The Hype Cycle
The last few weeks have seen both the Line of Control (LoC), and now the International Border (IB), witness small arms, automatic fire, as well as Mortar Bomb use. Casualties have included civilians, with a fear psychosis setting in, into the civilian population.
These incidents have drawn no reaction from the often ridiculed, geriatric Indian establishment led by a shamelessly, silent Prime Minister.
A grandstanding usually vociferous and visible NSA, is again conspicious by his silence over the active LoC and IB, as well as civilian casualties. The NSA, a bureaucrat without any background in security, but who for all practical purposes, it seems has usurped both Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) led Foreign Policy mandate, as well as the MoD counsel.
This is in addition to Intelligence coordination and god knows what else, given the kingdom building and cults, we see in the Indian bureaucratic lexicon.
In all this palace intrigue, the Military man in uniform has no direct access to the Prime Minister, who in any case is busy traipsing around the world striking imaginary treaties and deals. A man living a schizoid life gathering air miles, with abject self congratulation, as the world sniggers at India.
The MSM entourage that flies on Air India One, faithfully carries water for the courtesan establishment. The junket reports are filed, so thick with regurgitated bullshit, that it is hard to read between the lines.
The tune of rhetoric both from the PMO, the vociferously grandstanding NSA, the MHA, the MEA, and generally the Congress led UPA Cabinet and its coalition partner NC, has lately turned from arrogant bluster, to stoic defence, to a sheer bleating panic.
As lead, shrapnel and bodies collide on the LoC and IB, in pools of blood, and the reek of cordite, and entire villages are evacuated, and talk of impending war looms thick in the air, rhetoric meets reality.
Impact on Border Populations
Beyond the who said what, beyond the mainstream media (MSM) hype cycle, there are a few hard realities that need to be understood:
There are significant populations on the LoC and IB, that are becoming casualties in this sporadic but daily barrage: Women, children, cattle, standing crops.
The man who's bleeding is asking why he's being hit? Why his wife, child and cattle are in peril of injury and death. Why he suddenly can't gather herbs, or graze his livestock after 10 years of peace on the fence. His crop needs harvesting but he can't go to his field. India let him down!
It let him down. Diplomatically, Militarily, in Intelligence terms, it failed to justify the salaries and perks, the common man pays, for policy making, for Security, and for Governance!
Subjugation of the Military: Status, Equivalence, Equipment & Pay, Manufactured Distrust, and Twin Command Dichotomy
There is a divided discourse emanating from a divided Indian establishment, with a twin command structure, owing to an insidious insecurity in the minds of politicians, wilfully perpetrated by a bureaucracy feeding off fear-arbitrage .
This canard with no basis in reality or empirical evidence, propagated from Indian Independence was first created during the infamous days of Krishna Menon and Nehru. The fear of the Army coup, the bureaucracy created bogeyman, lead to Indian debacle in 1962. Today, this turf warfare perfidy continues!
On the one hand, there is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) controlled BSF, ITBP, CRPF, etc, on the IB, elsewhere in IS roles.
The patron Minister known for his less than cerebral comments, with great fanfare announced the grant of the same retirement status to Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), as the Indian Armed Forces (AF).
Predictably this has gone down badly with the AFs! This unmindful of the service conditions of the AF, their skills, special military ethos, requiring draconian command and control. Ironically, the Minister who vowed stern action against Pakistan, shied away from visiting any border posts!
The AF, see frequent misuse as aid to civil authority when all other Police, CAPFs, fail, in Internal Security roles (IS), like the sporadic but frequent Hindu and Muslim Riots.
The AF are the default deputation Command of all Anti-Insurgency outfits like Assam Rifles, as the Counter-Terrorism business backbone of NSG (SAG), as cyberwar specialists in NTRO, and despite NDMA creation, the AF remain the Natural Disaster saviour in floods, avalanche, cyclone, and finally as guarantor of essential services during industrial action.
Contrast this with the silent Ministry of Defence (MoD) led by its patron Minister, AK Antony. Now known derisively as the Saint for an ability to procrastinate, pontificate and shield the civilian bureaucracy, while being oblivious to regular media leaks, ironically of information sourced from the AF.
The same information that is, of course fastidiously denied to the Parliament or through the Right to Information (RTI) Law.
Leaked secret information that violates the Official Secrets Act, channeled through unscrupulous pet media, employed to fix Arms vendors, and provoke witchhunts against the AF, and in no small measures to fix serving or retired officers, who may not be in the charmed political circles, or of the geography, caste, language, religion, subnationalism idiosyncrasy of the political masters.
Demoralisation of Armed Forces
The demoralisation of the AF, due to an active animosity by the MoD minister and bureaucracy, and differences in status, equivalence, benefits with lesser private armies of MHA is one dangerous subtext.
