Reorganising the army: winds of change - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Stuff.

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Saturday, 15 September 2018

Reorganising the army: winds of change


By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 16th Sept 18

On Tuesday, army chief, General Bipin Rawat, brainstormed with his top generals in Delhi, seeking the consensus needed for a deep-cutting reforms to make the army a less manpower-intensive force. It is learnt that most commanders are on board what one described as: “The army’s most ambitious reform attempt since independence.”

India’s military has not changed radically since 1947, despite two waves of reform. The first followed the 1962 defeat at the hands of China and involved raising mountain divisions for the Himalayan frontier. Then, in the 1980s, two thinking army chiefs – Generals KV Krishna Rao and K Sundarji – initiated the mechanisation of the army that led on to the creation of three armour-heavy strike corps. Even so, the army’s combat force – infantry battalions, armoured regiments and artillery regiments – remain almost identical today to what it was in the Second World War.

The current drive for change stems from a recognition of the need to slash the army’s numbers. These have defied the global trend of force downsizing to rise from under a million two decades ago to 1.22 million today, according to figures tabled in December in Parliament. Consequently, the army’s budget for new equipment is just Rs 267 billion ($3.73 billion), while over four-fifths of its Rs 1.55 trillion ($21.6 billion) allocation goes on running expenses, primarily salaries and pensions.

This alarming situation has arisen from decades of “empire building”, where successive army chiefs have sought to expand their fiefdoms, making the army ever larger and creating ever more general rank vacancies. A decade ago, the army only allowed new roads along the Sino-Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh, if two new mountain divisions were sanctioned to defend these new approaches into India. That added 50,000 soldiers to the already bloated army. Then the generals successfully pushed for a new mountain strike corps, which is currently being raised and will add 60-70,000 soldiers. Only now has the army realised it can either pay and feed this multitude, or equip them with modern weaponry.

The army is also drawing lessons from the navy, which has kept its numbers at just 71,600, and consequently has 46 per cent of its budget available for equipment. The air force, with 142,500 airmen, spends a healthy 49 per cent on equipment.

Another example of manpower reform is presented by China, where the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has cut back on well over a million soldiers in order to pay for a western style military, equipped with the weaponry for a modern, high-tech war. In the latest wave of manpower cuts that President Xi Jinping ordered in September 2015, the PLA reduced its size by 300,000 persons.

The Indian Army, however, has traditionally chosen the easy, incremental path, rather than radical surgery. An internal organisation called the Army Standing Establishment Committee (ASEC) periodically reviews the manpower of units and formations, evaluating authorisations and quizzing units about why their five authorised barbers cannot be reduced to four, or the authorization of 1.5 drivers per vehicle cannot be reduced to 1.3 drivers. The ASEC has made significant cuts in logistic units, but they tread softer with combat units, which enjoy the status of the army’s cutting edge.

That is where Rawat’s initiative departs from tradition: it intends taking the knife to combat units as much as to the support and services elements. The first of three committees that have already been constituted will scrutinise the field force – the combat units, brigades, divisions and corps that form the tip of the military spear. A second initiative will examine ways of paring down army headquarters (AHQ), which is considered bloated and overstaffed. Separately, a third committee will examine the army’s 49,500-strong officer cadre and consider how best to give the army the best possible commanders.

“The Shekatkar Committee [in December 2016] recommended cutting down 57,000 army employees, of which 27,000 are uniformed personnel and 30,000 civilians. Now we are looking at cutting down another 50,000 personnel. The aim is to stabilise the strength of the army at 10-11 lakh personnel,” said Rawat to Business Standard.

Reorganisation of combat units

Practically guaranteeing resistance from within, Rawat has directed that flab cutting must include that holiest of holy cows, the infantry battalion. Since the army has 450 infantry battalions (each with 22 officers and 850 soldiers) paring down 25 men from each battalion would result in the reduction of 11,250 men.

