Army Day is celebrated every year on January 15 because on this day Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa (then a Lt General) took over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India. The year 2019 started with a bang with the COAS General Bipin Rawat having an exclusive interaction with Jayant Baranwal, Editor-in-Chief of SP’s Land Forces in which COAS articulated over a whole range of issues including geopolitical situation on India’s borders, threat management and modernisation. On the security environment he said, “that the dynamics of contemporary security environment with multiple challenges across the spectrum of conflict can be viewed and analysed for their varied manifestations. However, a pragmatic view is to consider ‘Low Intensity Conflict’ as a reality which is likely to keep us engaged in the foreseeable future.”
He mentioned about the success of our actions by stating that, “operationally we have retained and maintained moral ascendancy on all our borders through proactive tactical operations guided by well-reasoned and thought out strategies. We have maintained the tempo of operations against terrorists through credible intelligence and ground level synergy.” On modernisation he said that, “our modernisation strategy covers the entire spectrum of conflict and is structured along three cardinal approaches. Firstly, to address conventional warfare capability, the second category is the support systems required to augment main platforms and the third category would be the requirements for the ongoing operations in the constantly evolving operational environment. He added that, “under Strategic Partnership model, Indian Army is pursuing a programme for a Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV). The programme is still at the preliminary stages”.
Our discerning readers will find the interaction very interesting due to the way the COAS has so clearly and briefly covered a whole range of security subjects. This issue also covers relevant aspects of the COAS’ press conference which are related to current acquisition of equipment. In the article on the brief history of the Indian Army, the author amplifies as to how the Army has always kept “Nation Above All” regardless of the sacrifices involved since 1947. He concludes by explaining as to how the Army’s ethos is built through the 5 C’s; Character, Competence, Courage, Commitment and Compassion; and ethos of a secular, motivated, apolitical and professional force devoted to the unity and integrity of the country. In the article on Army’s ‘Land Warfare Doctrine 2018’ which has been recently placed on the Army’s web site, the author gives an overview of the Doctrine and highlights that the Army shall be the primary instrument of the overall deterrence capability of the Nation. In this context it is reiterated that India continues with a strategic asymmetry vis-à-vis China and Pakistan in terms of sub-conventional warfare, which needs to be addressed. This implies that the gaps in our sub-conventional warfare is a matter of concern and needs to be corrected on priority.
Then there is an article on AD guns in which the author concludes that if the manufacture of the guns start around 2033, notionally if 1,000 guns are required and rate of production is 24 guns/year then the last gun will be manufactured after about 42 years. This takes the time line to 2075. This issue wraps up with reports on other happenings including the usual news digest.
Wish you all discerning readers happy Army Day, Republic Day and New Year.