Discussion on Indian Special Forces

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Jagan » 14 Feb 2009 20:02

rkhanna wrote:[ Garud are Sporting SF + Garud Insignia on thier arms.

.



The "garud insignia" is not so . its merely the 'rank badge' - airman, leading airman etc

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby sum » 14 Feb 2009 21:20

Shouldn't their faces be blurred in the photos?

Dont worry...they themselves were moving around freely and posing for photographs with all and sundy. The blurring might be needed if these are from some private collection of "not so open" photos...

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby rkhanna » 15 Feb 2009 03:39

Jagan wrote:
rkhanna wrote:[ Garud are Sporting SF + Garud Insignia on thier arms.

.



The "garud insignia" is not so . its merely the 'rank badge' - airman, leading airman etc




I am talking about this picture


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_o_no4M2xEPY/S ... 723046.JPG


Isnt the Patch under the SF Tab the Garud Insignia?

Same here

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/media/AeroIndia2009/shiv/p2130046.jpg.html

Operator on the Left. Between the SF and Rank Tabs isnt that the Garud Insignia?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby rkhanna » 15 Feb 2009 03:43

sum wrote:
Shouldn't their faces be blurred in the photos?

Dont worry...they themselves were moving around freely and posing for photographs with all and sundy. The blurring might be needed if these are from some private collection of "not so open" photos...



The reason/Rational for SF pics in the west being blurred was because often operators from Units such as the SAS and Delta ended up with Price Tags on their heads for terrorist they had/have killed (Andy Mcnab still has an old IRA price Tag on his head). Unfortunately Indian SF units simply arnt Offensive/Notorious enough to be given the same honor from thier opfor to mandate blanking out their faces. MARCOS is only Unit i know off that officially does not allow their Operators to reveal thier faces to the public.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Jagan » 15 Feb 2009 04:13

rkhanna wrote:[



http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_o_no4M2xEPY/S ... 723046.JPG


Isnt the Patch under the SF Tab the Garud Insignia?

Same here

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/media/AeroIndia2009/shiv/p2130046.jpg.html

Operator on the Left. Between the SF and Rank Tabs isnt that the Garud Insignia?


Yes, seen that quite a few times on regular IAF Uniforms. Not Garud related.

Image

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 15 Feb 2009 04:47

Good to see the Garud kit is updated. Army needs to take a leaf out of their page. Full marks to the IAF for raising such a unit in such a short time. I wonder though what is the level of capability of the Garuds in CT/HRT. Perhaps they can also act as the advance guards in the cities neighboring their airbases prior to arrival of NSG.

Anybody know what was the contribution of Army SF schools in helping setup the unit...also do Garuds have separate training schools for their specialized focus areas (just like the Army and IN have for their SF?).

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Surya » 15 Feb 2009 04:59

rkhanna


au contraire - many of our men in CI including SF \Para get death threats, bounties placed on them etc.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 15 Feb 2009 05:14

rkhanna wrote:The reason/Rational for SF pics in the west being blurred was because often operators from Units such as the SAS and Delta ended up with Price Tags on their heads for terrorist they had/have killed (Andy Mcnab still has an old IRA price Tag on his head). Unfortunately Indian SF units simply arnt Offensive/Notorious enough to be given the same honor from thier opfor to mandate blanking out their faces. MARCOS is only Unit i know off that officially does not allow their Operators to reveal thier faces to the public.


rkhanna,

The 'reason/rational' for that blurring all and sundry's faces is usually nothing but what I termed many moons ago on this thread as 'publicity seeking secrecy'. It is more of an urban legend than anything else that lots of operators of SAS/Delta etc. have 'price tags' on their heads. True some of them did have before (read below)...but then so did quite a few IA personnel. Sudhir Walia comes to mind.

This face blurring thing 1st started in mainstream practice during IRA troubles when they were targetting individual Ulster Constabulary and British army personnel and their families. So it had a purpose before. However, nowadays it is used to appearing 'secretive/elite' more than anything else. This blurring thing reemerged in media when McNab and buddies wrote the Brave Two Zero books. If you really want to read some harsh truths about McNab (incld. this whole price-on-head thing) please read Peter Ratcliffe's book (he was RSM of 22SAS when McNab was there). In case you are curious Andy McNab, his face does appear in public (after all he has to make money of his secrecy stuff in the end). In fact some wag once posted it on the net during one of his book signing events.

