Doctrinal and other transformation essential for the IA

RayC
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Doctrinal and other transformation essential for the IA

Postby RayC » 10 Dec 2005 15:54

The Indian Army doctrines are based on concepts that are applicable to the pre nuclear scenario and are on the classical form of warfare, which in actuality, has not quite translated the aims and instead have led to slogging matches, except in the Eastern front in 1971.

Yet, there is no doubt that India is fast emerging as a regional power. She is also is vying for a seat in the UN Security Council and hence cannot be irresponsible. It also thus indicates that India may have to play a role beyond its immediate land and maritime boundaries independently or with allies.

Therefore, India has to possess "Strategic Mobility" which is woefully lacks.

On the other hand, some of her adversaries are unpredictable and hence India has no option but to be prepared for operations thrust on her with little of no warning and achieve her aims without the adversary crossing her nuclear threshold!

India has also to meet her obligations in providing forces for the UN in either peacekeeping or peace enforcement, if indeed she wishes to emerge as a responsible UN member and eminently suited for a UN Security Council seat.

While the technological advances may still be beyond reach currently, yet they would be possessed in the near future.

And that the COIN environment that will stay for sometime.

In view of this what should be the doctrinal, organisational, weapon, manpower changes that you visualise?

This is an interesting issue worth consideration.

shiv
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Postby shiv » 10 Dec 2005 17:14

RayC - whenever I read about RMA - it seems to speak of

1) Joint operations with other wings of the armed forces
2) For the Army especially - great speed, mobility, information, communication and situational awareness.

Point 1 requires that interservice rivalries be set aside and that may require a deep bureaucratic look into things like personal and career intersts that may be affected (I am guessing/gassing here - this is not knowledge)

Point 2 may require a move away from T 90 type warfare to Attack Helicopter type warfare, as well as emphasis on special forces.

I am told that there is an increasing awareness of this in the Army, but the India army is a huge - hu-uuge creature that is slow to change.
Last edited by shiv on 10 Dec 2005 21:54, edited 1 time in total.

satya
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Postby satya » 10 Dec 2005 18:05

Above anything else we need a CDS , something politicians from all political parties r unwilling to be created.

Give more teeth to the Defence Policy Group and their recomendations to become manadatory.


In any near future , india will be facing threats mostly on its moutainous terrain rather than in plains so greater emphasis should be on Mountain Warfare and raising more Mountain Divisions [ which currently r well below wht we require]

There was a nice article tht clearly stated instead of grouping up all the para. military forces under one command better keep them assigned to their original duties for whom they were created :

a] namely ITBP for border responsibility along Chinese border with max. concentration in HP rather than make them another AK-47 touting escorts for politicos in punjab

b] Keep RR and Assam Rifles purely as COIN troops and also under a total separate command under CDS rather than ad hoc measures where its under Nothern Command of IA .


No matter how small are our SF forces we need a separate command for them for better logistics and policy directions and manpower use .Infact it will be advantageous for us considering , all the ground work can be done in keeping with the conditions prevailing in indian sub continent.

And as Shiv said , we definitely need more Attack helos than these T-90s , something tht has been stated out quite well by Dr Subhash Kapila in his articles for faster and better tactical manevours.

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Postby RayC » 10 Dec 2005 19:55

Shiv,

It would be interesting if you could amplify the idea of the Tank vs the AH (Attack Helicopter) view.

It would be interesting to hear your views on the issue. In fact, if you get your hands on Richard Simpkins book "Race to the Swift", he explains the same in a very interesting manner. It would be of great interest to you since he explains many issues with scientific models.

In today's context, we have to be sensitive to the nuclear threshold of the adversary and the quixotic responses they are capable of. In addition, we have to circumvent the advantage the adversary has over our tardy mobilisation. Maybe we have to think of a manner wherein we have a greater response signature through Strategic lift.

Strategic lift notwithstanding, the forces so lifted should be able to join battle immediately and to do so the logistics and the logistical train should be able to support the offensive force simulataneously and should have matching pace.

Since much has to be achieved in the very short strategic timeframe available to achieve the military aim, it would be obvious that an integrated effort is applied and to this extent what would be the the infrastructure for a network centric operation.

How does the Rapid Decisive Operation concept fit into this scheme of things?

There is no doubt that in many areas the Armed Forces is lopsidedly heavy on manpower and maybe even equipment. Where all can they shed the flab and how?

These are few issues that you could mull over and it would be of interest to learn of your and others responses.

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Postby Anoop » 10 Dec 2005 20:37

Ray sahab,

Here is my wish-list for the Indian Armed Forces:

1. Doctrinal:

- Understand and codify war termination procedures very well (i.e. at what point will we have achieved our objectives and what effort would we have expended towards that end). Work backwards from those lessons to codify what military actions we are now geared towards undertaking and what we need to improve uopn.

- Communicate the lessons learnt in our successes (1971), failures (IPKF) and partial successes (Op. Parakram) to the political leadership so that all decision makers know exactly when to use the armed forces for intervention and/or coercive diplomacy.

- Invest in military to military relationships with all neighbours (except Pakistan!) to be "clued in" to the happenings.

- Make political leadership understand the value of foreign bases in the event of quick and pre-emptive intervention. Offer this as an alternative to the need for strategic air-lift, as also a deterrent to enemy action.

2. Strategic:

- Nurture more organizations like the USI, which brings contributions from non-military and foreign personnel, in order to visualize the challenges of the next 15-20 years.

- Streamline procurement procedures (GSQR, trials, price negotiations) to have a full pipeline of various equipment at various stages of induction.

3. Operational: Invest to achieve

- Information dominance on the battlefield (we 'see' farther and clearer than the enemy), in the operations planning room (we analyse the data and form the correct picture much quicker than the enemy and thereby anticipate his next move before he anticipates ours) and in the open media (our version of the events rules the air waves)

- Responsive logistics (logistic concerns integrated into the mission planning, instead of being horned in post-facto) which means that the ASC commander anticipates the needs of the next battle.

4. Manpower:

Attract talent by offering incentives like

- Deputation in civil corporations during peace-time tenure, teaching human resources management and materials management in premier management institutions.

- Opportunity to leverage military experience in the civil sector in the 40-45 age group for officers.

5. Tactical:

- Size & shape standardization of logistic containers, quick turnaround of supplies at each transportation node, RFID tags that can be linked backed to Bde HQ for real-time picture of stores.

- Significant investment in vehicle recovery, field repair and field ambulances.
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I don't know how much of this is practical, valuable or if it is too vague to merit discussion. Your input will help guide further thought.

RayC
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Postby RayC » 10 Dec 2005 22:55

One has to understand the function of the CDS.

It in no way impinges on the functionality and role of the three Chiefs.

It is basically to command and administer those forces which are of Strategic nature abd Fortress Andaman. The CDS is also to coordinate doctrinal, policy, planning and operational issues observed by the Cabinet (relevant ministers) and unresolved issues of the Chiefs of Staff Commitee.

Notwithstanding the issue of the CDS, the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) has evolved a Long Term Perspective Plan which is to be approved by the Cabinet Commitee on Security.

satya
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Postby satya » 10 Dec 2005 23:31

Ray wrote:

Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) has evolved a Long Term Perspective Plan which is to be approved by the Cabinet Commitee on Security.


can u shed some more light on this , Ray.

Anoop
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Postby Anoop » 10 Dec 2005 23:57

From the USI Journal, Vol. CXXXlV, Issue Jul-Sep, pp. 355-375, 2004.

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Indian Army - A Perspective on Future Challenges, Force Development and Doctrine

Lieutenant General V K Kapoor, PVSM (Retd)


BACKGROUND


As we move forward in the first decade of the 21st century, uncertainty, anxiety and pressures characterise the global security environment. With the disappearance of traditional and easily identifiable security threats the anxieties and fears have increased. The world has come to be dominated by one super-power and the global security agenda tends to be defined in terms of the US interests and perceptions and there is little likelihood of the situation changing in the foreseeable future. The events post 11 September 2001 have created a new security environment in which there is a paradigm shift in defining the nature of conflicts and in understanding the concept of national security. The lines between peace and war have become blurred and a large number of challenges, both military and non-military have become vital national security concerns. International terrorism now occupies an important slot on the security agenda of all nations. All countries affected by this phenomenon, have had to reassess their security estimates in view of the new challenges, to formulate well thought out long-term security strategies. In the Indian context this phenomenon is accentuated by the lack of a national security strategy that can be interpreted by the military to design a well defined national military strategy. Currently both are conspicuous by their absence despite the additional security structures like the National Security Council and the Integrated Defence Staff.

India’s security environment is influenced by her exceptional security criterion which includes land borders which embrace 3310 kilometres of borders with Pakistan and 3917 kilometres with China, with whom India has major territorial disputes; 5422 kilometres of main coast line, and approximately two million square kilometres of exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The defence perimeter encompasses some of the most difficult and treacherous terrain, which includes the glacial regions and the high mountain ranges of Himalayas in the north and North East, high and low mountains and jungles in the east and sandy deserts and Rann swamps in the west. India also has more than 650 islands in the Indian Ocean region (Andaman and Nicobar group and the Lakhshadweep Islands) where lie our sea lanes of communications. 95 per cent of India’s overseas trade moves through the medium of sea. Another example of the importance of the sea (Indian Ocean Region) is our current oil consumption that is 80 million tons per year and by the year 2020 it is likely to rise to 150 million tons per year. Any stoppages will have a crippling effect on the economy.

Another factor affecting military security is the changed nature of warfare and the emerging technologies that are profoundly influencing all armed forces to review their military doctrines and their force development plans. Apart from traditional threats and challenges, international terrorism has assumed global dimensions. India has been facing a virulent strain of terrorism, for the past 15 years in Jammu and Kashmir (J and K), whose lineage is the same as the one that struck the US on 11 September 2001. Whereas the US has adopted the doctrine of “pre-emption” and “regime change”, India prefers to fight it within its own borders. The impact and significance of the entire gamut of challenges and threats is, ostensibly, yet to be analysed and imbibed fully by the Indian Armed Forces. Their sluggish response is verily a true reflection of the lack of national will despite all the political rhetoric to the contrary.

While there is an enthusiastic surge forward by all nations to integrate their armed forces to the extent possible, in order to optimise their combat capabilities, the Indian Armed Forces remain satisfied by their eloquence of “jointmanship”.

