Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

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Christopher Sidor
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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 30 Aug 2010 12:38

With Gilgit-Balistan , i.e. Northern Areas of Jammu & Kashmir, steadily going under Chinese influence, we will see in the next decade, the menace of PLA from Kashmir to Arunachal. Till now PLA soldiers were unable to threaten kashmir and jammu. Leh, Himachal yes, but not kashmir. Also a combined operation of PLA , PA and some miltant organization cannot be ruled out over Kahsmir.
With Northern Area, Chinese gets a human resource pool which is Caucasian. A human pool which can provide manpower which can easily blend into the cities of Northern and Western India, for nefarious ends.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby ManuT » 31 Aug 2010 00:53

I understand the 90% people support CCP. Simple question, do they have a choice? I can say 110% ;) of Indians are peaceful, but that is not the point. Point is, Party is the system. That will have little credit in India.

Intentions change! You can't undo actions. 

What happens after intentions change? They remain as intentions?

There are gaps on the Indian with can give China military  options. By closing the gaps, India closes the options for China, thereby limiting it's activities to trade.  

For short term gain, China can afford claim peace while stoking fires in the sub continent, with the help of TSP, and claim PD. But if there is a Big One in India one can imagine the consequences.

I have stated what I wanted to say, below this is basically end of it and is OT.
  
My view of the Nanking incident is from history, and some things should be viewed as such. Point is, Mao belongs to the dust bin of history. It is bad enough that he is responsible for the deaths of so many, bad enough that he was never tried for it when he was alive. It is much worse that he is glorified and unquestioned in death, respectfully gazing as an honorable man.  

Iraq after 7 years, I think today they at least have some chance than 10 years ago, under UN sanctions, if you'll read the personal lives of Uday and Qusay duo, you will have the answer.  

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Thomas Kolarek » 31 Aug 2010 01:36

With POK being opened for Chinese to settle, India should open up J&K to Indians to settle. Award protection and freebies to settlers. Let it take 10-20 years for things to settle rather than 50 years of wasted opportunities.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby manum » 31 Aug 2010 01:56

With POK being opened for Chinese to settle, India should open up J&K to Indians to settle. Award protection and freebies to settlers. Let it take 10-20 years for things to settle rather than 50 years of wasted opportunities.


"this comment of yours if used by an Indian diplomat will make sure that Kashmir and Kashmiri's are not considered Indian by Indian's themselves"
Kashmir is Indian territory and Kashmiri's are Indian...from this thing all the other arguments start...

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Thomas Kolarek » 31 Aug 2010 02:04

manum wrote:
With POK being opened for Chinese to settle, India should open up J&K to Indians to settle. Award protection and freebies to settlers. Let it take 10-20 years for things to settle rather than 50 years of wasted opportunities.


"this comment of yours if used by an Indian diplomat will make sure that Kashmir and Kashmiri's are not considered Indian by Indian's themselves"
Kashmir is Indian territory and Kashmiri's are Indian...from this thing all the other arguments start...

Why this unnecessary protection, when every one knows about Article 370. If you're concerned on the term getting it too open and fear Kashmiri's alienated, do it clandestinely. But do it, for India's sake.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby manum » 31 Aug 2010 02:20

thats why talk is going on possibilities of a talk on giving complete autonomy to J&K...my one of friend is a Kashmiri, he is doctor studied in Mumbai with me...and as much I understand, Kashmir is something which you cant inhale and exhale...it's a beautiful accessible girl, you can not marry...

its better to try something else...settling Indians there won't do...this thing what you are telling will only add as a fuel...because such policies are already obvious and already repelled by Kashmiri's...and we are good boys remember...and it has its own benefits...they definitely are not sure where they belong...and there is a dilemma...and in presence of multiple deals possible...local deal beakers or politicians and common mass have become sly...it's complicated matter...

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby PrithviRajChauhan » 31 Aug 2010 02:39

Are we sure that by giving more autonomy to Kashmir the problem will solve ? If Kashmir can be given autonomy then why not North East ? Dont you feel it will open a pandora box which will be even more challenging to handle ? Kashmir has to be integrated with rest of India like any other Indian state. One way of doing it can be, by providing more economic opportunity, the other way can be by use of force and by settling Indian population from other state (Chinese did that and doing that effectively in Tibet) but it has to be integrated tightly with India . Apart from the territorial integrity of India, its the question of our survival. The stakes in Kashmir is high and we cannot afford to lose it.
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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby TonyMontana » 31 Aug 2010 02:58

ManuT wrote: I understand the 90% people support CCP. Simple question, do they have a choice? I can say 110% ;) of Indians are peaceful, but that is not the point. Point is, Party is the system. That will have little credit in India.


Here's a crazy thought for you. CCP want to stay in power. They could do it by force. Stay in power by oppression. But the CCP is not dumb. They know through History that oppression is not a long term strategy. So they become what the Chinese want them to be. But still with a iron grip on power. Ensuring their Mandate of Heaven. What do you say to that?

ManuT wrote:
There are gaps on the Indian with can give China military  options. By closing the gaps, India closes the options for China, thereby limiting it's activities to trade.  


Agreed. But it's hard to shake hands with a clenched fist.

ManuT wrote:
My view of the Nanking incident is from history, and some things should be viewed as such. Point is, Mao belongs to the dust bin of history. It is bad enough that he is responsible for the deaths of so many, bad enough that he was never tried for it when he was alive. It is much worse that he is glorified and unquestioned in death, respectfully gazing as an honorable man.  


I wonder what will be the right thread for general discussions on China. It's been facinating debating with you. The problem with Mao is that common view in China is he's 70% good. 30% bad. Call it propaganda, call it brain washing. But I tell you the average Chinese are well aware of what he did. And they STILL formed that opinion. Why? Because he was brutal enough to reunit China(Like the Qin Emperor). And end the internal civil war. I understand it's hard for you to comprehend, but you're looking at the rainbow from a different mountain.

ManuT wrote:
Iraq after 7 years, I think today they at least have some chance than 10 years ago, under UN sanctions, if you'll read the personal lives of Uday and Qusay duo, you will have the answer.  


Is that "chance" worth it? This is exactly what the Chinese sees. We are a dharmic people. We know from history that history in China is cyclical. The crass way of saying it is: "This sh!t happened before. This sh!t will happen again." You can fight a revolution for all the right intentions. But end of the day, after say 30 years, you gonna have the same B@stards in power all over again. So with this in mind. Is the suffering of internal conflict worth it? You might call it pessimestic. I call it smart.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby manum » 31 Aug 2010 03:26

So they become what the Chinese want them to be.


how can they become what Chinese want them to be...when Chinese are not allowed to want...its like mirror in harry potter movie, which shows exactly what you want...and if there is a want, exactly because there is lack of wanting...then I think there are very limited choices...one of them is...this century is ours...and this grace belongs to all of us...so let me harass you, for greater cause...

