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Was IAF Preparing for a war or just a drill?

Defence news: Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa asked  the IAF commanders to prepare for short duration but intense wars with China and Pakistan as per a Deccan Chronicle news on April 30th. According to the report, the IAF has been asked to maintain a state of combat readiness for a possible 10 day war with Pakistan and 15 days war with China.

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Reuters Image: Representational only

The instructions were issued during IAF commanders conference in New helhi in 3rd week of April. According to Deccan Chronicle’s “high level” source: “Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa has directed the IAF commanders to prepare for short duration but intense wars of 10 days in case of Pakistan and 15 days with China to maintain razor-sharp operational preparedness and enhanced combat effectiveness,”

It further stated that this is to keep up with the spirit of IAF’s combat readiness and keep personnel, aircraft and infrastructure combat ready with weapons and missiles along with radars on alert.

What the reasons for a war warning may really be:

The Air Chief knows the current situation with both Pakistan and China. Pakistan is in a state of flux with unstable politics, uneasy and frustrated army and a militant force with a itchy hair-strand you know where. All of Pakistan along with it’s jehadi fauj faces a deep identity crisis. Not able to reason with their existence (as the 2-nation theory fails and bad financial health coupled with violence kills their will to be a nation), Pakistan seems headed for a breakdown. It’s clamoring for a reason to be, and that might be a war with India. After all, that’s been a reason to keep Pakistan in one piece for many years.

China has invested heavily in Pakistan with CPEC and Gwadar, it does not understand the country’s dynamics but keeps on putting it’s money in an endless well. It does not know how to call a “stop loss” in it’s futile gamble. A failed Pakistan at war with India will see that investment sink completely. So China may come to Pakistan’s rescue and it may make the foolish mistake of attacking India. Thus the Chief may want to prepare for the worst.

If China jumps in a Indo-Pak war and US decides to chip in with other Asian countries wanting to settle the South China sea dispute, China will find itself caught in a battle it can never home to win, not even with Russian help  (if it arrives, is another question). But there is no doubt in that case it will be a long nasty war, much longer than the Air chief expects it to be.

Written by Baldeva Singh

Baldeva Singh is a tough talking nationalist who has a flair for writing. Defence matters, technical details on weapons and war scenarios are his key expert areas. Baldev is known to walk the talk in his personal life. He is from Patiala (Punjab). His friends call him a “blunt weapon” but he is often found reading old books when free!

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