Doctrinal and other transformation essential for the IA

RayC
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Postby RayC » 12 Jan 2006 21:01

Anoop,

To be sure, I have hardly any idea of what is this Cold Start. Honest.

OK fine, it means limited objectives quite close to the IB. Good. But what is the aim behind the same?

If we are not to cross the nuclear threshold of Pakistan, then why go for an offensive?

I wonder what is the deterrence value by just crediting ourselves with the capablity of a limited offensive with a shallow area of capture. That we have done in most wars we have fought.

If Pakistan uses the nuclear bomb first, its targets could be cities. Tactical nuclear weapons would be used for advancing enemy troops. In such an event of the possibility of Pakistan using tactical nuclear weapons, own troops have to move dispersed. This will ensure that there is no viable target since the payoff will not be commensurate for the weapon used but it has the disadvantage of own troops not being capable of concentrating qucikly at the centre of gravity where the decisive action has to be done, based on the tactical scenario that unfolds during the course of the action (s).

Therefore, there does appear to be a case for neutralising the nuclear assets and the command and control structure of the enemy right at the outset of war so that the war can be engaged in the conventional way.

However, it is a moot point if all the nuclear assets of the enemy is known or can be neutralised!

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Postby Raj Malhotra » 12 Jan 2006 21:05

When we talk of cold start, we forget about Bangladesh. The way things are going there, we may have intervene there, at some short notice, without long drawn overt mobolization

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Postby RayC » 13 Jan 2006 01:07

We all talk of the "Cold Start", me included!

I am not nitpicking, but I wonder how many understand or know of this so called "Cold Start" Doctrine. I would confess I don't know; except for what has been published in the Open fora, and to be frank, that is hardly anything to go by.

I would surely like to know about this concept since "Cold Start" has been used by many, though in a very nebulous way as something omnipotent and omniscient and as a panacea.

As I understand, and I wonder how much of it is correct, is that this concept is designed to beat the long mobilisation which robs India of the initiative since it is forced to fend off the Pakistani offensive till India gears up and then there is Battle Royale!

Obviously, with even the reorganisation of forces as known from the open forums, it will hardly be a force that can go gung ho and into the blues. Therefore, till the follow up forces muster, it captures whatever it can and given the combat punch and its staying power, it cannot go too deep. This "shallow" capture also address another inhibitor - the nuclear threshold of the adversary. So far so good.

If that be so, what is the gain?

A stalemate with a few thousand kilometres of desert sand?

The inhabited areas of the adversary in the other sectors will impede any rapid operations, given the built up area and the terrain; as also the adversary using non state actors in such areas and of which they have no dearth!

Therefore, what's the gameplan?

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Postby Anoop » 13 Jan 2006 01:30

Ray sahab,

Far be it for me to pretend to know remotely as much about these matters as you do! However, to my mind, the Cold Start doctrine is as you had stated - a declaration that makes a virtue out of the twin necessities. And if I may say so, it is formal statement by the Army after Op. Parakram that Pakistan cannot assume a no-war situation will prevail with India simply because Op. Parakram did not move into combat phase. In that sense, it is a continuation of Gen. Malik's pronouncements after Kargil about the viability of "limited" war under the nuclear threshold. It also appears to be a signal to the GoI that (a) the Indian Armed Forces can undertake a small action quickly and (b) do not expect significant damage to be done to Pakistan as a result of such actions - they will be largely symbolic, but then the PA is a very political entity and a small military setback can have a large political fall-out.

Now, as far as game-plan goes, it seems to me that India will not be the first to initiate hostilities, despite the intent and ability to undertake quick action via Cold Start. So a few thousand kms of desert sand may not be a bad deal when you consider that the purpose is largely still defensive?

I am intrigued by your reference to tactical nuclear weapon use by the Pakistanis. Is this really a concern? I am not aware of any serious attribution of tactical nuclear weaponry to the Pakistanis apart from an Opinion Editorial during Op. Parakram.

