India Toying With Dangerous Cold Start War Doctrine – Analysis

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Neil, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    Location:
    India
    P.S...:: written by some as*hole across the border...

    Indian Military ‘Cold Start Doctrine’ (CSD) surfaces occasionally in Indian and Pakistani media as an unexplored paradigm. The opinion makers enjoy Voltaire’s philosophy support across the board, that in the third millennium globalized world politics, has become synonymous to the ‘Controversy Theory’ which allows the scholars perceptional as well as approach variations while evaluating any concept, doctrine or theory.

    CSD is very high-sounding concept with its corollary ambiguity and those not possessing deep insight to the operational methodology tend to bolster its psychological fall out on the Pakistani readership, which is the only significant gain so far for India. Wittingly or unwittingly, its interpretation through plethora of contemporary theories projects it like an intricate myth if not monster. At times, it virtually appears that the war would flash like a bolt that would mince Pakistan’s military retaliatory capability to the dust unless some big ‘ifs’ were not resolved by Pak Army. It is therefore pertinent to put the threat in real perspective that could otherwise haunt world peace.

    The roots of CSD like doctrine were nourished more by the unbridled euphoria of a maverick Indian Army Chief than by operational necessity. General Krishnaswamy Sundarrajan, besides being an architect of several brilliant episodes as well as reverses, was perceived by Indians to have carried a feather in his cap called Operation Brasstacks. Commencing in July 1986 as a war game, it developed into an ever-biggest exercise in Asia when air, artillery, armor and mechanized formations’ ‘blitzkrieg-like’ integrated deep offensive strategy was tested. The much-trumpeted exercise reached its crescendo in December 1986, employing three strike corps (I Corps-Mathura, II Corps-Ambala and XXI Corps-Bhopal) along Indo-Pak southeastern borders but to the misfortune of Indian Chief, Pakistan had shrewder military strategist, General Zia-ul-Haq who lie in wait to let Indian Chief put all his eggs in one basket, Rajasthan. Before he went with broad smile to launch cricket diplomacy in India, he ordered his Army reserves in the North to sally unobtrusively from army garrisons by the time Sundarji (Indian Chief’s short name) had achieved optimum assembly of forces comprising nine divisions excluding the holding corps, in Rajasthan. It was fantastic move by Pak Army and a masterpiece work of our ISI and military intelligence outfits. Soon in GHQ, heap of signal interception reports (sinrep) indicated that scramble back from Rajasthan to their original battle locations was ordered to all the Brasstacks forces immediately. When a formation complained of lack of transport, a sinrep indicated, it received prompt advice to use all mobility means, even obsolete like bull carts. Thus some of our young officers, referred to ‘Operation Brasstacks’ in light vein as ‘Operation Bull Carts’. Sundarji’s dream of his flashing saber like masterstroke to cut Pakistan into two halves simply crashed in the sand dunes that he had nurtured all along to eliminate status quo-like operational equation between India and Pakistan prevailing since 1947. Thanks to Rajiv Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister who rescued Sundarji by agreeing with Gen Zia-ul-Haq to de-escalate the conflict in February 1987. Later Sundarji candidly admitted his failure, saying, he had over reached with Brasstacks. Not many people know the severity of dilemma Indian Army intended to create in the region and the reverses it faced in the process.

    Briefly, one would put here the heightened concern for lack of strategic equivalence between the forces system of the two countries to rest by maintaining that it cannot be achieved in number game, as Pak Army is in comfortable position without it in the face of our weak economy. Jonathan Marcus, a BBC defense correspondent had also observed in 2003, “In straight numerical terms of population, economic might, military manpower and equipment it is almost meaningless to speak about an India-Pakistan balance”. Nevertheless, through persistent sharp scrutiny of Indian Army doctrines that are ‘war-gamed’ by Pakistan without laxity ever and her expansion as well as modernization, Pak Army has taken some potent measures by regrouping, modernizing and at times resorting to modest new raising of forces level to keep adversary’s hostile designs in effective check. Strategic imbalance, for several reasons, would remain Pak Army’s perennial friend and we have to coexist with it. Pak Army has some spare arrows in the bow to act as force multipliers in the power game like our ever readiness to wage a war as a cherished duty, conventional or nuclear if it is thrust upon us and exploiting geo-strategic advantage that geography renders us. We are in position to deploy and employ our holding corps as well as reserves in a manner that achieves effective counter level, yet with remarkable economy of effort. Pak Army has overwhelming edge in time and space factor and hence expeditious assembly of forces and convenient readjustment of the forces posture is possible if a hypothesis unfolds, other than the one on which defensive/offensive maneuver is mounted. Thus, our strategic orientation remains superior, allowing us to operate on interior lines, an advantage that Indian army cannot even wish.

