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Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 21 Dec 2009 23:11
by brihaspati
I am continuing the Stratetgic Scenario thread with the following posts from the penultimate page of the previous thread, after it has reached its "72" :
Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

As a brief review of the previous thread : [Rahul M, let me know if this is OK]
The thread opened up primarily on a premise proposed by me, that we can think of a core-periphery framework for anaylizing the strategic scenario for the future - of the entire subcontinent. By consolidating the core, and connecting with the periphery, we can think of making the periphery a part of the core and expand the core to occupy spaces it did not do before while helping to preserve and continue the core.

The debate that ensued tried to clarify and settle on :
(1) the definition and identification of core - civilizational, political, geographical
(2) this led to exploration of the concept of nationhood in the context of India
(3) the identification of the periphery - regions, and culture etc

One fallout of this debate was a subdebate on the need for dissolution of TSP. However there were intense debates on what to do with the remnants of that dissolution. One position was partial or complete incorporation of the land and people into new provinces of India. The other was to allow the remnants to form into new "nations". The differences lay primarily on India's willingness/benefits/risks/need to digest the possible social-economic-cultural costs of Jihadi virulence surviving in the remnants of TSP. The pro-absorption school mainly argued on the need for rashtryia control to sanitize and disinfect the erstwhile regions of TSP - which cannot be done if those regions become independent nations able to extract benefits and protection of Jihad from outside sources. The anti-absorption school argued that letting the new subnational conflicts between emergent fractions from TSP should be allowed to bleed each other weak.

The latter parts of the thread were also occupied with changing situations in the AFPAK region, and the various factors that allowed USA, UK, PRC, Russia, Iran and TSP to play along in the general conflict developing extending in both directions into TSP and TSP.

brihaspati wrote

Thailand impound NK plane with military hardware claiming to deliver to SL

Officials study plane with weapons cache
Thai authorities on Monday sought to unravel the mystery of the ultimate destination of a plane that landed in Bangkok with a huge cache of weapons from North Korea, exported in defiance of a U.N. embargo on arms from the communist state.

Military analysts said the arms were likely destined for African rebel groups or a rogue regime such as Myanmar.
Thai officials impounded the Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane Saturday and said they discovered 35 tons of explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, components for surface-to-air missiles and other armaments.
The plane's manifest had described the cargo as oil-drilling equipment. The crew said the plane was supposed to deliver its cargo to Sri Lanka.

There are obviously many curiosities here. The first question is why would SL be overtly referred to as the destination for delivery and that too under "oil-drilling"? Is SL still a conduit for arms and hardware that includes possibly "missile" components? Even if it all goes back subsequently to Myanmar or Africa through other couriers (surface transport) such networks were typically supposed to be minded by the LTTE if anyone from SL. Given the possible connections of NK with PRC, and PRC arms supply to the SL gov, is it a continuation of older supply practice? Does SL have a new missile or other capability programme on board? Or is the connection further afield into AFPAK? But then such supplies would be easier to send through KKH. Or is it under greater surveillance in the northern areas and more vulnerable from US pressure there?

brihaspati wrote
I could be mistaken, but Yechury appears to be in Copenhagen. Keeping the pressure on the Indian delegation perhaps? His ingenuous pointer towards an image of a "new global paradigm of four countries coming together - India, China, Brazil, and South Africa" is significant not because of the reality of such an alignment, but as a reflection of Left-Centre mindset.

Is it possible that with the passing away of MMS era, the core dynastic basis and coterie of the Congress centre, feels it necessary to align away a bit from the USA? Or that they have analyzed the situation or been convinced by others, that it is better to patch up a bit with PRC rather than rely too much on a possibly waning power represented by the USA?

I have a nagging suspicion that both MB and the Left in WB is being used to shape and tame each other up so that the Cingress can eventually appear to be the better option. The relations between the Left core and the Congress core need not be as cold as they might appear. Yechury's presence at Copenhagen is perhaps also a pointer to the bridge being sought with China. That could change equations slightly and temporarily on the WB front. MB has a cooler head now than 20 years before, so she might not turn the "enfant terrible" stunts, but interesting developments possible as the state gradually moves towards the election year.

MB, will not be able to stay on with the Congress for a long time after coming to power. She appears to be destined the Nitish way. Which however does not bode good for Islamist designs on the WB-BD frontier.

Rudradev wrote
The process of centripetal aggregation instituted and implemented initially by Sardar Patel, despite the setbacks offered by linguistic reorganization of states, reached its perihelion in 1985 with the ascension of Rajiv Gandhi. That was the last time that the electorate handed a genuine mandate to any political party. Faced for the first time with the possibility of secession by an Indian state, people across the country rallied behind an untested leader whose sole value was that of a unifying emblem.

The counter process of centrifugal disaggregation had already begun to creep in around the edges, first with the linguistic reorganization of states, and later with the emergence of regional parties in the South, mainly the Dravidians in TN and Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh. The Maharashtra movement and the division of Punjab were other pointers in this direction. However, it was after the ouster of Rajiv Gandhi by V.P. Singh that the process of disaggregation and regionalism became the prominent trend. Even in the Gangetic heartland, the Yadav chieftains established regional principates who allied themselves with first one, and then another central power opportunistically.

The tendency to dissagregation was coupled with an erosion of the "national" party as a political concept. The Janata Dal-BJP combine fell apart, the Janata Dal splintered, and finally even the Congress was riven into regional entities such as the Tamil Manila Congress, Trinamool Congress, and Karnataka Congress Party. Only on the ideological left and right did some semblance of pan-Indian political organization endure; and on the left, the communists could at most aspire to be kingmakers. The mainstream itself seemed to have been chopped into myriad regionalist entities.

With this development came the era of coalition politics. "Third Front", "NDA" and "UPA" governments were the order of the day from the middle of the last decade through the end of the present one. Disaggregation continued as new regional states splintered off from existing ones: Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh.

Today there is a conscious, concerted effort in process by the second UPA administration to reverse the process in favour of centripetal aggregation once again. The "Dynasty" has been restored. Piece by piece, state-level political entities seen as "regionalist" are being either co-opted or subverted, the TDP being a case in point.

If you look at the emergence of "Naxalite" militancy, it fits a pattern that corresponds to the watersheds of "regionalism". Look at the Red Corridor and you will see that it overlaps the new states of Jharkhand and Chattisgarh; the eastern part of Maharashtra, which had always been a headache to that state's inconveniently ambitious satrap Sharad Pawar; UP and Bihar, lost to regionalist strongmen in the wake of the Rajiv Gandhi government; West Bengal, where the CPI(M) is for all practical purposes running a regional principate; and Andhra Pradesh, the fount of the original Telugu Desam.

What does "Naxalite" militancy by well-armed militias ultimately achieve? Does it not increase the degree to which State governments become dependent on the Centre, and vulnerable to dismissal by Presidential Ordinance should the law-and-order situation in their States be deemed "untenable"? It's an old, old trick... remember Bhindranwale vs. the Akalis, Pirabharakaran vs. the TULF/EPRLF/TELO.

One might argue that the reinstatement of a centripetal order is a good thing, one that might eventually lead to a government capable of formulating a national vision and gaining the mandate to implement that vision.

The problem today is that the Centre itself relies too much on the support of those whom Brihaspati has described as being of the "Mercantile" mentality. Quite literally... the MMS/Sonia regime has successfully persuaded the new urban elite and business classes to invest in the "stability" represented by its continuance in power. (Ironically the BJP, which opened the floodgates whereby those classes garnered their new-found wealth, failed abysmally to co-opt them... thanks to its own lack of vision).

But as we know, a power elite backed by the "Mercantiles" alone is worse than a house of cards, because the "Mercantiles" are short-term opportunists and by their very nature inimical to the formulation and implementation of a strategic vision. Indeed, the malady spreads upwards; and the central leadership itself becomes tainted with "Mercantilism" to an even greater extent than before, afflicted by its disparaging contempt for the electorate's right to information, by its myopic opportunism, by its narcissistic conceit of knowing better what's best for the nation than the nation itself.

So our government stumbles around maintaining a veil of opacity against the people it represents, thereby blinding even itself to all but the most immediate goals of short-term profiteering and keeping the chair warm for Yuvraj. Hello, East India Company!

I submit that there is an alternative. Indians do tend to be afflicted by the "Mercantile" mentality most easily; to our peril, as history has shown. But I believe there exists an alternative archetype that, despite the depredations of invaders and the collaboration of "Mercantiles" for centuries, has fostered the continuance of our civilization more or less unscathed. At least thus far.

Let us call this archetype the "Cultivator" mentality. I don't mean that they should literally be farmers, any more than the "Mercantiles" are necessarily shopkeepers; but the fundamental ways they differ from the "Mercantiles" involve having very deep ties to the land; a commitment to the nurturance of existing assets and the creation of new ones; a belief in the generation of value by the tending of their ancestral bounty and the exercise of their own skills rather than the wanton exploitation of resources and the skimming of trade profits; a devotion to the idea that what is possessed now must be built upon and bettered for the good of generations to come rather than squandered or betrayed for the profits of next week.

