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Thursday, 30 June 2011

From Today's Papers - 30 Jun 2011






US pull-out from Afghanistan not good for India: Manmohan
By Raj Chengappa  New Delhi, June 29 In his interaction with editors, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dealt at length on relations with India’s neighbours and the international scene and seemed well briefed.He expressed concern about what he termed as a very uncertain neighbourhood and a very uncertain international economic environment. “India would have to swim through all this adversity and keep our heads high if we have to come through,” he said.  Speaking cautiously on Pakistan, he said he would pay his first visit to Islamabad only when he felt there was sufficient progress in talks. He felt that Pakistan had still not done enough to contain terror but believed that “India should continue to talk and engage with Pakistan to solve outstanding issues”.  On Afghanistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh felt that the time-bound pull-out of American troops announced by President Barack Obama recently was not good for India. He said, “It does hurt us. It could hurt us. No one knows what is going to happen in Afghanistan.”  About engaging with the Taliban, whether good or bad, he said: “I told the Afghan Parliament that the reconciliation should be Afghan-led. I think Hamid Karzai and other politicians can work on that. You cannot carry the good-bad Taliban distinction much too far.”  On Sri Lanka, while welcoming the defeat of the LTTE, he reiterated that the Sri Lankan government should find an equitable and just solution to the Tamil problem. “The Tamil problem does not disappear with the defeat of the LTTE. The Tamil population has legitimate grievances. They feel they are reduced to second-class citizens. And our emphasis has been to persuade the Sri Lankan government that we must move towards a new system of institutional reforms, where the Tamil people will have a feeling that they are equal citizens of Sri Lanka, and they can lead a life of dignity and self-respect,” Manmohan Singh said.  The PM had good words for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s understanding of the Sri Lankan issue and believed that her government would act in moderation while making statements.  On Bangladesh, he expressed his happiness about the progress in relations, stating: “The Bangladesh Government has gone out of its way to help us in apprehending anti-India insurgent groups that were operating from Bangladesh for long. And that is why we have been generous in dealing with Bangladesh. We are not a rich country, but we offered it a line of credit of $1billion when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came here. We are now looking at ways and means of some further unilateral concessions. We are also looking at ways and means of finding a practical and pragmatic solution to the sharing of Teesta waters. I plan to go there myself. The External Affairs Minister is planning to go later this week.”  But he had a word of caution about extremist forces in Bangladesh saying: “We must reckon that at least 25 per cent of the population of Bangladesh swears by the Jamiat-ul-Islami and they are very anti-Indian, and they are in the clutches, many times, of the ISI. So, the political landscape in Bangladesh can change at any time.”

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110630/main3.htm
ITBP stands tall in icy Ladakh peaks
Ajay Banerjee in Leh  With almost 49 years of experience in high-altitude security duties in the Himalayas facing the Chinese frontier, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is now carving a niche for itself in the Ladakh area of Jammu and Kashmir. Strategically, the force is shouldering border security responsibilities on the pattern of the Army, which is also deployed along these icy heights.  The ITBP, with four battalions (around 4,800 personnel), keeps a vigil on 27 border outposts in the inhospitable terrain in Ladakh and in areas that entail mountain climbing on daily basis, besides patrolling vast stretches on barren mountains.  After P Chidamabaram took over as the Union Home Minister in November 2008, his focus was to improve capabilities of paramilitary forces and the efforts are showing results now. As part of its modernisation plan, the force is now getting thermal imagers and long-range observation system, better-known as LORROS, besides night-vision devices and periscopes.  Ladakh sector DIG Jaspal Singh says, “We are happy with the modernisation plan and the items we are getting.” The force has INSAS rifles (same as the Army) as standard issue to the troops. Medium machine guns, sniper rifles, 55 mm and 81 mm mortars form other equipment. All men are trained to fight during the night.  