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A file photo of an Indian Army truck somewhere in Ladakh (Photo: AP)
A file photo of an Indian Army truck somewhere in Ladakh (Photo: AP)

Get real, Beijing

No matter how well laid, military manoeuvre plans risk going awry, because hostilities could take an escalation path that neither side can control. The ideal way out of the Ladakh imbroglio would be to acquaint the high-altitude aggressor with the folly of its assumptions on battle supremacy

Talk is cheap, but hubris could be costly. Such rational calculations seem lost on Global Times, a Chinese mouthpiece that saw it fit to declare that “if a border war starts, India will have no chance of winning". The media outlet did call for peace, of course, asking for restraint on both sides of the Himalayan standoff. Be that as it may, all it needs is to dip into Cold War archives to remind itself of the unspoken pact that binds all nuclear-armed adversaries: mutually assured destruction. This being the underlying reality, it’s not just futile to forecast victory or defeat in absolute terms, it also sounds delusional.

Calm heads need to prevail. So, too, in India. Suggestions have arisen of a snap military manoeuvre to regain our territory in alleged Chinese possession, its strategic aim being to impose a cost on Beijing that’s high enough to force a truce that defines the border once and for all. No matter how well laid, such plans risk going awry, because hostilities could take an escalation path that neither side can control. The ideal way out of the Ladakh imbroglio would be to acquaint the high-altitude aggressor with the folly of its assumptions on battle supremacy. Get real, Beijing

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