India and Pakistan: the changing nature of conflict

September 24, 2009

Early last year a group of Indian and Pakistan retired generals and strategic experts sat down for a war-gaming exercise in Washington. The question, predictably enough, was at what point during a conventional war, would the generals in Rawalpindi GDQ reach for the nuclear trigger.

In the event, the simulated war took on an unpredictable turn, which in some ways was more illuminating than the question of nuclear escalation, as columnist Ashok Malik writes in The Great Divide:India and Pakistan, a collection of essays by experts on both sides of the border.

The exercise begins with an Indian military strike on militant camps in Pakistani Kashmir, the most commonly envisaged scenario for the next India-Pakistan war.  But the Pakistan response defies conventional logic . They don’t order a military push into Indian Punjab and Rajasthan, they don’t even attack Bombay High, the most valuable Indian oil asset in the Arabian Sea, and well within striking distance of the Pakistani Air Force.

Instead PAF planes fly all way to Bangalore, deep in the Indian south, to attack the campus of Infosys, the much celebrated Indian IT company.

Strange choice of target ? By all military logic it would seem so. It’s not like all of India would be crippled if  Infosys were attacked, they don;’t run Indian IT infrastructure. Even the company itself might not suffer lasting damage. Its data would probably be stored in locations elsehwere too, and it wouldn’t take it long to rebuild the campus. Besides. the Pakistani planes would be almost certain to be shot down on their way back, if they managed to penetrate this far in on what seems like a suicide mission.

So why Bangalore, and Infosys? Malilk quotes a Pakistani participant as saying  they chose the target because it is an “iconic symbol” of India’s IT prowess and economic surge.  The idea was to strike at India’s economic growth and great power aspirations. A raid on the Infosys campus, visited by heads of states and corporate leaders, would underline the dangers of business in India and remind the world that for all its new-found success, it remained a nation of contradictions, and at heart, unstable.

Many people in the room were not convinced by the Pakistani choice.  It still seemed more like an academic exercise than anything rooted in military reality. But in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks later that year, and in the light of renewed warnings this week by Israeli intelligence of another Mumbai-like attack coming in the next few weeks, it is clear that India’s vulnerability appears to be in economic, rather than purely military, targets.

Indeed last year when tensions rose following the Mumbai attack and there was talk of an Indian military response, it was Pakistan’s former chief of intelligence Hamid Gul who warned of  Pakistan hitting back where it would hurt the most.  India’s so-called  Silicon Valley will go up in smoke, Gul is widely quoted to have told CNN, if the Indians sent troops  to the border.

{Photographs of the Mumbai skyline and Indian and Pakistani soldiers at Wagah]

Comments

That was a ‘brilliant’ idea from Pakistani milita(nt)ry. Alas!they don’t use their brilliance for something constructive for the benefit of Pakistan!

Posted by Aman | Report as abusive
 

Most likely it will be Chinese pilots (in PAF uniform) with Chinese planes (with Pakistan flag painted).

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive
 

Virtues of DUMB!If you lack IT knowledge or a good hotel, burn down other’s IT school or hotel.

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive
 

For one, who has nothing to lose, what can you take away from him? And the one wanting to climb the ladder is held hostage to his own aspirations.Does this not, in a way, reinforce the position taken by the current Indian administration that, for securing our own future, we need a politically stable and economically prosperous neighbourhood? And since we are in a tough neighbourhood, this will not come without sacrificing some ‘holy cows’. Like the joint statement at Sharm el Sheikh, which caused an uproar back in India.It will all boil down to what are we willing to sacrifice – and like everything else, there are a billion opinions on this one.

