War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 13 Jun 2008 22:09

Guys,
There is a misconception that the logistics/Lines of Communication (LoC) of the Chinese is robust. This is wrong and the opposite of the truth.

LoC strwetches from the centres of production to the actual front line.

In India's case, LoC is from the industrially strong areas of Northern India to the Indo-Tibetan border, or just a few hundred kms.

China's LoC stretches from south China to the Indo-Tibetan border - thousands of kms - a key weakness of their war-fighting capability.

This includes the inhospitable terrain via Tibet - highly susceptible to interdiction by armed Tibetan revolutionaries. :)

What this implies is any war that China undertakes against India will have to involve a massing of war-materiel and other supplies in sufficient quantities before the war starts. This is something they did in 1962 - they massed materiel for 2 years before the war took place.

And this leads me to the inescapable conclusion that the Chinese cannot sustain a long or ever medium conflict in the Himalayas without stretching their LoC. Any conflict with a high rate of materiel and ammunition expenditure would damage their sustainability - a key point that India can exploit. We can provoke them to waste ammo faster.

Again, 1962 is instructive in this regard - they called off the war in order to not stretch thei lines of communication.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 13 Jun 2008 22:12

thats a very good line of thought Ramana.

- what is the definitive situation wrt issueing of daylight 'reflex' sights to INSAS users?
some were saying they are issued but not used in COIN patrols to safeguard from
damage! are they very costly like night sights? surely if the troops dont use them
day in and day out they cant use it well ONLY when a war comes.

is there some kinda cost reduction exercise or a committee decided not to issue
them to the troops who'd only "waste ammo" if they saw further ? :oops:

we see NATO troopers in iraq and afghanistan with permanently attached sights.
and everyone going out on night patrol seems to have a NVG (atleast for CNN pix)

shifting to 5.56mm has already increased the ammo count per soldier and reduced
the weight of gun over FN FAL 7.62mm

- BPJs and helmets could always use improvement. TAML has composite helmets and
something called "dyneema" is supposedly the best BPJ out there, avoids steel or
ceramic inserts unless you want point blank protection. Patka does not protect
the rear of the head and ears - every soldier wounded on a mountain needs 4-5
people to carry back...a mission kill on 50% of a section if 14 people.

- NATO soldiers on their own money buy the rubber water bladders called "camelbacks"
slung on their backs with a pipe coming over the shoulder - from outdoor stores.
said to be quite convinient for catching a quick sip and fits flush on the back.

- we have already inducted large nos of anti personel radars of SR and MR types.
there is also LORROS mast mounted optronic sight on 4x4 platform, range around
20km.

- new comms gear like tadiran radios in big quantities made by BEL..to replace the vietnam
era radios..

- huge number of searcher drones, ground image interpretation trailers for drone and
satellite imagery is already tested in exercises.

since Kargil lot of change and improvements have taken place. if Antonyji makes more
money available it can be speeded up.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 13 Jun 2008 22:16

surinder wrote:Why not take care of the Pak problem before taking on PRC in Tibet? PoK, Norther Areas should be in our hands to increase our elbow room and also to reduce any communication/transport to TSP. Maybe even another dismantling of TSP before the big fight with PRC: Perhaps free Baluchistan, or NWFP joining A'stan. Would that sequence of events not make more sense?


Surinder, IA has sufficient manpower and developed deployment levels that we can simultaneously:
1. Fight an insurgency the size of Kashmir
2. Defeat pakistan in a conventional war (ie, without using nukes), and
3. Hold off China in a border war.

This really happen during Kargil.

pakistan knows that one insurgency against INdia is not enough to put us under pressure, that is why they are desperately trying to start a second one.

Godhra was an attempt to start a second insurgency against India, after Rao destroyed the Sikh militancy movement. I have detail how in another thread. Modi saw to it that this plan never came to fruition - and the muslims in Gujrat are sufficiently chastised not to force the issue.

So, pakistan is back in punjab troubles once again.

But I do agree that dissolving pakistan or solving the kashmiri insurgency will free enormous resouces to beat the panda black and blue.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 13 Jun 2008 22:20

Why not take care of the Pak problem before taking on PRC in Tibet?

that will involve unkil for sure. trick is start the matter with PRC and then 'slip'
and inadvertently trample into POK like the clumsy elephant we are.

Abhischekcc, literature talks of N 'lines of ammo' being dumped in preparation
for any offensive. perhaps one 'line' refers to some estimated usage for a
certain duration t. so you estimate and dump these supplies in right locations.

with the bare nature of Tibet (witness the deep green of arunachal) our IMINT
can easily pick up the major supply dumps, trains and arrive at conclusions if
they are building up for a smackdown - if ARC is not asleep or reassigned to spy
on internal enemies of our rulers.

the unusual hurry and tenseness in the signals from Dilli indicate such signs
may already have been detected from this spring onward...I think the calculation
is this time they are not just going to walk off if they are allowed to march in
but will retain key places like Tawang and dare us to continue the war.
Last edited by Singha on 13 Jun 2008 22:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 13 Jun 2008 22:22

Lalmohan wrote:however, given what we learnt on BRF a couple of years back on PLA doctrine of columns advancing till they're exhausted and not being replenished but simply replaced... that might be more complex


That strategy leaves the flanks and the rear open to counter attack!!!

That's another key weakness of the enemy!!!

