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  1. #1
    Military Professional Deltacamelately's Avatar
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    What if Nixon Succeeded

    Gentlemen, many of my course mates have discussed this and its indeed an intriguing scenario.

    What if Nixon was successful in convincing/coercing the Chinese to open the southern theatre with India in 1971, atleast 15 days before East Pakistan collapsed? How would that shape the course of the war? Would Bangladesh still come into existence?

    I would like your individual analysis on this.

    Regards,
    And on the sixth day, God created the Field Artillery...

  2. #2
    Officer of Engineers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deltacamelately View Post
    Gentlemen, many of my course mates have discussed this and its indeed an intriguing scenario.

    What if Nixon was successful in convincing/coercing the Chinese to open the southern theatre with India in 1971, atleast 15 days before East Pakistan collapsed? How would that shape the course of the war? Would Bangladesh still come into existence?

    I would like your individual analysis on this.

    Regards,
    An open invitation to the Soviet 58th Army into Lop Nor.

  3. #3
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    An open invitation to the Soviet 58th Army into Lop Nor.
    Sir,aren't VDV divisions and Soviet AF in India enough?To heck with PakAF,the Russians,can level their air bases before they notice there's a war around.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  4. #4
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    In 1971-1973, the Soviets were on a hair trigger to march in Lop Nor. It would take time for both armies to re-orient themselves to the Indian Front. Heck, it would take the Chinese 38th and 39th Group Armies two weeks just to get there. So, without a major re-orientation, the Soviets would be poised to take Lop Nor against a weakened Chinese defence.

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    But would they still want to move the 38&39 GA's knowing they'll face Soviet troops in India?The VDV is the strategic reserve and they had contingency plans for such a deployment.Does not affect Soviet troops in Far East or Central Asia,much.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    But would they still want to move the 38&39 GA's knowing they'll face Soviet troops in India?The VDV is the strategic reserve and they had contingency plans for such a deployment.Does not affect Soviet troops in Far East or Central Asia,much.
    The 38 and 39GAs are the only formations of note. Any other army would face defeat.

  7. #7
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Chinese and Pakistan in war with India, where one are US ally and the others will intervene on US push - where does this place the USN?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Contributor anil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deltacamelately View Post
    Gentlemen, many of my course mates have discussed this and its indeed an intriguing scenario.

    What if Nixon was successful in convincing/coercing the Chinese to open the southern theatre with India in 1971, atleast 15 days before East Pakistan collapsed? How would that shape the course of the war? Would Bangladesh still come into existence?

    I would like your individual analysis on this.

    Regards,
    @Deltacamelately

    From a 1987 interview with K Subrahmanyam

    Bengal Conflict

    Interviewer: HOW DID INDIA'S SECURITY CONCERNS CHANGE DURING THE PERIOD THAT MRS. GANDHI WAS IN OFFICE THE FIRST TIME, '66-'77?

    Subramanvam: Well it, the first major security crisis in 1971 when the Pakistani military action in Bengal exploded in such terrific violence and there were ten million refugees on... pushed into, onto our soil. And we had to face that situation. But the Pakistan's supported tacitly by the United States administration and China. And that was a very difficult period. And that was the period in which in order to countervail that inference India had turned to a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union which was a countervailing measure at that stage. But at the same time it drove home to India the point that India was in a very difficult position facing a combination of powers like the United States, China and Pakistan at that stage. Therefore we came through that crisis even though... I would say successfully. But it did leave India with the considerable concern about its security for the future.

    Interviewer: WHY DID INDIA SIGN A FRIENDSHIP TREATY WITH THE SOVIET UNION? WHAT DID SHE HAVE TO GAIN FROM IT?

    Subramanvam: Well it was meant to be a countervailing inference against the United States going too far in its support to Pakistan. And it was proved in 1971 December, if you read Dr. Kissinger's memoirs, he himself says the US administration asked China to move against India and the Chinese asked the question, "What happens if the Soviet Union moved against China?" Even though in, the United States did give some guarantees to China about that contingency China did not move. And therefore it was quite obvious that the Indian action of entering into the friendship treaty with the Soviet did succeed in restraining China from acting in spite of all the goading from the United States.

    Interviewer: HOW DID YOU INTERPRET NIXON'S DECISION TO SEND THE USS. ENTERPRISE INTO THE BAY OF BENGAL?

