This is an IDF analysis on India China standoff, along with the scenario of the ground forces geographically explained on the Line of Actual Control(LAC) as on 24th June, reported by Trident Trishul by joining dots with world satellite analysts, who with Cyber operators have become crucial in Intelligence.
That is why RAW was called Research & Analysis Wing. A lot of open Analysis is now electronic. RAW has co-opted NTRO with service officers while IAF flies ARC assets like Electronic Intelligence EW equipped Photo Recce planes Eg Bombardier, and Gulf Stream/ Israeli Astra 1125 twin jet and Navy’s MR 737P8is have joined. DIPAC analyses ISRO’s satellite data. All inputs need experts to analyse and predict. The standoff is being followed by all leading Intelligence agencies and India has partners for pictures but for intentions the National intelligence has the responsibility. It has to Trust but Verify every input, and on China border it is the ITBP under Home Minister, being beefed with 50 companies.
For India’s leadership the current face offs and tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China poses a territorial security challenge that could lead to Vertical Escalation, a sort of fighting which could light a war. Hence EAM Jai Shankar is deftly handling the diplomatic parleys with China and Russia in RIC and UN. He is batting a ‘Wait & Watch Strategy’, insisting China hark back to the 1993 LAC protocol to original sites. India is gaining world support except from Pakistan, and media reports China is thinning troops in some areas only, and not in others like a bully.
US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo on behalf of President Trump is has announced support to India with horizontal escalation of Forces to the East from Europe where US has around 50,000 with ships and aircraft mainly in Germany and Italy and has called China a ‘Rogue Actor” (harami in Hindi). Horizontal or alternate escalation is an activity to put pressure elsewhere Eg SCS, Hong Kong, Taiwan and support to Vietnam. Horizontal escalation is also being discussed by Indian experts on TV while Army Chief Gen MM Narvane has warned the standoff could be long which is a tactic in horizontal escalation to make one side to blink, under pressure.
The stand off comes as a double whammy for BJP Government which was busy consolidating political Hindutva power and Indian economy was dipping as World Bank M/S Gopinath explains, when Covid attacked the world and India. India’s intelligence harks British India IB to support Government in power with real time political and RAW looks after external intelligence.
India’s Intelligence is a civil service with transferable officials of the IPS, and is IPS manned in the main. Media can help as the Navy took advantage in Op Pawan by getting Tamil speaking wives to read all Tamil and Sri Lanka media in 1987-88 and also analysed Mark Tully’s BBC morning on site reports, but antiquated Official Secrets Act 1923 precludes official contacts with IPS. It needs trust and dedication.
In the current incursions it seems Intelligence failed to gauge China’s intentions from the build up in Tibet earlier this year. Intelligence agencies are obliged to advise Government heads of the two types of escalations, vertical and horizontal in military stalemates with chances of success. PM Modi is aided by a Minister level NSA AK Doval who is a an Intelligence sleuth with Pakistan expertise, and Gen Bipin Rawat is CDS. India’s PM is the De-Facto Commander-in-Chief with Cabinet Control. The CDS has not been given any operational authority but is an Adviser like the Chiefs.
In 1962 IB head B Mullick adviced Nehru on vertical escalation to throw Chinese out at short notice, also for the Indian audience which angered the Communist Chinese not used to democratic politics of noise. Mao took it seriously and pre-empted India. Chinese have a saying, “ I will not harm you, but even if you threaten to harm me I will hit you so hard so you will not harm me again”. Chinese claim it has worked but now it is a different India with a resolute leader in PM Narendra Modi who also it seems, trusted President Xi Jinping having met him 18 times. Xi wants to extract some concessions looking to a Summit as he has troubles at home, and the world is raging against China.
On 25th June India warned China that failure to implement the disengagement understanding on the LAC in Eastern Ladakh would have consequences, in a lengthy statement, the Ministry of External Affairs clearly indicated India’s stance.
The geographical state of forces at patrol points with Galwan and incursions by China taking advantage of Covid are tabled as reported by Trishul Trident. It shows China wants to extend the claim line by guile and intimidation.
1.Back in 1962 the IA had 77 forward posts but later, for unknown reasons this number came down to 65. One of them is PP-14, which is at 34 46 9.34 N, 78 12 47.19 E which became a Patrolling Point and Chinese forces knew this. Now worried about India’s Durbuk to Daulat Beg Oldie road towards POK which India covets, the CCP and President Xi Jinping fear their flagship CPEC-BRI plan and investment could be in jeopardy. The answer also lies in troubled Gilgit, Sindh and Baluchistan and Khunherab (Dub) pass for horizontal escalation.
2.The IA’s forward post at Galwan River Valley was a further south-eastwards at 34 38 01.5 N, 78 36 45.1 E. Only the MoD & IA can explain but scaled back westwards after 1962.
3.PLA Ground Forces buildup. One is at the Depsang Roundabout at 35 18 7.59 N, 78 0 45.17 E ( all these locations on Google Earth) and the other is at the Trig Heights Round about East of Chip Chap River: 35 22 21.20 N, 78 2 19.72 E.
4. PLA Ground Forces have supposedly advanced deeper into India’s claim-line(where only seasonal patrols are conducted & no permanent IA/ITBP forward posts exist there) at Jeevan Nullah (PP-13) and on-going attempts to cross the ‘Bottleneck’ (Y junction near DBO) area on Raki Nullah(PP-12). In Galwan, PP-15, is about 25km south of PP-14. The PLA has entered about 2km inside the Indian claim-line of the LAC and has constructed two tracks. In addition, confrontation continues in the Hot Springs sector, which includes PP-17 (called the Gogra Heights), PP-18 and PP-19 (Kongka La)—all these again being India’s claim-lines that do not have 24/7 manned IA/ITBP forward posts.
5.Panggong Tso Lake, the PLA has gone 8km westwards from the Finger 8 area to Finger 4—again an area which is only an Indian claim-line & the IA/ITBP never had a permanent presence there. So what do all these incursions indicate? China’s intentions and Beijing’s Central Military Commission (CMC) or Commander Western Xinjiang Military Area made ingresses where India will find it difficult to regain by moving PLA forces where only seasonal patrols are carried out, and no permanent presence exists.
Status quo ante as of April 2020 is essential but the Govt of India has fallen prey to China’s stratagem, especially after the Indian PM on 20th June 20 stated with a escape clause later, “that no territory under India’s control had fallen into anyone else’s hands.”
Since 2009 China has been saying Ladakh isn’t a part of India & hence the LAC’s length is only 2,000km-long, here is the answer: Interesting to report a view.
Lama Stagsang Respa and the Hemis monastery near Leh form an important node of Himalayan Buddhist geopolitics—something that has been overlooked (Wikipedia). The present Stagsang Respa has a signified name: Lada Awang Dan Zeng who resides in Lhasa as a citizen of China and at some stage held the position of Vice President of the Chinese Buddhist Association’s Tibetan Branch. He remains the spiritual leader of of large Ladakhi population and is also the keeper of the Hemis Monastery and the land this Monastery owns, which amounts to large chunk of all of Ladakh’s irrigable land. China covets it as owned by Chinese citizens and is connected with Dalai Lama refuge in India and a Tibetan Government in exile. All very complex when religion is mixed with politics and power. Shan No Varuna.