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Revisiting the No First Use Policy of India Vis-À-Vis India’s Nuclear Doctrine

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The object of deterrence is to persuade an adversary that the costs to him of seeking a military solution to his political problems will far outweigh the benefits. The object of reassurance is to persuade one’s own people, and those of one’s allies, that the benefits of military action, or preparation for it, will outweigh the costs.The object of reassurance is to persuade one’s own people, and those of one’s allies, that the benefits of military action, or preparation for it, will outweigh the costs.- Michael Howard

India’s new political discourse on revisiting its nuclear doctrine has once again attracted transnational debate on the efficacy of no first use policies, despite the fact that India has repeatedly recapitulated that it is amenable to negotiate no first use treaties bilaterally or multilaterally with all nuclear weapons states including China and Pakistan. Foreign policy and strategic affairs are developed on the basis of a country’s long-term national interests and soft-power and take into consideration both internal diaspora and external factors. The foreign policy of a country does not change when governments change, but the foreign diplomacy and strategic priorities undergo changes. The Narendra Modi government has so far not suggested any change in the nuclear doctrine or the No First Use (NFU) policy on which India’s declaratory nuclear doctrine is based, but the BJP’s election manifesto promised to “study in detail India’s nuclear doctrine, and revise and update it, to make it relevant to challenges of current times.” The debate was further fuelled when former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar questioned NFU policy reckoning national responsibility and political independence. Former Commander-in-Chief of Indian Strategic Forces, Lt-Gen BS Nagal, questioned NFU doctrine by posting whether it was viable for India’s political leadership to accept huge casualties by subduing its hand, realising that Pakistan was about to use nuclear weapons.

The Donald Trump administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review embellishes the range of significant non-nuclear strategic scenarios in which the United States may scrutinize nuclear weapons use. After the recent visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to China last week, China appreciated steps taken by Pakistan in strengthening the global non-proliferation regime.  The joint statement issued;“In this context, China supports Pakistan’s engagement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group and welcomes its adherence of Nuclear Suppliers (NSG) Group Guidelines,” while Beijing’s political clout continues to barricade India’s bid in becoming a member of the NSG, the 48-member crème da la crème league, which administers global nuclear trade. The Indian nuclear doctrine was articulated in 1999 and looking at the current geopolitical developments across the world especially the growing friendship of our neighbours, it is high time to review it.  The main features of India’s nuclear doctrine as summarized by Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting in January 2003, held over four and a half years after the May 1998 tests are:(i)Establishing and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent; (ii) A “No First Use” policy, i.e. nuclear weapons to be used only “in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere”; (iii)Nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be “massive” and designed to inflict “unacceptable damage” and such a nuclear retaliatory attack can be authorized only by civilian political leadership through the Nuclear Command Authority; (iv) No use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states; (v) India to retain recourse of retaliating with nuclear weapons in the event of a major attack against it with biological or chemical weapons; (vi) Continuance of strict restrictions on the export of nuclear and missile-related materials and technologies, participation in FMCT negotiations, continued moratorium on testing; and (vii) Take measures for establishing a nuclear weapon free world, through global, verifiable and non-discriminatory disarmament.

It is a common misconception that the locution ‘No first use’ is China’s contribution to international peace and stability. In actuality, the no first use formulation dates back to circa 1925 when the international community concluded a no first use treaty on chemical weapons and toxins in the Geneva Protocol. India’s not so detailed nuclear doctrine based on the concept of NFU is ambiguously strengthen by a policy of assured massive retaliation. The intent of the active retaliatory provision is to convince warmongers that, any threat or use of nuclear weapons against India shall involve measures to counter the threat, and any nuclear attack on India and its forces anywhere shall result in massive retaliation, inflicting damage to the adversary. It means that if anyone dared use nuclear weapons against India, the nation would confidently retaliate and inflict unacceptable damage on the initiator. This is India’s doctrine of credible deterrence. Picking up from this interpretation, it is clear that the Indian doctrine is hinged on the concept of deterrence by denial and not by punishment. This diplomacy is intended to put the adversary on notice that the use of nuclear weapons will imply massive retaliation. The nature of retaliation and the parameter to judge massiveness is still vague, while a policy of assured retaliation, combined with a small nuclear force built on the principle of sufficiency, could overall be characterised as minimum deterrence. China backed Pakistani government officials and diplomats have been explicitly critical of India’s no first use doctrine on the grounds that it is only a declaratory policy and can be easily amended when the necessity arises.

