Discussion on Indian Special Forces

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Postby Raja Bose » 19 Oct 2006 06:19

Reproducing Gen. Malik's article below in full, in case the B-R thread which had it is not archived.

In memory of a soldier and a braveheart

General (Retd) V P Malik

Sudhir Kumar would have been 33 years old on May 24 this year. Balraj Kakkar, my ADC (Security), recommended him to me as his own relief before quitting the Army. Both belonged to the same unit, 9 Parachute Commandos.

Sudhir was slightly older and senior. He had more battle experience and had been awarded the Sena Medal for gallantry twice. He was wounded in the last action but was now physically fit. After he reported to me, I also learnt that he had attended a Special Forces course in USA and topped it. Fondly and out of respect for his competence, he was called Colonel during the course.

In the performance of his duties, I found Sudhir always very alert, responsible and mature. He was well-read and took interest in all types of books. Off parade, he was full of life. He had a good sense of humour and enjoyed company. During his last Lohri with us in the Army House, he sang many Hindi, Punjabi and Himachali songs. In fact, he could sing in several languages.

A bachelor, he was reticent about his family. Gradually, we learnt about his father who had retired from the Army as a Subedar and his mother, whom he was very fond of. He had a physically handicapped younger brother, and a sister studying in college. Being the eldest, he felt responsible for the family and, being 30 years of age, was in no hurry to get married. He told us that he might do so after his tenure with me.

Gradually, like the other ADCs, he became a member of our family. Being the oldest and seniormost, he felt responsible and would guide other ADCs in the office and at home. He spoke less to me but would chat more easily with my wife. He travelled with us very often, within India and abroad.

I recall his trip with us to Vietnam. The Vietnamese officers, friendly and hospitable, kept proposing toasts to India, Indo-Vietnam friendship, between our armies and to us. At one stage, I felt the younger lot were competing to get each drunk. Sudhir was enjoying this on a separate table. He gave me a reassuring look that nothing untoward would happen.

The next day, we were taken to the famous Qu Chi tunnels, which have withstood every type of American aerial and ground attack during the war. The three storeyed tunnel network, now preserved as a historical and motivational monument, was a self-contained underground Viet Cong unit. The size of the tunnels gets narrower as you go down from one to the next storey. I walked through the top one but on being good-humouredly challenged, Sudhir insisted on going through all three. He wanted Vietnamese officers to know the fitness standard of our special forces.

When the Kargil war started, Sudhir had finished his tenure with me and asked to be sent back to his unit fighting the war. Not wanting to break laid down norms or his spirit, I let him go. The Army House gave him an affectionate send-off.
Within 10 days of his departure, I learnt that he had led an attack on Zulu Ridge, over the 5,200 metre high feature in Mushkoh Sector, which the Pakistanis had refused to vacate even after agreeing to pull out. He led his A Team to capture Zulu Top on July 25, 1999. Thirteen Pakistani soldiers belonging to 19 Frontier Force were killed. Our own casualties were five soldiers . (As per papers received by the Board of Officers in Army HQ subsequently, Sudhir was recommended for a Vir Chakra).

A few days later, I saw him in Srinagar. His Para Cdo Team had reverted to anti militancy operations in the Valley. He had come specially to see me, and was wearing the Viet Cong jungle cap given to us by the Vietnamese during our visit to Qu Chi Tunnels. I asked him about his attack on Zulu Ridge without any acclimatisation. He smiled and said, ‘‘Sir, you know I am a Pahari. I don’t need acclimatisation.’’ With a smile, I told him not to break such rules again.

Three days after my return to Delhi, while eating breakfast, on a sudden impulse, I rang up Lt Gen Krishan Pal, GOC 15 Corps. I told him to be careful in employing Sudhir and his team. Sudhir was a brave and overenthusiastic lad who would volunteer for every challenging mission. We should not allow him to take risks day after day. My wife, could not believe what I had done. I had never said such a thing earlier for anyone.

Exactly a month after Kargil, my wife and I were returning a visit to Major Aima’s bereaved family. In the car, I received a phone call informing me that, while leading an assault on a terrorist hideout in Haphruda Forest, Sudhir had been fatally wounded and died before he could be evacuated to hospital. He and his buddy Naik Kheem Singh had surprised the terrorists deep in the jungle. They had killed nine terrorists. It was a daring action, led all the way from the front. Sudhir was recommended for, and received, the Ashok Chakra, the highest gallantry award in peacetime. On August 29, 1999, the nation lost a gallant and a specially gifted soldier.

My loss was personal.

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Postby khan » 19 Oct 2006 06:44

Raja Bose wrote:Reproducing Gen. Malik's article below in full, in case the B-R thread which had it is not archived.