When the Turko-Afghans first invaded our subcontinent, many of the kingdoms that fell soonest, or betrayed each other, were afflicted by the "Mercantile" mentality. Those who held out longest were "Cultivators", such as some Rajput kingdoms, or states where the "Cultivator" mindset encompassed and subordinated the "Mercantile", such as Vijayanagara. When resistance to the Mughal rule came, it was from "Cultivators" who were literally farmers and animal herders, in Marathwada and the Punjab.

With success and decadence, kingdoms founded by "Cultivators" eventually fell prey, as they always do, to "Mercantile" interests... leading to their inevitable enervation.

M.K. Gandhi realized that when the time came to oust the British, it could not be achieved by a Congress party that was to a large extent "Mercantile", but required his leadership in the role of a "Cultivator" archetype that he took great pains to validate by deliberately discarding all the trappings that the masses associated with "Mercantilism".

Coming back to the point of my post, the effect of this neo-centripetal aggregation that the present GOI has undertaken, has been not only to "Mercantilise" the centre of power but also to marginalize the "Cultivators" into petty satrapies. For, when overwhelmed and defeated, the "Cultivator" does not seek to expand but rather withdraws into the small ideological and literal territory that he feels sure he can defend for his children.

"Mercantilism", given its proper place to flourish, is not entirely a bad thing. Look at the British Empire, after all, founded by a "nation of shopkeepers". "Mercantilism" is virile, rapacious and expansionist to the core. Ideally its place to flourish should be beyond the borders of one's own nation. The hallowed ground of the urheimat itself, must be handed to the Cultivators to preserve.

The future is always open, and cannot be closed in the present. Hopefully we can continue to discuss relevant topics, news and information, as well as have great analysis and brainstorming.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 21 Dec 2009 23:29
by Rahul M
could we "please" have a brief overview of some of the things discussed in the last thread.
so that people who haven't read everything in the last iteration can understand what it is all about ?

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 21 Dec 2009 23:52
by brihaspati
I had posted in the previous thread about the continuing Islamist sentiments and plans for India. Here I am reposting selections of articles and will continue to add to the references.

Has "Jihadism" really been given up, even if the core texts show it as an integral part of the faith? More importantly has India been omitted from the target of such Arabic-style ghazwas and jihad on India for the future?

So here is the beginning of a sequence of articles that can be quoted on open forums. I will start with this article from 2006.

Mumbai: Kashmiri group's expanding operation

Offensive jihad

Al-Hindi is of the view that armed jihad by Muslims today in areas like Kashmir is largely defensive in nature. Muslims are only reacting to the situation and the maneuvers of their enemies. Yet, defensive jihad has caused a high number of casualties among the mujahideen, the most special group of people among the "ummah."

Al-Hindi argues for the need to reform and change - from defensive to offensive jihad - so that the tables can be turned and Muslims can gain the initiative in achieving their objectives. He likens offensive jihad to a “flanking operation” in military combat. This can be achieved by bringing armed jihad operations into the enemy’s territory. The objective is to create big problems to destabilize and force the enemy to turn away from Muslim territories.

Stirring communal conflicts

Since Kashmiri independence is viewed as an Islamic cause to regain lost Muslim territories, Al-Hindi is of the view that local Muslims living in India should be co-opted. They are seen as the main actors for a successful offensive jihad because they understand the language, culture, area, and common practices of the enemy that they coexist with. This highlights the need for recruiting and winning them over to engage in or support various sabotage and attacks inside India.

Propaganda is viewed as a necessary means of jihad for Al-Hindi. He therefore suggests, as part of the offensive jihad on India, launching a propaganda campaign. One important aspect of propaganda is to cause communal conflicts, such as those between the Hindus and the Sikhs or between Muslims and non-Muslims inside India.

Widening the theater of operation

Identification of the enemy is important in the thinking of Al-Hindi because it helps to justify an attack and to determine targeted countries for launching offensive jihad. Al-Hindi views countries that invade a Muslim land as enemies of Islam and those that support an invasion of a Muslim land as interfering in the affairs of Muslim states.

The book specifically identifies five countries as enemies: India, because of its occupation of Kashmir and the atrocities committed by its forces against the Kashmiris; the Pakistani government for being the puppet of the US and using the Kashmir issue and the mujahideen as its pawns; the US for supporting the Indian government with millions of dollars of ‘emergency aid’ and “being the tip of the spear against al-Islam in modern times”; Russia for being the “mentor” for India; and finally; Israel for providing training for the Indian army.


The centrality of Al-Hindi’s idea lies in the view that offensive jihad is a strategic option. Jihad should be used as a leverage to advance the Kashmiri cause by bringing the operation into the enemy’s soil and gaining the initiative. It means destabilizing India from inside in any possible way.

The idea of offensive jihad is a critical development. It not only widens the theatre of operation in India, but potentially also into other countries that are seen as collaborators with the Indian government at the expense of the Kashmiri cause. This also explains the attack plots planned by Al-Hindi against targets in the US. The widening of the operating theatre into India has already taken place, as seen in various bombing attacks by the separatist groups.

It could be said that Al-Hindi’s ideas have an ideological dimension – that offensive jihad could go beyond the zone of conflict; that targeting civilians is permissible; that there is a strategic dimension of recruiting local Muslims for Kashmir’s independence cause; and that there is an operational dimension through a propaganda campaign to undermine India’s social stability. All these are issues that need to be addressed accordingly to provide long lasting peace and security in India specifically, and the sub-continent in general.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 22 Dec 2009 01:35
by brihaspati
To understand the overall situation developing to the north and west of India, we can no longer confine our attention to only what is happening in AFPAK. The key to understanding the entire game is to understand the importance of existence of Israel as a non-Muslim strategic position on one end of a geopolitical axis - the other end of which is India.

When we take all the various terror strikes around the subcontinent, in isolation or only as "Paki" adventures - we miss out on some important common features. In my blog soon after the last Mumbai attacks, I had projected that the real message was to both the "Jews" as well as allies of "Jews" - from teh choice of the Islamic month in which to specifically attack the Chabad House. This is the month in which the early Muslims had chosen to deceptively attack an isolated community of Jews after having been forced to retreat ignominiously from the Battle of the Trench.

That attack was undertaken in particular to boost the morale of Muslim raiders, gain female slaves, and loot the property of the Jews - but also to teach a lesson in terror. My surmise was, that the Mumbai attack was actually a cover to amplify the effects of atrocities commited on the Jews in Chabad House. This was a classic Islamist statement saying " look we have not really retreated after the Battle of the trench [not really lost out in AFPAK] and we are doing this for exactly the same reasons as that first historical raid was undertaken for".

Just as in that historical raid, sexual sadism and infliction of pain and horror was the primary target for the captured Jews, (or their allies) in the Mumbai attacks too, Terrorists sexually Humiliated guests before killing them.

Apologists usually try to isolate the basic theological memes behind such attacks - blaming it entirely on "national characteristics", economic deprivation, etc. But as is evident in most cases where terrorists can be traced as to their early origins - especially the leaders or planners - they are neither poor, nor illiterate or uneducated, nor are they unexposed to liberal social and educational values. What they have in common, is an acceptance of Islamic theology. Most apologists who are themselves not of Islamic origin, fail to realize the connection - because they have not themselves studied Islamist theology.

But unless we understand the theology, we will fail disastrously to understand the motivation and future actions of Islamist terrorists on countries like India and Israel.

Israel is not just about Palestine and the right to self-determination along the Gaza strip. Overrunning of Israel removes the one fundamental thorn in the side of Islamic theology - that fact that their entire pride and legitimacy stems from Jewish philosophical roots. It is also a strategically important location - as this is the last non-Islamic outpost on the eastern Mediterranean. Once this goes, Suez canal comes under complete Islamist control - and the Muslim world in Northern Africa and ME can live off the the trade that passes between two main innovationa and production centres of the "west" and the "east".

The key to keeping the Islamists busy and unhinging their plans for an uninterrupted caliphate from Spain to Indonesia and Phillipines, is to preserve Israel and even help it expand. If Israel falls or is emascualted, India will have a hard time holding on to its western frontier and northern plains.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 22 Dec 2009 01:51
by SaiK
Then there is the Indian Ocean. India takes the name seriously, and considers itself the guardian of the sea routes through this vast area. This includes most of the oil coming out of the Persian Gulf (where most of the world's known oil reserves are). India needs access to that oil, as well as to African resources. India is not receptive to seeing the Chinese Navy operating nearby, but the Chinese feel they have to show up, to prepare for any contingency.

