India must improve defense capability – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism

Nantoo Banerjee
The Russian attack on Ukraine seems to have given a wake-up call to countries in Europe and Asia to drastically increase their annual defense spending to protect themselves from possible external aggression. Given the worrying security situation in Europe, a number of countries, including Germany, Sweden, Romania, Latvia, Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium, have increased their defense spending for 2022. Germany tops the list, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz allocating another €100 billion. (110.65 billion dollars) for the country’s armed forces, more than double its last budget of 47 billion euros. He said the Russian invasion of Ukraine was a “turning point in the history of the continent”. Latvian President Egils Levits has said that while the European Union (EU) remains one of the most important economic players in the world, it is a “dwarf” in political terms. The EU has vastly under-invested in defense and the army.
Some are thought to even consider the possibility of being unclear as India and Pakistan did in the 1970s. Building nuclear weapons from scratch takes time. After testing its first nuclear bomb in 1974, India took over two decades to build a nuclear arsenal and delivery system capable of military deployment. Pakistan launched its nuclear weapons program in 1972 under then energy minister Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, who later became the country’s president and prime minister. Interestingly, in 1993 South Africa surprised the world by announcing that it had built nuclear weapons in the 1980s, before dismantling its arsenal. For the first time, a country outside of the elite world powers had obtained nuclear capabilities while keeping things a secret from almost everyone. For countries like Germany, Japan, Israel and Iran, it may not take long to develop weapons of mass destruction and their delivery system.
In Asia, several countries are planning to increase their defense budgets in the face of possible aggression from China, the world’s third largest military power with a large stockpile of nuclear weapons. Following Russia’s uncontested invasion of Ukraine, countries in the Asia-Pacific region fear a similar attack on Taiwan by China to secure the annexation of the disputed island in due course. Japan is very concerned about such a development. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has already hinted at a sharp increase in defense spending. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had repeatedly promised to bolster his country’s defenses as Japan feared China’s unilateral attempt to change the status quo in the region – including Taiwan and the disputed Senkaku Islands. The uninhabited Senkakus are believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits. Observers say Beijing’s control of the islets would give China a strategic position that could thwart US and Japanese military operations in the Western Pacific.
China, Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia are already among Asia’s big defense spenders. Among them, China and Pakistan – currently two powerful military allies after Pakistan broke away from the American camp – have nuclear weapons. It may only be a matter of time before Shia Iran too becomes a nuclear power much to the chagrin of US-protected Saudi Arabia, the powerful propagator of the Sunni religion, and of Israel. The Sunni-majority Pakistani state is close to Saudi Arabia. West Asian power politics appears to be the most complex, with the United States, Russia, China and Pakistan seen as the dominant strategic political influencers.
Recently, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have refused to support the United States against Russia in Ukraine. The Gulf Royals have even refused to answer calls from President Biden amid fears of a spike in oil prices. Iran, a friend of China, has a long-standing strategic relationship with North Korea. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Iran increased its oil exports to North Korea in return for technological assistance for its missile and nuclear programs. Encouraged by the success of the Scud-B attacks during the Iran-Iraq War, Iran collaborated with North Korea throughout the 1990s in the development and acquisition of increasingly long-range ballistic missiles. The new ties between China and Pakistan, a former strategic partner of the United States and an original member of the US-led security bloc called the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), could be the most confusing military alliance in the world. region, particularly for India and Iran. All the countries in the region, except probably India, are spending colossal sums to strengthen their military firepower.
China’s military spending in 2022 is expected to be more than four times that of India and nearly 3.5 times that of Russia. Russia’s annual defense spending is around US$70 billion according to global macroeconomic models and Trading Economics analysis projections. The war in Ukraine is sure to increase Russia’s defense spending. China officially announced its 1.45 trillion yuan ($229.5 billion) defense budget for the current year before its National People’s Congress (NPC) on March 5. Janes, the reliable defense intelligence source, puts China’s defense budget at $58 billion more than the official figure, bringing the total to US$287.8 billion.
A “work report” released to the NPC by Premier Li Keqiang said the increase is aligned with China’s military goals. These include the goal of achieving “military development” by 2027, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and “military modernization” by 2035. generally think that China’s actual military spending is significantly higher than what is publicly announced. However, it may not be close to the United States, the world’s biggest military spender. Last year, the US Senate passed a defense spending bill of about $770 billion for 2022.
By contrast, India’s military spending is truly low given its geographic size, population, and growing challenges from China and Pakistan. Its defense budget for 2022-23 is just $54.20 billion, excluding defense pensions. It is mainly focused on maintaining and modernizing operational armed forces. India’s total defense expenditure, including pensions, for 2022-23 is estimated at $70.6 billion, an increase of 9.8% from last year. In 2018, India’s Parliamentary Committee (Lok Sabha) on Defense recommended that the country’s defense spending be equivalent to 3% of its GDP. In reality, it is less than two percent. Even the smallest European countries spend around 2.5% of their GDP on defence. With belligerent China to the north along a 3,488 km long land border and malevolent Pakistan to the west sharing a 3,310 long border with India, the country must double its defense spending to reasonably protect itself. against possible external aggression.
India needs to invest big in defense to match China’s firepower. The Russian-Ukrainian war once again proved that self-help is the best help. Ukraine is fighting its own battle after its Western allies refused to fight Russia directly. Frustrated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy, who expected physical support from the United States and other NATO powers, lambasted Western leaders for not coming to the rescue of his country in the face of “atrocities “Russians. Ukraine’s president blamed “Western politicians” for their inaction after shelling killed fleeing civilians. India also has few reliable strategic allies who will fight for India in the event of a full-scale war in the South Asian region. India definitely needs to build a strong defense for themselves and the will to win. (IPA)

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