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Anticipating & countering future military threats/challenges

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Anticipating & countering future military threats/challenges

Postby shiv » 16 May 2010 21:05

Saraswati namastubhyam
varade kaamaoopini
vidyarambham karishyaaami
siddir bhavatu me sada


It is not my style to start with a sanskrit shloka, but this is a prayer that asks that one may actually learn from the study that one is starting. I start this thread in the hope that everyone can learn something.

This topic has been going through my mind for a while and while I am not the expert I have some thoughts that I will put down - hopefully in a manner that can provoke some useful discussion. I will first briefly describe the problem in terms of something that is more suitable for the strat forum before moving on to stuff that is more suitable for discussion on this forum

When you talk of military threats and challenges, you have to decide what you are going to be doing. Are you going to be siting and waiting for others to attack so you can defend yourself, or are you going to go out and attack. This straightaway splits the requirements in the following way

1) If you are going to sit back and wait for an attack, who is most likely to attack you and what is it that you need to counter. Unfortunately reality demands that you must prioritize. If you think the entire world is going to attack you, your preparation is likely to be less focused and even your neighbour may take you down because you were too busy seeing far away, nearly non existent threats like asteroids

2) If you are going to go out and attack someone - you need to see where your interest lies and whom you want to attack. If Myanmar wants to attack India its preparations need to be of a particular nature. But if Myanmar wants to attack and take over Russia, the preparations have to be different.

Typically you have to plan for both these exigencies, and for that you have to have an idea of who might want to attack you, and whom you might want to attack. There is more detail here - eg If you believe a very powerful foe will attack you, it may be better for you to use diplomacy to avert that - but that is OT so let me move on to what is relevant to this thread.

The only point I was trying to make is that offensive or defensive military preparations have to be made keeping in mind the threats that YOUR particular nation faces and what YOUR nation wants to do. Military hardware and personnel should be geared up for YOUR requirements. Preferably from the design and acquisition stage I put this in italics because this point comes back time and again to bite nations in the ass. When entire nations have allowed themselves to be bitten in he ass, with India heading the list, it is not surprising that Indian jingos too often follow the same line of thinking that makes the nation pick up weapons designed for other people's wars to try and apply them to our wars. No weapon system is so general and suited to multiple uses that it can move seamlessly from one nation to another and serve every nation's military needs perfectly.

Especially important is the technology and spares that go into it. No major foreign hardware manufacturer checks ISI (Indian Standards Institution) specs to order screws and washers for their planes, tanks and subs. They buy them from the factory down the road that follows the specs demanded of them. So when we buy the foreign hardware we cannot import the factory down the road and either have to set it up for ourselves (raising costs) or importing "trivial/unimportant" little items that can lead to problems the way the Indian MiG 21 fleet was once grounded for lack of brake pads from the USSR.

If you look at the history of war, new technology and tactics have appeared from time to time that have changed the face or war. When technology is exactly the same on both sides, tactics and other factors have made a difference. When technology has been of a "war winning" type - victory has gone more easily to the wielder of that tech - although not invariably. In the past, technology that has actually won wars has always been copied. This has led to a funny situation. I will try and explain. It is always the war winners who write history. If a war winner won a war because of some technology, history will record that victory as a result of some technology. But history rarely records the mistakes made by the losing side. At the end of hundreds of thousands of battles fought over 2000 years - we have a history of only a handful, and that history was written by the winner.

Why did the loser lose? Did he have the same tech but smaller numbers? Did he have the same tech but poor tactics, poor leadership or some other factor like logistics or weather? Or was his technology not good enough?

At one time Roman infantry columns were world beaters. Not much information exists as to what tactics were used by their opponents that ensured that they got defeated. Surely one would expect that people would catch on to what the Roman armies were doing and then figure out a weakness. But anyhow as time passed, even Roman infantry got outmoded and replaced by "new technology" like cavalry. The invention of the stirrup that allowed armed men to sit 6 feet up in the air and ride on 800 Kg vehicles charging at 30 kmph over rough ground without falling off was the next big thing. Gradually - existing weapons were adapted to the horse - sword, spear, bow and arrow etc. The gun came next and created its own revolution, and this was followed by railways that changed the face of logistics, and then the internal combustion engine leading to the tank and later aircraft.

But this rapid and approximate recount of history shows three things:
1) Advances in technology that revolutionised warfare have come only once in a few decades or sometimes centuries.
2) In the decades or centuries between these advances, every combatant has acquired the same technology and wars have been won and lost on factors unrelated to technology.
3) When a new technology arrives it is impossible to say "This tech will revolutionize war". That is a judgement that has to be made retrospectively. You cannot reach judgement of a technology in advance and say that it will be revolutonary and important 100 years from now. You just don't know.

So what does all this mean for India and the future?

1) India must plan out its military strategy by prioritizing the likely foes who might attack us, and on the likely areas outside India we might need to attack or occupy. The latter is particularly important. Political rhetoric in India says "We do not covet an inch of others' territory". That is great rhetoric but is a serious mistake to mean that. We have to be ready to go out and hit those who might come and hit us.

2) If a new technology is developed outside India and touted as the "latest and greatest" should we aim to get that technology, or should we aim to defeat that tech? My take is that we need to first talk of defeating or neutralizing that tech if it can be used against us. In the long term we will get that tech anyway. By hook or by crook. Concentrating on getting the new tech is less important than trying to defeat that tech. Defeat of new technology is rarely by exactly the same tech. It is usually by changed tactics and using what is available. We must never forget that getting or copying new technology may take decades, but getting defeated by new technology may occur in weeks. So what does that mean in terms of response to new developments?

I am hoping that the above paragraph will serve as a basis for further discussion. If I get inspired I will expand on this point (and other thoughts) in separate posts - but this one has already taken 3 days to compose.

Sorry if it seems like a ramble. If you leave out the political bit, (that is for the strat forum) the "response to technology" itself is a huge topic. I am hoping to spark off some new/interesting thoughts. Or at least get some grey cells whirring.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby sugriva » 16 May 2010 22:05

Mostly noob here but I will attempt by asking one question. I have no answers to this as of now.

Q. How do you counter HARM missiles? Remember HARM missiles were used to take out Saddam's Air defenses in both Gulf wars. Is new radar technology required ?

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Samay » 16 May 2010 22:54

just keep an eye on unkil(be defensive) and take care of paquis and chinkis

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Mihir.D » 16 May 2010 23:49

Shiv,

Wouldn't this thread be better of by deciding a time frame. I mean we can analyze the threats/challenges in 5 year period.
2010-2015:
2015-2020:
So on and so forth.

Based on the timeframe we can analyze and build scenarios based on open source information of enemy capabilities.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Samay » 17 May 2010 00:44

x posted

arun wrote:X Posted.
NYT



Mr. Shahzad came of age during Pakistan’s state-sponsored jihad against India’s military in the breakaway region of Kashmir — a conflict that granted legendary status to Pakistani jihadists. “We used to see the mujahedeen as heroes,” said one graduate of Mr. Shahzad’s high school, who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. “When I look back, I think, ‘What was I thinking? What were we all doing?’ But in that era, it made sense. We all wanted to do something.”


