A scientist placed a frog on a table and yelled, “Frog, jump!” The frog leapt forward two feet to the middle of the table. The scientist adjusted his spectacles, read the information flashing on the digital displays of the sophisticated equipment placed in the vicinity and scribbled some observations. He then picked up the amphibian and put it back at the starting point. Without any emotions, he removed (read “chopped”) its hind legs with surgical precision and yelled again, “Frog, jump!” The incapacitated being did not move an inch. “Eureka!” The heart of the jubilant scientist took a leap; he flipped open his notepad and wrote this inference: “The amputation of the hind limbs of an amphibian at an ambient temperature of 27ºC affects its tympanic membranes so that there is a hundred per cent loss of hearing (at 100 db, 25,000 Hz).
Drawing conclusions, inferences and lessons is an art.
It is inappropriate to talk of a scientist and a frog when the flavour of the day is the airstrike by the IAF across the border at Balakot in Pakistan.
An expert with a TV channel has made an observation that Wing Commander Abhinandan took a hundred and thirty two steps in seven minutes to cross the Attari-Wagah border. Another one has concluded that Imran (Pakistan) surrendered to a moustache (that of Abhinandan).
That was for dark humour.
On a serious note, a conclusion that some are drawing is that an F-16 aircraft is no match for a MiG 21 Bison. Perhaps it is a conclusion that has been reached a little too early by “experts” sitting in the cosy comforts of their drawing rooms. The fog of war has not cleared yet. Abhinandan’s version of the story is yet to become public.
This is a time for restraint; time to hold the horses and to avoid jumping to conclusions. Drawing inferences, conclusions and lessons is an art, a rare art. It better be left to the real experts.
For now, the question is:
Would the availability of a state of the art fifth generation fighter aircraft in IAF inventory have deterred Pakistan from daring to enter Indian airspace?
Dictionaries left by the British in the
government offices at the time of India’s Independence were torn apart so that a
country could take the pages with the alphabet from A-L and the other could own
those with M-Z. That was the level of mutual antagonism between India and
Pakistan on the eve of partition in 1947 as per Larry Collins and Dominique
Lapierre. The hostility has compounded over the years. While Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto sought to wage a war for a thousand years, General Zia ul Haq was
determined to bleed India through a thousand cuts.
The two neighbours have pursued different Arts of War over the years. Pakistan has
bled India for over three decades through covert operations. India has borne
the brunt of acts of terrorism sponsored by Pakistan without retaliating decisively
against that country, or against those orchestrating the attacks from its soil.
The terror strike at Uri, and the one at Pulwama that left over 40 CRPF men dead,
has changed the status quo. It has made India deviate from a path of reconciliation
and take the path of retaliation.
The Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi gave the
armed forces a “free hand in choosing the time, place and the nature” of the
response to Pulwama Terror attack. He added that each drop of tear of the
families of the martyrs would be avenged. The Rubicon had been crossed. The pre-emptive
airstrike by IAF fighters on the terrorist training camps at Balakot (Pakistan)
twelve days after the Pulwama terror attack, left Pakistan stunned, as if
struck by an earthquake.
In effect, the aftershocks have been no less spectacular. India withdrew the “Most Favoured Nation” status accorded to Pakistan, and raised the excise duty to 200%. India’s action to re-commence work on the dams on the Indus and other rivers has jolted Pakistan. Although indirect, the withdrawal of security to the separatist leaders in J&K has also been a setback to Pak interests. To the detriment of Pakistan, all the opposition parties in the Indian Parliament have also pledged support to the government. Through conscientious diplomatic effort, India has managed to get Pakistan isolated on the world stage. Even China, its all-weather friend has since maintained graveyard silence. The US called on Pakistan to immediately end the support and dismantle the safe haven provided to the terrorist groups operating from its soil. The invitation to India as the ‘Guest of Honour’ to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Meeting in Abu Dhabi has been the proverbial last straw that has broken the camel’s (read Pakistan’s) back.
Pakistan released Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman,
the IAF pilot who had landed up in Pak custody after ejecting from his fighter
aircraft. Although, Imran Khan said that it was a goodwill gesture to promote
peace, the fact is that an isolated Pakistan has succumbed to the cumulative
pressure created by India.
