"Desh ka bahut nuksaan hua hai", acknowledged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his military's recent failures against Pakistan in Balakot and Kashmir. This marked a major shift in Modi's belligerent tone that has been characterized by his boasts of "chhappan inch ki chhati" (56 inch chest) and  talk of  "munh tor jawab" (jaw-breaking response) and "boli nahin goli" (bullets, not talks) to intimidate Pakistan in the last few years.  The recent events are forcing India's western backers to reassess their strategy of boosting India as a counterweight to China.

Balakot and Kashmir:

Indian government and media have made a series of false claims about Balakot "militant casualties" and "shooting down Pakistani F16".  These claims have been scrutinized and debunked by independent journalists, experts and fact checkers. There is no dispute about the fact that Squadron Leader Hasan Siddiqui of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), flying a Pakistan-made JF-17 fighter, shot down Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of Indian Air Force (IAF) flying a Russia made MiG 21. Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan and then released to India.

Beautiful Balakot, Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Western Narrative:

The widely accepted western narrative about India and Pakistan goes like this: "India is rapidly rising while Pakistan is collapsing". In a 2015 report from South Asia, Roger Cohen of New York Times summed it up as follows: "India is a democracy and a great power rising. Pakistan is a Muslim homeland that lost half its territory in 1971, bounced back and forth between military and nominally democratic rule, never quite clear of annihilation angst despite its nuclear weapons".

India-Pakistan Military Spending: Infographic Courtesy The Economist

India: A Paper Elephant?

In an article titled "Paper Elephant", the Economist magazine talked about how India has ramped up its military spending and emerged as the world's largest arms importer. "Its military doctrine envisages fighting simultaneous land wars against Pakistan and China while retaining dominance in the Indian Ocean", the article said. It summed up the situation as follows: "India spends a fortune on defense and gets poor value for money".

After the India-Pakistan aerial combat over Kashmir, New York Times published a story from its South Asia correspondent headlined: "After India Loses Dogfight to Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its Military".  Here are some excerpts of the report:

"Its (India's) loss of a plane last week to a country (Pakistan) whose military is about half the size and receives a quarter (a sixth according to SIPRI) of the funding is telling. ...India’s armed forces are in alarming shape....It was an inauspicious moment for a military the United States is banking on to help keep an expanding China in check".

Ineffective Indian Military:

Academics who have studied Indian military have found that it is ineffective by design. In "Army and Nation: The Military and Indian Democracy Since Independence",  the author Steven I. Wilkinson, Nilekani Professor of India and South Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Yale, has argued that the civil-military constraints that have helped prevent a coup have hurt Indian military effectiveness and preparedness in at least three important ways:

(1) the weakening of the army before the 1962 China war;

(2) the problems caused for defense coordination and preparation by unwieldy defense bureaucracy, duplication of functions among different branches and lack of sharing of information across branches and

(3) the general downgrading of pay and perks since independence which has left the army with huge shortage of officers that affected the force's discipline capabilities.

Summary:

India's international perception as a "great power rising" has suffered a serious setback as a result of its recent military failures against Pakistan which spends only a sixth of India's military budget and ranks 17th in the world, far below India ranking 4th by globalfirepower.com.  "Desh ka bahut nuksaan hua hai", acknowledged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his military's recent failures in Balakot and Kashmir. This marked a major shift in Modi's belligerent tone that has been characterized by his boasts of "chhappan inch ki chhati" (56 inch chest) and  talk of  "munh tor jawab" (jaw-breaking response) and "boli nahin goli" (bullets, not talks) to intimidate Pakistan in the last few years.  The recent events are forcing India's western backers to reassess their strategy of boosting India as a counterweight to China.

Here's a discussion on the subject:

https://youtu.be/tEWf-6cT0PM

Here's Indian Prime Minister Modi making excuses for his military's failures:

https://youtu.be/QIt0EAAr3PU

Views: 360

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 22, 2019 at 11:43am

Author Ashutosh in"Hindu Rashtra" talks about call to arms for #Gandhi’s #Hindus . “#Hindutva has an infinite appetite to quarrel with the past” under #Muslim rule. #Modi wants “masculine and martial nationalism” aimed at “#Kashmir, #Pakistan and #Islam” https://www.asianage.com/books/210419/a-call-to-arms-for-gandhis-hi...

