Too Cold To Start

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Too Cold To Start

Postby Spearhead Research » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:53 pm


Too Cold To Start

In an objective analysis, it is learnt that “Cold Start” is not really the dominant paradigm of Indian military operation – which continues to be guided by the Sundarji Doctrine – but is only a defensive strategy capable of offensive maneuvers. It is used as a propaganda tool when portrayed as an offensive strategy with defensive capabilities, because “Cold Start” cannot enable the Indian military to carry out such functions. Despite the political ‘support’ given to this strategy in the wake of the dastardly 26/11 attacks on Mumbai, India’s military services are imbalanced when it comes to operationalizing and implementing “Cold Start” against Pakistan. There are deployment issues, mobilization issues, independent command structure establishment, and most importantly, the ambiguous and deadly response from Pakistan, which continue to hinder India’s “Cold Start” designs. Pakistan retains the capacity to respond to formal Indian military attacks “within minutes” as Army Chief General Kiyani has stated. Pakistan’s ballistic and cruise missile technology, coupled with an internal imbalance in India’s military that will be rationalized by 2020, effectively keep India ‘too cold’ to initiate military aggressions against Pakistan. The global geopolitical situation and regional alignments also deter India from actively pursuing a “Cold Start” strategy that could achieve Indian military objectives in the stipulated 72 hours, and in case such a maneuver is utilized, Pakistan has both the justification and the capability to thwart Indian designs and frustrate any progress towards Indian objectives concerning the 72-hour timeframe. Pakistan’s response protocols and inter-service cohesion has been successfully tested in the Azm-e-Nau III and High Mark exercises. Pakistan must account for this military doctrine but not be strategically distracted by it.

Author: Spearhead Research Analysis (Omar Qasim) - 27.12.2010

Download Link: ImageToo_Cold_to_Start.pdf

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Last edited by Spearhead Research on Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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India's mythical beliefs and Pak forces preparedness for war

Postby Spearhead Research » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:47 am


India's mythical beliefs and Pakistan forces preparedness for war

By Asif Haroon Raja

Indians believe a lot in myth making. They derive pleasure in pretending what they are not. Governed by the yearning desire to be called a big power, they have been making strenuous efforts to fulfill their dream.

After achieving a so-called military victory in former East Pakistan in 1971 with the help of former Soviet Union and Mukti Bahini, the Indians started imagining that India had become mini-super power of South Asia. To put a stamp on self-perceived status, it conducted nuclear test in 1974 but got dismayed when it found Pakistan not getting over awed.

While India never reconciled to Pakistan’s existence and vied to re-absorb it within Indian union, Pakistan’s defiance and refusal to accept India as a regional policeman further antagonized Indian leaders. In sheer disgust India judged Pakistan as the main stumbling block in its drive towards attaining its ambitions. Armed freedom struggle by few thousand Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir against 750,000 Indian troops became a cause of degradation and embarrassment for India.

Once India came close to USA after 1990, it kept on playing upon US-western sensitivities concerning Islamic fundamentalism, cross border terrorism and Islamic bomb so as to keep Pakistan in their bad books. Nuclear tests by Pakistan threw cold water on its sinister designs. After suffering humiliation in the battle of Kargil in 1999, Indian leaders burnt with impotent rage and yearned to teach Pakistan a lesson. After 9/11 their joys knew no bounds since the new rules framed by USA to tackle terrorism suited them the most. They found the farce of terrorism a perfect stranglehold to entrap Pakistan and macerate it.

However, its first attempt to browbeat Pakistan into submission through 2002 military standoff backfired. It had cost Indian exchequer over $2 billion and nearly 800 fatalities without any side firing a single shot. Indian military kept posturing belligerently from January till October 2002 but seeing equally aggressive response of the other side, it couldn’t pick up courage to cross the border. The thought of nuclear exchange was too scary despite the fact that it enjoyed 5:1 conventional superiority and also had three times more nukes in stock. Ultimately Indian forces had to sheepishly withdraw thereby giving Pakistan, ten times smaller in size and resources moral and psychological ascendancy over India. It was too frustrating for Indian leaders claiming to be strongest military power of South Asia and an economic power house to have been humbled by a peripheral state.

The fiasco made Indian military realize that given Pakistan’s nuclear capability and will to fight, conventional war was ruled out as a viable option. Earlier on, it could not browbeat Pakistan in 1986-87 through its Exercise Brass-tacks or its 1990 offensive deployment in Kashmir. In all the previous wars and offensive military standoffs, 19-20 days taken to mobilize the combat troops from peacetime stations to forward deployment areas had allowed Pakistan sufficient reaction time to assemble and move forward its troops to meet the challenge. Hence another way out had to be found.

Taking a leaf out of their Guru Kautilya’s book, the Indian planners reread his guidelines which had been successfully employed after the inconclusive 1965 Indo-Pak war to subvert former East Pakistan. Indo-US-Israeli think tank got together in late 2002 and scratched their heads how to ensnare Pakistan. A way had to be found out how to floor Pakistan without letting it brandish its nukes in defence.

It was decided that India will lure Pakistan into a web of friendship, weaken it from within through cultural invasion from the east and covert operations from Afghan soil. Intelligence agencies of USA, Israel, UK, Germany and Afghanistan were to assist RAW. India was to apply the military instrument only after making Pakistan morally, politically, economically and militarily sufficiently weak and extracting its nuclear teeth.

It was in the context of Pakistan’s nuclear capability and Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine envisaging first strike option in any future Indo-Pak war whenever its threshold was threatened which perplexed the planners. All agreed to defame and demonize Pakistan’s nuclear program through an orchestrated propaganda war and to work out number of contingency plans how to disable or steal the nukes.

