India’s Two Million Strong Army Exposed As ‘Hollow’————-Letter Leaked

  Contrary to the Indian
government’s defence spending announcements and recent studies showing
India as the world’s biggest military hardware importer, India’s tank
fleet lacks ammunition, its air defences are ‘97% obsolete’ and its
elite forces need essential weapons, the country’s army chief wrote in
an explosive letter leaked on Wednesday.
The letter to the prime minister dated March 12 – and widely reported
by the Indian media – lists shortcomings of the armed forces in
embarrassing detail in a serious blow to the government and the Asian
giant’s military prestige.
Its publication also ups the stakes in a public battle between army
chief General VK Singh and the government which began with a dispute
over Singh’s retirement earlier this year.
“The state of the major (fighting) arms i.e. mechanised forces,
artillery, air defence, infantry and special forces, as well as the
engineers and signals, is indeed alarming,” Singh wrote in the letter,
DNA newspaper reported.
The army’s entire tank fleet is “devoid of critical ammunition to
defeat enemy tanks,” while the air defence system is “97% obsolete,” he
wrote. The infantry is crippled with “deficiencies,” while the elite
forces are “woefully short” of “essential weapons.”

Speaking amid an uproar in parliament over the leaked letter, Defence
Minister AK Antony confirmed the existence of the letter and said it
should not have been made public. Politicians from all parties reacted
angrily and some called for the army chief’s resignation if he was found
to be behind the leak.
In the letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, General Singh
reportedly blamed the slow procurement process and lack of urgency among
bureaucrats for the “hollowness” of the 1.13-million-strong military.