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Postby Lalmohan » 13 Jan 2006 03:03

anoop

think again about my point about pak delivery capability. what if every corps has a truck n-bomb attached to it at HQ. when that is about to be overrun, the fidayeen unit detonate it and take 000's of kafir soldiers with them...?

ofcourse it wont work that way since we are unlikely to be very concentrated in a war of manoeuvre and the warheads will be fairly small... but sadly IMO the PA have no qualms about detonating on their own soil

someone who knows more than me needs to explore the size of the pak n bomb... is it really air launch capable? is it really missile launch capable? how will the damn thing be used?

i think cold start is about rapid sand capture and cutting off a few largish PA units which can be punished by artillery and air - inflicting pain on the PA, but not enough so that mushy is tempted into detonation, fearing the wrath of unkil in a survival scenario

few 000's dead and coffins going back to villages in the punjab... the political fallout will be significant, for what did they die? someone is bound to ask...

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Postby Anoop » 13 Jan 2006 03:23

Lalmohan,

In my limited understanding, a "tactical" nuclear warhead is more sophisticated, since it is smaller. That statement applies to sub-kT warhead capable of being launched on smaller rockets. Perhaps there's no need to have a high degree of miniaturization if you're exploding a truck. But the fallout of the radiation from a kT device is going to be significant for Pak also.

The other aspect is about deterrence. If there is a credible threat of tactical nuclear weapons launched by short-range rockets, then it gives pause to the IA in the conduct of its operation and buys Pak respite. If the detonation is a surprise one on a truck, it will certainly shock the IA into halting, but by then the damage will have been done to the PA. So it is in Pak's interest to project a credible stand-off tactical nuclear delivery capability instead of surprising the IA when much has been lost.

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Postby Raj Malhotra » 13 Jan 2006 12:45

Capture of some territory and attrition against PA will perhaps force a regime change or force Pak into negotiation to dismantle its terrorist infrastructure in return for territory.

Objectively speaking, few sq km of desert territory may not amount to much but politically speaking, it will

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Postby RayC » 13 Jan 2006 18:32

There is a great deal of debate over the exact definition of a Tactical Nuclear Weapon (TNW). The most obvious categories of TNW, such as land mines, have to a great extent already been eliminated. What remains in many cases looks similar to strategic nuclear weapons; often there is strategic/non-strategic overlap. To add to the confusion, at least seven different factors are used by different authorities to define a tactical weapon: range, yield, intended target, national ownership, capability, delivery vehicle, or exclusion. There are pros and cons for using each criterion. For example, range has historically been a determining factor for Russia and the United States. ICBMs were considered strategic weapons but short-range missiles such as those deployed in Europe were non-strategic. However, if this categorization is applied to third-party states, the entire arsenals of France, India, Pakistan, and the U.K. could be defined as TNW – the nuclear weapons of these countries have intra-continental range but strategic roles in nuclear planning.Another problematic example is yield. TNW are called ‘low-yield,’ with an explosive force ranging from 0.1 kiloton (100 tons of TNT) to 1.0 megaton (1,000,000 tons of TNT); most currently-deployed ‘strategic’ nuclear weapons also release a payload under one megaton. A ‘low yield’ explosion of perhaps 120 KT is equivalent to 120,000 tons of TNT and is almost ten times the yield of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

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Postby Anoop » 13 Jan 2006 19:02

Ray sahab,

The following is a rather technical report on efficient data compression and transfer that someone in the Signals may be interested in reading. I am attaching it here because it may be relevant in NCW.

http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/2006/RAND_TR216.pdf

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Postby Deans » 13 Jan 2006 21:54

One aspect that this very informative discussion has not focussed on
is IMO, how India can leverage its advantage in IT over relatively
IT backward armies/ societies like Pakistan.

This may sound a bit out of the box (and the Army guys on the forum
feel free to correct me ) but how about taking advantage of India's
growing cell phone penetration and computer literacy to provide
cell phones to every soldier, or a laptop in every tank or for every
platoon - which would radically speed up information flow and decision
making. Not to mention being able to call your family more often.
The larger aspect is involving the private sector in IT training, software
devp etc for the forces.