    Instead, India has to maintain Eastern Command far away for Chinese and Bangladesh borders as well as Northern Command for Chinese border and Pakistan Northern Areas/Line of Control. Western, Southern and South Western Commands remain poised against international borders with Pakistan while Central Command is in the depth at Lucknow because it has to meet certain contingencies in different directions. On achieving credible nuclear deterrence, Pakistan stands compensated for Indian preponderance in the conventional forces ratio while the nuclear claw of our adversary has also been defanged that she would have been rattling on us every now and then. In fact, Sundarji’s venture of 1986-87, in all probability was driven by such hypothesis that Pakistan would resort to ‘diplomacy’ means only to de-escalate once haunted by the specter of Indian nuclear force projections and not confront India by mobilizing its holding or punch formations for war. Their hypothesis was way off the mark.

    Despite such reverses, however, the flare for Concept of Simultaneity (targeting more than one objective at a time) and lightening strikes against deep objectives in a theatre and destruction of Pakistan Army lingered on among Sundarji’s subordinates. On the contrary, three years of evaluation of Sundarji’s finesse enabled Pak Army to further fine tune its offensive as well as defensive plans. Not content with it, General Mirza Aslam Beg, our Army Chief, kicked off yet another mega exercise, ‘Zarb-e-Momin’ (Stroke of a Believer) in 1989 in Central Punjab that the world rated as the beginning of Pakistan Army ‘glasnost’ ensuring that posture-balance was maintained to preempt any mischief from the adversary.

    Foxland and Blueland wrestled for several weeks at the final stages of exercise with troops. Chief Control HQ at Sargodha, assisted by Blueland and Foxland Senior Controls, orchestrated the entire conduct, monitoring and evaluation. Three corps, two armoured brigades, two artillery divisions, an air defence division and the Pakistan Air Force participated….Fourteen new concepts were tested; many vital lessons were learnt.The events were covered by national and international media. Several international delegates, Asian as well as Western, visited and were briefed including the leaders of our, what Zbigniew Brzezinski also called them, the holy warriors. Gulbadin Hikmatyar, Prof Burhanudin Rabbani, Sibghatullah Mujadadi, Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf and Mulvi Younis Khalis were prominent. Some observations, they made, were point black and dictated by their grip on war making strategy. Over all the visiting delegates appreciated, the conduct that was meticulous and agreed that Blueland maneuvers could blunt Foxland offensives. That was precisely the message Gen Beg had intended to convey across the border.

    Indian Military hierarchy’s frustration with what Sundarji had left for them as a model doctrine, employing three strike corps in ‘blitzkrieg’ style, grew worse in the wake of ‘Operation Parakaram’ that trailed December 13, 2001 attack on Indian Parliament. Mobilization of Indian army was ordered on 18 December 2001 to maul Pakistan severely for its alleged involvement that India detected ‘marvelously’ in just about three days time. Other than a few leading powers, world was oblivious of the Indian ‘responsibility’ to spark off an inferno in the Subcontinent. However, assembly of Indian forces was sluggish and stretched over three weeks. In the mean time, President Musharraf played his cards by ordering formations to occupy battle locations. He also gave a ‘turn about’ address to the nation, renouncing ‘Jihadis’ to woo Western sympathies, particularly of US that could not afford to see Pakistan switch its forces from Western to its Eastern borders. Conflict was averted through international actors’ intervention. Thus, masked operational lacunas in Indian Army planning, surviving comfortably hitherto fore, came under sharp scrutiny. Walter Ladwig III of Oxford University clearly saw the flaws in Indian’s war making ambitions like loss of strategic surprise, large size of strike forces that forced a long gap between political decision and military action and finally denuding of holding corps of any offensive punch. Hence, it was imperative to evolve a doctrine that should over-ride such weaknesses of one of the largest standing armies in the word that had clung to defensive-defence strategy since partition. In other words, a dangerous conflict averted in 2001 led to pursuits that are more lethal in the realm of deceptive war making in all forms.

