Cold Start: A Pakistani perspective

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Known_Unknown, May 31, 2009.

  1. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    OP-ED: India’s ‘Cold Start’ strategy —Shaukat Qadir

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_8-5-2004_pg3_3

    In March this year the Indian army leaked news about the salient features of its new war doctrine. The doctrine hopes to exploit more fully India’s conventional superiority without giving Pakistan cause to escalate to the nuclear level.

    The Indian army has named it ‘cold-start’ strategy since it purports to avoid the noise of a military build-up and achieve surprise. The strategy rests on operations through ‘eight integrated battle groups with elements of IAF and Navy as thrust formations’ and ‘calls for hard strikes’ limited ‘to the point which should not invite any nuclear retaliation’. What does this mean?

    Given the current relationship of forces, despite India’s qualitative and quantitative edge, Pakistan could successfully defend itself against an Indian aggression. War termination strategy, which we have discussed in this space, is an important part of conflict. India is better placed than Pakistan to think up concepts and then equip its forces to operationalise them.

    In the 1980s India borrowed from the Soviet concepts. One of the concepts, which we could term the “Multi-tiered Offensive Concept,” intended to simultaneously engage our front-line defensive forces while airlifting forces to engage our reserves. This was meant to upset the state of balance (‘balance’ is a product of time relationship between any force and the reserves. If a defensive force can survive the offensive for the period it takes for the reserves to reinforce it, the entire force is said to be in a state of balance).

    It was a highly ambitious concept given India’s rather humble capability to airlift less than a division at a time with no artillery. But it could have been done at a critical moment in time imposing a delay on the reserves at which time it could have been most telling. Pakistan’s response was fairly easy. We ‘layered’ our reserves — i.e., infantry elements were moved closer to the front, so that if interdicted by enemy forces, some would engage them and the rest, with the armour and artillery, reroute themselves to retain the balance.

    The current Indian concept has two aspects to it: one part of it retains the concept explained above, but the other seeks to offset another advantage Pakistan enjoys: the shorter mobilisation time. Because of its size, Indian forces deployed against China or located in depth, take considerable time to assemble at our borders. This time used to be about twenty days which they have perhaps managed to reduce to around two weeks. On the other hand, Pakistani forces assemble in a week’s time (at places even less) given our lack of depth. The moment news of the movement of Indian forces reaches us, we can be ready and waiting for them before their arrival.

    However, for any operation, not all forces are required simultaneously. If, for instance, there are five Indian offensive divisions located within a hundred to a hundred and fifty miles of our borders, which can get there say within three days, they could open the offensive at perhaps Sialkot and opposite Bahawalnagar. If, of the remaining nine Indian offensive divisions, another three could reach the border within eight days and the five that had opened the offensive could last five days, these forces would still be in a state of balance. The remaining Indian offensive forces could initiate a delayed offensive somewhere in the south on arrival. This would be a cold start; all preliminary preparations having been completed in their cantonments, they arrive at the border to immediately go into action.

    While it is definitely workable and, if well executed, very threatening, there are a number of problems with the concept.

    Firstly, the timing has to be immaculate. There is no room for error. Secondly, in the north the Pakistani defensive forces are located at or very close to the border and, even the reserves are fairly close. There is little doubt that if such a concept is adopted it will rely heavily on the far-superior Indian air force, IAF, to interdict and prevent Pakistani reserves from intervening early. But if the IAF were to fail, Pakistani reserves could enter the fray early and destroy the Indian forces piecemeal.

    Thirdly, the PAF, though considerably inferior to the IAF, when coupled with our fairly strong air defence system could extract a terrific toll of the IAF in a defensive battle within our own borders. That could reduce the IAF’s superiority to very acceptable proportions for the PAF for the remainder of the war.

    There is little doubt that the Indian concept is a most challenging one. It demands a highly superior command over operational strategy (which is the art of bringing troops into battle such that they enjoy a greater chance of success). However, it is fraught with risk. No bureaucracy, particularly the military, produces ‘risk-takers’; in fact, they invariably die young. There is always the odd exception, but one exception is not enough. For such a concept to succeed all senior commanders down to the division level will need to have faith in it.

    Risk-taking, like any other art, is honed through practice. It cannot be acquired suddenly. In military history, peacetime commanders have usually failed during wars and war itself has thrown up the required leadership, the German general staff system being the sole exception.

    To take the American example; Eisenhower was a Colonel on the faculty of the Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, while Mark Clark, Omar Bradley, and Patton were Lt Cols when Pearl Harbour was attacked in 1941. Within the span of less than three years Eisenhower became the supreme commandeer of the allied forces, without having commanded anything other than a regiment.

