Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

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

Postby Suresh S » 30 Sep 2010 13:06

christopher i have the same fear and articulated this few days ago. in 5-10 yrs we have lot of hardware that is going to be inducted but there is this period during which we are very vulnerable to a chini attack.

I feel some how if we can induct those MKIs as fast as humanly possible it would give us a little edge over the chinese in the air which would be of tremendous help in the mountains and may discourage them from any misadventure.
Last edited by Suresh S on 30 Sep 2010 13:35, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Christopher Sidor » 30 Sep 2010 13:27

VinodTK wrote:Spendings stuck, India trails China in firepower

A year after China paraded its military might to mark 60 years of Communist rule, an internal study by South Block shows that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is way ahead of India in terms of strategic missiles, artillery, development of indigenous military hardware and acquisition. This comparison study has been shared with the UPA government at the highest levels.

China’s defence budget, pegged at $77.5 billion, is more than twice that of India’s $32-billion but its 2009 military parade has set off alarm bells in Delhi given the shortcomings in indigenous production capability and gaps in acquisition of military hardware — for a few years now, the Defence Ministry has not been able to spend the allocated capital for modernisation of the armed forces.

This is what the internal study found:

The PLA has a clear lead over the Indian Army in terms of infantry weapons, armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and artillery guns.


This article is silent on SU-30MKK and SU-27. Su-27 are currently stationed in Tibet. Also it is silent on Su-33 vs Mig-29K. It is rumored that Su-33 is better than Mig-29K. What gives me the most concern is the advantage of firepower (towed guns and other artillery items) and APC which the Chinese have over us. Maybe APC might not be that useful in the terrain of northeast.

Would love to get a hand on the full report and understand on how it came to the conclusion.

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

Postby Pratyush » 30 Sep 2010 15:40

snahata / Christopher Sidor,

While the PRC adds to capabilities in the next 5 / 10 years. Please don't expect the IAF / IA to be sitting still and not acquire new capabilities. In order to deal with the enhanced capabilities of the PRC.

Though I understand that a jingos heart is never satisfied :D .

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

Postby Gaur » 30 Sep 2010 16:16

[quote='Christopher Sidor']
This article is silent on SU-30MKK and SU-27. Su-27 are currently stationed in Tibet. Also it is silent on Su-33 vs Mig-29K. It is rumored that Su-33 is better than Mig-29K. What gives me the most concern is the advantage of firepower (towed guns and other artillery items) and APC which the Chinese have over us. Maybe APC might not be that useful in the terrain of northeast.

Would love to get a hand on the full report and understand on how it came to the conclusion.[/quote]
What Su-33? Either you are arguing with no knowledge regarding PLA equipment or you are basing your arguments upon rumours of future PLA procurement.

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

Postby rohitvats » 30 Sep 2010 20:41

Thank you for your post. It shows that you’ve basically bought into the internet propaganda about the mythical abilities of the PLA - without bothering to do any research on your own.

Christopher Sidor wrote:Thanks for clarifying on the emerging from shadows point. When you mean active deployment in Tibet and along the AP LAC, do you mean PLA troops stationed on the border on LAC or do you mean the total troops available to PLA on the AP LAC? There is a difference over here, and I would like to clarify this.


I was referring to PLA troops posted on the border as well as those available to Tibet MD.

So according your math, Chinese need at least 5 IL-76 to transport a battalion of troops minus support elements. They have an estimated fleet of 17 IL-76 planes, again your figures. So you are basically agreeing that China can airlift and drop troops/material.


Please don’t get into semantics – no one ever denied the presence of those IL-76s or any other aircraft in PLAAF service. The point of contention is the capability it affords the PLA and PLAAF.

Now According to Wikipedia, the maximum range of IL-76 is 3,650 km. Since it will not land and will have to return back to its airbase after dropping paratroopers, its combat radius is approximately 1800 kms. If we factor in the high altitude of the Tibetan plateau into consideration and the point that IL-76 has to take off from Tibetan plateau, we can reduce this to 1600 kms approximately. Its max speed is 900 Kmph, so an IL-76 can fly 1600 kms in say 1:30-2:00 hours (again I am factoring in the high altitude of the Himalayas). So in say 4 hours 5 IL-76 can airdrop 600-700 troops and return to its base. It will take about 3-4 more IL-76 to airdrop the required for support facilities like material, weapons, etc for the 600-700 men. Let us again assume that it takes another 4 hours to make an IL-76 ready for flight, after post-flight inspection, repairing/replacing damaged parts, refueling, etc. So in a total of 8 hours another operation can be launched with a total of 8 IL-76 to drop another battalion of paratroopers. What this means is that in a day or 24 hours China will able to drop 3 battalions of men. Even if PLAAF suffers an attrition of 10-20% transport planes then also it can do what I have outlined. This is with only IL-76 planes, we have not taken the other transport planes in service with PLA/PLAAF into account.



Thank you for creating a bogus scenario to suit your fancies – it clearly shows that you have no touch with reality.
So, first, the PLAAF manages to penetrate respectable distance into Indian airspace without challenge – either from SAM assets or Interceptors. Can you tell me how is same going to be played out?

And not only that, it can repeat the feat 2 times over next 16 hours. And was it over the same DZ or some other point? In case if it is at same DZ or place nearby, IA troops or CPO in hinterland must be sleeping after smoking something potent to allow the PLAAF to repeat an earlier feat – rather than shooting them to bits as they come to land.

And PLAAF repeats this not once but three times. And “may lose” only 20% of Tpt fleet strength? Can you tell me why 20% and not 40%, 50%, 80% or 100%? And at what level of attrition will this adventure become unacceptable to PLA?

One more thing – what will those paratroopers do? Take bridges? Take high ground to interdict supply route(s)? And how are these troopers going to be sustained? Considering that they are lightly equipped, what is their standing power against large number of CPO or IA itself? And once the Sino-India shooting match is over, what happens to these paratroopers in Indian hinterland?

