Indian Army: News & Discussion

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Brando
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Brando » 25 Aug 2009 08:55

Anabhaya wrote:Yesterday must have been a sad day. Another 1000 or so T-90S are coming even as ARJUN awaits a repeat order - of a mere 124 pieces.


124 tanks is no small order! I would imagine the Sri Lankans would have loved to have 124 Arjun tanks when they were ankle deep in the Tamil insurgency!

Also, I wonder why the Indian Army hasnt bothered to acquire an active protection system more eagerly for their exsisting T-90s instead of ordering more T-90s without an active protection system.

40 regiments of aging T-72s should be the biggest concern of the Indian military establishment. They should try and replace these with an indigenous light tanks or try to up-armor the existing T-72s with today's ATGM becoming cheaper and more prolific.

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 25 Aug 2009 11:24

Brando
I gather that you have served in the Indian Army. If so then you have already been practicing "foreign" concepts, systems and terminology which has been passed down by the Royal British Indian Army. What difference does it make if now you adopt practices from America considering that you have already been following Imperial British tradition for so long that you now claim them as your own ?? The ability to rapidly adopt new ideas has never been proven to be foolhardy.


My Dear Sir, did you actually read what Mr. Moderator wrote? And as for the foreign concepts, well the British had created and nurtured the BIA; you can hardly call the concepts from BA as foreign. IA and then BIA was not some independent force that "adopted" the British concepts. It is for a reason it is called "British Indian Army". So the argument about 'foreign' concepts does not hold ground. Where the IA needed to make the greatest change, was in converting the mindset from a defensive force, as warranted by the British, to a more offensive orientation. And that is something we have already done-Bangladesh being the biggest example. The objection was to emulate something blindly which the "West" is doing. Ideas are always welcome; but they have to be adjusted to local realities. German General Staff was a requirement of that system. While I'm personally highly appreciative of the system, for it produced the most brilliant generals of WWII, we forget that it went through a grind of good 20-30 years before it reached its peak. You cannot simply cut/copy/paste something from one system to other. As for openess to ideas and change;you forget this very Army came up with something as drastic as "Cold Start" to meet new geo-political and military challenges. Hardly an example of an organization immune to ideas...right?

As to your point on Afghanistan vs Kashmir, I would ask you how many men you have lost in Kashmir vs how many men have been lost by Colition forces in Afghanistan in a 10 year period ? Your doctrine for better or for worse is manpower intensive and more reactive to threat scenario, while conversely the Colation doctrine calls for more pro-active approach utilizing lesser man power. Also, I'd like to mention that Afghanistan is much larger than Kashmir while offering similar operational and logistical obstacles


You really must be joking while giving the above argument. Coalition Strategy is "pro-active" and "fire-power' intensive? Is it a strategy or compulsion? A compulsion because you do not have enough boots to put on the ground and have revulsion to body count. What have you achieved with all this 'super-duper' strategy? You are exactly where you were 10 years earlier. As for the body count, the IA does not believe in using gunships and heavy artillery, let alone high flying B-52/F-16 and rest of the zing bang, against terrorists, lest it harm its "own" people. That is the biggest difference. As for good or bad of "manpower intensive" operations; it is the "only" way to fight insurgency. Technology and firepower are add-ons, not replacements.

No wonder there is talk of "accomodating" "moderate taliban" in US and UK quarters. They know they have achieved didly squat and do not have the guts for a blody fight. Only a US/UK top general can say that "we're going to loose in A'stan'. We've fought and defeated insurgency with our model.....you try and do so with yours....you're not even close to 10% of that...so take the choir some where else...

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby RayC » 25 Aug 2009 12:43

Brando wrote:
Mr Moderator,

I gather that you have served in the Indian Army. If so then you have already been practicing "foreign" concepts, systems and terminology which has been passed down by the Royal British Indian Army. What difference does it make if now you adopt practices from America considering that you have already been following Imperial British tradition for so long that you now claim them as your own ?? The ability to rapidly adopt new ideas has never been proven to be foolhardy.

As to your point on Afghanistan vs Kashmir, I would ask you how many men you have lost in Kashmir vs how many men have been lost by Colition forces in Afghanistan in a 10 year period ? Your doctrine for better or for worse is manpower intensive and more reactive to threat scenario, while conversely the Colation doctrine calls for more pro-active approach utilizing lesser man power. Also, I'd like to mention that Afghanistan is much larger than Kashmir while offering similar operational and logistical obstacles .


My good friend Brando,

My being a Moderator does not deify me. I am still a poster and a member and such position do not add any aura of ‘thus spake Sir Oracle’! I am but a humble soldier and you are right that I have such a humble origin!

I am not aware of your antecedents, but then an army is structured to meet its threats. Are you suggesting that it is correct to tailor our Army to US threat perceptions? Rather odd, if I may so. The British and the US have different ideas on the threat in Iraq even though they are so similar in understanding the world/ Are the British stupid not adopting the US views and tactics? I sure would love to be educated as to why the British way of addressing Iraq different from the way the US Army addressed the issue. Odd, what ho. Old bean?

Indeed, the Indian Army adopted the British Army concepts. They fought for the British and honed it their way along with the British folks in the IA. Now are you suggesting that if we were really Indians, we should fight with elephants and spears? A good idea though, I will confess! No army has tried it so far in the modern world!