Man is this thread ever moving.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ramana » 13 Jun 2008 22:22

Surinder there are other threads to tackle TSP. This is the Tibet problem.

However thanks for thinking.

Meanwhile John Garver's book
Protracted Conflict

Its a limited preview from Google but good enough for folks to read.

Raju

Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Raju » 13 Jun 2008 22:26

>>trick is start the matter with PRC and then 'slip'
and inadvertently trample into POK like the clumsy elephant we are.

good thought. It is time to do Kiyani. Teach him in a very personal way what we are capable of.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 13 Jun 2008 22:28

the unusual hurry and tenseness in the signals from Dilli indicate such signs may already have been detected from this spring onward...


Very true. People are scrambling to prevent another kargil - at least we are prepared this time.

We should try to figure out how long operations can be sutained in the region before winter snows come.

We know for sure that China will not operate during Olympics - too much H&D at stake. That means August and September are ruled out. October and November are open for hostilities. If the war does not take place in these months - then winter will slow any advance.

But that leaves the possibility of Kargil like intrusions open.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 13 Jun 2008 22:29

We could of course use the cover of the Olympics to sieze commanding heights of the region and perhaps soften some of the arms dumps there :twisted:

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 13 Jun 2008 22:30

abhischekcc, in arunachal atleast its very difficult to launch major movements or attacks
from flanks due to lack of E-W roads as mentioned earlier. so flanks are just thickly wooded
hills with impassable bamboo groves at 10,000ft (as Brig Dalvi notes in his book on 62).
in that scenario, fighting and movement is mostly along the roads unless time is not a big
issue. if territory is lost, it is ofcourse ideal for guerilla and staybehind forces to melt
away after ambushes.....but they wont make much diff in the conventional phase of
war with such pinpricks.

so they can very well expend a column to force some chokepoint, then have a fresh
column skip over the exhausted & weak remnants and march on the next chokepoint.

in 62 they seem to have basically walked down the roads and small mountain paths
from the mcmahon line, using night cover to concentrate and overwhelm any posts
in their path, using whistles for coordination(yeah panda discipline even there).
they had built jeepable paths right upto their side of the line beforehand. our
outer chain of posts were days of hard march from whatever pitiful roadheads
existed.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 13 Jun 2008 22:36

I was thinking more on terms of MI-24 when I said outflanking. 8)

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 13 Jun 2008 22:38

the deliberate N-S alignment of A.P. roads seem like a "funnel" strategy - if they get in, they have only one road
and one way to go - down south. so the road can be zeroed in by artillery and worked over by airpower and
mortars and it wont be easy to resupply anyone who comes forward.

that way its a good CYA strategy for us in defensive stance against a really deep attack.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 14 Jun 2008 00:16

There is this news item which says that the Phalcon AWACS is expected September.

Phew, just in time for the border war I suppose. :P

And it would be based in Agra too, close to the Indo-Tibetan border, not the Indo-pak border. Is that a hint or what about our threat perception? :)

--------
I believe that once we have this plane in our hands and properly integrated into the force - China would have a tough time dominating the air space in Tibet in case of a war.

Which means that this year is the best chance they have got. That's an ominous thought - it makes war more likely this year rather than the next.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 14 Jun 2008 00:51

Singha wrote:the deliberate N-S alignment of A.P. roads seem like a "funnel" strategy - if they get in, they have only one road
and one way to go - down south. so the road can be zeroed in by artillery and worked over by airpower and
mortars and it wont be easy to resupply anyone who comes forward.


This is true. However, one thing to add here is that it works both ways. Its good if you are channeling the enemy and segregating his various forces along a given front and forcing them to fight independently.

But it also means that should your own forces in any given 'channel' find themselves in dire straits, they will need reinforcements that will need to go down the same channel and thus become unavailable for other freindly units laterally. In other words, either you have to make sure that each channel has enough troops of its own or has dedicated reserve units that will then be devoted entirely to that one sector.

I guess I need to read more about the IA ORBAT to see if this is a problem or not.

-Vivek

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 14 Jun 2008 00:58

abhischekcc wrote:There is this news item which says that the Phalcon AWACS is expected September.

Phew, just in time for the border war I suppose. :P

And it would be based in Agra too, close to the Indo-Tibetan border, not the Indo-pak border. Is that a hint or what about our threat perception?


No such sinister motives. Agra has been one of three operational hubs for the IAF fleet of IL-76s over the decades. It has all the required experenience, manpower and infrasturcture to handle IL-76 based aircrafts. That was why the "Battle Cry" squadron went there and that is why the Phalcons are going there.

Note that Agra will only be a home-station for these aircrafts. During actual hostilities they will be dispersed across various airbases with accompanying groups of personnel and support equipment.

The fact that it is close to the Chinese border and the Pakistani border at the same time is perhaps not a coincidence, but for the long reach of these aircraft types, that's not so much of a consideration.

Which means that this year is the best chance they have got. That's an ominous thought - it makes war more likely this year rather than the next.


The IAF Phalcon is arriving this year. Note that I said 'Phalcon' instead of 'Phalcons'. The point being that there is only one bird being delivered this year. The Chinese have already activated their first squadron of KJ-2000s (Six Aircrafts)

Even if the ground crews and flight crews have been training in Israel, it will still be years before the aircraft and the technology it is bringing is integrated into the IAF fully. So its not just this year, but the next few, if at all.

