In some military circles, it is said, before committing to conflict define success, then work your way back from there to the start.
What Namo said is what's happening. Pilot projects. Each pilot project is carefully calibrated for maximum impact PR wise (first, stiffens Indian public's pride in nation and GOI, 2nd punctures entire aim of terror, which is to terrorize) or to push the redline & then to see the Pakistani response.
First were the 10:1 response orders at LOC. Result, Pakistan did all it could but more or less things have remained the same. https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/cove ... 2018-02-15
The order to light up the 'festival' crackled down to Alpha Company post. The post, a mini stone and concrete fort perched atop a hill on the Line of Control (LoC), came alive. It faced the Pakistani army positions-codenamed 'festival', a few hundred metres across the Valley. Unshaven men rushed through a warren of Hesco-lined passages. The gun ports swung open.
The tarpaulins were ripped off the man portable artillery: scope-mounted heavy sniping rifles, each firing a TV remote-sized bullet designed to explode inside an enemy bunker. Shoulder-fired rocket launchers, shooting out mineral water bottle-sized explosive shells designed to punch through tank armour. Heavy machine guns stripped from battle tanks whose dense armour-penetrating rounds could chew concrete.
Alpha post's battlements spat steel fire at 'festival'. One post collapsed in a cloud of smoke. A mission accomplished signal went back. An infiltration attempt by terrorists trying to sneak into the Kashmir Valley had been thwarted. A post had been punished. A point had been made. "Idhar toh hum hi hum hain (we rule this place)," guffaws a burly goggle-eyed Sikh JCO, his moustache waxed into spiky horns.
Today is gunfire day. The rat-a-tat of Pakistani heavy machine gun bullets from all around rake the dry rivulets around Alpha Company's positions. The firing has a purpose. The Pakistani posts are trying to deter another commando raid like the 2016 'surgical strikes' by the Indian army that destroyed camps used to launch terrorists along a 250 km LoC frontage. The fear of retaliation hangs rain cloud-like over the boundary. It is just 48 hours after three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists sneaked into Jammu's Sunjuwan army camp to attack the families of sleeping military personnel, killing six soldiers and the father of one, shooting a 14-year-old boy in the head and a pregnant lady in the back.
A terse warning of retribution followed from defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Six hours after her warning, Alpha Company is bearing the brunt of the Pakistani cease-fire violations (CFV). The bullets play out a staccato Morse code-like message over Rajouri. The young unshaven major at Alpha Company post crouches below a stone bastion cradling his black AK-47 rifle as if to read it. "They're telling us they are waiting," he grins. "They know we are coming." Retaliation for the Sunjuwan attack will come, as Sitharaman says, "in a time and place of our choosing." "We have options A, B and C?" a general counts on his fingers without naming them.
In an underground command post a few kilometres away ringed by steel nets designed to trap rockets, a soldier sits motionless before a bank of giant TV screens. The sets flicker with images from thermal imagers along the LoC. The battalion commander, a colonel, plays back a 'festival' transgression on his laptop. Five ghostly blobs captured by thermal sensors. Several bursts of gunfire from multiple directions. Two figures go down. More gunfire. Only two figures remain. The fifth bolts back towards PoK.
"We are proactive here, not reactive," the Colonel says, sipping steaming tea from a glass covered in a camouflage cloth sheath. "I have denied the enemy the freedom of movement. We have achieved moral ascendancy over him."
The army's logic is this-Pakistan didn't honour its solemn January 8, 2004, declaration 'not to permit any territory under Pakistan's control to be used to support terrorism in any manner'. Now, it has to face a war of attrition. "It's very simple really," says a brigadier whose orders can rapidly deliver tonnes of ordnance across an 80 km LoC stretch. "Stop the terrorists," he says, shrugging and holding out his arms, "we'll stop the firing."
This policy might not sound very different from the policy of punitive fire assaults using artillery and small arms after the 1999 Kargil War. It was a response to the Pakistani army stepping up support to cross-border terrorism that climaxed with the brazen December 13, 2001, attack on India's Parliament. The army sought the Vajpayee government's permission to launch cross-border retaliatory raids against terror training camps. They were turned down. 'Denied permission to conduct trans-LoC operations (now called surgical strikes), the army's only option in Northern Command was to "punish"-using direct and indirect fires-the Pakistan army on the LoC for its continued support to the terrorists,' writes then northern army commander Lt Gen. Rustom K. Nanavatty in his 2013 book, Internal Armed Conflict in India.
The ceasefire turned the tables on the Indian army. 'In a single clever move, Pakistan had trumped India,' Nanavatty writes. It negated the effects of India's military coercion along the LoC, continued supporting terrorists by 'denying' its involvement. India, on the other hand, while agreeing to a ceasefire, failed to grasp an opportunity to declare a punitive policy wherein it reserved the right to respond militarily as appropriate, to any hostile act by Pakistan in the future. (Jai Ho MMS & UPA!!)
The new policy, the army says, reverses this critical loophole. The army now routinely launches fire attacks along the LoC for outrages like the beheading of Indian soldiers and for terrorist attacks.
The army says the post-2016 proactive strategy is different. Not only have the curbs over trans-LoC operations been lifted, the volume of firepower too has gone up. There are now increasing fire assaults-light artillery and mortars designed to destroy posts along the Pakistan side. Alpha Company's secret weapon is an I-tank or Infantry-tank, a retired T-55 battle tank driven up to the LoC and used as a mobile pillbox, its 100 mm gun providing devastating direct fire.
Of course all the analysts are chicken-littleing about Pakistan Army not changing etc.
But seriously, does anyone think that getting beaten up by the IA DAY IN AND NIGHT OUT is not affecting their morale?
Steady stream of shaheeds back to their villages in Pakjab.
Next, Modi & co saw that since Pak Army wont admit to their casualties, something else was needed.
So, economic measures against Pak in various fora. Chalo. Pak grimaced but did nothing.
Pakistans gambits - mass terror attacks, Pathankot, all have flopped. Superb, fast tactical decision making.. no delay, surge of NSG to where its required etc. No more chicken littleing analysis paralysis at Delhi.
Third, Uri surgical strikes. Wait & watch, nothing much happened.
Fourth, these strikes, with IAF hunkered down & fending off a frenzied Pakistani response. Now, in each case, where was the much vaunted noocoolear dehterrence? Hiding in a bunker me thinks. So this is the new India, fine hit us, but we now go into Pakistan and hit you.
I predicted after the Uri strikes, IA SF would get new toys and focus from all quarters. That has happened.
After this one, I will predict its the IAFs turn to have its long pending projects given adequate funding to see them to fruition.
Next. I don't know what;s on the anvil, but I'll wait and watch.
Basically, IAF & IN are best placed to deliver regular jhappads because their modernization is much more on track than IA, which due to its own lack of planning has stuck itself in a manpower trap, and then came OROP. The ratio of capex to revenue budget in IA is around 1:9. In IAF it is around 4:6 and in IN it is around 5:5. You can see which forces are likely to get more capabilities faster & hence able to deploy quicker thappads.
But it won't be just the obvious thappads. It will be extra pressure here and there. Ek dhakka aur do type of diplomacy.
Fun times for Pakistan economy. How long can a beggar nation prop up the PA edifice?