IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby shiv » 17 Dec 2002 10:53

Originally posted by ramana:
Stimson Center's: Lessons Learned from recent South Asia brinkmanship
Wrong forum but it pi$$es me off no end to read these stupid - 9th grade schoolboy level "analyses" from dubious experts.

Again these jokers make the odious judgement of "brinkmanship" by India.

I just love that.

Here we have India stuck between the twin pincers of terrorism from Pakistan on the one hand and a nuclear threat from Pakistan on the other.

ANY reaction from India other than capitulation is called "brinkmanship"

The degree of hypo-competence I find at fairly "high" levels in the world is frightening. There seem to be too many people around whose views need to be discarded after one glance or less.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby ramana » 18 Dec 2002 21:11

Indiadefence.com take on the India Today article:

WHAT'S HOT? –– ANALYSIS OF RECENT HAPPENINGS


WHEN INDIA CAME CLOSE TO WAR

An IDC Analysis



New Delhi, 17 December 2002

This analysis has been sparked by an article in India Today of 16 December 2002

War is serious business. It is not a make believe drama, as our media has tried to analyse it, especially in respect of India's long mobilisation that commenced around 18 December 2001. Regrettably our media analysis of military affairs lacks depth, and we hasten to explain lest some feathers get ruffled.

The main objective of mobilisation was to put severe diplomatic pressure on Pakistan, and yet be prepared for the worst. The Government claimed success and the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Army Chief Gen S Padmanabhan had reported a lowering of cross border terrorism.


In India defence writing instead of becoming more professional and analytical, has allowed Bollywood histrionics and sensationalism to enter this vital sector of national security to titillate audiences. The British press concedes that "sensationalism and good bullshit, sells" and in UK they even unearth the Royal family’s dalliances, but are very careful when it comes to national security.

That model needs to be followed by Indian Editors, who are by and large very capable. The tools of computer graphics can easily conjure up make believe battle scenarios along the LOC in Kashmir, while cryptic lines posted alongside, can give a "Gung Ho" feeling to the gullible reader, but the story must have meat and substance.

Hence when a leading Indian weekly magazine delivered to its readers a sensational six page story on "When India Came Close To War", the story consisted of four beautiful colour spread pages with maps to grip the readers imagination, and only two pages of script which included Defence Minister's and Service Chiefs’ comments, which clearly implied that full scale war with Pakistan was not contemplated.

The dates of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meetings were highlighted, but there was no mention in the article whether the massive preparations needed as required by the War Book, viz. control of merchant shipping and rules of engagement, which are preludes to war, were taken.

Operational Orders for war and contingency planning are always part of a professional service and the Indian Armed Forces cannot be found wanting, but that does not mean they are ready for war. Much political direction has to be given and that is where India had been found weak.

The 1962 war and Op Pawan were glaring examples with great loss of uniformed lives and face. During the Kargil incursion in 1999, it took weeks to get political clearance for the IAF to support the Army, to evict the intruders from Indian soil, and in the case of Kargil 2 reported by media, the order came a little swifter.

It may be recalled Field Marshal S F Manekshaw took months to get the nation ready for war to ensure victory, and yet, India Today wishes us to believe we were ready for war in a few days after the 13 December 2001 attack on Parliament. The article also stated that India's second strike was ready to take on Pakistan's first nuclear strike, but there are not many takers of that view.

India’s Strategic Force is still to be announced and that involves command and control of India’s demated nuclear bombs. Dr Raja Ramanna India’s architect of the nuclear bomb, had stated that this aspect is the more challenging.


The Indian Navy had articulated that it would be possible, but difficult to wage war against Pakistan when some 40 foreign warships were milling around the Pakistan seas, engaged in the war on terror. Another view gaining ground was that the article was a deliberate part of the deterrence theory of India, to bring Pakistan to its knees. We now have a full-fledged Information Adviser to the Defence Minister and he is a former Defence PR man with experience in higher echelons. Information warfare is here to stay.

The West has just upped Pakistan’s credit ratings from B minus to B, and no one is admonishing President Musharraf for all his misdeeds, which are many. Some new strategy needs to be devised to see Musharraf stops cross border terrorism. The options could again be war or rapprochement, but with the BJP victory in Gujrat the winds portend war.

Yet this second opinion is to say war is serious business and must be taken seriously. This year the nation even forgot to celebrate the 1971 or Kargil wars and that is a pity.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Tim » 18 Dec 2002 23:18

"The article also stated that India's second strike was ready to take on Pakistan's first nuclear strike, but there are not many takers of that view."

What exactly does that mean? Is the author implying that India has no means by which to retaliate for a Pakistani nuclear strike? If so, that is NOT the view of most analysts.

Also, since the War Book is (according to my understanding) classified, it may not be surprising that the article did not specifically reference the War Book. That could get you arrested.

The author clearly believes the objective of the mobilization was purely diplomatic, and implies that any military connotation was defensive ("be prepared for the worst.") Yet on at least two occasions, according to India Today and many other sources (including the US government), India was preparing for offensive operations. It may be the author is trying to make too much of the distinction, in order to attack the media, or it may be that I'm just reading the argument incorrectly.

I'm not sure where he gets the idea that the article was "part of Indian deterrence theory" - there's no citation. Is he arguing this story was a deliberate government plant? That doesn't sound a lot like India Today to me.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby NRao » 18 Dec 2002 23:54

Tim,

His logic is:
1. This buil up was to support diplomatic efforts
2. Push comes to shove, India would need more than a few days to effectively wage a war.

