A Post-AUKUS World And India’s Options

President Biden hosts \'Quad nations\' meeting at the Leaders\' Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework at the White House in Washington. Credit: Reuters Photo
[Uhmm….partner, eh?]

Whatever the other effects of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, it has transformed global geopolitics. It sparked four notable geopolitical events. Apprehending China as potentially the principal beneficiary of the emerging order in Central Asia and, through its most important regional client, Pakistan, in southern Asia and, possibly, the Indian Ocean region as well, the United States countered with a new military alliance with its old Anglo-saxon partners — AUKUS (Australia, United Kingdom and US) to replace the moribund Cold War-era ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, US). 

Paris reacted with vehemence with a visibly agitated French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian calling it a “stab in the back”. Not only because France lost a US$ 65 billion contract with Australia for its Barracuda diesel submarine that would have kept its high-tech military sector  in the clover for a while but because a supposedly trusted, traditional ally, the US, trumped it by offering a nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) along with its production expertise, something  Canberra could not refuse. It led to Paris renewing its call for a European security alliance that  Germany too supports and for the same reason that NATO, rather than protecting Europe and advancing European interests, acts as a handmaiden of the US.

Besides damning AUKUS as a destabilizing move and a strategic provocation, Beijing has reacted by mooting an Africa Quadrilateral of China, Russia, France or Germany, and a group of African countries as counterweight, also to the India-Japan-US-Australia Quadrilateral.  But this Africa Quad is a stillborn idea, their immediate anger aside, because neither France nor Germany  intends to deal a deathblow to NATO, and because few of the prospective African member states  want to alienate  the US.

That leaves the future of the original ‘Security Diamond’ or Quadrilateral to contain China that the former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe had conceived in 2007 up in the air. AUKUS has occasioned serious doubts about the utility of the Quad other than as its strategic backup — a distinctly subsidiary role neither India nor Japan signed up for. In order to mollify hurt sentiments and to preempt a rethink on the Quad by New Delhi and Tokyo, President Joe Biden  convened the Quad summit in Washington and scheduled one-on-one  meetings with Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Yoshihide Suga September 24-25. But these meetings have not dissipated the confusion and doubts about America’s intentions.

Arming Australia with a fleet of nuclear attack submarines is, however, a US decision with a fallout. Apparently, Washington considered the fast-changing Asian and international ‘correlation of forces’ to be alarming enough to part with its military crown jewels — technologies  constituting  the Virginia-class SSN firing Tomahawk long range cruise missiles, a deal that includes the wherewithal  to manufacture the boat. To speed up the process of nuclearizing the Australian Navy, moreover, the US reportedly is even considering handing off to the Aussies the three Guam-based Los Angeles-class SSNs as platforms for training crews and maintenance personnel. Until now, the UK was the only country to benefit from such American technological largesse, with Britain being helped to produce eight Trafalgar and Astute-class SSNs and four heavier Vanguard-class nuclear powered ballistic missile-firing submarines (SSBNs).

An Australian Navy with Tomahawk-equipped SSNs does three things. It terminates any plans President Xi Jinping may have had to invade Taiwan with a naval armada and forcibly assimilate it into mainland China by 2049, the centenary year of the Communist revolution, by when Beijing expects the country to surpass the US as the wealthiest country in the world and as a military power to be at least the equal of America. Secondly, it heralds the end of the inequitable nuclear nonproliferation order based on the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty. With the US onpassing lethal nuclear technologies to an ally, Washington will be in no position any longer to preach  nonproliferation and sanction proliferators. 

And thirdly, it  starts the clock on Japan and South Korea acquiring  nuclear arsenals of their own, convinced as they would be by now that while the US will go to any extent to protect its interests and those of its fellow Anglosaxon partners, and AUKUS is evidence of it, traditional Asian allies of the US cannot bank on Washington to effectively deliver extended nuclear deterrence against an aggressive China. Thinking along these lines began in recent years in Tokyo and Seoul around when the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2015 advised the Japanese government to go get nuclear weapons to tackle the nuclear sabre rattling North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. And this when the far more onerous security threat then as now continues to be China. The US reticence in challenging Beijing militarily is as pronounced with the Democrat Joe Biden in the White House as when Donald Trump was president. But it meshes with America’s long term objective of a G-2 ruling condominium with China that was first outlined by President Barack Obama.  AUKUS only furthers this aim. 

Most of these developments are unhelpful from the Indian perspective. For instance, building up Australia’s naval muscle will not lessen the Chinese pressure in the Himalayas. But the alacrity with which Washington transferred its most sensitive military technologies to Australia has  contrasted badly with the American foot-dragging evidenced in the 2012 India-US Defence Trade and Technology Initiative that, other than hot air and shrill sales pitches for the antique F-16 (dressed up as a modern F-21) fighter aircraft, has to-date produced no transfer of  advanced technology or any collaborative project.

On the collective security front, with AUKUS emerging centre stage, the Quad has receded into the background as has India’s importance. India can, however, avoid becoming a bit player in an US security scheme by organizing an India and Japan-led  modified Quadrilateral (Mod Quad) with Taiwan replacing Australia and a group of Southeast Asian nations substituting for the US, with AUKUS free to cooperate or not with the Mod Quad militaries in restricting China’s options. India has no other alternative to retain its independent strategic status and standing.


Published in my ‘Realpolitik’ column in BloombergQuint.com Sept 27, 2021, at: https://www.bloombergquint.com/opinion/quad-modi-biden-meet-a-post-aukus-world-and-indias-options

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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75 Responses to A Post-AUKUS World And India’s Options

  1. Deepak says:

    Sir, you are suggesting “India and Japan-led modified Quadrilateral (Mod Quad) with Taiwan replacing Australia and a group of Southeast Asian nations substituting for the US”.But Southeast Asian nations like Malaysia,Indonesia,Philippines etc with the exception of Vietnam are not willing to take China heads on even though they are concerned with Chinese activities in South China sea.South Korea is neutralized by North Korea.Cambodia,Thailand, Singapore,Myanmar etc are definitely not interested in any military alliance against China.IS this Mod Quad even feasible without US and Australia?

    • Deepak@ — South Korea can neutralize North Korea (and China — the original nuclear tech and expertise supplier) only with nuclear weapons. While Malaysia and Indonesia may be tepid in reacting to China, both dispute Chinese claims in the contested South China Sea. The proposed Mod Quad, noreover, is a loose security coalition, not a military alliance.