And Let us twist this around. What if PLAAF decides to drop regular troops and material into Tibet? For this scenario they can use their regular civilian airlines also. Till now the Chinese had to build stores, underground caves and other silos to house material for their troops. Their, i.e. Chinese Logistics are simply too long. With this airlift capability, this is reduced significantly


This section is a prime example of ‘waving hand in the air” kind of comments. How about doing some math for a change and trying to see what the number look like?

What you think a division is? Bunch of soldiers with their personal weapon issue? Have you bothered to check the tonnage required to be airlifted to move a single brigade? For, unless the PLA has stored everything right down to the underwear, most of the stuff required will have to come by air.

And contrary to your opinion, PLA needs to build those forward ordinance depots – the purpose of the FODs is to sustain troops in forward areas and replenish stocks. The long logistic chain means that these will be larger in size as compared for Indian Army. But even these cannot store everything – the stuff organic to a battalion or a brigade or a division. For reference, here is the airlift required for Light Infantry Brigade in US Army:

Deploying an Army light infantry brigade would require airlifting about 7,300 tons of materiel and about 3,800 personnel, requiring about 141 C-17 airlift sorties

Even assuming that PLA brigade is 50% in tonnage as compared to US Army, please tell me what is required of PLAAF and what capability do they have?

You are expecting these transport aircraft not to have any escort, of Su-30MKK/J-10 fighters. You are expecting that they will not employ any counter measures. That is a very optimistic assumption over here.


So tell me, how many J-10 or SU-30MKKs are required to achieve local air superiority – when one is entering the enemy den and going further inside the enemy territory?

The purpose of paratroopers is not to hold ground. It is to facilitate the main assault or to disrupt the communications and supply routes of the enemies. If they are an enabling force, then the main assault comes very closely, in time domain, after they have landed. If it is a disrupting force, they can just melt into the valleys of AP while wreaking havoc behind our lines.


I really hope you had understood the meaning of the words you wrote. Let us dissect them further, shall we? Here goes:
Not hold ground – so seizing of high ground to interdict any supply route of out of question.

Facilitate main assault – something like Normandy and Operation Market Garden. But an important requirement is that assaulting forces can reach these paratroopers or they are toast. How deep do you think the PLA can enter into India? And hence, how deep can these operations by paratroopers be?

Melting into valleys of AP – what do you think AP is? Your neighborhood nana-nani park? How are these paratroopers going to be sustained during their ‘vanvas’ phase? What is their longevity in such a harsh environment?

AP is after all a big state, approximately 83743 sq kms (source is again Wikipedia.) It is just bigger than Jharkand. A battalion of Chinese airborne or para troopers, which according to you should have 600-700 soldiers, will have no issue in such a big state. Off course in a normal war we should not expect a single battalion but multiple.


Good Sir, you’ve not understood my question – my question was where is the flat ground to land 600-700 paratroopers at one go? Forget a brigade? Except for Brahmaputra Valley, there is not enough real estate to accommodate so many troops. Please some time on Google Earth, scan the area and you’ll understand what I mean.

Thank you, for sharing this piece of information with us. I would like to point out one interesting fact from the above mentioned article

Initially the operation was successful and several bridges between Eindhoven and Nijmegen were captured. However the ground force's advance was delayed.

So you see the paratroopers managed to capture several bridges. Just that the main assault got delayed, beyond a point. It again reinforces what I have said above


The only message the above section conveys is that you’ve comprehension issues. Sure, TSPA surprised IA in Kargil what if the IA mobilized and kicked their butts? Or the German Army reached at the doors of Moscow but then lost out the war? Similar arguments?

If anything is conveyed by your excerpt, it is this – that without ground forces rendezvousing with paratroopers, they are toast. Now, please tell me – how deep can the PLAAF Paratroopers be dropped where the PLA can RDZ with them?

It means whereas we have currently 10-divisions of IA facing 10-divisions of PLA, with this airlift capability, this symmetry can be skewed in their favor. So we will have more PLA divisions facing us. And once a shooting war starts they can build up their troops rapidly.

So let us assume that we are able to annihilate some 5 divisions out of 10 divisions of PLA, without suffering any significant losses ourselves, then also Chinese can make up for the loss and get in more men and material. I think we should be bothered with anything which enhances the ability of the Chinese to deploy troops and material into Tibet from their other Military Regions.


If I use above line of argument, since PLA has more divisions than IA, game set and match. IA looses onlee. Except for one small fact - in most of the cases I expect IA defending with offensive defense strategy. So, PLA needs at least 3:1 ratio in assault – that is 30:10 Divisions.

As for PLA simply bringing in more troops – they can do that in peace time and war by road. The question is not that – the question is about the airlift capability of PLAAF and how drastic an advantage that is.

So after our troops are finished racing into LAC and they reach it, the Chinese drops paratroopers behind them. In such a case IA will have to divert some of these troops, who raced to LAC and its reserves to deal with these paratroopers. Again you have reinforced what I was saying. With this demonstrated airlift capability, the assumptions that IA can win the race to LAC get thrown out.

And winning the race to LAC is one thing, sustaining the operations on LAC is another. Chinese airlift capability, if not used for para-drops, can be used to augment and sustain partially the operations of PLA on LAC. You see due to the long lines of communications and logistics, most of the items that PLA needed would have to be bought from outside Tibet. That is why PLA in the past has placed such importance to underground stores.


That is another fancy scenario of yours. What if we drop SFF in PLA backyard? And again, how deep are these drops going to be? How will they get past SAM and AD Network?

.

Keeping in reserve means not seeing action but being in the same theater of operations. This way if one of the units or both units face an enemy strength greater than their ability, the reserve unit can assist them. Or if one unit or both the units face reverses in men and material, then the 3rd unit can be there. As far as the 2-1, not 2:1, concept it was explained to me by a serving Lt-Col, currently posted in Jammu. If you can refute it, please do so.


I’m sure the good Colonel taught the right thing – but it is your comprehension that is the problem here. The thing is very simple – any commander will maintain troops in reserve to exploit enemy weakness or back up defenses. It is a simple principle of war. It is same for the IA and same for PLA. 5 Div commander defending Tawang will not place all his 4 brigades on defensive position. The Div will have at least one brigade in reserve to carry out counter assaults.

