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CIA declassified documents Air War 1971 - PAF v IAF

LeGenD

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what the Iraqis didn’t realize such tactics have become obsolete in face of technically and technologically superior force.. Iraqis should have changed strategy..
WE cannot fault them actually. Their understanding of warfare methods and techniques was shaped by Soviet input and limited to what they saw in the past and particularly in Vietnam. Their Soviet allies were thinking on the same lines as well, and therefore the "reassurance card." In fact, Pakistani COAS General Mirza Aslam Beg also felt that Iraq will prove expensive to American military machine in 1991 much like Vietnam.

Americans completely surprised not just the Iraqi military establishment but the entire world in 1991 with a new method of warfare (network-centric; situational awareness) and corresponding tools (using special forces to create gaps in Iraqi radar coverage under the cover of darkness; using standoff precision munitions including cruise missiles to strike at Iraqi military positions, command-and-communications (C2C) infrastructure, and centers of power in all-weather conditions; using stealthy aircraft coupled with dedicated electronic warfare platforms to infiltrate Iraqi defenses to wreck further havoc) - these were all meaningful innovations and a FIRST. When it came to exchanging blows on the surface, Americans adopted encirclement tactics (blending of German Blitzkrieg and Alexander's Hammer & Anvil) and M1A1 Abrams MBT outgunned as well as tanked all manner of Iraqi armor.

Persian Gulf War (1991) is one of the most instructive when it comes to understanding modern-age conventional warfare tactics. However, expect more surprises in the future.

Scientific knowledge base and corresponding industrial capabilities are very important considerations. The key to success is through innovations and producing tacticians from time-to-time.
 

Nilgiri

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WE cannot fault them actually. Their understanding of warfare methods and techniques was shaped by Soviet input and limited to what they saw in the past and particularly in Vietnam. Their Soviet allies were thinking on the same lines as well, and therefore the "reassurance card." In fact, Pakistani COAS General Mirza Aslam Beg also felt that Iraq will prove expensive to American military machine in 1991 much like Vietnam.

Americans completely surprised not just the Iraqi military establishment but the entire world in 1991 with a new method of warfare (network-centric; situational awareness) and corresponding tools (using special forces to create gaps in Iraqi radar coverage under the cover of darkness; using standoff precision munitions including cruise missiles to strike at Iraqi military positions, command-and-communications (C2C) infrastructure, and centers of power in all-weather conditions; using stealthy aircraft coupled with dedicated electronic warfare platforms to infiltrate Iraqi defenses to wreck further havoc) - these were all meaningful innovations and a FIRST. When it came to exchanging blows on the surface, Americans adopted encirclement tactics (blending of German Blitzkrieg and Alexander's Hammer & Anvil) and M1A1 Abrams MBT outgunned as well as tanked all manner of Iraqi armor.

Persian Gulf War (1991) is one of the most instructive when it comes to understanding modern-age conventional warfare tactics. However, expect more surprises in the future.

Scientific knowledge base and corresponding industrial capabilities are very important considerations. The key to success is through innovations and producing tacticians from time-to-time.
In your estimation, was it worth it for Americans to reveal this hand of theirs?

Points in favour:

- Allowed quick decisive conflict (esp given previous quagmire in VN, psychologically put to rest)
- Lowered casualties and costs
- Real world application of the cutting edge developments past mostly wargaming and exercises.
- Provides basis for more improvement


Points against:

- Revealed a lot of tech to potential adversaries
- Showed the level of this tech integration too, afforded visible intel on tech chasm present
- Allows adversaries to largely scope and orient their own programs long term more
- Context is: Iraq could have been defeated more conventionally

@PanzerKiel @jaibi
 

LeGenD

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In your estimation, was it worth it for Americans to reveal this hand of theirs?

Points in favour:

- Allowed quick decisive conflict (esp given previous quagmire in VN, psychologically put to rest)
- Lowered casualties and costs
- Real world application of the cutting edge developments past mostly wargaming and exercises.
- Provides basis for more improvement


Points against:

- Revealed a lot of tech to potential adversaries
- Showed the level of this tech integration too, afforded visible intel on tech chasm present
- Allows adversaries to largely scope and orient their own programs long term more
- Context is: Iraq could have been defeated more conventionally

@PanzerKiel @jaibi
My take is this: If you learn something NEW and can SURPRISE your enemy with it, then why not?

It is better to make an expected war less costly and expensive, if possible.

Consider following:

Weren't the French stuck in the past with The Maginot Line philosophy? Did this work for them in the next big war?

Breach of The Maginot Line was not an innovation in tactics of the Germans (The Wehrmacht)? Was Blitzkrieg not something NEW at the time? - a refreshing break from the 'expensive' World War I style tactics?

