Despite the possible dawn of a democratic world order with the advent of the 21st Century, India continues to be saddled with a contradictory strategic environment. By virtue of the demographic flow of our IT manpower, we may land with our feet down as a likely global player. On the other hand, acute hostile security conditions that surround us, place severe stress on this cosy dream.
History reveals that the British Empire for all practical purposes was manned by the Indian military consisting of 2.5 million soldiers. They formed the backbone and worsted Japanese, Germans and others to enable the Brits to dominate the world. Intelligently and conveniently, the British always forgot to acknowledge this simple truth. Conversely, Indians were out manoeuvred on two counts. First, by accepting the, use of the Indian military power against themselves. Second, to allow a foreign power to predominate the world with its help!
Finally, realisation has dawned on American think tanks that they need India as a strategic partner on three counts.
In the next ten years, two and a half million IT savvy Indian manpower will be exported to America alone. To practically help them run their country. Besides, towards conflict resolution, an extremely large component of Indian soldiers under UN Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement exigency are likely to be inducted from here. If India fragments, the skilled manpower will be available to others for a dollar. At the same time, it will downgrade the collective bargaining power of the subcontinent in the international arena. In this manner, India and the Indians could lose once again.
Therefore key to India’s future rests on its military power. To disallow worst case scenario to recur solely depends on New Delhi’s aptitude in augmenting the military power, which can out-gun the adversary. In addition, the ingenuity to stance it in a fashion that enforces beneficial security environs. Potent military machine is the only insurance the assertive diplomacy will have to defend our growing economic clout. For example, the loudest protests on India going nuclear were heard from a nuclear China. Or, the fact that Americans would be delighted if we foolishly sign the CTBT when they will not. No nation would like to see another rising to a level where it may pose a military threat ever!
Today American think-tanks are busy churning out and globally dumping, anti-China materials in an effort to create a new strategic balance. That may help to contain over ambitious China. India seeks peace, but others want it to go to pieces. Unless we learn to wield our military with a telling effect, the desire of our neighbor has a distinct possibility. Imperative that the society accords natural primacy to the military power and ensures that it is well represented by officers in the key decision making areas in the realm of national security.
Ignorance in profitable employment of the military has allowed slippages that imbalance the military prowess. Radical corrective measures need to be implemented through political will. There is an urgency to keep the military young. This is a basic professional requirement.
Ignorance in profitable employment of the military has allowed slippages that imbalance the military prowess. Radical corrective measures need to be implemented through political will. There is an urgency to keep the military young. This is a basic professional requirement. For instance, command of a unit was inherited earlier between the age of 27 and 32 years. At present to command a unit, between 37 to 48 years an officer is past the age of physical dynamism expected out of a commanding officer. Similarly, the jawan whose colour service was seven years earlier has been extended to seventeen years. This should be reduced to ten years for him to deliver.
Officers are stuck at each level for their promotion to the next rank, which does not augur well for a top-of-the-line fighting machine. In making a soldier, the military training imparted by the country, is one of the most expensive ventures. Instead of wasting this highly trained, disciplined, and motivated Indian to decay, it is more profitable for the nation to effect a lateral induction with his seniority intact. After seven years of service, an officer who wishes to side step into lAS, IFS, IPS or other government services should be encouraged to do so. Similarly a jawan can beef up para-military and police forces all over the country. Measures like these will (a) keep the military lean and mean which is an operational requirement, (b) beef up the efficiency in the administrative infrastructure, and (c) breed clear uniformity in an extremely diverse society to curb divisive tendencies!
Further, it is amazing that only a handful of colleges or universities in India teach International Relations and Security as a subject — understanding the dynamics of inter-dependence is crucial to the well being of the nation. The Military must implement teaching of this subject initially for the rank of Colonel and above in their institutions to remove blinkers that exist in many. Similarly, the massive shortage of intake in Officer cadre is partially to be blamed on the short sighted approach of the Defence Services. They have not approached the GoI to teach post-independence battles and wars as part of the school syllabus and kept the young ignorant of the herculean task performed to keep the nation intact. Our children are stuck with the Battle of Panipat in their classrooms. Thus, to motivate them to join the Services in this vacuum of knowledge becomes difficult. Also, it robs them of an adhesive or a natural national rallying point.
