India's Cold Start Is Too Hot

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by SHASH2K2, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    India's Cold Start Is Too Hot

    Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani points out that the threat posed by India's aggressive doctrine could escalate alarmingly fast.

    Based on punitive offensive operations short of nuclear attack, India’s new doctrine against Pakistan flirts with Armageddon.

    The provocative Cold Start Doctrine, which India developed specifically to deal with Pakistan, is the hottest buzzword in military circles and institutions throughout the region. Both India and Pakistan are self-declared nuclear powers that, ever since the two countries’ independence from Britain in 1947, have claimed control of Kashmir. This has made the area a dangerous flashpoint several times during the past six decades.

    Central to Cold Start is a synergetic effort aimed at the destruction of Pakistan’s military potential without much collateral damage.1 Envisioning limited war, the doctrine seeks swift mobilization to undertake punitive strikes in response to acts of terrorism by Pakistan-based militant Islamist groups and incursions such as the 1999 infiltration of Kargil in India-controlled Kashmir, and/or to make territorial gains of 30-50 miles to obtain post-conflict concessions, i.e., handing over terrorists or shutting down training camps.2 Announced in April 2004, Cold Start represents a marked departure from the fundamentally defensive orientation of the Indian Army.

    Tense Borderlines

    The Indian military has an exasperating tendency to act quickly and decisively against Pakistan. After five gunmen attacked the Indian Parliament on 18 December 2001, the Indian government ordered Operation Parakaram, the largest mobilization since its 1971 war with Pakistan. The Indian Air Force activated forward operating bases, while the navy’s western fleet, reinforced with strike elements from the eastern fleet, deployed in a deterrent posture.3

    Nearly ten months later, Operation Parakram, a massive exercise in coercive diplomacy, had run out of steam; both sides disengaged. India lost face because of its failure to elicit any strategic gains from Pakistan. This was principally because it took more than three weeks for the three Indian strike corps to reach their wartime locations from eastern and central India.4 During this period, Pakistan was able not only to internationalize the crisis, but also to send a clear message that any attack inside the portion of Kashmir that it controlled would invite a retaliatory strike.5

    Thus for India, the drawn-out arrival time and attendant lack of strategic surprise, inhibiting a rapid punitive strike, was compounded by Pakistan’s quick marshaling of world opinion—all of which pointed to a faulty military strategy. Moreover, the enormous size of the strike corps and concentration in the forward area provided an indication of the general thrust.6

    The U.S. Navy’s Central Role in Stability

    Since the beginning of the 20th century, the U.S. maritime strategy has played a major role in binding together the international system that U.S. foreign policy has aimed to establish. Meanwhile, American naval power has maintained its country’s status “in the middle of a fluid and troubling strategic environment. The size, shape and strategy of the U.S. Navy are a critical element of America’s position as the world’s great power.”7 But this appears to be heading for a change.

    The “wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have sucked the oxygen out of any serious effort to understand the connection between the large changes that strategic planners see in the future, Americans’ expectations that they will retain their ability to wield global influence, the Navy’s role in maintaining such influence, and the U.S. fleet’s slow evanescence.”8 A clear illustration of this was the grounding of the USS Port Royal (CG-73) in February 2009, half a mile south of the Honolulu airport. Investigations revealed a sleep-deprived commanding officer and manning shortages, as well as fewer real-life training opportunities. “Reduced budgets, efforts to save money by cutting the size of crews, schemes to take up the slack with shore services and all manner of labor saving devices parallel and reflect the Navy’s increasingly distressed fortunes since the end of the cold war.”9

    Historically, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command has been a dynamic component that ensured stability and security in the Indian Ocean. It still does so. Under the Global Maritime Partnership, it continues to “enhance regional maritime security as well as build capacity of regional maritime forces.” As a consequence, key choke points critical to world trade and economy in an area with extensive shipping lanes and a “very high vessel throughput” has remained secure from traditional and nontraditional threats.10

    On the shores of the North Arabian Sea, nuclear neighbors Pakistan and India have kept the region on high alert. The presence of the U.S. Navy has been the most compelling factor in restraining and cooling frequently exploding tempers. This has ensured stability. The eventual impact of a weakening U.S. Navy may include, but is not limited to, a major shift of power away from American influence in Asia, a debilitating loss of U.S. ability to shape the future strategic environment, and a powerful reinforcement of the perception that the United States is in decline.11

    A shrinking U.S. Navy leading to a reduced presence, along with a weakening ability to project power and provide a steadying presence, will inevitably create a void—which will be filled by the new rising naval power, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.12 The strategic environment in the Indian Ocean region may then be altered as never before, to the detriment of U.S. interests.

