Need for a Doctrine on Proxy War

This is a guest blog by Akash.

When a nation instead of coming face to face with the enemy employs a proxy to wage war and inflict damage then it is called a proxy war.
Proxy wars were prominent in cold war era with US, Russia waging war in Afghanistan or the late Korean war.
Conventional form of warfare is lot different from proxy wars in following ways –
1- There is huge movement of logistics and troops in a conventional war whereas no such thing is required in a proxy war. 
2- Conventional war is very expensive compared to proxy war.
3- The risk of escalation is far greater with conventional war than proxy war.
All these reasons make proxy war a perfect option for Pakistan. It not only keeps the insurgency burning but gains support of domestic audience by inculcating fear of Indian action without any threat of substantial action.
It is clear that we can’t tackle proxy war with conventional strategies. 
This situation provides India with immense scope of improvement in its doctrine of counter conventional to counter proxy.
An organised counter proxy doctrine for Pakistan will not only safeguard the valuable lives of our troops but also bring stability in Kashmir which has been on the boil since summer of 2016.
There will be following benefits of a doctrine –
1- Troops will have a set of powers to dealing with terror irrespective of govt in power. 
2- The inclusion of civilian interlocutors will be helpful in gaining local support by establishing contacts and fulfilling needs. It must be noted that in Punjab,it was the public that played immense role in curbing insurgency. 
3- A sustained foreign policy irrespective of government at centre is only option to build persistent pressure on an adversity like Pakistan.
There is no doubt that sustained efforts in right direction will account for far better results than bumps we are facing nowadays. To start with, there should be mutual understanding between all parties over issues of national security and interests.

Final Word

Creation of a coherent and comprehensive counter proxy war doctrine is very much a need of the hour. It should be approved by the parliament, understood by all the agencies involved & then executed. It will help improve the situation in Kashmir & also guide our efforts to counter Pakistan in a consistent manner. It will of course remove scope for chest-thumping on surgical strikes, but that is another matter!

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Colonel M.M Nehru

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2 Comments

sushant kumar · May 6, 2019 at 8:13 am

I think if we focus on providing suitable living standards to the people of Kashmir and protecting their jobs, this may help in aligning the misguided youth. these two factors matter the most cause if living standards are not maintained some family members tend to be influenced by the terrorist group in the lure of some money. And if the youth doesn’t have a job they can also be radicalized. if people are educated enough and they are moving towards the other states of India for jobs and education, they face criticism ( what we saw after the Pulwama attack). such incident is like putting ghee into fire.
As the tourists come to visit beautiful places of Kashmir and Ladakh, it is important for Indian govt to protect them. In case any of the foreigners die in Kashmir we will be facing criticism from other countries of not taking any strong action against such terrorist groups. kashmir has become a proxy field for Pakistan but not for India.
The BAnning of Masood Azhar is the most required action, but the problem is if Pakistan takes any action as they barely did on Hafiz Saeed ( chief of laksahr-e-toiba).
International pressure needs to maintain and make Pakistan realizes that our forces will make sure to prevent their harboring of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

    Colonel M.M Nehru · May 8, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Thanks for the comments

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