The cynical practice of the Senior Officers of the Pakistan Military to sacrifice the children of the poor of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as cannon fodder for the cause of waging Jihad against India seems to have come back to haunt the uppermost echelons of the Military.

Let me hope that the likelyhood of seeing their own children seduced by the depraved values of Islamic Jihad propagated by them to hurt India will give pause to the Pakistan Military’s sponsorship of terrorism.


Well hoping good is not a bad thing,
but nobody knows for sure what the mad-rassa logic comes out with
well it had always brought a solution which survived and pushed the society into darkness because its prerequisite is that mad-rassa logic can never be wrong
may be that way ,the army elite in paquistan is lured to send their children in this disease , and that has a fair chance to happen
instead of us faring in wonderland ,we must prepare against a series of radical generals to come into power in bakiland ,will always be ready to use islamic bum.
and that has more likelyhood .

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 17 May 2010 07:33

There are a few interesting questions and suggestions here but I will just take couple of posts to finish saying some other things I wanted to say to set the "background" from which I am approaching this.

Military technology has taken exactly the same route as evolution. Let me explain that.

Evolution throws up some random oddball changes in animals or plants. If those oddball changes are good, then the children of the animal born with that oddity will survive and carry that oddity themselves. This oddity carrying group will survive better while their cousins - without the odd change will slowly die out. Over centuries - the "odd feature" becomes the norm.

Let me give two hypothetical examples:

1) One animal is born with say bigger and sharper teeth that helps him hunt better and fend off attackers. This chap's children survive better than his "normal cousins". Maybe 50% of his cousins children die, but 80% of his own children, with the better teeth survive. In turn 80% of their kids survive etc until bigger teeth become the norm. This can be termed he evolution of an offensive feature

2) A normally black insect starts having green children. Suppose this color somehow provides protection against predators in a lush green forested area. Again - maybe 50% of the kids born who are green survive while the black ones continue with their usual 10% survival rate. Over many generations green will become the selected color - with mainly green insects. This can be termed the evolution of a defensive feature.

The interesting comparison here with military technology is that when a new oddball feature arises, it is impossible to tell whether this feature actually has a future. You cannot loot at the green babies of a black insect and say "Hey looks like these guys have a great future". You can only say "Yuck! How disgusting". When a new technology arrives it cannot be guaranteed to revolutionize warfare unless it proves itself to be able to survive and dominate all battles most of the time.

There is at least one interesting example of this. Warriors initially rode horses bareback or on saddles with no stirrup.The riders had to do all they could merely to hang on. Then someone came along and invented a precursor of the stirrup. This was a rope that hung down from either side with a knot at the end. The rider could grab the knot with each foot between big toe and the other toes (like wearing a Hawall chappal) and that enabled the rider to hold on better to the horse. This actually allowed some limited fighting capability - by allowing one hand to be free to wield a sword. I am sure battles were won and people defeated and eliminated by this great new technology. If nobody had invented the proper stirrup, then perhaps this rope-knot technology would have survived far longer and spread all over the world. But the regular stirrup did get invented, enabling men to free both their hands to use sword and shield, bow and arrow or rifle, and the rope-knot tech has become a footnote in history.

Pease allow me to digress into the field of medicine to make another analogy to show why a particular technology may or may not survive. While I can use several real life examples, I will make it simple and use a single hypothetical example. Suppose a disease can be treated by a particular method - perhaps a medicine that has to be taken for months while the person changes his lifestyle. Suddenly, new technology arrives which can cure the disease in a few days but the treatment is expensive and suited only for certain specialist centers.

What will decide whether this new technology is going to spread all over the world and replace the earlier treatment? Typically the decider is economic factors. The expensive but quick treatment gets used in certain centers where the economics are skewed to support it. In the rest of the world the new tech is not going to catch on. In fact there is more complexity in economics than one might think. It is not just a case of poverty and wealth, but relative poverty and wealth. For example in wealthy nations they have made the cost of medicine so high that long term treatment with medicine is more than the cost of operation and quick recovery. In other countries the medicine is inexpensive and the operation is expensive. I could keep on using medical examples for specific comparisons with military technology to show how certain economies and social systems find it easier to absorb and cope with technology that is more costly while others deliberately choose a different route.

One classic example is Vietnam. The Vietnamese could have attempted to match the US tech for tech and they would have failed and lost. But they opted to lose people or hide in underground bunkers to neutralise the effect of technology and continue the fight until it became too costly and unsustainable for the US. For the Vietnamese - their choice was a no brainer - they did not have the chance of a snowflake passing an agnipariksha in "matching" the US. But it is relevant to India. Indians may think "Hey we can match the US" and take the US route. Why compare ourselves with Vietnam? But that may be wrong, even fatal. We have to act with what we have - both in terms of technology, economy and human potential and match that with what our society gives us, as opposed to what US or some foreign society is willing to take. We have to make all decisions based on our capability and our economy and cannot allow other people's decisions dictate what we need.

I will stop with a thought that I am struggling with in my mind. I have no answer because I suspect the answer is more than meets the eye and is not as simple as the solutions being quoted (even on this forum)

The US has an extremely potent and capable aircraft in the F 22. Why, oh why on earth would the US want an F 35 that is less capable?

The answer that suggests itself to me lies in two key US decisions
1) The F 22 won't be exported
2) The US is going to retain a special stealthy version of the F 35 for itself and allow only a slightly less capable version for export

It seems to me that the US has reached the limit of its spending power with the F 22. No country can make a better weapons platform. but even the US has exhausted its resources. But what the US is doing is to try and make up some of the money it has spent and will spend by offering some F-22 like goodies for export in the form of a smaller and less capable F-35. The US is going to milk its own allies for money that will eventually buttress its own strength, allowing it to retain the super F 22 and make up numbers with the F 35.

This is a unique US tactic - an admirable one that only a technological-economic superpower like the US can pull off. All the bakras who buy the F 35 are not getting what the US already has in the F 22, but will be paying a heck of a lot of money to subsidize and pay for US defence and dominance. Here is a clear example of technology and trade being used cleverly by the US to keep itself at the tip of the pyramid. We need to think very carefully before we act on acquiring things like the F 35, lest we become bakras subsidizing the US like its "allies" and impose a fatal cost on our own long term strength while helping the US to dominate.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 18 May 2010 13:55

I need to make one last post of thoughts before I start posting my take on some of the other posts made here.

If you go back in history and notice that some technology has proven to be a war winner, you will also see that what broke the back of that war winning technology and stopped it from winning was never exactly the same technology. It is always something different that defeats any given "war winning" technology. It could be new technology or it could be new tactics, or it could be other factors.