The problem with Mao is that common view in China is he's 70% good. 30% bad.


humm...what is our perception of few...I know i might be killed for it...but if our freedom struggle with guns would have continued and one of our great example if came in power... I am not sure but there would have been possibility of talibanization of india too...atleast they are hero's in their right context...so yes the different mountain you termed...is time...

This is exactly what the Chinese sees. We are a dharmic people. We know from history that history in China is cyclical.

well exactly this is how they think...but they think it's their century...more strongly than anything...and this belief is basically instilled in them by quoting cyclic nature of things...how you think they are doing many things so convincingly...because they are trying to be modern era sfre Rome...cyclic reference you see...

Ps...ignore me if you think I have interrupted in your debate with other person...

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 06 Sep 2010 21:53

List of projects being done by china in PoK and Northern Areas

The most important one are
1) a 750 km-long rail link between Havelian and the Khunjerab Pass along the Karakoram Highway which will initially run only freight trains on this route.
So now the weakest link of the entire pakistan defence is going to be upgraded with the help of Chinese. Chinese will then be able to supply pakistan will all of its strategic requirements, bypassing the entire sea route. North Korea and other chinese satellite countries can also use this route to bypass any un or western imposed sanctions to trade with pakistan. Also certain Middle eastern countries can use this route to trade with china, bypassing the malacca straits entirely.
2) double-laning of the Karakoram Highway, widening of the Jaglot-Skardu road and replacing five existing bailey bridges on the 167-km long, strategically important Gilgit-Skardu road. This will improve the logistics capability of the Pakis, as well as allow chinese to transport troops to the LoC if and when they require it.

This is one of the reason that stopping at kashmir valley in 1947 or not insisting in 1971 that Northern Areas be reunited with J&K was such a horrible strategic mistake. This compares with the himalayan blunder which we did in 1962. When will our strategic community wake up. Our passivity is harming us immensely.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 10 Sep 2010 13:35

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/china ... a/679890/0

The most important extracts from the article are

...............
...............
Cheng and Curtis referred to the recent Chinese steps with regard to Kashmir, including issuing of stapled visa, denying visa to a top army official and sending its troops to Gilgit-Baltistan.

New Delhi would view with consternation the possibility of Chinese troops being stationed on both the eastern and western borders of Kashmir, they said.

"China already maintains a robust defense relationship with Pakistan, and the China-Pakistan partnership serves both Chinese and Pakistani interests by presenting India with a potential" they wrote.
..................
..................
China's growing assertiveness is supported by a range of increasingly sophisticated military capabilities, they noted.

A concrete example of this growing set of capabilities was displayed in August, when China held its first major parachute exercise in the Tibetan plateau.

"This involved a paratroop drop of 600 troops, clearly establishing a rapid force insertion capability on the part of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

As a Chinese officer observed, this exercise showed that, in the event of a crisis, Chinese paratroopers could rapidly deploy at any time," the two scholars wrote.
..................
..................


This may be american propoganda, on eve of obama's visit to india or to draw india into "contain China" strategy, but part of the article is based on indisputable facts.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 10 Sep 2010 13:57

^^^
Sorry forget to add the link to the original Heritage article
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Report ... ader-Trend

Another interesting article is
http://www.heritage.org/home/research/l ... dian-ocean

While the tone is largely neutral, the same cannot be said about the intent. Also the second article seems to imply that china is more concerned about its oil flowing under the watchfull eyes of Indian navy. It also points out that by 2020, India would be in more favourable position vis china, militarily. Only item I hope, which this article does not touch upon, is that India is economically and financially more strong than China by 2020.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby ManishH » 21 Sep 2010 17:02

Looks like history repeating itself:

India: Poland, Kashmir: Danzig, Pakistan: Prussia, China: Soviet Union
USA: Great Britain.

USA upon whom Indian strategy is so heavily leaning on to protect them is projected
to weaken gradually in the next 2 years. India's only hope appears to be:

- A democratic movement in china (unlikely)
- Chinese leadership irresolute.
- Buy time 3-4 years until we have a credible deterrent SSBN.

Otherwise most likely scenario is Indian Army totally outflanked due to forward deployment
in J&K and AP, very quickly losing a two front war.

Heck we'll lose even a logistics wargame with corruption in ASC :-/

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby SriSri » 21 Sep 2010 20:47

Air Force Proposal - Upgrade Nyoma Airstrip to Full-fledged Airfield

The Indian Air Force has submitted a proposal to develop Nyoma into a full-fledged airfield, capable of handling all kinds of aircraft, including fighters, as well as civilian flights.

The derelict air strip was re-activated into an operational airbase in September 2009 when an IAF medium-haul AN-32 transport aircraft landed there. Advanced Landing Grounds Nyoma, Daulat Beg Oldi and Fukche were reactivated to connect remote regions of Ladakh with the rest of India in order to promote tourism and other economic growth.

With China having dispatched thousands of troops into the Gilgit-Baltistan area, supposedly to build infrastructure for the Pakistanis, India has made clear its intentions of building up defence infrastructure in this region.

The Nyoma ALG is located just 23km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China at an altitude of 13,300 feet. The LAC extends for 4,056-km from the Ladakh region along the Uttarakhand border towards Sikkim and finally Arunachal Pradesh.

http://www.india-defence.com/reports-4543

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Philip » 23 Sep 2010 16:59

Wouldn't it be very vulnerable to attack being so close to the LOAC? It is well within the range of Chinese MBRLs,which could saturate the base multiple salvoes.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Kanson » 23 Sep 2010 17:17

Modern war will be fought differently. Secondly, in peacetime Nyoma will be of great use.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Paul » 23 Sep 2010 21:34

Those Batteries can be spotted through UAVs and taken out with counter battery fire.

It'll be unrelaistic to think PLAN MBRLs can sit unmolested on the edge of the border exactly 23 km from Nyoma.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Jaeger » 24 Sep 2010 10:13

^^ Given that PLA has WS-1/1A MLRS's that have a stated 100+km range, they need not be exactly 23km from Nyoma.
I'm sure the IAF has considered the various alternatives thoroughly of course, but it would be interesting to know the line of reasoning.
IMVVVHO, I would say that Nyoma's usage is more about prewar/tense peacetime buildup of men and material in forward areas, given the parlous state of our ground infrastructure. Once the shooting starts, I wouldn't necessarily depend on Nyoma staying safe enough to use as a major resupply base. Perhaps pallet drops without actually touching down?
Of course, this is actually assuming we're taking a defensive view here. Who knows, if the forward areas near Nyoma are being looked at as jump off points, then its a different matter entirely. Perhaps a short while into the offensive, Nyoma will not exactly be anywhere near the frontline, if you know what I mean :twisted:

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Willy » 24 Sep 2010 10:32

ShauryaT wrote:
Christopher Sidor wrote:China to deploy MBT tanks in Tibet


India has had MBT's in the area also since a few years now, so no big deal here. PRC is in fact reacting to India. Also, the tanks being deployed by PRC are not exactly super blazing et al. The "Ajeya" is more than a match for the deployed tanks. The number of tanks that the Chinese have in total and in the area is not known to be superior to what the IA can field. So, do not see any case for alarm here.

