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Thursday, 1 March 2012

From Today's Papers - 01 Mar 2012






http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120301/edit.htm#2
Antony’s visit to Arunachal
Chinese have no business to protest

IT is condemnable that China continues to raise objections over the visits of Indian dignitaries to Arunachal Pradesh. Defence Minister A.K. Antony has done well to forthrightly describe China’s stand as “most unfortunate.” Visits of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil had in the past evoked similar responses and India cannot but be concerned over Chinese imputation that India is “complicating” the border dispute with such visits. Arunachal is an integral part of India and it is preposterous for Beijing to describe it as “southern Tibet.” Mr Antony had recently gone to the State to celebrate a quarter century of its statehood. That was as it should have been. The two sides had signed an agreement in 1993 on maintaining peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control, as the frontier is termed, an agreement on confidence building measures in the military field in 1996, a protocol on the modalities for implementing these in 2005 and a memorandum of understanding in 2006. In such circumstances, it is wrong for China to take a threatening position when the channels of communications are wide open between them. Significantly, the latest Chinese statement has come on the eve of the Chinese Foreign Minister’s visit to India for bilateral talks.

If anything, India has reason to be aggrieved with China over the manner in which it has been positioning its troops in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. That it has taken de facto control of the region is a measure of how the Chinese are making insidious attempts to establish bases at our doorstep in collusion with Pakistan. Not only must India be on its guard, it needs to make it clear to China that India views this as an unfriendly act.

It is apt that of late India is engaged in strengthening its defences and infrastructure in Arunachal bordering China. That process must continue on a solid footing so that the Chinese are deterred from indulging in any military misadventure.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120301/nation.htm#4
MiG 21s to be phased out from 2014: Antony

New Delhi, February 29
MiG 21s, which have often been involved in frequent crashes, will start getting phased out from 2014 setting the stage for giving the IAF a “new look” with the induction of modern next-generation aircraft.

“MiG 21s, which constitute around 40 per cent of the IAF fleet, will start getting phased out from 2014. With the induction of modern next generation aircraft such as the FGFA and MMRCA, the IAF will be a new look force,” Defence Minister AK Antony said.

The IAF is on course to induct Su-30MKI, Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft and 126 new medium-multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA).

Antony was addressing a meeting of Parliament’s Consultative Committee of the Defence Ministry on the state-owned aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

The IAF has already begun the process of phasing out the older variants of the MiG 21s and it is expecting to complete the process by the end of 2017. — PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120301/nation.htm#5
After Maj-Gen, Lt Col faces court martial
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, February 29
The Army has ordered the convening of a general court martial (GCM) to try a second officer - a lieutenant colonel - for alleged irregularities in the purchase of equipment meant for troops proceeding overseas on a United Nations peacekeeping mission. The GCM is expected to assemble in mid-March.

Sources said that the officer faces several charges under provisions of the Army Act. These include concealing information for the “last purchase price” of similar equipment, which resulted in purchase of equipment at highly inflated prices.

The price of diesel generators, earlier purchased for Rs 10 lakh apiece, was quoted at Rs 14 lakh each, thereby causing a loss of about Rs 32 lakh.

There were also irregularities in documentation to buy power cables, leading to the Army getting aluminium cables instead of copper ones, causing an additional loss of about Rs 25 lakh. Not maintaining proper records and failing to report irregularities are other charges against him.

The officer, who was then posted as Deputy Director, Ordnance Services, at Army headquarters has, during pre-trial procedures, maintained that he was not guilty of irregularities and as he was not an expert on certain matters, he had proceeded according to the directions of senior officers, sources said.

A senior officer, Maj-Gen Anil Sarup, former Additional Director, General Ordnance Services, is also being tried by a GCM in the same case. The GCM had assembled at Jalandhar earlier this month, but has now been adjourned till March 14. He is facing five charges for intent to defraud and acts prejudicial to good order and military discipline.

He had moved the Delhi High Court seeking a stay on his trial and the case is scheduled to come up for hearing on March 13. During the last hearing on February 9, the high court had directed the Army to file an affidavit on its stance and contentions in the matter.

