India's Future Military Scenarios

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by civfanatic, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

    Sep 8, 2009
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    The following is a compilation of different military scenarios that India might face in the next 10-15 years. We are living in very interesting times, and we can never be sure of what challenge the Indian Armed Forces will be facing next. I don't claim to be an expert of any sort on this subject, and these scenarios reflect my opinions and knowledge only. Feel free to comment and add new info/scenarios.

    Scenario #1: Cold Start After a Hot Day

    Probability: Likely

    Description: Due to the chaotic political situation in Pakistan and the increasing radicalisation of the civilian population, terrorist outfits in Pakistan spread like wildfire. In a follow-up of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, another large-scale terrorist attack is launched on a major Indian city, resulting in hundreds of deaths. The attacks are traced back to Pakistan, and, facing enormous public pressure, the GoI authorizes surgical strikes on Pakistani terror camps. Expecting a military response from the Pakistani Armed Forces, the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force launch their first preemptive strike in history. Utilizing the "Cold Start" doctrine, the Indian Army's Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) launch bitzkrieg-style incursions into Pakistani territory, especially in the Rajasthan-Sindh area, while large numbers of Indian troops are airdropped behind enemy lines, cutting off Pakistani lines of communication and paralyzing their command structure. The Indian Army's advances are facilitated by the IAF's establishment of air superiority over the battlespace, and the Indian Navy's blockade of Karachi. At the end of 48-72 hours of conflict, the IAF has eliminated most Pakistani terror camps, and the Indian Army has advanced about 50 miles into Pakistani territory. The captured land is used as a negotiating tool to bring an end to the conflict, with terms of peace heavily favoring India.

    Notes: The danger of this scenario is in the possibility of India's Cold Start escalating into a "hot" nuclear war. To prevent this, the Indian Army will likely avoid fighting in sensitive areas like Kashmir, and will not attack targets vital to Pakistan's existence as a state (like the Islamabad Capital Territory or the Grand Trunk Road). Most of the fighting will probably take place in the Rajasthan-Sindh desert, where the wide open plains favor the mechanized tactics practiced by the IBGs.

    Preparedness: India has conducted several exercises since 2006 that have effectively demonstrated the ability of the Indian Army and Air Force to conduct a Cold Start operation. I believe that we are ready for Cold Start even today, if need be. The three keys for a successful Cold Start are: a large fleet of transport aircraft, a large mechanized and armored force for making quick and powerful thrusts, and an air force that can establish air superiority and effectively coordinate ground-support missions with the Army. India has already met all three of these criteria, and our capability to launch a successful Cold Start will only grow in the future.

    Scenario #2: Kargil v2.0:

    Probability: Somewhat Likely

    Description: With the backing of the ISI and Pakistani Army, self-styled "freedom fighters" infiltrate Kashmir in an attempt break Indian control of the region. The infiltrators will likely occupy strategic points in Kashmir, and will attempt to communicate with Kashmiri "separatist" groups to forment a greater rebellion against Indian rule.

    Preparedness: This approach has already been tried before several times by Pakistan, including during Operation Gibraltar in 1965 and the Kargil War in 1999. In both occasions, the local Kashmiris cooperated with the Indian forces instead of the Pak intruders. The experience of Kargil is still fresh in the minds of the Indian Armed Forces, and I am sure that we are even more prepared now for another Kargil-style war than in 1999.

    Scenario #3: A Second Sino-Indian War:

    Probability: Unlikely

    Description: Faced with a lack of international support over its illegitimate claims to Arunachal Pradesh, and increasing Indian assertiveness over the matter, China launches a limited offensive against India. The objectives are to capture and hold onto most of Arunachal Pradesh, which China considers to be part of "South Tibet. Of particular interest is the culturally important Tawang Valley, which has historically had a very strong Tibetan presence, and is the birthplace of the Dalai Lama; China hopes that these territorial gains will please Tibetans and increase the popularity of the CCP among them. Like the 1962 war, it is also likely that the war will escalate into multiple fronts once started, including Ladakh and Sikkim. The Indian Navy might also get involved by intercepting Chinese shipping in the Indian Ocean, though this might also escalate the conflict into uncomfortable levels.

    Notes: It is not in China's interest to wage war against India, especially considering the very marginal gains in case of victory. China's territorial claims are used more as a negotiating tool than an actual casus belli. Starting an unprovoked war where it will likely be seen as an aggressor would also be detrimental to China's international reputation. For all these reasons, and more, the chances of a future Sino-Indian conflict are quite slim.

