The Sino Indian conflict in 1962 altered the world history and geography.
After the 1962 war, the CIA, Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and United States Intelligence Board conducted several assessments to conclude that there was a high possibility of China attacking India through the neighbouring countries of Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan.
A series of skirmishes between India and China made the Chinese attack and advance into Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. It is no secret that the Chinese were able to capture area as far as Tezpur in Assam, but withdrew the troops later after calling out a truce.
In January 1963, US started studying about another possibility of China attacking India revealed a declassified CIA document. The report estimated that around 120,000 troops could have been mobilised by China to attack India via neighbouring countries along with a possible air strike.
The DIA document titled ” The Chinese Communist ground threat to India” mentions that the Chinese had a strong capability to carry out strikes in Ladakh through border passes between Ladakh and Nepal, across eastern Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh into Assam.
The document further reveals:
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It is estimated that the Chinese could support indefinitely operations in Ladakh, Nepal, Bhutan and eastern NEFA.
The military aim of such strikes were to extend the Chinese control to Leh, seizing the territorial claim around Joshimath, occupation of Nepal and Arunachal Pradesh and of land north to Brahmaputra river in Assam.
In May 1963, a top secret report of CIA and DIA revealed that Myanmar would have not opposed China attacking India through them and would have even offered Burmese transportation and air fields to China to attack India.
After an year of the war in 1963, CIA deputy director Ray Clime informed Mcgeorge Bundy, special assistant to John F. Kennedy that there were multiple reasons to be concerned about another Chinese attack on India.
China had about 120,000 troops in Tibet “capable of launching an attack on the scale of last fall with little or no warning” and Beijing “may have a political or psychological urge to demonstrate…their lack of fear of their enemies by giving the Indians another black eye right in front of both the Russians and Americans.
However, CIA and DIA concluded that China has limited air capability because of weak equipment and combat proficiency coupled with lack of bases in Himalyan region. To make matters worse, the Chinese also did not proceed with another strike because of extremities of weather in the region.
India had a tough lesson to learn during 1962 war. PM Modi’s efforts and accurate strategic planning to combat the growing threat from China is a right step towards protecting India’s frontiers.