The Wehrmacht was able to bring an end to a major war with the French in a span of six months. The French did not realize that the enemy had evolved in comparison.

It is another thing that Hitler decided to expand the scope and scale of the battlefield far beyond France instead of choosing to consolidate his gains across Europe.

Now look at the exchange between Iraq and Iran in contrast (1980 - 1988). Both countries were not prepared to go on the offensive and consolidate their respective gains on the ground for long-term basis by extension. When Iraq invaded Iran, it was a mediocre military power at the time (Saddam regime felt that the Iranian revolution had damaged Iranian capacity to wage war). Both countries suffered tremendous amount of losses in men and material consequently because much of the war degraded into 'expensive' World War I style tactics by 1982. Iraq became a recipient of much foreign aid in later years nevertheless (a luxury which is not available to all), and managed to improve its armed forces by and large. It would be in 1988 when Iraqi armed forces would manage to turn the tide of war once again with "Operation Forty Stars" and succeed in liberating Iraqi terrain under occupation of Iranian armed forces. American Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 in the seas also proved beneficial to Iraq - a domain in which Iran had the upper-hand over Iraq throughout the course of war since Operation Morvarid in 1980.

---

What was demonstrated in the Persian Gulf War (1991) is not the endgame or an evolutionary dead-end. Americans are working on NEW strategies to contend with China for instance - there are hints in American records lately. Taiwan is a potential flashpoint; it depends upon how much leverage Taiwan is willing to grant USA. If not over Taiwan, then South China Sea (SCS) remains an issue where several countries have conflicting claims.

---

Takeaways:


1. If you have innovated and in the position to dictate the course of an expected war (quickly and decisively), this is logical route and consideration.

2. If you are not prepared to fight a certain type of war with a certain type of enemy, simply do not. It will prove very costly.
 

PradoTLC

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WE cannot fault them actually. Their understanding of warfare methods and techniques was shaped by Soviet input and limited to what they saw in the past and particularly in Vietnam. Their Soviet allies were thinking on the same lines as well, and therefore the "reassurance card." In fact, Pakistani COAS General Mirza Aslam Beg also felt that Iraq will prove expensive to American military machine in 1991 much like Vietnam.

Americans completely surprised not just the Iraqi military establishment but the entire world in 1991 with a new method of warfare (network-centric; situational awareness) and corresponding tools (using special forces to create gaps in Iraqi radar coverage under the cover of darkness; using standoff precision munitions including cruise missiles to strike at Iraqi military positions, command-and-communications (C2C) infrastructure, and centers of power in all-weather conditions; using stealthy aircraft coupled with dedicated electronic warfare platforms to infiltrate Iraqi defenses to wreck further havoc) - these were all meaningful innovations and a FIRST. When it came to exchanging blows on the surface, Americans adopted encirclement tactics (blending of German Blitzkrieg and Alexander's Hammer & Anvil) and M1A1 Abrams MBT outgunned as well as tanked all manner of Iraqi armor.

Persian Gulf War (1991) is one of the most instructive when it comes to understanding modern-age conventional warfare tactics. However, expect more surprises in the future.

Scientific knowledge base and corresponding industrial capabilities are very important considerations. The key to success is through innovations and producing tacticians from time-to-time.


Soviet weapons and tactics where built to fight NATO based on fight Germans in WW2

Long topic, but a simple example of what Americans called “operations and maintenance” explains some of the problems the Iraqis had. The soviets didn’t pay as much attention to maintenance as did the Americans ... this some thing PAF learned religiously from USAF. The reason being soviet war time experience showed battlefield weapons lasted a short time so
Emphasis was on production and replacement rather than repair and maintenance.

looking US documents on Iraqi maintenance on thier tanks was horrible.

in general most analysts concluded which even if Iraq had a well trained and motivated military the US would still have won be it a very expensive victory.

In general Iraqi military has issues with poor command and control , overly centralized structure , poor maintenance of equipment , poor officer leadership, inferior equipment , and just poor application of military concepts..

surprise?.. for the Iraqis . Sure.

for those who studied US military history no...

Remember the much hyped amphibious assault on Kuwait just before land operation? It was a classic American ruse like they did in Normandy .....the Iraqi general ship was clearly of very poor quality... clearly they had not studied US military history. They will do everything opposite what people expect them to do

They did not look at Wehrmacht game plan of World War 2. The US Air, Land & Sea warfare doctrine, used in Gulf War is a direct evolution of German Blitzkrieg strategy of WWII, but done with modern precision weapons.

So minutely studying past battles has its own lessons to learn.

Correct .. the Americans learned a lot of the Germans ... even the A10 was it was said took inputs from the designers of Ju-87 Stuka and pilots
 

PanzerKiel

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In your estimation, was it worth it for Americans to reveal this hand of theirs?

