Indians lack military strategy. Do you agree?

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Ray, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The recent death of the first NSA begs the question - what strategic / security thinking or paradigm have any of these worthies brought about? And has there ever been strategic thinking in this country

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    'Strategy' - used in media, sports, corporate presentations and bunking classes! What does it mean? In Greek, "stratos" means 'army' and "ageine" means "to lead". Strategy is the art of leading an army or generalship. The object of an army is to vanquish its enemies. War does not have gold, silver and bronze medals - only winners and losers - and winners write not only the history of the event but also re-interpret prior related history to suit them.

    The Eisenhower Strategy (formulated/named after the Supreme Allied Forces Commander during World War II and US President 1952-60), was implemented during the Cold War. We all know how knocking out the air force of the enemy is half the battle won. The US, envisaging this, decided that in all their inter-state highways, one kilometre in every five will be absolutely straight and level. Thus these highways could become surrogate runways. Likewise the nuclear policy enunciated by the Russian military think tank headed by General Vassily Danilovich Sokolovsky, another World War II hero - they decided that if there was a nuclear attack the Russian response would be an all out counter attack - including civilian targets. The logic was that only such a severe threat could deter a first attack.

    What about India's strategy - or rather lack of it - since 326 BCE, when Alexander came - partly up the Indus and partly through the Khyber Pass? Then came the Kalinga War and the conversion of Ashoka into a non-violent Buddhist. The seeds of non-violence soon became genetic and within 250 years came the first invaders - the Kushans. India or Indians had lost the will to fight - and we became a door mat with "aa bail mujhe maar" written in big bold red. While between the birth of Christianity and Islam, all was fairly ok, the Ghazni era changed everything. Between 1000 - 1030 CE, he ransacked India 17 times. But not one king or even a confederation of kings thought of sealing or taking effective control of the Khyber Pass. Then, the pass, in some places, was so narrow that even three men could not walk abreast. If India (was there such an entity then?) had controlled Khyber, history could have been different - no Delhi Sultanate, no partition and no pseudo-secularism. Also no need to sit on top of Siachen!

    From 1000 CE descend to 1947. Genetic non-violence became mahatmatically political. By 1948 we lost access to the Wakhan Corridor by unnecessarily going to the UN before throwing Pakistan out of what is now PoK. No strategy had been learnt in 1000 years. The only friendly northern land border connecting us to the present Central Asian republics, through which all gas, other fuel lines, etc. could have come, disappeared. By 1960 with immature bravado not matched with on the ground capability we painted ourselves into a corner and ensured that our entire land borders are almost only with two nations, who, if not enemies, are definitely not friends.

    India today is virtually an island. The land border, as the sun lights it up from Diphu Pass near the India-China-Myanmar tri-junction to Sir Creek in the Rann of Kutch, undefined / disputed for long stretches, is in a perpetual state of conflict. Have we shaped our strategy to also suit an island nation? Look at our former colonial masters. Realising that ports were the 'internet' of the 16th.- 20th. centuries, they ensured control of key strategic ports. On a map, draw a line connecting London, Gibraltar, Tristan da Cunha, Falkland Islands, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Rangoon, Port Blair, Calcutta, Chennai, Colombo, Mumbai, Karachi, Aden, Port Suez, Malta, Gibraltar and back to London. Amazing, isn't it? This was one of the key reasons why the Allies won World War II. They controlled 70% of the globe - the water-web. They could easily move men and material from an un-bomb-able factory (the USA) to a gigantic unsinkable aircraft carrier (England) or anywhere else.

    War and history are a function of geography and meteorology. Complicated dynamics prevent us from accurately predicting the latter, but surely we can appreciate and understand the former, which is more static, better than we have done? Shouldn't we by now possess at least four carrier fleets, with requisite escorts / amphibious army - two at home and two on our island bases? The Indian Ocean, the only one named after a country, should be entirely within our control to warrant that name. Instead a power that has no port on this ocean is being allowed to befriend other nations to set up potential bases. The land-noose and the water-noose can connect and strangle us.

    It is said that the Government listens to the Army Chief, humours the Air-Force Chief and ignores the Navy Chief. This could cost us dearly. Will we wake up soon enough? Waiting for INS Vikramaditya could soon become just another drama like Waiting for Godot. Do we need a separate army, navy and air-force and is keeping them separate due to a fear that they will take over this nation? How much more immature can we get? The defence strategy /security of this nation should be with professionals - with overarching sovereign government control - but we seem to think that babus and darogas are best suited - and that begs the question asked right upfront - what new or great strategic/security paradigm have these 'worthies' brought about? Can someone name even one? Yes - only on writing reports after some snafu to bail themselves out and finding scapegoats who have no say in matters strategic. Nothing has changed - even almost exactly 50 years to the date since 1962.

