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Kargil redux A Pakistani airman’s postmortem of the war that was fought ten years ago I KAISER TUFAIL TERRORISM

Blood money Can India stem the tide of money that finances terrorist operations on its soil? I AJAI SAHNI FEBRUARY 2009

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Back to the Future The heavyweights of the aerospace industry showcase their wares in Bangalore I JASJIT SINGH

INDIA’S RESPONSE TO THE NOVEMBER 26 TERRORIST ATTACKS IN MUMBAI IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO ITS OWN STRATEGIC GOALS Ajai Shukla

WHO’S BLUFFING WHOM?


FEBRUARY 2009

LETTER FROM THE

DSI

editor

EDITOR Defence & Security of India

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s attention moves away from the Mumbai attacks and towards calling Pakistan names, we at DSI look at the damage that this is doing to India’s image. India’s toothless sabre-rattling after the Mumbai attacks not only damages its credibility internationally, but also does a disservice to its own people. The Indian government has enough to do by way of creating anti-terrorism machinery in this country. It need not add to its burden by taking on the task of cleaning up Pakistan. There are enough people on the job, including Pakistanis, Britons and Americans, and none of them are reaping much success; it is foolish to imagine that India would improve things by leaping into the fray. Instead, New Delhi would do better to focus on putting in place the intelligence machinery, the border and coastal defences, the monitoring and surveillance mechanisms, the police and paramilitary forces, and the quick reaction teams needed to ensure that terrorists do not find the going as easy as they apparently did in Mumbai. We said this in our last issue, and it bears repeating even as we look at the pitfalls of ratcheting tensions in India-Pakistan relations. The other significant event that must catch the Government of India’s attention is Aero India 2009. With a slew of high-value defence-related purchases in the offing, Aero India will attract some of the best technologies on display in the air and on the ground. Participation is somewhat subdued because of economic crises across the world, but the event will still manage to be one of the largest gatherings for the defence industry. Aero India is the window through which we could look at the future of the aerospace industry that India should have, and for which we need an unambiguous strategy to build for tomorrow’s needs. A new paradigm of partnerships across the board, both domestic (public and private) and international, will be critical to achieving such a strategic vision. In this issue of DSI, we also have two exclusive features: one that looks at the Kargil war from the perspective of a Pakistani airman; and an insight into Pakistan’s war in its Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). There is a new administration in power in the United States. What new challenges and opportunities will arise in Indo-US ties? DSI looks for answers in this issue. And, in the light of the Mumbai attacks, we examine India’s preparedness in maritime security. Finally, to help us shape DSI into a periodical that meets your expectations, we continue to solicit the feedback of our readers. Write in at dsieditor@gmail.com. In case you are wondering how you can subscribe, all you need to do is to send an email to dsisubscriptions@mtil.biz and our marketing team will handle the rest.

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Aero India will attract some of the best technologies on display in the air and on the ground. It is the window through which we could look at the future of India’s aerospace industry


FEBRUARY 2009

CONTENTS

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WHO’S BLUFFING

WHOM? India’s aggression towards Pakistan in the wake of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks is wrong-headed. Calling for war against Islamabad may be good politics in an election year, but it destroys credibility in the long run.

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BACK TO THE FUTURE The Indian Air Force desperately needs to modernise. The seventh edition of the Aero India show, in Bangalore, puts on display the best technologies available today, and provides a window to the future of India’s aerospace industry.

MARITIME SECURITY

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NAVAL GAZING India’s security apparatus is fixated on our terrestrial borders. But the Mumbai attacks underline the growing need to turn our strategic gaze to our shorelines, because threats can come from out of the blue.

SPECIAL

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TERRORISM

KARGIL REDUX Ten years ago, India and Pakistan clashed amid the mountains of Kargil in their fourth war. Pakistani airman Kaiser Tufail revisits the conflict and looks at the roots of the conflict and the role played by the Pakistan Air Force.

NEIGHBOURWATCH

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BACK TO THE FRONT Pakistan’s troubled Federally Administered Tribal Areas continue to plague its security. The Army must fight fire with fire, and change from conventional warfare to specialised counterinsurgency warfare.

INDO-US TIES

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THE UGLY, THE GOOD AND THE BAD No more nuclear apartheid, lots more cooperation… US President George W Bush was nothing but good news for India. Will the United States under President Barack Obama continue to be the belle at India’s strategic ball? 3

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BLOOD MONEY Terrorist finance: an overrated, sensationalised security issue? A look at how terrorist funds are raised and moved, and what India realistically can and cannot do about it.


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CONTRIBUTORS

AJAI SHUKLA Ajai Shukla works in both the visual and the print medium. He is Consulting Editor (Strategic Affairs) for New Delhi Television (NDTV), India’s bestreputed news broadcaster, for which he anchors prime time news and special programmes. He is also Consulting Editor (Strategic Affairs) for Business Standard.

STEPHEN COHEN Stephen P. Cohen and Dhruva Jaishankar are with the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. Dr. Cohen is currently writing a book on Indian military modernisation.

JASJIT SINGH Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, AVSM VrC VM, a recipient of the Padma Bhushan for a lifetime’s contribution to national defence, is founder Director of the Centre of Air Power Studies, New Delhi.

Photo courtesy US Army


DEFENCE and SECURITY of INDIA FEBRUARY 2009 VOLUME 1, NUMBER 4 EDITOR

Sonia Shukla ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Mitali Saran ASST. ART DIRECTOR

Subrata Jana BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

SHUJA NAWAZ

PREMVIR S. DAS

Roop Arora COORDINATOR

Ronald Micah Shuja Nawaz is the author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within (Oxford University Press 2008) and the forthcoming FATA: A Most Dangerous Place (CSIS January 2009) on which this article is based. Shuja is currently the first Director of the South Asia Center of The Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington DC.

Vice Admiral PS Das retired in 1998 as Commander-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command. He was on a Task Force to review Higher Defence Management, and has served on the PMO’s National Security Advisory Board and the boards of the United Service Institution of India and the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses.He was Co-Chair of the Maritime Security Group of the Council for Security Cooperation in Asia Pacific (CSCAP).

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Air Cdre M KaiserTufail (Retd), was commissioned as a pilot in 1975 from the PAF Academy, Risalpur. He has commanded a fighter Squadron, Wing and Base and flown classic fighters. His staff appointments include Director Operations at AHQ and Deputy Commandant, Air War College. He is the author of Great Air Battles of Pakistan Air Force and various articles in military journals and newspapers.

Ajai Sahni is, among other things, Founding Member & Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management, Editor, South Asia Intelligence Review, and Executive Director, South Asia Terrorism Portal. He has researched and written extensively on conflict, politics and development in South Asia, and participated in advisory projects undertaken for various National or State Governments.

Stephane de Remusat, France/Spain Sam Baird, UK/Germany/Switzerland/Italy Liat Heiblum, Israel/Turkey Mikio Tsuchiya, Japan Clang Garcia, Philippines Alla Butova, Russia Dr Rosalind Lui-Frost, Singapore/Malaysia Young Seoh Chinn, South Korea Karen Norris, Scandinavia/South Africa Diane Obright, USA/Brazil Margie Brown, USA/Canada Defence and Security of India is published and printed by Xavier Collaco on behalf of Media Transasia India Limited. Published at K-35, Green Park Main, New Delhi 110016 and printed at Paras Offset Pvt Ltd, C176, Naraina Industrial Area, Phase I, New Delhi. Entire contents Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Reproduction and translation in any language in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Requests for permission should be directed to Media Transasia India Limited. Opinions carried in the magazine are those of the writers’ and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or publishers. While the editors do their utmost to verify information published they do not accept responsibility for its absolute accuracy. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material or for material lost or damaged in transit. All correspondence should be addressed to Media Transasia India Limited. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION Defence and Security of India is published once in two months and can be obtained by subscription. Subscription rate for 6 issues is Indian Rupees 900 and for 12 issues is Rs 1800. For subscription enquiries, please contact: dsisubscriptions@mtil.biz


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Sukhoi Su-30 MKI Heavy class, long-range, multi-role, air superiority fighter and strike fighter

AERO INDIA 2009 THE HEAVYWEIGHTS OF THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY SHOWCASE THEIR WARES IN BANGALORE

BACK TO THE

FUTURE HE lack of any concerted and consistent modernisation has left the Indian Air Force (IAF) with a dangerous shortfall in both its combat force level and in its operational readiness. The force level of combat squadrons has depleted rather rapidly in the past six years from 39 squadrons to only 31, and is likely to dip below 30 before recovering. The most optimistic time frame estimated for recovery to the authorised level is sometime after 2020. Meanwhile, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has castigated the government for gross neglect in early warning radars which show dangerous deficiencies with wide gaps in combat systems ranging from

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JASJIT SINGH aircraft to weapons and radars. For example, there is a shortfall of as much as 53 percent in the case of medium power radars, and as much as 76 percent in the case of low level transportable radars. This may be manageable for a few years, since the Pakistan Air Force is facing obsolescence; though it is rapidly changing this through modernisation with US and Chinese help. However, given the massive

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technological modernisation of the Chinese air force across the board, things may get sticky on the northern frontiers; and could get much worse if there is some form of political, let alone military, collaboration between the two “strategic partners”, if for no reason other than to complicate US foreign policy choices (which is aimed at containing China) especially in our region. At the same time, while the global economic meltdown will certainly slow the growth of civil aviation and its infrastructure in India, the scale is still going to be much larger than before simply because New Delhi will increase it to energise economic growth, as is already visible in some sectors. Aero India began with a modest, sentimental goal: if Singapore and Dubai could hold air shows then why couldn’t we, if only to increase domestic tourist traffic? The DRDO, the main driver of the concept in 1998 when India was under sanctions, hoped to at least sensitise India to the aerospace technology market across the world, and to explore the possibilities for accessing technology from various sources. As far as air shows went, even India’s major aerospace enterprise, HAL, had little to show besides the few aircraft it made indigenously (like the Kiran of 1960s vintage and the still developing ALH), or under licence (like the MiG-21). Only the IAF aerobatic team could contribute Indian prowess and colour to


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the show, at least for our public and media. And the continuing misperceptions of India-Soviet relations, especially in military-technical cooperation, kept most foreign companies away beyond a notional presence. India’s nuclear tests in 1998 further strengthened the sanctions regime. But the increasing recognition that India was on an impressively rising vector of economic growth had started to alter perceptions in the West. The new lexicon of India-America being “natural allies”, developed during the BJP government, and a more moderate version of strategic partnership during the eight-year Bush regime, kicked off a dramatic change in Indo-US relations that has also had what may be called a (reverse) domino effect, upgrading Indian relations with many industrialised countries that stood on the fence (like Japan), and strengthening already close relations (like France). The progressive relaxing of US sanctions, in the context of new directions to major cooperative arrangements like the 2005 nuclear deal, have opened doors to a far stronger Indo-US defence industry cooperation. The Indian armed forces have always admired American military technology, but never had access to it, primarily because Washington put all its regional eggs in the Pakistan basket; and Pakistan, from the very beginning, was willing to take American largesse but pulled no punches to oppose even small arms sales from the United States to India, even after the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The second major, apparently immov-

able roadblock to normal relations was the second tier level. New players are emerging issue of nuclear non-proliferation, which at the third tier (like Brazil and India). The targeted India even when Washington current economic meltdown will further allowed Islamabad to proceed with its impact the global arms industry. The conweapons programme with Chinese tours of this impact are not yet clear, though assistance. Almost all US sanctions regimes countries like China and India, with their relagainst India since 1978 were built on this atively higher economic growth, will have basis. The nuclear deal finally found a way an enormous advantage in moving up the around the nuclear boulder, giving new hierarchy of the arms industry in all aspects. The international aerospace industry’s meaning to the June 2005 defence framework agreement between the two rapidly increasing participation in Aero countries. These developments are signifi- India exhibitions and shows in recent years cant for future arms trade relations is obviously driven by the large market that because the US is not only the sole super India signifies in a world of shrinking power, but because it has had an unbeat- aerospace markets. The high attention paid able lead in military technology and the to the 126 MMRCAs is symptomatic of the armament industry since the Second issues affecting the Indian aerospace World War, when the Allies (including the market. A ballpark calculation shows that, as it appears at this stage, if the Indian USSR) won on the strength of it. The last two decades have seen a economy grows only at 7 percent tectonic change in the global military indus- (compared to 9 percent expected earlier) it try due to retrenchment of military power, will not reduce civil aviation markets more budget cuts, and deep reductions in arms than about 20 percent; and the impact on procurement and transfers/sales abroad. acquisitions will be marginal in spite of a Enormous mergers, manpower layoffs, and lower-than-anticipated defence budget this losses in trade, besides the collapse of the year. After all, aerospace sales have a long Soviet military-industry behemoth, have gestation period and transfers cover a long been predominantly responsible for this. period, so they can weather economic The United States has emerged a winner in storms better than consumer markets and the process for obvious reasons, though the service sectors. Chances are that even this European consortium under the EADS has setback will be transient unless the US goes managed to retain a respectable share of the into depression—and that, of course, would offer different market. China, based on opportunities and challenges. sustained dramatic economic Crowds throng the Aero India 2009 will attract growth over more than two displays at Aero some of the best technologies on decades exploiting Russian India 2007, at vulnerabilities to access high Yelahanka Air Force display in the air and on the ground even if participation is technology, is fast getting to the Station, Bangalore

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somewhat subdued because of economic crises across the world. But what is important is not merely the air show and showcasing India’s own capabilities. Aero India is the window through which we must look at the future of the aerospace industry that India should have; for which we need an unambiguous strategy to build for tomorrow’s needs and not merely today’s requirements, else we will fall behind the rising curve. For example, a new paradigm of partnerships across the board, both domestic (public and private) and national and international, horizontally and vertically, will be critical to achieving such a strategic vision. But, as two examples cited above indicate, South Block has not historically displayed the propensity to evolve a strategy for the future, in spite of a clear understanding that the defence of the country as well as its future technological capacity depends crucially on our vision and policy in the aerospace sector more than in any other. For six decades the government has established a comfort level with the public sector, which for a long time has required both corporatisation and a tier structure, especially in large establishments like HAL. Bureaucracies, by their nature, rely on precedent; but exploiting current opportunities and matching them with our key needs is outside any past experience and requires a break from precedent. On the other hand, enterprises like HAL, or Air India, are afraid to let go, because their losses (and perks) are underwritten by the government with taxpayers’ money. The second problem we face is the inordinate time taken to arrive at decisions. No doubt the Bofors debacle and the Tehelka affair have a lot to do with complicating decision-making. This delays, but does not sort out the malaise. For a developing country like ours, shortages of financial resources for defence are understandable. But when Parliament allocates defence funds in the budget, and Finance Ministers promise in the budget speech to give more if necessary, the failure to spend authorised funds is a clear indication of the defence establishment’s failure to take decisions. One wonders what would happen if this system were surprised by an act of military aggression (Kargil comes to mind, even though the military finally won a dramatic victory; I suppose we would again expect our fighting men to pay the price for the failure of the planners). Thousands of crores of budgeted rupees were surrendered during

