Friday, March 9, 2018

Pakistani Military's Conventional Deterrence Against India's Cold Start Doctrine

It is widely assumed that India enjoys substantial conventional military superiority over Pakistan. Many speculate that the difference between the conventional military strengths of the two South Asian rivals is so great that Pakistan would be forced to quickly resort to the use of nuclear weapons in the event of an Indian attack. Are these assumptions and speculations accurate? How has the situation evolved since the nations went nuclear in 1998? Are nukes Pakistan's only deterrence against Indian aggression? Let's examine the answers to these questions based on the recent work of several analysts and authors.

India-Pakistan Standoff 2001-2002:

Soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, there was an incident with several gunmen entering the Indian parliament building and killing 14 people on December 13, 2001. India immediately accused Pakistan of involvement in the attack and vowed to respond militarily. Pakistan categorically denied India's accusations.

What followed was a massive mobilization of Indian troops to the Line of Control in Kashmir and the international border with Pakistan.  It was dubbed "Operation Parakram" by the Indian Army.  Pakistan responded with its own major mobilization of troops on its side of the LoC and the international border. Thus began the longest standoff between the two neighbors.

By October 2002, India began to pull back its troops along her border and later Pakistan did the same, and in November 2003 a cease-fire between the two nations was signed. Why did India back off from its explicit threats to attack Pakistan? A recent book "Defeat is an Orphan" by Myra McDonald answers this question as follows:

"Since partition, the Indian Army--with 1.1 million men compared to 550,000 in the Pakistan Army--had the advantage in terms of numbers. But it was a lumbering beast. India's vast size meant the army was spread more thinly across the country than in Pakistan, acting as a brake on mobilization. Its three armoured strike corps, designed to strike deep into Pakistan territory, were based in central India and took nearly three weeks to maneuver into position because of their sheer size. The slowness of the mobilization gave Pakistan enough time to prepare its defenses....Much of the equipment pressed into frontline service, from Vijayanta tanks of 1970s vintage to even older artillery pieces, was barely suited to fighting a modern war. It was only when the Indian Army began to mobilize that its slowness and shortages ---of road vehicles for deployment, missiles, ammunition, and war stores---became apparent. "The very first few days of Operation Parakram exposed the hollowness of our operational preparedness," said General V.K.Singh, who was then with XI Corps in Punjab. Having lost the advantage of surprise because of its slow mobilization, the Indian Army did not have enough superiority in numbers and equipment to guarantee a decisive victory. Nor could it rely on air power to make up for its weakness on the ground. At independence, India had abolished the role of commander-in-chief of all armed forces, replacing it with three weaker, co-equal, service chiefs who each had a tendency to go their own way. Thus though India's air power was superior to that of Pakistan in 2001-2002, the different branches of its armed forces were not integrated enough to consider a ground assault backed by air strikes and close air support. Had India pressed ahead with an attack on Pakistan that January--and in such situation is with the defender--it risked becoming quickly bogged down. "The slender edge that India had could have led to nothing but a stalemate and...a stalemate between a large and much smaller country amounts to victory for the smaller country, " said Brigadier Kanwal in an analysis of India's military preparedness. Nor did India have the capacity to dig in for a long war where its greater size relative to Pakistan could have eventually triumphed. Thanks to cutbacks, it had run down stocks of ammunition to save money. Even without Pakistan's possession of nuclear weapons to deter an Indian invasion, the balance of power in conventional forces was enough to give pause for thought."

India's Cold Start Doctrine:

The Failure of India's Operation Parakram forced some soul searching and a re-evaluation that gave birth to the Indian Army's Cold Start Doctrine (CSD). It is a limited-war strategy designed to quickly seize Pakistani territory without provoking a a nuclear conflict. Supposedly a secret strategy, Indian Army Chief General Rawat confirmed its existence in 2017. Here's an analysis by Indian analyst Meenakshi Sood of India's CSD and Pakistan's expected response:

"While Pakistan’s nuclear response to CSD (Cold Start Doctrine) has dominated the narrative, it is the conventional response that was devised first. In the last few years of General Musharraf’s presidency, especially between 2004 and 2007, India and Pakistan were engaged in backchannel negotiations and came tantalizingly close to finding a solution to the Kashmir issue. Then the 2007 Lawyers’ Movement forced Musharraf out of power and a new leadership took charge. With General Kayani as the new chief of army staff, the threat from India came back into focus, and so did the perceived risk of CSD. Given India’s military capability and its declared Cold Start Doctrine, Kayani believed that Pakistan could not afford to let its guard down as the country prepared according to “adversaries’ capabilities, not intentions.” He went on to give his assessment of the timeline by which India would be able to operationalize CSD — two years for partial implementation and five years for full — betraying the urgency he attached to a counter-response. Between 2009 and 2013, the Pakistan Army conducted military exercises codenamed Azm-e-Nau to formalize and operationalize a conventional response to CSD. At its conclusion, Pakistan adopted a “new concept of war fighting” (NCWF) that aims to improve mobilization time of troops and enhance inter-services coordination, especially between the Army and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). To this end, Pakistan Air Force’s aerial exercise High Mark was conducted alongside Azm-e-Nau III in 2010, which saw the participation of over 20,000 troops from all services in areas of southern Punjab, Sialkot, and Sindh along Pakistan’s eastern border with India. The 2010 exercises were the largest conducted by the Army since 1989. PAF’s exercise High Mark, conducted every five years, synchronizes the Air Force’s response with Army maneuvers, covering a vast area from Skardu in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south. As per military sources, with the implementation of the NCFW, the Pakistan Army will be able to mobilize even faster than India. This should worry India as CSD’s raison d’etre lies in the short reaction time it requires to launch an offensive. If Pakistan is indeed able to mount a counter-offensive even before India fires the first shot, literally and figuratively, it blunts the effectiveness of the Indian military doctrine."

Source: SIPRI

India's Conventional Superiority:

Professor Walter Ladwig III of the Department of War Studies at London's Kings College  says that India's conventional edge over Pakistan is overblown. In a 2015 paper, Ladwig wrote that Pakistan’s conventional deterrence against India in the near to medium term is "much better than the pessimists allege". Here's an excerpt of Ladwig's paper titled "Indian Military Modernization and Conventional Deterrence in South Asia":

"In recent years, headline grabbing increases in the Indian defense budget have raised concerns that India’s on-going military modernization threatens to upset the delicate conventional military balance vis-à-vis Pakistan. Such an eventuality is taken as justification for Islamabad’s pursuit of tactical nuclear weapons and other actions that have worrisome implications for strategic stability on the subcontinent. This article examines the prospects for Pakistan’s conventional deterrence in the near to medium term, and concludes that it is much better than the pessimists allege. A host of factors, including terrain, the favorable deployment of Pakistani forces, and a lack of strategic surprise in the most likely conflict scenarios, will mitigate whatever advantages India may be gaining through military modernization. Despite a growing technological edge in some areas, Indian policymakers cannot be confident that even a limited resort to military force would achieve a rapid result, which is an essential pre-condition for deterrence failure".


Common assumptions about India's insurmountable conventional superiority over Pakistan are not founded in reality, according to military experts.  Professor Walter Ladwig of the War Studies Department at London's Kings College believes that Pakistan’s conventional deterrence against India in the near to medium term is "much better than the pessimists allege".  Pakistan's  NCWF (New Concept of War Fighting) developed in response to India's CSD (Cold Start Doctrine) is designed to "mount a counter-offensive even before India fires the first shot", according to Indian analyst Meenakshi Sood. Ladwig sums it up well: "Despite a growing technological edge (over Pakistan) in some areas, Indian policymakers cannot be confident that even a limited resort to military force would achieve a rapid result, which is an essential pre-condition for deterrence failure".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is Pakistan Ready for War with India?

India's Israel Envy: What If Modi Attacks Pakistan?

Project Azm: Pakistan to Develop 5th Generation Fighter Jet

Pakistan Navy Modernization

Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability

Who Won the 1965 War? India or Pakistan?

Pakistani Military's Performance in 1971 War


Jai Hind said...

