I wrote the last post yesterday that the reaction to the Baramulla strike on the RR camp ought to be a sustained operation against the terrorists deep inside PoK. This morning, Economic Times on its front page had an intriguing story “Army wants Six Months to Smash PoK Terror Ops” (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/army-wants-six-months-to-smash-terror-infrastructure-in-pakistan-occupied-kashmir/articleshow/54664612.cms) about Army HQrs seeking sanction from the Modi government for a sustained cross-LoC drive against ISI-managed and Pakistan army protected LeT/JeM infrastructure. Without sounding too bloodthirsty, GOI should authorize such a strategy. It will free the army to realize its plan without its having to seek political approval at every turn or before every action. If the army is essentially demanding that professionals be left free to obtain the outcome GOI wants, then it is time that such a carte blanche, in fact, be given.
For one thing because the army seems to be fired up, especially because of the criticism about the complacency and lax attitude permeating the military that, time and again, permits jihadis to stroll in and shoot up army camps and kill jawans at will, the army is reacting in this visceral fashion. This is a good thing to see happen. It shows there’s some self-respect left in the Indian land forces after all.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar too should be enthused and grant the army the license to proceed because he has after all taken the credit for instilling “self confidence” in the armed forces for too long acting like Hanuman drained off his confidence before his Lanka operation! In other words, Parrikar has taken on the persona of Hanuman’s friend in the Ramayana epic — Jambuwan, the Bear who reminds the great Monkey God of his inherent strength and advises him to shake off his diffidence, and get on with the job of defeating the enemy. [This is a curious thing to happen, because in my book ‘Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)’ I use this episode as the curtain raiser in the first chapter, to liken the Indian nation to Hanuman, who is in a funk and unable to gauge his own enormous strength.]
Now that the army is all fired up, it will be tragic if not criminal to see such stoked-up spirit go waste. Parrikar should advise Modi to OK the army’s plans for eliminating the terrorist scourge — whatever it takes, however long it takes.
There’s yet another reason the army should be given the go-ahead. It is the first time in a very, very long time that the army is thinking along such proactive offensive lines. Such initiatives should be heartily encouraged. Talking of variants of Cold Start doesn’t help — because it is an inherently impracticable, over-expensive, set of plans that only cavalry generals get worked up about, but will fail to deliver the outcome of conventionally subduing Pakistan. But the army’s plans of carrying out a scheme of strikes ought to gain traction with PM Modi, even if his NSA Ajit Doval establishes links with his opposite number in Pakistan, and agrees to calm things down.
It will be especially interesting to see is how the Indian army, in pursuit of its strategy, will deal with the Pakistan army that will rise to protect the terrorist outfits and will fight the Indian Special Forces in PoK.
To limit India-Pak relations to just the one formal Doval track, without also allowing the army to be active on a parallel track, by getting on with whatever it has in mind to do, is to fall back on the old belief that only resumption of talks will matter in the context of the supposed success of the “surgical strikes” fueling the conviction that a sufficiently chastised Islamabad will now follow Delhi’s script. It won’t, but assuming the Indian army successfully beats up on the terrorists and the Pak army support system, it will certainly give GHQR pause for thought.
Very fine article. Give the Indian Army a free hand and unshackle it from any political influence. The problem is that the overall Indian strategy is dictated by the US, since Modi apparently hasn’t gotten over his fantasies as a Chaiwala. The mere visit from a junior staff member from the US Embassy could very well have Modi in panic, and pulling the rug from under the Indian Army. I trust the fighting units of the Indian Armed Services to do their job. The question is how much can the Indian political dispensation be trusted? BTW, you’ve missed a crucial point. In such an endeavor, the IAF and IN also need to be kept abreast and on a very high state of alert. This can spill over, and additional pressure needs to be on stand by.
There are two ways to bring Pakistan to its knees,one is to hammer it down, another is to wear it out relentlessly, using all means covert and overt.Good to see the Indian army wanting to be proactive , since nothing short of a sustained campaign will deter these terror attacks. But after the surgical strikes DGMO of the Indian army stated that this would be a one off event and no other such strikes were being planned,this one statement released all the pressure that had been built up.