In the meanwhile, military planning is now constrained by a nuclearised neighbourhood, which means that if we go to war our political aims and military objectives will have to be carefully calibrated, and our methodology of warfighting adapted to the prevailing conditions of the conflict with a nuclear backdrop. This situation demands intensive wargaming at military, strategic and operational levels in peacetime, for the military leadership to understand the nuances of such conflicts.

This paper gives a perspective on the future challenges, force development and doctrine for the Indian Army.


FUTURE THREATS AND CHALLENGES


To fully comprehend the emerging challenges, we need to examine these away from the traditional scenarios of Pakistan and China. Only then can the entire challenge be visualised in real terms.

India’s sphere of influence encompasses the region from the eastern sea board of Africa in the west to Malacca Strait in the east and includes the Arab-Islamic world, Iran, Central Asia, East Asia and China. Hence there are a variety of challenges to national security, away from the set scenarios of Pakistan and China that need to be factored in our planning process for the future. The ones, which impact specifically upon the structure of the Army are:-

(a) Defence of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and other island territories separated by large distances from the mainland.

(b) Security of our offshore and onshore assets and resources rich area.

(c) Security of a large and unprotected coastline and the national assets and infrastructure along the coastline.

(d) Internal dissent and claims to autonomy and ethnic recognition by sub-national entities, who may be supported from outside.

(e) Demographic shifts in the South Asian region and other non-military threats which may impact upon the military.

(f) Inimical actions by powerful multinationals, which may affect own vital national interests and which may be supported by other states.

(g) The beliefs of a single, very powerful, state which views its security as more vital than that of the world.

(h) The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and advanced delivery platforms such as missiles.

(j) Overspill of ethnic conflicts in the South Asian region into India.

(k) Global terrorism perpetrated by non-state actors, which may be aided or supported by other states.

(l) Aid to Civil Authorities.

(i) Terrorist activity.

(ii) Flow of drugs and narcotics.

(iii) Antagonistic para-military groups.
(iv) Large scale civil disobedience and internal disturbances.







The Impact of Economic Development.

(a) Recent Western forecasts indicate an annual growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) by seven to eight per cent. This growth rate will enable India to be among the top four economies in purchasing power party (PPP) by 2015.

(b) The logic of Cold War that kept the US and India apart has withered away and the economic rise of India has given it a new eminence on the global market for power and influence, which is also likely to facilitate settling of the border problems with both China and Pakistan.

(c) Such economic growth and a global and regional power status in the future necessitates autonomy in decision-making and safeguarding of sovereignty in a new global security environment whose contours are currently hazy and need to be analysed, in greater detail, to ascertain their impact on our security.


Conflict Settings

Considering the challenges listed above and rapprochement processes underway with both our traditional adversaries, in the future, there could be three broad conflict settings, which need to be considered for force and capability development. These are:-

(a) Confront traditional adversaries plus the emerging challenges.

(b) Confront emerging challenges only.

(c) Confront one adversary plus the emerging challenges.




THE NATURE OF WARFARE IN THE FUTURE AND THE BASIS OF FORCE DEVELOPMENT


The basic nature of war never changes. We know that war is adversarial, dynamic, complex, uncertain and dangerous and it is rooted in individual and collective human behaviour. Hence it needs to be studied to gain an insight into it and have a clear understanding. Clausewitz, Jomini, Mahan and Liddell Hart have all stated that nature of war and strategy does not change ie, the components and structure of the subject remain constant–only details change. Moreover, the nature of the subject does not permit precision and exactitude and hence we should be careful while predicting the future.

Our methods and techniques of preparing for and waging wars have, by and large, remained unchanged for more than five decades since independence except for the introduction of a few defensive and offensive operational concepts. Hence the changes in our context will have to be radical in their content and form. These will have to include the following:-


(a) The method of preparing for and conducting wars implying new methods of mobilisation, planning and execution.

(b) A revamped higher direction of war.

(c) A new war fighting doctrine (joint doctrine).

(d) Induction of new war winning technologies.

(e) Force development based on emerging challenges and likely conflict settings.

What makes the future highly uncertain is that we cannot know precisely when, where, or for what ends war will be waged. This dilemma gets even more acute when and if the animosity against our traditional adversaries disappears. Thus the issues related to doctrine, force structures and organisations have to be examined in relation to the role of the Army in the total spectrum of war and viewed conceptually. The doctrinal principles adopted should be broad and flexible enough to accommodate changes as we move forward in time depending upon the situation that may emerge.

Role of The Army

The role of the Army is to preserve national interests, safeguard territorial integrity and unity of the country against any external or internal threats. In the future the role may also include the preservation of sovereign rights, protection of the innocent, preservation of environment and preservation of free trade.

The Spectrum of War

The total spectrum of war includes the types of conflicts that the Army is currently involved in and the ones it may be ordered to undertake in the future. These are :-


(a) Limited conventional conflict under threat of use of nuclear weapons.

(b) Border skirmishes.

(c) Defence of island territories and/or dislodging an adversary from our island territories.

(d) Counter insurgency and counter proxy war operations.

(e) Global and regional terrorist actions including blackmail with WMD.
(f) Internal conflicts caused by dissent.

(g) Out of area contingency missions to assist friendly nations.

(h) Military reaction to unforeseen contingencies demanding a pro-active (including pre-emptive) or reactive response, inside or outside the country.

(j) Other forms of warfare such as information war including media, psychological, and space wars.

(k) Undertaking United Nations (UN) peace keeping operations.


Economic interdependence, international opinion and availability of nuclear weapons in the region may preclude full-scale conflicts (open wars) in the future. Hence our responses to the future threats and challenges explained above are likely to assume the forms other than a full scale conflict.

The Changing Face of Land Warfare

While military development is a continuous and evolutionary process, the modern era has witnessed three watersheds in which the change has been qualitative. The first generation of warfare was reflected by the tactics of the era of the smooth bore muskets and the linear battle of lines and columns. The second generation warfare was a response to the rifled musket, breechloaders, barbed wire, and machine gun and indirect fire. Tactics were based on fire and movement and they remained essentially linear. The third generation warfare was also a response to the increase in battlefield firepower. Germans were, in World War I, aware that they could not compete in a contest of material because of their weaker industrial base; hence they developed radically new tactics, which were based on manoeuvre rather than attrition.

The basic concepts of third generation tactics were in place by the end of 1918. The advent of the aircraft and tanks brought about a major shift at operational level in World War II. This operation was named ‘Blitzkrieg’ by the Germans in which emphasis was placed on manoeuvre, speed and tempo to carry out wide outflanking movements avoiding defences to strike at rear areas in order to cause psychological collapse. Germans exploited their tactical excellence to cause unprecedented defeats in the first two years of the war.

The Americans picked up ideas from the Germans regarding ‘Manoeuvre Warfare’, and simultaneous engagement of operational components of the enemy’s defensive system, structured hierarchically along the entire depth of the opposing system, to cause ‘operational shock’ and development of an operational momentum far exceeding the relative reaction capability of the opponent. The US Airland Battle concept developed along with principle of directing main strike into the opponent’s principal operational weakness. Military analysts in the USA are now deliberating and reflecting on a fourth generation of warfare in which the target will be the whole of enemy’s society (ideology, culture, political, infrastructure and civil society). This generation of warfare, they say, will be characterised by dispersion, increased importance of actions by small groups of combatants, decreasing dependence on centralised logistics, high tempo of operation and more emphasis on manoeuvre. Masses of men or firepower may become a disadvantage, as it will be easy to target. Small, highly manoeuvrable, agile forces will tend to dominate. The aim would be to cause enemy to collapse internally rather than physical destruction. There will be little distinction between war and peace. It will be non-linear, possibly to the point of having no definable battlefields or fronts. Major military and civil facilities will become targets. Success will depend heavily on joint operations. If we combine these general characteristics with new technology we see one possible outline of the new generation.

Combat Status of the Indian Army

The Indian Army is organised, equipped and trained for second and third generation, industrial age and low technology conflicts. Our traditional methods favour deliberate set piece military operations against fixed defences, which are attrition oriented and tactically biased. The Army excels in defensive operations and has considerable staying power with exceptional resilience. Over the past five decades or so it has gathered rich experience in counter insurgency operations. However the higher leadership, by and large, remains mired in conservative attrition oriented methodologies. In the 21st Century the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force are still planning for conflicts essentially Service wise, the way it was in the early years of World War II. We have not even started our journey for the type of integrated warfare contemplated in the future.

Use of Air Power in Recent Conflicts

Modern airpower has certain characteristics that permit military power to be applied uniquely and in a different manner. The vital characteristics of air power are its reach, responsiveness, concentration and flexibility. Modern multi-role fighter aircraft can be configured to undertake any type of offensive role and deliver a wide variety of conventional or non-conventional munitions. Even transport aircraft and helicopters can be used to deliver weapons in addition to their primary role of logistic support. The flexibility of airpower is limited only by the imagination of the user. With the advent of precision guided munitions (PGM) and target designation; modern technology has given airpower the capability of destroying targets with single digit circular error probable (CEP) and with least amount of collateral damage. Given the wherewithal these characteristics endow air power with the ability to psychologically and physically imbalance an opponent and achieve strategic aims set by the national leadership with highly selective employment of land forces.

There is a general feeling among many senior officers of the Army that land operations determine the outcome of wars. Recent conflicts are helpful in understanding the role of air power. Consider Operation Allied Force, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) operations that caused Slobodan Milosevic to surrender in Yugoslavia. It was a cumulative effect of air strikes, which led to the surrender.

In Operation Enduring Freedom, the US operations in Afghanistan, US air power directed by Special Forces and Air Force personnel operating in conjunction with local forces, crushed Taliban and scattered Al Qaeda in a matter of few weeks. Conventional army was employed only at the commencement of Operation Anaconda in March 2002, after Taliban regime had fallen. The regular army’s role in these operations has been to eliminate the Taliban and Al Qaeda remnants and to provide assistance to the new government in Kabul.

