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Border face-off: China and India each deploy 3,000 troops

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  • My first ride was as an eleven year old over Manhattan. I was excited but when it took off i had this awful fright. It felt like some one yanked you off your feet. Looking out the window felt like falling down. Not as much fun as i thought it would be. Yeah i think i would need many hours in one to get accustomed.

    Flying in a plane is soooo easy in comparison.

    My first plane ride was at age 9. My first helicopter ride was at 13...a US Army CH-47 which was taking a Boy Scout Troop I was working with to their summer camp. They flew us there and back. Yay fun!

    But I was always happier to be a paratrooper than be in a helicopter. As a paratrooper I was in control of my destiny.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain


    • Aadi's been having some excellent sessions with Gen Shankar on various aspects of the PLA. This one looks at the effects of terrain on mountain warfare.

      There is a simple but important point he makes which is its very difficult to have one big campaign against India because the weather won't allow it.

      it has to be disaggregated somehow.

      In the western sector so Ladakh, the campaign season is May to September. But in the NE this is also the time when the monsoons are beginning and will be at their height. The North East is the region with the highest rainfall in the world. Nothing moves there once the monsoons get going.

      The campaign season in the NE is from September to December at which time things start to freeze over in Ladakh.

      So that is the basis for no single campaign. If they're going to come in to either sector those are the windows they have to work with.

      '62 was different. China can't replicate that again.

      This is similar to the windows to attack Taiwan. Only in April or September or the sea is too rough.

      The Tibetan plateau is windswept and barren. There is no place to hide there. There is no camouflage, everything is out in the open.

      It's like a tabletop you can pick at anything from the air. In plain view of satellites.

      Only way to hide is to burrow into the ground. But that has limits.

      The roads are straight lines in Tibet. On entering India they are winding as the terrain very steeply descends.. The land on the Tibetan side is stable but its not so stable and prone to land slides on the Indian side. So a logistics line from China needs to take into account the two different terrains roads have to come through.

      The Chinese have the choice where to come in anywhere from Ladakh to Arunachal but if they enter India they have to branch off from their main highway where they are concentrated and come in a prong like manner. Each of these prongs will be cut off from the others and vulnerable to pincers wherever they ingress into India.

      From the Indian side its the reverse. We start prong like but once we enter the Tibetan plateau we become concentrated and can home in on objectives there.

      India can approach an objective in Tibet from two or three different directions. They can't do pincers on our approaches into Tibet.

      Harder for them to see into India, harder to acquire objectives as the terrain into India is steep and covered in forests. Firepower is ineffective as missiles or shots disappear into the forest or end up in some creek.

      Unlike like entering flat Tibet in which objectives are easier to spot and consequently firepower is more effective.

      They way you fight in Ladakh is different to the way you fight in Sikkim is different to the way you fight in Bhutan which is different to the way you would fight in Arunachal. That's 4 different terrains requiring four different styles of fighting.

      In short a PLA offensive into India will have huge problems to deal with. This does not mean they won't try.

      History is replete with examples of people underestimating weather or terrain right from Napolean to Hitler.
      Last edited by Double Edge; 05 Jan 22,, 18:51.


      • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
        I've seen comments on YT suggesting CFIT. But how is that possible with ground sensing radar and collision avoidance systems this Mi17 had ?

        CFIT is more appropriate for civilian aircraft lacking those systems.
        What do you mean by "Ground Sensing Radar"? If you are talking about Helicopter Terrain Avoidance System, those are fairly new (compared to fixed wing aircraft which have had it for a very long time) and I do not believe IAF Mi-17's are equipped with it. The Mi-17V5 has a weather radar but that will only detect significant precipitation. Would be useless against fog.


        • Originally posted by Firestorm View Post
          What do you mean by "Ground Sensing Radar"? If you are talking about Helicopter Terrain Avoidance System, those are fairly new (compared to fixed wing aircraft which have had it for a very long time) and I do not believe IAF Mi-17's are equipped with it. The Mi-17V5 has a weather radar but that will only detect significant precipitation. Would be useless against fog.
          You're right, the Mi17 did not have it. Here is a Group Captain advocating that they do

          IAF Mi-17V5 Helicopter Crash: What is HTAWS and Why It is Need of the Hour | News18 | Dec 10 2021

          The West has made Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems (HTAWS) mandatory for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) and offshore operations flights. This is because of the disproportionately high CFIT crashes, like the one which claimed the lives of General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 others.
          CFIT it is then i guess.

