Operation Parakram: An Analysis

RayC
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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby RayC » 14 Feb 2004 23:26

Shaunak,

So the Brigadier's boys shot the volleyballs? Great.

What did they do? Calmly had their balls blown up? I am sure they would have also returned the compliment. Or was it one sided? What was the final result? Rather keen to know it.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shaunak » 15 Feb 2004 14:32

Originally posted by RayC:
Shaunak,

So the Brigadier's boys shot the volleyballs? Great.

What did they do? Calmly had their balls blown up? I am sure they would have also returned the compliment. Or was it one sided? What was the final result? Rather keen to know it.
I'm not quite sure about the retaliation. I'll ask him and let you know ASAP (The Brigadier is somewhere near Pathankot / Jammu right now, so it will take time). But I'll make sure I find out and let you know.

Sir, I've been reading a lot replies to your posts, and almost all of them are deferential. I believe this is because you're ex IA. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions about the Army through email? Answering them is your prerogative, of course, but would you take a look at the questions first?
My email address is shaunak at gmx.net
Please email me.

Cheers,
Shaunak

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby ramana » 21 Feb 2004 01:20

From Pioneer book reviews...
Present shining, Future glowing

Sidharth Mishra says Gen Padmanabhan's experience at the helm of affairs in the Indian Army lends his narrative an authenticity and makes his book a very absorbing read

Several years ago, while studying at the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) in Dehradun, I had the first occasion to meet General S Padmanabhan. In the early 1980s, he was posted to the Indian Military Academy (IMA) as Chief Instructor. Our teachers at the school - RIMC - took pride in telling us that Paddy was the brightest of their pupils. They had predicted that he was destined to lead the Indian Army.

Even in those years, Paddy's personality never got dwarfed amidst the huge gathering of General Officers. Just a Colonel then but Paddy stood out for his intellect and ability to remain vegetarian despite serving in the Army.

Several years later while hosting the farewell dinner for the Rimcollians, as the alumni of RIMC are known, at the Army House, Paddy said, "But for the potatoes, I would not have survived the Indian Army."

The menu at the dinner itself was a statement. The General Sahibs used to sup with soup, bread and bacon were at a loss to handle rasam, dosas and a variety of South Indian rice from tamarind to curd. For me, who has always found the British legacy on the dinning tables a wee bit disconcerting, Paddy's dinner was a statement on Indianisation.

It is General Sundarajan Padmanabhan's pride in India and concern for the Indian Nation, which finds its outpouring in the Writing on the Wall. On becoming the Chief of Army Staff, the General had given an exclusive interview to The Pioneer, where he said, "I am no Napoleon but I want to bring synergy." Paddy's greatest failing has been his inability to bring synergy in decision-making between the military, bureaucratic and political leadership of the country.

The book from the word go is about bringing this much needed synergy. The protagonist are military, diplomatic, bureaucratic, scientific and political leaders who work hand-in-hand and make 'India Checkmate America'. For the author, America as rogue superpower is an imagery to awaken India to realise its potential as a world leader.

For the author, after Operation Iraqi Freedom, the United States has become a law unto herself and would pursue her national interests in a ruthless and single-minded manner, regardless of which other country or countries got crushed. The Writing on the Wall is about a 'rogue' state, a 'rogue' super power, which will stop at nothing in the pursuit of her national self-interest.

To India, this tendency of the US poses dangers to her hard-won Independence and her right to chart her own course to progress. The author believes that unless India acts now to deter the super power from posing a threat to her national interests, it may not be possible for her to effectively resist the threat, when it matures - perhaps some time after 2008.

The book is in three parts. The first part sets the stage for India's progress on the fast track under a National Government working on the basis of a National Defence Plan, 2003-2018 and a National Agenda, ratified by the people of the country in a referendum.

Apart from high agricultural output and major infrastructure projects like the National Highway Development Project and National Water Grid Project, India devotes large sums of money on the boosting of R&D generally and the Defence R&D specifically. A national missile shield is developed and the voids in both our order of battle and in terms of equipment are made up. As the book progresses, India achieves a higher degree of modernisation during the period 2003-2017. By 2017, when India is forced to stand up to the US, she is almost evenly matched.

The storyline develops on a broad horizon with resolutions forthcoming for our vexed problems of internal dissensions. It's again the National Government which manages to settle all internal problems and create at last, a unified India whose constituent states acted in unison. On the diplomatic front, the cooling of the Sino-Pak relations spur a rapid resolution to our problems with China.

By 2014, India is about to become a founder member of the Asian Security Environment, which in turn would get it a permanent seat on the security council of the United Nations. India enjoys a warm relationship with all its neighbours with the exception of Pakistan. While India prospers, Pakistan slides into a decline. Non-development of infrastructure for industrial and agricultural development shatters its economy.

The hated Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is in a big overdrive. The clerics are also in a mode to go for the overkill in their bid to take over the reins of the country and the nuclear button.

There is no peace on LoC either. Indian security forces teach Pakistan a lesson, who has to face the indignity of losing the Haji Pir bulge. By 2017, Pakistan, aided and abetted by the US, decides for a trial of strength. It finds itself unequal to the strength of a resurgent India. In less than a week, Pakistan Army is in full retreat, the remnants of her Navy unable to venture out of Karachi and the Pakistan Air Force whittled down to only about 40 aircrafts. Faced with imminent defeat, Pakistani leadership contemplates exercising the nuclear option. This move brings the US into the war on her side.

The war with the US is fought for just under 60 hours. Missiles are fired by the US Carrier Battle Groups and are destroyed by India's fully effective National Missile Shield. India hurts the US badly by carrying out selective electro-magnetic pulse attacks against Washington and the manufacturing facility for cruise missiles in Arizona. She also carries out cyber attacks against New York and commercial and administrative centres in the US to plunge her administration, commerce and banking sectors into chaos. The US retaliates by destroying India's civil and military satellites.

India is able to circumvent this attack in an 'orderly' and well-practiced manner with the help of her allies-China and Russia. The US is forced to use manned aircraft against our satellite earth station at Pune which has become the hub of our re-engineered communication links using Chinese satellites. The attacks are to be facilitated by anti-radiation missiles fired from accompanying aircraft in order to deny the Indian air defence system the advantage of early warning from their radars.

The Indian response is to destroy the anti-radiation missiles and also five of the eight aircrafts used in the mission, the only air attack attempted by the US in the conflict. Ten US Navy pilots and technicians are taken prisoner after being rescued by our Navy's search and rescue helicopters from the Arabian Sea. At this stage, the UN Security Council passes a resolution calling upon the US and India to ceasefire and hold negotiations. Both the countries accept this resolution readily.

Even before the UN ordered ceasefire could take effect, events in Pakistan take an alarming turn which may turn the world into a nuclear inferno. How this is averted gives a hope to South Asia that all may, after all, be well between the traditional adversaries, India and Pakistan.

The book, goes without saying, provides absorbing reading. Having been a participant in the decision making mechanism, the narrative is authentic. But there are a few irritants. The publisher could have taken care with the typos. While using Hindi, the author, is unable to hide his South Indian origin. Like it's 'seedhi baat' and not 'bath'. General would have done better as an author by refraining from some very monotonous pontification in the early part of the book.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby srai » 21 Feb 2004 06:51

Originally posted by John Umrao:
The Pakistanis won't be caught off guard again. The lesson from Parakram is that this sort of thing can only work once and to gain an advantage in the war that may come, the Armed forces need to think beyond the limits that they set to their thinking for the last 20 something years. The concept of mere mobility now needs to give way to a broader concept of flexibility.
The above was exactly my bone with "War of Thousand threats" of yogic vision.
IMO, one has to remember that proportionately few elites are "ruling" Pakistan. The tensions between the two have been escalating ever more over the years. It is only because of the existence of PA that the "ruling" class survives.

With this in mind, PA is severely limited in the scope of war it can conduct with the IA. I believe that it cannot really commit fully in fear of losing too much that the aftermath will have fatal consequences to those few at the top.