AERO INDIA 2009 the BJP-led government, which came to power promising improved defence and security but left behind gross deficiencies in combat capabilities. The defence procurement procedure has been made overly complex, but more important is offset policy. Bell is reported to have pulled out of their bid to supply helicopters, complaining about the rigidity of offset procedures that they consider impractical. We need to be clear—and tell our potential partners—about our central

South Block has not displayed the propensity to evolve a strategy for the future, in spite of the understanding that India’s defence and its future technological capacity depends on our vision and policy in the aerospace sector more than any other

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aim in instituting offsets. Is it to get FDI? Historically, and in the future, FDI is important; but it cannot be treated as the main driver for seeking offsets. Is the aim then to get a foot in the export market? This would be too ambitious even for more capable countries, especially with a shrinking arms market worldwide. The way to look at this issue, therefore, is that large investments in defence modernisation with high-technology weapons, like the acquisition of new fighters, must be leveraged to energise our defence industry, especially aerospace. This should serve two key purposes: to build interdependence through horizontal and vertical partnerships, and to empower Indian public and private industry by building capacity through the acquisition of modern aerospace technology. Both these principles are crucial to strengthening self-reliance by enhancing mutual dependence with willing countries and industries. They are also important to sustain our broader techno-economic growth aims. But we need an acceptable and unambiguous criterion to achieve this. Modern platforms now have a design life in excess of thirty years. During this period technological changes will take place in systems, sub-sub-systems and components. Undertaking upgrades, perhaps twice during the life of the platform, is therefore unavoidable if the system is to stay technologically relevant. This provides a clear benchmark criterion


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for offsets to establish the ability to design and undertake upgrades in India (with 60-70 percent local talent) besides making spares. This can be expected only if component manufacturers establish design and development facilities in India and train local people, which would also cut their overall costs. We will need spare parts for thirty years or more; in between, systems will require many modifications and upgrades. We should be able to provide as much as possible from indigenous, mostly HAL’s Light Combat private industry, Aircraft (LCA) and through joint ven(below) the Russiantures that must be made Admiral negotiated now. Gorshkov. Previous: The importance the Dhruv Advanced and extent of such Light Helicopter agreements will be crucial to maintaining high serviceability and low accident rates for the combat force—and hence its operational effectiveness in war over the next three decades. This is more likely to be successful if the private sector is the main vendor. In fact, following the model in the US, a certain percentage of the contract value (say 5-10 percent) especially covering spares etc., should be mandated for the small-scale sector. Design and development is the foundation for self-reliance, and until recently had suffered in our aircraft industry. The new aerospace systems, like the multi-role combat aircraft, airliner, and radars, have already been designed elsewhere. But we have the opportunity to design and develop components, systems and sub-systems in partnership with foreign enterprises. Ultimately, to sustain our aerospace industry beyond system costs and performance factors, it must fit the principle of broader national interest and grand geopolitical strategy. The question of American reliability will worry a lot of minds for a long time. European policies in the past have raised doubts about the impact of US policies on even product support; and now differences between EU partners undertaking complex joint arms production ventures (like the Eurofighter) may impact their future actions too. The Soviet Union and its relationship with us disappeared long ago, and new dimensions are already impacting the Indo-Russian arms relationship, not least Russia’s high-end military technology flows to China, and the China-Pakistan strategic nexus where China is one of two suppliers of high-technology arms to the Pakistan Air Force. The signals Moscow is sending out, like hiking

AERO INDIA 2009

the cost of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier deal midway, are not promising. In the ultimate analysis, the decision regarding the new combat aircraft should hinge on broad national interests. The IAF has been dependent on SovietRussian designs for nearly 75-80 percent of its combat force, besides a similar dependence in transport and helicopter fleets. Whatever decision we take, our dependence on Moscow for a minimum of 60 percent of the combat force will persist for the next four decades because of the Su-30 production agreement for 230 aircraft at HAL. Hopefully the LCA will help; but its proportion in the authorised combat fleet of 39 squadrons is unlikely to exceed around 15 percent. This author’s argument as far back as the early 1990s to begin a follow-on design to the LCA did not find favour with the establishment. So the wiggle room we have is a maximum of 15-20 percent aircraft to fill the remaining gap. Simple commonsense and prudence dictate that we look to European/US sources depending on how far they are able to support our techno-economic goals. We hope that South Block, which takes these decisions, will shut down for a

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couple of days as it does during the Republic Day parade and Beating Retreat ceremonies every year, and spend time in Bangalore at the Aero India 2009 show. Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, AVSM VrC VM, a recipient of the Padma Bhushan for a lifetime’s contribution to national defence, is the founder Director of the Centre of Air Power Studies, New Delhi. He is a former fighter pilot and Director of Operations of the Indian Air Force, and headed India’s premier strategic studies think tank, the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi from 1987-2001. He is the author and editor of over three dozen books including Air Power in Modern Warfare (1985), Nonprovocative Defence (1989), Nuclear India (1998); India's Defence Spending(2000), Defence From the Skies (2007), and the forthcoming The Icon: Biography of Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh and has published extensively on strategic issues. Visiting lecturer at defence and war colleges in India and abroad, he was the Convenor of the 3-member Task Force to set up India’s National Security Conference in 1998 and part of the core team to prepare the nuclear doctrine in 1999.


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Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol the India-Pakistan border near Bikaner in December 2008 during escalating tensions with Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai attacks in November

WHO’S BLUF 14


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HE chilly rhetoric between India and Pakistan following the November 26 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, with New Delhi continuing to indicate that military force remains an option, goes hand-in-hand with an incongruous confidence amongst officials on both sides that push will not come to shove. Indian policymakers admit, off the record, that tensions are not nearly as high as when Parliament was attacked in 2001. And Pakistan’s new German-speaking ISI chief, Lt Gen Ahmed Shujaa Pasha, in a carefully chosen interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel, smoothly dismissed the possibility of armed conflict, remarking, “There will be no war… we are distancing ourselves from conflict with India, both now, and in general.” Nor, evidently, is the international community as worried as it was after the Kaluchak terror strike in Jammu in May 2002, when a series of top American and British diplomats shuttled between Islamabad and New Delhi to stave off a conflagration between two fully-deployed armies. This time around, the desultory efforts of the US State Department—both outgoing and incoming—seem directed more at keeping the Pakistan Army’s nose to the “war on terror ” grindstone. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited Islamabad three weeks after the Mumbai attacks, but to partner Pakistan, not admonish it; Britain and Pakistan signed up for a “pact against terror”, funded from London to the tune of £6 million. And British Foreign Secretary David Milliband, in a gaffe that has sections of the British government staring at their shoes, declared that the masterminds of the Mumbai attacks should be tried in Pakistan. But Delhi’s tough talk continues. It doesn’t take a Sun Tzu to identify this as a ham-handed attempt, in an election year, to deflect public attention from the appalling security failures that bestowed such spectacular success on the Mumbai

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AJAI SHUKLA

If you can’t walk the talk, don’t talk the talk. India’s toothless sabrerattling after the Mumbai attacks damages its international credibility and does a disservice to its own people

FING WHOM? 15


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attacks. If threats were a substitute for effective intelligence and policing, the NDA government would, with Operation Parakram in 2001-02, already have provided India with absolute security. The UPA government had criticised the failure of that lengthy, costly and eventually fruitless military mobilisation; now, driven by the electoral compulsion to appear decisive, but without the time, ideas, resources, or will to create an anti-terror shield, the Manmohan Singh government has in turn chosen the easy option of flexing muscles at Pakistan. While pointing the finger at Islamabad may be good politics, it is a self-defeating strategy. No agency in Pakistan can risk being seen to deliver under Indian threat; even the few moderate elements in that country will be left with no choice but to close ranks with rabidly anti-Indian forces. Suspicion of India runs deep in Pakistan, even at the best of times. Overt Indian military threats fan that country’s deepest

COVER STORY

2001 when India mobilised, existential fear: that India has British PM Gordon Brown to October 16, 2002 when the never reconciled to its exis- with Pakistani PM Yousuf troops were ordered back, tence. In such a situation the Gilani. Next page: With there was only a ten-day issue at hand, in this case PM Manmohan Singh. window at the end of Pakistan’s inability or unwill- Brown backed India’s December 2001 when India ingness to prevent attacks on claims against the LET could have prosecuted a war India, is lost in a fog of with clear advantage, because the Pakistani insecurity and hostility. In addition to crystallising anti-Indian Army defences were still not prepared. feelings in Pakistan, war drums from New Once the Pakistani mobilisation gathered Delhi are also damaging Indian credibility. momentum, a war could have had only Western intelligence knows well—and two outcomes. If the fully deployed Pakistani intelligence knows even better— Pakistan Army managed to hold up against that Indian forces are thoroughly unpre- Indian thrusts, grinding battles of attrition pared for selective strikes, which are today would have produced no clear winners. the only viable kind of military operation. On the other hand, if the Indian thrusts Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal precludes the had made rapid headway, the war would option of a conventional Indian military have quickly moved into the nuclear realm. Today, India doesn’t even have that mobilisation followed by full-scale combat operations. That was amply illustrated weeklong window; Pakistan has mobilised during the Operation Parakram crisis when pre-emptively, even pulling back forces India mobilised its military after the from its Afghanistan border. The “marginal December 2001 terrorist attack on the conventional conflict” that India’s army Indian parliament. From December 18, chief General Deepak Kapoor mentioned

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as an option is no longer a possibility. Pakistan’s early deployment of troops at battle stations means that combat operations will quickly escalate all across the border. That leaves India with just one other option: air and missile strikes against terrorist targets in Pakistan, combined with ground raids by Special Forces. But Indian defence planners have failed to build the specific capabilities needed for such crossborder strikes. India neither has pinpoint intelligence about the targets that need to be struck, nor has it developed the wherewithal—surveillance equipment, electronic jammers, Special Forces and precision munitions—needed for cross-border air and ground raids. The Indian right wing admires Israeli strikes in Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian territory and asks why India cannot do the same in Pakistan. India is held back for two reasons. Firstly, it does not have the human intelligence resources that Tel Aviv has deployed against anti-Israeli organisations.

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Israeli-nurtured moles, infiltrated over decades into groups like Hamas and Fatah, provide Tel Aviv with information about the movement of top militant leaders, including details about timings, routes, car colours, models, and even car numbers. This provides Israel with identifiable targets to strike. Indian intelligence on the other hand, after 25 years of fighting Pakistani-based terrorists, has failed to infiltrate groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed to an operationally significant degree. Secondly, an Indian cross-border operation would be both risky and costly. Pakistan’s relatively small defence budget (at $4.39 billion for this year, barely one-fifth the size of India’s) is biased towards inexpensive, defensive systems like anti-air defences, which most experts believe are considerably more watertight than India’s. In contrast, the bulk of India’s defence budget is frittered away on heavy warfighting equipment, usable mainly in the

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Pointing the finger at Islamabad may be good politics, but is a selfdefeating strategy. No agency in Pakistan can risk being seen to deliver under Indian threat; even the few moderate elements in that country will be left with no choice but to close ranks with rabidly anti-Indian forces


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full-scale wars that are becoming increasingly more improbable. The hardware and electronics needed to get past Pakistani air defences comes lower down in India’s shopping list. This is why, even as the Indian public is misled into believing that the government means business, New Delhi’s sabre-rattling evokes international scepticism. Threatening military action without the means to back the threat does incalculable harm to India’s credibility; and the damage is greater each time the threat is made. Even as India seeks the status of major power, such crises tend to hyphenate India with

The ISI chief has just declared that, “terrorism, not India, is Pakistan’s main enemy”. It is surely counterproductive for New Delhi to try so hard to prove him wrong

COVER STORY Pakistan, bracketing the two in strategic calculations across the world. And so, even though the world knows that the Mumbai attacks were masterminded from Pakistan, New Delhi’s response must be logical rather than emotional, anticipating the outcome of what it says. So far, India’s threats have produced only one clear winner: Pakistan. At the time of the Mumbai attacks, that country was at war with itself. The clergy was ranged against the establishment; the huge majority of Pakistanis were seething over a perceived sell-out to America. The Pakistan Army was taking heavy casualties in anti-Taliban operations in the tribal areas of the NWFP; the generals were wracking their brains to explain why devout Muslim soldiers were taking on the mujahideen of Islam. The chickens had come home to roost and, for once, India couldn’t be blamed for Pakistan’s troubles. Now, with a belligerent New Delhi popping up conveniently, it’s back to business as usual. The traditional enemy sits nicely in everyone’s comfort zones. The jehadis are heaving sighs of relief; the Taliban has actually offered to fight India shoulder to shoulder with the Pakistani military. The Pakistan Army is negotiating ceasefires with brutal Taliban commanders like Baitullah Mehsud and Maulvi Fazlullah, who are now being billed as “patriotic Pakistanis”. The generals are happily contemplating winding down, or at least slowing down, bloody counter-militancy operations, and returning to the army’s old pastime of sitting on the Line of Control and pushing militants in to do the dirty work. In bringing the Pakistani Army back to centre-stage, India’s tough talk has undermined Pakistan’s civilian government. In the months since Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, Pakistan was slowly beginning to deploy the instruments needed to confront the jehadi factory that had taken root in that country. President Asif Zardari was in the process of creating what India’s government has so far only talked of: a top-class federal anti-terrorism agency. Pakistan’s Special Investigation Group, or the SIG, was originally set up by President Musharraf in July 2003 as a crack squad to foil terrorist attempts to assassinate him and his generals. Zardari was moving to reinvent the SIG on the lines of Britain’s highly regarded Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre. Journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, no apologists for Pakistan or strangers to its underhand dealings (their book, Deception, is the authoritative

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account of Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation) have reported in detail how Zardari was transforming the SIG. He had managed to obtain British expertise and funding by promising to set up a special SIG cell to track British Pakistanis travelling home, providing Britain with access to raw intelligence and to terrorists who were tracked down. The SIG’s focus, report Levy and Scott-Clark, was on Baitullah Mehsud, the NWFP-based commander of the Tehrike-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an organisation variously described as a “one-stop terror shop”, the “Next-Gen Taliban” and “the new epicentre of global jehad”. It is the TTP that has given extra teeth to India-focused groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad, by creating an umbrella organisation


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So far, India’s threats have produced only one clear winner: Pakistan. At the time of the Mumbai attacks, that country was at war with itself. Now, with a belligerent New Delhi popping up conveniently, it’s back to business as usual

changed in the last year and that draws simultaneously on British Foreign Minister a half. It is hard to ignore the Punjabi organisational skills, Al David Miliband and (left) ferocity with which terrorQaeda financing, Arab bomb- Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, ists have turned their guns making expertise, and young the surviving gunman in on the Pakistani establishPathan and Punjabi funda- the Mumbai attacks ment. The death toll in the mentalists for suicide missions like the Mumbai attacks. With the Pakistani Pakistani Army has been estimated to be as army and intelligence agencies turning their high as 1,500 soldiers, a casualty rate higher backs—however unwillingly—on the than the Indian Army’s at the height of the disparate terrorists that they had nurtured insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir. Even more revealing of the Pakistani for a quarter of a century, there was little choice for the various tanzeems but to come state’s new confrontation with the jehadis is the targeting of the ISI and the SIG. On together in their murderous cause. Indians are understandably sceptical of November 24, 2007 a suicide bomber drove Pakistan’s assertions that it is cracking his RDX-rigged truck into a bus in down on terrorists. Call it the “wolf, wolf Rawalpindi carrying thirty ISI operatives syndrome”; Islamabad has made such for their morning shift. All thirty were claims before. But something has clearly killed. On March 11, 2008 a suicide attack

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on the SIG’s headquarters in Lahore killed 25 people, including 13 SIG officers. All that could now become history if India insists on thrusting itself centre-stage in Pakistan. The ISI chief has just declared that, “terrorism, not India, is Pakistan’s main enemy”. It is surely counterproductive for New Delhi to try so hard to prove him wrong. The Indian government has enough to do by way of creating anti-terrorism machinery in this country. It need not add to its burden by taking on the task of cleaning up Pakistan. There are enough people on the job, including Pakistanis, Britons and Americans, and none of them are reaping much success; it is a pipe-dream to imagine that India would improve things by leaping into the fray. Instead, New Delhi would do better to focus on putting in place the intelligence machinery, the border and coastal defences, the monitoring and surveillance mechanisms, the police and paramilitary forces, and the quick reaction teams needed to ensure that terrorists do not find the going as easy as they apparently did in Mumbai. And it is equally important for India to build public awareness of the new terror threat that it must live with. Bluffing its own people is a poor way to start. Ajai Shukla works in both the visual and the print medium. He is Consulting Editor (Strategic Affairs) for New Delhi Television (NDTV), India’s best-reputed news broadcaster, for which he anchors prime time news and special programmes. He is also Consulting Editor (Strategic Affairs) for Business Standard.


