Rohit Kumar's Views

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Posts Tagged ‘China

India – World Leader in Arms race

leave a comment »

ViewPoint

COPENHAGEN, Denmark-American think tanks, government officials and CIA have often accused Pakistan to be too India-fixated and have advised, even cajoled Pakistan to shift its forces from Indian border to the Afghan front to fight America’s losing war on terrorism.

sat-launch-25dec10.jpg

These anti-Pakistan lobbies often present India as a peace loving country, which has no designs and ill will towards Pakistan. These self-styled pundits as well as pro-Indian lobby in Pakistan should be ashamed of such a behavior and now think deep and hard about such a misguided discourse.

Here is why.

A report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) says that India accounted for 9% of all global weapons imports between 2006 and 2010. The study also shows that India has overtaken China to become the world’s largest importer of arms. As it was not enough, the report predicts that India will continue to be to the leading arms importer in the coming future, the report adds.

India’s present defense budget is a whopping $32.5 billion and it is looking to spend more than $50 billion over the next five years to modernize its armed forces, including a $10 billion deal to buy 126 new fighter jets. Last October, India announced that it would buy 250 to 300 advanced fifth-generation stealth fighter jets from Russia over the next 10 years. The deal, which could be worth up to $30 billion, is believed to be the largest in Indian records. Now it has decided to buy even more hardware by short-listing two European fighters and ruled out two US rivals for a key $11 billion military contract. (BBC News. 28 April 2011)

It is said by western experts that India’s increased spending on arms comes amid rising concerns about China’s growing power, and India’s traditional rivalry with neighboring Pakistan, with which is has fought three wars.

Well, we all know that India with all its weapons is no match for China. The billion-dollar question is this: Where will all these expensive and latest jetfighters be used? Not in Himalaya Mountains or in dogfights over Tibet.

Naturally, all this hardware would be used against Pakistan to fulfill the old Hindustani dream of Nehru, who, during the partition of British India and the independence of Pakistan very arrogantly remarked, “Let them have their Pakistan. It will come crawling back to Mother India in six months.”

India and China talk trade deals and friendship, but they are bitter rivals

leave a comment »

Like tectonic plates grinding up against each other in the Himalayas, China and India are locked into a rivalry that is going to set the global agenda for decades.

For three days this week, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited New Delhi, signed trade deals, dined with Indian politicians and spouted the rhetoric of friendship.

“China and India are partners for cooperation, not rivals in competition,” he told an Indian business conference, after a Chinese trade delegation signed 48 deals worth more than US$16-billion.

“There is enough space in the world for the development of China and India,” Mr. Wen insisted.

But beneath the polite diplomacy and mutual compliments, India and China remain wary of each other, locked in a volatile Cold War-style rivalry that is filled with conflict, mutual distrust and resentment.

As their economies grow, the world’s two most populous nations – home to two-fifths of the global population – are competing for energy resources, food and opportunities. They have conflicting global aspirations; a 4,000 kilometre-long disputed border, a history of war and a decades-old struggle for regional influence.

When Mr. Wen arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday, Chinese engineers in Tibet were blasting through the last part of a mountain tunnel to link the last isolated county in China to the mainland’s main highway system.

China celebrated the feat as a nation-building marvel and broadcast the event on national television.

Indian newscasts, however, noted the new tunnel, in a region bordering the disputed northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, will now enable China to rush troops to an area, which Beijing claims is really part of Tibet.

In almost the same breath, Indian experts also note China’s stranglehold on Tibet gives it control of most of the headwaters of India’s main rivers.

New Delhi has long feared China may one day dam and divert those waters to replenish its parched western provinces and China has talked recently of diverting up to 200 billion cubic metres of water annually to the Yellow River from the Brahmaputra River, which enters India at Arunachal Pradesh, before flowing on to Assam and into Bangladesh.

“Simmering tensions over territory, overlapping spheres of influence, resource scarcity and rival alliance relationships ensure that relations between the two rising Asian giants will be characterized more by competition and rivalry than cooperation for a long time to come,” warned Mohan Malik, a professor at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Honolulu.

“The main objective of China’s Asia policy is to prevent the rise of a peer competitor to challenge its status as the Asia-Pacific’s sole ‘Middle Kingdom’,” he said. “As an old Chinese saying goes, ‘One mountain cannot accommodate two tigers’.”

The stark discrepancies between democratic India and authoritarian China were on display in New Delhi just two days before Mr. Wen arrived. In an effort to warn off Tibetan protesters preparing to demonstrate against Mr. Wen, a nervous Chinese ambassador, Zhang Yan, told reporters bilateral relations with India are “very fragile, very easy to be damaged and very difficult to repair.”

“They need special care in the information age,” he said. “To achieve this, the [Indian] government should provide guidance to the public to avoid a war of words.”

India’s Foreign Minister, Nirupama Rao, responded coolly but politely saying China has nothing to fear from India’s “vibrant and noisy democracy.”

Two events have permanently strained relations between Beijing and New Delhi – China’s 1950 invasion and occupation of Tibet and China’s defeat of India in a brief 1962 border war.

India now plays host to more than 120,000 Tibetan refugees, including the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising.

China brands the Dalai Lama a separatist and insists he is using his base in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala to fuel rebellion inside Tibet.

After riots broke out in Tibet in March 2009, China’s government-controlled news media were filled with anti-Indian rhetoric calling New Delhi “reckless and arrogant” and warning India not “to misjudge the situation as it did in 1962,” when China successfully staged a month-long war against India all along their Himalayan border.

India still lives in the shadow of that conflict, resenting her defeat and complaining China illegally occupies 26,500 square kilometres of Indian territory.

“The wounds of the 1962 Chinese invasion have been kept open by Beijing’s public and assertive claims to Indian territories,” said Brahma Chellaney of New Delhi’s Center for Policy Research. “China continues to occupy one-fifth of the original state of Jammu and Kashmir. Its recent claim over the entire Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and aggressive patrolling of the border region signify that China is not interested in maintaining the status quo.”

As a result, India has moved two army divisions close to its Himalayan border and built three new airstrips in the foothills.

“The India-China strategic dissonance is rooted not only in their contrasting political ideals and quiet rivalry but also in Beijing’s relentless pursuit of a classical, Sun Tzu-style balance-of-power strategy,” Prof. Chellaney said. “In order to avert the rise of a peer rival in Asia, China has sought to strategically tie down India south of the Himalayas.”

India has long resented China’s close ties to its traditional rival Pakistan, arming Pakistan’s military, helping Islamabad build nuclear weapons and promoting Pakistani claims to Indian territory.

But New Delhi has watched in frustration recently as China also increased its strategic assistance to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Burma [Myanmar] – countries India always regarded as part of its sphere of influence.

Nearly 90% of Chinese arms sales go to countries located in the Indian Ocean region. In addition, Beijing has helped build ports in Gwadar, Pakistan, and Humbantota, Sri Lanka, as well as in Burma and Bangladesh, in what analysts have called a “string of pearls” strategy to build naval bases and military listening posts across the Indian Ocean.

The Chinese-built Gwadar port and naval base, near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz and close to Pakistan’s border with Iran, is one of the world’s largest deep-water ports and could allow China to park submarines in India’s backyard.

It may also serve as the terminus for an energy pipeline taking oil from the Gulf region, through Pakistan, directly to China.

A similar pipeline is planned from a Chinese-built port on Burma’s Ramree Island to transport oil from Africa and the Middle East to the Chinese province of Yunnan.

“This effort to encircle India by sea with strategically positioned naval stations from Hainan in the east, to Gwadar in the west, and on land by promoting bogus Pakistani claims that undermine India’s territorial integrity, takes the ‘Great Game’ to a new and more dangerous level,” warned Jaswant Singh, India’s former defence and foreign affairs minister.