If it was really that important you would not have the RSM of SAS and original Delta operators appearing in public without their faces hidden behind a burkha. There are quite a few pics of MARCOS without face blurred in public (also check back issues of India Today) and check 26/11 pics on B-R. Yes, no SF personnel are encouraged to reveal their identity to all the sundry (esp. the press/TV media) and are advised to maintain caution but it is not so hollywood-esque as one might think about. I personally knew some USN SEALs back in univ...they did not go around looking like LMU graduates or kendostyx sistahs that much I can tell you. And if they had no issues working out with an SDRE yindoo so trust me it is not such a massive deal as long as they dont go appearing on TV/newspapers.

I think it is partly a 'Gabbar Singh' syndrome (kitne inaam rakhe hain sarkar humre sar par?) where a person who is 'wanted dead' by Al-Keeda or what-not is suddenly seen in a more elite and heroic light. Mind you, that may not even be the intention of the person being photographed but rather is a spin put on by the mediaperson who took the pic.

Media in the west is quite proficient as portraying what they want in a very very positive light. For example, I remember a pic of a USN SEAL where they claimed in the caption that: "He only allowed himself to be photographed with his face half-hidden by water (how that helps in disguising his identity is anybody's guess :roll: ). He was deadly serious and movie-star handsome." Now I leave to you to decide why reading such a caption about a Western SF operator would lead you to believe that Western SF are all oh-so-deadly with their members having 'price tags' on their heads whereas 'unfortunately' Indian SF are not that offensive/dangerous and are SDRE yindoos onlee! :twisted:

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby sum » 15 Feb 2009 11:03

Agree with the hon. doc...

These same Garuds who are openly getting photographed today might be tasked to some op behind enemy borders the next week in a ultra risky situation. Its only that our guys do not make a big show about being "elite" etc though they are as good as anyone out there.

Bose sahib,
Who is Sudhir Walia?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 15 Feb 2009 12:38

sum wrote:Bose sahib,
Who is Sudhir Walia?


uh, why the 'sahib'....all my life I have been addressed as 'hey you' :mrgreen: and probab. younger than you too.

Major Sudhir Kumar Walia was awarded the Ashoka Chakra in 2000. Probably one of the most experienced and skilled operators the IA ever had, he took part in SF ops in Sri Lanka, J&K and Kargil and was made an honorary Colonel of the Alabama Army when he did an intel course in US.
http://heroesarehere.blogspot.com/2008/03/major-sudhir-walia-9-para-commando.html
http://www.sujanians.org/blog/the-rambo-of-indian-army

I cant find the article written by VP Malik about Maj. Walia. It was posted on B-R many moons back...so if anybody has the link, please repost. He had served as ADC to VP Malik before requesting a posting to Kargil front when the Kargil war broke out.

Added Later: Found the link to the post by AdityaG quoting VP Malik's article in full. Here it is: http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=114&p=12656&hilit=Sudhir+Kumar#p12656

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby manish » 15 Feb 2009 23:08

Perhaps a little late in the day for this, but here's a little piece published in today's NYT that talks about the new “Mumbai Model” of swarm attacks and the responses to the same by CT forces. The Kabul attack seems to have triggered this article by a member of the US military community.

February 15, 2009
OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
The Coming Swarm

By JOHN ARQUILLA
Monterey, Calif.

WITH three Afghan government ministries in Kabul hit by simultaneous suicide attacks this week, by a total of just eight terrorists, it seems that a new “Mumbai model” of swarming, smaller-scale terrorist violence is emerging.

The basic concept is that hitting several targets at once, even with just a few fighters at each site, can cause fits for elite counterterrorist forces that are often manpower-heavy, far away and organized to deal with only one crisis at a time. This approach certainly worked in Mumbai, India, last November, where five two-man teams of Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives held the city hostage for two days, killing 179 people. The Indian security forces, many of which had to be flown in from New Delhi, simply had little ability to strike back at more than one site at a time.

However, unlike some of the Western 'analysts' who claimed that their CT/HRT teams would have done a better job as compared to the NSG/Marcos teams, Mr. Arquilla seems to think otherwise.
This pattern suggests that Americans should brace for a coming swarm. Right now, most of our cities would be as hard-pressed as Mumbai was to deal with several simultaneous attacks. Our elite federal and military counterterrorist units would most likely find their responses slowed, to varying degrees, by distance and the need to clarify jurisdiction.

While the specifics of the federal counterterrorism strategy are classified, what is in the public record indicates that the plan contemplates having to deal with as many as three sites being simultaneously hit and using “overwhelming force” against the terrorists, which probably means mustering as many as 3,000 ground troops to the site. If that’s an accurate picture, it doesn’t bode well. We would most likely have far too few such elite units for dealing with a large number of small terrorist teams carrying out simultaneous attacks across a region or even a single city.