Secondly, I believe Indian Army doctrine has ignored the economic
aspects of war. One area where India has an increasingly advantage
over Pakistan is GDP growth - with the advantge India has increasing
every year. If there is a conventional Indo-Pak war for say 2 weeks,
India loses 2% of its GDP growth for the year. If Pakistan suffers as
much as India it loses 12% or more. Hence do not threaten Pakistan
with the loss of their army ( in terms of soldiers ot tanks ) or their
territory, but with the loss of their economy - something that that
RAPE will be able to grasp more easily.
If one focusses on damaging as much of Pakistan's economy in
the shortest possible time (while protecting India's economic assets)
without going nuclear, it would mean a major rethink in doctrine. A shift
in favour of the Airforce and Navy. More guided missiles, less focus on
occupying territory or fighting set piece conventional battles.
Last edited by Deans on 14 Jan 2006 09:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Deans » 13 Jan 2006 22:30

[quote="RayC"]Thomas C. Schelling argued that “victory” inadequately expresses what a nation wants from its military forces. Mostly it wants, in these times, the influence that resides in latent force. It wants the bargaining power that
comes from its capacity to hurt, not just the direct consequence of successful military action


I think this `capacity to hurt' is an extremely relevant point though one
which has not featured in Indian defence planning. Pakistan - meaning
the mass of its people and nation as a whole, have not been hurt by any
military action of Pakistan, even when they have lost - for e.g in 1965 or Kargil (1971 may be a possible exception).

The average Paki will always be enthusiastic about Jihad, waging war against India etc since he does not believe that he will be impacted in a war in any way i.e - no change in his quality of life or lifestlye post war
(assuming it is non nuclear).
If no the other hand, there is policy of waging war in order to cause
maximum economic hardship to Pakistan, a large no of people in Pakistan could in a few days, find themselves without electricity (just hit a few
power plants), water - (destroying the Mangla dam alone will have a
significant effect on agriculture output), a transport system ( hit strategic
bridges) or oil. However, this campaign will, in my view also not cross a nuclear threshold since IA will not be threatening key Pakistani cities or
the destruction of the Pak army - unless they attack into Indian territory.
If H&D of Pak army on the field is intact - no nukes.

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Postby RayC » 14 Jan 2006 08:48

Another interesting view point has been cranked in by Deans.

Giving cellphones is not quite within the ambit of conducting war, if I may state.

In most areas there are STD booths manned by the Army and so telephoning home is not much of a problem. It may be a problem for those on the posts, but then one can always come down to telephone.

In so far as bringing the battlespace in a vertical and horizontal grid, Network Centric Operations should be the answer. The Information War too is a very important aspect that requires consideration.

Logistics always takes a backseat in the militarym being unexciting. However, logistics has been an important input in future wars. It will be interesting to know how logistics is fitted into the jigsaw called the "Cold Start" of which knowledge in the open forum is really cold and one doesn't know where to start!

Destroying Mangla will create a human catastrophe and as such it is a moot point. One cannot have world opinion against it, being but of the third world.

If India were the US, it would have been an ideal strategic target!

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Postby Anoop » 14 Jan 2006 09:17

Ray sahab,

You may be interested in the articles that appear in the US Army's journal called Army Logistician. The really neat thing is that all articles are freely available off the web!

Talking about medical logistics,

http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/modular_medic.html
http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/JanFeb05/combat_support.html

Some articles on logistics in general:

http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/JanFeb05/combat.html

http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/JanFeb05/opportune.html

http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/MarApr04/Improving_Equipment.htm

There are hundreds more and are available by clicking on the 'Browse This Issue' or 'Back Issues' links on the left.

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Postby Deans » 14 Jan 2006 09:53

RayC wrote:Another interesting view point has been cranked in by Deans.

Giving cellphones is not quite within the ambit of conducting war, if I may state.
In so far as bringing the battlespace in a vertical and horizontal grid, Network Centric Operations should be the answer. The Information War too is a very important aspect that requires consideration.


