Kargil War Thread - V

surinder
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Postby surinder » 03 Oct 2006 20:31

Prem wrote:
it also beggars the question - why was nachi spared?
This might have something do with being Punjabi Hindu. AFAIK Kalia and Ahuja are Punjabi.


Interesting. They reserve special hatred for Punjabi Hindus? Coming to think of it, it makes sense. How would they react to Punjabi Sikhs? i am not sure, but somehow think they would be nicer.

surinder

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Postby ShibaPJ » 03 Oct 2006 20:42

Anoop wrote:...apparently poor reading or comprehension skills, on your part. As a reminder, I'll quote myself:

PostPosted: 02 Oct 2006 08:40 pm Post subject:
The decision to let the Pakistanis retreat back across the LoC was a political one, not a military one. The military agreed with reservations, as Gen. Malik recounts.

So should the military have disobeyed the civilian directive?


I was wondering how much of attention span or comprehension skills do you have. What I said was that you overlooked that Gen Malik didn't favour the 'Safe Passage' of PA back.

That's a tad different from doing a Kalia on their prisoners.....

Don't spin so much!!! Go back & reread my posts where I advocated torture/ barbarianism on PA. I have said we could have used 'no PoW' policy at some place, the Pukjabis didn't deserve mercy after spilling so much blood of our jawans and I would stick to that. If you encounter a morbid, rabid dog out to bite you, you don't take it to the vet; for the collective good of society it is better to put it down.

JC,
I would agree. We need to inflict as much psychological damage as physical damage. Use Arty, missiles whatever to spread terror so that they would p^* in their pants before they even think of acting against us. Unfortunately, this didn't happen & I don't foresee it happening either.

RayC,
Based on my own interactions with IA folks who actually fought at Kargil, they were mad with GoI for allowing safe passage and they would have preferred to take the fight across the LoC, but they all agreed that they would go with whatever is the political decision. Also, many of them would have preferred the "No PoW" policy; they were certainly very, very angry.

Also, why should we highlight Puki Army's bravery? Do we do that for the militants/ terrorists who may have fought valiantly before dying? What we don't do in internal CI operations, why extend it to unworthy ones like PA?

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Postby surinder » 03 Oct 2006 20:47

I would like to comment more on the recommendations issued to Pakis recognizing their valor. RayC, I acknowledge and understand what you say about the Indian Army being Gentlemen before, and officer second. I cannot speak from being an officer of the IA, my brother is, but I am not. But I cannot help but feel that this is casting pearls before a swine, and in the process enouraging the swinery.

I have lost of countless articles from Pakis boasting about their bravery, that "even the Indian Army acknowledged it." A battle is not just military, but also psychological. Breaking the will of the enemy to fight is the most vital aspect of warfare. Given the poor regard the Paki Army has in TSP land, we do not need to give them a helping hand by creating heroes, when there are not. We need to send a message that your army stinks, it cannot fight. It has little bravery and no wisdom. Grand statements like "your Jawans are brave, but your officers are bad" only tells the Paki to try harder and get good officers and then presto they will win over the Kafirs.

Furthermore, decalaring a war to be over, before it is over, is hardly wise. We have been in an almost continuous war with the pakist since 1980's. End of Kargil war hardly means that war is over. It will go on. All we have is an uneasy cesssation.

Tying this with the torture discussion. Can we be sure that the torture of Kalia and Ahuja was done by the officers and the brave Jawans of Pakistan did not do it? Are the officers and the Jawans of the TSP Army really that different in mentality?

I hardly have any knowledge of the military traditions around the world, but if we look at the armies of the world, the successfull one, that is, do we really find a tradition of complimenting the enemy? I ask this not as a rhetorical question, but i am really curious. At the risk of sounding like that I kiss the Gora sahib, do the Armies of US and UK, and USSR follow this tradition of complimenting the bravery of the worst enemies. Did the Americans go out of their way to compliment the Chinese in 1952, the Panamans, the Haitians, and Hondurans, and the Iraqis. Do the Israelis complement the Arabs in their wars and recommend gallantry awards? I mean to ask all these questions not in a sense of making a point, but I ask out of real curiosities. The sense I get is that they do not, and if they do, it is only when the enemy is grudgingly and only when the bravery is all too obvious. It seems like a thing that Sun Tzu (Art of War) would not do.

surinder

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Postby ramana » 03 Oct 2006 21:03

The Crusaders were complimenting Saladin and built up his reputation yet he wont eh Battle of Acre.