As time moves forward, Hindu Rashtra will take its rightful place as a well-researched attempt to explain the unfolding of the Modi years. Review by Mani Shankar Aiyar

Ashutosh takes the reader by the hand, as it were, through the beginnings of Hindutva: the invention of this hitherto unknown word by V.D. Savarkar, its elaboration by M.S. Golwalkar, and its being put into political practice by the current icon of “masculine and martial nationalism”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Hindutva,” the author observes, “has an infinite appetite to quarrel with the past”. The past is seen, in Savarkar’s words, as “millions of Muslim invaders from all over Asia (falling) over India century after century with all the ferocity at their command to destroy the Hindu religion, the lifeblood of the nation”. Savarkar held that in this the Muslim invaders succeeded only because the Hindus had become “weak and cowardly” by upholding the “perverted virtues” of “compassion, tolerance, non-violence and truth”. The answer lay in recasting the Hindu as “masculine and martial”, the very qualities that Mr Modi seeks to embody. Ashutosh continues: “Modi epitomises Hindutva nationalism, which is founded on an adversarial attitude towards Muslims and believes that India’s history is one of Hindus being tortured in their own homeland for thousands of years because of the ruthlessness of Muslim rulers”.

But why continue this quarrel with the past even unto the 21st century, well after India, albeit a partitioned India, gained her Independence? M.K. Gandhi laid down the fundamental parameter of our contemporary nationhood in the following terms: “The assumption that India has now become the land of the Hindus is erroneous. India belongs to all who live here”.

Golwalkar held in direct contrast that the coming into being of Pakistan “is a clear case of continued Muslim aggression”. This led Nathuram Godse to justify assassinating Gandhi as, “Gandhiji was himself the greatest supporter and advocate of Pakistan… In these circumstances, the only effective remedy to relieve the Hindus from the Muslim atrocities was, to my mind, to remove Gandhiji from this world.”

This meshes seamlessly, as cited by Ashutosh, with Vinay Katiyar, several times BJP MP from Faizabad, asserting in an NDTV interview on February 7, 2018: “Muslims should not stay in this country. They have partitioned the country. So why are they here? They should go to Bangladesh or Pakistan. They have no business being here in India”. And that explains the conflation of “Kashmir, Pakistan and Islam” which Hindutva enjoins as “the duty of every Indian to fight”.

It is from such beliefs, argues Ashutosh, that have arisen the horrors of lynching and murder in the name of gau raksha and “love jihad”, assault and assassination of “anti-nationals”, the undermining of the institutions of democracy, and the nurturing of a new breed of “right-wing television channels that have become platforms for the propagation of Hindutva ideology: muscular nationalism; warmongering; militarism; bashing of Islam, Kashmir and Pakistan; and ridiculing and condemning liberal and secular values”. 

The writer goes into each of these, and more, linking them to the ideology that inspires such hate and prejudice. The basic dream of Hindutvavadis, he shows, is “to make Hindus ruthless and masculine as they assume Islam did to its followers” by “effectively us(ing) state power to spread religion”.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 29, 2019 at 5:07pm

Military expenditure in Asia and Oceania has risen every year since 1988. At $507 billion, military spending in the region accounted for 28 per cent of the global total in 2018, compared with just 9.0 per cent in 1988.

In 2018 India increased its military spending by 3.1 per cent to $66.5 billion. Military expenditure by Pakistan grew by 11 per cent (the same level of growth as in 2017), to reach $11.4 billion in 2018. South Korean military expenditure was $43.1 billion in 2018—an increase of 5.1 per cent compared with 2017 and the highest annual increase since 2005.

‘The tensions between countries in Asia as well as between China and the USA are major drivers for the continuing growth of military spending in the region,’ says Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher with the SIPRI AMEX programme.

https://sipri.org/media/press-release/2019/world-military-expenditu...

https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/Data%20for%20all%20countr...

https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/Data%20for%20all%20countr...