      • Deepak says:

        Sir,I think potential partners for Mod Quad is India,Japan,Taiwan,Vietnam and South Korea.Others may join later only if it is effective against China.
        For Mod Quad to be effective first thing to do is Japan and India should come out of ineffective Quad and concentrate on Strengthening Mod Quad which looks very unlikely in the near future.

        If there is Quad,Mod Quad and AUKUS running parallel then it would be ineffective against China.Also not inviting France into Quad which is a player in Pacific with possession of French Polynesia and New Caledonia is a great strategic blunder.

        Ideal Quad should have India,US,Japan,France,Australia,UK,Vietnam,South Korea,Taiwan plus force multipliers like Malaysia,Indonesia,Philippines and New Zealand which would make China really in trouble in Indo Pacific region.

  2. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    China on Monday defended its visa curbs which have prevented thousands of stranded Indians from returning to Beijing, saying they are “appropriate” to control the spread of COVID-19 and do not target India alone, but are applied to even Chinese citizens coming back from overseas.

    Responding to questions on Indian ambassador to Beijing Vikram Misri’s criticism of China’s prolonged stringent travel restrictions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying also ruled out the easing of the curbs in the near future.

    Mr Misri, in his address to the Track-II Dialogue on China-India Relations last week, expressed “disappointment” over China’s reluctance to permit the return of thousands of stranded Indian students, employees and their families due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Besides over 23,000 Indian students studying in Chinese colleges, mostly medicine, hundreds of businessmen, employees, and their families have been stuck in India since last year.

    The curbs also resulted in several people either losing jobs, businesses, or separation of families.

    Meanwhile, according to the Indian embassy in Beijing, several students on Monday demonstrated in front of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi protesting against the visa curbs which effectively prevented them from returning to re-join their studies in the country.

    Excerpts from the following article;


    What a blatant lie from the Chinese side. Chinese citizens coming from abroad are required to do a 21 days quarantine at the point of entry at a government designated hotel followed by a 14 days quarantine at home.

    A lot of these Indian students even went to Bangladesh, Nepal and U.A.E to get the Chinese vaccines and still the Chinese government is denying them entry and they are being asked to attend online classes. Medical studies require regular hospital/lab study visits. It’s not something that one can do online.

    Indian establishment doesn’t care about the common citizens that’s why Indian government isn’t serious about pursuing the aforesaid.

    Indian media instead of aggressively taking up serious issues like the aforesaid is going needlessly hyper over a non issue like the Indian Prime Minister addressing the United Nations General Assembly Session.

    Any head of state can give a speech over there, what’s the big deal.

    • Kabutar Udha says:

      It is shame that there are Indians that want to give China time and money to get a piece of paper(Certificate) frm China. Indians must also introspect the meaning a purpose of the education system that has been developed inside and outside the country.

      • Gaurav Tyagi says:

        Nice name man, it’s all about money. A 6 year MBBS course, 5 years of medical studies plus 1 year of Mandarin language studies cost approximately 25 Lakhs Indian Rupees in China.

        Try finding out the fees/donation involved in getting a medical seat at any private medical college in India. The whole 5 year MBBS course will cost in Crores.

    • Kabutar Udha says:

      The answer is obvious from your response. You are responding as an individual Indian. But India’s response should be to make that kind of education available to all Indians in India and may be even require them to learn one more Indian language that they do know but of their own choosing.
      The original Indian system of Gurukul was the best, till certain events occurred and then again when the British wanted English speaking people to expand their empire. Many people wanted to cozy up to the British to get positions/jobs. When you talk about the Chinese they want to expand their empire with Mandarin speaking people.

      • Gaurav Tyagi says:

        Could be, should be don’t have any meaning. Indian private medical colleges are largely owned by politicians to launder their black money into white.

        The status quo will prevail in the country since, both the bureaucracy as well as the political class is benefiting from the present system.

        I agree with you that English system of education just wanted Indians to serve as clerks/peons for the empire however, I have my doubts over the Gurukul system.

        Indians should stop living under the false illusion of fake medieval times glory. If the country was so strong then why did it failed to prevent the Mughal invasions, the advent of the British East India Company and finally becoming a slave colony of Britain

        We are taught wrong history. Gandhi and Nehru were British agents. Congress was a party founded by British liberals of that time to fool the Indians. RSS at that time used to be ace British boot lickers and spies of the empire.

        Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar and their fellow revolutionaries were the real freedom fighters. Subhas Chandra Bose also had an “out of the box” approach for country’s interest.

        Yankees also wish to dominate the world through English, Hollywood and so called American culture. Chinese are playing the game as well. This all is a part and parcel of Geopolitical strategy.

  3. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    Including Taiwan in the so called Mod Quad is an excellent idea however, none of the Southeast nations will antagonize China.

    The annual business between China and Vietnam has crossed more than $100 Billion. A large number of Chinese businessmen have manufacturing companies in Vietnam.

    India, Japan and Taiwan are enough for this alliance. South Korea should be invited to join, if it’s interested but if wishes were horses beggars would ride.

    Indian policy makers (irrespective of the political party in power at the centre) are too docile and incompetent. They do not have the guts to antagonize their white (American) masters.

  4. Amit says:

    One observation I had during the recent Quad summit in the US was that the US media completely ignored it. In contrast to their coverage of the AUKUS alliance or the recent G7 summit. To me this tells me a couple of things – either the US media has an Anglo Saxon bias, or the Quad is losing its importance. It’s probably both. There was one detailed QUAD game theory analysis article published on CNBC, but this was written before the AUKUS alliance was announced. The coverage of the Quad summit in the Indian media on the other hand was extensive. Clearly, the US media has given a thumbs down to the Quad. So your comment about the Quad losing relevance to AUKUS perhaps is already resonating true.

    However, there is one angle that India maybe be playing with the Quad – the economic. India can benefit tremendously from US investments in India and can strengthen its economy provided it has transparent business practices and good infrastructure. The infrastructure part is improving, but business transparency and ease is still below par. This is one area that the US India partnership can address provided India plays its cards well. There is over $5T of capital waiting to be deployed in the US – if India can provide good returns, this capital will flow to India. With the Quad trying to implement alternate supply chains, and collaborate on technology, this is something that India can achieve partnering with the US. Let’s hope India can actually do this well.

