Post-Galwan Musings …
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!