• Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Can Pakistan’s strategic doctrine withstand Indian sabre-rattling?

Discussion in 'Pakistan Strategic Forces' started by Rashid Mahmood, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Rashid Mahmood

    Rashid Mahmood MILITARY PROFESSIONAL

    Messages:
    3,543
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Ratings:
    +35 / 11,112 / -2
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Can Pakistan’s strategic doctrine withstand Indian sabre-rattling?
    by Shahid Mehmood

    March 15, 2019

    [​IMG]

    As an economist, my written pieces are usually centred around the economy. However, there is a lot more going on in the country and the world that makes one contemplate. Today, I am going share my thoughts on the Pulwama incident, which brought Pakistan and India to the brink of war. There are some aspects that have not been discussed.

    To start: did any of you read the communique of former US ambassador to Pakistan, Ann Patterson? The document, dated around 2004, centres on the question whether the Block 50/52 F-16s should be provided to Pakistan. Miss Patterson supports the provision of these warplanes, and her argument is this: India’s military superiority over Pakistan is unquestionable and it already has such systems (like SU-30 warplanes) that have completely tilted the scales in India’s favour. Pakistan has to be provided Block 50/52s since it will buy them a couple of days to resist the Indian juggernaut. By that time, the ‘big boys’ will step in to calm things down and stop Pakistan from using nuclear weapons. Unless Pakistan has these F-16s, it will be forced to go straight to the nuclear button since its conventional forces stood little chance.

    Miss Patterson’s communique is not the first of its kind and it reflects the longstanding American belief that Pakistan stands little chance against India in a military conflict. The antecedents of this belief can be traced to the traumatic events of December 1971, when Pakistan was dismembered. India, smelling blood, was about to roll its armoury into western Pakistan where a demoralized nation was expected to put up little (if any) resistance. God bless Richard Nixon though, who warned Indira Gandhi to back off. India resisted the temptation to annoy Uncle Sam and backed off. Thus, it was Nixon’s intervention which saved present day Pakistan (by the way, the story about non-arrival of American naval fleet is wrong. The American fleet did arrive near **** shores).

    Pakistan’s military planners have realized that if they were to resort to only defence, they will ultimately be overwhelmed

    Since then, Americans have taken it to heart that Pakistan has little chance to stave off an Indian military thrust. The same belief was in action during the Kargil conflict, when General Anthony Zinni told General Musharraf that Pakistan won’t withstand Indian assault for long. This was stated in General Zinni’s autobiography.

    Pakistan’s forces and their strategic doctrine, though, has evolved since then. Pakistan’s military planners have realized that if they were to resort to only defence, they will ultimately be overwhelmed. Aside from the nuclear program, there arose the concept of ‘offensive defence.’ In layman’s terms, it is the concept of landing blows while defending at the same time, rather than trying to wear out the opponent through defence only. The two strike corps of the Pakistan Army (Mangla and Multan), for example, are there to carry out offensive manoeuvres in line with this concept. Exercises like Zarb-i-Momin and High-Mark have been used to practice this concept. After 1971, there came several occasions for Pakistan to put the concept into action. Brass Tacks (1984), Kargil (1999), Operation Sentinel (2001-02) and the border tensions in 2008 were a few occasions.

    Pulwama’s aftermath was the first time that Pakistan practically executed offensive defence. What changed this time? Two factors: India crossed the LoC, and Pakistan had the means to carry out an offensive operation. Egged on by overconfidence and Bollywood glitz, an overzealous, war-mongering media and a dangerous zealot at the helm, Indian military planes crossed the LoC. The country erupted into a war and victory frenzy as the imaginative figure of 350 dead terrorists was splashed on TV screens to remind its people of Pakistan’s meekness and India’s might.

