanak La was connected to Kongka by roads. After the failure of official level talks, the Chinese opened new posts at Nyagzu and Dambuguru. In 1961 these posts were connected to Khurnak Fort and Kongka La by constructing a road. Another road connected Rudok with Spanggur was also completed. The Chinese also started construction work on three new roads in Ladakh. One from Samzungling along the Galwan river; another from Khurnak Fort to the vicinity of the Sirijap; and the third from Spanggur to Shinzang along the southern bank of Spanggur lake (Manekar 1968: 38, 41). Nyagzu and Dambuguru were converted into military bases in 1961.

By mid 1960, China established three regimental headquarters, one at Qizil Jilga, another near Lanak La and a third at Rudok. According to Mullik (1971: 313), the then Director of Indian Intelligence, by October 1961 China had established 61 new posts – seven in Ladakh, fourteen opposite the Central Sector, twelve facing Sikkim in the Chumbi Valley, three opposite Bhutan and twenty-five across NEFA border. According to Mullik, seven new roads constructed in the Indian territory were close to the Central Sector border and eight to the border in the Eastern Sector. China was seriously preparing for war; on the other hand India was clueless as regards how to calibrate its border policy, the response came in the form of ill fated ‘forward policy’.

In order to counter the Chinese incursions, India according to Prasad (1992: 65, emphasis added) prepared an appreciation of the threat posed by the Chinese in September 1959. It deduced that with present state of development it is unlikely that the Chinese can launch a major incursion on any part of the country or create a situation where there is a likelihood of major operations taking place. However, it was also stated that “the intentions of [the Chinese] coming over Himalayas onto our side is apparent.” Based on the assessment of the Chinese strength across the border, the appreciation recommended positioning of troops in various sectors to counter the Chinese threat. The recommendations could not be implemented immediately due to logistic problems; moreover, the Indian leadership also shared the view that China would not resort to a large-scale aggression. It was after the Kongka Pass incident that the Eastern Sector was put under army command and construction of roads given high priority from early 1960 with the establishment of General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF).

The so-called ‘forward policy’ was crystallised in a high level meeting under Prime Minister Nehru on 2 November 1961. The meeting was attended by Defence Minister, Krishna Menon, Foreign Secretary, M. J Desai, Chief of the Army Staff, General P. N. Thapar, Lt. General Kaul, Director Intelligence Bureau, B. N. Mullik, Brigadier Palit and other officials. The government directive (Maxwell 1970: 221-22; Mullik 1971: 314 emphasis added) that was issued after this meeting envisaged:

a) So far as Ladakh is concerned, we are to patrol as far forward as possible from our present positions towards the international border.
b) As regards UP [Uttar Pradesh, now Uttranchal in Middle Sector] and other northern areas. We should as far as practicable, go forward and be in effective occupation of the whole frontier. Where there are any gaps, they must be covered either by patrolling or by posts.
c) In view of the numerous operational and administrative difficulties, efforts should be made to position major concentration of forces along our borders in places conveniently situated behind the forward posts from where they should be maintained logistically and from where they can restore a border situation at short notice.

It could be gleaned from this government directive that in wake of the Chinese advances it was construed that the ‘forward policy’ would prevent the Chinese to occupy more ‘Indian territories.’ This in other words implied that India would violate the status quo on boundary and move into the area it considered belonged to India. However, the notion was formulated on the ill-conceived apprehensions that China would not retaliate. Moreover, most of the forward posts were dependent on air dropped supplies due to poor communication and logistic problems. As recorded by Prasad at al. (1992: 69), the troops were dispersed into small, isolated posts each barely 10-20 [men] strong. The posts acted as “flag posts” merely to show physical presence of the Indian troops. Not getting involved with the Chinese was also ill conceived notion, for according to China’s interpretations of international border India had occupied vast areas of ‘Chinese territory’ and was determined to eject India from these areas as was witnessed in Longju and Kongka Pass incidents. Prasad (1992: 70-71) quoting official records notes that by the end of September 1962, 36 Indian posts [43 according to China as on 20 October, Shi 1992:155; Yang 1992: 308] were established in Ladakh as against 47 set up by the Chinese in the area. In the Eastern Sector, 34 new posts were established by 20 July 1962. In this process some of the posts established by India actually crossed the McMahon Line; India ignored the line on the ground and followed the watershed principle. According to Chinese interpretation (Yang 1992: 306), India establishing check posts in between already established Chinese posts and sending forward patrols was aimed to cut the supply routes of the Chinese posts and force them to withdraw in a “Napoleonic victory style.”

China reacted sharply to the Indian forward policy, especially in the Western Sector. In a note of 30 November 1961 (White Paper VI: 3-4, 15), China protested Indian attempts “to realise its territorial claims unilaterally and by force” and threatened that if India did not stop its moves in Western Sector, China would be forced to cross the so called “McMahon Line.” In another note on 1 March 1962, China accused India of refusing to hold the negotiations and “continuing its illegal occupation of the so-called McMahon Line in the Eastern Sector,” while demanding that China withdraw from its own territory in the Western Sector. India refuted Chinese charges in a note on 13 March 1962 and expressed that it was not averse to negotiations provided China vacate the Indian territory it occupied since 1957 (White Paper VI: 18). India argued that the status quo of 1957 would be an essential step for the creation of a favourable climate for any negotiations on border by India and China. In another note of 14 May 1962, India urged China “to give serious consideration to the offer made in the Indian Prime Minister’s letter dated 16 November 1959 to Premier Chou [Zhou] Enlai, which inter alia proposed as an interim measure that, in the Ladakh region, the Government of India should withdraw their personnel to the west of the line shown in the 1956 Chinese map, and the Government of China should withdraw their personnel to the east of the international boundary shown in the Indian official maps (White Paper VI: 43).” India also stated that the adoption of this suggestion would lead to the relaxation of tension in this border region and creates the necessary atmosphere for the settlement of the boundary problem by negotiations and discussions. China spurned the Indian proposal and reiterated its earlier position that for China it would mean to evacuate some 33,000 square kilometres of its own territory, while India would have withdrawn from only a few points occupied by it more recently (White Paper VI: 57). China also stated that it was willing to consider the Indian proposal provided India withdraws from Eastern Sector to the south of the line shown in the Chinese maps.

The stream of notes continued between India and China but both parties were reluctant to compromise on their stated positions. On ground, the Chinese increased their troop deployment in all the sectors. By the beginning of September 1962, China had deployed 6 battalions along the northern frontier; in Eastern Sector some 19 battalions were deployed. Six battalions were deployed in Ladakh facing the Middle Sector, besides many battalions were kept ready as reserves (Prasad 1992: 74-75). From July onward, China started directly intimidating Indian posts by surrounding them and opening fire at them. Starting from 10 July 1962, the Chinese troops surrounded an Indian post in Galwan and cut the supply route of this post for several days. This incident was followed by Chinese firing at many other posts including Daulat Beg Oldi camp on 21 July and 4 August 1962. On 8 September 1962 the Chinese troops surrounded Dhola [Chedong] and attempted to blow it up with grenades on 20 September. On 9th September India 1962 in a high level meeting in the Ministry of Defence presided by Defence Minister, Krishna Menon and attended by Chief of the Army Staff, General P. N. Thapar, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Eastern Command, Lt. General L. P. Sen, Cabinet Secretary S. S. Khera, B. N. Mullik and a few others, it was decided that the Chinese must be evicted from south of the Thag La Ridge immediately and by force if necessary (Prasad 1992: 94-95). The operation was code named “Leghorn.” Orders to this effect were immediately flashed to GOC XXXIII Corps, Lt. General Umrao Singh, Divisional Commander, Major General Niranjan Prasad and others to put the operation in effect. This would mean that the Indian forces in Eastern Sector would go on offensive and India should be prepared for a bigger conflict with China.

