BHARAT RAKSHAK MONITOR - Volume 3(6) May-June 2001

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The Nuclear Battlefield - India vs Pakistan

Sanjay Badri-Maharaj

India and Pakistan face each other on some of the most varied and inhospitable battlefields in the world. Both armies have undergone major modernization and reorganization programmes and have sought to bring their military establishments up to much higher technological and tactical standards. The Indian and Pakistani armed forces are two extremely competent military establishments and should not be underestimated.

This section will examine nuclear weapons in the context of their possible use on the India-Pakistan battlefield. It outlines the structure and the organizations of the principal fighting formations of the Indian and Pakistani armies will be given, including a reasonably detailed account of the ongoing modernization/re-structuring programme currently being undertaken by the Indian army. In addition, the standard of NBC warfare training will be assessed. This will then be followed by an assessment of the various theatres of possible battle and the overall tactics to be adopted by each side in order to achieve their desired objectives. The advantages and disadvantages of nuclear weapons against available battlefield targets will then be examined. This examination will also explore the chances of successful nuclear strike against a principal offensive formation of either army. Few publications in either India or Pakistan discuss the battlefield impact of nuclear weapons. This is not surprising and is in keeping with the policy of nuclear ambiguity that currently holds sway over the political and military elites of both countries. A discussion of this aspect of the India-Pakistan nuclear equation must be carried out as it may determine nuclear strategy against civilian targets.

The Indian & Pakistani Armies: Organization & Structure

Some of the basic formations that exist in both armies are virtually identical in India and Pakistan, indeed in most Western influenced armies, and as such some generalizations can be made. The basic infantry fighting formation is the battalion. It is composed of four rifle companies and headquarters and support companies. Its heaviest weapons are generally mortars and machine guns, though some may also have anti-tank and surface-to-air missiles. In addition to basic infantry battalions, mechanized, parachute and commando battalions also exist, each created, trained and equipped for a special role.

An average infantry battalion has the following structure:

Battalion HQ
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I                                                                                                                                                                            I

4 X Infantry Companies 

Support Weapons

each with 3 infantry platoons Mortars, Machine Guns, SAMs/ ATGMs

Artillery and armoured formations have battalion equivalents called regiments. These are organized in a similar manner - armoured regiments have four tank squadrons while artillery regiments have between three and four artillery batteries. All of these formations are of similar size, about one thousand men. Battalion sized formations are amalgamated with other formations to form brigades.

In the India-Pakistan context, the most important formation is the brigade. Like the battalion, there are armour and artillery equivalents, but all share a basic similarity of structure. A brigade consists of three battalions or regiments and is usually provided with some supporting equipment - artillery and heavy mortars in the case of armour and infantry units. Some brigades, however, are designed to operate independently and these are given more supporting elements, including engineering and signals as well as additional artillery.

A typical brigade would have the following structure, whether operating as part of a division or independently:

Brigade HQ
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I                                              I                                                I                                                                                                                I

Battalion 

Battalion

Battalion

Support Elements

Artillery, Signals, Engineers

Brigades are usually grouped together, with additional artillery, engineering, signals and other support elements to form a division. India and Pakistan operate two basic types of division: infantry and armoured. India's infantry divisions are divided into plains and mountains formations which, as their names suggest are trained and equipped to fight in different geographic environments. The mountain divisions are primarily earmarked for use against China, though they could be converted for use on the plains after reequipment.

A typical infantry division comprises three infantry brigades, an artillery brigade and an armoured regiment. Support elements include an engineer regiment, a signal regiment and an air observation post flight, in addition to medical, transport, supply and repair units. Mountain divisions lack the armoured regiment and tend to have smaller calibre artillery. They also have more engineering and support/logistics elements than plains formations.

Divisional HQ
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I                                        I                                           I                                                            I                                  I                                 I                              I

3 X Infantry Brigade

Artillery Regiment

Engineer Regiment

Signal Regiment

Supply Medical Repair

The largest formation of any army is the corps. This formation, pioneered by Napoleon, consists of three divisions and their supporting arms. In the South-Asia context, there are two types of corps: Holding Corps and Strike Corps. The former are designed for defensive operations while the latter is the principal offensive formation of both armies.

The Indian Army: Order of Battle

The Indian army consists of 11 Corps sized formation with a total of 36 divisions and a number of independent brigades. The cutting edge of the Indian army is centred around three powerful Strike Corps - each built around one armoured division. The other eight Corps are defined as Holding Corps, though they may have significant offensive potential. There may be some minor changes to the ORBAT, but no significant changes are expected in the foreseeable future. There are some differences between the ORBAT outlined below and that listed in many published sources, but this ORBAT is more representative of the current Indian army than other sources. The Indian Army Order of Battle is outlined below:

5 Regional Command
12 Corps HQ (3 Strike & 9 Holding Corps)
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3 Armoured Divisions

4 RAPIDS

18 Infantry Divisions

10 Mountain Divisions

1 Artillery Division

5 (I) Armd Brigades

7 (I) Infantry Brigades

1 Parachute Brigades

In addition to these combat formations, the Indian army has four engineer brigades and 14 Army Aviation Corps Helicopter Units. A separate Corps of Air Defence Artillery operates six air defence brigades and two surface-to-air missile groups. These elements are assigned to formations on a need basis, though, with CADA units in particular, many are earmarked for deployment and operations with specific formations.

As mentioned before, the principal offensive formations of the Indian army are the three Strike Corps - 1 Corps, 2 Corps & 21 Corps. These are built around a nucleus of a single armoured division and two infantry divisions - probably with more mechanized brigades than basic infantry formations. The typical Strike Corps has the following structure:

Corps HQ
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1 Armoured Division

2 X Infantry Divisions

Artillery Brigade

CADA Brigade

Engineer Brigade

The Holding Corps are not as well supplied with support, from either CADA or the engineers as the Strike Corps, and do not possess armoured formations larger than brigades and the armoured regiments attached to the infantry regiments. These formations have significant offensive capability, but are largely designed to operate in a defensive role.

The Indian army possesses a fairly varied arsenal of reasonably advanced weapons. Each combat arm - armour, artillery and infantry is in the process of a massive modernization program which was slowed in the early 1990s thanks to budgetary constraints. However, the program has resumed and has started to show some results, many of which will have a significant impact on the ability of the army to operate in a hostile nuclear environment. The pace, if monitored on a year by year basis, may seem slow, but in reality the Indian army is working to a well conceived plan.