India is more than capable for a 2nd strike, but this build up was not for the purpose of any type of a planned and immediate offensive.

Also, since the War Book is (according to my understanding) classified, it may not be surprising that the article did not specifically reference the War Book. That could get you arrested.
True. However, if one were expecting India to go to war, one would expect parts of the War Book to be implemented: ships, trains, buses, lorries (trucks), etc acquired by the Govt. We did not see much of this. IIRC, some trucks did support troop movement.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby ramana » 19 Dec 2002 00:41

The India Today article has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way!!!!!
Phoney war
Pravin Sawhney
Two issues have prompted this article. The first being the anniversary of Operation Parakram - the 10-month mobilisation by the Army which falls on December 19 - and second the voluminous disinformation regarding India's military plans for war in June. Prime Minister Vajpayee has already informed the nation that India was close to war with Pakistan on two occasions, in January and later in June. What he did not say is that the Army's offensive plans in June were so audacious that they had never been war-gamed before. The importance of revealing these plans is that the Army top brass was not deterred by Pakistani nukes.

With war clouds hovering on the horizon after the May 14 terrorist attack in Kaluchak in Jammu, leading analysts spoke of a "salami-slicing" of POK by Indian Armed forces. It was suggested that the Army would seek a shallow penetration all along the Line of Control to capture known terrorist infiltration routes in POK. The military action would be limited to POK with a shallow ingress to ensure that Pakistan's nuclear threshold is not crossed. Similarly, the recent issue of the weekly India Today magazine in its cover story has said the same thing a bit differently. According to the magazine, India's offensive 1 corps would engage Pakistan's offensive Army Reserve North (ARN) around southern Kashmir and Jammu area in an attrition battle. The "real offensive would be in POK by strike formations moved in from the east and tasked to capture strategic points used by Pakistan to push in terrorists." Nothing is further from the truth.






But, first a few facts. India has three offensive strike corps, 1, 2 and 21. Pakistan, on the other hand, has two strike corps, 1 and 2. Pakistan's ARN centres around 1 corps based in Mangla/Kharian, and has two holding corps under it, 30 corps in Gujranwala and 4 corps in Lahore. Pakistan's Army Reverse South (ARS) comprises of 2 corps based in Multan and has two holding corps, 31 corps in Bahawalpur and 5 corps in Karachi. There are unconfirmed reports in the Western media that Pakistan has independent armour worth a division around Karachi. It could actually be less.

India had moved nearly two-and-a-half divisions from the east facing China to the Jammu region in January. These divisions which have a dual-tasking role - against both China and Pakistan - have never been switched before for two reasons. India had feared that China could open up a military front simultaneous with an India-Pakistan war to relieve pressure on Pakistan. This time around, it was assessed that in the obtained geo-strategic environment, China would not openly support Pakistan. Moreover, Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons to safeguard its vital interests.

The second reason was that these divisions from the east need, at least, two to three months of re-orientation training to face the threat from Pakistan. It was felt that in a war with Pakistan so much preparation time would not be available. Hence, the dual-tasking role of these formations had remained largely on paper. Operation Parakram, however, provided this opportunity to the Army. Between January and June, the Army had enough time for training and re-equipping these formations for an operational role in Jammu division.

India's Jammu corridor is considered militarily vulnerable. Because Pakistan's 1 corps has traditionally been used here in the Shakargarh bulge, India's 1 corps has remained in this politically sensitive area to counter any Pakistani offensive. In short, India's 1 corps is meant to counter Pakistan's 1 corps in the Jammu and northern Punjab region, while India's 2 and 21 corps threaten Pakistan's 2 corps in the Rajasthan sector.

Against this backdrop, Operation Parakram's military aims were changed drastically from January to June. In January, Operation Parakram was meant to support offensive actions in POK, and to be prepared for a full scale war if Pakistan chose to escalate the conflict outside J&K. From then until May, the Army was focussed on how to regain the element of surprise. The initial military aim no longer looked attractive because Pakistan had taken adequate counter-measures to meet India's threat in POK.

It was decided that India should utilise its three military advantages: Its three strike corps as against two with Pakistan, the Indian Air Force's edge over the Pakistan Air Force, and the fact that the mountain divisions moved from the Chinese front were operationally re-oriented and ready for war. Sometime in March, 1 corps was moved to Rajasthan. The Indian Army had all its three strike corps poised in the Rajasthan desert. The military thinking was that once the balloon went up, instead of seeking multiple thrusts in POK, the Army would cross the border boldly in the Thar. Sooner rather than later, Pakistan would move its Army Reserve South to check the Indian advance. Considering India had all three strike corps in Rajasthan, Pakistan would have little option but to move its Army Reserve North also southwards to meet the growing Indian threat. An ensuing attrition battle would end with India's advantage.

In consonance with the Army doctrine which states that: "The Indian Army believes in fighting the war in enemy territory. If forced into a war, the aim of our offensive(s) would be to apply a sledgehammer blow to the enemy," the Army strategy would have been manoeuvre and attrition combined in the desert. This strategy would have given India two advantages: Pakistan's military centre of gravity, which are its two strike corps, would have been destroyed in details, and land captured in the Thar would have yielded some advantage on the negotiating table after the war. The earlier military aim of Operation Parakram, therefore, stood modified.

