Perpetually hostile neighbors:
India and Pakistan are in a state of active hostility-if not war or at least two proxy wars. At least 6 of Pak Army’s 9 Corps are on the border with India. Of the 6, I Corps and II Corps are heavy armor strike corps. At least 7 of Indian Army’s 13 Corps are on the border with Pakistan. Of the 7, X Corps and II Corps are powerful strike corps (strike corps is an offensive formation). Additionally, all of India’s Holding Corps, that are directly facing Pakistan, also have significant offensive capabilities. In effect, 66 percent of Pak Army’s holding and strike formations are directly facing India. In effect, more than 53 percent of Indian Army’s holding and strike formations are directly facing Pakistan.
Both are poised for war:
Pakistan maintains-and sustains-critical assets in the northeast that have managed to pin down India’s XV Corps, IX Corps, XVI Corps, XIV Corps, XI Corps, X Corps and II Corps. India’s 4 Armored Brigade, 340 Mechanized Brigade, 11 and 12 Infantry Divisions, Jaisalmer Air Force Base, Utarlai Air Force Base and Bhuj Air Force Base maintain a threatening-offensive posture. India is reportedly supporting anti-Pakistan Baloch elements as well as anti-Pakistan Taliban factions. India is bent upon projecting power into Afghanistan that Pakistani establishment sees as encirclement of Pakistan.
And, India-post Operation Parakram- has been investing into a “Cold Start War Doctrine” involving joint operations by Indian Army, Air Force and Navy; eight integrated battle groups with armor, artillery, infantry and combat air support.
High on defense spending:
For FY 2009, India’s defense spending will rise by close to 50 percent to a colossal $32.7 billion (according to Jane’s Information Group). India is planning it’s biggest-ever arms purchases; $11 billion fighter jets, T-90S tanks, Scorpion submarines, Phalcon airborne warning and control system, multi-barrel rocket launchers and an aircraft carrier. At $32.7 billion India’s defense spending translates into 2.7 percent of GDP. For FY 2009, Pakistan’s official defense spending is set at $4.3 billion while unofficial estimates go as high as $7.8 billion. If Pakistan were to match India’s rise, Pakistan would have to spend more than 5 percent of her GDP on defense.
For the record, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan spend an overwhelmingly large percentage of their GDP on defense. Iraq, Somalia and Sudan are all-or have been-in a state of civil war. For the record, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia use to spend an overwhelmingly large percentage of their GDP on defense. Soviet Union is no more. Czechoslovakia is no more.
More armament does not mean more strength:
The U.S. and the Soviet Union fought a 50-year Cold War during which the Soviet Union stockpiled some 13,000 active nuclear warheads. In 1991, the U.S. won without even firing a shot. The Soviet Union raced a race that it couldn’t win. The Soviet Union split into 15.
Less Arms-More Trade:
Both nations are neighbors and cannot change each other from the geography they share. One of the challenges of the 21st century is to put the regional and bilateral priorities right. Stockpiling and mammoth increases in defense spending is not the way to ensure peace, stability and progress. Arms only buy death and destruction. Both these nations must unite on an agenda of economic growth via trade, business exchange and transfer of technology. Nuclear or conventional weapons cannot and will not but economic cooperation will prevent a war.