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What is India's Highest Priority in a 3-Week 2-Front War, 2012-14?
1) Just retain control of present territory, punishing invaders as much as possible. That's all we can hope to do. 11%  11%  [ 6 ]
2) Achieve strategic humiliation of China, retake Aksai Chin and demonstrate capability to strangle Indian Ocean lifeline. Hold against TSP. 15%  15%  [ 8 ]
3) Achieve tactical humiliation of China, visibly and dramatically punishing the PLA. Hold against TSP. 21%  21%  [ 11 ]
4) Achieve strategic control of POK and the Northern Areas. Hold against China. 34%  34%  [ 18 ]
5) Assault TSP heartland to prompt collapse and fragmentation. Hold against China. 6%  6%  [ 3 ]
6) Achieve tactical humiliation of TSPA by causing serious destruction of its assets. Hold against China. 11%  11%  [ 6 ]
7) Other (please explain.) 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 53
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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2012 22:10 
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Happy Diwali everyone!

As a thoroughly amateur armchair strategist, I've been entertaining a few thoughts in the aftermath of tangy dum aloo, wholesome saag paneer and hot flaky parathas. I will try to post them, and request your responses in this poll, before the sweets come out. :)

Essence of my thoughts:

1) 3 Weeks is the maximum window of opportunity that India (or any nation of comparable stature) can take advantage of in a conventional war. Longer than this, and many economic and geopolitical countervailing realities come into play. Even China will start feeling an acute economic pinch after this period, and will have to seriously consider whether hunkering down for a longer conflict would be worth the increasing costs. The international community, led by the US, will start pressurizing all sides for a ceasefire because things are getting bad for business. And finally, the collapse of N-deterrence (which all sides want to avoid) will become exponentially more likely following this period. This is true for all nations of a certain size range, larger than the fourth-world African states in perpetual conflict, upto and including Russia (see the Georgia episode.) Only the US (and some of its European allies as long as they have full US backing) can afford to think in terms of formulating gains over military campaigns longer than 3 weeks or 1 month.

2) The greater a territorial gain, the more the pressure to bargain it away at the political table during the aftermath. The US-backed international system does not like significant redrawing of borders through armed conflict, it sets a bad precedent; and it will react strongly to a cartographic change depending upon its interests. It was happy to extend the Yugoslav civil war until only a rump Serbian republic remained; OTOH, it launched Desert Storm against Saddam Hussein.

3) The more your adversary values H&D, the more you gain by visibly, dramatically destroying it for the world to see.

4) To the extent that you make any territorial, strategic or tactical gains, you should plan them so that they will be conducive to the interests (or at least, not clearly opposed to the interests) of the US-backed international system that will inevitably become involved. US has its H&D concerns as well... it is wise to pick your war aims in a way that will make the US look good when it agrees to let you keep them. The status quo post bellum should be no less palatable to the international system, as far as possible, than the status quo ante bellum was.

Given these assumptions (feel free to tear them down, of course) I pose the poll question: What are India's optimal aims in a 2-front, 3-week war against PRC and Pakistan?

Note, when you choose an option, please pick one that you feel we can realistically achieve in 3 weeks to 1 month, given the most probable state of all militaries at present and extending over the next two years.


Last edited by Rudradev on 14 Nov 2012 02:21, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2012 22:20 
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I picked Option2 before reading the details :((

Given the point 4 of Rudradev's commentary, only option 3 becomes viable.

But If India can play proper game, Option 4 would be the most worthwhile prize for a 3-4 week war.

Can I change my vote to 4?


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2012 22:22 
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Rama Y ji, enabled vote changes... you should be able to change it now.

Remember, voting for an option means you think we have the mil capability to pull it off within 3 weeks over the next 2 years!

And, no one is obliged to agree with my commentary... please post any disagreements. :)


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2012 22:34 
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Given the conditions the only practical option is 3. Everything else is interlinking, especially options 4,5 and 6.

I still think Option 4 is most valuable for India and that should be the goal. But I am voting for 3.


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2012 22:48 
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If we face a two front war I guess we will go nuclear against Bakistan. Voted for 6th option.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 00:15 
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Armchair "Doctine" ?? Am I hallucinating or does the headline needs spelling correction ?