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 2, 2019 at 8:22pm

"#Modi is campaigning as a strongman with the character to stand up to #Pakistan .. sending warplanes to bomb #India’s nuclear neighbor earlier this year was not so much an act of strength as recklessness that could have ended in disaster"https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/05/04/under-narendra-modi-indias-ruling-party-poses-a-threat-to-democracy via @TheEconomist

When the Bharatiya Janata Party (bjp) won a landslide victory in India’s general election in 2014, its leader, Narendra Modi, was something of a mystery. Would his government initiate an economic lift-off, as businessfolk hoped, or spark a sectarian conflagration, as secularists feared? In his five years as prime minister, Mr Modi has been neither as good for India as his cheerleaders foretold, nor as bad as his critics, including this newspaper, imagined. But today the risks still outweigh the rewards. Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election (see article), would be better off with a different leader.

Mr Modi is campaigning as a strongman with the character to stand up to Pakistan for having abetted terrorism. In fact, sending warplanes to bomb India’s nuclear neighbour earlier this year was not so much an act of strength as recklessness that could have ended in disaster. Mr Modi’s tough-guy approach has indeed been a disaster in the disputed state of Jammu & Kashmir, where he has inflamed a separatist insurgency rather than quelling it, while at the same time alienating moderate Kashmiris by brutally repressing protests.

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 8, 2019 at 6:25pm

#Indian Navy forgot to close the hatch on $3 billion #submarine #Arihant, caused extensive damage that almost sunk it. #India #IndianNavy

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/india-did-major-damage-new-3...

The modern submarine is not a simple machine. A loss of propulsion, unexpected flooding, or trouble with reactors or weapons can doom a sub crew to a watery grave.

Also, it’s a good idea to, like, close the hatches before you dive.

Call it a lesson learned for the Indian navy, which managed to put the country’s first nuclear-missile submarine, the $2.9 billion INS Arihant, out of commission in the most boneheaded way possible.

The Hindu reported yesterday that the Arihant has been out of commission since suffering “major damage” some 10 months ago, due to what a navy source characterized as a “human error” — to wit: allowing water to flood to sub’s propulsion compartment after failing to secure one of the vessel’s external hatches.

Water “rushed in as a hatch on the rear side was left open by mistake while [the Arihant] was at harbor” in February 2017, shortly after the submarine’s launch, The Hindu reports. Since then, the sub “has been undergoing repairs and clean up,” according to the paper: “Besides other repair work, many pipes had to be cut open and replaced.”

It’s hard to articulate how major a foul-up this is, but Kyle Mizokami does a good job at Popular Mechanics: Indian authorities ordered the pipe replacement because they “likely felt that pipes exposed to corrosive seawater couldn't be trusted again, particularly pipes that carry pressurized water coolant to and from the ship’s 83 megawatt nuclear reactor.” For context, a submarine assigned to Britain’s Royal Navy narrowly avoided a complete reactor meltdown in 2012 after the power sources for its coolant system failed.

The incident is also quite an embarrassment — and strategic concern — for the Indian Armed Forces. A Russian Akula-class attack sub modified to accommodate a variety of ballistic missiles, the Arihant represented a major advance in India’s nuclear triad after its completion in October 2016. (India in 1974 became the 6th country to conduct a successful nuclear test.) Indeed, the Arihant’s ability to deliver K-15 short-range and K-4 intermediate-range nuclear missiles was envisioned as a powerful deterrent against India’s uneasy nuclear state neighbor, Pakistan.

“Arihant is the most important platform within India’s nuclear triad covering land-air-sea modes,” the Hindu reports. Well, it’s important if it works — and it probably helps to make your submarine watertight.

This is just some sloppy, dangerous seamanship, and the Indian Navy better get its act together fast. Either that, or perhaps follow the Royal Navy’s lead and install the 2001-era Windows XP as an operating system on all your most vital vessels. That way, you can blame the blue screen of death instead of “human error” for the next critical foul-up. Although even outdated software probably knows enough to dog down on all the hatches.