Thanks for digging up the article.
I know this sounds cold hearted (and maybe ignorant), but he could have been put to better use. I don't claim to know the details of this Gentlemans career or IA policies on this matter, but the Major had no buisness chasing down some common terrorists.

Maybe the IA could have paired him up with a mentor of similar calibre...I don't know.

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Postby Raja Bose » 19 Oct 2006 06:57

I understand what you are saying but let me just put it this way.....the Major was good at doing exactly what he was doing when he was matyred. He was a highly skilled warrior with extensive battle experience. True....he could have been put in a higher position where he just drew out plans on how to counter terrorists or made part of the training staff etc. etc. but people like him generally are not happy in those stagnant positions. Maj.Kumar was no hardened trigger happy killer who had no other aims in life except chasing piglets and living and dying by the gun but his true calling from all accounts was still being at the forefront of action which unfortunately also led to his premature death at such a young age.

khan wrote:
Raja Bose wrote:Reproducing Gen. Malik's article below in full, in case the B-R thread which had it is not archived.

Thanks for digging up the article.
I know this sounds cold hearted (and maybe ignorant), but he could have been put to better use. I don't claim to know the details of this Gentlemans career or IA policies on this matter, but the Major had no buisness chasing down some common terrorists.

Maybe the IA could have paired him up with a mentor of similar calibre...I don't know.

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Postby Sanju » 19 Oct 2006 07:17

My thoughts echo what Khan has written!

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Postby Rahul M » 19 Oct 2006 13:19

a person like him would have been an invaluable asset as an intelligence operative.

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Postby rkhanna » 19 Oct 2006 13:19

Major had no buisness chasing down some common terrorists.


Actually a Major is one of last remaining Ranks that can still lead combat Ops. He must. A leader who sits at home is good for nothing. The Col of Delta Force (Forget his name) was often critized for leading pretty much every delta op in recent times. But what he got in return was a bunch of men under his command who would follow him into hell.

It comes down to a question of leadership. In Afghanistan and Iraq and in the Gulf War Majors of the SAS did lead combat missions , Commander Marchinko did lead SEAL raids as part of Dev Gru.

And there is no such thing as a common terrorist. What do you want them to do. Wait around till they grow old till they can take out a hit on mushyboy? Just the way terrorist get replace so do Specwarriors. its the cold nature of the business. And SpecForces have the highest attrition rates in the world. the United States Army Special Forces have lost more men in Afghanistan than all the US cassualties since Vietnam Combined. they too were fighting Taliban , AQ "Rag heads". i dont think that too was waste of resources.


Lastly the most important part of SpecForces teams are NOT the officers. its the Non-coms and lifers who are in SF for life. the Officers eventually rotate out but the lifers have the experience to build on and to sustain the unit. Hence in my opinion the SF unit looses alot more when it looses its experienced jawans than an officer.

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Postby prahaar » 19 Oct 2006 13:35

Might be a bit side-tracking, but we also have had Col. level officers going the full lenght in combat (atleast from my limited knowledge of Kargil & other press reports). Was it a spike or is it common?

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Postby rajkumar » 19 Oct 2006 14:44

prahaar wrote: Was it a spike or is it common?


It better be common. If you are a GOOD then you do this as a matter of course.

If you want your men to follow you then you have to show them your back and lead from the front.

In terms of jobs, everything after a Col is down hill I am afraid. If you are a Col then you command between 600-900 men depending on which part of the world you come from and to be realistic a average person can remember the personal details of about 900 men and that's what makes it fun to command!!!

If you want to see how a good Col can inspire his troops then please Google for the speech given by Col Tim Collins, of the Royal Irish Regiment before Gulf War II. I am sure that their are similar examples by Indian Officers its just that MoD in Delhi needs to sharpen up its Media Management a little bit and put those speeches in front of the aam junta.

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Postby Anoop » 19 Oct 2006 17:53

In the IA, I have known of at least one Brig. and one Maj. Gen. who have gone out on search and cordon operations and they were not SF either!

Part of the issue with counter-terrorism is that a casualty of a flag officer will prove to be a big fillip to terrorist propaganda.

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Postby Raja Bose » 20 Oct 2006 01:07

A Brig. or Maj. Gen. going on a Search and cordon op is certainly an unwise thing to do....not only because of their seniority but also because they might not be that much physically capable due to advanced age etc. (even though they have the enthu) which might have detrimental effect on the operation. Moreover troops may not feel too comfortable in the presence of such senior officers slogging it out with them (I may be utterly mistaken ofcourse!).

But on the other hand if we have Majors sitting out of ops. then that will only leave the junior and comparatively inexperienced officers to lead the men. Maj. and Lt.Cols. are at a position of having both experience and the physical ability to take part in the ops...after all experience does count for a lot in COIN.

Anoop wrote:In the IA, I have known of at least one Brig. and one Maj. Gen. who have gone out on search and cordon operations and they were not SF either!