A court of inquiry presided over by Lt-Gen PC Katoch, then Director-General, Information Systems, at Army headquarters, had held the officers blameworthy for their acts of omission and commission. 

http://www.firstpost.com/fwire/army-starving-of-artillery-guns-orders-100-howitzers-229888.html
Army starving of artillery guns, orders 100 howitzers
New Delhi: The Indian Army has placed orders for 100 artillery guns with the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) after having failed to acquire even a single howitzer in over two decades following the Bofors scandal.

The army has issued several tenders for procuring different types of howitzers in the last two decades but has failed to do so due to some problem or the other.

Minister of State for Defence, MM Pallam Raju. Image courtesy PIB

“The army has placed orders with the OFB for procuring one hundred 155mm 52 calibre howitzers and this will be developed on the basis of Transfer of Technology (ToT) done by Bofors,” said Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju in New Delhi.

He said indigenous development of the howitzers would continue alongside trials by the OFB and within a specific time frame, the guns would be delivered to the army.

The minister said this indigenous development programme was not likely to have any impact on procurement of several types of gun systems such as 145 Ultra Light Howitzers, 180 Self-Propelled Howitzers and 400 Towed Howitzers through global tenders.

The OFB has been producing major components of the gun, such as barrel, breach mechanism, muzzle break, loading trough, recoil system along with the elevating and traversing cylinders, and supplying these to the army as spares.

As part of its over Rs 20,000 crore artillery modernisation plan, the army is looking at inducting several types of howitzers through inter-governmental pacts and global tenders.

Army Chief General VK Singh had promised last year that at least one type of artillery gun would be inducted into the Service in 2011-12 but it is still waiting for it.

The Bofors 155mm howitzers were the focus of a kickback scandal targeting former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the late 1980s, but the artillery gun performed remarkably in the Kargil war.

http://www.eurasiareview.com/29022012-reopening-the-debate-on-limited-war-analysis/
Reopening The Debate On Limited War – Analysis
By Ali Ahmed

The former Army chief General Deepak Kapoor joins his predecessor General V.P. Malik1 in dwelling on the contours of Limited War. In a recent article, he writes: “… it may be mentioned that in the emerging security paradigm, where future wars may be limited in scope and time, new thinking is essential.”2 He concludes: “The necessity for a tri-service approach in such operations has been well established and must be duly ensured.”3
India

India

Kapoor’s successor, General V.K. Singh, is also seized of the matter. In an interview to Maj. Gen. (Retd.) G.D. Bakshi, one of the leading votaries of the Limited War paradigm, V.K. Singh, in his avatar as Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, said, “Conceptualisation and promulgation of joint doctrines, including the visualisation of Limited War against a Nuclear Backdrop, forms an important facet of our integrated approach.”4 The contours of this joint approach presumably find mention in the Joint Doctrine of 2006 and the Air-Land doctrine of 2010. General Singh’s statement may be a cryptic indication of an ongoing project at the Head Quarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) on the formulation of an explicit Limited War doctrine. If so, this is a welcome step; more so as it is a top-down initiative. The respective services can, taking cue from this document, either formulate their own specialised doctrine or add a chapter to the next edition of their existing doctrines.

Measures to firm up Limited War possibilities have, over the past decade, included organisational evolution, such as setting up of the South Western Command, and enhancing the offensive potential of pivot corps, etc. Periodic reports since, of training exercises of formations, such as the recently concluded Exercise Sudarshan Shakti that validated the theaterised logistics system concept, indicate the distance the military has traversed.

The journey began in the wake of the Kargil War, when General V.P. Malik laid out a case for Limited War at a seminar in the first week of 2000 at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. However, the lessons learned were not quite in place by the time of Operation Parakram. Reflecting on that experience, General Padmanabhan stated in an interview: “You could certainly question why we are so dependent on our strike formations … and why my holding Corps don’t have the capability to do the same tasks from a cold start. This is something I have worked on while in office. Perhaps, in time, it will be our military doctrine.”5

The effort Padmanabhan hinted at culminated in the Army’s 2004 doctrine, which was published during the tenure of his successor, General Vij. The shorthand for the doctrine in the media has been the mildly controversial term, “Cold Start”. (Incidentally, the term, otherwise attributed to Maj. Gen. Sammanwar, the army’s chief information warrior in 2004, first appears in Padmanabhan’s statement reproduced above!)