Both the US and Pakistan got wind that India had moved its 1 corps between its 2 and 21 corps in Rajasthan. This explains why unlike in January, the US in May issued advisory to its nationals to leave India and Pakistan immediately. It has been the US thinking that a full scale war between India and Pakistan would easily escalate into a nuclear exchange. Pakistan, meanwhile, test-fired two nuclear capable ballistic missiles in May. This was meant as a warning to India to apply brakes to its most ambitious military plans ever made.

In hindsight, three observations can be made about India's June plans: One, the Army does not believe in the concept of a limited conventional war. Two, the Army believes that Pakistan will not use its nukes early in a war, and most importantly, it appears that the Indian political leadership was deterred by Pakistan's nukes more than Pakistan was by India's putative nuclear second strike capability.

(The writer is co-author with Lt General (retd) VK Sood of the forthcoming book Operation Parakram: The War Gone Wrong)

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Tim » 19 Dec 2002 01:05

Now THAT is a very interesting article, confirming a lot of reports that I've heard.

However - it's worth pointing out that in terms of Indian strategy, whether the Indian ARMY is deterred by Pakistan's nukes or not is irrelevant. Control over military operations is ultimately political - and the political leadership evidently takes a different view.

This also may help explain the evacuation order. If the US picked up the Rajasthan deployment (which I am sure it did), Pakistan threatened nuclear use (which they did at the UN on May 30, IIRC), and Indian MILITARY leaders made noises of ignoring it (which this article implies), the Embassy might very well think it was time to evacuate because war was imminent. This may be overstretching, but it also may be revealing. I believe that US policy in the event of imminent war in the region is diplomacy, evacuation, and then emergency humanitarian relief. This may have been a template.

I'm going to have to read this book.

Tim

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Y I Patel » 19 Dec 2002 01:22

IDC lives up to its reputation with this so called analysis. I tried hard - really hard - to understand what IDC were trying to say, but ended up concluding that the IDC analysis is nothing but vacuous non sequiturs and generalised whining.

So okay, they say that the deployment was aimed at coercing Pak. No $hit, Jose. Ramayan is over, and you tell me Hanuman burnt down Lanka to coerce Ravan. What an absolutely priceless insight.

Back to the more educative and edifying task of making sense of the events that took place during Parakram. Some big gems that I have uncovered so far:

(1) After Vij's dismissal but before Kaluchak, there were some reports of a redeployment of Indian strike formations. At that time, we did not know what to make of that piece of news... now we know that the movement alluded to was 21 corps moving from the Jaisalmer-Bikaner region (where it was co-located with 2 corps) to the Barmer region. In retrospect, there were some hints that this may have happened, especially in Rahul Bedi's articles in Telegraph

(note how close he is to what IT says)
<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$JWRDWUQAAA2ZFQFIQMGSFFOAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2002/06/07/wkash207.xml&_requestid=57576&_requestid=58915">Link</a>

(2) Regarding 21 corps moving to Barmer, some may remember an interesting discussion we had at the begining of Parakram regarding the possibilities of launching an attack in that region! I may have the thread saved at home so let me check back. So now we have confirmation that the Barmer area is seriously being considered for a massed armour thrust. This may be in conjunction with another shallow thrust towards RYK, since the logistics of two such deep thrusts would be daunting. Maybe IA has worked this problem out.

More later, gotta run.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Sanjay » 19 Dec 2002 03:44

Pravin Sawhney's analysis fits in with much of his earlier work.

I find Pravin Sawhney's use of the word "putative" somewhat disconcerting.

My big concern is that journalists are doing more to undermine India's second strike capability than anyone else !

No journalist has ever bothered to make any effort to investigate the formation of 444 and 555 Missile Groups with the Agni IRBMs and MRBMs.
George says Agni is under induction and we have nothing to the contrary.

As such why use such a dubious word ?

The IDC analysis is repulsive and disgusting - sorry to use such words - but a professional military officer ( Ranjit Rai ) should not allow his rabid opposition to the current government to infect IDC.

What gets me is this:

India has actually conducted nuclear and missile tests; India has formally announced that it's missiles are in production and under induction and the government, Chengappa and Subramanyam have all confirmed production of nuclear weapons and confirmed that the govt. is committed to an austere but secure second-strike capability.

Why the doubts by IDC and even Sawhney ?

The doubts without real evidence to support them only serve to confuse the debate.

Regarding the Strategic Command - back in 1998 -it was envisaged by the Indian Army as a planning command rather than an operational one. The delivery systems were to be assigned to the individual services and the warhead to DRDO/BARC and the AERB. This was the plan from the outset.
All nuclear contingency plans were to be done under these constraints.
So the absence of a formal Strategic Command with a building and a budget and an infrastructure may not be the big issue that IDC makes it out to be.
The lack of the Strategic Command does not mean that the Indian second-strike capability is ineffective.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby subhendu » 19 Dec 2002 03:45

Small deviation...

Based on the VK Sood article, it seems that the IA should go in for a 4th srike corps. This would allow a thrust into the Thar using overwhelming force by 1, 2, and 21 - and tie up the TSP 1 & 2 strike corps.

The 4th strike corps would be free to go after military objectives in PoK.

What do the gurus think? Are we limited to 3 strike corps due to costs or is it more than enough in a Indo Pak/China war?

