Poor intelligence, inept generals expose India’s military mess

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by TrueSpirit, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    by Praveen Swami Oct 21, 2013

    Now, we know: on 20 September, just days before Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif were to meet in New York, Inter-Services Intelligence Brigadier Javed Husain Shah summoned the top jihadi leadership to a secret conclave at the Laswa mosque in Lahore. He warned them against staging any attacks—”no, repeat no”—ahead of the meeting. Furious terrorist leaders, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and the Jaish-e-Muhammad’s Abdul Razak, went behind the ISI’s back. Late that evening, they agreed to despatch seventeen fidayeen across the border, to hit churches, schools and army camps. Its a stunning éxposé of just how the lethal fidayeen attack on Samba took place: no wonder the leaked findings of India’s famously-oxymornic Military Intelligence service has been running on television all day.

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    Except, ahem: There is no Laswa Masjid in Lahore, at least none that four journalists Firstpost checked with had heard of. Stranger still, a whole bunch of people who met in this non-existent mosque don’t exist either. There’s a bunch of grunts in the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen who’ve used the name Badshah Khan, but none of the organisation’s top commanders employ that alias. Muhammad Yusuf Shah, the chief, uses the pseudonym ‘Syed Salahuddin’. His deputy Ghulam Rasool Khan—whose son, apropos of nothing, is a manpower contractor for the army’s 3 Rashtriya Rifles regiment—calls himself ‘Amir’. Number 3 Nasir Ahmad Lone uses the alias ‘Shabbir Illahi’. Chande Khan, the Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen leader referred to, doesn’t figure in a single open-source account of the organisation—and the feared terrorist group hasn’t, by authoritative accounts, staged a single attack since 2001. ‘Ah Marvat Zari’, an “advisor” referred to the document, is just as mysterious; the best anyone knows, the United Jihad Council doesn’t have management consultants. Its even odder that this meeting took place on September 20, as the Military Intelligence report claims. Manmohan Singh only announced his plans to meet with Nawaz Sharif on September 25—so this would mean a mid—ranking ISI official had a week’s advance notice of the plans of India’s Prime Minister. The text ‘C3′ at the bottom of the document gives some of the tale away. In the grading system used at the Intelligence Bureau-run Multi Agency Centre, or MAC, the central clearing house for the intelligence services, this means the source who came up with the tale wasn’t high up in the credibility stakes. Yep, the ace spies took a tale from a petty informant—and then linked up the cool-aid for public consumption. Ill-informed television hacks lapped up the lassi, as Delhi boys would put it. THE IMPORTANT take-away here, though, isn’t that its easy to make monkeys of journalists, which it undoubtedly is. The document itself is genuine, so you can’t blame reporters for carrying it. It was, highly-placed government sources told Firstpost, prepared by the Military Intelligence directorate for a meeting of MAC, and then recirculated on 9 October. It is identical, in its structure, to a MAC document, except in the identification tag. Firstpost is withholding the correct format of MAC identification tags, for obvious reasons. It boggles the imagination, though, that the army would actually want to leak this awful demonstration of the complete incompetence of its intelligence corps, rather than be yelling out the clearly ill-trained and incompetent junior officer for being suckered by an informant. For what its worth, my guess is that the gentlemen concerned—who journalistic convention regrettably forbids me from naming—thought the leak would deflect attention from another ongoing embarassment. This morning, newspapers carried fresh revelations on the army’s Keran fiasco—even failing to retrieve lost observation posts while announcing to the media that that it had wound-up operations. The story, broken by Firstpost, came at the end of a series of incidents that suggested thoroughgoing command incompetence, ranging from attacks on troops in Srinagar which went on for an hour before anyone responded, to beheadings of sleeping soldiers on the Line of Control, and of course the ease with which terrorists hit Samba. Its also possible the leak was meant to let the political executive off the hook for its continued engagement with Pakistan: after all, the Military Intelligence document says the ISI tried to restrain jihadists from carrying out the attack, but couldn’t. Either way, its a disgrace. It isn’t the only one in recent years. IN ANY OTHER country, generals would have been sacked for errors and outright fabrications that cost the lives of soldiers in Kargil—allegations upheld by the highest military tribunal of our land. In any other country, heads would have rolled when top brass peddled vastly exaggerated claims of the killings of terrorists in Poonch, in a bit to win honours. In any other country, there would have been a serious reckoning of the command failures that allowed an army unit in Saichen to fake operations, using a hand-held camera and, incredibly, ketchup. For two decades now, we’ve done nothing—allowing politicians to pass off the veneration of corrupt and incompetent top brass as respect for the army. In return for this relic-worship, the generals have played along with the politicians, rarely speaking the truth about the disturbing state of our national security apparatus. Kargil was one big warning about what happens when we embrace a culture of lies and mediocrity. It was preceded by plenty of smaller ones. We can only hope Shalabhatta and Samba aren’t more little warnings, ahead of an unpleasant awakening—and that’s why its important that the media calls out lies for what they are.


    Poor intelligence, inept generals expose India’s military mess | Firstpost
     
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  3. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    BSF jawan killed as Pak rangers fire at almost 50 locations in Jammu

    One Indian paramilitary trooper belonging to the Border Security Force was killed and three others injured in firing by Pakistan Rangers that is being described by security forces as the most extensive ceasefire violation in one night in the past two decades. There was firing at approximately 50 locations along the International Border in Jammu on Tuesday night, starting at 8:30 pm and continuing till midnight.

    “Approximately 50 locations were fired upon by the Pakistani Rangers in RS Pura sector,” Vinod Yadav, Public Relations Officer for the BSF based in Jammu, told Firstpost on the phone. Though there have been several more brutal skirmishes since 2008, Tuesday night’s violence was spread across more locations than experienced in many years. M L Meena, a jawan with the 193 Battalion from Rajasthan, was killed at the border outpost at Chinag around 10 pm. The spokesperson said that the BSF troopers came under heavy shilling by the Pakistani side in RS Pura sector of Jammu district. Sources said an 82-mm mortar shell hit one of the bunkers where the slain jawan was on duty resulting in his death on the spot. Later, the BSF retaliated with heavy firing across the RS Pura sector. The intermittent exchange of fire continued at many places on Wednesday morning too. The BSF has strongly retaliated to Pakistan firing and heavy shelling, the PRO said. Baghat Ram, 65, head of the Arenia village, told Firstpost on the phone that the villages of Arenia and Ramgarh “are wearing a deserted look as almost every resident of these villages has migrated” to the adjoining areas. He added that it was one of the worst ever incidents of firing he had ever heard in decades. The injured BSF soldiers have been identified as Surinder Kumar, Pradeep and Ashok Kumar. One civilian villager also sustained minor injuries in his legs. The BSF is conducting a wreath-laying ceremony for Jawan ML Meena in the BSF headquarters in Jammu at 11:30 am on Wednesday.

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    RIP Sir.
     

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