Of course new ideas have to be adopted and that is why we adopted from our experiences in WWII and have continuously honed it to meet our requirement and not just do a ‘copy and paste’. Unlike other Armies of the world, we have always been in combat, be it war or insurgency or terrorism. We are possibly the only army that is ‘current’. That is the reason why the US and other Armies train with us!!

Afghanistan maybe larger, but the situation is same.

There is much to learn from us, and yet one has to have troops which you are not ready to deploy because of political reasons and body bags.

We are not afflicted by your problems and so we are successful and you are not!

We are ready as a nation to lose men, but we are not ready to lose our sovereignty! And our people do not squirm about it, unlike some others! Our sovereignty is supreme and we will defend it with our lives!

Men whose lives are begin lost do not mind. Our nation first and then our lives.

Had it been that I cared more for my life than the sovereignty of my Nation, you would not have gathered that I was from the Indian Army.

Even though retired, I will still be there to die if it is essential and called to service. I believe in Dulce et Decorum est, pro patria mori!!!

That is the difference that Occidentals will not understand! I can assure you that we are ready to die for our country and even our families will feel proud! That is our ethos. We are not alarmed by bodybags since honour continues to guide us! Our lives are but a small sacrifice for the Honour and Safety of our Nation.

Namak Nam Nishan = Salt that I have eaten and hence loyalty, the name of my country, the Flag 0f my country is what is most precious to us soldiers!

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby arun » 25 Aug 2009 20:10

X Posted.

The guests subjected to the penny pinching hospitality of the head of the British Armed forces included our COAS Gen. Deepak Kapoor and our High Commissioner to the UK, Shiv Mukherjee :

August 24, 2009

General Sir Richard Dannatt gave guests cheap wine to reduce expenses

Steve Bird

General Sir Richard Dannatt, the outgoing head of the Army, is reported to have claimed less than £20,000 in expenses, and even bought cheap wine and sausages from Lidl to feed military top brass.

Details of his expenses are said to show that he spent as little as £5 a head when hosting dinners for foreign dignitaries, Armed Services chiefs and politicians. ……………….

In August last year he entertained General Deepak Kapoor, chief of the Indian Army, Shiv Mukherjee, the Indian High Commissioner, and 21 other guests at a reception at Kensington Palace costing £123.58. The food was purchased from Tesco and came to £5.15 per head……………

Times Online


Meanwhile the gracious reaction of our High Commissioner Shiv Mukherjee to the penny pinching British hospitality:

Former Indian envoy praises British general’s cut-price meal

August 25th, 2009 - 7:17 pm ICT by IANS

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, Aug 25 (IANS) India’s former envoy to Britain Tuesday defended Richard Dannatt as a “gracious host” after the British chief of the general staff was revealed as having served his Indian and other guests with a fiver-a-head cut-price meal a year ago.

Sir Richard Dannatt, who is soon to retire, hosted then high commissioner Shiv Mukherjee, visiting Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor and 21 others for a reception in August last year at his plush Kensington Palace residence. ………………

Ruling Labour MPs had apparently planned to discredit Dannatt after he criticised the government for failing to provide proper kits for troops in British Afghanistan, by portraying him as a champagne-guzzling member of the military elite.

But Mukherjee sprang to the Dannatt’s defence Tuesday, saying the party last August was “elegant and very, very enjoyable”.

“It was a wonderful party - exactly as expected from the chief of a professional army,” Mukherjee told IANS.

“Mrs Dannatt and the chief of army staff made us personally welcome at and the food was wonderful. We didn’t feel it was cut-price at all.” ...................

The Indian

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby nikhil_p » 25 Aug 2009 20:25

The US army has fought almost all wars where they did not have to protect their own...if a few of the people that did die from the country that the US so wanted to protect...sorry about that...
The Indian Army on the other hand has exclusively almost every time fought to protect the people and so even one civvie dead...was bad. The doctrines are different...because the type of wars/battles are different. nuff said...

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby RayC » 25 Aug 2009 20:27

I wonder if it would be the same when hosting the US Chief!!

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby arun » 25 Aug 2009 20:51

With General Dannat as a host difficult to say.

For all one knows the US COAS could be instead invited to get down on his hands and knees to pray. Quite the “Christian Soldier” is Gen. Dannat :wink: :

Richard Dannatt: Christian soldier

Army chief: 'British soldiers need to prepare for life after death'

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Raja Bose » 25 Aug 2009 21:59

Brando wrote:As to your point on Afghanistan vs Kashmir, I would ask you how many men you have lost in Kashmir vs how many men have been lost by Colition forces in Afghanistan in a 10 year period ? Your doctrine for better or for worse is manpower intensive and more reactive to threat scenario, while conversely the Colation doctrine calls for more pro-active approach utilizing lesser man power. Also, I'd like to mention that Afghanistan is much larger than Kashmir while offering similar operational and logistical obstacles .


Brando, there is a tiny difference - Afghanistan is not a part of USA and but Kashmir is a part of India. Hence, the pro-active approach (as you term it) is not going to work in Kashmir (not that it is working in Afghanistan) simply because when a civilian is killed in Kashmir, it is an Indian who dies whereas when a civilian is killed in Afghanistan it is a non-American who dies (and hence can be conveniently called collateral damage with no relatives of the man/woman writing to their US congressman). So the Indian Army does not have the luxury of sitting thousands of feet above in the air and tossing bombs, knowing that one extra life lost will have serious political consequences.