    Preparedness: Although a future war against China is unlikely, the Indian Armed Forces would still do well to increase their preparedness in case the worst happens. The Indian Army needs to improve infrastructure in the Northeast, as well to induct heavy/medium-lift helicopters and M-777 artillery. The IAF already has two squadrons of Su-30s in the NE, but it wouldn't hurt to have more Akash SAMs and maybe LCA squadrons in the region. In terms of the navy, it needs more submarines to effectively intercept Chinese shipping in the IOR in case of war.

    Scenario #4: Doomsday in South Asia:

    Probability: Very Unlikely

    Description: The Taliban and other Islamist outfits have secured control over much of the Pakistani Armed Forces, and thus, the entire state of Pakistan falls into the hands of fundamentalists. Terrorist attacks against India reach an unprecedented high. In response, India launches surgical strikes against terrorist camps; this time, however, the Pakistani response is an immediate nuclear salvo against India. India responds likewise, and all hell breaks loose....

    Preparedness: It is difficult to be "prepared" for something as horrible as a nuclear war. India has started a good initiative through it PAD and AAD anti-ballistic missiles; however, neither of them are yet operational. India's nuclear triad is also not yet operational, with the Sagarika SLBM still under testing/development. It is of the utmost importance that India's missile defence shield and nuclear deterrent ready as soon as possible, especially since a local nuclear war can quickly escalate into a global one.

    Scenario #5: Unkil India to the Rescue

    Probability: Unlikely

    Description: In a situation similar to what the Maldives in 1988 and Sri Lanka in the 90s dealt with, unstable governments in South Asia face the threat of being overthrown in violent coups, revolutions, or secessionist movements; weak and desperate, they ask the biggest kid on the block (India) to help them out. The two South Asian countries that are the most unstable and the biggest candidates for political upheaval in the next 10-15 years, besides Pakistan, are IMO Burma and Nepal. India has great relations with both countries, and it is possible that either government might turn to India for assistance. Doing so would greatly increase our reputation and influence in the region.

    Preparedness: The Indian Armed Forces are definitely capable of projecting power among our immediate backyard, which we proved during Operation Cactus in 1988. However, whether or not our political leadership is prepared to use the Indian Army as a tool of diplomacy is a completely different question, and I am afraid the answer is no. However, this might change in the future (at least, I hope it does).
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  3. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

    Sep 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Indian Army 2020

    By Gen. S Padmanabhan
    Issue: Vol 20.4

    National security, is that ambience, in which a nation is able to protect and promote its national values, pursue its national interests and aspirations, in spite of, or, in the absence of, external or internal threats, real or perceived. Threats to national security may impact on any aspect of a nation’s life, ranging from its territorial integrity and internal cohesion to its economy, political structures and institutions, diplomacy, national leadership, national character, morale and so on. The armed forces of a nation have a vital role to play in meeting these threats.

    India’s National Interests
    India’s national interests, simply stated, are as follows :-

    •National sovereignty.
    •Unity and integrity of the country.
    •Democratic and secular polity.
    •Economic development.
    •Social and economic justice.
    •Favourable world order.
    •Preservation and promotion of our values.
    Our Strategic Vision
    Nations adopt a national strategy in order to attain their national interests or goals. Clarity of strategic vision is very important if the national strategy is to take the nation on an optimal course to its desired national objectives. Let us, briefly, examine our strategic vision.

    We are one of the oldest civilizations on Earth. Nearly, a sixth of the human race is Indian. Our country occupies a strategic location on the southern promontory of the Asian land mass and dominates large expanses of the Indian Ocean including the routes to the oil rich Gulf region, South East Asia and the Orient. These intrinsic attributes qualify, indeed demand, that India be a major player at the world stage.

    By tradition, India has been a peace-loving and responsible nation. It has abjured aggression, espoused the doctrine of ‘Ahimsa’ or non-violence, led the non-aligned group of nations and played a constructive role as a member of the United Nations. This tradition clearly suggests that India should aspire to become a benign and moral superpower, rather than one, whose brute strength or wealth alone, confer on it, its place under the sun. Any examination of our strategic environment must be carried out against the backdrop of our strategic vision and the long term plans and strategies needed to realise that vision. By such an examination, we shall be able to predict the strategic environment of the decades ahead, and arrive at the appropriate force structure and equipment profile for our Army of the future.