From China's perspective, the U.S. Navy is not the big threat, unless the Americans ally themselves with India, or anyone else trying to cut China's maritime supply lines. ... 9-2009.asp

taking some different directions here. or is it the wrong thread?

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 22 Dec 2009 02:12
by Prem
SaiK wrote:
Then there is the Indian Ocean. India takes the name seriously, and considers itself the guardian of the sea routes through this vast area. This includes most of the oil coming out of the Persian Gulf (where most of the world's known oil reserves are). India needs access to that oil, as well as to African resources. India is not receptive to seeing the Chinese Navy operating nearby, but the Chinese feel they have to show up, to prepare for any contingency.

From China's perspective, the U.S. Navy is not the big threat, unless the Americans ally themselves with India, or anyone else trying to cut China's maritime supply lines. ... 9-2009.asp

taking some different directions here. or is it the wrong thread?

What i read on the Navy Dhaga , India;s underwater arm will be lacking the right punch for the next decade or so as Babbus and Buddas at the helm keep ruining national security scenarios. Knowing Chinese , they will conincide their entry into Indian Ocean when Indian Navy will be unable to expolit their full strength because of shortage in Submarine fleet. Some expertbody tell me that i am wrong and that we will be able to contain PLAN misadventure and not loose present advantage over them.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 22 Dec 2009 02:42
by SaiK
As long as our babooze don't become poodles, i am okay with indo-us strategy but, I am more of the opinion that our afphsars and gentulmein must have 50-50 c&c, without anti-strategies to deni and defy each other.( crossing another foot is much easier on the sea).

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 22 Dec 2009 04:31
by brihaspati
China's fundamental weakness : no hero to fire the national imagination and be the national focus

In spite of all talk about the military super-powerhood in the future for PRC, the country suffers from several flaws in its current setup. And the greatest weakness in its framework is that it no longer has the means to generate a "superhero" to serve as the iconic foucs and centre of authority/legitimacy for the "nation".

"triangular competition in power centre" : the PRC stands on essentially three pillars. These are the CPC, the PLA, and the "cult of the individual". Even though there will be perhaps lots of protests about "cult of the individual" having been replaced by "collective leadership", communism generally almost always relies on an individual to resolve leadership contradictions within an essentially non-democratic setup.

Problem is that PRC no longer has any scenario which can give rise to a "legend". The legendary generation is dying out - anyone who could be raised to the status of the "divine emperor" - last came from the legends of the Long March, and the subsequent clockwise push against the Japanese and Chiang. So there is an acute lack of "individuals" who could fit the shoes of the third pillar. Such an individual has to have sufficient "pull" independent of both the party as well as the PLA to be effective.

In the absence of this balancer, the contradictions and competition between the PLA and CPC is problematic. One way is for the CPC to essentially bribe the PLA - by allocating more resources to the military. However, in the absence of a "divine emperor", there is always the danger that the military becomes over ambitious and someone within the PLA begins to feel the need for a new "divine emperor" enjoying the support of the army.

However allocating more resources to the army will also bring attendant corruption problems in a system not used to competitive performance for a long time. This brings a clash of interests between the CPC and PLA, with both splitting up along "beneficiaries" and "non-beneficiaries" of corruption.

The CPC weakened the "cult of Mao/Maoism" in order for the successors of Mao to win their internal party power struggle over factions that derived their legitimacy from Mao. But Maoism itself had sought to replace earlier religious faiths and philosophies. So unwittingly, CPC leaders of the Deng faction created a "faith vacuum" when they did not replace Maoism by a new ideology of "values". The "values" of "western style consumption" does not necessarily fill-up all the ideological gaps.

In the absence of such a national-superhero, PRC is subject to temptation for foreign adventures to create a mythic narrative for the nation to identofy with. This can lead to military adventures but not full scale wars of conquest that are not guaranteed for favourable outcomes. Also as time goes by the situation in South Asia grows increasingly complicated making certain "victory" for PLA in all possible scenarios - quite dubious!

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 22 Dec 2009 19:29
by RayC
One could google and check SAAG's Paper no. 2039 to realise the equation between India and China.

I leave it to the experts.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 24 Dec 2009 01:00
by brihaspati
Why the Surge in AFG may fail

The presentation from the commnader of the NATO forces in AFG, probably has to be taken with a pinch of salt. This may or may not reflect actual operational guidelines as implemented on the field. However, even if being talked about for benefit of confusing the Jihadis in AFG or their support networks or civilians caught in between, it is an acknowledgement that the situation in AFG cannot be stabilized through a regular starightforward anti-insurgency warfare.

Diana West: Most cynical surge ever
By: Diana West
Examiner Columnist
December 13, 2009

Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal's long-awaited testimony before Congress on the Afghanistan "surge" was, according to one account, "uneventful." The general himself, another story noted, was "a study in circumspection." And questioning from lawmakers was, said a third, "gentle."

"Ineffectual" is more like it. Throw in "callous," too, given House members' obligations to constituents in the war zone, operating under what are surely the most restrictive rules of engagement in U.S. history.
Things really tightened up back in July, when McChrystal essentially grounded air support for troops except in dire circumstances. This, in the words of British defense intelligence analyst John McCreary, is "like fighting with a hand behind your back." And with deadly results, such as the September firefight in Ganjgal where three Marines and a Navy corpsman were killed when, according to McClatchey Newspapers' Jonanthan S. Landay, repeated requests for support were nixed because of "new rules to avoid civilian casualties."
As The Washington Times recently reported, the McChrystal counterinsurgency rules now include: No night searches. Villagers must be warned before searches. Afghan National Army or Afghan police must accompany U.S. units on searches. Searches must account, according to International Security Assistance Force headquarters, "for the unique cultural sensitivities toward local women." ("Islamic repressiveness" is more accurate, but that's another story.)
As The Washington Times recently reported, the McChrystal counterinsurgency rules now include: No night searches. Villagers must be warned before searches. Afghan National Army or Afghan police must accompany U.S. units on searches. Searches must account, according to International Security Assistance Force headquarters, "for the unique cultural sensitivities toward local women."
U.S. soldiers may not fire on the enemy unless the enemy is preparing to fire first. U.S. forces may not engage the enemy if civilians are present. U.S. forces may fire at an enemy caught in the act of placing an improvised explosive device, but not walking away from IED area. And on it goes.
The London Times recently reported that Marines, about to embark on a dangerous supply mission, were shown a PowerPoint presentation that first illustrated locations of IEDs along the way and then warned the Marines "not to fire indiscriminately even if they were fired on."
The Times story went on to note: "The briefing ended with a projected screen of McChrystal's quote: "It's not how many you kill, it's how many you convince."
McChrystal told Congress: "I think it's very important that from an overall point of view, we understand how Afghan culture must define itself, and we be limited in our desire to change the fundamentals of it."

The acknowledgement of the 'social non-intervention" angle however is the most naive leak from the commander side. He is acknowledging that the "social" angle is an issue of military concern. That the social reality of AFG is actually creating problems for the military. Moreover, that if that social status quo is threatened in any way, the military operations will run into difficulty. The religious angle and customs mentioned here, acknowledges that AFG society is more concerned about preserving its social status quo than eliminating Taleban.

Sooner or later, such a withdrawal from aggressive destruction mode, means the giving up of mobile warfare initiative so crucial for the AFG theatre. Unless, rooms and houses can be searched with benefit of surprise, nooks and crannies explored without notice, a drawing tight of the noose in an encirclement campaign to sanitize an area of guerrillas becomes impossible. The US forces will be gradually reduced to defending more and more consolidated positions rather than enure control over the countryside.

The thrust on the "political/social/trust" angle from the military implies that the political machinery to establish some sort of a "national gov" involving portions of the Talebs is underway.

For India, it does mean an escalation of future Jihadi moves, as the Talebs gain greater security and consolidate their position in AFG.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 24 Dec 2009 11:55
by RayC
Sooner or later, such a withdrawal from aggressive destruction mode, means the giving up of mobile warfare initiative so crucial for the AFG theatre.

Mobile Warfare? :eek: :shock: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:



Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 24 Dec 2009 12:33
by RayC
McChrystal is on the right lines. The US Army philosophy as enunciated by Marshall is to fire first and ask questions later. It is a fool policy. It alienates the people since many innocents die and adds to the aggrieved and thus more insurgents/ terrorists.

It may appear restrictive to Americans, but it is the only way to ensure that those trying to stamp out insurgency are not heartless and are only concerned to stamp out terrorists.

The British intelligence analyst John McCreary is wrong to feel that it is like fighting with hand tied behind the back. If marines and others were killed then they should learn how to fight without air support. We do it and it is not that difficult. If blasting the living hell out of the terrorist and do immense collateral damage to those even not involved, it only means add to more terrorists! Take your choice!

