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” Security ” Special Aero India 2017 Edition 
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SOURCE: MERI NEWS

if at all there’s a military escalation or World War III due to confrontation, who will win? Will there be a nuclear war? To answer this, let us explore the capabilities of the world powers. USA, Russia, China and India are ranked from number 1 to number 4 in global fire power capacity. China despite being at number 3 practically is no match to America’s fire power.  USA can destroy China with minimal damage to itself.

However, some experts feel that China might have much more superior fire power than is visible externally. Such assessment is based on the fact that after disintegration of the USSR, China employed many Russian scientists from the disintegrated CIS states (other than Russia) to improve its military might.

I concede to that point. But then, one needs to remember that just one set of scientists (from a particular era) with a new set up had limited gains. Yes, China has developed much weaponry through this setup. But those are based on the now obsolete 90s technology where as others are using post 2010 technology. China might have Soviet scientists but doesn’t have the compatible infrastructure.

To understand what compatible infrastructure is, let’s take the case of the space program. India has its own scientists and infrastructure which are complimentary to each other. Thus, when the scientists excelled in technology, the infrastructure also developed accordingly. I would say that currently, India is number one in space program. You might laugh at me, citing that how can I say that India is number one while USA and Russia are much more advanced than India. But my definition of advancement is how you develop intelligent technology economically. When India tested nuclear bombs during Vajpayee’s era, neither USA nor any other country had any information on how India planned the nuclear experiment despite having lot of spy satellites.

Similarly, just recently India launched 104 satellites in space successfully. Most of them were nano satellites from USA and European countries. That means India has more superior low cost technology with regards to the space program, for which even American agencies prefer ISRO over NASA.

But where does China stand as far as the space program is concerned? Nowhere! Thus, this proves that China’s technology has its limitations. I would say that China has much lesser capacity than what is estimated.

On the other hand, if you compare USA and Russia, although USA has superiority in fire power but Russia has the capability of inflicting maximum damage to USA. If there’s a war between USA and Russia then both countries are sure to suffer severe damage. That’s why despite so many conflicts, USA and Russia have never indulged in a military conflict. Moreover, Russia has another major weakness that it doesn’t have sufficient funds for a large scale war.

But, on the other hand, China has a lot of money. Thus, if China and Russia partner with each other in a World War, then America could be in grave trouble. That’s why Trump administration wants to attract Russia into its folly. For Russia it’s always an easy option on whom to choose. If the US really strikes a good friendship with Russia, I think, Russia will definitely ditch China because it will find that in SWOT analysis, friendship with USA is more beneficial than China’s. It’s international politics where dog eats dog. Thus, if Russia stays neutral then China loses the war even before it starts.

Will China withdraw from SCS without a fight? What will be India’s role? Will there be a nuclear war?

I don’t think China will withdraw from SCS so easily because an immediate defeat will cost China very dearly. If the weakness of China becomes visible, a lot of developments will start such as Taiwan, Hong Kong etc declaring independence. Some western disturbed provinces may also declare independence seeing China’s military vulnerability. Thus, China will prefer a show down and then perhaps withdraw after a deal (like no compromise on One China policy etc).

In such a conflict India’s role becomes very important. Both China and India will not want a direct conflict. But taking advantage of a SCS war situation, Pakistan may trigger Indo-Pak military conflict where China might become a party even though unintentionally. Thus, this will lead to World War again. India’s staying on the rival side will cost China heavily, as no country ever wants a multi-front war, particularly against two global powers (USA and China).

Russia might be active if India is involved. Russia and India have had a long term relationship and thus Russia can’t afford to go against India. Then financial reasons are also compelling for powers to be side with India. Thus, my guess is that China will want Pakistan not to indulge with India militarily and if Pakistan doesn’t listen, then China may ditch Pakistan. In that case, the war between India and Pakistan will be just regional and everyone knows what would be the end result. To simply put it, Pakistan will cease to exist as Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister of India at this juncture.

Regarding the nuclear war, I think no country will opt for nuclear weapons. Even Pakistan will not use nuclear weapons despite losing the battle severely, because they know how a retaliatory attack would be deadly for Pakistan.

But then there’s an uncertain player that’s called North Korea. If it bombs South Korea with nuclear bombs then things may go out of control. China will be held responsible for arming North Korea with nuclear weapons and it’s difficult, how the war will proceed? One thing would be sure that half of the globe’s population will perish and two thirds of the world will be diminished to be unsustainable for human life to exist.

We should wish that such a scene never happens.

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