          You would think the latest version of the Mi17 would have it. But apparently not.

          Wonder if the that Taiwanese Generals' Black Hawk also lacked HTAWS ?
          Last edited by Double Edge; 05 Jan 22,, 00:23.


          • Going to beat this helicopter event to death.


            • This video demonstrates the difficulty of air operations at high altitude

              They are only at 6,370 feet and still managed to crash near Stanley, Idaho.

              The Tibetan plateau is twice that height. Planes landing have to keep engines going or they won't start up.

              How easily are PLAAF planes going to take off or missiles fly or even drones ?

              Yeah you can take off and land but what about operational sorties of a meaningful nature ? Only at night or early morning.

              General Shankar said air operations are out during day time. The air is thin enough already and with the sun heats up and gets thinner still offering less lift for wings or engines to hold on to.

              Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Jan 22,, 19:12.


              • China Used Actors For Propaganda Video That Wasn't Even At Galwan; Shot It Over 4 Hours | Republic World | Jan 06 2022

                They brought in a couple of actors to play soldier. Why would they do that ? when there are plenty of PLA soldiers serving there already (!)

                And why is there a woman in this video. I never saw any PLA videos with women serving at the border o_O

                If we brought in couple of our actors to do a similar video it would be ludicrous. It makes no sense on a cultural level to do this.

                Their video wasn't even shot in Galwan but a good 30 kms behind.

                They occupy most of the Galwan valley already. Why not shoot it there ?

                The Weibo users who called out the actors in the video got their accounts suspended soon enough.

                Couldn't even fool the locals

                Anyway, the actor they used Wu Jing and his wife Xie Nan, starred in this recent CCP sponsored movie, The battle at Lake Changjin of the Korean war.

                Lake Changjin is the Chosin Reservoir.

                ‘The Battle at Lake Changjin’ and China’s New View of War | The Diplomat | Oct 14 2021

                Entering into military combat was formerly seen as a threat to the Communist Party’s hold on power. China’s military was not in a position to win. Going to battle and losing Chinese lives, even if it resulted in a territorial gain, was seen as potentially provoking a level of domestic unrest that could undermine China’s leadership. With the potential to topple the ruling party, war was off the table. Now it is perceived as a way to strengthen the CCP’s position.

                The willingness to go to war is now portrayed as an expression of self-confidence and pride.

                Once seen as a fool’s errand, Chinese soldier fatalities, even in the face of territorial wins, were unacceptable. Now the opposite is true. Battling for territory is now a symbol of China’s strength and power. Whether due to a new economic normal or the next step in national rejuvenation, engaging in war will no longer undermine the authority of the Chinese Communist Party. Instead, it has the potential to strengthen its mandate as leader of the most populous nation in the world.
                Taking Taiwan is too difficult. Fighting in the Himalayas is too difficult.

                Too difficult did not stop some from trying

                The flip side is those that can't do just talk
                Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Jan 22,, 22:02.


                • From July. The sort of thing Pompeo called out. And yeah that Vietnam vet, Chinese Colonel I mentioned half a year back is a part of it with his launch on warning nonsense.

                  'Military fanboys' shared a video threatening nuclear war. This is why China allowed it | ABC (Australia) | Jul 20 2021

                  The message: If Tokyo steps in to defend Taiwan against China, "nuclear weapons will surely be used against Japan".

                  Did Beijing use the local government account to share propaganda and send a message to the world, or did a low-level official just go a little rogue?

                  Tom Sear, a cyber propaganda and China expert from the University of New South Wales, said it could be both.

                  "The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are allowing a posture to have a life, while also making it seem like it's not their official message," he said.

                  "Of course China can't say that. That's a massive diplomatic incident if they were to do that, but if a fanboy does it, that appears like the voice of the people."