Wisely, the army chief has formulated an operational rationale for this reorganisation, which will be overseen by the army’s “perspective planning” chief, Lieutenant General Rajeshwar. An infantry battalion currently has four rifle companies, each with about 125 men. This is partly based on the logic that when the battalion is given a task, such as attacking an enemy position, it can attack with two companies, with the other two in reserve, in case added punch is needed. Now it will be considered whether, instead of pessimistically catering for reinforcing both forward companies, it would be wiser to keep just one company in reserve, while adding to the probability of initial success by strengthening each company to 170 men. In the new proposals, a company would also be authorised a ghatak(commando) section of 14 soldiers for special tasks. For example, a company attacking a hill feature could send its ghatak section to lay an ambush to cut off the enemy’s withdrawal. With three strengthened companies, the infantry battalion’s bayonet strength would remain the same, but eliminating one company headquarters would save 25 men.

Infantry reorganisation would extend to the grass roots, with a ten-man infantry section being strengthened to 14 soldiers, thus empowering the section commander, normally a havaldar (sergeant). A platoon, with three strengthened sections, would go up from the current 36 soldiers to 50 men.

Another measure that Rajeshwar will consider is flattening the hierarchy of higher headquarters. Currently, the division, with about 18,000-20,000 soldiers, is the lowest formation that comprises all the elements needed for combat – infantry, armour, artillery, engineers, signals and logistics. In wartime, those elements are often decentralised to constitute a self-sufficient “brigade group” for independent missions. Extending that model of decentralisation to peacetime as well would eliminate numerous manpower-heavy division headquarters, placing the brigades directly under corps headquarters.

Naturally, a divisional headquarters would be useful for coordinating an operation that involves two or three brigades, such as a strike corps offensive, which requires several armoured brigades to operate in unison. Strike formations, therefore, might well retain the divisional structure.

Reorganisation of AHQ

The army’s chief of “financial planning”, Lieutenant General Ajai Singh, will propose ways of paring down AHQ. One widely discussed measure is to merge AHQ’s Military Training Directorate with the Simla-based Army Training Command, which performs overlapping functions. Another is to move the Rashtriya Rifles HQ from New Delhi to Udhampur or Srinagar, where all Rashtriya Rifle battalions operate. This would follow the model of the Assam Rifles, whose directorate is based in Shillong, close to its area of responsibility.

Similarly, there is a directorate of information technology and another of information systems, both performing overlapping functions. Merging these is a possibility. There is similar duplication of cells that deal with information warfare: one such cell works for the Military Operations directorate and another for Military Intelligence.

Officer cadre restructuring

The general who manages the army’s officer cadre – Military Secretary, Lt Gen JS Sandhu – is heading the third committee. He will examine whether the army’s current officer shortfall of about 8,000 officers must be made up, or whether the overall authorisation can be reduced by about 5,000. 

“Making up the full strength would make the competition for promotion even more intense than it already is. The percentage of officers approved for promotion in each board – already worryingly low – will fall even lower,” points out a senior general who briefed Business Standard on the rationale for reorganisation.

Instead, the army will examine whether a larger number of meritorious soldiers and junior commissioned officers (JCOs) can be promoted from the ranks to fill up officer vacancies. There is also a proposal to recruit JCOs directly – currently a soldier serves about 15-18 years in the ranks before being promoted to JCO. 

“A direct entry JCO can do one year of training at the Officers’ Training Academy at Gaya or Chennai. Both these are running at half capacity and one of them can easily be made over to training JCOs and soldiers who are selected for becoming officers,” says the senior general. 

Another major issue is the age of commanding officers (COs). After the Kargil conflict, when the army had found its 41-42 year-old COs struggling to operate at altitudes above 15,000 feet, it launched a successful drive to reduce the age of COs to about 37 years. But now some COs, who assume command with just 15-16 years of service, have been found to be lacking in experience and maturity. Further, since the CO has to be the senior-most officer in the battalion, there is no space for superseded officers, who have often served 17-18 years. The committee will explore whether promotion to Colonel can still be done at 15-16 years of service but then, before assuming command, these officers can serve a two-year tenure as a staff officer. That would develop their skills and experience, allow them to mature in service, and also create the space within units for superseded officers.

