Military Thought of Asia: From the Bronze Age to the Information Age 0367360187, 9780367360184

Military Thought of Asia challenges the assertion that the generation of rational secular ideas about the conduct of war

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Military Thought of Asia: From the Bronze Age to the Information Age
 0367360187, 9780367360184

Table of contents :
1. Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide
2. Jatilas and Kutilas of early India
3. Twitter (military) beats from the Middle Kingdom
4. Hybrid warfare of the Byzantine Empire
5. Fighting for Allah: Islam and steppe nomads
6. Dark lords rising: Samurai of premodern Japan
7. Wehrmacht reborn in Zion?: Arab-Israeli military thought
8. South Asia: From modern war to postmodern war
9. China, South-East Asia and Japan: From Maoist War to Limited War
10. From modern to postmodern era

Citation preview


Military Thought of Asia challenges the assertion that the generation of rational secular ideas about the conduct of warfare is the preserve of the West, by analysing the history of ideas of warfare in Asia from the ancient period to the present. The volume takes a transcontinental and comparative approach to provide a broad overview of the evolution of military thought in Asia. The military traditions and theories which have emerged in different parts of Eurasia throughout history are products of geopolitics and unique to the different regions. The book considers the systematic and tight representation of ideas by famous figures including Kautlya and Sun Tzu. At the same time, it also highlights publications on military affairs by ordinary men like mid-ranking officers and scattered ideas regarding the origin, nature and societal impact of organised violence present in miscellaneous sources like coins, inscriptions, paintings and fictional literature. In so doing, the book fills a historiographical gap in scholarship on military thought, which marginalises Asia to the part of cameo, and historicises the evolution of theory and the praxis of warfare. The volume shows that the ‘East’ has a long unbroken tradition of con­ ceptualising war and its place in society from the classical era to the information age. It is essential reading for those interested in the evolution of military thought throughout history, particularly in Asia. Kaushik Roy is Guru Nanak Chair Professor in the Department of History, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India and a Global Fellow at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway. Roy specialises in global military history. He has published many books and chapters in edited volumes and has articles in several peer-reviewed journals.

WARFARE AND HISTORY General Editor: Jeremy Black

Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC Holy Warriors at the Dawn of History William J. Hamblin The War for a Nation The American Civil War Susan-Mary Grant European Warfare in a Global Context, 1660–1815 Jeremy Black Warfare, State and Society on the Black Sea Steppe, 1500–1700 Brian L. Davies War in the Modern World Jeremy Black Israel’s Wars A History since 1947, 4th edition Ahron Bregman The Spanish Civil War A Military History Charles J. Esdaile Military Thought of Asia From the Bronze Age to the Information Age Kaushik Roy For more information, or to place orders visit Routledge, Warfare and History

MILITARY THOUGHT OF ASIA From the Bronze Age to the Information Age

Kaushik Roy

First published 2021 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2021 Kaushik Roy The right of Kaushik Roy to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record has been requested for this book ISBN: 978-0-367-36017-7 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-367-36018-4 (pbk) ISBN: 978-0-429-34328-5 (ebk) Typeset in Bembo by Taylor & Francis Books


Preface Acknowledgements Abbreviations Glossary Introduction 1 Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide

vii ix x xii 1 9

2 Jatilas and Kutilas of early India


3 Twitter (military) beats from the Middle Kingdom


4 Hybrid warfare of the Byzantine Empire


5 Fighting for Allah: Islam and steppe nomads


6 Dark lords rising: Samurai of premodern Japan


7 Wehrmacht reborn in Zion?: Arab-Israeli military thought


8 South Asia: From modern war to postmodern war


9 China, South-East Asia and Japan: From Maoist War to Limited War


10 From modern to postmodern era



262 272



Military Thought of Asia: From the Bronze Age to the Information Age deals with the military ideas of Asia in particular and the military history of the eastern part of Eurasia in general. I am using the term ‘military thought’ rather than ‘military theory’ in this work because theories are systematic and tight representations of ideas by famous fig­ ures like Kautilya, Sun Tzu, etc. However, I also wish to include scattered ideas about the origins, nature and societal impact of organised violence generated by compara­ tively ‘small men’ like mid-ranking officers and present in other items like coins, inscriptions, paintings and fictional literature. Thus, military thought for me includes military theories, along with disparate ideas about organised violence authored by notso-famous writers and which can be culled from other miscellaneous sources. There are some specialised works dealing with particular Asian military theorists of certain Asian countries, but not a single monograph exists on the market which covers the historical evolution of military thought in Asia from the dawn of civi­ lisation to the current era. In most books dealing with military theories of the world, Asia is given the part of a cameo appearance. The present volume attempts to fill this historiographical gap. Moreover, with the rise of Asia in terms of eco­ nomic and military power, we all the more need an overview of military thought that evolved on this continent. Further, most of the works on military theories have been written by political scientists and international relations experts. In this monograph, I take a historical approach and attempt to historicise the evolution of theory and praxis of warfare in tandem. The transcontinental comparative approach enables one to study the uniqueness of a particular region. Moreover, I also include both conventional war and unconventional warfare within my ambit. This volume questions the primacy of culture (more specifically, the strategic culture approach) which has become predominant in the field of strategic studies. And I have found that a positivist approach is more fruitful than the postmodernist (reflexive, dialogic or critical analysis) reading of the source materials.

viii Preface

Waging warfare and the tradition of writing on organised violence have been the arena of men. This book does not deal with the anti-war phenomenon or pacifism. Hence, this work does not depict in detail women as victims of organised violence. Further, most of the high priests of war have been elite males. Therefore, males dominate the story in Military Thought of Asia. However, I have tried to broaden my approach as much as possible by including other sources of military thought like paintings, sculptures, poetry and fiction, and some experiences of the ‘subalterns’ who actually fought are included to give a flavour of what the men and women under fire actually thought and felt while confronting the foggy and messy combat reality. Lastly, the volume questions how far military theories have actually shaped battlefield reality. Since each of the chapters has a bibliography for aiding the readers, I have not included a separate bibliography at the end of the book. A longue durée study like this volume will raise the ire of regional and local experts. This is exactly my aim. One of the strengths of an overarching global approach is that it enables local and regional scholarly studies to flourish. Regional and local experts can produce excellent works only by challenging and critiquing an overambitious transcontinental model. I expect this volume to be of some use for undergraduate and postgraduate students of history (especially those participat­ ing in to global history, religious studies and intellectual history programmes), political science, strategic studies, security studies, Asian studies, and those who aim to do research on war, insurgencies, religion and state formation. Probably, policy makers, as well as cadets joining the armed forces, will also gain some insight from reading this book. How far I have been successful in this endeavour, well, the readers will judge. Kaushik Roy, Kolkata 2020


This book would not have been possible without the inspiration of my mentor and friend Professor Jeremy Black. His productivity and flood of new intoxicating ideas never cease to amaze me. When I first met him, more than a decade ago, he made me conscious of the historical uniqueness of different regions outside West Europe. Next in importance as regards this monograph comes the editor at Routledge, Ms Eve Setch. Without her support, this project could not have been completed. And I am grateful to the three unknown referees for their comments. Dr Moumita Chowdhury, Mr Arka Chowdhury, Mr Aryama Ghosh and Ms Sohini Mitra, I am grateful to the four of you. Incessant discussion over coffee and long walks and occasionally even over the chessboard, with four of my research scholars have allowed me to refine my ideas about military theory. While I lost several chess games, I gained fresh insight on various ideas. And some of these ideas I have tried to incorporate in this volume. It goes without saying that I have been able to get time to write this book because home-front logistics have been taken care of by my wife. Besides her heavy teaching and administrative schedule, she kept the home fires burning. Thanks to PRIO and especially Professors Scott Gates, Greg Reichberg and Torkel Brekke for providing academic support. While Scott has helped me out with insurgencies and counterinsurgencies, Greg and Torkel made me aware of the complexities of Just and Unjust War and the complexities of Christianity and Hinduism. Finally, thanks to Dr Sudeshna Banerjee, head of the RUSA Programme and Professor Nupur Dasgupta, head of the DSA UGC Pro­ gramme at the Department of History, Jadavpur University, for providing academic support while I was completing this monograph. It goes without saying that in the end, all faults and shortcomings of this volume are my responsibility. Kaushik Roy, Kolkata 2020



Army of the Republic of Vietnam Burma Communist Party Ballistic Missile Defence Command, Control and Communications Close Air Support Chinese Communist Party/Communist Party of China Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Central Intelligence Agency Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Chief of Army Staff Counterinsurgency Exclusive Economic Zone Electromagnetic Pulse Electronic Warfare Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan Free Syrian Army Gross Domestic Product Gross National Product Human Intelligence International Atomic Energy Agency Indian Air Force Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Israeli Defence Force Improvised Explosive Device Imperial Japanese Army Imperial Japanese Navy

Abbreviations xi


Indian Peace Keeping Force Islamic State (formerly ISIS) Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Information Technology Information Warfare Kuomintang Karen National Defence Organisation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Korean People’s Armed Forces Lashkar-e-Taiba Low Intensity Conflict Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam Main Battle Tank Military Technical Revolution Network-Centric Warfare North East Frontier Agency (later Arunachal Pradesh) Non-Proliferation Treaty Operational Manoeuvre Group Order of Battle Operational Theory Research Institute of Israel Pakistan Air Force People’s Army of Vietnam Proto Indo European People’s Liberation Army People’s Liberation Army Navy Palestine Liberation Organisation People’s Republic of China Revolution in Attitudes towards the Military Reorganised Army Plains Infantry Division Research and Analysis Wing of India Revolution in Military Affairs Royal Nepal Army Republic of Singapore Navy Singapore Armed Forces Self Defence Forces of Japan Sri Lankan Armed Forces Tehrek-i-Taliban Pakistan Unmanned Aerial Vehicle United Liberation Front Assam United Nations United States Navy Weapons of Mass Destruction


Acharya Ahimsa

Ancient India’s Hindu theoreticians. Non-violence in Hindu tradition; opposite of himsa which stands for cruelty and violence. Auftragstaktik Mission-oriented command system or decentralised command structure. Battue Collective hunt by the Mongols. It acted as a proxy for military exercise/manoeuvre. Bheda Divide and rule policy of the ancient Hindus. Blitzkrieg Literal meaning 'lighting war'; the combined arms war involving armour, motorized and mechanized infantry, self-propelled guns and tactical air force practiced by the Germans during Second World War. Brahmin The highest caste in the four-fold Hindu social order. The Brah­ mins engaged in learning (both secular and Hindu religion) and advising the rulers (Kshatriyas). Bugei Combat technique of the samurai with special swords Bushido Code of conduct of the samurai. Caliph Spiritual and temporal head of the umma. Caliphate Dominion of the caliph. Danda Literal meaning ‘rod’: depending on the context, the term means punishment/force as well as army. Darsana Hindu philosophy. Dharma Hindu religion; broadly it also means the way of life. Dharmasastra A genre of Sanskrit theological texts focusing on dharma (religion). Dharmayuddha Just War tradition in Hinduism; the focus is on morality and dharma. Durga Fort.

Glossary xiii


Fedayeen Ghulam Hadith Harem



Janissaries Jauhar

Jihad Jizya Karma

Kshatradharma Kshatriya


A ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognised Muslim authority. Technically it is a non-binding ruling on a point of Islamic law issued by a Muslim jurist in response to a question raised by a private individual or an organisation or a government. Arab guerrillas operating against Israel. The term also stands for Islamic warriors ready to sacrifice themselves for their religion. Also known as mamluk; it means slave soldier of Islam. A record of the words, actions and silent approval of Prophet Muhammad. Household of a Muslim ruler; generally refers to the female members (which includes wives, concubines, slaves, mothers, sis­ ters, daughters) of the household. A concept of ancient Chinese philosophy which deals with tangi­ ble elements of military strategy, especially employment and deployment of the troops. A piece of land was granted to a person for maintaining a quota of horsemen. The jagir grant enabled the person to extract only the land revenue but he was not given permanent ownership of land. The peasants remained the owners of the land. Though jagir grants were transferable and temporary, in many cases they became hereditary. Drilled and disciplined Ottoman infantry. Hindu woman committing suicide by burning themselves on the funeral pyre; sati is a derivative of jauhar. While a Hindu woman commits jauhar to escape from being dishonoured, a Hindu woman commits sati by burning herself on the funeral pyre of her dead husband to show respect for her male partner. This custom came from the Scythians. Islamic Holy War. The objective is to spread Islam among the unbelievers. Ghazwa is the same as Jihad. A poll tax paid by the non-Muslims living under Muslim rule. The Hindu religious belief that an individual goes through several cycles of rebirth. Past actions determine the present condition and present actions will determine the future status. Duty of the Kshatriyas; code of conduct of the Rajputs on and off the battlefield. Warrior caste/class of ancient India. Ritually they ranked second (next to the Brahmins) in the Hindu chaturvarna (four-order) society. They later became thakurs (high-caste warrior chiefs with large landholdings) and in early medieval India also came to be known as Rajputs. Unjust War in Hinduism; the emphasis is on deceit and treachery, and the objective is to win by hook or by crook. The motto is ‘the ends justify the means’.

xiv Glossary

Kutniti Li Madrassa Mandala Mansabdar Mlechchas

Monomachia Mujahideen Mullah Ostheer Pashtunwali Pharaoh Raj Rajniti Rajput

Rashtra Ratha Samurai Satrap Sharia Shih Tabur Jangi Tao

Tatmadaw Timar

Use of unfair means in politics. It is generally a component of kutayuddha. This term in ancient Chinese philosophy means force, self-interest, material power. This term also refers to the strategy of attack. Islamic religious school. Kautilya’s theory of international systems comprising a circle of states with the hegemon (vijigisu) located at the centre. Mughal imperial official. A mansabdar held a mansab (imperial rank) and was remunerated with a jagir. Ritually unclean barbarians (foreigners); people who are outside the Hindu cultural orbit and did not belong to the four-fold caste system. Duel between the heroes of Bronze Age civilisation. Holy warriors of Islam; those who participate in Jihad. The terms mujahid and ghazi carry the same meaning as mujahideen. A Muslim male expert in Islamic theology and in sharia. Literal meaning ‘Eastern Army’; the German Army which fought in Russia 1941–45. Unwritten code of the Pathans/Pashtuns. King/ruler of ancient Egypt. Government of the British Indian Empire. Politics. Literal meaning rajaputra, i.e. sons of the soil. The Rajputs con­ stituted the warrior community of the Hindus. They are Kshatriyas and inhabit Rajasthan and parts of north India (Bihar and Uttar Pradesh). State in Hindu philosophy. Chariot. Also known as bushi. The term refers to the mounted knights of premodern Japan; equivalent to Rajput of premodern India. Provincial governor; this position was first introduced by the Achaemenid Persians. Islamic law. This term of ancient Chinese philosophy stands for non-material aspects of power. At times, this term refers to indirect strategy. A tactical format comprising wagons, field artillery and musketequipped infantry. The central concept of Taoism. It means the right way; it stands for the true path for harmonious and balanced existence of all life on earth. Armed forces of Myanmar (Burma). Land granted in lieu of military service; to be more precise, the cavalier who was assigned the timar was granted the right to collect

Glossary xv

Tumen Ulema Umma Vijigisu

Vyuha Wehrmacht Yavana


land revenue and was not given actual ownership of the piece of land; timar is more or less equivalent to iqta and jagir. A Mongol division comprising 10,000 horsemen with about 40,000 or more horses. Muslim scholar well versed in Islamic sacred laws and theology. Islamic community. A Hindu ruler who aims to become the hegemon of the Hindu temporal world (ekarat; emperor) which includes Bharatvarsha, the Indian subcontinent. Battle formation/tactical disposition of the ancient Hindu army. Nazi Germany’s armed forces. It refers to those who are outside the Hindu cultural orbit, i.e. foreigners. This term referred to different ethnic groups at various moments of time. Initially, it referred to the Greeks, then the Huns and finally the Muslims. Organised violence in Hindu philosophy.


The dominant opinion among Western scholars is that the generation of rational secular ideas about the conduct of warfare is the preserve of the West. From the era of classical Athens up to the Vietnam War, one finds a continual development of military theories in the West. This is because drilled and disciplined armed forces with a hierarchical command set-up maintained by the bureaucratic Western poli­ ties engaged in decisive battles. Further, the bureaucratic Western polities have historically been characterised by the technocratic tradition. Western people are unique, as the argument goes, in the application of technology to solve military problems, and this technocratic-secular-rational battle-oriented military tradition, claim Geoffrey Parker, Victor Davis Hanson and John Keegan, can be traced back to classical Greece. They assert that the absence of military thought among the premodern Asians is because the latter had weak states and undisciplined rabbles which engaged in endless skirmishing. In addition, the fragmentary shadow states of Asia were engrossed in religio-cultural belief systems. All these factors prevented the emergence and evolution of military thought in the East (Keegan 1993; Parker 1995; Hanson 1999, 2000, 2001, 2009). The implication of this view is that the Asians are irrational. In the nineteenth century, British authors argued that racial inferiority was the factor behind the Asians’ irrational behaviour. In the present climate of political correctness, racial inferiority as a causative factor has been replaced with cultural uniqueness. One British scholar asserts that the unique religio-cultural ethos of the Asians made their warfare symbolic, while Western warfare has been instrumental (Coker 2004). The present volume challenges the above assertion by analysing the history of ideas of warfare in Asia from the ancient period to the present time. This volume shows that despite the arguments of most Western scholars, the ‘East’ (Asia) has a long unbroken tradition of conceptualising war and its place in society from the ancient period to the information age. Moreover, instead of aping the ‘West’, the

2 Introduction

East innovated both in the theory and praxis of warfare from the dawn of civilisa­ tion to the present time. For me, war means inter-state conflicts, and warfare includes both inter-state and intra-state conflicts. Besides inter-state confrontations, intra-state conflicts have been important for the multi-ethnic polities of Asia. Therefore, this book deals with the ideas behind warfare and not merely war. Until around 1600 CE, China and India generated almost half of the world’s gross national product (GNP) and possessed about 45 per cent of global demo­ graphic resources. During the ancient and medieval eras, sophisticated agrarian bureaucratic polities of Asia deployed hierarchical bureaucratic armies of huge size for long-range operations throughout the year. Besides inter-state war, the military forces of the big Asian polities were also constantly engaged in what in modern parlance is known as counterinsurgency (COIN) campaigns. The majoritarian view is that COIN emerged in the late nineteenth century. The minority view is that the roots of COIN can be traced back to the ancient world (Howe and Brice 2016). I agree with the minority view. For me, armed rebellions by the subjects of a state and non-state actors could be called insurgencies, and repression of such armed rebellions by the state, for me, is COIN. The latter includes both kinetic and non-kinetic elements. COIN is different from Small War. In my framework, Small War is the campaign launched by a state to conquer the stateless region inhabited by tribes. The conduct of inter-state and intra-state wars has been modulated by complex ideas of warfare. During the early modern era, for a host of reasons, ‘backward’ Europe caught up with the eastern parts of Eurasia. The Great Divergence started from circa 1800 CE, and by the first decade of the twentieth century Europe was dominating Asia. However, the period of European dominance was short. The post-Second World War era saw the gradual erosion of European—aka Western—power from the mainland of Asia. In the beginning of the twenty-first century, China, Japan and India are poised to take their traditional place in the international arena. In terms of demographic and economic resources, and certainly in military power, these three countries’ rise seems unstoppable. The era of the American century may not be over yet; however, these Asian countries will give the European Union, the UK and the USA a good run for their money. Hence, I think it is necessary to have a volume which will provide a broad overview of the historical evolution of military thought in Asia and throw light on the Asian theorists of warfare from the begin­ ning of civilisation up to the current period. There is no monograph or edited volume dealing with the evolution of military thought in a sustained manner in various parts of Asia from the ancient period to the current times. There are several works dealing with particular countries or certain aspects, such as the ethics of warfare in various regions of Asia. For example, Torkel Brekke’s edited collection has six powerful essays which chart the tension between the Just and Unjust War among the principal Asian military traditions (Brekke 2006). Kaushik Roy, in one of his monographs, studies the dialectics between dharmayuddha (Just War) and kutayuddha (Unjust War) in the Hindu tra­ dition (Roy 2012). Among the Asian countries, ancient China, and especially Sun

Introduction 3

Tzu, has garnered the bulk of attention. Mark McNeilly and Thomas M. Kane have found elements of modern and postmodern warfare in the work of the ancient Chinese sage Sun Tzu (McNeilly 2001; Kane 2007). In addition, Ralph D. Sawyer and Thomas Cleary have translated and edited numerous works of the ancient Chinese theorists of warfare. A volume edited by Peter Lorge has eight essays which chart the evolution of various strands of military thought in China from the Warring States era to the onset of the Asia-Pacific War (Lorge 2013). One of Paul Varley’s books focuses on the combat ethos of the samurai as portrayed in the quasi-fictional works of medieval Japan (Varley 1994). It is to be noted that the code of conduct of the warriors and combat motivation are also part and parcel of military thought in my paradigm. The general works on strategy like those of Beatrice Heuser and Lawrence Freedman, which purport to be global, pay only lip service to the non-European traditions (Heuser 2010; Freedman 2015). This is strange, given the existence of huge quantities of written materials available at least for China and India. Gerard Chaliand’s global survey of military thought, to its credit, has a few excerpts from the writings of the various Asian strategists and warlords (Chaliand 1994). How­ ever, for Chaliand, just as in the case of Michael I. Handel’s work (Handel 1996), the military strategic thinkers seem to be hanging in thin air. One of the objectives of the present volume is to historically contextualise the various war theorists and military theories, and to show how contemporary social, political, economic and geographic realities shaped the ideas on warfare. A major improvement on this type of global survey is the big volume edited by Gregory M. Reichberg, Henrik Syse with Nicole M. Hartwell (Reichberg et al. 2014). This collection includes large sections of original writings from various religious traditions and the contributors also contextualise the different theories and theorists. However, the focus of this sourcebook is to elucidate the linkage between religion and military ethics in the various Eurasian traditions. The current monograph is not concerned merely with the historical study of strategic ideas. Military thought, in this volume, has several levels. Grand strategy or national security policy comes at the top. It is an amalgam of politics, diplo­ macy, economy and military strategy. Military strategy forms the intermediate level and refers to the use of military assets to win a war. And tactics, which is at the bottom, means the actual deployment of military units in a battlefield. What about operations? I argue that the Mongols invented and practiced the opera­ tional level of war long before the Germans and the Soviets came up with such a concept during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Further, mili­ tary thought for me also includes doctrine. I define doctrine as the set of ideas regarding the formulation of force structure and their deployment for tactical and operational tasks. Hence, doctrine is somewhat equivalent to tactical and opera­ tional ideas. Now how do we define Asia? For me, it means the landmass stretching from Japan in the east to West Asia, including the area lying to the east of an imaginary line running from the Caucasus to the Ural Mountains. Western Russia, which

4 Introduction

constituted the core of Muscovy/czarist Russia, later the USSR and present Russia, belongs to Western Eurasia rather than Asia. Comparison of the military thought generated in the eastern and western parts of Eurasia is absolutely necessary. For instance, West Asia is part of the Eastern Mediterranean zone. This volume will show the interactions between various parts of Asia, and also the exchange of ideas between different parts of West Eurasia and various countries of Asia across more than 2,000 years of recorded history. I believe that a particular theory or a theorist has certain characteristics because of the parti­ cular social and cultural milieu (material base) which spawned them. Nevertheless, that particular theory or theorist also has certain general points which are valid for making transcontinental and transcultural comparisons. In this volume, I will therefore follow both the comparative methodology as well as the technique of interlinked history. This monograph to a great extent is also an exercise in the history of ideas. I attempt to show the philosophical roots behind the military theories. For example, we cannot understand Arthasastra and The Art of War with­ out taking into account the Carvaka and Confucian (Ruism) philosophies. Simi­ larly, the influence of Zen Buddhism on the genesis of bushido cannot be neglected. The coverage of different parts of Asia is not balanced. For instance, South-East Asia gets less space compared to South Asia and China. This is due to the dearth of available sources. It is a bane of history writing unless, of course, we intend to follow Hayden White, who argues that fact and fiction are synonymous. One author has forcefully argued that culture does not matter. Rather, all the theorists across the world can be studied for fleshing out general principles of strategy and war making. Handel pushes this point in his comparative study of Sun Tzu and Clausewitz (Handel 1996). This position is contrary to the more recent view that culture alone matters. The present volume argues that culture is not a tabula rasa. The various military theories which emerged in different parts of Eurasia are products of geopolitics and geo-economics unique to the various regions. This applies as much for Carl von Clausewitz as for Sun Tzu and Kautilya, despite these three claiming to write a general theory of warfare with universal validity. For instance, there are certain striking similarities between the theories of warfare in medieval India and Japan. But there are also fundamental differences between military theories which devel­ oped in India and China at different moments of our timeline. Hence, there is no single Asian theory of warfare. Rather, several theories of warfare emerged in dif­ ferent parts of Asia at various moments. Instead of a single Asian Way of Warfare, there were multiple Asian Ways of Warfare. I define the term ‘Way of Warfare’ as representing a military tradition with elements of both continuity and discontinuity coexisting with each other. From the last decade of the twentieth century, history from below and cultural studies have spread like an epidemic among scholars. Despite the changes at the economic and cultural levels of the social fabric, the construction and destruction of states to a great extent have shaped the material base of society. Brute force influenced the generation of political, ideological and legal structures which

Introduction 5

supported the economies and cultural beliefs. The instrument of brute force in a society remains the armed forces, which are at the disposal of the polity, so a his­ tory from above, focusing on battles and campaigns, is important. The ideas behind the organisation of armed forces and their utilisation during peace and war con­ stitute military thought in my framework, which is the principal subject of this monograph. For the sake of brevity, I am treating military thought and theories of warfare as equivalent terms in this volume. While fleshing out the various, often contradictory, strands of thinking on war­ fare in the different Asian countries, I will focus to a great extent on the great traditions and the grand texts by males. Unfortunately, there are no female military theorists. This might encourage the critics to point out that this is merely a male chauvinistic history from the top. Besides the texts of the masters like Kautilya’s Arthasastra, Kamandaka’s Nitisara, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, etc., I will also use memoirs, fiction, paintings and sculptures to a certain extent. How a particular society conceives war and conceptualises victory and defeat is revealed partly from the paintings, sculptures, war tales and poems (some of them authored by women). I am including these aspects within the ambit of a theory of warfare. For instance, official paintings and sculptures to a certain extent show how the government wants the public to view the functions of organised violence in society. For the early modern and modern periods, the private papers of the commanders and the military manuals and state-sponsored official histories can be used to glean tactical and doctrinal ideas. But memoirs of common soldiers and poems show how those in the firing line and the ‘victims’ thought about the impact of organised violence in their own lives. Hence, my approach is eclectic rather than purely statist. To my mind, it is better to follow a broader approach to understand the theory of warfare than following a tight top-down textual approach, strictly focusing on the works of the masters. Periodisation is problematic; still it is necessary. This work is divided into ten chapters, which are organised geographically because, in my framework, physical geography plays a very important role in shaping military ideas. Within each chapter, a theme is dealt with in an analytical manner. As far as possible, the chapters are also arranged chronologically. The first six chapters deal with the premodern world. The term ‘premodern’ for me includes both ancient and med­ ieval eras. The ancient era for me starts with the rise of organised polities, which occurred first in West Asia with the onset of the Bronze Age. I do not agree that modernity started with the so-called Gunpowder Revolution. Gunpowder was in use in medieval China and in late medieval India. The premodern era for me came to an end with the spread of industrialisation and the emergence of nation-states, the latter replacing the agrarian bureaucratic empires of the premodern era. Thus the modern era began from circa 1750 CE. Modernity witnessed the expansion of sedentary civilisations backed by gunpowder and resources of capitalism against the horse warriors of Central Eurasia. This book, unlike most other works, does not privilege the modern over the ancient and medieval periods. The post-1945 period witnessed the rise of postcolonial nation-states in various parts of Asia. And the

6 Introduction

twenty-first century is witnessing the rise of so-called ‘New Wars’, which some theorists claim are neither inter-state nor intra-state conflicts. Rather, the New Wars are conducted by stateless agents like criminal gangs or mafia cartels, and they do not have any political objectives. State building is not on their agenda (Kaldor 2005). I beg to differ. Hence, instead of the term New War, I prefer to use the term Postmodern War. The context is the rise of the information age which is replacing (a process not yet complete) the industrial age. The coming of the information age may be categorised as the postmodern era. However, the phe­ nomenon of Postmodern War is still evolving. The last four chapters (Chapters 7 to 10) cover the modern and postmodern periods. The first chapter focuses mostly on the concept of warfare as developed in ancient West Asia. This chapter argues that the concept of Total War can be traced back to the Hebrew Bible. The general view is that Total War involves total mobilisation of the society’s economic potential and demographic resources (including males and females) for the prosecution of war, and the objectives of Total War are total destruction of the enemy state and physical annihilation of the defeated people. Though the concept of Total War is an abstract, an idée, it started emerging with the onset of the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution in Britain, reached maturity during the American Civil War, and finally culminated in Adolf Hitler’s der totale krieg during the Second World War (Boemeke et al. 1999; Chickering et al. 2005). This book challenges such a Eurocentric modernist view about the emergence and manifestation of the process of Total War. Chapter 2 deals with early India, which stands for both the ancient and the early medieval period. Chapters 1 and 2 show that decisive battles with drilled and disciplined soldiers (including infantry) occurred in West and South Asia long before classical Greece. Chapter 3 turns the focus to premodern China. The politico-military works generated both in ancient China and ancient India suffer from the problem of dating their composition and authorship. For instance, we lack personal details of Kautilya and Sun Tzu/Sun Bin, unlike Xenophon or Thucydides. The ancient Chinese and Indian works debate the issue of righteous/Just and Unjust War. Unlike most of the Western works (for example those by Herodotus, Xenophon and Thucydides), theoreticians like Lord Shang, Kau­ tilya, etc. equated power with military strength and economic assets. One won­ ders why Thucydides but not Kautilya is regarded as the father of Realist theory and the originator of the political science discipline. Chapter 4 assesses the influ­ ence of Western Roman and Asian influences on the Byzantine military tracts. The next chapter turns the spotlight on the evolution of the Islamic theory of warfare. At the grand strategic level, Islamic theory pushed the concept of Jihad. At the tactical level, the Islamic half-moon technique of attack influenced by the Central Eurasian steppe nomadic military techniques was similar to the ardha­ chandra vyuha of the ancient Hindus. Chapter 6 portrays the rise of samurai in premodern Japan. This chapter compares the code of conduct of the Rajputs with the mounted knights of medieval Japan. In fact, bushido and kshatradharma

Introduction 7

and the material base which gave rise to such military cultures have certain commonalities. Both the samurai and the Rajputs were mounted knights who held land. Both groups operated when strong centralised states had given way to decentralised feudal polities. The bards of medieval Japan and India in their war tales and poetry portrayed the mounted knights’ attitude towards lord and vassal, and their code of conduct on and off the battlefield. As far as conventional war is concerned, Chapter 7 shows how Israel ‘reinvented Blitzkrieg’ and then, in the early 1970s, like the British Army of the Second World War, it stumbled into an all-tank force. And in the twenty-first century, the main threat to Israel comes not from conventional armed forces of the Arab states but from the unconventional warriors—non-state actors. Chapter 8 deals with modern South Asia. It shows that both India and Pakistan developed concepts of Limited War, and in recent times, the idea of Limited War under the nuclear shadow. Both India and Pakistan suffer from endemic insurgen­ cies. Compared to Pakistan’s ‘harsh’ COIN, India’s COIN is far more sophisticated and ‘humane’. India’s COIN philosophy involves a judicious amalgam of carrot and stick policy. While Pakistani COIN is influenced by certain Islamic concepts, to a great extent Indian COIN philosophy is innovative and partly shaped by British legacies. This chapter further deals with the philosophy of the Maoist movement in Nepal and the ‘brutal’ COIN technique which Sri Lanka successfully applied in rooting out the Tamil ‘Tigers’. Chapter 9 shows the transformation of military theories in the Far East from circa 1800 to 2020. The Maoist theory of war to an extent is akin to the concept of Total War. In this chapter, I detail the innovative elements introduced by Mao Tse-tung as regards guerrilla warfare in the Leninist-Marxist tradition. Further, the influence of classical Chinese military thinkers on Mao is also evaluated. The Vietnamese also had a long tradition of waging guerrilla warfare against the Chi­ nese. How far Vo Nguyen Giap was influenced by this indigenous tradition is worth studying. The chapter ends by arguing that in the twenty-first century, the polities of the Far East are settling down for a high-technology Limited War. Both Chapters 8 and 9 show how the powerful states of Asia are tinkering with nuclear theories and the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) which seems to have started from the 1980s. The last chapter deals with the issue of Global Jihad in present-day Asia. Speak­ ing of Islamic insurgency, the Asian country which first comes to mind is Afgha­ nistan. This chapter makes an attempt to trace the theory and practice of Afghan guerrilla warfare from the modern to the postmodern eras. In the absence of written sources from the Afghan side, we have to build up the story for the pre­ nineteenth-century period from the accounts left by the invaders of Afghanistan. A discussion of the use of modern information technologies (IT) by the jihadists in North Caucasus, Iraq and Syria squares off this chapter. The Conclusion, instead of merely summarising the arguments of the book in the traditional manner, also attempts to chart the possible ways in which future warfare and theories of warfare might develop in Asia.

8 Introduction

Bibliography Boemeke, Manfred F., Chickering, Roger and Forster, Stig (eds.), Anticipating Total War: The German and American Experiences, 1871–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Brekke, Torkel (ed.), The Ethics of War in Asian Civilizations: A Comparative Perspective (London: Routledge, 2006). Chaliand, Gerard (ed.), The Art of War in World History: From Antiquity to the Nuclear Age (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). Chickering, Roger, Forster, Stig, and Greiner, Bernd (eds.), A World at Total War: Global Conflict and the Politics of Destruction, 1937–1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). Coker, Christopher, The Future of War: The Re-Enchantment of War in the Twenty-First Cen­ tury (Malden MA/Oxford: Blackwell, 2004). Freedman, Lawrence, Strategy: A History (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015). Handel, Michael I., Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought (London: Frank Cass, 1996). Hanson, Victor Davis, Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece (Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1999). Hanson, Victor Davis, The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (London: Cassell, 2000). Hanson, Victor Davis, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power (New York: Doubleday, 2001). Hanson, Victor Davis, The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece (Berkeley/ Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2009). Heuser, Beatrice, The Evolution of Strategy: Thinking War from Antiquity to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). Howe, Timothy and Brice, Lee L. (eds.), Brill’s Companion to Insurgency and Terrorism in the Ancient Mediterranean (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2016). Kaldor, Mary, New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era (Dehradun: Natraj, 2005). Kane, Thomas M., Ancient China on Postmodern War: Enduring Ideas from the Chinese Strategic Tradition (London/New York: Routledge, 2007). Keegan, John, A History of Warfare (New York: Vintage Books, 1993). Lorge, Peter (ed.), Debating War in Chinese History (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013). McNeilly, Mark, Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001). Parker, Geoffrey (ed.), The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare: The Triumph of the West (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995). Reichberg, Gregory M., Syse, Henrik with Hartwell, Nicole M. (eds.), Religion, War, and Ethics: A Sourcebook of Textual Traditions (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014). Roy, Kaushik, Hinduism and the Ethics of Warfare in South Asia from Antiquity to the Present (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012). Varley, Paul, Warriors of Japan as Portrayed in the War Tales (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1994).

1 ANCIENT WEST ASIA Origins of cosmic genocide

Introduction Geographically speaking, this chapter includes the Near East and Middle East. The Near East for me means Anatolia and Syria along with Palestine. The Middle East refers to Iraq and Iran. The Near East and Middle East together comprise, in my format, West Asia. The big powers which emerged in this region during the Bronze Age and the classical era were the Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians and Achaemenid Persians. Technically, Egypt is not within Asia. Egypt, like the Ana­ tolian powers, was actually a Mediterranean power. However, Egypt was shaped very much by Asian influences, and in return, also influenced the evolution of the polities in West Asia. Moreover, Egypt frequently intervened in the Levant, and the West Asian powers invaded Egypt several times. Therefore, I have included Egypt in this chapter. Asia is the birthplace of major religions, and the different religious traditions shaped the military philosophies of various regions. Besides religious traditions, the socio-economic matrix and geopolitics influenced the thoughts pertaining to war in different parts of this region. This chapter shows that with the flowering of Bronze Age civilisations in the Levant, one finds the origins of the amorphous concept of a clash among civilisations resulting in genocidal tendencies. Further, at the operational level, concepts of joint naval-ground force cooperation occurred. And at the tactical level, Bronze Age West Asia witnessed the rise of the concept of decisive battles.

Egypt Ancient Egypt in this book stands for the period from the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period (2950 BCE) to the end of the Ptolemaic era (30 BCE). The Egyp­ tian rulers understood the importance of writing to record their military victories for posterity. Both in ancient Egypt and the Hittite Kingdom, only 10 per cent of the

10 Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide

populace was literate (Ancient Egypt 2016: xvii). In general, most of the ancient Egyptian writings emphasise the superiority of Egyptian civilisation, represented by its king over all surrounding countries and people. The inhabitants of the outside world were perceived as evil, hostile and cowardly by nature, a constant threat to Egypt and its cosmic order (Gnirs 1999: 72). The ancient Egyptian battle narratives are not examples of objective impartial history. Such pieces are official propaganda which highlights the role of the pharaoh (king). The pharaoh’s superior decisionmaking power vis-à-vis his advisors, and his personal courage are highlighted in such narratives. At the same time, such partial battle narratives belittle the foes of Egypt. The battle narratives were put in a sacred space, frequently inscribed on the walls of temples, which not only provided added value and validity to the inscriptions but also dedicated the king’s victory to his divine patron. The inscriptions reinforced the official ideology that the ruler owed his primary allegiance to, and also derived his authority from, the gods. In return for royal benefactions to the temples, the gods granted the king power over his subjects (Ancient Egypt 2016: 45–6). Thus, the pharaoh was a divine being, the sole source of law and authority, but he had to rely upon other gods for supernatural help (Carlton 1990: 36). And the god king had to delegate responsibility to a number of officials for ruling the realm. Egypt imported cedar from Lebanon for constructing ships which were used both for commercial and military purposes (Carlton 1990: 36). Hence, Egypt had to intervene along the narrow coastline extending from Anatolia to Gaza, which brought Egypt into conflict with other neighbouring powers of the Near East. The account of the Battle of Megiddo (1458 BCE) was inscribed on the walls of Karnak Temple during the reign of Thutmose III (r. 1479–1425 BCE). This battle was fought between Thutmose III and a coalition of Canaanite vassal states (Canaan includes Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Jordan) led by the King of Kadesh. The text, bombastic in tone, praises the annexationist strategy of the pharaoh, his battlefield leadership, and highlights the booty captured from the defeated party (Ancient Egypt 2016: 54–5). The text says: ‘departing from this place in valour, in victory, in strength (and) in justification, to overthrow that cowardly enemy (and) to widen the borders of Egypt, just as his father Amun-Ra, mighty and victorious, had commanded that he should conquer’ (Ancient Egypt 2016: 56). The account con­ tinues: ‘Then every man was given his marching orders … with His Majesty, at the head of his army … Emergence by His Majesty at the head of his army, deployed in multiple units’ (quoted from Ancient Egypt 2016: 57). Then the battle narrative goes on to give a detailed list of the booty captured from the vanquished. The exact number of stallions, colts, cattle, goats and sheep, along with the prisoners of war (males and females including their children), are given. In general, all the battle narratives give detailed lists of loot captured from the enemy. This is because besides capturing hostile territory, loot was an important objective of Egyptian war making. The lists of captured goods and materials from the enemy also reflect the bureaucratic mindset of the Egyptian scribes who prepared these inscriptions. After all, the scribes were taught counting and accounting as part of their training (Ancient Egypt 2016: xxvii, 46–7, 60–1).

Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide 11

Egypt under Thutmose III was a stable aggressive polity engaged in wars for foreign conquests. A century before his rule, Egypt was under the control of the Hyksos. The Middle Kingdom had come to an end with the invasion of the Hyksos who came from the north and dominated Egypt between 1730 and 1570 BCE (Carlton 1990: 40). The battle narrative of Pharaoh Kamose (r. 1541–1539 BCE), inscribed in a large limestone stela in the Karnak Temple, describes his struggle with the Hyksos invaders. Kamose, the ruler of Thebes (a city of Egypt not to be confused with the city with the same name in Greece), was under double threat posed by the Hyksos in North Egypt and their ally, Apepi (r. 1570–1530 BCE), plus the ruler of Kush, a kingdom in Nubia, located south of the Second Cataract of the Nile. Kamose organised a fleet to attack the Hyksos capital, Avaris (Ancient Egypt 2016: 49–50). This is probably the first example of the use of the navy for transporting troops, and one can say that here lies the beginning of amphibious operations. The Kamose stela tells us: ‘when I reached the appointed time for going upstream … I had lined up the fleet one behind another, prow to steering oar, with the members of my elite corps darting across the river like a falcon. My golden ship was in front and was itself like a falcon in the vanguard’ (Ancient Egypt 2016: 50). In ancient Egypt, the pharaoh, a warlord in the battle­ field, had to lead from the front and had to display ‘heroic command’. Heroic leadership means that in order to motivate the ordinary soldiers, the commander has to undergo the privations of the rank and file and even expose himself at the front line to physical dangers during the heat of battle. The stela tells us that Kamose, in the war against the Hyksos, actually did display heroic command by leading from the front somewhat in the style of Jon Snow of the HBO series Game of Thrones. On this stela, the Hyksos are categorised as barbarian foreigners and animal imagery is used to describe them. The Hyksos defenders in their battlements are compared to baby mice inside their holes (Keegan 1988: 13–91; Ancient Egypt 2016: 50–1). The use of animal imagery is a technique used to dehumanise the opponents and provide war with a racial/ethnographic colour. Hitlerite Germany, Britain and the USA all used animal imageries against the Russians and the Japanese during the Second World War. For instance, Field-Marshal Bill Slim of Britain and Commander of the 14th Army in Burma during the latter part of the Second World War compared the Japanese soldiers to ants (Slim 1981: 472, 521).

Hittites In the absence of books written on military theory, a historian has to extend his/ her concept of archive both horizontally and vertically. Moreover, the scholar has to know what questions he/she is going to ask. At times, even civil laws throw light on the military requirements of the polity. Take for instance the case of the Hittite Kingdom (it stretched at its height from Western Anatolia up to Syria and the bank of the Euphrates River), which lasted from circa 1700 to 1200 BCE. Hittite laws encouraged widow remarriage, partly because of a shortage of Hittite military manpower. Every year, the Hittite monarch launched raids and campaigns

12 Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide

of conquest against his myriad enemies, so the production of children was indeed necessary for the survival of the kingdom. In contrast, Vedic Indian society (1500/ 1200–500 BCE) never encouraged widow remarriage because, in addition to other factors, Vedic India was overflowing with demographic resources. However, the Hittites, like the early medieval Hindu polities, brought the gods and goddesses of a defeated power back into their own homeland. Conquests became permanent in the Hittite perspective only when livestock, people and even the idols were cap­ tured from the defeated regions. The idols captured from the other powers were installed in the Hittite homeland as lesser gods and goddesses. This was possible because the Hittites, like the Hindus, followed a polytheistic religion, and the Hittite grand strategy of bringing back the divine idols of the vanquished con­ stituted a symbolic yet real victory over its opponents. At times, Hittite grand strategy also involved diplomatic correspondence in addition to a display of force. The Hittite King Hattusili (r. 1267–1237 BCE) signed a peace treaty with Pharaoh Ramesses II in 1259 BCE. The end of hostility with Egypt enabled the Hittite ruler to turn his military machine against his enemies in Western Anatolia. The pharaoh, in turn, was interested in establishing peace with the Hittites due to the rising threat of Assyria (Bryce 2019: 137–8, 191, 240–1, 272). The vassal rulers of Hatti in Syria and Anatolia, as evident from the letters written by them to their Hittite overlord, were under the obligation to supply food, chariots, horses and soldiers. When the vassals refused to comply with these obligations, then reprisals followed. The Hittites launched plundering raids to capture livestock (cattle, sheep, etc.), food and manpower from their unruly neighbours. The Hittites also engaged in decisive battles against their foreign ene­ mies. For instance, in 1274 BCE, the Hittite ruler Muwattali II (r. 1294–1272 BCE) engaged the forces of Pharoah Ramesses II on the bank of the Orontes River in Syria at the battlefield of Kadesh (Bryce 2019: 177, 260–1, 272). Sculptures throw light on the force structure of the Hittites. The Hittite ruling class was of Indo-European stock. Their shock weapon comprised horse-drawn chariots, each of which carried three men: a driver and two fighters equipped with spears and bows. Even hostile parties’ sculptures throw light on the military machine of the Hittites. The Egyptian relief sculptures depicting the Battle of Kadesh show that the Hittite charioteers are clad in neck-to-ankle garments made of linen and leather over which chain mail is sewn. They are wearing leather shoes and have big shields made from wood and leather. However, the bulk of the army comprised infantry. A sculpture at Hattusa shows that an infantry soldier is equip­ ped with a leather helmet which has cheek and neck flaps and a mail shirt and is armed with a battle axe and a short, curved sword (Bryce 2019: 172–3). Archaeology also throws light on the military doctrine of a polity. Besides con­ ducting aggressive raids and waging decisive battles, the Hittites at times also fol­ lowed a defensive strategy based on massive fortifications. The Hittite royal capital Hattusa had a great earthen rampart paved with limestone. The outer wall which surrounded the city was 6.6km long punctuated by bastions at roughly 30-metre intervals. Rounded triangular crenellations topped off the walls and towers in order

Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide 13

to shield the defenders from enemy missiles fired from below. Trevor Bryce, the expert on Hittite history, opines that the military architectural skill of the Hittites flowed westwards to the Myceneans in Greece (Bryce 2019: 202–5).

Israel On the trumpets summoning the foot soldiers to advance towards the enemy for­ mations when the gates of war are opened they shall write, Reminder of Vengeance in God’s Appointed Time. (Dead Sea Scrolls 2011: 168)

This section analyses the concept of warfare as present in the Hebrew Bible and attempts to link it with the organised violence practiced by the ancient Israelis. The main sources for the history of ancient Israel are the Bible and archaeological findings. Probably in around 2400 BCE, Egypt under Pharaoh Pepi I conquered Israel. Next, the Hyksos captured Israel in around 1700 BCE. The Exodus or the escape from Egyptian captivity probably occurred around 1450 BCE or 1250 BCE. This was followed by the Israelite conquest and settlement in Canaan. After the conquest of Canaan, the land came to be known as Eretz Israel by the Israelites. A United Kingdom was established under Saul in around 1020 BCE. After the split of the United Monarchy in 925 BCE, the Northern Kingdom was called Israel and the southern one Judah. Saul died at the hands of the Philistines and his son-in-law David came to the throne in 1000 BCE and made Jerusalem (wrested from the Canaanites) his capital. Saul was succeeded by his son Solomon who further extended the power of Israel. However, the Philistines, who had invaded Israel from the west and south, threatened the small Jewish Kingdom. After the Roman conquest of Israel in 66 CE, the region came to be known as Judea. After the great Israeli revolt under Bar Kochba during 132–35 CE, the Roman emperor Hadrian (r. 117–38 CE) changed the name to Syria-Palestine. This name continued even under the Arab conquest of the Near East (Gichon 1979: 6). Israel was strategically located as all the caravan and military roads linking Egypt with Anatolia and the Middle East passed through this area (Carlton 1990: 81–3). This country constituted the land bridge which connected Eurasia with Africa; there was no detour available between the sea and the desert (Herzog and Gichon 2006: 29), so big powers like Egypt, the Hittites, Assyria, Achaemenid Persia, the Seleucids and later the Romans always passed through Israel. Hence war was endemic in ancient Israel. It was mostly religion which preserved the unity of the Israeli nation. Ancient Israel theoretically and practically was a theocracy. Hence, the ideational nature of warfare was highly influenced by Old Christianity. The area of Israel was regarded as the property of Yahweh—it was a holy land; whoever ruled only did so with Yahweh’s (God’s) authority (Carlton 1990: 84, 86–7). In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures), the gods play an important role in human affairs. Thus, the Bible represents theocratic history. The stories are determined by a quasihistorical aspect, in which one single god or a cluster of gods play the determining

14 Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide

role (Carroll 1995: 26–7). This trend is present in the two Homeric epics (Iliad and Odyssey) and also in the two epics of ancient India, Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Homeric Greeks believed that the gods decided the long-term outcome, but during battle heroes took centre stage while the gods moved to the background (Rabb 2011: 2). The same also applies to Mahabharata: the god Lord Krishna remains in the background and Arjuna, the Pandava hero, occupies centre stage as the principal dramatis persona. The narratives of war in the books of Samuel have their back­ ground in the stories about conflicts between the Israelite tribes and the Philistines. The foreground in the war narratives of the books of Samuel, are the stories related to the emergence of monarchy under Saul and David (Carroll 1995: 33). The Book of Deuteronomy differentiates between two types of war: Holy War and normal/princely war. The concept of Holy War, as advanced in this book, is similar to the modern concept of Total War. Total War means complete destruc­ tion of the enemy state and full subjugation (if possible physical annihilation; Aus­ geschaltet) of the enemy populace. The Holy War is commanded by God to conquer the Promised Land by waging a war of extermination against the seven nations who had occupied Israel (Afterman and Afterman 2014: 11). Holy War is to be waged against the Canaanites and it is a war of total annihilation and knows no bound. No restraint is ordained while conducting such wars. The justification is that the survival of the Canaanites might result in abominations spreading among the Israelis, so to allow them to survive is sinful for the Israelis. Israel was sur­ rounded by communities who were polytheistic in their beliefs. Monotheism emerged among the Hebrews during the days of wandering in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt. It was then validated by the revelations of Moses on Mount Sinai. Various stories were added later and together they constituted the 39 books of the Old Testament, which became the basis of ancient Judaeo-Christian tradi­ tion. And the Israelites, followers of this tradition, became the ‘chosen people’ (somewhat like the Nazi master race) ordained by Yahweh to smash polytheism in their holy land (Carlton 1990: 86–7). The Dead Sea Scrolls (written between 150 BCE and 70 CE) also follow Deu­ teronomy as regards waging Holy War as a sort of Total War. The Book of Gen­ esis tells us that the Canaanite clans had settled in all the regions from Sidon to Gaza (Holy Bible 1984: 9). The non-Jewish communities had to be exterminated in the Promised Land to make space for the Israeli settlement. Much later in history, Adolf Hitler had the plan of exterminating the Slav population of Russia to make space for the German farmers, and like the Israelis before him, Hitler claimed that he was only reconquering the land from which the Germans had been evicted earlier by the Slavs. On 17 September 1941, Hitler declared to his closed circle: ‘The Russian space is our India … We shall rule this empire with a handful of men … The Slav people are not destined to live a cleanly life’ (Hitler’s Table-Talk 1988: 33–4). The Dead Sea Scrolls say: ‘However, from the cities of the peoples which I grant to you as inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes, because you must carry out the ban of extermination against the Hittites, the Amorites and the Canaanites’ (quoted from Afterman and Afterman 2014: 24).

Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide 15

The Holy Wars for Israel, therefore, were somewhat similar to Hitler’s war of extermination against the Slavs. But a point of caution is necessary: nowhere in the Bible or in the rabbinic tradition is a general Holy War against the idolaters beyond the borders of Israel promulgated, so the Jewish tradition of Holy War of exter­ mination is different from the Nazi war of global conquest and extermination of the inferior races. Ancient Israelis’ Holy War is also different from Jihad of Islam because Hebrew Holy War was confined within the borders of their holy land, i.e. Israel. Islamic Jihad, on the other hand, both in the medieval era and at present, as discussed in chapters 5 and 10, is projected outward beyond the core territories of Islam, i.e. Arabia. Ancient Jewish society was tribal, but with settlement and urbanisation it underwent changes. The Beni Hasan mural (a famous wall painting in a tomb at Beni Hasan in Egypt) depicts a Semitic clan (probably the Israeli host) entering Egypt during the nineteenth or eighteenth century BCE. At that time, the Israelites had no cavalry. Most of the tribesmen were armed with spears, javelins, bows and swords (Gichon 1979: 12). At its height, the Jewish Kingdom of Israel never had more than 1 million people (Carlton 1990: 83), so it was compulsory for all Israelis to serve during the Holy War. Total War also demands conscription of all the available males for military service. The Canaanites were easily defeated by the Israelis because the former lacked a unified political organisation. Further, there was no national consciousness among the Canaanite city-states west of Jordan. The Amarna Letters (fourteenth century BCE) also note that due to internecine tension and conflict, the number of soldiers maintained by the different Canaanite city-states was quite small (Malamat 1979: 29, 31). In contrast, the Israeli tribes were unified under the aggressive religious ideology of the Old Testament. If an Israeli ruler failed to conduct Holy War in accordance with the laws of extermination, he was punished. The Hebrew Bible ordained a Holy War against the Amalek nation. It notes: ‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven”’ (quoted from Afterman and Afterman 2014: 20). This was because the Amalek attacked the Jews when they were fleeing from Egypt. Exodus notes: ‘The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim … So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword’ (Holy Bible 1984: 71). King Saul showed mercy by sparing the life of the Amalekite king, which led to Saul losing his throne to David as divine punishment (Afterman and Afterman 2014: 11). However, normal/princely war was to be regulated by certain humane customs. Some examples can be given. Deuteronomy: 20 notes that certain classes of people are to be exempted from conscription during princely war—those who are on the verge of getting married or have built a new house, for example (Afterman and Afterman 2014: 12). A hostile city should be given the opportunity to surrender and accept terms of tribute. If it refuses, then the city should be attacked, and after it has been captured, only the male prisoners should be put under the sword but not the females and children (Solomon 2006: 40–1). A genocide of the defeated

16 Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide

population was not ordered in the case of princely war. However, such humani­ tarianism had practical benefits. The prisoners who became slaves added to the economic and demographic power of ancient Israel.