    The aim of this article is to visualise the likely national security environment in 2020 with special reference to the threats and challenges that may confront us at that time, and arrive at the most appropriate force structure and equipment profile for the Indian Army of 2020.

    While the focus in this article is on the Army, it must not be construed that the Army can fulfill its missions without the active partnership of the Navy and the Air Force. Joint, or preferably, integrated tri-service functioning in war and peace will be an essential pre-requisite for success in all our operations.

    With this background, let us examine the geo-strategic environment we might face in 2020.

    The Geo-Strategic Environment
    Two major events, roughly a decade apart, have played a major role in shaping the current geo-strategic environment. The first being the demise of the Soviet Union. It brought the Cold War to an end, and conferred on the USA, an unchallenged pre-eminence in the world as the sole superpower. The second was the ‘9-11 Event’ – the 11th September 2001 terrorist attacks on targets in Washington DC and New York. This impelled the USA to declare ‘War on Terrorism’, and attack Afghanistan and Iraq with a ‘coalition of like-minded countries’, with the purpose of ousting their regimes, which were sponsors of terrorist groups like Al Quaeda and were hostile to the USA. The USA believed that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

    The impact of these two events are now being clearly felt in international affairs and by all indications, appear to be long lasting. We need to take note of the following major ramifications, which are specially relevant to India :-

    •The USA has become hegemonic. Her style of diplomacy is increasingly becoming peremptory and coercive.
    •The UN has been sidelined by the USA, which, acts at will, ignoring the need for UN’s sanction.
    •The USA has adopted the doctrine of ‘Preemptive Military Intervention’. In consonance with this doctrine – threats, whether real and present or, perceived, are not allowed to mature, by use of military force.
    •The USA has drawn a list of countries, which are ‘of concern’ to it. Of these, it has dealt with Afghanistan and Iraq. North Korea and Iran await similar treatment by the superpower. Recently, India has voted in favour of a USA backed resolution against Iran possibly to secure military materials, nuclear technology and fuel for civilian purposes. If India resiles from her pro-USA stance in the late November 2005 voting, the USA may deny its expectations. This would amount to dictating India’s foreign policy.
    •China is neither amenable to coercion nor susceptible to being ‘contained’. Besides, because North Korea is a protégé of China, the latter has a major role in USA’s dealings with that country. The USA has also economically engaged China, as it provides a large market for US manufactured goods. The USA believes too, that as the USA-China trade gets increasingly intertwined, the likelihood of an armed conflict between the two will correspondingly reduce.
    •The European Union, despite reservations on the part of some constituents, is for purposes of realpolitik pro-USA.
    •Russia, because of her present economic debility, is supporting the USA or, at least, not opposing her. It may become more independent in its attitude as its economy recovers, a process that has already begun.
    •Pakistan is a ‘major non-NATO ally’ of the USA and also its frontline state for the ‘War on Terrorism’. The US has troops and aircraft on Pakistan’s soil. It has been permitted to set up bases in return for huge subventions and to bail out Pakistan from the brink of a near-collapse economic situation. In effect, Pakistan has become a client state of the USA with a less than independent foreign policy.
    •Terrorism, religious fundamentalism, nuclear and missile technology proliferation are pressing concerns for the US. It believes that these could ultimately pose danger to its ‘homeland’, something about which the USA is hypersensitive, or, even paranoid.
    •These are some of the ramifications of the two events i.e. the Soviet collapse and the 9/11 event, which shall continue to influence international relations in the next two decades or more. However, by 2020, some changes would have taken place with regard to the circumstances of the world’s principal nations. These are enumerated below :-
    •The USA will continue to be the preeminent power. Nevertheless, her ‘edge’ over China would have reduced to a small margin.
    •China would be increasingly inclined to join issue with the USA, taking into account its envisaged near-superpower status. However, she would not risk her new found prosperity by being over-assertive with the USA and thus risk war.
    •India would have caught up with China and achieved parity with China in many areas, but not military.
    •Pakistan will continue to be the USA’s client state, and in case the latter so presses, she may even enter into a comprehensive peace agreement with India. Otherwise, Pakistan would prefer to keep tensions alive with India in order to extract concessions and benefits from both China and the USA who will want an economically resurgent India to be reined in.
    •The USA’s ‘War on Terrorism’ may prove to be endless as, though the enemy has been rightly identified, the means being applied are all wrong, indeed, self-defeating.
    •Radical religion will pose problems for the entire world as such. As radicalism flourishes in less developed countries, by 2020, there would also be a large number of very poor countries with radicalism well entrenched.
    After this brief estimate of the geo-strategic environment in, 2020, let us turn to India’s internal security environment.

