Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

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

Postby sachin_b_k » 21 Jun 2010 21:29

Mr Shiv, the taunt in your earlier posts at me remind me of that Indian General who ignored his junior's suggestion that the Pakistanis can intrude from Kargil. The war we are fighting with Pakistan and China on the subsurface level needs only one motto JAI HIND. We are not God and dont want to become God. Saam daam dand bhed.. I beleive in Chanakya and not Gandhi.. thats the way.. and thanks for again reinforcing my analysis, its becoming better with every sarcastic remarks of yours!
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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby shiv » 21 Jun 2010 21:33

sachin_b_k wrote:Thats the whole problem my friend. We civilians think only in one dimension.


Sir, but when a military man writes something you don't like, you say

sachin_b_k wrote:The rest article from which Mr Shiv is quoting is the analysis/opinion of Maj Gen Dhruv.


The general is saying that Pakistan's forces do not pose that big a threat. You are saying that Pakistan can occupy Kashmir in 72 hours while China does nothing other than be aggressive.

You are the civilian. Gen Dhruv Katoch is the military man.

How do you explain away the differences in your viewpoint? It looks like one dimensional thinking alright. To me.

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

Postby sachin_b_k » 21 Jun 2010 21:45

Mr Shiv, as I have said in my previous post, the hypothesis "Pakistani cold start doctrine backed by Chinese blackmail captures Kashmir valley" is my original idea ! Obviously, to get this original idea one has to think out of the one dimensional civilian box and take a different viewpoint.

With reference to your specific reference to Maj Gen Dhruv for whom I have great respect, his article highlighted the Pakistani purpose of conducting the Azm-e-Nau exercises which I have referenced. His opinion regarding strength of Pakistani army is his opinion which has not been evaluated as mentioned in his own article. As I do not agree with this opinion I have not reproduced it. My hypothesis is different. I consider Pakistani military to be professional, cunning, competent and well equipped enough to give India an expensive short term shock.

See your tirade is only further strengthening my hypothesis as innovative perhaps like Kargil (by the way, were you able to predict Kargil?)
Last edited by sachin_b_k on 21 Jun 2010 22:35, edited 5 times in total.

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

Postby Manish_Sharma » 21 Jun 2010 21:46

RamaY wrote:My 2 paisa...

Any war with PRC would be war of attrition as there is no inherent hatred among these two great nations except to achieve short-term political gains. Even if PRC can repeat a 1962, it would hold India down utmost another 50 years. India can and will live to win another day. That is the nature of Indian civilization.

India must be prepared for the following:
- Air-war>>
* At least 3 layers of Air-Defense regiments from Indo-china borders to Indian heart-lands. This means ~3000+ Akash missiles >> Cost $1.5 to $2B including reserves.
* At least 3 layers of man-pad based Air-defense missiles. This can be called Indira Gandhi Grameena Rakshaka Rojgar Yojana and must employ 10,000 people.
* Two sets of AWACS coverage in addition to smaller heli-based EW coverage.
* At least 200 aircraft in proactive air-defense role.

- Army
* Missile regiments that saturate any offensive formations in Layer 1 - 500KM range. Layer 2 - 300KM range. 500 missiles each.
* MBRL regiments that can penetrate in multiple layers - 30-70 KM ranges.
* Air dropped field guns - India must work with Russia/others to develop a "S-64 Skycrane" type helicopters to position move these guns from place to place.
* Develop hardened logistic routes across Indo-China Borders. This is the most important aspect in any future Indo-PRC wars. India must invest heavily in air-borne mechanized divisions which can be moved from one place to another. I strongly recommend five air-machanized divisions consisting of ~300 birds (5x60 birds = 25 for troops + 10 field guns + 10 MBRLs + 5 air-defense role + 10 gunships) which can deploy a 1000 member force unit with field guns, MBRLs etc to any part of Indo-PRC border within 1 hr and every hour there after. This capability can be raised in 3-5 years with ~$5-7B cost.

- Navy
* Focus on choking PRC shipping lanes using submarines and Navy
* 150 strong air-wing
* 2 AWACS along with tactical EW units
* Akash based coastal air-defense system

In total I would put $15-20B tag on the war preparations with PRC.

That said, I strongly believe that PRC can be reasoned with proper vision, strategy, and a good mix of carrots and sticks...

On the other hand India must fight a smart war against Pakis. I would repeat what I have said earlier. Brahmos and Nirbhay should be mass produced and unleashed without remorse.

Strategy:
- Reserve 3-4 military satellites to monitor and identify all known/suspicious nuke-installations.

- Completely destroy ISI main and regional head quarters on the first day.

- Wiki Dada says there are 10 operating and 7 non operating Air Bases in Paki land - Throw 10-15 missiles in the first round and another 5 each every week as long as the war lasts on each of these air bases.

- Throw 5 missiles at each known military base and ordinance factor in the wave of the war. Throw 2-3 missiles every week there after.

