In many ways, the ongoing standoff with the Chinese across the LAC reminds us of our bitter experiences of 1962. But there is no excuse to be surprised a second time by a recalcitrant adversary. The manner in which the Galwan debacle played out is uncannily similar to what the Chinese did to the Russians on the Manchurian Ussuri river in March 1969, including the targeting of the commanding officer.
That the Chinese should choose to indulge in such adventurism in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic and their own alleged role in creating it is surprising enough. And their ongoing aggressive forays in the South China Sea, Hongkong and Taiwan cannot be entirely coincidental. Clearly, there is a grand plan in the offing. A supposedly over keen Chinese Communist Party leader or a threatened President Xi Jinping attempting to counter internal ruffles within his establishment can only be other contributory factors.
But what India’s response needs to be is what should agitate all strategist minds now. Very clearly, the rules of engagement along the LAC need redefining. It is ridiculous to think of modern militaries fighting with stones and nailed batons.