                  For a country with a very tightly controlled media landscape, experts say the fact the video exists tells us something.

                  "It wouldn't be there to see if someone didn't want us to look at it," Mr Sear said.

                  "So, it's not an official statement by the CCP but the fact it isn't blocked or censored demonstrates a complicity, a passive endorsement."

                  At one point, the narrator says Japan will be an "exemption" to China's "no use or no first use of nuclear weapon commitment" if Tokyo "intervenes militarily in our domestic affairs, including in the unification of Taiwan".

                  "Nuclear power is an elephant in the military-diplomatic room," he said.

                  "China doesn't talk about its nuclear power much, so this kind of [social media] subterfuge is a way of placing a threat on the agenda."
                  Nonsense statements are made by various actors but they cannot be ignored and have to be flagged as such.

                  This is the definition of grey zone media operations.
                  Last edited by Double Edge; 09 Jan 22,, 15:47.


                  • For a country with a very tightly controlled media landscape, experts say the fact the video exists tells us something.
                    Yeah, it tells us that ABC listens to fanboys.


                    • They're being allowed to talk. I don't accept this but its unofficial pretext. In a tightly controlled media landscape these people get to say things that the CCP is responsible for.

                      If the CCP has a spine then they should speak officially and not shoot from the shoulders of 3rd parties.


                      Click image for larger version  Name:	Abe calls out names.jpg Views:	0 Size:	104.7 KB ID:	1579703

                      A good response to an 'unofficial' statement. Get an ex-PM to deliver another 'unofficial' message.

                      Tony Abbott in Taiwan for 10/10 is the same thing.

                      Two can play at this game

                      Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                      Yeah, it tells us that ABC listens to fanboys.
                      Unpack the term fanboy and you get grey zone media operations.

                      I don't usually go with ABC Australia because they are an opposition channel but i think that article explained pretty well what is happening.

                      As for what ABC Australia tends to do, check this out


                      Click image for larger version  Name:	China threat Australia.jpg Views:	0 Size:	91.4 KB ID:	1579704
                      Same nonsense said to the Aussies.

                      ABC Australia on their 60 minutes program interviews a CCP water boy who then issues threats to Australia using Aussie media (!) Typical opposition channel antics.

                      Better way to handle Victor Gao is invite him on your channel after any statement in Chinese media and then turn him into a punching bag like Arnab does here

                      Don't let him pass along any messages or deliver statements. Just ask him for answers.
                      Last edited by Double Edge; 09 Jan 22,, 16:30.


                      • Oh for fuck sakes! Somebody tell the fanboy Victor Gao that a SSN ain't a SSBN and the Chinese don't have the nukes to spare to attack Australia.


                        • How about the converse ? Does the US still retain a nuclear option to deter China from taking Taiwan

                          Otherwise they face the possibility of a protracted conflict with conventional

                          Risk of Nuclear War Over Taiwan in 1958 Said to Be Greater Than Publicly Known | NYT | May 22 2021

                          By Charlie Savage

                          Published May 22, 2021Updated Nov. 3, 2021

                          WASHINGTON — When Communist Chinese forces began shelling islands controlled by Taiwan in 1958, the United States rushed to back up its ally with military force — including drawing up plans to carry out nuclear strikes on mainland China, according to an apparently still-classified document that sheds new light on how dangerous that crisis was.

                          American military leaders pushed for a first-use nuclear strike on China, accepting the risk that the Soviet Union would retaliate in kind on behalf of its ally and millions of people would die, dozens of pages from a classified 1966 study of the confrontation show. The government censored those pages when it declassified the study for public release.

                          The document was disclosed by Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked a classified history of the Vietnam War, known as the Pentagon Papers, 50 years ago. Mr. Ellsberg said he had copied the top secret study about the Taiwan Strait crisis at the same time but did not disclose it then. He is now highlighting it amid new tensions between the United States and China over Taiwan.

                          While it has been known in broader strokes that United States officials considered using atomic weapons against mainland China if the crisis escalated, the pages reveal in new detail how aggressive military leaders were in pushing for authority to do so if Communist forces, which had started shelling the so-called offshore islands, intensified their attacks.

