The Indian Special Forces: Dont we need consolidated effort

25 12 2008

Source: Outlookindia

army’s director general of

military operations (DGMO). Within the directorate, Division 8B, headed by a brigadier, which looks after all Special Forces (SF) operations, was immediately put on alert, say army sources. Soon commanding officers of three other SF units—1 Para (SF), 9 Para (SF) and 10 Para (SF)—were similarly alerted. Unfortunately, all three were terribly pressed for manpower, since their men had been committed to counter-terrorist operations in the Valley.

another SF unit, much closer to Delhi, stationed next to an airbase in Agra. It even had the planes to transport men.
This was 2 Para (SF), designated strategic reserve unit of army HQ.

Lidder’s recommendations? Some salient points:

  • The tasking/execution of SF operations are unique and handling officers at army HQ are unfamiliar with it. This must change—specialists must take over.
  • SF units now function in isolation. They must come under one professional, unified command with access to the highest political authority. This is essential as special ops involve high political risk.
  • There is no mechanism in army HQ to execute politico-military missions. It still depends on the DGMO despite several proposals to the contrary.
  • The mindless expansion of special forces units must stop immediately.
  • Special forces must not be part of parachute battalions. They must have a separate identity.
  • A special SF budget must be allocated. Currently, they are equipped piecemeal, not even provided complete equipment packages.
  • Units must have full complement of sanctioned strength of officers at all times.
  • Direct link with civilian intelligence agencies needed.

Lidder was among the pioneering batch of officers when the first SF unit was created in 1968.

Indian Army Training (IMA)

14 02 2008