On the PRC border, it is sometimes difficult to say, who is the hunter and who is the hunted. That is a good sign for India.

For every $ that India spends in infrastructure in the region, PRC would have to spend a lot more, due to the long logistics chain and 100's of miles of perma frost that they will have to deal with, resulting in higher maintenance.

All in all, the IA is defending pretty well.


Any further news on the light tank the IA is looking for to deploy in mountainous areas?

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Nihat » 24 Sep 2010 10:35

Jaeger wrote:^^ Given that PLA has WS-1/1A MLRS's that have a stated 100+km range, they need not be exactly 23km from Nyoma.
I'm sure the IAF has considered the various alternatives thoroughly of course, but it would be interesting to know the line of reasoning.
IMVVVHO, I would say that Nyoma's usage is more about prewar/tense peacetime buildup of men and material in forward areas, given the parlous state of our ground infrastructure. Once the shooting starts, I wouldn't necessarily depend on Nyoma staying safe enough to use as a major resupply base. Perhaps pallet drops without actually touching down?
:


Exactly, if Nyoma is developed into a full fleged airstrip then we can airlift a large number of MBT's, soldiers, arty, supplies etc on very short notice, provided we augment our strategic airlift capability.Landing potentially a division worth of troops and a squadron of tanks just 20 odd Km from the LAC would be a big deterrent against Chinese misadventure..

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 24 Sep 2010 19:26

This is a old article but still revealing.

The most noteworth points are
......
......
Speaking to Open, former Army Chief VP Malik confirms, “The Chinese have built infrastructure and have their Rapid Reaction Forces (RRF) in place, and are prepared for short wars at the border, as far as movement of troops at short notice and arms are concerned, as they’ve been using an active defence strategy all along which has a certain amount of offensive in that. India earlier was thinking of converting one of its Army divisions into rapid reaction, but did not do it. We need to build our forces in terms of lift capability, landing, light arms and weapons, accordingly—something that was suggested by the IAF and Army earlier, but has not really taken off. Even electronically, the Chinese are far ahead of us.
.....
.....
ranged against India are the following:

»In Chengdu adjoining north eastern Arunachal Pradesh: 3 Divisions and one artillery brigade

»In Lanzhou adjoining northwestern Arunachal: 3 divisions and one artillery brigade

These divisions provide a strength of 94,000 men against which India has ranged 9 Mountain Divisions comprising 90,000 men, but most of these would not even enter the conflict. Of the six Chinese divisions, four are airborne RRFs and can be moved within 48 hours on the back of airlift capability granted by Y8, IL-76 and H5 transport planes in the region. With rail and road infrastructure in place, mobilisation time could be further reduced. The Lhasa-Beijing railway line, the highest in the world, would further help in transporting troops and logistics. In contrast, India’s first C-130J transport plane would enter service only in February 2011. As a result, seven of India’s eight mountain divisions in the northeast would be of no use against an offensive as laid out in the Chinese War Doctrine.
....
....


In other words if China does a kargil on us w.r.t Tawang or some other part of Uttranchal or Himachal, will we be able to respond in time to thwart their designs? We have concentrated on static defense w.r.t china. We forgot that static defense are overrun by mobile forces. A lessons which the Nazis taught the French and the British.

While our first C-130J fired up its engine recently, It will be still quite some time, before it joins our defense forces. Then add the time taken to integrate, test and deploy it with army's division. In the meantime, we will be at the tender mercy of the chinese. No wonder the Chinese are getting all worked up. They know that we are extremely unprepared for war.

Again and again we have been found to be reactive not proactive. We should have developed this capability in the starting of this decade, but did not. We waited for china to field a substantial amount of airborne troops before embarking on our own developments. In the meantime before our counter measures are in place, we will be vulnerable. It wont be long, in fact before this decade gets over, before China will be able to airlift an entire division or corps over the Himalayas and land them in the silguri corridor or near tezpur. Will we still be playing catchup with the Chinese?
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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Kanson » 24 Sep 2010 19:52

Jaeger wrote:^^ Given that PLA has WS-1/1A MLRS's that have a stated 100+km range, they need not be exactly 23km from Nyoma.
I'm sure the IAF has considered the various alternatives thoroughly of course, but it would be interesting to know the line of reasoning.
IMVVVHO, I would say that Nyoma's usage is more about prewar/tense peacetime buildup of men and material in forward areas, given the parlous state of our ground infrastructure. Once the shooting starts, I wouldn't necessarily depend on Nyoma staying safe enough to use as a major resupply base. Perhaps pallet drops without actually touching down?
Of course, this is actually assuming we're taking a defensive view here. Who knows, if the forward areas near Nyoma are being looked at as jump off points, then its a different matter entirely. Perhaps a short while into the offensive, Nyoma will not exactly be anywhere near the frontline, if you know what I mean :twisted:


To protect important fields and bases from such attack...a new system by the name C-RAM is getting introduced. It was already deployed in Iraq and other bases by the US.

C-RAM stands for Counter-Rocket, Artillery & Mortar. Akash missile system, can double up as C-RAM, if i'm not wrong.
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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Kanson » 24 Sep 2010 19:58

Christopher Sidor wrote:This is a old article but still revealing.

The most noteworth points are
......
......
Speaking to Open, former Army Chief VP Malik confirms, “The Chinese have built infrastructure and have their Rapid Reaction Forces (RRF) in place, and are prepared for short wars at the border, as far as movement of troops at short notice and arms are concerned, as they’ve been using an active defence strategy all along which has a certain amount of offensive in that. India earlier was thinking of converting one of its Army divisions into rapid reaction, but did not do it. We need to build our forces in terms of lift capability, landing, light arms and weapons, accordingly—something that was suggested by the IAF and Army earlier, but has not really taken off. Even electronically, the Chinese are far ahead of us.
.....
.....
ranged against India are the following:

»In Chengdu adjoining north eastern Arunachal Pradesh: 3 Divisions and one artillery brigade

»In Lanzhou adjoining northwestern Arunachal: 3 divisions and one artillery brigade

These divisions provide a strength of 94,000 men against which India has ranged 9 Mountain Divisions comprising 90,000 men, but most of these would not even enter the conflict. Of the six Chinese divisions, four are airborne RRFs and can be moved within 48 hours on the back of airlift capability granted by Y8, IL-76 and H5 transport planes in the region. With rail and road infrastructure in place, mobilisation time could be further reduced. The Lhasa-Beijing railway line, the highest in the world, would further help in transporting troops and logistics. In contrast, India’s first C-130J transport plane would enter service only in February 2011. As a result, seven of India’s eight mountain divisions in the northeast would be of no use against an offensive as laid out in the Chinese War Doctrine.
....
....