In Operation Iraqi Freedom there are many examples of use of air power to achieve strategic aims. In northern Iraq, the refusal of Turkey to allow the US 4th Infantry Division to stage through Turkey posed a major operational dilemma for General Tommy Franks of US Central Command (CENTCOM). Instead of using regular army in the north he employed elements of 3rd and 10th Special Forces Groups, together with the Kurds militia to engage the Iraqi Army. Operating with US fighter aircraft and AC-130 gun ships, this force, tied down four Iraqi corps and prevented them from being shifted south. Whenever the Iraqi forces were able to organise a new defence, aerial firepower either destroyed them or drove them off their positions.

Another example of effectiveness of the US air power is of Iraqi armour that manoeuvred during a sandstorm in order to meet the coalition forces as they closed on Baghdad. Iraq’s Medina, Baghdad and Hammurabi divisions, counting on the cover provided by the sand storm, repositioned to meet the coalition forces. Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Systems (JSTARS) and long range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) detected the movement and guided B-1 and fighter-bombers to intercept them. Using infra-red (IR) targeting devices that could penetrate the clouds of sand and the aircraft inflicted severe damage.

The issue that we need to ponder over is that the US Air Force and Naval Aviation was able to deliver PGM, either in direct support of ground forces or in strike operations where ground forces were not participating. This ability of air power to deliver precision fire in all types of terrain, in all weather, if acquired by the Indian Armed Forces, will call for a “sea change” in the methodology of military operations. It promises a capability of achieving operational and strategic level objectives with selective use of regular army. The Indian Armed Forces require enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability and greater quantity and variety of precision munitions. But most of all we require a national will for an “Air- First” response considering that the Indian Air Force was made to sit out the war in 1962 and in Kargil in 1999 the air response was delayed as it waited to be “cleared” by the Government. Such “operational disconnects” could prove embarrassing in the next war.

Approach to Force Structuring

In the next decade or so, there are distinct possibilities of rapprochement in India’s relationship with Pakistan and China. This would have a very significant impact on Indian Army’s organisation and force structure. In this new environment, away from the set scenario in which we have spent more than 50 years we could downsize, restructure and transform the Army, based on new technologies and a new joint doctrine. This would have to be a holistic and joint effort of the three Services. However, should the expectations fail to materialise then the approach to restructuring would have to differ. In the latter case we would have to re-engineer (reorganise, reorient and re-equip) the existing force levels to acquire the additional operational capabilities desired. We could also be confronted with another scenario in which one adversary is marginalised, while the second adversary continues to pose a military challenge. Such a setting would also require the adoption of the former methodology. Hence the two basic methods identified, based on the emerging patterns of threat are:-


(a) Downsizing and transforming the Army based on new technologies and new threats.

or

(b) Re-engineering the existing force levels to acquire new capabilities.


Under these circumstances, and in view of the present strategic settings and our current operational culture, we have no option but to develop force structures that are both capability and threat based. We must also operationally integrate the three Services through reorganisation of our higher formations to optimise our operational capabilities to ensure coherence, synergy and success in war.


Capabilities Desired

In view of the current and future threat patterns, the force development process will have to consider the range of operations mentioned earlier. This would mandate the development of the following capabilities:-

(a) A smaller high technology conventional force to fight limited wars.

(b) Rapid deployment forces, re-engineered from defensive formations, to deal with border skirmishes and other contingency missions.

(c) Amphibious task force (tri-Service) operating with Special Forces for defence of island territories and for out of area missions.

(d) Special Forces for unforeseen contingencies and to counter terrorism (in all its manifestations including WMD).

(e) Manpower intensive counter insurgency force for fighting insurgencies, proxy wars and for internal employment.

(f) Strategic Forces for Deterrence. Land component to have multi-range missiles with nuclear warheads capable of a wide range of nuclear responses and options.

(g) Army Aviation and supporting arms to support operations for entire spectrum of war.

(h) Integrated airpower at strategic, operational and tactical levels through integrated theatre commands.

(j) Ability to wage information wars (including media wars) and psychological wars.

(k) All capabilities to be integrated in the tri/bi – Service context.


The size of each capability will have to be threat based. One alternative which relates to the existing set pattern of threat coupled with additional threats, will require a gradual transformation through re-engineering (reorganisation with existing assets) to acquire the desired capabilities. This alternative will be more expensive but the nation will have to pay the price of “existential realities” of living in a dangerous and hostile neighbourhood. A flexible plan in which mid-course corrections are feasible should be drawn up after deliberate tri-Service analysis involving military, scientists, academics, strategic analysts and the retired Service officers.

Power Projection. A regional and global economic status also bestows on India a responsibility of projecting military power to support her friends and allies and to safeguard her interests in Southern Asia (including the Indian Ocean Region). This capability, which would essentially be integrated and tri-Service in nature, will have to be built into our future force structure. We would have to bear in mind that we have a strategic geography, which demands long-range power projection.

Technologies Desired

Effective employment of our forces on the battlefield will necessitate the use of some of the following technologies:-

(a) Digital communication networks linking sensors, communication devices and weapons for real time response of the command, control, communication, computers, intelligence and interoperability (C4 I2) system.

(b) Ground and airborne surveillance with an array of manned aircraft and UAVs sending data direct to the Integrated Command Headquarters with the intermediate units and formations receiving the data simultaneously.

(c) Situational awareness and identification friend or foe (IFF) for combat vehicles and tanks for receiving and transmitting important information and data and for IFF.

(d) Multi-role aircraft (fighters and bombers) fitted with compatible equipment and IFF.

(e) Digital imaging with global positioning system (GPS) to allow commanders to draw up fresh battle plans with accurate and up to date information of enemy movement.

(f) Increased self containment of logistics for combat elements.

(g) Networked logistics with tracking system for functioning in a mobile and dynamic environment.

(h) Suitable transportation system (air and ground) for rapid movement of troops, equipment and logistics at strategic, operational and tactical levels.

(j) Accurate long-range firepower with a variety of munitions including precision munitions.

(k) Some light tank units with heavier firepower capable of strategic and operational mobility (between and within command theatres).

(l) Effective protection, firepower and communications for the individual soldier.


DOCTRINAL ISSUES

Army Doctrine

Major General JFC Fuller in The Foundations of the Sciences of War, in 1926 wrote that–“The central idea of an Army is known as its doctrine, which to be sound must be based on principles of war and which to be effective must be elastic enough to admit mutation in accordance with change in circumstance. In its ultimate relationship to the human understanding this central idea or doctrine is nothing else than common sense – action adapted to circumstance.”

Charles Grant in The Use of History in The Development of Contemporary Doctrine states that doctrine has three components. He calls the first component the intellectual component which draws the enduring tenets (principles of war) from the experience of earlier successful armies and their commanders; principles which remain relevant today. The second component is a practical dynamic component that interprets the principles of war in light of the current circumstances and finally the predictive component, which analyses the recent conflicts in order to learn from them. It looks into the future to analyse how military forces may be used and it reviews emerging technologies to assess their military potential. This component can also be called force development that has been explained in the foregoing paragraphs. What follows is an amalgam of the first two components called Doctrinal Principles.

Definitions of Doctrine

Two definitions are given for consideration:-

(a) Doctrine is a system of views adopted in given period on the aims and character of a possible war, on the preparation of a country and its armed forces for such a possibility as well as on the method of waging war should it break out. Changing circumstances (e.g. demography and technological changes) must be constantly evaluated because they can modify beliefs and necessitate changes to doctrine.

(b) Doctrine is a formal expression of military knowledge and thought, that army accepts as being relevant at a given time, which covers the nature of current and future conflicts, the preparation of the army for such conflicts and the methods of engaging in them.

Doctrinal Precepts

Considering the enlarged spectrum of war and the new dimensions of warfare, which are contextually germane; some guiding principles or doctrinal precepts which are central to our requirements of war fighting in the future are being highlighted and recommended so as to be prepared to win across the full range of military options available in any theatre of war or in any theatre of operation, in any future contingency. Doctrinal precepts advocated for inclusion in the Army Doctrine are now discussed.

Indian Way of Going to War. There should be an Indian way of going to war. As citizens and soldiers of this great nation, we conduct military business in a peculiar Indian way. This needs to be formalised. Currently there is no formal procedure followed. Our security environment is characterised by the following:-

(a) Insufficient overall direction.

(b) Too many ad hoc structures and responses.

(c) Poor inter Service and inter agency coordination.

(d) Shortages of appropriate equipment and material.

(e) Inappropriate support systems.

(f) Cumbersome regulatory systems.

(g) Serious institutional resistance to change.

(h) Limited dedicated resources.

(j) Peacetime oriented security plans.

(k) Lack of joint doctrine and training.

In fact our political leadership, perhaps for political reasons, shies away from giving written directives to Service Chiefs. On receipt of the aforesaid political directive, the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) is required to convert the abstract political aim(s) of war to achievable military aim(s) and objectives and if after analysis they come to the conclusion that the political aim (s) set forth is not achievable, they must have the courage to say so. The nation must not go to war for an unachievable political aim. This process is a part of the higher direction of war.

The Approach to Warfare. The methodology advocated by operational art should be adopted. This approach advocates the employment of all military forces (tri-Service in our context) to achieve strategic goals in a theatre of operations or a theatre of war through a unique contextual design, organisation and conduct of operations. It is the intermediate level of warfare, which connects strategy (policy) to tactics. The essence of operational art is to convert the given political objective (strategic goals) into achievable military objectives and to achieve these goals most skillfully, with least cost to own side. Hence this approach recommends innovative use of technology, firepower and manoeuvre as opposed to attrition to fight and win wars. A new, unique and creative operational design is conceived for every situation confronted so as to achieve the strategic goals with maximum efficiency and least cost. It involves a tri-Service approach to an emerging or existing operational problem and, therefore, advocates integration of all elements functioning in a theatre under a single commander and hence the conduct of the campaign, its sequence, methodology and procedures are jointly evolved.

Effects Based Operations (EBO). These are enabled by “network centric warfare”. Improved and updated knowledge of the enemy through situational awareness along with the ability to generate accurate and lethal firepower and non-lethal effects against multiple targets in close succession allows for defeating the enemy without the need for the complete destruction of his forces or infrastructure. This demands a complete understanding of enemy sources of strength and coherence whereby use of relatively smaller number of strikes or manoeuvre forces will have disproportionate effects on the enemy’s will and his ability to conduct future operations. EBO looks at our force structures from the perspective of achieving the effects desired. At the strategic level EBO requires close integration of military means with diplomatic, economic and other elements of national power. In other words EBO sets those conditions which defeat an enemy’s ability to wage war rather than focusing on attriting his war fighting capability. EBO requires superior military capabilities, to be built into the force structures, through the use of technology coupled with innovative operational art.