Posted by Paritosh | Report as abusive
 

Sanjeev, the world was once a simpler place, when you had the Cold war between the west and the Iron Curtain. Although the threat was very real to both sides, there was always a mutual understanding that neither side would ever want to use them and if they did, it would be mutually assured destruction.On the other hand, you have an entirely different situation between India and Pakistan. The nukes are smaller. India has two nuclear powers at its door, hellbent on destroying it, or “containing” India. You got Pakistan, wanting to get even for the last three wars and using the Nukes to boost its own EGO and you got China, wanting to decimate Indian progress, which it sees as as competition or potentially threatening the future of its business economically and it interests regionally.Pakistan fully limped along until 1998, being without nukes. During that whole time, India had nukes, it never once pre-emptively attacked Pakistan to take it over, or destablize it any manner, or challenge the integrity of Pakistan. On the other hand, that is all that Pakistan has been doing towards India, since its inception, trying for a way back in to India, to destabilize its integrity.Pakistan is jealous of India’s success, as is China, because India is a functioning democracy. It is using the threat of Nukes as a foundation to propagate National Unity through religious supremacy, hatred of Kaffirs, and wholesale support of Jihadi Proxy Armies, pent on inflicting damage on India.Approximately 50-60 Pakistani Terrorists cross the LOC every month.India has never aggressed or conquered the territory of other countries and inflicted genocide on others. Since being nuclear, India has been responsible with its nuclear technology and has not proliferated the technology.Although many creative Pakistani’s still believe elaborate conspiracy stories, that India is fueling separatists through out Pakistan and even the Taliban, not once, has any Pakistani state agency provided even one page of any proof, or any dossiers. On the other hand, India has provided mountains of electronic and physical evidence of Pakistan’s Terrorist outfit’s involvement in 26/11 and perhaps even with the help of Pak state agencies.Despite the recent public lashing of Pakistan by India and the U.S. and the rest of the world, Pakistan continues to upgrade its nuclear complex with IMF money and U.S. Military Aid, while still retaining its right to engage, fund, support, train and army Proxy Army Terrorists and so-called non-state actors to inflict carnage on un-armed Civilians of all nationalities (mumbai), even muslims were not spared.Mumbai was not just an attack on India, it was an attack on the world. It was an attempt by the nefarious factions withing the Pak establishment to get India to reciprocate with an aggressive response and hope that a war would ensue.India exercised inhuman discipline and restraint to the world’s surprise. If India ever retaliated, conventionally, the war may not last long with a losing Pakistan, as they may assemble their nuclear war heads and aim them at Indian cities. The damage from a full nuclear exchange would result in perhaps hundreds of millions dying on both sides, but Pakistan will be unrecoverable and India would be set back decades on many levels, but perhaps not IT. Many millions more would die globally from the fallout from starvation and hunger. The link below describes the fallout scenario.http://www.futurepundit.com/arc hives/004647.htmlThere is a misconception that India would suffer economically from such an attack on Bangalore, perhaps, initially, but it would not last longer than a couple of years.The reason is simple. India’s greatest and most precious resource is its brain power, which has been exported internationally for the last 40 years.Educated Indian IT Diaspora, among some of the best, brightest and talented are all over western countries, in USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Singapore and other high tech places and they are there in staggering numbers, living peacefully, respectfully as contributing, fully integrated and naturalized citizens in their host countries.For this reason alone, India has “backed-up” its own hard drive, the brain power and IT muscle, is global and sitting in many countries, especially Silicon Valley in the USA. Therefore, India has the ability to recover its IT strength, in short time.In case Bangalore suffers a Pakistani hit, Bangalore will re-generate much stronger and more quickly. The Indian spirit to brave on and move on, in the face of adversity has unmatched strength.The great gift that Pakistan will give the world in such a nuclear exchange is that one billion may die by lethal fallout and starvation, not to mention that the ozone will be greatly depleted and it will be a catastrophic environmental disaster.With regards to the notorious and nefarious Rt. Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul is a pro-war, anti-nonmuslim, anti-western, neo-con chicken hawk, bent on destroying India and in fact blames 911 and Mumbai on the victims themselves. In fact, on CNN with Fareed Zakaria, he stated that Israel, the U.S. planned 911 to declare a sort of war on the muslim world, despite the mountain of evidence against Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Atta Khan and associates. In fact, Gul, seems on many ocassions to be defending Osama bin Laden, despite the fact that OBL himself proudly sports that he was the inspiration for 911.Just recently as a six months ago, the U.S. tabled a list of its most wanted Terrorists, and Hamid Gul was to be placed on that list. Hamid Gul has been referred to by some U.S. intelligence analysts as the Grandfather and Architect of the Taliban and modern-day trainer of ex military men turned terrorists.Staunchly, anti-american and anti-western, he also claims to able to be willing to broker a deal with the U.S. and his protege, Taliban leader Mullah Omar.With no other moral human aspiration to his resume, other than constantly finding a way to destroying India, the men from the Pakistani establishment like Hamid Gul, are the epitome of Grand-Master Terrorist. With out a doubt, all trails and manners of support, training and mentorship of Pak soil terrorists operating today, leads to men like Hamid Gul, men like him who are in power positions right now.While Gul states that Pakistan would strike India would strike India where it would be hit the hardest, men like him are short sighted and will learn nothing from History. India will always recover, it will recover better and stronger and history has shown that each time that Pakistan has tried hitting at India, Pakistan has always lost and gotten weaker.India is a country of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and many other religions. One thing that all Indians have in common, that is a strength, is their ability to move on, look to the future, co-operate, live peacefully with each other and not perseverate the past, but always look the future with hope for improvements, in every way possible.If the unthinkable did ever happen and India’s silicon valley went up into smoke, Pakistan would suffer a reciprocal act, perhaps much worse, from which it will not recover, the way India would, because Bangalore is not just in Bangalore, is global and because of that the Indian brainpower, spirit, culture and resolve to recover and move on is ubiquitous and stronger than steel.It is in Pakistan’s own interests to reform as a society, educate their children outside of a political and religious mindset and compete with India, using its own brain power. As Indians, we welcome open, honest competition and jousting outside just cricket and military strength alone. We hope one day that Pakistan aspires to be a nation respected for its academic, moral and institution achievements outside of a religious and hateful anti-India and anti-western context.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

It’s nothing new!ISI sponsored militants have repeatedly attacked IISc, ISRO and other similar targets in Bangalore. And India has taken necessary precautions.Like all talibans don’t live in one tent or one city, all Indian businessmen or scientists don’t work in one building or one city!These cities are protected with BMD shields, not just planes!

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive
 

It’s a shame! Instead of having the goal of building an Infosys in their own country, the Pakistani establishment, apparently, nurses the ambition of destroying India’s Infosys. It’s like ‘If we’re going backwards, we won’t let you move forward either’. In any event, hypothetically speaking, if the Pakistani Air force did ever penetrate that deep into India & destroy Infosys, it can be rest assured that no commercial building/facility will be left standing in Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad either. So, although historically they’ve never done so, they better think about the consequences, before-hand.I really hope that the good folks of Pakistan i.e. Ahmed Rashid, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Nadeem Pracha etc. can knock some sense in the heads of the Pakistani establishment. I say that more for the sake of Pakistan than for India’s.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

India’s army outnumbers Pakistan by about three to one. This rises to about four to one, if you just consider modern technology.As India knows the importance of this target, it is likely to be heavily defended. Or even with back up systems located elsewhere. And even if this is not the case, it is not a target with military value (ie. not something that will lessen Indian military ability during a conflict)The reality is that Pakistan has never been able to, and will never have the ability to, win a war with India.The best they can hope for is three days of getting whupped, followed by mutual threats to use nukes and an eventual ceasefire. This has happened several times already, even in those wars that Pakistan itself decided to start.Kind of like a drunk who swings a punch, gets knocked down, and spends the rest of the fight rolled up in a ball trying to avoid injury.

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive
 

Does any one here seriously think terroristan army will strike all the way into Bangalore and India will be sucking its thumb?Does any one here take seriously the delusional rambling of the maniac Gul?The idea behind Mumbai 2008 is understandable, to inflict damage to Indian economy, but the diplomatic negative blow back to terroristan was huge.Threat of cancelling Indus water treaty and other proactive strategies by India are needed to contain the madness of terroristanis.