According to Lt General B. M Kaul (Kaul 1967: 356), a relative of Nehru who has also been indicted by Henderson writes that when order reached the concerned officers they expressed their inability to carry out the order in face of comparatively adverse build up, limited reinforcement ability in view of the lack of troops and roads, shortage of ration, winter clothes, ammunition, and inadequacy of fire support. The officers squarely put it forth that “the task of clearing the Chinese south of Thag La Ridge was beyond the capability of our troops.” However, irrespective of outmoded equipments, logistic and communication problems, and sheer numerical superiority of the Chinese forces, the Indian government pushed Indian forces to a vulnerable position and announced publicly on 18 September that the Army had been instructed to drive the Chinese out of the Dho La [Chedong according to China] in Thag La area. Going by the Simla Convention map, Dho La stood north of the McMahon Line. The army also discussed this issue in a meeting held at Tezpur, Assam on 13 September 1962. It was raised that the available maps with the Army showed McMahon Line running south of the Thagla Ridge. On 3 October 1962, Lt.General Kaul, who had no combat experience, was made Commander of the IV Corps, a newly raised Corps. The responsibility of evicting the Chinese was transferred to this Corps from the XXXIII Corps and General Umrao Singh was divested of the responsibility for Eastern Sector. With Lt. General Kaul’s adventurism, Indian forces, clad in cotton uniforms in biting cold and frost in the Himalayas with pouch ammunition set off to “evict” the Chinese in the Eastern Sector which had remained generally calm except a few incidents near the McMahon Line.

It could be gleaned from these facts that the collision course was set in a self-destructive move. It was foolish to think that the Chinese would not launch a massive strike in the territory they considered belonged to them. According to a Chinese account (Shi 1992: 210-11) India shot dead two Chinese soldiers on 20 September 1962 in picket south of the Bridge II on Namka Chu river [called Kejilang river by the Chinese]. This according to China was the first incident of firing by Indian troops in the Eastern Sector, which broke the dead silence of the Namka Chu area. In another meeting in September Mao, Lin Biao, Zhou Enlai and Chen Yi deliberated on “Operation Leghorn” and reported a possible date of Indian action as 10 October 1962. Mao was furious and spoke emphatically, ‘we have fought with Chiang [Kai-shek], the Japanese and the American, and have never been cowed down, rather we have defeated them all. If the Indian people want to fight us, of course we are not afraid. We will not compromise; compromise would mean the occupation of an area equal to Fujian province [of China].” Zhou added, “We do not want to fight a war with India, we had all along endeavoured and hoped that we would solve our boundary issue with India in a friendly manner as we have done with Nepal, Burma and Mongolia etc. countries. But Nehru has shut all the doors for such a resolution; the only option left out by him is the war. I think to fight a bit has also its advantages, it could prove an eye opener to some people.”

In a broadcast to the nation on 22 October, Nehru called on the people to face united “the greatest menace that has come to us since we became independent.” The Chinese assault, said the Prime Minister “…brought us, made us realise, that we were getting out of touch with realities in the modern world. We were living in an artificial atmosphere of our own creation and we have been shocked out of it…” 50 years down the line, it appears that India is still out of touch with the realities in the era of information age; we are still living in the artificial atmosphere of ‘secrecy’ hope it does not take us another blunder to be shocked out of it!
 

ARVION

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By Cans .