While increasing the age of COs, the committee will examine options for reducing the age profile of higher commanders. Currently, because of late promotions to higher ranks, officers serve just three years each as brigadiers, major generals and lieutenant generals, commanding their brigades, divisions and corps for just 12-15 months. Now, like the navy and air force, the army will try and give senior officers five years in each of those ranks.

That, however, would require more officers to be superseded at the ranks of colonel, brigadier and major general. As an example, the army has 14 corps commanders, each of them a lieutenant general. If 14 major generals are approved every year for promotion to lieutenant general, the serving corps commanders would have only a year in the saddle before the next batch is breathing down their necks. To increase command tenures, fewer officers would have to be approved for promotion, a deeply unpopular step.

Rawat shrugs off suggestions that he may have aimed too high. “I am definitely not the first chief to have attempted this. Such studies have been done since the days of General K Sundarji and General Bipin Joshi. However, we failed to implement those,” he said. It remains to be seen if reorganisation is an idea whose time has come.



28 comments:

  1. This is great news, Ajai even though it is in the 4th year of a 320 MP government. One minor nit though is the lack of imagination in introducing jointness to this exercise. Since this is all about envisaging a future state, a tri-services or at least bi-service (IA+IAF) approach for all reforms at division level and above will lay the ground for major reforms in the future. The biggest lacuna in our strategic thought process - apart of course from the Defence Secretary being the de facto CDS - is the lack of a converged view across the 3 services on what constitutes a 2-front war and what are the possible strategic objectives therein for both defensive and offensive scenarios.

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  2. COAS is on a self distruction mode

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  3. Change is constant. We need to become more firepower heavy to do this changes. Back these changes with heavy artillery both tube and ticket. Then add big amount of air support.also increase real time intelligence with drones and other technology.

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  4. To make up the shortage of officers the Services should open re-employment of short service officers or retired officers

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  5. It is time that the Indian Army performs role as a Homeland Security namely active service in handling external threats as well as internal flare-ups (which in any case they end up doing)

    This can be done with the re-entry of short service officers who have left and are in civil service supporting Security and Crisis Management. These experienced personnel could be re-employed towards the Homeland Establishment and help in stabilising the current quandary.

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  6. What are being envisaged at present are mainly organisational/ structural changes, apparently and primarily driven by economic distress. While the impact of these changes on static HQ/Establishments may necessitate mostly major adjustments, the impact on field formations would be far reaching. Made in isolation from operational doctrines, these changes could create problems. Concurrently with the proposed changes, the concomitant new concepts of war fighting should also be evolved and validated. It will take a fairly long time for the force to absorb the changes and adapt to them, both in training and operations.

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  7. What are being envisaged at present are mainly organisational/ structural changes, apparently and primarily driven by economic distress. While the impact of these changes on static HQ/Establishments may necessitate mostly major adjustments, the impact on field formations would be far reaching. Made in isolation from operational doctrines, these changes could create problems. Concurrently with the proposed changes, the concomitant new concepts of war fighting should also be evolved and validated. It will take a fairly long time for the force to absorb the changes and adapt to them, both in training and operations.

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  8. Many decades ago, when I was a young Capt, our bachelor Comdt, a Lt Col with 18 years service, suggested & popularly implemented a Mess menu modification to cut down sweet dishes to 3 nights a week but of high quality. The clinching argument was that, even at home, one does not eat mithai or a sweet item, every night.
    Shortly after, as an instructor in the Armoured Corps School, I suggested the same for that Mess. The powers that be welcomed the idea & implemented it, post haste. Within a month, I had become the target of jibes.
    The lesser No of nights was fine but the quality remained the same!