With its economy in shambles, Pakistan cannot afford to wage a full-scale war. Besides, a full-scale war can lead to its dismemberment; trouble is brewing in the country’s northwest. Pakistan now knows well the consequences of waging a proxy war against India. In one of his televised addresses recently, Imran Khan had spoken of possible ‘miscalculation’ by either side. If he was obliquely hinting at the possible use of nukes, he is also aware of India’s ability to absorb the first strike and India’s capability of a second strike. For sure, he is well aware of the asymmetry, too.
Sun Tzu says: “When you surround an army (read enemy), leave
an outlet free. This does not mean that the enemy is to be allowed to escape.
The object is to make him believe that there is a road to safety, and thus
prevent his fighting with the courage of despair.”
Has India left a road to safety for Pakistan?
India has left an option for Pakistan. Pakistan’s
road to safety (and peace for its people) is through handing over the likes of
Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim to India, and to dismantle the terror training
camps flourishing in its backyard.
A Black Swan event has three attributes. First, it is (most) unexpected; cognition excludes any likelihood (at all) of its occurrence. Second, its outcome is spectacular. And the third, despite its unexpectedness, people get down to concocting explanations to justify its occurrence. These can be summed as rarity, extreme impact, and retrospective predictability. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his book, The Black Swan explains the concept.
Air raid on the terror camps in Balakot (Pakistan) by IAF fighters in the wee hours of February 26, 2019 displays these three attributes of a Black Swan event. The event was unexpected, keeping the feeble Indian response to similar provocations in the past: the Parliament Attack (2001), the Mumbai Terror Attack (2008), and the Pathankot Terror Strike (2016)… the list is long. And, even after the recent terror attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama, there was a view that India lacked the will to respond to such provocations. On that occasion, as always, whether India had a Strategic Culture to respond to provocations became a point of intellectual debate. I too had contributed my anna bit to the discourse (Read Rummaging Pulwama for India’s Strategic Culture).
Let alone the outcome, which is being questioned by Pakistan, the very act of the IAF fighters crossing the border and releasing ordnance over the terror camps is a spectacular act. It was unimaginable until it happened; how it stunned everyone needs no further elucidation.
Volumes can be written on the third
attribute––on the retrospective predictability. People attribute the happening of Balakot Air Strike to so
many reasons: The political will, the pressure from the people, the moral high
ground, the economic and military power that India wields today, and its recent
diplomatic achievement in isolating Pakistan…. There are as many explanations
as the number of armchair strategists.
In retrospect, the surgical strike by the
Indian Army after the Uri Attack was a Black Swan event too.
In the immediate present and now, Uri and Balakot are a thing of the past. The success of those raids/ attacks has raised the bar for India––several notches in one go. Now, a stage has been reached when perhaps even a Neptune Spear type raid (killing of Osama Bin Laden) by the Indian Special Forces to eliminate any of the terror leaders hiding in Pakistan will not come as a surprise, not even for the Pakistan’s military. Thus, even if it were to come to pass, a raid to eliminate the terror leaders, it would not qualify to be a Black Swan event. By implication, its success might be iffy.
For sure, Uri and Balakot are a thing of the past. The return gift from Pakistan for India’s Black Swan––another Black Swan––is a much anticipated and awaited thing. And, for sure, no amount of preparedness would be enough to fully absorb a true Black Swan event.
Let the political and the military leadership and the diplomatic corps of the day have their way. They have pulled it this far; they definitely have plans for the future. While they are doing their bit to restore some semblance of normalcy in the region, they are also prepared, to the extent possible, to meet the retaliation on all fronts. The noise and din in the streets and in the media can only distract them.
Prudence demands that they be allowed to concentrate.
In December 1980, the US President received a
recorded message from Muammar Al-Qadafi the President of Libya threatening to
detonate a nuclear device that had been smuggled into New York unless his
conditions with regards to Palestine were met within a stipulated time. There
was an adjunct: In case the US President made that communication public, or made
any effort whatsoever, to evacuate New York City, Qadafi would be obliged to
detonate the device instantly. The recorded message was accompanied with enough
documentary evidence (a blueprint and four pages of mathematical formulae) to remove
any doubt about the ability of the sender of the message to execute his threat.
The intelligence agencies confirmed that the voice was that of Qadafi. The
threat was R-E-A-L.