More twists to Mushy's book.

PTI reports, 3 OCt., 2006
[quote]
Sharif aide throws new light on Mush

In new book, PML leader ‘exposes’ General, says he overthrew govt to avoid court martial over his Kargil misdeeds

PTI
Islamabad: [b]General Pervez Musharraf overthrew the Nawaz Sharif government in 1999 to escape a possible court martial over Kargil “misadventureâ€

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Postby CPrakash » 03 Oct 2006 21:10

surinder wrote:I hardly have any knowledge of the military traditions around the world, but if we look at the armies of the world, the successfull one, that is, do we really find a tradition of complimenting the enemy? I ask this not as a rhetorical question, but i am really curious. At the risk of sounding like that I kiss the Gora sahib, do the Armies of US and UK, and USSR follow this tradition of complimenting the bravery of the worst enemies. Did the Americans go out of their way to compliment the Chinese in 1952, the Panamans, the Haitians, and Hondurans, and the Iraqis. Do the Israelis complement the Arabs in their wars and recommend gallantry awards? I mean to ask all these questions not in a sense of making a point, but I ask out of real curiosities. The sense I get is that they do not, and if they do, it is only when the enemy is grudgingly and only when the bravery is all too obvious. It seems like a thing that Sun Tzu (Art of War) would not do.


I am sure there will be several examples down the line. But these are made *after the war* - and I believe the indian assertion on karnal sher khan was also made after the battle. Lets put this straight, the Indian government or army did nto recomment any award to any paki, they merely took note that - "this dude put up a brave fight", but no one wrote citations here for the opposite ide. pl correct me if i am wrong.

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Postby putnanja » 03 Oct 2006 21:43

The mere act of acknowledging the pak army personnel's bravery further fuels their myth that they are superior to the Indians and that even they acknowledged it. This keeps building up and leads to bolstering their ego rather than making them think twice before attempting such adventures in future.

In kargil, as Gen Malik noted, we let them go by giving them a safe passage. However, the way the pakistanis spin it( including in Mushy's book) is that they were forced to withdraw by the civilian govt acting under US' orders when they were winning. *IF* we had instead allowed the army to keep attacking them, would the PA be able to make any such claim now? Many might say that facts speak the truth, but as can be seen about the 47, 65 and 71 wars, the pakistanis spin it every time to make it sound like they won the war and brainwash their population that way. This keeps leading to events like Kargil etc time and again.

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Postby CPrakash » 03 Oct 2006 21:51

RaviBg wrote:

In kargil, as Gen Malik noted, we let them go by giving them a safe passage. However, the way the pakistanis spin it( including in Mushy's book) is that they were forced to withdraw by the civilian govt acting under US' orders when they were winning. *IF* we had instead allowed the army to keep attacking them, would the PA be able to make any such claim now?


Here is a question to ponder..

What is more important?

Bragging rights? ... OR

the fifty or so additional lives that we may have lost in hot pursuit of the withdrawing packees?

For Army the decision would have been made easier that his objective of evicting enemy from territory was being achieved at lesser price. So one cant really blame them for the decision at that time.

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Postby JCage » 03 Oct 2006 21:52

The point is to win even I daresay at a greater immediate cost to secure the future. I apologise if I come across as callous of human lives but I base this on my own interaction with those who have served. This is something, imho, many IA officers and middle ranking leaders recognise. But whether the Indian Govt does is entirely another matter. The aim is to always cut a deal & make political capital out of the issue, irrespective of who is in power. Hence the pressure on the IA to secure a "quick victory" and the rapid declaration of success thereafter. The one highly sensible thing we did after the whole thing, was down that Atlantique. At least we did that. :roll:

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Postby RayC » 03 Oct 2006 21:52

RayC,
Based on my own interactions with IA folks who actually fought at Kargil, they were mad with GoI for allowing safe passage and they would have preferred to take the fight across the LoC, but they all agreed that they would go with whatever is the political decision. Also, many of them would have preferred the "No PoW" policy; they were certainly very, very angry.


Did they air these sentiments of wanting to cross the LC to anyone in authority during the battles or even after the ceasefire? Penny for their thoughts and unfortunate that the war terminated too early for them. It would have surely passed on to the powers that be that visited the battlefield from time to time. In fact, it would have shored up the morale of many in Delhi!

I am afraid it is not for any military man to go AGAINST whatever be the political decision. We are still not near the Pakistani Army ethos. Such talk indicates empty rhetoric and chest thumping after the fact and is a good topic for drawing room and club house discussions!

