The international situation is currently undergoing profound and complex changes. The progress towards economic globalisation and a multi-polar world is irreversible, as is the advance towards informationisation of society”[i]
The Chinese Civil war culminated in 1949 in the victory of the Communists and the birth of the People’s Republic of China. The PLA “set a general guideline and objective of building outstanding, modernized and revolutionary armed forces. It built the Navy, the Air Force and other technical arms, and developed mechanised weaponry and equipment, as well as nuclear weapons for the purpose of self-defense.”[ii]
As recently as the 1980s the Peoples Liberation Army [PLA] operated on military doctrines that evolved during World War II and military means that preceded that war. It had become apparent to the Chinese leadership that the country’s political and economic evolution had far outstripped its military capacities engendering a credibility gap in the over all national power quotient that Beijing required to give it the means to play the role it expected to in the international fora. This perception was reflected in the White Paper: China’s National Defense in December 2004, which laid down that, “A major strategic task of the Communist Party of China [CPC] in exercising state power is to secure a coordinated development of national defense and economy, and to build modernized, regularized and revolutionary armed forces to keep the country safe.”[iii] In military terms Beijing “will promote coordinated development of firepower, mobility and information capability, enhance the development of its operational strength with priority given to the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Force, and strengthen its comprehensive deterrence and war-fighting capabilities.”[iv]
In mid-April, when the winter snows melt sufficiently to permit troops, tasked to secure the Line of Actual Control (LAC), start reoccupying their warm season deployments. It’s quite akin to hunting hounds released from the kennels scurrying to mark their territory and sniff out any unwanted intrusions during their confinement. Unexpected incursions are met with loud barks and ominous snarling till they retire to their accepted territories or, on rare occasions, after intervention by their handlers. Such was the nature of the incident on May 9 this year in the Depsang valley in Eastern Ladakh. Troops of both the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the Indian Army advanced forward only to report that each was in violation of their country’s perception of the LAC resulting in a lot of snarling and teeth gnashing. Management of borders between troops to avoid unnecessary conflagrations is a complex and intricate function and is conducted in keeping with the larger national security matrix.
The Challenge Posed by China’s Military Posture in Tibet
By Brigadier Vijai K Nair [Retd]
18 January 2013
China is in forceful occupation of approximately 38,000 square Kms of Indian territory in Akshai Chin in the West and claims a further 90,000 square Kms of Indian territories in the East, a claim that was reiterated with vehemence by Beijing as recently as June 1998. This territorial dispute resulted in the deployment of military forces, by both India and China, in direct confrontation along 3488 km of what is called the Line of Actual Control [LAC][i] in place of a mutually recognised international border between them. To add fuel to fire the alignment of the LAC is also disputed thereby causing considerable tensions between the two countries.
Despite having signed an Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control [LAC] in 1993 Chinese incursions across the LAC continue to be a regular feature and have continued to date.[ii] If anything the frequency of these intrusions registered an upswing after the demise of Deng Xiaoping in February 1997 with exponential increments thereafter when India conducted nuclear tests in May 1998. “Chinese troops have crossed over into Indian territory over 500 times since January, 2010. But much more than the sheer number of these "transgressions" - the government refuses to call them "intrusions" - it's the increasingly aggressive behaviour of the 2.5-million-strong People's Liberation Army [PLA] along the LAC that remains a major worry.”[iii] The propensity of the Indian Government to sweep this aberration under the carpet cannot reduce the threat manifest in the fact that the PLA has:
Book Review: Apocalyptic Realm: Jihadists in South Asia
Reviewed by Reginald Massey
30 July 2012
The British imposed Durand Line which defined the 1,610 mile long border between Afghanistan and British India cut across Waziristan and thus split the Waziri and Mehsud tribes between Aghanistan and British India. Pakistan inherited the Durand Line which was one of the reasons why Afghanistan and Pakistan were never on very friendly terms. Both successor states of the Raj inherited the sins of their former masters. Likewise, the McMahon and Johnson Lines in India’s case. These frontiers –imposed on China then considered a ‘degraded nation of opium-drugged coolies’ by the west – were rejected by the new resurgent China.
South Asia: Militaries, Threats, Security
By Brig Vijai K Nair (Retd).
28 July 2012
A warning to South Asian countries that field impressive military forces. Flouting large well trained standing militaries and the finest array of modern war fighting platforms at designated parades may boost the pride and confidence of the civilian leadership and psychologically bamboozle prospective adversaries. But these are intangible assets on which it would be disastrous to base calculations in formulating national security strategy, if they are not backed by sound and positive decision making capabilities and a national potential to allocate the type of resources required to run this war fighting machine effectively for a minimum period of time to achieve the national objective of waging war.
To the Indians who Died in Africa
By Reginald Massey
24 July 2012
Eliot‟s To the Indians who Died in Africa is not his best known work and yet it has an interesting history. Its implications and perspectives are vast and two Indian academics, A.N. Dwivedi of Allahabad University and K. Narayana Chandran of Hyderabad University, have expressed quite contrary views of it. The poem had escaped my attention until Sir Christopher Ricks, former Professor of Poetry at Oxford and now at Boston University‟s Editorial Institute, had read my T.S. Eliot and India in the September 2008 issue of this publication.
Magoo on "Shame in Chicago"
By Brig Vijai K Nair (Retd).
27 May 2012
The belief that Pakistan’s geostrategic location makes it an indispensable entity in the geopolitical matrix of the major world powers has fostered the core of Islamabad’s national security strategy from the time it was conceived, and continues to date, used indiscriminately to attain the whims of whoever has been on the gaddi. The philosophy is based on an expectation to harness the exceptional clout of a foreign power to help overcome its limitations to cut its bete-noir, India, down to size, by military intervention.
Magoo on "Peeling Or Trading Onions?"
By Brig Vijai K Nair (Retd).
20 May 2012
Michael Krepon, reputed in the US as an expert on South Asian security affairs, has spearheaded The Henry L Stimson Center’s initiative to foster confidence-building and nuclear risk-reduction measures between India and Pakistan. This piece is a symptom of the author’s frustration at his inability to influence these two countries to resolve their disputes along lines he has been suggesting for over a decade.
His interpretation of security issues on the sub-continent is typically that as viewed through an American prism.
AAKROSH hosted on SASFOR
To the Gallows with Smiles: forgotten fighters
for Indian Independence
will soon be published by Hansib, London
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