Mesopotamia In this section, I will study all the polities which emerged in the ancient period either in Mesopotamia or had Mesopotamia as their core region. Around 3500 BCE, an Urban Revolution occurred in Mesopotamia. The size of the cities increased, resulting in the development of fortifications; most of the cities possessed huge mud brick walls. Most of the art that developed had military themes, which not only throw light on the weapons but also make clear the importance of warfare in the political ideology of early Sumer (Southern Mesopotamia). Sumerian kingship was highly militarised. The centralisation of power in the hands of the royal and priestly classes during the Late Uruk period (3500–3100 BCE) resulted in the emergence of a divinely mandated ideology and a priest king. The priest king is depicted in iconography with thrusting spears and sitting in a boat, which probably refers to the presence of a riverine or coastal navy in Uruk. Uruk and Susa were 160 miles apart. The Egyptian and Uruk armies approached Susa via the Karkheh River (Hamblin 2010: 35–9, 41). Here lies the importance of possessing a riverine navy. Some of the iconography also depicts siege warfare. William Hamblin writes that most of the military art of ancient Sumer depicts the post-battle scenes (triumphal march of the victorious soldiers bringing in booty and captives) rather than actual battle scenes (Hamblin 2010: 49). This is a serious limitation of the materials with which a historian has to work but still it is better than having nothing. The pieces of military art give us some idea about the force structure of the Sumerian polities. Drilled and disciplined infantry was not unique to the so-called Western Way of Warfare, which was supposed to have emerged in classical Greece. Disciplined infantry played an important role in ancient Mesopotamian warfare. The ancient Sumerian polities had disciplined infantry geared for close-quarter combat in pit­ ched battles. Different pieces of sculptures point to this fact. A plaque which can be dated to about 2500 BCE from the city of Mari on the Euphrates River shows a warrior equipped with a metal helmet, battle axe and sickle sword (Watkins 1989: 19). Another Sumerian seal depicts the Sumerian Army on the march. It shows infantry, war carts, pack animals and boats. The boats with paddles are carrying supplies for the army marching on the land. The pack animals, such as donkeys, also carried supplies. We can surmise, therefore, that ancient Sumerian military theory gave adequate attention to matters of logistics. Each war cart drawn by long-haired equids had two wheels (Hamblin 2010: 50). The early Sumerians lacked horses, which were introduced among the Hittites only around 1600 BCE. The Standard of Ur is another example of the militarised art of ancient Sumer, and can be dated to 2550 BCE. The panels show war carts, each of which is drawn

Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide 17

by four equids and has a driver and a warrior equipped with a javelin or an axe. The middle panel shows infantry dressed and equipped in a uniform manner. All the infantry soldiers are armed with thrusting spears. This shows that disciplined heavy infantry played an important role in the Sumerian battles. Overall, the three panels of the Standard of Ur show that the Sumerian Army, like other con­ temporary West Asian armies, comprised disciplined heavy infantry and chariots. The charioteers are equipped with throwing javelins, and the infantry with thrusting spears and battle axes for close-quarter combat (Hamblin 2010: 49–50). The Sumerian charioteers, unlike the Egyptian and Vedic Indian charioteers, did not use bows and arrows. In around 2400 BCE, Lagash (a city at the junction of the Euphrates and Tigris and east of Uruk) became the hegemon in Mesopotamia. King Urnanshe of Lagash (r. 2495–2475 BCE) fought against Umma and Ur. Several inscriptions provide details about his martial activities. The Stele of the Vultures depicts two types of infantry: light and heavy. The light infantry had no protective armour and each carried a spear and a battle axe. The heavily armoured infantry soldiers are depicted as helmeted spearmen, organised in masses (prelude to the phalanx formation) (Watkins 1989: 19). For the first time in history, Urnanshe started the practice of making burial mounds for those who died in the battlefield. The Stele of the Vultures also depicts the dead placed in a pile by the victors and then these bodies were covered with earth. The king thus proclaimed victory by indicating his pos­ session of the battlefield and burying the war dead. One can say that burying the war dead was also a humane act, but there were practical reasons as well; it pre­ vented the threat of infection and the spread of diseases. Some of the inscriptions of Lagash also mention overseas voyages from the Persian Gulf to Dilmun (Bahrain) for bringing timber and stones (Hamblin 2010: 51). We can speculate that Lagash had the maritime technical know-how and probably maintained sea-going warships. The most important literary source depicting hyper-masculinity and militarism in ancient Mesopotamia is The Epic of Gilgamesh. The date of composition of this work is roughly 2000 BCE. Whether the authorship of this work can be attributed to Sinleqqiunninni, the scholar-priest of Uruk, is debatable. This epic was written in the Akkadian language and comprises 2,900 lines on 11 clay tablets and travelled westwards in Anatolia, especially among the Hittites. The Assyrians in Mesopota­ mia also inherited this work. The Epic of Gilgamesh describes the daredevil activities of the hero king of ancient Mesopotamia named Gilgamesh (two-thirds god and one-third human) who probably lived around 2700 BCE. The bloodcurdling glorious adventures of Gilgamesh (Bilgamesh in Old Babylonian texts) of Uruk include combat with both gods and demons like Humbaba from the underworld. In a way, Gilgamesh is somewhat similar to Rama, the Indian half-god and halfhuman hero king of Ayodhya, whose martial activities are depicted in the Hindu epic Ramayana. Both Ramayana and The Epic of Gilgamesh are interspersed with unchaste women and intrigues, and both the heroes overcome such obstructions with skill and dexterity. The Epic of Gilgamesh describes Gilgamesh’s combat with

18 Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide

Agga of the city of Kish. Gilgamesh’s victory resulted in Uruk replacing Kish as the premier city in Mesopotamia. From the military point of view, the epic notes that Gilgamesh focused on the construction of a defensive wall with battlements at Uruk and this defensive technique outlasted him. The epic tells us that Gilgamesh constructed the wall of Uruk with kiln-fired bricks and it had a military pathway for defence (Gilgamesh 1989: xvii–xxxiv, 3, 4, 15). The importance given to the city walls probably refers to the importance of positional warfare involving sieges in the military discourse of ancient Mesopotamians. The Assyrians were a Semitic-speaking people who dwelled in Northern Mesopotamia (Iraq) (Waters 2014: 25). They were pioneers in creating an empire in the Middle East. At the grand strategic level, the Assyrians deliberately used terror as a weapon to cow latent enemies. In fact, the Assyrian rulers’ public pro­ clamations of brutal acts on the defeated people would have put Hitler’s Ostheer to shame. Like the Wehrmacht, the Assyrian army always attacked. The Assyrian motto was ‘offence is the best defence’. Instead of depending on defensive doctrine, the Assyrian strategic assumption was to carry the war to enemy homelands. And in the case of a rebellion, reprisals were swift and merciless. The assumption was that if rebellions were not quickly extinguished, then they would spread and putting them down would be harder and time consuming. The Assyrians made a practice of carrying out horrific public executions of the ringleaders to deter other potential troublemakers. The Assyrian rulers were not sadists but realists; practical strategic calculation was woven into the policy of Assyrian cruelty (Melville 2011: 13–33). At times, the Assyrians instead of brute force used diplomacy (winning over the tribes with gifts, divide and rule technique) and displays of military power to win over their opponents (Melville 2016: 62–92). But such cases were exceptions to their general brutal policy. The cuneiform script which the Sumerians developed was continued by the Assyrians in implementing their scheme of military propaganda. Sennacherib (r. 705–681 BCE), like most of the Assyrian kings, recorded his principal military victories in bas reliefs on the walls of his palaces. Pictures were more impressive and had a wider acceptance than merely written details inscribed on the walls of the temples and palaces because most people at that time were illiterate. The audience for the sculptures depicting military campaigns was their own subjects as well as foreign visitors (Wiseman 1989: 36, 40). Assyrian military propaganda, like the Hittites’ but unlike that of the Egyptians and Israelites, was a secular one. A cuneiform inscription from the North Palace of King Ashurbanipal (r. 668–27 CE) at Nineveh records his campaign against Elam. The inscription reads: ‘I besieged and conquered Hamanu, a royal city of Elam. I carried off spoil, wrecked and broke it up and then burnt it with fire’ (quoted from Wiseman 1989: 37). The Assyrians were masters of siege warfare. A drawing from the Nineveh Palace shows the assault on Lachish in 701 BCE by Sennacherib’s army. The Assyrian besieging force used infantry and siege machines to capture the fortified city and the assault force used mobile battering rams to smash the walls of the fortress. Two historians claim that the ram was first depicted in a fresco of the

Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide 19

twelfth dynasty of Egypt (twentieth century BCE). There was continuous exchange of military ideas between Egypt and Mesopotamia. While the concept of heavy war chariots and composite bows passed from Levant to Egypt, ideas regarding siege techniques passed from Egypt to the Middle East. In fact, one can speak of a common pool of Afro-Asian military discourse. The Assyrian mobile battering rams were protected by archers who in turn were protected by soldiers carrying big shields. The archers, by maintaining continuous fire, prevented the defenders of the fortress from hurling missiles on the mobile ram. Further, the shields protected the Assyrian archers from the defenders’ missiles. In addition, the Assyrian assault detachment also used scaling towers through which pikemen went up along the walls of the fortress. The pikemen, in turn, were provided covering fire by archers and slingers (Herzog and Gichon 2006: 213, 222). The Macedonians learnt all these siege techniques only under Alexander’s father Philip II (r. 359–36 BCE). The Achaemenid Persians succeeded the Assyrians and built up a larger empire which stretched from the Aegean Sea in the west to the Indus River in the east. The Achaemenid Empire was founded by Cyrus the Great in 559 BCE and came to an end with its conquest by Alexander in 330 BCE. The Greek authors have portrayed the Achaemenid Persians as effeminate and unmanly, which is an example of Greek propaganda to legitimise their victory over ‘unmanly’ Asians. Feminisation of Asia, in general, and Persia, in particular, was a common topos in Greek art, architecture and writings. Military victory is portrayed in Greek thinking as rape of a woman by a man. For example, a wine jug depicting Kimon’s victory at the River Eurymedon in the early 460s shows a Greek male with an erect penis approaching a Persian bending over. The image portrays manly Athenians’ victory over the womanish Persians (Hall 1995: 109–11). The ostentatious display of wealth by the Achaemenid Empire was interpreted by the Greeks as an example of degeneration among the barbarians. The display of wealth was actually a display of power, and it was a grand strategic technique of the Achaemenids to establish status and awe among their subjects (Stoneman 2015: 33). In Achaemenid ideol­ ogy, andragathie (manliness) was represented through displaying prowess in combat and having many sons (Briant 1999: 109). Richard Stoneman notes that Achaemenid art, unlike Assyrian art, never depicts scenes of cruel punishment or rows of impaled bodies. The Achaemenid Empire, ruling over a multi-ethnic society from the time of Cyrus (601–530 BCE) and Darius I (r. 522–486 BCE), highlighted tolerance (Stoneman 2015: 42). Probably for this reason the Achaemenid Empire was more stable than the Assyrian King­ dom. Writings by the Graeco-Roman authors and Persian iconography throw light on the strategy, doctrine and force structure of the Achaemenids. The Cyrus Cylinder with its cuneiform inscription, discovered in 1879, provides a window to the political ideology (an aspect of grand strategy) of the Achaemenid Empire. In 539 BCE, Cyrus, the ruler of Fars (Anshan) and Media, occupied Babylon. Though Cyrus marched with his troops, there was no military opposition from the Babylonian ruler Nabonidus. Nabonidus' troops and the people of Babylon were dissatisfied with his reign, and Cyrus manipulated the situation to his

20 Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide

advantage with skill resulting in a bloodless victory. Thanks to Cyrus’s leadership and disciplined army, there was no looting, bloodshed and rape after the military occupation of Babylon (Razmjou 2013: 119). The Greek and Roman forces were incapable of such behaviour. The Roman military culture after capturing a hostile city involved looting, raping the women and killing all the adult males, and the rest of the populace were sold into slavery (Ziolkowski 1995: 69–91). The clay cylinder of Cyrus, shaped like a big melon, which was buried in a wall in Babylon, notes that during the occupation of the city there was no bloodshed and the people submitted respectfully. The inscription tells us: He made the land of Guti and all the Median troops prostrate themselves at his feet, while he shepherded in justice and righteousness … All the people of Tintir, of all Sumer and Akkad, nobles and governors, bowed down before him and kissed his feet, rejoicing over his kingship … I am Cyrus, king of the universe, the great king, the powerful king. (Finkel 2013: 5–6) Cyrus then declared himself King of Kings (Shahenshah). In the seventh century CE, when the Arabs occupied Persia, they adopted the title of Shahenshah in their own royal lexicon. Universal kingship and tolerance, power and generosity, exist side by side in Cyrus’s proclamation. The piety of Cyrus, even as a victor when he allowed full freedom of worship to the Babylonians and Jews, is a striking example of tolerance in the Persian Empire. Many modern scholars for this reason hail Cyrus’s proclamation as a charter of human rights in antiquity. The contrast with Assyrian political ideology which emphasised barbaric rule and repression is clear. The Behistun Inscription carved at a high position on a huge cliff is the longest inscription generated by the Achaemenids. The positioning was to avoid damage by humans and also to display the might of the awe-inspiring architectural project to his mostly illiterate subjects. It contains a trilingual royal text with a detailed list of Darius I’s (r. 522–486 BCE) martial activities. In the inscription, Darius descri­ bed himself as King of Kings and how he violently suppressed rebellions in his empire. The inscription tells us that Darius is a divinely mandated ruler as the god Ahuramazda (and not any human being) bestowed kingship on him and directly aided him in his battles to win victories. The multi-ethnic character of his vast empire is described when the inscription tells us that the Persians, Elamites, Baby­ lonians, Assyrians, Arabians, Egyptians, Ionians, Cappadocians, Medians, Sakas and Bactrians all submitted to him and did whatever he commanded them to do (Parian 2017: 1–14). Good governance is emphasised in both the inscriptions of Cyrus and Darius. In the Behistun Inscription, Darius notes that Ahuramazda sup­ ports him because he was a righteous ruler. The text reads: ‘Ahuramazda brought me help … because I was not wicked, nor was I a liar, nor was I a tyrant … I have ruled according to righteousness … Whosoever helped my house, him I favoured; he who was hostile, him I destroyed’ (Behistun 1907: 71–2). Along with propor­ tional use of force, Achaemenid rule also depended on non-kinetic measures like

Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide 21

religious tolerance and good governance, i.e. honest and efficient administration, etc. Achaemenid pacification strategy, therefore, was more sophisticated than the brute-force-oriented Assyrian policy. The Achaemenid Persians maintained cavalry and light infantry but not heavy infantry, at least initially. This is strange because the Achaemenids were the heir to the Mesopotamian tradition of drilled and disciplined infantry organised in proto­ phalanx formation. The Assyrians, who were the predecessors of the Achaemenids, understood the importance of heavy infantry that was trained to fight as a cohesive group in battle (Fagan 2010: 96–7). A painting in the polychrome brick-faced wall of the royal palace at Susa shows Achaemenid infantry soldiers equipped with spears and bows. They had no metal helmets, body armour or metal shields. The Persepolis reliefs, which depict Achaemenid infantry, show them lightly clad and equipped with wickerwork shields, spears and bows (Sekunda 1989: 83, 87). This was because the Achaemenid Army was cavalry-centric and followed the doctrine of fast-paced cavalry warfare. The wide plains of West Asia were suited for largescale cavalry operations, and covering large distances quickly required fast-moving cavalry forces rather than foot-slogging slow infantry. Further, unlike mountainous Greece, the physical geography of Persia was well suited for breeding horses in large numbers. The absence of disciplined heavy infantry would prove to be a problem for the Achaemenids when they clashed with the Greek hoplites and later Macedonian phalanx in pitched battles. The Achaemenids tried to solve this pro­ blem by hiring Greek mercenary hoplites and also tried to raise heavy infantry of their own, known as kardakes. The Achaemenid military doctrine focused on fighting decisive battles with the enemy field force. During Alexander’s invasion of Asia Minor, the Persian satraps (governors) rejected the Greek mercenary commander Memnon’s advice of fol­ lowing a scorched-earth policy to deny the Macedonian force any provisions. Instead of an attritional strategy, which later Maximus Fabius (280–203 BCE), the Roman senator, would follow against Hannibal’s force in Italy, the Persian satraps decided to meet the Macedonian phalanx head-on in a set-piece battle. The Achaemenids and the Macedonians subsequently clashed at Granicus in 334 BCE. After their defeat at the Battle of Granicus River, the Achaemenids followed a combined land-sea strategy. While Darius III (r. 336–330 BCE) decided to con­ front the Macedonian field army in Syria-Asia Minor with a ground force, the Persian fleet continued amphibious operations to recapture the coastal cities of Asia Minor lost due to the Greek invasion. The Achaemenids practiced joint land-sea operations as components of both offensive and defensive strategies. Both Darius I and Xerxes used joint operations by his navy and army during their invasions of Greece (490, 480–79 BCE respectively). Darius’s policy of sending the navy and a detachment of the Persian Army at Marathon in 490 BCE to initiate a regime change at Athens was also a component of a strategy of limited offence. The Western military hero Alexander was unable or unwilling to use his fleet in any sort of combined operation with his land force. One can assert that the Achaeme­ nid strategy was more sophisticated than Alexander’s strategy, about which a lot has

22 Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide

been written. However, Darius III’s defeat in the Battle of Issus (5 November 333 BCE) resulted in the end of joint operations by the Achaemenids. After the destruction of the Achaemenid field army, Alexander in 332 BCE occupied all the coastal cities of Asia Minor, Syria-Palestine and Egypt. The Persian fleet then lacked any bases to carry out further operations in the Aegean Sea. Darius III at that time was raising another army in Mesopotamia so he lacked military resources to counter the Macedonian moves in Syria-Palestine and Egypt (Waters 2014: 6–7, 204). At the tactical level, the Achaemenid battle plan was to envelop one or both wings of the enemy with cavalry force while their infantry in the centre of their line maintained a linear defensive front. After the enemy force’s two flanks were defeated, the Achaemenid cavalry was to go to the rear of the enemy force and surround it before destroying it in a single afternoon. The Achaemenid military strategy, therefore, as regards ground force, was to search for a decisive battle (hauptschlacht) and then to fight a pocket battle (kesselschlacht) to destroy the enemy force in a single go. The Achaemenid Empire came to an end with its defeat in the Battle of Gaugamela (1 October 331 BCE). The empire which was born in great battles fought by Cambyses and Cyrus also came to a shattering end with defeats sustained in the three decisive battles fought against Alexander (Arrian 1976: 1–200).

Conclusion There were certain commonalities in the discourse on war generated by the ancient Asian civilisations. For instance, while Mesopotamia came up with The Epic of Gilgamesh, Vedic India generated the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Again, whether it is The Epic of Gilgamesh or the Cyrus Cylinder, both were written on clay tablets. And documents representing heroic activities of the god-kings like Cyrus or the pharaoh were buried in sacred places far away from the prying eyes of ordinary mortals. Such documents were not designed for public viewing in socie­ ties with very low rates of literacy. Further, the authorship of all these documents and inscriptions to specific individuals in all these ancient Asian cultures remain problematic. Long before the hoplites of classical Greece fought decisive battles, the armies of the Hittites and Egypt at the tactical level engaged in battles geared for destroying the hostile force in a single afternoon. And the emergence of disciplined heavy infantry could be traced back to the Sumerian cities rather than to the poleis of classical Greece. Massive fortifications of the Near Eastern and Middle Eastern cities from the Bronze Age onwards, along with the possession of different varieties of siege weapons, show that these polities had evolved a sophisticated theory of siege warfare. Finally, the practice of burying the war dead probably passed from the Middle East to mainland Greece. We see that the relationship between religions and warfare is dichotomous. At one level, religious thinking heightened the aggressiveness in war making. In fact, at the grand strategic level, Judaism gave

Ancient West Asia: Origins of cosmic genocide 23

birth to quasi-genocidal Total War which involved total mobilisation of the male members of the society and complete annihilation of the enemy. But, at another level, as we will see in the next chapter, religious strands also mitigated the adverse effects of organised conflict and introduced a sort of humanism.

Bibliography Afterman, Adam and Afterman, Gedaliah, ‘Judaism’, in Gregory M. Reichberg, Henrik Syse with Nicole M. Hartwell (eds.), Religion, War, and Ethics: A Sourcebook of Textual Tradi­ tions (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 8–75. Ancient Egypt, Writings from, tr. with an introduction by Toby Wilkinson (London: Penguin, 2016). Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, tr. by Aubrey De Selincourt, revised with a new intro­ duction and notes by J.R. Hamilton (Middlesex: Penguin, 1976). Behistun: The Sculptures and Inscription of Darius the Great on the Rock of Behistun in Persia: A New Collation of the Persian, Susian, and Babylonian Texts, with English Translations, etc. with Illustrations (London: British Museum, 1907). Briant, Pierre, ‘The Achaemenid Empire’, in Kurt Raaflaub and Nathan Rosenstein (eds.), War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Words: Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe, and Mesoamerica (Washington, DC: Centre for Hellenic Studies, 1999), pp. 105–128. Bryce, Trevor, Warriors of Anatolia: A Concise History of the Hittites (London/New York: I.B. Tauris, 2019). Carlton, Eric, War and Ideology (London: Routledge, 1990). Carroll, Robert, ‘War in the Hebrew Bible’, in John Rich and Graham Shipley (eds.), War and Society in the Greek World (London/New York: Routledge, 1995), pp. 25–44. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, tr. with an introduction by Geza Vermes (London: Penguin, 2011). Fagan, Garrett G., ‘“I Fell Upon Him like a Furious Arrow”: Toward a Reconstruction of the Assyrian Tactical System’, in Garrett G. Fagan and Matthew Trundle (eds.), New Perspectives on Ancient Warfare (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2010), pp. 81–100. Finkel, Irving, ‘The Cyrus Cylinder: The Babylonian Perspective’, in Irving Finkel (ed.), The Cyrus Cylinder: The King of Persia’s Proclamation from Ancient Babylon (London/New York: I.B. Tauris, 2013), pp. 4–34. Gichon, M., ‘Setting the Scene’, in Arie C. Hashavia (ed.), Revue Internationale d’Histoire Militaire (Tel Aviv: Israeli Society for Military History, 1979), pp. 6–14. Gilgamesh, The Epic of, tr. with an introduction and notes by Maureen Gallery Kovacs (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1989). Gnirs, Andrea M., ‘Ancient Egypt’, in Kurt Raaflaub and Nathan Rosenstein (eds.), War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds: Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe, and Mesoamerica (Washington, DC: Centre for Hellenic Studies, 1999), pp. 71–104. Hall, Edith, ‘Asia Unmanned: Images of Victory in Classical Athens’, in John Rich and Graham Shipley (eds.), War and Society in the Greek World (London/New York: Routle­ dge, 1995), pp. 108–133. Hamblin, William J., Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC: Holy Warriors at the Dawn of History (London/New York: Routledge, 2010). Herzog, Chaim and Gichon, Mordechai, Battles of the Bible: A Military History of Ancient Israel (London: Greenhill, 2006). Hitler’s Table-Talk: Hitler’s Conversations Recorded by Martin Bormann, introduced by H.R. Trevor-Roper (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988).

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The Holy Bible, New International Version containing The Old Testament and The New Testament (Colorado Springs, CO: International Bible Society, 1984). Keegan, John, The Mask of Command (New York: Penguin, 1988). Malamat, Abraham, ‘Conquest of Canaan: Israelite Conduct of War according to Biblical Tradition’, in Arie C. Hashavia (ed.), Revue Internationale d’Histoire Militaire 42 (Tel Aviv: Israeli Society for Military History, 1979), pp. 25–52. Melville, Sarah C., ‘The Last Campaign: The Assyrian Way of War and the Collapse of the Empire’, in Wayne E. Lee (ed.), Warfare and Culture in World History (New York/London: New York University Press, 2011), pp. 13–33. Melville, Sarah, ‘Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the Assyrian Empire during the Late Eighth Century BCE’, in Timothy Howe and Lee L. Brice (eds.), Brill’s Companion to Insurgency and Terrorism in the Ancient Mediterranean (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2016), pp. 62–92. Parian, Saber Amiri, ‘A New Edition of the Elamite Version of the Behistun Inscription (I)’, Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin, 3 (2017), pp. 1–14, accessed 22 Dec. 2019, http://cdli. Rabb, Theodore K., The Artist and the Warrior: Military History through the Eyes of the Masters (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 2011). Razmjou, Shahrokh, ‘The Cyrus Cylinder: A Persian Perspective’, in Irving Finkel (ed.), The Cyrus Cylinder: The King of Persia’s Proclamation from Ancient Babylon (London/New York: I.B. Tauris, 2013), pp. 104–125. Sekunda, Nick, ‘The Persians’, in John Hackett (ed.), Warfare in the Ancient World (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1989), pp. 82–103. Slim, Field-Marshal Viscount, Defeat into Victory (Dehradun: Natraj, 1981). Solomon, Norman, ‘The Ethics of War in Judaism’, in Torkel Brekke (ed.), The Ethics of War in Asian Civilizations: A Comparative Perspective (London/New York: Routle­ dge2006), pp. 39–80. Stoneman, Richard, Xerxes: A Personal Life (New Haven/London:Yale University Press, 2015). Waters, Matt, Ancient Persia: A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550–330 BCE (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014). Watkins, Trevor, ‘The Beginnings of Warfare’, in John Hackett (ed.), Warfare in the Ancient World (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1989), pp. 15–35. Wiseman, D.J., ‘The Assyrians’, in John Hackett (ed.), Warfare in the Ancient World (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1989), pp. 36–53. Ziolkowski, Adam, ‘Urbs direpta, or how the Romans sacked Cities’, in John Rich and Graham Shipley (eds.), War and Society in the Roman World (London/New York: Routledge, 1995), pp. 69–91.


Introduction The popular view states that Hinduism is a religion of peace and ancient India had no martial traditions. However, this perception is erroneous. The literature gener­ ated in ancient and early medieval India abounds with description and analysis of violence. Most of this literature was generated by Brahmin males. None of the great works can be dated and given authorship with certainty. Mixed authorship and oral transmission resulted in lot of interpolations. Unlike Western tradition, where individualism is highlighted, Hindu tradition does not lay emphasis on the individual, so none of the Indian authors like Kautilya, Manu or Kamandaka pro­ vide any personal details, unlike Xenophon, Thucydides, Julius Caesar, etc. Sometimes, a particular Hindu author deliberately ascribes the authorship of his work to a hoary mythical figure to heighten the prestige of the text. Further, most of ancient India’s works are polysemic, which means multiple and often contra­ dictory ideas are intermingled with each other in a single text. This is due to interpolations, later additions and deletions plus philosophical underpinnings of the time, so the works generated in ancient and early medieval India are unquestion­ ably jatil (complex). As regards the great works of Western military thought, Carl von Clausewitz’s On War is an example of polysemic work. On War pushes two contradictory ideas simultaneously, offence being the stronger form of war and defence being ultimately stronger than offence. These two contradictory views are intermingled in Clausewitz’s magnum opus like a DNA double helix. In the Indian context, two opposing streams of thought, kutayuddha (Unjust War interlinked with immoral politics) and dharmayuddha (Just War with a focus on morality in politics), emerged simultaneously and at times separately. Military thought is part of the wider stream of political thought. The theory of kingship in ancient India emphasised control over the mechanisms of force by the

26 Jatilas and Kutilas of early India

ruler. Kutayuddha was part of realpolitik and dharmayuddha was a component of moralpolitik. Besides literary sources, I will also consider epigraphic and numis­ matic evidence to cull the elements of military thinking among the premodern Hindus. My analysis reveals that the argument advanced by a group of scholars that pre-Islamic Hindu states were shadow entities (Stein 2004) is erroneous. The opi­ nion that ancient warfare in India comprised skirmishes between undisciplined rabbles and was characterised by an absence of battles and regular siege warfare (Rosen 1996; Barua 2005) cannot be sustained. We will see that the Hindu polities of early India (that is, before the coming of Islam) were quasi-bureaucratic entities and pos­ sessed disciplined armies which were able to conduct both set-piece battles as well as prolonged sieges.

Vedic Age: 1500–500 BCE Some scholars argue that the term Hinduism came into use only in the nineteenth century (Brekke 2002: 1–52). True, but the crux of what Hindu dharma means (calls it Brahmanism or Sramanism) flowered with the coming of the Aryans in around 1500 BCE. Dharma does not merely signify religion, but is also a way of life. The intrusion of the pastoral nomadic Indo-Aryans (an offshoot of the IndoIranian branch who were in turn part of the Proto Indo-European [PIE] speakers) in the subcontinent resulted in the onset of the Vedic Age. The Vedas (the product of a motley group of sages) reflect the elite ideology of the Vedic era. Strong masculine warrior ethos characterises the slokas of the Rig Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas. One of the hymns notes: ‘Those who fight in battles as heroes, who sacrifice their bodies, or those who give thousands to the priests—let him go away straight to them’ (Rig Veda 1994: 54). War is regarded as a sacrifice, and warriors are put in the same category as Brahmins, i.e. those who are well versed in religion and engage in ritualistic duties. Combat is therefore portrayed as a sort of ritual. Further, the Rig Veda tells us that war needs to be waged against those who chal­ lenge Brahmanism (probably Dravidians) (Rig Veda 1994: 63). It seems that the Rig Veda is advocating aggression against the non-Aryans as both just and holy. The army during the Rig Vedic Age comprised males from the various tribes and villages and they were led by Kshatriyas (nobles who rode to battle on war chariots). The infantry from the villages and tribes was mobilised with the aid of gramanis (village chiefs) and tribal chieftains. The age of joining the army was 16 (Hopkins 1889: 105–6, 110; Singh 1989: 11). Raids for cattle, women and booty were common in Vedic India. Captured goods were presented to the king by his warrior chieftains. The king shared the captured booty with his armed retainers, and the allure of loot was a principal motivation for military service. The situation was somewhat similar to the Dark Age in Greece. The Dark Age covers the period after the fall of Mycenean civili­ sation from 1200 BCE to 800 BCE. Homer’s works throw some light on the nature of warfare in Dark Age Greece. War mostly comprised private raids for booty like cattle, sheep, goats and women as in Vedic India. Successful raids also

Jatilas and Kutilas of early India 27

raised the prestige of the Homeric heroes, as was the case with the Kshatriyas. At times, the Homeric heroes, like their Indian counterparts, also launched raids to display martial prowess and pride (Hopkins 1889: 82; Singh 1989: 11; Jackson 1995: 64–76). In addition to raids, occasionally big battles also occurred in the Vedic Age. While expanding eastwards, the Indo-Aryans had to wage decisive battles. The Rig Veda tells us that King Susrava fought a long-drawn battle against a confederacy of 20 kings that fielded more than 60,000 men (Thapliyal 2010: 27). Considering the demographic resources of India, this figure is not unlikely. The Indus Valley Civilisation (now in Pakistan) lasted from 3000 to 1500 BCE. I will not enter here the debate whether the Indo-Aryans destroyed this civilisation or not. We can infer that the Indo-Aryans (who were pastoral nomadic people) learnt the art of fortifications from the Indus Valley people. The Indus Valley Civilisation’s cities like Harappa, Mohenjo Daro, Kot Diji, etc. were protected by massive walls. The Indus Valley people did not know the use of iron and the art of riding horses. Their infantry was equipped with bronze daggers, swords, axes, spears and lances. Iron was introduced to India in around 1000 BCE (Singh 1989: xvi, 8).

Epic Age The two most important literary products of the Epic era are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. These two epics were composed between 500 and 400 BCE (Chakravarti 1989: iv). While Ramayana portrays the story of Aryan expansion in Dravidian South India under Rama, the prince of Ayodhya in North India, the Mahabharata tells us the story of internecine conflict within the Aryan Confederacy in North India. The core of the Mahabharata is the tale of war between the Kuru and Panchala tribes. Both these epics contain a kernel of historical truth. What is crucial here is that these two epics reflect the self-ideology of the ruling class and the reality as viewed by them. In the Epic Age, the king no longer led raiding parties but lived in a walled town. This marks the transition from a pastoral society to a settled agrarian society. Cowpens, which were protected with wooden logs and fencing, gradually devel­ oped into ranches and with the addition of a durga (fort) became a village. Several villages were amalgamated into a pura/nagara (town). In addition to a durga, the town had a wall. The king levied taxes in kind on cattle, grain and merchandise (Hopkins 1889: 76–7, 88; Singh 1989: xv) for maintaining the administrative fabric and the army. The best campaigning season was the period between November and March (Hopkins 1889: 191). As a point of comparison, in the Roman Republic the campaigning season lasted from March to October (Keppie 2001: 51). During a campaign, an army in the Epic era set up its base on level ground. The men were housed in tents. Within the camp, there were separate tents for storing fodder, weapons, food materials, etc. Across the camp, a trench was dug (in Roman style) for protection (Hopkins 1889: 192).

28 Jatilas and Kutilas of early India

Mahabharata focuses on the 18-day-long decisive battle fought between the Kurus and the Pandavas. This epic highlights that one should give battle if he enjoys three times the numerical superiority over the enemy army (Kane 1968: 159). The modern law of warfare is also similar. Rathas (chariots) constituted the principal engine of war in the Epic era. Elephants, infantry and cavalry played a supplementary role until the fifth century CE. The ground force had banners and flags for the purpose of command in the battlefield. Relatives and members of the same tribe and village fought together, which generated primary-group solidarity allowing the soldiers to confront the deadly ‘face of battle’. That the armies of the Epic era were organised is proven from the information given by Aitareya Brahmana (composed during the fifth or sixth century BCE), which says that during battle the soldiers are deployed in three lines (Singh 1989: 2, 8–10, 15). The Mahabharata, and later the Agni Purana, tells us that the troops are deployed in various vyuhas (tactical formations) like the Suchi Vyuha (Needle Formation), Vajra Vyuha (Diamond For­ mation), etc. The Suchi Vyuha is an offensive formation geared for penetrating the enemy lines and the Vajra Vyuha is a defensive formation adopted when enemies are attacking from all sides. The exact distance between the infantry soldiers, infantry and chariots, and other arms are also laid down. The literature notes that the position of different arms and the battle formation should depend not only on the nature of the hostile force structure but also on the terrain of the battlefield (Thapliyal 2010: 250–5). There are some similarities between Homer’s Iliad (written 750–650 BCE) and the Mahabharata. In both these epics (which were probably the product of the PIE speakers), gods play an important role in shaping the course of battle. During crisis, the gods often participate in combat directly as well as indirectly. Further, both epics differentiate between the role played by the common soldiers and the heroes like Achilles, Arjuna, etc. In the Mahabharata, the Kshatriya heroes, like the Greek heroes of the Bronze Age (as portrayed in Homer’s Iliad), engaged in monomachia (duel) like the Jedi knights. And the Kshatriyas fought with bows from horsedrawn chariots. Each chariot had two wheels and was drawn by two horses and was surrounded by infantry soldiers. The body of the chariot was made of wood and the axle tree was fastened to the wooden framework of the chariot with lea­ ther (from cows) thongs. The person who controlled the horses was known as a rathin (chariot driver). Gradually, four-wheeled chariots emerged in the fourth century BCE (Chakravarti 1989: 27–9; Bowden 1995: 45–63). A set of code for conducting battle known as dharmayuddha came into existence. The code of dharmayuddha almost reduced combat to a sort of bloody theatre. The Mahabharata notes: Persons, equally circumstanced must encounter each other, fighting fairly. And if having fought fairly the combatants withdraw (even without fear of moles­ tation), even that would be gratifying to us. Those who engaged in contests of words should be fought with words. Those that left the ranks should never be slain. A chariot warrior should have a chariot warrior for his antagonist; he on

Jatilas and Kutilas of early India 29

the back of an elephant should have a similar combatant for his foe; a horse should be met by a horse, and a foot soldier, O Bharata, by a foot soldier … One should strike another giving notice. (Mahabharata 2012: 2) Tactical retreat is not allowed. Symmetrical contest only between the combatants and between the same arms (cavalry versus cavalry; infantry versus infantry) is encouraged. Non-combatants are out of bounds (Mahabharata 2012: 2–3). A vira (hero) is supposed to meet his death in the battlefield. When prisoners are captured during a campaign, they are to remain as slaves for the victors for one year and then are to be set free (Hopkins 1889: 107, 193). In contrast, literary evidence from the Archaic Age (800 BCE–480 BCE) shows that the Greek prisoners of war became permanent slaves (Rihll 1995: 77–107). In fact, during the Classical Age in Greece and also in the Roman period, prisoners of war became slaves. This was never the case in premodern India. One can say that in this aspect, at least, warfare in ancient India was more humane. However, this ideal code was often ignored by people practicing kutauyuddha, and the Mahabharata looks down upon those warriors who broke the sacred code. Some of the techniques of kutayuddha are stated below. Smoke is often used to confuse the enemy soldiers in the battlefield. Aitareya Brahmana tells us that occa­ sionally nocturnal attacks are launched on the enemy camp by the infantry (Singh 1989: 13, 15).

Realpolitik and kutayuddha in Kautilya’s Arthasastra Strength is power; happiness is the objective of using power. Arthasastra (Kautilya 1992: 559)

Kautilya’s Arthasastra is a normative political treatise. Kautilya is the father of realist political thought in India, if not the world. One may have a problem in using Western terms for categorising a work of darsana (Hindu philosophy). One scholar, Medha Bisht, attempts a reflexive (postmodernist) interpretation of Arthasastra in order to give agency to non-Western ideas and concepts (Bisht 2020), but her approach offers us no new insight. In terms of Indian philosophical discourse, Arthasastra is the product of the Lokayata/Carvaka (materialist) branch (Chousalkar 2018: 35). The traditional argument that Indian philosophy is otherworldly, spiri­ tual and metaphysical, while Western philosophy is materialist, teleological, secular and technocratic, is erroneous (Mohanty 1992: 280–97). Even before Kautilya, other thinkers like Brihaspati and Sukra (Usanas) had composed work on the raja­ sastra (works on king and kingship), but they are lost in the mists of time (Olivelle 2014: 6). The authorship and dating of Arthasastra are still vigorously debated among scholars. According to one interpretation, Kautilya, hailing from the border region Gandhara, was the wily Brahmin minister of Chandragupta who founded the

30 Jatilas and Kutilas of early India

Maurya Empire. Because of Kautilya’s (original name Chanakya) kutniti (evil poli­ tics), as evident in his work Arthasastra, and his devious advice to Chandragupta Maurya, the former is also known as kutila (evil person) and kutilamati (a person with crooked intelligence). Bana’s romantic novel Kadambari (composed in the first half of the seventh century CE) criticises Arthasastra as being cruel. Ethics and morality are not strongpoints in Kautilya’s conceptual framework. For him, like Niccolo Machiavelli (1469–1527 CE), the ends justify the means. Kautilya prob­ ably wrote Arthasastra after retirement from the Maurya court at Pataliputra. When Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador, came to the Maurya capital at Pataliputra in 302 BCE, Kautilya was already retired (Kane 1968: 166, 172–4, 184–5; Kangle 2000: 59). It is safe to assume that the core of the Arthasastra refers to the Maurya Empire, and despite several interpolations and redactions, the work bore the imprint of a strong personality: Kautilya. Arthasastra has 15 adhikarana (books). Patrick Olivelle asserts that the original name of Arthasastra was Dandaniti, which means the science of government (Oli­ velle 2014: 14, 19). Danda also means the power to punish and control the realm, that is, punishing evil and dispensing justice (Kane 1968: 150). Since Arthasastra is more common, I will use this name. Books 1 to 5 deal with internal affairs of the state and books 6 to 14 address foreign policy and warfare. Books 2, 3 and 7 were probably authored by different individuals and were later additions (Olivelle 2014: 3, 5, 11). A glance at the history of the rise of the Maurya Empire (322–185 BCE) is necessary because no theory comes into existence in a vacuum. Practical reality shapes theory and vice versa. Initially, Chandragupta Maurya, a warlord, seized Punjab from the weak governors left behind by Alexander. Due to the ensuing wars of the Diadochi, the Greek commanders left in India were unable to get any military aid from West Asia. Paurava (Porus) the ruler of the principality between the rivers Jhelum and Chenab, after being defeated by Alexander at the Battle of Hydaspes (May 326 BCE), became a Greek collaborator. Alexander kept him in charge of a portion of Punjab. Porus was killed during the anti-Greek uprising of the chieftains of Punjab in 318 BCE. Chandragupta had served in the Macedonian Army of Alexander for a short period and he knew about the latest Greek siege machines and battle tactics. Further, Kautilya, being an inhabitant of Gandhara, also aided Chandragupta in the local politics of North-West India. Previously, Kautilya was humiliated and banished from the Nanda court, so he joined Chandragupta Maurya to take revenge on the Nandas. With the aid of Kautilyan diplomacy, Chandragupta Maurya raised mercenaries from the various tribes of Punjab to give battle to the Nandas. Chandragupta Maurya seized Magadha in 321 BCE and completed the conquest of North and North-West India by 312 BCE. Seleucus, the ruler of Syria, invaded India in 305 BCE and was defeated in a battle near Indus (Kane 1968: 173–4, 184). Chandragupta died in 292 BCE and was succeeded by his son Bindu­ sara. This was the political context in which the core of Arthasastra emerged. Arthasastra is a state-centric work. The underlying doctrine as elucidated in this work is that morality has no place in rajniti (statecraft). For Kautilya, like Carl von

Jatilas and Kutilas of early India 31

Clausewitz (1780–1831), war is the continuation of politics/policy by other means. Politics and war for both of them are instrumental. Kautilya’s state comprises seven elements (saptanga theory) in the following order of decreasing importance: king, ministers, countryside (hinterland), forts, treasury, army and allies (Heuser 2002: 145; Olivelle 2014: 10). For Bharadvaja, another acharya (ancient Hindu theoreti­ cian) of rajniti, as regards governance, the principal minister is considered more crucial than the monarch. However, in Kautilya’s format, the minister comes next to the king/ruler. The Clausewitzian framework focuses on the human factor, dealing with the psychological aspects of war and the influence of personalities. In his historical writings, Clausewitz, like the Athenian admiral-turned-historian Thucydides (460–400 BCE), links psychology of the individual commanders to the conduct of war. Kautilya focuses on the mental make-up of not the military commander but his political superior, the ruler. Georg Heinrich von Berenhorst, in his Reflections on the Art of War (published between 1796 and 1799), notes that in war much depends on the role of individual genius (Waldman 2013: 9. 25; Cormier 2016: 9). For Kautilya, the individual genius is the vijigisu (the worldconquering ruler). The vijigisu is warned not to indulge too much in pleasures like hunting, gambling, women and drinking. Arthasastra discusses how a ruler should expand his territory by conquest (labha) and how he should protect his territory both from foreign attacks and kopa (internal rebellions) (Kangle 2000: 2, 46–7). In Kautilya’s framework, internal rebellions within a polity and external inva­ sions of that polity are interrelated. Kautilya, unlike Clausewitz, is not making a watertight compartmentalisation between inter-state and intra-state wars, but advocates a dialectical relationship between these two types of conflicts. Arthasastra tells us that a polity wracked by internal rebellions is vulnerable to invasion by an external power, and the internal rebellions are often supported financially and ideologically by that very external enemy rashtra (state) which then launches an invasion across the border. Kautilya is therefore dealing with both conventional and unconventional wars (irregular warfare/COIN). In Kautilya’s format, there are three types of war: open war, secret war and undeclared war. Open war involves battles at a specified time and place plus sieges. Secret war includes sudden assaults, unlawful activities against the enemy, and using unconventional tactics against the hostile party. Undeclared war is using secret agents against the enemy (Kautilya 1992: 568–9). Secret war and undeclared war fall under the category of kutayuddha. Undeclared war is somewhat similar to what is now known as Fifth-Generation Warfare. Colonel Thomas X. Hammes of the United States Marine Corps in the first decade of the new millennium came up with his theory of Fifth-Generation Warfare. He writes that the evolution of warfare can be categorised into various generations (stages/evolutions). Instead of revolution, Hammes favours military evolution (like Jeremy Black, the famous British military historian). Unlike Black, for Hammes warfare in the pre-1500 CE period is of no importance at all. For Hammes, Gunpowder Warfare between the sixteenth century and Napoleon constitutes First-Generation Warfare. Second-Generation Warfare refers to the

32 Jatilas and Kutilas of early India

industrial inter-state conflicts which occurred in the nineteenth century and during the First World War. Third-Generation Warfare involved manoeuvre war, which the Germans practiced during the Second World War. Large-scale guerrilla war­ fare, which Mao Tse-tung introduced in China in the first half of the twentieth century, constitutes Fourth-Generation Warfare. At present, asserts Hammes, the world is witnessing Fifth-Generation Warfare. No longer large guerrilla formations which enjoy popular support in the countryside, but terrorist acts for causing maximum damage to the enemy both physically and symbolically, carried out by individuals or very small cells, are the hallmarks of Fifth-Generation Warfare (Black 2000; Hammes 2006). Whatever may be the empirical and conceptual limitations of Hammes’ Eurocentric stage-oriented model, one thing is certain: what Hammes categorises as Fifth-Generation Warfare, Kautilya advocates in Arthasastra. Kautilya favours eliminating high-value targets with specially trained and equipped assassins (both males and females) dressed in civilian garb as traders, widows etc. (Negi 1966: 37–41). We will return to Hammes’ theory of warfare when discussing the neo-Taliban in Afghanistan in Chapter 10. In the voluminous On War, there is not even a single chapter dedicated to the economics of war. Unlike Clausewitz, Kautilya focuses on the relationship between economic power and military power. For Kautilya, the kosa (treasury) is more important than the danda (army) (Chakravarti 1989: 1). The danda depends on the kosa. A healthy treasury enables a ruler not only to project power outside his polity but also maintain peace within his domain. Arthasastra notes: ‘Agriculture and animal husbandry, along with trade, constitute economics. It is of benefit because it provides grain, livestock, money, forest produce, and labour. By means of that, he brings under his power his own circle and his enemy’s circle using the treasury and the army’ (Olivelle 2014: 68). In Kautilya’s framework, internal administration shapes the material base which in turn enables the state to generate military power. Kautilya is not an advocate of a totally free market economy. If traders increase the prices of essential commodities too much, then, advises Arthasastra, the king must intervene to fix the prices (Trautmann 2012: 14). This is considered necessary to safeguard the producers and also to prevent the merchants from appropriating all the profit. The implication is that a ruler should keep his subjects happy to prevent internal rebellion. One of the reasons why Chandragupta was able to overthrow the Nanda Empire was the fact that the people were angry due to high taxation imposed by the Nanda kings Dhana Nanda and Mahapadma Nanda. If Clausewitz is pushing for a trinity (people, army and government, or passion, chance and reason) (Waldman 2013: viii), Kautilya is also harping on another trinity: synergy between danda (army), economic power (artha) and the vijigisu. Arthasastra is partly descriptive and partly prescriptive. It deals with grand strat­ egy, military strategy and tactics. For conceptualising inter-state relations, Arthasas­ tra introduces the mandala (circle of states) concept. The vijigisu is regarded as the hub of the wheel/circle and his allies are drawn to him by the spokes which are in turn separated by intervening territories. The polities of the intervening territories are categorised into enemy state, allies, friendly states and neutral states. A state

Jatilas and Kutilas of early India 33

sharing a boundary with the vijigisu’s territory naturally becomes an enemy polity. War for Kautilya is not raids but is for controlling territory and the demographic­ cum-economic resources. War could be defensive as well as offensive. For Kauti­ lya, the enemy’s enemy is a friend. Even a powerful enemy becomes vulnerable to harassment and ultimate destruction when he is squeezed between the vijigisu and his allies. The vijigisu should establish friendly diplomatic relations with the state at the rear of his enemy, says Arthasastra, in order to exert pressure on the hostile polity. The enemy state might establish friendly ties with the neighbouring enemy of the vijigisu’s ally. In such a context, the vijigisu should seek terms with the poli­ ties that are hostile to the ally of the enemy. In such a manner, power radiates from the vijigisu located at the centre of the wheel/circle to the outer rims of the mandala (Kautilya 1992: 561–2). Kautilya rejects the argument of a previous acharya named Vatavyadhi who claimed that there are only two policies: war and peace (Kangle 2000: 45). The watertight compartmentalisation of inter-state relations into war and peace, a bipolar division, also common among Western theoreticians, is not acceptable to Kautilya. Rather, Kautilya offers a six-fold strategy for the vijigisu. The six policies are as follows: making peace; waging war; doing neither deliberately (active neu­ trality); preparing for war (thus posing a threatening posture to the enemy, i.e. military deterrence); seeking protection (establishing active diplomatic ties with the states which are hostile to the vijigisu’s enemy); and, finally, the most complex of all, following a dual policy (waging war and peace simultaneously). A ruler enjoy­ ing absolute superiority will engage in war to augment his power. A ruler who is equal to his enemy will make preparations for war in order to prevent any further shift in the military balance against the former. It is possible, claims Kautilya, to follow war and peace simultaneously. Dual policy means waging war with one party and making peace with another party (Kautilya 1992: 563). Waging war with the enemy but also keeping the channel open for making sandhi (friendship ties) is also dual policy. The fuzzy border between war and peace and both coexisting simultaneously are points accepted currently by postmodern theorists. Kautilya focuses on the policy of bheda (divide and rule) to overcome one’s enemies. King Ajatasatru (r. 492–460 BCE) of Magadha overthrew the powerful Vajji tribe through his policy of dissension implemented by the minister Vassakara (Kangle 2000: 11). We may infer that Kautilya was inspired by such acts of real­ politik. Kautilya insists that the vijigisu should utilise the methods of sama (con­ ciliation), dana (diplomacy) and bheda (intrigue, fraud resulting in dissensions within the enemy camp) (Chakravarti 1989: vii). Kautilya authorises the vijigisu to send diplomatic envoys (some of them are clandestine agents) in order to stir up trouble within the enemy states (Kautilya 1992: 562). Arthasastra tells us: ‘Miraculous results can be achieved by practicing the methods of subversion’ (Kautilya 1992: 519). Those elements within the enemy camp who are disaffected should be won over to the side of the vijigisu using a combination of tact, gifts and the threat of using force. If the enemy ruler is fond of wine and women, then young girls and attractive widows should be used to poison his food and drink or make him drunk.

34 Jatilas and Kutilas of early India

Then, the secret agents should carry out nocturnal assassination attempts on such enemy leaders (Kautilya 1992: 519, 536, 540). Kautilya is therefore in favour of state-sanctioned terrorism. The CIA would definitely like Kautilya. When such techniques fail, only then should the ruler resort to the use of danda (force/regular army) to vanquish his enemies. Kautilya recommends the vijigisu maintain a drilled and disciplined standing army. This is probably an after-effect of Alexander’s invasion. Alexander’s drilled and disciplined troops made mincemeat of Paurava’s infantry. The Mauryas had a permanent army, mostly recruited from the peasants, and even during Alexander’s invasion, the Indian armies were capable of executing manoeuvres in the battle­ field. In fact, Alexander suffered more combat losses at the Battle of Hydaspes than at the battles of Issus (5 November 333 BCE) and Gaugemela fought against the Achaemenids (Roy 2004: 47–8). Arthasastra reiterates the importance of the inclusion of large numbers of cavalry in the army (Kangle 2000: 41–2). Kautilya notes that the cavalry is to be used for reconnaissance and cutting the logistical umbilical cord of the enemy force prior to battle. During combat, the cavalry is to maximise its mobility and manoeuvrability to attack the hostile force either at its front or its flank or in its rear as the cir­ cumstances would require. And after the battle, the cavalry, notes Arthasastra, has the task of either running down the defeated hostile force or to screen the retreating friendly force from the advancing victorious enemy army (Chakravarti 1989: vii, 35). Kautilya was aware that good war horses were not available in India, so Arthasastra advises the vijigisu to import horses from Kamboja (Afghanistan) (Mital 2004: 25). Bana’s Harshacharita (a historical fiction), which was composed in the first half of the seventh century, also reiterates the importance of importing horses from Kamboja (Harshacharita 2004: 257). The importance of cavalry in the Maurya official mind is also proved by the fact that for the first time in Indian art tradition, Maurya artists deliberately and consciously started fashioning various movements of horses (galloping, prancing, etc.) on stone. One view is that Helle­ nistic craftsmen were employed by the Maurya royal court and they were respon­ sible for introducing these motifs in Indian art (Biswas 1987: 46–9). At Hydaspes, Alexander’s reserve cavalry contingent finally decided the fate of the battle. Kauti­ lya emphasises the necessity of keeping a reserve while conducting battle. Muslim theorists of medieval India, as discussed in Chapter 5, also continued to give due importance to the role of a reserve in determining the fate of battles. During the Mauryan era, chariots were marginalised in favour of cavalry and elephantry. Porus’s elephants gave Alexander’s army a good run for its money. Arthasastra points out that elephants should be acquired from Bengal and Orissa. After Hydaspes, chariots, being outdated, were no longer included in the Hindu armies. But chariots, and especially elephants, found a place in the Seleucid armies of West Asia between 312 and 63 BCE. From the Seleucids, the use of war ele­ phants (along with the techniques of using mahouts/elephant drivers and ankush [the rod with a curved end for controlling elephants]) passed to the Macedonian mon­ archy, Carthaginians and the Romans (Bar-Kochva 1979; Roy 2020: 8–26).

Jatilas and Kutilas of early India 35

Kautilya warns the ruler about kopa (an armed uprising of subjects) (Kangle 2000: 52). Internal uprisings occur due to two factors: natural calamities like flood, drought etc. and human errors (bad administration on the part of government officials, overambition of some dishonest ministers etc.). It is better, asserts Artha­ sastra, to nip discontent in the bud. Kautilya, somewhat like Michael Foucault, notes that knowledge is power, so to avoid the fall-out of a large-scale insurgency, the polity must have intelligence-gathering and surveillance mechanisms in place. Arthasastra emphatically notes: ‘After organising the system of surveillance over high officials, the king shall set up the system of keeping a watch over the population of the cities and countryside’ (Kautilya 1992: 509). Kautilya discusses in detail the various types of spies to be employed for different tasks. Arthasastra mentions grha­ pativyanjana (an agent working undercover as a householder) and bhiksuki (a female mendicant in the guise of a holy woman engaged in spying) among various other types of spies (Olivelle 2014: xvii). To an extent, Kautilya’s world, like that of Sun Tzu, is full of spies. Unlike On War, Arthasastra gives a great deal of space to HUMINT (human intelligence). Beatrice Heuser writes that Clausewitz thought little of intelligence, which is perhaps excusable given the means available in his day and age (Heuser 2002: 186). Such a defence is hardly tenable. From the dawn of history technolo­ gies of war and intelligence gathering have been evolving. Signal technology was primitive in Clausewitz’s time, but what about HUMINT? Kautilya speaks of both battlefield intelligence and strategic intelligence. On War is silent about strategic intelligence. Clausewitz even negates battlefield intelligence in the following words: ‘In short, most intelligence is false’ (Clausewitz 1989: 117). Torture of enemy agents is an integral part of Kautilya’s counter-espionage system. He refers to a work named Kharapatta which details methods of torture. Kautilya expects his readers to gather further information on torture from this work (Olivelle 2014: 7). Kautilya is for co-opting potential rebels. He advocates recruit­ ing the forest tribes who would guide the royal army when it passed through the forests, mountains and defiles (Chakravarti 1989: 9). During Maurya time, Central India was full of forest. To maintain communications between North and South India, and to prevent any armed insurgencies in such difficult terrain, control over the tribes who inhabited the forested Central India was an absolute necessity for the Maurya Empire. During the Warring States era in China (475–221 BCE) and in Mauryan India in around the third century BCE, big cities emerged which became centres of administration. The rise of long-distance internal and overland trade also made the urban centres storehouses of commercial wealth, and the cities were interconnected with roads. Due to the political, economic and military importance of the cities, the warring parties in China and India had to capture them. And this factor encouraged the military thinkers of both India and China to theorise on siege warfare. Kautilya can also be called the ‘father of siege war’ in India. Forts are to function as centres of refuge during a strategic retreat by the ruler faced with a powerful

36 Jatilas and Kutilas of early India

invading army. The forts, notes Arthasastra, like The Book of Master Mo composed in around the fifth century BCE in China, should be filled with weapons and food materials which would enable the defeated force of the ruler to recoup its losses. Megasthenes tells us that Pataliputra was fortified with wooden walls. Kautilya specifically warns against using wood for fortification as it is vulnerable to fire. Kautilya and Master Mo/Mo Zi (the fifth-century BCE Chinese thinker) empha­ sise towers, battlements, parapets, walls and moats for strengthening the defence of the fort. Both Mo Zi and Kautilya refer to the use of shooting machines and yantras like sataghni (machines shooting hundreds of bolts simultaneously, i.e. the equiva­ lent to scorpions and onagers used by Alexander’s Macedonians and the Romans) for counter-battery and counter-personnel fire against the besieging troops. While Kautilya is against using wood for fortifications, Mo Zi strangely accepts the use of wood (Kangle 2000: 53, 66; Mo Zi 2013: 349–50, 352–3). To an extent it seems that the theory and practice of fortifications was more advanced in Mauryan India than in contemporary China. V.D. Hanson asserts that the classical Greek intellectual stream was influenced by Platonic and Sophist thought. He continues that the philosophers and rhet­ oricians of the late fifth century were not always utopian but rather pedagogical and utilitarian. They were concerned with applying learning to military realities like weapons training, organisation of the troops and the construction of engines of war. The handbooks of Ctesibus, Philo and Heron provided the technical know-how and the mathematical science of calibration and propulsion as it applied to artillery and knowledge about the construction of catapults (Hanson 2000: 162–3). Arthasastra’s detailed description about the height of the tower, the width of the dry and wet ditch in front of the wall of the fort, and the distance between the guardrooms along the wall of the tower (equivalent to the range of arrowshot as the guardrooms were constructed to provide supporting interlocking fire) shows the Indian military handbooks also provided similar data and utilitar­ ian ideas to the generals and soldiers. The measurements given in the Arthasastra about the various types of fortifications (flanking towers, shooting galleries, etc.) that ought to be constructed in order to make a durga secure was actually fol­ lowed in the construction of forts in India until the early medieval period, as is evident from archaeological records (Schlingloff 2014). Here, we have a classic example of theory actually shaping reality. Thus, there is nothing unique about war being a techne inherent in Platonic and Sophist thought. A regular siege is time consuming and costly in terms of men and materials so it is better, says Arthasastra, to use psychological techniques against the enemy along with policies of subversion. The enemy should be enticed to leave the fort and attack the besieging force. If that fails, then by bribing or tricking the enemy sol­ diers they should be made to open the gates of the fort or a peace party should be created within the enemy camp. The policy of subversion also includes elements of biological warfare to dislocate the hostile defence. For instance, burning reeds, notes Arthasastra, should be tied to the tails of birds (Kautilya 1992: 537, 539) and then these birds should be made to fly towards the enemy camp. One is reminded

Jatilas and Kutilas of early India 37

of the Soviets using dogs (with explosives attached to them) to attack the panzers during the Second World War.