Indian Army: Status of Combat Arms

Armour

Indian armour is divided into three basic formations - the division, the independent brigade and the armoured regiment of the infantry division. These are equipped with three basic types of tanks - the T-72M1, modified T-55s and Vijayantas.

The Indian army intends to have 65 regiments of armour by the year 2000, each with between 55 and 72 tanks. The T-72M1 is now the principal combat tank of the army and has replaced the Vijayanta in local production. The new Arjun Main Battle Tank is entering service at an extremely slow rate. As of now, 62 regiments exist, with a total of over 3,500 tanks:

35 regiments T-72M1 - over 1900 in service

13 regiments T-55 - over 700 in service - 200 in store

14 regiments Vijayanta - over 1000 in service - 1000 in store

The current Indian fleet of T-72M1s are in the process of a major upgrade program which has focussed on the provision of thermal sights, additional armour, better ammunition and better fire protection. The older tanks have already undergone minor upgrades - night-fighting in both T-55s & Vijayantas and replacement of the original 100mm guns on the T-55 with 105mm guns. Some of the Vijayantas have been given additional applique armour.

Artillery

India's Regiment of Artillery has recently undergone a reorganization programme which has resulted in the field branch of artillery being separated from the Corps of Air Defence Artillery and the Army Aviation Corps. It now possesses close to 200 regiments with approximately 4000 pieces of artillery of various types. The vast bulk of India's artillery is towed - rather surprising considering the increased mechanization of the Indian army. The 130mm Catapult and 105mm Abbot self-propelled guns are now being phased out of active service due to age and mechanical problems. The massive competition for 155mm SP guns has been given a lower priority and consideration has been given to obtaining several regiments of 152mm SP guns of Russian origin.

The Artillery Plan 2000 seems to give much priority to the acquisition of large numbers of SP artillery. As it would be difficult, if not impossible, for towed artillery to operate effectively in a nuclear environment, one wonders if this says anything about India's attitude towards battlefield nuclear warfare. To further complicate the issue, a former Chief of Army Staff has written that the nuclear battlefield places less emphasis on artillery support while the Regiment of Artillery sometimes voices the opposite!

According to informed sources, the new Indian military doctrine emphasises attrition warfare over the previous manoeuvre policy. This means that the artillery, which used to be a combat support arm, is now classed as a combat arm with priorities shifting between direct support and counter-bombardment. The new army tactical doctrine will be discussed in detail later in this chapter, however, the basic thrust has moved from deep thrusts with mechanized forces to maximum attrition of enemy forces, limited manoeuvre and attacks on strategic and operational targets. Artillery, therefore, has a central role to play in any attrition based doctrine.

The real modernization of Indian artillery is in the development of Surveillance and Target Acquisition (SATA) batteries. These are being supplied with indigenously manufactured battlefield surveillance radar as well as artillery locating radars. This dramatically enhances the effectiveness of Indian artillery. A number of Israeli made Remote Piloted Vehicles are being obtained for the targeting of the Prithvi SSM.

The changes being made in Indian artillery give some indication of Indian army tactical thinking. They also give some clues about India's new military doctrine. The problem is that, to the outside observer, there seem to be many contradictions in what has been publicly been revealed about this military doctrine, especially regarding the artillery.

Infantry

The Indian infantry has, since the 1980s, felt itself a neglected service. The major re-equipment programs that affected the armoured regiments and, to a lesser extent, the artillery, did not come to the infantry. This is not to say that the Indian infantry has remained unchanged, as it is in fact constantly changing. The infantry's anti-tank, night fighting and target acquisition capabilities have been substantially enhanced, and some expansion of mechanized infantry units was undertaken.

By far the most significant development as far as India's infantry is concerned has been the creation of the RAPID - Reorganized Army Plains Infantry Division. This is a uniquely Indian creation and is specifically designed for the South Asian battlefield. The basic RAPID has one mechanized infantry and two standard infantry brigades:

I___________Divisional HQ __________________  

Army Aviation Sqn
Air Force Mi-25/-35 attack helo.detachment
Additional Anti-Tank Company - 9 launchers

______________________________________________________________________I__________________________________________________________________

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

2 X Infantry Brigade

1 X Mech Brigade

1 X Artillery Bde

Recce & Support Bn

Signals

Engineers

Services

 I         I
2 X T-72 Regt

4 X Tube Artillery  Regt

1 X Mech Inf Regt

1 X Rocket Artillery  Regt

1 X AD Battery

There are currently four RAPIDS in the Indian army, these being attached to the Holding Corps in Punjab and Rajasthan. The RAPID provides these essentially defensive formations with an extremely flexible unit that dramatically enhances their ability to withstand offensive operations by Pakistani armour. Moreover, the RAPID possesses sufficient armoured/mechanized infantry assets to conduct reasonably significant offensive operations. The RAPID is also easily adaptable to NBC warfare.

The advent of the RAPID was accompanied by a dramatic upgrade of Indian army C3I assets and communications. Under plan AREN - Army Radio Engineering Network - a secure, real-time network was established, significantly enhancing the army's ability to conduct and manage major offensive and defensive operations. Moreover, because it is EMP ( electromagnetic pulse ) shielded, this network provides the Indian army, for the first time in its history, with a reliable C3I system that could continue functioning in a nuclear environment. This is extremely significant and could be an indication of an emerging Indian battlefield nuclear doctrine.

Indian officers view the infantry as being particularly significant for wars of the future and substantial investments are finally being made in terms of equipment upgrades and enhanced training. The Indian Army has made the acquisition of better anti-tank and personal weapons, communications gear and night-fighting capabilities for its infantry a top priority.

These will satisfy most, if not all, of the foreseeable infantry modernization targets for the next decade. Indian officers have also stressed the need for infantry to be prepared for NBC warfare and have made this something of a priority. Items such as body armour and improved web gear are finally being issued to infantry units.

In order to cope with massed Pakistani armour, the old 106mm recoilless guns issued to infantry anti-tank units are being upgraded as well as supplemented with new anti-tank missiles. In addition, night vision equipment - of the imaging intensifying as well as thermal imaging types - are now being more widely issued to infantry units. These items, while relatively minor in themselves, dramatically enhance the fighting potential of the infantry.

One of the more interesting aspects of India's infantry modernization is the lower importance of increasing mechanization. Mechanized infantry units, mounted in BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles are critical components of the Strike Corps and the RAPIDS, however, they have not made their way into the rest of the army in any major way. It is possible that the Indian army may consider the reorganization of some more infantry divisions into RAPIDS, budgetary allocations permitting.

