Doctrinal and other transformation essential for the IA

wyu
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Postby wyu » 13 Dec 2005 07:35

There are very few areas that the US is interested in that is without a US presence and out of reach of a USMC MEU.

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Postby Anoop » 13 Dec 2005 10:11

Ray sahab,

That clarification on pre-positioning is very helpful, thanks. Conversely, if it is so critical to pre-position support structure within easy reach of the target area, then the demands on our strategic lift capacity has just moved further beyond our reach. As you had indicated in your previous posts, the political effort to set up deep and lasting contacts with other countries hasn't really begun in earnest, apart from the one in Tajikistan.

Switching tracks for the moment and talking about an Indo-Pak war,

- Is there any utility in being able to identify minefields from a distance, of say, 500 m, particularly at night? What is the current state of the art? Recce teams? Aren't they in danger of stepping into the minefield?

- How often are maps of enemy territory updated? I remember reading about the IA believing from intelligence sources, that there was a pucca road beyong Naya Chor in 1971 and being rudely surprised when there wasn't. Hopefully, with satellite imagery, maps are much better now.

- Are the Pak DCB defences well-lighted? In the interest of concealment, I would expect them not to be. Isn't there an opportunity for small demolition teams to cross over by boat or is the flow of the river too strong?

- In the event of a full-scale war, is a Pak attack on our population centers expected? In previous wars, that has been avoided to a large extent, but I'm not too sure now. With uncertain accuracy, their short-range Hatf - I & III missiles seem to be more useful as terror weapons than as battlefield weapons.
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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.

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Postby wyu » 13 Dec 2005 10:41

Good God,

You're acting like a kid locked in a candy store!

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Postby Anoop » 13 Dec 2005 10:44

What can I say, Colonel? It IS a sweet and juicy topic :) .

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Postby RayC » 13 Dec 2005 11:37

[quote="Anoop"]Ray sahab,

- Is there any utility in being able to identify minefields from a distance, of say, 500 m, particularly at night? What is the current state of the art? Recce teams? Aren't they in danger of stepping into the minefield?

When the leading tank hits a mine, one is aware that there is a minefield. The mine clearance drill is put into effect.

Normally, the homeside of the enemy would have tanks or anti tank teams guarding the minefield (remember, an unguarded minefield or a minefield not under the cover of fire or surveillance is as good as having no minefield).

Now, if there is opposition from the enemy side, then maybe the plough will be set down and under the cover of heavy artillery barrage, the tanks will move forward.

In the event of infanty going into a deliberate attack, it will just have to move to the objective through the minefields. There are drills to keep the casualty low, though the leading man has to be a man with a brave heart!

- How often are maps of enemy territory updated? I remember reading about the IA believing from intelligence sources, that there was a pucca road beyong Naya Chor in 1971 and being rudely surprised when there wasn't. Hopefully, with satellite imagery, maps are much better now.


I really would not know, but then before any operation, updated maps, air photos, satl imagery would all be available for study and action.

- Are the Pak DCB defences well-lighted? In the interest of concealment, I would expect them not to be. Isn't there an opportunity for small demolition teams to cross over by boat or is the flow of the river too strong?

DCB should not be lighted since it will give away the position. Wherever feasible, they are camouflaged with sarkanda (elephant grass) and trees.

- In the event of a full-scale war, is a Pak attack on our population centers expected? In previous wars, that has been avoided to a large extent, but I'm not too sure now. With uncertain accuracy, their short-range Hatf - I & III missiles seem to be more useful as terror weapons than as battlefield weapons.

That would be asking for trouble.

It will become a tit for tat.
-----------------------

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.

E mail me too. I am not too sure if I have it from the Colonel.

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Postby wyu » 13 Dec 2005 11:58

RayC wrote:E mail me too. I am not too sure if I have it from the Colonel.


Sir,

That would be the Handbook of the People's Liberation Army. I've already sent you a copy last year.

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Postby Y I Patel » 13 Dec 2005 21:11

It's very laudable that the Indian military is keeping up to the latest in professional military thinking, and has planned investments (such as in NCW) to operationalize RMA to the extent possible... the next step, IMHO, is to Indianize RMA - to adjust our own transformations and doctrines to match our unique geopolitical situation.

A great example of this is the way in which artillery has been used during wars that are not wars - ie, during Kargil and Parakram. Another would be the raising of RR and the ongoing transformation of CRPF into a specialized counterterrorism force. Neither of these three transformations have the sexy cachet of NCW, but taken together, they amount to highly potent India-specific doctrinal evolutions.

Where do we go from here? IMHO we need to reinforce success. We need to be able to move large artillery formations over great distances, and very rapidly. Rapidly enough to make introduction of a mobile artillery formation strategically or orperationally decisive. And no, this can not be done thorough SP arty. We need airmobile arty - by use of medium or heavy lift helicopters to air transport arty to remote or inaccessible areas, and by providing associated logistic means to sustain arty operations decisively.