Polity and the Just War doctrine in Ancient India The country of the Kalingas was conquered by king Priyadarsi … In this war in Kalinga, men and animals numbering one hundred and fifty thousand were carried away captive from that country, as many as one hundred thousand were killed in action, and many times that number perished. After that, now that the country of the Kalingas has been conquered, the Beloved of the Gods is devoted to an intense practice of the duties relating to Dharma. Shahbazgarhi Text (quoted from Sircar 1998: 42)

In opposition to kutayuddha and realpolitik, an opposing body of ideas which derived its strength from dharmayuddha and moral politics also came into existence. One of the advocates of morality in politics was the Maurya emperor Ashoka (r. 268–32 BCE), the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya. Ashoka came to power after assassinating his brothers. After the horrendous Kalinga War (262 BCE), instead of digvijaya (world conquest), Ashoka turned to the policy of dhammavijaya (spiritual conquest), partly under Buddhist influence. Ashoka used epigraphic proclamations to spread dharma/dhamma as part of his non-kinetic measures for consolidating his rule. Dharma for Ashoka also stands for a virtuous way of life. The Maurya Empire was a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious polity, ruling over Hindus, Greeks, aboriginals (tribesmen), Bud­ dhists and Jains. Most of the inscriptions (major and minor rock edicts, pillar edicts and cave inscriptions) are in Brahmi script and in Prakrit dialects. The rock edicts along the north-west frontier of the empire (present-day Pakistan) are in the Prakrit language and Kharoshthi script, and some of the inscriptions in Afghanistan are in Greek and Aramaic. The major rock edicts were constructed along the margins of the empire, but the pillar edicts were concentrated in the core of the empire in North India. Some of them were near Buddhist monasteries, urban centres and along the trade routes. The minor rock edicts were on the southern frontier of the empire in the Andhra-Karnataka regions, being found in the remote hilly regions at places that had older cultic significance. The literacy rate was low at that time and the inscriptions were often made on the surface of rocky outcrops or high up on the pillars far beyond eye level as in the case of Darius’s Behistun Inscription (see Chapter 1). Hence, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to read even for the few who were indeed literate. Actually, these inscriptions, like Darius’s inscription, were for show. They had a visual-cum-deterrent effect on the populace: the state, aka emperor, is watching you. High-up inscriptions also reflected the power, glory and authority of the mighty emperor. Moreover, state officials known as dhamma-mahamattas regularly visited the villages and towns and explained the messages contained in the inscriptions to the common people. They functioned somewhat like the moral police and also political commissars. Second, the emperor himself also travelled and explained orally to his subjects the messages

38 Jatilas and Kutilas of early India

contained in the inscriptions. However, the emperor talked only to the high officials who in turn carried his messages to the bottom layers of society (Singh 2017: 42–4). Historian Upinder Singh asserts that Ashoka was a political prophet of soter­ iological socialism. He emphasised ahimsa (non-violence) both at the individual and collective levels. The inscriptions mostly reinforce the message of dhamma which at that time stood for virtue and goodness. Dhamma was influenced by Buddhism, but even Buddhism does not ask for absolute non-violence on the part of the king. It is left to the discretion of the king to decide to what extent they are to apply coer­ cion/violence in the public domain and especially in war-like situations. At times, killing an evil person offers merit to the killer. In accordance with Buddhist thought, the evil person is then released and the killer (soldier) is rewarded for his good deed. And by making lavish donations to the Buddhists (which Ashoka did) the warriors could acquire further merit (Schmithausen 1999: 45–67). In Ashoka’s ideology, politics and morality are intertwined with each other. Absolute non-violence was neither possible nor desirable in the real world, espe­ cially in the political domain. One can say that absolute non-violence, like Abso­ lute War (Total War), is not practicable in reality. Material reality (friction and politics) always constrains such concepts in the real world. The army and prison constitute two kinetic mechanisms in Ashoka’s arsenal. After the Kalinga War, Ashoka renounced violence in foreign affairs. However, the huge Maurya Army was not demobilised. The strength of the Maurya Army exceeded more than 600,000 personnel. The Roman Empire at its height maintained an army of such a size. Ashoka intended to use force against any possible foreign attacks and also against the recalcitrant people who would challenge his just rule. The quotation given at the beginning of this section is Ashoka’s way of warning his subjects. If necessity arises then he could implement draconian measures as he had done in Kalinga. But he prefers not to follow such barbarism if the people follow dhamma. Ashoka’s edicts refer to prisoners and the institution of prison, which was an innovation of the Maurya Empire (Treadgold 1995: 43–86; Heuser 2002: 118; Roy 2015: 218; Singh 2017: 49–51). One can say that Ashoka’s policy of dhamma was actually a pragmatic measure to rule his vast dominion. The capture of Kalinga (Orissa) rounded off his empire and resulted in full control along the coastline of the Bay of Bengal. After the annexation of Kalinga, the Maurya Empire had reached its natural boundaries, extending from the Himalayas in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south, and from Bengal in the east to Afghanistan in the west. The empire could not profitably expand any further. Beyond the Himalayas is snowbound Tibet. Even a modern army from India would have extreme difficulty invading Tibet now. Today, Tibet is strategically important as a buffer between the rising India and powerful China, but in Maurya times, Tibet had no strategic or economic value. Again, what would be the point of expanding from Bengal towards Burma? Between 1943 and 1945, Field-Marshal ‘Bill’ Slim’s 14th Army suffered horrendously from malaria while moving from North-East India to Burma, and crossing the Pegu Yomas became

Jatilas and Kutilas of early India 39

possible only with the advent of bulldozers and Dakotas. The Maurya strategic elite could see no point in moving into the tribal forested lands south of Tamil Nadu, and the Kabul-Kandahar-Ghazni defensive line constitutes the scientific frontier of India which the Mauryas controlled. Moving further into the arid plateau of Iran in the west or into semi-desert Central Asia in the north-west made no economic sense. And the logistics of maintaining a large army in Afghanistan proved well-nigh impossible even for Soviet Russia in the 1980s. Therefore, Ashoka’s strategy was to consolidate his rule over the far-flung empire by maintaining order mainly through non-coercive ideological means rather than pure brute force. Manusmriti, composed primarily by an acharya named Manu probably at the beginning of the Common Era, provides the theoretical justification of Just War in the aftermath of Ashoka. Manusmriti is part of the dharmasastra literature. The focus of dharmasastra literature is dharma, while the focus of niti literature is artha and danda. Arthasastra, which is part of the niti literature, is realistic and worldly as opposed to the vague idealism and strictly religious principles of the dharmasastras. Arthasastra is concerned with the analysis of politics in the big bad world, but dhamrasastra charts out the ideal requirements. Manu portrays his role as a moral preceptor (Kangle 2000: 13–14). Manu, like Kautilya, accepts the supremacy of the monarch but further heightens the ruler’s prestige by comparing him to a god in human form (Olivelle 2006: 154). Manu is therefore advocating divine worship. In contrast, Arthasastra’s approach is more secular. Manu critiqued Arthasastra while composing Manusmriti. Manusmriti, unlike Arthasastra, insists dharma (spiritual and moral elements) is the main objective of life. Manu tells us that artha (material goods and well-being) is inferior to dharma (Kane 1968: 188). Kautilya is in favour of allowing certain immoral customs and practices if they provide revenue to the state, but Manu is for abolishing such unethical practices. For instance, while Arthasastra recommends that gambling and prostitution in the empire should be allowed under the regulations issued by the state, Manu is for abolishing these two practices (Olivelle 2014: 24). However, not even the dharmasastra literature recommends the disbandment of the army or dissolution of the state. Manu, like Confucius (551–479 BCE) and Mencius (372–289 BCE), following dharma, recommends limited coercion against both internal and external enemies of the just ruler. The requirements of dharmic rule involve maintaining four orders of society: Brahmins at the top, then the Kshatriyas, then Vaisysas and finally the Shudras. The Brahmins were engaged in advising the ruler and maintaining the rituals of Hindu religion. The Kshatriyas were warriors and the Vaishyas engaged in trade and commerce. The Shudras were agriculturists. This four-fold caste system (chaturvarna society) is first enunciated in the Rig Veda, which Manu accepts wholeheartedly. In Manusmriti, the king is supposed to take taxes annually from the people. However, high taxation is not allowed. The king is advised to treat his subjects as a father treats his children. But if the people refuse to pay even the authorised amount of taxes and create trouble, then the village constabulary under royal officials are to suppress disorder in the

40 Jatilas and Kutilas of early India

countryside. In many cases, royal officials are dishonest and extort the people. To prevent such fraud, the king is advised by Manu to make royal tours to know the ground reality. And the king is obliged to punish errant royal officials by con­ fiscating their personal property and sending them to exile (Rig Veda 1994: 31; Olivelle 2006: 158, 160–1). Manusmriti says: ‘Punishment is the king; he is the male; he is the leader; he is the ruler; and, tradition tells us, he stands as the surety for the Law with respect to the four orders of life’ (quoted from Olivelle 2006: 154–5). Coercion/force is gendered and equated with a manly king following Hindu dharma. However, Manu warns the ruler about the danger of the unethical use of excessive force. Manusmriti claims: ‘When a king administers Punishment properly, he flourishes … but the king who is lustful, partial, and vile is slain by that very Punishment’ (quoted from Olivelle 2006: 155). And punishment, notes Manu, should be given in accordance with the norms advocated in the sastras and Vedas. The Brahmins are to advise the ruler when the latter awards punishments for crimes committed by his people (Olivelle 2006: 155–6). Thus, Manu is circumscribing the power of the ruler by saying that his policies should be informed in accordance with Hindu religious laws and guided by the acharyas. When Manu composed his work, the Maurya Empire had disintegrated and the subcontinent was facing invasions by the cavalry armies of the Sakas, Parthians and the Kushanas. The climate and terrain of India, like China, are not suited for breeding horses. Until the nineteenth century the sedentary polities of both India and China depended on war horses imported from Arabia and Central Asia, respectively. Ancient India imported horses from Afghanistan and Central Asia. However, in the aftermath of the Common Era, these two regions were controlled by the above-mentioned ethnic groups who were attacking India. Manu, there­ fore, advocates static defence. The royal Hindu army, consisting of infantry and elephants, suggests Manu, may not have been able to ward off foreign invasions. During an invasion, the king is to take refuge in a hillfort. In the hilly terrain, hostile steppe nomadic cavalry could not be used. Hillforts remained inaccessible to the steppe nomadic cavalry forces until the use of trebuchets from the ninth cen­ tury CE. And the hillforts, says Manu, should be defended by ramparts and archers. Since the military balance was shifting against the sedentary Hindu rulers, Manu advocated that conciliation is the best policy. One may read it as buying off the enemies. Manu justifies appeasement by claiming that it is adharma (unjust/ immoral) to use force in the first place. And if conciliation fails, then the ruler is advised to use an amalgam of conciliation and force (Jha 2004: 117–56; Olivelle 2006: 157–8, 160, 163).

Military theory, warfare and state in early medieval India: The context After the collapse of the Maurya Empire, the next big empire to emerge in India was the Gupta Empire (319–543 CE). However, unlike the Mauryas, the Guptas

Jatilas and Kutilas of early India 41

failed to establish direct control over South India. Further, due to the rise of the feudal forces, the Gupta polity was more decentralised than the Mauryas. Samudragupta (r. 350–75 CE) established direct control over North India by exterminating nine kings of Aryavarta. Central India was annexed in 348–49 CE. Samudragupta led a campaign against South India starting from Orissa and advanced along the east coast of India to the Krishna River and Nellore region. He defeated 12 kings but did not annex their territories. Rather, the defeated rulers were allowed to rule as vassal rulers. The Gupta Empire comprised within itself several republican states, and the latter enjoyed internal autonomy (Dikshitar 1993: 74–5, 77–8, 82). Thus emerged the feudo-federal Gupta polity. The Devichandraguptam (a play composed by Vishakhadatta in around the sixth century CE) tells us that the Gupta Emperor Ramagupta was defeated by the Sakas and was forced to surrender his wife Queen Dhruvadevi. Ramagupta’s younger brother Chandragupta (after ascending the throne he took the title of Vikramadi­ tya), who was then the crown prince, led a commando attack and killed the Saka ruler. The play goes on to tell us that Dhruvadevi’s honour was thus saved and she was brought back safely. Ramagupta had lost all prestige with the people and army and was soon killed, and Chandragupta Vikramaditya (r. 375?–412 CE), the hero of the play, became the emperor and married Dhruvadevi (the heroine, aka beau­ tiful damsel in distress). Though the play has a happy ending and elements of hyperbole, there is some historical truth in it, and this incident has some archae­ ological support on its side. Some coins of Ramagupta have been excavated and inscriptions tell us that Dhruvadevi married Vikramaditya. Probably Chandragupta Vikramaditya in his youth led a nocturnal commando attack against the Saka headquarters in the style advocated by Arthasastra. Chandragupta Vikramaditya defeated the Sakas of Seistan, annexed Malwa and Gujarat and also defeated the Kushanas in Kashmir and Punjab (Dikshitar 1993: 84–6). Chandragupta Vikrama­ ditya, the younger son of Samudragupta, flushed with military victory, deposed and killed his elder brother Ramagupta and married his wife. Without a doubt, Vikramaditya was following Kautilyan kutniti. During Kumaragupta’s reign (413–455 CE), the Pushyamitra tribe from the region around the Narmada River threatened Gupta control over Malwa. How­ ever, crown prince Skandagupta was able to defeat them. Next the Huns threa­ tened North-West India and Punjab. Skandagupta was able to contain the Huns until his death in 467 CE. Chandragupta and Skandagupta were able to defeat the Sakas and the Huns partly because of a tactical adoption. The Gupta Army, as evident from numismatics (horseman-type coins of Kumaragupta and bow-and­ arrow-type coins of Skandagupta), adopted the Yavana (barbarian) custom of raising mounted archers equipped with composite bows. Composite bows and the intro­ duction of heavily armoured lancers enabled the Guptas to contain the Central Eurasian steppe nomads for the time being (Mookerji 1997: plates VI and VII). After Skandagupta, his brother Purugupta came to the throne. Hunnic invasions, the growing power of the hereditary landlords and rebellions by the feudatories soon resulted in the Gupta Empire melting away. At the height of the Gupta

42 Jatilas and Kutilas of early India

Empire, Sanskrit was the language of the elite and Hinduism was dominant. Within Hinduism, worship of the gods Shiva and Vishnu became common (Dikshitar 1993: 88–92, 97). Now, we turn our focus to an analysis of two of the most important texts of early medieval India.

The texts: Kamandaka’s Nitisara and Visnu Smriti Kamandaka’s Nitisara was composed between the sixth and eighth centuries CE (Kane 1968: 169–70). Kamandaka waters down Kautilya’s realpolitik but adds some practical elements to Manu’s dharmic idealistic worldview. The ruler, according to Kamandaka, has two duties: protection and welfare of his subjects. Here Kamandaka deviates from Kautilya who asserts that the ruler’s main objective should be to increase the power of his state in the international arena. Thus, while Kautilya advocates an aggressive foreign policy, Kamandaka favours a more passive variant of national security strategy. For Kamandaka, mantrasakti (power of diplomacy) is more important than army (Nitisara 1982: 3, 7). This reminds one of Sun Tzu’s assertion that attacking the plans of the enemy is better than attacking his army physically. This is probably because the Hindu royal armies of Kamandaka’s times were not very combat effective, but unwieldy masses supplied by various types of vassals. Kamandaka speaks of six types of troops: maula (hereditary troops), bhrta (mer­ cenaries), sreni bala (guild levies), suhrdbalam (soldiers supplied by feudatories), dvisadbalam (troops who had deserted from the enemy side) and atavi bala (forest troops) (Chakravarti 1989: 3). The Roman Republic also utilised Socii (equivalent of suhrdbalam) who were troops supplied under treaty obligations by those princi­ palities which had surrendered to the Romans (Keppie 2001: 22). Kamandaka, like Kautilya, is for utilising the forest troops in battle. Kamandaka notes that the king should place forest troops in the front and his own troops in the rear (Dikshitar 1993: 210). This sentence could be read in two ways. The forest troops, being unreliable (bad fighters and disloyal), are to be used as battle fodder. Or, being fearless and aggressive, they are deployed in the front and are supposed to launch the opening attack against the hostile army. During the reign of Gupta Emperor Kumaragupta, the Silk Sreni of Mandasore had highly skilled archers who were hired out to the state (Chakravarti 1989: 6). The dependence of the Gupta Army and Harshavardhana’s army (Harshavardhana was the ruler of Kanauj from 606 to 647 CE) on the troops supplied by private corporations and semi-autonomous chieftains reflects the decentralised nature of these polities. Here, we have an example of the privatisation of warfare. And Nitisara reflects this reality. To avoid internal troubles, the king is advised to follow the policy of good governance in order to enhance the prosperity of his subjects. It is the duty of the rashtra, emphasises Nitisara, to encourage agriculture, trade and animal husbandry among its subjects. This is different from the message pushed by Arthasastra that the state is mostly a predatory organisation hungry for power in the international arena. Kautilya focuses on the policy of matsanya (anarchy) in the international arena and small states being eaten up by bigger states; this trend is missing in the Nitisara.

Jatilas and Kutilas of early India 43

For Kautilya, economic strength is necessary for enhancing the military power of the polity, but for Kamandaka, the economic well-being of the prajas (subjects) is an end in itself. Kamandaka is thus a spokesman for the ‘welfare state’. Interest­ ingly, for Kamandaka, the principal threat to the subjects is not external invasions but economic ruin (Nitisara 1982: 6–7, 43). Kamandaka is therefore a supporter of a more introvert type of strategy, compared to Kautilya who pushes an extrovert type of foreign policy. This is evident from the fact that Nitisara privileges COIN over external conquests. It states: ‘Danda stands for suppression of anti-social elements by inflicting necessary punishments’ (Nitisara 1982: 41). For the maintenance of the polity which protects its subjects, Kamandaka notes that the king should take his due (bhaga/tax) both in cash and kind from the pea­ sants. However, warns Nitisara, heavy taxation (which brought down the Nanda Empire) is not to be tolerated. Taxes should be equitable and just. While the Arthasastra states that all state transactions should be carried out in cash, Kamandaka refers to payment of royal tax in kind. This is because of the feudalisation of India in the post-Gupta period. Good governance in Kamandaka’s format ultimately depends on the presence of a righteous ruler following just policies in accordance with dharma. A righteous ruler, notes Kamandaka, should follow trivarga: a balanced mix of dharma, artha and kama (sex). Kamandaka’s trivarga differs from both Manu and Kautilya. Manusmriti is against a righteous ruler engaging in sexual acts with many women. Kamandaka allows this latitude to the ruler. Kautilya in fact encourages this trend of enjoying (bhoga) women. In Kautilya’s format, women are just like commodities. Arthasastra notes that a vijigisu enjoys both women in bed and power on earth. And Kautilya says that dharma has no role in statecraft. But Kamandaka, following Manu, notes that dharma is an integral component of rajniti. Only a righteous ruler could dispense proper justice to his subjects, and impartial justice, in Kamandaka’s theoretical format, is an essential component of good governance. Another technique recommended by Kamandaka is the policy of encouraging the people to follow ahimsa. The people should be encouraged to be truthful and to show tenderness and forgiveness both to human beings and also the beasts (Nitisara 1982: 8, 24–5, 41, 47; Jha 2003: 149–73). This policy is taken from Emperor Ashoka and followed by Gandhi in the twentieth century. The Vaisnava Dharmasastra, also known as Visnu Smriti (like Manusmriti), is part of the dharmasastras. The medieval dharmasastric scholars widely read the Visnu Smriti. Visnu Smriti was composed in Kashmir, which at that time was under the Hindu cultural orbit. Beyond Kashmir lay the Yavanadesa (Persian dominion). The Visnu Smriti is a prose composition containing 100 topics. The text contains the dialogue between the god Visnu and Earth. The date of composition of this work is between the seventh and eighth centuries CE. Vaisnava influence (a devotional sect within Hinduism) runs strongly in this work (Olivelle 2018: 3–5, 12). Visnu Smriti refers to the rise of kayasthas (scribes) who functioned as officials of the royal court. Probably this refers to the emergence of accounting and record keeping within the indigenous polities. As regards the organisation of the state bureaucracy, Visnu Smriti, like Manusmriti, notes that the king should appoint

44 Jatilas and Kutilas of early India

officials. The lowest official was in charge of 10 villages, and the official at the next higher rung administered 100 villages and above them came district super­ intendents. The tentacles of state bureaucracy ended at the level of 10 villages. Each village was administered by a chief who was appointed by the official in charge of 10 villages. But the village chief himself was not a state official though his appointment was done at the behest of the lower-level bureaucrats. The principal duty of the village superintendents was to maintain public order in the area under their jurisdiction. Further, the superintendents appointed agents who supervised the mines, collected duties and tolls at the various points, and oversaw elephant forests. Elephants, it is to be noted, became the principal strike force of Hindu armies of early medieval India, so the procurement of elephants and maintaining their natural habitat became a matter of royal concern. The principal income of the state, as in the time of Arthasastra, remained the tax on agricultural produce. The king was supposed to take one-sixth of the produce annually. It is laid down that those who live by manual labour have to work for the king one day each month. It seems that corvée was operating due to the onset of feudalism. Brahmanical dominance of society is evident from the fact that the Visnu Smriti stresses the Brahmins are not supposed to pay taxes. Through their knowledge and rituals, they provide service to the state (Olivelle 2018: 27, 52–3). Despite being a product of a devotional stream of Hinduism, the martial spirit is not absent in the work. This smriti notes: ‘For kings there is no Law equal to facing death in battle. Those who are killed in the defence of cows, Brahmins, king, ally, wealth, wife, or life go to heaven’ (quoted from Olivelle 2018: 53). Faced with the mobile cavalry archers of the Central Asian nomads, Visnu Smriti, like Manusmriti, highlights positional defence based on forts. We are told: ‘There he should reside in one of the following kinds of fort: a fort protected by desert … by an earthen rampart, by water, by trees, and by a hill’ (quoted from Olivelle 2018: 52). The Hindu cosmic worldview came under serious challenge with the onset of Islamic invasions from the eighth century onwards. Unable to beat the agile Muslim mounted archers, the Hindu rulers more and more took refuge in their hill and mountain forts.

Concluding remarks While in classical Greece a battle lasted at best for a single day, in ancient India, at times, decisive battles, as evident from certain literary works, continued for several days. Further, the Indian rulers maintained large disciplined armies capable of conducting both sieges and battles. Between the third and eighth centuries CE, all the Hindu scholars more or less referred to Arthasastra while speaking about warfare and state formation. Ashokan inscriptions, which were actually a propaganda mechanism, were a novel way to spread the message of goodwill of a caring state to the populace. We can conclude that instead of a single homogeneous stream of Indian military thought, two opposing strands of ideas developed and coexisted throughout history. Kutayuddha and dharmayuddha are in fact memes of each other.

Jatilas and Kutilas of early India 45

However, it must be noted that even the most ardent advocate of morality in politics and dharmayuddha like Ashoka and Manu never supported complete non­ violence. Absolute non-violence is impractical in real life. Rather, they favoured minimum use of force when required. Kamandaka’s Nitisara is an attempt to bridge the gulf between dharmayuddha and kutayuddha. As far as conventional war is con­ cerned, the acharyas were aware of the importance of horses. But, the problem of acquiring horses forced the Hindu armies to settle for the second-best option—war elephants and forts. Most of the acharyas have given much attention to problems of internal rebel­ lion. This is because most of the Indian polities, being multi-ethnic and multireligious entities, were haunted by problems of insurgencies. This remains true even today. Credit is due to the ancient and early medieval Hindu thinkers for coming up with a set of mechanisms for preventing internal uprisings. We can sum up by saying that Arthasastra is the world’s first manual on political economy geared to explain the acquisition of power by a polity in the complex inter-state system. And between them, Ashoka, Manu and Kamandaka theorised the concept of a Brahmanical welfare state and a humane COIN policy in order to ward off the dangers of internal rebellions. Both premodern China and India had huge agri­ cultural sectors and millions of peasants. In ancient India, peasant uprising was one of the causes behind the downfall of the Nanda Empire. We must also note that in premodern China, dynasties after dynasties were brought down by large-scale peasant rebellions. To avoid such political disasters, the techniques advocated by the acharyas include both coercive and non-coercive elements, which in modern COIN terminology is known as kinetic and non-kinetic measures. Here lie the enduring legacies of ancient Indian military thought.

Bibliography Bar-Kochva, B., The Seleucid Army: Organization and Tactics in the Great Campaigns (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979). Barua, Pradeep, The State at War in South Asia (Lincoln/London: University of Nebraska Press, 2005). Bisht, Medha, Kautilya’s Arthashastra: Philosophy of Strategy (London/New York: Routledge, 2020). Biswas, T.K., Horse in Early Indian Art (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1987). Black, Jeremy, War: Past, Present and Future (Stroud: Sutton, 2000). Bowden, Hugh, ‘Hoplites and Homer: Warfare, Hero Cult, and the Ideology of Polis’, in John Rich and Graham Shipley (eds.), War and Society in the Greek World (London/New York: Routledge, 1995), pp. 45–63. Brekke, Torkel, Makers of Modern Indian Religion in the Late Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). Chakravarti, P.C., The Art of War in Ancient India (Delhi: Low Price Publications, 1989). Chousalkar, Ashok S., Revisiting the Political Thought of Ancient India: Pre-Kautilyan Arthasastra Tradition (New Delhi: SAGE, 2018). Clausewitz, Carl Von, On War, Indexed edition, ed. and tr. by Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989).

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Cormier, Youri, War as Paradox: Clausewitz and Hegel on Fighting Doctrines and Ethics (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016). Dikshitar, V.R.R., The Gupta Polity (Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass, 1993). Hammes, Colonel Thomas X., The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century (St Paul, MN: Zenith Press, 2006). Hanson, Victor Davis, The Wars of the Ancient Greeks and their Invention of Western Military Culture (London: Cassell, 2000). The Harshacharita, by Banabhatta, tr. by E.P. Cowell and P.W. Thomas (Delhi: Global Vision Publishing House, 2004). Heuser, Beatrice, Reading Clausewitz (London: Pimlico, 2002). Hopkins, E.W., ‘The Social and Military Position of the Ruling Caste in Ancient India, as Represented by the Sanskrit Epic’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 13 (1889), pp. 57–376. Jackson, Alastar, ‘War and Raids for Booty in the World of Odysseus’, in John Rich and Graham Shipley (eds.), War and Society in the Greek World (London/New York: Routledge, 1995), pp. 64–76. Jha, D.N., Ancient India in Historical Outline (New Delhi: Manohar, 2003). Jha, D.N., Early India: A Concise History (New Delhi: Manohar, 2004). Kane, P.V., History of Dharmasastra (Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India), vol. 1, Part 1 (Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1968). Kangle, R.P., The Kautilya Arthasastra, Part 3, A Study (Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass, 2000). Kautilya, The Arthashastra, ed., rearranged, tr. and introduced by L.N. Rangarajan (New Delhi: Penguin, 1992). Keppie, Lawrence, The Making of the Roman Army: From Republic to Empire (London: Routledge, 2001). The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, tr. into English prose from the original San­ skrit text by Kisari Mohan Ganguly, vol. 5, Bhisma Parva (New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 2012). Mital, Surendra Nath, Kautilya Arthasastra Revisited (New Delhi: Centre for Studies in Civi­ lizations in association with Munshiram Manoharlal, 2004). Mo Zi, The Book of Master Mo, tr. and ed. with notes by Ian Johnston (London: Penguin, 2013). Mohanty, Jitendra Nath, Reason and Tradition in Indian Thought: An Essay on the Nature of Indian Philosophical Thinking (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992). Mookerji, Radhakumud, The Gupta Empire (Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass, 1997). Negi, J.S., Some Indological Studies, vol. 1 (Allahabad: Panchanada Publications, 1966). The Nitisara by Kamandaki, ed. by Raja Rajendra Lala Mitra, rev. with English tr. by Sisir Kumar Mitra (Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, 1982). Olivelle, Patrick, Manu’s Code of Law: A Critical Edition and Translation of the ManavaDharmasastra (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006). Olivelle, Patrick (tr.), King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014). Olivelle, Patrick, The Law Code of Visnu: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of the Vaisnava-Dharmasastra (New Delhi: PRIMUS, 2018). The Rig Veda: An Anthology, One Hundred and Eight Hymns, selected, tr. and annotated by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty (New Delhi: Penguin, 1994). Rihll, Tracey, ‘War, Slavery, and Settlement in Early Greece’, in John Rich and Graham Shipley (eds.), War and Society in the Greek World (London/New York: Routledge, 1995), pp. 77–107.

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Rosen, Stephen Peter, Societies and Military Power: India and its Armies (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996). Roy, Kaushik, From Hydaspes to Kargil: A History of Warfare in India from 326 BC to AD 1999 (New Delhi: Manohar, 2004). Roy, Kaushik, Warfare in Pre-British India: 1500 BCE–1740 CE (London/New York: Routledge, 2015). Roy, Kaushik, India’s Historic Battles: From Alexander the Great to Kargil (New Delhi: PRIMUS, 2020). Schlingloff, Dieter, Fortified Cities of Ancient India: A Comparative Study (London/Delhi: Anthem Press, 2014). Schmithausen, Lambert, ‘Aspects of the Buddhist Attitude towards War’, in Jan E.M. Houben and Karel R. Van Kooji (eds.), Violence Denied: Violence, Non-Violence and the Rationalization of Violence in South Asian Cultural History (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 1999), pp. 45–67. Singh, Sarva Daman, Ancient Indian Warfare with Special Reference to the Vedic Period (Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass, 1989). Singh, Upinder, Political Violence in Ancient India (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017). Sircar, D.C., Inscriptions of Asoka (New Delhi: Publications Division, 1998). Stein, Burton, A History of India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004). Thapliyal, Uma Prasad, Warfare in Ancient India: Organizational and Operational Dimensions (New Delhi: Manohar, 2010). Trautmann, Thomas R., Arthashastra: The Science of Wealth (New Delhi: Allen Lane, 2012). Treadgold, Warren, Byzantium and Its Army: 284–1081 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995). Waldman, Thomas, War, Clausewitz and the Trinity (Surrey: Ashgate, 2013).


Introduction The traditional interpretation that premodern Chinese strategic culture dominated by the mandarins focuses on the techniques of winning without fighting is actually too simplistic. In fact, there are various shades within the heterogeneous ancient Chinese military thinking. Ancient China generated a huge corpus of military lit­ erature. Like the military literature of ancient India, ancient China’s treatises on war deal with the broader philosophical aspects of organised violence: the meaning of war, the purpose of war, and the relationship between conflict and humanity. The attempt to study warfare within the broader cosmological canvas is missing in the Graeco-Roman and Byzantine military handbooks, which were technical and tactical in nature. This distinction is because Graeco-Roman and Byzantine tech­ nical manuals were written by military officers, and the audience of such works were the generals and other subordinate field officers. In contrast, the sastric and ancient Chinese treatises dealing with organised violence were products of civilians: ministers and intellectuals of the court, and the audience for the nitisastras and ancient China’s treatises were the rulers and their civilian advisors. The emperors, kings and the civilian strategic managers were not supposed to lead the army in the battlefield, but they ought to have general as well as specialised knowledge about the relation between war and other aspects of administration. This knowledge was supposed to aid them in administering their large multi-ethnic realms. These points need to be kept in mind when one reads the Chinese-Indian and the Graeco­ Roman-Byzantine military theories. This chapter shows the complex interplay between political and military realities and the evolution of military theories in premodern China. The interlinkages between the evolution of military thought and the broader philosophical under­ pinnings which constituted the backdrop is also noted. Thus, this chapter in

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particular partly challenges the assertion of scholars like Michael I. Handel who assert that historical realities did not substantially shape the evolution of strategic theories. Handel’s assumption that the fundamental basis of strategy and political behaviour is similar across all cultures and societies (Handel 1996: xiii, xvi) is true to a certain extent, but the strategic and political behaviour of the polities change with time, material milieu and place. Further, this chapter follows a comparative angle by comparing ancient Chinese military thought with the strategic thinking prevalent in South Asia and West Europe. Since Sun Tzu’s The Art of War con­ stitutes the benchmark work among ancient Chinese military theories, we will discuss the military treatises generated in China before the time of Sun Tzu and after the completion of his groundbreaking work. However, it must be noted that exact dating of the ancient texts, as in the case of ancient India, is almost next to impossible, so the timeline of evolution of military thought in ancient China is to a large extent based on speculation. The first section of this chapter deals with the military works which appeared before and during Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. The next section concentrates on Sun Tzu’s work. And the last section analyses the military philosophical works produced after Sun Tzu and the effects (if any) they had on actual policy making.

Military philosophy before Sun Tzu Though military treatises started appearing during the Warring States era (403–221 BCE) due to the increase in the scope and intensity of war, the seeds for strategic thinking were sown long before. Let us look at the material aspects of civilisation and the origins of war in China. Organised violence started with the founding of the Shang Dynasty in 1766 BCE which lasted until 1045 BCE. In this era of Bronze Age technology, millet and wheat were the staple crops. After harvest, the grain was stored in centralised granaries. Rice was cultivated mainly in South China. Before the establishment of the Shang Empire, armed conflicts consisted mostly of raids by the Neolithic villagers. Some local clan leaders established power bases during the Hsia/Xia Dynasty (2205–1766 BCE) which preceded the Shang. Warfare under the Shang consisted of battles and each battle consisted primarily of clashes between individual leaders who rode on chariots. In Vedic India (1500–500 BCE) and Mycenaean Greece (2500–1200 BCE), battles also comprised a series of individual clashes between the chariot-borne aristocratic chieftains. The chariot, which features in the writings of many of the ancient Chinese military theoreti­ cians, reached India and China from Central Eurasia in around 1300 BCE (Seven Military Classics 1993: 3, 5). The chariot-borne aristocracy of China were equipped with bronze helmets, body armour, short swords and daggers. The conscripted villagers equipped with bronze spears and halberds constituted the infantry and played a marginal role in the battlefield (Sun Tzu 1994: 35–7). The objectives of Shang warfare were to capture prisoners, who became slaves and were forced to work in the agricultural and domestic sectors. However, many Shang prisoners were also sacrificed in different religious ceremonies. Thus, for the Shang, warfare

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to a great extent was a sort of sacrificial ‘game’. The Chou/Zhou Dynasty replaced the Shang Dynasty. The Western Zhou lasted from 1045 to 770 BCE. We get some ideas about Western Zhou campaigns from Tai Kung’s Six Secret Teachings. The Zhou era witnessed a partial transition in warfare from ritualistic combat towards formal armed encounter (Seven Military Classics 1993: 3–4, 6). One could argue that China witnessed a military revolution during the Warring States era (475–221 BCE). By the fifth century BCE, the Chinese polities were raising a large number of conscript infantry armies equipped with iron weapons like crossbows. While a typical Shang army comprised 5,000 to 13,000 men, during the Warring States era, the size of a field army occasionally exceeded more than 100,000 men. The new armies, which had replaced the small forces led by chariot-riding aristocratic lords, were engaged in fighting for the acquisition of resources and aimed at unrestrained destruction of the enemy forces. The aim of the new type of infantry armies was not to fight for honour and prestige, which were the objectives of the feudal warlords of Zhou riding in war chariots during the Bronze Age. This transformation gave rise to a host of military writings including Sun Tzu’s The Art of War (Lynn 2003: 35–7; Dao of the Military 2012: 6–8). A similar transformation in the politico-military landscape also gave rise to Kautilya’s Arthasastra on the Indian subcontinent. The spread of iron weapons and the rise of large political entities centred around Magadha resulted in the rise of destructive combat. From 400 BCE onwards, the polities of the Indian sub­ continent fought for destruction of their rivals and not merely to conduct dhar­ mayuddha to gain personal fame and honour, and this resulted in the emergence of the realist Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Siege warfare (which feature in Sun Tzu’s and Mo Zi’s writings) became common due to the rise of fortified cities. These cities became focal points of artisanal and commercial enterprises (Sun Tzu 1994: 55). Initially the military treatises were handed down orally through several generations (as in the case of ancient India) and only later were written down on bamboo strips, silk and, from 200 BCE onwards, on paper. Generally, these specialised military works were not allowed in private hands. In fact, the Chin/Qin Empire (221–207 BCE), somewhat akin to Hitler’s Germany, implemented the infamous ‘book burning programme’ (Seven Military Classics 1993: 16). Mark Edward Lewis writes that the ancient Chinese military treatises margin­ alise the role of friction (chance and accidents) from the conduct of war, and the focus of such treatises remains the mental capacity of the strategists (Lewis 2005: 1). In fact, long before Clausewitz, Thucydides realised the importance of acci­ dent in war. The role played by chance, luck, fortune, uncertainty and prob­ ability in warfare are also present in the works of the Venetian Niccolo Machiavelli (Handel 1996: 276–7). And most of the military treatises of ancient China were composed in a question-and-answer style with the normative model in mind. We may pose the question why the role of the unforeseen, contingent, uncer­ tainty, irrational behaviour, etc. (all those factors which give rise to Clausewitzian

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friction) are not given prominence in the military theories generated in ancient China. Clausewitz has written: ‘Just as some plants bear fruit only if they don’t shoot up too high, so in the practical art the leaves and flowers of theory must be pruned and the plant kept close to its proper soil-experience’ (quoted from Handel 1996: 21). That is exactly the point. The Chinese military philosophers failed to prune the leaves and flowers of theory to keep their products near the ground reality because ancient China’s military theories were churned out by intelligent civilian intellectuals who were well versed in philosophy and not by men who actually commanded the armies in the field. For Clausewitz, war involves action and reaction between opponents, and this dialectic drives the whole thing. In fact, Clausewitz’s greatest contribution is his assertion that the very nature of interaction among many elements make war unpredictable (Handel 1996: 25, 27). This point seems to have escaped the attention of all the ancient Chinese theoreticians. As regards premodern India, two theoreticians (Kautilya and Kamandaka) realised that yuddha is anitya (war is uncertain). Despite being armchair strategists, Kautilya and Kamandaka show more realism that Sun Tzu and his Chinese peers. Some of the concepts that are present in all the ancient Chinese works are dis­ cussed below. Shih and li are two opposite concepts. Tai Kung (1212?–1073 BCE), Wu Tzu (440?–381 BCE), Wei Liao Tzu (circa 318 BCE) and even Sun Tzu used these concepts in formulating their military philosophies. For Sun Tzu, shih means the power which emerges when morale and weapons are fused together. Opposite to shih is li, which means self-interest or material gain. Li strategy focuses on material factors like quality of weapons and number of troops, among other things. In contrast, shih strategy emphasises the intangible non-material factors like moti­ vation of the troops, mentality of the subjects, etc. Another concept is hsing which refers to the deployment and employment of troops. While hsing refers to tangible elements, shih refers to the intangible elements. A fusion of shih and hsing generates synergy. In accordance with the Confucian worldview, human beings are at the centre of the universe and the ultimate source of power. Winning their hearts and minds (in modern parlance non-kinetic elements) will generate strong loyalty, willpower and combat motivation. And these elements, unlike tangible material elements like weapons and number of troops, constitute the determining factors. Hence, following Tao/Dao (the right way), shih strategy demands bringing the people into ultimate harmony and accord with the ruler (Book of War 2000: 57; Mott and Kim 2006: 10–12). The Legalist philosophy flourished during the Qin Empire. The essence of Legalist thought is that an intelligent ruler must be flexible and change his policies in accordance with the shifting realities. Confucius never advocated reconstituting ancient ways in present times, but favoured limited changes. The Legalist con­ tribution lies in advocating radical changes (Ames 1994: 4, 11). The Book of Lord Shang, ascribed to the statesman Shang Yang (d. 338 BCE), notes that warfare and agriculture are the two most important activities that strengthen a state (Els 2013: 13). Shang Yang and another Legalist thinker Li Si (d. 208 BCE) (both of whom were Qin prime ministers) stress that the people should be socially

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regimented, bureaucratically administered and rewarded for success in war and agricultural achievements, and emphasise draconian punishment for transgression. The Legalist thinkers preached that the populace should be subjected to the abso­ lute will of the emperor. However, harsh punishment alone will not work. Legalist philosophy assumes that human beings are self-seeking, so the wise ruler should use liberal rewards and stringent punishments to motivate the people to serve the state (Hui 2005: 19). Under the Qin Empire, warfare became more casualty prone. The most effective general of the Qin Empire was Bai Qi (d. 257 CE) who fol­ lowed the policy of massacring the armies of the defeated states in order to destroy their military power permanently (Dreyer 2012: 23, 30). The collapse of the Qin Empire resulted in a reaction among the intellectuals and strengthening of the Taoist/Daoist and other politico-military schools of thought. Sun Tzu, Sun Pin, Tai Kung and others were influenced by these alter­ native streams of politico-military thought. Sun Tzu’s policy of winning without fighting is opposite to the horrendous policy of Qin generals like Bai Qi. The revolt against the Qin Dynasty started in 209 BCE. The burden of labour service for constructing public works like roads and palaces and military conscription were the principal reasons behind the mass rebellion of the peasants (Graff 2012: 44). To avoid such anti-state rebellions, which culminated during the Qin regime, military intellectuals like Sun Tzu and others underscore the right way (Tao) for the rulers. In accordance with it, the virtuous ruler has to win the confidence of the people. Let us look at Six Secret Teachings in a bit more detail. It involves political advice and tactical instructions to kings Wen and Wu of the Zhou Dynasty during the eleventh century BCE. Though large parts of this book contain materials from the Warring States era, this work also preserves some fragments of the pre-Warring States strata of Chinese military thought. This book reached its final version in the third century BCE. Tai Kung (whose personal name was Chiang Shang), like Sun Tzu, was a refugee and came to a foreign state for employment. Tai Kung came to the state of Chou. The tradition goes that, impressed by his martial and mental abilities, King Wen enfeoffed Tai Kung as the King of Chi. In his Six Secret Teachings, Tai Kung appears as a strong advocate of the doctrine of a benevolent ruler and focuses on the administrative policies to ensure the welfare of the people. Further, the ruler is urged to cultivate virtues like benevolence, righteousness, credibility, sincerity, courage and wisdom. These trends would be further devel­ oped by later theorists including Sun Tzu. The first two chapters of the book focus on grand strategy and the next four chapters concentrate on tactical instructions (Seven Military Classics 1993: 23, 27, 31–2, 37). Further, Tai Kung, like Sun Tzu, emphasises that the most important factor in the functioning of a polity is warfare. Like Sun Tzu, Tai Kung gives supreme importance to the commander. Tai Kung notes: ‘Warfare is the greatest affair of state, the Tao of survival or extinction. The fate of the state lies in the hands of the general’ (Seven Military Classics 1993: 63). If General Erich Ludendorff (1865–1937) had heard about this text, we could surmise he would have recommended the above selected portions of Tai Kung’s Six Secret Teachings as compulsory reading for the German General Staff examination. At the

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tactical level, Six Secret Teachings discusses the employment of cavalry. This was because from 600 BCE steppe nomads began attacking the northern and western frontiers of China, and such attacks increased in scope and frequency from 300 BCE onwards (Sun Tzu 1994: 67). Another important classic is Master Wu, which was composed during the War­ ring States era, but parts of it are borrowed from earlier writings. Probably Wu Qi, an inhabitant of Wei educated in the tradition of Confucius, is the author of Master Wu. Wu Qi, like Sun Tzu, was a scholar general. Wu Qi advocates maintaining a balance between non-military and military factors to create a strong and stable state. Master Wu classifies warfare on the basis of its causation into five broad cate­ gories: Righteous War, Strong War, Hard War, Oppressive War and Contrary War. Righteous War (somewhat like Just War) is undertaken to put an end to oppression by the unjust ruler and rescue the people from chaos. Righteous War is the precursor of modern-day Western humanitarian interventions in Afro-Asia. Strong War is launched by a ruler against a small state in order to gain fame. Hard War is launched by an arrogant ruler, frustrated with pent-up anger, who refuses to listen or follow diplomatic initiatives. Oppressive Warfare is a war waged just for seeking economic gains. Acquisition of booty is the principal aim for waging this sort of war. The latter-day Marxists would be happy with this category and would call all imperial wars Oppressive Wars. And finally, Contrary War is launched by a ruler against a foreign enemy to turn away his subjects’ attention from problems on the home front. For instance, when a famine is raging, the ruler, in order to pre­ vent an internal uprising and focus his people’s grievance away from problems in the domestic arena, attacks a foreign state (Els 2013: 16–20). In the modern era, many dictators have utilised xenophobic nationalism and foreign wars of conquest to turn away people’s dissent from domestic society. Cao Mie’s Battle Array is another work of ancient Chinese military thought. In 65 bamboo slips, the text comprises the dialogue between Duke Zhuang of Lu (693–62 BCE) and Cao Mie, a stateman-cum-military theoretician. The duke is interested in protecting his small kingdom from attack by more powerful neigh­ bours. The work includes discussion on statecraft, decision making, law, etc. Unlike the Shang military culture which focused on fighting a symmetrical contest governed by strict codes, Cao Mie pushes the instrumental approach to warfare. In fact, unlike the Shang military commanders, Cao Mie focuses on taking advantages of opportune moments during a battle. Cao Mie advocates attacking the enemy force when it is yet to establish its defensive camp or when it is crossing fatal terrain like a ravine, steep incline, etc. and could not easily and quickly deploy for battle. This aspect is further developed in Sun Tzu. Like Kautilya, whose military theory is discussed in detail in Chapter 2, Cao Mie is against following any dharmayuddha/ Just War codes. Battle Array, like Arthasastra, also advocates the use of bribery and beautiful girls to seduce the ministers and officials of the hostile party. And during a campaign, Cao Mie favours unified leadership. Victory and defeat in battle for Cao Mie depend on the leadership qualities of the generals in charge of the respective forces. And they need to co-operate. Divided command, notes Cao Mie, is a sure

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recipe for defeat. Byzantine historian Procopius, much later (see Chapter 4), would also come to the same conclusion. A vacillating general or a commander who harbours fear, writes Cao Mie, is a sure recipe for defeat. Next to the qualities displayed by a commander, the morale of the troops comes into play. Cao Mie, somewhat like Lord Shang, refers to rewards and punishment in order to maintain and enhance the combat motivation of the troops (Caldwell 2015: 17–31). Ancient China generated both war and also quasi anti-war literature. Intellec­ tuals like Master Mo/Mo Zi (circa 479–390 BCE) and Confucius are ambiguous regarding warfare. Besides Taoism, Sun Tzu and other military theorists of ancient China were influenced by Confucianism. Nowadays scholars use the term Ruism instead of Confucianism. However, the term Confucianism is better known among the non-scholarly audience to whom this book is also addressed. The term Con­ fucian or Ruist, according to one scholar, can be traced back to the family history of Kong Qiu (who later became Confucius). Kong Qiu’s family can be traced to the state of Zhu (also known as Zhulou). Zhu was on the point of being absorbed in Confucius’s time by the state of Lu, and contemporary sources considered Zhu as a non-Chinese state. Ironically, a person from a non-Chinese state (a cultural outsider) became the principal philosopher of ancient China. The term Ru refers to a master or teacher after Kong Qiu. Previously, the term referred to the geo­ graphical location of the Zang estate which was at the interface of Lu and Zhulou. Sacral geography seems to be important for the development of Confucianism. Kong Qiu’s father (Shuliang He) was from Zou/Zhu and his mother was a sha­ maness. Probably, the shamaness was a mistress of Shuliang He, who was associated with the Zang clan as a military leader. After the departure of Zang He, Kong Qiu became the leader of the Zang clan. Overall, Confucian philosophy was not merely the lineal development of Hsia/Xia-Shang-Zhou traditions. Rather, Ruist tradition dated from a shift of leadership from the head of an aristocratic Lu family repre­ senting the Zhou tradition of royal Ji lineage to a leader whose lineal and cultural origin were tied to the Yi people whom the Zhou people considered as cultural outsiders. The Ru followers of Kong Qiu, underscoring the unique position of their master, stressed the originality of his Dao/Tao. And because of the unusual cultural position of the founder of Ruist tradition, Confucius’s followers overtly emphasised the essential Chinese characteristics inherent in his teaching. Among many other things, Confucianism reiterates the importance of reciprocity and compliance (Eno 2003: 1–41). Mencius, a Confucian-Taoist philosopher, wanted a righteous ruler to wage war against poverty, as the latter is assumed to be the principal cause for crime and disorder. Mencius, therefore, like Manu and Kamandaka as discussed in Chapter 2, is for a welfare state under a just ruler. Mencius is not a total pacifist, as he also advocates punitive military expeditions to punish evil rulers and relieve the common people’s sufferings (Seven Military Classics 1993: 2). Here one finds ele­ ments of thought that are similar to those advocated by the USA and NATO at the beginning of the twenty-first century for conducting humanitarian interven­ tions in foreign countries. Mencius also emphasises the right of the people to

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overthrow a ruler who is unrighteous (Mott and Kim 2006: 8–9). Interestingly, here Mencius is arguing like later insurrectionist theorists like Mao Tse-tung/Mao Zedong and Che Guevara. The Mohists formed a quasi-spiritual military order of philosophers who advo­ cated universal love. Their expertise lay in siege warfare and they argued for assisting the states under attack by strong enemies (Chinese Martial Code 2009: 20). The latter policy is probably the product of both a feeling of empathy for the weak (humanitarian assistance—a curious byproduct of universal love), as well as the realist/instrumental necessity of maintaining the balance of power in the interna­ tional system, i.e. to prevent one state from becoming too strong by gobbling up the weaker powers one by one. Mo Zi (470–391 BCE?) theorised on defensive works, probably on the assumption that the construction of walls and towers by the comparatively weaker states would discourage predatory rulers from waging annexationist wars (Kane 2007: 61). In fact, both Mohism and Confucianism focused on human rights. From Con­ fucius’s point of view, the principal pursuit of a nobleman should be his moral duty of self-cultivation in order to manifest his virtues to society and serve his country. Confucian virtue is somewhat equivalent to Ashokan dhamma. Like Ashoka’s dhamma, Confucianism reiterates the importance of the rulers following benevolent cultural values for humane treatment of the people. The role of the ruler is to be virtuous and to rule by virtue (benevolence, reciprocity and loyalty). In turn, such a ruler can expect the people to follow the example of virtue. Society should be ruled by civility rather than brute force as the Legalists argued. However, Con­ fucianism also emphasises the role of education and training the people in order to prepare them for combat and non-combat duties. Mohism, which was influential during the pre-Qin period, is somewhat similar. Mo Zi, a philosopher, scientist and a preacher, never occupied high position in any state. He travelled from state to state preaching his ideas about the rights of the common people. Mo Zi argued that all people should be treated equally and they have a right to life; therefore, Mohism is more radical and egalitarian than Confucianism. Rather than thinking about the afterlife and spending on music, Mo Zi exhorts the ruler to pay attention to the needs of the masses. Further, Mo Zi challenged the idea that one’s fate is predetermined (Wen and Akina 2012: 387–413). One wonders whether Mo Zi’s championing the rights of the masses played any role in fomenting peasant insurrection in premodern China? And to an extent, Mohism appears to be the forerunner of communism/socialism.

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War The most famous ancient Chinese military theorist is Sun Tzu, just as the most famous ancient Indian political-cum-military theorist is Kautilya. Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Kautilya’s Arthasastra continue to influence the discourse on strategy in China and India even today. Scholars still debate about the authorship and the date of composition of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Kautilya’s Arthasastra, as it is

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extremely difficult to date the works of ancient China and India because most of the time, an author projects himself and his work backwards to legendary figures in order to gain fame and legitimacy for his own work. Chinese and Indian philoso­ phy of history, unlike the Western version, does not overemphasise the role of human agency. The Western interpretation of past human experience is concerned with identifying agency and imputing responsibility for past events. But Chinese and Indian intellectual tradition focuses on continuity. In both the ancient Chinese and Indian philosophies, the emphasis is not on discrete individuals and certainly not on discontinuity. Rather, the emphasis is on continuity and collectivity. The greatness of an intellectual lies not in differentiating his work from the preceding ones but to accommodate and collate the previous writings into his own com­ pendium. The objective of traditional Sino-Indian philosophy is not the search for truth but exposition and clarification of what has been received. In such a format, the individual thinker, great or small, plays a subordinate role. In traditional Chi­ nese and Indian philosophy, an individual thinker does not give birth to a theory but carries its explications forward (Mohanty 1992: 8; Ames 1994: xx, 10–11). The traditional view is that Sun Tzu (541? BCE–482? BCE) was an inhabitant of Chi who offered his text on warfare to King Ho-lu of Wu around 500 BCE (Yates 2005: 278). The conventional interpretation is that that Sun Tzu told King Ho-lu that war is a serious business and requires the rigorous training of soldiers. The king ordered him to train 180 ladies of his palace. The women were given arms and ordered to fall in formation. The ladies giggled and refused to comply with Master Sun’s orders. When the women failed to respond to Master Sun’s command, he ordered their execution. The king was flabbergasted and asked Sun Tzu to reconsider his decision. Sun Tzu told the king that during war, the general should have full control over his soldiers in order to ensure victory, and any dis­ obedient soldier must be executed to maintain order in the army. Since these ladies were assigned to Sun Tzu as his troops on the king’s command, the general designated by the king had full right over them (Petersen 1992: 4–7). We could only wish that such romantic episodes had really occurred in history. This story is as fictional as the assertion by Homer that Helen’s beautiful face resulted in the launching of 1,000 Greek ships against Troy or after the fall of Troy when Menelaus at the point of chopping off Helen’s head changed his decision, after seeing the bosom of his runaway wife. Roger T. Ames, Victor H. Mair and others assert that The Art of War (which is also known as Military Methods of Master Sun) incorporates military lore from the Warring States era (475–221 BCE) and is not the product of one single individual (Book of War 2000: 20; Art of War 2007: LI). For Mair, Sun Tzu is a fictional person. Mair and Mark Edward Lewis assume that the Sun Tzu lore developed from the historical person named Sun Bin/Pin (circa 380–325 BCE). They claim that the Sun Tzu lore continued to develop during the fourth and third centuries BCE and reached its logical culmination in the second century BCE (Lewis 2005: 2–6; Art of War 2007: 9, 14, 22–3). Sun Tzu is also known as Sun Zi/Sun Wu/Master Sun, just as Kautilya is also known as Kutila/Chanakya. For simplicity’s

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sake I will stick to the name Sun Tzu and will call his work as The Art of War. I assume that Sun Tzu (may not be a historical person) and Sun Pin/Bin are dis­ tinct theoreticians. The core of The Art of War can be traced back to Sun Tzu, though the work as a whole experienced several additions and deletions up to the beginning of the Han Empire. While the Arthasastra, in accordance with the oral tradition of India, was passed down by word of mouth from generation to gen­ eration, The Art of War was initially written on bamboo slips. The writing style of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is similar to Confucius’s Analects. Confucius’s Analects are in the form of a collection of aphorisms without any extended argument in any one paragraph (Yates 2005: 281). Sun Tzu’s cryptic aphorisms (somewhat like the present-day twitter beats) are similar in style. Both Sun Tzu and Kautilya, unlike the previous Shang-Zhou writings and the Bhagavad Gita, do not consider warfare as sacrifice. The aristocratic chariot-riding feudal lords who idolised courage were bound by a chivalric code of conduct. For them bloodshed was necessary and spiritually fulfilling in an armed contest. Blood spilled on the battlefield became a form of mass sacrifice and combat became a ritual (Dao of the Military 2012: 11; Roy 2014: 487–90). This sort of assumption is absent in Sun Tzu and Kautilya’s work. For Kautilya and Sun Tzu, war is for making real material gains. Sun Tzu was probably influenced by the Taoist/Daoist canon of universal har­ mony of all under heaven. To avoid releasing chaos, destruction and death that result from war, the warlords has to follow Tao—the universal principle of all things—the one way. Tao expresses the path not merely in a physical sense, but the proper way from a moral-ethical perspective (Mott and Kim 2006: 8). Ralph D. Sawyer writes that Sun Tzu’s use of paired, mutually defined, interrelated cate­ gories like heaven-earth, offence-defence, advance-retreat, orthodox-unorthodox, etc., reflect Taoist influence (Sun Tzu 1994: 130–1). This methodology is similar to the dialectical method of Western philosophy which can be traced back to ancient Greek philosophy. It involves the study of pairings, specifically oppositions, and the attempt to find truth at their intersection. In accordance with this method, the interlocutors clarified objects of contention by the process of taking opposite stances in order to extract the higher truths (Cormier 2016: 18). By the end of the second century CE, the work titled Tao te ching (part of the book Lao tzu) came into existence. The traditional view is that Lao tzu was written by a man named Lao Tzu, a contemporary of Confucius. Lao Tzu was an inhabi­ tant of Li village in the state of Chu. He was the historian in charge of the Zhou archives. According to the tradition, Lao Tzu criticised Confucius for repeating the morals and axioms of long-dead persons. Lao Tzu’s teachings focused on virtue and self-effacement, among other things. Lao Tzu may not be a historical person but is accepted as the founder of Taoism. Taoism accepts that the totally real is unknowable and what passes for real might be actually transcendent. Tao refers to the right way that is followed by the inanimate universe as well as by human beings. Taoism notes that development and decline are different in nature. Decline occurs suddenly and comes about naturally and inexorably. But development is

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slow and requires sustained deliberate effort by those who are following the right Tao (Lao Tzu 1963: vii–xxiv). Subtracting the obtuse philosophy, which is too tough even for philosophers (forget about the ‘intellectually poor’ military com­ manders), what Taoism is referring to is actually that total reality is unknowable. And the commander facing uncertainty due to the operation of several unknow­ able factors must improvise. Further, if the commander is not extra careful, defeat (decline) would follow. And here lies the importance of human agency (the mili­ tary commander for Sun Tzu). In another way, Clausewitz, influenced by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (Counter-Enlightenment), also reached the same conclusion. War, for Clausewitz, remains the domain of uncertainty; all the factors shaping and influencing war cannot be known, and only a brilliant commander can attempt to pierce the ‘fog of war’ (Cormier, 2016: 20). The Art of War, like Arthasastra and On War, but unlike Maurice’s Strategikon (see Chapter 4), is concerned with the theoretical, political and psychological aspects of war rather than with military administration and tactical configurations. The Art of War (bingfa in Chinese) is concerned with the military methods that will lead to victory, rather than with war in general as is the case with Clausewitz’s On War (Art of War 2007: xi–xii). For Kautilya and Clausewitz, war is a continuation of politics by other means. For Kautilya, yuddha (organised violence) is part of rajniti (politics). Similarly, Clausewitz notes that politics is the womb in which war develops (Heuser 2010b: 6). However, the continuous interaction between politics and war which is present in the Arthasastra and On War is completely absent in The Art of War. The word li (force) is used only nine times in The Art of War, while the word Gewalt (force) occurs far more frequently in On War (Art of War 2007: xv). In Kautilya’s Arthasastra, the word yuddha occurs several times. It must be noted that both Arthasastra and On War are fat tomes compared with the slender The Art of War, which is written in a highly abbreviated and elliptical style. The passages are cryptic—probably because it is very difficult to write on silk or bamboo strips. Kautilya and Clausewitz use the word battle far more frequently than Sun Tzu. While Clausewitz is for a battle-centric strategy, Sun Tzu is for winning without fighting a big bloody battle. Sun Tzu’s famous assertion is that ‘being victorious a hundred times in a hundred battles is not the most excellent approach. Causing the enemy force to submit without a battle is the most excellent approach’ (Art of War 2007: 85). Kautilya stands somewhat in between these two extremes and asserts that when absolutely necessary the vijigisu has to conduct decisive battles and sieges. In other words, if Clausewitz is hankering for bloodshed, Kautilya asserts that bloodshed should be avoided if possible. But, when necessary, says Kautilya, unlike Sun Tzu, bloody battles are necessary to win victories. In general, for both Kautilya and Sun Tzu, unlike Clausewitz, it is preferable to defeat the enemy with political, economic and social power rather than with raw military prowess (Mott and Kim 2006: 9). For Sun Tzu, to wage war effectively, five factors are important: Tao, climate, terrain, command and regulations. The most important is Tao. Sun Tzu notes: ‘The way (Tao) is what brings the thinking of the people in line with their

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superiors’ (Book of War 2000: 73). Sun Tzu is a supporter of shih strategy, which means mobilising the spirit of the people, and this can be done only if the ruler is righteous and follows the right way—Tao. Sun Tzu, Sun Bin/Pin (380–316 BCE), among others, are followers of shih strategy, which involves threatening the enemy, manipulating the enemy force and deterring them to cause dislocation and dissen­ sion among the hostile party (Mott and Kim 2006: 11, 15). The aim is to get vic­ tory without actually fighting. Sun Tzu writes: ‘Subjugating the enemy’s army without fighting is the true pinnacle of excellence’ (Sun Tzu 1994: 129). If Clau­ sewitz had read this line, he would surely have had a heart attack. For Clausewitz, battles are for war what gold and silver are for commercial transactions. Clausewitz emphasises that large-scale bloodshed is the characteristic that differentiates war from other conflicts. Unlike Sun Tzu, Clausewitz focuses on hauptschlacht (decisive battles) which would take the form of kesselschlacht (cauldron/pocket battle). Clau­ sewitz focuses on destruction of the enemy’s forces in a battle of destruction that will find its logical culmination in a cauldron battle. And this requires maximum concentration of force at the decisive point of engagement. Schwerpunkt (centre of gravity), in Clausewitz’s framework, is the enemy’s army. Unlike Sun Tzu, Clau­ sewitz notes that non-military methods are rarely effective in winning wars. In 1827, in a paper, Clausewitz noted that success is always greatest when victory is achieved by fighting (Handel 1996: 19, 33; Heuser 2010b: 103). While li strategy is similar to Clausewitzian strategy, shih strategy is somewhat similar to the twentieth-century British military theoretician Captain B.H. Liddell Hart’s Indirect Strategy. Liddell Hart critiques Clausewitz’s penchant for bloody battles and accuses the Prussian of being the ‘Mahdi of the mass’. Liddell Hart is for moving away from the strategy of concentrating military assets for fighting great battles. He advocates an indirect attritional strategy which involves the use of sea power, amphibious expeditions, skirmishing in the peripheral theatres, etc. (Liddell Hart 1954; Cormier 2016: 43). How far the ‘clever Captain’s’ strategy of avoiding a direct clash with the enemy’s ground force is applicable to a continental state is of course open to question. Compared to Clausewitz, Kautilya gives more importance to non-military methods while prosecuting war. But, unlike Sun Tzu, Kautilya did not believe that non-military methods are more important than purely military methods while waging war. For Clausewitz, diplomacy and war are two watertight compartments (Handel 1996: 31). However, for both Sun Tzu and Kautilya, diplomacy and military operations could go hand in hand. Then again, Sun Tzu is against attri­ tional campaigns, but Kautilya claims that sometimes long-drawn-out campaigns are necessary. Sun Tzu writes: ‘There has never been a case of prolonged war from which a kingdom benefited’ (Art of War 2007: 81). Clausewitz would have agreed. The German Way of War that emerged from Clausewitz’s philosophy always focused on quick, fast war, resulting in a series of battles for annihilation of the enemy forces (Citino 2005). However, Sun Tzu, unlike Clausewitz, is for winning quickly by using the techniques of deception, treachery and intrigues rather than battles.