So if Indian Armed Forces can quickly smash PA's war machine, the innate geo-political strains will as rapidly take over with a choatic overhauling of the "Sindi" Pakistan by the "Madrassite" masses. [exaggeration maybe]

I don't know which is more preferable?

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 06 Mar 2004 15:43

Cross post:
http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=42467

No eyeball to eyeball any more in new war doctrine
BATTLE ORDER CHANGES: New world, nuclear neighbourhood don’t allow massing of troops, long land and air campaigns
SHISHIR GUPTA

NEW DELHI, MARCH 5: With a peace process underway, India’s top military commanders have returned to their drawing board and worked on a new war doctrine: the ‘cold start’ strategy does away with massing of troops, introduces eight integrated battle groups with elements of IAF and Navy as thrust formations, calls for hard strikes yet limits them to the point which should not invite any nuclear retaliation.

Army Chief General N C Vij has his reasons not to go public with the new doctrine but, for the first time since Independence, age-old concepts of mobilisation of forces and Strike Corps spearheading the attack are being junked.

Advertisement

In short, no longer will armed forces be mobilised to prepare for war. Global powers in the changed world do not allow it. Op Parakram is a prime example: the international community intervened once the Cabinet signalled mobilisation of forces, five days after the attack on Parliament in December 2001. It took 20 days to mass the troops.

Military commanders are now looking at the ‘cold start’ doctrine. Although it was drawn before the Indo-Pak border stand-off, it was fine-tuned only after Op Parakram, taking into account the reality of a nuclear neighbourhood.

While many in the forces may take credit for this doctrine, the then Western Army Commander Lt General Vijay Oberoi was one of the first to root for this strategy. Present Army Vice Chief Lt General Shantano Choudhary has refined the concept keeping in mind the existing nuclear environment.

Gen Oberoi, who retired as Army Vice Chief in 2002, presently heads an Army think tank called CLAWS. This doctrine, debated at the last tri-Services military commanders conference, will be on the agenda again during the commanders’ conference next month.

The new doctrine does not believe in dividing the forces into defensive or attack formations. India’s three Strike Corps — Mathura-based I Corps, Ambala-based II Corps and Bhopal-based XXI Corps — will be there only for training purposes. The war will be fought through eight battle groups with integrated elements from the IAF and Navy.


Rewriting the war book


• Changed world doesn’t allow massing of troops, invites diplomatic intervention
• Out go Strike Corps spearheading attack. Eight integrated battle groups to lead thrust into enemy territory
• Aim for ‘total destruction of objective’ but spare enemy’s strategic potential to avoid nuclear response
• Focus on precision capability and hard impact since massive air, land campaigns not possible

Backed by tank regiments, heavy artillery, missile regiments and the air force, the battle groups will go for limited but lethal destruction on enemy territory. The Navy with its carrier-based fighters will have the key role of supporting the battle groups. Ships will also launch missiles like the Russian Klub. The idea is to destroy, not to hold or capture territory.

This concept was first war-gamed during Exercise Vijay Chakra in the Thar desert by Gen Oberoi in 2001 and synergised between the three forces during Exercise Brahmastra later that year. Still being war-gamed, a part of it was on view at Exercise Divya Astra in Pokharan this week.

This strategy was fine-tuned once the threat of nuclear war dawned on the security establishment. It was done by Gen Choudhary, then commander of the Jalandhar-based XI Corps, and his counterparts in IAF and Navy.

Measuring the force application during war time, they took into account the nuclear threshold of the adversary.

In short, don’t hit the adversary’s strategic points so hard as to invite a nuclear response or international intervention.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 11 Apr 2004 19:47

Another cross post that belongs here

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/609291.cms

Army to chalk out a new war doctrine
RAJAT PANDIT

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, APRIL 10, 2004 02:30:11 AM ]

NEW DELHI: The entire Army top brass will converge on the Capital next week for a brain-storming session on the emerging contours of the new war doctrine, the status of operations in Kashmir and cadre review of officers, among other things.


"The creation of some new high-level posts like the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Information Systems and Training) will also be finalised during the Army Commanders' conference from April 12 to 16," sources said.

Chaired by General N C Vij, the conference will be attended by the chiefs of the five regional commands and the training command, the Army HQ's principal staff officers and heads of various arms.


The generals will discuss the "entire spectrum of war", including the current offensive and defensive concepts in the nuclear backdrop, along with the much-needed goal of achieving "total operational synergy" with the Navy and the IAF.

The Army is currently fine-tuning its new war doctrine, which revolves around the concept of rapidly-deployable "integrated battle groups" and "combined arms operations" instead of the existing slow mobilisation of "strike" corps in preparation for an attack.

This lesson was strongly reinforced by Operation Parakram after the December 2001 Parliament attack. It had taken the Army almost a month to deploy its three strike formations.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Vinantp » 12 Apr 2004 00:57

I have noticed in the continuing discussions that most of our energies are trained toward TSP. :o The re-oraganisation of our forces need not necessarily be aimed at our troublesome neighbour but could also be used far from India's shores. These eight integrated battle groups could be deplyed in a swift manner to any trouble spot in the world thereby projecting our power effectively abroad. Indian forces could see service in Iraq sooner than later and doctorinal change will only make our forces that much more flexible and responsive to changes on the battle field.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Philip » 02 May 2004 19:52

What was the ultimate aim of Op P?.When parliament was attacked,we were not in a position to wage war immediately,or even in a very short time, according to those who were in charge of the armed forces at that time.We then mobilised as quickly as we could on a scale that had never been seen before.

To my mind,it was done primarily to put the maximum pressure on Gen.Musharraf to reign in the ISI led terrorists operating from the safety of their bases in Pakistan ,launching further major attacks in Kashmir.Until the relevant Indo-US communications during the crisis are released,we shall be able only to speculate upon what happened.With the US troops already in Afghanistan,India probably told the US that unless Gen.Musharraf gave cast-iron guarantees both in private and public that he would crack down on the terrorists,India would go to war.Our mobilisation was proof of that.We were ready to fight and give Pak a signal military lesson,which probably would've meant the capturing of Pak territory in Kashmir and the destruction of the Pak fighting machine,especially its navy, with the IN imposing a naval blockade which would've starved the Pak forces of vital fuel and other military supplies.

We accepted the good general's statements of sympathy,etc.,at face value,since the US had obviously given us some guarantees on the winding down of cross-border terrorism,but continued to place our forces for months on end at the highest level of readiness.This was a very costly affair for us,but the aim of our govt. was perhaps instead to win the argument,lessening cross-border terrorism without resorting to conflict.

ABV at heart seems to be more Nehruvian in his foreign policy than we have credited him for.A sagacious leader,former foreign minister,he realised that going to war would mean a significant setback economically for both countries.For India ."Jaw,Jaw," was far better than "War,War." Since most of the people were screaming for war,he had to defuse the situation and get from the US the neccessary guarantees from pak.

We are now in a position with hindsight to take an impartial look at whether it worked.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Varun Shekhar » 02 May 2004 20:01

Does anyone know about casualties inflicted on the Pakistanis and on the infiltrating Jihadis during Operation Parakram. It is very hard to believe that all that mobilization took place wothout firing a shot. One vaguely recalls George Fernandes actually dropping numbers about punishment given( since it was partly a punitive exercise)to the Pakistanis across the border. Sorry if this question has been asked and answered before.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 06 May 2004 18:33

Way back when this thread was started, somoene asked if anyone has read the book "Operation Parakram- unfinished war" by Lt. Gen. (retd) VK Sood and Praivin Sawhney.

Well I just finished reading it and will do a little review and put down some things stated by the authors.

I am grateful to forum lurker Krishna for having lent me the book - but because the book is not mine I was unable to make the untidy comments I make on the margins of books I own to help me remember points that I feel I need to remember.

Although the book seems to reveal a kind of "split personality" - with whiny passages and the occasional unbelieveble conclusion based on second guessing someone eles's thoughts which I expect are from Pravin sawhney, and othet passages that may be from the General the book deals with a lot of things other than Prakram. An analysis of Parakram is only a small part of teh volume of the book - with the analysis based on a recounting of history of recent events in the subcontinent.

