Army Chief Bipin Rawat: We should be prepared for a two-front war

New Delhi: General Bipin Rawat takes over as the Chief of Army Staff, in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI Photo (PTI12_31_2016_000057B)

New Delhi: Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat has announced that India should be prepared for a two-front war, insisting China has started “flexing its muscles”, while there seems to be no scope for reconciliation with Pakistan whose military and polity saw an adversary in India.

Speaking on the circumstances of 73-day long Doklam standoff, the Army chief warned that the situation could gradually snowball into a larger conflict on the northern border.

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He further went on to add that there is a chance that these conflicts could be limited in space and time or can expand into an all out war along the entire frontier, with Pakistan taking advantage of the situation. “We have to be prepared. In our context, therefore, warfare lies within the realm of reality,” he said, adding the Army’s supremacy among the three services must be maintained to successfully combat external security threats.

This statement of Gen. Rawat has come at a time after Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on a “forward-looking” approach to Sino-India ties, putting behind the Doklam standoff. The Army Chief said India cannot afford to let its guard down against China.

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“As far as northern adversary is concerned, the flexing of muscle has started. The salami slicing, taking over territory in a very gradual manner, testing our limits of threshold is something we have to be wary about and remain prepared for situations emerging which could gradually emerge into conflict,” he said.

Talking purely in military terms, salami slicing denotes divide and conquer process of threats and alliances used to overcome opposition. He was speaking at a seminar organised by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies. The Army chief also talked about China engaging in a psychological warfare by using the media and information technology against India during the Doklam face-off.

“As far as our western adversary is considered, we don’t see any scope of reconciliation, because their military, the polity, and the people in that nation have been made to believe that there is an adversary, India, which is all out to break their nation into pieces,” he said.

 

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