    The reorganisation of the Army is not new but the bite seems to be big. The present status has been arrived at by trial & error, in combat. Changing them, even in the light of better technology, may have major tactical level combat negatives. The present senior officers with near zero conventional war experience, may be creating a huge performance denudement situation. It is near impossible to give all the connected arguments here but would it be logical to ask - how is the country paying the huge numbers of police/central setups like the BSF/CRPF & their various state country cousins upto 60 years age? No paring happens there. Look at the 'Army' of support staff of bureaucrats & politicians, civilian clergy - Grade 2 & lower. Still they look at the CSD, Offrs Messes, MH etc...

    I concede that the armed forces have become top heavy - to match the earlier mentioned organisations. MP had one IG when I entered service. Today there are over a dozen DGPs.

    Getting back to restructuring. Don't be in a hurry to cut your own nose so that you lose the sense of smell.
    Can the numbers of Central police forces, civilians in MOD be reduced & the budgetary allocation for defence acquisition be enhanced?

    With all the other issues taking place, the general health of our armed forces has become the main conversation subject - good, bad, indifferent. A butt for firing practice.

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    1. Agree with the opinion.Let us not downsize the army to such a low that you may not be able to recapture the same position in future, if need be.The requirement of army is enormous.Where the civil administration fail with their resources in any contingencies, the army is called out.Paramilitary forces and civil law enforcing forces like civil police are on the upward trend of raising.Cutting down army strength drastically and correspondingly overlooking the well established command and control structure are not considered a sound proposition and need to go through much deeper analysis.

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  9. By all means be innovative and progressive but consider two issue at the outset. One, let it be an in-house diligent exercise and share outside only when the thoughts have reasonably matured and can be debated, on logic, with strategic / military community beyond chain of command.Premature release of proposals to media creates impression of Army shooting off the hip. Two, Re organising Infantry battalions to three companies or doing away Div HQs need to be validated by modelling operational scenarios with realistic fire support. Please look at span of command and control of corps HQ, commanding 9-12 composite brigade groups. What about technical supervision and technical training. Each arm and service requires technical supervision, be it EME or ASC etc. See the impact on cadre of each arm/ service. Even concluding contracts for rations and CHTs is technical.. How about optimising such large number of Regimental centres ? What yardstick, trg centre required for how many regiments or battalions ?
    Starting point however is analysing future threats and battlefield scenario.
    Also, please for God's sake don't be in a tearing hurry. Put out proposals, invite suggestions and call select persons for discussion and then implement pilot project.
    Diligence is not procrastination.
    Change we must but with due diligence and without undue hurry.
    Please think of future organisations required for asymmetric warfare. Optima by savings and Re deploying or else we will struggle to get these sanctioned later.

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  10. Change will always be there in life. The Generation Gap which was a couple of decades when we joined the Army has narrowed down to less than five years now. The winds of change are very strong now. The technology and connectivity has made the world seamless. Areas of influence of formations and capability to exercise control over larger number of entities has increased manifold.

    We to have to keep pace with the present battlefield imperatives as well as gear up for futuristic trends. Modernisation is an expensive business. High costs of weapons and equipment will necessitate cost cutting elsewhere. Induction of latest equipment will minimise manpower requirements thereby giving scope of manpower cuts and fiscal savings.

    However, in our context man behind the machine will always remain the most important battle winning factor especially in the Proxy War scenario we have been facing almost for over three decades.

    Gen Bipin Rawat our present Army Chief has been rather bold in initiating the thought process for restructuring the Army to the meet the challenges of the 21st Century. Here I am reminded of a quote - "The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones". Many Senior Veterans have been adversely critical on the restructuring of the Army being discussed by the present incumbents. The critics have based their opinions on "in our times" syndrome. Times have changed so the thinking also has to change with times. We cannot afford to be status quoists and got to accept change as a necessity.

