Meanwhile R. Prasanan, writes in The Week:
If his above report is correct assessment, than it means India needs to increase the troop presence in J&K. Withdrawing AFSPA etc are non-starters.
Finally, some plain speaking and interesting nuggets of information. And lot of hyperbole.
From the article:
China has also been enhancing its strike power in Tibet. The Indian Army believes that the PLA can move one full mechanised infantry division into Tibet in 48 hours in an emergency, and about 10 divisions in one month for a permanent base. More worryingly, in its largest ever tactical exercises (code-named Stride) last year, the PLA demonstrated awesome airlift capability. As per the Indian Army’s assessment, China today can airdrop an infantry brigade of 3,000-plus in one airlift and an entire infantry division of about 15,000 troops and their equipment in a single operation.
So, please put the worry of Chinese suddenly emerging from shadows and from behind rocks to overwhelm the IA. I will even take 48hours notice for Mechanized Division with a pinch of salt. To begin with, what is the definition of 'into Tibet' here? And from where? We're talking here about hundereds of tanks and APC and mobile and towed artillery. Unless, these troops are sitting in heart of tibet and on constant standy and at some comfortable distance (that is not too long) from their final deployment locations, those 48hours is an absurd figure. Case in point - look at the locations of PA Strike Elements, distance from border, wonderful lines of communication, short distance from where to recall troops and time to mobilize.
And as for 10 Divisions in a month into Tibet - we can match that. And which also means that these will be followed very closely. You cannot hide 10 Divisions in Tibet. But what about the acclimatization? And one assumes that there are forward dumps for 10 Division worth of troops. POL+rations+stores. Good good. Nice targets for the IAF and IA missiles.
As for the airlift, what is the timeframe of dropping a Division worth of Paratroopers? A brigade worth of drop is still a good capability, though. Something we lack.
In addition, China is also learnt to have raised a rapid deployment force (called Emergency-Resolving Mobile Combat Force) which can induct four divisions on any stretch of its frontier (or enemy territory) on a day’s notice.
Only djinn power or Han equivalent can do this feat. Four Divisions in a day anywhere? Sure, moon is made of green cheese.
Plus, the PLA’s logistics management has been tuned in such a way as to gain a capability to move 20 to 25 divisions over two months. Most of these capabilities were proven in Stride-2009 in which 50,000 troops were moved across 1,600km by road, rail and air from the military districts of Shenyang, Lanzhou, Jinan and Guangzhou.
How does transporting 50K men same as transporting 250K men and material? And there were reports of major snags in this very exercise. Will dig up the link.
However, what alarmed India was the simultaneous building of advance infrastructure in Tibet so that nearly 25 divisions could be moved into Tibet at short notice.
The Dimapur Corps (3 Corps), which has several mountain divisions under it, has been completely pulled out of counter-insurgency operations in the northeast and converted into a full-fledged offensive corps on the China border. The corps has also been given awesome firepower. The Rangia-based 2 Mountain Division has been pulled out from the Tezpur Corps (4 Corps) and attached to the offensive Dimapur Corps. The corps has also been promised, in an emergency, the services of 41 Division, which is still under the Tezpur Corps. And crowning all the moves is a recent accretion: two new mountain divisions—numbered 41 and 56—have been quietly raised and given to the Dimapur Corps.
He has mixed up the numbers completely.
Earlier IV Corps had 21/5/2 Mountain Divisions. III Corps had only 57 Mountain Division.
Post new raisings and realignment of AOR, IV Corps has 21/5/55(new) Mountain Division. III Corps has 2/56(new)/57 Mountain Division. XXXIII in Sikkim has 17/20/27 Mountain Divisions. 23rd ID based in Ranchi should be considered as given in case of conflict. That is 10 Mountain/Infantry Divisions. Plus, the news about Mountain Strike HQ for NE - this will add at least another two more Divisions. IMO, III Corps is more for defence of Eastern AP and Burma border.