Which War Can India Win? A Two-Front or a Two-and-a-Half Front War?
The Indian Army is "well-prepared" to fight a "Two-and-a-Half Front War" simultaneously, claims Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, a statement at odds with his previous claim made in January the army can only fight a two-front war against China and Pakistan.
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Indian media said the phrase, "Two-and-a-Half Front War," refers to a war against China along the Line of Actual Control; against Pakistan along the Line of Control and against Muslim terrorists supported by Pakistan in the rugged regions of Kashmir.
"The Indian Army is fully ready for a two-and-a-half front war," said Gen. Rawat, who didn't expound further on how the army plans to fight and win a type of war India has never been called on to fight.
Gen. Rawat, however, claimed the army is prepared to handle internal and external fronts at the same time if it comes to that. But he did note that methods other than war are available for resolution of difficult situations.
Gen. Rawat expressed his satisfaction at the Indian government's support for modernizing the Indian Army with new weapons and equipment.
"'Make in India' is a good initiative. It will give results in two to three years," said Gen. Rawat.
Gen. Rawat's statements last January to the effect the army can fight a two-front war against Pakistan and China left some Indian military observers shaking their heads in incredulity.
"As far as armed forces are concerned, we are tasked to be prepared for a two-front war and I think we are capable of carrying out our task in whatever manner that we may be asked to do by the political hierarchy," said Gen. Rawat.
"We want peace at borders because civilians lose the most."
Gen. Rawat said while India and its army want to maintain peace and tranquility at the borders with China and Pakistan, it will not "shy away" from using its power in any form.
He also noted the dynamics of terrorism is constantly changing, and said the army has to think ahead to counter new terrorism threats.
"The fact that terrorists infiltrating from adversary's (Pakistan's) side means that they are getting support from them (Pakistani forces)," Gen. Rawat pointed out.
"We also have to think ahead, and ball has already been rolling in that direction."