Indian infantry formations have undergone some substantial changes in the last few years. For the first time, however, the infantry has been given priority over the other arms in the acquisition of new equipment. This means that the Indian infantry of the next decade will be better organized, and trained and equipped for any possible scenario.

Air Defence

India's Corps of Air Defence Artillery - CADA - is one of the newest formations in the Indian army. The Indian army possesses one of the largest array of medium and short-range air defence systems of any army in Asia. Moreover, CADA is set for a major expansion and reorganization programme which will significantly enhance its lethality.

At present, CADA has, as its pride of place, two huge missile groups equipped with SA-6 surface-to-air missiles. These are assigned to the Strike Corps and represent a powerful deterrent to any attack aircraft. In addition, there are 30 regiments with Bofors L-40/70 towed anti-aircraft guns, four with ZSU-23/4 self-propelled AA guns and a number with towed ZU-23 guns. These are complemented by a number of mobile point-defence missile regiments with SA-8b and SA-13 missile units.

As part of its modernization programme, CADA's equipment is set for a dramatic upgrade. The Strike Corps may well be provided with a new air defence brigade group - comprising SA-6, OSA-AKM (SA-8b) and ZSU-23/4 or Tunguska regiments. India's indigenous SAMs - the Akash & Trishul - are to be deployed as replacements for the SA-6 and SA-8 respectively and will enter service in the next two years. Man-portable SAMs - namely the SA-16 - are used to cover 'blind-areas' for CADA units as well as being on issue to infantry battalions.

Not only will these systems be highly effective against aircraft, but the eventual deployment of Akash units would provide a significant defence against ballistic missiles. This would mean that any aircraft or missile attempting to deliver a nuclear, or any other, warhead onto an Indian military target will have to contend with an extremely sophisticated air defence screen. This screen would be most dense at corps and division level and would still have a significant impact at brigade level. The only easy targets for Pakistani aircraft or missiles would be Indian infantry battalions which would only have a few SA-16 man-portable SAMs for air defence. Therefore, the question any Pakistani planner would have to ask is whether the benefits of attacking a major Indian combat formation with nuclear weapons are worth the risk - a risk which is getting higher and higher.

The Pakistani Army: Order of Battle

The Pakistani army is organized into nine Corps and Force Command Northern Area. These contain 22 divisions , 15 independent brigades (6 armoured and 9 infantry), 9 Corps artillery brigades, 7 engineering brigades and 15 army aviation squadrons - including two of attack helicopters. In addition, the Pakistani army has 8 air defence brigades. It must be pointed out, however, that Pakistani brigades and divisions are somewhat smaller than their Indian counterparts. Again, this order of battle differs to a certain extent from that normally quoted. The order of battle is as follows:

Army HQ
9 Corps HQ + Force Command Northern Area
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3 Armoured Divisions

19 Infantry Divisions

6 (I) Armd Brigades

9 (I) Infantry Brigades

9 (I) Artillery Brigades

8 (I) AD Brigades

7 (I) Engineer Brigades

15 Aviation Squadrons

Pakistan's two principal fighting formations are Army Reserve North (ARN) and Army Reserve South (ARS). These are an approximate equivalent to the Indian Strike Corps in terms of size and composition. These have, as in the case of their Indian counterparts, a nucleus of a single armoured division and up to two infantry divisions with numerous brigades:

ARN/S
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I                                        I                                                      I                                                                       I                                                                  I                                           I

1 X Armoured Division

1X Infantry Division (Core)

1-2 X Infantry Dvisions (Additional)

3 X Comabt Brigades (Armoured, Infantry, AD)

2 X Engineer Brigades

1 X Aviation Squadron

Status of Combat Arms:

Armour

As in the case of the Indian army, the Pakistani army possesses three armoured division and a number of armoured brigades. These operate almost 2,500 Main Battle Tanks of a bewildering variety and from various generations. The most recent acquisitions are 320 T-80 UD MBTs from the Ukraine. This deal has been mired in controversy because of Russia's refusal to supply spares, including gun barrels, and doubts over Ukraine's ability to provide spares and support.

The T-80UD is a major improvement over the existing Pakistani tank fleet. The most modern units, until the arrival of the T-80UDs, were license made Chinese T-85 II tanks. An indigenous MBT - the Al-Khalid - has failed to materialise. The rest of the fleet consists of over a thousand T-69/-59 tanks of Chinese origin, which have been upgraded with 105mm guns. The rest of the fleet is a mixture of 1950s & 1960s vintage M-47/-48A5 tanks. These, while serviceable, are not really a match for even older Indian armour. The Pakistani tank fleet lacks modern fire control equipment and advanced night-fighting capabilities. It can be expected that Pakistan will attempt to rectify this in the near future.

Artillery

As in the case of its Indian counterpart, Pakistan's Regiment of Artillery has undergone a tremendous re-organization and modernization programme. While substantial quantities of new equipment have been inducted, large numbers of completely obsolete artillery pieces - long since relegated to reserve/storage status in the Indian army - remain in service.

Pakistan created the subcontinent's first artillery division using a core component of two artillery brigades and an air defence unit. While Pakistan has far fewer artillery tubes than the massive Indian artillery park, it is interesting to note that it was responsible for this major organizational innovation.

The most noteworthy feature of Pakistan's artillery is the number of 155 and 203mm self-propelled guns. This gives Pakistani armour an integral artillery capability that is currently lacking in Indian armoured units. Moreover, these guns are more easily operated in an NBC environment than towed guns.

Pakistan's artillery also comprises an assortment of older pieces, including some Second World War vintage 25 pounders. As in the case of the Indian artillery, considerable progress has been made in the introduction of fire control computers and other surveillance and target acquisition equipment. This, of course, dramatically enhances the efficacy of artillery - no matter how old the guns are.

Infantry

There is not much difference between Pakistani and Indian army infantry formations. Pakistan has not developed an organization equivalent to the Indian RAPIDS and has not attempted the massive modernization programme - in terms of modern night vision, target finding and anti-tank weaponry - that the Indian army has recently undertaken.

The only really noteworthy aspect of the Pakistani infantry is the fact that it was the first to introduce mechanized units to the subcontinent. These mechanized infantry units are provided with over eight hundred M-113 armoured personnel carriers. While not as capable as India's BMP-2 units, these older APCs provide Pakistan's infantry with a reasonable degree of battlefield mobility. However, as far as NBC warfare is concerned, these older APCs offer somewhat less protection than the BMPs.