Strategists and military force planners in India and the United States are grappling with a similar set of challenges posed by China’s military modernization and increasingly aggressive foreign policy. While the overall challenge may be similar, India’s responses must conform to India’s unique strategic position rather than attempt to emulate the United States in reduced form. Moreover, while increased budgets and institutional defense reform may improve India’s capacity, these efforts are politically and bureaucratically difficult and cannot singlehandedly solve the challenges India faces in competing with China.
This paper proceeds in three parts. The first part compares the strategic situations of India and the United States vis-à-vis China and uses the contrasts in this analysis to shade in the outlines and assumptions for the rest of the paper. Next, the paper explores two specific military challenges—one on the land border and one at sea—that China could pose, and recommends Indian strategies and operational responses. Finally, the paper concludes with force-planning recommendations for India based on the demands of these responses and informed by the core strategic assumptions laid out in the first section.
Before beginning the analysis, several caveats are in order. The author is an American strategist and force-planner, not an expert in Indian military affairs. While he has researched the topic to the best of his ability in a limited time, it is no substitute for years of experience. The author therefore uses U.S. military strategy and force planning as a foil to better understand India’s decision space and communicate these ideas to an audience that, like him, may not be experts in Indian strategic affairs. Finally, the ideas and recommendations in this paper are conceptual and nascent. They require further wargaming and analysis to make them more detailed, concrete, and implementable.
Similar Challenge, Different Capabilities
On its face, the strategic situation Indian armed forces face over the next ten years appears similar to the challenges that formed the central problem statement of the U.S. Department of Defense’s 2018 National Defense Strategy. India and the United States must address the challenges posed by China’s military modernization and shift toward a more forward-leaning strategic posture. China’s military challenge to the free and open Indo-Pacific order requires Indian and U.S. armed forces to update or replace antiquated military strategies, operational concepts, organizational constructs, and equipment.
At the same time, both India and the United States face ongoing terrorist and irregular threats, as well as conventional and nuclear threats from less-formidable regional opponents. India and the United States even share a history of using simultaneous conflicts to gauge the overall capability and capacity of their armed forces. The armed forces of both states must undertake programs of profound peacetime innovation to meet future challenges while present-day threats and operations place incessant demands on scarce resources, both financial and intellectual.
Despite these similarities, some key differences are worth highlighting as they help delineate how India’s military strategy, operational concepts, and force development should diverge from that of the United States. When opining on the military strategies and forces of allies or partners, the tendency can often be to create a mirror image of one’s own military forces or, slightly better, to imagine how their forces might advance the interests of one’s country, rather than those of the ally or partner. The former approach is usually doomed to failure. The latter can succeed, but only insofar as interests and abilities align.
This paper assumes that India and the United States share an interest in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region and that achieving this requires checking the expansion of Chinese power, defending our shared interests, and deterring or defeating Chinese aggression. The following paragraphs lay out—in the most general terms—the critical differences in ability between India and the United States that will shape the paper’s recommendations for Indian force planning.
U.S. armed forces are the global benchmark. Though their margin versus China has eroded in East Asia, U.S. forces retain many critical advantages, and their advantages grow as a function of distance from China. U.S. forces are well trained, well equipped, well educated, and possess a deep reserve of combat experience. Likewise, the U.S. defense industrial base is unequaled in its ability to produce cutting-edge weaponry. Expanding to the strategic and grand strategic levels, the United States possesses a network of allies and partners that is likely unparalleled in history and an enormous architecture of bases and facilities to support global military operations. Underwriting these advantages is a U.S. economy that, while not growing as fast as China’s or India’s, remains the world’s largest and possesses numerous structural advantages, such as the status of the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.
India’s large armed forces quantitatively overwhelm its longtime rival Pakistan, but they have rapidly fallen behind Chinese forces in terms of training and equipment. Indian strategists often cite that India’s military has more recent combat experience (the 1999 Kargil War versus China’s 1979 war with Vietnam); however, Kargil was not recent enough to have provided the majority of Indian forces with relevant experience. Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” policy and decades spent bolstering it, India’s defense industrial base is not capable of supporting a concerted modernization of India’s armed forces. India’s longstanding policy of strategic autonomy has allowed it strategic flexibility, but left India with no significant allies or partners it can rely on in times of need. India’s economy, while vibrant, is smaller than China’s and recent growth-rate differentials to India’s advantage are unlikely to close this gap within the ten-year horizon of this paper. Moreover, India’s defense spending will likely continue to lag China’s by a substantial margin, barring a massive shift in India’s fiscal priorities.
Over the next ten years, then, the core difference between the United States and India regarding military competition with China is that the United States can feasibly pursue a strategy of fielding military forces superior to those of China—what defense planners sometimes refer to as a strategy of overmatch—while India cannot. Indian strategist and force planners must instead seek ways to offset their weaknesses and subvert Chinese strengths.
This paper also assumes that a deus ex machina will not solve India’s larger strategic problems. India and the United States both suffer from structural inefficiencies and obstacles to change in their defense establishment; however, India’s are far worse by any reasonable assessment. Post-independence, India’s concerns over military meddling in government helped preserve India’s democracy from the fate that has befallen many of its neighbors. However, India’s unique model of civil-military relations has had the negative side effect of hampering India’s ability to develop and implement effective strategies.1 India lacks a strong defense bureaucracy or a joint military body to oversee strategy. Instead, India’s military services dominate the discussion, with the Indian Army wielding by far the most power. The result, according to most observers of Indian defense issues, is a ground-centric military strategy and a budget that allocates too many resources toward Army personnel and not enough toward modernizing India’s badly outdated Air Force or undersized Navy.2
Would-be reformers of India’s armed forces often seek to surmount these strategic obstacles through one of two approaches: advocating for increased defense budgets to raise all boats with the tide, or by recommending a massive reorganization of the Indian military along the lines of the U.S. Goldwater-Nichols reforms or the restructuring of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) since 1996. Even if major increases in defense spending were politically and fiscally feasible, they would be spent inefficiently without major reforms. Moreover, it would take enormous increases in military spending for India to begin catching up with China in aggregate military power.
If possible, India should consider major defense reforms based on lessons learned from U.S., Chinese, and recent Russian efforts. While a thorough consideration of potential reforms is beyond the scope of this paper, two possibilities stand out. First would be to create more regional and functional joint warfighting commands or to increase the day-to-day use of joint task forces. At a time when military success increasingly hinges on rapidly synchronizing operations across multiple domains and organizations, India’s military command structure is badly stove-piped and sclerotic. Second would be to establish a standing joint body of experienced civilian and military strategists and analysts to oversee the formulation and implementation of defense strategy, operational plans and concepts, and force development.
Reorganization of India’s armed forces and defense bureaucracy would certainly be salutary, but it cannot be the sine qua non of Indian defense strategy and force development, simply because it is so improbable absent an external stimulus. The United States embarked on Goldwater Nichols only after several military failures exposed the need for change. Likewise, the PLA only began to reform following the 1990–91 Gulf War, which demonstrated that its strategy and its military hardware were obsolete and accelerated its program after the 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis cemented the U.S. military as China’s primary planning threat. Both reform efforts took decades to implement and were not cost free.
Given this skeptical assessment of the likelihood or efficacy of significant increases in Indian defense spending or major reforms to India’s Department of Defence or armed forces, this paper assumes that India cannot spend or reform its way to achieving its strategic goals. The recommendations laid out herein represent changes, to be sure, but they obey “laws of physics” in terms of budgets and bureaucratic proclivities.
This brief assessment leads to the following assumptions and principles that form the backbone of this paper:
  • India and the United States share an interest in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region and achieving this requires checking the expansion of Chinese power, defending our shared interests, and deterring or defeating Chinese aggression.
  • India cannot feasibly pursue a strategy of fielding military forces superior to those of China and must instead seek ways to offset their weaknesses and subvert Chinese strengths.
  • Budget increases or a concerted reform effort will not solve India’s larger strategic problems. Increased budgets without reform will not help India catch up to China. Reform, while necessary, is politically difficult and likely to be long and costly.
Given this rather dire assessment of India’s capacity for strategic competition with China, its position would seem to be hopeless, and yet it is not. India has several strategic advantages, most critically geography and a largely defensive strategic posture, which can allow its armed forces to be effective in countering China without massive increases in defense spending or major restructuring.
Threat Scenarios and Indian Responses
China’s military modernization has shifted the military balance throughout the Indo-Pacific, while China’s aggressive political and economic moves in the region have increased tension with India. On land, China has moved steadily to cement full control over the territories and restive minority populations in Tibet, defend its ground lines of communication to Pakistan and Central Asia (alongside its investment in the landward “Belt” of its Belt and Road strategy), and put increasing pressure on its border with India. In an arc from the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea through Taiwan, the South China Sea, and the Indian Ocean to Djibouti and other parts of eastern Africa, China has increased its maritime presence and influence. The confluence of trade, competing territorial claims, and consequent demands for military force is creating a new Indo-Pacific “Ring of Fire” of potential conflict flashpoints surrounding India.
This section examines two scenarios for conflict between India and China: an escalation of a border dispute along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) reminiscent of the 1962 Sino-Indian War, and a maritime clash in the Indian Ocean. Wargaming and analysis conducted to support this research effort combined these two scenarios into a larger contest for supremacy in the Indian Ocean region.
Border Conflict
One of the core conflict scenarios driving Indian strategy and force planning for China is a conflict along the border or LAC between India and China. Border disputes helped spur the Sino-Indian War in 1962 and the border recently has seen renewed tension, highlighted by the 2017 standoff in the Doklam region where Chinese, Bhutanese, and Indian territories abut one another. This area is of particular concern to Indian planners, as a small southward thrust of Chinese territory looks like a dagger pointed toward one of India’s most vulnerable geographic points—the so-called Chicken’s Neck or the Siliguri Corridor that runs between Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh and connects the main portion of Indian territory with its Northeastern Provinces that lay to the east of Bangladesh. China also controls a territory to Kashmir’s northwest (Aksai Chin) claimed by India and continues to lay claim to the Indian northeastern province of Arunachal Pradesh.
A border conflict between China and India could occur for a variety of reasons and the direct cause would shape China’s strategy. For example, if China were seizing a key piece of terrain, it might seek to avoid engaging Indian forces. If, however, China were seeking to teach India a lesson as it did in 1962, it might instead target a vulnerable Indian unit to cause attrition or take prisoners. If China were seeking a broader reordering of the political-military status quo in the region, its approach might be more deliberate and expansive.
Nevertheless, China’s approaches are likely to have some common themes. Prior to any potential conflict, China would likely spend weeks, months, or even years gathering and developing information on its target and the disposition of Indian forces it might face. Indian forces generally outnumber Chinese forces along the border. China would likely seek to offset this disadvantage by using covert movement or deception—such as acting under the guise of an exercise—to concentrate forces against a weak point in India’s defense perimeter. China would move quickly to seize key terrain such as passes or high ground with good fields of fire. Then, China would rapidly reinforce its position from other theaters using its road and rail networks in the region. At the same time, China would probably use firepower (likely artillery, given the altitude and terrain) and combat engineering to prevent a counterattack while at the same time launching feints against other points along the border to confuse India’s response and prevent an effective counterattack.3 Having established a fait accompli, China would present India with an unpleasant dilemma—counterattack and potentially escalate a conflict against a superior foe, or accept a loss of territory and the political ramifications that follow.
The systems that most concern U.S. strategists and planners in East Asia conflict scenarios—anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) systems such as sophisticated air defenses, electronic warfare, and long-range precision-guided missiles—might play a role in Chinese operations along the LAC. However, their effects would likely be much more limited than in an air and maritime scenario in the western Pacific. The mountainous terrain significantly limits the effective ranges of sensors and communications networks. At the same time, the light units India might put forward on the border make poor targets for long-range precision weaponry. China could use long-range precision fires to strike airfields, roads, railways, and other key infrastructure that India’s armed forces rely on to respond to an incursion. However, given the number of potential Indian targets (in contrast to the limited number of U.S. bases in the Western Pacific), a major strike campaign will likely not be worth the cost or the risk of escalation from China’s perspective. It is far more likely that China would use its precision fires to disrupt and degrade forces in the vicinity of its offensive, while also isolating the battlespace.
Maritime Clash in the Indian Ocean
Another critical scenario for Indian force planners is a maritime conflict between China and India in the Indian Ocean. Such a scenario could be sui generis, or an expansion or escalation of another dispute elsewhere. China may, for example, choose to escalate at sea if India stalemates its forces on land.
As with any scenario, the devil is in the details of the assumptions about how the war begins and the strategic objectives of the belligerents. Nevertheless, some issues are likely to be common across a range of potential scenarios. First, much as is the case on the LAC India will likely have an initial numerical advantage. India maintains virtually all its forces in the Indian Ocean region, while most of China’s forces are east of Malacca. This will put a great deal of pressure on China to either keep its Indian Ocean forces as a fleet in being, or to rapidly link its western and eastern forces. This, in turn, will put pressure on India to prevent these outcomes.