Very selective reporting that inform before night search. The area would have been cordoned and then the notice informed as we do. It works and it is very PC. IA take Kashmir police when they do Cordon and Search. Better when the Human Rights frauds yell!

McChrystal is doing good service for his Nation!

Thank God, it is no longer gung ho and US uber alles!

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 24 Dec 2009 12:39
by RayC
Mobile war in high altitude terrain or mountains takes the cake. Nothing personal, but that is a new one and worth note!

It is extraordinary that the Army guys are not knowledgeable as you which you have so deftly indicated in so many of your posts. I concede they were high on historical angle and snappy anecdotes. Excellent reads. Honest. Learnt a lot.

I sure would like to learn and pass it on to Deepak Kapoor.

Brihaspati, do let us know your theory which is interesting.

Share it with us!

We should have shoved T72s on to Tiger Hill, right?

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 24 Dec 2009 19:30
by brihaspati
this is what happens when you have to squeeze out something to find a stick to beat me with, out of a few words from me. In the process you have to add words and concepts of your own and pass them off as mine, so that you can ridicule them.

Where did I say that a "mobile warfare" must necessarily be done with heavy artillery and T72's pushed up the boulders and nonexistent-roads along impassable ravines? What the Talebs are doing - is "mobile warfare", it is not about the equipment. It is about being able to quickly move around your fighting capacity to focus on significant bits and pieces of your opponent without always engaging them in their totality. It is more about chipping away at others strength while conserving your own. Hit, destroy a seemingly small portion of a more organized and better resourced enemy, and move away before the more organized force is able to hit back.

Countering such styles of warfare, has always traditionally been a "starving" out of insurgents. Blocakding whole areas, moving populations which are used as support and base by the insurgents out of the area, and gradually tighten up the blockade and reducing the area available to the insurgents to play around. To do this, the regular blocakding forces, have to track, follow up, chase, and be able to strike based on intelligence - quickly over large distances, quickly. In a sense it is about keeping up with the moving bands of insurgents - and hence forced to do a similar version of "mobile warfare" to counter "insurgent mobile warfare".

All the measures mentioned in the article, actually help the insurgents to escape and gain time to escape or move away in anticipation.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 24 Dec 2009 20:27
by Ananya
Just caught this news in Dawn . This could have a serious impact on the farkhor airbase . Is our govt sleeping on this, this could proove decremental in the long run :roll:

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Gilani says the government wishes to open a new chapter of relationship with Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries by reinvigorating bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

The prime minister was talking to Colonel General Khayrulloev Sherali, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Tajikistan who along with his delegation called on him at the PM House.

He expressed satisfaction on the signing of the MoU on Military and Military Technical Cooperation during the Tajik Defence Minister’s visit.

The Tajik defence minister thanked the Prime Minister for converting the US $ 13 million loan to Tajikistan into grant.

He also conveyed his government gratitude for Pakistan’s offer of enhanced gratis training slots for Tajik armed forces, and for sending Pakistani experts to develop Tajikistan's military institutions. -DawnNews

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 24 Dec 2009 20:44
by Ananya
{Edited. There are other threads to discuss military tactics.}

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 25 Dec 2009 07:22
by Jarita
Need a great leader. Below is a good write up on PVNR ... pvnr09.htm

Wit and wisdom came naturally to PVN, a master of thirteen languages who could read Greek, Latin and Sanskrit classics, impress Fidel Castro with his Spanish, speak Urdu stylishly, translate novels from Marathi to Telugu, from Telugu to Hindi, and give guest lectures in German and American Universities. He was an expert on classical military doctrines and a well - honed aficionado of music, cinema and theatre. He was the closest India got to Plato’s philosopher - king.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 25 Dec 2009 21:58
by svinayak
PVNR knew 18 languages

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 25 Dec 2009 22:37
by brihaspati
But unfortunately, PVNR is in the past. We have to think of the future. Any potential future candidate?

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 25 Dec 2009 22:43
by Ananya
what india is today would need to be credited to PVNR. he is the only person responsible for initiating the process of transformation

1. Economic might which is required was initiated in the form of MMS
2. Started the development of the N-bombs and the nuclearization by getting in people like PKI
3. Ensured Raw had a good strategy in dealing with TSP ( until the joker IKG screwed it ip)
4. Started the process of a strong oposition party under the BJP by making sucidal moves in Congress in the last years of this PMship ( a typical chanikiyan move).

In-short he ensured India comes up weather heis present or absent.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 25 Dec 2009 22:47
by Ananya
i am not sure if we can get a single good leader , i would bet on the system i have seen a couple of MPs today ( from BJD ) and Ssena's Cm candidate
who could play pivotal role . in order for a single leader with authotarian rule we would need to get rid of the current westminister system

I am not sure if yuvaraj is a good leader.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 29 Dec 2009 03:37
by brihaspati
In the previous thread, I had speculated on the possibility of an Irish Good Friday Agreement style model being foisted on India. At the risk of appearing "I told you before".
The document envisages the creation of what he says five new ‘over-lapping structures, within two power-sharing structures.’ These are the relationship between Srinagar-New Delhi, Muzaffarabad (PoK) - Islamabad, Srinagar-Muzaffarabad, Srinagar-Islamabad and Muzaffarabad and New Delhi.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who returned from Europe after his ‘awareness campaign on Kashmir’, is fond of replicating the ‘Irish peace plan’ for Kashmir. But reportedly he has met with little success. It is surprising how New Delhi allowed him to go abroad where he sought foreign intervention on Kashmir. He has been frankly told by the former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik (who now heads the Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights, a think-tank working for the reconciliation efforts around the world) and some others, rather rebuffed, that there can be no third-party intervention on Kashmir, since it is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.

Now Mirwaiz has gone to Pakistan to make Pakistanis understand about the Irish model for Kashmir. Back home in India, he is not willing to meet any dignitary below the rank of the Prime Minister.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 29 Dec 2009 04:00
by Ananya
but this could be a good begining in the sence that HC would come to terms with reality after being denied by everybody and realise that the best way forward would be to come to an understanding with the Indian Govt as the only way out. Wotkling with TSp is not going to being them anything

There seem to be multiple opinon withing the HC itself and a tru sign of democracy.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 29 Dec 2009 04:46
by brihaspati
It is a potentially highly dangerous mechanism to allow to happen. The parallels to the Irish situation are tenuous. The basic difference is religion justified imperialism in the case of J&K+TSP, which will simply use any such solution for greater penetration, genocidal moves to change demography, and basically use the area as a launching pad for further moves into India.

Do look at the following to see how they plan to use such a proposal :

There are several on both sides of the border and primarily scholars based in UK, who have been active in promoting such an idea.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 29 Dec 2009 05:29
by Prem
Bsir ji,
If Kashmiris are allowed to have religion based solution for their supposed problems with rest of India from 47 time then it should be only fair to open the whole Partition issue and implement it in true religious spirit with best wishes for every party. Majority India cannot remain tied with PS shackles to please few in minorty who are trying best to undemine the country evey possible way and dont feel shy about it. I for once dont understand why GOI do not raise the issue of the rights of IM to migrate to Pakistan> After all the land of entity known as Pakistan was given to them in the name of IM and they have moral,political , legal , rightfull ownership and share of the land loot. It must be kept in mind that playing fair, almost all of Hindus and Sikhs have moved out of Pakistan and no one is staking claim on the land and property left behind. Why would we be the only one obligated to be accomodative to every demand made on us in the name of religion, geo-politics etc unless we are too week, naive, poor or" simpletons" to slap back?

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 29 Dec 2009 13:28
by Rony
Ananya wrote:what india is today would need to be credited to PVNR. he is the only person responsible for initiating the process of transformation.

True ! In the meanwhile

Sonia hails former PMs, ignores Narsimha Rao

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 02:59
by Karna_A
PVNR was the finest PM India ever had. If he had got 405 MPs that Rajiv got, India would have been a different country today.
(a) First time in Indian history a non-political Finance Minister was kept for full 5 years without any interference.
(b) Punjab problem was solved
(c) Kashmir was saved.
(d) Economy was opened up like never before and license Raj was dismantled.
(e) Israel was recognized diplomatically and belatedly
(g) FDI increased from 100 million to more than 5 billion in his rule the largest ever increase in a five year period.
(h) Look East and cultivate Iran Policy was started by him

Rony wrote:
Ananya wrote:what india is today would need to be credited to PVNR. he is the only person responsible for initiating the process of transformation.

