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Posted: 20 Apr 2006 23:35
by ManuJ
Dileep, you keep getting better and better. Loved these lines:
Pakistan isn't just a country .. it is a festering sore in the social fabric of India.. nuking them to bits isn't going to make the hole go away, it is just going to make the hole permanent. The idea of Pakistan has to die first...


Posted: 21 Apr 2006 00:00
by Dileep
Let me put on record that the e-mail and conversation of the "Ascetic" is not my creation. Someone who fits the description of "The Ascetic" wrote it. In fact the description of Ascetic is made up to suit him, his former association with BR, his current absense from BR, and his contribution in building the current scenario. I simply transplanted them to an analogous spyworld in the story.

Posted: 21 Apr 2006 00:28
by Shankar
Group captain nadita sahani thanked the fighter jocks and all the stars and ofcourse god profusely as she lined up for her final apprach to 10000 ft main runway of the base . In the distance she could clearly see the navigation lights of two usaf f-15s with their full warload of 4 amraams and sidewinders zooming out for positive ident on the sukhois and mirages before giving them the clerance to land . If her intel pre flight brief was tight these are the last of half a dozen off eagles still remaining in afganistan to offer some kind of air cover to sketal nato ground troops responsible for security and law and order in capiatal kabul . Within a few weeks they too would be gone and the IAF will have to take on a far bigger role in the region .The conflict between usa and iran was turning nastier by the day and western ground forces were definitely not welcome in the islamic republic of afganistan onec more.

The mountain surrounded modern airbase was in fact the only air base in whole of afganistan long enough to take on her her aicraft and offered some kind of protection from sniper fire since nato forces regualarly sanitised the area since bagram was thier lifeline to civilisation and sanity.They simply did not understand the afgans ,their free roaming gypsy spirit and sense of fierce independence . The few short years of bohemie in post taliban era was now gone and they now looked forward to the exit of last of nato troops who they found very much alien to thier conservative muslim culture and way of living . Probelm was stong taliban elements still remained in the countryside particualarly in the southern countryside bordering pakistan and around the big cities of heerat,kandahar and ofcourse kabul . The president did not much fancy his chances against those even with brand new us trained army and a small airforce . Some one had to fill up the power vacuum and india was the first choice .

The nasal twang of air trafic controller brke into her thoughts as she saw in the distance the runway lights and the perimeter search lights of the base

- jumob flight -bagram tower - make your altitude 3000 ft - fly straight in-runwat 24 is at your 0ne o clock - make landing interval 10 minutes please- you may switch on your landing lighs only at 1000 ft altitude for security reasons -advised to deploy standard safety measures -over

- bagram tower - altitude 3000 ft - have runwat 24 in sight - landing interval one zero minutes - deploying safety measures now -understand cleared to land

With that group captain sahani slowly reduced power setting on her four engines to 70% max and the whine of qudra jet quitened down considearbly ,in the same motion she adjusted the flap setting to 15 degree and the usal wind buffeting hit the aircraft as the turbualnce created by the flaps and slats rocked the heavy aircraft for a few seconds then died down .Air speed down to 250 knots she lowered the undercarriage once again the vibration of additioanl air turbulanec and then the firm thud of all the wheels locking into position .The air speed quickly bled down to 200 knots when she switched on the landing lights .Once again she changed the flap settings to 35 degree as she calmly commited the 100 ton plus aircraft into landing and the nose lifted up a little as the il-76 glided over the runway end and she cut engine power to idle and pulled on the control stick a little flaring for a perfect landing with a strong thud and the thrust reverser kicked in slowing down the bird a heavy one at that quickly to 90 knots when she stood on the brakes slowly but very firmly slowing her down to 20 knost and gently exited the runway into the nearest taxi way exit . Behind her the next candid was already lined up on the runway and beyond that the third il-76 broke off the holding pattern to enter the landing circuit .

-jumbo lead -exit runway when able -follow taxi way alpha-lima -foxtrot to parking bay came the same irritating nasal voice of usaf air trafic controller as a rnge rover with follow me sighn in red light quickly formed up in front of her aircraft and guideded her to the designated slot .

Only then group captain nandit realised how drained she was by the long haul flight and the short but brutal air combat in which she was a wee bit more than a spectator . It was only luck that the pakistani falcons engaed the sukhois before targetting her aircraft with thier missiles -in which case the whole engaement could have turned out quite differntly .

The soldiers and airmen who used the base for the last few years laconically described the lifestyle as living in the edge with the lip of spear poking from the back.The living condition is very basic at best and austere at worst add to that the weather was usally extreme .For usaf personnel it was a punsihment posting though they they would never admit that in public. "It is eiether muddy or dusty " was acommon way of expressing the condition at base .Another USAF personal explained the base like this"it is like a big camping site in the middle of no where but without any camping gear"

Nandita was of course briefed about the hazzards of land mine which keep on turning up at most unusal places a direct ressult of which was us troops did not do much jogging and walking around in this base .They even sent their dirty laundry by military cargo flight to uzbekistan . Nandita knew IAF surely will or cannot afford that sort of extravaganza and resigned to the fate of daily washing core after a normal days work.

A huge explossion ripped apart the early morning sky and in the distance she could see the black mushroom cloud of a large explossion .Surprisingly no one in the base seemed alarmed till some one very knidly explained " that is a controlled explossion carried out by german military engineers of the mine cache they discovered a day earlier

Welcome to afganistan ,group captain nandita sahani said to her self as she flopped on the camp cot in her tent and fell asleep without even bothering to take the flying boots off

Posted: 21 Apr 2006 10:29
by Dileep
Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

Internet has given a whole new dimension to the art and science of intelligence. Previous to that, all communications were done point to point, so it was easier to trace, track and intercept. On the other hand you needed direct access to the channel in order to do those activities. A telephone line for example, gives you guaranteed access to the channel, if you can physically tap into it. You know who calls whom, and what transpired.

The Internet is different. It offers a good deal of anonymity on one hand, but being distributed, allows remote snooping when possible. Governments were very skeptical about it initially. Everyone thought in terms of the telephone network. It is funny to think that the Department of Telecom India initially charged subscribers by volume of traffic, in 64K chunks. The telephone mentality immediately came to demand by the government that there must be access to all communication through the net. But due to the nature of technologies involved, this is proven to be impossible. The only point where you can effectively monitor a source is at the boundary of the network, that is the first switching element that the subscriber connects to. Thereafter, it is impossible to track the communication.

Add to that the anonimity offered by the internet. You can register into any of the free e-mail service with any name, and access that e-mail from anywhere in the world. If you find that a message is sent to a specific e-mail address, there is no way you can find out where is the person who read that e-mail located. Of course, the e-mail provider can know the IP address from which the specified account is accessed, and thence track the location. But the user can use proxy servers available for free to mask his IP address. You can then go to the proxy servers administrator to find out the original IP, assuming he kept logs. Most of them does not, so you have to install tracking software to do that. Then the source can switch proxies.

And of course, in order to access the service provider, you need legal sanction. The american secret agencies have to get a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act special court for monitoring, and that too only for sources outside USA. Other countries have different rules. For example, In India, all it takes is a magistrate's warrant for a police officer to demand information. When you operate in a foreign country, you don't have the luxury of getting warrants, so if you can't get what you want, you steal.

Sanjeev Gupta got access to Musharraf's Internet correspondence after a mammoth effort, with help from a well known internet forum. However, that was only part of the game. Ge now knows who is corresponding to the general. But what they are talking about is another matter altogether. Encryption technologies are now widely available, thanks to the efforts of people like Phil Zimmermann who designed Pretty Good Privacy encryption system. The US government had initially classified encryption systems that it can not crack as "munitions" and forbid exports. Zimmerman ended up with a lot of trouble with his software. Legend is that the source code was exported from the USA in the form of printout (which was legal by loophole) and OCRed back in Europe. At some point of time, there were export versions of browsers like IE with lower strength encryption because of the US laws. Later, either because the secret agencies of USA has learned to crack the higher strength encryption, or they gave up to the technology progress, now there are no specific restrictions to cryptography. It is believed that the PGP suite is not crackable even by the US secret agencies.