    Indian Army Chief, General Padmanabhan unveiled CSD in April 2004. Could it be summed up as a novel and brilliant idea? Certainly not because it carried conspicuous Sundarji’s stamp with mix of Indian Army Chief’s astuteness who managed now to substitute Sundarji’s lightening ‘blitzkrieg-like’ deep offensives doctrine with sharp and crisp shallow multiple strikes called CSD, also claiming to knock out their own holding and offensive corps’ capability gaps. In other words, now Indian defensive corps could contribute as effectively as strike corps, at least hypothetically and the latter were to become known as Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs). Media leaks suggested that initially Indian army would constitute eight IBGs and each would be a concentrate of firepower and mobility under lavish air umbrella, built upon division size armor or mechanized formation with ability to operate as groups or sub-groups executing independent operations within the Group’s area of operation. The destruction of Pakistan Army has been retained as most lucrative objective, employing tremendous firepower and state-of-art means of ground as well as aerial mobility that would interdict and destroy its reserves, comprising mechanized formations.

    General Padmanabhan’s brand of CSD sounded fantastic, as did Sundarji’s blitzkrieg and concept of simultaneity during peacetime about a decade earlier. Once the military logisticians, assembly of forces experts and their Ordnance Corps would have sat together to formulate the inventories to equip the Army with Padmanabhan’s long indent for latest machines, weapons and munitions, finance organ of Indian Government would have shuddered. Commenting on CSD within a month of its unveiling in his May 2004, what he called, strategic paper, Dr. Subhash Kapila, almost had the rub with the vision that CSD could not be harnessed militarily as per the perceived scales and if proceeded with, it would amount to asking for moon. He wrote as an indirect admission, “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…”. Commenting three and half years later in December 2007, Dr. Subhash Kapila’s apprehensions further blossomed. He even argued to defer CSD until 2010 because, “India’s COLD START WAR DOCTRINE woven around the operational concept of offensive operations at the very outset of hostilities cannot proceed towards success on Indian Army undertaking military operations with incomplete military inventories…”. Hence, it says all to conclude that CSD is a concept on paper and may be nothing more than at experimental stage with old clattering machines. Conversely, maintaining vigilance about our adversary is the hallmark that our Army must observe. For our consumption, we have to underscore the need for meeting our adversary in the battlefield as if they are equipped right now to the needle details. Indian endeavor to fling strategic surprise on Pakistan as a pre-emption strategy must be checkmated by covert peacetime measures so that our forces instinctively remain out of their bite through ruses, well conceived by our military leadership even when the war balloon has not gone up yet.

    One would not question Indian Army’s prerogative to equip its forces to any limit but a pertinent question comes up here. Why did General Padmanabhan switch to intense multiple shallow maneuvers concept? Obviously, the answer is that in the presence of nuclear strike capability with Pakistan Army, there has to be a limited war on the cards. In other words, the change of heart did not emanate from his vision but driven by a compulsion, forced on Indian army under the obtaining politico-military environments. Therefore, CSD has another inhibiting factor that Indian battle sweeps have to remain short of reaching nuclear retaliation threshold. Answer becomes a question again if one asks the proponents of CSD that when India initiates conflict under the label of limited war, how friendly India would remain with Pakistan to keep the war under ‘limited’ tag. Do the adversaries prescribe the counter measure levels to each other? What India marks as limited objectives, in Pakistan Army reckoning they might not be ‘limited’ category? Military will and intentions on two sides have to differ because they work against each other. Though Pakistan would never ever be nuclear button-happy-power but when destruction of our Army is envisaged by CSD, that is the center of gravity of our survival, how would Indian wizards ensure that Pakistan would desist from using nukes, particularly once Pakistan Army concept of operations hinges on offensive-defence strategy? About the nukes, Shireen Mazari says, “Pakistan’s nuclear escalation ladder has only ‘one rung’.” Thus, she seals the argument.

    The proposition would remain dangerous when India intends resorting to such measures like CSD under the assumption that by subjecting Pakistan to retribution, it would desist from proxy war in Kashmir that Pakistan denies. Instead, Pakistan maintains that Indian state terrorism has pushed Kashmiris to the brink. The scholars, world over have labeled CSD as dangerous to execute on prefixed speculations based on tunnel vision. CSD also creates space of legitimacy for Pakistan to demand from India to rub off its intrusive footprints in Baluchistan, FATA, Pak-Afghan border areas and thus leverage for escalation of crisis is afforded to Pakistan to recover its internal stability. Indian military collaboration with Israel is also a cause of change in Indian overtone when she talks of military ventures or handles Kashmiri demonstrations in mode and severity parallel to Israeli handling of the Palestinians’ demonstrations. With Israel colluding with Indian military extensively, resentment against Israel has grown manifold in Pakistan though, it did not enjoy a favorable score since inception of state of Israel.