Arty, from what I understand, is a huge logistics hog. A requirement for rapid movement of arty formations would make no sense to superpowers, because of logistics and force protection considerations. The manpower required to sustain arty and to protect it, could be much better used in maneuver formations. But in India's context, especially in our Himalayan frontiers, arty has proved that it can be used as a decisive maneuver tool in itself. So an Indianization of NCW would imply the ability to have C3I for arty formations (and implementation of that is already underway) plus the hitherto missing ability to move and sustain ops of brigade size arty formations rapidly over large distances. A begining could be made by investing not in heli gunships but in more prosaic medium to heavy lift helicopters (such as Chinooks).

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Postby daulat » 13 Dec 2005 21:18

YIP - your point about arty is a good one. can a chinook really lift a 155mm? I have seen them lift 105mm, but is a bofors size unit really viable?

if we're looking for indian solutions, perhaps increased rapidity of rail deployment for arty is an option? we can preposition spares and ammo in key areas, perhaps even near border posts. perhaps the big guns can be air lifted in knock down form and reassembled? not sure that any of them really offer that as yet?

perhaps the answer is to have a "smaller pinaka" that can be heliported quickly? perhaps the design needs to be further modularised, or even containerised, which can be easily transported around using road, rail, heli, air - whatever

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Postby Y I Patel » 13 Dec 2005 21:25

I would imagine that even the ability to lift a formation of 105 mms within a matter of hours could be operationally decisive in a Kargil like situation. Remember how the Bofors 155s ended up being used for direct fire? Correct me if I am overstating here, but I believe that if the first few units who charged upwards had 105 support, the infiltrations could have been delt with in weeks, not months. That said, I would really love to see the ability to air transport 155 mms. A related question: how long would it take to reassemble a disassembled and heli tranported 155mm? But daulat's point also holds - the ability to rapidly road or rail transport heavy arty power is also part of this transformation, because it does relate to India's needs in slugging it out without crossing the border.

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Postby Anoop » 13 Dec 2005 21:52

YIP, finally!

What scenarios do you have in mind that would require arty to moved in very quickly? After Kargil, the problem has been addressed slightly differently, by retaining boots on the ground. In a full fledged battle, arty would be used in the rear (less distance to travel) and would need to be accompanied by manouever elements that have to be moved forward, thereby becoming a logistical bottleneck before the arty becomes one. Do you see a punitive purely fire assault happening anywhere except along the LoC?

As I understand it, even if the guns were in the location, deployment of an arty battery is contingent upon finding space to store ammo, locating FAO, and things like crest clearance, line of fire etc. Plus, one of the huge drain on the logistical train is the number of shells to be transported.

For sudden action, is it better to use a MBRL battery instead? More compact for transportation, less pieces for the same explosive tonnage - therefore less site suitability concerns, much larger shock value, greater shoot and scoot ability and self contained ammo vehicles.

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Postby Y I Patel » 13 Dec 2005 22:12

My reasoning is that in the two most likely war scenarios, vs China or Pakistan, the most strategically significant actions will happen right on the border rather than deep inside own or enemy territory. For India, the actions would would be defensive/reactive in nature (as in Kargil), or they could also be us trying to break through entrenched defenses in an attack. This reasoning can also be extended to non-mountainous areas of IB with Pakistan, where we would have to smash through several lines of defense very close to the border. Heavy defenses, but within range of arty operating from well within Indian territory. By being able to move heavy firepower rapidly, we can create breakthoroughs by concentrated firestorms. In the space-time matrix, we gain by being able to dominate limited space in decisively short time periods.

Finally, we have all discussed rungs of escalation to death, in situations vs China as well as Pakistan. And experience of the last decade shows that most crises have begun and ended with shells being lobbed across the border (or LOC, if you want to put a fine point on it). We know that this is an easy sell to risk averse political leadership, non-escalatory, and has a decent risk to gain ratio. So why not accept the obvious, and do something to bolster our weapon of first choice?

PS
Regarding whether MBRLs are better than 155s, or whether modifications need to be made to make arty more transportable, that's a technical detail that can be taken care of if the larger doctrinal aspect is embraced. Doctrine should direct weapons, now that India has become a country that can pick and choose its weapons.

PPS
there is a psychological dimension to it as well. Arty can be used to demonstrate brutal dominance without being escalatory like air power is. Think walls of fire during Parakram. IAF and IN will create strategic breakthroughs that will enable us to win the next war, but there can be nothing to match the shock and awe created by an arty firestorm. The next war will be as much in the mind as it will be ethereal. The vital breakthrough will be a hole in the enemy's C3I net, but nobody will see that. What people will see and remember and tremble at the memory of will be earth heaving and trembling under the repeated impact of Bhim's gada.

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Postby satya » 13 Dec 2005 22:30

In btw, how effective will be 105 mm mortars in mountain warfare , cant they be used for close artyy. support ?

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Postby Y I Patel » 13 Dec 2005 22:36

Let me put this in a philosophical prespective by using some imagery. Modern military strategy was born and formed in the plains of Europe, where large armies need to cover vast distances. So skill and potency is associated with being nimble of foot. Armies, like Mohammad Ali, need to flit around like a butterfly and sting like a bee. But that does not hold for the subcontinent. Here, we indulge in 20 year long slugfest over a remote mountain range called Saltoro. A 10-20 mile incursion sends us into an inferiority complex vs the Chinese for 40 years. Let's accept it. In the subcontinent, a breakthrough is a stretegic victory in itself! Think India 1 Corps moving 5 miles towards Lahore. Existensial threat. We measure strategic distances very differently than in an European context. We do need strategic mobility, but mostly within our own country! And we really really need punch. We can afford to be a muscle bound Gatochgacha who is not fleet of foot but who can fell with one punch.