China’s rising economic and military power is driving formerly non-aligned India into seeking a loose alliance with the United States and its Asian partners (Japan, South Korea, Australia) to counterbalance Beijing.

But New Delhi has also sought to engage China, promoting its white-collar, services-led economic growth as a natural counterpoint to China’s blue-collar, manufacturing-driven economy.

Bilateral trade between the two Asian rivals has surged from a mere US$262-million in 1991 to an expected US$60-billion this year.

During Mr. Wen’s visit, the two countries set a bilateral trade target of US$100-billion-a-year by 2015.

But sharing their new wealth has also produced new tensions. China is India’s biggest trade partner. But that trade is skewed heavily in China’s favour, with China exporting almost twice as much to India as India sells to China.

Nearly 70% of India’s exports are low-cost raw materials compared with China’s more expensive manufactured goods.

It is no coincidence India has initiated more anti-dumping complaints with the World Trade Organization against China than anyone else.

“A Sino-Indian rivalry in southern Asia and the northern Indian Ocean may well be a dominant feature of Asian geopolitics in the 21st century,” Prof. Malik said.

National Post

pgoodspeed@nationalpost.com

Alert: Russia Orders Troops To Prepare For War With US

leave a comment »

PAKALERT PRESS

Reports circulating in the Kremlin today state that Prime Minister Putin [photo top left] has ordered Russian military forces to prepare to confront American military forces in Afghanistan over what Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov warns is the”greatest threat to International peace and security”, Afghanistan’s thriving drug trade supported by the US and NATO.

Not being reported to the American people about the Afghanistan war is that it has nothing to do with their being protected from terrorists, but rather it involves the billions of dollars gained for many of the West’s top intelligence agencies (mainly the CIA) from the heroin produced in this region (90% of World’s total) that by 2001 the Taliban had virtually eliminated.

Immediately after the US invasion of Afghanistan in October, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) installed one of their main Afghan operatives, Hamid Karzai, as President, who then put into power his brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, who since then has increased heroin production to levels unseen in modern times and resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of Russian citizens

Viktor Ivanov, the head of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service, Russia’s National drug enforcement agency, told parliament in May that it was reasonable to “call the flow of Afghan opiates the second edition of opium wars.” Ivanov was referring to the 19th-century warbetween Britain and China sparked by exports of opium from British India to China.

Ivanov isn’t alone.

“I can name you a lot of politicians in Russia who said that the Americans specially arranged the situation in Afghanistan so that we would receive a lot of drugs, and this is the real aim of their occupation,” said Andrei Klimov, the deputy head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament. “I’m not sure this is true, but who knows.”

One person who definitely knew it was true was German President Horst Koehler, who after returning from Afghanistan last month linked the war with the defense of German economic interests because it was securing free trade routes for the West and had nothing to do whatsoever with terrorism. For his “outspokenness” President Koehler was forced to resign plunging an already battered Chancellor Merkel into even greater political turmoil.

Most shocking to understand about the CIA’s being the World’s largest drug trafficker is that it isn’t even kept secret anymore and has been embraced by their new President, Barack Obama, who has used billions of dollars earned through Afghan heroin deals to fund his sending US Special Forces teams to over 75 different Nations as well as building for them a new $100 million headquarters base in Afghanistan while his own citizens plunge deeper into poverty.

Important to note though is that Obama is far from being the first American President to embrace the drug trade as nearly all of his predecessors were likewise involved in starting and maintaining wars to keep the billions earned from this most despicable of crimes preying on the weakest people in their society, mainly the poor and people of colour.

For those few reporters seeking to inform the American people about this crime the hard and brutal lesson learned from the late Gary Webb’s blacklisting and suiciding by US intelligence agents after his revealing the CIA’s involvement in the drug trade presents a chilling example of what these monsters will do to protect themselves and their right to poison anyone they so choose.

Interesting to note too is that according to the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organized crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352 Billion of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.

Though the American people still ignore the crimes being perpetrated by their so called leaders, the lessons of their own history should not be lost upon them, especially when viewed in the light of the use of drug and alcohol laws used for mass imprisonment while at the same time instituting around them a draconian tyrannical society where all their freedoms will be stripped from them.

And for those American’s thinking that their life couldn’t get any worse? They couldn’t be more mistaken! For just this past week Obama’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released what they call a “staff discussion draft” of “potential policy recommendations to support the reinvention of journalism” wherein they called for doctrine of “proprietary facts” that would outlaw anyone writing or reporting on anything that happens unless they use the “facts” provided to them by the government.

But than again, and as the history of these American’s seems to show, with their massive government debt about to eclipse their Gross National Product (GDP) for the first time in history, their once vital Gulf of Mexico region succumbing to the World’s worst oil spill catastrophe, and their NASA scientists now warning that the “awakening” Sun may destroy everything anyway, maybe they truly can’t be told the truth and must be treated like the children they act like.

Indian rocket launch flops

leave a comment »

BANGALORE: Indian space engineers lost contact with a rocket showcasing new indigenously built booster technology on Thursday soon after launch, in a major blow to the country’s space ambitions. The launch of the first India-made rocket powered by cryogenic motors, a complex technology mastered by just five countries, failed soon after lift-off from India’s space centre at Sriharikota in southeast Andhra Pradesh state. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Radhakrishnan told reporters that the rocket began tumbling soon after launch “indicating the controllability was lost”. Cryogenic boosters use super-cooled liquid fuel and the technology has only been successfully developed by the US, Russia, France, Japan and China. India had previously imported seven cryogenic engines from Russia, using five of them to launch heavy satellites over the last decade. The technology is intended to launch heavier satellites into high orbits, about 36,000 kilometres (22,000 miles) from the earth, ISRO has said.

China, India leaders to set up hotline

leave a comment »

China and India agreed to set up a top level hotline on Wednesday, sealing a “cordial” Beijing visit by India’s foreign minister that consolidated an improvement in ties between the sometimes fractious neighbors.


China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (R) shakes hands with his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna at Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing April 7, 2010.

Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna began his four-day visit on Monday — scant months after tempers flared over reports of border incursions and a row over the Dalai Lama’s visit to the disputed frontier state of Arunachal Pradesh.

But Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters the trip had gone well, and both sides were pleased with the new mechanism connecting the Chinese and Indian Prime Ministers, which could help prevent dangerous flare-ups in future.

“These have been cordial, useful, constructive and wide-ranging discussions,” she told a news conference in Beijing.

“The agreement to establish a hotline is an important confidence building measure and it opens up a direct channel of communication between the two leaders.”

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the relationship had reached a “new phase of mature and stable development” in a meeting with Krishna in the Chinese leadership’s Zhongnanhai compound.

“History shows that friendship between neighbors and common development are in the interests of both countries, of Asia and of the world,” Wen added.

Plans for a hotline were made by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a summit last year of the BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China, Rao said.

That group will meet again next week in Brasilia, for the second leaders summit, and both China and India highlighted the importance and benefit of cooperation on international issues.

“What came across during these discussions was that this relationship between the two countries has more than just a bilateral dimension, it has a global impact, and that a long-term strategic view is required of this relationship,” Rao said.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said the two countries worked together well on major global issues including combating the financial crisis and tackling climate change, according to the foreign ministry’s account of the meeting with Krishna, posted on its website (www.fmprc.gov.cn)

“China attaches great importance to bilateral ties and is willing to work hard with India for new developments, taking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as a turning point,” Yang said.

SECURITY CONCERNS

Regional security, particularly in volatile Afghanistan, and the threat of terrorism were among other key issues discussed in the meeting, said Rao, herself a former ambassador to Beijing.

