India can't defeat Pakistan militarily, admits Indian defence analyst
NEW DELHI (92 News) – Former Indian police officer and country's defence analyst NC Asthana has admitted that India cannot defeat Pakistan militarily.
In his latest book, "National Security and Conventional Arms Race: Spectre of a Nuclear War" (Jaipur: Pointer Books, 2020), Asthana turns his critical attention to the politics and discourse of national security and war. He also slammed the region's self-proclaimed contractor.
In his book, he revealed that India has no clarity about its military and strategic objectives vis-à-vis its stated adversaries, Pakistan and China, and can defeat neither of them in a war.
The defence analyst argues that instead of pouring vast sums of money into expensive weapons imports, India would be better served by finding solutions by strengthening itself internally and pursuing non-military solutions, including diplomacy.
Asthana also focusses on what he calls the “politics of warmongering” which has consumed public discourse in India over the past six years. Under the delusion that India has somehow, magically become invincible, he notes how a large number of Indians seem to be itching for a war.
This belief is both fueled and strengthened by relentless arms imports. Asthana puts the figure India has spent on arms import in the five years since 2014 at $14 billion, and the undisclosed cost of the 36 Rafale jets purchased from Dassault Aviation is not included in this.
But even this sum pales before the $130 billion India is projected to spend on arms imports in the next decade, including on 100+ even-more-expensive fighter jets to make up for the shortfall caused by the Modi government’s decision to scrap the earlier deal for 126 Rafales.
Asthana argues in his book that the frenzied import of conventional weapons will never guarantee a victory because both Pakistan and China are nuclear-weapon states and cannot be decisively defeated on the battlefield.
Asthana believes that exploiting enmity with Pakistan for electoral benefits has made Indian leaders victims of their own rhetoric, where they are left with a one-dimensional policy – one which is unrealistic in view of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
Book reviewer comment
On the other hand, National security matters expert Siddharth Varadarajan, editor of the esteemed current affairs portal, also quotes Asthana as suggesting that instead of pouring vast sums of money into expensive weapons imports, India would be better served by finding solutions to the security challenges both Pakistan and China present by strengthening itself internally and pursuing non-military solutions, including diplomacy.
Asthana’s columns are widely read for their scholarship and he has authored 48 books, written or co-authored while in service. He is particularly known for his willingness to be sharply critical of the political and bureaucratic establishment, Varadarajan says.
Author says that exploiting enmity with Pakistan for electoral benefits has made Indian leaders victims of their own rhetoric