The book says that Operation Parakram was a "bottom up" operation. It is said there were two occasions when India was close to war - Jan 2002 and June 2002.

By "bottom up" the authors mean that the political leadership in India were stunned by the parliament attack and had no plans and no clue as to what to do. They wanted to appear strong and called for mobilization. In this scenario - at least the Army knew what it was doing and has specific plans. In fact the Northern Command of teh army - which is in daily contact with Pakterrorists has a plan of action ready to take out camps and "straighten" the LOC in areas where India is at a tactical disadvantage.

By June, after Kaluchak - the entire army was ready and clued up. The plans were much more ambitious and, according to the authors, achievable. There was to have been a wide front offensive. Many in the military ledaership were pretty confident of why the Pakistani nuclear red line would not be crossed by the action. It could have been done in June 2002. Pakistan could have been seriously kicked.

But the political leadership chickened out. Not only did they NOT have a clue as to what to do after the Dec 13th parliament attack - there were no specific plans that the political leadership were clued in on. All plans had to be "bottom up" - with the Armed forces having plans to do their job - and the politicos having no clues or plans. With glee Sawhney contrasts this dithering with what he sees as firm and focused military leadership in Pakistan.

Why did the political leadership chicken out?

Many reasons - but primarily they WERE intimidated by the Pakistani nuclear threat that the Indian armed forces themselves were fairly sure of avoiding.

Mushy's games DID get through the bravado of the politicos - according to this book. Also the authors feel that the Indian political leadership was too trusting of the US and somehow imagined that the US was seriously intersted in reining in Pakistan. The leadership did not understand that the US leadership did not want to do anything of the sort.

Finally - the book alleges that the Indian political leadership has not shared details of India's nuclear capability with the armed forces - which (my words) is criminal, if true. It is further suggested in the book that the reason the political leadership has not told the armed forces details of India's nuclear deterrent is because the deterrent is far less than what the political leadership claims it to be. (Boss - this is Pravin Sawhney's book. make what you want of what is said - I am merely blurting out what I read - so "Don't shoot me - I'm only the piano player")

There is much else in the book - but I ill stop here.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Vick » 06 May 2004 18:54

Something that made me think from the picture thread.

If the Taj was camo'ed for Parakram, then the Indian military expected and/or allowed for PAF planes to make an ingress that far deep into Indian territory?

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Sribabu » 06 May 2004 19:09

Originally posted by Vick:
Something that made me think from the picture thread.

If the Taj was camo'ed for Parakram, then the Indian military expected and/or allowed for PAF planes to make an ingress that far deep into Indian territory?
Preparing for the worst case scenario does not mean we expect or allow it to happen. It would be foolish not to do such preperations.

Sri

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 06 May 2004 19:17

Originally posted by Vick:
Something that made me think from the picture thread.

If the Taj was camo'ed for Parakram, then the Indian military expected and/or allowed for PAF planes to make an ingress that far deep into Indian territory?
Vick - if you look into your own question - you will find that a similar question would be "Why should ships/submarines have watertight doors between sections? Are they expecting water to get into these areas?"

The answer of course is that if, allah forbid, water does get in - it will be stopped at the first door.

The Taj serves as a navigational reference point as well as a tempting target. NOT covering it would be wrong. Having said that - many of these measures are getting outdated in these days of GPS and NVGs.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Vick » 06 May 2004 19:25

Covering the Taj is probably somewhere in a old SOP manual that hasn't been updated yet. Because if one were to go in and around Delhi for a bombing run, the lights of Delhi and its highways and bridges would be far more visible and useful than the Taj. Yet there were no black out drills in the capital, AFAIK.

It's just surprising that the military thought there was even a possibility of an ingress that deep.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Umrao » 06 May 2004 19:28

Taj gives you referential co ordinates (visual)

Besides there is fee per view no free fly overs please is the hidden message I guess.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Jagan » 06 May 2004 19:35

Originally posted by Vick:


It's just surprising that the military thought there was even a possibility of an ingress that deep.
To be fair to the pakistanis (and us), a lone B-57 did intrude that deep during the 71 war opening day and dropped some bombs on agra airfild without effect. They did use the taj as a reference point in the moonlit night to calculate where the airfield was.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby VikramS » 06 May 2004 20:01

Originally posted by Jagan:
Originally posted by Vick:
[b]

It's just surprising that the military thought there was even a possibility of an ingress that deep.
To be fair to the pakistanis (and us), a lone B-57 did intrude that deep during the 71 war opening day and dropped some bombs on agra airfild without effect. They did use the taj as a reference point in the moonlit night to calculate where the airfield was.[/b]
Also note that in war you never really know where the enemy may come from. What if the PAF plane took off from somewhere in the Eastern section (BD, Chicom, Nepal etc..). It is always better to be prepared than be sorry.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 06 May 2004 21:06

Originally posted by Vick:


It's just surprising that the military thought there was even a possibility of an ingress that deep.
Vick its not surprising at all actually.

A lot of people (and perhaps you too) feel that Air defences and radar and intercept coverage over the entire border is impermeable.

It is NOT. It is a mistake to assume that defences are impermeable. Of course every effort ois made to make them impermeable - but when you have 1000s of km of "airspace boundary" enemy aircraft WILL get through.

That is why there is no guarantee that a Paki fighter with a nuke will not get through or that an Indian fighter with a nuke will not get through.

"Total air superiority" has been achieved against powerful air forces only in a few wars. The Israelis did it in 1967 and 1983. India did it iver BDesh in 1971. Kosovo and the two gulf wars are other examples. Other than these aircarft still get through, Recall the UK ships sunk by the Argentines?

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby svinayak » 07 May 2004 02:00

This books seems to be a psy ops book to delegitimize the credibity of the Indian politicians and political decision making.

The idea is to show that the Indian political analysis and decision making is not upto the mark of a serious nuclear power and that the deficiency is dangerous for the country.

The target audience is the Indian educated class to deride the credibity of the polity to handle security matters and geo-politics. Also it is useful to India's adversaries to take less serious Indian political decisions.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 07 May 2004 05:32

Originally posted by acharya:
]This books seems to be a psy ops book to delegitimize the credibity of the Indian politicians and political decision making.

The idea is to show that the Indian political analysis and decision making is not upto the mark of a serious nuclear power and that the deficiency is dangerous for the country.

The target audience is the Indian educated class to deride the credibity of the polity to handle security matters and geo-politics. Also it is useful to India's adversaries to take less serious Indian political decisions.
Acharya that is CERTAINLY the impression that can be gained from my review.

But I must admit that the book is difficult to fathom - because it has a kind of "split personality"

The book also comes across as extremely pro-India - and a book that urges India and the Indian leadership to wake up and be pro active and focused about Pakistan and now Pakistan plays its games.

Having read the book slowly, from cover to cover - I find it difficult to condemn the book outright.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby svinayak » 07 May 2004 06:28

Shiv, I went by what you have summarized. But a pro-India book which selectively takes to task the political leadership is still a suspect.

This is part of the psy ops so that the in the eyes of the averbage readers the institution of the army is held high but the political class is delegitimized and made to look as a loser.

Now this may be because they have no clue to the actual working inside the political decision making and want to fish it out for that incident.

But overall the events in 2001-2002 is going to be analysed as a classic case of disaster waiting to happen. There may be lot of shortcomings in the handling of the event but they may not have the full story yet. That shortcoming may have been used to attack the political decision making

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 07 May 2004 06:40

Originally posted by acharya:

Now this may be because they have no clue to the actual working inside the political decision making and want to fish it out for that incident.
You are probably right - I can myslef think of several political streams of thought that opted for this particular course of action.

But the book does not spare any specific political party - (nort does it spare the DRDO - with Pravin Sawhney having a rant which he will not be able to support, if questioned)

The book says that changes of leadership over the years have led to a deliberate neglect of defence and a policy that leaves the armed forces with absolutely no idea whether funding will continue the next year or not. There is plenty of uncertainty and bureaucratic hurdles, and the politicos have shown a consistent inability to formulate a coherent policy. Indian government have had no plans as to how to handle Pakistan on various leveles - militarily and politically. Everything is ad hoc. Even a 3% of GDP figure on defence spending is not maintained from government to government - with defence spending going down as peopel imagine that a threat from Pakistan has vanished.