                          The crisis in 1958 instead ebbed when Mao Zedong’s Communist forces broke off the attacks on the islands, leaving them in the control of Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist Republic of China forces based on Taiwan. More than six decades later, strategic ambiguity about Taiwan’s status — and about American willingness to use nuclear weapons to defend it — persists.

                          The previously censored information is significant both historically and now, said Odd Arne Westad, a Yale University historian who specializes in the Cold War and China and who reviewed the pages for The New York Times.

                          “This confirms, to me at least, that we came closer to the United States using nuclear weapons” during the 1958 crisis “than what I thought before,” he said. “In terms of how the decision-making actually took place, this is a much more illustrative level than what we have seen.”

                          Drawing parallels to today’s tensions — when China’s own conventional military might has grown far beyond its 1958 ability, and when it has its own nuclear weapons — Mr. Westad said the documents provided fodder to warn of the dangers of an escalating confrontation over Taiwan.

                          Even in 1958, officials doubted the United States could successfully defend Taiwan using only conventional weapons, the documents show. If China invaded today, Mr. Westad said, “it would put tremendous pressure on U.S. policymakers, in the case of such a confrontation, to think about how they might deploy nuclear weapons.”

                          “That should be sobering for everyone involved,” he added.

                          In exposing a historical antecedent for the present tensions, Mr. Ellsberg said that was exactly the takeaway he wanted the public to debate. He argued that inside the Pentagon, contingency planning was likely underway for the possibility of an armed conflict over Taiwan — including what to do if any defense using conventional weapons appeared to be falling short.

                          “As the possibility of another nuclear crisis over Taiwan is being bandied about this very year, it seems very timely to me to encourage the public, Congress and the executive branch to pay attention to what I make available to them,” he said about what he characterized as “shallow” and “reckless” high-level discussions during the 1958 Taiwan Strait crisis.

                          He added, “I do not believe the participants were more stupid or thoughtless than those in between or in the current cabinet.”

                          Among other details, the pages that the government censored in the official release of the study describe the attitude of Gen. Laurence S. Kuter, the top Air Force commander for the Pacific. He wanted authorization for a first-use nuclear attack on mainland China at the start of any armed conflict. To that end, he praised a plan that would start by dropping atomic bombs on Chinese airfields but not other targets, arguing that its relative restraint would make it harder for skeptics of nuclear warfare in the American government to block the plan.

                          “There would be merit in a proposal from the military to limit the war geographically” to the air bases, “if that proposal would forestall some misguided humanitarian’s intention to limit a war to obsolete iron bombs and hot lead,” General Kuter said at one meeting.

                          At the same time, officials considered it very likely that the Soviet Union would respond to an atomic attack on China with retaliatory nuclear strikes. (In retrospect, it is not clear whether this premise was accurate. Historians say American leaders, who saw Communism as a monolithic global conspiracy, did not appreciate or understand an emerging Sino-Soviet split.)

                          But American military officials preferred that risk to the possibility of losing the islands. The study paraphrased Gen. Nathan F. Twining, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as saying that if atomic bombings of air bases did not force China to break off the conflict, there would be “no alternative but to conduct nuclear strikes deep into China as far north as Shanghai.”

                          He suggested that such strikes would “almost certainly involve nuclear retaliation against Taiwan and possibly against Okinawa,” the Japanese island where American military forces were based, “but he stressed that if national policy is to defend the offshore islands then the consequences had to be accepted.”

                          The study also paraphrased the secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, as observing to the Joint Chiefs of Staff that “nobody would mind very much the loss of the offshore islands but that loss would mean further Communist aggression. Nothing seems worth a world war until you looked at the effect of not standing up to each challenge posed.”

                          Ultimately, President Dwight D. Eisenhower pushed back against the generals and decided to rely on conventional weapons at first. But nobody wanted to enter another protracted conventional conflict like the Korean War, so there was “unanimous belief that this would have to be quickly followed by nuclear strikes unless the Chinese Communists called off this operation.”

                          Mr. Ellsberg said he copied the full version of the study when he copied the Pentagon Papers. But he did not share the Taiwan study with reporters who wrote about the Vietnam War study in 1971, like Neil Sheehan of The Times.

