Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Apologies, Editorials and Air Support

The secretary of the South Bastar regional committee of the CPI(M), Ravula Srinivas alias Ramanna, called up Aman Sethi of The Hindu and told him that the attack was a revenge for raping and killing of tribals by the Koya Commandos. He also of course 'deeply regreted the loss of civilian lives'. As predicted, the pathetic apology has come.

The Hindu Editorial
Today's Hindu editorial quotes interesting figures from the New Delhi based Institute for Conflict Management. The Maoists have apparently destroyed 71 school buildings and 100s of rural infrastructure assets like roads and culverts. It also states that despite the over 50% increase in forces, there has been no proportionate increase in the number of Maoists killed. It warns that 'simply pumping in more forces will achieve little. Knee-jerk use of military resources will create more problems that they will solve.'

The Use of Airpower
The use of air power is being touted by both proponents and those against it as if it was some magic bullet to solve the issue. Far from it. Firstly what is being sought by the HM and the states is the use of air power for support. Like an aerial transportation system for better and more responsive support to the 'boots on the ground'. It will not be used to strafe Naxal positions or bomb Naxal camps. However it would be used for casualty evacuation. As far as operations go, nothing will change on ground, except that some troops would be better rested, have higher morale, be better equipped ...all essential for the ground battle that will still have to take place. But now the soldiers would have a brighter chance of getting the better of the Naxals.

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