And the suggested strategy seems similar to the GoI plan of having multiple NSG hubs around the country.
At the federal level, we should stop thinking in terms of moving thousands of troops across the country and instead distribute small response units far more widely. Cities, states and Washington should work out clear rules in advance for using military forces in a counterterrorist role, to avoid any bickering or delay during a crisis. Reserve and National Guard units should train and field many more units able to take on small teams of terrorist gunmen and bombers. Think of them as latter-day Minutemen.

BTW in the Afghan thread, Raja Ram postulated that the Pakis might be trying to send a message to Unkil & Co. Looks like the author has got the message and believes it.
Yes, the swarm will be heading our way, too. We need to get smaller, closer and quicker. The sooner the better.

Here's some info on the author:
John Arquilla teaches in the special operations program at the Naval Postgraduate School and is the author of “Worst Enemy: The Reluctant Transformation of the American Military.


Here's the link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/opinion/15arquilla.html

Regards,
Manish

PS: Mods, I was a little confused as to where this post should belong, please move it or delete it if it doesn't belong here. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Surya » 15 Feb 2009 23:24

The main reason many SF keep their faces out of media is because many a times they are in mufti, scouting etc. and you do not want them to be identified. One eg. SAS personnel rotate through their embassies and scout out many areas. or friendly neighbour SSG men probably do the same in Delhi

This is not just SF, anti terror forces but also guys involved in anti mafia ops etc.

All these men as well as those in CI ops are subject to threats to their families.

one of my friends had to move his family away from NE as the death threats (phone calls) became too frequent.

Some times it is not avoidable - but where possible it is a good idea.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby ASPuar » 16 Feb 2009 12:33

Interesting to see how US Specfor have "gone native" in Afghanistan. DoD photos look so much like some of the publicity shots that "Sainik Samachar" takes, with the troops talking to the brass, and cameramen hanging out in the background! Thats General Tommy Franks, erstwhile head of the US Central Command.

Image

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby A Sharma » 19 Feb 2009 07:42

NSG to get 1,081 more personnel, all from Army

With the Centre taking a number of steps to strengthen National Security Guard (NSG) post 26/11, the home ministry has sanctioned 1,081
additional posts of different ranks "to meet immediate operational requirements" of the elite anti-terror commando force.

These posts -- meant for the Special Action Group of NSG -- will be filled up by taking Army personnel on deputation. All these personnel will be posted at the four new NSG hubs which are to be set up at Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Sources in the home ministry said that more posts would be sanctioned once the new hubs became operational in the four cities. The existing plan was to add nearly 2,000 more personnel for these hubs in a phased manner by increasing the strength of NSG from over 7,500 to nearly 10,000 by the end of this year, they added.

New additions will only be meant for the SAG which is the main anti-terror commando unit of NSG. Meanwhile, the home ministry has asked the defence ministry to spare 1,081 Army personnel quickly for NSG.

Responding to a question in Rajya Sabha, minister of state for home Sriprakash Jaiswal in his written response on Wednesday said: "While it is true that there is a shortage of officers in overall terms in the Army, it is expected that this will not be a stumbling block in the creation of the proposed regional hubs of NSG."

In response to another question, Jaiswal made it clear that the government did not have any plan to remove NSG personnel from VIP security. The elite force has another wing -- Special Rangers Group (SRG) -- which takes care of VIP security. Personnel from different paramilitary forces are taken on deputation for SRG which currently provides security to as many as 21 VIPs.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Nikhil T » 19 Feb 2009 08:59

^^^
Do we really need 10,000 NSG personnel for only anti-terror( and VIP protection) operations ?? What role would these assets have in a conventional war ?

Since these guys are almost the cream of the Army, we wouldn't want a sizable number to be restricted to civilian ops. Any gurus who could elaborate ?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Rahul M » 19 Feb 2009 09:12

not all 10k will be from army, about 6000 will be. armymen won't be used for VIP protection.
rest are from CPMF.
personally, I think this is a bad idea. they should have got the state police to create such forces and NSG should have just trained them with regular cross training among various state HRT and NSG.
added later:
that said, I won't worry too much about the cream thing. a lot depends on the training and if needed IA can supply many more SF material than it does now.
one reason for the current high rejection rates is because IA can afford to ! :wink:

about their role in case of war, I think that's a very interesting question.

I guess many would go back to their parent formations leaving a small group with the original mandate of HR/CRT.

or may be they can directly operate as SF units loaned to IA.(to go around the legal problems of jurisdiction, NSG being legally a police force)
I for one, am not aware of any declared policy on this. it would be surely interesting to know.