True ! In the meanwhile

Sonia hails former PMs, ignores Narsimha Rao

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 03:18
by brihaspati
We cannot rely on the appearance of a "avatar" to set things right. When the time comes, leadership probably will rise up. But look how the legacy of PVNR could be usurped by those who had no role or credit to get for whata he achieved. There needs to be a consistent framework that guarantees the survival of the basic features of the society, civilization and its continued prosperity - irrespective of the form of the "rashtra" or the rulers who head that rashtra. Even the region PVNR hailed from, is now embroiled in all sorts of fissures and conflicts. This is one important lesson. Individual "leadership" is not sufficient means for sustained survival/progress of societies.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 03:27
by Ananya
true but it is these individuals who set a framework for things to follow for Eg in PVNR time he ensured that India has a strong oposition in the form of BJP and a party which could rule which is good for India and not a make up of smaller parties like VP SING with Devilal as deputy PM and Chandrashekar with his chambal valley dacoits .

MMS has survived because there is no alternative ,with BJP shooting its own foot and no strong leader to take over Congress, youvraj is just incidental

a classic example is Rajapakshe , if he sets the ball rolling in the Economic front he would trun Slanka into another S'Pore

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 03:32
by Prem
AVATAR from DRDO will sure help.It will have the combine powers of both Shiva and Vishu ,well versed in Diplomacy and capable of measuring whole Prithvi with 2 and half step.21 of his companions can spread glad tidding and righteousness to/from all 10 diections.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 06 Jan 2010 02:38
by brihaspati
Sometime ago I had raised the possibility of considering Yemen as a strategic issue important for India look into. It is known that from before the unification of the north and the south of Yemen, both USSR and USA were interested and had strong connections. Russia still maintains its interests. I had been wondering about the possible initiatives that India could take in the country that has a strategic bearing for IOR.

It appears that USA has already started using recent incidents as a step towards opening up the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula. One obvious interest could be the supposed links or connections between the northern fighters against the current government, and Iran. If Iran can get a foothold in Yemen, it secures the Persian Gulf. In this sense both the Palestinian and Yemeni theatre of operations can be important geo-political chesspiecess. Together they can block off the entire sea-route through the Red Sea and Mediterranean-IO channel of trade and oil transport.

This can have a significant roll-back effect on US+allies presence in IOR. On the other hand, US advance into Yemen can add more potential "bases" to the USA string around IO.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 06 Jan 2010 03:16
by ramana
Jupiterji, Yemen is the key to understanding ME history since 500 AD. Its not just geopolitical but even deeper.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 06 Jan 2010 03:29
by Prem
For some curious purpose Yemen was suppose to lend one of the Islands in the Gulf to Indian Navy , not sure if the deal was fromalized.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 06 Jan 2010 13:11
by Rony
India’s ruction, on superpowerdom and China, needs to be hushed
The other day I happened to stumble across this line from an editorial in an Indian newspaper: “India’s eventual ascension to global superpower status is all but assured,
but it cannot be upset or offended if there are hurdles along the way.” Having been asked by Outlook to address “the new global role for India”, it would be difficult to sidestep all this talk of India’s impending superpowerness. It seems worth beginning at least by specifying what India’s global role is unlikely to entail.

Hubris can be a damaging thing. Countries that overestimate their power, including George W. Bush’s America, tend to fall flat on their faces. To be sure, India is highly unlikely to embark on any “wars of choice” in the near future. But New Delhi should be wary of any missteps in its relationship with China.

China is undoubtedly a potential rival to India. But at this stage, China’s military superiority is not in doubt. More generally, though, India is nowhere near attaining the attributes of raw power that would qualify it as being on the brink of such a global role. By 2040, India may be jostling with China for equal or second place with the United States in terms of the absolute size of the Indian economy. But its per capita wealth will still be roughly a quarter that of the West.

How then will India’s continuing rise affect the rest of the world? Whether you are sitting in Washington or Singapore, almost nobody sees India’s emergence in isolation from that of China. The premise rarely changes. People across Asia and the West are wary about China’s growing reach and the potential impact a nationalist and resurgent China—whether authoritarian or democratic—could have on stability in the Asia-Pacific. In contrast, India’s rise is viewed by all but its closest neighbours in a broadly positive light—as the potential counter-balance to China, but also as a relatively benign power in its own right. Viewed from afar, the two are seen as having fundamentally different characters: China as difficult to decode; India as relatively simple to read.

In the 1980s, Deng Xiaoping said that China should keep a low profile and avoid panicking other countries with its rise: “Hide your brightness and nourish obscurity,” he advised. In the less well-known portion of the aphorism, Deng added that China should “accomplish some things”. Last year, China’s leadership inserted the word “actively” into that formula—a significant addition from a leadership that hoards its lexicon jealously.

By contrast—and to quote from a 1980s British song—in India “heavy words are so lightly thrown”. Being a noisy democracy in which power is dispersed and continually fought over, New Delhi has no fixed guiding aphorism to match China’s self-professed “peaceful rise”. Nor, from the point of view of most of the rest of the world, does New Delhi need to hide its light under a bushel. Few countries believe India’s rise will be anything other than peaceful.

But there is a tendency in India—noted in China with something approaching disdain—to declare that the future has arrived at the stage when it is only just coming into view. China, by contrast, deliberately understates the present. Take their military budgets. China does its best to disguise the rapid growth in military spending over the last 15 years. India frequently discounts the military assets it will acquire over the next 15 years. The same applies to the word “superpower”—a term bandied about constantly in New Delhi but never uttered in Beijing. This is the difference between a multi-party democracy in which power changes hands every few years and a linear authoritarian system in which the same people, or their carefully hand-picked lieutenants, are in power in Beijing today as when Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister in the 1980s.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 08 Jan 2010 01:01
by brihaspati
There may not be great differences in the essential political process by which political succession takes place in India and China. The formal process of election and "democracy" may have obvious and strikingly different features at all levels of the hierarchy - until we reach the topmost tier.

At the topmost level however, for both countries, power is held in individual hands over most of the "political" lifetime of a "supreme leader". Typically such a leader concentrates all power virtually in his/her hands and neutralizes or preempts any possibilty of rivalry from a peer group. Such a leader will clear rivals of his same generation and age-groupm but will groom someone from the next generation as successor. With a huge age-gap, or a generation difference, there is little or no possibility of the groomed protege to challenge his patron.

In China, the protege's rise is typically almost a matter of "state secret". So that the new regime is usually an unpredictable entity and any such transition is a period of tense anticipation. The generational gaps leave no chance of ensuring that differences in life-experiences are necessarily hammered out. As was the case with the Tianamen Square incident. In India too, the succession so far has followed mostly a dynastic/family pattern and therefore necessarily of a intergenerational nature. The groomed successors early political career usually takes place away from the public gaze (with the exception of JLN), and they remain more or less an "unknown quantity". Sometimes the generational differences become quite obvious as in the case of JLN -IG transition, or IG-SG-RG, and RG-SG-RG (Snr-mother-jnr) transitions.

The fundamental difference between the two countries is the involvement/significance of the military in such transition choices or decisions. In China, so far, at least until Deng, the "supreme leader" had "military-politico" and PLA background.

Just because, the projected next generation of leadership has come out of the "Cultural revolution" youth-child generation, and are supposed to have become disillusioned later with Mao or Maoism, does not mean that they are going to be any less hawkish in the imperialist-nationalism of Mao.

Leadership that had once suffered at the hands of arbitray authoritarianism, may actually show equal or more intense authoritarian tendencies. Deng, for example had suffered quite a lot during the Cultural Revolution. That experience however did not pevent him from ruthlessly crushing the students and activists in Tiananmen Square.

India cannot let down its guard about the next generation of Chinese leadership, simply because "experts" assume that "that generation" has been disillusioned with "Maoism". They may be even more inclined to be imperialist hawks.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 08 Jan 2010 14:25
by RayC
The difference between Indian and Chinese power structure can understood if one looks as the Chinese model of power from the time the Communists took charge.

On removing the KMT, the CCP brought an end to the hyperinflation that was raging through China and launched land reforms. 30% of the land was with the landlords while others with the peasants. The CCP planned to remove gradually the class of landlords since such class could destabilise the power of the Communists, the landlords being a rich and influential class. It maybe noted that the Communists wanted to do this gradually since their experience in areas held by the Communists before the Revolution was not quite satisfactory since the peasants sought retribution from the landlords and it became bloody wherein it is believed a million perished.

Like any Communist govts, they believed that industrialisation was the path to progress. However, wealth had to be created. Hence, China being an agrarian, it fell oin the farmers to provide the wealth and so farmers had to sell their crop at govt fixed low rates and were taxed 30% of their income.

China’s new irrigation and flood projects helped to average a 15% growth per year. This wealth helped China launch its first 5 year plan in 1953.

The Communist Party wanted order for China and a restoration of the economy. China had been disrupted by more than ten years of war, first against the Japanese and then civil war, and in the years 1950-53 China was involved in the Korean war. But from 1950 to 1952 farm production in China averaged a growth of fifteen percent per year -- an advance helped by new irrigation and flood projects.

China population in the countryside was four-times larger than was the Soviet Union's in the late 1920s, but China's agricultural production was only about twenty percent what the Soviet Union's had been at this time -- less agricultural wealth that could be transformed into investments in industry. But with this wealth, the Communists, in 1953, launched their first five-year plan for industry.