A Pivot Corps will have lesser troops available for assault versus the Strike Corps – where the whole Corps is a Strike Reserve. Even the Strike Corps will attack with some formations in reserve. There is a reason PA calls I Corps as ARN – Army Reserve North. The PLA Group Army will also follow the same factor. So, please don’t turn the logic on its head. If anything, PLA may have more reserves than us.

So basically you are disputing the fact without any solid evidence to back it up. And you are saying that maybe it is not 48hrs deployment but 48hrs standby. What happens after 48hrs standby? Will the entire PLAAF fleet, of some 17 IL-76, 40 Y-8, 23 Y-7 (all sources are from Wikipedia) will not be able to transport it to Lhasa, Gunsa (proposed, not sure whether it is up for operations and 90-100kms from LAC) or Nyingchi (approximately 40-50Kms from LAC). Please note that I have listed only the civilian airports or fields. Again Rohit I fail to comprehend your complacency.


Dude, you surely have no knowledge about military affairs nor do you bother to check things on your own.

So, my example of likely ToE of Mechanized Division or a Light Mechanized Division of PLA seems as lack of facts or evidence? Just because you’re ignorant of such matters does not mean that others are. That ToE example was to simply show the amount of hardware a Mechanized Division is likely to have. There is enough material available on this subject – just read Motorized Divisions of Soviet Army and you’ll know what I was talking about.

And then, may be you can appreciate the issues at hand. And tell us, how does one move such a force in 48hours anywhere?

As for 48hrs standby versus reaching anywhere in 48hrs – there is a world of difference. The 48hrs standby periods are extremely difficult to achieve – IA was on 6 days standby to enlarge the conflict in Kargil war, if the need had arisen. It means zero leave, 100% equipment uptime at every time and all that. As for reaching anywhere in 48hrs is concerned, well, read up more and may be you’ll understand.

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

Postby Pratyush » 30 Sep 2010 21:59

Rohit,

Isn't the PLA a conscript force. How will that effect their combat potential against a military such as the IA which is an all professional force. Surely that will give IA an advantage in terms of the average grunt on the ground. Other things being equal.

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

Postby yantra » 30 Sep 2010 22:43

What are Chinese amphibious assault capabilities, if any? Can a major/main assault on NE be coupled with and amphibious assault from the Bay of Bengal area, and a third thrust through Bangladesh/Burma (assuming they become Chinese stooges)? Is this just a nightmare or a realistic scenario?

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

Postby TonyMontana » 01 Oct 2010 01:26

Pratyush wrote:Rohit,

Isn't the PLA a conscript force. How will that effect their combat potential against a military such as the IA which is an all professional force. Surely that will give IA an advantage in terms of the average grunt on the ground. Other things being equal.


The PLA is, in fact, a volunteers force. Because of the generous job placement after service, it's very attractive to country folk that want to get a job in the big city.

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

Postby rohitvats » 01 Oct 2010 12:38

Pratyush wrote:Rohit,

Isn't the PLA a conscript force. How will that effect their combat potential against a military such as the IA which is an all professional force. Surely that will give IA an advantage in terms of the average grunt on the ground. Other things being equal.


I don't know a clear cut answer to that.

But this brings to another interesting point - PLA has Cat A,B,C Divisions - which means that these are at various levels of preparedness and troops and equipment strength. Apart from RRF, others fall into these categories. It will be interesting to see what is the Cat status of forces under Chengdu MR.

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

Postby Avik » 01 Oct 2010 13:31

Pratyush wrote:Rohit,

Isn't the PLA a conscript force. How will that effect their combat potential against a military such as the IA which is an all professional force. Surely that will give IA an advantage in terms of the average grunt on the ground. Other things being equal.


I don't know a clear cut answer to that.

But this brings to another interesting point - PLA has Cat A,B,C Divisions - which means that these are at various levels of preparedness and troops and equipment strength. Apart from RRF, others fall into these categories. It will be interesting to see what is the Cat status of forces under Chengdu MR.


And the cadre strength of a PLA Division is around 10-11,000 vis-a-vis a IA Div which is around 14-15,000.

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

Postby yantra » 13 Oct 2010 20:15

http://bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=13591

India to Enhance Military Cooperation, Conduct Joint Trainings with Vietnam
As a part India's Look East Policy, Defence Minister AK Antony said that New Delhi will provide support to Vietnam to enhance and upgrade the capabilities of its three services in general and its Navy in particular. Antony announced India's help at the bilateral meetings with the top Vietnamese leadership including President Nguyen Minh Triet, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh.

....


Mr Antony said Vietnam occupies a strategic position in New Delhi's policy priorities, both bilaterally as well as under its "Look East Policy'.

Gen Thanh thanked India for its valuable contribution to make the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting a great success. He said India occupies a special position in Hanoi's foreign policy framework and noted 'we are indeed moved by your support'. He welcomed more port calls by the Indian Navy to Vietnam and offered maintenance and repair facilities at Vietnamese ports.



Looks like India has started playing its cards.. :D

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

Postby NRao » 16 Oct 2010 02:46

Breaking News: Pakistan, China irritants for India: Army chief

He said that a conventional war with China or Pakistan was "highly uncertain" but "skirmishes can occur".

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

Postby anchal » 16 Oct 2010 02:54

I don't know how it did or didn't escape cursory eyes here. But this is the first time, I guess, when India has asked China to be sensitive to our core concerns. Might have sent the right signals to CCP thugs.

External affairs minister S.M. Krishna on Friday said that India expects China “to be sensitive to our core concerns.”