    Poke Me: Indians lack military strategy. Do you agree? - The Economic Times

    Has many comments. May read at site above.
     
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  3. ashdoc

    ashdoc Senior Member Senior Member

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    what military strategy will vegetarians have ?? they faint at the sight of blood so what militarymindedness can you expect from them ??
     
  4. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Unlike China, India does not need too complex strategy, few and clear enemies, one of them is biggest copycat and armed with crap weapon.
     
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  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The article is bang on. Indians have lacked strategic foresight. The Political class+Babus of today further puts india in shit.
     
  6. prakashbioc

    prakashbioc Regular Member

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    We need shed new and existing 'strategic' policies that are mostly copied from West. Just sticking with arthrasashtra and other ideas gained from historical evidences will do wonders.
     
  7. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Spot on on everything, except in my opinion, on the four carrier-bit. We can't afford four carrier fleets with our Navy budget. The reverse side to this predicament is that our naval budget is a direct projection of our strength. And given that the other countries in the IOR don't necessarily have a strategic payoff to gain from befriending us vis-à-vis China, they will tend to accommodate the power in the region with the greatest naval capability or the most rapidly augmenting one- to serve their interests, whether it be piracy or maritime trade-route protection or expanding their own naval capability, technologically or production-wise. And the fact of the matter is that unless we approximate China's real (& hidden) naval budget, even if we don't meet it, we won't be able to exploit our geographical advantage. And that will only happen when the economy starts ratcheting up 9% growth again and we stop paying such high prices for foreign deliveries, through indigenous substitution.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  8. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    All nonsense.

    To critical analyse the lead article,

    Alexander did not win the battle of Jhelum. The very fact that he did not kill Porus or turned back from River Beas is an indication that he did not win the battle completely. Otherwise that animal instinct in Alexander would not have spare the vanquished.

    A warlike Aryans of 2500 BC era were subjugated by the Budhist thought of non- violence. For 1500 years after that India had trouble getting the grip of itself hence brought Muslim Turks and Afghans as rulers.

    When Muslim had run out of steam, the British came.

    It was Gandhis brilliant strategy which brought British to its knees and forced them to quit India.

    The wars of 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999 were won with brilliant counter strategy, which is better than enemy's strategy.

    With complete failure of Indian army in 1962 lost the war. That does not mean that Mao had better strategy. The Panchsheel was a better strategy to keep Chinese inside its borders, it failed.

    Hence blaming yourself for no strategy is plain simple stupid.

    Strategies also fail. That is a different matter.
     
  9. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Edited..

    Never mind..
     
  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The thread is less to do about the armed forces' planning and strategy and more about strategic thinking that looks way beyond the current time to secure national interests. Something like losing Gilgit Baltistan which is the gateway to central asia and not doing anything about it. something like calling Chinis bhais and even ignoring the warnings of the then Generals and living in delusion.

    The thread is critical about the neta-babu nexus which does not understand strategic affairs and defence needs.
     
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  11. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    to hit the authors biased narration i present a recent fact that kerela ruler defeated european navy in modern history and becoming the only asian navy to defeat the europeans. at that time kerela was known as travancore.

    its not about lacking a strategic mindset but being lucky at the moment. what if pearl harbor threat was taken seriously by americans? there was clear indication and warning but both as ignored- does it ends up indicating americans are casual?
    the answer is not about being good but also about being lucky because war is nothing but experimenting with biased and assumptive plans
     
  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Some say the US "let" Pearl Harbor happen so that they could get a pretext to join the war.
     
  13. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    some even say India let mumbai attack happen.
     
  14. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I would have agreed to this CT if india had gone on a war against Pak and destroyed it.
     
  15. Spindrift

    Spindrift Regular Member

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    Hitler was also a vegetarian :D
     
  16. ashdoc

    ashdoc Senior Member Senior Member

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    i am talking of common people---not leaders .
     
  17. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sir lets not get drifted away. India cant become superpower because of its inherent problem of providing theoretical or idealist solution to real worl dproblems which are destined to fail because of challenges presented by real world.
     
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  18. Spindrift

    Spindrift Regular Member

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    Leaders also arise from the common people
     
  19. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Worth a read..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    "Indians" don't lack military strategy, but maybe our present gov't does.

    I don't think Sam Manekshaw was lacking in military strategy.
     
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  21. W.G.Ewald

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

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    I don't know if this has been posted before on DFI.

    http://www.idsa.in/monograph/EstablishingIndiasMilitaryReadinessConcernsandStrategy
    The monograph can be downloaded as a PDF at the link above.
     
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