Friday, December 14, 2012

Sino Style Warfare

As the big 50th Anniversary of China stomping India passes - the 1962 War has a few things to learn from -
The 1962 war lasted 42 days, longer than the 1965 war (38 days). Even after China unilaterally declared a ceasefire on November 21, 1962, its troops kept firing on the outgunned and outnumbered Indian troops in the East. The war really ended on December 1 when China, while holding on to its territorial gains on the Aksai Chin plateau, began withdrawing its forces from the East, simply because it did not have the logistics capability to maintain forces across the McMahon Line once snow cut off mountain passes.

The war — which ranks as the world’s highest-altitude full-blown war in post-World War II history — left 3,270 Indian troops dead, compared with over 1,100 military men killed in the 1947-48 war; 3,264 in 1965; 3,843 in 1971; 1,157 in Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka; and 522 in Kargil. Yet a couple of analysts at a Mumbai seminar last week had the temerity to call 1962 a “skirmish”.

By baring key elements of Beijing’s strategic doctrine, 1962 indeed holds lasting lessons for India and other countries locked in territorial disputes with China.

Here are some of the 1962 principles China replicated in its subsequent aggressions:

Take the adversary by surprise to maximise political and psychological shock
Strike only when the international and regional timing is opportune
Hit as fast and as hard as possible by unleashing ‘human wave’ assaults
Be willing to take military gambles
Mask offence as defence
Wage war with the political objective to ‘teach a lesson’, an aim publicly acknowledged in the 1962 and 1979 invasions
Pic - "All warfare is based on deception … Attack where the enemy is unprepared; sally out when it does not expect you. These are the strategist’s keys to victory.”