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While Clausewitz’s formula is to deliver repeated blows to the hostile force (somewhat in the Wehrmacht’s style, which always attacked regardless of the strate­ gic situation), for Sun Tzu, if war is inevitable, the best policy is to attack the enemy’s plan through diplomatic manoeuvring, launching covert operations, etc. (Handel 1996: 40–1). The next best is to attack the enemy’s alliances. If it is not possible, then enemy soldiers have to be attacked. And the worst possible scenario is to conduct, in Sun Tzu’s format, siege operations (Book of War 2000: 63). For Kautilya, the best policy is to attack the hostile alliances, and siege warfare is a favoured option compared to battle in the open, which is considered as more unpredictable. Sun Tzu refreshingly notes that in order to dislocate the enemy’s strategic plans, the general of the friendly force requires foreknowledge of the hostile force’s plan of action. This in turn requires superior intelligence and deceptive moves on the part of the friendly force. And both Sun Tzu and Kautilya emphasise battlefield and strategic intelligence more than Clausewitz does (Art of War 2007: xxii). In fact, one of the weaknesses of the German Way of War is that it did not give adequate attention to gathering and interpretation of intelligence. Sun Tzu’s other con­ tribution is that foreknowledge about the enemy’s strategic moves cannot come from divination, ghosts and spirits, but from people who know about the enemy’s probable moves. For this, the employment of spies is necessary (Book of War 2000: 62). The use of spies became common during the Warring States period, and this practice was completely at variance with the military code of honour in the pre­ vious era (Yates 1999: 38). Kautilya, in fact, elaborates on the various types of spies to be employed before launching a military campaign. So, Sun Tzu and, to a greater extent, Kautilya are votaries of HUMINT. Both Sun Tzu and Kautilya, unlike Baron Antoine Henri Jomini (1779–1869) and Clausewitz, focus more on deception and treachery in order to psychologically unbalance and dislocate the enemy (Art of War 2007: xvi–xix). The Art of War says: ‘Warfare is the Way (Tao) of deception’ (Sun Tzu 1994: 168). Sun Tzu, like Kautilya, recommends employing expendable spies to spread misinformation and disinformation not merely among the enemy force, but also in one’s own army if it suits the strategic purpose (Sun Tzu 1994: 136–7). The valour and chivalry of aristocratic warfare are replaced with deception and treachery in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and in Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Sun Tzu emphasises the word chi, which might mean the reserve force, which by manoeuvring would unbalance the enemy’s force before the battle (Wallacker 2005: 239). Sun Tzu is referring to what the twentieth-century Soviet theorists would call maskirovka. Sun Tzu notes: ‘If we can make the enemy show his position (hsing) while concealing ours from him, we will be at full force where he is divided’ (Book of War 2000: 62). Here Sun Tzu means strategic manoeuvring to ensure surrender of the enemy force, if possible without bloody combat. This is different from Clausewitz’s penchant for a concentration of forces to destroy the enemy army in one single great battle. As regards deployment of armies, Clausewitz, Sun Tzu and Kautilya highlight the importance of terrain. Sun Tzu warns against the deployment of troops in fatal

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terrain. If the army is deployed in a place from where there is no easy escape route, then it becomes fatal terrain in Sun Tzu’s framework (Sun Tzu 1994: 117). Credit is due to Sun Tzu for integrating climate (the role of seasons, heat and cold) with terrain on the course of military operations (Book of War 2000: 73). While speaking about generalship, Sun Tzu is against micromanagement of the army by the rulers. He notes that the field commanders should have the final say while campaigning and the politicians have no role in influencing military affairs. In fact, Sun Tzu writes that during an operation a commanding general has the right to disobey his political superior, i.e. the ruler (Sun Tzu 1994: 132). Of course, micromanagement of the armed forces as practiced by Hitler during the latter part of the Second World War and American President Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam War is dangerous. But giving complete freedom to the army commander during war is also dangerous. Politics is the dog and war is the tail and not vice versa. Military operations have political consequences and here the politicians and politics come into play. Hew Strachan, in his interpretation of On War, writes that Clausewitz favours continuous interactions between politicians and generals during the war (Strachan 2007). In ancient India, Bhagavad Gita (500 BCE) lays down that the final arbiters, even during the course and conduct of war, remain the rulers. When Arjuna, the prin­ cipal warrior of the Pandava clan, refused to fight at the battlefield of Kurukshetra, the god Krishna reminded him that a warrior’s duty is to fight. And the decision to either start fighting or to stop war is not his, but lies with his political superior. The field commander’s job is to fight under political guidance. In contrast, Sun Tzu dangerously says that when a battle is going well, the commander, if he thinks it is right, might disobey the ruler’s order to stop fighting (Book of War 2000: 61; Roy 2012: 31–4). Field-Marshal Paul von Hindenburg (1847–1934) and Erich Luden­ dorff could not have agreed more. Thus, ancient India’s Hindu political theory is arguing for total subordination of the commander to the ruler. An early Confucian theorist, Master Xun (Xunzi: circa 310–circa 220 BCE), qualifies the issue of total subordination of the general to the ruler. He notes that if the ruler orders the general to maintain an untenable position or to engage an enemy even when the prospect of victory is null, then a general can disobey such ‘unlawful’ orders (Stalnaker 2012: 103–6). Therefore, Master Xun is indirectly arguing that in the sphere of tactics, the general and not the ruler should have the final say. Sun Tzu’s emphasis on the autonomy of military leadership in the sphere of military strategy, which has a reciprocal effect on grand strategy, is a sure recipe for the establishment of a military dictatorship. Unlike Sun Tzu, Master Xun is allowing limited autonomy to the commander of the army. Again, both Sun Tzu (like his predecessor Cao Mie) and Clausewitz focus on the leadership quotient of the commanders. During the Bronze Age, Chinese armies comprised a few thousand troops led by fame-seeking heroic feudal lords on chariots. In contrast, during the Warrior States period, armies of tens of thousands were operating, and managing such armies required more than the mere daredevil

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bravery of a few feudal lords. Large armies required bureaucratic commanders with managerial talent, and Sun Tzu addresses this point in his work when discussing the characteristics of the ‘heaven born commanders’. Sun Tzu, in fact, writes that the commanding general should protect himself like a virgin girl (Dao of the Military 2012: 15). The commander is supposed to think, manage and direct the battle and not rush to the forward edge of the battlefield. Thus, Sun Tzu recommends a Dwight Eisenhower-Harold Alexander style of bureaucratic command, rather than an Erwin Rommel-Heinz Guderian style of frontline daredevil battlefield leadership. Sun Tzu wants the commander to be a manager rather than a warrior. Sun Tzu’s general has to make deliberate and methodical preparation and sober plans and only then start the war. He claims: ‘Victory can be anticipated, But it cannot be forced’ (Book of War 2000: 83). Sun Tzu’s assumption is that victory can be predetermined with methodical planning and massive preparation (somewhat akin to the American and British Way of War). Deletion of the role of chance and uncertainty is the principal shortcoming of his theory. Both the ancient Chinese sage and the Prussian intellectual focus on the military leader’s imagination, creativity and intuition. While Clausewitz writes that, with regard to the art of war, experience counts more than any amount of abstract truth, for Sun Tzu the cerebral qualities of the general are the most important factor (Handel 1996: 24–6). Clausewitz is vehement about the role of the ‘genius of war’—the demigod of military history. Sun Tzu contradicts Clausewitz on this point and gives primary importance to the commander. The Art of War notes: ‘Therefore, a general who understands warfare is Master of Fate for the people, ruler of the state’s security or endangerment’ (Sun Tzu 1994: 174). The German General Staff under Field-Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen (1833–1913) and Luden­ dorff would have been happy with such an interpretation. In contrast, ancient Hindu military theory strictly circumscribes the role of the senapati (military com­ mander) within the overall format of political theory. The senapati was supposed to be subordinated to the ruler and his mantri parishad (council of ministers).

Military thought after Sun Tzu The aim in this section is to assess whether any groundbreaking work on military theory was produced after the era of Sun Tzu and what effect the textual tradition had on actual military-strategic policy making. The aim is not to give a consistent account of post-classical military activities in China, but to highlight some of the salient features. From the Han period (206 BCE–220 CE), wu/Yin stood for dark and negative forces and wen/Yang was identified with righteousness, virtue and positive qualities. Wu was identified with the use of force and violence. Destruction, sorrow, sava­ gery, misfortune, etc. all were regarded as symptoms of wu. During the Han period, the dominant belief was that wen and wu alternate in history like the natural rhythm of the seasons. Lu Chia (second century BCE) advised the Han ruler that

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one can conquer the world on horseback, but to administer it requires gentleness, so a fusion of wen and wu is the right strategy. It may be noted here that even Confucius said that archery and chariot driving are part of the necessary education of a virtuous man. A successful state requires military power, economic assets and the support of the people. The Confucian diktat is that even while fighting, the role of violence should be reduced to the greatest extent possible (Needham and Yates 2002: 92–6). One of the most important works after Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is The Dao of the Military: Liu An’s Art of War. It actually provides an overview of the military which is a chapter in the Huainanzi. The latter is an important compendium of philosophical musings and political theories written by a group of scholars under the sponsorship of Liu An (179–122 BCE?), feudal ruler of Huainan and presented to the Han imperial throne in 139 BCE. The Dao of the Military discusses tactics, strategy, logistics, organisation, political economy and even cosmology. For Sun Tzu, warfare is the greatest affair of the state and a matter of life and death. But, for the Huainanzi, military business is just one of the many important matters that the ruler must deal with in administering his realm. While at one pole, Sun Tzu gives primary importance to warfare in statecraft, at the opposite pole, a more radical position was taken by theorists like Song Xing (circa 360–290 BCE) and Yin Wen (circa 350–285 BCE) who were for banning warfare altogether (Dao of the Military 2012: vii–viii, 17). They are like modern pacifists: ‘Gandhis of ancient China’. The Dao of the Military marginalises warfare, but, like the dharmayuddha advocates of premodern India, accepts it (especially war for self-defence) as inevitable under certain conditions. As a point of comparison, Charles Louis Baron Montesquieu (1689–1755), unlike Voltaire (1694–1778), accepted that war is an inherent part of human relations and defensive war is justified (Heuser 2010a: 52). The opening sentence of The Dao of the Military is ‘In antiquity, those who used the military did not value or covet the possession of gold and jade. They sought to … pacify the chaos of the world, and eliminate harm to the myriad people’ (Dao of the Military 2012: 91). In the traditional Chinese worldview, China proper is at the middle of the earth and surrounded by barbarian nations. The ancient Hindu theoreticians also considered the Indian subcontinent (Brahmavarta and Aryavarta) as the true world surrounded by mlechchas (unclean barbarians). Huainanzi’s ideal is an enlightened and self-cultivated ruler who uses force only when absolutely necessary to preserve domestic peace in his realm and never for aggression and conquest. Liu An prescribes that the army should be used sparingly for maintaining internal order and not for any grand external conquests. If a ruler engages in risky external adventure, then, in the long run, his realm would be jeopardised. Too much cen­ tralisation by the imperial court, warns Liu An, might result in the fate of the overcentralised Qin Empire. The Dao of the Military is arguing for a federal Chinese Empire in which the outlying provinces will enjoy autonomous privileges, espe­ cially with regard to their culture and traditional customary laws and regulations. This philosophical belief emerged due to the political landscape and personal interest of Liu An (Dao of the Military 2012: x, 1, 75–6).

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The Zhou Empire was a decentralised polity based on the aristocratic feudal lords. In contrast, the Qin Empire was a bureaucratic militarised polity. After the collapse of the overcentralised Qin Empire, the Han Empire tried to maintain a balance between centralisation and decentralisation. Liu An, the cousin of the reigning Han emperor, was the feudal ruler of Huainan, so argues in his text that the imperial centre must maintain the traditional feudal territorial entities. Liu An emphasises in his work that the self-cultivated enlightened ruler must strive to maintain a balance between the centrifugal forces of aristocratic feudalism and the centripetal forces generated by the totalitarian tendencies inherent in a militarised bureaucratic model of the imperial centre. Since The Dao of the Military urges a ruler to practice meditation and yogic practice (as emphasised in the Mahabharata also) for disciplining the mind to achieve excellence, many scholars categorise Liu An’s work as a Daoist/Taoist work. Andrew Seth Meyer asserts that Liu An’s Daoist work challenged the Confucian literati’s hold over the Han bureaucracy. It is partly true, because some Confucian thinkers like Master Xun noted the importance of meditation, ritualised sexual intercourse and gymnastic practices in order to improve oneself. One can say that within mainstream Confucianism such elements are marginal, but these very ele­ ments occupy a central position in Daoist thought. Daoism believes that rigorous efforts at self-transformation put the individual in communication with the cosmic forces and generate a massive amount of positive human energy. Liu An writes that through Daoist personal cultivation techniques, the commander can acquire a spirit-like insight which would enable him to implement innovative techniques (both theoretically and practically) against the enemy forces (Dao of the Military 2012: x–xii, 1, 66, 74; Tavor 2013: 314). One is reminded of the ‘The force is with me and I am with the force’, which the Jedi warriors believed in the Star Wars movies. In a way, Liu An, like Sun Tzu, believes in the primacy of the commander in waging war. Daoism/Taoism and Confucianism (Ruism), etc. are not really watertight com­ partments. For instance, Sun Tzu, influenced by the Confucian-Taoist premise, writes that power dwells among the people as a state’s true strength lies not in the strong forts and advanced weaponry, but in the people’s morale and soldiers’ sta­ mina (Mott and Kim 2006: 10). The modern British COIN theorist General Rupert Smith would be more than happy to accept this principle while formulat­ ing a strategy to fight what he calls the ‘war amongst the people’ (Smith 2006). Liu An, a proto-Daoist thinker, also claims that a polity’s solidity depends on the contentment of the subjects. The Confucian-Taoist stream of thought is the opposite of Legalist thought, as the latter highlights draconian punishment to ensure loyalty and obedience among the subjects. Both Sun Tzu and Liu An believe in winning without fighting decisive bloody battles. Liu An writes: ‘Thus to conclude without battle is the ultimate of the righteous military’ (Dao of the Military 2012: 96). Here lies the enduring legacy of Sun Tzu’s formulations in mainstream Chinese military thought. But how far did the military reality reflect theory or vice versa? Many German panzer generals after

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the Second World War commented that Clausewitz’s On War is too dense for military practitioners; it was a book for professors (Murray 1986: 270). How far did the premodern Chinese generals and their political handlers follow Sun Tzu or Liu An’s principles? Some examples can be given. In the summer of 89 CE, the Han Empire laun­ ched 46,000 troops and they fought and won the Battle of Jiluoshan. The North­ ern Xiongnu state crumbled and the Han were able to capture more than one million livestock and 200,000 people. In 84 CE, weakened by a series of droughts, the Northern Xiongnu state had asked for peaceful trade with China and the Han Empire agreed. Why then did the Han attack Northern Xiongnu in 89 CE? This was because, even though weakened, the northern ‘barbarians’ were strong in cavalry. The sedentary Chinese empires, just like the sedentary Indian polities, were always weak in cavalry power vis à vis the Central Eurasian steppe mounted nomads. In 89 CE, the Han dared to attack Northern Xiongnu because Han diplomacy had won over Southern Xiongnu to their side (Wu 2013: 60, 70–1). This was pure pragmatic politics. The generals and statesmen of the Han Empire did not have to read and ponder over the aphoristic texts of Sun Tzu and others to formulate such policies. In fact, in the Han court there was a peace party and a war party. The war party wanted to attack the steppe people in order to establish a secure northern frontier. In contrast, the peace party favoured maintaining peace parleys through trade and tribute with the ‘treacherous’ barbarians. The peace party rejected war as an option, but not due to the theoretical formulations of Confucius and other philosophers of war. Rather, the peace party pointed out the military advantages of the Xiongnu and Xianbei over the Han ground forces: better horses, superior horsemanship and the composite bows of the steppe nomads. Further, the peace party pointed out that since the nomads were mobile, having no settlements, it was extremely difficult to subjugate them permanently (Olberding 2013). Simi­ larly, Herodotus (circa 485–425 BCE) noted that powerful Achaemenid rulers like Darius I had failed to subjugate the Scythians of the Black Sea region because of the latter’s superior horsemanship, better horses and absence of cities in the realms of the steppe nomads. Tang Emperor Taizong (r. 626–49 CE), somewhat like the Roman emperors Constantine and Diocletian, formulated a two-layered defence scheme against the eastern Turks. The first level of the Tang frontier defence scheme comprised static garrison forces stationed in walled cities and towns which were located across the potential routes of ingress by the mounted steppe nomads. And the second layer of the Tang defensive scheme included counterstrike mobile forces which were to confront the nomadic cavalry once they had penetrated the frontier zone (Skaff 2009: 179). Where is the influence of the overhyped classical textual tradition in all these defensive schemes? Wang Chen, a ninth-century military commander of the Tang Empire, sickened by continuous conflicts, wrote a commentary on the Tao Te Ching. Chen, a Confucian posted at the border area, contemplated how to end internecine con­ flicts. He was especially disturbed by the example of An Lu-shan’s violent rebellion

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which started in 755 CE. Chen’s commentary was probably written in 809 CE. During Chen’s time, the Tang central government had been able to establish control over the outlying parts of the empire, but the empire still faced two types of threat: from the dissident generals and the steppe nomadic mounted ‘barbarians’. Tao Te Ching was probably composed during the Warring States era. Some of the core material of this work can be traced back to Lao Tzu, but many minds in general were responsible for the complete work, which reached its final format during Han times. It notes that weapons are evil and one who finds joy in killing will never get the support of the people. Generally, Tao Te Ching is a critique of the greed, desire and militarism inherent in human beings (Needham and Yates 2002: 96; Tao of War 2003: 1–9). Tao Te Ching advises the ruler: ‘Display simpli­ city, Embrace the unadorned, Diminish yourself, Minimise your desire’ (Tao of War 2003: 21). One finds elements of Mohist and Buddhist influence in such words. Wang Chen’s commentary warns that great figures have perished due to the overuse of force (Tao of War 2003: 27). Chen writes: ‘After large armies have flourished, there will certainly be baleful years … Add to this the murderous spirit, impulse to harm, and drought and pestilence that follow, no disaster exceeds this’ (Tao of War 2003: 28). His commentary stresses the importance of virtue (Te). Somewhat naively, Wang Chen asserts that a virtuous ruler will be able to dom­ inate his enemies without using force. What is interesting is that Chen does not discuss the tactical and strategic principles embodied in Tao Te Ching. At times, Chen hints that a virtuous and righteous ruler, by following a defensive and reac­ tive policy instead of an aggressive and proactive strategic policy, through man­ oeuvring and deterrence can maintain supremacy over the hostile party (Tao of War 2003: 12–3, 35, 38, 47). The mounted nomads cared little for virtuous and right­ eous rulers, so for practical purposes, Chen’s commentary was not of much use for the Tang strategic elite concerned with the day-to-day practical defence of the empire. The strategic threats faced by the sedentary polities of premodern China and India were similar. The threat from the steppe nomads of Central Eurasia is prob­ ably the most important strategic factor in premodern China and India. One his­ torian notes that in the last 1,003 years of imperial Chinese history, alien regimes conquered and ruled over parts of China for 730 years (Wright 2012: 67). From the dawn of history until the coming of the British, India faced repeated invasions by the mounted nomads from Central Eurasia, who after conquering the sub­ continent established post-nomadic states. Once one group of nomads had estab­ lished a post-nomadic settled state, it faced threat from another group of nomads across the frontier. And the strategic response of premodern China and India to this threat was also similar: fight them and at times accommodate them through trade and hire them as military mercenaries. Sun Tzu, Sun Pin, and others like them did not pay any attention to the pro­ blem of dealing with the Inner Asian mounted steppe nomads. Both Sun Tzu and Kautilya discuss the role of chariots in warfare. While Kautilya emphasises the importance of cavalry, Sun Tzu never seriously discusses the role of horses in war.

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For Kautilya, cavalry constitutes the shock arm of the army and Sun Tzu is mainly concerned with mass infantry armies. This throws light on the political-cum­ military landscape which gave birth to The Art of War and Arthasastra. Sun Tzu’s principal frame of reference remains the military landscape that existed during the Warring States era. The mounted nomads were yet to intrude into China on a large scale when The Art of War was initially composed, but Alexander’s horsemen influenced the Arthasastra. The horse-riding steppe nomads of Central Eurasia repeatedly attacked the sedentary polities of India and China for plunder and occasionally for settling down. The steppe nomads frequently percolated through the northern frontier of China and the north-western frontier of India. Demographic expansion and the subsistence economy of the pastoral nomads encouraged them to attack the rich agrarian civilisations of China and India. Both premodern Chinese and Indian rulers were hobbled due to the lack of good war horses. The hot and humid cli­ mate of India, with densely populated and intensely irrigated river valleys geared for paddy cultivation, were not conducive for breeding horses. In the case of China, the warmer and wetter lands dotted with densely populated farms south of the Yangzi River and the forested mountains were also not suitable for breeding fast war horses (Higham and Graff 2012: 6). For the supply of war horses, both countries were dependent on the steppe nomads. The premodern Chinese and Indian rulers followed the policy of importing war horses and employing the nomadic horse warriors as mercenaries. At times, the nomads were also appeased by offering them tribute (gold in the case of India, silk and tea in the case of China). In the case of premodern China, Sun Tzu’s emphasis on giving the commanders operational and political freedom backfired. Most of the advisors of the premodern Chinese rulers were Confucian literati, and in many cases the generals were uneducated ‘barbarians’. Thus the ethnic-cultural gulf resulted in the court and the courtiers attempting to curb the autonomy of the generals, and the latter, in response, raising the banner of armed rebellion with the troops under their control. And when the nomads were able to conquer the sedentary polities of India and China, they settled down and were mostly absorbed within the vast demographic oceans of these two countries. We must note that almost half the world’s popula­ tion lived in premodern China and India. For instance, in 157 CE, China’s popu­ lation was 56 million. In comparison, the population of the Roman Empire was 46 million. During the Song period (960–1279 CE), China’s population rose to about 120 million (Higham and Graff 2012: 4). The small number of nomads who settled down in China and India after successful invasions were soon Sinicised and Hinduised. The nomads, without any strong religious ideology, were subsumed by the society they had conquered. The nomadic rulers also realised that they needed the support of the Han bureaucracy and peasants, in the case of China, and Brahmin intellectuals and Kshatriya warriors, in the case of India, to ensure the regular flow of revenue which was absolutely necessary for constructing stable post-nomadic con­ quest polities. Accommodation and absorption were the rules of the game. The Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368 CE) in the case of China is a prime example.

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Another example would be the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 CE). The Ming court had two parties: hawks and doves. The hawks wanted to launch punitive military expeditions across the frontier to chastise the steppe nomads. The Ming emperors launched military expeditions when they were militarily strong. How­ ever, annexing Mongolia was not economically profitable. It was impossible to maintain a large army in Mongolia due to logistical difficulties, so even after a victory the Ming Army had to come back to China. When the Ming Empire was militarily weak, they fell back on the traditional policy of appeasing the nomads with tea, silk, silver and princesses. Even before the Ming, the Song in 1005 CE made peace with the Kitan by paying the latter silver and silk (Wright 2012: 71). As a deterrent, the Ming also constructed the ‘Great Wall’ to contain nomadic cavalry raids. If deterrence failed, then the wall would offer a base for conducting positional defensive strategy. Behind the walls, surrounded by strong fortifications, the garrison cities were to function as a breakwater in case of mounted nomadic incursions from Mongolia. Arthur Waldron persuasively argues that after the dis­ astrous defeat in the hands of the Mongols at the Battle of Tu Mu (1 September 1449 CE), the Ming, instead of an offensive policy, settled for a defensive strategy. They no longer thought of sending an army across the Ordos Loop and initiated the grand plan of constructing a wall across the northern frontier of China. Pre­ vious dynasties had built walls along small sections of the frontier, but this time the Ming poured a lot of money and manpower in the grandiose project to create a continuous defensive line (Waldron 1990). The Ming’s Great Wall of China (21,196km long) was bigger than the Antonine Wall (60km long) or Hadrian’s Wall (160km in length) or the more modern Maginot Line (merely 720km), and it was designed to separate pastoral nomadic Inner Asia from Sinicised agrarian China. I could not discern any direct influence of Wu Qi, Sun Tzu, Sun Bin/Pin or any other master theoreticians in all these schemes. However, indirect influences of the classical master strategists somewhat influenced the contour of premodern Chinese national security policy. We can say that the lobby that advocated accommodation with the nomads by buying them off with trade and tribute was influenced by the Confucian-Mencius policy of Sinicising the barbarians. In fact, faction politics shaped Ming strategic policy and, at times, faction politics was coloured by ideological premises. The policy makers influenced by what Arthur Waldron terms as South China ideological bias were against opening up trade relations with the steppe nomads. They were for shutting out the nomads by building a sort of ‘Maginot Line’. Under their influence, the Ming Empire went for a positional perimeter defence based on massive fortifications by building the Great Wall along the Ordos Loop (Waldron 1994: 110–11). In the case of premodern India, the Sakas (Scythians), Huns/Hunas and Par­ thians all became Hinduised when they settled down after their military conquest. The Brahmin acharyas gave the invaders who had settled Kshatriya status. This was the case until the coming of Islam. Hindu India was unable to absorb monolithic Islam. The Islamic invaders (Central Eurasian steppe nomads who had accepted the religion of Muhammad) had an aggressive ideology and a strong religious

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organisation. Nevertheless, the Islamic rulers had to follow the policy of colla­ boration with Hindu communities in order to rule their realm effectively. Whether Confucian China would have been able to absorb Islam remains a counterfactual scenario because the Tang advance in Central Asia stopped at the Talas River (July 751 CE). Thus, policy making in both premodern China and India was based on geopolitics, geo-economics and pragmatic realities and not on strategic culture based on unique idealogical assumptions. Roger T. Ames, after analysing the works of ancient Chinese military theoreti­ cians, asserts that unlike the Graeco-Roman culture, ancient Chinese culture did not worship martiality (Book of War 2000: 31). However, it does not mean that premodern China was any less aggressive compared to the Hellenistic Empire, Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. When it suited them, the Han, Tang and the Ming launched massive wars of conquest. Nevertheless, classical Chinese military thought shaped the literary tropes used in the battle narratives which were generated under the medieval Chinese regimes. For instance, the Tang (618–907 CE) battle narratives always reiterate that victory is due to cleverness rather than due to raw military strength. One finds the influ­ ence of Sun Tzu here, who emphasises deception, psychological warfare and the cerebral qualities of the commander. David A. Graff writes that the Tang battle narratives represented the interest of the courtly Confucian literati who tended to downgrade the specialised skill and training of the military men (Graff 2009: 161). The latter (mostly mercenary Inner Asian nomads) were culturally and ethnically distinct from the Han Chinese Confucian mandarins. During the Ming era, several military epics became common: The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Stories of the River Banks, The Complete History of Yo Fei and Pil­ grimage to the West were some of the most popular epics. The core of The Romance of the Three Kingdoms can be traced back to the third century CE. One of its leading characters is Chu ko Liang, a military strategist cum theoretician. He was the commander of the state of Shu in the west. Another powerful figure is Tshao Tshao, the Prince of Wei in the north and a commentator on Sun Tzu’s treatise. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is actually a collection of several episodes. Joseph Needham and Robin D.S. Yates opine that The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is actually a popular lecture on classical Chinese military theory. Such works no doubt popularised the military theoretical principles among the common mass. There is evidence that in the twelfth century CE, in the poor families, stories from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms were read out to the children (Needham and Yates 2002: 80–1). The military theoretical works were not merely abstract lessons for the high intellectuals but influenced to an extent the nameless and faceless common mass also. Certain ideas percolated down to the bottom of the society, which in turn made many regimes at certain times paranoid. The Manchus (rulers of China from 1644 to 1911) considered the Ming books on the military techniques as subversive. Needham and Yates assert: ‘In effect, the “Romance” became a folk manual of waging war from which the leaders of peasant rebellions and guerrillas derive

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instructions for centuries’ (Needham and Yates 2002: 81). Mao Tse-tung himself was influenced by The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the fourteenth-century novel The Water Margin (also called Outlaws of the Marshes and All Men are Brothers). Thus we can say that while The Art of War is a work for the strategic elite, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is the quasi-guerrilla warfare manual for the agrarian subalterns. It was not lost on the Manchu rulers that the Ming Empire collapsed due to a combination of peasant rebellion and Manchu attack from the north-east. In 1648, the Manchu Dynasty enforced a ban on the study of the military texts. If a civilian was caught in the possession of books on military theories, then he was executed. In 1652, the Manchu regime prohibited popular novels and tales based on military heroes (Needham and Yates 2002: 81, 89). Joanna Waley-Cohen asserts that the late Manchu/Qing Empire deliberately mili­ tarised imperial culture. Military values permeated civilian institutions, and wu (martial culture) was privileged over wen (civilian culture). In traditional Chinese philosophy, wen represented the bright masculine side of civilisation while wu corresponded to the dark female side. However, the Manchus had overturned the meaning of these two concepts while formulating their brand of military culture. The objective of the Manchu Dynasty was to integrate martial valour as a crucial component of Qing identity to distinguish it from that of the Ming and the Han. High posts in the imperial bureaucracy were given to successful generals and not to those civilians who had passed the pan-Chinese examination. A large standing army was maintained. The Manchu emperors regularly organised autumn hunts (like the Mongols), which became part of the imperial military ritual. The Manchu emperors always urged their Manchu subjects not to get softened up by the corrupting influence of Chinese sedentary civilisation. They stressed that the Ming Dynasty lost power because they had degenerated into soft creatures thanks to the negative influence of Chinese civi­ lisation (Waley-Cohen 2009: 278–95). However, a note of caution is necessary. As regards strategic decision making at high levels, the role of the ancient military phi­ losophical corpus was probably marginal. Emperor Kangxi (r. 1661–1722) declared the ancient military classics to be worthless (Swope 2015: 167).

Conclusion Overall, Sun Tzu’s greatest limitations are his overemphasis on the commander, neglect of the role of chance, unforeseen and contingent in matters military, and constructing a defective model of civil-military relation. The above analysis shows that a clear-cut Eastern (China-India) versus Western approach to the theory of warfare is untenable. True, Kautilya and Sun Tzu differ a lot from Clausewitz. Nevertheless, Sun Tzu and Kautilya also differ substantially from each other. Fur­ ther, there are certain striking similarities between Kautilya and Western theorists like Clausewitz. However, I would not go so far as Handel, who asserts that Clausewitz and Sun Tzu’s theories of war differ only in form but not in substance (Handel 1996), nor is Thomas M. Kane’s and Handel’s assertion that while Sun Tzu deals with grand strategy, Clausewitz focuses on military strategy, sustainable

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(Kane 2007: 3). Sun Tzu speaks of battlefield leadership, battles and force structures— issues which fall within the domains of military strategy and tactics. As far as practical politics were involved, in ancient China theories were used by the rulers and their intellectual court advisors to justify certain policies initiated in accordance with practical realities. Most original military theoretical works in pre­ modern China emerged during the Warring States era when ‘a Hundred Schools of Thought’ bloomed. Medieval China, like early medieval Hindu India, did not really produce any original military theoretical texts. While early medieval Hindu Indian statecraft mainly depended on works derived from Kautilya’s theory, medieval China codified and modified the military classics produced in the ancient period. We can conclude by saying that the influence of military theories on planning campaigns and in actual battlefield realities was very limited. None of the intellectuals pointed out the necessity of adopting and adapting to the steppe nomadic military culture. In fact, the hard-nosed pragmatic strategic managers of Zhao adopted the system of mounted cavalry warfare from the steppe nomads in 307 BCE (Skaff 2009: 166). I argue that textual tradition did not structure premodern China’s foreign policy. One can say that for the strategic elite, Taoism is at best too ambiguous, if not confusing. And Sun Tzu’s military theorising is more confusing than that of the early nineteenth-century intellectual Prussian. If early twentieth-century General Staff officers of Germany could not make sense of Clausewitz, it is too much to argue that the premodern Chinese generals (most of them were of non-Han ‘bar­ barian’ background) derived any practical benefit from Sun Tzu and others like him. The Seven Military Classics compiled during the early medieval era influenced the form and not the substance of early and medieval China’s strategic policy formula­ tion. At times, military philosophical precepts allowed the courtly Confucian literati to score debating points while formulating strategic policies. Ancient Chinese mili­ tary philosophy enabled the rulers and their literate advisors to conceptualise and legitimise the policy they were forced to follow due to pragmatic pressures. If not for foreign policy, field battles and sieges, at least in the case of overall administrative policy, the work of the masters probably had some influence. Most people of premodern China were peasants, and peasant rebellion constituted an important threat to dynastic rule. Along with the Qin, the collapse of the Ming Empire was also to a great extent due to large-scale peasant rebellion, and the Han and Tang empires were rocked by large-scale agrarian uprisings. The works of Sun Tzu and others always reminded the strategic managers of premodern China of the importance of not pushing the agrarian subalterns beyond a certain threshold. And when the ruler was deposed due to massive peasant uprising, the civilian intellec­ tuals justified such events by arguing that the ruler had lost the mandate of the heavens because he was not following the right Tao.

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Introduction The Eastern Roman Empire came into existence when Valentinian (r. 364–75 CE) chose his brother Valens (r. 364–78 CE) as co-emperor. The Roman Army was also divided into eastern and western forces. Valentinian assumed control over the western half of the empire, and Valens ruled the eastern half from Constantinople. The Eastern Roman Empire, known as the Byzantine Empire, like the latter-day Ottoman Empire, was a typical Eurasian polity. One-half of these two empires was in the Bal­ kans, and the other half of both these polities was in West Asia. Both polities had to confront Asian and European enemies. From the Byzantine military treatises and his­ torical chronicles written by the then military officers and scholar monks, this chapter traces the strategic thought and battle doctrine of the Byzantine Empire until its demise on 29 May 1453, when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II. While fighting the Islamic forces, the Byzantine Empire developed a concept of Holy War intermingled with elements of Just War. However, the Byzantine theory of Holy War, as we will see, was different from Islamic Jihad and even from Western crusading ideas. In fact, there was no single straitjacket concept of Holy War. Different societies with distinct historical traditions developed varying theories of Holy War. I argue that the military theory of the Byzantine Empire was shaped by influences from Asia and the Western Roman Empire, resulting in a hybrid military tradition.

Byzantine grand strategy: Christianity, Holy War and Just War We must always prefer peace above all else and refrain from war. Emperor Leo VI (Dennis 2007b: 223)

Did the Byzantine emperors have a concept of grand strategy and how far did Christianity influence the attitudes towards warfare and the formulation of

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military-strategic policies? Edward N. Luttwak asserts that the Byzantine Empire’s grand strategy was an amalgam of diplomacy, military deterrence and economic appeasement. Instead of attempting to destroy the hostile states in encounter battles like the Roman Republic, Constantinople depended on manipulation of the ene­ mies, bribing and subverting enemy officials with a show of military force. The objective was to buy off, befriend and accommodate potential enemies (Olsen 2012: 5). Luttwak’s characterisation of Byzantine grand strategy is typically what most Western scholars categorise as the Eastern Way of War. The Byzantine Empire followed a defensive strategy whose outer coating was tinged with Christianity. Byzantine military strategy was based on a fusion of Asian military technologies and techniques with its Roman-Christian inheritance. And the net result was a hybrid military tradition. Byzantine civilisation was based on the Greek intellectual achievements, Roman legal and governmental structures, and the Judaeo-Christian religious tradition (Miller 2007: 3). The Greek Orthodox Church played an important role in the intellectual and cultural life of the empire. Christianity became the official religion of the empire during the late fourth cen­ tury, and by the mid-sixth century, it was the religion of the majority of the empire’s subjects. The Church was important both politically and financially. As we are shown in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie Godfather Part III (1990), the Church was the world’s largest landowner; in the Eastern Roman Empire, the Church was a major landowner (Haldon 1999: 8). After Charlemagne became emperor on Christmas Day 800 CE, the Byzantines operated under the assumption that the real Roman emperor was in Con­ stantinople (Decker 2013: 129). The Byzantine emperor was considered to be God’s representative on earth. The Eastern Christian writings portrayed the Byzantine Empire as a Christian empire, and the Roman people (the chosen ones like the Israelis in the Old Testament) represented the rule of order against the rule of chaos and barbarism. There is a sense of an apocalyptic element in such writings. The Jews were replaced as they had murdered the saviour of humanity, Jesus Christ (Haldon 1999: 14). Moreover, the Jews joined hands with the forces of the Sassa­ nid ruler Khusru II (r. 590–628 CE) during 614–15 CE, and massacred the Chris­ tians in Jordan and Palestine (Theophanes 1982: 11). The Christian Church allowed and possibly encouraged its followers to join the Christian army in fighting the dark forces. The Edict of Milan in 313 CE and the Council of Arles, called in 314 CE after Constantine I’s victory over the pagan opponent Galerus in 312 CE, permitted Christians to join the Roman Army (Haldon 1999: 15, 17). The concept of Just War, as developed in medieval Europe, referred to wars that could be waged by secular public authority for defence of territory, persons or rights. Further, unlike Holy War, Just War was limited by the codes of right con­ duct (Laiou 2007: 18). However, the Church gradually appropriated the concept of Just War, spreading the notion that Christians could join in the Just Wars waged by the Byzantine Empire. War against the forces of evil was considered as Just War (Haldon 1999: 17). Both the Catholic and Protestant churches derived their views of Just War from two principal medieval thinkers: St Augustine and St Thomas

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Aquinas (Miller 2007: 5). The Orthodox Christian Empire was considered as the earthly version of the Kingdom of Heaven. And it was justifiable to defend it against external invasion. Defensive warfare was represented as God’s struggle and, hence, was acceptable (Haldon 1999: 25). Gradually, Byzantine Just War took the shape of quasi Holy War. In a classic Holy War, the beginning of the conflict has to be promulgated by a religious authority. The Christian pope or the Muslim caliph can declare a Holy War. The objective of Holy War is generally religious, such as protection or recovery of the sacred shrines, forced conversion or subjection of others to one’s own religion, etc., and those who participate in a Holy War either have their sins remitted or get a place in paradise. And in an ideal Holy War, the religious authority remains the sole power capable of granting remission of sins or declaring warriors as martyrs (Dennis 2007a: 71; Laiou 2007: 17). It can be argued that a perfect Holy War, like Clausewitz’s Absolute War, never occurred in reality. One might argue that the command of God, as understood by the combatants, can come through his human servants—in which case the Crusades can be categorised as Holy Wars (Kolbaba 2007: 51). From the late sixth century onwards, in order to acquire divine support for military campaigns and also to strengthen the morale of the soldiers of the Eastern Roman Empire, religious images were taken during the expeditions, and when the soldiers charged the enemy forces, the former shouted in unison: ‘God is with us; Lord have mercy’, etc. (Haldon 1999: 18, 24). The religious-ideological elements became especially important when the Byzantine forces fought an opponent with a different religion. It can be said that the Christian character of Byzantine war became salient when it fought the Sassa­ nid Empire (224 CE–651 CE) of Persia. Procopius, the sixth-century Byzantine historian, in his History of the Wars, tells us that the Iberians inhabited the region south of the Caspian Gates in Asia. They were Christians, but were subjected to Persian rule. Procopius writes: ‘And just then Cabades (Kavad) was desirous of forcing them to adopt the rites of his own religion’ (History of the Wars 2006: 97). This forced the ruler of the Iberians, King Gourgenes, to appeal to Emperor Jus­ tinus (Justin I, r. 518–27 CE). Justinus then hired the Huns to fight the Persians. Kavad, the Sassanid ruler (r. 488–531 CE), sent a large army to punish Gourgenes, who then fled to Lazica (History of the Wars 2006: 97–8). In the peace treaty signed by Sassanid Persia and the Byzantine Empire in 562 CE, one clause noted that the Christians in Caucasus should be free from persecution and the two religious groups, Christians and Zoroastrians, should not try to proselytise each other’s communities. The Sassanid ruler Khusru I’s (r. 531–79 CE) attempt to promote Zoroastrianism resulted in a reaction which in turn strengthened the Christian religious consciousness among the personnel of the Byzantine Army. The ideological elements of Holy War were especially visible in the wars of Emperor Heraclius (r. 610–41 CE) against the Sassanid forces in 626–27 CE (Haldon 1999: 18–19). During 617–18 CE, Heraclius again sent his envoys to Khusru II (r. 590–628 CE). However, the latter said: ‘I will have no mercy on you until you renounce him who was crucified, and worship the sun’

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(quoted from Theophanes 1982: 12). Khusru II had the plan of reviving the Achae­ menid Empire of Darius I which stretched to the eastern shore of the Aegean Sea. The Eastern Roman Emperor portrayed the Sassanid ruler as the enemy of God. George of Pisidia (580–634 CE) represented Heraclius as a pious and orthodox ruler and the chosen instrument of God’s divine wrath. The projected aim of the cam­ paign was to recover the True Cross and restore it to the holy city of Jerusalem. The Byzantine Empire was cast as a Christian state in danger, due to the threat posed by the evil forces, so war for the survival of the empire of God’s chosen people was painted as a Holy War and also a Just War (Haldon 1999: 30–1). War was always the last option for Heraclius, as should be the case for a just ruler. The years 618–19 CE were really bad for the Byzantine emperor. The Avars (a nomadic group which inhabited the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea) attacked Thrace. Heraclius sent envoys for restoring peace and the Avar khan agreed to make peace in return for gifts. However, he broke his oaths and started his plundering raids again. Simultaneously, the Persians attacked in the east. Heraclius made peace with the Avars and transferred all the military units from Europe to Asia (Theophanes 1982: 12–13). The seventh-century chronicler Theo­ phanes tells us that Heraclius was pushed to the wall and forced to start military operations against Khusru II. Theophanes notes that Khusru II was thirsty for blood and further exalted by his continuous victories. Therefore, continues Theo­ phanes: ‘Heraklios, who had assumed divine zeal … with God’s help, planned to march to Persia’ (Theophanes 1982: 113). Theophanes asserts that when Heraclius fought the Persians who threatened Christendom, the Byzantine emperor, while speaking to his soldiers, referred to the Persians as infidels. The Chronicon Paschale, a seventh-century source, describes the Persians and the Avars as accursed impious enemies (Kolbaba 2007: 52). Maurice’s Strategikon, composed between 575 CE and 628 CE, invokes the ‘Holy Trinity, our God and Saviour’ while describing wars against the Persians in West Asia and the Avars in the Balkans. Invoking the Holy Trinity against the enemies of the empire became common in the government documents from circa 600 CE onwards (Maurice’s Strategikon 1984: xvi). Emperor Nikephoros’s (r. 802–11 CE) treatise titled Skirmishing opens with the statement: ‘For Christ, our true God, has greatly cut back the power and strength of the offspring of Ismael and has repelled their onslaughts’ (quoted from Three Byzantine Military Treatises 2016: 147). Ismael, son of Abraham and Hager, was regarded by the Byzantines as the forefather of all the Arabs and Muslims. Skirmishing further notes that the Byzantine forces could be defeated by the Muslim troops only if the former had sinned (Three Byzantine Military Treatises 2016: 149, 177). Similarly, Leo VI’s Taktika, written early in the tenth century says: ‘it will easily, with God’s help, be crowned with victory over the barbarian Saracens’ (quoted from Haldon 2014: 28). Instead of human agency, causation (victory and defeat in war) is linked with divine factors and religious merit (or lack of it). Emperor Leo VI’s Taktika was written with the threat of Islam in mind. This military manual was designed for providing guidance to the provincial generals.

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The final version of Leo’s Taktika is written with the aim of alerting the Byzantine generals and the court literati of the threat posed by the caliphate. Chapter 18 of Leo’s Taktika principally deals with the Saracens. However, Leo does not advocate an offensive war against Islam. Rather, Leo VI is arguing for a defensive strategy in order to protect the Christian Byzantine Empire against the Islamic offensive. Leo advocates Just War. Leo’s aim was modest: to reconquer the provinces lost to the Muslims especially in Northern Syria (Haldon 2014: 3, 23–4). In Byzantine stra­ tegic format, God aids not directly but indirectly during combat—as Taktika notes, ‘When God grants you the favour of routing the enemy in battle’ (quoted from Haldon 2014: 29). In contrast, in the Hebrew Bible, God actually fights with the Jews, the chosen people, against their enemies. For Leo, defensive war against the Saracens was Just War because it was fought to protect the divine and civil laws of the Romans and to protect piety and the Orthodox faith. Taktika emphasises the relationship between the military success of the Byzantines and impiety of the Saracens (Haldon 2014: 28, 31). God’s help is also invoked by the Byzantines in wars against enemies other than the Muslims and Zoroastrians. For instance, in 971 CE, the Battle of Dorostolon was fought by Emperor John Tzimiskes (r. 969–76 CE) with the Rus who had occupied the Bulgar Kingdom. One of the chroniclers of this battle, John Skylitzes, notes that finally the battle ended in favour of the Byzantines due to divine inter­ vention. The assumption was that humans were unable to resolve the issues through their judgement, wisdom and intelligence alone. Divine support shapes fate and provides justice to the righteous (McGrath 2007: 347–9, 356–7). An astrological literature in relation to Islam emerged in the Byzantine Empire. It was connected to the apocalyptic tradition which claimed to foretell the results of wars. Some branches of this tradition presented the wars and the political for­ tunes of the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic polities as connected by a divine will in a cyclical relationship. In such a schema, either one of them will be vic­ torious. This literature implied that on the basis of this divine cycle, at times it was the turn of the other side to be victorious. And in such scenarios, resistance is useless because fate and divine providence had already determined the outcome. Soldiers and officers invested in horoscopes and tried to know the outcome of a conflict. Even the emperors during campaigns took with them astrological works and horoscopic materials along with the military handbooks. Leo’s Taktika warns the generals to beware of signs and portents among the soldiery and to make sure that they spread favourable predictions to prevent demoralisation of the troops (Haldon 2014: 114). Procopius, in his various works, throws light on warfare and statecraft. The tone of his writing is secular. He also considered himself to be a philosopher. In Anecdota or The Secret History, which remained unpublished during his lifetime, Procopius does not discuss military affairs but has something to say about the political estab­ lishment. Since warfare was part of Byzantine politics, what the Byzantine historian has to say in this regard is worth taking a look at. The Secret History concentrates on the Emperor Justinian’s regime (527–65 CE). Procopius, like Thucydides but

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unlike Herodotus, was an administrative elite and close to the corridors of power. He was born around 500 CE at the city of Caesarea on the coast of Palestine, and in 527 CE he was appointed as private secretary and legal advisor of Justinian’s famous general Belisarius. He accompanied Belisarius during his campaigns in Persia, North Africa and Italy. Plague occupies an important place in the works of both Thucydides and Procopius. In 542 CE, Procopius witnessed the terrible ravages of the plague in Constantinople. He probably outlived Justinian (Secret History 2007: vii–ix, 35). Procopius mentions that The Secret History contains information which, if the Byzantine government came to know, then at best he would be charged with sedition or at worst, his life might end. In The Secret History, Procopius’s operating assumption is that when women take charge of politics then mayhem and disorder become the order of the day. He continues that two ‘wicked women’, Theodora, the wife of Justinian, and Antonina, the wife of Belisarius, due to their greed for money, flesh and moral corruption, brought ruin to the Roman state. The two lowborn, morally degraded and sexually corrupt women, who unfortunately hap­ pened to be the legal consorts of two of the most powerful men of the empire, were the root causes of decline in Roman fortunes. These two females, due to their selfishness and personal greed, forced their husbands to follow erroneous policies which caused ruin to the state. Under the malevolent influence of these two women, both Justinian and Belisarius became oath breakers and oppressors of the poor and rich alike (Secret History 2007: xvii, 1, 3, 19, 40). Feminist historians might criticise Procopius as a male chauvinist. Procopius, on a more serious note, criticises the appeasement policy of Justinian. Just as Winston Churchill critiqued the appeasement of Adolf Hitler by Neville Chamberlain, Procopius harshly condemns Justinian’s policy of paying tributes and honour to the ‘barbarian’ chieftains. Procopius writes that this policy impoverished the Eastern Roman Empire and also made these natural enemies of Constantinople far more arrogant and dangerous. He continues that acquisition of easy money made the barbarians demand more and emboldened them to attack the Romans repeatedly (Secret History 2007: 46). In this regard, Procopius stands in opposition to the Byzantine military handbooks that we will discuss in the next section. The military manuals note that bribery/payment of tribute along with a show of mili­ tary force, deceit, treachery, etc. are part and parcel of an effective Byzantine strategy against its enemies. Procopius writes acidly: ‘To Chosroes (Khusru I, the Persian ruler) Justinian handed over vast sums in gold to secure peace’ (Secret His­ tory 2007: 46). Further, he writes: ‘Thus it is that all the barbarians have become in every respect the masters of the wealth of the Romans, either by receiving the money from the Emperor’s hand, or by plundering the Roman realm, or by selling back their prisoners of war, or by demanding money in return for a truce’ (quoted from Secret History 2007: 80). The appeasement policy did not always work well. Theophanes’s Chronicle notes that during 613–14 CE, Khusru II captured Damascus. Heraclius sent envoys to the Sassanid ruler requesting him to stop the bloodshed and agreed to pay tribute.

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Khusru II sent the envoys back and decided to go for further conquest of Byzan­ tine territory. During 614–15 CE, Sassanid forces advanced into Egypt through Jordan and Palestine. In 616–17 CE, the Persians attacked Carthage (Theophanes 1982: 11). However, the policy of bribery worked well with Attila’s Huns. The internal policy of the Byzantine state was interlinked with external threat. Procopius writes that to satisfy his own greed under the influence of Theodora, Justinian imposed crushing taxes on the Christian landowners of Palestine. It resulted in a massive internal rebellion. The brutal COIN campaign resulted in the death of 100,000 men, ruin of agriculture and impoverishment of the Christian subjects of the empire (Secret History 2007: 47–8). One might read between the lines and infer that Justinian was forced to impose heavy taxation because of the burden of paying tri­ butes to Khusru and also to meet the expenditure for military operations against the Vandals and Ostrogoths in North Africa and Italy respectively. Next, our historian says that Justinian also looted the private wealth of all the senators. The Mughal emperors followed the law of escheat, which meant that when a noble died, his private wealth was taken away by the emperor to be used for public purpose and a token sum was left for his family. Justinian was also fol­ lowing a somewhat similar policy. And Procopius, being a member of the Byzan­ tine aristocracy, had his own axe to grind. In his account, Procopius continues that after Justin, when Justinian ascended the throne, the coffers of the state were filled with gold and silver. However, his ruinous policies, especially his policy of paying tributes to the enemies of the Roman state, ruined the finances and forced Justinian to grab the wealth of his subjects (Secret History 2007: 50, 78). It seems that Pro­ copius was a ‘hawk’ and not only polemical but also had a personal agenda against Justinian. Actually, the policy of bribing the enemy was cheaper and more secure than sending a military detachment against the hostile force. Further, most of the gold paid as tribute ultimately returned to the Byzantine Empire’s economic system as the ‘barbarians’ bought commodities from the empire with it (Luttwak 2012: 57–82).

Tactical thought, generalship, chronicles and handbooks Most of the races of the various people mount ambuscades, especially the Persians, Turks, and Arabs. But, sometimes the Romans mount ambuscades as well, having in fact been taught by these races. For after the Romans had suffered many times, they learned by experience from heavy losses and they contrive against this very thing. (Sylloge Tacticorum 2019: 43)

Several Byzantine military handbooks have survived. These military handbooks (actually tactical manuals) were written for the military commanders in simple, down-to-earth language. These handbooks are not theoretical but extremely practical, so the Byzantine military handbooks are different from the philosophical treatises on war written by the ancient Chinese sages and Indian acharyas. Unlike Kautilya and Sun Tzu, the authors of most of the handbooks were veteran military leaders who had campaigned in several fronts. The only exception among them is

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Leo VI. However, his Taktika actually derived a great deal of material from Strate­ gikon, authored by a military officer with multifront experience. In fact, the Graeco-Roman military culture had the tradition of writing handbooks. The oldest handbook can be traced back to Aeneas the Tactician written in the fourth century BCE (Maurice’s Strategikon 1984: xiv–xv). Like the Greeks, the Byzantines used the word strategia for generalship (art of command) and taxis as tactics, which referred to the movement of the military units (Kaegi 2007b: 253). The Anonymous Byzantine Treatise on Strategy was written during the latter part of Justinian’s reign. The author of this work defines military strategy in the following words: ‘Strategy is the means by which a commander may defend his own lands and defeat his enemies. The general is the one who practices strategy’ (Three Byzantine Military Treatises 2016: 21). Like Thucydides, the author of The Anonymous Byzantine Treatise on Strategy says that military strategy is the domain of the strategos (general). The Anonymous Byzantine Treatise on Strategy was written by a retired army engineer during the middle of the sixth century. The writer had participated in combat and was also well acquainted with the writings on military affairs by the ancient authors. Another handbook titled Skirmishing by Emperor Nikephoros concerns itself with border warfare in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia. It is clear from reading this treatise that the author himself was a veteran of border wars. Another work, titled Campaign Organization and Tactics, deals with the progress of the Eastern Roman Army under the command of the emperor in hostile territory named Bulgaria. From internal evidence, it is clear that the author of this work had participated in such campaigns (Three Byzantine Military Treatises 2016: vii–viii). The handbooks throw light on the actual military organisation of the Byzantine Empire. Strategikon, though ascribed to Emperor Maurice (r. 582–602 CE), was probably written by one of his generals. Strategikon tells us that Maurice reformed the army. Further reforms were initiated by Heraclius, but the basic structure of the army created by Maurice continued for another 300 years. Maurice attempted to abolish the semi-private armies, and in the reformed force the senior officers were appointed by the imperial government. Thus, Maurice, by side-lining the semi­ autonomous warlords, created an imperial army under central control. The basic unit of the army for both the infantry and cavalry was a tagma/bandon comprising about 300 soldiers (Maurice’s Strategikon 1984: xii–xiii). The Anonymous Byzantine Treatise on Strategy notes that an efficient and honest administration is necessary for creating and maintaining an effective military force. The treatise emphasises the fact that honest officials should be appointed and regular auditing needs to be done (Three Byzantine Military Treatises 2016: 17). The themes were the basic units of Byzantine provincial administration. The themes were districts in which the soldiers were settled in small farms which they held on condition of hereditary military service. And the governors of the themes exercised supreme civil and military command on behalf of the Byzantine emperor. The theme system was a sort of feudal structure that first emerged in Asia Minor and after 800 CE spread in the Balkan Peninsula (Obolensky 2007: 300).