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Postby Anoop » 13 Dec 2005 23:05

YIP,

There’s much food for thought in your question of what success means in a European vs Sub-continental context.

In the Indo-Pak context, the counter-argument is the following – (a) are we gearing up to fight the last war more efficiently i.e. do we merely want to punish and deter, or (b) are we aiming to bring on Pax-Indica after the next (big) one? If the answer is the former, I would argue that from a doctrinal, operational and equipment perspective, we are already very near, if not already at our destination. In a sense, political inclinations and spending patterns do indicate that the current choice is (a).

The unspoken, but very interesting point of debate is whether a politically humiliating slap on the PA’s face a la (a), will be a catalyst for Pax-Indica i.e. whether the two are not really opposite choices, but rather different ways of achieving the same end.

The purely military argument would indicate that (b) is a totally different choice and would require a new quantum of capabilities. However, we know that Pakistan’s military is as much a political animal as it is a military one.

The question is whether any armed force, driven as it is by a traditional system of measurement, will base a doctrine and associated force planning on achieving (b) using the means for conduct of (a).

I realize that I am hand-waving over what constitutes (b), but not applying the same loose standards to (a). In my defense, the doubts in my mind are still nebulous and if pushed, I'd say that (b) would be something like 1971, while (a) would be like Kargil.

In the Sino-Indian context, you are spot on. To have it expressed in that manner is very useful.

Satya,

There was a discussion on this forum of how weight considerations and manual portability requirements prevented higher caliber mortars from being used in the Himalayas.

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Postby Anoop » 13 Dec 2005 23:16

So really, a Cold Start requires huge ammo dumps near the border and the threat of armor moving in if Pakistan decides not to take the slapping?

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Postby satya » 13 Dec 2005 23:46

Considering Chinese too have their '' local war in border areas under hi-tech conditions'' , how effective will be our Cold Start against against PLA ?

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Postby RayC » 13 Dec 2005 23:58

A couple of issues that maybe considered.

Kargil was an environment that had no enemy air activity except helicopters for logistic support across the LC.

Therefore, one should consider the scenario of enemy air activity when considering helicopter delivered artillery.

In inaccessible areas as mentioned, there will also be the problem of finding deployment areas. Further, with locating devices including locating radars, when own guns open up in the limited deployment area, enemy counter bombardment will take its toll unless the guns are the shoot and scoot types.

Therefore, while we may have positioned heavier artillery via air delivery, it would be just one part of the problem. The main parts would be deployment and be able to shoot and scoot to another location. It must be also be borne in mind that the scooting to another area should be such an area where there is deployment space, the route to that deployment area there and it should be far enough to avoid the Counter bombardment spread when forced the guns to move and yet at the same time be close enough to perform the task they were initially doing!

In the event it is a case of landing more shells at the objective end, one could increase the rate of fire.

On the other hand, if heavier shells, rapid firing and scooting and shooting is the aim, the US Crusader system would be the type of gun that you are possibly wanting.

Though the US has shelved the Crusader's 155mm self-propelled howitzer, XM2001, it had tremendous potential since it has fully automated ammunition handling and firing that allows firing of the 48 on-board rounds at rates of up to 10 rounds per minute to ranges in excess of 40km. The first rounds of a mission can be fired in 15 to 30 seconds. Additionally Crusader has the capability to fire multiple rounds to achieve simultaneous impact on target (MRSI). One Crusader vehicle can fire up to 8 rounds to strike a single target at the same time. The digital fire control system calculates separate firing solutions for each of the 8 projectiles.

Yet, one has to bear in mind that massed artillery against deliberate defence with concrete emplacements are not so devastating as it may appear. In fact, the maximum casualty that artillery effects is in the first salvo where they catch the troops unaware.

However, continuous salvos and that too through a milk round or in the Harassing Fire matrix can be a psychological demotivator especially for non battle hardened troops.

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Postby RayC » 14 Dec 2005 00:34

Network Centric Operations

http://www.usni.org/Proceedings/Article ... rowski.htm

It is basically operative with Information Warfare.

Jointmanship is the synergisation of various organisations that comprise of the defence forces.

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Postby kgoan » 14 Dec 2005 02:10

Some intersting points from an article in the link that Anoop provided on the actual realities of the RMA in the month long conventional phase of the Iraq war.

At heart, the promise of the information revolution as it applies to the military realm is to allow (1) a reduction in the mass and density of armed forces and (2) a corresponding increase in their speed, flexibility, and agility. In this equation, information substitutes for mass by, among other things, allowing armed forces to shed some of their organizational redundancy (which has served historically as a hedge against uncertainty). Information power is supposed to accomplish this by giving military organizations:
  • Improved situational awareness;
  • Greater precision and range in the attack;
  • Better coordination among friendly units; and
  • More efficient support.

In turn, these improvements allow forces:
  • To become smaller and lighter,
  • To operate in a more dispersed fashion,
  • To act with greater speed and agility, and
  • To adapt more rapidly to new circumstances and missions.