P.S. BTW, the kolkata NSG hub has run into rough weather as the state govt is unable to find 1600 acres of land at rajarhat, which is NSG's preferred site.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Div » 19 Feb 2009 09:55

IMO the VIP protection duties of the SRG should be removed from the "NSG" umbrella and transferred to a distinct protection group that can no longer be confused/muddled together with the CT arm.

No politician should be getting SAG protection...that's like the FBI's HRT protecting the US President.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby KiranM » 19 Feb 2009 10:37

Rahul M wrote:about their role in case of war, I think that's a very interesting question.

I guess many would go back to their parent formations leaving a small group with the original mandate of HR/CRT.

or may be they can directly operate as SF units loaned to IA.(to go around the legal problems of jurisdiction, NSG being legally a police force)


Wont they have a counter SF role during war? I mean, say there are reports of enemy SF operating in an area inside India. They are to hunt and engage them. This will be within the NSG's internal security mandate.

Also didnt the Armed Forces brass shoot down the hubs proposal?!

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby sum » 19 Feb 2009 10:52

They shot it down for hubs which already have SF units (like B'luru) or Mumbai (MARCOS present)..

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 19 Feb 2009 11:16

Agree with Rahul M. The problem with 26/11 was not lack of strength of NSG (they already have 7500 or so men) but the lack of units in each state/metro which have even 1/4th the skill. Training of state/metro level HRTs by NSG to their high standards is more desirable than geographically distributing the NSG units. After all what is desired is some sort of training holding force which can hold the fort and minimize damage till the experts (NSG) arrive to do their thing. Till now NSG has been able to exist, train and fight as a superb cohesive force simply because all of them operated from a single base. Dont know of any SF/HRT which is distributed all over the place like this....everybody has a single base. Dont know what the babus are thinking with this...hope they are right :roll:

BTW SAG never had mandate for guarding any politicians....that was and is part of the SRG's mandate (apart from being responsible for cordon, security of site, perimeter etc. when the SAG goes into battle). In 1985, whoever decided to have SAG and SRG components in NSG was a visionary....US forces only realised need for such interoperational training in 1993 when a 1000 khat chewing Somalis chewed up their Delta and Rangers in Mogadishu.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby KiranM » 19 Feb 2009 11:23

^^^ Considering the politicking between centre and state, various wings within the same organization (eg: Mumbai crime branch and ATS turf war over IM members), etc., NSG training and guiding state forces can be in limbo for a long time to come. Makes more sense to retain less layers as possible wrt security response.

Regards to cities having existing SF bases not having NSG hubs; expecting Army/ Navy SF to acting as the stopping force until NSG arrives is a bit shaky. What if at times of war, these forces are not around in numbers, when terrorists strike?!

But the brass do make sense about duplication of infrastructure and losing of unit cohesion of NSG, when distributed.

May be adopt a middle path of having 50-100 NSG personnel at hot spots. Bunking, training and supporting 50-100 extra men at existing Military SF infrastructure (like Parachure Regiment Centre at B'lore and Marcos base in Mumbai) shouldn't be that taxing will it?

These 50-100 can serve as the stopping force until large numbers are surged in from Manesar. But this has to be in addition to a few aircraft being available at any point of time for the surge.

Also these 50-100 men can be rotated between the mini hubs and Manesar.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Aditya G » 19 Feb 2009 11:47

My fear is that NSG leadership is pushing for the expansion proposal to increase their own importance by sheer numbers.

VIP security should be taken care of by the CISF. Transfer the entire SRG to CISF if need be. :evil:

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 19 Feb 2009 11:54

Aditya, SRG has other roles besides VIP duty....transferring them will hardly solve anything. Transferring the VIP duties to CISE would ofcourse make a lot of sense but then will our netas agree...they are more concerned about their hides than the country.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby KiranM » 19 Feb 2009 11:59

Raja Bose wrote:Aditya, SRG has other roles besides VIP duty....transferring them will hardly solve anything. Transferring the VIP duties to CISE would ofcourse make a lot of sense but then will our netas agree...they are more concerned about their hides than the country.