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Emperor Basil II (r. 976–1025 CE) tried to break the close attachment between the army and the land which had produced powerful magnates who almost eclipsed the emperor. Hence, Basil depended on foreign mercenaries. Basil’s shift towards foreign mercenaries was not due to a manpower crisis in the Byzantine Empire or due to the emergence of external threats along the borders. Rather, a problematic civil-military relationship, along with the inability of Basil to trust his senior military commanders, who were also large landlords, resulted in this transition in the Byzantine field force. Foreigners were serving in the Byzantine Army from the fourth century onwards and their numbers increased significantly during the sixth century. However, Basil radically increased the number of foreigners in the Byzantine field force. As a result, by the end of the eleventh century, the Byzantine Army had become mostly a foreign mercenary force consisting of Turks, Arabs, Pecheneg, Franks (mainly Normans) and Rus. While the Normans served as heavy cavalry, the Varangians served as foot soldiers (Magdalino 2007: 178–80). The Scandinavian Rus constituted the elite Var­ angian Guards (Decker 2013: 30). In contrast to the large-scale employment of foreign mercenaries, the Praecepta Militaria of Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas (r. 963–69 CE) written in 965 CE emphasised indigenous recruitment. It notes that heavy infantry in the Roman style should be recruited from the Greeks and the Armenians (McGeer 2008: 13). The Anonymous Byzantine Treatise on Strategy, like other military handbooks of the Byzantine Empire, advocates a defensive military strategy for the empire. This work focuses on field fortifications, engineering, crossing streams under fire and pitching camps. This work focuses on positional defence. On the approach of hostile forces, this book advocates building walls and earthen ramparts and digging outer moats. The advance of the enemy force to the outer moat was further to be made difficult by spreading caltrops (objects with three to four sharp spikes inten­ ded to damage the hoofs of the cavalry), digging trenches, pits with sharpened stakes, etc. (Three Byzantine Military Treatises 2016: 2–3, 23, 263). Caltrops were used by the Rajputs in early medieval India against the Islamic Turkish cavalry. Caltrops were also used by the Arabs in the eleventh century in Sicily to debilitate Byzantine war horses. In response, the Byzantines covered the hooves of their horses with metal plates (Haldon 2007b: 367). David A. Graff persuasively argues that the military strategy of the Tang Empire (618–907 CE) of China and the seventh-century Byzantium Empire had several commonalities. He continues that rather than any cultural factors, the force struc­ ture of the enemies (common strategic threat faced by the two empires) resulted in a somewhat similar Byzantine and Chinese Way of War. For instance, the armies of both empires emphasise launching sudden nocturnal attacks on the mounted nomads while carrying out negotiations. Further, both empires invested heavily in cavalry to counter the inroads made by the mounted steppe nomads (Graff 2016). In fact, Unjust War, as enunciated by Kautilya, is also characterised by war-peace policy simultaneously and launching sudden nocturnal attacks on unsuspecting enemies. And Kautilya came up with such a theory of war even before the steppe

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nomads started threatening the sedentary agrarian polities of Eurasia. These issues have been discussed in detail in Chapter 2. The Strategikon, like Publius Flavius Vegetius’s military manual (fifth century CE) and Kamandaka’s Nitisara, advises that instead of meeting the hostile force in a deci­ sive battle the commanders should use methods like trickery, treachery, subterfuge and bribery in order to get rid of the enemy (Maurice’s Strategikon 1984: xiv). Mauri­ ce’s Strategikon notes that a wise commander will not engage the enemy in pitched battle unless a truly exceptional opportunity or advantage presents itself (Maurice’s Strategikon 1984: 90). The Strategikon continues: ‘In time of war the best way of finding what is advantageous is this: what is advantageous to you is disadvantageous to the enemy, and what is beneficial for them will be just the opposite for your troops. It is in our interest to do nothing or avoid nothing that the enemy would do or avoid’ (quoted from Maurice’s Strategikon 1984: 89–90). Here, we see that the Strate­ gikon is in tune with Sun Tzu’s indirect strategy for avoiding pitched battles. All the Byzantine handbooks written between the sixth and eleventh centuries understood the imbalance of resources between the Byzantine Empire and its myriad enemies. The dominant motif in all these works, like in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, was to use delaying tactics and exploitation of the weaknesses of the enemy in order to avoid defeat. The aim was to win by engaging in tactical manoeuvres and taking advantage of diplomacy, climate and landscape and never to engage in decisive battles. Paying tribute, i.e. bribery (equivalent to Kautilyan sama and dana), was considered better than resorting to war. The objective of Byzantine military strategy was not to deliver a knock-out blow, but aimed to maintain or reach parity or equilibrium with the enemy through deterrence, raids and counter-raids aimed at gradual attrition of the enemy’s power in the short term (Dennis 2007a: 77; Haldon 2007a: xxii–xxiii). Engaging in a battle for complete destruction of the hostile force was just not present in the operational menu of the Byzantine military. Another important military handbook is the Taktika which is ascribed to Emperor Leo VI (r. 886–912 CE) (Haldon 1999: 5). Leo’s Taktika, along with Aelian’s work, also influenced Maurice of Nassau’s (1567–1625 CE) army reforms. However, Leo VI, unlike Maurice, never commanded forces in the battlefields. Due to his acumen in legislative and literary fields, Leo was given the epithet of ‘the wise’. Leo’s Taktika is based, to a large degree, on the Strategikon, and the latter derives a lot of ideas from earlier Greek and Latin sources. Leo also depends heavily on Strategikos of Onasander, which can be dated to the first century CE. Leo’s Taktika, written about 300 years after the Strategikon, highlights the fact that a good general will avoid battle and win over the enemy through the use of stratagems and guile. War, notes Leo, always results in slaughter and bloodshed, hence is evil. The trend of avoiding battle in Byzantine military theory can be traced back to the writings of Polybius, Aeneas Tacticus and Polyaenus (Sullivan 2007: 500; Haldon 2014: 3–5, 9–10, 17). Procopius writes that Belisarius said that war is the province of the unexpected. The implication is that it is best to use ruses and deceptions rather than engage in battle with the enemy (Kaegi 2007b: 254–5). Kamandaka would have agreed with

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such an assertion. During the Campaign of Dorostolon (971 CE), Emperor John Tzimiskes did not attempt to defeat the Rus in a single battle. Rather, in accor­ dance with the advice offered in the military handbooks, the emperor tried to break the Rus’s military strength by cutting off their supplies, especially their water supply (McGrath 2007: 352). Thus we see the hankering for decisive battle, which according to Parker and Hanson was present in Western military culture from the time of the classical Greeks, was absent at least among the Byzantine military practitioners and theorists of war. Besides the policy of avoiding battles and exhorting the soldiers to follow the commands of God and the emperor, the Byzantine military handbooks say little about generalship. However, we can glean some elements of generalship from Procopius’s History of the Wars. Procopius writes about the necessity of unity of command in the field, and highlights the limitations of Byzantine generalship in the war against the Sassanids. After the Persian capture of Amida in 502 CE, Emperor Anastasius (r. 491–518 CE) sent several military detachments against the Persians. However, the Roman military response was hobbled by disunity in the command system. Instead of appointing a single general, the emperor appointed four generals. They rarely cooperated and the net result was a lack of coordination. The resultant advance of the Roman force was slow and disjointed. The Byzantine generals decided that the Persian garrison at Amida, backed by a large amount of provisions, was a hard nut to crack. Rather, they decided to invade Persia. Each general marched with his own troops. Due to inadequate intelligence, none of them knew about the movement of the Persian field army which was hovering nearby. Kavad I (r. 488–533 CE) concentrated his force and fell upon the separate Roman divi­ sions one by one. First, he defeated the Byzantine general Areobindus near Arza­ mon. The Roman generals Patricius and Hypatius were blissfully unaware of their colleague Areobindus’s fate. One day, when Patricius and Hypatius’s forces were preparing lunch, the Persians suddenly attacked and routed them. Procopius rightly criticises these two commanders for not taking even basic precautionary measures like posting pickets and deploying scouts for acquiring information about the movement of the enemy force. Neither did these two commanders care to main­ tain communications with their other two colleagues. Luckily for the Romans, Kavad marched away with the main army to meet the invasion of the Huns along his north-east frontier. A small contingent was left against the Romans, and that was more than enough. The Romans acquired Amida in 504 CE by paying a hefty sum of money which Kavad needed to pay off the Huns (History of the Wars 2006: 61–75). Theophanes (the Christian monk turned historian), somewhat like Sun Tzu and Kautilya, implies that a successful commander must focus on training the troops before throwing them into battle. Theophanes’s chronicle notes that after passing through the Taurus Mountains, Heraclius emphasised training his soldiers (whom he found lazy, cowardly and disorderly) before deploying them against the Persians. The army was divided into two battle groups and engaged in mock battles with

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shouts and paeans. The men were instructed in the art of war. For maintaining discipline, Theophanes, like Sun Tzu and Kautilya, notes that the general should exercise an amalgam of coercion and care. Since Heraclius was in a weak position, he appealed to their good sense and religious sensibilities and showered paternal care upon his troops (Theophanes 1982: 13–14). The theory and practice of the Byzantine force structure were heavily influ­ enced by its Asian enemies. However, the Byzantine strategic elite never dis­ owned their Roman inheritance of heavy infantry-centric force structure. Hanson, Bernard Bachrach and other advocates of the so-called ‘Western Way of War’ have argued that the Western military culture always stressed drilled and disciplined heavy infantry for close-quarter battles lasting a single afternoon. In contrast, Maurice’s Strategikon is clear that a clever general should have more cavalry than infantry. This is due to the force structure of the opponents of the Byzantine Empire and the increasing military effectiveness of cavalry resulting from technical changes. Strategikon mentions the Avars, who were a nomadic tribe of Asia and established a decentralised empire in the central part of East Europe. After establishing control over the Slavs, the Avars turned their attention to the Byzantine Empire. In 582 CE, the year when Maurice ascended the throne, the Avars captured the fortified city of Sirmium and pillaged the Balkan Peninsula. In the next few years, the Avars attacked Thessalonica. The Slavs pushed into Byzantine territory by the Avars were settling down inside the empire. In the east, the Persian Empire had set its eye on Armenia. When the Strategikon was penned, the Byzantine Empire was strictly in a strategic defensive mode (Maurice’s Strategikon 1984: xi, 90). Gradually cavalry became more important in the Byzantine military establish­ ment. In the late sixth century CE, the Byzantine cavalry adopted stirrups from the Avars who brought them from the eastern part of the Eurasian steppes and China. Combat with the Avars stimulated the Byzantine cavalry to adopt lamellar armour. The single-edged cavalry sabre and lamellar cuirass with its splinted arm guards were adopted by the Byzantine cavalry during the eighth and ninth centuries CE. These techniques were also transferred from the Eurasian steppe through the Khazars and the Magyars (Haldon 2007b: 364). Lamellar coifs and limb protection were actually adopted during the sixth-century CE reform programme initiated by Emperor Maurice. From the tenth century CE onwards, lamellar armour became common among the Byzantine personnel. Around 743 CE, Emperor Constantine V (r. 741–45 CE) formed a permanent body of professional cavalry regiments (tagmata) stationed around the capital. This cavalry corps was more loyal and dis­ ciplined compared to the forces of the provincial themes (Decker 2013: 24, 112). The Praecepta Militaria of Nikephoros Phokas was actually written by an experi­ enced commander for use against the Arabs along the eastern frontier of the Byzantine Empire (McGeer 2007a: 336). The Arab force comprised mainly light and heavy cavalry. Compared to the Strategikon, the Praecepta gives more impor­ tance to infantry. This handbook prescribed forming squares of infantry to provide refuge to cavalry and wounded soldiers. Further, the squares were to function as

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bases for launching counterattacks by friendly cavalry against hostile cavalry. Prae­ cepta Militaria notes about the deployment of infantry: The formation of the infantrymen under discussion is to be a double-ribbed square, thus called a ‘four-sided formation’ by the ancients, which has three units on each side so that all together there are twelve units on the four sides. (quoted from McGeer 2008: 15) The influence of Roman imperial legions is clear. For forming the squares, it was laid down, various types of infantry soldiers were required: heavy infantry equipped with spears and swords and covered with body armour, archers, and light infantry equipped with spears and slingers. Heavy infantry, notes the handbook, is to be recruited from the Armenians and light infantry from the Russians (McGeer 2007a: 338–41). Procopius indirectly tells his readers that drilled and disciplined heavy infan­ try was important. Procopius was present in the Battle of Dara (530 CE) as legal advisor to Belisarius, the Roman commander, and his account of the Byzantine Empire’s battles is one of the few eyewitness accounts that has sur­ vived. One of the principal factors behind the defeat of the Persians was their ineffective infantry. Procopius asserts: ‘For their whole infantry is nothing more than a crowd of pitiable peasants who come into battle for no other purpose than to dig through walls and to despoil the slain and in general to serve the soldiers’ (History of the Wars 2006: 121). However, the Byzantine military elite were aware that an infantry-centric force in Mesopotamia would meet the same fate as the Roman legions at the Battle of Carrhae (6 May 53 BCE). In Carrhae the horse archers and heavy cavalry under the Parthian General Sur­ enas wiped out Crassus’s legions. Therefore, a hybrid military machine com­ prising various types of cavalry, light infantry skirmishers and Roman-style heavy infantry was required for fighting battles in the open against the Asiatic enemies. In fact, Procopius is arguing that for the victory at Dara, the right combination of infantry and cavalry and a reserve force for ambushing enemy troops were responsible. The Persian infantry simply threw away their shields and ran away. However, Belisarius, though victorious, refused to pursue the defeated Persian force to destroy them completely. The Byzantine military handbooks warn the Roman generals not to pursue the defeated enemy force as they might turn around and spring a surprise and ambush the hitherto victorious Roman soldiers. A stan­ dard tactic of the mounted steppe nomads was to conduct a tactical retreat and then suddenly turn round to counterattack the pursuing enemy. And while retreating, the nomadic cavalry was also famous for shooting backward—a techni­ que known as the Parthian shot. In 531 CE, the Persians returned with an allcavalry force, some 15,000 strong. The Roman response was to send a force under Belisarius—20,000 strong comprising both infantry and cavalry (History of the Wars

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2006: 113–21, 129, 145, 161). Since the opponents of the Byzantine Empire were strong in cavalry, the Roman state had to increase the number and effectiveness of the cavalry force. The Byzantine military handbooks after Maurice’s Strategikon, along with the historian Procopius’s account, rightly note that a mix of cavalry and infantry force was most effective against its eastern enemy. Similarly, thousands of miles away, the Tang Empire also maintained a force structure comprising drilled and disciplined infantry and cavalry (Graff 2016: 8–9). And for both these empires, the mounted nomads of Central Eurasia posed the principal threat. Praecepta Militaria discusses the uniform of the infantry. It comprised a thick felt cap with a turban wrapped over the top and a long coat which could be opened in the front. The coat was held by buttons and loops. The turban and the coat (actually kaftan) were adopted from Persia. Under the coat, the infantry soldier wore garments made of coarse silk and padded with thick cotton. In contrast, the Strategikon advo­ cates for the infantry mail shirts and helmets which were more in tune with the legionary’s dress of the Western Roman Empire (Dawson 2007: 379–80). Despite discussing the role of infantry in battles and campaigns, Praecepta Militaria did not neglect cavalry. The shock weapon of the Byzantine Army, for this hand­ book, is the cataphracts, who were heavily armoured cavalry, again adopted from the Persians. Both the mounts and the riders were covered with lamellar armour which comprised metal plates sewn over leather. Further, this handbook, like Procopius, also gives due importance to the role of the horse archers (Dawson 2007: 382–6). The Byzantine Army adopted the composite bow-equipped mounted archers in their force structure. Byzantine sources mention the dexterity of the Seljuk Turks with composite bows. In the eleventh century, the Seljuks overran most of Anatolia, which the Byzantines had been able to defend against the Arabs from the seventh century onwards. Procopius refers to the presence of mounted archers in Belisarius’s force, which enabled the Byzantine Army to overcome the Ostrogoths in Italy (Kaegi 2007a: 237, 239). In the war against the Vandals, Belisarius used auxiliary Hunnic horse archers against Vandal lancers (Decker 2013: 55). From the sixth century onwards, the Romans used composite Hunnic bows. These bows were made of wood with sinew and horn glued together. The maximum range of such a bow was 300 metres and the effective range against an armoured target was 100 metres. Crossbowmen became common in the Byzantine Army only during the Crusades under Frankish influence. The handbooks written between the ninth and eleventh centuries note the use of maces by the Byzantine infantry and cavalry. The mace was adopted from the Persian cavalry (Decker 2013: 119–23). During the time of Maurice, the ratio of horse to foot in the elite force was 2:1. However, gradual impoverishment of the Byzantine state and loss of territories in the east to the Arabs after 640 CE resulted in the reduction of the cavalry force. In the eighth-century Byzantine Army, the ratio of infantry and cavalry came to about 5:1 (Decker 2013: 75). Like Arthasastra and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Maurice’s Strategikon emphasises the linkage between deployment of the army and the nature of the terrain. The Strategikon goes further and links the superiority of a particular ethnic force

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structure with a particular type of terrain. It notes that while the Parthians and the Gauls had military forces which fought well on the plain, the Spanish and the Ligurians did well in the mountains and hills. The Britons were at home in wooded areas and the Germans were masters of war in the swamps. It continues that on the day of battle, when faced by a superior enemy cavalry force, the Byzantine general should never deploy his troops in open and level country. Rather, the Byzantine commander should take refuge with his soldiers in difficult terrain: swampy places, rocky, uneven and wooded areas, where enemy horses would be at a disadvantage (Maurice’s Strategikon 1984: 90, 162). Skirmishing, written in the second half of the tenth century CE, somewhat like Arthasastra tells us that the generals should send spies disguised as businessmen into the enemy territories. The businessmen cum secret agents should try to find out the intention of the enemies in order to ascertain whether the enemy was planning an attack or not. Further, the businessmen-spies should acquire information about the topography of the hostile territory. Not only businessmen, but travelling monks and pilgrims were also used to gather information about enemy territories and plans. Further, they also took an active part in covert operations behind enemy fronts. This helped the Byzantine Army to launch plundering raids in retaliation for pillage by the enemy forces. Further, Skirmishing says that when the enemy raiding force is returning to its home country laden with booty and plunder, the Byzantine commanders should seize the passes and then set up ambushes and launch attacks to add to the discomfiture of the hostile raiders (Three Byzantine Military Treatises 2016: 140, 163, 237). The handbooks also note that special troops disguised as peasants should be deployed behind the enemy lines. They are to launch attacks suddenly against the unsuspecting enemy soldiers (Koutrakou 2007: 531, 534–5). In 781 CE, Abd al Kabir led a large raiding force through the Adata Pass into Asia Minor. In 799 CE, another Arab raid occurred. Once inside Byzantine terri­ tory, the Arab raiders got divided into two groups. One group, led by Abd al Malik, moved against the imperial stud farms at Malagina and the second group, under Abd al Rahman, moved towards Ephesus (Arvites 2007: 318, 326). Under Empress Irene (r. 780–802 CE), what one author calls a ‘dogging tactics’ plan was adopted. Arab raiders were allowed to enter the empire’s frontier, unopposed. The imperial troops, as advocated in the military manuals, shadowed the raiders instead of engaging them in pitched battles. Even deep inside Byzantine territory in Ana­ tolia, the Byzantine troops were not allowed to engage the overextended Arab forces in battle. This was because of the assumption that desperate and trapped men, like animals, fight harder. Konrad Lorenz (1903–1989), the Austrian etholo­ gist, would later formulate his famous flight-fight behaviour model based on such an assumption. Byzantine field forces were instructed to carry out ambushes, scor­ ched-earth policy and attack the Arab raiders when they were returning home with their loot (Arvites 2007: 316). Graff notes that despite many commonalities, there were also several dissim­ ilarities in the tactical formats of the Byzantine and Tang militaries. For instance, both Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and the Strategikon note that a clear line of retreat

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must be left for the enemy. If no avenues of retreat are available, then, both these texts warn, even the defeated enemy force would fight tenaciously. However, the Tang Empire’s generals at times launched sudden attacks on nomadic camps to ensure total destruction of the hostile force, and in such contexts, no line of retreat was left for the enemy (Graff 2016: 3). Two points emerge. One, the Tang gen­ erals did not always adhere to their ancient textual wisdom. Second, even for a particular country (in this case China), a homogeneous military tradition existing over several centuries was absent. The borrowing of the technique of ambush from the Asians as evident in the passage quoted at the beginning of this section from the tenth-century Byzantine handbook titled Sylloge Tacticorum (A Compilation of Tactics) (hereafter ST) proves that the Eastern Roman military writers were aware of the importance of not only Asian arms (armoured lancers and horse archers) but also of Asian military tactics. ST is probably the product of more than one author. Much of the material is drawn from Leo’s Taktika and from other classical writers like Isocrates, Onasander (50 CE), Aelian Tacticus (120 CE), Polyaenus (165 CE) etc. Although ST falls within the paradigm of the Graeco-Roman military discourse, and to an extent is repetitive due to the inclusion of material from earlier handbooks, nevertheless it also contains some particular tactical considerations which the Byzantines were facing along their eastern and north-western borders. ST says that while the main body of the Byzantine field force marches out just to keep up the pretence of giving an open battle, some tagma should be concealed for ambushing unsuspecting hostile troops (Sylloge Tacticorum 2019: 1–7, 43). While Skirmishing concentrates on the Muslims on the eastern front, Campaign Organization and Tactics (another tenth-century military manual) focuses on the wars against the Bulgars, Pechnegs and the Russians on the Byzantine Empire’s northern front. Campaign Organization and Tactics tells us that cavalry should be mixed with light infantry (javelin throwers) during an enemy attack (Three Byzan­ tine Military Treatises 2016: 241–3, 273). And light infantry played an important role in the rugged terrain and in night battles (Dennis 2007b: 224).

Byzantine historians, military manuals and sieges Unlike most of the ancient Chinese and Indian military treatises, which are mostly philosophical and often abstract in nature, the military manuals and historians of the Byzantine Empire, like those of the Western Roman Empire, give a lot of infor­ mation about the technical aspects of the siege machines. A branch of Greek military literature known as poliokretika refers to the manuals on siege warfare. The Byzantine Empire continued this tradition. An illustrated treatise on siegecraft was authored by Hero of Byzantium in around 950 CE. Another treatise, entitled On Withstanding Sieges, is anonymous and was written in the first half of the tenth century CE (McGeer 2007b: 520). Procopius discusses the tower-mounted ballistae used by Justinian’s famous general Belisarius. They were either steel bow-tension catapults or cheaper

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composite bow-bolt projectors. Before Procopius, Roman historian Ammianus mentions two-armed metal-framed torsion catapults in his work. This machine was developed by the Romans during the second half of the first century. The wide and low-tension frames of these machines were enclosed in cylindrical metal cases which protected the sinew bundles from moisture and counter-battery fire from the enemy (Chevedden 2007: 476, 482–3). In the last two episodes of Game of Thrones, Cersei’s troops used such machines against Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons. After the sixth century CE, torsion weapons fell into disuse in the Byzantine arsenal. During the fourth century, Ammianus Marcellinus tells us that the Roman Army used onagers, which were catapults with a vertical arm drawn back using a windlass. It could launch heavy projectiles on an average weighing around 32kg. The onager was replaced in the Byzantine siege arsenal with the traction trebuchet. The traction trebuchet was based on lever power rather than on torsion or tension, and began to spread in Europe during the sixth century CE. It might be possible that the traction trebuchet spread from China to Central Asia and then to the Middle East and finally further west into the Byzantine Empire (Petersen 2013: 406–7). The large and cumbersome counterweight trebuchets became the corner­ stone of Byzantine siege warfare during the eleventh and twelfth centuries (Decker 2013: 101, 124–5). It is questionable whether the Byzantine forces enjoyed any technical superiority over their Asian opponents in the case of siege wars. Some examples can be given. We know from Procopius’s History of the Wars that the Persians during the Siege of Amida (502–3 CE) used battering rams, which were initially used by the Assyrians. After the Roman garrison broke the heads of these rams, the Persians constructed an artificial hill higher than the wall. Their aim was to station archers and slingers on the artificial hill from where they would overpower the defenders on the wall and would be able to cross into the city. The Roman besiegers responded by dig­ ging tunnels under the artificial hill in order to destroy its foundations (History of the Wars 2006: 53–5). In 904 CE, during the Siege of Thessalonika by the Arabs, the latter used scaling ladders, machines for throwing rocks and even flame throwers (Sullivan 2007: 498). The Byzantine defenders in such cases made the walls stron­ ger, increased their height, filled the trenches with water and set up trebuchets along the parapet. Flame throwers were also used by the Byzantine troops. The Anonymous Byzantine Treatise on Strategy mentions the use of the secret weapon: Greek fire. The author says that for manufacturing this weapon, iron and naptha are acquired with gold and silver (McGeer 2007b: 522; Three Byzantine Military Treatises 2016: 13). The Taktika of Nikephoros Ouranos (950–1011 CE) was written around 1000 CE. Ouranos served as a civil bureaucrat and a military officer under Emperor Basil II. Ouranos took part in the campaign against the Bulgars at River Spercheios in 997 and then became governor of Antioch in 997 CE. As regards siege warfare, his manual, along with ST, notes that before undertaking a siege operation in Syria against a strong enemy (Muslim) fort, the countryside around this strongpoint should be devastated completely. The destruction of the crops would force the

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inhabitants to move towards the fort and increase congestion there, resulting in a food crisis within the stronghold (McGeer 2008: 79–80, 153–5). Next, ST turns to the issue of how to conduct a successful siege of an enemy city. The besieging general is ordered to establish his camp at a distance of at least two miles from the city. His first job is to secure his camp and station guards (Sylloge Tacticorum 2019: 88–9). The besieging army’s camp is to be protected with a ditch for protection against a probable attack by the garrison from the hostile fort (McGeer 2008: 157). In fact, ST warns that elite units should be ready to ward off nocturnal raids by the hostile force from the forts. Then, the garrison in the hostile fort should be bom­ barded with arrows, javelins, slings and trebuchets. ST is unique among the Byzantine handbooks dealing with sieges in noting the link between launching attacks and the environment. We are told that the commanding general must launch his barrage of arrows and shots at the defenders taking advantage of the wind direction. The Taktika of Ouranos continues that under the protection of a shower of arrows from the friendly troops, tortoises and infantry armed with sled­ gehammers and ladders should advance towards the walls of the fort. And the sappers should dig tunnels and counter-tunnels to weaken the foundations of the walls of the fort (McGeer 2008: 159–61; Sylloge Tacticorum 2019: 89). Ouranos, like Kautilya, also refers to the importance of psychological warfare in order to weaken the morale of the defenders. He says that the besieging army should offer rewards to those defenders who would desert their side, and those who continued to fight are to be warned of dire consequences (McGeer 2008: 157–9). ST details the steps that need to be taken by a general when he is facing a siege. Before the beginning of the siege by the enemy, the general defending the fort must take good care of logistics. Sufficient food and water should be stored within the fort to sustain a long siege by the hostile forces. All the non-combatants—women, chil­ dren, sick and elderly persons—should be sent away from the fort or the city under siege in order to reduce the mouths that have to be fed. This is indeed a harsh con­ dition accepted due to military necessity. Like Arthasastra, ST warns the commander against subversive techniques and nocturnal attacks by the enemy. And like Arthasas­ tra, ST also advocates unconventional techniques to be followed in order to avert a lengthy siege. Both these treatises advocate biological warfare—i.e. poisoning the wells, etc. (Sylloge Tacticorum 2019: 86–7). Further, ST advocates a defensive positional strategy. It warns that on no account should the field force garrisoning the fort offer battle beyond the walls to the hostile besieging force. Rather, the defenders should depend on the thickness of the walls and the siege machines (catapults and trebuchets). A scorched-earth policy should be followed, especially by cutting down all the trees in the sur­ rounding countryside in order to deny fruit and firewood to the invaders. Further, wood was also necessary to construct as well as repair the siege engines. The gun­ ners are warned not to open fire at long range, which would merely result in wastage of shots and bolts, and breed contempt for the defenders among the enemy. ST offers guidelines for the protection of the siege engines and the fort against hostile counter-battery fire. The siege machines should be covered with

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buffalo hides and mats to protect them from stones released by the hostile siege machines. A protective wall made of timber, pikes and sacks full of chaff or sand would offer some protection against the hostile battering rams. And against enemy tortoises, the commander should build beams with sharp iron points. Boiling pitch, oil, lead and stones should be hurled at the hostile assault infantry carrying ladders. Only when the besieging force was on the point of breaking the walls and sta­ tioning their siege machines near the crumbling walls of the fort could the general, as a last resort, make a desperate charge with the garrison of the fort against the hostile besieging force (Sylloge Tacticorum 2019: 87–8).

Conclusion Byzantine Holy War was not as aggressive as Jihad (its origin is discussed in Chapter 5) but was defensive in orientation. Byzantine military strategy was not battle centric. This was because the empire was threatened by a host of enemies both in West Asia and in South-East Europe. With the limited demographic and economic resources at its disposal, Constantinople could at best hope for launching limited counterattacks to ward off hostile forces. And like the Asian theorists, the Byzan­ tine handbooks advocated the use of trickery, stratagems to ward off the superior military power of its enemies. Despite Sun Tzu’s assertion, in the case of the Byzantine Empire, we see that its attritional strategy, at least, worked effectively until the early fifteenth century. Sometimes, for a relatively weak power sur­ rounded by a host of aggressive powers, it makes sense to delay the ‘Judgement Day’ by following an exhausting attritional policy. And the Byzantine strategic managers used the concepts of Holy War and Just War to mobilise resources and legitimise their defensive operations against the enemies of the empire. To con­ clude, the Byzantine Empire survived until the mid-fifteenth century because the empire’s strategic managers were able to adapt to changing conditions by adopting more relevant military practices. The handbooks make clear that due to changes in the dynamics of warfare and force structures of the enemy, the Byzantine Empire replaced the legions with a mix of cavalry and infantry formations. Instead of dis­ playing military conservatism and sticking to a hoary past, the Eastern Roman Empire’s handbooks displayed wisdom and tactical judgement by incorporating new and novel military techniques from the enemies. In addition, for defensive purposes, they continued the use of Roman artillery and heavy infantry. The net result was a combat-effective hybrid military machine. I conclude by saying that the Byzantine military handbooks display a steep learning curve on the part of the empire’s strategic managers and military commanders. Herein lies the secret of the longevity of the Byzantine Empire.

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Chevedden, Paul, ‘Artillery in Late Antiquity: Prelude to the Middle Ages’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 453–495. Dawson, Tim, ‘Suntagma Hoplon: The Equipment of Regular Byzantine Troops, c. 950 to c. 1204’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 379–388. Decker, Michael J., The Byzantine Art of War (Yardley, PA: Westholme, 2013). Dennis, George T., ‘Defenders of the Christian People: Holy War in Byzantium’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007a), pp. 71–79. Dennis, George T., ‘The Byzantines in Battle’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007b), pp. 223–236. Graff, David A., The Eurasian Way of War: Military Practice in Seventh-Century China and Byzantium (London/New York: Routledge, 2016). Haldon, John, Warfare, State and Society in the Byzantine World, 565–1204 (London: UCL Press, 1999). Haldon, John, ‘Introduction’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007a), pp. xiii–xxvii. Haldon, John, ‘Some Aspects of Early Byzantine Arms and Armour’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007b), pp. 363–377. Haldon, John, A Critical Commentary on the Taktika of Leo VI (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, 2014). History of the Wars by Procopius, Books I–II, tr. by H.B. Dewing (Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, 2006). KaegiJr., Walter Emil, ‘The Contribution of Archery to the Turkish Conquest of Anatolia’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007a), pp. 237–249. KaegiJr., Walter Emil, ‘Some Thoughts on Byzantine Military Strategy’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007b), pp. 251–268. Kolbaba, Tia M., ‘Fighting for Christianity: Holy War in the Byzantine Empire’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 43–70. Koutrakou, Nike, ‘Diplomacy and Espionage: Their Role in Byzantine Foreign Relations, 8th–10th Centuries’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 529–548. Laiou, Angeliki, ‘On Just War in Byzantium’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 17–41. Luttwak, Edward N., ‘The Byzantine Empire: From Attila to the 4th Crusade’, in John Andreas Olsen and Colin Gray (eds.), The Practice of Strategy: From Alexander the Great to the Present (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 57–82. Magdalino, Paul, ‘The Byzantine Army and the Land: From Stratiotikon Ktema to Military Pronoia’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 167–188. Maurice’s Strategikon: Handbook of Byzantine Military Strategy, tr. by George T. Dennis (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1984). McGeer, Eric, ‘Infantry versus Cavalry: The Byzantine Response’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007a), pp. 335–345. McGeer, Eric, ‘Byzantine Siege Warfare in Theory and Practice’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007b), pp. 519–525. McGeer, Eric, Sowing the Dragon’s Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2008). McGrath, Stamatina, ‘The Battles of Dorostolon (971): Rhetoric and Reality’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 347–359. Miller, T.S., ‘Introduction’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp.3–16.

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Obolensky, D., ‘The Balkans in the Ninth Century: Barrier or Bridge’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 295–314. Olsen, John Andreas, ‘Introduction’, in John Andreas Olsen and Colin Gray (eds.), The Practice of Strategy: From Alexander the Great to the Present (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 1–11. Petersen, Leif Inge Ree, Siege Warfare and Military Organization in the Successor States (400–800 AD): Byzantium, the West and Islam (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013). Procopius, The Secret History, tr. by G.A. Williamson and Peter Sarris with an introduction and notes by Peter Sarris (London: Penguin, 2007). Sullivan, Dennis, ‘Tenth-Century Byzantine Offensive Siege Warfare: Instructional Pre­ scriptions and Historical Practice’, in John Haldon (ed.), Byzantine Warfare (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 497–518. Sylloge Tacticorum, The: A Tenth-Century Byzantine Military Manual, tr. by Georgios Chatzelis and Jonathan Harris (London/New York: Routledge, 2019). Theophanes, The Chronicle of: Anni mundi 6095–6305 (AD 602–813), ed. and tr. by Harry Turtledove (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982). Three Byzantine Military Treatises: Text, tr. and notes by George T. Dennis (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2016).

5 FIGHTING FOR ALLAH Islam and steppe nomads

Introduction Islam emerged as a religion among the nomads of Arabia. When the Turks were Islamised under the Abbasid Caliphate, then occurred a fusion between the steppe nomadic ethos and Islamic religious zeal, which resulted in the Islamisation of a large part of Eurasia and Afro-Asia. The Islamised Turks established several big quasinomadic polities which lasted for several centuries. The most famous among these were the Ottoman, the Safavid and the Mughal empires. An amalgam of the Arabic Islamic and Central Asian steppe nomadic methods of warfare allowed the Islamic polities to exercise transcontinental power. When material gain and ideological ele­ ments are in tune, together they create an explosive compound. And that was exactly what happened. After accepting Islam, the Turks became ghulams/mamluks (slave soldiers) of the Islamic polities. Annexation of non-Islamic territories allowed them to win material wealth, slaves and glory. Thanks to the mamluk institution, the wave of Islamic expansion lapped from Spain in the west to Malaysia and Indonesia in the east. Jihad became good business. We are still living with its legacies. This chapter attempts to reconstruct the evolution of Islamic military thought. It also deals with political and religious ideologies because military thought was part and parcel of these wider philosophical discourses. However, the aim is not to go for an analysis of Islamic theological discourse but to see the links between tactical-operational thought and the broader Islamic ideology. Chronicles written by the Persian scholars who enjoyed the patronage of the sultans, autobiographies of the Muslim rulers and poetry are the principal sources used for constructing the Islamic theory of war.

Prophet Muhammad and the origin of Jihad Think not of those Who are slain in Allah’s way

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As dead. Nay, they live, Finding their sustenance From their Lord ( The Holy Quran n.d.: 193)

Muhammad was born on 22 April 571 CE in the Hejaz region of Western Arabia. He belonged to the Quresh tribe and began his career as a merchant. One night (probably in 608 CE), he claimed that he encountered an angel (Gabriel) and the latter ordered him to become the Messenger of God, the agent for final divine revelation to humankind. Thus, Muhammad became Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad proclaimed his message to be similar to the monotheism taught by Abraham, the patriarch of the Hebrew Bible and the common ancestor of the Arabs and Jews. Soon, Arabs and Jews became staunch enemies and remain so even today. Muhammad became a vocal critique of the cultic practices in Mecca’s shrine, the Kaaba. He also denounced the pagan and idolatrous practices of the Quresh tribe (Ma’mar 2015: xvii). One of the early biographies of Muhammad notes: ‘Then the Messenger of God began to call the people to Islam secretly and publicly, and for the people to abandon their idols’ (quoted from Ma’mar 2015: 12). Facing retribution from the stakeholders of the Quresh tribe who felt threa­ tened, Muhammad fled to Yathrib, a city north of Mecca in September 622. Here, he was welcomed by two warring tribes, the Aws and the Khazraj. His migration is known as Hijrah. At Yathrib, he established a new community: umma. The mem­ bers of this community were united by their faith and loyalty towards the Prophet’s message. Yathrib became Medina: the Prophet’s city. From this base, he started to conquer Arabia spiritually and militarily (Ma’mar 2015: xvii–xviii, xxxix). Muhammad delivered the Koran to his early followers. However, the Muslims did not regard the Koran as a record of the Prophet’s own words or actions. Rather, the Koran was regarded by the Prophet’s followers as God’s words, and with the death of Muhammad (27 May 632) the canon of the scripture was closed (Ma’mar 2015: xviii). The word Koran means reading or recitation. The Koran says that this is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds and is the product of Allah. The words of the Koran are eternal and none can change them. The Koran is a collection of moral rules, instructions and interpretation of events which the Muslims believed were revealed by God to Muhammad over a period of 23 years. The Koran says that Islam is Din (religion and way of life), and is the source of Sharia (Islamic law) (Shah 2011: 17). Initially it was committed to memory by those close to the Prophet and then passed down orally and only later written down. The content is not organised thematically, but arranged in accordance with the length of the discourses themselves, with the longest first and ending with the shortest (Gabriel 2007: xxvii–xxviii). The Koran comprises 114 chapters (sura) and 6,235 verses (ayat) of unequal length. Of all the verses, one-tenth relate to law and the rest deal with matters of belief and morality. The verses of the Koran are divided into Meccan and Medinan verses. The Medinan verses deal with social,

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economic, political and legal structures and also with Islam’s relation with the nonMuslim world. The law of qital is the product of the Medinan period, when the Prophet fought his battles (Shah 2011: 17). I will discuss qital later. The early Muslims started the process of preserving the Prophet’s words and deeds, which is known as hadith (sayings; traditions). The hadith tradition evolved slowly. The process of writing them down started in earnest with Al Bukhari (d. 870) and his followers (Ma’mar 2015: xii, xix). The Sunna is the law that is derived from the hadith (Shah 2011: 20). Every religion advertises its own supremacy over other religions. And the seeds of conflict are thereby sown. Islam is no exception in this regard. The Prophet declared that his religion represents humanity’s original faith (Ma’mar 2015: 17). The sense of hostility towards those who are not Muslim is clear from the very beginning. According to one tradition, Umar (a senior companion of the Prophet, who later became caliph) heard Prophet Muhammad saying aloud: ‘No one refuses to acknowledge our revela­ tions but the evildoers’ (quoted from Ma’mar 2015: 14). According to an early bio­ graphy of Muhammad, which belongs to the genre of hadith and was written in around 827, the Prophet said that he would continue to fight until death those who refused to accept Islam,. This declaration is similar to Hitler’s ‘last man, last bullet’ order. Prophet Muhammad sent a letter to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (r. 610–41) asking him to submit to Islam, otherwise face war. Muhammad and his followers believed that those who oppose Islam will face hellfire from God (Ma’mar 2015: 20, 31, 45–6). The ideology of Jihad (Holy War) was thus formulated. The word Jihad is derived from juhd meaning to struggle or to exert oneself. In Islam, there are two types of Jihad: internal and external. Internal Jihad is fighting one’s evil influences and receiving the blessings of Allah by serving humankind. External Jihad is attacking the non-Muslim people and non-Islamic polities. When used in self-defence, Jihad becomes qital. It was obligatory for all Muslim males to participate in war and the minimum age for joining the army was 15 (Shah 2011: 23–4, 52). The Koran warns that in the case of combat with non-Muslims, no Muslim group can be allowed to remain neutral (Shah 2011: 57). It was laid down that those who died in the pursuit of Jihad will achieve shahada (martyrdom). Islam, following the Manichean idea of dualism (division of the world into good and bad), came up with a bipolar division of the world into dar al Islam (House of Light or regions under Islamic control) and dar al harb (House of Darkness, regions where nonIslamic practices hold sway). Several verses of the Koran say that polytheists and nonMuslim people such as Christians and Jews are to be killed, but if they surrender then it is to be accepted and the defeated people would have to pay Jizya. Jizya was imposed in addition to the land tax. Jizya is the protection tax imposed on all non-Muslim males who are solvent or capable of bearing arms (Shah 2011: 39, 57). Jizya not only filled the coffers of the Muslim government but also demilitarised the non-Muslim population. Thus, the latter could not pose any threat to the Islamic polity. The Muslim jurist Abu Hanifa (699–767) says that the Muslim leaders are allowed to kill non-Muslim people or keep them under dhimmi (inferior/second­ class citizen; actually untermenschen [sub-human]) status provided the latter pay jizya.

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Another jurist, Imam Shafi (767–820), advocated a more pragmatic rule: nonMuslim captives can be exchanged in return for Muslim captives. Imam Shaybani (749–805), in contrast to Abu Hanifa, noted that non-Muslim captives can be ransomed if the Muslim leader is in need of money. Overall, the corpus of Islamic law dealing with fighting between different Muslim communities is more humane than the laws regulating conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims (Shah 2011: 46, 63–4). The three elements of Jihad—the bipolar division of the world into friend and enemy camps; the concept of fighting to the death; and obligatory participation of all Muslim males—make the concept of Islamic Holy War almost similar to the concept of Total War. Complete victory or crushing defeat are the only alter­ natives in the case of Total War. In such wars, entire nations become involved and chauvinistic public opinion is mobilised and neither side is prepared to compro­ mise. Unlimited war aims—the idea of unconditional surrender and the complete subjugation of the enemy—are important characteristics, writes Stig Forster, of Total War (Forster 2005: 6–7). All these elements to a greater or lesser degree are present in the case of Jihad. The tradition of Jihad continued after the death of Muhammad and as shown in Chapter 10 operates even now. Ali Anooshahr asserts that the texts generated by the Ghaznavid sultans of Afghanistan in the tenth and eleventh centuries created a model for being a ghazi (holy warrior) sultan. The ghazi model was derived from the Perso-Arabic kings and prophets and was used by both the Mughals of India and the Ottoman sultans. The Ghaznavid literary works also inspired later chroni­ clers. In fact, Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the twenty-first century are also inspired by the Ghaznavid ghazi Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. Elements of Jihad are strongly entrenched in the Babur Nama (memoirs of Zahir ud din Muhammad Babur [1483–1530], founder of the Mughal Empire). The Ottoman Sultan Murad II (1404–1451) actually commissioned a project for collecting works on ghazwa (Holy War). The sultans who emulated the ghazi model were highly educated and had a passion for reading histories. By reading these texts and hearing them, most of the Muslim rulers would model themselves after the heroic forerunners, and they would try to outdo the heroes of the books by launching their own ghazwa. To gain legitimacy, a Muslim ruler had to fight Holy Wars (Anooshahr 2009). The use of the ghazi model, as this chapter will show, was not purely ideological, but also instrumental. It helped Babur during the Battle of Khanwa (16 March 1527). By giving the call for Jihad, he inspired his Muslim soldiers to fight the Hindu Rajputs. But no call for Jihad was given when Babur was fighting the Muslim Afghans in East India. Let us see how it all began. Muhammad, besides being the founder of one of the most important religions of the world, was a great general and a military theoretician too. Like General Vo Nguyen Giap, he first started his military career as the practitioner of unconventional (insurrectionary) war and then created a regular army geared for conventional war. At the age of 14 he witnessed first-hand a clash between two Arab clans. Muhammad himself was wounded twice in the battlefield (Gabriel 2007: xix).

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Under Prophet Muhammad, two types of campaigns were launched. In some cam­ paigns he himself did not participate but appointed commanders for the Islamic force engaging in combat. This sort of campaign was known as suriya. Some 35 such campaigns were launched in his lifetime. A campaign which Muhammad himself led was known as ghazwa. He led some 27 ghazwa (Shah 2011: 32). Muhammad used to say: ‘all war is cunning’. This statement is similar to Sun Tzu’s assertion that ‘All war is deception’. Political negotiations, manipulations and marriage alliances, secret killings, etc. were part and parcel of Muhammad’s grand strategy. Muhammad’s charismatic personality and his messianic ideology, among other things, made him a firebrand revolutionary religious insurrectionary. Muhammad created a bodyguard unit known as suffah. They, on his orders, also functioned as a commando unit geared for targeted assassination. The people of Arabia at this time were mostly illiterate. In order to spread his message, Muham­ mad hired the best available poets. They carried out political propaganda by singing the Prophet’s praises and denigrating his opponents. Further, Muhammad sent missionaries to various tribes to spread his messianic ideology (Gabriel 2007: xix, xxii, xxv–vi). Thus, like a modern guerrilla leader, Muhammad used both kinetic and non-kinetic techniques to spread his message. Muhammad started his military career by launching ambushes and raids in order to isolate Mecca. Muhammad’s base was Medina. This city was strategically located at a short distance from the main caravan route which connected Mecca with Syria. This caravan route was Mecca’s economic lifeline. Muhammad severed this economic lifeline and focused on converting the Bedouin tribes around Mecca. For weapons, Muhammad, like guerrilla leaders, depended on looting the enemy arsenals, stripping the enemy prisoners and dead of their weapons, etc. Prisoners were ransomed for weapons and not for money. His forces grew steadily with time and engaged in several battles. During the First Battle of Badr (624), Muhmmad could deploy only a meagre 314 men, but in the Second Battle of Badr (626), he was able to deploy 1,500 Muslims. In 628, at Kheibar, Muhammad had 2,000 men. In 630, during the attack on Mecca, Muhammad had 10,000 men (Gabriel 2007: xxii–iv). Initially, the Islamic army consisted of Bedouins. Raiding and fighting were part and parcel of their lives. All the adult males were skilled in using spears, swords and bows and had military experience (Kennedy 2005: 1). The inhabitants were suited for hard military life due to the harsh physical geography. Arabia comprises almost 1.5 million square miles and the land is mostly desert interspersed with oases. The climate is hot, dry and harsh except at Yemen which is fertile due to the monsoon rain. Overall, the Arabian Peninsula is barren, receiving only 6 inches of rain annually. The Bedouins’ staple diet was dates and water (Gabriel 2007: 3, 8). Isla­ mic ideology further emboldened their fighting spirit. They fought for booty, religious glory and also because their own tribesmen were fighting (Kennedy 2005: 6). True Muslims were regarded as muhajirun, i.e. emigrants who had left their homes to serve their new religion as soldiers (Crone 1999: 312). Prophet Muhammad himself focused on constructing a ditch or a trench for defending the army during a battle. The term used for such a ditch or a trench was

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khandaq (from Persian khanda). It was constructed by the soldiers themselves and at times by professional sappers who accompanied the armies. Historian Hugh Ken­ nedy writes that the term khandaq had an ideological connotation: good Muslims were those who were sheltered by the ditch/trench (Kennedy 2005: 26). The Mughals of India between the fifteenth and the eighteenth centuries always con­ structed a ditch to protect their camp or position of the army in the battlefield (Babur Nama 1989: 468–71).

The caliphate After Muhammad, his father-in-law Abu Bakr became the head of umma. At that time, only 20 per cent of Arabia’s population had accepted Islam. It fell to Abu Bakr, the first caliph (spiritual and temporal head of umma) to complete the process of Islamisation of Arabia (Gabriel 2007: 205–6). Iraq was conquered by 636. By this time, the people of Daylam from northern Iran had converted to Islam and joined the Muslim ranks. Caliph Umar (r. 634–44) ordered that the Muslims should be settled in the garrison cities rather than being scattered in the countryside in penny packets. This mechanism, he assumed, would enable the Muslims to maintain military control over the conquered lands and discourage them from being dispersed in the countryside and assimilated, thus losing their religious and ethnic identity. The First Civil War started with the murder of Caliph Uthman in June 656. The armies of the First Civil War were tribal forces, recruited and led by tribal chieftains. Tactically, infantry recruited from Syria and Daylam constituted the principal branch in the Islamic armies of that time. By this time, the Islamic armies had both Arabs and non-Arabs. The non-Arabs, known as mawali, were freedmen who were ex-slaves and prisoners of war attached to particular indivi­ duals or tribes. They were also frequently blood relatives of important figures (Kennedy 2005: 5, 7–8, 10–11, 13, 54). The Syria-based Umayyad Caliphate, with its capital at Damascus, lasted from 661 to 750. Caliph Abd al Malik (r. 684–705) and his son Al Walid subjugated North Africa. In 710 CE, a Muslim army attacked the Visigothic Kingdom of Spain. In 712, the Muslim General Tariq captured the Visigothic capital Toledo. In the same year, the Muslims captured Carmona through deceit and treachery and by launching a nocturnal commando attack (James 2012: 45, 54). Thus, in the war with the infidels, deceit, treachery and nocturnal raids (techniques of kutayuddha) were integral elements of the Islamic Way of Warfare. Between 740 and 743, the Umayyad Caliphate was rocked by the Berber rebellion in North Africa. The Seljuq Turks, inhabiting the region near Syr Dariya (Jaxartes River), con­ verted to Islam in around 950. ‘Arrow-shooting Turks’ was a favourite topos of medieval Persian poetry. A skilled Turkish horse archer could shoot accurately six arrows every minute (Wink 2001: 9, 76). The Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad (750–1258), from the ninth century onwards, recruited the Turks on a large scale through the institution of ghulam/mamluk. Young male slaves completely separated from their indigenous ethnic communities were converted to Islam. Then they

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were trained by the Islamic rulers to become soldiers and often bureaucrats (Bosworth 1965: 143–67). Turks from Khorasan were preferred for two reasons. First, they were the best available mounted archers. Only the Mongols were better than they were but were not available. The Abbasid caliphs found out that the Greeks and the Armenians made inferior mamluks compared to the Turks (Ayalon 1996: 309). This was because of the Turks’ superior horsemanship and skill with the composite bows. Thus, we can say that through the mamluk institution the Islamic polities mobilised Central Eurasian steppe nomadic mounted military manpower in their own service. Second, instead of depending on the Arabs like the Umayyads, the Abbasids experimented with a new ethnic group (Turks) who had no bonds of loyalty with the preceding caliphate. In the eleventh century, the principal objective of warfare in Central Asia was capturing slaves who were then inducted as ghulams in the armies of Islam. The ghulams were paid with military fiefs known as iqtas. Turkish slaves were bought from the markets of Transoxiana (Bosworth 1992a: 31, 101). The induction of the Turkish mamluks under the Abbasids resulted in the transformation of the tribal infantry army into a professional standing slave cavalry army. Generally, an Islamic army was divided into three groups: right, left and centre. The armies of the Marwanid period (990–1085) fought in two battle formations: the crescent and the curved. In the crescent formation, the two wings moved for­ ward and the centre was on the defensive. The two horns of the crescent closing on the hostile forces on both flanks and rear (hilal formation) was probably a development of the collective hunting practice which the Turks (as well as the Mongols) practiced in the Eurasian steppe. And in the curved battle array, the two wings were bent behind (inward) on both sides of the centre and the centre moved forward in an offensive mode (Kennedy 2005: 23; Uyar and Erickson 2009: 4). As in the case of Hindu armies of premodern India, commanders of the Muslim forces generally stationed themselves in the centre (Kennedy 2005: 24).

The storm from Mongolia At the beginning there was a blue grey wolf, born with his destiny ordained by Heaven above. His wife was a fallow doe … After they had settled down at the source of the Onan River … Bataciqan was born on them. (Secret History 2006: 1)

The opening lines of The Secret History of the Mongols, a thirteenth-century Mon­ golian work, thus describe the ancestry of Chingiz Khan (Temujin, who was born in1162/1165 on the right bank of the Onon River and died on 18 August 1227), who changed the course of history of Mongolia in particular and Eurasia in gen­ eral. Mongolian tradition, as described in this book, traces the origin of the great warlord to a divine wolf. Interestingly, Adolf Hitler, ‘history’s greatest warlord’ (Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel’s words) considered himself a werewolf. Chingiz represented the culmination of the Central Eurasian steppe nomadic military method. Rather than Napoleon Bonaparte, who is described by Clausewitz as the

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God of War, Chingiz deserved this title. Chingiz led bigger armies than the ‘Cor­ sican Ogre’ and conquered far larger territories than Clausewitz’s hero. And unlike Napoleon, this Mongolian ‘genius for war’ was never defeated in his lifetime. The fusion of Islamic methods of warfare with the Central Eurasian steppe nomadic military techniques had already started under the Abbasid caliphs. This amalgama­ tion reached a high point under the Mongol successor states. The Eurasian steppe nomads, such as the Huns, Turks and the Mongols, from the dawn of history until circa 1800 CE, threatened all the sedentary empires from Korea in the east to Hungary in the west. The Mongols have left us with very little written material. However, their theory and practice of war can be constructed from some of the works written by their enemies and from analysing their military operations. Mongolia is bounded by the Altai and Tien Shan Mountains in the west, Man­ churia in the east, the Gobi Desert in the south and the Siberian forests in the north. The Mongolian Plateau lies at a height of about 1,200 to 1,800 metres and is broken by a number of mountain ranges such as Sayan, Hangay and the Greater Khingan Range. In the summer, the temperature can rise to over 38 degrees cen­ tigrade and in winter it can drop to below –42 degrees centigrade. Throughout the year, violent gales are common, causing sandstorms or snowstorms. There are no barriers in Mongolia against the ice-cold winds from Siberia and the desert storms from the Gobi. Mongolia constitutes the eastern part of the Eurasian steppe, which was inhabited by nomadic tribes like the Turks, Mongols and the Tungus. They belonged to the same linguistic community: the Altaic group. Thus the inhabitants of Mongolia in particular, and the Eurasian steppes in general, were accustomed to a very hard life from their childhood. Hence, they were well suited to the rigours of military service. The various tribes of Mongolia—Kereit, Naiman, Merkit, Uighurs, etc.—were followers of Buddhism and Nestorianism (Hartog 2008: 1–2, 4–6). The social and occupational customs of the Mongols also encouraged military training and military cohesion. The Mongol tribes comprised two groups: pastoral nomads and forest hunters who also engaged in fishing. The forest hunters of Northern Mongolia were concentrated around Lake Baikal, the source of the Yenisey, and the upper reaches of the Irtish River. The pastoral nomads of southern Mongolia were concentrated along the foothills of the Altai Mountains (Hartog 2008: 2). To a great extent, the Mongol military system was geared for conducting Total War. During meals, everybody ate from a common pot (Hartog 2008: 10), which strengthened social/primary group cohesion. As a point of comparison, in the Wehrmacht, all the men and officers ate from the same field kitchen and also used the same latrines (Showalter 2009: 61). This enhanced primary group solidarity in the German Army and partly explains its extraordinary combat effectiveness. In general, all the Mongols engaged in hunting. They organised battues, which involved collective or group hunting. These were large events and carried out according to a previously formed plan. The hunters converged in large numbers from different directions on the prey who were being concentrated in a particular

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region. This was a sort of military manoeuvre with wild animals functioning as hostile troops. The battue was actually a live military exercise which later evolved into the royal hunts of the steppe nomadic polities. The battues trained the Mon­ gols to successfully conduct pocket/cauldron battles with cavalry. During emer­ gencies, the Mongols drank the blood of their own horses. They cut a vein in the legs of the horses, drank some blood to quench their thirst and then closed the wound of the animal. The point to be noted is that the Bedouins, during emer­ gencies, killed old camels and drank the water stored in the stomach of these ani­ mals. While undertaking a long journey, the Mongols took with them smoked meat and koumiss (curdled milk) (Hartog 2008: 3, 46). All these reduced the logistical tail which burdened the armies of the sedentary empires and provided the Mongol armies with extraordinary operative range and superior mobility. Tribal armies by themselves were divisive and disloyal. Military contingents under the tribal chieftains occasionally challenged the overlord. Both Muhammad and Chingiz attempted to break the tribal structure of the armies which they initially commanded. Muhammad used Islam as a tool to create greater unity among the Bedouin tribes and Chingiz resorted to administrative reforms to transform the various tribal forces of Mongolia into a sort of People’s Army under the command of the Borjigin (Chingiz’s own clan). Chingiz destroyed the tribal structure and the personnel of the defeated tribes were distributed among other tribes. Since the Mongols had no script, he introduced the Uighur script. Between 1206 and 1218, Chingiz gave the Yasa (code of laws) to the Mongols. Chingiz ordered that all the Mongol males aged between 17 and 60 were under the obli­ gation to perform military service. Under his leadership, the embryo of a Mongol nation started emerging (Phillips 1969: 60; Hartog 2008: 31–2, 36–7). In 1206, Chingiz Khan’s army numbered 95,000 men. Under Mongke Khan (r. 1251–59), the Mongol Army expanded to 1 million soldiers (May 2007: 21, 28; Hartog 2008: 32). Chingiz organised his army along decimal lines in units of 10, 100, 1,000 (minqan; equivalent to a battalion) and 10,000 (tumen; equivalent to a division). Chingiz adopted this system from the Kereits, Khitans and the Jurchens (Secret History 2006: 34–5; May 2007: 31, 100). While on the march, the Mongol Army was organised into the vanguard, the main body and the rearguard. The main body in turn was subdivided into right and left wings and the centre. The modern definition of operational level of war is the grey area connecting tactics with strategy. Operation encompasses systematic planning and conduct of a campaign in a theatre and is linked with the manoeuvre of large forces (Olsen and Creveld 2011: 1–8). All these elements were present in the Mongols’ Eurasian campaigns. We are told that Napoleon Bonaparte invented the operational level of war, which he practiced by dividing his army into several corps under different commanders. The corps (which were combined arms formations) were capable of carrying out their missions indepen­ dently. In this way, Napoleon increased the tempo of war by introducing the corps system, and thanks to the acquisition of timely strategic intelligence, Napoleon’s corps could unite for a grand battle when required (Creveld 2011: 9–34). This system was in operation in Asia long before the Corsican ‘God of War’ was born.

