SP's LandForces - - LEAD STORY -

The year 2016 has been an event­ful year for the Army, espe­cially on the line of con­trol (LoC) on the In­dia-Pak­istan border and both the gov­ern­ment and the army must have learnt many lessons from these events/in­ci­dents, we hope. The border in­ci­dents have pro­pelled the gov­ern­ment and the army to adopt new tac­tics and tech­niques to con­front the ter­ror­ists who are launched from across the LoC from time to time and neu­tralise them.

Since 1989 Pak­istan has waged an un­re­lent­ing asym­met­ric war on In­dia which we call “Proxy War”. This is in keep­ing with their strat­egy of “bleed­ing In­dia with a thou­sand cuts” adopted since the past three decades or so. Cur­rently their tar­gets are mostly se­cu­rity forces per­son­nel (In­dian Army, J&K Po­lice and Cen­tral Armed Po­lice Forces de­ployed in J&K). By so do­ing their in­ten­tion is to keep the In­dian Army en­gaged on the bor­ders to wear them down phys­i­cally and men­tally, and if pos­si­ble de­mor­alise them, which is an im­por­tant over­all aim both for Pak­istan and for China and hence the lat­ter is sup­port­ing Pak­istan in many ways. Pak­istan con­sid­ers these ji­hadi tanz­ims as their strate­gic as­sets to be used suit­ably both in peace and in war. This suits China too who are open­ing up a China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC) to Gwadar Port via the Pak­istan-oc­cu­pied Kash­mir (PoK) for which large amounts of funds are be­ing in­vested by China to the tune of $46 bil­lion.

The In­dian Army de­ployed along the LoC has a well co­or­di­nated counter ter­ror grid to while other se­cu­rity forces have been man­ag­ing the in­sur­gency in the hin­ter­land within Kash­mir which had by 2014-15 waned to that was the rea­son to cre­ate the civil un­rest in the Kash­mir Val­ley in or­der to en­sure a favourable sit­u­a­tion once again for the re­newed LoC along with a spurt in the in­sur­gency within Kash­mir. The surge in ter­ror­ist ac­tions in 2016 is at­trib­uted to this phe­nom­e­non among other rea­sons.

Five ma­jor at­tacks have been launched by the ter­ror groups in Pak­istan since Jan­uary 2016 in­clud­ing Pathankot Air Force base on Jan­uary 2, 2016, Pam­pore at­tack on June 25, 2016, Poonch at­tack on Septem­ber 11, 2016, Uri at­tack on Septem­ber 18, 2016, and Na­grota at­tack on Novem­ber 29, 2016. Fol­low­ing the Uri at­tack in which the army had suf­fered con­sid­er­able ca­su­al­ties, sur­gi­cal strikes were launched 10 days later by the In­dian Army on the night of Septem­ber 28/29 by In­dia’s Spe­cial Forces (SF) on the ter­ror­ists who had con­cen­trated in their ad­vance po­si­tions This op­er­a­tion re­sulted in caus­ing the elim­i­na­tion of about 40 ter­ror­ists in PoK. Re­lent­less op­er­a­tions by the Army along the line of con­trol and in the hin­ter­land in con­cert with other se­cu­rity forces have thwarted the de­signs of the Pak Army-ter­ror group’s nexus to waged against In­dia.

A sur­gi­cal strike was also car­ried out ear­lier in the year across the in­ter­na­tional border in Myan­mar against the in­sur­gents com­pris­ing NSCN (K) cadres and other mil­i­tant groups who are based there. This was con­se­quent to the June 4, 2016, am­bush on an Army con­voy in Chan­del district of Ma­nipur which killed 18 sol­diers of the army in the dead­li­est at­tack in two decades.

Apart from as­sert­ing the strength of the In­dian state, the sur­gi­cal strikes and the “hot pur­suit” op­er­a­tions have also sent a cru­cial mes­sage to Pak­istan and China, as the lat­ter has, ac­cord­ing to In­dian in­tel­li­gence sources, been sup­port­ing var­ied mil­i­tant ul­tras in the North East. It also in­di­cates a shift to a more ag­gres­sive stance by In­dia against in­sur­gency, ter­ror­ism and proxy wars waged against the In­dian state.

Dur­ing the year 2016 In­dian Army has held a large num­ber of joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cises with friendly for­eign coun­tries in­clud­ing France, United States, Rus­sia, China, In­done­sia, Thai­land and Nepal. The aim of all the ex­er­cises was to prac­tise countering in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism and counter-in­sur­gency op­er­a­tions and other op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­i­ties un­der the United Na­tions man­date. The con­duct of joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cises is also an im­por­tant step to up­hold the val­ues of peace, pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion.

Gen­eral Bipin Rawat has been ap­pointed as the new COAS on De­cem­ber 31 (AN) and has taken over his du­ties since then. An out­stand­ing Gen­eral with a re­mark­able track record he brings COAS. With his ap­point­ment the is­sue of ap­point­ing a Chief of De­fence Staff / Per­ma­nent Chair­man to the Chiefs of Staff Com­mit­tee has once again erupted and it seems that the gov­ern­ment is se­ri­ously con­tem­plat­ing the cre­ation and es­tab­lish­ment of a fourth four-star gen­eral who will na­ture of fu­ture wars man­dates a su­pe­rior level of joint­ness which is cur­rently lack­ing along with many other ad­van­tages that will ac­crue as a re­sult of ob­tain­ing a sin­gle point mil­i­tary ad­vice from the Chiefs of Staff Com­mit­tee (COSC). Head­quar­ters In­te­grated De­fence Staff has al­ready been es­tab­lished and they will act as the staff for the CDS/Per­ma­nent Chair­man COSC.

The new De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure (DPP) 2016 was pro­mul­gated for cap­i­tal pro­cure­ments and came into ef­fect from April 1, 2016. DPP 2016 has a fo­cus on achiev­ing the ‘Make in In­dia’ vi­sion by ac­cord­ing pri­or­ity to ‘ Buy In­dian IDDM’ (In­dian De­signed, De­vel­oped and Man­u­fac­tured) and ‘ Buy (In­dian)’ cat­e­gories. It also fo­cuses on en­hance­ment and ra­tion­al­i­sa­tion of in­dige­nous con­tent.

The Min­istry of De­fence has also is­sued guide­lines for penal­ties in busi­ness deal­ings with en­ti­ties which have come into ef­fect from Novem­ber 21. The guide­lines are avail­able at http://mod.nic.in/writeread­data/guideen­ti­ties.pdf.

To ex­pe­dite ca­pac­ity build­ing as well as of­fen­sive ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the armed forces, the De­fence Ac­qui­si­tion Coun­cil (DAC), the apex body of the Min­istry of De­fence in mat­ters of ac­qui­si­tions, have cleared dif­fer­ent crit­i­cal and high-end de­fence pro­cure­ment pro­pos­als to the tune of more than ₹ 1,00,000 crore. As re­gards the mod­erni­sa­tion and equip­ment re­quire­ments of the army, this is­sue of SP’s Land Forces con­tains an ar­ti­cle on “Pri­or­ity Ar­eas for Army Mod­erni­sa­tion”. The other ar­ti­cles in­cluded are “Civil-Mil­i­tary Re­la­tions—A View­point”; “Curb­ing Mil­i­tancy and Ter­ror­ism in J&K”; A Brief His­tory of the In­dian Army—Post-In­de­pen­dence”.

We wish all our read­ers a Very Happy New Year!

Lt Gen­eral V.K. Kapoor (Retd)

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