    India’s Internal Security Environment, 2020
    India is a rapidly developing country with a GDP growth of seven percent. It has a huge reserve of technical manpower and strong liberal political culture, a youthful population more than half of which will be below 30 years of age in 2020. It also has strong and apolitical armed forces. Our present concerns, which may persist in future are as under:-

    •The present rate of population growth is 1.6 percent. It is imperative to bring it down to one percent by 2020-2025.
    •The political culture in the country has deteriorated over the years. Communalism, sectarianism, regional parochialism, and sub-nationalism are on the rise. There is growing criminalisation of politics and a culture of ‘vote banks’ has taken root. Politicisation of the bureaucracy and the police, is well-established. The Armed Forces have, so far, been able to remain insulated from politics. Unless these evils are overcome, in 2020, we may have a nation whose internal security environment will be extremely unhealthy.
    •Distributive justice with regard to sharing of revenues and the fruits of development is an imperative, if radical left movements, currently active in the country, are to be eliminated by 2015 or so.
    •The separatist movements in the North-East and J & K must be amicably resolved.
    •Black money and drug trafficking must be put to an end as they not only ruin the economy but also corrupt the youth.
    Attention to the above areas of concern will enable India to achieve desired internal security by 2020. Let us now identify the threats and challenges India is likely to face in 2020.

    Threats and Challenges to India : 2020
    Military Threats
    •India is not likely to face a military threat from the USA or China because of its strength, both military and economic.
    •A medium level military threat may arise from Pakistan if it fails to make adequate economic and political progress, or, its leadership passes to radical elements, or, the country as such, fails and lapses into a state of anarchy.
    •Bangladesh may pose a very low level threat if it decides to encourage demographic ‘aggression’ by using its over-sized armed forces in support.
    •Threats of non-state groups armed with WMD could become a reality. They could be acting on their own initiative or, at the behest of a sponsor nation. This dimension of WMD would warrant war-like response from us.
    Challenges. Apart from military threats, a number of non-military challenges may have to be faced by our Army in the 2020 time frame. These are as follows: -

    •Human resources of appropriate quality may get drawn to the more lucrative civilian sector. The terms and conditions of service and satisfaction levels of personnel, must be made more attractive. We should also enroll more short service personnel than regular cadres to reduce pension liabilities and for better career management of officers.
    •Funds allotted to the Armed Forces should be sustained at a level of three per cent of GDP for at least 12 to 15 years so as to ensure requisite modernisation and making good existing shortfalls.
    •Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) must be upgraded qualitatively and top quality scientists should be inducted into it. Rightfully, their expectations of pay and research facilities will be high. These must be met.
    •Private sector participation in defence R & D and development of complete systems by them, must be facilitated. Government should fund their defence research projects and give them guarantees of sizeable orders to encourage their partnership with the DRDO.
    •Scientific and technical manpower will be eagerly sought by other countries. To overcome this ‘brain-drain’, we should improve the working conditions and research facilities in our country.
    •The IT driven revolution in military affairs requires that the Army ‘manages’ these changes in a systematic and smooth manner. We need to create an integrated force working in an ‘unified battle space’; seamless communications; extensive exploitation of IT with excellent ‘cyber security’; top quality space based and terrestrial surveillance systems and fully operationalised C4I2 systems. This convergence of various technologies and capabilities will bestow the forces with much enhanced force-multiplier benefits through Network Centric Warfare (NCW). We have a long way to go in this regard.
    •Internal contingencies of various types could retard or block the Army’s effort to achieve optimal development in the next 15 years. We need to be prepared with suitable contingency plans to overcome these ‘drag’ factors.
    Extreme Contingencies. In the unlikely event of our prognosis being grossly in error, the following extreme contingencies could occur :-

    •The USA, in a bid to prevent China from superseding her as the superpower, provokes China to a war with possible use of nuclear weapons.
    •China, in frustration with the US-India Axis and to teach India a lesson, may declare war on us.
    •Pakistan may join China in the war against India, or, allow to be used as a proxy to support China in a ‘holding’ mode.
    Nature of Warfare in 2020
    We have already seen that war with the USA and China (and, indeed, other advanced countries) is most unlikely. War with Pakistan may however occur, as also minor skirmishes with Bangladesh. Such engagements may have the following characteristics :-

