- May 23, 2022
One of the Marcos first operation was to plant underwater explosives in one of the dockyard used by the LTTE, Indian Navy as a whole reason responsible for blocking of any possible smuggling routes.I have been thinking a lot about why Indian Special Forces aren't "special" and why they are super-infantry. Of course, I do consider the MARCOS to be SOF (not necessarily in the way that Delta or SAS are), but even they are not, in reality, all that special.
I may be wrong but I believe this is an issue of doctrine. India's entire approach to its military doctrine has been defensive. I believe this has been reflected in its Special Forces. The MARCOS's first operational deployment (if memory serves) was to keep the LTTE's "navy" at bay in Sri Lanka. Throughout their history, the Paras have served as raiders (even the 2016 strikes and the 2015 operation were raids, given just how many were involved in terms of numbers). The Garuds haven't really done anything of note yet and act as air base security in Kashmir. And they all operate in battlefields that are within reach of India's conventional forces (with the only exception being UN operations but I don't believe that counts).
Contrarily, NATO SOF (let's focus on the UK and US) operate on the arse-end of the world, typically far away from the full support of their conventional capabilities. Yes they are supported when on operation, by helicopters or maybe a gunship or two. But in contrast to, let us say 2016, if things went to shit, the Paras would have had overwhelming fire support from arty and regular infantry units. And, from what we know about the Garud and MARCOS ops, they have never operated outside of India (excluding MARCOS in Sri Lanka).
Now, I am not justifying the haphazard training of Paras (I mean, each battalion trains separately? What the actual fuck?), the unapparent need of the Garuds as an SOF, or the relative combat inexperience of the MARCOs. Neither am I justifying the extremely lacking kit standardisation of the ParaSF, which is at a level where they are now indistinguishable from an RR soldier, save for the fact that they carry M4s and Tavors.
I am saying that, to me, it makes sense why none of these units can be directly compared to the SAS or Delta or anything of the sort. They're just not the same, nor are they meant to be like them. I am not commenting on their individual or unit tactics, but rather the strategy behind their existence. MARCOS exist as a specialised VBSS force and gives the navy the capability to conduct raids if it needs to. The Paras are raiders, pure and simple, that can jump out of aircraft - this is what they excel at and I feel like, even for veteran battalions such as 9 Para, the SF moniker is unfit because they simply aren't SF. The Garuds honestly confuse me with their existence, apart from airbase security it's hard for me to see what they provide to the IAF. In regards to the Paras, the fact that (even after they were all converted to SF) they still conduct large scale airborne exercises should exemplify what the Indian Army thinks of them - super airborne infantry. The MARCOS being regularly used for VBSS instead of the Indian Navy's dedicated VBSS teams, is an indication of their perception among the Indian Admiralty.
This is because, in my understanding, the Indian Armed Froces believe they have no need for dedicated SOF. This thinking would not be new - the IA discontinued sniper courses in its infantry schools because it did not believe they were needed in an era of close quarter counter insurgency. The Paras may, at one point in history, have been dedicated SOF (I see no evidence in history for this, even the Chachro Raid was just that - a raid) but now, the operations they carry out aren't that different from RR or Ghataks. You won't see a platoon of Paras crossing into PoK, securing an HVT and getting them back to India without raising an alarm because that's just not what the unit's strategic requirements are anymore - nor is it required out of any unit in the Indian Armed Forces.
Sorry for the long and scatterbrained message. Please do let me know if I am wrong. These are just my thoughts
Overwhelming support does not work like that, the best they would have had is the QRT teams on standby + maybe some artillery, By the time orders would have reached to the infantry units they would have been finished if not rescued by the Immediate support planned. You just can't call a infatry camp and say to them go to this and this district of POK all this takes time.
Marcos regularly conducts anti piracy until you are ready to jump into a complex war abroad so that some guys on internet can boast about it.
Garuds serve a purpose might educate yourself on it. Marcos have decent experience of varying degrees.
The rest of the points are laughable