THE SINO-INDIAN CONFLICT: OUTLOOK AND IMPLICATIONS

Created: 12/14/1962

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SPECIAL Doccmca^ NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

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The Sino-lndian Conflict: Outlook and Implications

Submitted by th* DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

Concurred io byUNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD Ai Indicated2

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The tallowing intelligence organization* participated in Ihe preparation of this estimate:

Tha Central Intelligence Agency and Ae InMBqiniu orgonaottons of rH# Deport-menti of State, Defame, the Army, rhe Navy, aad the Air force.

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Director ofond Reteorth, Dipenia of Stole Director, Detente Intelligence Agency

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Autttonlol Staff, lruVl.genee, USA/

Director for Intelligence, Joint Staff

Director of the National Security Agency

Abstaining:

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SPECIAL

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

2

The Sino-lndian Conflict: Outlook and Implications

THE SINO-INDIAN CONFLICT: OUTLOOK AND IMPLICATIONS

scope note

indian and chinese military capabilities in the border areas and certain other background material were covered inshort-term outlook and implications for thehe present estimate seeks to examine the broader implications of the situation for future policies of india. pakistan. communist china, and the ussr, and for the interests of the west.

THENDIA

India's policy, both foreign and domestic, will almost certainly be dominatedonsiderable time to come by the linage ofChina as the major threat to its national existence. Aof Pelplng's fundamental hostility and perfidy haa emerged among virtually all levels of Indian opinion in the past few months. Concern over new Chinese attacks and fear that these may spread beyond the disputed border area are great. At the same time, there is general gratification with the sympathy and support received from the US and the British Commonwealthrowing realization that the preservation of India's freedom will be heavily dependent on the West.

Within the Indian Government, new, more pragmatic, more pro-Western attitudes are emerging in the wake of Krishna Menon'sNehru is being forced to share leadership with younger and more vigorous politicians, many of whom have never approved hispredilections. These men, by and large, are probably prepared toigher price than Nehru for national security In terms ofmilitary costs, cooperation with the US. and even compromise with Pakistan. They will also be less Inclined to tolerate Communist activity within India. Finally, their emergence on the wave of the present crisis may over the longer run do much to fill the gap which was considered likely to follow Nehru's departure from the Indian scene.

At the moment India is in the gripationalistic fervor which has submerged many local differencesidespread determination to avenge the country's military humiliation by the Chinese. Undercircumstances, it appears unlikely that for the next year or two at least India will undertake any negotiations with Peiplng seriously aimingettlement. Rather the trend will be to strengthen the Indian military establishment and the country's overall power position, while seeking at leastime to avoid new clashes which might further damage the country's military posture. Over the longer term, the Indians will probably come to realize the difficulty of making good on all their territorial claims and may be willing to come to the negotiating table.

India will inevitably experience some discontent with the aacriflcea required to gear up the nationrolonged struggle, someover the difficulty of scoring decisively in the struggle, and some discontent with the pace and scope of Western support. There will also be general nostalgia for the halcyon days of neutralism, continued hopes

that in some fashion the Soviets will restrain the Chinese, and con* siderable reluctance to face up to the costs of improving India's relations with Pakistan. Nehru, in particular, is likely to be vacillating and on occasion intransigent.

we believerofound change has takenIndia's outlook. New Delhi's disillusionment with the results offoreign policy is already being translated intothe attitudes of many of its former associates in theThough Indian fearsreturn of British imperialism"disappear overnight, the practical benefits of Commonwealthhave become obvious, and further strengthening of tiesUK seems virtually certain. The confidence with which Indiathe US in its hour of peril suggests the persistence of anin the US which could be further manifested in the futureunderstanding for the US role in containing Communistin other parts of the world.