    India has to realize that its stakes in regional peace are far greater than Pakistan and hence its unimpeded economic spiral would be a factor to force India to reach for reconciliation with Pakistan in an earnest manner. Seeking ‘peace’ through dialogues and negotiations fervently by both the powers is the ultimate option they would have to embrace but an early embrace would augur well for the regional as well as for the world peace. Powers that have the clout with India and Pakistan must facilitate the adversaries to reach at workable solution. International community is also encumbered with the responsibility to caution India to desist from such momentary madness of 18 December 2001 that could have far-reaching repercussions beyond remedy.

    You have to see this analysis in the context of almost perennial hostile relations prevailing between India and Pakistan since independence from colonial rule in 1947. Britain gave up this rich colony to avert the replay of events that occurred to some other European powers while leaving their African colonies in blood of the natives and considerably bruised themselves. Britain left in haste, leaving many thorny territorial division issues between India and Pakistan unresolved, ‘Kashmir’ the major one. The state had predominantly Muslim population but a Hindu chieftain ruled it. There have been military conflicts of varying intensity between India and Pakistan in 1948, 1965 and 1971, the last being more devastating for Pakistan when Indian military also helped public revolt against Pakistan by launching full-fledged offensives and its eastern wing, erstwhile ‘East Pakistan’ was clipped that emerged as Bangladesh. Thus, the hostility simmers, forcing both the countries to maintain large standing armies as of operational necessity. India and Pakistan now possess nuclear weapons, which means looming war scenario, has an added dangerous dimension to it. Some major powers and the beneficiaries are happy with threatening status quo in Kashmir. The simmering hostility nourishes their national interests perhaps better than the resolved conflict would do. Hence, no effective arbitration has been attempted by any power or organization except UN in early years of their inception by adopting Resolutions 38(1948) and 47(1948), which recognized Kashmiris right to choose between India and Pakistan through a plebiscite. India concurred initially but later backtracked. Tragedy of the time is that the Subcontinent remains prone to a horrific nuclear conflagration, possibly at the cost of world peace.



    India Toying With Dangerous Cold Start War Doctrine – Analysis | idrw.org
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
    LETHALFORCE likes this.
  2.  
  3. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,620
    Likes Received:
    2,390
    How his doctrine was flawed can someone explain??
     
  4. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    Location:
    India
    well people think that just because India has adopted this doctrine it must be ready to execute it at all times...they forget that doctrines are not implemented straight away but are fine tuned with capacity building and exercises...
     
  5. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,620
    Likes Received:
    2,390
    in short another article from a foolish author i went through it not a single point made imho,
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,283
    Location:
    BANGalore
    Sundarji was brilliant. But politicians suck and hence cold start.
     
    sesha_maruthi27 likes this.
  7. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    Location:
    India
    thats right bro...but at least we know are enemies still think 1 pakistani = 10 indians...!!
     
  8. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    Location:
    India
    yusuf bhai...cold start doesnt suck...its a work in progress...i mean when Sundarji envisaged this doctrine we were going to be in the worst crisis since our independence...bofors to bankruptcy all in one decade...that sucked..
     
  9. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,884
    Likes Received:
    1,568
    Location:
    Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh(INDIA)
    Hey atleast we are toying with the COLD-DOCTRINE. But the pakistanis are toying with terrorists and some junk behind their yard saying they have this and they have that in response to INDIA'S military might and technology. I always remember one thing " EMPTY VESSELS MAKE MORE NOISE".
    I say 10 Pakistanis = 1 dirty thug in INDIA, always stealing from others saying lame excuses.
     
    W.G.Ewald likes this.
  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,283
    Location:
    BANGalore
    You got me wrong. I don't say cold start sucks. I said politician suck that's why army devised cold start. Again a brilliant doctrine as far as I am concerned.
     
    Neil likes this.
  11. debasree

    debasree Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    Calcutta, India, India
    we dont have enough capabillity to launch these type of operation in present, but in future in between 10-15 years may be we can achieve that power.
     
  12. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,333
    Likes Received:
    216
    Location:
    Gurgaon/Noida
    Its a brilliant doctrine if you have overwhelming firepower at your disposal and you have all loose ends covered.Currently that is not the case with IA, and it will be quite a while before we reach such a capability, Yusuf.

    So as of now, I am not quite upbeat about the Cold Start strategy.
     
    Singh likes this.
  13. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    Location:
    India
    sandeep sir...if u have overwhelming firepower than u'll try to have even more overwhelming doctrine...thats how armies work...

    yes cold start doctrine had a slow start for many reason but its on track and army is fine tuning its strategies...
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    The good thing is that it has given the shivers to Pakistan.

