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Thursday, 19 September 2013

From Today's Papers - 19 Sep 2013


Tri-service ‘jointmanship’ is inevitable

Jointness is viewed with great enthusiasm by middle and junior ranking officers of the three services. At the senior level, however, there is little evidence of operational and administrative cohesiveness

Rakesh Datta

Jointmanship is an expression used to describe command and control through cross service cooperation in all stages of military processes. It is to command the integration of the doctrines of each of the combat arm for combined operational benefits to achieve military objectives. The integration of the combat arms means integration of the concepts, strategies, competencies and capabilities of land, air d sea and aerospace power to excel in the battlefield.


The basic concept for jointness means how forces will operate in response to a wide variety of security challenges. It suggests how the future joint force commander will combine and subsequently adapt some combination of all basic categories of military activities, combat, security engagement and internal security issues in accordance with the unique requirements of each operational situation. Jointness is considered essential not only for current strategic guidance, but because it looks to the future.


It was seen that all operations fought jointly and in an integrated manner during and after the Great War were successful. The unsuccessful operations world over have only proved the significance of integrating the forces and fighting jointly by raising the institution of the Chief of Defence Staff. India too has to look prudently in this manner. It was also realized that the success in the concept of wars on campaigns combined with the strategy of active defense depends upon achieving a high level of joint capabilities.


It has been observed that nearly 143 countries comprising of 28 in Asia, 28 in Africa, six in North America, 15 in South America, 12 in Australia, 29 in Europe and 19 in Central America have not formally adopted the combined arms concept. India is an exception with reasons both historical and political for not going in for the institution of Chief of Defense Staff.

All countries practicing jointmanship have an appointment of chief of defence staff (CDS) chief of general staff (CGS) or chief of joint operations (CJO), providing a single window advice or more correctly synergised institutional advice to the government. The appointment of such CDS is validated in all the countries as an legislative act. In this regard, the Goldwater Nicholas Act serves as a watershed principle in making jointness mandatory in the US, followed by the Heseltine reforms in the United Kingdom.


Corroborating the significance of Goldwater Nicholas, the Forbes magazine had commented that the Act helped ensure that Iraq War had less inter service infighting, less deadly bureaucracy, fewer needless causalities and more military cohesion than any other major military operation.


Australia with much lesser force operationalised Jointmanship in 1976 through an Act of Parliament. The Russian Duma passed it in 1983 whereas Germany has been practicing jointmanship since World War--II, though intensifying it more in the present time. China also initiated military jointness as a sequence of its military modernisation programme that began in 1978, whereas the Pakistani armed forces are enjoying its 14th Joint Chief of Staff. In France, the Unified Command Structure was adopted in 1980. According to the Israeli Defence Attaché, jointness is a difficult and a challenging task though a matter of common knowledge and managing expectations are evolved over a period.


It has been determined that CDS is a political decision and not an organisational one. It was seen that only the legislature could enhance its authority and effectiveness. Further, in case of the United States, where the national military strategy revolves around concepts with respect to overseas presence and power projection, the military jointness gets strengthened by synchronisation of the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the theatre commanders-in-chief and their joint commanders. It achieves unity of efforts in support of national military objectives through effective coordination, command and control assigned to the subordinate elements of the military services. In this scenario, another power centre, that of the theatre commander, emerges, who reports directly to the elected head of the state, thus retaining the political control.


Tri-service jointmanship has become a stark reality presenting itself as fait accompli to armed forces the world over and India is no exception. The larger attributes however indicate to build on the positive aspects of integration to meet the imperatives and necessity for jointness arising out of strategic vision and examining future operational environment in the Indian context.


Jointness has been put in place in all the countries in a top-down approach. This is regardless of the fact that the joint training is emphasised at the lower level. However, keeping in view, the civilian nature of politicians who are not experts in matters military, the jointness to be successful must trickle down from the top to bottom.


To promote joint operational requirements, most of the countries like UK, France, Germany, Australia, Italy, Russia and the US have established joint headquarters tasked exclusively for training and operations.


Joint training in all such countries practicing jointness begins at the rank of major and its equivalent at combined staff / defence colleges, with the next course at the National Defence College level. This comes closer to our level of configuration which though has a combined course construct but sans joint behavior subsequently.


Further, no regulatory selection criteria is followed for the appointment of CDS, notwithstanding, the merit and professional competence as the key determinants for the appointment of CDS/CJOs. Moreover, CDS are generally from the army though the other two services have also contributed significantly to the profile of this appointment.