“That is how relationships are built, relations are nurtured. So we are asking China to respect our sensitivities like on Arunachal Pradesh and other issues,” he said at a media interaction session

http://www.livemint.com/2010/10/15205901/Be-India-sensitive-Krishna-ur.html?h=B

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

Postby shiv » 18 Oct 2010 19:57

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/news ... wsid=13620
Posting in full
Column : India’s antiquated forces
Deba R Mohanty

Chief of the Indian Air Force ACM PV Naik has gone on record recently to admit that half of the Indian aerospace fighter arsenal was obsolete. The defence minister, AK Antony, subsequently tried to play down the condition by urging that the Indian defence industry must be encouraged by the state to improve the degree of self-reliance and fight obsolescence in this fast-paced technological environment. If this was not enough, ACM Naik has warned the country that the security situation in and around India was like a ‘volcano’, which necessitated an extremely high level of preparedness by the air force, in particular, and the entire armed forces, in general. If unstable security conditions as well as strategic global aspirations necessitate India to build a formidable military capability, ‘obsolescence’ is one problem that should not have affected the armed forces as badly as it has today.

Let’s see how prepared the Indian armed forces are for any situation. Not only the Indian aerospace but also land and naval arsenals are fast becoming obsolete. Consider this: IAF has a sanctioned strength of 39.5 combat squadrons, yet is barely 30 squadrons strong now, and aims to have a 45 squadron strength in the near future, if former ACM Fali Major is to be believed. If four to six squadrons of MiGs are to be phased out in time and the 126 MMRCA and LCAs are not replenished in time, India is likely to manage with about 26 fighter squadrons for the next six to seven years! Even acquisitions of Su-30s would not be able to compensate for some time and the joint development of the fifth generation fighter (with Russia) can only happen by the early 2020s, if everything goes according to plan. Transport, trainers, heavy lifts, medium and heavy choppers, mid-air refuellers and others are also in short supply, if the desirable level of Indian aerospace power is taken into consideration. The situation is worrisome.

The land-based arsenal looks no better. Former Army Chief VP Malik’s famous admission—we will fight with whatever we have—is not passé. General VK Singh’s immediate predecessor General Deepak Kapoor has gone on record saying that 80% of the land equipment is night-blind. Apart from night-blindness, the land forces are in short supply practically on every front—from infantry and weaponry to larger land systems. Heavy tanks may be an exception; India lacks light and medium tanks, and varieties of artilleries, the latter being a hostage to ‘Bofors’ syndrome. Artillery and air wing have been worst affected as tender after tender has been cancelled in recent years, thanks primarily to non-military reasons (read, allegations and counter allegations by vendors and so-called technical reasons mentioned by the MoD). The Navy seems a little better off among the services, yet its projected plans to have an aircraft carrier fleet, sufficient numbers of submarines, frigates, destroyers and other smaller warships are also in short supply, although to a lesser degree in comparison to its counterparts. Most worrying is a scenario in which even if the MoD is able to acquire 90% of the systems that it envisages for the planned long-term military modernisation programme, ‘obsolescence’ could still be more than 40%—10+% larger than any ideal arsenal should possess.

Obsolescence and numeric deficits in the Indian arsenal are a result of a host of factors, spanning from defence planning to procurement processes. The blame game is easy within defence establishments as any stakeholder can accuse the other without much accountability. However, the worst sufferer is the end-user whose modernisation programme is hit badly, which leads to further obsolescence. Speak to any military leader—while they may put on a brave face in public, they are quite worried!

India has been fighting technological obsolescence for several decades as it is not only capital intensive but also involves consistent scientific and industrial endeavours. That’s why you have only five-odd aero-engine manufacturers who have held hostage the fighter components of aerospace power in the world. That’s why you see only a handful of countries devoting scientific and financial resources towards aerospace and unmanned systems. Where does India stand—its indigenous Kaveri aero-engine programme now looks towards either GE-414 or EJ-200; its aerospace engineering programmes attract less and less talent, its futuristic programmes are not adequately funded (DRDO budget is $2 billion). The private sector is kept at an arm’s length since they are branded ‘strategic’ and hence have no place for private enterprise! This is despite the fact that Godrej & Boyce, Tata Power, Larsen & Toubro, and other companies have supplied critical components to many Indian strategic military programmes. Long planning processes coupled with delays have also contributed significantly to technological obsolescence. As a former IAF officer put it, by the time LCA is ready, it may well become a trainer instead of a fighter! If LCA takes decades, acquisitions do not happen in two or three years either. The 126 MMRCA deal serves as a case in point.

ACM Naik and AK Antony are true to their words—the former lays out the problem and the latter a possible answer. Betwixt the two lies the great Indian tragedy of a lack of strategic vision and political courage, rigid institutional mechanisms, complex procurement procedures and virtually no accountability in the defence sector.

The author is a senior fellow in Security Studies at the Observer Research Foundation. These are his personal views

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

Postby Viv S » 18 Oct 2010 20:26

^^^
Its only the artillery that has been struggling with modernization. All other arms are doing fairly well even if the pace of modernization doesn't satisfy everyone.

Also during his interview on NDTV, ACM Naik clarified that he'd been misquoted. What he said was that 50% of the fleet is obsolescent not obsolete, and that this figure would drop to 20% (a very good stat acc. to him) by 2015.

Too bad criticism sells more than a balanced perspective.

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

Postby Christopher Sidor » 19 Oct 2010 16:35

There are 5 years in the interregnum, 2010-2015. Our armed forces are attempting to fight today's wars tomorrow. None of our armed forces, be it navy or air force or army has thought how the PLA/PLAAF/PLAN will look 5 or 10 years down the line. Since they have not done so, they have not prepared to meet that eventuality. So come 2015, the fleet may not be 50% obsolescent, but it will still be behind PLAAF.

We really need to prepare today for tomorrows PLA. Rather than preparing today for our obsolescent.

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

Postby Nihat » 19 Oct 2010 17:38

if we remain obsessed by the prospect of 'matching' the combined force of pak and china, then thats going to tank us big time.

I belive our military planners have made a well thought out assesment regarding future threats that we face on both our fronts and mordenization is underway in accordance with that. Matching sino-pak tank for tank and gun for gun is not an option.

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

Postby TonyMontana » 20 Oct 2010 08:50

Nihat wrote:if we remain obsessed by the prospect of 'matching' the combined force of pak and china, then thats going to tank us big time.