“Foreign Minister Yang said that both China and India should stay in touch on these issues and remain in regular contact… particularly on Afghanistan,” said Rao.

Krishna was visiting just a couple of weeks after Afghan President Hamid Karzai came to Beijing to ask China to use its diplomatic clout with neighboring Pakistan to help rein in a growing insurgency. His government has good ties with Delhi.

The foreign ministers did not discuss a recently released report that a cyber-espionage group apparently based in southwest China stole documents from the Indian Defense Ministry and emails from the Dalai Lama’s office, Rao said.

The report by Canadian researchers said the spy network was likely run by individuals with connections to the Chinese criminal underworld. Information might have been passed to branches of the Chinese government, it added.

Beijing has repeatedly and strongly denied it condones hacking in any way, pointing out that its ministries and companies are also frequently targeted.

The Red Corridor: The Maoist Threat To India’s Existence

leave a comment »

Zainulabedin Ameer | PKKH

India, lauded as the largest democracy in the world, comprises a range of ethnic communities. These are held together, feebly, behind the garb of democracy, which has the world believe that all is well at home. For Indians, the harsh reality is that the long concealed fractures are now beginning to show up as large as the Grand Canyon; long term oppression through history that has been horribly justified through hierarchical order [particularly the caste system] cannot endure. The downtrodden are rising and have been doing much more than making their presence known. Amid the havoc that the Maoists have been wreaking, the Indian leadership has been putting up a bold front. However, few statements have come through that are alarming, and they actually highlight how worried India ought to be. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself has admitted that the Maoists pose “the single biggest internal security threat to the country.” This is despite the fact that his government has been relentlessly blaming Pakistan for everything that happens on Indian soil. The time for covering up their own mess was over a long time ago, and, the Indian leadership, which has been re-elected, ought to focus on its domestic threats. India’s current regime may have been the sole victors of the General Election of 2009, but they are compelled to accept a competing force on another front; Maoist rebels have also shown that they hold considerable sway in many districts of the country that now form what is known as ‘The Red Corridor.’

The Red Corridor is a wide area in India’s East; it stretches along much of its coast while covering many districts inland that meet central Indian states such as Utter Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, etc. This region has witnessed more than 4000 people losing their lives in a span of less than a decade thanks to the vicious Maoist attacks.

For a movement that holds as much control as the Maoist movement does, it is quite perceivable that it has its ideology firmly rooted in the desire of its people; they wish to break the shackles that have confined and marginalized them for decades. Indeed, this Maoist movement, which is now better known domestically as the Naxal revolution, was initiated as a red peasant uprising around May, 1967. This revolution earned its name because it began at a village in West Bengal, which is known as Naxal Bari. Apparently, this movement was a response to feudalism.

The Naxal revolution was initiated in the form of a protest that could have gone by relatively unnoticed. With injustice and oppression of peasants being a normal practice, there was enough fuel to keep the movement going. It is alleged that communism had something to do with galvanizing this movement; it is believed that the peasants have been manipulated by individuals with foreign ideology.

Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal are believed to be the two main communist revolutionaries who have spurred the Maoist movement in India. Their aim is to usurp control through a typical agrarian-based movement. Moreover, these revolutionaries consider communist China to be their inspiration, and graffiti on Kolkata walls stand testimony to this bold and brazen statement.

Perhaps more disturbing than the statements made within India by the Maoist revolutionary leaders are those that are made from beyond its borders; Radio Peking extolled the Naxal Bari uprising, and referred to it as Spring Thunder.

The Naxal peasant uprising became increasingly organized after the establishment of Communist party of by Charu Majumdar in 1969. From this point onwards, the mission appeared to become bold; the ideology began to spread to other parts of the country. However, this initial success was contained when the police killed Charu Majumdar in 1972 while he was in their custody. Without their leader, the rebels became dormant for a while. This was the time for action on the part of the Indian leadership; they could have made an attempt to win over the peasants by considering their demands and bringing justice to them. However, that opportunity was squandered, and by the late 1970s, the Naxal movement had once again gained momentum; it spread as far as Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab, as a fragmented effort, but was effective. Two of the most significant factions were the Peoples War Group that was based in the villages in Andhra Pradesh, and, the Maoist Centre, which was based in the jungles of Bihar. It is these two factions that merged in 2004 to intensify the Maoist movement.

At present, the Maoist movement now operates in more than 220 districts across twenty states of India. This is a shocking fact because of the significance it holds; the Maoists have the ability to strike at targets across 40 % of India. Their main strike zone is known as the Red Corridor, which is an area covering 92,000 sqkms. The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) claims that 20,000 armed Maoists are active out of a total of 50,000 that operate under different organizations.

Regardless of how many armed militants are present, the people in India would want stiff and sustained efforts by the Indian leadership to maintain security. However, India’s feeble response to the Maoist movement, operation ‘Green hunt’, has had little success. This operation was met with a backlash in Bengal and Bihar. As a result of little thought put into the strategy to deal with their apparently largest domestic threat, many Indians have perished.

It is evident that any military action has to be accompanied by a follow-up plan by state governments in terms of appeasing the restive people in the troubled areas; concerned authorities must address the needs of those being denied their rights. While this is a rough outline of what ought to be done, the Maoists remain resolved to take control of India.

With such glaring threats in the face of Indian authorities, they ought to re-think their role as a major country in South Asia. Precisely, what they should do is get their act together and deal with their domestic disputes instead of interfering in Pakistan’s Frontier and Baluchistan provinces. This should have been the realization many years ago. However, they have sustained their efforts in the form of insurgent plans carried out by the completely Un-Islamic Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan [TTP]. The Indian Research and Analysis Wing [R.A.W] has spent a great deal of its resources running this organization along with other western clandestine intelligence agencies; in a combined effort, they have tried to make the TTP look like an offshoot of the Afghan Taliban. Indeed, there is magnanimous difference between the two, and their game-plan has been exposed along with their ‘Cold Start’ Fourth Generation Warfare Strategy. They have made a spectacle of themselves, and continue to do so, while back home their very existence at stake.

World stunned at Indian Army Chief’s Statement

leave a comment »

By Makhdoom Babar

(Additional reporting by Ajay Mehta in New Delhi & Hina Kayani in Rawalpindi)

While the Indians celebrate 62nd Army Day, country’s Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor, just after a couple of weeks of announcing a new war doctrine of Indian army to eliminate Pakistan and China in matter of hours even if it has to fight on simultaneous fronts, outrageously admitted Indian Army’s Armoured debacle and expressed concern about the force’s ‘night blindness’ in the area of Armoured Corps and mechanised infantry. ‘My major concern is that night blindness of the army is removed so we are able to fight in the night as in the day,’ Kapoor said at New Delhi Yesterday, an admission that stunned the world in the back drop of his two weeks old remarks. The situation also forced Indian Defence Minister Antony to chew his own buts as he had been endorsing and projecting General Kapoor’s announcement regarding the new war doctrine for Pakistan and China Earlier, when his attention was brought to the fact that the Indian Army’s tanks have a night vision capability of 20 percent, Pakistan’s have 80 percent while China has 100 percent, General Deepak Kapoor admitted this outrageous military debacle by saying: ‘You are right.’

‘Projects are already in the pipeline to ensure that we have the night vision capability that our adversaries have. It may take three-four years,’ Kapoor added. The lack of night vision capability of the Indian Army has affected its fighting capability during the night. The deficiency has been persistent since the Kargil conflict.

On a query about the obsolete artillery of the Indian Army, the army chief said that successive bans have delayed acquisition of new guns for long. ‘Artillery is a cause for concern. We need to have better guns. Trials for towed guns are underway. Because of bans the process got delayed. We are now acquiring (ultra light) guns through FMS (Foreign Military Sales) route (from the US),’ Kapoor added.