So they were wanting a 'no PsW' policy? Why should they want a policy if they were that angry? They should have gone ahead and done exactly what they wanted and then had the moral courage to face the consequences. What stopped them? Fear of the consequences? So, their policy was 'lets get gory provided someone else takes the rap'? Great courage, indeed! Great moral courage.

To my mind, with all humility at my command, I feel both smells a CYA attitude and playing to the gallery and appearing to be all blood and guts after the war is over! ;)

It is high time, we (some of us in the Army) stop acting as Rambos on a leash as if we would deliver the world at the feet of the audience but for damned Mr A or General B.

It is not the time to be a General Musharaff and go into delusion and imagined grandeur!

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Postby Ved » 03 Oct 2006 22:13

CPrakash wrote:
Interesting, Ved, can i ask a related question?

One can appreciate Nachi's stand in firing back at his pursuers - but is that the recommended action? What are the IAF's directives to its downed pilots when they are cornered - should they fight, or should they give up?


A downed pilot is to try and get back so as to fly again - if he feels that resistance is futile, he may give himself up, and bide his time. However, in certain situations, they are to use their discretion in using that last bullet - for example, if one was forced to eject in close proximity to troops whom one has just been strafing!!

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Postby putnanja » 03 Oct 2006 22:20

CPrakash wrote:Here is a question to ponder..

What is more important?

Bragging rights? ... OR

the fifty or so additional lives that we may have lost in hot pursuit of the withdrawing packees?



I don't think you got my point. What I was pointing out was that the pakistani propaganda that they won or were winning leads to pakistanis becoming more belligerent and attempting more such adventures in future. As pointing out in various pakistani threads, the pakistanis are taught that they won all the wars with India, and no doubt the military too tries to do the same. If we had handing them a crushing defeat when we able to do so, that would have lingered on for a longer time to come.

Not only should we deal a military blow, but also crush their sense of superiorness, as JCage has pointed out.

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Postby cbelwal » 03 Oct 2006 22:43

I will rephrase your question and it will still have the same meaning.

What is more important?

Ruthless execution of Packess in their own land which will serve as deterrent and insurance policy thereby saving countless Indian lives in near future ... OR

the fifty or so additional lives that we may have lost in hot pursuit of the withdrawing packees?

CPrakash wrote:Here is a question to ponder..

What is more important?

Bragging rights? ... OR

the fifty or so additional lives that we may have lost in hot pursuit of the withdrawing packees?
.

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Postby RayC » 03 Oct 2006 22:57

Not only should we deal a military blow, but also crush their sense of superiorness,
.

I find them wimpering now.

Look at 'In the Line of Fire'.

It has been ridiculed as fiction worldwide as the 'brave and pathetic' whelps of a whipped dog.

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Postby CPrakash » 03 Oct 2006 22:58

cbelwal wrote:I will rephrase your question and it will still have the same meaning.

What is more important?

Ruthless execution of Packess in their own land which will serve as deterrent and insurance policy thereby saving countless Indian lives in near future ...


If you ask me, they are gluttons for punishment - they would still have come back - unless you actually fight a fullscale war and break them up rather than a limited action like Kargil.

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Postby Harry » 03 Oct 2006 23:18

Anoop wrote:Again, totally irrelevant because it is based on a complete misreading of my posts. Where did I say that we should (or do) bank on the enemy trusting to our kindness and thus, surrendering? My point simply is that a bad reputation hurts


Firstly, you have to ask yourself if the actual events on the ground or the reality of ethical treatment will actually find itself into the heads of the already brainwashed pukes, especially their lower ranks?

Second, think of how the brain works. In the heat of the battle, I really doubt that the enemy is thinking too much of the long term. We know the reps the pukes have, yet I can't recall any of our soldiers commiting suicide rather than face the prospect of torture and eventual murder. There have been cases where they surrendered.

You can never be sure and neither can the enemy. Yes, having a good rep instead of bad is on paper, safer, but even if not, the infantry is prepared for the worse situation. Therefore, there will be no additional casualties because the infantry is prepared for and will tackle that situation. There is potential for a more ideal situation but that's it.

I appreciate your support of Morals and Ethical treatment. No one (but the pukes) will argue that in the long run, that it not is the right thing. But unfortunately, there is no way of justifying it on tactical grounds.
Last edited by Harry on 04 Oct 2006 00:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby John Snow » 03 Oct 2006 23:21

1)Enemy soldiers drop weapons and surrender with out a fight after asesing the situation.