Part of the issue with counter-terrorism is that a casualty of a flag officer will prove to be a big fillip to terrorist propaganda.

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Postby Anoop » 20 Oct 2006 04:17

Raja Bose wrote:A Brig. or Maj. Gen. going on a Search and cordon op is certainly an unwise thing to do....not only because of their seniority but also because they might not be that much physically capable due to advanced age etc. (even though they have the enthu) which might have detrimental effect on the operation. Moreover troops may not feel too comfortable in the presence of such senior officers slogging it out with them (I may be utterly mistaken ofcourse!).


Actually, you are! In this instance, tactical lessons were learned in this encounter to be used to good effect later e.g. no jamming of terrorists' radio communications, which led to the support group being nabbed too, because the latter was not aware of the trap being laid. All cordon and search operations don't require 24-48 hr long marches and I reckon the IA brass knows their own physical limitations well. The troops were actually thrilled to have a Gen. in their midst, from what I heard.

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Postby JCage » 20 Oct 2006 05:05

Are you talking of the raid against the LTTE led by a General ? I remember his account being quite similar to what you described.

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Postby Raja Bose » 20 Oct 2006 05:13

Good to know it worked out well in the instance you refer to. But it has been a known problem in armed forces to have over-enthusiastic senior officers who see themselves as a soldier's general to slog with the troops sometimes with unwanted consequences to command and control. Have come across quite a few firsthand accounts of this happening(anecdotal nevertheless) during GWI in the US Army. But whatever works...works so if your troops learn better tactics thru such interactions then so be it.


Anoop wrote:Actually, you are! In this instance, tactical lessons were learned in this encounter to be used to good effect later e.g. no jamming of terrorists' radio communications, which led to the support group being nabbed too, because the latter was not aware of the trap being laid. All cordon and search operations don't require 24-48 hr long marches and I reckon the IA brass knows their own physical limitations well. The troops were actually thrilled to have a Gen. in their midst, from what I heard.

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Postby Anoop » 20 Oct 2006 05:16

JCage wrote:Are you talking of the raid against the LTTE led by a General ? I remember his account being quite similar to what you described.


No, this one was in Kashmir and the person involved is well known here!

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Postby JCage » 20 Oct 2006 05:31

The good Brigadier? 8)

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Postby Anoop » 20 Oct 2006 05:47

JCage wrote:The good Brigadier? 8)


And his General 8).

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Postby aditya » 20 Oct 2006 06:16

khan wrote:I know this sounds cold hearted (and maybe ignorant), but he could have been put to better use. I don't claim to know the details of this Gentlemans career or IA policies on this matter, but the Major had no buisness chasing down some common terrorists.

Maybe the IA could have paired him up with a mentor of similar calibre...I don't know.


I don't claim any expertise in military affairs, but I do believe someone has to do the dirty work. Maj. Sudhir Kumar Walia happened to be one of those people, and he was someone who did it entirely of his own volition. If not Sudhir Kumar, would it make you happier if some low-profile "anonymous" Lieutenant Khan got killed instead? I doubt it.

These people exist because they are needed and they are good at their job. It is indeed unfortunate that we have to lose even one such person fighting Jihadi scum, but that is another matter.

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Postby rkhanna » 29 Oct 2006 02:07

Some interesting Items listed in the NSG Tenders

http://mha.nic.in/tenders.htm

Tender Enquiry for Hand Held Thermal Imaging Binocular
Tender Enquiry for Multi Grenade Launcher
Tender Notice for All Terrain Vehicles
Tender Notice for Mobile Surveillance Vehicles
Tender Notice for Tactical Ballistic Shield & Spotting Scope
Tender Notice for Under Water Metal Detector
Tender Notice for Aircraft Intervention Ladder
Tender Notice for Wireless Camera Colour Infra Red Night Vision
Tender Notice for Light Weight Portable Video Surveillance System
Tender Notice for Repeater for Digital Audio Miniature Bugs
Tender Notice for Repeater for Video Bugs
Tender Notice for Spottoscope
Tender Notice for Commando Daggers Foldings
Tender Notice for Laser Listening Device
Tender Notice for Video Bugs
Tender Notice for Rope Ladders with throw line
Tender Notice for Telescopic Black Jack
Tender Notice for Commando Daggers
Tender Notice for Hand Grenade No. 90 MK-III & Bicat Strip 1A
Tender Notice for Multi Grenade Launcher
Tender Notice for Flame Thrower
Tender Enquiry for Night Vision Goggles for Drivers
Tender Enquiry for Tactical Ballistic Shield & Real TIme X-Ray Viewing System
Tender Notice for procurement of Radiation Meter in IB
Tender Notice for NBC Individual Protection Equipments
Pre-qualification notice for perimeter surveillance system
Tender notice for Watermanship Equipment & Bomb Disposal suit
Corrigendum for Remote Operated Vehicle


Others from The MHA (Paramilitary)
Tender Notice for procurement of Driving Simulators for Vehicles
Corrigendum for Remote Operated Vehicle
Tender Notice for Hand Held Laser Range Finders


Just one question. why the hell does the NSG need a Flame thrower??????

