2004 India Cold Start Indian Army Exercise Sudershan Shakti Revalidation of Cold Start War Doctrine (KAPILA 2011)

22/7/2014 Indian Army Revalidates Exercise Sudershan-Revalidation of Cold Start Doctrine 1/4 Paper no. 4809 10-Dec-2011 INDIAN ARMY EXERCISE SUDERSHAN SHAKTI- REVALIDATION OF COLD START WAR DOCTRINE By Dr Subhash Kapila References: Following Papers of the Author: India’s New “Cold Start” War Doctrine Strategically Reviewed (Paper No. 991 dated 04-05-2004 India Army’s New “Cold Start” War
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  22/7/2014 Indian Army Revalidates Exercise Sudershan-Revalidation of Cold Start Doctrine 1/4 Paper no. 480910-Dec-2011   INDIAN ARMY EXERCISE SUDERSHAN SHAKTI-REVALIDATION OF COLD START WAR DOCTRINE  By Dr Subhash Kapila References: Following Papers of the Author:   India’s New “Cold Start” War Doctrine Strategically Reviewed (Paper No. 991 dated 04-05-2004 India Army’s New “Cold Start” War Doctrine Strategically Reviewed-Part II, Additional Imperatives (Paper No. 1013 dated 01-06-2004) India’s Cold Start War Doctrine Revisited ( Paper No. 2293 dated 10-07-2007    Introductory Observations  Indian Army’s Cold Start War Doctrine was publicly unveiled on April28, 2004 and its detailed analysis stood covered in the first two Papers of mine quoted above. Following the publication of these two Papers an avid debate followed inPakistan Army strategic circles and think tanks in Pakistan, UK ANDUSA. The Cold Start War Doctrine was a radical departure from Indian Army’serstwhile operational doctrines   which were markedly defensive operations-centric. As brought out in my Papers referred above the Cold Start War Doctrine was patterned on the NATO’s ‘Air-Land Warfare Doctrine’which envisaged deep-thrust mechanized operations deep into enemyterritory with overwhelming Air Force support. The other major change in emphasis was that the operational aims of thisnew Doctrine were no longer focussed on capture of enemy territory buton destruction of the enemy’s war waging capabilities. Surprisingly, the Indian Government has been taking pains to de-emphasizing that India does not have any Cold Start War Doctrine andeven made the present Army Chief, General V K Singh to state as such or words to that effect. The Indian Government seems to have done so under pressure from theUnited States to which Pakistan Army Chief was complaining that he couldnot move Pak Army formations to the Afghan border because of IndianArmy’s Cold Start War Doctrine. The reality is whether the Indian Army is made to abjure the term Cold    22/7/2014 Indian Army Revalidates Exercise Sudershan-Revalidation of Cold Start Doctrine 2/4 Start War Doctrine for political reasons, the series of Strike Corps levelexercises held every year by different Strike Corps were in essence whatCold Start War Doctrine incorporated, namely, Air-Land War Strategy of deep thrusts into enemy territory by armored and mechanizedformations battle-prepared to operate even under Nuclear, Biological andChemical Warfare threats environment.  Exercise SUDERSHAN CHAKRA  which is in its concluding stageshaving commenced in end-October 2011 need to be viewed in the abovecontext. In terms of the South Asian context such operations as have beengone through are undoubtedly Pakistan Army-centric should it indulge in its periodic military adventurism against India. This Paper would therefore focus only on the main features of EX-STDERSHAN CHAKRA as my above referred Papers already providein great detail the Cold Start War Doctrines and the sizeable number of validation and revalidation exercises that have unceasingly followed I thelast seven years.  EX-SUDERSHAN CHAKRA: The Political Prominence Given  Comparing to the preceding series of validation and revalidation Exercisesof Cold Start War Doctrine, this recent Exercise received political prominence by the visit of President Pratibha Patil as SupremeCommander of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Army also requested that a delegation of Members of Parliament, preferably below the age of forty years also should witness thissignificant Exercise to gain first hand experience of Indian Army’soperational doctrines as they would emerge as political decision makers inthe next twenty years. In her address on conclusion of witnessing the concluding stages of EX-SUDERSHAN CHAKRA, THE President made the following remarks“The country today is faced with multi-dimensional challenges to our national security. We need to accordingly equip our forces with state-of artweaponry and hone our skills through relentless training to deliver therequired response to our adversaries, when the need arises.” Significantly, this was the first ever visit by a President of India to personally visit and witness large scale Army-Air Force Exercise of such amassive scale and dimensions.  EX-SUDERSHAN CHAKRA: Salient Features  The Exercise was conducted by Headquarters Southern Command tovalidate its Integrated Theatre concept in an Air-Land Battle Scenario.Also incorporated in this Exercise was Headquarters South Western Air Command with its front line Air Force squadrons to complement thesizeable Air Force component required for any deep-thrust warfare. The Bhopal based 21 Corps as one of the major Strike Corps andformations under its command including 31 Armored Division participatedin this Exercise More than 50,0000 troops supported by nearly 300 tanks etc providedthe strike punch along with other formations. toexercise battle maneuversas part of the operational war doctrine The Indian Air Force provided combat aircraft like the SU-30 Mk II.  22/7/2014 Indian Army Revalidates Exercise Sudershan-Revalidation of Cold Start Doctrine 3/4 MIG 27 and Jaguars. AWACS Aircraft provided Aerial Early Warningand and surveillance support. Media reports indicate that space-basedassets were also used. The Indian Air Force provided the entire spectrumof combat, close support and attack helicopters support besides air assaults and logistics maintenance required for deep thrusts by Armyformations. Practicing its Integrated Theatre Concept, the Pivot Corps also wereexercised in this Exercise and hence the full dimension of IntegratedTheatre Concept rather than just a Strike Corps Exercise The magnitude of the Exercise can be gauged not only by the numbersinvolved but also the geographical spread extending to 175 km by 150 kmThis Exercise was conducted in general area of Barmer.Pokharan andJaisalmer in Rajasthan.  Concluding Observations  In an embattled security environment that surrounds India, it is strategicallyand militarily important that the Indian Armed Forces maintain a highstandard of war-readiness to successfully overcome the national securitychallenges faced by the country. This can only be achieved by relentlessexercising of its war doctrines and operational strategies as has bee donein EX-SUDERSHAN CHAKRA. Concomitant on the above is that India cannot afford to have glaring voidsin its operational inventories. In specific relation to Cold Start War Doctrine the void of 130 plus fighter aircraft is serious and alarming and soalso the rejuvenation of the Artillery which has not seen any modernizationfor over 20 years. India’s war-preparedness cannot be made a hostage of the civilian bureaucratic processes of North Block and South Block.The Indian Armed Forces have validated and revalidated its war doctrinesagainst the Pakistan Army threats, but what is not visible is are comparableExercises to counter the China Threat challenge. Neither India’s politicalleadership nor Indian Armed Forces dignitaries should shy away fromarticulating’ The China Threat’. It is imperative that the country sees visible signs in the direction of  preparing for countering The China Threat with the same vigor andsustained focus   22/7/2014 Indian Army Revalidates Exercise Sudershan-Revalidation of Cold Start Doctrine 4/4   Back to the topHome | Papers | Notes | Forum | Search | Feedback | Forward | LinksCopyright © South Asia Analysis Group  All rights reserved. Permission is given to refer this on-line document for use in research papers and articles, provided the source and the author's name are acknowledged. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial  purposes.
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