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The acquisition of strategic intelligence was of great importance to the Mongols, and they used merchants as spies for collecting information about enemy strength and military routes before launching a military campaign (May 2007: 16, 37). During a campaign, the Mongol Army was divided into several big detachments, each one of them resembling a Napoleonic corps. Each detachment, comprising all arms, was under a particular commander. They moved separately and attacked different objectives in order to bring pressure on the enemy and to dislocate the latter’s positional defence. When required, the different detachments cooperated with each other. One example will suffice. In 1211 Chingiz invaded the Chin Empire of North China, which had an army of 500,000 men. The Mongol Army was divided into three groups (each group had several tumens) and each of them travelled via a different route (Phillips 1969: 53–4). During a campaign, the Mon­ gols marched divided but united just before a battle, which was possible due to the excellence of their command, control and communications (C3). A Mongol Army, during battle, was divided into right and left wings and a centre. Each of the three parts included more than two tumens. In the battlefield, the Mongol cavalry was organised in two groups. The first group, comprising heavy armoured cavalry, was divided into three lines, and behind them unarmoured light horse archers were deployed in two lines. During a battle, the Mongol signature tactic was to use the light horse archers to harass the enemy force and then to send the heavy armoured cavalry for the kill. The horse archers opened the battle by advancing through the gaps opened up by armoured heavy cavalry deployed in front of them and then shooting at the enemy. The objective of rapid fire by the mounted archers was to destabilise the hostile formations. The opening gambit, consisting of rapid fire by the mounted archers, was just like a preliminary bombardment to neu­ tralise the enemy’s defence before the advance of the main force. After the discharge of volleys of arrows by the mounted archers, the heavy cavaliers equipped with steel spears, swords, battleaxes and covered with leather breastplates charged and engaged in close-quarter combat with the dislocated enemy formations. When faced with opposition, the Mongol heavy cavalry advanced under the protection of repeated advancing shots (a sort of rolling barrage) fired by the traction trebuchets (adopted from China). The Mongols used traction trebuchets both in battles and in sieges. In general, the Mongol centre launched a limited feint attack towards the enemy centre. This frontal assault fixed the enemy’s attention. Simultaneously, the main Mongol force deployed on the right and left wings rolled up the flanks and rear of the enemy force. Command over the various formations during the battle was maintained with the aid of banners made of yaks’ tails and drums covered with ox hide (Phillips 1969: 55; Saunders 1971: 64; Secret History 2006: 37). Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire in the first half of the sixteenth cen­ tury used this tactic (a holding attack towards the hostile centre and rolling up the two flanks and rear of hostile army) repeatedly against his Indian enemies. Such tactics were part and parcel of the German Way of War which developed from the time of Frederick the Great. The crucial elements that made up the German Way of War included speed, surprise, mobility and firepower to overwhelm the enemy

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at the operational level. We are told that Helmuth von Moltke the Elder (1800–1891) and Count Alfred von Schlieffen (1833–1913) invented all these concepts. At the tactical level, the German art of war involved attacking the flanks of the enemy force from unexpected directions and then pursuing the enemy force until its complete collapse (Showalter 2011: 35–63). In fact, Chingiz, Subedei Bahadur, Batu, Halaku Khan and Kublai Khan would have been able to teach these concepts better at the Kriegsakademie (Prussian Staff College). While attacking, the Mongol soldiers, like the Japanese soldiers during the Second World War, deliberately yelled and screamed. Such shouting raised their own morale and weakened the nerve of the enemy soldiers (Gabriel 2006: 45). Complete destruction of the hostile force was an essential component of the Mongol military doctrine. A defeated enemy force was pursued even during the night and in the case of such pursuit, if necessary, the Mongol troops used rafts to cross the rivers (Secret History 2006: 41). Martin van Creveld asserts that the use of internal combustion engines resulted in a revolution in logistics during the Second World War. It enabled successful offensives by the Germans which could penetrate up to a distance of 187 miles (Creveld 2005: 69–71). One wonders why all the revolutions (military, industrial, cultural, etc.) occur only in the West. Revolution or not, the Mongols far surpassed the Wehrmacht in conducting deep penetration. In 1299, after defeating the Mamluk Army at Salaamiyet, Mongol units pursued the defeated enemy for 300 miles (Gabriel 2006: 46). Such continuous deep pur­ suits translated tactical victory gained in the battlefield into operational victory. One finds in these Mongol campaigns traces of deep battle (later deep operations) and operational manoeuvre groups (OMGs), concepts which the Red Army developed from the 1920s. During the later stages of the Second World War, Soviet mobile groups (tank armies and mechanised corps), which later became OMGs, advanced at an average rate of 18.6 miles per day and carried out opera­ tions at ranges between 125 and 310 miles (Dick 1990: 88–123). Occasionally the Mongols organised a task force by combing one or two tumens and such composite formations were capable of long-distance independent cam­ paigning. These task forces (equivalent to OMGs or kampfgruppe/German battle groups) aimed to break into the operational depth of the enemy rear, thus dis­ locating the hostile defence plan. And these detachments could move very fast. In 1221, the Mongol Army covered 180 miles in three days through snow; in 1941, even General Heinz Guderian’s Panzer Group could not break this record. Between 30 September and 3 October 1941, 4th Panzer Division covered 150 miles and reached Orel. This was the best that the Panzerarmee could achieve. And unlike the Wehrmacht, the Mongol Army was an all-weather force. In December 1941, Heeresgruppe Mitte skidded to a halt in snowy Russia outside Moscow, thus ending Operation Taifun. The Mongols, in contrast, deliberately opened a winter campaign in Russia during 1237/38 when the rivers and marshes were frozen (Gabriel 2006: 30, 43; Showalter 2009: 184). Overall, the Mongol military doctrine was to find, fix and destroy the hostile army in a decisive battle. And then, if necessary, to go for a long-distance pursuit to eliminate the retreating

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elements (if any) to prevent the defeated army from reorganising for another battle in the near future. It could be said, therefore, that the Mongols followed vernich­ tungsstrategie (strategy of annihilation). Under Chingiz’s successors, the united Mongol Empire broke up into different kha­ nates. Kublai’s Yuan Dynasty ruled China, the Ilkhans ruled Persia, the Chagatai Khanate controlled Central Asia and the Golden Horde from Sarai controlled South Russia. The Ilkhans, Golden Horde and the Chagatai khans converted to Islam. The Black Death caused the death of one-third of the males of the Golden Horde, which seriously wea­ kened the military might of this Mongol Khanate (Nicolle 2010: 128). This in turn allowed Amir Timur (1336–1405) of Samarkhand to defeat the Golden Horde repeat­ edly, and by 1360 the Chagatai Khanate was destroyed by Timur. E.D. Phillips asserts that the spread of Lamaistic Buddhism of the Yellow Church of Tibet also killed the martial spirit among the Mongols. Many of them became lamas instead of warriors (Phillips 1969: 143). Zafarnamah, by Sharf ud din Ali Yezdi, deals with the life and times of Timur between 1336 and 1396. Timur, a ruthless military adventurer patronised Sufi saints in order to legitimise his rule (Qureshi 2008: iv). When it suited his real­ politik, Timur waged Jihad. During 1386–87, Timur waged Jihad against the Christian kingdom of Georgia. King Bagrat V surrendered and converted to Islam (Hildinger 2001: 177). Timur also attacked the Muslim Delhi Sultanate and defeated its force at the Battle of Delhi (17 December 1398). His invasion of India was merely a plundering raid. Timur was planning his campaign against China just before his death. Thus, Timur used Islam when it suited him both for conquest and for consolidating his rule. Although the Persian authors use colourful language and rhetorical devices when depicting battles, elements of tactical, operational and strategic thinking may be culled from a careful reading of their accounts. To give an example, Sharf ud din Ali Yezdi describes a battle dramatically: ‘The ground became coloured with the blood of the men and then shields, javelins and the coats of mail became separated from the body and the bodies from the horse and the heads from the bodies and the battlefield turned into a river of blood’ (quoted from Qureshi 2008: 7). One is reminded of Herodotus’s description of the battlefield like a river overflowing with blood. Unlike the Chinese theoreticians (especially Sun Tzu), the Persian authors chronicling the activities of the Islamic military leaders give due attention to the role of chance in the battlefield. Sometimes the fate of battle was decided due to mere coincidence (good fortune for one side) and at other times, misfortune occurred to the enemy due to Allah’s will. The Persian chroniclers, therefore, included both secular causations and religious metaphors to include the role of chance, the unforeseen and contingent in their methodological toolkit. The Mongol practice of sending a strong reconnaissance force in order to shadow the movement of the enemy force became an operational principle for the Islamised Turkish armies. The vanguard comprised of a strong, fast-moving detachment, and its duty was to capture the fords and bridges and guard the road for the main army marching behind. The Islamic Turkish commanders did not rely

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on numerical superiority. Rather, like the Prussian-German commanders, they believed that qualitatively superior troops could overcome their numerical infer­ iority. For this purpose, besides rigorous training, the Turkish generals also had crack units known as ‘braves’. These special units were geared for launching a counterattack to finish the defeated enemy force, and also acted as a reserve force to stabilise a wavering front in case the hostile troops had broken through a parti­ cular point of the battle line. In South Asia, the Turks, Mughals and the Afghans always relied on the qualitative superiority of their force and the use of braves to defeat the numerically superior Hindu Rajput forces. The commander had to be both a military manager and a battlefield hero. It was the duty of the commander to organise and deploy the force before a battle and also to act as an inspirational leader by displaying valour during the havoc of combat (Qureshi 2008: 5–6, 10–11, 15, 24). The standard formula for deploying before battle, as Zafarnamah tells us, was to take a position which would cause hindrance for the enemy force: ‘when the sun rises, it will fall upon their eyes and they will not be able to view their opponents well’ (quoted from Qureshi 2008: 7). Although Timur’s army mainly depended on the horse archers like its TurcoMongol predecessors, his ORBAT (Order of Battle) was sophisticated and com­ plex. His well-organised and disciplined army on the battlefield was divided into vanguard, right flank, left flank, centre (commanded by Timur himself), right flank reserve and the elite guard division (equivalent of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard Division, a crack force) stationed behind the centre (Nicolle 2010: 133). The Indian campaign (1398 CE) represented an innovation at the operational level of war. While Timur led the main force, his grandson Pir Muhammad com­ manded the vanguard. The vanguard functioned somewhat like the forward detachment of the Red Army. From the 1930s, the Soviet theoreticians theorised about the utility of forward detachments (combined arms force) which would move ahead of the main body and launch pre-emptive strikes to prevent the enemy from establishing a solid defensive force. The forward detachment was capable of conducting long-range manoeuvres independently and was able to operate deep in the enemy rear areas. Pir Muhammad’s vanguard, which marched some hundred miles in advance of the main body, smashed all enemy screening forces, captured the hostile defensive outposts and secured the routes for the advance of the main force behind. The vanguard dug wells and stored food for the advancing main army (Glantz 1991; Hildinger 2001: 183, 190). It would be wrong to assume that the Islamic Turkish armies had no under­ standing of siege warfare. Not all siege techniques started with Sebastien Vauban (1633–1707). The Mongols had an elaborate repertoire as regards the theory and practice of siege war. And the Islamised Turks further developed it. In fact, the Mongols often used engineers to shift the course of rivers to undermine the for­ tifications of a city or just to flood the urban centres they were besieging. Con­ centrated bombardment of a city by trebuchets was another tactic used by the Mongols (May 2012: 39, 46, 56). And the Mongols used terror tactics to deliber­ ately weaken future opposition. Ata-Malik Juvaini in his history of Chingiz Khan

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writes that when one who had escaped to Khorasan after the capture of Bokhara by the Mongols was asked about his experience, the latter replied: ‘They came, they sapped, they burnt, they slew, they plundered and they departed’ (quoted from Juvaini 1997: 107). What about the Turkish theory and practice of siege war when they were besieged? The first line of defence was the field army comprising mainly cavalry. In the first phase, it engaged the besieging force in open battle, and if it was defeated, then the besieged fell back on their fort. Then the second phase started. In this phase, infantry became the queen. The besiegers constructed an additional wall outside the city wall and dug trenches. The defending infantry then took position in the trenches and on the walls. The besieged then prepared for a siege which could last for more than 40 days. Timur was a military innovator. During siege operations, he improvised. When he lacked heavy siege weapons, he used the technique of heating the stone walls of the fort with fire and then applied vinegar to loosen the stones (Qureshi 2008: ii, 6–7). Large-scale combatant and non-combatant casualties are a characteristic of Total War. The American Civil War and the Second World War witnessed deliberate targeting of civilian populations by the armies. Long before the West experienced a taste of Total War, Asia had faced mass civil slaughter by the warring armies. Chingiz and Timur would have put Hitler to shame. With regard to the treatment of the defeated Tanguts in early 1227, the Secret History of the Mongols states: ‘after having exterminated the Tangut people’s mothers and fathers down to the off­ spring of their offspring … Chingiz Khan gave the following order—“While I take my meals you must talk about the killing and destruction of the Tangut”’ (Secret History 2006: 199–200). One finds parallel with Hitler’s gloating over the destruc­ tion of Warsaw in 1944. When Merv fell in February 1221 to Tuli (d. 1232), a son of Chingiz and a Mongol commander, he butchered 700,000 persons (Saunders 1971: 60). The German siege of Leningrad comes close to the Mongol capture of Merv in the number of civilian casualties. And of one of Timur’s campaigns in 1399 CE, a fifteenth-century history of this warlord states: ‘he took the city of Tiflis and advancing to … Georgia laid waste whatever forts and towers he took and drove the people to castles and defended forts and slew all without dis­ tinction, who submitted as well as those resisted, and cut off their heads’ (Tamerlane 2018: 105–6). Stig Forster and Jorg Nagler, the two advocates of the Eurocentric Total War thesis write: It may be said that the phenomenon of total warfare in this sense existed in earlier epochs of history as well. The Roman wars against Carthage, Genghis Khan’s war against China, and certainly Tamerlane’s style of warfare carried many elements of total warfare in them. It could even be claimed that the societies then involved were rather highly organized and controlled by rela­ tively powerful states. But, they were certainly not industrialized mass socie­ ties. Warfare approaching total mobilization for total ends was only possible

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under modern conditions. The term total war should therefore be limited to modernity. (Forster and Nagler 1997: 10–11) In terms of scope, intensity and casualties, Chingiz and Timur’s warfare exceeded the milestones of Total War (like the American Civil War and Franco-Prussian War) and in certain respects even reached the standards of the two world wars. Between 1294 and 1393 the population of China declined from over 100 million to less than 60 million (Waterson 2013: 59). According to one estimate, the Second World War resulted in the death of 60 million people worldwide (Forster and Gessler 2005: 53). So why limit the concept of Total War to analyse only the evolution of industrial war in the Western world? Chingiz’s impact on global demography might even be greater than Hitler’s war. To give an example, some 8 per cent of the population of the area between Korea and the Caspian Sea (0.5 per cent of the global population) carry the Y chromosome of a man who lived in Mongolia about 1,000 years ago. That man was Chingiz. He and his suc­ cessors enjoyed tremendous sexual opportunities and this in turn skewed Asia’s population (Gat 2006: 424).

Ottomans, Mamluks and Safavids It would be wrong to argue that Islam is inherently conservative. The assumption that Islamised post-nomadic polities like the Ottomans, Safavids and the Mughals were conservative because the nomads preferred tradition over innovation (Chaliand 2014: 192) is also faulty. In fact, whenever useful, the Muslim militaries borrowed foreign technologies and military concepts from other religious groups. For instance, the Seljuq Turks of Rum (Anatolia) copied torsion artillery from the Christian Byzantine Empire (Uyar and Erickson 2009: 10), who in turn got it from the pagan Roman Empire. The Mongol destruction of the Seljuk Turkish Empire in 1243 in Asia Minor resulted in the emergence of many small Turkish princi­ palities. One of these emirates under Osman (d. 1324) established the Ottoman (Osmanli) Dynasty. The conquest of Adrianople (Edirne) in 1369 and Murad I’s transferring the seat of his government to this city means that the Ottomans con­ sidered themselves both as a European and as an Asian power. Bayazid I (r. 1389–1402) continued Ottoman expansion on both these continents and extended his rule from the banks of the Danube in the west to the Euphrates in the east (Agoston 2012: 105). The Ottoman expansion was temporarily checked in 1402 due to the defeat inflicted by Timur (one of the best chess players of his days) at the Battle of Ankara (Nicolle 2010: 126–7). After Timur, the Ottoman power in Anatolia rose again like the Phoenix from the ashes. Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453, Serbia in 1459 and Bosnia in 1463. While in Europe, the Ottomans projected themselves as the heir of Rome; in Asia, they advertised themselves as true Muslims guarding the sacred places of Mecca and Medina (Streusand 2011: 67–8). When required, Ottoman policy was

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pragmatic. Many Christian garrisons in the Balkans were won over with the offer of timar grants, which speeded up Ottoman expansion in this region. The only obliga­ tion for lucrative cooption was that the Christians had to convert (Inalcik 1954: 103–29), so religion cannot be totally eliminated from the equation. In the case of both the Mughals of India and the Ottomans, demand for land grants (jagirs in the Mughal Empire and timars in the Ottoman Empire) was a principal motivation for expansion. Both the Mughals and the Ottomans tried to prevent jagirs and timars from becoming hereditary. However, when central government became weak, the land granted for military service became hereditary (Streusand 2011: 80–1). The Ottomans devised the devsirme (literal meaning, collection) system under which Christian boys were collected from the households in the Balkans. Then they were converted and given military and religious training and inducted as ghulams. The Janissary infantry (Kapi Kulu Corps) was founded in 1326. The Janissary corps, besides depending on the converted Christian boys, also enlisted Muslim peasants from Anatolia. In addition, the Ottomans had light cavalry who were paid with iqta (timar) grants. In the seventeenth century, Christian mercenaries from Albania and the Caucasus region had fought in the Ottoman Army during its East European campaigns (Uyar and Erickson 2009: 19, 93). During the nineteenth century, there was an Islamic reaction. The combat motivation of the Ottoman troops was religious: Islamic fervour shaped the fighting spirit of the army. For this reason, the sultans were unwilling and unable to conscript their Christian subjects into the army. And this occurred when the Ottoman Empire faced a manpower crisis. Most Muslims disliked the idea of Christians bearing arms (Zurcher 1998: 446). The Bektasi dervishes (Sufis/Muslim mystics inspired by Haci Baktas) main­ tained close association with the Janissary corps (Nicolle 2010: 85, 245). In the Mughal Army of Emperor Aurangzeb (r. 1658–1707 CE), Sufi saints played an important role in exhorting the Muslim soldiery to kill the Hindus and, if neces­ sary, to fight and die while spreading Islam in Hindu-dominated Deccan (Sufis and Soldiers 2001). It would be wrong to argue that Islamic religiosity and steppe nomadic ethos were against the adoption of gunpowder weapons. In fact, the Ottomans made strenuous attempts to raise the firepower potential of their army. For instance, in response to Habsburg military modernisation, between 1527 and 1661 the Ottomans raised the number of firearm-bearing Janissaries from 12,789 to 54,222 men (Agoston 1998: 140). The Ottomans borrowed the Hungarian tabur jangi tactical format of using wagons as field fortifications for protecting field artillery and musket bearing infantry (Nicolle 2010: 19). The Hungarian General John Hunyadi (1406–1456) used mobile Hussite wagons and light artillery in the battlefield against the Ottomans. The steppe nomadic people used wagons as field fortifications even in classical antiquity. The inhabitants of Hungary were Magyars, who were very much influenced by the steppe nomadic traditions. Hungary became officially Christian in 1001 with the accession of Stefan as king. It would be wrong, therefore, to argue that the tabur jangi system was a Western innovation. The Ottomans copied this technique

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and elaborated on this tactical system. In fact, the Ottomans integrated the wagonfield artillery system with their traditional hilal formation. At the Battle of Kosovo (1448), the Ottomans in the centre of their ORBAT deployed mobile wagons and behind them were placed firearm-equipped infantry and light field artillery. The wagons were protected by a ditch with palisades. The firepower-heavy Ottoman centre contained the Hungarian assault. Simultaneously, light Ottoman cavalry from both flanks attacked the Hungarian troops. Babur, from Ferghana, used this tactical format at the First Battle of Panipat (21 April 1526) against the Lodhis of Delhi. Even before Babur, the Safavids also adopted the tabur jangi system after being defeated by the Ottomans at the Battle of Chaldiran (1514). The Safavids copied this technique and used it effectively against the Uzbeks of Central Asia at the Battle of Jam (1527) (Uyar and Erickson 2009: 28–30, 50–1). The Mughals probably learnt about this technique from the Safavids. Gunpowder weapons, which first emerged in China, were transmitted to the West through the Mongols. In fact, in 1219, during his campaign in Central Asia against the Islamic Khwarazmian Empire, Chingiz used cannons and grenades. Such fire-spewing weapons, along with fire lances (a primitive flame thrower) and iron landmines, were used by the Chins against the Mongols (Phillips 1969: 60, 70). The knowledge of such techniques no doubt passed among the Turks who later carried it to the Ottomans, Safavids and the Mughals. And the Mongols during their campaign in Hungary spread the knowledge of gunpowder weapons among the Christian Europeans. Between 1590 and 1600, the Dutch Army came up with volley firing. There is evidence that the Janissaries resorted to volley firing in 1597. In 1596, the Janis­ saries, organised in three ranks, were drilled at Istanbul. A rudimentary form of volley firing (rotation of the ranks of infantry to keep up continuous fire) among the Janissaries was already in evidence during the Battle of Mohacs (1526). Instead of three lines, sometimes the Janissaries were also deployed in nine lines. As the Janissaries fought in consecutive ranks, they were able to evolve the volley firing system (Borekci 2006: 407–38). Volley firing was also common among the gun­ powder infantry of Korea and Japan in the late sixteenth century. Thus, a rolling barrage by the traction trebuchets, tabur jangi and volley firing were examples of medieval Asian Military Technical Revolutions (MTRs). However, just because volley firing was standard in the early modern West European infantry, we should not take it as the most advanced method of combat in the firepower-swept battle zone. The Mughals did not adopt volley firing. This was due to the heavy concentration of field guns (camel- and elephant-borne artillery plus bullock-driven artillery) in the battlefields. Infantry deployed in closeorder consecutive linear formation would be doomed in the face of such a heavy volume of concentrated fire. The Mughal musket-equipped infantry therefore followed skirmishing and swarming tactics (Garza 2016: 3). The Mughal infantry, organised in small groups on the battlefield, was supposed to infiltrate the enemy’s line, bypassing strong centres of resistance and going round the flanks and rear of the enemy strongpoints. During the First World War, in Flanders, the Western

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armies found that their infantry force, organised in linear formation, was suffering from heavy casualties due to fire from artillery and machine-guns. In early 1918, the Kaiserheer came up with stosstruppen (stormtroopers; specially trained infantry equipped with sub-machine guns and grenades) who skirmished and followed swarming tactics to advance along the fire-swept battle zone. The stosstruppen led the Michael offensive which almost broke through the British lines (Barnett 1986: 271–340). One can assert that Mughal infantry tactics were 300 years advanced compared to what the much-vaunted army of the West could come up with. The Ottomans were also eager to apply the science of ballistics for raising the combat effectiveness of their military force. Mehmet II (1432–1481) himself developed a mortar during the Siege of Constantinople in 1453 (Nicolle 2010: 203), and he had no problem in employing Christian Hungarian gun founders and technicians for modernising his artillery establishment. Many Ottoman gunners later migrated to Safavid Persia and Mughal India (Uyar and Erickson 2009: 32, 47). By 1570, the Ottomans had developed a complex theory of siege war. For the assaulting troops, the Ottoman engineers constructed zig-zag and parallel trenches long before the French hit upon it. Before storming the fortresses, the Ottoman besiegers coordinated sapping, mining and artillery fire to demolish the walls of the forts (Uyar and Erickson 2009: 52–3). The real failure of the Ottomans lay in the bureaucratic sphere. The Ottomans, like the Mughals, failed to build effective institutions for proper mobilisation of social, economic and technological resources of their respective societies. Still, the Ottomans were able to last until the end of the First World War. The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt, which was destroyed by the Ottomans, also depended on horse archers. A formal training manual (furusiya) of the Mamluk Sultanate has survived. The focus is on equestrian games held in the stadia/ hippodrome and they were somewhat similar to the jousts and tournaments con­ ducted by Western knights. In the training manual, equal importance is given to both the horse and the rider. The cavaliers wore iron helmets and practiced with swords, maces (these two were weapons for close combat) and composite bows (long-distance weapon) in the hippodrome. Like the nomadic Turks, the mamluks had to practice shooting from galloping horses (Smith 1979). Besides horse archers, the Mamluk Sultanate Army also included lance-wielding cavalrymen, which they probably copied from both the Byzantines and the Sassanid Empire of Persia. Some of the tactical manuals also survive, which note different techniques for using the lance (Hildinger 2001: 157, 238). In 1517, the Ottomans conquered the Mamluk Sultanate. It was not religion, but control over the lucrative Indian Ocean trade that was the principal reason behind the Ottoman invasion of Mamluk Egypt (Hess 1973: 55–76). Safavid rule in Persia/Iran was established in 1510 by a Turcoman confederation led by a Shia Sufi Shaikh with messianic pretensions. The Twelver branch of Shia Islam claims that the legitimate leaders of the Muslim community after the death of the Prophet ended when the Twelfth Imam disappeared in 873 at Samarra, and he will eventually reappear as the Mahdi. The Safavids considered themselves as

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legitimate rulers in the absence of the Twelfth Imam. From the seventeenth cen­ tury, the Shia ulemas (theological teachers) presented themselves as representatives of the Imam, and the most senior of the ulemas, known as the ayatollah, was their leader (Streusand 2011: 138). Safavid Shia Iran became an ideological opponent of the Sunni Ottoman Turks. This tussle between the Shia and the Sunni states was as intense and frequent (if not more) as the Ottoman Jihad against the Christian powers of East and Central Europe. In 1514, the Ottoman Sultan Selim I went to war against the Safavid Shah Ismail and the latter was defeated in the Battle of Chaldiran (23 August 1514) (Streusand 2011: 44–5). However, the Safavids survived. Shah Abbas (r. 1588–1629) was the greatest Safavid ruler. The population of the Safavid Empire came to about eight million and only 15 per cent of them lived in the cities. The arid Iranian Plateau was suited for practicing pastoral nomadism. Qizilbash tribesmen (who were pastoral nomads) comprised the core of the Safavid Army. Shah Abbas spread the ideology of shahisivani (love for the shah) in order to bind the Qizilbash tribal leaders to the person of the shah. The basis of the Safavid Army remained the ghulams, and the recruits were members of the Qizilbash tribes and Christian prisoners from the Caspian Sea region who were forced to convert to Islam before being inducted in the ghulam ranks (Streusand 2011: 151, 170–1, 182, 210). The Safavids finally went down in 1722 at the hands of the Afghan tribesmen. The export of raw silk was the principal revenue earner in Safavid Iran, and the decline of the silk trade caused financial trouble for the Safavid exchequer. The gradual desiccation of Central Asia, which resulted in the invasion by the Afghans of both Safavid Iran and Mughal India, along with the personal weakness of the last Safavid ruler Shah Hossein and the rising power of the Shia ulemas were important factors resulting in the downfall of the Safavid Empire (Foran 1992: 281–304).

Islamic expansion in Afghanistan and South Asia Sind and Afghanistan remained under the Hindu orbit before the rise of Islam. The Chachnama (its core belonged to an eighth-century text) tells us that Sind was attacked by an Arab expeditionary force under Muhammad bin Qasim in 711. Qasim was the son-in-law of Al Hajjaj, the caliph’s governor of Ajam (Iraq). The reason given for this invasion is similar to that given by the USA when invading Third World countries in the post-Cold War era: bad governance. King Dahir (663–712) of Sind was charged with collusion with the pirates in the Arabian Sea who were attacking Arab merchantmen. One is reminded of the White House’s charge that Manuel Noriega of Panama was in collusion with the drug cartels to justify the American invasion. Arab grand strategy involved a combination of diplomacy and military force. Qasim manipulated the differences and tensions between the Brahmin king Dahir and most of the nobility and religious leaders of Sind, who happened to be Buddhists. Tactically, the Arabs depended on heavy (armoured) Syrian cavalry equipped with lances. The Arabs absorbed the technique

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of using armoured cavalry for launching frontal charges from the Sassanian Empire. The Arab expedition was indeed an example of a joint operation. In order to demolish the forts of Sind, the Arabs brought trebuchets (adopted from the Byzantine military establishment) by ships to the mouth of the Indus. The Arab military leaders understood the importance of a riverine navy and topography. The desert of Sind was an obstacle for an army marching north from the mouth of the Indus, so the Arab Navy carried the Arab troops upstream through Indus. In 712, Dahir was executed after being defeated and his ladies ended up in the harems (households) of the caliph and other Muslim grandees. In accordance with the Islamic mode of conquest, the inhabitants were converted to Islam. However, Qasim’s attempt to enter Punjab from North Sind failed due to internal convul­ sions within the caliphate and strong opposition mounted by the Rajputs (GurjaraPratihara Dynasty) from Western Rajasthan (Dowson, 2001: 131–211). Marxist, liberal and postmodernist scholars underplay the issue of military con­ quest in Hindu India. They argue that the message of social equality inherent in Islam caused the mass conversion of the lower-caste Hindus to Islam, resulting in the collapse of the high-caste-dominated Hindu polities (Habib 2001: 45–65). One scholar has reinterpreted Chachnama and argues that this book portrays not military conquest of Sind by the Arabs but dialogic discourse between the Arabs and the non-Muslim inhabitants of Sind. Negotiations, diplomatic alliances, matrimonial pacts, rule of law, religious tolerance, trade offers and incentives of high offices among other things resulted in the replacement of Hindu rule with Arab-Islamic rule in Sind. Both the elite and commoners of Sind found greater beauty and prosperity in Islam, so they changed sides (Asif 2016). Even Al Qaeda and IS have not been able to come up with such a sophisticated analysis. The above analysis is somewhat similar to that advanced by the Cambridge School as regards the establishment of British rule in India, which argues that the prospects for economic gain and political stability encouraged several segments of Indian society to cooperate with the East India Company. And this bloodless cooperation enabled the British to take over India in a fit of absentmindedness. I can only wish that reality could have been that peaceful and beautiful. Certainly, the Islamic conquest state and the British conquest state in South Asia, like all other alien regimes, had to depend on military and non-military collaboration for survi­ val, but in such collaborations, the upper hand was always with the military victors. And the conquerors in both cases occupied the top military and civilian posts in the conquest states. The Ghaznavid rulers who were Turks were actually Samanid ghulams. They established their independent dominion (the Ghaznavid Sultanate, which lasted from 977 to 1163) centred around Ghazni in Afghanistan, with the decline of their Samanid overlords whose capital was Bokhara. The Ghaznavids first destroyed the Hindu Sahi Kingdom in eastern Afghanistan and then repeatedly attacked the Rajput kingdoms of India. The Ghaznavid expeditions were portrayed by sultans like Subuktagin and Mahmud Ghazni as a Jihad against the worshippers of images and idols in Hind. The Ghaznavid rulers portrayed themselves as pious and just

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Muslims and hence practicing ghazw (Islamic Holy War) against the heathens of Hind (Bosworth 1992b: 58). Mahmud Ghazni (971–1030) was able to attract thousands of ghazis (holy warriors) from Transoxiana for his Indian campaigns (Bosworth 1992a: 33, 39). The invading armies of Alptigin (901–963), Subuktagin (942–997) and Mahmud Ghazni comprised ghulams (who constituted the standing regular force) and ghazis (fanatics who had joined as temporary volunteers for a particular campaign). Cavalry formed the core of the Ghaznavid Army. However, disciplined infantry was used for siege operations. The Indians and the Dailamis were recruited in the infantry branch. During campaigns, they were mounted on camels for transportation from one place to another (Bosworth 1992a: 37, 113–14). In modern parlance, they were a sort of dragoons. This practice was first intro­ duced by the Arabs and then continued by the Islamic Turkish successor states. Here we find another example of the fusion of Arabian Islamic and Central Eur­ asian steppe nomadic modes of warfare. The Ghaznavid plundering raids proved to be very costly for the Hindus in economic and demographic terms. They were to an extent genocidal Total War in the premodern era. For instance, at Somnath in 1026, Hindu casualties numbered about 50,000 men. The temple of Mathura was regarded by the ghazi sultans as the work of jins (demons) and the Hindu idol worshippers were regarded as agents of shaitan (devils) (Wink 2001: 327–8). The 1018 Kanauj expedition resulted in the acquisition of 53,000 Hindu slaves (Bosworth 1992a: 102). Between the ninth and eleventh centuries, the Muslim rulers razed many Jain temples, destroyed their libraries and killed many Jain followers. This was despite the fact that Jainism in general followed the doctrine of ahimsa (non-violence) (Wink 2001: 353–4), a creed which in the first half of the twentieth century was appropriated by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Nevertheless, it must be noted that even Jainism does not advocate total non­ violence. Many dynasties of early medieval South India, such as the Gangas of Karnataka, Rashtrakutas of Deccan and the Hoysalas of Mysore, were supporters of Jainism but they indulged in frequent warfare. One Ganga queen named Soviyabbe even accompanied her husband in the battlefield fully armed. Violence is accepted as part of sansara (day-to-day life). Jaina preachers laid down that lay people involved in day-to-day business (like king, Kshatriyas, soldiers, policemen, etc) cannot avoid a limited degree of himsa (violence) due to their occupational duties. Jainism differentiated between premeditated violence and accidental himsa. Restrained violence at times carried out under strict self-control is necessary. Such controlled himsa, which is necessary for defensive purposes, has a minimal negative karmic effect on the person indulging in it. However, warns Jainism, injury to others inspired by self-interest results in evil and darkness (Zydenbos 1999: 185–208). The poems generated under Ghaznavid patronage during the twelfth century highlight the struggle of the heroes of ancient Persia. The activities of these heroes are equated with Muslim ghazis who were fighting the infidel Hindus. These poets (one example is Uthman Mukhtari who flourished under Masud III’s reign

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[1099–1115 CE]) derived their inspiration from the campaigns conducted by the Ghaznavid sultans against the idolaters of Hind (Bosworth 1992b: 89). The most famous Ghaznavid poet is Abolqasem Ferdowsi, the author of Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings. One can speculate about the link between the background of the author, the nature of the society in which he was living and the methodology of his work. Ferdowsi was born in a village near Tus in 940 CE. The Ghaznavid Sultanate was a multi-ethnic polity. The sultan and the nobles were Turks who had accepted Islam. In Shahnameh, Ferdowsi attempts a fusion of Central Asian Turkish kingship with Persian kingship. Central Asian kingship reiterated tribal loyalty and military abilities. The notion of Persian king­ ship advocated by Ferdowsi is again a fusion of traditional Persian statecraft with an outer coating of Islamic rhetoric. By adopting elements from Babylonian mon­ archical tradition, Persian kingship represents the king as the shadow of God on earth who rules mostly by his non-military abilities, somewhat like the wise sage kings of ancient Chinese political theoreticians. To give an example, a character of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, King Tahmures, says that despite possessing the treasury and the army, he will subdue the evil demons through his wisdom. Initially, Islamic kingship was tribal in nature but under the Abbasids adopted certain Persian ele­ ments of statecraft. For instance, Caliph Al Mamun (r. 813–33) was an advocate of Persian culture. His mother was Persian and so was his chief minister. The latter ensured that the Abbasid court adopted the ceremonial protocol of the Sassanids/ Sassanians. And the Samanids of Central Asia in the tenth century adopted Persian rather than Arabic as the court language. Persian was also the court language of the Indian Mughals. Ferdowsi fuses Persian mythology with history in his magnum opus (Ferdowsi 2016: ix–xi, xvii, xxii–xxiii, 4). Shahnameh, written between the tenth and eleventh centuries, runs to nine volumes and includes over 50,000 lines (according to the English standard the work is over 100,000 lines long). The subject matter of Shahnameh is vast: the history of Persia from its origins to the coming of Islam with the Arabs in the seventh century CE. Ferdowsi says nothing about the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian empire in history. This is probably because the records of the Achaemenids were not available to him. He was a member of the indigenous landed aristocracy. This work is a his­ torical account from the top and tells us the valorous deeds of heroic kings and feuding heroes. The book deals with 50 rulers (three among them were women) and the poem discusses the reigns of each of the monarchs separately. The principal ‘hero’ (not in the Western sense) of Ferdowsi’s tale is King Kavus who occupies three out of the nine volumes of Shahnameh. What is striking is that Kavus is por­ trayed as a ruler with negative traits. Ferdowsi explores the dilemma of good men living under an evil king and an incompetent government. We can speculate that Ferdowsi’s Kavus is probably Mahmud Ghazni, from whom the poet expected generous patronage, but the ruthless and greedy Mahmud Ghazni treated Ferdowsi very shabbily. In general, the Arabs appear in his poems as an evil force bringing disasters on Persian civilisation. Again, Ferdowsi offers multiple interpretations of a particular event and leaves the final analysis to the readers by saying: ‘God knows

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best’ (Ferdowsi 2016: xiii–xv, xviii, xx, xxvii). Like Herodotus, Ferdowsi offers dif­ ferent versions for a particular event. The authorial intervention is less compared to the rigid top-down analysis offered by Thucydides. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the launching pad for the invasion of India, the Ghaznavid Sultanate was replaced with the Ghorid Sultanate (1170–1215) with its capital at Ghur. While Mahmud Ghanzi led plundering raids in India, Muhammad Ghori (1149–1206) attempted to establish an empire in Hind (land east of the River Indus). In Hind, the bulwark of defence was in the hands of the Hindu martial class: the Rajputs. The Rajputs were probably products of Sakas (Scythians) who invaded India during the second century CE and indigenous tribes. A Raj­ put’s first love was the war horse. The Hindus realised the increasing importance of horses in war. From the eleventh century onwards, Hindu theorists developed the ashvashastra (science of horses). In the fourteenth century, a Jain scholar, Hemasuri, wrote an important work on ashvashastra, which was translated into Persian and Arabic, which shows that the sultans also paid attention to the Hindu science of horses. However, the sedentary Hindus after the Guptas failed to develop mounted archery. The Shivadhanurveda, a treatise on archery written during the fifth century CE after India experienced Hun invasion first-hand, avoids the issue of mounted archery (Wink 2001: 56, 80, 82–3). Temple sculptures from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries depict the cavalry force of the Hoysalas of Mysore, who developed armoured heavy cavalry. The mounts were covered with armour and the cavaliers were armed with swords and lances. The lancers used the lances in both overarm and underarm style (Deloche 1989). But there is no depiction of mounted archery, and the acharyas looked down upon the ‘barbarian’ practice of mounted archery. Why so? Because, at that time, the Indian potentates were not able to import good war horses from Central Asia and Afghanistan as these regions were under the hostile Muslim states. And the sedentary Indians were incapable of practicing mounted archery like the Central Eurasian steppe nomads. The Guptas (319–467 CE; see Chapter 2) experimented with mounted archery but it fizzled out. In the First Battle of Tarain (1191) fought near Thaneshwar, Muhammad Ghori was defeated by the Rajput ruler Prithviraj Chauhan (1166–1192). Prithvir­ ajvijayamahakavya, by poet Jayanak, offers us some details about the Rajput war­ riors. This poem portrays the heroic martial activities of the Chahamana Rajput clan (Prithviraj belonged to it) and their dedication to protect Hind and Hinduism from the mlechchas (unclean barbarians; in this context refers to the Islamised Turks). In fact, in classical Hindu discourse, any outsiders/foreigners like the Greeks (Yavanas), Huns, etc. were categorised as mlechchas. Aryavarta (North India and the core of Indic/Hindu civilisation) was considered by the acharyas as the land of the pure. Jayanak tells us that a long line of Chahamana kings, such as Hamir­ deva, Sataldev etc., had also fought the Ghaznavid sultans. Prithviraj followed in their line. The grand strategy of these Rajput rulers was to expand from Rajasthan in West India and to conquer Haryana and construct a defensive line along the River Saraswati. In accordance with the Rajput culture, death in the battlefield was

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considered more honourable than making a tactical retreat or surrendering to the enemy. After being defeated in the First Battle of Tarain, a ‘cowardly’ (actually a realist) Muhammad Ghori retreated, but the heroic Prithviraj, conducting the campaign in accordance with the code of dharmayuddha (Just War, whose code was first formulated in the Hindu epic Mahabharata), refused to pursue the defeated Muslim force. In this poem, Prithviraj comes alive not merely as a just, caring hero displaying affection to his wife, with martial prowess against the enemies of reli­ gion, but also as a cultured civilised man. Jayanak tells us that Prithviraj was a patron of art and literature, and artists and intellectuals adorned his court just as the navaratnas (nine wise literary men) had adorned the court of Gupta Emperor Chandragupta Vikramaditya (r. 380–413 CE). When Muhammad Ghori again attacked the Rajput confederacy in the Second Battle of Tarain (1192), Prithviraj, following the traditional Rajput custom of fighting to the death, perished on the bloody battlefield. After all, it is unheroic for a Rajput to die of old age in bed peacefully. In this poem the hero Prithviraj met a tragic but heroic death and the heroine, Queen Sanjukta (Prithviraj’s wife), instead of being dishonoured by being forcibly taken to the harem of the villain (Muhammad Ghori), committed suicide through jauhar (burnt herself alive on a funeral pyre) (Prithvirajvijayamahakavya 2003). And the bards (local poets of Rajasthan) used to sing such romantic tragic poetry which further inculcated the Rajput ethos among the masses. The reality was a bit different. The Rajput cavalry was undisciplined, so it could only make a ‘heroic’ frontal charge and was unable to manoeuvre in the battlefield or carry out a tactical retreat like the Ghorid cavalry. In addition, the hot and humid climate of India did not produce good horses, so in terms of stamina, Rajput horses were inferior to Ghorid’s Central Asian Turki horses. Further, the army under Prithviraj was a conglomeration of private forces under different clan chiefs. He had no standing disciplined regular army (Yadava 2001: 74–5). There­ fore, after the First Battle of Tarain, the Rajput confederacy melted away. Hence, even if he was willing, Prithviraj had no force to pursue a defeated Muhammad Ghori to Afghanistan. After the First Battle of Tarain, Prithviraj was actually busy making merry with his beautiful consort, and then Muhammad Ghori struck again with fatal consequences (Roy 2015: 90–4). In many cases, Rajput women were forced to commit jauhar by their male peers. The Prithviraj myth continued to grow in medieval India. Prithviraj Raso, a fic­ tional poem in Brajabhasa penned by Chand Bardai in the sixteenth century, por­ trays Prithviraj as the last Hindu emperor with his capital at Indraprastha (Delhi). Prithviraj is depicted as a daring lover. He eloped with the King of Kanauj’s daughter Sanjukta. For Prithviraj and Sanjukta, it was love at first sight. For love, he fought valiantly against his enemy cum father-in-law, Raja Jaichand of Kanauj. Prithviraj was the medieval Indian Prince Genji of Japan. Genji is discussed in detail in Chapter 6. Finally, the daring hero Prithviraj met a tragic death at the hands of the mlechcha villain Muhammad Ghori. The creation of the Rajput war hero myth as perpetuated by this work probably strengthened the Rajput man­ sabdars’ status in the Mughal court (Talbot 2019). Overall, in the works of the

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Hindu authors the Muslim invaders are represented as sexually perverted ruthless maniacs and in the chronicles of Muslim authors, the Hindus appear as soft and foolish idolaters. The Turks were adept in practicing deception and treachery for gaining tactical victories, which the Hindus called kutayuddha (the acharyas looked down upon it) and in modern terminology the Russians term as maskirovka. Fakhr i Mudabbir (1157–1236), a Persian author who was patronised successively by the Ghaznavid, Ghorid and Shamsi sultans of Delhi, emphasises that sudden surprise attack should be carried out against the Hindu military bases when the guards are asleep. He advocates a surprise raid at dawn when security is lax in the Hindu camps. A commando force under Muhammad Ghori actually carried out a nocturnal raid against the Rajput camp. Prithviraj Chauhan, the leader of the Rajput con­ federacy was asleep at the time and he and his soldiers were caught totally una­ ware. Fakhr i Mudabbir, like Sun Tzu, gives importance to terrain and links it up with force structure. The core of the Muslim army consisted of cavalry, so, Fakhr notes, stony, dusty, wet and sandy grounds were to be avoided. The first would damage the horseshoes, the second would impair visibility and the third type of terrain would hinder the mobility of men and war animals. He recommended hard and smooth ground near a source of water (Sarkar 1974: 14). Muhammed Ufi (1171–1242), a Persian historian, comments in his Jamiul Hiyakat that Muhammad Ghori during one of his campaigns against the Rajputs deliberately kept the fire burning in front of all the tents in his camp to give the impression that the Turks were there. However, Muhammad Ghori marched out in the night and then carried out a daring nocturnal raid (Upadhyaya 2008: 183). Persian historians who pushed the doctrine of Unjust War might have been influenced by the Hindu theory of kutayuddha. The Panchatantra, which came into existence in around 300 CE, paid homage to Kautilya as the father of rajniti. And in 570 CE, Panchatantra was translated into Pahlavi (Kane 1968: 177). By the eleventh century, India’s population was about 70 million (Wink 2001: 4). Only China had more people than Al-Hind. India’s massive demographic resources forced the Islamised Turkish rulers to accommodate the Hindu popula­ tion. After the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate, Qutub ud din Aibak (r. 1206–10) recruited Hindu soldiers. In order to balance the Turks, the Sultanate Army also enlisted non-Turkish Muslim groups like the Afghans and also those Mongols who had settled down after deserting their Central Asian Chagatai Kha­ nate (Athar 2008: 165–7). The Mughals were actually Chagatai Turks. The founder of the Mughal Empire, Babur (1483–1530), claimed descent from both the lines of Chingiz Khan and Timur. The Mughals came to power under the leadership of Babur by defeating the Afghan Lodhi Dynasty of Delhi. When the Mongols severed the Delhi Sulta­ nate’s access to Central Asia, the latter encouraged the Afghan tribesmen to migrate to North India on a large scale. These Afghan military mercenaries established the Sayyid and Lodhi dynasties successively.

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If Babur was the military founder of the Mughal Empire, his grandson Akbar (1542–1605) was the administrative founder of the Mughal polity. In an attempt to accommodate both the Shias and the Sunnis, in 1562 the Sunni Akbar started patronising the Chishti Sufi Silsila (Order). In 1574, Akbar introduced the quasibureaucratic mansabdari system. A mansabdar (imperial office holder), in return for a jagir, was under the obligation to maintain a certain number of horsemen. The mansabdars were transferred periodically and they could not inherit the jagirs. Actually, the jagir grants meant the grantees could enjoy the revenue rights only. Based on their military service, the mansabdars were promoted and often demoted (Streusand 2011: 218–19, 244). The top-ranking mansabdars were Irani and Turani immigrants. The middle- and lower-level mansabdars to a certain extent were Rajputs and Marathas (Hindu martial communities). The Mughals emphasised battlefield intelligence. News gatherers were employed to collect information about the hostile forces before the Mughal Army engaged them. Again, nocturnal attack was an integral part of Mughal military strategy. The Mughals emphasised fighting decisive battles to destroy the hostile forces in a single afternoon. The argument advanced by some scholars that Mughal warfare was merely theatre—all show and no bloody combat (Gommans 2002; Vivekanandan 2011)—is erroneous. The Mughal ORBAT was indeed complicated. At the First Battle of Panipat, the Mughal Army was divided into skirmishers, an advance guard, right wing, left wing, and the centre (it was divided into a right part and left part under separate commanders). The centre included wagons equipped with cannons and behind them were deployed infantry armed with matchlocks and muskets. The reserve (armoured heavy cavalry) was placed behind the centre. Turning parties comprising horse archers (unarmoured light cavalry) were placed at the extreme flanks of the right and left wings and attacked the two flanks and rear of the hostile army (Babur Nama 1989: 466, 471–3) to encircle, envelop and eliminate the hostile force. The Mughal artists generated several manuscripts illuminated with paintings which give us some ideas about the military thought and practice. Persian books (both prose and poetry) were ornamented with pictures. Some of the emperors, such as Humayun (1508–1556 CE), were themselves painters. Akbar ordered his courtiers to prepare Persian translations of the Panchatantra and Mahabharata deco­ rated with pictures. The objective was to acquire Hindu cultural values in order to generate a fusion of Persian and Indic/Hindu traditions that would facilitate Mughal absorption of Rajput warlords. Mughal artists under Akbar, influenced by elements of Renaissance humanism, produced life-like images of their subjects. The portraits depicted the physical features, moods and feelings of their subjects. Some of the paintings depict gunpowder technology. One painting shows Akbar hunting wild asses with a musket. The emperor is portrayed taking careful aim at the target with his gun. The fact that the emperor himself was linked with the musket means that this weapon was held in high esteem by the Mughals. We know from other sources that Akbar took a keen interest in gunpowder technol­ ogy. Further, we can infer from this picture that muskets were used for aimed fire.

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Some other miniature paintings produced in Akbar’s reign depict serpentine cock, trigger, priming pan and the match cord used by the firearm-equipped Mughal infantry. Again, the Mughal Army paid a lot of attention to logistics. One painting in Babur Nama shows shopkeepers accompanying the Mughal Army on the march (Verma 2009). Abul Fazl’s Akbar Nama (a chronicle of the reign of Akbar) is lavishly illustrated. One painting depicting the Mughal siege of the Rajput Ranthambhor fort (1568) shows heavy cannons being drawn by bullocks. The focus of this painting is the difficult terrain and the guns and not the fort. Art historian Theodore K. Rabb concludes that this painting reflects the Mughal artist’s love for nature and, for the Mughals, painting was an aspect of imperial decoration (Rabb 2011: 142–3). For me, this painting depicts the importance of siege artillery in Mughal military prac­ tice. Moreover, the problems of transporting heavy cannons over rocky ground is also focused on. Like Kautilya and Sun Tzu, the Mughal military theorists were aware of the importance between the nature of terrain and the deployment of different weapon systems. A comparison of the paintings of Babur Nama and Akbar Nama also reveals the evolution of Mughal military technology and the gradual development of their theory of siege warfare. The paintings in Babur Nama depicting Babur’s siege of the forts of Andijan and Ferghana (1497–99), unlike the paintings of Akbar Nama, do not depict the deployment of siege artillery. Armoured horsemen and infantry equipped with matchlocks and ladders were used to lay siege to the fort (Verma 2016: 48, 55). The evolution and deployment of siege artillery is a later development that occurred under the reign of Akbar during the second half of the sixteenth century. From the late seventeenth century, the principal threat faced by the Mughals was posed by the Marathas in Deccan. To an extent, the Maratha movement started as a reaction to Mughal COIN. The Marathas provided military labourers to the sultanates of Bijapur and Golkunda. When Aurangzeb attacked these two polities and demobilised their armies, the unemployed Marathas took to raiding and pilla­ ging the newly conquered Mughal territories. In response, the Mughal columns launched harsh punitive measures against the Marathas. As part of the action-reac­ tion cycle, more and more Marathas joined the insurgency under their charismatic leader Shivaji (1630–1680). The Mughals had a sophisticated COIN doctrine. Raja Jai Singh (a Rajput mansabdar in Aurangzeb’s service) in his despatches to the Mughal court formulated the dual policy of application of limited force and cooption of the Maratha elites within the Mughal administrative service. Further, Jai Singh focused on the protection of the logistical cord of the Mughal antiinsurgent columns against the harassing tactics of the light Maratha cavalry (Military Despatches 1969). Technically the Mughals lasted until 1856, but their real power vanished in the 1740s. Three managerial crises occurring simultaneously sounded the death knell of the Mughals. The three crises were the agrarian crisis, external attacks (the Persian invasion under Nadir Shah during 1738–39, the Afghan inva­ sions by Ahmad Shah Abdali [r. 1747–72]) and irregular warfare conducted by the Marathas.

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South-East Asia In the ancient period, South-East Asia came under the cultural orbit of Hinduism, which had spread from the mainland of the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka. Vyuhas (ancient Hindu battle formations) influenced the deployment of the armies of South-East Asia. The armies of Burma/Myanmar and Mataram were not undisciplined rabbles. Deserters were publicly punished and there were crack units for conducting daredevil missions in the battlefield. Further, these crack formations had organic transportation units consisting of porters. Like the Rajputs, the per­ sonnel of the crack units took opium to heighten their courage before battle, and to heighten their own self-worth and increase their fighting motivation, elite troops had tattoos and amulets. Warfare could be bloody. For example, in the 1650s, warfare in the Ambon involved burning villages and destroying plantations, which caused the death of 30 per cent of the population. The soldiers were equipped with spears, iron-tipped lances and two-handed broad swords and wore leather and iron armour. By the 1650s, blowpipes were replaced by muskets. Fire lances and tre­ buchets throwing stones and incendiaries percolated from China to South-East Asia between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. Bans (hand-held rockets) came to South-East Asia from India and China during the first decade of the fifteenth century (Charney 2004: 6–45). From the eleventh to the thirteenth century Pagan was mainly dependent on irrigated rice cultivation. Though Pagan was located in the dry zone of Burma with 115 cm of rain annually, the ruling dynasty utilised a system of rivers by building dams, sluices and channels for the cultivation of paddy. The dominant political ideology was Theravada Buddhism (Wink 2001: 369, 374). If anything, the elements of martiality inherent in Buddhism further accentuated endemic warfare in South-East Asia. Between the seventh and thirteenth centuries, Buddhism, and especially Tantric Buddhism, dealt with the issue of warfare. The tantra texts were widely translated into Chinese, Tibetan and other Asian languages between the ninth and twelfth centuries. Tantric ideas spread in Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia and Japan. The teachings of the tantric vehicle Vajrayana focused on gaining worldly power and enlight­ enment. Several deities in the Buddhist pantheon were venerated for their ability to intervene in war. One was Vaisravana; another was Atavaka, who has the mili­ tary rank of Yaksa, meaning commander-in-chief. The war goddess Marici and great black protector Mahakala were derived from the Sanskrit Hindu tradition. Acala, the Buddhist deity, was credited with practicing elements of kutayuddha (creating dissension in the enemy camp, causing misfortune among the enemy leaders, etc.). Facing Muslim invasion in India, the Buddhists developed the Kala­ cakra literature. It noted that non-violence would result in defeat. Just War requires violence against the hostiles, and the conduct of a Just War requires weapons like catapults, siege towers, ships, etc. But this literature also highlights that a legitimate Buddhist war should only be defensive and never offensive. And during Just War, killing the enemy soldiers is acceptable (Sinclair 2014: 149–66).