And then there is Christine fair too..

Riaz Haq said...

Jai Hind: "And then there is Christine fair too..."

Christine Fair lacks even the basic understanding of the military strategies. She's so unhinged that she's incapable of having a rational discussion on the subject.

Fair has called herself a "Rambo B**ch"; she supports US military interventions around the world; she encourages India's hawkish Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi to invade Pakistan.

In a Facebook post, Fair called Pakistan “an enemy” and said “We invaded the wrong dog-damned country,” implying the U.S. should have invaded Pakistan, not Afghanistan, according to Salon magazine.

In another Facebook post, Fair insisted that “India needs to woman up and SQUASH Pakistan militarily, diplomatically, politically and economically.” Both India and Pakistan are nuclear states.

Tambi Dude said...

Yes. Mr Riaz Haq is an authority in

- Military
- Economy
- History
- Sports
- Arts

And this is over and above his priceless knowledge in Chip making.

Riaz Haq said...

TD: "Yes. Mr Riaz Haq is an authority in...And this is over and above his priceless knowledge in Chip making."

I do not claim to be an authority on every subject I write about.

However, I do read experts' analyses and opinions on each subject and refer to them in my blog.

In this post, for instance, I have quoted Kings College war studies professor Walter Ladwig and Indian think tank researcher Menaakshi Sood from the Center for Land Warfare Studies in New Delhi.

I have also included quotes from Indian generals with first hand knowledge of the subject.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Has Just Tested the Ultimate #Nuclear #Ababeel #Missile: #SouthAsia's First MIRV with multiple warheads. #India

Pakistan has tested a ballistic missile with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV), the United States confirmed this week.

During testimony to Congress outlining worldwide threats on March 6, Robert Ashley, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), stated: “In January 2017, Pakistan conducted the first test launch of its nuclear-capable Ababeel ballistic missile, demonstrating South Asia’s first MIRV payload.” It appeared to be the first time a U.S. official publicly confirmed that Islamabad tested a MIRVed missile; however, in a report last year on missile threats around the world, the Defense Intelligence Ballistic Missile Analysis Committee noted, “In January 2017, [Pakistan] began testing the MIRVed Ababeel MRBM.”

MIRVs allow a single missile to deliver multiple warheads against different targets.

The Pakistani military first announced its test of the MIRVed missile on January 24, 2017. “Pakistan has conducted its first successful flight test of Surface to Surface Ballistic Missile Ababeel, which has a maximum range of 2,200 kilometers,” the military announced in a press release at the time. “The missile is capable of delivering multiple warheads, using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology.” The statement added that the test was aimed at “validating various design and technical parameters.” No other tests of the Ababeel missiles are known to have taken place since the first one.

Despite these claims, many outside experts questioned whether Pakistan really had developed or tested a MIRV. As the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Missile Defense Project noted, “Some experts have expressed skepticism as to whether Pakistan has indeed surmounted the various technological hurdles required for MIRVed missiles. MIRV warheads are typically much smaller than unitary warheads, and thus require greater miniaturization. It is unclear if the country has manufactured a miniaturized nuclear warhead small enough to use in a MIRV.” Ashley’s confirmation should put this skepticism to rest.

Islamabad’s stated rationale for pursuing MIRV technology is to defeat India’s ballistic-missile defense systems. “Development of Ababeel Weapon System is aimed at ensuring survivability of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles in the growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment,” the Pakistani military said in the statement announcing the test last January. “This will further reinforce deterrence.”

MIRVs are undoubtedly useful for defeating missile defenses, as they present numerous targets in close range that interceptors must locate and destroy. At the same time, MIRVs are extremely valuable for counterforce attacks—that is, trying to destroy an adversary’s nuclear arsenal in a surprise first strike. In that sense, they are extremely destabilizing for strategic stability; during the Cold War MIRVs greatly exacerbated the nuclear arms race between the two superpowers.