    Yet Pakistan’s response took everybody by surprise. Nobody expected such a swift and daring response. The will from the Pakistani side was always there, but what they lacked was quality weaponry. During peak of the Kargil conflict, for example, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was hampered by lack of quality aircraft. F-16s were only allowed to be flown in emergency since spares were not being supplied by the US which put PAF in a precarious position. This time around, though, Pakistan’s forces had quality at its disposal. Swedish Erieye AWACS, JF-17 and F-16 Block 50/52s with BVR missiles, NASR short range and BABUR cruise missile, all gave Pakistan enough options and confidence to step across the LoC. And so they did, shooting down Indian warplanes in the process.

    This shattered the first myth: that Pakistan would remain coy and apprehensive in daring to venture across the LoC. The second myth that was shattered related to Chinese military technology. Majority of military analysis tends to look down upon Chinese military technology, regarding it as cheap, ineffective copies of Russian technology. It is true that till the early 1990s, most of the Chinese military hardware was indeed reverse engineered military tech (mainly Soviet). But the present paints an altogether different picture, one where China is leapfrogging from a copier to an innovator of military hardware.

    By mid-2018, China’s total spending on research and development had jumped to a mammoth 1.76 trillion Yuan ($255 billion). Nobody with a sound mind can argue that Chinese spend this much just on copying. Although the level of sophistication achieved by, say, USA would still take years to equal, certain Chinese military developments are equivalent, if not better, to the best that the leading military powers can offer. Quantum communication, hypersonic weapons and anti-satellite missiles are examples that corroborate this fact. Pulwama provided the first opportunity to put Chinese technology to test in the form of JF-17s. It is not top-of-the-line Chinese tech, but in the hands of skilful PAF pilots, it was used to shoot down Indian warplanes, proving that Chinese technology is no joke.

    Here, a clarification is in order. Many analysts, smarting from this embarrassment, tried to put a spin by pointing that MIG-21s are very old aircraft and thus easy pickings! While MIG-21s may be old, Indian MIGs are fitted with top-notch, sophisticated Israeli military sensors. The same MIGs gave America’s leading jet fighter, the F-15, a run for its money in COPE India exercises, where it either jammed or confused its radar to evade detection. That is no mean feat. Therefore, shooting down this kind of an aircraft not only speaks highly of the skills of PAF pilots but also the effectiveness of Chinese technology.

    Then, there is the unmistakable change in global mindset. Long attuned to India’s successful propaganda machine, the world is having second thoughts. I would have never imagined, for example, that New York Times would carry a leading piece that questions Indian military’s quality and its efficacy. Neither did I ever imagine that voices from within India would also start to openly question the quality of Vayu Sena. Similarly, who would have thought that questions would be raised in international media over cornering Pakistan only and letting India go scot-free?

    Overall, Pulwama proved a blessing for Pakistan. The military operation was complemented by a masterstroke of foreign policy in the form of releasing the captured Indian pilot. Indian planners confidently stepped across the border, only to get embarrassed. Pakistani planners took a leap of faith and it worked tremendously.

    But let us not let our guard down and work effortlessly towards consolidating these gains. This positive development has come at a heavy cost and Pakistan’s finances being in a precarious position, the need for reforms is more urgent than ever.

    Time, therefore, to act and consolidate rather than sit on laurels.

    The writer is an economist
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 17
  2. Trango Towers

    Trango Towers ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    10,307
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2016
    Ratings:
    +1 / 9,666 / -4
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    I think Pak out manoeuvred india on land in the air and at sea but best of all politically. Pakistan's policy if demand peace but break their faces in combat is perfect
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 5
  3. Microsoft

    Microsoft FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    999
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2019
    Ratings:
    +2 / 1,821 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    United States
    Just waiting for that su-30 kill confirmation to put the icing on the cake.:dance3:
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  4. Rashid Mahmood

    Rashid Mahmood MILITARY PROFESSIONAL

    Messages:
    3,543
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Ratings:
    +35 / 11,112 / -2
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Confirmed.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 12
  5. Microsoft

    Microsoft FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    999
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2019
    Ratings:
    +2 / 1,821 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    United States
    "Officially confirmed"* I want to provide the "source" that Indians are so quick to ask for.
     
