Sher, Panda, Eagle, and the Bear

by Jose Manimala 

First-round goes to wily Winnie The Pooh Panda. Xi Jinping. Gujarathi Lion, an honourable man, never expected such a low, barbaric betrayal.

Well, this time dragon picked the wrong guy to bait. Panda must be stupid, crazy, desperate, or all of this to needle the Gujarati Lion in his territory. Indian experts brag about our Agni missiles. It didn’t halt or faze the Chinese. Also firing nuclear missiles is the ultimate, final option when our very survival is at stake. From there, no comebacks. 

Also, a nuclear apocalypse between China and India will push the world into an eternal nuclear winter. Perhaps, it will be the end of civilization as we know now forever.

Wily, old weasel and notorious India basher, Henry Kissinger becomes the world’s laughing stock. Mike Pompeo, the Next Republican US president, condemned Nixon, Kissinger duos’ strategic pivot as the worst strategic blunder in history. Ditching Free India for China.

At first glance, odds are heavily stacked against India.

We don’t have to match the Chinese gun for gun or dollar for dollar. We have so many asymmetrical advantages, force multipliers, and hidden equalizers. 

China opened too many fronts simultaneously against so many countries. US, Europe, and West Asia.

But in the Himalayas, in real mountain warfare, PLA will get three times the casualties of India.

After the Sino Soviet split in 1963, China lost all wars. 1967 and 1987 against India. 1969 -USSR, 1979 – Vietnam. And, 1995–1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis against the Americans, a direct parallel to China’s current efforts to become the next superpower.

To take the war to the Chinese, New Delhi should have these critical strategic assets. Yasen and Borei class submarines, Prometheus S-500 Missile defence system, Sukhoi 35, and Su-57 fighters. 

TU-160 will neutralize the growing fleet of Chinese bombers. This Russian supersonic bomber, White Swan, is the most powerful and largest missile carrier in the world. Antonov An-124 Condor, a large, strategic air lifter will boost logistics.

The Bear will gladly oblige. They fully trust India. No other country shares bleeding-edge defence tech with us. Or lease us advanced nuclear submarines. In the Scorpène nuclear submarine deal, the French treat Indians and Australians differently. We pay more. Get less.

Sign defence treaties with Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam. Indonesia, the Philippines, and the former Soviet West Asian republics. Give them our unbeatable man behind the machine concept. Especially our world-class all-weather hazardous training by IAF pilots. Joint sixth-generation fighter program with Japan. 

China encircles us through Myanmar, Nepal, and the Indian Ocean (Hangyi island base and Coco Island). Sure, two can play the game. India should lease, develop military bases in the above-mentioned countries.

Replace extinct BRICS with New Grouping of India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan South Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Singapore.

Leave all Chinese centric groupings. BRICS, SCO, ASEAN, and APEC.

Many retired officials who allowed the Chinese encroachment and encircling of India in the first place, now attack Modi- Shah – Doval trio as soft! Sudden strategic shifts are disruptive. Well, Trump is another matter. 

After the parliament attack, Indian hawks termed Vajpayee's restraint as cowardice. Well, the bigger picture is far more complex.

Friendly Western countries reminded India that, their forces and ships in Pakistan fighting Afghans will be caught between Indo Pak crossfire. So, India reluctantly yielded. So, the West now sees India as a responsible power, unlike disruptive China. 

TV pundits assure us The Malacca Strait chokepoint. No, it will affect friendly countries more. 

Many talented Indians left India a long time ago. They served their Western masters well. Often at our expense. They were real Brown Sahibs and India baiters. After passing over for plum postings in the west, they return to India. Baptize in Indian philosophy. Becomes anti-Western! Sadly, they always get a red carpet welcome in India. Now they want to hijack Indian policies. New Delhi mistakes them as the real prodigal sons.

One thing, Mr. Narendra Damodar Modi is our honourable prime minister. He deserves respect. Mr. Modi’s USP is his millions of non-BJP fans. Even his opponents admire his honesty and integrity. No, he isn’t infallible or perfect.

No Modiji doesn’t trust Americans. Well before Trump’s threat, Fearing CIA Trojan programs, and mischief, he used only Russian, Israeli ad French systems in the Uri surgical strike.

CIA nixed the 1982 joint Indo-Israeli strike plan on Pakistan's Kahuta nuclear weapons facility. They suppressed vital 26/11 technical clue linking Pakistan.