However notice Radiation Detection Devices , and NBC Equipment. Does that mean that the NSG maybe getting a NEST capability?

Also Directional microphones , Miniature bugs and surv gear seems a good direction the NSG seems to be taking.

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Postby JCage » 29 Oct 2006 04:27

Boss go through the tender notices- they have all the data!

The Flamethrower is the RPO-A thermobaric launcher.

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Postby rkhanna » 29 Oct 2006 23:09

The Flamethrower is the RPO-A thermobaric launcher.


Ahh..sorry :oops:

Seems like they primarily want to use this in the NE.

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Postby Gerard » 07 Nov 2006 02:14

Daily Pioneer

India to raise eight elite battalions of spl forces

Rahul Datta | New Delhi

By the year 2010, India will have eight battalions of elite Special Forces capable of precision strikes at enemy nuclear capabilities with state-of-the-art equipment.

The Government has sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore for the purpose and the Army is ready with its wish list for joint training and procuring hi-tech weapon and communication systems.

Each battalion will have the strength of 1,000 airborne commandos trained to operate behind enemy lines, and cripple their war time response mechanism.

The decision will enable the Indian armed forces to develop conventional capabilities in an environment where some countries in the Indian subcontinent are on the nuclear threshold.

These highly trained Special Forces commandos will achieve the strategic objectives laid down by the political leadership as chances of an all-out war are few in the present day international scenario.

The Army already has five battalions of the Special Forces and in 2002, the NDA Government had given the go-ahead for raising five more units. But the eight new battalions will be in the airborne mode and trained to take out enemy's N-capacities. The airborne mode will enable the Special Forces to carry out a variety of sensitive and surgical strikes.

Elaborating upon the importance of this decision, sources said the Special Forces would now have the capabilities to inflict heavy damage on strategic targets in an enemy country including nuclear installations, communication nerve centres and crucial war waging capabilities.

Given this backdrop, Army chief General JJ Singh, now on a seven-day visit to the US, is likely to hold extensive talks with his counterparts about joint training and procurement of hi-tech weapons and communication systems for the Special Forces.

India is keen on an intensive interaction with US Special Forces as far as training is concerned as the US has the most advanced Special Forces organisation with a separate command structure.

Backed by a budget equivalent to the entire Indian defence allocations, the US Special Forces has its own dedicated fixed wing and rotary aircraft, sources said. The pilots flying these aircraft are trained in night flying and only those pilots who have logged more than 3,000 hours of night flying are commissioned into the Special Forces.

With more funds coming for raising the Special Forces, the Army now wants to have three-dimensional capabilities of operating in air, land and underwater.

In fact, the Army is keen to acquire equipment for these operations through the FMS route, sources said. The list includes combat underwater diving equipment, laser target designators, underwater rifles, modular acquisition devices, diver propulsion vehicles, underwater cameras, kayaks, underwater global positioning systems (GPS) and GPS map navigation systems.

Explaining the reason for having exercises with the US, they said the US and Israel Special Forces are rated to be the best in the world and joint training with Israel has political dimensions, sources said.

While India has no problem in acquiring weapon systems from Israel, political reservations have not allowed the two countries to have a joint drill. Sources added the NDA Government had taken a policy decision to allow the Israelis and the Indian armed forces to have joint exercises but no further development took place.

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Postby R Sharma » 07 Nov 2006 07:45

Wrong thread

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Postby RayC » 20 Nov 2006 23:34

Special operations forces are generally defined by journalists as “the toughest, smartest, most secretive, fittest, best-equipped and consistently lethal killers in the U.S. [or any other] military.â€

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Postby abhischekcc » 21 Nov 2006 01:08

khan wrote:
Raja Bose wrote:Reproducing Gen. Malik's article below in full, in case the B-R thread which had it is not archived.

Thanks for digging up the article.
I know this sounds cold hearted (and maybe ignorant), but he could have been put to better use. I don't claim to know the details of this Gentlemans career or IA policies on this matter, but the Major had no buisness chasing down some common terrorists.

Maybe the IA could have paired him up with a mentor of similar calibre...I don't know.


That's a crappy opinion. Indian Army has a tradition of officers leading from the front, unlike the Paki army. That's why those buggers lose every war they fight. Just like the Italians in North Africa. Their chestnuts were pulled out of fire by Rommel who followed the same principle of leading from the front.

Duhh. My pop chased down 3-4 terrorists in Kashmir through a built up area in 1992. He was a Colonel and 47 at that time.