The Daily mail’s investigations into the matter reveal that despite a numerical strength of tanks over Pakistan, Indian army otherwise armoured and infantry capabilities are even below average if compared with Pakistan Army. According to these findings, Indian armoured corps comprises around 4, 059 tanks with a backup of 1, 133 as reserve while Pakistan Army’s Tank strength is 2,401 with a backup of 270 as reserves. However this numerical supremacy of Indian army is outraged with the fact that Indian armoured corps relies mainly on its Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun which emerged as a big failure while Pakistan Army’s armoured corps’ main strength has become Al-Khalid MBT which is a great success story, endorsed across the world. But the latest admission of Indian Army Chief about failure of its armoured corps to fight a battle in the night time is an additional and a rather huge disadvantage to the Indian Army and crystal clearly negates the claims of Indian Army Chief regarding smooth victory in case Indian army has to fight a war with Pakistan or China or even both at the same time.

The Daily Mail’s findings further disclose that India’s MBT Arjun is more flab than brawn. More a heavyweight than a performer. A potpourri really, with a French engine, and German seals fitted into an Indian hull and turret. And transporting this heavyweight is going to be another problem, which could limit its operational performance.
These findings further indicate that Arjun has indeed suffered throughout its development, from confusion and inexplicable delays and by imbalances between the Army, the DRDO and the bureaucracy. Pakistan by contrast, has drawn a lesson from the Indian experience and avoided the trap of over lasting her R&D’s indigenous know-how in the development of its MBT Al-Khalid.

The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that Arjun mounts a 120mm rifled gun deadly in lethal power but wanting in accuracy. Its performance in various trails was reported to be anything but up to the mark. It is believed that during in March 1990, General V. N. Sharma, the then Army Chief of Staff and an armoured expert, was “quite wild” when only three of the five rounds hit the 5X5 meter target and no hit was scored against a moving target.

According to Major General M. L. Popli (retd.) of the Indian Army, Arjun’s production was basically planned as an ambitious project with complete indigenous components and assemblies but it was later revealed that the Arjun’s sub-systems were all imported except for the hull and the turret. The imported assemblies include all major sub-systems such as engine, transmission, track-suspension, gin and fire control. Our experts are of the view that their integration, “leaves much to be desired”. The auxiliary power unit from France did not perfectly fit in the tank, with the German seals not meeting the General Staff qualitative requirements of withstanding temperatures up to 150 degree Centigrade. The barely measured up to 120 degrees. Arjun is therefore quite a “fuss” with the French engine, with German seals fitted into the Indian hull and turret mounting a not very accurate 120mm gun.

Armoured experts say that another problem thrown up by the heavyweight is its transportation. Arjun could present a lot of problem for transportation by railways particularly through certain portions of the system. This imposes very serious limitations on the Arjun’s operational performance. In most of the field armies, the tank transporters and assault bridges are not usually designed to take such heavy weights. These aspects mostly highlight the engineering and operational problems.

According to The Daily Mail’s findings, global military analysts say that Pakistan adopted a step-by-step approach towards the manufacture of its MBT-2000 Khalid, and this is the single most important reason for having stolen a march over India. They are of the opinion that the Indian project was too ambitious, whereas Pakistan’s approach was more systematic comprising the following phases and that was why Pakistan Army got a well prepared MBT while the Indian Armoured Corps was equipped with huffing, overweight and inaccurate Tank system.

The Daily Mail findings indicate that clear technical and professional edges of Pakistan Army’s Armoured Corps over Indian Army’s Armoured Corp are valid reasons to make General kapoor a really apprehensive Chief of Indian Army. These findings indicate that Pakistan’s MBT-2000 Khalid mounts a 125mm gun with thermal image converter. Maximum efforts were devoted to getting the machine souped up as possible mainly to cut down weight. Just compare the 60 tons Arjun with the maximum 44 tons Al- khalid.

It is essential to mention that Al-Khalid is equipped with 105mm gun with a more powerful engine, special armour for increased protection in the indigenously built laser range finder and thermal image sighting system to maximize the gun range even in the hours of acute darkness, enabling Pakistan Army’s armoured Corps to enjoy a complete technical and professional Supremacy of over Indian Armoured Corps; a fact that now worries Indian Army Chief the most. Further more, Al-Khalid MBT has an integrated fire control system for reducing engagement time and increasing accuracy, along with the automatic fire support system. This tank’s most lethal component, the penetrater ammunition called Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS), is also being indigenously produced. This project has been designated P-87. Currently, a series of such closely related projects to manufacture hull, turret, gun barrels and engines are in various stages of planning-execution. All these will finally merged into a tank manufacturing factory that will produce MBT-2000 Khalid.

The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that despite the disgraceful admission of the Indian Army Chief regarding Indian Armoured Corps’ inability to combat a battle in the night, the Indian Army is already going through a very depressed and dejected phase and many of the missile systems, given to the Indian army have also emerged as seriously faulty and rather super-flops battle tools. These investigations indicate that many of the tests of Missile systems, carried out by Indian DRDO and declared officially as successful, have actually got a highly dubious result history.

The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that the failure in rapid succession of Astra missile system, a satellite launcher and a new ballistic missile have shown up the technological and budgetary difficulties faced by India’s space establishment, both civilian and military.

These investigations indicate that India’s intermediate-range ballistic missile “Agni III” that was launched by the secretive Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) failed soon after liftoff and crashed into the Bay of Bengal, less than 1,000 kilometers away from the launch site.

The failure of the Agni III was a very serious matter because it exposed the political limitations of India’s attempts, despite its ambitions, to pursue a military capability.

The surface-to-surface ballistic missile, designed to have a range of 3,500 kilometers, took off in a “fairly smooth” manner at the designated hour. But “a series of mishaps” occurred in its later flight path.

Earlier, India decided to postpone the missile test out of fear that a test could hamper US Congressional ratification of the India-US nuclear cooperation deal. Publicly, the then Indian Defense Minister cited “self-imposed restraint” to justify the postponement.

However, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US military, visited India and declared that “I do not see it [a test] as destabilizing” or upsetting the regional “military balance” since “other countries in this region” (read, Pakistan) have also tested missiles.Following this “facilitation” or clearance, and after indications of favorable votes in US Congressional committees on the nuclear deal, India’s stand changed. A week later, the DRDO announced it was ready to launch Agni-III.

This was the ninth missile in the Agni series (named after the Sanskrit word for “fire”) to have been tested. The first was tested in May 1989. The last test (Agni-II) took place in August 2004.

The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that unlike major powers including the US, Russia or China, which test the same missile 10 to 20 times before announcing that it is fully developed, India considers only three or four test flights to be enough for both producing and inducting new missiles and thus ended up with inaccurate results and the success story was announced in a hasty manner.

These investigations disclose that this was not the first time that the test of an Agni series missile failed. As earlier, some tests of the shorter range Agni-II (range 2,000 kilometers-plus) also proved unsuccessful. However what made the Agni-III’s failure significant was that unlike its shorter-range predecessors, it was a wholly new design, developed with the specific purpose of delivering a nuclear warhead.

The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that Agni-I (range 700 to 800 kilometers) and Agni-II were both products of India’s space program and connected to its Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), itself launched in 1983. Originally, their design used a satellite space-launching rocket (SLV-3) as the first stage, on top of which was mounted the very short-range (150 to 250 kilometers) liquid fuel-propelled Prithvi missile.

The Agni-III’s brand new design, in which both stages use solid propellants, was to enable it to carry a payload weighing up to 1.5 tons and deliver it to targets as far away as Beijing and Shanghai. At present, India lacks an effective nuclear deterrent vis-a-vis China, based on a delivery vehicle carrying a nuclear warhead. Agni-III was meant to fill the void.