    Through its launch of the nuclear submarine S-2 (the INS Arihant), India has already militarily nuclearized the region. Because of budgetary constraints and diminishing platform strength, if the U.S. Navy should outsource functions to the Indian Navy, this will have the effect of allowing India to confer upon itself the role of regional policeman. The Pakistan and PLA navies may then forge a new strategic partnership to reshape the area’s maritime environment.

    The PLA Navy may deploy more than one carrier by 2015. This will greatly expand China’s ability to project power into the Pacific and Indian oceans. In the latter, it will find no better partner than the Pakistan Navy. What the Indian strategic community continues to call the “encirclement” of India will then become a reality. At that point, not only the North Arabian Sea but the entire Indian Ocean will scream for stability.

    Cold Start Fires Up

    Since 2004, the Indian military has tirelessly firmed up Cold Start through a series of exercises, including Divya Astra (Divine Weapon) 2004, Vijra Shakti (Thunder Power) 2005, Sang-i-Shakti (Joint Power) 2006, and Ashwamedh (Valor and Intellectual Illumination) 2007. They made extensive use of command, control, communications, and intelligence networks and systems; and of force-multiplying command posts for the integration and flow of real-time information collected through satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, aerial reconnaissance radar networks, communication intercepts, and digital photographs of enemy areas. All this was transmitted to forward combat units, facilitating speedy decision-making. During the maneuvers, information dominance of the battlefield was practiced using electronic-warfare systems.13

    In stark contrast to the previous Indian strategy, that of Cold Start essentially is to attack first and mobilize later.14 The idea is to achieve political and military gains in the shortest possible time, thus circumventing Pakistan’s effort to bring into play international diplomatic efforts. Through joint operations of India’s three services, Cold Start uses army strike corps to provide offensive elements for eight or so integrated battle groups (IBGs). These are fully backed by naval-aviation assets assisting IBGs in the south.

    Positioned close to Pakistan’s borders, quite a few IBGs can be launched along multiple axes within 72 to 96 hours from the time an attack is ordered. These battle groups provide rapid thrusts at the same time as India’s defenses are still being organized. The IBGs can continue conducting high-speed day/night operations until the intended objectives have been attained.15 In short, Cold Start envisages quickly moving forces into unpredictable locations and making decisions faster than opponents can plan.16

    Pakistan Prepares to Be Attacked

    Among Pakistani military insiders, Cold Start has been under discussion since 2005. But our neighbor’s aggressive strategy surfaced as a major challenge after Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor sounded a warning in January 2010 that “a limited war under the nuclear hangover is still very much a reality.”17 Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani responded: “Cold Start would permit the Indian Army to attack before mobilizing, increasing the possibility of a sudden spiral escalation.”18

    Be that as it may, Pakistan’s riposte to the Indian Army chief’s incendiary pronouncement came in April 2010 in the form one of the largest field maneuvers the country has ever mustered. Jointly conducted by Pakistan’s army and air force and called Azm-e-Nau 3 (New Resolve), the exercise aimed at developing response options to Cold Start. Between 10 April and 13 May, 20,000-50,000 troops participated.19 The area involved Pakistan’s eastern border in Sialkot, Cholistan, and the province of Sindh in the south.

    The scenario played out as follows: The Foxland army (representing India) suddenly invaded and occupied part of Blueland territory (Pakistan). A Blueland antitank battalion used dispersal tactics based on Pakistan’s real military doctrine to regain territory in an equally swift manner.20 In the closing stages, live weapon demonstrations and the shoot-down of a drone were also carried out. Still, the reality of Cold Start places a dilemma before Pakistan’s military planners, as far as guessing which of India’s IBGs would be launched.