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KARGIL REDUX Air Cdre M KAISER TUFAIL (Retd)

It’s been ten years since India and Pakistan came to blows amid the icy peaks of Kargil. A Pakistani airman’s account, in his own words, of the Pakistan Air Force’s role in the 1999 conflict. HILE the Indians were prompt to set up an Inquiry Commission into the Kargil fracas, we in Pakistan found it expedient to bury the affair in the ‘national interest’. Compared to India’s, Pakistani writings on the Kargil conflict have been pathetically few; those that have come out are largely irrelevant, and in a few cases, clearly sponsored. The role of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has been discussed off and on, but mostly disparagingly, particularly in some uninformed quarters. Here is my perspective, focusing on the IAF’s air operations and the PAF’s position.

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Operational planning in the PAF SINCE a major part of this write-up pertains to the PAF’s appreciation of the situation and the decision-making loop during the Kargil conflict, here is a brief primer on the PAF’s hierarchy and how operational matters are handled at Air Headquarters. The policy-making elements at Air Headquarters consist of four tiers of staff

officers. The top-most tier is made up of the Deputy Chiefs of Air Staff (DCAS) who are the Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) of their respective branches and are nominally headed by the Vice Chief of Air Staff (VCAS). They (along with Air Officers Commanding, the senior representatives from field formations) are members of the Air Board, the PAF’s ‘corporate’ decisionmaking body, which is chaired by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS). The next tier is made up of Assistant Chiefs of Air Staff (ACAS) who head various sub-branches and, along with the third-tier Directors, assist the PSOs in policy-making; they are not on the Air Board, but can be called for hearings and presentations in the Board meetings, as required. A fourth tier of Deputy Directors does most of the sundry staff work in this policy-making hierarchy. The Operations & Plans branch is the key player in any war, conflict or contingency and is responsible for threat assessment and formulation of a suitable response. During peacetime, war plans are

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drawn up by the Plans sub-branch and are then war-gamed in operational exercises run by the sister Operations sub-branch. Operational training is accordingly restructured and administered by the latter, based on the lessons of various exercises. This is the gist of the PAF’s operational preparedness methodology, the efficiency of which is amply reflected in its readiness and telling response in various wars and skirmishes in the past. In early 1999, Air Chief Marshal Parvaiz Mehdi Qureshi was at the helm of the PAF. An officer with an imposing personality, he had won the Sword of Honour at the Academy. During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, as a young Flight Lieutenant, he was on a close support mission in erstwhile East Pakistan when his Sabre was shot down and he was taken POW. He determinedly resumed his fighter pilot’s career after repatriation, and rose to command the PAF’s premier Sargodha Base. He was later appointed as the AOC, Southern Air Command, an appointment that affords considerable interaction amongst the three services, especially in operational exercises. He also held the vitally important post of DCAS (Ops) as well as the VCAS before taking over as CAS. The post of DCAS (Ops) was held by the late Air Marshal Zahid Anis. A well-qualified fighter pilot, he had a distinguished career in the PAF, having held some of the most sought-after appointments. These included command of No 38 Tactical Wing (F-16s), the elite Combat Commanders’ School and PAF Base, Sargodha. He was AOC, Southern Air Command before his appointment as the head of the Operations branch at Air Headquarters. He had done the Air War Course at the PAF’s Air War College, a War Course at the French War College, and the prestigious course at the Royal College of Defence Studies in the UK. The ACAS (Ops) was Air Cdre Abid Rao, who had recently completed command of PAF Base, Mianwali. He had earlier done the War Course from the French War College. The ACAS (Plans) was the late Air Cdre Saleem Nawaz, a brilliant officer who had made his mark at the Staff College at Bracknell, UK, and during the War Course at the National Defence College, Islamabad. There is no gainsaying the fact that the PAF’s hierarchy was highly qualified and that each of the players in the Operations branch had the requisite command and staff experience. The two top men had also fought in the 1971 Indo-Pak War, albeit as junior officers.


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In June 1999 Indian soldiers fire artillery into the Kargil sector against the Pakistani-backed armed intrusion into India’s side of Kashmir

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First rumblings AS DIRECTOR of Operations (in the rank of Gp Capt), my first opportunity to interact with the Army’s Director of Military Operations (DMO) was over a phone call, sometime in March 1999. Brig Nadeem Ahmed called with great courtesy and requested some information that he needed for a paper exercise, as he told me. He wanted to know when the PAF had last carried out a deployment at Skardu, how many aircraft were deployed, etc. Rather impressed with the Army’s interest in PAF matters, I passed on the requisite details. The next day Brig Nadeem called again, but this time his questions were more probing and he wanted some classified information including fuel storage capacity at Skardu, fighter sortie-generation capacity, radar coverage, etc. He insisted that he was preparing a briefing and wanted to get his facts and figures right in front of his bosses. We got on a secure line and I passed on the required information. Although he made it sound like routine contingency planning, I sensed that something unusual was brewing. In the event, I thought it prudent to inform the DCAS (Ops). Just to be sure, he checked with his counterpart, the Director General Military Operations (DGMO), Maj Gen Tauqir Zia, who said the same thing as his DMO and, assured us that it was just part of routine contingency planning. Not withstanding the DGMO’s assurance, a cautious Air Marshal Zahid decided to check things for himself and despatched Gp Capt Tariq Ashraf, Officer Commanding of No 33 Wing at PAF Base, Kamra, to look things over at Skardu and make a report. Within a few days, Gp Capt Tariq (who was also the designated war-time commander of Skardu Base) had completed his visit, which included his own periodic war-readiness inspection. While he made a detailed report to the DCAS (Ops), he let me in on the Army’s mobilisation and other preparations that he had seen in Skardu. His analysis was that “something big is imminent.” Helicopter flying activity was feverishly high as Army Aviation’s Mi-17s were busy moving artillery guns and ammunition to the posts that had been vacated by the Indians during the winter. Troops in battle gear were to be seen all over the city. Interestingly, Messes were abuzz with war chatter amongst young officers. In retrospect, one wonders how Indian intelligence agencies failed to read any such signs, many weeks before the operation unfolded. After hearing Gp Capt Tariq’s report, Air

Helicopter flying activity was feverishly high.Troops in battle gear were seen all over the city. Messes were abuzz with war chatter. In retrospect, one wonders how Indian intelligence agencies failed to read the signs, many weeks before the operation unfolded

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Marshal Zahid got in touch with Maj Gen Tauqir again and, in a roundabout way, told him that if the Army’s ongoing ‘review of contingency plans’ required the PAF to be factored in, an Operations & Plans team would be available for discussion. Nothing was heard from the GHQ till 12 May, when Air Marshal Zahid was told to send a team for a briefing at HQ 10 Corps with regard to the “Kashmir Contingency”. Air Cdre Abid Rao, Air Cdre Saleem Nawaz and myself were directed by the DCAS (Ops) to attend a briefing on the “latest situation in Kashmir” at HQ 10 Corps. We were welcomed by the Chief of Staff (COS) of the Corps, who led us to the briefing room. Shortly thereafter the Corps Commander, Lt Gen Mehmud Ahmad entered, cutting an impressive figure in a bush-coat and his trademark camouflage scarf. After exchanging pleasantries, the COS started with the map orientation briefing. Thereafter, Lt Gen Mehmud took over and broke the news that a limited operation had started two days earlier. It was nothing more than a “protective manoeuvre”, he explained, and was meant to foreclose any further mischief by the enemy, who had been a nuisance in the Neelum Valley, specially on the road on our side of the Line of Control (LOC). He then elaborated that a few vacant Indian posts had been occupied on peaks across the LOC, overlooking the Dras-Kargil Road.


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questions at the end of the rather crisp and to-thepoint briefing, Air Cdre Saleem Nawaz opened up by inquiring about the type of air support that might be needed for the operation. Lt Gen Mehmud assured us that air support was not envisaged and that his forces could take care of enemy aircraft, if they intervened. “I have Stingers on every peak,” he announced. Air Cdre Saleem tried to point out the limited envelope of these types of missiles and said that nothing stopped the IAF from attacking the posts and artillery pieces from high altitude. To this, Lt Gen Mehmud’s reply was that his troops were well camouflaged and concealed and, that IAF pilots would not be able to pick out the posts from the air. As the discussion became more animated, I asked the Corps Commander if he was sure the Indians would not use their artillery to vacate our incursion, given the criticality of the situation from their standpoint. He replied that the Dras-Kargil stretch did not allow for positioning the hundreds of guns that would be required, due to lack of depth; in any case, it would be suicidal for the Indians to denude artillery firepower from any other sector as a defensive balance had to be maintained. He gave the example of the KathuaJammu Sector where the Indians were compelled to keep the bulk of their modern Bofors guns due to the vital road link’s vulnerability to our offensive elements. It seemed from the Corps Commander’s smug appreciation of the situation that the Indians had been tightly straitjacketed in the Dras-Kargil Sector and had no option but to submit to our operational design. More significantly, an alternative action like a strategic riposte by the Indians in another sector had been rendered out of question, given the nuclear environment. Whether resort to an exterior manoeuvre (diplomatic offensive) by the beleaguered Indians had crossed the planners’ minds was not discernable in the Corps Commander’s elucidation. Perhaps it was the incredulousness of the whole thing that led Air Cdre Abid Rao to famously quip, “After this operation, it’s going to be either a Court Martial or Martial Law!” as we walked out of the briefing room. Back at Air Headquarters, we briefed the DCAS (Ops) about what had transpired at the 10 Corps briefing. His surprise at the developments, as well as his concern about the possibility of events spiralling out of control, could not be concealed by his otherwise unflappable demeanour. We Former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif; right, former President Pervez Musharraf

These would, in effect, serve the purpose of Airborne Observation Posts (AOP) meant to direct artillery fire with accuracy. Artillery firepower would be provided by a couple of field guns that had been heli-lifted to the heights, piecemeal, and reassembled over the previous few months of extreme winter when the Indians had been off-guard. The target was a vulnerable section of the Dras-Kargil Road, blocking which would virtually cut off the lifeline that carried the bulk of supplies needed for daily consumption as well as annual winter stocking in the Leh-Siachen Sector. He was very hopeful that this stratagem could choke off the Indians in the vital sector for up to a month, after which the monsoons would prevent vehicular movement (due to landslides) and, also suspend all airlifts by the IAF. “Come October, we shall walk into Siachen— to mop up the dead bodies of hundreds of Indians left hungry, out in the cold,” he said, succinctly summing up what appeared to be a new dimension to the Siachen dispute. It also seemed to serve, at least for the time being, the secondary aim of alleviating Indian military pressure on Pakistani lines of communications in the Neelum Valley that the Corps Commander had alluded to in his opening remarks. (The oft-heard strategic aim of ‘providing a fillip to the insurgency in Kashmir’ was never mentioned.) When Lt Gen Mehmud asked for

Lt Gen Mehmud assured us that air support was not envisaged and that his forces could take care of enemy aircraft, if they intervened. “I have Stingers on every peak,” he announced. He said IAF pilots would not be able to pick out the posts

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were all also piqued at being left out of the intelligence (ELINT) to ferret out the Army’s planning, though we were given to location of PAF air defence sensors. Last believe that it was a ‘limited tactical action’ in minute honing of strafing and rocketing which the PAF would not be required—an skills was carried out by pilots at an airissue that none of us agreed with. Presented to-ground firing range near Leh. Operations by the IAF started in earnest with a fait accompli, we decided not to lose any more time and, while the DCAS (Ops) on 26 May, a full sixteen days after the went to brief the CAS about the situation, commencement of Pakistani infiltration we set about gearing up for a hectic routine. across the LOC. The salient feature of this initial phase was strafing The operations room was quickly updated with the Below: Canberra bombers, and rocketing of the intruders’ positions by MiG-21, latest large-scale maps and since phased out, carried MiG-23BN and MiG-27 air recce photos of the area; out photographic recee aircraft. All operations communications links with missions during the Kargil (except air defence) came to a concerned agencies were war. (Right) A view of the sudden standstill on 28 May, revamped in a short time. Neelum Valley in POK

Deployment orders were issued, and within 48 hours the bulk of combat elements were in-situ at their war locations.

IAF – by fits and starts THE IAF deployments in Kashmir, for what came to be known as ‘Operation Safedsagar ’, commenced on 15 May with the bulk of operational assets positioned by 18 May. A hundred and fifty combat aircraft were deployed as follows: ◗ Srinagar 34 (MiG-21, MiG23, MiG-27) ◗ Awantipur 28 (MiG-21, MiG29, Jaguar) ◗ Udhampur 12 (MiG-21) ◗ Pathankot 30 (MiG-21, MiG-23) ◗ Adampur 46 (Mir-2000, MiG-29, Jaguar) One-third of the aircraft were modern, ‘high-threat’ fighters equipped with Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missiles. During the preparatory stage, air defence alert status (5 minutes to scramble from ground) was maintained while Mirage2000s and Jaguars carried out photo-reconnaissance along the Line of Control (LOC) and aging Canberras carried out electronic

after two IAF fighters and a helicopter were lost—a MiG-21 and a Mi-17 to Pak Army surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), and a MiG-27 to engine trouble caused by gun gas ingestion during high altitude strafing. (Incidentally, the pilot of the MiG-27 Flt Lt Nachiketa, who ejected and was apprehended, had a tête-à-tête with this author during an interesting ‘interrogation’ session.) The results achieved by the IAF in the first two days were dismal. Serious restraints seem to have been imposed on the freedom of action of IAF fighters in what was basically a search-and-destroy mission. Lt Gen Mehmud’s rant about a ‘Stinger on every peak’ seemed true. It was obvious that the IAF had underestimated the SAM threat. The mood in Pak Army circles was that of undiluted elation, and the PAF was expected to sit it out while sharing the khakis’ glee. The IAF immediately went into reappraisal mode and came out with GPSassisted high altitude bombing by MiG-21, MiG-23BN and MiG-27 as a makeshift solution. In the meantime, quick modification on the Mirage-2000 for day/night laser bomb-

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ing kits (Litening pods) was initiated with the help of the Israelis. Conventional incessant bombing that started after a two-day operational hiatus was aimed at harassing the infiltrators and denying them respite, with consequent adverse effects on morale. The results of this part of the campaign were largely insignificant, mainly because the target coordinates were not known accurately; the nature of the terrain too, precluded precision. A few cases of fratricide by the IAF led it to be even more cautious. By 16 June, the IAF was able to open up the laser-guided bombing campaign with the help of Jaguars and Mirage-2000. Daily photo-recces along the LOC by Jaguars escorted by Mirage-2000s, a daily feature since the beginning of operations, proved crucial to both the aerial bombing campaign as well as to the Indian artillery, helping the latter to accurately shell Pakistani positions in the Dras-Kargil and Gultari Sectors. While the photo-recce missions typically did not involve deliberate border violations, there were a total of 37 ‘technical violations’ (which emanate as a


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the infiltration in Kargil, the IAF mobilised and reacted rapidly as the Indian Army took time to position itself. Later, when the Indian Army had entrenched itself, the IAF supplemented and filled in where the artillery could not be positioned in force. Clearly, Army-Air joint operations had a synergistic effect in evicting the intruders.

