The seeds of war between the United States and China are germinating across the Taiwan straits and in newly created atolls of the South China Sea. In Ladakh and in Sikkim, the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) has accelerated its “Forward Policy”, the same line of action once followed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Defence Minister Krishna Menon. They acted in the belief that the other side would never have the will to go to war against a systematic nibbling away of territory through “aggressive forward patrolling” by the military. The slowing down of the Indian economy since the close of 2016 and the antics of GHQ Rawalpindi may have persuaded the generals in Chengdu that their adoption of the forward policy would have no reciprocal blowback. B.N. Mullick of the IB had calculated that Mao’s difficulties with the Chinese Communist Party leadership and the economic pain China was then enduring would prevent the PLA from responding to the strategy of nibbling away at territory, a few feet at a time. He was wrong. And after what is taking place in Ladakh and Sikkim, the PLA leadership may be in for a surprise. An armed push to a depth of four to five kilometres in two parts of the Sino-Indian border is unacceptable, and may—unlike Doklam—lead to a conflict involving casualties. The Chinese side appears to be placing its faith in the serial (some would say deliberate) errors made by the Lutyens Zone. This network has thus far succeeded in stalling a robust defence and security understanding between India and the US, which is the only other power that can match China. Key elements of progress in this inevitable alliance are trapped through bureaucratic obstruction in a netherworld. The greatest favour that Vladimir Putin can give to Xi Jinping is to keep India from entering into a substantive military alliance with the US. In the past, Pakistan was able to fashion a close alliance with both Beijing and Washington from a time when both capitals were hostile to the other. Once the US and China became de facto allies in 1972, Rawalpindi was in ecstasy. Fortunately for India, that longstanding PLA favourite, GHQ Rawalpindi, has never succeeded in first separating Kashmir from the Union of India and subsequently doing the same with other bits and pieces of our country. It was D.P. Dhar’s masterstroke—the treaty between the USSR and India—which ensured that China (despite intense prodding by Henry Kissinger) kept out of the 1971 joint operation between the Mukti Bahini and the Indian armed forces to liberate East Bengalis from genocide. Similar insurance against a conflict with China is needed now, this time from Washington rather than Moscow.