Presently, the chief organizing concept for US military transformation is "network centric warfare". This envisions all units and assets as nodes in a theater-wide (and eventually, global) network comprising several types of "grids": sensor, information processing, support, and weapon or "strike" grids. Although widely-dispersed, the units comprising these grids would be highly mobile and digitally interlinked - and thus able to rapidly concentrate themselves or their fires in the right combination and at the right time and place to quickly defeat a foe.

Or so the theory goes.

Is this what we saw at work during the main conventional phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom - that is, during the first month of the war? Was this "netcentric warfare" in action? No, not actually.

What we did see during the one-month conventional phase of the Iraq war was a more limited type of a network. This principally involved reconnaissance and precision strike assets - air power, mostly. It resembled something the Soviets used to call a "reconnaissance and fire complex". . .

"Precision" is a relative attribute. In the case of the Iraq war, it refers to the delivery of bombs weighing between 225 and 900 kilos to within 13 meters of their targets. On impact, these weapons destroy virtually everything within a radius of between 20 and 35 meters. Truly safe distances for unprotected people in the open range between 500 and 1000 meters. So these "precision weapons" have some inherently imprecise effects upon delivery. And the "precision revolution" partly depends on these broad area effects. . .

it is noteworthy that official analyses that show one or two of today's precision bombs doing the same work as many more 1970-vintage bombs are often comparing the effects of old 500-lb munitions with new 2000-lb ones. But the increased lethality of the latter is not due solely to their improved accuracy. Their greater explosive power also matters.


From: http://www.comw.org/pda/0511conetta.html

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Postby Kakkaji » 14 Dec 2005 02:20

One thing I hope they never do is cut down the manpower strength of the Indian Army.

I know it is fashionable to talk of the RMA etc. and how it will result in a small high-tech force. But India is not USA. It cannot be as high-capital and high-tech as the U.S. military can be. The U.S. and other developed countries have limitations on manpower availability that India does not. It is their weakness, not their strength. The U.S. is finding out in Iraq that eventually the number of boots on the ground count.

The kind of wars India has to fight (mountain warfare, COIN) are mostly manpower-intensive. So why should we give up our strength, and copy those whose circumstances and strengths are so different from ours?

If anything, I hope they at least increase the strength of the Territorial Army to several times its present strength, to cover for attrition arising out of a few days of intense modern combat.

Just my 2 cents.

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Postby RayC » 14 Dec 2005 02:35

It is a truism that India can never match the US in terms of finances and other wherewithal to "keep up with the Joneses".

Much talk has gone on about the RMA and the Indian Army and minor tweaking here and there have been touted as movement towards RMA. So is the case in terms of IW and NCW.

Cold Start is a doctrinal change, but then how far it is fesible with the present infrastructure and technology is a moot point.

However, what is the centrepoint of the Indian strategic outlook is the changing global equations and the changing geo strategic environment and the new allies so to speak which is dictating a new look at the threats.

The current threats will remain in the near future but in conjunction with allies, India maybe in a position to influence common strategic goals without very seriously affecting her position or security in the local or world scenario.

Therefore, there is a requirement to be able to have an Army (and also in conjunction with the other two services) which is capable of addressing the local conflict scenarios and as also play a role in the region and maybe "out of the area" to ensure that her and her allies goals are not sent on a tailspin.

If that be the case, then what are the changes that has to manifest itself on the armed forces in the context of organisation, weapons, strategic mobility etc etc,

That is the question!

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Postby Y I Patel » 14 Dec 2005 03:34

RayC wrote:Cold Start is a doctrinal change, but then how far it is fesible with the present infrastructure and technology is a moot point.


But then, that is the whole point of doctrine! Doctrine is more than aquisition of some sexy weapons or communications systems, it is a way of thinking about how we will fight! So it encompasses all issues - from the high tech to the absolute low tech. So we do not just invest in new systems or more general rank officers, we build up the bases and the rolling stock and the roads and the railways, also about how we train our soldiers to about preparing for and executing combat actions!

I read a book about Israel's celebrated Operation Moked, which was eye opening in this regard. Op Moked was the famous Israeli AF strike that took out Egyptian air force in the first few days of the 1967 war. The book talks about how the planning began more than 10 years before the actual attack. It bagan by Israeli military defining what its objective would be in the next war, then went about structuring its armed forces accordingly! NOTE, the plan was NOT prepared according to the weapons they had, the weapons, including combat aircraft, were chosen according to a plan! Also, in the ten years, they collected intel, and most importantly, trained trained trained so that they would be able to carry out the long range strikes with precise TOT and with requisite payloads.

So when we talk NCW, I am hoping someone in IDS has thought through how exactly this fits into the most probable conflict situation India must prepare for. Personnel levels in any military - including that of the sole superpower, are set according to some doctrinal principle. US, for eg, fields forces to fight two full wars and one holding (half) war anyhwere around the world. India does something similar - our force levels are for fighting 1.5 wars PLUS one full blooded insurgency. No prizes for guessing what the 1.5 is. So any "out of area" actions have to be from surplus military power, and it would be irresponsible to spend millions for such sexy actions if we cannot guarantee a successful outcome for the 1.5 war situation.

