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Sunday, 29 November 2009

From Today's Papers - 29 Nov 09

Indian Cold Start doctrine
November 28th, 2009 4:23 AM   Print

Asif Haroon Raja

Strategic alliance with USA helps India in fulfilling its grandeur plans to become the regional and world power. In 1971, Soviet Union had helped India in achieving a false military victory and in truncating Pakistan. Indians now hope that America would help in fulfilling their dream of either reducing Pakistan into an Indian satellite or removing it from the face of world map. It is in this context that Indo-US-UK-Israeli-Afghan nexus has been formed in Kabul which is dedicated towards harming Pakistan. Both covert means and media campaign are complementing each other to achieve stated objectives. The Indo-western media has embarked upon a malicious campaign to besmirch the reputation of institutions of Pakistan and project it as a failing state. All sorts of fairytales are fabricated and pasted in leading newspapers and magazines controlled by the Jews. Deadlines are given and each time the given the given date expires uneventfully; a new deadline of collapse of Pakistan is given with a heavy heart but with renewed hopes.

Several scenarios are in circulation ranging from truncation to break up in small quasi states. Independent Balochistan and Pashtunistan figure high in their fanciful plans. Each of the self-perceived scenario is linked to Islamic threat in northwest of Pakistan. One of the principle objectives of India is to weaken ISI and cut its long-arm capability drastically so that it is neither in a position to harm India through covert means or to provide first line defence to Pakistan effectively against external subversive threats. Pakistan specific Indian consulates in Afghanistan and tens of RAW infested training, educational and cultural centres have nothing else to do except to devise different means to cause harm to Pakistan and destabilise it.

To give concrete shape to the chalked out plans, the said nexus unfolded a comprehensive subversive plan in January 2002 to systematically destabilize Pakistan. Fuel was constantly sprinkled in interior Balochistan, FATA and Swat to inflame these regions. Brahamdagh Bugti based in Kandahar and patronized by RAW-CIA-RAAM is coordinating sabotage and subversion in Balochistan. Southern Punjab and Karachi are planned to be inflamed in the final phase to spread anarchy throughout the country so as to pave way for disablement of our nuclear weapons and to clear the way for India to launch its military instrument. Washington's continued insistence to make India a key player in Afghanistan and to induct its 150,000 troops is meant to enable Indo-Afghan forces to exploit yet another avenue from the northwest and catch Pakistan in a double pincer.

Indian Cold Start doctrine envisages formation of battle groups supported by dedicated artillery, combat air support and tactical nuclear weapons. It perceives launching 15-16 limited attacks along the entire length of eastern border and Line of Control (LoC) with battle groups of two mechanised regiments and an armour regiment or vice versa. Each battle group is mandated to capture an objective of tactical importance and to exploit success as far as possible but remaining well away from core areas so as to restrain Pakistan from using its nuclear response. Having dispersed the defender on a wide front in battle of frontiers, trying to defend every inch of the territory, subject to successes achieved, and deflection or commitment of our strategic reserves, it would then launch main and secondary efforts with its strike formations in two sectors. Indian military would achieve air superiority in main effort area for a specific period of break in and break out battle towards deeper objectives.

After Mumbai attacks, India continues to remain in an offensive mode and is in no mood to recommence stalled peace talks. Pakistan's concerted efforts spread over one year to make India see reason have gone in vain. Flustered and frustrated by quick successes achieved by Pakistan Army against Indian funded and trained terrorists in Swat and in South Waziristan, Indian leaders have taken a new line that runaway militants after getting defeated have become a security hazard for India. Since last May, they are wailing like a frightened child in anticipation to a self-imagined terrorist attack emanating from Pakistan on the pattern of Mumbai-like carnage. When asked to provide intelligence so that the mishap could be thwarted they refuse to divulge the basis of their anxiety. Indian media has alleged that Dave Headly and Tahawar Hussain Rana suspected for terrorism in USA were linked with Mumbai attacks and that Dave was observed sniffing around Indian nuclear sites. Accordingly, Indian authorities have sounded a red alert in affected areas where their nuclear material is stored to avert a possible attack. To further up the ante, Indian Army Chief Deepak Kapoor has sounded a warning that a limited war under the nuclear overhang is still very much a reality, at least in Indian subcontinent. Our foreign office spokesman rightly remarked that it reaffirms Indian dangerous and offensive nuclear doctrine.

