Cold Start denials vs. 72 hr delay in Nuclear response

December 10, 2010

Seems like the same Bharatis who had been crowing about the  much vaulted “Cold Start Strategy” are not writing reams of papers denying its existence. The most poplarIndophile on the planet is not only retracting his earlier statements about Cold Start–he is actually saying that it never existed.


It seems that as much trouble as “they” took in developing the Cold Strate, they are putting twice the effort in refuting it.  It is pedagogical to note that while the US was forcing Pakistan to move its forces from the Eastern front, it was also pressuring Pakistan to dismantle its nuclear warheads, so that it would take 72 hours to assemble them and put them into action–72 hours!

Mr. Sanjeev Miglani’s current write-up is one such example.

– A strategy developed by the Indian military to fight a lightning and limited war with Pakistan without crossing nuclear red lines has stirred concern across the border and in the United States, but the plan is years, if not decades away from battle readiness.

Cold Start involves the deployment of battle groups inside Pakistan within 72 hours of a Mumbai-style attack to carry out a punitive operation without threatening the survival of the Pakistani state and triggering a nuclear confrontation.

It flows from the Indian government‘s slow-footed response to an attack on parliament in 2001, which was also traced back to Pakistani militant groups, when it took months for the large, lumbering army to deploy on the borders.

By then, the element of surprise was long gone, and Delhi had come under intense international pressure to climb down.

Pakistan says the Indian battle plan is at the heart of its refusal to move forces away from the Indian border to fight militants on the Afghan borderlands, hindering the U.S.war against al Qaeda and the Taliban. (Reuters). By Sanjeev Miglani. SINGAPORE | Wed Dec 8, 2010 10:37pm EST

  • Responding to the “Surgical Strikes”: Neutralizing Delhi’s Cold Start strategy:
  • Nuclear deterrence & Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) blunts Bharat’s Cold Start Strategy
  • Why India did not attack Pakistan in 2002 and 2008?
  • The India-Pakistan war
  • Delhi’s Cold Start Strategy Frozen DOA (Dead on Arrival)
  • Responding to the “Surgical Strikes”: Neutralizing Delhi’s Cold Start strategy:
  • Pakistani response to “India’s Cold start strategy”: Limited strikes against targets vs Hot War leading to Nuclear Armageddon
  • Indian Airforce crying wolf? or facing shortage of jets?
  • India’s Cold War strategy guarantees hot war—Nuclear annihilation
  • India knows that it can never win a conventional warfare because of the Nuclear Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). However it still harbors notions of winning a sort of a mini war. India may think it has a Cold Start Strategy, but it may end as a hot nuclear war. Indian Defense planners cannot guarantee that a limited strike will not escalte into a full fledged war. A full fledged war witha nuclear armed labor may destroy both countries. Responding to the “Surgical Strikes”: Neutralizing Delhi’s Cold Start strategy:

    While engaging the Kashmir question must be the priority, a much more serious problem is that in less than a decade India has twice threatened us with all-out war in less than a decade, in December 2002 and 2008, using terrorist action by non-state actors as a pretext both times. As the name suggests, the Indian “COLD START” strategy envisages moving Indian forces without any warning or mobilisation into unpredictable locations at high speeds against Pakistan (on the Israeli pattern of 1956 and 1967) seeking to defeat Pakistan by achieving total surprise at both the strategic and the operational levels (remember Pearl Harbour), striving for a decision before the US or China could intervene on Pakistan’s behalf. An unspoken assumption seems to be that “rapid operations would prevent India’s civilian leadership from halting military operations in progress, lest it have second thoughts or possess insufficient resolve”. Does this particular Indian military psyche conform to the so-called civilian control of the Indian military? Facing a foe having 3:1 superiority, and with such a history and such an offensive strategy, we may be forgiven for our “India fixation”.