- Completely destroy Karachi and Gwadar ports in the first round.

- Severe all road/raid/energy/communication links between POK/NA and Pawki land.

Resources & Costs:
This would mean ~500 missiles in the first round and ~100+ missiles every week. Of course all these missiles will carry conventional mithai. We are looking at ~$5B cost here (1000-1500 missiles x $1-4M a pop)

After the first wave, India must declare the 50KM width as DMZ and position its MBRL regiments. Again looking at wiki data this amounts to another $2-3B cost (1 unit = $0.5M).

Then reserve around 50-80 Su-30MKIs for additional mop job.

Air defense would be supplemented by ~1000-1500 akash missiles (not units/batteries) = $1B

Total costs (in addition to existing forces) = 5+3+1 = $9B

Reaction:
a) After the first wave Pakistan would launch at least 501 babur and other missiles at India and this would impact ~300-500KM stretch in India's western border. This would mean India has to deploy at least 1000-1500 Akash/Barak/ missiles in Air-defense role.

b) Then Pawkis do what they do best
i) Wake-up their sleeper cells in India. Deploy 100 Rapit Action Force units each containing 1000 fully armed and no-bars-hold complementing local police forces. There will be collateral damage :(

ii) Raise nuclear threat. Follow Sudhanshu's example. Swear on your mother that there will be no pakistan or its mothers/fathers on the face of earth even if a single nuke-weapon (weather it is real or dirty or medical type) is used against India/Indian-interests.

c) Pawki's 3.5 b*rd parents will come to their rescue. Just tell them that you are targeting Paki terror infrastructure and they are either with us or against us. And keep raining the missiles every week. Tell them that your minimum demands are that Pakis submit POK+NA to India and leave the occupied lands of Balochistan, Sindh, and NWFP/FATA regions.


Very nice and deep post RamaY, just one place I would say instead of conventional we should use 3, 5, 7 or 9kt warheads on CMs be it Nirbhay or Brahmos. Such a expensive missile expensive engine and all that to carry non nuclear warhead seems a shame. The quicker we laydown Porkis to rest the better we can focus on Chinese. In fact our forces will be free not only to run or PoK but we can takeover CoK.

Seeing the radioactive rot in porkiland, chinese will also come to their senses and find it better to withdraw even on cost of losing Chinese occupied Kashmir.

Anyway india has shown mastery in small and sub kt warheads why not use them to let "pakistan rot in radioactive peace". :twisted:

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

Postby sachin_b_k » 21 Jun 2010 22:07

BSF team pinned down by Pak Rangers in J&K

NDTV Correspondent, Updated: June 21, 2010 22:04 IST, Jammu

http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/firing-at-india-pakistan-border-1-32895.php?u=1747

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

Postby sachin_b_k » 21 Jun 2010 22:19

This from Mr Shiv's own reference: 'Nervous' China may attack India by 2012: Defence expert
Posted: Sun Jul 12 2009, 13:39 hrs
:extract:

But India is "least prepared" on ground to face the Chinese threat, he says and asks a series of questions on how will India respond to repulse the Chinese game plan or whether Indian leadership would be able to "take the heat of war". "Is Indian military equipped to face the two-front wars by Beijing and Islamabad? Is the Indian civil administration geared to meet the internal security challenges that the external actors will sponsor simultaneously through their doctrine of unrestricted warfare? "The answers are an unequivocal 'no'. Pacifist India is not ready by a long shot either on the internal or the external front," the defence journal editor says.


Here again I have taken only that extract which is relevant to my hypothesis. The strength of Pakistan is evaluated by the author in his opinion from which I differ. Also I dont think China will attack India overtly. That will damage its international standing. It will simply exert blackmail and do the dirty work through Pakistan. That is sufficient to ensure Indian humiliation.

I will again repeat that nuclear war probability in my hypothesis is NIL.

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

Postby Prem » 22 Jun 2010 00:51

What about Afghjan front ? Will Pawki be able to cope with 2 front war ?

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

Postby Bhaskar » 22 Jun 2010 01:09

Are we prepared for a Two Front War ?
A simple answer is Not really.
After 26/11, we have seen the unwillingness of our armed forces for a conflict, fearing a full blown retaliation from Pakistan can result in high Indian casualties. It is also important to note that our land forces need to be dramatically upgraded. All our MBT's lag behind the Chinese and even the Pakistani Al-Khalid. I think we are all aware of our state of the artillery guns.
Naxalites: Indian Air Force has already said it doesn't possess aircrafts to do a surgical strike within our country. We all must also realize that the Naxalites are really good at Guerrilla warfare, far superior than our CRPF forces.
However, after 26/11 and recent attempts to upgrade our armed forces. By 2012, our armed forces will be well equipped to handle a scenario involving 2 front wars. So, from my perspective, by 2012
Will India be ready for a simultaneous war with the Naxalites and Pakistan? Yes
Will India be ready for a simultaneous war with the Naxalites and China? Yes
Will India be ready for a simultaneous war with the China and Pakistan? No

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

Postby ShauryaT » 22 Jun 2010 01:31

shiv wrote:a) Possible gains for China: At a simple level China may seek to punish India or divert the Chinese population from discontent and a crumbling Chinese system (as has been predicted by Bharat Karnad I think in "War with China by 2012).