Taking out the terror infrastructure in POK would be a good start,but what stops the Pakistani army from training the so called jihadis elsewhere and also infiltrating them from other places on the IB or even by sea for that matter? Already some reports are emerging stating that pak terrorists focus would shift from Kashmir to the hinterland, in order to further deniability which isnt possible with terror strikes in Kashmir.
Surgical strikes and cross-LoC raids look feasible options if the Pakistani Army and the ISI keep up with their strategy of executing terrorist attacks in Indian states bordering Pakistan – like Uri and the previous attacks in Udhampur, Pathankot, Gurdaspur, and the rest. But if the ISI manages to repeat what it had done in Mumbai in 2008 or revives its campaign of causing serial blasts in major Indian cities, then this sort of response of surgical strikes may look harder to execute, particularly if the attack has its roots exclusively in Pakistani Punjab, and not PoK. Then the Indian government and the Indian Army will have to think of new ways to militarily respond to Pakistan.
India’s surgical strike was just a few kilometres behind the LoC (500m to 3 km) and only on launch pads, most likely shacks or huts where jihadists gather temporarily before infiltration. India did not take out training centres, jihadist leaders-Hafiz Sayeed,Masood Azhar are still out there- or make Pakistanis cower in fear enough to force their deep state to behave.
This is going to be war of attrition, under a nuclear overhang,all of India needs to be geared up for it.But first the politicians have to stay the course.Already the NSAs of India and Pakistan have had a telephonic talk TOI reports. ‘Security Advisors finally talked with each other and agreed to attempt defusing tension on the Line of Control+(LOC), Pakistan’s Geo TV reported today.’
Prominent Baluchistan leader Naela Quadri has been denied a visa,wether this a step back from the earlier hard-line position by the Indian establishment remains to be seen.
The political will for a face off with the Pakistani deep state shouldn’t be allowed to fade away,and no matter what the consequences ,there should be no backing off till Pak sponsored terrorism has been devastated once and for all.
The suggestion by IA is an excellent addition to the quiver. Only, its not going to happen.
There is not doubt that Indian Armed Forces are excellent operational organizations. That is why their youth and drive, was and is, sought be tapped by all manner of people for so long. That all this Track-2ing serves only to forward the foreigner’s interests is also very clear. It makes sense to have some sort of finality. Either mil action works or it does not – there is no such thing as half pregnancy. Let it be clear to the country what exactly can be achieved by mil action under various constraint levels. Currently the very people who talk big and act like bleeding hearts, go right round to talk up imports which have kept the real soldiering impoverished.
A link was provided some pages back where an senior Officer had claimed that the hot pursuit was now effectively a ‘national policy’. Policy makers don’t need to push anybody around if they don’t want to but free hand in dealing with hot pursuit in POK is a non-controversial step. You would be doing it in your own land. There is only the question of safety of the soldiers that needs to be addressed while making these ingress. Currently our soldiers are being targeted within our lands without even having crossed the LOC. If the safety issue cannot be resolved effectively, then the precision strikes in POK still must be allowed as an organic evolution of the new ‘national policy’. There can be even more military options that professional soldiers should be able to better articulate.
The Diplomacy should be made to work with the Military instead of being allowed to wine and dine all day long in 5 Star comforts with equally useless foreigners. Instead, we have a situation whereif Obama suspects that he will not receive good reception at G-20, our soldiers are made to exercise with US soldiers. This is not diplomacy this is a bloody conspiracy to turn these soldiers into obedient servants. WT_.
Here’s another peace overture from India..
..and here’s Pakistan’s reply..
..when is India going to learn ‘Laton ke bhoot baton se nahi mante’
Interesting perspective of GoI’s attitude towards terrorism:
While the core carries the truth in this report the conclusion still somehow ends up the same as Modi is doing. Shivam Vij is a AAP/Cong type. So he will have nothing good to say about Modi. AAP/Congress fail to realize that they are old and useless now. Modi is a better Congressi than all Congressi put together.
It is true that Doval is simply relying on the intrinsic Indian strength to hide the cluelessness of the whole team he belongs to. But if that is the realization how come the conclusion still remains the same that Modi/Americans/Congress want – talk to Pakistan. Sounds too much like, one hammer, for all nails, in all orientations, even if the finger is over that nail.
