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Five Fronts in the Indian Sub Continent

India plays the Ace, in the Shadows of Kargil

Kargil Diwas on 26 July is a hallmark of raw courage as well as indomitable spirit of fairness and pledge to International peace. However, what it did to military thinkers in the sub continent, is to study with lens and a queer eye, at the various other unthinkables, especially in the enclave of Ladakh.

A two front war, which till then was an academic odd, became a foreseeable reality of the near future.

The next decade was an advertisement of sorts, of how Pakistan is Geo-Strategically placed in the region. However very soon, by 2007-08, it became evident, as to how India, holds the pincer, not only for East to West, but also for North to South, of the world Geo Politics.

While the former(East to West) was realized by the US much later- this decade, the latter was within the earshot of the Russian Bear, since always.

Russian Refusal to supply S-400 Missiles to China anytime soon

The Third Front Invoked

Coinciding with Kargil Diwas, Russian PM Putin declared, that Russia shall not supply missiles for the S -400 missile defence system, till it conducts a comprehensive training in Russia, not un till COVID-19 is contained. Which means, till such Russia decides it to be so.

Implies also, Russia doesn’t intends Indian Su-30 MKI’s to be up against its own S-400, at least not till such time China’s J-17 is being regularly touted by China, as a direct competitor against Russian aviation industry.

And, Russia is very well aware, how helpless will be the unhinged Chinese airspace in Tibet and Aksai Chin, against Indian avionics and Aircraft ranges in the area.

Weapon market is a precarious playing field. That is why China still owes to keep Russian scientists along with S-400 weapon platform, and take permission from Russia for using it in a conflict.  Russia knows that, if India gets threatened in the area by S-400 defence system platform, India shall be using its supersonic  Brahmos Cruise missiles (Oniks-M Yakhont in Russian inventory).

Or worst, though India shall respect Russian concerns, in case of two front war, India may use its Directed energy weapons and Shaurya Hypersonic weapon platform. While former is on the same lines that Russia has, and won’t let China get a glimpse of its efficacy against S-400, as well as get a Hypersonic missile screaming towards Chinese missile defence system, which has a S-400 platform integrated.

Indian Defence Minister’s visit to Moscow, was to coordinate these above, since rest all is generally a given, between the two nations.

Peak into Central Asia and the Africa

The Fourth Front

Starting last year Syria crisis, and the recent feelers and negotiations between the US and Russia, it is evidently visible, how Russia has been not supporting China’s South China Sea forays and explicitly side with India, in its defence preparations in Ladakh.

Contrary to popular beliefs, China’s direct confrontation on Belt and Road Initiative(BRI) is not the US, but Russia. Russian driven Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) has the Bear staring suspiciously at the BRI.

China has since long been toffee wrapping BRI’s hegemonistic landscape towards all, including EAEU, as “Conjugation”.  Essence of the matter is highlighted by a simple example, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are all energy and chemical producers and exporters. While Russia intends to modulate this aspect, for export to Europe and to the industrial base that is coming up in South Asia, China wants to be the one to control the same, using Debt Trap.

Since some time, there has been demonstrations in Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, which was the Russian way of reassuring countries against Chinese intentions of Debt Trap. Russia also bulldozed China to agree on India linking up to the EAEU. While looking as a geostrategic move, from Russia’s standpoint, it was an effective counter balance to China, which was intended to be giving India a containment strategic depth against CPEC in India’s backyard.

In Africa, Russia is way deep in the game. Russia is now seeking to exploit conventional gas and oil fields in Africa and elsewhere. Part of its long term energy strategy is to use Russian companies to create new streams of energy supply. For example, Russian companies have made significant investments in Algeria’s oil and gas industries. They have also invested in Libya, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Egypt.

Russia is also expanding its African interests in minerals. Uranium : which is key to the nuclear power industry, is at the top of its list. In addition, Russian companies are producing aluminum in Nigeria, and have constructed hydropower stations in Angola, Namibia, Botswana. Russia is also on track to build nuclear plants in Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria. These investments are a means to becoming an integral part of Africa’s energy sector.

Similar are the Chinese interests in Africa, wherein China has been stonewalled by US interests in South of the African countries, Russia’s recent overtures, seemingly in concurrence with the US, have all been to the north of Africa.

Denial of space in Africa and Central Asia, has been the dominant factor, that China has to deal with now.

India in South China Sea and Denial of Indian Ocean

Indian naval ships conduct a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the United States Navy’s USS Nimitz carrier strike group

US, India and Japan have been conducting exercises, which sources confirm, are mapping exercises, of Chinese Navy presence in Indian Ocean. Denial of Gwador and Djibouti has been drill worked by the navies, and exact location and capabilities of the four warships in Dijibouti and naval presence in Gwador has been mapped.

In case of hostilities, both along with Hambantota port will be quarantined of any Chinese naval presence. Sri Lanka has been recently kept under pressure by China, however with new developments, the requisites has been conveyed by Sri Lanka to China. Good time for riddance!

India reaffirmed pledge for freedom of navigation in the South China Seas. This is after participation in May 2019 – four-nation exercise, in the region. China understands that while it is being challenged in high Himalayas, Indian tiger has got its footprint in China’s own Achilles Heel, the South China Seas.

Viewpoint

The fifth front being the South China Seas. Here, sensing the overall impact of its belligerence worldwide, China has toned down its amphibious exercises near Taiwan Straits. With US forces on alert, and additional US airstrips coming up in the Philippines Seas, China knows the fangs and teeth are real. US has already prepped its forces to land in Taiwan airstrips, and preparations have been war gamed, for the same.

Till May, US response in support of Taiwan was muted, however since July, it has been one of surefootedness. US led Quad has been vocal and in the face, in rejecting Chinese encroachment to the various islands, including “Claimed Reef Island Chains”. Vietnam has also been advocating for US naval presence on its shores, for assurance of freedom of navigation in South China Seas. Indonesia Malaysia has kept its distance, welcoming Indo-US navies at the Malacca straits.

India has been intent on claiming back Pakistan occupied Kashmir and occupied territories of Aksai Chin, for the first time in its independent history, with this absorbed resolve. China and Pakistan have been beating drums of belligerence all along the LAC and LoC, however India is yet to bat an eyelid. What makes China jittery is the manner in which its clamor in Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and along LAC, has been retorted with sound and surefooted policy.

While Kargil, twenty years back was less of a war, but a commotion, wrapped in glittery package of a “so-called tactical masterpiece” from the foolishly mercurial Musharraf. Currently, China in a bid to try a similarly crass endeavor, is increasingly appearing senseless in the region.

Like clockwork, slowly but surely, the five fronts have been revealed by India, to China, reality of which, now stands to worry the Dragon. What appeared to be the single trump card of Two Fronts, sadly for the dragon, has been dealt with an Ace, by the Government of India. For India, there is no turning back, as the moment of reckoning, has landed in their laps.

27 July 20/Monday                                                                              Written By: Fayaz

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