Currently the US doctrine is to minimize their military casualities (at the cost of higher civilian casualities) - this is simply because the soldiers who die are American (hence have political consequences back home) BUT the civilians who die are not! - In such a case air power with less boots on the ground is fine.

The Indian Army OTOH attempts to minimize civilian casualties (often at the cost of higher military casualities) - this requires man-power intensive operations with their associated costs, massive use of air power is not an option! This is the main difference between an Army which has to fight inside its own country as opposed to an expeditionary force which only fights in others countries. You can start comparing doctrines when the US Army fights a modern war and insurgency on its own land with its own civilians living and trapped in the midst - till then comparing any tactics or doctrines in this context is useless.

And BTW in case of COIN, pro-activeness does not mean hurling JDAMs from the air, pro-activeness is building bonds with the civilians in the war-zone, looking after their compassionate needs and being sensitive to their culture and way of life. Despite all the ugliness of the Kashmir COIN ops, the IA does this hearts-and-minds quite well (ask Ray sir for his 1st hand experiences). OTOH the NATO coalition (and US Army) after years of kicking down doors, bagging and tagging random villagers, is just starting to learn how to do this hearts and minds stuff right.

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Picklu » 25 Aug 2009 22:47

Without going into all the arguments about proactive strategy and not part of country theories, the basic point is that the outcome of war is never solely dependent on how many soldiers died in the campaign. If that was the case, America would have won Vietnam many times over. It has always been about influencing the ground situation. And when both are facing the same enemy (pak based terrorists), between the barrack bound americans/NATO forces in afganistan and IAF defending a civilian government doing its democratic duties, there is just no comparison - IA pwns US army any day of the week.

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Surya » 25 Aug 2009 23:13

I have maintained that these are 2 diff scenarios and cannot be compared.

We cannot claim to be better because of internal record since we are not dealing with a problem thousands of miles from home.

Neither can the US claim they are better just because they have less casualties.

There are elements from both strategies which may be useful.

The closest comparison will be with IPKF - but even that because of our internal compulsions was more like an internal matter in terms of how the we (GOI\IA) chose to deal with it.

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Raja Bose » 26 Aug 2009 06:16

Surya,

When one compares IPKF with say Vietnam (or any other US action overseas) - there is a clear marked difference on how each army conducts war. In case of the US they have only conducted wars on foreign lands and hence have strategies which involve overwhelming use of force including airpower. The Indian military OTOH when it went as IPKF essentially used the strategies it has used for fighting internal wars on Indian soil - i.e. avoiding use of overwhelming force. There is no one-fits all solution and one cannot say US strategy is bad or Indian strategy is bad. All of it has to be taken in context of the conflict, the actors involved, location and political implications of casualities on each side.

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Surya » 26 Aug 2009 06:32

Raja

I think we are essentially saying the same thing. neither can be disparaged based on comparisons

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby RayC » 26 Aug 2009 06:58

One issue that manifests itself on the formulation of strategy or tactics is the national psyche.

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Raja Bose » 26 Aug 2009 07:45

^^^ Wont national psyche depend on whether the nation's population has been exposed to wars on its own soil in recent history as opposed to only distant actions in foreign lands?

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby VinodTK » 27 Aug 2009 03:41


RayC
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby RayC » 27 Aug 2009 05:01

Raja Bose wrote:^^^ Wont national psyche depend on whether the nation's population has been exposed to wars on its own soil in recent history as opposed to only distant actions in foreign lands?


Yes.

WWII changed the US.

Read Men Against Fire.

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby VikB » 28 Aug 2009 11:44

Three crack news - came to me in last two days. Maybe known here but then still....

1. Teams from Israel training one of our top hotel chain employees. As per one senior person in the company - they are mossad or ex mossad. Regular trainings going on at all hotel properties. According to them - over 100 female bombers have entered the country from our friendly neighbourhood and fear of 'spectacular strikes' by year end very high .

2. Top people in the IA see a war with China by 2010. Good thing - they have started working on it. All recent news - Arihant, Mountain divisions, Jt training were in this direction. US sees it as an opportunity. They know war with China is inevitable in next few years. They would want that to happen away from their homeland. Indian setting is perfect for them. Chillingly reminds me of the time pre 9/11 when the threat of the combined 'Islamic countries' was pretty high. In less than a decade, US has whittled the threat to a whimper.

3. Must Watch 'Syriana' - Saw half of it on WB channel day before. Awesome movie though I could not follow all as I am unable to follow the American accent and there were no subtitles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syriana
(ok the last is not news, I realise it now)

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby RayC » 28 Aug 2009 11:58

On Modernisation of the IA.

Fri, 28th Aug 2009

Modernisation

The writer is an retired Artillery Officer.

Top people in the IA see a war with China by 2010


Any links or verifiable details?

I ask since the first link and your statement appears to be at divergence.

The first link says we are not ready and you say that top people find that war is inevitable by 2010!

A dangerous mismatch!!

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby VikB » 28 Aug 2009 14:07

RayC Sir.

For those-who-shall-not-be-named, I can write only as much as I wrote. I had written a few more things in the original message but I whittled it down. I realise that what I have written in the above post can be passed off as pure bull**** or you can trust me. I can atleast confirm that the info given has been passed off from the-horses-mouth by people whom I have no reason to not-trust as I regularly interact with them for many other things.