The nuclear doctrine of a country decides a country’s nuclear force structure, command and control system, alert status and its deployment posture. The prerequisites of the First use doctrine are hair-trigger alerts, launch-on-warning and launch-through-attack strategies and elaborate surveillance, early warning and intelligence systems with nuclear warheads loaded on launchers and ready to fire. Jaswant Singh in ‘Against Nuclear Apartheid,’Foreign Affairs, vol. 77, no. 5, September/October 1998has written, “No other country has debated so meticulously and, at times, sinuously over the chasm between its sovereign security needs and global disarmament instincts, between a moralistic approach and a realistic one, and between a covert nuclear policy and an overtone.” What our neighbours often deliberately ignore, is that India has at multiple times offered to negotiate a mutual no first use treaty with Pakistan that would be binding and verifiable. India has a very clean record of adherence to international norms. Unfortunately, a paradoxical approach has been followed by India’s principal opponents, who have violated numerous treaties with impunity, including the NPT and the MTCR. Nuclear weapons are now becoming a mere political weapon rather than weapons of ‘warfighting’. India’s nuclear doctrine is foundationally drafted based on the concept of minimum deterrence, which means that the policy and strategy would be driven by the minimalist principle.  The concept of minimum deterrence is not completely a doctrine but is a nuclear force structure. The Indian doctrine can be interpreted to be framed on ‘assured retaliation’ and this is to be implemented by a minimalist nuclear force as an assured retaliation force structure is postulated on the dogma that no one will start a nuclear tussle if the adversaries are assertive of a nuclear retaliation.

In the book Dragon on our Doorstep: Managing China through Military power’, authors Pravin Sawhney and Ghazala Wahab argued, “Let alone China, India cannot even win a war against Pakistan. And this has nothing to do with the possession of nuclear weapons- the roles of nuclear and conventional weapons are separate in the war planning of India, China and Pakistan. The reason India would be at a disadvantage in a war with Pakistan is that while Pakistan has built military power, India focussed on building the military force. In this difference lies the capability to win wars.” Nonetheless, there lies an undeniable connection between nation’s conventional military capabilities and its dominance over other nations. A nuclear-armed nation with low military capability as compared to its adversaries may find it absolutely necessary to espouse an in extremis first use strategy to impede a conventional military strategy that may threaten to undermine its territorial integrity. This in nutshell is the nuclear dilemma of Pakistan. This may be one of the reasons why Pakistan does not accept India’s offer of a bilateral no first use treaty as a nuclear confidence building and risk reduction measure. On the other hand, India’s existing defence machinery due to low investment is becoming outdated, as China is rapidly reindustrialising its armed forces, raising deployment units and improving the logistics infrastructure in Tibet with a subtle intransigence in resolving the outstanding territorial and boundary dispute with India.

Former National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon in his book Choices argued, “There is a potential grey area as to when India would use nuclear weapons first against NWS. Circumstances are conceivable in which India might find it useful to strike first, for instance, against an NWS that had declared it would certainly use its weapons, and if India were certain that adversary’s launch was imminent.” Many analysts have argued that India has gained nothing and has unnecessarily elected to bear the horrendous costs of a nuclear strike by choosing to adopt a purely retaliatory nuclear policy. India’s tempestuous relationship with its neighbours, changing paradigm of Indian Ocean diplomacy and its desire to be a global power is shaping the framework of its nuclear weapons programme and policy. In order to engage global nuclear powers in a productive positive dialogue, there has to be a special diplomatic effort from the Ministry of External Affairs to strengthen its position as a responsible partner in the nuclear stability dialogue.The domain of Nuclear security has always been the prerogative of the Prime Minister Office, and it is the right time for India to revisit the existing framework and articulate and advocate for an international consensus to draft a new policy taking into account the geopolitical changes in South Asia.

Adithya Anil Variath is a lawyer based in Mumbai, India. He writes frequently on issues of Law & Policy, AI and International relations

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Does Turkey Plan Revenge for Al-Watiya Attack?

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On Monday, July 6th, Turkish Defense Ministry declared that it plans to conduct large-scale military exercises. The Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets and KC-135 Stratotankers will perform in-flight refueling over the Mediterranean Sea, the statement published by the ministry said.

