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Myanmar Surgical Strike: Geopolitical Aspects

Author: Pankaj Sharma

Author is Expert on Public Policy, Geopolitical (China) and Economy

The surgical operation by the Indian army’s elite 21 Para Regiment against NSCN (K) and Meiti militant groups who perpetrated one of the most deadly ambush, killing 18 Indian army soldiers has ushered a new phase for Indian counter terrorism operations and also sent a strong message to the geo-political community at large.It has been revealed that the ambush indeed was a result of well-planned effort of some rogue elements from Myanmar and, at least, one former officer of People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which facilitated logistics and striking capacity of the perpetrators of the ambush.The coordination and support extended by Myanmar for this strike speaks of the great volume of confidence that the two governments have been able to foster with each other. Myanmar holds a special geo-political importance in safety of South and South East Asia, particularly given a time when China and in particularly PLA are trying to flare up the situation in the region.

It is important here to point at the fact that since independence, Indian foreign policy and its relative geo-political influence have remained rather stunted making India a second or potential third level player in scheme of things.

Though the first Prime Minister Nehru displayed ambition, yet his floppiness on major issues and his personal desires overpowered the Indian foreign policy which went from frail to a complete limbo. The Indian foreign policy thus remained confined to what one could term as “near shore.”

However all this is changing in the current regime of NDA with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is following a strong and focused geo-political engagement model engaging with both its near shore and world powers.

The Indian strike also sends a strong message to the Chinese regime and, in particular, to the senior leadership of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) which due to its domestic reasons wants to flare up the nationalists feeling with China.

It is worth a mention that funded overtly by corrupt practices and its direct and indirect role in several commercial business; ranging from 20,000-30,000 enterprises comprising of legit business of telecom to satellite, manufacturing to consumer goods, hotels to night clubs, internet to construction to notoriously illegal business like Human Plastination, PLA has gained significant financial and resource power generating billions of dollars annually. And, despite prorogation of restriction by CPC, (it) never broke its commercial umbilical cord.

In order to create a concerned band of loyalist, the previous regime of Hu Jintao used such financial gains as a good bait for maintaining their hold over the power. However, things changed much since Xi Jinping launched his anti-corruption drive, famously propagated as ‘Killing Tigers Swatting Flies’, which saw as many as 16 Major Generals being investigated and charged with corruption including General Xu Caihou, a former vice-chairman of the powerful central military commission and the senior most uniformed officer who took millions in bribe.

The next targets for corruption retrieval are the commercial enterprises in China, many of which are now run by ex-military commanders or families of current serving officers. These initiatives had indeed resulted in PLA leadership adopting a rather diffracting approach of aggression.

In order to push forward its agenda of remaining in status quo so that they are able to deflect the corruption related investigations against themselves, the military leadership seems to be going in a deflecting mode with their political masters. The recent flare up in South China Sea and on borders of India, particularly the porous borders of Manipur and North East are indeed an intrinsic part of that agenda.

However, the Indian strike has resulted in sending a message of strong leadership at New Delhi today. The curated strikes also speaks of great volume of pursuant expertise that India has been able to garner in this regard. However, the biggest message that has been conveyed due to these strikes is growing bonhomie between two strategic partners namely Myanmar and India, both of which gain mutually through peace and security in the region.

Despite somewhat significant investments by China, Myanmar hasn’t been much comfortable with China, who prefers a strategy of sustained aggressions with its neighbours.

The tacit support extended by China to Kokong rebels who have been fighting with Myanmar’s army for months now has resulted in rather a checkered relation between the two. In such a scenario, India can emerge as a potent balancing factor thereby helping Myanmar in its recently ushered phase of economic growth.

The tacit support and approval of Myanmar to use its land for surgical strikes thus speaks of great volume and distance that the new regime of India has been able to achieve with its neighbour, something which indeed could play an important role in overall aggregation of India’s position in South and South East Asia as well as sending a strong message to China.


Source Bharatniti

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