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 8, 2019 at 6:28pm

#India’s Only #AircraftCarrier Recently Caught On #Fire And #China Says It’s Due to incompetence of #IndianNavy men | The National Interest

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/india%E2%80%99s-only-aircraf...

ndia’s only aircraft carrier suffered a fire that left one sailor dead.

And China, which is India’s rival, says this is because Indians aren’t competent enough to operate advanced military equipment.

The fire broke out in the engine room of the carrier Vikramaditya as it entered the Indian naval base at Karwar on April 26.

The blaze was extinguished, but not before an Indian Navy lieutenant commander, who led the firefighting effort, was overcome by fumes and later died in hospital, according to Indian media. He had gotten married just a month earlier.

The Indian Navy reported that the fire had not seriously damaged the combat capabilities of the vessel, which is India’s only operational carrier. The 45,000-ton Vikramaditya – the ex-Soviet carrier Admiral Gorshkov -- had just completed a deployment in the Arabian Sea, and was preparing to begin joint exercises with the French Navy’s only aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, off the Indian coast.

The cause of the fire has not yet been disclosed. But Chinese media quickly ran a story that suggested the fire was the result of Indian incompetence. Li Jie, a Chinese naval expert, told the state-owned Global Times newspaper “that the fire was more likely to be out of human error rather than mechanical problems. The fire and the extinguishing process suggested that they are unprofessional and unprepared to address such an emergency, he said.”

“India has been actively developing its military in recent years, but ‘its military culture is lax and it has loose regulations,’ which cannot effectively train soldiers to operate advanced military equipment, Li said.”

That criticism comes despite that fact that India has far more experience than China in operating aircraft carriers. India’s first carrier, the Vikrant, a former World War II British carrier, was commissioned in 1961. It performed combat duty in the 1971 India-Pakistan War. China’s first carrier, the Liaoning – the ex-Soviet carrier Varyag – wasn’t commissioned until 2012. It has yet to see action.

Ironically, both India and China are in the midst of ramping up their carrier fleets. India is completing a new Vikrant, which will be the nation’s first domestically-produced carrier. It has also announced plans to build a 65,000-ton carrier, which might even be based on the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class vessels.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 25, 2019 at 6:39am

One Pakistani Navy Submarine Outsmarted the Entire Indian Navy

https://propakistani.pk/2019/06/25/one-pakistani-navy-submarine-out...

It’s not been long since the two nuclear states, Pakistan and India, stood at the brink of war. Soon after the Pulwama incident, the Indian Air force attacked and violated Pakistan’s airspace. But that was not the only operation the Indian military was carrying out at that time.

It has been revealed by an India publication that the Indian Navy was also in action at that time. According to the media report, the Indian Navy pulled a major part of its fleet from an exercise and deployed it close to Pakistani territorial waters.

The fleet included nuclear and conventional submarines. As the tensions between the two countries simmered, India started keeping a close eye on Pakistan Navy’s movements. It was unable to locate an advanced Pakistani Agosta-class submarines-PNS Saad.

The missing Pakistani submarine made the entire Indian Navy go on a hunt that lasted for 21 days. “All the areas where it could have gone in the given timeframe, extensive searches were carried out by the Indian Navy. P-8Is were pressed into service to locate the submarine along with the coastal areas of Gujarat followed by Maharashtra and other states,” states the media report.

The P-81s have been recently acquired by India from the US. They are the advanced maritime surveillance aircraft having potent anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

Perceived Threat
According to the Indian government sources, the PNS Saad had vanished from near Karachi, and it could reach the Gujarat coast, India, in three days and the western fleet’s headquarters of Mumbai within five days. It was deemed a major threat to the security of India.

The Indian Navy took all the necessary steps to locate PNS Saad. The option of punitive military force was also made open, in case the submarine refused to surface. The country’s Navy committed its most potent assets to the search points. It employed satellites for the search and kept expanding its areas of search.

However, India claims that they finally located the Pakistan submarine in the country’s western territorial waters.