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  11. This is excellent reportage.
    Here Broadsword reports not bluster from the chief, but no revolutionary change either.
    General Rawat is merely pissing into the forest fire, that’s the effect his reforms will have towards enhancing our security.
    Considerably more is expected from Rawat, else our WW2 Indian Army will meet the same fate of Saddam’s Iraqi Army if at war with a modernised PLA.
    We need to spend at least 70% of budget (as China now spends) on modernisation that means an unbelievable downsize to 200,000 personnel, and have this supplemented by a new Territorial Force - the para military force will have to take over counter insurgency.
    It’s either this or nothing because I repeat, our army in its present WW2 state will be annihilated by a modernised PLA.
    We have no integrated long term strategic plans via military academic research similar to The US or China.
    General Rawat is not working towards an integrated strategy but merely trying to implement a cost cutting exercise - a reaction to budgetary constraints forced on him.
    At the same time Rawat has boasted that India can fight a war with China and Pakistan simultaneously but this can be dismissed as Bhakt language for the patriotic brigade.
    We Indians live in the past with all these conference discussion on size of units, companies and brigades, as if this will solve the problem, it seems the CNC in India is still Auchinleck and the Indian Army is being prepared to fight WW2 Japan!
    On what basis? on which operational combat requirement is the section strength being increased ?
    The trend with specialist soldiers is towards smaller sections. The point is the Indian army has got no experience with modern warfare, the Americans have this experience and the Chinese learn from them.
    But we can make a start by getting the basics right and have a joint command, abolish AHQ and from a single tri service integrated HQ.
    The future outcome of war will be decided in the Air, the entire defence budget needs to be re prioritised with the major portion given to Air Power and Air defence.
    Consider in twenty years the enemy country will become an education powerhouse, it’s already an economic one. China will build an iron dome against incoming nuclear missiles - by 2030 advanced J20 stealth aircraft in large numbers may be able to take out India’s nuclear deterrent.
    The Chinese hegemon will defer to Chinese capitalism, the entire region will be compelled towards integration with the Chinese economy.
    Indian governments and hindutva nationalism interfere with Chinese vision, it hinders China’s belt and road initiatives.
    Indias hostile global alliances planned in the future with the USA, will be a worry & pose a serious threat to China.
    It’s rather Unwise for the Indian army to be complacent behind the Himalayan mountain wall, it’s protection is deceptive ( a false Maginot line in WW2 language for the Neanderthals amongst us) if China decides on a regime change war with India, The PLA attack will come through Pakistan.
    The USA will not wish to get involved in this war with China who by then will be the world’s largest economic and nuclear armed superpower.

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  12. @shortage of officers - The SSC should be made lucrative for 15 Years with a golden handshake and one year study leave . The SSCO should be guaranteed pension under NPS so when he leaves and transforms his career with some protection he can survive with dignity .

    The JCO level entry is an excellent scheme and they should come as platoon commanders to fill these much vacant lying appointments.

    To reduce the administrative load in terms of saving manpower , one station one mess and field messes to be preserved for actual purpose , Station institutes should prohibit combatants for services , DSC to be authorised for manning security and combatants to concentrate on primary role for being war ready , Consevancy to increase for maintaining stations especially peace locations , One station one CSD/URC and manpower employed should be either retired soldiers and widows . These ideas are to free the engagement of combatants and officers involved such activities enabling the force to concentrate on training and primary role .

    The most important which have been left out is the AFHQCS , it’s imperative to understand that a candidate from the civvy street without military training cannot be expected to deliver secretarial services , so why recruit them and increase the liability on the defence budget . These secretarial services can be achieved through employing own officers who have been overlooked and should stand a chance to rise subsequently up to Dir/DDG’s .

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  13. I feel there is a need to cut down the parasites from the Defence & Finance Ministries. They are overstaffed & must be cut down.
    The civilian staff must be cut down further.
    The LAO & stalk can be removed completely & proper Chartered Accountants & Auditors hired.
    MES can be cut down & alternate option to be studied.

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  14. Don't worry about the costs of raising the mountain division. The costs can be offset by reducing strength in other parts of the army, but not the mountain frontier. Just common sense.