In other words if China does a kargil on us w.r.t Tawang or some other part of Uttranchal or Himachal, will we be able to respond in time to thwart their designs? We have concentrated on static defense w.r.t china. We forgot that static defense are overrun by mobile forces. A lessons which the Nazis taught the French and the British.

While our first C-130J fired up its engine recently, It will be still quite some time, before it joins our defense forces. Then add the time taken to integrate, test and deploy it with army's division. In the meantime, we will be at the tender mercy of the chinrdr. No wonder the Chinese are getting all worked up. They know that we are extremely unprepared for war.

Again and again we have been found to be reactive not proactive. We should have developed this capability in the starting of this decade, but did not. We waited for china to field a substantial amount of airborne troops before embarking on our own developments. In the meantime before our counter measures are in place, we will be vulnerable. It wont be long, in fact before this decade gets over, before China will be able to airlift an entire division or corps over the Himalayas and land them in the silguri corridor or near tezpur. Will we still be playing catchup with the Chinese?


From what i can understand, there airlift capability projection include civilian airlines too. Indian recently took a relook of employing all available transports in the time of emergency. In the stride-2009 as well as earthquake mobilization, they used civilian airlines extensively.

In other words if China does a kargil on us w.r.t Tawang or some other part of Uttranchal or Himachal, will we be able to respond in time to thwart their designs? We have concentrated on static defense w.r.t china. We forgot that static defense are overrun by mobile forces. A lessons which the Nazis taught the French and the British.
best description is China is planning to do 'Cold Start' on us.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby tushar_m » 24 Sep 2010 20:54

can any one here divide the IAF fighters into number of fighters required for pak & no. required for chinese in case of a two front conflict

the conflict may require different fighters in different conditions !!!
but from any war we can take the lesson that managing resources is a prime factor

so say take a scenario that

1. we strike pak while we defend borders with chinese
2. we support ground forces while air superiority over pak & then strike chinese
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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Nihat » 24 Sep 2010 22:07

X-posting from the Intelligence gathering thread , this is an excellent report and nothing has been overstated (except perhaps one bit about 155 mm howitzer). Goes on to emphasize the point that Chinese adventurism in NE will serve no purpose as Tawang is increasingly impegnable and it would only re-enforce China's image as the aggresor.

Posting in full and highlighting the really juicy bits.


It is back to eyeball-to-eyeball, barrel-to-barrel and bayonet-to-bayonet on the India-China border. Narasimha Rao’s 1993 agreement on border peace and tranquillity is dead. So is the 1995 agreement to pull back from Sumdorong Chu, as well as the 1996 agreement on military confidence-building. These agreements had enabled the Indian Army to move several divisions from the China border and deploy them in the Kashmir Valley to fight insurgents. It also enabled China to focus less on military matters, make economic progress, show a soft face to the world, host the Olympics and gain global prestige.

Kashmir is secure and the Olympics over. Both countries are currently on a military-building spree over the Himalayas. Indeed, China drew the first blood by building rail lines, roads and airfields so that it can quickly move huge divisions into Tibet from where they can pulverise the frontiers of India. Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, with its politically sensitive monastery which the Chinese have always coveted, looked particularly vulnerable.

India has been paying back in the same coin, building border roads for quick troop movement, upgrading airfields in Ladakh and helipads in Arunachal, raising new Army divisions, redeploying an entire corps, and even giving wings to entire brigades for heli-lift. Operation Falcon, Indira Gandhi’s 15-year border militarisation programme launched in 1980 and given up in 1993, has been re-started under another name. With the result that Arunachal, especially Tawang, is today an Indian fortress, or a windmill which would be quixotic for the Chinese to tilt at. A frustrated China, therefore, is seeking out another Achilles’ heel in Kashmir’s Ladakh.

Recent Chinese actions against Kashmir and Ladakh are evidence of this frustration, say senior Indian Army officers. Militarily, there were a series of Chinese border intrusions in Ladakh last year. Diplomatically, China altered its public posture on Kashmir from ‘hands-off’ (even during Kargil war, China refused to help Pakistan) to a declaration that Kashmir is ‘disputed territory’. Adding insult, Beijing even offered to mediate on Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Then it offered to host Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in China and began issuing visas to Kashmiris on loose sheets, indicating that Beijing does not recognise their Indian passports and nationality.

The latest: China denied visa to India’s Kashmir commander, Lt.-Gen. B.S. Jaswal, who was to visit Beijing on a mutually agreed confidence-building military visit. Simultaneously, it moved a battalion of troops into Khunjerab Pass in Pakistan-held Gilgit-Baltistan, ostensibly to help Pakistan combat the floods, but probably to build a rail line that would take Chinese goods to Pakistan’s ports and Chinese troops to the doors of Siachen. From there, the troops could threaten the Indian sources of several rivers that flow into Pakistan. All of a sudden, the Indian Army in Ladakh is finding the Chinese on three sides—Aksai Chin in the east which China occupied in 1962, Xinjiang in the north and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west annexed by Pakistan in 1947-48.

The Chinese build-up around Ladakh, India believes, is a tit-for-tat for India’s fortressing Arunachal which, in turn, had been done in response to the Chinese build-up in Tibet. China’s People's Liberation Army (PLA) had moved troops into Tibet following the anti-Beijing riots in March 2008. Hundreds of armoured vehicles, fit for fighting regular military battles, poured into Tibet from the Leshan-(Sichuan province) based 149 Division through the newly built Qinghai-Tibet rail line. More of them drove in through the Sichuan-Tibet Highway.

Most of the troops returned after shooting the rioters, but the 149 Division’s 52 and 53 Brigades have since been converted into rapidly mobile units which can be deployed in Tibet’s southern frontiers (bordering India) within 48 hours. Next, the PLA moved to acquire a capability to rail-move its 61 and 149 Rapid Action Divisions into Tibet.

Sensing trouble, the Indian defence ministry permitted the Indian Air Force (IAF) to move a squadron of Sukhoi-30MKI warjets from their Pune base to Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh from where they can strike deep into Tibet and even mainland China. And early this year, the 30 squadron of Sukhois flew into Tezpur in Assam and parked themselves there, just in case.

The presence of Sukhois rattled China. It suddenly realised that its rail line into Tibet, a military engineering marvel (runs at 4,200 metres from sea level, and so the crew and passengers need to be acclimatised for the journey), is vulnerable to interdiction bombing by Sukhois.
It also realised that roads were safer for troop movement during war than trains. So Beijing embarked on a programme of upgrading its highways into Tibet, especially National Highway 318 which connects Linzhi (where the 52 Mechanised Brigade is stationed) to Lhasa, the Qinghai-Tibet Highway and the Sichuan-Tibet Highway.

The development was noted by the defence ministry. “...There is a feeling,” Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar told Parliament’s standing committee on defence in a classic understatement, “that our neighbouring country, China, has been able to build up a very good infrastructure” close to the Indian borders.