The causes of the failure of the test flight are not clear. Scientists at the DRDO, which designed and built the missile, have been quoted as saying that many new technologies were tried in the Agni-III, including rocket motors, “fault-tolerant” avionics and launch control and guidance systems. Some of these could have failed. Other reports attribute the mishap to problems with the propellant.”The DRDO isn’t the world’s most reliable weapons R&D agency,” Admiral L Ramdas, a former Chief of Staff of the Indian Navy, told The Daily Mail. “The Indian armed services’ experience with DRDO-made armaments has not been a happy one. Their reliability is often extremely poor. We often used to joke that one had to pray they would somehow work in the battlefield,” he added “The figure of the budget of DRDO is extremely high for a poor country like India, with a low rank of 127 among 175 countries of the world in the United Nations Human Development Index,” said Anil Chowdhary of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace. “Yet the DRDO has delivered very little.”

The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that none of the three major projects assigned to the DRDO were completed on time or without huge cost-overruns. These include the development of a Main Battle Tank (MBT), a nuclear power plant for a submarine, and an advanced Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), all involving expenditures of hundreds of millions of dollars.

“The primary reason for these shocking instances of underperformance and inability is lack of public accountability and oversight of the DRDO,” says M V Ramana, an independent technical expert attached to the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development, Bangalore.

“The DRDO, like all of India’s defense and nuclear service establishments, is not subject to normal processes of audit. It has used ‘security’ as a smokescreen or shield and refused to be held to account,” he adds.

The Daily Mail’s investigations disclose that Pakistan, in sharp contrast, has always accorded high priority to its air defence management, with its multi-tier surveillance cover, air defence fighters, quick-reaction, short-range missiles and an integrated control and reporting system.

The Indian Armed Forces, however, continues to make do with its obsolete air defence systems, The IAF, for instance, has aging Pechora, Igla-1M and OSA-AK missile systems, and that, too, in woefully inadequate numbers. While Trishul was to replace its OSA-AK weapons system, Akash was meant as a substitute for Pechora.

The Daily Mail’s findings reveal further that But both the Trishul and Akash air defence missile systems, which are part of the original Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme launched as far back as 1983, have been dogged by development snags in their “command guidance and integrated Ramjet rocket propulsion” systems.

Trishul, for instance, has been tested over 80 times so far without coming anywhere near becoming operational. It was, in fact, virtually given up for dead in 2003 after around Rs 300 crore was spent on it, before being revived yet again.

Trishul’s repeated failure, in fact, forced the Indian Navy to go in for nine Israeli Barak anti-missile defence systems for its frontline warships, along with 200 Barak missiles, at a cost of Rs 1,510 crore during the 1999 Kargil conflict.

The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that India’s missile scientists are on record to have said that the country’s indigenous missile programme is flagging and needs foreign assistance to revive it.

The embarrassing admission came amid claims by Indian analysts that Pakistan’s missile programme had proved to be more robust and surefooted than India’s. The Mail Today, an Indian newspaper is on record to have quoted the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as announcing that it would scrap its 25-year Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) very soon.Talking about the Trishul surface-to-air missile that has now been termed a technology demonstrator, former Indian Naval Chief Sushil Kumar said:”It was a national embarrassment. DRDO made fake claims for 25 years. In the 1999 Kargil conflict, the Navy was vulnerable to attacks from Pakistan’s Harpoon.

“Finally the project was scrapped when the Navy went in for the Israeli Barak missiles. The Prithvi’s naval variant, Dhanush, is also flawed and ill-conceived, which is being inflicted on the Indian Navy. Former Air Chief S. P. Tyagi said:”Akash was to be ready at a certain time, but it wasn’t. I had to change everything to make up for the delay.” Both missiles were part of a programme to develop indigenous weapons, which began in July 1983, with plans for Agni, Prithvi, Trishul, Akash and Nag missiles.

The IGMDP, which was aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in missile development and production, comprises five core missile programmes; the strategic Agni ballistic missile; the tactical Prithvi ballistic missile; the Akash and Trishul surface-to-air missiles and the Nag anti-tank guided missile.

Indian newspaper, The Mail Today quotes S. Prahlada, Chief of the Control Research and Development, DRDO, as saying that development and production of most of the futuristic weapon systems would henceforth be undertaken with foreign collaboration.

With regard to the nuclear-capable Agni series, comprising I and II, the newspaper quoted army sources as saying while they had been tested five times each “a handful of tests are not enough to prove a missile’s worth”. There were different problems with other systems too.

“Pakistan has always been one step ahead of India in its missile programme,” the newspaper said, adding that Islamabad has “a much more robust missile force than India, one capable of launching nuclear weapons to any part in this country.” Unlike Indian missiles, which were declared “inducted” after a few tests, the Pakistani projectiles have always been thoroughly tested.

With this state of affairs in the direction of the missile systems, coupled the Armoured Corps’s inability to combat a night vision battle, one should must salute the Indian Military leadership to have come up with the announcement of evolving an innovative war doctrine to crush Pakistan as well as China and that too in hours’ time.

Independent Palestinian state gains China’s support

leave a comment »

RIYADH (AFP) – China on Wednesday endorsed efforts to create an independent Palestinian state as Saudi Arabia hardened its accusations that Israel is preventing a settlement of the Middle East conflict .


China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi speaks during a joint press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saudi al-Faisal in Riyadh. China on Wednesday endorsed efforts to create an independent Palestinian state as Saudi Arabia hardened its accusations that Israel is preventing a settlement of the Middle East conflict.

“China will continue its support for the Palestinian effort to establish an independent state,” Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on a visit to Riyadh .

Yang said at a news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal that China supports the principles of a two-state solution under the Saudi-driven Arab Peace Initiative , which calls for an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and with Jerusalem as its capital.

Saud, meanwhile, stepped up the rhetoric over Israel’s refusal to freeze the construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and begin talks with the Palestinians.

“This is the longest conflict in modern times,” Saud said.

“The reason why this conflict is long is the refusal by Israel of all the attempts to end this conflict. Arab countries have done their job with the Arab Peace Initiative, which gives Israel security, and gives the Arab countries the restoration of their lands.

“But peace should be established by two sides, not just one side. If one side does not want peace, peace will not be achieved,” he said.

The comments came as both the US and Saudis have increased efforts to push the Palestinians and Israelis into final-status peace talks that would result in an independent Palestinian state.

Amid a sharp increase in regional diplomacy, White House National Security Adviser James Jones met Saudi King Abdullah late Tuesday on the first stop of a regional tour that will take him to Israel and the Palestinian territories .

US Middle East special envoy George Mitchell is also expected to visit soon.

The two sides remained at odds over the key issue of Israeli settlements .

The Palestinians and their Arab backers — with Saudi Arabia one of the most important — insist that peace talks cannot resume until Israel freezes the construction of Jewish settlements in the West bank and East Jerusalem.

Israel and the United States say talks should proceed with no preconditions.

Written by rohitkumarsviews

January 18, 2010 at 8:03 am

Looking Ahead

leave a comment »

Ramesh Phadke
January 12, 2010

Has the time come for India to launch multiple peace initiatives? In the eight years since, the US-led war on global terrorism began on October 8, 2001 against the Taliban and al Qaeda both Afghanistan and Iraq have seen much devastation and regime change and the former is now bracing up for a troop surge. Most analysts are, however, agreed that the United States is neither looking to win the war nor to establishing democracy in this hapless land called Afghanistan. The United States can at best work towards making the region manageable so that Obama can actually begin withdrawing troops by the middle of 2011.