    •They will be of short duration, say, a week or less.
    •Penetration in depth is unlikely to be attempted by either side.
    •‘Cold Start’ will be attempted whenever possible to achieve surprise and maximise gains.
    •The entire border is likely to be activated with shallow thrusts, very heavy firepower and short span manoeuvres.
    •Nuclear weapons may not be used; their use may, however, be threatened.
    •Special Forces and coup-de-main forces will play a major role.
    •Integrated action by all three services will be crucial for the enhancement of our combat power vis-à-vis the adversary’s.
    •Levels of technology employed in the wars will be higher than at present.
    •Wars will end in stalemate, with little or no gain, and heavy losses to military as well as civilian targets.
    •In the case of Bangladesh, the threat is of such a low level as to be non-serious. However in the skirmishing, the danger of casualties to unarmed civilians will be great and will need to be handled with firmness and imagination.
    Vision : Indian Army: 2020
    The foregoing threat assessment and the likely nature of any future war we may be required to fight, including the extreme contingencies we have listed, should give us the ‘Vision’ of the Indian Army, 2020. We may state this vision as follows: -

    “The Indian Army, 2020 will be an optimally equipped and weaponised force, with the capability to operate effectively in an integrated joint services environment, over the entire spectrum of conflict, in a regional context.”

    The vision statement spelt out above, is appropriate to the restrained aspirations of this huge and benign country, whose ethical values and traditions inhibit it from anything less modest than what has been stated. It also ensures that this country shall never again have to undergo the humiliation of foreign conquest, as in the past; hence the emphasis on optimal strength, under all conditions of warfare.

    Role of the Indian Army
    Armies are maintained by countries in order to safeguard their core values and national interests from external aggression and internal subversion. The Primary and Secondary roles of our Army are as under :-

    •Primary Role. Deter external aggression and, if deterrence fails, defeat it by force.
    •Secondary Role. Assist the Government in overcoming internal threats, foreign sponsored or indigenous, and aid the civil authority when requisitioned for the purpose.
    Capabilities Entailed by the Role
    The capabilities that the Army must posses to fulfill its role must be identified in accordance with our ‘Vision’ for the Army. The capabilities, thus identified are as under :-

    •Deterrent Capability. The Army should be so strong in both conventional and nuclear weapons, that potential aggressors are deterred.
    •War Fighting Capability. If deterrence fails, the Army should be able to fight a successful war against the enemy, over any terrain, and in conventional as well as NBC warfare situations.
    •Internal Security Management Capability. The Army should be able to deal with and manage internal security situations of various types like insurgency, grave law and order situations; and also render aid to civil power, when requisitioned under various situations including disasters, both natural and man-made.
    •Force Projection Capability. The Army should be capable of operating ‘out-of-area’ as part of an integrated task force, when ordered by the Government.
    •Peace Keeping Operations Capability. The Army should be able to undertake UN Peace Keeping Missions in any part of the world and inter-operate with Army components of other countries in such operations.
    Though we presently posses all these capabilities in some measure, the desired level is yet to be realised in many areas. Resource inadequacy, lack of clear policy directions from the Government, frequent ‘re-thinks’ on the part of the Army, failure of timely supplies of material and shoddy quality of what has been supplied, are some of the reasons attributable to the Army’s inability to achieve and retain the desired level of capability at all times. Perhaps, even more important reason, is the knowledge driven Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), which accelerates the process of obsolescence of equipment, doctrines and tactics. It is in this critical area of RMA that a lot of work needs to be done so that we can have adequate levels of the desired capabilities, at all times.

    Let us now examine whether the present structure of the Army needs to be altered to enable the Army to fulfill its assigned role better.

    Structure of the Army : 2020
    General. It is idle to claim that our organisations have ‘stood the test of time and war’ and, therefore, need not be tampered with. The nature of wars we are likely to face has changed. The battle zone is virtually transparent to surveillance devices. The range and lethality of weapons has increased many times over. Precision guided munitions have replaced the old area-neutralisation munitions. Means of mobility have increased. And the convergence of Information Technology, computers, all-weather sensors, communications and firepower resources has vested commanders at various levels, with unprecedented real-time knowledge of the situation as also the ability to alter it at will. These developments necessitates a review of our existing force structure.

