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Thursday, 15 April 2010

From Today's Papers - 15 Apr 2010

  Uncertainty over Obama policies Dark shadow on India-US relations
by G. Parthasarathy  American Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner thrilled corporate audiences in Mumbai by showering praise on the performance of India’s economy and referring to the growing interest of corporate America in the “prospects” for cooperation and investment in India. Earlier, in his State of the Union Address, President Obama had proclaimed: “These nations (India and Germany) are not playing for second place. They are placing more emphasis on maths and science. They are rebuilding their infrastructure”.  In the same speech, however, he reiterated his aversion to outsourcing to India, stating: “It is time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas.” Though the Indian corporate sector has not been too concerned about Mr Obama’s pronouncements, there are naturally queries regarding his mindset about India when President Obama proclaims: “Say no to Bangalore, say yes to Buffalo.”  Mr Geithner’s visit came just after the revelation that President Obama had issued a Presidential directive stating: “India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on US goals in the region”. It has also been reported that the Obama wish list includes a number of “do’s and don’ts” for India. We are told that because the Obama Administration requires Pakistan’s help for facilitating a speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan and getting a deal with the Taliban, India is absolutely forbidden from undertaking any effort to train the Afghan National Army. This is because General Kayani wants to train the Afghans, who in turn have little trust and even less affection for the Pakistan Army and the ISI.  India, it is asserted by the worthies in the Pentagon, should be “more transparent” and “cooperate more” about developments along its borders with Pakistan. We are also required to reduce the number of troops in Jammu and Kashmir to enable Pakistan to deploy more forces along its western borders.  New Delhi should realise that it is dealing with an American Administration which just does not know how to deal with the Pakistan Army that trains, arms and provides safe haven to the Haqqani network in North Waziristan and hosts the Mullah Omar-led “Quetta Shura”, which moves around freely, all across Pakistan. Rather than dealing with this issue by turning the squeeze on Pakistan and compelling it to end support for those killing American forces in Afghanistan, the whiz kids in the Pentagon appear to have decided that the easier way out would be to compel a government in New Delhi, which is seen to be “receptive” to American “persuasion”, to fall in line with everything General Kayani demands from India, even as he continues assisting the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Lashkar-e-Toiba against India.  “Kayani appeasement” seems to be the policy being advocated by Generals James Jones, David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal and Karl Eikenberry and Admiral Mike Mullen. And President Obama appears more than ready to follow the advice of his military brass.  Addressing his troops at the Bagram airbase, near Kabul, on March 30, President Obama proclaimed: “We are going to disrupt, dismantle, defeat and destroy Al-Qaida and its extremist allies and deny Al-Qaida safe haven. We are going to reverse the Taliban’s momentum. We are going to strengthen the capacity of the Afghan security forces and the government”. Strangely, President Obama’s reference of wanting to strengthen the Afghan Government came almost immediately after his National Security Adviser Gen James Jones had reportedly bad-mouthed President Karzai and his government for their alleged inefficiency, corruption, nepotism and incompetence in a briefing for American correspondents.  “Karzai bashing” appears to have become a favourite sport of American officials ranging from General Jones to Special Representative Richard Holbrooke, who show little regard for the fact that the Afghan President is a proud Durrani Pashtun and certainly has more legitimacy that many others the Americans have supported in the past. Turning on those who have allied themselves with the Americans while appeasing those who plot the killing of American soldiers seems to have become a favourite pastime for what appears to be a confused and badly divided American Administration.  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may have received soothing assurances on American policies when he met President Obama on April 11. New Delhi should realise that in its dealings with China and while handling the situation in the AfPak region, the Obama Administration appears quite prepared to disregard Indian sensitivities and interests either when it finds China useful on issues like Iran’s nuclear programme or Pakistan claims that it will facilitate the American exit strategy. Timothy Geithner may have flattered Indian egos in Mumbai, but his real business was to secure Chinese approval to revalue the yuan, when he went to China immediately after his visit to India. This was reminiscent of Henry Kissinger stopping by in Delhi in 1971 en route to Beijing via Pakistan.  It should also be evident that the White House will continue to play down the Pakistani support for terrorism and the supply of military hardware, including F-16 fighters, missiles and frigates, while endeavouring to marginalise India on emerging developments in Afghanistan. India is now quite appropriately widening its diplomatic options by active participation in forums like IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) and BRICS (Brazil, India, Russia and China). Our effort should be to get full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and work more closely with Russia, Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on developments in Afghanistan.  Despite these developments, India’s bilateral relationship with the US will remain its most important one for the foreseeable future. The potential for cooperation in areas ranging from agriculture and education to space and high technology transfers is immense. Moreover, the corporate sectors in the two countries have set the stage for rapidly expanding trade, business and investment cooperation. But in a climate of strategic uncertainty brought about by what can only be said to be strange handling of foreign and security policies by the Obama Administration, it would only be appropriate for our political parties and parliamentarians to carefully examine the provisions of the proposed Nuclear Liability Bill.  The Bill should be passed only after wide-ranging consultations and studies about the practices across the world even if such examination takes a year to complete. Similarly, while there are suggestions that defence supplies from the US should get preferential treatment, we need to look at the possibilities of increasingly linking defence purchases to the consideration and sensitivity that suppliers show for our security concerns. Moreover, close consultations with Russia, China and countries like Brazil and Turkey are needed in fashioning our response to American concerns on Iran’s nuclear programme.

