“Localised salami slicing and grabbing operations are likely”
“No one weapon can play decisive role but Rafale will with other weapons systems. It will have significant effects both in disuasive and offensive domains. Air Force should also boost capabilities in armed drones, surveillance and air defence systems. It is relevant to take note of Chinese transition to hardening of aircraft shelters, new heliports and radar systems in Tibet,” said Lieutenant General Kamal Jit Singh in an exclusive interview with Ravi Mishra. Excerpts:
What has changed after one year of the clash between Indian and Chinese forces in Galwan?
Trust and faith between two forces and countries has got eroded. Various protocols and border related CBMs having been rendered meaningless, have to be reworked. India has ensured uneasy stalemate specially with pre-emptive occupation of Kailash ranges. Limitations of PLA in grabbing territory by coercive manoeuvre has been highlighted despite force assymetry in its favour. Hyped up tech superiority of China – armed drones, microwave weapons and cyber are still not operational or have limitations in such environments.
How do you see India’s preparedness against any misadventure by China?
India managed to build up & sustain adequate force levels to stymie Chinese coercive manoeuvre to grab 1959 claim line. Execution of Quid pro quo (QPQ) manoeuvre exposed possibility of more such options. Quantitatively and qualitatively, Indian forces are adequate.
Would Rafale play a decisive role for Indian Armed Forces against China?
No one weapon can play decisive role but it will with other weapons systems,. It will have significant effects both in disuasive and offensive domains. Air Force should also boost capabilities in armed drones, surveillance and air defence systems. It is relevant to take note of Chinese transition to hardening of aircraft shelters, new heliports and radar systems in Tibet.
How do you judge the current government on the modernization of the Indian military?
It is trying through emergency procurements to address critical vulnerabilities, yet funding needs to be enhanced coupled with non lapsable capital funds. Procurement system’s have to be made simple and workable. Make in India needs serious and focused push with hand holding of private defence industry.
Do you think that China may create problems on Indian borders in the coming future?
While nothing can be ruled out, yet kinetic large scale operations are unlikely. Localised salami slicing and grabbing operations are likely. Disruptive cyber operations in deniability mode are very likely.
If Taliban shares government in Afghanistan, would it be a threat for India?
Threat will be more in ideological push to concepts like Khorasan, Emirate, Fassad (mistakenly referred to as Jihad). Safety of diplomatic staff, assets created and minorities will be jeopardized. Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras, traditionally sympathetic to India will face marginalization and strife.