Shiv: I think you are referring to Bharat Varma and not Karnad. Just to clarify. Now, what should one make of Varma's predictions - to each his own.

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

Postby NRao » 22 Jun 2010 02:21

A two-front-war = hold China and beat Pakistan.

More than doable. Indian military is more than capable.

However, for the scenarios being painted by various posters, could they also add a time frame please? As in "after China strengthens, she will be able to .......". As an example, how much time will China need to "strengthen" and then "do" whatever she is expected to do.

And, of course, the follow on question, how long does one think such a war can go on for. (Point being whatever we think will happen, has to happen within that time frame.)

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

Postby Airavat » 22 Jun 2010 04:47

sachin_b_k wrote:BSF team pinned down by Pak Rangers in J&K


How is this post related to the thread?

sachin_b_k wrote:Mr Shiv, as I have said in my previous post, the hypothesis "Pakistani cold start doctrine backed by Chinese blackmail captures Kashmir valley" is my original idea


On a military forum you have to be more precise than that. Describe how India's formidable defence grid in J&K is overwhelmed by a conventional Pakistani attack?

sachin_b_k wrote:The Pakistani offensive will be short but intense. It will concentrate on capturing key territory along LoC.


If you wish to be taken seriously, then you have to be more precise than that. For a conventional "short but intense" offensive, Pakistan will have to mobilize its formations and move them towards the LOC. How is this massive movement going to be hidden from India or the rest of the world?

Can India face the dragon...article by Gen Dhruv Katoch

While overall Chinese air power has a tremendous edge over India, what needs to be considered is how much of the PLAAF can be applied in a conflict across the Indo-Tibetan border. China has many security related concerns of greater import than its concerns with India which would necessitate the deployment of adequate quantity of PLAAF for its Mainland security. Also, the quantum of air effort which can actually be employed from the air bases existing in Tibet will give out the net quantum of force which is available for application against India. It must however be noted that the payload of aircraft get reduced while taking off from high altitude bases. PLAAF operations from Tibet would hence get degraded to that extent. As Indian aircraft take off from bases at sea level, India should be able to maintain a reasonable air deterrent against any invading force.

A major component of Chinese offensive forces has to be built up largely from the Chengdu and Lanzhou military regions in the mainland. The terrain in the Tibetan plateau with its concomitant communication network will play an important role in this build up. The time taken to induct such a large sized force robs the operation of any element of surprise. The lines of communication being limited are also extremely vulnerable to interdiction by air and missile attack. Indian capability in ensuring a high degree of battlefield transparency over the Tibetan Plateau will make it impossible to hide large troop concentrations and logistic nodes further adding to the attacker’s vulnerability from aerial and missile attack. Recent military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq give us a glimpse of how devastating, economical, and precise they can be, if they are supported by airpower. Airpower tackling the depth formations and strategic reserves will ultimately deliver the highest dividends. Considering the improvements in endurance and weapon carrying capability, the aircraft will also be capable of multi-tasking.

To support their ground offensive, China would have to deploy a vast quantity of artillery within 15 to 30 km of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The lie of the ground in the mountainous terrain as existing along the LAC is such that the artillery would have to deploy near existing roads and tracks, making use of reentrants and folds in the ground. It would be well nigh impossible to conceal these gun locations making them viable targets for own aerial attacks. Destruction of a large part of the adversary’s artillery would seriously jeopardise his ground offensive, which could then be defeated in detail.

Finally, mountains give tremendous strength to the defensive. For troops that are well dug in, an extraordinary amount of combat superiority would be required to overrun the defences. India has adequate holding forces to stave off even determined Chinese assaults and with the addition of two extra mountain divisions in the region, this capability will only get enhanced. In the Tawang Sector, which perhaps would have the greatest importance for China, the battle will be waged in a narrow 40 km corridor between the tri-junction of India-Bhutan-Tibet and the glaciers which lie further east. While the conflict will be bloody, there will be no repeat of 1962. At best, China can hope for a pyrrhic victory with marginal gains and at worst a humiliating defeat. But the probable end result would lie somewhere in between.


Meaning the existing deployment of Indian formations in the east is enough to hold any conventional Chinese assault. So Sachin BK's scenario of "Chinese blackmail without an actual assault" preventing India from bitch-slapping Pakistan just does not hold water.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Jun 2010 06:03

nukavarapu wrote:This is my analysis. I am not related to Military in any kind. I am just a simple and patriotic SDRE. My analysis might have drawbacks and would be more than happy to get corrected..


