The Candid Eye

August 10, 2009

Worst case scenario threatening Indian survival

The tradition of statecraft is weak in India though most Indians are apt to name Kautilya proudly to suggest otherwise. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating and Indians have habitually stumbled in their international relations. Local Indian kingdoms in the region failed to unite adequately in the face of medieval Islamic invasions that brought them catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. Medieval Indians might be forgiven for not anticipating that Abrahamic invaders would attempt to erase their cultures altogether and enslave them en masse since local pluralist custom and consanguinity of their traditions ensured that military defeat did not mean extinction. There can be fewer excuses for subsequent failings and the affectations to superiority, combined with childish unrealism, which continued to dominate later Indian history.
The Maratha successors of the great warrior-king Shivaji were betrayed by their own French officers to the formidable Arthur Wellington, admittedly a great general who also saw off the redoubtable Napoleon. And a broken backed Pakistan continues to routinely outwit India today. Fundamentally, Indians refuse to acknowledge the brutally predatory nature of the wider world and persistently adopt the path of least resistance in the apparent hope that difficult problems will go away or can be finessed by compromises.
The Gandhi-Nehru era is considered by many to have been the most dismaying modern example of boundless self-confidence and stupidity in dealings with other countries. In defence of the Mahatma it might be said that his supposed whimsical counsel to surrender and/or commit mass suicide, which is what he advised the Bengali Hindu rape victims of Noakhali, may not be the entire story. Although he reputedly espoused non violence, almost unconditionally, the same Mahatma Gandhi also wrote in The Doctrine of the Sword, “I do believe when there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence… I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless victim to her own dishonour”. When Nehru apologetically informed him of India’s armed defence of Kashmir against Pakistani marauders, engaged in rape and looting, he agreed that there was no choice, but to fight. But Gandhi’s theme of non-violence was handsomely embellished by India’s Anglo-Saxon enemies as a means of befuddling the natives though some among them had their own reasons for choosing befuddlement. Jawaharlal Nehru, though a worldly statesman was another kettle of fish, wildly misconceiving Indian interests at every juncture, choosing the worst possible advisers and ignoring counsel that warned of impending national disaster. Ambassador K. M Pannikar, his evil courtier, led him up the garden path while Nehru banished the formidable Mr. Sinha abroad because the latter insisted on warning of the impending 1962 Chinese attack.
Even Indira Gandhi, who displayed great courage, was failed by a medley of dim-witted advisers, apt to misconstrue their privileged origins as some sort of certification of innate wisdom. And if they could use a knife and fork, unlike the rest of their hapless fellow countrymen and compose adolescent English prose, they were unstoppable. This was the reason why she took the decision to invade Bangladesh without the enthusiastic support of those around her. But she was lucky to have, in General JFR Jacob, one of the great soldiers of the twentieth century and that according to the Times of London, which unfailingly wishes India harm. The fruits of the historic victory were lost because India declined to offend the USSR since it provided critical diplomatic support for its famous military victory. The Soviet leadership pressed India not to demand from Pakistan what might be considered humiliating terms because the US made that a condition for the SALT talks between them scheduled for 1972, which the USSR regarded as crucial. Quite clearly, India should have insisted on a treaty renouncing all Pakistani claims to Indian Territory before agreeing to the cessation of hostilities, even if it offended the USSR. The expression of gratitude in international relations is situational and should be withheld if its does not serve important national interests. It is not the counterpart of an inter-personal relationship that encapsulates inviolable mutual honour!
The most immediate danger for India is a simultaneous military attack by Pakistan and China. Despite apparent Indian military preparedness for such a dire eventuality it is unclear if India could sustain a prolonged engagement with both of them. China is in a position to produce sufficient hardware and ordnance for its own and Pakistan’s military assault against India. India is unfortunately likely to remain dependant on foreign supplies of hardware and possibly ordnance as well for the foreseeable future if the engagement proves long-lasting. Of course the threat of a nuclear factor should enter into the calculations of both aggressors, but India has done everything to convey a message that it is unlikely to resort to nuclear weapons, even in the face of military and political catastrophe. It may be assumed that Russia will not deny India supplies and spares, but there is a high probability that it will press for Indian concessions to keep its own fragile relationship with an increasingly empowered China tolerable. The Israelis are not in a position to substitute Russia and are unlikely to be enthusiastic about enmity with China by helping India. The Americans will do exactly the same, judging Indian territorial losses and humiliation an insufficient cause to jeopardise its historic friendship with Pakistan and offend China, with which it is evidently fashioning a global condominium. On the contrary, India in disarray in the aftermath of defeat might be considered ripe for subordination as a prostrate ally like Pakistan and rapid Christianization.
