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Wake up call for India as China establishes its first overseas military base in Djibouti
Finally, China has disclosed its intentions on how it will progressively dominate the world by establishing its first military base outside China in Djibouti. Located at the strategic Horn of Africa, the base lies North by North West of the Indian Ocean and was established on July 11. It is a matter of great concern for India.

Let there be no doubt that it is start of physical occupation of the 'String of pearls' which China is developing to strategically surround and hem India in maritime perspective. The other pearls being the Gwadar Port in Pakistan at the Arabian Sea, the Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka, and the Coco Island and Chittagong Ports in Myanmar & Bangladesh respectively.

Of course, China says that it is placing troops in Djibouti to facilitate the humanitarian logistic supply to the troubled African nations of Somalia and Yemen.

However, everybody knows that it's a smoke screen. China in its recent modernisation programme has decided to reduce its 2.3 million strong Peoples Liberation Army to fewer than a million. At the same time, it is increasing the strength of its navy and rocket forces but keeping the strength of its air force the same. In other words, China is making its armed forces lean and mean eyeing global domination.

Now compare this with the Indian armed forces. Despite reorganisation accepted by Group of Minsters (GoM) in 2003, none of the 23 reorganisation recommendations have been accepted by subsequent government, all thanks to red tapism. The babus do not want to lose their primacy in decision making, even in matters of military concern, which they know nothing of, never mind if the country goes to the dogs.

Worst is that in higher management of defence forces we are still sticking to the age old Colonial era structure with three independent service chiefs, each blowing his own trumpet as to how his force will single-handedly win the war for India.

It is a separate issue that other countries of the world have gone for a joint command system keeping in view better management of resources and accountability. In India too,a single chief of defence system had been approved by the erstwhile government in 2003, which is still due to be implemented. It is only possible in India that the responsibility of security of the country does not lie with the heads of the three service chiefs but with the Defence Secretary, the head babu.

Chinese Navy which was just a coastal brown water navy a decade and half back when India was already a blue water navy with two aircraft carriers to boast of. But today, while the Indian navy remains where it was,the Chinese navy has become the second largest after the US navy. Although many times voices have been raised by the Indian navy'stop brass demanding enhancement of the country's naval strength, all those have fallen on deaf ears.

In naval parlance, a naval strike force is composed around an aircraft career. The strike force includes frigates, destroyers, submarines and logistic ships. After seventy years of Independence we should have had at least three aircraft careers, but currently has just one. Today, China is taking away the initiative from us due to our own lack of farsightedness. It's high time that we woke up from the slumber. India desperately needs to go all out to modernise its armed forces including the navy and also implement the CDS system at the earliest.

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 In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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