During the course of heated discussions, some wise guy came up with a bright idea that if Pakistan’s nuclear response rested on the basis of its core areas getting threatened or overrun, why not to tailor the offensive in a manner that invading forces remain well away from the core areas and to confine the war to battle of frontiers thereby giving no justification to Pakistan to exercise its nuclear option.

Scanning the map of Pakistan, it was pointed out by Indian planners that there were several tactical objectives of politico-economic significance strung along the border. In their reckoning there were 8-15 such objectives available. To offset the problem of prolonged mobilization time and to retain vital element of surprise, someone suggested pre-positioning brigade size mechanized battle groups backed by dedicated artillery and air support close to the border. They brainstormed that Pakistan lacking in strategic depth could ill afford to lose any space and as such would respond with full force to retake the lost objectives. It was perceived that tactical and operational reserves of Pak Army in all likelihood would get consumed and its strategic reserves would get poised towards most threatened penetration. With bulk of Pak Army getting embroiled in battle of frontiers and up to three corps stuck up in war on terror, it would allow Indian Army to launch its main maneuver if required towards deeper objectives.

That is how Cold Start doctrine was conceived; work on the new doctrine commenced in real earnest and the first draft was ready in 2004. It envisaged cutting down mobilization period from 19 days to 72 hours by pre-positioning 8-15 self-sufficient battle groups of two armored regiments and one mechanized infantry regiment or vice versa close to the border and each group assigned shallow objectives of tactical importance. By end 2008 it was polished up and was ready for use. Point of nuclear overhang as mentioned by Gen Kapoor figured out since the doctrine envisaged giving control of tactical nuclear weapons to the operational commander in the field so as to be able to clear any opposition putting up stubborn resistance.

With the passage of time as the misfortunes of Pakistan’s multiplied because of covert operations jointly launched by six intelligence agencies from Afghanistan, it pleased India immensely and it animatedly imagined that Pakistan’s fragmentation was round the corner. Indian leaders got so euphoric and megalomaniac that they began imagining India to be next to USA in the world ranking. Already living in the world of fantasy and strongly believing in myths and notions, they started humming tunes of ‘India shining’ and ‘India an economic powerhouse’.

India was well set to put Cold Start doctrine into practice by end 2008/beginning 2009 since in its view the situation had become ripe to strike the internally enfeebled foe militarily. By then, covert war by anti-Pakistan intelligence agencies had done extensive damage. Over 100,000 troops had got irretrievably involved in fighting the militants in the northwest and Pak Army’s image had sunk low. Mumbai attacks were stage-managed to put Pakistan in the dock and to give an excuse to Indian strike formations to move forward. Forceful response by Pak armed forces, speedy pullout of formations from northwest to eastern border to restore defensive balance, enthusiastic support given by the nation to the forces and above all Pakistani Taliban’s announcement that they would fight the aggressors shoulder to shoulder with the Army and that they would send its suicide bombers into India deflated the jingoism of Indian military under Kapoor. Like in 2002, its second standoff also ended in humiliating withdrawal.

The plot makers held an emergent meeting and it was decided to further intensify propaganda war to build up a perception that Pakistan had become the most dangerous place on earth and its nukes were unsafe and posed a threat to world safety. It was also decided to step up acts of terror in all major cities of Pakistan through their agents and paid terrorists, and to force Pakistan to launch military operation against militant’s strongest positions in Bajaur, Swat and in South Waziristan. Pakistan specific Af-Pak policy was framed to convert Pak-Afghan border into a single battleground. While India was to mount relentless pressure on Pakistan by blaming that it was involved in Mumbai attacks, the US-NATO from the other end was to adopt an aggressive posture by insisting that it intended to operate inside FATA. Drone attacks against suspected targets in Waziristan were also to be accelerated. It was hoped that multiple actions would create conducive conditions for Indian military to launch the limited war by close of 2009.

Gen Kapoor living in the world of fantasy kept the temperature high by threatening to launch a limited attack under nuclear overhang. Without being provoked, he got so worked up that he made the whole world giggle when he boasted that his Army could bulldoze its way through the combined armies of China and Pakistan. One wonders, what’s stopping him from bailing out US-NATO in great distress by making minced meat of dreaded Taliban. His battle groups deployed in isolation along the border got tired of idling and started doubting the wisdom of impractical and mythical Cold Start doctrine which didn’t make any sense. They dread the call for a sudden plunge into the mouths of hungry sharks lying in waiting.

Pakistan Army on the other hand took the threat of limited war in a nuclear scenario dispassionately and prepared a wholesome response to nip the evil in the bud whenever it tried to sprout up. Glaring flaws in the new scheme provided grist for humor in uniform. When Indian Army could not deliver, feeling upset the RAW launched series of terrorist group attacks in Lahore and Rawalpindi to give vent to its frustration.

Ominous schemes worked out by Pakistan’s adversaries got a severe blow as a consequence to Pak Army gaining a decisive edge over militants after achieving outstanding successes in Bajaur, Swat and South Waziristan in quick succession. This development coupled with the security situation in Afghanistan getting out of control of occupation forces at the dawn of 2010 changed the whole complexion and put the schemers on the back foot. It compelled the US to start leaning on Pakistan rather than on India.

Pakistan Army instead of getting weakened has become more robust, professional and is well led and has maintained its defensive and offensive balance. Its mettle in war on terror and UN missions has been widely acclaimed by the world. Gen Kayani proved his mental calibre at the largely attended meeting of NATO at Brussels. It was for the first time that a non-NATO officer had this privilege to address the august gathering and he deeply impressed them. For full one year he has been resisting the pressure of USA to mount an operation in North Waziristan which is laudable.