In the wake of Pakistan going nuclear in 1998 in response to Indian nuclear blackmail, which has made the option of all out war almost impossible, Indian military has been feverishly working on its Cold Start doctrine which was shaped in consultation with Israeli military. The three services of India have also been acquiring latest state-of-art weapon systems from all over the world and upgrading its nuclear arsenal as a consequence of which the conventional and nuclear balance has tilted heavily in favour of India. Simultaneous to the efforts by the military, RAW has been hectically engaged in weakening and destabilising Pakistan from within. Its focus has been towards enfeebling and discrediting Pakistan Army and ISI. Application of military instrument has been made conditional to success achieved through covert operations against these two pillars. India observed the pulse of Pakistan for ten months in 2002 after manufacturing a terrorist attack on Indian parliament in December 2001 and again after Mumbai carnage in November 2008 that was also cooked up. Both times, it found Pakistan Army well poised and resilient and had to beat a retreat.

India may be visualising that this time Pakistan Army has got deeply embroiled in several troubled spots and is not in a position to withdraw as was the case last time. It is hoping that Pashtun and Baloch militants would be fighting Pakistan Army in case of war with India. It is satisfied with its successful policy of encirclement and destabilisation of Pakistan resulting in enfeeblement of its economy. It considers overall geo-political environment favourable. It considers the time ripe for devising another drama to justify its troop build up. The purpose will be:

   1. Coerce the leadership to extract further concessions as it had extorted after military standoff in 2002-03.

   2. Relieve pressure on Tehrik-e-Taliban and make it recapture lost ground.

   3. Demolish Balochistan package which has the potential of defusing separatist movement sponsored by India.

   4. Rejuvenate demoralised RAW agents operating within Pakistan.

   5. Force Pakistan to liquidate Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad and to hand over alleged culprits of Mumbai carnage to India.

   6. Force Pakistan to fight terrorism as dictated by USA and India.

   7. Further weaken economy of Pakistan.

   8. Force Pakistan to accept pre-eminence of India in Afghanistan and in the region and to allow its trade with Afghanistan through Wagah.

   9. Solve Kashmir dispute by accepting LoC as permanent border.

In case Pakistan refuse to be cowed down, it might initiate Cold Start but it would be subject to full assurance by USA that it would prevent Pakistan Army from assembly and move of nukes to deployment areas.

War game codenamed Azm-e-Nau was conducted to tackle emerging Indian threat along eastern front revolving around Cold Start but did not take into account possible ingress from western border and expansion of limited war into full-fledged war. In 1971 in East Pakistan, India first weakened Pakistan Army contingent through civil war and psychological operations. Indian military then induced threat perception which forced us to take up an exaggerated forward posture all along 1400 miles border to prevent any piece of land falling into enemy hands. Dispersed in penny packets we were strong nowhere. Indian offensive launched on 21 November from multiple directions succeeded in making 23 lodgement areas across the border. In our bid to liquidate or contain the ingresses we committed everything we had in the battle of frontiers. After an operational pause and having fixed our forces in compartments, Indian forces under massive air cover launched main, secondary and auxiliary offensives from three different directions on 4 December and raced towards Dacca. Making a dispassionate comparison of East Pakistan offensive with Cold Start one finds certain similarities.