The book is scathing about "motherless status" of the Rashtriya Rifles and the fossilised mindsets and ignoramuses withing India's political establishments.

No matter what the negative psy-ops aspects of this book - it has things which should make us sit up and take note.

We are well aware of things on BRF. It is not at all certain that the average politician who fills a seat after spending crores on getting elected has any intention of formulatinga policy about Pakistan. His policy may be aimed at consolidating himself. This may be a problem with Indian democracy - but if so, it is a problem that we must address head on.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 07 May 2004 13:20

Foreign policy and national defence go hand in hand.

That makes it like having a baby - both a man and a woman are needed in a coordinated manner to do it.

In the case of "foreign policy" the civilian government has to be fully aware and up to date. In addition, the government - which utilises the the armed forces for specific foreign policy objectives should be aware and sensitive to the requirements of the armed forces.

Two problems are brought out in the book:

1) First big ticket items like tanks, ships or aircraft take YEARS to induct and even after that money is required for spares and maintenance. Apparentky the India bureaucracy is quite happy about funding tangible and visible items like planes and guns but are tight fisted when it comes to funding spares and maintenance which are not "visible" and cannot be displayed in a Republic day parade.

The armed forces do not know where funding will come from and what will dry up next year. They cannot firmly make plans for anything because the political bosses are temselves not clear whether the armed forces should be reactive to developments or proactive. To be pro active there has to be somw firm policy and guidelines laid down by the GoI and teh funding for that should be constant - and not variable for year to year.

2)The Government itself was caught with iis pants down on several occasions. The government, according to the book, consists of people who have no clear picture of what foreign policy course to take. It seems that the question of what is in the national interest is of little interest to the average politician.

If this is correct - what this book says should be taken very seriously. Foregn policy and defence are serious business - and a general and across the board awareness needs to be brought into government starting from the netas and extending to the babus.

The government really should have access to a series of dedicated think tanks who are able to work on various scenarios and are able to give inputs to the bureaucrats who will advise teh netas. And we the citizens should make it difficult for the netas to escape blame/censure/punishment if they goof up. Having got elected they bloody well have to serve in the interest of the friggin nation.

What can WE do to ensure this happens?

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Raja Ram » 07 May 2004 17:45

shivji,

Thanks for the summary and review. As you know I have been uncolored, so to say, by such expert opinion and have been flogging my own brand of commentary.

The surmise of this books is an exact contra position to my theory (if i can dare call it) that the Indian Establishment (neta and babu) is fully aware of the capability of the fauj and has been waging its war on terror (principally executed by Pakistan, but supported in this venture by far greater powers such as the PRC and US) with considerable sophistication - especially during Parakram. There were certain objectives that the GOI had which were achieved even in that instance. As I see it, the military option has always been done with couple of key principles in mind.

1, Keep the cost to the nation as low as possible. The overall goal is to keep India on track for a well rounded development in all spheres.

2, Ensure a nuanced war at several levels which has involved using the military when necessary with suprising clear headedness (high point was the 71 war). There are several other instances.

There is a also a fundemental understanding of national interests by the much discredited neta and babu crowd. There are two clear fundementals that is understood and at all costs never compromised with.

1. Hard won National Soverignity can never be compromised any sphere- political, economic, cultural or military. One can relate several instances where the Establishment has held firm against tremendous pressure.

2. A clear understanding of India's position - both what is due to it in terms of its contribution as well as its strengths with a clear understanding of geo political realities.

For evidence of the clarity of thought in both the neta and babu circles you can read a few books on the India Pakistan relationship by the likes J.N. Dixit, (babu), Parthasarthy (Babu), B.Raman (babu), Jaswant Singh (Energy Security)(neta), Kamal Nath (Environment) (neta). This will give glimpse of the thought processes of some of our Establishment. I have just mentioned a few here. There are a lot more that one can refer to butress the contra position of this book which will posit the opposite - that the military has been used correctly and decisively.

The truth, as they say, might be somewhere in the middle. It is incorrect to view either view as wrong. Paradoxical as it might first appear. In my view this is not something unique to India. Even the sole super power has not quite got it right all the time has it?

Just thought I will share a few thoughts on the subject.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 07 May 2004 18:36

Raja Ram - your view on this is shared by me.

But there is one area that bothers me. My mental picture may be wrong - but my worry seems to be a commonly exptressed one.

That is - the "little fellows" - the little fellows who are inportant. The file pusher or whoever who delays funding for spares because of a minor rub or some red tape. These minor actors are not necsessarliy in the "government" - they could be in the Armed forces as well.

The other group are the flash in the pan politicians who get their 15 minutes of fame after a surprise mandate - but have no clue of national interest.

"Overall" India has probably done OK - but I think there is room for polishing the act. There are many areas where I would personally be scathing of the armed forces as well - in the attitude of some people - totally dismissive of their own and unnecessarily enamored of "phoren". These may be a fading breed - but in a huge nation like India - the breed fades only slowly - there are many niches and corners where they can thrive.

The one major change I noticed in Bangalore with the "IT boom" was politeness and a willingness to adrress problems - and the "private" boom has been so big that the rusty cogs of local government machinery have gradually picked up the disease of politeness a degree of efficiency and the old "come tomorrow, for I am the boss" arrogance is less easily found.

I am certain these diseases will be eliminated - albeit slowly. Pravin Sawhney is a whiner - but i thought it may be worth airing all his views as I understod them - if only to show that we are still capable of corrective self analysis without self flagellation.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby cellinisperceus » 07 May 2004 20:18

Shiv,
Reading you analysis and the following discussion... I would like to present my take on how things are being run. Now my defence contacts are quite minimal and most of my information comes from BR. However my dad works in the ministry of tourism... and from the working of one ministry maybe we can generalize.

Quite some time ago, GOI started promoting culture and tourism to the western world to get more tourists into India. Then came the India Shining campaign. In both the cases the bureaucracy recieved broad directives... never anything concrete. The Secretary level officers pass them to the grunt guys... in even broader terms. All in all... complete lack of management. Events were organized... well organized, but never well marketed to the audiences.

Let me give you an example. The Office of Tourism in Paris. Beautiful location, quite central. Yet one must search in the yellow pages to know its location. The board outside may have been made in 1947. Daily 1000s of people pass the boulevard hausseman without knowing that such an entity exists right in their path. When you do get in... not one person in the entire office speaks fluent french... What India Shining has done to them... it has made them even more arrogant. Worst, my 13 year old brother can convince you better to go and visit Taj Mahal rather than the front office person. Same thing at the Embassy, Visa section. No clear information available on hand, clear hostility, and the only person fluent in French is a Mauritian lady.

If I take this into the sphere of defence, we have wrong people in the wrong jobs so settled that they give a royal f@@k about whats happening outside their small universe of family, tea and cards. Under these circumstances, I really can't fault Sawhney and his whining. Seriously, if the ministry of tourism(and it is supposed to be the face of the Indian government to outsiders) is anything to go by, our Armed Forces are in very uneducated and bad hands. Simply too many people in decision making positions and not enough people to carry out the decisions. Complete mismanagement, good ideas but by the time they come close to execution, they are outdated.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby wyu » 08 May 2004 08:36

Shiv,

Some things don't make sense.

While I can see the Gen's points, I cannot fathom what kind of impact they had on the local op. The Cols and Majs wouldn't have a need-to-know all this REMF SNAFU. I would even think they wouldn't even have a want-to-know.

From my perspective, the InA got direction on how far to carry the op from their political masters (welcome to the rest of the world), corps and div got their marching orders and those orders worked their way down to bn and coy. Battalion and company got their orders to take that hill. Whether or not Islamabad would start tossing nukes wouldn't have stopped those assualts.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Anaath » 08 May 2004 19:55

R^2’s views are insightful indeed.

