POLICY BRIEF

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Back to the Basics: Foot and Hoof Mobilty in the Mountains

P. K. Gautam is Research Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detail profile.
Col. Virander Kumar was Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • October 14, 2011

    India needs to be prepared for mountain warfare. Some excellent commentaries emphasize capacity building for better fire power including appropriate precision guided munitions, communications, heliborne operations, and intelligence. While these capacities must be built up, at the same time non-material factors are also equally important, foot mobility being one among them. This Brief argues that foot mobility is central to mountain warfare. It first uses historical evidence to show the advantageous use of this capacity by the victor. It then argues for preserving this ‘military biodiversity’ by including indigenous breeds of animals. It further co-relates the factor of ethos of physical fitness and endurance of the troops. In essence all troops must share the attributes of mountaineers. In conclusion, consolidated policy suggestions are offered.

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