Pakistan has already suffered grievously because of its exaggerated policy of appeasement and cannot afford to cede more ground and that too at the cost of its sovereignty and dignity. We need to condition our forces and structure them organisationally to fight two front wars together with internal threat in the southwest and northwest. Blissfully, Pakistan Army is in its finest trim and is in position to meet any challenge resolutely. Having found out foolproof evidence of involvement of RAW in aiding and abetting terrorism in Pakistan, and the US and UK complicit in the evil game of destabilising, denuclearising and balkanising Pakistan, should we still be imprudently calling these so-called friends as our well-wishers and relying on them? I have no doubt in my mind that the US would not betray Israel or India but would certainly betray Pakistan and leave it in a lurch once again.

Same go for Afghanistan under US puppet Karzai who has provided Afghan soil to foreign agencies for launching covert operations against Pakistan. He doesn't realise that India, whom he considers as a sincere and dear friend is gradually working towards reducing Afghanistan into its client state. If US Administration is negotiating with Afghan Taliban, we have every right to keep in touch with them particularly after their worthy role in hour of crisis. While US military opted to vacate border check posts, Afghan Taliban refused to come to the aid of fake Taliban in South Waziristan.

How long will we follow humiliating policy of appeasement which is ruining Pakistan? Isn't it high time to sound the bugle and chase out Blackwater type non-actors from the soil of Pakistan before they swoop at our nukes and whisk them away? We need to guard our nukes with utmost vigilance and cut those hands that try to get near them. Operation Rah-e-Nijat which has proceeded excellently should clear South Waziristan of the presence of hardcore local and foreign terrorists speedily. After returning extra forces to peace locations, process of rehabilitation of people of South Waziristan to be put into full gear. These assets must be handled with utmost care and affection. They deserve an even better package then Balochistan since none among them raised the slogan of separation or sought materialistic gains.


Asif Haroon Raja is a defence and political analyst based at Rawalpindi and author of several books. Email:

Army campuses to have biometric entry system
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 28
Within two weeks of the Home Ministry having sounded an alert about the leading military establishments being on the target of Pakistan militants, the Army has taken the first step to introduce modern methods to regulate entry of its personnel and visitors to its campuses.

As the first step, the Army has decided that the infantry training school at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, will have biometric entry system. For the layman, entry and exit will only be allowed on finger print recognition and also a radio frequency card that will establish a person's identity. A tender has been issued asking a private company to install the equipment at Mhow.
This was long overdue, said a source, adding that this would be expanded to other major campuses like the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, and the National Defence Academy, Pune. The process of entry would be stringent and will allow the Army to have a computer back-up of all person who visited Mhow.
At Mhow, the Army not only wants to check who is entering, but it will also have a system by which a controller can block the entry of any person, who has been issued an identity card and whose finger print is already registered.
It means if a person ends his work and has exited after his duty hours, his entry could be blocked by the controller. This is crucial for locations like the infantry school were strategic documents and maps are placed for training purposes.
At present, the entry to Army institutions is based of archaic system by which a sentry at the gate hardly has a clue about the identity of the person.

Island fortress

Sri Lanka has a history of violence. In its recent history, this 20 million-strong Buddhist country has had one long civil war, two bloody Marxist insurrections, ethnic riots, several assassinations and an abortive coup in 1962.

The 26-year-long war of attrition that the government fought against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was a global concern. It ended in May, leaving an estimated 100,000 dead and two war-torn communities. Sri Lanka has also had to fight off two Marxist rebellions – in 1971 and 1987-89 -- by extremist Sinhala Marxists. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) insurgencies were fuelled by anti-Western and anti-Indian sentiment and claimed thousands of lives. The Lankan security forces waged a "dirty war" to crush the rebellions, with thousands of youth disappearing without a trace.

All this violence has left its mark. Once a balmy paradise that inspired the English word "serendipity", Sri Lanka is today the region's most militarised society. The bitter wars and rebellions have given birth to what one local political analyst calls a "national security regime".