                          Mr. Ellsberg quietly posted the full study online in 2017, when he published a book, “Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.” One of its footnotes mentions in passing that passages and pages omitted from the study are available on his website.

                          But he did not quote the study’s material in his book, he said, because lawyers for his publisher worried about potential legal liability. He also did little else to draw attention to the fact that its redacted pages are visible in the version he posted. As a result, few noticed it.

                          One of the few who did was William Burr, a senior analyst at George Washington University’s National Security Archive, who mentioned it in a footnote in a March blog post about threats to use nuclear weapons in the Cold War.

                          Mr. Burr said he had tried about two decades ago to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a new declassification review of the study — which was written by Morton H. Halperin for the RAND Corporation — but the Pentagon was unable to locate an unabridged copy in its files. (RAND, a nongovernmental think tank, is not itself subject to information act requests.)

                          Mr. Ellsberg said tensions over Taiwan did not seem as urgent in 2017. But the uptick in saber-rattling — he pointed to a recent cover of The Economist magazinethat labeled Taiwan “the most dangerous place on Earth” and a recent opinion column by The Times’s Thomas L. Friedman titled, “Is There a War Coming Between China and the U.S.?” — prompted him to conclude it was important to get the information into greater public view.

                          Michael Szonyi, a Harvard University historian and author of a book about one of the offshore islands at the heart of the crisis, “Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line,” called the material’s availability “hugely interesting.”

                          Any new confrontation over Taiwan could escalate and officials today would be “asking themselves the same questions that these folks were asking in 1958,” he said, linking the risks created by “dramatic” miscalculations and misunderstandings during serious planning for the use of nuclear weapons in 1958 and today’s tensions.

                          Mr. Ellsberg said he also had another reason for highlighting his exposure of that material. Now 90, he said he wanted to take on the risk of becoming a defendant in a test case challenging the Justice Department’s growing practice of using the Espionage Act to prosecute officials who leak information.

                          Enacted during World War I, the Espionage Act makes it a crime to retain or disclose, without authorization, defense-related information that could harm the United States or aid a foreign adversary. Its wording covers everyone — not only spies — and it does not allow defendants to urge juries to acquit on the basis that disclosures were in the public interest.

                          Using the Espionage Act to prosecute leakers was once rare. Mr. Ellsberg himself was charged under it, before a judge threw out the charges in 1973 because of government misconduct. The first successful such conviction was in 1985. But it has now become routine for the Justice Department to bring such charges.

                          Most of the time, defendants strike plea deals to avoid long sentences, so there is no appeal. The Supreme Court has not confronted questions about whether the law’s wording or application trammels First Amendment rights.

                          Saying the Justice Department should charge him for his open admission that he disclosed the classified study about the Taiwan crisis without authorization, Mr. Ellsberg said he would handle his defense in a way that would tee the First Amendment issues up for the Supreme Court.

                          “I will, if indicted, be asserting my belief that what I am doing — like what I’ve done in the past — is not criminal,” he said, arguing that using the Espionage Act “to criminalize classified truth-telling in the public interest” is unconstitutional.


                          • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                            How about the converse ? Does the US still retain a nuclear option to deter China from taking Taiwan

                            Otherwise they face the possibility of a protracted conflict with conventional
                            A 30,000, hell let's go 60,000 Mainland invasion force on isolated beachheads with stretched to the breaking point LOCs harrassed by RoCN subs vs a 400,000 RoCA with internal C3. What protracted conflict?
                            Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 10 Jan 22,, 18:22.


                            • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                              A 30,000, hell let's go 60,000 Mainland invasion force on isolated beachheads with stretched to the breaking point LOCs harrassed by RoCN subs vs a 400,000 RoCA with internal C3. What protracted conflict?
                              If China goes that far they will be all in. They will be more waves.


                              • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                                Oh for fuck sakes! Somebody tell the fanboy Victor Gao that a SSN ain't a SSBN and the Chinese don't have the nukes to spare to attack Australia.
                                He seems to think the Aussie subs are dual use and there is no way to verify they won't carry nuke missiles. He is making a launch on warning argument.