  Jawans in jungle Mindless deployment will not help
by Uttam Sengupta  WE are sending the men to slaughter. If Maoists don’t get them, malaria will. There is no drinking water in the camp and the men are forced to venture out, at great risk, to fetch water from sources which are 4 km away. The mobile towers are too weak and the connections erratic. The roads are bad. There is no electricity. And the people are hostile. “ It is easy to sit in airconditioned rooms and criticise but why don’t the arm-chair critics come and spend a week here,” a jawan is quoted as saying.  The upshot of these reports in the media from Ground Zero, Dantewada in Chattisgarh, is that the men need to be better equipped. Their living conditions must improve so that they are in better health and a better state of mind to fight.  When CRPF battalions first arrive in these areas, they are first forced to set up a rudimentary system of supplies, ration, cooking, water, toilets etc. for themselves. They also fortify the camps and then they wait. Or they go out for ‘area domination’, which involves marching through poor villages with even poorer people, mostly the old and the emaciated as the younger lot would have fled to escape harassment.  The tragedy is that security forces cannot hold or dominate an area by a mere show of firearms or by marching through villages and undertaking LRPs ( Long Range Patrols). They achieve nothing by beating up the rare village youth they come across during the day and then by retreating into their fortified barracks at night.  Mosquitoes and reptiles do not discriminate between villagers, CRPF jawans and Maoists. All of them are equally vulnerable. Scarcity of water, absence of electricity, bad roads, absent doctors and no hospital –complaints voiced by the jawans in Chattisgarh—are again a sad commentary on governance. While CRPF jawans find such conditions unfair and unreasonable, their adversaries and the people , it must be noted, have lived with these handicaps for years.  Recovery of dry fruits from bunkers abandoned by Maoists indicates that some of them do survive in the forests on dry fruits. But most of the Maoists possibly survive on biscuits and water or on rice and salt offered to them by villagers. It is also safe to presume that the Maoists do not move around in armoured vehicles, buses and trucks. They have little or no option but to walk through the forests and hills.  The jawans’ living conditions are difficult no doubt. Maintaining a vigil in the night against an invisible and unpredictable enemy is both stressful and thankless. While the men can fire back and retaliate, they rarely know when they are going to be attacked next, where and from which direction and by whom. The suspense can be killing. The fittest of them can have a nervous breakdown if they are forced to live in the unfamiliar war zones for too long. Most of the urban youth will not last even a week.  The question is, what can the security forces do in these areas and under such grim conditions ? While the experts need to reflect on the question, one possible option is to attach a magistrate and a small police force to every CRPF battalion deployed in Maoist strongholds. Their brief should be to provide a security umbrella to development schemes and to ensure that Maoists do not disrupt development activities, that classes are held, hospitals function, roads get built and the villagers get their due from the public distribution system and the poverty alleviation programmes.  Policing the police can be another area where the para-military forces, assisted by the presence of the magistrate and the detachment of the police, can make their presence felt. The anger against the policemen often borders on hatred in these areas. So the policemen also need to be protected. But once villagers are encouraged to reach out to the magistrate attached to the central forces , in case they have grievances against the policemen and other government functionaries, it will go a long way to win back their confidence in the system.  ‘Hunting’ Maoists is always going to be a tough proposition. But that is why the government needs to re-establish its credibility first. Waging a war on corruption in government agencies and delivering justice to the people in the affected areas must be the first steps to win the war.  There is need for a multi-pronged strategy with its focus being on the people rather than the Maoists. Without a clarity of purpose, mindless deployment of more paramilitary forces will only ensure a lull before the storm.  Maoists have an edge  *Security forces are easily identified by their uniform, vehicles etc.  ( Maoists also have uniform but often take it off and merge with the people)  Security forces are confined to their barracks except when they go out on patrols  ( Maoists move more freely and in smaller or bigger groups)  Security forces are reluctant to operate at night in remote areas, forests etc.  ( Maoists have no such inhibition and they are more active at night)  Security forces are largely outsiders with little knowledge of local terrain, people, language etc.  ( Maoists are far better conversant with local conditions)  Security forces are forced to blindly trust information furnished by arrested Maoists  ( Maoists are known to have received expert advice from ex-servicemen and have access to more credible and accurate information)  Security forces cannot obviously use mines  ( Maoists have been using Improvised Explosive Devices, land-mines and pressure mines extensively)  Movement of security forces in Maoist strongholds is a sure give-away because they move in large numbers and use armoured personnel carriers, anti-landmine vehicles etc.  ( Maoists flit in and out of the forest, walk or use the bicycle or public buses and go largely undetected )  Police have acquired such a bad name in the countryside that men in uniform rarely enjoy the confidence of the local people.  ( While not all Maoists are Robin Hood, they enjoy greater rapport with the villagers)

DRDO developing laser-based bomb disposal kit 
New Delhi, April 14 DRDO is developing a laser-based system which can neutralise land mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from a distance of 250 metre without risking the lives of troops.  “We are in the process of developing the Laser Ordnance Disposal System (LORDS) which can be used for neutralising mines, IEDs and other forms of explosives, planted by terrorists, from a distance of up to 250 metre,” DRDO’s Laser Science and Technology Centre (LASTEC) director AK Maini said.  The system directs a high-energy invisible infrared beam on the target, which can be anything from land mines, IEDs or old bombs in the forces’ inventory, and burns the explosive material inside them and renders them useless, he added.  LASTEC, working on directed energy laser systems and technologies, has already developed a prototype of the system, which has been extensively tested on various types of explosives.  Once developed, the system could be used by Army and paramilitary personnel in insurgency-infested states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast and the naxal-affected areas, Maini said.  “Neutralisation of ordnance is a hazardous process that is prone to accidents and casualties. LORDS can help in safe disposal of ordnances.” Maini said while referring to the huge stockpiles of ammunition that had outlived their shelf lives.  LASTEC is also working on the concept of developing another high power laser system that can be used to set terrorists’ hideouts on fire from a safe distance of over 300 metre without exposing personnel to the firing from terrorists. Post 26/11, DRDO has increased its focus on urban warfare and has opened a Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) Division that would cater to weapons, equipment and life support systems for the paramilitary and police forces. — PTI

