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Strategic and Defense Policies of India Post Ladakh Clash with China

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India shares a disputed border with China in Ladakh region which regularly faces transgressions from People’s Liberation Army(PLA) of China. The current stalemate of China-India began at the banks of Pangong Tso lake. The major portion seventy percent of this lake belongs to China and the rest belongs to India. This lake is of tactical significance for the Chinese. China has now been working on the project to build a developed infrastructure and to ensure the speedy build-up of troops in and around this lake. Chinese invasions in this locale are pointed toward moving the Line of Actual Control (LAC) towards the west, empowering them to possess key statures both on the north and the south of the lake and conceding them advantage over the Chushul Bowl. Up until now, the main motive of the PLA has been to watch the Indian side of the LAC. The Chinese and Indian troops have been engaged in a massive face-off and confrontation with each other at the Sino-Indian border including the Pangong Tso lake and Galwan valley. This border dispute has been the deadliest between both the nations for the first time after more than four decades.

STRATEGIC POLICIES OF INDIA

India has well record perspective on this border issue but there is very little discussion on the bilateral nuclear relationship. According to the findings India gave serious attention to China’s nuclear policy while Chinese have somewhat reluctant views about nuclear weapons while considering China- India relations. China and India have their own defensive strategies but their civilian governments are not accepting the importance of avoiding nuclear conflicts. The tampering effects of economic interdependence of both countries is dwindling the no first use of nuclear weapons policy and is facing an internal prob. China wants to put an end to this massive war but strategically it is way far from the negotiations which is clear from their non- escalating statements and is marked a low in bilateral talks.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured his nation that retaliation is inevitable for the killing of Indian soldiers. Meanwhile, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also claimed that China is not in the control of his country’s territory. However, this looks like a surrender to the new harsh reality for India in the Galwan valley and Pangong lake where the People’s Liberation Army of China has established its positions now which did not existed previously before may. This statement by the Prime Minister could encourage China to persue additional small gains across the Line of control(LAC). India has also criticized the Belt and Road Initiative of China and it has also withdrawn from the Asia-wide Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership over the increasing Chinese dominance. Such an approach would stamp a significant takeoff from India’s customary fixation on ensuring its strategic autonomy.

As India has realized the dominance of China in military and economic sector in the south Asian region, it’s now demanding for hardliners Hindutva supremacists to negotiate for peace. The rise of RSS which is an Indian right wing and Narendra Modi in the political map of India has transformed the foreign policy of India on more aggressive terms. RSS and Modi have promoted the image of the nation as a superpower in the region which has been blindly accepted by the common citizens of India and it is nothing but an fallacious domestic perception. The Indian Prime Minister is having a Hyper nationalistic approach in the current scenario which is humiliating the nation of India and it is also formidable for Indians to accept military weakness of the nation and also its strategic limitations. Today, Modi has been trapped by the Populist- nationalist defender of Bharat Mata. This has limited his options to a large extent.

Strategically India is looking to develop a long term coherent national strategy which is realistically achievable within countries material and technological constraints. Once India is able to form such strategy India must move boldly and dynamically to secure a network of Global alliances. This strategy will include economic, technical and military support from these alliances which will work for mutual defense. The Indian policy makers should also look to consider Ladakh’s geostrategic location, delicate environment, asset possibilities and the aspirations of the people of Ladakh. India should also consider the advantages of investing the locals in the safeguard of Ladakhi border. Furthermore India is also looking to maximize its ability to partner with ideologically similar nations like US, Western Europe to gain their support for the development and innovation of Indian infrastructure and also for the technology exchange.

