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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I FEEL THIS.... ON RECRUITMENT OF EX-SERVICEMEN

There is a proposal to recruit ex-servicemen for the training of CPMF on contractual basis. In my personal opinion the govt should instead permit lateral movement of army men into CPMF with full service benefits. I feel the govt should permit lateral movement into CPMF this will save thousand of crore rupees which they are spending on training of CPMF and will also provide much needed stability to soldiers. 

Don't send in the Army but learn from them

INDIA TODAY 


I WONDER : ARMY SHOULD COMMENT OR OFFER HELP ONLY WHEN THEY ARE ASKED. FREE ADVISES ARE NOT REQUIRED. I STILL REMEMBER AN OLD STORY WHERE A BIRD TRIES TO ADVISE A MONKEY ON BUILDING A NEST/HOME TO STAY IN IT DURING RAINS. MONKEY TRIES AND FAILS, SO HE DESTROYS THE NEST OF THE BIRD TOO. ARMED FORCES HAVE TAKEN ENOUGH BEATINGS IN TERMS OF CASUALTIES, OROP ISSUES, 6TH CPC ISSUES. THE STRONG COMMENTS WRITTEN BY MANY KNOWN PERSONALITIES AGAINST THE ARMED FORCES AND THEIR REQUIREMENT ARE STILL FRESH IN MANY MINDS.

The doyen of modern military thinkers, Carl von Clausewitz said that war was the extension of politics by other means. The Maoists understand this dictum well since their icon, Mao Zedong, said equally famously that power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
Unfortunately, the Indian state has yet to comprehend the link between politics and the military.
Because they claim to speak for the poor and wave red flags, most Indian politicians are unable to understand the mortal threat Maoists pose to the nation.
We need to quickly grasp, that, at this juncture at least, the only way we can meet the political challenge of the Maoists is through military means.
Why is it that in Kashmir, counter- insurgency operations in the urban and semiurban areas are left to the police forces, including the CRPF, and the task of handling the larger groups of militants in the forested heights of the Pir Panjal and the Rajwar area is taken on by the Army? The answer is simple. In terms of training and their working the police are most effective where the militants have to be ferreted out of the populace with the use of ground intelligence. Whereas the Army alone is equipped and oriented to handle larger groups of insurgents who are wellversed in guerilla tactics.
Wrong-headedThis simple truth of the Indian experience in counter- insurgency is staring at us in the face, yet, the mandarins of New Delhi are unable to see it. The media, too, has been knocking on wrong doors. Neither KPS Gill nor Prakash Singh have really dealt with insurgencies involving thousands of armed men who are organised like an army and operate freely in a large geographical area. Such experience only resides with the Indian Army- or in a specialised unit like the Assam Rifles.
Ambushes are a devastating military tactic that the Indian Army understands well.
Besides the element of surprise, the ambusher has the luxury of being able to site his own deployments and carefully prepare what is called the " kill zone". The army has a long institutional memory that encapsulates the experience of Burma in World War II, the Naga uprising of the 1950s and the Sri Lanka campaign of 1987- 90. Perhaps no one could beat the Nagas in laying deadly ambushes. But in no one incident did the Army lose 76 men.
The maximum I have been able to research is some 14 who were killed on April 1, 1957. So ambush and counterambush are basic small- unit tactics taught to all army personnel.
Caught in an ambush, even highly skilled forces find the going tough; for the CRPF
company in Dantewada, the chance of escape was nil. Neither through training, nor doctrine and equipment, is the CRPF, or the BSF, oriented towards such combat.
That is the reason why Maoist ambushes of police teams in Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal have been so devastating and one- sided.
As it is, there are chilling parallels in the Green Hunt strategy of sending in small groups of paramilitary to hold the ground to enable development activity, with the 1961 decision to send Indian forces in penny packets across the Sino- Indian border in what was optimistically called the " forward policy." The Chinese military response to this fat- headed effort led to a disastrous military defeat for India.
The Green Hunt's disaster is only now becoming manifest.
Sending in ill- trained paramilitary forces where others fear to tread, too, is not a new development either. In April 1971, after General Sam Manekshaw turned down Indira Gandhi's suggestion that the Army act in East Pakistan immediately,immediately, the government decided to entrust the task to the BSF. According to Lt Gen J. F. R. Jacob, the BSF commander K. F. Rustomji boasted that his forces would lead a victory parade in Dhaka in a short matter of three weeks. The BSF and their Mukti Bahini allies were so badly plastered by the Pakistan Army, that in May 1971 the government promptly handed over the security responsibility of the entire border to the Army.
Support
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has no doubt spoken in shock and anger when he termed the Maoists as barbaric and decried their cowardice in fighting from the jungle. The facts, however, suggest that a better trained and motivated force used a legitimate military tactic to wipe out an entire CRPF company.
The only way to respond to this challenge is to meet it in kind. Unfortunately, there is no indication that either the government or the Home Ministry are even aware of the nature of the threat, leave alone any idea as to how to confront it.
The Home Secretary's bleating about " pressure bombs" reveals his ignorance of the fact that pressure mines are the basic weapons of insurgents and not undefeatable atomic weapons.
The same holds true for his quick rejection of the use of air power. To not do so is to deny yourself an advantage. The government has been rightly reluctant to use helicopter gunships ever since the Chavakacheri incident in Sri Lanka where scores of civilians died in a strike that ignited a fuel bunker. They were right, too, in not using them in the crowded landscape of Kashmir where the excellent road network enables the forces to reach any spot within the hour or less.
The jungles of Chattisgarh are different and air support could be the only means of assisting beleaguered columns, especially those under ambush. If appropriate rules of engagement are framed to avoid strikes in villages- whether or not Maoists were suspected to be there- there is no reason why gunships cannot operate there.
LeadersThe problems of a police- led counter insurgency campaign are fundamental.
Normally CRPF and BSF battalions, which are in themselves one thousand or so strong, are deployed in company-sized formations of some 100-120 men. These may be spread out in an unconnected fashion. The company commanders and battalion commanders are cadre officers, whereas most of the senior officers belong to the Indian Police Service who are most likely not to have served with the battalions at an operational level.
The army, on the other hand does not deploy anything less than a battalion which can be anywhere from 800- 1000 men. While these are divided into companies, the command and control is exercised at the battalion level by a commanding officer who deploys his companies in a mutually supporting role.
Army officers learn combat craft along with their men. Their first posting is with the jawans in mountain pickets, and their experience is gathered in long- range patrols and operations in Kashmir or the North- east. The vital bonding that takes place between an officer and a soldier in the army at a lower level serves in good stead when confronted with an emergency like an ambush. Given their rural and semi- educated background, Indian jawans require good training and leadership to be effective, whether in the Army or police. But while the Army caters for this, the police units do not.
This is not an argument for sending in the army to take on the Maoists, yet.
There are several other options before the government. It could set up a new Assam Rifles like force which is officered by Army personnel, matches the Army in its training, but is run by the Home Ministry.
The other is to sharply upgrade the quality of the existing CRPF units through better training and provision of better officers. In the meantime, perhaps, the Home Minister should persuade his Home Secretary to confine himself to running the day-to-day affairs of the ministry, and get himself a new security aide-an experienced Army officer-to advise him on the military aspects of tackling the Maoists.

