India may have firmly rejected the US proposal some time back of jointly patrolling South China sea saying that it does so only under the auspices of UN, however with China vetoing the Indian proposal in UN of proscribing Maulana Azhar Masood, the head honcho of Pakistan sponsored jihadi organization Jaish Mohammad, responsible for the Pathankot Air Base attack of 02 Jan this year as also the Chinese military activities in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) may have acted as the last straw for India to continue to remain neutral to the China-Pakistan military nexus developing against it . By agreeing to sign in very near future the long pending Logistic Exchange Memorandum Of Agreement with US on this Tuesday the 12 April 16, India has now thrown open its cards indicating which way the wind is blowing.
Till now Indian political masters were very wary of annoying China so they have been following wait and watch policy. China took full advantage of this…
American Defense Secretary Aston Carter on his second visit to India within one year and Indian defense minister Manohar Parrikar on 12 April 16 in a joint press conference have stated that India has agreed to sign the long pending US proposal “Logistic Exchange Memorandum of Agreement” which will enable both countries to use their air and naval bases for their military assets in terms of rest, refueling and maintenance in both the times of war and peace. This proposal was put forward by the US long time back after it decided to challenge the Chinese military perfidy in South China Sea which china wants to control as its own lake. However despite having signed The Indo-American nuclear deal, the Cong led UPA Government then in power in order not to annoy china had resolutely said no to this Foundation Agreement under rather a lame excuse that it will compromise India’s strategic autonomy. Maybe at that time the China –Pakistan military nexus against India was not so pronounced. With china investing in Pakistan 46 Billion dollars now under the aegis of China-Pakistan economic corridor which will connect china mainland to Pakistan’s Gwador port located on the mouth of gulf of homruz in Arabian Sea via Karakorum pass India now faces a serious problem.
Till now Indian political masters were very wary of annoying China so they have been following wait and watch policy. China took full advantage of this and the message which has gone to the Asian countries, most of them having sea disputes with China ,that India is a lame duck country and will not stand up to Chinas bullying. In the last three years right under the nose of mighty American navy and against the opposition of Vietnam, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan and Malaysia with whom China has the island disputes in South China Sea, china first constructed seven artificial islands then covered them with airfields and military installations. Then it set up missile batteries there and now over the horizon covering radars. In other words it now militarily fully dominates the South China Sea. So far china has not demanded requirement of its permission by other countries to overfly South China Sea or operate in it but soon it will do so. It has already given radio warning to one of the Indian vessels sailing out of Vietnam. China is annoyed with India because despite china’s veiled warning to India to not to explore oil in South China Sea in coalition with Vietnam, Modi government had boldly disregarded it.
India which currently has 152 battle ships and wants to increase the size of its Navy to 200 ships if also joins this US idea then this combination becomes a formidable force which any day will make China think 100 times before challenging it.
Having annexed Tibet, China sits all along our 4000 km long northern boundary which earlier was Tibet, but now China, thanks to Indian politicians who allowed China to take over Tibet in fifties without even a whimper. Then in Sixties Pakistan illegally handed over to China the 5000 sq kms Shaksgam valley in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. This has enabled China to link Pakistan with main land China through Karakoram Highway. Now from Karakorum highway China, by an investment of 46 billion dollars in China-Pak Economic Corridor, China is linking Karakoram highway to Gwadar port of Pakistan in Arabian Sea via 3000 km rail and road route through Baluchistan province of Pakistan.
In other words within a few years India will stand encircled from North and West by this China –Pak nexus. In the name of safe guarding against pirates china is already patrolling Indian Ocean. It has developed the Gwadar port in Pakistan as a military base where Chinese military vessels will be docked. China also has started developing another naval base in Djibouti islands in Indian Ocean. In addition China is giving to Pakistan nuclear missile capable eight diesel-electric submarines in next few years’ time to patrol India’s western sea board and even dominate it. In Sri Lanka also China is likely to develop Hambantota port as sea base. In other words china has made it clear that it also wants to dominate Indian Ocean.
Chinese domination of Indian Ocean from where 65% of its trade passes will be disaster for us. Under all circumstances India must dominate Malacca strait which can choke Chinese goods passing through it. While China was completing our encirclement, as is our way of functioning we have just been waiting and watching this development without lifting a finger. So much so that our 19 strong submarine fleet is now down to just 13 rickety ones while China alone has 65 submarines. If we add current five submarines of Pakistan then this figure goes to 70. Fortunately for us America is the only challenger to Chinas expanding military might. Under its new policy US intends to place its maritime focus in Asia –Pacific region by placing 60% of its naval fleet here.
India which currently has 152 battle ships and wants to increase the size of its Navy to 200 ships if also joins this US idea then this combination becomes a formidable force which any day will make China think 100 times before challenging it. Add to this Japan and Australia then China does not have any chance. In other words this Logistic pact with US does not curb our strategic autonomy rather it provides us with an option to counter developing China-Pakistan military nexus against us.
This pact which India and US will sign does not entail stationing of US troops in India, neither it behooves on India to support US military campaign elsewhere.
In actual fact Indo-US Logistics Exchange memorandum is the logical culmination of strategic dialogue with the US which, whether it was Bajpai Government or Manmohan Singh government, they all have been pursuing but could not bring it to fruition due to our timidity against China. In last four years America has emerged as our largest arms supplier. Since 2007 it has bagged arms contracts worth 14 billion dollars. So far with America we had buyer-seller relationship in all arms deals.
Now when we have decided to make these arms indigenously in make in India in defense which requires technology transfer, No country in the world, leave aside America will transfer its technology to India without some sort of strategic partnership. This is where this pact helps us a lot. This pact which India and US will sign does not entail stationing of US troops in India, neither it behooves on India to support US military campaign elsewhere. It also does not mandate India to do joint sea patrolling with US. Besides India can refuse access to its bases any time it wants so where India is strategic autonomy compromised? It is basically a security partnership and not an alliance.
All in all it is good that India under the current Modi Government is shedding its hypocrisy and is working in the national interest first policy. If China gets annoyed or Pakistan gets its fits of epilepsy by we siding with US, Japan and Australia so be it .We should be prepared to face all consequences. What is of urgent requirement for India is for our political masters to get one window military-strategic advice direct from the armed forces and not by the clueless babus straddling the ministry of defense?
The recent media news that Modi government is very soon going to create a permanent chairman of chief of the staff committee who will apart from his other duties will also give single window advice to our government on all matters military is a good move. Also what is very important for us now is that we should go all out to modernize our armed forces. The China-Pakistan military nexus is deep and they will do everything possible to keep us de-stabilized .Only lean and mean armed forces in our possession will keep them at bay.