Just one question. why the hell does the NSG need a Flame thrower??????

A flame is an excellent psycho weapon, not to mention a safe way to clear out buildings and rooms where terrorists are suspected to be hiding.

Besides, muslims have a superstition about not being burnt to death. So, read between the lines.

The IA getting flamethrowers is like my dream come true. 8)

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Postby Jagan » 21 Nov 2006 01:09

abhischekcc wrote:

The IA getting flamethrowers is like my dream come true. 8)


I believe the RR and other units have used flamethrowers in the past. I clearly remember seeing photographs of these units somewhere.

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Postby JCage » 21 Nov 2006 04:44

The term flamethrower is often brought up, but what bears mentioning is when the IA refers to "flamethrowers" in recent acquisitions, it actually means RPO-A Shmel type thermobaric rounds.

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Postby Ajay K » 30 Nov 2006 13:50

Another rat spewed out http://www.hindu.com/2006/11/29/stories ... 840100.htm Tributes to Major Manish Pitambare of 3rd para.

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Postby Saurabh » 30 Nov 2006 14:44

Rahul M wrote:a person like him would have been an invaluable asset as an intelligence operative.


Why ?

He was obviously a brave and extremly dedicated soldier - why try and turn him into something else ?

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Postby Harry » 30 Nov 2006 20:14

I read about the use of Flamethrowers in either Dateline Kargil or Despatches from Kargil.

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Postby Rishi » 01 Dec 2006 09:12

Flame Thrower's are also mentioned in Lethal Weapon's blog:

Cool !! It all seems under control and I guess the officer will carry on the op to its logical end. I just hope we shed no more blood and that once the reinforcements arrive, he’ll be able to wind it all up fast. I also hope the Muqaddam and his family are not trapped inside the house. Because if they are, this guy will not be able to use RLs or flame throwers and then there’s always the ‘human shield’ option available to the bad fellas.


http://kashmirdiary.rediffiland.com/scr ... 1159427883

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Postby Ajay K » 11 Dec 2006 10:45

Folks, lethal weapon is blogging again - last update was on 05-dec-06.
http://kashmirdiary.rediffiland.com/ila ... diary.html

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Postby Raj Malhotra » 11 Dec 2006 10:50

Very loosely flame throwers can be termed also used a nick for incendary rounds fired from carl gastaf

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Postby Rahul M » 18 Dec 2006 23:02

marcos in kashmir!

one of the few such cases which come to light!!

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Postby Rahul M » 18 Dec 2006 23:08

saurabh wrote:
Rahul M wrote:
a person like him would have been an invaluable asset as an intelligence operative.



Why ?

He was obviously a brave and extremly dedicated soldier - why try and turn him into something else ?



simply because there is a requirement for such well trained and motivated persons in that job and also most field operatives come from a military/law enforcement background.

this try and turning is also not as difficult as it sounds!!
sorry for the late reply, tho'!!

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Postby Arun_S » 27 Dec 2006 05:20

1971 War: How the US tried to corner India

December 26, 2006

'India won a glorious victory against Pakistan in the 1971 war. It was the first decisive victory in a major war in centuries. And it was won singlehandedly, in the face of opposition and threats from a majority of the UN member-States, including a superpower. Every Indian patriot felt proud of this glittering chapter in the nation's history.'
-- Dr S N Prasad in his introduction to the Indian government's 'restricted' Official History of the 1971 War.


I am not usually a great defender of United States policies, but I have to admit that in the field of right to information, the US is far ahead of the Indian babus who obstinately block access to Indian archives under the lame pretext that this could 'endanger national security'.

A few months ago, the Office of the Historian at the US State Department released Volume XI of the Foreign Relations of the United States devoted to the 'South Asia Crisis, 1971': in other words, the Bangladesh War.

This 929-page publication groups together documents which were already known like the minutes of Henry Kissinger's secret visit to China in July 1971 as well as scores of freshly declassified material available for the first time to the public.

It throws light on a less known angle of the India-Pakistan conflict: The role of the nascent friendship between the United States and China. This is a welcome new piece in the puzzle of the history of the 1971 War.

Another piece is the Hamidur Rahman Report, ordered by the government of Pakistan after the war, which analyses the Pakistani defeat. 'Due to corruption... lust for wine and women and greed for land and houses, a large number of senior army officers, particularly those occupying the highest positions, had not only lost the will to fight but also the professional competence necessary for taking the vital and critical decisions demanded of them for the successful prosecution of the war.'

The US administration saw the unfurling events differently.

According to Kissinger, then American President Richard M Nixon's national security adviser, 'When the Nixon administration took office, our policy objective on the subcontinent was, quite simply, to avoid adding another complication to our agenda.'

But events in the subcontinent and the Chinese factor forced Nixon to change his stand. The new closeness between Washington, DC and Beijing and the involvement of the Pakistan president as a secret go-between greatly influenced US policy.

