The Armed Forces are responsible for the defence of the country. They have not only to wage big wars but also the small wars of counter-insurgency. They need the state-of-the-art weaponry and equipment. The weapon systems held by our armed forces today have progressed little from those used in World War II.
Modernisation and upgradation of weapon systems is being retarded by archaic bureaucratic procedures. Modern weapon systems are complex and take a long time to master and absorb.
There has been an inordinate delay is the acquisition of the 155mm Howitzers.
We are desperately short of this weapon system. For Instance, the 155mm Bofors was the main battle winning weapon system at Kargil. Yet, the further induction of 155mm Howitzers is a very very long way off.
The Army too needs to rethink and upgrade its tactics and standing operating procedures. Unfortunately, a Maginot Complex is prevalent among many decision makers. There has been far too much reliance on linear defence based on the Ditch-cum- Bund.
Due to our very long borders, these linear defences lack depth.
Fixed defences are not impenetrable. Both the Maginot Line of Sergeant Maginot and the Sigfried Line of Adolf Hitler were breached.
Fixed defences can, at best, only delay in order to determine the quantum and direction of the enemy thrust. Once this is established, it has to be countered by mobile reserves. Ground should be used for manoeuvre to destroy the enemy. The Mobility Factor is of paramount importance.
Image: The 155mm Bofors, fires away at posts held by the enemy situated across the mountains in the Mukshoh Valley. A Jawan closes his ears, as the sounds gets a little uncomfortable for him