May be hive off the VIP security to a wing within NSG. Create an SPG within NSG that handles proximate security exclusively. Of course this has to accompany with increase in numbers, budget, etc. But provides exclusive training to each section and using those sections judiciously.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby RayC » 19 Feb 2009 12:20

When the Army is called out for IS duties, they are successful, not because the civilians are in awe of the Army but because it is all about quick deployment and knowing the lay of the ground, the communally sensitive areas and good liaison with the police and the administration. IS Duty is one of the charters of the Army wherever it is deployed. When a unit comes into a station, apart from being briefed by the unit being relieved, the officers and men liaise with the police and the civil administration and build up a rapport. Thus, when the situation is handed over to the Army in the case when it is called out, the whole issue is seamless and effective.

Similarly, when a unit arrives in a Div Sector, they do what is known as a padyatra where they see all the posts and are briefed about each unit responsibilities as they pass through. This ensure interoperability.

Likewise, if the SAG is in hubs, they can will have the similar expertise as is developed by the Army for IS duties. In addition, the SAG would have intimate knowledge of the installations/ important landmarks that can be targeted and when the time comes, will not grope in the dark. Groping in the dark invites casualties as has happened in most of the cases (not that there would not be any).

What is wrong with hubs instead of one Centralised deployment? If the SF units can operate independently and cohesively as different units and in different location and not all huddled in the Para Centre, why should the SAG have a problem in different hubs, with Manesar as the Regimental Centre and the major training area?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby RayC » 19 Feb 2009 12:31

The VIP protection is more of ego than protection in a large majority of cases.

There are old has beens also who lobby and get this Z, Y etc protection labels. They are so old and useless, that the terrorist's bullet is more expensive than their lives and yet they have all sort of protection!

The whole issue has been reduced to a joke.

I also know of people who have declined these labels stating that it would only attract attention to themselves and would cramp their lives!

Many lost souls, who are one generation from the plough, are who want these labels and attendant 'protection' since they have emerged from their drab and unrecognised life to some recognition.

As skewed as:
Medals pose gallantry query
26/11 shower lifts eyebrows
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090219/j ... 558847.jsp

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 21 Feb 2009 03:43

Ray sir,

You make some very valid points which led me to rethink about what I said earlier. Knowing the lay of the land/area and ensuring that each region receives specific focus from a dedicated team is definitely required and the regional hubs address that in a big way. But one of the things I am afraid of, which is happen in such a scenario is that the it might bring the NSG into conflict with the local/state police wallah who consider it 'their' territory and may only cooperate during distress by which time it is too late (leading to same groping in the dark!). Since NSG has men from all units of IA, perhaps they can station men who are local to the area of posting and know the language and have some clue about the lay of the land and can talk to the local authorities on their terms. However, all said and done....main training has to be centralized with continuation training and regular refresher training distributed amongst hubs.

Also one of the main shortcomings seen during 26/11 - inadequate training and equipment of police to contain such terrorist attacks, will not be addressed as from now on the local pandu will hide behind the fig leaf that taking on terrorists is the NSG wallah's job and if another screw-up happens we will see pious press conferences from police chiefs saying they gave NSG all help so it is all NSG's fault onlee. :roll: Usually I am totally against advocating super-duper videshi SF tactics for Indian SF but in this case hopefully NSG will take a leaf out of 22SAS's book where each regional NSG hub invites the key police officers and personnel to the NSG hub to show them what capabilities they have, what help they can provide and regularly undertake interoperability drills with pandus on the ground, so that when the dung hits the fan, the police are not running around like headless chickens Mumbai-style! Ofcourse all this requires money and initiative on part of police also....being India onlee lets hope atleast some of it gets implemented without money-pinching babus cutting off funds till the next 26/11 happens.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 21 Feb 2009 03:45

KiranM wrote:
Raja Bose wrote:Aditya, SRG has other roles besides VIP duty....transferring them will hardly solve anything. Transferring the VIP duties to CISE would ofcourse make a lot of sense but then will our netas agree...they are more concerned about their hides than the country.


May be hive off the VIP security to a wing within NSG. Create an SPG within NSG that handles proximate security exclusively. Of course this has to accompany with increase in numbers, budget, etc. But provides exclusive training to each section and using those sections judiciously.


They should just hive off VIP duties to SPG....the SPG seems too well equipped and trained to be just protecting Rajmata and her chamchas.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby somnath » 21 Feb 2009 08:27

The quickest and most effective response for any 26/11 type crisis has to be from the local police. The local police is 1) made up of locals who know the place and key locations as well as people, 2) they would be able to reach soonest, 3) they wouldnt have to overcome the problems of jurisdiction that such operations easily tend to get mired into. Unfortunately, none of the city police forces have raised a half dececnt SWAT team. Instead of grotesque schemes like spreading the NSG out across 4 cities (dont know what the cities left out would think - they are somehow less important!), each city police - at least the larger ones, should be asked to raise a dedicated SWAT team, which can cross train with the NSG periodically.

