Cong: Browne’s 1962 war remarks incorrect

The Congress on Monday said Air Force Chief NAK Browne's assessment that the outcome of the 1962 war against China would have been "very different" if air power had been used "is incorrect".

Such a move, Congress leader Praveen Davar said, would have escalated the conflict into a "much bigger war".

Contending that it "is very easy to be wise by hindsight", Davar said the political decision not to use offensive air power had been taken after an assessment of the ground situation.

"Use of Air Force would have escalated a localised operation into a much bigger war with the possibility of Indian cities being targeted by the enemy air force. The political leadership made a wise decision of not using the air power against the enemy who may have had a better capability, and therefore the risk was not worth it," Davar, a former army officer who edits the Supreme Saviour magazine, said.

"It was easy for the enemy to bomb Tejpur, Guwahati and Kolkata and almost impossible for the IAF to retaliate due to much longer distances involved," Davar added. "Situation however was completely different in 1965 and 1971 when India had more lethal air power than its adversary and took full advantage of it."

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