Military to expand strategic footprint, Rejig to guard India interests

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Galaxy, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    Military to expand strategic footprint Rejig to guard India interests

    New Delhi, Oct. 3

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    India’s armed forces are re-orienting their strategic reach from the ability to land in, take off from and deploy in countries around the Indian Ocean rim to “wherever India’s interests lie”.


    “I expect that at least by 2022, we are capable of taking care of India’s interests not only at home, but also abroad,” Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne said today, setting a 10-year time frame.

    “So far, our interest was defined from the Gulf of Aden (in the west) to the Straits of Malacca (in the east) but, as experience in Libya and other countries have taught us, we have to be able to reach wherever we have our interests,” he said.

    Reflecting the dichotomy in India’s economic growth story, the military is swinging between the aspirational and the actual: its strategic global “vision” contrasts sharply with its “tactical” domestic and frontier compulsions.

    Despite that, the re-orientation of strategic perspective that the air chief disclosed today means the military “perspective plans” that are now being drawn up will focus on acquiring assets that can cover longer distances faster — such as the C17 Globemaster III heavy-lift aircraft — and deployable hardware.

    The Indian Air Force maintains a low-profile presence in just one foreign base — at Farkhor/Ayni in Tajikistan where Indian military engineers have relaid a runway and built hangars — but the security establishment does not make that public.

    But India’s military is not preparing to “fight other people’s wars”, the air chief marshal said. “There is a big difference between expanding ‘strategic reach’ and being ‘expeditionary’,” Air Chief Marshal Browne said.

    The militaries of western developed countries, such as the US and the UK, are “expeditionary”, meaning that they engage in conflicts thousands of kilometres from their own territories. India’s focus will remain on airlifting, search and rescue and missions guarding Indian business assets overseas.

    “First, obviously we have to see our security interest… that is defending the air space within our country, and thereafter look at where are our strategic interests lie. Earlier, we have been talking of our strategic interests starting from the Gulf of Aden to the Malacca Straits. But as the global footprint of India increases, certainly the IAF will be called upon to serve India’s interests based on our capabilities,” Browne said.

    The modernisation plans will have to be tailored keeping in mind that “the strategic interests of the country will be serviced by the IAF irrespective of place, location and time, and we must achieve that capability”, he said.

    The re-orientation of the Indian military’s strategic vision, policy-makers believe, is in keeping with the growth of Indian business interests and the presence of Indians in conflict-ridden countries. For example, Indian companies are prospecting for oil in the South China Sea, in collaboration with Vietnam, and around Sakhalin in Russia’s Pacific Coast.

    But India’s security commitments at home demand a balance in acquisitions that the military is finding difficult to achieve. “This is something that will happen over the years and will be based on capabilities,” Air Chief Marshal Browne said, when asked if the new “strategic vision” was aspirational or whether the armed forces were actually working to a plan.

    “It is clear that we have to be able to cover the distances in conjunction with, for example, the navy, as we did in Libya,” Browne said.

    Among the domestic security demands that the military is currently trying to meet are mountain radars for the frontier with China, where air intrusions were reported as late as July. Browne said the IAF was currently dependent on the Indo Tibetan Border Police, a paramilitary force, to report such intrusions. The deployment of mountain radars would send out alerts in real time.

    The Union home ministry, too, was likely to add to the list of multi-utility Mi-17 V5 helicopters that the IAF is now engaged in procuring. The IAF contracted 80 of the helicopters in 2008. It also told the home ministry that its resources were too stretched to deploy the number of helicopters it has asked for counter-Maoist operations. But this month the IAF has deployed two helicopters in Ranchi in addition to four in Jagdalpur and Raipur (Chhattisgarh).

    Browne said the new helicopters were joining the fleet from this month and he expected to get 26 by March 2012.

    The first squadron of the new Mi-17 V5s will be deployed at Bagdogra in north Bengal

    Military to expand strategic footprint Rejig to guard India interests
     
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  3. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why is Chief trying to pull a fast one on us? What is the difference between Strategic Reach and Expeditionary Force; how are you going to attain strategic reach and without being able to force our will where and when necessary. Where is Afghanistan and Central Asian Countries in our Strategic Reach paradigm?

    Daal me kuch Kaala hai? This kind of scared and half baked ideas are synonymous with Indians, such as limiting Agni range to 5000. We should be able to launch nukes deep in the Indian Ocean and reach the farthest corner of China.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
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  4. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    I wonder, why this topic is not being touched by fellow forumites, this is for the first time such a information is being send out to the general public by our military planners
     
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    It's not the first time we have word such noises. Even an erstwhile air force chief said something like this. Don't remember who. Same with Navy too.

    I think we are moving in the direction of having an expeditionary force in the future. The talks of a "marines" unit, acquisition of LPDs, carriers etc will go a long way in doing that.
     
  6. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    *fixed*

    none should be safe from us.
     
  7. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yusuf,

    You have a diagramtic representation of what we want to achieve in the 'MEDIUM' term, and spelled out very clearly by Air Chief. I am questioning, why arent we spelling out Afghanistan is our Strategic priority, is it USA and Pakistan, why arent we saying Central Asian (especially Mongolia) countries are our priority - is it China and Russia?

    It seems as usual we are scared to spell out our strategy, just like the Agni range issue, we are scared to take up our role. So what if our interest and military doctrine overlap with friends and foe's alike? What are they going to do?
     
  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Adu, we don't have a strategy I think. Like i said in another thread I don't know we have ever had a govt call upon think tanks to brainstorm and come up with a strategy and make that a policy. We need to now at least as the US withdrawal starts.

    Like I say, foreign policy has never been our forte except for one or two events.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    India has a long long long way to even think of expeditionary force.

    One has to just observe the US set up to realise what a huge triservices coordinated infrastructure is required. A study of the Gulf Wars and the infrastructure, the mobilisation and the issue will reveal that even the US was bobbing in murky waters and many issue were uncharted.

    What basically is meant is that India is merely gearing up to protect its island territories and be able to come to assistance of nations, as a part of an international effort, because of an enhance strategic airlift capability.

    The Afghanistan military and strategic pact that was signed just the other day is what should give a fair indication of the intent.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  10. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    There is no way India can protect Afghanistan anywhere pre-2020, nor should it. We should be dumping weapons on them, like crack to an addict.
     
  11. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    What is Strategic Reach without the capacity to enforce it?
     
  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Capacity has to build and it's also a continuous process.

    I don't agree with you Afghan statement about not being capable till 2020. We can leverage our relations with Iran and have a supply route from there to reinforce troops should we decide to put boots on the ground.

    And if we can't do that if the need arises at a desperate level, then we are doomed. We can't wait till 2020 and let the Pakis rule over there.
     
  13. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    what r u talking

    do you really think i have time to think for nation security

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  14. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Air Boss says Strategic reach is not Expeditionary Force.

    Why would Iran want to be in the nuclear crosshairs of Pakistan without any direct benefit to them?

    I think we should dumping weapons into Afghan Army and rebuilding their organizational structure in war time basis.
     
  15. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Yes reach is not equal to expeditionary capacity. But then we are not starting a war off shores. The war is over (American), we want to keep peace.

    Why will Iran be in the crosshairs of Pak when india is sending a force into Astan to help Afghans? It's paki problem if they feel threatened by Indian presence in Astan but Iran cannot be held accountable for that.

    Dumping weapons into Astan will anyways require a supply line. Again Iran is the route.
     

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