Monday, August 2, 2010

Fighting a ‘Limited War’ It is a Flawed Concept :Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd)

by Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd)

IT is not clear as to when the idea or the concept of a “limited war” was first evolved and articulated. Maybe it was the fallout from the procrastination, dithering and timidity in our response and an alibi for the missed opportunity of a suitable riposte to a major mischief by Pakistan at Kargil. Such response would have put an end to the slow-bleeding of India by Pakistan. Or was it the result of the fiasco of “Operation Parakaram” (mobilisation of Indian defence forces consequent to the attack on Indian Parliament) where we thought we could go in for a limited war and then backtracked on conjuring up the prospects of a larger conflagration? It takes a minimum of two contestants to make war. Therefore, both must subscribe to the idea of a limited war. It cannot work when one of the contestants does and the other does not fall for it.

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