In what can be said as a retaliation of the Uri attacks, the Indian Army on Thursday carried out a Surgical Strike against terrorists across the Line of Control (LOC) thereby sending a strong message to Pakistan. Surgical strikes have been used in the past by many nations and India too has used this military tactic before.
If you’re confused about what exactly a surgical strike is, read on these seven points which Nation Next lists down for you to clear your confusion!
One: Surgical strike is a preventive military attack on a specific target.
Two: The aim is to neutralise the enemy with minimum collateral damage.
Three: Surgical strike is a strategy to conduct swift and targeted attack on the enemy without starting a full-blown war.
Four: The element of surprise plays an important role in a surgical attack. Former air chief Fali Homi Major in an interaction with NDTV described a surgical strike as ‘a calculated manoeuvre to ensure you deliver maximum damage which gives a big surprise to your adversary’.
Five: Retired Lt General Shankar Prasad while describing a surgical strike told NDTV, “A surgical strike is an intricate operation that needs a lot of guts to carry out. The ground is very tough as the targets are movable targets. Surgical strike means carrying out an attack and coming back without any damage to yourself. In a surgical strike, every single soldier is briefed on the sketch. Everyone in the team has a specific responsibility.”
Six: Surgical strikes can be carried out via air raids, airdropping teams, through a ground operation or through precision bombing.
Air Raids: This kind of a surgical strike involves dropping missiles or carrying out air strikes. Such strikes require a lot of air power.
Example: The US and the NATO allies have used this tactic time and time again with the most popular example being in the First and Second Persian Gulf War in 1991 and 2003.
Air dropping: This kind of a surgical strike involves airdropping of special teams.
Example: Indian Army used this tactic against the Naga militants in Myanmar in August 2016 wherein a team of elite commandos killed 38 rebels in 40 minutes! Another example is of the US forces wherein they killed Osama Bin Laden under ‘Operation Geronimo’.
Ground Operation: This tactic involves a strike by sending special troops.
Example: The recently carried out surgical strike by the Indian Army on September 29, 2016 across the Line of Control (LOC).
Precision Bombing: This tactic involves bombing of enemy targets through an aircraft. Precision bombing is different from carpet bombing where the magnitude of destruction is much higher.
Example: Precision bombing was used by Israel against terrorists operating from Palestinian territories.
Seven: Intelligence inputs plays a big role in planning out a surgical strike and the success of the strike depends upon the intelligence inputs. The Indian Express, reported, ‘Before Thursday’s surgical strikes, the Indian Army received intelligence inputs from various sources such as services intelligence departments, Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing at the planning stage of the operation’.