    I’ve also been reading other analyst writings about India having its feet in two boats. Quad with the US and SCO/BRICS with China. Though I must say that the Quad had been activated much after the SCO/BRICS (at a time when US India relations were much worse). However, I would argue that India is clearly in the US camp now and is an outlier in the SCO. It also has more leverage in BRICS now. So while India has its feet in two boats, it is leaning more to the US side. But the risk of alienating both parties is still there and India should take care to avoid this.

    My take on Indian foreign policy is that it is trying to be strategically autonomous, but is currently partnering with the US to shore up its economy. I expect India to behave a lot more autonomously once it’s economy hits $5T and definitely more so when it is a $10T economy. I think you may start to see alternate India led alliances then. IMHO, Japan is too diffident with China and does not have the military capacity yet to partner with India to take on China. In a few years though all this could change. My take is that India is partnering with the US to grow economically – this is where Indo US ties can grow. Militarily, there is not much more to achieve. Whatever tech US can sell to India, it already has (Apache, Chinooks, 777s, Romeos, Pi8s, cyber intelligence etc). India does not need US aircraft. For engines it is negotiating with Safran/Rolls Royce. India is already capable in Missile Defence. The US will never part with its nuclear submarine or aircraft carrier technology. So no point fussing over that. The open aspect is economic investments. Once that is realized it could lead to more defence partnerships as well. The way India is behaving indicates that this is the direction it wants to take.

    Once India achieve economic heft, it will bring in some of these SE Asian states into its umbrella and provide more leadership. I would wager that India, France and Japan might start off with something in the nearer future, which may expand later to include the SE Asian states. These three have the strategic intent, military and economic capabilities to create a more robust anti China alliance. Till then let the bull headed Chinese hit the axe on their feet and continue to alienate everyone so that solid anti Chinese alliances can take shape.

  5. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    This is also very interesting development;


    ‘Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet related issues are China’s internal affairs…’why they didn’t include Taiwan in the aforesaid statement?

    Professor Karnad what’s your opinion about the above mentioned?

  6. Tony says:

    Australians are racist backward caucasians who thanks to Wasp kinship continue to enjoy enviable lifestyle fully knowing that their defence and financial needs are met by grandpa america who just wants them to follow whatever he orders them to and in return they can print their money as much as they want to and will get all the defence top end gear. To expect brown, animal worshipping, Hindoos to be given same treatment is laughable never mind delusions of selected and elected brown sahibs.

  7. By email:

    Gen JS Bajwa, Indian Defence Review
    bharat karnad, Tue, 28 Sept at 1:49 am

    Jai Hind Bharat,
    The AUKUS has reduced QUAD into a talking club with no effective presence. One of the reasons is that the US was clear that India will not agree to any ‘alliance’ involving military power. So they set up this ‘whites only’ grouping.
    You have suggested that India should rope in Taiwan! That in my opinion is far-fetched till Chinese power is undermined.
    About China becoming a leading power by 2049; it is faced with unprecedented situations which the US and erstwhile USSR did not face. Uyghurs cannot be wished away, Tibet and post HH DL phase will not be a cake walk either. Efforts to instigate “colour” revolutions in China will only increase.
    India should not expect others to fight the dragon at its door-step. India will have to devise its own methods to ensure that China does not get too boisterous.
    Jiti Bajwa

    • Debanjan Banerjee says:

      Dear Mr Karnad, While we are talking about anti-China alliances by India , meanwhile China has banded together India’s other South Asian neighbours in groups that aim to either reduce or altogether ostracize India from South Asia itself. In last couple of years, we had observed this pattern first in the case of COVID and then now about Afghanistan. Do you feel China can effectively reduce, marginalize or outright ostracize India from South Asia itself while India keeps on dreaming about QUAD ?

    • San Mann says:

      Prof Karnad,
      Can US transfer nuclear propulsion systems to Australia under NPT? Would it not require inspections of Australian submarine reactors? Or is NPT now effectively dead, with Australia (and perhaps Japan) becoming de facto nuclear powers? What happens to P5 security council at UN with these extra new de facto nuclear powers floating around? Will there be repercussions for that part of the international order too?

  8. whatsinitanyway says:

    China seems alarmed on AUKUS. That would take their focus away from Indian Ocean. So many conflicts and alliances coming up. Any chance we could keep our heads low and once the chaos worsens we use the opportunity to rise up? Its quite common in corporate.

  9. Kaustav says:

    An alternative view of Australia & importantly Asia, Japan & INDIA. India is nobody’s lapdog the US knows that & remember about welcomes extended to visiting Heads of State. India never places it’s eggs in one basket & always hedges bets. It will continue to do so. India trusts No One & only looks out for itself. This is the way it has been & always should be. India owes nothing to anybody but it’s own citizens.

    The AUKUS agreement presents Australia as a defeatist nation – https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/a-relic-of-a-bygone-age-i-might-be-but-i-m-not-a-defeatist-20210928-p58vdu.html

    • Amit says:

      Interesting article. But the author did not talk about how China has manhandled Australia lately and the kind of pressure it has been under from China. No wonder he has been called out of date. Maybe he should have addressed some of those issues and his article would have carried more weight.

      Even India had to rely on the US to shore up its military when China brought out the hammer and tongs. So for Australia to resist alone – he did not provide any ideas there. Maybe he’s right on France and Australia and what could have been – but I’ve been reading about cost escalations on those submarine contracts. The French are not easy to deal with.

      India has done well so far in dealing with China. But the risks are still there. Payne talked about India in more glorious terms than it deserves I think. India is still getting there. The pace of security changes in India has definitely improved after Galwan. How India closes its economic and military gaps with China will determine how successful it is in dealing with China. Significant recent changes in India seem encouraging though.

    • Prabal Rakshit says:

      Thanks for sharing this Kaustav.
      Frankly feels exactly like what it is. :-). Ramblings of an ex-PM who struggles to remain relevant today. The following snippet was laughable:

      India is having us all on. India enjoys the impenetrable wall of the Himalayas on its north and the protection of two oceans around its distended peninsula. And it has a population younger and as large as that of China. It is in an undefeatable position. And no power would try to defeat it – certainly not the Chinese.

