Nehru call to US for help in '62

Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had sought American assistance during the 1962 war with China, writing to then President John F. Kennedy to provide India with jet fighters, according to a new book.

  • Published 15.10.15
  •  

Washington, Oct. 14 (PTI): Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had sought American assistance during the 1962 war with China, writing to then President John F. Kennedy to provide India with jet fighters, according to a new book.

The main objective of Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People's Republic of China, to attack India in 1962 was to "humiliate" Nehru who was emerging as a leader of the third world, the book says.

"Mao's focus was on Nehru, but a defeat of India would also be a setback for two of Mao's enemies: (Nikita) Khrushchev and Kennedy," Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official, writes in the book JFK's Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian War.

As India was losing its territory to China and suffering heavy casualties, Nehru in a letter to Kennedy in November 1962 said India needed "air transport and jet fighters to stem the Chinese tide of aggression. A lot more effort, both from us and from our friends will be required". He wrote another letter in quick succession, Riedel says.

"A minimum of 12 squadrons of supersonic all weather fighters are essential. We have no modern radar cover in the countr The United States Air Force personnel will have to man these fighters and radar installations while our personnel are being trainedy," Riedel quotes Nehru as having written.

About
Author