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Sunil » 19 Dec 2002 07:01

This thread has me gripping my sides and rolling on the floor with laughter.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby debjani » 19 Dec 2002 09:51

Am I to understand that IA mobilised for playing marbles? Expensive game of marbles I must say.Indeed the India Today article was short on details, but the other cove IDC{?} is tripe.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Y I Patel » 21 Dec 2002 03:36

Sanjay

The IT article, and other articles that appeared earlier, indicate that it took about 15-20 days to complete the deployment. IIRC you mention a far shorter deployment time for the strike corps in your book. Of course, the currently reported time includes westward movement of Eastern Command formations, so we can't really say anything more about how long it took the "essential" offensive elements to deploy. Which further leads to the issue of what are "essential" offensive elements.

In short, do you have any comments on this aspect (ie IA deployment times and capabilities)?

Also, Admins may recollect Aman slipping in a juicy tidbit in another thread. Now may I humbly ask all ye gentlemen to do a very easy 2+2 regarding that plus PS's article. I can expand further, admins permitting. Note that the developments he (and others) allude to will force us to use the paradigm of a massed 2/3 corps attack in our future total war analyses.

For that unmentioned reason, I would assign pretty good credibility to some of what he says. But I still do take exception to his use of "putative", like Sanjay does. I don't know why PS has changed so much. He actually used to be a good reporter a while ago. His downhill slide has been rapid. Sanjay any clues?

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Surya » 21 Dec 2002 04:17

What absolutely ****es me off is this reporting that Pakistan's threat to nuke deterred us. If anything deterred us it would be Uncle next door and using his economic might to make it painful for us.

And why it comes form the likes of Sawhney perplexes me except a feelng that somehwere he must have felt left out like Manoj Joshi who also then went against the GOI/Forces.

Egos - so fragile

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Anoop » 21 Dec 2002 04:49

YIP or any one else:

The Pravin Sawhney article talks about the change in IA plans and hence deployment between January and June. There is no mention of the change in IAF deployment for this period. The India Today article by Shishir Gupta also does not mention any change in IAF posture during this period.

My question is, could the IAF provide the same level of support to the 3 strike corps in Rajasthan (as per Pravin Sawhney's claims of IA plans) if they were still deployed according to the original plans for limited thrust in PoK? Or is it that changes in IAF deployment were not reported?

Also, as mentioned by others, Pravin Sawhney's claims that Indian political leadership was deterred by Pakistan's nukes are not substantiated by anything in his article. This is in keeping with his earlier articles playing up Pakistan's nuclear strike ability while lamenting the lack of our own. Is he trying to build a case for a less recessed deterrent?

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Y I Patel » 21 Dec 2002 06:02

Now that Imtiaz answered my riddle on the infrastructure thread, let me post this here as well and tie it in with deployment reports...

CCEA approves highway, railway projects

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/comp/articleshow?artid=31793130

The second railway project involves gauge conversion of Sriganganagar-Sarupsar Canal loop from meter gauge line to broad gauge line at a cost of Rs 112.28 crore.

Completion of this project will provide an alternative route between Bhatinda and Suratgarh while providing the infrastructure for the development of this area and Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, official spokesperson said here.

The total conversion project of 115.76 km is expected to be completed in five years.

It is a part of integrated project which has three components including NH component for improvement of 367 km of NH 34 between Barasaat and Raiganj, state highway component for 150 km on SH-10 and SH-1 and 100 km of rural access roads.
Now Sri Ganganagar is the approximate area where Kapil Vij got his kicks by making Mush camouflage his pants a deeper shade of brown. It is also the area JJ Singh and BS Thakur tried the Ganganagar Tango.

The broad gauge conversions will help speed up logistics in the assembly areas of the strike corp(s). This should be taken in conjunction with the recent efforts to extend BG to Anup Garh in this area. Also of related interest are similar efforts to build a new BG line upto Munabao in Rajasthan (from Udaipur IIRC).

These efforts lend meat to assertions like the one by Pravin Sawhney that IA was threatening a massed strike by 1 and 2 corps in the RYK region. 21 corps, according to IT, was with 2 corps in the Bikaner region before being shifted farther south to Barmer.

Now synthesize these strike corps dispositions with recent efforts to build up infrastructure in Rajasthan, and you can see that GOI is putting its money where its strike corps play.

Same holds for the developments on the Eastern Front.

Since the admins have been noncommital about my request for expanding on one other issue, I am going to do my dance of seven veils here...

Tell me, if 1 corps moves out from the Jammu area, how does IA compensate for the loss of a defensive-offensive strike formation in a strategically vulnerable area? Certainly not by leaving a gaping hole. So who fills the hole?

Anoop
IAF deployment, unlike PAF's, was well balanced between WAC and SWAC. SWAC would have had no problem providing support to IA as the deployments stood. Air power, in any case, is less dependent on basing to express itself. It would not take Kichha long to send a squadron or two southwards to meet unexpected demands.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Anoop » 21 Dec 2002 06:17

Thanks, YIP. I was thinking along the same lines too but wanted to make sure.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby debjani » 21 Dec 2002 06:50

YIP,
Interesting!