That was fiction: “The Fifth Horseman” by the
duo of Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre (1980). But what President Gerald
Ford experienced earlier, in 1974, was not fiction. A group of Palestinians had
threatened to detonate an atomic device in the heart of Boston unless eleven of
their men in Israeli prisons were released. Notwithstanding the threat, Ford
did work on an evacuation plan. Meanwhile, the blackmailers were caught and the
threat turned out to be a hoax.
After that incident the US came up with a secret
organisation to deal with such threats, real or hoax. Fiction and fact, this issue
of nuclear blackmail did not end just there.
After the publication of the book (The Fifth
Horseman), two journalists interviewed Qadafi and asked him what he thought of
the book by Collins and Lapierre in which he had been projected as one
terrorising the US with a nuclear device. Until then Qadafi had not known about
the book, or the plot. He responded mysteriously, “In (any) case if ever that
were to happen (Qadafi were to smuggle a nuclear device into a US city), it
would be your fault because you gave me the idea.”
Fast forward to today and now. Nuclear Terrorism is no longer a figment of imagination; it is a reality. A news item published in an obscure corner of The Times of India (of Friday, February 22, 2019) reports a man being interrogated by the IB and the sleuths. He had confided that a girl he was communicating with on a dating app was talking about a nuclear attack on Delhi and that Rashtrapati Bhawan would be blown up.
There are reasons to believe that India, like
the US and others, has plans and machinery to handle such threats and crises.
The architects of India’s Nuclear Doctrine have crafted some of the most well
defined guidelines (on nuclear issues). There is much substance in the “No
First Use” policy that India professes.
India’s Nuclear Doctrine, the command and
control structure etc. etc. are not the subject matter of this post––they have
been very well articulated. Of concern today––in the post Pulwama rhetoric on
both sides of India’s western border––is the ability of the Indian military
apparatus to respond to a possible nuclear misadventure by an adversary or its
Are we prepared for a prompt (read “lightning”) and befitting
Hmm!!! Well, with the nuclear arsenal that it
possesses, India can turn a prospective adversary into rubble (even after
absorbing the first strike). There is no iota of doubt about that. What about the
will to do just that? Read on…
When the balloon goes up, it will be the
armed forces personnel who would be taking the physical actions to launch
nuclear weapons––missiles, aircraft, warships or submarines. Generations of those very officers, who would
be expected to act with great
alacrity, have been fed on the idea that: “Nuclear weapons are not the weapons for
fighting; they are meant for deterrence.” Although this is an
undeniable fact, at times the stress laid on it, is far too much. Anyone who even
appears to tow a different line even in theory or for the sake of an argument, does
not find favour with the directing staff and senior officers who conduct war
games. Officers with divergent views are sometimes ridiculed by their
An officer who has been groomed and trained
for years to treat nuclear weapons as meant “ONLY FOR DETERRENCE” if, and when,
ordered to fire a nuclear missile, would pause and have second thoughts. He would be inclined to verify the authenticity of
the order. In a war involving use of nuclear weapons, a delay of a few seconds
to respond to first use by an adversary might result in considerable
degradation of the capability to cause unacceptable
damage to the attacker.
So? Those who wear military uniforms need not be told that the weapons in their charge are not meant for use; they only need to be apprised––loudly, clearly and publicly, “These are weapons of mass destruction, use them only under the explicit orders of the leadership. This small change in approach will certainly not turn our fine men into trigger-happy warmongers. If at all, it will improve the response and make the deterrence more effective.
A couple of years ago, I was at a seminar
where many eminent people from different walks of Indian life had gathered to
share their thoughts on India’s Strategic Culture. The discussion, which began
with great bonhomie, metamorphosed into an animated debate. There were those
who eulogised all great Indians from Manu
to Manmohan Singh. They recalled with reverence Shivaji, Maharana Pratap, Rani
Laxmibai and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. They spoke in praise of Ashoka and
Chandragupta Maurya; Mohanjodaro and Harappa; Nalanda and Takshila…. They were
convinced that Chanakya and his Arthashatra were as great (read,
“greater”) than Sun Tzu and his Art of War. They talked of the wars
India has won against Pakistan including the surrender of 93,000 Pakistanis
(1971). They skipped the Sino-India War (1962) and went gaga over India’s Space
and Nuclear capabilities and its rich and varied culture and heritage…. “Wow! What
a Strategic Culture!”