China is now viewed as a neighbor whose actions are inimical to India’s interests post the recent clash. The Anti-China sentiments are growing rapidly in Indian public. This has gotten manifest in calls to blacklist Chinese items and even stop the trade with China, and sometimes even has brought about open displays of unloading Chinese products. India has sought after some financial reprisal, forbidding 59 Chinese applications on information security grounds. It is likely soon to banish Chinese organizations from other worthwhile open doors in its tremendous market. Yet, given India’s reliance on Chinese imports including drugs, car parts and central processor extreme limitations could add up to removing its nose to show disdain toward its face. India however have two strategic options one is that it should bow down before China or the other is that it should align itself with a broader international alliance in order to curb the geopolitical ambitions of China in the South Asian region. However, despite its Prime Minister Narendra Modi apparent policy of capitulation it is believed that India will go for the latter approach in future.

India will likewise likely hope to assemble more noteworthy collaboration through designs, for example, the “Quad in addition to” (extending the current gathering of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States to incorporate New Zealand, South Korea, and Vietnam). India is now looking for a partnership with the US that will go beyond arm sales, technology exchange, intelligence-sharing and is going towards deepening bilateral security ties. The Trump administration views India as a key geostrategic player and considers India as a partner in building out its Indo-Pacific strategy because it considers India as a growing power both in military and economic sector having the capacity to counter balance China along with US. This alliance with US will help out India a lot in order to deal with China in near future.

DEFENSE POLICIES OF INDIA

After the recent clashes with China over Ladakh region India has made some significant defense policies. The Indian Army and Air Force along India’s Ladakh border with China have been put on high alert post the deadliest clash between the two countries. According to  a report the Indian Navy was also put on high alert in the Indian ocean as well. On the LAC, the Indian Army’s 81 and 114 Brigades are conveyed to restrict the Chinese powers on Daulat Beg Oldi and connecting jurisdictions. The government of India has given hold   to the military to make  necessary acquisitions to load up its war reserves in the wake of raising clash with China along the Line of Actual Control. The Indian Navy has also been given the thumbs up to convey its resources close to the Malacca Strait and, if necessary, elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese activity in the region. The Indian Air Force corps resources, including the fighters too, also have been moved up to advance areas in the Ladakh region. The government of India has also asked the Chief of defense staff General Bipin Rawat coordinate with the three defense services to make necessary amendments which are required for the betterment of defense sector.

Why India changed the rules of engagement?

Almost 50,000 soldiers of the Indian Army are sent in a high condition of battle status in different hilly areas in eastern Ladakh in freezing temperatures. Under the previous rules of engagement, according to the agreements signed in 1986 and 2005 neither of the sides opens fire on the other .The rules of engagement have been changed at the Line of Control(LAC) by Narendra Modi post the recent clash between Chinese and Indian troops. According to the previous rules of engagement certain restrictions were imposed on the soldiers and now the Indian government had informed the Chinese about it at both military and diplomatic levels. The Indian army commanders have been given full freedom to put in use any of the instrument under his command for the tactical operations after any kind of aggression from the other side. The Indian government has a clear stance that it will not compromise with the integrity and sovereignty of the country. India will counter forcefully any kind of violence or misstep from the Chinese side. Reacting to the new rules of engagement by India, Xijin the editor in chief of Chinese government’s mouthpiece global times tweeted,“ If true, this is a genuine infringement of the agreement, and the Indian side will follow through on a hefty cost for any such activity”

In July, following the China-India conflict in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh that saw the passing of 20 Indian officers mid- June, the Indian Army was accounted for to have sought after 100 agreements for emergency procurement of weapons and supplies including ammo for fundamental fight tanks, man-compact air protection frameworks, just as Israeli-made Heron observation drones   with each agreement covered at  5 billion Indian rupees. The Indian military forces have maintained that the political leadership of India is  assuming China to be a long term strategic threat till the onset of crisis in Ladakh region. Such emergency measures understandably also highlight the never ending problems with India’s defense acquisition and planning. Modi is making public statements and is also visiting the border front at Ladakh region. However, this does not compensate for the insufficiently equipped Indian army.