Look at the media today. Bhajapayee were afraid that Congressi time hot pursuit would get revealed and make Modi sound hollow in his boast, so they hog the Media to try to tackle Om Puri or Kejriwal etc. for some unrelated matter which by the way is true. And the surprising thing is Modi has already released the proofs by way of pictures only the propaganda was not done for those pictures. Why?
Because, as Anand Sharma admitted about his own party, which is equally applicable to Bhapayees – “But making it public had two obvious fallouts: one, it would have created war hysteria affecting economic activities; two, it would have raised people’s expectations of a military response every time a terror attack happened……Making public pressure a part of military strategy is not advisable.”
Both these set of parties and their acolytes today see the people who vote/voted for them as a hindrance to the favour they are doing to these people ie. manage the economy for them.
Kejri has lied through the teeth consistently. But one thing he turned out dead right about – Tum sey na ho payega.
It is understandable that there may not even be a real solution to the problem but with such a compromised attitude, even if there is one, rest assured, tum sey na ho payega.
The first thing that these establishment people have to do is to set right their own priorities and stop seeing Indians as a bunch of imbeciles and stop seeing Americans as a fountainhead raining true solutions.
Congress and Bhajapayee have successfully abdicated even on the Cash Flows of the economy now with this RBI committee for rate fixing. Result, 0.25% rate reduction, in times, when the claim is that the country is brimming with Modi’s confidence. Its the same RBI which moved quickly to contain the fall out of the 2008 subprime crisis and moved rates both ways, is today bound to do not much.
@~!@#$%^&*()_+: Thanks for the explanation. I don’t think I will ever really understand why not just Indian politicians but even ordinary Indians lead such complex lives and play meaningless political games endlessly. To do complex things, one needs to have an uncluttered mind. This endless playing of what I believe is sometimes referred to as “Patwari Politics” destroy people and nations.
Now that it has become official policy that US think tanks are among the most important decision makers in India, with a former NSA becoming a member of Brookings, and a former Brookings staff member becoming the Governor of the RBI. NRI’s are pretty quickly taking the place between “regular” Indians and the White masters. They strut around like “Lord Curzon’s” and even have their own “caste system”. From what I can see/gather, the ones with a White spouse is at the top of the totem pole, though she may have been a barmaid in her home country. The “regular” Indian NRI-wannabe’s now go head over heels trying to make the acquaintance of NRI’s, in addition to the usual fetish of having a TRUE White as an acquaintance. By acquaintance, I mean someone who may or may not acknowledge a greeting in public. When will we ever learn???
@~!@#$%^&*()_+: Re. “To do complex things, one needs to have an uncluttered mind. This endless playing of what I believe is sometimes referred to as “Patwari Politics” destroy people and nations.”
You have uncluttered my own mind now. I had put in my papers last month but the boss won’t accept them. I know just what to do, now. Cannot be bad, if its in Navratris. 😀
Happy Navratri. 🙂
Happy Navratri to you and yours too!
I found that we Indians will drag on and drag on and drag on, never landing a blow let alone a fateful blow. Everything is a drama for Indians, and absence of character and conviction is given very high philosophical rationales. I’ve noticed that Indians (including NRI’s, RNI’s, wannabe’s,……..) share some common traits: 1.) they glib, talk very fast, and are rarely measured, 2.) they like discussing personalities rather than relevant/pertinent issues. If they discuss issues, then politics and cricket are their favorite topics, 3.) they are uncomfortable at being alone (whether physically, or in climbing the mountain of life), 4.) rarely can they deal with a person as an equal. They either show deference or contempt (the suck up, kick down types).
~!….@ also &^….@
Here’s an article written by who else? A NRI.The reason for Indians playing ‘patwari politics’ probably lies in it somewhere.See what you can make out of it.
If you ask me, the reason for India’s dysfunction lies in its position at the dead centre of this map:
I remember during fizzle vs sizzle debate, BK et al used to look like outliers and may be even lairs. In fact the arguments of BK and some people on the net were echoed by the likes of Ashley Tellis and his cohorts, to forward the exact opposite logic. BK et al used to say, we don’t really need the 123, and Ashley Tellis too used to say the same thing with elaborate calculations of fissile/unprocessed material inventory. But then both were fighting for diametrically opposite causes.
Today only BK et al look like people with with any real vision. And surprising thing is most of these people who supported BK during those times were NRIs. BK himself was one at some point. So I guess we can treat this as nothing alarming. With the wheat comes the chaff.