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 00:26 
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Voted for option 3.. Given the terrain, 3 weeks may not be sufficient to retake PoK and northern areas, even in single front conventional war. Kargil showed us that.. Option 4 would have been best..


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 00:48 
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The question is how much of war reserve do we have? Current estimates are that we can fight a 45 day war, but is that a two front war or just against the Pakis?


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 02:02 
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I voted option 4 but I'm now thinking this will be very difficult to achieve. The PA seems well entrenched there and there is an increasing Chinese presence. Infrastructure is also being rapidly expanded to facilitate quick deployment of PLA.

I think there are three countries which we haven't factored into the "two front" scenario.

Bangladesh: They have a huge population squeezed into a very small landmass which makes them resort to demographic warfare against India. They have no other choice. They already have military treaty with China. Why wouldn't they use the opportunity to ramp up the proxy war and expand their border and link up with China? We may have no other choice but to target them with a few of our nuclear assets as insurance.

Nepal: The Maoists in Nepal are probably going to be supplied by China in the event of a war with India and it' possible that the Chinese may attempt to grab some of their territory in the process. We may have to wage our own proxy war to counter theirs.

Bhutan: Always wondered how Bhutan would defend itself should it face an invasion by China. Perhaps someone could elaborate.

Indian Muslims: I'm sure that we will be facing extreme pressures in certain areas of India such as Kerala, UP, NE, Kashmir, etc if a large scale conflict does arise. How exactly do we game for something like this and how would we even begin to counter it?


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 02:22 
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Sanku-ji, thanks for pointing that out... fixed.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 02:29 
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Roy G has brought up the "Indian Muslims" angle; specifically, I think we need to be concerned about ISI cells of jihadis scattered in the expected populations throughout India.

My thoughts about that are as follows. I think the Pakis will activate those cells under one of two conditions:
a) If the IA has its back to the wall and the TSPA feels that the additional pressure on internal security will make us cave and allow the Pakis a major breakthrough on some front.
b) If the IA is pushing deeply into Pakistan or currently Pakistan-held territory, and the TSPA is badly on the backfoot. In this case, I think the TSPA would activate the Karachi project cells before they went up the ladder to the nuclear option.

So perhaps the best way to stave this off is to conduct the war so that Pakistan never achieves better than A, or suffers worse than B. In that situation I think TSPA/ISI might not play that card to a major extent, and may prefer to save it for another opportunity.

I notice that the largest number of votes are for retaking POK-NA. I'm concerned about two things with such an option. One, is it even possible in three weeks, given the state of our military? Rohitvats and other experts would know much better than I. Two, would it cause the IM cells to be activated and add another problem at the time we don't want one?


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 02:32 
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Will wrote:
The question is how much of war reserve do we have? Current estimates are that we can fight a 45 day war, but is that a two front war or just against the Pakis?


That's what I'd based my estimates on. 21 days is what we have to achieve our war aims; the rest is for contingencies. We must plan our initiatives for a favourable endgame/ceasefire at D+21. We can't push deep into the Tibetan plateau and have no reliable way to resupply our forward formations. For that matter I'm not sure we could push to Gilgit or Skardu in 21-30 days. Whatever we achieve by D+21 is it, for the most part, unless unforeseen opportunities arise.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 02:39 
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Rudradev wrote:
If the IA is pushing deeply into Pakistan or currently Pakistan-held territory, and the TSPA is badly on the backfoot. In this case, I think the TSPA would activate the Karachi project cells before they went up the ladder to the nuclear option.


IMHO

When IA pushes deeply into Pakistan and recaptures PoK/NA the ISI sleeper sells will stayput because they know that will be squashed like the bugs they are.

The sleeper-cells will come out in scenario 1 to cash-in the military victory.

Story of the Moral is - Do what you need to do without worrying about Muslims. They will behave when you are strong. I am not pointing at Indian Muslims separately because after occupation the PoK/NA muslims too become Indian Muslims.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 02:40 
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RoyG wrote:

Bangladesh: They have a huge population squeezed into a very small landmass which makes them resort to demographic warfare against India. They have no other choice. They already have military treaty with China. Why wouldn't they use the opportunity to ramp up the proxy war and expand their border and link up with China? We may have no other choice but to target them with a few of our nuclear assets as insurance.