PAF in a bind

consequence of kinks and bends in the geographical boundaries). Typically, these averaged a depth of five nautical miles, except on one occasion when the IAF fighters apparently cocked a snook at the PAF and came in thirteen miles deep. The Mirage-2000s scored at least five successful laser-guided bomb hits on forward dumping sites and posts. During the last days of operations, which ended on 12 July, it was clear that delivery accuracy had improved considerably. Even though night bombing accuracy was suspect, round-theclock attacks had made it untenable for Pakistani infiltrators to retain posts. Photo-recces of Pakistani artillery gun positions also made them vulnerable to Indian artillery. The IAF flew a total of 550 strike missions against infiltrator positions, including bunkers and supply depots. The coordinates of these locations were mostly picked up from about 150 reconnaissance and communications intelligence missions. In addition, 500 missions were flown for air defence and to escort strike and recce missions. While the Indians had been surprised by

From the very beginning of the Kargil operations, the PAF was trapped in a circumstantial absurdity: it was faced with the ludicrous predicament of having to provide air support to infiltrators already disowned by the Pakistan Army leadership

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FROM the very beginning of the Kargil operations, the PAF was trapped in a circumstantial absurdity: it was faced with the ludicrous predicament of having to provide air support to infiltrators already disowned by the Pakistan Army leadership! In any case, it took some effort to impress on the latter that crossing the LOC by fighters laden with bombs was not, by any stretch of imagination, akin to lobbing a few artillery shells to settle scores. There was no doubt in the minds of the PAF Air Staff that the first cross-border attack (whether across the LOC or the international border) would invite an immediate response from the IAF, possibly in the shape of a retaliatory strike against the home base of the intruding fighters, thus starting the first round. The PAF’s intervention meant all-out war: this unmistakable conclusion was conveyed to the Prime Minister, Mr Nawaz Sharif, by the Air Chief in unequivocal terms. Short of starting an all-out war, the PAF looked at some saner options that could put some wind in Pakistan’s sails after the doldrums had been hit. Air Marshal Najib Akhtar, the Air Officer Commanding of Air Defence Command, was co-opted by the Air Staff to sift the possibilities. Audacious and innovative in equal parts, Air Marshal Najib had an excellent knowledge about our own and the enemy’s Air Defence Ground Environment (ADGE). He had conceived and overseen the unprecedented heli-lift of a low-looking radar to a 14,000-ft mountaintop on the forbidding Deosai Plateau. The highly risky operation became possible with the help of some courageous flying by Army Aviation pilots. With good low level radar cover now available up to the LOC, Air Marshal Najib, along with the Air Staff, focused on fighter sweep (a mission flown to destroy patrolling enemy fighters) as a possible option. To prevent the mission from being seen as an escalatory step in the already charged atmosphere, the PAF had to lure Indian fighters into its own territory, i.e. Azad Kashmir or the Northern Areas. That done, a number of issues had to be tackled. What if


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the enemy aircraft were hit in our territory but fell across, providing a pretext to India as a doubly aggrieved party? What if one of our own aircraft fell, no matter if the exchange was one-to-one (or better)? Finally, even if we were able to pull off a surprise, would it not be a one-off incident, with the IAF wising up quickly? The overarching consideration was the BVR missile capability of IAF fighters, which impinged unfavourably on the mission success probability. The conclusion was that a replication of the famous four-Vampire rout of 1st September 1965 by two Sabres might not be possible. The idea of a fighter sweep thus fizzled out as quickly as it came up for discussion. While the PAF looked at some offensive options, it had a more pressing defensive issue at hand. The IAF’s minor border violations during recce missions were not of grave consequence insofar as no bombing had taken place in our territory; however, the fact that these missions helped the enemy refine its air and artillery targeting was, to say the least, disconcerting. There were constant reports of our troops on the LOC disturbed to see (or hear) IAF fighters operating with apparent impunity. The GHQ took the matter up with the AHQ and it was resolved that Combat Air Patrols (CAPs) would be flown by the F-16s operating out of Minhas (Kamra) and Sargodha. This arrangement resulted in less on-station time but was safer than operating out of vulnerable Skardu, which had inadequate early warning in the mountainous terrain; its status as a turn-around facility was, however, considered acceptable for its location. A flight of F-7s was, nonetheless, deployed primarily for point defence of the important garrison town of Skardu as well as the air base. F-16 CAPs could not have been flown all day long as spares support was limited under the prevailing US sanctions. Random CAPs were resorted to, with a noticeable drop in border violations only as long as the F-16s were on station. There were a few cases of F-16s and Mirage-2000s locking their adversaries with the on-board radars but caution usually prevailed and no close encounters took place. After one week of CAPs, the F-16 maintenance personnel indicated that war reserve spares were being eaten into and that the activity had to be ‘rationalised’, a euphemism for discontinuing it altogether. That an impending war occupied the Air Staff’s minds was evident in the decision by the DCAS (Ops) for F-16 CAPs to be discontinued, unless IAF activity became unbearably provocative or threatening. Those not aware of the gravity of the

SPECIAL F-16 operability Signs on a hillside near problem under Dras celebrate the sanctions have anniversay of India’s complained of ‘Operation Vijay’ the PAF’s lack of cooperation. Suffice it to say that if the PAF had been included in the initial planning, this anomaly (along with many others) would have emerged as a mitigating factor against the Kargil adventure. It is another matter that the Army high command did not envisage operations ever coming to such a pass. Now, it was almost as if the PAF was to blame for the Kargil venture spiralling out of control. It must be noted, too, that other than F-16s, the PAF did not have a capable enough fighter for patrolling, as the minimum requirement in this scenario was an on-board airborne intercept radar, exceptional agility and sufficient staying power. F-7s had reasonably good manoeuvrability but lacked an intercept radar as well as endurance, while the ground attack Mirage-III/5s and A-5s were sitting ducks for the air combat mission. In sum, the PAF found it expedient not to worry too much about minor border violations and instead, conserve resources for the larger conflagration that was looming. All the same, it gave the enemy no pretext for retaliation in the face of any provocation, though this latter stance irked some quarters in the Army that were desperate to ‘equal the match’. It may not have struck them that the PAF’s restraint in warding off a major conflagration may have been its paramount contribution to the Kargil conflict.

Aftermath IT HAS emerged that the principal protagonists of the Kargil adventure were the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Pervez Musharraf; Commander 10 Corps, Lt Gen Mehmud Ahmed; and Commander Force Command Northern Areas (FCNA), Maj Gen Javed Hasan. The trio, in previous ranks and appointments, had been associated with planning during paper exercises how to wrest control of lost territory in Siachen. The plans were not acceptable to the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, to whom the options had been put up for review more than once. She was well versed in international affairs, and too intelligent to be taken in by the chicanery. It fell to the wisdom of her successor, Mr Nawaz Sharif, to approve the Army trio’s self-serving presentation. In an effort to keep the plan secret, which was thought to be the key to its successful initiation, the Army trio took no one

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into confidence—neither its operational commanders nor the heads of the other services. This, regrettably, resulted in a closed-loop thought process, which engendered a string of oversights and failures:  Failure to grasp the wider military and diplomatic ramifications of a limited tactical operation that had the potential of creating strategic effects.  Failure to correctly visualise the response of a powerful enemy to what was, in effect, a major blow in a disputed sector.  Failure to spell out the specific aim to field commanders, who acted on their own to needlessly ‘capture’ territory and expand the scope of the operation to unmanageable levels.  Failure to appreciate the inability of the Army officers to evaluate the capabilities and limitations of an Air Force.  Failure to coordinate contingency plans at the tri-services level. The flaws in the Kargil Plan that led to these failures were almost palpable, and could not have escaped even a layman’s attention during a cursory examination. Why were all the planners blind to the obvious? Could it be that some of the subordinates had the sight but not the nerve in the face of a powerful superior? In hierarchical organ-


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the failures that were apparent right from the beginning. If this point is understood well, remedial measures towards tolerance and liberalism can follow as a matter of course. Such an organisational milieu, based on honest appraisal and fearless appeal, would be conducive to sound and sensible planning. It would also go a long way in precluding Kargil-like disasters.

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isations, there is precious little cheek for dissent, but in autocratic ones like the military, it takes more than a spine to disagree, for there are very few commanders who are large enough to allow such liberties. It is out of fear of annoying the superior—which also carries with it manifold penalties and loss of promotion and perks—that the majority decides to blow with the wind. In a country where democratic traditions have never been deep-rooted, it is no big exposé to point out that the military is steeped in an authoritarian rather than a consensual approach. To my mind, there is an urgent need to inculcate a more liberal culture that accommodates different points of view—a more lateral approach, so to speak. Disagreement during planning should be systemically tolerated and not taken as a personal affront. Unfortunately, many in higher ranks seem to think that rank alone confers wisdom, and anyone displaying signs of intelligence at an earlier stage is, somehow, an alien in their ‘star-spangled’ universe. Kargil, I suspect, like the ‘65 and ‘71 Wars, was a case of not having enough dissenters (‘devil’s advocates’, if you will) during planning, because everyone wanted to agree with the boss. That single reason, I think, was the root cause of most of

Kargil, I suspect, was a case of not having enough dissenters during planning, because everyone wanted to agree with the boss.That single reason, I think, was the root cause of most of the failures that were apparent right from the beginning

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Come change-over time of the Chief of Air Staff in 2001, President Musharraf struck at the PAF’s top leadership in what can only be described as implacable action: he passed over all five Air Marshals and appointed the sixth-in-line who was practically an Air Vice Marshal till a few weeks beforehand. While disregarding seniority in the appointment of service chiefs has historically been endemic in the country, the practice has been seen as breeding nepotism and partiality, besides leaving a trail of conjecture and gossip in the ranks. Given Air Chief Marshal Mehdi’s rather straight-faced and forthright dealings with a somewhat junior General Musharraf particularly during the Kargil conflict, there is good reason to believe that the latter decided to appoint a not very senior Air Chief whom he could order around like one of his Corps Commanders. (As it turned out, Air Chief Marshal Mus’haf was as solid as his predecessor and gave no quarter when it came to PAF’s interests.) Whatever the reason that seniority was bypassed, it was unfortunate that the PAF’s precious corporate experience was thrown out so crassly and several careers were destroyed. The lives and honour lost in Kargil are another matter. Air Cdre M Kaiser Tufail (Retd), was commissioned as a pilot in 1975 after his training at PAF Academy, Risalpur. He has flown several classic fighters including F-6 (MiG19), F-7P (MiG-21 variant), F-7PG (MiG-21 double-delta variant), Mirage-5, Mirage F-1E and the venerable F-16 Fighting Falcon. He has commanded a fighter Squadron, a fighter Wing and a fighter Base. Some of his staff appointments include Director Operations at AHQ and Deputy Commandant, Air War College. When out of the cockpit, he found time to pursue literary activities. His book Great Air Battles of Pakistan Air Force is a manifestation of his interest in aviation history. He also writes for various military journals and newspapers. A graduate of the Air War College and the National Defence College, he holds Masters degrees in Strategic Studies and War Studies. He retired in 2005.


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SHUJA NAWAZ

HE battle for the future of Pakistan has, in many ways, begun in the border region facing Afghanistan where, after September 11, 2001 the United States requested Pakistan to seal its border against the Afghan Taliban who sought sanctuary in Pakistani territory. The blowback from that war created a huge ‘contagion effect’. A home-grown insurgency erupted inside Pakistan, as renegade tribesmen formed an army of their own and, breaking with tribal traditions, set up operations across the seven agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Once the Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan began organising itself and linking up with malcontents across FATA and in the adjoining Frontier Regions as well as Swat, Dir, and Chitral, the only possible course of action left to the government—in the absence of a national consensus on what Frontier Corps the Pakistani nation soldiers overlook a wants to do in FATA, checkpoint at and what sort of Fizagat in the troubled Swat Valley society it wants in Pakistan as a whole—was to send in the army. The situation was further complicated by Sunni extremists from central and southern Punjab who had chosen to ally with the FATA insurgents, especially in battles against Shias in the Kurram Agency. Over time, these Sunni extremists were linked to attacks in the settled areas of Pakistan, even against the Pakistan military. For the first time since independence (barring a brief spell in 1960 to repel an Afhan incursion) the army entered FATA in force. Over time, the equivalent of six infantry divisions were deployed to FATA and Swat, some having moved from positions along the Indo-Pakistan border where they were elements of the Strike Force of Pakistan against any Indian attack. But this was largely a conventional army, trained and equipped for regular warfare against similar forces, not against an insurgent guerrilla force. It faced an uphill battle to transform itself into a counterinsurgency (COIN) force.

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The Pakistan Army needs to shift from conventional to counterinsurgency warfare to battle the militancy in the frontier badlands of FATA.