Air Defense

Unlike the Indian army, Pakistan lacks any medium self-propelled surface-to-air missiles and modern self-propelled air-defence guns. Pakistan's six air defence brigades are equipped with a wide variety of shoulder-launched SAMs and thousands of towed air defence guns. These are used with both Western and Chinese fire-control radar.

It is not known if Pakistan intends to obtain any more advanced radar and target acquisition equipment. The Pakistani army air defence units remain constrained in their ability to obtain advanced self-propelled air-defence assets since Russia, the principal producer of these items, will not sell these items to Pakistan. Strangely enough, Pakistan does not seem to be making particularly vigorous efforts to rectify this shortcoming in their army air defences.

NBC warfare

Both the Indian and Pakistani armies are extremely well trained. This is especially true up to brigade level. Both armies possess a high degree of tactical skill and pride themselves on their ability to perform their assigned tasks. Using a mixture of traditional methods and modern techniques and equipment, both armies are extremely capable. In the area of NBC warfare, however, a rather confusing picture emerges. Both countries frequently made mention of their ability to fight in NBC conditions, but little hard information is available on the degree of NBC readiness.

In the 1980s, the Indian army began some tentative preparations for NBC warfare. In the early part of that decade, a limited quantity of S6 respirators and No.1Mk.3 NBC suits - both of British origin - was purchased. A quantity of NBC equipment was imported from the USSR, but proved to be useless in Indian environmental conditions. Moreover, India's defence research organization, in 1987, produced prototypes of NBC suits, decontamination suits, facelets, overboots and NBC tents. This equipment has entered production and service with the Indian armed forces.

As regards training, from 1987 onwards, the Indian army, through its College of Military Engineering, began running familiarization courses in NBC warfare, while scientist conducted courses at brigade level. Moreover, a series of studies were undertaken to provide for both active and passive defence against nuclear attack for army combat formations.

As regards equipment, the Indian Ministry of Defence has obviously allocated high priority to the indigenous production of NBC gear. This has also involved the participation of the private sector for the manufacture of both NBC suits and respirators. In addition, the Indian army has retained its old Second World War respirators - these are old, but would still offer significant protection. India would not find it particularly difficult to produce enough NBC personal gear - respirators and NBC suits - for its armed forces in a relatively short period of time - though this equipment might be placed in storage. Mention should also be made of the fact that a new decontamination vehicle has entered production.

While it is abundantly clear that NBC warfare has been accorded a much higher priority in the Indian army, it remains unclear as to the exact status of NBC preparedness and training in the Indian army. Attempts to contact senior military officers on this subject proved unsuccessful, though some retired officers offered some vague information that leads to the conclusion that some training is in progress.

It has become clear that India's Army Training Command has conducted detailed studies into NBC warfare. Indeed, given India's perception of its nuclear threat, it is not surprising that the Indian army schools of instruction and combat include NBC scenarios. Moreover, the publisher of the prestigious Indian Defence Review stated that the forces earmarked for use against Pakistan are well equipped to deal with NBC warfare.

It would be natural for India's Strike Corps to be the first to be fully equipped and prepared for NBC warfare and there are some indications of this beginning to occur. It is highly probable that at least one Corps is fully prepared - trained and equipped for NBC warfare. The other formations would probably receive personal NBC gear - but will be allocated a lower priority for receiving decontamination and monitoring equipment. It should be pointed out that the RAPIDS require virtually no modifications for deployment in an NBC environment.

It can probably be assumed that the state of NBC warfare in Pakistan is in a similar state to that of India, except that Pakistan's industry is not yet capable of meeting all NBC needs and that the country lacks the massive R & D infrastructure of India. Indian sources assume that Pakistan has a nucleus of NBC trained personnel - with Chinese NBC gear.

One thing is clear, however, both countries have now made NBC warfare something of a priority and are making efforts - covertly - to train and equip themselves. Nonetheless, there may be a large gap between what the military wants and reality.

While there is some reference to NBC warfare and the necessity to fight under such conditions in both armies, there have never been any major NBC exercises conducted by either side. It is therefore not inconceivable that the principal focus of NBC training and equipment programs in both countries is more geared towards meeting an emergency that might arise after one side uses such weapons. This would involve stockpiling equipment and drafting rapid training instructions - aimed at rapidly familiarizing troops who have to enter an NBC contaminated area. It does not seem that either country intends to develop a tactical nuclear warfare doctrine.

One of the reasons for the lack of NBC exercises could be the extremely severe environmental conditions prevailing on the South Asian battlefield. These conditions range from the intense cold of the Siachen glacier to the blistering heat of the Thar desert. Under normal peacetime conditions these climates pose great difficulties for human endurance, if the troops were clad in full NBC gear and armoured vehicles 'buttoned-up', there would be more casualties from heat-stroke than from exposure.

This brings us to the other issue that needs to be considered - where on the South Asian battlefield could tactical nuclear weapons possibly be used ? The answer to this question will determine whether or not there is any battlefield use for nuclear weapons.

Theatres of Operations

Any India-Pakistan conflict will take place in four major theatres, each varying in geography and, to a lesser extent climatically. The theatres of operations are:

1) Along the Line of Control - Northern Kashmir region

2) Southern Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab sectors

3) North and Central Rajasthan

4) South Rajasthan and Gujarat

When looking at these theatres of operations, it must be borne in mind that the Line of Control in the Northern Kashmir region is not an internationally recognized border. It should also be noted that Punjab and Kashmir are politically very sensitive areas for the political establishments in both countries. It is, therefore, hardly likely that any major loss of territory in either of these two areas would be acceptable.

In the Southern Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab sectors, stretching down into North and Central Rajasthan, there are a series of extremely formidable obstacle defences, which are called ditch-cum-bunds by the Indians, and canals by the Pakistanis. These defences, combined with the existing natural ground features make large-scale mechanized operations virtually impossible. These linear defences are extremely formidable, since the ditch-cum-bunds are liberally laced with diffused and well concealed concrete bunkers which have considerable defensive firepower and are difficult to locate, even with thermal imaging. This effectively limits operations to defensive positions with only local offensive capability.