I won't go too far back - but start at World War 1. By the time WW1 started Europe at least had arrived at the conclusion that wars would be positional - with trenches fortifications. Perhaps this was because the invention of the machine gun had made the infantry, and even horse cavalry charge obsolete. Fixed machine gun positions at strategic vantage points were supposed to mow down any invader - thus putting an end to a style of warfare revolutionised by Gengis Khan. World war ! ended up being a massive and bloody stalemate with millions being mowed down for moving out of their trenches. But people were already thinking of a way of breaking that stalemate. The first tanks and aircraft arrived in WW1 but not enough to make a big difference.

By WW2 the French military still imagined that fixed defences would work. But the Germans had kept their grey cells whirring. They realised that if they broke though those lines the French would be toast (French toast?) They relied on "shakinah" (Shock and awe) of dive bombers and artillery followed by rapid mobility to overrun French lines. War had been revolutionised. It was mobile again, with trucks and tanks. The fortified fixed defences causing stalemates were now a thing of the past. WW2 of course produced many technological breakthroughs. Nothing like war to force people to think about how to get an advantage.

We have a thread on BR to jog memories of revolutionary tech that came out of WW2

Let me briefly list out some of the things that military forces had after WW2 which have defined wars in the period after WW2.(list from memory - maybe incomplete)
List 1
  • The tank
  • Air Force as a separate arm
  • Use of offensive and defensive air power against land and naval targets
  • Submarines
  • Aircraft carriers
  • Radar/Sonar
  • A rediscovery of unguided rockets in war
  • Ballistic missiles
  • anti-tank weapons, the shaped charge
  • Nuclear weapons capability

List 2:
The main revolutionary war related technologies to come out (or mature) after WW2
  • Jet engines/aircraft
  • satellites for communication, surveillance and navigation
  • computers and electronics, smart systems
  • precision guided munitions including guided missiles
  • robotics

If you look at these two lists they tell a curious story. Most of the weapons we use today were developed by WW2

Other than guided missiles, the only developments after WW2 are "ancillary technology" that have made warfighting "more effective" using existing weapons platforms and systems developed during WW2. Very few revolutionary new weapons have come out after WW2 at least in the lists that I have made above, which to my knowledge include all the major developments. I would be happy to be corrected.

It is List 2 that makes a war big difference to the items in List 1.

There is, IMO an even more disquieting difference between those two lists.

Practically every country in the world has List 1. (ignore nukes for this thread). List 2 is dominated by the words "west", "developed", "great powers"."colonial powers", "superpowers"

If you analyse where these "lists" originate from - you find that List 1 originates from the scientific and industrial revolution of the 19th century. The countries that underwent that industrial revolution actually developed list 1. The very same countries are now proceeding to refine the weapons of List 1 by using List 2 technologies that they have themselves developed based on their century old industrial experience and development. They made the weapons for all wars, and they are making them better using manpower skills that they have and they use.

The second major point that emerges from the two lists can be obtained by looking at each major weapons system and seeing how it can be countered.

1) The Tank: The tank has been countered by other tanks, anti-tank mines, anti-tank weapons, air power (helicopters and fixed wing aircraft) and physical obstacles.

2) Aircraft: Aircraft are countered by other aircraft, anti aircraft guns, surface to air missiles, denial of use of air bases by anti-runway weapons, and technology sanctions.

3) Submarines: IIIRC the major methods used to counter submarines was by surface ships and aircrfat in ww2. Hunetr kiler submarines are an addition to that.

4) Aircraft carriers: Aircraft carriers can be (theoretically) countered by aircraft, missiles, submarines and surface ships

5) Radar and Sonar are countered by jamming and/or stealth, physical destruction of radars by aircraft, missiles, artillery, sabotage

6) Unguided rockets: there is no specific counter other than by destruction of the launchers one by one. Bunkers, deception/protection

7) Ballistic missiles: ABM systems, destruction of missile sites/laumchers

8) Anti-tank weapons: countered by stealth, reactive armour, more and thicker armour, making tanks weapons have a longer range than anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft weapons

9) Guided munitions and missiles: These can be countered by stealth/deception, close in weapons systems, quick reaction missiles, destruction of enemy electronic eyes like AWACS and UAVs, jamming/flares, heavier armor, underground bunkers, dispersal of assets, asset redundancy

Two major conclusions can be reached from here

1) The way to counter a given technology is never exactly the same technology. A crude example is that you do not need ballistic missiles to counter ballistic missiles. There is always something else or some other tech that can counter a given tech. The lesson here is that if an adversary has a given technology - you do not need to acquire exactly the same tech to counter it. It can be done by something else.

2) Look at the two lists above. India is primarily a "List 1" country but the threats it faces are weapons and systems provided by "List 2" countries.

Based on these two observations one can start looking at how India might be able to counter the various technologies that are thrown at it by adversaries.

There is one aspect I have left out - and it is a very significant technique by which high tech is countered. This is asymmetric warfare. Hopefully I will be able open a few thoughts about that as a strategy.
Last edited by shiv on 19 May 2010 08:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby vardhank » 18 May 2010 14:52

NICE analysis.
What about low-intensity warfare as well? I, at least, believe India will get involved (hopefully in a gentler way) in the sort of global policing the US used to do, most probably in Africa. I'm talking about littoral combat, bush warfare, etc, the kind of conflicts we might have TOO much firepower for. Would it be best to go with what we have, or have a range of low-intensity weapons systems (across all three branches of the military)?
Also, maybe time to develop a proper seaborne fighting force, an Indian Navy Marines?

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Pratik_S » 18 May 2010 16:39

@Shiv
I my opinion we are considering only full scale war over here and AFAIK India has never fought a full scale since 1971. Personally I feel India's future threats are not full scale. For coming 20-30 years India will face threat only from two military's i.e Pakistani and Chinese.

We can down play the Chinese because they won't prefer to engage with India in a full scale war because they might have higher probability of winning but the conflict will result into serious slow down its rise as global power. India's has sufficient strength to defend itself for a very long time which will severely weaken the Chinese Air Force and the Army. Chinese strategy is of provocation, they infiltrate,play maritime cat and mouse games, hack into computers, etc and blame the victim for causing this.By this they want others to take up aggressive poster which inturn will allow them to justify their future actions. India will not fall into the trap because it is now used to such tactics from both the Chinese and ISI backed Pak Army(terrorists).China has quite rapidly made itself a fortress but its offensive capabilities are still some what weak. So we won't have troubles from them unless we do something like they do. However we should be cautious and build up our force levels along the Chinese border, place more SAM's, build more bases from where Fighters can take off, build up the infra for rapid response, finish the Nirbhay cruise missile fast and place them near china, build more frigates, destroyers, SSB's and SSBN's. India should also improve its military relations with Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and get the Junta out of power in Burma.

Pakistan is the only country with which India has a possibility of fighting a full scale war. In coming years we might run out of patience with them on terror issues. Or Pak might get a new "Jingo" leader who might go on war with us on kashmir and what not. Conventionally Indian military is way to strong for them, they pretty much don't have a navy, Airforce lacks quality as well as quantity, army is very good. But once sea and air is won it would be lot easy to win on land. However the Paki nukes are a concern because their missiles can hit us if our defenses fail to kill them. When nukes are involved its very difficult to predict anything. So incase of war with Pak its important to take out their nukes first even if we have to take heavy attrition because their is no doubt that they won't use them.