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The locally deployed Frontier Corps (FC), officer corps. As Lt Gen (retd) Alam Jan a largely peacetime militia that had lost its Mehsud, inspector general of the Frontier efficacy through years of neglect, lack of Corps for Baluchistan, complained in a training and no upgrading of arms and conversation with me: “I found out that systems, was not up to the job of aggres- most of my officers were from the ack ack sively patrolling or fighting the well-armed [air defense corps]! They only knew how to and well-trained militants. Clearly, it had fire in the air!” Moreover, the commanders never faced such a serious threat before. of the FC’s individual wings were only Moreover, the FC was composed of local majors, not lieutenant colonels, as in the tribals commanded by Pakistan army Pakistan Army. (This has now changed; all officers who had little knowledge of the FC wings are now commanded by people and the terrain. Many of the officers lieutenant colonels.) There was little incentive for officers to do were sent to the FC, rather than volunteering for it as Anti-insurgency operations well during their short rotation to the FC, and no had been past practice. So, in have displaced 300,000 locals could hope to rise to effect, the FC received the civilians in Bajaur district officer rank; instead, they had dregs of the Pakistan Army’s since August 2008

The Pakistan Army has begun some preparatory training of units being deployed into FATA and Swat. But in general the army has been “learning by doing,” and standard operational procedures (SOPs) change with changes in commanders

to enlist in the regular army to become FC officers. According to data from GHQ, Pakistan Army, the number of officers commissioned into the Pakistan Army from FATA rose from 63 during the period 1970–1989, to 147 in the period 1990–2005. Even the numbers of soldiers recruited by the Pakistan Army from FATA began to rise, with some 2,255 recruited in the decade 1990–2006, compared with only 75 during 1991–95. But the poor training and morale of the FC began to show in its encounters with the militants. The troops proved unable or unwilling to fight their fellow tribesmen because of the fear of being ostracised by their relatives, and because of the mullahs’ propaganda that fighting on behalf of American “infidels” who had provoked the army’s move into FATA in their “war on terror” would deny FC troops entry into heaven as “martyrs.” In some cases, local

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clerics refused to say funeral prayers over the bodies of dead FC soldiers. The regular army, appearing for the first time inside FATA, was seen as an alien force. Many FC officers still consider it as such. The army, largely Punjabi (60 percent or more), lacked the ability to converse with locals and had to rely on interpreters. According to Maj Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha (then Director General of Military Operations and now DG ISI), the commander of 31 Baluch Regiment reported children running away from him


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when he entered a village; they said they thought he was an American, because he wore US-style pants and a jacket, rather than the shalwar and kameez of the FC. He had to prove his religion and nationality by joining them in evening prayers.

Changing tactics IN SWAT district, the regular army’s first operation was Operation Mountain Viper. The name did not exactly inspire locals, or

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administer its version of the draw them into the task of Security crisis: Pakistani Sharia in parts of Swat and fighting Islamist militants of Taliban beat a drug the Wahabi orthodox smuggler in a public trial in Malakand. Sufi Mohammed was arrested after taking a Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-ShariatSertaligram, Swat Valley large army into Afghanistan Mohammedi (TNSM) of Maulana Fazlullah, who wished to impose in 2001 to fight the US invasion. In an effort his version of religious law on the area. to create a rift between him and his sonFazlullah had inherited the organisation in-law Maulana Fazlullah, the provincial launched in 1992 by his father-in-law, Sufi government released him in April 2008 and Mohammed. The movement operated he signed an agreement to oppose the against the government of Prime Minister insurgency and, among other things, not Benazir Bhutto and won the right to destroy girls’ schools. Fazlullah broke the

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agreement almost immediately, and the desired rift with his father-in-law occurred, with Fazlullah aligning with the wider TTP franchise. The new commander of the troops in Swat was Maj Gen Nasser Janjua, commanding 17 Division from Kharian near the Kashmir border (this division, now back in Kharian, has been replaced by 37 Division under Maj Gen Ijaz Awan). General Janjua launched a fresh operation named Rah-e-Haq or the Path of Truth (i.e., the true Islamic faith) aimed at wresting ground from the insurgents by claiming to act in the name of the true Islam. In an interview with me he said that, recognising the need to “reduce civilian casualties, since we are operating inside our own territory against our own people,” he planned to isolate the insurgents, and to cordon off and search areas repeatedly to draw them out and eliminate them, while providing medical aid and food supplies to people in the affected areas. Initially, he maintained that he allowed the insurgents to “escape” into the northernmost Piochar Valley, giving them a false sense of security and letting them establish fixed positions for training there. Whether this is fact, or an ex post rationalisation of the army’s shortcoming at that stage, is hard to prove. By the end of August and early September 2008, he had identified and attacked these targets, causing heavy damage and forcing the militants to seek help from others in Dir and Bajaur. Meanwhile, the FC in Bajaur mounted an intensive campaign against the militants in that area and found much support from local tribes, including the Salarzai, the dominant tribe in Bajaur that wants to reassert its status against the Taliban. According to a report by Anwarullah Khan in Dawn newspaper (October 6, 2008), the tribe’s leader Malik Zeb Salarzai stated: “The Taliban fighters and commanders are of humble backgrounds and not in a position to challenge the lashkar. They will be eliminated in a few days.” The Salarzai promised to support the FC with their own armed militia to patrol and fight the “foreigners.” The militants were told to leave the area or risk being killed and having their property destroyed.

Poor training and equipment BOTH the FC and the army operated with severe handicaps: poor training in counterinsurgency warfare and poor equipment for the highly mobile war against militants who used double-cab pickup

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trucks to operate in remote areas, and launched surprise attacks and disappeared before troops could reach the affected areas or military posts. These handicaps were magnified to some extent by Pakistan’s unwillingness to accept US military training until late in 2008, and the army’s virtual state of denial about the need to shift from conventional warfare to counterinsurgency operations. The government of Pakistan also did not wish to be seen as accepting US advisers or any large-scale US military presence inside Pakistan (most of the US military were accepted in quiet deals that were not discussed in Parliament or shared with the general population). The lack of attack helicopters and troop-lifting helicopters limited the Pakistani forces’ ability to react with alacrity to seemingly random and widely distant insurgent attacks. The United States promised Cobra helicopters, but not all the helicopters had been delivered by the end of summer 2008. The smaller Bell

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helicopters available to the Pakistan Army cannot operate at the altitude of the mountains of Malakand and Swat, especially during hot days, when they gasp for traction in the thin atmosphere. The solitary heli-lift squadron supplied and supported by the United States at Tarbela cannot adequately cover the wide arc of militancy in the region from South Waziristan to Dir and Swat. The Pakistan Army has begun some preparatory training of units being deployed into FATA and Swat with a three-phase programme that gradually indoctrinates, acclimatises, and trains troops under live fire before sending them into battle against insurgents. But in general the army has been “learning by doing,” and standard operational procedures (SOPs) change with changes in commanders at all levels. Indeed, the FC’s lack of SOPs and poor training were two of the causes for their surrender, as well as that of regular army troops in FATA, in inadequately organised and protected convoys.


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The causes of militancy— lack of justice, governance, economic opportunity, religious obscurantism, and sectarianism—must be addressed with non-military tools.The army can only play a part by helping to restore the writ of the government

more important—part is the Military operations are The Pakistan army in the underlying political dynamic affected by another underly- strategic town of Loisam, and governance, without ing issue: the midterm and in the Bajur tribal region, which military actions will fail long-term importance of regained after a bloody to gain traction or produce a fashioning political context two-month operation lasting solution. and political structures in At heart, the government of Pakistan, FATA that create more space for the military and paramilitary to act in legitimate ways. supported by its political partners and There is the question of the political space substantial segments of the population, that is available to the military to act, and the needs to end its ambivalence about fighting question of how the military chooses to use Islamist militants inside its borders, and be the space and legitimacy that it has to committed to de-weaponising Pakistani pursue its strategic interests. In other words society with carefully calibrated operations the government, by setting national policy against militant strongholds in FATA, the publicly, has to give the military the NWFP, and even the Punjab. Delaying or legitimacy to act on its behalf in the context of not implementing such actions will only the strategic interest of the country. Without worsen the problem over time. Similarly, the clarity on what those strategic interests are, Pakistan Army needs to formally introduce a the military solution can only be temporary, special command that includes forces and perhaps even counterproductive. trained for counterinsurgency warfare, Troops, training, and equipment are one rather than treat it as a marginal effort. This part of a two-part approach to counterinsur- would provide an incentive to officers and gency. The other—and some might say soldiers to specialise in counterinsurgency

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warfare, and improve operations against militants in FATA and elsewhere. But Pakistan’s civilian government and society faces the basic issue that the causes of militancy—lack of justice, governance, economic opportunity, religious obscurantism, and sectarianism—need to be addressed with non-military tools. The army can only play a part by helping to restore the writ of the government in affected areas. To turn the tide against the militants will take the support of the provincial government and the federal government, and economic resources. Transforming the largely conventional army to a counterinsurgency mode will take time. Given the conventional threat from India on the eastern front, the army is naturally chary of such a massive or rapid transformation. Deploying the army against Punjabi militants in the heartland will be equally difficult. In the final analysis, easing tensions with India will give politicians and the military time and space to change the nature of the Pakistan army. For the time being, the army needs to develop the training programmes and doctrinal shift that will allow it to support counterinsurgency operations in the frontier badlands. Shuja Nawaz is the author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within (Oxford University Press 2008) and the forthcoming FATA: A Most Dangerous Place (CSIS January 2009) on which this article is based. Shuja is currently the first Director of the South Asia Center of The Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington DC.


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TERRORISM

BLOOD MONEY ERRORIST financing is in many ways a vastly overrated and sensationalised issue, particularly in the Indian context. The truth is that the funding required to support major terrorist attacks, or even sustained campaigns of terrorism, is so small that it constitutes no more than a marginal challenge for entities engaged in, or agencies supporting, terrorism. This is particularly the case when terrorist organisations are integrated with, or associated with vast charitable complexes engaged in a multiplicity of entirely legitimate activities, or when they constitute part of a state or quasi-state enterprise—as is the case with most Islamist terrorist groups operating against India out of Pakistan. It is even more the case when terrorist finances constitute a minuscule proportion of a vast and undocumented black economy, in circumstances where extreme infirmity and confusion characterise the operation of a multiplicity of monitoring agencies tasked with financial intelligence and enforcement, as is, again, the case in India. Theoretically, of course, targeting the financial apparatus and transactions relating to terrorist movements or incidents can be an immensely powerful counterterrorism tool. It is significant that, once the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was proscribed by the US and European Community, its resource flows quickly dried up, which had a decisive impact on LTTE capabilities in Sri Lanka. However, this is a unique case for South Asia, since

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AJAY SAHNI

The ways in which monies are raised and transferred to finance terrorist attacks on India makes it virtually impossible to tackle the problem

the LTTE’s finances relied overwhelmingly on Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora contributions (harvested voluntarily or coercively), and on a range of legal and illegal enterprises run by LTTE fronts, principally in countries that came under the ban. The third source, ‘taxation’ on local populations in LTTEdominated areas in Sri Lanka, diminished rapidly once the war escalated. It was, moreover, possible to curtail foreign flows only because of the extraordinary transparency and detailed documentation of all transactions in the West, which makes

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contributing to a proscribed organisation, or any of its fronts, fraught with severe consequences. After 9/11, the US enormously emphasised and targeted terrorist finance, with President George Bush declaring, “Money is the lifeblood of terrorist operations… we have launched a strike on the financial foundation of the global terror network.” Investigations into the financing of 9/11 provided crucial evidence against the conspirators and their support networks; freezing the bank accounts and assets of

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Any effort to replicate the associated entities secured Jamaat-ud-Dawa activists Western approach (however quick successes. By Septem- march in Muzaffarabad to limited its successes) to terrorber 2003, 1,439 accounts, protest the charity’s ist finances in India would, containing over $136.7 closure in December 2008 however, be utterly misconmillion, were frozen worldwide. However, terrorist groups adapted ceived. This is dramatically underlined by quickly and “a drastic fall in the volumes of the fact that the architect of the devastating money frozen worldwide” was registered 1993 Mumbai serial blasts—the largest thereafter, even as Osama bin Laden terrorist attack in the country, with 257 boasted openly that US efforts would not fatalities—Dawood Ibrahim, a decade and a make any difference because “by the grace half later still controls one of the most of God, al Qaeda has more than three comprehensive organised crime networks in Mumbai, with deep collusive roots different alternative financial networks.”

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among elements of Maharashtra’s political leadership. In the meanwhile, the ‘D’ Company has become a major InterServices Intelligence (ISI) asset and a continuous collaborator with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other Pakistan-backed terrorist groups, facilitating the movement of arms and explosives, as well as of finances, across international boundaries. It is useful, in this context, to briefly examine the sheer multiplicity of sources finance for Islamist terrorist groups operating in India, and the near impossibility of effectively targeting these networks. The first and most significant source of terrorist finance is the Pakistani state and its agencies. Apart from the very substantial freedom of operation that the Pakistan government offers to an entire range of state-supported terrorist organisations on Pakistani soil, the government is directly engaged in providing resources to these groups. Every terrorist who crosses over the Line of Control brings a certain quantum of funds with him, and is promised substantial rewards on the successful completion of his ‘mission’, as well as

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Hawala traders.” Signifiliberal compensation to his JuD supporters protest its family in the event of death. listing as a terrorist outfit; cantly, Income Tax DepartTerrorist and subversive (right) members distribute ment investigations into Geelani’s transactions estimated networks on Indian soil sacrificial meat to people that the monthly expendireceive sizeable infusions on in their relief camp for Eid ture at his residence was a regular basis through a number of overground front organisations, more than INR 150,000, against a declared dubious charities, hawala transfers and, in annual income in 2003 of just INR 17,000. The arrest on March 24, 2002 of some particularly blatant cases, through Shamima Khan, a Srinagar-based Jammu Pakistani diplomatic missions. Thus, in February 2003, India expelled and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Pakistan’s Chargé d’Affaires Jalil Abbas activist, at Kud on the Jammu-Srinagar Jilani and four staff members of the High national highway, was followed by the Commission at Delhi after two Hurriyat recovery of INR 4.8 million meant for Yasin activists were arrested with INR 500,000 Malik, JKLF Chairman. Khan reportedly allegedly meant for Kashmiri terrorists, received the money from an APHC activist, immediately after they came out of the Altaf Qadiri, at Kathmandu in Nepal. Similarly, the arrest of Imtiyaz Ahmed High Commission. Indeed, the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) had long Bazaz, a Srinagar-based journalist on May been used to channel funds from Pakistan to 22, 2002 led to the unravelling of an elaboterrorists in J&K, and Praveen Swami notes rate Hawala network. Bazaz reportedly that, as early as 1997, top APHC leaders worked as a conduit for the flow of finances Abdul Gani Lone and Syed Ali Shah from the London-based physicist Dr. Ayub Geelani “had received funding to the tune Thokar, President of the World Kashmir of several million Indian rupees a month Freedom Movement, to Asiya Andrabi, from Pakistan, often ostensibly gathered by chief of Dukhtaraan-e-Millat and Syed Ali shadow charities, and sent to them through Shah Geelani of the APHC. Bazaz also

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confessed that Hizb-ul-Mujahiddeen chief Syed Salahuddin, had been sending money to his local ‘commanders’ through Thokor and Geelani. Money is also transferred through travellers from Pakistan to India, particularly on the bi-weekly Express Train that shuttles between Munabao in Barmer, Rajasthan, and Khokhrapar in Sindh, Pakistan, and the Samjhauta Express across the Attari border. There have also been occasional arrests of passengers carrying substantial sums for terrorists on the Srinagar-Muzzafarabad ‘Karvan-e-Aman’ bus. Thus, on May 12, 2008 the Army detained a passenger from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) when he was handing over INR 150,000 to a ‘contact’, who they claimed was deputed by a militant group active in Sopore. One of the most visible indices of Pakistani state support to terrorism in India comes from the vast quantities of counterfeit currency that is printed in Pakistani Security Presses at the Mlair Cantonment in Karachi, and at Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar. This counterfeit currency has been among the most significant tools of

One of the most visible indices of Pakistani state support to terrorism in India comes from the vast quantities of counterfeit currency that is printed in Pakistani Security Presses at the Mlair Cantonment in Karachi, and at Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar

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state finance of terrorism, and has also enabled the Pakistan Army to keep its expenditure on these activities outside its official budget. While no hard estimate is available of the actual quantities of counterfeit currency that Pakistan pumps into the Indian economy, intelligence assessments suggest that approximately INR 120-130 million is smuggled in annually through a number of clandestine channels. Some estimates suggest that as much as 25 per cent of the total currency in circulation in India could be fake. While some of this counterfeit currency is brought in by terrorists who infiltrate India’s various borders—across the Line of Control, along the Western border, through the sea route, from Bangladesh and from Nepal—a significant quantity is moved through criminal networks, principally those controlled by the ‘D’ Company. The fake notes are transported to Dubai, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Dhaka and Singapore, from where they are then physically smuggled into India by a range of couriers— including Indian workers travelling home— as well as on smuggling boats and by ‘D’ company operatives through select airlines.