-Vivek

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 14 Jun 2008 01:58

One of the concluding comments made by JCage in the China post thread - I had created couple of years ago was that PLA officers could not wargame scenarios without Pakistani help. Pakistani commentaors have always lamented letting the opportunity in 1962 slip by when they could have grabbed J&K (so they think). 1965 was the outcome of this thinking.

pre-emptive action action in disabling the PAF in 2-3 days should war break out needs to be strongly considered. Navy will have an easy time of it hence they need to do some heavy lifting against Pakistan by taking on inland targets in SIndh...Karachi/Gwadar should receive 7 start treatment.

Bangladesh should be given notice that it's airpsace be opened up for overflights and no other option is on the table.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby NRao » 14 Jun 2008 02:03

Why not take care of the Pak problem before taking on PRC in Tibet?

that will involve unkil for sure. trick is start the matter with PRC and then 'slip'
and inadvertently trample into POK like the clumsy elephant we are.


Why? Uncle did not pay the dues for the Team Against International Terrorism Club? (Guess their dues for the UN are too large to pay both.)

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby NRao » 14 Jun 2008 02:16

IMVVHO, it all depends on packaging and marketing. Terrorism is the word on this decade. The GoI should take advantage of the situation at least from a policy point of view.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 14 Jun 2008 02:43

Paul wrote:One of the concluding comments made by JCage in the China post thread - I had created couple of years ago was that PLA officers could not wargame scenarios without Pakistani help.


This is true. It is one of the reasons why I cringe when people come and talk about invading Tibet and stuff when in all possibility the IA would be spread thin in a defensive war on multiple fronts (including facing down Pakistan). It is difficult to see where the IA can spare the manpower to do anything offensive.

On a sidenote, we need to keep an eye on the Mountain Corps concept being made ready by the IA. If they get the manpower in addition to the existing Divisions then it may be part of the answer we are looking for. If, however, they are simply reshuffling forces within an existing strength, we might be back to square one as far as offensive ops go, but we will still end up with a powerful defensive force to stare china in the face. Let's see how that turns out...

Pakistani commentaors have always lamented letting the opportunity in 1962 slip by when they could have grabbed J&K (so they think). 1965 was the outcome of this thinking.


Also true. They were saying some pretty nasty cryptic statements when the winter war against China was ongoing. The US was looking at the Cold War situation and trying to get assurances from the Pakis that they would not create trouble for India so that in turn India could begin moblizing the Infantry Divisions facing Pakistan to begin their journey to the hills of NEFA. But the fact of the matter was that back then the Pakis had been just as surprised in the strategic sense as Nehru had forced India to be. They were not prepared to do anything so they did what they could and put off any assurances to ensure the IA could not send the Divisions to help restore the situation against China.

-Vivek
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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby surinder » 14 Jun 2008 03:08

Dear South Asians,

Consider a few more things: If/when this PRC-ROI war breaks out, this is going to dwarf Mahabharats. It is going to be the mother of all wars. Firstly, PRC will fully utilize all the resources at its disposal. It will call forth its investment of last 40 years in TSP. They, of course, will have every reason to respond. If there is a need for espionage and sabotage within India proper, PRC cannot be sending in Han-looking agents, guess who would it be? The network created within India by TSP will be most effective for sabotage, law-order problems, espionage or even covert guerilla warfare, led by you-know who. So that aspect should be effectively woven into this narrative. It seems to me that the problem must broken down in easier steps. The path to a war in Tibet goes through TSP first.

Secondly, all the north Indian cities are in easy range of PRC missiles. So if the war becomes very nasty, expect that. To counter this India needs to have anti-missile shields, plus ability to rain missiles on PRC proper. Until that is done, it is safe to assume that norther India would be badly damaged.

Ramana,
I understand that there are other threads which discuss handling TSP, but there is co-handling of the situation needed. It cannot be disentangled. But this thread is good, it allows us to think of victory. We should work towards that aim.

You gave that link to garver's book and destroyed my whole day. I sat glued in reading it. Well-written, and not anti-thetical to India's point of view.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 14 Jun 2008 03:18

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst - A 50% increase in the defence budget will be a step in the right direction.

GOI made the right move in announcing raising of a new mountain corp unit. However, I fear it will be too late if action takes place after the olympics...we need to speed up the infrstructure development (roads,airbases,airlift armor to ladakh, packed artillery to AP, more mules etc.).

A limited war after the olympics is a very likely possibility...whether we accept it or not. Pakiland can be kept in check should we do the unspeakable..i.e. sign the nuclear agreement (OTOH...this could be what they are looking for anyways - one is the hammer, other acts as the anvil)
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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 14 Jun 2008 03:24

surinder wrote:Secondly, all the north Indian cities are in easy range of PRC missiles. So if the war becomes very nasty, expect that. To counter this India needs to have anti-missile shields, plus ability to rain missiles on PRC proper. Until that is done, it is safe to assume that norther India would be badly damaged.


You know, I disagree on this issue. There is no reason to believe that the PRC will expend valuable missiles for targeting Civilians in Indian cities when they can use those weapons for much more military gains by targeting Indian C3I nodes, ammo dumps, artillery batteries and airfields. They may be cold blooded, but they are not stupid. Its easy to see how using missiles against civilians can easily blow up in their faces in front of the world. For all the losses caused by missile attacks on cities, their use is at best political and might be used to force the Indian politicians to in turn force the IA Commanders to call for peace. On the other hand, it might go the other way and turn the public anger in so that the Indian Military machine might be forced to go on further offensives.

