Winter is coming
From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, India’s military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China, reports Reuters.
In recent months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said.
Waiting it out
Both countries are negotiating to resolve the confrontation, but neither side has backed down. The Indian military is now set to keep troops deployed along the treacherous, high-altitude border through the winter. Eastern Ladakh, where the flare-up occurred, is typically manned by 20,000-30,000 soldiers.
But the deployment has more than doubled with the tensions, a military official said, declining to provide exact numbers. “We have mirrored the increase in Chinese troops,” the official said, adding the Indian military was well-prepared but did not want further escalation or a prolonged conflict.
Fighting on two-fronts
Temperatures in Ladakh can fall well below freezing, and troops are often deployed at altitudes of over 15,000 feet, where oxygen is scarce, officials said. Since snow blocks mountain passes into Ladakh at least four months every winter, Indian military planners have already moved more than 150,000 tonnes of materials into the region.
“All the supplies that we need have already been pushed to wherever they are required,” said Major General Arvind Kapoor, chief of staff of the Indian army’s 14 Corps.