The Indian security analysts  are also having  serious  focus to China’s nuclear policy and capabilities because India’s native military technologies are significantly behind the military capabilities of China. As the U.S- China competition intensifies it is of great advantage to India as India will look to strengthen its defense technology cooperation with U.S and it will also result in change geopolitical landscape of the Indo-Pacific region.  On the other hand, India’s progressions in atomic weapons innovation for the most part don’t concern Chinese experts. They trust India’s atomic advancements are tied in with picking up notoriety and accomplishing large force status, instead of reacting militarily to China’s nuclear modernization.

India has fortified its military resources on the LAC to fight off further attacks, and would like to squeeze China to reestablish the norm bet through discretionary or military methods. For instance, it could capture the land somewhere else on the LAC to use as leverage. However, that is more difficult than one might expect it to be. Moreover, India has no revenue in placing all of its essential investments tied up on one place. It remains vigorously subject to Russian military equipment and supplies (however it has as of late differentiated its buys), and Donald Trump’s US isn’t actually a reliable partner.

The India’s Ministry of Defense on September 10, affirmed the acquisition of 21 Russian MiG-29 and 12 Sukhoi Su-30MKI contender airplane costing $2.43bn to expand its flying corps in the wake of the outskirt deadlock with China. India is additionally anticipating the appearance of the principal bunch of 36 Rafale contender jets requested as a component of a $8.78bn bargain endorsed with France in 2016. India  also intends to welcome Australia to partake in maritime activities it conducts with Japan and the United States, while likewise consenting to a defense agreement that permits the two nations to utilize each other’s army installations. The opportunities for such collaboration are unending, restricted simply by the creative mind of the particular organizations. However, The Chinese Prime Minister XI Jinping is trying to deflate Modi’s persona and regional influence. Xi Jinping is also exposing the splits in the emerging strategic convergence between India, Australia, US and Japan. India is aware of this strategy of China and is looking to counter that as well.

CONCLUSION

This recent horrific events at Ladakh have plunged the relations of India and China to the lowest point in decades. India is now looking to strengthen its ties with US in order to cope up with China.It is more likely to happen that we will now see a far greater partnership between India and US on the issues of mutual interest which in the current environment is likely to have a substantial China component. The two countries China and India have held several rounds of diplomatic and military level talks. It was concurred at the discussions that the round of military discourse should be held at an early date so the two sides can pursue an early and complete withdrawal of troops as per the current bilateral agreements and conventions. Both the countries are trying their best to resolve the dispute by mutual coordination. India and China have held a few rounds of strategic and military talks in the last few months to resolve the standoff between both states but no significant or concrete breakthrough has been achieved so far.

I am Hashim Kamal born on 16th April 2000. Grew up in Rawalpindi a city of Pakistan. Basically belonging to District Karak Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. I am currently enrolled in Bachelors in International Relations in National Defence University Islamabad. My interest areas are regional, ethnic and global conflicts, terrorism etc. I have a keen goal in persuing my career as a diplomat to serve my country.

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Defense

India’s Sprouting Counterforce Posture

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In recent years, the technological advancements by India in the domain of counterforce military capabilities have increased the vulnerability of the South Asian region. While trying to disturb the strategic stability in South Asia, India through its adventuresome counterforce posture against Pakistan is on the verge of becoming a rogue state. Notwithstanding the repercussions, India is voyaging towards destabilization in the South Asian Region.

India’s enhanced strategic nuclear capabilities which includes-the development of Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs), Ballistic Missile Defence System (BMD), Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), supersonic and hypersonic cruise missiles, and acquisition of nuclear-capable submarines- indicate that India is moving away from its declared policy of ‘No First Use’ (NFU) towards a more aggressive, counterforce posture against Pakistan. The BMD and MIRV technology along with the provision of an advanced navigation system under BECA would embolden India to go for the first strike against Pakistan. While having reliance on BMD, as to be sheltered in return. These technological advancements made by India are sprouting a new era of counterforce posture, which would further make the South Asian region volatile and vulnerable to conflicts.

