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Aim before you shoot

Aim before you shoot

Any military operation has clear aims. These differ at different levels, with the aim at the lower level contributing towards (but not necessarily fulfilling) the aim at the higher level. For example, the aim for a battalion commander could be to capture Hill ABC. For his GOC who assigned him the task, the capture would be a step towards securing his own, larger, aim – say the capture of Area XYZ which includes the Hill. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military, Politics

Another Wednesday

Another Wednesday

The Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) is the most important appointment in the Indian Army and amongst the most important in the government as a whole. He is custodian and executor of the operational plans of the country. Even within the Tri-services milieu, he can be considered as Primus Inter Pares – the Airforce and Navy both have his counterparts in Air Operations and Naval Operations, but the DGMO heads Military and not Army … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military, Politics

In light of the MoD ordering the services to implement the 7th Pay Commission award for the Armed Forces with anomalies unresolved, what are the options before the Chiefs now? Option 1 – Capitulation –  Accept the RM’s assurance.Likelihood – most obvious and most likely.Outcome – Battle of Anomalies continue – those from 4th Pay Commission are still plaguing us. The Chiefs careers will be unharmed. However, they may not be able to face their commands … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military

Browbeating of service officers by defence journalists

  This is a follow up of a prior post on the issue of online intimidation by journalists, specially of serving armed forces officers. I was witness to a similar incident, where a pair of journalists ganged up upon someone, apparently a serving officer. It started when the officer objected to one of them linking recent statements of Gen VK Singh as minister to question his selection for army by the SSB. The journalist, instead of arguing the point raised, started mocking the questioner, and soon his colleague joined in taunting the officer. He even insinuated that the officer was being paid a ‘twitter allowance’ for his tweets. Undeterred, the officer persisted with his original query.   The journalist’s reply was a shocker – that just because the general had served in the army, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Media, Military

Biting the Tail

Biting the Tail

Based on the Defence Minister’s directions to cut down on flab in a bid to reduce the salary bill and utilize the savings towards modernization, the Army HQs has ordered a study to reduce the ‘teeth to tail’ ratio. This means reducing the logistics elements (‘tail’) in proportion to the combat elements (‘teeth’) amongst the overall population of the uniformed force. It is undoubtedly a good idea. However, it’s also true that there have been … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military

Diesel Smoke

Diesel Smoke

The unique bond between a man and his steed is as old as time itself. More accurately, it goes back to the time when man first domesticated animals and, in addition to new source of food, found a better way to move around than walking. Very soon he realized that fighting from the back of a horse, camel or elephant gave him a distinct edge over unmounted opponents. The speed, reach and elevation of mounted … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military, Tanks

Citizen Soldiers

Citizen Soldiers

This post is a result of the 140 word tyranny of Twitter which, while well suited for one-liners and retorts, handicaps expressing of a complex idea coherently. I was trying to refute a view that serving soldiers of the armed forces are banned from expressing political views on social media, and after trying to argue my case via serialised tweets, decided that it called for a blog post instead. Let’s get some basics sorted out first. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military, Politics

FOE- Who Will Guard The Guardians?

With volumes having been spoken about Freedom of Expression in the past few days, its difficult to write about it without a wee bit of apprehension. Has everything that’s to be said on the subject already been said? Why bother adding to the terabytes of characters jostling for cyberspace propagating different points of view on the subject. But then, a few more kilobytes won’t make a difference, and at least I would get to exercise my own FOE. Will attempt to do so without going into the issues already discussed threadbare, but restricting it to personal experience over the past few days.I will start with the conclusion I have drawn first, and then go on to explain how and why I arrived at it. And that is – people who … Read entire article »

Filed under: Media, Military

No Man Left Behind

Disaster struck an Indian Army post at 19,350 feet on the icy heights of the Siachen glacier on 3rd February 2016 in the form of an avalanche, burying the ten soldiers manning it under 35 feet of snow. The nation took but a few hours to assume the worst, and social media was abuzz offering homage to the ten ‘dead’ martyrs. This included the Prime Minister and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, both of who tweeted their condolences. Yet there was a band of brave warriors from the Madras battalion the trapped soldiers belonged to who doggedly refused to give up. The weather continued to be bad, with blizzards adding to the already inhospitable environment. Postponing the search operation till the weather improved didn’t even occur to them. They would … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military

Penny foolish pound foolish …

I would like to meet the babu who came up with the apparently brilliant idea of excluding the Pre-Mature Retirees (PMR) from the ambit of OROP – I’m told he’s one of the smarties from PMO. On the face of it, he must have really impressed his political masters. After all, in one stroke the assessed burden of granting OROP has been reduced to less than half. And, since the affected people have chosen to leave the service voluntarily before their superannuation, they can’t complain if they don’t get the same terms as those who serve full time. And this had the potential to cause fissures amongst the veteran community, weakening the movement which has assumed ominous proportions for the government. Beaming with pride, he must have gone and explained his … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military