Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Rangudu
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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Rangudu » 28 May 2004 00:02

One by one all Paki "anal"ysts are showing the brown shalwar syndrome while talking about Cold Start.

ramana
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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby ramana » 28 May 2004 00:37

R, Cold Start is giving them Cold Sweat. Again note his confidence about IA's inability to plan and coordinate such a campaign.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Rangudu » 28 May 2004 00:40

Ramana,

It is not confidence, but bravado mixed with hope.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby wyu » 01 Jun 2004 13:50

Originally posted by Johann:
For one thing it is not clear how 'cold' cold start is intended to be - 72 hours? 48 hours? 24 hours? 12 hours? etc.
Long time, my friend.

Not all elements may be required at any given time. The initial entry force (example recee or SOF penetration) should be done within 12 hours with a follow on force with 24.

We already know the reaction times of some InA bdes to be within 48 hrs. I would start watching bdes (as it seems to be the favour for the world over) as the underlying echelon for these Cold Start Units.

Of course, division can follow on within a matter of days as the relief force.

It should also be noted that this is primarily an Army initiative with rather limited AF or naval participation. As compared with our bdes, InA bdes are somewhat rather light on engr assets on the bde lvl which tends to restrict their mobility. This would suggest that these InA battle groups would already know their ground rather than have a general asset available to breach natural and man-made obstacles.

I'm more interested to see if the InA would further sub-divide their echelons into our style of battle groups and combat teams to speed up the deployment schemae.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Leonard » 04 Jun 2004 03:41

In March this year the Indian army leaked news about its new war doctrine called “cold start” Although details of the concept remain classified, what has been released provides some valuable insights. Notwithstanding the optimistic conclusions of most Indian analysts who have conducted a preliminary analysis of the new doctrine, it seems highly futuristic.

The doctrine’s overriding goal seems to be to enhance the Indian military’s offensive punch by transforming the military into a more mobile, technologically effective group. Given that in present-day wars, technological superiority and its effective use, and not excessive manpower prove decisive, this is a step in the right direction.

For the Indian military, this means addressing what is perhaps its biggest weakness – lengthy mobilisation time spanning between two to three weeks. The new doctrine will allow the Indian military to plan and execute a swift and targeted surprise offensive, something that is not possible under the current Indian war doctrine.

In this context, the concept is revolutionary (not to be confused with revolution in military affairs) and could result in a quantum leap in India’s war-fighting capabilities. However, there are serious operational and political impediments to the plan’s implementation. They are likely to keep it dormant for the foreseeable future.

The concept demands near-perfect operational execution for its success. There exists a considerable gap between current Indian capabilities and what is required to make cold-start executable. Two are very important to any fast-paced, targeted military offensive: close air support and logistic support.

The cold start strategy relies on eight “integrated battle groups” conducting swift-targeted operations inside Pakistani territory. The very concept implies the use of highly mechanised units (artillery, armour) on the ground with a key role for integrated air support. To ensure the success of any such operation, the IAF would have to establish complete air superiority and provide continuous close air support to army units on the ground. With the existing force structure, the IAF is unlikely to achieve this.

As Brig. Shaukat Qadir pointed out (“Cold Start: the nuclear side” – Daily Times, May 16, 2004) “although the PAF is greatly outnumbered by the IAF, when supported by our air defense forces, fighting within our own air space, the PAF could extract an unacceptable price from the IAF” This is especially true since under the new concept, where ground movement and air operations would have to be concurrent, the IAF would be unable to precede an army offensive in order to establish air superiority as it can afford to do at present. Most analysts believe the IAF would require around 70 combat squadrons in order to command complete supremacy in the skies, something that is extremely unlikely to materialise in the near future.

Second, an essential aspect of fast-paced, mechanised military operations is the rapid logistic support to fighting units. The Indian army’s current logistic support is mainly ground-based. Given the pace of operations under cold start, a ground-based capability, incapable of timely cross-country transportation, cannot suffice. The concept necessitates an effective role for Army aviation and IAF transport helicopters. Here, the Indian military’s capabilities are modest and unless upgraded manifold, will leave the cold start concept hamstrung, and too risky to be executed. Considering India’s projected military build up, operational impediments to cold start are likely to be overcome, but at their own pace.

But the political impediments to the implementation of cold start are even greater. Indeed, to overcome them New Delhi would need to overhaul its political thinking.

The first is the issue of civilian control over India’s military. India’s political leadership maintains complete control over the military to the extent that the latter’s operational planning and effectiveness is said to be compromised. In order for the cold start concept to be operationally effective, the country’s leadership would have to sanction military action ex-ante, once the decision to mobilise has been taken. The military commanders will have a free (at least freer) hand to unleash full combat potential upfront, without requiring periodic clearances from the DoD.

Although ex-ante political approval does not alter the fundamental civil-military equation, the fact is that this would represent increased operational autonomy for the military, which the Indian military has long desired. Since the Centre remains obsessed with maintaining complete control over the military, it is not likely to accept any development that hints at this tight control giving way – at least not under its current mindset.