Factors of organisational history (going back to the pre-independence days) and culture have contributed to subtle yet significant differences between the readings that the uniformed officer cadre makes of certain situations and the reading that the political establishment makes of the same situation.

This is especially true of situations that straddle the line between domestic politics and national defence.

Having said this, it must be noted that each new generation of uniformed officers has done its bit to narrow this gap in perceptions and weltanschauung.

Some may see this as the "corruption and banality" of Indian society-at-large seeping into the armed forces. Others will see this as an enhancement of the "rootedness" of the uniformed officer cadre.

Time will tell which view is more accurate.
---

Only peripherally related to all this but interesting nevertheless is an anecdote (no guarantees being offered for its full veracity) from circa 1955:

Panditji as PM and Shri. Kamaraj Nadar as CM were invited to DSSC Wellington for some kind of ceremony. After the public portion of the function, the dignitaries were invited to dinner at the officers' mess.

It is unclear whether the dinner attire rules had ever been relaxed in this fashion before the said day and the officers were extremely gracious in their hospitality.

A five course dinner followed and each course was a torture for Kamaraj who did not particularly care for cutlery, but he was a good sport about it all.

This was followed by toasts with each officer toasting the honoured guests.

Then the officers sang "He's a jolly good fellow" and Kamaraj finally lost his cool and rushed out of the room hurling choice Tamil abuses.

This caused several raised eyebrows and the matter was finally resolved when the CM's PS told the PM's staff that this song was particularly hated by Kamaraj as he had to listen to the English wardens sing it practically everyday for some occasion or the other when he was incarcerated in Alipore jail after the Dandi march.

Safe to say, such an event did not come to pass again at DSSC.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Mandeep » 09 May 2004 01:26

This seems to be an apocryphal story. 'For He's A Jolly Good Fellow' is only sung at farewells.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby ASPuar » 09 May 2004 05:31

Then theres nothing to say that a departing warder in the jail may not have been sung out with the said song?

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby SaiK » 09 May 2004 08:26

....on December 18, 2001 "the Prime Minister called the three service chiefs and told them to prepare for a war with Pakistan. On being asked by the Chief of the Army Staff Gen. S. Padmanabhan `what the government expected from the war, (Prime Minister) Vajpayee is understood to have said: `woh baad mein bataayenge' (that will be told later).' Such was the beginning of Operation Parakram, where neither were the political objectives for war defined, nor did the military leadership press too hard to find them"
........

The episode reflects vividly the national culture in decision-making. The BJP is not unique in subscribing to it. Its arrant hypocrisy lies in pretending to be different and in trying to deceive the nation that its ways are superior to those of its predecessors, especially the hated Nehru.

.......

It "assembled" again on October 16 and heard the Army Chief Gen. V.P. Malik. "Within hours of the meeting, the government announced that Operation Parakram was over"

..........
With fewer checks and balances our system is far more pliable as Operation Parakram revealed.
..

http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2110/stories/20040521000307700.htm
Discipline and decision-making

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby putnanja » 09 May 2004 12:16

Cross posting as I feel it is relevant here...

Dissension grows in senior ranks on strategy

Asked who was to blame, this general pointed directly at Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz. "I do not believe we had a clearly defined war strategy, end state and exit strategy before we commenced our invasion," he said. "Had someone like Colin Powell been the chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff], he would not have agreed to send troops without a clear exit strategy. The current OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] refused to listen or adhere to military advice."

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Calvin » 09 May 2004 19:35

Shiv:

Thanks for your summary, and it might be best if we could put it up on BRM.

There are three key points that you have recognized that Sawhney says:
(a) The politicos did not have a clear plan of action after Dec 13
(b) The politicos believe that a Pakistani nuke attack is a credible one
(c) The army believes that they have found a way of punishing Pakistan without crossing the redlines.

The last point that jumped out at me is that Sawhney believes that the politicos are hiding the true nature of our deterrent from our boys in the field. This conclusion is interesting, but it is somewhat irrelevant. As wyu has noted, as NFU state unless Pakistan launches countervalue strikes that completely decapitate the decision making, there is an assured retaliation option (regardless of the quality of that retaliation). What this suggests, to me, is not that the quality of the nuclear retaliation is weak, but that the government feared decapitation and therefore a lack of response. Now we know that a NCA was put in place in September of 2003. So it is possible that the government recognized this weakness and then spent the next 15 months rectifying this.

The other points are probably even more troubling. The first point (a), is critical. Perhaps what we can do, at BRM, is to conduct realistic scenario development of two or three possible paths that the government can go down. This will gain two things, it will help us learn, and secondly may be a template for others.

The second and third points are interlinked. (b), by itself, is not troubling. The theorists of deterrence have posited that single nuke on a single city is sufficient to deter a democratic open society. And (b) merely proves the point. The key is (c), which is whether we adequately understand the redlines. Particularly, critical is whether the politicos and army are accurate in their strategies for crossing these redlines without tripping them. Spending more time studying Pakistani redlines and options to cross them without tripping them is something, we at BRM should spend more time on, and write more on.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby JCage » 10 May 2004 06:16

Just one nitpick.
How sure are we of what Sawheny says?
Can we take the book to be representative of the truth- even partial truth?

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 10 May 2004 07:27

Originally posted by nitin:
Just one nitpick.
How sure are we of what Sawheny says?
Can we take the book to be representative of the truth- even partial truth?
Nitin - that is what makes the "debate" so compelling.

I note that it is not just us on BRF - but even on a national media level there are two "camps"

One camp is the Sawhney type camp and the other is opposed to it.

It may be irrelevant to the "debate" that at a national decison making level - bith these camps may actually know each other well and may be interacting with each other - but are still putting out public information that suggests the presence of two camps.

I think is is an inteersting exercise for BRF or BRM to see the camps collide head on with their allegations and explanations to each other. If Pravin Sawhney is wrong - let is see if we can create a kind of "crisis" - a "collision" in which his views are demolished .

If he is right - it means serious weaknesses in the system that need to be recognised and rectified.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Calvin » 19 Jun 2004 19:23

nitin, YIP and others, would it be possible to put together a chronological sequence of events from the date of the attack on the Parliament all the way through Oct 2002, for BRM?

Here is a rough outline, but one that needs to be fleshed out and the key implications sketched out in more detail.

http://users.senet.com.au/~wingman/parakram.html

Most critical of all, IMHO, are a retrospective evaluation of what the constraints the government faced at the time, and (importantly) what it did done since then to mitigate those constraints. Some of the most obvious constraints that were addressed were:
1. Strategic Forces Command
2. Nuclear Command Authority - Chain of Command
3. Cold Start
4. Revision of doctrine to cover soldiers *anywhere* who are the victim of a WMD attack
5. Strategic Partnership with Iran, possibly opening two fronts on Pakistan

Some that remain to be addressed include
1. American Coercion (Paddy made an attempt with his book)

Gen. Padmanabhan mulls over lessons of Operation Parakram

By Praveen Swami


S. Padmanabhan

NEW DELHI, FEB. 5. Problems with India's military doctrine, and a lack of clarity within the Union Cabinet and on its war objectives may have undermined Operation Parakram at the very outset.

In an exclusive interview to The Hindu , the former Chief of the Army Staff, General S. Padmanabhan, has thrown new light on the reasons for the failure of Operation Parakram, the massive build-up ordered in the wake of the December 13, 2001, terrorist attack on Parliament House. He was responding to criticism that a slow mobilisation of the troops "gifted" Pakistan time to prepare its defences — and eventually meant that the Operation had to be called off.

Gen. Padmanabhan argues that significant military gains could have been achieved in January 2002, had politicians made the decision to go to war. These objectives, he says, could have included "degradation of the other force, and perhaps the capture of disputed territory in Jammu and Kashmir. They were more achievable in January, less achievable in February, and even less achievable in March. By then, the balance of forces had gradually changed."