A team of journalists recently got a chance to witness a demonstration in the dead of the night. As in real-time close quarter infantry battles, flares light up the sky to pinpoint mock “enemy locations” while troops stationed at specific locations drilled in bullets from MMGs and INSAS at the targets.  The high-altitude medical training school (HAMTS), Leh, established to keep the force fighting fit, is now two-year-old. This is used to train doctors and paramedics in diagnosis and management of high altitude-related ailments, says its in charge Dr Anjana Chaudhary.  The trainees are taught on dummies while jawans at each post are trained to use oxygen pressurised portable bags that can be used to ferry ailing colleagues down to a helipad for onwards transportation.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110630/main4.htm
Army may be left with just seven firing ranges in 3 yrs
Vijay Mohan/TNS  Chandigarh, June 29 While over 60 per cent of the Army’s field firing ranges (FFRs) remain non-operational for training purposes due to non-notification by state governments, the number of such ranges is forecast to dwindle down to just seven in the next three years.  According to official documents, there are 92 notified FFRs in the country, out of which notification for 57 ranges has expired. This figure was 54 two years ago. Non-availability of ranges has an adverse impact on training and operational preparedness as it restricts mechanised manoeuvres under simulated battle conditions as well as prevents live firing by tanks and artillery that is vital for battle inoculation of troops and testing equipment. This raised serious concerns in several quarters as it has a direct impact on national security.  The situation with the Air Force too, is far from happy. Its seven ranges for firing air-to-ground munitions are severely constrained due to restrictions imposed by civilian air traffic as well as mushrooming habitation and industry around them.  One of the important reasons attributable to the depleting number of FFRs is reported to be the clearances required to be obtained by state governments from the Ministry of Environment and Forests to permit use of forest land for non-forest activities in accordance with the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, and a Supreme Court judgment of 2002. At present, only four ranges are under active consideration of state governments for re-notification.  The latest report by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence has stated that while the Ministry of Defence has launched a process of consultations with all stakeholders in order to find a mutually acceptable solution to the problem, it is high time that the ministry initiated “expeditious and concrete steps” to resolve this issue in a time-bound manner.  Besides notified ranges, where land is made available by the state government for specific periods, the Army has 12 “acquired” ranges, where the Defence Ministry owns the land. A comprehensive three-year study undertaken by a special task force some time ago had recommended that to meet the Army’s “bottom-line requirement”, six ranges in various parts of the country be “acquired on priority”. It had also recommended a long-term notification of some FFRs for a minimum period of 25 years.  In fact, a recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had revealed that inadequate critical infrastructure and facilities, including firing ranges and simulators, had compromised the training standards of recruits. These deficiencies, CAG observed, resulted in poor standards of firing of troops and non-achievement of excellence in battle-efficiency tests and physical-proficiency tests.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110630/nation.htm#11
Shortage of funds hits CSD, Army puts sale of cars on hold
Vijay Mohan/TNS  Chandigarh, June 29 For the past few weeks, armed forces officers have been unable to purchase cars from Canteen Stores Department despite having deposited the requisite advance payment. The reason is that shortage of funds with the CSD has resulted in a “large” backlog of payments to dealers and vendors supplying goods for CSD outlets.  “Due to inadequate budget for the financial year 2010-11, a large amount of payments is outstanding and unless sufficient funds are made available early by the government in 2011-12, payments will be further held up or be delayed this year,” a letter sent recently to all Army commands by the Quartermaster General’s Branch at Army Headquarters states.  The letter adds that due to delayed or pending payments, dealers in turn refuse or delay delivery of consignments. As per the existing terms of trade, dealers are to be paid within seven days of delivery of goods. The ban on purchase of cars, which was initially applied for personnel below officer rank (PBOR), has now been extended to officers also.  