Thank you for taking the trouble to actually do things that few want to do - i.e think. I will re read your piece and see if I have any inputs. Specifically I am going to be looking at the India Burma border and logistics for the Chinese in Myanmar.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Jun 2010 06:06

Bhaskar wrote:After 26/11, we have seen the unwillingness of our armed forces for a conflict, fearing a full blown retaliation from Pakistan



I believe this statement is unfair. The forces are ready for conflict and even in the last few days members of the forces have been engaged in some conflict or other. It is our political leaders who decide whether the armed forces should or should not engage in conflict.

Only in Pakistan to he armed forces make that decision for themselves.

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

Postby RamaY » 22 Jun 2010 06:12

^ Airavat garu,

Hopefully so. But as a goodwill gesture India should permanently position hundreds of Akash units and MBRL units along Indo-China border supported by air-borne logistic capability as I described above.

Manish-Sharma ji

Thanks for the kind words. I too would love saving the missile inventory by sending special mithai. But was gaming to keep the scenario under the threshold; so MMS can sleep well.

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

Postby RamaY » 22 Jun 2010 06:29

Nukavarapu garu,

I somehow couldn't understand the logic behind coming thru Burma and BD. If this scenario it is not a two-front war but a four-front war as Burma and BDLand made up their mind against India.

Then I would shower my special mithai in this order.

1) ~40-50 small SPECIAL mithai packets on Paki land so one front is closed completely. Ship WKK and Left brigade there so they can conduct humanitarian operations.

2) Invoke Tibet Freedom Act and supply tiny SPECIAL mithai packets to Tibetan Army. About 5-10 packets can be sent from Karakoram Highway thru Tibet railway line.

3) Strategically apply Mithai packets in BD Land so entry points and internal warehouses are taken care off.

4) Then push for Burma unification. Burma is as close to Indian logistic lines as it is for PRC.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Jun 2010 07:44

Nukavarupu - have you looked at the terrain in Myanmar and logistics.

How many trucks a day will be needed to supply 20,000 men? Where will those trucks come from
Are there roads in the mountains. Are there bridges across streams and gorges? Will supply dumps have to be placed in Myanmar beforehand?

Why were there no Chinese invasion into Myanmar in the past?

"Air cover" from Tibet measn that Chinese aircraft have to take off either with a load of munition and low fuel load, or a full load of fuel and low load of munitions. In either case Indian defending aircraft will be taking off with a full load of fuel an armament from sea level air bases.

For the Chinese to do that they have to refuel over Tibet. They will be vulnerable to interception at thiat stage.

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

Postby SwamyG » 22 Jun 2010 07:52

Why would Burma roll and allow China to go through it? Check this out: http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/acd/cg/ir/col ... -3shee.pdf

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

Postby RamaY » 22 Jun 2010 08:07

Nukavarapu garu,

I checked Google Earth to be sure. PRC has to cross ~9000-14000 feet mountain region to reach Burma/BD plains. Even then they have to develop a logistic lines of 700-900 mile length. Is it possible to do without Indian detection?

This is where my focus on conventionally armed precision missiles will take India a long way. It has to mass produce Brahmos, Nirbhay, and long-range Brahmos.

- On a side note
I was watching a fighter video and I noticed atleast 6-10 country flags on a NATO fighter. India should follow this lead IMHO.

Mass produce LCA (if needed India's defense and foreign affairs ministries should buy them) and develop bases across ASEAN, Indian Subcontinent areas. These fighters will be operated by these regional players and India will have == defense treaty.

People this money is the problem. If Indian budget is Rs 8,00,000 crores at least 5-10% is going into Central Govt's pocket. Reduce it by 1 percent and you have $2B = 100LCAs.

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

Postby ShauryaT » 22 Jun 2010 08:12

^^^ You are presuming that the sovereignty of Myanmar is up for sale. It will be a wrong presumption, IMO going by Myanmar's history. Also, if PRC can violate Myanmar's sovereignty, what stops India from meeting the PLA in Myanmar?

The terrain is nothing but treacherous. Most of the northern border between Myanmar and PRC has ranges in the 2-3000 meters area, thick jungles. No mean feat to move army columns and heavy machinery. Donkey tracks, even made of tar exist everywhere. In today's day and age, it will be spotted, even before PRC crosses the Myanmar border. The IA will not be twiddling its thumbs.

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

Postby ShauryaT » 22 Jun 2010 08:14

nukavarapu wrote:
SwamyG wrote:Why would Burma roll and allow China to go through it? Check this out: http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/acd/cg/ir/col ... -3shee.pdf


Whether we agree or not the burmese dictatorship regime has full support and is controlled by China. They get all their weopons and military aid from China. It had been proven beyond doubt that China is actively involved in burmes dictatorship regime and the civil war for burmese unification. One more point is burmese dictarship is also of communist ideology. They might not allow China now, but my point is it wouldn't be tough for chipanda to bring them to terms, if they plan this kind of invasion.
It has also been proven without doubt that the members of the Burmese Junta are on the payroll of the GoI. The Chinese maybe paying more than us, but no case for a roll over.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Jun 2010 08:21

ShauryaT wrote:The terrain is nothing but treacherous. Most of the northern border between Myanmar and PRC has ranges in the 2-3000 meters area, thick jungles. No mean feat to move army columns and heavy machinery. Donkey tracks, even made of tar exist everywhere. In today's day and age, it will be spotted, even before PRC crosses the Myanmar border. The IA will not be twiddling its thumbs.


