2012 Multiplying Security Threats
India is surrounded with Islamic fundamentalist regimes, a rising communist super power and military dictatorship. The authoritarian regimes in the neighbourhood contradict India’s multi-cultural democracy.
In case, India’s model succeeds in Asia, the authoritarian models will be under major stress. Thus, there is a constant endeavour to destabilise India. However, if the authoritarian model wins, Indian role model of democracy will fall apart. This will lead to spread of dictatorial darkness in Asia.
Further, there is commonality of purpose between Islamic fundamentalist regimes and the communist dictatorship of China vis-à-vis India. Therefore, the combined might of the authoritarian stream to destabilise India is huge.
China’s primary aim is to replace American supremacy in Asia. The secondary aim is to lock India within the subcontinent. To achieve this it uses Pakistan as a proxy to great advantage. With Indian foreign policy in confusion, China has practically taken over Nepal, invested in Sri Lanka sufficiently, and is now in the process of knocking out India’s influence from Maldives and subsequently from Afghanistan.
China’s well planned and single-minded modernisation of its armed forces has placed it as a major military power, with capability to pose two-front threat with the help of Pakistan. Both await withdrawal by the Western Forces led by America from Afghanistan to expand their footprints in Afghanistan and Central Asia. Subsequent to withdrawal, Taliban with the help of Pakistan Army will recapture large areas of Afghanistan. This in turn will witness resumption of export of terrorism to India afresh on a larger scale. While Beijing boasts of clarity of purpose, New Delhi appears weak and confused.
To be honest China clearly outwitted India in the year 2012.
Internal security and stability stands threatened by the external players via Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal by arming and funding Maoists, criminal gangs, dissidents, insurgents and sleeper agents. The threat perception is further enhanced by the crumbling civil administration and falling apart of the policing mechanisms. While the politician indulges in vote-bank politics, heightening the divide between different segments of the society, the babudom remains illiterate in matters of good governance.
Worse, the Indian armed forces are unequal to the task in front of them. Thanks to babudom, and skewed policies of the government, they don’t possess basic items like a usable rifle, modern carbine, the ground air-defence systems are obsolete, artillery does not have guns, the air force lacks basic trainers, mountain radars and fighter aircrafts. The navy practically has no conventional submarine fleet due to deficit in planning by the Ministry of Defence. The list of deficiencies and mismanagement by the MoD is long.
Indian Army faces shortage of nearly 10,000 officers. Surprisingly in a densely populated country with high unemployment rate, it is short of more than 30,000 soldiers. There is shortfall of approximately 2000 officers and 15,000 sailors in the Navy. The Air Force is deficient of nearly 1,000 officers and 7,000 airmen. Unfortunately, the President, who is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, is not ashamed of the fact that the military veterans are returning their war medals in total frustration, as they cannot obtain their legitimate dues from the Ministry of Defence. The allocation of the meager funds in the defence budget and the red tape involved in acquisition process has tied down in knots the defence services. The result is that the cohesion and bonding so vital to win wars suffers irreparable damage within the military units.
In such a milieu, with acute scarcity of equipment and human resources, demoralisation in the armed forces is increasing. Therefore, it is in no position to face the primary threat from China or a two-front war, if imposed after withdrawal of the Western Forces from Afghanistan.
Hence the year 2012 clearly witnessed shrinking of India’s military capabilities while the threats multiplied. Threat to the internal security appeared equally heightened due to gross mis-governance.
Internally, the corruption in India and vote-bank politics reached unimaginable heights by seeping to every nook and corner of the administrative systems. The classic example of vote-bank politics was the extraordinary agitation in Assam against the illegal migration from Bangladesh. In retaliation, people from Northeast all over India received threats and there was a massive exodus from as far as Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Mumbai etc. back to the Northeast. Similarly, India landed with massive exodus of Hindus from Pakistan further threatening the societal fabric.
The Indian civil administration was not only helpless in front of the increasing menace of the Maoists but in addition witnessed breakdown of law and order throughout the country. The police are neither trained nor equipped to cope-up with the well armed Maoists or criminal gangs. The police mindset and the equipment to face the challenges remains suspended in the colonial era, while the gangster or the terrorists wages war equipped with 21st century technology. The Maoists, the Islamic terrorists and the insurgents in Kashmir and the Northeast use each other’s resources to further their interests, while within India there is no elementary coordination between different intelligence agencies, different states, center and the states, or for that matter, between civil and the military.
Thus, a huge mismatch between the police capabilities and the growing small militias exists in a similar fashion as the shrinking military capabilities.
It is rightly said that the Pakistan army single handedly destroyed the Pakistan state. Equally true is the fact that our bureaucracy is intent on demolishing the Union of India with similar fervor. To exit this vicious Chakravyuh, we will have to spruce up our internal act as Indians who man the civil administration today pose a far greater threat to the Union than China or Pakistan. (The writer is Editor, Indian Defence Review)
By Bharat Verma