China has also been enhancing its strike power in Tibet. The Indian Army believes that the PLA can move one full mechanised infantry division into Tibet in 48 hours in an emergency, and about 10 divisions in one month for a permanent base. More worryingly, in its largest ever tactical exercises (code-named Stride) last year, the PLA demonstrated awesome airlift capability. As per the Indian Army’s assessment, China today can airdrop an infantry brigade of 3,000-plus in one airlift and an entire infantry division of about 15,000 troops and their equipment in a single operation.

In addition, China is also learnt to have raised a rapid deployment force (called Emergency-Resolving Mobile Combat Force) which can induct four divisions on any stretch of its frontier (or enemy territory) on a day’s notice. Plus, the PLA’s logistics management has been tuned in such a way as to gain a capability to move 20 to 25 divisions over two months. Most of these capabilities were proven in Stride-2009 in which 50,000 troops were moved across 1,600km by road, rail and air from the military districts of Shenyang, Lanzhou, Jinan and Guangzhou.

Stride-2009 was essentially aimed at proving the PLA’s ability to mobilise in real time. However, what alarmed India was the simultaneous building of advance infrastructure in Tibet so that nearly 25 divisions could be moved into Tibet at short notice. China had three main airfields in Tibet—Kongka, Hoping and Pangta. However, in the months prior to Stride-2009, China built or operationalised two more around Lhasa, and four more elsewhere in Tibet, thus giving them nine airfields to land troops and support fighter operations. And about two months ago, China even exercised a few squadrons of Sukhois and J1s over Tibet. “Exercising them over Tibet has other implications,” said an IAF officer. “You cannot have a sustained exercise programme without having built massive ground support system. Thus even if China is not basing advanced fighters in Tibet as of now, they have all the ground systems in place. They can move in the aircraft in a matter of two hours now.”

More worrying has been the recent integration of their non-nuclear strategic missiles with their military area commands. India has kept its non-nuclear missile regiments (such as 333) under a separate command so that battalion or brigade commanders are not tempted to use them in the event of minor battlefield reverses. China, however, has integrated them into their area commands which signals that their use in battle is being left to the judgment of middle-level commanders.

All these military posturings, which have been evolving over the last two years, have been ‘doctrinised’ in the White Paper that China published on January 20, 2009, the day Barack Obama was inaugurated in Washington. The White Paper talked of a new doctrine called ‘active defence’ aimed at “winning local wars in conditions of informationisation [sic].... This guideline lays stress on deterring crises and wars.... It calls for the building of a lean and effective deterrent force and the flexible use of different means of deterrence.”

Indian defence ministry reacted with unprecedented alacrity. It sought permission to restart Operation Falcon—programme to build border roads and other infrastructure for quick military movement into Arunachal— launched in 1980 by General Krishna Rao on the orders of Indira Gandhi. China had captured Tawang in 1962 but had withdrawn realising that it could not hold on in the event of a counter-attack by the Indian Army. The operation was launched to secure Tawang against any adventurism by China. However, India had to suspend the operation in 1993 in lieu of China promising not to foment any border trouble.

Now with China building up forces in Tibet, Delhi had no option but to re-start the operation. The foreign office made a high-level visit to Arunachal and apprised the cabinet of the pluses and minuses of agreeing to the defence ministry’s request. Reacting with unprecedented swiftness, India launched a massive border road-building programme, not just by the defence ministry’s Border Roads Organisation (BRO), but even under Centrally-funded state government efforts such as Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. “Earlier the military doctrine of the country was not to have roads close to borders,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Rajya Sabha last month, “but the same has now been revised in the changing geo-political scenario, and the government has taken a conscious decision to expedite construction of road infrastructure in border areas.”

A few days earlier, the BRO had told Parliament’s standing committee on defence: “Two years back the philosophy of our nation was that we should not make roads as near to the border as possible.... It is only two to three years back that we suddenly decided a change in philosophy and said, no, we must go as far forward as possible.”

Indeed, the military and the BRO moved with incredible speed to match the Chinese road for road. “Border Roads Organisation has been asked to concentrate on strategic roads,” Antony told the Rajya Sabha on August 11. “There are 73 roads on India-China border (length 3,647km), out of which the BRO has been entrusted with 61 roads of total length of 3,394km in J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Out of 61 roads, 14 roads of length 556.22km have already been completed and work is under progress on 42 roads....[Work] on five roads has not commenced.” According to Antony, 41 roads are planned to be completed by 2013 and the remaining six later.

The IAF, facing a severe shortage of transport helicopters, too, has been asked to pitch in. It lent 142.45 tonnes of heli-lift capability to the BRO in the last six months. Finding this inadequate, the ministry has asked the BRO to hire Pawan Hans helicopters.

While the BRO has been building roads, the Army and Air Force have been enhancing their strike power. The Dimapur Corps (3 Corps), which has several mountain divisions under it, has been completely pulled out of counter-insurgency operations in the northeast and converted into a full-fledged offensive corps on the China border. The corps has also been given awesome firepower. The Rangia-based 2 Mountain Division has been pulled out from the Tezpur Corps (4 Corps) and attached to the offensive Dimapur Corps. The corps has also been promised, in an emergency, the services of 41 Division, which is still under the Tezpur Corps. And crowning all the moves is a recent accretion: two new mountain divisions—numbered 41 and 56—have been quietly raised and given to the Dimapur Corps.

In short, in case the Chinese attempt any kind of adventurism on the Arunachal-Sikkim sector, the Indian Army would have three full corps waiting for them—the Sukhna-based 33 Corps, the Tezpur-based 4 Corps and the newly-augmented Dimapur-based 3 Corps. All of them have also been given the light 155mm guns which can be heli-lifted. Advanced landing grounds have been built in Tuting, Pasighat, Vijaynagar, Along and Mechuka in Arunachal for heli-landing troops and equipment. “Take it from me,” said a general staff officer, “if they come, the Chinese will find Tawang an impregnable fortress.”


Apparently the Chinese know this. And so they have been shifting focus onto the western sector comprising India’s Ladakh. A few probing trespasses were made there last year, to which India responded with three measures. First, Jairam Ramesh’s road-blocking environment ministry withdrew its objections to building roads in some 760 Himachal villages. Second, the Indian Air Force augmented and activated a landing strip at Nyoma, 20km from the China border for taking troop-carrying Antonov-32 planes. Next, the IAF developed two more airstrips at Fukche and Daulat Beg Oldi.