Critics of Gen. Padmanabhan's management of Operation Parakram have argued that air strikes against terror training camps could have been carried out within days the December 13 outrage. The Army, in turn, said that it needed time to prepare for the escalatory consequences of such attacks. Pakistan, Army planners believed, had an interest in taking the conflict towards a nuclear flash-point as soon as possible. The Army believed the best prospects of avoiding such a situation was having forces in place that could rapidly secure war objectives.

According to Gen. Padmanabhan, the kinds of limited strikes some were pushing for would have been "totally futile." "If you really want to punish someone for something very terrible he has done," he said, "you smash him. You destroy his weapons and capture his territory." "War is a serious business," he continues, "and you don't go just like that. When December 13 happened, my strike formations were at peace locations. At that point, I did not have the capability to mobilise large forces to go across."
http://www.hindu.com/2004/02/06/stories/2004020604461200.htm

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Calvin » 19 Jun 2004 20:10

Re-reading this thread from the beginning is crystallizing a number of things. One of those is that Cold Start is a definite fall-out from Parakram, and that this has to do with the Holding Corps:

SaiKrshna wrote on 05 February 2004 03:45 PM
"You could certainly question why we are so dependent on our strike formations," he said, and "and why my holding Corps don't have the capability to do the same tasks from a cold start. This is something I have worked on while in office. Perhaps, in time, it will be our military doctrine."
Sunil S, on 10 February 2004 12:02 PM, you noted that:
The Pakistanis won't be caught off guard by this same move again. The lesson from Parakram is that this sort of thing can only work once and to gain an advantage in the war that may come, the Armed forces need to think beyond the limits that they set to their thinking for the last 20 something years. The concept of mere mobility now needs to give way to a broader concept of flexibility.
It appears that CS is probably a direct descendant of that recognition.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Calvin » 19 Jun 2004 20:20

http://users.senet.com.au/~wingman/parakram.html

In December 2001, Pakistani terrorists struck at the heart of Indian nationhood and democracy. The daring attack on our parliament showed just how far Pakistan was prepared to go to further its expansionist and evil aims. But it did not anticipate the swift reaction of the Indian Armed Forces under Operation Parakram(Might) - the largest deployment of Indian forces since the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The operation successfully thwarted Pakistans proxy war and put their armed forces on the defensive.

At 11.40 am on December 13, five Pakistani terrorists dressed as security guards attempted to storm the sanctum sanctorum of the world's largest democracy - Indian Parliament House in New Delhi. After breaching the massive security cordon around it, the terrorists started firing from AK-47 rifles and hurling grenades. The Indian security officers immediately confronted the intruders. In the ensuing gun-battle, all five terrorists, seven Delhi policemen and a Parliament employee were killed. More on the attack here.

CRPF jawans guard the Parliament following the attack.
This dastardly attack, the second after the bloody bombing of the Jammu & Kashmir(J&K) state legislature in October, greatly angered the Indian people. In a brief but unambiguous message to the nation within hours of the terrorist attack, Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said, "The attack was not on Parliament, but on the entire nation. We have been fighting terrorism for the last two decades and the do-or-die battle is in the final stages. We accept the challenge and we will blunt every attack." As always in times of crises, Mr Vajpayee declared, "India is united and will fight terrorism unitedly." The PM also hinted at adopting a pro-active strategy aimed at nullifying the nurseries of terrorism.

On Dec 14, within 24 hours of the attack, the Delhi police made "silent breakthroughs" and had gathered enough “technical evidence” implicating the Pakistan based terrorist outfits of Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad(JeM). Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer issued a verbal "demarche" to Pakistan High Commissioner Ashraf Jahangir Qazi asking Pakistan to : (1) Stop the activities of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, (2) Take their leadership into custody, and (3) Freeze their financial assets and stop their access to financial assets.


Indian army tanks in position on the border.
The next day, Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee lashed out at Pakistan for encouraging and abetting cross-border terrorism and accused it of masterminding the Parliament attack. Vajpayee warned of dire consequences if "it (Pakistan) does not immediately stop sending terrorists to India for destabilising the country’s democracy" and hinted at possible military action in Pakistan occupied Kashmir(PoK).

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf rejected demands for action against the militant groups claiming the proof was inadequate. He also warned retaliation against any Indian misadventurism. “I would like to warn that any adventurism against Pakistan on this issue will be met with force. So I would like to warn against any precipitate action by the Indian government against Pakistan. This would lead to serious repercussions." The President said he had already condemned the attack and had written to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee expressing grief and sorrow over the attack.

An Indian army camp.
Pakistan's defence spokesman, Maj Gen Rashid Qureshi said, "We want to make it clear to India that irresponsible statements or ultimatums by the Indian leadership hinting at any action on the Pakistani borders or LoC will not be acceptable to us. India must understand that it will suffer huge losses if it resorts to any such action."

On Dec 17, following President Musharraf’s meeting with his senior corps commanders, the Pakistan Army started massing troops and heavy armour along the Line of Control(LoC) and the International Boundary(IB) in Jammu and Kashmir. The regulars from the 10 and 30 Corps of the Pakistan army deployed in the area were reinforced with additional troops, strengthening the offensive formation and consequently the build-up became a sizeable one.

Pakistani tanks being moved to the border.
Troops from 12, 31, 11 and 1 Corps which are specialised in combat operations were rushed in. The Special Service Group(SSG) of the Pakistani army, specialising in sabotage operations, were inducted in sensitive areas along the LoC in the Jammu-Poonch sector, including at the most sensitive Akhnoor-Pallanwala-Chammb sub-sector. More here.

This troop movement was backed by amassing of heavy arms, including Armoured Personnel Carriers(APC), tanks and other hardware, which signalled that their troops were being readied for combat operations. The Pakistan Government also cancelled the leave of army personnel, from the lowest to the highest ranks. It also ordered the troops, brought close to the border for winter war exercises, to stay put.


Pakistani soldiers on full alert in forward locations.
The Pakistani troop and armour buildup caused the Indian army to go on high alert. "What is particularly worrying is the fact that they have brought in heavy armour along both the LoC and the IB. They are trying to fortify their positions, and we are watching their moves closely and have also put our troops on heightened alert. What else do you do in such a situation?" a top Indian military official said.

On Dec 17, Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee reviewed the security situation on the border and was briefed by the three service chiefs of the Indian military preparedness in the event of a flare-up. Mr Vajpayee conducted the strategic review at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS). Apart from the Prime Minister, Mr Advani and Mr Jaswant Singh, the CCS was attended by Defence Minister George Fernandes, National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, Army Chief General S. Padmanabhan, Air Chief A.Y. Tipnis and Naval Chief Admiral Sushil Kumar. The CCS also reviewed the security measures taken by the government since the attack.

The three defence chiefs - A.Y. Tipnis, S. Padmanabhan and Sushil Kumar.
On Dec 18, Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked heavy mortar shelling and heavy-calibre fire from across the Nowshera sector in Rajouri district. Soon after mortar shells hit various spots in the Jhangar border area causing the residents of these areas to flee for their lives. The Indian troops retaliated effectively and destroyed more than six Pakistani bunkers.

On Dec 19, India asked Pakistan to take action against the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad responsible for the attacks and hand over terrorists like Ghazi Baba, Maulana Masood Azhar, Dawood Ibrahim if Islamabad was serious about its credentials of being a responsible member of the international campaign against terrorism. Indian Home Minister Shri L.K. Advani charged the Pakistan-based terrorist outfits with crossing the "Lakshman rekha" by attempting to wipe out the entire political leadership of India. "There could be nothing bigger than this," he said, adding that the sacrifices of the security force personnel would not be allowed to go waste and that the people of India were determined to stamp out terrorism.

Indian Home Minister Shri L.K. Advani vows to stamp out terrorism.
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee declared that all efforts would be made to "avert a war" but India would be keeping its options open in the fight against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. In an apparent disapproval of the USA and other countries counselling restraint on India's part, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said without naming any country that "those counselling us restraint should also give the same advice to our neighbour". The Prime Minister said there could be no two yardsticks in the campaign against terrorism and made it clear that New Delhi would fight the evil on its own strength. Members of parliament observed silence for a minute as a mark of respect to the security personnel who lost their lives in the attack.