Integrated Operations. We should transcend from joint operations to integrated operations to unleash the full potential of combat power of joint operations. This demands integrated command structure at military strategic and operational levels in the context of the campaigns in the future. We must progress to integrated regional theatres to achieve the type of synergy required to win wars in a short time frame.

Shared Fighting Culture. Currently the planning for war is peculiar and exclusive to each Service. Advocates seem to argue from a single Service perspective and there is a tendency to underplay a single Service weakness while overplaying its strengths. In the 2001 offensive that destroyed Taliban regime in Afghanistan, air power could not have succeeded on its own. Even if all structural targets had been destroyed from ramshackle command posts to the handful of ammunition depots and fighter aircraft and so on – the Taliban would not have been weakened significantly. Yet the bombing was effective. Information networking was the key to this responsiveness but the final resolution and discrimination for targeting was provided by small, mobile land forces that had secure satellite communications and accurate positional data to cue the weapon systems. Such employment and deployments will demand a shared fighting culture, a complete change in the way we plan and conduct military operations currently. This can be done through joint training and intense joint war gaming.

Address the Vulnerabilities and Weaknesses of the Opponent. To avoid attritional warfare and to use the asymmetry of even a superior opponent to our advantage, we should concentrate on his vulnerabilities and weaknesses. To learn this art we have to have detailed knowledge of our potential adversaries that is kept updated at all times, even during the conduct stage of war, through situational awareness. We have to prepare our senior commanders, for all contingencies through intensive joint war-gaming.

Rapid Deployment and Environmental Mobility. Future wars will demand such a capability to be used for proactive missions or as a reactive response to any developing situation. This capability will be required across the board at strategic, operational and tactical levels.

Directive Style of Command. For successful application of innovative operational art, in future wars, the command style cannot be rigidly centralised as per our current practice. A more flexible style, which encourages risk taking and maximum initiative by subordinate commanders, will have to be adopted. This change of culture will also allow subordinates to conceptually grasp the higher commander's intention and the higher framework of war and facilitate the adoption of the manoeuvre approach to warfare in the Indian context, through all mediums (air, sea, land, space and ether) and in all types of terrain.

Manoeuvre. There is an imperative need to evolve manoeuvre approach as the key element underpinning our approach to war fighting, through all mediums and in all types of terrain including our mountainous regions because it targets vulnerabilities rather than mass. Our force development and organisations will have to cater for this capability, which in the future will involve close integration of air, ground and naval forces and other dimensions of warfare such as information war and psychological war.
Transformation Through Technology. We should achieve faster transformation through use of new technologies and innovations coupled with operational art. This will not only change the method of war fighting but also confer distinct advantages, which could be maximised through fusion of technology with training, organisational structure and force development.

Information Superiority. Information superiority is fundamental to the transformation of the operational capabilities of a joint and integrated force. It confers a competitive advantage in ones own favour. It is transitory in nature and must be created and sustained through conduct of information operations. The information revolution is progressing at such a rapid pace that there is a risk of being left behind if we are not constantly studying the phenomenon to examine how to use new findings to evolve new military concepts of exploiting information superiority for military gains.

Non-Linearity. This calls for an attitudinal change in the military mindset with regard to conventional and unconventional ground, air, sea and space operations. We should be able to translate our idea of fighting the close, intermediate and deep battles, in all five dimensions, in near simultaneity and synchronise the destructive effects of battles on the ground, at sea and in the air. This will require fusion of new technologies and a thorough understanding of operational art to psychologically imbalance the opponent and achieve cognitive effects targeted against his will.

Operational Wargaming. A tri-Service wargaming centre should be established for strategic and operational level war games, with gaming software, to analyse issues such as emerging threats, new settings, new technologies, new concepts and war fighting methodologies. Without such a facility we will not be able to validate the concepts and doctrines that should be adopted in the future. This is an urgent requirement.

Close Politico-Military Interaction. Given the restrictive aspects of short duration wars, nuclear backdrop and other factors, destruction of adversary’s strategic forces or capture of large tracts of territory will neither be possible nor desirable. War aims will have to be modulated, tempered and calibrated according to the environmental constraints. Therefore, translation of political aim(s) to achievable military objectives of war and skilful conduct of war will require a close politico-military interaction throughout.

Visionary Leadership. Yet another requirement of the future is the need for enlightened leadership at military strategic and operational levels with a large enough vision to fully comprehend the entire perspective of strategic and operational level of warfare without over identification with tactical objectives. This mandates sound training and selection procedures and unbiased policies in which our track record is not flawless. The key attributes of operational and strategic level leaders are considered to be as under:-

(a) Professionally astute (possess a penetrating intellect).

(b) Vision.

(c) Wisdom.

(d) Contemplative and reflective approach.

(e) Self-restraint and self-control.

(f) Self knowledge (self realisation).

(g) Ability to inspire as a role model.

(h) Sacrifice of personal interest.

(j) Possess all attributes of intelligence, intelligence quotient (IQ), emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence.

The transformation of the Armed Forces through technological improvements coupled with innovative operational art and application of combat power through joint and integrated operations should be the essence of our war fighting doctrine, which will confer distinct advantages over a potential adversary. We must acknowledge the genuine strengths and weaknesses of the three Services capabilities and achieve a level of integration, which will allow us to unleash the full potential of joint combat power. This is vital for preserving and furthering our national interests as a global and regional power in the future.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lieutenant General VK Kapoor, PVSM is a former Commandant of the Army War College (erstwhile College of Combat), Mhow.

Ramanujan

Postby Ramanujan » 11 Dec 2005 04:54

One thing that most military strategists would agree upon is that future fighting forces will face an array of invisible but pervasive challenges on the battlefield. It is not hard to imagine the WMDs that most modern armies already train for but what lies ahead is a bit more insidious. Performance depleting agents that are unremarkable in their ability to cause subtle symptoms (it may feel like a minor flu outbreak) but ones that could paralyze large military formations. These biological agents will be difficult to identify in advance, difficult to diagnose, transient in effect and largely innocuos to the general population. Due to such properties, they will be used more readily and without excessive fear of breaching the WMD red lines. Imagine a virus that depletes erythrocyte count on the icy heights of kargil while the "insurgents" have been immunized in advance. Or imagine a virus that merely makes the blood thinner and hence increases the likelihood of cerebral haemorrhage. Now think about infected pilots that pull multiple Gs. How long would it take to suspect such infection when the best you have are charred bodies for autopsies. Future armies will have to prepare for such evantualities. While such weapons do not yet exist, the pace at which we are unravelling the molecular architecture of human physiology, makes them nearly inevitable in less than 20 years.

On the flip side, armed forces will have to learn to fight with the benefit of performance enhancing pharmacological as well technological aids. From a scientific perspective, its not hard to visualize a special ops operative, whose night vision is enhanced by an order of magnitude (cats eyes), without using bulky googles that prevent peripheral vision. A pill would do it for the night. Some may find these eventualities as remote - perhaps bordering on science fiction but it will be possible one day. Everyone has already heard about research on suits that faintly simulate invisibility to a casual eye (MIT has a project on futuristic soldier..google should pull out the links). On a more grim note, we may even see genetically engineered humans on the battlefield. Ones that run faster, react faster, think faster and more accurately. All clear possibilities in not so distant a time.

Battlefield readiness has always been a reflection of a country's ability to mobilize political, economic and technological prowess. Of these, we have a clear idea of what kind of political and economic prowess is needed to fend off an enemy. It however takes visionaries to imagine the technological landscape of a future battlefield and initiate programs to address the challenges that are realistic - and not get bogged down by those that are likely to be mere fantasies. From this perspective, it is important not to have a military posture that is merely reflective of the technologies that permeate our world today...it is important to scratch for what lies beneath the veneer of what we call basic fundamental sciences - the kind that goes on in basements of universities and technical institutes.

I humbly submit that Indian military is not addressing these challenges in a manner that befits a great power. I would be delighted to find out that I am completely wrong. I glanced through the article above and couldnt help but feel that the author is oblivios to the way of the future warrior. India has suffered in the past for being overwhelmed by forces that had a technolgical or doctrinal edge...it is a complacent mindset if people think that such eventualities are no longer possible.

RayC, if this is completely off the mark from what you had in mind, indicate so and admins should delete the post. I am not trying to hijack the thread. I think its worth thinking about and if my post here gets a few guys in the right uniforms casually bringing up such conversations over lunch, it would be worth the effort it took to type it out. Of course, I should also worry about guys in the wrong uniforms looking it over too. :D

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Postby shiv » 11 Dec 2005 06:35

RayC wrote:It would be interesting if you could amplify the idea of the Tank vs the AH (Attack Helicopter) view.

It would be interesting to hear your views on the issue. In fact, if you get your hands on Richard Simpkins book "Race to the Swift", he explains the same in a very interesting manner. It would be of great interest to you since he explains many issues with scientific models.

In today's context, we have to be sensitive to the nuclear threshold of the adversary and the quixotic responses they are capable of. In addition, we have to circumvent the advantage the adversary has over our tardy mobilisation. Maybe we have to think of a manner wherein we have a greater response signature through Strategic lift.

Strategic lift notwithstanding, the forces so lifted should be able to join battle immediately and to do so the logistics and the logistical train should be able to support the offensive force simulataneously and should have matching pace.

Since much has to be achieved in the very short strategic timeframe available to achieve the military aim, it would be obvious that an integrated effort is applied and to this extent what would be the the infrastructure for a network centric operation.

How does the Rapid Decisive Operation concept fit into this scheme of things?

There is no doubt that in many areas the Armed Forces is lopsidedly heavy on manpower and maybe even equipment. Where all can they shed the flab and how?

These are few issues that you could mull over and it would be of interest to learn of your and others responses.


Ray that is actually a very interesting response to an uninformed judgement from me.

I take it to mean that with an NBC threat, those T-90s become essential and cannot easily be substituted by the "quick and agile" helicopter force. This is a thought that had not occured to me.

