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Gloomy picture in India's neighborhood ...will 2014 elections make it worse?

With the approaching US military endgame 2014 in afghanistan india's western flank is looking an embodiment of hopelessness. The execution of Jamaat-e-islami and the chaos that has ensued thereafter in Bangladesh doesn't draw a rosy picture on the eastern flank either. Although the chienese have been sobered down a bit by increase in USA balancing thrust in east asia but still India would better be on its toes on eastern border. The elections in Maldives and attiftude of Sri lanka have not been pro-India at all.
All this calls for a massive foreign policy rejig and a preemptive approach to impending security threats which are more than a fanciful apprehension. The fact that india has one of the most uncertain general elections to date in 2014 only makes matters grim. The alleged statement by war monger prime minister of pakistan Nawaz Sharif would surely have raised eyebrows in defense ministry reflecting on the historical record of pakistan when their " confidence builing measures" are always followed by "kargils".
In this pessimistic scenario the expected "Hindu" card of BJP would make matters worse for internal and external security scenario in India . They have already started the process of polarisation by unnecessarily shaking up the hornet's nest in kashmir on the issue of article 370. Looks like a highly polarised general elections of 2014 combined with a grim situation on all borders and elections in bangladesh pose a real security challenge that our policy makers will have to take head on while there is still time.


  • General elections in India have always been highly polarised. Yet India remains an island of relative stability in a deadly and volatile neighbourhood. Elections come and go but we never have had any trouble with law and order in general as opposed to a Pak, Ban, SL, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan or Myanmar. The gloom preceding any general election is a general trend. The resurgence in spirit after it's over is also equally common. I believe that this current state of gloom would actually pass after the catharsis of the 2014 elections.
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
  • Yeah i agree the that elections have been conducted meticulously in the past by the election commission and the mandate ideally adhered to by the poeple as well as the contesting parties but sumhow the present situation looks very peculiar as pakistan has rebuilt its offensive capabilities after kargil and its going to have enough raw material from afghanistan after nato forces leave . The fact that India is slowly inching towards a ballistic missile shield may prompt pakistan to make an ideal attack when the whole country is busy in the polls because after ballistic missile chield is in place there nuke threat wont carry much water . Just hope that better sense prevails on our suicidal foolish neighbor :)
  • Pak attacking India openly ("war") is far more unlikely than it becoming a good neighbour to us. ;)
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
  • edited December 2013
    @RAJANAKIN.. I will just try to answer one scenario of pakistan attacking us.The scenario is highly unlikely... Ballistic missiles are just one of the ways to launch a nuclear attack. Even if the launch full scale attack they know that our ability to launch a second retaliatory strike or even a third strike is far more advanced or redundant, that it would defeat their purpose of the first strike...
    My post engineering days were dedicated to all these defence and nuclear related stuff.

    Our ABM is supposed to be ready this year shielding the NCR only at present.. So post 2014 our other cities like Mumbai and Bangalore(one of the ex ISI Chief had warned that Bangalore was one of the first cities on their radar if a nuclear war begins) would be still exposed...
    The true nature of ABM is to defeat accidental launches or terrorists getting a hold of one or two missiles...
    Even US patriot systems or Isreal Arrow 3 or Russian S 300 or 400 are not foolproof... They cannot guarentee against cruise missiles and radar evading aircrafts..
    Pakistanis know that any nuclear misadventure against India would nothing but lead to their country turned to a radioactive wasteland on the world map.. Sometimes they keep up their jinogoism and war mongering rhetoric out of stupidity.. Other than nuclear, Pakistan can never win a conventional war.. Thats why they stick to their proxy war of jihadi terrorism..
  • @Terminator
    Just on a lighter note ,

    The idea of Pak as "A radioactive wasteland" is a mouth watering one !!!

    The fault , dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings .
  • I didnt really mean that @LuV
  • @Teminator

    Neither did i mate !!!

    Just my imagination running wild.

    The fault , dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings .
  • I don't think India's neighborhood situation is gloomy and needs a "massive foreign policy rejig" or whatever that implies . First of all no major country does an about turn or any sort of "rejig" with its foreign policy that easily. As far as our neighborhood is concerned

    Afghanistan-It is relatively stable especially after the latest loya zirga supporting US based resolution and
    Hamid Karzai need to agree to it. A limited US presence of special forces and CIA operatives with their drones for raining down lead and sulfur on talibani morons will keep it stable.We have to wait for the first milestone on this unknown road ahead which is the next presidential elections, scheduled for 2014. Will they be conducted fairly? Or will they be manipulated. What makes these elections critical is that, these will be the first presidential elections conducted and managed by Afghans, rather than the international community. For many Afghans, a successful electoral process will be convincing proof that history has, in fact, changed course in Afghanistan. Success in their minds, will be defined by a peaceful transfer of
    power or it will lead to tribal ethical strife and I think we have seen this movie before.