India’s urge to acquire counterforce capability is strongly associated with its doctrinal shift. As the stated posture requires flexibility in the use of nuclear weapons, which fortifies the first strike capability, and thus a deviation in India’s declared policy of ‘No First Use’ (NFU) has become more significant, particularly concerning its impact on regional stability. India’s declared policy of NFU, set out in Draft Nuclear Doctrine in 1999, followed by its first amendment in January 2003 has since then been into hot debates. Pakistan has long doubted the Indian policy of NFU, as the actions and statements by the officials of the latter have always been aggressive and protruding towards the former. India, now, is drifting away from its policy of NFU with the acquisition of counterforce capabilities, particularly against Pakistan. This is further evident from the statement issued by India’s Defense Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh, back in August 2019. It stated “Till today, our nuclear policy is ‘no-first-use’ (NFU). What happens in the future depends on the circumstances.” A change at the doctrinal level is evident in the Indian strategic enclave. Notwithstanding the challenges and repercussions caused by the counterforce strategy and with an attempt to destabilize the nuclear deterrence in the region, India would go unjustifiably low to attain such measures.  

In the same vein, India has been enhancing its nuclear capabilities for strategic flexibility against its regional rivals. By the same token, it wants to attain nuclear dominance, which would ultimately result in chaos in the region. The counterforce capability by India would compel its adversaries to heed towards the preemptive strike, in case of a crisis, out of the fear of the use of Nuclear weapons first by the patent enemy.  Moreover, the counterforce capability pushes the enemy to put the nuclear weapons on hair-trigger mode, which is directly linked with the crisis escalation.  The acquisition of counterforce capability by India would likely provoke a new arms race in the region. This would further destabilize the already volatile South Asian region. The far-reaching destabilization which India is trying to create, just to have an edge on the nuclear adversary, would be back on India’s face, faster than she knew it.

On the contrary, Pakistan has been maintaining a posture of Credible Minimum Deterrence (CMD) and does not claim to have a No-First Use (NFU) policy. Moreover, Pakistan’s nuclear capability is defensive in principle and a tool for deterrence. Given the Indian evolved notions of counterforce preemption, even now Pakistan would be left with no choice but to leave room for carrying out a ‘first strike’ as a feasible deterrent against India. Nevertheless, with the advent of technological innovations, its countermeasure arrives soon, too. Presently, there are two aspects that Pakistan should take into consideration; the growing Indo-US nexus and India’s concealed innovations in the nuclear posture. Though India is far from achieving counterforce strikes against Pakistan’s nuclear targets, concrete steps are required for maintaining future deterrence stability. With that intention, Pakistan might need to look towards its allies for getting hands-on the modern capabilities which includes- advanced communication and navigation systems, sensors, and advancements in artificial intelligence and otherwise, is essential for strengthening its deterrent capability. Pakistan should heed towards the development of absolute second-strike capability; as, what is survivable today, could be vulnerable tomorrow. Therefore, advancements in technology should be made for preserving nuclear deterrence in the future as well.

Summarizing it all, the existence of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence has created a stable environment in the region, by deterring full-scale wars on multiple occasions that might have resulted in a nuclear exchange. With the revolution in nuclear technology, the threat of nuclear war has emerged again. Instead of going towards the attainment of peace and stability in the region, India has been enhancing its counterforce capabilities. This would likely remain a significant threat to the deterrence stability in the region. Moreover, any kind of failure to maintain nuclear deterrence in South Asia could result in an all-out war, without any escalation control. India, in its lust for power and hegemonic designs, has been destabilizing the region. Both the nuclear states in South Asia need to engage in arms restraint and escalation control measures. This seems to be a concrete and more plausible way out; else the new era of destabilization could be more disastrous.  

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Defense

A pig in a poke of Lithuanian Armed Forces

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The proverb “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” perfectly reflects the situation in the Lithuanian armed forces. It is it unclear how the army will carry out its tasks, if everything that happens there runs counter to common sense.