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The overwhelming proportion of this currency first lands in Maharashtra, where the ‘D’ Company is most influential, or is pushed through Bangladesh, Nepal and Thailand. Indeed, Nepal has made the possession of large denomination Indian currencies (INR 500 and INR 1,000 notes) illegal as a result. While some of this money reaches the terrorists in J&K, according to the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence a large proportion is “distributed among criminals and smugglers in different parts of the country, mostly New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, etc, as the ISI also uses the services of these criminals occasionally to transport weaponry and explosive devices.” Counterfeit currency transactions are quite profitable for criminals. The DRI notes: “The rate (per Rs 100) on the India-Pakistan border is around Rs 35, which goes up to around Rs 40 in Delhi and Rs 45-50 in the district and mofussil areas, where chances of detection are perhaps lower. These rates are however flexible and depend upon quality, availabil-

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Freedom Movement; the ity and negotiating strengths Tribesmen in a North at particular points of time.” Waziristan house struck by Consultative Committee of Terrorist groups and their a US missile; (r) LTTE boss Indian Muslims; and, in Pakistan, the Jamaat-efront organisations, as well as Velupillai Prabhakaran Islami, the Muslim Confertheir political affiliates, also raise money in Pakistan, often directly to ence, the Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadis and the fund the jihad, but more comprehensively People’s League, among others. Terrorist fronts in Pakistan also raise some and routinely towards the various religious charities these groups also run. Part of the revenue from various investments in money received for charitable works is business ventures—including reportedly skimmed off to fund terrorist infrastructure substantial transactions in the one-time and operations. These organisations also booming Indian stock market. The narcotics receive substantial contributions from trade, weapons smuggling and extortion are international Islamic charities and foreign additional sources of revenue generation. Consequently, the principal sources of sympathisers. Prominent charities, non-governmental agencies and political revenue generation for Islamist terrorists in formations across the world that are India lie outside the country, though a small believed to have funded various terrorist proportion—estimated by intelligence organisations include: the World Assembly sources at no more than 10 percent of total of Muslim Youth; the International Islamic revenues—may be generated through Federation of Students’ Organisations; the donations, extortion and business activities Al-Haramain Foundation; the Interna- in India. With a bulk of sources located in tional Islamic Relief Organisation; the Pakistan, and protected by Pakistan state Global Relief Foundation; the Rabita Trust; agencies, and others located in a number of the Al-Rashid Trust; the World Kashmir other countries, particularly in West Asia,

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which have a poor record of counterterrorism cooperation with India, Indian agencies have limited capacities to attack terrorist funding at the point of resource generation. The core challenge of tackling terrorist finance is, therefore, limited to the receipt and distribution of funds. Such transfers overwhelmingly occur through informal hawala channels, though forged accounts and some highly opaque transactions through the legal banking and wire transfer system also play an occasional part. Most cases registered in connection with terrorist finance in India have been related to the possession of unexplained monies by individuals linked to terrorist groups or their front organisations, and the charge of supporting terrorism is seldom established. Thus, for instance, Tariq Ahmed Dar, who was arrested in November 2005 for links to the serial bombings in Delhi on October 29, 2005 confessed before a Delhi Court that he had transferred hawala money to LeT terrorists involved in the blasts, and that he had called news agencies to deny the Lashkar ’s role in the explosions on a cell phone ‘gifted’ to him by Lashkar operatives, but flatly denied that he had any role in the explosions. While technical evidence linked him to these lesser crimes, there was little possibility of proving his role in the more sinister conspiracy. In the Indian context, tackling the problem of terrorist finance is infinitely compounded by the fact that terrorist and organised criminal financial operations are

In India, the problem of terrorist finance is infinitely compounded by the fact that terrorist and organised criminal financial operations are intertwined with the underbelly of otherwise legitimate commercial and financial activities

intertwined with the underbelly of otherwise legitimate commercial and financial activities. The reality is that an overwhelming proportion of organised crime and underground (including terrorist) financial operations are today are not predatory but collusive. They are based on a continuing and symbiotic relationship of acquiescence between criminal enterprises on the one hand and government agencies and officials on the other, as well as enterprises whose primary businesses lie within the ambit of the law. India’s vast black economy provides the context of the

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movement of terrorist funds as well. Hawala networks are used not only by terrorists, drug-traffickers, arms smugglers and other criminals, but also by corrupt businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians, and expatriate workers transferring monies to their families at home. Terrorists constantly reinvent their modus operandi to protect their funding networks, and a sluggish bureaucracy has failed to keep up with the tasks of interdiction. The problem is hugely compounded by the fact that India has no integrated apparatus for financial intelligence and enforcement. There are, for instance, as many as fifteen central agencies variously charged with gathering financial intelligence, with or without an enforcement responsibility, and a large number of other organisations charged with the task of collection, collation and analysis of financial data—and little coordination between them. The absence of transparency across the market; a seamless blend of corporate and criminal cultures; a permissive, even licentious, operating environment; and the diffusion of function and responsibility among the multiplicity of enforcement agencies, make it well-nigh impossible to effectively contain or neutralise the complex networks of illegal financial traffic in India. Crucially, terrorist finance cannot be contained unless all illegal financial operations are disabled— an objective far from acceptable to the compromised political and bureaucratic leadership of the country. Success in disrupting terrorist funding networks in India will, consequently, remain episodic at best, and will have no more than marginal impact on the larger counter-terrorism endeavour. Ajai Sahni is Founding Member & Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management. He is also Editor, South Asia Intelligence Review; Executive Director, South Asia Terrorism Portal; Executive Editor, Faultlines: Writings on Conflict & Resolution; Member, State Police Commission, Uttarakhand; and Member, Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific – India. He has researched and written extensively on issues relating to conflict, politics and development in South Asia, and has participated in advisory projects undertaken for various National or State Governments. Jointly edited (with K.P.S. Gill) Terror & Containment: Perspectives on India’s Internal Security; and The Global Threat of Terror: Ideological, Material and Political Linkages. Received a Ph.D. from Delhi University with his thesis on ‘Democracy, Dissent & the Right to Information’.


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INDO-US TIES

THE

UGLY, THE BAD AND THE GOOD Under the Bush administration, fitful US-India strategic relations were fine-tuned into a smooth purr. What can the relationship expect from the Obama administration?

STEPHEN COHEN S PRESIDENT Barack Obama, who assumed office on January 20, 2009, inherits a healthy US-India bilateral relationship from George W. Bush. After decades of mistrust between New Delhi and Washington, the warming of ties that began in the early 1990s culminated in the bold and unconventional civil nuclear agreement that set aside historical differences over nuclear non-proliferation by giving India access to hitherto prohibited US equipment and technology. Trade, investment and people-to-people ties are on a steady

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upward trajectory, subject only to the performance of the global economy. Today, the Indian and American governments discuss more issues more frequently than anyone thought imaginable in the dark days of the relationship in the 1970s and 1980s. But one area in which the two countries have so far failed to make significant breakthroughs is defence collaboration. It is true that they today enjoy almost unprecedented militaryto-military relations. But differences over strategic objectives—especially with regard to Pakistan—look likely to constrain their quest for closer strategic collaboration, as do continuing divergences over long-term objectives and priorities. The present India-Pakistan crisis, triggered by November ’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, could be one of a series of events that forces Washington to

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make difficult choices between its strategy in the so-called “war on terror ” and its burgeoning relations with New Delhi. Defence ties, therefore, remain the one area in which President Obama can build substantively on the breakthroughs of the last eight years in the bilateral USIndia relationship. As long as the two countries can in the next few years navigate short-term crises and manage those few areas where interests do clash,


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the overall prospects for the US-India strategic relationship remain excellent.

After Mumbai, another crisis? DESPITE the best intentions of the Bush administration and its counterparts in New Delhi, India has not yet been completely ‘de-hyphenated’ from Pakistan. While there has been frequent confluence between Indian and American policy over

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the last few years, the two Former President Bush ism and state-building activistates have opposing views (left), President-elect ties in Afghanistan. on how to handle Pakistan, Obama and then-President The crisis presently brewwhich both view as one of George W Bush at the ing between India and the major centres—if not the White House in 2008 Pakistan will probably major centre—of global present Obama with his first terrorist activity. Specifically, Indian major foreign policy challenge as president. attempts to isolate Pakistan have clashed Among its possible consequences is the with American efforts to cooperate with the derailment of his plan to make Afghanistan Pakistani government and military to the centerpiece of his version of the “war on execute counterinsurgency, counterterror- terror ” (which is likely to receive a new

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name if not a new strategy). Even if tensions can be defused in the next few months, there remains the frightening possibility of another crisis, triggered by a new terrorist attack, or by India’s desire for punitive action. Obama is expected to continue the Bush administration’s strategy of talking directly to leaders in both countries, urging restraint and a joint approach to the problem of terrorism. However, he will soon discover that the United States has become an integral part of the regional dynamic, as each side uses it to pressure the other. The United States would learn to live with continuing India-Pakistan crises— much as it does with the intractable IsraelPalestine conflict—were it not for the fact

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Obama may be forced to that both states are nuclear- Then and now: Jawaharlal rethink the entire Afghan armed. Once the present Nehru at the White House strategy and might follow crisis is over, there is likely to in 1961 with President the path blazed by India of be a revival of the arms Kennedy; and, opposite, using Iran for access to control-versus-regional pol- PM Manmohan Singh and Afghanistan. This would not icy debate in Washington, President George W. Bush necessarily mean abandonwhich bedevilled American policy during the last few years of the ing Pakistan as a partner in Afghanistan, Clinton administration. India has already but it would allow greater leverage with anticipated this and speaks more positively Islamabad. What Pakistan would do next is and regularly about innocuous plans for uncertain—it could ratchet up tensions with India, it could become a more willing global disarmament. This crisis may also lead Obama to some partner in combating terror groups, or it far-reaching policy changes vis-à-vis could pull out of the feeble alliance with the Afghanistan and Iran. If Pakistan is unable United States at the risk of losing economic or unwilling to clamp down on militants or military assistance. What approach the operating along its north-western frontier, incoming Obama administration takes citing tensions with India as a reason, towards Pakistan is as yet uncertain. For

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better or worse, it promises to hold great sway over the United States’ political relationship with India and, by extension, Indo-US military cooperation.

Defence cooperation, past and present THE tortuous strategic relationship between the United States and India since 1947 is well documented. Despite frequently converging concerns (particularly regarding Communist China, and more recently Islamist terrorism) and similar ideals (democracy, liberalism and pluralism), the two countries never forged a serious security partnership. The first 43 years of ties are perfectly captured in the title of Dennis Kux’s excellent history, Estranged Democracies. There was one brief period of sustained strategic cooperation between 1962 and 1965, following the Sino-Indian border war, which exposed India’s military vulnerabilities. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru frantically wrote to President John F. Kennedy in November 1962, focusing on the two countries’ common values, in a lastditch attempt to secure American support. In the years that followed, the United States provided India with both grant assistance and military sales. This support, along with assistance to Pakistan, ended abruptly with the 1965 India-Pakistan war. The United States’ normalisation of ties with China in the 1970s and its alliance with Pakistan in the 1980s soured the relationship to the point that India began to think of Washington, Beijing and Islamabad as its own ‘axis of evil’. Sustained cooperation between the United States and India began only in the early 1990s, when military-to-military interactions were renewed. The navies led the way, the Indian navy being the least bound of the three services to a strict defence of India’s territorial sovereignty. The two countries began the annual Malabar exercises in 1992 and, after a hiatus following India’s 1998 nuclear tests, resumed expanded naval cooperation in 2002. The exercises increased in sophistication, from basic passing and replenishment-at-sea in 2002 to full-blown war games with aircraft carriers and satellite communications by 2005. The armies and air forces followed. Beginning in 2003, the two armies began joint counterinsurgency exercises in Mizoram. And after engaging with the US Air Force in exercises in India, the IAF was invited to participate in the Red Flag exercises in Nevada in August 2008, along

with the South Korean and French air forces. Such military-to-military interactions remain, at present, the only concrete result of the much ballyhooed US-India defence relationship, which, as a whole, has been the slowest facet of the overall relationship to realise its potential. Military ties have been uneven at best, with considerable variation in cooperation between different services and in different sectors. Obama will have a difficult time topping his predecessor in substantively improving relations with India but, assuming his administration takes into account India’s wishes and sensitivities, defence collaboration offers one area to build upon Bush’s breakthroughs. The greater obstacle, however, may be India’s incoherence in building and deploying a modern military. Exercises—the one area of outright success—allow both militaries to operate within their comfort zones and provide some benefits for each side. Unfortunately, attempts to take further steps have frequently been stymied. For example, Washington has made favourable offers to India of institutionalised military cooperation, including offers to join the Combined Task Force 150 based in Djibouti, and to assume a major role in post-invasion peacekeeping operations in Iraq. In both cases, India spurned American proposals for cooperation of a higher order. On the other hand, the United States rejected India’s bid to assume a greater role in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. Washington did not see how India could be of practical help, and did not want to alienate Pakistan, which was in the process of signing on to the American effort. These refusals by one side or the other stem largely from differences in how Washington and New Delhi perceive the future of the bilateral defence relationship. For the United States, the end goal of steady steps towards closer interoperability is Indian involvement in a cooperative defence alliance, along the lines of the American relationship with other friendly countries such as Australia. India would ideally purchase sophisticated American equipment off the shelf, and participate in military operations in the region and elsewhere under American leadership. However, India views the burgeoning relationship very differently. Any cooperation with the United States would have to be framed as a partnership of equals, conducted to satisfy immediate Indian security concerns, and designed to involve a transfer of American technology to India

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The tortuous strategic relationship between the United States and India since 1947 is well documented. Sustained cooperation began only in the early 1990s, when military-to-military interactions were renewed

that would ultimately abet India’s defenceindustrial self-reliance. The Bush administration learned, sometimes after several missteps, that it would have to temper its expectations accordingly. Enthusiastic rhetoric concerning the “natural alliance” between the two countries—building upon Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee’s use of the term—gave way gradually to more sober and grounded talk of a mutually beneficial “partnership.” This was not merely a minor semantic adjustment, but rather, a conscious realisation that India’s democracy, its size and its sensitivity to its sovereignty inhibit the kind of relationship that the United States has been used to with other friendly countries. More problematic, from the perspective of expanded defence cooperation, is the incoherence of India’s effort to modernise its armed forces. This incoherence has deep roots, but two factors stand out. The first is the attitude of most Indian politicians and bureaucrats, who fail to see the need for


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INDO-US TIES

reforms in the military sphere similar to those pursued in many economic and social sectors. The Indian army today has essentially the same structure as that created by Lord Clive in the 18th century. Second, India’s services themselves lack any sense of cooperation or common purpose; despite talk, there has been no evident move towards this. Military modernisation is frequently interpreted as enhancing equipment and technology, rather than training, doctrine and structure. The result is a huge, paralysed defence empire. To take the example of defence procurement, particularly critical for the navy and air force, decisions are so hard to come by that India repeatedly misses important opportunities. The default option— producing equipment in India’s own state-owned factories—frequently yields poorly-built and obsolescent weapons that even the Indian services do not want. As far as cooperation is concerned, each service has its own strategic doctrine, none of which necessarily represents actual policy that will be followed by the Indian government. Americans and others who interact with the Indian defence sector are all too often dismayed and disappointed at its 19th century approach to 21st century problems.