    Omar and Clark rose to command army groups, while Patton rose to command an army. The sole exception was McArthur who was a general before the war began and remained successful. He resigned due to his disagreement with Roosevelt on which theatre of war should be of greater significance to the American war policy.

    Neither Indian nor many Pakistani commanders are comfortable taking risks. There is far too much at stake! It is for this reason most of all that I consider it unlikely that such a concept might actually be tried. If it ever is, I would like to witness it.

    The author is a retired brigadier. He is also the ex-founder Vice President of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI)
     
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  3. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    OP-ED: Cold Start: the nuclear side —Shaukat Qadir

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_16-5-2004_pg3_4

    Last week I attempted a theoretical explanation of the ‘cold start’ concept as it relates to an all-out conventional war. Now we move to where the concept seeks to address India’s response to sub-conventional warfare. That is the more worrying aspect.

    Part of the strategy rests on operations through ‘eight integrated battle groups with elements of IAF, ground forces and Navy as thrust formations’, while ground forces mixing a combination of armour elements and mobile infantry will operate on land. The strategy also ‘calls for hard strikes’ limited ‘to the point which should not invite any nuclear retaliation’: destroy fully the objective while sparing the adversary’s strategic potential to keep its response below the nuclear threshold. How does one ensure that the opponent’s response remains below the nuclear threshold and how does anyone define the nuclear threshold?

    It merits understanding here that apart from the theoretical aspect of cold start, intended to redress the Indian disadvantage in assembling the army, this is a continuation of the ongoing study in India of two aspects: ‘punitive strikes’ and ‘limited wars’, without the use of these terms, since they have generated considerable controversy among Indian analysts.

    The integrated battle groups that will carry out hard strikes to destroy the objective while sparing the strategic potential are obviously not intended to capture territory or target reserves. In fact, ‘sparing the strategic potential’ clearly implies that reserves will remain untouched. This is based obviously on the assumption that so long as Pakistan retains its reserves and the potential of a strategic retaliation with conventional forces, it will refrain from nuclear war and thus remain below the nuclear threshold.

    What does this mean?

    First, punitive strikes are intended not just to punish, but to teach the perpetrator a lesson such that he/she will desist from repeating the act. What is the means of judging that a certain punishment will suffice? Since the commencement is nebulous, the whole concept remains so.

    Second, it implies the ability to reach into the enemy’s territory to inflict punishment. While terms like ‘integrated battle groups’ and ‘thrust formations’ sound impressive, the ability of the Indian military to execute such a venture, despite the unquestionable superiority of the IAF, against well-defended territories is very questionable.

    It has to be assumed that the ‘objectives’ the concept refers to are so-called training camps in AK or some other target which could hurt Pakistan enough to force it to fall in line with Indian demands. Even if we assume that it could achieve surprise the first time and succeed, it might not be able to do so again. The paradox of punitive strikes in a situation where the disparity of forces is not extreme — as is the case between the US and all other countries of the world and between Israel and Palestine — whether the strike succeeds or not the result is the same: a cyclical escalation, unless the country subjected to the strike just buckles under.

    If the strike succeeds, the other country’s response will necessitate an escalation to ensure that the aggressor does not repeat a strike. If the strike does not succeed, the country initiating the strike will deem necessary to escalate to redeem itself and ensure that the lesson is learnt, since that is the entire purpose of such a venture.

    Although the PAF is greatly outnumbered by the IAF, when supported by our air defence forces, fighting within our own air space, the PAF could extract an unacceptable price from the IAF. The same goes for helicopter-borne forces or attack helicopters. In fact, it is very likely that the price extracted could by itself result in escalation.

    Third, if Pakistan’s forces retain the capability of a strategic response, it might have little option left, in the face of domestic pressure but to employ these forces to retaliate. If it does so, we will have escalated to war.

    This is the other paradox in the philosophy behind this concept: if India destroys Pakistan’s strategic forces, it might cross our nuclear threshold forcing a nuclear war; if it does not, it leaves us the option to retaliate with these forces, thus initiating a conventional war, which in turn might lead to a nuclear one.

    Wars, unfortunately, cannot be fought in ‘halves’ or ‘quarters’. That is the basis of the opposition to these concepts of punitive strikes and limited wars, terms carefully avoided in the concept but in fact attempting to actualise them.

    Finally, I explained in an earlier article that nuclear deterrence in the cold war era was a product of mutually assured destruction; which does not exist here. If one could coin a term; in South Asia there is unilaterally assured destruction. Consequently, Pakistan relies on a very nebulous concept of ‘unacceptable damage’ for deterring India. Since this term is indefinable and inexact, we have a state of nuclear instability that concerns the world. Now this Indian concept, dissatisfied with the current level of instability wants to increase it by introducing its reliance on an even more nebulous term, ‘threshold of nuclear tolerance’; equally, if not more difficult to define.