 

Mortal, you said:”In any event, hypothetically speaking, if the Pakistani Air force did ever penetrate that deep into India & destroy Infosys, it can be rest assured that no commercial building/facility will be left standing in Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad either. So, although historically they’ve never done so, they better think about the consequences, before-hand.”–>You are spot on. The mentality next door is, if we can’t do it, we will make sure that you cannot make it either.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Sanjeev,Check again, Infosys has offices in 30 countries. Infosys has many heads and centers, it would continue to function.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

This reminds me about a joke I heard years back. Sadly, after Mumbai, the joke seems true:One rich person was living in a beautiful glass house on top of a mountain. One poor Indian and one poor Pakistani family were living at the base of the mountain with a teenage boy in each family. One day, a school teacher showed the glass house to both boys and asked what would they like to do when they grow up:Indian boy replies: When I grow up, I’ll work hard to buy that house or build a similar house.Pakistani boy replies: When I grow up, I’ll kill that house owner and burn down his house.

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive
 

Sanjeev:” Besides. the Pakistani planes would be almost certain to be shot down on their way back, if they managed to penetrate this far in on what seems like a suicide mission.”-My dad having served in Pakistan Air Force as armament expert of explosives, bombs, rockets and missiles for 25 years and a veteran of 1971 war I can tell you one thing, a Pakistan Air Force pilot is a true fighter who will engage interceptors, destroy its target no matter what comes in the way and whatever happens even if the guns jam or there is an engine failure will disengage and return to base, be dead sure a Pakistani air force pilot is a most committed opponent.Secondly, myself working in a back office of a US based IT reseller located in Islamabad i myself have experience in working with tens of software and hardware manufacturers based in US and Canada, Mc Afee, Symantec, Microsoft, IBM, HP Intel, Cisco, Dell, Brother Targus NEC Display, RIM, Samsung etc. Pakistan is also very good option for IT outsourcing and can even compete with India. Many local Pakistani companies are becoming Cisco gold partners, starting blackberry support projects, developing innovative softwares for retail and other indusries. There are ample IT expertise in Pakistan too.In my view any future India-Pakistan conflict will be very much unpredictable, the pattern could be very unexpected. Starting from large-scale military escalation, turning into lightning quick air strikes against each other civilian and military installations, cuban missile crisis type situation where quick series of missile tests are conducted and nuclear warheads are deployed, it will be a battle of nerves where media could also play vital role.Just as India thinks its so called economic progress is an eye sore for Pakistan, Pakistan too thinks its efficient Air Force, ballistics and the real crown jewels the rapidly expanding nculear war heads are an eye sore for India.I cant see the Indin Air Force match the capability of Pakistan Air Force in precision bombing. I am confident Pakistan Air Force can carry out a precision bombing mission on Infosys HQ in Bangalore escorted by interceptors armed with Surface to Surface missiles. Lets hope it doesnt get down to that, if at all, Pakistan Air Force will stand up to any challenge.As with Gen(r) Hamid Gul, well he is a retired general, what matters is what Lt. Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha thinks of running ISI. Pakistan armed forces are not rag tag militias, these are professional armed services with operation, strategic and tactical plans and doctrine to follow. Pakistan Army doctrine is ‘limited offensive defense’ which means to stay on an aggressive posture and carry out pre-emptive strike using initiative and make early gains in a conflict to avoid pressure at later stage.Damn i am proud of Pakistan Air Force! But India needs to remain calm, we will not start a war but if a war is thrust upon us we will make sure we finish it.Also worth mentioning is Pakistan Army doctrine of ‘offensive defense” and Indian Army doctrine of “Cold start” with 6 to 8 integrated battle groups “IBG” which are mechanized Army units supported by robust air cover from Indian Air Force. IN this case an Indian effort would be to penetrate the plains of Sindh and Punjab, While Pakistan will use intelligence to preempt this, gaining momentum in a military offensive to cripple Indian advance and make the skies dangerous for IAF. A head on collission on intl. border between the doctrine of offensive and cold start battle groups is a reciepie of sure disaster what would result is a nuclear holocaust. Getting real, its no fun.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Many of you seem to have missed the point. It’s a war game. Obviously, the Paks took a different approach. That they chose to attack Bangalore as a symbolic target in a war game should not lead to cries about how they lack an IT industry (they don’t) and therefore need to wipe out the Indian IT sector.In war, targets are sometimes chosen less for the military worth than for the psychological or economic effects they generate. Anybody who thinks that any attack (by Pakistan or a terrorist group) on India’s IT sector would not have an economic impact or could be recovered from in short order has some rather myopic thinking. If you were a Western investor would you invest in India after an attack like that?But to walk it back a little, we should note that any India-Pakistan conflict would probably be worse for Pakistan than it would for India. It’s economy would collapse much faster than India. And it’s armed forces simply would not be able to sustain any serious operation beyond 2-3 weeks at best without then resorting to nuclear force.However, if all India does is activate Cold Start and take a few nibbles out of Pakistan, then they simply would not have the excuse to use nuclear weapons. Moreover, I am inclined to believe that the Pakistanis aren’t suicidal. It’s unlikely the Pakistanis are willing to trade Lahore for Bangalore. Or Karachi for Bombay.I would also argue that Pakistan very cohesion would be threatened by any conflict with India. Sure their citizens will unite during the conflict. But shortly after the conflict, a state facing economic and physical devastation being propped up by a spent military force would have a real tough time maintaining the cohesion of the state.Lastly, for the Paks this seems to be a bizarre military response. There isn’t an analyst in the world who would tell you with a straight face that the Paks have a chance at penetrating that far. The Paks aren’t the Israelis. And the Indians aren’t the Arabs. And Bangalore is not Osirak. Given how far ahead the Indian Air Force is when it comes to its fighters and its force multipliers (tankers, early warning birds, etc.), and how quickly it’s closing the skills gap (by exercising and training with Western aircrews) it seems highly unlikely that the PAF will make it through to Bangalore. And in the event that they do, it’s even less likely that they would make it back. In essence, the Paks would be giving up their best fighters and their best pilots for little to no military gain in the hopes that such a symbolic attack would cause serious economic damage and break the morale of the Indian populace. The first consequence is a serious risk. The second is seriously doubtful. The consequences for Pakistan of giving up it’s best air assets, however, would be devastating. Essentially, they would have conceded the air war to the Indians at that point. And were the conflict to persist, the loss of air superiority would eventually lead to the defeat of all Pakistani forces. The damage to Pakistan’s international reputation and their ability to marshal diplomatic support would also be devastating. And if any foreign nationals (particularly from weapons supplier nations like the US, UK, France, Canada, etc.) were killed, that would be end of their supply of spares, only hastening their defeat.All things considered it would seem to be a high risk gamble and a poor choice both tactically and strategically. I am surprised that the Paks didn’t pick the best option they have. Get one of their “non-state actors” to carry out the attack. That’s far more effective and far more threatening to foreign investors.Last note. There’s an easy way for India to break itself out of this box: Drop the no-first use nuclear doctrine. Call Pakistan and China on their threats and bluffs. Declare economic security vital to the national interest and state that any attack on a strategic economic sector (like the IT industry) or any loss of territory (Kashmir or AP) would result in nuclear retaliation. Would the Pakistani re-consider an air attack on Bangalore if they knew what would come back in return? I think they would.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Umair:You always make laugh. I wonder how will be this blog without you.How did Baitullah Mehsud manage to Capture and take hostage 200 Pakistan army soldiers and officers?Why can’t the army enter FATA or Wazaristan?

