That is certainly possible that I have mistakenly rubbed someone the wrong way, it was certainly not my intention! but from my pov, Brihaspati ji started it, and then ended with an outlandish threat, that he and some others will prosecute people who in their minds support ceding territory to Pak/China, and he adds the qualification, that he will not consider peoples past military services to the nation! To me this was beyond ridiculous, after all, its Bharat Rakshak, not only "certain points of view" Rakshak.
As for persuading others, I dont think many people on internet discussions really change their minds. BR is also a self selecting audience of hard liners, so that doesnt bother me too much. People have the right to hold different opinions and will never agree on anything. In fact, I dont agree 100% with what I said a few days ago.. opinions, information, everything keeps changing. Thats the nature of things.
- in which case, why are we stationing people at Kargil and many other places? Harder than Siachen in some ways - requires very expensive logistics, specialized equipment (imported snow suits, weaponry etc). So why don't we withdraw from Kargil?
I assume you mean the heights along Kargil, this does not meet the no strategic value test. Kargil heights are strategic as they can be used to protect/observe NH1A, and cut off Leh Srinagar link. So no withdrawal there.
Even operations in the Rajasthan desert are a money soak. The average vehicle gets so hot that people get heat stroke within and serious burns on touching the bare metal.
The army does not sit on the border in Rajasthan, that is the BSF. Army bases are in Jodhpur, Kota, Bikaner, smaller one at Jaisalmer (that I know of..) These are hardly hardship positions! Most of these are peace stations, with family residences etc.
Technically, we can give up vast amounts of our territory on account of being a) located in logistically expensive, hard to reach places b) not being populated.
So why don't we?
First thing is, a disengagement is not the same as giving up! Secondly, you are missing two more important points in that list, (c) strategic importance (d) cultural/political importance. All I am saying is, if an area is under active war (which Siachen is, even though there is a ceasefire there), and if its expensive, not populated, strategically unimportant, culturally/politically unimportant, then we should be able to negotiate about that territory. Negotiation is simply war, that happens across the table! Just as war is a nastier form of negotiation! How does that equal vacate/give up etc.?
-b) 1000 crores is a big amount, money better spent etc.
Actually Abhishek's point is correct. These costs need to be factored in with regards to a nations economic capability.
I agree that Indian economy is large, and can sustain extra 1000 crores indefinitely. But its still a large amount (since money is fungible, its equal to a large improvement in the lives of many Indians), and if we can save it, why not? And its not even the deciding factor in seeking disengagement.. Its simply one of five issues (in no particular order):-
e. Cost of sustaining operations.
It is in our interest to keep Siachen going as we can afford it. The Pakistani economy is suffering, and it is a proven method - forcing your enemy to spend when he is tight for funds. The money they spend on Siachen means less bombs, less bullets for them, and worsening civil-military relations (since they starve the economy for their army). So what's the hurry? We are not losing any men either.
I feel that this is a Pakistani centric argument, "its bad for us, but its worse for them". Even if Pakistan turns around an economic miracle and starts growing at 6% an year, they will never be able to catch up with us. Therefore, we should ignore Pakistan, and improve our lot whichever way we can, so we can catch up with China.
Lastly, we may not be losing any men now, but they are in very dangerous locations. Its only a matter of time before something on the scale of Gyari happens. Afterall, large events in nature are the rule, not the exception, and they can make redundant our best laid plans.
**If I have rubbed anyone off the wrong way (Except Brihaspati, and Abhishek Sharma - you guys deserved it) I am sorry, I didnt mean to do so.
It simply happened in the heat of the argument. Being a war nerd, My primary motivation is to simply better understand our posture in Siachen/Ladakh and the costs/benefits of a continuing Siachen/Saltoro deployment.