A highly unpredictable choice for both sides and therefore difficult to rationalize from either standpoint...

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 14 Jun 2008 03:30

Paul wrote:GOI made the right move in announcing raising of a new mountain corp unit. However, I fear it will be too late if action takes place after the olympics...we need to speed up the infrstructure development (roads,airbases,airlift armor to ladakh, packed artillery to AP, more mules etc.).


Well, IMO its already too late for such thoughts even though the GOI is now making the decisions in rather a hurry compared to the slumber of past decades. Decisions that needed to be made years ago are only now being made, but the positive spin on that is the fact that the decisions have in fact been made to begin with. All we can do besides that is keep hoping that there is a period of peace while we build up our strength over the next few years.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ManuJ » 14 Jun 2008 03:57

As far as building new roads in NE go, hope they use the latest tunneling tech and build numerous long tunnels throughout that mountainous region , rather than building the same old switchbacks. Advantages are many - faster, less vulnerable, all-weather use. India has both the money and the tech knowhow (thankyou Delhi Metro) to do this. Get a dozen of those massive tunneling machines and put them to work throughout NE!

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 14 Jun 2008 04:18

One option could be to keep the the armor in Rajasthan/Punjab and transfer the bulk of the infantry divisons to the northern command where they can be moved east or west as required.

Numerically about 400,000 troops can be kept on the western border and the rest can be moved to other side. The BSF and other paramilitaries will fill in for the infantry. Infantry against pakistan is more in need in J&K where they are needed to hold territory and conduct COIN operations. Border in Punjab/Rajasthan is internationally recognized and has to be returned after ceasefire, it is J&K which will see most action. plus side is pop is highly militarized in Punjab/JK and can be relied upon to form citizen's militias.

RR cannot be disturbed and has to hold the ground in this highly volatile state. Should action break out, we will see one of highest concentration of armies in the world in the Punjab/J&K region, rivalling german concentration prior to breakthrough through the ardennes in 1939 ( german columns stretching for 160 kms into germany).

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 14 Jun 2008 04:50

Paul wrote:One option could be to keep the the armor in Rajasthan/Punjab and transfer the bulk of the infantry divisons to the northern command where they can be moved east or west as required.

Numerically about 400,000 troops can be kept on the western border and the rest can be moved to other side. The BSF and other paramilitaries will fill in for the infantry. Infantry against pakistan is more in need in J&K where they are needed to hold territory and conduct COIN operations.
RR cannot be disturbed and has to hold the ground in this highly volatile state......


COIN ops in J&K are almost wholly taken over by SOG and RR. Army's role is filled up by RR in most cases.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby G Subramaniam » 14 Jun 2008 05:23

abhischekcc wrote:
surinder wrote:Why not take care of the Pak problem before taking on PRC in Tibet? PoK, Norther Areas should be in our hands to increase our elbow room and also to reduce any communication/transport to TSP. Maybe even another dismantling of TSP before the big fight with PRC: Perhaps free Baluchistan, or NWFP joining A'stan. Would that sequence of events not make more sense?


Surinder, IA has sufficient manpower and developed deployment levels that we can simultaneously:
1. Fight an insurgency the size of Kashmir
2. Defeat pakistan in a conventional war (ie, without using nukes), and
3. Hold off China in a border war.

This really happen during Kargil.

pakistan knows that one insurgency against INdia is not enough to put us under pressure, that is why they are desperately trying to start a second one.

Godhra was an attempt to start a second insurgency against India, after Rao destroyed the Sikh militancy movement. I have detail how in another thread. Modi saw to it that this plan never came to fruition - and the muslims in Gujrat are sufficiently chastised not to force the issue.

So, pakistan is back in punjab troubles once again.

But I do agree that dissolving pakistan or solving the kashmiri insurgency will free enormous resouces to beat the panda black and blue.


3. Hold off China in a border war.

can you please elaborate ?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby G Subramaniam » 14 Jun 2008 05:24

surinder wrote:Dear South Asians,




You gave that link to garver's book and destroyed my whole day. I sat glued in reading it. Well-written, and not anti-thetical to India's point of view.


Surinder, Do you remember, I had posted excerpts from this book in a thread with you about Tibet last month


G.S

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby rajrang » 14 Jun 2008 07:40

Guys,

It is heartening to see optimism in this thread about India defeating China should a war happen in the near future. For 40 yrs or so, India has had 10 mountain division - about 150,000 troops. You cannot take on China with such a small force. For instance, the former Soviet Union had 50 divisions - 1 million men, many of them motorized rifle divisions, thousands of tanks etc. - massed along the Chinese border, besides their nuclear weapons.

What I am unable to understand is India has 1.1 million army men. Simple math tells me that one-half or 500,000 men be earmarked for Pakistan and remaining half - 500,000 men be meant for China - that would be 30+ mountain divisions. This should not necessarily increase India's defense expenditure - because we are simply re-assigning the soldiers. Even if mountain divisions are more expensive -then we should spend more. With a booming economy, and the current defense expenditure being only 2% of GNP, this should not be a problem.

Second we should try have a deal with the Western countries that the Paks will be stopped through political and economic coersion from attacking India if India is fighting the Chinese. After all the West does want to see China beat India.

The bottom line is we have 1.1 million men - yet only 13% or 150,000 are dedicated for China. Do we need the remaining 950,000 men for Pak then?