CHINA

Peiping will remain determined to retain certain strategicallyportions of the territory It has occupied, principally the Aksai Chin plateau in Ladakh, and to demonstrate that it will not be pushed around by its weaker neighbor, India. At the same time, it has avoided building up popular pressure for war with India at home, and probably hopes to avoid forcing India to total commitment to the West. Having proved itself to be powerful and dynamic, Peiping probably now wishes to show that its strength does not imply aggressive intent toward the Afro-Asian world. To this end, It will almost certainly continue to emphasize its willingness to withdraw from much of the territory it has occupied and to extol the benefits of negotiations.

Although the Chinese Communists have the capability to renew the offensive in the Ladakh and NEFA areas at any time, we believe they will wish to avoid the resumption of large-scale military activity. They would, however, almost certainly react sharply should the Indians attempt to re-establish their lost positions byigh level of tension will persist for some time, and both sides are taking steps to improve their military capabilities in the border area. Hence,inor incident might escalate rapidly Into another outburst of fighting at least as large as that which took place In October and November of this year.

leaders are apprehensive that the new-found Identitybetween India and the West will undermine their ownsecurity. At the same time, they believe the present Chinese pres-

sure on India and India's virtually complete dependence on the West represent an unprecedented chance to secure an acceptable solution of the Kashmir problem. Despite India's agreement to negotiate the status of Kasrurur. Pakistan's leaders have strong doubts that the Indian position will be sufficiently forthcoming to make agreement possible. President Ayub realizes that any settlement will require politicallyconcessions by both sides and does not seem determined to insist on all of Pakistan's claims. However. Ayub'i room for maneuver has been circumscribed by the recent strong outburst of anti-Western and anti-Indian opinion In Pakistan.

or not Indian attitudes will change sufficiently toa settlement of the Kashmir dispute is still uncertain.of more than half of the Indian troops stationedPakistani border and Nehru's undertaking to discuss theKashmir with President Ayub evidence greater Indianmake progress on Kashmir than ever before. Nevertheless.to make any significant concessions will be heavilythe acuteness of India's apprehensions with regard to China andto which the US and UK maintain pressure on it foron Kashmir.

progress can be maintained toward an acceptableKashmir, Pakistani relations with India will become moreever. If in these circumstances the West were to continuemilitary aid to India, Pakistan would adopt an Increasinglystance. Strong pressures would build up for anthe Chinese Communists and Pakistan's alliance with thebe In jeopardy.

iv. the neutralist camp

In general, the other Asian and African states with which India has been associated In the "neutralist camp" have conspicuously failed to rally to India's support. These nations, which wish above all to prevent the outbreak of large-scale war, have felt obliged to assist in the ending of hostilities. While pleaseaceful settlement of the dispute will almost certainly continue to emerge from the nonaligncd nations, these pleas In themselves are unlikely to have significanton either India or China.

In the longer run, at least some of the neutralist states may(a) that neutralism has not protected Indiahinese attack which the USSR was unwilling or unable to prevent, and (b) that the West has proved ready toeleaguered neutralist. Though some of these states may be persuaded to adopt less critical attitudes toward the US. few If any are likely to abandon their basic neutralist

positions unless they themselves come under an Immediate threat of direct Communist attack.

USSR

Slno-Indian conflict has seriously complicated therelations with India and aggravated its difficulties withthese circumstances, the immediate Soviet objective willbe to secure an early resolution of the conflict. Aparthowever, the USSR willigh valueontinuedwith India. While its opportunity to build upIn the Indian military has virtually disappeared, it willcontinue to supply some military equipment and to maintainties with India and its support of India's economic

WEST

metamorphosis which India is undergoing will almostcontinue to open up new opportunities lor the West. Foryear or two at least, New Delhi will be more susceptible thanto Influence by the US and the UK, particularly in theThese opportunities will also bring with them newreawakened nationalist fervor and desire to avenge itscould lead It to propose large-scale offensives whichbeyond its capability to carry through. If the West werebecome involved inrolonged military operation,could be progressive Indian disillusionment with theless drastic but more difficult problem lies in the necessity ofminimise the Impactew military burden will almosthave on India's vital economic development program.

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