Two front war is a something which the guys in South block are really worried about. I won't comment on it because I haven't thought much on it. May be you can.

The most serious challenge for India comes from the jehadi's and the Naxals in the coming decade. I don't think this is the right place to discuss about the jehadis but we can talk about the Naxals because what they have is their own organized military. Personally I don't think their Red Army is any good because pretty much anybody can practice guerrilla warfare and go about killing people. The main issue with them is not with them, but its with us. If we don't take action against them for few more year than it will be a hell a lot bloodier. They should not be allowed to grown under the excuse of being Indian citizens. The govt labels them terrorists and than calls them as citizen! I used to believe that terrorist are non-state actors with no citizenship. The only solution for this is that the guys in charge (lungiman and the economist) should wake up and take action, take out the Paramilitary and replace it with the army and Naxalism would be extinct withing 5 years.

In general India should have more SF's, smart low intensity weapons, better and mobile artillery, SAM's, BMDS, more subs, and more emphasis on indigenization to counter all possible threats. Rest is good or going to be good with current plans.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby kgoan » 18 May 2010 20:44

Shiv:

This has to be one of the finest threads started on BR in years. My thanks.

I look forward, in accordance with your shloka, to learning something here with real anticipation.

Cheers,
kg.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 18 May 2010 22:26

Thanks kgoan. Hopefully it won't become like the experience of so many Indian children in college - i.e there is a vast gap between the desire to learn and the availability of learning to be had. :lol:

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby kittoo » 18 May 2010 23:51

A fine topic indeed. This 'asymmetric warfare' intrigues me. It was also used by our DM a few months ago, while talking about China-
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news ... ny/542221/
On such a large scale, the idea of asymmetric warfare is very very complex and it would be really interesting to know what policy about it our govt has. Unfortunately, DM did not talk much about it. What are a few ideas about asymmetric warfare in India-China context? The postures I am seeing from Indian side are mostly raising of new China specific divisions and positioning more Su-30s with improving air-force related infrastructure. Are there any other moves and how do these moves fit in with 'asymmetrical warfare'?

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Sanku » 19 May 2010 13:41

A very fine thread. I intended to study in this class too, trying to do some prep stuff.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby K Mehta » 19 May 2010 16:42

I have a question for this thread
What time period are we focussing on?
My suggestion is that the thread discussion should not be on extremely short term. But can focus on short to long term such as 5yrs or more.

We should then envisage what kind of terrain/ geography/ maritime area are we going to have a future military conflict?

What kind of military systems contemporary, futuristic (western or otherwise) or combination of systems will be useful in such a conflict. What basic advantages or disadvantages will our adversaries systems enjoy (note: lets focus on the adversary)

What strategies would overcome such advantages?

For example the PT-76 didnt have a higher firing power than the T-55(? IIRC) but had an advantage as to its amphibious ability which was used in 71, due to riverine nature of Bangladesh.

The patton tanks had better firing power in 65 (I remember RayC saying it had Laser range finders which Indian tanks didnt) however this range advantage was negated by using the sugarcane fields in Asal Uttar(? again IIRC)

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 19 May 2010 17:16



Honestly this is the first time I have come across anyone speaking of "asymmetric warfare" plans for India to use. But I don't see any harm.

Today's Deccan Herald has an example of asymmetric warfare:One of them
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/704 ... -base.html
.. a suicide car bombing killed five US soldiers, a Canadian colonel and 12 Afghans,


The first thing that I believe needs to be noted about "asymmetric warfare" is that there must be an asymmetry between two sides. Asymmetric warfare is fought by a side that finds itself militarily completely dominated by another side with no hope of matching that military might. If one starts looking one finds thousands of examples of aysmmetric war being fought by people who have lost or are called "losers". The French Resistance, the Mukti Bahini, the Viet Cong, Hezbollah the Taliban were, or are practitioners of asymmetric warfare.

I would like to use a biological example here - one that I had mentioned shortly after 9-11. At that time I had used the example of cockroaches, but I would like to use the example of house mice. Anyone who has had a mouse in the house will soon figure out that the mouse mostly runs on the floor along the walls. And it runs fast from hiding place to hiding place. To get to the diagonal opposite corner of a room, a mouse will take the path along 2 walls. You might wonder why the mouse does not run directly past your feet to go to the opposite corner - knowing that you will not be able to catch it or that your wife (and maybe you too) will be jumping in fright.

But evolution prevents the mouse from doing that. It is not you or your ancestors who have caused that evolution. It is dogs, cats and birds. If a mouse strays away from a wall and runs across an open space, it will get pounced by a predator who is much faster in open spaces. No doubt evolution must have originally produced two types of mice. One type with a tendency to run across open spaces (over your wife's feet?) and another with a tendency to run along corners. The genes of the former group would have all been killed off and eaten by predators, making it more successful to take the longer wall route. The mice that run along the walls are less likely to be seen and if seen are less likely to be caught by forces that are far superior. Evolution has given the mouse one of the strategies of asymmetric warfare.

The fundamental strategy of asymmetric war is to survive. Even if you defeat an enemy, if he survives, he is living to fight another day. If he surrenders it means nothing. He can still remain silent and peaceful for a decade or a century and then hit back, or he can continuously fight back in many small ways in which you are unable to touch him.

One of the take away lessons here is that for asymmetric war to be commenced, there must be asymmetry in the first place. If that asymmetry is not there then asymmetric war is not necessary. A regular war in which he kills you (or you escape by the skin of your teeth) can occur. Note that Pakistan, by the use of terrorism is now using asymmetric warfare after trying and failing to make headway by conventional warfare. If we drop our guard conventionally, they will not need asymmetric warfare. Pakistan is using the excuse that it needs to fight asymmetric war because of India's overwhelming superiority. The joke here (and it is a deadly serious joke for India) is that the US believes that Pakistan's fear of India needs to be reduced for them to stop using asymmetric means, and that Pakistan's fear of India can be reduced by making them stronger conventionally!! Truth is surely stranger than fiction.

So now imagine how we can take on the US in case of war. If you must write a fictional story about having sex with a beautiful neighbor, you have to set aside all the negative feelings you might get in your head. "I am married. I am engaged. This is not right. How can I even think of such things. How can I reveal the thoughts I am cooking up about my neighbor and actually write them down and convince my wife that it is fiction and that I am merely writing a story? "

The reason I am writing this seemingly OT stuff is because I am asking people to set aside their inhibitions think of an active hot war in which the US attacks India. No I am not saying the US will attack India, but you cannot even begin to imagine what "asymmetric warfare" means unless you imagine an all out conventional attack on India by the US like the one on Iraq. Screw China. The asymmetry is not that large. Think US attacking India. No need to feel inhibited. You can be sure that the US has gamed this with every nation on earth.