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive
 

If this is what the ex-generals from Pakistan, Indians can breath easy. No damn PAF plane is going to reach the Infosys campus; let alone think of returning back. Instead, Pakistan should stick to Pakistan’s real strategy of attack; using the human fodder such as Kasab to cause harm to Indians.

Posted by Nik | Report as abusive
 

Using what planes?F-16s: US forgot to give sparesJ-10s: Chinese don’t have airworthy certificates for these untested stolen hack job dummies

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive
 

Sanjeev,This is quite a possible scenario, it took 72 hours for India to mobilise its forces to counter terrorists causing mayhem and killing innocent people on the streets of Mumbai, it is quite possible that Pakistani Army not the airforce , will walk into Bangalore to strike at the heart of Indian sillicon valley , and Indian Army might be groping in the darkness.After all this is the land of Nehru and Gandhi, we do not believe in violence , we will settle this matter peacefully while Pakistan Army would be cooling its heels in Arabian Sea in Mangalore .

Posted by Manish | Report as abusive
 

History has shown time and time again. When Pakistan army tries to take on India, it fails.What is the difference between now and all the other wars it fought with India? Only that Pakistan is poorer and more unstable.India has a larger army. More modern equipment. More money and men. More powerful navy and airforce. Their forces are on the border, and can be ready in hours.But people think Pakistan can somehow make precision strike without fear? With what equipment? Why do they think this? It is like saying Iran can invade America.War with India would be the following:-Pakistan strikes India without declaring war.-India starts bombing Pakistan to pieces.-Pakistan hides it’s army and planes to lower losses.-When Pakistan starts to lose territory, it threatens to use nuclear weapons.-Ceasefire. Pakistan claims victory and looks foolish.You think this won’t happen? It has happened many times before. Whenever Pakistan fights, it is humiliated.

Posted by Hahaha | Report as abusive
 

Calm down everyone. This is only someone’s war mongering. No need to get paranoid over it.

Posted by Hamid Khawaja | Report as abusive
 

I am not an optimist but a passimist too. How ever the following need to be taken in to account.The Indian Politician is incapable of giving a political and military objective to the Indian Army as was visible in 1965 and 1999. Thus for the most part, Indian Army and Air Force will remain defensive in their actions except at few places where they gain ground which in the peresent secenerio is not feasible. Consider this, the Babu,s have relgated the army men to the lowest so that no men in the officer ranks wanted to join army. The case was different in 1971 abd 1965 when scores of young men joined the emmergecy commission only to be sacrificed like Goats in the battle and later on descarded by army due to bad poilicies on retaining the officers, which were thrown out by the EX NDA nexus. The Officer to men casuelties in the anti terrorist operation is 1:3 or 4 which means the young officer leads from front still. The ratio of officer’s casuelty Vs the men was 1;7 in 1965 which meant the officer lead from front. It was still true in both 1999 and 1971. It still is true with one officer dying with 3/4 casuelties in men when fighting with the terrorists.But the army, short of 1400 officers shor with lesser volunteers joining the officer ranks for various reasons, mainly because of pay and perks which are available in the alternate jobs now. The army has thus have no junior leadership as it had in other conflicts. The units are operating with less then 50% strength of officers in Armoured Corps Artillery and Infantry the Main Arms.The army solder is still saddled with the old II world war heavy web equipment. The Infantry in High Altitude is woefully short of snow equipment. The platoon organisation has no anti tank weapons like the Taliban carry. They are organised and are oriented towards WWI battle drills which is not being realised by the General. We do not have STINGER LKE ANTI AIR CRAFT MISSILE AT THE COMPANY/PLATOON LEVEL ON MOUNTAIN PEAKS OR SAND DUNES. NOR DO WE HAVE EFFECTIVE ANTI TANK WEAPONS AT THE COMPANY OR PLATOON LEVEL. A pltoon can not assault a Pakistani pill box/fortified bunker with rifles as the Indian army generals have not seen or imagined the Pakistani pill box with three machine guns capable of holding on a company in war. The army works on old vintage II War oragisation and battle. The mountaqin divisions are incapble of taking on an offensive at high altitudes as we have no acclmatized reserve divisions like the Pak or Chinese army has.The heavy and meddium artillery regiments are short of guns to the tune of 40% guns. After Bofors in 70′s there has been no acqiasition of mediam and heavy artilery pices. We may be producing missiles but it is these guns which matter in a divisional assalut. The anti aircraft artillery guns are of vintage types L-60 and L-70. We do not have missile like Stinger with the Infantry at the mountain peaks or in the dunes of desert. The Army organisation is still II world war oriented with infantry woefully inadequete in effective anti armour assault equipment. The down to earth battle drills are not Pill Box oreinted but as a sniper firing from a tree oriented. A platoon can not assault a pil box with rifles an idea which an average Indian Army general can not imagine as he has not been through 1965 and 1971 Pakistani Pill Boxes each with three machine guns and incapable of being destroyed by a direct hit of the field gun ammo.The Air Force is short of around more then 2000 pilots. Which means we may have planes but no pilots. Even after canibalization the Air Force squadrons will have just 2/3 of the fighter and bomber planes. The missiles India has are vitage type including the SAM2 and 3 (flying poles as the americans call them). The flying coffin Mig 21 is still the mainsay of the Air Force as there have been no purchases.We do not have a second strike capability as we neither have mobile missile units capable of launching nuclear missile not any tactical nuclear weapon system and the nnuclear tipped ammo not to talk of under ground missle cilos capable of withstanding strikes by deep penetration Pak Air Force. The political leadership has no underground bomb proof fecility to operate Crisis Managemennt Group consisting of the PM, DefM,CGS etc.The Navy does not have battle presence and can not dominate Indian Ocen or even the Bay of Bengal as we neither have Air Craft Carriers nor nuclear submarines. On the top of it we have NP FIRDT STRIKE POLICY.If in the event of a war with Pakistan if Chinese ties up our reserve divisions by obtaining offensive postur during future Indo Pak Wat which they are likely to, we will not have offensive capability in the West.With all this backdrop cosider the following. With surprise (if at all) with us if Indian Army drives two wedges towards Lahore and Sialkot, with missile attacks on Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Karachi and nuclear fecilities in Pakistan Pakistan will be doomed.