    Kargil Hangover

    The Indian Navy’s stated role in Cold Start seemingly remains limited; ostensibly, the navy will provide aviation assets to IBGs in the southern sector only. But to complement the effort on land, and posing a multidimensional problem for Pakistani military planners, the Indian Navy will inevitably take a forward posture, possibly impose a distant blockade of Pakistani ports, and/or move into sea lines emanating from the Red Sea or Far East. The Indian Navy could deploy submarines—which soon will be armed with land-attack supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles—close to the Makran coast to clog Pakistan’s sea traffic.

    The western fleet of the Indian Navy routinely conducts annual exercises in February-March in the Arabian Sea, while its eastern fleet carries out yearly maneuvers in July-August in the Bay of Bengal. When the Kargil crisis erupted in 1999, the Indian military’s tri-services exercise (conducted every three years) was due. In the interest of deterrence, its navy decided to shift the venue of the eastern fleet’s maneuvers to the western seaboard. The two fleets later conducted large-scale joint exercises in the North Arabian Sea. The sole Indian carrier was then under refit, so the navy carried out trials using a containership’s deck as a platform for Sea Harrier aircraft.

    A flurry of naval activity and the Indian Navy’s threatening posture prompted the Pakistan Navy to go on full alert. Naval assets were deployed to safeguard national maritime interests. Pakistan also began escorting convoys along traditional sea lines, especially on the Persian Gulf route that transports the country’s strategic commodity—oil—indispensable for both the economy and the war effort. The navy also made plans for conducting P3-C strikes on strategic points along India’s eastern seaboard.

    Visibly, the contribution of both navies during the Kargil crisis was enormous. On the Indian side, tri-service cooperation set the standard for future operations, with complete harmony and synergy between its army, navy, and air force.21 In Cold Start, therefore, the Indian Navy cannot be expected to remain dormant or play a trivial role.

    Pakistan Navy at the Ready

    In Azm-e-Nau 3, the Pakistan Navy was assigned the inconsequential role of observer. If continued, such a course could be a fatal mistake. Pakistan cannot afford to overlook the lessons of the past. This nation’s air force and navy learned of the Kargil conflict only after the Indian military reaction had started to unfold. By then it had become indispensable for Pakistan’s army to seek the sudden support of the nation’s two other armed forces.

    Even though features inherent to naval platforms, such as rapid mobility, stealth, and speed of deployment, may discount the need for a joint response (at least for the exercises), fixations on modus operandi and clinging to dogmas have destroyed many militaries before.

    Because Pakistan inherited a British colonial legacy, the army has dominated the country during much of its history. Past wars with India have been mostly land affairs, with Pakistan suffering severe setbacks because of a weak navy. Yet the army’s mindset remains unchanged. In this climate, the Pakistan Navy strives to demonstrate the significance of maritime issues in the overall national-security calculus.

    Aside from its deficiently assigned role in Azm-e-Nau 3, the Pakistan Navy remains fully cognizant of the threat that the Indian Navy could pose in the maritime domain during Cold Start. Accordingly, a major conceptual exercise designed to assess this, evaluate possible scenarios of conflict at sea, and analyze response options was concluded in late 2010.22 Named Shamsheer-e-Bahr IV (Sea Sword), the exercise addressed the new Indian warfighting concept and aimed to prepare a comprehensive counter-strategy.

    Spread over two and a half months, the war game was planned sequentially, from peace to full-war scenario—particularly in the southern sector of the country bordering India. Lessons emerging from this effort will be applied in the subsequent Navy-wide exercise Sea Spark to develop Pakistan’s future naval strategy. To inject realism and draw useful information, from the outset the 5th Corps of the Pakistan Army (with its area of operation in the south) and the Pakistan Air Force (Southern Air Command) have been actively involved in the planning effort. Also included are several other representatives of relevant government departments.

    No future war can be fought without operational synergy, and a military strategy that does not assimilate this reality will always fail. In Cold Start, a north-south split of Pakistan could occur in the event of a penetration by an IBG positioned in the south. The country’s military planners must think beyond using tactical nuclear weapons. This is imperative: Indian nuclear doctrine is unambiguous in declaring that even a low-yield tactical nuclear weapon will invite a massive retaliatory strike.23 But Pakistan certainly has some other and better response options to consider.