Jihad Machine is financed by narco and oil money, and backed by China. The Chinese game plan is deliberate and well calibrated.
Recent questions raised by the media as to why the army has been unable to protect Amarnath Yatra devotees and others in Kashmir is the result of this gap in understanding the correct employment of the military power between the society and the military. There is no way the army can secure and guard every square inch of the territory or every citizen unless it is allowed to hack the external actors across the LoC! India will continue to face an extremely adverse security situation of its own making, therefore, the measures suggested are of paramount importance to enable the nation state effect a breakthrough out of the Chakraviyu!
Pakistan’s secret of hanging together rests on one single factor — collective hatred for India. Secular India must split this hatred to degrade the potency! The Jihad Machine is financed by narco and oil money, and backed by China. The Chinese game plan is deliberate and well calibrated. Overall element is the realization that fundamentalist Islam will ultimately clash with Christianity. The plot within the big picture is that South Asia due to Jihad will slowly destabilize itself. The forces of Jihad arrayed against India will so enmesh the latter that power rivalry within Asia will be almost nix. Though China is partially affected by the Jihad enthusiasm within, it is handling it with demographic resettlement and simple execution of the terrorists.
However, China feels, in the long run the payoff with India bogged down, instability in South Asia and the Jihadis themselves worsted to a certain extent with regular skirmishes with the Indian Forces, is more profitable than attempts to choke it in totality. Further degrading of the Jihad Machine will take place when it finally it assaults Christianity after destructing a soft target like India. In a worst-case scenario, China feels it can always handle considerably weakened Jihad outfit in the end easily. In case, mid-way Pakistan-Taliban combine become a liability, then the Iran card can effectively be poised against it. Handsome dividends have accrued to China in this poker game — India’s losses of military surplus are enormous, Pakistan is pre-occupied with a cause that can consume it, and limitations gradually are being placed on the American power in Asia with China free to carry out modernization and simultaneously expand its influence in South China Sea and elsewhere.
Finally, realisation has dawned on American think tanks that they need India as a strategic partner on three counts. First, the demographic flow of Indians into America in future is of mind-boggling proportion. In practical terms another India already exists in the Silicon Valley and the base is rapidly being expanded all over North America. It is the hard working and yet the easy going Indian manpower that will largely dominate the net which dominates America. Second, the huge emerging Indian market is too attractive to be overlooked. Third, use of Indian military power (if Brits could use the Indian troops to influence the world, why can’t the Americans!) to create the new international strategic balance against China. Japanese being the partners in this arc are now more than willing to talk to us.
Measures like these will (a) keep the military lean and mean which is an operational requirement, (b) beef up the efficiency in the administrative infrastructure, and (c) breed clear uniformity in an extremely diverse society to curb divisive tendencies!
Further, clamour for import of the software experts by the other Western countries will create large Indian constituencies there with adequate political clout. In strategic terms, (unlike the Jihad death factory of Pakistan) India must set up quickly institutions that churn out software experts. Limits of the American influences are visible in ample measure. First, their shrinking population base imposes restrictions. Second the realisation that it is the man behind the gun that counts — the machine by itself cannot deliver. Pentagon leaks on Kosovo confirm that the targets destroyed stood at 20 percent of the original claims. Combined, these two factors display that if a push comes to a shove in Taiwan, America will neither commit its ground forces nor possibly encourage a full-fledged showdown with the Chinese. The rest of it is merely a strategic hype! Large areas of commonality exist where India and America must constructively engage each other.
However, our interests differ sharply in many areas. Looking through our prism, it can be discerned that India’s surroundings are bristling with hostility steeped in medieval times. Not only India will have to contest for power but also wisdom dictates that it must use geoeconomics and the growing Indian constituencies in the world to create a favourable strategic balance. It is time, New Delhi stops mistaking appeasement for secularism or diplomacy. The strategic truth is that neither a guest is God nor is there any comparison between the 1971 War (which was fought in absolute terms) with local action in Kargil. With the nation state being held to ransom from Musharraf to Veerappan, the bottom line for India remains the development and making correct use of stand-alone military capabilities and by transfering internal dissensions to a legitimate enemy! India will gain momentum once it starts moving by design by applying this simple two pronged approach.