That's how arms races got started. That being said, my own humble observation is that it seems everyday China brings out some fancy new toy, where as India is bring out something that should've been there already, once in a blue moon. How good the Made in China is, is up to debate. But it shows intent. What if the Chinese gets a few of them right? Or right enough anyway? Like the Russian T-34s and German Tigers. Good enough is sometimes good enough.

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

Postby RamaY » 20 Oct 2010 09:25

^+1 except for the arms-race argument.

India has to protect itself from PRC and TSP combo, eventhough they are of different nature and of varying degrees.

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

Postby Philip » 20 Oct 2010 12:24

What a dismal outlook.Look at how misplaced our priorities are.We cheerfully allow billions to be squandered and looted for the CWG,taking "instant" decisions to give blank cheques to the OC,etc.,so that Indian reputation and pride do not suffer,but when it comes to the armed forces,we take years NOT to decide upon anything! This displays the shocking ignorance and callous attitude of the PM regarding India's defence,and he springs into action only when US weapons have to be bought and then without any competition,just like Kalmadi and co.!
The BJP appears to be spot on when saying that the CWG fiasco should be laid at the PMO's doorstep.26/11 has happened,China is openly threatening India over AP,Kashmir,etc.,the Pakis continue their chicanery and diabolic terror and the US keeps quiet about knowledge it has on paki terror plots,yet our great constable-in-charge of India is sleeping at his post!

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

Postby rohitvats » 20 Oct 2010 12:55

TonyMontana wrote:
<SNIP>

That's how arms races got started. That being said, my own humble observation is that it seems everyday China brings out some fancy new toy, where as India is bring out something that should've been there already, once in a blue moon. How good the Made in China is, is up to debate. But it shows intent. What if the Chinese gets a few of them right? Or right enough anyway? Like the Russian T-34s and German Tigers. Good enough is sometimes good enough.


The fancy new toys that you refer to are nothing but attempts to bring about 'domestic latest' versions of equipments which PLA/PLAAF/PLAN should already have - The requirements of PLA are huge and in spite of glam surrounding these 'toys', the stuff that PLA uses are pretty mundane and at par with stuff which the western armies had. There is nothing extraordinary about them. Also, lot many things have entered and are entering for the first time - which is understandable given that first priority will be for more 'core' requirements.

PLA itself cannot replace old stuff on one-on-one basis and will actually not be required to - newer stuff offers more capability with lesser numbers.

As for IA - it is making up for the lost decade of late 80s-90s - when modernization got arrested due to lack of funds. IMO, PLA and IA are on similar plane - with PLA having a head start. It is the scale which differs.

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

Postby TonyMontana » 21 Oct 2010 02:04

rohitvats wrote: The fancy new toys that you refer to are nothing but attempts to bring about 'domestic latest' versions of equipments which PLA/PLAAF/PLAN should already have - The requirements of PLA are huge and in spite of glam surrounding these 'toys', the stuff that PLA uses are pretty mundane and at par with stuff which the western armies had.


Indeed. But I dare say that the PLA requirements are different to IA requirements as they are geared to fight different wars with different opposition in mind.

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

Postby rohitvats » 21 Oct 2010 09:19

TonyMontana wrote:
rohitvats wrote: The fancy new toys that you refer to are nothing but attempts to bring about 'domestic latest' versions of equipments which PLA/PLAAF/PLAN should already have - The requirements of PLA are huge and in spite of glam surrounding these 'toys', the stuff that PLA uses are pretty mundane and at par with stuff which the western armies had.


Indeed. But I dare say that the PLA requirements are different to IA requirements as they are geared to fight different wars with different opposition in mind.


Sir, I do not know what different wars you refer to - but in case you refer to taking on USA, the core will still have to be the plain vanilla Armor/Arty/Infantry - the classical combined arms. PLA will still need an answer to take on M1A2 - there is no escaping that. Apart from various whizs tuff the US Armed Forces deploy, their biggest strength is their ability to seamlessly integrate everything into one big fist - they ensure that the whole weight of their military might falls on the opponent.

But before one reaches that stage - like I said, the core has to be in place. IMO, what PLA has done is elevated some of the formations (Group Armies) to higher level. These formations have latest weapon systems for their Armor/Mechanized Infantry/Infantry/Artillery - the vanilla part, as well as Grade A communication network/EW/C3I etc....but that still leaves a large part of the PLA at a lower level. And some of this 'lower' level stuff faces India.

Indian formations are also going through this process - earlier, the priority was accorded for formations in the plains but now, in due course of time, the formations (Corps - equivalent to PLA Group Armies) in Indian North East and North will be elevated to higher level - the core has been/is being put in place - the paraphernalia will follow.

By being overtly aggressive against India, China has ensured that before this decade is out, PLA will face anywhere between 6-8 Corps - that is some 250,000-300,000 troops.

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

Postby Christopher Sidor » 21 Oct 2010 15:43

Nihat wrote:if we remain obsessed by the prospect of 'matching' the combined force of pak and china, then thats going to tank us big time.

I belive our military planners have made a well thought out assesment regarding future threats that we face on both our fronts and mordenization is underway in accordance with that. Matching sino-pak tank for tank and gun for gun is not an option.


If we don't plan for matching them, then we plan on failing to meet the challenge. We might as well as pack up, surrender our independence to the Paki-Chin combine and sit out.

And a Paki-Chin entente targeting India is not so far fetched.

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

Postby ramana » 30 Oct 2010 01:04

Sandeep Unnithan in India Today

Chi-Pak threat

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

Postby RamaY » 30 Oct 2010 01:09

XPosting

People laughed at me when I said the same thing at the beginning of this thread...

Juggi G wrote:The Army's Silver Bullet : But Can It Be Fired ?
India Today » The Big Story
The army's silver bullet for dealing with China's looming superiority: a new mountain strike corps-32,000 troops equipped with ultra-light howitzers, attack and heavy lift helicopters and an armoured brigade of light tanks. This unique strike formation which will attack over the Himalayas, marks a change in strategy, from defensive to offensive-deterrence. It is the 1.1-million strong Indian army's largest expansion in over 30 years.

