Indian Defence Purchases & Exercise on China Border
By Zaheerul Hassan
In the first week of March 2012, India has conducted four days major military exercise in north-eastern sector, including Arunachal Pradesh close to the Chinese border. Special Forces of the Army and frontline fighters such as Su-30MKI as part of the endeavour to be battle ready in the inhospitable mountainous region have participated in day–night Exercise “Code-named as 'Pralay' (devastation. Apart from participating of ground forces, Mirage-2000, MiG-29 and Jaguar fighter aircraft, IAF has also flown the strategic lift C-130J transport plane along with AN-32 and the AWACS.
Notably, China has been laying claim over entire Arunachal Pradesh and famous Indo-Sino War has also been fought in this region in 1962. The 2,000-kilometre border between India and China has been the subject of inconclusive diplomatic talks since the 1980s. The covert objective of this exercise seems to get control over source of Brahmaputra River, eastern region and ultimately containing China. However, in response to Indian Exercise, in the last quarter of March, 2012 China has also conducted a major excise “live fire” with a view to show her muscles to India. During this exercise China has tested its multi-role J-10 fighters armed with laser-guided and other bombs, in the high-altitude Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In this connection Chinese official media on March 22, 2012 stated the exercise as "the first operation of its kind" on the 3,500-metre high plateau, which saw the fighter jets being fuelled and loaded with bombs for ground attack missions during sub-zero temperatures. The purpose of this exercise was to give a strong signal to India, which has belatedly taken to strategically counter China's massive build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control over the last two decades.
Anyhow, the past history reveals that India went for aggression against her neighbouring countries whenever she carried out huge defence expending. Before launching of attack on China in 1962, heaping up of arms has been done by India. For example, in 1961, India had acquired aircraft, helicopters’ engineering and other military equipment from the United States and Russia. In this regard she had purchased eight Antov transports--complete with 40 Soviet pilots, navigators and mechanics--for use in Aksai Chin. Russian also supplied India with 24 Ilyushin-14 transports and Mil'-4 helicopters, capable of lifting men and supplies to altitudes of 17,000 feet. By mid-1962, India had also agreed to buy two squadrons of Soviet MiG jet fighters. Thus fortified, India pursued a more aggressive foreign policy against China and ultimately invaded China and faced embracement in the shape of defeat.
Nevertheless, in 2009, India increased its defense budget by a whopping 28.2 percent or Rs 130,000.00 million. Some experts estimate that military spending will increase further, totaling as much as 200 billion dollars over the period to 2022. Similarly, once again India has raised her defence expending for year 2012 & 2013. According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) India appeared as world number one arms importer and China is at number two whereas America is number one dealer of arms supplier. India now accounts for 9 percent of global arms purchases, followed by China at 6 percent. According to SIPRI’s report India, which seeks to modernize its military in order to keep with up with the Chinese, is expected to spend about $80-billion over the next decade. Indian expansion design and her ambitions of becoming continental and regional power and dominance in Indian oceans are unhidden. She is representing herself as American watchdog in Asia. Her military preparations remain Chinese and Pakistani specific. Reportedly, India wants to buy fighter jets and aircraft carriers as part of its plan to completely overhaul and modernize its military into a global superpower elite force. For this purpose in the next five years more than $50-billion would be spending to modernize its military, which includes $10-billion for 126 new fighter jets.
In recent years, India has bought reconnaissance aircraft from US aerospace, Boeing of worth 2.1 billion-dollars, medium range missiles for 1.4 billion dollars from Israeli Aerospace Industries, and signed a contract with the Russian Aircraft Corporation to upgrade its MiG 29 squadrons for 965 million dollars. Several deals are planned for the near future including one of the largest arms contracts of recent times—a 11-billion-dollar project to acquire 126 multi-role combat aircraft.
In February 2010, Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony disclosed that India’s defence expenditure which is 2.5 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) is going to increase. Antony explained that our government is committed to rapid modernisation of armed forces. Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told lawmakers while announcing rise of 12 percent in the 2012-13 budgets in parliament said that allocation is based on present needs and any further requirement will be met.
As regards New Delhi’s purchases from Israel, India’s ‘The Tribune’ wrote, “Tel Aviv “agreed to share its expertise with India in various fields such as surveillance satellites and space exploration.” With the support of Israel, New Delhi has been acquiring an element of strategic depth by setting up logistical bases in the Indian Ocean for its navy. Israeli experts have also helped Indian security forces in training of commandos. These commandos are carrying out ruthless operation against innocent Kashmiries’ freedom fighters, Maoists and militancy in Pakistan.
India has fought three wars with Pakistan since independence in 1947. Kashmir conflict, water dispute and interface in Balochistan are major irritants between New Delhi and Islamabad. Bangladesh, Nepal and China too are also entangled with India in border, water and energy disputes with India. Indeed, Indian war preparations ponder that she believes in power politics. According to Morgenthau, "a political animal, man is born "to seek power", and his lust for power has no limits" since power politics leads to political realism. Morgenthau saying found true in the case of Indian political and military elite since it is reality that New Delhi believes in expansionism and many times went for aggression against her neighbours. Political philosopher “Hans J. Morgenthau” is of the view that: “Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature, While John J. Mearsheimer, author of offensive realism, believes that great powers are more concerned in surviving in this anarchic world essentially through power. Although in general, national interest is the driving force and is easy to define that all states in the international arena seek to preserve their territorial integrity and political autonomy. But Indian hegemonic design believes in expansionism and doesn’t respect the integrity and political autonomy of others regional states.
Indian quest for 'Arms purchasing' is directly threatening regional peace and security of the countries like China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Increasing arms race between Indio-China and Indo-Pakistan has been sped up just because of Indian hegemonic design and her aggressive posture. In this regard U.S. is fully supporting Indian desire of expansionism because both have common objective of repressing China. In short, Indian defence purchases, U.S. interference in Balochistan, pressurizing Pakistan on Gas Pipeline Project, coercive diplomacy against Iranian nuclear programme, meddling in China and Russia can lead to the next global war. Pakistan and China have shown their concern over Indian defence purchases and conduct of exercise along Chinese border. U.S. and her allies have aggressive strategic culture and danger to the global peace. UNO and world community should condemn the abrasive design of U.S. her allies.