If this conclusion is correct, it leads to ramifications that go far beyond the battlefield. To me it suggests a (perfectly correct) intent to go ahead DESPITE a nuclear attack. It suggests an intent to not allow a low nuclear threshold and casual threats to deter a goal. It also means that those who threaten to use nuclear weapons will have to put their money where their mouth is when the time comes.

The disadvantage that this posture carries is slow mobilization, which allows some military action and diplomatic moves to occur before such a juggernaut can be put into motion.

The question is can the juggernaut be made to move in 5 days or 7 days?

Short answer - I don't know. Need to digup more information on such issues - and I will do that.I will certainly try and get hold of Simpkins' book.

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Postby Anoop » 11 Dec 2005 08:35

Shiv,

I don't want to speak on behalf of the Brig., but having read Simpkin's book, I suspect that the issue with helos are their vulnerability to fire, high maintenance and dependence on weather. Their advantages are the classic ability to "move dispersed, fight concentrated". However, it has not yet translated to an ability to dispense with tanks.

For a more contemporary article on the employment of helos in Iraq, see this informative article that was very kindly forwarded by Col. Yu. I am quoting a part of it that is relevant to the discussion.

------------------------------------
Source: Armor, July-Aug 2004.

Attack helicopters offer armor leaders third-dimension maneuver

Steve Miles

CPT Stephen W Miles is commander, C Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment (Attack), 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Hood, TX, currently in Tikrit, Iraq.
--------------------------------------------

Maintenance

Helicopters, like modern tanks, are very maintenance intensive by virtue of their complex systems, but the sky has no tolerance for malfunctions. If a tank throws a track, it stops; if a helicopter throws a blade, it is catastrophic. As a result, helicopters have many inspections required at intervals as short as 10 hours of flight time. These inspections and the inevitable repairs they require take significant amounts of maintenance time. Further, Apaches are required to be completely overhauled after just 250 hours of flight time, which is called a "phase" Just as an armor leader takes care to ensure his tanks do not all require semiannual services at the same time, aviation leaders must ensure their aircraft do not all reach phase at the same time. While in Iraq, our battalion completed an average of four phase overhauls per month and this drove our sustainable flying rate of 1,000 hours per month, or 333 hours per company.

Flight Time

Based on the above sustainable flying rate of 333 hours per company per month, that equates to about 12 aircraft hours a day. Maintenance test flights, required pilot training, and evaluations will take a portion of this time, so do not think an operational control (OPCON) company "owes" exactly 12 hours of air missions per day--12 hours is more of a total target pace to sustain continued mission support. Twelve aircraft hours flown by a team of two Longbows, results in six mission hours per day.

Fighter management is a tool that keeps aviators and aircraft safe to fly another day. Inadequately rested crews flying $24 million aircraft just does not pass the common-sense test. In our unit, crew rest means 10 hours off between 14-hour duty days, and aviators who do not get quality rest can self-ground.
One might think that this self-grounding option would lead to abuses, but in practice, it really does not. Attack aviators are professionals with a strong sense of personal responsibility and duty.

Each aviation unit has a standard operating procedure (SOP) that specifies dally flight hour limits. In Iraq, we used a rough guideline--8 hours of day flight or 5 hours of night flight during one duty day, assuming the aircraft has sufficient flight time before the next maintenance inspection or component replacement. Finally, aircrews may not fly at night past the 10th hour of their duty day.

Our attack company has six aircraft and six crews. Just like with armor crews, the number one attack aviation crew rule is "never leave your wingman," so we are organized into three teams of two aircraft each. [b] Our default posture is one day team, one evening team, and one late-night team. Each team adjusts sleep schedules to wake just prior to their shift. This provides the ability to support short-notice missions, 24 hours a day. If a unit requests more than one team in the air, we can adjust if given enough notice. We require about a 12-hour notice for two teams, and a 24-hour notice to mass all three teams.


The Apache has several components that warm up slower than Grandma's vacuum-tube television. In the heat of the desert, run-up times are extended due to waiting for components, such as the FLIR, to cool down. Without an advance mission notice, it takes approximately 2 hours to get Apaches airborne. If we receive a forewarning that we may be required to fly, we will preflight and run-up the aircraft in advance to make sure everything checks out. This is called "REDCON 3," and allows ns to be airborne within 30 minutes. If we really think we will be needed, we can sit in the aircraft with the auxiliary power unit running, which is referred to as "REDCON 2," and be airborne within 15 minutes, but this burns fuel and is not sustainable in high temperatures. One might think Apaches should always be at "REDCON 3," but remember, getting the aircraft preflighted and ready to go starts the aircrews' duty day and could significantly curtail them from flying when they are needed.

Our attack company has a total of 27 personnel on the modification table of organization and equipment and less on the ground in Iraq. Consisting of only officer pilots and enlisted crew chiefs, these personnel can be considered 10-level operators. All 20-level unit maintenance takes place at the battalion or above. If an attack company is physically separated from battalion-level maintenance, it's just a matter of time until there are several nonmission-capable aircraft. Keep in mind that broken aircraft cannot just be towed back to the unit maintenance collection point. Apaches cover large distances rapidly, 100km is a 25-minute flight; weigh the value of dislocating an attack company from its parent battalion carefully. In most situations, a liaison officer (LNO) from the attack company and/or forward aviation refueling will be a better solution.

Ground troops know that the enemy does not attack when Apaches are flying overhead. Commanders want air cover 24/7 because it keeps the enemy at bay. Unfortunately, keeping "iron in the sky" indefinitely is not sustainable, so we must make efficient use of the time we can fly.

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Postby RayC » 11 Dec 2005 10:54

To be very honest, the response has been very interesting, if not exciting.

The biological aspect as was pointed out by Ramunjan is an interesting and is a very live issue. I had written on the subject, but an anonymous expert vetted it and declared it as "kiteflying"! Kiteflying or otherwise, it is very credible threat.

While Anoop is right in the aspects he has mentioned, but then Shiv's idea cannot be totally rejected perfunctorily.

It is heartening that instead of flippant responses that veer threads out of recognition, the responses here have been very educative and and what is interesting is some of them are "out of the box".

Some of the issues that have to be addressed is:

1. Is the Army to be organised for the subcontinental threat or should it be capable of an "out of the area" application. If both, then what should be the mix in so far as the doctrinal, organisational and weapon mix spectrum that makes it cost effective. Since it may not be feasible to have a "Strategic Mobility" lift profile in the near future, how should India integrate itself with allies.

2. What is the feasibility of a war in the future with the two adversaries (China and Pakistan) and how should that be conducted and what should be the doctrinal, oprganisational, weaponry changes, if any' that has to be catered for and yet at the same time, how should the armed forces be organised, kitted and doctrinally poised to make its writ run in the Indian Ocean. In this context the Chinese strategy of "string of pearls" is in context.

3. The borders with Myanmar is de facto China controlled. Therefore, the conflict scenario (low intensity, if you wish) cannot be wished away.

4. The issue of Tibet and the Chinese claimed areas also has to be taken into consideration and the demographic changes issue that is of real concern is a valid input.

5. How should the Navy be used for power projection and protection of India's overseas territories including vulnerable friendly nations.

6. In this thread there is a mention of overseas bases. How is that to be achieved given our foreign policy restraints.

7. How should the airforce be organised to look at the tactical, strategic and space aspects of warfare? As also, what should be the doctrinal aspects of each?

8. The three forces will have cruise missiles. Therefore what should be the concept where they work in unison rather than at cross purposes? Should there be a separate Strategic Missile Force?

9. What should be the infrastrucural engineering to organise Network Centric Operations.

10. How does Rapid Decisive Operation fit into all the above?

11. Lastly, the wars conduct maybe for short duration or it can be prolonged if organised with allies. Notwithstanding, the armed forces have to a quick response profile. How will that be achieved?

These are some of the issues that require addressing.
Last edited by RayC on 11 Dec 2005 22:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby RayC » 11 Dec 2005 11:04

Actually, the Iraq experience should not be applied as a pancea to all issues.

It must be always kept at the back of the mind that Iraq and the US were always unequal adversaries and what is more that Iraq was near totally defunct militarily with the 10 years of pounding by allied forces and the crippling embargo where most of their war machine were short of spares and refits.

Therefore, the combat zone would have thrown up a more grim picture in the case of the Apaches if the Iraq army was better off.

India's adversaries will not be in the depleted state as the Iraqi forces!

Yet, lessons from all such combat reports are relevant to judge the issues in our context.

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Postby RayC » 11 Dec 2005 11:21

Though not directly related to the thread, one could also read Simpkin's "Red Armour", "Anti Tank" and "Mechanised Infantry".

For military weapons, Brassey Publications book on different types is an excellent starter since the weapons or systems are explained in a simple to understand manner.

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Postby shiv » 11 Dec 2005 12:34

Although it's a Sunday - I desperately need to finish typing a book review - so I will sign off and get back later to give a point by point personal take on RayC's questions.

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Postby JCage » 11 Dec 2005 12:42

Sir,

To be honest the probability of a war with TSP and Pak cant enter into the calculations- they will always surprise us if we assume that they behave rationally instead of being states that march to their own bizarre tune.
The politics should be left to the politicians while the IA remains cynical of any peace process or otherwise and keeps its powder dry.

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Postby Anoop » 11 Dec 2005 13:38

Some more random thoughts on the organizational aspects of the IA:

1. The most plausible war-like scenarions in the near future are diametrically opposite in their requirements:

(a). Low intensity, long drawn out COIN: This is marked by long deployments and institutional fatigue - the classic attrition model. It hones the reactions of the individual soldier and fine-tunes the section-level action and gives ample practice in exploiting targets of opportunity (thanks to the Brig. for this insight). Due to excessive levels of COIN deployment, larger-unit drills (company, battalion and bde level) and planning/execution of deliberate action are adversely affected.

(b). High intensity, short duration war below nuclear threshold: This requires detailed planning and training for large-scale, combined arms (indeed combined services) action. While exercises help to a degree, they do not simulate actual combat conditions.

We need two different armies for each of these tasks! In the IA, Bde, Div and Corps are static formations with units rotating through on tenure. Thus, apart from AHQ reserves and specialized formations like Para Bde that are oriented for a specific task, other field formations may be manned by soldiers who have come off a previous COIN deployment into a full-scale combat scenario.