'New' Arjuns to fire anti-tank missiles for Indian Army 
New Delhi: The success of the indigenous Arjun main battle tank (MBT) in desert trials last month is generating additional army orders for a tank that is emerging as a notable research and development (R&D) success.  Meanwhile, the Arjun is becoming more capable; the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which designed the Arjun, says that all future Arjuns will incorporate major improvements, including the ability to fire missiles.  Business Standard had reported that the Arjun tank had conclusively outperformed the Russian T-90 -- the army's current frontline MBT -- in trials conducted in early March by the Bikaner-based 180 Armoured Brigade.  The army is still evaluating that trial report to decide how many additional Arjuns it should order, over and above the existing order of 124 tanks. But, the question before the army is no longer whether to order more Arjuns; rather, it is how many to order? Highly placed Ministry of Defence (MoD) sources confirm that the army is moving away from its staunch opposition to the Arjun.  The DRDO, meanwhile, is working overtime to sweeten the deal. S Sundaresh, the DRDO's Chief Controller for Armaments and Combat Engineering, has told Business Standard, that all Arjuns now ordered will fire anti-tank guided missiles through the tank's main gun; provide extra protection for the tank's crew through explosive reactive armour, or ERA; be fitted with thermal imaging panoramic sights that allow the Arjun's commander to scan his surroundings even by night; and incorporate at least seven other improvements over the current Arjuns.  "We had test-fired the Israeli LAHAT missile through the Arjun gun as far back as in 2005", pointed out Sundaresh. "It will take us about six months to integrate the LAHAT's designator into the Arjun's fire control system."  The addition of two tonnes of ERA will increase the weight of the Arjun to just over 60 tonnes, making it one of the world's heaviest tanks. But, the DRDO claims that its powerful 1,500-Horse Power engine easily handles the extra weight.  "The ERA will protect the Arjun's crews from enemy missiles. Initially we will fit the same Russian ERA that protects the T-90 and the T-72. But, we will also develop our own indigenous ERA."  An early order from the army would be crucial, says the DRDO, for continuity in the Arjun production line at the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) near Chennai. The current order of 124 Arjuns will occupy the production line until end-2011. For the next order of Arjuns to hit the production line then, the order would have to be placed now. That would allow 18 months for provisioning of components, such as armour sheets and sub-systems that are manufactured by ancillary suppliers. That period also caters for the purchase of foreign systems, eg the engine from MTU, Germany.  "Continuity is vital for quality control", explain officials from HVF Avadi. "We have instituted systems for quality control in the current order of Arjuns, which is why they performed so reliably during trials. These systems will wither away if the production line shuts down for lack of orders."  Since the Arjun's assembly takes 12-18 months, a fresh order of Arjuns will start being delivered 30-36 months after the order is placed. Thereafter, HVF will deliver 30 Arjuns per year if it operates with just one shift of workers; 50 tanks per year with two shifts.  Source: Business Standard

I’ll contribute, build it on defence land 
DNBAN23309 | 4/14/2010 | Author : Mahalakshmi G and Divyashree | WC :459  DNA Interview  It’s meant to be a war memorial, but the very proposal for its construction has sparked a war of sorts. The proposal to build a memorial within the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park is now a hotly contested issue, and citizens anxious to preserve the park and prevent the felling of large numbers of trees have gone to court. Aviation pioneer Captain GR Gopinath, who has also served in the Indian Army, is among those who oppose the construction of a building within the park. In conversation with Mahalakshmi G and Divyashree, Captain Gopinath explains why he thinks putting up a building within the park is not a great idea.   What is your objection to the construction of the memorial? It is not the building of the memorial that I object to, but the construction of the building within the park. It makes no sense to destroy a park to put up a building. The park is itself a monument. The Lalbagh, for instance, is considered a ‘sasyakashi’ (sacred place). I doubt even soldiers would want public spaces to be destroyed for constructing such memorials.  So what alternatives would you suggest? The building of memorials for soldiers should be done in consultation with defence authorities. There is a vast stretch of defence land in the city, stretching from MG Road to Old Airport Road. There are many acres in Chennahalli too that could be considered for building such a memorial. Construction of a war memorial in the park will give rise to problems later, relating to the ownership of land, the maintenance of the property, and security. What is more, such a move could set a bad precedent as various private committees may claim public land for putting up memorials.   Now that the BBMP council has been elected, will the construction of the memorial require the civic body’s approval? That is really not the matter in this case. The BBMP should not have approved this proposal in the first place.   What is the next course of action for you and others who oppose the project? I will meet chief minister BS Yeddyurappa to discuss the matter. I would also contribute to the construction of a memorial within lands belonging to the armed forces.  Is there a reason why this matter is especially close to your heart? I have served in the Indian Army, so this is a special concern for me. Besides, 6.5 acres of land will offer too little space for a war memorial. In other countries, vast spaces are dedicated for such purposes, in prime locations. So while the project might end up depriving the city of park space, it might also not be adequate to pay due respect to those who have made the supreme sacrifice for the nation.