Second, entrances to the Indian Ocean will be key terrain. In ten years, China’s fleet may have multiple basing options in the Indian Ocean, but presently their major hub is in Djibouti.4 People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) surface ships and submarines may also have access to Pakistani ports at Gwadar and Karachi; however, in the event of a crisis or conflict with India, these ships would likely put to sea and attempt to get out of the range of India’s land-based strike systems.5 This could allow India’s Navy to bottle up the PLAN in the chokepoint of the Gulf of Aden. The remainder of China’s fleet in the east would therefore need to enter the Indian Ocean through one of several major chokepoints including the straits of Malacca, Sunda, and Lombok. This unique geography could give India the opportunity to operate on interior lines and defeat the PLAN in detail, or at least delay and attrite their forces sufficiently to prevent China from gaining maritime superiority in the Indian Ocean.
Third, maritime domain awareness; wide-area intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); and long-range strike will be crucial.6 India’s geographic advantages are for naught if it cannot exploit them to deny China from projecting its superior maritime power into the Indian Ocean by rapidly hunting down PLAN forces in the Indian Ocean and threatening transit through key chokepoints before the PLAN can reinforce from the South China Sea. This competition over which side can effectively locate, target, and strike the other side’s forces first is likely to determine maritime superiority in the Indian Ocean, and it’s presently a toss-up.7 India has the home-field advantage, a fleet of powerful maritime domain awareness aircraft in its P-8I Poseidons and a lethal anti-ship missile in the BrahMos. China has a larger and more capable constellation of space-based ISR assets to include both electronic and image intelligence, as well as a large arsenal of cruise and ballistic anti-ship missiles. A key point, however, is that most of China’s maritime surveillance and strike assets are oriented toward the Western Pacific and the South China Sea, and satellites are vulnerable to jamming, spoofing, dazzling, blinding, or cyber and kinetic attacks.
Fourth, time will be a critical factor. India’s initial advantages are ephemeral—they are only a product of the time needed for China to marshal its forces in the Indian Ocean. This means that India must maximize both the duration of this window (e.g., by increasing its warning time for China’s military action and delaying Chinese deployment of forces) and the amount of damage Indian forces can achieve during it (e.g., by rapidly finding, targeting, and striking PLAN assets).
The role of commerce warfare in the outcome of the conflict will likewise depend on time. In a short conflict its effect will be minimal; in a longer war, the ability of one side or the other to deny movement of trade—and particularly energy—across the Indian Ocean could alter the strategic calculi of either side.
Implications for Indian Strategy and Force Development
Public discussion of India’s military strategy in these scenarios suggest overly ambitious ends that do not comport with India’s ways and means. On the border, India seeks to defend all of its terrain with light forces and to reinforce this forward posture quickly, while also counterattacking into Chinese territory with heavier maneuver forces to seize terrain to compel conflict termination or for post-conflict negotiation.8 Defending every inch of “sacred soil” is a rousing phrase and there are undoubtedly strong political compulsions behind the adoption of such a military strategy. It is a suboptimal operational concept, however, as it stretches forces thin, prevents maneuver and concentration, and often allows an adversary to dictate the time and place of battles. India’s notion of using maneuver into Chinese territory on the Tibetan plateau should, in theory, help alleviate this concern. However, leaving the mountains to enter the plateau makes high-signature Indian forces vulnerable to the full capabilities of Chinese precision strikes and counter-maneuver. It would be foolhardy at best and potentially suicidal at worst. The origins of these strategies may be political in nature, but this is a case in which military leaders and civilian defense strategists should respectfully point out that by attempting to defend the entire border, India will effectively defend none of the border.
At sea, some Indian maritime strategists hold out visions of engaging in economic warfare by using a blockade to cut off energy flows from the Middle East to compel Chinese capitulation without direct combat.9 A maritime blockade could, in theory, help compel China to seek a negotiated settlement on terms favorable to India. Unfortunately, to execute this strategy India would have to choke off altogether the flow of energy from the Middle East to East Asia by seizing and impounding ships, or it would have to escort ships to neutral ports to ensure that their cargos aren’t re-sold and re-routed to China. This would place an impossible burden on the Indian Navy and massively disrupt energy flows to key Indian partners such as Japan and Australia.10
India must better align its strategic reach with its grasp. In both land and maritime scenarios, India seeks to conduct long-range maneuver warfare that deprives its forces of their natural geographic advantages and leaves them prey to China’s far more effective ISR and strike systems.
In both scenarios, India should exploit its defensive posture and geographical advantages to draw Chinese forces into disadvantageous encounters and stretch China’s lines of communication. Instead of traditional offensive maneuver, India should use unconventional forms of maneuver to attack the PLA’s critical systems, disrupt their operations, and impose costs on the Chinese regime. Wherever possible, India should adopt tactically and operationally offensive, multi-domain attacks to support its defensive strategy, thereby exploiting the offense-dominant warfighting regimes in precision-strike, space, cyberspace, the electromagnetic spectrum, and undersea warfare. Specifically, this would include denying or degrading China’s understanding of the battlespace and Indian force dispositions through:
  • Offensive cyberattacks to disrupt networks and exfiltrate information;
  • Information operations to confuse Chinese ISR and feed bad data into Chinese targeting processes;
  • Camouflage, concealment, and deception;
  • Constant movement of forces to interfere with Chinese operational planning;
  • Jamming/dazzling of overhead sensors; and
  • Exercising emissions control to negate China’s electronic intelligence capabilities.
In a border conflict, India should use combat engineering to improve infrastructure on its side of the LAC, but simultaneously rig the infrastructure for detonation to prevent Chinese forces from exploiting penetration and potentially cut off their lines of advance and communication. Rigging hillsides with explosives to create avalanches and landslides is an excellent way to slow movement or create heavy casualties.
Instead of a preclusive defense, India should hold key points, isolate them with firepower (especially tactical guided munitions), and use infiltration tactics to cut off and surround Chinese forces in valleys. There, Indian forces could impose attrition or hold Chinese forces hostage for political concessions.
Instead of combined-arms maneuver to seize territory on the Tibetan plateau for post-conflict trades—which might open up Indian forces to withering air and missile strikes—India should hold its maneuver forces in the mountains and use unconventional warfare and offensive cyberattacks to impose costs on China in Tibet. This strategy may cede some territory, but it would impose considerable costs on the PLA and the Chinese regime, while putting Indian forces in a strong position to counterattack to regain losses.
At sea, India must prevent PLAN forces in the Indian Ocean from combining with forces coming from the Pacific. India cannot adopt a fully defensive posture, nor can it seek a single Mahanian battle in the South China Sea or Eastern Indian Ocean. If India sits back, China’s overall advantage in forces—and particularly precision strike—will eventually crush the Indian Navy. If India engages a major PLAN force in combat, it’s likely to take egregious attrition. India must therefore find a way to defeat PLAN forces in detail.
At a high level, India could accomplish this by slowing the flow of PLAN forces from the South China Sea while attempting to draw the smaller PLAN force in the Indian Ocean into a naval battle. With PLAN forces in the western Indian Ocean neutralized, Indian forces could take up positions between India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to prepare for the arrival of the PLAN’s main force.
In the east, India should adopt a layered, economy of force defensive posture. These layers should 1) surveil/harass PLAN forces en route, 2) ambush the PLAN at key chokepoints, and 3) deny the PLAN freedom of maneuver into the main shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean (i.e., Malacca to the Arabian Sea and the Bab al Mandeb). India should commit at least one, possibly two, nuclear-attack submarines (SSNs) and at least two, possibly up to six, of its diesel-electric boats (SSKs). It should send SSNs into the South China Sea and leave two SSKs near likely points of entry into the Indian Ocean. The SSNs could trail China’s surface fleet and seize an opportunity to take a shot at a key target such as an aircraft carrier. Even if the attack is unsuccessful, it will slow China’s flow of forces to the Indian Ocean, as the PLA would have to raise its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) level of effort. The SSKs would ambush PLAN forces at the exit of Malacca or Sunda. Land-based missiles, maritime-patrol aircraft, and strike aircraft in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands would present another layer of defense.
This strategy would level the maritime playing field between India and China. The PLAN would still have a major advantage in overall forces, but it might be reluctant to commit them all given its concerns about Japan and the United States to its east. It would still be a difficult fight, but this strategy would at least give India a chance of victory, or an advantageous draw at sea.
High-Level Force-Planning Recommendations
The following force-planning recommendations flow from the military strategies outlined above. To the greatest extent possible, they adhere to the fundamental assumptions of this paper: 1) India and the United States share an interest in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region, 2) India cannot feasibly pursue a strategy of fielding military forces superior to those of China and should instead pursue asymmetric offsets, and 3) budget increases or a concerted reform effort will not solve India’s larger strategic problems.
  • Exploit the third-mover advantage to invest in offensive capabilities in offense-dominant domains (space, cyber, precision fires, undersea). This recommendation might well be entitled, “avoid the tarpit the U.S. Department of Defense is in today.” The United States has been the first mover in these areas at a time when there were few, if any, credible countermeasures. Now, enormous U.S. investments in these areas can be negated by relatively inexpensive systems or stratagems. India’s relative backwardness in precision-guided or net-centric warfare can be an advantage, as it allows India to draw on the experiences of the first mover (the United States) as well as the second movers (China and Russia). The move-countermove competition between these three states suggests that offense has the advantage in a handful of domains that are likely crucial in a potential future conflict with China. Given India’s limited defense budget and pressing strategic demands, the most cost-effective investments are likely in offensive countermeasures to these systems. India should therefore attempt to avoid dependence on defensive systems in these areas, and instead seek to use offensive weapons to negate Chinese systems. A simple example makes this point clearly. China depends on space systems for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) and position, navigation, and timing (PNT) in the Indian Ocean, but it also possesses a robust suite of counterspace weapons. If India invests in space-based C4ISR and PNT, China will use its counterspace capabilities to attack these systems and retain its advantage in space. In this scenario, India would make a huge investment and, in the event of a war, end up right back where it started. If, however, India invests in jamming, dazzling, blinding, cyber, and kinetic anti-satellite weapons, it could degrade or destroy China’s space capabilities in the Indian Ocean region and level the playing field. In a world without space, the side with access to superior land-based ISR aircraft likely has the advantage.
  • Seek partnerships in areas of vulnerability that force China to escalate unfavorably. While India should avoid dependence on space, it will likely require access to space-based systems for maritime domain awareness and PNT. Wherever possible, India should leverage international partnerships and commercial satellites for these services. This approach is counter to India’s traditional desire for strategic autonomy and indigenous production, and it also carries the slight, but real, risk that partners may put limits on the use of these systems in crisis or conflict. The benefits, however, could be substantial. India could gain access to advanced C4ISR and PNT capabilities, while presenting China with a strategic dilemma. In the event of a crisis or conflict, China would want to disrupt, degrade, disable, or destroy these systems to deny India from using them. However, such attacks would be an act of aggression against a large number of space-faring nations, such as the United States, Japan, Australia, South Korea, France, Great Britain, etc. It would also be an aggressive act against foreign-owned commercial entities. China will have to choose between allowing India to maintain access to space or potentially radically expanding a conflict they would presumably want to keep limited. Creating this sort of dilemma is likely worth the loss of autonomy for India.
  • Increase and accelerate investments in maritime domain awareness and targeting. India should take a page out of China’s playbook for defeating a superior maritime power (the United States): it should invest heavily in long-range maritime domain awareness and targeting. In the precision-strike regime, advantage accrues to the side that attacks effectively first—not the side with the larger navy or air force. India should double down on its investments in maritime domain awareness and targeting, while making concomitant investments to ensure the effectiveness of these systems during combat. India’s P-8Is are capable maritime domain awareness platforms, but they are vulnerable to air interdiction, so investments in advanced electronic countermeasures and long-range fighter escorts would be prudent. Additionally, India should seek to shorten, simplify, and strengthen its “sensor-to-shooter” loop to the greatest extent possible. Giving the Poseidons the ability to fire anti-ship cruise missiles is one method; giving them jam-resistant tactical datalinks to pass targeting information to strike aircraft, surface vessels, and submarines is another.
  • Increase and accelerate investments in supersonic and hypersonic anti-ship missiles such as the BrahMos and long-range follow-on systems. Striking effectively first requires sensing and firing first, but it also requires precision-guided munitions with the range and speed to strike an adversary target before they can fire effectively. In the BrahMos, India possesses a highly effective, medium-range supersonic cruise missile. Unfortunately, China possesses cruise missiles with greater range and similar speeds, and China’s anti-ship ballistic missiles have much longer ranges and speeds.11 Given the relatively shorter ranges of the Indian Ocean compared with the Pacific, India may not need anti-ship ballistic missiles, but longer-range supersonic and potentially hypersonic cruise missiles could allow Indian missile shooters to attack Chinese targets before they themselves can be targeted, thus helping offset India’s numerical disadvantage in platforms. These trends suggest that India should accelerate and increase its investments in extending the range of the BrahMos and developing the longer-range Nirbhay cruise missile.
  • Acquire more undersea systems—and particularly air-independent diesel-electric attack submarines—relative to surface vessels. There has been ample historical evidence since at least World War I that submarines can allow a weaker naval power to thwart even a dominant naval opponent. And yet few navies have pursued undersea warfare as a primary strategy.12 India’s prioritization of surface vessels over submarines is therefore in-line with historical norms. Partly, this decision stems from the divergent uses of submarines and surface vessels. Submarines are excellent weapons to support a defensive strategy of sea denial, whereas surface vessels can support an offensive strategy of sea control. Surface vessels also serve important peacetime and crisis functions as overt signals of capability and intent in ways that submarines cannot.