    The Pakistan Navy can play a vital role in the south. It can create diversions and fire effects using submarines and air-launched missiles, while protecting sea lines, in particular the Gulf artery that feeds national energy needs. Besides contesting a blockade, the navy could force a counter-blockade of vital Indian shipping by jutting out from the Strait of Hormuz and hugging Pakistan’s western periphery on the Makran coast. Submarines could be deployed at or close to India’s strategic energy and commercial nodes along the Gujarat-Maharashtra coast, causing economic problems.24 All this would greatly ease Pakistan’s army and air force concerns on land and improve flexibility and liberty of action.

    The Big Picture

    More than 70 percent of Indian oil imports come into ports on the Gujarat and Maharashtra coasts. In 2006-07, 117 million tons of petroleum products passed through the Gulf of Kutch; 95 through Mumbai. India’s major oil refineries are also located in the region. Kandla Port, close to Karachi, handles the imports and exports of highly productive granaries and the industrial belt stretching across Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.

    At the inaugural session of exercise Shamsheer-e-Bahr-IV early in July 2010, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani of Pakistan stated: “Prosperity of our people hinges upon the freedom of the sea and security of our sea lines of communication. Notwithstanding its small size, the Pakistan Navy has maintained a close vigilance of the seas and is fully capable of protecting our maritime interests.”25 Cold Start is based on undertaking offensive operations short of the nuclear threshold. India thereby implies that should Pakistan opt for crossing that threshold, the onus would lie squarely on the latter.

    On the other hand, Pakistan’s assumptions about Cold Start are that Indian offensive operations would not give Pakistan time to bring diplomacy into play, and that such offensive operations would not cross the nuclear threshold nor prompt Pakistan into crossing it. But with Pakistan’s core areas (particularly those in the plains of Punjab) located close to borders and conventional asymmetry favoring India, Cold Start is an exceedingly ambitious and dangerous concept. The fact that the Pakistan Army can occupy contested locations faster than India grants it the capability of preempting Cold Start.

    Since time and space would be of greatest importance to Pakistan, if this nation does not preempt India’s Cold Start, the result could be a decision to use low-yield tactical nuclear weapons to dislodge the IBG. And this would be the beginning of Armageddon. The fact that India’s new doctrine was not put into effect following 26/11 (the Mumbai attacks) points to dithering politico-military minds as much as it does to the danger of actually executing a not-so-cold plan.
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Nasr angle to the Cold Start

     
  4. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Nasr does not contribute anything to Cold Start. It is a mere TNW and is something that can be delivered by aircraft more effectively than any missile can. My foremost opinion on the missile is mainly to overwhelm the ABM systems carried by the 8 IBGs with cheap and easily manufactured missiles. For a missile that does 60Km, it may not even cross 20 Km altitude. The terminal speed can be easily stopped even with our most archaic ABM systems.

    Also, it is reasonable to expect the IBGs to be Nuclear, Chemical and Biological ready against the adversary. So, if we consider the Nasr can carry a 1KT warhead then the area of effect is realistically 300m from the epicentre and major damage to soldiers will be within that area. Pressures range from 15 psi to 5 psi in the area. The further you are away the safer you are from the heat and pressure as long as you are protected. Less than 5psi would not even deter the attacked force. The altitude of the detonation also plays a vital role. In case we use EW to pre maturely detonate or delay the detonation then that would be a useless expenditure of a bomb. The area of operations of the IBG would be greater than 300m and an artillery strike with MRBLs is much more useful than a 1KT warhead.

    There is no such thing as a tactical nuclear weapon in the India Pakistan context without the use of the air force. Using ballistic missiles for TNW delivery is a complete and utter fail.

    Let's just say if the Pakistanis use Nasr on their own territory with a 1KT nuke, then we can respond in kind with thermobaric and cluster bombs which can cause much heavier damage with much cheaper weapons. Funny that! Nuclear weapons aren't equipment specific but thermobaric and cluster munitions are particularly meant to deal with soldiers and tanks. The onus is on us to escalate. We can get a major bargaining position on the table if the Pakistanis use their so called "tactical" nuke on us and we retaliate with only conventional systems.

    Nuclear weapons are obsolete in the tactical form. Conventional weapons are more accurate and much more deadly than even a 20KT nuke. If the Pakistanis want to stop an IBG with Nukes then they have through go the megaton route. Kiloton and sub kiloton route is meant for countries still living in the 60s and 70s. Maybe the policy makers across the border need to wake up and smell the coffee.

