India vs. Pakistan: Surgical Strikes, Indian Missile System & India’s War Doctrine

Or maybe, let’s put it mildly – no nukes but everything else. What then? What strategies do we have in place, what weapons, what new amazing innovations etc etc.

If Subramanian Swamy were to be believed – 10CR Indians should be ready for sacrifice against a total annihilation of Pakistan!

“In the event of a nuclear war, Pakistani nuclear bombs can kill not more than 10 crore people. We are the country of 112 crore population. But our nuclear bombs can wipe off Pakistan altogether.”

10 CR volunteers who agree that they are fine being nuked if India can obliterate Pakistan. India won’t use nuclear missiles first no? Hope you know all that – India’s no first use nuke policy.

No first use (NFU) refers to a pledge or a policy by a nuclear power not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare unless first attacked by an adversary using nuclear weapons.

Who else signed NFU? China, India, North Korea

What about USA? Russia, UK, USA, Pakistan, Israel – These guys said that we will use nuclear weapons only defensively. Even Pakistan!

Question for you guys: What’s the difference between a strategic and tactical nuclear missile?


Back to India’s war potential. I had a few questions while trying to research out this topic –

Confusion Level 1: What all new weapons have we made in recent past? UPSC might use this oppty to grill us on our awareness of our missiles and tanks and ships and what not?

CD has already done this compilation – Indian Missile Systems and other developments in 2015-16

Every year UPSC likes to ask the range, weight, body mass index etc of the new missiles so this should be a ready reckoner and you specifically need to cover the nuclear capabilities – Read this story on India’s Defence nuclear capabilities.


Confusion Level 2: I know about Surgical Strikes and all and I did well to remember that we made similar strike in Myanmar. Read Ensuring Peace in the Northeast and Myanmar operation.

But what are some of the other military doctrines of India which we should know about. A friend asked me this question – cold start, some joint practices, tactical warfare etc etc so I did some research.

This is a bit heavy stuff – I got a paper written by a retd. Brigadier and he did well to explain it to a lay-cat like me. Read original paper here.

1. Doctrine, strategy and tactics are closely related but they are not the same.

2. Doctrine = encapsulates the current dominant thinking on an issue. So, it’s more like a flavour of the month. Something which we sit in close doors and decide basis our past war experiences etc etc.

One such and now prevalent doctrine is the COLD WAR DOCTRINE. Exact definition –

The main objective of the Cold Start Doctrine is to launch a retaliatory conventional strike against Pakistan inflicting significant harm on the Pakistan Army before any international community could intercede, but not in way Pakistan would be provoked to make a nuclear attack.

May 2001, Operation Vijayee Bhava was done to check our prowess. In 2011, Operation Sudarshan Shakti was conducted to revalidate Cold Start Doctrine.

At this point, I just thought about the doctrine preceding this cold start one! And I googled to find that it was – Sundarji Doctrine (1981–2004). The limitation of the Sundarji doctrine was exposed on 13 December 2001, when five masked men attacked the Indian Parliament.

According to the Cold Start Doctrine, battle Groups will be well forward from existing garrisons. India’s elite strike forces will no longer sit idle waiting for the opportune moment, giving Pakistan the luxury of time.


Confusion Level 3: By now I know about the might of Indian weapons and our latest war doctrine. It would be great if you can help me with this info…

#1. What are strike corps, holding corps and mixed corps?

#2. What are paramilitary forces and how are they different from Army, Navy, Airforce etc?

#3. The structure of Indian Army? I believe COAS = Chief of the Army Staff. Is this relevant for IAS?

#4. If Paramilitary forces do not come under the armed forces – then who are their controlling agencies?


Confusion Level 4: I resolved this on my own. Do you know that India has 4 types of borders!

#1. International Border (IB) – This type of border is internationally recognised and legal. An agreement is signed between two countries regarding sharing this border. Clearly demarcated. India shares IB with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and a part of Pakistan ( Radcliffe line)

#2. Line of Control(LoC) – It is de facto border shared by India and Pakistan, dividing Kashmir controlled by India and Kashmir controlled by Pakistan. LoC has its roots in the ceasefire lines which were drawn up in 1948 ( first war between India and Pakistan). Please note – LoC is neither internationally recognised nor it has any legal status. 

#3. AGPL (Actual Ground Position Line) – The line that divides current positions of Indian and Pakistani troops in the Siachen Glacier region.The line extends from the northernmost point of the LOC (Line of Control) to Indira Col.

#4. LAC – The Line of Actual Control (LAC) is the effective border between India and China. The LAC is 4,057-km long and traverses three areas of northern Indian states: western (Ladakh, Kashmir), middle (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh) and eastern (Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh)

With Nepal, we have open borders!


Questions from Prelims Daily

#1. Which reference to Agni-IV Missile, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. It is a surface-to-surface missile.
2. It is fueled by liquid propellant only.
3. It can deliver one-tonne nuclear warheads about 7500 km away.

#2. Which one of the following is the best description of ‘INS Astradharini’, that was in the news recently?

(a) Amphibious warfare ship

(b) Nuclear-powered submarine

(c) Torpedo launch and recovery vessel

(d) Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

#3. What is CA-MRSA ?

a) missile system developed by Israel.
b) computer worm designed to attack industrial programmable logic controllers.
c) bacteria resistant to certain antibiotics
d) California based exploration project of Mars.

#4. Which of the following is correct about India’s Missile Technology?

1. Astra is an Anti-Tank Missile.

2. Nag is an Air-to-Air Missile.

Select the correct option/options given below:

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both                     

d) None

#5. Which of the following is correct about Indian Navy?

1. INS Vikramaditya, India’s only Aircraft carrier was taken from United States.
2. INS Vikrant is a indigenous Aircraft Carrier of India.
3. INS Visakhapatnam is a destroyer ship of Indian Navy.

Select the correct option/options given below:
a) 1 and 2 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c) 2 and 3 only

d) All of the above

#6. Q.10. Which of the following is correct about INS Arihant?

1. INS Arihant is a nuclear powered submarine of India.
2. INS Arihant is fitted with India’s own K-15 ballistic missiles that can be launched from under water.
3. INS Arihant has bought India into league of top 3 countries that possess nuclear powered submarine.

Select the correct option/options given below:
a) 1 and 2 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c) 2 and 3 only

d) All of the above

#7. Which of the following is a centre for launching satellites?

a) Wheeler Island
b) Baikonur Cosmodrome
c) John F. Kennedy Space Centre
d) Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre

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