If "no one doubts it" what is the "imperative to assert it"? Looking more a "desire" than a "need". A base in Nepal gives us no extra benefit that a base on the Indian side across 1,700+ km of open and porous border does not.souravB wrote:pankajs wrote:Why do we need a base in Nepal for that kind of a message? Does anyone doubt India as a nuclear power that will be resolved ONLY when we have a military base in Nepal or doubt our ability to create trouble inside Nepal from across the border.
No one doubts it, but comes a time when it becomes imperative to assert it. And having a base does give us other benefits security wise too.
We are looking for bases/basing arrangements/facilities in Seychelles, Djibouti, Duqm, etc because of the spread of the IOR and the distances involved.souravB wrote:pankajs wrote:Glad that you brought Sri Lanka and Maldives into the picture. That only underlines my point that focus is more critical in the IOR rather than the Himalayas.
Sir Lanka has assured us that the port is for commercial use only and in Maldives no base was required to get the change desired. The Maldives defense minister made a very interesting observation on her recent visit to India. I fully agree with her.
"pragmatism" is to focus limited resources where the risks are most visible i.e. in the IOR and not Himalayas and certainly not from the China-Nepal rail link.
These were crises averted. Maldives has agreed for the radar station which in future could be expanded into something else. In SL we already took over a nonviable airport but still reasons are there.
'pragmatism' is also thinking ahead and plan accordingly. Just as IOR, neighbours are ought to be taken into consideration. The problem lies with thinking these are separate issues but they are not. The immediate implications for us might be different but in the long run these have similar goals.
OTOH, we did not need a base inside Maldives to turn things around and neither are we looking for any such base inside Sri Lanka either in the short-term or the long-term.
Now why do we need a base in Nepal which is just across an long and open border, a country that is not deep at any point and has quite a few Indian army cantonments along its length?
'pragmatism' is to learn to being able to differentiate between needs and desires and prioritize needs over desires including the desire to "assert it" when "No one doubts it".
souravB wrote:pankajs wrote:Base inside Nepal will give us option that base just across the border inside India will not give across a 1,700+ km open border? Highly unlikely. And we did not need a base inside Maldives to monitor and get the desired results.
Lastly, IF China-Nepal rail link is a question of trade/economics/debt then a base is not the answer. Infact, such talk will only create an impression of "loosing sleep". That is how Nepal, China and the world will read it no matter how it sounds to us Indians.
But it is never about trade/economics, it is about debt. Do we pay off the debt when Nepal cannot pay it back? How many debts we pay back? How about we think in future tense for once and send the message that trade/economics is okay, but security provider can only be moi.
Also a base inside Nepal is crucial, not only for messaging but for our internal security as well. Think Type56s, drugs, Jihadis coming through the porous border. Our intelligence agencies could work well with a proper base.
First, China-Nepal rail link is about trade/economics. You either get the rail link stopped or deal with its "trade/economic" fallout but a base inside Nepal will not help counter it.
Second, IF China-Nepal rail link leads to a debt situation ... well an Indian base inside Nepal will not help counter it i.e the debt. For that you have to get the project cancelled or figure out some other workaround.
Third, debt build up in Nepal will not just be because of China-Nepal rail link but other projects too like dam, road and other such infra projects. Will additional bases inside Nepal be answer to those projects too. If one carries the logic to its logical conclusion one will realize that a base is not an answer to a debt problem.
Fourth, when I am thinking of "Type56s, drugs, Jihadis" I am even more baffled. Does anyone doubt that "Type56s, drugs, Jihadis" kind of things are flowing across the India-Nepal border? At any point in the past did we see a base inside Nepal as a solution to such issues? If not why it become the solution for such flows now when it was not in the past? Our intelligence agencies don't need a safe base inside Nepal when they have a long and porous Indo-Nepal border.
Fifth, You need to make up your mind on why a base is required in Nepal at all.
1. First it was Chicken's neck
2. Then it was to force "China has to deploy forces in some treacherous terrains" i.e Increase the Chinese cost to guard the Nepal-China border.
3. Then it was "Also Nepal is talking to Cheen about a Rail line, what do you suppose Cheen is doing that for? so that they have a base there in the future."
4. Then it became about debt and its fallout via "But it is never about trade/economics, it is about debt."
5. And now it is "Type56s, drugs, Jihadis".
Looks like a solution in search of a problem. Maybe it is all of the above but a base is certainly not an answer to any one of those. All the security related issues can be taken care of from within the Indian borders when there is ample easy access to Nepal via the 1,700+ km of open and porous borders. Trade/Economic/Debt issues cannot be countered by bases.
The more I hear the more it is looking like a "desire" of a base inside Nepal instead of a "need" hidden behind the veil of "pragmatism".
Here I am not dismissing the "need" for a new Nepal policy or even the "need" for a new economic/trade/debt policy wrt Nepal.