The statement was followed by a sudden announcement of NAVTEX drills by the Turkish Naval Forces that are also supposed to take place in the Mediterranean. The maritime exercises will be conducted off the Libyan coast in three different regions and are designated to prepare the navy forces for a potential war and to “prove Turkey’s ability to control the region by air and sea.” Eight naval vessels and 17 warplanes will participate in the drills.

The goal, the location, and the timing of the Turkish exercises bear particular importance in regards to the recent incident at the Al-Watiya air base in Libya. Unidentified planes targeted the Turkish troops deployed to Al-Watiya on the night of July 4, damaging and destroying a number of the Turkish air defense systems positioned at the base. Officials of the Government of National Accord (GNA) blamed the allies of the Libyan National Army (LNA) for the attack. Spokesman for the Volcano of Rage operation carried out by the GNA forces Abdul-Malek Al-Madini claimed that the air strikes were executed by Dassault Mirage fighters belonging to the United Arab Emirates, a major ally of the LNA. The attack evidently caught Ankara by surprise and made the Turkish authorities consider an option of resorting to the use of force against the LNA and its allies.

The timing and the location of the drills provide Turkey with an opportunity to strike the LNA military assets of strategical importance in the area. Turkey wants to send a message to its adversaries and to demonstrate its resolve to use force to protect its troops in Libya, believes Egyptian military analyst Samir Ragheb. Indeed, during his recent visit to Tripoli Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar met GNA officials and signed an agreement that granted Ankara the right of initiating direct military intervention in Libya and establishing military bases in the North African country.

Such provocative actions and statements are clear evidence of Turkey’s firm intent to use military force to achieve its goals in Libya. Should Ankara decide to strike the LNA, it will inevitably result in a new escalation of violence and will further exacerbate the already deteriorating security situation in the region.

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A comparison of strategic doctrines

Giancarlo Elia Valori

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In principle it is not political choices that generate strategic doctrines. The opposite is true, if anything.

 In the case of China, for example, it is very useful to study the evolution of recent strategic assumption and the most current military doctrines so as to later analyse political and even ideological changes.

Hence, which are China’s future and preferential battlefields? Which are the threats that the Chinese decision-makers regard as primary and what is their origin? What wars will China wage and fight? Indeed, inter alia, a strategic doctrine also answers these questions.

First and foremost, China’s military leadership has shifted the centre of gravity of its defence activities from the terrestrial centre of the country to the peripheries, hence mainly to the coasts and, ultimately, to China’s regional seas.

 During the Cold War, China had adopted a defensive “all-out war”.

Currently the Chinese doctrine mainly concerns regional and limited wars, restrained both in time and space and in the use of force.

 This means that currently China has not yet vast global interests to defend with a war. It will soon have them, however.

 Moreover, currently the Chinese political and military decision-makers do not believe that – in the not too distant future – China will be involved in a global sea or territorial war.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has a full monopoly of force in China.

  Moreover, the PLA does not depend directly on the Ministry of Defence, but only on the Communist Party of China (CPC).

 The PLA’s high-ranking officers report directly to the CPC’s Central Military Commission and not to other entities. Hence they take orders only from it. The PLA’s Commander-in-Chief is the General Secretary of the CPC; the Defence Minister reports only to the State Council and the Central Military Commission is only a very powerful body of the CPC.

With specific reference to military spending, the latest data reports a PLA’s annual cost of 250 billion U.S. dollars while, for example, the U.S. military budget amounts to 649 billion U.S. dollars, again based on the latest data available.

 The Chinese ground forces consist of 975,000 units, while the Navy of 240,000 and the Air Force of 395,000 units. The Strategic Missile Force uses 100,000 units, while the Strategic Support Force finally operates with 175,000 soldiers.

 Other unspecified tasks and functions are performed by 150,000 soldiers and officers.

As to materials used and weapons – which are a strategic indication and not just a mere information item – the PLA has 70 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 162 bombers; 3,860 armoured combat vehicles for infantry; 6,740 tanks and 13,420 artillery pieces; 57 missiles for submarine launch; 1 aircraft carrier, as well as 82 frigates and cruisers; 4 amphibious ships; 1,966 tactical aircraft; 246 attack helicopters and, finally, 77 military satellites.

