There is all-round affirmation that the time has come for India to take solid steps to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty in view of the steady worsening of the security situation in the geopolitical region. The designs by China’s Xi Jinping to target India and usurp more of territory along the Line of Actual Control are by now well-documented. The killing of 20 brave Indian soldiers in the course of the over 170-day long stand-off in Galwan Valley woke India up to the perils that lay ahead. The Chinese military build-up along the LAC is continuing with a feverish pitch. It is in the fitness of things that India signs some prominent pacts with the US in New Delhi this week to enhance military level cooperation. This is short of a full-fledged military pact.

While details of the agreements are yet to be revealed, what has come to be known is that the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geopolitical Cooperation signed in the presence of visiting US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and defence secretary Mark K Ester will help the two sides share modern military technology and satellite maps of what’s happening on the ground. A closer eye could be kept on what the Chinese are up to along the border regions. Reports are that with new technology at hand, India should be able to fire missiles with exact precision at a time when wars are mostly about attacks from the air and less about battles on the ground. This was evident in the US war on Iraq when missiles flattened the entire Saddam Hussein edifice in Baghdad in a matter of a few days, making his land army to run for cover.

It is reckoned that China has over the years amassed such military power that it now has five times the power of India in matters of hi-tech equipment, fighter planes, missiles and tanks. Fears are also that India may have to face a simultaneous war with Pakistan and China in tandem. While India was hesitant in the past to become part of big power games and acted as the principal spur for the Non-Aligned movement that stood for global peace, times have changed. Today, alignment is the way forward and more so when a titan like China is bent on provoking India and grabbing more of its land. The huge swathes of Indian land that China grabbed in the 1962 War still remain with China. Better military ties with the US are the calling of the times.

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