Counter Insurgency

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  • Neeraj Kapoor asked: How the insurgency in Kashmir is different from the Maoist insurgency or the insurgency in Assam?

    G.K. Pillai replies: The insurgency in Kashmir is different primarily because it arises from differing perceptions with Pakistan and the people of Kashmir valley on the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to the Indian Union at the time of independence and the special status accorded to the State through Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The insurgency in J&K has been actively assisted by the Government of Pakistan and the two countries have fought in 1948, 1965, 1971, and in the Kargil sector on this issue. It has been the official policy of the Government of Pakistan to bleed India through a thousand cuts in order to weaken its resolve that J&K is an integral part of India. Pakistan has, therefore, not lost any opportunity to exploit any discontent in J&K. There are reportedly 22 camps in Pak occupied Kashmir where militants are being trained to be infiltrated across the LOC to attack security forces and vital installations in the State.

    The Maoist insurgency originates from apparent discontent over agrarian reforms and exploitation of the local population, especially tribals; and now has the stated objective of the overthrow of the Indian State and parliamentary democracy. It has got its support by exploiting local grievances against the local government to organise an armed liberation struggle against the Indian State. It draws inspiration from Mao Tse Tung’s Communist movement. It is not limited to any one state since the Maoists do not believe in parliamentary democracy and is currently spread in parts of at least 9 States in India. Maoists have been reported to have got training from the LTTE and are actively seeking cooperation from insurgent groups in the North East, especially the PLA.

    In Assam, there are a number of insurgent groups which are active. United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) Paresh Barua faction seeks a sovereign Assam and has its origins in the fear that continuous migration of persons from erstwhile East Pakistan and now Bangladesh will alter the demographic character of the State of Assam to the detriment of its indigenous people. Who are the indigenous people of Assam still remains to be resolved. The BODO insurgent movement also called for an independent BODO State as these tribals felt that they would be discriminated if they stayed within the State of Assam. Then there are a number of other militant groups based on tribal identity and geographical contiguity who have taken up arms to fight for their tribal identity which they feel is not getting due recognition and support within the State of Assam. Both the ULFA and BODO groups have received training and arms from Pakistan.

    ‘Heart as a Weapon’: A Fresh Approach to the Concept of Hearts and Minds

    The recent 'heart as a weapon' initiative in Jammu and Kashmir has been received favourably both by critics of security forces and by the state government.

    November 16, 2011

    Elevate Human Rights as the Core Organising Principle in Counter Insurgency

    The Indian Army’s Doctrine for Sub Conventional Operations does an admirable job in balancing human rights protection with operational demands. However, there is a degree of dissonance in the approach to human rights brought about by the perspective that protecting human rights is a means to an end.

    November 14, 2011

    Measures To Deal With Left - Wing Extremism/Naxalism

    Measures To Deal With Left - Wing Extremism/Naxalism

    The assertions by the Ministry of Home Affairs that the Maoist challenge could be dealt with in three years seems to be ambitious, given present-day the ground realities. If coordinated action is taken, perhaps, their challenge could be defeated in approximately seven to 10 years. A welcome development is that the various state governments and the Union Government have begun to evince willingness to deal with the issue. Doubtless, the Maoist challenge can certainly be defeated.

    Counterinsurgency and "Op Sadhbhavana" in Jammu and Kashmir

    Counterinsurgency and "Op Sadhbhavana" in Jammu and Kashmir

    Critiques of the Indian Army's counterinsurgency practice have overlooked a critical aspect of “organisational innovation and operational learning” formalised as Op Sadhbhavana. These initiatives have had a limited but salutary impact in transforming the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir.

    Revision of the DSCO: Human Rights to the Fore

    The Doctrine for Sub Conventional Operations (DSCO) is due for review this year. This Brief suggests directions in which the Doctrine can better address the Human Rights factor.

    March 22, 2011

    The Complacency Factor in Counter-Insurgency Operations

    Complacency and not following procedures led to the ambush that killed eight BSF personnel in Assam.

    March 16, 2011

    Enhancing Soldiers’ Capability for Counter-Insurgency Operations

    Demands from society and family are higher on soldiers and, thus contribute towards greater stress. Therefore, desired capacities have to be built in our recruitment system, training philosophy, training methodology, training infrastructure in training academies, regimental training centres, divisional training schools and other military colleges/ schools of instruction as also in our military thinking to produce motivated, efficient and stress-adapted officers and soldiers capable of meeting future warfare challenges efficiently

    January 2011

    The Need for a Strategic Response to Insurgency and Terrorism

    Countering ideological narratives, effective communication of developmental measures to the people, and adherence to the principle of judicious use of force should form integral elements of India's strategy to counter insurgent and terrorist groups.

    November 26, 2010

    A Passage Through India?

    Given the fragility of ISAF’s southern lines of communication passing through Pakistan, India could consider offering a passage through its territory as a meaningful alternative.

    October 21, 2010

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