Pakistan has never been happy about India’s presence in Afghanistan even if only for reconstruction efforts. Only recently Prime Minister Gilani told the UK foreign minister Miliband to ‘not include India in the proposed Afghan Council’. North Korea continues to dodge the various attempts of the major powers to denuclearise and at the same time. Iran shows no signs of giving up its uranium enrichment plans. According to some experts, e.g. George Friedman of ‘Stratfor’, military action against Iran by the United States, either alone or in collaboration with Israel, appears to be a distinct possibility in the not too distant future since both Russia and China would not support more stringent sanctions in the United Nations. Should such a war come to pass, the South Asian neighbourhood would be the worst hit. Even if Iran succeeds in only temporarily disrupting the movement of oil in the Persian Gulf, the effects could well be catastrophic for the whole world and China, Japan and India in particular as these countries are even more dependent on Gulf oil.

As if by coincidence, four Indian strategic/military experts have voiced their concern about the possibility of a two-front war with Pakistan and China without giving any specific timeline (Brajesh Mishra at the Observer Research Foundation, Ambassador K.S. Bajpai and C. Raja Mohan in the Indian Express and the Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor at a closed door meeting of the Army Training Command). One does not know why these four decided to raise the issue at this time. Expectedly, Pakistan reacted to the Army Chief’s remarks with characteristic anger. The Indian Defence Minister A.K. Anthony had to ultimately assuage the ruffled feelings of our neighbours by clearly stating that India had no territorial designs and that there was no chance of a war even if some differences existed.

Those looking positively at the new decade have also said that India needed to embark on a more proactive foreign policy including opening talks with Pakistan, China and the United States to consolidate the gains of recent years. Tavleen Singh, who normally holds strong views, has also spoken of peace in the subcontinent. (Indian Express, January 10, 2009). Some also hold the view that Pakistani action against the perpetrators of 26/11 need not be made a precondition to resume the stalled Composite Dialogue. Given the uncertainties in Pakistan, they seem to think that if delayed further, India might not find ‘anyone’ to talk to in that country.

If India indeed considers itself to be a rising power, it cannot be appear reluctant to take new initiatives So, instead of repeating that, ‘India should get its act together’, ‘get its house in order’ or that ‘it lacks strategic thought/culture’, here are some possible options.

By resuming the stalled dialogue with Pakistan India can achieve two major foreign policy objectives. First, it will silence the hard-line elements in Pakistan and also in Jammu & Kashmir, at least for a time. Second, the Obama administration, facing its own challenges, will be encouraged to view India as part of the solution and not the problem. It is important for India to get its relations with the United States at nearly the same level as they were during the Bush years. It may reduce infiltration attempts and also help improve the situation in J&K. It may also help give additional audibility to India’s concerns on future climate change talks. While China’s hard-line posture on border and other issues is seen by some as a direct reaction to the India-US partnership, but in fact, India’s gains from this relationship are already reaching a point of diminishing returns which is certainly not a good sign.

India should also begin to talk with China on ways to bring lasting peace to Afghanistan. It is possible if not likely that when the United States finally decides to leave the country a loose coalition of various stake holders including the Taliban with support from Pakistan will rule Afghanistan. But to assure the world that it would not permit terrorist activity on its soil the future government will have to be supported economically. What better way to do that than both China and India working together for its comprehensive reconstruction? Surely, Afghans of all hues would be more ready to welcome India and China, two regional powers that are already engaged in building that country’s infrastructure and economy. The benign and positive presence of China will also remove any residual insecurity from Pakistani minds about India joining the effort. China may also feel more secure if the new government in Afghanistan helped block the movement of extremist elements into Xinjiang.

India should also intensify its contacts with Iran to help avert any precipitate action against that country by either the United States or Israel. If that happens the jihadi elements across the world would be encouraged to intensify their actions, further destabilising the already fragile situation. It would, therefore, be worth the effort to co-opt China and even Russia to facilitate such talks. India could then mount pressure on the United States and Israel to abandon their plans for a military solution to the Iran nuclear issue. Barring a few ‘neoconservative elements’ the American people will surely heave a sigh of relief at the prospect of peaceful relations with Iran. Surely, they do not want to send their sons and daughters to start another war.

There are also new if tentative attempts towards nuclear zero (Global Zero). However halting and even impractical the process might appear to sceptics, there is a strong consensus across the world to at least start moving towards nuclear disarmament. While there would undoubtedly be many hurdles and major procedural/verification problems on the way; de-alerting, delegitimising nuclear weapons and adoption of No First Use (NFU) by all Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) would be a salutary first step. Countries like North Korea might not agree but can be coaxed into it once other major players take the lead.

India, in the early years, showed extreme reluctance to go nuclear even though it kept its options open. It is widely known that Homi Bhabha had assured the then Indian Prime Minister that his scientists could produce a nuclear weapon in a mere fifteen months from the time a go-ahead was given. Yet it was only in 1974 that India finally did the 8-to-10 kiloton test and called it a Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE). Until 1983, when India began its Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), it had no worthwhile delivery systems and even that took another six years to launch its first Agni missile in May 1989. In 1988, the Rajiv Gandhi government had also attempted a joint initiative with Sweden to start the process of nuclear disarmament but perhaps it was before its time.

Last year, there were reports that Pakistan’s arsenal had already surpassed that of India’s and there was a major controversy about India’s fusion weapon test having been a ‘fizzle’ but the Indian leadership did not show signs of excitement or panic. While India is no doubt trying to develop a nuclear triad, its pace of progress is anything but fast. Although, qualified in 2003, its commitment to NFU has not diminished in real terms. Both India and Pakistan continue to unfailingly exchange information on their nuclear establishments under the agreement signed in 1988. India has thus never shown an inclination to unnecessarily expand its modest nuclear arsenal.

India must take a major initiative to reduce the nuclear temperature in South Asia and indeed the world by offering a freeze on its nuclear arsenal at the present levels provided Pakistan and China followed suit. The United States and Russia and other NWS could then be asked to at least agree to a NFU followed by deep reductions in their arsenals in good time.

Haven’t India’s current moves to improve relations with Bangladesh received good press? While some ‘hyper-realists’ may dub these suggestions as ‘surrender’ to China and the United States, it is better than doing nothing. In any case, there is little to lose. Inaction on India’s part may prove worse as events gather their own momentum. It is said, “God gave man two ends; one to sit on and the other to think with. Ever since, man’s success has depended on which end he uses the most; heads you win, tails you lose.”

Cold Start: Indian Threat to Pakistan & China

leave a comment »

By Farzana Shah

In 2005 India announced a new military doctrine called Start Cold mainly targeting Pakistan as its potential enemy. In November 2009, Indian army chief made a statement that there is a possibility of a limited war between Pakistan and India in a nuclear overhang. In December 2009, Indian chief announced that India is ready to take on both Pakistan and China in a ‘two front war’ simultaneously. These statements spurred a quick reaction in Pakistani media and military establishment.

Indian statements

Indian army chief statement came in a closed door seminar in Shimla based military academy on five year review of its military doctrine and operational preparedness. Full details of the Indian chief speech are not known but what is released to media can be summarized as under;

1. India is in position to mobilize its forces so that they can move into enemy territory within 96 hours to execute its Cold Start military doctrine.

2.
India is now ready to take on Pakistan and China both in a “two front war” in a nuclear over hang.

3. India is going to enhance its “strategic reach and out-of-area capabilities” to protect its interests from Malacca strait to Persian Gulf.