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Neither the Turco-Mongol steppe nomads nor Islam were able to dominate mainland South-East Asia. This was primarily due to geography. The tropical cli­ mate of mainland South-East Asia was not suited for the maintenance of war horses. Further, the tropical forests and mountain ranges did not suit the cavalry armies of steppe nomads and the Islamic polities. Worse, it was almost impossible to invade Burma from India due to the Pegu Yomas and the malaria-ridden Arakan coast. The forests and mountains made it intimidating even for a modern army to occupy Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand from South China. Both the Mongols and the Mughals tried to invade mainland South-East Asia with their cavalry armies. They soon realised that they required naval forces for maintaining communications, transporting their armies, sustaining logistics, etc., But, being steppe nomads, neither the Islamic Chagatai Turks nor the Mongols were adept in littoral warfare, so their invasions fizzled out. In January 1258, a Mongol Army entered North Vietnam. Emperor Tran Thai Tong decided to offer battle at Bac Hac on the Red River. Tran’s army, like the medieval Hindu raja’s force, had cavalry, infantry and elephants. Initially the ele­ phants discomfited the Mongol cavalry. However, the Mongol cavaliers, like the Turkish sowars (cavalry men), learnt to shoot at the feet of the elephants, thus disabling them. The Vietnamese mariners recruited from the coastal fishermen, unlike the Chinese navigators fighting on the Mongol side, were skilled in local navigation. The long, narrow, oared boats of the Vietnamese had an advantage over the big Mongol sailing ships in the narrow coastal creeks and along the rivers flowing through the jungle landscape of North Vietnam. The Vietnamese horses, unlike the Mongol mounts, could subsist on rice straw. Heat, humidity, lack of pastures and tropical disease devastated the Mongols (Lien 2017: 16–19). Next, instead of an overland invasion, the Mongols attempted an amphibious expedition. The Mongols, in fact, were displaying a steep learning curve. But, in the end, physical geography defeated their war machine. In December 1282, a Mongol fleet from South China under Sodu, comprising 350 ships and 10,000 troops, appeared on the coast of Champa (coastal areas of South and Central Vietnam). Sodu’s troops disembarked at Quy Nhon Bay. Champa resorted to a static defence. Champa’s (Cham) defence pivoted around a series of fortresses bristling with infantry equipped with bows and arrows and stone-throwing trebuchets which had spread from South China. In February 1283, Sodu’s troops were able to penetrate Champa’s defence. However, Champa’s defenders carried on guerrilla warfare from the Darlak Plateau (highlands covered with forests). Cham guerrilla techniques involved spreading misinformation, disinformation, launching sudden attacks and fake surrenders. By March 1283, Sodu’s troops were suffering from supply problems. ‘General’ malaria caused further devastation among Sodu’s malnourished troops. In 1284, Sodu, beset by supply problems, decided to sail away with his fleet to Central Vietnam, where he established a base. In the same year, a Mongol relief fleet sailing from South China was almost destroyed by storms near the coast of Central Vietnam. The next year, Sodu was ordered to beat a retreat (Lien 2017: 29–33).

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The polities of mainland South-East Asia engaged in intense internecine warfare. Yuan Phai: The Defeat of Lanna is a fifteenth-century Thai epic poem which pro­ vides some idea of the worldview of the rulers and warriors and the techniques of combat. The poem is a eulogy of the King of Ayutthaya known as King Boromma Trailokanat who ruled from 1448 to 1488. The poem focuses on a battle that was fought in 1474/5, and was written just after this climactic battle. However, Yuan Phai tells us that war is more than merely fighting a battle. War also involves sieges, raids and counterraids (Yuan Phai 2017: 29). The author of this poem is probably a son of Trailokanat, who became a monk, or by the king’s other son, Intharacha, who participated in many wars and later succeeded his father as Borommaracha III. Another view is that the author of this poem was a monk named Phra Panya Phisan. Yuan, a term used for denoting the people of Lanna, was an old name for the Thai settled regions around the middle Mekong River. In the fifteenth century there were three confederations of towns in the Chaophraya Basin: Lanna in the north with Chiang Mai as the leading city, Siam in the south with Ayutthaya predominant, and the Sukhothai Kingdom, known as the Northern Cities by Ayutthaya. The Sukhothai Kingdom was located between Lanna in the north and Ayutthaya in the south. Yuan Phai’s battle is part of the long struggle between Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai for control of the Northern Cities. Through marriage alliances and administrative cooption of the Sukhothai’s nobles, Ayutthaya was able to absorb the Northern Cities by 1569 (Yuan Phai 2017: 1, 3). Tilok, after overthrowing his father, became king of Lanna in 1442. Tilok immediately started expanding his dominion eastward to Phrae and Nan, north­ ward to Sipsong Panna, westward to Burma and southward to the Northern Cities. His military success was due to two factors: accretion of wealth from trade with China and the introduction of gunpowder technology from China into Lanna in the early fifteenth century. The Burmese encountered Chinese firearms at the Battle on Ting-pien on 6 May 1388 (Charney 2004: 44). In one battle, fought in 1457/8, as described by the Chiang Mai Chronicle, we see that Lanna’s force used crossbows and handguns, weapons that had been imported from China. The chronicle further states that the crossbows caused many casualties among the sol­ diers of the Northern Cities and Tilok’s soldiers used the muskets to shoot at the temples of the enemy soldiers (Yuan Phai 2017: 4). Here we have a case of targeted shooting rather than Western-style blind volley fire. During the fifteenth and six­ teenth centuries, Chinese and Portuguese cannons were introduced in South-East Asia (Charney 2004: 46–7). However, we must not over-stress the importance of gunpowder weapons in the tropical vegetation-covered mountainous terrain of the South-East Asian mainland. In such an environment, elephants and porters were required for moving supplies. Such difficult terrain obstructed the dragging of cannons with the armies. Even in the mid-twentieth century, Vo Nguyen Giap had to depend on the por­ ters for supplying his troops fighting the French and the Americans in North Vietnam. For the details of Giap’s campaigns, refer to Chapter 9. Yuan Phai

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mentions the guns, but emphasises that Tilok’s victory was due to his numerical superiority, the presence of a large number of elephants, and his policy of winning over the services of the neighbouring lords (i.e. cooption policy). All these became possible because, says Yuan Phai, Tilok was a good Buddhist king and hosted a Buddhist council (Yuan Phai 2017: 4). Nevertheless, the divine cosmological aspect of warfare was not merely domi­ nated by Buddhism. We find traces of Hindu gods in the worldview of the stra­ tegic elites of South-East Asia. Yuan Phai notes the role played by Brahma (creator of the universe), Vishnu, Shiva (god of destruction) and Yama (god of death) in maintaining heaven, earth and the underworld. Like Arthasastra and Nitisara, Yuan Phai tells us that the ultimate aim of war is to establish peace, prosperity and sta­ bility for the subjects by the righteous king. A good ruler should maintain a bal­ ance, says the poem, between mercy (as evidenced by Lord Buddha’s teachings) and the power of destruction (as exemplified by the Hindu gods) (Yuan Phai 2017: 16–17, 27). The second component of kingship requires going to battle. Besides weapons, numbers, political skill and religious support, Yuan Phai also notes the crucial role of formulating the right military strategy for gaining victory: ‘He comes to quell all lords across the earth, By schemes and strategies of skillful art’ (Yuan Phai 2017: 18). Strategy, according to this poem, has four elements: attack, defence, deception and bluff. The poem warns that the ruler (commander) has to counter the enemy strategy by out-thinking the enemy warlord and by deploying decoys, feints and bluffs (Yuan Phai 2017: 29). One suspects the influence of Kau­ tilya and Sun Tzu here. Along with military technology, elements of theories of warfare might have flowed from India and China into South-East Asia. We have a book by Prince Damrong Rajanubhab titled Thai Rop Phama, pub­ lished in 1917, which discusses Thai/Siam-Burman conflict. Thai Rop Phama popularised the image of Burma as an enemy of the Thai nation. This book is based on older royal chronicles, the focus of which was dynastic successions and especially the exploits of the kings. Rajanubhab shows how, under a protective king, a pacific, tolerant and open Thai nation emerged during its struggle with the Burmese. Thus, this book is part of the Thai nation-building programme. Written from a Thai perspective, this book highlights the heroism of Queen Suriyothai, the elephant duel between Naresuan (Thai ruler) and Uprat (Burmese) in which the latter was killed, and guerrilla resistance against the Burmans (Rajanubhab 2001: ix, xiv–xv, xxi). The elephant duel of 1548 was somewhat like monomachia practiced by the chariot-borne heroes of Bronze Age Greece and India. In the words of Thai Rop Phama: ‘King Somdet Phra Maha Chakkraphat and the viceroy of Prome, each mounted on an elephant supported by their forces, came face to face and fought each other with their elephants as was the custom in those days’ (quoted from Rajanubhab 2001: 19). The discussion of guerrilla resistance against the Burmese by the villagers of Bang Rachan in collaboration with the Buddhist monks of a monastery, is a break with the older royal chronicles. Rajanubhab highlights the role of the subalterns by bringing the agency of the nameless and faceless common mass to the forefront.

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Both in premodern Japan and in Korea, Buddhist monks and monasteries played an important role in organising and leading the peasants in conducting guerrilla war­ fare. Further, Thai Rop Phama portrays the Burmese as anti-religious agents and the Thai Kingdom as a model Buddhist polity (Rajanubhab 2001: xxv, xxvii–xxviii). Guerrilla warfare against the ‘unjust’ Burmese was sanctioned and, in fact, the Mongol invading forces were repeatedly harassed by the guerrillas of North Viet­ nam. Probably, guerrilla resistance was part and parcel of the heritage of mainland South-East Asia. And in the twentieth century, the tradition of guerrilla warfare would be fused with the Maoist brand of Marxism and generate a dangerous compound. High politics emerges as the principal driver of history in the theoretical format of Rajanubhab. For causation behind military defeats, his book highlights court intrigues and royal succession battles. The fall of Ayutthaya (a city about 80 km north of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand) is attributed to the treachery of one senior noble. The second conquest of Ayutthaya by the Burmans in 1767 is traced to factional fighting within the Thai royal court. Similarly, Burma also became weak at that time, writes Rajanubhab, due to disunity among its ruling elite. Despite Rajanubhab’s portrayal of the Thai state as a pacific defensive player, Thailand fought frequently with Cambodia and Vietnam (Rajanubhab 2001: xviii, xx, xxiv). Since horses were neither bred nor were suitable for deployment in the SouthEast Asian mainland, the rulers depended on elephants, which were found in large numbers in Burma and Thailand. Elephants were an important component of the Hindu armies of ancient and medieval India. In fact, the Turks, after set­ tling down in India, also adopted elephants in their ORBAT. The elephants were used as battering rams against forts and field fortifications. Further, light artillery, as well as matchlock men, were put on elephant backs during battle (Digby 2001: 311–20). Thus, the Islamic Turkish Way of War in South Asia became a hybrid military culture. The very fact that the Muslim warlords were willing to adopt certain elements from the hostile forces shows the openness of Islam at least in the sphere of military thought). And elephants were used for commissariat purpose even by the British in India until the nineteenth century. Muskets and light artillery were introduced in Burma and Thailand by the Por­ tuguese mercenaries. From the tenth century onwards, Islam gradually spread into maritime SouthEast Asia and replaced Buddhism and Hinduism. Andre Wink’s assertion that Islam came with overseas trade controlled by the Arab merchants and Persian ship­ builders can be qualified. Before the advent of Arab merchants, Chinese merchants controlled the trade. However, many Chinese traders and communities adopted Islam (Wink 2015: 170–243). This occurred because Islam is a proselytising reli­ gion, and Islam could be used easily for mobilising manpower for military cam­ paigns. One can say that the absence of strong centralised polities in maritime South-East Asia, unlike in mainland South-East Asia, enabled Islam to gain a significant foothold in the former region.

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Conclusion The Islamic polities fought the non-Muslim powers for material and non-material (religious) reasons. However, combat between the Islamic polities was also ende­ mic. Most of the time, the Muslim powers fought among themselves for power and money. As regards tactical theories of the Islamic armies, geography and prag­ matism were the principal drivers. Camels were suited for navigating in the desert. Hence, early Islamic armies depended on camels. Since horses were a rarity in Arabia (the physical geography is not suited for these animals), the early Islamic forces of Muhammad and the early caliphs lacked cavalry contingents in substantial numbers, but when they got hold of horses, the Islamic polities developed cavalry. Islam borrowed trebuchets from the Byzantine Empire, gunpowder from the Mongols and East Europeans, and mounted archery from Central Asian nomadic tribes and elephants from Hindu India. Thus emerged the composite Islamic armies over time. One managerial innovation hit upon by the Abbasid caliphs was the mamluk institution which gave staying power to the forces of various Islamic poli­ ties up to the onset of the early modern era. The theory and practice of the Islamic Turkish force was, to a great extent, a meme of Mongol military practice. However, religion cannot be deleted fully from the Islamic politico-military discourse. Though Marxist and liberal scholars following the secular ideology and, especially with an eye to the present political climate, downplay the role of Islamic iconoclasm in Afro-Asia, there is no doubt that the ghazi sultans deliberately destroyed the non-Islamic religions when it suited them. When ideology and material gains coincided, they generated a combustible compound. Jihad against Hind was attractive because of the material rewards (plunder and women, slaves both male and female) and prestige both at the individual (status of a martial hero) and collective levels (gaining religious legitimacy in the umma). And Islamic ideol­ ogy in the premodern era was not conservative. It adopted new weapons and military ideas when it suited the needs. To conclude, except religious ideology (which was an important factor in combat motivation) and the issue of conversion, there was nothing uniquely Islamic in the Islamic Way of War.

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6 DARK LORDS RISING Samurai of premodern Japan

Introduction The disintegration of the centralised bureaucratic state apparatus during the early medieval era in West Europe, India and Japan facilitated the rise of private moun­ ted warriors. The increasing effectiveness of cavalry over infantry in the medieval era also hastened the rise of mounted warriors vis à vis peasant infantry. This development occurred in the three geographical areas at different times. In West Europe and in India, the rise of martial mounted gentry occurred from around 500 CE onwards. In Japan, this process can be traced back to the tenth century CE. The culmination of this process resulted in the rise of knights, Rajputs and samurai. The popular idea that the warfare of premodern Japan comprised stylised one-to­ one combat between the heavily armed mounted sword-toting virtuous samurai is erroneous. Premodern Japanese warfare was more than a ritualised game. The complexities of premodern Japan’s military culture, its origins and evolution are a multidimensional historical process. Military culture can never be delinked from broader historical trends. The premodern history of the land of the ‘Rising Sun’ is interlinked with the history of North-East Asia. Nevertheless, the military thought of Japan diverged considerably from the military trajectories of China, Korea and Mongolia. This is partly due to the geography of Japan, an island nation separated from the continent. However, ideologies imported from Asia (Confucianism, Buddhism, etc.) interacted with the geographical insularity of Japan and gave rise to the typical military culture of premodern Japan. This chapter shows how it actually played out from circa 10,000 BCE to the mid-nineteenth century.

From monarchy to civil war In the Palaeolithic era (around 10,500 BCE), people from North-East Asia migrated to Japan. During the Jomon era, tribes depended on food gathering.

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Bows, arrows and pottery developed during the Jomon period. However, stone axes of the Jomon era were unsuitable for cutting down big trees. According to one estimate, the population of Japan between the Jomon period (10,000 BCE) and the beginning of the Yayoi period (300 BCE) increased from 21,900 people to 106,000. Population increase was possible due to the spread of agriculture. Thanks to rice cultivation, by 200 BCE the population had risen to 262,500 (Kidder 2006: 48–86). During the Yayoi period (300 BCE–300 CE), large settlements protected with ditches, wooden spikes and watchtowers came into existence. In Northern Kyushu, artisans manufactured bronze spears and halberd blades. Thus, a primitive form of siege war replaced the hunting raids conducted with bows and arrows from 500 BCE onwards (Farris 1999: 49). Between 250 CE and 300 CE, the Yamato Kingdom came into existence in Central Japan. Immigrants (including many North-East Chinese) from North-East Asia came into Japan through Korea and introduced advanced methods of wet rice cultivation and horse-riding techniques. By this time, the Iron Age had started in Japan which acquired iron from Korea. Iron was required to make agricultural tools and military weapons. The Yamato rulers constructed canals and dikes for expanding the area under rice cultivation. Iron tools, iron weapons and increasing agricultural productivity aided the centralising trends in the Yamato Kingdom. The Yamato rulers exercised some control over the Tsushima Straits. Between 369 and 414 CE, this kingdom also intervened in the infighting among the three Korean kingdoms that existed at that time. Japanese intervention in Korea was a prelude to later interventions which continued until 1945. Under the Yamato rulers, Japan established diplomatic relations with the polities ruling China (Brown 2006: 108–43). In the fourth century CE, three kingdoms emerged in Korea: Koguryo (Northern Korea), Silla (South-East Korea) and Paekche. Koguryo attempted to construct a centralised polity by adopting Chinese administrative techniques, iron technology and war horses. Its army comprised armoured mounted warriors with long spears and armoured infantry equipped with spears, long swords and shields. These three Korean kingdoms occasionally fought among themselves and also attempted to block Chinese and Japanese incursions into the Korean Peninsula. Japan was afraid that if China conquered Korea, then their island nation would become the next target of the Middle Kingdom. This fear continues to haunt the Japanese leaders even today. Further, Japan was anxious that the unification of the Korean Peninsula by a single polity would make it difficult to import iron from this country, so between 391 and 399 CE, Japanese armies aided Paekche against the combined armies of Silla and Koguryo (Takashi 2006: 268–316). During the sixth century CE, the Japanese leaders aped the Chinese political techniques to create a centralised state. In addition, Buddhism was also imported from China through Korea to provide centralised rule with an ideological basis. Infighting often broke out between the clans having connections with the immi­ grants (Soga) and indigenous Japanese clans (Mononobe). In 587 CE, the Soga took power and Buddhism became the official ideology of the state. Chinese classics on

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military strategy also became essential reading for the Japanese strategic managers (Mitsusada 2006: 163–205). According to a Japanese tradition, Sun Tzu was introduced in the country by one Kibi no Makibi who visited China twice between 716 and 754 CE. However, there is other evidence which points to the arrival of Chinese military classics in Japan in 516 CE. Emperor Keitai of Japan, in the first half of the sixth century CE, was very much influenced by Sun Tzu. Japanese missions to Korea and China probably resulted in the transfer of the Chinese military classics to the island nation. In 891 CE, a catalogue of books existing in Japan notes that six different editions of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War were circulating in the country (Sun Tzu 1963: 169–70). From prehistoric times, the Japanese worshipped animistic spirits and deities called kami. Gradually, the worship of kami developed into a religious system known as Shinto (the kami way). By the sixth century CE, Shinto had moved beyond the worship of natural forces to institutionalised rituals to ensure protection and prosperity for the clans and to provide religious sanction for the clan chiefs and the territorial rulers. Thus, from its origins as magical rites of the pre-agricultural era, Shinto became a systematic religion supporting a centralised polity (Takeshi 2006: 317–33). At the beginning of the seventh century CE, Japan was ruled by a confederation of great clans (houses) and among them one clan—the Yamato house—was most powerful. This house gained royal stature. However, the other houses had their own geographical bases of power. The Yamato ruler maintained his authority by nego­ tiating with the other houses with the aid of his courtiers. The army included military contingents provided and led by all the great houses. This practice was not unique to Japan. From the mid-fifth century, the Visigoths (who ruled Spain and south-west France from the fifth to eighth centuries CE) also deployed private soldiers recruited by the landowners. Gradually, the royal court of Japan tried to increase its power. In 645 CE, after Tenji took power through a violent coup, he introduced Taika reforms to increase royal power. The reformers were able to put centralising policies into practice because all the clans were afraid of the rising power of the Tang Empire (618 CE–907 CE) in China. The Tangs drove away the Japanese outpost in Korea and it seemed to the Japanese strategic managers that the next target of the Tang would be Japan itself (Friday 1992: 10–11; Petersen 2013: 67). In 685, Emperor Tenmu (r. 673–86) of Japan outlawed private possession of large holdings of weapons and banners, horns and drums. The latter two were required for organising and commanding the armies. A parallel can be drawn with the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. He had great difficulty in controlling the landed magnates, especially in the distant provinces. The big landowners, who were also sometimes generals of the empire, maintained private troops. Justinian spent a great deal of energy banning private forces and arms production. Under the new imperial system in Japan, the army comprised peasants conscripted directly by the state, just like the legionaries of the Roman Republic. Previously, the peasants were conscripted by the private lords themselves. Direct conscription by the state required detailed knowledge about the human resources of the country, so Empress Jito in

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689 ordered a national census. All healthy, able-bodied male peasants were eligible for military service. Though men up to the age of 60 were subject to conscription, usually peasants in their 20s were recruited in order to keep the army young and combat effective. The newly conscripted force was more like a peasant militia. The men served in the provincial regiments and had to serve for 35 days annually. The basic tactical unit was the tai (company) comprising 50 men each. Each company was subdivided into five ka (ten-men sections) and each ka consisted of two go (each having five men—a squad) (Friday 1992: 8, 12–17; Petersen 2013: 61). Under the Nara rule (710–84), laws stipulated that every registered householder should be allotted rice land in accordance with his or her age, sex and social posi­ tion. Land left after allotments were placed under the jurisdiction of provincial governors, who rented it to farmers. These farmers had to pay 20 per cent of their crop to the provincial governors, who in turn sent this surplus to the capital. The imperial centre used this surplus to defray the cost of administration, including the upkeep of the peasant army. Some land was held directly by the emperor (Toshiya 2006: 415–25). Active proselytisation of Shintoism and Buddhism was encouraged by the ruling elites to strengthen the sacral side of the ruler’s authority. The drafting of the Yoro Code in 718 laid down the conceptual framework of a strong and centralised imperium. The attempt to increase imperial authority in turn resulted in the Fuji­ wara rebellion in 740. Clan power and interests clashed against the emperor’s attempts to bring the local military forces under bureaucratic authority (Kojiro 2006: 221–67). From circa 800 onwards public disorder increased, the court lost its monopoly on violence and the infrastructure for centralised tax collection disintegrated. These three developments occurred in tandem. From the late ninth century onwards, the court was dominated by powerful familial interest groups headed by kugyo (senior courtiers) who established complex networks of vertical alliances with low- and middle-ranking nobles. The kugyo competed with each other to recruit men with warrior skills to their household service and to staff the officer posts of military units operating in the capital with their own kinsmen and clients. The system of tax collection was totally dependent on the provincial governors, who were, in turn, dependent on the local elites for the actual collection of the taxes. This decentralised system enabled the provincial governors to pocket large amounts of surplus for themselves. For continued succession in the official posts, the provincial governors in turn forged alliances with the powerful court officials. By the end of the ninth century, banditry became endemic in the provinces. Often, the bandits were members of the provincial elite, who had turned to banditry both as an alternative and in addition to public service. This development in turn encouraged the provincial governors to maintain private forces (Friday 2004: 7–8; Friday 2007a: 51). During most of the Heian era (794–1185), Japan’s ground forces consisted of hired swords. The private mounted military assets acquired the character of pro­ fessional mercenaries. They became powerful in the ninth century and by the tenth

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century became dominant when the infantry conscripts of the imperium were disbanded (Friday 1992: 2–3). These warriors gradually metastasised into samurai/ bushi. The replacement of the infantry conscript force with mounted warriors who were private military retainers occurred partly because of the changes in the art of war. For battle, and especially pacification, the mounted warriors, armed with bows and swords, were more effective than the conscripted slow-moving infantry. And peasants lacked horses, so they had no training in horsemanship and in mounted combat. Since rich private lords owned horses, they acquired the skills of horsemanship and fighting on horseback. Such lords and their retainers comprised the ‘new’ imperial army. Since the lords controlled both the land and the horses, and their retainers were loyal to them, the imperial army became an assemblage of the lords’ private mounted forces (Friday 2010: 21–31) rather than a centralised bureaucratic professional force under direct control of the emperor. During the tenth century CE, the two most powerful clans controlling court and provincial militaries were the Genji and the Heishi (Friday 2004: 8–9). The Fujiwara house installed its senior representative as regent of the emperor. The emperor became a figurehead and the regent at times displayed contempt for the incumbent. The regent strengthened his position by marrying his daughter to the reigning emperor. Often the regent would force an emperor to retire and put another malleable younger emperor on the throne (Heike 2014: xxvi–xxvii). Shogun was the title bestowed upon a general charged with internal pacification. Under him were a jito (military steward) and a shugo (military governor). The jito exercised police functions in the estates and the shugo exercised jurisdiction over capital crimes at the provincial level (Berry 1997: xxiv). The Kamakura Shogunate (1185–1333) became a government, distinct from the imperial court in Kyoto. This resulted in further weakening of the centre. After 1221, the shogunate exer­ cised real power over judicial, military and foreign affairs. In the 1180s, the Kamakura Shogunate passed several laws to exercise some control over the vassals’ military power. One rule laid down that the hereditary vassals should not be allowed to mobilise troops for war without a writ from the shogunate. In the early fourteenth century, further decentralisation occurred when the shogunate’s pro­ vincial vassals started questioning the Kamakura central authority (Friday 2004: 13, 25). This political decentralisation set the stage for the rise of the samurai/bushi. The Kamakura Bakufu under Hojo rule established laws for warriors and served as a judicial body for handling legal suits, dealing mostly with land, which were submitted to it from all sections of society. The Joei Code of 1232 served as the starting point and also as a model for the formulation of samurai law for centuries. However, the Kamakura regime failed to exercise administrative control over the entire country. Many estates in the central and western provinces remained free of stewards and hence autonomous. The Mongol invasions in the second half of the thirteenth century weakened the Kamakura Bakufu. Previously, civil war had allowed the Kamakura regime to distribute the spoils taken from the defeated party among the victorious clans, but accidental victories over the Mongols did not open up any revenue source for the Kamakura Bakufu to reward its loyal clan chiefs.

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Moreover, Hojo’s attempt to reduce the authority and autonomy of the eastern warrior families resulted in the latter’s alienation from the centre. Matters came to a tipping point when Emperor Godaigo escaped from the Oki Islands to mainland Honshu. He was protected by loyalist warrior Nawa Nagatoshi. Simultaneously, Nitta Yoshisada, leader of the Minamoto branch, raised the flag of rebellion and attacked the hapless Kamakura regime. The Kamakura Bakufu went down in blood, death and disaster, as the last Hojo leader Takatoki committed mass suicide with hundreds of his kinsmen and followers. Godaigo triumphantly returned to Kyoto in 1333 (Varley 1994: 160, 162–3). The flaw in imperial restoration was that the emperor rode to victory not on the support from standing imperial troops but on the back of some powerful clans (commanding private forces), who temporarily agreed to support him. The Kemmu Restoration lasted from 1333 to 1336.

Rise of the samurai The warrior class (bushi/samurai) came into existence between the tenth and four­ teenth centuries CE. The warrior bands were called bushidan. The samurai were somewhat equivalent to the Western knights and medieval Hindu India’s Rajputs. The samurai, like the knights and the Rajputs, specialised in martial arts and combat. They concentrated on acquiring the skills of archery, swordsmanship and horsemanship. A samurai’s income came from the land he owned. Further, they put great stress on their genealogy (ancestry). In their landholdings, the samurai had their houses, ancestral graves and family deities. Initially, the samurai were profes­ sional soldiers serving the provincial governors. Gradually they themselves became the provincial ruling elite (Ishii 2007: 77–90). In India during the post-Gupta Empire era, land grants to different adminis­ trative officials with the power to exact taxes, forced labour and raising military forces for providing protection resulted in the rise of the Rajputs. Thakurs (high­ caste landowners) who were appointed to the administrative posts gradually became Rajputs (rajaputras; literal meaning, sons of the royal family/king). In return for land, they provided military service to the state. In early medieval India, the warrior class utilised the Bhakti cult of Hinduism to strengthen their hold over the peasantry and to refashion their own identity. The principal ideological strand of Bhakti was worship of God as a lord located in a temple. The temple of God was regarded as equal to the lord’s residence. Temples proliferated as the Rajputs spread their power. God was the Lord and the relationship between God and the devotees was equivalent to the relationship between the rulers (warriors) and the ruled (peasantry). Moreover, the different Rajput lineages also increased their ideological hegemony by appropriating local tribal cults as their own cults (Chattopadhyaya 2005: 22–9, 205–22). After the fall of the Kamakura regime in 1333, armies in Japan became an aggregate of individual mounted warriors. The idea spread that all political regimes were inherently fragile. Hence, central authority could no longer exact unques­ tioned military obedience from the landlords, but could only request military

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assistance. Commanders and constables attempted to attract the landlords with armed retainers to their ranks. Militarily strong landlords became protectors of the small and weak landlords (Conlan 2007: 303–34). Fifteen Ashikaga shoguns reigned between 1336 and 1573. This era witnessed a shift of power from the shogun to the daimyos (feudal barons/regional warlords) who constantly feuded with each other (Friday 2004: 14). The shogun’s territory was overlaid with private lordships. Many noble families and religious institutions emerged as absentee pro­ prietors of large provincial estates. Initially, the Ashikaga shoguns were dependent on the shugos for administering the countryside. To prevent the shugos from building their private power base, they were frequently transferred from one pro­ vince to another. Further, the shugos had to spend a considerable amount of time in Kyoto (the capital), so the shugos became dependent on their deputies for col­ lecting taxes and administering justice. Out of sheer necessity, the shugos crafted alliances with local magnates and their armed retainers. For providing military and administrative support to the shugos, the landlords with their retainers (samurai) acquired fiscal and military privileges (Berry 1997: xxii–xxiii, xxvi–xxviii). In Japan during the fifteenth century, fief rights enabled a lord to extract land rent, corvée labour and military service from the workers on the land and in return the fief holder was responsible for good administration and protection of the fief (Hall 2007: 23). The samurai were armed retainers of the daimyos. Gradually, the samurai from landed proprietors became stipended officials of the court. While the minor samurai had one or two village youths as retainers, the powerful samurai had castles in their own lands and controlled thousands of warriors. By the midsixteenth century, the daimyos were able to exert some power over the powerful samurai. The daimyos were able to survey the samurai’s lands. Not all the land­ holdings of a powerful samurai were concentrated near their original power base. Like the mansabdars, each of the powerful samurai had their land scattered in various provinces. When a samurai exploited the peasants in their landholdings too much, the latter escaped to the daimyo-controlled market towns (Birt 2007: 335–65). These two factors somewhat reduced the autonomy of the samurai. One can say that the golden age of samurai autonomy occurred during the Onin War (1466–77) when the central government in Kyoto became powerless due to constant infighting between the retainers of the small lords, daimyos and religious establishments. Some order was brought due to the unification of Japan by Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Gyuichi 2011: 17). With the establishment of the Toyotomi regime in 1582, the conquest of land belonging to the rival clans became the strategic policy of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537–1598). He was a near contemporary of the great Mughal emperor, Akbar of India. When Hideyoshi started to unify the warring polities of Japan, he awarded land captured from the enemies to his vassals, and those lords who remained loyal to him were confirmed in their own possessions. The search for more land resulted in an expansionist foreign policy. Land grab was an important factor behind Hideyoshi sanctioning the invasion of Korea in 1592, which started the Imjin War. Hideyoshi had another grandiose strategic goal, the conquest of Korea being the first

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step. The second stage was to be invasion of Ming China and the third stage was to be the planned conquest of India (Manji 2015: 73–92). Thus, Hideyoshi was a premodern Hideki Tojo. How did Ming China view Japan? There were two alternative Ming Chinese views about Japan: land of sagacious monks and land of bloodthirsty warriors (Zurndorfer 2015: 199). During the Imjin War (1592–98), no doubt the second view came to dominate the Chinese mindscape. The failure of Japan to conquer Korea and China during the Imjin War resulted in the fall of the Toyotomi regime and its replacement with the Edo Bakufu (Tokugawa regime) in 1603. The daimyos’ feudal authority radiated from their fortresses protected by moats and towers. Their control over the countryside was undisputed. However, some port cities existed (like Sakai, Hirano, Hakata, etc.) which were ruled by the burghers and had their own militias (Hall 2000: 23–42). During the Tokugawa period, the samurai, like the Rajputs, became a closed society. Under no condition were they willing to allow the entry of peasants’ and merchants’ sons and daughters into their elite club. The samurai intermarried among themselves and in case of failure to produce a male heir, they chose to adopt a male child from other samurai families (Moore 2000: 105–20). Thus, the samurai constituted a sort of caste system, as in the case of Hindu India.

Samurai and bushido Budo or bushido meant the ethical ideals of a warrior, i.e. the way of the warrior. One of our principal sources for constructing the culture of samurai warfare is the war tales, which are a genre of literature telling the stories of warriors and their battles from the tenth century CE, when the samurai emerged, until the early seventeenth century. Most of the war tales are based on real events and those which are closest to history—the early tales of the tenth and eleventh centuries CE—have a particular objective: to tell good and instructive stories rather than recording accurate description of events as they unfolded. A number of the prin­ cipal war tales of medieval Japan (1185–1573) were developed as texts for recita­ tion by tale singers (equivalent to the bards of Rajput India) and the latter freely altered and embellished them to entertain their audiences. Thus, war tales are literary histories, an amalgam of truth and fancy (Varley 1994: xi). Besides the war tales, the Rajputs also resorted to the construction of memorial stones for recording their heroism. Catris (memorial pavilions) were constructed to commemorate warrior families. Professional craftsmen spent a lot of energy in getting the stones sculpted and incised with inscriptions. It was a time-consuming and costly enterprise on the part of the warrior chieftains and their families. Memorial stones (a descendant of ancient hero stones) were constructed to record the bravery of warriors who died while fighting the robbers engaged in stealing women and animals from the common people of the kingdom. Another set of memorial stones focus on commemorating the heroism of those warriors who fell in battles (Chattopadhyaya 2005: 120–9).

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The text named Heike Monogatari (The Tale of the Heike; date of final composition 1371 CE) portrays the warrior code during the Gempei War which occurred between 1180 and 1185. The Gempei War was actually a struggle between those who controlled the levers of power in the centre and in the provinces and those who were dissatisfied with the actual distribution of power. The ‘haves’ sided with the Taira (Hei) and the ‘have nots’ with the Yoritomo (Gen) (Friday 2004: 12). The Heike did not portray the Gempei warriors as they were in actuality, but rather painted an idealised image of how they ought to be. Heike emphasises per­ sonal loyalty and a willingness to sacrifice one’s life for one’s lord. Further, it puts forward the message that a warrior should not serve two lords and death is better than following such a nefarious path. Loyalty to one’s lord, even when the cause was hopeless, was considered a cardinal virtue for the samurai. Like the Rajputs, a samurai, notes the Heike, should die rather than retreat from the battlefield. The actions described in this text are fictional and the origins of the heroic actions of the samurai can be traced back to the singers who accompanied the warriors to battle and orally transmitted the battle tales composed by them. These oral singers and travelling entertainers took their subject matter from actual historical perso­ nages and events, but the specific content of their tales is fictional (Butler 2007: 287–302). In reality, the warriors changed allegiance frequently during the civil war, shifting from one side to the other. Further, warriors from a single family fought on opposing sides (Varley 1994: 167). Very often, instead of honourable dealings, the samurai engaged in plunder and abduction of the hostile party’s women. The samurai, shorn of the idealistic image, were unquestionably dark lords. The samurai had their bushido, the Rajputs crafted their kshatradharma and the West European knights had their idealised code of conduct known as chivalry. Chivalry literature noted that the medieval knights’ duty was to fight to protect the common people. The Book of the Order of Chivalry, which was written in the twelfth century and was circulated throughout West Europe in Latin, Catalan, French, Scottish and English, noted that the task of the knight was to serve God and his master (lord). Honour was their loyalty, and it was the knight’s bounden duty to protect women, widows, orphans, clerics, sick and all men weaker than himself. In combat, the knights, like the samurai and the Rajputs, were supposed to display valour and fight honourably (Heuser 2010: 47). In reality, the knights during war in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries indulged in chevauchees (raids) which involved burning villages, pillaging, murdering, and raping women (Lynn 2003: 85). Heike Monogatari, in a nutshell, tells the story of a tyrant’s (Taira no Kiyomori [1118–1181]) cruelty and overweening pride, his death and the final destruction of his Taira house (Kiyomori’s extended family). The tyrant was challenged by the Genji clan under Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147–1199). The storyline is punc­ tuated with dramatic and tragic episodes. The most valorous battlefield behaviour was beheading an opponent and the samurai who succeeded in performing such an act was rewarded with land (Heike 2014: xix–xx). The Tale of the Heike reflects, in part, the influence of Hindu mythology. For instance, we find the influence of

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Hinduism’s karma theory. The assumption is that a human is born and reborn again and again. This is because the soul is indestructible and it only changes body with time. The present life of an individual is shaped by his/her actions in the past life and actions in the present life will shape his/her future lives. The righteous emperor following the tenets of Buddhism, says Heike, emphasises that he cared not much for worldly pleasures and rule on the earth but wants to follow the tenets of Buddha. After all, secular power is like a few particles of grain. The emperor notes that if he succeeds in this task then he is sure to be reborn again on earth with higher status (Heike 2014: 700). Here, the theory of karma is fused with Buddhism’s diktat of emperors (like Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Dynasty) renouncing the world and instead of digvijaya (world conquest/temporal conquest) following the path of dhammavijaya (spiritual conquest). In the early Buddhist literature of ancient India, like Digha Nikaya (350 BCE), there are two rulers on earth. One is the cakkavatti who conquers the world and the other is the dharmika dhammaraja (righteous king) who rules according to morality (Singh 2017: 35). Both these two ideas complement and supplement each other in maintaining balance on earth. Then again, we find Hindu gods and Hindu demons coming up in the Heike Monogatari. Combat between the force of the righteous emperor and the army of hostiles (evils) is compared with the day-and-night-long contest between the Hindu gods under the leadership of Indra against the ashuras (demons) from the netherworld who were creating chaos on earth. Ashuras were the mythological demons against whom the Hindu gods battled to save heaven, earth and patal (underworld). Indra is the king of heaven and the god of war in the Hindu pan­ theon. The powerful and virile god Indra drinks soma (liquor) and throws his thunderbolt at his enemies who howled in pain (Heike 2014: 702; Singh 2017: 22). The Taiheiki is the longest war tale, exceeding the length of Heike Monogatari by about a third. The Taiheiki was composed over a long period of time, starting from the 1340s, and its 40 books were written and compiled by a great number of people. Overall, the Taiheiki was composed at the same time as the Heike Mono­ gatari was compiled, i.e. 1371. Like all the Asian great books, no single author can be designated for such works. While some war tales like Hogen Monogatari and Heike Monogatari deal with events of only a few days or weeks (like the Iliad and Mahabharata) and other war tales like Mutsu Waki and the Heike cover a decade or more, the Taiheiki tells the story of half a century (like Ramayana). The Taiheiki has three parts. In part one, the book describes in highly moralistic terms the dis­ ordered condition into which Japan had fallen because of the virtueless rule of the Kamakura Bakufu. And the objective of the imperial restoration is to destroy the ‘eastern barbarians’ (Kamakura clans). The triumph of the imperial force is inevi­ table in the Taiheiki because of its inherent rightness. The role of the unforeseen and contingent is eliminated from the story because the story follows a moral line and morality wins because it is good and not due to chance and accidents. But imperial rule did not last long. The Taiheiki paints the image of Emperor Godaigo as an incompetent reactionary. He is thus portrayed for his failure to reward those clans who fought against the Kamakura Bakufu. However, the court

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rewarded its underlings. Further, taxes were imposed for acquiring funds to repair the imperial palace (Varley 1994: 164–5, 167–9, 171). In reality, Godaigo was trying to establish an independent fiscal-military base to reduce his dependence on some of the clans who fought against the Kamakura regime. While Godaigo was trying to build up a statist cohesive bureaucratic framework, the Ashikaga clan favoured the continuation of the bifurcated personalised administration of the lordly estates (Berry 1997: 26). Nan-Taiheiki was written in 1402 by Imagawa Ryoshun (Sadayo), a comman­ der of the Ashikaga forces who played an important role in defeating the south­ ern court’s followers in Kyushu. He himself was a poet and a warrior chieftain. His aim is to correct the views of himself and the Imagawa family during the war as portrayed in the Taiheiki. Ryoshun claims that the Taiheiki favours the imperial side and so he deliberately altered the facts. One may differ with the interpreta­ tion, but as a historical source, the Taiheiki is more reliable than other war tales. The early medieval war tales like the Hogen, Heiji and Heike all evolved during long periods of textual development from ki (quasi-historical chronicles) to monogatari (tales). Under the influence of the tale singers, their original, chron­ ologically arranged formats were altered by the insertion of stories and other embellishments and were further obscured by the deletion of much of the dating of their passages and chapters. The Taiheiki did not undergo such alterations because it was not used by the tale singers. Hence, it was not textually remoul­ ded. The Taiheiki chronicle remained a ki, and the chronological progression of its passages and chapters are identified by the frequent use of dates (Varley 1994: 169–71). Japanese military culture registered some shifts during the Mongol invasions. During the thirteenth century CE, writes one author, the classic combat culture focused on single combat with individual mounted armoured warriors charging each other and aiming to kill with a single sword stroke. After all, the warriors were more interested in head-hunting prior to the fourteenth century. Cutting off the head of a dead enemy soldier was considered the most valorous deed for the samurai warrior (Shackley 2007: 409). Actually, the reality was complex and messy. The Japanese executed all the Mongol prisoners, partly because of Mongol brutality towards the captured Japanese (both military and civilian). After the failed Mongol invasion in 1274, the Japanese emphasised field fortifications and positional defence. Stone walls were constructed along the beaches. Further, during the fighting against the Mongols, some sort of tactical doctrine for conducting battle emerged among the samurai commanders. While one group of horsemen attacked the Mongols from the front, a reserve cavalry contingent attacked them from the rear (Divine Intervention 2001: 68, 267–70). There is evidence that both the Mina­ moto and the Taira clan warriors knew about Sun Tzu’s book (Sun Tzu 1963: 170). And the Japanese warrior chieftains, like Sun Tzu and Kautilya, were acutely aware of the crucial relationship between the deployment of force and the nature of the terrain in which combat was going to be staged. During the 1274 Mongol invasion, one document by commander Takezaki Suenaga noted: ‘Just at that time,

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we heard that the foreign pirates [Mongols] had set up camp at Akasaka … As Akasaka has poor terrain, you should pull back here. When the enemy attacks, as they most certainly will, bear down on them, firing at once’ (Divine Intervention 2001: 23). The core of the Mongol ground force consisted of horse archers. Speed and mobility gave the Mongol Army its lethality. The Japanese deliberately chose rough terrain which obstructed the Mongol cavalry’s mobility. Further, the Mongol cavaliers were famous for shooting from horseback. The Japanese warriors also emphasised training to counter the horse archery of the Mongols. The samurai trained intensely and practiced shooting dogs and other animals from galloping horses (Divine Intervention 2001: 23). Further, the Mongols were deliberately termed as pirates in the documents in order to delegitimise them in the eyes of the Japanese. In 1552, Oda Nobunaga (1534–1582) hit upon a tactical innovation. While marching out of Nagoya near the riverbank at Inabaji, Nobunaga divided his army into three detachments. These three detachments had orders to advance against the enemy simultaneously from three different directions (Gyuichi 2011: 66). Religion was a key component of the samurai martial culture. The destruction of two Mongol fleets by two typhoons which occurred in 1274 and 1281 at North­ ern Kyushu resulted in the spread of a belief that the typhoons were a kamikaze (divine wind) sent by the Shinto gods and Buddha to protect Japan during national emergencies (Varley 1994: 161; Divine Intervention 2001: 272). The belief in kami­ kaze would reappear during the later stages of the Second World War when Japan was threatened by an American invasion. Before the Imjin War, Buddhism and Confucianism (as developed in the Han and Tang times) dominated the worldview of the Japanese, but Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616), when establishing the Edo Bakufu in place of the Toyotomi regime, introduced a package of reforms. To legitimise his rule, he used neo-Confucian ideology based on the teachings of Zhu Xi (1130–1200 CE). Many scholars from Korea introduced and popularised neo-Confucianism among the Japanese ruling class. Korea developed printers with moveable metal parts two centuries before Germany came up with such a machine in 1450. These printing machines made possible the production of a large number of books dealing with neo-Confucian ideology. The large-scale circulation of these books resulted in the smooth dis­ semination of this ideology in Japan. One author asserts that the dominance of a common ideology, i.e. neo-Confucianism, in both Korea and Japan, resulted in peaceful relations between these two countries for two centuries after 1603 (Bong 2015: 323–31). By the seventeenth century, the idea spread that the sword was the soul of the samurai. In the Tokugawa period (1603–1868), different schools specialising in various types of martial arts known as ryuha emerged. The different schools gen­ erated scrolls describing the techniques and training methods, as well as religiousphilosophical ideas influenced by neo-Confucianism and Buddhism. These martial arts texts highlight mental consciousness, the correct mental state a warrior had to develop in order to fight his opponent. The culture of self-cultivation was a byproduct of neo-Confucianism. Few warriors were firm believers of Zen Buddhism.

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The literary composition of the martial arts scrolls, which were written in a vague and ambiguous style, was influenced by Zen priests. The focus was on developing highly stylised postures, ways of fixing the eyes, etc. (Hurst 2007: 187–97). Mastery of the traditional Japanese martial arts was known as bugei. Bugei had three components: strategy (offensive or defensive), skill and tactics. Mastery of bugei, it was assumed, cannot be conveyed by overt explanation, but must be experienced directly. Consequently, the role of the teacher in the bugei tradition was not that of a lecturer or conveyor of information, as in the Western tradition, but was a model and guide/guru. In emphasising ritualised pattern practice and minimising analytical explanation, the bugei masters blended ideas and techniques from two models: Confucianism and Zen. The Zen tradition focused on mind-to­ mind transmission. It stressed the student’s own experience over explicit verbal or written explanations. The students were encouraged to use their power of obser­ vation, analysis and imagination while performing such tasks. Confucian pedagogy was infatuated with rituals and ritualised action. Confucianism believed that through action and practice, humans fashioned conceptual categories to compre­ hend and order the chaos of actual reality. Rituals that involved sequential struc­ tured experience allowed one to gain wisdom and understanding, the path to knowledge and truth. The right kind of experience allowed one to gain the right type of understanding. Neo-Confucianism emphasised investigating the abstract through the concrete and the general through the particular, and the requirement for unifying knowledge and action. Copying the actions of the old masters and learning to imitate them enabled the students, ran the assumption, to learn and absorb the secrets and principles inherent in the past masters’ techniques. Through such imitations, the students made them part of their own and passed them on to later generations. Thus, the bugei students focused on ritualised duplication of the actions of the past masters (Friday 2007b: 199–211). This sort of obtuse martial culture developed because at that period the Tokugawa warriors did not have to engage in bloody and messy battles either inside or outside Japan. Can we say that the culture of the samurai as described above made them tech­ nologically backward? Against the Mongols, the Japanese, besides using complex tactics, also used hand grenades and other explosive devices. The Japanese probably manufactured such weapons by copying captured Mongol fire weapons. Handguns were introduced in Japan by the Portuguese. In the Sengoku Period (circa 1460–circa 1560), though handguns were available, the family histories of the samurai noted that battles were won or lost by cavalrymen equipped with lances (Takagi 2007: 126). It would be erroneous to argue that the ‘backward’ military culture of the samurai was responsible for not using guns. The arquebus was first introduced in Japan in 1542 and spread rapidly. In 1549, Oda Nobunaga’s infantry used match­ locks. In the 1570s these handguns were used by both infantry and sailors (Minúng 2015: 122). The Battle of Nagashino (1575) did not generate adequate proof in the mind of the Japanese war leaders that firearms were technologically superior com­ pared to the bows and arrows used by their soldiers. The laborious process of

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loading and charging the sixteenth-century hand-held firearms gave the gunpow­ der-equipped infantry a slower rate of fire compared to the men equipped with traditional bows and arrows. Akira Kurosawa’s movie Kagemusha (1980) wrongly portrays that Takeda’s cavalry charge was wiped out by Oda Nobunaga’s musketequipped infantry. In reality, both parties had handguns. In Kurosawa’s defence, it can be said that he was under no obligation to portray history. Cultural studies experts who argue that films should be used as a source of history need to be careful. In reality, Nobunaga’s musketeers, sheltering behind the stockades, poured withering fire against the attacking Takeda cavalry and infantry musketeers. Victory in this battle went to the side which took position behind the field fortifications. The two crucial ingredients for victory were field fortifications and the technique of tactical defence in the battlefield (Kleinschmidt 2007: xvi–xvii; Ferejohn and Rosenbluth 2010: 15). In fact, in the West, the Elizabethan army of England during the second half of the sixteenth century shifted towards a musket-equipped infantry instead of longbow-equipped infantry for the simple fact that it was quicker and cheaper to train the peasants with muskets compared to the longbow. And late medieval England, unlike premodern Japan and India, had no tradition of deploying the lethal mounted bowmen (Roy 2015: 59–87). However, when suitable, the Japanese warlords, like their medieval Indian counterparts, used fire-spewing weapons. In 1598, Hideyoshi used cannons to smash the castles of his enemies. Once Hideyoshi had defeated his enemies, he deliberately disarmed the population to prevent any potential internal uprising. Nevertheless, when the strategic-tactical context required, the Japanese used handguns, especially against external enemies. For instance, in 1592, when Hide­ yoshi mobilised 150,000 troops against Korea, a large number of Japanese infantry were equipped with handguns, which gave the Japanese a psychological as well as a physical advantage over their Korean enemies, at least in the initial stage of the Imjin War (Swope 2009: 71, 75–6). After the Imjin War, any further intervention in Korea or China was not on the cards. And no foreign power threatened Japan until the arrival of Commodore Perry in the mid-nineteenth century. In the era of splendid isolation, the Japanese strategic managers had no reason to maintain costly gunpowder armies and a ‘Blue Water Navy’. There was no further strategic requirement for Japan to maintain and develop gunpowder technology and big ships (Stavros 2013: 243–61). Shogun Iyemitsu in 1636 banned shipbuilding (Bonar 2000: 62). The shoguns were prob­ ably afraid that even overseas commercial exchange might result in the infusion of new ideas, which would undermine the ideological base of the shogunate. In addition, intrusion of liquid capital and the rise of a merchant class was bound to destabilise feudal society. And in such a scenario, the samurai, as well as the shogun, had much to lose. According to Mary Elizabeth Berry, during the mid-sixteenth century, the urban residents of Kyoto learnt the art of insurrection, demonstration and negotiations with authority. A sense of self-awareness spread among the townsfolk in an era of anxiety and public insecurity. The richer sections of the townsfolk challenged the shogun’s authority to extract financial privileges from

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them. The horizontal ties of proprietorship and patronage were challenged due to the vertical ties crafted by the townsmen along lines of class and wealth (Berry 1997: xxii, 56, 59). The Edo shoguns had reason not to encourage overseas trade and commerce which would further enrich and strengthen the urban dwellers against the feudal samurai-centred authoritarian structure. Further, it must be noted that in Mughal India the spread of firearms and light artillery in the countryside during the seventeenth century increased the scope and frequency of peasant­ zamindar rebellions. This accelerated the agrarian crisis and hastened the downfall of the Mughal Empire in the first half of the eighteenth century (Khan 2004: 164–204). One might speculate that musket-equipped infantry (both peasants and urban dwellers) could have posed a serious threat to the sword-equipped mounted samurai. And the rebel samurai leading musket-equipped retainers supported by field artillery might have overthrown Edo Shogunate rule. Better to eliminate all gun­ powder weapons from the military equation. Rather, the stylised samurai combat ethos, which could not pose a dire threat to the Edo Bakufu, suited the shoguns. However, some samurai secretly became acquainted with the theory and practice of gunpowder war. In the seventeenth century, many master gunners set up their schools and wrote manuals. These manuals dealt with the issues of taking aim, loading the guns, targeting and different kinds of guns and bullets that were to be used. From the Dutch, the Japanese tried to learn the parabolic trajectory of Galileo Galilei (his Discourses was published in 1638) and Newton’s mechanics. Some samurai also tried to learn about gunnery from China (Itakura and Itakura 2000: 65–91). However, in the absence of consistent state support, such individual initiatives remained disconnected and soon fizzled out. What were the dominant elements of samurai military thought in the age of peace/stasis? Hayashi Razan (1583–1657), a neo-Confucian, wrote a critical com­ mentary on the 13 chapters of Sun Tzu’s work. Razan’s An Explanation of Sun Tzu’s Maxims appeared in 1626. The Seven Military Classics of China was printed in Japan in 1606. Yamaga Soko (1622–1685), a student of Razan, wrote several essays on bushido and Principles of Sun Tzu’s Maxims. During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, another two commentaries on Sun Tzu were written by Arai Hakuseki and Ogyu Kokujikai. Arai was appointed as a senior advisor of the shogun in 1709 (Sun Tzu 1963: 173–75). The Honcho Bugei Shoden is a work on traditional Japanese martial arts which was written by Hinatsu Shirozaemon Shigetaka and published in 1716. Hinatsu starts by saying that the relationship between cultural arts and martial arts is like that between night and day, or yin and yang (influence of ancient Chinese classics). The Honcho Bugei Shoden further comments that for administering a fief or ruling a country, a combination of military and cultural arts is necessary. This manual focused on archery, horsemanship, swordsmanship, skill with spears, armed close combat and also unarmed close combat. Archery and swordsmanship were divided into two categories: ceremonial and military (Rogers 2000: 167–75). Buddhism in India was regarded as a religion of peace and it remained apolitical, but in the Far East, Buddhism was used by the strategic managers to build up

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a centralised state and also as a technique for military mobilisation of the people. Nevertheless, at times, religion also encouraged anti-establishment uprising. One example was the Lotus Uprising of 1536 in Japan, led by the urban mob against the samurai. Kyoto became a battleground and many temples belonging to the Lotus sectarians were burnt down (Berry 1997: 60). Again, the ninjas in Hollywood movies, science fiction stories and in the comics are portrayed as elite warriors with special skills. In the fictional story titled ‘Three Sparks’ by Larry Correia, an elite samurai warrior named Nasu Hiroto, displaying extraordinary bravery and stealth, was able to kill an alien (Predator) who was stalking medieval Japan. The grateful shogun gave him the status of ninja (super soldier) and he was ordered to set up an intelligence agency to kill enemies of the state secretly (somewhat like CIA and SWAT teams) (Correia 2017: 283–309). Actually, the ninjas (literal meaning hidden people) who emerged in the sixteenth century were subaltern warriors from Iga province. It is strange how anti-establish­ ment subaltern rebels acquired the status of super-elite soldiers like the latter-day Waffen SS. The farmers of Iga organised themselves under the Buddhist monks to protect the region from outside threats. The latter included both bandits and war­ lords’ armies. The ninja warriors took advantage of the mountainous terrain, some­ what like the Swiss cantons, to defeat the extra-regional forces, who lacked detailed knowledge of the difficult terrain. The ninjas practiced ninjitsu techniques (stealth, deception, treachery and ambushes) to defeat the numerically superior outside forces. For fighting to defend the locality, the Buddhist monks offered the armed subaltern villagers the status of samurai. Similarly, those thakurs and their retainers who fought the Turks were given the status of Rajputs by the Brahmin priests. Thus, military service functioned as a channel for upward mobility in several communities. In the end, Oda Nobunaga’s superior organisational skill enabled him to defeat the muchvaunted ninjas, who were then recruited by the shoguns as personal guards and intelligence operatives until 1745 (Souyri 2010: 110–23). During the Japanese invasion of Korea between 1592 and 1598 (the Imjin War), once the regular Korean Army was defeated, guerrilla bands emerged sponta­ neously among the Koreans. The guerrilla leaders, in most cases, were Confucian scholars and government officials (Masayuki 2015: 142). State-sponsored rituals were part and parcel of the militaristic culture promoted by the government in order to mobilise society for war and also to legitimise state power. To give an example, the Ming generals introduced the Guan Yu cult in Korea in the late 1590s. Guan Yu was a militaristic deity and shrines were constructed for worshipping him (Eiji 2015: 296). Literary production was another mechanism for valorising and legitimising war. Literature shapes the beliefs, actions and history of a community. The Tokugawa ideal, like that of ancient China, was that a warrior should possess both learning and valour. Hence, many samurai styled themselves as poet-generals. Some samurai also became historians and poets (Steenstrup 2000: 1–2). A classic example is Yamamoto Tsunetomo, who authored Hagakure (The Book of the Samurai). After the death of his master Nabeshima Mitsushige (the daimyo of

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Saga Prefecture) in 1700, Tsunetomo wanted to commit harakiri (suicide by ritual disembowelment) but changed his mind and became a Buddhist monk. Between 1710 and 1716, Tsunetomo’s musings were collected by a young samurai, Tashiro, and he wrote the book titled Hagakure. The book notes that ‘The Way of the Samurai is found in death’. Hagakure continues: ‘A man is a good retainer to the extent that he earnestly places importance in his master. This is the highest sort of retainer’ (Hagakure 2012: 3–4). Hagakure overlooks the fact that Nabeshima Naoshige, the founder of the Nabeshima clan, changed sides during the Battle of Sekigahara (1600). Initially, Nabeshima sided with Tokugawa and then joined Toyotomi. So much for a samurai’s undying loyalty for their lord. After the sup­ pression of the Shimabara Rebellion (1638), the samurai did not participate in large-scale combat. Rather than warriors, they became scholars and focused on weaving the hoary tales of the samurai. Tsunetomo was influenced by Zen Bud­ dhism, and rather than going to war, he composed poetry for his lord Mitsushige. In the book he focuses on archery rather than on gunpowder-equipped infantry. Post-Imjin War, Korea witnessed a massive spurt in literary production. Some examples can be given. In 1600, in Korea, a novel appeared which treated dreams as its subject. The hero of this novel in his dreams meets the grieving ghosts and listens to their stories. This fictional work eulogises loyal and patriotic martyred generals. Another literary work named Imjin nok highlights the emergence of a national spirit in Korea and its superiority over the barbaric Japanese (Gwan 2015: 345).

