Siachen war costs Rs50 million per day





The most pointless of all wars has been going on for the past 28 years. The accumulated tab for the coldest of all cold wars now exceeds $5 billion, which, by the way, is the equivalent of Pakistan’s entire annual defence budget. The total casualty figure is not being disclosed by either side but neutral estimates put it at around 4,000 soldiers each for India and Pakistan. Remember; the total casualty count for Pakistan for the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War was 3,800.

Imagine, for 37 long years beginning in 1947 neither India nor Pakistan thought that the 70 km long Siachen Glacier had any strategic significance. Even the Simla Agreement of 1972 did not give much importance to the inhospitable and the inhabitable barren mass of ice. And then out of the blue on April 13, 1984 the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army along with the Indian Air Force launched Operation Meghdoot in order to capture the Saltoro Ridge high ground. Operation Meghdoot reportedly drained a colossal $3.5 billion from the Indian defence budget.

Present estimates of a 100-hour hot war with India range from $3 billion to $5 billion. The Siachen War, however, a form of cold war costs Pakistan between $200 million to $300 million a year-the equivalent of Rs50 million per day every day of the year. In the highest battlefield on the face of the planet most soldiers die not from enemy fire but from frostbites and avalanches.

War is the most expensive of all businesses. During the Kargil War a strike fighter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) use to take off from Awantipur AFS and return after dropping its bomb-load. The cost of the return trip: $1.1 million. Imagine; there were a total of 350 air-sorties for an accumulated expenditure of $416 million. The cost of the army operation was estimated at an additional $2 billion.

In Siachen, Pakistan and India each maintains 150 manned posts with 10 battalions each for a total of some 6,000 troops. Pakistan has deployed up to half a dozen helicopters to transport food supplies as well as ammunition. The cost of being airborne per helicopter per hour is Rs55,000. Snow taxis cost around Rs400,000 each. Each roti by the time it reaches our troops costs Rs100. The high altitude clothing easily costs Rs100,000 per head.

With no strategic, mineral or tactical value this must be the world’s most senseless, stupidest war. Pakistan has time and again offered to settle the conflict on the condition that both armies withdraw to pre-1984 positions. The Indians are adamant on keeping the captured high grounds. Who will end this silliest of all silly conflicts? The quickest way, I read somewhere, of ending a war is to lose it.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Siachen war costs Rs50 million per day




The most pointless of all wars has been going on for the past 28 years. The accumulated tab for the coldest of all cold wars now exceeds $5 billion, which, by the way, is the equivalent of Pakistan’s entire annual defence budget. The total casualty figure is not being disclosed by either side but neutral estimates put it at around 4,000 soldiers each for India and Pakistan. Remember; the total casualty count for Pakistan for the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War was 3,800.

Imagine, for 37 long years beginning in 1947 neither India nor Pakistan thought that the 70 km long Siachen Glacier had any strategic significance. Even the Simla Agreement of 1972 did not give much importance to the inhospitable and the inhabitable barren mass of ice. And then out of the blue on April 13, 1984 the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army along with the Indian Air Force launched Operation Meghdoot in order to capture the Saltoro Ridge high ground. Operation Meghdoot reportedly drained a colossal $3.5 billion from the Indian defence budget.

Present estimates of a 100-hour hot war with India range from $3 billion to $5 billion. The Siachen War, however, a form of cold war costs Pakistan between $200 million to $300 million a year-the equivalent of Rs50 million per day every day of the year. In the highest battlefield on the face of the planet most soldiers die not from enemy fire but from frostbites and avalanches.

War is the most expensive of all businesses. During the Kargil War a strike fighter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) use to take off from Awantipur AFS and return after dropping its bomb-load. The cost of the return trip: $1.1 million. Imagine; there were a total of 350 air-sorties for an accumulated expenditure of $416 million. The cost of the army operation was estimated at an additional $2 billion.

In Siachen, Pakistan and India each maintains 150 manned posts with 10 battalions each for a total of some 6,000 troops. Pakistan has deployed up to half a dozen helicopters to transport food supplies as well as ammunition. The cost of being airborne per helicopter per hour is Rs55,000. Snow taxis cost around Rs400,000 each. Each roti by the time it reaches our troops costs Rs100. The high altitude clothing easily costs Rs100,000 per head.

With no strategic, mineral or tactical value this must be the world’s most senseless, stupidest war. Pakistan has time and again offered to settle the conflict on the condition that both armies withdraw to pre-1984 positions. The Indians are adamant on keeping the captured high grounds. Who will end this silliest of all silly conflicts? The quickest way, I read somewhere, of ending a war is to lose it.

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