Random Thoughts

Gratification Postponed, Foresight and Leadership

In Gujarati, there is an adage 'Jey aambaa vaave te potaney maate naa vaave', which translates as, the one who sows the seed of a mango tree does it not for enjoying the fruit thereof, but for posterity. It is a compromise between the 'Karmanyev adhikaarastu, maa faleshu kadaachin' (your right is to act, but not with the expectations of the fruits of your labor) of the Bhagwad Gita and Darwinism, which promotes altruistic behavior towards kin. It takes a decade or more before the seed of the mango becomes a fruit bearing tree.

Human nature and its scientific understanding by the West have made the culture of instant gratification the prevalent norm, as seen in the economic and foreign policies of America. It has exported manufacturing jobs to China to the detriment of the nation and exploited Latin America and the oil rich nations for short term gain which has now fostered deep seated resentment towards it. Its and the EU's current neo-liberal policies of heavily subsidizing their own agribusinesses, while demanding free trade in financial services and intellectual property rights has led to increased illegal Mexican migration and farmer suicides in India and Africa. The lack of foresight has militarily and economically strengthened China, a potential adversary. The foolish support of radical Islam to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan has become the blowback of 9-11 and the quagmire in Afghanistan and Iraq.    

There is a Latin saying, 'Premonitus premunitus', meaning to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Those who ignore the warnings are destined to be destroyed as the colonization of India by the Muslims and Europeans proves, and as I have emphasized in my articles on Jihad and the East India Company.

No nation can continue to run huge trade deficits that drain its wealth for long. The ultimate outcome is reneging on debts and declaring bankruptcy as Argentina did or de-industrializing India and making it into a cheap commodity resource exporter and a dumping ground for higher value industrial goods as the British did. Another option is to force the country to become a nation of drug addicts as the British did to China. They forced Indian farmers to grow opium and paid them less than cost. They then forced China to allow them to sell opium at exorbitant prices, in return for the tea, silk and porcelain they were importing from it. The current US occupation of Iraq is for oil and similar strategy. The trillion dollar reserves of China will be similarly devalued to its sorrow.

Good leadership requires the ability to learn, understand and act with foresight, which is conspicuously absent in India, both amongst the leaders and the public. The nouveau riche in Indian major metropolises spend huge sums of money on American fast foods to ape the West by ordering hamburgers and pizza, while avoiding cheaper and tastier Indian and Chinese cuisines; and Indian youth go crazy over Western pop music and dance driven by the hormonal surge of adolescence. Leaders like Manmohan Singh foolishly fall into nuclear treaty traps without understanding it or seeking expert guidance from relevant scientists. Sometimes even scientists like President Kalam, join the bandwagon and pick up the newest fads like his touting anti-missile defense.

As Chalmers Johnson in his latest book Nemesis, quoting experts like Theresa Hitchens of the Center for Defense Information, Professor Theodore Postal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Andrei Sakharov (the deceased father of the Soviet H bomb and Nobel Peace Prize winner) warns, the whole US missile defense program is a dud and meant to enrich defense contractors who finance the elections of corrupt US congressional candidates. Over a hundred billion dollars have been spent without any tangible results. More recently Putin confidently announced the deployment of the mobile Topol-M ICBMs by Russia, capable of fooling the US missile defense.

An incoming ballistic missile has three phases. The first is the boost phase where the rocket and warhead are joined together. In the second phase they separate and the warhead is alone in space. In the third phase, the warhead re-enters the atmosphere and homes in on the target. The third phase is short and lasts only a minute or so. The US is trying to develop an ABL (air borne laser) to disable the missile in phase one. The problems are to have a powerful enough laser aboard a plane invulnerable to enemy attack by fighters and SAMs, that is within a few hundred miles of the launch site and capable of focusing the powerful beam on the target missile. The US is using a 747-400 jumbo jet with a telescopic beam shooter in its nose. The apparatus producing the laser weighs 100,000 kg. And the concentrated load makes the plane unstable and weakens the fusion of the laser beam and its power. The atmospheric particle pollution dilutes its strength and focus and interferes with the aim. A single poorly functioning plane with the equipment costs over five billion dollars and has had no success as yet.

The ground based mid-course defense requires multiple satellites, super sophisticated radar detectors to track the incoming missile and connected silo missiles to succeed in knocking out an incoming warhead in the second phase. Not only is this coordination yet to occur successfully by America after spending a hundred billion dollars but the satellites and radars are not even in place and the technology as yet to be achieved. As Russia has shown the entire defense system is incapable of differentiating a decoy from a genuine missile and its Topol-Ms carry multiple warheads and decoys to fool the missile defense system.

India is decades away from this technological prowess.

Stopping the incoming missile in the third phase (lasting a minute or two) requires even greater speed in tracking it, firing the anti-missile and successfully interrupting the attacking missile, because of time limitations. Even if the incoming nuclear missile is prevented from hitting its target, it may still detonate on interception and spare Delhi but destroy Punjab or Haryana.