Pakistan is not the first country in Asia to test a MIRVed missile. That distinction belongs to China. It is unclear when China initially tested a MIRVed missile, but the Pentagon first acknowledged that Beijing had that capability in its 2015 report on Chinese military power. France, Britain, Russia and the United States also have MIRVed missiles. During his time in office, President Barack Obama removed all MIRVs on America’s land-based ballistic missiles, but Washington continues to have MIRVed submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Now that Pakistan and China have them, it seems inevitable that India will join the MIRV club sooner rather than later.

Riaz Haq said...

Walter Ladwig:

The 2,900km long Indo-Pak border is characterized by diverse and
varied terrain that has differential impacts on military operations. To
the north in Kashmir –—which has seen fighting in four wars –the
landscape is mountainous and heavily forested. When combined with a
lack of wide roads, the movement of vehicles and large military
formations is significantly hindered. Moreover, much of the highaltitude
territory suffers from significant snowfall in winter, high levels
of rain, and overall low visibility, the combination of which limit the
operability and payload of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, as well
as disrupting surveillance and surface communications.47 Depending on
the time of year, it is possible to conduct large-scale military operations
across the Line of Control (LoC) separating Indian and Pakistani
controlled Kashmir in the areas of Jammu south of the Pir Panjal
mountain range and the Kashmir valley.48 However, difficult terrain
and under-developed transport infrastructure in these areas hinders the
ability to concentrate forces, control dispersed units, and marshal
reinforcements and supplies.49 Consequently, as Jack Gill notes a
‘verity’ of combat in Kashmir is that ‘a combination of weather, terrain,
and logistical hindrances … makes swift, deep penetrations unlikely, if
not impossible, in the face of even minor resistance.’
50 This is hardly
ideal for a limited aims offensive that seeks to succeed by quickly
overwhelming or bypassing defending forces.
A second section of the border running from Southern Jammu and
Kashmir through the Punjab down to northern Rajasthan is marked by
a near continuous line of concrete irrigation canals that stretch for
2,000km. Not only does this network of canals and their tributaries –
which have a horizontal depth of up to several kilometers in some
places –form an obstacle in its own right, they have been turned into
defensive fortifications with the addition of large pilings of soil, concrete
bunkers, minefields, and fortified gun emplacements.51 This barrier
system –which runs as close as several kilometers to the international
border –significantly hinders the offensive operations of armored
vehicles while providing concealed fighting positions for defensive
troops who are protected from direct fire and artillery weapons.
Securing a bridgehead and mounting a cross-canal assault against a
dug-in opponent can be expected to be a time consuming and bloody
affair. Beyond the canals, many areas of Pakistani Punjab are densely
populated with several sprawling urban centers, which would also limit
the pace of military operations and the potential for battlefield
This section of the border poses several problems for a limited aims
offensive. Regardless of whether the attacker achieves strategic surprise,
as Mearsheimer notes, the kind of forward defenses found here pose
problems for limited incursions on the ground because they allow even
thinly populated defenders to offer stiff resistance.52 Moreover, the
limited aims strategy is based on the belief that in the face of a
successful offensive a defender will either acquiesce or attempt a
counterattack against the aggressor turned defender that results in an
attritional stalemate so costly they eventually abandon it.53 In this
respect, it should be noted that both Kashmir and the Punjab hold great
political significance for both the Indian and Pakistani governments.

Loss of territory in these areas would be unacceptable to the defender,
who would be pressured to escalate the conflict either horizontally or
vertically instead of abandoning further military action.

Riaz Haq said...

Walter Ladwig:

