Thursday, April 25, 2013

In Dire Need of a Beating With the Clue Bat

India has spotted a recent Chinese incursion into Indian territory. The Chinese are still camped there, but at least India spotted them a little quicker than in the past.

China wonders why countries near them fear them and want American friendship? Hey, here's a clue:

Surprisingly, in a deep incursion, Chinese troops have entered the Indian Territory in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in eastern Ladakh and erected a tented post without digging any trenches, setting the stage for a face-off with Indian troops.

A Platoon-strength contingent (50 men) of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China came 10 km inside the Indian Territory in Burthe in DBO sector at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 14/15 and established a tented post there. Troops from Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have also established camp approximately 300 metres opposite the location, the sources said.

While this might be an error, it might be deliberate based on Chinese actions all around their periphery. And even if it is an error, the Chinese government might feel compelled to back it because of their increasingly bellicose rhetoric about defending core interests.

The linked article proposes a better strategy than raising regular army forces to line the border and prevent every incursion. The author proposes regular counter-attack forces (with a fourth proposal to correct junior officer shortages) able to use an improved transportation network on India's side of the border to seize bargaining chip territory within China, and rely on less expensive local force battalions raised to defend their local areas in place of regular forces.

That's probably a good idea financially. But it does risk local forces acting more aggressively to defend their homes rather than the current situation where better-disciplined regulars without a local bias can be counted on to avoid escalating a crisis without orders to do so.

One thing is clear based on China's expanding active disputes with neighbors: India will keep facing these border incursions.

At least India is doing better at border surveillance and response than this incident demonstrated.