book by a thinking General, who steered the Indian Army through Op
Parakaram in 2001–2002, which makes very interesting reading
indeed. The book launch is slated for early February but we give you
a peek into the book.
2017 scenario depicted in the book is plausible. Its main theme is
about how India prepares to meet aggression against her by any
developed country including the USA. The propensity of the USA to
act unilaterally against other countries in disregard of the United
Nations, was clearly demonstrated in the Iraq War in 2003. India too
could face military action by the USA, under certain circumstances.
the book such a circumstance, a casus belli, is provided by
Pakistan in 2017. A short, sharp war ensues between India and
Pakistan. India wins a resounding victory. The USA, which had
intervened in the war on the side of her ally Pakistan, finds itself
checkmated by a completely transformed and resilient India.
book is in three parts. The first part covers the 15 years from
1989–2003, and deals selectively with how the policy of
‘Pre-emptive Intervention’ evolved and how Iraq became its
hapless victim. The second part covers the next 15 years from
2003–2017. It is set generally in a South Asian context with the
USA, a ‘lodger’ in Pakistan, playing a major role. India has
been portrayed as a rapidly developing country having settled its
border disputes with China in a spirit of mutual accommodation. A
four-sided Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Co-operation is signed by
India, China, Russia and Vietnam in 2015. The USA totally unhappy
with the formation of this powerful grouping seeks an opportunity to
degrade the new formation. Such an opportunity arises in 2017,
thanks to the J&K problem. A ‘collision’ occurs between the
USA and India with Pakistan also on the scene. The third part deals
with the 60 hours of the conflict and its surprising conclusion.
Peace is fully restored after meetings of the Security Council and
author concludes by making a strong case for strengthening the
United Nations and endowing it with the wherewithal to make its writ
run. Failure to do this and more, the author apprehends, will impose
on the nations of the world, a ‘Pax Americana’, which will have
as infelicitous an end as ‘Pax Romana’ or ‘Pax Britannia’.
visitors who go and buy this book or wish to enjoy the book, we give
below the ORBAT of India and Pakistan under the heading ‘The
Military Dispositions’, from open sources. This is to support the
present peace initiatives as war between the two countries or the
involvement of USA in the sub continent, projected by Gen S
Padmanabhan in the first half of his book, will be to the detriment
of the progress being made by India, which we are convinced will be
a regional super power in the coming decade. We hope that our
Supreme Commander Dr A P J Abdul Kalam's and now PM Vajpayee's dream
can be realised.
Dispositions of India and Pakistan (From Open Sources)
of the basic formations that exist in both armies are virtually
identical in India and Pakistan, indeed in most Western influenced
armies, and as such some generalisations can be made. India and
Pakistan operate two basic types of Divisions: Infantry and Armoured.
India’s Infantry Divisions are divided into plains and mountain
formations, which, as their names suggest, are trained and equipped
to fight in different geographic environments. India’s 10 Mountain
Divisions are primarily earmarked for use against China, though they
could be converted for use on the plains after re-equipment. A
typical Infantry Division comprises three Infantry Brigades, an
Artillery Brigade and an Armoured Regiment. Support elements include
an Engineer Regiment, a Signals Regiment and an Air Observation Post
flight, in addition to medical, transport, supply and repair units.
Mountain Divisions lack the Armoured Regiment and tend to have
smaller calibre artillery. They also have more engineering and
support/logistics elements than plains formations. The largest
formation of the Army is the Corps. This formation, pioneered by
Napoleon, consists of three Divisions and their supporting arms. In
the South Asia context, there are two types of Indian Corps ––
Holding Corps and Strike Corps. The former are designed for
defensive operations while the latter is the principal offensive
formation of both armies.
Headquarters in New Delhi, the Indian Army presently has five
Theatre Commands ––Northern Command with HQ at Udhampur near
Jammu (looking after J & K State), Western Command with HQ at
Chandimandir (looking after Punjab and Rajasthan States with the
borderline at Bikaner), Southern Command with HQ at Pune (looking
after Gujarat and Maharashtra States), Central Command with HQ at
Lucknow with one Strike Corps for the western border, and Eastern
Command with its HQ at Calcutta (responsible for counter-insurgency
in Assam and defending the Arunachal Pradesh State border with
China). In effect, Pakistan is faced with the Northern, Western and
Southern Commands even though the former’s troops are earmarked as
Army Reserve in both Pakistan’s Central and Eastern Commands.
Indian Army presently consists of 13 Corps-sized formations with a
total of 36 Divisions and a number of Independent Brigades. The
cutting edge of the Indian Army is centered around three powerful
Strike Corps –– each built around one Armoured Division. The
other 10 Corps are defined as Holding Corps, though they have
significant offensive potential.
may be some minor changes to the ORBAT, but no significant changes
are expected in the foreseeable future, though modernisation is the
credo. The Indian Army has four Engineer Brigades and 14 Army
Aviation Corps Helicopter Units. A separate Corps of Air Defence
Artillery (CADA) operates six Air Defence Brigades and two
Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) groups. These elements are assigned to
formations on a needed basis, though, with CADA units in particular,
many are earmarked for deployment and operations with specific
formations. As mentioned before, the principal offensive formations
of the Indian Army are the three Strike Corps –– 1 Corps, 2
Corps and 21 Corps. These are built around a nucleus of a single
Armoured Division and two Infantry Divisions –– with more
mechanised brigades than basic infantry formations.
Holding Corps are not as well supplied with support, from either
CADA or the Engineers as the Strike Corps, and do not possess
armoured formations larger than Brigades and the Armoured Regiments
attached to the Infantry Regiments. These formations have
significant offensive capability, but are largely designed to
operate in a defensive role. The Indian Army also possesses a fairly
varied arsenal of reasonably advanced weapons.
combat arm –– armour, artillery and infantry –– is currently
in the process of a massive force modernisation programme, which was
slowed in the early 1990s thanks to budgetary constraints. However,
the programme has resumed and has started to show some results,
which will have a significant impact on the ability of the Indian
Army to operate in a hostile nuclear environment. The pace, if
monitored on a year-by-year basis, may seem slow, but in reality the
Indian Army is working to a well-conceived plan.
Pakistan Army is organised into nine Corps and Force Command
Northern Area. These contain 22 Divisions, 15 Independent Brigades
(six Armoured and nine Infantry), nine Corps of Artillery Brigades,
seven Engineering Brigades and 15 Army Aviation Squadrons ––
including two of Bell AH-1S Modernised Huey Cobra attack
helicopters. In addition, the Pakistan Army has eight Air Defence
Brigades. The Pakistani Brigades and Divisions are somewhat smaller
than their Indian counterparts.
ORBAT differs to a certain extent from that normally quoted.
Pakistan’s two principal fighting formations are Army Reserve
North (ARN) and Army Reserve South (ARS). These are an approximate
equivalent to the Indian Strike Corps in terms of size and
composition. These have, as in the case of their Indian
counterparts, a nucleus of a single Armoured Division and up to two
Infantry Divisions with numerous Brigades.