In face of the widely available cryptographic software, the job of the spy on Internet is harder. The only viable way to crack cryptography is to snoop the keys and passwords from the sources and then use it to decode messages. That is a complicated affair.

Sanjeev was specifically interested in one address to which the good General was sending encrypted messages. The bits and pieces he could gather about this track made it imperative he tag this source, whoever it is. But he had no access to Yahoo to begin with.

He called his good friend Thankavel Natarajan at Singapore.

To be continued

Posted: 21 Apr 2006 20:42
by vishnua
Dileep wrote:In fact the description of Ascetic is made up to suit him, his former association with BR, his current absense from BR, and his contribution in building the current scenario. I simply transplanted them to an analogous spyworld in the story.

Wonder why "ascetic" is staying away from BRF. His absence is much felt around here.(in the entire forum)

Posted: 21 Apr 2006 20:43
by Shankar
For F/L Ranjita saxena (soon to be squadron leader ) it was day off since her aircraft was checked by the airforce technicians for signs of combat damage ,hydraulic leakage,radar heat sink preformance,undercarriage free movement and ofcourse control surface positioning as a matter of post combat check . All the unused missiles and gun ammo was taken off and fuel tank drained as the technicians and engineers took charge and made it known she was not exactly welcome over the next 24 hrs or before they would be raedy to hand over the aircraft to her .

It was some time before she could charm her way thru the flight group leader and in normal civies hitched a ride to the nations capital kabul just to get a feel of the place and ofcourse like any self respecting young woman do some serious shopping .

Kabul or kabool as it is often pronounced is the largets city of afganistan is located close to the kabul river .Its location itself is strategically important wedged between the number snow capped mountain ranges that controls and commands the approaches to khyber pass.A tunnel also exists that links the afgan capital to tajikistan .From the indian planers point of view kabul is the gateway to central asia. Economically kabuls economy was never very strong but was adequate to support the somewhat austere lifestyle of its inhabitants till the long period of warfare from 1979 onwards ruined it and afganistan became dependent on western and indian aid to survive.

As ranjita now attired in her civies strolled thru the narrow croocked streets of afgan capital she could see obviuos sighns of recovery but still lot need to be done.The naarrow winding streets had extensive bazzars selling everything from wollen and cotton products,beet sugar,furniture,dry fruits and as she suspected a large underground sales network of unused military weapons of wide variety.The kabul universitywas fully functional and the women students were aplenty most of them without burkha a clear sighn of loss of talibans influence in post taliban afganistan and may be exposure to american forces in the last decade.She spent some quite time as the great mugal emperor baburs tomb who created the mughal dynasty in india which ruled india for nearly 500 years .She visited the fort of bala hisar destryed by the british in 1879 in revenge of their envoy in kabul and now acts as a military college.She completed the historic circuit by a short visit to tombs of timur shah and nadir shah and several important mosques in the area .

The first mention of kabul and of kubha river was around 1200 bc which also mentions a settlement kabhura by the persian achaemenids around 300 bc.Kabul was known earlier as chabolo .The bactrians founded the town of parapmisdae near kabul but was later ceeded to the mauryans in frst century bc. followed by khushans in 1st century and then hindus untill its capture by arabs in 664 ad.Over the next 600 years the city faced one invasion after another and controlled by the samanids of bokhra,ghaznavid empire and ghorids of bamyan.After the passage of mongols in 13th century on their way to establish the famous dynastic rule in india kabul gained importance as a trading post under the monarchy of timur.But this did not last long as babur kabul his capital .

The shah of persia captured kabul in 1738 followed by ahmed shah durani comming to power and reasserting afgan rule over the blood thirsty land .British army took control of the capital in 1839 and installed a puppet govet of shah suja .But that did not suit the afgans and in 1841 a local uprising ended with massacre of british outpost and their army while retreating to jalalabad . British ofcourse took thier revenge when they returned a year later and destroyed bal hissar as pure revenge .But they did not stay back in afganistan to enjoy the spoils of victory and as they went back to india Dost mohamed returned to throne

The british never really forgot thier humiliating defeat and came back once again in 1878 when kabul was being ruled by sher ali khan and once again swiftly retreating to india.

Modernisation of afganistan commenced under the rule of king amanullah which included electricity and more importantly education for women and his personal luxery was driving around the city in a spotless rolls royce.It was about this time the soviet influence in afganisatn strted becomming prominent . The kabul university opened its doors to students in 1932 and paving of capitals roads was carried out with sviet assistance in 1952.First public outcry against soviet influence in afgan politics was in 1969 and several thousand protesters were quickly arrested and the protest died out.The fampus kabul zoo was opened in 1967 with german assistance and focussed on rare afgan fauna.iN 1975 electric trolley bus based publc transport system was made opeartional with czech assistanec .

And then came the soviet invasion of afganistan.

Posted: 21 Apr 2006 22:59
by Amrinder

shorten on the history course please.

bring in the guns/dhoom dhoom etc...


Posted: 22 Apr 2006 03:08
by Gerard
By Robert C. Rubel
Naval War College Review, Spring 2006, Vol. 59, No. 2

Posted: 22 Apr 2006 11:09
by Dileep
Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

Tan Meng Chung got the call at a very bad time, and he was concerned. Holding an unknown position in the supposedly non-existant secret service of Singapore, he led a dual life. Though pushing late thirties, his face looked like a schoolboy, showing typical singaporean chinese features with a little mix of Malay blood. Even his girlfriend didn't know about his secret job, but that is the way of things at Singapore. He was a stock analyst at one of the financial companies run by the Lee family, and he lost count of the Girlfreinds he had in the six and odd years he was serving his country. Today he was involved with a suspicious ship in the malacca straits, A fishy business deal at Johor and also taking brief on a suspicious meeting happened at Sentosa. On top of all, here is a request from his contact with the Indians, and that too with a request he may not be able to oblige.

Meng Chung had high regards to Natarajan. He was a good diplomat, and together they handled the liaison between the intelligence communities of the two very friendly countries. Between India and Singapore, there existed a level of trust and cordiality, that they routinely shared intelligence and conducted joint operations against the distruptive elements of the Malacca strait and south china sea. Meng Chung couldn't refuse the request either. It was Natarajan who saved the sorry behind of his deputy who screwedup bigh time at Chennai. He owed him one. But getting a level three access to the SingTel network subscriber can't simply be granted by his office. He need to call Lee Goh Eng, the big boss.


The city state of Singapore runs a very tight ship. The small island nation was expelled from the Malayan Federation in 1965, and Lee Kwan Yew brought it up from being a developing country to a developed nation. National security of the small island nation was paramount, and efforts were made to have a credible defence force. Mandatory military service is implemented for all youths. Apart from strict laws to maintain the least crime rate, the state also instituted a very good intelligence community in the interest of civic and national security. Criticism also exist for the tight system, but many see that as a necessity. Unlike the USA, it was easy for the government agencies of Singapore to gain access to the internet service.

By the end of the day, Natarajan got the access details for the yahoo account It was from neighbouring Indonesia, precisely from the city of Banjarmasin in the Kalimantan Selatan province.

To be continued

Posted: 22 Apr 2006 15:04
by rajpa
NSN Reports

Wonder why "ascetic" is staying away from BRF. His absence is much felt around here.(in the entire forum)
- from a well know internet forum.

In the first reported case of the religion of Internetva, the intuitive spymaster known as the Ascetic accidentally reached self-actualization while browsing a well known internet forum.

His Holy Firewallness, The Ascetic of BRF, is reported to be in transcendental virtual meditation on a diet of chips and ice lemon tea, leaving the plotting of the demise of TSP in the hands of capable Holy Warriors.

