World View: India Begins Deploying Its ‘Cold Start’ Military Strategy Against Pakistan

Indian army soldiers gather on a street during a gunfight in Srinagar on August 15, 2016

This morning’s key headlines from

  • India begins deploying its ‘Cold Start’ military strategy against Pakistan
  • Unintended consequence: Cold Start strategy may trigger nuclear war
  • Russia and India declare their love for each other

India begins deploying its ‘Cold Start’ military strategy against Pakistan

Indian Army T-90S tanks on parade
Indian Army T-90S tanks on parade

Reports indicate that India is preparing to deploy 460 high-tech battle tanks along its border with Pakistan, in order to implement its “Cold Start” military strategy.

The Cold Start strategy has been discussed for years, although India has wavered between denying it and acknowledging it at different times.

The Cold Start strategy would be used when India wants to perform lightning “Blitzkrieg” military operation with conventional (non-nuclear) on Pakistani soil for whatever reason – such as to retaliate for a jihadist terror attack.

In its current configuration, could not mount such an attack in less than a few weeks, giving Pakistan time to a nuclear counterattack, which would force India to back down in most cases.

In the Cold Start scenario, India’s army would be prepared to launch an invasive attack almost immediately. The objective would be to meet the military objective within a week, before Pakistan would have time to launch nuclear retaliatory strikes.

Despite years of discussion and denial, the Cold Start strategy has not been implemented because it is too expensive. It requires such things as high-tech armor including tanks, attack helicopters, and multiple rocket launchers with a 100 km range, and they have to be on alert at all times. It also requires sophisticated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities that India does not currently have. India already maintains a sizable tank force along the Pakistan border, but with decades-old technology.

The reported purchase of hundreds of high-tech Russian tanks suggests that India is finally moving ahead with its Cold Start strategy. Relations between India and Pakistan deteriorated significantly during 2016 because of repeated violence during anti-India protests in India-controlled Kashmir. India blamed the violence on Pakistan, while Pakistan denied responsibility. Russia Today and The Diplomat

Unintended consequence: Cold Start strategy may trigger nuclear war

The objective of the Cold Start strategy is to be able to complete attain a military objective quickly with a “Blitzkrieg” attack using conventional weapons, without risking a nuclear war.

However, some India analysts are saying that the strategy may have the unintended consequence of making a nuclear war more likely.

According to defense analyst Nitin Mehta:

The Cold Start doctrine essentially will prepare for the next wars, which will emerge on short notice, will be of short duration, and will be fought at high tempo and intensity. The doctrine would mean combined operations by air, land and sea forces, which will require greater coordination headed by a senior military official.

Gurmeet Kanwal, also a retired Indian Army brigadier and defense analyst, said:

Indian political and military leaders and strategic analysts believe that there is clear strategic space for a conventional conflict below the nuclear threshold because nuclear weapons are not weapons of war fighting. They are convinced that for Pakistan, it would be suicidal to launch a nuclear strike against India or Indian forces, as it would invite massive retaliation.

Both of these analysts advise caution because of the assumptions being made in the context of a very high risk and very costly strategy. The strategy is based on the questionable assumption that a rapid military action by massive armored attacks will deter Pakistan from launching nuclear counter strikes in retaliation.

In fact, Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaj Asif completely rejects those assumptions:

We will destroy India if it dares to impose war on us. Pakistan’s army is fully prepared to answer any misadventure of India. We have not made atomic devices to display in a showcase. If a such a situation arises we will use it (nuclear weapons) and eliminate India.

China Topix and Defense News

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Russia and India declare their love for each other

India’s prime minister last week said in a speech:

Russia is an abiding friend. President Putin and I have held long conversations on the challenges that confront the world today. Our trusted and strategic partnership, especially in the field of defense has deepened.

At a meeting in October of last year, Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Russia’s Rostec State Corporation and a close aide to Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, said that Russia will always stand by India:

We are ready not just to deliver the most serious weapons, and the most important weapons, but continue to give our state of art technology.

Russia is a friend, an ally [of India] and not a business partner. Russia stood by India during its darkest hours. Next year will mark 70 years of our relationship. It has been a long time. In the not so recent past, when India was under sanctions, we were pretty much the only partner for India.

Russia has been a partner not only in every day military supplies but also in the most sensitive and most important supplies, including a nuclear submarine which was rented to India for you to use.

China and Pakistan also have a deep love relationship. As I’ve reported in the past, China and Pakistan describe their relationship as “all-weather friends,” “deeper than the deepest ocean,” “sweeter than honey” and “dearer than eyesight.”

As I’ve been writing for many years, Generational Dynamics predicts that the world is headed for a Clash of Civilizations world war, where China’s allies will include Pakistan and the Sunni Muslim countries, and America’s allies will include India, Russia and Iran. Russia and India Report and India Today (23-Oct-2016)

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, India, Pakistan, Russia, Cold Start, Nitin Mehta, Gurmeet Kanwal, Khawaj Asif, Sergei Chemezov
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