The funding for this can come from the Centre, as it does for anti Naxal ops (or as it did for the Punjab counter insurgency). Money then will be more efficienntly spent. Unfortunately, examples of GSG9 or Sayaret Matkal are somewhat less relevant from our perspective in this respect - small countries can afford to have a high skilled team that quickly reaches the hot spot. A large spread out country like ours would need a "distributed capability". The example of the US is moot - the way individual city police forcecs have upgraded themselvevs to tackle potential terror threats...

Unfortunately, we now have each organisation trying to "milk" this. So the NSG wants to increase influece by enlarging itself, the Army wants to access the extra funding and therefore is volunteering its units. NSG should be a small force of "last resort" to handle extremel cmplex/difficult situation, not a forcce of first resort as it seems to be today. Instead of expanding the NSG manpower and taking away officer resourcces from a strained army, the money would be better spent in imprting the unit with more mobility and fiepower, while raising local police setups that would be able to handle a lot of the situations themselves.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 21 Feb 2009 09:42

somnath,

Unfortunately in India.....it will take a decade or two before we see the required upgradation of police forces from the pathetic state we are at present. Ray sir correctly points out the merits to using NSG hubs as an immediate measure but then it is not without problems either. If we had another 26/11 in 2009, I don't think our police will still be ready so I guess for now those regional NSG hubs will have to do.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby RayC » 21 Feb 2009 09:51

Raja Bose wrote:Ray sir,

You make some very valid points which led me to rethink about what I said earlier. Knowing the lay of the land/area and ensuring that each region receives specific focus from a dedicated team is definitely required and the regional hubs address that in a big way. But one of the things I am afraid of, which is happen in such a scenario is that the it might bring the NSG into conflict with the local/state police wallah who consider it 'their' territory and may only cooperate during distress by which time it is too late (leading to same groping in the dark!). Since NSG has men from all units of IA, perhaps they can station men who are local to the area of posting and know the language and have some clue about the lay of the land and can talk to the local authorities on their terms. However, all said and done....main training has to be centralized with continuation training and regular refresher training distributed amongst hubs.

Also one of the main shortcomings seen during 26/11 - inadequate training and equipment of police to contain such terrorist attacks, will not be addressed as from now on the local pandu will hide behind the fig leaf that taking on terrorists is the NSG wallah's job and if another screw-up happens we will see pious press conferences from police chiefs saying they gave NSG all help so it is all NSG's fault onlee. :roll: Usually I am totally against advocating super-duper videshi SF tactics for Indian SF but in this case hopefully NSG will take a leaf out of 22SAS's book where each regional NSG hub invites the key police officers and personnel to the NSG hub to show them what capabilities they have, what help they can provide and regularly undertake interoperability drills with pandus on the ground, so that when the dung hits the fan, the police are not running around like headless chickens Mumbai-style! Ofcourse all this requires money and initiative on part of police also....being India onlee lets hope atleast some of it gets implemented without money-pinching babus cutting off funds till the next 26/11 happens.



Raja,

The conflict that you speak of is indeed a valid issue. However, one has to understand the police mentality. They are politics and politician driven. They are also not averse to look the other way for a consideration, if one goes by the reports. Even a fine organisation at one time the CBI has been besmeared!

And wherever the police is in an enforcement mode, there has been widespread report of corruption. In Bengal, we have had two cases where the investigating officer in Singur and another investigation of a policeman (who was in the enforcement) found dead on the railway tracks has led to indications that money played a role.

Therefore, given the background in which the police functions, one wonders the efficacy.

Let us not only look at the use of the police in Mumbai type of attacks. There will be also ones which are done by locals. The problem that the police face is that they are chary about taking on locals since they and their families live in the same locality! And the terrorists and goons are not a forgiving type! I faced this problem during the Hyderabad communal tensions, where the police did not want to round up the real perpetrators and were only too happy to hand over the situation to the Army. Thus, in my opinion and experience, I find that the police shying away is quite natural and that non locals like the Army or the NSG can do a better job, they not having the worry that the terrorists will target their families.

The way the US police functions is totally a different kettle of fish. They can kill even innocents with overwhelming firepower and yet be absolved of any blame. I have earlier quoted the examples of the NYPD where even the Mayor and the Courts supported the police, even though the cases were clear cut ‘official’ murder. I don’t think the US example will work in India. When the Army can be slapped with Human Rights cases when operating against known and established terrorists, where do the Police have a chance?