His final words to the masses were "Net-i, Net-i TSP."

Posted: 22 Apr 2006 20:29
by Shankar
It was a busy busy day for ambassador Rao as he scanned thru the pile of mails some of them bearing the top secret classification which have come in last afternoons indian flight from delhi . The first of the top secret notifications came from his immediate boss -secratary ministry of external affairas precisely outlining the deployment of "additional forces " for protection of indian interests in the kabul region and also hinted at some aggressive operations they may undertake in the "border region" to meet the "strategic " objective over the next few months .

Outside he could see the long line of visa seekers and did not really envy the job of his visa issuing officers who were processing almost 150 visas a day for mass of afgan citizens wanting to go to india for primarily mediacl treatment and higher edcation . Narayan hridalaya near infotech city of bangalore and the IITs were the favoured destination .

The ramshackle bus parked just across the main gate really did not attract his attention as he scanned the road in a leisurely way before settling down in his well stuffed executive chair onec more to take care of large pile of e mails and faxes which all called for his immediate attention .IT was stuffy inside the room despite the large air conditioner trying its best to keep the heat and dust out .Ambassador rao got up once again and walked up to the large bullet proof bay window to let come fresh air in .

Down inside the multi coloured ramshackle bus Md hizab watched carefully thru the drivers window . He was sweating profusely and the heat was not so oppressive .Under him the blocks of semtex was all wired up and ready to blow on command . Hizab was a honoured member of a littel known resistance group finaced fully by ISI and his todays task was simple -he is to wait till the indian ambassador is in sight preferably near the window and then he will have to do the needful . It was obvious his chances of escape were close to zero in a city still full of nato troops and nearby bagram base housing more than a dozen ah 64 apache attack helicopters .A better choice fo him would be to make sure the attack goes all right by mannually triggering the detonation and be known as a martyr to a cause .His family in now staying in the outskirts of kandahar was promised to be taken care off for life .

Ambassador rao opened the large window and leaned forward for a lungful of fresh mountain air -what he got was a supersonic blast of red hot air wave as hizab triggered the explossive pack right at that moment .The silver haired leonine head of ex ambassador sheared off cleanly and would be later discovered 150 ft away near the embassy perimeter wall.The indian ambassador did not even know when his life endede .

The blast effect of more than 300 kg of semtex packed over the rear axles of the dodge bus did much more than kill the indian ambassador . Just in the floors below housing the visa section more than 120 afgan visa seekers diesd and more than tripple the number injured some severely as the shred of glass and aluminium suddenly became deadly projectiles moving around the close confines of the visa office in its own orgy of mindless violence and death

Clerly some one out there have decided to up the ante and it was now upto indian govt and the collective political leadership to decide how to take on the new challenge .

The soviet tanks rolled into afganistan in 23rd december 1979 to " assist" the legal govt to hold onto power and there by planted the seed of its own destruction. For 10 yrs it fought the afgans and with every pasing year realising this is a nation that can never be subjugated and this is a nation that can never be conqured in the true sense of the word simply because the afgans never accept anyone as thier boss no matter how many thousand t-72 they have or how many hundred su-25 and mig 29s they fly .For them keeping to thier way of living in the harsh mountains and gorgeous valleys and the swift flowing ice cold rivers was worth more than all the wealth of the world and they were ready to die without question to preserve their ay of living

Some also say it was the soviet invasion of afganistan also palnted the dormant seed of 9/11 -enduring freedom -regime change of iraq and brutal conflict of interest in iran . For the first time the tv viewers around the world were treated to the display of naked military might as the soviet tanks destroyed thousands of small villages with 125 mm shells and rocket attack with thieir mi 24 gunships and su-25 fighter bombers . Fleet of il-76s could be seen landing and taking off from the kabul international airport 24x7 with standard tight circle in and a quick dispersal of bright flares just before landing .

But the proud afgans did not say yes to soviets and they did not bow down to the russian bear .Their resistance to a super power head on for almost ten years puts to shame the heroic struggle of vietnam against us expansion palns in indo china . But ther was a diffrence while communist north vietanam was supplied freely by both the soviet union and peoples republic of china afgans fought it alone with some us support comming on in the later parts of war thru pakisatn and as usal a big part of those material and financial assitance ending up with pakistani army and isi big wigs but still a small part of the " aid" managed to reach those for whom it was inteneded -the mujahideens" or freedom fighters.

Soviet union realised slowly that this is one war they cannot win .Afgansiatn is not finland nor is it czekoslovakia which could be intimadated into subjugation just by dispaly of military might .To subjugate an afgan you have to kill him and that was a very difficult proposition sinec the afgans knew the lay of the land like his own reflection in mirror (a figurative comparisons sinec the mujahideens fighting soviets hardly ever got a chance to look at the mirrors )and the final decision was but obvious to the world . As the last of soviet tanks and aircraft left afganisatn they left behind a war ravaged country where almost evry one carried a weapon and no definitive political or military leadershi[p to govern the land .

And that directly led to the commencement of talibanisation of the country suffering from a total powr vacuum .

Posted: 22 Apr 2006 21:38
by kantak
ISI ,IAF in pakistan,great things are happening here

Shankar hope it is taliban on the run next :D :D

Posted: 23 Apr 2006 01:44
by vishnua
rajpa wrote:NSN Reports

His final words to the masses were "Net-i, Net-i TSP."

I don't think this warrants NSN reproting ..

Posted: 23 Apr 2006 11:22
by Dileep
Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

Banjarmasin is a port city on the delta of the Barito and Martapura rivers which flows south and join the Java sea. It is a major commercial centre of the rich Barito region. It has a thriving boat building and fishing industry. It also happen to be one of the major Islamic centres of Indonesia. It is often called the River city and is the largest city of the Borneo island of the Indonesian archipelago.

Banjarmasin had attracted some attention of the intelligence communities after suspicious activities related to Islamic terrorism was traced to that city in 2008. Suddenly the intelligensia mainly focussing on the Sumatra and Java regions, especially the capital region of Jakarta had to widen their scope to Borneo region as well. However, neither Indian or Singaporean secret service had any traction at Banjarmasin to track an Internet user. However, Sanjeev Gupta needed to tag the contact, because the good general is communicating to him almost daily.

The Indonesian security agencies were always wary of the extra attention they are getting. To call them non-co operative wouldn't do justice even to polished diplomatese. Natarajan had very bitter experience with them, when they framed one of his guys who tried to setup shop at Banjarmasin. He had to work overtime to avoid a diplomatic incident and get the poor man out of the fix. He didn't think it is prudent to have either his or the Singaporean resources to risk exposure there. He was stuck. He needed help.

Then Tan Meng Chung came up with a bright idea, and earned a dinner at the Royal China of Raffles from Natarajan.

To be continued

Posted: 23 Apr 2006 17:00
by ameyk
Been following this tread for a year now.Great work shankar

Posted: 23 Apr 2006 21:02
by Shankar
The chief of army staff looked intently at the cryptic note hand delivered just a few minutes earlier and signed by the raksah mantri himself and embossed with the customary top secret embossed on the letter . The message was quite a simpel one for that matter and wanted him to make a presentation on possible consequences of a sizable indian deployment in afganisatn within 15 days to protect the varied indian interests in the region and his requirements to meet the objective . The minister expected the presentation within 48 hrs .

General sunder mohan was a carrer soldier and he was the third generation army guy and his youngest son keeping to the tradtion of indian army have joined the armoured corps and now posted some where in the desserts of rakjastan commanding a small detachement of t-90s and held the rank of a major . His marriage was planned and the general was already planning a big get together with his old time friends in the force on the occassion .

The note from ministry of defense changed all that . As a soldier ofcourse he knew the pitfalls that awaits any military force that lands there without adequate local knowledge and knowledge in his mind meant evrything from custom to language to the geographical feature to the past historical battles to demographic profile to local economy in short everything that has any relevance to the troops and their deplyment under his command .