A terrible tragedy occurred on April 6 when we lost 75 CRPF jawans, and one district police officer, in the Dantewada forests of Chattisgarh, in a horrendous ambush, possibly the worst single episode in independent India . The personnel were inducted as part of Operation Green Hunt, and were ambushed so thoroughly that despite attempts to fight back, were simply outnumbered and butchered in a most uneven encounter. The scale of the massacre is simply unprecedented, a complete company wiped out in a single stroke. The nation is shell-shocked.        This can mean only two things: either the CRPF personnel were raw recruits, untrained and badly led, or the Maoists have acquired standards to take on large bodies of security forces.  Both points are worrisome.           The scenario is horrific. A force of company strength walks into an ambush and gets massacred without a credible fight.  The one-sided encounter took place early morning and was soon over. One can only visualize the state of mind of the company falling back after being in operations for three days; tired, thoroughly demotivated heads hanging low. One often comes across kind of scenario in counter insurgency (CI) operations in the North East or J&K, but the leadership has to be alert to such situations and ensure that troops are cautioned, briefed, likely ambush sites visualized, searched ahead of the main body, and only then the troops allowed to proceed. The simple rule of thumb is: be most alert when pulling out of operations as that is when troops are most vulnerable and the enemy most aggressive, waiting for a chance to strike. In this case, it is a total failure of leadership at all levels, company to force commander and Ministry of Home Affairs that launched this operation with raw, untrained men.         In the discussions on TV and cocktail circuits, the poor training of troops is being held responsible for the massacre. But surely the question is, ‘who is responsible for this state of affairs?’ Why hasn’t action been initiated against the commanders who were supposed to train these troops before inducting them to undertake such operations? In India , para military forces (PMF) have been raised on the lines of police forces, manned, trained and officered by them, unlike other nations.        PMF are to man the border in peace time, fight insurgency, reinforce and provide support to local police forces in internal security (IS) situations such as riots and violent agitations, and be the second line of defence in war. PMF have been the basin of police to man them, not with the aim to provide higher professional leadership, but to maintain quota and promotion status for the IPS with the IAS.        But police officers are not leaders of fighting troops. They can at best be managers, and that too, of logistics, for the PMF.  Thus all leading is left to the lower ranks, at the SI, Inspector or maximum up to the Assistant and Deputy Commandant, who all belong to the PMF cadre. The IPS come in only at the level of IG or DG, and that too for a rest posting or awaiting posting to a prestigious post in their state. This divided leadership is the major cause of poor training and low morale, as nobody seems to be responsible.        There is also a flawed mindset in the country that PMF are only to supplement the police, and that any fighting with anyone armed with anything more than stones and slogans is to be done by the army. This has resulted in a situation where Army is called out to do the task of PMFs, PMFs perform the role of armed police in the states, and local police do only local thana duty without getting involved in the law and order situation. Sadly, the sacrifice of these 76 helpless men will soon be forgotten and nobody will be held responsible, no heads will roll for the omissions and commissions, as the system is structured to ensure that nobody is accountable for such a gigantic operational failure        India has a large PMF that if properly trained and led, would rarely need the army to be called out for internal security or counter insurgency operations. The army uses minimum force, armed with small arms only, same as the police, yet the results are poles apart. The reason is leadership! We need to officer our PMF with dedicated leadership belonging to the force that will be responsible and accountable. At presently it is a hybrid with PMF cadre at the lower ranks and IPS officers at the apex level. This creates resentment and rift between the two cadres, leaving the force leaderless.        The only way forward is total removal of IPS officers from the command of the PMF. The para military forces must raise their own cadre, with enough officers from the army seconded at all levels to strengthen leadership. The PMF character must change from police to military. Assam Rifles is an outstanding example of this type of force; the ‘Sentinels of the East’ have done a highly professional job of all tasks entrusted to them.        In fact the army counter insurgency operations in the North East rely immensely on the intelligence, professional competence and jungle warfare training provided by the Assam Rifles. This is also true of the Rashtriya Rifles in J&K, though based on a slightly different principle, as it is manned totally by the army. They form the grid, through which the army moves to weed out terrorists. Hence a distinct orientation of the PMF to military type of training and operational efficiency must take place immediately. Armed police battalions of states should retain a police character to undertake tasks of internal security, such as riots, and violent agitations in the form of bandhs and hartals. It is the building of empires that has created this anomaly in our vast structure of PMFs.         