‘Mountains Favour The Defender’

NEW DELHI: The India-China standoff along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh may be nowhere closer to resolution but India has the advantage by occupying tactical heights on the southern bank of Pangong Tso. Mountains favor the defender; whoever occupies dominating heights is in control of the battle, says Siachen hero Lt Gen. Sanjay Kulkarni (Retd). At altitudes in excess of 16,000 feet, warfare assumes an entirely new dimension, he told StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale. Acclimatisation is the key and battle-hardened Indian troops are far better equipped than the Chinese, said Gen. Kulkarni, the first Indian army officer to land on the Siachen glacier in 1984 as part of ‘Operation Meghdoot’. With the current round of LAC standoff poised to extend into winter, Gen. Kulkarni said logistics will be the key. At those heights, you not only battle the enemy but also Nature; the wind chill factor makes it worse, he added.