Remember the likes of K. Santhanam and Iyengar. They may even have lied technically but they turned out to be more truthful to the country than even those who had sworn by the constitution and Gita. Sometimes natives have taught expats and sometimes expats will teach natives.
The article made for some hilarious reading, though. Thank god, the writer went away.
Reading it made me feel thankful to god for the kind of people he gave me as my ancestors and compatriots.
Most NRI’s did support the 123….In general MOST NRI’s/PIO’s prioritize US interests over Indian interests, except when it comes to an issue like Pakistan.
@~!@#$%^&*()_+: WRT the fizzle/sizzle matter, Karnad, Santhanam, and Iyengar were correct. And yes @Sahaurya, your analysis of the loyalties of most NRI’s is correct. This is what differentiates them from many if not most of their Chinese counterparts.
It’s an interesting article. However, since the author is a traditional game theorist, he views things as binary a-la conventional game theory as treated by (say) Von Neumann-Morganstern, which assumes that the player is perfectly rational. The problem with the Indian is much more complex and perhaps needs modeling using bounded rationality theory. The perverse nature of the people to indulge in “Patwari Politics”, against one of their own kind, and even if they have absolutely nothing to gain by it is quite widespread. Sometimes they do it out of the most far flung and remote hope of getting something from a party they know nothing of. Indians are a “will do” people. For example, see Modi THUNDER in his speeches “Hum yeh karenge, hum woh karenge…..”. Indians are not a “have done” people. That requires keeping quiet (something Indians are incapable of doing), getting a tough objective successfully completed and then going onto the next task, letting the success speak for itself. For example, in some forums, I have seen people talk about the AMCA a/c as though it is something just around the corner. The fact is that it is nothing more than some wind tunnel models and CAD drawings – i.e. vaporware! But then, who is to correct them?
Russia blosced Pakistan at the UNSC:
Sorry, “blocked” and not ” blosced”.
Not possible until India fully align itself to usa interest…if strike takes place, pak nsa will immediately call USA and mr. Dhoval will again gets call from us nsa Susanne rice to stop all this n talk to Pakistan
IMHO, it is incorrect for worthless parties like the Congress and AAP to demand complete video footage of a covert operation from the Indian Army. One might want to ask the question as to what was RG–2 doing when Bombay was under attack on 26/11? He was partying all night at the farm house of a friend (I believe Satish Sharma). There are ample grounds to believe that the recent IA action was significant in that it breached more “red lines” than previous raids. Pakistan can keep denying (which in a way is good), and the IA needs to keep the pressure up and continue thumping them on the heads. Sooner or later, Pakistan will cry “Uncle…….”.
Reblogged this on securityanalystblog.
Terror attacks have happened with regularity since from Mizoram anti-MNF Ops in 1966, supported by all manner of foreigners. And even successful wars (65 & 71) and talks (Tashkant 65, Shimla 72, Aman Ki Asha) and successful COINs (Punjab & Kashmir & Assam) and Deterrence (since 1974) have all yielded only half results. May be we can put a positive spin to it and call these parts of ‘The Solution’.
Congress was more a part of the problem than of solution. But then current dispensation too was very vociferous about doing all actions silently. Modi had taunted – kya koi bata ke …wagehra wagehra karta hai. Kya America ne bata ke Osama ko mara tha..etc.etc. I can’t find that interview but you must remember it too.
The high point of the September 28 hot pursuit was that it was opened up for the public to see. And in any system where leaders have to face the public this link must remain strong else the functioning arms of governance simply lose their hold over reality. Intel and counter-intel and sophisticated equipment and modeling can never replace the true logic of power flowing from the people. Link up the people with leaders, leaders with their forces, forces with their diplomats and even if you don’t get full solutions, you will still keep yourself ready for the moment the solution does present itself as an opportunity.
Cases like 123, EULA, LEMOA, Rafale, FMS etc. where the government and leaders were saying something and doing something else, undermines the confidence in them. Then they begin to look like agents of foreign powers, which would not be unique to India or to Indian history. At least today Parrikar talks in affirmative terms that he will sign the COMCASA and BECA. That much honesty the people of this country have earned. Hope this honesty continues even if some of us old voters of BJP part ways. Time works on electoral majorities and hagiographies and even successful records too – ask Rajiv, Nehru and Indira respectively. But the truth if not supported, it will come back to kill by its very absence.
