When we talk about
Indian Military's Strike or Offensive Capabilities, there are 4
things a defense analyst or strategist would ask as precursors to
answering the above:
1. What are the
threat perceptions that prevail today?
2. Are we really
looking at a short War/ long drawn War or Nuclear confrontation?
3. How long can
India hold out on the offense/defense and
4. Do we have an
Administrative Plan or Strategy for post war territories?
I will try to
answer these today to the best of my ability.
faced by the Indian Government are Pakistan and Bangladesh Centric.
China is more like a long lost cousin with whom the Indians share
common culture and family values but have bickered over irrelevant
matters. Though it is bound to be a big competitor in almost all the
fields with common interests in worldwide natural resources, the
China–India rivalry is more competitive than confrontational.
is faced with an identity crisis of sorts now more than ever. On one
hand, they have to comply with all US demands on capturing Al-Qaeda
and on the other hand, they have to keep a good number of jihadis
alive and well fed to fuel the jihad in Kashmir. This situation that
the Pakistanis are faced with will lead to a more desperate group of
home grown haters of all things Non Islamic.
Bangladesh has an almost unarguable feeling of being land locked and
surrounded by a powerful non Islamic country.
countries either independently or (like many who suspect) jointly
will always project India as the eternal enemy responsible for all
their woes. They will try to wean away their public’s eye from
pressing domestic and economic problems and point their ire towards
If there are any
other external threat perceptions that need to be mentioned, they
either get shadowed by the 2 mentioned above or are not ones that
require immediate attention as far as Offensive and Defensive
Planning is concerned.
We are looking at
an all-out War with Pakistan within the next 10–15 years. This could
include nuclear confrontation. I base my analysis on what I term as,
”How Long Will Anyone Tolerate" rationale. What I mean is that
successive Indian Governments have always talked about making Peace
and solving matters through talks and negotiations but none have
ever bothered talking about “What Will Ultimately Lead To The
Collapse Of Patience“?
Well, let me take
Vajpayee lost his patience in 2002 with the Parliament bombing but
nothing happened afterwards. Indians kind of get used to losing
people and memories including recently the Bombay train bombings.
But, what happens one day when an Indian leader stands up and says
India can hold onto
offense and defense as long as its "Will" lasts. Though the
brightest military planners would jump in and say “xyz days" based
on our supplies, reserves etc, I would humbly intervene and ask them
“do we really need to determine the number of days we can make war
unless the enemy's capabilities are completely destroyed."
I mean, what is the
point spending so much every year on the military and equipment if
the objective of ensuring a safe future for the Nation is not
achieved. This "Will" needs to be inculcated in the thought process
when the Policy Makers determine “Patience" and its "Limits".
I certainly think
that successive Governments in India have pondered about
Post War Territory.
In one of my previous articles, I did mention an American think
tank's case study that talks about something similar. (http://www.indiadefence.com/futuristic.htm)
My take is that in
a situation where
would have to take over a new territory from an Administrative
standpoint, India will constitute a Federation or Confederation of
Several Provinces with their own independent constitution and
something similar (but not the same) to the former Soviet Union.
However, my analysis on this is entirely speculative and I am sure
Indian Policy lacks the experience of the "divide and rule" kind.
So, what am I
really saying? Does India have an offensive capability? Do all the
governments and military planners only plan in a limited manner?
equipment that the Indian Military currently possesses and is
procuring over the next 5 years, the Indian offensive capability is
more like “HIT ME AND YOU WILL SEE I CAN HIT YOU MORE”.
The answers lie
in answering the 4 questions above and when the Indian policy
becomes a robust mechanism in which the country’s Patience is well
defined, long term foreign relation Objectives clearly devised and
all scenarios including the most outrageous ones planned and tested
for. After the policy is well defined, it’s easier to devise an
offensive or defensive force strategy.
In the next
article, I will talk about “What Offensive Strategy means and what
does India need to do to look “lean and mean”?
is Associate Vice President (Asia Pacific), TechRP Inc,
Nashville , USA .
He may be contacted at
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