An officer told The Tribune that he had booked a car through the CSD in February and he is getting calls from the dealer that the vehicle is available but he would have to pay the market rate if he wants delivery now. The cost difference between the market rate and CSD price is about Rs 50,000.  An officer associated with the CSD said payments received in advance from customers for purchase of cars and hi-end goods, referred to as AFD-1 items in CSD parlance, have to be deposited with the Consolidated Fund of India, For its expenses and for making payments to dealers separate funds are received by the CSD from the government under the head ‘supplies and material (S&M) budget allocation’. The amount received by the CSD as advance cannot be utilised for making payments to dealers. According to available information, payments towards AFD-1 items like cars, two-wheelers, air-conditioners, electronic items, washing machines and refrigerators now account for over 20 per cent of the S&M budget.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110630/nation.htm#13
Real issue in Afghanistan It’s time to win over the Taliban
Most experts on Afghanistan are convinced that former US President George Bush’s strategy of using the military to establish peace in that strife-torn country has proved to be a failure. The various Taliban factions, the real source of trouble in Afghanistan, remain as potent a force as they were ever. Even the country’s capital, Kabul, is not out of bounds for them.  Nine Taliban suicide bombers, believed to be men of the Haqqani faction, attacked Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel, popular with Westerners, on Wednesday in a daring manner. It is a different matter that they were soon killed by NATO forces. Yet 11 civilians and two policemen lost their lives. NATO’s intervention came because the authorities were not confident of the Afghan security forces successfully handling the situation.  The Taliban factions continue to control large parts of Afghanistan despite the US-led multinational forces remaining there in large numbers. The extremists have not been defeated militarily and there is no hope of their getting vanquished in this manner in the future. The sceptics should revise their opinion now when one of the most respected experts on Afghanistan, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Britain’s former Ambassador in Kabul, has expressed the view that it is not possible to achieve “the wider strategic goal of stabilising Afghanistan to the point where the Afghan authorities can secure and govern the country with only money and advise from outside”. Almost similar observations were made by senior military leaders of the US after President Barack Obama occupied the White House. Thus, the Obama strategy of withdrawal from Afghanistan is based on sound logic: Why waste your resources when the goal is not achievable militarily?  The best way out of the Afghan imbroglio is to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. This is what is being done in the case of what are described as the “good Taliban”. Keeping in view the emerging reality, India will have to review its strategy so that the enormous investments it has made in various sectors in Afghanistan do not go waste. Most Taliban factions are anti-India, but those who may join the government in Kabul as part of a future arrangement may change their thinking. They are basically power-hungry and may not behave the way they did in the late nineties when they ruled Afghanistan.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110630/edit.htm#1
NATO helicopter ends hotel siege, 21 dead
Kabul:  Heavily armed Taliban militants stormed a top Kabul hotel, sparking a ferocious battle involving Afghan commandos and a NATO helicopter gunship that left at least 21 dead, including the nine attackers.  Officials said all of the gunmen were killed during the night-time raid on the hilltop Intercontinental Hotel, frequented by Westerners and Afghan officials, part of which was left in flames as tracer bullets lit up the sky.  The state-owned 1960s hotel, which is not part of the global InterContinental chain, was hosting delegates attending an Afghan security conference and a large wedding party when the insurgents struck.  The interior ministry said nine Afghan civilians - mostly hotel workers - and two police officers were killed in the brazen assault and another 18 people were wounded. It said a ninth dead Taliban militant had been identified.  The ministry and the government in Madrid said a Spanish man - reportedly a pilot working for a Turkish airline - was also killed at the hotel.  Interior ministry spokesman Seddiq Seddiqi said the slain hotel workers had been on the first floor and in the lobby at the time of the attack.  