 

Manish you are right, India really need to cut down the beaurocratic hurdles and red tape in the defence ministry and modernise Indian armed forces. Also corruption needs to cut down, two events are noteworthy. During 2001-02 India Pakistan border standoff, it took a while for Indian army to mobilize and assemble at the border, this shows that in case of a build up Indian army was slow to respond. Secondly, during recent Mumbai attacks NSG commandoes were stranded at Delhi airport because they did not have their own plane to fly to Mumbai which was under siege.Pakistan Army on the other hand has a much quick response time to mobilize and take up forward positions. Similarly Pakistan Air Force whenever tested has proved its state of preparedness.Lastly, I understand your frustrations, but given Pakistan’s nuclear and military capabilities India cannot afford all out confrontation due to a threat of retaliation. India sure is showing patience and maturity and is avoiding conflict, the lesson is hard specially after 1971 when you thought Pakistan will finish and crumble. Boy you have been proven wrong time and again.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

I look forward to full fledged war with Pakistanis.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

“India’s vulnerability appears to be in economic, rather than purely military, targets.” SanjeevI am not aware of any country where economic targets are not more vulnerable than military ones. It is also a given that economic targets are legitimate targets in any conflict.What exactly is this discussion about?

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive
 

Umair says:”India sure is showing patience and maturity and is avoiding conflict, the lesson is hard specially after 1971 when you thought Pakistan will finish and crumble. Boy you have been proven wrong time and again.”We certainly hope to provide you more oppertunities like the one in 1971 so you can tell us how wrong we were.

Posted by indian1127 | Report as abusive
 

It will be difficult for Pakistani air force to penetrate the Indian skies and fly that far to Bangalore. They might launch simultaneous attacks on many economic centers – Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Faridabad etc which are within the same radius from their air force bases. They might have two layers of air force divisions. One that launches the attack and the other kept further behind in Balochistan for second line defense. Knowing that they will be launching the attacks, they will also make counter offensive plans for the immediate Indian retaliation. They might be prepared to take the loss in their metros. The attacking party always makes the plans ahead. India will be on a defensive mode initially for having been caught off guard. Pakistani attack will follow Zhou En Lai tactics mostly – draw India into a peace deal and while it is being fooled, launch a massive attack. Musharraf tried it in Kargil with the same strategy. But American intervention spoiled his plans. So this time, Pakistan might plan not to pay heed to American pressure and go on an all out suicidal mission. This might come if they see the Americans tilting too much towards India.Pakistan will also first prepare Jihadi machinery first and launch them inside the Indian territory during some important event – IPL or festival times. And Indian Islamic militant outfits will be engaged to start the battle behind the enemy lines first. They will make India seethe in anger and using that as a reason they will launch such an attack as a pre-emptive measure. They might quote Israel’s strategy of pre-emptive strikes to contain Arab plans of invasions.And Pakistan might try to get China involved. A joint Pak-Chinese attack might rattle India and cause tremendous confusion. The Chinese attack might be limited, but it can unnerve India quite a bit. If India does not have plans to counter these measures immediately and is not prepared, it might suffer tremendous losses initially. It will fight back and recover. That is when the second stage of the attacks will start. Pakistan probably has done enough homework on its earlier missions that ended in failure and might try to be more pro-active this time.Also this kind of attack can be expected when it becomes a make or break situation for Pakistan – for example, the US might reach a point of serving an ultimatum to Pakistan to spill the truth or any attempts to denuclearize it.Pakistan has survived all these years because of its anti-Indian stance. Their identity dissolves if India is taken out of the picture. They need India to beat on and blame and can stay united on the psychosis. Look at how the current Pakistani cricket team is preparing for the Champions trophy. The goal is not even on the championship. It is about scoring a win against the Indian cricket team, even if they have to lose all their other games. The country will forgive them for not doing well in the tournament. But do not ever lose to India. Heads will role if that happens. The same mental attitude pervades across most of Pakistan in all other matters. Get even with India. If India is taken out of the picture, the vacuum can shock them tremendously.If Pakistan attacks India, it will do so, knowing well that it could be suicidal. There might be no turning back from that point onwards.

 

@Pak Blogger, AvinashThere have been recent Air force exercises between the U.S. and Indian Airforce. AIF pilots dominated and beat U.S. fighter pilots in simulated exercises, much to U.S.’s dismay and would with better, more maneuverable figher jets than PAF, would overtake PAF in airforce skirmishes or war.With regards to upgrading its military complex. India has been quietly upgrading its complex at a large rate for the last 5 years. Most of what you are saying Avinash does not apply any more, it is relevant to the 80′s, if you were observing Indian Army from that time period. Indian Army also is now upgrading with Mig 30 and future Migs very soon, that rival F-22 fighter. Logistics, communication and response times must be improved by Indian Army.Since India is a peaceful country and does not spend 50% of its GDP on Military, India is not a military dominated state, like Pakistan. Yes is like a diesel engine, it may take a few moments to start, but once it does, there is much inertia and force behind it, which cannot be matched by Pak.Besides, Pak Army would run out of fuel after one week and start threatening nukes at India and both sides would call off the war and the world would call it a stalemate, or victory for India, but Pakistan will always tell their people and lie to them and say that “they beat India and India did not want to fight”. Lies must be told by Pak Army to their people to artificially keep moral high.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