    Nasr is a major BLUFF.
     
    gokussj9 likes this.
  5. BangersAndMash

    BangersAndMash Regular Member

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    Pakistan's Strategic Myopia
    Its decision to field tactical nuclear weapons will only make the subcontinent more unstable.


    By MICHAEL MAZZA



    Pakistan is quietly making a mockery of recent diplomatic efforts to ease tensions with its arch rival, India. In response to New Delhi's contingency plans to retaliate with conventional arms following possible future terrorist attacks emanating from Pakistan, Islamabad is preparing to field tactical nuclear weapons. Over the long term, this makes a serious conflict with India more likely.

    Last week, Pakistan test-fired a new, short-range, surface-to-surface ballistic missile. A military press release announced that this Nasr missile "carries nuclear warheads" and that it is intended to enhance deterrence "at shorter ranges." When it is operational, the 60-kilometer-range missile will provide Islamabad with the capacity to field tactical nuclear weapons for use against enemy battle formations.

    Haris Kahn of the Pakistan Military Consortium, a U.S.-based think tank, explained to Defense News that the new missile "is a perfect answer to the Indian concept of Cold Start" and that "it establishes that tactical nuclear weapons will be deployed very close to its border with minimum reaction time to counter any armor or mechanized thrust by an enemy into its Pakistani territory."

    "Cold Start" is a still-notional Indian military doctrine that would allow for Indian forces to quickly respond with conventional means to a Pakistan-based terrorist attack in India. The plan calls for the quick mobilization of forces and a wide but shallow thrust across the Pakistani border. The idea is to avoid threatening Islamabad and risking escalation; instead, India would ransom the swath of occupied territory for a serious effort by Pakistan to deal with terrorists operating from within its borders. Though India may still be as far as a decade away from fully implementing the military reforms required for "Cold Start," Pakistan is clearly worried about the prospect. In February 2010, army chief General Ashfaq Kayani warned that it could lead to a "sudden spiral escalation."

    But Islamabad's decision to field tactical nuclear weapons is an irresponsible response to an as-yet unrealized limited conventional threat. Yes, it will make "Cold Start" a much more challenging proposition for India's military. Indeed, the doctrine might very well be dead on arrival—which is what Pakistan intends. Yet the unintended effect here is to make future violence on the subcontinent more likely. Islamabad will see little need to clamp down on terrorists operating from within its borders. India will then suffer from future attacks, leaving it anxious to retaliate one way or the other.

    New Delhi is not going to blithely accept a situation where its preferred military response to a terrorist attack is undermined. Since Islamabad seems intent on unleashing its nuclear weapons in response to even a limited Indian retaliatory offensive, India will have to prepare for the possibility of a nuclear exchange. One logical outcome will be for India to devote more generous resources to its future missile defense shield. Another will be for India to deploy its own tactical nuclear weapons. While the Indian Army's 150-kilometer-range Prithvi-I missile is not believed to have a nuclear role at present, it is nuclear-capable and could be tasked to that mission.

    Confident in its missile defenses, India will then be able to retaliate. But because tactical nuclear weapons, which are difficult to counter, will continue to negate the effectiveness of its ground forces—and thus the "Cold Start" option—India will likely need to rely on a wider air campaign aimed at bombing Pakistan into submission. Rather than a shallow incursion into its territory, Pakistan will be faced with air strikes against military targets (perhaps including infrastructure) throughout the country.

    Such a campaign will be less effective than "Cold Start"—air campaigns tend to accomplish little on their own—and more escalatory. Assuming the Indian air force achieves air dominance, Pakistan's military response options will be limited. If the campaign does not quickly achieve the desired result, India, too, will be tempted to at least threaten the use of strategic weapons, confident that its own cities will be effectively defended from nuclear retaliation. In short, nuclear escalation, which India had hoped to avoid with "Cold Start," suddenly becomes more plausible.

    Pakistan has every right to defend itself from a perceived threat of Indian aggression. But in this case, the proper defense does not require the Pakistani military to field new weapons and aim them at India. Only by cleaning up its own house—by denying terrorist groups a safe haven from which to operate—can Pakistan hope to ensure that the Indian military never puts "Cold Start" into action.