It began with the formation of the Border Security Force in the 1960s. Instead of being a force to support the army and ensure border security, it has become a chowkidar force on the border with typical police character. It should have been officered by the army, but promotions and other considerations made it a police domain, with the budget coming from the Ministry of Home Affairs cited as the main reason. Pakistan Rangers on the other side is a comparatively vibrant force, officered by the Pakistan Army. Fortunately this mistake was not repeated when the Coast Guard was raised, perhaps as there was no marine police at that time.        A major failure has been in the field of intelligence. How come the force had no idea that such a large Maoist force of nearly a thousand men, as reported, had infiltrated into the rear of the operation area and its line of communication totally dominated by them. An ambush is generally by a small force that has stealthily sneaked into the area and having inflicted some damage on an advancing or retreating force, pulls out fast to escape. But this was no simple ambush. It was a proper operation by the Maoists against a non-operational force. The result could not be otherwise. Ambushes can be deadly when properly laid and executed with surprise as the main element. Even highly trained troops will suffer casualties, but losing a whole company is unheard of. Worse, the Maoists seemed to understand the lethargic working of the force; the encounter lasted over two hours and no relief force arrived though the base camp was located just five km away.        A cry will now go up to induct the army into Naxal-infested areas. This is the typical reaction of a demoralized leadership at the national level that has no resolve to tackle the situation but to hand it over to the army to somehow to maintain the level of violence at an acceptable level, while the problem itself remains unsolved. But using the army for such tasks is to misuse it; this is not the role it is trained for.        There are two major pitfalls in this course: the army is taken away from its main role, perverting its very ethos to CI ops rather than the war scenario it exists for. Second, the army undertakes the role of PMF, thereby diluting their role and making them mere spectators and more ceremonial than functional. This has happened repeatedly in the North East and J&K, with the result that PMF has become a second rate force incapable of tackling anything but unarmed crowds. Overall, the nation is the loser.        This can prove fatal the day the army is required to defend the country against external aggression, as it would have been blunted in fighting insurgencies and doing internal security duties. Yet it is argued that if the nation breaks up due to these insurgencies and internal civil strife, of what use is the army? Pakistan is cited as an example, where the army remained away from any IS duties, honing its skills for a war against its eastern neighbour, and yet now undertakes operations in Swat and frontier tribal areas.        It is true that the army has a secondary role of internal security and cannot shy away from it, but this has inherent dangers. Pre-1962 the army was considered a non-productive financial burden and asked to undertake civil tasks like building houses and other non-professional duties at the expense of its training. When the emergency occurred, the army was found wanting. So a balance has to be maintained whereby the army is used only to bring a deteriorating situation under control in IS duties and then the PMF or civil police brought in.        But this mostly does not happen. The Army once engaged is not relieved and the task continues indefinitely. In the North East, the army was inducted in Nagaland in 1956, but despite bringing situation well under control many times, its deployment and role remains the same.        We must also understand the role of external adversial forces. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram hinted at mischief from outside by alluding to borders being porous and arms and equipment being smuggled in (we need not go into the details of who wanted and made the borders porous]. This has been true since independence. J&K was the first major aggression in 1947-48; then Nagaland was instigated and supported materially and morally by outside forces; with the violence gradually spreading to Manipur, Mizoram and Assam.         The scale of support kept fluctuating and the support agency changing, from China and East Pakistan, to Pakistan and China through Bangladesh, Myanmar and now Nepal. The hidden hand of external forces wants to destabilize India by keeping the Indian Army engaged perpetually in insurgency broils. Unfortunately, our political and military leadership falls easily into the trap. Blunt the ultimate weapon of defence and India lies prostrate. The thousand cuts that Bhutto and his successors have been talking of are first and foremost to the army; we have been obliging by exposing our army to those cuts.        The Maoist insurgency is aimed to get the army embroiled via wide collateral damage, hue and cry of genocide of tribals through human rights agencies, hurling falsehoods or half truths and maligning the security forces externally and worse, in the eyes of our own people. This is a major front opened against India where at no expense to the outside power, maximum gain is achieved by destroying the Indian Security Forces physically and morally.        Maoists are no friends of the tribals or down trodden. They have an externally manipulated agenda to fulfill. Maoist sympathizers seen in large numbers on electronic media screens are just waiting to demolish the government resolve to deal with this insurgency. No enemy can ask for a better policy from a slumbering and non-thinking government and the Indian intellectuals who swear in the name of democracy, but are not prepared to fight against those very enemies of Indian democracy.