    Whereas the cold start appears an interesting but perhaps unlikely concept in relation to an all out conventional war; it is extremely worrying in its application to the sub-conventional war. Knowing some of the Indian analysts, I am certain that a healthy debate has commenced already in India on the subject.

    The author is a retired brigadier. He is also the ex-founder Vice President of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI)
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is giving Pakistan shivers!
     
  5. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

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    Ray sir seriously under estimate us dont you think
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I have faith and I have first hand experience of what they can do and what we can do.
     
  7. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Posting here with the Strategic review of India's new Cold Start War Doctrine, probably the Pakistani Author was simply referring to this one.

    The Analysis : INDIA’S NEW "COLD START" WAR DOCTRINE STRATEGICALLY
    REVIEWED is written by Dr. Subhash Kapila available at
    INDIA’S NEW COLD START WAR DOCTRINE STRATEGICALLY REVIEWED

    Courtesy : South Asia Analysis Group

    INDIA’S NEW COLD START WAR DOCTRINE STRATEGICALLY REVIEWED

    INDIA’S NEW "COLD START" WAR DOCTRINE STRATEGICALLY REVIEWED

    by Dr Subhash Kapila

    Introductory Observations: India unveiled officially its new war doctrine on April 28, 2004 at the Army Commander’s Conference that took place last week. Obviously, the need for a new war doctrine was decades-long overdue, but it seems that the lessons of the Kargil War reinforced by the severe limitations imposed on the Indian Army in the run-up to and during Operation PRAKARAM in 2001-2002 hastened the Indian military hierarchy towards this end.

    General Padmanabhan the Chief of Army Staff at the time of Operation PRAKARAM had initiated the process of formulating a new war doctrine and the fruitation now seems to have taken place after a series of major joint exercises between the Indian Army and Indian Air Force including massive live fire power demonstrations.

    It seems that the new Cold War Strategy would now be discussed at various levels of three Services and fine tuned. Needless to say that in any future conflict scenario where a “blitzkrieg” type strategy is going to be followed; joint operations involving the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy would be an imperative.

    Security requirements did not permit the spelling out of adequate details of the “Cold Start Strategy” by the Chief of Army Staff. However, it is not difficult to visualize what this new war doctrine conceptually incorporates as it is said to revolve around the employment of “integrated battle groups” for offensive operations.

    Such strategy did exist in NATO and was being taught at the Royal British Army Staff College. Camberley, UK which the author attended in 1971. In NATO terminology, “integrated” groups for offensive operations existed at three levels. The highest was “ combat group” and “combat command” based on a divisional or brigade Headquarters (armoured/infantry mechanised) under which were a flexible number of “battle groups” (based on an armoured regiment/mechanized infantry battalion Headquarters) and the lowest was the “combat team” (based on an armoured squadron/mechanized infantry company Headquarters). The groupings at the each level were task-oriented in terms of varying composition of armour and infantry elements with integrated attack helicopters of the Army Aviation and the Air Force besides close support of ground attack Air Force squadrons. Also, was integrated Army Aviation surveillance helicopters. Command and control helicopters were available too.

    Media, reports indicate that the new “Cold Start Strategy” visualizes the use of eight “integrated battle groups”. For the purposes of this strategic review the eight “integrated battle groups” being talked about will be taken to mean eight integrated armoured division/mechanized infantry division sized forces with varying composition of armour, artillery, infantry and combat air support- all integrated. This would be a fair assumption to be made for our discussion in case the intended aim of this new war doctrine is to be achieved.

    The unveiling of a new war doctrine throws up a host of factors for discussion in terms of why a new war doctrine is required, what are the attendant factors in putting it into operation, the limiting factors that may come into play, the responses of the enemy to such a new war doctrine and a host of other associated considerations.

    “Cold Start” War Doctrine-The Strategic Conceptual Underpinnings: In the absence of more details, and rightfully not spelt out due to security reasons, the strategic conceptual underpinnings of India’s new war doctrine can be envisaged as under:

    * Indian Army’s combat potential would be fully harnessed. The distinction between “strike corps” and “defensive corps” in ground holding role will be gradually diminished.

    * The offensive military power available with defensive corps in the form of independent armoured brigades and mechanized brigades, by virtue of their forward locations would no longer remain idle waiting to launch counterattacks. They would be employed at the first go and mobilized within hours.

    * Strike Corps may be re-constituted and reinforced to provide offensive elements for these eight or so “battle groups” to launch multiple strikes into Pakistan, fully integrated with the Indian Air Force and in the Southern Sector with naval aviation assets.