The ISI is looked at with awe and envy. Single-handed it has successfully battled with world’s six most advanced intelligence agencies and has frustrated their designs. In the recently held Cambrian Patrol exercise organized by British Army in Wales in October, which is considered to be the world’s toughest exercise and in which teams from all over the world including India took part, the team of 35 FF in which I had served stood first and won the gold medal. Three cheers to the winners who have made us all proud.

With the induction of AWACs, JF-17 jet fighters, new batch of F-16 CD model jets, the PAF is feeling much more confident. With balanced ratio of hard hitting submarines and surface warships and improved early warning means and naval air arm, the navy too is in high spirits. Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence is intact and its wide arrays of guided missiles including cruise missiles are much superior to Indian missiles. Gen Shamim Wyne is an excellent choice to head Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee who surely will further refurbish inter-services coordination and cooperation as well as the nuclear set up. Pakistan armed forces imbued with high pitched zeal do not believe in myths but have complete faith in Almighty Allah.

They are focused on India and are well poised to take on the Indian challenge.

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India has no 'Cold Start' doctrine: Army chief

Postby Ahsan Waheed » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:01 pm


India has no 'Cold Start' doctrine: Army chief
December 02, 2010

New Delhi: Army Chief General V K Singh has said India has no "Cold Start" doctrine as claimed in the secret American documents and dismissed the US perception about the Indian Army being "slow and lumbering".

"There is nothing called 'Cold Start' (doctrine) in the Indian Army. We don't have anything called 'Cold Start'," he said while reacting to WikiLeaks documents in which US Ambassador Timothy Roemer analyses India's military approach towards Pakistan in the wake of 26/11 attacks.

He also dismissed Roemer's description of the Indian Army's mobilisation process as "slow and lumbering", saying that is "his perception" with which he does not agree.

"We don't necessarily agree with that perception. We know what has to be done," General Singh underlined.

He said the Indian Army has "things in place" and "We practice our contingency depending on situations. We are confident that we will be able to exercise the contingency when the time comes."

Asked about the slow process of modernisation of the armed forces, Gen Singh explained that it is mainly due to procedures and the fact that authorities want to be cautious to ensure nothing goes wrong.

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Postby Fatima Rizvi » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:03 am



by Dr Subhash Kapila

Introductory Observations: India unveiled officially its new war doctrine on April 28, 2004 at the Army Commander’s Conference that took place last week. Obviously, the need for a new war doctrine was decades-long overdue, but it seems that the lessons of the Kargil War reinforced by the severe limitations imposed on the Indian Army in the run-up to and during Operation PRAKARAM in 2001-2002 hastened the Indian military hierarchy towards this end.

General Padmanabhan the Chief of Army Staff at the time of Operation PRAKARAM had initiated the process of formulating a new war doctrine and the fruitation now seems to have taken place after a series of major joint exercises between the Indian Army and Indian Air Force including massive live fire power demonstrations.

It seems that the new Cold War Strategy would now be discussed at various levels of three Services and fine tuned. Needless to say that in any future conflict scenario where a “blitzkrieg” type strategy is going to be followed; joint operations involving the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy would be an imperative.

Security requirements did not permit the spelling out of adequate details of the “Cold Start Strategy” by the Chief of Army Staff. However, it is not difficult to visualize what this new war doctrine conceptually incorporates as it is said to revolve around the employment of “integrated battle groups” for offensive operations.

Such strategy did exist in NATO and was being taught at the Royal British Army Staff College. Camberley, UK which the author attended in 1971. In NATO terminology, “integrated” groups for offensive operations existed at three levels. The highest was “ combat group” and “combat command” based on a divisional or brigade Headquarters (armoured/infantry mechanised) under which were a flexible number of “battle groups” (based on an armoured regiment/mechanized infantry battalion Headquarters) and the lowest was the “combat team” (based on an armoured squadron/mechanized infantry company Headquarters). The groupings at the each level were task-oriented in terms of varying composition of armour and infantry elements with integrated attack helicopters of the Army Aviation and the Air Force besides close support of ground attack Air Force squadrons. Also, was integrated Army Aviation surveillance helicopters. Command and control helicopters were available too.

Media, reports indicate that the new “Cold Start Strategy” visualizes the use of eight “integrated battle groups”. For the purposes of this strategic review the eight “integrated battle groups” being talked about will be taken to mean eight integrated armoured division/mechanized infantry division sized forces with varying composition of armour, artillery, infantry and combat air support- all integrated. This would be a fair assumption to be made for our discussion in case the intended aim of this new war doctrine is to be achieved.

The unveiling of a new war doctrine throws up a host of factors for discussion in terms of why a new war doctrine is required, what are the attendant factors in putting it into operation, the limiting factors that may come into play, the responses of the enemy to such a new war doctrine and a host of other associated considerations.

“Cold Start” War Doctrine-The Strategic Conceptual Underpinnings: In the absence of more details, and rightfully not spelt out due to security reasons, the strategic conceptual underpinnings of India’s new war doctrine can be envisaged as under:

* Indian Army’s combat potential would be fully harnessed. The distinction between “strike corps” and “defensive corps” in ground holding role will be gradually diminished.

* The offensive military power available with defensive corps in the form of independent armoured brigades and mechanized brigades, by virtue of their forward locations would no longer remain idle waiting to launch counterattacks. They would be employed at the first go and mobilized within hours.

* Strike Corps may be re-constituted and reinforced to provide offensive elements for these eight or so “battle groups” to launch multiple strikes into Pakistan, fully integrated with the Indian Air Force and in the Southern Sector with naval aviation assets.

