Besides weightier geopolitical and strategic considerations, General Winter, or the unforgiving harsh environment in the Himalayan Ladakh region along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Too seems to have precipitated the pullback of the rival Indian and Chinese armies from the bitterly contested Pangong Tso region, following their nine-month-long faceoff.
Temperatures at many spots along the LAC, where troops and heavy armaments like main battle tanks (MBTs), howitzers and infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) deployed May 2020 onwards, had plummeted in recent months to around -30 degrees Celsius along the unresolved frontier.
This worsened further by the even deadlier wind-chill factor rendering the cold severer, as fierce winds.
Kicked up in the vertiginous desert region, significantly diminishing the operational efficacy of soldiers and their machines.
“Such a punitive environment has mercilessly hammered both armies,” said retired Brigadier Rahul Bhonsle, head of Security Risks Asia, a Delhi-based defence management consultancy.
It’s inconceivable, he added, that this critical attrition factor.
Did not feature in the nine rounds of talks between rival military commanders to try and de-escalate the debilitating deadlock.
The last such round of talks between the respective corps commanders took place on January 24 on the Chinese side at Moldo, opposite Chushul.
But a rudimentary assessment of the adverse climatic impact.
On assorted materiel like MBTs, 155mm howitzers and ICVs, amongst others, is calculable.
It is also instructive concerning the havoc inhospitable climate can wreak on war machines despite.
Them ruggedised to withstand extreme weather conditions.
Especially cold, like the IA’s fleet of Russian MBTs acclimatised to withstand Siberian winters.
Ammunition for tanks, ICVs, howitzers and even small arms performed.
‘Sub-optimally’ in winter along the LAC with regard to range and targeting aspects.
A recent study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US revealed that low temperatures.
Tend largely to render military equipment useless, as lubricants freeze and barrels on tubed artillery crack.
According to the disengagement plan, the PLA will move east of the Finger-8 mountain spur on the Sirjap Plains.
hile the IA will return to Dhan Singh Thapa post on Finger-3, some 10 km away. Thereafter, the entire area in-between these two features will become a ‘buffer’ or no-go zone.
With subsequent patrolling to be determined in ensuing consultations.
Negotiations on a troop pullback from the Gogra Hot Springs area and the Dapsang Plains.
Too to decided later through analogous military and diplomatic talks.