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    Replies
    1. It's not just the costs, but also the utility.
      The 70,000 strong mountain strike corps, lacking transport, logistics, armour, artillery, air defences, engineering and ISTAR, just isn't that useful.

      70,000 riflemen are great for stopping terrorist infiltrators, but in a real war, they'll be crushed.

      Delete
  15. Short service commission for all and then offerring pmt commission after 12-15 to deseving ones to lead further, needs to be considered. It would bring down total strength as required and also shall keep fighting unit young.

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  16. NSR says ---

    India urgently needs an Unified Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) or Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) like in many Western countries as a single source of authority for Civilian and armed forces to be a bridge between two segments...

    Without JCS or CDS, Kargils will happen again and again as the power tussle between the different sections will go on for ever...

    JCS or CDS will conduct daily intelligence analyses and operational readiness of all units and present a unified report to Prime Minister and Defense Minister...

    JCS or CDS will also collect all the competing funding requirements and prioritize based on armed forces view to civilian government...

    India badly needs this kind of structure to be competitive in research and development, procurement, operations, etc ...

    May Gods show their grace on India...

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  17. By commenting above AT 21:07 that the Indian army still preparing to fight a WW2 War and will be annihilated I meant.
    Rawat has proposed no organisational and structural changes towards jointness.
    Given that China will maintain technological superiority over India possible leapfrogging even the USA, Rawat has no plan to counter this by planning for joint capabilities.
    I see no future commitment in COAS to planned research towards combining new and potentially disruptive technologies to military concepts.
    In Broadsword’s interview with the COAS there was no mention of a future Joint weapons and equipment plan towards science and technology priorities.
    There was no mention of civil-military integration goals to achieve military advantage from key technologies.
    Where are the plans to achieve superiority in cyberspace, and electromagnetic domains.
    Where are the plans to set up an integrated network for information for command decision in a single joint campaign under an integrated HQ’s.
    There are no plans for Reorganisation towards smaller Air Brigades, staffed with both Army and Air officers to conduct the integrated joint operations.
    Jointness should occur not only at the Joint HQ level but at the Brigade and unit level too, there seem to be no plans for this in Rawats reorganisation.
    Rawat has spoken of no plans gain information advantage at the outset of conflict, and to use this advantage to under a joint command, conduct long-range strikes against China’s most valued high-tech weapons systems and supply lines.
    Even in omissions in military planning like creating a large body of empirical educational material showing the Indian army has learned lessons from United States conflicts of Iraq Afghanistan and Syria has not happened.
    That is why I said The Rawat reorganisation is like pissing into a forest fire, these piddley changes will not enhance Indias security.

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  18. DRONE, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, STEALTH FIGHTERS ARE LIKELY TO SWAMP THE HIMALAYAS. NEPAL WILL SOON BECOME CHINA'S FORWARD POST.

    PAKISTAN WILL BECOME A COLONY OF CHINA.

    WE WILL BE SANDWICHED.....SOON

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  19. This ones more like the Col. we know always visited this blog for straight and constructive views like this.

    Thanks Sir, will still say please keep these coming no matter the Govt. the articles that contradict your own stand just for the sake of the grand old party feels really sad.

    Wish this plan for the restructuring of the Army is implemented with full force soon and is the start of may such reforms and good changes to come, making the Army actually stronger to face any future challenges.

    Thanks!

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  20. Dear Editor,

    A much awaited and brilliant article.

    The change from procurement/defense business news is most welcome.

    I hope there are many more to come.

    Thanks

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  21. As a former light infantry officer I would just like to mention two iron facts:
    1. It is always better to have four maneuver coys than just three
    2. A coy of 170 soldiers of light infantry cannot be managed efficiently in battle

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  22. Several months ago readers would have seen in this blog of a report by Broadsword of the army shutting down the Battlefield Management System (BMS) project.
    This project was roughly the same as the US/NATO concept of net centric warfare or the Chinese Informatization of warfare.
    This provides real time data to all levels of command, a network that gives information and real time intelligence to commanders and communications.
    It seems the COAS by shutting down BMS effectively deprived future commanders of awareness of the battlefield in real time. This is an example of how COAS is out of his dept on matters of technological warfare.

