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Post-Galwan Musings …
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Rajiv Rastogi | Date:18 Mar , 2021 1 Comment
Rajiv Rastogi
lives with his wife, in Southern California and enjoys quiet days, sunsets, beaches,  and watching the world go by.  In addition to 44th IMA, he has degrees in business, international trade, and finance, and held senior energy advisory positions involving the Eastern bloc and Central Asia.  He enjoyed extensive travels for work and pleasure and observing countries and cultures in transition.  

In an old foot-soldier’s view from 35,000 feet, never have the sacrifice, bravery, and restraint of so few had brought, prestige, honor, and glory to the nation, its armed forces, and a fine Regiment, in the military annals. This is a huge military-political win – a water-shed, potentially altering geopolitical perceptions and realities beyond the Indo-Pacific for a long time to come.

Caught by surprise by a well-prepared adversary, in reacting, India’s military-political goals and expectations had to be limited, not to give an inch, or fight a defensive action, at best, to keep the status quo. After selecting a time and place–performing Chinese operetta with sound, fury-and-fire works of dragon-dance on the high Himalayas — China had a range of strategic goals and outcomes that favored asymmetry, duplicity, deceit, and surprise.

However,a unified and well-coordinated military-diplomacy and civil-political leadership showed grit and strategic vision, and restrain to win the day for the home team. So, what’s there to celebrate?

  • Near full success, at least-cost–anall out confrontation would have resulted in humongous losses in blood, lives, economic/physiological fall-out, including generations of hostilities and frozen relations vs. loss of 20 brave-hearts (…bravo 16 Bihar and the gallant Colonel!).
  • Among enormous gains, way beyond minimalist expectations, are:
      • recognition of Indian political resolve backed by clear theater tactical and military-superiority
      • tectonic shift in Chinese military-political thinking – their goals-means matrix went through cycles of revisions, from diplomatic-military bullying to more than a reasonable outcome (e.g., backing off from 370, recognition of de-facto LAC, moving closer to border reconciliation)

Clear sub-text, post-Galwan:

    • India’s power projection is much more multifaceted, dispersed and larger, and has entered the Mandarin’s calculus
    • Reached military-political goals without firing a shot (…not bad!Sun Tzu!!)
    • Clear military theater superiority and will to fight has avenged the 1962 shame, to an extent
    • The questionable Chinese will to fight– untested military-systems — and do they even work?
    • Well-rounded and dressed soldiers are good for posters, only!
    • Value India more as economic partner vs economic-military adversary, or rival
    • China is willing to play on a different plane – long-term goals vs a short-term spoiler
    • The road from Galwan can be a lot different than, to Galwan – with a chance to Re-Set!!
    • The Mandrin’s massive AI-mil apps are a wakeup call, and can’t be overlooked!
  • This is a massive win-win for India, which China prefers us not to acknowledge, but the World soon will!!

I’m always open to vision correction with advancing age, meanwhile, this is MHO. I would most welcome counterpoints, punches, critique and illuminating issues overlooked, missed or unappreciated in getting to the heart of the matter, and having fun at it!

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

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One thought on “Post-Galwan Musings …

  1. Dear Mr. Rastogi,
    Thx very much for giving us your analysis and
    make us aware of details of our Indian army’s
    valiant determination and Indian leadership
    taking a firm stand and defense forces free
    hand! This incident gave India a great respect.

    We really enjoyed reading your views. Keep
    writing and inform us!

    Deep Gupta

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