WILL INDIA FIGHT A TWO-FRONT WAR WITH CHINA AND PAKISTAN ?
Like China’s Popular of Liberation Army that recently conducted military exercises simultaneously in four seas in preparation for a multi-front war, India military prepares for a possibility to fight a two-front war against collusive military and nuclear allies Pakistan and China. The latest fracas taking place on the night of August 29-30 between China’s People’s Liberation Army and Indian Army along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh along the southern bank of the Pangong Tso lake, has further exacerbated the military standoff continuing since early May and raising the spectre of military confrontation between the most two populous nations.
The key area and the hardest point of friction remains Pangong Lake and Depsang, particularly the Finger Area — a set of eight cliffs jutting out of Sirijap range overlooking Pangong where both armies have deployed almost 100,000 soldiers and weaponry in their forward and depth areas. the quantum of forces currently deployed by both sides of the LAC was also unprecedented. In a sign of dissuasion, Indian army has deployed three additional Indian Army divisions of around 60,000-70,000 personnel to supplement some 20,000 troops from the Leh-based 3 Division tasked with minding the LAC in eastern Ladakh against the PLA. These formations are backed by over 120-odd T72M1 and T90S main battle tanks positioned at various sensitive locations in eastern Ladakh, which in turn are augmented by the newly inducted BAE Systems M777 155mm light weight howitzers, varied missile batteries and associated systems. All these platforms have furthermore been airlifted to the region by the Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) latest CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters and C-17 and C-130J-30 fixed wing transport aircraft.These extra troops had escalated the situation ominously along the LAC as the corresponding PLA ‘forces-in being’ too are amply supported by formidable armour, artillery and missile assets.
In recent years, Pakistan’s and China’s strategic and territorial interests with regard to India had coalesced, hinting that he anticipated increased military collaboration between the two against Delhi, especially with regard to the strategic Siachen Glacier. Pakistan as a whole, its military, polity and people have longtime suspected India working to break their country into pieces. Consequently, in case of war between India and China, Pakistan will not hesitate to side with China and could swing into action to take advantage of India’s preoccupation with China.
The opening up of a second live conflict front for India, in addition to the one prevailing with Pakistan along the restive Line of Control or LOC in Kashmir, further reinforces the operationally apocalyptic ‘two-front’ war scenario for India. Despite all three countries possessing nuclear arms, conventional war would not be excluded along India’s northern and western borders with China and Pakistan.