Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Michael
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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Michael » 21 May 2002 21:47

Doesn't it strike anyone as more than a litte bit rediculous to be talking about taking out Pakistan's nuclear capability with a conventional strike?

With conventional payloads, that is pure fantasy for the IAF and IN; I doubt even US air power could pull it off without using nukes.

The only way India could have any chance of preemptively knocking out Pakistan's nuclear weapons and delivery systems is if India goes after these targets with nuclear weapons. In other words, India would have to violate its own NFU policy. I have no problem with that; indeed I think the NFU doctrine should be used as nothing more than a ruse to fool Pakistan into believing that India will never strike first. But that kind of pragmatic mindset is in a distinct minority.

Anyway, as far as the technical details of an Indian nuclear first strike go, one thing that's pretty obvious is that you'd have to hit all the targets at around the same time and with no more than a few minutes of warning. Is that possible with aircraft? Definitely not. For one thing, the logistical and planning preparations for such a massive airstrike would take days or even weeks, would involve tens of thousands of personell, and would definitely be noticed.

That kind of sudden, coordinated surprise attack is only possible with missiles (cruise and ballistic). This means that while strike aircraft could certainly be used for mopping up, the initial strike would have to be carried off using solely with missiles. And of course, these would have to be nuclear armed to have any chance of success.

The question is, does India have enough nuclear-capable ballistic and cruise missiles to pull this off? I would think you'd need 50-100 to have a good chance of success. And by success I mean completely destroying Pakistan's nuclear capability in the first strike.

One interesting aspect of this type of nuclear first strike scenario: it would not only result in far lower Indian casualties but would also kill a lot less Pakistanis, too. This is because India would not be targetting cities, but rather nuclear facilities, airbases, and launchers. Lower-yield weapons (10-20kt) would likely be used. India would likely keep some bigger bombs in reserve for taking out Pakistani cities in case an Indian city (or cities) get taken out by Pakistani nukes that survived the first strike.

I guess what I'm saying is, an Indian "counter-nuke" first strike is the only realistic option, and its not as morally reprehensible as it appears since Pakistani civilian damage is far less than it would be in the event of a general nuclear war.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Y I Patel » 21 May 2002 22:15

Doesn't it strike anyone as more than a litte bit rediculous to be talking about a preemptive nuclear strike on another country, without any international repercussions? To ask but the most obvious question, is it realistic to expect China to sit back and accept an Indian nuclear first strike?

A conventional disabling strike is much more difficult to conceive and execute than a nuclear disabling strike... and advocating preemptive nuclear strikes is so very sexy and imaginative. But even if a conventional strike is more difficult, the aftereffects are far far more manageable.

Now let's come to two big objections (not the only ones, but we have to tackle them a few at a time, don't we): (a) preparations will be detected (b) a massed strike will be impossible to conceal.

Regarding (a), it may come as a surprise but IAF does fly in peacetime, unlike some other neighboring air forces that don't in fly even in war like situations. Preparations would undoubtedly require a lot of creative thinking to conceal, but people thought the same about trying to explode nukes while Unkil was watching. Regarding (b), it all boils down to when the incoming attack is detected; how much reaction time is required to launch nukes; and what steps can be taken to disrupt the pre launch sequence.

None of it is easy; even an armchair plan like the one proposed here requires a lot more work to flesh out. But incompleteness and difficulty do not translate to impossibility. Before the Kaluchak incident broke, I was getting ready to post some quotes on what naysayers opined on Israel's Op Moked. Moked happened, Pokhran II happened. A conventional first strike can happen too.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby ramana » 21 May 2002 22:19

Soon after Kargil ABV was asked about the NFU in an interview. He said to paraphrase offcourse we wont be sitting around when we detect signs of preparation by the otherside but will honor the NFU. It was taken to mean that if India gets to know that TSP is readying its arsenal then India will go after them to minimize the incoming.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Johann » 21 May 2002 22:37

A conventional first strike might work if

a) it occurs before TELs have been dispersed

or

b) if the Pakistanis have no launch delegation in the event of decapitation

Moked worked because the IDF knew well in advance exactly where all targets would be - concentrated in a few locations. An enormous amount of information could then be gathered and integrated into the planning process long before someone had to pick up the phone and give the word.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Y I Patel » 21 May 2002 22:38

The "initiial conditions" at the time of mounting a strike are very important.

