Though the Indian Army has been guarding the frontiers of the entire Ladakh region assiduously for the last 70 years, this year it faces a unique challenge. Never in history did India have such a large deployment of troops in the Eastern Ladakh sector.
The stand-off with an aggressive and belligerent China continuing without any signs of “pull back” for the last six months. This “no-war no-peace” situation is unprecedented on the Line of Actual Control with Chinese People’s Liberation Army. In fact, de-facto the LAC has turned into Line of Control in the sector quite similar to what we have with Pakistan all along the mountainous region of Jammu and Kashmir.
With no solution in sight, the Indian Army has galvanised its logistic resources at war footing. The advance winter stoking has never ever been done at such a frantic pace and with such a mammoth level.
The war effort has now shifted focus from the enemy PLA to the natural elements of weather. The chances of another skirmish are now remote due to freezing temperatures and bone-chilling wind factor. Even the 1962 war had ended, when the PLA withdrew on November 21. Since it was no longer possible for them to push forward or even hold on to the gains made by them in the Chushul sector.
Some of the severe challenges created by holding additional troops in the inhospitable terrain are very apparent to every military planner.