    While India’s preference for surface vessels over submarines may be supported by historical norms, it remains illogical in the face of Chinese naval superiority. A larger undersea fleet could allow India to impose considerable costs on the PLAN and potentially deny it from gaining maritime superiority in the Indian Ocean. The primary question for India is whether to invest in nuclear or diesel-electric attack submarines. Currently, India plans to invest in both. This is a reasonable investment strategy since each type has its advantages. Nuclear submarines have greater range, endurance, speed, and often greater payload. Diesel-electric submarines are much more affordable to own and operate. India appears committed to possessing a small fleet of nuclear submarines and, while these boats provide certain capabilities that diesels do not, it is doubtful that India’s nuclear submarine fleet will have the size and operational reach to make the investment worthwhile—the nuclear boats are more likely to be a prestige investment. Diesel-electric boats have operational limitations in speed and endurance, but these can be offset by keeping them on patrol in forward locations. Moreover, these boats can be procured and operated at much lower cost compared to nuclear boats, which should enable India to build a larger, more effective undersea fleet. As unmanned undersea vessel technology matures, India should augment its manned undersea fleet with these systems. However, given the state of this technology, India may want to wait for first movers like the United States to iron out the kinks.

    India’s Navy will likely attempt to keep aircraft carriers as the centerpiece of its fleet. However, the challenges posed by China should engender a shift toward a more undersea- and air-centric combat force. Given the demands of the proposed strategy outlined here, India would need at least three, possibly six SSNs (given a generous 2:1 dwell-deploy ratio, which would result in one or two boats forward at all times) and 12 to 18 SSKs (using the same ratio, this number provides 4 to 6 forward at all times). India’s Cabinet Committee on Security has approved a force of 24 SSKs, which should be sufficient to prevail in a conflict with Pakistan and deter extra-regional maritime powers such as China. The question is whether the Indian Navy will attain this force structure level any time soon due to delays in procurement and ship building. The Indian Navy commissioned its second Kalvari/Scorpene-class SSK on September 28th, at which point India will possess about 14 SSKs, although only 9 of these—the Kalvaris and the updated cruise-missile capable Sindhughosh/Kilos—should be considered capable against China.13 Given projected budgets, continuing the build-out of the SSK fleet to 24 will likely require capping India’s procurement of carriers at one or two. With a fleet of fewer than three carriers, the Indian Navy would be hard-pressed to ensure that more than one carrier would be operational at all times, and the combat power of one, short-takeoff, but arrested recovery (STOBAR) aircraft carrier would be severely limited in a conflict with China. The Indian Navy may therefore see greater strategic benefits from placing scarce assets in land-based aircraft, missiles, and submarines.
  • Shift the Indian Army away from massed territorial defense toward multi-domain operations comprising long-range fires, electronic warfare, cyberwarfare, anti-maritime, anti-air, engineering, and information operations. India’s armed forces could benefit from shifting some resources from the Army toward the Air Force and the Navy. Given that this is unlikely, India’s Army should shift its overall strategic concept from massed, ground-based territorial defense toward multi-domain operations, which in this context is defined as conducting maneuver or fires across the land, air, sea, undersea, space, cyberspace, electromagnetic, and information domains. The idea behind this concept is to exploit the offensive dominance of certain domains to create strategic effects on an adversary or to deny or enable maneuver at the operational level. In an era of space-based sensors, sophisticated computer networks, and aggressive combat in the electromagnetic spectrum, fire and maneuver is no longer just a kinetic, physical affair that occurs on land. For example, multi-domain operations could use cyberattacks to disrupt mobilization for strategic effects, or to disable sensors and targeting networks to allow ground forces to maneuver at the operational level. To the greatest extent possible, these capabilities should be available and integrated at the lowest feasible echelon of command. The broader idea is to dissociate ground forces from the mission of ground maneuver and fires and to reorient them toward being forces that operate primarily from the land to impact every other domain.