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  23. Anonymous for obvious reasons

    Why are we in such a tearing hurry to introduce such far reaching changes. This kind of exercise needs months of research, discussion, exercises wit troops to examine varying war situations.

    We must establish the rationale or the primary reason for such a wide ranging exercise. It is dangerous to make comments without knowing the full picture and as it appears, on conjectures only. My superficial impression is that the main aim is to curtail the army with a view to trumpet cutting down the bill for pay and pensions. It seems this zeal to downsize is confined to the Army only. At least the article makes no mention of the other services - the Air Force is buying the 5th generation air craft and the Navy is planning on a 200 ship Navy. There is no mention of any cuts in MoD, bloated para military forces and so on. Why the harakiri by the Army!

    The Army has fought and won four wars with but limited help from the Air and NO help from the Navy. And it is no brainer to say that Army will bear the brunt of the battle again. Besides, the army is stretched on CI ops in the east and of course the Kashmir imbroglio. The situation will be much worse in any future full scale war against China. And here we are trying to cut the size of the Army instead of making it stronger and bigger and more powerful with proper modernisation.

    I can understand a plan to raise a full fledged army for the East with proper infra structure and integral Air. Similarly we should raise more bde gps with integral missile units, attack helicopters and guarantied air sp.

    Lastly, We must achieve jointness among the services and a CDS to be able to make joint plans and prioritise acquisition of weapons and equipments for the three services.

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  24. A bold effort but likely doomed to die when faced with inertia and vested interests.
    Even allowing for a 5 man fire team, 3 sub units and a full reserve company, you only get to 540 men in a battalion, barely half the strength in the current set up.

    Unfortunately, 1000 men with 1 atgm are no more effective than 500 men with 1 atgm, and significantly less than 200 men with 2.

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  25. Very lucid piece, Ajai. Way back in 1988-89, I had done a study on this subject in the CDM. I had selected just three organisations - military farms, equine breeding studs and the central monitoring organisation. All three are redundant. The ASEC only does an audit of the manpower required in a unit or sub-unit. There is no agency that does organisational audit to see whether an organisation is still required.

    As regards shortage of officers, the foolproof solution is to make entry to all class I civil services after a five year stint in the Armed Forces. This was recommended by three different studies at that time. It will solve the problem of shortage in the Army. It will also improve the quality of those joining the civil services - they will not kow tow to politicians as they do now. In addition, it will cut out the entry of doctors and engineers in the civil services. They block seats in medical and engineering colleges for five years and then join the civil services.

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  26. There is not much difference between the CRPF and the army.
    The army is better armed, has some obsolete heavy equipment, the CRPF more experienced in suppressing the populace.
    The CRPF also goes out and does a job every day
    The army mostly does self mallesh, that is self massage.
    Most senior officers of the CRPF are from the IPS
    Some of these IPS are good at passing exams, good academicians, but in all other respects they are next to useless, they use the CRPF as a temporary posting. But why not - hats off to them!
    You see there is no pyramid promotion structure amongst IPS, but it’s solved by moving to top jobs in other organisations like CRPF, ITBP etc..
    The IPS Officer generally has much more brains than an Army Officer. Even the CRPF Officer May have more brains.
    If faced with a properly armed enemy instead of mere insurgents, the CRPF and the army are similiar both will be crushed.
    If a war is imminent the IPS officer in a para military org, would make sure he is posted back to his state.
    The Army office will be expected to die for his country.
    The IAS Officer is the most clever and usually a Brahmin (unless he is in via the reservation ) will find a way to accommodate the enemy so peace will be rapidly restored. That is why the institution of the Indian Administrative Service must be preserved at all costs.

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