2) Enemy soldiers fight while withdrawing from positions.

3) Enemy soldiers stand ground and continue to fight.

4) Formation of enemy soldiers and non uniform combatants fight side by side.



case 1)
Enemy surrender with resisting arrest and are uniformed men, then they are POWs under geneva conventions if both combating states are equal signatories of the treaty. NO BARBARISM and full protection once handed over to Military Police.

case 2)
Show no mercy to the enemy in this situation as he is exacting a toll on us as he is withdrawing. No Chivalry or Valor come in here.

case 3) Finish the task, eleminate the enemy based on given goals and objectives. Let the earn their Nishani _e- Gola medals.

case 4) Absolutely no mercy what so ever the enemy intent is clear, using terrorists (aka Mujah...) is clear pre meditated propaganda intention of the enemy, dipatch post haste to the waiting 72.

Ther is no question of blaring from public address amplifiers
'CHini Hindi bahai bahai, tum idhar se chele jao' or 'Paki Hindi bahai bhai aram se chelejao' even if they are retreating. Is ithis not called tacticle withdrawl only to fight another day after R&R

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Postby Lalmohan » 03 Oct 2006 23:22

you guys seem to be forgetting about the larger political dimensions of any indo-pak conflict. we have never had a free strategic hand to deal with the hot pursuit/decisive lesson issue. we didn't at kargil either. nawaz sharief/mushy begging clinton would have come with a caveat - don't make us use the bomb!! "we gonna shoot da n*&^er" as per Blazing Saddles analogy.

i would have liked to have seen some element of destruction of bases, etc., without resorting to whole scale slaughter as per the kuwait highway of death in GW1; but that would have come with political constraints for us - which we were not at liberty to ignore - "sanctity of LOC" would have been the get out clause for Mushy to not go nuclear and Clinton would have bought it.

the best thappar we gave them was the 93,000 PoW's in E.Bengal; we were compelled to release them imo due to pressure from the US and lack of interest from USSR (if i interpret correctly from reading Indira Gandhi's biography)

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Postby Johann » 03 Oct 2006 23:27

- Those that deal painful death out to those captured on the battlefield *expect* to receive the same treatment in return. Some forces encourage that fear in their own men to get them to fight harder.

- If I'm sending my men over that hill with a 3:1 advantage, and fairly good good idea of what they've got and where, I know I am probably going to take the objective. I do however want to lose as few men as possible taking it. Writing letters to the families is an awful thing, because you ARE responsible for those men, alive or dead. The fewer on the other side resist the inevitable, the fewer men I'm going to lose, and the fewer letters and calls I am going to have to write.

- If that means dropping leaflets, using loudspeakers or radio broadcasts assuring them of humane treatment I'm all for it- that is the essence of tactical/battlefield psychological warfare.

- It can and has been a powerful tool against men who *know* they are going to die, and are being given a chance to walk out alive. It contradicts everything they have been told about the enemy. It wont win battles, but it does shorten battles you are going to win any way, saving lives.

- Its's much more likely to work on your average peasant soldier who more often than not is let down by his command, safely tucked away somewhere, than a suicidal jihadi whose flatter internal structure and uniform degree of commitment make them more willing to take risks. Also PoWs are easier and safer to handle effectively than jihadis.

- The best way to have your people, including your junior officers and men treated well by the other side is to a)conditionally offer good treatment to the people on the other side value b)make it clear that you value all of your people. That means disproportionate retaliation for bad treatment, and when you can putting the effort in to negotiating the return of your people in good health.

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Postby putnanja » 03 Oct 2006 23:33

Johann wrote:-
- The best way to have your people, including your junior officers and men treated well by the other side is to a)conditionally offer good treatment to the people they value b)make it clear that you value your people. That means disproportionate retaliation for bad treatment, and when you can putting the effort in to negotiating the return of your people in good health.


So, you offer good treatment on the condition that your soldiers too are treated in the same way, right? What if they aren't? That is the point that we are debating here.

Regarding the disproportionate retaliation, that is what majority are advocating here, and IA might have resorted to that. However, since it is not in public domain, we are not sure whether such a retaliation was carried out or not.

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Postby Lalmohan » 03 Oct 2006 23:36

retalliation as in arty/air strikes not torture and mutilation of individuals

i have high hopes for SMERCH when it enters service...