The Rajasthan and Gujarat regions present an entirely different scenario. In the Northern/Central Rajasthan theatre, considerable scope exists for the large scale use of mechanised formations in the desert and semi-desert sectors. It is in these sectors, the Thar desert and the Rann of Kutch, that the major armoured battles of the next India-Pakistan war are likely to be fought. It is, therefore, not surprising that a complete Indian Strike Corps is earmarked for use primarily in this area.

The Thar Desert and Rann of Kutch also present the best possible place for tactical nuclear warfare. The barren desert areas are ideal in that so-called collateral damage could be reduced. Moreover, any meaningful Indian gains in this area, that is beyond the major river lines, would threaten the very existence of the Pakistani state, thus prompting Pakistan to actively consider using nuclear weapons in the event of a major Indian breakthrough.

On the other hand, since the Indian Strike Corps will be operating in this area, so will be the bulk of India's formidable Corps of Air Defence Artillery. This means that any Pakistani attack against a major Indian formation would be met with heavy resistance from extremely dense and sophisticated CADA assets - not to mention fighter squadrons from the Indian Air Force. Therefore, any Pakistani attack stands a good chance of being repelled without reaching their assigned target.

India could also reduce the risk of nuclear retaliation by limiting its advance to the major river lines, or to between 60-80 km in the North/Central Rajasthan sectors. This would mean that the existence of Pakistan would no longer be threatened while India would still occupy chunks of territory. Pakistan would probably be less willing to cross the nuclear threshold for such a limited Indian advance.

It is unlikely that either India or Pakistan would initiate nuclear warfare in either the Punjab or Kashmir regions purely for tactical gain. Indeed, for Pakistan the use of such weapons in Kashmir would almost certainly alienate the Muslim population of the Kashmir Valley. In the case of Punjab, Pakistan's military and political elites are largely drawn from that Province and as such it is extremely unlikely that they would take a risk as large as this for limited tactical gains. From a purely military standpoint, it should also be pointed out that the ditch-cum-bund defences and their network of concrete bunkers would probably survive a nuclear attack. This would render a nuclear attack in this sector virtually useless.

Therefore, the only area in which nuclear weapons would be tactically useful is in Rajasthan and Gujarat - for reasons which have already been given. Yet that land , especially in Rajasthan, Thar Desert sector, is of virtually no strategic importance. Would any militarily sane nation risk revealing the full extent of its covert nuclear program unless its very existence was threatened ? The answer is clearly no. Therefore, if India limits its territorial gains in this area, Pakistan would have no reason to resort to nuclear weapons.

There is one wild card in this scenario - the Line of Control. If India were to launch a major assault along the LoC - would Pakistan use nuclear weapons ? An examination of a possible war scenario will perhaps illustrate Indian planning more clearly.War Scenario:

In 1987, the India army conducted a massive military exercise, 'Brasstacks', which outlined what was then a new tactical doctrine. No longer would the Indian army concentrate on operations in Punjab, as it had during the 1965 war, but would deploy massively powerful armoured formations in the Rajasthan sector with the aim of bisecting Pakistan at its weakest point in the Sindh Province.

This has been the model most often used and quoted by scholars in the literature available on possible war scenarios. Moreover, it has been further argued that thanks to Pakistan's nuclear capability, an Indian offensive in the Sindh that met with success would be answered by a Pakistani nuclear strike. Since the defences in the Punjab are strong, it was therefore argued that as India's military superiority was hardly overwhelming, the nuclear factor may be creating an environment where war was almost impossible.

This model is, however, obsolete and far from creating a certain conventional stalemate, has simply led to the Indian army re-thinking its tactical doctrine. No longer will the Indian army attempt to make major territorial gains, but it will concentrate on occupying a small stretch of territory, not enough to threaten Pakistan's existence, but enough to force Pakistan to commit its forces where they will be met by superior Indian firepower which will then inflict maximum attrition. The reason for this in part lies in the risk of nuclear warfare, but the main reason lies in the fact that previous wars in 1965 and 1971 have shown that major territorial gains are unlikely in a short war.

If a major Indian offensive occurs, it will occur in Kashmir. Never before has the Indian army attempted any offensive in Kashmir, but this time, thanks to the massive influx of troops into the State, an Indian offensive along the Line of Control is very possible. It could be argued that these troops are primarily for counter-insurgency operations. However, this does not explain why the formations coming into Jammu and Kashmir are bringing their artillery with them. Any fighting will in Kashmir will centre around a clash of infantry and artillery and as such, the induction of substantial artillery assets into the region must be seen as significant.

At the outset one thing must be made clear. Neither India or Pakistan believes that anything would be decided in a war lasting less than four weeks. India bases its plans on a period of intense fighting lasting six to eight weeks followed by a period of major, but less intense fighting lasting up to four more weeks. War Wastage Reserves are calculated on this basis and so if a war lasts only two weeks or thereabouts, the most that can be hoped for is for heavy attrition of the enemy forces.

India has therefore moved away from the Brasstacks plan of bisecting Pakistan in the Sindh and threatening Islamabad with encirclement to a more modest objective of destroying as much of the Pakistani military as possible. Pakistan's nuclear weapons provide some deterrence against any Indian move to make deep thrusts into its territory and against any possible bisection of Pakistan, they are of no use in a war aimed solely at inflicting maximum attrition against Pakistani military forces.

The Indian army has two Strike Corps, 2 Corps & 1 Corps, assigned to the Rajasthan and Punjab sectors respectively. The Strike Corps are described in an earlier section, but each is composed of one armoured division and several infantry divisions and supporting units. Each will also have an artillery division attached. There is another Strike Corps - 21 Corps which is not yet fully operational.

In the Brasstacks model, these were the two formations Pakistan was most concerned about and their continued presence in the Rajasthan and Punjab sectors will ensure that Pakistan cannot consider any major troop redeployments in either sector. Under current plans, India intends not to advance more than 60-80km in the North/Central Rajasthan sector and only up to the major river lines in South Rajasthan/Gujarat, Pakistan's existence would hardly be threatened.

However, it must be remembered that India and Pakistan will be fighting a political war as much as a military one and any loss of territory is considered a major political embarrassment. This means that Pakistan would invariably have to attempt a counterattack against Indian forces occupying any of its territory. Its forces would then be drawn into a battle of attrition against Indian forces, a battle that they would lose. If the current build up of air defence assets, upgrading of armour and anti-tank munitions and the increase in artillery within the India army is seen in light of this post-Brasstacks tactical doctrine, it is abundantly clear that India is building up its forces to ward off any Pakistani counterattack, inflicting devastating losses on the attackers.