    Macro-level Restructuring. The Army has always been regretting the blunting of the ‘Combat Edge’ it had over its traditional adversary. The calculation of force ratios between the adversaries was hitherto done on a service to service basis – our Army versus the opponent’s, our Navy and Air Force versus the opponent’s. This gave us a skewed idea of the capability of our armed forces as a whole vis-à-vis our adversary. Wars are not fought service wise. All the services have to join during combat. In such a milieu, the three services should be integrated into one strong unified force with – unity of command and control, total synergy in operations, and much superior and economical employment of the resources available to the armed forces.

    There is bound to be great opposition to this idea, just as in the case of formation of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) in 2001-2002. There is no escaping the military logic of creating suitably constituted integrated theatre commands and functional (non-territorial) commands for the Armed Forces as a whole. The benefits that will accrue are : cohesion among the services, synergy leading to maximisation of combat power, better exploitation of the RMA brought about by C4I2 enabling Network Centric Warfare (NCW), strategic and intra- theatre flexibility in handling of resources and, above all, classic unity of effort. No specific solutions are offered for the creation of such integrated theatre commands. If the idea suggested above raises discussion on this important issue, our aim would have been achieved. Hopefully, this idea too, is NOT put into cold storage like the creation of the post of Chief of the Defence Staff!

    Reorganising the Present Army for 2020. The resistance to change for macro level restructuring of India’s Armed Forces, is likely to be stiff. It may, therefore, not be achievable in the 5-10 years timeframe. However, within the existing organisation of the Army some meaningful reorganisation can be brought about. The following suggestions could be considered :-

    •Intelligence and surveillance organisations must be strengthened and modernised.
    •Additional Special Forces (SF), patterned broadly on the present organisation, need to be raised. These units should be capable of functioning in very small groups, for prolonged periods, within or beyond the combat zone. Their tasks could include covert special reconnaissance; target specific raids; unconventional operations to organise resistance groups and conduct guerilla warfare in enemy territory; penetration of terrorist organisations for intelligence purposes; and counter-terrorism in all its manifestations including WMD. The personnel must be endowed with very high level of practical intelligence, initiative, mission orientation and excellent linguistic competence appropriate to the area where they are to operate.
    •Special Rapid Action forces for offensive or reactive employment at the Corps level and an Army reserve with adequate airlift resources including for light tanks/ICVs, needs to be created.
    •Information Warfare Units need to be created at each Corps to carry out psychological operations.
    •An amphibious formation suitably grouped with other elements for out of area operations should be raised.
    •As the proxy war and insurgencies abate, the existing RR force may be scaled down suitably and kept as a reserve force for the same tasks as before.
    •Conventional forces, which are today considered to be ‘holding’ forces, should be enabled to take up ‘cold start’ offensives by grouping with them mechanised forces, airborne/ heliborne forces as the case may be. This will give the ‘strike’ forces a forward launch pad for their tasks.
    •Strategic forces need to be built up to ‘deterrent’ levels against a major power like China. The more forbidding the weapon the more likely it is to deter the enemy. The nuclear arsenal must, therefore, be enlarged and diversified to include thermo-nuclear weapons. To ensure guaranteed second strike capability, submarines capable of launching thermo-nuclear weapons must be available.
    •Air defence of the field force must be upgraded considerably.
    •Army logistics must be improved by equipping transport units with high mobility vehicles. Heavy lift helicopter units of the Air Force should be made available to them on a guaranteed basis for training and operations.
    •The survivability aspect of personnel needs to be addressed. The soldier must have lightweight personal protective clothing, excellent night vision device, light and accurate automatic weapon, ‘walkie-talkie’ type of radio communications and each section must have a portable anti-aircraft missile firing capability.

    We have suggested what could be done to better utilise the presently available forces to give us the desired capabilities. The question, whether the existing organisation of the field army into corps, division and brigades should be retained, or a more flexible organisation of ‘task forces’ directly controlled by a divisional or corps headquarters should be introduced, needs to be considered by the Army. The organisation so created should not only be tactically sound, it should also result in substantial savings in manpower for the Army. Overall, with a switch to the Task Force mode, significant savings of manpower can accrue even at present.