Nepal: The Maoists in Nepal are probably going to be supplied by China in the event of a war with India and it' possible that the Chinese may attempt to grab some of their territory in the process. We may have to wage our own proxy war to counter theirs.

Bhutan: Always wondered how Bhutan would defend itself should it face an invasion by China. Perhaps someone could elaborate.


Our best defence in all of these three cases is the speed at which events unfold, or at which we make them unfold. If it becomes a long-drawn-out war of attrition, yes absolutely Bangladesh will try to take advantage by ramping up a proxy war; and Nepal's Maoists too might do the same. However, these nations won't be prepared to intervene within three weeks of hostilities in any major way. For the most part, they will be waiting and watching the giants go at each other to see how things pan out.

That's exactly why knowing what aims we would prioritize for this kind of war becomes critical. It's also why I'm personally drawn to option 3... tactical humiliation of China. Giving the PLA a severe beating in 3 weeks, maybe ending up with our forces occupying a slice of the Tibetan plateau and then withdrawing to a ceasefire position, will have long-term benefits not only globally but within the region as well. Even the Tibetan resistance would get a shot in the arm; Nepal and BD will think twice about challenging our supremacy in the region or playing Beijing against New Delhi; and Bhutan may sign up for statehood!

I don't personally think we could succeed in freeing POK-NA or retaking Aksai Chin in the scenario envisioned (21 days) or even altering the present LOC/LAC very significantly. Small territories of significance, like Haji Pir, should be targeted if the opportunity presents; but mostly this will come down to establishing air, land and possibly naval military supremacy over the rising "Asian Superpower" in our sphere of influence.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 02:49 
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RamaY wrote:
Rudradev wrote:
If the IA is pushing deeply into Pakistan or currently Pakistan-held territory, and the TSPA is badly on the backfoot. In this case, I think the TSPA would activate the Karachi project cells before they went up the ladder to the nuclear option.


IMHO

When IA pushes deeply into Pakistan and recaptures PoK/NA the ISI sleeper sells will stayput because they know that will be squashed like the bugs they are.


I don't think so. In fact, that's why the ISI created cells in civilian population centers all over India, instead of restricting Jihad to Kashmir and NE pockets. The big push to develop these types of cells arose when the Pakis were faced with Parakram, and they realized that simply having a fifth column in J&K, close behind Indian lines would be of limited use against a concerted onslaught. The activity of these sleeper cells is designed to be independent of what is going on elsewhere in terms of war, counterinsurgency etc. by opening a third "internal" front. Conventional victory of the IA over TSPA won't change the various forms of "cover" that these cells can count on deep within Indian society, and it won't change political will of the civilian GOI to take them on and crush them.

And of course, the question remains of whether we can recapture PoK/NA in the given time.

Quote:
The sleeper-cells will come out in scenario 1 to cash-in the military victory.
That is certainly possible, if TSPA thinks it is winning or that we need only one push to be defeated, they will activate the sleeper cells (my condition "A"). Therefore, TSPA should never succeed to the extent of condition "A".

Quote:
Story of the Moral is - Do what you need to do without worrying about Muslims. They will behave when you are strong. I am not pointing at Indian Muslims separately because after occupation the PoK/NA muslims too become Indian Muslims.


It's not a question of "worrying about Muslims" but about the specific internal security challenges that could result from activation of ISI sleeper cells in this situation. In the long run of course, every cell that raises itself will be crushed. But when fighting a 3-week war on 2 fronts, their potential activation is a factor to consider.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 02:52 
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Achieving 4 will also result in 3 and 6 although "humiliation" per se of either TSPA or China should not be the goal IMO. Retaking what is legally ours from thieves should be.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 02:55 
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Rji,

I think otherwise. Let us game this scenario.

TSPA is getting a heavy beating in Pakistan proper. IA occupied most of PoK and inching in NA. IA is also holding the borders in the plains.

Now what additional advantage TSPA will get by activating its sleeper cells?

Indian Paramilitary is good enough to handle this situation. One unmentioned variable is majority response to internal issues in war times.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 02:56 
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Victor, agreed, if possible at all. But what if it isn't, given the time frame, assets and resources available? Also, remember that we will come under international pressure to restore ante-bellum positions during a ceasefire (whether or not we resist it, or whether we CAN resist it, or how much pressure there is, is another issue; that's why I mentioned in my first post that our D+21 disposition should be one that the US-backed international community would not find openly threatening to its own interests.)

