India: Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P. V. Naik said today that the government is doing much to boost the air force's capability because the strength of the air force is "inadequate," Indian Express reported. Naik said he is unaware of any air incursions from China across the Indian border. He added that India has one-third the number of aircraft that China has, which is why the Indian air force must be strengthened.
Sometime between 2006 and 2007, Indian authorities decided that it was politically correct to identify China as the long term enemy of India. Since 2007, if not earlier, the number of op-ed pieces and statements by retired officials about the threat from China began to equal the reassuring statements by the Foreign Ministry that China poses no threat to India. Of course the official statements have always been nonsense for public consumption.
In the past two years, military officers and a few authoritative civilian officials have been in the forefront of indoctrinating the Indian reading and listening public that China is the future enemy. Today’s statement by Air Chief Marshal Naik cites China as the justification for a stronger Indian Air Force, justifiably so.
Indian memories of the Chinese invasion of India in 1962 are long. Indian strategic thinkers and the whole world are well aware of the revelations of Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan that prove Pakistan would have no nuclear weapons without Chinese assistance.
If any country can block Chinese economic and military imperialism, it must be India, hopefully with US support and partnership. The two great democracies of the world need to keep their strategic vision clear and coordinated. Pakistan is in thrall to China and cannot escape it.