Tag: South Asia

Glimpse of the future?

One of the contractors working for me send me a link to a Reuters story about how India is scrambling to update its military capability out of fear of Chinese expansionism. Here is an excerpt:

(Reuters) – India’s 1.3 million-strong armed forces, hobbled by outdated equipment and slow decision-making, are undergoing an overhaul as defence priorities shift to China from traditional rival Pakistan.

And like a refit of the imposing but dilapidated defence ministry on Delhi’s grand South Block, it’s a plodding process.

Defence chiefs are hurrying to modernise ageing weaponry as China reinforces a 3,500-km (2,200-mile) shared but disputed border through the Himalayas.

It took 11 years to select France’s Rafale as the favoured candidate for a $15 billion splurge on 126 new combat jets to replace a Soviet-era fleet of MiGs dubbed “flying coffins” for their high crash rate.

At the same time, feeling encircled as China projects its fast-growing naval power from Hormuz to Malacca, India is rushing to firm up friendships the length and breadth of the Indian Ocean.

India is the world’s largest arms importer with plans to spend $100 billion on weapons over the next decade.

“The Indian military is strengthening its forces in preparation to fight a limited conflict along the disputed border, and is working to balance Chinese power projection in the Indian Ocean,” U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper told the U.S. Senate this week.

That “balance” includes a strategic alliance with Washington that in turn has stoked Chinese fears of containment. It is due to test-fire its nuclear capable Agni V rocket in the next few weeks, with a strike range reaching deep into China.

Now I could focus on the angle that India is trying the incredulously difficult task of rebuilding all three of her military branches – Navy, Air Force, and Army – to deal with this threat, basically abandoning 3 decades of concern about what that backwards shithole Pakistan meant security wise to them. Pakistan militarily is a joke. Save for the nukes and their terrorists their military is in an abysmal shape. Hopefully the US will cut off the $1 billion we give Pakistan’s military off and let them implode, but that’s a different discussion, and India certainly has surmised that a war with Pakistan won’t be their big problem anymore, likely because they would pound Pakistan into the ground.

Basically India is joining all the South East Asian countries that are waking up to the reality of what a more modern Chinese military capability means for them all. And that’s what I want to talk about. How often do you hear India, or for that matter anyone but those nations where tyrants with crazy ambitions of genocide, complain about the size or modernity of the US military, let alone spend some $100 billion to upgrade their armed forces to be better prepared? For all the talk about how America isn’t either exceptional or the peace that American military superiority provides as great a thing as many of us see it to be, it sure looks to me that India, or any of those neighboring the area, doesn’t expect a rising China to mean anything good for them.

Maybe that Pax Americana your average leftard college professors so cavalierly love to dismiss as either soft colonialism or just empire building isn’t as bad as what’s to follow it, huh? The Indians get it. The world in which America no longer is a super power and the guarantor of security isn’t going to be a friendly, nice, or better one. They are pretty convinced of that too if a country like India, with a growing but still relatively small economy, is willing to spend $100 billion in the coming decade to modernize their armed forces, while at the same time seeking alliances with the US, and others that share the vision that a Chinese surge isn’t going to be anything but bad for them, in that corner of the world. Wish our liberals would get this too.