The third move, by the cabinet, was to clear the contract for building a tunnel in Rohtang which would make it possible for the troops to move to Ladakh at any time of the year. At present the Ladakh garrisons are supplied troops, food, fuel and ammunition through two routes. One is the Pathankot-Srinagar-Zoji la-Kargil-Leh route, which is blocked by snow in winter and is within the firing range of Pakistani artillery (Kargil war 1999). The other is the Kullu-Manali-Rohtang-Leh route, which is also snow-blocked in winter. A horse-shoe tunnel in the snow-prone stretch at more than 3,000 metres near the 4,000-metre-high Rohtang Pass would make the route available throughout the year. The project was approved in 2000, but no progress has been made since. Suddenly the government remembered it and Sonia Gandhi inaugurated its construction on June 28.

These moves, India expects, would make a Chinese bid on Ladakh from Aksai Chin in the east almost impossible. So the Chinese are opening another front on the west—from Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-held northern areas.

What next, Delhi?

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby ramana » 24 Sep 2010 22:42

Nihat, The popular wisdom is IA is frozen in British Indian Army tradition of fightinng set piece battles. Yet the same Indian Army overran East Pakistan in 16 days. So there is flexible offense strategy which is not given recognition.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby chaanakya » 25 Sep 2010 00:08

tuneix wrote:
1. we strike pak while we defend borders with ch***s
2. we support ground forces while air superiority over pak & then strike chinks

It is derogatory to use the word 'ch***s' , you might like to refrain from using it before bredators strike.
Last edited by Gerard on 25 Sep 2010 05:13, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby rohitvats » 25 Sep 2010 00:27

Nihat wrote:


Posting in full and highlighting the really juicy bits.


<SNIP>

While the BRO has been building roads, the Army and Air Force have been enhancing their strike power. The Dimapur Corps (3 Corps), which has several mountain divisions under it, has been completely pulled out of counter-insurgency operations in the northeast and converted into a full-fledged offensive corps on the China border. The corps has also been given awesome firepower. The Rangia-based 2 Mountain Division has been pulled out from the Tezpur Corps (4 Corps) and attached to the offensive Dimapur Corps. The corps has also been promised, in an emergency, the services of 41 Division, which is still under the Tezpur Corps. And crowning all the moves is a recent accretion: two new mountain divisions—numbered 41 and 56—have been quietly raised and given to the Dimapur Corps.

In short, in case the Chinese attempt any kind of adventurism on the Arunachal-Sikkim sector, the Indian Army would have three full corps waiting for them—the Sukhna-based 33 Corps, the Tezpur-based 4 Corps and the newly-augmented Dimapur-based 3 Corps. All of them have also been given the light 155mm guns which can be heli-lifted. Advanced landing grounds have been built in Tuting, Pasighat, Vijaynagar, Along and Mechuka in Arunachal for heli-landing troops and equipment. “Take it from me,” said a general staff officer, “if they come, the Chinese will find Tawang an impregnable fortress.”


<SNIP>

The third move, by the cabinet, was to clear the contract for building a tunnel in Rohtang which would make it possible for the troops to move to Ladakh at any time of the year. At present the Ladakh garrisons are supplied troops, food, fuel and ammunition through two routes. One is the Pathankot-Srinagar-Zoji la-Kargil-Leh route, which is blocked by snow in winter and is within the firing range of Pakistani artillery (Kargil war 1999). The other is the Kullu-Manali-Rohtang-Leh route, which is also snow-blocked in winter. A horse-shoe tunnel in the snow-prone stretch at more than 3,000 metres near the 4,000-metre-high Rohtang Pass would make the route available throughout the year. The project was approved in 2000, but no progress has been made since. Suddenly the government remembered it and Sonia Gandhi inaugurated its construction on June 28.

These moves, India expects, would make a Chinese bid on Ladakh from Aksai Chin in the east almost impossible. So the Chinese are opening another front on the west—from Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-held northern areas.

What next, Delhi?
[/quote]

That article has most of facts, and assumptions, incorrect. It seems someone has fed him information and he took it hook, line and sinker. Don't base your judgement on this article. However, the import of the article is correct.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Nihat » 25 Sep 2010 01:12

do point out exactly what is incorrect Rohit. I seem to remember that you have already clarified about the 2 new mountain divisions having already being raised in Arunachal.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby rohitvats » 25 Sep 2010 01:30

X-Posting my post from another thread:

From the article:

China has also been enhancing its strike power in Tibet. The Indian Army believes that the PLA can move one full mechanised infantry division into Tibet in 48 hours in an emergency, and about 10 divisions in one month for a permanent base. More worryingly, in its largest ever tactical exercises (code-named Stride) last year, the PLA demonstrated awesome airlift capability. As per the Indian Army’s assessment, China today can airdrop an infantry brigade of 3,000-plus in one airlift and an entire infantry division of about 15,000 troops and their equipment in a single operation.


So, please put the worry of Chinese suddenly emerging from shadows and from behind rocks to overwhelm the IA. I will even take 48hours notice for Mechanized Division with a pinch of salt. To begin with, what is the definition of 'into Tibet' here? And from where? We're talking here about hundereds of tanks and APC and mobile and towed artillery. Unless, these troops are sitting in heart of tibet and on constant standy and at some comfortable distance (that is not too long) from their final deployment locations, those 48hours is an absurd figure. Case in point - look at the locations of PA Strike Elements, distance from border, wonderful lines of communication, short distance from where to recall troops and time to mobilize.

And as for 10 Divisions in a month into Tibet - we can match that. And which also means that these will be followed very closely. You cannot hide 10 Divisions in Tibet. But what about the acclimatization? And one assumes that there are forward dumps for 10 Division worth of troops. POL+rations+stores. Good good. Nice targets for the IAF and IA missiles.

As for the airlift, what is the timeframe of dropping a Division worth of Paratroopers? A brigade worth of drop is still a good capability, though. Something we lack.


In addition, China is also learnt to have raised a rapid deployment force (called Emergency-Resolving Mobile Combat Force) which can induct four divisions on any stretch of its frontier (or enemy territory) on a day’s notice.



Only djinn power or Han equivalent can do this feat. Four Divisions in a day anywhere? Sure, moon is made of green cheese.

Plus, the PLA’s logistics management has been tuned in such a way as to gain a capability to move 20 to 25 divisions over two months. Most of these capabilities were proven in Stride-2009 in which 50,000 troops were moved across 1,600km by road, rail and air from the military districts of Shenyang, Lanzhou, Jinan and Guangzhou.



How does transporting 50K men same as transporting 250K men and material? And there were reports of major snags in this very exercise. Will dig up the link.

However, what alarmed India was the simultaneous building of advance infrastructure in Tibet so that nearly 25 divisions could be moved into Tibet at short notice.


Contradicts himself.


Quote:
The Dimapur Corps (3 Corps), which has several mountain divisions under it, has been completely pulled out of counter-insurgency operations in the northeast and converted into a full-fledged offensive corps on the China border. The corps has also been given awesome firepower. The Rangia-based 2 Mountain Division has been pulled out from the Tezpur Corps (4 Corps) and attached to the offensive Dimapur Corps. The corps has also been promised, in an emergency, the services of 41 Division, which is still under the Tezpur Corps. And crowning all the moves is a recent accretion: two new mountain divisions—numbered 41 and 56—have been quietly raised and given to the Dimapur Corps.