According to the State Department historian, 'When the fighting developed, the Nixon administration tilted toward Pakistan. The tilt involved the dispatch of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise to the Bay of Bengal to try to intimidate the Indian government. It also involved encouraging China to make military moves to achieve the same end, and an assurance to China that if China menaced India and the Soviet Union moved against China in support of India, the United States would protect China from the Soviet Union. China chose not to menace India, and the crisis on the subcontinent ended without a confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union.'

The first US documents deal with the background of the conflict. Nixon's position was clear: 'We should just stay out -- like in Biafra, what the hell can we do?'

But everybody did not agree with him. In a telegram sent on March 28, 1971, the staff at the US consulate in Dhaka complained, 'Our government has failed to denounce the suppression of democracy. Our government has failed to denounce atrocities. Our government has failed to take forceful measures to protect its citizens while at the same time bending over backwards to placate the West Pak dominated government... We, as professional public servants express our dissent with current policy and fervently hope that our true and lasting interests here can be defined and our policies redirected in order to salvage our nation's position as a moral leader of the free world.'

When US Secretary of State Will Rogers received this 'miserable' cable, he informed President Nixon that the 'Dacca consulate is in open rebellion.' This did not change Nixon's opinion: 'The people who bitch about Vietnam bitch about it because we intervened in what they say is a civil war. Now some of the same ********...want us to intervene here -- both civil wars.'

From the start, the Nixon administration knew 'the prospects were "poor"... the Pakistani army would not be able to exert effective control over East Pakistan.' Washington believed India was bound to support Mujibur Rahman. The CIA had reported that 'India would foster and support Bengali insurgency and contribute to the likelihood that an independent Bangladesh would emerge from the developing conflict.'

It is here that the Chinese saga began. In a tightly guarded secret, Nixon had started contacts with Beijing. The postman was Pakistani dictator Field Marshal Yahya Khan.

When on April 28 1971, Kissinger sent a note defining the future policy option towards Pakistan, Nixon replied in a handwritten note: 'Don't squeeze Yahya at this time.' The Pakistan president was not to be squeezed because he was in the process of arranging Kissinger's first secret meeting to China. The events of the following months and the US position should be seen in this perspective.

In May, Indira Gandhi wrote to Nixon about the 'carnage in East Bengal' and the flood of refugees burdening India. After L K Jha, then the Indian ambassador to US, had warned Kissinger that India might have to send back some of the refugees as guerillas, Nixon commented, 'By God we will cut off economic aid (to India).'

A few days later when the US president said 'the goddamn Indians' were preparing for another war, Kissinger retorted 'they are the most aggressive goddamn people around.'

During the second week of July, Kissinger went to Beijing where he was told by then Chinese prime minister Zhou Enlai: 'In our opinion, if India continues on its present course in disregard of world opinion, it will continue to go on recklessly. We, however, support the stand of Pakistan. This is known to the world. If they (the Indians) are bent on provoking such a situation, then we cannot sit idly by.' Kissinger answered that Zhou should know that the US sympathies also lay with Pakistan.

On his return, during a meeting of the National Security Council, Nixon continued his India bashing. The Indians, he noted, are 'a slippery, treacherous people.'

The State Department historian says, 'in the perspective of Washington, the crisis ratcheted up a dangerous notch on August 9 when India and the Soviet Union signed a treaty of peace, friendship and cooperation.' It was a shock for Washington as they saw a deliberate collusion between Delhi and Moscow.

During the following months, the situation deteriorated and many more refugees came to India. The Indian prime minister decided to tour Western capitals to explain the Indian stand. On November 4 and 5, she met Nixon in Washington, who told her that a new war in the subcontinent was out of the question.

The next day, Nixon and Kissinger assessed the situation. Kissinger told Nixon: 'The Indians are ******** anyway. They are plotting a war.'

To divert the pressure applied by the Mukti Bahini on the eastern front, the Pakistan air force launched an attack on six Indian airfields in Kashmir and Punjab on December 3. It was the beginning of the war.

The next day, then US ambassador to the United Nations George H W Bush -- later 41st president of the United States and father of the current American president -- introduced a resolution in the UN Security Council calling for a cease-fire and the withdrawal of armed forces by India and Pakistan. It was vetoed by the Soviet Union. The following days witnessed a great pressure on the Soviets from the Nixon-Kissinger duo to get India to withdraw, but to no avail.

The CIA reported to the President: 'She (Indira Gandhi) hopes the Chinese (will) not intervene physically in the North; however, the Soviets have warned her that the Chinese are still able to "rattle the sword" in Ladakh and Chumbi areas.'

For Kissinger it was clear that Indira Gandhi wanted the dismemberment of Pakistan.

