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Army supremacy has to be maintained: Army Chief Bipin Rawat

Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat. File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

India should be prepared for a two-front war despite its nuclear weapons, Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat said on Wednesday even as he called for maintaining the “supremacy and primacy” of the Army in a joint services environment.

“Wars will be fought on land, and therefore the primacy of the Army must be maintained. The other services, the Navy and Air Force, will play a very major role in support of the Army which will be operating on the ground, because no matter what happens, we may be dominating the area or the air, but finally war will be won when we ensure territorial integrity of the nation,” Gen. Rawat said while speaking at a seminar organised by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies.

“And therefore, the supremacy and primacy of the Army in a joint services environment becomes that much more relevant and important,” he stressed.

Tri-service integration has been a touchy issue with the Navy and Air Force worried that their autonomy would be eroded. The Army has recently sparred with the Air Force for control of attack helicopters.

Also read: Army prepared for two and a half front war: Gen Rawat

War is in the realm of reality

Stating that the country was surrounded by two adversaries, one on the Western border and one on the North, Gen. Rawat said that war is in the realm of reality.

“To say that in future there will be no wars if you have sufficient deterrent may not always be true… Nuclear powers don’t go to war and that nuclear weapons are weapons of deterrence, yes they are. But to say that they can deter war, they will not allow nations to go to war, in our context that may also not be true,” he said.

He stressed that the nature of warfare has been changing and much before militaries get into battle, wars may commence through non-contact warfare.

For this Gen. Rawat referred to the Chinese campaign over the Doklam standoff in which Beijing mounted an aggressive pitch alleging that Indian troops have crossed into its territory.

“In fact, if you look at the recent incident that happened on our Northern borders close to Sikkim, we did see information, psychological, media and legal warfare being launched by the adversary. It did not however lead to kinetic warfare…,” he stated.

On China, in an apparent reference to Doklam, Gen. Rawat added that flexing of muscles has started.

“Salami slicing, taking over territory in a very gradual manner, testing our limits of threshold is something we have to be wary about and remain prepared for situations emerging, which could gradually emerge into conflict…,” he said.

On Pakistan, Gen. Rawat questioned as to how long the country will continue to bear the proxy war and said, “Because of the proxy war there is always scope for conflict with our Western neighbour.”

“As far as our Western adversary is considered, we don’t see any scope of reconciliation, because their military, the polity, and the people in that nation have been made to believe that there is an adversary, India, which is all out to break their nations into pieces...” he observed.

Tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan have been running high since the Uri terror attacks in September last year.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 10:17:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/despite-nuclear-weapons-threat-of-two-front-war-is-real-army-chief-bipin-rawat/article19630592.ece

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