* Obviously, then, India’s strike corps elements will have to be moved well forward from existing garrisons. It also means that Strike Corps would no longer sit idle waiting for the opportune moment, which never came in the last three wars. The Strike Corps remained unutilised.

On another plane that is at the politico-strategic or politico-military level this new war doctrine seems to be aiming at the following:

* Cutting out long drawn out military mobilization running into weeks.

* The above results in loss of surprise at the strategic and military level.

* The above also gives time to Pakistan’s external patrons like USA and China to start exerting coercive pressures and mobilizing world opinion against India as witnessed in Operation Prakaram.

* Long mobilization time also gives the political leadership in India time to waver under pressure, and in the process deny Indian Army its due military victories.

* The new war doctrine would compel the political leadership to give political approval ‘ab-initio’ and thereby free the Armed Forces to generate their full combat potential from the outset.

* “Cold Start Strategy” is Aimed at Pakistan and is Offensive Oriented - The Pakistan Army, (not the Pakistani people) has a compulsive fixation for military adventurism against India, notwithstanding the Islamabad Accord January 2004. India in the past has been hamstrung in cutting Pakistan to size due to a combination of United States pressures coming into play in the run-up to decisive military action and the hesitancy of India’s political leadership. Military surprise was lost due to long mobilization times. The “Cold Start Strategy” can be said to be aimed militarily at Pakistan and is offensive-operations specific.

“Cold Start Strategy”- The Indian Political Parameters That Need to Come into Play: Such an offensive strategy can only be successful if the Indian political leadership at the given time of operational execution of this strategy has:

* Political will to use offensive military power.

* Political will to use pre-emptive military strategies.

* Political sagacity to view strategic military objectives with clarity.

* Political determination to pursue military operations to their ultimate conclusion without succumbing to external pressures.

* Political determination to cross nuclear threshold if Pakistan seems so inclined.

If the above are missing, as they have been from 1947 to 2004, Indian Army’s new war doctrine would not add up to anything. For more detailed views on this subject, see the authors recent book: “India’s Defence Policies and Strategic Thought: A Comparative Analysis” (reviewed on SAAG website as “Igniting Strategic Mindsets in Indians:; SAAG paper no. 657 dated 09-04-2003)

India’s National Military Directives Need Change: Indian Governments, irrespective of political hues have shied away from enunciating India’s national interests from which flows all military planning. However, what can be called as a sort of national military directive, which the Indian Army under political compulsions stands fixated is “No Loss of Territory, Not Even an Inch”. Heads have rolled in the Army on this account in past wars.

“Cold Start Strategy” with its inherent character of mobile warfare using mechanized military formations, and especially where defensive formations may be called upon to undertake such operations, may at times involve some loss of territory in plains warfare.

If the above is not acceptable then strategically and militarily the status quo needs to be maintained with Indian Army fixated on linear defences. This author had argued against this as early as 1985 in an article “India’s Linear Fixations” in the Combat Journal of what is now called the Army War College.

India’s Strategic Military Objectives Needs to be Made Clear: India’s strategic military objectives need to:

* Shift from capturing bits of Pakistan territory in small scale multiple offensives to be used as bargaining chips after the cease fire.

* Focus on the destruction of the Pakistani Army and its military machine without much collateral damage to Pakistani civilians.

All the three armed forces have to synergise operations towards destruction of the Pakistan Army as it is that which enslaves Pakistan, impedes democracy in Pakistan and indulges in military adventurism against India, including proxy wars and terrorism.

It is for nothing that the Pakistani military rulers and the Pakistani Army have hid from the Pakistani nation the causes of their military failure against India in 1971, 1999 (Kargil) and a catastrophic defeat in January 2002 if India’s political leadership had not restrained the Indian Army during Operation Prakaram. “Cold Start Strategy” should therefore be aimed at the destruction of the Pakistan Army’s military machine. India’s Army Commanders can infer what this implies.

“Cold Start” War Doctrine-The Imperatives of Dedicated Air Force Close Air Support and Dedicated Ground Attack Squadrons: The Indian Air Force (IAF) would have a very crucial and critical role to play in the successful implementation of this new war doctrine. The “Cold Start” eight or so “battle groups” cannot undertake “blitzkrieg” type military operations without an overwhelming air superiority and integrated close air support.

The IAF would therefore have to proportionately assign its combat assets to cater for the following:

* Achieve overall air superiority so as to paralyse the enemy’s Air Force or render it so ineffective as to be unable to seriously affect the area of operations of the “Cold Start” offensive “battle groups”.

* Dedicate a fair portion of its combat assets for the air defence of the Indian homeland.

* Earmark dedicated close air support and ground attack squadrons in direct support of the “battle groups”.

The IAF would be hard pressed to execute the tasks from within its existing combat assets. Earlier, the IAF could initially allocate all its combat assets to achieve air superiority as any operations by “strike corps” would hope to subsequently follow.

In the new war doctrine scenario all these tasks would have to be concurrent. It was such a visualization that made this author in his strategic papers (“India’s Strategic and Security 2004 Imperatives”: SAAG Paper no 884 dated 06.01.2004) reiterate that the IAF needs at least 70 combat squadrons. India has the financial resources to afford them. In any case even disconnecting from the new war doctrine requirements the IAF needs 70 combat squadrons in the context of India’s revised strategic frontiers discussed in an earlier paper of this author.

Indian Navy Aviation Support for “Battle Groups”: Besides its traditional tasks of sea control, naval blockades etc. the naval aviation support for the “battle groups” operations is a welcome step in filling some of the voids of IAF combat assets besides dividing the enemy’s aerial combat strength.