Second, cold start would require a change in New Delhi’s mindset as far as war objectives go. The issue here is that of losing its own territory to the enemy. Indian views highlight that Indian leadership’s principal concern in all previous wars has been to not lose its own territory to the enemy (this is of course disputed by the Pakistani strategic enclave). Looking at cold start from this prism provides another reason to doubt if the leadership would be amenable to such a doctrine. In a military conflict where disparity between the two sides is not overwhelming, mobile warfare can result in rapid changes in territorial control.

For India, cold start would blur the division between its strike corps and defensive formations. What have traditionally been defensive formations could now be used for offensive operations. In addition to the frequent change in positions, in such operations, directions of attack change frequently as well, and can result in loss of territory even for the military set to achieve its objective on the whole.

Given the capabilities of Pakistan and India, and presuming that Pakistan alters its war-fighting formations to meet the cold start challenge, a conventional war could very well result in a loss of limited territory for India. This would in no way be acceptable to any Indian government, given the massive political fallout from such a development.

Finally, and most important, is the leadership’s unwillingness to accept the possibility of a nuclear retaliation from Pakistan. Contrary to what the Indian strategists seem to believe, cold start would necessitate that India flirt with Pakistan’s nuclear threshold. There are two aspects to it. First, if Indian forces carry out deep long-range strikes to inflict harm on Pakistani reserves in order to negate it an opportunity to retaliate strategically, a nuclear retaliation would become a realistic possibility.

Second, and less talked about is the fact that even a limited Indian operation cannot guarantee that Pakistan will not consider the nuclear option, or at least threaten to do so. The Indians have argued that Pakistan has proved through Kargil that a limited conflict is possible without tampering with the nuclear red lines. However, while that is so for Pakistan, it does not hold for India. This stems from the fact that Pakistan’s involvement in Kargil or attacks in Kashmir remain a question mark. Pakistan’s denial of any active role absolves it of direct involvement, making Kashmiri struggle groups and Pakistan (the state) two independent targets. This warrants an Indian attack against the struggle groups and not Pakistan (the state). As an Indian strike under cold start would be officially sanctioned and acknowledged, Pakistan’s retaliation against India (the state) would be warranted. Granted, a single or even two or three surgical strikes are not likely to bring unconventional retaliation. But it is almost certain to prompt Pakistan to issue nuclear threats in order to bring international pressure to bear on New Delhi, deterring it from conducting repeat strikes.

The point is that cold start, whether limited in its execution or otherwise, will end up inducing a nuclear dimension to the conflict. No political leadership would be willing to face such a situation, especially if it is almost certain to develop as part of an offensive strategy.

If Indian military’s strength could be brought in line with what cold start envisions, the concept could potentially enhance Indian military’s operational effectiveness. Yet, political impediments are unlikely to allow operationalisation of the concept in its present form. And it is just as well, given that this Pakistan-specific doctrine would upset the balance of power between the two neighbours.

Moeed Yusuf is a Consultant on Economic Policy at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute in Islamabad

From the TFT ...

Let the Pakis keep ON believing in TFTA concept .... :D :D

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby daulat » 04 Jun 2004 13:44

it would seem that the entirity of pakistani military strategy now seems to be to scream "I'll use the Nuke!!!" and run to Unkil

reminds me of the Black Sherriff in Blazing Saddles - "One false move and I'll shoot the n*****" as he points the gun to his own head

ramana
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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby ramana » 04 Jun 2004 18:35

Zinni has news for Moed of TFT. The RATS were fully invovled and uncle knew that very well. Read the part about Kargil in Zinni's book excerpt.

Link: Rangudu
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posted 03 June 2004 09:39 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
According to Gen. Anthony Zinni's book, Musharraf was the one who forced Sharif to go to Washington and order troop withdrawal.

http://www.satribune.com/archives/jun6_12_04/P1_kargil.htm

Also see how much Zinni and Mush were hand in glove.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Atish » 04 Jun 2004 23:33

Will the new govt support cold start? What is the decision making process in doctrine changes. Is it done through consultation with the opposition to ensure continuity on change of guard.

Whats the status of arun Singh now? Is the NSA part of doctrine decions?

Though MMS might be an OK guy overall, it seems to me (and I have heard from some sources), that he is a peacenik types. Dixit is my great big hope in this administration. Also can somebody provide some info on what can be expected from Pranab Mukherjee in this regard.

Atish.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Leonard » 05 Jun 2004 23:00

Brig. Qadir gives his Fast Depleting Brain Cells a Final Whirl

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_5-6-2004_pg3_3

<<<<
In times of war, the enemy’s physical capability for such undertaking can be established through intelligence [the number, composition and positioning of his forces]. On the confirmation of the capability, the intent can be a reasonable assumption so long as preemption does not result in endangering another location or force.

For example, if the Indians were amassing a force around Jullunder and Pakistan assumed an imminent threat to Lahore, it could pre-empt by two ways: by directly attacking the assembled forces, which might turn out to be costly or by attacking another location e.g. Hussainiwala Headworks with a relatively smaller force, pre-empting the enemy and forcing him to retake the headworks at the cost of its original mission [this would be because it could not afford to leave a force threatening its rear]. However, if Pakistan had misjudged the enemy’s intention, which was to attack Sialkot, then the preemption would fail and the unnecessary employment of its reserves for the capture of the headworks might endanger the defences at Sialkot.