      The so-called impenetrable wall of Himalayas and two oceans did not prevent China to encroach territory in Galwan, encircle India with Gwadar and Hambanthota etc. etc. The only reason India seems ‘undefeatable’ on the surface is the market penetration Chinese firms still have in India.
      He is right about India being allergic to alliances, because it is undermines India’s strategic autonomy. What he mentions is reflective of something Prof. Karnad had pointed out earlier. Any mil/ dip alliances with a proto-hegemon like US/ China, will not offer salience to Indian interests.
      India may not be part of an East Asian system in terms of fighting China, but certainly should strive to be a key force balancer in the Asia-Pacific. Borrowing one of Prof. Karnad’s pet peeves, a lack of a ‘Monroe Doctrine’ will hurt us bad, now that AUKUS will render India’s role marginal. At the end of the day, AUKUS benefits US defence industry and Australia will realize what it takes to mate with powers (US, UK) who do not share the same stakes in the neighborhood (APAC).

  10. andy says:

    MOD quad is an idea whose time has come.An Asian security alliance for Asians.The Americans flatly refused to part with nuclear sub tech a few years back when Indian Navy officers brought up the subject saying this needs to be negotiated at the ‘political level’.You have stated on numerous occasions how the US would never part with SSN tech for ‘Love or Money’,but of course the British and Aussies are another matter being part of the anglo saxon world.

    The DTTI agreement for co-production of military equipment is a dud with nothing concrete translating in terms of cutting edge technologies except mundane items like gen sets. As rightly mentioned the souped up but antique F16, that’s a decades old design, is the only item that the US is pushing. This deal if finalized would take off only by 2030 and if it flies for around 40 years in Indian colours the design would be a hundred years old by the time of being phased out. Some kind of hot tech transfer this!!

    Producing SSN hulls should not be an issue for Indian naval builders given the experience with SSBN production, L and T especially has the expertise for such an enterprise. The nuclear reactor is a concern because the SSBN reactor is not built for bursts of speed and has been built to cruise at around 18knots.An SSN on the other hand is to be built as a predator that needs huge bursts of speed in enemy waters. Theres some movement on this reactor but it will take a decade or more to have it off and running. The miffed French,having lost the Barracuda class submarine deal in Australia may be willing to transfer the requisite knowhow but their technology is so exorbitantly priced that Indian navy, with shrinking capital budgets, could hardly be in a position to afford it,at least not in the foreseeable future. Why the Russians are not being tapped for SSN reactors remains a mystery, given the success of the SSBN reactor made with their help.Any thoughts??

    • Prabal Rakshit says:

      Prof Karnad,
      Any reason you feel Thyssen Krupp has never ventured into nuclear subs? Some of their diesel electric subs have been quite good and used for long by the Indian Navy. Even their HDW-214 was offered as part of project 75i

  11. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    There have been reports that the Ex-Bombay Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has fled to Russia.

    Whom did he ran away from? The state government of Maharashtra or the Central government of BJP?

    His name came up in botched attempt of extortion from the Ambanis wherein a car with explosives was left outside Ambani’s residence.

    Param Bir Singh also named an NCP politician who was the home minister of Maharashtra sometime back as the ringleader of an extortion racket from the bars/restaurants of Bombay with a target of hundreds of Crores.

    Will Param Bir Singh be running an extortion racket from Russia now with connivance/support of the Russian intelligence agency?

    What an excellent story for a hit TV series. From Bombay’s top cop to a foreign based Mafia Don.


    Dear Mr Karnad,

    What are your thoughts on Australia saying that China can join QUAD in future ? Do you believe that recent news that Chinese did intrude in Indian territory in Uttaranchal is just fake news ?

  13. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    Taliban have created an exclusive battalion of suicide bombers that will be deployed to the borders of Afghanistan particularly in Badakhshan province, reports said.

    The deputy governor Mullah Nisar Ahmad Ahmadi of the province has told the media about the creation of the battalion of suicide bombers at the northeastern province of Badakhshan which borders Tajikistan and China, reported Khaama Press.

    Ahmadi said that the battalion is named Lashkar-e-Mansoori (‘Mansoor army’) and will be deployed to the borders of the country.


    These moron Taliban keep coming up with their daily dose of nonsense.


      Do you really think that the TTP attacks hurt Pakistan ? I have been reading about TTP as well as Baloch terrorists targeting Pakistan army targets for years now. But when it comes to the real thing , do you really feel that when India is about to say attack POK (which in my mind is increasingly unlikely in the current scenario given India is currently overstretched on both the LAC and inside the Kashmir valley) do you think TTP/Baloch terrorists targeting Pakistan army posts in places like Waziristan and Balochistan can complicate Pakistani regular troop deployment plans ? In my view these actually do not hurt Pakistani troop deployment plans vis a vis India since even TTP/Baloch militants have in the past mentioned that when it comes to war they will fight India before the Pakistan army. So I would love your views on the same.

  14. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    An interesting article;


    However, the following excerpt from the write up reveals the writer’s irrational/illogical Pro-US bias;

    The US is promoting the Artemis Accords to preserve the OST regime in relation to the moon and promote transparency, interoperability, emergency assistance, and peaceful international cooperation.


    Dear Mr Karnad
    Do you really think that the TTP attacks hurt Pakistan ? I have been reading about TTP as well as Baloch terrorists targeting Pakistan army targets for years now. But when it comes to the real thing , do you really feel that when India is about to say attack POK (which in my mind is increasingly unlikely in the current scenario given India is currently overstretched on both the LAC and inside the Kashmir valley) do you think TTP/Baloch terrorists targeting Pakistan army posts in places like Waziristan and Balochistan can complicate Pakistani regular troop deployment plans ? In my view these terrorist attacks actually do not hurt Pakistani troop deployment plans vis a vis India since even TTP/Baloch militants have in the past mentioned that when it comes to war they will fight India before the Pakistan army. So I would love your views on the same.

  16. Bhayyanaak Bhangii says:


    These comments by the aforesaid are really worth pondering 🤔

    What does India understand by the term “superpower”?

    A nation becomes “superpower” on basis of an Independant ideology and works towards its fulfillment.

    What’s Indias ideology, and who will accept Indian Ideology….. of cow worship and casteist racism?

    India is a mental slave of the west and highest achievement for Indians is to look like “whites”.

    With slave mentality, all that Indias military will do is fight colonial wars for their masters just as they did during the British rule and the world wars.

    The first requirement of being a super power is to have an Independant ideology….. Indians are white slaves.

    The second is to have social values and plans that could be used for betterment of society and people’s well being….

    Indian caste based society is one of divisions that can never get even their coreligionists look into each others eyes.