Cold Start: Indian Threat to Pakistan & China
April 14th, 2010  Courtesy of Asiantribune  V.  In 2005 India announced a new military doctrine called Start Cold mainly targeting Pakistan as its potential enemy. In November 2009, Indian army chief made a statement that there is a possibility of a limited war between Pakistan and India in a nuclear overhang. In December 2009, Indian chief announced that India is ready to take on both Pakistan and China in a ‘two front war’ simultaneously. These statements spurred a quick reaction in Pakistani media and military establishment.  Indian statements  Indian army chief statement came in a closed door seminar in Shimla based military academy on five year review of its military doctrine and operational preparedness. Full details of the Indian chief speech are not known but what is released to media can be summarized as under;  1. India is in position to mobilize its forces so that they can move into enemy territory within 96 hours to execute its Cold Start military doctrine.  2. India is now ready to take on Pakistan and China both in a “two front war” in a nuclear over hang.  3. India is going to enhance its “strategic reach and out-of-area capabilities” to protect its interests from Malacca strait to Persian Gulf.  4. To achieve above mentioned goals India would attain “operational synergy” between the three services  5. Countering “both military and non-military facets of asymmetric and sub-conventional threats.”  Indian army chief’s statements met with prompt reply from Pakistani military top brass. “Proponents of conventional application of military forces, in a nuclear overhang, are charting an adventurous and dangerous path, the consequences of which could be both unintended and uncontrollable,” said General Kiyani, CoAS Pakistan army. The next day Chairman joint Chief of Staff General Tariq Majeed responded to two front war doctrine in these words, “Leave alone China, General Deepak Kapoor knows very well what the Indian Army cannot and the Pakistan Army can pull off militarily”. He said the Indian Army chief “could not be so outlandish in strategic postulations to fix India on a self-destruct mechanism”.  Although Pakistan army made it clear that it is alive to the threats faced by the nation and recent history has proved that despite its numerical advantage and bigger economy, India was not able to initiate a war against Pakistan. It is important to look at drivers behind these statements by Indian army chief and how come this time Indian military establishment is so confident about their preparedness to take not only Pakistan but also China in a future war whereas in a previous stand off just 8 years ago the same Indian army could not fire a single bullet?  First it would be prudent to seek why these statements by Indian army chief came at this point of the time.  Indian army chief’s statements came when there are lots of things taking place in Pakistan’s internal politics at a rapid pace.  There is a critical political turmoil in the country especially after the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s decision on controversial NRO case. Though no final judgment has been issued but it seems that a large number of government members and ministers would be disqualified as their legitimacy for an elected parliamentarian would nullified once the final decision is announced and these members and ministers would have to leave their seats and criminal cases against them would be reopen in the courts. The danger of disqualification is not limited to ministers but president of Pakistan is also endangered by this decision of SC. If the court decided that President Zardari must come to court to clear allegation of corruption against him this would create another political crisis in the country where law and order situation is already very fragile due to war on terror.  Law and order situation in Pakistan has turned worst in year 2009 due to suicide attacks throughout the country. At the beginning of 2010, situation in previously the calm Karachi city has also turned worrisome regarding law and order. The city witnessed worst kind of riots and arson in history during last three weeks.  Militarily Pakistan army is stretched from Khyber to Karachi, now on both Eastern and Western borders. Pakistan army currently is combating TTP in South Waziristan after taking back Malakand division. According to recent news, Pakistan army has sealed roads to Orakzai agency before launching a full fledge operation there as well.  Recently a group of US senators visited Pakistan and had meetings with top brass of Pakistan army during their visit. It was also indicated by some senators that Pakistan army soon would launch an operation in North Waziristan as well. This will stretch Pakistan army further along with Afghan border. Active part of ‘Operation Rah-i-Rast’ in Swat/Malakand is over though but still Pakistan army units are there as civilian forces, and are not ready to take control of the whole region. Army and the provincial government are building community police setup there, but it would take some time to get control.  Pakistan armed forces are undergoing a massive modernization program which is about to be completed not earlier than 2019. Modernization enhances skills of any force but it also includes a learning cover and time to absorb technology. Pakistan air force would go nearly a complete overhaul as almost entire fleet of PAF would be eventually replaced with new one till 2019.  On the other hand Indian forces are getting latest weapon system since long and are in better position and have a clear numerical strength against Pakistani forces. All above factors made current time more feasible for India to launch its preemptive strikes against Pakistan army and its infrastructure by executing Indian Cold Start doctrine.  Ultimate Indian Plan: Cold Start & 4th Generation warfare (4GWs)  Though Pakistani response at military level was well calculated and prompts along with a strong response from Pakistani foreign office, but still it would be prudent to study Indian military preparedness and the doctrine  The Indian army plan is not new, but Indian military establishment devised this plan to take on Pakistan and China in a war simultaneously some five years ago. A careful look at statement of Indian army chief makes it clear that Indians are eying establishing a strong military footprint in Indian Ocean from Malacca strait to Persian Gulf.  “This would enable us to protect our island territories; also give assistance to the littoral states in the Indian Ocean Region,” said Gen Kapoor.  Cold start doctrine is not about capturing Pakistani territory but inflicting as much damage as possible to enemy forces and infrastructure within matter of hours. It is more like a hit and run tactics giving no time to Pakistan to react.  