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Postby Johann » 03 Oct 2006 23:42

Ravi,

Sorry I didnt make it clear in the para I am mostly talking about irregular forces in that para.

Although when I say retaliation I dont mean lopping some captured corporal's head off. I mean escalating the conflict in ways that hurt the other side.

I am also talking about in conventional situations is *high* level people on your side making it clear to Div/Bde/Bn OCs on the other side that they and their fellow officers will face *personal* consequences if excesses are practiced by their men.

So that means that their men will be encouraged to surrender - but if their officers come in to contact they may not be so lucky. There may be unusual degree of effort to hit their HQs, etc.

These threats and promises have to have credibility. That means that those who surrender should make it through the war alive, and officers of units on the other side that behave badly must pay a price even if it is off the books. It means some times negotiating deals that set your teeth on edge to get your people back.

I am not commenting here specifically on the Indian forces here, there are other people far more qualified to do that. But I am talking about things that I know have been done and do work - although they have to be finetuned against the people you are dealing with, and they require a chain of command that is both realistic, and committed enough to quietly break some of its own rules.
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Postby svinayak » 03 Oct 2006 23:45

ramana wrote:The Crusaders were complimenting Saladin and built up his reputation yet he wont eh Battle of Acre.

More twists to Mushy's book.

PTI reports, 3 OCt., 2006
Sharif aide throws new light on Mush

Vajpayee knew it :eek:



They read BRF before they wrote that book

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Postby putnanja » 03 Oct 2006 23:51

Johann wrote:Ravi,

Sorry I didnt make it clear in the para I am mostly talking about irregular forces in that para.

Although when I say retaliation I dont mean lopping some captured corporal's head off. I mean escalating the conflict in ways that hurt the other side.

So that means that their men will be encouraged to surrender - but if their officers come in to contact they may not be so lucky. There may be unusual degree of effort to hit their HQs, etc.


When I said massive retailiation, i too meant something similar to what you posted, like hitting thier HQs etc deeper into their lines.

But what I am opposed to was allowing them to retreat peacefully, instead of making them retreat under heavy losses. We should have bombed them till they were out of our territory, whether they were withdrawing or not.

And I am against commending their gallantry by writing letters to their COs/counterparts. It is expected of us to treat the captured POWs humanely, but that doesn't mean that we have to officially praise each one of their officers for putting up a good fight. Use that learning internally in IA's studies, but don't give the pukes any satisfaction.

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Postby JCage » 04 Oct 2006 00:07

Johann wrote:Ravi,

Sorry I didnt make it clear in the para I am mostly talking about irregular forces in that para.

Although when I say retaliation I dont mean lopping some captured corporal's head off. I mean escalating the conflict in ways that hurt the other side.

I am also talking about in conventional situations is *high* level people on your side making it clear to Div/Bde/Bn OCs on the other side that they and their fellow officers will face *personal* consequences if excesses are practiced by their men.

So that means that their men will be encouraged to surrender - but if their officers come in to contact they may not be so lucky. There may be unusual degree of effort to hit their HQs, etc.

These threats and promises have to have credibility. That means that those who surrender should make it through the war alive, and officers of units on the other side that behave badly must pay a price even if it is off the books. It means some times negotiating deals that set your teeth on edge to get your people back.

I am not commenting here specifically on the Indian forces here, there are other people far more qualified to do that. But I am talking about things that I know have been done and do work - although they have to be finetuned against the people you are dealing with, and they require a chain of command that is both realistic, and committed enough to quietly break some of its own rules.


Israel. I presume.

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I have to get this off my chest

Postby Harry » 04 Oct 2006 00:21

One question I have always pondered,

All of us know of the general civilian public's exponential increase in awareness and respect for the armed forces after nothing less than the loss of hundreds of Indian soldiers at Kargil and the torture that Saurabh Kalia and his men had to endure. But was it really worth all the pain that the latter suffered, just to get the respect that was due to them anyway?

Fate would have perhaps not been so cruel in its methods to enlighten the Indian populace had the latter not been so ignorant and clueless of what their armed forces mean and the kind of security threat and scenario they face? Even today, the amount of respect and recognition that the armed forces receive from the average Indian, is pathetic. None of the idiotic "India Pride" videos so often paraded by the NRI community even feature them.

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Postby JCage » 04 Oct 2006 00:25

The Indian educated elite is unaware of the armed forces, and part of that blame rests on the Armed forces for not being PR intensive.

