ED­I­TO­RIAL

SP's LandForces - - MESSAGES -

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra ModiÕs Out­reach to USA The PMÕs visit to US can be con­sid­ered one of the most im­por­tant vis­its which will re-shape the Indo-US fu­ture re­la­tions. De­tails and anal­y­sis of the visit are brought to you by the for­mer Army Chief, Gen V.P. Ma­lik (Retd).

Mod­erni­sa­tion Mil­i­tary mod­erni­sa­tion oc­curs in geo-strate­gic, po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic con­texts. A mod­ern mil­i­tary is an im­por­tant tool for a na­tion to pur­sue its for­eign and se­cu­rity poli­cies. Not only the mil­i­taries have to guard against the ever chang­ing com­bi­na­tion of in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal se­cu­rity threats and chal­lenges, the politico-mil­i­tary es­tab­lish­ment of the coun­tries have to also pre­pare in ad­vance for likely In­done­si­aÕs Armed Forces are un­der­go­ing one such mod­erni­sa­tion which prom­ises to trans­form the mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the largest na­tion in South East Asia.

The worst pe­riod as far ca­pa­bil­ity build­ing and mod­erni­sa­tion of the In­dian armed forces is con­cerned has been the past decade of UPA rule which has re­sulted in neu­tred com­bat ca­pa­bil­ity. The sit­u­a­tion is very crit­i­cal due to ex­ist­ing voids in am­mu­ni­ta­tion apart from ob­so­les­cence of some ma­jor hard­ware. Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi while ad­dress­ing the Com­bined Com­man­dersÕ Con­fer­ence 2014 in the De­fence Min­istry War Room on Oc­to­ber 17 , high­lighted that Òbe­yond the im­me­di­ate, we are fac­ing a fu­ture where se­cu­rity chal­lenges will be less pre­dictable; sit­u­a­tions will evolve and change swiftly; and, tech­no­log­i­cal changes will make pace with. The threats may be known, but the en­emy may be in­vis­i­ble. It is hoped that the NDA Gov­er­ment will take for­ward the Mod­erni­sa­tion of the armed forces at top pri­or­ity.

Bor­der In­ci­dent at Chu­mar in East­ern Ladakh While a large num­ber of Army per­son­nel were still busy tack cit­i­zens, another scene was be­ing played out by China on the line of ac­tual con­trol (LAC). On Septem­ber 18, while the Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping were meet­ing in New Delhi over a thou­sand troops from the two coun­tries re­mained locked in a face-off along the Pare-Chu stream in LadakhÕs Chu­mar re­gion. Army sources de­scribed the face-off as the largest buildup of troops on LAC since the cri­sis at Daulat Beg Oldi last year, but added that vi­o­lence was un­likely. The De­fence Min­istry but sources said the strength of troops on the Chi­nese side were build up to about 1,000 troops by Septem­ber 17 evening. The num­ber on the In­dian side was about 1,500. The meet­ings be­tween the mil­i­tary com­man­ders of Leh-based 14 Corps and the Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion was un­suc­cess­ful and that is about the time that the gov­ern­ment re­fused to budge and the In­dian mil­i­tary de­cided to act tough. This paid off and the Chi­nese moved back to the pre-Septem­ber 1 po­si­tions.

Fir­ing on the In­ter­na­tional Bor­der and on the LoC in J&K As the Chi­nese in­ci­dent on the LAC eased off, the in­ten­sity of in­ci­dents on the in­ter­na­tional bor­der and line of con­trol (LoC) with Pak­istan started in­creas­ing. By Oc­to­ber 6, 40 posts of the BSF in Jammu re­gion came un­der heavy - ians causal­i­ties, dam­ag­ing houses and cat­tle de­stroyed. This led the gov­ern­ment to lift re­stric­tions on the Army and the BSF to re­tal­i­ate with telling ef­fect.

Is­lam­abad it seems was shocked by the fe­roc­ity and in­ten­sity of the In­dian re­sponse. In­dian forces were asked not to seek any thus send­ing the sig­nal that the gov­ern­ment was in no mood to ease sit­u­a­tion on the bor­der with - tions were halted. It is ob­vi­ous that - der was a re­sult of Pak­istanÕs frus­tra­tion over New Delhi block­ing all of its at­tempts to in­ter­na­tion­alise the Kashmir is­sue. Me­dia re­ports also sug­gest that In­di­aÕs mas­sive - tions has re­sulted in at least 35 deaths across the bor­der. Pak­istan has to un­der­stand the new re­al­i­ties and act ac­cord­ingly if they want peace on the bor­ders.

Tough­en­ing of In­di­aÕs Stand on Bor­der In­ci­dents The lat­est in­ci­dents in J&K on the In­ter­na­tional Bor­der and LoC op­po­site Pak­istan and on the LAC op­po­site China shows a tough­en­ing of In­di­aÕs stand on bor­der in­ci­dents and stand-offs. The les­son learnt from th­ese in­ci­dents stands out loud and clear. Coun­tries re­spect you only if you are mil­i­tar­ily strong and have the po­lit­i­cal will to ex­er­cise your rights. Even diplo­matic par­leys with­out a strong po­lit­i­cal will are in­ef­fec­tive.

Floods in J&K a Na­tional Calamity 2014, In­dian state of Jammu and Kashmir was hit by tor­ren­tial rain de­struc­tion was so dev­as­tat­ing that the Prime Min­is­ter de­clared it a na­tional calamity.

The In­dian Army, the In­dian Air Force, the Na­tional Dis­as­ter Re­sponse Force (NDRF), and the para­mil­i­tary forces rose to the oc­ca­sion to carry out one of the largest res­cue and re­lief op­er­a­tions in the his­tory of in­de­pen­dent In­dia. The Army was in­volved in res­cue and re­lief of peo­ple in Jammu and in Kashmir, build­ing dam­aged ar­te­rial roads, build­ing dam­aged bridges, pro­vid­ing med­i­cal as­sis­tance, es­tab­lish­ing re­lief camps, es­tab­lish­ing wa­ter and medicines. The Army de­ployed more than 30,000 troops for the res­cue and re­lief op­er­a­tions in Jammu and Kashmir and brought in 224 boats for res­cue op­er­a­tions. The Army Avi­a­tion with its he­li­copters also func­tioned in close con­cert with the In­dian Air Force. The Army Op­er­a­tion was called off after two weeks of non-stop res­cue and re­lief op­er­a­tions in the state.

Lt Gen­eral V.K. Kapoor (Retd)

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