Government sources said that, “The Indian Army has killed around 20 Pakistani soldiers and injured several others since January 1 this year by cranking up its policy to conduct punitive fire assaults”.
Killing and losing men is not a sign of success of a strategy. Rather continuation of bleeding through attrition is in fact absence of a strategy. Strategic wisdom is to win wars without violence. The question that we need to ask ourselves is that are we winning the war in Kashmir by bleeding on both sides? If yes than we must continue with the strategy of attrition, but if it is a tit for tat than I think we are neither wining nor losing but delaying the process of conflict management and resolution.
There is no wisdom in fighting hybrid and irregular war with regular forces. Hybrid must be fought by hybrid resources and irregulars could be fought with hybrid resources. Soviet Union lost Afghan war because they fought irregulars with regulars and that resulted in one of the biggest military reversals in the 20th century. The number game of killing and losing could satisfy and give solace to the masses but focusing entirely on the strategy of attrition through conventional means is a big strategic void.
There is no moral taint to fight the war with same tool as the adversary has chosen to fight. Taking moral high ground to fight hybrid war with just means is indicative of lack of capabilities and will to employ the unconventional resources. Opposing unjustified violence with ethical and just means is a strategy of weak and India must look at responding with appropriate tools than to fight unjust war with ethical tools.
There is an old saying, “Soft land breed soft men” and thus “defensive mind-set will breed soft and meek strategies”. An aggressive strategy must be dealt with equally aggressive and innovative strategy. If Pak is challenging India within the heartland, and unleashing continuous terror attacks be it 26/11, Parliament attack, Pathankot Air base attack, Nagrota and now Jammu responding with fire assault is just not adequate. It is high time for India and policy makers to rethink the strategy to fight hybrid war with Pak and replace it with a strategy that imposes cost on Pak Army. The few capabilities that were created including Technical Support Division (TSD) were disbanded and left Army completely defanged. Whereas there is certainly a need for India to raise some special units to execute effective and punitive hybrid strategies. Indian Army must rethink to raise TSD again with proper checks and balance.