Cold Start Doctrine

Cold Start Doctrine:
Background:
  • A major escalation in Pakistan’s proxy war took place in the form of the 13 December 2001 attack on Indian Parliament. It was linked to Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists and led to widespread demands in India for punitive retaliatory strikes.
  • India mobilised its troops as part of the Operation Parakram in 2001-02 to initiate punitive action.
  • But, the Indian Army took almost three weeks to mobilise and take up its position on the frontier. The delay allowed Pakistan’s defensive formations to be deployed, raising the possibility of collateral damage.
  • The failure to launch a swift response worked as a catalyst for the Indian Army to search for a military doctrine that takes care of tactical gains without resorting to a full-scale nuclear war.
Cold Start Doctrine:
  • The new doctrine of Cold Start was adopted where Indian Army along with Air support will mobilize quickly within days and launch offensives with armored corps and tactical missiles.
  • It represents fast, punitive incursions into Pakistan territory in retaliation to any major provocation or terror attacks.
  • It is called Cold Start doctrine as it refers to the ability to launch offensive operations virtually from a “cold start” to deny Pakistan the advantage of early mobilisation
  • It also conceptualises a number of integrated forces launching limited offensive operations to capture a long swathe of territory almost all along the international boundary.
  • But all the moves in the operation will be limited to in scale so as prevent any escalation of full scale nuclear war.
Secrecy maintained around it:
  • The doctrine has been in talks for many years but the government and the armed forces have seldom owned it in public.
  • However, in an interview, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat publicly acknowledged the existence of such a doctrine when he took charge in the beginning of this year.
Section : Defence & Security

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