The decision to mount a disabling strike can be taken

(a) out of the blue;
(b) at a time of high tensions and elevated deployment levels (like right now); or
(c) after the start of a limited war like kargil.

Clearly, concealment of preparations and evasion of early detection are much more difficult in (a); however, targeting becomes simplified since only a handful of storage sites would be on the list. At that point, a joint AF/Army op would be indicated. (b) is an interesting intermediate state, and more information is needed to outline the best mode of action for a first strike.
(c) may be predominantly a target tracking problem (TELs).

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Michael » 22 May 2002 01:01

Originally posted by bharat:
Hey, this thread has gone from discussing aspects of exercise to a punishing attack on non nuclear strategic assets to a direct attack removing Pakistan's nuke weapons.
You're right. Guys, I started a separate thread on this topic of taking out nukes here: http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=005017

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Raja Ram » 22 May 2002 10:07

Excuse me kind folks!

Is there any details about the ACTUAL Parkram II exercise? I am attempting to put this series of exercise in a context. First Militarily and then as part of an overall appraoch of the GOI. So bear with me in this ramble.

Me thinks that this exercise is basically a dummy run of the several options that military have rustled up for punishing Pakistan. Was GF, COAS and CAS in the Mahajan range as the culmination of this round of exercise to assess the options?
Have they now short listed couple of options? Have they come up with some analysis on what would be the risk factor attached with each option? Does this mean that the GOI has defined certain concrete objectives? If this is the case, then we have clearly defined goals already in place and several military options fully planned in order to achieve these goals. These plans may have been formulated during the Brahmastra exercise series which was policy level one. They have then been trying to test these paper plans for their doability with a series of exercises (Poorna Vijay series) and now this Parkram series is basically dry runs for what will eventaully happen.

With the Navy already in place to cut off Pakistan, the diplomatic escalation being calibrated and in this context please note that MEA and Armed Forces have had recent interactions, the economic angle being explored by talking about IWT. Pakistan is being slowly but surely strangulated. The whole exercise is part of a larger strategy which includes other options in the Diplomatic and Economic spheres. There is a coordinated and integrated plan with the military options.

Point to note is that GF, COAS and CAS along with CNS have now joined PM in Jammu. This means that CCM will be presented with different options and there is already in place a coordinating mechanism. This is clearly sending some message to Brilliant Tactician next door as well to all assorted Uncles, Aunts, Dragons, poodles and hence the full capacity seats to Delhi bound planes.

Could the recent killing of the Lone Ranger Lone in Hurriyat be a desparate attempt by ISI to avert war by trying to get more Uncles, Aunts, Dragons, Poodles etc to rush to Delhi and plead for time. There time tested and traditional hope of getting USA and China to help them. This has failed in the past when India was a lot weaker but they were never very good in learning lessons were they? Besides in their calculation, they might think that India does not have the Soviet backing to counter balance like before. Who knows? They have believed in far more fanciful theories in the past back in 1971 and recently in Kargil.

We may not appreciate all this baashan, chai paani biscoot style and the army in the border thing, but I think the people against whom this is directed are getting to appreciate the intent and seriousness of it all. The only thing is that they seem to think that they can blackmail and cooerce others to come in and save their butt becaue they are nice AL Lie and have nukes. To a certain extent it might be working with all these fine folks rushing to Delhi froim Bilayat. But so far it seems that they have not been successful in getting anywhere with their pleading.

We are not Israel or USA. Vajpayee is not Sharon or Dubya. Like 1971, India is building up for a showdown. IG too was getting flak for a full 8-10 months as she went knocking door after door and being treated with contempt. She put up with it all because she knew what she wanted and planned all along.

Well in 1971 we were a lot weaker than what we are today, so the difference this time is others are coming knocking at our door and we are still putting up patiently with inanities, platitudes and saying everytime with great patience, please go to Islamaintbad and convince Al Lie General and preach. I think we going in for a long and decisive war in which battles will be both overt and covert and battlefields will include diplmatic ones, economic ones in addition to military ones as well.