Points in favour:

- Allowed quick decisive conflict (esp given previous quagmire in VN, psychologically put to rest)
- Lowered casualties and costs
- Real world application of the cutting edge developments past mostly wargaming and exercises.
- Provides basis for more improvement


Points against:

- Revealed a lot of tech to potential adversaries
- Showed the level of this tech integration too, afforded visible intel on tech chasm present
- Allows adversaries to largely scope and orient their own programs long term more
- Context is: Iraq could have been defeated more conventionally

@PanzerKiel @jaibi
Information warfare does represent a new paradigm in military thinking. The idea of information warfare stresses digitization of the battlefield and improvements to weapons and intelligence devices. The increased speed and precision of modern weaponry makes information the heart of RMA (Revolution in Military Affairs) and an essential dimension of warfare. Information-based technologies have made the traditional methods of war fighting obsolete to the larger extend and created a space-based battlefield by blending the land, sea and air power. This kind of battlefield would be dominated by real time information, instant communications, on-line command and control, and lethal long-range precision strikes.

There is no doubt that the United States introduced the same new form of information-based warfare in the Persian Gulf in 1991. By using and exploiting knowledge, it destroyed the fourth largest army of the world. Technologically-dense weapons and superbly trained and skilled military commanders and their personnel played key role to US success in Gulf War. This war changed the standard of war fighting. The factor that best contributed (among other factors) to the victory of allied forces in the Persian Gulf War was information systems based on computers and communications that synchronized the air campaign. Without those systems, combat forces could never have been applied so skillfully and effectively and the outcome of war might have been different. The military use of information technology was at its peak during the Gulf War. New technologies enhanced the ability of Coalition forces to exchange and use information, and denied the adversary's ability to communicate with his forces.

Basically, the RMA is about a process of transformation and Desert Storm represented at least the beginnings of a transformation of the means and methods of war. It is a clear evidence that there is a revolution in military affairs in progress and a major change in the nature of high intensity warfare is occurring. A network equipped with advanced sensor systems such as communications satellites and high-speed information processing system will dramatically improve the battle-space awareness capability. Satellites and other sensors such as the Global Positioning System, space-based communication, AWACS and JSTARS aircraft and battlefield computers will provide commanders a "God eye's" view of the battlefield and a new generation of long-range precision weapons guided by signals from these satellites will strikes accurately regardless of weather or the time of day. All these instruments will largely

The extensive use of electronic, intelligence and psychological war forms, is so extensive that military commanders of future warfare will receive a far greater level of electronic, communication and intelligence support.
 

PradoTLC

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Bumping this thread.. for indians

this has got to be single most thread where not a single indian has contested the 1971 airwar kill ratio
 

Rahil khan

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Problem was in 71 we were a divided nation. Two traitors caused a loss of a nation. Bhutto and mujeeb. Both died at the hands of their own troops. Today we are nit a divided nation and things are very different. But even today Pakistans biggest enemy is not indian forces but politicians industrialists and molvis
You forgot one more name. Gen Yahya Khan. :coffee:
It was never like the way which is often presented that East Pakistanis woke up one morning in 1970 and decided to have separate country. The process of Dhaka fall initiated the day Ayub Khan took charge of the country. From 1958 till 1969, his policies generated immense sense of deprivation in East Pakistanis.

Take one unit for example. Bengalis openly said that creating 2 units in shape of West & East Pakistan has generated severe imbalance in resource allocation as. If you read Qudratullah Shahab's famous "Shahab Nama", you will realize how West Pakistanis in senior bureaucratic level meeting mocked Bengalis shamelessly regarding their living standards. Some of our most famous retired army generals have clearly pointed out the role of Yaha Khan whose clueless actions proved to be final nail in the coffin.

There is a famous saying that we should never mingle up religion with politics because politics will ultimately defame religion being the nature of it. Military in Pakistan is praised, followed and loved like a religion. Politicians like Bhutto and Mujeeb did what they were supposed to do, and of course India took full advantage of it.
Even today we still need to protect our institutions from the blatant propaganda of the enemy. Its never too late to learn lessons and move on by taking everyone on board.
 

-blitzkrieg-

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He was the bigger traitor as he also arrested and jailed Mujeeb who was in favour of autonomy but not total separation.
Mujeeb was also a traitor...Read Agartala case.. Both were working for CIA. at that point in time..That's why he freed him to go back and participate in elections..Mujeeb who was meeting indians to help him with cessation upon winning elections wanted to to rule the whole country..
 

PradoTLC

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Not really. Can't feel any better about a war which my country won anyway. The full stats might take away the little solace you seem to seek.

interesting spin..

so why ask for sortie rate?.. if it is all the same?
 

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