    The military challenges for Pakistan posed by COLD START derails any resolve for sustained peace with India, re-constituting Pakistan’s strategy to take on all five of India’s “Strike Corps” with all our three “Army Reserve” formations presently occupied in FATA, Dir and Swat. Please forgive also our suspicions as to what the many Indian consulates in Afghanistan are doing on our western borders! Ikram Sehgal. The News

    Much of this so called “Cold Start Strategy” is based on the Israeli strategy which it tried to implement in Lebanon. Israel was unable to implement its objectives in Lebanon and had to withdraw even from the Litani River. Israel failed to achieve its goals in Lebanon. In Lebanon, Israel was unable to stop the barrage of missiles from Lebanon even on the last day. Many consider this Israel’s defeat.

    Mr. Sanjeev Miglani’s apology for Bharat doesn’t get him any kudos. Mr. Miglani says that “Bharat did not use Cold Start”. He forgot to mention that Bharat could not–and its operation to mobilize was a colossal failure–and Pakistan’s Aam e Nau. Operation Parakram was a politico-military failure: Rear Admiral (retd) K R Menon. Much of what Mr. Milani says flies in the face of what Rear Admiral Menon has already stated.

    It has drawn concern in the Pentagon too, which worries about any disruption of its long supply line for troops in Afghanistan that runs through Pakistan.

    But as the U.S. ambassador to Delhi said in secret cables published by WikiLeaksand corroborated by independent military experts, the Indian army’s Cold Start doctrine is a mixture of myth and reality.

    The military has neither the maneuverability or the firepower to rapidly deploy and fight the air and land battle envisaged in the strategy, and it is not even clear whether the civilian authorities have signed off on the plan.

    Above all, the idea that you can fight a conventional war without risking a nuclear confrontation between two neighbors with a troubled history for more than 60 years is a vast gamble, say military analysts.

    “It has never been and may never be put to use on a battlefield because of substantial and serious resource constraints, but it is a developed operational attack plan announced in 2004 and intended to be taken off the shelf and implemented within a 72-hour period during a crisis,” Ambassador Tim Roemer wrote in a February 2010 cable. here

    Indeed, as Roemer notes, if the Indian government really intended to implement Cold Start and thus risk “rolling the nuclear dice,” the Mumbai attacks were an opportunity.

    “First, the GOI (government of India) refrained from implementing Cold Start even after an attack as audacious and bloody as the Mumbai attack, which calls into serious question the GOI’s willingness to actually adopt the Cold Start option.”

    Roemer also questioned Pakistan’s sincerity in drumming up fears over the Indian military plan, saying it had failed to deter Pakistani mischief inside India even though they had known its existence since 2004.

    Tuesday, a bomb went off in a holy Indian town, killing a child and wounding several Hindu worshippers, an attack that reinforced concerns that India remained vulnerable, and that ties with Pakistan could quickly unravel if acts of violence were linked to militants based there. (Reuters). By Sanjeev Miglani. SINGAPORE | Wed Dec 8, 2010 10:37pm EST

    It is amazing that it is the 72 hours which is a magical number for the Cold Start Strategy. It seems that Bharat wants to cross the border and do its dirty deeds under the radar–within 72 hours, so that Nuclear war can be prevented.

    The US thinks that it has succeeded in forcing Pakistan into dismantling all her nuclear warheads. General Hamid Gul commenting about this very issue isn’t very sure. He said “The Americans can never be 100% certain that this has happened”–and there in lies the rub–and the death knell of the Cold Start Strategy.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her campaign for the presidency of the United States mentioned “Pakistan’s paranoia” about India’s intentions about Pakistan. Pardon us Ms. Clinton but Bharat has threatened Pakistan will all out war, not once but twice in the past few years. Additionally, it was the Pakhtuns that liberated Azad Kashmir and it is Delhi that occupied Kashmir, Junagarh, Manvadar, Sir Creek and Siachin–not the Pakhtuns (aka Taliban).



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