Beyond Numbers Rhetoric Why 2017 Is Not 1962 Image Credit: Geopolitics
Beyond Numbers Rhetoric Why 2017 Is Not 1962 Image Credit: Geopolitics

Beyond Numbers & Rhetoric - Why 2017 Is Not 1962

The Indian Air Force was forced to sit out the 1962 war by the nation’s political leadership for reasons that can most charitably be described as non-military. Had the IAF participated in the war, as it was well-trained and equipped to do, the outcome would have been different. But that is history. If war is imposed on the country today, the IAF is sure to make its presence felt. AIR MARSHAL PK BARBORA (RETD), former Vice Chief of Air Staff, in discussion with VIJAINDER K THAKUR on how 2017 is different from 1962

Vijainder K Thakur

In the context of the ongoing Doka La face off between Indian and Chinese troops, China’s official and state sponsored media - People's Daily, Xinhua, and Global Times is sending India a clear and unequivocal message - Remember your defeat in 1962 and accept China's position in the Doka La stand-off at the Sikkim border.

China’s state sponsored media often lacks objectivity and grace; sometimes it’s rabid and is used by the Communist Party of China (CPC) to deliver crude threats to other nations. The verbiage emanating from the media cannot be taken literally, but in a convoluted manner it often reflects CPC thinking.

India can interpret the implied threat as crude psychological warfare, or pause and ponder. The problem is, pause and ponder is what India has done so far in the face of China's salami slicing of India’s territorial integrity. This time China wants a meatier chunk and India finds itself cornered. Pause and ponder is the one option that India doesn’t have.

The 1962 reminder is clearly designed to rattle India and weaken its resolve to stand firm against the PLAA at Doka La. Admittedly, the reminder is based on historical facts. However, historical war fighting results cannot be extrapolated 55 years into the future, especially when given the dynamics of an interconnected world with rapid technological advances. The outcome of the 1962 war was determined by military ground realities that exis

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