I am not too perturbed what the Police Chief has to say about the NSG and the blame game. It is another of the Police way of functioning! :wink:

As Obama said - it is time for action and not be complacent with inaction and let the situation slide into a worse situation!

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Rahul M » 21 Feb 2009 10:16

raja, best would be to keep the NSG as the numero uno of a number of SWAT style forces in the country, raised from state/metro police dept.

the local police should have the ability to carry out such ops themselves with initial training by NSG.
regular cross-training among them would build up both competence and ability to co-operate if needed.

the NSG can stay as the HRT dedicated to the NCR and the lead training, research and doctrinal establishment.


the pros of having a police based HRT would be
>> they would have local knowledge unlike IA based NSG
>> this would cut down on turf wars b/w NSG and local police which are sure to erupt
>> it doesn't take away quality personnel from an officer starved army
>> police personnel who go back to regular police work would take back a very high standard of professionalism and competence, qualities that would then be disseminated throughout the force.
>> if sourced from police, these HRT can also take part in high risk crime fighting ops like capturing armed suspects etc. this would be a much more economic return on investment than
having thousands of army personnel (who are better off serving elsewhere) as dedicated CT/HR force many of which would never see action in the next 50 years.
>> unfortunately the number of such SWATesque teams would only increase as other cities too will want such forces. would the army be ready to dedicate even more people to such forces ?

the only con that comes to my mind is that of finding enough motivated personnel from the police ranks. however that can be remedied too with better management, some preferential treatment and better training.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 21 Feb 2009 10:39

Rahul,

All valid points but they assume that there is no corruption/political/vested interests etc. in police functioning and the basic attitude and mindset required is there. Unfortunately our police are still stuck in British-era relation with public.....seen as just another form of home guard or darwan wearing silly shorts and pagri with lot of paper authority but no practical way to enforce. This will require a lot of change in attitudes, training, equipment etc. to move to a more militaristic mindset (I am not advocating total military mindset like US cops though).

I think what would be a good course of action will be to set up the hubs but also make it part of their mandate to train (and cross-train with) local police forces....basically do a hearts and minds with the local police force. The IA knows (or atleast knew) how to do this very well....after all they trained the LTTE and Mukti Bahini!

The hubs take care of the problem of time....training local forces, changes in mindset, op. doctrine etc. takes years and years so in between this time frame if we have another 26/11 atleast the NSG is not bottled up in Delhi only but can fly in from a nearer site. Also currently what the NSG does, nobody else does (few units in the world even have honed it to such levels)....so bringing police forces up to that level that too when led by civillian leadership in crisis is going to be a major uphill task with steep learning curve for all involved. Add to that vested interests, political meddling etc. The Indian armed forces are the only organization now in India who are not driven by political interests most of the time, so as Ray sir said can be trusted to act professionally and decisively during crisis.

I think as one member suggested a month or so back, if ex-servicemen are given preference in joining police, we will see the change in mindset where they wont conduct themselves or be seen as Pandu Havildar. As time goes by, our police needs to lift itself up by its bootstraps.....the kind of neighborhood India is existing in....any other country would probably have required all its policemen to be ex-servicemen with combat training, whereas we have a bunch of potbellied rishwat-khors with rusty 0.303s (remember the Kolkata terrorist attack)!

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Raja Bose » 21 Feb 2009 10:51

RayC wrote:And wherever the police is in an enforcement mode, there has been widespread report of corruption. In Bengal, we have had two cases where the investigating officer in Singur and another investigation of a policeman (who was in the enforcement) found dead on the railway tracks has led to indications that money played a role.

Therefore, given the background in which the police functions, one wonders the efficacy.


Ray sir,
This basic mindset of our policemen has to change. Police profession in India is not something one is proud of choosing, whereas a cop in US is treated with respect and can feel proud in doing his duty. The Indian public sees the policeman as something slightly better than a loafer with a rusty gun. The Indian Army despite all dents still cites izzat as a defining factor in choosing services....not so in our police. That reflects in their conduct and attitude and in turn on the public's perception. He simply is not seen as a figure of authority or as one who has the power to enforce his authority in a dignified manner.

The way the US police functions is totally a different kettle of fish. They can kill even innocents with overwhelming firepower and yet be absolved of any blame. I have earlier quoted the examples of the NYPD where even the Mayor and the Courts supported the police, even though the cases were clear cut ‘official’ murder. I don’t think the US example will work in India. When the Army can be slapped with Human Rights cases when operating against known and established terrorists, where do the Police have a chance?


