Upgrade or perish
 Lack of infrastructure and artillery on our Eastern borders emboldens China
  By Lt Gen. B.S. Pawar (retd)

The recent Chinese intrusion of 19 km into the Depsang Valley in the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) Sector of Eastern Ladakh on 15 April and the cautious and defensive Indian response, has once again exposed the chinks in our armour vis a vis China, specially related to the overall military modernisation and capability build up as well as the poor state of infrastructure on our side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

It took a series of flag meetings between the two militaries and hectic diplomatic activity at the level of the foreign ministers of both the countries to end this grave and serious standoff.
The last time such an intrusion took place, resulting in a serious face-off, was the establishment of the physical presence by the Chinese troops in the Sumdorong Chu area of Arunachal Pradesh in 1986.

While the DBO crisis may have blown over, it serves as a right wake up call for the Indian security establishment to shore up its defences with a proactive and pragmatic policy vis-a-vis China and develop capabilities to protect its interests, as the possibility of a standoff like the present one on the LAC flaring up into a bigger confrontation can never be ruled out. Therefore, as long as the border dispute is not resolved, China remains India’s foremost military threat. It is in this light that we need to look at the current inadequacies of the artillery especially on our Eastern borders, both in terms of quality and quantity and the lack of suitable infrastructure for its deployment.

Enroute Tawang
Enroute Tawang

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