In 2010, the Army chief clarified that “there is nothing called Cold Start”, implying that it is not so much a doctrine but a strategy option of choice if warranted by the strategic circumstances. That the military option exists is evident from his words during the 2012 Army Day: “A lot has changed since the days of Op. Parakram. If we did something in 15 days then, we can do it in seven days now. After two years, we may be able to do it in three days.”6

General Kapoor’s recent revisiting of the concept indicates that there is room for further improvement. As mentioned above, there is need for an explicit doctrine. In the current doctrine, Indian Army Doctrine (2004), the term Limited War finds mention twice: once in the diagram on the Spectrum of Conflict (p. 19) and then in the paragraph on Conventional War: ”It may be total or limited in terms of duration, the range of weapon systems employed, scope, objectives and its ultimate outcome. Given the prohibitive costs in terms of human lives and material, as well as the rising lethality of modern weapons, conventional war may be of short duration (p. 22).” It is interesting that five years into the nuclear age, beginning with the 1998 tests, the doctrine does not mention the nuclear factor as a compelling limitation.

There are three issues that need addressing and make the debate worth reopening. First, at the organisational level, the General’s suggestion is that “Prosecution of limited wars will require requisite re-orientation of our concepts and possibly, even some force structures.”7 Can this be construed as a reference to the continued existence of the strike corps? The deputy director of United Services Institution, Maj. Gen. Sandhu, had pre-empted the question as far back as 2004, opining: “…our military hierarchy has taken an easier way out. If you can’t handle them (strike corps), do away with them.”8 While he spiritedly defended their continuance, but, neglected to touch upon the nuclear issue. Media reports on the annual exercises of the strike corps in rotation suggest that the strike corps continue as formed entities. That they are armoured formations suggests that they are eminently capable of reforming in real time and on the move into battle groups and combat commands as the situation develops. Therefore, they are perhaps already reconfigured for a nuclearised battlefield.

The second is the conceptual issue raised in General Padmanabhan’s consequential observation that “…the kinds of limited strikes some were pushing for would have been ‘totally futile’.” According to him: “If you really want to punish someone for something very terrible he has done, you smash him. You destroy his weapons and capture his territory.”9 The logic is that “War is a serious business, and you don’t go just like that.” In effect, firstly, what political purposes can a “Limited War” achieve? Secondly, owning up to a Limited War plan will not serve to deter the adversary from continuing its proactive policy of exporting terror at the subconventional level.

A reopening of the debate is, therefore, not unwarranted. One, this would be to the advantage of in-service thinking on the issue. It would help streamline the conventional-nuclear interface so that the three institutions, the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), HQ IDS, and the service HQs are on the same page. Two, the discussion would certainly be followed in Pakistan and serve to persuade its security minders that India’s options are not foreclosed by “Nasr” or otherwise. Third, it will condition the public debate to, in turn, impact political thinking. This will help in the exercise of choice when push comes to shove.

But thirdly, and perhaps more importantly, a debate can provoke articulation of the strategic doctrine by the government. A military doctrine must either have governmental imprimatur or be integrated with strategic doctrine. It would become implausible in case there is dissonance between the two. Currently, perspectives on India’s strategic posture range from defensive deterrence through offensive deterrence to compellence. While such plurality yields dividend from the point of view of ambiguity, it does not help much with locating military doctrine in the governmental scheme. The Limited War doctrine has the advantage of reconciling military doctrine with the government’s inclination towards a “strategy of restraint”.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/army-places-orders-for-100-howitzers/918258/
Army places orders for 100 howitzers
The Indian Army has placed orders for 100 artillery guns with the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) after having failed to acquire even a single howitzer in over two decades following the Bofors scandal.

The Army has issued several tenders for procuring different types of howitzers in the last two decades but has failed to do so due to some problem or the other.

"The Army has placed orders with the OFB for procuring one hundred 155mm 52 calibre howitzers and this will be developed on the basis of Transfer of Technology (ToT) done by Bofors," Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju told PTI here.

He said indigenous development of the howitzers would continue alongside trials by the OFB and within a specific time frame, the guns would be delivered to the Army.