So he decided to delve into the nations mind which made afganisatn perhaps the most unsolvable puzzle in military history .

Though fully landlocked this country had been invaded time and again by persians,macedonians,arabs ,turks and mongols and ofocourse by the british and in more modern times by both the super powers th soviets followed by the americans in their quest to impose thier will on this tiny mountain kindom . Needles to say all of them failed in the long run .Afgans never gave in .

Afganisatn is a country of mountains and valleys and fast flowing rivers .The mountains range from mighty hindu kush raeching a height of 24000 ft in some places which runs across the centre of the country .Ensconed within this mighty mountain range are the fertile valleys and small pockets of plain lands .The southern part of the country is mostly desserts including well known regions of registan and seistan.In the north between the central mountain ranges lies the amu darya river and also marks part of the northern boundary fo afganisatan.The high lands of badakhastan ,afgan turkestan and great amy darya palin lies in this region .The rich fertile valley of herat lies in the hari rud river along the north west corner of the country .All the afgan rivers are non navigable making inland transportation a difficult proposition .The longest river is helmand flowing from hindukush to iran afgan border.The fagans have used the water from these glacier fed river from times immortal for irrigation and that includes the famous kabul river besides which the afgan capital now stands.

Centuries of intense warfare was in a way responsible for sizable shift of afgan population to the neighbouring countries of iran,uzbekistan,pakisatn and turkmenistan .However one peculiar nature of afgan population dispalcement was the regional ethnicity did not change in any significant manner .The area around fertile herat valley was dominated by the tajiks,the north was prefered by the uzbeks,nad the afgan turkmens lived along the turkmenistan border.A small group of hazars of mongoloid origin stay in he central mountain regrion .The pasthuns hold sway in the south and easter parts of afganistan .

In this land of diverse ethnic groups and language the single unifying factor is religion since it is entirely a muslim country and as such the modern name of islamic republic of afganistan is not misleading.Going a bit deeper into religious characterisation 2 million of its inhabitants are shais and rest all sunis .

A sharp knock on the door interupted the chief of army staff from hsi studies as the director general of military operations came in with his daily brief . And followed the troops of colonels and brigadiers acting as chiefs liason to the various units of one of the worlds largets army.

Posted: 24 Apr 2006 09:22
by Dileep
Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

Ahmed Faruq had finished his breakfast of fried rice. He was expecting a busy day ahead. Running a boat building business and also some trading in timber was both satisfying and financially very profitable. But it took a lot of effort from his side. On top of it he also had to attend to his other commitments that were not publicly known. Son of parents who moved from Malaysia, Faruq inherited the small timber business his father started near the river Barito, and grown it into an international operation through hard work. Now at early fourties, he had the foresight to anticipate the decline to the timber business, and he diversified into boat building. Through his contacts developed all the way from the middle east to the philipines by means of his timber export business, he was able to get a good export market for his quality seaworthy boats. After the decline of the seagoing wooden boat building business at Beypore in Kerala, Faruq have reinvigorated the business and now regularly supplied large wooden boats especially to the Arabs. He also started building sailing yachts for the wealthy Americans and Europeans. Fitted with all modern conveniences and navigation equipment, these super luxury yachts could travel the oceans by the sails, using the stored fuel and the engine only for emergencies. He has delivered a number of them to the USA, mostly to the rich people at Florida. He also made deliveries to the Pacific cost, including some hollywood stars.

And these international contacts and the booming business made him rich, and powerful. It also meant that he was to be involved in politics and religion. During his many trips to the middle east, he made aquaintance to the sheikh families of the emirates. He also made friends with the big businessmen of Dubai, and that included Nawaz Sharif. Nawaz needed boats to run his merchandise, and Faruq became a reliable supplier. Though he was not involved in the trade itself, he pretty well knew the nature of the trade his boats are being used for. He didn't care much, as long as he just sold the boats.

His phone rang, and a panicked voice gave him bad news. The federal police of Indonesia is preparing for a raid on him. The news was leaked from the headquarters in Jakarta. The contact did not know what the raid is for. All he knew was the information was not local. It apparently based on a tip off from the Malaysian authorities. Faruq thanked his contact and fell into deep thought.

He was a decent businessman, but of course he did his share of accounting adjustments to save some tax rupaiahs. Otherwise he did not see any reason for a federal raid on him. And if it is accounting, the treasury department is the one that should do it. And what the hell Malaysia got to do with it? He just have some suppliers there who sell him timber. Maybe some of them got into trouble and he is being investigated. But a Raid? How can that be possible? Unless...

Unless... Now that thought made him shiver. But no way Malaysia can be involved with that. If it was American, Pakistani or Indian involvement, he should have been scared. He shouldn't worry about Malaysia.

Anyway, he can't run. So, he decided to face the ordeal. As if nothing happened, he prepared to go to work. He shut down his laptop, disconnected the internet access cable, and packed the briefcase for the short drive to his office near the port office.

The raid party came promptly on time. Surprisingly, their questions were about the province of Bali which is in turmoil of seperatist violence. They took extra care to check his computers, bringing in experts. Faruq didn't have any trade dealing with Bali. Finally, after wasting the entire day, the federal police officer made a formal dry appology, mumbled something about a misunderstanding and left. Faruq was surprised to see TV cameras covering the raid. They also seemed to be disappointed on the outcome of the raid. He turned on the TV and saw the reporter also quoting a misunderstanding.

In a pub in Downtown Singapore, Natarajan laughed heartily. He got his man without even stepping out of the city. He raised a toast to Tan Meng Chung silently, and emptied the mug. Tan was able to plant the e-mail address into certain sources in the Malaysian intelligence as someone who conspire with the Balinese seperatists. He knew very well that it will be shared with the Indonesians who will pounce on it.

To be continued

Posted: 24 Apr 2006 20:38
by Shankar
The chief of army staff looked at the recently declassified documents which elaborated on how soviet intervention in afganistan evantually culminated in the disintegration of the state itself which used to pride itself as the most powerful military power on earth in conventioanl terms holdind sway over vast mineral resources ,largets pool of scientist and technologists involved in weapons programmes which covered everything from military use of space to largest fleet of cmbat aircraft ,tanks and personnel under any unified command . The folder of declassified documents presented the tragic tale of a super power caught in a politico military quigmire of its own making.

Initially the direct request for troops by afgan govt for ground troops was refused point blank but later on a small group of politburo reversed the consensus decision and the decision to invade was taken in haste in support of russian backed peoples democratic party of afganistan.The first direct request for troops from soviet union was made by pdpa leader hafizzullah amin and afgan president nur mohamed taraki.The record note of poliburo shows clearly initially the members were dead against sending in troops and offred extensive military supplies instead.The situation however changed as amin overthrew taraki soon after laters return from moscow ,increased soviet apprehension that he too may turn to usa for military help . It is also clear that actual decision to invade was taken by a very small group of politburo members against specific and open objection to such a move by the red army . The military chiefs marshal ogarkov and general akhromeev did not like the idea of a limited invasion at all and correctly pointed out even at the conception stage that a small and limited military involvement will not serve the stated political purpose .

Inter departmental rivalry also played a key role in this fateful decision. KGB sources on ground were given more importance and priority over the GRU the military inel wing of soviet army.A key person in this intel loop to
Breznav was Andropov who controlled the flow of information to Breznav.Possible links of amin to cia and usa was highlighted out of proportion . None of the soviet intel agencies had any true understanding of afgan tribal mentality and analysed the whole complex situation in the lights of more simplistic communistic approach based on marx and lenin.Most importantly the soviet decision makers did not comprehend the influence of religion more specifically islam in afgan society.And this perhaps was main reason of failure of soviet policy in afganistan despite massive military presence on ground for nearly a decade .