True. The point I was trying to make was that geography is geography. If invasions were possible via any route 1000 years ago, they will still be possible today. if it was not possible 1000 years ago they will not be possible today unless someone has used post-industrial revolution (post 1900s) technology to make passes and bridges where none previously existed.

"Myanmar logistics" to help a Chinese invasion means 3 front war. China, Myanmar, Pakistan. Myanmarese ports and Chinese access to that will be toast.
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Re: Are We Ready for a Two-front War ?

Postby ShauryaT » 22 Jun 2010 08:22

Also, a central question needs to be answered, If PRC realized in 1967 itself, that India cannot be fooled any more, after they got a bloody nose at Nathu La, refused to tangle itself in 1971, even after prodding from the US, got a bloody nose again in 1986, and has not been able to do anything, since then. Why will they cross 100's of miles of treachrous terrain to meet a well stocked opponent, in its backyard. For what? The last place on earth they will think of coming through, if they even get serious about AP, is Myanmar. The logistics and terrain, just do not add up.

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

Postby ShauryaT » 22 Jun 2010 08:35

nukavarapu: I have no interest in being aggressive or being personal but will make my counter points.

You are making assumptions, without a full understanding of Myanmar's history or Geography. The PLA is in the bed room of members of the Junta, but does not mean, the members of the Junta are actually in love with the PLA generals, to sell their souls.

Also, remember, Myanmar has to be India's neighbor FOREVER. Acts such as these are successful, only of the PRC is willing and able to completely destroy the Indian state. For, if not, the PLA would have to station troops in Myanmar forever.

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

Postby ShauryaT » 22 Jun 2010 08:46

nukavarapu wrote:There are two reports about the Logistic doubts of Jingoes:

http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=7773
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyaukpyu

They have already started building this port and the corresponding highway. Once the highway is in place, it can carry all the heavy equipment being delivered at the port to mainland. That means, the good road connectivity from Myanmar to Chipanda will be complete.
Please also see, how far south this is in Myanmar and away from potential Chinese objectives.

Look anything is possible, we can all be arm chair generals here. But, see if you can back up your scenarios, from credible military sources and/or credible analysts, preferably Indian.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Jun 2010 08:50

nukavarapu wrote:
They have already started building this port and the corresponding highway. Once the highway is in place, it can carry all the heavy equipment being delivered at the port to mainland. That means, the good road connectivity from Myanmar to Chipanda will be complete.


Ports are a problem. India will kill that port first and stop Chinese ships from moving beyond the Malacca strait. An invasion via this circuitous route is asking for defeat.

If you look at the news item you linked the port and highway will be for oil imports and possibly Chinese exports. Forget about India. Even the US can block Chinese access to the strait of Malacca. The only way for the Chinese to bypass a US blockade is via Myanmar. For free flow via this route Indian goodwill will be needed.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Jun 2010 08:59

May I point out a factor that we need to take into consideration if we need a serious analysis?

It's like this.

You can have all the facts in your hand. Geography, force levels, logistics etc and even after that you can make assumptions that will turn your story in any direction.

On BRF the typical method is to assume that India will never fight back and will give up because of xyz reasons. (vide sachin BKs "analysis") But it is an act of pure cognitive bias to assume that Indians will invariably be weak and that the Chinese and Pakis will invariably behave strong. When people say such things - they are usually revealing their own psyche - their innermost fears. If you think Pakis and Chinese are strong and that Indians are weak then remember that other Indians may feel that Indians are not that weak and that the Chinese and Pakis have shown their weakness time and again.

If you are a military planner or a strategist you would go one step ahead of this in your planning. You would say "I have X defences against A, B, C and D threat from China But if my political leadership is weak, then my X defences can fail. So as a back up, I will create "Y"defences at a different level to compensate for some political weakness as well. If the leaders are strong we win. If my leaders are weak, we still do not lose"

Is there any evidence that our military planners and strategists do not think like this. After all it was "abundant precaution" of this sort that salvaged the situation despite failures in Kargil.

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

Postby RamaY » 22 Jun 2010 09:08

^
No disagreement there and it seems to be the prevailing strategy in Indian armed forces.

They are constitutionally sikhandifized to be led by the political leadership. Works best when the political leadership propagates Indian vision.

Unfortunately this "abundant precaution" is getting systemized and the next generation military leadership might end up believing in their unpreparedness and lose that element and then we are screwed. In the mean time India is losing once in a century/millennium opportunities and Indian public are forgetting the capabilities of their nation/civilization.