The Indian Navy, more importantly should concurrently be focusing in the new war doctrine scenario on amphibious operations deep in the enemy’s rear, so that Pakistan is forced to fight on three fronts, and in the process its resistance is fragmented.

India Will Have to Use Conventional Short Range Battle Field Missiles (SRBM) and Cruise Missiles: The entire success of ‘Cold Start” war doctrine would overwhelmingly rest on the application of long range devastating fire power and this would perforce have to include conventional SRBMs and cruise missiles.

Use of SRBMs and cruise missiles will not only help in softening enemy’s ‘Vulnerable Areas’ and ‘Vulnerable Points’ but also thicken fire support assisting “battle groups” operations. These assets would more increasingly be required in support of “battle groups” operations in case of bad weather when IAF combat power cannot be applied.

Associated with this would be India’s imperatives to accelerate her ICBM development and production which is India’s sovereign right. “Cold Start” war doctrine without ICBM back up would be susceptible to external pressures.

Inventories of these weapons have to be significantly expanded and the time is now to jump-start India’s defence production apparatus to this end.

Special Forces and Air Assault Capabilities Expansion and Employment in New War Doctrine: The successful implementation of the new war doctrine for force multiplication effect, for reinforcing the offensive punch and for exploitation of fleeting apparatus in fast paced military operations would call for sizeable employment of:

* Special Forces

* Air Assault Divisions.

* Air Cavalry brigades.

* Light infantry divisions with air-transportable combat power.

In the ‘Cold Start’ war doctrine scenario widespread use of the above forces including the capture and holding of airheads behind enemy lines would confuse the enemy, divide his reaction and counterattacks and spread panic. The Indian Army’s capabilities in this direction are limited and need to be comprehensive enhanced.

Logistic Support For Cold War Doctrine: Such operations which can be expected to be swift, fluid and rapidly changing directions of attack cannot rest for logistic requirements on Indian Army’s conventional logistic support which is ground based and wheel-based and incapable of swift cross country mobility.

Indian Army’s own aviation assets and heavier utility helicopters of the IAF would need significant mustering for logistic support of “Cold Start” battle group.

India’s strategic stockpiles of fuel, ammunition and military hardware spares along with “War Wastage Reserves” will have to be maintained at full levels at all times to enable “Cold Start” war doctrines to take off. Without these at full levels ‘Cold Start’ operations may end up as cold start.

Pakistan’s Responses to India’s “Cold Start” War Doctrine Enunciation: India’s ‘ Cold Start’ war doctrine stands discussed in a recent Corps Commanders Conference of the Pakistan Army, and even amongst their strategic experts. Curiously, the discussions of the latter seem diverted to Pakistan’s special relationship with USA post 9/11 and there appears to be an implied assurance that the “special Pakistan-USA military relationship” would take care of the challenges posed to Pakistan by India’s new war doctrine. Pakistani strategic analysts view the enunciation of India’s “Cold Start” war doctrine as:

* Putting pressure on Pakistan prior to peace talks.

* The growing Pakistan-Bangladesh nexus is also curiously drawn in as an Indian concern requiring new war doctrines.

Surprisingly, no major military analysis has emerged so far Probably, it would take time to digest and come up with responses.

Pakistan’s Military Challenges Arising From India’s “Cold Start” War Doctrine: Strategically and militarily, it can be visualized that Pakistan would be faced with a number of military challenges arising from India’s new war doctrine, namely:

* India’s “surprise” factor in terms of when, where and how “Cold Start” battle group would be launched.

* Fighting the air-battle in an environment where the IAF has a significant superiority in numbers and quality of numerical strength.

* Devising a credible anti-ballistic missile defence.

* Re-constitution of Pakistan’s “strike corps” and its three ‘Army Reserve’ formations which were so far configured and located to take on India’s three “Strike Corps”.

* When and how does Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent and its doctrine of “First Use” comes into play.

* How to offset India’s overwhelming long range artillery fire support.

* How to counter India’s force projection capabilities deep in Pakistan’s rear.

Pakistan cannot combat the Indian challenges by the oft-repeated bravado statement that “One Pakistan Soldier is equal to ten Indian Soldiers” leading to strategic wags countering “what happens when the Eleventh Indian Soldier emerges”.

If the “Cold Start” doctrine is applied in its purist form, then in terms of military operations it does not become a game of military numbers but a game in terms of military technological superiority in terms of weapon systems, firepower and aerial combat assets besides the force multiplication effects of the Indian Navy.

Pakistan would have to divert sizeable financial resources for its weapon systems build-up to counter this doctrine. Of course, it can look to its external strategic patrons like USA and China for assistance and military largesse, but there is a limit here.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Deterrent and the Myth of Pakistan’s Low Nuclear Threshold: The Indian political leadership and its national security establishment fed on US academia planted stories (probably officially inspired) of Pakistan nuclear deterrent and Pakistan’s low nuclear threshold have been inordinately awed by its fearful consequences.

Though this aspect is a subject of detailed analysis in a separate paper the following observations can be made:

* Pakistan has declared that it will go for nuclear strikes against India when a significant portion of its territory has been captured or likely to be captured. Secondly, when a significant destruction of the Pakistani military military machine has taken place or when Pakistani strategic assets (read nuclear deterrent) are endangered.

* India’s “Cold Start” war doctrine does not seem to be allowing Pakistan to reach at the above conclusions by indulging in deep long range penetrative strikes.

* The Indian doctrine seems to be aimed at inflicting significant military reverses on the Pakistan Army in a limited war scenario short of a nuclear war.

* Nuclear war fare is not a “commando raid” or “command operation” with which its present military ruler is more familiar. Crossing the nuclear threshold is so fateful a decision that even strong American Presidents in the past have baulked at exercising it or the prospects of exercising it.