So far the PLA has deeply studied the example of the U.S. war in Iraq and hence of the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA).

This means a war fought above all with advanced technologies, communication networks and particularly with the highest-precision weapons and information technology.

 Until the RMA adoption, China relied above all on the clear numerical superiority of its ground forces.

 In other words, the Chinese military doctrine was based on the fight against a land invasion or an occupation but, after the Gulf War and the Iraqi war waged and led by the United States, China began to reduce the size of its ground forces so as to focus on more technologically advanced and better trained Forces.

 Another key factor of Chinese military modernization has been Taiwan’s political status.

During the 1997 crisis, in fact, China did not succeed in discovering the way and extent of U.S. military engagement in the region.

 It was after this failure that China began to produce anti-ship missiles, medium range ballistic missiles, A2 anti-ship missiles and other anti-access-area denial weapons, as well as cyber- and anti-satellite weapons.

As a whole, the People’s Republic of China has developed four military doctrines since 1949.

 The doctrines developed before 1993, however, were all centred on the Maoist concept of “People’s War”, i.e. the “long-term People’s War”.

It was mainly based on maintaining the support of civilian population for the Armed Forces and on combining the efforts of the working class and of the “Red Army” led by the CPC.

 The strategic goal of the “People’s War”was to force enemies to enter China’s large central area, where they would be besieged and then defeated, again by the combined effect of the working class and the Red Army.

 In essence, the People’s War was aimed at being prolonged as much as possible and hence wearing and tearing the attackers.

Moreover, again according to Mao Zedong, the “long-term war” was based on three phases: strategic retreat, strategic stalemate and strategic counter-offensive.

With a view to completing these three phases, three types of Forces were needed: the regular army, the local forces and the guerrilla warfare forces.

 However, there is no theory of political warfare – also outside Marxism – which does not envisage guerrilla warfare.

 Towards the end of the Cold War, in 1980 China adopted the concept of the “People’s War under Modern Conditions”.

Again with the label of the Maoist “People’s War”, a war of defence was envisaged at various levels, which were already active at the borders, as well as far more offensive operations than those envisaged by the old “People’s War”.

 In 1993 – almost at the end of the Cold War, in which Mao Zedong never believed – China adopted a new doctrine, called “Winning Local Wars under High-Tech Conditions”.

While initially thePLA was thinking about a war of defence against a land invasion, in the case of that doctrine the Chinese decision-makers imagined a peripheral war in high-tech conditions.

 In other words, a defensive war against an attack by Taiwan, Japan, the United States or their regional allies.

 And by the Russian Federation, as well. The Chinese doctrine was no longer defensive, as it even suggested a first strike, including a nuclear one, to immediately provide China with an advantage over the attacker.

 The key concepts of the 1993 doctrine were the following: the “strategic frontier”, i.e. the limit beyond which you react, even with a nuclear salvo; “strategic deterrence”, which occurs when the enemy knows how China will react; “victory achieved through elite troops”, well beyond the old link between workers and the Red Army; “taking the initiative by striking first”; “victory over inferiority through superiority” – obviously of forces –  and finally “quick battles to force quick resolution”.

 A huge anthropological and cultural transformation, compared to the CPC’s political and military tradition.

 No longer war of attrition, but quick war not designed to annihilate the enemy. Then strategic deterrence is considered, i.e. the use of nuclear weapons, as well as the new role – certainly scarcely “Maoist” and scarcely “people-based” – of the elite troops.

 For Mao Zedong, at the core there was the “human sea” of his “People’s War”, not certainly the inequality between special forces and the rest of troops.

Moreover, there was another innovative aspect in the 1993 doctrine: the importance attached by China’s military decision-makers to the joint operations in its peripheries.

Reading between the lines, the CPC’s message was that, with the 1993 doctrine, China could solve the conflicts with its neighbouring countries by force.

 The 2004 doctrine was called “Winning Local Wars with Informatised Warfare”.

The core of the issue was “IT and computerization”, which replaced the more generic term used in the 1993 doctrine of “High-Tech Conditions”.

Besides underlining again the importance of joint operations, as in 1993, the 2004 doctrine highlighted the consistent, orderly and stable flow of information between the various command and control centres and the military operating on the battlefield.

 Therefore, since 2004 the core of the Chinese military reform has become the creation of a powerful command, control, communications, computers, intelligence and surveillance network (C4ISR).