However, a major humiliation of the enemy has its own very valuable strategic consequences... aren't we still feeling the after-effects of 1962? Not to mention the neighbours?

Our ideal war aims are one thing; but in a real situation, present or near-future, we will have to pick our priority, assess SWOT and go for it. The question on this thread is, what should that (achievable) priority be that provides the best chances of success, and the best available short- and long-term rewards if successful?


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 03:08 
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Rudradev, I don't think China has gained any strategic advantages by humiliating our polity and army in 1962. Our weaknesses today are entirely of our own making, or rather of our politicians. There is zero to be gained from simply giving the Chinese or Pakis a bloody nose and all our scarce resources must be used to achieve a concrete and lasting result. Once POK/NA are reoccupied, all international pressure can and should be redirected onto the UN resolutions that were passed and which require that pakis and Chinese first remove all their fingerprints from entire J&K. This will of course not be possible today and therefore neither should our vacating POK/NA. All the vociferous scumbags who were responsible for ethnically cleansing J&K of Kashmiri Pandits should be taken care of or offered safe passage to Pakiland.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 03:27 
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RoyG wrote:
Bhutan: Always wondered how Bhutan would defend itself should it face an invasion by China. Perhaps someone could elaborate.

Read Vivek's excellent Indo-China war scenario in the scenarios thread. A Chinese thrust through Bhutan and the Indian response is one part of it.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 03:38 
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I voted for the slightly conservative option 6. But I realize that even that may be too much to wish for. If we are talking about the 2012-14 time period we have to assume that the Indian armed forces will be fighting with whatever they have now and consequently every shortfall and drawback in equipment, numbers or infrastructure that we suffer from now (and there are many) will apply to this conflict. So while in an ideal case options 3 or 4 might sound tempting, option 1 might be the best that is practically possible.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 03:45 
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Option 7.

Thanks to the new no war agreement with TSP we no longer have to worry about the 2 front war; my sources say 'Panchsheel-II' is in works that will take care of Chipanda until 2013. In worst case scenario should Pakistan choose to attack us they will be only taking what is rightfully theirs as minorities have a first right on our resources.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 07:03 
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Rudradev you have not stated who started the war. If we start a two front war our aims have to be different from a situation in which a China-Pakistan combination starts a two front war due to some complex reasons. Your option 1 suggests that it is the latter. Problem is that if it is the latter we have to know what they might hope to achieve. Punishing and humiliating the adversary is a fundamental requirement in all war. IMO the only way a war can be kept short is by applying overwhelming force and achieving spectacular gains - especially territorial, combined with a simultaneous paralysing of the enemy's ability to mount a conventional military response. That would bring nukes into the equation. So how far would the Chinese and Pakistani leadership be ready to use their nukes in case they start losing?

If humiliation puts the personal power and influence of leaders who started the war at risk inside their own nations - like bringing down the communist regime, they will need to escalate to nuclear war to regain some respect. But if they lose cities then they may lose what little respect they had.

So conventional war must ideally be started when the aim is to be able to punish India in conventional war knowing that India will not react with nuclear weapons. If India can avoid that punishment the war aims are thwarted. If India punishes he aggressors, the aggressor will have to be ready to escalate to nukes.

I have not voted


Last edited by shiv on 14 Nov 2012 07:33, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 07:16 
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Option 4: Achieve strategic control of POK and the Northern Areas.

Reasons:
a) Option 4 has all the benefits of Option 5 and Option 6.
b) This is the best time to achieve it because of the general weakening of the 'international regime'(along with US).
c) The ball will be in pakis' court whether they are ready to extend it into a full blown war. Can they afford it? Even if they do extend it, can they retake POK, once India has gained control over it? Note that Pakis have avoided conventional war after 1971.
d) The paki sleeper cells in India are useless to stop(or reverse) this assault. Moreover, in a 'war mood' handling such entities becomes much more easier than protecting them. War time is the best time for a govt to address many internal challenges in any which way it wants to...
e) China may not want to join in militarily. It may make noise in fora(which is for all intents and purposes, meaningless).
f) Such a taking of POK would also be a warning of sorts to China, not to attempt adventures.
g) US' reaction is difficult to predict. In fact, US itself may not know how to react to such a scenario. First instinct of US would be to ask India to cease and desist. But, there may be factions within US(now more than ever) who may welcome such Indian bellicosity against pakis. It may lead to longtime review of US' policies for this region. Of course, the Indian leadership must be ready to withstand any international pressure(especially in the initial period, when everyone is simply surprised at the deviance of Indian behaviour from the past). Once people are used to the fact that India did and will do such things, they will react in a more 'rational' manner. For a complete acceptance, it may take about a time of 2-3 yrs. After 2-3 yrs, people would be used to India holding POK.
h) Any and every demand to 'trade' the land at negotiations table must simply be squashed.
i) Such an action ids best done after a good excuse/justification when the world is more likely to support such an action. For eg: Post-26/11 was perfect timing for such an assault.