West side situation has now more or less stabilised at threat from Kassab type pigs only. No real threat of war. The East side however is grim.

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby VikB » 28 Aug 2009 14:24



I just scrolled up and saw this news item posted. The header and the body do not match. The Army officer maintains that they are at heightened alert and yet says that they are not concerned with Chinkies. If we cut out the sensational-DDM view out, looks like media wont cover something for the heck of it.

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Kersi D » 29 Aug 2009 00:36

RayC wrote:I wonder if it would be the same when hosting the US Chief!!


Or any other gora general ?????

K

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Surya » 29 Aug 2009 06:33

Maybe our COAS could take a leaf out of Polish Land Forces Commander Lieutenant General Waldemar Skrzypczak prinicpled resignation after blasting the Govt for not providing much needed equipment.

A whole sorry bunch of US generals over the last few years could learn a lesson in ethics and concern for their men.


Hats off to Lieutenant General Waldemar Skrzypczak and pray for even one Indian General make the same statement about our arty program.

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby putnanja » 02 Sep 2009 08:06

Lt. Gen. Bhardwaj is new Vice-Chief of Army

NEW DELHI: Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General P. K. Bhardwaj will be the new Vice-Chief of Army Staff. He will be in the job ahead of Lt. Gen. V.K. Singh, the seniormost three-star Army Commander currently heading the Eastern Command.

In two other changes, Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal, currently General-Officer Commanding (GoC), Army Training Command, will replace Lt. Gen. Bhardwaj while Lt. Gen. Arvinder Singh Lamba, currently Chief of Staff, Army Training Command, will be elevated as the GoC there.

...
...
The appointment of Lt. Gen. Bhardwaj comes in the backdrop of a recommendation by the Chief of Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor, that the Vice-Chief should be a person who would have around two years of service allowing the person to get the grasp and take a grip on the tasks allotted to the office.

Following the recommendation, there were reports interpreting the move was to overlook Lt. Gen. Singh for the post of the Chief after Gen. Kapoor retires early next year. Army sources said the suggestion was made to allow the Vice-Chief a longer tenure instead of having one who stays on the job for a some six or eight months before moving out.


...

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby ASPuar » 02 Sep 2009 22:51


Meanwhile the gracious reaction of our High Commissioner Shiv Mukherjee to the penny pinching British hospitality:

But Mukherjee sprang to the Dannatt’s defence Tuesday, saying the party last August was “elegant and very, very enjoyable”.

“It was a wonderful party - exactly as expected from the chief of a professional army,” Mukherjee told IANS.

“Mrs Dannatt and the chief of army staff made us personally welcome at and the food was wonderful. We didn’t feel it was cut-price at all.” ...................


Umph. Our arch-diplomat is too kind. In any case, a nitpick, but perhaps the high commissioner should bone up on forms of address for personages in country to which he is high commissioner. General Dannatt's wife should correctly be addressed as Lady Dannatt. Perhaps its a deliberate omission.... Anyone who serves 5 pounds snacks aint much of a lady!

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 03 Sep 2009 10:07

From Orbat.com:

India to boost armored forces by ten tank and BMP battalions. Before anyone gets excited, the new tank regiments are simply to bring the tank force to its authorized strength - authorized as of 1993. Yes, people, for 16 years Indian armor has been short of several regiments. Who says the Indians can never get it together? So there, we are together, okay, so we're 16 years behind schedule, but what the hey.

Don't expect any new armored formations as such. The new raisings will go to bring the three armored divisions and a mechanized brigade to TOE strength, and also to convert a seventh infantry division to RAPIDs configuration.

RAPIDs are infantry division with 2-3 infantry and one armored brigade.


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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby shravan » 05 Sep 2009 14:08

'India may be forced to act'

NEW DELHI: Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has indicated that India is losing patience over frequent cease-fire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control and warned that at some stage it would have to retaliate

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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby RayC » 05 Sep 2009 22:31

While browsing the Internet, I found this very analytical stuff on Siachen by Brig Subash Kapila.

I thought I would share with you since much has been discussed on the BRF.

I found no appropriate thread to append it on and so here it is.




INDIA : GOVERNMENT SET TO REPEAT STRATEGIC BLUNDER OF AKSAI CHIN IN SIACHEN?

by Dr. Subhash Kapila

Introductory Background

In this authors book India s Defence Policies and Strategic Thought. A Comparative Analysis. .former President Nixon of the United States was quoted to highlight how India had in its policies been indifferent to adhering to the balance of power concept and how India was inclined to marginalize its far flung peripheries.

The pages of history are littered with the ruins of countries that were indifferent to erosion of the balance of power. Losses on the periphery where a countrys interests appear marginal, never seem to merit a response or warrant a confrontation with the enemy. But small losses add up. Expansionist powers thrive on picking up loose geopolitical change. When it comes, it usually takes place under the worst possible circumstances for those on the defensive.

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, oblivious to the crucial strategic significance of Aksai Chin (North Ladakh) gifted it away to China. India rues till today this Himalayan blunder in strategic terms. Nehru hid the fact of the Chinese annexation of Indian territory for nearly eight years. He later justified the loss by terming Aksai Chin as a desolate area where not a blade of grass grew.