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Sanjay » 21 Dec 2002 19:20

Regarding IA deployment - the deployment mentioned in the article was on a scale unseen in decades. Total mobilization, deep reserves, Strike Corps, munitions stocks - everything the IA would have needed to wage a sustained war.
Strike Corps can generally move pretty fast on their own.
I also think there was a bit of deliberate posturing involved - nothing was rushed to the front. There was a deliberate, unrushed deployment in full view of the media. Leads me to think that the GOI was at least partly using the army as an extension of diplomacy without really wanting war - though being prepared for that contingency. Moreover, I think the brass of the armed forces were aware of this strategy and approved of it.
Pravin Sawhney has traditionally been next to clueless about the IAF. Sorry but it's true ! In my long friendship with him, the thought that the IAF could have detailed battle plans of its own hasn't interested him much and frankly it hasn't interested too many journalists at all.
I regret to say that the quality of military journalism in India is abyssmal and that includes the work of former military officers - mind you, military journalism in general is pretty bad worldwide.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Rudra » 21 Dec 2002 22:50

subhendu, people have been angry for a decade why Sundarji's original army mech vision was not even partially pushed through into completion.

It maybe India wants to appear fat, dumb and slow by being fat & slow. lessen the threat radiated or whatever and get a few shabasis from Unkil ?

with the large number of armd indep brigades and elements from other RAPID divs, the 3 strike corps can be made fully mech (faster, meaner) and a 4 th strike corps formed.

yesh, the opex will be more...but the benfits are a decisive & deadly superiority over PA. with 2 strike corps, shortened lines, built up fortifications, indep brigades it is difficult for our 3 strike corps to achieve a soft spot and lance through.

the prospect of a huge 4th stike corp and a arty div appearing in Rann of Kutch while the other 3 face off in the North against ARS+ARN is quite a nasty one.

it needs aggressive political leadership or a gung-ho guy like Rajiv willing to push the envelope and try new things. out of 10 things, 7 will fail, 2 will work somewhat and 1 will be the war winner. :mad:

the only failure is not even trying.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Kakkaji » 23 Dec 2002 20:18

Army planned offensive in PoK in January

http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/dec/23army.htm

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Sribabu » 23 Dec 2002 23:28

Originally posted by RajeevT:
Army planned offensive in PoK in January

http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/dec/23army.htm
What about this?
Vij did not talk of plans to attack PoK: Spokesman

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby anil » 23 Dec 2002 23:51

Am I the only one here surprised about the apparent willingness of senior brass and "other army sources" to willingly disclose material facts about planned operations that were to have taken place but got cancelled?

Eventually if push comes to shove the odds are that most of the deployment and objectives will be the same ... aren't we just showing our hand to the enemy?

I would much rather the senior brass give the standard "befitting reply" line than blabber away ... this kind of empty bravado could be very harmful.

There has been much talk here about us having thoroughly probed PAK deployments and seen how they would handle a war situation ... well conversely they have also seen how we would handle it and what our current battlefield plans are.

No use pulling the sword out of the scabbard if there is no intention to use it.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Badar » 24 Dec 2002 00:19

Hi,

aren't we just showing our hand to the enemy?

anil, you assume that the enemy didnt have any idea what was actually happening in Indian decision making circles and on the field until the brass opened their mouth.

No use pulling the sword out of the scabbard if there is no intention to use it.

Its good to occasionally remind interested parties that the scabbard is not empty.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby NRao » 24 Dec 2002 00:58

Am I the only one here surprised about the apparent willingness of senior brass and "other army sources" to willingly disclose material facts about planned operations that were to have taken place but got cancelled?
No.

Two items for considerations: First, some targets are known to both (and the US of course!) sides. It is a given. The challenge probably is to get the target inspite of the odds. Kargil is a good example I would imagine. Everyone in TSP and their grandfather knew that the IA was coming. No surprises to anyone any where. Second, plans are fluid. Having said that I would expect IA/IAF/IN to model their efforts after the US stand-off wars in the recent past with a combined dose of IA budhi + bravery.

I am not that much concerned about plans leaking out during such times. If it were to get out just prior to an attack that would be a big concern. Equally of concern if not more is the traditional behaviour of politicos to return what was gained by blood. The last is truely pathetic since we have really not got anything in return. Every TSP "leader" charts the same course.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Kakkaji » 24 Dec 2002 05:16


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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby shiv » 24 Dec 2002 06:32

Originally posted by RajeevT:
Dangerous deductions

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=15338

Will the Indian armed forces and politico-military apparatus be ready? Not a chance, if the smugness that prevails at the apparent ‘success’ in mobilisation persists.

Except for some low level equipment deficiencies brought to light by Kargil, not one weapon system has been acquired relevant to striking the terrorist camps in PoK. All these systems are useable only in joint operations. The abrupt termination of higher defence reform has left the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) with lots of ideas, responsibilities and no money.

If the establishment feels we are ready, why not let ARTRAC or IDS run a simulation of a cross-border strike referred by those outside the system with no requirement to toe any party line?

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby shiv » 24 Dec 2002 06:42

Allow me to add another 1/2 pice to the groups of 2 paises already added :)

Someone has used the analogy of a sword unsheathed and then replaced in the scabbard without bloodying it.

Without going into the question of whether this was a defeat or victory for anyone, there seems to be, among a fairly wide spectrum of Indians a general feeling of suppressed rage and resentment that blood was not drawn.

I just wonder if this unassuaged feeling will lead to great pressure on any future government to actually draw blood, perhaps cut off an ear or gouge out an eye the next time it sees fit to use the Indian armed forces to give a "jhasa" (to use a term from my schooldays)

If political victory has been gained by mobilization, I am not certain that such a victory can be repeated by anyone.