    * Obviously, then, India’s strike corps elements will have to be moved well forward from existing garrisons. It also means that Strike Corps would no longer sit idle waiting for the opportune moment, which never came in the last three wars. The Strike Corps remained unutilised.

    On another plane that is at the politico-strategic or politico-military level this new war doctrine seems to be aiming at the following:

    * Cutting out long drawn out military mobilization running into weeks.

    * The above results in loss of surprise at the strategic and military level.

    * The above also gives time to Pakistan’s external patrons like USA and China to start exerting coercive pressures and mobilizing world opinion against India as witnessed in Operation Prakaram.

    * Long mobilization time also gives the political leadership in India time to waver under pressure, and in the process deny Indian Army its due military victories.

    * The new war doctrine would compel the political leadership to give political approval ‘ab-initio’ and thereby free the Armed Forces to generate their full combat potential from the outset.

    Cold Start Strategy” is Aimed at Pakistan and is Offensive Oriented- The Pakistan Army, (not the Pakistani people) has a compulsive fixation for military adventurism against India, notwithstanding the Islamabad Accord January 2004.

    India in the past has been hamstrung in cutting Pakistan to size due to a combination of United States pressures coming into play in the run-up to decisive military action and the hesitancy of India’s political leadership. Military surprise was lost due to long mobilization times. The “ Cold Start Strategy” can be said to be aimed militarily at Pakistan and is offensive-operations specific.

    “Cold Start Strategy”- The Indian Political Parameters That Need to Come into Play: Such an offensive strategy can only be successful if the Indian political leadership at the given time of operational execution of this strategy has:

    * Political will to use offensive military power.

    * Political will to use pre-emptive military strategies.

    * Political sagacity to view strategic military objectives with clarity.

    * Political determination to pursue military operations to their ultimate conclusion without succumbing to external pressures.

    * Political determination to cross nuclear threshold if Pakistan seems so inclined.

    If the above are missing, as they have been from 1947 to 2004, Indian Army’s new war doctrine would not add up to anything. For more detailed views on this subject, see the authors recent book: “India’s Defence Policies and Strategic Thought: A Comparative Analysis” (reviewed on SAAG website as “Igniting Strategic Mindsets in Indians:; SAAG paper no. 657 dated 09-04-2003)

    India’s National Military Directives Need Change: Indian Governments, irrespective of political hues have shied away from enunciating India’s national interests from which flows all military planning. However, what can be called as a sort of national military directive, which the Indian Army under political compulsions stands fixated is “No Loss of Territory, Not Even an Inch”. Heads have rolled in the Army on this account in past wars.

    “Cold Start Strategy” with its inherent character of mobile warfare using mechanized military formations, and especially where defensive formations may be called upon to undertake such operations, may at times involve some loss of territory in plains warfare.

    If the above is not acceptable then strategically and militarily the status quo needs to be maintained with Indian Army fixated on linear defences. This author had argued against this as early as 1985 in an article “India’s Linear Fixations” in the Combat Journal of what is now called the Army War College.

    India’s Strategic Military Objectives Needs to be Made Clear: India’s strategic military objectives need to:

    * Shift from capturing bits of Pakistan territory in small scale multiple offensives to be used as bargaining chips after the cease fire.

    * Focus on the destruction of the Pakistani Army and its military machine without much collateral damage to Pakistani civilians.

    All the three armed forces have to synergise operations towards destruction of the Pakistan Army as it is that which enslaves Pakistan, impedes democracy in Pakistan and indulges in military adventurism against India, including proxy wars and terrorism.

    It is for nothing that the Pakistani military rulers and the Pakistani Army have hid from the Pakistani nation the causes of their military failure against India in 1971, 1999 (Kargil) and a catastrophic defeat in January 2002 if India’s political leadership had not restrained the Indian Army during Operation Prakaram. “Cold Start Strategy” should therefore be aimed at the destruction of the Pakistan Army’s military machine. India’s Army Commanders can infer what this implies.

    ----------------------------To be Continued----------------------
     
  8. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    -------------------------Continued from the Previous Post---------------------------

    “Cold Start” War Doctrine-The Imperatives of Dedicated Air Force Close Air Support and Dedicated Ground Attack Squadrons: The Indian Air Force (IAF) would have a very crucial and critical role to play in the successful implementation of this new war doctrine. The “Cold Start” eight or so “battle groups” cannot undertake “blitzkrieg” type military operations without an overwhelming air superiority and integrated close air support.

    The IAF would therefore have to proportionately assign its combat assets to cater for the following:

    * Achieve overall air superiority so as to paralyse the enemy’s Air Force or render it so ineffective as to be unable to seriously affect the area of operations of the “Cold Start” offensive “battle groups”.