The Minister said this indigenous development programme was not likely to have any impact on procurement of several types of gun systems such as 145 Ultra Light Howitzers, 180 Self-Propelled Howitzers and 400 Towed Howitzers through global tenders.

The OFB has been producing major components of the gun, such as barrel, breach mechanism, muzzle break, loading trough, recoil system along with the elevating and traversing cylinders, and supplying these to the army as spares.

As part of its over Rs 20,000 crore artillery modernisation plan, the Army is looking at inducting several types of howitzers through inter-governmental pacts and global

tenders.

Army Chief Gen V K Singh had promised last year that at least one type of artillery gun would be inducted into the Service in 2011-12 but it is still waiting for it.

The Bofors 155mm howitzers were the focus of a kickback scandal targeting former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the late 1980s, but the artillery gun performed remarkably in the Kargil war.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/indian-army-gives-more-proof-of-chinese-incursion-in-ladakh/1/175815.html
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi would arrive on Wednesday on a two-day visit to India. The visit comes against the backdrop of China's aggressive approach on Indian state Arunachal Pradesh.

Ahead of the Chinese minister's visit, Headlines Today travelled to the forward posts on the line of actual control (LoAC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Ladakh region for a reality check on the Indo-China relations and whether New Delhi was going too soft on an aggressive Beijing oblivious to the ground realities.

Even as External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Tuesday termed it the "most tranquil border" adding he hoped it to stay so, some photographs provided to Headlines Today by the Indian Army guarding the LoAC show Chinese patrol boats openly intruding into the Indian territory.

The LoAC passes through the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh. The area needs constant patrolling as there were several reports of Chinese boats entering into the space which India considers the violation of the line.

However, despite proof of the dragon's repeated intrusions, India chooses to maintain a facade of goodwill and good relations. New Delhi's response to Beijing has always been soft despite the blatant provocations as it happened recently after the recent aggressive posturing by China over Defence Minister A.K. Antony's tour of Arunachal.

Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "India needs to firmly convey to China that Arunachal Pradesh is the integral part of India. This shall not be accepted or appreciated."

On the other hand, whenever China objects to any construction by civilians in the border areas, it is immediately stopped by India and the bumpy roads of the area are a proof of that. Even the lack of railway network and fewer airfields in the region show how India wants to avoid China's wrath.

As Headlines Today travelled about 100 km to reach the forward most posts in Ladakh's Demchok area, the road petered out. At 16,500 feet, while the road on the Indian side was hardly visible, on the other side, near the neighbour's Zorawar hill post, the area boasted of constructions carried out by the Chinese.

Ironically, Krishna continues to ignore the facts saying "let's not inject emotions into Sino-Indian issue". "I am looking forward to the visit of Yang Jiechi and Hu Jintao (Vice President)," he told Headlines Today on Tuesday.

But it is an emotional issue in India and there are many Indians who would be wondering whether this time New Delhi would finally take a tough stand against Beijing as constant border transgressions by the Chinese now stand proven.

Even though India might not admit the fact that China has been intruding, documents accessed by Headlines Today earlier and the recent investigation by the news channel reveal intrusion. India needs to develop a strategic style to take on aggressive Chinese side.


Read more at:
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/indian-army-gives-more-proof-of-chinese-incursion-in-ladakh/1/175815.html

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Army-jawan-commits-suicide/articleshow/12077642.cms
Army jawan commits suicide
HYDERABAD: An Indian Army jawan, who came to the city on leave, committed suicide by hanging himself at his wife's residence in Alwal on Tuesday.

The jawan was identified as Victor Vimal Raj, 34, of Macha Bollarum. Vimal Raj, who was married to Vijaya Mary, was with the Indian Army and posted in Assam. Victor came to the city a few days ago on leave.

On Monday, he had a quarrel with Vijaya over a family issue. Following the altercation, they slept in separate rooms.

On Tuesday morning, Vijaya knocked on his room's door to wake him up. "As there was no response for a long time, the family members broke the door open and found Victor hanging from the ceiling fan,'' Alwal inspector B Pushpan Kumar said.

There was no suicide note and a suspicious death case was registered under section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).


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