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New Troops Will Bolster India's Himalayan Defenses


After a weeks-long standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the rarefied atmosphere of the Himalayas, policymakers in Delhi must have realized that they need to do a better job protecting the mountainous border region against Beijing’s encroachment.

According to official sources quoted by the Press Trust of India, Delhi will create a border protection force of 50,000 troops at a cost of $11 billion over seven years. That’s a huge amount of money, analysts say. “It’ll take years and years before they get up to speed on this,” an unnamed official in Delhi told the FT.

India, like Japan, is reacting to Chinese aggression, bolstering defenses and threatening to retaliate with force or even strike first the next time Chinese forces threaten. First it was Japan, vowing to strengthen its naval forces against Chinese incursions. Now this. The great powers around China are building up their forces. Beijing’s response will tell us much about the next few years in Asia.

[Indian soldier in the Himalayas. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.]

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  • bpuharic

    Yesterday it was all peaches and cream as the Chinese and Indian navies were partying together in joint exercises

    What happened?

  • Corlyss

    “New Troops Will Bolster India’s Himalayan Defenses”

    Well, maybe. Can they fight effectively outside a Western military structure led by Westerners? If they are as useless as their Paki counterparts, no cause for celebration till they prove battle hardened.

    • f1b0nacc1

      The real problem is the (lack of) logistics in the region for India. China has been patiently building an extensive network of roads, rail lines and airfields surrounding the disputed territories, while India (still in thrall to the old doctrine that an undeveloped region will make Chinese advances difficult) have done little to provide the infrastructure to support defending troops. The Indians have rather belatedly realized their mistake, but it will be 5-7 years (perhaps longer, given the legendary inefficiency and corruption in the Indian government) before they have finished the logistical network that they are attempting to build. Until then, even if the troops were in place, they would have very little military capacity.

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