However, keeping in view the perennial conflicts arising from the appointment of CDS/CJO amongst the three services in most of the countries, it is suggested that in such arrangement a power sharing mechanism could be promoted. For example if the CDS appointment is enjoyed by an officer from the air force or the navy, there must be an appointment of Vice Chief of Defence Staff held by an army officer.


The CDS is the operational head of all the three services and empowered to choose the operational commanders given the geo-strategic responsibilities. Further, the creation of a joint defence structure does not mean abolition of the authority of the service chiefs. Their significance lies in maintaining service character, training and force providers for facilitating joint operational engagements, though not always cherished.


Joint warfare is an ancient concept earlier having a lesser scope, but appeared gradually in the modern militaries with wider degrees and much broader in scope. According to Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani, "Joint transformation does not happen overnight. It is a learning, developing, cultural change process — to progress through phases of de-conflict to coordinate and Integrate, and ultimately coherently joint."


The twentieth century saw the emergence of air power in the battlefield. Earlier, jointness in arms was seen as amphibious assault as there was no air power. As far back as 1911, bombs were dropped on enemy positions using military balloons. However, the use of aircraft for tactical retribution and strategic purposes in war began with the bombing on August 14, 1914, of German Zeppelin hangers at Metz-Frascat by the French Voisin biplane. Others including the Germans, Russians, English and Italians soon followed suit.


Until World War--II, joint operations were conducted without permanent agreements and thus never resulted in a lasting culture of jointness. After the war these ad hoc arrangements proved ill-suited for the complexity of modern military operations. In 1986, by signing the Goldwater Nicholas Act, the US Congress codified joint doctrine by specifically tasking the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with developing a doctrine for the joint employment of the armed forces and formulating policies for coordinating the military education and training of the members of the armed forces.


According to Gen Colin Powell, former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, the performance of armed forces in joint operations has improved significantly and Goldwater Nicholas deserves a great deal of credit. Later, it was further concurred by General John Shalikashvili that no other nation can match the US ability to combine force on the battlefield and fight jointly.


No armed forces in the world have achieved jointness without intervention from the highest political levels. The turf war is not peculiar to India alone. In the United Kingdom, it was the Heseltine Reform of 1985 establishing a permanent joint headquarters for joint military operations.


Interestingly, it has been found that in most of the countries the jointness is so entrenched and strong that it was seen difficult to conceive operations without the joint structure. For instance, jointness is so meshed into the German armed forces that the rise in career span of a German soldier is linked to his appointment with joint forces. Jointness helps to generate and employ affective multi-purpose combat capable forces in Canada, optimising resource use and promoting efficiency and cost effectiveness. The British official position, on the contrary, continues to highlight the strength of the single service despite emphasising on more jointness. This is a system inherent flaw which could not eliminate the counterproductive inter-service rivalry visible even in the US.


Citing the example of India, jointness is viewed with great enthusiasm by middle and junior ranking officers of the three services. But at the senior level there is little evidence of jointmanship. Further, information regarding plans, acquisitions, new raisings, etc. are carefully kept away from the sister services.


In India, the Chief of Staff Committee (COSC) is required to convert the abstract political aims of war to achievable military aims and objectives under the chairmanship of the senior most service chief who really has no power to interfere in the affairs of other services. This system works till such time when there is a very clear political leadership and direction as was in the case of Israel with Moshe Dayan or Ariel Sharon or Barak heading the defence ministry. Those leaders understood the nuances of the forces and could be effective planners of military operations. The system also works till such time the decisions do not involve or impinge much upon the inter-service resources and personal aspirations. However, in the absence of the above, the present system is nothing but a sham and may not result in desired output during trying times. The Kargil conflict of 1999 is the best example best to cite in this regard.


There have been a lot of discussions on jointness and many suggestions have been made that instead of a full time chief we may have a tri-services joint headquarters operating or there may be selective leadership like an operational force commander, keeping the type of operation in view. But experiences have proved that these are all ad hoc measures and would achieve only partial jointmanship.

We want to replicate Russian model of defence ties: US

Tribune News Service


New Delhi, September 18

Seeking to boost defence ties with India, the US today said it wishes to replicate the Russian model of cooperation under which military hardware is developed jointly.


"Yes, that is exactly the same kind of thing where two industry teams are involved in whole product life cycle where the product is both co-produced and developed. That is a new way for the US and India. We do not have the history that Russia does. We are trying to replicate that...," US Deputy Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter said here.