There is a perception in the AF that MHA troopers and CAPFs get more for doing less. Even the quality of small arms, gear, transport are a contrast to MoD fed Armed Forces. This again has to do with the integration of IPS officers in MHA, in contrast MoD does not allow for similar embedding of uniformed military officers, causing heartburn.
The double standard of the MoD between civilian generalists and uniformed military Servicemen is glaring.
The MoD has been plagued with bribery in every major defence purchase. It has seen a delay in almost every buy or make decision, usually becoming the former, after wasting decades in taxpayer money, and defence preparedness, in trying make.
The Indian soldier today fights without a contemporary Rifle, or modern helmets or personal body armour. Indian ammunition is known to fail and suspect!
An elite Rashtriya Rifles (RR) Trooper, equipped with an East European AK cloned assault rifle with a fixed butt, when sees a CAPF Trooper with another similar Rifle but with a folding butt, finds the contrast, very noticeable.
This is a cause for dysfunction in fighting asymmetric warfare, close fighting tactics failure, and lack of pride and confidence in equipment. It is also one of the reasons for lack of quality hiring in the AFs, besides loss of status, equivalence and pay.
Information Warfare - MoD Inability to Respond to Social Media Response Turnarounds
The inability of the MoD bureaucracy to process information quickly in the day-to-day Social Media (SM) battle is the other dangerous subtext.
The Army, whose communication is vetted by the MoD is unable to respond to the hype cycle effectively given the obsolete processes employed between it and MoD for information flow.
The top Generals including the Army Chief are poor communicators when fronted to MSM. Their lack of gravitas does huge injustice to the brave officers, men and women, who serve under them, with valour, bravery and professionalism.
The resulting information vacuum is filled by active disinformation from scamp Kashmiri, NE media, and Pakistan' ISPR fed baloney. This acts as a force multiplier, given the unnecessary secrecy, paucity of official comment, and intellectual bankruptcy of MSM, that feeds of SM stories, as hard information, which may or may not be so.
The Problem of Peacenik Posture, Nehruvian Restraint: Analysis Paralysis :
There is a certain schizophrenia that afflicts the Indian establishment today.
It is based in lack of practiced skill in 4th Generation, and Asymmetric War fighting. The impostors and pretenders of the PMO, the MEA and their business end MHA and MoD advisers, divorced from the fighting man, have run out of solutions and imagination.
Nehruvian Restraint is based on a calculated apathy, for the lives of Indian Citizens, civilian and soldier.
For the family on the LoC and IB, and for the soldier on the fence, being shot at by snipers, or being peppered with machine gun fire, and shrapnel from Mortar Bombs are all too real and coloured in red. These simple, patriotic people can not begin to understand the apathy of grey politics and turf wars of the politicians and bureaucracy, that they democratically chose every five years, to run India.
They don't give a damn, how Pakistan or the world sees it. Or if it gets international coverage, if they are at risk, bleeding, harrased or being violated on this Government's watch. We might as well disband the Army and shut down the private armies of MHA, if they can't protect civilians, soldiers.
Solutions not Problems:
Hit them back, not calibrated and in reaction. Harder, and by surprise. Overt or covert, economic or diplomatic. Whatever it takes to stem the aggression.
There are enough people to define the problem, but none with a solution. India has the 3rd largest standing professional Army in the world, with an outstanding record. A Nuclear power that has been the epitome of responsibility sometimes, bordering on dogma and impotence.
If they come across, the LoC, in violation of border protocol, and ceasefire violation, then to limit and stop own troops is stupidity.
If they come across, we go across, in active pursuit, raid the terrorist camps, assassinate the leadership, and the funders! Offense is the best defence. Whatever it takes to safeguard Indian lives and national security!
Fighting & Exposing Enemy Propaganda
What is the media for? Finessing the rape of the Indian economy by subsidy profligacy? Is it only for Hindu Terror canards? And anti-Modi sledging? Whose job is it to fight the infowar, in print, on TV, and in social media.
Unfortunately for the obedience of the AF, the cliché about, what they won has always been lost on the talking table, by crooked politicians, and the feckless sycophant bureaucrats, is true.
Finally it is worth mentioning here that the Neta and Babu intrigue is not possible to perpetrate without, their stooges in the AF, who for fear or favour, implement poison pill orders.
They do dirt to the Honour, Loyalty and Legacy of veterans gone on ahead, and those who will follow, long after them.
Lead, follow or get out of the way!
The successive tenures of the Congress led UPA have been lined with milestones of security abdication, both internal and external.
If you don't have it in you as a Government, as a Cabinet, leave the chair, the entitlement, and the fancy cars with beacons.
It is unacceptable to cheapen lives of Indian citizens. Those who live in India's borders from Jammu to Ladakh, and Arunachal, Assam to Manipur, are no less citizens of India. They too need to be protected like citizens of India, who bleed in 26/11 and Parliament House Attacks.
The Government should resign if it is unable or unwilling. The Republic of India is nobody's kingdom.