The study, published by US Think Tank; Stimson Centre, examines the observations of U.S. military personnel who attended India’s Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington, Tamil Nadu. The author, Col David O.Smith is a distinguished fellow of Stimson Center (South Asia Program) and a former Senior Country Director for Pakistan in the US Department of Defense.
The study challenges some conventional wisdom on the Indian armed forces and their internal and external threat perceptions, attitudes and values. The author believes that the United States has placed an enormous strategic bet on India, that she can serve as counterweight to the growing political, military, and economic influence of China.
- Despite two decades of increasingly close U.S.-Indian political and military relations, a high level of mistrust (and thinly veiled hostility) about the United States generally persists in all three groups of Indian officers.
- Despite a deep-seated conviction that its internal security doctrine is effective, the Indian Army has yet to completely quell any of India’s four long-running insurgencies.
- The Indian Army appears unconcerned about the efficacy of Pakistani tactical nuclear weapons in a future war. There are several dubious assumptions: Pakistan is “bluffing” and the sheer size of the Indian Army will be able to sustain the strikes amid high casualties and continue to operate in an NBC environment.
- Despite official rhetoric it is unlikely that the United States and India will become genuine strategic partners in the foreseeable future.
- The actions of the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir and the abrogation of le state’s constitutional autonomy by the Modi government have accelerated the radicalization of a new generation of Kashmiri youth, rekindled an indigenous militancy once thought to have been defeated
- In the event of a future war with Pakistan or China, the Indian Army may not perform as well as it expects, and a failure against China might draw in the United States on India’s side.
- There is no reason to expect that, in any future war with Pakistan, India will understand Pakistan’s nuclear “red lines” or that the Indian armed forces will not inadvertently cross one or more. [Stimson Centre]