If the past events are recalled, Pakistan Navy had disclosed on May 5 that it had thwarted an Indian submarine from entering into Pakistani territorial waters, releasing a video as well. The claim was downplayed by the Indian side.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 2, 2019 at 8:13am

#Pakistan to induct JF-17 Block 3 fighter. Key feature will be its active electronically scanned array (AESA) #radar “1 of 2 new #Chinese AESA radars,” or #Italy's Leonardo Grifo-E “is still on the table.” #jf17thunder https://quwa.org/2019/07/01/pakistan-inches-closer-to-inducting-the... via @QuwaGroup

The centerpiece of the Block 3 will be its active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. Though the PAF CAS stated that the selection is now down to “one of two new Chinese AESA radars,” (i.e., the KLJ-7A and the LKF601E) Alan Warns reported that the Leonardo Grifo-E “is still on the table.”

Leonardo unveiled the Grifo-E in 2018 as a low-cost AESA radar solution for lightweight combat aircraft. However, the Grifo-E uses gallium-nitride (GaN)-based transmit/receive modules (TRM), which are more efficient in terms of power consumption than older gallium-arsenide (GaA)-based TRMs.

The Grifo-E can simultaneously track up to 24 targets (the LKF601E can track 15), but its range for picking up “fighter-sized targets” are 139 km to 157 km (Leonardo). The LKF601E can track “fighter-sized targets” at up to 170 km. Otherwise, the Grifo-E, KLJ-7A, and LKF601E appear to have similar features, though the Grifo-E also includes an “inverse synthetic aperture radar” (ISAR) for “seaborne and airborne targets.”

Seeing how Leonardo opened an office in Islamabad, the company’s willingness to sell the Grifo-E is not a concern. Rather, the main constraint with selecting any Western radar is that the PAF will have trouble in integrating Chinese radar-guided munitions – i.e., the SD-10 beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missile (AAM) and the C-802 anti-ship missile (AShM) – to the radar. The PAF’s Chinese and Western partners will not share their respective source-codes to enable for such integration.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 4, 2019 at 8:15pm

#Pakistan #airspace denial: students, diplomats urge #India to end impasse. “Earlier we paid around Rs. 30,000 but while returning in June, I had to pay around Rs. 60,000. We are students and cannot afford such high rates that airlines are charging us" https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pakistan-airspace-students-d...

Denial of airspace by Pakistan is affecting Indian students and hindering the smooth conduct of diplomacy. Indian students based in Central Asia and diplomats of various countries have urged the Government of India to engage Pakistan on restoring airspace rights that were suspended after India hit targets in Pakistani territory on February 26.

“Earlier we paid around ₹30,000 but while returning in June, I had to pay around ₹60,000. We are students and cannot afford such high rates that airlines are charging us. We have reached out to former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on social media but our complaints were not addressed,” says Ashutosh Kumar Singh, a fifth year MBBS student of the Kazakh National Medical University of Almaty.

Students say that apart from the hike in ticket prices, they also have to deal with the extra long distance that Central Asian airlines are forced to fly, as Pakistan remains out of bounds for India-bound flights. “We have to spend a day or more in airports of Central Asia or the Gulf region before boarding a connecting flight that will fly the elongated route,” says a student who studies in Kazakhstan.

Students who booked tickets months in advance were inconvenienced when Air Astana, the biggest Central Asian airline suspended its flights to India after Pakistan denied airspace. It restarted flights on June 29, but it is yet to start the earlier daily flights. At present, the flights are operated only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.


Kartarpur religious corridor
Students say that despite the tense ties, India has managed to maintain dialogue with Pakistan over the construction of the Kartarpur religious corridor. “If government can hold talks for religious corridor project with Pakistan, why is it not discussing the air corridors that is the requirement of thousands of inbound and outbound air passengers,” asks Zubair, a medical student

Diplomats too are disturbed by the difficulties they are facing in travelling to India. A Russian diplomat pointed out that Moscow was waiting for the end of Pakistan’s airspace denial. “It’s a bilateral issue that is affecting a huge number of countries. All Central Asian countries are facing enormous difficulties because of this issue. We are waiting for the opening of the airspace,” he said, adding that the Delhi-Moscow travelling time now took eight hours, and often connecting flights were lost because of the long duration flights that airlines needed to fly because of Pakistan’s blockade.

