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Friday, 9 April 2010

From Today's Papers - 09 Apr 2010

  Leadership key issue A national security strategy is required
 by Harsh V. Pant  The new Army Chief, General Vijay Kumar Singh, takes office at a time when the armed forces are desperately looking for a good leadership. The onus now is on him (and on the other two service chiefs) to give the Indian defence policy a new direction, a trajectory that does justice to India’s rising stature in the global inter-state hierarchy. Blaming the government for all the ills afflicting the defence seems to be becoming the default position within the ranks of the military, and taking this too far can be really dangerous for the liberal democratic ethos of this nation. Gen Vijay Kumar Singh takes up the challenge Gen Vijay Kumar Singh takes up the challenge  India’s armed forces need a fundamental restructuring that enables them to operate with utmost efficiency in the rapidly evolving domestic and global context. The armed forces can begin by putting their own house in order.  It is true that big issues remain beyond the influence of the armed forces as they have to work within the strategic framework set by the civilian leadership. The Indian economy will have to continue to grow at high rates of growth if the Indian defence needs are to be adequately catered to. High rates of economic growth over the last several years have given India the resources to undertake its military modernisation programme and redefine its defence priorities.  A country like India does not have the luxury to make a choice between guns and butter and high economic growth is the only solution that will allow it to take care of its defence and developmental needs simultaneously. India’s own version of “revolution in military affairs” will force it to spend much more on sophisticated cutting-edge defence technology and on trained manpower.  The other issue is of appropriate institutional frameworks that enable a nation to effectively leverage its capabilities — diplomatic, military and economic — in the service of its strategic interests. India lacks such institutions in the realm of foreign and defence policies. While the Prime Minister laments the paucity of long-term strategic thinking in India, his government has done nothing substantive to stimulate such thinking.  The National Security Council still does not work as it ideally should. The headquarters of the three services need to be effectively integrated with the Ministry of Defence and the post of Chief of Defence Staff is the need of the hour for single-point military advice to the government.  The fact that the successive governments have failed to produce a national security strategy is both a consequence of the institutional decay in the country as well as a cause of the inability of the armed forces to plan their force structures and acquisitions adequately to meet their future challenges.  Yet, the politico-bureaucratic establishment is not the only guilty party here as the armed forces also have a lot to answer for. Their top leadership has shied away from making tough choices about reducing manpower strength, adjusting the inter-service budgetary balance and restructuring the professional military education system.  Resources alone, however, will not make the armed forces the envy of its adversaries. It is the policy direction that is set by the military leadership and the quality of training imparted to its manpower that will make the difference.  The questions that need to be debated and answered include: Do we have a 21st century military in terms of doctrine and force structure? Have the doctrines and force structures evolved in line with the equipment that the nation’s resources are being spent on? Do India’s command and control processes reflect the changing strategic and operational requirements? Does the military have the capacity to initiate actions on very short notice and actually conduct military operations that result in something other than a stalemate, something that India might have wanted to do during Operation Parakrama in 2001-02 but could not? Have the armed forces got the balance between capital and labour right?  The armed forces will have to find a way to strike a balance between growing manpower shortage and the easing of budgetary constraints. The services have no option but to modernise their human resources policy — recruitment, retention, promotions, exit et al which will make a huge difference to the satisfaction levels of the rank and file.  The armed forces need to do some serious introspection if these issues are to be sorted out before it’s too late. It is disappointing to see the service headquarters continuing to resist greater integration and inter-services rivalry continuing to be as vicious as in the past. When the Army came up with the doctrine of Cold Start, it found no support for it in the other services. The other services may have had genuine concerns about the doctrine but they have made no attempt to reconcile their differences, underlining Indian operational weaknesses.  The armed forces face a choice: They can keep blaming the political-bureaucratic establishment and do nothing or they can initiate a process of internal reforms forthwith. India’s future, in many ways, will depend on the choice that they make.