"A national security regime is created when militarisation is viewed as a necessary component of the conduct of a state. That doesn't mean that country is under dictatorship; the regime could be in a broad democratic framework,'' said the analyst.

Emergency State

One sign is that Sri Lanka remains under a "state of emergency'' six months after the war officially ended. The practice of civil liberties, artistic freedom

and dissenting opinion continues to be severely curtailed in Sri Lanka. The murder and assault of journalists and human rights activists, restrictions on critical academics and a close watch, bordering on intimidation, of artists who want to make political comment are accepted by the state. A well-known painter said: "I would say (the situation), it's scary. But don't quote me. Do you get the picture?''

The decision of ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka to run for presidency in January is the most obvious sign of the all-powerful role the military plays in Sri Lanka today. The military is cagey about sharing numbers but few doubt Sri Lanka has one of the highest soldiers to civilian ratios in Asia.

A 2006 study by Mumbai-based Strategic Foresight Group argued Sri Lanka had by then already emerged as the most militarised country in South Asia.

"For every thousand population, it has eight military personnel against 1.3 in India or four in Pakistan. In terms of military expenditure, Sri Lanka spends 4.1 per cent of its GDP against 2.5 per cent by India or 3.5 per cent by Pakistan,'' the study said.

Three years later, the numbers have gone up. The total number of personnel in the army,

navy, air force, police and civil defence groups comes close to 400,000 – enormous for such a small country. The army is 240,000-strong, yet military spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara recently said it "would recruit another 10,000 by the year-end".

The military budget, swollen by the civil war, continues to grow even in peacetime.

Recently, Parliament approved a 20 per cent hike above the allocated $ 1.74 billion.

Guns for hire

The arrival of Fonseka in the political arena is another sign of how "militarised" Lankan society has become, says J Uyangoda, political scientist at Colombo University. "Militarisation has seen a gradual consideration in the society. Now with general Fonseka fighting the presidential election as the opposition candidate, it indicates demilitarisation is not in the agenda even for the opposition. It doesn't look like the United National Party (the main opposition party) is committed to demilitarising Sri Lanka.''

A hard-fought political contest in which the army is involved makes it all the more difficult to keep bullets separated from the ballots. Historian Silan Kadirgamar said he "was afraid the run-up to the presidential polls could be violent as the stakes were high."

The run-up to the election could see a political role for the many armed groups which brazenly operate in eastern Sri Lanka. Usually affiliated to politicians, they are known to extort money and often include former ex-fighters from both sides.

"Desertion has increased after the end of the war. Yes, it is a problem because they are trained," defence analyst and journalist Iqbal Athas said.

Athas also worried politicians would turn to thugs to protect their turf. Over 20,000 soldiers have deserted the Lankan army alone.

A spokesperson for a civil rights group, University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), was suitably dismal: "There are no professional army or security forces left in Sri Lanka. Having Rajapaksa is terrible and having Fonseka would be a nightmare. Unfortunately Sri Lanka has evolved a tradition where rogues contest the presidency."

There is no shortage of ideas on how Sri Lankan society can slough off its armour. "Battalions to the United Nations could be increased. Or a transitory civil defence force could be constituted.  The extra force could also be used to strengthen existing police stations or to man new police stations in the north," Athas suggested.

But for any of this to happen the political establishment must first believe it can afford to begin the process of demobilising its country. When it comes to the government this is not about numbers but about reducing a deep-seated security paranoia.

Sri Lanka has won its war. It has not yet thought out how it can win its peace.

Women and war

Would you agree that Pratibha Patil looked rather fetching in a G-suit? The picture of her waving from the cockpit of a Sukhoi, a radiant smile on her face, could transform the image of Indian women. Not surprisingly, journalists used the occasion to ask whether women should be inducted as fighter pilots. Her reply was equally winning — it's a decision best left to experts and service commanders.

Now, why can't politicians and some of our interfering commentators heed this excellent advice?