    * Dedicate a fair portion of its combat assets for the air defence of the Indian homeland.

    * Earmark dedicated close air support and ground attack squadrons in direct support of the “battle groups”.

    The IAF would be hard pressed to execute the tasks from within its existing combat assets. Earlier, the IAF could initially allocate all its combat assets to achieve air superiority as any operations by “strike corps” would hope to subsequently follow.

    In the new war doctrine scenario all these tasks would have to be concurrent. It was such a visualization that made this author in his strategic papers (“ India’s Strategic and Security 2004 Imperatives”: SAAG Paper no 884 dated 06.01.2004) reiterate that the IAF needs at least 70 combat squadrons. India has the financial resources to afford them. In any case even disconnecting from the new war doctrine requirements the IAF needs 70 combat squadrons in the context of India’s revised strategic frontiers discussed in an earlier paper of this author.

    Indian Navy Aviation Support for “Battle Groups”: Besides its traditional tasks of sea control, naval blockades etc. the naval aviation support for the “battle groups” operations is a welcome step in filling some of the voids of IAF combat assets besides dividing the enemy’s aerial combat strength.

    The Indian Navy, more importantly should concurrently be focusing in the new war doctrine scenario on amphibious operations deep in the enemy’s rear, so that Pakistan is forced to fight on three fronts, and in the process its resistance is fragmented.

    India Will Have to Use Conventional Short Range Battle Field Missiles (SRBM) and Cruise Missiles: The entire success of ‘Cold Start” war doctrine would overwhelmingly rest on the application of long range devastating fire power and this would perforce have to include conventional SRBMs and cruise missiles.

    Use of SRBMs and cruise missiles will not only help in softening enemy’s ‘Vulnerable Areas’ and ‘Vulnerable Points’ but also thicken fire support assisting “battle groups” operations. These assets would more increasingly be required in support of “battle groups” operations in case of bad weather when IAF combat power cannot be applied.

    Associated with this would be India’s imperatives to accelerate her ICBM development and production which is India’s sovereign right. “Cold Start” war doctrine without ICBM back up would be susceptible to external pressures.

    Inventories of these weapons have to be significantly expanded and the time is now to jump-start India’s defence production apparatus to this end.

    Special Forces and Air Assault Capabilities Expansion and Employment in New War Doctrine: The successful implementation of the new war doctrine for force multiplication effect, for reinforcing the offensive punch and for exploitation of fleeting apparatus in fast paced military operations would call for sizeable employment of :

    * Special Forces

    * Air Assault Divisions.

    * Air Cavalry brigades.

    * Light infantry divisions with air-transportable combat power.

    In the ‘Cold Start’ war doctrine scenario widespread use of the above forces including the capture and holding of airheads behind enemy lines would confuse the enemy, divide his reaction and counterattacks and spread panic. The Indian Army’s capabilities in this direction are limited and need to be comprehensive enhanced.

    Logistic Support For Cold War Doctrine: Such operations which can be expected to be swift, fluid and rapidly changing directions of attack cannot rest for logistic requirements on Indian Army’s conventional logistic support which is ground based and wheel-based and incapable of swift cross country mobility.

    Indian Army’s own aviation assets and heavier utility helicopters of the IAF would need significant mustering for logistic support of “Cold Start” battle group.

    India’s strategic stockpiles of fuel, ammunition and military hardware spares along with “War Wastage Reserves” will have to be maintained at full levels at all times to enable “Cold Start” war doctrines to take off. Without these at full levels ‘Cold Start’ operations may end up as cold start.

    Pakistan’s Responses to India’s “Cold Start” War Doctrine Enunciation: India’s ‘ Cold Start’ war doctrine stands discussed in a recent Corps Commanders Conference of the Pakistan Army, and even amongst their strategic experts. Curiously, the discussions of the latter seem diverted to Pakistan’s special relationship with USA post 9/11 and there appears to be an implied assurance that the “special Pakistan-USA military relationship” would take care of the challenges posed to Pakistan by India’s new war doctrine. Pakistani strategic analysts view the enunciation of India’s “Cold Start” war doctrine as :

    * Putting pressure on Pakistan prior to peace talks.

    * The growing Pakistan-Bangladesh nexus is also curiously drawn in as an Indian concern requiring new war doctrines.

    Surprisingly, no major military analysis has emerged so far Probably, it would take time to digest and come up with responses.

    Pakistan’s Military Challenges Arising From India’s “Cold Start” War Doctrine: Strategically and militarily, it can be visualized that Pakistan would be faced with a number of military challenges arising from India’s new war doctrine, namely:

    * India’s “surprise” factor in terms of when, where and how “Cold Start” battle group would be launched.

    * Fighting the air-battle in an environment where the IAF has a significant superiority in numbers and quality of numerical strength.