And what is our bottom line for a successful outcome? If it is, as I hope it would be, a successful political dismemberment of Pakistan, then the US experience in Iraq shows us that a real victory has to go well beyond successful termination of combat actions. For that, there is no high tech - just old fashioned boots on the ground. The important thing is, these boots must be trained and equipped for police/pacification actions!

Iraq has a population of about 26-29 million. Right now, US + poodles amount to about 200k troops. Let's assume double that number is what it takes, which means about 1 pair of boots for about 500-750 people. Pak has a population of what? 120 mill or so? If we talk just Punjab and Sindh, that's about 100 mill or so, and we are looking at a force of at least 500k. Can this come from army alone? No way. And it should not. Once we have our mil objectives, and assuming we do our political groundwork correctly, we might need almost 200-250 batts or paramil forces to go in and secure peace! Our army is 300 odd infantry batts; more significantly we will have about 450-500 batts of para mil forces in the next couple of years! (This is about 250 CRPF, 200 odd BSF, plus spare change from ITBP, AR etc). Of those 500 odd, we may not be able to spare more than 50 to 100 for out of India duties. Throw in about 200 army batts for an occupation force, and we are still about 200k short! Where should those boots come from? I believe they should come from CRPF not from Army. Army should be built to win the shooting war (and the extra heavy arty and transport capabilities I talk about would be invaluable for that). The post combat nation building will have to fall on army + para mils. They should be able to stay for as long as it takes, but atleast 3 to 4 years. And all the while, there should be sufficient reserves to take care of any internal situations plus China.

This, IMO, is what we should be planning for. NCW will have its part, MMRCAs have their essential role, but the real war winning foce will be that extra 200 odd batts of para mil forces that we still need to raise. Can we do it? Yes, we can.

PS
I indulged in some madrassah math up there, but the end numbers do add up to 500k to 600k troop requirement for an occupation force to Pakjab and Sindh. Thats about 500 to 600 batts. So the overall numbers are in the ballpark. And if they are not, they atleast show the enormity of manpower requirement for an occupation force. The only source of trained and reliable manpower would be our infantry and paramils.

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Postby Anoop » 14 Dec 2005 04:25

YIP,

Looking over the articles that appear in the USI journal etc., I think the scope of what you're suggesting (occupying Pakistan) is not being considered realistic or even desirable in military circles. The nuclear attack possibility as well as the huge manpower resources required (the pension bill for the Army currently eats up ~ 17% of the budget) and the transformation of Bangladesh over decades long time span (although it can be argued that it has become inimical because we did not stay there long enough), are possible reasons behind this assessment.

If I interpret the strategic community's articles correctly, the thinking is that our armed forces need to help our foreign policy writ run beyond our immediate neighbourhood, prevent piracy and secure energy supplies and trade routes so that our economy can continue to grow. Much more modest aims than what you're suggesting.

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Postby satya » 14 Dec 2005 06:32

YIP,

u gave out a gud way for additional manpower for Pak peace mission , wht bout finances, mere small theater action in Kargil lead to Govt. increasing the tax and also using all those contributions sent for martyred soliders for its tax gaps , how u suppose to fund this new COIN ops in a total hostile territory for 3-4 yrs [ atleast 3-4 yrs taking example of any insurgency ] and how u plan to rotate 500K manpower considering 2 yr peace posting meaning we need atleast 1.5 million para mili and military personnels alone! for Operation Aman :twisted: in Fedaration of West Punjab&Sindh :twisted:

and there is no Oil and nor we have cheap refinance available like Uncle Sam

So considering these constraints tht r not going to go away in coming decade atleast , i agree with Anoop , tht we should have more reasonable goals

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Postby Prem » 14 Dec 2005 07:05

Y I Patel wrote:
RayC wrote: PS
I indulged in some madrassah math up there, but the end numbers do add up to 500k to 600k troop requirement for an occupation force to Pakjab and Sindh. Thats about 500 to 600 batts. So the overall numbers are in the ballpark. And if they are not, they atleast show the enormity of manpower requirement for an occupation force. The only source of trained and reliable manpower would be our infantry and paramils.



Puke power comes from Pakjab and occupying Pakjab should do the trick. Why not make some kind of deal with Nationalistic Sindhis and MQM types or simply give Theka to Afghans or Balochs for hundreds of millions of $$$ for non Pakjabi handling.

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Postby Paul » 14 Dec 2005 07:15

YIP, you may be surprised by how quickly the Pakjabi RAPES will switch sides once the borders come crumbling. It is possible that Punjab may be the easiest to sanitize. The Rapes will quickly come to a understanding to preserve their hold. Maybe we should set up a Sikh viceroy like KPS Gill in Lahore and give him carte blanche to clean the area.

However, these developments accompanied by Punjabi-Pukhtoon strifes in Hindko and Peshawari regions where these two groups overlap and what about Balochistan, the US may decide to give it to Afghanistan if the Afghan experiment succeeds or Iran may feel empowered to start fishing in these troubled waters. Every situations brings news possibilities and threats.