    The third is to have a social system that can offer solutions to others social woes…. Indian society revolves around cows, rapes, exploitation and deep corruption.

    In absence of these, all the Indian military does is sell itself to their colonial Masters, as they previously did to British and Europeans during world wars.


    Dear Mr Karnad
    I would love to know about your views on former Pakistani ruler Ayub Khan. He was probably the last Pakistani ruler who talked about a military alliance between India and Pakistan to counter China which sounds absurd today. How do you rate him ? Do you think he was wrongfully ignored by our ancestors ? How do you think history will remember him ?

  18. Itanium says:

    @Bharath K.

    Couple observations.

    #1 It is incorrect to state that external pressure brought on from AUKUS will not help India. In fact AUKUS is bound to stretch China’s resources thin. China cannot at once focus its resources on Japan, United States, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Xinjiang, Aukus Australia and at the same time face the massive nuclear Indian forces in Himalayas. It would to a great extent be committing suicide – (which to be sure the dictatorial states are inclined to do).

    #2 On the point of US not giving India similar technologies, why would it? Does India intend to become a puppet under US security arrangement? No!
    Does India have or will follow US security diktats in the future? No!
    In fact does India even need the so called “hi-tech” weapons of west? Again No! We are better off developing systems organically on our own which capability India has amply demonstrated.


      Well you are assuming that Japan, United States, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam and even Australia wants to fight China at any point of time. What makes you believe that they really want to fight China ?

      China is concentrating the forces upon Taiwan at this point but what is the possibility that if China militarily attacks Taiwan , Japan, United States, Philippines, Vietnam and even Australia will fight China ?

      You can safely cut out Philippines and Vietnam from this list since they have never ever attacked anyone and they do not have any interest in attacking China in future for a country like Taiwan with whom they do not have any interest involved.

      That leaves out Japan, United States and even Australia from this list. Will US and Australia attack China to defend Taiwan ? Why would they do so when their billions of dollars of business with China are on the line. In fact Mr Biden is of late signalling to China that he does not want to fight China and wants to concentrate upon climate change. Also remember the USA has never ever taken on a strong and large country like China or Russia in a hot war before.

      That leaves only Japan to defend Taiwan. But will it defend Taiwan when Japan will not have US to back her in a conflict ? Remember Japan has never since 1945 taken any policy that is independent of the US. She is more or less a colony of the USA still.

      So in 5-10 years time , I believe that even if China attacks Taiwan there will be no military pushback against them.

      And one thing we are not really talking about. What if there are strong pro-unification forces inside Taiwan (like the KMT) that actually come to power to ensure a negotiated unification to the Taiwan issue.

      Love your views on my analysis.

      • Gaurav Tyagi says:

        @Debanjan Banerjee-Spot on man. None of these Southeast Asian countries will ever go to war with China.

        You nailed it in describing Japan. China currently is not doing anything more than mere rhetoric regarding Taiwan.

        Even if the Chinese emperor decides to merge Taiwan with mainland China by force, I bet that not even a single nation in the world will fight with Taiwan.

      • Itanium says:

        @Debanjan Banerjee

        Alright let’s talk.

        First of all it is incorrect to state that inroads into Taiwan or south China sea is immaterial to US or Japan. Invasion of Taiwan amounts to massive offensive step forward, like a rook moving into enemy side of chessboard. If Japan or US won’t take any serious retaliatory actions they are one step closer to checkmate. So in self interest these countries will be forced to react.

        Second China is not doing all this to wage a war against any country. No! Doing so comes with a massive economic social and political cost that its leaders cannot afford or desire-Why would they want to risk losing their massive power? Rather These quarrels with neighboring countries are picked up to scare and spread panic among local population to quell any political dissent.

        Third the unification forces is unlikely to materialize. No independent country or kingdom wants to willingly become a subordinate state to a larger country and lose its power. Remember the struggles india had to integrate all our kingdoms in 1947?

  19. Sankar says:

    @Professor Karnad:
    Could you please give us your assessment of the above article that appeared in IDR!
    In particular, could you also comment on the accuracy of the following records:

    1. “… A few months later, the US State Department offered to sponsor India for a seat in the Security Council; Nehru refused.” –

    2. “Again in 1955, when the Soviet Union offered to sponsor India’s case for a permanent seat, Delhi refused. … Sarvepalli Gopal wrote: “He [Nehru] rejected the Soviet offer to propose India as the sixth permanent member of the Security Council and insisted that priority be given to China’s admission to the United Nations” “

    • Both SU and the US offered KMT China’s sec council seat to India. Nehru turned these aside, arguing China deserved it more! This history is there in my books starting with my first tome — Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security (2002).

      • Gaurav Tyagi says:

        Goes on to prove that Nehru indeed was a British mole, as I always say.

        Nehru as well as Gandhi both were British agents 🕵️‍♀️

        Only Indians ignorant of history would call Gandhi & Nehru nationalist patriots.

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      @Sankar- It indeed is an interesting article.

      I remember reading somewhere that the erstwhile USSR sent a warship at that time to scare away the Americans and British from helping Pakistan militarily.

      Could you or Professor Karnad please clarify the above point?

      • A Russian SSN tasked to shadow the Enterprise carrier Task Group deterred the US from interfering with Indian milops in the then East Pakistan.

      • Sankar says:

        I do not have much info on that war, Prof Karnad will have more stock. I have come across a record in European news on USSR backing up India when Chou-en-Lai was planning to give Pak go-ahead (Sep 1971?), Moscow coming to know released a simple one-liner in their news: “Not to be very serious (in getting involved) .,. the USSR will react … has many more missiles”, and China simply backed off then. It was doomsday for Pak from then on, otherwise, Bhutto had planned very well with their Army for Pak’s gameplan. I think that cost Bhutto’s head ultimately, Chou ditching Bhutto. One thing is certain, China is not going to fight for Pak even in the present time, if China gets involved it will be for China’s own benefit.

        On an aside, Modi has proved himself a disaster for safeguarding India’s sovereignty on the northern front. He is even far worse than Nehru in bending backwards to China. India will get some indirect support for example in military intelligence from QUAD but will have to fight her own war with China for which Modi is backing off. Arpi has given a real message for Indian statecraft to follow. The farmers’ protest is likely to bring down Modi in the next election.