“-My dad having served in Pakistan Air Force as armament expert of explosives, bombs, rockets and missiles for 25 years and a veteran of 1971 war I can tell you one thing, a Pakistan Air Force pilot is a true fighter who will engage interceptors, destroy its target no matter what comes in the way and whatever happens even if the guns jam or there is an engine failure will disengage and return to base, be dead sure a Pakistani air force pilot is a most committed opponent.”–>You had best stick to remaining a tier 4 seller of PC’s and software to your country, military nor IT is your field of expertise. India is still Tier 1 developer – Sun Microsystems, and many of IT programmers and software writers from India work in all major U.S. IT companies you listed.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Umair,Wow. Talk about drinking your own Kool Aid buddy.I’ll skip over most of your jinogistic jibberish and address the one point about capability directly below.As for suggestions about mobilization, are you so forgetful? These things have been explained several sometimes. And common sense should cover the rest. The response to a terror attack is obviously not going to be the same as the response to a conventional military strike during a period of heightened military tensions. And even there the Indians are learning….they’re redeploying their commandos and they’ve come up with Cold Start to speed the mobilization of their army. However, none of that is relevant to the scenario at hand. The IAF has proven itself capable of taking on the PAF several times. And it’s readiness has always been orders of magnitude higher than the other Indian services. There has been no conflict where the PAF achieved air supremacy or even superiority over its own airspace let alone talk of dominating the enemy’s airspace. Given that track record what makes you think they would be able to reach Bangalore?All,The PAF does not have the capability to do this. That’s the one thing that struck me. You would think that the ex-Generals would know that. On a hi-lo-hi profile, their F-16s have a combat radius of about 550 km. They only have the range to get about a third of the way there. And that assumes that they don’t have to manoeuver or engage Indian figthers, the likelihood of which decreases the further into Indian airspace they get. That leaves only one option: no return. Attack Bangalore and land in Sri Lanka or eject over India somewhere or Kamikaze. Whatever. The point is they won’t be going home. This would change if they had tanker support. Since they don’t, however, there is about zero possibility of return. Given that they would need a strike package of at least 20 or more F-16s, that would mean they would be giving up 20 or more of their best aircraft (and nuclear payload delivery system) and pilots. That’s a rather high cost for a symbolic mission.As for their so called precision bombing skills. Their targeting pods are a generation behind and the PAF’s strike skills set has been aptly proven to be of a low quality in the FATA/NWFP. If they can’t dynamically target a bunch of taliban running around with AKs what makes them think they could get past the Indian Air Force?

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

india’s planes are outdated and have experienced up to 500 crashes a year due to engine failiour. Infact india’s mig planes have been nicknamed “the flying coffin.”indian missiles have also failed (search on youtube) and their media admits that too.indians love believing that Pakistan survives on Chinese aid. Their are flaws in this myth. Pakistan first fought india in 1947 much before China and Pakistan became allies.india on the other hand was allied to the USSR and had more British equipment yet it still could not defeat Pakistan.india’s main advantage over Pakistan is greater numbers but quality wise the PAF has much better planes, Pakistani missiles have hardly seen much failiour.india’s best win over Pakistan was in 1971 but that was entirely because Pakistan was at civil war, has it not been for that the scenario would have turned out differently.

 

@Umair: “I can tell you one thing, a Pakistan Air Force pilot is a true fighter who will engage interceptors, destroy its target no matter what comes in the way and whatever happens even if the guns jam or there is an engine failure will disengage and return to base, be dead sure a Pakistani air force pilot is a most committed opponent”Although your nationalistic fervor is, to a degree understandable, it also seems to be highly misplaced & irrational. It seems that you’ve seen the movie ‘Top Gun’ one too many times because what you describe above seems like a scene from that movie. I know that you’re taught to believe it that way but do you really think that all Pakistani soldiers, pilots & marines are ‘Superman’ or ‘Heman’ that they can beat any odds or opponent?In any fight on any level, the #1 rule is ‘Don’t underestimate your opponent’. I feel that one of Pakistan’s biggest tragedies has been that it has always ignored that rule, while overestimating it’s own capabilities and we all the results of this fallacy. Even if one were to buy into the ridiculous notion that somehow the Pakistani soldier/pilot/marine is smarter, stronger, more skillful & more committed than his Indian counterpart, it could only translate into delaying an inevitable loss for Pakistan. The reality is that it is impossible for Pakistan to win a conventional war with India & the economic & social fallout after the war would be devastating for Pakistan.@ “Pakistan is also very good option for IT outsourcing and can even compete with India”Most Indians would welcome the day when Pakistan competes with India on IT, pharmaceuticals, automobiles & other industries instead of weapons spending because if that day comes, it would mean that Pakistan has become a progressive society. Pakistanis can become fully capable of competing with India on all economic fronts & Pakistanis are as talented as Indians because at the end of the day, we are pretty much the same people. The only problem is that due to extremism & lack of literacy, the Pakistani talent has been mis-directed towards radicalism & other non-constructive endeavors. I hope that changes in the future.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

KeithF-16s serve as PAF topline fighters and I am sure you have knowledge about the midlife upgrades by PAF. This will provide the PAF with day/night all-weather precision guided bombing capability. The PAF might be a small force but high motivation, better training and mantenance are its strength.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Avinash, which world are you in? USAF beat up IAF in Arizona & Kolikanda (India). IAF top brass praised there pilots first, but when US came to know about it, these same officers went on there knees and apologized to the public for mis reporting.IAF may get new MICRA soon, but it’s pilots are no good compared to PAF. They have a better breed.

Posted by H B Patel | Report as abusive
 

@Umair“-My dad having served in Pakistan Air Force as armament expert of explosives, bombs, rockets and missiles for 25 years and a veteran of 1971 war”With due respect to your father, can you please ask him how far did he(or any PAF pilots) manage to get inside Indian territory during 1971 war?