Point taken, Ray C.
The larger issue is how India can exploit its strengths vis a vis Pakistan.
It's key advantages - like IT or a faster growing economy, are those
which Pakistan cannot hope to match even if they throw money or
people at the problem. Infosys alone is worth (or so I'm told) more than
the entire software industry of Pakistan.
Pakistan's strength vis-a-vis India, is a seemingly endless supply of Jihadi's trained at low cost, whose death's will have little impact on Pakistan. They are simply exploiting that strength.

Also required by India is the political will to attack economic targets.
India is not the US or Israel in this respect.

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Postby RayC » 14 Jan 2006 21:28

Anoop,

Thanks a lot.

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Postby Anoop » 14 Jan 2006 22:30

Ray sahab,

When considering logistic problems in the Indo-Pak context, I don't know how much of the US Army's developments apply to us.

For example, their major improvement viz. Velocity Management concept, seems tailored to address peace-time repair, scheduling and readiness requirements from central (i.e. continental US) depots to locations as far away as Korea or Germany.

When it comes to war-time issues like organic convoy protection described in the article linked from ALOG journal, it seems to address a situation peculiar to US forces viz. the mismatch in the combat potential of the US Army and its adversary forces them to concentrate on soft targets like the convoys. Further, the logistic requirements are much more heavy due to the long deployments and therefore constant need for replenishment.

In the Indo-Pak context, is there a need for such force protection and if so, can these methods be used? I see a situation where due the PA has to devote its attention to the IA combat elements, because not doing so will cause them to lose valuable territory. Second, the short distance and time scales of an Indo-Pak war perhaps do not impose as large a burden of force protection on IA logistics? The major threats to our ground forces will be ground attack aircraft and PA artillery for which I don't see much protection from such measures. It seems we have to rule the skies and knock off their artillery if we have to ensure our logistics protection.

So my short questions, after that long ramble are: What do you see as the biggest logistical challenge for the IA in an Indo-Pak war? Is the US Army experience relevant to us?

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Postby RayC » 14 Jan 2006 23:45

Anoop.

I have just downloaded the links given by you and so I cannot answer to your specific queries pertaining to the articles.

It is obvious that what is OK for the US need not be OK for us. The scenario is different and the battlespace management is peculiar to the psyche of each of their militaries.

Though I am not too taken in by this 'strategic partnership" etc, yet in the event we have to work alongside the US, we will have to tailor it somewhat to their methods since they will be "bankrolling" the whole show, so to say. To that extent, the article would be interesting to read.

Our oil interest is in the ME as also in Africa. Therefore, to security of such oil interests may become necessary for India to show "interest" in the event of any inimical development. To that extent our UN missions in Africa and ME are worth the effort as to will give us some in depth knowledge of the various issues that would be of interest to India.

In a general manner of speaking, the safety of the logistic "tail" is of paramount interest for furthering the operations, expecially a mobile operation, which always is a heavy drain on the logistic support. It is always of paramount interest of all concerned to "hit the shaft" i.e. the logistical columns. No logistics. The operation comes to a grinding halt.

I would not know what would be the logistical challenge since I am rather woolly about the new concept - the Cold Start or whatever it is called. To my mind FOL (Fuels, Oils and Lubricant) will pose the major problem.

Pakistani armour, air or artillery do not really bother much. It is a part of the game and can be taken on in our stride.

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Postby Mandeep » 15 Jan 2006 00:44

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

I have the ToO and ToE of PLA Infantry Battalion, Regt. and Tank Division dating from 1979-1984 on file (sorry, no url), courtesy the Colonel. With all the reorganization going on, perhaps that is no longer useful. However, if there is interest for it on the forum, I can email it to the admins and ask them to host it on the BR server.[/quote]

Could you email these to me please Anoop ? At mandeepsbajwa at hotmail dot com I'll be very grateful.

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Postby RayC » 18 Jan 2006 21:41

Anoop,

Any comments on my above posts?

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Postby Anoop » 19 Jan 2006 04:30

Ray sahab,

I'm flattered that you ask me, but as you know I can only ask questions, and depend on you to provide answers :).

Would it be a worth-while exercise to mimic what an Indian equivalent of a US Brigade Combat Team (BCT) would look like, similar to the MEU exercise? That way you can see what an amateur's eyes see and can provide feedback on what needs to be improved in our way of thinking.

