chapter  13
13 Pages

Offensive defense

India’s strategic responses to the rise of China
WithYogesh Joshi, Anit Mukherjee

This chapter focuses on the Indian military and its strategy vis-à-vis China. More specifically it argues that India has gradually shifted its military strategy from a defensive to an offensive posture. The chapter begins with an historical analysis of India’s military strategy against China from the 1962 war to the end of the Cold War. During this time, the focus was primarily on “deterrence by denial”—which meant that the forces were largely defensive in their orientation. Next it examines a shift in the military strategy to “deterrence by punishment,” which was in response to China’s rapid military modernization and infrastructure development. Currently, the Indian military therefore has a much more offensive posture along the China border and in the maritime domain. The penultimate section examines the interaction between the conventional and the nuclear strategy and India’s overall nuclear posture toward Beijing.