---
Challenges:
a) Potential escalation of such an assault into a full-blown war and then to a nuclear war.
b) Timid national leadership which is fearful of the 'international reaction'.
c) Elements of national & local leadership that do not want Pakis to be destroyed.
d) Possibility of lack of preparation(or ability) of Indian armed forces to carry out such a job.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 12:45 
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shiv wrote:
Rudradev you have not stated who started the war. If we start a two front war our aims have to be different from a situation in which a China-Pakistan combination starts a two front war due to some complex reasons. Your option 1 suggests that it is the latter. Problem is that if it is the latter we have to know what they might hope to achieve. Punishing and humiliating the adversary is a fundamental requirement in all war.


Shiv,

I should have mentioned it explicitly, but as you've noted, it is implied that China and Pakistan start the war.

Why exactly they start the war is OT for this thread. Many plausible political scenarios have been discussed on the Strat forum, and probably many more will be.

What might they hope to achieve? Well, it's quite certain they will not telegraph their intentions before hostilities begin. We will probably have some degree of intel about their visible preparations, which are sure to be mixed up with many decoys and feints. They would want to keep us guessing what exactly they are planning to do until the last possible moment. Broadly, we can expect that they will launch some kind of territorial grab, most likely in J&K or Tawang or both, but we can't know for sure what their specific intentions are beforehand. Knowing this is not a luxury we would likely have in the real world.

The point of this discussion is not to consider what the TSP-PRC war aims are likely to be, and then to formulate a reactive strategy to that. In the real world, we would probably achieve certainty about their specific war plans only in hindsight. Rather, the point of this discussion is to determine how WE can most optimally commit our limited resources, assets and time in formulating our own war aims, even without any sure knowledge of the enemy's war aims.

Of course, any plan we make would include some flexibility to respond to whatever we calculate the most likely enemy actions would be; that is covered under all options of the poll. However, the purpose of offering options 2-7 in the poll is to explore the question: if confronted with such a war, would India be able to seize ANY degree of initiative to secure her own interests? Can a two-front war imposed on us by Pakistan and China be viewed as a potential strategic opportunity, apart from the threat and the danger it very obviously represents? Is there anything we can realistically aim to do in such a situation, apart from being purely reactive to enemy actions (Option 1?) Can we have our own game plan independent of the enemy's game plan, or is our game plan restricted only to countering the enemy's game plan blow for blow?

Quote:
IMO the only way a war can be kept short is by applying overwhelming force and achieving spectacular gains - especially territorial, combined with a simultaneous paralysing of the enemy's ability to mount a conventional military response. That would bring nukes into the equation. So how far would the Chinese and Pakistani leadership be ready to use their nukes in case they start losing?


I'm not sure about this. Force will have to be overwhelming, but very tightly focused on achieving well-defined gains. For example, parts of J&K and/or Arunachal that the enemy feels confident of seizing and holding within a specific time window; this time window being the period in which the enemy believes that all prevailing factors will compel India to accept a ceasefire. Gains will have to be substantial enough to justify the risk and effort of going to war, but will likewise be limited to whatever the enemy is confident of seizing and holding for the duration of that time window. "Spectacular" is too subjective a term to use in this context.

The enemy, of course, takes a certain risk that India will react with nukes, or that India will simply offer a longer (duration) and tougher conventional response than they had calculated. But this whole scenario assumes that China and Pakistan have considered that quantum of risk, and decided that India cannot or will not react in those ways for certain reasons... and that hence, nukes will not enter the picture. If China and/or Pakistan think that there is a better-than-negligible chance of nukes entering the picture as a result of their proposed action, then they will not take that action, and there will be no two-front war.

