India must be prepared for two-front war: Army chief

Noting that in future, wars may start before forces come into contact, Bipin Rawat cited the recent stand-off with China, where something similar was seen.

Published: 07th September 2017 01:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2017 09:32 AM   |  A+A-

Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat (File| PTI)

By Express News Service

With China ‘flexing its muscles’ and no scope for reconciliation being seen with Pakistan, Army Chief Bipin Rawat warned on Wednesday that India should be prepared for a two-front war.

Referring to the 73-day-long Dokalam standoff, the Army Chief warned the situation could snowball into a larger conflict on the northern border.“We have to be prepared. In our context, therefore, warfare lies within the realm of reality,” he said, adding that the army’s supremacy among the three services must be maintained to successfully combat threats.

Rawat’s comments have come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a “forward-looking” approach to Sino-India ties, putting behind the Dokalam standoff.

Rawat said India cannot afford to let its guard down against China. “As far as northern adversary is concerned, the flexing of muscle has started. The salami slicing — taking over territory in a very gradual manner — and testing our limits of threshold is something we have to be wary about. We must be prepared for situations that could gradually transform into a conflict.”

The Army chief also talked about China engaging in psychological warfare by using the media and information technology against India during the Dokalam face-off. He rejected the notion that credible deterrence could prevent war and pitched for adequate budgetary allocation for the armed forces to face eventualities.

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