    Yet Islamabad appears to suffer from strategic myopia and shows little interest in taking such action. Given Pakistan's generally aggressive nuclear doctrine (especially compared to India, which pledges "no first use" of its nukes) perhaps it is not surprising that it will instead rely on tactical nuclear weapons to defend against Indian aggression. Ironically, rather than enhancing deterrence, this decision makes a future, costlier conflict much more likely.

    Viewed alongside reports this year that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is sharply rising, the decision to field tactical weapons can only lead to intensified Indo-Pakistani nuclear competition. This has, for one, implications for Sino-Indian nuclear rivalry as well as for other potential nuclear-aspirant countries in the region.

    But the larger victim here is peace between New Delhi and Islamabad. The bilateral relationship froze early last decade when both armies mobilized after fedayeen attacked India's Parliament in December 2001. It froze again following the Mumbai attack of November 2008 and the two sides have only recently agreed to resume peace talks. Yet Pakistan does not appear to take such talks seriously. Instead, its decision to deploy tactical nukes will take the subcontinent one step farther from stability.

    Mr. Mazza is a senior research associate in foreign and defense policy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704099704576288763180683774.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
     
  6. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    It seems that PA is realizing through there exercises, that they will not be able to stop IA, there saber rattling with nasr is increasingly making them laughing stock.

    So now curse the "cold start". It seems, they have surrendered to the fact, and trying to gather others to save there sorry a$$
     
  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Like I said in the Nasr thread, Nasr is a bluff and so is the threat of Pak nukes. Its not going to stop india from implementing cold start. The only thing that will stop india from doing so is not decision makers in Rawalpindi and their nuke threat but Indias own decision makers in delhi.
     
  8. BangersAndMash

    BangersAndMash Regular Member

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    The disturbing part is, all over the internet, Pakistanis are saying things like, Pakistan doesn't care, we are suicidal, we have nothing to lose, if we go down, we will make sure India goes down with us, etc, etc. They are saying these things as if it is normal!

    Pakistan is the most irresponsible country in the world. No other nuke power boasts about their WMDs like they do. They openly talk about nuking India, no other nuke power does this! They take so much pride in their nukes, but not in normal things like a university in the top ten in Asia or a made in Pakistan car!

    Regarding CSD, many articles have surfaced recently, it is getting too much attention IMO. No doubt Indian Military has other plans in place, CSD is not the only option!
     
  9. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    This is what happens when religious wackos get a hold of apocalyptic weaponry.
     
  10. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    I don't know about its real effectiveness, but looking at the way Pakistanis are reacting, I get the feeling that cold start is probably the best thing that happened to Indian Armed Forces. Just by keeping our forces in peacetime positions, we still manage to scare the hell out of the Pakistanis. And because of this, they may never have enough forces in the east of the country, to face the real and growing threat from the Taliban.
     
  11. vinay535

    vinay535 Regular Member

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    I agree India has no ''first use policy''and ***** are itching to use it . my ques is what if we go for pre emptive strike using tactical N weapons ? i dont care what the world will think of us but my priority is to save my jawans fighting at borders.
     
  12. BangersAndMash

    BangersAndMash Regular Member

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    The problem with that is, it will give Pakistan a excuse to launch nuke missiles at all kinds of targets in India!!!
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    You have zilch idea about nuke warfare. Read up on a host of discussions we have here on nukes.
    Pre emptive tactical nuke strike. Nice joke.
     
  14. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I don't think India should be the first one to use nukes on Pakistan, especially a pre-emptive one.

    Yes, we could definitely use thermobaric weapons to disable their nuclear infrastructure. We could develop and deploy bombs with extremely high yield but not nuclear material and thus zero radiation because there can be no bigger mistake than being the first one to use nukes. It is simply dastardly to curse a series of generations with mutilation of body parts, cancer and genetic disorder.
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    If a tac nuke is used by the IA, the whole concept of the Cold Start is over!
     
  16. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Sir. I guess you may have read some of OOE's posts in DFI. He particular believes the Nuclear Option in the subcontinent isn't what it is assumed to be. Neither country can destroy "everything."

    Also he was of the opinion that tactical conventional weapons have reached a point where objectives can be achieved more readily compared to nukes. Blowing up a city's water and electricity supply from the air can have an equivalent effect as multiple 20KT nuke attacks on the city.