4. To achieve above mentioned goals India would attain “operational synergy” between the three services

5. Countering “both military and non-military facets of asymmetric and sub-conventional threats.”

Indian army chief’s statements met with prompt reply from Pakistani military top brass. “Proponents of conventional application of military forces, in a nuclear overhang, are charting an adventurous and dangerous path, the consequences of which could be both unintended and uncontrollable,” said General Kiyani, CoAS Pakistan army. The next day Chairman joint Chief of Staff General Tariq Majeed responded to two front war doctrine in these words, “Leave alone China, General Deepak Kapoor knows very well what the Indian Army cannot and the Pakistan Army can pull off militarily”. He said the Indian Army chief “could not be so outlandish in strategic postulations to fix India on a self-destruct mechanism”.

Although Pakistan army made it clear that it is alive to the threats faced by the nation and recent history has proved that despite its numerical advantage and bigger economy, India was not able to initiate a war against Pakistan. It is important to look at drivers behind these statements by Indian army chief and how come this time Indian military establishment is so confident about their preparedness to take not only Pakistan but also China in a future war whereas in a previous stand off just 8 years ago the same Indian army could not fire a single bullet?

First it would be prudent to seek why these statements by Indian army chief came at this point of the time.

Indian army chief’s statements came when there are lots of things taking place in Pakistan’s internal politics at a rapid pace.

There is a critical political turmoil in the country especially after the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s decision on controversial NRO case. Though no final judgment has been issued but it seems that a large number of government members and ministers would be disqualified as their legitimacy for an elected parliamentarian would nullified once the final decision is announced and these members and ministers would have to leave their seats and criminal cases against them would be reopen in the courts. The danger of disqualification is not limited to ministers but president of Pakistan is also endangered by this decision of SC. If the court decided that President Zardari must come to court to clear allegation of corruption against him this would create another political crisis in the country where law and order situation is already very fragile due to war on terror.

Law and order situation in Pakistan has turned worst in year 2009 due to suicide attacks throughout the country. At the beginning of 2010, situation in previously the calm Karachi city has also turned worrisome regarding law and order. The city witnessed worst kind of riots and arson in history during last three weeks.

Militarily Pakistan army is stretched from Khyber to Karachi, now on both Eastern and Western borders. Pakistan army currently is combating TTP in South Waziristan after taking back Malakand division. According to recent news, Pakistan army has sealed roads to Orakzai agency before launching a full fledge operation there as well.

Recently a group of US senators visited Pakistan and had meetings with top brass of Pakistan army during their visit. It was also indicated by some senators that Pakistan army soon would launch an operation in North Waziristan as well. This will stretch Pakistan army further along with Afghan border. Active part of ‘Operation Rah-i-Rast’ in Swat/Malakand is over though but still Pakistan army units are there as civilian forces, and are not ready to take control of the whole region. Army and the provincial government are building community police setup there, but it would take some time to get control.

Pakistan armed forces are undergoing a massive modernization program which is about to be completed not earlier than 2019. Modernization enhances skills of any force but it also includes a learning cover and time to absorb technology. Pakistan air force would go nearly a complete overhaul as almost entire fleet of PAF would be eventually replaced with new one till 2019.

On the other hand Indian forces are getting latest weapon system since long and are in better position and have a clear numerical strength against Pakistani forces. All above factors made current time more feasible for India to launch its preemptive strikes against Pakistan army and its infrastructure by executing Indian Cold Start doctrine.

Ultimate Indian Plan: Cold Start & 4th Generation warfare (4GWs)

Though Pakistani response at military level was well calculated and prompts along with a strong response from Pakistani foreign office, but still it would be prudent to study Indian military preparedness and the doctrine

The Indian army plan is not new, but Indian military establishment devised this plan to take on Pakistan and China in a war simultaneously some five years ago. A careful look at statement of Indian army chief makes it clear that Indians are eying establishing a strong military footprint in Indian Ocean from Malacca strait to Persian Gulf.

“This would enable us to protect our island territories; also give assistance to the littoral states in the Indian Ocean Region,” said Gen Kapoor.

Cold start doctrine is not about capturing Pakistani territory but inflicting as much damage as possible to enemy forces and infrastructure within matter of hours. It is more like a hit and run tactics giving no time to Pakistan to react.

Indian military adopted Cold start on April 28, 2004, after a 10 months long standoff (Operation Parakram) with Pakistan army along 2500 kilometer Indo-Pak border in 2002. In this stand off Indian army strike formation took almost a month to be mobilized. Contrary to this Cold Start emphasizes on quick deployment of forces and synergize operations of all three services towards destruction of Pakistan army defenses and units in short possible time. But is it all that easily possible? Does Indian military have that kind of inter service coordination to implement Cold Start in real war? This is the point where some Pakistani analysts believe that India still doesn’t have the capability to carry on its Cold Start doctrine against Pakistan. An objective analysis of this aspect is only possible after studying Indian strategic military planning against Pakistan during last five years can answer this important question.

To overcome inter services coordination a separate South-Western Army Command has been formed since 2005 which deals with Indian military deployment and operations along with Pakistani borders only. One of the major reason for raising new command was to fulfill the demands of integrated battle groups consisting Indian army and air force units and squadrons. India is working on its preparedness for surgical strikes with these battles group since 2005, now and the job of fine tuning these tactics is assigned to Army Training Command (ARTRAC) and the Army War College. From statement made by Lt. Gen. Labama it is evident that India is ready to go to war with Pakistan and China simultaneously.

Another reason for adopting Cold Start by India is to minimize the reaction time available for diplomatic solution of any potential crisis like one emerged after Mumbai attacks in November 2008. Indian government and forces were under pressure to carryout some surgical strikes on so called terrorist infrastructure on the Pakistani soil. Under Cold Start Indian military would make sure that any diplomatic solution comes after India gets all its objectives. A war between Pakistan and India would jeopardize the entire war on terror. But still India would need a pretext to execute its Cold Start doctrine and this is where 4th generation warfare comes into equation.

Use of 4th generation warfare against Pakistan is a more dangerous and disturbing angle of Indian designs which most defense analysts in Pakistan have overlooked. This paradigm of warfare revolves around asymmetrical warfare to get a moral victory with minimum nation state involvement. It is necessary to understand major difference between various generations of warfare and figuring out which one of these Pakistan is facing now. First generation revolved around conscription and firearms. Nepoleon wars can be categorized in this generation. Second generation involved nation-state armies, alignment of warfare resources and raw firepower. WWI can be categorized as 2nd generation warfare. Third generation warfare included armored warfare and maneuvering and best example of this generation of warfare was WWII which ended only after usage of nuclear weapons in Japan in 1945.

By the end of 20th century Russia invaded in Afghanistan and this was the start of a new generation of warfare. Though guerilla warfare is very old but in 1982 after direct involvement of CIA in this conflict, this guerilla warfare gave birth to fourth generation warfare (4GWs) that works on principle of lesser to no nation state involvement but rely on ad-hoc warriors and moral conflicts. Other imperatives of 4GWs include adaptation of technology to surprise the enemy and information warfare.

A careful look at what Pakistan army is combating in FATA makes it clear that Pakistan army is dealing with first phase of Indian design against Pakistan which deals with winning a moral war by adopting 4GWs.It cannot be a coincident that Pakistan army is facing an enemy who has; ad-hoc fighters, propaganda warfare capabilities in form of FM radios, very advanced weaponry and communication gear. This is indeed not a war waged just for revenge against Pakistan army to side US after 9/11. If it is then how come the poor tribesmen gathered all these assets within a short period of time and mastered the skills to use them against world’s 6th largest military machine i.e Pakistan army.

Pakistan army and security management have no doubts about Indian support to TTP, a banned terrorist organization committing horrific terrorism nationwide since its inception in 2005 (The same year when India adopted new military doctrine and raised a new military command along with Pakistani border). Pakistan army has seized not only Indian made weapons in Swat and FATA but also has eliminated number of Indian combatants. Proofs have already been given to civilian government to take up the matter at world forums but there is no sign of urgency in this regard in Islamabad which is not only strange but questionable as well.

