New Delhi, March 4
Former US Defense Secretary General Jim Mattis on Saturday expressed fears that China was watching closely if Russian attack in Ukraine succeeds, and it could be attuned to launch an attack across the Line of Actual (LAC) in India.
He was speaking at a discussion on ‘The old, the new, and the unconventional: assessing contemporary conflicts’ at the Raisina Dialogue here yesterday evening. Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan and Chief of the Defence Force, Australia, General Angus J Campbell were other participants General Mattis was asked if the US was prepared to tackle China to which he said: “I have no doubt the US is prepared”.
He added: “We are adamant in our support to Ukraine as China is watching everything. If Russia is successful in violating the sovereignty of that country (Ukraine) why would China not be more attuned to move against India along LAC or in the South China Sea against Vietnam or the Philippines”.
On being asked if the west was racing against time after putting in $ 50 billion in aid to Ukraine in from of weapons, Mattis said “Russia should have won the war in three weeks, but western aid is providing the means to Ukraine to rebuff them (the Russians) and also throw them out… we are seeing Russia wither”.
On the nuclear threats, Mattis said: “We hear cavalier talk by (Vladimir) Putin on nuclear weapons. The politburo of the old Soviet Union never did it. We need to get back to nuclear arms control”.
Addressing the issue of learning lessons from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, General Anil Chauhan said the war has many lessons all are not universally applicable, we have to see what is applicable to Indian context.
“We had assumed future wars would be short and swift, this is a longish war. It has created contradiction”, the CDS said. “We have to be self- reliant, is the biggest lesson,” he added.
'The more strong India is, things will get be calmer in the world'
General Campbell termed the Russia-Ukraine war as illegal and unjust violation of integrity of a sovereign nation.
General Jim Mattis pointed out India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on ‘no use’ of nuclear weapons. “I think India has a connection with Russia and that was a strong message and we are thankful to your PM for that”.
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