Image
The army will complete raising two new divisions by 2012.That's the easy part. Current acquisition rates mean it will take at least five years to fully equip this equipment-intensive formation. From boots and rifles to artillery, helicopters and night-fighting devices tied in red tape and bureaucratic delays, the army has bought nothing in over a decade. The IAF is down to 32 squadrons from a sanctioned strength of 39.5 combat squadrons and needs at least 55 combat squadrons to repel a simultaneous ChiPak offensive. A similar slowdown affects key road projects along India's border with China along where these divisions will be deployed. The MoD's 11th Plan sounds an alarm: 'develop infrastructure in the Eastern theatre to meet high-level threat from China beyond 2010.' In 2003, India changed its perverse version of the scorched Earth policy-no roads or infrastructure for the North East-lest these be used by Chinese troops to roll in-unveiling strategic road building projects. Seven years later, only nine of these 73 strategic roads have been completed, severely compromising the army's Cold Start strategy for the mountains.

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

Postby rohitvats » 30 Oct 2010 01:14

^^^Please do tell us what is what you said has been substantiated by above article.

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

Postby RamaY » 30 Oct 2010 01:44

^
The need for air-mobile armed brigades and the feasibility of acquiring them with in 5 years.

The repeating story is how difficult it is to develop such forces; because military leadership is too slow to make decisions which are further delayed by politicians.

My position is vindicated in terms of the need for it, the technical/financial feasibility of that idea and the key hurdle to it, which is lack of military/political leadership (not money or technology or the strategic need as people argue)

The army will complete raising two new divisions by 2012.That's the easy part.

Current acquisition rates mean it will take at least five years to fully equip this equipment-intensive formation. {5 years starting when? If the divisions are ready by 2012, when did the process start? Did the armed forces start working on the equipment selection, procurement, and training from day 1?}

From boots and rifles to artillery, helicopters and night-fighting devices tied in red tape and bureaucratic delays,
the army has bought nothing in over a decade. {whose fault is this? Politics or lack of funds? How much money allocated by NDA govt for capital investments is spent to date?}

The IAF is down to 32 squadrons from a sanctioned strength of 39.5 combat squadrons and needs at least 55 combat squadrons to repel a simultaneous ChiPak offensive. {If it is so important why IAF takes so long to select the equipment they want? Please note that they have to buy all these planes from international market except for LCA possibility}


In 2003, India changed its perverse version of the scorched Earth policy-no roads or infrastructure for the North East-lest these be used by Chinese troops to roll in-unveiling strategic road building projects. {This was IA strategy in 2003 :shock: , by which time it had overt nukes, AII program, Brahmos program, LCA in pipeline. And USA is bogged down in Pak-Af theater.}

Seven years later, only nine of these 73 strategic roads have been completed, severely compromising the army's Cold Start strategy for the mountains.



P.S: Note that I got this idea with hardly 2-3 years of exposure to BRF. My question is why "it appears" that our military leadership lacks vision to look forward on Indian security needs (20-30 years) and understand external threats (geopolitical trends) for what they are. I sincerely hope that it is my perception at fault.

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

Postby yantra » 30 Oct 2010 02:06

What is the possibility that Russia provides India with overt support in case of a 2-front war? May be lease a few transport, fighter aircraft, tanks, etc? Would they allow access to their bases for re-fueling or supplies? How would Indian air base in Tajikistan play a role, if any? Can India open other offensive fronts (including amphibious) from other directions?

Would be interesting to hear points of view..

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

Postby rohitvats » 30 Oct 2010 10:26

RamaY wrote:
^

The need for air-mobile armed brigades and the feasibility of acquiring them with in 5 years.

The repeating story is how difficult it is to develop such forces; because military leadership is too slow to make decisions which are further delayed by politicians.


Thank you for again showing that you've no idea of what you'are talking about.

The point that you'd raised earlier when "PLA in Northern Areas" story broke was about how we could take NA in a jiffy if we had political and military will. And you were disabused of that notion.

And there is nothing as 'armed airmobile brigade'. In case you wanted to mention 'airmobile armored brigade' - there is no such formation - not even in mighty US Army.

As for the military leadership - the Mountain Strike Corps concept was drafted by the military leadership in mid-1980s....that is more than 25 years before....It is only now that Indian Political leadership has woken to the issue at hand. So, please rid yourself of ungracious comments about the lack of vision and other such nonsense about the IA high command.

My position is vindicated in terms of the need for it, the technical/financial feasibility of that idea and the key hurdle to it, which is lack of military/political leadership (not money or technology or the strategic need as people argue)


Don't give yourself too much importance. Those who live, eat, sleep and breathe Indian Security evey day are not as incompetent as you'd make them to be. The issue was about Political leadership and lack of funds. What the IA intends to implement with this concept of Mountain Strike Corps - integral airmobile assets - is extremely expensive. A single Airmobile brigade with its complement of lift+attack helos will cost couple of thousand crores, if not more. So, this will not only take time but money as well. For an Army which is trying to make up for years of neglect and shortfall in almost all areas - this is a big task.


The army will complete raising two new divisions by 2012.That's the easy part.

Current acquisition rates mean it will take at least five years to fully equip this equipment-intensive formation. {5 years starting when? If the divisions are ready by 2012, when did the process start? Did the armed forces start working on the equipment selection, procurement, and training from day 1?}


Please do tell me what has 'thinking' about equipment got to do with procurement of the same? Or are we to think that in case IA top brass had 'thought' about these concepts and equipment, they would have been here?

Because the Mountain Strike Corps concept and associated structure has been cleared by the GOI - has it occured to you that IA would have prepared the whole blue print of the concept from manpower to equipment to deployment locations to planned use (broad sense)? And that the process of equipment purchase will begin once clearance is received from GOI and funds are made available?

The first MSC has been approved under 11th Defense Plan - 2007-2012. So, only now after receiving the permission from GOI will raising of new formations start - the Corps HQ, the Division HQs and identification of existing units which will be transferred to these formations. Plus, the raising of new regiments/battalions - to cater to the increment in overall number of troops. So, the Formation Headquarters and their troops will be ready by 2012.