US, Russia ink pact to cut N-arsenal 
Disarmament Pact n Former Cold War foes to reduce stock by 30 pc n Each will still be left with enough to destroy the other n Both say new sanctions may be necessary on Iran n Putin first to recognise interim Kyrgyz government n Obama seeks Russian backing for Iran sanctions  Prague, April 8 The United States and Russia signed a landmark strategic nuclear disarmament treaty on Thursday and said new sanctions may be necessary to put pressure on Iran to renounce its nuclear ambitions.  Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev signed the pact at a ceremony in the mediaeval Prague Castle after talks that covered nuclear security, Iran's atomic programme and an uprising in the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan, where both major powers have military bases.  The treaty will cut strategic nuclear arsenals deployed by the former Cold War foes by 30 per cent within seven years, but leave each with enough to destroy the other.  Obama said the agreement had “ended the drift” in relations between Moscow and Washington and sent a strong signal that the two powers that together possess 90 per cent of all atomic weapons were taking their disarmament obligations seriously.  “We are working together at the United Nations Security Council to pass strong sanctions on Iran and we will not tolerate actions that flout the NPT,” he said, referring to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. “My expectation is that we are going to be able to secure strong, tough sanctions on Iran this Spring,” he added.  Medvedev said he regretted Tehran had not reacted to constructive proposals on its nuclear programme and the Security Council might have to take further sanctions, but they should be “smart” and not bring disaster on the Iranian people.  “Today we had a very open, frank and straightforward discussion of what can be done and cannot be done,” the Russian President said, adding he gave Obama a list of Moscow’s limits.  Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov declined to detail the list but told reporters a total embargo on deliveries of refined oil products to Iran, for example, would be unacceptable  since it would cause a “huge shock for the whole society and the whole population”.  The situation in Kyrgyzstan, where opposition protesters forced out President Kurmanbek Bakiyev on Wednesday, thrust its way on to the agenda as both Washington and Moscow have military bases in the poor Central Asian state. The US base at Manas is vital for supplying NATO forces in Afghanistan.  Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin effectively recognised the interim Kyrgyz government formed by opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva on Thursday, speaking to her by telephone, his spokesman said. The State Department declined immediate comment on whether Washington would follow suit. — Reuters

War on Naxals: Govt has new strategy, divided views
NDTV Correspondent, Thursday April 8, 2010, New Delhi  The nation may be on the verge of a full scale war against the Naxals, but there are divided views on how far to go.  In order to protects the troops fighting the Naxals, and to stop attacks like the one two days ago, it's now clear that the Home Ministry wants to use aircraft, helicopter gunships and unmanned planes to cover for troops. To prevent large scale loss of life it plans to use more transport aircrafts for the mobility of troops against the Naxals. (Read: 76 security men killed by Naxals in Chhattisgarh)  Also, there are plans for more helicopters for troop insertion in remote areas where they are fighting Maoists and deployment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance, say sources.  But the Defence Ministry has a different view and don't want aircraft to be used to attack the Maoists. The key dispute seems to be over the use of airpower to provide cover to troops fighting in remote areas.  Sources say the Home Ministry wants another look at its old proposal, which asked for a mandate to use air power if needed - a demand turned down at the highest levels of government.  The Defence Ministry remains opposed about using air power; they will only give logistical support.  Sources also say that the jawans have second rate equipment when it comes to fighting Naxals. There were some tactical error in operations, and standard operating procedures were not followed due to which the Maoists could choose time and place of attack, they say.  While the Moaists used Light Machine Guns (LMGs), pressure and Molotov bombs, by contrast, the CRPF jawans were short of vital weapons and equipment and had no intelligence on Naxal presence.  Only 12 of the 82 jawans were armed with AK-47s, the sources say, adding that the company did not have mine-detecting equipment.  Also, there was just one mine protected vehicle when there should be at least three. (Read: Dantewada massacre - what went wrong)  The Home Ministry has, meanwhile, formed a panel to look into lapses that allowed a carnage of such proportion. A Director-General-level former police officer will look into lapses. (Read: Chidambaram announces deadline for Dantewada probe)  The government sources say there is a leadership problem in the paramilitary and that standard procedures need to be followed religiously. Home Minister P Chidambaram explained that India's capacity to produce anti-mine vehicles is very limited.  But despite the differences, both the Defence and the Home Ministry agree that there must be a step up against the Maoists and a ramp up in fores is expected very shortly.  PTI adds: Earlier on Thursday, Home Minister P Chidambaram acknowledged that "something went wrong" in the attack and announced the inquiry into the incident.   "We have taken a decision to institute an inquiry into what went wrong," Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters to a volley of questions on Tuesday's attack in the jungles of Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh.    Noting that there would be a time-frame for the inquiry, he said, "I maintain what I said yesterday that something went wrong. We have to find that out."    Chidambaram was briefing reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, but refused to divulge what was discussed there.  Asked whether the Maoist attack figured in the meeting of the Union Cabinet held earlier in the day, he merely said "no".  Chidambaram described as incorrect reports about pressure bombs being used in the attack and also that the state police did not know about the CRPF operation for area domination.  He said 76 security personnel, including a driver of a mine-protected vehicle and a head constable of the state police, were killed in the landmine blast. (Read: Survivor speaks)    Asked about the source of weapons used by the ultras, Chidambaram said the extremists had taken away all arms of the CRPF personnel after they were killed in the attack.  "They buy arms from across the border. There are arms bazars across the border. They bring them clandestinely into the country," he said, citing India's open and porous borders with Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh. (Read and watch: Molotov cocktails used in ambush, says top cop)    "Where do the Northeast insurgents get their arms from? Arms are looted from security forces, procured from across the border, country-made weapons are acquired".  To questions on the sources of funds, he said they loot banks and extort money from mining companies in the areas where they operate.  Asked about the use of airpower, Chidambaram refused to elaborate on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's comments that Government had not taken any decision to use airpower to quell extremist violence.  "My view is that if necessary, we can revisit it. We have to reflect on it," he said, adding "if there is a policy revision, you will be informed".  Asked whether the shortage of mine-protected vehicles (MPVs) would affect the anti-Naxal operations, the Minister said "that is a decision the operational commanders have to take. In some places, they may review (the operations), in others they may go ahead and intensify."    "We will provide paramilitary forces to the state governments to assist them to carry out anti-Naxal operations, regain control so that they can restore the developmental process. (Read and watch: Jawans fight Naxals in pathetic conditions)  "So, therefore, whether the operations will continue or intensify, these decisions have to be taken by the state government and the operational commanders," he said.    Chidambaram said a large number of MPVs have been ordered by the paramilitary forces, including 280 by the CRPF. This was due to the "extremely limited capacity" of the Indian public and private sectors to produce them.  He said an MPV was blown up in the Tuesday's landmine explosion by the Naxals as it was "designed to take a blast of 15-20 kg. But if you have a larger charge, then it will be damaged." The driver of this MPV was killed.

