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Saturday, 13 February 2010

26/11: Why India didn’t attack Pakistan

Before visiting Pakistan, Robert Gates warned from New Delhi that, should 2007 Mumbai like incident occur again, India would attack Pakistan, meaning thereby that the past Mumbai killings have been solely attributed to Pakistan and if such an incident occurred again, responsibility would be that of Pakistan, and in retaliation, India would be perfectly justified to attack Pakistan. In this situation USA would not be in a position to restrain India. Rather it may support this venture.
The message is fraught with ominous consequences and therefore demands a clear assessment of our ability to respond, if such a threat develops. This assessment therefore, is based on existing ground realities, which determine the military power balance between Pakistan and India. No doubt, the Indian armed forces are numerically superior to Pakistan, but they suffer from some inherent weaknesses and, it will take them a long time to overcome these.
Indian armed forces are in the midst of a transition,  replacement of the obsolete Russian weapons system with high tech American Israeli European weapons. India started this changeover in 2005 after signing the Strategic Partnership Agreement with USA and hopes to complete it by the year 2015. Already it has spent about a hundred billion dollars on the new acquisitions. Their entire military system at present therefore, is weak, because they have the old and absolute weapons and about thirty percent of the recently acquired new systems. They suffer from a predicament, similar to what we suffered in early seventies, because, USA bad abandoned Pakistan in 1965 and we had not been able to induct new weapons and equipment from other sources. India exploited this weakness and dismembered Pakistan. Thus, India suffering from such weaknesses, now, is not in a position to wage a full f1edged war against Pakistan.
India faces another serious problem, in that, despite their best efforts of the last forty years, they have failed to manufacture their own tanks, guns, cruise missiles, fighter aircrafts, battleships and submarines. This in essence, constitutes a major weakness of the Indian armed forces, because, the present day war cannot be won with weapons borrowed or purchased from others. And, contrary to the weaknesses of India and cognising the implications of self-reliance, Pakistan has achieved up to ninety percent of indigenisation of weapons and equipment. We have our own tanks, guns, cruise missiles, fighter aircrafts, battleships and submarines as well as we have a stock-pile of war reserves, of over forty days, as compared to just eleven days of war reserves in 1965 and seven days in 1971. Whereas India’s war reserves as of today are limited to 15 days only. Thus, Pakistan in this respect also enjoys a clear edge over India.
The third dimensional capability of Pakistan is, in the way of higher military education and superior military and operational strategy, which is the hallmark of our military leadership, and was demonstrated some twenty years back in 1989, during Ex Zarb e Momin. The Offensive Defence concept was practised and over the period, has been actualised as the fundamental doctrine of war. Offensive Defence means that our forces having fixed the enemy, will carry the war into their territory. Compare it with the Cold Start doctrine of India, of fighting a war on two fronts, which is more of a fiction than a realistic military doctrine.
Mr Robert Gates, as well as the Indian military planners, while taking into cognisance the existing military balance between Pakistan and India, must also consider the new phenomenon of the Asymmetric War, which, during the last thirty years, has established the supremacy of Men and Missiles, over the most modern and technologically superior armed forces of the world, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Kashmir. The Asymmetric War, in essence is the name of the Islamic Resistance, with its hardcore resting along the Durand Line. It is our strength. Thus, conventional as well as irregular armed forces, together provide the emerging shape of the Fourth Generation of modern warfare, as Joseph S Nye, the former Assistant Secretary of Defence USA and a professor of Harvard University, defines: “The hybrid wars, conventional and irregular forces combatants and civilians become thoroughly intertwined” to win wars and help establish the new order. In case, war is forced on Pakistan, it would be a long and decisive war, where new geo-political realities would emerge, establishing new frontiers of peace in the region.
Nuclear weapons are not the weapons of war because these have never been used as such. United States used it against the Japanese in 1945, which already had lost the war, nor had the capability to retaliate. American purpose was primarily diplomatic, i.e. to declare to the world that, America was entering the centre stage of world politics, to establish its global primacy and pre-eminence. There are other instances also, where nuclear powers, possessing hundreds and thousands of atomic weapons could not use them, to save themselves from very difficult and embarrassing situations. The Americans lost the war in Vietnam; the Soviets lost their empire in Afghanistan; the Israelis could not cover the shame of defeat at the hands of Hezbollah in 2005; the Americans having suffered defeat in Iraq, now are facing a worse defeat in Afghanistan, yet they find no recourse to use their nuclear capability. Their NATO partners are equally embarrassed, yet they cannot think of using their nuclear weapons to cover the shame of impending defeat. Similarly, India and Pakistan can fight only conventional wars and win or loose, but they dare not use nuclear weapons against each other, because it would destroy everything, leaving nothing but ashes, one could hope to capture and rebuild. And therefore, our people must not carry the wrong notion that Pakistan is powerful because it has nuclear capability. On the contrary, it is the conventional military capability, which provides security and lends resilience to the nation, as of now, and provides space to the po1itical government, to establish good governance.
