Saturday, October 19, 2013

So, how does one win a war?

A war cannot be won by appeasement - indeed no war ever has been won by appeasement (Examples welcome). Nor has any war been won by pusillanimity. Or by timidness and fear. Is might the only way to win a war? Actually not. Even in the conflicts that I had brought out, a lot of wars are won by many other things than pure might. And this is where the beauty of the speak softly but carry a big stick approach works. Which means, building the might and the willingness to use it is very important. Whether or not one uses it always is not important. Like the proverbial big stick by the side. It helps.

There are many things that can be done much before it escalates into a war. A great example is the Cuban missile crisis. How about sanctions? How about stopping trade? Or Aid? Or power? Or fuel? Or jobs? All of these work at a country level. But as a nation you have to be willing to use them.

In the case of India and Pakistan, we have consistently refused to use any option with the result we have been slapped left, right and centre for 60 years. A couple of big whacks have been handed by us, but over the last 10-15 odd years, we have been at the receiving end. Why? Because we have been consistently neglecting our armed forces, progressively reducing our airforce, progressively decaying our naval force and not building enough indigenous capability. (Google it, you will find links for everything.) Sure, we have a huge economy, but with weight, we also need voice. We do not have a strong voice in the international arena because we are a vacillating nation - we vote for the wrong side (as against in Lanka) or abstain - and rarely make hard choices. We neglect our neighbours to the extent that they dont like us. Nepal is a case in point. Most nations in the world do not know where we stand on issues. All of this puts our nations image as a soft, defeatist, doddering old person.

And yes, our neighbour, after successfully culling its Christians, Hindus (and having kept a nominal number) is now after Ahmadiyas and Sunnis. And don't forget the Balochs and some others. And remains the global epicentre of terrorism. Is it because they are an oppressed nation? Doesnt look like it right? So, what gives?

And what if a country is being threatened by the likes of terrorists or Maoists? How does one handle them? The whole world today runs on economics. Money is paid to and from vested interests. No movement can ever run without funding. Who funds these terrorists? Where do they get money from? Who gives them arms and ammunition? And why? Through what channels? Do they get their funds from illegal channels or legal? If so how?

By indulging in a terrorist act, as a funder, as an ideologue, as a foot soldier, as a tourist guide - do I get hell to pay for it? If I do, then I might think twice before indulging in such an act. If I don't, then there is a good chance I will continue to do it. And here is where the encounter specialists and drones come in. In the case of the former, I know as a criminal that I could be gunned down for the wrong acts that I commit. If not me, someone close to me. Or my assets could get attached. Or I could be killed by a rival. In the case of the latter, a drone could follow me to almost any part and ultimately an missile will land up on my head one fine day.

Yes, encounter specialists and drones may end up causing collateral damage to innocents. But these mistakes happen. But remember, that each time a terrorist places a bomb in a crowded place - every single person who is killed is innocent. 

I have no respect for the human rights wallahs who appear every time a terrorist is caught. I never see them fight for those who lose their limbs and hard earned lives in a terror attack. And yes, I do not care for the human rights of any terrorists - I doubt if they care about it while placing a bomb under the seat of a crowded bus.Freedom from Fear - read and think about this hard hitting letter by KPS Gill written to then PM IK Gujral and see where you stand.

Think of the terrorist Masood Azhar who we released in return for the approximately 150 odd passengers has killed atleast 10 times that number in return. Yes, he returned our favour of non-violence and biryani with the Mumbai attacks which killed off about 183 non-believers into the other world. Would we not have been better off if this scum was eliminated?

Without money and ideology no terrorism movement can run. LTTE, Khalistan, Jihadis. Check. Otherwise, most women would be terrorists no? Most Kashmiri Pandits would be terrorists no? Actually, the league of oppressed is quite a long one - American Indians, Aborigines in Australia - how come all of them dont pick up a gun? So, ask again who funds them? Why? To what end? Who supplies them with weapons? How?

And if you choke them, can you win the war? But do you have the will?

But the first thing is to recognize that a war or a potential war like situation exists with something that threatens your way or life at all. Or would you rather say, we capitulate!

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