Thursday, 3 November 2011

Evil Dragons Breath Forces The Tiger To Respond

The massive Chinese buildup on the LAC has forced India to rethink its passive defensive policy and it is putting in place the second phase of military expansion along the China front, the government has given the go-ahead to deployment of Brahmos cruise missiles in Arunachal Pradesh. This will be India’s first offensive tactical missile deployment against China, sources said.

The three Brahmos missile regiments raised so far have been deployed in the western sector to counter the Pakistan threat. This will be the fourth regiment.

With a range of 290 km, these cruise missiles are being deployed to improve India’s military reach into the Tibet Autonomous Region and counter China’s elaborate missile deployment along the Sino-Indian border.

This, sources said, dovetails with India’s second expansion plan but is being fast-tracked because of urgency shown by the armed forces.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also cleared the five-year expansion plan for which he had given the green signal earlier. The plan involves fresh accretion of 89,000 troops, with 400 officers.Linked to this, the CCS has decided to focus on security of Indian islands with the larger view of securing maritime routes criss-crossing the Indian Ocean.

Two Army brigades are also being lined up for the Andamans while a battalion-strength presence is being considered for Lakshadweep alongside the Navy. Air Force assets are also being increased in these island territories, the sources said.

In the next phase of Army expansion on the China border will include setting up a corps headquarter in Panagarh, West Bengal, along with two more divisions. An independent armoured brigade along with an artillery division will be part of the set-up.

Chinese state-controlled media has reacted angrily to the Indian military build-up along the LAC and, for the first time, China’s Chengdu Military Region has organized an Army-Air Force drill using live ammunition in an area 4,500 meters above sea level.

A Chinese language blog reported on October 21, under the heading “PLA’s Powerful Exercise: Lightning Hit Back at India’s Border Provocation,” that live ammunition war games were held soon after the Indian Army-Air Force Exercise along Rajasthan border. As China specialist D.S. Rajan noted writing for the South Asia Analysis Group, the blog suggested that MI-17 helicopters, F-10 fighter aircraft, 122-mm howitzers, two car- mounted anti-aircraft artillery groups and a large number of infantry fighting vehicles.

Also on October 21, a Chinese website published an extended article titled “India’s Border Blitz, Not to be Routine, with No Prior Notice to Beijing,” giving details of the Indian deployment along the LAC that is supposed to have used China’s strengthening of its troop deployment in Tibet as a “pretext.” It says that India has so far deployed 240 to 300 fighter aircraft, five mountain infantry divisions and one mechanized division in the eastern sector, including Arunachal Pradesh.

The piece took special note of reports in the Indian media of the Indian government supposedly sanctioning deployment of Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles in Arunachal Pradesh. It described the move as the first time India would be deploying offensive tactical missiles against China, thus signaling a marked shift in the Indian military strategy vis-à-vis China from “defensive” to “offensive