From a purely military point of view the initial mission of protecting cities and govt installations soon enlarged actual ground combat and the scope and dimension of combat kept on expanding on a continious basis..The strongest army of those times started getting demoralised being treated as an invasion force instead of liberators and simply did not want to stay in the god forsaken country any longer.The soviet army in those days were trained to fight a conventional war possibly a third world war which may include use of nuclear weapons and had clear cut enemies of which usa was no 1 obviously . In afganisatn the enemy was undefined , few small batches of turbanned fighters equipped with nothing more than rifles and odd rpg s captured from soviet troops themselves fought back relentlessly even when their own families were getting napalmed and bombed . Slowly the world opinion changed against the soviet union and with it also changed the scope of military assistance recieved by the freedom fighters or mujahideens .Tanks and armoured cars were quite useless in narrow mountain roads where every bend on the road held the spectre of afgan fighters standing up and fring a rocket propelled grenade and then quickly dissapearing in the adjoing valleys and caves before the soviet troops culd even open fire .The mi-24 gunships were perhaps the most effective weapon system the soviets could use in this war but even that used indiscreminately by the field commanders causing extensive civilian casualties alienated afgan population further against the soviets and the whole country became a death trap for any unprotected formationof russian armed forces.Another demoralising factor that evantually led to soviet defeat or pull out was the us experience in vietnam and russian officers frequently reffered to vietnam in justifying an arly withdrawal.

General sunder mohan closed the file as outside his office the the capital city was already ready for the nght with the garland of lights and a full moon already up on the horizon .It was well past nine and he rememberd the promise he has made to his wife of 25 yrs to take her out for a movie this evening ,now too late and he also knew any appology to his better half would be useless and maybe unnessecery .It was definitely not the first time the chief of million men army ahs broken a promise to the woman he treasured more than anything in his life well almost anything except ofcourse the soldiers who faught and died under his command .

As he stood up to make short walk to the elevator to the underground car park he atleast could list off the points which must be taken care off before any decision to involve his soldiers in afganistan is taken .He hoped his political masters will understand his limitations otherwise he was not much worried ,in his right pocket of his army fatigue he always carried hsi letter of resignation

Posted: 25 Apr 2006 14:31
by dada

Posted: 25 Apr 2006 15:12
by b_karan
dada wrote:Details of Chinese Missiles

No doubt , be prepared for the war if not today then tomorrow

No underground car park in South Block

Posted: 25 Apr 2006 16:27
by HarshS
Just a small correction. There is no underground car park either in South Block or in Sena Bhawan. However, the car's parked at the defense ministry section are below the level of the Raisina Hill entrance.

Posted: 25 Apr 2006 20:13
by Shankar
Defense minister of india stood up from his chair to welcome the chief of indian army as the secratary of defense also came in along with.From the look of army chief the defense minister knew this is going to be one stormy meeting and he would need over the next few hours all his poliical and behaviorial skills to get the chief to agree to the politico-military objective spelt out by the highest level of the govt within the closed circle over the last few days .

Like a true soldier that he was ,general sunder mohan started with the risks associated with the proposed deployemnt and the price the nation may have to pay should some thing go wrong and wanted the defense minister to think once more if such an overseas deployment can be avoided .However that was not an option any more explained the raksha mantri particularly in view of recent attack on indian embassy and interests all over afganistan . It was no longer a tactical problem - the nations credibility to protect its citizens was at stake .

It was a long presentation which also listed out the nature and extent of supports he expected from the sister forces more particularly the airforce and even more particualrly two of their treassured assets to be brought under operational command of the army and they were

- 50% of all hawk trainers
- 75% of all mi 24/35 s
- 35% of all mi 17s
- 50% of all il-76 fleet

It was a tall order and a decision defense minister knew he cannot possibly take without air chiefs and possibly PM s concurrence .But based on the generals outlined strategy ,the army chiefs requisition was no doubt valid

The militant threat neutralisation strategy presented essentially hinged on creation of four integrated task forces ,fully air mobile and to be based on kabul,heerat,kandahar mazar e sharif .Each task force shall be under the command of a brigadier and buit up around a core of special forces and soldiers having atleast 5 yrs experience in counter insurgency operation and kargil veterns who have considerable exposure to afgan way of war fighting .Each task force will be tasked with neytralising all militant threats in thier area . Apart from a few t-90/72 for base security all the operating squads will be essentially using choppers for long range and bmp2 for short range sorties .Close air support shall be provided by the mi-24/35s and in some cases by the hawks when quick reaction or force projection will be required .

Since all current intel reports indicate Taliban and its associated militants are operating in small groups and manly in the countryside out of big cities except occasional moral boosting strikes like in indian embassy ,the indian forces will also act in small heavily armed highly mobile groups with extensive networking amonst independently operating groups vide dedicated satelite communication system.

To win over the support of general afgan schools and hospitals will be opened in all the cities mentioned above and to avoid collataral damage no air strike will be called in within city limits and even in the outskirts unless the ordering commander is 200% sure .The general also proposed small mobile medical aid centres to be run by the four task forces in their respective areas to help build larger reserve of general good will.

Each of the task forces shall also be responsible for disbursement of international aid in conjunction with remnants of nato forces and take over the job completely as the nato soldiers depart

On the military front -the army will not hold onto any teritory and their job should be deemed to be complete as soon as the militant strike level has gone down to an acceptable level.More importantly the army should be deployed for a fixed time interval between 6-12 months and that term should preferably not be extended unless in extreme emergency .

in short what the army chief said to the raksha mantri is the army thinks a long term deployment may not be a good thing to under the existing circumstances and a specific mission as well as time frame needed to be defined before any actual involvement starts.

The defense minister sat quitely for some time at this unusl turn of events before closing the file and saying "good night -general"

Posted: 25 Apr 2006 23:11
by Shankar
The general returned to his office and switched on his laptop as the detailed satelite imagery of the mountain country came up along with known and suspected militant bases and their estimated striek capability,In the back of his mind he was relieved that the minister had not refused his request and therby force him to use the small scarp of white paper still in his uniform pocket .

Tomorrow he will have to sit down with aides and commanders to fine tune the operational and deployment strategy but today he jus wanted to go over the yet to be born action plan just by himself . First thing he did was to shift the detailed satelite map to an auto cad grid format and then marked the four proposed bases of kabul,kandahar,heerat and mazar e sharif in red and then connected them by straight white lines to make the basic operating grid .As the programme automatically gave him the distance between each cities he drew a circle around the cities in green diameter of the circles being half the distance indicated on the map. So individual area of opertion was now in position . Intentionally he did not keep any overlap on the contrary he introduced a small few km wide no action zone between the individual operating zones to prevent any blue on blue situation since he wanted the units or task forces to operate totally independent of each other and preferably no radio communication during actual operation it self . next he marked out the airbases like bagram for kabul nearest to the bases and also identified the roads which would link the fortified bases to the air launching pads .The map was getting more and more congested now despite the colour coding but his basic planning was still far from over as he selected orange colour to mark the communication centres of each task force located at the center of each abse and secondary ones at the well protected air ports .

It was all a virtual exercise in war gamming but he knew very soon it will be real men and real aircraft with real guns and rockets that will replace the colored dots and lines on the drawing and he owed it to all of them to make the insertion and after insertion deplyment as foolproof as can be done by anyone .

And finally he tapped into his data base of commanders all in the rank of brigadiers and major generals who would most likely carry out a difficult task not for his personal glory but ensure the safty of the men under their command when the shit might really hit the fan . As he firmed up his selection and moved the names from data base to his auto cad deployemnt drawing the chances did not look to bad after all and only then he could think of sleep and home and got up to say sorry to his much neglected wife of 25 years.

Posted: 26 Apr 2006 10:40
by Dileep
Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

The name of Ahmed Faruq was not unknown in Dubai. Anil Nambiar didn't find it too difficult to trace his footprints there, given his line of business of building boats. Even the little office at Kozhikode chipped in with information on a local agent who hired a few boat building carpenters for Mr. Faruq's company in Indonesia an year ago. That gave Anil an idea. Instruction was given to trace those carpenters, and find out if they are still with Mr. Faruq's company. Also the agent was to be contacted to see if he needed more people.