At the end Indians will remain as insect eating Simba. My worry is about Simba's next generation. Even a lion will lose its surviving capability if it is kept in captivity for too long.

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

Postby ashthor » 22 Jun 2010 09:41

Exactly shiv sir..... we do have to take into consideration our political leadership at the time.

What if its timid? What if it does'nt want to nuke the civilian populations if indian civilian populations is nuked? What if they just want to stay defensive? The only time they show aggression is then they have to cling on to power.

There was a book (i forget the name) by a BBC correspondence (Henderson i think)... in which the PM refused to nuke any civilian center of the enemy even after mumbai was nuked

A bit off topic....how many of our politicians take defense planning seriously. Barring a rare few.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Jun 2010 10:15

ashthor wrote:Exactly shiv sir..... we do have to take into consideration our political leadership at the time.

What if its timid? What if it does'nt want to nuke the civilian populations if indian civilian populations is nuked? What if they just want to stay defensive? The only time they show aggression is then they have to cling on to power.

There was a book (i forget the name) by a BBC correspondence (Henderson i think)... in which the PM refused to nuke any civilian center of the enemy even after mumbai was nuked

A bit off topic....how many of our politicians take defense planning seriously. Barring a rare few.


For the purpose of discussion, if we are going to say that Indian leaders are weak it is best to assume that everyone else is equally weak.

Or else lay it out clearly.

That gives us the following combinations. We have to be ready to discuss them all. Seriously.

In each and every theater of war the individual characteristics as follows will play a role. I do not believe in making a blanket assumption that Indian leaders are weak and the others are strong. That assumption is only a revelation of the deepest fears of the assumption maker who is unwilling to step into a scenario in which his assumption may be wrong. That is the formula for GIGO. But that is what we want to do every time. An unwilingness to go through every laborious step in every possible scenario in an analysis has a psychological term - "Intellectual laziness'

Indian leaders weak
Chinese leaders weak
Pakistani leaders weak

Indian leaders strong
Chinese leaders weak
Pakistani leaders weak

Indian leaders strong
Chinese leaders strong
Pakistani leaders weak

Indian leaders strong
Chinese leaders strong
Pakistani leaders strong

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

Postby shiv » 22 Jun 2010 10:28

Sorry to go OT but I need to do that to explain what I am driving at.

Many of you may have heard of the five ball problem (or the 3 ball, 7 ball or 9 ball problem)

Five identical balls exist. One is slightly lighter than the others. You only have a balance, no weights.

What is the minimum number of times you need to use the balance to identify the lighter ball?


If you limit the time available, a lot of people will come up with erroneous answers. But even if you give unlimited time, people will give the wrong answers because they will not bother analysing beyond the first point at which they arrive at an answer to check if a different answer is possible. This is not stupidity. It is a normal human trait. Unfortunately it has the name "Intellectual laziness" attached to it.

When we do an analysis such as a two front war - it is wrong to "escape" with the assumption that only Indian leaders will be weak. We have to think what might happen if they are strong and what else could happen if other leaders are weak/strong

Or else it is plain intellectual laziness.

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

Postby ashthor » 22 Jun 2010 11:49

Shiv sir, i am assuming that the indian political leaders ship is weak from the fact that in response to the china we are behaving in a very restrained manner.

In an conflict the forces might be ready to go in for the kill or are getting in an advantages position but are held back by the political leadership due to various reasons. Or when crucial decisions are not taken on time.

Except George Fernandes which other political leader has said that our main adversaries is china.

Sir every one has a worst case scenario. As an individual i am looking at it as one.

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

Postby Neela » 22 Jun 2010 12:47

There was a talk of a 4-front war with Burma and BD included. I can understand that this would tie down India on several fronts. There are a few nagging questions here:

- Whats in it for Burma? What does it risk and what are the gains for that risk?
- Whats in it for BD? What does it risk and what are the gains for that risk?
- A four front war requires planning and logistics on a massive scale each one playing their role. Like AkrikaKorps (The German division that supported Italian forces in Africa, regaining lost territory) , will the Chinese come to the weaker forces' rescue as a eventuality? As a "BD/Burmese General", I would like to know this.Also, keeping this under wraps is like having an erection while wearing speedos. If our intelligence agencies can pick terrorist deep within BD, I doubt that they cannot sense this coming.

If I were a Burmese/BD general, I would call Chinese/Pak bluff on this and go home for a drink. Even using Burmese/BD territory for attacks against India
will incur India's wrath. As an Indian General, I will pick these targets out first - reason being that I would like to reduce the war to as few fronts as possible. Will Burma/BD ready to be pawns in this game? Come on...the generals and officers have it good in these countries. Life is far too pleasant for these officers....