Looking ahead AT ONE level, Barack Obama’s election may not have a major impact on the security dynamics between the two countries. Joint exercises are expected to continue apace and, following the conclusion of the

Obama will have a difficult time topping his predecessor in substantively improving relations with India, but defence collaboration offers one area to build upon Bush’s breakthroughs

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nuclear agreement, are unlikely to be hampered by the dictates of non-proliferation as in years past. The retention of Robert Gates as Secretary of Defence (who purportedly has great enthusiasm for India), continuing reservations in the Pentagon about the rise of China, and the resurgent threats of piracy, narcotics and terrorism also point to broad continuity in bilateral defence relations. Regardless, four aspects of the Indo-US military relationship can be greatly improved upon by an incoming US administration bent on action, in conjunction with South Block. The first two of these have not yet been brought to fruition to India’s satisfaction, while the latter two have not met American expectations. The first is joint defence production, which India greatly desires as a mark of trust and as a source of technical know-how. Indian enthusiasm is implicit in its offset policies, but it is exactly those policies, as well as the United States’ strict oversight and end-use monitoring requirements, which make such cooperation difficult. American firms that have tried to work within the offset policy often find it cumbersome, and unlikely to generate significant technological or economic benefits. The second, collaborative research and development, holds slightly more promise, as India’s proficiency in software complements the United States’ cutting-edge hardware. That avenue, however, has yet to be pursued to its fullest, thwarted partly by India’s less than impressive indigenous defence R&D infrastructure. In addition, the United States’ strenuous oversight over defence technology could also prove an impediment. This may change markedly if the private sector is allowed more space in India, and the long-discussed possibility of technology transfer via private firms on both sides (suitably monitored by the respective governments), could come to fruition in the next few years. The third aspect is bilateral defence trade, which has so far proven unsatisfactory from the standpoint of American manufacturers. India recently bought C-130J aircraft for almost $1 billion and the USS Trenton, now renamed the INS Jalashwa. These agreements certainly pave the way for further commerce. But while several other marquee defence deals may be in the pipeline, and others appear on hold, American defence contractors at present look unlikely to unseat Russia, Israel and France as major providers of systems to India. Finally, joint operations—other than for

humanitarian relief—remain improbable for the near future, despite several common strategic objectives. Both countries being unused to partnerships of equals, differences over command are likely to be a point of contention, as they were when they contemplated cooperation in Iraq in 2003. While India has not historically been averse to multilateral operations—particularly if under a United Nations flag—it is not likely to participate in US-led coalition efforts unless Indian security is directly compromised, a consequence of India’s defensively-oriented strategic culture, the conservativeness of its bureaucracies, and the dictates of its domestic politics. Despite the difficulties, the Obama administration can potentially build upon the developments of the last eight years and qualitatively improve the US-India defence partnership. Obama himself had reservations about the nuclear agreement, and supported it reluctantly. Many of his advisors, particularly on nuclear matters, were more overtly critical. Yet, none of them are opposed to India itself; they believe that a strong US-India strategic relationship makes sense. While the first year of the next administration is likely to be mired in extinguishing immediate crises on the economic and foreign policy fronts, the next four—or eight—years will give Obama the opportunity to do more than consolidate the advances in defence cooperation achieved by the Bush administration. Stephen P. Cohen and Dhruva Jaishankar are with the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. Dr. Cohen is currently writing a book on Indian military modernisation.

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From left: Presidents George H. W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter meet in the Oval Office on January 7, 2009. Opposite: President Obama appoints his team

Four aspects of the relationship can be greatly improved upon by the incoming administration in conjunction with South Block: joint defence production, collaborative research and development, bilateral defence trade, and joint operations


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Vice Admiral PREMVIR S. DAS (retd)

EOGRAPHY has put India at centre stage in the emerging global security environment. With Asia becoming the focus of international concerns, the Indian Ocean (IO) littoral has assumed newfound importance. About two-fifths of all global seaborne commerce moves across these waters; one-fifth of this comprises oil and gas. The US, France, China and Japan are major importers of oil and gas from the Gulf. Since 65 percent of the world's known oil, and 35 percent of its gas holdings are located in Asia, these countries’ involvement in the affairs of the IO, and their influence on its geopolitics, is unlikely to diminish in the foreseeable future. The littoral also suffers from some geographical negatives. All exits and entries to and from the IO pass through restricted channels such as the Malacca Straits, where even poorly equipped criminals can interdict shipping. The waters off Somalia, in the Gulf of Aden, are another zone of opportunity for pirates. Dozens of ships, including tankers carrying potentially dangerous chemicals, have been hijacked in this region in recent months. The political scenario is not very reassur-

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ing either. Most littorals have been independent nations for five decades or less; almost all face racial, religious, sectarian and ethnic problems. Many are authoritarian regimes and quite a few, especially in the Gulf, are single product economies. This mix potentially threatens stability, with the situation in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan adding to the brew of uncertainty. The strategic importance of the IO littoral, therefore, has to be viewed in the context of its vulnerability.

India’s strategic interests INDIA’s security interests are both at the strategic level, and more immediate. The Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea guard our eastern and western flanks. To the south, approaches towards sub-continental India pass through the island nations of Mauritius and Seychelles and, nearer home, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The interest of external powers in this region manifests itself in a military presence at sea. While American forces are predominant, there are also French, British, Australian, Canadian and Japanese elements that operate ‘embedded’ with them. China is not yet on the scene but,

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The Mumbai attacks of November 2008 turned the country’s attention to a much-overlooked strategic theatre. Is India doing enough to safeguard its interests in the Indian Ocean?


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given the pace of its naval modernisation, energy interests and quite clearly articulated goals, it is inevitable that it will seek to be an IO player before long. Its port-building activities in Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, are harbingers of what may lie ahead. China already has electronic monitoring posts, which it seeks to modernise, in the Coco Islands in immediate proximity to the Andaman Islands. We have to watch these developments carefully. The activities and overtures of one or more of these several players that may be hostile to India’s interests are, therefore, strategically relevant. At another level, interactions between them also have a bearing on the geopolitics of the region. Nearly 70 percent of India’s energy imports come from the Gulf; in fifteen years this figure will cross 85 percent. The number of tankers that transport oil and gas to Indian ports, 4000 this year, is slated to double in the same time frame. Their INS VIRAAT, safety, at sea and in the aging flagship our ports, directly of the Indian Navy, impinges on the is the only aircraft country’s economic carrier in the Asiagrowth. In the same Pacific Region period, our offshore oil and gas platforms are expected to increase and stretch across a much larger area of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) than the existing 50,000 square kilometres. These very vital assets need to be safeguarded. Overseas trade, almost all of it seaborne, is another area of concern. Its monetary content is likely to cross $500 billion in 2008 and, at a conservative estimate, double in the next five to six years. From less than 19 percent of GDP in the mid-1990s, it has risen to 45 percent and is likely to cross 60 percent in ten years. Any interference with free movement of this trade could hurt our interests. It has therefore become crucial to ensure the safety of Sea Lanes of Communications (SLOC) in the IO region. India shares maritime borders with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. This proximity has its own complications in terms of poaching, smuggling and the illegal movement of people. Narcotics smuggling is particularly worrisome, as illegal profits from it are used for contraband arms and terrorism. The entire area is infested with terrorism, from the Al Qaeda group in the west to the Abu Sayyaf group operating in the Philippines in the east. While these groups have largely focused on land-based activities, their ability to

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operate at sea should not be ignored; recent examples include Al Qaeda's attacks on the American destroyer USS Cole in Aden a few years ago, and Abu Sayyaf's attacks on offshore oil terminals off Basra and on passenger ferries in the Philippines. The threat is real, and more, not fewer, such acts should be expected.

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Given its history, demo- Navy sailors during the brought in by sea in 1993. graphics and pluralistic international fleet review Recently and more menacsociety, India is an especially in October. (Right) Chief of ingly, in November 2008, vulnerable target for Naval Staff Sureesh Mehta nearly a dozen well-armed non-state actors. The terrorists from Pakistan were country’s coastline is very porous, a weak- able to come across the sea into the very ness shown up when explosives used in the heart of Mumbai and attack prestigious Lashkar group's blasts in Mumbai were targets, killing a couple of hundred people.

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Aden on the west to the coast of Southeast Asia on the east. These concerns extend southwards too, up to the East African coast. This is the area of India’s strategic interest.

The nature of the threats

Recent years have also seen considerable militarisation in the region. Several nations now operate submarines, and even the smaller littorals have sophisticated aircraft and missiles in their inventories. In short, India has very important security concerns, both proximate and across the entire IO theatre, stretching from the Gulf of

IN SIXTY years as an independent nation, India has had to fight four wars with Pakistan and one with China. After a period of peace and tranquillity on the Indo-Pak borders, tensions are high again following the Mumbai carnage. For whatever reason, the Pakistan government is unable to rein in various elements hostile to India, be they non-state actors like the Taliban, Lashkar and Jaish groups, or the rabid elements of the ISI; indeed, all of them might well be acting in concert. The tenuous situation in Afghanistan also impacts Pakistan and, in turn, has a spillover effect on India. So, even as the two countries have very different nation state profiles today, including in the global environment, one cannot rule out the possibility of an untoward event. Given the potency and range of modern naval platforms and weapons, war at and from the sea will play a much more important part in any such eventuality. Naval forces can also be called upon to choke movement in and out of Karachi to create economic mayhem in Pakistan. As for China, while its relations with India have improved dramatically in the last few years, its quest for a presence in the IO needs to be watched carefully. China has recently, and for the first time ever, deployed a warship to safeguard its merchant ships against the threat of Somali pirates. The Sino-Indian border dispute remains unresolved. Even though military conflict between the two countries is a very remote possibility, it would be wise to monitor these developments and have credible deterrence in place. This means having capabilities that will sustain India’s preeminence as the regional maritime power. Given the restricted waters through which heavily laden cargo vessels must move into and out of the IO, it is not surprising that piracy has been rampant. In recent years, pirates have acquired lethal weapons like AK rifles and sophisticated handheld communications sets. Until 2006, the Malacca Straits was a major centre of piracy at sea with most of the miscreants coming from Indonesia. However, the military forces of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia have enforced deterrent measures through coordinated

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On the upside, the Navy has cemented cooperative engagement with a number of countries, enhanced the networking of forces, and developed manpower. On the downside, it remains deficient in major combatants

patrolling at sea and in the air. This has had a positive effect with piracy incidents falling sharply, and highlights the need for stringent preventive action. Indian maritime forces also carry out such missions in selected areas in cooperation with these countries; something similar is urgently needed off the Somalia coast. The INS Tabar’s sinking of a pirate vessel, and the INS Mysore's capture of more than a dozen of these criminals, are welcome developments in recent weeks, but cannot replace a concerted, multi-nation response. As the major maritime power in the region, the Indian Navy must play a proactive role


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in putting appropriate cooperative measures in place. Nearer home, while it is impossible to sanitise India's long and porous coastline, we need to put in place a tiered arrangement of capabilities in and around ports and in coastal waters, supported by radar stations, aerial surveillance and good

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intelligence. Close inter-agency coordination is essential between those involved in coastal belt activities.

Building sea power INDIA must have capabilities that are credibly deterrent to potential adversaries,

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and reassuring to those who share common interests with us. We should be able to deploy the right mix of forces at a place of our choosing, and be able to sustain them for as long as we need. This requires platforms of a certain size, well equipped with weapons and sensors, capable of operating in all kinds of weather, and


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INS Tarangini, the only sail training ship in the Indian Navy, is an icon of India's maritime history

The Marine Commando Force (MCF), also known as MARCOS, is a special forces unit that was raised by the Indian Navy in 1987 for direct action, special reconnaissance, amphibious warfare and counter-terrorism

supported by a competent logistics chain. Even more important is the ability to operate credibly, without which all else loses relevance. Credible operations require networked forces, good command and control mechanisms, quick intelligence and information flow, efficient reconnaissance and surveillance through aircraft and satel-

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means least, is the Navy’s lites, and integral air power A Sea Harrier takes off responsibility and ability to without which control of the from the flight deck of the help friendly littorals when operational air space is not aircraft carrier INS Viraat such help is sought, and to feasible. Only aircraft render assistance during natural disasters carriers can provide this capability. There must also be adequate numbers such as the tsunami of 2004. While the Coast Guard has primary of submarines, whose relative invulnerability to detection makes them powerful force responsibility for policing the coast, the multipliers. Nuclear-powered submarines Navy has to be the lead player in are the ultimate underwater platforms; no safeguarding the entire spectrum of our nation aspiring to sea power can afford to maritime concerns, of which new threats ignore this need. Fitted with strategic like piracy and terrorism are part. Reports weapons, they are the most invulnerable that a three star Flag Officer is being element of that capability. Last, but by no appointed as Maritime Security Adviser,

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and that a Coastal Command is being created, are steps in the right direction, even if much delayed. The question arises whether the Navy is geared to cope with the new range of responsibilities. On the upside, it has moved positively to cement cooperative engagement with a number of countries against threats posed

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by non-state actors to the INS Chakra, an Indian combatants. Force levels are safe movement of seaborne Charlie I class cruise well short of those needed trade. It has also visibly missile submarine; (right) and planned for. The HDW enhanced the networking of Indian Coast Guard sailors scandal of the 1980s put a forces, and developed stop to submarine building manpower consistent with the needs of in India for over fifteen years; it has recommodern technology. On the downside, the menced only now, with the construction of Navy remains deficient in major the French Scorpene boats. This self-

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inflicted punishment has seriously degraded the Navy’s underwater force level. The construction of frigates and destroyers, the workhorses of the sea, has also been slow, one reason being that the shipyard in Kolkata unwisely closed this line because of unsatisfactory work on the first three such ships built there. The induction of the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, being acquired from Russia, is three years behind schedule. Delays have plagued the indigenous aircraft carrier being built at Kochi. There is also a crying need for long-range surveillance aircraft. Building our own ships and submarines at a good pace is key to developing, and then sustaining, a credible Navy. We have been on the learning curve for faxr too long, and we need to increase the pressure. Two separate yards are needed to build submarines, and two for frigates and destroyers. A change in mindset is also needed to adapt to the Navy's constabulary function in peace in addition to its military ethos in war. Until now, India’s security concerns have remained focused on preserving the integrity of its land borders. These threats, though diminished, have not

Until now, India’s security concerns have remained focused on preserving the integrity of its land borders.These threats, though diminished, require continuing vigilance. At the same time, our ability to cope with them has increased

disappeared and require continuing vigilance. At the same time, our ability to cope with them has increased. Economic growth is becoming an increasingly important determinant of national power. While some of its prerequisites are internal, others (viz. energy security and

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overseas trade) depend on safeguarding our interests at sea; as the economy grows, so will their importance. In short, the focus of India’s security interests is now expanding seawards. This includes not just traditional areas of concern but newly emerging ones from non-state actors. As the country readjusts its military and security perceptions to the changing environment, the Indian Ocean littoral is acquiring dimensions in our strategic consciousness that it did not have earlier. As the leading regional maritime power, India has important responsibilities in this part of the world. So far, it has been content to restrict itself to the narrow confines of its own territorial concerns. Despite being a maritime nation, India has always had a continental fixation; the sea has not figured prominently in the security discourse. The time has come for this mindset to change. Vice-Admiral Premvir S. Das retired as Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command. He later served on a Task Force appointed by the Government of India to review Higher Defence Management. He has been a member of the National Security Advisory Board.