    Equipment Profile
    Mechanised Forces. T-90 tanks are likely to be the mainstay for the next two decades and after mid-life upgradation. The next generation of Infantry Combat Vehicles (ICV) should be in service by 2010 or so. Part of the ICVs should be wheeled. All mechanised forces should be NBC proof, better protected, and have greater speed and night fighting capability.
    Artillery. Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) with range in excess of 120 kilometers, SSMs of the Prithvi family with solid propellant, self-propelled guns (both tracked and wheeled) of the same calibre, some long range rifled mortars and a higher availability of precision guided munitions form the bulk of the Artillery ‘wish list’ for 2020. Better radio sets, better equipment (both radar and opto-electronic) for target acquisition and survey, upgraded computers for both gun and observer ends and advanced systems of fire direction and damage assessment are also needed. The use of remotely piloted aerial vehicles working in conjunction with long range MLRS will help shape the future battlefield in depths, hitherto not attained. It will also alter the battlefield into a non-linear one.

    Infantry. The Infantry needs to be upgraded to produce very high volumes of fire using a range of weapons. Surveillance by radars and other sensors will give the Infantry added ability to ‘kill’ enemy tanks and other hard targets. The next generation of ATGW should be in service by 2015, giving the Infantry greater lethality. With improved personal protective clothing, better night vision capability and the ability to shoot down attacking aircraft with section level anti aircraft guided missiles, the infantryman of Army 2020 will be a very formidable soldier indeed.

    Doctrinal Changes
    The following doctrinal changes/refinements are suggested for the Army in 2020: -

    •Through superlative preparedness deter any country from engaging us in war.
    •Every war in the future, must be fought in an integrated manner.
    •Every war must be won with the fewest casualties and cost to us.
    •Attack all the enemy’s vulnerabilities, all at one time if possible, and create an adverse impact on his will to fight.
    •Manoeuvre versus Attrition. Attrition involves heavy costs to the attacker, manoeuvre places the attackers at a relative advantage over the defender. Even in the mountains, it is only by manoeuvre that the formidable, fixed defences can be captured with the minimum cost to us. Aggressive use of airborne and heliborne/heli-landed troops in conjunction with unorthodox employment of tanks and ICVs after heavy bombardment, will enable manoeuvre in mountains.
    •Leadership. Despite the vast inventory of high-tech machines and instruments available to the Army and the better educated soldier of 2020, good leaders will always be prized.

    There is no mathematical exactness about when events will transpire and whether certain aspects we have assumed as being constant will actually be so or will alter radically, putting our prognosis into error. Notwithstanding this, a few points cannot be disputed. These are: India is progressing rapidly as an economic power; its natural endowments like strategic location, rich mineral resources and a large, industrious and hardy population, befit her for great power status. Its Army is large, disciplined, battle tested and renowned throughout the world for its professional quality. Such an army should be upgraded further in quality to serve India of 2020, in a befitting manner.
  4. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Aug 20, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    I would like to raise a counter to this comment. Burmese have extensive reliance on Chinese and very unlikely it would be that they ask us to step into any of their internal matter. Ruled by the military junta, it is almost impossible for rebels to operate anything within Burmese territory since the military controls every single line of communication and strategic industries like power, communication, mineral mining etc are all under government control. Ruled by junta, Burmese government is obsessed with militarization and hence any attempts to conduct any sort of terrorism or attempt to topple the junta will be met with inhuman brute force from Burmese Army. @ $7.8 billion per year, Burmese have slightly more defence budget than even Pakistan and hence taking this figure into note, I think they're strong enough to strike a death blow to their internal opponents.

    Now coming to Nepal. Considering the ice-cold ties between us and Nepal's Communist government, this again seems unlikely. As such the Nepali people are disenchanted with anything that our useless GOI does since our government's manhandling of matter is what cause Nepal to almost become a warzone during transition from Royalty to Democracy. This cost us the warmth of Nepalese people at nation-to-nation level. Now since we have a Red government in Kathmandu, they are more comfortable with toeing Chinese whims since China enables to keep the Godless Communists in power against the extremely religious and conservative general population. An example of this is the crackdown against innocent Tibetan refugees by Communist Nepali government troops and special police, and the immediate signing of Kathmandu-Lhasa railway link agreement while a similar strategic setup between India and Nepal awaits clearance at CPN's desks.

    So both Burma and Nepal, unless Nepal gets a right wing government or a centrist government than the current Reds before something like this happens which is more friendly to our GOI, there's very slim chance that either of these countries will ask for help.