Indian Army Warns of Possible Cyber Attacks
By vivek raghuvanshi Published: 8 Apr 2010 13:59
NEW DELHI - The Indian Army has issue an alert to military establishments warning against possible large-scale cyber attacks aimed at government organizations or prominent corporations. It is not known when the directive was given, but sources said it was issued recently.  Indian Army organizations have been advised not to directly connect to the Internet, and the warning states that attacks may originate from any part of the world.
The directive was issued by the Computer Emergency Team of the Indian Army.  The directive coincides with media reports in which a group of Canadian and American cybersecurity researchers said in their report, "Shadows in the Cloud," that China-based online espionage gangs have accessed classified documents from several Indian defense and security establishments.  All major defense systems of the Indian military are digitized, including the air defense systems, which are connected across the country, and electronic warfare systems.  While the Indian military has digitized all its fighting assets, including arming the forward troops with digital systems, and set up network-centric warfare systems worth billions of dollars, the country is not prepared to protect these assets from cyberwarfare attacks, according to senior Indian Defence Ministry officials and defense analysts.

CRPF personnel died in Dantewada not trained by Army: VK Singh
Numerous flaws in operation lead by 62nd battalion of CRPF: Army Chief Numerous flaws in operation lead by 62nd battalion of CRPF: Army Chief  New Delhi: Pointing towards the deficiencies in the system which led to the killing of 76 secruity personnel in Dantewada, Army Chief V K Singh today said the battalion which had gone there was not trained by the Army.  Talking to the mediapersons on the sidelines of a funciton here, Gen Singh said the Army has so far trained nearly 40,000 police and CRPF personnel for counter insurgency operations ''but the CRPF men of the 62nd battalion who had gone to hunt for the Naxals on the fateful day were not trained by the army''.  ''Whatever happened there was because of internal shortcomings,'' Gen Singh said.  He said, ''Lack of training was a big discrepency which led to the mishap. We are suggesting some measures to the government in this regard and let see what happens.''  Gen Singh also informed that the Home Ministry had not asked any assistance from the Army so far. However, what assistance it needed, the Home Ministry and the Defence Ministry could decide.  Agreeing that the Naxal menace is a ''matter of concern'' the Army Chief said the political leadership will have to take a decision whether the Army deployment is needed or not.  Elaborating on the training given to the security personnel Gen Singh said, ''It is in the form of a 8 to 10 week of capsule where the focus is on tackling insurgency.''  ''We would like them to come as a homogenous unit where the entire battalion is trained,'' he added.  To a query Gen Singh said deploying Army for internal security situation has its implications and added that the polictical leadership have to decide whether the Army help is needed in the actual operation or not.  To another pointer on the India and Pakistan Army conducting excersises simultaneously, Gen Singh said there was nothing to worry about the excercise being undertaken by the Pakistan Army.  ''What they do is fine, let us do what we think is fine,'' he stated.

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