In the Southern Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab sectors, the huge fixed fortifications described previouslyr effectively limit the scope of any Indian operation. India is highly unlikely to attempt a major offensive in this sector for two reasons. The first is the extent of the fortified defences in this sector, but the second is far more significant and goes to the core of Pakistan's vulnerability versus India.

The real vulnerability of Pakistan lies, not in a lack of 'strategic depth', but in the fact that so many of its major population centres and politically and military sensitive targets lie very close to the border with India. As was mentioned earlier, this negates the tactical use of nuclear weapons in the Punjab sector in particular. However, should India threaten Lahore, for example, Pakistan could be compelled to attempt a nuclear strike against an Indian civilian target. As such, it is hardly likely that India would want to risk a major advance in Punjab. Aims in this sector would be limited to holding Pakistani forces in a defensive deployment pattern while inflicting maximum attrition with 2 Corps and 21 Corps.

Along the Line of Control, however, the situation is very different. One of the consequences of the Kashmir insurgency is that India has transferred several divisions to the area to reinforce the troops already there and bringing total troop strength in this sector to over 250,000. The Indian divisions and brigades also brought their supporting artillery with them and this combination - which is far in excess of what is needed for defensive operations - enables Indian planners to contemplate a major offensive along the Line of Control with every chance of success.

The importance of the term Line of Control cannot be understated. Pakistan clings to the illusion, in official pronouncements at any rate, that its part of Kashmir is not really part of Pakistan. As such, it has always refused to recognize the Line of Control as the international border with India. This is something that India intends to exploit to the fullest. Pakistan, on the other hand, appears to work to a different strategy. From the time of the 1965 and 1971 wars, up until India's Brasstacks exercise, emphasis was placed on the static defence of the Line of Control and the border. However, in light of India's substantially enhanced offensive capabilities, Pakistan realised that this 'stand and fight' doctrine would lead to serious Indian penetration of Pakistani territory with the Pakistani army being unable to manoeuvre to meet the threat. Counterattacking formations would then be destroyed piecemeal.

Pakistan has therefore adopted a new strategy - the Riposte. This is remarkably simple in concept in that Pakistan would accept the loss of territory in Indian penetrations, but would conduct a limited advance along narrow fronts with the aim of occupying territory near the border to a depth of 40-50km. Pakistan believes that this would give it a bargaining chip to be used in the aftermath of a ceasefire brought about by international pressure after 3-4 weeks of fighting.The Pakistanis, to some extent, still assume that India will attempt deep penetrations into the territory. Moreover, it appears that though the Pakistani army is well prepared for this new doctrine, there is an inadequate appreciation of the threat posed by Indian air power to the attacking formations. Some planning has been based on the highly unrealistic assumption of local air superiority and as such these plans may go seriously awry.

So what will a future India-Pakistan war look like ? There are a number of good books on the 1965 and 1971 wars and some excellent accounts of the tactical thinking behind Exercise Brasstacks are available. These, however, are not of much use at present. However, perhaps the best and most realistic war scenario was painted by defence journalist Pravin Sawhney in the Asian Age newspaper in November 1994.

Holding formations in both India and Pakistan can man their forward defensive positions and fortifications in less than 24 hours. However, Corps level reserves with large stockpiles of munitions will take between 24 to 72 hours for mobilization after being given their orders. In this regard, both armies will be evenly matched in the first 24 hours since the Pakistani units have to travel a shorter distance to their forward positions.

Pakistan's Army Reserve North is based in the Kharian/Mangla complex and would need to travel only 200km to its forward concentration areas or even their assembly areas where regrouping before an offensive is done. This could be done at extremely short notice and is consistent with Pakistan's pre-conceived offensive plans as outlined in the Riposte doctrine. Army Reserve South, which is based in the Multan area can also be available for operations in a similar time. While many of India's formations may take up to 72 hours to be fully deployed, two out of India's three Strike Corps, 1 Corps & 2 Corps, are so positioned as to match the mobilization timings of Army Reserve South. As of now, it is not known if the third Strike Corps, 21 Corps, will be available at such short notice.

India could, in theory, disrupt the early deployment of Army Reserve North if the Indian Army's Northern Command denies deployment space with the pre-emptive mobilization and deployment of Northern Command's theatre reserves. In 1994, Sawhney was unconvinced that this was possible owing to the employment of so many units of the Indian army on internal security duties in Jammu & Kashmir. However, since 1994, the number of paramilitary units in Jammu & Kashmir has grown and the Indian army has deployed almost thirty thousand men from its Rashtriya Rifles battalions. These would take at least some pressure off the regular army in counter-insurgency operations. Moreover, the number of regular army troops in the state seems to have grown. These could provide the Indian army with sufficient troops in theatre to deny Pakistan's Army Reserve North deployment space, thus neutralizing any advantage Pakistan had in this regard.

The problem with assessing whether or not Indian troop strength is adequate to the task of neutralizing Army Reserve North's deployment is that the internal security situation in Jammu and Kashmir is very variable. It is possible that the paramilitary forces and the Rashtriya Rifles will free a large number of troops for conventional operations. Moreover, it is possible that up to three divisions, with over forty thousand men, could be moved from the China border without seriously degrading India's defences against a Chinese assault. These troops are held by Central and Eastern commands, and have actually been earmarked for out of theatre operations.

In the case of Army Reserve South, the Indian Air Force has the potential to cause havoc with their deployment by beginning an intensive interdiction campaign in the Gujrat (Punjab)-Sialkot-Gujranwala area. However, this would make India the aggressor in any conflict. Sawhney argues that this would make the Indian government reluctant to permit this, however, that is not at all certain. The Indian government may well engineer incidents to give an excuse, however flimsy, for the Indian Air Force to begin such an interdiction campaign.

In order to further reduce the risk of a Pakistani nuclear strike, it is possible that India, through the United Nations, might make certain pledges to Pakistan. These might include a pledge not to deliberately attack a civilian target, to refrain from attacking civilian nuclear installations and a promise not to initiate the use of weapons of mass destruction unless attacked with such weapons. India could also make it clear that it would abide by these terms only if Pakistan agrees to do the same. Should Pakistan not agree, India would probably assume that a nuclear strike would be forthcoming.