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Postby ramana » 04 Oct 2006 00:59

RaviBg, The US made the case that a retreating army was fair game and that resulted in the pictures of "Highway of Death' during Gulf War I aka Desert Storm. It was highly repugnant and Colin Powell to his credit stopped further attacks.

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Postby John Snow » 04 Oct 2006 01:18

Dr. Tim's silence is deafening.
I thought he would come swinging in defense of Mushy's book with regard to Kargil lies.

Where are you Dr. when we need your lite to shine? :)

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Postby JCage » 04 Oct 2006 01:18

Ramana, I'd be highly surprised if any repugnance in the the Highway of Death business made the US stop- it was mostly post war that commentators claimed that the presence of civilian vehicles meant that civilians were involved, something, which by no means was certain given that any soldier can and mostly would requisition any vehicle to get the hell out of dodge.

Perhaps the US stopped releasing pics, but a tally of 1400 vehicles definitely means that they didnt pull their punches or ordnance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_of_death

Nor was there anything repugnant in what the US did per se, it was war plain & simple. You may recall Yogi's depiction of the IA arty & IAF plastering Pakistani formations stuck on narrow roads while slowly mobilizing to counter Indian attacks in that spectacular Karna- Kharga thread! That was imho quite a desi version of the Highway of death, the only difference- they were mobilizing to attack- these blokes were retreating, that apart, the purpose & result were the same!

War has always been about striking the enemy at his most vulnerable, at least not for the Indian ethos perhaps, but worldwide- well, yes! Heavy cavalry for instance was unleashed for shock effect with lances, & then spent most of its time "gloriously" cutting down the fleeing infantry with sabers! This pastime of course came to an end in due course, with more disciplined heavy armoured infantry, which would not flee despite being at the receiving end of armoured horses charging at them. That & other improvements in military technology & tactics.

Ramana, also recall how the US breached the Iraqi defensive line in ODS, if my memory serves me right, they used armoured dozers and tanks with engineering equipment to basically collapse ditches on the soldiers manning them, in effect burying thousands of soldiers alive. No particular regard for public opinion or anything like that there either. That all came later, but the deed was well & truly done, & as far as the US was concerned, they chose the most efficient method to collapse the defensive line/s.

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Postby Johann » 04 Oct 2006 01:29

JCage wrote:Israel. I presume.
Among others.

There's one particular campaign that was far enough back that its safe to speak of it.

Hitler gave an infamous order to execute all captured Allied SF personnel. The Wehrmacht was informed through unofficial channels in neutral countries of the consequences of carrying out such orders. Many Wehrmacht officers chose not to carry out those orders, others, particularly those from the SS did.

Bringing a succesful prosecution for war crimes in a real court takes a great deal of effort. Most of the war criminals tried at Nuremberg were at the very highest level. Some a few levels below were just as culpable but were not tried, or escaped, or cut various kinds of deals.

At the end of the war some SF units were given a little more time to disband than was really necessary. They were given reign was to extract a measure of justice for what had been done to their comrades from those who were responsible but would not .

The British Army's Jewish Brigade also had many personnel who went off to do much the same thing - they often joined up with Jewish members of resistance organisations who had survived Nazi occupation.

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Postby JCage » 04 Oct 2006 01:32

>>Hitler gave an infamous order to execute all captured Allied SF personnel.

Ah, infamous indeed. Execute all commandos & OSS saboteurs..

>>>At the end of the war some SF units were given a little more time to disband than was really necessary. They were given reign was to extract a measure of justice for what had been done to their comrades from those who were responsible but would not .



I didnt quite get this, could you rephrase it?

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Postby John Snow » 04 Oct 2006 01:33

Remember only the victorious write history.
(what Mushy wrote is Lies )

So if the greatest democracy performs 'Anarkali' technology (burrying them alive) on enemy soldiers, thats touted as brilliant tactic if some else does Human rights watch dog is let loose

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Postby Johann » 04 Oct 2006 01:35

As far as the 'Highway of Death is concerned'

If you have cut off a force that is willing to surrender, it would in most cases be wrong and stupid to continue to hit them.

The Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait were not encircled, which is why they were able to escape. Saddam pulled a fast one on us - talking belligerently about the mother of all battles while actually initiating a rapid withdrawal with his best troops leading the way. The armoured 'left hook' ended up closing the trap behind Saddam's best troops.

The withdrawing Iraqi forces had not surrendered, nor was there any ceasefire with Iraq. There should have been no problem in interdicting them.