The Israeli Arrow and the US PAC3 are not capable of intercepting medium range or intercontinental ballistic missiles and have limited ability to counter SCUDs which never leave the atmosphere. Israel couldn't even defend itself against Hizbollah Katyusha rockets with its Arrow in the recent Lebanon conflict. India has only fifteen minutes to counter a Pakistani missile attack as I wrote in my article atwww.indiacause.com and India with its limited resources may have a few batteries around Delhi to protect our cowardly hypocrite leaders, as they have done with commandos guarding them while the common people in Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi and elsewhere are left to the attacks of the terrorists. Thus their talk of anti-nuclear defense corps and bunkers are just for them to hide behind or in, as Bush did immediately after the 9-11 attack.

The US in the sixties carried out drills in which schoolchildren rehearsed hiding under their school desks during a simulated nuclear attack. The absurdity of this is matched by the Indian leaders who claim that special defense teams are prepared to protect people from a nuclear explosion and fallout. The only viable and economical strategy is MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction with second strike capability by mobile and submarine based nukes). It offers no protection against an attack but prevents one by deterring it due to the certain massive annihilating retribution. Who knows effective it would be against those only motivated by death and the virgins in paradise. Maybe that is why the western strategy is to eliminate virginity.

The other lesson not paid sufficient attention to by the Indian leadership is the changing nature of modern warfare. The Serbian, Afghanistan and two Iraq wars by America prove that the first necessity is to have overwhelming air superiority. The chronic delays in MRCA procurement and the LCA project are seriously jeopardizing India's security as are the problems of DRDO and the development of the J-10 and J-17 planes by China jointly with Pakistan. India needs 40 air squadrons of fighter-interceptors and bombers to neutralize radar based air defenses of opponents and leave enemy forces destitute of air support for its troops, military and other assets. Also to deter attacks India needs naval and naval air superiority. The acquisition of submarines, carriers, ASW aircraft and AWACS needs to be speeded up with indigenous production capability. Buying ammunition and night vision goggles from Russia or Israel is hardly the mark of a great nation or military power.

Then there is the hoopla of aerospace command and net centric warfare. I am not against technology and am for all advancement, but consider Russia's inability to succeed in Afghanistan and Chechnya, America's quagmire in Afghanistan and Iraq and our inability to normalize Kashmir, prevent infiltration from Bangladesh or subdue the Maoist Naxalites or ULFA. What really count are the willingness to fight and die, the nature of the terrain and routine unsophisticated arms. Scant resources have to be channeled wisely and selectively. Space command requires a bevy of satellites. The US Global Positioning System has dozen or more dedicated for one purpose and the US is able to shut down or restrict its usage. The Russians have their Glonass System and the EU is building the Galileo System of thirty GSY satellites. Galileo forbids military usage and using the US or Russian system requires their agreeing with the military objectives. India is using all three but to have a genuine aerospace command needs thirty of its own satellites dedicated to unrestrained military access and even then is likely to become hopelessly blinded by the US, Russia or China using anti-satellite weapons. That is what China demonstrated to the US by shooting down one of its own satellites.

There is definite benefit with net centric warfare as the US showed by toppling the Taliban regime using mainly special forces, air power and surrogate fighters of the Northern Alliance. This required total air superiority. There were no Taliban aircraft in the air and not enough radar based anti-aircraft guns or surface to air missiles. India's wars are likely to be with Pakistan and less likely with China. There is scant possibility of achieving that kind of air superiority against those two opponents. What India needs are ballistic and cruise missiles. This is the strategy that Pakistan is using with lesser expenditure, due to China's willingness to transfer the technologies as it did for nuclear weapons. This is why Pakistan recently tested a 700 Km. range nuclear capable cruise missile and a 2000 Km. range nuclear capable MRBM. The US infantry has Stryker Brigades and each of those vehicles is equipped to transfer battlefield data to all the others. That raises the already high cost of each vehicle (or tank) by a million or two. Similarly the specially equipped lead helicopter of an Apache squadron costs an added two to five million dollars each for this capacity. It raises the price of other helicopters in the squadron by a million dollars each. All this doesn't allow it to defeat insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan armed with rocket propelled grenades and shoulder fired ant-aircraft missiles.

Lastly, Pakistan is already beginning to fall apart with insurgencies in Baluchistan and the tribal areas. The firing of its Chief Justice, the pressures from America, the militancy of its Jihadi terror group Madrassas brigades and the power lust of an inept Musharraf are bringing the pot to a boil. In 25 years its population and that of Bangladesh will be 300 million each. Global warming is melting glaciers and rivers fed by them like the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra will become drier. WWF has already issued a warning. The World Bank water report of a few years ago raises serious concern about the future of the entire subcontinent with a future 300 million population seething with fanaticism, Pakistan with nuclear weapons, facing an acute and serious water shortage and unable to sustain agriculture or public health.

India needs to have a national strategy of rain water collection, conservation and sea water desalination, to prepare for the crisis and not foolishly detonate a nuclear weapon before developing native technology and uranium mining that Indira Gandhi did, with the resultant imposition of sanctions and the US reneging on the agreement to supply HEU for Tarapur.

Once you fool me, shame on you, twice you fool me, shame on me. Don't sign any agreements or treaties, or make policies that hamstring you is all the warning, a wise leader needs.


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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