People on the opposite bench spoke of the so
many times India has been invaded. They recalled some names with a lot of
venom––Genghis Khan, Timur, Ghazni, Ghauri and the East India Company…. They argued
that the Kashmir issue was poorly handled in 1947; we are still paying the cost
of bad decisions. They held Prime
Minister Nehru responsible for the debacle in 1962. They argued that the Indian
Airlines Flight IC 814 shouldn’t have been allowed to leave India; there was no
question of releasing Masood Azhar. On the issue of the rescue of President MA
Gayoom of the Maldives (Operation Cactus, November 1988), they were sure that
India (like the US, the UK, and Pakistan etc.) shouldn’t have extended military
assistance––the returns were not commensurate with the risk involved. For sure,
India was the proverbial cat’s paw that pulled the chestnuts out of the fire
for the Maldivians. In Kargil, India was caught napping…. “Does India have a
Strategic Culture at all?”
In the Q&A hour, intellectuals raised doubts, asked questions and commented. I kept mum for I didn’t want to prove my ignorance. I felt relieved when the learned chair concluded that it was important to define the term “Strategic Culture” before one could talk about “India’s” Strategic Culture and there was no clear definition of that term. My relief knew no bounds when, during the high tea after the event I interacted with people and discovered that most of us (if not all) were sailing in the same boat.
Discussion, and the debate over, I consigned “Strategic Culture” to some far recesses of my mind for I had more pressing issues to turn to; we all have pressing issues, including children. Publication of my book was top on my list of priorities at that time.
Today everyone, literally everyone, is
talking (on television, texting, tweeting, whatsapping…) about India’s Strategic
Culture, or some such thing––the same debate and the same arguments have
resurfaced. Only the discussants are more vociferous, more clamorous and very
I wonder: “At this point in time, is a
definition of Strategic Culture or a knowledge of India’s Strategic Culture
important? Is it going to help in any way? Is this the time to think of
doctrines, recall principles of war, military strategy––the theory?”
I am reminded of a young cricketer at the
nets a day before a major game. Just when he hit the ball over the boundary,
his coach came to him and said that that was not the way to hit the ball. He
reprimanded him for his wrong technique and started teaching him the ‘textbook’
way of doing what he was doing.
“But where’s the ball, coach?” the player
asked as he looked at the ball being recovered from the spectator stand.
In tune with what I said the other day, I add:“The time to learn theory has long gone; it is time to act. Rummaging Pulwama for India’s Strategic Culture will be an exercise in futility. Let those on the stage perform unhindered. Let others just W-A-T-C-H. Those of us who have performed our acts really well (when we were on the stage) will be approached for direction, if deemed necessary.”
Among others, a phoenix that rises after almost
every terror strike is the issue of hijack of the Indian Airlines Flight IC 814
(Airbus A300) en route from Kathmandu to Delhi on December 24, 1999. The crisis
ended after India agreed to release Masood Azhar, along with some other
terrorists. The released terrorists were later implicated in other acts of terror,
like the gruesome murder of Daniel Pearl (2002) and the Mumbai Terror Strike (2008).
Therefore, after Pulwama, a recall of Kandahar
appears to be a natural public impulse. The decision of the Bajpai Government to
barter Masood Azhar for the passengers and the crew is being criticised yet
again. Many are suggesting that India should not have let go of Masood; it is being
lamented that India is paying the cost for that ‘wrong’ decision. It is fashionable to cite the example of Israel in
dealing with terror strikes and their policy of never-succumbing-to-the-demand of the terrorists to release their
brethren in return for Israeli hostages.
The fact is that Israel does have a rigid
policy on the subject. Israel has dealt with situations on case-to-case basis. Kozo Okamoto, a member of the Japanese Red Army
fighting for the PLO was caught alive by the Israeli security forces after the
Lod Airport Massacre in 1972 (17 killed; 22 injured). Although sentenced to
life imprisonment he (along with some PLO members) was bartered for a few Israeli
soldiers held by the PLO.
In another case, Israel had almost agreed to
release PLO men in its jails in return for the hundred odd Air France passengers
(mostly Israeli) held hostage at Entebbe Airport (Uganda 1976). But the delay
in the return of Idi Amin (the Ugandan dictator who was away) to Kampala gave
them an opportunity to plan and carry out the daring raid to rescue the
hostages (the daring Entebbe Raid). The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin,
was supported by the entire parliament.
The Israeli leadership decides when, and when
not, it is in Israel’s interest to accede to the demands of the terrorists and
acts accordingly. The public and the opposition parties do not question the
wisdom of the leadership––they do not pester the leadership either way.
