Two-front war not a good idea, says top general

"I think this can be worked out. If we can improve our relations with China, we can develop the best possible leverage with Pakistan in times to come,” Lt Gen Singh said.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh | Updated: March 1, 2018 6:42 am
Two-front war not a good idea, says top general Lt Gen Surinder Singh at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (Express)

Arguing for a greater role of military diplomacy to bring normalcy in relations with Pakistan, Lt Gen Surinder Singh, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, said on Wednesday that a two-front war is not a “smart idea”.

Army chief Bipin Rawat had said in June 2017 that the Indian Army was ready for a “two-and-a-half-front war”.
Speaking on the concluding day of a seminar on “Geo-strategic manifestations in Pakistan and Implications for India” at Panjab University here, Lt Gen Singh said India needed to improve relations with China in order to gain the best possible leverage over Pakistan.

“It will also help us secure one side of the border. People keep talking about a two-front war. It is never a good idea, never a smart idea to fight a two-front war,” he said. He added that there were various options, including re-negotiating some treaties, to bring about some pressure on Pakistan.

“In Pakistan, military’s writ runs. Therefore, sooner or later, we have to talk to their military. I am convinced that on our side also, military diplomacy plays a very important role. Therefore, there has to be a greater role to military diplomacy so that the militaries of the two nations can work with each other and bring about greater confidence in each other and we can go forward,” he said.

Referring to China, the Army commander said the relations were manageable.  “There is not that sort of enmity, from people to people or from entire polity on one side and the polity on the other side. There are differences on demarcation of borders. I think this can be worked out. If we can improve our relations with China, we can develop the best possible leverage with Pakistan in times to come,” Lt Gen Singh added. “Working with China will secure one side of border,” he said.

The general also emphasised that Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence had reduced the window for conventional conflict.
“You can only push them conventionally to a limit and not beyond that. And no nuclear nation can be browbeaten beyond a particular stage. It is for that nation to lay down the red lines as to what is the limit of the punishment they will take,” he said.

Referring to the possibility of a conventional conflict with Pakistan, Lt Gen Singh said, “Sometimes, conventional conflict does not take place because you can achieve any great military objective but because at times you can get pushed into the conflict due to public opinion. Therefore, sometimes it becomes the case of tail wagging the dog.”

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  1. Asim Kumar
    Mar 1, 2018 at 8:11 pm
    There are still some very wise left in India otherwise India is flooded with fools now a days
    1. Bill Purkayastha
      Mar 1, 2018 at 5:24 pm
      This officer has just torpedoed his own . Honesty and common sense do not bring about promotion and post-retirement government appointments in Modistan.
      1. m
        Mar 1, 2018 at 3:47 pm
        Wisely spoken Lt.Gen Singh.Pakistans redline for using nuclear weapons is not far in a war.Their hands are itching. Warning to Pak.Dont underestimate India
        1. A
          Mar 1, 2018 at 3:31 pm
          Very ic thoughts. General should mind his own business.Leave the diplomacy to Government and IAS/IFS.
          1. Ashok Dhingra
            Mar 1, 2018 at 3:08 pm
            Uma Bharti, Smriti Irani, Sushma Swaraj on his side, Modi is capable of fighting three front war. Moreover, 2 lakh RSS workers have pledged with their blood that they will go to front and lay down their lives for the sake of mother India.
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