Ã¢€¢ what is our strategy in the next decade to settle the Ã¢€˜line of control’ issue with Pakistan? Ã¢€¢ what is our politico Ã¢€“ diplomatic- military strategy for dealing with China on regional issues and the border problem? Ã¢€¢ What about the Ã¢€˜war against terror’ or the fallout of the actions in Iraq?
For example what is our strategy in the next decade to settle the “˜line of control issue with Pakistan? Surely we should not have to forever live with this problem. Concurrently what is our action plan to win over the disaffected population of Kashmir so that militancy from the region is eradicated? Where does the military fit into this game plan? Again, what is our politico ““ diplomatic- military strategy for dealing with China on regional issues and the border problem? What about the “˜war against terror or the fallout of the actions in Iraq? What is our policy on sharing of responsibilities between the defense forces and the Central Police Forces till the problems in Kashmir and the North-east continue to fester? What diplomatic and military measures are contemplated to ensure that we retain the freedom of action to pursue our national interests without fear of arm twisting or intimidation and sanctions by other regional and global players?
Only if we have answers to these and a host of other issues can we begin to formulate a plan for the Army, Navy and Air Force of 2020. Otherwise we shall continue to witness the disjunction between military capabilities and the Countrys requirements as in 1947/48, 1962, 1965, Kargil, “Operation Parakrama or in our ability to impose a military deterrent on Pakistan so as to dissuade that Country from engaging us- with a fair degree of impunity- in the covert war that we have been in, for the last decade and a half. Admittedly affordability will always be a major consideration but implications must be well digested before decisions are taken.
The discussion on Pakistans nuclear capability and its “˜ absurdly low threshold reaffirmed the tremendous triumph of Pakistans nuclear strategy. Whether inadvertently or otherwise the US has rendered vital support in making the strategy succeed. The persistent projection of South Asia as a nuclear flashpoint since the eighties and the barrage of inputs that has flowed from the US since then has been effective in convincing us that Pakistan is capable of the utmost irresponsibility as a Nuclear weapon state. Consequently in our minds we have permitted our conventional military capability to get neutralized. The neutralization then finds expression in “˜limited war, no deep operations, shallow objectives and other similar postulations.