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Why India can’t defeat Pakistan in a war? What is the Right time to Fight Pakistan? Explain.

Updated: Mar 1, 2019


At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) paramilitary troopers were killed in the deadliest terror attack witnessed in three decades of Kashmir's insurgency. The surprise attack by a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber left the nation in shock and anger while Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave security forces a freehand to strike back with equal force.


Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat welcomed India's decision to call off talks and said that it's time to "give it back" to Pakistan Army and terrorists, Pakistan Army has said that the nuclear-powered nation is "ready for war".


Pakistan Director General of Inter Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor said,

"We are always ready and prepared for war. War happens when either side is unprepared for it."

One of the key arguments is that the political leadership has to improve their understanding of military matters and involve the views of defence forces while making critical national security decisions. Another provocative take is that the Indian Army is a bloated force and has to shed flab, by reducing the number of personnel at its disposal. They call for a review of both field force and non-field force in the Army in order towards professionalism. The Army to disengage itself from counter-insurgency operations, a task at best left to paramilitary forces, and regain its edge to do its primary task- fight the enemy.



Dragon On Our Doorstep could be a little misleading title since We are not only discussing the China threat but India’s defence strategy. In full play is Pakistan, Kashmir and the red menace, the greatest threat India is facing, as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh put it. The authors Sawhney and Wahab say that in terms of threat, Pakistan is China and China is Pakistan, pointing out especially the ‘inter-operability’ that both military forces have achieved.


So despite the strongman Narendra Modi at the helm, why can’t India defeat Pakistan in a war? Pakistan has built military power, India a military force.


And Here is the explanation:


“Military force involves the mere collection of war-withal, that is, building up of troops and war-waging material; military power is about optimal utilisation of military force. It entails an understanding of the adversaries and the quantum of threat from each, the nature of warfare, domains of war, how it would be fought, and structural military reforms at various levels to meet these challenges.”

The political leadership which would decide the terms of war engagement understands neither nuclear weapons nor military power.


“Its responses would be slow, tardy, ad hoc and piecemeal rather than bold and substantive if the countries were to go to war.”


Attacking Pakistan will mean starting a World War III . Lets not forget that Pakistan is a country with sophisticated military and advanced missile delivery system with capable of delivering nuclear warheads. India attacking Pakistan will definitely trigger a nuclear war in that region. Pakistan is also in alliance with China and India and Indian relations are still considered not very friendly with China. The Indian military has acknowledged contingency plans exist for punishing Pakistan more severely in the event of a damaging terrorist attack. But all such plans carry the danger of retaliation and uncontrolled escalation. This fear is exacerbated by the fact that both countries possess nuclear weapons. Pakistan has repeatedly signalled it would not hesitate to use them.




What else makes Indian defence forces vulnerable? Since the defence forces are outside the government, they have little interaction with the political leadership in peacetime and little say in the acquisition of conventional weapons. The defence services have little knowledge and understanding of their own nuclear weapons and Pakistan’s nuclear redlines. As India does not have an efficient indigenous defence industry, war supplies are not assured. All these, for an average reader, sound pretty scary.


Indian Air Force has critical deficiencies in combat aircraft, training aircraft, simulators, air defence and network-centricity. “Most of all, the joint-ness in operations between the army and the air force, which is a critical requirement at the operational level for a short and swift, war is absent. This was obvious from the last localised Kargil conflict that the two services fought together. Instead of a single operation, the army’s operation was named Vijay, while the IAF campaign was called Safed Sagar.”



India’s foreign policy in relation to Pakistan and criticise Modi for his failure in not rising as a statesman prime minister to transform India into a leading power. Modi’s foreign policy is more optics than substance. India and Pakistan have many things in common besides food and music. India has blinded more civilians in Kashmir with pellet guns than any other regime in the recorded history of the world. Pakistan has abducted many of its own citizens and disappeared them for years. Both acted in the name of national security.


They say that ‘Act East, Think West’ policy is hampered by the perennial failures in strategic thinking and a lack of appreciation for military power. They pick on India’s foreign aid policy and say that if our neighbours are neither deferential nor deterrent there is something amiss. Aid is seldom given to fulfil the needs of the recipient. It is given to meet the requirements- strategic in the case of nations- of the giver. And if the requirements are not met, you increase the aid or diversify it. They also say that India is the only country in the world where foreign policy with nations having disputed borders- China and Pakistan- is made with regard to military advice. All these criticisms should rile the defence establishment and the bureaucrats who have straitjacketed India’s foreign policy.


The government of India should open unconditional talks with everyone alienated from the national mainstream, irrespective of their professed public positions. They caution that even the biggest of powers have not been able to withstand internal discord because they understand that the financial and military effort required to keep it in check debilitates the nation in the long run. if India is able to win over the tribal population of central India and the people from the northeastern states, it will be able to free up a substantive number of its soldiers from internal stability and counter-insurgency operations.


So in the end, the message is that set your home right, the world will follow you. May be Modi can take note.


References : BBC , TOI


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