The scenarios envisaged for the future war included, above all, the assault on the islands and the blockade of the islands, as well as counter-attack campaigns in border areas.

 Finally, there is also a new Chinese military doctrine, which is largely still operational.

 Released in 2014, it is called “Winning the Informatised Local Wars”.

The new Chinese “active defence” is based on it.

Although not radically changing the previous theories, the 2014 doctrine underlines the fundamental role of flexibility, mobility, joint operations, information dominance and precision raids.

 The strategic direction remains the usual one: South-East Asia and Taiwan, i.e. China, tell us – between the lines – that a future and probable conflict for Taiwan will also involve the United States.

Furthermore, the 2014 doctrine carefully sets the issue of Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTV), such as rescue operations; counter-terrorism; maintaining political and social stability; protection of rights and interests; peacekeeping activities and international humanitarian assistance.

 The Chinese PLA also distinguishes between MOOTW and Preparation for Military Struggle (PMS).

Therefore, incidentally, the primary goal is the war for conquering Taiwan, but the PLA is also preparing for regional wars in the South China Sea and Southeast Asia, while the current doctrine, from 2014 onwards, is a military theory linked to the solution of a “high-intensity conflict”.

 The Chinese planners’ idea is a “war for the destruction of systems”, as was the case during the Gulf War in 1991 or the Kosovo one in 1999.

 China currently implements the Effect Based Operation (EBO) criterion that the United States began to use in the mid-1990s.

The “war of systems” means that whoever wins paralyzes the enemies’  “system of systems”.

However, what would the United States do if it waged war against China? Most likely, it would start with operations on the Southern coast, with a view to decimating the Chinese Navy.

 This would be followed by a U.S. attack against the Chinese command and control networks to prevent the PLA from striking back immediately.

In all likelihood, China would respond by using its artificial islands in the South China Sea and initially relying on information superiority, which would be followed by a joint operation against the U.S. fleet and later by a joint attack on one or many U.S. bases in the South China Sea.

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Could India’s Diplomatic Outreaches Be a Success amid Heightened Border Tensions?

Jelvin Jose

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The India- China border scuffle at Galwan Valley on June 15, in which India lost its twenty servicemen of Assam rifles wing, marked a watershed moment in the Sino-Indian Relation. Although the tensions from unsettled borders prevail over for more than a decade, fatalities occur after long forty-five years, at the 3500km long Line of Actual Control (LAC). The LAC lies in between two Asian heavyweights endures undemarcated for more than half a century. Even though Beijing hasn’tyet formally confirmed casualties on their side, several international bureaus and Chinese state-backed Global Times have reported death toll on either side.

The recurrence of violence at LAC has lit a fuse in between two nuclear powers in the continent, exacerbating the mutual skepticism and long-drawn-out conflict of interests. The hostility has grabbed international attention, as both parties involved possess substantial political and economic leverage, along with highly sophisticated weapons in their arsenal. The European Union and United Nations have expressed concerns over the conflict escalation and have insisted to peacefully resolve the dispute.

The Trump administration has articulated a paradigm shift in favor of New Delhi, from the initial offer for mediation in May last and the support for a peaceful resolution, soon after the standoff turned deadly on 15 June. Since tensions skyrocket, New Delhi and Beijing are mounting up firepower on their side of LAC. India, anticipating a conflict escalation or even limited war at the double frontier, taking the threat from Pakistan into account, are exploring all diplomatic pathways to enhance its position in the standoff. Under the current circumstances, the outcome of these diplomatic outreaches assumes new criticality in New Delhi’s strategic designs aimed to keep the dragon at bay.

India’s Diplomatic Outreaches

The New Delhi has invigorated its diplomatic channels amid intensified border tensions. New Delhi wants to ensure the flow of weaponry from top suppliers, foreseeing a persistent battle at the LAC. Indian strategic circles also anticipate the possibility of a multi-front attack, considering the strategic partnership and all-weather alliance prevailing in between Islamabad and Beijing. Several agencies report that Islamabad plans to move around 20000 Pak soldiers to the Line of Control (LoC), coupling with the Chinese presence in the East.