India is yet to respond to the proposals made by the US on joint production of equipment. It was in July 2012 the then US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta had first proposed joint-production and termed it as Defence Trade and Technology Initiative. However, since then nothing has moved forward.


Sources on the Indian side said: "The US proposals are being examined and added joining hands for co-production would need a political call." So far India has joint production agreement only with Russia and off-late with Israel for production of long range missiles. Carter today admitted that "we do not have the history of Russia as supplier (to India). Our systems were segregated to a long time. Now we have to find ways to make our systems mesh. We believe that is our destiny".


"It is absolutely India's choice," Carter qualified his remarks while talking to reporters. Since the 2008 civilian nuclear deal India has purchased defence equipment from US worth billions of dollars, but relations between the two sides have floundered and the observers on either side will be looking at the Manmohan Singh-Barack Obama meeting in US later this month.


Carter said: "We (the US) have worked very hard to clarify and made changes in export controls for India. We have worked to allow US researchers to work with Indian partners. A system allowed only for UK and Australia. We have counter terrorism and maritime issues to work together". He said the matters can be decided by the PM and the President.


On being pointed out is the US was looking at BrahMos type cooperation, Carter said yes. BrahMos is hyper-sonic missile jointly developed by Russia and India.


Earlier in the day, Carter visited the Indian Air Force pilots who, on August 20, landed the US-built special operations plane the C-130 J at the 16,000-feet high Daulat Baig Oldie landing ground in northern Ladakh. Till now IAF pilots had been using the Russian-built AN -32 for operations at DBO.


On being asked if the rapid acquisition of strategic missiles by India and China could trigger an arms race, Carter said: "On strategic missiles with both India and China, I would say they both have technological capability to field such missiles. The US does not believe that Asia Pacific should be the scene of any competition or arms racing, let alone conflict. It is not in interest of any body".

India-Canada first strategic dialogue on September 22

Ashok Tuteja/TNS


New Delhi, September 18

India and Canada will hold their first-ever strategic dialogue in Toronto on September 22 to give a momentum to ties between the two nations.


External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is leaving here for Canada on September 21 to co-chair the strategic dialogue with his Canadian counterpart John Baird, MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said. The decision to annually hold the strategic dialogue was taken during Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to India in November last year.


The dialogue between India and Canada is significant considering the presence of a large Indian community in Canada. India and Canada have already concluded an agreement to implement their civil nuclear deal that will allow Canadian companies to export uranium and atomic reactors to New Delhi after a gap of 36 years.


The two countries are also negotiating a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement. After participating in the strategic dialogue, Khurshid will leave for Ottawa where he will have talks with many other Canadian ministers. He is also expected to meet representatives of the Indian community there.

Pakistan will respond to firing by Indian Army with restraint: Nawaz Sharif


Calling tensions on the Kashmir border "a matter of concern", Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says Pakistan will respond to firing by the Indian military "with restraint and responsibility". Sharif also told the Turkish media in Ankara that Pakistan was committed to "a serious, sustained and constructive engagement with India" that must include the contentious issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Sharif's comments follow unending skirmishes between the Indian and Pakistani militaries along the Line of Control (LoC), which divides Jammu and Kashmir between the two countries.

Sharif, who took office in June, also said that Pakistanis had given him the mandate to improve relations with India. "I have always given high priority to good relations with India for the sake of durable peace in the region," The Nation quoted Sharif as telling Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) network in Ankara. "We are keen to have a comprehensive dialogue with India for the resolution of all issues including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir," which is claimed by both countries. Sharif reached Ankara Monday on a three-day official visit. Sharif said he had started the peace process with India when then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Lahore in 1999. He said the two countries were then very close to finding a settlement to the Kashmir dispute. Sharif said his government wanted stable ties with all countries, especially the neighbouring ones. "For the effective pursuit of our socio-economic agenda, good relations with all our neighbours are essential and a priority for my government." The Prime Minister also sought global support to battle terrorism in Pakistan. "Our challenge is to root out this menace from our midst. Pakistan needs the cooperation and support of the international community and our neighbours for controlling funding, supply of arms and training to terror networks." He said the US drone attacks in areas bordering Afghanistan not only violated Pakistan's sovereignty and international law but were counterproductive. "Combating terrorism and extremism is one of the top priorities of my government. Terrorism and extremism are now a global menace. "No country in the world is unaffected by it. Militancy and extremism pose a grave challenge to Pakistan's progress and development."