On December 9, when the CIA director warned Nixon that 'East Pakistan was crumbling', Nixon decided to send the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise into the Bay of Bengal to threaten India.

Let me recount an anecdote related to me by Major General K K Tewari (retd), Chief Signal Officer, Eastern Command, during the 1971 War.

General Tewari was present at a briefing the three defence services held for Indira Gandhi. She was seated at a large table. On one side was General S H F J Manekshaw, the army chief, and on the other Admiral S M Nanda, the navy chief.

During the course of the presentation, the admiral intervened and said: 'Madam, the US 8th Fleet is sailing into the Bay of Bengal.' Nothing happened; the briefing continued. After sometime, the admiral repeated, 'Madam, I have to inform you that the 8th Fleet is sailing into the Bay of Bengal.' She cut him off immediately: 'Admiral, I heard you the first time, let us go on with the briefing.'

All the officers present were stunned. Ultimately, their morale was tremendously boosted by the prime minister's attitude. She had demonstrated her utter contempt for the American bluff.

On November 10, Nixon instructed Kissinger to ask the Chinese to move some troops toward the Indian frontier. 'Threaten to move forces or move them, Henry, that's what they must do now.'

This was conveyed to Huang Hua, China's envoy to the United Nations. Kissinger told Huang the US would be prepared for a military confrontation with the Soviet Union if the Soviet Union attacked China.

On December 12, the White House received an urgent message. The Chinese wanted to meet in New York. General Alexander Haig, then Kissinger's deputy, rushed to the venue, but was disappointed. Huang just wanted to convey his government's stand in the UN, no words of an attack in Sikkim or in the then North East Frontier Agency (now, the northeastern states).

The myth of the Chinese intervention is also visible in the secret Pakistani dispatches. Lieutenant General A A K Niazi, the Pakistani army commander in Dhaka, was informed: 'NEFA front has been activated by Chinese although the Indians for obvious reasons have not announced it.'

Until the last day of the war, Pakistan expected its Chinese saviour to strike, but Beijing never did.

In Washington, Nixon analysed the situation thus: 'If the Russians get away with facing down the Chinese and the Indians get away with licking the Pakistanis...we may be looking down the gun barrel.' Nixon was not sure about China. Did they really intend to start a military action against India?

Finally, on December 16, Niazi surrendered to Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora. Nixon and Kissinger congratulated themselves for achieving their fundamental goal -- the preservation of West Pakistan. They were also happy for having 'scared the pants off the Russians.'

Kissinger's South Asia policy upset many in the US, not only the American public, the press but also the State Department, and more particularly, Secretary of State Rogers who was kept in the dark most of the time.

It is worth mentioning an episode which, of course, does not appear in the American archives -- The Tibetan participation in the conflict. After the debacle of 1962, the Government of India had recruited some Tibetans youth in the eventuality of another conflict with China. The Special Frontier Force was trained in Chakrata in Uttar Pradesh under the command of an Indian general.

In 1971, nine years after its creation, the SFF was sent to East Pakistan to prepare for the arrival of regular Indian troops. Their saga is one of the least known parts of the Bangladesh war.

Late October 1971, an AN-12 airlifted nearly 3,000 Tibetans who later assembled at Demagiri close to the India-East Pakistan border. On the other side of the border were the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Armed with Bulgarian-made assault rifles, the SFF was given the task of organising guerrilla raids across the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Opposite the SSF, in thick jungles and leech-infested marshes, was stationed a Pakistan brigade, including a battalion of its elite Special Services Group.{Herr (now) General Musharraf was sent here to fight but was hiding his thick-hide from the fierce SFF's (The mofu were licked by peaceful Bhuddhist monks from Tibet) hee heeee ... } The Indian army knew this brigade was a threat to one of its corps preparing to advance on Dhaka.

During the second week of November, Operation Eagle began. Leaving Demagiri in canoes, the Tibetans commandos entered East Pakistan. The SFF then started overrunning one Pakistani post after another.

By the time the war was officially declared, the Tibetans had already been inside East Pakistan for more than three weeks. Using both their Bulgarian rifles and native knives, they advanced swiftly. Their Indian commander, Major General S S Uban later said, 'They were unstoppable.'


On December 16, the SSF was 40 kilometers away from Chittagong port, having successfully managed to neutralise the Pakistani brigade.

After Pakistan's surrender, they paraded through Chittagong. Unfortunately, 49 Tibetans lost their lives for a nation which was not theirs.

The release of the State Department volume on the 1971 conflict is a posthumous homage to the courage of the Indian Army which despite heavy odds and the might of the United States freed Bangladesh from Pakistani clutches.

Some aspects are still missing to make the puzzle complete.

