Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Indian Quick Strike Strategy

I just noticed an article at the Times of India detailing Indian war doctrine, which underwent a shift following the 2001 terrorist attack on parliament. In the aftermath, India concluded that its mobilization was too slow, allowing the enemy (Pakistan) time to react, and opening up a window for international intervention to forestall Indian military action. According to the article, current Indian doctrine calls for rapid mobilization, and overwhelming offensive action. It's described as "`pro-active' war strategy to mobilise fast and strike hard to pulverise the enemy," from a "cold start."
The plan now is to launch self-contained and highly-mobile `battle groups', with Russian-origin T-90S tanks and upgraded T-72 M1 tanks at their core, adequately backed by air cover and artillery fire assaults, for rapid thrusts into enemy territory within 96 hours.
Although it makes sense from a military perspective, you have to wonder if such a strategy might make war more likely. If a major terrorist act tied to Pakistan strikes India, will India launch a rapid attack before all the details are in? Obviously it didn't happen after the Mumbai terrorist attack, but the next time could be different. At any event, the article is an interesting glimpse of Indian strategic thinking.

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