Pakistan’s collective hatred, on which it hangs together, needs to be split. This animosity was evident on 15 August 1947 — a signal Indians ignored continuously. Also, India’s progress is more by default than by design. Result of this loss of momentum is setting India adrift. It is time to pay back Pakistan in a similar coin. First, by focusing on a legitimate enemy (which swears by our destruction) will impart dynamism to the country. It’s always a sane strategy to rally around the country by setting an objective or by directing national energy on a legitimate enemy. Second, by causing fissures in this collective hatred, the potential to cause mischief will be rendered negligible. India’s objective should be to expand its influence by all means right up to Central Asia.
Besides gain in economical sources of energy, India will free billions of dollars stuck in oil there of others and lower the scale of terrorism the world faces. Today, the changing dimensions of the strategic balance are more favourable to India than before. Russia and India with the help of other countries in Central Asia, could create a strategic corridor from New Delhi to Moscow to grapple with crossborder terrorism. In such a venture, the Western countries are likely to lend diplomatic support as the Jihad Factory in the long term is a major threat to them. China may not join hands but will watch as a silent spectator — it wishes to negate this menace too. One can discern from the emerging contours that America, China, Russia and India -will have larger constructive inter-action with each other in future, once India’s foreign policy accepts and is anchored in pragmatism that military power ultimately provides the cutting edge to the security of a nation. Historically too whenever India has dominated the area beyond its Western Borders, the country rendered itself safe and secure.
In J&K and the Northeast, an Indian citizen cannot immigrate or settle down whereas the infiltrators and the extremists can! Such policies must be scrapped.
Helplessness being demonstrated in Kashmir instead of a refined and bold strategy is not a solution. In J&K and the Northeast, an Indian citizen cannot immigrate or settle down whereas the infiltrators and the extremists can! Such policies must be scrapped. New Delhi should consider sending a reconstruction task force backed by the army to rejuvenate the local administration immediately, activate construction of roads, schools and other institutions and lure the Indian businesses with enormous tax concessions to kick-start the economy. Otherwise we will continue to incur losses of military surplus, gigantic amount of revenue through tourism and New Delhi’s writ will shrink.
It is a basic fact that if any territory of the Union cedes in whatever fashion, balkanisation of India would begin. By avoiding tough political decisions like these, strife can only increase. ISI’s attempts to infiltrate soft states like Nepal, Bhutan, or activate fundamentalism in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are inimical to our interests. India should implement security, trade, and military links to disallow Pakistan’s influence. They are our primary rings of security. We should be willing to extend diplomatic and military aid to these countries in case of aggression.
China for some time has been pestering Bhutan to allow diplomatic facilities in Thimpu in lieu of their signing away disputed territory. Our strategic frontiers must extend to defend these vital areas. Chinese ingress in Myanmar deserves a severe contest too. If one looks at this brief security wrap-up, a citizen may wonder if our security managers were on a perpetual holiday since Independence, whereby a folly was committed again to allow unbridled and unchecked onslaught on the Indian civilization.
On our Western front, we need to use our instruments of intelligence beefed by military and diplomacy to cause a severe split in the collective hatred and occupy strategic high ground through inter active play right up to Central Asia. To secure the nation’s offshore resources, energy supplies and to raise the threshold of intervention of extra regional powers, the reach of Navy must be enhanced to attain primacy in the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, and the Arabian Sea — without commitment to build a world class Navy, India cannot aspire to be a regional or a global player. Thus key to India’s future rests solely on intelligently making use of its military power instead of handing it over or subordinating it to a foreign power as done in the past. It is my considered view that India’s military wherewithal will lend stability to the world order in future. This in turn will fuel democratic and secular values in our hostile surroundings.