The debate over what role women should play in combat is neither new nor easy to resolve. It cropped up three years ago when the former Vice-Chief of the Army, Lt. Gen. Pattabhiraman, said: "Ideally, we would like to have gentlemen and not lady officers at the unit level. Feedback from lower formations suggests that comfort levels with lady officers are low."

It returned to the front pages last week when the present Air Force Vice-Chief said women could only be accepted as fighter pilots after they agreed to conditions on having children and taking maternity leave.

Frankly, both officers are right and the screams of protest from the politically correct brigade missed the point. Men and women are, of course, equal but equality is not similarity. Women are not the same as men. For the defence services the difference is critical.

One of their key concerns is if captured women would be more liable for abuse and mistreatment than men. For this reason even the Israelis do not permit women in direct conflict roles. And it's not sufficient to say let women decide for themselves if they want to take the risk. When it affects national security, the importance of the issue surpasses the right to individual choice.

But there are other good reasons too. First, women would be at a serious disadvantage in hand-to-hand combat with enemy male soldiers. If the defence of India depends on how our soldiers respond to a Chinese or Pakistani invader staring down the barrel of a gun, I have no hesitation in stating the preponderant majority would feel more confident with male soldiers. And that includes most women.

Second, the Indian Army is likely to remain a male-dominated force. Our jawans are traditional in their outlook and would feel uncomfortable, maybe even insecure, under women officers in combat. Clearly the fighting formations are not the place to teach them how to accept orders from women.

The Air Force has different but equally pressing concerns. It costs Rs 11.66 crore to train a fighter pilot and up to 14 years service to recover the investment. If a woman were to drop out after marriage, the service would have to forego the investment in her training. If she takes ten months maternity leave she would require expensive re-training on return. This is why the service insists on pre-conditions before women are inducted as fighter pilots.

Meanwhile, the argument 'Is cost everything, social correctness nothing?' is easy to answer. A poor country cannot afford to waste resources simply to satisfy political correctness.

Of course, none of this is to argue against women officers in the services. All three have them and they do a brilliant job. But if women don't choose to be hangmen, Formula One drivers or sumo wrestlers, why is it incorrect to keep them out of combat roles?

The views expressed by the author are personal

India developing solutions to deal with low intensity conflicts

BANGALORE, November 28, 2009: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Friday said unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will play a key role in dealing with low intensity conflicts abetted by both internal elements and unfriendly neighbours. Indias great neighbours not being really friendly be it Pakistan or China, P S Krishnan, Director of Aeronautical Development Establishment, a lab under DRDO, said. 

In addition, he also touched upon internal challenges such as insurgency, militancy and naxal activities in parts of the State, all of which are grouped together as low intensity conflicts. 

Speaking at the 23rd national convention of aerospace engineers here, Mr Krishnan said one of the Chief Controllers of the DRDO had been specifically asked to look at low intensity conflicts and what solutions he can give.  Obviously UAVs is going to play a very important role, he said.

ADE is the only lab in India which looks at the full spectrum of UAVs.The focus is also on Nishant surveillance and reconnaisance UAV developed by India to counter low intensity conflicts, Krishnan said. UAVs  also plays a key role in disaster and flood management, he said.

UAV will play major role in 'low intensity wars': Expert

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) will play a major role in Low Intensity Conflict involving insurgents and militants, which the country was currently facing, an expert said today.

Speaking at the 23rd National Convention of Aerospace Engineers here, Dr P S Krishnan, Director of Aeronautical Development (ADE) Establishment (ADE), which meets the country's UAV requirements, said the Union Government had appointed DRDO Chief Controller Dr K Sekhar to look into the possible solutions to tackle low intensity wars.

''UAV or drones will play a vital role here as it can provide uninterrupted surveillance of areas affected by militants or insurgent activities even if it is up to 1000 sq km,'' he said.

