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Saturday, 3 July 2010

From Today's Papers - 03 Jul 2010





  Fighting limited wars A major challenge for the military
by Gen V.P. Malik (retd)  In January 2000, when I spoke about the concept of limited conventional wars under the nuclear threshold at an international seminar in New Delhi, there was considerable uproar in the media and the strategic community, particularly in Pakistan. My articulation was pronounced as highly provocative. What the Pakistani media did not state or realise was that the idea of a limited war came from their country. It was the Pakistan Army which had initiated Kargil war and surprised us. But its military leaders then had failed to think it through and thus created strategic imbalance for themselves at Kargil, and in future.  The limited conventional wars concept was prepared after going through the full conflict spectrum scenarios to find an answer to the Pakistani challenge below the nuclear threshold, other than launching a covert or a proxy war. I am happy to see that this concept and its realisation have been progressed and continuously refined since then.  There are two strategic conditions which can spark off and then escalate a military conflict between India and its neighbors. First, the border disputes where a serious skirmish can lead to a conventional military conflict, and second, intense proxy war that may lead to a conventional war. When a conventional war does break out in such conditions between two nuclear nations, it is expected to be fought under a nuclear overhang. Some people call that a sub-conventional war or a limited conventional war. The Chinese call it ‘local border wars’. Such a conflict could also spread out in time, in what could possibly be termed as a war in ‘slow motion’. It will have to be conducted within the framework of carefully calibrated political goals and military moves that permit adequate control over escalation and disengagement.  The limited wars concept is far removed from the classical ‘no holds barred’ attitude. It is typically characterised by severe limitations and constraints imposed by the political leadership on the employment of the military. It would imply limited political and military objectives, limited in duration, in geography, and in the actual use of force levels.  Important political and military objectives, the time available to the armed forces to execute their missions and achieve politico-military goals, would be crucial for their planning and conduct of operations. There would have to be complete understanding between the political and military leadership over this. We can also expect restricting political terms of reference, as were given during the Kargil war.  In a ‘reactive’ situation like the Kargil war, the war duration can be prolonged. However, the duration available will be much less if we decide to take the initiative.  There is also a linkage between deterrence and limited conventional war escalation. Capability to wage a successful conventional and nuclear war is a necessary deterrent. A war may well remain limited because of a credible deterrence or ‘escalation dominance’ (which means that one side has overwhelming military superiority at every level of violence). The other side will then be deterred from using conventional or nuclear war due to the ability of the first to wage a war with much greater chances of success. It means that more room is available for manoeuvre in diplomacy and in conflict. A limited conventional war does not mean limited capabilities but refers to their use.   In such a war scenario, politico-diplomatic factors will play an important role. Careful and calibrated orchestration of military operations, diplomacy, and domestic political environment is essential for its successful outcome. Continuous control of the escalatory ladder requires much closer political oversight and politico-civil- military interaction. It is, therefore, essential to keep the military leadership within the security and strategic decision-making loop and having a direct politico-military interface. During a conflict situation, all participants must remain in constant touch with the political leadership, as was done during the Kargil war.  Important challenges in the limited wars concept are: The political definition of the goals and its translation into military objectives would be difficult, sometimes uncertain and indirect. Yet, it is critical to the attainment of the political goals. The key military concepts pertaining to the desired end result such as victory, decision, and success, are fundamentally transformed to reflect a much heavier political emphasis and attributes.  The successful outcome of such a war hinges on the ability to react rapidly to an evolving crisis, which often erupts by surprise. This would be a major challenge for the military. For the military is expected to react quickly to the changing circumstances in order to localize/ freeze/ reverse the situation on the ground, and to arrest its deterioration, enhance deterrence, and diminish incentives for escalation.  Mobilising and sustaining domestic and international political support for such military operations in the present age of transparency and openness would depend on the ability of the military to operate in a manner that conforms to political legitimacy, i.e. minimum civilian and military casualties and collateral damage.  Militarily, the greatest challenge could be in the political reluctance to commit a pro-active engagement and insistence to retain the authority for approving not just key military moves, but also many operational decisions pertaining to deployment and employment of military assets.  Political requirements and military targeting would need heavy reliance on accurate intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance before and during the battles. Surgical strikes would be a common option. Airpower, precision guided weapons, standoff armaments, and information would be the weapons of choice. Employment of ground forces across the borders could be discouraged, or delayed, due to fear of casualties and difficulty in disengagement at will.  Information operations become important due to the growing transparency of the battlefield to the public. The political requirements of the military operations, in order to achieve and retain the moral high ground and deny that to the adversary, would need a comprehensive and sophisticated media, public affairs and information campaign. This would have to be fully integrated and synchronised with the planning and execution of the military operations.  Counter-intervention and defensive measures cannot be overlooked. Lucrative targets would have to be defended and denied through dispersal and other means, taking into account the symmetrical as well as asymmetrical capabilities of the adversary.  At the operational level, the military implications on the ground are effective and continuous surveillance, integrated capabilities, rapid concentration and launch, surprise, multiple choices/thrust lines, short, sharp intense actions, maximum use of Special Forces, force multipliers, and a pro-active deployment.  In a meeting of the National Security Advisory Board with the Prime Minister on the day Op Prakaram was called off, I had recommended ‘strategic relocation’ of ground forces and the need to prepare joint contingency plans which can be implemented at a short notice or during the course of mobilisation. The logic is that the sooner an intervening force can arrive to influence the course of a military event; the lesser is the chance of the conflict devolving into a firepower intensive, wasteful slugging match. Rapid mobilisation and contact out-paces enemy, and has the same asset as surprise. For a limited conventional war environment, therefore, it is necessary to carry out strategic relocation and tasking of combat formations, particularly those which take a long time to be moved and deployed. We need not wait for mobilisation of the entire theatre or border to be completed. This important aspect and its military application on the ground have led to what is now euphemistically called the ‘cold start’ doctrine.  In a post-Kargil war India Today Conclave, Ashley Tellis had stated “Limited war should be viewed not as a product of the proclivities of the state, but rather as a predicament resulting from a specific set of structural circumstances.” No one in their right senses would want to have a war. Least of all democracies like India, and people like me who have studied, participated, and had to conduct a war. But the armed forces of the nation must be prepared for all possible conflict contingencies.n