      • Apna says:

        On December 10, 1971 at the peak of the India-Pakistan war, Russian intelligence tracked several British warships, led by the aircraft carrier Eagle, moving towards India’s west coast. The advance of the British fleet was aimed at applying pressure on India and lifting Pakistani morale.

        In response, Moscow despatched the 10th Operative Battle Group of its Pacific Fleet under the command of Admiral Vladimir Kruglyakov. Seeing the Russian ships the coward British retreated but the threat to India did not go away as the United States sent its mighty Seventh Fleet to show its support to Pakistan.

        To bolster its flotilla in the Bay of Bengal, the Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok sent cruisers, destroyers and nuclear submarines, which encircled the US Seventh Fleet. The Americans backed off and India was able to finish the job of liberating Bangladesh and end the genocide of Bengalis by the Pakistan Army. The US Carrier, ENTERPRISE, and ALL its escort boats with Marines fled and ‘disappeared’ when Soviet submarines surfaced, pointing their missiles at it. Check ‘1971 war: How Russia sank Nixon’s gunboat diplomacy’ on Google. Even the usually coward British carrier off Karachi in the Arabian sea fled to Madagascar.

        So quickly we forget, US pressured Russia not to sell cryogenic engines to India and scuttled the space progress by a decade. Now they are turning back and pressuring India not to deal with Russia. and we hopelessly still listen to US !
        When it’s comes to 5th columns and comprador elites, India is an American vassal through and through.

        American pressure on China to go into war against India was futile because China was not interested.



    Thank you for your prompt and imaginative answer.

    1) Let’s face it, the US does have more economic interests with China than it has with Taiwan. Even in 2011, there was this article in NYT where a US analyst talked about US ditching Taiwan to cut a better economic package with China. Just go through this. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/11/opinion/to-save-our-economy-ditch-taiwan.html

    2) Do not forget just 6 years back there was a government of KMT (Kuomintang) in Taiwan that actually talked about Hong Kong style peaceful reunification with the PRC. Economically speaking , Taiwan is a small Island whose main economic activity is exporting high-quality electronic chips. The biggest market for that activity is in the mainland and that is why a lot of Taiwanese top quality chip engineers are directly flying to the mainland for better economic prospects. Let us not forget the Taiwanese have a worst demographic birthrate that even dwarfs that of China. There have always been and there will always be strong supporters of reunification in Taiwan considering the significant economic and cultural ties between the countries.

    3) Whenever we are talking about geopolitics in that region we should not try to assume things the way we want it to be. Remember Hong Kong was also a thriving democracy which the British ultimately had to hand it over to the Chinese on a platter. When it comes to economic interests , I do not believe the Americans would prioritize democracy over economics.

    4) China also has been emboldened by the fact the way India unilaterally conquered Kashmir in 2019 and no one opposed it. If the World did not do anything to stop India over Kashmir why would it stop a country with five times bigger an economy compared to India’s from doing a peaceful reunification with a small Island ? This is one factor we should always keep in mind.

    5) Japan (and India) will obviously not like a peaceful reunification of Taiwan for geopolitical reasons but then without the US helping them out will they do anything to defend Taiwan if it comes to that ? I have my doubts.

    6) Please watch out how US and China are talking about increasing US exports to China and how rough edges from US rhetoric and actions towards China are gradually getting more and more smooth. The US released the Huawei executive and then it has more or less dropped the COVID Wuhan lab origin charge in recent weeks. I feel that in the coming months we will see more economic engagement with China by the Biden administration. The Chinese will offer to take more exports from US (by reducing those exports from Australia or India simultaneously) while promising more about preventing climate change and global worming and in exchange the US will have to ensure a peaceful reunification of Taiwan eventually. I believe that the upcoming Biden-Xi summit in early 2022 may very well point at that direction.

    So those in India who are believing in QUAD and AUKUS to confront China may well be disappointed in the long run.

    I would love your views on my analysis of the current situation.

    Thanks and regards with best wishes

    • Itanium says:


      1. My hypothesis is not as imaginative as you might think. Distracting and scaring local people by drumming up war hysteria is chapter 1 of the dictators playbook.

      2. Taiwan being a democracy is unlikely to subjugate itself to a dictatorial country. What makes you say that? Facts don’t support it. Taiwan is involved in massive program of arming itself with American help. If there is an intent to surrender and subjugate itself all this won’t be necessary.

      3. Indian control of Kashmir has been accepted by the world since 1947. What changed in 2019 was Delhi’s attempt to hallow the given geopolitical fact with legality that is both convenient and self serving. Taiwan nevertheless is an independent country and there is no defacto or de jure subordination to Beijing.

      • Gaurav Tyagi says:

        @ltanium- I live in China. Young generation of Chinese don’t care too much about politics.

        A few old people sit and debate about political issues since, they have loads of spare time.

        Mostly one can see groups of Chinese grandparents sitting and playing mahjong (a Chinese board game) in parks.

        Chinese academic system is very competitive. I worked as an English Language Instructor at a Government High School here in China for many years.

        The passing marks in the exams over here (60/100). Majority of the Chinese population has zero interest in politics and geo strategic affairs.

        They remain busy with their academic, work life and enjoying the spare time by traveling, dining out etc.

        My opinion on the Taiwan issue is that the status quo will prevail. Neither will Taiwan come and join the Chinese mainland nor will China launch a military offensive to annex Taiwan.

        Chinese authorities will just continue to make noises over Taiwan. Similar to what the Indian government does about so called POK.

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      Hi Debanjan- Your analysis is quite good.

      I am curious to know more about you. Do you live in India, what profession are you into?

      I am settled in China.

      • Itanium says:

        @Gaurav Tyagi
        Trouble starts in rural hinterland where economic progress isnt as strong as cities. And the trouble explodes once China’s many massive economic bubbles finally explode. So it’s safe to say civil unrest always hangs on their leaderships head. Your observations are microscopic and may not explain the bigger political picture there. Think Xingiang.

        I agree with the Taiwan part. I also think nothing will happen either with Taiwan or Australia. But I cannot agree with prof @Bharath K that a nuclearized Australia won’t help India.

      • Itanium@ — Not to put too fine a point on it, but who is “@bharath K”?


        Thanks a lot Mr Gaurav Tyagi.

        I am a passionate student of geopolitics of South Asia and I love to talk and write about it.

        However I am from a computer science background. I currently work for an NGO.

        I live in India.

        You can go through this article of mine on my substack. Here I talk about a what-if style alternate history with respect to 9/11.