He has mixed up the numbers completely.

Earlier IV Corps had 21/5/2 Mountain Divisions. III Corps had only 57 Mountain Division.

Post new raisings and realignment of AOR, IV Corps has 21/5/55(new) Mountain Division. III Corps has 2/56(new)/57 Mountain Division. XXXIII in Sikkim has 17/20/27 Mountain Divisions. 23rd ID based in Ranchi should be considered as given in case of conflict. That is 10 Mountain/Infantry Divisions. Plus, the news about Mountain Strike HQ for NE - this will add at least another two more Divisions. IMO, III Corps is more for defence of Eastern AP and Burma border.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby TonyMontana » 25 Sep 2010 03:00

tuneix wrote:can any one here divide the IAF fighters


Oh, bless your heart. :)

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby yantra » 25 Sep 2010 03:27

How would the socio-cultural things play out on both sides - esp. China. China is more corrupt than India and can India plan and 'buy out' a few critical guys when necessary? China has already bought (or some of the leftists have sold) a few parties in India. How do these play out if a two front war breaks out?

Pardon me if this is OT.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby TonyMontana » 25 Sep 2010 03:36

yantra wrote:How would the socio-cultural things play out on both sides - esp. China. China is more corrupt than India and can India plan and 'buy out' a few critical guys when necessary? China has already bought (or some of the leftists have sold) a few parties in India. How do these play out if a two front war breaks out?

Pardon me if this is OT.


Of cause you can buy out Chinese guys. That's how the Mongels got over the wall a while back. But then the guy you brought get labeled a race traitor and there's statues made of him in temples and school kids on school trips spit on it for a few hundred years.

:rotfl:

What I'm getting at is it's doable. But they make SO MUCH MONEY :eek: as it is from corruption it will cost you a lot.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Gerard » 25 Sep 2010 05:12

To all.. please refrain from the use of terms such as ch**k when referring to the Chinese.
Such racist/derogatory language is not allowed on the forum.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 26 Sep 2010 16:20

rohitvats wrote:
That article has most of facts, and assumptions, incorrect. It seems someone has fed him information and he took it hook, line and sinker. Don't base your judgment on this article. However, the import of the article is correct.


Rohit, can you please share with us the facts and assumptions which are incorrect?

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Nihat » 26 Sep 2010 17:04

Christopher Sidor wrote:
rohitvats wrote:
That article has most of facts, and assumptions, incorrect. It seems someone has fed him information and he took it hook, line and sinker. Don't base your judgment on this article. However, the import of the article is correct.


Rohit, can you please share with us the facts and assumptions which are incorrect?


He already did that , check his last post.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 27 Sep 2010 13:39

rohitvats wrote:X-Posting my post from another thread:
So, please put the worry of Chinese suddenly emerging from shadows and from behind rocks to overwhelm the IA. I will even take 48hours notice for Mechanized Division with a pinch of salt. To begin with, what is the definition of 'into Tibet' here? And from where? We're talking here about hundreds of tanks and APC and mobile and towed artillery. Unless, these troops are sitting in heart of tibet and on constant standby and at some comfortable distance (that is not too long) from their final deployment locations, those 48hours is an absurd figure. Case in point - look at the locations of PA Strike Elements, distance from border, wonderful lines of communication, short distance from where to recall troops and time to mobilize.

And as for 10 Divisions in a month into Tibet - we can match that. And which also means that these will be followed very closely. You cannot hide 10 Divisions in Tibet. But what about the acclimatization? And one assumes that there are forward dumps for 10 Division worth of troops. POL+rations+stores. Good good. Nice targets for the IAF and IA missiles.

As for the airlift, what is the timeframe of dropping a Division worth of Paratroopers? A brigade worth of drop is still a good capability, though. Something we lack.

Chinese troops will not "suddenly emerging from shadows and from behind rocks", rather the article is referring to the ability of the Chinese to airlift troops and drop them where they require. Something similar to what happened on D-day. This is from wikipedia
The assault was conducted in two phases: an air assault landing of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France commencing at 6:30 AM.
.....
.....
To slow or eliminate the enemy's ability to organize and launch counterattacks during this critical period, airborne operations were used to seize key objectives, such as bridges, road crossings, and terrain features, particularly on the eastern and western flanks of the landing areas. The airborne landings some distance behind the beaches were also intended to ease the egress of the amphibious forces off the beaches, and in some cases to neutralize German coastal defense batteries and more quickly expand the area of the beachhead.

Basically what happened in D-Day, was the airborne troops were launched about 6 hours prior to the main amphibious invasion. The Nazis played a variation of this when they swept through Belgium, Holland and France. They repeated their performance in Norway.
Chinese can do the same. They can launch airborne troops, which land behind our forces in NE and North Western Himalayas. And with our known limitations of movement, they will be able to cause havoc with our communication and logistics line. When this happens our forces get fragmented, because some forces will be required to deal with these airborne assault troops.
If this scenario is not played out, their airborne capability will still give them at the minimum the ability to reinforce their troops in Tibet with men and material. We might be able to match them, division for division, but we will still loose. You see IA works on the 2-1 principle. 2 units are operating in the front, while 1 unit is kept as a reserve in the back. Replace unit with division/battalion/regiment/brigade etc and you get the picture. This gives us depth. But the problem with this is that we do not pitch all of our 10 divisions in battle. Rather only a majority of them.
Moreover you have not specified why you doubt the capability of the Chinese to drop a division in 48 hours? If you can maybe share it with us it would be great.
The depots and logistics caves of PLA for their rations, weapons, etc need not be close to the front line. Rather they will be some distance away. With the Chinese logistics strength, there would not have any issue in getting them to the front or to air drop them where they require.


rohitvats wrote:
In addition, China is also learnt to have raised a rapid deployment force (called Emergency-Resolving Mobile Combat Force) which can induct four divisions on any stretch of its frontier (or enemy territory) on a day’s notice.

Only djinn power or Han equivalent can do this feat. Four Divisions in a day anywhere? Sure, moon is made of green cheese.

Again nothing to back up the doubting claims. If you can be specific reason it would be great.
The chinese can move their troops from the Xianjing province into Tibet or from their reserves in central china.

rohitvats wrote:
Plus, the PLA’s logistics management has been tuned in such a way as to gain a capability to move 20 to 25 divisions over two months. Most of these capabilities were proven in Stride-2009 in which 50,000 troops were moved across 1,600km by road, rail and air from the military districts of Shenyang, Lanzhou, Jinan and Guangzhou.

How does transporting 50K men same as transporting 250K men and material? And there were reports of major snags in this very exercise. Will dig up the link.

