India Tests the China-Killer, China Freaks Out, I Remain Calm
While the world was distracted by North Korea and Iran, India launched a nuclear-capable ICBM with a 5,000-km range. In other words, India can now nuke China, Europe, Africa and Australia. And unlike the Norks, the Indians did not screw this up:
"The sleek missile, within a few seconds of its blast-off from the Island launch pad, roared majestically into the sky leaving behind its trajectory a trail of thin orange and white smoke before disappearing," a defence official at the launch site said.
Saraswat said the missile had been achieved despite the stringent export control regimes, which developed countries have imposed on India.
I'm a tremendous fan of India, don't get me wrong. But the Indian press is calling this thing the "China Killer," and that's really not the solemn and responsible tone one would hope to hear from a people who have just acquired the capacity to annihilate half the planet.
The Chinese are taking this about as you'd expect:
India is still poor and lags behind in infrastructure construction, but its society is highly supportive of developing nuclear power and the West chooses to overlook India's disregard of nuclear and missile control treaties. The West remains silent on the fact that India's military spending increased by 17 percent in 2012 and the country has again become the largest weapons importer in the world.
India should not overestimate its strength. Even if it has missiles that could reach most parts of China, that does not mean it will gain anything from being arrogant during disputes with China. India should be clear that China's nuclear power is stronger and more reliable. For the foreseeable future, India would stand no chance in an overall arms race with China. ...
India should also not overstate the value of its Western allies and the profits it could gain from participating in a containment of China. If it equates long range strategic missiles with deterrence of China, and stirs up further hostility, it could be sorely mistaken.
Ordinarily, I'd have quite a few questions about this, but at this point, I find it more calming to shrug and say, Que será será. At least we'll all go together when we go.