The third section of the international border, where the Sindh and
Punjab meet, is often described as Pakistan’s major point of strategic
vulnerability. It is in this region, between Sukkur and Rahim Yar Khan,
where the country’s primary north–south transportation artery runs
extremely close to the international border. Consequently, some
analysts have suggested that this leaves Pakistan extremely vulnerable
to a central assault that would spilt the country in two.54 It would be a
significant reversal for the Pakistani government were Karachi and
Hyderabad in the south cut off from Lahore and Islamabad in the north
by a limited incursion. However, that historical risk has been signifi-
cantly alleviated by the construction of a largely parallel highway on the
western side of the Indus River that can facilitate the movement of
goods and military traffic while remaining screened from the international
border by a major river. Although this region lacks the extensive
fortifications described in the northern Punjab, the presence of irrigation
canals and the Indus River will constrain the available axes of
advance for a military force moving from the border towards the
Sukkur–Rahim Yar Khan region. This in turn will allow Pakistani
forces to fight from prepared positions, albeit not as hardened as those
found further north.
The southern-most sections of the international border, consisting
of the flat, barren deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat are extremely
suitable for mechanized military operations. Indeed, during the
2001–2002 Operation ‘Parakram’ the Indian Army reportedly concentrated
all of its offensive forces in Rajasthan, suggesting that the
Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch is a likely location for either side
to undertake a large-scale armored offensive.55 Although the open
expanse of the Thar Desert lacks the kind of obstacles to a rapid
advance found further north, it also lacks the strategic value attached
to those regions. Irrigated and developed on the Indian side of the
border, on the Pakistani side areas of the harsh desert have been left
empty to provide a natural buffer-zone.
The story is similar in the Rann of Kutch, which depending on the
monsoons, is alternately a windswept desert or a salt marsh. In either
instance, the region has been described by one observer as ‘one of the
world’s least valuable pieces of real estate.’
56 Although relatively easy to capture in a limited aims offensive, neither of these two areas
would offer particularly useful leverage in post-conflict negotiations.
Loss of territory in this region would not impose a major cost on
Pakistan and if anything would allow it to trade space for time as it
readied a counterattack against Indian forces in significantly exposed
The particular geography of the Indo-Pak border would inhibit an
RMA-enabled Indian limited aims offensive in two major ways. First,
the difficult terrain in the region north of the Thar Desert would prevent
modern sensor and weapons systems from operating at proving ground
effectiveness, while the presence of natural and man-made obstacles
would hinder a rapid advance. Second, the open spaces further south
that would allow an RMA-enabled force to shine lack the kind of
strategic objectives that would be worthwhile to target with a limited
offensive. Moreover, the vast, open expanse of the desert does not
provide significant advantages to an aggressor who subsequently has to
defend the territory they seized against a counterattack.

Ahmad F. said...

So what comes next? A hydrogen bomb? An ICBM?

I just don’t understand the priorities. Why develop this arsenal that will never be used. And, should it ever be used, it will kill everyone several times over.

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: "So what comes next? A hydrogen bomb? An ICBM?"

Pakistan’s MIRVs like Ababeel are designed to penetrate India’s anti ballistic missile defense systems that India is working on with Israel’s help

Ababeel is part of the strategy to maintain both strategic and conventional deterrence to keep peace in the region

Ahmad F. said...

Ladwig's conclusion is noteworthy. He raises a good question. What is the justification for Pakistan's increasingly belligerent nuclear program?

Pakistan’s justification for its current efforts to develop
tactical nuclear weapons and delivery systems on security grounds lacks
a firm foundation. These systems only increase the likelihood of an
inadvertent nuclear exchange, while adding little to the deterrence value
of Pakistan’s force posture. There may be a variety of reasons why
Islamabad is expanding and diversifying its nuclear arsenal, but a
rational response to the threat posed by India’s on-going
military modernization is not one of them.140

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: "Ladwig's conclusion is noteworthy. He raises a good question. What is the justification for Pakistan's increasingly belligerent nuclear program?"

Ladwig has answered his own question when he talks of the ultimate deterrence that Pakistan has against India....India is hesitant to try CSD because of fear of getting bogged down in a war that could lead to nuclear escalation.

Pakistan’s ability to punch through Indian missile defenses with cruise missiles and MIRVs is a guarantee against and nuclear adventurism by India

Ahmad F. said...

The Ladwig paper points out that the conventional military balance is not decisively in India’s favor, as commonly believed. It is the professional opinion of many military officers and scholars that the attacker needs to have a 3:1 advantage to prevail over the defender.

At best, the ratio between India and Pakistani forces is 2:1. And after making some important adjustments, focusing on the age of the equipment and its lethality (combat aircraft, tanks and heavy artillery), the ratio is even lower than that. So India simply cannot hope to win a conventional war.