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Postby Kakkaji » 14 Dec 2005 07:31

IMHO military occupation of Pakjab is neither practical nor necessary. If we can promote insurgencies in Sindh and Baluchistan, whereby these two provinces break away, Pakjab would wither away by itself. Just quarantine Pakjab afterwards. That should do the trick.

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Postby RayC » 14 Dec 2005 21:00

Doctrines are not for buying weapon systems for just a lark or keeping up with the Jones.

It is the mode of application of the synergised force to achieve the aim. When the doctrine translating the aim and if that aim falls short within the scope of the current weaponry and it requires certain other types of weapon system to do that task, then one has to buy it.

An example is that Pakistan ate grass but begged, borrowed and stole the nuclear bomb and the delivery systems. It was essential for their national and security imperatives consequent to their pathological fear of India.

It is not just that Isreal which prepares for the future war, India does that too. One would recall the Krishna Rao Report that addressed doctrine as also the matching weapon systems. Then came the Bipin Joshi study and now we have directorates and Command solely for the task.

Network Centric Operations is basically fine tuning the Information Warfare so as to make combat possible with realtime inputs. India is not going to apply new fangled ideas blindly, but would tailor the same to suit its requirement. Likewise RDO and EBO. It maybe worth noting that RMA is not something that the US thought up. It is basically a Soviet theory.

It is a moot point if India can even currently fight a two front offensive simulataneously. Note: Offensive.

Counter Insurgency is more of a psychological wearing down than any degradation thorough combat. It does tie down troops, but then, there are ways how the lack of troops are being compensated.

The Indian contribution is also an "Out of the Area" commitment and we are contributing in a big way. If a Brigade worth could go to Somalia, then can a Brigade worth not be thought of an "Out of the Area" deployment? We went in assistance to Maldives, that is an Out of the Area operation. Israel , I believe, has obtained landing and port facilities in Oman. What is the size of their Armed forces and do they not have a greater threat that what India is contemplating?

Therefore, is their really a requirement to increase the forces.

There have been many studies wherein redundant establishments that are paid through the Defence Establishment be done away with like Central Ordance Depots etc or workshop and instead procure or maintain direct from source. There are a sizeable amount of military personnel in such organisations. Now if they go, then there would be some manpower saved. However, the govt cannot abolish these organisations for political reasons!

Iraq should not be compared with the Indian situation. It was an invasion without any good reason excepting strategic interests of the US and that was not stated up front and instead a whole lot of falsehood were used to justify the same. Thus, the US lost the moral stand.

If India is attacked, then action of India against any adversary will not be met with such international indifference as what US is facing in Iraq.

Another issue that must be borne in mind is that warfare is not an equation of numbers or what is known as combat ratio. It has many facets to it and hence a mathematical numbers game does not project a true picture.

The situation in Pakistan is excellent. Balochistan is on the brink of an insurrection. Sindh is dissatisfied. NWFP is an independent entity where Pakistan writ is thumbed to Musharraf's face and the Shias are up in arms in the Northern territories.

The bus diplomacy is opening up Kashmir. There is no doubt that Indian Kashmir is way ahead of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. More of interaction and dissatisaction in POK will settle in. These aspects too go into deciding strategy.

Lastly, patience is required. Doctrines have to be finetuned to suit the conditions and not put up for the grabs on mere whims or for showing "progress" and "innovative thinking" for the heck's sake.

The organisation is unwieldy and requires a trim and increase of the teeth ot tail ratio. Mechanical handling of logistics and a "seamless" (hate this word) logistics chain has to be designed. Weapons that maximise the tactics should be incorporated and it must be within the manpower available and without adoptong the concept of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Wars have shown infirmities and hence the need for the armed forces to shake interia and instead evolve, keeping all the parametres and constraint in view.

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Postby somnath » 15 Dec 2005 10:28

Hi,

This would be by far the most interesting topic I have seen in a long time on BR! Thanks to the Brigadier for this..

My two paisa on this..

While talking of doctrinal changes one muct not only remain fixated with the "military" aspect of warfighting. The political, social and economic aspects have to be integrated into a warfighting (actually the better term would be "strategic") doctrine. And there, institutional mechanisms have to be set into place. In India, despite having some fine ideas, the institutional mechanism is less than fledgling.

Take for instance the requirement of a National Security Council for integrating the threat and opportunity matrix and setting out broad strategy guidelines for not just defence policy, but also foreign and trade policy. At a very "high" level, it can be a policy on export subsidies on key goods exported by Pakistan. From what I know, Pakistan's biggest exports are cotton and textiles. Is there an opportunity to "target" Indian export subsidies towards these goods in a focussed manner to take away markets from Pakistan? At a tactical level, it involves mundane issues like joint procurement of common equipment (recently, there was news that the NAvy and Army bid for ISraeli UAVs separately, thereby giving up on scale economies benefits).

However, both the NSC and NSAB in India are toothless, dysfunctional bodies - the NSAB doesnt even meet regularly! It is basically a sinecure for retired generals and bureaucrats.