    Subramanvam: Well it was one of the instances of what is known as demonstration of use of force without war, or diplomacy. And it didn't succeed. But it didn't succeed partly because for the fact the Enterprise came around two days late.

    Interviewer: IN YOUR WRITING YOU'VE ALSO REFERRED TO IT AS THE ATOMIC GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY. WOULD YOU REMIND REPEATING THAT?

    Subramanvam: Yes. Actually when you send your task force with the...

    Interviewer: HOW DID YOU INTERPRET NIXON'S DECISION TO SEND THE USS. ENTERPRISE INTO THE BAY OF BENGAL DURING THE '71 WAR?

    Subramanvam: It was a piece of class of diplomacy, when your... vessel which is known to contain nuclear weapons was sent into the Bay of Bengal in an attempt to exercise intimidation on India.

    Interviewer: WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO PRESIDENT NIXON'S DECISION TO SEND THE USS. ENTERPRISE INTO THE BAY OF BENGAL AND WAS INDIA ALSO CONCERNED CHINA WOULD INTERVENE AT THAT POINT?

    Subramanvam: We were not very worried about China intervening at that point because the passes were covered with snow.

    Interviewer: [REPEATS QUESTION]

    Subramanvam: It was a threat because the Enterprise had come in close enough to the shores of Bangladesh. Then they could have started flying in the aircraft over Dhaka in which case it could have faced India with a problem whether the Indian air force should fire on the US aircraft.

    Interviewer: WHAT EFFECT DID THIS HAVE ON FOREIGN POLICY?

    Subramanvam: Well it would have stagnated completely the liberation of Bangladesh.
    Transcript
    Interview with Kandury Subramanvam, 1987 - WGBH Open Vault

    Video interview
    Interview with Kandury Subramanvam, 1987 - WGBH Open Vault
    Last edited by anil; 17 Aug 13, at 12:04.

  9. #9
    Military Professional Deltacamelately's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anil View Post
    Anil,

    Thanks for the the links. Though much of what is written is known to most of us, I would be more interested to know your personal analysis on the subject.
    And on the sixth day, God created the Field Artillery...

  10. #10
    Contributor anil's Avatar
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    India(with Russia as its protectorate)
    v/s
    Pakistan(with US and china as its protectorate)

    --------

    The chinese will not fight a war in which they don't think they can win

    The americans will engage as long as the opponent doesn't acquire the capability to open a front(theater) on CONUS. If you go by this countrys past history, a logical front has to start with first strike.

    --------

    If the chinese had opened a front into india, the russians would have done the same. But the chinese knew that both of them have a capability that causes each to hesitate from ever fighting a real battle. So in reality, the US guarantee to china was lip service.

    I personally and strongly feel that non-alignment was a mistake. India should have given the russians military bases around india. It would have given the russians confidence in india.

    My actual unease is that 1971 keeps happening again and again. Kargil, 2003 stand off, mumbai attacks etc are nothing but a repeat of the 1971 predicament which subramaniam described as, that, "India is in a very difficult position facing a combination of powers like the United States, China and Pakistan".

  11. #11
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    Anil your assumption about the US is dead wrong. In almost every direct confrontation of the Cold War it was the Soviets that backed down, not the US. That both sides preferred war by proxy only "mostly" kept them out of direct confrontation. Threatening or hitting the US mainland would be a very bad idea.... In fact the last person to do so ended his career as fish food.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Anil your assumption about the US is dead wrong. In almost every direct confrontation of the Cold War it was the Soviets that backed down, not the US. That both sides preferred war by proxy only "mostly" kept them out of direct confrontation.
    The question still remains as to whether the alleged Soviet presence in the Bay of Bengal discouraged Nixon from giving the go-ahead to the Big-E to carry out whatever plans they had (and I refuse to believe that the US sent a CBG into a conflict zone without specific plans for intervention). The Russians will claim it did. Americans might say it was only supposed to be a bluff, which got called and the Russian presence had nothing to do with it. Personally, I wouldn't believe the American version in this case. Even though it might have been fairly easy for the Enterprise's battle group to sink the Soviet vessels had they intervened, the possibility of a direct confrontation with the Soviets would have weighed heavily in any cost benefit analysis done in Washington and might have precluded an intervention.

  13. #13
    Contributor anil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    In almost every direct confrontation of the Cold War it was the Soviets that backed down, not the US.
    Why did they back down?

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