He said, UAVs like Chakor, Lakshya and Nishant, all developed and produced by the city-based ADE, had been successful in meeting the Indian Army's requirement of surveillance. The Army had ordered 20 Lakshyas,' while Nishant's have been deployed.

''We are now embarking upon long endurance Rustom, the first prototype, the flight of which was tested last week. This UAV has an endurance of 24 hours and weighs 70 kg, compared to Nishant's 4.5 hours,'' he said.

Tejas to fly on indigenous Kaveri engine next year: Official

The city-based Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), which is indigenously developing various types of aero engines, would be fitting its flagship product Kaveri engine to the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) 'Tejas' in the next one year.

Disclosing this to reporters at the 23rd convention of aerospace engineers here GTRE Director T Mohana Rao said the establishment had overcome all obstacles and one of the engines, originally built for the LCA was taken to Russia for testing. Once it passes the test another engine would be shipped later for flying test, he said.

He said the engine would be ready by March or April next year and it will be fully ready for integration in one year's time. ''We are also looking to develop a marine version of Kaveri engine and Indian Navy would be our working partners. This includes financial participation. Indian Navy is working with us for Kaveri marine project,'' he said.

The naval version would be co-designed by the two organisations and it would have low-pressure compressor and turbine.

GTRE was also looking at developing small gas turbine engines for unmanned aircraft.

''We are ready to develop any type of gas turbine engines for the country. There are lots of other projects in the offing,'' Mr Rao added.

He said GTRE's bid to find a joint venture partner was yet to be finalised as it was expecting the final sanction from the government. ''We had shortlisted 'Snecma' of France for the JV, but we have not started the work yet as some government approvals are still pending. Indian Air Force and DRDO would have to approve the JV,'' he said.

SoO in transitory phase: Brig Chauhan
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Nov 27 : The tripartite Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact signed between the Central Government, the State Government and Kuki militant groups is now in transitory phase and no political dialogue has been initiated as yet, said Commander of 59 Mountain Brigade Brig Anil Chauhan today.
Brig Anil Chauhan was speaking at the inaugural function of the administrative block of a designated camp built for KNF at Saparmeina.
Moving around with weapons by SoO signatories without prior information is a violation of ground rules, he said.
The KNO and UPF, umbrella organisations of several Kuki militant groups signed the SoO pact with the Central and State Governments on August 22, 2008. The KNF signed the truce under UPF.
Set up by late Nehlun Haokip in 1989, the KNF is one of the oldest Kuki armed outfit. Their designated camp located near Saparmeina has been named Ebenezer Camp.
The inaugural function of the administrative block was also attended by CO of 35 AR Col Dushyant and senior leaders and cadres of the party.
Brig Anil Chauhan said that both the parties should follow SoO ground rules strictly.
Clash between UG groups and movement of cadres with weapons without giving prior information are violation of SoO ground rules, he cautioned.
Maintaining that incidents of violation of SoO ground rules have come down in the last two months, the Brigadier said that necessary arrangements would be made to take the dialogue to its next stage after the cadres are housed in designated camps and satisfactory development achieved.
If the present stage is not satisfactory to either of the party, the truce cannot progress to the next stage.
Speaking at the occasion, KNF defence secretary and member of the Joint Monitoring Group Lala said that construction work of the designated camp now being undertaken at Koubru range was complete by 95 percent. The camp comprising of a hospital, arsenal, church, swimming pool, rest camp, five barracks and a play ground would be inaugurated next month by the Union Home Secretary.
The party has also made proposals for two more designated camps at Maphou Dam and Sehjang village along NH 53. So far 88 cadres have been issued identity cards. However, validity of these identity cards issued by the Government has expired, Lala said.
The rest camp being constructed inside the designated camp may also be used by people coming for pilgrimage to Koubru hill top.
Plans are also afoot to employ horses for elder persons wishing to offer prayer at Koubru hill-top.
For this service, the KNF would collect certain fees as its fund, Lala said.

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