Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria has said that India is prepared to fight a two-front war, if needed. This collusive threat from Pakistan and China is a reality — even if the possibility remains bleak — staring at us.
But behind this assertion of preparedness lie important questions that must be asked to ensure that India fights fit.
I don’t blame the Indian Air Force (IAF) chief for saying that India is prepared for a two-front eventuality even though he knows very well the huge challenge it poses and the capability gap that exists in the Indian military to truly fight that war and win. What else can we expect the Air chief, or for that matter the Army or Navy chiefs, to say when a journalist asks whether India is prepared to fight such a war or not?
The fact that India is going for a large number of emergency procurement in wake of the border tensions with China shows that we are far from being prepared to fight a full-fledged two-front war.
To effectively counter the two-front crisis, India needs to put itself in a higher gear and have the vision to go for piecemeal deals or tactics, depending on the situation.