Posted by Maverik | Report as abusive
 

While Pakistan has better planes, courtesy of America, the truth of the matter is that the PAF simply could not beat the IAF. The IAF has too many planes and people seem to underestimate their capabilities just like in the war in the 1970s. India at that time surprised America by beating down the PAF’s planes which stunned the Americans who believed their planes were unstoppable. India is superior to Pakistan in almost all conventional terms. The war just after Independence was not very severe because Nehru did not want to engage into a war that would cost so many lives so soon after Independence. He decided not to take out Pakistan which is why they still hold part of Kashmir, India forces quickly took most of Kashmir but Nehru did not want to fight Pakistan over it. In the 1971 war, India’s main goal was to liberate Bangladesh, they specifically did not want to launch a serious offensive against Pakistan as that would simply lead to India having to conquer Pakistan, which would have ended up causing more problems. Lets be serious India’s military is simply far more powerful than Pakistan’s. Without direct Chinese military attacks against India, they could not hope to win a war against India. That is why they want to target India’s economy. If they can not succeed why should be let India do so.

Posted by sanjay | Report as abusive
 

Fasal: 500 crashes a year is BS. If you are going to post garbage like that at least give us a link to laugh at. The MiG 21s have a high crash rate to be sure. However, they aren’t interceptors. The MiG 29s and Su 30 are there for that. And no Pak F-16 can match up against those regardless of how good the pilot is.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Umair: The F-16 mid life upgrade is useless against a Su-30. You can teach an old dog new tricks but at the end of the day it’s still an old dog. In this scenario we aren’t talking about defending Pakistan, we are talking about attacking India. The mid-life upgrade does not add range and the targetting pods will now be one generation behind India instead of two. If you don’t have the gas to reach your target and your video is to grainy to see the target what’s your likelihood of success? Indian Su-30s and MiG-29s on the other hand will have the technological edge, home court advantage and fore multipliers like AWACs and tankers. The PAF simply cannot compete with that. The PAF might have a shot in protecting Pakistani airspace(and that’s a big maybe) but there’s very little possibilty that they could successfully challenge the Indians on home turf. And a target a thousand miles into enemy territory. That’s laughable.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

In 65 war air supremacy was attained within 3 days over Pakistan terretory as all Indian air raids stoped. All effort was diverted to ground support.In 71 war there was similar repitition on the western border. On the Eastern border, an Israel(1967)type continous raids were carried out on Dhaka from 10 indian bases despite such heavy raids PAF continued to fight and defend itself until the runway became unusable. Had there been a secondary runway, PAF would have continued. PAF had to destroy 18 aircraft on ground before flying to Burma in helicopters.On the western front flying effort was reserved for the final puch which never came

 

Pakistan has better aircraft, eh?Pakistan multirole:F-16 43India multirole:Su-30 102 (200 by 2015)Mig-29 50Pakistan Bombers:A couple hundred chengdu and Mirages, none of which are useful in modern combat.India Bombers:Jaguar 100Mig-27 100Trust me. The F-16 alone is about comparable to a Mig-29 or Su-30. There is no way the Pakistan Airforce can even hold a candle to India. In numbers and firepower, it is hopelessly outmatched. Even accounting for the fact that not all Indian aircraft is combat ready.I mean honestly, would you rather have 40 F-16, or 100 Su-30? Check out the aircraft specs and you have your answer.This is why in all wars with India, the Pakistani Airforce keeps it’s aircraft on the ground after the first day, while Indians get air superiority. Because Pakistan knows it will just lose their airforce.

Posted by Holy Cow | Report as abusive
 

Umair,We are a secular nation, and we have so many vote banks, and before any action against terrorists, our politicians have to consider factors whether any particular action hurts their vote banks ? The plane was not provided due to non availability but due to vote bank considerations .

Posted by Manish | Report as abusive
 

The only achivements of an attack on Bangalore by PAF will be -1) cancelling any possibility of peace with Pakistan2) improvement in B’lore infrastructure in the wake of reconstruction.Rest all belongs only in the fanciful imagination of Pak strategist (insult to the word strategist because it is used for the likes of the eternally paranoid Zaid Hamid)

Posted by Bangalorewala | Report as abusive
 

Guys, let’s all agree finally that Pak Army/PAF to Indian Army counterparts, is like comparing a head-on collision between a supertanker to yacht. Outdated, 1978 PAF F-16 junk is no match for the superior Indian avionics and aerial maneuverability and sheer overwhelming size of numbers by Indian Military, in every category.Sure the Paks will be brave, blah blah blah bravado.At the end of the day, Pakistan will lose all of its military assets and very quickly in a war with India and it won’t be that late before they start assembling nukes to drop over Indian cities.Pakistan’s only claim to glory is that it will annihilate millions of innocent civilians, having lost a conventional war.At the end of the day, we are dealing with a mischievous, lying, double dealing, rogue state, that uses terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy and at the same time will threaten to vapourize hundreds of millions of innocent human beings, muslim or not.Short of war or nukes on India, Pakistan is using terrorism on India as its last option, short of war. India will weather on and keep shooting for the stars.Pakistan is a rogue terrorist nation and the vise is slowly tightening, despite what Obama claims at the UN to be a friend of Pakistan, while Zardari begs for more free money at UN speech two days ago, with hollow promises.If the Af_Pak missions fails, or there is another terrorist attack, rest assured there will be a plane drawn up to denuke Pakistan, using any means possible.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

One key question in all this is whether the nature of conflict in all this has changed for both countries. The idea that a civilian installation like Infosys is targeted is in itself new and rather ominous. Are we to expect that a future India-Pakistan conflict will not be confined to two armies slugging it out near the border, (one writer once linkened the three wars to more like a communcal outbreak between groups of soldiers) ? Instead will it be fought in our cities

Posted by Sanjeev Miglani | Report as abusive
 

Its very funny to see how much Pakistanis are Deluded about their Air power.India has more and better equipment, While Pakistanis claim that their pilots are more committed.How can a committed Pilot stop a R-77 shot from 80 Kms and running in at speed of 4 Mach. Old Sidewinders which PAF have are no match for it.Comparing Inventory in Numbers and Technology, PAF can NEVER maintain air supermacy over India.Moreover no one is selling/giving free weapons to them, Even their trusted friend Americans have not delivered all F-16 they ordered despite of Paying in full out of aid money. Chinese gave them JF-17 planes which have not seen any combat. Chinese themselves do not trust these planes and they are still under evaluation.In actual war PAF will keep their planes on the ground to save losses and later on they will tell lie to their country about they waited somewhere else while Indian bombed somewhere else or It was American pressure.