The conscription took place in Lithuania. The recruits once again were revealed by an electronic lottery on January 7, 2021. 3,828 recruits were selected from the list of 38 thousand conscripts aged 18 to 23.

The idea of using electronic lottery in such a serious procedure arises a lot of questions among Lithuanians. Young people are suspicious of this method and fully admit the possibility of corruption. Nobody could check the results and so nobody could be blamed for random selection. The more so, the armed forces could get weaker recruits than in case of using usual ways of choosing among candidates. So, the army buys a pig in a poke.

This approach to recruitment in Lithuania results in presence of those with criminal intents and inclinations. Сases of crimes committed by Lithuanian military personnel have increased. Incidents with the involvement of military regularly occurred in Lithuania in 2020.

Thus, a soldier of the Lithuanian army was detained in Jurbarkas in October. He was driving under the influence of alcohol. A Lithuanian soldier suspected of drunk driving was detained also in Siauliai in December. Panevėžys County Chief Police Commissariat was looking for a soldier who deserted from the Lithuanian Armed Forces and so forth.

Such behaviour poses serious risks to public safety and leads to loss of confidence in the Lithuanian army in society.

Lithuanian military officials have chosen a new way to discourage young people from serving in the army, which is already not popular.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” The ministry of defence decided to run a photo contest that would reflect service in the country’s armed forces. It is doubtful that such pictures will attract to the army, but the real situation is provided.

Usually, popularization is the act of making something attractive to the general public. This contest served the opposite goal. Look at the pictures and make conclusions.

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Defense

Fatah-1: A New Security and Technological Development About Pakistan’s Indigenous GMLRS

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Islamabad: It seems like 2021 has been a good start for Pakistan specifically with regard to stepping up its missile testing. On the 7th of January, the Pakistan military has successfully conducted a purely indigenously developed missile test flight known to be Fatah-1. As stated by various reports, Fatah-1 is an extended-range Guided Multi-Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) which itself is a developed variant of the guided MLRS family.

According to the recent statement given by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) about the newly developed rocket, it was stated: “The weapon system will give Pakistan Army capability of a precision target deep in the enemy territory.” Director-General of Pakistan Army, Media Wing, major general Babar Iftikhar on 7th January tweeted: “Pakistan today conducted a successful; test flight of indigenously developed Fatah-1, Guided Multi Launch Rocket System, capable of delivering a conventional Warhead up to a range of 140 km.”

Defense analyst Mr. Syed Muhammad Ali also stated in his capacity: “the new system was very fast, accurate, survivable, and difficult to intercept”. A video was also shared by ISPR on their official website, in which the missile launch can be seen while being fired from the launcher however, the details on when and where the test flight has taken place, along with the specification of the rocket system are yet to be announced.

Currently, Pakistan Army owns a wide range of Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM), Medium-Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBM), Battlefield Ballistic Missiles (BBM), Rocket Artillery, and Surface to Surface Cruise Missile (SSCM). In the previous year, Pakistan had also maintained prime success in conducting the Ra’ad-II cruise missile and Ghaznavi surface-to-surface ballistic missile (SSBM). Besides, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on 30thDecember made apt progress when it comes to the national air defense arsenal as it was announced that PAF is beginning the production of the State-of-the-art JF-17 Thunder Block 3 fighter jets, at the same time acquiring the 14 dual-seat Jf-17 aircraft.

According to various reports, the JF-17 Thunder Block 3 will be said to have a new radar operational capability which will be far better in the practical domain as compared to the Raphael aircraft acquired by India. Whereas, the exchange of 14 dual-seat aircraft, manufactured with Pak-China cooperation were also given to the PAF which will be used for extensive training.

The recent successful testing of Fatah-1 has been considered to be another milestone for Pakistan as it tends to be a fitting response to the recent developments in the conventional capabilities carried out by India and also to India’s Cold Start Doctrine.

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