Indians enamoured of the US are likely to be grievously disappointed when their supposed friendship is tested by the harsh realities of international diplomacy. The US faces no direct threat from China while its ICBMs retain their awesome superiority in variety, accuracy and numbers. While India and Japan may be seen as useful counterweights, in order to elicit an acceptable understanding with China over their respective interests in Asia and elsewhere, actual conflict with it would be considered a failure of US policy. The loss of some Indian territories to China and Pakistan, being ardently sought by both in a war against India, might be regarded as unfortunate, but clearly not a casus belli that should bring it into direct conflict with either aggressor. The obverse does not hold true in the event of the US finding itself in a serious military engagement with China, arising out of an unavoidable dispute with it. In such a situation, Indian bases would be sought and Indians regarded as useful cannon fodder to ensure a satisfactory outcome for the US. There are some within the supposed Indian nationalist constituency that might even be willing to acquiesce in such an unfavourable role for India because they have compromised themselves with the US and are vulnerable to blackmail.
In addition, India’s minor detractors in the region might regard setback suffered by it an opportunity for achieving any territorial ambitions they may have harboured. The enmity of its smaller neighbours stems mainly from a lack of respect for India, which means that although India is pilloried by them as an alleged bully it is precisely because India does not wield a big stick that they complain and needle. Of late there has been a measure of attitudinal change in this motley group of failed states because Indian economic advance, though irksome to them, cannot be altogether denied. In addition, the Cold War incitement against India fuelled by the Anglo-American imperial predators has waned somewhat in the past decade. But India should be under no illusion that if it were to find itself in serious political difficulties they would wish to take advantage with alacrity. India must therefore make provision for this potentially costly eventuality in much the way the USSR did before the onset of war with Nazi Germany in relation to the truculent Finns and Baltic States to secure its strategic perimeter. Such preparations would entail sealing the border with Bangladesh and Nepal and securing the Palk Straits to prevent its use by a third party, aided by Sri Lankan perfidy. In all these cases the threat of devastating Indian fire power should suffice to deter opportunism.
A more complex and disastrous problem lurks inside India itself in the potentially treasonous conduct of Indians themselves and a foreign fifth column embedded discreetly within it. Many of the thousands of foreigners residing legally and illegally in India, including ostensibly accredited journalists and apparently innocuous visitors, are almost certainly agents of foreign powers who will implement pre-existing plans to undertake political and military sabotage. Assorted insurgencies, ranging from ULFA to the Naxalites, are completely controlled by Sino-Pak agencies and will no doubt endeavour to tie down India’s paramilitary forces. It would be a logical goal for them to seize territory and especially small towns, even cities and decapitate the established authority within it. If the military debacle suffered by India is severe whole swathes of Muslim India within its cities, which already enjoy virtual de facto sovereign autonomy, will revolt to assert de jure independence. The Hindus in these cities, especially Kolkata, Hyderabad and other areas adjacent to its borders in Assam, Kashmir and elsewhere will simply flee, precipitating a further effective partition of India. Depending on the scale of the catastrophe, some states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Punjab and J&K and indeed even West Bengal, which have already been subverted politically by foreign interests like evangelical business corporations, could secede and are likely gain immediate political recognition from India’s enemies.
If India’s feeble political leadership showed any sign of deploying nuclear weapons in order to deter Chinese aggression massive public demonstrations, instigated by Left parties and myriad foreign-sponsored NGO activists are guaranteed to oppose it. It may also be hazarded that weak coalition partners at the federal centre, inexperienced and motivated principally by lucre would panic and fold quickly if India’s armed forces suffered a major reverse or local revolts threatened the viability of their own regional party. Most of the leaders of such coalition partners are preoccupied with the personal fortunes of their families and party and their very participation at the federal centre is primarily intended to promote their parochial regional aspirations. India may face the threat of extinction as a political entity if matters get out of hand, but its opinionated Chatterati will no doubt congregate in the capitals salons in the meantime to reflect on the IPL and other assorted matters of substance. The armed forces alone would remain interposed between annihilation and Indian survival. By the time such dire choices are posed, though unlikely, but not inconceivable, it would be too late to work out a strategy in response to them. It is therefore indispensable for India’s armed forces and what remains of its dismayingly politicised and subverted establishment (including its bureaucracy, intelligence services and key players within civil society) to consider what actions they may need to take in the event of a primordial threat to India’s survival.
Seizure of political power by India’s armed forces in such circumstances would be imperative and justified. It would be need to be followed by ruthlessly neutralising saboteurs and foreign agents operating inside the country. The same treatment would have to be meted out to a significant number of the comprador political class under the sway of foreign powers and those groups threatening secession. In order for this to be achieved effectively plans need to be drawn up in advance, covertly, with the help of India’s intelligence agencies, to identify individual candidates for elimination. But the gathering of this information needs to proceed in the greatest secrecy, involving the fewest possible senior personnel of the armed forces and only on a need-to-know basis. Perhaps, this particular task might be best left to retired senior personnel of the agencies concerned. Revolts within cities would need to be crushed immediately and pitilessly to demonstrate the will of the Indian State. A few harsh examples would constitute a salutary deterrent. But most of all, the Indian armed forces would need to wrest control of India’s nuclear weapons from the political class. And with the help of India’s formidable scientific establishment prepare low-yield battlefield nuclear warheads for use, with the menace of escalation to a ballistic level if India is threatened by the nuclear armouries of its adversaries.

