In battle of attrition, Army losing many of its men

In battle of attrition, Army losing many of its men

SAM Report,
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With the latest incident, 89 personnel, including several officers, have been ‘killed in action’ in Jammu and Kashmir this year.

The dramatic increase in number of casualties among security force personnel in Kashmir is deeply worrying many in the security establishment.

On Tuesday, at least seven Army personnel were killed and many, including BSF personnel, were injured in two terrorist attacks.

The bloodiest of the two attacks of the day, on an Army mess in Nagrota, came on the day when Pakistan Army got its new chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who replaced General Raheel Sharif. The militant strike on the Nagrota mess in Jammu came exactly two months after the Army carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC).

With the latest incident, 89 security personnel have been ‘killed in action’ in Jammu and Kashmir this year. Of these, 27 were lost post the surgical strikes carried out on September 29. The attrition rate among the Army has been growing tremendously with respect to the terrorists killed.

Informed sources said the high attrition rate particularly of officers in the Army, the world’s highest, can be detrimental in war. “If the company commanders and the second-in-commands get killed in the first wave, there will be no one else to lead or fight during actual war,” one source said.

Experts said there was a low-risk option being employed by the adversary, and stressed the need to revisit practices to minimise casualties.

“This time, India’s resolve to hit back in the form of surgical strikes has put the other side in the defensive. For them this a low-cost, high-visibility option,” Lt. Gen. S.L. Narasimhan, a former Infantry Officer, told The Hindu.

New reality in Kashmir

According to data, in the new wave of attacks, militants are able to inflict many more casualties on security forces with each attack than in the past. Data show that while the total number of violent incidents in Kashmir has only gone up marginally from previous years, the number of security personnel killed or injured has dramatically risen.

Until Tuesday evening, at least 89 security force personnel had been killed in Kashmir, while almost 200 have been injured.

With another month to go, this year’s casualty figures among security forces could end up being the highest in a decade.

In 2007, security forces lost 122 of its men. The numbers dropped to 57 in 2008, and by 2012 the number of security forces killed in terrorist attacks fell to 15. It then began to climb. In 2013, a total of 53 security personnel were killed.

Similar trend is visible in the number of security personnel injured in J&K.

“We have a very unsettled situation since 2014. The government needs to get its act together,” an Army officer posted in J&K said.

 

The Hindu

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