US police is overwhelmingly filled with armed force veterans and that is why it is militaristic in all aspects (this probably started after WWII). This shows in how their officers conduct themselves in public, how they react and how they intimidate. Ofcourse they go way overboard in use of force (in fact it is a standing joke that in their parlance, 'use force with extreme prejudice' means they are going to shoot the living daylights out of you! :D ). But compare the way they project themselves to your local pandu/sergeant chewing his pan with his shirt hanging out exposing his large pot belly. Who evokes more confidence when abdul-jihadi is shooting his AK-47 at me at Sealdah stattion? Basic mindset has to change!

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby Rahul M » 21 Feb 2009 12:54

you are right raja, RayC's and your posts have highlighted one area that I had ignored.

but can't this problem be mitigated somewhat by carrying over the NSG model i.e the local forces will be staffed by police but will be under the control of the Union MHA ?
after all, it will be probably the funding body !

what would be the problems in such an arrangement ?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby ashokramkumar » 21 Feb 2009 12:56

Today India has atleast 5 elite forces. Each one of them with their own expertise. Though the nature of training and the modules of training may be similar, however the scene of action seems to differ. It question tackling terrorits either in an enclosed are or in open urban areas or border areas etc. I guess each would need the required spec ops teams. My question to the group is Does Indian needa Secial Operations Commnd to unify all the special forces units?

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby ticky » 21 Feb 2009 13:04

@ Rahul

Adding on your train of thought in the last post, what about using the India Reserve Battalions for this purpose, most states have raised them and the funding agency in MHA. Atleast a battalion in each state could be trained for the purpose. In insurgency hit areas like Manipur, some of the training is imparted to IRB personnel by Army/AR instructors especially for COIN.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby somnath » 21 Feb 2009 16:41

Its absolutely fallacious to say that the Indian police is beyond redemption and cant be used to counter the threats of the day, and "central" forces need to be locally deployed for the purpose. The two big successful counter insurgency ops of "mainland" India post independence have both been a result of police action - Naxal movement in Bengal in the 70s and the Punjab terror period...The latter is a more relevant example for the threats of the day. The defeat of the Punjab insurgency was due to the cretion of a first class counter terror police and intel setup (adequately backed up by other strategic covert action by RAW etc)..

People confuse multiple issues:

1. Funding
2. Leadership
3. Political motivation
4. Calibre and equipment fit out of the force


#1 is the big "Central" imperative. For extraordinary situations, the funding has to be usually from the Centre - and it happens today in any case (for Naxal ops, Kashmir and NE). There is no dearth of leadership in the police ranks across states - when required, a Rebeiro or a KPS Gill (or a K Rajindra for that matter) came up. The red herring is political motivation, and there again, central funding is the key variable. As long as the funding is outcome based, state implementaion is not always bad (the PM Gram Sadak Yojana, the Mid day meal scheme etc are good examples - for CT, Punjab is the big example of course).

then we come to the last variable - calibre of the force. Half the battle (in fact more than half) in counter terror is of intel. The local thana is the best sourcec of local intel in a city - so capacities need tto be augmented there. The necessity is not to necessarily create uber neo-Sayaret Matkal type forces - a decent SWAT team with a modicum of the right equipment will do, as long as the thana level intel setup is good. they will still probably be inadequate for a 26/11 type of operation - but they can do the holding job adequately enough and loing enough for the specialists from NSG to come in. In fact, if anything the NSG itself should be reducing its numbers, concentrating on adding more capacities in Manesar (dedicated airlift, medium choppers, better NV etc) and knocking off the VIP protection duties to some other force. Most of the effort needs to be to augment police capacities in key cities...

The other big factor is of course intel - but that is a differnt discussion.
Last edited by somnath on 21 Feb 2009 17:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby ashokramkumar » 21 Feb 2009 16:51

NSG cannot be brought into the fold of the other Spec Forces. NSG has to remain a vigilante for the internal security threat. On the Other hand the SFF, MARCOS and the Indian Army's special forcesand the Garuda to be combined under a unified Spec Ops command.
Secondary support to NSG should come from the Industrial Security Force and the Local Police. We are also forgetting that some of the states in India do have their own small crack units eg: AP Grey Hounds. These should also be amenable for emergency deployment to counter terrorism.
One more alternate is that each state may raise its own quick reaction units based on the lines of US SWAT.

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Re: Discussion on Indian Special Forces

Postby ashokramkumar » 21 Feb 2009 16:56

Do agree with Somnath. Precise intelligence gathering is half the battle won. Intelligence gathering acn be a part of mojor work to be contributed by the local police, since their acquaintence with the local conditions.


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