Fighting Red terror on empty stomach
CRPF troops fighting Naxals face lack of food, water Police personnel undergo training to combat the Naxal menace at a camp in Latehar, Jharkhand, on Friday Police personnel undergo training to combat the Naxal menace at a camp in Latehar, Jharkhand, on Friday. — PTI  New Delhi, July 2 The CRPF jawans fighting Naxals are faced with shortage of food and water while operating on the ground, according to a top official of the specialised anti-Naxal unit of the force.  In an article in the CRPF’s in-house magazine “CRPF Samachar”, Inspector General (Special Action Force) Ashutosh Shukla said the challenges being faced by the troops on the ground include “long distance walking, adverse terrain condition - high humidity, hot climate, lack of availability of basic food articles, lack of water, deep jungles, absence of roads or tracks”. Other challenges identified by him include Naxal sympathisers, threat to contractors, government servants and development funds being grabbed by the Maoists and difficulties in operating through inter-state borders.  The CRPF, which is the main paramilitary force fighting the Naxals, have received some serious setbacks in the recent past. On Tuesday, 27 CRPF personnel were killed in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh by the Naxals. On April 6, the CRPF lost 75 personnel in a Naxal attack.  “The iron ore mines and easy availability of explosives and detonators in plenty for industrial use in the area have also contributed in favour of the Naxal cadres who are able to carry out the IED blasts against security forces which has become a major threat and major contributor towards loss of valuable human lives of troops as well as innocent human lives,” the article said.  The SAF, erstwhile Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, was created by the Central Government on the pattern of Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh to deal with Naxal menace.  Shukla, a 1986 batch IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, said in the article in the special Dantewada issue of the magazine that “the environment has been created to conduct the anti-Naxal operations in full swing. During September, 2009, the troops of 201 Battalion SAF could successfully launch operations in the so-called liberated zone of Maoists. It is expected the achievements of SAF troops will further enhance once troops are fully settled and institutionalised system of sharing of intelligence is put in place,” he wrote. — PTI