    This is a massive shift for any army, let alone the conservative Indian Army with its proud history and regimental tendencies. The Indian Army may therefore need to identify units to experiment with these concepts and serve as the task force spearheading their implementation in much the same way that the U.S. 4th Infantry Division helped introduce digital information technology to the U.S. Army in the 1990s and early 2000s.
  • Improve military transportation infrastructure, particularly from the Indo-Pakistan border to the northeastern border with China, and from the internal lowlands to the mountainous border region. India has a numerical advantage over China in its border regions, but China can concentrate forces where and when it needs them much more quickly than India can, given China’s superior transportation networks and logistics capabilities. For many years after 1962, India eschewed investments in transportation infrastructure in and around its border regions based on the very real concern that these roads and railways could just as easily transport Chinese troops into India as they could shift Indian troops to the border.14 India has only recently abandoned this strategy, but the shift hasn’t fully taken effect. An effective border-defense strategy will demand means of rapidly transporting forces to key locations at the border. To prevent Chinese forces from exploiting these roads and railways as invasion routes, India can pre-rig them for detonation and ensure that fires are pre-sighted to destroy chokepoints. Fully implementing a strategy of rapidly reinforcing to meet border incursions will also require methods, including training and technologies, to rapidly acclimate Indian troops to operating at high altitudes.

    In addition to improving transportation links from the interior lowlands to the mountainous border, India should also improve its ability to swing forces between its eastern and western regions. The Indian Army could tolerate reductions in size if it were able to shift forces more quickly to meet threats from China or Pakistan. Such dual-use infrastructure investments would have positive impacts for India’s economy as well.
  • Cultivate relationships with disaffected groups in Tibet and provide them with sanctuary, training, and, potentially, weapons. Given the current military balance, Indian attempts to conduct conventional combined-arms maneuver into China will likely fail. And yet India cannot wholly cede offensive initiative—it must have means to threaten Chinese interest in ways that could cause China to back down or negotiate. Unconventional warfare in Tibet could be a relatively affordable method of achieving this coercive effect. The Chinese regime is paranoid about stability and population control in these regions in ways that may cause it to ascribe a disproportionate threat to Indian efforts in these areas. While this tendency carries the risk of escalation, it could also be a powerful means to impose costs on China. The obvious Chinese response would be to support similar disaffected minority groups and insurgencies in India. This is, however, and area where the resilience of India’s democracy gives it an advantage. India has experienced insurgencies and separatist movements more or less continually since its independence. Today, these movements are local threats and national nuisances, but the Indian government and people by and large do not perceive them as threats to the viability of the Indian state and its government. China could therefore pursue a tit-for-tat strategy, but it would be unlikely to succeed.
  • Consolidate procurement—particularly in combat aircraft—to create greater economies of scale and efficiencies in operation. Greater consolidation in procurement would benefit India’s armed forces in myriad ways. First, it would increase India’s buying power through economies of scale. Second, it would simplify sustainment and maintenance by limiting the number of spare parts and streamlining supply chains. Third, it would improve readiness at lower cost by simplifying and consolidating training.

    Nowhere would this effect be more profound than in combat aircraft. India’s aircraft fleet is a hodgepodge of older Soviet-era systems, more recent Russian and French systems, indigenous Indian aircraft, a handful of U.S. systems like the P-8I and the C-17, the joint Russian-Israeli Phalcon airborne warning and control system, and some Israeli UAVs for good measure. Given their particularly high cost of procurement, maintenance, and training, as well as historical failures, India should begin its rationalization of procurement in tactical combat aircraft—namely multi-role fighters.

    India’s recent history of combat-aircraft development and procurement is worthy of its own discussion, but the short version is that India has failed to procure sufficient advanced (fourth-generation-plus) aircraft to meet the near-term requirements of its Air Force, let alone to compete with China. Consolidating near- to medium-term procurement on just two aircraft types would allow India to get more for its money. These two types should be a light multi-role fighter and an advanced fourth-generation-plus multi-role fighter. Should India retain its aircraft carriers, this more advanced fighter would ideally be capable of operating from India’s extant STOBAR aircraft carriers.