* Pakistan cannot expect that India would sit idle and suffer a Pakistani nuclear strike without a massive nuclear retaliation.

* Pakistan’s external strategic patrons can coerce or dissuade both sides to avoid a nuclear conflict, but once Pakistan uses a nuclear first strike no power can restrain India from going in from its nuclear retaliation and the consequences for Pakistan in that case stand well discussed in strategic circles. Pakistan would stand wiped out.

When the obvious intention of India’s new war doctrine is not to cross the nuclear threshold, and it seems declaratory in content, then a higher responsibility rests on Pakistan’s external strategic patrons that their wayward protégé does not charge foolishly and blindly into the realms where even fools or the devil do not dare.

Pakistan’s crossing the nuclear threshold has crucial implications for USA and China too. In fact a USA-China conflict can be generated which may have its own nuclear overtones. Therefore it is incumbent on both USA and China to strategically declare that they would not countenance any Pakistani first nuclear strike against India i.e. crossing the nuclear threshold.

Pakistan proclivities to threaten nuclearisation of an Indo-Pakistan conventional conflict is more of a blackmail to force USA and China’s intervention. And if sincerely both USA and China are interested in South Asian peace and global security then Pakistan’s nuclear proclivities have to be pre-empted now with a strategic declaration against Pakistan as above.

India, in any case, has to be prepared militarily, eitherway, notwithstanding any such caution that may be imposed on Pakistan.

Concluding Observations: From the Indian perspective, enunciation of a new war doctrine was long overdue and it is significant for the following reasons:

* India now plans and is ready to act offensively against Pakistan for any perceived acts of strategic destabilization of India and proxy war and terrorism

* India moves away from its defensive mindset of last 50 year plus.

* India will now prepare to undertake offensive military operations at the out set.

* India has in declaratory tones enunciated that it will undertake offensive operations short of the nuclear threshold

The Indian Army, despite any limitations in its hierarchy of not being forceful to make the political leadership in the last 50 years plus to adopt strategies which are strategically desirable but may be politically distasteful, has done well this time to bring India’s war doctrine in public debate. The vast majority of the Indian public will be in support of any war doctrine that puts Pakistan into place and forces it to desist from proxy war and terrorism against India.

From the Pakistani perspective the following needs to be recognized with the enunciation of India’s new war doctrine:

* India will undertake offensive operations against Pakistan without giving Pakistan time to bring diplomatic leverages into play against India.

* India has declaratorily implied that in such offensive operations against Pakistan it will not cross the nuclear threshold nor prompt Pakistan into crossing it. Should Pakistan opt for crossing the threshold the onus lies squarely on Pakistan.

The United States and China have not come out with any response so far. Nor should they since national security interests of India need to be respected, as those of a responsible, politically stable and a mature regional power which has exercised restraint even to the extent of being ridiculed for its restraint.

Since a nuclear conflict initiated by Pakistan has global overtones and has the potential to bring them to conflict with each other, both the United States and China need to strategically declare that they will not countenance Pakistan, initiating a nuclear conflict in South Asia. Alternatively both USA and China, as Permanent Members of the UN Securing Council initiate steps jointly, to bring Pakistan’s (failed state WMD proliferator) nuclear assets under international control to be released only in the event of a nuclear threat.

Lastly, it needs to be reiterated that India may never have to put into effect its new “Cold Start” war doctrine if the United States and China restrain their wayward military protégé i.e. Pakistan from military adventurism and military brinkmanship. Also if United States and China wish to add value to their relationships with India, they need to desist from equating India with Pakistan when it comes to the prospects of the nuclear conflict in South Asia. India’s strategic maturity is not in doubt; it is Pakistan’s strategic maturity, which is in doubt. A nuclear conflict will take place in South Asia, only if the United States wants it and lets Pakistan permissively cross the nuclear threshold.

The author is an International Relations and Strategic Affairs analyst. He is the Consultant, Strategic Affairs with South Asia Analysis Group. Email:

Fatima Rizvi
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Pak missile aims at India's 'Cold Start' doctrine

Postby Spearhead Research » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:12 pm


Pak missile aims at India's 'Cold Start' doctrine


Islamabad: Pakistan's new short-range nuclear-capable Hatf-9 missile is primarily aimed at deterring India's Cold Start military doctrine that envisages quick thrusts by small integrated battle groups in the event of hostilities, experts and analysts here have claimed.

The Hatf-9 or Nasr, described as a missile with a range of 60 km and designed to carry "nuclear warheads of appropriate yield with high accuracy", was tested for the first time at an undisclosed location yesterday.

The missile will be deployed with a mobile multi-barrel launch system that has "shoot and scoot attributes", or the ability to fire at a target and immediately relocate to another position to avoid enemy counter-fire.

The new system is primarily aimed at deterring India's Cold Start doctrine, for which the Indian army has created integrated battle groups comprising infantry and mechanised elements that could be quickly mobilised and used for launching rapid thrusts into Pakistani territory in the event of hostilities, claimed an analyst who did not want to be named.

The Hatf-9 missile system is a tactical nuclear weapons and "low-yield battlefield deterrent" capable of inflicting damage on mechanised forces such as armed brigades and divisions, military sources told The Express Tribune newspaper.

With the development of the Hatf-9's shoot and scoot capability, "Indian planners will now be deterred from considering options of limited war", the military sources said.

The Pakistani military had formulated its "new war fighting concept" in response to India's Cold Start doctrine, the Dawn newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying.

The development of the Hatf-9 is also being seen as a major achievement in terms of miniaturisation of nuclear warheads, the daily reported.

