COLD START DOCTRINE: A REMEDY OR PANACEA

 11/11/2017  298

In the era of globalization a full scale war between any two nations is an outdated concept. It is generally felt that the nuclear weapons which are considered to be WMD (Weapons of mass destruction) act as a deterrent but with full scale wars becoming obsolete the heavy conventional weapons also act as deterrent. The world’s oldest rivalries have not been resolved through use of force despite of fighting full scale wars. The best example can be India and Pakistan who have already fought four wars in 52 years, the last being in 1999, but the core issue still remains unresolved. The biggest bone of contention is JK and cross border infiltration which has resulted in India fighting a low intensity conflict in JK. Terrorist attacks on Parliament and in Mumbai resulted in the Indian public wanting a full scale war between the two countries. After the Parliament attacks in 2001 India mobilized its troops under operation Prakram.The mobilization of the Armies three Strike corps took three weeks and take up positions on frontier resulting in giving time to adversary to plan its defences and play the Nuclear card resulting in escalation or collateral damage in case of a full scale war. So the military think tanks devised a new doctrine – Cold start which has been used by armed forces now days.

Cold start Doctrine

The older “SundarJi Doctrine” of the early days being replaced by “Cold Start Doctrine” in 2004. India bears a reputation of a responsible nuclear power with “No first Use” policy. Even the Constitution wants our nation to promote World peace. But this cannot be mistaken as a passive approach to aggression and henceforth “Cold Start Doctrine” is a limited war strategy for retaliatory conventional strike especially against Pakistan. It is based on the principle of retaliation in limited sense without invoking a justification for a nuclear strike and any interjection from the international community. Rather than delivering a catastrophic blow, Cold Start aims for shallow territorial gains that could be beneficial in post-conflict negotiations.
Cold Start seeks to leverage India’s considerable conventional strength to respond to Pakistan’s continued provocation. This concept seeks to reorganize the Indian Army’s offensive power from the three large strike corps into eight smaller division-sized “integrated battle groups” (IBGs) that combine mechanized infantry, artillery, and armor in a manner reminiscent of the Soviet Union’s operational maneuver groups. Its key advantages are:

1) Quicker decision by the Government
2) Quicker deployment and response by armed forces
3) Denies Pakistan the excuse of nuclear weapons

Cold start doctrine follows the two major principles of war
1) Surprise
2) Speed

The main aim in war is not to kill the enemy but to kill the will to fight. That is what is aimed in cold start doctrine. The Surgical strikes conducted by India after URI attacks were a manifestation of this doctrine and earlier in Myanmar destroying the terror camps and killing ultras.

 

 

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