Please share with us the link. We would like to go through it.
Also once the Chinese master the art of moving 50K troops, moving 5 times more, i.e. 250K is just a matter of scaling the ability up. Moreover this is not the first time the Chinese have done such exercises. Previously they have exercised with the Russians which involved airborne troops. They would have picked up some valuable insights from our russian friends.

rohitvats wrote:
However, what alarmed India was the simultaneous building of advance infrastructure in Tibet so that nearly 25 divisions could be moved into Tibet at short notice.

Contradicts himself.

In fact the author is not contradicting himself. Please let us know why you think so ?

rohitvats wrote:Quote:
The Dimapur Corps (3 Corps), which has several mountain divisions under it, has been completely pulled out of counter-insurgency operations in the northeast and converted into a full-fledged offensive corps on the China border. The corps has also been given awesome firepower. The Rangia-based 2 Mountain Division has been pulled out from the Tezpur Corps (4 Corps) and attached to the offensive Dimapur Corps. The corps has also been promised, in an emergency, the services of 41 Division, which is still under the Tezpur Corps. And crowning all the moves is a recent accretion: two new mountain divisions—numbered 41 and 56—have been quietly raised and given to the Dimapur Corps.

He has mixed up the numbers completely.

Earlier IV Corps had 21/5/2 Mountain Divisions. III Corps had only 57 Mountain Division.

Post new raisings and realignment of AOR, IV Corps has 21/5/55(new) Mountain Division. III Corps has 2/56(new)/57 Mountain Division. XXXIII in Sikkim has 17/20/27 Mountain Divisions. 23rd ID based in Ranchi should be considered as given in case of conflict. That is 10 Mountain/Infantry Divisions. Plus, the news about Mountain Strike HQ for NE - this will add at least another two more Divisions. IMO, III Corps is more for defence of Eastern AP and Burma border.


Thanks for the clarification, but you have not yet comprehensively refuted the central theme of the article. Namely, Chinese have the airlift capability, which could be a menace to us in north east and the north western Himalayas. Something which we lack ourselves.

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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Rupak » 27 Sep 2010 16:26

Airlift capability =/= Para drop. Any serious study of the operations in WW2 will indicate quite clearly the huge differences in terrain between Western Europe and the Himalayan region - jagged rocks on one end, and thick forest on the other end. All major para ops have taken place in plains for a reason. Also paradrops assume complete air supremacy - which the Germans established over Holland and the low countries, and the Allies had over Western Europe in WW2, or indeed India had over Bangladesh in 1971. Frankly WW2 experience was rather mixed. Where one runs into a high troop density such as Crete in 1941 or during Market Garden in 1944, paras don't stand a chance - even tens of thousands of them!

Airlift capacity is important because it allows induction of troops, equipment, POL into theatre of ops.

Avik
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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Avik » 27 Sep 2010 17:22

Thanks for the clarification, but you have not yet comprehensively refuted the central theme of the article. Namely, Chinese have the airlift capability, which could be a menace to us in north east and the north western Himalayas. Something which we lack ourselves.


Chris Sidor: I will let Rohit provide you a better explanation, but here is my stab at your query!

Paratroops, even upto a division strength, can at best create what are known as "gingering effects", because they are lightly armed, spread out and have very limited mobility. They are effective only when mechanized units are linking up with them at short notice, typically, not beyond a day. Their effectiveness keeps going down after the first 12 hours, as the opposition recovers and organises a cohesive defence. All this while, the paras are running out of ammo and food. Also, because of the inherent nature of the job, basically jumping into a new area, there are casualties suffered by the ingressing paras, reducing their numbers. Mind you, they are still quite effective, but more in the nature of small ambush teams, clusters of snipers who delay and hold back Indian troops.

So, in case there is no rapidly moving mechanized columns linking up with the paras, they will get mopped up..it could be 2 days or even a week to round up the stragglers. It is when the mobile mechanized forces are being assembled in the concentration area, that one would require acclimatization, FOL dumps etc. leading to enough signals that the balloon is about to go up. These are very obvious signals and If we miss these signals, then we deserve to get thrashed!

Moreover, air maintenance of such a para led operation by the PLAAF will not be very effective since a number of their transport aircrafts will keep getting shot down on every sortie, thereby, reducing the total numbers available for each new round, and air interdiction measures by IAF will lead the PLAAF transports to dump their cargo and fly the hoop--nothing wrong in that, all AFs do that, but the upshot will be that the Chinese paras will not be resupplied very effectively--unless they have complete air superiority.

Finally, the NE of India is jammed with Indian troops, practically. After the initial shock, the sheer number of these troops will be sufficient to isolate the Chinese paras and flush them out. Yes, it will be time consuming and their will be anxious moments, but they will get flushed out. The level of anxiety will depend on whether the Chinese paras are able to destroy a couple of key bridges in NE, specific road links and certain command centres- all these come together in the Siliguri Corridor.

Christopher Sidor
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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby Christopher Sidor » 27 Sep 2010 17:41

Rupak wrote:Airlift capability =/= Para drop. Any serious study of the operations in WW2 will indicate quite clearly the huge differences in terrain between Western Europe and the Himalayan region - jagged rocks on one end, and thick forest on the other end. All major para ops have taken place in plains for a reason. Also paradrops assume complete air supremacy - which the Germans established over Holland and the low countries, and the Allies had over Western Europe in WW2, or indeed India had over Bangladesh in 1971. Frankly WW2 experience was rather mixed. Where one runs into a high troop density such as Crete in 1941 or during Market Garden in 1944, paras don't stand a chance - even tens of thousands of them!

Airlift capacity is important because it allows induction of troops, equipment, POL into theatre of ops.


Rupak I am not equating Airlift capability with Para drop. What I am pointing out is the capability of China to shift troops/material using aircraft has gone up substantially. It is a capability which we lack. And using this capability they have made PLA more mobile. It is a mobility which is ahead of what we can deploy currently or we can counter.

Also with GPS and remote sensing, para-drops in the Himalayan region are not a figment of imagination. China has recently started, building its own GPS system. Whether they have integrated it with their airborne capability is a matter of conjecture. But if they have not, rest assured they will integrate. It is not a question of whether but of when. Para drops assume a complete air supremacy, granted. Maybe china will not be able to establish one over the Himalayas. But in that case, as i have pointed out, their airborne capability still offers the prospectus of augmenting their capacity in Tibet.

Where as airlift is considered, two most notable examples come into mind. Firstly the air-lift carried out by the Nazis over Stalingrad once the 6th army was encircled. The second was the Berlin airlift. The first failed spectacularly due to the inherent limitations of Luftwaffe. While the second succeeded. The 2nd succeeded partly because the soviets did not block the air route and partly the air forces of the allies had the required capability. Also in the 2nd case the material airlifted was mostly for civilian consumption.
On our soil, the airlift over the Himalayas to help the Chinese resistance against the Nippon invaders was another example of the airlift, involving about 500 plus aircraft.
From these examples it should be clear the potential that airlift offers. And China already has a significant capability to do so. Significant as compared to India.


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