Friday, February 15, 2019

Lethpora 2019- It's like deja vu all over again.

Obvious quite a tragedy for India but before one does anything to Pakistan - one will need the some/all of the following

1) A DNA link establishing that the suicide bomber in actually Adil Ahmad Dar seen in the martyrdom video. (This may prove challenging given that very little of SBVIED was found -but thankfully with PCR today one can do a lot of a trace of DNA).

2) An actual physical communication device that can be placed in the hands of Adil Ahmad Dar.

3) Evidence of an actual communication between that device and a cross border "handler" - specifically if the rumors of Signal/Telegram/Discord based comms is true - then there will be an electronic trail leading to an actual "go" code for the mission. The code (or the related key-pair exchange) will have a time-stamp on it, if that time stamp or device geolocation matches the site and time of the event - that is a very big step forward.

4) A bombmaker or Agent ("Operation Commander") captured alive - to provide human corroboration of the electronic trail.

5) A link from the 'handler"/Agent to the JeM Military Shura or Financial Shura.

6) A link from the JeM Military Shura/Financial Shura to ISI-HQ.

If you don't have this information - you really are not in a position to speak about what GoI should do.

If you are in possession of this information, then you don't need to hear what anyone else has to say on the issue.

Government of India has to choose between a set of options but broadly speaking there are the following constrains

1) The ladder of escalation must not have more than a few rungs.
2) There has to be room to maneuver at the top rung. (ideally GoI would like to de-escalate on own time schedule and not on an externally imposed schedule).
3) CAPF are lower down on the totem pole than the Army, so one can't go balls out insane because when there is an attack on the Army - there will be no options left on the table.*
4) Whatever is done cannot derail the process of the CAPF relieving the Army from CI duties. (Essentially local response has to be decoupled from the higher levels so GoI has maximum freedom to choose).

Actually/likely useful suggestions

1) Review incident to see what can be changed about convoy CRPF SOP. (I think there is merit to using Casspirs as blast absorbers on both side of the convoy).
2) Review intelligence exchange mechanism between J&KP(SOG) and CRP (Intel) and see how to avoid gaps.
3) Until a state wide all clear has been sounded to signal that no new attacks are likely -  raise number of barriers outside CRP camps and increase checkpoints (if manpower is available).
4) It is reasonable to impose curfew and carry out regular CASO in all areas of suspected activity until the threat of more SBVIEDs is reduced.

* NO losing ones' head. Repeat - DO NOT attempt the usual "convoy challenge protocol" from the 90s. It is *NOT* productive in the present context.


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