Yes, PM Modi is right in deescalating tensions along Indo-Tibet border (LAC)

I heard PM Narendra Modi’s speech today after the meeting with 20 political parties. In a “smart” move, he sounded deescalation of the tensions with China on the Indo-Tibet Border. This is how we buy time to finish our border infrastructure. A good border infrastructure plays decisive role in mountain warfare.

Nonetheless, a war with China is inevitable.

No one can question the bravery of our soldiers, but going into war without proper preparation would cost us more. It is better to attack the enemy unprepared, at the time and location of our choice.

PM Narendra Modi at the all party meeting on June 19, 2020

A war has squeezing impact on the economy. If we choose to go now for a war, our priority of dealing with current COVID-19 crisis would have to be compromised. When the soldiers fight, it is the economy which forms the backbone by making resources available. Currently, the economy is in shambles and the health system is reeling under immense pressure.

Besides, it takes years to prepare for a war. While, we are definitely prepared to deal with nations like Pakistan, a war with China is a different game altogether. Not only they do enjoy numerical superiority in terms of weapons, they are a rogue nation who hardly respect any rules of engagements (ROE).

On top of it, the life of a PLA soldier hardly matters for the Chinese Government. They can be used as a canon fodder without any accountability. On the contrary, the Govt of India has to answer for every soldier martyred. So, our strategy has to be optimized to minize the human loss. From the tone of Govt of India, it appears to be the same.

Indian Army tanks (representational image)

It is unlikely that any war with China would be limited to land-based confrontation. Unlike 1962, it is most likely to spur into Aerial Warfare. While our depleting fleet of Air crafts is a cause of concern, the first set of 4 Rafale aircrafts is likely to arrive in the first week of July. It would probably take another year before we have an operational squadron comprising of Rafales. By that time, we shall also have few more squadrons of ingeniously built LCA Tejas.

We also need to analyze the power dynamics in post-COVID world. It is not impossible to defeat China, but the war must be fought across multiple fronts and by multiple allies. In coming days, the world is going to be divided into 2 blocks:

Block A: India, United States, Australia, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan

Block B: China, Pakistan, North Korea, Malaysia, Turkey

Russia is likely to stay neutral.

Currently, almost every country in the World is fighting COVID-19. Even China is suffering from the second wave of COVID attack. Under such a scenario, no country would like to go for a conventional war. While minor skirmishes shall keep on happening on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), any major confrontation is not expected before 2022.

Keeping the adrenaline rush aside, we must remember that our goal is to win the war, not merely start it. A victory is only achieved when all the stated goals of war are met. Our goal is to get the occupied territories of Ladakh (called Akshai Chin) and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir back. It requires years of planning and stratification.