Ranjit B Rai
This Part Two post attempts to analyse the crucial Defence Planning Committee’s task (DPC), as past attempts by committees have been futile.
India cannot become a major Power on borrowed technology sans IPRs or imported hardware. Over the years Defence Ministers and Secretaries and even Service Chiefs have not been able to exert themselves so an able NSA has been asked to steer a DPC. The Army has been loaded to keep India one and even today is in a political role in Kashmir. The Air Force looked to world’s best while Navy did good planning but this year it is starved. That is IDF’s next post.
DPC must work swiftly as MOD is likely to defer decisions and Armed Forces will look forward to DPC for equipment and restructuring into theatre commands, and define strategic priorities as India has tilted to USA and EU. UAE has silently expanded its MDA reach in Socotra, Somalia and Yemen and controls Aden. Trump has walked away from the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Hence China will be studying India’s moves, as India and USA study China’s jointly.
President Xi Jinping is voted No 1 powerful leader and PM Modi No 7. China has modern Infrastructure compared to India. China has spent Trillions on its Infrastructure and Internet control and is the world’s No 2 Economy with $ 14 Trill and people are fired with nationalism. Xi Jinping has promised them ‘The Chinese Dream’ ! Only a visit to China’s cities and villages can make one appreciate China’s progress vs USA’s $ 20 Trill with debts and India’s $ 2.4 Trill but experts admit Indian Military remains more professional. However Indian Militaries are not Joint for actions in war and economy, but with Jugad services know how to deliver when needed.
Ex Gagan Shakti analysed on Trishul Blogspot showed first baby steps and IDF reported how much good the Dokalam stand off did for jointness. DPC is an outcome.
PM Modi is a leader with conviction to make India great and take strides on the world stage and PM has made brilliant emotional speeches explaining BJP’s “Niyat” (Thinking) and demolish Congress, opposition and corruption. This has fired majority Hindus and Shia Muslims with Nationalism with what IDF calls RSS-ISM’s Hindutva. Military must heed that.
While Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, Mao and Mussolini steered their nations ruthlessly to greatness PM Modi is doing it in 21st Century style of TV and Social Media. India is growing and PM Modi has steered to tilt India into USA’s camp and the West, and promised Indians to get back POK where CPEC rides through. The new India and its fiery oratorical Leader worries China’s leadership.
So President Xi Jinping agreed to an informal meet at Wuhan to gauge what India is up to and cool tempers over Bhutan’s Dokalam, below Chumbi Valley. Both succeeded on aims and now both look to Bhutan’s views. It is called the indirect Chinese approach, like Liddell Hart recommended in war for success.
But IDF must explain. Chinese use calculated approaches to solve problems. Indians are direct as the Karnataka elections show. For example if X has been harmed by Y then to retaliate X asks his neighbor, not directly himself to covey to Y that if he does not stop harming X then X plans to break Y’s wife’s leg when she is out shopping ! Think this over. It is relevant in the India Pakistan China triangle, and Sun Tzu advised that an unfriendly neighbour’s neighbour should be your friend. India employs this approach with Iran, but now that President Trump has dumped Iran’s Nuclear Deal, China could move in further as and not heed US Sanctions only UN’s. Money matters !
Indian will then be looking at a Quadrangular challenge and DPC can be the forum to look to options with Chiefs and Secretaries as Iran is critical to India and never underestimate Iranian strategists !
The tilt is shown pictorially with quotes to re-affirm India is in USA’s camp and the 1000 ship Navy Adm Mullen steered India in to with Malabars. Australia may not like to be included in Malabar exercises, as China is its large trading partner. Australia plays cool ! Always.
The US and Indian Navy’s incestuous relationship grew steadily with six Navy Chiefs graduating from NWC with Chiefs of other Navies, and many others at lower Cdr rank and an Ex Indian Naval Chief is on staff there. USA has asked India to post officers in the Central and Indo-Pacific Commands.
IDF has posted and reported facts of how President Macron met PM Modi in Delhi and told him France is a riparian Indian Ocean Power and will support (join ?) QUAD. In London PM Theresa May supported a maritime agreement for Indo Pacific with PM Modi. India’s time has come for QUAD Plus 2 and a France Australia India IOR axis to ward China! The picture depicts it.
USA, France and UK are in NATO. India has been willingly roped in to the Indo-Pacific Security Structure to contain and deter China ? The West wants India as an ally aware India is stuck with two crafty neighbors and the West has to continue to humour Nuclear Pakistan which has a say with Taliban for China and now Russia in Afghanistan. Indians will find the going difficult in Afghanistan. President Xi Jinping and PM Modi are planning a joint project. One unofficial meet between China and India’s Heads with many differences may not get joint projects going, —–Its business money, costs and how ?
A joint article in IE by C Raja Mohan of India, Rory Medcalf of Australia and Bruno Tertrias of France, makes sense but it was before Trump nullified Iran’s deal.
Admiral Phillip S Davidson Indo-Pacific Commander Designate was questioned by the Senate Committee. Brackets are by IDF.
.Q. If confirmed, what plans do you have for addressing these challenges?
Ans. Continue to fully support the State Department-led pressure campaign against the DPRK; Maintain a network of like-minded allies and partners (India) to cultivate security networks which reinforce the free and open international order; Continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows and encourage others (India) to do the same. Be ready to counter the coercive influence of regional competitors;(Freedom of Navigation).
Counter transnational threats and challenges, including terrorism and illegal/illicit trafficking, and be ready to respond to natural disasters. (HADR India is best placed). Together, fully aligned with our interagency, joint, and combined partners (India now), I intend to ensure that PACOM is prepared to meet any challenge.(India is Inter-operable)
Second, I will work to recalibrate U.S. force posture(1000 shipNavy) in the Indo-Pacific to align with the recently released 2018 National Defense Strategy(India is mentioned). This effort entails ensuring the continued combat readiness of assigned forces in the western Pacific; developing an updated footprint that accounts for China’s rapid modernization; and pursuing agreements with host nations (India) that allow the United States to project power when necessary.
Third, I will continue to work to strengthen our alliances and bilateral partnerships as well as our current and emerging multilateral relationships.
The Indian side admitted relations between the superpowers USA, China, Russia and India are more intertwined than ever. From trade partnerships to strategic alliances, and QUAD plus 2 have an important stake in the shifting nature of international relations so India feels its “Linkage with India’s ‘Look East’ (1991) and ‘Act East’ (2014) policies and Economic connectivity with India’s extended Eastern neighbourhood, India wants Good order at sea and freedom of navigation and Strategic deterrence against China”.
DPC has to streamline Inter Agency Co-ordination with railways highways and Home Ministry for security which will bring in economy and the road map for Make in India for defence. The Air Force has no capability to build capital costing fighter or transport planes and it must. The Army has not been able to steer capability to make small arms, tanks or guns, though Tatas and Bharat Forge have made valiant efforts to make 155mm guns but they were not encouraged and Ordnance Board was favoured for small arms and explosives and the Dhanush Gun and imports. There is no cost control system for PSU’s controlled by MOD who have vested interests and politicians needs the vote bank. So Defence Planning Committee (DPC) has to attend to organizational changes also. India’s fine Military cannot wait and wants to be steered by NSA and DPC. .