With the end of the Korean War where troops were demobbed and the famine of 1953 and 1954, the rural masses migrated to the cities and the unemployment was high, it was leading to a dangerous situation that could challenge the Communist regime. There was also a disparity amongst the rich and the poor farmers causing the CCP to re-examine the issue of free enterprise and how much should be allowed while still building the ideal socialist State.

To offset the disparity amongst landholding of the farmers, the Communist Party launched their collectivised farming programme and it was embraced by the peasantry and 90% joined the programme by 1956. There were community kitchen and none could cook at home, though each family was allowed a small plot to cultivate and sell the produce. Thus free enterprise remained but truncated while Socialism grew and the Communist Party was one step nearer the Socialist State.

The birth rate was high and migration to town continued. China required finances and it economy was agriculture based. While the manufacturing sector grew by 4% during 1956 – 1957, more finances were required. Hence, China lowered taxes to 25% for farmers so that they had some incentives.

Being from a peasant family, even though of the richer variety, Mao had little love for intellectuals and always stated that all should learn from the masses. One of his famous saying was that the peasant maybe rough with cowshit shodden feet, but they were cleaner than intellectuals. He wanted no elite in China or even in the Party.

The dissent was growing within the China and the Party. To discover the anti Mao elements, Mao launched the “Let a Hundred Flower Bloom”. Having discovered dissent, he launched a pogrom under the guise of a class struggle against what he termed as Rightists, Right Opportunists and Toilet Rightist.

Then Mao to get rid of the elite of all variety as also to ensure economic success greater than other third world countries, Mao mobilised the masses spontaneity with the programme – The Great Leap Forward, which was advertised as a technological revolution – as a proletarianisation of the economy before mechanisation. Agriculture was to have priority and instead of heavy industry, the emphasis would be on light industry. The mass was to be mobilised at the local levels.

Collective farming gave way to Peoples’ Communes, which had from 10,000 to 20,000 personnel and were twice the size of the collective farms, during the Great Leap. Community kitchen were organised and the masses handed over their tools and animals to the Commune.

Women were mobilised to work and not do ‘wifely’ duties. The people were organised into work brigades!

Apart from farming, during the period 1958 -1959, roads, factories, damns, dykes, irrigation channels and lakes were built. Land was reclaimed and terraces were carved in the mountains for farming with manual labour. But the drive to ‘produce steel’ by mobilising farmers at the expense of food production and encouraging deforestation proved disastrous. They had to work long hours and none could grow food on their own plot or the commune. Production quotas and statistics were fudged. The masses ate what was available from the Communes. They ate into the food reserves. With lower production, the situation was worsening. By 1959, quite a few were starving.

1960 saw drought in the North and floods in the South. Agriculture plummeted. Mao realised the fudging of agricultural statistics now. 20 million died of malnutrition. Fertility rate fell by 60 % between 1957 and 1961 as people were weak and starving.

Mao blamed the weather conditions and USSR as they had withdrawn their advisers. The backyard steel production had also failed where their kitchen utensils were consigned to the fire to make steel.

Marshal Pen, the defence minister, Mao’s old confidante from the Long March and friend, but a person who did not have Mao’s revulsion of the elite, reported to the CCP as to the real conditions resulting in his dismissal and house arrest! He replaced him with Lin Bioa, who was a Mao loyalist and the man behind Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’ and a total sycophant.

The situation was so bad that Mao gave way to a little window. Mao allowed expertise, beyond ideology to survive, though controlled. In the countryside, trained Party apparatchiks were sent to control Communes and bring it under the Communist party, backed by the PLA.

But attempts were made to re-establish mess halls and to abolish private plots. And here too Mao's masses abandoned him: the peasants resisted. Government authorities did not want to press the issue., so mess halls remained abandoned. The Party gave in to peasant sentiment and restored as much as twelve percent of tillable land to private ownership and production -- which coincided with the Party wishing to encourage individual responsibility and initiative rather than group conformity.

Party pragmatists encouraged the re-establishment of open markets in the countryside. Peasants were encouraged to trade locally. And for the sake of industrialisation in the cities farming families were encouraged to buy goods made in urban factories rather than to engage in communal industries.
With a good harvest in 1962 and a return to incentives over official altruism came a rise in industrial production and productivity, and in 1964, the Party leader second to Mao, Zhou Enlai, wishing to encourage and reassure everybody, announced that the recovery from economic disaster was complete.

Then, in 1965, Mao, at the age of 72, came out of seclusion. He complained about the retreat, about the rise of a new class of bureaucrats, a new exploiting class. China, he believed, was going the way of the Soviet Union and becoming a bureaucratic state. The Party, according to Mao, had been taken over by "capitalist roaders" -- by people with a bourgeois mentality. Mao, like Trotsky, was advocating "permanent revolution" -- although he did not label it as such. Reinvigorating his leadership, Mao was about to create what was to be known as the Cultural Revolution.

Mao Zedong's wife, Jiang Qing, a former actress, belonged to a group of artsy Maoists who wished for socialist purity in literature and the performing arts. In February 1966, the minister of defense, Lin Biao, still siding with Mao, invited Jiang Qing to establish cultural policy for the People's Liberation Army. Jiang Qing and her group were encouraged. They charged that China's garden of culture was infested with "anti-socialist poisonous weeds." Jiang Qing called for a revolution against bourgeois culture -- a cultural revolution.
Mao spoke out about a spiritual regeneration taking precedence over economic development -- a communist attitudinal spirituality. And he spoke of weeding from authority those who had chosen to lead China down "the capitalist road." Old comrades directly beneath Mao -- Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping - chose to accommodate Mao rather than collide with him head-on. And Liu Shaoqi, who had been a leading pragmatist, tried to curry favor with Mao by orchestrating an "anti-revisionist" campaign.

Still believing in the wisdom of the masses, Mao moved again for their support. He was especially interested in young people. Young people, he said, were the most willing to learn and were "the least conservative in their thinking." Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, agreed with Mao's move, and she allied her group with student unrest in Beijing. The disturbed students were filled with idealism. China's students were more in tune with Mao's idealism than they were with the pragmatism practiced by Mao's Party rivals. Jiang Qing's cultural revolutionaries distributed armbands to the students and declared that they were a new vanguard -- Red Guards. And Mao, still a venerated figure, encouraged the student radicals, announcing that they should "learn revolution by making revolution."

Youth tend to be more passionate than older folks -- whose enthusiasms are tempered by experience if not disappointment -- and Mao's Red Guards were passionate. In Beijing their ranks swelled with disaffected youths from the provinces, attracted by the rhetoric, by their reverence for Mao as the father of China's revolution and by the excitement. During the autumn of 1966, Mao was reviewing gigantic parades at Tiananmen Square, his Red Guards chanting and waving the little red book of "Quotations from Chairman Mao" that Lin Biao had put together for the Red Army.

Among other things, the students were moved by animosity towards the Soviet Union. They were with Mao in his attempt to prevent China from developing into a bureaucratic state, as had the Soviet Union. And, backed by their government, they also demonstrated displeasure with U.S. actions in Vietnam. Unlike protesting students in the United States at the time, China's Red Guards enjoyed the support of China's military, Lin Biao encouraging the students and describing Mao as "the greatest genius of the present era" and as "the great helmsman." And Lin Biao spoke of Mao as having created a Marxism-Leninism that was "remolding the souls of the people."

Through 1966, secondary schools and colleges closed in China. Students -- many from the age of nine through eighteen -- followed Maoist directives to destroy things of the past that they believed should be no part of the new China: old customs, old habits, old culture and old thinking -- the "four olds." In a state of euphoria and with support from the government and army, the students went about China's cities and villages, wrecking old buildings, old temples and old art objects. In their wake, monasteries and places of worship were converted into warehouses, and leading Buddhist monks were sent off to do manual labor. To make a new and wonderful China, the Red Guards attacked as insufficiently revolutionary their parents, teachers, school administrators and everyone they could find as targets, including "intellectuals" and "capitalist roaders" within the Communist Party.

In cities through China, Mao's movement was joined by a variety of people trying to prove they were as loyal to Mao as were the Red Guards. Politicians joined the movement in an effort to win against their political rivals. A mass hysteria had developed. Mobs of Red Guards grabbed prominent individuals whom they deemed insufficiently revolutionary, put dunce caps on their heads or hung placards around their necks, and paraded them through the streets. Officials were dragged from their offices. Their files were examined and often destroyed, and the officials were often replaced by youths with no managerial experience.
As had happened in the Soviet Union, the revolution in China was devouring its own. The purges in the Party went higher and higher, until Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi, were removed from their offices, and they and their families were humiliated. Filled with righteousness, the power of their numbers, and support from Mao, the campaigns for revolutionary change became violent. People seen as evil were beaten to death. Thousands of people died, including many who had committed suicide.