      • Itanium says:

        > Itanium@ — Not to put too fine a point on it, but who is “@bharath K”?

        Lol, that is you sir! Prof. Bharat Karnad. I will make sure I spell you out correctly next time.

        On a side note I like you being conservative and I am supposedly more balanced in tilt. That is a good mix for this blog.

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      @Apna- Nice historical information provided by you.

  21. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    China has declassified a second batch of diplomatic files totalling 5,024 items, including mid-air bombing of Air India aircraft “Kashmir Princess” in 1955 in an apparent bid to assassinate the then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai.

    The second batch of files, mainly on China’s diplomacy between 1949 and 1955, are related to telegraphs between China and Asian countries on recognition of each other, establishment of diplomatic relations and sending ambassadors.
    Among other documents, the files included materials about the “Kashmir Princess” event, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

    On the night of April 11, 1955, the chartered Air India flight named ‘Kashmir Princess’ was carrying a small delegation of Chinese and East Europeans, mainly journalists, from Hongkong to Indonesia to attend the Asia-Afro Bandung Conference in Indonesia.

    At about 18,000 feet a time bomb detonated in the wheel bay of the plane, blowing a hole in the fuel tank. The flight engineer, navigator and first officer escaped. But the remaining 16 passengers, including seven Chinese cadres and crew members died.

    Zhou, who was the main target did not board the plane. His travel plans had been kept secret. In fact, the then Premier did not leave China until April 14, three days after the bombing – when he flew to Rangoon to meet then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Burmese leader U Nu before continuing on to Bandung.

    The secrecy that surrounded Zhou’s travel plans saved his life and doomed the ‘Kashmir Princess’. The same plane was scheduled to fly to Rangoon to pick up Zhou for his trip to Indonesia.

    Excerpts from the following;


    Whose work was it? Indian intelligence, CIA or KGB?

    Professor Karnad, can you please give your expert opinion on the aforesaid?

    • I recall reading a book in the early 1960s on the bombing of the Air India aircraft — “Death of the Kashmir Prrincess” (if I rmember the title right) by its captain or navigator of that f;ight who survived, Karnik/ Yes, it was an attempted CIA assasination of Premier Zhouenlai.


      Fascinating insight Mr Tyagi. I wonder why the Chinese took so long to publish it.

      • Gaurav Tyagi says:

        @Debanjan Banerjee- According to China’s archives law and relevant regulations, historical files should be open to the public 30 years after their creation.

        In India the files regarding Subhas Chandra Bose and Lal Bahadur Shastri’s mysterious disappearance/death are still classified.


    @Gaurav Tyagi
    It is fascinating to see the way you describe popular attitude in China towards politics. I have one question. I had read in NYT about a Western English language teacher describing most of his Chinese students as very obedient and disciplined towards him or for that matter the rest of the authority. Are Chinese students very obedient and disciplined towards authority ? Why they have this attitude ?

    I would love your frank viewpoint.

    Thanks and regards with best wishes

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      @Debanjan Banerjee- Chinese high school students are more respectful towards their teachers compared to their Western counterparts.

      Most of them also do not indulge in asking too many questions in class. It’s largely due to the Chinese culture wherein respect/reverence towards authority figures is strongly ingrained.

  23. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    @Itanium- I have travelled widely across China including villages as well.

    CPC has units in every city, village and even offices. Their surveillance system is omnipresent. One finds CCTVs at every nook and corner, not to mention the human intelligence from party loyalists, who are everywhere.

    Indians should stop living under this illusion that China will see domestic unrest. There will never be a Tianmen Square moment in China.

    The moment anyone tries anything of this sort. He/she will disappear and even their family won’t know about the person’s whereabouts.

    China is not India where a Tikait or any x,y, z can lie on railway tracks, block highways for days on end.

    The country has tasted the fruits of economic success. China is not a communist country. It’s a consumerist society with very high materialistic aspirations. The political system has been turned into a dictatorship by Xi Jinping.

    Xinjiang whatever the Western media says has been tamed by the Chinese establishment. Do you realistically believe that Xinjiang or Tibet can any day attain independence from China?

    Look at the way the Chinese authorities have curbed Hongkong.


      @Gaurav Tyagi

      Wonderful insights from a person who knows China from inside out. How do you think people in China is behaving towards the latest decisions by the CPC to basically ban private tuition, severely restrict video games as well as restrict people’s involvement with online entertainment ? Do they support or oppose these ? Will they obey the authority here ?

      I would love your opinion on the same.

      • Gaurav Tyagi says:

        @Denanjan Banerjee- Regarding restricting of video games for kids/teenagers, a majority of Parents are very happy because truth of the matter is that these games are indeed an utter waste of time, money and energy. Kids should be encouraged to do outdoor sports like football, badminton, athletics etc. rather than waste hours on online games.

        Chinese government banning access to websites for adults doesn’t have any implication. People freely use VPN here to freely access internet. I also use a VPN.

        English is just a language. Majority of the Chinese, who don’t have any intention of traveling/working abroad don’t need it. Families with means and resources can always ignore this policy by accessing private online tutorials through VPN’s and sending kids abroad.

        When I went to Thailand a few years back. I noticed international schools wherein majority of the enrollment was from Chinese parents, who wanted their kids to have an international education.

        You can find loads of international schools in all big cities of China however, they are largely for the elite classes due to their high tuition fees. They prefer hiring Caucasian teachers.

        Government schools in China are way better in infrastructure compared to the ones in India.

    • Itanium says:

      @Gaurav Tyagi

      What can I say? Your comments actually prove my points more than your own assertions.

      #1 Having a security apparatus in every nook and corner is a sure sign of insecurity and internal disturbance. Does India or US have a need to do it? Perhaps not. Why? Because both are self governed democracies. Whatever may be the flaw in the system, it is stable and it works.

      #2 On CPC repressing the masses. You openly admit they do it. Guess what, none of their population subsets will back any of CPC’s foreign military escapades. CPC will be reduced to fighting foreign wars with a reluctant unsupportive local society which will see every opportunity to mutiny.

      #3 Xinjiang and Tibet may not get independence in your and my lifetime, but time will slowly and surely tick on every repressive state.

      #4 Most importantly it’s the materialistic and economically progressive societies that are first to rebel against dictatorial system. Progress and Dictatorships wont mix. That is precisely why N Korea keeps its mass poor and powerless.

