11 May, 2021

The Lessons Of Kargil

Apart from improving intelligence, there is an urgent need to rethink the traditional approach to the army.

The Lessons Of Kargil

THE supreme test of a country's resilience is its capacity to turn a crisis into an opportunity for introspection and renewal. Our victory in Kar-gil will thus not be complete if we do not learn some important lessons from it for the future. The first concerns the failure of intelligence. Attempts are being made, even now, to identify the 'Guilty men of 1999', but this must not be allowed to degenerate into a search for scapegoats. There were deep structural reasons for the failure—for which a succession of governments were responsible—which need to be remedied.

The first is the lack of accountability that has developed in RAW. On the one hand, it has all the time and all the money to play destabilising games with Arakan insurgents in Myanmar and to organise an inquisition of the then navy chief, Admiral Bhagwat, for not swallowing its misinformation and successfully intercepting an Arakan arms shipment in February '98. But although it has at least one and possibly two operatives in Switzerland, it failed to get even an inkling of Pakistan's purchase of 40,000 pairs...

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