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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

God Bless and Keep the Himalayas

February 3, 2010

Strategy Page
January 30, 2010

India has become alarmed at the extent to which
China has improved its road network along their
4,000 kilometers border. Indian military planners
calculate that, as a result of this network,
Chinese military units can move 400 kilometers a
day on hard surfaced roads, while Indian units
can only move half as fast, while suffering more
vehicle damage because of the  many unpaved
roads. Building more roads will take years, so
India is building more airfields near the border,
and stationing modern fighters there. India and
China fought a short war, up in these mountains,
in 1962. The Indians lost, and are determined not
to lose if there is a rematch. But so far, the
Indians have been falling farther behind China.

This situation developed because India, decades
ago, decided that one way to deal with a Chinese
invasion was to, well, make it difficult for them
to move forward. This invasion fear came about
when China resumed its control over Tibet in the
late 1950s. From the end of the Chinese empire in
1912, to 1949, Tibet had been independent. But
when the communists took over China in 1949, they
began to reassert control over Tibet. This began
slowly, but once all of Tibet was under Chinese
control in 1959, this brought China into contact
with India once more, and there was immediately a
disagreement about the border. In 1914, the newly
independent government of Tibet, worked out a
border (the McMahon line) with the British (who
controlled India.) China called this border
agreement illegal, and wanted 90,000 square
kilometers back. India refused, especially since
thus would mean losing much of the state of
Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India. Putting
more roads into places like Arunachal Pradesh
(83,000 square kilometers and only a million
people) will improve the economy, as well as
military capabilities. This will be true of most
of the border area. The one positive aspect of
all this is that most of the border is mountains,
the highest mountains in the world (the
Himalayas). So no matter how much you prepare for
war, no one is going very far, very fast, when
you have to deal with these mountains.
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