    * Devising a credible anti-ballistic missile defence.

    * Re-constitution of Pakistan’s “strike corps” and its three ‘Army Reserve’ formations which were so far configured and located to take on India’s three “Strike Corps”.

    * When and how does Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent and its doctrine of “First Use” comes into play.

    * How to offset India’s overwhelming long range artillery fire support.

    * How to counter India’s force projection capabilities deep in Pakistan’s rear.

    Pakistan cannot combat the Indian challenges by the oft-repeated bravado statement that “One Pakistan Soldier is equal to ten Indian Soldiers” leading to strategic wags countering “what happens when the Eleventh Indian Soldier emerges”.

    If the “Cold Start” doctrine is applied in its purist form, then in terms of military operations it does not become a game of military numbers but a game in terms of military technological superiority in terms of weapon systems, firepower and aerial combat assets besides the force multiplication effects of the Indian Navy.

    Pakistan would have to divert sizeable financial resources for its weapon systems build-up to counter this doctrine. Of course, it can look to its external strategic patrons like USA and China for assistance and military largesse, but there is a limit here.

    Pakistan’s Nuclear Deterrent and the Myth of Pakistan’s Low Nuclear Threshold: The Indian political leadership and its national security establishment fed on US academia planted stories (probably officially inspired) of Pakistan nuclear deterrent and Pakistan’s low nuclear threshold have been inordinately awed by its fearful consequences.

    Though this aspect is a subject of detailed analysis in a separate paper the following observations can be made:

    * Pakistan has declared that it will go for nuclear strikes against India when a significant portion of its territory has been captured or likely to be captured. Secondly, when a significant destruction of the Pakistani military military machine has taken place or when Pakistani strategic assets (read nuclear deterrent) are endangered.

    * India’s “Cold Start” war doctrine does not seem to be allowing Pakistan to reach at the above conclusions by indulging in deep long range penetrative strikes.

    * The Indian doctrine seems to be aimed at inflicting significant military reverses on the Pakistan Army in a limited war scenario short of a nuclear war.

    * Nuclear war fare is not a “commando raid” or “command operation” with which its present military ruler is more familiar. Crossing the nuclear threshold is so fateful a decision that even strong American Presidents in the past have baulked at exercising it or the prospects of exercising it.

    * Pakistan cannot expect that India would sit idle and suffer a Pakistani nuclear strike without a massive nuclear retaliation.

    * Pakistan’s external strategic patrons can coerce or dissuade both sides to avoid a nuclear conflict, but once Pakistan uses a nuclear first strike no power can restrain India from going in from its nuclear retaliation and the consequences for Pakistan in that case stand well discussed in strategic circles. Pakistan would stand wiped out.

    When the obvious intention of India’s new war doctrine is not to cross the nuclear threshold, and it seems declaratory in content, then a higher responsibility rests on Pakistan’s external strategic patrons that their wayward protégé does not charge foolishly and blindly into the realms where even fools or the devil do not dare.

    Pakistan’s crossing the nuclear threshold has crucial implications for USA and China too. In fact a USA-China conflict can be generated which may have its own nuclear overtones. Therefore it is incumbent on both USA and China to strategically declare that they would not countenance any Pakistani first nuclear strike against India i.e. crossing the nuclear threshold.

    Pakistan proclivities to threaten nuclearisation of an Indo-Pakistan conventional conflict is more of a blackmail to force USA and China’s intervention. And if sincerely both USA and China are interested in South Asian peace and global security then Pakistan’s nuclear proclivities have to be pre-empted now with a strategic declaration against Pakistan as above.

    India, in any case, has to be prepared militarily, eitherway, notwithstanding any such caution that may be imposed on Pakistan.

    Concluding Observations: From the Indian perspective, enunciation of a new war doctrine was long overdue and it is significant for the following reasons:

    * India now plans and is ready to act offensively against Pakistan for any perceived acts of strategic destabilization of India and proxy war and terrorism

    * India moves away from its defensive mindset of last 50 year plus.

    * India will now prepare to undertake offensive military operations at the out set.

    * India has in declaratory tones enunciated that it will undertake offensive operations short of the nuclear threshold

    The Indian Army, despite any limitations in its hierarchy of not being forceful to make the political leadership in the last 50 years plus to adopt strategies which are strategically desirable but may be politically distasteful, has done well this time to bring India’s war doctrine in public debate. The vast majority of the Indian public will be in support of any war doctrine that puts Pakistan into place and forces it to desist from proxy war and terrorism against India.

    From the Pakistani perspective the following needs to be recognized with the enunciation of India’s new war doctrine:

    * India will undertake offensive operations against Pakistan without giving Pakistan time to bring diplomatic leverages into play against India.