Let us for the moment assume that India does not deny Army Reserve North deployment space and that the Indian government does not sanction the launching of preemptive air strikes. Both India and Pakistan will have a relative parity in manpower and combat formations at the start of any conflict. India will be able to bring up some very large combat formations from central and eastern India, but Pakistan would be almost fully committed. A force of three infantry divisions plus some independent brigades under 11 & 12 Corps would be transferable from the Peshawar and Quetta areas respectively, but with very little artillery and armour. Moreover, if there is any serious escalation of fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan may be less willing to denude its Afghan border of all regular army formations.

The Indian objectives in the Northern sector, in Jammu & Kashmir, are somewhat unclear. The Indian Defence Review Research Team argued that the capture of Skardu to cut off the main glacier zone in Baltistan would be a major objective. Moreover, a strong offensive aimed at capturing Muzzafarabad from the North and the South of the Jhelum, and the neutralization of the Haji Pir (Bedori ) Bulge would have to be undertaken. The Indian army would also attempt to capture the Mirpur-Mangla Complex with the view of presenting a clear and present threat to the Pakistani national capital region. Finally, to cope with the threat posed by Army Reserve North, Indian formations would make a penetration into the Sialkot sector with the sole aim of bottling up and denying deployment space to the Pakistani formations, thus ensuring its eventual destruction.

The scenario described above leads to the question as to whether Pakistan would launch a nuclear strike in response to the threat posed to its national capital. The Indian Defence Review Research Team does not answer this question in any way. Pravin Sawhney describes a far more detailed scenario which, while essentially similar in concept, seems to differ in some major details.

Sawhney, in his scenario, argues that the Indian army would have a choice - attacking into either Ladakh-Baltistan or into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir ( POK ) and that the army would prefer an ingress into the latter along the Line of Control. He also argues that the main thrust would be in the Jammu division between Poonch and Chammb with a secondary thrust into the Tithwal-Keran sectors.

Northern Command might also suggest that a limited offensive be conducted to the west of Zojila in the Dras-Kargil sectors. The aim here would be to cut off the lines of communications of the Pakistani brigade based near the Shingo and Indus Rivers. These operations will call for troops specially trained and equipped for operations in mountainous and hilly terrain and to this end, the three divisions previously earmarked for use against China would be invaluable. Moreover, select formations from these forces already send divisional reconnaissance groups into Kashmir for terrain familiarization.

That these divisional reconnaissance groups have been conducting terrain familiarization for quite some time gives rise to the idea that India has been planning for a major offensive in the Jammu & Kashmir sector for a long time.

Pravin Sawhney assumes that the attack in Kashmir would be launched first with two mountain divisions concentrated to begin operations in the directions of Jhanghar-Mirpur and Nowshera-Bhimber with the ability to switch between the two. A third division would be allocated to the Mendhar-Kotli-Mirpur axis in two columns. Pakistan would probably understand that some move was afoot at this stage to the sector defended by 19 Infantry Division. The Pakistanis would then move the 7 & 9 infantry divisions based at Peshawar to assist in their defence. However, it is not certain that these two divisions would be available entirely since the Afghan border is volatile at the best of times and the situation in Afghanistan is very fluid.

Nonetheless, assuming these formations begin an eastward movement, Pakistan's Army Reserve South would start mobilizing at Multan. At this stage, India's three Strike Corps would begin a forward movement. The plan as envisaged by Indian planners is for 1 Corps to face Army Reserve North and 2 & 21 Corps to face Army Reserve South.

The offensive would begin in the Ladakh sector with two brigades attacking from Kargil along with two brigades from the Northern Kashmir holding division tasked with straightening the Line of Control in the Tithwal-Bugina bulge sector. The three mountain divisions mentioned earlier would then commence their offensive which would probably face extremely stiff resistance from the Pakistani infantry divisions facing them. Compared to the dashing manoeuvre warfare employed during the Brasstacks exercise, the current Indian army high command is fully convinced that their present offensive plans would be more akin to the 'meat-grinding' assaults of the Second World War.

As Pakistan's strategic depth was eroded around Islamabad and with its Army HQ at Rawalpindi fixed on the worsening situation at Mirpur, Army Reserve North would be committed to action. ARN would attempt an offensive aimed at the Jammu-Pathankot corridor while crossing the river Ravi aimed at threatening Gurdaspur-Pathankot.

These operations would be met by India's 1 Corps which would engage Army Reserve North in a savage battle of attrition, forcing Pakistan to move 9 division to the Mirpur sector, where the Indian offensive continues, while 7 division moved, along with 30 Corps, to reinforce Army Reserve North. In the meantime, the Indian and Pakistani air forces would engage in their own battle of attrition, with the former waging a heavy counter-air offensive whilst engaging in a massive offensive-air-support operation for the Indian army.

With the Indian offensive overcoming its opponents in the Kashmir region and Army Reserve North, and its reinforcements, engaged with India's 1 Corps in a battle of attrition, Pakistan's army high command would prefer that Army Reserve South be kept out of action as long as possible. However, since the whole object of the Indian plan is to inflict heavy attrition on Pakistan's armed forces, it would be essential for Army Reserve South to be neutralized.

Sawhney believes that India would use its Desert Corps (12 Corps) to draw ARS into action. 12 Corps would launch a limited offensive aimed south of Rahimyar Khan to which Army Reserve South would respond with a thrust to its north. The Indian Holding Corps, with their RAPIDS, would probably find themselves under heavy pressure from the powerful ARS. At this stage, with ARS fully committed, India would spring its trap with 2 & 21 Corps, along with massive air support, launching out together along a very narrow front aimed at punching through 31 Corps and falling on the soft under-belly of Army Reserve South which would then be destroyed in detail.

In this scenario, the fighting which has lasted between two and four weeks, has left Pakistan's armed forces severely depleted, if not almost destroyed. Army Reserve South has been destroyed along with the Pakistani formations in the Rajasthan/Gujarat sector. Indian forces have made gains along the Line of Control, severely eroding Pakistan's strategic depth in the region of Islamabad and Army Reserve North and its reinforcing formations have been mauled by 1 Corps, Indian Holding Corps and the Indian Air Force.

What is significant is that Pakistan would not have suffered any major territorial losses. No Indian offensive actually seized much land and in no case was the existence of Pakistan actually threatened. While nuclear threats and counter-threats might be traded, Pakistan would probably not feel quite so compelled to go nuclear as it would if its very survival was at stake.