Returning to Kandahar, the Indian leadership
did what it considered best under those circumstances. Post Pulwama, it is unfair
to criticise the then government and the security forces for their actions. Kandahar
is past––lessons have been learnt and ways of dealing with similar situations
in the future have been worked out.
In the current situation, all political
parties have shown remarkable maturity by extending support to the government.
It would be best to leave the government and the military leadership (who are
in the know of things) to decide the best course of action.
A parting thought.
For Israeli state, it is a question of
survival; they have reason to respond to situations the way they do. They also
have full support of major world powers in everything they do. Our leadership
and military has to go it alone. We’ll do well not to breathe down their necks
as they plan and execute an appropriate response. Let’s not indulge in
candlelight marches, burn tyres, and block roads to pressurise those who need
to remain calm at this juncture. Think of it: such actions only cause global
warming, traffic snarls and loss of productivity. Still worse, they might force
a knee-jerk reaction.
give the government and the military the elbowroom to act freely.
The mission to rescue the Maldivian President (Operation
Cactus, November 1988) was a race against time. The Indian troops had to cover
2600 kms (Agra to Hulule) and find him in the capital, Malé before the rebels
could spot him on that small island measuring barely two square kilometres. If
the rebels, led by Abdullah Luthufee were to find him before the Indian troops,
and if they could gain control of Malé, then the rescue operation by the
Indians would be construed as an act of
aggression against a sovereign state. Besides, when the IAF aircraft landed
at Hulule airport, a single gun-toting rebel lying in wait by the runway could
have caused catastrophic damage to the rescue force.
India could have ill afforded a debacle in the Maldives following
its setbacks in Sri Lanka in the preceding year. The stakes were very high. Most pundits, and strategic thinkers would have forecast failure on the
eve of the Operation, yet the spectacular success of the Operation was met with
There was an opinion galore: Some compared Operation Cactus with the ‘Charge
of the Light Brigade albeit with a twist in the tail, others found
parallels with the kinds of Operation
Eiche (the rescue of Benito Mussolini by the German paratroopers in 1943)
and Operation Jonathan (popularly
remembered as the Entebbe Raid––the
rescue of over a hundred hostages by the Israelis in 1976).
Brigadier FFC Bulsara, the dynamic commander, who led the paratroopers in
that Operation knew what his men had gone through and had recommended names of
a few individuals for recognition of their gallantry. Grudgingly, very few of
them were doled out decorations––hardly any for gallantry. Bulsara was
observant enough to recognise the contribution of the then Indian High
Commissioner, Mr AK Banerjee also. The diplomat had mustered the courage to
join the task force (with apprehensions, of course) on the mission impossible. Needless
to say, his presence did make a difference. But, Bulsara’s recommendation went
unheeded. At a later date, he lamented the apathy of those at the helm for
ignoring the deserving.
As it seems, body bags elicit greater awe and emotion than victorious troops. In fact, when they head for the war-zone, people often bid the soldiers to ‘lay down their lives’ for the sake of the country. Perhaps, a tweak in the attitude towards the soldiers (and war-fighting) will make a huge difference to their morale (and to the outcome of their endeavour). “Annihilate the enemy and return victorious!” will surely be a better wish for a soldier than “die for the country.” Likewise, a greeting: “You fought well! We are proud of you!” might be a pleasant recognition of his effort.
A coup attempt in the Maldives in November 1988––by Abdullah Luthufee, a Maldivian businessman supported by the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Elam––sent President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom into hiding. Malé flashed SOS messages to the US, the UK, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan seeking military assistance. While others took time to decide, India responded with concrete action.
It was a race against time––the Indian troops had to reach President Gayoom before the rebels could find him on Malé Island. If the rebels could find President Gayoom before the Indian troops, and if they could gain control of Malé, then the rescue operation would be construed as an act of aggression against a sovereign state. India could ill afford a failure in the Maldives after its setbacks in Sri Lanka in the year gone by.
The decision to launch an airborne operation 2600 kms away in the Maldives was a difficult politico-military choice. India’s pre-occupation in Sri Lanka did weigh heavily on the Indian Prime Minister’s mind. The advice and the confidence of the military leadership enabled him to give a ‘go ahead’.
In response to Delhi’s clarion call, the paratroopers got into action. The IAF airlifted them to rescue the President and secure the islands. The Indian Navy chased the rebels and forced them into surrender.