Moreover, the terrain favors Pakistan, and in a defensive war, the civilian population in Pakistan would unite behind the military, totally unlike what happened in 1971.

Furthermore, 80% of the Pakistani forces s are deployed near the border with India, while the bulk of India’s are mostly deployed in the central provinces.

He also argues that an Indian attack is only likely to take place in response to an ISI-coordinated terrorist attack on India.

So that leads to the BIG question. Why is Pakistan spending an inordinate sum of money on its conventional and nuclear forces, both of which have a huge opportunity cost in terms of human and economic development, in addition to raising the specter of a nuclear war in which there will be no winners.

Why does Pakistan live 24/7 in dread of an Indian attack which would not occur if it just called off its proxy war with India, and which may even then not occur, if history is any guide.

It seems to me that Pakistan has chosen to live in a self-imposed punishment.

Was this necessary?

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: "At best, the ratio between India and Pakistani forces is 2:1. And after making some important adjustments, focusing on the age of the equipment and its lethality (combat aircraft, tanks and heavy artillery), the ratio is even lower than that. So India simply cannot hope to win a conventional war."

Over 700,000 Indian troops are deployed in Kashmir alone....more than the all of the soldiers in Pakistani military.

Pakistan does have the advantage of mobilizing faster than the Indians because of the size difference.

The talk of India attacking Pakistan only in response is absolute nonsense given the history of Indians blaming Pakistan for every attack.

Attacks such as those in Malegaon and Samjotha were blamed on Pakistan.

The alleged perpetrator Afzal Guru hanged by India was an innocent man according to most legal analysts.

Afzal Guru was accused of carrying out an attack on Indian parliament in Dec, 2001. The Indian supreme court judgment acknowledged the evidence against Guru was circumstantial: "As is the case with most conspiracies, there is and could be no evidence amounting to criminal conspiracy." But then, it went on to say: "The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the entire nation, and the collective conscience of society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender." This shameful Indian Supreme Court verdict to approve Guru's execution is a great miscarriage of justice with few precedents in legal annals.

Meanwhile there's little doubt left of India's proxy war inside Pakistan since the arrest of Kulbhushan Jhadav.

Ahsan H. said...

Presumably the learned Professor whose paper you brought to our collective attention reads the news as much as the rest of us combined since that is his full time job and just a casual interest for most of us and serious hobby for a couple.

His figures include data on all regular forces of the two countries, including those deployed in Kashmir.

As I have mentioned earlier, both sides have large paramilitary forces and the 700,000 figure you cite included a lot of paramilitary. They are not in a position to attack Pakistan.

If that was not the case, and India really wanted to launch a surprise attack on Pakistan, why would they not go for the jugular and attack Rawalpindi?

They had a good excuse in 2002 to do so. But they didn’t attack anywhere.

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: "Presumably the learned Professor whose paper you brought to our collective attention reads the news as much as the rest of us combined since that is his full time job and just a casual interest for most of us and serious hobby for a couple. "

It’s not the Professor; it’s you who’s missing the point of this discussion.

And the point is that India lacks the ability to score a quick and decisive victory by conventional means...even if it has 3:1 or even 4:1 advantage.

And India is afraid of a prolonged conventional war that could provoke a nuclear response from Pakistan.

It’s not just the conventional war alone but the fear of escalation to nuclear that holds India back

I suggest you also read Meenakshi Sood’s article I have cited in my blog

Ahmad F. said...

So if India is being held back, then is why Pakistan going all out and pushing ahead with conventional and nuclear weapons like it is about to be attacked tomorrow?

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: " So if India is being held back, then is why Pakistan going all out and pushing ahead with conventional and nuclear weapons like it is about to be attacked tomorrow?"

It's simple; We're not dealing with a static situation. India is not sitting idle nor should Pakistan.

Pakistan is trying to keep India's military advantage from growing to the point where India can attack Pakistan with impunity.

Pakistan is responding to the evolving situation with massive increase in Indian defense spending.

India has now become the world's largest importer of weapons.

Just yesterday, India signed a deal to buy 5th generation Rafale fighter jets.