Is there a period of adjustment (8 Mtn. Div. at Kargil would suggest not, but then Kargil was not a full-scale war)?

Is there an advantage to having Bdes and Divs. tasked (and therefore equipped and trained) according to role and not geographical area or responsibility?
----------------------------------------
Ray sahab, to elaborate on some of my earlier suggestions:

1. In 10-15 years time, the IA will need to be capable of an "out of area" application, even if it is limited in scope (like Maldives) and as part of a coalition. The reason is our expanding energy needs and our investment in volatile regions like the CAR and Sudan. I feel that interventions will largely be to prevent coups and/or keep the peace. With increasing economic stake, India may not be averse to being part of a coalition, even without UN sanction! We must be able to provide troops in such interventions, otherwise we will be shut out of the following disposition. Our allies may provide the strategic lift capability, if needed.

In the near future, such interventions will be spearheaded by the US (in which case there is some value to joint exercises) or by Russia, in which case coalitions are not really required. The interesting role will be China's - will it intervene militarily to protect it's investments or will it stick to abstaining in the UN and striking deals with successor govts?

2. Full scale war with Pakistan appears to be receding in the near term (5-10 years), barring a total collapse of the Pakistani state. I base this on the political value of joint military exercises with the US. In 2002, due to the presence of US troops on Pakistani soil, Indian planners needed to consider the question - "Will an attack on Pakistan constitute an attack on the US?". If the current pace of military and economic contacts between India and US continues, Pakistani rulers will have to ask themselves - "Will an attack on India constitute an attack on the US?"

3. On the issue of foreign bases, I think this is a long-term requirement for reason (1) and therefore, we need to begin planning now. I propose we lead with infrastructural development (roads, telecommunications, railways, agriculture, power, chemical industry) in the host country, in return for airport use rights, hospital space, placing heavy engineering equipment and electronic measures. Instead of inviting their officers to our training establishments, we send our officers to theirs to establish contact and as a show of confidence in their ability. While the benefits of basing in the CAR is largely to act as a trip-wire for a larger conflict, the benefits of basing in Afghanistan, Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are enormous. In the former, even a token presence will be a knife to Pakistan's throat, while in the latter, we play the same game that the Chinese play - stake our claim in their near-abroad and give them pause in their strategy of encirclement. There could be a quid-pro-quo to Chinese backing off from Coco Islands.

Ultimately, we must buy influence in each of these countries with our economic ties. In this respect, the Chinese success in weaning away even the South Koreans and the ASEAN from the US is laudable.
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Postby Anoop » 11 Dec 2005 14:03

More random thoughts:

1. Judging from open source discussion, our armored elements lack not in firepower or mobility, but in logistical support. Is it possible to use reservists in civilian vehicles to provide additional logistic support in a combat scenario and thereby free up active service manpower and equipment to concentrate on the more "technical" aspects of warfare? In other words, can we have an "unbalanced" formation in peacetime and make up the deficiency in war-time? I suspect not, but hey, no harm in asking!

2. Even after the experiences of Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, small unit leaders like the helo commander remark that the overall task force commander does not always understand how to optimally employ them. Primarily, the issue is that the armored corps officer, being a tank-man, does not have sufficient grasp of the capabilities and limitations of a helicopter, so the tasking is not optimal. For example, ground support is not always arranged, grid co-ordinates are too coarse, time for flight preparation is not sufficient, there is lack of co-ordination with other elements in the plan and the intent behind their employment is not communicated. It is unlikely that with relatively less experience in joint operations, such mistakes will not occur in the IA.

Thus, with the induction of new equipment like UAVs and Saathi terminals, key staff of the operational commander and the commander himself must be continually oriented to these developments. This is critical because the operational plan unfolds in the commander's mind - his staff only executes his orders. If the commander himself is aware of the capabilities and limitations of his newly developing force, he can work them into his plan much more efficiently. His entire staff must be prepared to deal with larger volumes of information that is coming quicker, thereby requiring quicker response to the field units.

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Postby Anoop » 11 Dec 2005 14:25

I had stated that we need responsive logistics that anticipates the needs of the next battle and excellent field ambulance and recovery. This thought occurred to me when I read Simpkin's book and another excellent book titled 'Men Under Fire' by SLA Marshal.

Both books make one point - Despite many studies, no one really knows why one attack succeeds, while another stalls. To paraphrase Simpkin "One minute, a Company is advancing and the next minute, it has gone to ground".

We can only take steps to reduce such catastrophic failures, not totally prevent them. I'll try to explain what I mean with a hypothetical example, though such a scenario is not realistic:

Consider a Company that has just taken an enemy position in a tough fight. The Coy Cmdr ooks around and finds almost a platoon worth of casualties which includes one senior NCO and one experienced Capt. He is also low on water and ammo. He is, of course, expected to beat off the coming counter-attack, but if his CO asks him whether he send a fighting patrol out, the answer would probably be no. But if he is resupplied in the next hour or two with water and ammo and extra manpower to help erect defences and he doesn't have to tend to wounded comrades, he will probably be able to take on the extra task of mounting a patrol. This, in turn, translates to a greater than normal success at the battalion level and so on.

Conversely, the enemy who does not have these advantages will lose both physical and moral ground incrementally, until its formation commander is paralyzed by adverse news coming in from the front.

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Postby RayC » 11 Dec 2005 21:09

JCage wrote:Sir,

To be honest the probability of a war with TSP and Pak cant enter into the calculations- they will always surprise us if we assume that they behave rationally instead of being states that march to their own bizarre tune.
The politics should be left to the politicians while the IA remains cynical of any peace process or otherwise and keeps its powder dry.


That is the problem.

The armed forces are not quite in the loop of what the politicians are thinking!

The IA is not cynical of any peace process. In fact, they welcome the same always msot wholeheartedly. It is the contrary directions that keeps the IA guessing and hence they are a wee bit apprehensive.

In this context, the CDS, if and when it comes will prove a great link between the armed forces and the govt.

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Postby satya » 11 Dec 2005 21:24

Anoop,

dont u think it will be better if Anti-armor attack helos r given to Army Aviation Corps for better operational planning and execution ?

Regarding logistics , wht u think is the present distance btw reserve formations and formations thick in action , cuz wont it make a big diff. in time taken by reserve troops to fill up gaps?

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Postby RayC » 11 Dec 2005 21:30


Anoop wrote:Some more random thoughts on the organizational aspects of the IA:

1. The most plausible war-like scenarions in the near future are diametrically opposite in their requirements:

(a). Low intensity, long drawn out COIN: This is marked by long deployments and institutional fatigue - the classic attrition model. It hones the reactions of the individual soldier and fine-tunes the section-level action and gives ample practice in exploiting targets of opportunity (thanks to the Brig. for this insight). Due to excessive levels of COIN deployment, larger-unit drills (company, battalion and bde level) and planning/execution of deliberate action are adversely affected.

(b). High intensity, short duration war below nuclear threshold: This requires detailed planning and training for large-scale, combined arms (indeed combined services) action. While exercises help to a degree, they do not simulate actual combat conditions.

We need two different armies for each of these tasks! In the IA, Bde, Div and Corps are static formations with units rotating through on tenure. Thus, apart from AHQ reserves and specialized formations like Para Bde that are oriented for a specific task, other field formations may be manned by soldiers who have come off a previous COIN deployment into a full-scale combat scenario.

Is there a period of adjustment (8 Mtn. Div. at Kargil would suggest not, but then Kargil was not a full-scale war)?

Is there an advantage to having Bdes and Divs. tasked (and therefore equipped and trained) according to role and not geographical area or responsibility?

----------------------------------------

Answering with the last point first and upwards.

It is not feasible to task Bdes and Divisions with permanent units in them for different zones of the country. The idea has been thought of earlier, but then who would like to be in High Altitude throughout one's service life or in the jungles of the NE? One could state that the there could be the "home and hearth" units i.e. locals who would defend with greater intensity and fervour, but then it would mean that the armed forces would be only for those people and not of the country! It does not appeal to the secularism of the country.

8 Div had no problems per se to convert from the CI role to the HAA role. It was only a problem of kitting since COIN and regular warfare have different weapon systems. In COIN, the arty was also in the infantry role and they had to quickly get into the slot. However, you don't require an old dog to know his tricks ;).

One cannot afford to have two different types of armies. It will be unwieldly, unproductive and expensive.

It will of interest to note that the British Army was in the COIN configuration in Northern Ireland and yet was meeting her responsibilites as a NATO nation in a totally different role. However, one can always contend that they were not tested in the NATO role.

However, it is true that the battle drills and battle procedures for COIN and the classical form of warfare are two different kettle of fish. However, 8 Div has clearly established that notwithstanding the mental and military requirements being different, it was remarkably adept in conversion of role.


Ray sahab, to elaborate on some of my earlier suggestions:

1. In 10-15 years time, the IA will need to be capable of an "out of area" application, even if it is limited in scope (like Maldives) and as part of a coalition. The reason is our expanding energy needs and our investment in volatile regions like the CAR and Sudan. I feel that interventions will largely be to prevent coups and/or keep the peace. With increasing economic stake, India may not be averse to being part of a coalition, even without UN sanction! We must be able to provide troops in such interventions, otherwise we will be shut out of the following disposition. Our allies may provide the strategic lift capability, if needed.

In the near future, such interventions will be spearheaded by the US (in which case there is some value to joint exercises) or by Russia, in which case coalitions are not really required. The interesting role will be China's - will it intervene militarily to protect it's investments or will it stick to abstaining in the UN and striking deals with successor govts?

2. Full scale war with Pakistan appears to be receding in the near term (5-10 years), barring a total collapse of the Pakistani state. I base this on the political value of joint military exercises with the US. In 2002, due to the presence of US troops on Pakistani soil, Indian planners needed to consider the question - "Will an attack on Pakistan constitute an attack on the US?". If the current pace of military and economic contacts between India and US continues, Pakistani rulers will have to ask themselves - "Will an attack on India constitute an attack on the US?"