The tradition of statecraft is weak in India though most Indians are apt to name Kautilya proudly to suggest otherwise. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating and Indians have habitually stumbled in their international relations. Local Indian kingdoms in the region failed to unite adequately in the face of medieval Islamic invasions that brought them catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. Medieval Indians might be forgiven for not anticipating that Abrahamic invaders would attempt to erase their cultures altogether and enslave them en masse since local pluralist custom and consanguinity of their traditions ensured that military defeat did not mean extinction. There can be fewer excuses for subsequent failings and the affectations to superiority, combined with childish unrealism, which continued to dominate later Indian history.

The Maratha successors of the great warrior-king Shivaji were betrayed by their own French officers to the formidable Arthur Wellington, admittedly a great general who also saw off the redoubtable Napoleon. And a broken backed Pakistan continues to routinely outwit India today. Fundamentally, Indians refuse to acknowledge the brutally predatory nature of the wider world and persistently adopt the path of least resistance in the apparent hope that difficult problems will go away or can be finessed by compromises.

The Gandhi-Nehru era is considered by many to have been the most dismaying modern example of boundless self-confidence and stupidity in dealings with other countries. In defence of the Mahatma it might be said that his supposed whimsical counsel to surrender and/or commit mass suicide, which is what he advised the Bengali Hindu rape victims of Noakhali, may not be the entire story. Although he reputedly espoused non violence, almost unconditionally, the same Mahatma Gandhi also wrote in The Doctrine of the Sword, “I do believe when there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence… I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless victim to her own dishonour”. When Nehru apologetically informed him of India’s armed defence of Kashmir against Pakistani marauders, engaged in rape and looting, he agreed that there was no choice, but to fight. But Gandhi’s theme of non-violence was handsomely embellished by India’s Anglo-Saxon enemies as a means of befuddling the natives though some among them had their own reasons for choosing befuddlement. Jawaharlal Nehru, though a worldly statesman was another kettle of fish, wildly misconceiving Indian interests at every juncture, choosing the worst possible advisers and ignoring counsel that warned of impending national disaster. Ambassador K. M Pannikar, his evil courtier, led him up the garden path while Nehru banished the formidable Mr. Sinha abroad because the latter insisted on warning of the impending 1962 Chinese attack.