By September 1967, the chaos was too much even for Mao, Lin Biao and Jiang Qing. Civil war seemed to be in the making. Jiang Qing spoke out against what she called "ultra-leftist tendencies." With intolerance riding high and variation in opinion being inevitable, violent battles erupted between Red Guard factions. Mao ordered the People's Liberation Army to quell the Red Guard factionalism. Lin Biao and the People's Liberation Army called on the Red Guards to stop fighting each other and instead to study the works of Mao. The chaos and deaths continued, with the People's Liberation Army itself splitting into hostile camps. Mao was aware that some order was necessary, and he commanded that the Red Guards disperse, Mao describing the Red Guards as having failed in their mission.
By the summer of 1968, with the help of the army, the Red Guards were subdued. In large numbers, groups of young Red Guards were sent to labor in the countryside, confused in their being cast down from the height of glory and political importance. Mao's romance with the masses was all but over. For order, Mao was now counting on the People's Liberation Army, and he had the army form revolutionary committees in all provinces.

Mao wished to rebuild the Party, and the Ninth Party Congress was held in April 1969. There, a new Party constitution was adopted. With sixty percent of the former Party membership having been purged during the Cultural Revolution, room existed for new people within the Party, and two-thirds of those attending the congress were in military uniform -- reflecting the power of Lin Biao. New Party members were to be limited to those of proper class origin -- in other words, people with humble origins. Lin Biao was named Mao's successor. And at the Party Congress, Lin Biao denounced his old comrade from pre-revolutionary days, and his former rival, Liu Shaoqi. Liu, he said, was a "traitor and a scab." Liu Shaoqi had been put in prison during the cultural revolution, and he was to die in prison later that same year.

After the Party Congress, Mao moved to reduce the role of the military within the Party, and he moved against Lin Biao for reasons not easily ascertained. Perhaps Mao had come to see Lin Biao as too opportunistic and too powerful. Zhou Enlai was also opposed to Lin Biao, and Zhou also wished to reduce the role of the military in Party affairs. Unlike Lin Biao, Zhou favored improving relations with the capitalist powers -- Lin Biao favoring, instead, unending class struggle.
Mao visited regional military commanders and criticized Lin Biao. And Lin Biao was obliged to humble himself with public self-criticism. Reports suggest that Lin Biao's son, apparently outraged over treatment of his father, tried to strike back and to uphold his father's standing in the Party. This required drastic steps, namely a military coup. Lin Biao is said to have been a necessary part of his son's conspiracy -- a conspiracy, it is claimed, that intended to assassinate Mao. Someone kept the government informed of Lin Biao's activities, and the official story from China is that the government moved against Lin Biao, that on September 13, 1971 Lin Biao and his wife fled in an aircraft that crashed in Mongolia, killing all aboard.

With Lin Biao out of the way, Zhou Enlai's opening to the West took the form of what became known as the ping-pong diplomacy. A ping-pong team from the United States that had been competing in Japan accepted an invitation to China. The friendliness involved in the ping-pong matches in China was a sensation in the U.S. press, and a new atmosphere in relations arose between the United States and China. With Lin Biao out of the way, China was making gains in foreign affairs, China being admitted to the United Nations in October, 1971. And in February 1972, President Richard Nixon and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, journeyed to China.

With the Nixon visit, China won an improvement in its position vis-à-vis the Soviet Union. The United States announced its recognition of Taiwan as a part of China and it announced interest in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan issue between the Chinese. Nixon and Mao exchanged pleasantries, Nixon flattering Mao with the comment that his writings had moved China and "changed the world," and Mao said that he had been able to change "only a few places around Beijing."
Mao was now 79 and suffering from Parkinson's disease. He had regrets over the excesses of the Cultural Revolution, and many people in China had regrets about Mao. The Great Leap Forward had tarnished his image within China, as had the demise of Lin Biao. In 1972 Lin Biao was officially declared as having been a "renegade and a traitor." And some people found fault with Mao for having previously praised Lin Biao, wondering how a man who was supposed to be wise had been so wrong about Lin Biao.
Conflict continued within the Party over which direction China should take. Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, favored belligerence toward the capitalist powers, her hostility having been apparent to President Nixon during his visit. And she was still advocating cultural purity, attacking interest in Schubert, Beethoven and other Western composers.

Deng Xiaoping, who had been purged during the Cultural Revolution, was restored to prominence in the Party. Then on January 8, 1976, Deng's ally, Zhou Enlai, died of cancer. Mourning for Zhou was widespread. Deng gave the eulogy, but a rival, Hua Guofeng, was elevated to fill Zhou Enlai's position as Party leader. Deng was still thought by many as a "capitalist roader."

Students in Beijing, still clinging to Maoist idealisms, demonstrated in favor of rights for the poor and denounced "revisionists and capitalist roaders." Rival demonstrations also erupted, and, on April 5, thousands of students rioted at Tiananmen Square after finding that tributes placed there for Zhou Enlai the day before had been removed. The demonstrators displayed criticisms of Mao. Police cars were set afire. The outburst was quelled by security forces and an urban workers' militia, who arrested as many as 4,000 demonstrators. Deng was suspected of having encouraged the demonstration regarding tributes to Zhou, and those in the Party opposed to Deng rallied against him. Deng was purged again, but he was allowed to keep his Party membership.

Meanwhile, Mao's health was fading. On September 9, 1976, almost 27 years after he had declared the creation of the People's Republic of China, Mao died. A week of mourning was declared. The Soviet Union sent no condolences. Around 300,000 people filed by Mao's body and casket at the Great Hall of the People, at Tiananmen Square, but there was less emotion than had been expressed with the death of Zhou Enlai.
Hua Guofeng was declared Mao's successor as Party Chairman, and Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, and three of her fellow cultural revolutionaries were imprisoned and named the "Gang of Four." Hua Guofeng announced his plan to "obey whatever Mao had said" and to continue "whatever [Mao] had decided." Across China, Hua Guofeng's policy became known derisively as the "two whatevers" Hua Guofeng's association with Mao was of little asset, and Hua Guofeng's standing in the Party faded.

This is from various extracts.

Read Wild Swans by Jung Chang (Flamingo) to understand the reality and anguish.]

Compare it with the way India is heading and its po9litical similarity/ dissimilarity!

Chalk and cheese?

What is Deng up to?

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 08 Jan 2010 23:44
by brihaspati
There have been numerous books written on the impact of the Cutural Revolution of 66, from both extremes of the political spectrum. Typically outside the "communist" circle, we usually only come across those from the "right" or from "victimhood". But is the Cultural Revolution relevant for the future strategic scenario for India? In a curious way, it perhaps is! But in a context that we usually may not think normally about - it is about the nature of democracy and representation of grassroots in the power structure.

One author on the Cultural Revolution we neglect is William Hinton. He was one of those few "westerners" (although a NewZealander by origin), like Agnes Smedley etc who had personal, contemporary experience of the Chinese convulsions of the second half of 20th century. Hinton has written many books which are all refreshingly incisive but sympathetic towards Maosim/ Chinese "communist" movement in general. Hinton's personal professional background and his ken for observation makes for interesting reading on a view about what really happened - but from the "other side".

In the "Turning Point in China" (1971) he writes,
"The heart of the Cultural Revolution has indeed been a struggle for power, a struggle over the control of state power....But it has not been a struggle over power for power’s sake....It has been a class struggle to determine whether individuals representing the working class or individuals representing the bourgeoisie will hold state power. It has been a struggle to determine whether China will continue to take the socialist road and carry the socialist revolution through to the end, or whether China will abandon the socialist road for the capitalist road. (16–17)
[S]ocialism must be regarded as a transition from capitalism to communism (or in the case of China from new democracy to communism). As such it bears within it many contradictions, many inequalities that cannot be done away with overnight or even in the course of several years or several decades. These inequalities are inherited from the old society, such things as pay differentials between skilled and unskilled work and between mental and manual work, such things as the differences between the economic, educational, and cultural opportunities available in the city and in the countryside, as long as these inequalities exist they generate privilege, individualism, careerism and bourgeois ideology....They can and do create new bourgeois individuals who gather as a new privileged elite and ultimately as a new exploiting class. Thus socialism can be peacefully transformed back into capitalism. (20–21) "

In "The Great Reversal", Hinton explores how Deng and his fellow "capitalist roaders" dismantled collective agriculture in the 1980s through the imposition of the “family responsibility system.” This included a frontal attack on the model brigade in Dazhai. Hinton’s visits inside China allowed him to gather material to challenge the regime about the smashing “successes” of the so-called reforms. He refuted the claims of the new rulers that the Cultural Revolution was a “catastrophe”:

"As things have turned out, it seems clear that Mao correctly appraised the opposition in regard to what he stood for and what it wanted to do with power. Since Mao’s death and the dismissal of Hua Guofeng from office, Deng and his group have dismantled, step by step, almost the whole of the economic system and the social and political superstructure built in the first thirty years following liberation, and they are rushing to finish off what remains....
Mao foresaw this, called it the “capitalist road,” and called Liu and Deng “capitalist roaders.” He launched the Cultural Revolution in a major, historically unprecedented campaign to remove them from power and prevent them from carrying out their line. In the end he failed.
The Cultural Revolution unleashed action and counteraction, initiative and counter-initiative, encirclement and counter-encirclement, all sorts of excesses, leftist and rightist, and an overall situation that spun out of anyone’s control. To blame Mao alone for the disruptions caused by this struggle, for the setbacks and disasters that ensued, is equivalent to the Guomindang blaming the Communists for the disruptions of China’s liberation war....(156–57)"

In a 1991 speech at Harvard University, Hinton explained
"In the Cultural Revolution, Mao mobilized millions of citizens to confront powerholders, particularly capitalist roaders, to overthrow the traditional hierarchy from below, and to build a new government structure, starting with revolutionary committees composed of citizens, cadres and soldiers. But every effort in this direction generated a counter-effort from the establishment under attack. Core functionaries were able to delay, divert, misdirect, or carry to absurd extremes every initiative from Mao’s side. Far from creating a new, more democratic form of government, the movement bogged down in unprincipled power struggles that exhausted everyone and led nowhere. The failure of the Cultural Revolution laid the groundwork for a great reversal of policy in all fields. (Monthly Review, November 1991, 10)"
...[A]t no time did Mao and his supporters have a free hand to take initiatives, deepen and consolidate them, learn from mistakes, and move forward. Every step had to overcome not only the inertia of custom and tradition but also the determined opposition of a large, powerful and cleverly led faction of the party itself. “Never forget class struggle” was no idle Maoist slogan. Intense struggle between social classes over basic policy permeated the whole period. That struggle continues to this day. (Monthly Review, November 1991, 13)"

Hinton explores disastrous consequences for China as it became increasingly integrated into the neo-imperialist global economy, and its possible dominance by the Western powers and Japan. He underestimates the ability of China to stave off crisis by capturing export markets with low-wage primitive accumulation, but his basic trend analysis is hard to refute by whatever economic data that oozes out of the Chinese system.

In a speech at the 1999 Socialist Scholars Conference, Hinton says:

[T]he Cultural Revolution, after generating a tremendous storm, wound down without consolidating its goals. However, the movement as a whole was a great creative departure in history. It was not a plot, not a purge, but a mass mobilization whereby people were inspired to intervene, to screen and supervise their cadres and form new popular committees to exercise control at the grassroots and higher.
The whole idea, that the principal contradiction of the times was the class struggle between the working class and the capitalist class, expressed itself in the party center, and unless it was resolved in the interest of the working class the socialist revolution would founder. And the whole idea that the method must be to mobilize the common people to seize power from below in order to establish new representative leading bodies, democratically elected organs of power was a breakthrough in history summed up by the phrase “bombard the headquarters.” (Monthly Review, September 2004, 57–58)"

In "The Great Reversal" and his speeches in the 1990s, Hinton tries to show on the basis of real data, why Chinese agricultural production is already stagnating and in some areas is in acute crisis as a result of the capitalist “reforms.” He points to high levels of unemployment, migration, social difficulties, and open political unrest. He points to growing social polarization and a greater vulnerability of the Chinese economy to crises in the world capitalist economy. His conclusion: The future does not look bright for Deng’s successors.

Notwithstanding Hintons' obvious socialist leaning, his insights as to the nature and structure of "power" in transitioning economies can throw important light on India's own transition itself. The very fact that a significant proportion of Indians have allowed themselves to be drawn into alternative means of obtaining representation in power - bypassing or denying the existing "Parliamentary" system - the increasing expressions of unrest at land alienation, delegitimization, anti-industrialization - points to why the "Cultural revolution" may actually throw light on the subcontinent itself.

That is one route to power for the "people" that may very well happen in the future in India.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 09 Jan 2010 09:47
by RayC
To understand the Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent, comparing China and India is indeed a very difficult proposition. Though each embarked on the modern future nearly at the same time, the manner in which the political process and political succession evolved is vastly different. One wonders if there is any similarity prima facie.

Mao, being of the peasant stock though astute, realised the value of strife and chaos and used it as a valuable instrument to ensure that those who challenged him were eliminated or mothballed and at the same time, keep the people actively engaged emotionally (the disparity of wealth and power during the KMT rule being so sharp that it easily allowed whipping up class enemies!) so as to keep them from musing over bread and butter issues. This can be observed throughout Mao’s tenure be it the Great Famine (Bitter Years as he called it), Cultural Revolution et al. One wonders if he was really concerned about the classes or was he interested in ensuring his total control of power.

Once the people and the Party got disillusioned during the setbacks of the Great Leap Forward Under internal pressure, Mao relinquished one of his post and Liu Shaoqi was appointed the Chairman of the People's Republic of China and with Deng worked for China’s economic recovery. Realising that if people were satisfied with life, there would be no instrument to incite them against his enemies, Mao got Liu labelled as a 'Capitalist-roader' and a traitor and had him imprisoned.

Foreigners have indeed written on China, but it is moot point if they were allowed any inside view of the turmoil. Even in these ‘liberalised’ times in China, foreigners are not allowed in areas of turmoil as was observed when the foreigners were herded out of Tibet during the riots.

Jung Chang’s Wild Swans gives an inside view since she was there and her family still lives in China and hence would be more authentic than any foreign report/ book. If she wrote things that were contrary to the CCP view, her family would be in 're-education' camps!

Therefore, it would not be wrong to believe that Mao did not brook challengers nor did he groom any second generation leaders. In fact, Deng who is the now acclaimed as the face of modern China was disgraced along with Liu Shaoqi and sent for 'Though Reforems Through Labour'.

In comparison, India may have had a dynastic approach, but it was through the will of the people and not through any machination to ensure such a position. Some may of course feel the aam admi slogan and such others cried hoarsely before were also class struggles through peaceful means! :)

In comparison, Mao used class struggle and divide and rule to keep his power and he ruthlessly destroyed the educated elite so that there was no challenge to his authority. In India, the intelligentsia was never destroyed!

It would be fair to assume that India’s future has to be chalked out as per her requirement, though with sensitivity to the cultural, social, psychological sensitivities of other Nations and use it for India's advantage.

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 09 Jan 2010 10:43
by RayC
One may like to read this also:

Kiran Gajwani, Ravi Kanbur and Xiaobo Zhang ... sgdp44.pdf

Re: Future Strategic Scenario for the Indian Subcontinent -II

Posted: 09 Jan 2010 11:36
by RayC
There is unease around India’s border. Owing to historical oneness of the Indian subcontinent consequent to what was known as British India, Myanmar at one time also constituted British India and Ceylon’s proximity, as a part of the British subcontinent made British India a significant influence. All affairs were dictated directly or indirectly by the British powers in Delhi. Hence, once independent, these countries areinimical to the erstwhile umbilical cord, which they could not contest earlier, even though they were vastly different in all ways to what was India. That fear and animosity now finds expression or so it appears.

There are two powers contesting the hegemony over this area – India and China. China with its policy of not involving itself with the internal affairs of another country and in real terms meaning that it is ready to deal with repressive regimes without any discomfort is more welcome to India which stands on high morals and democracy, even if it does not interfere with the internal workings of another country. This is discomfiting to many countries. Hence, China is more welcome than India. China also gives large aid without strings.

Indian Ocean is the real bone of contention between the two powers in Asia. China is well aware that the US is propping up India as a counterbalance and she is in no position to challenge the US presence in the Indian Ocean. Her lifeline (highly dependent on Middle East oil) is through the Indian Ocean and yet she is well aware that she cannot challenge the US there and more so the united strength of US allies or friends! And yet she is to survive and pose a challenge. Hence, her String of Pearls strategy and her building roads and pipelines through her surrogates as Pakistan and Myanmar, so that even if the Straits of Malacca become inaccessible, she is in a position to receive the oil through the ports constructed by them in these countries.

China is well aware of the importance of the Straits of Hormuz. That is why she is siding Iran, notwithstanding the nuclear issue. She is keener on the Iran – Pakistan – India pipeline than any others, since such pipeline would also be used to divert resources through the Gwadar – Xijiang pipeline they are contrasting adjacent to the KKH.

China already has the CAR oil pipeline to Xinjaing and beyond which is beyond interference except from Russia.

China is well aware of the nuisance value of India and hence while the US is trying to encircle China, she is trying to encircle India.

That is the Great Game that should be a peg in the evolution of the Future National Strategy.

We must first address the immediate neighbourhood and then think beyond.