Half a century later, not learning from the Aksai Chin strategic blunder, the present government seems set to repeat history. Going by the utterances of his National Security Adviser, India seems set to gift away Siachen to Pakistan on the plea that the Prime Minister wants to make the area as mountains of peace.

Today, Siachen too is being strategically marginalized and compromised again for political reasons. At issue is whether Indian Prime Minister can marginalize strategic peripheries for political gains or mileage?

Siachen, like Aksai-chin is not Indian loose geo-strategic change which any Indian Prime Minister can put in a political juke-box.

The strange thing about the Siachen debate, currently underway, is that the Indian Army has not requested or advised that it cannot continue with the commitments of Siachen Sector defence. The debate emerged in the media, it seems with inspired inputs from the establishment, that the defence of Siachen is a costly affair and hence needs demilitarization. That this inspired reporting has linkages with the Prime Minister's visit to Pakistan cannot be denied; the strategic costs are immaterial.

The subject has a long history and debate between India and Pakistan , and it would take a whole book to do justice. However for the benefit of the readers of this website, the issue is being addressed by throwing light on some salient factors as under:

* Strategic Significance of Siachen Sector
* India s Sell-out to Pakistan on Siachen.
* Can Pakistan be Trusted on De-militarisation of Siachen?
* India s Foreign Ministry and Defence Ministry Strangely Silent on Siachen Issue..
* Indian Army Has Serious Objections to Political Compromise on Siachen.
* Pakistan s Questionable Position or Not Formally Authenticating AGPL on Maps.
* India Has No Strategic Compulsions to Justify a Climb-down on Siachen.
* United States Pressure on India to Climb-down in Favour of Pakistan .

Strategic Significance of Siachen Sector

In civilian minds, the common misperception is that Siachen Sector, only comprises of Siachen Glacier and that de-militarisation of the Siachen Glacior should be no big deal. It is not so.

What is at stake in the de-militarisation of the Siachen Sector is that Pakistan wants India to give up the entire Saltoro Ridge, a long ridge extending nearly 120 KM (on which runs the AGPL) from the border of India with Pak ceded Chinese territory in the North to Indias Kargil Sector (East)

The strategic significance of Saltoro Ridge and the Siachen Glacier can be said to be as under for India :

* India has strategic and terrain domination over Pakistan s so-called Northern Areas (J & K territory merged into Pakistan ) and Pakistan-ceded Kashmir territory to China .
* Blocks routes of ingress to the vital Ladakh Sector.
* It provides a strategic wedge to prevent further Pakistan-China geographical link-up
* Acts as a strategic pressure point against Pakistan s military adventurism against the Kargil Sector.
* Indira-Col the Northern most part of Siachen directly overlooks Chinese occupation that was illegally ceded by Pakistan to China. Having a foot on the ground here is the only way for India to legitimately and effectively dispute Chinese illegal presence here. (Input received from a reader as feedback on this paper.)

With such strategic significance, any statement de-emphasising Siachens strategic significance is both puerile and sterile.

If Siachens strategic significance is being de-emphasised on grounds of financial costs, logistic challenges or hazards to life and limb, then why not de-emphasise equally difficult regions on India s other frontiers?

India s borders define its nation hood and its sovereignty. Their defence and integrity cannot become debates on a cost-benefit ratio. Further, the costs of re-deployment and de-militarisation would outweigh the costs of maintaining present positions as all the defensive and logistic infrastructure in-situ will have to be destroyed. on pull back of troops.

India s Sell-Out to Pakistan on Siachen :

Going by media reports and statements of the National Security Advisor. Mr. M.K Narayanan, India is virtually on a sellout to Pakistan on Siachen.

India right from the First Round of Siachen Talks has maintained that no Indian re-deployment of troops in Siachen or the de-militarisation will take place, unless the following conditions are met:

* Pakistan agrees to de-lineate the Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) in Siachen Sector.
* The AGPL de-lineation would then be authenticated on maps, to be signed by senior military officers of India and Pakistan .
* AGPL authenticated maps to be then exchanged by both countries.
* Pakistan would cease cartographic aggression and project the AGPL in all its maps, like the LAC is done up to NJ-9842, i.e. AGPL becomes the extension of the LAC from NJ-9842, northwards , to the border with Pak-ceded Chinese territory.
* Thereafter, formation of ground rules for both sides for the area to be de-militarised..
* Then only as a last and final step, both sides will discuss redeployment and de-militarisation of this sector.

The above position has consistently been maintained by India . Pakistan in August 1989 (Rajiv Gandhi-Benazir Bhutto talks) tried to give a spin that agreement for redeployment had been reached, in Islamabad . The next day, India s Foreign Ministry, through its spokesperson. Aftab Seth, categorically contradicted the Pakistan assertion.

India s former Foreign Secretary Late Shree J N Dixit (then Ambassador to Pakistan and lately India s National Security Advisor) had reflected on the above in his book on Pakistan . Anatomy of a Flawed Inheritance as follows as to why talks could not make progress.

The meeting between military commanders of India and Pakistan on the issue of Siachen took place as scheduled in August. While mechanical and operational aspects of the arrangements for mutual withdrawal or redeployment of troops were more or less finalized.

First, while agreeing that troops would be redeployed at mutually agreed points, they refused to confirm cartographically the points from which their troops would be withdrawn."