    Given India’s limited budget and long procurement timelines, as well as the potential for massive improvements in unmanned systems and artificial intelligence over the next 10 to 20 years, India should consider skipping fifth-generation aircraft and waiting to see what technologies emerge in the next generation. Given the time it has taken India to procure fourth-generation aircraft, any decision today by India to procure fifth-generation aircraft is likely to be overcome by events before the aircraft are delivered. Moreover, in a predominantly defensive role, fourth-generation aircraft armed with advanced weapons and sensors are cost-effective solutions.
  • Shift the “Make in India” program away from large systems integration and toward developing centers of excellence and innovation in key areas of technology. India’s weapons procurement is complex and slow in no small part because of India’s desire to indigenize production, as epitomized by the “Make in India” policy. This is a well-intentioned policy designed to develop India’s ability to make products, including defense systems, indigenously while also creating jobs in India. Unfortunately, the requirement to shift production to India when possible has added additional complexity to India’s already Byzantine procurement process. At the same time, India isn’t gaining access to sufficient levels of advanced equipment, as states are reluctant to share their cutting-edge hardware.

    While India aims to produce a wide range of systems, and particularly major platforms like fighter aircraft, it would likely be better off focusing its development in a handful of key areas with high payoffs and export markets, while exploiting others’ investments to procure extant systems at low cost. Israel should serve as a possible example. Israel procures combat aircraft almost exclusively from the United States, but it has invested heavily in creating domestic sectors of excellence in unmanned aircraft, cyber warfare, short-range air and missile defenses, and vehicle protection systems among others.15 Israel also has a vibrant military technology startup sector that rapidly cross-pollinates tactical and operational demand signals with technology supply signals to create innovative solutions to difficult problems. Adopting this mindset instead of a bureaucratic, broad-based technology transfer program would likely make India more competitive with China militarily and more competitive on the global defense market at the same time.
Conclusion
China’s military rise and more aggressive foreign policy have threatened extant structures and challenged longstanding assumptions about military strategy and operations, both in the United States and India. The beauty of this challenge is in its clarity and strategic simplicity: it can be either a cause for anxiety and withdrawal or an opportunity to grapple with new problems and discard outdated ideas and hardware. Both India and the United States have too much at stake to see this as anything other than a chance to embrace long-needed, but oft-deferred, change. For India (and the United States in some areas), China’s rise should be a clarion call for fundamental reform in how their armed forces are trained, organized, equipped, and commanded.
Even without fundamental reform, however, India’s armed forces can still compete more effectively with China and pose Beijing with difficult strategic and operational dilemmas. The key for India is in embracing its asymmetric advantages and avoiding the temptation to develop advanced capabilities for which China already possesses effective countermeasures. While many defense thinkers have commented on how India can best advance U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific by pushing China toward this or that investment path, this paper takes a different tack. It assumes that both India and the United States generally want the same thing: a free and open political and economic order in the Indo-Pacific and globally. The best thing India can do for the United States is to remain capable of countering Chinese coercion and, in the event of a crisis, deterring or defeating Chinese aggression on the LAC and in the Indian Ocean region.
This strategic end is within India’s grasp. While fundamental defense reforms and larger budgets would help, this goal is feasible without them. The key is that India, much like the United States did with its recent National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy, must admit that it has a China problem and take steps toward solving that problem.
 

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The Isreali Perspective By Dr . Valoeariae .

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) shot some Indian soldiers dead - approximately 20 - in Galwan, a valley and a river of the Ladakh region.

The territorial issue in that region is still very difficult to settle: the 1993 Line of Actual Control (LAC) has included 60 square kilometers of ancient Indian territory into the China-controlled area. The control of the DSDBO - Darbuk, Shyak, Daulat Beg and Oldi, the 225 kilometer road that connects the Ladakh region and the Galwan Valley with the outside world - is still to be defined.

For India, in the north of Ladakh, there is also the possibility of a simultaneous war on two fronts, with Pakistan in the Siachen glacier and with China in the rest of the North.

China has also shown it is not interested in five different peace agreements - in 1993, 1996, 2005, 2012 and 2013 - defined as early as the 1962 war between India and China.

The "forgotten conflict" that John Fitzgerald Kennedy did not use in the global confrontation with Communism, later choosing - and ill became of it - the confrontation with the Vietminh in South Vietnam.

In 1993 China asked India to stop the extension of the DSDBO and also the return of the Indian troops into the northern area of Ladakh. India, however, is blocked by considerable internal terrorism and by the strong tensions in Jammu-e-Kashmir, as well as by the traditional policy of opposition to Pakistan and finally, by the new maritime trends in the South and the ever more difficult coexistence between Hindus and Islamists.

Certainly, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) can fight three modern wars simultaneously: the cyber-warfare, the space and finally the electromagnetic wars.

In conventional terms, China can currently fight a limited regional war and a larger global war, again simultaneously.

Hence what does China really want from India? Firstly, hands free on a border, like Ladakh's, which is vital to the already started New Silk Road.

Many Indian leaders have long been asking China to make the BRI corridor cross Kunming in Southwest China up to the port of Kolkata, where it could reconnect to the maritime "Silk Road" through the Bay of Bengal.

Or China and its Silk Road could enter Uttakharand, via Kailash Manasarovar in Tibet to later reach the port of Mumbai. This is one of the real issues of contention.

Hence China, with its BRI, should not cross the valleys of Kashmir, but the Indian areas.

India has also quickly pulled out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the large free trade area established in 2012. An implicit favor to China.

Hence what does China really want? Firstly, to use the Ladakh region and Kashmir as bases and criteria to control Tibet.

The area below, where the Indian army is stationed, south of the Brahmaputra river, is still an easy target for the Chinese missile launches.

If we consider the Chinese troops in Ladakh and those already present in the Tibetan autonomous region, currently the People's Liberation Army is actually master of the scene.

However, if the Indian President, Narendra Modi, shows clear signs of India’s realignment on the U.S. strategy in the region, its strategic closure to the North will become inextricable. And very dangerous, not for a war, but for the strategic and geo-economic effects of the closure in the North.

The Indian troops on the Ladakh border, however, are not a target for China.

Apart from the Galwan Valley, China is ready to negotiate hard on everything else.

This means that China wants full security of the lines around the Tibetan Autonomous Territory and the discontinuity-control of the Pakistani forces on the Indian-Chinese border, as well as the maximum mobility of its forces, and finally the guarantee that there will be no military dangers hosted on the Indian territory.

Jihadist dangers or not. Therefore, China does not need to wage war on India insofar as it can force the Indian government to do what China wants.

China also wants to reaffirm mutual neutrality between China and India, while it thinks that Narendra Modi has above all nationalistic aims in the Himalayan region and in the arc of the Three Borders.

Moreover, China did not like the strengthening of relations between India and Australia, as well as the Indian repeal of Article 370 of the Jammu-e-Kashmir Statute, i.e. the "special administrative status" of the Indian State with a Muslim majority.

This has led to the creation of the Union Territory of Ladakh in the Indian legal system. Currently some Chinese maps already draw the territory of Aksai Chin - where China, India and Pakistan meet - with borders that, according to China, show that India is expanding illegally.

In essence, Modi's India has chosen on which side to stand in the next and in any case - already started "cold war". The U.S. side and the side of strategic contrast with China.

The Sino-Indian territorial tension currently stretches from Lake Pangong and the Galwan River valley, as well as from the Gogra region, to Naku La in Sikkim.

Neither side, however, recognizes the extent of their respective claims in the LAC area and around Lake Pangong.

