Victory Month: United States, China and Soviet Union in South Asian Theater of War
Nixon wanted the United States and China to act jointly against India and informed his Chinese counterpart of the movement of the US Naval Task Force through a map showing the deployment of US and Soviet forces.
On this day in 1971, when the joint forces of the Muktibahini and the Indian Army advanced together against Pakistani forces across occupied Bangladesh, the United States, the Soviet Union, and China engaged in the War of liberation of Bangladesh.
According to several books on CIA history and secret documents, US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger considered deploying an aircraft carrier to the Bay of Bengal that day after the Indian Navy launched several missile attacks on Karachi, Pakistan.
He also suggested that US President Richard Nixon order the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the highest ranking and most senior military officer in the US military – to relocate Naval Task Force 74, so deployed to the Southeast Asian theater of operations, to the Bay of Bengal immediately via Singapore.
After that, on December 9, Nixon wanted the United States and China to act jointly against India and informed his Chinese counterpart of the movement of the US Naval Task Force through a map showing the deployment of US and Soviet forces. .
Then, on December 10, the American aircraft carrier TF 74 moved and was due to arrive in the Indian Ocean on December 15.
Some defense historians have claimed that this was the first attempt when Nixon wanted to carry out a nuclear attack when Task Force 74 of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Enterprise, s’ is directed towards the Bay of Bengal.
Former Indian Navy Commander Raghavendra Mishra, a researcher at the New Delhi-based National Maritime Foundation, writes in an article titled “Revisiting the 1971 USS Enterprise Incident” that the entry of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was an example gunboat diplomacy.
Mishra notes in his book that during this stage of the crisis, three Russian ships were near the Strait of Malacca, on their return to their home port in the Pacific, when information regarding a possible naval deployment American in the Indian Ocean has arrived.
“These Soviet naval assets continued to monitor TF 74 off Sri Lanka until it returned to the Pacific theater on January 8, 1972,” Mishara writes.
In addition, 12 other Soviet Navy ships were present in the Indian Ocean. However, none of these Russian ships were near or heading for the Bay of Bengal or the northern Arabian Sea, where the Indian Navy continued to operate.
With such massive forces at its disposal, the Soviet military forces were sure to repel any American adventurism.
Mishra said that the Soviet Ambassador to India had ruled out the possibility of intervention by the United States or China by pointing out that the Soviet fleet was also in the Indian Ocean and would not allow the Seventh Fleet to enter; and if China moved to Ladakh, Moscow would respond to Xinjiang.
As Nixon raged in the White House, a million Soviet troops were stationed along the Chinese border.
Meanwhile, Pakistani media were publishing speculative reports about a possible US naval intervention on behalf of Pakistan.