Even Indira Gandhi, who displayed great courage, was failed by a medley of dim-witted advisers, apt to misconstrue their privileged origins as some sort of certification of innate wisdom. And if they could use a knife and fork, unlike the rest of their hapless fellow countrymen and compose adolescent English prose, they were unstoppable. This was the reason why she took the decision to invade Bangladesh without the enthusiastic support of those around her. But she was lucky to have, in General JFR Jacob, one of the great soldiers of the twentieth century and that according to the Times of London, which unfailingly wishes India harm. The fruits of the historic victory were lost because India declined to offend the USSR since it provided critical diplomatic support for its famous military victory. The Soviet leadership pressed India not to demand from Pakistan what might be considered humiliating terms because the US made that a condition for the SALT talks between them scheduled for 1972, which the USSR regarded as crucial. Quite clearly, India should have insisted on a treaty renouncing all Pakistani claims to Indian Territory before agreeing to the cessation of hostilities, even if it offended the USSR. The expression of gratitude in international relations is situational and should be withheld if its does not serve important national interests. It is not the counterpart of an inter-personal relationship that encapsulates inviolable mutual honour!

The most immediate danger for India is a simultaneous military attack by Pakistan and China. Despite apparent Indian military preparedness for such a dire eventuality it is unclear if India could sustain a prolonged engagement with both of them. China is in a position to produce sufficient hardware and ordnance for its own and Pakistan’s military assault against India. India is unfortunately likely to remain dependant on foreign supplies of hardware and possibly ordnance as well for the foreseeable future if the engagement proves long-lasting. Of course the threat of a nuclear factor should enter into the calculations of both aggressors, but India has done everything to convey a message that it is unlikely to resort to nuclear weapons, even in the face of military and political catastrophe. It may be assumed that Russia will not deny India supplies and spares, but there is a high probability that it will press for Indian concessions to keep its own fragile relationship with an increasingly empowered China tolerable. The Israelis are not in a position to substitute Russia and are unlikely to be enthusiastic about enmity with China by helping India. The Americans will do exactly the same, judging Indian territorial losses and humiliation an insufficient cause to jeopardise its historic friendship with Pakistan and offend China, with which it is evidently fashioning a global condominium. On the contrary, India in disarray in the aftermath of defeat might be considered ripe for subordination as a prostrate ally like Pakistan and rapid Christianization.

Indians enamoured of the US are likely to be grievously disappointed when their supposed friendship is tested by the harsh realities of international diplomacy. The US faces no direct threat from China while its ICBMs retain their awesome superiority in variety, accuracy and numbers. While India and Japan may be seen as useful counterweights, in order to elicit an acceptable understanding with China over their respective interests in Asia and elsewhere, actual conflict with it would be considered a failure of US policy. The loss of some Indian territories to China and Pakistan, being ardently sought by both in a war against India, might be regarded as unfortunate, but clearly not a casus belli that should bring it into direct conflict with either aggressor. The obverse does not hold true in the event of the US finding itself in a serious military engagement with China, arising out of an unavoidable dispute with it. In such a situation, Indian bases would be sought and Indians regarded as useful cannon fodder to ensure a satisfactory outcome for the US. There are some within the supposed Indian nationalist constituency that might even be willing to acquiesce in such an unfavourable role for India because they have compromised themselves with the US and are vulnerable to blackmail.