The PM at the end of the Parliamentary attack had asked the nation to be prepared for a long and final war. He has reiterated in more than one occassion in Parliament and outside. The other government ministers have reiterated this point. The Opposition has been briefed. The effect of all this is Referendum President is finding that he is fast losing his support base.

Now, gentle reeaders, please feel free to comment on the above ramble. Am I seeing a grand plan because I wish to see one or am I being ahead of the curve a la BR gurus and getting the real deal. Frankly, I have no clue.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby ramana » 22 May 2002 23:01

Raja Ram thanks for the nice summation. Yes there was total blankout of PK-II. All we know is its start and end dates. And approx. location 150 km from border so no need to notify anyone.

I also note the difference between '71 and now that you have pointed out. Last time it was Mrs. IG who had to go from pillar to post while now it is the pillar and posts who are coming to Delhi to urge restraint. Good point.
Parkaalam is all I can say. To be honest Indian babus are quite devious when push comes to shove. And when the combine with netas is quite a combination.
I thought the most devious one was that reported by Athale about seeking ret. officers for Military governors. Maybe they will show the RATS how a real officer behaves. Should send a chill down Mushy's spine if it is still there.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby kgoan » 22 May 2002 23:25

Originally posted by Raja Ram:
Am I seeing a grand plan because I wish to see one or am I being ahead of the curve a la BR gurus and getting the real deal. Frankly, I have no clue.[/QB]
No idea, of course. But in your post I can hear the faint "click" of a trap beginning to close.

And as for all those vagabond pillars and posts, don't they say that if you build a better mouse trap the world will beat a path to your door...

:) :)

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Y I Patel » 22 May 2002 23:43

Now it can be said that Parakram-II had as much to do with military exercises as this thread had to do with Parakram-II.

:)

It would be terribly tempting to say that Lt Gen Nanavatty will brief the PM on how to make good on his (Nanavatty's) threat such a long time ago... War, like life, is what happens while you are making other plans...

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Mahadev » 22 May 2002 23:47

Hey, nice work, Raja Ram.

Lets see what happens, Ram Bharose, I guess.

Man, these snide remarks from the BBC are hard to take, these rascals will be repaid in fine coin by their homegrown terrorists.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby putnanja » 22 May 2002 23:54

The brits still think that they are in the raj time. India should tell their FM Straw that if he wants to just come to india and ask for restraint, he better not come. why waste time on both sides? same message should go to powell/armitage and any other restraint-mongers. unless they have some info from pukistan that shows they are addressing some of india's concerns, these people must be told to lay off.
For all the faith that US has in musharraf, i doubt whether they will ever be able to get the top al-quida people. mushy has been fooling US and US so much, that one wonders whether they are plain stupid or playing some other serious game.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Vinay J » 23 May 2002 00:31

The Brits have just now remarked that Pakistan has a quality army while India has the quantity!!! :mad:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/nonfram/220502/dLFOR74.asp

Should we buy Hawks from these rascals? :mad: NO!!

Better to shop elsewhere methinks!

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Johann » 23 May 2002 00:34

http://www.indian-express.com/full_story.php?content_id=3071

May 20

Meanwhile, Fernandes and chiefs of the Army and IAF today flew to the Nal air force base to witness the final phase of Operation Parakram Phase-III. The exercise focuses on synergised air force and army assaults on ‘enemy’ territory with emphasis on firepower to neutralise ‘enemy’ assets.

‘‘The air force moves in to flatten enemy defences ahead of an armoured and artillery assault. The exercises are taking place at the Mahajan field firing ranges,’’ Army sources said.

The month-long exercise concludes tomorrow with a air and ground firepower demonstration. ‘‘We have taken several scenarios into account, ranging from a limited strike to escalating conflict. The army and air force are also capable of handling a nuclear scenario. Although in the existing situation, we do not expect the conflict to cross the nuclear threshold, we are prepared for every eventuality and have been testing our responses,’’ the sources said.

Raja Ram,

Do you have a source to confirm that Admiral Madhavendra Singh will be in Srinagar with Vajpayee and the other Chiefs?


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