Another analyst, who did not want to be named, said that weapons like the Hatf-9 missile will limit the space for "limited war under a nuclear umbrella".

However, the analyst noted that the military may have to use such a system within Pakistani territory in the event of an Indian thrust and this could have adverse consequences, such as nuclear fallout or the radiation hazard from an atomic blast.

Pakistan has often criticised India's Cold Start doctrine, which Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani once described as a "very offensive" strategy.

The Foreign Office too has described the doctrine as "irrational" while the Army had pledged that it would take steps to counter the strategy.

In a statement issued after yesterday's test, the Pakistani military said the Hatf-9 had been developed to "add deterrence value to Pakistan's strategic weapons development programme at shorter ranges".

The statement added: "This quick response system addresses the need to deter evolving threats."

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Six-day Army exercise in north Rajasthan to test warfare

Postby Fatima Rizvi » Fri May 13, 2011 2:07 pm


Six-day Army exercise in north Rajasthan to test warfare synergy

JODHPUR: The army on Monday commenced a six-day military exercise code named 'Vijayee Bhava' in North Rajasthan to test the operational and transformational effectiveness of its personnel.

The manoeuvres are basically conducted by the Ambala-based 2 Corps (Strike Corps) under the Western Command and supported by the air force to validate new concepts, which have emerged during the transformation studies undertaken by the army.

New-age technologies, particularly in the fields of precision munitions, advance surveillance systems, space and network-centricity, will be fielded and trial evaluated by nominated test-bed formations and units participating in the exercise.

Troops of the Strike Corps, which have the capability to strike deep within enemy territory, and 30,000 other army personnel used infantry combat vehicles (ICV), 250 tanks including T-90 main battle tanks (MBT), Chetak and MI-17 helicopters, 1,000 artillery guns during the exercise. IAF fighters are also likely to join midway in the exercise which will conclude on Saturday.

Defence spokesperson Col S D Goswami said 'Vijayee Bhava' is the first among a series of Western Command's routine annual summer exercises in the South Western sector.

Manoeuvres of the Pivot Corps are scheduled later this month, he said.

Goswami further said while the acquisition of hi-tech weaponry and combat support systems is an essential pre-requisite for a capability based approach, honing the skills of the personnel to harness the technological advancements in military hardware is a never ending challenge.

During the conduct of the exercise, combat decisions, taken at each level of command, will be analysed for their ability to synergise the application of the state-of-the-art weapon platforms, to achieve optimum results, he added.

Fatima Rizvi
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Pakistan’s answer to Cold Start?

Postby Spearhead Research » Thu May 19, 2011 11:49 am


Pakistan’s answer to Cold Start?

By: Rodney W Jones

Taking out Osama bin Laden in the high-drama Operation Geronimo eclipsed the media coverage of Pakistan's nuclear NASR missile test on April 19. The test signals a change in military policy and should be debated thoroughly in Pakistan, although the domestic circle of technically informed nuclear critics is regrettably miniscule. A test is not a deployment decision, though this one evidently leans that way.

The NASR missile test was advertised as Pakistan's latest response to India's Cold Start doctrine, which is itself provocative. Cold Start envisions limited conventional warfare by India beneath Pakistan's strategic nuclear threshold in punitive retaliation for subconventional (terrorist) attacks on India originating in Pakistan. Since India and Pakistan went nuclear in close succession in May 1998, two such major attacks deep in India have been inflicted by Lashkar-e-Taiba. The first one on India's parliament on December 13, 2001, and then the more spectacular and lethal LeT assault on India's commercial capital Mumbai in November 2008.

For India's defence community, the Indian army's Cold Start concept represents a possible way to deter covert aggression. Since India's threat of nuclear retaliation neither deters non-state actors nor covert warfare, the Indian army believes its readiness to conduct limited ground and air war operations that punish Pakistan but stop well short of threatening its survival could achieve that deterrence. Cold Start envisions quick Indian military thrusts into Pakistan before the international community can get involved. Under the nuclear overhang, this construct is exceedingly dangerous. It is also logically flawed, since the initiator of conventional war across borders cannot unilaterally control escalation. With little geographic depth but still locally formidable ground and air defences, Pakistan will not be passive in defence but will rather react with escalatory, punitive manoeuvres of its own.

Pakistani military planners evidently believe the NASR missile system will close a nuclear deterrence gap that has been opened up by the Indian doctrine. Pakistan formerly relied on the credibility of its strategic nuclear assets and its nuclear posture option of "first use" to checkmate any major conventional war designs by its larger and better endowed neighbour. Indeed, that posture still effectively deters India contemplating any all-out war against Pakistan. But India's Cold Start options - recently restyled as "proactive defence" strategies - tend to challenge the credibility of Pakistan's nuclear deterrence posture as it relates to limited conventional war. Ostensibly, Pakistan's answer to the gap is to fill it with a tactical nuclear weapon (TNW) system that would operate in the rear of its front lines on the battlefield. Bear in mind that both India and Pakistan formerly claimed to eschew TNWs.

What should be made of Pakistan's unveiling of NASR? What is it? Is it really nuclear? How will it operate? Will it really close the apparent deterrence gap? If deployed, what new dangers may it harbour in its own right? What are the downsides? Does Pakistan not have meaningful alternatives?

The press release on the NASR missile (also designated Hatf-9) test said: "[The NASR Weapon System] has been developed to add deterrence value to Pakistan's Strategic Weapons Development programme at shorter ranges. NASR, with a range of 60km, carries nuclear warheads [emphasis added] of appropriate yield with high accuracy, [and] shoot and scoot attributes. This quick response system addresses the need to deter evolving threats."