    * India has declaratorily implied that in such offensive operations against Pakistan it will not cross the nuclear threshold nor prompt Pakistan into crossing it. Should Pakistan opt for crossing the threshold the onus lies squarely on Pakistan.

    The United States and China have not come out with any response so far. Nor should they since national security interests of India need to be respected, as those of a responsible, politically stable and a mature regional power which has exercised restraint even to the extent of being ridiculed for its restraint.

    Since a nuclear conflict initiated by Pakistan has global overtones and has the potential to bring them to conflict with each other, both the United States and China need to strategically declare that they will not countenance Pakistan, initiating a nuclear conflict in South Asia. Alternatively both USA and China, as Permanent Members of the UN Securing Council initiate steps jointly, to bring Pakistan’s (failed state WMD proliferator) nuclear assets under international control to be released only in the event of a nuclear threat.

    Lastly, it needs to be reiterated that India may never have to put into effect its new “Cold Start” war doctrine if the United States and China restrain their wayward military protégé i.e. Pakistan from military adventurism and military brinkmanship. Also if United States and China wish to add value to their relationships with India, they need to desist from equating India with Pakistan when it comes to the prospects of the nuclear conflict in South Asia. India’s strategic maturity is not in doubt; it is Pakistan’s strategic maturity, which is in doubt. A nuclear conflict will take place in South Asia, only if the United States wants it and lets Pakistan permissively cross the nuclear threshold.

    (The author is an International Relations and Strategic Affairs analyst. He is the Consultant, Strategic Affairs with South Asia Analysis Group. Email drsubhashkapila @yahoo.com)





    INDIA’S NEW COLD START WAR DOCTRINE STRATEGICALLY REVIEWED

    INDIA’S NEW "COLD START" WAR DOCTRINE STRATEGICALLY REVIEWED

    By Dr. Subhash Kapila
     
  9. ZOOM

    ZOOM Founding Member

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    I am not much aware about what India's Cold Stretagy is while engaging Pakistan. Since whenever we require to show some aggression like Post 26/11, it has been found, we are highly lacking in some of the basics. One of the example is, Precision Payloads of IAF to strike accuretly on Terror Camps. Indian Government was considering the import of some of US made precision strike weapons on critical juncture, this effectively shows that how we are prepared to take on our enemy.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Excerpts that I chanced upon long ago.

    The Cold Start Doctrine was certainly different from previous Indian military doctrines, as “a decisive military victory was no longer held as the only goal of any war against Pakistan.” The purpose of this doctrine “was to increase the range of options available to India for fighting and winning a war against Pakistan by moving away from an all-or-nothing strategy.”

    The Indian military’s preference for an offensive posture also implied that military intervention or preemptive strikes would now be considered legitimate options in South Asia.

    While some scholars have discussed the significance of the Cold Start Doctrine in terms of Indian responses to a Pakistani attack on India, other observers have focused on the merits of using a defense-oriented corps (better known as “Pivot Corps”) to launch offensive operations into enemy territory—a technique which, they argue, can be successfully employed by other strike formations.

    Scholars argue that for several decades, the Indian military had subscribed to a defensive war strategy at the behest of political directives. India’s political leadership had always displayed a lack of political will in developing military power in accordance with the country’s national security interests. By developing new doctrines, the military was not only trying to break away from antiquated military strategies but was also displaying the seriousness in taking effective steps against any future attacks from Pakistan

    And if the military was going to start a conventional war, the Cold Start Doctrine was a way of telling the government to start thinking beforehand.” Indeed, the military’s attempt to develop new doctrines was a way of asserting their professional judgment and expertise in strategic affairs. A second implication of the push for new strategic doctrines is the shift from a clear separation in civil-military responsibilities to a convergence in civil-military functions.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Sundarjee Docrtine brought the end of an era of a defensive mindset that had impinged upon the Army because of the political leash imposed on it.

    The Sunderjee Doctrine envisaged a defensive system that would stop Pakistani aggression (or attacks) by having seven Holding Corps and at the same time, also have a limited offensive capability. In other words, there would be Divisions for static defence and mechanised Division to counter enemy penetration along with some armoured units.

    This time lag would allow one to ‘read the battle’ and the enemy’s intentions. The Strike Corps, would then be unleashed at the area of our own choosing. This time lag would also allow the IAF to gain air superiority (the air force requires time to do so, before diverting assets to support ground operations). The Strike Corps would draw, through deep and fast strike, the Pakistani Strike Corps (there were two of them then) and decimate them through attrition.

