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chapter 10 The Second Indo-Pakistan War The border war with China marked the end of the Nehru era in more ways than one. Rigid adherence to a nonaligned foreign policy, partnership with China, and limited military spending, the centerpieces of Nehruvian foreign and defense policy since independence, essentially came to an end. Even before Nehru’s death in 1964 the Indian government had embarked upon a massive expansion and modernization program for the armed forces. The army and the air force mainly benefited from the new five-year defense plans. The former had its strength immediately increased by at least six divisions, a process to be completed over several years. Two of the new divisions would be infantry, with the remaining four to be classified and equipped as ‘‘mountain divisions.’’1 These mountain divisions would be provided with animal transport and light artillery with an emphasis on increased firepower.2 The Ishapore 7.62 mm semi-automatic rifles (a licensed copy of the Belgian fnfal ) replaced the old bolt-action .303s. The army introduced a new British 81 mm mortar. Indian armor was equipped with more Centurion tanks, and, for the first time, Soviet t-54/55s were introduced.3 The move to buy more Soviet equipment reflected economic and political limitations. Although India found it difficult to obtain the latest Western arms, ostensibly because of its nonaligned foreign policy, the high cost of the hardware also drove the Indians to purchase Soviet weaponry at bargainbasement prices. The government implemented this policy even though, in the immediate aftermath of the 1962 border war with China, the United States and Great Britain both extended grants worth $60 million for military equipment . Canada, France, and Australia also contributed supplies worth some $10 million.4 However, the Western bloc did not back up this initial military aid with a long-term defense procurement relationship between India and itself. India’s first five-year plan (1964–69) led to the army doubling in size to about 825,000 men and the air force to forty-five squadrons. Total expenditure on defense during the plan period totaled Rs 50 billion ($10 billion at a pre-1966 rupee devaluation rate), with a foreign exchange content of Rs 7 182 The Second Indo-Pakistan War billion (a little over Rs 41 billion).5 The first annual budget after the 1962 war planned to double the defense expenditure from Rs 4.73 billion to Rs 8.67 billion. In March 1962 the army budget, which had stood at Rs 2.45 billion, more than doubled its allocation, to Rs 5.71 billion.6 However, the defense budget as per percentage of the gnp stayed around 3.8 to 3.6 percent between 1962 and 1965.7 By 1965 the total strength of the Indian armed forces stood at 869,000, out of which 825,000 belonged to the army.8 The army was organized into sixteen infantry divisions, four mountain divisions, one armored division, one independent armored brigade, and two light armored regiments.9 The Pakistani strength in 1965 stood at about 200,000, with 160,000 men in the army, organized into six infantry divisions, two armored divisions (the Sixth Armoured was still forming), and some independent regiments.10 Although India enjoyed an overwhelming numerical superiority over Pakistan, the latter had a considerable qualitative edge in terms of equipment. For instance, in the case of tanks the Pakistanis had 1,050 to India’s 1,150, but the Pakistani strength included 594 modern m-47/48 Patton tanks to India’s 270 Centurions . Pakistan’s two armored divisions had three armored brigades compared to India’s one armored division with one armored brigade and one motorized brigade.11 Furthermore, all the Pakistani divisions had their own mobile and hard-hitting integral reconnaissance and support battalions.12 In all, the Pakistanis received some $1.3 billion worth of logistics, training and arms, including m-47/48 tanks, f-86 Sabres, and f-104 Starfighters, from the United States.13 With the considerable military aid acquired through its membership in the South East Asia Treaty Organization (seato) and the Central Asia Treaty Organization (cento), both anti-Communist military alliances, Pakistan had built up a considerable superiority in armored and mobile formations over India.14 It appears that the Pakistani general staff, not unlike their Israeli counterparts, had come to the conclusion that preemptive deep-strike mechanized operations were the only way of...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780803240612
MARC Record
OCLC
60714474
Pages
440
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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