It is only with a "big picture" view can we start looking at the fancy aspects of weapons systems better. I have long wondered, for example, the obsession (in BR especially, but also in open source defence literature!) on having a great tank. With the nature of conflicts envisaged for India (Pakistan and China), do we foresee a big role for tanks? With extensive DCBs on Pthe Indo-Pak border and the near inevitability of a short war, will we ever see another Assal Uttar? In such a scenario, isnt it better off focussing resources on electronic surveillance, special forces, precision arty etc, rather than on a gee whiz M1+ vehicle? I might be wrong, but the logic can be extended to a host of other high profile weapons acquisition efforts. Surely, even to a pure layman like me, the neglect of the special forces (do we have any, in the first place?) is criminal in India's strategic policy making. And very few analysts, except Bharat Karnad are making this point.

This can be extended to other things as well, like offsets for large imports (something that we have thankfully started doing), to "targeting" acquisitions. For example, maybe there is merit in giving the entire 155 mm arty order to the Swedish, and ensuring that they dont go ahead with the Ereye deal with Pakistan. This will hold good even if the Swedish gun is slightly inferior to competition, from a strategic perspective.

In office right now, but will write about a few more instances later.

Ciao

Somnath

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Postby Singha » 15 Dec 2005 10:47

well the faulty decisions and corruption that killed the arjun proj will also affect other projects including the electronic and SF you mention. arjun is just a placeholder for the issue.

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Postby daulat » 15 Dec 2005 15:33

I don't think we need to occupy pakistan in the next war, if their military collapses, there will be an internal regime change at the least, revolution at worst. The ugly nuke question lingers... but you can hypothesize about the non punjabis forming their own breakaway regions, a la iraqi kurds, and therefore perhaps less needs to be dealt with.

i definitely support the separation of duties between army and paramilitaries, or atleast large parts of the army, and the manpower issue remains. at the end of the day, India does indeed have abundant manpower - and woman power, we need to capitalise on it

but as RayC says, its not just about numbers - I saw this week on television a computer simulation/rerun of 10,000 Roman Legionaires slaughtering a massive army of 200,000 ancient Britons led by Queen Boadicea who had already defeated another Legion of 5,000 and sacked the major towns of Colchester and London and were therefore on a morale high. So, there are indeed many many factors to take into account. sometimes numbers can work against you - as the Britons found out. But on a parallel note - how did the Roman's enforce peace on a hostile land where they were massively outnumbered?

1. a highly competent professional army
2. a demonstration of Rome's might and its ruthlessness
3. a visible civilisational superiority, stone buildings, temples, etc.
4. induction of briton and other tribes into the system, e.g. gauls by threat or incentive

we can apply 1, possibly 3 and 4. We are not so good at 2 IMO

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Postby somnath » 15 Dec 2005 16:21

There is a clear lack of jointsmanship in the strategic thinking within the military, at least in what is visible in open source. The Army's cold start doctrine has a minimal role for the IAF and almost no role for the NAvy! Unfortunately, no single arm of the military is by itself capable of evolving a military doctrine - but that is precisely what is happening with lazy/incompetent helmsmen at the politico-bureaucratic level. The cold start might well be an essential part of an overall warfighting strategy, but it cant be strategy by itself.

Some more instances.

B Raman, in a series of articles, has written how the "offensive" capability of RAW was closed down by the IK Gujral govt. But since then, no govt (including the "tough" BJP one) has thought about bringing it back. Notice the amount of work that the CIA special ops teams are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we can draw suitable conclusions.

Note the whittling down of the China-specific paramilitaries in the last 20 years. We today have virtually no special ops capabilities vis-a-vis China. WE will probably never have another "conflict" with China, but it is criminal not to have a deterrent special ops capability.

Note again the confusion over whether we should supply the Prithvi and Brahmos to Vietnam - in fact we should be cultivating Vietnam as the counterweight to China in the far east.

In all these instances, we are displaying the lack of an institutional mechanism to discuss strategic affairs. The military is not even equipped to do this job - and there is no one else doing it - hence decisison making is ad hoc and often quite foolish!

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Postby Singha » 15 Dec 2005 16:37

Nehruvian / Socialist foreign policy establishment and the Parliament has been against involving armed forces in matters of state policy , though they are quick to call the army out to clean up the s*** their mistakes create.

perhaps the takeovers in our two neighbours serve to instill fear in consorting
with uniformed people, perhaps fear that their incompetence, petty politics and BS will stand exposed and not be tolerated,

Fear, as usual is the Key.

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Postby Anoop » 15 Dec 2005 18:29

This is an attempt to organize my thoughts on some aspects of the IA's reorganization. I will add to it when possible.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
INDIAN RAPID DEPLOYMENT FORCE (IRDF)

I. Aim: To describe a military force that is capable of being rapidly deployed away from Indian landmass, either as a stand-alone entity or as part of a larger coalition.

II. Assumptions:

1. IRDF will be deployed only (i) at the request of host country’s legitimate government or (ii) as part of a coalition in a hostile intervention to prevent or reverse an undesirable military/political event.

2. The scope of the military intervention will be limited. They will not be deployed in situations that have the potential of pulling India into a vortex of military commitments as had happened with the IPKF. They will be deployed only in situations where there is no major conflict with other world powers interests, namely the West, Russia, Japan and China or in locations that are clearly within India’s current area of influence e.g. Maldives.