Rodrigues’ ex-ADC under CBI lens
Pradeep Sharma Tribune News Service  Big Shot  Major Nirvikar Singh called the shots in the Chandigarh Administration during Rodrigues’ tenure. The assets case against him is set to open the Pandora’s box as many controversial mega projects, including the Film City, the Amusement Park and Medicity, were “conceived and started” under Rodrigues’ rule.  Chandigarh, July 2 Major Nirvikar Singh, the high-profile ex-ADC to former Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues, is under the CBI scanner for “amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.”  Nirvikar, who called the shots in the UT Administration during Rodrigues’ tenure, was reportedly booked by the CBI last month. The probe agency also raided his residences in Gurgaon and Delhi and seized some documents.  During preliminary investigations, the CBI is said to have stumbled upon documents showing the purchase of several properties in Gurgaon and Delhi by Nirvikar’s family besides deposits running into lakhs of rupees.  The case against Nirvikar is set to open a Pandora’s box as many controversial mega projects, including the Film City, the Amusement Park, the Prideasia Housing Project(IT Park) and Medicity, were “conceived and started” during Rodrigues’ tenure. It is being alleged that norms were thrown to winds to make these projects a reality.  While at least two of the mega projects --- the Film City and the Amusement Park--- are already under the CBI scanner, the Central Government has questioned the land acquisition for the mega projects, including the IT Park.  Given his proximity to Rodrigues, Nirvikar is alleged have influenced major decisions taken by former bureaucrats and the UT Administrator.  It was reportedly at Rodrigues’ instance that Nirvikar was given a two-year extension at the Punjab Raj Bhavan “against the Army rules which clearly state that the tenure of an ADC would strictly be for two years following which he would revert to his regiment.”  In January 2009, Nirvikar had allegedly “managed” another extension in his deputation from the Army for two years as the Deputy Director in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) at New Delhi --- being on Extra Regimental Employment (ERE) for almost six consecutive years, including four years at the Punjab Raj Bhavan.







Deploy Army in Naxalite areas, demands BJP
Express news service Posted online: Fri Jul 02 2010, 18:48 hrs Raipur : In a major shift in its stand, Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday demanded deployment of Army in the Maoist areas, including in violence prone areas of Chhattisgarh, saying that the party would mount pressure on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to take effective steps to contain growing menace of Naxalism.  " BJP central leadership is in favour of deployment of Army in Naxalite areas in order to bring an end to violence and wanton killings", Leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Sawaraj told newsmen here on her arrival here to attend the BJP's agitation to protest against rise in prices of petroleum products.  " UPA government is confused over the steps to be taken against Naxalites. We will raise this issue during the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament", she said adding that " If deployment of Army can check killings of security personnel and innocent civilians by the Naxalites, we have to opt for that solution".  Initially, the senior BJP sought to evade replies on the issue of deployment of Army in the Naxalite areas saying that Chief Minister Raman Singh would express his views but she later categorically stated that her party's leadership was in favour of deployment of Army in the Naxalite areas.  Chief Minister Raman Singh said the issue of deployment of army in the Naxalite areas had been discussed at few meetings with union Home Minister P Chidambaram. He said it was felt that the matter should be discussed with defence and security experts so as to work out a plan on how to go about in the event of Army being deployed in the Naxalite areas.








CRPF troops fighting Naxals face lack of food, water
Agencies Posted online: Fri Jul 02 2010, 16:00 hrs New Delhi : The CRPF jawans fighting the left-wing extremists face the challenges of lack of basic food items and water while operating on the ground, a top official of the specialised anti-Naxal unit of the force has said.  In an article in the CRPF's in-house magazine 'CRPF Samachar' Inspector General (Special Action Force) Ashutosh Shukla said the challenges being faced by the troops on the ground include "long distance walking, adverse terrain condition - high humidity, hot climate, lack of availability of basic food articles, lack of water, availability of mosquitoes, deep jungles, absence of roads or tracks."  Other challenges identified by him include Naxal sympathisers, threat to contractors, government servants and development funds being grabbed by the Maoists and difficulties in operating through inter-state borders.  The CRPF, which is the main paramilitary force fighting the Naxals, have received some serious setbacks in the recent past. On Tuesday, 27 CRPF personnel were killed in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh by the Naxals. On April six, the CRPF lost 75 personnel in a Naxal attack.  "The iron ore mines and easy availability of explosives and detonators in plenty for the industrial cause in the area have also contributed in favour of the Naxal cadres who are able to carry out the IED blasts against security forces which has become a major threat and major contributor towards loss of valuable human lives of troops as well as innocent human lives," the article said.  The SAF, erstwhile Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, was created by the central government in the pattern of Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh to deal with Naxal menace.  Shukla, a 1986 batch IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, said in the article in the special Dantewada issue of the magazine that "the environment has been created to conduct the anti-Naxal operations in full swing. During September 2009, the troops of 201 Battalion SAF could successfully launch operations in the so-called liberated zone of Maoists.  "It is expected the achievements of the SAF troops will further enhance once troops are fully settled and institutionalised system of sharing of intelligence is put in place," he wrote.