For military duties other than China or Pak - that should be the job of the paramilitary.

At this point with 10 divs, I am afraid we have to keep our fingers crossed and say our prayers should a war break out. Maybe if all the 150,000 men display the heroism of the Sikh Regiment at Saragarhi or the Gurkhas at Galwan and Nathu La (and there are many such examples involving other Indian regiments) we might beat the Chinese.

I hope my concerns are totally wrong. It is sad that after 40+ years the number of divisions is still 10.
Raj

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 14 Jun 2008 08:27

the reason of the mismatch between the strength of IA we hear about and the sum total of all combat formations is the poor teeth to tail ratio of the army.
In other words the ratio of men in combat role to men in support role is supposed to be notoriously poor in IA as compared to other armies, even the pakis. at least this was the view of many experts in early 90's (i.e post sunderji modernisation).
I haven't come across any recent reports on this topic but I doubt the situation has changed too much.

BTW global security gives a good break-up of the commands in terms of corps and these in terms of divisons and indep. bgdes.
How reliable is it ?

I would be extremely grateful if someone can post a break-up of a divison or brigade level formation in terms of equipment.
for e.g, a typical armoured regiment would have a brick of about 50-55 tanks right ? and with reserves the number should come to around 60 ?
Or how is a RAMID/RAPID organised ? and in what way is it different from the normal inf. divisons ?
We also need to understand how the enggs,AAC and signals operate in conjunction with these formations in order to get an idea about the logistics chain we are talking about.

ChandraS

Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ChandraS » 14 Jun 2008 08:29

rajrang wrote:Guys,

.....

What I am unable to understand is India has 1.1 million army men. Simple math tells me that one-half or 500,000 men be earmarked for Pakistan and remaining half - 500,000 men be meant for China - that would be 30+ mountain divisions. This should not necessarily increase India's defense expenditure - because we are simply re-assigning the soldiers. Even if mountain divisions are more expensive -then we should spend more. With a booming economy, and the current defense expenditure being only 2% of GNP, this should not be a problem.

Second we should try have a deal with the Western countries that the Paks will be stopped through political and economic coersion from attacking India if India is fighting the Chinese. After all the West does want to see China beat India.

The bottom line is we have 1.1 million men - yet only 13% or 150,000 are dedicated for China. Do we need the remaining 950,000 men for Pak then?

.....
Raj


Raj,

The 1.1 million man army you talk about includes the support functions as well. The combat troops strength is much less than that. The rest are support troops viz. signals, engineers, supply & logistics, medical units et al. What is important us the teeth-to-tail ratio. The higher it is the better our fighting capabilities. Currently, I do not have an idea of this ratio for the army as a whole. I will google and put it up for reference soon. But just for your information, the teeth-to-tail ratio in J&K is about 1:10. Thus for every one combat soldier, you have 10 others for the allied duties viz. patrolling, bandobast, etc. So we need to figure out the approx ratio for the main army facing the Chinese and make sure it is adequate for the tasks at hand and the objectives laid out.

More on this later, after collect the relevant info.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby John Snow » 14 Jun 2008 09:10

While we are at this we need to do some bean counting. Budget allocations? what is the ramp up time, (it took us One year to get our troops tp Paki border during crisis)?

How much should we budget for this, what is the way to fund this, what is the endurance of our opponents?

How do we neutralize the diplomatic intervention before we gain best cost benefit ratio?

What about ammunition reserves, fuel reserves, remember we had to import Bofor shells in open market at a very high price, even AK-47 ammo na drifles too used ones from Bulgaria.

What are the lead ? how are we going to prep public opinion, should it be incremental, for instance next time PRC intrudes we chase them back and hold on, there upon they try to retaliate and we take to our desired strategic goal?

Just some random thoughts

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby surinder » 14 Jun 2008 09:33

G Subramaniam wrote:Surinder, Do you remember, I had posted excerpts from this book in a thread with you about Tibet last month
G.S


GS,

I certainly remember that. We had discussed it with reference to Nehru. I had assumed that this book was like that Maxwell Neville (?) book on 1962. But it appears very balanced and takes into account Indian side of the equation. But I haven't read the book, only the excerpts on Google Books. It seems like a book to procure and read. It covers not only 1962 but also Burma and Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from India-China perspective.

Garver mentions that after 1971 dismemberment of TSP, China had a real concern that India may do the same in Tibet. Their UN representative said that at the UN.

PS: Historical ifs & buts are dangerous to indulge in, but if I may do it just once: I wish India had achieved independence in 1920's or 30's. Partition would not have happened. We would not have lost Northern Areas and Chittagong. These two losses have boxed us in: NA has meant we lost contiguity with Central Asia. Chittagong loss meant that NE lost sea access *AND* BD can be connected by rail/road to PRC. The Brits screwed us real bad.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby sanjaykumar » 14 Jun 2008 09:53

PS: Historical ifs & buts are dangerous to indulge in, but if I may do it just once: I wish India had achieved independence in 1920's or 30's. Partition would not have happened. We would not have lost Northern Areas and Chittagong. These two losses have boxed us in: NA has meant we lost contiguity with Central Asia. Chittagong loss meant that NE lost sea access *AND* BD can be connected by rail/road to PRC. The Brits screwed us real bad.


Northern Areas were lost after Partition, Sea accessfor the NE could have been negotiated with a grateful BD in 1972. No use blaming the Brits, Indians screwed India real bad.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby sanjaykumar » 14 Jun 2008 10:06

This should be posted in full for the record.

