Future conflicts will be more violent and unpredictable, says Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat. He said the battlefield will also be severely contested and seamlessly connected. The Army Chief said this while addressing the 20th anniversary of the Kargil Conflict.
“The military must be ready for a multi-spectrum war,” General Rawat said. “The rise of non-state actors and the rapid changes in technology is changing the nature of warfare. Cyber and space domain will increasingly play a bigger role as the battle field becomes more contested and at the same time will be seamlessly connected,” he explained.
The army chief said that Kargil war, despite odds that included operations conducted on arduous terrain and diplomatic necessities, the valiant forces and nation were proud in achieving a resounding victory. In regards to Pakistan, General Rawat said time and again, Pakistan’s army resorts to misadventure through flawed proxy wars and state-sponsored terror or intrusions. He said the Indian Army stands resolute to defend the Indian territory. “Let there be no doubt that any misadventure will be repelled with a punitive response,” General Rawat said.
The Pakistani Army intrusion in 1999 was detected in its early stages despite being spread over 160 km across Kargil. General V.P. Malik, the Chief of Army Staff during the Kargil War, said there was no intelligence failure. “For a long time, it was believed that the heights had been taken over by the Mujhahideen and therefore the approach adopted to was that of counter insurgency,” he said. “We lacked surveillance equipment and depended mainly on the foot patrols. Unlike Siachen, there wasn’t much awareness about the Kargil-Batalik sector. Winter clothing, special equipment weren’t even authorized for the Kargil-Batalik sector,” he added.
India and Pakistan had a military standoff in 1999 because of infiltration by the Kashmiri militants and Pakistani soldiers over the LoC. It was a high altitude warfare in the mountainous terrain.