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India should now be ready for a two-front war!
Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was very right when he recently gave a statement that we should not befool ourselves that just because we are a nuclear power, conventional war is not a possibility.

Rather, he said war on two fronts simultaneously is very much a possibility. On our northern and western fronts, Pakistan and China have now officially joined hands. The recent Doklam standoff with China which lasted for almost 70 days is a pointer.

It is OK that during the BRICS summit, India and China have taken a vow that both countries will in future not allow incidents like Doklam to happen and will take certain confidence building measures like enhanced military to military contacts and others. However, one cannot bank on China to honour its words.

Under Xi Xinping, China has embarked upon rivalry with America both militarily and economically. It wants its vast neighbourhood quiescent. Surely, India will not accept hegemony of China in Asia! After India's tough stand on Doklam which resulted in backing off of China after it exhausted its triad of aggressive psychological operations, media efforts and giving out historical examples. Now even small countries like Botswana, Singapore and Vietnam are showing eyes to China in South China Sea, which China asserts as its own lake. Surely, this will not be acceptable to China. All is not well within China too.

Within China, next month all communist party delegates are assembling to re-elect the politbureau and also President XI Xinping for next five years tenure. The hawks in the communist party are propagating that China should not act on the recent BRICS declaration where ten jehadi organisations were named with a number of them operating from Pakistani soil. They say China must shield Pakistan to counter balance India. There is another school of thought in Chinese communist party, backed by Chinese industrialists that China's association with rogue nations like Pakistan and North Korea is harming its image worldwide and is affecting the business. Finally, which school of thought prevails in China after next month will decide China's future course of action .Nevertheless, India cannot let down its guards.

As for Pakistan, since last 70 years its military has fed only one thought to its people, that but for the Pakistani army, India would have gobbled up Pakistan. This myth is sunk in the minds of all and sundry in Pakistan despite the Pakistani army losing four wars fought with India. Pakistani military is conducting proxy war on India since 1988. Due to this proxy war, on the Indian side we are losing our trained soldiers while on Pakistani side their jehadis get killed which are cannon fodder to Pakistan. Till date we have lost more than 5000 soldiers in this proxy war which is a big loss. Sooner than later we will have to do something about this. Only way out is to make Pakistani army bleed. For which we will have to go across, launch surgical strikes and destroy jehadi launch pads as also kill Pakistani soldiers. Our political masters must be made to understand that only defence never succeeds as we are doing currently. Defence must be interwoven with offence.

On our western front, Pakistan is fighting proxy war with us while on the eastern front China is indulging in salami-slice strategy. We share 4075 km long border with China which is disputed in its entirety. Salami-slice war means that at any time, China can nibble our territory at the border by shallow incursions as it happened in Ladakh twice in 2014 and now in Doklam. These salami-slice tactics will continue from China. So what is the answer to the shenanigans of Pakistan and China who have now joined hands?

India cannot now remain complacent. It must go all out to revamp its armed forces making them capable of fighting a two front war. We have dangerous weakness in our air force, where all thanks to the neglect of our netas, the strength of sanctioned fighter squadrons as 45 are now down to just 33, just two more than Pakistan. We should try and get second hand fighters of the F-16 and F-18 types for the time being from the US until we are able to produce our own in 'Make in India' defence equipment.

The Indian Navy, especially its submarine arm needs immediate build up. Army is sufficient in strength except that it needs new artillery guns, assault rifles and other equipment. The same goes for ammunition. What is most important is that India must now go in for reforms in higher defence management as also create the post of Chief of Defence Staff lying sanctioned since 2003. By appointing a full-time defence minister in Ms Nirmala Sitaraman, the Modi government has made the right move. Now she must take on from here.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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