The puzzle got a big chunk in place with the inclusion of Faruq. Boats are wonderful tools to do all kinds of bad things. But what is Musharraf trying to do with a boat from Indonesia. Obviously he is not trying to buy a pleasure yacht for himself. Hell, he is not trying to buy a boat at all. Why do you need encrypted communication to buy a boat? Musharraf is trying to smuggle something around on a boat. Now the question is, what? People? Explosives? This business seem to become serious. It needs attention from the other end too. What has it to do with Dubai, and specifically, Zafar-ul-Haq and Nawas Sharif?

Anil was surprised that absolutely no information was forthcoming from the Zafar-ul-Haq residence about the Faruq connection. He even wondered if there was a disconnect between the two tracks. But Sanjeev was confident that they are connected. Otherwise the good general would not have a hot chatter with Faruq, the same time deals with Sharif. The Sharif empire was still impervious, and all efforts to penetrate it was futile.

But, boats do not come in courier packages. They sail into the harbour, need piers to dock into, need sailors to run, and on top of all, some paperwork is needed for them, even for vessels used in shady deals as Sharif does. Snooping around the harbour area, that incidently have a good percentage of Indian population might give an alternate path. So, after very careful thought and analysis, the Zafar-ul-Haq residence lost a good servant, while a food outlent near the fishing harbour got a good cook's assistant, and he too started making friends pretty fast.

Within no time, Muhammad Ali started giving information about the boats plying the trade there. It was very difficult to trace any boat to Sharif. Hell, it was difficult to trace any boat to anybody. But as grapewine grows, the picture slowly became clearer and Anil's database started filling in with Boat names and details.

That might help with his other priorities, but he need to know what has Faruq got to do with it. Till now, no information has come forth.

To be Continued

Posted: 26 Apr 2006 20:37
by ramana
Can you take some time and post more of it. Its getting agonizing to read in drips? Hamare death ho jayge!

Posted: 26 Apr 2006 21:01
by gauravs
Shankar wrote: First thing he did was to shift the detailed satelite map to an auto cad grid format

I do hope in reality our forces use ESRI software which are designed specifically for GIS stuff.

Posted: 26 Apr 2006 22:07
by Lalmohan
frankly dileep - you need to make this a proper novel and get published! don't waste your talent on freeware! :)

Posted: 26 Apr 2006 22:36
by Dileep
Ramanaji, thanx for the compliments. I value it especially from a person like you. I never thought that the gurus like you do read this thread.

Posted: 26 Apr 2006 23:15
by Shankar
Major genearl aslam khan of indian army finished his third cup of balck coffee as he stared into the deep blue ocean below .From 38000 ft he could see the west indian coast line in the distance as the boeing 747 -400 banked left gently to intercept the main east west international air corridor on area approach to mumbai .

For aslam khan the brief signal from his boss ,general officer commanding northern command to immediately report to army headquarters was perplexing . To the best of his knowledge he did not know of any situation back home which would warrant his immediate return from zambia where he was deputed for the last 3 yrs as head of indian military assistance group to zambian govt and his job involved transforming the rag tag rebel type army into a proper fighting force capable of defending their own country .

It was a difficult task no doubt but had its rewards .Unlike kenya and south aafrica ,zambian wild life was still untouched by crass commercialisation and it was not unusal to see herds of zenra crossing the firing fields when he had to hastily stop all practice to the amzement of zambian troops and officers who found it funny to stop a "very imporatnt "training exercise for the sake of few stripped horse " the wide rivers and its aggressive crocodile population was another of his unofficial protection mission.Whenevr he was free he would join the local wild life wardens to capture problem croc and then use the army transport to relocate them to less populated zone s of the river.He was appalled by the total lack of elementary medical faciliy in the countries interior and the army doctors spent more time traeting local populace suffering from maleria to tuberculosis and ofcourse all forms of sexually transmitted disease including ofcourse the dreaded aids which seemed to have permeated all the nook and corner of this savagely beautiful continent .

His reputation as a soldier helped him in pushing thru indian army baudom to arrange for the medical and dietry help required by the poor people of the country of his deputation and in return the people gave him only thing that they could afford in limitless quantity-thier love and gratitude to a soldier from a foreign land .

Aslam khan was commissioned into india army in 1971 just before the historic surrender document was signed at dhaka between lt gen arora and lt gen niazi before a mammoth crowd in the historic race course ground.He missed the war by weeks and that would be his biggest regret that he was not a part of indian army s biggest victory in the century . His rise thru the ranks of army was nothing less than spectacular and during the kargil war saw him engaging the pakistani northern light infantry and afgan mujahideen in the batilak sector largely away from the glamour of tv screen which was hogged by the more difficut battle to re capture tiger hill.The end of kargil was saw him being promoted to brigadier and a some what realxed posting at defense staff college at ooty. This is where he shared his experiences and mistakes with the junior as well as senior officers of army and was an almost automatic selection for the post of chief of indian military delegation to zambia the zambian turned o india for modernisation of its armed forces.

This part of his carrer was some what well known what was less known was his expertise in counter insurgency operations in all the sectors from kashmir to mizoram and nagaland along with a short stint of vicious fighting with ltte diring capture of jaffna in sri lanka .He was perhaps one of the most experinced counter insurgency expert in the army and today it appeared the country needed his specific expertise once more .

-may i have your attention please -the sweet musical voice of senior flight purser broke into his refelections - we shall be landing at chatrapati shivaji international airport in few minutes - please fasten in your seat belt-keep your seat backs upright and window shades open --- drawled on the voice as aslam khan leaned on his spacious business class seat to have another look at the norther mumbais coastline as the giant 747 became feet dry and banked to starboard steeply over the hills of lonavala on its final approach to mumbai ,passed over the thane creek and touched down smoothly on runway 27 .

Brigadier general Aslam khan was the first out of the aircraft and the military staff car with two red stars and its gypsy escort was already there
( some times it feel good to be general thought aslam khan) as he smartly returned the salutes and climbed into his staff car and rushed to catch the domestic indian flight to delhi hoping his luggae do not take too long to catch up.

The A-320 was waiting for him (unknown to passenger who was already wondering the cause of this delay ) and started its engines as soon as the general was in his seat . it will be another 2 hrs to delhi and one hour after tthat before the general officer commanding indian expeditionary force to afganistan IEFA as it would be commonly refered to in future by domestic and internatoanal media -Lt genearl Aslam Khan will take charge of his new command.

Posted: 27 Apr 2006 02:13
by VikramS
joy_roy wrote:shankar.....those were f 16C according to you..and they didnt even try to engage the flankers with amraams????????The whole engagement looks little too easy...i think you are underestimating paki pilots too much here.

Did you read the scenario?

The Falcons were not aware of the Flankers till they got lit up. At that point it was too late, since they were in a defensive position and not an attacking position. Even if you have AMRAAMS, which give you great range, you need to be in a position to fire them with a high KP. You can not fire an AMRAAM when you are executing a vertical charlie, or have a Flanker on your 6. In this case, the lack of radar cover meant that the Flankers came in low and stealthy.

Posted: 27 Apr 2006 06:43
by Shyam_K
Shankar wrote:- 50% of all hawk trainers

Great work.. just one comment, wouldn't it be better asking for jaguars rather than hawks. Sending 50% of hawks will put a big hole in IAF's trainning schedules. Jaguars can fulfill the same ground support role without impacting IAF's trainning.

Double promotion for Aslan Khan

Posted: 27 Apr 2006 11:18
by HarshS
Aslan Khan couldn't go from Brigadier to Lt. General bypassing Major General.

Also, if he was commissioned in 1971 (at the age of twenty one), by 2008, he'd be on the verge of retirement (at fifty eight).