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

Postby shiv » 22 Jun 2010 16:01

ashthor wrote:Shiv sir, i am assuming that the indian political leaders ship is weak


If you were a general who knew that your political leader was weak, you would have to be a really dumb general to let it go at that. After all it would be your ass on fire when there is conflict. You would therefore adjust your defences and doctrines to account for weak leadership and not say "My leader is weak so I am going to send my men right into this battle so they can lose". Tomorrow - you may get a strong leader who may allow you to do something different. You are a career general, you leader is changing every 4 years.

Again - if you were a sensible general you would look at the enemy's leadership. You would not, ideally sufer from the intellectual laziness to assume that he is strong. If your assessment of him is that he is weak, you would be ready to do things that would show up his weakness and yet be ready to defend if he were strong.

So making simplistic assessments of "our leaders" and leaving out all the other pieces in the game is like imagining that your chessboard consists of king alone with no other pieces.

Why must we look at a sari or dhoti in Delhi and then multiply our fronts by 2 and our enemies by 4 and then come on here biting our nails in anxiety? This is not analysis. It is an expression of anxiety. This anxiety cannot be reassured without delving into some depth. When Pakistan conducts Nauexmazaaum or whatever exercise we worry and people start beiieving that Kashmir that has not gone in the last 500,000 hours will suddenly go in 72 hours. But we do not want to be reassured by a Deepak Kapoor saying that we can face a 2 front war.

The mind wants repeated reassurance on its deepest and most profound fears. A person who believes he has cancer does not believe that he is fine even after repeated tests and dozens of reassurances and multiple opinions because he is so soo anxious.

A 2 front war is too serious an issue to think that "Others are not worried, only I am worried. I am the biggest patriot. Only my action and worries are going to save the land". Others have already had these fears before you and have continuously been working to do what is needed.

So I would quit worrying about weak leadership and try and look at what combinations of circumstances can lead to a possible defeat in part of a 2 front war that would make us have to use nukes as a last resort. We have to ask what each adversary gains by attacking us knowing that we have nukes. The adversary would make a mistake thinking that our leader is weak. What if he is removed from power by hawks?

Our nuclear doctrine envisages that India would first be prepared to thwart any threat conventionally. One possible outcome of such a thing is that we kick Pakistani or Chinese ass so badly that they want to escalate with nukes. Can we avoid that? Does that mean we allow them to win a conventional war just to avoid nuclear war? The logical extension of that would be to disband our armed forces.

About naxals contributing to war, recall that the nation is in a state of emergency during war. In a state of emergency police and security forces have special powers. That means that if you want to start a riot about high prices you could get shot for your efforts. War is too serious a business to allow normal democracy to run in a country. For example the Armed Force Special Powers act is an act that gives the armed forces special powers which they would normally have in a national emergency. In the middle of a war - one Kiran Mark II armed with rockets would be sent to rocket any group of Naxals who were trying to create havoc - or perhaps 2 armoured personnel carriers and one armed Chetak can be used to ruthlessly suppress them That cannot happen in peacetime. (although it happens in peacetime in Pakistan and China)

Even home guards get special powers. In the old days, with no GPS navigation for enemies we used to have pitch black "blackouts" during the war. In the 1965 war (as a boy) - like an idiot I decided to shine a torch out of my window. It drew an instant warning from a home guard who was on the prowl. I was lucky - friend of mine got a sound whack on the back of his head for trying something similarly idiotic. We were boys - or we could have been summarily arrested and locked up and no one would have been bothered till the end of the war.

Our problem may be that we now have a population that has not seen a real national emergency at wartime - most people in India are less than 40 years old. Kargil, tragic as it was when we saw heroes bodies being brought it was a fairly minor event. Only people who are older than 45 can remember what a national emergency at wartime means.

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

Postby darshhan » 22 Jun 2010 16:55

According to me as of now and in the near future too a chinese invasion force will not come through myanmaar.There are certain reasons for this.

1.Obvious difficulty of logistics and terrain.The supply lines will stretch for 700-900 kms from Yunan province.

2.Agreed chinese can establish ammunition and fuel dumps in myanmaar itself but these will be highly susceptible to Indian intelligence efforts.In case that happens the element of surprise is totally lost for the chinese.Also these dumps will likely have limited supplies and they would themselves have to be replenished from China.

3.Unlike our borders with chinese occupied Tibet there is no territorial dispute on Indo-mynmaar borders.This border is well demarcated and accepted by both India and Myanmaar and even the international community.

4.For such an invasion should take place, it means myanmaar is also a party to the conflict which again means that we can take the war to myanmaar.Now consider this.The military hunta in myanmaar has its hands full.Almost 50% of myanmaar is seeing some kind of insurgency to secede from Myanmaar.A sizeable percentage of myanmaar army is deployed to counter and crush these insurgencies.Even in rest of myanmaar there is severe opposition to military hunta in the form of pro democracy movement headed by Ang sun su kyi.Buddhist clergy is also against the hunta.To all this add international isolation and extermely poor state of the economy.Now put yourself in the shoes of a hunta General.Why the hell would you want a war with India,a country with which you have no animosity or no major issues?