"Second, they said withdrawal would be subject to India generally agreeing that the line of control or notional line determining jurisdiction of each country, should be drawn tangentially north-eastwards to the Karakoram range, from the northernmost grid reference point clearly identified in the maps, NJ9842."

"The objective was clear. They (Pakistan) not only wanted India to vacate its strategically secure position on Siachen, making the area a no mans land but also wished to lay claim to several thousand square miles of Indian territory South and South-Westwards from Karakoram ranges to establish future legal claims on the area. One had come to an Impasse

Shockingly for the nation, and to its surprise, the Indian media carried reports attributable to the National Security Adviser (part of points) on Siachen as follows:

* Pakistan can now sign the Siachen Agreement without authenticating by the military commanders, the AGPL on maps.
* The AGPL positions would be attached as an Annexure to the agreement (presumably again without formal authentication)
* India is not laying down any conditions

The above seems to be the consequence of the secret parleys between the Indian National Security Advisor and Pakistan PM Shaukat Aziz in Dubai recently.

This strategic climb-down from India s well articulated and established position smacks of a possible sell-out It seems that the PMO has by passed or ignored the recommendations of India s other policy making organs of the Government.

Can Pakistan Be Trusted on De-militarisation of Siachen?

India must first come to a definitive conclusion that Pakistan can be trusted with the de-militarisation of Siachen. The very fact that Pakistan is unwilling to formally authenticate the AGPL in the proposed agreement, betrays Pakistan s intentions.

The Pakistan Army and its COAS, General Musharraf cannot and should not be trusted by the Indian political leadership. General Musharrafs credibility is plagued by his dismal record as follows:

* Masterminded the Kargil misadventure. Kargil Sectors major stretch had stood virtually demilitarized till 1999 when Pakistani troops occupied formidable heights in Indian territory to cut off Ladakh. Indian Army had to re-capture these heights at great cost and now held throughout the year. as the consequence.
* Repudiated the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Accord, the latters man thrust was on nuclear CBMs.
* Terrorism and proxy war against India continues unabated, despite his repeated assurances.

India s Foreign Ministry and Defence Ministry Strangely Silent on Siachen Issue:

This issue should have been the natural preserve of both these vital ministries. One cannot but help coming to the conclusion that they have been asked to keep clear of the subject and let the PMO handle.

Indian Army Has Serious Objections to Political Compromise on Siachen

If India is accepting Pakistan s conditions that it will not authenticate formally the AGPL in Siachen on maps to be attached to any agreement and if India accepts the Annexure bit, it is a sad day for the Indian Army.. The dominating heights on Saltoro Ridge was captured by the Indian Army at a great personal cost. A military pull-back from Saltoro Ridge on political grounds and the possible re-occupation by Pakistani forces of positions vacated by India, thereafter, would be the ultimate irony.

India , like in the past, would be repeating the mistake of selling away its military gains and victories at the negotiating table for dubious political gains from the military ruler of Pakistan , dubbed by the Washington Post as a liar.

The Indian Army Chief of Army Staff, General J J Singh, within the constraints of being a serving soldier, could not have stated it better and firmly the Indian Armys strong feelings on the issue.

* We have conveyed our concerns and views to the Government and we expect the composite Dialogue between the two countries will take care of all these concerns
* The Government decision will be taken in consonance with the views put in place
* Troops withdrawal is a process when disengagement of the forces from the present position has to be undertaken and that will be followed by demilitarization. We will cross the bridge when we reach it

The Congress Government would be severely answerable to the Indian public, should it choose to ignore Indian Armys mature professional advice. It should learn from Indias military history post 1947, the lessons of ignoring sound professional military advice given to political leadership on crucial security issues..

The tribe of retired senior military officers enlisted by the establishment to advocate its project of de-militarisation of Siachen does not reflect sound military professional advice. They reflect the views of their patrons, both Indian and external.

Pakistans Questionable Position on Not Formally Authenticating AGPL on Maps

Nobody has questioned Pakistan s questionable position on not being ready to formally authenticate the AGPL on maps as part of an overall Siachen Agreement, in view of the past record of authenticating the following:

* Pakistan had formally authenticated the 1949 LOC Line
* Pakistan had formally authenticated the 1972 LAC

The reasons being advanced in the media are simplistic, in that Pakistan would not like to admit that its troops are withdrawing from Siachen when it has all along been projecting to its public that Siachen is with the Pakistan Army. It is public knowledge within Pakistan that their valiant Pakistan Army surrendered at Dacca (93,000 troops), lost territory in 1971 in J&K , leading to a new LAC and was evicted from Kargil in 1999. So that is not the argument.

In view of the above, some additional questions that arise are as follows:

* Siachen is very much part of the J & K issue. How or why Pakistan is willing to negotiate on Siachen, (even with an Annexure) separately when it not willing to accept the LOC as a border?
* Is there some Pakistan-China strategic angle refusing to acknowledge the AGPL by Pakistan ?
* Why is Pakistan willing to negotiate troops withdrawal in Siachen but not delineation of the AGPL like the LOC?
* Is this Pakistani reluctance got to do something with Pakistani merger of Northern Areas (Part of J & K State) with Pakistan ?

These questions need to be deliberated upon:

India Has No Strategic Compulsions to Justify a Climb-down on Siachen

Figuratively and literally, India today has no strategic compulsions to climb-down on Siachen, when it should be Pakistan that should be climbing down on the issue.