Two options. He's either a Major General and will be promoted to Lt. General. That fits somewhat with when he was commissioned and also that we'd send a Major General to Zambia, not a "mere" brigadier.

Other option is that he was commissioned in 1981 and not 1971, and that's he now a brigadier (at the age of forty eight) and will become a major general--that also makes sense because IEFA would be a division-size force and a Major General would be good for it.

Posted: 27 Apr 2006 14:52
by Khalsa
since when did we have Brigadier Generals in Indian Army ... its a US based rank not in use in most of the Commonwealth Forces.....

Posted: 27 Apr 2006 21:43
by Shankar
Wing commander jogesh reduced power and moved the control yoke slightly backwarda as he came over the landing spot with a big H marked in yeallow and touched down with barely a rumble .It was a difficult task for much lighter chopper let alone a fully armed mi-35 but for jogesh it came naturally -he was what people say a natural flier . Passing out top of class he could have opted for the more glamorous fighters but some how attack chopper always fascinated him and he knew flying heavy choppers was always bigger test of real flying skill than a fancy supersonic aircraft where you had everything concievable to protect your backside . He felt flying high profile interceptors or even ground stike aircraft more like a realistic video game . So he opted for the helicopter wing of indian air force

His baptism of fire came in srilanka when he operated his mi 24 in a series of real nape of earth flying mode earning severe censures from his superiors and delayed promotions was a natural outcome . But one thing none of his team mates or commanding officers could ever say was he lacked the drive to get into heeat of battle and save the lives of may be hundreds of jawans on fighting for their life in the heat and dust or in the rain soaked jungles .

He came out of sri lanka campaighn with " flying colours " and stopped counting how many ltte militant establishments he has destroyed or how many targets he has neutralised for him it was just a piece of statistics and he did not even much care when he transfered to north east to supprt indian army operations he became a squadron leader . The army just loved him particularly for getting them out of tight spots in the dense jungles of assam and nagaland and for his dare devil rescue missions which irritated his air force bosses to no end since every time he went beyong rules and risked a multi million dollar difficult to replace helicopter

He would have been grounded long ago for his unusal tendency to take "unacceptable risks " as his more balanced superiors used to say often but was not for the simple reason - he was the best damn gunship pilot in indian airforce and also happened to be the most gutsy . For him flying was a way of life not a carrier building proposition . Whenever he saw an army group in danger -he would go in and help irrespective whether he was expected to extend assitance or not or whether his operational briefing included such activity or not . He was not just good -he was brilliant in all aspects of utilising a helicopter gunship in close airsupprt missions in all kinds of terrain. When he flew the gunship became an extension of own self ,it obeyed his will unquestioningly and delivered the goods -obeying his command to the letter .

In congo his experience of working with pakistani soldiers changed his views some what on his perpetual enemy -what he saw was a group of soldiers not much unlike the soldiers he is used to fight alongside . As the indian soldiers the pakistani soldiers also started adoring this dashing helo pilot who would risk his life time and agin to save thier lives and invitations to dine in their mess was quite common .He enjoyed the north western style food particuarly the lamb kebabs and afgani naan and often wondered how this close exposure to an enemy might affect his reaction in a future conflict.

As he stepped out of gunship an air force police jeep was waiting and he saled letter was handed over to him .And the air force sergent was waiting .The envelope contained two letters . The first one was an official note asking him to report to air headquarters immediately and the second one a short note from air officer commanding south western air command confirming his long awaited promotion to group captain with immediate effect .

Posted: 27 Apr 2006 23:22
by Shankar
Lt gen aslam khan looked around his new 10 ft by 8 ft air conditioned office with some satisfacton -it was definitely a welcome change from the sweltring heat of zambia but then again in zambia he was just one the so many major generals in indian army and with the extra star on his shoulder board he was one of the chosen few who will some day may lead the world finest army .He seriously hoped he would some day make it . Day dreaming over he hunched his muscled shoulder back to work as strted formulating his insertion and counter insurgency strategy based on which he should be able to present before the army chief detailed requirement of men equipment and aircraft and also the recon assets which he most likely will need without which a sucessful meeting of mission objective will be impossible .

One thing was sure in his mind -as long as he was in command indian expeditionary force in afganistan will not get embroiled in a never ending battle of attrition with afgan militants or talibans or whatever they called themselves now . His deployement will be mission specific and time bound.Once the major threat centres to indian commercial and military interests in afganistan was neutralised the expeditionary force will with draw as early as possible before being labeld an invasion force and getting bogged down in a series of bloody battles over unfamiliar terrain and with people he had no enemity with . But at the same time he had to firm and strong enough to pass on the message to the trouble makers wearing the claok of religious nationalism that indians were not a soft target to be taken at thier time and choosing .The afgan taliban militia should know that indian lives can ofcourse be taken but at a very very heavy price.

For example when soviet army crossed into afganistan they had a very limited military objective -to bolster the communist regime ,add a bit of steel into the spine of faltering afgan army or that of democratic republic of afganistan and protect the lines of communication . It soon changed however as the pressure of mujahideen increased the afgan army simply disintgrated and dessertion became the norm of the day .The dessertors took with them heavy weapons (all russian ) and this the rebels used to great effect against the soviet forces . The defination of conflict changed slowly from low to medium to high and finally in day night battles ,from just around the big cities to all over afganistan in the lush river fed valleys to the rocky mountain tracks where the heavy tanks and artilerry of the worlds second super power were almost useless .the soviet force level increased from just over 40000 at the begining of invasion to almost 125 00 plus another 50 000 men standing by as reserve just across the northern borders of afganistan .The initial invasion forces consisted almost entirely components of soviet 40th army and included componets of 5th,54th,103rd,357th,360th armoured rifle division.

The soviets did ofcourse carried out majot reorganisations in their trrop deployment pattern in course of their long if somewhat unwelcome stay in faganistan .Within a few years various anti air craft ,surface to surface misisle units and ani armour units were with drawn as their utility in the ongoing conflict against rag tag band of islamic militants were almost zero
In its places specialised commando units were deployed mostly by air and elite infantry units .

One of the main reasons of soviet withdrawal was perhaps their inability to motivate the afgan regual army to fight the militants . Despite best of soviet weapons and training the afgans army simply remained atleat in soviet eyes incapable of defending the soviet backed regime in kabul.From the afgan side there were often compalints of inadequate soviet air support and alocation of most difficult and riskt missions to local soldiers .The accusations were only partly true . In general the afgan army did not have any real motivation to fight thier countrymen under the command of soviet soldiers who did not understand their religion ,ethnic bonding ,culture and way of life.

It was only much later that advanced weapons like blowpipe and stinger surface to air missiles started making their appearence in afganisatn supplied by uk and usa and routed thru pakistan more particularly peshwar.And with that increased soviet air losses which at its peak almost touched one aircraft being shot down every other day and this cost of loosing a 10 million dollar mi-24 to a half a million dollar stinger or blow pipe was proving costly to even the world superpower who at that time held a mind boggling inventory of helicopter gunships as a part of thier cold war doctrine of overcomming defenses of west germany in a matter of days by brutal armoured assault with heavy attack gunship cover .

The phone on his desk softly chirped and aslam khan softly said "yes sir ,immediately sir " as he replaced the reciever and headed for the chiefs office for another round of brain storming.

Posted: 28 Apr 2006 04:17
by karan
Khalsa wrote:since when we did have Brigadier Generals in Indian Army ... its a US based rank not in use in most of the Commonwealth Forces.....

Brigadier falls within General Officers Cadre. Just because we don't call him BG doesn't mean the rank is not of General Officer.