A Ukrainian diplomat also pointed out that the flying time from Delhi to Kiev had become at least two hours longer, leading to cancellation of connecting flights.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 7, 2019 at 9:42pm

How incompetent is the #Indian Navy? Read scathing assessment of #US Naval Officer who spent 5 days onboard the Indian Navy warship, INS #Delhi . AMA. - LessCredibleDefence

https://www.reddit.com/r/LessCredibleDefence/comments/9uwqzk/iama_u...

I see a lot of disappointments/shock in your comments. Were there any positives? Did they have good food?

Actually, their food was excellent. They also made really good tea, too. I drank nothing but hot milk tea my entire 5 days there because I was afraid of drinking the water (I saw their reverse osmosis units, dear god).

How bad was it?

15+ years old and they looked like nobody had done any maintenance in the last 5+ years. Their ROs were in such poor shape that despite having a greater fresh water production capacity than my ship by several thousand gallons, they were still on water hours.

How do they runs things differently then the USN?

Their engineering practices were abysmal. No undershirts, no steel-toed boots - they wore sandals - no hearing protection in their engineering spaces. No lagging (sound dampening material) in any space. No electrical safety whatsoever. No operational risk management. No concept of safety of navigation. Absolutely did not adhere to rules of the road. They more or less did not have any hard-copy written procedures for any exercise or event, at all. They had no concept of the coded fleet tactical system that US coalition forces and allies utilize (they literally made it up as they went along, and when I tried to interject and explain to them how it worked, they ignored me). When I arrived onboard they thought I was a midshipman and treated me as such. I had to be frank and explain that I was a commissioned officer and that yes, I stood officer on the deck onboard my ship and was a qualified surface warfare officer. They don't entrust their people with any responsibility until they are very senior Lieutenants (O-3s) and junior Lieutenant Commanders (O-4s). At this point in the US Navy there are literally guys commanding ships, and these guys couldn't even be trusted to handle a radio circuit.

How knowledgeable did you find the officers to be?

Well, their captain was driving the ship when it came within 50ft of the stern of a USNS replenishment ship and at any given time there were multiple officers on the bridge screaming at each other. They were generally clueless and had almost zero seamanship skills. I found their enlisted guys to be far more competent than their officers on the bridge.

Why do you think they're so incompetent and have such crappy operations?

Well, coming within 50ft of another ship at sea is never a good sign. But, afterwards, the general consensus/excuse that they came up with during their mini-debrief was "oh well, rough seas, better luck next time" not "holy ******* ****, we parted a tensioned wire cable made of braided steel under hundreds of thousands of pounds of tension". And wearing sandals during replenishment/helo ops/boat ops/in engineering spaces pretty much says it all. They legitimately didn't understand why I was wearing steel-toed flight deck boots. Things like these aren't cultural differences, they are golden exhibitions of their sheer lack of common sense and seamanship.

1. Are you breaking any US Navy rules by telling us all this?

2. How did they do in the exercise? Did they get "sunk" five times or what?

3. Were there equivalent Indian Navy personnel on a US Navy ship and do you happen to know their assessment? Were they disappointed by the lack of slaves?

4. Let's say * * * * hits the fan. India and Pakistan (or any other country. Take your pick) are at war and the ship you were on is sent into action. Would they be an effective fighting force or are they on the bottom of the ocean before the first day of shooting? Great AMA btw!

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 13, 2019 at 11:03am

Pro-India #American analyst Christine Fair: #Pakistan came out ahead in #Balakot #Kashmir conflict in Feb 2019. #India does not have the capability to decisively defeat #Pakistan in a short war.. https://youtu.be/erbBPdAWZQg via @YouTube

In a wide-ranging interview to ThePrint, strategic scholar from Georgetown University, Christine Fair talks about her book on Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Balakot air strike, and India's ideal strategy towards Pakistan.

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