Imagine first a swarm of cruise missiles taking out coastal defences. And relentless raids by F 22s taking out air bases and radars. And a gradual achieving of air dominance over small areas of India whereby aircraft can go deeper and deeper into India taking out assets one by one. Never mind the dharnas, demonstrations and noise all over India if this happens, but how would India respond? And then taking over the Andamans and Nicobar and setting up unsinkable bases there etc. How could India respond? I will not detail this scenario but I would myself refer back to my own post above (Clicky) detailing the technologies and weapons India has that cannot easily be countered by anyone, not even the US.

I would like to end this post by asking people who have not does it to read up analyses of that last war fought by Israel against Hezbollah. The latter actually fought a successful asymmetric campaign against the Israelis.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 20 May 2010 19:10

sugriva wrote:Mostly noob here but I will attempt by asking one question. I have no answers to this as of now.

Q. How do you counter HARM missiles? Remember HARM missiles were used to take out Saddam's Air defenses in both Gulf wars. Is new radar technology required ?

I don't know. HARM missiles home in on radiation. Not giving off any radiation would be a good idea, but that means radar emitters are off.

I had once asked a question related to this, let me rephrase that question to ask the technically informed. Please excuse me if the question sounds naive.

If my living room has one naked bulb radiation from that bulb spreads in all dierctions and reflects off anything that the radiation hits. One way of increasing the amount of light in my living room is to have - say 25 bulbs emitting light. The difference between a bulb and rarad as far as I can tell is that the bulb emits the light (emitter) but my eyes detect the light (deterctor). The detector is passive.

Is it feasible to have multiple emitters like 25 bulbs and a few passive detectors. Redundant emitters means that one or two can be switched on and there is plenty of reserve redundancy even if a few emitters are taken out.

Anyone with any idea?

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby ParGha » 20 May 2010 20:00

There is no requirement that the practitioner of asymmetrical warfare be weaker and dominated by the adversary: For example, for centuries settled powers in China and India simply found it to be more economical to keep the traditional enemies from the steppes 'engaged' through asymmetrical warfare. It was cheaper to poison oases, assassinate ambitious chieftains, bribe and support pliant tribes etc than to fight and dominate each potential adversary.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 20 May 2010 20:46

ParGha wrote:There is no requirement that the practitioner of asymmetrical warfare be weaker and dominated by the adversary: For example, for centuries settled powers in China and India simply found it to be more economical to keep the traditional enemies from the steppes 'engaged' through asymmetrical warfare. It was cheaper to poison oases, assassinate ambitious chieftains, bribe and support pliant tribes etc than to fight and dominate each potential adversary.



This is exactly what Pakistan is doing to India right now. But asymmetric war hardly leads to spectacular victories and defeats. it's all about endurance, thousand cuts, slow bleeding etc. The significance is that victory for the people who fight asymmetric war is dependent on their endurance and the endurance of the people who are facing asymmetric war. Elimination and total defeat of an adversary, along with control are less likely than harassment.

In fact this is why asymmetric war has become such a big topic. A nation like the US cannot win a total victory and has to endure asymmetric war indefinitely. But in the absence of genocide and bestial subjugation, asymmetric war cannot easily be defeated. India has chosen the route of endurance. The US lost Vietnam from lack of endurance. How are they going to win Afghanistan?

The other point is, if military asymmetry of one over the other is not there, the methods of asymmetric war can easily be escalated to total conventional war with variable results. Two examples of this.

Pakistan commenced asymmetric war in 1965, expecting a people's rebellion and then followed that with a conventional attack. Both failed.

In 1971, the Mukti Bahini commenced the asymmetric bleeding of the Paki army, and the final blow was struck by the Indian armed forces.

In the two cases, the difference lay in the actual level of conventional military superiority. Pakistan could have won 1965 on conventional superiority alone. India could have lost 1971 if it was conventionally weaker.

I believe that Pakistan can be punished by Indian military superiority - for waging asymmetric war. But the Indian polity does not want war. But that is a different issue. And that allows Pakistan the "window" it needs to wage asymmetric war.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby kittoo » 20 May 2010 21:43

^^As far as the question of US in Afghanistan goes, IMVHO, its about their severe dyspepsia of death as reality of war, or in other words, endurance of losses. While value of life must be given a very high importance, deaths will happen. And if a few deaths are all that is needed to make any war very very unpopular in US, I fail to conceive a scenario in which they win against an enemy that is ready to be killed for his/her faith and is really motivated.
On the topic of asymmetric warfare, and especially in the context that Taliban are using asymmetric warfare against US, I recall the words from trailer of Medal of honor (2010, set in Afghanistan, as cheesy as it may sound)- "The war rages on. We've dealt the enemy many crushing blows, we've exposed their positions and have driven them back. But they have endured. They've adapted. And they are not as weak as we once thought. War requires a sledgehammer, but will be decided with a scalpel."
The statement that war will be decided with a scalpel is what is interesting. In the examples given by you Shiv saar, we can consider one part sledgehammer and one scalpel. E.g., Mukti Bahini the scalpel and Indian Army the sledgehammer in 1971. For a complete victory, both are needed. And I believe this is what we need to discuss in this thread, the need, possibility of achieving and path towards achievement of both the sledgehammer and the scalpel.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Sanku » 20 May 2010 21:49

shiv wrote: But in the absence of genocide and bestial subjugation, asymmetric war cannot easily be defeated. India has chosen the route of endurance. The US lost Vietnam from lack of endurance. How are they going to win Afghanistan?


Endurance can help one survive, but sooner or later the above is only way to win a asymmetric war (I am not saying a sufficient condition but a necessary one)

I had wanted to make the comment for a while, but held back due to political correctness mindset. Shiv's post gave me a opening I could use.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 20 May 2010 21:57

I love the sledgehammer/scalpel analogy. The only difference between a gunshot would and a surgical operation is that the latter is controlled injury while the former is uncontrolled injury. Both are injury nevertheless and pain is felt. But the scalpel is used to injure only so much as needs to be injured while the sledgehammer/gunshot injures everything around.

I believe the US is interpreting this war as the need to take out specific people/groups (with a scalpel) rather than by "carpet bombing/rolling thunder" (sledgehammer). In fact the Indian army goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties and they take casualties themselves as a result. That is the price one pays for using a scalpel.

Someone on this forum had posted (or was it me who found and did not post) an article about a survey of all the terrorist groups over the last X years. It was found that very few had been eliminated. In most cases a political solution was reached.

You know what that means? Not even a scalpel. Tonics and tablets.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby ParGha » 20 May 2010 22:18

Pakistan cannot defeat, much less dominate, India today - its asymmetrical war role is more like the traditional underdog's. The reason I refered to powers in old civilizations was to illustrate how even the superdog can fight asymmetrically, with sound political and economic reasoning.

You are correct, the most important characteristic for waging a successful asymmetrical war is endurance. Next are humility and objectivity. Some characteristics can compensate for others. The US seems to have gotten itself into a political quagmire in Af-Pak with an overambitious COIN agenda for A'stan, but at least a fraction of its forces seem to be quite objective in their CT campaign.