3. On the issue of foreign bases, I think this is a long-term requirement for reason (1) and therefore, we need to begin planning now. I propose we lead with infrastructural development (roads, telecommunications, railways, agriculture, power, chemical industry) in the host country, in return for airport use rights, hospital space, placing heavy engineering equipment and electronic measures. Instead of inviting their officers to our training establishments, we send our officers to theirs to establish contact and as a show of confidence in their ability. While the benefits of basing in the CAR is largely to act as a trip-wire for a larger conflict, the benefits of basing in Afghanistan, Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are enormous. In the former, even a token presence will be a knife to Pakistan's throat, while in the latter, we play the same game that the Chinese play - stake our claim in their near-abroad and give them pause in their strategy of encirclement. There could be a quid-pro-quo to Chinese backing off from Coco Islands.

Ultimately, we must buy influence in each of these countries with our economic ties. In this respect, the Chinese success in weaning away even the South Koreans and the ASEAN from the US is laudable
.
While there is a requirement to have a capability of an "out of area" deployment, the issue is whether the nations where we wish to deploy to ensure our strategic interest will allow such deployment. Will it not also raise the hackles of our adversaries and in the bargains start a mugs game? Tricky issues.

The best way to be able to ensure a quick deployment in such areas is to have regular exercises in such areas so that the our troops get the "feel" of the country and its neighbourhood as also understand the infrastructure that is available. Then, as the US is doing, build up infrastructure as "aid" so that in the event there is a requirement for deployment of Indian troops, the infrastructure including logistics are in place.

Direct involvement of having bases will not be acceptable to the countries involved or by our adversaries.

In so far as the US presence is in Pakistan is concerned, I look at it differently. The very fact that the US is present will ensure that Pakistan is kept on a leash!

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Postby RayC » 11 Dec 2005 21:45

Anoop wrote:More random thoughts:

1. Judging from open source discussion, our armored elements lack not in firepower or mobility, but in logistical support. Is it possible to use reservists in civilian vehicles to provide additional logistic support in a combat scenario and thereby free up active service manpower and equipment to concentrate on the more "technical" aspects of warfare? In other words, can we have an "unbalanced" formation in peacetime and make up the deficiency in war-time? I suspect not, but hey, no harm in asking!


The armour will basically be employed in the desert and other underdeveloped terrain. Therefore, vehicle that have matching mobility would not be civilians vehicles.

In war, civilian vehicles are requisitioned and they are used. They are used in areas where there is no security risk or open danger to the civilian personnel.

Vehicles that are used in the army are those who are drivers and as such excepting the combat arms drivers, the offfset by civilan drivers will be but marginal and may not be commensurate for the effort since such civilian drivers and their vehicles have to be looked after by the Army adding to the logistic load.

One cannot just add on reinforcements in war. It must be remembered that they have to be trained to fit into the scheme of things and that is not possible if people are inducted only during the conduct of a war.

2. Even after the experiences of Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, small unit leaders like the helo commander remark that the overall task force commander does not always understand how to optimally employ them. Primarily, the issue is that the armored corps officer, being a tank-man, does not have sufficient grasp of the capabilities and limitations of a helicopter, so the tasking is not optimal. For example, ground support is not always arranged, grid co-ordinates are too coarse, time for flight preparation is not sufficient, there is lack of co-ordination with other elements in the plan and the intent behind their employment is not communicated. It is unlikely that with relatively less experience in joint operations, such mistakes will not occur in the IA.

Thus, with the induction of new equipment like UAVs and Saathi terminals, key staff of the operational commander and the commander himself must be continually oriented to these developments. This is critical because the operational plan unfolds in the commander's mind - his staff only executes his orders. If the commander himself is aware of the capabilities and limitations of his newly developing force, he can work them into his plan much more efficiently. His entire staff must be prepared to deal with larger volumes of information that is coming quicker, thereby requiring quicker response to the field units.


War does not go as per plans or desires. Hence there will always be grouses. Juniors who bear the brunt will naturally feel everyone on top are a set of chumps. But that is not so. The seniors do understand the capability and limitation of the weapons and organisation they have under their command.

And anyway, the American troops have a tendency to make a mountain of a molehill. An example is the question asked of Rumsfeld where he gave that famour quote:

"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time".

I was given a great advise by one of my seniors who said that we cannot change the officers posted to us, nor change the organisation of an unit, nor can we change the weapons issued. We must learn to manage within that and make the best of it. That is what leadership is all about!

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Postby RayC » 11 Dec 2005 21:58

satya wrote:Anoop,

dont u think it will be better if Anti-armor attack helos r given to Army Aviation Corps for better operational planning and execution ?

Regarding logistics , wht u think is the present distance btw reserve formations and formations thick in action , cuz wont it make a big diff. in time taken by reserve troops to fill up gaps?


Satya,

I hope I was able to answer to some extent your query on the CDS. There is quite a lot that one could write but that would veer off the thread. In case you are still interested, I will try to explain.

With regards to logistics and the reserve formation, logistics of the formation in direct contact are integral to it and is just behind the formation. It has no link with the reserve formation.

At the level of formations, it is not always feasible to have dedicated reserves for only the formation in contact. Normally, a two up contact would be made and the third held in reserve to exploit "windows of opportunity" wherever it occurs.

The cardinal principle is that once reserves are committed, reserves have to be recreated within one's own resources.

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Postby Anoop » 11 Dec 2005 22:07

Satya,

BR says that Mi-25 and Mi-35 are now flown by AAC pilots, even though the assets are owned by the IAF. While that may not be optimal arrangement, there may be at least two reasons why that is currently the case - inter-service rivalry for high value assets and the relatively few numbers of attack helos in the IA, which does not make it economical to set up a new IA-funded infrastructure (helipads, maintenance chain and a flying school). Actually, the article by the US Army officer talks about the necessity of a liason officer even though he is part of the Army Aviation corps - the aviator sees things differently from the ground commander, regardless of service affiliations.

I don't know what the distances between reserves and main forces are and I doubt if there is a standard number for it. From the perspective of logistics, a rough estimate of "optimum" distance is, according to Brig. Pramodh Sarin in his book 'Military Logistics - The Third Dimension":

- 2-5 kms from A1 echelon to forward troops

- 3-8 kms A1 echelon to A2 echelon

- 10-20 kms from A2 echelon to Div level.

Before you ask, I don't know what A1 echelon and A2 echelon mean (the book annoyingly does not describe it), but I'm guessing A1 is battalion level and A2 is Bde level.

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Postby Anoop » 11 Dec 2005 22:27

Ray sahab,

Thank you for clearing up those questions.

I was only joking about the two different armies - clearly that is not feasible in our context. However, the reorganization of the PLA offers an interesting yard-stick for comparison.

http://www.rand.org/pubs/conf_proceedings/CF145/CF145.chap4.pdf

However, lessons of Allied Forces operations in the Gulf War in 1991 forced the CMC to consolidate the development of RRF. In 1992, a special force named “Resolving Emergency Mobile Combat Forces” (REMCF) was created and placed directly under the CMC’s control. This special force was given the tasks of border defense, dealing with internal armed conflict, maintaining public order, and conducting disaster relief missions. REMCF has been developed in two phases. Phase one was initiated at the beginning of 1992. Each Group Army corps of every Military Region (MR) selected an infantry division to be the designated REMCF for dealing with emergency situations in every Combat Region (CR).4 Phase two was implemented in 1994, continuing the development of a second batch of REMCF and enhancing the capability for “quick fighting, quick resolution” under the conditions of high-tech regional warfare. The two phases of the REMCF development program will be completed by the end of 1998, with an estimated 300,000-man REMCF force to be established and directly controlled by CMC


Details of the exercises conducted by these units are also in this chapter. The article is quite informative.

--------------------------

The political and diplomatic challenges of obtaining foreign bases are no doubt daunting, but I feel we must begin to work towards that now or pay the price later. Like the Chinese, we must lead with economic cooperation first and bring in military co-operation much later.

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Postby Anoop » 11 Dec 2005 22:36

Following a on-line link forwarded by Col. Yu, I stumbled upon a site that contains terrific reading material.

http://www.comw.org/pda/index.html

Follow the links on the left tab. Of particular interest are the PLA developments and the RMA debate.

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Postby satya » 11 Dec 2005 23:53

Thnxx Anoop for this site, its real great.

Ray,

Considering IA's new war doctrine of Cold Start , can someone clarify two different scenarios:

1] IA's cold start calls for shorter duration of war , so based on this assumption , wont we need to downsize our reserve formations and shortning the logistic chain ?

2] wht if enemy doesnt go for a shorter duration of war , say it doesnt respond where it put in all its major resources for battle rather than go for a longer duration of war , how will it play with logistics and reserve formations and also on over all manpower requirements of Indian Defence Forces?

These two r like opposite poles but both r a big possibilty , somewhere isnt IA making a presumtion tht war will be fought on its terms ?

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Postby RayC » 12 Dec 2005 00:04

Cold start is still evolving if I am not mistaken.

A1 ech is imdt replenishment on termination of the local battle.

A2 is replenishment technically during the lull in battle.

However, the armoured formations have variety of other names to say the same thing so to say. They had the 100 special, then the IMG (Imdt Replenishement Group) etc.

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Postby daulat » 12 Dec 2005 04:27

satya wrote:Thnxx Anoop for this site, its real great.

[2] wht if enemy doesnt go for a shorter duration of war , say it doesnt respond where it put in all its major resources for battle rather than go for a longer duration of war , how will it play with logistics and reserve formations and also on over all manpower requirements of Indian Defence Forces?


well, they either fight a war of manouever and counter attack, and then they better have same control over air and logistics as we do... but this will be a short outcome war, or...

they dig in and get into trench warfare, but without air cover and sufficient weight of artillery, they will be annihilated, or...

they go into guerilla mode, a la iraq - and then you're into massive COIN only operations

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Postby shiv » 12 Dec 2005 09:18

RayC's questions: each needs a book to be written in reply :shock:

1. Is the Army to be organised for the subcontinental threat or should it be capable of an "out of the area" application. If both, then what should be the mix in so far as the doctrinal, organisational and weapon mix spectrum that makes it cost effective. Since it may not be feasible to have a "Strategic Mobility" lift profile in the near future, how should India integrate itself with allies.

What is the subcontinental threat? Who are India's allies that it can integrate with?

Militarily, I believe the Indian army is gearing itself up for all sorts of warfare. Massed Tank formations. Intense artillery. COIN. Use of technology of COIN - IR vision/radar. Mountain warfare. Jungle warfare.

Currently, the Army has no other go - it has to prepare for anything with whatever resources it has. In what way can the political leadership of the country guide the Army so that resources could be put to the most optimum use?