      #5 You can beat up India all you want like most others. But with every problem we have, Indian democracy has worked wonders and will continue to have bright future. Freedom is crucial element for forming great powerful societies. You, I, Prof. Bharat Karnad and rest of us should be immensely thankful for having that.

      • Gaurav Tyagi says:

        @Itanium- 1. Having a wide network of security surveillance prevents petty crime as well. The general law and order in China is much better than India as well as in USA. Mass shooting of people by disgruntled individuals is practically the national sport of USA.

        Do you really think that Indian/American government doesn’t spy on its citizens? Every mobile phone can be put under surveillance. Indian/American governments also do it widely.

        2. Depends on your definition of repression. I have met Tibetans, who are managing successful businesses and are happy in mainland China. I have witnessed the sordid state of affairs in which common Tibetans live in India.

        A large number of Chinese youth state they don’t care what the government is doing as long as they have access to a decent living infrastructure.

        Where and against whom is China going to fight a foreign war?

        3. Repressive state- What’s the definition of a repressive state? What about American Police’s treatment of Blacks? What about the mob lynching of economically poor Muslims under the BJP establishment in India?

        4. Rebelling against a regime is not a video game which one can play sitting comfortably in their bedroom. It requires willingness to shed blood, sweat and tears both of one’s own self as well of others.

        Chinese society has become very prosperous since the last 3 decades. You won’t find locals here, who are ready to pick up a gun against the regime.

        5. I am not an India basher. As per PPP (purchasing power parity) India is the 3rd largest economy in the world after China and USA. In GDP yardsticks, India is no. 6 in the world

        However, the saddest part is that India is not open to reforms. Every political party while in opposition needlessly opposes everything and while in power is happy maintaining the status quo rather than embrace change and improve further.


    Today’s Adani port decision to stop all trades from Mundra port with ports in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan just kills off the Chabahar port as per as Indian interests are concerned with Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. I wonder whether this will completely push Iran and Taliban into the anti-India camp of China and Pakistan ! This may also destroy any hopes of those in India who wanted to use Baloch militants against Pakistan in future.

    I would love to know the views of Mr Karnad on the same.

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      A Chinese businessman friend of mine told me the following;

      Adani has been using his Mundra port to smuggle drugs into India big time since Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014.

      With the Taliban coming to power in Afghanistan. ISI wants a share of this lucrative trade.

      ISI tipped of multiple bureaucrats in the DRI (Directorate of Revenue Intelligence) to get this consignment of approximately 2988 Kgs of Heroin worth around 20,916 Crores confiscated by the Indian agencies.

      This has been the largest ever seizure of drugs in India.

      Navjot Singh Sidhu is an ISI mole in India. ISI wants the drugs to be routed through them via the Punjab border to India.

      This is the main reason why Sidhu is making so much noise. He wishes to occupy the chair of the CM of Punjab and facilitate the supply of drugs from Afghanistan into India with the active connivance of ISI.


        Dear Mr Tyagi. Thanks a lot for your information.

        Given what you are saying regarding Punjab and drugs, do you expect the ISI to again try out the Khalistan insurgency ? What do you think Chinese interest is in vis a vis Punjab and Kashmir ? Are the ongoing farmers’ agitations being backed by the ISI to create divisions in India and if it so for what reasons ?

  25. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    @Sankar- Thanks for your response. Professor Karnad has been kind enough to provide the information that USSR’s backing of India was indeed a key factor.

    Forget China helping Pakistan in a war. The Chinese communists even ditched their Indian counterparts.

    The naxalbari uprising leadership was hoping that Chinese establishment will extend military help to them and they will be able to overthrow the Indian government.

  26. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    The following article is from last year but is quite an interesting read;


    A few excerpts from the aforesaid composition;

    This was a period, following the signing of the US-Indian nuclear accord in 2008, when the US-Indian relationship underwent a historic transformation and the doctrine of ‘interoperability’ with the American military surreptitiously began permeating the Indian strategic calculus. That process eventually turned into one of tying India down somehow in the American stable.

    Conceivably, some among the Indian bureaucratic elite would have facilitated this happening at a time when the UPA leadership of Manmohan Singh was getting battered and distracted and hopelessly besieged, and domestic politics had entered a turbulent phase signifying the Congress Party’s terminal sickness.

    The Americans should be eternally grateful to their war horses in the Indian wood work.

    On the other hand, given the ultra-nationalist fervour sweeping the country, sections of the Indian public also began believing in our own rhetoric that the Indian military is today more than a match for China’s — that, in a conflict in the Himalayas, India can give a ‘bloody nose’ to the Chinese military.

    Indeed, such beliefs are delusional. China is a superpower. Although Indian military strength has increased in the recent decades, the fact remains that China has phenomenally modernised its armed forces with technologies that have a force multiplier effect that are way beyond India’s capability.

    Nonetheless, delusional thinking is rampant in our country, including among sections of the elite who ought to know better.

    But how can the government possibly say to the Chinese that the claim to Aksai Chin is a mere posturing for domestic consumption only and not to be taken seriously as a statement of policy when it was stated in all solemnity by senior figures in the government  that they do intend to gain control of that region some day?

  27. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    @Debanjan Banerjee- Nice write up regarding an alternative turn of events post 9/11.

  28. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    @Debanjan Banerjee- Intelligence agencies of India, Pakistan as well as China all are perpetually fishing in the ‘troubled waters’ of the other.

    No country can claim a ‘holier than thou’ stand. They all have moles as well as double agents in each other’s organizations.

  29. Apna says:

    Typical jealous loser Indians.
    Because Indians can not compete, they, like their Anglo masters, want to wreck the chance of Asian century and instead continue with British American occupation. The Indian elites, tycoons,and political families are running India on behalf of the UK/ US.

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      @Apna- Rightly said.

      Congress party was founded by British liberals to fool Indian masses regarding independence. Gandhi and Nehru both were British agents.

      RSS known as Hindu Mahasabha at that time comprised of British bootlickers and chamchas. Savarkar, the hero of RSS/BJP begged for mercy from the Britishers on various occasions.

      Udham Singh, Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, Sukhdev, Rajguru etc were the real freedom fighters.

      Watch any old footage of British occupation in India. The British stooge Gandhi leading some drama (so called protest march) where one can see one British officer and hundreds of Indian soldiers brutally and shamelessly doing baton charge on their fellow Indians.

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