    Operation Parkrama, which was a signal to Pakistan that the nuclear threat did not deter India, still highlighted the shortcomings of this Sunderjee Doctrine. (It maybe added that Lt Gen Oberoi, the DGMO to Gen BC Joshi, has written in an article that the Cold Start Doctrine had been presented to the then Govt, but it was scuttled by the bureaucratic lobby).

    Operation Parakrama indicated that it took about a month in mobilisation since it required movement by rail and availability of rakes. This was unacceptably long if India had to seize the initiative. It may also be added that the attacker has the initiative and till the attack has been halted, the defender is in the reactive mode. Pakistan, having its cantonment near the border, has always had the initiative in any war. This was India’s disadvantage.

    This long mobilisation allowed Pakistan, as always in each war, to muster the international community, to intervene and deter India from embarking on war. Musharraf made the right noises by condemning terrorism in Kashmir and his will to rein in such element, but true to character, they were hollow and thus renegaded on his promises. Given the wily Musharraf’s pronouncements, India had lost the justification to attack in retaliation to the Parliament attack.

    There was another issue that was important – the Pakistani intelligence focussed on the Strike Corps and was able to follow its move. This was possible because of the long mobilisation that brought it to the battle locations. Thus, the strategic surprise was lost. Strategic surprise is essential to gain ground before the enemy can react. This is more essential since in any war with Pakistan, international power broker countries will intervene and stop the war before a logical conclusion. Like it or not, this is a fact of life and doctrines have to also cater for this. Thus, maximum territory has to be captured for bargaining at the negotiation table.

    The Cold Start Doctrine is easier for those who are aware of the Russian OMG concept.

    The Cold Start envisages eight IBGs (Integrated Battle Group) moving in on their axes of attack and providing a ‘shallow’ bridgehead. Simultaneously, the Holding Corps (now designated as Pivot Corps) would also undertake limited offensive action. Therefore, in the first few days, Pakistanis would be guessing where the real action is intended and so they will have to hold on to their reaction and only try to stem the rot!

    The Cold Start having made headway will give the firm base for the Strike Corps, by the time it mobilises, to strike deeper.

    Either way, India would have captured enough territory to force Pakistan on the negotiation table and speak from a position of ascendancy!

    I may add that given the realpoltik, international power brokers will intervene and India will be forced to stop, before one could dissolve (cinematic term) the Cold Start into the Sunderjee Doctrine.

    Nonetheless, it has Pakistan worried and scared!
     
  12. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Ray sir, I have seen some Pakistanis claim that India doesn't yet have the infrstructure in place to really implement cold start. That its going to take several years for it to become a reality.

    How much truth is there in such reports?
     
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  13. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    Sir,

    Is Cold Start even alive? I read somewhere (probably BRF) that lack of cooperation between the services made it difficult to implement and finally the MOD killed it. Since then we have seen COIN doctrines and Joint Operations doctrines, but any reference to "Integrated Battle Group" the cornerstone of the Cold Start doctrine takes us back to publications dating back to the time this doctrine was first reviewed.

    While I understand that names such as IBG and Cold Start are semantics and the key objectives of giving more teeth to the brigade formations can be achieved otherwise, has there been any concrete moves on actually achieving this?
     
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  14. dave lukins

    dave lukins Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    The 2004 doctrine suggested eight rapidly-deployable “integrated battle groups,” drawn from the Navy and the Indian Air Force. Has this come to fruition or has the present situation in Pakistan changed the mindset?
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Cold Start has been practised in many exercise and continuously is being finetuned.
     
  16. Officer of Engineers

    Officer of Engineers Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Sir,

    I have no wish to intrude on any OPSEC issues but a question. Are you implying that Cold Start extends beyond the 200km limit from jump off?

    2nd question, while I have not studied the Pakistani defensive points, what's of value within 200 kms of the Sino-Indo border that can be held without re-enforcements fot 14 day?
     
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is Pakistan centric.

    It is 80 to 100 kms.

    If opportunity arise,why not beyond?

    In Op Parakarma, we left Pakistan with no doubt.

    I cannot comment on the Chinese side, since I have no detailed idea on that!
     
  18. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The objectives of Cold Start in unknown. So, its difficult to comment on that.
     
  19. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Cold start has decreased the time taken for offensive operations. 8 months in 1971 to 1 month in 2004 to 3 days(not at corps level, but the 8 IGBs. ) after cold start.
     
  20. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Any links??
     
  21. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    Dave

    There was a discussion that the IBG would involve assets (about 70 to 80 squadrons, I think) from the Air Force, which means joint operations. Yet the IAF chief insisted that the IA and IAF units, even though working together, would still report to their service organisations instead of a single entity.

    I believe there was some heartburn about that. Since then, it is notable that a Joint Operations Doctrine has been published, though I have no clue if it allows the COld STart objectives to be realised
     

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