The Chinese Threat and India Gets Ready

China and India have been neighbours for as long as history has been written. But the social intercourse between them has been limited, as the mighty Himalayas became an effective barrier that could not be breached. But in the 21 st century,the situation has changed and both nations realise that the Himalayas are no longer a barrier for modern armies.

The Chinese have the upper hand as they have not only gobbled up large tracts of Indian land and at the same time have a large body of troops available for combat role. The Indians were complacent with leaders like Nehru who lived in a utopian world, that crashed very fast. Thus India is faced with a Chinese threat that is very real.

The Indian General staff has thus decided to augment the forces on the eastern border. Officials have confirmed that two fresh infantry mountain divisions are under raising. This will augment the strike force with about 35000 additional troops. These would be local troops from Arunachal Pradesh and called the Arunachal Scouts. Both these divisions have been tasked to defend Arunachal Pradesh against the Cinese. Unlike other battalions that are moved from place to place, the Arunachal Scouts will remain in Arunachal itself. The divisions will be raised by 2011 and will add to the strike formations that already face the Chinese.

The Macmohan line is the boundary recognised by India in the east. But China has never accepted this line as the border and hence the situation is volatile in the entire region. The Indian Army has already two corps in position to face the Chinese. They are 4 Corps based at Tezpur and 33Corps at Siliguri. Both Corps are headed by Lieutenant Generals. In addition there are the military air bases with interceptors and fighters at Tezpur, Hashimara and Baghdogra.

The 1962 defeat has had a sobering effect and the Indian Army is now geared to defend the border. But logistics on the Indian side is a problem as the goods have to be taken up from the plains to the hills, in contrast to this, the Chinese supply lines are simple and direct. In addition they have also built a rail line right up to Lasha.

However setting up these ethnic troop divisions should go a long way to counter the Chinese threat. Staffed by locals who know the area well as also being acclimatised to the region would go a long way in shoring up the Indian defences in the region.

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