96 ceasefire violations by Pak this year: Army

Jammu, Sep 18: Targeting forward posts and civilian areas along the Indo-Pak border, Pakistan has violated the ceasefire 96 times this year, the highest in last eight years.

“There were 18 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the month of September, bringing the total number of violations to 96 this year up to September 18,” Defence spokesman S N Acharya said in Jammu today.

Set to complete a decade of its existence in November this year, the 2003 Indo-Pak ceasefire has been violated by Pakistan several times over the years.

Six soldiers were killed, while six security personnel were among 14 persons injured in firing by Pakistan troops on forward posts, civilian areas and patrolling parties along the Indo-Pak border during August this year.

Ceasefire violations were the highest this year compared to past eight years. There were 93 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir last year, according to figures revealed by Defence Minister A K Antony in Lok Sabha in March.

Five people, including three security personnel were killed and 13 others, including 10 security men, injured in the border incidents of firing and ceasefire violations last year.

Pakistan violated the ceasefire agreement with India on 44 occasions in 2010. The corresponding number was 51 in 2011. Two Army personnel were killed during the violations in 2010 and one was killed in 2011, MoD figures said.

There were 28 violations reported in 2009, followed by 77 in 2008, 21 in 2007 and three in 2006, the figures said.

Schools told to pitch for career in armed forces

In an attempt to create awareness among students and parents about defence services as a career option, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has asked its schools to suitably modify the curriculum and include the armed forces in the general foundation course.


“It has been emphasised that in addition to other possible job options, the schools must also expose students to challenging and satisfying career in the armed forces under the ‘general foundation course’. The schools may visit the official websites of the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy for the motivational material,” a statement dated September 12 said.


“We have traditionally found students and parents inclined towards engineering and medicine as career options. The students are not very aware of defence services as a career. We have suggested to the schools to give it space in the general foundation course. The resources are all available on the website,” Sadhana Parashar, director (academic, research, training and innovation) CBSE told HT.


Mentioning the supplementary book titled ‘The Indian Army—A Glorious Heritage’ published by NCERT, she said that the book contains motivational cum informative write-ups and could be given to students of different age groups. “The supplementary book is eye-catching with a view to attract young students to serve in the armed forces as a career option,” she added.


“This would help to inculcate a defence services work ethos which is characterised by diligence, perseverance, a regimented way of life and above all resilience and humility,” the circular notes.


CBSE offers a compulsory subject called general foundation course for all senior secondary students. The course aims to promote general knowledge  as well as exploring prospective future career options for students. Two periods per week have been earmarked for this subject.

Army launches hunt for new light field guns


The army's ambitious artillery modernisation programme has been derailed several times in the past, but fresh thrust has now been given to the hunt for new guns.


The army is looking to replace its old 105mm light field guns with a mix of towed, mounted and wheeled artillery.


Bids have already been invited for 155mm x 52 calibre towed guns whose trials were underway.


The proposed acquisition is under provision to buy from abroad and make at home through transfer of technology.


Along with this effort, the army has begun search for a mounted gun system. The request for information (RFI) for 155mm x 52 calibre gun mounted system has been floated.


The army is looking to buy 200 guns with the option of remaining 614 to be built at home.


This RFI is under the buy and make (Indian) category as part of the new plan to encourage Indian industry to make artillery guns with tieups.


The Indian companies in fray are Tata, Mahindra Land Systems, and L&T. The army is also drawing specifications for 155 x 52 calibre track and wheeled self propelled gun.


Sources said a thought process on the details of requirements is underway. Through these three options, the army hopes to replace around 2,000 existing 105mm guns.


The whole process is expected to be completed by 2027. All the efforts on artillery acquisition have been derailed in the past because of allegations of irregularities.


The result is that India has not bought a single new gun after the Bofors scandal hit the headlines in the mid 1980s.


The project is part of army's mediumisation plan that aims at having longer range guns. The total cost of artillery modernisaton is estimated to be Rs 35,000 crore. The Ordnance Factories Board has closed production for 105mm guns.

US co-development option


Seeking to boost defence ties with India, the US said it is in in favour of co-development of weapon systems with New Delhi.


Deputy Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter, who was in the Capital on Wednesday holding meetings with key players in the security establishment, said the US has offered an entire spectrum of military equipment to India.


It wants to change the buyer-seller equation to that of partnership in sharing technology.


As part of this policy, the US is willing to offer joint development of next generation of anti-tank missile Javelin and C-130J aircraft.


Washington is also offering aircraft launch systems for the aircraft carriers among other products.