Netra to be inducted soon
TNN, Jul 3, 2010, 12.12am IST PUNE: The unmanned aerial vehicle, Netra, jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and a group of former Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) students, is expected to be inducted into the security services by the end of this year.  A demonstration of the UAV was held during the concluding ceremony of the five-day long digital image processing technology seminar organised by the Army Institute of Technology (AIT).  "The vehicle can be used for surveillance in different terrains, including jungles, plains, mountains and deserts," said Alok Mukherjee, a scientist at the Research and Development Engineers, DRDO, who is associated with the project. ". We have planned to make it available only to the government and not to private parties."  "Some tests on the vehicles have been carried out. The remaining tests will be carried out in six months. After that it is expected to get inducted into the security forces," Mukherjee said, adding, "Both the defence minister as well chief home secretary have shown interest in this vehicle."  According to Ashish Bhat, an IITian, the vehicle can cover a distance of up to 1.5 km from the point where the controlling system has been set up. It can capture images from nearly 200 metres from ground level. Real time transmission of images and videos to the control point is also possible. The vehicle is compatible with thermal imaging cameras for night-time use.  "The Netra can give live videos of the area it is surveying. It can also hover at one place; other vehicles keep travelling while surveying an area," said Amardeep Singh, another IITian. Singh said that vehicle tests during heavy rains are yet to be conducted. Efforts are also being taken to convert it into a backpack system, making it easier to carry for soldiers.









Data Darbar attacks latest but not last strike of RAW
— Unabated Indian sponsored attacks vindicate DM’s reportn  By Ambreen Nadeem Janjua  ISLAMABAD—The latest twin suicide attacks in the Holy Shrine of Pakistan’s cultural capital on Thursday yet again vindicated The Daily Mail’s report filed by Christina Palmer from New Delhi published on 18th April that had reported the Indian plans of inciting sectarian violence in Pakistan. The said plan was decided in the Indian Army’s Commanders meeting held in mid-April this year. The plan was devised for striking holy places of various sects in the major cities of the country including Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan as well as Chinese province of Xingjian. The attacks on Data Darbar are clearly aimed at spreading sectarian anarchy in the country, which could lead to mistrust and tension between the country’s two dominant sects. Before the Data Darbar attacks similar attacks were carried out by the RAW trained terrorists on the worship place of Ahmadis in Lahore. However, the malicious intentions of the Indian intelligence agency were not fulfilled as the whole nation reacted in unison and condemned that attacks irrespective sectarian affiliations. Christina Palmer had further reported that the 2-day special conference of the commanders of the joint Forces of India ended here yesterday with Commanders endorsing plans of creating sectarian clashes in Pakistan and ethnic clashes in Chinese province of Xingjian. Defence sources revealed that on the last day of the conference, the participants also okayed plan to send Indian troops to Afghanistan and not to initiate military action against Maoist insurgents. The sources said that a greave concern was expressed by the commanders over the recent attack in Dantewada by the Maoists insurgents on Indian soldiers in which around 75 soldiers were killed and it was decided that army will not send troops to fight the Nexal rebels and it should be made clear to the government that fighting internal matters was the duty of civilian law enforcing agencies while army was to be remained prepared to tackle China and Pakistan. The sources said that the Chief of country’s top spy agency RAW and the head of Indian Military Intelligence General Loomba also attend the 2nd day proceedings. The RAW Chief apprised the meeting that his agency had successfully launched a plan to create sectarian clashes across Pakistan and stated that started from Karachi, his agency was following a plan of organizing target killings of Pakistan different sectarian leaders with the help of Pakistan’s local banned sectarian organizations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi etc. He also briefed the participants that RAW had been successful in Karachi, Quetta and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and now it was targeting to launch sectarian operations in Lahore, Rawalpindi and a few other cities of Punjab and specially southern Punjab. He apprised the Participants that his agency had done enough to destabilize Pakistan so there was no need to worry for Indian Defence Forces with regard to threats of any aggression from Pakistan . MI Chief informed the participants regarding plans to counter China and Pakistan via Balochistan. He informed the participants that a team of Indian Army under the command of Brigadier Rana Singh had been dispatched to Kabul to lay down the basics of the plan. He told that brigadier Singh’s team will recruit and train Guerilla warriors from amongst Afghan nationals as well from amongst the former LTTE fighters and Balochistan’s absconding militants. He also apprised the participants about his organizations joint plans with RAW to tackle China via Afghanistan. Sources say that the participants highly appreciated the briefings of RAW chief and MI Chief and endorsed their on-going and future plans. The sources say that the participants also approved the seeking of security duties by Indian army during the upcoming Commonwealth Games at New Delhi. Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik briefed the participants about the up gradation of military infrastructure in the Northeast to tackle the Chinese threat. He also briefed the participants about India’s building strategic roads, deploying major frontline combat aircraft such as Su-30MKI and raising new Mountain Divisions as part of efforts to match the Chinese build up along itsboundary. He also threw light on prevailing security scenario in India controlled part o Jammu and Kashmir and infiltration from across the border into the stat. Besides Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma briefed the participants about the progress with regard to Gorshkove project and revealed to the participants that India’s Naval Intelligence had arrested a senior Navy officer Commodore Sukhjinder Singh for his alleged sexual relations with a Russian woman which caused a loss of billions of rupees to Indian Navy in form of hike in pricing of Gorshkove project.