Among those staying at the hotel were provincial government officials who were in Kabul for a conference on the handover of power from foreign to Afghan security forces. The process starts next month.  Two New Zealand special forces troops who had been supporting the Afghan commandos received "moderate injuries", the country's defence force said.  The attackers steered clear of the normally heavily guarded road snaking up to the hotel, instead picking their way through the trees on the northern slope towards the building around 11:00 pm yesterday, police said.  Panicked guests were told to stay in their rooms as the attackers, thought to have suicide vests, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, roamed through the building for about four hours before the raid was quelled.  Major Tim James, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, said ISAF deployed one helicopter at the request of Afghan authorities.  "It flew over the hotel, circled it a few times. They were able to clearly identify a number of insurgents who were armed and wearing suicide vests and then they engaged the individuals with small-arms fire," James said.  "We've had reports that there were a number of explosions caused either by the insurgents detonating themselves or the engagement by the helicopter causing that (suicide vests) to explode," he said.  Witnesses identified the NATO aircraft as an Apache attack helicopter.  A member of staff named Ezatullah said he hid in a room on the fifth floor when the attack started.  "There was first gunfire, and then two blasts. It continued and got worse. The room I was hiding in filled with smoke," he said.  "I had to leave. As I got out I saw trails of blood, and then the police came and took me out of the building."  Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the militant Islamist group was behind the attack, which comes weeks before foreign forces are expected to start withdrawals from Afghanistan.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/nato-helicopter-ends-hotel-siege-21-dead-115619
India, Lanka hold first Army-to-Army staff talks
NEW DELHI: India and Sri Lanka began their first Army-to-Army staff talks on Wednesday to bolster bilateral military cooperation with joint exercises and training programmes.  The three-day talks, led by Sri Lankan military secretary Major-General HCP Goonetilleke and Indian Army's additional director general (international cooperation) Major-General I P Singh, will chalk out the programmes to be undertaken by the two armies over the next one year.  "Such interactions will result in a more robust and pragmatic defence cooperation," said an official. India over the last several years has trained thousands of Sri Lankan personnel at its military institutions ranging from Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte (Mizoram) to School of Artillery at Devlali (Maharashtra), apart from providing specialized naval courses in gunnery, navigation, communication and anti-submarine warfare.  The importance of the talks can be gauged from the fact that India has similar staff talks with only nine other countries, namely US, UK, Israel, France, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Singapore.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Lanka-hold-first-Army-to-Army-staff-talks/articleshow/9044773.cms
China sets up ''Online Blue Army''
Chinese military has set up ''Online Blue Army'', a dedicated web network aimed to beef up internet security of its defence installations from cyber attacks.  The "Online Blue Army" is based on the People's Liberation Army, (PLA) needs and enforcing the ability of Internet security protection is an important issue in its military training programs, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said.  Geng's comments came in response to questions if the "Online Blue Army" is China's Internet squad aimed at carrying out attacks on other countries' Internet systems, state run Peoples Daily reported. Geng said his country will not carry out cyber wars.  The PLA Daily had reported PLA's Guangzhou command had invested tens of millions of yuan in building the specialized Internet squad.  Geng said Internet security has become an international concern which affects not only the society but the military sector, adding that China, armed with comparatively lax online security protection is among the victims of Internet attacks.  The Daily said internationally, online military units have long been established. The United States destroyed Iraq's air defence system using PC viruses during the Gulf War in 1991. Thereafter, the online army of the United States also played major roles in the wars in Kosovo and Iraq.  In addition to the United States, UK, Russia, Japan and India have established their online military units, Peoples Daily report said.  