JMT

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby debjani » 26 Dec 2002 12:44

Originally posted by Rudra Singha:
subhendu, people have been angry for a decade why Sundarji's original army mech vision was not even partially pushed through into completion.

While one wouldnt quibble about mechanisation of the IA, yet I am posing a 'thinker'. Would appreciate comments.

Mechanised forces can be used in deserts and plains. In both these terrain ocnfiguration, the dividing line is the International Border. All territories captured will have to be returned. However, it can be the 'bargaining' chip.

Where is the bone of contention? J&K.

Therefore, we must capture territory there.
Hence, where should be the emphasis?

The rupee runs that far and no more!

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Anoop » 26 Dec 2002 19:20

Originally posted by Ray:
Where is the bone of contention? J&K. Therefore, we must capture territory there. Hence, where should be the emphasis?
Raysaheb, hasn't the emphasis shifted from capturing terrority to destroying Pakistan's war making potential quickly and at minimum losses to ourselves? In that context, doesn't the mechanization of the IA become an important consideration? Looking forward to your comments.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Kakkaji » 31 Dec 2002 04:37

An assessment of General Paddy and Operation Parakram

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1021231/asp/frontpage/story_1529757.asp

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Raja Ram » 31 Dec 2002 13:43

Sanjay ji' observation that the deployment was a deliberate one done in the full view of the media and that it was something that was part of the GOI's plan to use in its diplomatic warfare must ring a bell to those who had taken the pains to read through my rambles of that time.

"War by a thousand threats" as someone here called it. This is the first time I am getting a confirmation from someone far more knowledgable than me that the hypothesis was correct. Thanks Sanjay.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Aditya G » 31 Dec 2002 21:23

Army planned offensive in PoK in January

(this is an old link posted above)

As part of Operation Parakram, the Indian Army had planned a major commando operation in January this year to hit and seal off major terrorist launching pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, but it was called off at the last moment, army chief-designate Lieutenant General N C Vij said on Monday.

"We had chosen a big objective and a major operation was planned," Gen Vij said while addressing the Parachute Regiment at its golden jubilee celebrations in Bangalore on Monday.

The general said men from the special forces, specialised units of the army and air force were to be involved in the attack.

Though the general did not reveal the target, army sources said the plan was to push in a brigade of commandos to capture terrorist ingress routes like the Haji Pir Pass, areas opposite Keran and Titwal sectors and areas in PoK across Drass and Kargil sectors.

Para-commandos drawn from the 9th battalion, 10th battalion, 1st battalion and 21st battalion of the special forces
were armed with American weapons like MP-4 and MP-5 assault rifles, infrared night devices, Kevlar bullet proof jackets and hi-tech frequency hopping communication sets.

The sources said a squadron of the Mirage 2000, which was to help in the mission by large-scale interdiction, had been moved to forward bases in Punjab for joint training with the ground forces.

However, the sources declined to give the reasons for calling off the operation, which would have been the largest ever undertaken by the army's special forces.

The army chief-designate said that this was not the first time that such a big special operation had been planned.

[b]He disclosed that towards the end of Operation Vijay in 1999, the Para Brigade was given the task of capturing the Pakistani base of <u>Gultari</u>. :D

However, Padmanabhan - who was also the first Army Chief to serve as Director General of Military Intelligence - did not elaborate as to how Musharraf became a misfortune for Pakistan and asked the media to draw its "own conclusions."

Admitting that retiring from service was "certainly the low point," the highly regarded General said he planned to go home "and do what the good Lord wills."

Earlier, at a simple ceremony in South Block, Gen Padmanabhan personally put the insignia of the full General on the uniform of Gen N C Vij and described him as an experienced soldier. "There is nothing which happens here that Gen Vij does not know. He was the Director General of Military Operation during Kargil and was the Vice Chief of Army Staff for a year," said Padmanabhan.

Vij has also commanded an anti-insurgency unit as well as a strike corps during his 40-year-long service.

While he was the GOC-in-Chief (Southern Command), Vij personally supervised large-scale relief operations undertaken by the Army in the wake of the January 2001 earthquake in Gujarat.

Later, Gen Padmanabhan wished the country a happy new year, stepped back from the spotlight and was seen taking a deep breath. A sigh of relief, perhaps.
Source: http://www.timesofindia.com

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby shiv » 31 Dec 2002 21:52

Originally posted by aditya.g:

On Kashmir, the outgoing Army chief said with better detection measures and new weaponry being deployed, the coming months would prove tough for the militants.
Source: http://www.timesofindia.com
[/QUOTE]

I saw an interview of Gen Padmanabhan on TV (Star) and what has been left of of the text here are the specific words he used with reference to what the army busied itself doing while mobilised.