In addition, India’s minor detractors in the region might regard setback suffered by it an opportunity for achieving any territorial ambitions they may have harboured. The enmity of its smaller neighbours stems mainly from a lack of respect for India, which means that although India is pilloried by them as an alleged bully it is precisely because India does not wield a big stick that they complain and needle. Of late there has been a measure of attitudinal change in this motley group of failed states because Indian economic advance, though irksome to them, cannot be altogether denied. In addition, the Cold War incitement against India fuelled by the Anglo-American imperial predators has waned somewhat in the past decade. But India should be under no illusion that if it were to find itself in serious political difficulties they would wish to take advantage with alacrity. India must therefore make provision for this potentially costly eventuality in much the way the USSR did before the onset of war with Nazi Germany in relation to the truculent Finns and Baltic States to secure its strategic perimeter. Such preparations would entail sealing the border with Bangladesh and Nepal and securing the Palk Straits to prevent its use by a third party, aided by Sri Lankan perfidy. In all these cases the threat of devastating Indian fire power should suffice to deter opportunism.

A more complex and disastrous problem lurks inside India itself in the potentially treasonous conduct of Indians themselves and a foreign fifth column embedded discreetly within it. Many of the thousands of foreigners residing legally and illegally in India, including ostensibly accredited journalists and apparently innocuous visitors, are almost certainly agents of foreign powers who will implement pre-existing plans to undertake political and military sabotage. Assorted insurgencies, ranging from ULFA to the Naxalites, are completely controlled by Sino-Pak agencies and will no doubt endeavour to tie down India’s paramilitary forces. It would be a logical goal for them to seize territory and especially small towns, even cities and decapitate the established authority within it. If the military debacle suffered by India is severe whole swathes of Muslim India within its cities, which already enjoy virtual de facto sovereign autonomy, will revolt to assert de jure independence. The Hindus in these cities, especially Kolkata, Hyderabad and other areas adjacent to its borders in Assam, Kashmir and elsewhere will simply flee, precipitating a further effective partition of India. Depending on the scale of the catastrophe, some states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Punjab and J&K and indeed even West Bengal, which have already been subverted politically by foreign interests like evangelical business corporations, could secede and are likely gain immediate political recognition from India’s enemies.

If India’s feeble political leadership showed any sign of deploying nuclear weapons in order to deter Chinese aggression massive public demonstrations, instigated by Left parties and myriad foreign-sponsored NGO activists are guaranteed to oppose it. It may also be hazarded that weak coalition partners at the federal centre, inexperienced and motivated principally by lucre would panic and fold quickly if India’s armed forces suffered a major reverse or local revolts threatened the viability of their own regional party. Most of the leaders of such coalition partners are preoccupied with the personal fortunes of their families and party and their very participation at the federal centre is primarily intended to promote their parochial regional aspirations. India may face the threat of extinction as a political entity if matters get out of hand, but its opinionated Chatterati will no doubt congregate in the capitals salons in the meantime to reflect on the IPL and other assorted matters of substance. The armed forces alone would remain interposed between annihilation and Indian survival. By the time such dire choices are posed, though unlikely, but not inconceivable, it would be too late to work out a strategy in response to them. It is therefore indispensable for India’s armed forces and what remains of its dismayingly politicised and subverted establishment (including its bureaucracy, intelligence services and key players within civil society) to consider what actions they may need to take in the event of a primordial threat to India’s survival.

Seizure of political power by India’s armed forces in such circumstances would be imperative and justified. It would be need to be followed by ruthlessly neutralising saboteurs and foreign agents operating inside the country. The same treatment would have to be meted out to a significant number of the comprador political class under the sway of foreign powers and those groups threatening secession. In order for this to be achieved effectively plans need to be drawn up in advance, covertly, with the help of India’s intelligence agencies, to identify individual candidates for elimination. But the gathering of this information needs to proceed in the greatest secrecy, involving the fewest possible senior personnel of the armed forces and only on a need-to-know basis. Perhaps, this particular task might be best left to retired senior personnel of the agencies concerned. Revolts within cities would need to be crushed immediately and pitilessly to demonstrate the will of the Indian State. A few harsh examples would constitute a salutary deterrent. But most of all, the Indian armed forces would need to wrest control of India’s nuclear weapons from the political class. And with the help of India’s formidable scientific establishment prepare low-yield battlefield nuclear warheads for use, with the menace of escalation to a ballistic level if India is threatened by the nuclear armouries of its adversaries.

Source : Vigil Online

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