Li Li, a military expert at the National Defence University, said that compared with online military units of Western countries, China's "Online Blue Army" is currently at its fledging period, and is more like an online manoeuvre mode than an organic, large-scale online army.  Zhang Shaozhong, a military expert and a professor from the PLA National Defence University, pointed out that though China's dependence on the Internet is increasing, the root servers are not based in China.  In addition, various types of Internet hardware in China are made in the United States, including many types of software.  In this sense, China is only a computer "user," and China's Internet security is very fragile, he said.  "Just like the army and air forces, the 'online blue army' is a historical necessity. The reason is very simple.  "We must adapt to the new types of warfare in the information era. The 'online blue army' is of great strategic significance to China's economic development and social stability," Teng Jianqun, a research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, said.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/172169/china-sets-up-online-blue.html
Upgradation of T-72 tanks begins in Jaisalmer
JAISALMER: The Army with the help of a team of Russian scientists are performing summer trials for the modified version of Russian tank T-72 in Jaisalmer's Lathi Field Firing Range. The summer trials will continue for one week. By the end of 12th Five Year plan, some armoured regiments will replace the T-72 with T-90 tanks. The rest of armoured regiments having T-72 tanks will undergo major modification such as introduction of an upgraded 1000 BHP engine and thermal imaging fire control system, said a defence laboratory official based at Jodhpur.  The Army recently commenced a project to upgrade its T-72M1 Main Battle Tanks. Over the past two decades, the T-72M1 has provided yeoman service to the Army. It is well liked by the Army for its ruggedness, low silhouette and weight (41.5 tons) as well as firepower. The T-72M1 is the backbone of the Indian armoured fleet with over 1700 tanks believed to be in service. Licence production of the tank was undertaken at the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi, Tamil Nadu. To keep the tank fleet viable, an upgrade plan was drawn up by the Army. But during the early 1990s, the economy went through a tumultuous phase and the resulting fiscal problems forced these plans into abeyance.  Now the economy is on an upswing and the Army has hence been allocated funds to pursue this critical modernization. The tank upgrade will proceed in stages. The upgradation has begun by bringing 250 tanks to the DRDO's (Defence Research & Development Organisation) 'Combat Improved' Ajeya standard. (The T-72M1 has been renamed 'Ajeya' in India).  Defence spokesman Col S D Goswami said: "At present the main stay in terms of the number of India's armoured regiments is the T-72 tanks followed by T-55 tanks. The T-90 and Arjun provide the cutting edge. However, by the end of the 11th plan, all T-55 tanks will be replaced by T-90 tanks.  The original Russian engine in T-72 tanks had performed well in all climatic conditions.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Upgradation-of-T-72-tanks-begins-in-Jaisalmer/articleshow/9045273.cms
Militarily, China far ahead than India: Manmohan Singh 
June 29 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmhohan Singh Wednesday said China was ‘far ahead’ in its military strength but India was catching up with its limited resources.  ‘The Chinese are far ahead of us. They are building a blue water navy also. Aircraft carriers – they are acquiring,’ Manmohan Singh in an interaction with a group of editors here.  He was asked about India’s defence preparedness in the light of Chinese capabilities to which he replied the nation was modernising its armed forces.  ‘We have started the process. We are looking at the modernization of our armed forces, including the navy and the air force. For the first time in many many years, we have added two divisions to our army,’ he said.  ‘So within the limits of our resources, – we are doing – much advanced air fields in the border areas. We are trying to strengthen the border roads. Also to see, that states on our border – our villagers have access to electricity using solar power. The effort is on,’ said the prime minister.  He admitted that the defence expenditure as a percentage of the GDP has been falling from year to year.  ‘That is true. But quite frankly we have not restricted defence spending. No conscious decision has been taken to any fixed percentage. We are as a nation, prepared to live with a defence expenditure equal to three percent of our GDP.  ‘If the armed forces have a plan to raise their expenditure to that ceiling, the system will be able to tolerate it.’

