Security threats to areas along LAC may be lessened
The transformation of the command and force structures of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Army and Navy, besides the structures of the higher defence management like that of the apex Central Military Commission (CMC) downwards, the security threat to areas like Arunachal Pradesh this side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) may actually be lessened.
Under the new structure that the Military Region (MRs) systems of the PLA, PLAAF, PLAN, besides the PLA Rocket Force and the newly raised PLA Strategic Security Force, will look after five theatres, instead of seven MRs. The Western Theatre Command that constitutes the order of battle across the LAC countering Eastern Command of the Indian army, actually spans three rather restive ‘autonomous regions’ of China. These regions are Xinjiang in the south-west; Tibet in the south; and Inner Mongolia in the south-east should keep the PLA joint forces and assets (roughly four group armies) engaged internally rather than pose an immanent threat to Arunachal Pradesh, and indeed the north-eastern region of the country. Earlier, India was confronted by two MRs – Lanmzhou and Chengdu – that divided up the threat board of the Indian armed forces all this time. Lt Gen SL Narasimhan, the current commandant of the MHOW War College and also a veteran China specialist of the Indian Army says that the a far more important concern for Indian security is the newly raised force Peaople’s Libertation Army Strategic Security Forces (PLASS). This new force will handle cyber, satellite and electronic warfare assets of China.
The cyber threat from China’s military capabilities makes the whole world sit up and take notice, besides just India. According to Narasimhan, the PLASSF will also include civilian specialists who will be uniformed – but their shoulder boards will signify that they are not army personnel.
Most of this force will be under the direct control of the CMC – whose secretariats could decide even targeting and attack sequences – but PLASSF’s lower echelons will be distributed amongst the refugular service headquarters.