Under Operation Parakram, additional troops from various parts of the country started reaching Jammu and other places, including border villages in Punjab, to meet any challenge from Pakistan. A large number of troops belonging to 11 Corps of the Army stationed in Jallandhar were reportedly moved to the border areas. Three divisions of the corps were stationed at Meerut, Amritsar and Ferozepore. Besides troops, heavy weapons and material required to meet any threat from across the border and for launching massive operations within the state were sent by scores of trains.


An Indian tank and armoured troop carrier being transported to the border.
Indian Army Chief General S. Padmanabhan assured that India had taken "appropriate" steps to counter any threat to its security. "There is build-up on the other side with Pakistan moving in troops. Certain forces which should have gone back have not gone back and there is some addition to that also," The Army chief avoided a direct answer to the question on possible plans to strike terrorist hide-outs across the Line of Control in Pak-occupied Kashmir (PoK) by saying that it would be a political decision. " If I have to do it, I won't tell you ... In any case, it is a political decision." About India moving in troops to its border in the light of the Pakistani actions, he said, "I have acted in a manner that was appropriate for me."

General Padmanabhan said: "We have perfectly laid out procedures. We have a very clear idea of what we are doing and what we will do. There is no possibility of rapid changes(in our plans). We are not a flappy Army. We are a confident Army. We know our strengths and objectives and we know what to do." General Padmanabhan said India was closely monitoring the situation across the border. "We watch every activity across the border and round off our knowledge base accordingly."

General S. Padmanabhan briefs the media.
On Dec 21, following a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS) chaired by Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee, India recalled its High Commissioner to Islamabad. It also decided to terminate the Delhi-Lahore bus service and the Samjhauta Express train running between the two countries for the past 25 years with effect from January 1, 2002. The hardening of the Indian stand was because the government had not seen any attempts on the part of Pakistan to take action against the terrorist outfits of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

With the two sides locked in an eyeball-to-eyeball position, Pakistani troops started laying mines along the LoC to prevent the Indian forces from marching into their territory. The Indian forces too started to mine the border belt to check infiltration from across the LoC. Following the deployment of additional troops and mining of the border belt from Uri to Kupwara and from Kupwara to Rajouri the rate of terrorist infiltration from Pakistan markedly declined.


Indian soldiers prepare landmines for use.
On Dec 25, Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing in the Samba, Poonch and Rajouri sectors. In retaliation the Indian troops unleashed 82 MM mortar shells and heavy machine gun(HMG) fire. More than 12 Pakistani posts and 20 bunkers were blown to smithereens. At least 30 Pakistani soldiers were killed and more than 60 Pakistani troops wounded in the retaliatory action.

Taken back by the massive Indian counterattack, Pakistani troops moved high-calibre weapons across Poonch and Rajouri. It also deployed more than 15 medium range ballistic missile batteries along the LoC in almost all sectors from Akhnoor to Poonch while rushing in more troops from 1 Corps to reinforce the ranks of 10 and 30 Corps.

Pakistani medium range Ghauri missile.
On Dec 26, following the US declaration of LeT and JeM as terrorist organisations, the Pakistan government came under intense international pressure to act against these groups. Pakistan police put the chief of JeM, Maulana Masood Azhar under house detention and arrested 30 of his followers. It also froze the assets of Lashkar-e-Taiba. This was the first time Pakistan appeared to have taken a semblance of action against these terrorist groups after they were directly implicated in the parliament attack.

On Dec 27, India expressed its displeasure at the inadequate steps taken by Pakistan to rein in its terrorist groups. India cut its mission strength in Pakistan by half and banned overflights by Pakistani planes. In addition, the Indian Army started laying mines all along the International border and LoC and moved its troops closer to the border.


Indian High Commissioner Vijay Nambiar and diplomatic staff return from Islamabad.
Taken back by the Indian posturing, Pakistan deployed its Green Arrow missiles and moved another division of its troops on the border. It also started unprovoked shelling and firing on Indian posts along the border.

On Dec 28, India asked Pakistan to hand over 30 hardcore terrorists responsible for various terrorist acts on Indian soil. Asserting that Pakistani terrorists had crossed the "Laxman rekha" by attacking the Parliament House, Home Minister L.K. Advani said the war against terrorism waged by India would be decisive irrespective of whether the international community joined it or not. The next day, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh handed over the list of 30 terrorists to the US Ambassador Robert Blackwill.

The rising temperature in India-Pakistan relations was evident in the mood of spectators at the beating retreat ceremony at Wagha border post in Amritsar. The ceremony witnessed by thousands of people from all over India and Pakistan experienced a charged atmosphere with jingoistic slogans reverberating along with the thumping of the jawans feet. More here.


An Indian guard and his Pakistani counterpart put up an impressive display at Wagha.
On Dec 30, US President George Bush telephoned Pakistan President Musharraf asking him to take “additional strong and decisive measures” against “extremists” blamed for violence against India. Describing Islamabad's steps against terrorist outfits as "a joke", Home Minister L.K. Advani sought firm assurances from Pakistan that it would act against them. Defence Minister George Fernandes, meanwhile, told his troops to be ready for war with Pakistan.

Taking India's threat seriously, President Musharraf approves war strategy after meeting with top brass at the military headquarters in Rawalpindi. Anti-aircraft guns are deployed on all key installations. Nuclear capable F-16 fighter aircraft take up positions at airbases in Nawabshah, Badin, Sukkhar and Talhar. The leave of doctors and paramedical staff was suspended and the medical authorities were asked to store emergency medicines.


Pakistani anti-aircraft guns are deployed and camouflaged.
Feeling the heat, Pakistan arrested LeT chief Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed and JeM founder chief Masood Azhar. The offices of these terrorist groups were sealed and hundreds of their supporters were detained.

On Dec 31, the Joint Secretary in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Mr Arun Kumar Singh, called in Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Jalil Abbas Jeelani and handed over a list of 20 wanted terrorists and criminals who were based in Pakistan. The government also made it amply clear to Pakistan that though the arrests of the terrorists were “a step in the correct direction”, New Delhi would settle for nothing less than the handing over of the arrested ultras to India.


Lashkar-e-Taiba's offices are sealed and its supporters detained.
On Jan 1, 2002, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf refused to hand over any of the 20 terrorists demanded by India. He said Islamabad would act against them only if credible evidence was provided by New Delhi and prosecute them under Pakistani laws. Pakistan also demanded more proof about the involvement of its terrorist groups in the attack on Parliament.

The Pakistan Army, meanwhile, continued its troops build-up along the border with India. It withdrew 50,000 of nearly 60,000 soldiers it had been deployed along the Afghan frontier and started redeploying them along the LoC with India.


Indian missiles deployed in the border regions.
The next day, Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee ridiculed Pakistan's demand for more proof. "It is meaningless to argue about proof. The documents and the bullets recovered from the bodies of the five terrorists who had attacked Parliament prove beyond doubt that they were Pakistani nationals and there is no need at all to give any further proof," Vajpayee said. "What more proof you need other than the five bodies that were lying outside Parliament House and the bullet marks on the building," he added.

Lashing out at Pakistan for its double standards on tackling terrorism, Vajpayee said Islamabad cannot have two contrasting standards for its western and eastern borders. "You fought terrorism in Afghanistan but aided it in Kashmir. This is not done. There are no two definitions of terrorism. Terrorism cannot be categorised. One needs to take a holistic view of the problem of terrorism," he said.


Indian missiles deployed in the Kutch region.
On Jan 3, Defence Minister George Fernandes said India would wait to see whether various diplomatic initiatives succeed in getting Pakistan to take effective action against the the terrorist groups. "If they should fail, then we are left with only the option that the United States exercised to deal with terrorism," he said. "If we are pushed," Fernandes warned, "we'll have to take on the war against terrorism all by ourselves."