Humility in this case means doing all that is necessary to achieve the larger political, economic and social objectives - especially not chasing the chimera of a spectacular military victory. One of the reasons peasants are so good at guerrilla warfate is that they have the good sense of humility. Large powers are incapable of humility - power goes into their heads after a while - but some are capable of "objectivity" through institutional training and culture.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Prem Kumar » 21 May 2010 03:02

shiv wrote:
If my living room has one naked bulb radiation from that bulb spreads in all dierctions and reflects off anything that the radiation hits. One way of increasing the amount of light in my living room is to have - say 25 bulbs emitting light. The difference between a bulb and rarad as far as I can tell is that the bulb emits the light (emitter) but my eyes detect the light (deterctor). The detector is passive.

Is it feasible to have multiple emitters like 25 bulbs and a few passive detectors. Redundant emitters means that one or two can be switched on and there is plenty of reserve redundancy even if a few emitters are taken out.

Anyone with any idea?


This idea was briefly discussed in BRF a while ago. There were some rumors that the Chinese were experimenting with several TR antennas spread over a wider geographical area, rather than a couple of big radars. Each one of these TR modules is cheap/disposable. An enemy aircraft will be painted by so many of them (some active/some passive) that it will be very difficult for a SEAD operation to take them all out. Its an interesting train of thought - I dont know whether its technically feasible to pull it off.

Whenever I think of weapons and counter-weapons, I am tempted by the rock-paper-scissors game. The counter to a rock is not another rock but paper --> which can be cut by scissors -->which can be broken by a rock. This is what makes me skeptical of efforts like ABM etc because you are trying to kill a bullet with a bullet. The aggressors can make minor but devious tweaks in their missiles, which would require years of R&D to counter. IMHO, the long term solution against BMs will be directed energy weapons or something non-missile-like.

Similarly, I read recently about the U.S Navy experimenting with directed sound energy to knock-out incoming torpedoes.

CIWS like Phalanx is another example - thousands of small, inexpensive bullets to neutralize a missile.

The Soviets perfected a beautiful, asymmetric response to the U.S superiority in fighters - cheap, mass-produced SAMs. The U.S response (though more expensive) is also beautifully asymmetric - stealth (avoid the SAM battle altogether).

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 21 May 2010 06:05

ParGha wrote:Pakistan cannot defeat, much less dominate, India today - its asymmetrical war role is more like the traditional underdog's. The reason I refered to powers in old civilizations was to illustrate how even the superdog can fight asymmetrically, with sound political and economic reasoning.

You are correct, the most important characteristic for waging a successful asymmetrical war is endurance. Next are humility and objectivity. Some characteristics can compensate for others. The US seems to have gotten itself into a political quagmire in Af-Pak with an overambitious COIN agenda for A'stan, but at least a fraction of its forces seem to be quite objective in their CT campaign.

Humility in this case means doing all that is necessary to achieve the larger political, economic and social objectives - especially not chasing the chimera of a spectacular military victory. One of the reasons peasants are so good at guerrilla warfate is that they have the good sense of humility. Large powers are incapable of humility - power goes into their heads after a while - but some are capable of "objectivity" through institutional training and culture.



No specific disagreement except that these factors are probably OT for this forum and thread except in passing. But even this statement is a discussion killer because war is not weapons and counter weapons alone. But the way this forum is structured - it is weapons and counter weapons alone on this forum and no weapons and only pisko-socio-poltitix in the other forum :D

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Manish_Sharma » 21 May 2010 07:14

shiv wrote: but even the US has exhausted its resources. But what the US is doing is to try and make up some of the money it has spent and will spend by offering some F-22 like goodies for export in the form of a smaller and less capable F-35. The US is going to milk its own allies for money that will eventually buttress its own strength, allowing it to retain the super F 22 and make up numbers with the F 35.

Amazing insights!

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby ashthor » 21 May 2010 09:57

Not much of an expert....but would still like to say that unless our defences are strong enough to blunt an attack...we would never be able to go on a offensive. (learnt it while playing ages of empires hardest level againt the computer :D )

We have that capability against pak. Imagine if we are able to blunt or keep the chinks at the border for day 4-5 days without giving them a meter what kind of effect that would have both on us as well as them.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Manish_Sharma » 21 May 2010 20:44

I don't know if it is just too fantastic, but this new thread reminded me of my bus journey to chandigarh in late 80s. The time was when Porkis were sure to get AWACS. Two sikhs (I think army guys) were discussing that how armed forces are going have old style Telegraphic system for communication to blunt the jamming capability of porki AWACS. I had forgotten the incident but this thread awakened the old memory.

In same way I read somewhere it was mentioned (BR maybe?) that old wwII radar I don't know which band x or l can easily see stealth planes.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 21 May 2010 21:07

Prem Kumar wrote:
Whenever I think of weapons and counter-weapons, I am tempted by the rock-paper-scissors game. The counter to a rock is not another rock but paper --> which can be cut by scissors -->which can be broken by a rock. This is what makes me skeptical of efforts like ABM etc because you are trying to kill a bullet with a bullet. The aggressors can make minor but devious tweaks in their missiles, which would require years of R&D to counter. IMHO, the long term solution against BMs will be directed energy weapons or something non-missile-like.

Similarly, I read recently about the U.S Navy experimenting with directed sound energy to knock-out incoming torpedoes.

CIWS like Phalanx is another example - thousands of small, inexpensive bullets to neutralize a missile.

The Soviets perfected a beautiful, asymmetric response to the U.S superiority in fighters - cheap, mass-produced SAMs. The U.S response (though more expensive) is also beautifully asymmetric - stealth (avoid the SAM battle altogether).

Brilliant!

Or to quote my late lamented guru "Brillaint!"

I will just step back to my post above and point out the countermeasures that exist for two classes of weapons

6) Unguided rockets: there is no specific counter other than by destruction of the launchers one by one. Bunkers, deception/protection

7) Ballistic missiles: ABM systems, destruction of missile sites/launchers



Stealth, supercruise, night vision, AWACS, stealth ships, supermaneuverability, carpet bombing, MOAB, SBD, ABCD, EFGH, XYZA and other acronyms are all largely ineffective against a large, well dispersed and camouflaged force of unguided missiles and ballistic missiles. Both the latter technologies are available to almost anyone and have been known from WW 2.

Is it any surprise that Hezbollah, North Korea and Pakistan, who worry about an attack from vastly superior forces (eg the US or India) have settled for a relatively low tech and cost effectiev solution for which expensive modern technology does not have any answer?

In fact, is it any surprise that India too is investing in these weapons?

Who can beat these weapons currently. Especially if you add nukes to the mix? And how?

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Prem Kumar » 22 May 2010 07:31

Add 1 more to the mix: cruise missiles. The counters are point defence systems like Akash, CIWS & aircraft guided by AWACS.

