Crisis of State — External Security

I was invited to deliver the 6th PA Ramakrishnan Lecture at the Bhatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mylapore, Chennai, Oct 5, 2014. For those who are interested, the talk and the interaction following was videographed and uploaded to Youtube and may be accessed as below:

Bharat Karnad on “Crisis of the State – India’s External Security” – 1

Bharat Karnad on “Crisis of the State – India’s External Security” – 2

Bharat Karnad on “Crisis of the State – India’s External Security” – 3

Bharat Karnad on “Crisis of the State – India’s External Security” – 4

Bharat Karnad on “Crisis of the State – India’s External Security” – 5

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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4 Responses to Crisis of State — External Security

  1. Shiva says:

    An eye-opening lecture and at the same time, deeply unsettling, Shri Bharat Karnad garu. I have a few questions.
    1. The Wiki article on ‘Chola Incident’ puts the fatalities figures of 400 killed and 450 wounded on the Chinese side and 88 killed and 163 wounded on the Indian side. ( Given the omnipresent fear and trauma prevalent in India’s discourse on China due to 1962, these figures should be a morale booster but I don’t see any one discussing them? How reliable are these figures that are so favourable to India and what is your take on this incident?
    2. Some reports say that we have an ELINT listening post in Mongolia to snoop on Chinese missile tests and rocket launches which they conduct in land-to-land configuration in the Gobi desert (unlike land-to-sea configuration by the India from Gopalpur as you pointed out). Is that true?
    3. With India under Modi refusing to affirm One China Policy unless China affirms One India Policy, do you see a change in Indian attitude toward the Chinese threat? Do you feel that Modi-Doval combo has the strategic vision, nerve to rattle the Chinese and more importantly, the stomach to fight? How do you rate them?
    4. Instead of restricting ourselves to defensive posture on the edges of Tibetan Plateau, the Indian Armed Forces should take the fight to the roof of the Tibetan Plateau with offensive forces and air-mountain warfare, to take a bite of Tibetan Land as a bargaining chip later on in the negotiations should they take Aksai Chin or Tawang. You have touched this thing. What kind of weapon systems, artillery and doctrines are needed and do you see any signs of India doing that?
    5. Why do you think the Chinese have vacated Arunachal Pradesh including Tawang in 1962 and why are they trying to get it now? Or was that ruse, a bargaining chip, to get Aksai chin? Or did they miscalculate grossly or was that a question of supply chains? If it was supply chain, they could have retained the Tawang Tract at least. This was always been puzzling to me. Please share your views and any inside info.
    6. How does Cambodia, with so much cultural similarities with the Hindu/Buddhist/Indian civilization, figure in our China Calculus?

    I know that these are too many questions and I thank your patience.
    Thank you very much.

    • 1. Haven’t seen the Wiki figures, but the differential in body count does not matter.
      2. Possibly.
      3.Nerve, yes; stomach for fight — don’t know; Vision — yet to be articulated,
      4. The offensive Mtn Divs and the Corps under raising with Apache attack helos in the van, light howitzers, and fast mobile tank units — except the Indian army should be thinking about a light tank — T-72 will be lumbering with engines having difficulty sucking in air in the hi-alt desert conditions.
      5. Their logistics couldn’t fetch up and there was danger of being stranded w/o supplies in Indian territory when the Indian army regrouped.
      6. Cambodia is culturally Hindu more than Sinic, but China has it firmly in its economic embrace.

  2. Aryan Dogra says:

    You spoke of the exchange ratio between India and Pakistan in the hypothetical situation of a nuclear exchange. Can you please shed some light on the exchange ratio between China and India if such an event were to take place? Can India reduce China to the same extent China can reduce India?

    • The exchange ratio will be completely unbalanced, because India does not have the megaton yield weapons I have been advocating since I was on the first NSAB. So, naturally the effect of our 20 KT — the only completely proven weapons in our inventory will fade vs the 1 MT -3.3 MT standard issue warheads on PLASASF (PLA Second Artillery Strategic Forces) missiles, and the 300KT-500KT weapons on Tibet-based MRBMs.

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