You are here

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Theaterised Joint Logistics: A Caliberated Initiation

    Theaterised Joint Logistics: A Caliberated Initiation

    The most successful and efficient methodology being adopted by modern militaries is a logistics system based on theatre or theaterised logistics. In our case, there has hardly been any serious attempt to modify the logistics system which we inherited from the British. The monograph presents short term approach and a medium approach to bring in desired changes in our military logistics system after evaluating the need of the hour.


    Abhishek Tyagi asked: Why did India not opt for full fledged war with China in 1962 using navy and air force to support army operations?

    Reply: In the fiftieth year of the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Journal of Defence Studies (an IDSA Journal) has put together a Special Issue that analyses the causes of the conflict as well as lessons for the present. The entire Special Issue can be accessed at

    Also, refer to R. Sukumaran, “The 1962 India-China War and Kargil 1999: Restrictions on the Use of Air Power”, Strategic Analysis, 27 (3), July 2003, at

    Following comments appeared on the subject on the IDSA website:

    The Two Myths of 1962,
    By Ramesh Phadke, October 31, 2012

    Who started the fighting?
    By R. S. Kalha, October 17, 2012

    Who Started the Fighting---- The Sequel
    By R. S. Kalha, October 28, 2012

    What did China Gain at the End of the Fighting in November 1962?
    By R. S. Kalha, November 21, 2012

    Japan: Dynamics of Military Alliance in Disaster Management

    The March 2011 triple disaster in Japan obligated a response from the US, its long-time ally. The US disaster assistance to Japan went beyond the customary nature of the countries’ relationship, and was conspicuous for the scale of military involvement that was embedded in the US-Japan alliance. The success of the US asistance programme Operation Tomodachi is attributed to interoperability between the defence forces of the two allies.

    January 2012

    Geraldine asked : What does ‘strategic relationship’ between two nations mean? Does it mean only military ties or more than that?

    Ali Ahmed replies: A 'strategic relationship', as the term suggests, involves a shared understanding between the two or more states involved on the nature of threats in the environment and the place of their collective power in helping mitigate the threats. This does not amount to an ‘alliance’, meaning a deeper relationship in which the states are treaty bound to come to each other’s assistance in case of materialisation of a threat against any member state. In a strategic relationship, the states involved, that could number two or more, discuss the role of power through periodic bilateral (multilateral as the case may be) confabulations at a high, ministerial and bureaucratic-military official, level. The ambit of these talks can be quite broad, to include technology, strategic perspectives, state of and progress in the relationship, future directions of international affairs and the relations in particular, etc. It need not be restricted to the military sphere and could include civilian areas, such as nuclear technology, space, agriculture, etc.

    The relationship has material and physical dimensions in that there may exist a buyer-seller relationship between the states in terms of armaments and high technology, military training, exchange between subject matter experts, assistance to the position of the other in global forums to an extent, etc. The relationship is usually forged through a written document that brings out the demands on and expectations of all sides. Usually this may not have any hidden clauses, but there would be confidential exchanges and areas of such high end cooperation such as in the intelligence field and technology. The across the board relationship, its strength and depth make for a strategic relationship or partnership. Clearly, it amounts to more than military ties. There are mutual benefits in that the strategic or relative power (political, diplomatic and military) position of both stands to increase by maintaining the relationship. The relationship is not usually directed at any other adversary state or group of states, but the fact that it exists helps the participating states in respect of increasing their bargaining position in respect of that state.

    Vasudev asked: Is staffing relevant in present day war scenario?

    Ali Ahmed replies: Military staffs have been around as long as military leaders have. The function of military staff is to support the commander in planning and executing the mission of the force, interacting vertically and horizontally and monitoring the situation on behalf of the commander. Current day conflict would continue to require this function to be discharged and therefore military staffs are here to stay. However, the way they are configured currently and the manner in which they discharge their responsibilities is influenced by technology induced changes. The revolution in military affairs and the military technological revolutions, alongside developments outside of the military in communications and IT/IT enabled services, call for a reappraisal of discharge of the staff function. Netcentric warfare and innovative management practices necessitate change from traditional organisational structures, procedures and processes. This no doubt commands attention within the military. Middle piece officers are trained in the staff function at the Defence Services Staff College. This would be the node within the services to conceptualise the necessary steps to improve practices, along with the training and doctrine related agencies in respective services such as the Army's Army Training Command. For instance, a self-critical look can be taken for delayering, streamlining and pruning, particularly of top heavy headquarters. This is reportedly underway with the Transformation initiative being test bedded in terms of integrating logisitics. This being a significant area in the staff domain, the outcome bears watching.

    China’s 12th Five Year Plan and its Military

    China’s 12th Five Year Plan, approved by the National People’s Congress on March 14, has effectively tied up the PLA’s defence modernisation with overall national growth.

    March 25, 2011

    Forging India’s Hard Power in the New Century

    The changing security environment calls for re-fashioning the use of hard power, which may have to be managed differently in the future.

    January 24, 2011

    Venkat replies: Do India have any proposal regarding kashmir issue? Against Musharraf's proposals of 'demilitarization' and 'self-rule'

    Arpita Anant replies: Musharraf’s four-point formula which was articulated in 2006 suggested that there would be no change in boundaries while allowing for free movement of people across the LoC; a phased withdrawal of troops; self-governance or autonomy for the region; and a joint supervision mechanism involving India, Pakistan and Kashmir. While there were some indications that the two countries were close to an agreement on these proposals, no concrete agreement could be reached. In the meantime, in 2008 a democratically elected Government of Pakistan came to the helm of affairs. Shortly thereafter, talks between India and Pakistan stopped in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks in November 2008. An attempt to resume these talks was made in 2010 with the visit of the Home Minister P. Chidambaram to Pakistan, followed by the meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries in July 2010. However, on 30 June 2010 Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi clearly stated that Musharraf’s four-point formula was “his thinking” had not been endorsed by the Parliament or Cabinet. Since the formula was thus rejected by the democratic government in Pakistan, an Indian response to it is not necessary. Moreover, any proposal regarding the Kashmir issue is also unlikely to be articulated unless the ‘trust deficit’ between the two countries is bridged.

    Sanket Telang asked: Are there any Private military and security companies in India? If no, why?

    Ali Ahmed replies: There are companies in India offering military relevant services and others providing security. The latter are more visible and much in demand after 26/11. The former are fewer as they are catering to a narrower more specialised field. Nevertheless, they have figured in areas such as demining in Sri Lanka. Their profile is lower than similar companies in the US for instance, since India has the necessary military and paramilitary wherewihal in the state sector to provide the military related services, be it in terms of planning, management, logistics, consultation, maintenance, security etc. The profile of companies such as Xe Services etc is higher due to the outsourcing of many military relevant services to them by the US in the GWOT. This was done to reduce the visibility as a target of the US military and to reduce pressures and expenses on the US military. These companies hire an international staff. Indians also work for these companies. These companies undertake tasks such as logistics, maintaining bases, provisioning dining facilities and even protection of assets. They have come under controversy, especially where they have had to open fire. They blur the distinction between combatant and non-combatant and occupy questionable status in domestic law of the host country. Some dubious companies have been known to undertake politically sensitive missions earlier in the African continent. The case is India is considerably different and in prosecution of wars or internal security India would not depend on such companies. Also see - (p. 54)

    Military Doctrines: Next steps

    The Services have been doctrinally fecund over the past decade, with each Service bidding to pursue relatively distinct campaigns, which would amount to lack of synergy and the whole failing to rise higher than the sum of its parts.

    August 16, 2010