About the author

Lt Gen P R Shankar (Retd)

Lt Gen P R Shankar is a retired Director General of Artillery. He is an alumnus of National Defence Academy Khadakvasala, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Army War College, Mhow, Naval Post Graduate School, Monterrey and National Defence College, New Delhi. He has held many important command, staff and instructional appointments in the Army. He has vast operational experience having served in all kinds of terrain and operational situations which has confronted the Indian Army in the past four decades.

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One Comment

  1. Ravi

    Sir, Thank you for making the point that smaller numbers have to be armed with better weapons. As for troops per km, we need to keep in mind that US land borders are not live, but India’s borders are. And becoming more so as Chinese take-over of South Asian countries continues to gain momentum.

    The basic problem is that no country facing a 2-front threat and multiple insurgencies can spend only 1.6% GDP on defense. Our traditional 3.5% is the minimum.

    If GOI does not like 3.5%, by all means let it give Kashmir Valley to Pakistan and accept Ladakh as part of China. WIll this resolve our military threats? Actually no, but that is another discussion.

    A very minor point: last I know, the US Marine rifle squad was reduced from 14 to 13, and is going back to 14 with the addition of a person with a UAV. The squad (our section) has been three fireteams of 4 each plus the squad HQ. This large size squad is necessary because amfib assaults are costly in terms of casualties, and to provide maximum firepower till the Army arrives and takes over. Of course, these days the Marines are used more as shock troops and CI than for amfib warfare, but the bigger squad still proves its worth in these roles. The standard squad (section) of 10 arose because one leader was thought capable of commanding 10 men. But after taking casualties, the squad of 10 is down to 6-7 men.


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