However, there are also instances where preemption could be undertaken as the initiating act of war and we are also aware that since the advent of nuclear weapons, nuclear preemption is a much-debated doctrine. For example, during the recent standoff with India a couple of years ago, when both armies were amassed at the borders, if Pakistan had misinterpreted a movement of enemy forces or if the enemy forces had undertaken a ‘forward assembly’, threatening a vulnerability of Pakistan, Pakistan could have initiated the war by pre-empting enemy forces from exploiting that vulnerability.

In such an eventuality, the capability of the enemy is established but his intent might not: the forward assembly might have been undertaken for this very purpose, forcing Pakistan to initiate the war by pre-empting in defence of its vulnerability; or, the forward assembly could again be preparatory. In either event, pre-emption might be an error of judgment and could initiate the very act that was sought to be avoided: war.

>>>

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Johann » 06 Jun 2004 00:55

Originally posted by wyu:
Originally posted by Johann:
[b]For one thing it is not clear how 'cold' cold start is intended to be - 72 hours? 48 hours? 24 hours? 12 hours? etc.
Long time, my friend.

Not all elements may be required at any given time. The initial entry force (example recee or SOF penetration) should be done within 12 hours with a follow on force with 24.

We already know the reaction times of some InA bdes to be within 48 hrs. I would start watching bdes (as it seems to be the favour for the world over) as the underlying echelon for these Cold Start Units.

Of course, division can follow on within a matter of days as the relief force.

It should also be noted that this is primarily an Army initiative with rather limited AF or naval participation. As compared with our bdes, InA bdes are somewhat rather light on engr assets on the bde lvl which tends to restrict their mobility. This would suggest that these InA battle groups would already know their ground rather than have a general asset available to breach natural and man-made obstacles.

I'm more interested to see if the InA would further sub-divide their echelons into our style of battle groups and combat teams to speed up the deployment schemae.[/b]
Glad to see you over here Colonel.

I dont know if you have gone through the whole thread but there are references to the formation of 8 'integrated battle groups' for offensive action to replace the role of the three strike corps, although exactly what that means is unclear. The term may have come to mean something completely different to the IA such a brigade or even division size force. As you said the TO&E changes will explain things.

No doubt that the nature of the situation gives commanders time beforehand to become very intimate with the terrain and their options. However, given the description of the density of the minefields and ditch-cum-bunds any offensive action in the Punjab would heavily depend on combat engineer assets in at least the breaching force. If the penetrations were relatively shallow as reported the 'integrated battle groups' themselves could probably remain on the lighter side.

The current open source descriptions talk about integration of all three service efforts, but the IAF appears to be resisting a unified operational level command structure with a Joint Force Commander and JFHQ (which the IA naturally believes would be based on its regional theatre army commands), with all service elements under opcon.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Rudra » 07 Jun 2004 19:56

REDIFF.com. I guess Cold Start would be a part
of this also.

Army top brass meet in Shimla

June 07, 2004 19:10 IST

For the first time in its history, the top brass of the Indian Army will discuss for four days from Tuesday to evolve a doctrine for the forces.

While the Navy already has a doctrine of growing into a 'blue water' force aimed at transcending the Indian waters, the Air Force doctrine aims at a 'strategic role'.

The four-day conference of the army commanders in Shimla would give a final shape to the army doctrine, which aims to cover all security aspects from terrorism to nuclear war.

"This is a doctrine for the Indian Army, The Air Force has one and the Navy also has one," Army Chief General N C Vij told reporters at Shimla on the eve of the conference.

Army sources said that evaluation of the doctrine had been completed at formation levels. "Whatever is not
classified would be made public," a top army officer said.


He said after formulating the doctrine, the Army, Navy and the Air Force would sit together to evolve a joint forces doctrine. "The thought process is very much there," he said.

All major defence forces including those of the United States and Britain already have their own doctrines, outlining the strategic role they want to play in maintaining security and peace.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Vick » 07 Jun 2004 20:00

"Joint forces doctrine"

That's the key!

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Rudra » 07 Jun 2004 20:29

to deal with the Tibet issues we must turn conventional TSP-centric doctrines on its head. the general "model" has been we work in good faith and put head in sand, then PRC develops a point of pressure by setting up a new base or building a new road , then we jump to attention and develop a response.

that has to change.

1st indian airborne div (3 airmobile/heli) brigades is a must. goal should be to corner a PRC brigade or two from all sides, decimate them with minimal friendly losses and withdraw gracefully.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Calvin » 19 Jun 2004 21:21

The Simla meeting should have gotten over by the 11th, have there been any media comments? The one general comment to make is that individuals and companies that are constantly thinking about their weaknesses and addressing them tend to be exceptionally successful. While paranoia helps some to survive, it is that harsh evaluation of weaknesses that mark those that survive from those that succeed.


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