@~!@#$%^&*()_+, you have made quite a few strong points in the above post. BTW, Modi can wave his hands and give all the dramatic speeches he wants. There are a quite a few facts India will have to face in the very near future that are far more serious than “surgical strikes” a few yards inside Pakistan. First, the MoD has made no move whatsoever for well over the past 6 months to sanction the doubling of the LCA production capability from 8-16 a/c /year. Next there has been no movement whatsoever on the Super Sukhoi front, let alone the FGFA. Third, the new RBI policies could well lead to an increase in inflation at a time that India has to cough up INR 9000+ crores as down payment for the Rafale to please Modi’s friends. After the Rafale, all the attention seems to have gone in procuring another US antique (either the F-16 or the F-18) under the Fake in India program. By next year, China is slated to have around 12 production versions of the fifth generation J-20 a/c. Four J-20’s have already been manufactured this year under the LRIP. This is in addition to the 8 existing J-20 prototypes. It is estimated that the number of fighter a/c produced by China is around 80/year. Given that it is evident that the strategic program has been frozen and even perhaps rolled back, it leaves India in a very precarious situation. Add this to the fact that the overtly pro-Pakistani Hillary Clinton seems set to become the US President, and the situation becomes even more precarious given the fact that Indo-Russian ties have been studiously downgraded by successive Indian regimes. Do you think there are Acche Din ahead for India?
Acche Din are surely ahead for India. Even a small increment is going to be Acche only :D. Nonetheless, India has a strong capacity to surprise. At one point somebody predicted this.
Well it did happen but it did not take India down completely. So Doval is right India has a civilizational strength that cannot be parameter-ized in standard modeling. How can one quantify a disbelief in leadership or personal fortitude or invention of jugaad. People by habit have learnt to fend for themselves.
But the population size is so big that even if they voice just one wish each from the government it reaches a crescendo. Some get frightened by it. While some see it as an opportunity to establish their messianic credentials.
Just a few days back we wished to hire a new guy from manufacturing. The listed company he was in had in about 2014, a turnover of Rs. 3500 crores. Today its about Rs. 1500 Crore. 60% of their corporate staff had left the company. The funny part is he refused to join us despite the fact that my employer would have given a reasonable raise to him too. My own industry is not doing too well currently and probably he sensed difficulties ahead in my industry. So, things even in anecdotal sense are not exactly improving. It is enough for me that things are not falling apart. But the sort of debt laden, low cash velocity, high cash holdings growth that India has seen in last 10-12 years is not going to end up good for most of India. And current govt.
From a strategic standpoint it is equally visible. If you remember an announcement was made that Rs. 80000 crore was to be spent on J&K of which 42000 crore was meant for roads in J&K. I was very happy that they would finally get good connectivity. You can check out the NHAI site which gives the projections, statewise.
Even BRO says that out of about 200 projects delayed 70 are in J&K.
Abhi to things like AWACS and AEWC themselves may get targeted. There was some sort of allegation on AEWC recently. Need to keep track of that. Wonder if it has anything to do with this : idrw.org/india-to-buy-4-e-2d-advanced-hawkeye-for-ins-vishal/
Then the Kaveri was promised Rs. 300+700+2600 crores for 20+ examples. I don’t know what happened.
Then there is the issue with war wastage reserves of mandated 40 days, which was left at 20 days by last government. Now about half of the deficit in WWR were reported as having been made up some months back and the remaining half was to be made up in next 1 odd years. Don’t know if it was finally completed. Instead we got this report.
So yes Aache din aa gaye but that has nothing to do with these people.
Sometimes we need to use brain than brawn. We have already achieved a lot in terms of world opinion and which is now more against Pakistan. We also proved we do not fear nuclear blackmail and the Pakistani’s have realized their tactical nuclear bomb tactics has boomeranged on them with everyone now worried about such nukes falling into the hands of terrorists.
So the wise thing to do now is not to escalate the situation (also keep our mouth shut and eyes wide awake), do not lower our guard on the border, use our surveillance assets (and those from friendly countries) in monitoring enemy (this includes both Pakistan and China) activities on the border, beef up our defense equipment (starting with artillery guns and small arms, border surviellance equipment, radars, anti-aircraft missiles (they cost less than aircrafts), drones, Rafale, etc) to ensure that if war is thrust on us, we are well prepared.