I'd think that countering unguided rockets & artillery, though tricky, would be relatively easier than BMs. But all solutions are around destroying the launcher or staying out of harm's way, rather than the projectile. Iron Dome by Israel is an exception but it is still unproven:

a) Intelligence: humint, sigint, UAVs, satellites etc. ID & destroy the launchers before they can launch

b) Outrange your enemy - this will work for artillery & unguided rockets, whose ranges are less than 100 KM

c) Counter-bombardment with the help of WLRs & UAVs

d) Duck inside your fortifications & close your ears

BMs are more dangerous. Other than pro-actively destroying the known silos & ABM (whose capabilities are limited), no good solutions exist.

I dont even want to venture into the nuclear complication.
Last edited by Prem Kumar on 22 May 2010 07:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Prem Kumar » 22 May 2010 07:33

Manish_Sharma wrote:I don't know if it is just too fantastic, but this new thread reminded me of my bus journey to chandigarh in late 80s. The time was when Porkis were sure to get AWACS. Two sikhs (I think army guys) were discussing that how armed forces are going have old style Telegraphic system for communication to blunt the jamming capability of porki AWACS. I had forgotten the incident but this thread awakened the old memory.

In same way I read somewhere it was mentioned (BR maybe?) that old wwII radar I don't know which band x or l can easily see stealth planes.


The L & S band capability to counter stealth is largely unproven. Everyone talks about the 1 incident where an F117 was shot down in Yugoslavia (one of the reasons being that the flight path was the same every single day). But one swallow does not make a summer.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 24 May 2010 07:45

Mihir.D wrote:
Wouldn't this thread be better of by deciding a time frame. I mean we can analyze the threats/challenges in 5 year period.
2010-2015:
2015-2020:
So on and so forth.

Based on the timeframe we can analyze and build scenarios based on open source information of enemy capabilities.



K Mehta wrote:I have a question for this thread
What time period are we focussing on?
My suggestion is that the thread discussion should not be on extremely short term. But can focus on short to long term such as 5yrs or more.

We should then envisage what kind of terrain/ geography/ maritime area are we going to have a future military conflict?


Both Mihir and K Mehta have similar suggestions - so I guess there may be some merit in doing that.

But I find myself unable to think in terms of short term threats. I believe that nothing changes very drastically in 5 years. Societies don't change. Defence systems cannot become significantly more powerful and revolutionary new technology does not get established so soon. What happens then is that it gets relatively easier to plan for five years because of existing plans that are already geared up for next year or two years from now. We have all the possible threats that are known for the next five years and all our current preparations are geared for that already.

So I believe that if we are going to think about the future, we need to start thinking about unlikely and totally hypothetical scenarios. Please let me try and explain what my mind is telling me:

The armed forces tell us that we are prepared for all realistic "foreseeable threats" in the near future. Let us take the armed forces word for it and try and think of what these "realistic, foreseeable threats may be. Typically a brief analysis will lead to the conclusion that the armed forces are prepared for war on the Pakistan front and on the China front with each of those countries (China and Pakistan) using the weapons that they currently have or are likely to acquire in the next five years.

It is easy for armchair generals such as us to nitpick this statement and ask

1) Is India prepared for an all out nuclear attack by China and Pakistan combined? But I am deliberately trying to leave out the nuclear scenario here, until later in the discussion
2) The Chinese armed forces have X men and Y aircraft that is Z times as large as India. How the hell can anyone assert that we are prepared when it is obvious that we are weaker?

Two points come out of this

1) How likely is it that Pakistan and China would attack us together in 5 years? Let us accept the argument that "It is very likely" (Although an analysis of history and geopolitical factors will tell you that this is unlikely - but why argue?)

2) If China and Pakistan are going to combine and attack us in five years time is it any use at all trying to acquire the so called "high tech" offensive weapons like super stealth, supercruise, pinpoint LGBs?

Note that weapons are of two types. Weapons for offence, and weapons for defence.

If China and Pakistan are going to attack us in five years time, I am sure it will give us great pleasure in hitting them both hard (with offensive weapons) .But while we are hitting them they will be hitting us. So it is going to be a question of how much damage we can withstand before their offensive takes a toll on our ability to fight.

So how do we minimize damage to ourselves so that we can keep fighting? Naturally "offensive weapons" alone cannot help us minimize damage to ourselves. In war it will be a long time (weeks/months) before we can (theoretically) take out Chinese and Pakistani offensive capability if combined, and we necessarily have to look at defensive weapons.

For this reason, if we are expecting a Chinese/Pakistani combined attack within five years we first have to know
1) What is the offensive capability that the Chinese and Pakistanis have?
2) What additional capability van they acquire in five years
3) What are the defensive countermeasures we can take to minimize damage to ourselves.

A pointed out in some posts above, there are some things that cannot easily be countered. these are ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. Even artillery and unguided rockets cannot be countered without having an ability to destroy the launchers. Counter battery artillery can be used to take out anything within range, but beyond 40-60km the only hope of blunting an offensive that includes ballistic missiles and cruise missiles would be to hit launchers by air power and by missiles of our own

That means offensive air power. Yes it would be lovely to have "super stealth, supercruise, pinpoint LGBs" but remember that this war is going to take place inside five years time. There is not enough time to re equip the entire offensive air forces (Army and Air Force) with all this capability. We have to make do with what we have, and what we can achieve in the next few years.

What do we have? We have ballistic and cruise missiles of our own. We have some AWACS capability and a competent air force. We need to do our homework right now and mark out the locations of all enemy launchers, air bases, logistics hubs an communication channels. That means surveillance, analyisis and humint NOW. Based on this we need to have a plan to launch off a barrage of Prithvi, Brahmos and air attacks at targets beyond 10 km, and use artillery and unguided rockets for targets within 100 km.

All this is too simplistic - the scenario can me made more and more complex. What if China/Pakistan take out our Prithvi and Brahmos batteries at the start of conflict as well as our air bases. that means that long before any war we have to look at protecting these assets by hiding them, protecting them, or by redundancy.

And so the cat and mouse game goes on even when there is no war. We really need to see what it is among high tech items that will be most suited to winning under such circumstances. What can we get in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? 25 years? Who else might want to attack us in 20 years? Are there internal threats (overpopulation, uneducated dissatisfied people fighting civil wars) which outside powers will try to take advantage of in 20 years time?

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Vivek Raghuvanshi » 26 May 2010 14:43

India is already at War

Chinese and Pakistani are using Low Intensity Conflict 8)

Subversion is also being used to sabotage India.

A tool of subversion is Corruption :roll:

Rather than thinking about High Intensity Conflict scenarios, let us focus on the present ie the existing war:

Low Intensity Conflict where India gets its backside kicked again and again.

Put a Cabinet in place in India which besides making money and indulging in empty rhetoric endorses Snatch Operations on foreign Soil. :idea:

Let us remember:

Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu sacrificed his life on July 4, 1976.

Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu (March 13, 1946 - July 4, 1976), was commander of the elite Israeli army commando unit Sayeret Matkal. He was killed in action during Operation Entebbe in Uganda

Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu was the brother of the existing Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Rather than groveling in slavish Respect to the Dynastic Rule, find men and women who are fit to lead this Nation

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 04 Jun 2010 07:19

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indi ... 005178.cms
NEW DELHI: After racing ahead of India in ballistic and cruise missiles, with covert help from China and North Korea, Pakistan seems to be surging ahead on the nuclear front too.

A series of recent estimates by international nuclear watchdogs and reputed thinktanks hold that Pakistan has a total of 70 to 90 warheads compared to India's 60 to 80. China, in comparison, has around 240 warheads.


In my view, it would be safe to assume this is true and unwise to imagine that it is wrong.

What can India do to counter this?

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 04 Jun 2010 07:31

My take on my own question is as follows:

Matching Pakistan nuke for nuke will not stop them from adding to their numbers.

We have an agreement not to conduct pre-emptive strikes and India (so what' new?) will stand by that agreement.

So what next?

I see no alternative to developing a slew of anti-missile and anti-aircraft technologies. Add continuous satellite surveillance of Pakistan and imagery analysis to that.

We must have layered defences - long range, medium range, short range and save-your-ass range. Unless we actually work on thee technologies we will not get ahead of anyone. And this would be a "forece multiplier. If you can intercept at least half the missiles and 80% of the aircraft - you have cut down an adversary's arsenal size bymore than half. Add counter forces strikes to that and it may be possible to whittle down the number to 1/3rd.

It is not nice getting hit by 1/3 of an adversaries nukes, but my argument is that it will be more pleasant than getting hit by all.

The other thing is - for "counter force" we need bunker penetrating ability. Indian tech advances in this field appear to be like that Guatemala sink-hole.

negi
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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby negi » 04 Jun 2010 08:02

shiv wrote:If my living room has one naked bulb radiation from that bulb spreads in all dierctions and reflects off anything that the radiation hits. One way of increasing the amount of light in my living room is to have - say 25 bulbs emitting light. The difference between a bulb and rarad as far as I can tell is that the bulb emits the light (emitter) but my eyes detect the light (deterctor). The detector is passive.

Well one major difference between the radiation patterns emitted by a bulb and a Radar is that latter emits a highly directional beam i.e. something akin to a search light in search mode which switches to a thin pencil beam akin to a laser pointer in track mode.

Is it feasible to have multiple emitters like 25 bulbs and a few passive detectors. Redundant emitters means that one or two can be switched on and there is plenty of reserve redundancy even if a few emitters are taken out.

Well obviously redundant ADSs is the safest way to counter anti radiation missiles, however I would say how about installing MAWS and CIWS at high value ADS sites to take out the incoming missile itself , it would at least ensure that enemy would have to invest and work on a more advanced anti radiation missile which would have to travel faster with some nifty maneuvering ability in the terminal phase to defeat the CIWS , given the fact that there is only so much real estate available on the fighter AC designing a new missile with improved performance within the weight constraints will be a serious challenge .

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby RamaY » 04 Jun 2010 08:11

In the short term, India can focus on quality as offensive strategy and on quantity for defencive strategy.

Offensive preparedness -
- few dozen AIII with multi-petal flowers
- few hundred Brahmastras
- few hundred Rambhas
- half a dozen AWACS
- 2-3 Arihants

will do.

For defence strategies
- few hundred Brahmastras
- few hundred Prithvis with 1++ ton conventional mithai
- few hundred aircraft
- theater BMD (atleast 100++ units)
- few hundred MBRLs
- thousands of Tanks
- few hundred batteries of Akash in random roots.

And so on. The focus should be in quantity. Enemy forces must cross atleast 3-5 defence layers before reaching theater defence boundaries


JMT

negi
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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby negi » 04 Jun 2010 08:20

shiv wrote:Thanks kgoan. Hopefully it won't become like the experience of so many Indian children in college - i.e there is a vast gap between the desire to learn and the availability of learning to be had.
:mrgreen: :oops:

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby Manish_Sharma » 04 Jun 2010 08:51

shiv wrote:Matching Pakistan nuke for nuke will not stop them from adding to their numbers.


Shiv you mean we let them grow the nuke arsenal and we grow our AAD, PAD, SPYDER, Baraks, Maitris and Aakash regiments?

Wouldn't that be Ghate ka Sauda. While it is more probable that a missile launched from point A to hit B has more probablity of hitting the target then Air defence missile hitting the other missile.

I think we should grow both the Nuke arsnel and Airdefence simultaneously, one shouldn't compensate for the other.

Other thing that came to mind was somebody's point made in History thread regarding Gauri attack on India. The poster had said something to the effect "If Indians had marched to Gazni after defeating Gauri first time and killed everyone their, then that example itself would have deterred other attack on India."

I feel India has always been focused too much on defence, like your suggestion of countering porkis superior number of arsnel with more air-defence systems.

We should go for many times more number of warheads and missile then porkis.

Imagine, the porki missiles lying in their bunkers relaxed and then one day at the time of their choosing they decide to push the button.
While Indians keeping the Radars, Air-defence missiles ready 24 hours, 365 days year after year on the alert to lookout the attack by porkis. How much expensive/draining that would be.

On the other hand if porkis launch and we have adequate missile defence to counter 2/3 of their missiles/aircrafts and launch our own superior number of warheads let's say 400 and manage to hit them with 315. That I think would be right line to take.

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby sawant » 04 Jun 2010 09:52

Well I think the US is already taking the next step in asymmetric warfare... by building the ability to deliver massive non-nuke ordinance within an hour to any place on earth... i guess they recently sent up a secret USAF shuttle for prep... btw aren't nukes tools of asymmetric warfare themselves as brandished by TSP ? or our nuke subs... why not use existing tech itself instead of basing so much on the land/air ... ? have underwater SAMS etc ;-)

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Re: Anticipating & countering future military threats/challe

Postby shiv » 04 Jun 2010 10:25

Manish_Sharma wrote:I feel India has always been focused too much on defence, like your suggestion of countering porkis superior number of arsnel with more air-defence systems.



Saar you have assumed that from what I said. I never said that we should not build up offensive capability. If I say that I want to eat toast, it does not mean I do not eat idlis. I only said that building up offensive capability will not stop us from getting hit badly as they too will build up offensive capability. They are as good at doing that as us, if not better, if reports are to be believed.

What can we do that they cannot do? That is what will give us the edge. Satellite surveillance, ABM and defensive missiles is where we are ahead and we need to take it so far ahead that they cannot reach us, or they try to play a catch up game with us.

Please read my post before reaching conclusions. I have asked that we develop counter force bunker busting capability to take out silos after having located them using 24x7 surveillance. What makes you imagine that I have said that we should not develop offensive capability. I have been banging my head from the start of this thread saying that matching an offensive technology by similar offensive technology is not the best way to win. We need to get defence against the other guys offence and develop our offence for which the other guy does not have defence.

If the other guy has 5000 swords, making 10000 sword yourself is only a half measure. manufacture 10,000 shields to protect against his 5000 swords and use your swords where he does not have shields.


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