India s nuclear and conventional military predominance on the Indian sub-continent is well established. India has some internal security irritants but these can be sorted out without any re-deployment from India s borders. Pakistan s strategic and security situation is grave:

* Pakistan s Western frontiers are explosive
* Pakistan Army is over-stretched on the Western frontiers from Waziristan and Baluchistan facing a very serious armed conflict.
* Pakistan needs peaceful Eastern frontiers with India to enable diversion of Pak. Army to the Western Frontiers.
* Pakistan needs to withdraw troops from Siachen for their redeployment in Balochistan.

This was the opportune time for India to insist that for a Siachen Agreement, Pakistan would have to formally authenticate the AGPL in Siachen on maps to be signed by military commanders of both countries.

It is strange that the Prime Ministers strategic advisers cannot see the strategically opportune opening that is currently available to India vis-s-vis Pakistan and Siachen in particular.

Then why India s climb-down? Are there external pressure form the United States on India to accommodate Pakistan.?

United States Pressure on India to Climb-down in Favour of Pakistan

It is well known that United States has historically been inclined to pressurize India on Kashmir and Siachen, in Pakistan s favour.

What makes the Americans pressure on India on this count, more intense today can be attributed to the following reasons:

* USA badly needs General Musharrafs continuance as military ruler of Pakistan for its own strategic requirements.
* Pakistan is becoming restive under Musharrafs seven year misrule. The Pakistan Army too show signs of the same.
* For Musharraf to continue in power, he has to show the Pakistan Army and the masses, some visible successes or political victories over India .

The last mentioned is a critical American requirement and hence the United States pressure. Musharraf too is pressurising the United States that he cannot deliver results in capturing Osama Bin Laden until India is made to reduce military pressure on Pakistan's Eastern Frontiers

It is a different question as to why a strategically strong India , should succumb to US pressure.

Concluding Observations

India would be strategically ill-advised to repeat the Himalayan blunder of Aksai Chin in Siachen. There are no strategic imperatives that prompt or warrant a strategic climb-down by India .

Siachen Sector is a critically strategic area that borders what could virtually be called the tri-junction of Pakistan , China and India on the Northern borders. This arises from Pakistan s ceding of J & K state territory illegally to China .

Siachens strategic significance cannot be de-emphasised on a financial cost benefit ratio analysis. Nor is Siachen a geo-strategic loose change that can be given away as political alms under external pressure.

India s political leadership must recognize that in national security affairs, India has been ill-served historically by arm-chair strategists.

In matters of national security and strategic affairs India s political leadership would be well advised to listen, appreciate and respect the advice of its military professional leadership. Siachen is one of them.

(The author is an International Relations and Strategic Affairs analyst. He is the Consultant, Strategic Affairs with South Asia Analysis Group. Email:drsubhashkapila@yahoo.com)

http://www.saag.org/common/uploaded_fil ... r1778.html


It is one of the few analysis of the issue I found to be real worth interest!

nishug
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby nishug » 05 Sep 2009 23:00

shravan wrote:'India may be forced to act'

NEW DELHI: Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has indicated that India is losing patience over frequent cease-fire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control and warned that at some stage it would have to retaliate


:oops:
Mr. General, why say such things in public and make a mockery of ourselves ??? when we know that words are not going to be backed by actions ???

Tomorrow pak will say India is threatening us, will mobilise its forces, give statements like we are ready to strike back within minutes of Indian attack and then we will say

Oh no ... no one wants war, pakistan should rather concentrate on denying its territory to be used by terrorist, and prosecute those who are trying to infiltrate in our territory. We will provide evidence . Again we will be subject mockery. Again those pakis will say Indian dhoti aage gili piche pili ...

Gaur
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Gaur » 05 Sep 2009 23:38

Rayc Sir,
Very interesting and highly educational read! The importance of Siachen needs to be understood by media and general public. It is true that most people are bewildered as to why such a desolate peace of land is so furiously guarded at such high costs. Our ddm needs to educate itself and the general public about its importance.

sid_ashar
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby sid_ashar » 05 Sep 2009 23:48

shravan wrote:'India may be forced to act'

NEW DELHI: Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has indicated that India is losing patience over frequent cease-fire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control and warned that at some stage it would have to retaliate


RayC sir,

I can understand politicians making comments like this and not backing it up with any action but why would a current Chief of staff make a statement like that probably knowing fully well that words are not going to met with any action. Does that not degrade the credibility of the highest position in the Indian Army, in the eyes of the enemy for sure, but also in the eyes of the forces one commands.. This seems a more recent trend and in the past, these kind of empty statements from the armed forces seemed very rare, if at all.

Am interested in seeing your point of view.

Thanks

RayC
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby RayC » 06 Sep 2009 00:05

I would not know.

India is in a crazy situation.

YSR knocked off.

All resources used to locate.

Found dead.

All political hotfoot to AP including the Dynasty.

Foreign Minister hotfoots back to India cutting short an important trip.

The Chief gives this statement.

Foreign Minister and the Home Minister stating Pakistan is dragging its feet.

China getting provocative.

Very confusing!!

John Snow
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby John Snow » 06 Sep 2009 00:23

Folks I was just browsing along in uncle google's high way and I found this interesting article. I think this needs to be in BR archives. Felt proud and sad after reading it.
*****

After Death Companion
by A.J. Philip

Major Gopendra Singh Rathore
Image

BUT for West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, I would not have known about the tragic death of Major Gopendra Singh Rathore or, simply, Gopi, who was aide-de-camp (ADC) to then President K.R. Narayanan.