Posted: 28 Apr 2006 10:06
by Dileep
Spy Story: Needle in a HayStack

Usman Faruq Industries Sdn Bhd stood at the waterfront property on Jalan Depen Jaram where Usman, Ahmed Faruq's father bought the land and established his timber business. Instead of the smelly decayed timber yard, the place now houses a boat building yard which is heavily mechanized. Most of the heavy wood work is performed by machines, but the hull assembly still needs expert carpenters. Most of the labour comes from the locals, but a good number of chinese are also employed. Not long ago, a few carpenters who are experts in building arabian wooden crafts were hired from Beypore. This opportunity was a windfall for the poor craftsmen, whose livelyhood was threatened by the decline of the boat building business at Beypore. They had a reasonably decent life as per the local standards. There were four of them, who shared a small house provided by the company. They also shared a cell phone so their beloved ones back home could keep in touch with them. Life was not bad, considering the decent pay they got and the savings potential.

Sulaiman, the senior most of the four, whom others called usthaad was their leader. He was surprised to get a call from someone he didn't expect. It was Sainuddin, a policeman from his village. After the chit-chat, Sainuddin asked their whereabouts. It seems one of his relatives who is in Jakarta is visiting Banjarmasin, and wanted to meet them. Sulaiman was glad to meet anyone from back home, especially someone from his home area. The only regret he had was the unavailability of traditional grocery to make a good Biriyani feast.

Rashid, the guy introduced by Sainuddin showed up one morning, taking the ferry from Surabaya. He was a pleasant mannered young man, he claimed that he is looking for a job around, and upon repeated questioning by Sulaiman, gave out a story that he was a store assistant in Jakarta, and he got in trouble with his employer because he fell in love with his daughter. He had to run away from there according to him. Sulaiman was concerned when he asked if he can share the quarters there, thinking that he might be a burden. But it is not in the nature of their community to refuse such requests, especially coming from a muslim from their place itself. Sulaiman was relieved when Rashid made an upfront payment for boarding and lodging, which he accepted after a lot of convincing.

Next day onwards, Rashid started wandering around the town, apparently looking for jobs. In the evenings they sat and chitchated or watched the local TV they hardly understood. Rashid shown great interest in the business of boat building and started asking a lot of questions about the business. Even Sulaiman, who is by any standards is a talkative person, was almost fed up with Rashid. But he, being a very nice guy otherwise had to be tolerated on that point. Also Rashid sat outside in the backyard and chatted away on the cell phone most days. It was understood that he was talking to his girlfriend.

And soon enough the talk of the house was about a launch being made for a customer in Gulf referred to as Mian. Mian, apparently is a preferred repeat customer. Its launch was being expedited by the management and the master carpenters are required to help out with other sundry jobs like rigging. Obviously they didn't like it at all. Rashid asked about the launch date, time route etc in great detail. Then, after everyone had supper, he walked out and started his chat on the cellphone in the faint voice, interspersed with giggles.

His "girlfriend", not in Jakarta, but in Singapore also knew it is a breakthrough. He dialed a number in Dubai and patched the call into conference.


Rashid's sudden enthusiasm about the boat was surprising to his friends. Suddenly he seemed to be possessed and facinated by the boat. Apparently he couldn't have enough information about it. He cajoled Sulaiman to take him inside to see it. And it almost took calling the security to get him away from there.

And things took a nasty turn when he asked if he could join the crew for the delivery voyage. The office manager kind of laughed it away, but when he mentioned it casually to Faruq, he was surprised to see the boss go red in his face. Faruq calmed himself and asked the whereabouts of the youth in detail, and finally dismissed the matter with "of course, we can't take anyone aboard, can we?". The matter appeared to be settled there.

Early next morning, the small house was visited by the Kalimantan police. They took Rashid into custody and moved him to the station. A good dose of bad words and threats were offered in lieu of answers to Sulaiman's queries. Rashid, was surprisingly calm about the situation, and calmly told Sulaiman that it is the doing of his girlfriend's father. Sulaiman never saw Rashid again. He tried to check with his people back home, but the only information he got from Sainuddin was a casual dismissal and a proverb. "If you do the crime, you do the time".

Luckily for Natarajan, all the relevant information was transferred to him by Rashid before the cover was blown, and he knew exactly when and where to look to check out the boat.

To be Continued

Posted: 28 Apr 2006 18:39
by Shankar
Aslam khan had two basic task cut out for him
1) selection of vehicles and weapon systems
2)decision on composition of each task forces to based on the fringes of the four main coties of kandahar,mazar e sharif,and kabul

3) a joint decision he also needed with air wing commander on composition of aircrafts and choppers at each air launch points near the main bases.
4)deciding on a suitable location for the reserve component of the expeditionary force ,preferably in bagram or heerat as second option.
5) selection of each of the four task force commanders .
6)to decide whether the special forces components will work independently or under direct command of task force commander .
7)getting the brand new bmp 3 s from angola quickly and also arrange for enough operating spared from russia .
8) a request to be routed thru defense minister for a small groupd of marine commandos to be attached with each force for certain specif tasks he had in mind .
9) Air base perimeter protection -this needed to be strarted at once and for once he planned to use the best that world has to offer along with the tried and tested methods .
10) some kind of settlement with the pakistani authorities for a military air corridor to kabul if possible .This will have o be taken up by the external affairs ministry asap.
11) well equipped field hospitals at the four main bases along with a command hospital type infrastructure in kabul .
12) selection of a real good n nonsense logistics officer preferably from airforce since they he had to admit are better in this kind of job with a deputy from army supply corps.
13)requisition of satelite imagery from isro satelites and if possible russian intel satelites and setting up an appropriate download staion at bagram.
14) defining the rules of engagements for indian expeditinary force in afganistan taking maximum care that local population do not loose the goodwill towards india .
15) co ordination protocol with afgan army when operating within cities as some kind of urban fighting was expected .
The list became longer and longer and the sun did set long over raisina hills as the newest lt general of indian army ,who will some day lead the 1.5 million men at arms came out of his office and strolled down thoughtfully for a good nights sleep .

Posted: 29 Apr 2006 04:51
by Khalsa
karan wrote:
Khalsa wrote:since when we did have Brigadier Generals in Indian Army ... its a US based rank not in use in most of the Commonwealth Forces.....

Brigadier falls within General Officers Cadre. Just because we don't call him BG doesn't mean the rank is not of General Officer.

My Dear Karan

fine whatever you say but My father retired as Colonel from the Indian army. I lived 17 of my years in the Indian army and I never saw a Brigadier General during that time.

there are no Brigadier Generals in the INDIAN ARMY period.

the least you can do in this thread is Address the rank correctly
Please see below ... Ranks.html

Posted: 29 Apr 2006 20:28
by Shankar
His excellency Rajan Nyar relax at last . The negotiation with pakistans ministry of defense was long drawn and very strenous and was at the point fo breaking down altogether more than onec .It was only his experience of handling protracted diplomatic negotiation helped him carry the discussion to some kind of conclussion .The pakistanis extracted a heavy price for their acceptance of indian request for an additional air corridor to afganistan over thier sensitive north wester province . Firstly they also asked for an equal number of direct overflghts over indian air space to bangladesh and china by its national civilian carrier which was expected to save them millions of dolars evry month.For the indians this arrangement allowed a quick risk free deployement atleast for the time being .The pakistanis also asked for trbling of mediacl visas which would allow pakistani citizens to access indian super speciality hospitals like narayana hridalaya and escorts and aiims without much trouble.This was ofcourse the least difficult of the conditions .They also asked for and got a military flight overflight surcharge of us$ 10000 per il-76 flight and us$ 5000 per an-32 flight . The rate for combat aircraft was steep a blanket $20000 per aircraft transit .

Still it was a good bargain considering the cost of escorting each and every supply flight about to commence in a week or so would have cost many many times more to indian airforce not to mention the risk of shoot out in such missions.

The recent shot down of four falcons over peshawar was not mentioned anywhere in the discussion and niether indian nor pakistani airforce wanted it being put on record each for its own reasons .However it was widely understood that the transit price paid by the overflying indian aircaft will more than cmpensate the cost of falcons over a period of time simply because the scope and extent of indian deployment and its resupply will be much more than initially estimated