This system is probably a four-tube adaptation of a Chinese-design multiple rocket launcher (MRL), possibly the A-100 type, on an eight-wheeler truck, capable of carrying four, ready-to-fire 20-foot ballistic missiles of about 300mm (11.8 inch) diameter. A ballistic missile differs from a rocket by having its own guidance system (probably inertial) and spring-out fins that adjust course during flight for targeting accuracy. MRLs typically have 10- to 20-tube launch racks of smaller bore. The truck-launcher otherwise may be a Chinese knock-off of the Russian 300mm Smerch MRL system sold to India.

Taken at face value, the press release implies that Pakistan has either developed or acquired nuclear warheads small enough to fit inside a missile whose diameter probably is just under 12 inches, and possibly of relatively low yield. Technical experts will have their own questions about whether Pakistan has been able to do this by itself. Pakistan probably produced significant quantities of weapons-grade plutonium only after the May 1998 tests, is not believed to have test-detonated any nuclear weapons since, and any professional military is averse to using untested weapons. Plutonium allows for lighter weapons than uranium, but an implosion assembly with a diameter under 12 inches would be a real feat. That said, Lt Gen (r) Khalid Kidwai's presence at the test and association with the press release would give the nuclear assertion more than ordinary credence. Kidwai has been in charge of organising Pakistan's nuclear command and control system and overseeing nuclear weapons development since 1999.

If this system is actually nuclear and if it is actually deployed in crises near the Indian border, it is bound to have its own deterrent effect on unilateral Indian employment of limited conventional war actions across the border, especially offensive operations with ground forces. This would include a deterrent effect on employment of the fast-moving integrated battle groups (IBGs) from a "standing (cold) start" - if and when they are actually built. Some enhanced deterrence in this specific sense cannot be denied, although how stable that deterrence would be is another issue. The parallels are not exact, but this initiative resembles NATO's reliance on TNW systems in the European Cold War corridor. Those systems were intended to provide a combination of trip-wire and nuclear warfighting capability. Their real function was to virtually guarantee escalation to the strategic nuclear level, and thereby provide a broad-spectrum nuclear deterrence at conventional as well as strategic levels. The NATO nuclear states, one must add, were happy to shed the ground based TNW systems and their naval counterparts entirely, leaving a handful of air-delivered systems, soon after the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact collapsed.

But a number of basic questions cry out for examination: Is this added level of nuclear deterrence necessary? Is implementing it worth the downside risks? Can Cold Start threats be checked by other means? Or better yet, can India's threats be reduced by another approach - by threat reduction policies that lie within Pakistani hands?

First, is another layer of nuclear deterrence necessary to meet Cold Start? Conclusions drawn from Azm-e-Nau III exercises (held in 2009-10) suggest that Pakistan's conventional defences alone are fully capable of repelling or flaying the quick but shallow penetrations Cold Start envisages, especially with tactical advances based on six years of study of Cold Start theory. Besides, the Indian Army's ability to generate Cold Start IBG formations - equipment acquisition, forward facilities, restructuring of the Holding Corps, training, etc - is incomplete and moving forward at a glacial pace. The concept is not operational yet. The Indian army, air force and navy have not bought on to it doctrinally, and the civilian government has not endorsed it as policy. It would be unfair to say it is merely a hollow threat, but Pakistan's conventional modernisation has kept pace and will continue to.

Is implementing a battlefield TNW capability worth the downside risks? The tradeoffs of trying to enhance nuclear deterrence at the battlefield level are huge. Command and control and certain safety requirements for battlefield nuclear weapons are far more demanding, given that this system would have to be pre-deployed and combat-ready to deter fast-takeoff Cold Start operations. The NASR system will also have a distinct signature (even if camouflaged), with each launcher truck accompanied by a radar/C3 and a trans-loader vehicle, and would be a high priority for detection and preemptive conventional air attack. NASR systems that actually are nuclear-equipped will pose the classical "use them or lose them" dilemma. They may be sucked into warfighting and start the nuclear escalation spiral. India's response need not be TNWs, but could be tactical use of strategic weapons. Moreover, India's NFU declaratory policy can be reversed with a single Pakistani nuclear detonation, whether low-yield or not, and regardless over whose territory it occurs.

Can Cold Start threats be reduced or reversed by other means - or by an approach that lies in Pakistani hands? This one is a tough sell in Pakistan after decades of building itself up as a national security state, but now may be the last best time to face it squarely. Cold Start and limited war ideas get their appeal as a response to Pakistani subconventional warfare operations which originally were focused in Kashmir but since 2001 have gone deep into India's heartland. It may be true that many in India have no love lost for Pakistan and India has in the more distant past been guilty of subconventional warfare against Pakistan too, and not only in the rebellion that led to Bangladesh. But it is not India's disposition today to subvert or break up Pakistan, apart from the few hawks today who call for reviving India's covert warfare capabilities as a strategic instrument. Rather, India has an interest in regional as well as domestic stability and space to maximise its economic growth.

Cold Start posturing would fold up fast if the provocation of subconventional warfare were stopped. Obviously this does not mean peace would break out all over, and Pakistan surely would continue to maintain its conventional defences and strategic deterrent for the foreseeable future. But the risks of conventional war and nuclear escalation would obviously be reduced and stability probably would take hold and widen.

There are a multitude of other reasons for Pakistan arresting extremism on and emanating from its own territory - these are seamlessly connected forces now - and Pakistan could count on a lot of support if that became a dedicated and not just a rhetorical objective. The internal threats have taken Pakistan's security so far south, it will undoubtedly take a prodigious and sustained effort to reverse them and restore domestic order to an acceptable level. It would be best if Pakistan did not lock itself into yet another form of enhanced risk and security fatigue with TNWs.

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