Friday, December 12, 2014

Army's War + in Kashmir

Nitin Gokhale wrote a nice post on his blog NewsWarrior ( that the Army is fighting a War in Kashmir and not terrorism ( I enjoyed reading it but then there were few questions in my mind.

The question that troubled me was, is Army fighting a War in J & K?  I know they are but is it a war, less than a war or something more than a war. That is what needs to be analysed?

In a war, there are stages. In the first place there will be hectic diplomatic activity between nations. If these activities are not giving any outcome and tensions keep increasing then these nations go to precautionary stage. War is the last stage of the process. It is always intense though the tempo may oscillate.

There is a clear distinction between own and the enemy. The war is defined by Malinowski in an article published in American Journal of Sociology, titled "An anthropological analysis of war" as "an armed contest between two independent political units, by means of organized military force, in pursuit of a tribal or national policy".  It is therefore a contest between two nations by their respective state actors with a sanctioned armed action  to attain the desired objective . All other conditions are generally classified as Operations Other Than War (OOTH).

Moot question is, is our army fighting a war, more than a war  or is it OOTH ?

To my mind, our Army faces extreme uncertainty in J & K about the situation on the ground and likely hood of it turning worst. who is our Own and who is enemy is very fuzzy. Army has to be alert 24 x 7 across the same territory and it has been in that alert state for many years, year after year but terrorists can choose the time and place of next action in the same vast territory.

The physical costs of these operations may not be as high as actual war, the psychological and human costs are many times higher then the war. The tempo of operations is nearly constant. The fatigue is a constant companion and not a phenomenon limited by time. Also the Wars lasts for a finite period (even if it happens to be eight years as was the case with Iran - Iraq war). It is easy (relatively) to sustain the effort knowing fully well that one way or the other it will come to an end. There is no such possibility  in the operations being carried out by the Army in J & K though there is a hope of peace returning at a distant future.

The enemy is not a mere non-state actor having meager resources. In this case enemy is a state actor by another name or proxy of a state actor, well armed (except heavier weapons like tanks or big guns) and even better brain washed (Karl Marx said, religion is the opium of masses) to carry out their action.

It must be evident that this is neither  OOTH nor a simple war. This is actually a War+  which being fought by our Army in various dimensions namely military, psychological, physical, material and so on.

Army has been and is capable of continuing this battle in present and escalated form. It is us, citizens of India ,who must understand  that our Army is fighting not just a war but actually a War+ in J & K. We should and must   provide our unstinted support to our Army.

Are we doing it? May not be, it is us who let down the Army on many occasions. We surely need to change.

1 comment:

  1. Very thought provoking.

    I'd call this a multi dimensional battle and not a war.