Though Pakistan army has fought successfully with Indian 4GWs in Swat and FATA but due to lack of political will was unable to gain any higher moral ground in community of nations. On the other hand India already has built a case against Pakistan as a country being used as staging ground for terrorism against its neighbors.

Chinese Slant

Although China is also mentioned in the statement by Indian army chief as a potential enemy in the war along with Pakistan but it is no secret that India has always used foreign military aid against Pakistan. India has one clear advantage over China in current geopolitics in the world. There is an embargo on China for Western high tech military equipment after Tiananmen Square incident 1989. On the other hand India along with a healthy economy has no such restrictions imposed for military hardware despite worst human right conditions thanks to global hypocrisy and double standards of West and US. Still India lacks in many areas when it comes to military balance vis a vis China.

China sensed the importance of indigenization a long ago and started to develop its military production facilities in 1960s. Now Chinese military complexes not only supply advanced weapons to its own forces but also export large amount of these weapons to other countries including Pakistan. Not only this, but China helped Pakistan to build its own military industry after debacle of 1971.

With its well established economy and knowledge base China has crossed many milestones in military hardware production. Now apart from US and Russia China is the only country in the world to run a 5th generation military jet fighter project. Apart from its indigenization efforts sheer number of Chinese forces is another factor why India would never think about carrying out any military adventure against China. Apart from this military comparison China unlike Pakistan or India is a veto power in UN Security Council and can dissuade any move by India in UN against Pakistan or China.

The mentioning of China in Indian chief statement is a mere indication to West and US that now India is ready to take a role of regional power and both US and West can trust India as any ally against communist China. US is banking on India to compete with China in economics and military fields but friendship of Pakistan and China is a big hurdle for India in both these fields. India is eyeing permanent seat in UN since long now and the current statement can also be a signal to US and West to accept India as a big player in the region along with China.

All the military aid would be used against Pakistan in actual war that is evident from history as well when US helped India against China in 1962. Most of US weapons were used against Pakistan in 1965 war.

Cold Start and Possible Pakistani Response

As indicated in its response Pakistani military leadership has made it clear that any misadventure by India can result in unavoidable consequences. Indian doctrine is flawed at many places.

Firstly, India would have to have a solid reason and pretext to launch any attack no matter low limited against Pakistan.

Secondly, Indians have no gauge of Pakistani military planning to counter Cold Start. It must be bear in mind that Pakistan military announced in July 2005 that it is fully aware of Indian Cold Start doctrine. Pakistan may deploy its unconventional arms much earlier than India has envisaged.

Thirdly, Due to Pakistani preparedness there is clear lack in synergy required in Indian forces to implement Cold Start successfully. Indian Navy would not be able to blockade Pakistani Navy in Karachi as now Pakistan Navy has two more naval bases in Omara and Gawadar. Likewise if Indian air force deploys its front line jet fighter and bombers on forward air bases (FABs) Pakistani cruise missile can come into equation much earlier.

Fourthly,
a time line of 48 hours or 96 hours to put Pakistan in a military submission to India with help of armor corps and air support can be proved as dangerous as claims of capturing Lahore in one day proved in 1965. A prolonged combat on borders can put strategic Indian infrastructure in danger. Pakistan air force can launch attacks on dams built on Chenab and Jehlam rivers in Kashmir, Pakistan strategic force command would be in position to hit Indian economic centers like Silicon Valley in Banglore.

Fifthly, Indian military establishment failed to see how a handful of Kashmiri fighters made 700,000 Indian army troops permanently stationed in one valley since decades. Despite presence of this force, which is more than total regular army of Pakistan, Indian government has failed to curb freedom struggle in Kashmir and this circumstances any war between Pakistan and India would be last thing the Indian army would ever dream in Kashmir. Indian military would be in no position to control Kashmiris and fight Pakistan army at same time.

Sixthly, Indian military establishment is relying much more on President Zardari’s announcement that Pakistan will not use its nuclear weapon as first strike. In reality it is Pakistan army who will decide which weapon is to be used when and where.

Last but not the least India is relying on its ever increasing air power not only for Cold Start but to neutralize any Pakistani deployed missiles in a preemptive strikes. It seems that time for such an operation has almost gone for Indian air force. In 2010 PAF would be reshaped to take on the challenges of 21st century. PAF has already established parity in Air Born Early Warning capability after inducting SAAB Erieye AEW&C platform. In June 2010 Pakistan would start receiving state of the art F-16 Block52 fighters from US and PAF Air defense system is going to enhance its capabilities manifold by inducting MBDA’s Spada2000 medium range SAM system. Though Indian air force currently is enjoying numerical superiority but India can’t put all its war assets against Pakistan in a war keeping in view size of India.

Another problem which India is going to face during any execution of Cold Start is the gauge of nuclear threshold of Pakistan, a point where Pakistan would decide to go for unconventional warfare. This is where Army Chief Asfaq Perviz Kiyani hinted that consequences of any misadventure in a nuclear overhang can be suicidal for India.

Suggestions

Indian aggression in future would increase. Recent trends of buying military hardware by India are a clear indication to this fact. Pakistan armed forces don’t need to match Indian counterparts but rather require higher level of preparedness. It is not Cold Start that must alarmed security managers but it is 4th generation warfare by Indian intelligence and military establishment that must be a source of contention for Pakistan. Pakistani military and civilian government needs to take some steps in order to defeat Indian 4GWs tactics in FATA and to prevent India from deploying its forces ever again.

Pakistan must maintain a strategic ambiguity about first use of its nuclear weapons against any enemy including India. An early announcement would always put Pakistan on wrong footing as it will provide another opportunity to Indian and world media to talk about Pakistan’s obsession against India.

Pakistan army must complete all the counter insurgency operation as soon as possible and strike units must report back giving control to the civilian forces in areas which have been cleared of militants. The good news is Pakistan army has realized the importance of civilian forces. Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Kiyani vows to support NWFP police with equipment and training while speaking at police academy in Peshawar.

In any future force stand off Pakistan military must make sure that it has deployed enough strategic weapons that can not be compromised by a pre-emptive strike by Indian air force or other strikes.

Pakistan must build a strong case against India and her involvement in Pakistan particularly in supporting terrorism in Baluchistan and FATA. Pakistan army has given proofs to government and the ball is in democratic government’s court to take the case on international forums like UN where Pakistan easily can seek Chinese help in order to unearth Indian intentions against Pakistan and peace in the region.

In any future political crisis in the country, Pakistan army must keep itself isolated from political turmoil and remained focused on external threats as any involvement in politics would degrade Pakistan’s ability to respond to a prompt military challenge posed by India.

Government must ensure that Pakistan armed forces modernization program remain on track and government always has a reliable financing on short notice for an urgent need if armed forces raise a demand.

Pakistan must quit current defensive foreign policy adopted in Musharraf era. Pakistan must make it clear to world that any act of terrorism must not be linked to Pakistan without proper investigations. Recent student crisis in UK has exposed this weakness in foreign policy where government was failed to react in time when innocent Pakistani students were charged for planning a terrorist attack. Similar ineptness was evident on part of government in case of Samjootha Express incident, which was wrongly blamed on Pakistan but the government was failed to respond on international forum.

Media management of Pakistan armed forces and its operations inside country has always been weak. In Pakistan, unlike India, media is not always behind army. Despite the gains by Pakistan army in war on terror in time span of three to five months in Swat and South Waziristan there is still a perception that Pakistan army is unable to combat terrorism and some even go to an extent that Pakistan army might be supporting Taliban. These perceptions are culmination of a weak media policy by government and needs an urgent attention to change these misperceptions.

– Asian Tribune –