October 30, 2010
The Army's Silver Bullet: But Can It Be Fired?
That's the easy part. Current acquisition rates mean it will take at least five years to fully equip this equipment-intensive formation. From boots and rifles to artillery, helicopters and night-fighting devices tied in red tape and bureaucratic delays, the army has bought nothing in over a decade. The IAF is down to 32 squadrons from a sanctioned strength of 39.5 combat squadrons and needs at least 55 combat squadrons to repel a simultaneous ChiPak offensive. A similar slowdown affects key road projects along India's border with China along where these divisions will be deployed. The MoD's 11th Plan sounds an alarm: 'develop infrastructure in the Eastern theatre to meet high-level threat from China beyond 2010.' In 2003, India changed its perverse version of the scorched Earth policy-no roads or infrastructure for the North East-lest these be used by Chinese troops to roll in-unveiling strategic road building projects. Seven years later, only nine of these 73 strategic roads have been completed, severely compromising the army's Cold Start strategy for the mountains.
Posted by NJS at 12:33 PM