Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – South Asia Theatre: Delhi – Moscow – Washington/Islamabad – Tehran – Beijing; “Strategic Reach” – Allied Defence Cooperation Tour by Heads of India Air Force – Army to Russia 5 Days – US 10 Days – September Preparations
Night Watch: DELHI – During the last days of August two of India’s command officers will both conduct defense related tours of two Allied countries. India Army Chief JJ Singh will depart for a 5 day trip to Russia on August 21 to promote increased defence cooperation between India-Russia. The two governments have long been heavily involved militarily with each other. Moscow does so as a way of opposing Beijing’s ambitions directed toward South Asia against Delhi. Beijing opposes Moscow’s ambitions in the region by continuing its decades long support for Islamabad, and in an attempt to weaken India, one of China’s rivals. This intense regional hatred has perhaps made South Asia the most heavily contested sphere since World War II, an expansion and revival of historical rivalries setting the stage for this World War III. In this world war South Asia is the theatre most likely to first experience nuclear weaponry. [WEBINDIA]
When other fronts erupted in 1994 Kashmir had already been active for five years, since November 1989 and with serious support from Islamabad, a very real strategic extension of the Khomeini revolution. The Council of Guardians in Tehran and their defence establishment knew that when Iran was ready they would enter the war also as a follow up to the security agreements they have made with Pakistan. I actually expect some of the more powerful warlords in Afghanistan to take part using their historical, well worn, invasion routes. India will make a stand somewhere, hopefully north of Delhi but perhaps not. Khomeini shifted the balance in Pakistan’s favor with his Islamic revolution-revival in Iran 1979. Islamabad has never had this much support before, including financial and they have to take advantage of it even if it means severing ties with the West.
Singh will visit defence establishments in Russia, perhaps to increase Delhi’s arms purchases. This is the first visit by the head of India’s army in three years. Due to heavy action, which is going to increase, on the Caucasus-Caspian front, I can’t envision Moscow committing ground or air units to South Asia. But perhaps Russia’s expanding navy can help prevent India from being cut off economically by helping to protect international shipping in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. It is standard operating procedure for warring nations to attack each other’s maritime commerce as was the case during the Iran/Iraq War 1980-88 with the attacks by both sides on shipping in the Persian Gulf.
While Singh is in Russia the head of India’s Air Force, Air Chief Marshal S. P. Tyagi will embark Sunday on a 10 day defence cooperation tour of the United States. He will visit the Pentagon, Nellis Air Force Base – Nevada and the U. S. Air Force Space Command at Omaha where he will attend a briefing at the network – centric – warfare – grid. This is an area where India’s armed forces have also begun work. For years Marshal Tyagi has spoken of his country’s need to acheive “strategic reach” due to the increasing global commitments of India’s economy.
Enhanced communication and cooperation with Russia and the U. S. should improve India’s ability to protect those commitments but the Pentagon is also heavily commited on two other fronts, Iraq-Afghanistan and like Moscow can probably deploy nothing more than some naval units around the subcontinent in an attempt to keep trade routes open.
Everyone involved in the briefings and analysis know that with the coming of September and therefore the end of the monsoon season the fighting on the subcontinent will increase with the increased infilitration by Islamic militants, not just from Pakistan occupied Kashmir but from Bangladesh also. That will force India to use its “hot pursuit” policy, forcing Pakistan to respond and this time with the help of Iran. It was last year Islamabad announced they wanted the Kashmir dispute with Delhi ended by December 2006.