January 7, 2010

NO COINCIDENCE THAT THOSE ARE OUR TWO FRONTS TOO:

How China views India's new defence doctrine: China experts feel Indian defence strategy treats China, not Pakistan, as priority target, which they also believe provides for a partial border war (D S Rajan, 1/07/10, Rediff)

Titled 'Great Changes in India's Defence Strategy -- War objective shifts to giving China importance, while treating Pakistan as lightweight', the analysis contributed by Hao Ding, a researcher of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, published in the Party-affiliated Chinese language organ, China Youth Daily, on November 27, 2009, identifies following five shifts that have taken place in India's defence strategy:

'In terms of goals, India now aims at becoming a global military power in contrast to its earlier objective to acquire a regional military power status.' (The author's comments say in this connection that prior to end of the cold war, India followed an expansionist and hegemonic policy in South Asia, dismembered Pakistan, annexed Sikkim kingdom and dispatched troops to Sri Lanka [ Images ] and Maldives [ Images ].

In the 21st century, India's national interests are expanding and accordingly, it is striving to protect its strategic superiority in the South Asian sub-continent as well as the Indian Ocean region. Simultaneously, India is actively projecting its power into the Asia-Pacific region, attempting to gradually become an Asia-Pacific power instead of being only a South Asian power. It is taking efforts to emerge as 'a major and positive geo-strategic player' in the Eurasian political chessboard. For this, India would require to work towards achieving strategic balance of power with countries outside like the US and China, operate beyond South Asia and Indian Ocean region and develop as a world military power.

'From the point of view of strategic guidelines, India has shifted to a line of 'active and aggressive defence', as a departure from the past position of 'passive defence'. (The analysis views that India has realised that in the 21st century, security threats to it are coming from 'three evil forces' -- the low intensity conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir [ Images ] which can trigger a large scale conflict, the risk of a nuclear confrontation among the two nations and terrorism in South Asia.

The Indian defence strategy has been revised in such circumstances; The 'active defence' concept has replaced the old line of passive defence, the basic 'regional deterrence' principle has been given a new meaning with 'punishment deterrence' concept taking place of the old principle of 'only deterrence'. India is stressing on taking initiatives so as to be able to conduct a hi-tech 'limited conventional war' against the enemy 'under conditions of nuclear deterrence'.

'Looking from the angle of war objectives, India is now laying emphasis to giving China importance while treating Pakistan as lightweight, as compared to the past equal emphasis to China and Pakistan.' The write-up says that in 21st century, India has done a reassessment of the military threats coming from Pakistan and China. It considers that in Pakistan, the internal situation has become unstable, economic development has slowed down, development of military faces restrictions and the overall national strength and military capabilities show a downward trend, in comparison to the situation in India. India believes that as such, there is a weakening of real threat to it from Pakistan.

On the other hand, in China, there is stable political situation, a fast developing economy, a continuously accelerating military modernisation drive and growing comprehensive national strength. India thinks that therefore, the potentials of 'China threat' to it are on the rise. It wants to correctly treat the dialectic relation between the changes that have occurred in military threats posed by Pakistan and China and prepare for all types of military struggles. Based on such reasoning, India has proposed the doctrine of 'two front mobile warfare'.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 7, 2010 6:48 AM
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