Posted by singh | Report as abusive
 

Junk weapons in Indian defence fleethttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygmP IpIB27oin the words of Indian media, exposing the myth of Indian military might.”IAF armoury is full od ‘duds’, missiles that don’t work and bombs that dont explode”.USAF officer blows the lid off what they really think of Indian Air ForceIndian Anger Grows Over “Offensive” USAF Commentshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j Nie0HzPmaY&feature=relatedLets see how superior are the SU-30 Flankers.Just as after 11 May 1998 Indian nuclear tests, questions were raised if Pakistan does really have the nuclear capability. Similarly now the skills and capabilities of Pakistan Air Force are under question. Only time will prove.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

How superior are the Su-30 fighters?Look up “Cope-India 04″. Both documented by American and Indian sources.Wargames conducted between India and America.Indian latest purchase Su-30 pitted against American updated F-17 Eagles and other aircraft. Results were India winning 90% of all engagements.In all engagements, India was given approx 14:4 numerical advantage. To represent that it has 100 Su-30 fighters ready for combat, and easily outnumbers enemy nations.Pakistan has 40 F-16 fighters, badly outdated.India can easily establish superiority against Pakistan’s airforce. 40 Su-30 would establish equality. More Su-30 would establish air superiority.Pakistan does not have the ability to win an air war over it’s own airspace. Let alone make successful strikes into India.Unless of course it repeats last time. Attack with surprise, then hide the airforce from India for the rest of the war until the ceasefire is reached. And that implies their airforce can not win an air fight.

Posted by Holy Cow | Report as abusive
 

Sorry, typo.No such thing as F-17 Eagle (not officially, anyway).I mean to say F-15 Eagle.

Posted by Holy Cow | Report as abusive
 

Pakistanis have deluded themselves with the belief that the Indian military is a clunky, old machine that is rusting by the day. This has been their mindset since Ayub Khan’s days. Their Sabre rattling in 1965 did not win them anything. India in those days did not focus much on military strength as it was led by an idealist who romanced with the idea of peace and friendship. By the time Indira Gandhi came to power, everything changed. She believed in India as a regional power. And though she was corrupt to the core, she put India on the path of military strength. After 1971, India has gone from strength to strength as she encouraged India towards missile technology, satellite launch, and indigenous development on many fronts. Of course, everything did not turn out as wished for. But India has emerged pretty strong in many areas. India did build an infrastructure that would help develop an all round growth in core technologies, including defense research. One can never make everything perfect. Even in the US, many experiments fail during development. Its military advancement is tuned towards China and not Pakistan entirely. So the comparison on number of fighter planes, war ships etc should be done in relation to China. And in that comparison, India is way behind. But Indian IRBMS and nuclear capability serves as a deterrent against China. India accuses China of sponsoring terrorism in its North East and China accuses India of sponsoring the Tibetan Buddhists. Pakistan should not try to get in the middle and start thumping its chest. Pakistan does not compare in any way with India. And this is not a boastful statement. It is the reality. In addition to military strength, one needs economic strength to back a war. The Americans can be at two wars at the same time and can still run their country with no economic issues. India is economically far ahead and it can survive a short term war. That is where the real measure should be. Can Pakistan engage with India in a war and survive economically after that? It would last for a week if a serious war erupts. Pakistan does not have the economic resources to survive after a costly war. It would be easy for India to offer kid gloves and keep Pakistan continue with the war a little longer, while shutting out its supply chains. And that would make Pakistan collapse internally. There will also be diplomatic wars going on at the same time. If Pakistan initiated the war, it will not get any support from most countries in terms of financial aid. As it is the world economy is hurting. No country would want to see its money wasted in unnecessary wars by countries taking their hard earned money for assistance. So the generals in Pakistan must look in all directions to do their calculations. Unless they are itching for a nuclear suicide, they should not venture into wars with any country. India has no interest in fighting wars with Pakistan or any country. But if attacked, it will retaliate. The best thing Pakistan could do is to focus its energy on national development instead of constantly thinking of war with India. This is no cricket match. This is very different from it. Hope Pakistanis realize how warped their minds have become.

 

Nice to see that Indians and Pakistanis are at it again; USSR and now USA with all the financial & military power don’t seem to be able to win wars – wake up people it seems that wars are never won!

Posted by Richard | Report as abusive
 

Umair,Don’t get too excited. They have media exposes like that on CNN about the US armed forces all the time. Yet, nobody doubts their might. Oh noooo a bad defence procurement. Like that’s never happened to any other country before. However, the IAF is massive and its not relying on a single type of missile for any thing. They can afford to have projects fail. It’s an expensive mistake but it’s not catastrophic. And that distinction has to be made.As for the video with the American Colonel….at least they were invited to Nellis. And while a lot of what he says is true about Indian figher ops, I can assure you that what is said about the PAF behind closed doors ain’t all that different…..you can guess at the compliments being given after their remarkable performance in the FATA and NWFP. Enough bombs to constitute a world war II bombing raid yet with less success than those guys had using a magnifying glass for a targeting scope. Either that says something about the PAF or it says something about the guys who feed them their targets.When it comes to the scenario painted here though, it’s highly doubtful that the PAF could pull it off so easily. It’s a strike that most NATO forces would have a tough time pulling off. And that’s with the latest technology and pilots who get tons of training time. Even the best pilots in the world can’t defy the laws of physics…namely that they would have to fly with very little ammo just to have the gas to get there. It would be difficult for them to defend themselves in that situation and even more difficult to make it out of there. You’d think that a bunch of ex-generals would know that.——-Holy Cow,Your Cope India example has been proven to be BS repeatedly. I’ll throw it on here again:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/ f-news/1237790/postsThat's hardly what you would call a realistic training scenario particularly when it comes to facing off against the USAF or any other western air force. That being said, I am fairly confident that against the PAF, the IAF would perform pretty decently and it would perform more than adequately in a scenario like this.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

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