First, the Indian history from the Ministry of Defence does not detail the political compulsions of Indira Gandhi's government. Second, the secret operation involving the Tibetan Special Frontier Forces in the Chittagong Hill Tracts is virtually unknown. Lastly, the Chinese involvement from the Chinese point of view remains unexamined.

Like the Henderson Brooks' report on the 1962 border war with China, it may take a few decades more to be revealed.

srai
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Postby srai » 27 Dec 2006 13:50

Gerard wrote:Daily Pioneer

India to raise eight elite battalions of spl forces

Rahul Datta | New Delhi

...


IMO, it's time for the Indian armed forces to create a joint special forces command and coordinate each service resource contributions accordingly and also to unify command & control of operations. This would be a more effective resource/operations management utilizing strengths of each services rather than each service wasting on duplicate equipments and command structures.


* IA provides the bulk of the soldiers and customized land equipments.
* IAF provides the specially trained pilots, some foot soldiers in FAC and SAR roles and special air equipments.
* IN provides additional manpower speciailizing in operations from the water and special sea equipments.


In addition, each service can still have their separate special forces units as per its own special needs such as some elements of IAF Garuda units to protect its airbases.

avvipin
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Postby avvipin » 03 Feb 2007 03:55

http://www.andhracafe.com/index.php?m=show&id=18199

ndian Army set to receive Israeli assault rifles
Updated: 02-02-2007 By andhracafe

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New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) India will begin receiving the first of 3,070 Israeli 5.56 mm Tavor 21 (TAR-21) assault rifles for its Special Forces later this month, according to a leading British defence journal.

This follows the resolution of technical and other problems with the $20 million (Rs.880 million) deal it finalised for the weapons almost five years ago.

Jane's Defence Weekly reports in its latest issue that the TAR-21s will have a 'modified' single-piece butt and new sights, as also Turkish 40mm M-203 under barrel grenade launchers (UBGLs) that make the rifle somewhat heavier. Singapore Technologies will supply the 5.56 mm ammunition.

The deal for TAR-21 and ammunition was clinched in late 2002 with Israel Military Industries (IMI). After the company's bifurcation over two years ago, the contract was taken over by Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) that acquired control of IMI's small arms division.

India continued dealing with IMI and in 2005 invoked contractual obligations claiming damages for the delayed deliveries, further deferring their arrival, the weekly reported.

Quoting official sources, Jane's declared that these 'glitches' had been resolved and a letter of credit for the TAR-21's delivery was opened late last year.

In 2005, IMI had supplied 350-400 TRA-21s without UBGLs for around $1.5 million to India's Special Frontier Force (SFF), a predominantly-military commando unit based in northern India that is primarily deployed by the country's two principal security agencies for 'special' missions.

These were declared to be 'operationally unsatisfactory' following problems with their foldable butt and negotiations began with IMI - and later IWI - to effect changes and for additions like UBGLs. All these were successfully tested in Israel last year and the consignment cleared for delivery.

According to Jane's, even the Israeli Defence Forces had complained about the TAR-21s 'unsatisfactory' performance, with the delivery of the first batch of 15,000 rifles deferred in 2003 till the requisite changes were executed.

Meanwhile, IMI-IWI has also entered into partnership with India's state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to locally build under licence the TAR-21s 9mm version - called ZTAR - for use by India's Special Forces and parachute regiments. The OFB-produced ZTAR is now undergoing user trials.

IMI had also supplied around 130 Galil 7.62 sniper riles and around 450,000 rounds of ammunition to the SFF and the army for $1.4 million in 2005.

India currently has seven Special Forces battalions, which according to the army's newly released doctrine, will be employed for specialised tasks behind enemy lines, to fight insurgencies in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states.

Initial Special Forces raisings that, in effect were converted into parachute regiments, were trained by the Israelis in anti-insurgency operations, official sources said. US Special Forces too have been closely involved in exercising with these Indian units, which are also awaiting the arrival of some 20 pieces of specialized American equipment.

In a related development, the army is on the verge of issuing a request for proposal (RFP) to at least five local and overseas companies for some 80,000 5.56mm light machine carbines.

This would be accompanied by the transfer of technology to either the OFB or a private manufacturer to produce over 600,000 pieces under licence to replace the outdated World War II Stenguns still in use with the army, paramilitary units and state police forces.

(Rahul Bedi is a defence analyst. He can be reached at shahji@spectranet.com)

rajjesh
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Postby rajjesh » 06 Feb 2007 06:22


Sravan
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Postby Sravan » 06 Feb 2007 12:41

I compiled that vid :p

Austin
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Postby Austin » 10 Feb 2007 13:20

Now that we have decided to purchase 6 C-130J aircraft for Special Forces Operation ( perhaps even as Tanker role )

Can some explain the significance of these aircraft in SF duties ? What role did these aircraft play in US SF operations ? What are the capabilities of C-130J in SF role ? And Operationally How can we deploy these new birds ?

Thanks


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