An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Troop

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Rage, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    A sobering read.


    Our generals hide their shortfalls behind the heroism of the fighting troop


    Four years ago, after the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the three service chiefs dashed off letters to the defence ministry listing out the equipment deficiencies that hamstrung their forces. Their barely disguised accusation to the politicians andbureaucrats: you have failed to equip us, so think carefully about what you ask us to do!

    Pakistani generals know well that the Indian Army is unfit to take the field against them. In making this bald statement, I give away no secrets. Every effective military intelligence organisation – and Pakistan we know has one – possesses devastating compilations of our army’s crippling shortage of tank ammunition; the night-blindness of our tanks; the absence of modern artillery; our obsolete air defence network; and shortfalls in practically every parameter by which an army’s equipment readiness is gauged. All this is kept secret only from the Indian people who faithfully support their army, sending sons and daughters to die for the country, often in unnecessary ways.

    Of course our army is fit for war, these patriotic citizens will say, pointing to the decades of counter-insurgency in J&K and the northeast that have claimed more soldiers’ lives than all the wars fought by independent India. But rolling back secessionism is different from fighting a full-scale war. All that is needed for counter-insurgency is excellent light infantry, and India’s infantry battalions are equal to that task. Kargil, too, was an infantry job, even if one that took all our reserves of 155-millimetre artillery shells to drive home. But full-scale war requires much more; and our mechanised forces, field artillery, air defence networks, combat engineers and logistics are woefully unequal to the task. This was true during the 1999 Kargil conflict; when India mobilised in Operation Parakram after the 2001 attacks on Parliament; it was true four years ago during 26/11; and it remains true today.

    But nobody looks at this cold-eyed, because the generals hide their shortfalls behind the heroism of the fighting troops. Go through the recent media coverage of the 1962 war and, astonishingly for such an abject defeat, the army comes out smelling of lotuses, floating beatifically in the mire. Jawaharlal Nehru, Krishna Menon and B N Malik are blamed for throwing our brave jawans under the Chinese bus! Could this have happened had the generals held fast? When army chief General K S Thimayya resigned in 1959, Nehru personally intervened to minimise the damage. If a chief were to resign today over equipment shortfalls, does anyone doubt the intensity of the political inquisition that would follow?

    But there is a twofold reason why army chiefs do not resign or even thump their boss’ tables. Firstly, they seem unable to contemplate giving up power and the institutionalised perks and privileges associated with senior rank. Secondly, and this is crucial, the generals know that the military, far more than the bureaucrats and politicians, is responsible for the lack of war readiness.

    Take the deplorable state of affairs in the armoured corps, which operates the armoured tanks that are the cutting edge of India’s three strike corps. As this newspaper reported on Monday (“Army scuttles Arjun trials to push through T-90 purchase”, November 26, 2012), the army much prefers to buy equipment off the shelf from countries like Russia, rather than painstakingly developing and manufacturing equipment better suited for our own operating environment.

    Incredibly, the army has not developed an indigenous armour philosophy in the last 65 years
    . Every serious army, even Israel, designs its tanks around a custom-made philosophy. Since human resources are a key constraint in tiny Israel, and distances are small, Israeli tanks are heavily armoured, lumbering vehicles where crew protection counts for more than the ability to quickly move long distances. In contrast, Russian tanks, designed to sweep rapidly through the vast expanses of Europe, are mobile, lightly armoured and have a smaller, three-man crew since a tank is expendable. The Indian Army, with one of the world’s largest fleets of 4,000 tanks, has neither an armour philosophy nor a tank design bureau that can produce indigenous designs.

    The army has more generals than the Government of India has secretaries. But none, from the army chief downwards, has insisted on an armour philosophy, an essential prerequisite for an India-specific tank. Instead, the T-90 tank, designed and built for freezing Russia, is now being air-conditioned (heresy!) so that its electronics can survive the Indian summers. In an incredible moral contortion, those who back the indigenous Arjun are branded anti-national; while the generals who support the Russian T-90 style themselves as patriots!