  6. Rashid Mahmood

    Rashid Mahmood MILITARY PROFESSIONAL

    Messages:
    3,543
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Ratings:
    +35 / 11,112 / -2
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Patch 11.jpg
    I don't care whether they agree or not.
    It is confirmed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
    • Thanks Thanks x 7
  7. alee92nawaz

    alee92nawaz FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,161
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2015
    Ratings:
    +0 / 634 / -3
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    TBH Pakistan called India's conventional bluff.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  8. mudas777

    mudas777 FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    449
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2016
    Ratings:
    +0 / 834 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Era of 1971 is long gone. Indian success against us in that era was due to some of our mistakes and multiple factors against us, which is no longer is the case now. Militaries can be defeated but if a nation is determined to defend its freedom no one can touch us. They can rattle as many sabres they want we will stay firm in our resolve and will defend our homeland on any cost. We only need one sabre to cut their head off they must not forget. I wasn't scared as a child when they showed up over Peshawar at night and thought it was a nice fire crackers show and was not worried in 1971 when they showed up at day time and PAF shoot down their planes in broad day light. Am I going to be worried about them now no chance. :omghaha:. India and Indians must realise Pakistan is in our blood and its not a business for us and what ever illusions they got will become nightmares for them. As a neighbours both countries need peace for development but for the sake of peace we will not ransom our freedom. I am very scared of sabres eh. :astagh:.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. Champion_Usmani

    Champion_Usmani SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    3,660
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Ratings:
    +3 / 3,757 / -3
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Was it a BVR kill (Su-30) or WVR? Plus the Mi-17 mystery, Some are saying that it was a fratricide, but a lot of forum members here, are suggesting that it was also a PAF kill, i read somewhere that It was targeted by our ground defence sam, what is your info about it?
     
  10. Rashid Mahmood

    Rashid Mahmood MILITARY PROFESSIONAL

    Messages:
    3,543
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Ratings:
    +35 / 11,112 / -2
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    The hole in the Mi 17 suggests it was a BVR.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  11. IceCold

    IceCold PDF VETERAN

    Messages:
    14,664
    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Ratings:
    +6 / 14,853 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    India was humiliated on 27th February and irrespective of what they tell to their gullible nation, the Indian military and Indian nationalist BJP government who tried to use this to score political points at the cost of Pakistan will always remember. Secondly countries like US who said we acknowledge India's right to self defense when it was point black aggression will also think twice and must have gone back to the drawing board to see what went wrong.
    The opinion by NYT which is considered the mouth piece of US establishment showed what was the utter disappointment of US who for years thought, India could be pitched against China. But US is going to pitch this as a superior US equipment which wasnt the case and try to sell India the so called F-21 as will france who will try to cash this and increase the sale of Rafales.
    Pakistan needs to remain careful and vigilant and when our resources allow, we need to go for J-10C at least two squadrons to supplement the spear of our airforce the F-16s and JF-17s.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. CrazyZ

    CrazyZ FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,167
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Ratings:
    +0 / 1,193 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Good article. I have made many of the points in various posts. The status quo in the region has changed. India has adopted an israeli style offensive strategy but limited so Pakistan won't use nukes. Pakistan has shown it that it has the conventional capacity to give the indian military a bad day without support from the usa...something not expected by indian or Western analysts. Going foward, Pakistan must have the conventional capacity to launch a 5 day air land offensive in response to any Indian aggression.
     
  13. TsAr

    TsAr FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    550
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Ratings:
    +0 / 501 / -0
    Very well thought out article, Pakistan needs to consolidate on this victory and also needs to work on its economy.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. valkyr_96

    valkyr_96 FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,236
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Ratings:
    +0 / 859 / -0
    I have a prepared statement that I would like to read out......We will not take questions......no questions please!!!!.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1