Meanwhile, we need to increase the size of our special forces making sure it is available when we need to use it for surgical strikes be it in Myammar or Pakistan. No need to publicize the existence or the valor of these forces. Let them do their job without escalating things up the ladder. Which basically means eye for an eye (or tooth for tooth). If they send terrorists and kill our men/people we send our special forces to kill theirs.
We keep up the diplomatic and economic squeeze on Pakistan and also China (its projects in Pakistan, Tibet, Taiwan, etc) to ensure there is a policy shift in Pakistan (which means sincerity in investigation on Mumbai attack, Pathankot, URI, JEM, etc with tangible results in an incremental time bound manner.) . We also use the parallel track diplomacy to make our intentions clear to the Pakistanis. No. Using the media indirectly is not the right way to do this. Let us tell them on their face, what we can and will do. And also make sure the US and China and to some extent the Russians are aware about this.
At the same time, we keep the door open to Pakistan to mend its way and plug the Terror Tap and sit on the table to talk things over. NSA backdoor meetings is the way to do this. Be it in Thailand or Timbaktoo. We can trust our chief Doval to take care of our interests.
Let us convert this into a iron clad policy (like the nuclear weapons program) that successive governments in India will have to follow regardless which part is in power and not be able to dilute it. So taking aboard the opposition parties is a good thing here. Except the likes of shameless ones. It is time we mature our internal polity. If we keep fighting like crabs, our enemies will be able to hit us below the belt and get away with it. We need to keep our democratic discussions civil. Parties in power should stop obstructing / putting a spade in the works of the local / state governments of other parties as an example. Delhi is a prime example. Arunachal is another.
Yes For sometime till Pakistan mends its ways, we need to keep the cultural and sporting ties to a minimum though not stop people to people contacts or the hotlines between the armed forces and other mutually agreed mechanisms such as Indus water treaty.
Anyone who come to India for work (from terror infested countries) be it an actor or a model or an IT consultant will need to pass an interview when applying for a Visa where all relevant questions (such as what they think about terror attacks in India from across the border) should be asked and only on satisfactory (let us hire some good people here with the right training to filter out the weeds) answers, grant them a visa. If people who have given statements in the media/public (social media) that is against India’s interest, they will need to give written affidavit rather than a verbal one. This will settle once and for all if a person is edible to work in India or not and not make it a media circus.
Regarding Kashmir or any other state in India, we need to ensure there are not travesty of justice that can cause international outrage. Young people who have gone astray can be reformed more than older ones who will never change their mindset and positions. So we need to be sensitive to the younger generation and not burn bridges. Our law enforcement and armed forces need to understand this when deal with them be it stone pelters or those who take to the gun. If value our citizens and want integrity of our country, we need to take this extra effort. Yes, this comes with risks to those enforcing the law but that is why they are there in the first place. With proper training, it is possible to bring down violence.
The current government is well placed to deal with all of the above than previous ones. However, intentions need to be converted to actions on the ground.
I think there comes a time to realize the Pakistani elite is NOT going to mend its ways. They have to be either coerced or compromised with. Bharat’s co-option template is a type of compromise?
Either the way the objective is to reduce the geo-political strategic leverage Pakistan holds due to its geography making India a virtual island.
Our great power ambitions will never be realized, without this strategic land access – by coercion or by compromise.
It seems like RG-2 has completely “lost it”:
I envy the Indian voter in the next general elections, having to make the choice between the two stellar candidates – Modi and RG-2.
Any opinions on this line of thinking?
Interesting article on the recent Indian Army’s surgical strikes into Pakistan:
It incorporates many of the ideas expressed on this forum like a SF/O Command, etc…..
Dear Sir, Some other thought on Kashmir which is major cause of all these attacks.
1. anyhow militants/pak army attacks have been happening in India.
2. Kashmir is at unrest and situation is worst and Indian arm forces are there to take control over situation.
3. In short situation is already worst.. What more could happen ? Why Indian government could not take out Kashmir special 370 article .Reaction would be tremendous high but anyhow what is point in postponing the problem rather than solving it at once.