The Chinese soldiers in the region come from the 362nd Border Regiment and are quartered in Fort Khurnak, north of Lake Pangong and Lake Spanggur.

Moreover, there is a Chinese base in Gongra and a squadron of boats on Lake Pagong.

Approximately 600+1500 units. To the northwest, there are other Chinese troops from the 6th Mechanized Division.

The base is in the Taklamakan Desert, but they are mainly reserves from Xinjiang.

An important Chinese strategic goal is to avoid porosity of a border that directly affects Xinjiang.

Therefore, for the Indian Leader, Narendra Modi, there are two choices to make, an economic and a strategic one: to launch India as a global competitor of China, by absorbing the many future "third" processing activities - hence an active control of borders and a regional war even with China becomes rational - or India could join China via the "New Silk Road" and the Sino-centred globalization.

It is a choice still in fieri, despite the old talk about Chindia a few years ago.

In terms of economic and trade wars, the issue becomes even more complex.

In the first quarter of 2020 the People's Republic of China recorded a GDP of 20.65 trillion yuan, equivalent to 2.91 trillion U.S. dollars.

A 6.9% reduction compared to the GDP of the previous year. A significant reduction, but certainly lower than in many Western countries.

China's imports fell by 8.5%. A situation that does not enable anyone to start a war, not even a regional or local war.

In the first half of 2019 alone, China's tariff war with the United States cost as much as 35 billion to China.

For China, fighting with India would mean losing 74.72 billion dollars from the rich and wide Indian market.

Pakistan, a sure ally of China, is in the midst of an economic crisis and cannot afford a war. Therefore, only the tiny Nepal remains, on which you cannot certainly rely for a "long lasting war".

On a strictly military level, China is far more efficient than India.

104 Chinese missiles could hit every part of the Indian territory.

12 DF-21s missiles are targeting New Delhi directly. The DF-31s missiles are deployed in Beidao, Gansu Province. Some DF 21 and 31 missiles are deployed in Xining, while other DF-21 ones are deployed in Korla, Xinjiang and others in Yunnan.

For India, ten "Agni" missiles can reach the entire Chinese territory.

Eight additional Agni II missiles can reach the center of China. But there are 51 aircrafts - the real key to India's nuclear defence - that can fly over targets in Chinese territory.

But, above all, Tibetan and Xinjiang targets.

Only the Indian missions in Tibet could exploit a strategic surprise effect. In other regions the Mirage 2000, Jaguar IS and F-35s missiles would not be particularly successful, considering the level of Chinese anti-aircraft fire.

Currently the Indian forces available for a clash with China in the North are approximately 225,000.

This also includes the T-72 tank base in Ladakh and a series of Bramhos cruise missiles, stationed in Arunachal Pradesh.

The three Indian Armed Forces commands that oppose the respective three Chinese commands have 270 aircrafts and other equipment at their disposal.

China also have high altitude air bases in Tibet, Xinjiang and the Northern Ladakh region.

This means that the Chinese aircrafts have to leave with only part of their cargo.

Hence the Chinese decision-makers immediately think of a missile attack on Indian positions, without an initial air "passage".

Obviously it must also be noted that India is strongly opposed to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which crosses Kashmir and the Gilgit-Baltistan area, a project that India has tried to stop with the U.S. help.

On the other side, India has built a lot of infrastructure in its part of Kashmir.

As already noted, there was the economic closure of India, a real gift for China.

Meanwhile, India has asked Russia to quickly send the S-400 and Sukhoi SU 30 MKI missiles quickly, but Russia has no interest in mediating between China and India.

In the background there is also a hardening of bilateral relations between Russia and China, which could leave room for maneuver to Russia, not for mediation between the two countries, but for rebuilding the old link between the USSR and India, which was also one of the reasons for tension between Maoist China and Soviet Russia.
 

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Chinese Fear for India's

By Afpa .

India and China are very close neighbours sharing their culture, integrity, economy etc. The sino-indian relationship has an old heritage which has ups and downs in the bilateral relationships between both the countries all these time. Sovereignty between India and China over the separated pieces of territories have always been a concern. But now, China emerged as an economic superpower while India is an emerging global market. But the question is, will China dare to attack India?
HISTORY OF CONFLICT:
• Sino-Indian border conflict- It was back in 1914, The McMahon line was part of Shimla Convention between British India and Tibet, which was deeply opposed by China. This is because the British government was trying to make boundaries in the North-East region with the British diplomat McMahon. It is known as “red line” which was not accepted by Tibet and still holds.
• Sino-Indian war- In 1962, China fought a war with India. It was the aftermath of the 1914 Sino-Indian border conflict. The major cause of war was the sovereignty of the widely separated “Aksai Chin” and Arunachal Pradesh borders. India claims that Aksai Chin is the Part of Kashmir whereas China claims that it is a part of their Xinjiang province. This conflict rose to a war which started from 20 October 1962 to 20 November 1962 in which China emerged victorious.
• Nathu La and Cho La incident- In 1967, there have been military clashes between India and China at Nathu La pass and Cho La pass which is the borderline between China and the Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim. In this, India emerged victorious and ended up in a ceasefire.
• Sino-Indian skirmish- This was the third military conflict after the 1962 and 1967 incident. This is known as “bloodless conflict” as both countries showed military constraints. The outcome was recognizing Sikkim as a part of India by China and Tibet as an autonomous part of China by India.
PRESENT SCENARIO:
• As time passes, the bilateral relationships between these countries grew keeping their areas of conflict inbound.
• India is emerging as a global market whereas China is already an economic superpower.
• India has good relationships with countries in which China is not in good terms.
• Indian military grew stronger both in strength and technology.
RECENT OFFENSIVE ACT BY CHINA AGAINST INDIA:
• The most important one is the “China Pakistan Economic Corridor” in which China is helping Pakistan to build its economy thereby boosting China’s trade relations with the eastern region. India opposes this move by China because it involves the Khardungla pass of India. It would hamper the strategic security of India.
• The “string of pearls” is another indirect strategy by China to build and maintain permanent ports in different countries around the world. These ports is like a string which covers the maritime interests of India.
• The “Doklam standoff” issue was another offensive move by China against India. It was in the summer of 2017 when Chinese and Indian military personnel had a standoff at the Doklam pass, a tri-junction between India, Bhutan and China. It was one of the cold war methods and was withdrawn later in August 2017.
WHY CHINA WILL NOT ATTACK INDIA AGAIN?
• India is not like 1962 anymore. India is one of the strongest and emerging country in terms of economy and trade.
• India has bilateral relations with many countries in which China is not in good terms. The major partners of India being the US and Japan, China will not take a step forward or dare to attack India.
• If China attacks India, it will result in a global disturbance as many countries will support China whereas many countries will oppose them.
• According to war theory, an attacker country should deploy soldiers in the ratio 3:1. Chinese military strength is much greater than the Indian military also. But, considering the rough terrain borders, soldiers of the attacking country must be deployed in the ratio 10:1. In that case, the attacker will definitely loose.
• Unlike 19th century, war cannot be declared so easily. There must be a proper reason and motive for the war.
WHAT IN FUTURE?
If China dares to attack India, it will be on World War III. Both countries share strong relationships economically. The only thing which hampers this relationship is about the sovereignty of border disputes since years. If both the countries conduct a diplomatic meeting to address each other’s concern and end up in a common conclusion, it will benefit both the countries and strengthen their relations. Both are strong nations and they need their mutual support irrespective of their border barriers.
 

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In few hours I would post the potential startegy for the Shaksgam Valley's, I hope you will like as an amateur my startegy would not be perfect but hope some light could be shared to the the importance of the sahaksgam valley's .
 
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