Not their own wars
Tuesday 8 January 2008 by Tashi Dhundup

As the Indian Army’s secretive Tibetan force celebrates its 45th birthday this year, Tibetan warriors in the Special Frontier Force commemorate more than four decades of fighting other people’s wars.
While at school at the Central School for Tibetans in Mussoorie, my classmates and I used to sing a song that went, “Chocho mangmi la madro, haapen bholo yoki rae”, which translates to “O brother don’t go to the army, they will make you wear those loose half-pants”. Although we sang this song in every grade, it was only years later that the true meaning of those words finally dawned on me. Each year as the seniors graduated, we would see trucks waiting at the school gate – Indian Army trucks, all set to cart many of the graduating students off to the barracks for training. At the time I was confused, and wondered why these new graduates were not simply going home.

It was only much later that I came to understand the involvement of Tibetans in the Indian Army. This is an issue that has still received scant attention, much less acknowledgement of the achievements of the Tibetan soldiers in the name of the Indian state. Indeed, to this day India has never officially recognised this debt, though Tibetans, around 10,000 of them, continue to serve in the Indian Army.

India’s Tibetan troops have traditionally made up the vast majority of the Special Frontier Force, widely known as the SFF, which has been guarding Indian borders for 45 years. Following the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the SFF was created in Chakrata, around 100 km from Dehradun, a town with a large Tibetan refugee population. While a second force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), was also created in the same year, its mandate was border patrol, while the SFF focused on guerrilla warfare. Later on, all of the Tibetans with the ITBP were sent to Chakrata, and the ITBP remained Tibetan largely in name only.

Over the following decades, despite involvement in the 1971 War of Liberation in Bangladesh, Indira Gandhi’s Operation Bluestar in Punjab, the 1999 conflict in Kargil, as well as a continued presence on the Siachen glacier, the full extent of the SFF’s role has remained shrouded in mystery. Indeed, much of what there is to know about the SFF’s actions over the past four and a half decades has remained with two people: former Indian intelligence chief R N Kao and S S Uban, the SFF’s first inspector-general, both of whom have remained notoriously tight-lipped about the group.

China advanced into Tibet in 1950, and nine years later the 14th Dalai Lama, then 24 years of age, fled south into exile. That same period saw the formation of a group called Chu-She-Khang-Druk (Four Rivers and Six Mountains, a name symbolising a unified Tibet), comprised mostly of Khampa, from the southeastern plains of Tibet. This relatively small group suddenly rose in violent revolt against Chinese subjugation and, though outmatched in military strength, the Chu-She-Khang-Druk fighters were able to inflict heavy damage on the People’s Liberation Army. With the Dalai Lama’s escape to India and a mass exodus of Tibetans following, the Khampa fighters felt that the best service they could provide at the time was to protect the escape route. Eventually, they too went into exile, with a base of the group eventually coming up in Mustang, in north-central Nepal.

On the global level, this was taking place at the height of the Cold War between the US and international communist forces, which subsequently led the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC to decide to aid these Tibetan guerrillas. Though the details have always been somewhat hazy, the US continued to provide weapons and training until the early 1970s. But when Henry Kissinger, then Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State, shook hands with Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong in 1971, the CIA abruptly cut off its quiet support for the Tibetans (see accompanying story, “On the altar of foreign relations”).

Something similar had earlier taken place in India. Following the 1954 Panchsheel Agreement, Jawaharlal Nehru largely sacrificed Tibet on the altar of Indo-China friendship. At the time, Nehru was evidently assuming, or hoping, that the idea of ‘Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai’ relations would be firmly cemented. But this was not to be: instead, the dragon roared and breathed fire, and Nehru was jolted from his slumber. The India-China war of 1962 invoked a longstanding sense of paranoia in New Delhi, and in its aftermath Nehru looked towards the old neighbour he had forsaken to protect the Indian border from the new neighbour he had blindly trusted. With a ready stock of CIA-trained Tibetan guerrillas now available in India, Nehru decided to form an army unit consisting almost exclusively of Tibetans to guard its rugged northern frontier.

The Chu-She-Gang-Druk fighters welcomed the idea: through the new formation, they hoped that a Tibetan army could be formally maintained, and could be of ready use in the future. A tripartite agreement between India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), the US’s CIA and the Chu-She-Gang-Druk subsequently brought into existence the Special Frontier Force. Initial recruiting gathered together around 12,000 men, commanded by two Chu-She-Gang-Druk leaders, who were oddly referred to as the “political leaders”. Initial training was provided by the CIA and India’s Intelligence Bureau. Within two years, a period of covert expeditions along India’s northern borders had begun. Yet opportunities never did materialise for the unit to be used against its intended ‘enemy’, and indeed, in 1973 the SFF’s orders were altered following alleged incursions into Tibet: the group was now longer allowed to deploy within 10 km of the Tibetan border. However, it was successfully deployed during the course of several other operations.

It would be appreciated…

16 December 1971 was the day the Bangladesh War of Liberation ended, and the date has come to connote freedom for the people of Bangladesh. Few in Bangladesh, India or Pakistan, however, remember – or have ever known of – the role played by the SFF in ensuring the Indian Army’s victory on that day. In the lead-up to the SFF’s deployment, Indira Gandhi wired a message to the Tibetan fighters, conveyed through their Indian commander: “We cannot compel you to fight a war for us,” Gandhi wrote, “but the fact is that General A A K Niazi [the Pakistan Army commander in East Pakistan] is treating the people of East Pakistan very badly. India has to do something about it. In a way, it is similar to the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans in Tibet, we are facing a similar situation. It would be appreciated if you could help us fight the war for liberating the people of Bangladesh.”