It is the new stuff which will take time - like M777, newer helicopters and additional stuff like mortars, rifles etc to make up for stock which would have been transferred to these formations. These things can happen only after GOI approves them and not before - irrespective of that fact that Generals may have thought about them.

Good thing is this - if this Defense Plan sees a new MSC plus complement of twonew Mountain Divisions - the next is likely to see some more - my guess estimate is at least one MSC+complementary divisions plus another two Mountain Divisions. That will be increment of 8 divisions in total.

P.S: Note that I got this idea with hardly 2-3 years of exposure to BRF. My question is why "it appears" that our military leadership lacks vision to look forward on Indian security needs (20-30 years) and understand external threats (geopolitical trends) for what they are. I sincerely hope that it is my perception at fault.


The only thing that "appears" from above is that you're quick to lay the blame at the feet of IA without trying to check the facts or reading up on the subject matter. Sad to see that even after 2-3 years on BRF - you've not picked on the aspects of military issues.

Just for your reference, and so that you don't repeat this nonsense again, Indian Army (Eastern Command) as early as 1959 - when preparing for the China contigency looming large - had prepared for two-front war and war gamed the Pakistan response from East Pakistan towards West Bengal. And has factored China in every equation since then in case of Indo-Pak shooting match.

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

Postby RamaY » 30 Oct 2010 20:15

^

Rohitvats ji

Thanks for the information. I never claimed that I am knowledgible in military affairs. I am just asking questions. Please be patient with me.

If IA wargamed a two-front war as early as 1959 and made appropriate recommendations, the fault completely lies on political leadership and state of economy. Lets give the benefit of doubt to the political leadership till say year 2000.

AFAIK starting sometime in 1998, the NDA govt allocated about Rs40,000 crore towards capital expenditure for armed forces. How many items IA procured since then towards its preparedness? (This is not rhetorical question). In addition to that GOI has been allocating funds for various procurement programs.

I agree that majority of delays are from GOI side. Are there any instances the armed forces delayed the procurement process for non-technical reasons?

***

There are multiple scenarios where we disagreed. some of them are
- PLA in NA story
- Recapturing POK
- This thread

In all these scenarios, the feeling I get is that it is always the fault of political leadership or terrian. A million person strong army always needs $0'B equipment and atleast 5 year preparation time to do anything. I question this premise, causing the takleef.

Perhaps IA is overstretched in containing internal challenges (NA insurgency, JK, and now Naxals) and didnt have enought time to focus on external threats. All the more reason to solve these problems at their external sources.

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

Postby Rahul M » 30 Oct 2010 22:24

>> Perhaps IA is overstretched in containing internal challenges (NA insurgency, JK, and now Naxals) and didnt have enought time to focus on external threats. All the more reason to solve these problems at their external sources.

I object to this notion. IA has been doing counter-insurgency long enough to have evolved a dedicated structure to deal with it, without affecting its primary job, protecting the country from external threats. in any case, right now, in most areas it is the local police that does the boots on the ground act and IA is called in only for critical operations. IA hasn't even been called in against naxals so far.
comments like this assume that the same bunch of people are tasked to do both and hence cannot focus on its primary role because there is COIN to be done. this is simply not true.
we hear similar comments about DRDO, because DRDO is researching fruit juices that keep their state at subzero temp they must be slacking off in critical items like LCA ! as if the same group of scientists work on fruit juices and AESA radar !!

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

Postby ramdas » 31 Oct 2010 00:04

Rohitji,

The India Today article seems to indicate that right now, we are not in a position to face a chn-pak 2 frnt attack...even someone like Retd. Lt. Gen. H. S. Panag on twitter claims that the sitn is worse than 1962....if an attack happens, say, nxt year, a humiliation is very likely to happen....

hope we engage in a total military buildup at all cost...irr.of what happens nxt yr...

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

Postby RamaY » 31 Oct 2010 01:31

Rahul M wrote:I object to this notion. IA has been doing counter-insurgency long enough to have evolved a dedicated structure to deal with it, without affecting its primary job, protecting the country from external threats. in any case, right now, in most areas it is the local police that does the boots on the ground act and IA is called in only for critical operations. IA hasn't even been called in against naxals so far.
comments like this assume that the same bunch of people are tasked to do both and hence cannot focus on its primary role because there is COIN to be done. this is simply not true.


RahulM ji

That is my confusion too. Everytime an ignorant person like me makes a "battle cry" to recapture legitimate Indian claim such as POK, all we hear is that

- how difficult the terrian is: as if the terrian is new to India (the funny thing is that our enemies do not seem to have these constraints)
- how far we are from getting the suitable equipment: somehow we are always 5-10 years away from getting the necessary equipment
- costs on economy: without giving any comparitive cost analysis on never-ending terrorist threats and associated internal security costs

After hearing these usal excuses enough times, a novice person like me gets the idea that Indian Armed Forces are either not interested to cross the proverbial laxmana-rekha or they do not have any long-term plan (ofcourse in sync with changing technological and geopolitical trends).

Even when one gives the benefit of doubt to the "strong economy is essential to a strong military" logic, what is the gaurantee that threat scenario is not evolving faster than our economic advancement...

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

Postby tejas » 31 Oct 2010 02:23

Once you take POK what do you do with all the ROP population who live on (infest) the land ?

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

Postby Vivek K » 31 Oct 2010 03:01

Push then into pureland!

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

Postby Rahul M » 31 Oct 2010 03:36

>> - how difficult the terrian is: as if the terrian is new to India (the funny thing is that our enemies do not seem to have these constraints)

nope, the enemies have the same problem. in a nutshell, either of the two alternatives "we will be run over easily like '62 " or "we will capture POK/tibet in a week" is wrong. the situation is somewhere in the middle, the enemy cannot dislodge us nor can we dislodge them easily.