The words he used with regard to the terrorists from Packistan were "They were slaughtered in large numbers"
:lol:

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Anoop » 02 Jan 2003 19:38

An analysis of Op. Parakram in a Q&A format by Maj. Gen. Ashok Mehta

'India was on brink of war twice'

Some excerpts:

On why India did not prosecute the war:

The US figures high on this list. The presence of US soldiers and airmen in Pakistani air bases and its naval armada in the Arabian Sea, fighting the war in Afghanistan. The Indian Navy had to be limited in its deployment up to 72 degrees longitude to ensure separation of forces.
But the paramount reason for India's 'restraint' was the knowledge that any military action would not achieve the political objective of stopping cross border terrorism. It would inflict punishment but not extract total compliance within the threshold of limited war, the gains from which were estimated to be of doubtful utility. The cardinal principle of war (which is the failure of diplomacy) is that you don't start it unless you are sure you can end it by being better off.
On Kargil II:

During Parakram, the Pakistan army tested the waters by intruding 800 m inside the Neelam sector in J&K and were immediately repulsed by an overwhelming application of force that made Musharraf call up Colin Powell to say India had declared war. It is clear that India did not pick up the gauntlet no doubt after undertaking a cost benefit analysis. In Pakistan's perception, India's tolerance threshold has lowered even further.
On cost :

The money and material costs of coercive diplomacy are huge: nearly 187 mobilisation-related casualties plus nearly Rs 7,500 crore. The Pakistan figure is near Rs 4,500 crore. But the US has given to its stalwart ally, a handsome package of $ 1.3 billion and military assistance for the help it has provided in fighting the US war in Afghanistan
On what next :

Much before our own ultimatum, the lesson in coercive diplomacy was taught by the US to Musharraf in September 2001 when he accepted 100 per cent the terms stipulated by the US to abandon the Taliban. For India it is essential that the National Security Advisory Board and the newly-created Integrated Defence Staff start working on the lessons. A limited war is feasible even for a limited political objective.

Pakistan's nuclear bluff (make Kashmir a nuclear flashpoint) needs to be called and its military disabused of its delusion of deterrence. To hurt Pakistan below the nuclear threshold so that it gives up jihadi terrorism refining both overt and covert capabilities which are usable is a must

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby debjani » 02 Jan 2003 21:34

Originally posted by Anoop:
Originally posted by Ray:
Where is the bone of contention? J&K. Therefore, we must capture territory there. Hence, where should be the emphasis?
Raysaheb, hasn't the emphasis shifted from capturing terrority to destroying Pakistan's war making potential quickly and at minimum losses to ourselves? In that context, doesn't the mechanization of the IA become an important consideration? Looking forward to your comments.
I am not a 'gung ho' chap I will concede. Can you really 'destroy Pak's war making potential'? If so, why has it not been done so far? If not, what should be done? Go for areas in dispute and capture even if it means bit by bit.
Its OK for folks who havent fought wars or havent seen reality to think of bifuracating Pak, attacking Karachi harbour and all that. I would recommend ask those who are in the armed forces regarding ground realities. If it was so simple, then we would not be sitting on our haunches.

However, I concede, each man to his views.

Next point. Pak is not serious abot taking J&K. If they do it, they will have a whole lot of extra population. Second parition will not be tolerated even by the sheep. Further, then no Muslim Nation will fill Pakistan's coffers since there will be no ummah jazz.

Therefore, capturing of J&K by Pak is out.

I am maybe wrong. Request education.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Anoop » 03 Jan 2003 01:11

Ray Saheb,

Thanks for the reply. I have to state right away that all my questions are posed merely to gain an understanding and not to challenge anybody's view point. In that vein, I'd like you to expand on the following points:

1. Re: Difficulty in destroying Pakistan's war making potential and why it hasn't been done

Perhaps I overstated the claim. As I understand it, after Pakistan's overt nuclearization the time available to conduct a military operation is substantially reduced. This means that a short, swift campaign that does not cross it's nuclear threshold (i.e. no capture of prime real estate like Lahore) but will be politically humiliating for Pakistan (a swift attrition of their forces), is in order. And the stalemate of 1965 should be avoided.

So, the Indian armed forces' objective will be to at least capture important passes in J&K in order to mitigate later infiltration attempts. My question is, if this operation is successful and made highly public, what will Pakistan's reaction be?

Will it confine it's attention to retaking areas in J&K (for use in negotiations) or will it expand the war across IB according to the 'riposte' doctrine? If PA succeeds in making headway either in Chaamb or further south, what will India's reaction to that be? Won't we have to expand the war further south in Rajasthan where armour can play a role (hence the original claim that mechanization of IA is important) and inflict damage before cessation of hostilities?

In this cycle of events, it appears that Pakistan will take measures that will yield very quick dividends, particularly Pakistan since it's more precariously balanced politically. Thus, PA will avoid trying to retake mountain territory since that is a slow process and seek to bring India to the negotiating table by action elsewhere. And India, in turn, will try to maximize it's bargaining chips at the table by weakening Pakistan on the battlefield, perhaps by liberal use of armour.

Paradoxically, the proposed overwhelming superiority in IA armour is to be used 'defensively' i.e. to either dissuade Pak from riposte or to teach them a lesson if they do.

2. Re: Pakistani plans to capture J&K.

As a layman, I hadn't really thought that they have the resources to do that. Since you bring it up, do your arguments (hostile population) not apply to Indian plans to retake PoK/PoNA too? In that case, should IA straight away not go for attrition of PA to score 'victory'?

Or are you suggesting that since Pak is not serious about taking J&K, they don't seriously value the loss of PoK/PoNA territory and that the cycle of events outlined in (1) will not occur?

3. On your point that IA should invest in trying to take PoK/PoNA.

What would the IA need to accomplish this? Heavy, long range artillery, area saturation weapons, paratroopers, what else?

Looking forward to expert comments from you. Actually rather than answering each point in my long post, I'd be better educated if you could paint a likely scenario of how the battle will evolve,particularly Pakistani moves to an Indian action in J&K.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby debjani » 03 Jan 2003 01:42

Originally posted by Anoop:
Ray Saheb,

Thanks for the reply. I have to state right away that all my questions are posed merely to gain an understanding and not to challenge anybody's view point.