It is also negotiating with India for the sale of 15 Chinook heavy lift and 22 Apache attack helicopters. The US wants to overcome bureaucratic hurdles in pushing through defence ties.


Carter said the Indo-US ties were not at the cost of relations with China.

Goa netas turn guns on army, navy for land grab


Panaji : Goa’s politicians across the spectrum have charged the Indian Army and the Indian Navy with grabbing government land but the forces deny accusations of wrongdoing, reports IANS.


The latest salvo was fired at the Indian Army by Panaji mayor Surendra Furtado, who accused the 2 Signal Training Centre (STC) of occupying 1.44 acres of prime land in the heart of the state capital.

“Prior to Goa’s liberation (in 1961), 1.22 acres land was owned by CCP, previously known as Camara Municipal de Goa. However, after Liberation this land is now in the possession of 2 Signal Training Centre, adjacent to its Panaji headquarters, which is underutilised for parking military vehicles,” Furtado has said in a letter to Defence Minister A.K. Antony. “The building and area which they had taken over after the Liberation belonged to the city municipality. And now, even after being given alternative land, they are still refusing to move,” Furtado told IANS. The alternative land that Furtado refers to is an allotment a couple of decades ago by the state government to the Indian Army in Bambolim on the outskirts of the capital. “The condition put at the time was that the land the army is sitting on in Panaji would be handed over to the city corporation,” Furtado said. It is not just the city mayor who has taken on the Indian Army on the issue. In a stinging attack, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had said in the assembly last year: “It is easier to get the army to vacate from Lahore, but not from even an inch of land in Panaji.” The land in Panaji is not the only bone of contention. According to Congress MP Shantaram Naik, the Indian Navy had grabbed land which houses Goa’s only airport at Dabolim, 35 km from here. “The Indian Navy is attacking Goa’s land resources rather than defending them,” Naik said. The state government also maintains that the Indian Navy has been illegally occupying 1,840 acres of land on which the Dabolim airport is located.

The issue of land-grabbing has been a prickly one since 1961 when Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule, thanks to India’s clinical military action. Critical installations and tracts of land captured by the Indian Army from the Portuguese forces during the action were then taken over during the state’s brief spell of military administration. “The expansionist mode of armed forces in Goa, including the navy at Dabolim, is highly questionable,” said Floriano Lobo, head of the Su-Raj regional political outfit.

A soldier’s worth

The government continues to deny both serving and retired soldiers their rightful pay and perks and has quietly buried a Fifth Pay Commission study which found that they had a much lower life expectancy than their civilian counterparts. By PURNIMA S. TRIPATHI in New Delhi


EVEN as the country watched soldiers of the Indian Army putting their lives on the line during the arduous rescue operations in flood-hit Uttarakhand in June, a couple of elderly defence veterans were making the rounds of the Army Headquarters and the offices of the Defence Ministry in New Delhi, hoping to meet either the Defence Minister or the Chief of the Army Staff. They hoped to draw the attention of the authorities to the fact that the pay and perks of serving soldiers (all ranks, including officers and sepoys) and the post-retirement benefits of ex-servicemen were pitiable.


The two men were Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, acting chairman of the Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM), and Maj Gen (retd) Surjit Singh. They had a committee report to back their claim that soldiers were given a raw deal. The committee, headed by Maj Gen Surjit Singh, was formed by the Army’s Pay Commission cell to deduce the life expectancy of soldiers for finalising their pay, perks and age of superannuation for the Fifth Central Pay Commission. The committee’s report was prepared in consultation with the Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR). The report, which was confidential, never got acted upon despite the then Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s assurance that it would be given due consideration. While the Fifth Pay Commission was benevolent to Central government employees, defence personnel got a raw deal. This led to a lot of heartburning among defence personnel. Internally, they continued to try and push the government to remedy the situation, but it proved futile. “Now we have decided to make this report public and highlight the unfair treatment meted out to soldiers by successive governments,” said Satbir Singh.


Dying earlier


The findings of the report, titled “A critique of the military pension”, are indeed startling. Taking a big enough sample size of various categories of veterans from pension disbursing banks, zila sainik boards and EME records, the Army cell came to the conclusion that the life expectancy was 72.5 years for officers, 67 for junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and between 59.6 and 64 years for other ranks. The study found that among personnel of other ranks, soldiers possessing saleable skills tended to live longer. The overall conclusion was that on an average a soldier lived only 15 to 20 years after retirement, irrespective of his age at the time of retirement.








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