Tuesday, August 08, 2017

So Who Backs Down, Then?

Stratfor says that the confrontation over the Doka La Pass could lead to war because it is different than other confrontations--but won't because other objectives are higher than winning this territorial spat:

The area matters greatly to both countries, but not enough to outweigh the other issues they’re facing, and not enough to justify the costs of war.

Maybe. But does India really want to back down and risk Bhutan's allegiance and increase China's ability to mount an offensive into northeast India?

And does China wish to add one more defeat to their recent list when the Xi is trying to display dominance?

This situation is different, as Stratfor notes. I'm not sure why that doesn't alarm Stratfor more.

Both could both make decisions that lead to war if they are both comforted by the notion that the other side doesn't consider this issue worth the costs of war.

If India doesn't back down first, China might try to score a win believing it would be an isolated incident that India won't dare expand.

As an aside to this commentary, I don't want a China-India war over this or any other flash point.

I am, however, happy that China is increasingly focused inland to dilute their former focus seaward where our Navy and our allies are. And I am happy that India is increasingly aligning with America to contain Chinese ambitions. But I do not want war.

Aside from the sheer death and destruction that I don't wish on anyone, at this stage I assume India would lose a border war with China. The correlation of forces does not benefit India. Although perhaps Indian troops would prove better than the Chinese troops and prevail in a limited war. I don't know. I'd rather not risk it.

I'm not sure who those strategists who want war are or if the author of this piece is conflating what I want with the assumed desire for war.

Ultimately I'd like it if Chinese inland ambitions lead to tensions with Russia to get these two potential enemies worried about each other rather than America and our allies.

So yeah, contrary to that commentary's point of welcoming Chinese endeavors in South Asia, if it was up to me I'd resist Chinese efforts to make advances into South Asia economically in order to funnel Chinese inland ambitions toward Central Asia where friction with Russia would develop.