Given this, the firepower up-gradation on a war footing is ever more vital for India. The defense minister, Rajnath Singh, called on Moscow to attend the 75th Victory Day parade of the USSR’s victory over Nazi Germany, has thrust upon the Kremlin administration to expedite the delivery of S-400 Air Defense System. Russia is the host country for the RIC meet and Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit (SCO) this year, offers plenty of occasions for bilateral engagement. Apart from this, the Indian Ambassador to Moscow, DB Venkatesh had a cellular conversation with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgolov on June 17 regarding the clash between both countries. Beijing has already integrated the same to its defense complex, becoming the first nation to move in this direction in 2014.

The New Delhi has scaled up its diplomatic engagement with Washington in the backdrop of growing border frictions with Beijing. Both nation’s threat perceptions about the PRC go in line with the other’s. The New Delhi has been briefing the border situation to Washington’s circles. New Delhi is well aware that the U.S. support is indispensable during the Chinese aggression. The unflinching support of the United States would boost Indian morale and would exert pressure on Beijing in an aggressive standoff. Besides this, the access to state-of-art weapons and defense equipment from Washington at the time of conflict escalation or limited war is of paramount significance for Indian forces to cope up with the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army. The Indian authorities are in attempts to speed up the supply of precision artillery weapons from the U.S.   

The delivery of Rafale fighter jets from the French firm, Dassault Avionics, assumes top priority in Indian defense acquisition plans. France has reaffirmed its commitment to deliver the fighter jets on time in a conversation with the Defense minister Rajnath sigh and French defense minister Florence Parly. The initial transfer of four aircraft is expected by July end. The Indian leadership is leaving no stone unturned to raise the number of aircraft delivered in the first phase to six.

Jerusalem is another door for New Delhi to knock in time of watershed moments. Israel, during the 1999 Kargil skirmish, provided technical backstopping for IAF to integrate the Paveway Laser Guided Missiles into Mirage 2000 fighters. This technological advancement, with Israeli assistance, played a pivotal role in Indian success during the conflict. India, which has been Jerusalem’s top defense export destination, is actively going in pursuit of a SPIDER in service Air Defense System from the Jewish state.

Apart from this, the Indian external minister explained the border situation to his French foreign minister, Jean Yves Le Drian. The Indian secretary of foreign affairs, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, has also reached out to this French counterpart in a video conference. As part of these interactions, Paris has expressed its willingness to boost cooperation with India in the Western Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific. The New Delhi on similar lines has discussed the India-China Border scuffle with one another European power, Germany. The interaction took place between the German state secretary, Miguel Berger Friday, and India’s HV Shringla.

Outcomes of these Engagements

The outcomes of New Delhi’s diplomatic engagement would be a determining factor concerning the Indian aspirations to emerge victorious in its ongoing and future border strife with Beijing. The Indian endeavor to win the support of Moscow in any skirmish with Beijing is critical as it has a historic friendship with New Delhi and an ongoing economic and strategic partnership with Beijing. Taking the depth of its engagement with Beijing into account, the Kremlin does not want to get dragged into the India-China bilateral power rivalry. But at the same time, Russia has assured to hasten the delivery of weapons amid the worsening scenario at LAC.

Albeit the fact that both the New Delhi and Washington share common anxiety regarding the rise of China and its security implications, the extent to which the U.S. be willing to get involved in the India-China dispute remains contentious. The White House has reiterated its support to New Delhi in its border clash with Beijing. However, the Trump administration’s first response to the deadly standoff on 15th July sounds the alarm on the U.S.’s commitment to the Indian security concerns. Washington’s initial statement has been to find a peaceful settlement, taking a neutral stance. The U.S. could ensure the supply of arms and ammunition to New Delhi during the crisis.

Similarly, Israel, despite its increased economic interaction with PRC would supply sophisticated weapons to New Delhi. The enhanced cooperation with France would provide a booster to Indian initiatives to counter the Chinese naval dominance in IOR. Likewise, the mutual exchange with Berlin assumes greater importance for India as it would hold the presidentship of the EU for the next five years. The intensified interaction with the European powers would help to exert diplomatic pressure on Beijing to exercise restraints at Border.

The support from key allies is critical at this stage as New Delhi faces a huge engulf in firepower, both in terms of nuclear warheads and conventional power, with PRC. But, the extent of support that these countries be willing to provide is questionable. On these grounds, the strategic option before New Delhi seems to be limited, compelling New Delhi to sort out the situation, on its behalf to a great extent.

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