_________________________________________________
I am quite sure that no one is challenging anyone. We are only expressing our views for what they are worth. _________________________________________________

In that vein, I'd like you to expand on the following points:

1. Re: Difficulty in destroying Pakistan's war making potential and why it hasn't been done
__________________________________________________
What is the war making potential of Pakistan? Her industries? Her military might? Her harbours? Isnt it obvious that if it could have been done, it would have been done?
_________________________________________________

Perhaps I overstated the claim. As I understand it, after Pakistan's overt nuclearization the time available to conduct a military operation is substantially reduced. This means that a short, swift campaign that does not cross it's nuclear threshold (i.e. no capture of prime real estate like Lahore) but will be politically humiliating for Pakistan (a swift attrition of their forces), is in order. And the stalemate of 1965 should be avoided.
________________________________________________
_______________________________________________ Capturing of cities would require immense amount of troops. Please try to visualise the enemy trying to capture the locality you live in. How may houses? Each one has to be cleared and the important ones held. Therefore how much of troops will be reuired? Therefore, cities are out as I look at it.
_______________________________________________
So, the Indian armed forces' objective will be to at least capture important passes in J&K in order to mitigate later infiltration attempts. My question is, if this operation is successful and made highly public, what will Pakistan's reaction be?
_______________________________________________
Not so violent as it would if Lahore is captured.

_____________________________________________
Will it confine it's attention to retaking areas in J&K (for use in negotiations) or will it expand the war across IB according to the 'riposte' doctrine? If PA succeeds in making headway either in Chaamb or further south, what will India's reaction to that be? Won't we have to expand the war further south in Rajasthan where armour can play a role (hence the original claim that mechanization of IA is important) and inflict damage before cessation of hostilities?

In this cycle of events, it appears that Pakistan will take measures that will yield very quick dividends, particularly Pakistan since it's more precariously balanced politically. Thus, PA will avoid trying to retake mountain territory since that is a slow process and seek to bring India to the negotiating table by action elsewhere. And India, in turn, will try to maximize it's bargaining chips at the table by weakening Pakistan on the battlefield, perhaps by liberal use of armour.

_________________________________________
No second guessing that. The pendulum swings!
_______________________________________
Paradoxically, the proposed overwhelming superiority in IA armour is to be used 'defensively' i.e. to either dissuade Pak from riposte or to teach them a lesson if they do.

2. Re: Pakistani plans to capture J&K.

As a layman, I hadn't really thought that they have the resources to do that. Since you bring it up, do your arguments (hostile population) not apply to Indian plans to retake PoK/PoNA too? In that case, should IA straight away not go for attrition of PA to score 'victory'?
______________________________________________
Capturing each mountain ridge is painstaking and slow. Therefore, we will ahve to go as far as we can go. The 1965 ops is an example. We went close to Olthingthang in the Kargil sector, but because the the follow up was slow, we had to come back to where the logistics reached.
______________________________________________

Or are you suggesting that since Pak is not serious about taking J&K, they don't seriously value the loss of PoK/PoNA territory and that the cycle of events outlined in (1) will not occur?

3. On your point that IA should invest in trying to take PoK/PoNA.

What would the IA need to accomplish this? Heavy, long range artillery, area saturation weapons, paratroopers, what else?

Looking forward to expert comments from you. Actually rather than answering each point in my long post, I'd be better educated if you could paint a likely scenario of how the battle will evolve,particularly Pakistani moves to an Indian action in J&K.

Thanks in advance.
Lastly I am NO expert. Just visit the forward areas and I reckon things will be clearer. I also am not one who advocates going into Pak, winning territory across the IB sacrificing
many lives and thereafter the war, give the territory back. I rather die and capture some ground that I dont have to give back and that is only possible in J&K. Therefore, hold Pak elsewhere and give the emphasis on J&K. But then, as I said, I am no expert.
Thank you for your patience to hear me out

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby shiv » 03 Jan 2003 11:35

Originally posted by anil:
Am I the only one here surprised about the apparent willingness of senior brass and "other army sources" to willingly disclose material facts about planned operations that were to have taken place but got cancelled?
What should really be more worrying to Packees is what is left unsaid.

People will say only what they want other people to hear. An analogy would be the GOI putting up an itinerary of the PM's travel plans like "The PM will arrive at Connaught Place at 7 AM sharp ina Yellow Ambassador. He will reach Delhi Airport at 9 AM and will enter from the xyz gate to take the 9-15 AM flight to Mumbai. His motorcade will take abc route to the airport"

Such a report makes you thinks "Hey these morons. Aren't the concerned about the PM's security?"

Nothing will happen exactly the way they report. In fact there may possible be far deeper reasons that we know for people to say some things out loud.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby ehsmang » 03 Jan 2003 14:24

Can somebody outline the minimum Indian military objectives in a short sharp conflict with Pakis?

What is the military significance of Haji Pir pass?

thanks

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby debjani » 03 Jan 2003 14:30

Originally posted by ehsmang:
Can somebody outline the minimum Indian military objectives in a short sharp conflict with Pakis?

What is the military significance of Haji Pir pass?

thanks
Haji Pir Pass has a lot of significance since it is the gateway to the Haji Pir Poonch Bulge. One may read Lt Gen [then Brig] LP Sen's book 'Slender was the Thread'.


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