    Pakistan-For the first time in the entire history of Pakistan, 60 percent of voters went to the polls; threats by the Pakistan branch of the Taliban to disrupt the elections by organizing a series of terrorist attacks had no effect. It is noteworthy that the military did not interfere in the election process either; in fact they actually helped carry them out, guaranteeing order at polling stations with the provision of 70,000 military servicemen (the first such case in Pakistan’s history). As a result Nawaz Sharif has become the head of the federal cabinet of ministers for the third time .It seems Nawaz Sharif is making the right noises for peace with India and resolving issues with Afghanistan.

    Bangladesh-I think the whole problem in Bangladesh started in 2011, when the government brought the 15th amendment to the constitution, to restore some of the provisions of the 1972 constitution that had formed the basis of Bangladesh’s political structure and its constitutional ethos and especially those which relate to religion, language and the judicial structure of the state that plays a role in protecting the constitution. It restored the secular provisions of the constitution but also retained its Islamic provisions, thus continuing to give primacy to Islam . Recent trouble started with the caretaker government issue as they do not have a free and fair election commission.Here India needs to help Bangladesh with respect to conducting free and fair elections and maintain its Bengali ethos rather than go all jamaati.

    As far as nuclear war between India and Pakistan is concerned it is highly unlikely and not to be discussed such lightly . As far as ABM is concerned it is generally not considered a viable alternative to good old fashioned diplomacy as the whole system can easily be overwhelmed or saturated by a large number of missiles including a lot of dud ones.
    Last i checked Pakistan has cruise missiles like Babur and Hatf which are terrain hugging and maneuverable
    which no ABM can stop.On a lighter note Pakistan does have nightmares about our cold start doctrine which we have denied it overtly and can deploy its TNW (Tactical nuclear weapons) like nasr against our forces , but as i had written earlier it is highly unlikely scenario and we have to keep it that way.

    The best way forward for South Asia is for India to have " Gujral Doctrine " with chanakya twist to it by keeping our covert and strategic assets intact and our spies deep inside our neighboring countries.
    As for the rest of the world Non alignment 2.0 is our best bet for another 15 years.

    "People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought, which they avoid." Søren Aabye Kierkegaard
  • I hope someone is following this thread closely and jotting down ideas for a spy thriller! :P
    Sharpen your axe, before cutting down the tree...
  • @sidharth575 By rejig i mean changing our cold attitude to the united states and japan into a more proactive and participatory one . Whether or not a nuclear holocaust is likely i cannot say but u can definitely trust our neighbor with its periodic misadventures . After all pakistan has been breeding nukes faster than Bangladesh's population growth rate for past few years with a clear objective in mind. The rosy picture of afghanistan that you are projecting is far from real with the dreaded taliban been asked to come to negotiating table it just shows that the USA has almost given it up here.
    As far as bangladesh is concerned the problem is non ratification of boundary settlement due to arrogant and loud mouthed response of the BJP is likely to make the fanatic forces strong in the lections over there.
    Concerning ABM question it is indeed a massive deterrent once it comes into place you saw USA tomahawks backtrack in syria when russia promised it s 300 . Finally pakistan's pseudo spurt of democracy ..he he are you serious mate you think thats encouraging for India ? when the same democratic head delivers a budget speech full of " a fourth war that could be go nuclear???
    I really would like us all to learn from our past when Nehru's romantic panchsheel and non alignment cost us a lot of our self respect and territory in 1962. Being overtly optimistic has never ever helped us in history. Gujral doctrine only holds for small neighbours like bhutan or myanmar now even nepal and sri lanka havn't yielded much to our big brotherly love . The way forward for India in neighbourhood of a nuclear hotsopt is aligning to usa-india-japan axis in military terms and russia-china-india axis in economic terms ., gujral doctrine and non alignment has left us with a back full of stab scars.
  • “Friendship of America is more dangerous than its enmity.”Henry Kissinger

