In a very hard hitting article, Ajai Shukla talks about lack of preparedness of the Armed forces, specially the Army. The lack of strategy, lack of ammunition, heavy artillery, tanks and equipment. Worse he talks of how our Generals are both – impotent and beholden to outside influence, specifically Russia.
Every effective military intelligence organisation – and Pakistan we know has one – possesses devastating compilations of our army’s crippling shortage of tank ammunition; the night-blindness of our tanks; the absence of modern artillery; our obsolete air defence network; and shortfalls in practically every parameter by which an army’s equipment readiness is gauged. All this is kept secret only from the Indian people who faithfully support their army, sending sons and daughters to die for the country, often in unnecessary ways.
The patriots will say that this isn’t true, but I suspect it is. The very fact that someone was Gen. VK Singh was made into such an example is a pointer to how the Generals are expected to “fall in line”, while the political class makes merry.
It isn’t about the Kargil War or other such ventures, where the Armed forces do redeem themselves in many ways – but about a full scale war that may involve two fronts – China and Pakistan.
He explains his point with the lack of coherence in the armour division:
Take the deplorable state of affairs in the armoured corps, which operates the armoured tanks that are the cutting edge of India’s three strike corps. As this newspaper reported on Monday (“Army scuttles Arjun trials to push through T-90 purchase”, November 26, 2012), the army much prefers to buy equipment off the shelf from countries like Russia, rather than painstakingly developing and manufacturing equipment better suited for our own operating environment.
Incredibly, the army has not developed an indigenous armour philosophy in the last 65 years. Every serious army, even Israel, designs its tanks around a custom-made philosophy. Since human resources are a key constraint in tiny Israel, and distances are small, Israeli tanks are heavily armoured, lumbering vehicles where crew protection counts for more than the ability to quickly move long distances. In contrast, Russian tanks, designed to sweep rapidly through the vast expanses of Europe, are mobile, lightly armoured and have a smaller, three-man crew since a tank is expendable. The Indian Army, with one of the world’s largest fleets of 4,000 tanks, has neither an armour philosophy nor a tank design bureau that can produce indigenous designs.
Rather sad that we are using Russian equipment to cover up our own deficiencies and lack of proper thought. We need a certain strategy and equipment, but it is lacking because of no initiative from the Generals and dishonesty of the Govt.