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defencetalk

An update on military policy

India inks largestever defence deal with US THE UPA government has quietly gone ahead and signed the biggest-ever defence deal with the US: a $2.1 billion contract for eight Boeing P-8I longrange maritime reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft for the Navy. The Times of India had reported on December 27 that the deal was finally on the verge of being inked after protracted negotiations and clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security. The actual signing took place on January 1, with the Defence Ministry's Joint Secretary and Acquisitions Manager (maritime systems) Preeti Sudan and Boeing Integrated Defence SystemsVice-President and Country HeadVivek Lall signing the contract. But strangely enough, the defence ministry is keeping the deal under wraps. The previous NDA regime had also signed a flurry of mega defence deals—like the $1.5 billion deal for Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov and the $1.1 billion deal for three Israeli 'Phalcon' AWACS (airborne warning and control systems)—in the run-up to the April-May 2004 general elections. Sources said the P-8I contract was “a direct commercial agreement with Boeing”, with “some issues of end-use verification yet to be fully sorted out” with the US government. India and the US are

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negotiating the End-UseVeri- BOEING P-8I fication Agreement (EUVA) Armed with and the Communication torpedoes, depth Interoperability and Security bombs and Memorandum of Agreement Harpoon anti-ship (CISMOA), which are missiles, the P-8I required under American law will also be to ensure compliance with capable of antisensitive technology control submarine requirements. The two pacts warfare and antiare required since India is surface warfare. now increasingly turning to They will replace the US to buy military hard- the eight ageing ware and software. Though and fuel-guzzling India does not have problems Russian Tupolevwith safeguards, it does not 142M turboprops currently being want them to be “intrusive”. In terms of the contract operated by Navy size, the P-8I deal supplants the $962 million deal signed with the US in 2007 for six C-130J ‘Super Hercules’ aircraft for the Indian Special Forces. India will get the first P-8I towards end-2012 or early-2013, with the other seven following in a phased manner by 2015-2016. The contract also provides an option for India to order four to eight more such planes. Armed with torpedoes, depth bombs and Harpoon anti-ship missiles, the P-8I will also be capable of anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare.They will replace the eight ageing and fuel-guzzling Russian Tupolev-142M turboprops currently being operated by the Navy. The P-8I planes will help to plug the existing


SPECIAL

Kargil redux A Pakistani airman’s postmortem of the war that was fought ten years ago I KAISER TUFAIL TERRORISM

Blood money Can India stem the tide of money that finances terrorist operations on its soil? I AJAI SAHNI FEBRUARY 2009

DEFENCE and SECURITY of INDIA

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ISSUE 4

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Back to the Future The heavyweights of the aerospace industry showcase their wares in Bangalore I JASJIT SINGH

INDIA’S RESPONSE TO THE NOVEMBER 26 TERRORIST ATTACKS IN MUMBAI IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO ITS OWN STRATEGIC GOALS

WHO’S BLUFFING WHOM?

Ajai Shukla

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voids in the Navy's maritime snooping capabilities, having an operating range of over 600 nautical miles, with ‘5.5 hours on station’. Customised for India and based on the Boeing 737 commercial airliner, the P-8I will actually be a variant of the P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft currently being developed for the US Navy, which has ordered 108 of them to replace its P-3C Orion fleet. India, of course, remains unhappy with

defencetalk the US decision to sell more P-3C Orions, armed with Harpoon missiles, to Pakistan. At present, the Navy uses the TU-142Ms, IL-38SDs and Dorniers for surveillance operations in the Indian Ocean region. It is also now hunting for six advanced mediumrange maritime reconnaissance planes, for around Rs 1,600 crore, to further boost its snooping capabilities. For the innermost layer of surveillance, up to 200 nautical

miles, the Navy is going in for two more Israeli Heron unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), with three ground control stations and two ship control stations, for Rs 386 crore after successfully deploying eight Searcher-II and four Heron UAVs. There is also the Rs 1,163 crore joint Indo-Israeli project for developing rotary-wing UAVs for use from warships. Times of India

veloped by DRDO, on the aircraft’s fuselage. Currently, the tactical surveillance job is carried out by a variety of Israeli-made UAVs. Defense News

EADS Defence plans new industrial base in India

India receives first Phalconequipped AWACS WITH relations between India and Pakistan on the downside after the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks, the Indian Air Force has received the first of three AirborneWarning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft from Israel ahead of schedule. Air force sources said the first of the aircraft, fitted with an Israeli Phalcon radar on a Russian Il-76 aircraft, was expected by March, but arrived from Israel on January 11. It is currently based at Agra Air Force station. Under the $1.1 billion deal signed in March 2004, three Israeli early warning radar and communication systems are to be integrated with the Ilyushin heavy military transport plane to give India AWACS capabilities.The deliveries were to begin in November 2007,

then were postponed to PHALCON the end of 2008, and AWACS Designed and built then to March 2009. The Israeli Phalcon by Israel Aircraft AWACS will enable the Industries and its Indian air force to carry subsidiary, Elta out tactical surveil- Systems, the lance over a radius of Israeli AWACS 400 kms and collect sur- carries a homeface target information grown, conformal deep inside Pakistan phased-array while still operating in radar, and other Indian airspace. The equipment to AWACS are later to be capture and networked to other air analyze enemy force assets through a electronic transmissions dedicated satellite. India is also developing its own AWACS through the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which signed a deal in July for the purchase of EMB-145 aircraft from Embraer of Brazil to be used as the AWACS platform. Three EMB-145 aircraft are to be modified and carry the Active Array Antenna Unit, de-

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EADS’ defence unit is set to announce a new operation in India, possibly via an acquisition, as it targets further expansion overseas, a senior company executive said. “We are preparing to set up an industrial base in India—we have a dedicated team working on it,” the French group's defence and security chief Stefan Zoller told reporters, adding that the group was in advanced talks. “The most booming market for defence that has not already been captured is India ... also there are many skilled engineers in India,” he said. Zoller was speaking on the sidelines of the annual EADS press conference, held at one of the group's manufacturing centres in Britain. He also said he expected to deliver the full quota of Eurofighter planes to countries which had placed orders, despite an effort by the UK and Italy to renegotiate the final tranche of 88 planes. Britain, Italy, Germany and Spain originally agreed to take 620 fighter planes in three stages. Zoller said he wanted a deal secured by the end of the first quarter of 2009 and expected it to involve the delivery of half the planes now and half later. “The industry understands it must expect (just) half now, but it can't accept that the overall order for 620 planes will be compromised," he said. Reuters


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FEBRUARY 2009

Mahindra, BAE to launch land systems partnership INDIA’S private-sector automobile major, Mahindra Defence Systems, and Londonbased BAE Systems are joining forces to build land-based weaponry in India.The joint venture (JV), with an equity capital of $20 million, will be held 74 percent by Mahindra Defence and 26 percent by BAE. Earlier, the Indian government refused to approve a 49 percent stake in the partnership for BAE on policy grounds. Under Indian law, no more than 26 percent of direct foreign investment is allowed in any joint venture in the defence sector. The JV will initially employ 50 to 60 people, and the work will include the up-armouring of Rakshak high-mobility vehicles, producing Axe vehicles and developing a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle for India. “This is an exciting opportunity and is the first step in BAE Systems’ plans to grow long-term businesses in India in multiple sectors across the breadth and depth of the company's global capabilities in land, sea, air and security,” BAE Chief Executive Ian King said, according to the Mahindra Defence release. The $6.7 billion Mahindra Group is among India’s top 10 industrial companies and is the market leader in multi-utility vehicles in India. Its Mahindra Defence Systems has been awarded Indian government licenses to produce light-armoured multirole vehicles, simulators for weapon systems, mobile service platforms, sea mines, small arms, armoured vehicles and ammunition. Defense News

BHEL-built solar panel part of ISRO’s first satellite export STATE-RUN Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd has a reason to cheer as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its first satellite-export project for EADS-Astrium of Europe, equipped with solar panels built by

defencetalk the public-sector power-equipment manufacturer. “Bhel has manufactured and supplied Space Grade Solar Panels to ISRO for their first satellite-export project for EADS-Astrium of Europe,” a Bhel statement said. The satellite, equipped with the Bhel-built solar panels, was successfully launched by the European Ariane-5 launch vehicle from French Guyana. Meanwhile, the company is close to finalising the joint venture partner for manufacturing nuclear forgings. Bhel’s current orderbook stands at Rs 45,000 crore. The power-equipment maker will invest Rs10,000 crore in the current five-year plan on organic expansion, of which Rs 2,000 crore has already been spent. The company has also received its board’s approval to invest Rs 4,800 crore in expansion in the financial year 2009-10. Bhel recently bagged a Rs 2,100crore order from NTPC to set up two 500-MW units of steam generator and steam turbine generator packages at the latter’s Mauda SuperThermal Power Project in Nagpur. Live Mint

India plans homeland security buys worth $10b INDIA will purchase more than $10 billion in homeland security weapons and equipment on an emergency basis in the next two to three years.The decision comes in the aftermath of the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks. The Defence Ministry has asked the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Army to draw up a wishlist of homeland security equipment. The list could include a variety of UAVs, including combat UAVs; transport aircraft and helicopters; secure communication systems; high-speed boats and interceptor boats for the Coast Guard; specialised weaponry like the Trevor gun; multi-utility vehicles and other equipment to fight terrorist attacks in urban areas. The Home Affairs Ministry has also asked paramilitary forces and police forces to give a list of equipment they need for homeland security missions. A diplomat based in New Delhi said the move to purchase such systems will eventually lead to multiple joint ventures and memoranda of understanding between Indian and overseas defence companies. A senior Home Affairs Ministry official said a paradigm shift is needed to provide internal security, which will require India to establish an apex body responsible for

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homeland security.The Defence Ministry has floated requests for proposals worth more than $9 billion during 2008 to buy weapons. In 2009, fresh bids will be floated to purchase weaponry for homeland land security, a senior Defence Ministry official said. Defense News

IAF plans missile base near Pakistan border THE defence ministry will establish a huge Air Force base close to the international border in Rajasthan, moving aggressively to secure the country’s western frontiers. The 300kms range supersonic cruise missile BrahMos will be stored at this base, defence ministry sources said. The ministry is acquiring land in Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar districts, where the Indian Air Force will store some of its most

sophisticated long-range missiles.The base will be the IAF’s biggest practice station. Defence Estate Officer KJS Chauhan confirmed the acquisition process of 29,562 acres at Hanumangarh, around 120-125 km from the border with Pakistan.The IAF has a station in Jodhpur, about 350 km from the border. According to defence ministry sources, the IAF has two projects proposed for the land: Project Richard and Project Thukrana. Project Richard involves setting up a missile base. The BrahMos missiles will not only be stationed but also stocked there. Under Project Thukrana, the Defence Ministry will set up an air force practice station, the biggest close to an international border in the country, ministry sources said. Mugdha Sinha, who was collector of Hanumangarh till recently, said, “Hurdles for the acquisition have been almost sorted out with farmers.” The Defence Ministry will spend more than Rs 220 crore towards the compensation and rehabilitation of the residents of Moter, Dhandhusur, Bannasur, Bangasur and Dheerdeshur villages. DNA


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FEBRUARY 2009

defencetalk

DRDO completes upgrade of MiG-27 for IAF

MiG-27 This was the first in the Flogger family to have a canopy without the central frame, suggesting that the ejection seat was designed to directly break through the transparency. The dielectric head above the pylon on the MiG-23 was used on the MiG27 to house electro-optical and radio-frequency gear instead. It was armed with a Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-6-23M Gatling gun

INDIA has successfully completed the upgrade programmes on the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) MiG-27 ground attack fighter aircraft. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) carried out the avionics upgrades on the fighter aircraft. Initiated in 2002 through a tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and IAF, the upgraded MiG-27 aircraft obtained the Initial Operational Clearance in June 2006, which led to the subsequent formation of operational squadrons, DRDO officials said. In the upgraded MiG-27s, the avionics system is built around a modular mission computer termed Core Avionics Computer (CAC). “These functional modules are powering the mission computers on Jaguar and Su-30 MKI aircraft as well,” sources said.The upgraded ground attack fighters are equipped with Inertial Navigation and Global Positioning System (INGPS) providing accurate navigation during aircraft sorties. To provide more accuracy to the aircraft’s weapons systems, accurate ranging sensors such as Laser Designator Pod (LDP) and Laser Ranger and MarkedTarget Seeker (LRMTS) have been integrated in it also, they said.To improve situational awareness of the pilot during air combat, a digital map generator has been integrated along with a digital video recording system, which helps in mission analysis and debrief support. SIFY.com

Asia’s biggest naval academy in Kerala THE Indian Navy’s Ezhimala Naval Academy, regarded as the biggest officers’ training institution in Asia, was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on January 8. The over Rs 720 crore world class project in Kerala’s north Malabar coastline is unique in many ways as it is surrounded by seven hills, a picturesque 7km stretch of beach and serene backwaters. The institution is now all set to commence various basic training programmes in June, including the four-year B.Tech in Electronics

and Communications, and Mechanical Engineering. for all newly inducted trainee officers. Many friendly foreign naval powers including Japan and Korea have evinced interest in joining the training programmes at Ezhimala. The Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta recently said that the Navy would accommodate foreign cadets within four years when things stabilise in the new Academy. The academic curriculum is tailored to keep pace with technological advancement. The academy will also condition young aspirants with mental and physical attributes enabling them to exercise self-discipline, perform efficiently under stress, think and react quickly and develop leadership qualities. Set up at the foot of seven hills of which the 260m Mount Dilli is the tallest, the sprawling academy is spread over 2,452 acres with a

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22km perimeter of which 7km is beach. The foundation stone for the Academy was laid by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on January 17, 1987. The Academy proposes to provide a university education to its young officers in a military environment, in view of the growing complexity of the Navy’s various responsibilities. In addition, the Academy is according the highest priority to practical and hands-on training in Seamanship, Navigation, Watermanship or Damage Control and Fire Fighting. The Academy’s main building complex has the Headquarters wing, Service and Technical Training wings, Laboratories, workshops, a library and a 1,736-seat auditorium. With facilities like schools and a hospital, the Academy will be a self-contained township when the ongoing work is completed. Zeenews.com



DEFENCE and SECURITY of INDIA