It is a fact that there were no maps; there was very little intelligence; the notice was short, …the men were scattered––the list of handicaps on the eve of the launch of Operation Cactus is long. Owing to the extreme uncertainties, most pundits, and strategic thinkers (of that time) would have forecast failure, nay a catastrophe. Three decades later, the opinions about Operation Cactus still fringe on disdain and indifference. The reason perhaps is the absence of well-researched material on the subject. Articles and books analysing the Operation are few and far between. The available literature throws light on small segments of the Operation. Many views are devoid of facts and informed analysis. It is no wonder then, that some people question the sanity of the very decision to embark on this mission. They feel that India could well have avoided going into the Maldives.
The fact is that the decision to go to the Maldives was deliberate and sufficiently contemplated––contingencies had been catered for, including abandoning the Operation and returning to Trivandrum, if the situation so demanded. The decision was followed up by prompt military action. The resources, and the capabilities were limited, but the ability to exploit those resources was tremendous––what was achieved was perhaps the best that could have been done under those circumstances.
The Indians did not sleepwalk into the Maldives.
Operation Cactus underscores three fundamental issues: One, success of military operations depends on innumerable factors. Two, all such factors cannot possibly align favourably, always. Three, success favours those who dare and act regardless. Operation Cactus is the saga of men determined to achieve ends despite all odds. It proved the prowess of Indian military and diplomacy alike and showcased India as an emerging Regional Power.
I have a question, and the one suggested by the title of this post, is not it. Dear readers, please bear the necessary preamble. With prudence bestowed by hindsight, let alone what the US did in World War II, everything done in the past, could have been done better, much better, indeed. The answer to that rhetorical question about the US and WW II therefore, is obviously: “Yes.”
There are many answers to that one-word question. For now, let’s focus on just one, to get a point––by setting aside its prejudice against its blacks. In the America of the 1940s––even after 75 years of enactment of the Civil Rights Act, which gave the blacks the right to American citizenship––the blacks were still less-among-equals. Even the patriotic fervour of the day could not bring the two Americas together.
Among others, Jim Crow Laws and racial discrimination were the hurdles that delayed the contribution of blacks to a national cause that needed the support of every able-bodied individual, man or woman, direly. The Red Cross segregated the blood supplies to allay fears that infusion of negro blood would result in development of undesirable characteristics among those infused with it. As a result of the race riots in Texas and Michigan, black workers left the cities temporarily, causing a loss of work hours adversely affecting defence production. As per War Production Board estimates, two million hours of work were lost in the first two days of rioting alone. In the summer of 1943, when the War in Europe and the Asia-Pacific was peaking, there were 242 major race fights in forty-seven cities across the US. There was definite setback to the war effort.
That much for my preamble.
Fast forward to TODAY and NOW. Wars are on in different parts of the world; countries are involved directly or are fighting proxies. Many countries are under sanctions either by the US or coalitions of like-minded countries. The affected countries are retaliating. India, and many other countries are caught in the crossfire. Each warring side is conveying in its own way: “Either you are with us or against us.” Even if India is not on one side, for it to manage affairs in a fragmented world is becoming increasingly difficult.
Escalation of crude oil price in the international market is one of the obvious fallouts affecting India. In the prevailing world order, to be able to buy Rafale from France, S-400 from Russia, Chinook from the US, oil from Iran and surveillance equipment from Israel requires statesmanship and diplomacy of a superior order. In addition, attending to the war being waged by the insurgents and terrorists inside the country and on the borders, requires sustained effort, undisturbed by domestic worries.
India is faced with many wars. And then, we have Sabrimala Crisis, the Bihari Exodus (from Gujrat) and the many agitations, which bring the country to standstills on regular basis.
And now about the question that I sought to ask right in the beginning: Can we Indians do better in these on-going wars, and possibly, win them too?
With that one hindsight from the American experience in WW II, my military sense suggests: “Of course, we can definitely fair better.”
Again, there are many answers. But a simple one is: By involving everyone regardless of which part of the country one comes from; each one doing his bit (and a little more) and letting others do theirs (and a little more). Since it is “WAR” we are talking about, a little bit of self-imposed military discipline is the need of the day.
Think it over: Most protest marches are a loss of invaluable man-hours. All candlelight vigils are a senseless waste of petroleum resources leading to depletion of ozone layer.