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Book Review: The Wellington Experience: A Study of Attitudes and Values Within the Indian Army

The study, published by US Think Tank; Stimson Centre, examines the observations of U.S. military personnel who attended India’s Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington, Tamil Nadu. The author, Col David O.Smith is a distinguished fellow of Stimson Center (South Asia Program) and a former Senior Country Director for Pakistan in the US Department of Defense.

The study challenges some conventional wisdom on the Indian armed forces and their internal and external threat perceptions, attitudes and values. The author believes that the United States has placed an enormous strategic bet on India, that she can serve as counterweight to the growing political, military, and economic influence of China.

Key Findings

  • Despite two decades of increasingly close U.S.-Indian political and military relations, a high level of mistrust (and thinly veiled hostility) about the United States generally persists in all three groups of Indian officers.
  • Despite a deep-seated conviction that its internal security doctrine is effective, the Indian Army has yet to completely quell any of India’s four long-running insurgencies.
  • The Indian Army appears unconcerned about the efficacy of Pakistani tactical nuclear weapons in a future war. There are several dubious assumptions: Pakistan is “bluffing” and the sheer size of the Indian Army will be able to sustain the strikes amid high casualties and continue to operate in an NBC environment.

Implications

  • Despite official rhetoric it is unlikely that the United States and India will become genuine strategic partners in the foreseeable future.
  • The actions of the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir and the abrogation of le state’s constitutional autonomy by the Modi government have accelerated the radicalization of a new generation of Kashmiri youth, rekindled an indigenous militancy once thought to have been defeated
  • In the event of a future war with Pakistan or China, the Indian Army may not perform as well as it expects, and a failure against China might draw in the United States on India’s side.
  • There is no reason to expect that, in any future war with Pakistan, India will understand Pakistan’s nuclear “red lines” or that the Indian armed forces will not inadvertently cross one or more. [Stimson Centre]

One Comment

  1. SAMIR SARDANA SAMIR SARDANA October 30, 2020

    What is the worth of the Indian Weapons or Missile systems ?

    The LACM Nirbhay missile of the Indians failed for the 5th time ! dindooohindoo

    5th time ! The Indians never learn ! The missile does not EVEN cross the Boost phase ! It was forced to self destruct as it tilted.In other words even the booster engines failed.

    What will happen at the Turbo stage when the missile inclines to a horizontal trajectory – as it is a Cruise missile – low Alt ! The Indians are only good at cheating – and so, it is better to ask Pompoo for the Tomahawk blueprints ! In any case the Indians are using US Military satellite data, and in future,will use the US Milit satellites also.

    Basically Indians are incapable of making and using missiles !

    Context1

    This is a story from the Ramayana – when Rama could not stop a crow from lacerating the breasts of his wife Sita,when he was sleeping on her lap !

    Book V : Sundara Kanda – Book Of Beauty
    Chapter [Sarga] 67

    सुख सुप्ता त्वया सार्धम् जानकी पूर्वम् उत्थिता |
    वायसः सहसा उत्पत्य विरराद स्तन अन्तरे || ५-६७-३

    “Seetha, who slept happily by your side (at one instance) got up before you. A crow coming down quickly, tore her flesh at an area in the midst of her breasts (with its beak).”

    Context 2

    SO THEN WHAT DID RAMA DO ? THE RAMAYANA SAYS THAT HE MADE A MISSILE FROM A “BLADE OF GRASS” AND THAT ALSO FAILED ! THE INDIAN MISSILES ARE MADE AND TESTED IN THE FANTASY LAND OF THE RAMAYANA !

    स दर्भम् संस्तरात् गृह्य ब्रह्म अस्त्रेण न्ययोजयः |
    प्रदीप्त इव काल अग्निः जज्वाल अभिमुखः खगम् || ५-६७-१२

    “Taking a blade of grass from your bed of the sacred grass, you charged it with the potency of Brahma missile. That flaming blade blazed forth like the fire of universal dissolution, with its end facing the bird.”

    Context 3

    THEN HANOOMAN ASKS RAMA -WHY RAMA DID NOT USE HIS “MISSILE TECHNOLOGY” AGAINST RAVANA OF LANKA AND RAMA IS SILENT ! RAMA KNOWS HIS MISSILES “DO NOT WORK” ! BUT THE INDIANS DO NOT – AND THAT IS THE DISASTER !

    एवम् अस्त्रविदाम् श्रेष्ठः सत्त्ववान् शीलवान् अपि || ५-६७-१८
    किम् अर्थम् अस्त्रम् रक्षह्सु न योजयसि राघव |

    “O Rama! Why are you not employing the same type of a missile on the demons, though you are the foremost among the wielders of missiles, though courageous and possessed of good disposition?”

    THAT IS THE KEY !

    RAMA KNEW THAT HIS MISSILES “DO NOT WORK – AND SO,HE GATHERED AN ARMY OF APES” ! BUT THE INDIANS STILL DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE STORY OF RAMA

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