    I'm not against US or anything like that but , the above quote reflect the popular sentiment of the world's strategic community and it's constant refusal to share defence technology . Have you not noticed that we have been buying US weapons off the self as they are not willing to share critical technologies .
    India has in the past few years has bought weapons from the US. These include purchase of Lockheed Martin LM2500 marine turbines to power warships, C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, C-17 Globemaster-III heavy cargo aircraft, and P-8I Poseidon Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti Submarine Warfare (LRMR and ASW) aircraft. Negotiations are reportedly ongoing for AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and CH47 Chinook heavy lift helicopters .
    We have been buying from US to shift Indian defence purchases from the traditional Russian/Soviet dependence which has been driven by the need to diversify defence purchases and identifying the best globally available equipment . Our domestic industry both in terms of global standards of technology and performance has been unable to meet the military needs, particularly of the army and the air force.
    While it is widely acknowledged that US defence technology is the most advanced, it is also accepted that often purchasing US defence equipments come with high restrictions. The US only shares most of its high-end defence technology with very few allied nations for example, the UK which gets open access to US defence technology. However, even the UK has started facing restrictions as is evident from the F-35 programme wherein sharing of the F-35 software source code with UK became a big issue. Do not get me started on the problem of supply of spares which Americans can abruptly stop is case of a war if they want to.This itself makes a case for the preference for technology transfer rather than outright purchase which Americans currently don't agree upon. If US addresses this issue then we can have good defence collaboration with the US . As far as their "Asia Pivot" is concerned I'm all for it but with caution . Americans have put us in USPACOM ( United States Pacific Command) rather than USCENTCOM ( United States Central Command ) where Pakistan is . That means US wants India against China which could turnout to be a tightrope walk for India. As far as Japan is concerned I'm all for it there is a great future in our relationship military and otherwise.
    Now as far as " the curious case of Pakistan " is concerned it is rogue state with nuclear weapons with an elevated sense of self worth . It is making huge amount of nukes because it thinks it is going to have to defend the Muslim ummah ( muslim world ) against India , Israel and The great Satan (US) as if India is anti Muslim and the muslim world needs to be defended againt us infidels . So we don't need be a shrink to diagnose paranoid schizoid personality with DID ( Dissociative identity disorder ). Thats why we need to maintain peace with the crazy country for the time being .
    Now about our ABM systems are concerned it is not yet ready and matured enough as more tests need to be done , system integration needs to be done , X band RADAR needs to be developed indigenously and most of India need to be brought under it to fully trust it against Pakistan. A volley of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles will confuse our system due to different flight trajectories of both of them. US didn't attack Syria not because of S-300 being able to shoot down Tomahawks because they have eventually realized that both the sides are bad and atleast Assad is secular plus US has great SEAD (suppression of enemy air defence ) capabilities next to none , so could bypass the S-300 to attack Syria .
    As far as Afghanistan is concerned it is hopelessly divided into tribal Pashtun (Pathan) , Tajiks , Uzbekis , Hazaras , Turkmen, Baloch etc . The Pashtuns make up the largest tribal ethnic group in Afghanistan, comprising 42-60% of the country's population.Taliban which is mainly Pashtun has to be involved for stabilization of Afghanistan otherwise they will butcher each other.
    As far Bangladesh is concerned i agree we need to solve our boundry issue as soon as possible.
    I agree we do need to be aggressive in our foreign policy that's why i advocate Gujral doctrine with Chanakya twist in which we can take a moral high ground with our covert assets in our neighbouring country
    so if they backstab us we can suitably retaliate . Aligning ourself with US -Japan will make China queasy which can spell trouble for us . We need to develop our self economically and militarily before we can join any axis against China or any other country that's why NAM 2.0 for the time being.

    "People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought, which they avoid." Søren Aabye Kierkegaard
  • @sidharth575

    Take a bow man !!
    The way you have listed the weapons and technologies involved i can only imagine myself at that level !!

    Tumhe itna gyan kaise mere dost ,kaise ?!?
    The fault , dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings .
  • well i dont feel defence co-operation always boils dow to just equipment acquistion....every1 knows about usa'a end user agreements but pakistan has violated it ample amount of times against india . To safeguard against the tweak experiments of GPS by the USA in times of war (as in iraq which caused iraqi missiles to go haywire) India has done well to bank on GLONASS as well . Meanwhile ISRO is almost done wid GAGAn which wud provide further boost to ABM or c-20 LASER weapons aboard a large fleet of AWACS which wud be greatly helped by the c130j super hercules ...u mustve noticed the strategic edge the super hercules offers in terms of troop mobilisation like in daulat beg oldie . I do agree with u that India should lie dormant for a while till we drag ourselves out of poverty and acheive a respectable hdi rank.
    Talking of chankayaniti i beileve we really need to look back at arthashastra and get these few things done to emphasise our position in asia and also to affirm our deserved place in UNSC as a permanent member :
    1. Increase strategic co-operation with ASEAN nations especially vietnam so that we can block the strait of malacca in case of a chiense misadventure thereby crippling its fuel supply.
    2. Rethink about our unilateral second use policy on the nuclear bomb to send a stern message to pakistan that we will use preemptive strikes on its ground based launchers as pakistan does not have brahmos like submarine launched nuke missile . The remaining air based and canister based weapons will be accounted for by our ballistic missile shield..
    3. Give moral support to Baluchistan and pashtunistan freedom struggles as the pakistanis do for Azad Kashmir. This will keep it busy in its own house and make it devote less time to disrupt our internal security.
    I think all these steps will catapult indiam foreign policy from that of a "soft state" to a more assertive Asian rising super power.