Nuclear weapons are also great equalizer, between nuclear capable adversaries. “Between India and Pakistan, perfect deterrence exists” – declared George Fernandis, the former Defence Minister of India, after Pakistan demonstrated its capability in May 1998. And that precisely is the function of the weapons of mass destruction. Pakistan’s policy of Minimum Credible Nuclear Deterrence, supported by the Policy of Restraint, together serves the purpose of a stable nuclear deterrence. Nuclear capability also doesn’t compensate for the conventional military capability, and working on this principle the conventional military capability of Pakistan has been so developed as to make it a real symbol of national power, to defeat all aggression from within and outside.
Such are the ground realities, which determine the capabilities of our armed forces which cannot be wiped off by contrived constructs of our adversaries, nor Pakistan can be scared of going to the brink, if a war was forced on it. J F Dulles has rightly said: “If you are scared to go to the brink you are lost.”
Robert Gates’ threat of war, Published: February 9, 2010, GENERAL MIRZA ASLAM BEG (RETD)
Here is the real reason why Bharat could not attack Pakistan.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has acquired 18 F-16 of the Block 52 series taking its total to 64, a squadron of jointly produced (China-Pakistan) JF 17  Thunder fighters. It  has ordered some 36 J-10B fighters upgraded to the the Super 10– an upgraded version of the J-10 with a locally made Chinese TVC engine (beyond the WS-13). The PAF produced the K-8 trainer and is also working with the  Chinese to produce L-15 supersonic trainers. The “Shaheens” have  already ordered eight Erieye AEW&C from Sweden and now owns IL-78 Refueling tankers tankers for mid-flight refueling. The PAF is also producing the AWACs with Chinese help. It has received a dozen S-70 Super Cobra helicopters from the US. The PAFs current published strength is reportedly 383 combat capable aircraft including the older upgraded Chinese A-5, 129 F-7 PG/MG (Chinese revamped version of the MiG-21), nearly 113  upgraded Mirage III/V, some 64-plus F-16 fighters and a squadron of JF-17 of which some 500 are being built locally (25-75 per annum). PAF officials are aiming to finally acquire a whopping 150 J-10Bs from China in the next decade. The PAF is also eyeing the J-14 (J-XX, Chinas’ 5th gen stealth fighter which it calls 4th generation)
The IAF’s current strength is around 600 of which the MiG21 fleet of (FL, M, MF and Bis types) comprise 293 aircraft. The IAF has MiG-23 (BN&MF), Mi-17 helicopters, Mi-25/35 attack helicopters, Mi-26 super heavy helicopters, Mirage-2000 multi-role fighters, MiG-29 and Mig-27s.  The IAF  slowly phased out the Fairchild Packet C-119, the Dakota DC-3, Caribou, Otter, Toofani, Mystere 4A, Gnat, Ajeet and the Hunter and later the Canberra light bomber aircraft as well. It has about 30 1996 vintage Sukhoi 30MKI (Flanker: 140 have been ordered and 140 will be assembled from kits). It also is bying the PAKFA (aka FGFA) whose 5th gen credentials have been challenged by international agencies. The IAF has no credible trainer aircraft, a reason given t the highest crash rate in the world. The HPT-32s have been grounded. The HTT-34 was a total failure.
The Mig 21s have pretty much been grounded. The Il-76 have been grouned, so the IAF really has only about 300 aircraft of unprdictable value. Due to the unavailbility of the LCAs, has ordered 126 planes as part of the MCRC program. However the MMRCA (ten C-17, eight Boeing P8I LRMP (for the Navy), six Lockheed Martin C-130J, six second-hand Sea King helicopters (for the Navy) won’t be delivered for a decade. The IAF may also be buying 12 Mirages from Qatar.
The Chinese  People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF)  possesses some 1653 combat capable aircraft. ThePLA Navy has 290 of which some 30 per cent are current generation including 84 J-10, 116 J-11(Su-27), 97 Su-30MKK, 156 JH/FB-7, 516 J-8, and 540 J-7. Since its unveiling in 2003-04, the PLAAF has already inducted 84 J-10 fighters of the roughly F-16 class.China has the capacity build 40 to 50 fighters per year, a capacity it is increasing exponentially. China has built the first ever Airbus outside Europe and rolled out a Cessna-162 basic trainer the first of some 1500 of these aircraft. According to Aviation Week & Space Technology (AWST) Annual Review Resource Book 2009, ‘Aircraft Forecasting’ Report, China would rank among the major producers of modern fighters in the current decade with the capacity to produce 45 to 48 fighters of the J-10 and J-11 class. This means that the PLAAF would field some 1500 to 2000 modern fighters by 2020