Colin Powell opposed the interdiction of the highway for reasons that were about the mounting and potentially explosive feelings of of anger and humiliation in the Arab and Muslim world (Saudi, Jordan, Egypt, etc) rather than a question of military ethics.

What is far more problematic in terms of what was justifiable was Barry McCaffrey's (24th Inf Div) engagement after the ceasefire.

The whole crisis and war 1990-91 was the point at which the Sunni world decided that America and the West were its no.1 enemy. The 'highway of death' images were part of that, but things would have taken the same course anyway, whether or not the highway had been hit in the first place, or the interdiction had continued.


JCage wrote:I didnt quite get this, could you rephrase it?


At the end of the war some SF units were given a little more time to disband than was really necessary. They were given reign was to extract a measure of justice for what had been done to their comrades by those officers who were responsible but who were unlikely to see the inside of a courtroom for whatever reason - because prosecutors saw them as small fish not worth their time, because they made it to neutral territory, etc.
Last edited by Johann on 04 Oct 2006 01:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby JCage » 04 Oct 2006 01:51

So they basically were given laissez faire to hunt down their handpicked enemies?

John Snow,

Agreed both counts! :D

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Postby abhischekcc » 04 Oct 2006 01:52

JCage wrote:Ramana, also recall how the US breached the Iraqi defensive line in ODS, if my memory serves me right, they used armoured dozers and tanks with engineering equipment to basically collapse ditches on the soldiers manning them, in effect burying thousands of soldiers alive. No particular regard for public opinion or anything like that there either. That all came later, but the deed was well & truly done, & as far as the US was concerned, they chose the most efficient method to collapse the defensive line/s.


JC, that's called Churning. Standard Armourd Oprating Procedure. IA does it too. It is meant to cause panic among nemy troops, and make them flee posts. Get over it.

War is hell.

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Postby JCage » 04 Oct 2006 02:09

Thanks, interesting.

>>Get over it.

:?:

I am not really surprised or shocked per se. In an era of nuclear blackmail, whats a few ditches..

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Postby Shishir » 04 Oct 2006 02:55

Johann wrote:Ravi,
Although when I say retaliation I dont mean lopping some captured corporal's head off. I mean escalating the conflict in ways that hurt the other side.

I am also talking about in conventional situations is *high* level people on your side making it clear to Div/Bde/Bn OCs on the other side that they and their fellow officers will face *personal* consequences if excesses are practiced by their men.

So that means that their men will be encouraged to surrender - but if their officers come in to contact they may not be so lucky. There may be unusual degree of effort to hit their HQs, etc.

These threats and promises have to have credibility. That means that those who surrender should make it through the war alive, and officers of units on the other side that behave badly must pay a price even if it is off the books. It means some times negotiating deals that set your teeth on edge to get your people back.

There might be something to what Johann says though not quite in the manner described above. In this case, the retaliation was purely tactical and did in fact involve lopping a head or two off!

I think the incident was during Op Parakram and involved the Jat regiment(Not sure what battalion was involved). Some Pakistani soldiers ambushed an Indian patrol near the LOC and a few jawans were killed in the ambush. Not satisfied with the ambush itself, the Pakistanis beheaded an Indian jawan and carried his head off as souvenir. In brutal retaliation, a Jat unit killed several Pakistani soldiers a few days later and "lopped Off" a few heads in grisly fashion. Transgressions like the above ceased from the Pakistani side after this incident. I believe the IA high command also issued a 'No Comment' or something similar after this was reported in the media.

Now I am not sure if this is "SOP" in such cases. What I think happened here was that some unwritten rules about 'code of conduct' were broken by the Pakistanis during this encounter. This invited the wrath of the IA and they retaliated in kind. Was the response disproportionate? I don't know but we have not heard of such incidents since then and was probably designed to send the Pakistanis a message.

All of this is, of course, pure speculation on my part. I don't know that something like an 'unwritten rule' does in fact exist. Not even sure if a response such as the one above transpires every time such a 'non-existent unwritten rule' is broken by the Pakistanis OR if there are other ways to dispense said punishment (Escalating in other ways as mentioned by Johann)

What is true however, is the fact that the Pakistanis seem to 'up the ante' everytime there is a war or a war-like situation. What this provides them other than invite brutal retaliation is a subject matter for 'Paki Piskological' analysts.

Can't seem to find a link to the above story. Will post here when I find the link.