India's gamble is that with such a mauling of its military capability and since Pakistan has neither the money or the resources to re-build such a large and powerful military machine again, Pakistan might be far more amenable to a permanent settlement of the Kashmir dispute and other outstanding matters. Since India would hold a major advantage in that Pakistan could no longer rival India militarily, such a settlement would probably go in India's favour. At least that is the Indian plan. Whether or not any permanent settlement over Kashmir can be achieved after such a war remains a matter for speculation.

The most important point to note in this scenario is that in no case would India be seeking to grap large areas of Pakistani territory. Pakistan's existence will not be endangered so would Pakistan risk using nuclear weapons on the battlefield ? Having said this, it should further be pointed out that there is a lot of room for misinterpretation in this scenario. For example, will Pakistan be able to distinguish between a limited Indian advance and a full scale invasion? At what stage would Pakistan consider its existence to be threatened ?

After discussions with a number of retired Indian officers - specifically about this question of misinterpretation - the only answers that could be provided revolved around the fact that a limited Indian penetration would be along a broad front and have limited depth while a full invasion would have areas of narrow but deep penetrations into Pakistani territory. The officers believed that Pakistan would have no difficulty in differentiating between the two and as such the question of misinterpretation did not arise.

The Tactical Use of Nuclear Weapons: Advantages & Disadvantages

Having looked at the areas in which nuclear weapons might be applied, it is now appropriate to examine the 'pros' and 'cons' of using nuclear weapons on the South Asian battlefield. The first question that has to be answered is how nuclear weapons can be used tactically ?

Like the American and Russian - and possibly the Chinese - armed forces, the Indian and Pakistani military establishments, since the tests of May 1998, are likely to eventually have access to weapons in the very low yield - 0.1 - 4 kiloton - range. However, the nuclear weapons most likely to be used on the South Asian battlefield might range between 5 and 20 kilotons owing to difficulties in minaturization. These weapons are fairly large - by Western battlefield standards - and it is extremely difficult to differentiate between 'tactical' and 'strategic' nuclear weapons in the India-Pakistan context.

For defending forces, either Indian or Pakistani, nuclear weapons might be used to block attacking units crossing obstacles - e.g. rivers. To this end, the defending forces would adopt a mobile defence posture, which would present a difficult target for a retaliatory nuclear strike. The nuclear weapons would be used as the attacking force concentrates to overcome a defensive position or obstacle. This would require a degree of advanced warning to the defending units and this might be detected.

As far as offensive operations are concerned, these would necessarily be planned around the use of nuclear weapons. The attacking forces would remain dispersed and only concentrate rapidly to attack. The objective of this is to present as few worthwhile nuclear targets as possible. In addition, the attacker would aim to destroy the enemy's nuclear capability and, perhaps more importantly, the controlling Headquarters.

In order to perform these tasks, in both defence and offence, the armies must possess mobile reserves and strike formations with a preponderance of armour and mechanized infantry and possess excellent intelligence. In this regard, both the Indian and Pakistani armies have such forces in sizeable numbers, the Indian Strike Corps and RAPIDS and Pakistan's Army Reserve North and South. This mechanization was carried out as part of the evolving conventional military doctrine, but, as can be seen, also prepares both armies for the use of battlefield nuclear weapons in South Asia.

However, there are a number of very serious constraints that mitigate against the battlefield use of South Asia. The first, and perhaps the most important, of these is the stigma attached to being only the second country in the world to use nuclear weapons. Certainly India, for example, would be very much restrained from using nuclear weapons in the initial stages of any attack on Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan would be very wary of using nuclear weapons for tactical gain. Both sides would only use nuclear weapons in the event of their very existence being threatened, not just to gain a battlefield advantage.

In addition to this, there are limitations to the success of a nuclear strike on an enemy position. A Pakistani attack on an Indian Strike Corps, as mentioned earlier, would be met by intense anti-aircraft fire - in addition to Indian fighters. This does not apply, at least not to the same extent, to an Indian attack on a major Pakistani formation, owing to the limited variety of air defence weapons available to the Pakistani army.

An attack on a well dispersed, mechanized combat force would not be catastrophic. Armoured vehicles in both armies are designed to operate in NBC conditions and furthermore, unless the unit is almost at the centre of the blast ( 'Ground Zero' ) it is highly possible that the MBTs and APCs would provide significant protection from the blast and radiation effects. This means that the principal offensive formations of both armies would be rather less vulnerable targets than would be ideal. The holding formations - heavily dug in and in well-constructed concrete bunkers and behind the ditch-cum-bund and canal defences - would be more vulnerable.However, even these, with the protection afforded by the fixed defences might not suffer as much as hoped as these defences would probably survive a nuclear strike. The most vulnerable units would be lone battalions or brigades in isolated areas. Moreover, weapons in the 0.1-4 kiloton range would be of little utility against these fortifications and substantial portions of the defences may be able to survive blasts up to 20 kilotons.

There is also a major problem of providing intelligence to friendly forces in the area of a nuclear blast. It is unlikely that either army would want to have sizeable numbers of friendly forces caught either at the centre or in the vicinity of a nuclear strike. In order to prevent this, instructions for dispersal, issuing of protective equipment and constructing shelters would have to be given. There may also have to be large scale issues of NBC protective gear and decontamination and monitoring equipment. Moreover, medical units would also have to be alerted to the possibilty of the use of nuclear weapons so as to cater for battlefield casualties.

These preparations would probably be noticed by the enemy, thus eliminating the essential element of surprise. In addition, given the fact that only the Southern Rajasthan/Gujarat sectors are really suitable for tactical nuclear warfare, the disastrous effects of using NBC gear on combat efficiency would have to be taken into account.

Perhaps the ultimate deterrent to the tactical use of nuclear weapons is the threat of massive retaliation. In the absence of a clear nuclear doctirne, neither side is fully aware of where the nuclear threshold lies. Would either India or Pakistan risk a concentrated nuclear attack on each other's cities in retaliation for a nuclear strike on a battlefield target ? This is hardly likely, however, in the absence of clearly stated policies and nuclear doctrines, such a miscalculation cannot be ruled out. Ultimately tactical nuclear restraint revolves around the vulnerability of South Asian population centres - civilians will pay the price for any nuclear miscalculation on the battlefield.

 

This article is excepted from Sanjay Badri-Maharaj's recent book The Armageddon Factor published by Lancer International, New Delhi. For the purposes of easy reading the endnotes have been omitted from this version. For a fully referenced version of the article in MS Word please click here.

Copyright Bharat Rakshak 2001