    That is the first signal of success.
     
    sayareakd likes this.
  15. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,543
    Likes Received:
    6,547
    If it is flawed why worry and write about it???To have a false sense of security??
     
    pmaitra likes this.
  16. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,687
    Likes Received:
    2,357
    So the author admits that:

    * CSD has had a serious psychological effect on Pakistanies (That is half battle won by CSD).

    * CSD is philosophically and perception wise of Voltaire class (for which Pakistanis’ have no answer).

    * It is therefore pertinent to put the threat in real perspective that could otherwise haunt world peace. (So Pakistan has started looking for support at hearing of CSD and there is implied blackmail, obviously nuclear one. Was that thought of by Pakistanis’ before launching Kargil or attack on Bombay?).

    * Not many people know the severity of dilemma Indian Army intended to create (by Brasstacks) in the region and the reverses it faced in the process. (Oh yes that is why there is CSD so that your shitty generals do not concentrate every thing opposite Punjab or chickens neck). The writer forgets the it was Zia Ul Haq who came to India and not the other way round !

    * “In straight numerical terms of population, economic might, military manpower and equipment it is almost meaningless to speak about an India-Pakistan balance”. (Well that is why you have invoked Jihad as your strategy and should not accept that India will take it lying down).


    * through persistent sharp scrutiny of Indian Army doctrines that are ‘war-gamed’ by Pakistan without laxity ever and her expansion as well as modernization, Pak Army has taken some potent measures by regrouping, modernizing and at times resorting to modest new raising of forces level to keep adversary’s hostile designs in effective check.
    Hah ! So the first effects of CSD are visible on Pakistani forces destabilization. That is good.

    Strategic imbalance, for several reasons, would remain Pak Army’s perennial friend Pak Army has some spare arrows in the bow to act as force multipliers in the power game
    ( One knows that and also that it is reliance on Jehadi that you always address that imbalance with. CSD aim at making those Jehadies meaningless in a short intense war.)

    Pak Army has overwhelming edge in time and space factor .... our strategic orientation remains superior, allowing us to operate on interior lines, an advantage that Indian army cannot even wish. (with six to eight thrusts of IBG, that advantage goes for a sic in first 48 hours. Leave aside Eastern Command, that is meant to reach Khyber vai Xinjaing !

    ‘Zarb-e-Momin’ (Stroke of a Believer) in 1989 in Central Punjab.. (that central fixation of central Punjab remains and CSD will ensure that you all remain there only till IBGs reach Islamabad.a

    dangerous conflict averted in 2001 led to pursuits that are more lethal in the realm of deceptive war making in all forms. (Should not it be? Pakistanis are scared that their liberty of preemptive offensive is no more workable.)

    CSD has another inhibiting factor that Indian battle sweeps have to remain short of reaching nuclear retaliation threshold. (yes, it is intended to destroy Pakistani military machine in installments rather than at one go).


    Though Pakistan would never ever be nuclear button-happy-power but when destruction of our Army is envisaged by CSD, that is the center of gravity of our survival, how would Indian wizards ensure that Pakistan would desist from using nukes (well by ensuring that besides destruction of the Army, there is threat of oblivion of the Nation called Pakistan).

    [/I]Authors attempt's to bring Kashmir at the center of Indo Pak problem are mischievous as Mushraff had clearly stated that even after resolution of Kashmir, things are not going to change. It is not Kashmir but Pakistani addiction to Jihadism that is the root cause of all evils and conflicts in the subcontinent right upto CAS.

    Pakistan has to forego using Jihad lest that ism gobbles up Pakistan.
     
  17. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    2,783
    Location:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    A failing state that is dying faster than ever is now hoping that its imaginary "dispute" will be "solved" so taht it can save itself before its death. Imagine that...:sad:
     
  18. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,333
    Likes Received:
    216
    Location:
    Gurgaon/Noida

    No, I think you didn't get me. Only if we have overwhelming firepower in terms of our armored, artillery assets with substantial air support, maybe this plan can work. Currently we don't have adequate armored and artillery assets at our disposal to carry out such a maverick plan.

    Plus, I feel that this Cold Start strategy, if it is actually implemented ever, has a high risk of escalating into a nuclear conflict, since I believe that Pakistan will surely use a tactical nuke using Nasr missile to cut down on the Indian armored advance. And that will lead to huge loss of life and hardware and turn into a nuclear conflict with India responding in kind.

    So, there's no guarantee that the Pakistani response to the Cold Start will be a conventional one, and hence that's why it loses its relevance.
     

Share This Page