Quote:
If humiliation puts the personal power and influence of leaders who started the war at risk inside their own nations - like bringing down the communist regime, they will need to escalate to nuclear war to regain some respect. But if they lose cities then they may lose what little respect they had.


This assumes that India, in the 2012-2014 period, will have the capacity to humiliate the enemy to such an extent that the enemy regime's survival would be jeopardized... and that India can achieve this without first-use of nukes, and within the time-window stipulated above. Again, if the Chinese/Pakis believe India is capable of this feat, they won't start a two-front war with India. But all said and done, I don't think their starting a two-front war with India is unthinkable.

Quote:
So conventional war must ideally be started when the aim is to be able to punish India in conventional war knowing that India will not react with nuclear weapons.


Agreed. Of course the enemy has no way of "knowing" so they would calculate a probability based on the estimated capabilities and time-windows referenced above; and act according to their confidence in this probability.

Quote:
If India can avoid that punishment the war aims are thwarted. If India punishes he aggressors, the aggressor will have to be ready to escalate to nukes.


Definitely, there is some degree of uncertainty around these questions that the aggressors would have to factor in before starting a two-front war with India. However, our question for this thread is, once the aggressors have decided to launch a two-front war... how can India best punish the aggressors for maximum gain while herself limiting the possibility of nuclear escalation, and limiting the window to an optimal length of time (3 weeks is the figure I've suggested)?


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 13:51 
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After thinking about it quite a bit, I voted (3) -- tactical humiliation of China.

The factors which went into my decision were

Constraints
1) Limited mil strength to take a strategic offensive -- defending needs fewer troops, a full on occupation would need more troops and time etc.
2) Must not make the war nuclear (nothing to gain from our perspective) -- and probably a hope China has through proxy.
3) Pakistani's (state elements onlee) can not be humiliated, if there was such a chance, remotely, they have been humiliated enough for them to die in "chullu bhar paani" -- they are vermin (TSPA ;) elements onlee) to be exterminated, fully and completely -- this is seriously beyond the scope of above right now -- so humiliating the keedas has no value unfortunately.

Opportunities
1) China is the real ling leadel of all the vermin which are jumping up and down biting at our ankles. A solid jhappad to these guys, even when tactical, will open a strategic space where "China is great, all hail China" model so much in vogue today, gets a reality check.
2) This strategic space can be explored in a multitude of ways (more freedom for Tibet, exploring the Indo-China sea with partners like Vietnam etc)
3) We can come out smelling of roses "a la Kargil" -- without any strategic gains of territory, just holding on and rubbing Paki nose is dirt was beautiful in the way it completely pushed Pak of the edge of the precipice it was teetering over for agonizingly long time.

So net-net (3) -- It has the right balance of achieving the goals -- however, in terms of tactical humiliations and victory, we must attempt to at least gain some of our territory back. Not full NA/Pok -- Aksai Chin. But some visible tactically important peaks and ridges. And hold on to them.

Something small enough to escape "public view" -- but be important enough for the strat community (Haji Pir pass?)


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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2012 06:51 
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Posts: 23271
Location: Embarrassed by fresh-off-the-boat Indians
Rudradev wrote:
What might they hope to achieve? Well, it's quite certain they will not telegraph their intentions before hostilities begin. We will probably have some degree of intel about their visible preparations, which are sure to be mixed up with many decoys and feints. They would want to keep us guessing what exactly they are planning to do until the last possible moment. Broadly, we can expect that they will launch some kind of territorial grab, most likely in J&K or Tawang or both, but we can't know for sure what their specific intentions are beforehand. Knowing this is not a luxury we would likely have in the real world.

The point of this discussion is not to consider what the TSP-PRC war aims are likely to be, and then to formulate a reactive strategy to that. In the real world, we would probably achieve certainty about their specific war plans only in hindsight. Rather, the point of this discussion is to determine how WE can most optimally commit our limited resources, assets and time in formulating our own war aims, even without any sure knowledge of the enemy's war aims.