In a dynamic that would be repeated several additional times, Tibetans subsequently began to fight a war that was not their own, and on the request of a woman whose father had played a significant part in betraying the Tibetan cause. Three thousand SFF Tibetan commandos were deployed, fighting under the cover of the Mukti Bahini (Bangladesh Liberation Army) along the Chittagong Hill Tracts. They infiltrated with orders to destroy bridges, dams and communication lines, thereby smoothening the way for the advance of the Indian Army. During the conflict, the SFF lost 56 men, while another 190 were wounded. After a little less than nine months, East Pakistan became Bangladesh. The new country’s founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, personally called the SFF leaders to thank them for their part in that creation. But this had been a classified mission – one that, officially, still does not exist. As such, none of the SFF fighters have ever been decorated, nor have their contributions ever been officially recognised.

So began decades of fighting other people’s wars, much as the Nepali Gorkhas serve in the Indian armed forces. As alluded to by Indira Gandhi’s 1971 letter, the SFF was seen as a particularly effective force, and their service was used in 1984 Operation Bluestar to storm the Golden Temple to flush out Sikh militants. Years later, keeping in mind his mother’s attachment to the SFF, Rajiv Gandhi called upon the Tibetan fighters to manage his security during part of his tenure as prime minister. Following the 1999 conflict in Kargil, a Tibetan jawan wrote a song that began, “Kargil la dhangpo yongdue, bomb ki phebso shoesong” (When I first came to Kargil, the bombs welcomed us). Inherent in those words are not just fearful sentiments as expressed by any young soldier, but also the fact that Kargil was India’s conflict, not Tibet’s. Likewise, one SFF battalion today continues to serve on the Siachen glacier – oddly close to their homeland, but facing the opposite direction.

Indeed, unofficial thanks notwithstanding, throughout these past decades it has fallen to the Tibetans themselves to sing the songs of the unsung heroes. One such song in Hindi, composed by a Tibetan trooper, is titled “We are Vikasi”, referring to the term used for a regiment within the SFF. Its words allude not only to a push to keep the cause of Tibetan independence alive, but also to the formation of a new identity within the past half-century: the Tibetan-Indian, temporarily or otherwise.

Hum hai Vikasi, tibbat wasi
Desh ki shyan bharayenghye

Jab jab humki milega moka
Jaan pe khel dekhayenghye

Hum hai vikasi
Chin ne humse chean ke tibbat
Ghar se hame nikala hae
Phirbi bharat ne humko Even then,
Apno ki tara sambhala hae
Ekna Ek din chin ko bhi hum
Nako channe chabayenghye
Jab jab hum ko milega moka
Jaan pe khel dekhayenghye

Sichan glaciar main humko
Moka mila dubara hai
Hamare vir jawano ko
Nahin koyi bhi gum
Kargil hoya Bangladesh
Himmat kabhi na hare hum
Jab jab hum ko milega moka
Jaan pe khel dekhayenghye

Jahan hamara mahel potala
Norbu lingka pyara hai
Pujya dalai lama singhasan
Tabse hi nyara hai
Yad karo aun viron ko
Jisne diya balidan hai
Au milkar gayen hum
Jai hamara Tibbat Jai
Jai hamara Tibbat Jai
Jai Hamara Tibbat Jai

We are the Vikasi, dwellers of Tibet
We will strengthen the pride of the country

Whenever opportunities arise
we will play with our lives.

We are the Vikasi
The Chinese snatched Tibet from us
and kicked us out from our home
Even then, India
kept us like their own
One day, surely one day
we will teach the Chinese a lesson
Whenever opportunities arise
we will play with our lives

In the Siachen glacier
we got our second chance
Our young martyrs
have no sadness whatsoever
Whether it is Kargil or Bangladesh
we will not lose our strength
Whenever opportunities arise
we will play with our lives

Where there is our Potala Palace
and lovely Norbu Lingka
The throne of the Dalai Lama
was dear even then
Remember those martyrs of ours
who sacrificed with their lives
Let’s sing together
Hail to our Tibet!
Hail to our Tibet!
Hail to our Tibet!



Tashi Dhundup
http://www.tibetwrites.org/?Not-their-own-wars

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby sanjaykumar » 14 Jun 2008 10:28

Anybody read this The Chinese Aggression by Satyanarayan. Very interesting http://www.rand.org/about/history/wohls ... 10703.html


I have recently come across a most unusual little paperback published here in Delhi called The Chinese Aggression by a Dr. Satyanarayan Sinha. It makes the following major points:

(1) The first is of the first importance if true; I shall quote from the book:


"In the spring of 1960 Indian and Nepalese nationals returning home from Chinese-occupied areas reported heavy concentrations [sic] of troops right across some of the most strategic parts of the Indian border....Roughly assessed, there were more than a hundred thousand Chinese troops, suitably armed for Alpine warfare, in southern Tibet alone, having Yatung (in the Chumbi Valley east of Sikkim) as their most important divisional headquarters. Close observations disclosed that the Chinese were getting ready for a large-scale offensive towards Indian territory....At this stage, in March 1960, a large number of revolts against the Chinese occupying forces flared up in several parts of Sinkiang. The long vulnerable line of communications of the Chinese forces stretching from northwest China to the northern borders of India snapped in a number of places. These breaches created by the Sinkiangese guerrilla nationalist forces, instigated and supported by Russian men and weapons, upset the whole plan of the Chinese attack on India." (pp. 42 and 43)
Sinha quotes a Russian Kazakh as follows:


"'In the spring of 1960, all was set for a large-scale Chinese offensive on Indian borders. We have reliable information that such a Chinese attack would have fallen on India unexpected [sic] and as a complete surprise to you. Our Central Asian Soviet Intelligence was the only outside agency which understood the international gravity and the consequent results of the war moves of the Chinese.... Three years ago practically all our military supplies to China were carried by our Trans-Siberian Railways. After the establishment of the eastern Cominform in Peking in 1957, the Chinese began to take delivery of their military supplies at the Turk-Sib railway bordering Sinkiang. It made their intentions quite clear....(p. 48.'"

"'The equipment for ten divisions, to be delivered to China on Soviet-Sinkiang border, would have strengthened the Chinese position there, thus proving detrimental to Soviet interests. For this reason, our leaders in the Kremlin abruptly decided in March 1960 to stop all deliveries of military equipment to the Chinese in Sinkiang immediately. This came as a bombshell for Russo-Soviet relations. No amount of summit talks between the two countries can restore the old ties....(p. 49).'"


"'India too will have to remain awake to such threats to her borders from the Chinese side. It was just by coincidence that the Soviet Union in its own interests realised the urgency and took measures to stop the Chinese advance, planned to cut deep into the Indian borders....(p. 50).'"


"'Provoking successful revolts in Sinkiang may not prove enough to stop their onward march. Ultimately we shall have to think of stumping their spearhead....(pp. 50-51).'"


"'It would have been much simpler had India helped us in our efforts to smash the war-craze of the Chinese. But we shall not wait for that help. Our Soviet experts have explored the trans-Himalayan regions as advisers to the Chinese. The chances are that we shall be able to coordinate the Tibetan revolt with that of Sinkiang. Without achieving this aim we do not consider our Soviet eastern border to be safe from the Chinese threats (p. 51).'"


(2) The primary reasons why the Chinese did not launch a major offensive against India in 1961 were the famine at home and the immense physical difficulties of maintaining their supply lines through the desserts of the Tarim Basin of Sinkiang and the cold of the Himalayas, according to Sinha. This is probably largely speculation on his part.
(3) Sinha believes that India is most vulnerable to a Chinese advance from the Chumbi Valley over Natula Pass into Sikkim, as you suspected. He says that the Indians have partially handed over the absolute control which the British maintained over this and several other strategic passes to the Chinese. He also regards Shipki Pass on the border of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and the route provided by the Arun River near Mt. Everest as strategically important.

(4) China is vulnerable to an attack on her Sinkiang bases, especially at Kashgar. Unfortunately for India this is best approached through Pakistan-held Kashmir.

(5) The Ladakh border, according to Sinha, was virtually unguarded until 1960 because the Indians were concentrating their attention on the more likely trouble spots further south -- hence the Chinese were able to build a road and in 1959 take considerable territory without interference.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 14 Jun 2008 13:29

sanjaykumar, thanks for posting that link.

I first read this paper in the late 90s. But I lost the link, and for some reason was unable to dig it up using search engines.

Many thanks for reconnecting me with a lost love . :)


-----------------

anybody who contends that India is (at least partially) to blame for the 1962 war should read this paper. It will show you how deliberate the chinese were in planning that war. 1962 was not an accidental war.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vsudhir » 14 Jun 2008 15:01

What would unkil's posture be in case of a Sino-Indian war? +ve, -ve, neutral? What about Russia? All these countries have major business interests in PRC. Doubt if any country would want to be seen taking sides in such a war (except for TSP, BD and perhaps Nepal, all on PRC's side).

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 14 Jun 2008 16:20

Neither unkil nor Russia would want hostilities to change the status quo because it hurts their long term interests to see either one the countries as dominating the other.

However, rubbing China's nose in the ground might be good thing from unkil's POV at this time - they are getting too big for their boots.

So, I think unkil will tacit support to India as long as India assures it will not go for all out war.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 14 Jun 2008 16:34

wrt teeth:tail every country's situation is different. for India to fight inside deserts and
in mountains a strong tail is a must. its not a question of converting tail to teeth, we need more teeth from new raisings.

if you consider US army logistics, their teeth:tail ratio will be unremarkable when
fighting in middle east. their expeditionary divs always have big logistical and engineer
units added on.

I find by looking at road atlas that road into tibet from nathu la goes parallel to bhutan
border for a long stretch and is accesible by three passes from bhutan side. near nathu la
there are three more passes at the bottom of the inverted triangle (one is jelep la).
will scan and post the map. I also found "Zemithang" where we had airlifted a brigade of
troops in 1988(?) to deter the Sumdrung Chu incident. its north of gangtok , towards northern
sikkim where there is another half dozen passes into tibet and a road parallel to india around
40km north (the PLA would have built N-S roads from there).

western sikkim looks impassable with two giant glaciers and mt kanchenjunga region. map
shows not even small roads.

central arunachal border also has very few openings marked. tawang-tibet has two passes.

it will become clear when I post maps.


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