III. Consequences of these assumptions:

1. Due to rapid deployment requirements, the organization and charter of IRDF must be different from our force contribution to UN Peacekeeping Missions. There will be no advance notice of months to identify the units that will be assigned these roles and further, the weaponry and logistics must be geared towards fighting a battle upon entry.

2. There will be no Army-wide reorganization based on the requirements of the IRDF. Due to its limited scope and abilities, it will remain a small, specialized force in terms of training, organization and equipment. In the long-term, if India’s interests and threat-perceptions expand to require more IRDF units, the lessons learnt in this experimental force will be useful in creating the others.

IV. Composition and location of IRDF:

1. Due to the nature of its tasking, the IRDF must be composed of elements from all three Services, if only because mobility will require the IAF and/or IN and the fighting arm will require the IA.

2. The IRDF must come under the Tri-Service Command at Andaman and Nicobar (ANC). The ANC is the natural choice since it has (a) the experience of all three Service arms reporting to one commander, thereby easing operational co-operation (b) it is located in the region that is closest to India’s sphere of influence and farthest from other powers’(c) the region is economically vital and our interests are aligned with those of other powers in the region (US/Britain in Diego Garcia and Australia) making it easier to undertake frequent familiarization exercises for coalition missions.

3. The size of IRDF will be a brigade worth of combat potential, although it is not expected that it will be deployed all at the same time. Due to the necessity to retain high operational readiness, the rotation of Army battalions will be such that two experienced units will help in the orientation and induction of the third unit.

4. The primary difference between IRDF battalions and regular Army battalions will be the increased surveillance, communication and tactical mobility (vehicle) assets.

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Postby Vick » 15 Dec 2005 18:46

Anoop, will the IRDF be also tasked with making contested entries into theaters or will this force be mainly a holding force?

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Postby daulat » 15 Dec 2005 18:50

Vick wrote:Anoop, will the IRDF be also tasked with making contested entries into theaters or will this force be mainly a holding force?



must have capability for contested entry - almost essential, or its like the UN missions

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Postby Vick » 15 Dec 2005 19:03

daulat wrote:must have capability for contested entry - almost essential, or its like the UN missions


Then the level of resource requirement goes up significantly. Then one is basically talking about prosecuting a war away from Indian shores. The Indian military, all branches, are not profiled doctrinally nor in equipment to undertake that... and that's just the breaking down the door part. There are also sustainment issues as well. The logistics chain is not there in terms of air or sea assets. The IA perhaps could have the assets for being based off shore but that means someone will have to get all of the IA logistics stuff to that shore.

To even have a minimal level of capability for an IRDF, the resource requirement is enourmous. I'm not sure if the defense budget, as it stands now, can handle it. Especially when we know that the Indian military is underfunded as it is for its continental role.

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Postby daulat » 15 Dec 2005 19:27

vick - we could do it for IOR, our sealift capacity is almost sufficient and our threats more or less managable, and we would be helped by important partners - RSA, Aus, friends in the islands and unkil and uk would probably help out with comms, sigint and even airlift

beyond IOR we may not be the door breakers, but we should be able to handle ourselves once in the kitchen, e.g. Middle East, SE Asia, Africa

beyond that, can't see us being involved in the Americas

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Postby Anoop » 15 Dec 2005 20:04

Vick, Daulat,

The IRDF will primarily be "first responders". In many cases, it will be sufficient because of the kind of situations it will intervene in. The entry of the IRDF will be a statement of intent in most cases - if IRDF is mauled, there will be follow-on action by the Indian Armed Forces and the adversary needs to be prepared for that if they contest the IRDF.

I will expand on the communication and equipment bits in off-work hours, though I hope to get input from other members to make a half-decent job of it.

Very broadly, the following constraints need to be borne in mind:

- Airports will most probably be the first thing that is seized by the adversary, in order to prevent foreign intervention. Therefore, there is a need either for para-dropping or for naval landings or both.

- The first task of the lead elemnts will be recce and setting up communications (electronic and logistic) with follow-on elements. In this respect, we can hold-off heavy equipment like engineering support for the follow-on teams. For force protection of the lead element, it will largely be naval gun-fire or air-support from naval helicopters, at least until APCs can be landed.

- The sustainability of the formation will have to be built up over time. Trying to put everything in together will make it a non-starter both from a logistical perspective as well as a tasking perspective.

Please feel free to flesh out the requirements as you see it. We need contributions from the usual suspects on the Naval Discussion thread!

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Postby Vick » 15 Dec 2005 20:48

While the IRDF is deployed, will the IN have to redeploy its non-IRDF assets to support the IRDF? If so, how will that affect the conventional deterence scenario with respect to the usual suspects?

The IN's current sealift capability is large but not versatile. It can put a lot of boots on shore but after that, the boots are on their own in terms creating their C2I network and sustaining logistics. The IN has two POL product bulk carriers in the Adityas and a handful of Magars and Polnochnys for heavy equipment. Also, the IN doesn't have any ship that can act as an ofshore C&C center without pulling in one of the Delhis or carriers. That doesn't even begin to cover the lack of helo support from the IN. Either the IN gets a helo carrier or one of the conventional carriers will have to sub as the helo carrier for all the roles the helos will need to play, primarily combat support, CASEVAC and "day 1" logistics transport.


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