Indian military adopted Cold start on April 28, 2004, after a 10 months long standoff (Operation Parakram) with Pakistan army along 2500 kilometer Indo-Pak border in 2002. In this stand off Indian army strike formation took almost a month to be mobilized. Contrary to this Cold Start emphasizes on quick deployment of forces and synergize operations of all three services towards destruction of Pakistan army defenses and units in short possible time. But is it all that easily possible? Does Indian military have that kind of inter service coordination to implement Cold Start in real war? This is the point where some Pakistani analysts believe that India still doesn’t have the capability to carry on its Cold Start doctrine against Pakistan. An objective analysis of this aspect is only possible after studying Indian strategic military planning against Pakistan during last five years can answer this important question.  To overcome inter services coordination a separate South-Western Army Command has been formed since 2005 which deals with Indian military deployment and operations along with Pakistani borders only. One of the major reason for raising new command was to fulfill the demands of integrated battle groups consisting Indian army and air force units and squadrons. India is working on its preparedness for surgical strikes with these battles group since 2005, now and the job of fine tuning these tactics is assigned to Army Training Command (ARTRAC) and the Army War College. From statement made by Lt. Gen. Labama it is evident that India is ready to go to war with Pakistan and China simultaneously.  Another reason for adopting Cold Start by India is to minimize the reaction time available for diplomatic solution of any potential crisis like one emerged after Mumbai attacks in November 2008. Indian government and forces were under pressure to carryout some surgical strikes on so called terrorist infrastructure on the Pakistani soil. Under Cold Start Indian military would make sure that any diplomatic solution comes after India gets all its objectives. A war between Pakistan and India would jeopardize the entire war on terror. But still India would need a pretext to execute its Cold Start doctrine and this is where 4th generation warfare comes into equation.  Use of 4th generation warfare against Pakistan is a more dangerous and disturbing angle of Indian designs which most defense analysts in Pakistan have overlooked. This paradigm of warfare revolves around asymmetrical warfare to get a moral victory with minimum nation state involvement. It is necessary to understand major difference between various generations of warfare and figuring out which one of these Pakistan is facing now. First generation revolved around conscription and firearms. Nepoleon wars can be categorized in this generation. Second generation involved nation-state armies, alignment of warfare resources and raw firepower. WWI can be categorized as 2nd generation warfare. Third generation warfare included armored warfare and maneuvering and best example of this generation of warfare was WWII which ended only after usage of nuclear weapons in Japan in 1945.  By the end of 20th century Russia invaded in Afghanistan and this was the start of a new generation of warfare. Though guerilla warfare is very old but in 1982 after direct involvement of CIA in this conflict, this guerilla warfare gave birth to fourth generation warfare (4GWs) that works on principle of lesser to no nation state involvement but rely on ad-hoc warriors and moral conflicts. Other imperatives of 4GWs include adaptation of technology to surprise the enemy and information warfare.  A careful look at what Pakistan army is combating in FATA makes it clear that Pakistan army is dealing with first phase of Indian design against Pakistan which deals with winning a moral war by adopting 4GWs.It cannot be a coincident that Pakistan army is facing an enemy who has; ad-hoc fighters, propaganda warfare capabilities in form of FM radios, very advanced weaponry and communication gear. This is indeed not a war waged just for revenge against Pakistan army to side US after 9/11. If it is then how come the poor tribesmen gathered all these assets within a short period of time and mastered the skills to use them against world’s 6th largest military machine i.e Pakistan army.  Pakistan army and security management have no doubts about Indian support to TTP, a banned terrorist organization committing horrific terrorism nationwide since its inception in 2005 (The same year when India adopted new military doctrine and raised a new military command along with Pakistani border). Pakistan army has seized not only Indian made weapons in Swat and FATA but also has eliminated number of Indian combatants. Proofs have already been given to civilian government to take up the matter at world forums but there is no sign of urgency in this regard in Islamabad which is not only strange but questionable as well.  Though Pakistan army has fought successfully with Indian 4GWs in Swat and FATA but due to lack of political will was unable to gain any higher moral ground in community of nations. On the other hand India already has built a case against Pakistan as a country being used as staging ground for terrorism against its neighbors.  Chinese Slant  Although China is also mentioned in the statement by Indian army chief as a potential enemy in the war along with Pakistan but it is no secret that India has always used foreign military aid against Pakistan. India has one clear advantage over China in current geopolitics in the world. There is an embargo on China for Western high tech military equipment after Tiananmen Square incident 1989. On the other hand India along with a healthy economy has no such restrictions imposed for military hardware despite worst human right conditions thanks to global hypocrisy and double standards of West and US. Still India lacks in many areas when it comes to military balance vis a vis China.  China sensed the importance of indigenization a long ago and started to develop its military production facilities in 1960s. Now Chinese military complexes not only supply advanced weapons to its own forces but also export large amount of these weapons to other countries including Pakistan. Not only this, but China helped Pakistan to build its own military industry after debacle of 1971.  With its well established economy and knowledge base China has crossed many milestones in military hardware production. Now apart from US and Russia China is the only country in the world to run a 5th generation military jet fighter project. Apart from its indigenization efforts sheer number of Chinese forces is another factor why India would never think about carrying out any military adventure against China. Apart from this military comparison China unlike Pakistan or India is a veto power in UN Security Council and can dissuade any move by India in UN against Pakistan or China.  The mentioning of China in Indian chief statement is a mere indication to West and US that now India is ready to take a role of regional power and both US and West can trust India as any ally against communist China. US is banking on India to compete with China in economics and military fields but friendship of Pakistan and China is a big hurdle for India in both these fields. India is eyeing permanent seat in UN since long now and the current statement can also be a signal to US and West to accept India as a big player in the region along with China.  All the military aid would be used against Pakistan in actual war that is evident from history as well when US helped India against China in 1962. Most of US weapons were used against Pakistan in 1965 war.  