Thanks ALL and especialy to RayC.
The credit is entirely yours. But for your start, there would not have been this debate. You might as well take a bow!
I have given my side of the bargain i.e. 10 faults,
Now you let me know:
1. How is Kargil a Strategic Disaster.
2. How Kargil could have been easily avoided.
3. What are the better plans of yours to ensure WASO and patrolling is effective (and keep it to the availability of men and materiel pre Kargil War)
4. How did the infiltration take place.
5. What better way we should have taken up the defences.
6. How did the infliltrator hang around from Jan to May.
7. What better way we could have detected the infilitration when it was occuring.
I am still waiting.
I am well aware it will not come.
It was just to bring home the idea that unless you have been there, done that, it is well nigh impossible to reply. Esoteric and philosophical musing are different kettles of fish to ground realities.
I think if we need to answer the questions from 2 to 7 than question one is answered. Though we can term it as Failure instead of Disastor.
Even Q 1 requires an answer. I am sure there is. Possibly at the higher levels when all things were considered every time and then the resource allotment was considered given the overall threat analysis, it appeared OK. No one can predict the actuals that will happen. If they could they would be mind readers!
Kargil could have been avoided easily like we foil every attempts in other sectors of LoC. Terrian can be different but resource deployment should be proprtional to the difficulty of terrain. Battalions deployed there should have escalated that to higher commands. I assume that many of the COs must have done that. Now Higher commands faulted in ignoring the fact. They kept on shifting important formations to for CI ops. May be they igonered the fact that this shifting is infavt lowering of guard. Army acted or was made to act (Politics) as CI Force. This attitude of High command must have had following effect on the remaining troops there:-
1. Initialy they must have felt frustated to guard some much large and difficult area.
2. Priority w.r.t. equipments, supplies and other things must be given to the forces in valley. Further heart burning.
3. Slowly and steadily Complacency crept in and SOPs were not followed and also ignored by seniors.
They were not on CI type of deployment and so that is not correct. Everything is done as per the SOP and the tactical requirement. The real truth is that given all inputs, this was not visualised to ever happen because of the ground realities, but then it did happen! Since it was militarily beyond logic because the sustenance was not feasible, the inevitable happened, notwithstanding Musharraf's gloat in Line of Fire. Indeed, if were a great thing that he has done, why is he afraid of instituting the demand for Commission on Kargil on the lines of the Rehman Commission for 1971?
As per the KRC the battalions deployed there before May,99 did some fundamental mistakes which I have mentioned earlier. (Patroling the valleys not ridges. Not going up to LoC). Above 3 points can be reason.
Indeed patrolling seems to have been not so 'robust'. But then given the issues I have said earlier, who can blame anyone for playing safe? If let us say 50 men perished because of an avalanche, would AmanC sit and nurse a milkshake? Or would the cyber warriors ho hum?
Army was acting more like a CI force than Defence Force. I rember that even Armored and Arty unit were sent to serve in valley in Light Inf role. Though this was visualised by Indian Thinktank and RRs were raised along with induction of CRPF and other paramilitary forces. But we took bit long time to realize that. Prolonged use of Army in CI ops must have some impacts on functioning and admin of it. RayC may explain better what exactly this factor had contributed.
Let us not feel that the Armoured or the Arty in the CI role (inf roles) failed. Bhullar's 16 CAV and the Arty Bde units did excellent work. You don't have to drive tanks or be arty gunners to do your basic job of being soldiers
Let Army work like our defence force against external threat and not make it work like a mere police force.
Ideal but not feasible.
CI ops in J&K were priority for Army and thats why they continued to saw those intruders as some Muzee Rats as late as upto 2nd week of May and not as Pakistani regulars. M/s Vajpajee and Company was busy dreamimg about a Nobel Prize for Vajpayee. Intelligence agencies were also busy with infiltration in valley, unstable Indian Govt and all others things expect Kargil. They also outrightly denied any offensive designs by Pakistan for next 6 months in their bi-annual report in Feb,99. And reason was economic turmoil in Pakistan
I am not a political animal, but that is unfair.
And pakistanis were pouring inside by that time. You need to give them credit for that. They braved that bad weather and terrain which prevented us from proper patrolling.
Sure. Musaharraf is too clever by half.
OP Vijay could have demanded more Indian lives or different tactics or more time if Weather God had thought otherwise. Zozi La was opened one month earlier than scheduled because of good weather. Pakistani got one month less and that could have made major difference. (I think).