by Brig Arun Bajpai

The other day when Indian Prime Minister Modi unfurled the Indian flag on the ramparts of Red Fort, on the occasion of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose declaring Indian independence 75 years back ,he stated that while India does not eye any other countries land but if any other country casts an evil eye on Indian sovereignty, it will be rebutted with redoubled efforts. Very good sentiments but then we will rebuff with what?

In March this year when Maj Gen BC Khanduri a BJP MP and head of parliamentarians committee on defence, revealed the fact that Indian Armed Forces does not have ammunition to fight a sustained war for even ten days, and that the weapons held by the Indian Army are 75% of them museum pieces , he was summarily removed from his post. compare this with the blabbering of the current Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, made Army chief by Modi Government by breaking the tradition of senior most general taking over as Army chief. He superseded two very able generals. Before Doklam the current Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat was saying that India is ready to take on dual threat from China and Pakistan. In the heart of heart he must be praying that china and Pakistan should not test his this statement. Truth is that India is just not ready or capable to take on China , it may be able to tackle Pakistan.

This is not just the state of Army alone. Indian Air Force is down from authorised 45 fighter squadrons to just 32 squadrons due to lack of fighter aircraft. This strength will further go down to about 29 squadrons in next three years before any silver lining in the sky. Compare this with about 25 squadrons of Pakistani Air Force and 65 fighter squadrons of Chinese Air naval forces also we are no better. We are just 130 ships navy when we should have been minimum 200 ships Navy. This goes to prove that how our Ji Huzoor Services Chiefs are misguiding our political masters. Why can they not stand up and tell our political masters that sorry this job which they have been entrusted with can not be done with the present availability of resources? When Mrs Indira Gandhi told then Army Chief Gen Sam "Bahadur" Manekshaw, to launch an immediate attack on East Pakistan , he told her that she will have to wait for six months or else she can select some other general and he will resign. She decided to wait and the result was fantastic Indian victory over Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh.

For reasons best known to them, our Indian Netas, even 71 years after independence and four wars, still feel more comfortable to deal with the great Indian police people the IPS who have no clue of what strategy is all about. Their job is internal threat assessment, criminal jurisprudence , maintenance of law and order and what have you. However in India they are mostly employed in external threat assessments a job which should purely be of the armed forces. Take the case of present Indian strategy set up. Our national Security adviser instead of a military general is a policeman IPS Ajit Doval. Since this post of NSA has been created in India its head has been either a police officer or IAS Babu. Currently all three deputy NSAs are also IPS police officers. PM Modi has created a new organisation Strategic Planning Group consisting of 14 members. Its head is police officer IPS Ajit Doval Sahib while members are the three services chiefs. In other words in India strategy planning is standing on its head. In all major democracies in the world including US the Ministry of Defence is staffed 90% by Armed forces people and 10% by civilians while in India MOD is staffed 90% by civilians.

Actually the problem lies with Indian Netas and their very limited educational Indian constitution even an illiterate can be education a result these Netas are run by the Babus . our Babus know that these Netas with no accountability come and go and do not want to take any risk except making money. So they guide our Netas to get them what they want, rest they lord over all others with impunity. So what wonder that when in 2009 Army identified the joint threat of China and Pakistan on India, which was duly agreed over by IAF and Navy ,Till date our political masters and their Babu/Police advisers have not been able to identify how will they tackle this joint threat. Till date India does not have a political or better to say a national goal . from this national goal originates military goals and objectives from which shaping of military takes place. It is this military which gives muscle to a countries foreign policy. China and America are not fools who spend 150 billion and 678 billion dollars yearly respectively on their military budgets. So what wonder in India when IAF buys a dozen C-17 Globe Masters heavy lift planes at exorbitant cost to lift at short notice large number fully equipped troops for battle, while at the same time army chief Bipin Rawat is hell bent on reducing Army by 1.5 lakh troops because Army does not have money to maintain them. Left does not know what right is doing, all presided over by a policeman NSA. God help India.

If PM Modi really wants jointness in Indian planning and preparation for future then he must understand the differences between External and internal threats. He must appoint a Chief of defence Staff (CDS) laying sanctioned since 2003.he must listen to advise for external threat from CDS including strategy to deal with them. As for internal threat it could be the responsibility of NSA. Indian Armed forces must be shaped depending upon external threat assessed and not on any other factor. It must be fully identified and preparations done on how a external threat will be tackled , by diplomacy or by short war or by both. Then suitable preparations must be done to achieve these objectives. Long deployment of Army as is happening in j&K and NE states in counter insurgency must be stopped. now paramilitary forces with 1.3 million strength is more than Army, so why use Army when paramilitary forces are there? More so since in Indian counter insurgency operations in India no heavy weapons by the Army are being used.

Brig Arun Bajpai (Retd) is a distinguished Defence and Strategic Analyst. Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IDN. IDN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same