http://www.inewsone.com/2011/06/29/militarily-china-far-ahead-than-india-manmohan-singh/59725
Need for debate on CDS, says IAF chief
A detailed debate should take place on the need for a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the best model suited to Indian conditions should be adopted, IAF chief P V Naik said here on Tuesday.  Addressing a press conference during his visit at the Central Air Command (Bamrauli) here, Naik questioned the relevance of the CDS in the current form. He said an improperly created institution would “create more obstruction than solve a problem”.  “We need to have a detailed debate on the issue so that we are able to work out a solution that is best suited to our interests. Merely creating a CDS is not going to solve all the problems,” said Naik. “There is a wrong impression that the Air Force does not want the CDS. But will it work in the current form? Do we need such an institution in the first place? I believe there is tremendous synergy between the Forces and it has been proved whenever we have been in action — be it 1947, 1965, 1971 or Kargil. There is no point in having a three-star, four-star or five-star chief of the IDS (Integrated Defence Staff), an existing organisation, appointed as the CDS. Several countries have differing models of the CDS. The point is we need a model that suits us the best,” said Naik.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Need-for-debate-on-CDS--says-IAF-chief/810166/
No Urgent Need for a Chief of Defence Staff : IAF Chief
IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik feels there is no "urgency" for the country to have a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as there has been an "excellent synergy" between various wings of the armed forces.  Amid a debate whether a new post of CDS should be created in a bid to create more integration in the armed forces, Naik today said it is not going to be "indispensable" for the country and that there is no necessity for this at least for the next five to ten years.  "Though I am not opposed to the institution of a Chief of Defence Staff, I have doubts about the urgency for having such an institution in India. We need not emulate other countries as our requirements are different", Naik told reporters at Central Air Command headquarters on the outskirts of the city.  He was asked to comment on his recent remarks that there would be no need for a Chief of Defence Staff in the near future.  "We have fought several battles in the last five decades and there has been excellent synergy between the various wings of the armed forces. We are also not involved in military expeditions in other countries like the US is in Afghanistan. I don't think a CDS is going to become indispensable for India, at least not in the next 5-10 years", he said.  The IAF chief asserted that the Air Force was "alive to changing threat scenario" that has emerged in the wake of rapid changes in "regional and global geopolitcal dynamics" and that the Air Force is likely to see a rise in the number of squadrons across the country following a number of acquisitions in the pipeline in the next couple of decades.

http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?726191
Indian Light Combat Helicopter TD-2 successfully tested by HAL
Another major milestone was by achieved by India’s state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). According to our sources the HAL’s flagship helicopter development program Light Combat Helicopter’s (LCH) second prototype TD-2 (Technology Demonstrator) achieved its first flight at 1500hrs IST. This a major boost for the program as this prototype is expected to be a weaponized version.  The nature of this test flight is not yet clear but it is believed that the helicopter made low level hover similar to first test flight of LCH TD-1. The TD-2 also has lots of Indian Army specific inputs like the revolutionary digital camouflage. Also the TD-2 is 100kgs lighter than the TD-1. TD-2 is also equipped with a fully functional target acquisition and pilots vision pod a feature which was not seen in TD-1.  Plan to develop an attack helicopter was finalized in October 2006 after the design concept developed by HAL was approved by the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. Need for a modern attack helicopter platform was felt by the Indian military during late 90s when its attack helicopter fleet comprising of some 30 Russian Mi-24s and Mi-35s proved to be useless at high altitude and lacked sophistication needed by complex modern wars. It was decided to develop an attack helicopter which could fulfill the unique and different needs of the Army and the Air force.  LCH was designed out of HAL’s highly successful multi-role utility helicopter “Dhruv”. Dhruv first entered service in 2002 and since have carried out its duties in a very successful manner. Dhruv is also being exported to many countries. Developing LCH from Dhruv saved HAL preciously needed time. So far the IAF has placed an order of 65 LCH’s and the Army has placed an order of 114. According to estimates the LCH should receive its Final operational clearance by 2013/2014 after which it will enter service.  The LCH incorporates stealth features, ability to perform night operations and crash landing gear for high survivability. The LCH will have a narrow fuselage, with two crew stations. The LCH is being designed to fit into an anti-infantry and anti-armour role and will be able to operate at high altitudes (16,300 feet). HAL will supply the Indian Air Force with 65 and Indian army with 114 gunships. The helicopter is powered by the HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshaft engine. The helicopter will be equipped with helmet-mounted targeting systems, electronic warfare systems and advanced weapons systems.  The LCH is to have a glass cockpit with multifunction displays, a target acquisition and designation system with FLIR, Laser rangefinder and laser designator. Weapons will be aimed with a helmet mounted sight and there will be an electronic warfare suite with radar warning receiver, laser warning receiver and a missile approach warning system.  Complete details are still sketchy but we working on getting them. The news of first test flight of TD-1 was made public first on 2nd April 2010 in
http://www.defenceaviation.com/2010/04/indias-light-combat-helicopter.html by Pratik Sawerdekar Stay tuned for more information.

http://www.defenceaviation.com/2011/06/indian-light-combat-helicopter-td-2-successfully-tested-by-hal.html
Indian cold start nuked by Pakistan?