    Whatever the Pakistanis can throw at us in a tactical level cannot be compared to our conventional weapons superiority. Also their ability to rain down tactical nuclear weapons does not mean we have to stoop to their level when the effect is greater with conventional weapons.

    The onus is on us to retaliate and we may not have to. Also how much pressure do you think Pakistan will face if they use TNWs while we never do?

    They have very little second strike capability. If we escalate using our strategic weapons what little weapons they will have left after our first strike will or may be eaten by our ABM system.

    They are at a disadvantage in both parameters.

    Note a 1KT Nukkad will only be able to level a tiny area with a crater of probably 30x30m dimensions(maybe lesser) and a radiation cloud measuring, maybe, 1KM in diameter. They will be going the Plutonium route of course.
     
  17. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I know it is not your opinion. I'd like to critique some of the other gentleman's opinions that you have reiterated.

    Not many people will make such a claim. When you bomb with conventional weapons, you kill then and there; when you use nukes, you kill for the following several decades. Effect of a conventional bomb and a nuke can never be the same. Naïve argument, to put it mildly.

    The other effect is psychological.

    Agree with first part. The second part implies, at least to my mind, that we deserve to be bombed and I disagree. We stoop down to a low level when we are first ones to use it. When we retaliate, even if we give them back 10x more nukes, we still retain the high moral ground.

    I'll offer my two cents, and they may not be the best options:
    • If it is pre-emptive, use a non-radioactive bomb like the one here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hafVxEgfx4E).
    • If it is retaliatory, use as many nukes it takes to bomb them back to a couple of centuries before the most rudimentary form of the Indus Valley Civilisation emerged.

    The second option is still risky, because dust particles and clouds would rain down on Rajasthan, Punjab, J&K, Haryana and practically much of North India. We need to have a good supply of doctors proficient in treating cancer. Sad, but true.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  18. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Much as the western world wod lead us to believe that the subcontinent is a nuclear flashpoint, I don't believe so.

    P2P OoEs contention of attacking water and sewer system is with the use of nukes in second strike. He will tell you that megaton nukes are not required when a 20kt bomb on water and sewer system would kill as much.

    Pakistan is only bluffing the world by rest of systems like Nasr. The yield of it's nukes is 10-15kt unless they have been able to get better design after their test which would mean more Chinese proliferation. 10-15kt nukes are te kinds the west had in tactical role but for pak, it's in a strategic role to hit delhi and mumbai. Same with India, all our nukes are in strategic realm and ditto with china.
    It's a mind game that Pakistan is playing and we have to understand that very clearly. Conventional weapons on the battlefield will yield better results than nukes esp when we share a common border and radioactive fallout will effect us as well. All the talk by many indian netizens of nuking Pakistan to stone age is plain fanboy stuff. We son have the arsenal for that. At best we finish off their major cities and in turn suffer from radioactive fallout. Tough call for india when comes to nuking pak.
     
  19. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Not entirely true. Affected areas can have martial law imposed. Pop growth in such scenarios can be contained, though it will go against basic human rights.

    As a country we are not equipped to deal with a nuclear war on our cities. I doubt there is any country in the world that can truly handle multiple attacks on cities. But our military is equipped to take care of itself. Remember we are only talking about an attack at or near FEBA or FLOT.

    War is terrible and the Nuclear age has only ensured that war even spreads to cities that are well behind enemy lines. What may affect border cities like Lahore can also affect Bangalore.

    If we can respond to their tactical nuclear weapons with conventional weapons then we really don't have to go strategic, with all guns blazing, on them.
     
  20. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    That is exactly the point.

    Say we use nukes, a few kilometres inside Pakistani territory or they use nukes a few kilometres inside Indian territory - the effect will be more or less the same when it comes to radioactive fallout.

    Now, the bone of contention, as you have reiterated the argument of the other gentleman, 'Blowing up a city's water and electricity supply from the air can have an equivalent effect as multiple 20KT nuke attacks on the city.' is what I do not find much sense in.

    That is the reason why I would advocate using conventional bombs of very high calibre instead of nukes on Pakistani cities, because I do not buy the argument that multiple 20KT nukes will have the same effect as air raids on water and electric supplies. Note, a hypothetical nuke attack on Pakistan affects not only the enemy (Pakistan) but threatens our own territories and citizens. It's not as simple as US nuking Japan that lies on the other end of the Pacific Ocean.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011

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