Indian Concept of Two-Front War
China rejected Indian allegations on April 12, this year that its troops crossed into Indian area and erected a camp in Ladakh at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as well as the build-up of Chinese military forces along the disputed border. In fact, Indian army set up its own camp just near the LAC. Similarly, Indian soldiers crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir on January 6, 2012 and attacked a Pakistani check post, killing one Pakistani soldier. Afterwards, Indian troops shot dead more Pakistani soldiers on the LoC. In order to justify its open aggression, New Delhi concocted a fabricated story of accusing Pakistan of beheading its two soldiers in the same area. But Pakistan’s civil and army spokesmen denied Indian baseless allegations.
It is notable that under the Pak-China pretext, the then Indian Army Chief, Gen. Deepak Kapoor had vocally revealed on December 29, 2010 that the Indian army “is now revising its five-year old doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.” On October 15, 2010, the ex-Indian Army Chief Gen. VK Singh, while explaining same concept had openly blamed that China and Pakistan posed a major threat to India’s security, while calling for a need to upgrade country’s defence.
Defence experts opine that taking the concept of a two-front war, New Delhi has launched an ambitious military buildup plan, along the disputed LAC with China in state of Arunachal Pradesh and LoC in Kashmir near Pakistan.
Reliable sources disclosed that India has launched a major plan to construct underground shelters for storing missiles, rockets and ammunition close to the borders with Pakistan and China. Indian Army Chief Gen. Bikram Singh is keen that at least 2,000-2,500 metric tones of ammunition that is expensive and operationally important should be stored in such shelters.
In the mid of October, 2011 as part of its second phase of military expansion along the China front, Indian government has given the go-ahead for the deployment of BrahMos cruise missiles near the Chinese border. The three BrahMos missile regiments raised so far have also been deployed in the western sector to counter the presumed Pakistan’s threat.
However, India has once again raised the bogey of false threats from Beijing and Islamabad to get support and hi-tech military hardware from the United States and other Western countries. In this regard, Indian Defence Minister A K Antony at a military brass conclave said on April 9, 2013 that it was essential to modernise the armed forces.
Notably, in its report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) disclosed on March 20, 2012, “India is the world’s largest recipient of arms…India’s imports of major weapons increased by 38 percent between 2002-06 and 2007-11.”
New Delhi’s military is acquiring a slew of new equipments from combat aircraft to submarines and artillery. It is currently finalising a deal with France’s Dassault Aviation to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets in a contract worth an estimated $12 billion.
On November 2, 2010, US agreed to sell India the most expensive—the new F-35 fighter jets. In a report to the US Congress, the Pentagon said, “We believe US aircraft such as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)…to be the best in the world”, referring to the radar-evading F-35 jet. India also decided a major purchase of US F-16 and F-18 fighters. The Pentagon’s sales to India included C-17 and C-130 aircraft, radar systems, Harpoon weapons and specialised tactical equipments. Besides acquisition of arms and weapons from other western countries—especially Israel, America is a potential military supplier to India. It signed a deal of civil energy technology with India in 2008, and lifted sanctions on New Delhi to import nuclear technology. Besides, New Delhi is also working with Russia on developing a fifth-generation fighter aircraft.
In recent years, India has bought reconnaissance aircraft from US aerospace major Boeing worth 2.1 billion-dollars, medium range missiles for 1.4 billion dollars from Israeli Aerospace Industries, and signed an upgrade service contract with the Russian Aircraft Corporation to upgrade its MiG 29 squadrons for 965 million dollars. Several deals are planned for the near future including one of the largest arms contracts of recent times—11 billion-dollar project to acquire 126 multi-role combat aircraft.
It is mentionable that after 9/11, both India and Israel which had openly jumped on Bush’s anti-terrorism enterprise are acting upon a secret diplomacy, targeting Pakistan and China. With the support of Israel, New Delhi has been acquiring an element of strategic depth by setting up logistical bases in the Indian Ocean for its navy.
Nevertheless, Indian defence expenditures have no bounds. India is expected to spend $80 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade its military.
It is noteworthy that in May 1998, India detonated five nuclear tests, and also compelled Pakistan to follow the suit. The then Defense Minister George Fernandes had also declared publicly that “China is India’s potential threat No. 1.” New Delhi which successfully tested missile, Agni-111in May 2007, has been extending its range to target all Chinese cities. Now by ignoring peace-offers of China and Pakistan, New Delhi has entangled the latter in a deadly arms race.
On the one hand, India has been emphasising to strengthen the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) with Pakistan to normalise relations, but on the other, it has continuously been giving a greater setback to the CBMs. Similarly, China is India’s biggest trading partner with which New Delhi has signed a number of agreements in various fields, but the latter is acting upon anti-China policies. In fact, with the tactical support of the US, it is playing a double game both with Islamabad and Beijing.
Overtly, Indian rulers state that they do not have any belligerent policy against Islamabad and Beijing, but covertly, by setting aside the resolution of Indo-Pak issues, especially thorny dispute of Kashmir, and border dispute with China, India has been preparing itself for the two-front war against China and Pakistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Affairs