    Crafting an armour philosophy is not an intellectual feat. Three bright armoured corps colonels could do it in a week, given inputs on India’s border geography; war termination objectives; likely adversaries; the army’s manpower profile; and India’s industrial capabilities. But generations of armoured corps generals have had better things to do with their time; successive army chiefs and directors of operations and planning have been too preoccupied, or simply unconcerned, to ask why this is so.

    If the army’s entire planning hierarchy has ever questioned the absence of any doctrinal coherence in the strike formations’ equipment, this has not resulted in any remedial action. But our generals believe the road to salvation passes through Moscow; respond to the challenge of indigenisation by buying more T-90s, just as the air marshals buy more and more Sukhoi-30 fighters. Does this point to Russia’s colonisation of our generals’ operational thinking, or it is just apathy and lack of professionalism? Either way, the answer is depressing.


    Ajai Shukla: General indifference

    ---

    @Ray, @deltacamelately, @Decklander, @Sikh_warrior @Bhadra
     
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  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    Did Sudarshan Shakti in 2011 (500 armoured vehicles, including T-72, T-90 and Arjun main battle tanks) support or refute the claims made in this article?
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    Shukla has flip flopped over which tank to be got.

    What is an armour philosophy?

    Today's battle is dependent on a integrated combat philosophy.

    There can be no just a specific arm specific philosophy.

    And that philosophy has to integrate all the three forces.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  5. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    Today's battle is dependent on a integrated combat philosophy.
    ~
    what abt last 65 yrs ?
     
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  6. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    I have always been for indian products as they say in Kurkure, tedha hai par mera hai. We can and we will evolve once we start using our own stuff. The IA has learnt tricks from IAF. just like IAF, IA too has started shooting stinking air with no force. IAF has as a conspiracy always scuttled production of aircraft in India by repeatedly changing its QRs. They will never design anything nor will support anything. Compare this with Navy, we design our own ships, we supervise there construction and we have used full capacity of our shipyards in building ships. ask anyone in DRDO, they are most happy with IN. We started from Leander class and now we are making our own designed IAC-1. IA & IAF probably have never heard the word called called evolution.
    In 1999, 2001 and 2008, Only service which was fully ready in all respects to go to war was IN. IA always chickened out and IAF wud never shoot straight as they justify their billions spend by doing a vertival charlie over Rajpath every year. Thats probably all they are capable of. I have served with IAF on deputation and the attitude of IAF as a force is pathetic. They stand nowhere in thr love for indian products in comparision with Navy.
     
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  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    Today's battlefield is a fast moving milieu and to be effective at the core area, one has to bring to bear a concentrated combat punch wherein different branches of the military has to synergies to achieve mutually complementary effects. And that includes air, be it armed helicopters or close air support.

    In the earlier years I am sure that it would still be required, but given the complexities that technology has thrown up and practically capable of instant employment and at greater ranges, the complementary effect is more intense and necessary.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  8. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    Ray sir,i understand what u are saying. My problem is with last 65yrs !-t55,t72,t90 ???
     
  9. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    I wont speak much of Armour and arty and other IAF and IN, But what has Army itself done for Infantry since Independence ? there are so many shortcoming to mention, The traditional outfit and pattern for foot soldier is same as 1940s as was during British Raj, Infantry is the spear and Shield in any ground offensive, Ignoring them shows the real intentions of all the imports done from out side and painting one-selves as patriot, The real patriots dont beat there own chests..
     
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  10. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    Sir, what is his problem, dare I ask?

    I have never seen anybody demonstrating two extremely divergent views in my lifetime.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    That is what surprise me.
     
  12. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    From the article,
    Can I assume he has failed to study the Sunderji doctrine, or can I assume he is right and we merely copied an existing doctrine for our own use?

    Or am I right in assuming he wants the Army to buy the Arjun for no apparent reason and build a new doctrine that centers around western philosophy and pass it off as our own?

