Saturday, 5 July 2014

india's doctrine puzzle: limiting war in south asia

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List of Abbreviations ix
Foreword by Lt Gen (retd) V. r. raghavan xiii
Preface xv
Acknowledgements xix
1. introduction 1
2. The Limited war Concept 22
3. doctrinal Change 36
4. The Structural Factor 74
5. The Political Factor 115
6. The organisational Factor 151
7. Conclusion 189
References 211
About the Author 00

Index 00

Extract of Foreword by Lt Gen VR Raghavan

Nuclear weapons generate a voluminous output of books, research 
papers and estimates of their impact on national, regional and 
international security. The nuclearisation of india and Pakistan 
have had a similar impact with strategic analysts the world over 
trying to assess the future use, misuse or abuse of these strategic 
assets by the two countries. 
India published its nuclear doctrine not long after acquiring 
nuclear weapons. while the doctrine was not specifically directed 
against Pakistan, it also left no one in doubt about the immediacy 
of indian planners’ strategic concerns of a future with nuclear 
weapons. Since China had committed itself to a no First Use policy, 
india’s nuclear doctrine was a clear enough statement on how it 
would respond to a nuclear weapons exchange on the indian Sub 
Continent. while nuclear weapons are unambiguously viewed 
by india as strategic assets, their operational use as war fighting 
instruments have been ruled out. Their use is predicated on another 
country using nuclear weapons against india.
The longstanding india — Pakistan confrontation turned into 
military conflicts after Pakistan linked terrorist attacks in india. 
The intrusion into kargil and the attack on indian Parliament 
created the possibility of a conventional large scale military conflict, 
which ran the serious risk of turning into a nuclear standoff. indian 
military planners adapted to this experience to evolved responses in 
the operational domain, to offset conditions created by the presence 
of nuclear weapons, albeit as strategic assets.
india and Pakistan have been in a state of confrontation since 
1947. on occasions when the confrontation turned into a military 
conflict, the purpose of operations was more to force a change of 
outlook amongst Pakistan’s leadership than the destruction of that 
state. Military operations were thus limited both in the objectives 
to be attained and the scope and intensity of force to be applied. 
nuclear weapons changed the old premise into one of placing 
further limits on operational thresholds which can and cannot be 
crossed. ...

Extract from the Preface

The genesis of this book was atop a canal obstacle somewhere 
in the western sector in 2006. i was then commanding an infantry 
battalion that was deployed as exercise enemy, or the nark force, in 
a corps exercise meant to put to a strike corps through its paces. The 
exercise ‘enemy’, Swarg’s strike corps, chose that stretch of the canal 
as site of its break- in battle. it was fore-ordained that they were 
to break out by first light, for if they were still in their bridgeheads 
then they would be ideal targets for an enemy air attack or worse, 
a nuclear strike. According to the exercise umpire’s timetable, my 
unit was to be cut to pieces in a heavy breakthrough within three 
hours. i did not have much to do thereafter since i was presumed 
exercise dead or prisoner. i was able to witness the proceedings over 
the remainder of the exercise as a bystander. The exercise timings 
were truncated to depict the first week to ten days of the mock war. 
The strike corps ended up in its ‘projection areas’ across multiple 
obstacles true to plan. The final touch was capture of an airfield 
deep in enemy territory by paratroops. Presumably, the strike corps 
would be provisioned via an air bridge for subsequent operations 
further in enemy interiors. i wondered as to what a nuclear armed 
enemy would make of all this. This prompted a question in my 
mind: Why has India gone in for an offensive conventional doctrine 
despite nuclearisation?
ideally, the investment in nuclearisation should have made 
india ‘feel’ secure, if not ‘secure’ itself. The Bomb had been much 
advertised by its votaries as a ‘weapon of peace’. Their argument 
was that it would enable india to sit down and talk with its 
adversaries. instead, Pakistan launched operation Badr in kargil 
within a year of both states, india and Pakistan, going nuclear. Soon 
thereafter was the kandahar hijack. Later, the proverbial indian 
‘threshold of tolerance’ was sorely tested with a dastardly terror 
attack on the Srinagar legislative assembly and soon thereafter on 
Parliament in 2001. The popular narrative has it that a defensive 
and reactive india was caught flat footed. Consequently, in the 
wake of operation Parakram it was forced to move towards a 

military doctrine reportedly more ‘proactive’, colloquially dubbed Cold Start......