Do we want the Indian army to have the capability to put in, and maintain 250,000 troops inside Pakistan after capturing territory? Will we need to do that as a reaction to a Pakistani attack? Can Pakistani attacks be dealt with in a different manner, without the need for biting of a huge chunk of Pakistani territory?

What options do we have? What will the army be required to do if we decide that offensive formations can be cut back in favor of something else. For example could we have much smaller, highly mobile units with intense firepower for specific roles. The roles may include paradrop into missile or nuclear installations or a quick deep intrusion into Pakistan and a pullout after a specific objective is achieved, while any Pakistan attacks on the border are countered somehow :eek: (How??) Integration with Air forces is a must here. a cutback in the funding of offensive armor should be equally met with an increased funding/training of spl forces, electronics, comm, helicopters, vehicles, and the ability to achieve intense and complete air superiority over a limited areafor a short while.


2. What is the feasibility of a war in the future with the two adversaries (China and Pakistan) and how should that be conducted and what should be the doctrinal, oprganisational, weaponry changes, if any, that has to be catered for and yet at the same time, how should the armed forces be organised, kitted and doctrinally poised to make its writ run in the Indian Ocean. In this context the Chinese strategy of "string of pearls" is in context.

Does India intend to start a border war with China? If not, what would make China start a border war with India? Population and environmental pressures, and poltical turmoil perhaps. Who is wacthing China for such indicators?

For China any war with any adversary will make it weaker with regard to its other interests. A war with India - unless very minor, could increase the risk of its Taiwan interests being eroded. We need to keep that in mind. For that reason we need to be ready to be opportunistic and take over Indian territory occupied by China if China gets into a Taiwan war. If we are ready to do that then China will be more ready to talk with us and accomodate. But with China it is more a question of using the Indian navy for sea denial. We must be politically ready to do that. The Navy is the smallest force in terms of funding and its equipment takes the longest time to get ready? Unless we have continuous 6+% eco growth we will not be able to afford a continuous increase in budget. Does teh army budget have to be cut down? Where to cut it down? You cannot ditch pensioners. Salaries must not be cut - they need to become more attractive on the lines of industry jobs.

3. The borders with Myanmar is de facto China controlled. Therefore, the conflict scenario (low intensity, if you wish) cannot be wished away.

This problem should not be dumped on the Army alone. It is the political will to develop the North east to make NE India attractive and safe. Trade links via Myanmar into SE Asia. Otherwise it is COIN and COIN and COIN same 'ol same 'ol

4. The issue of Tibet and the Chinese claimed areas also has to be taken into consideration and the demographic changes issue that is of real concern is a valid input.

My take as above

5. How should the Navy be used for power projection and protection of India's overseas territories including vulnerable friendly nations.

The Navy requires a massive increase in size and power. Power projection rests with the Navy (with Air force and Army cooperation)

6. In this thread there is a mention of overseas bases. How is that to be achieved given our foreign policy restraints.

A Naval facility in Vietnam and cooperation with SE Asian nations to combat piracy sounds like a bright idea to me - but I don't but I don't know how bright it is? But before all this where is the diplomacy to set up this sort of thing?


7. How should the airforce be organised to look at the tactical, strategic and space aspects of warfare? As also, what should be the doctrinal aspects of each?
No specific views - other than asking that the Air force and Army will have to reach some degree of agreement on how assets are to be used.

I have no specific views on the following questions - maybe later when I have had a chance to think. Each question is a vast subject by itself.

8. The three forces will have cruise missiles. Therefore what should be the concept where they work in unison rather than at cross purposes? Should there be a separate Strategic Missile Force?

9. What should be the infrastrucural engineering to organise Network Centric Operations.

10. How does Rapid Decisive Operation fit into all the above?

11. Lastly, the wars conduct maybe for short duration or it can be prolonged if organised with allies. Notwithstanding, the armed forces have to a quick response profile. How will that be achieved?

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Postby Anoop » 12 Dec 2005 17:04

I found a slightly dated (1997), but very informative article (for us civvies) by the US Congressional Budget Office on US strategic lift options.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/0xx/doc11/Stratmob.pdf

There's a lot of information that needs to be digested, but Figure 1 jumps out in that, apart from the Persian Gulf region, at other bases (Guam, Diego Garcia and S. Korea), there is a maximum prepositioning of at most 1 brigade. This may be misleading in that it doesn't take into account NATO capabilities, yet it is smaller than I had imagined.

I thought more about the likely scenarios in which the IA will have to rush in forces. I think I may have over-stated the case for foreign bases. First, I expect India to intervene only at the request of the host government, in which case a fair amount of logistical support can be expected at the other end - it only remains for the IA to be prepared to exploit that situation. Joint exercises, as the Brig. said, will help establish that level of confidence and knowledge. Second, if we are going to intervene with military force, we must be able to back it up all the way. That sets a limit on the kind of adversary we are going to be up against as well as a lower limit on the value of the assets we are going to protect. For the near future, I think our commercial investments in foreign countries will not require the GoI to send in forces except as part of a multi-national or UN force.

The other side of the argument is the value of such a lift capability in a war with Pakistan. See Table 2 for a rough time-line and then Chapter 4 for a discussion of sealift. Surge sea-lift, defined as the ability to send in forces within a 20 day period, is what I'm talking about. I expect there to be about 10 days of strategic warning (i.e. at the political and military level) about impending hostilities. Is there a way to exploit this time and India's large number of ports and relative naval superiority over Pakistan to move about a brigade off Pakistan's western coastline? Even if it doesn't enter combat operations, it will tie up some elements of Pak XII Corps that will not enter the fray along the border.

I think there are formidable challenges for such a deployment - (a) the IN's first priority will be to load up their combat vehicles, so port space will not be available; (b) such a deployment will be easily seen and identified and surprise will be lost; (c) there will need to be enormous force protection as the hostile coastline is approached.

Just thought I'd put it up here anyway for people to chew on.

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Postby daulat » 12 Dec 2005 17:10

where are the places we may need to intervene in strength?

1. Indian Ocean islands - we have the capability already and the experience of having done it
2. Indonesian/Malaysian archipelago - political situation would have to really really be transformed for that to happen; our sea lift capability can probably be ramped up to meet this scenario
3. Arabian peninsula? Say Oman requests our assistance against... ???
4. East and the Horn of Africa... not sure we'd really want to do that, but possibly this is a potential scenario
5. Burma? unlikely
6. Pakistan? Possible, but would this be more effective than an armoured thrust?
7. Iran... unlikely?
9. Antartica? :)

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Postby RayC » 12 Dec 2005 21:08

Anoop,

It is not that the US feels that a Bde is adequate. It is "preposition" of a "Bde 'set' " i.e. the ordnance, vehicles, tanks, logistics and other infrastructure that would be essential to sustain a Bde force that would be inserted which initially would thwart the enemy plans and keep it at bay, while the strategic lift (air and sea) brings in the quantum of force and "dry cargo" essential to enforce the US will.

The problem of strategic intervention is that there is a time lag to insert the appreciated quantum of force. This time lag can prove costly. Hence, it is essential to preposition the infrastructure and dry goods so that the strategic lift space is not wasted and is gainfully employed.

It must be remembered that strategic lift is a very expensive proposition apart from being complex. Hence, preplanned positioning of not only troops but the basic infrastructure is a prudent step.

I would also recommend to you to read the Dick Cheney inspired Defence Policy Guidelines. This document is the "mother" of everything that is happening the world over today in so far as the US is concerned.

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Postby wyu » 12 Dec 2005 22:51

Sir,

I will post a much more detailed reply later but some quick thoughts.

1) Good warfighters make good peacekeepers/enforcers. Good peacekeepers/enforcers make dead warfighters.

2) Helos are not a replacement for tanks. They are extremely vulnerable to a ground based AD net.

3) Helos cannot do danger close support to manouvering units. The danger of blue-on-blue incidents is simply too great. The ground based units will have to stop to allow the rotorheads to do their jobs.

4) Simplify the deployment issue to inside India, outside India, and way, way, way outside India.

5) Renting is a hell of alot cheaper than buying.

6) What India brings to any Coalition force is important but even more importantly, can India use what others in the Coalition are bringing? Can you use Canadian recee forces directing your troops and fire onto the enemy? Can you talk to the American pilots into dropping bombs on where you want them dropped?

And vice versa.

Can a Canadian company call on an Indian reaction force and have the confidence that the Indian force won't cross into Canadian lines of fire?

(obvious solution: Have lots and lots of Officer exchanges ... though I know the Indian Army prefers to goto warm Florida than ice cold Ontario).

Sir, I will flush out the TOE of a heavy brigade and a light brigade later but essentially

3-4 tank battalions, 1 mech inf battalion, 1 artillery battalion, 1 engineers battalion, 1 combat service support battalion, 1 field ambulance

3 infantry battalions, 1 combat support company, 1 engineers company (more likely a single platoon), and 1 combat service support company

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Postby RayC » 12 Dec 2005 23:33

Thank you Colonel for coming in.

Could you inform us about the US strategic lift and the nuance of the present strategy of prepositioning assets and being capable of fighting on two fronts simultaenously (though I think there is a rethink on that) and other interesting titbits that we may not be aware of?

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Postby wyu » 13 Dec 2005 01:16

Another fast reply.

Sir,

You're looking at the wrong branch for the initial entry force. Though the USArmy is trying to build that capability. More likely than not, the 1st American force on the ground in an unantincipated action would be a Marine Expeditionary Unit (battalion size).

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Postby daulat » 13 Dec 2005 01:36

wyu wrote:Another fast reply.

Sir,

You're looking at the wrong branch for the initial entry force. Though the USArmy is trying to build that capability. More likely than not, the 1st American force on the ground in an unantincipated action would be a Marine Expeditionary Unit (battalion size).


why not 82nd or 101st Airborne?

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Postby wyu » 13 Dec 2005 01:57

Sustainment issues.

And a MEU has its own transports in and out. Paras can't get the hell out Dodge on their own.

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Postby daulat » 13 Dec 2005 04:06

wyu wrote:Sustainment issues.

And a MEU has its own transports in and out. Paras can't get the hell out Dodge on their own.


would an MEU be operating far inland? where the only access is by air until someone bashes a road through?


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