India to hold joint military exercise with US, Russia, China and Japan

Zee News Network India Oct 18, 2018, 07.54 PM(IST)

File photo of Indian army.  Photograph:( Reuters )

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The joint military exercise will be conducted between the countries that lead the opposite poles of each other in the months of November and December.

By KM Mishra

The Indian army will be in the busiest period of its military diplomacy in the coming two months as it is set to undertake joint military exercise with the forces of America, Russia, China and Japan.

The joint military exercise will be conducted between the countries that lead the opposite poles of each other in the months of November and December.

The first ever military exercise with the Japanese Army will be held from November 1-14, where the Indian Army will take part in EX. DHARMA GAURDIAN in Mizoram's Warangate.

From November 14 onwards the joint military exercise with the American Special Forces will be conducted in the Mahajan Field Firing Range of Rajasthan. The military exercises called the VAJRA PRAHAR of the Para Special Forces of the Indian Army will run till December 2. 

At the same time, Indian Armored soldiers in Babina will be participating in INDRA 2018 with the armoured soldiers of Russia. From November 16 to 29, joint exercise Indra-2018 will be held between India and Russia's Mechanized Afantry. 

From November 16, the joint military exercise AGNI WARRIOR of the artillery will start with Singapore, which will run till November 30. 

Annual exercise HAND IN HAND, which was cancelled last year due to the Doklam controversy with China will also be conducted this year. This military exercise, being held in mid-December, is being organised in Chengdu, China.

Indian military diplomacy is currently going through its most challenging time. The military relationship with the United States is continuously strengthening. In a meeting between the Defense and the Foreign Ministers held last month, the two countries had further decided to strengthen this relationship. Now both countries will conduct military exercises at much larger levels between their three armies. Naval exercises with the US Malabar and military exercise YUDHABHYAS have been going on for many years. 

Indian military relations with Russia are historic. Russia had supported the Indian Army at the time of crisis. Arsenal of Indian armies is full of Russian arms. But Russia is unhappy with the growing military ties with the US over the past few years. In an attempt to take advantage of this, Pakistan has extended the hand of friendship towards Russia. For two years, the soldiers of both countries are practising on a small scale and points on various arms deals are also being discussed. Although recently, India tried to bridge the gap by going for Russian missile defence system S-400, despite the US pressure.

Japan is a fierce enemy of China and can become India's main ally in the plan to surround China in its backyard. Japan has been a permanent member of the maritime exercise in Malabar since 2016, which was earlier only between India and the US. For the first time this year, the Indian and Japanese military forces will practice jointly.

The biggest challenge of diplomacy is to handle India's strongest neighbour China. In the last few years, many mechanisms have been made at the level of the military commanders to maintain peace and tranquillity between the two. HAND IN HAND is the most important milestone in the military diplomacy in relations with China. In the trijunction border between Bhutan and the two countries last year, tension has increased in Doklam and armies have come face-to-face. This tension remained for more than two months.