  • @LuV
    Thanks mate just take an avid interest in it . Actually most of this is not even required for civil services preparation .
    "People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought, which they avoid." Søren Aabye Kierkegaard
  • @sidharth575

    Kuch bhi ho bhai.I was impressed by your knowledge of the weapons and related tech .info.
    Nice Work !!
    It can help you in interview i think if you state this as your hobby. ;-)

    Knowledge never goes waste n i am sure you will find good use of it in exam or anywhere else .
    All the BEst !!!
    The fault , dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings .
  • theek hai bhai log lets stop this discussion now :) its going at all the wrong places for aspiring bearaucrats ..its looking more like an india tv sansani news right now he he he .

    ha ha ha
    Sansani .
    Chain se jeena hai to jaag jao ,dushmann ko dekhte hi bhagg jao !!!

    The fault , dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings .
  • I think off late Pakistan has been trying to convince India to demilitarize siachen for enviornmental reasons.. If you read pakistani news website it seems that pakistan thinks it would be india who would attack first and not pakistan. Pakistani opinions are that India ( the Big brother ) pays no heed to the Pakistan ( younger Brother or small brother).

    I guess Pakistan is in no position to attack India as it is already considering a bail out from IMF. With huge BOP crisis and high FD it simply cannot afford a war. Huge unemployment and a faltering economy , It would be a foolish decision to attack India and I believe no statesman would wish to waste scarce resources on a war.

    As far as Bangladesh is concerned, the situation can be taken in a good light. the youngsters there have a secular outlook and seems democracy is deepening there. What they want is severe punishment for all those who were involved in cruelty during the Bangladesh liberation war. This situation might create safe havens for terrorists in bangladesh that could be a real threat to India's internal as well as external security.
    More high level visits , finalizing Land boundary agreement are few things which New Delhi should immediately think upon.

  • i might not have such extensive knowledge about hardware but if we analyze carefully
    it will try to continue as supporting terrorism but there can be launch of nuclear missiles recently there were articles that the pakistani missiles werent as good in fact they werent successful.our information is a bit limited in hardware given the fact no country will disclose the success or failure of weapons any nuclear attack on india will lead to worldwide condemnation and cut off aid on pakistan by usa.pakistan wouldnt want to get its aid cut off unless it finds a way to get its edconomy in a better shape.

    i think its a good thing that BNP is going to win the elections and since its friendly towards to india.JeI shouldve been punished for their warcrimes a long time ago.

    this is the most depressing scenario for indians.there will be atime when US leaves afghanistan. problem with afghanistan is if US wants to supply weapons,fuel extra to keep afghanistan army well armed it faces bleak prospects,
    Iran in west
    US would not use iran due to its hostility
    CIS countries in north
    problem is they themselves are landlocked and its not feasible to get supplies till there and then get them to afghanistan
    only choice but this is like allowing the enemy to control your weapon supplies and pakistan might not allow them.i feel that talibans(because of the negative rep they have) might not come up again but there will be chances that a new faction most likely sponsored be pakistan and pro pak will come up.

    an aggressive diplomacy is required.china has disputes with most of its neighbours and it is easy to get support from them that includes-vietnam,south korea and japan.to counter china a bit of bullying will be necessary.china might try to use pakistan to create problems for india.but long term it will benefit us as we gain three new allies all are regional powers and give china a big a headache on many frontiers.

    i havent read much on relations about india with sri lanka,maldvies,mynamar and bhutan so i cant comment on them.
  • @sidharth575

    Take a bow man !!
    The way you have listed the weapons and technologies involved i can only imagine myself at that level !!

    Tumhe itna gyan kaise mere dost ,kaise ?!?
    IDSA me kaam karta hoga... :))
  • @all..GS paper hangover aur Interview ka bukhaar dikh raha hai sabo ka...great points made..
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