IN THE beginning of May, Just about the time when Indian Army’s major war game in Thar Desert, testing and refining its new concept of war against Pakistan ‘The Cold Start’, watched by top Indian political dignitaries was concluding, Pakistan announced that it has developed a short range tactical nuclear missile NASER basically to deal with this Indian Cold Start Concept.  Pakistan has developed two short range (60km) nuclear capable missiles Hataf-9 and NASER. They are easy to transport and are capable of launching small yield plutonium tipped nuclear warheads. These missiles are basically called tactical nuclear missiles. They are meant to be used in close ranges in actual battlefield against attacking enemy armoured columns and ground troops. Actually these have been supplied to Pakistan by China. In other words, China is also accepting the fact that it is part of this game of tactical nuclearisation of battle field.  Cold Start concept has been developed after the lessons learned during the mobilization of Indian Army in 2001 against Pakistan, following the Pakistan sponsored Jehadi attack on Indian Parliament. Indian Army took three weeks to fully get mobilized. When it was finally ready to get into Pakistan from its launching pads, the Indian political hierarchy chickened out.  For almost one year the entire Indian Army remained deployed on the launch pads and then was tamely called back. In the bargain all our top secret plans and launch pads were disclosed on a platter to Pakistan.  Learning from this fiasco, Indian Army since has come out with a new concept by the name Cold Start. This concept does not require large scale mobilization. Self contained fast moving Battle Groups of Brigade Strength based on tanks and armored personal carriers start from where they are so located in peace time and get into Pakistan for surgical strikes suitably supported by Indian Air Force. The entire operation from word go takes very little time.  At the height of the Cold War, when two nuclear superpowers America and Soviet Russia were breathing down each others neck. Russia had its hundreds of Armored Divisions ready to drive into Europe at an instant notice , even at that time nobody banked on tactical nuclear weapons to blunt Russian Armored thrust because it was thought that once started, the dynamics of these tactical nuclear strikes will give way to Strategic Nuclear strikes that nobody will be able to control . To blunt Indian Cold Start concept, Pakistan in its stupidity is ready to cross this nuclear threshold from the word go. It simply means that Pakistani Army wants to play with fire in the belief that they will be able to scare Indian political masters from ordering surgical strikes within Pakistan in the event of another Mumbai type attack.  If we abandon our Cold Start concept in view of this new development or give any impression to Pakistan that their missiles have made us rethink about our proactive policy of surgical strikes, then we should be ready to face many more Mumbai type of attacks. So what is the answer? If we have not faced another 26/11 after November 2008, the credit to a large extent also goes to our Cold Start concept and Pakistani belief that Indian public pressure will force Indian Government to react militarily.  India also needs to immediately develop tactical nuclear missiles with clear cut policy that will be used if Pakistan is foolish enough to use them in the battle field. India should also go for total mechanization of its battle groups to be used in cold start because only mechanized groups can survive this new threat on battle field. It is also necessary that Indian Army must start giving extensive nuclear warfare training to their battle field troops.  At strategic level India must go all out to make operational its nuclear powered Submarine Arihant at the earliest and produce them in numbers. Pakistan’s biggest strategic weakness is that in its entire length it is nowhere more than 350km broad. So even the short range Indian nuclear capable missile Prithvi can cover entire Pakistan. Apart from producing and ringing Pakistan with Prithvi and Agni 1 (700 km range) missiles India should at any time have three to four nuclear submarines hiding under water in Arabian Sea ready to launch their nuclear missiles at an instant notice.  Indian Nuclear submarines hiding deep under in Arabian sea will pose a existential threat to Pakistan. India should then tell Pakistan that if they use tactical nuclear missiles in battlefield against India’s Cold Start, India will not only use its tactical nuclear missiles but also its submarine-based Strategic Nuclear missiles which will wipe out Pakistan. It is important that India now must think of all options including military, to neutralize Pakistan. The growing China-Pakistan nexus is dangerous for India.


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