Riaz Haq said...

#India Is World’s Largest Importer Of #Weapons With Insatiable Hunger, While #Pakistan Slashes #Arms Imports. #Modi #BJP

Report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute spotlights India’s floundering attempts to make firearms in India and growing preference of US over Russia as arms supplier.

India continues to be world’s largest importer for major firearms, an indication that Modi government’s Make In India drive for defence sector has faltered.

A report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has found that India was the “world’s largest importer of major arms in 2013–17 and accounted for 12 per cent of the global total”.

The report spotlights India’s floundering attempts to make firearms in India. India has managed to get just Rs 1.17 crore as FDI in the defecne sector under the “Make in India” framework.

“FDI of amount $0.18 million has been received in the defence industry sector from April 2014 to December 2017,” said junior defence minister Subhash Bhamre, in a written reply to Lok Sabha recently.

India’s imports increased by 24% between 2008–12 and 2013–17, according to the report and majority of the firearms were sourced from India’s long-time supplier Russia, which accounted for 62 per cent of India’s arms imports in 2013–17.

"Asian and Indian arms procurement in particular are a reflection of the growing security competition in Asia," Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan , a senior fellow at ORF, told Outlook.


Surprisingly, India’s long-time foe has slashed its imports despite its tensions with India and internal conflicts.

“Pakistan’s arms imports decreased by 36 per cent between 2008–12 and 2013–17. Pakistan accounted for 2.8 per cent of global arms imports in 2013–17. Its arms imports from the USA dropped by 76 per cent in 2013–17 compared with 2008–12.”

Riaz Haq said...

The worlds largest arms importers: New @SIPRIorg data shows Asia and the Middle East lead rising trend in arms imports

🇮🇳 India
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia
🇪🇬 Egypt
🇦🇪 UAE
🇨🇳 China
🇦🇺 Australia
🇩🇿 Algeria
🇮🇶 Iraq
🇵🇰 Pakistan
🇮🇩 Indonesia

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan ranks number 13 while #India is at number 4 among 50 most powerful militaries in the world. #US at 1, #Russia at 2, #China at 3. Ranking by global firepower uses 50 parameters including manpower available and diversity of weapons.

Global Firepower has ranked the world's military powers by more than 50 parameters, including manpower available and diversity of weapons. In this gallery, Newsweek looks at the most powerful military forces in the world, starting with the 50th strongest and working up to number one.

Pakistan ranks #13. India ranks #4

13. Pakistan. Defense Budget: $7,000,000,000. Total Military Personnel: 919,000. Total Aircraft Strength: 951. Tanks: 2,924. Armored Fighting Vehicles: 2,828. Total Naval Assets: 197. Aircraft Carriers: 0. Submarines: 8. Power Index: 0.3287.

4. India. Defense Budget: $51,000,000,000. Total Military Personnel: 4,207,250. Total Aircraft Strength: 2,102. Tanks: 4,426. Armored Fighting Vehicles: 6,704. Total Naval Assets: 295. Aircraft Carriers: 3. Submarines: 15. Power Index: 0.1593.

3. China. Defense Budget: $161,700,000,000. Total Military Personnel: 3,712,500. Total Aircraft Strength: 2,955. Tanks: 6,457. Armored Fighting Vehicles: 4,788. Total Naval Assets: 714. Aircraft Carriers: 1. Submarines: 68. Power Index: 0.0945.

2. Russia. Defense Budget: $44,600,000,000. Total Military Personnel: 3,371,027. Total Aircraft Strength: 3,794. Tanks: 20,216. Armored Fighting Vehicles: 31,298. Total Naval Assets: 352. Aircraft Carriers: 1. Submarines: 63. Power Index: 0.0929.

1. The United States has the strongest military in the world, according to the Global Firepower ranking system. Defense Budget: $587,800,000,000. Total Military Personnel: 2,363,675. Total Aircraft Strength: 13,762. Tanks: 5,884. Armored Fighting Vehicles: 41,062. Total Naval Assets: 415. Aircraft Carriers: 19. Submarines: 70. Power Index: 0.0857.