This could be a cry to get more funds, but since the report comes from General who is leaving service, the allegations have a lot of clout. The Indian Army chief General VK Singh is only a few months away from retirement. Singh has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warning that the country’s security is at risk. It underscores the need to bridge the shortcomings and bring the army to fighting level.
According to perss reports, the letter was ostensibly written on March 12, 2012 states that:
1) The army tanks have run out of ammunition.
2) VK Singh has termed 97% of the air defence obsolete.
3) The elite special forces are woefully short of weapons.
4) Air defence doesn’t give deemed confidence to protect
5) The Infantry is crippled with ‘deficiencies of crew served weapon’ and lacks night fighting capabilities.
6) There are large scale voids in critical surveillance.
7) General Singh also pointed out that the ‘hollowness’ in the system is a manifestation of the procedures and processing time for procurements as well as legal impediments by vendors.
8) General Singh also mentioned that the work quality was poor and there was a ‘lack of urgency at all levels’ on matters of national security.
While Bharat is one of the largest purchasers of weapon systems in the world–that by itself is amajor indictment on the ability and stature of the country. A country of the size which aspires to become a regional and indeed a world power should not have to buy any equipment at all. It has not produced planes, ships or subs which it can supply to its own armed forces, and has produced no defense equipment that it can export to the world.
Its purchasing is fraught with indemic corruption. The Swiss Banker’s Association has claimed that 80% of the Swiss accounts belong to Indians.
IBM LIve says:
“Army Chief General VK Singh is set to retire with all guns blazing and leaving behind a trail of controversies. General Singh, who fought a bitter war with the Central Government over his real date of birth and even moved the Supreme Court on the issue and then alleged that he was offered bribe by a former Army officer to clear the purchase of sub-standard Tatra trucks for the forces, has dropped another bombshell with a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which he has mentioned that the Army is ill-quipped to fight a war and defeat the enemy.”
The Defence Minister A.K. Anthony said Wednesday the government would respond at an appropriate time. He conceded that there are gaps in the capabilities of armed forces and efforts are on to bridge these quickly.
Many in the Indian National Congress and Opposition are asking for the Army Chief’s head– for what is being seen as a breach of protocol and the leak of the “secret letter”.
The Indian Army chief V.K. Singh is distancing himself from a leak of a letter describing ammunition shortages and archaic air defenses in the world’s second largest standing army. He has called the leak “High Treason“.
“This an outrage! Official communication with the prime minister, defence minister or anybody for that matter with the chief of defence staff is privileged information,” the army chief wrote in a statement, mailed to media houses.
“The leaking of the letter should be treated as high treason. This cynical approach to tar my reputation has to stop,” he added
After inaugurating a defense fair, defence minister A.K. Antony told a media conference he had investigation ordered an investigation. He called the leak “anti-national” but said the army chief had not be fired.
“All service chiefs continue to enjoy the confidence of the government,” Antony said
Right now Bharat faces a “shoot the messenger” phase. Singh is going–the facts that he has highlighted will reamin true for a long period of time.