Though I was accused of a Modi Bhakt by many, it isn't the case. I criticized Modiji since 2014, for too deferential to the US, China, and Saudi. And, alienating Russia, Vietnam, Japan, and Iran. Iran is our bulwark against Saudi, Pak, Turkish terror nexus.

This isn’t all praise. Modiji should announce clear, firm, long term policies on China, the UN, WB, IMF, and WHO. Our current Chinese policy is backtracking and conflicting. The world sees weak India, belligerent China. 

After Rajiv Gandhi’s term, we have no China policy. Indian strategic community conveniently forget Rajiv Gandhi’s show of force and rollback of the Chinese in 1986 – 1987. George Fernandes declared China enemy Number one. That’s all. Since then nothing.

Well, as this is an apolitical National Security essay, that’s all for now. 

Even amidst the Cuban missile face-off between them both US, Soviet pilots flew dangerous missions to the Chinese border from Indian bases.

If America is so great, Why do they still use Russian Soyuz rockets to put its astronauts in space? US shuttle program closed down in 2011.

Unlike US bragging, Russians always downplay their triumphs. Taking out Zia and top CIA officials in 1987 even under weak Gorbachev. Hacking the NSA. Raids into Pakistan. Capturing US drones over Sevastopol. Jamming of USS Donald Cook. Capturing F22 and F 35 on advanced Russian radar. Richard Ames CIA and, Robert Hanssen, FBI. Both were Russian spies. Status 6 long-range nuclear torpedo. Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile. Sarmat country buster ICBM.

Dependence on incompatible British, American, Russian, French, and Canadian weapons lead partially to our defeat in the 1962 China war. Our software engineers should integrate new, systems into a seamless war machine.

Though leaving British warned India, about Chinese greed, Nehru courted China. 

Nehru sacrificed poor, sweet Tibetans on a Chinese altar. Chinese bit off our head. If we allow our Chinese policy to drift any further, the happiest country in the world, Bhutan, may suffer the same tragic fate.

After the British departure, our military leadership became mediocre. True, insulting the Generals and defence officials were V K Krishna Menon’s favourite hobby. Nehru’s mistrust of Generals is another factor. 

If we continuously peg the rupee to the dollar well past the need, the rupee will sink with the dollar. Trillion-dollar defence build-up, costly globocop campaigns, corporate failures, diminishing techno lead, and waste will steadily erode dollar.

The rupee is a fine currency. Allow it full float. It will find its deserved, preeminent position among global currencies.

We proud Indians always placed freedom and dignity above security, economic packages. Nehru declined US requests for airbase near the Himalayas for Chinese overflights. Pakistan on the other hand gave full access. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Christmas eve 1979, they became CIA’s golden boys. 

Saudis, Raegan, and Charlie Wilson pumped billions to the Mujahideen to destroy the Soviet Union. They never thought, eventually chickens will come home to roost on 9/11.

Zia a puritan, had no scruples to shower visiting high-ranking American officials with Pak Houries, wine, vice, and all other forbidden pleasures. 

Cunning Zia funnelled lion's share of weapons to Punjab and later Kashmir. Indian pleadings met an American stonewall.

In retaliation, Indira Gandhi and later Rajiv Gandhi unleashed deadly covert war inside Pakistan. KGB and MOSSAD gladly supplied the Indians vital info, manpower, sabotage specialists, spy gadgets, sanctuaries, and secret launching pads. 

Pakistani media cried “Karachi is burning. Indo – Israeli hand”.” They forgot; “For all, they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

China is no Pakistan. It is in an altogether different league.

America created the Chinese Frankenstein monster to destroy Russia. The Chinese now want to bury America forever.

But tables are now turned in the Indians’ favour. There is a CIA masterplan to break China into five warring factions. With Russian help by 2040. Recently Russia aimed the latest ICBMs against Beijing to prevent any Chinese mischief on Siberia.

But, In a Sino-Indian war, America or Russia won’t sacrifice their cities for India. We should develop our independent missile defence system. To tame belligerent China, the Indian arsenal must be far better. Literally and figuratively.

Israeli Iron Dome can’t shield vast India from the latest Chinese missiles. Israel has a small geographic footprint. But, Russian Prometheus S 500 Missile defence system will do.

Backing India with words is easy. But deeds? We have so many promises. But no firm action so far. 

Let bygones be bygones. India should fully back America and Europe on their economic war against China.

The tide turn is near. I am confident India will get the upper hand over the Chinese this winter. 

Jai Hind

Jose Manimala Pala tracks military and aerospace issues closely. Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IDN