    I still can't believe how he believes he is reasonable in trying to enforce public opinion against the T-90MS deal for use on mountainous regions. It doesn't even make sense to a civilian like me let alone a guy who was supposed to have retired as a Colonel from the armoured corps. Maybe he will find some inexplicable excuse like there are tracts of plains where Arjun can be air lifted using C-17s.

    So... ???
     
  13. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    Does T-90MS is design for Mountain Warfare ? NO..

    Who made this a fact that 55TON its a light tank on first place ? Corrupts in MOD..

    Do we need this new T-90MS on first place ? Is there any urgency or Type-96 outmatched T-90S and its Updated version in India ? NO..

    Do India have National defense research and production ? YES..

    Do India already working on Enhanced Arjun and had prototype on trail ? YES..

    -------------------------
    -------------------------

    Why Spend $$$$$ on buying T-90MS for no reason, The same amount can upgrade whole divisions of Mountain Infantry upto modern levels..

    Why that is not considered ?
     
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  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    It is right that Sunderjee changed the armour's approach to armour warfare from a defensive to an offensive mindset. In fact, that is true for the overall psyche of the Indian Army per se.

    His philosophy was strike fast and strike deep.

    Arjun is the claimed amalgam of the best in the tank world duly tailored to the Indian conditions. There are a mixed bag of opinions as to it having fir the bill.

    To the best of my knowledge, I wonder if, given the dimension of the Arjun it is suitable for the mountains. Further, armour is a manoeuvre arm and mountains do not give space for armour manoeuvre and even in the areas where some type of manoeuvre is feasible, the approach to those areas are line ahead at best.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  15. ersakthivel

    ersakthivel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    SO the article is a good wake up call, there is no need to shoot the messenger though.
    Scams do happen in a weak law enforcing country like ours.remember the 2G scam and the supreme court intervention.
    In a parliamentary democracy it is the right of the people to question strange decisions considering the amount of money involved and whether the army has conducted the trails of T-90 MS for suitability in eastern sector before moving on.People who made the decision will retire quietly in 3 or 4 years. It is the future army men who are going to bear the consequences of this decision.

    If tomorrow's general find out that it is not the case means what to do with the tanks? Until kargil war came the nation did not know the lack of preparedness of the Indian armed forces.

    The T-90 did not come to indian desert hot climate conditions with proper engine power and heat hardened electronics.
    And it's ground pressure is 0.90 units compared to 0.83 units for T-72 and 0.84 units for arjun. What are the implications of this in the marshy canal area of punjab border and the hills of eastern sector.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  16. ersakthivel

    ersakthivel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    There are some people who vote for the same party through out their life time.if 100 percent of electorate belongs to this class then there is no need for elections and parliamentary democracy.It is the people who change their vote and support the politician whose time has come and punish the politicains who they deem unqualified is what makes democracy work.

    Shukla criticized the arjun when it didnot do well in the trials. At that time he may not have been privy to the exact reason for the failiures,whether they were insurmountable or managable.Once he knew they are managable he changed his views.

    He himself has explained this in his blog. People who feign ignorance of this should use google to find out his views on his turnaround.It is bizarre to wonder the guy is turn coat.

    He changed his views when it did well in trial.He went to the CVRDE interviewed people and interviewed the officer who operated arjun unlike many trolls in many threads and forum who keep posting shit on arjun without knowing any particular reason for the arjun's problem.

    A lot of people in the indian army did this and now even the army supports this by cancelling a fantasy called FMBT and backing the arjun development. Caan you suspect them also for conspiring in co horts with CVRDE to dump arjun on Indian army?

    the reason that programs like arjun and tejas are lambasted without reason is not hard to fathom.People get welded to their previously held wrong positions and keep repeating same old wrong arguments like mantra.The LCA achieved 1.2 mach in flutter test in sea level off goa. It achieved mach 1.6 in just 7 km altitude. But still people go on chanting the mantra that LCa is subsonic at sea level and didn't cross 1.4 at altitude.