It might have been a mere coincidence that the officer, who was attached to Narayanan throughout his Presidency, died the day his “Sir” was cremated.

But that is not what struck me most about the martyr. Gandhi who was Secretary to the President during much of his tenure till he was posted as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka has given a pen portrait of the young officer he knew from the day he landed up at Rashtrapati Bhavan for an interview for the post of ADC.

Having read Gandhi’s novel Saranam based on his experiences as an IFS officer in Sri Lanka, I knew that he could create wonders with words.

But what stood out in his tribute to Gopi was the officer’s personality. He was a rare soldier who found time for browsing through tomes and writing poems. In his professional life, he set exacting standards for himself, which he constantly improved.

Gandhi found in the Major from Garhwal Rifles, who passed out with distinction from the National Defence Academy, the best in Indian soldiering. In due course, Narayanan moved out from Rashtrapati Bhavan while Gandhi moved into Raj Bhavan at Kolkata and Rathore took up regular soldiering.

That the Governor and the Major continued to exchange letters is in itself a commentary on their unusual friendship. In one of his letters that Gandhi quotes, Gopi was on a Sabbatical at the staff college at Wellington from where he longed to return to active field duty, preferably in trouble-torn Kashmir.

He did not want a soft posting. Instead, he wanted to be at the happening place. And that is how he was at Bandipore on Thursday fighting insurgency when his “Narayanan Sir’s” mortal remains were consigned to the flames in distant Delhi.

Gandhi quotes from the last letter he got from Rathore. It was written in chaste Hindi. No, he did not write about the harshness of the winter or the problems of fighting the invisible enemy.

Instead of inventing expletives against the enemy as in the film LoC, Gopi busied himself reading the Koran to understand the psyche that worked there. From the studies he made, he came to the conclusion that the war has to be fought on a different plane — “I feel that enlightened thinking (roshan khyali) and the spirit of accommodation will have to emerge as a powerful ideological initiative”.

Gopi did not borrow idioms from Western philosophical thought to express his genuine concern.

From the little that I have gleaned from Gandhi’s write-up, Gopi was a remarkable soldier who gave his all to the country. He proved a worthy ADC to Narayanan. What a coincidence, he will be his After Death Companion too!


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20051113/edit.htm


Gaur
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Gaur » 07 Sep 2009 02:12


RayC
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby RayC » 07 Sep 2009 11:59

Defence expert Col (retd) U S Rathore says India still uses World War-II vintage hand grenades. He says there are chances that the detonators are susceptible to chemical degradation and adds that terrorists have far superior Belgian grenades that explode in 2.5 seconds compared to the four seconds it takes for the Indian grenades.


I really wonder if WWII grenades are still in service. This is news to me, since the practise is that ammunition is 'turned over' i.e. first line is converted into training ammunition when a new lot arrives which becomes the 'first line'. Between 1945 and today it is over 60 years! Given the amount of ammunition used, such grenades would have been consumed as 'training ammunition' long time ago. And then there is annual inspection of all ammunition by ammunition experts who declare ammunition as 'serviceable' or 'unserviceable'.

Therefore, the claim is a bit incomprehensible, though I will agree that there can be duds due to poor storage after the inspection by the ammunition specialists.

As far as the the time differential between throwing the grenade the 4 sec has proved sufficient. Shorter duration has its own complications.

I wonder if there are 'vested interests' involved!

Aditya_V
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby Aditya_V » 07 Sep 2009 12:02

RayC -> Thanks, Armchair generals like can only speculate whether such arcticles are motivated, but when a person on the field raises such, it seems clear that many such articles are done for vested interests

rohitvats
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby rohitvats » 07 Sep 2009 12:08

Has anyone read "Rouge Agent" by Nandita Haskar? It's about the Arakan and Karen rebels being turned over by the DGMI and the famous "Operation Leech" in the Landfall Islands of A&N.

Also, what is the jirga's take on novels by Mukul Deva? Are they Tom Clancysque?

Thanks.

arunsrinivasan
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby arunsrinivasan » 07 Sep 2009 12:50

RayC sir, re the WWII vintage, I think the article refers to the vintage design not the date of manufacture of the grenade. How much difference would design make? I would imagine manufacturing quality will probably have a bigger impact on the % of the grenades which are duds.

RayC
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Re: Indian Army Discussion

Postby RayC » 07 Sep 2009 13:17

arunsrinivasan wrote:RayC sir, re the WWII vintage, I think the article refers to the vintage design not the date of manufacture of the grenade. How much difference would design make? I would imagine manufacturing quality will probably have a bigger impact on the % of the grenades which are duds.


I have not seen modern grenades and their effectiveness and so it would not be fair to comment.

The old design has not failed me. I used it in the 1971 War when I conducted a raid 9 miles inside POK.

On the other hand, in 1971, the Belgian imported Energa grenades were a total failure!!

The Grenades of OFC are quite scientific in design, but what should worry people is that is the Quality Control working?

Everything foreign need not be perfect!

What is a grenade to do. It burst and sends shrapnel with heavy weight in all direction. To help it to burst there are weaker sections that cannot stand the pressure and that makes somewhat honey comb design burst and go lethal.


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