Added later: Could not find the link but did find a quote on a different forum. Article was by Vishal thapar and appeared in HT. Scroll down to the bottom of this forum.
http://www.jatland.com/forums/showthread.php?t=744

[quote]It’s head for head along the border
Vishal Thapar
New Delhi, September 28

Rules of engagement

Unlawful act: Soldiers have immunity for killing enemy soldiers only in a declared war

Geneva Convention: Focuses on treatment of POWs. Treatment of bodies is in realm of military tradition

Scare tactics: In 1971 war, Gurkhas had a reputation of beheading Pak soldiers. They played on Pak soldiers’ belief that beheaded humans were headless in after-life too

Pak’s game too: During Kargil war, bodies of Indian soldiers, which Pakistan returned, were badly mutilated
India and Pakistan may not be at war, but on the Line of Control (LoC), they are playing a game of gore that may get out of control.
Last month, elements from the Pakistan Army walked across the LoC in the Rajouri sector in Jammu and Kashmir. They ambushed a Jat Regiment patrol and killed four troops.

But the intruders weren't through. They chopped off the head of a slain Indian soldier and carried it back across the LoC as a trophy. The Pakistanis also took away a light machine gun that the Indians were carrying.

The Indian retaliation was ferocious. Earlier this week, a battalion of the Jat Regiment shot dead nine Pakistani soldiers. And for gruesome impact, the Jats got the heads of two Pakistani soldiers.

The Army brass, however, isn’t saying anything about this macabre medievalism. “There's nothing to state officially. We're not making a statement,â€
Last edited by Shishir on 04 Oct 2006 04:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Yerna » 04 Oct 2006 03:22

Purefool bidwai mentioned the above incident in his article sometime in 2002. The news of pakis killing Indian soldiers appeared in HT around the same time.

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Postby Anoop » 04 Oct 2006 03:49

Harry wrote: Second, think of how the brain works. In the heat of the battle, I really doubt that the enemy is thinking too much of the long term.


That's true. However, the heat of the battle lasts only a short while (how much ammo expenditure can be tolerated in a single action?) For the most part, the battle-field is lonely and silent with bursts of action in between. In any case, it is only in the lull that any negotiation of surrender can take place.

We know the reps the pukes have, yet I can't recall any of our soldiers commiting suicide rather than face the prospect of torture and eventual murder.


Which self respecting soldier will commit suicide when he can take a few of the enemy with him in a last desparate stand?

... but even if not, the infantry is prepared for the worse situation. Therefore, there will be no additional casualties because the infantry is prepared for and will tackle that situation.


It is rather obvious that the word "additional" does not refer to a comparison between worst case expectations and reality. It has to do with a comparison between two possible realities - one where the enemy fights to the end, and the other where he surrenders even though he has the ability to cause further casualties. It is irrelevant what casualties you are prepared to accept - in one case you have lost more men than in the other. Academic posturing as in "Oh, but we expected to lose so many men anyway" is completely irrelevant. I really don't understand what is so difficult about this concept.

What is certainly debatable is whether the decision to surrender is based solely on the way they expect to be treated as PoWs.

But unfortunately, there is no way of justifying it on tactical grounds.


Actually, that has already been done both by the Brig. and by Johann.

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Postby ShibaPJ » 04 Oct 2006 06:56

...Did they air these sentiments of wanting to cross the LC to anyone in authority during the battles or even after the ceasefire? Penny for their thoughts and unfortunate that the war terminated too early for them. It would have surely passed on to the powers that be that visited the battlefield from time to time. In fact, it would have shored up the morale of many in Delhi!

Is it practically possible for someone on the ground level to really go up to the high command and suggest something so blunt? With the military,which is considered the epitome of discipline this would be heresy. It does not happen in govt. service and certainly would not be tolerated in IA.

To my mind, with all humility at my command, I feel both smells a CYA attitude and playing to the gallery and appearing to be all blood and guts after the war is over! ;)

I would disagree; I didn't feel their anger and disgust was fake. Can it be that IA top brass is not in touch with the feelings at the grass roots level? (May not be the most prevalent, but festering nonetheless)

..It is not the time to be a General Musharaff and go into delusion and imagined grandeur!

Absolutely.. Wish our leaders could get rid of some self-delusional stuff themselves and stop being played for a fool by all & sundry. (Lest someone takes offence, I am refering to the political leadership here).
Last edited by ShibaPJ on 04 Oct 2006 07:06, edited 2 times in total.


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