5.Finally the most important point.Lot of people think Myanmaar is a client state of China.It is not.In fact compared to Pakistan it is almost independent as far as its foreign policy is concerned.While China has managed to buy itself some influence in myanmaar by making investments, it does not control the generals in the Hunta.The Hunta might be bad but they do not prostrate in front of chinese unlike the paki generals.In fact you can also say that there is a slight mistrust between myanmar and china.The reasons are mostly historic and political.Mongols used to invade burma from China.Even today some of the ethnic groups that are engaged in insurgency against myanmaar have chinese connections.

The point is that China myanmaar relationship is far more complex than what Indians think.In case it is not a Master-slave relationship.It is just a marriage of convenience where china helps ease the international isolation of burma and gets to wield some influence in Myanmaar.In fact now myanmaar is improving its relations with India as well because it doesn't want to be completely reliant on China.In fact the indians would have a lot more influence in myanmaar if only they were a little more pragmatic.For more info on Indo-Myanmaar relations check this out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Burmese_relations

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

Postby darshhan » 22 Jun 2010 17:04

While chances of full fledged chinese invasion through Myanmaar is very unlikely due to the above reasons let us suppose that they still manage to convince Myanmaar to let them launch an invasion.India can counter this move by developing its intelligence assets in the region who can inform indians of any such move on the part of Chinese.With all the discontent in Myanmaar it should be not that difficult to develop quality humint.Also regular payoffs to generals in Miltary hunta can make a difference.

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

Postby shiv » 22 Jun 2010 17:07

I don't want to keep on arguing about why and how China might NOT start a war and make it seem that I believe that there cannot be a 2 front war.

But the fact is that India already has a certain degree of preparedness against China. For that preparedness to be overwhelmed I believe 3 factors are necessary

1) India should already be engaged in a hot war with Pakistan, dividing our forces
2) China should find the means of exerting overwhelming force against India (That means movement of forces)
3) The benefits to China should far outweigh the risks.

No 3 is perhaps the easiest to talk about. What benefit would China gain from attacking India in an all out war designed to overwhelm Indian defences? For this we would have to assume that India does not have nukes. Nukes change the equation drastically and tend to make even small wars risky. And of we are going to talk about what benefits China might gain, talk also about the risks that China faces (apart from Indian nukes)

I would forget the Myanmar thing - it is a needless and unlikely complication for China. Their logistics lines would unrealistic.

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

Postby darshhan » 22 Jun 2010 17:12

As I stated earlier while a complete invasion through myanmaar looks unlikely, the Chinese can surely try to infiltrate their special forces,intelligence assets and covert operators through this route because they can conceal themselves amongst myanmaar population.We will have to be on guard for these kind of operations though.Again our own intelligence assets in myanmaar will be the best bet to counter such activities.

In fact such activities can take place through lot of places including myanmaar(Nepal,BD,Sri Lanka etc).

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

Postby SwamyG » 22 Jun 2010 18:47

nukavarapu: China would have to first occupy Burma in order to achieve what you are saying. The South East Asian countries are not exactly thrilled with the growing Chinese might. The one thing that works for the Chinese is the continuous migration of ethnic Chinese into these regions over decades (and centuries).

Another thing, if China occupies Burma, then India would/could activate its assets within Burma to harass the Chinese. The first logical question would be "Does India have assets that it can take advantage?". My answer "I don't know, but I hope so". It is not going to be a public domain information. If jingoes can think scenarios, I am willing to give the benefit of doubt to the professionals - that they are thinking along several lines.

Burma is no Austria. Germany rolled over Austria, more like annexed it with the willing support of many. China will have to work harder.

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

Postby SwamyG » 22 Jun 2010 18:51

About naxals contributing to war, <snip> <snip> <snip> <snip> <snip> <snip>that cannot happen in peacetime.

If Kargil is any indication, the Indian public will rally behind the government & the desh. They will be in no mood to listen to the NGO activists who will no doubt cry about human rights violation. Though the media might want to cover it, there would be juicier stories at the war front.
Last edited by SwamyG on 22 Jun 2010 20:14, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby RamaY » 22 Jun 2010 20:31

^ Nukavarapu garu, you did open the possibility of Burma/BD colluding with PRC so that was a good point.

My 5 Year Projection into future - Unless GOI and IA are filled >25% with WKKs; AND India doesn't develop the military infr to mass produce Indian weapon systems such as Pinaka, Brahmos, Shaurya, LCA, Arjuns, Akash etc.,

Pakistan will be a toast in first 24 hours under the nuke-line. Once the situation goes above nuke-line it is a different matter.

Deterrence against PRC will be of different nature: International cult, Economic proves, Well-established military-industrial infra, strong nuke-posture (yes, we must have mega-nukes) and managing alliances in ASEAN area. I truly hope that India develops a mutually beneficial alliance system with ASEAN (it can be lot better with ~$1-2B budget and achieve 5 to 10 times its value).


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