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SOURCE: Satyajeet Kumar/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Current Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat was the first serving Army chief who acknowledge India’s cold start Doctrine for the first time. Rawat was also first to confirm that cold start doctrine which Pakistan felt was defeated after the development of tactical nukes was still alive and kicking and was likely to be further enhanced and modified to take care of Pakistani tactical nuclear threats.

In 2016 elite Mathura-based Strike Corps of Indian Army carried out major exercise ” Shatrujeet” which involved 30000 personal. Aim of the strike crops what to carry out a simulation to validate and skills to counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) warfare.

Many Indian defence analysts saw so this has attempted at tweaking of cold start doctrine to practice the ability to strike deep into enemy territory in integrated air and land better environment.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat while speaking to Indian media last year again stressed that Indian Army was ready to call Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” and cross the border to carry out any operation if asked by the government.

Renewed aggression from Bipin Rawat saw usual panicky and comical nuclear threats from Pakistani military establishment and civilian government officials but there were some guarded murmurings also coming out of Indian defence analyst community. For long this particular community from India in its interaction with Indian Army has been advocating to take Pakistan’s tactical nuclear Warhead threats seriously.

But few in India’s strategic community do believe that Rawat might have found a way to actually call Pakistan’s nuclear bluff. According to them, Rawat might have developed multi-strategy Action Plan which might see the use of new techniques and insertion points which will make it or Pakistan very difficult to use technical news on Indian troops.

Abhijit Iyer-Mitra who is Senior ?Research ?Fellow with the Nuclear Security Programme?(NSP)? at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies believes that Rawat is right to call of Pakistan’s nuclear fluff because Indian Army might have adopted an old Soviet tactic developed by General Chuikov in World War 2.

“Hugging the enemy ” an interesting strategy which prevented German Air Force from using aerial bombings to drop bombs which could have endangered German Troops on the ground. General Chuikov ordered his troops to get close to enemy positions and use stealth at night and camouflage to get to close to your enemy.

Rawat taking a leaf out of the strategy might have developed a new counter to reach Pakistani defence positions much before they can anticipate thus preventing the use of a tactical nuclear warhead. Strike Corps may be further divided into smaller batches and move to highly populated areas in Pakistan which could also prevent the intervention of Pakistani Air Force.

Rawat doesn’t seem to believe that Pakistan will use one of its own nuclear warheads on its own population just to eliminate few thousand Indian soldiers as per Indian assessment use of tactical nuclear device within Pakistani cities will see 100 times more casualties then what Indian Army will suffer.

India is also aggressively investing in the purchase of equipment’s and Systems which could allow troops to function even after a nuclear detonation in the vicinity. Development of QR-SAM mobile Air defence system she will move with the strike Corps also validates that India is now aggressively pursuing Cold Start 2.0 doctrine at the highest level.

India’s acquisition of the S-400 Triumf air defence system to provide a shield to vulnerable targets in Delhi and Mumbai and likely deployment of India’s two-tiered ballistic missile defence (BMD) system will complicate Pakistan’s target calculations.

More General Bipin Rawat talks about calling Pakistan’s nuclear bluff Pakistan will be doubting its own capability to prevent India’s use of cold start doctrine which in long term will prevent Pakistan from planning another Mumbai type attacks. 2018 will mark the 10th year of Mumbai attacks, counter-terrorism strategies implemented by India not only has prevented such level of more attacks in other metros in India but fear of cold start doctrine has also deterred Pakistani nexus of military and terror organisation to plan next round of attacks in India.

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