DRDO designing advanced version of Arjun MBTs for Indian Army
 Last Updated:Jul 02, 2010  A file photo NEW DELHI (PTI): After receiving orders for 124 more Arjun main battle tanks, the DRDO has decided to supply an advanced version of the weapon system to meet the requirements of the Army.  “We will have the modifications (on Arjuns) that the Army is looking for,” Defence Research and Development Organisation chief V K Saraswat said here Thursday.  He was asked if the DRDO had any plans of delivering a more advanced version of Arjun to the Army as part of the next order. The DRDO chief was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark the golden jubilee of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS).  Saraswat said that the DRDO had already started working on the mark II version of the tank, which will incorporate a number of modifications that have been sought by the Army.  “We have to make certain modifications in the tank, which we call the Arjun mark II version. Development process on mark II is already in progress and our scientists and the Army are working together,” Saraswat said.  The DRDO chief said the decision by the Army to place orders for 124 more Arjuns will ensure that the assembly line of the tanks is “engaged”.  Army has till date placed orders for 248 Arjun tanks of which 124 have already been delivered to it. The order for additional 124 tanks was placed after the comparative trials in March and April 2010.  The comparative trials between the Arjun and the Russian T-90 were carried out to decide the future of the tank in the Army, during which the indigenous tanks reportedly performed satisfactorily.  The DRDO wants the Army to place orders for at least 500 Arjuns to recover its investments before starting work on the futuristic main battle tank for the service.








Army to induct 'offensive' corps along China border
TNN, Jul 2, 2010, 04.22am IST NEW DELHI: The Indian security establishment is considering the largest-ever upgrade of military capabilities along the China border as it tries to catch up with the militarily advanced neighbour.  Sources told TOI that the defence ministry has proposed the setting up of a Mountain Strike Corps and two Independent Brigades along the China border. The proposed corps would be India's fourth strike corps and the only one dedicated for offensive operations in mountainous terrain.  When contacted, a senior Army official looking after media affairs denied any such move. However, authoritative sources said the Cabinet Committee on Security is set to consider the proposal in the coming weeks. Once approved, the proposal would lead to a massive upgrade in India's military capabilities, and would be a huge step-up of Army presence along the border.  A senior official in the security establishment told TOI that the entire proposal was part of Army leadership's "vision" to catch up with China in military capabilities. The entire effort was "defensive in nature", he said.  Presently, Indian Army is engaged in raising two mountain divisions along the border with the giant neighbour. The proposed strike corps and two independent brigades would be separate from the two divisions being raised, he said.  The Army proposal, now under consideration at the highest levels of the government, envisages an expenditure of Rs 9,500 crore. The cost is primarily for new equipment such as ultra light howitzers and helicopters required for creating these highly mobile units. Units of the strike corps, to be based somewhere in the northeast, would be capable of operating like rapid reaction forces. The strike corps would have two divisions and other support troops, TOI has learnt.  The Army proposal includes raising of an independent brigade in Ladakh, and another brigade in Uttarakhand. Sources within the security establishment have for long been worried about India's military weaknesses before China's intimidating military modernisation. Coupled with a weak infrastructure, India's situation has been worrying to security experts.  After the defeat of 1962, India abandoned infrastructure development along border areas with China for decades.




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