Friday 12 June 2015

Special Forces of India and all terms like Covert, hot pursuit explained.

Why in news?
Few days ago, Army commandos of 21 Para with the Myanmar Army units attacked the camps of Northeast insurgents and killed many. To read the details of the operation CLICK HERE.

What does Special Force mean?

The Special Forces of India refer to those units which are:
  • Under the direct command of Indian Military and 
  • Specifically organized, trained, equipped for Special Operations 
What special operations are they trained in?
"Depending on the country, special forces may perform some of the following specializations: airborne operations, counter-insurgency, "counter-terrorism", covert ops, direct action, hostage rescue, high-value targets/man-hunting, intelligence operations, mobility operations, and unconventional warfare".

Which are the special forces of India?

Source:Times of India

Differences between pre-emptive strike, preventive strike, covert and clandestine operations, under cover operations and hot pursuit. Where does the recent Army operation in Myanmar fit in?

A preemptive war is a war that is commenced in an attempt to repel or defeat a perceived imminent offensive or invasion, or to gain a strategic advantage in an impending (allegedly unavoidable) war shortly before that attack materializes. 
The term: 'preemptive war' is sometimes confused with the term: 'preventive war'. The difference is that a preventive war is launched to destroy the potential threat of the targeted party, when an attack by that party is not imminent or known to be planned, while a preemptive war is launched in anticipation of immediate aggression by another party.

Term Meanings Aim What is concealed When is it used
an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit denial by the sponsor to fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation Operation - it is basically deniable When  openly operating against a target would be disadvantageous

sabotage, assassinations, support for coups d'état, or support for subversion
To go "undercover" is to avoid detection by the entity one is observing, and especially to disguise one's own identity or use an assumed identity for the purposes of gaining the trust of an individual or organization to learn or confirm confidential information or to gain the trust of targeted individuals in order to gather information or evidence. it is a technique employed by law enforcement agencies or private investigators, and a person who works in such a role is commonly referred to as an undercover agent. It is a part of covert/clandestine operations.


identity of sponsor - it is basically hidden

conducted openly

nothing to conceal

Tactics aimed at providing and preserving the element of surprise and reducing enemy resistance; and to a set of technologies (stealth technology) to aid in those tactics

often desired in clandestine and covert operations.
Hot Pursuit
It implies pursuit without unreasonable delay and generally is immediate pursuit. 

It can also refer to chasing a suspect into a neighbouring jurisdiction in an emergency, without time to alert law enforcement people in that area.

Now, how do we characterise the Indian army's killing of the insurgents in Myanmar?

  •  It was clandestine and covert till it lasted. 
  • It has become overt when declared. 
  • Undercover agents must have been active. 
  • Stealth, was there. 
  • Hot pursuit: it was not as we did not chase them after they ambushed. We took time to plan and execute. 
  • Pre-emptive, it was for future militant actions. 
  • The question of it being " preventive" does not arise.


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