The way my mind tends to approach this sort of question is to try and predict, before any war, what a China Pakistan combination can achieve - at worst. What they can achieve (at worst) is where their strengths (which they can possibly bring to bear in a particular area) are pitted against our weaknesses in that area. Here I reach a complete blank. This is confidential information - no one is going to say "we have a problem here" but in general, apart from transient issues (entire fleet of some helo grounded) all "weakneses" that are not due to geographic features will stem from poor planning and logistics. These in turn can snowball into a morale issue.

But I believe that talk of any war requires that all "weaknessss" are adequately covered for all exigencies including orderly retreat to a stronger position in the rear lines. One these are covered the next thing would be to figure out here the adversary is weak, either geographically or logistically. Logistical problems can be created and this assumes prior intelligence about where the enemy's logistics comes from, and it is to be assumed that the enemy has ensured robust back up for his logistics knowing that you will go for them.

If you compare with recent wars, i.e. the Gulf war and Kargil you find that enemy logistics and forces required air pounding for several weeks before the losing force was naked and easier to push back. Compare this with 1971 and Yom Kippur and you find that even back in that era air dominance or local air superiority achieved within days allowed land forces to do their job in a few more days.

Since we are dealing with bigger air forces it is my view that major territorial exchanges cannot simply be planned to occur in 2-3 weeks without a prior plan to decimate the enemy's logistics and comm by air action. Oh of course we must take territory if it becomes opportune (as it did in 1971, and as it did for China in 1962) but IMO the opportunity to take land may not come until there has been 2-3 weeks of intense air action while ground forces hold. In the initial days of such a war started by China and Pakistan we can expect intense air attacks all across a wide front so in the first week of this planned 2-3 week war we will still be
1. Repairing damaged airfields
2. regrouping and moving assets that were hidden from attack for action
3. Commencing retaliation in terms of attacks on enemy assets and intense artillery at the border.

In short I believe that 2-3 weeks is too short a time to "plan" something other than just holding and inflicting losses on enemy forces and getting ourselves into position for a major offensive land grab.


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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2012 11:18 
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BRFite

Joined: 02 May 2012 02:51
Posts: 132
voted for option 1, its very very difficult to alter the boundaries in just 2-3 weeks, there is a chance that IA will make some territorial gains against PA.

but even those gains will be reverted back under international pressure.

Big Question is "how IA will be able to hold against PLA ?"


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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2012 12:10 
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BRF Oldie

Joined: 21 Nov 2008 04:10
Posts: 2233
Location: Bharathavarshey Bharathakhandey Jumbudweepey Kaveryaha Uttare Teerey
Pakistan is so yesterday and is like a suggestion box in tiananmen square. In trying to humiliate TSP we will be flogging a dead horse. Time to call the Chinese bluff, one small humiliation from our side and the Chinese society will take care of rest, the CCP will fall like a pack of cards and swim in the same bullshit they created in the first place.

China and TSP have more to fear from their internal societies than does India. The inherent strength of India is its democracy, warts and all. 99.99% of Indian Muslims are with the country and will rise up to the occassion to show where their allegiance lies. The .01% implanted by TSP will be hunted and beaten up by IMs themselves.

Once China and TSP are put in their places the other nations in the region will automatically fall in place. Its about time as we in India have been constantly affected by these string of failed states. Apart from Bhutan all the other nations in our vicinity have flawed identities based on hate of some form or other. Time to wind up them all and have them integrated with India but with internal autonomy. NO migration to India would be possible, let them wallow in their own $h*t.


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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2012 13:04 
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BRF Oldie

Joined: 30 Dec 2005 18:28
Posts: 10019
Location: Kali blessing station No 5, Mleccha Defence Tower No 34, Harshavardhan Line - Western Sector
the CCP itself might be totally transformed in the next decade. as china modernises and becomes more prosperous, the groundswell of public opinion appears to be moving in a more 'democractic' direction. thats not to say that the chinese are not highly patriotic and nationalistic, however there is a shift in priorities from 'aggression' to 'profit'. the chinese will retain a strong military, but direct hostility with india will be a lower priority than addressing more immediate issues with japan and the US over the north pacific theatre. a more democraticaly orientated china 'should' be willing to do more bania like deals to secure raw materials and supply lines than one run by the CCP. from a strategic perspective - sooner or later pakistan is going to become a liability for them in xinkiang, and xinkiang is the key to their hold on tibet. i expect the islamist birathers to start howling more against the dragon now that the eagle seems to be flying home


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