    On the other hand, the possibility of countries like Bhutan, Maldives and even Seychelles, Mauritius and Bangladesh (till Awami League is present) is more likely. Bhutan has a constitutional monarchy that is fresh from the days of absolute royalty that means despite overwhelming majority respecting the Royals, due to the country's limited resources, exposure, clout and small defenses, there's a strong chance that terrorists from our eastern regions will try to form webs of network and communication to continue their work against India and possibly attempt to sabotage the small government of Bhutan. There's already a joint-operation been conducted by Royal Bhutan Army and Indian Army (called Operation: All Clear) against Isaak Muivah (Naga Christian terrorists), ULFA, NLFB (Bodo terrorists) and KLF in which 12 RBA soldiers were gravely injured, 3 IA soldiers sustained injuries and about 600 terrorists were killed. This was kept hush-hush until last year's official release of the operation 2 years ago.

    Maldives as you know already has a history. With it being under our protectorate status, Maldives' defense is our responsibility. Mauritius has people of Indian origin in overwhelming majority that maintain cultural and religious ties to our country still and also have extensive cooperation in multiple fields. With our growing capabilities, even Seychelles has taken note and has a possibility of request of help.

    Bangladesh under Awami League has been a decent friend of India as it helped extradite many ULFA terrorists from its base and eliminated several others. So as long as BNP-Jamaati Taliban-loving radicals don't come into power, we've a strong chance of cooperating with Bangladeshis in case something goes wrong.
  5. vikramrana_1812

    vikramrana_1812 Regular Member

    Aug 21, 2009
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    NEW DELHI: Army Chief General V K Singh has said India was "not sure" of China's intentions for developing infrastructure along the borders, but a repeat of the 1962 aggression was "never" possible.

    Describing the regional security situation as "fragile," Singh said Pakistan Army's India-centric posturing and diversion of US counter-terrorism military aid against India were matters of concern.

    "China is doing a great amount of infrastructure development, which it says is for locals of the area. No bones about it, no crib about it. But our problem is we are not very sure about the intentions. And when intentions change, with this capability, things can go wrong. And that is what is a matter of concern," he said.

    "But, there is going to be no 1962. Never," he said, referring to the Chinese aggression of Indian territory that year.

    Singh reasoned that he did not see the kind of signages of 1962 at present, as there were no military build up or territorial claims that were witnessed just before the only time the two countries went to war.

    "Absolutely, with full conviction," he said, when asked if he was confident there would be no repeat of history.

    "Things are better than what it was in 1962," he said, noting that situation along the borders was peaceful "to an extent" and the stand-offs were within the known parameters governed by Confidence Building Measures, with "nothing going astray".

    There were also mechanisms between the two countries now to take care of such stand-offs. But there was a question mark over the intentions of China's infrastructure development, he said.

    On regional security, Singh said, "Any country which has unsettled borders, which are undemarcated and with problems, the security situation in the overall calculus remains fragile. It remains a cause for concern and that is what it is."

    On Pakistan, the Army Chief told the 'Devil's Advocate' talk show on CNN-IBN that "the major problem is that the terrorist infrastructure is intact (across the border)".

    Pointing to Pakistan Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani's remarks that his whole Army was India-centric, Singh said, "when you combine this (with the economic condition, terror and political uncertainty there), it means the following: That the proxy war will carry on. And they will keep looking for an alibi. And this is a matter of concern."

    On the $2 billion American military aid to Pakistan for war against terror, Singh said all aid that were ever given to Pakistan were diverted against India and there were credible inputs to support this charge.

    "Historically, all aid that has ever come to Pakistan, for whatever purposes, despite the assurances, have been used against India. We have credible inputs to say that out of this assistance to fight terror in Afghanistan and coalition support, a fair amount is being funnelled for upgrading capability against India," the Army Chief said.

    But, Singh said, India was not concerned over build up of capabilities of the Pakistan Army by inducting new technology and that it was ready to meet the challenge.

    "Pakistan is doing the same and we are doing the same. I am not really much concerned about where they have gone. But what I am concerned is that I should be able to meet the type of threat that comes up. Let me assure you, we are prepared to meet any challenge that comes to our nation," Singh said.

    On the possibility of a two-front war with Pakistan and China, Singh said the Army was capable of meeting any threat that the country may face, whether on one side of the border or on two sides.

    "But time will decide. I am quite sure our political and diplomatic initiatives will be able to mesh in with what we want to do militarily and achieve right type of results that is required by the country," he said.

    Read more: Unsure of China's motives, but 1962 repeat not possible: VK Singh - The Times of India


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