Govt trims troop presence along Jammu-Srinagar highway

THE PIONEER 


Even as the Centre is facing criticism for cutting down the number of Army personnel in Jammu & Kashmir under the US pressure, the Indian Army has further trimmed its presence along the strategic Jammu-Srinagar national highway.

Official sources said, “Two battalions of the Central Reserve Paramilitary Force (CRPF) have replaced Army jawans along the only surface link connecting the Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country, while two more CRPF battalions would soon be deployed along the highway after undergoing training in the second phase.” The training of these two CRPF battalions is yet to begin.

Inspector General of the CRPF AS Sidhu, in an exclusive interview with The Pioneer on Monday, said, “After undergoing full two weeks of training from the Army and CRPF instructors, we have taken over the charge of independently securing the strategic NH 1-A between Jammu and Ramban (up to 145 km along the 294-km-long highway) from March 26.”

Sidhu said that immediately after the training the CRPF carried out joint road opening drills with the Armymen on vulnerable locations. The move to remove the Army from along the highway seems part of the same strategy under which the Government pulled out 30,000 troops from the two frontier districts of Jammu region in the last several months.

The CRPF will deploy two more battalions between 145-km and 204-km milestones (up to Jawahar tunnel) soon.

Surprisingly, the fresh relocation of troops has taken place at a time when incidents of militant violence have been recording an upward trend across J&K.  In the recently concluded operation Khoj, the Army had managed to eliminate 16 LeT militants in different encounters in Rajouri district only.

The decision to move out Armymen ahead of shifting of the ‘durbar’ and start of the annual pilgrimage to Amarnath cave shrine in the coming months has also raised eyebrows in the security establishment in view of the surge in violence in the State.

Coupled with this, the spectre of ‘hot summer’ was looming large on the minds of the people in the security establishment even as more than 300 infiltrators have been  eagerly waiting  to cross the Line of Control  after coming straight from PoK jihadi camps.

IG CRPF said, before replacing the Army from the highway duty, the CRPF personnel carried out joint road opening drills for two weeks and learned the art of sanitising the strategic highway.

The Army would, however, still mark its presence along the highway in the form of its sophisticated surveillance equipment used on daily basis to sanistise the highway and detect the presence of any explosive/IED material near the culvert/bridge or under the ground, the senior CRPF officer said.

“The CRPF has initiated the process of procuring its own surveillance gadgetry, but for the time being it is relying on the Army,” he added.

Cheaper call rates for ''jawans'' in border areas

PTI 

I WONDER  : I HOPE ITS FOR FAUJIs TOO.......


The government today reduced call charges to Re 1 per minute from Rs 5 per minute for satellite phones used by forces along the border areas. The reduction in charges will be for the para military forces like ITBP and BSF serving along the border outposts throughout the country, a DoT statement said.

Telecom PSU BSNL has been providing the forces with satellite phones to ensure that these ''jawans'' enjoy access to telecom services, the statement said. This decision was taken after a recent visit of Union Minister of State for Telecom and IT Sachin Pilot to the North Eastern border areas where it was brought to his notice that ''jawans'' were required to pay Rs 5 per minute for using the satellite phones to make calls to their families.

Pilot, in a separate statement, said, "We have decided to reduce the call rates for satellite phones used in the border areas, from Rs 5 to Re 1."