For specificity, we might locate this Indian "BCT" in Oman!

If you have other assignments in mind, please share. I'm sure there will be many people here who will enjoy the mental exercise.

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Postby RayC » 19 Jan 2006 10:17

Saw the idea on Oman by Sparten?

Scuttling of ships and tankers?

Wild!

More like Kalidas.
Last edited by RayC on 19 Jan 2006 10:21, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby RayC » 19 Jan 2006 10:19

Anoop,

Kiteflying, without specific inputs of the state of the armed forces, always worries me since one can draw wrong lessons.

Call it my regimented mind, if you wish.

You start a thread and I will lurk to learn till it goes into the exotic and wild as most thread on these lines seem to go off.

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Postby Vick » 21 Feb 2006 02:04

From DN
India Plans Weapons, Training To Project Power
By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI, NEW DELHI

Indian defense planners are reshaping procurement and training plans to conform to the 2004 doctrine that emphasizes littoral warfare and the rapid deployment of forces behind enemy lines.

Everything is being done to meet India’s interests in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, a senior Indian Defence Ministry official said.

Navy officials are stretching the old limits of Indian naval power with visions of dealing with conflicts abroad and protecting persons of Indian origin and Indian interest in foreign countries.

Late last year, Navy planners established a Rapid Mobility force along the lines of the U.S. Marine Corps, he said.

The new force, which is to be capable of deploying around the Indian Ocean rim and other distant places, will help build relationships with countries in Central Asia, the Persian Gulf, the Indian Rim, the Association of South East Asian Nations and some African states, the Defence Ministry official said.

The new force will be based on the Andaman and Nicobar islands, located in the Indian Ocean nearly 1,000 kilometers from the mainland and just 45 kilometers from Myanmar’s Coco island, where China has maintained a listening post for more than a decade.

Other special forces troops will be given specialized equipment and training to prepare them for politically sensitive missions, said the official.
The Navy’s Western naval command would receive destroyers, frigates, missile boats and amphibious ships through more than $2 billion in orders the Navy has placed with Indian shipyards to build more than 20 warships, six submarines and half a dozen offshore patrol vessels.

The Defence Ministry is also negotiating to buy the Trenton, a U.S. dock landing ship, through the Foreign Military Sales program. The ship is likely to join the Indian Navy within the next two years.

The Navy also plans to lease nuclear Akula-class submarines from Russia and to develop and build an aircraft carrier, a nuclear submarine, the $1.5 billion classified Advanced Technology Vehicle submarine project and the $800 million Air Defense Ship program.

China is one reason the Navy is accelerating its expansion plans. Beijing has improved its relationship with Indian Ocean Rim countries such as Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Army Plans

The Indian Army is quadrupling the number of special forces troops to about 20,000, having hired Israeli trainers to teach them at undisclosed locations, and equipping them with the latest weapons and gear.

The Army’s shopping list includes light combat vehicles, high-speed all-terrain utility vehicles, laser-guided small weapons, high-powered .50-caliber sniper rifles, Global Positioning System navigation systems, lightweight and secure radios, body armor, night-vision goggles, digital cameras and remote detonating devices, an Army official said. Officials also want to lease or buy four to six Lockheed Martin C-130J transport aircraft for special forces.

Some $800 million is being drawn from the regular Army’s budget to purchase this equipment for the special operators, said a senior official from the Defence Ministry’s procurement department.

Air Force

The Air Force also has drawn plans to acquire midair tankers to extend the operational range of Su-30 MKI and Mirage 2000 strike fighter jets. India also has bought six tankers from Uzbekistan in the last two years.
The rapid-mobility forces are being sharpened through international counterinsurgency exercises like a recent series held with U.S. troops in the jungles of Mizoram.

In December, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the parliament that the Navy has been discussing the creation of a special force with Army, Navy and Air Force elements that can be swiftly deployed because of the “increased strategic importance of the seas surrounding India.”

Though Mukherjee said the plans have no “concrete shape,” Defence Ministry officials say plans are actually quite mature.

E-mail: vraghuvanshi@defensenews.com.


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