in 1971, the United States sent aircraft carriers to aim at India, ordered the Marines to stand by and urgently dispatched the aircraft carrier battle group to assist Pakistan.

Indian t-55 medium tank

moving into the war zone in 1971, the third India Pakistan war broke out in the South Asian subcontinent, in which the United States and the Soviet Union stood on both sides of Pakistan and India, making people seem to see the shadow of the Third World War. Limited to the fact that many files have not been made public, there are different opinions on the extent of the involvement of the United States and the Soviet Union. According to the report of the times of India, the latest declassified documents of India show that the hostility of the United States to India in that war was far stronger than people thought, and even prepared to attack the Indian army.

to Pakistan and India from balance to “tilt”

before 1970, the United States adopted a balanced strategy against India and Pakistan and established alliance relations with both countries. But as India and the Soviet Union got closer and closer, the United States began to be vigilant. In March 1971, the central government of Pakistan ordered a military crackdown on Bengali nationalists demanding autonomy in East Pakistan, and a large number of refugees poured out. This incident gave India a good opportunity to attack its old enemy, and the situation between India and Pakistan was immediately at a crossfire. At this time, the United States tried to strike a balance between India and Pakistan. The United States told Pakistan that the issue of autonomy and independence of East Pakistan should be solved by political means. On July 7, Nixon’s assistant Kissinger went to New Delhi on his secret visit to China. On the one hand, he expressed sympathy for the burden brought to India by Dongba refugees, and on the other hand, he promised that “under any circumstances, the United States will support India against the pressure from China”.

but the balance of the United States is limited. Considering Pakistan’s important role in opening Sino US diplomatic relations and India’s proximity to the Soviet Union, the balance of the United States is obviously tilted to Pakistan. On July 19, 1971, Kissinger said in a conversation with Pakistani officials: “obviously, we have a special relationship with Pakistan.” On the same day, Kissinger sent a message to India through Soviet ambassador to the United States Dobrynin, hoping that India would not use war to solve the problem. On October 9, Kissinger made another appointment with dobrenin and asked the Soviet Union to prevent 40000 guerrillas trained in India from returning to Dongba.

at this time, India actively seeks international support for itself. In August, India and the Soviet Union signed a “peace and friendship treaty” with the nature of military alliance. From October to November, Indian Prime Minister Indira visited six European and American countries. However, the experience of visiting the United States was very unpleasant. Kissinger said that the meeting was “the most unfortunate meeting between Nixon and foreign leaders”, and “neither of them listened to each other’s opinions”. Nixon hoped that India would exercise restraint. Indira ignored it and began to give Nixon a history lesson. As a result, Nixon kept Indira waiting for 45 minutes in the next meeting. After the meeting, Kissinger was convinced that India’s goal was to destroy Pakistan.

dispatched the seventh fleet to deter India.

on November 21, 1971, the Indian army launched an attack on Pakistan in many areas of East Pakistan at the same time. After two weeks of fighting, the Indian army occupied the whole of East Pakistan. On December 3, Pakistan launched an attack on India from the west, triggering an all-out war. Because the Indian army has an absolute advantage in military strength, the United States has to take action. Nixon wrote a letter to the leaders of the Soviet Union calling for “an immediate ceasefire on the western front. If there is no ceasefire, we will have to think that this is an act of aggression against the whole of Pakistan, and Pakistan is a friend to whom we have obligations”. On December 10, Kissinger made it clear in his talks with then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations George H.W. Bush and Chinese representative to the United Nations Huang Hua that the United States must ensure the independence and integrity of West Pakistan and must not let India completely defeat Pakistan. “We will send warships into the region and secretly transfer military aid materials from Jordan, Turkey, Iran and other places to Pakistan,” Kissinger said

received a report from the intelligence department the day before, and learned that India planned to invade West Pakistan. The situation was critical. Washington ordered the transfer of forces from the seventh fleet to send a fleet including aircraft carriers to the bay of Bengal. Washington believed that this fleet would show the determination of the United States to intervene in the conflict in South Asia. On December 15, the 74th task force formed by the US nuclear powered aircraft carrier Enterprise (the largest aircraft carrier in the world at that time), seven destroyers and a nuclear powered submarine entered the bay of Bengal, and 2000 US Marines followed the fleet.

India interprets the military action of the United States as “nuclear intimidation”. According to the latest declassified confidential document of the Indian Foreign Ministry, at that time, US President Nixon ordered three Marines to be on standby to deter India, and ordered the US aircraft carrier “enterprise” to aim at Indian military facilities. According to relevant documents, the United States mobilized the seventh fleet to the bay of Bengal, nominally evacuating American nationals, but actually preparing to attack the Indian army. At that time, although the United States announced a military embargo on both India and Pakistan, it supported Pakistan through other channels. “Our Embassy’s assessment showed that India was labeled as an ‘aggressor’ by (the United States), and it was Nixon’s personal decision to send the seventh fleet to the bay of Bengal”, “the bombers on the aircraft carrier enterprise were authorized to bomb Indian military communication facilities if necessary”.

however, in hindsight, the US military action did not work. Through the coordination of all parties, the war ended the day after the US fleet entered the bay of Bengal. There are many topics about military action taken by the United States.

the dangerous game

in the bay of Bengal is said to have an episode: at a briefing chaired by Indira Gandhi, the chief of staff of the Indian Navy warned that the US fleet was entering the Bay of Bengal, but Indira did not respond. The chief of staff of the Navy thought that the prime minister didn’t hear it. After a while, he repeated it again. As a result, Indira immediately interrupted: “general, I heard it the first time you said it. Let’s continue the meeting.” All the officers present were stunned.