Cold Start and Possible Pakistani Response  As indicated in its response Pakistani military leadership has made it clear that any misadventure by India can result in unavoidable consequences. Indian doctrine is flawed at many places.  Firstly ,India would have to have a solid reason and pretext to launch any attack no matter low limited against Pakistan.  Secondly, Indians have no gauge of Pakistani military planning to counter Cold Start. It must be bear in mind that Pakistan military announced in July 2005 that it is fully aware of Indian Cold Start doctrine. Pakistan may deploy its unconventional arms much earlier than India has envisaged.  Thirdly, Due to Pakistani preparedness there is clear lack in synergy required in Indian forces to implement Cold Start successfully. Indian Navy would not be able to blockade Pakistani Navy in Karachi as now Pakistan Navy has two more naval bases in Omara and Gawadar. Likewise if Indian air force deploys its front line jet fighter and bombers on forward air bases (FABs) Pakistani cruise missile can come into equation much earlier.  Fourthly, a time line of 48 hours or 96 hours to put Pakistan in a military submission to India with help of armor corps and air support can be proved as dangerous as claims of capturing Lahore in one day proved in 1965. A prolonged combat on borders can put strategic Indian infrastructure in danger. Pakistan air force can launch attacks on dams built on Chenab and Jehlam rivers in Kashmir, Pakistan strategic force command would be in position to hit Indian economic centers like Silicon Valley in Banglore.  Fifthly, Indian military establishment failed to see how a handful of Kashmiri fighters made 700,000 Indian army troops permanently stationed in one valley since decades. Despite presence of this force, which is more than total regular army of Pakistan, Indian government has failed to curb freedom struggle in Kashmir and this circumstances any war between Pakistan and India would be last thing the Indian army would ever dream in Kashmir. Indian military would be in no position to control Kashmiris and fight Pakistan army at same time.  Sixthly, Indian military establishment is relying much more on President Zardari’s announcement that Pakistan will not use its nuclear weapon as first strike. In reality it is Pakistan army who will decide which weapon is to be used when and where.  Last but not the least India is relying on its ever increasing air power not only for Cold Start but to neutralize any Pakistani deployed missiles in a preemptive strikes. It seems that time for such an operation has almost gone for Indian air force. In 2010 PAF would be reshaped to take on the challenges of 21st century. PAF has already established parity in Air Born Early Warning capability after inducting SAAB Erieye AEW&C platform. In June 2010 Pakistan would start receiving state of the art F-16 Block52 fighters from US and PAF Air defense system is going to enhance its capabilities manifold by inducting MBDA’s Spada2000 medium range SAM system. Though Indian air force currently is enjoying numerical superiority but India can’t put all its war assets against Pakistan in a war keeping in view size of India.  Another problem which India is going to face during any execution of Cold Start is the gauge of nuclear threshold of Pakistan, a point where Pakistan would decide to go for unconventional warfare. This is where Army Chief Asfaq Perviz Kiyani hinted that consequences of any misadventure in a nuclear overhang can be suicidal for India.  Suggestions  Indian aggression in future would increase. Recent trends of buying military hardware by India are a clear indication to this fact. Pakistan armed forces don’t need to match Indian counterparts but rather require higher level of preparedness. It is not Cold Start that must alarmed security managers but it is 4th generation warfare by Indian intelligence and military establishment that must be a source of contention for Pakistan. Pakistani military and civilian government needs to take some steps in order to defeat Indian 4GWs tactics in FATA and to prevent India from deploying its forces ever again.  Pakistan must maintain a strategic ambiguity about first use of its nuclear weapons against any enemy including India. An early announcement would always put Pakistan on wrong footing as it will provide another opportunity to Indian and world media to talk about Pakistan’s obsession against India.  Pakistan army must complete all the counter insurgency operation as soon as possible and strike units must report back giving control to the civilian forces in areas which have been cleared of militants. The good news is Pakistan army has realized the importance of civilian forces. Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Kiyani vows to support NWFP police with equipment and training while speaking at police academy in Peshawar.  In any future force stand off Pakistan military must make sure that it has deployed enough strategic weapons that can not be compromised by a pre-emptive strike by Indian air force or other strikes.  Pakistan must build a strong case against India and her involvement in Pakistan particularly in supporting terrorism in Baluchistan and FATA. Pakistan army has given proofs to government and the ball is in democratic government’s court to take the case on international forums like UN where Pakistan easily can seek Chinese help in order to unearth Indian intentions against Pakistan and peace in the region.  In any future political crisis in the country, Pakistan army must keep itself isolated from political turmoil and remained focused on external threats as any involvement in politics would degrade Pakistan’s ability to respond to a prompt military challenge posed by India.  Government must ensure that Pakistan armed forces modernization program remain on track and government always has a reliable financing on short notice for an urgent need if armed forces raise a demand.  Pakistan must quit current defensive foreign policy adopted in Musharraf era. Pakistan must make it clear to world that any act of terrorism must not be linked to Pakistan without proper investigations. Recent student crisis in UK has exposed this weakness in foreign policy where government was failed to react in time when innocent Pakistani students were charged for planning a terrorist attack. Similar ineptness was evident on part of government in case of Samjootha Express incident, which was wrongly blamed on Pakistan but the government was failed to respond on international forum.  Media management of Pakistan armed forces and its operations inside country has always been weak. In Pakistan, unlike India, media is not always behind army. Despite the gains by Pakistan army in war on terror in time span of three to five months in Swat and South Waziristan there is still a perception that Pakistan army is unable to combat terrorism and some even go to an extent that Pakistan army might be supporting Taliban. These perceptions are culmination of a weak media policy by government and needs an urgent attention to change these misperceptions.

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