The Defence Minister said India would not be deterred from acting militarily by Pakistan's possession of nuclear arsenal. "I can't believe they would ever use it for the simple reason that they would be inviting a second strike. That could be devastating given Pakistan's size." India, he said, had contigency plans for various military actions against Pakistan. If diplomacy fails, "there will be options, but once you speak about them then they don't remain options."


Indian armour on the move in the border areas.
On Jan 4, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation(SAARC) summit took place in Kathmandu, Nepal. On his arrival, Pakistan President Musharraf expressed willingness for a dialogue with Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee. However India was in no mood for any talks. "The atmosphere is not conducive for such a dialogue now," external affairs ministry spokesperson Nirupama Rao said. "Pakistan is well aware of India's position in this regard and the need for the creation of a climate conducive for this. We are yet to see satisfactory responses from Pakistan. That is where we stand at the moment."

At the inaugural session of the SAARC summit, President Musharraf sprung a surprise by shaking hands with Prime Minister Vajpayee, offering a "genuine hand of friendship". However, any expectations over breaking of ice in Indo-Pak relations was put to rest as Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee talked tough, accusing Pakistan of betrayal viz Kargil, IC-814 hijack, attacks on J&K Assembly and Parliament. Prime Minister Vajpayee urged President Musharraf not to permit any activity in Pakistan or any territory in its control which enabled terrorists to perpetuate mindless violence in India.

Pakistan President Musharraf shakes Vajpayee's hand.
On Jan 5, an accidental land mine explosion lead to the death of 18 Indian soldiers and 4 civilians. The soldiers had been unloading land mines from a truck near the Indo-Pak border at the village of Mahwa, about 20 kilometers northwest of Amritsar. The truck rolled back onto the mines causing them to detonate. More here.

On Jan 8, the Pakistan Airforce was reinforced by tens of brand new F-7MG fighter aircraft secretly shipped to it by long time ally China. Pakistan had ordered two squadrons, about 40 aircraft, to beef up its ageing fleet. Besides the fighters, a variety of airforce-related weapons and equipment were also delivered. More here.


Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres meets PM Vajpayee and Home Minister Advani.
On a visit to the country, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres offered India all possible support in its battle against terrorism. Peres, who held talks with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, following talks earlier with Defence Minister George Fernandes and Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, said Israel is ready "in every way we can to help and support India." More here.

On a visit to the United States on Jan 10, Home Minister Shri L.K. Advani held talks with Secretary of State Colin Powell and other top US officials and put forward a four-point demand for Pakistan to comply with to show its sincerity in combating terrorism. The Home Minister said India would not take "another betrayal" this time by Pakistan which had "breached the limits of our endurance". More here.

Home Minister Shri L.K. Advani and US Secretary of State Colin Powell following their meeting.
On Jan 11, Indian Army Chief S. Padmanabhan warned Pakistan against any nuclear strike, vowing maximum retaliation against any such move by Islamabad. "The perpetrator of that particular outrage shall be punished, shall be punished so severely that the continuation of any form of fray will be doubtful. . .We are ready for a second strike. Take it from me that we have enough." More here.

The same day, an Army convoy of 250 ammunition trucks were moving from Bhatinda in Punjab to the Rajasthan border, near Bikaner, when there was a blast in one of the trucks parked near Udasar Army area. A major fire broke out in the convoy, setting off explosions and gutting 60 to 70 tank ammunition-laden trucks. Ammunition worth crores were destroyed. More here.

Ammunition trucks on fire.
On Jan 12, in a much awaited nationally telecast address, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf announced a series of decisions to crack down on Islamic extremism. He banned the Jaish-e-Mohammad(JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT), responsible for the terrorist attack on Parliament but ruled out handing over their leaders to India. Musharraf said his country would continue to provide moral and political support to the "Kashmir movement" but will not allow "terrorism" in this regard. He also warned India that any attempt to cross the border would be met with "full force".

Musharrafs speech recieved a guarded response from India. External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh welcomed Pakistan’s declared commitment not to support or permit any more the use of its territory for terrorism anywhere in the world, including in Jammu and Kashmir. Home Minister L.K. Advani was not convinced. "There is so much skepticism among the people of India on the promises made by Pakistani leaders that only action, which makes the real difference, is acceptable," he said. More here.

External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh welcomes Musharrafs speech.
In the following days, Pakistani police sealed all the offices of the five religious and sectarian groups banned by President Musharraf. They included Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad(JeM), Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan(SSP), Tehrik-e-Jaffria Pakistan(TJP) and Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammedi(TNSM). Hundreds of their terrorist supporters were arested. "Police have arrested 1,141 militants and sealed 390 offices of the banned parties across the country," Pakistan Interior Secretary Tasneem Noorani told reporters.

The Pakistan army, meanwhile, started laying thousands of anti-personnel and anti-tank mines in the border areas across the international border in the Samba, Akhnoor, Hiranagar and Ranbir Singh Pora sectors. Pakistan also increased ballistic missile production, constructed missile launch sites and moved a number of missiles towards the border with India. More here.


Offices of Sipah-e-Sahaba, JeM and TJP are sealed.
On Jan 20, on a visit to the US, Defence Minister George Fernandes ruled out any de-escalation on the border until Pakistan delivered on the two demands that New Delhi had made in the aftermath of December 13 Parliament attack, i.e. cross-border terrorism be stopped and 20 terrorists and criminals figuring in India’s list be surrendered. More here.

The same day, there was confusion and controversy over the transfer of Lt. Gen. Kapil Vij, commander of 2 Corps. One of the three strike corps of the Indian Army, 2 Corps is trained, equipped and tasked to launch offensive operations inside enemy territory. Gen. Vij was replaced after the US government presented evidence of Vij's troops amassing in strike areas near the Pakistani border. The 2 Corps includes the 111 missile regiment which is equiped with the nuclear capable Prithvi missiles. More here.


Prithvi ballistic missile.
On Oct 16, 2002, Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee summoned a meeting of the National Security Advisory Board(NSAB), composed of India's top security and defense experts, to decide whether to withdraw hundreds of thousands of soldiers from its border with Pakistan. The meeting of the NSAB, the first in three years, came after Vajpayee's return from Europe, where EU leaders again pressed India for a pullback of troops from the border and dialogue with Pakistan. Indian Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani said the security situation needed to be reviewed in light of the recent elections in Kashmir as well as Pakistan. More here.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee(R) talks with his deputy Lal Krishna Advani at the start of a National Security Advisory Board meeting in New Delhi.
The meeting of the Cabinet's Security Committee(CSS), which was held after the NSAB meeting, decided to withdraw some troops from the International Border(IB) with Pakistan, but not along the volatile cease-fire line(LOC). "Troops will redeploy from positions on the international border with Pakistan, without impairing their capacity to respond decisively to any emergency," Defence Minister George Fernandes said. The redeployment included the entire international border area, which includes five Indian states.

On Oct 23, 2002, India started pulling back its troops from the border with Pakistan. "The process has started," Defence Minister George Fernandes said of New Delhi's decision to recall tens of thousands of soldiers from the border in an effort to ease tensions with its neighbor. Fernandes did not disclose the number of soldiers being withdrawn, but said their relocation would be completed in two months. "I would like to see all our soldiers returning home to celebrate the festival of Diwali, but that is not going to be possible."

Sanjay
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Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Sanjay » 20 Jun 2004 14:05

Nitin,
The argument that the "boys in the field" don't know anything has been used by Sawhney since he was a mediocre Asian Age correspondent.

It is also the greatest myth around. The IAF previously knew of the free-fall bomb deterrent - they would have needed to know numbers, yield and fuzing ( the latter two even for the trials ).

Furthermore, if you read anything Sawhney writes, remember that there isn't any new information anywhere - it's all recycled stuff from his Asian Age days.

The same rubbish arguements repeated over and over again. That's perhaps why M.J. Akbar cancelled his column in 1996.

RayC
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Posts: 4333
Joined: 16 Jan 2004 12:31

Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby RayC » 20 Jun 2004 18:19

"The concept of mere mobility now needs to give way to a broader concept of flexibility".

Calvin,

Note the words 'mere mobility' and link it with 'flexibility'. That's CS and the sky is the limit so to say.


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