    Until LC gets a higher powered Ge-404 with more than 10 percent boost than the LSP version and demonstrates it's top speed at service ceiling people will go on repeating ada is lying and it is subsonic at sea level and it has a top speed of mach 1.4 only.

    Powered with much higher thrust engine mk-2 will have a much better top speed and specs.

    No amount of explaining will convince people regarding their dogmatic irrational beliefs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    The comparison of the political example with a military requisite is misplaced.

    And it is also a rare affair if the GSQR is met in all parameters in any equipment and even more surprising if it surpasses the parameters.

    Neither the Arjun nor the T 90 is perfect.

    However, what one would want to know as to why an equipment has failed.

    I am afraid no one in his right senses will give the details in the open space and so speculations and controversy theories will continue and give grist to the rumour mill.

    Take the Chief letter to the PM on the state of the Army. It raised issues that were known in informed circles but in general terms. The actual nitty gritties were never disclosed in the open since that would be material for those who are inimical to the Nation's interest.

    Nonetheless, there was a hue and cry over just the generalities and all posed as experts to comment.

    So, none is an expert in their comments in the open media.

    Take the example of LCA and the speed met as you have mentioned. That is not adequate for declaring the LCA fit at such speed and altitude.

    Are you aware of what was the effect on the airframe, the engine, the wear and tear percentage and other technical parameters?

    So superficiality is not the answer to feel that things are not going as per one's desires.

    Take the issue raised by Shekhar Gupta where he claimed that the two battalions on manoeuvre were actually aiming to take over the country. The uninformed were out with their knives and having a field day. However, those who have worked in the military and that too the Army was aghast as to how silly these so called 'educated' and 'informed' editors can spook the Nation!

    Imagine two battalions to organise a mutiny?

    And that too with a larger force already there as Brigades in Delhi, a large part of the Army with all types of weaponry with the Army ready for the Army Day and Republic Day parade and a whole Division lying there in Meerut.

    So, that is how the pennies fall.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  18. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    @ersakthivel

    I am not sure if you understood or not, but post #16 is meant for you.
     
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  19. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    So, doesn't that mean we have our own armour philosophy, contrary to Ajai Shukla's 'beliefs'?

    There was this talk of IA being centered around WW2 tactics even to this day. There were also reports of doctrinal shift towards a new system of warfare. Maybe this will bring about changes you, or Shukla, may not be privy to; including a new armour philosophy with integration added to it.

    IIRC the Army was talking about being ready for warfare by 2017.

    Hmm, well, I don't know what the Army is planning by doing this. Whatever it is they may have planned for it.
     
  20. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    So? Does that automatically mean we should use a larger tank simply because it is Indian.

    There is no 55 ton tank in our force. You are obviously referring to the T-90MS, it is 48 tons.

    This isn't about just matching up to Chinese tanks, especially in areas where they may not employ any.

    Is it any good? No..

    Pray tell me, why should the Army tell YOU the reasons for their moves? Wait for a decade and you will know. That's what regular people have been doing for years now.

    What makes you think there is no reason for this purchase, that is considering Ajai Shukla is reliable?

    What makes you think it is not considered when there is a MASSIVE on going plan to modernize the infantry, called the F-INSAS?

    If you want the upgrade to happen in bits and pieces then that won't happen. I am sure you are already aware there is a tender out for a new assault rifle.

    So, I don't see what you are complaining about... or are you just enamoured by Chinese and American Rambos wearing elbow and knee pads and you want the IA with elbow and knee pads too?
     
  21. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Re: An Army Unfit - Generals Hide Their Failure Behind the Fightng Tro

    Well the Germans in the initial days of war were succesful because of their Warmacht and not because of individual forces. We need to have a GHQ where all decisions can be taken in a single place with multiple options on table and the whole scenario of the battlefield is projected on a screen (which I think is possible with modern tech).
     

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