>> - how far we are from getting the suitable equipment: somehow we are always 5-10 years away from getting the necessary equipment

well, we can't run away from the truth can we ? the 90's was a lost decade AFA the army was concerned and the 2000's haven't been that much better as far as one critical element is concerned even if we ignore the smaller items.
right now we are at 60:40 or 45:55 situation in terms of balance of power, depending on which adversary you are considering. to see through the aggressive moves of the type you are advocating we would need overwhelming superiority. against pak it will happen eventually, the question is when, not if. against china it is a much more difficult proposition and I do not think we can win an arms race with china in the near future.

>> - costs on economy: without giving any comparitive cost analysis on never-ending terrorist threats and associated internal security costs

I agree that it would be good to have a comparative analysis. however there is no guarantee that a war, even a decisive one would put an end to terrorism of all kind. we might have the strength to defeat pakistan but we do not have the strength (yet) to control it. starting a war without a clear idea of the endgame would be a far larger disaster than the situation we face currently.

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

Postby RamaY » 31 Oct 2010 06:09

tejas wrote:Once you take POK what do you do with all the ROP population who live on (infest) the land ?

Rhetorical question ...

India has 2nd largest muslim population.

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

Postby RamaY » 31 Oct 2010 06:20

Rahul M wrote:>> - how difficult the terrian is: as if the terrian is new to India (the funny thing is that our enemies do not seem to have these constraints)

nope, the enemies have the same problem. in a nutshell, either of the two alternatives "we will be run over easily like '62 " or "we will capture POK/tibet in a week" is wrong. the situation is somewhere in the middle, the enemy cannot dislodge us nor can we dislodge them easily.



I request, we do not mix multiple things here. Let us talk one issue at a time.

1. POK
2. POWI
3. Tibet

>> - how far we are from getting the suitable equipment: somehow we are always 5-10 years away from getting the necessary equipment

well, we can't run away from the truth can we ? the 90's was a lost decade AFA the army was concerned and the 2000's haven't been that much better as far as one critical element is concerned even if we ignore the smaller items.
right now we are at 60:40 or 45:55 situation in terms of balance of power, depending on which adversary you are considering. to see through the aggressive moves of the type you are advocating we would need overwhelming superiority. against pak it will happen eventually, the question is when, not if. against china it is a much more difficult proposition and I do not think we can win an arms race with china in the near future.


So the truth is that inspite of $32B Vs $6.41 India is at 60:40 advantage against Pakistan (I hope I am reading the numbers correctly). Assuming Pakistan's NWFP issue is similar to India's JK situation; this seems odd.

On the otherhand, what brings India close to China's capabilities with 1:3 resource disadvantage? Is it similar to India Pak situation?

>> - costs on economy: without giving any comparitive cost analysis on never-ending terrorist threats and associated internal security costs

I agree that it would be good to have a comparative analysis. however there is no guarantee that a war, even a decisive one would put an end to terrorism of all kind. we might have the strength to defeat pakistan but we do not have the strength (yet) to control it. starting a war without a clear idea of the endgame would be a far larger disaster than the situation we face currently.


Can that be an excuse for not being proactive? Who would solve India's problem if not India?

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

Postby Rahul M » 31 Oct 2010 08:08

RamaY wrote:
Rahul M wrote:>> - how difficult the terrian is: as if the terrian is new to India (the funny thing is that our enemies do not seem to have these constraints)

nope, the enemies have the same problem. in a nutshell, either of the two alternatives "we will be run over easily like '62 " or "we will capture POK/tibet in a week" is wrong. the situation is somewhere in the middle, the enemy cannot dislodge us nor can we dislodge them easily.



I request, we do not mix multiple things here. Let us talk one issue at a time.

1. POK
2. POWI
3. Tibet

these issues are related, it would serve little to discuss them one at a time. this fact is also reflected in the way this thread has progressed.


>> - how far we are from getting the suitable equipment: somehow we are always 5-10 years away from getting the necessary equipment

well, we can't run away from the truth can we ? the 90's was a lost decade AFA the army was concerned and the 2000's haven't been that much better as far as one critical element is concerned even if we ignore the smaller items.
right now we are at 60:40 or 45:55 situation in terms of balance of power, depending on which adversary you are considering. to see through the aggressive moves of the type you are advocating we would need overwhelming superiority. against pak it will happen eventually, the question is when, not if. against china it is a much more difficult proposition and I do not think we can win an arms race with china in the near future.


So the truth is that inspite of $32B Vs $6.41 India is at 60:40 advantage against Pakistan (I hope I am reading the numbers correctly). Assuming Pakistan's NWFP issue is similar to India's JK situation; this seems odd.

On the otherhand, what brings India close to China's capabilities with 1:3 resource disadvantage? Is it similar to India Pak situation?

firstly, it is not 32 bn V 6.4 bn but 32-X vs 6.4 +Y * even if we assume that military capability is directly proportional to spending irrespective of conflict scenario (which is not true).

* X - amount spent on countering china. impossible to put a number on this.
Y - gifts from uncle sam.


In reality India has to allocate a large part of its forces vs china and china too can't field all of its forces vs India. then again, those ratios assume a) pak is the defensive force and b) India is the defensive force and as always being on the defensive strategically has certain advantages.


>> - costs on economy: without giving any comparitive cost analysis on never-ending terrorist threats and associated internal security costs

I agree that it would be good to have a comparative analysis. however there is no guarantee that a war, even a decisive one would put an end to terrorism of all kind. we might have the strength to defeat pakistan but we do not have the strength (yet) to control it. starting a war without a clear idea of the endgame would be a far larger disaster than the situation we face currently.


Can that be an excuse for not being proactive? Who would solve India's problem if not India?

that's a rhetorical question ! :D for one there is no guarantee that there is in fact a military solution to India's problem(s) which is the unsaid assumption behind your question.
again, it depends on what you mean by proactive. militarily, especially wrt china we are not yet ready to be proactive. if we try we will have another 'forward policy' type disaster like 1962. however, credit is due for the fact that in spite of serious political mismanagement, our defensive posture is still credible, which I think is a testament to the fact that the military takes its job seriously.
there are other ways of being proactive, diplomacy, inter govt relations with SE asian nations, espionage etc all being part of it.



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