Women and samurai culture The hypermasculine male identity of the samurai, knights and Rajputs required the construction of a powerless feminine identity for the women. For the French nobility, writes one author, warfare was a way of life. They could display their manliness and dignity by engaging in external war and civil conflicts. Combat enabled them to display honour, bravery and valour (Sandberg 2010: xvi). Riding a horse, fighting and feuding plus lovemaking were the three elements that con­ stituted the hyper-aggressive male masculine ethos of the samurai. The samurai, especially in the Tokugawa period, like the Pathans of the Indus region, pursued blood feud. Pursuing vendetta became a sort of legal revenge and honourable in samurai cultural code. For instance, a vassal was supposed to avenge his suzerain’s death; otherwise the vassal was despised. Similarly, a samurai was bound to avenge the murder of his family members by killing the murderers as well as their family members, even if the latter were innocent. Executing women provided no honour to the samurai. Legal revenge became outdated by law only in 1873 (Dautremer 2000: 121–8). Women, in contrast, were supposed to be obedient and peace loving. In Japan, as the samurai rose to power, the prestige and status of women declined. The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu was written in the eleventh century. This novel, following the top-down approach, portrays aristocratic courtly life of

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medieval Japan at its best. The author herself is a middle-grade provincial aristocrat. Murasaki, renowned for writing fiction and composing poetry, was unquestionably a remarkable woman. Women were the chief audience of prose fiction in medieval Japan. Its aim was to entertain, and some of the tales had elements of real experi­ ences which these women underwent. We can say that such novels actually reflected the way these women saw the world. The hero of this tale is Genji, the Shining Prince, the son of the Japanese Emperor. Genji is equally powerful both in battles and in bed. He wins combat as well as beautiful women. Despite the overwhelming presence of the handsome, charming and valorous hero, the novel devotes much space to the feelings and experiences of the women and their ulti­ mate fates. Genji suffers from what could be termed as a ‘mother complex’. He falls in love with Fujitsubo (his father’s future empress) because she looks like his mother. After Fujitsubo’s death, Genji is able to put an end to the mother fixation. The romantic novel reads like a thriller. Genji, like the Rajput hero king Prithviraj Chauhan, is adventurous and, like a modern-day James Bond, cannot resist making love, even with the daughter of his chief political enemy. Prithviraj’s career has been described in detail in Chapter 5. At times, Genji is paid back in his own coin. When he is away, his Third Princess makes love with her ex-lover. Genji’s bed was warmed by many women, but his real love was Murasaki (Fujitsubo’s niece, not the author). After Murasaki’s death, Genji retires to a temple (Murasaki 2006: ix–xx). That the samurai constituted a closed caste is evident in The Tale of Genji. Like the low castes of medieval Hindu India, low-born men and women were expendable in medieval Japan. In The Tale of Genji we read: ‘As for the lowborn, they hardly matter’ (Murasaki 2006: 21). Taiho Ritsuryo (701 CE) and Yoro Ritsuryo (718 CE), modelled on the Chinese Confucian civil code, abolished the matriarchal system of clan organisation and introduced the principle that the child takes the father’s name. These codes set up the patriarchal system by discriminating against women with regard to property, marriage and divorce. Not only laws, but literary productions also strengthened the wife’s subjugation in particular, and women’s subordination in general to their male counterparts. A collection of Buddhist moral tales called Shasekishu written about 1279 by a Zen priest named Muju (1226–1312) portrays the message that a virtuous wife should be totally subordinate to the husband. This was a far cry from Genji’s women. Another tale drives the message that the samurai could divorce his wife at will, but the wife had no right to divorce her husband. For upward mobi­ lity in the social and military scale, the samurai often discarded their wives like old clothes. Further, the samurai had the right to keep mistresses in addition to their wife. During the Muromachi period (1392–1490), women lost their right to property. This was partly due to constant war and the unsettled political conditions which also prevented administering the family estates without military assistance (Ackroyd 2000: 129–41). And military force was an all-male organisation. How­ ever, compared to the females of the feudal class, the women of the Japanese merchant class enjoyed greater personal and economic rights and often inherited their families’ business enterprises (Tonomura 2007: 92).

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The status of a male declined if he failed to protect his women. After all, one important qualification of martialness was to act as protector of the dependent and powerless females. The Choson (Korean) ruling elite promoted stories of virtuous female resistance to suppress the fact that many women of the upper classes were raped. The humiliation of the respected lineages was thus brushed under the carpet to re-establish their social status and solicit deference from the lower classes that allowed upper-class domination to continue (Lewis 2015: 6). The fictional litera­ ture generated after the Imjin War in Korea emphasised the Confucian notions of filial piety, loyalty and virtuous womanly behaviour. As in the case of the Second World War, during the Imjin War also, the Japanese troops engaged in collective rape of Korean women. Not only the Japanese soldiers but Ming (officially an ally of Korea) soldiers and occasionally Korean men taking advantage of the public disorder also raped Korean women. The didactic literary works reiterated that, faced with rape, a virtuous woman should commit suicide. The objective was to cultivate such norms of behaviour among the common mass. The literature generated under the Rajputs also emphasised Rajput manliness in attempting to save their women and country from the Muslim invaders. And if the heroic men failed, then the option for the Rajput women was jauhar rather than becoming bedfellows of the Muslim invaders. One such work is Malik Muhammad Jaisi’s poem Padmavati, composed in the first half of the sixteenth century. Padma­ vati is a historical romantic poem with a tragic ending. The poem describes Alauddin Khalji, the Sultan of Delhi, attacking Mewar, a state in Rajasthan. Alauddin demanded the Queen of Mewar, Rani Padmavati. If Ratansen, the King of Mewar, fails to deliver Padmavati, then, Alauddin screamed, Mewar will be crushed. Ratansen replies that he would die fighting rather than voluntarily offer his ‘lotus lady’ (beautiful queen) to the mlechcha (unclean) invader. In the ensuing battle, Ratansen falls and before Alauddin can grab her, the tragic heroine Padmavati burns herself on a funeral pyre (Padmavati 2012). Alauddin Khalji, the Sultan of Delhi (r. 1296–1316), actually attacked Chittor the capital of Mewar in 1303 to grab both the kingdom and the queen. And the latter committed suicide when the Sultanate Army, after killing the ruler Ratansen, was on the point of entering Chittor Fort. Unfortunately, nothing much has survived about the voice of the women of premodern India; however, we have some evidence about the voice of the females from medieval China. During the Ming-Qing transition, suicide poems were written by women who were captured or abducted by soldiers and bandits. One scholar says that these poems and their short prefaces can be taken as their abbre­ viated autobiographies (Fong 2009: 276). Back in medieval India, when Alauddin Khalji attacked Devagiri (1296), the two daughters of the king and the latter’s sister escaped inside the palace to avoid being burnt alive on funeral pyres. And the Queen of Devagiri was quite satisfied when Alauddin took her to his harem. In the end, mother, two daughters and their paternal auntie, all four ended up in Alaud­ din’s harem. One can surmise that for these women marital rape was a better option than being burnt alive for the sake of male honour. Interestingly, India’s first prime

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minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in his account of the history of India, writes that it was better for these noblewomen to commit jauhar (sati) than being forced to the bed of the victors. Those women who were recognised as virtuous by the Korean state got material benefits for their families, i.e. remission of taxes, etc. Some men who had lost their wives due to the Japanese invasion falsely claimed that their wives had heroically committed suicide, rather than allowing them to be violated by the Japanese. At times, the regime constructed gates in honour of the virtuous women. Why was the issue of rape so important for the ruling elite? In the Qing novels, female chastity and male political loyalty to the ruler are fused. This notion probably spread to Korea also. Further, Confucian ethos required that virtuous women should commit suicide rather than being raped in order to preserve the purity of the lineages. After all, rape of the women’s bodies was equated with rape of the country by the invaders. During the Manchu invasions of Korea (1627, 1636–37) when women again became victims of physical violations, the Korean regime played the card of virtuous women (Pettid 2015: 357–77).

Conclusion The centralised kingdom in Japan disintegrated for good in the eleventh century CE. This made possible the rise of the samurai who fused control over land with command of the warriors. From circa 1200 CE onwards, various decentralised polities (shogunates) came into existence. The shoguns maintained the fiction of imperial rule in order to legitimise their authority. These federal polities could only exercise some control over the samurai, but could not destroy them root and branch. Even the so-called Gunpowder Revolution failed to uproot the samurai dominance in the body politic and military landscape of Japan. Samurai culture was not an autonomous agent but the product of material reality. Religion functioned as a mobilising force for conducting both regular and guerrilla war. Religion and the geographical peculiarities of the country gave birth to the samurai culture which in turn shaped the dynamics of warfare in Japan. The principal characteristics of the samurai military culture was constant feuding among the various clans under the loose supervision of central government. Why did this continuous infighting persist among the samurai? This was probably because of a shortage of land. For an ambitious samurai seeking glory and riches, the only way to gain name and fame was to defeat fellow samurai and acquire their landed properties. When Hideyoshi united Japan, he realised the only way to stop clan infighting breaking out was to direct the energies of the samurai towards foreign conquest: hence the invasion of Korea in 1592. Once the Korean invasion failed, the Toyotomi regime collapsed and under the Edo Bakufu, the samurai again dominated Japan. This trend continued till the Meiji Restoration (1868) which wiped out the samurai and, as portrayed in Chapter 9, resulted in the emergence of a modern capitalist state in Japan, thus ushering in a new era.

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7 WEHRMACHT REBORN IN ZION? Arab-Israeli military thought

Introduction The creation of the Israeli polity after the Second World War transformed the strategic scenario in West Asia. The Palestinian Arabs became refugees and got the support of the neighbouring Arab states. The Palestinian issue remains the cardinal bone of contention between the Zionist polity and its neighbouring Arab states. The mid-twentieth century further witnessed the decline of British and French influence in West Asia, and in their place the USSR and USA became the big outside players. While the USSR courted the Arab countries, the USA was more aligned to Israel. This constitutes the grand strategic matrix against which the ArabIsraeli conflicts unfolded. Between 1947 and 1980, the Arab coalition waged sev­ eral conventional wars against Israel, and in each of them the Arab states were defeated. From the 1980s, for Israel, the conventional threat from the Arab states has been replaced with a low-intensity threat posed by the Islamist insurgents. The nuclear issue remains on the backburner. This chapter examines the sources of military thought of Israel and its enemies. I enquire how far religion has shaped the strategic doctrines of both parties. Can we speak about the Arab-Israeli conflict as a clash between Islam and Zionism? Besides proclamations and writings of the Israeli and Arab civilians and military leaders, analysis of Israeli-Arab conventional and unconventional warfare throws light on the military thought of these two hostile parties.

Israel’s strategic doctrine Strategic doctrine can be defined as a body of ideas regarding a polity’s national security problems. From its inception, Israel has been threatened by Arab hostility. From the other perspective, the presence of a Zionist state in Islamic land con­ stitutes a grave threat for the Muslims. Israel is ringed by a number of hostile Arab

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states whose combined economic and demographic resources are several times larger than those of Israel. In fact, Israeli officials speak of 120 million Arabs against 3.2 million Jews (Ben-Horin and Posen 1981: v, 5). Moreover, the small and narrow Israel lacks strategic depth while some of its enemy Islamic countries, like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, etc., have a geographic advantage. Thus, Israel is aware of the impossibility of achieving any total final victory over its Muslim enemy polities. In 1955, David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel wrote: ‘From our point of view there can never be a final battle. We can never assume we can deliver one final blow to the enemy that will be the last battle, after which there will never be the need for another clash … The situation for our neighbours is the opposite’ (quoted from Handel 1994: 537). In the absence of strategic depth, space cannot be traded for time. Even after the acquisition of territories following several victorious wars, Israel remains a small country. The modern jets and missiles of the neighbouring Arab countries can easily reach any location in Israel. Further, the small manpower base requires the citizen soldiers to be released back to the civilian economy from the military, so Israel has to plan for a short capital-intensive decisive war instead of a long casualty-intensive attritional one. Israel plans to enjoy qualitative superiority over its Arab enemies, and the latter enjoys quantitative superiority against their Zionist enemy state. The scenario is somewhat similar to that of Prussia and Russia during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In order to enjoy quantitative military superiority over its bigger Arab neighbours, Israel, which is more techno­ logically developed, attempted to construct an advanced economy vis-à-vis the ‘backward’ and comparatively poorer Arabs. However, the rise of oil prices from 1973 onwards resulted in the Arabs being able to go for massive modernisation of their armed forces by importing advanced weapon systems on a large scale (Ben-Horin and Posen 1981: v–vi). Israel’s policy has been to deter Arab aggression, and if deterrence fails, then to go for a quick decisive defeat of the enemy states. The Arab coalition, like most of the coalitions in history, has always been politically fragmented and weakened by uncoordinated decision making among the mistrustful partners. In contrast, Israel has a cohesive polity and a quick decision-making apparatus. Further, the central location of Israel vis-à-vis its Arab neighbours and the small size of the Zionist state result in certain geographical advantages. Like pre-1945 Germany, the Israeli armed forces can take advantage of the interior lines and can shift forces from one theatre to another very quickly (Ben-Horin and Posen 1981: vi). Aiming to achieve a quick decisive victory over its Arab enemies is an attempt by Israel to dissuade the former from attempting to destroy the Zionist state. And this requires capture of Arab territories to improve the defensible borders of Israel and as bargaining chips in the post-war negotiations. Further, decisive victory for Israel also means the destruction of as much Arab weaponry and infrastructure as possible in order to make attacking Israel a tougher and costly target for the Arab states. Israel’s offensive military doctrine emphasises pre-emption, speed and manoeuvre (Ben-Horin and Posen 1981: viii).

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However, Israel realises that for military aid it remains dependent on the USA, just as the Arab states (except Saudi Arabia) are dependent on Russia. Both super­ powers have an interest in limiting the Arab-Israeli conflict, so superpower interests constitute a cardinal element of Israeli grand strategy. Complete strategic autonomy is denied to Israel. Several times Israel has felt that it has been cheated of complete victory over its Arab enemies due to US intervention. For instance, the USA cuts off military aid to its allied countries like Israel and Pakistan when the policies of the latter do not suit Washington’s interests. In order to increase its autonomy, Israel has attempted to establish a military industry. At the operational level, Israel’s military has attempted to raise the tempo of operations for achieving quick destruction of the Arab armies before the superpowers could intervene and stop the war (Ben-Horin and Posen 1981: 7, 9). When Israel came into being, military planning was an integral part of statecraft. As part of the state-building strategy, the state ideology took the form of mam­ lakhtiyut, which means Israeli civil religion. Security constitutes a key component of this state religion. Military rituals reached almost a divine status until the 1980s (Peri 2000: 199). Manipulation of religion also became an essential strategy for the construction of national security. Israel’s small manpower base and the acute strategic threat demands military service from all males, and most of the rabbis have devoted their service to this issue. Many rabbis who have extensive military service have generated a corpus of writings which justifies military service even on the part of those males with reli­ gious obligations. The objective of such works is to reconcile the demands of military life with the mandates of traditional religious obligations. These rabbis are reinterpreting traditional religious writings to emphasise the necessity of military service by all Jewish males in Israel. They argue that modern Israel’s wars are Just Wars. One example is Rabbi Shlomo Goren (1917–1994), who was the chief chaplain of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). He reinterpreted King David’s Syrian Campaigns. The argument which he offers is that in Just Wars of Israel, killing enemy soldiers is a necessity and is in accordance with moral-ethical lines laid down in the Bible and in Jewish writings of the Maimonides (the latter can be dated to the twelfth and thirteenth century) (Cohen 2005: 198–213). For the relationship between the rise of Judaism and the origins of Holy War refer to Chapter 1. Rabbi Elazar of Modiin, who lived in Israel during the third century CE, used the Aramaic terms safra and saifa, which mean scroll and sword. These two, he said, came down from heaven tied together. He emphasised that if one observes the torah (divine word of the Bible) then he will be saved from the sword; otherwise that person will be smitten by it. Traditional Zionist scholarship has treated Elazar’s teaching as presenting a contrast between the pursuit of scholarship and martial action. However, modern Zionist readings emphasise that the scroll and the sword are complementary and go together in a symbiotic fashion (Cohen 2000b: 254–5). In modern Israel, facing threats from multiple Islamic polities, such a reading has its appeal. After all, Israel is practically a nation in arms. As Yigal Yadin, who was

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appointed as Chief of Staff in 1949 and created the IDF, had proclaimed: ‘Every civilian is a soldier on eleven month’s annual leave’ (quoted from Luttwak and Horowitz 1983: 79). National security doctrine remains the sphere of the generals. Attempts have been made since 1973 to establish a National Security Council comprising civilians and military experts to formulate grand strategy. This measure is designed to check the monopoly enjoyed by the General Staff of the IDF. However, until 1999, nothing came about (Kimmerling 2000: 218). Like the traditional Prussian General Staff, the IDF’s General Staff remains an over-strong body. Let us now analyse the historical evolution of Israeli security thinking.

Origins The IDF was officially established on 27 June 1948. The Jewish Haganah force had been, by then for six months, fighting a war against the Arab guerrillas. They were reinforced by Arabs from the neighbouring Islamic countries like Egypt, Transjor­ dan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. The roots of the Haganah can be traced back to the late nineteenth century when, under Ottoman occupation, the Jewish population organised local cells for self-defence. The Jews realised that under Ottoman rule they could not expect a fair deal (Allon 1975: 337). The first Jewish settlement, Mikveh Israel, was founded in 1870 when there were only 25,000 Jews in Palestine. Later, some other fortified villages like Gedera, Hadera, etc. were established, and were known as moshavot. These villages were regularly attacked by Bedouin marauders. Yigal Allon, who later commanded the Palmach (the commando corps established in the 1940s), and himself a product of the moshavot, asserted that the settlers of these fortified villages thought in nation­ alist terms and considered their villages as forward settlements that later would blossom into a Jewish state. The first Jewish self-defence force was called the Shomrim (watchmen). Some of the founding members of this force were immi­ grants from Hungary. The personnel of this self-defence force were farmers, day workers, etc. The rise of anti-Jewish sentiment in czarist Russia from the 1880s intensified the growth of national consciousness among the Jews. Many Jews in Ukraine organised self-defence units and later they immigrated to Palestine (Schiff 1987: 1–2). In September 1907, a secret body of self-defence force was formed by ten men who met in Jaffa. They named this secret organisation Bar-Giora, after the Jewish warrior who fought against the Romans in 70 CE. This organisation adopted for its motto the following Biblical epigram: ‘In blood and fire Judea fell and in blood and fire Judea shall arise’ (quoted from Schiff 1987: 2). Meanwhile continuous immigration of Jews and the construction of fortified villages by these refugees also raised the chauvinistic national consciousness of the Arabs. The Arabs of Palestine dubbed the Jews as walad el-mita (the children of death). In April 1909, Bar-Giora decided to establish a bigger self-defence organi­ sation, which came to be known as Hashomer. The personnel of this organisation mainly came from the immigrants who started coming from 1904 until the First

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World War. Mostly they were East European Jews. Young men among them wanted to break out of ghetto life and establish a national state tinged with socialist ideals. A similar line of thought influenced the Haganah in the 1930s, Palmach in the 1940s and the Nahal Brigade of the IDF in the 1980s. The Hashomer, instead of a purely defensive strategy of guarding the Jewish villages, followed an offensive strategy. It undertook retaliatory policy against the Arab raiders who targeted Jewish settlements. They received support from the Jewish diaspora in Russia, which provided them arms and funds to compensate the families of those Jews who died in the national cause of liberation. During the First World War the Hashomer proposed to the Ottoman authorities the formation of a local Jewish militia. However, the Ottoman authorities rejected this proposal and Hashomer was out­ lawed. Many Jews exiled from Palestine by the Ottomans stayed in the refugee camps in Egypt. Here, two Russian Jews (Zeév Jabotinsky, a journalist from Odessa, and Joseph Trumpeldor, an ex-officer of the czarist Army) actively pro­ moted the idea of establishing Jewish battalions for fighting with the British Army for liberating Palestine from the Ottoman Empire. A Zion Mule Corps of 650 men was established and served at Gallipoli. Later this unit was disbanded (Schiff 1987: 2–4). The British Empire at this stage was not too eager to support the concept of a Jewish homeland in Palestine for fear of alienating Arab support in the Middle East. During the 1948–49 Arab-Israeli War, the Israeli force suffered from a shortage of heavy weapons. To increase combat effectiveness, Israeli military doctrine overemphasised spiritual factors: heaza (individual daring), dvekut bamatara (main­ tenance of aim), iltur (improvisation) and tushia (resourcefulness). All these elements later metastasised into the mission-oriented command system of the IDF in the early 1950s (Creveld 1985: 196). One must note that during the Second World War both the Wehrmacht and the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA), in order to over­ come the material superiority of their enemies, focused on spiritual elements to increase the combat effectiveness of their own forces. While the IJA focused on the bushido spirit, the Wehrmacht emphasised improvisation, speed and daring, as well as fingerspitzengefuhl (situational awareness, feelings at the fingertips; sort of intuition) on the part of its officers. In 1948, the Israeli Army of Independence had 100,000 personnel. As the war with the Arab states ended, in the summer of 1949, Israel demobilised most of the 80,000 wartime recruits. For Israel, this war resulted in the death of 4,017 soldiers and more than 2,000 civilians. Many Palmach officers belonged to the left-wing Mapam party. Ben-Gurion and his Mapai party, which was politically dominant, pressurised many such officers to leave the army. The training and indoctrination of Palmach members were infused with the collectivist ideology of left-wing Labour Zionism. The Mapam party believed that military training could not be separated from social and political education (Luttwak and Horowitz 1983: 71–2, 76). Yigal Allon, the wartime commander of Palmach and a member of the Mapam Party, noted: ‘The Palmach included all the pioneer youth movements, which combined their agricultural training for ultimate settlement [on the land] with their military

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training for special battle exploits; at the same time [they] did not segregate or isolate themselves from the rest of their units, but formed a nucleus for the entire force which included masses from the rural settlements’ (quoted from Luttwak and Horowitz 1983: 72–3). Ben-Gurion, then prime minister and also in charge of the defence portfolio, transferred the remaining Palmach officers from combat com­ mands to staff and training commands. The higher echelons of the post-1949 army were filled with loyal members of Mapai and those who were trained in the British Army. Ben-Gurion believed that the Palmach methods were not suited for largescale combat against well-trained regular armies. He was for shaping the IDF into a conventional force in line with the British Army (Luttwak and Horowitz 1983: 73–4). The armistice of 1949 left Israel with more territory than was originally awarded by the UN General Assembly. Still, Israel’s total territory was only 7,993 square miles, and the long, narrow Israel was surrounded by potentially hostile Arab polities with greater demographic resources at their disposal. Israel was therefore forced to come up with the concept of a short mobile war rather than a positional attritional war. In 1950, Israel, with a population of just over one million, could not maintain a large standing army for guarding its frontier. At any one time it could permanently mobilise a maximum of 30,000 conscripts, so the Israelis had to depend on part-time reserves for manning the combat units. Further, the reserves needed to be released to civilian society after the shortest possible time of military service to keep the economy going. Hence, Israel had no other option than to plan for a quick mobile war by its citizen army. The Israeli armed forces are built on a three-tier structure: a small professional cadre of officers and specialist NCOs, a large number of conscripts and a trained civilian reserve (Luttwak and Horowitz 1983: 75–7). In contrast, the demographically rich Arab states are able to maintain large standing armies comprising regular soldiers. Just after signing the armistice agree­ ments in 1949, the Arab leaders repeated their aim of erasing Israel from the face of earth. The Arab states aided cross-border raids which were directed against Israeli civilians and military personnel (Dayan 1967: 11). The Arab strategy was to grie­ vously weaken Israel by a thousand cuts. This strategy is somewhat similar to the Pakistani policy of salami slicing India by encouraging multiple insurgencies inside the border of its neighbour. During the 1947–49 war, the IDF fought an infantry-centric campaign. A small number of tanks and artillery were present and they were used in penny packets. One group of officers within the IDF wanted to use the tanks as infantry support weapons. This lobby also believed that the elitist technology required for an armoured force ran counter to the socialist egalitarian ideals of Israeli society. But the other cabal of officers (one of its advocates was Lieutenant-Colonel Uri Ben Ari) supported the use of massed armour as an independent deep-penetration force supported by a tactical air force. And the operation of the armoured corps and the tactical air force required superbly trained military professionals. Ben-Gurion supported the second lobby (Rothenberg 1979: 66, 99–100), whose doctrine of

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air-ground war has certain similarities with the German Blitzkrieg doctrine. Whether the IDF was influenced by the German concept of mobile war or by the British armour theorist Captain B.H. Liddell Hart is debatable. Moshe Dayan, with a patch on his left eye (looking more like a mafia don than a brilliant military commander), was only 38 years old when he became the IDF’s Chief of Staff. Dayan in the 1950s preached, somewhat like Colonel General Heinz Guderian, that frontal attacks were to be avoided and the Israeli armoured strike units were to advance without caring for their flank or rear area communication security. Dayan emphasised that the Egyptian units would be unable to counterattack or sever the advancing Israeli units’ communications (Rothenberg 1979: 106). Dayan rightly assumed that the Egyptian officers would be unable to comprehend the quickly changing battle scenario and would fail to improvise (Ben-Horin and Posen 1981: 11). This was typically the German line of thought during the two world wars. In order to utilise improvisation amidst the chaos of military operations, the Germans developed Auftragstaktik (mission-oriented decentralised command system) (Samuels 1995). The IDF maintained this mission command system, which enabled it to triumph repeatedly over the numerically superior plodding and slowreacting Arab military forces. In 1978, General Mordechai Gur, the Chief of Staff of IDF, noted that the high command set only the goals of the military operation. Only the general objectives were laid down and the details were left to the formation commanders who confronted the actual reality of battle. The subordinate comman­ ders aimed to achieve the objectives laid down by the IDF’s high command while accepting that in actual combat things would go wrong. However, the subordinate commanders were confident that even if reality was messy and contradictory, they would improvise to achieve their mission. Discipline, teamwork and improvisation were the three integral elements of the IDF’s decentralised command philosophy. Execution of the battle plan depended on a fine balance between the contradictory elements of discipline and improvisation (Creveld 1985: 194–5). Further, Dayan believed in the officers leading from the front and, if necessary, they should become casualties during the firefight (Rothenberg 1979: 93). This trend is opposite to the command style of the US Army’s officer corps during the Vietnam War. The American officers’ failure to lead the men in the battle zone not only made the units combat-shy but also resulted in fragging (Gabriel and Savage 1986). The inability of the Arab armies to wage fast-paced combined-arms manoeuvres was due to their dependence on detailed centralised top-down hierarchical com­ mand and political factionalism among the officer cadres. The political regimes, in order to avoid the probability of military coups, did not encourage large-scale intensive peacetime training manoeuvres. However, from the 1970s, this situation has been somewhat ameliorated (Ben-Horin and Posen 1981: 10–11).

Conventional war Towards the end of 1954, Israel’s security scenario became precarious due to increasing cross-border raids launched under Egyptian supervision and the blockade

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of the Suez Canal by Colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser. The blockade prevented Israel’s export of potash and phosphates to the Far East, which had been a good revenue earner for Israel’s exchequer. In April 1955, the Egyptian General Staff set up fedayin/fedayeen (self-sacrificers) units. They carried out theft, sabotage and murder inside Israel’s borders. The Egyptian objective was to set up fedayeen units in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Egypt signed a deal with Czechoslovakia in September 1955 which resulted in a massive inflow of Soviet equipment. On 19 October 1955, the Joint Egypt-Syria Military Command was established and in October 1956, Jordan also joined it (Dayan 1967: 11–3, 17). Israel’s worst nightmare of an emerging Arab military coalition was becoming a reality. In response, Israel followed the reprisal policy of sending small military units inside Egyptian borders to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. At present, Pakistan sends fedayeen units inside Indian-held Kashmir and the Indian armed forces con­ duct occasional surgical strikes to destroy the bases of the terrorists. Overall, in cross-border raids, the Israeli military units inflicted greater losses on the Egyptians. However, Nasser was unable or unwilling to rein in the fedayeen. This was because Egyptian public opinion, in particular, and Muslim opinion in the Middle East in general would not have tolerated such a move. Fedayeen were regarded in the Arab world as ‘avengers of conquered Palestine’ (Dayan 1967: 16–17). Dayan sums up the Israeli strategic scenario at that time in the following words: ‘This was not yet war, but it certainly was not peace’ (Dayan 1967: 17). The scenario was somewhat similar to war-peace (product of dual policy) as expounded by Kautilya. The strategic scenario worsened further for Israel when its intelligence agencies got news that advance elements of the Iraqi Army were entering Jordan from 14 October 1956 (Dayan 1967: 60). The military balance would have further tilted against Israel if Iraq joined the Egypt-Syria-Jordan alliance. The only option for Israel, agreed the Zionist strategic elite, was to launch a pre-emptive strike against the premier enemy: Egypt. A quick defeat of Egypt would deter Iraq from joining the alliance. Frederick the Great, Schlieffen, and the two Moltkes, along with Hitler, would have agreed with such a summation. This is because Prussia-Ger­ many faced a similar strategic predicament to Israel. Dayan writes about Israel’s military strategy: ‘Our forces will go into action at dusk … and we must complete the capture of Sinai Peninsula within seven to ten days’ (Dayan 1967: 62). He further noted that instead of a frontal attack, the Egyptian military forces should be dislocated and confounded through launching manoeuvre operations, which would bring about the general collapse of the Egyptian military (Dayan 1967: 62–3). Is there a strand of German Bewegunskrieg (fast-paced mobile war) in Dayan’s strategic thought? If Israeli strategic doctrine was inclined towards conducting offensive mobile war, the Egyptian military doctrine was defensive in character and focused on positional perimeter defence. Soviet equipment and doctrine shaped the Egyptian Army from the 1950s. In 1956, the Egyptians, in Sinai, were deployed in selfcontained but isolated hedgehog positions (Rothenberg 1979: 97–8, 123). The defensive plan was somewhat similar to the self-contained but isolated boxes

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prepared by the British Imperial Army at Gazala in April 1942 under LieutenantGeneral Neil Ritchie and General Claude Auchinleck. Like Rommel’s panzers, Israeli armour was able to penetrate to the rear of the enemy resulting in disloca­ tion of the defensive line (Roy 2020: 86–135). During the Sinai campaign (Operation Kadesh) in October 1956, the IDF was organised in self-contained brigades. And the brigade commanders operated more or less independently. Dayan, accompanied by a radio truck, like Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Heinz Guderian, would turn up at the frontline headquarters to observe and advise the brigade commanders. In the words of one noted historian, the IDF’s command under Dayan reflected ‘organised chaos’ (Creveld 1985: 197–8) and it worked very well against the inert Egyptian armed forces’ command which did not display any innovativeness and initiative. The Israeli armoured commanders exploited orga­ nised chaos to the full, just like the armoured knights of Nazi Germany in the heyday of Blitzkrieg. Nevertheless, the Egyptians were learning with time. By the early 1960s, the Egyptian Army, influenced by the Soviet tactical-operational doctrine, was deployed in Sinai in several fortified defensive lines. These defensive lines were flanked by natural obstacles, and behind these lines were deployed armoured units for counterattacking in case of any hostile penetration of the defensive lines. These defensive lines, which blocked the major axis of advance, unlike the selfcontained isolated boxes or hedgehog positions, could not be bypassed by Israeli armour. This defensive system can be termed a ‘sword and shield’ technique. The defensive line was the shield and the armoured units placed behind them con­ stituted the sword (Rothenberg 1979: 123). Theoretically, the shield comprised three layers. The first and outermost layer comprised an artillery fire zone in which Egyptian artillery fire was supposed to decimate advancing Israeli infantry and their soft-skinned vehicles. The advancing Israeli armour would then be left unsupported. The middle layer of the shield was a minefield, which was swept by fire from the Egyptian trench lines behind it. The third and innermost layer of the shield included triple trenches held by infantry equipped with mortars and anti-tank guns, and behind them was divisional artillery which was to fire over the first layer of the shield. Behind the shield was the sword, which had two parts: a small tank force for intercepting the oncoming Israeli armour and behind them a bigger Egyptian tank unit to launch counterattack against any attacking Israeli armour which had broken through the shield (Luttwak and Horowitz 1983: 235). This deployment scheme reminds one of the Soviet forces deployed in various echelons against the attacking Germans on the Eastern Front during 1943. This sword and shield technique is somewhat similar to the Soviet defensive technique at Kursk. At the Kursk bulge in May 1943, the Soviets prepared a series of defensive lines filled with anti-tank guns and infantry. These defensive lines covered all possible approaches through which the German panzers could attack. And behind the defensive lines, the Soviets concentrated armour for conducting rapid counterattack in case the panzers broke through (Glantz and House 1999: 51–78).

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Between 1957 and 1966, the IDF became armour heavy and also underwent mechanisation. The motto was speed and independent action at every level in order to achieve more tempo. General Yitzhak Rabin, Deputy Chief of Staff of IDF in 1960, claimed that the commanders must gather intelligence, process it and issue orders even while on the move. During the Six-Day War (5–10 June 1967), orders were issued on the spot and the commanders depended on short oral orders rather than on detailed written orders that became unrealistic and dated once the bullets started flying. The tactical-operational motto of the IDF, ‘when in doubt attack’, seems to be a leaf taken from Napoleon’s, General Erich Ludendorff’s and Adolf Hitler’s playbooks. Detailed tactical planning was left in the hands of the divisional commanders. On 6 June 1967, Field-Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer ordered the Egyptian Army to retreat. Then the IDF’s general headquarters ordered its advancing units not merely to pursue the defeated Egyptian units but to go around their flanks and position themselves at their rear in order to block their escape route along the Gidi and Mitla passes (Creveld 1985: 198–202). It was similar to a typical pincer operation by the panzers for conducting a kesselschlacht (pocket/cauldron battle). The Egyptian Army melted away. It seems that the Wehrmacht was reborn in Zion. The mindboggling success which the Israelis had due to their armour in the 1967 War gave rise to the wrong perception in the IDF’s mind that tanks could solve all their problems. During the next confrontation, i.e. Yom Kippur War/ Ramadan War or the October War (6–24 October 1973), the IDF’s armoured units suffered huge losses to Egyptian anti-tank missiles. Further, the IDF’s air force had difficulties in overcoming Egyptian ground-based air defence (Demchak 1996: 198). The Israeli Air Force played a marginal role in the decisive ground battles and the main impact of aerial attack was psychological and not physical (Pollack 2005: 472). However, the Israeli military elites derived the wrong lesson from this con­ flict: air power could solve most if not all the problems. According to Defence Minister Moshe Dayan’s account, on 6 October 1973, Israeli intelligence had accurate information that Egypt and Syria would attack Israel in the next few hours. Dayan writes that he rejected the plan of a pre-emptive strike by the Israeli Air Force against the Syrian air bases as it would alienate US support for Israel. Thus, grand strategic requirements shaped operational-tactical plans. Prime Minister Golda Meir partly agreed with Dayan’s recommendations. She decided not to allow a pre-emptive strike by the Israeli Air Force but on the other hand, she, unlike Dayan, agreed to mobilise 120,000 reservists in addition to the regular army. Further, a warning to Egypt and Syria was sent through the USA. Tactically, the Israeli Air Force was unable to operate at night and the SAM-6 batteries supplied by the USSR to Syria and Egypt posed a serious threat to Israeli aviation (Dayan 1978: 464–6). Thus, we see that military technology also shaped the operative functions of a particular branch of the armed service. The military strategy of Israel was, in Dayan’s own words: ‘our objective in this war would be to destroy the enemy forces, not to conquer territory. In any case, even if we did conquer more land, for political reasons we would not be able to hold on to it for long’ (Dayan 1978: 467). This was in contrast to the objectives of the Sinai

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campaign of 1956. In Dayan’s eye, Israel’s occupation of the banks of the Suez Canal and the Golan Heights made an Egyptian-Syrian attack inevitable, so he was in favour of partial withdrawal from these regions. However, the Gaza Strip, Judaea and Samaria for him were integral parts of Israel. The USA, in fact, warned Israel not to start offensive operations against Egypt and Syria, so we see that political factors shaped military strategic objectives. Considering Israel was not following an aggressive offensive policy with a pre-emptive aerial strike and an invasion into enemy territory with its ground force, this war was going to be different. Since politics and the dip­ lomatic matrix demanded a defensive strategy on the part of Israel, Dayan was uneasy. He rightly concluded that the IDF was designed for aggressive combat and it was not a defensive force. This time, the military initiative remained in the hands of the Arabs. At 2.05pm on 7 October 1973, Egypt and Syria started the war. Dayan puts it that the Arab attack came as a surprise but was not unexpected. The IDF was not fully mobilised but neither was it totally unprepared during the start of the Yom Kippur War (Dayan 1978: 467–9). This time Israel was half prepared. During the 1973 war, Israeli military leaders believed that the infliction of maximum casualties on the Egyptians and the Syrians very quickly would deter Iraq and Jordan from participating in this war (Ben-Horin and Posen 1981: 15), and the IDF depended on aircraft, tanks and mechanised infantry for inflicting maximum casualties on the armed forces of Cairo and Damascus. Tactically, the IDF depended on armour, aircraft and strongpoints along the canals to blunt any Egyptian attempt to cross the Suez Canal (Dayan 1978: 470, 480). Egypt’s military strategy during the Ramadan War was to wage a Limited War in order to cause attrition among Israeli armed forces. After being defeated in the previous three wars, Egypt realised that its army could not match the IDF in a fastpaced mobile war, so the Egyptian plan was to cross the Suez Canal and then prepare static defensive strongpoints. Since the IDF was bound to attack the Egyptians, their anti-tank guns and SAMs would take a heavy toll on Israeli armour and aircraft. And in a static positional war, the IDF’s forte in mobile war would not count for much (Barua 2013: 57–93). During the 18-day 1973 Arab-Israeli war, 500 Israeli tanks were destroyed along with 2,000 Arab tanks. The Israeli and Arab armies suffered material losses of 50 per cent in two weeks. This war, with the increase in lethality, improved effec­ tiveness of anti-tank weapons, air defence weaponry, night vision equipment, etc. demanded a new doctrine for the IDF (Stroup and Wong 2000: 152–3). Although after the Yom Kippur War (1973) many commentators claimed that this conflict showed that tanks had become obsolete, the IDF did not agree. Rather, the IDF developed its own main battle tank (MBT) named Merkava. After 1973, the Arab states did not dare to engage Israel in a full-scale conventional war.

The nuclear option The advent of nuclear weapons generated a series of new concepts regarding their probable use and non-use. First, let us clarify some of these concepts. Minimum

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deterrence assumes that deterrence can be achieved with a small number of nuclear warheads sufficient to inflict unacceptable damage on a few cities of the enemy country. In contrast, nuclear weapons play a more variable and extended role in the case of limited deterrence, which means that a state has enough nuclear cap­ abilities to deter conventional, theatre and strategic nuclear war. The objective is to limit damage during the ensuing attacks and match hostile forces at every level. So, while minimum deterrence assumes that the use of nuclear weapons leads to Total War of complete annihilation, limited deterrence assumes that nuclear use can be limited. Further, in accordance with limited deterrence, deterrence is achieved best by increasing the nuclear options (Haynes 2016: 11, 14–15). A more primitive form of minimum deterrence is existential deterrence. It is used by emerging nuclear states. This strategic doctrine assumes that the mere possession of nuclear bombs or even the capacity to make nuclear weapons regardless of its methods of delivery is adequate to deter conventional and nuclear war. While existential deterrence relies on the fear of uncertainty to achieve deterrence, minimum deterrence requires a state to clearly communicate its ability and intent to retaliate. The certainty of retaliation allows for the maintenance of the status quo. This threat of retaliation must be made credible through official statements, demonstrations (bomb and missile tests), military deployments and military exercises involving nuclear weapons. Minimum deterrence requires second-strike capability. The assumption is that deterrence is best achieved by having the capacity to destroy an aggressor (Haynes 2016: 14–15, 23). Maximum deterrence aims at achieving military victory. It requires more weapons than the enemy and advanced forms of command and control. The aim is to have short-range nuclear systems capable of penetrating hostile defences. The target of the nuclear weapons in this type of deterrence is counterforce, i.e. the enemy’s combat force. In contrast, the target of the nuclear weapons of states practicing existential and minimum deterrence is countervalue. Targeting an enemy’s cities is countervalue targeting. By following this technique, a state could use its primitive nuclear arsenal against big stationary targets, which would cause maximum damage to the enemy (Haynes 2016: 14–15, 17) Israel feels that it is threatened by Iran. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 and President Ahmadinejad in 2006 had declared several times that Israel should be wiped off the map. Israel perceives Iran as an existential threat, especially when the latter country is pursuing the technology of producing fissile materials. Once Iran has stocks of adequate weapon-grade fissile materials, then it could start building the nuclear bomb (Cohen 2009: 266). Maybe Khomeini and Ahmadinejad were resorting to bombastic rhetoric. Still, such assertions from the Iranian strategic elite rightly make Israel uneasy. Israel relies on the doctrine of existential deterrence, and developed nuclear capabilities in the 1960s with the help of France. A strong lobby within Israel opposed nuclearisation on the grounds that the diversion of funds for the nuclear programme would seriously weaken Israeli conventional superiority (Evron 1994: 5–6). In the early 1970s, Israel developed nuclear-equipped ballistic missiles. Still,

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Israeli officers do not claim that their country has operational nuclear weapons. But Israel refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and rejects inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (Haynes 2016: 18). Israel is following an opaque (ambiguous) nuclear policy. It will officially neither confirm nor deny the existence of nuclear weapons. Israel’s unique ‘opaque nuclear policy’ is summed up by Israeli scholar Yair Evron as follows: Israel will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East, nor will Israel be the second to introduce them to the region (Evron 1994: viii, 9). Israel’s strategic elites (at least most of them) assume that if Israel openly declares itself a nuclear state then the Arab states (Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran) would follow suit. And since Israel geographically is a small unit, the country lacks wide extensive space to effectively develop second-strike capability. The resulting pro­ liferation of nuclear weapons in West Asia would further destabilise the region. In fact, the absence of Israel’s open declaration also enables the Arab states to avoid the nuclear path. Once Israel becomes a declared nuclear state, then domestic pressure would force the Arab strategic elites to go down the nuclear path (Evron 1994: ix–x, 6). Probably the Arab states know that Israel has nuclear weapons, but by refusing to publicly declare Israel’s nuclear capability, the Arab states are protecting them­ selves from possible Israeli coercive nuclear diplomacy. Diplomatically and indir­ ectly, the Arab states try to block Israel’s nuclearisation. For instance, at the Paris Conference on Chemical Weapons in January 1989, the Arab delegations insisted that any measures restraining the use of chemical weapons should be linked to the issue of nuclear proliferation (Evron 1994: 19–20). Therefore, nuclear opacity on the part of Israel suits the Arab polities as well as Israel. Syria’s strategy under Bashir Assad until the outbreak of the civil war in 2011 was based on a certain set of assumptions. One, Arab demographic superiority neutralises Israel’s nuclear capability (an echo of Mao Tse-tung that nuclear weapons are ‘paper tigers’). Second, in the case of nuclear proliferation or, worse, nuclear attacks, in West Asia, superpowers would intervene. Third, Israeli nuclear capability cannot be translated into battlefield superiority. Fourth, Israeli nuclear weapons will have no effect on the Palestinian struggle as Palestine’s independence would be achieved through guerrilla warfare. Egypt tried to obtain nuclear technology, as well as nuclear guarantees from the USSR, but failed on both counts. Egypt’s strategy is to achieve conventional equality and not superiority over Israel on the assumption that Israeli nuclear weapons are not usable in the battlefield. After the meteoric increase of oil prices in 1973–74, Iraq acquired the economic wherewithal to establish the infrastructure for nuclear technology. But the Israeli attack on the Osiraq reactor on 6 June 1981 put an end to Saddam Hussein’s ambition of acquiring nuclear weapons (Evron 1994: 15–17, 19, 26–8). Among the Arab states, only Iran has been successful to a certain extent. In the 1970s, under the Shah, Iran started building its nuclear infrastructure. The argument that Iran is interested in the peaceful use of nuclear energy is nonsense

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because an oil-rich country does not require nuclear power for economic devel­ opment (Evron 1994: 28). Iran, despite being an Islamic country, like other Islamic countries of Asia (Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, etc.) follows a realist-instrumental policy and not a culturally determined, stealth-oriented, existentialist, symbolicexpressive military strategy as some cultural determinist would make us believe. Iran’s realist-instrumental policy was also evident in its past military strategy as evident from the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88). During this eight-year inter-state conflict, which resulted in more than one million casualties, both Muslim countries pursued conventional military strategy. By 1983, conscription was in full swing in Iran. After 1986, Saddam Hussein ordered air strikes against Iranian cities, the oil industry and the tanker fleet, with the objective of forcing Tehran to negotiate a settlement in favour of Baghdad (Johnson 2011: 123, 180, 184, 192–3). The Allies attempted the same on a larger scale with their strategic bomber fleet engaged in day-and-night bombing against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during the Second World War. Since the Iraqi Army of Saddam Hussein was more capital-intensive than the Iranian force, the Iranian high command depended more on manpower. Hence, the Iranian Army launched human wave assaults against the capital-intensive Iraqi Army just like the resource-poor IJA’s banzai charges against the lavishly equipped US force in the South-West Pacific Islands from 1943 onwards. Tactical doctrine very often was a function of the availability of materials rather than some opaque cultural consciousness. Iran, convinced of its conventional inferiority and inability to attack Israel con­ ventionally due to the geographic setting of the two countries, looks to nuclear weapons for gaining strategic advantage over its Zionist rival. Moreover, the acquisition of nuclear bombs will raise Iran’s prestige not only in the Middle East but also throughout the Islamic world. The acquisition of an Islamic bomb for gaining prestige in the Islamic community (both domestically and internationally) is also a principal driver of the Pakistani nuclear programme. Even if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it will not dare to go for a first strike against the USA or Israel. Iran aims at ‘asymmetric compellance’, meaning that Tehran’s nuclear weapons will deter an attack against Iran by the USA and Israel, and allow the country to sup­ port insurgent groups like Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel (Hagerty 2009: 297). Even before acquiring nuclear weapons, Iran has been following such a policy. If Tehran could acquire nuclear weapons, then its support for the Shia militants in West Asia would exhibit a quantum jump.

Jihad and counterinsurgency From the 1980s, Israel faced an unconventional rather than a conventional military threat from its Muslim neighbours. In 1995, Israel established the Operational Theory Research Institute (OTRI) for educating Israeli commanders. The OTRI’s team of instructors focused on non-military postmodern philosophy in the hope that such education would teach the senior officers to deal with complex changing

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realities. The study of classical strategic thinkers was downplayed at the OTRI. In this institute, the officers were trained more in managerial aspects than in the creative art of war (Kober 2011: 166; Olsen and van Creveld 2011: 7). In the postmodern period, rather than merely warrior spirits, as one author puts it, armed officers are required to be soldier-scholars and soldier-statesmen. The new type of officers ought to be skilled in handling media and have knowledge about the intricacies of international diplomacy (Moskos 2000: 12). Golda Meir, Israel’s prime minister from 1969 to 1974, asserted ‘there is no Pales­ tinian nation’ (quoted from Bregman 2003: 201). Many Arabs left Palestine during 1947–48 and also during the 1967 War. Still, in the late 1980s, about 17 per cent of Israel’s citizens were Arabs. They held Israeli identity cards, spoke Hebrew, and studied and worked in Israel (Bregman 2003: 201–2, 216). However, it does not mean that Arab opposition to Israel has vanished. Actually, quite the contrary; Israel has suffered from terrorist acts since 1948. The establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organisa­ tion (PLO) in 1964 made terrorism more intense. Israel has been haunted by massive Palestinian insurgency from the 1980s. The First Intifada started on 9 December 1987 and continued until 13 September 1993, when Palestine and Israel signed the Oslo Agreement. During this period, 1,070 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli security forces in the occupied territories and another 17 in Israel. And the death of Palestinians at the hands of Israeli security forces continues even while this book goes to print. In February 1988, Hamas, an offshoot of the Islamic Resistance Movement, joined the First Intifada. Hamas was set up by Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and six other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in the occupied territories. This outfit was especially strong in the Gaza Strip (Bregman 2003: 193, 200). Against the Palestinian insurgency, the IDF have no quick-fix solution. The capital-intensive IDF was not much use against Islamic insurgents. Further, many Israelis refused to serve in the occupied territories (Bregman 2003: 202–3). This problem is not unique to Israel. In fact, with the onset of the post-heroic age, conscientious objection to military service is growing in West European countries like Italy, Spain and Germany (Battistelli 2000: 56). One author notes that in the developed world, with the erosion of the nation-state’s charisma, much of the military’s former prestige had gone (Boene 2000: 75). In Israel’s domestic society, the IDF is no longer regarded as an organisation of demigods. Low-intensity threat, after all, is a nuisance on a large scale and, unlike conventional military threat, does not pose the danger of extinction of the Zionist state. Expectations of peace (or more precisely absence of a credible conventional military threat from the Arab states) resulted in the reduction of the military budget of Israel from 20 per cent of its GNP to 10 per cent in 1998 (Cohen 2000a: xii). Mamlakhtiyut seems to be on a downhill journey. Thus, we can say that the trends of militarism were declining in Israeli polity at least temporarily. Actually, the scenario was more complex. According to one survey during the late ’80s and early ’90s, about 44 per cent of Israel’s population believed that limited military acts were not sufficient against Islamic terrorism. Occasionally, this segment of the public believed, Israel needs to

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wage large-scale military operations (Barzilai and Inbar 1996: 52) like the Second Lebanon War (2006). In 2000, Israel was rocked by the beginning of Al-Aqsa Intifada. The objectives of Al-Aqsa Intifada were to attack Israeli soldiers and settlers in occupied territories and also Israeli civilians within the Green Line. The Green Line refers to the 1949 Armistice lines established at the end of the 1948–49 Arab-Israeli War. It separates territories under Israeli sovereignty before the June 1967 War from the areas cap­ tured by Tel Aviv in that war, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip (Friedman 2008: 43–5). One of the characteristics of Al-Aqsa Intifada was the use of the internet by both the Palestinians and the Israelis. The Palesti­ nians used the internet to coordinate their grassroot activities and to provide con­ stant updates about Israeli aggression against the Arab sons of the soil. In response, the Israeli hackers tried to demolish the Palestinian websites. Both sides sent ‘bombs’ and viruses through emails. Cyber war between the two sides became common. This feature marks Al-Aqsa Intifada as the beginning of postmodern war in West Asia. At another level, Al-Aqsa Intifada was more violent than the First Intifada of 1987–93. During the First Intifada, the Arab protesters merely threw stones; during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, the Arab insurgents used rifles, mortars and hand grenades. After the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intifada, the Israeli government car­ ried out the policy of ‘targeted killing’, which means executing Palestinian activists affiliated with Fatah, Hamas, etc. The methods used for conducting targeted killing involve sniper fire, car bombs, tank fire (obviously a clumsy method) and missiles fired from helicopters (Bregman 2003: 215–17, 220). Israeli COIN is anything but people friendly like, let’s say, Indian COIN, which is discussed in Chapter 8. Nevertheless, Israeli counterterrorism against the Palestinian suicide bombers has proved very effective. Counterterrorism can be considered as a component of COIN. The surge of Palestinian terrorism from 2000 resulted in a contraction of the Israeli economy by 2002. Suicide bombing reached its peak in 2003 and then started declining. Israeli surgical strikes from the air (especially in Gaza) and by undercover special forces in Judea and Samaria resulted in the death of top Pales­ tinian political and military leaders and the destruction of much of the terrorist infrastructure. In 2002, 78 Palestinians died as a result of the Israeli targeted killing policy. By 2005, the suicide bombing strategy was ineffective. In response, the Palestinian guerrillas followed the policy of ‘rocket siege’ of Israel. Short-range missile and mortar firing against Israel became the norm (Frisch 2006: 843–67). In mid-November 2002, Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazin), PLO Executive Com­ mittee Secretary, delivered a speech laced with moderation to a meeting of the heads of the popular committees of the Gaza Strip refugee camps. In this speech he criticised Al-Aqsa Intifada and called for abandonment of the armed struggle against Israel. He argued that the aim remains the construction of an independent Palesti­ nian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Abbas said: ‘Through dialogue we can reach a formula for an agreement, a formula for truce with the aim of protecting our country … We cannot achieve our aims by the use of force’ (quoted from Special Document 2003: 76). If militarisation of the Intifada continues, feared the moderate

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leaders of the PLO, then they would lose control over the Palestinian movement to persons like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, etc. Collusion between the moderate elements of the PLO and Israeli strategic elites offers the best solution to the continuing impasse. But it seems not to be happening. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, Hezbollah (also known as the Islamic Resistance) emerged as the most powerful insurgent group in West Asia. Itself a non-state actor, this organisation received massive financial and military support from Iran and Syria (Glenn 2012: xv–xvi). On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah fired Katyusha rockets and mortars at Israeli military positions and border villages and another Hezbollah unit crossed the border and captured two Israeli soldiers and killed three others. Israel responded by launching a large-scale reprisal but it esca­ lated into a war which came to be known as the Second Lebanon War. The Lebanese term for this conflict is the July War. This war lasted from July to August of 2006. The prime minister of Israel declared after the abduction of the Israeli soldiers: ‘Our response will be very restrained … But very, very, very painful’ (quoted from Glenn 2012: 3). Israel’s political and military strategy in this war was not merely to destroy the infrastructure of Hezbollah but also to damage economic targets and attack civilians. The assumption was that such actions would force the Lebanese government to take action against Hezbollah operating from their terri­ tory. It is an erroneous strategy, as the moderate anti-Hezbollah groups in Lebanon were alienated from Israel (Glenn 2012: xiii). In this war, the Israeli Air Force’s doctrine was transformed. From a tactical ground support force geared to fight a conventional war, it was transformed into an instrument for conducting surgical strikes in Small War. The Israeli Air Force carried out selective strikes and the IDF imposed air and sea blockades on Lebanon. The Israeli Air Force attacked the Hezbollah command centre at Beirut, hit mili­ tary targets along the Beirut-Damascus highway, and attempted to destroy Hezbollah’s long-range Katyusha launchers. Due to American pressure, the Israeli Air Force did not hit the infrastructural or countervalue targets (population and economic centres) of Lebanon on a large scale. On 14 July, the Lebanese govern­ ment asked for a ceasefire. However, Israel did not accept this offer. On 18 July, Hezbollah continued to launch mortar and rocket attacks on northern Israel. Civilian casualties forced Israel to evacuate its citizens from the threatened region. Many Merkava tanks were damaged and blown up by improvised explosive devices (IED) that Hezbollah had planted along the probable infiltration routes along the Blue Line (border demarcation between Israel and Lebanon created by the UN in June 2000). Each such IED device packed 200–300kg of explosives (Glenn 2012: xvii, 2). On 29 July, Israeli ground forces, in an attempt to establish a defensive glacis along the Israel-Lebanon border, attacked Hezbollah targets in Bekaa Valley, Tyre, etc. (Kober 2008: 3–5). Thus, we see, Israeli COIN doctrine did not rule out waging a low-level conventional war (call it Small War if you like) if necessary, as part of its anti-insurgent operation. After this war, the IDF did some soul searching and critically analysed its per­ formance. Between 1980 and 2005, the IDF focused on policing action against the

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Intifada. In terms of training and doctrine, the IDF failed when it came to waging a Small War which involved a mix of conventional and unconventional operations. Further, the Israeli ground force’s officers had failed to take into account the diffi­ cult terrain of South Lebanon and the challenges it posed for conducting military operations against a guerrilla force. Military concepts imported from the West, like ‘Effect Based Operations’, etc., came under attack for failing to meet the litmus test of actual combat conditions. During the Sinai campaign (October 1956), the SixDay War (June 1967) and the Yom Kippur War (October 1973), effective ground support by the Israeli Air Force for the IDF resulted in spectacular victories against the Arab militaries. However, just before the Second Lebanon War, we find a divergence in the doctrines of the IDF and the Israeli Air Force. The latter had unilaterally declared that it would no longer provide close air support (CAS) with fixed-wing aircraft. Rather, the Israeli Air Force attempted to try out a strategic doctrine. Nevertheless, the Second Lebanon War required joint operations by the ground force and the Israeli Air Force. However, after this war, the IDF focused more on training for conducting conventional war (Glenn 2012: xii–xvi). This does not mean that the IDF should return to the combat conditions which pre­ vailed between 1950 and 1980. The IDF requires preparing for multi-tasking: conducting conventional war in a high-tech scenario, policing and waging Small War. One RAND analyst puts it succinctly in the following words: ‘Lessons from the past are of value only if molded to the needs of the future. A military that does not balance looking backward with constant glances at the future risks preparing only for the war last fought’ (Glenn 2012: xvi). What is dangerous is that a trend of radical Zionism is emerging at least among a section of Israeli public and military officers. One can say that a strengthening of this strand of thought will further intensify the brutal elements in Israeli COIN, and this radical strand of ideas is against any moderation towards the Palestinians. This trend is somewhat similar to the rise of the Hindu right, at least among a section of the Indian populace. In recent years, films and posters have appeared exhorting Israeli soldiers to disobey commands to remove settlers from the occu­ pied territories. Several rabbis have also published edicts calling on Israeli troops to disobey government orders to evacuate settlers. And several ultranationalist Israeli officers have also challenged orders to relinquish occupied territories (David 2000: 282–3). This trend is consonant with the rise of Islamic radicalism in the Middle East and West Asia, an issue which is discussed later.

Conclusion To a great extent, Israel’s case is a typical example of war makes state. Israel came into existence fighting the British occupation force and the Arab guerrillas, and at present Arab jihadis continue to threaten the state. Israel remains a nation in arms. The IDF in the 1890s started its career as an insurgent force and later, in the early 1950s, like the Chinese PLA, became a conventional army. Ironically, the same IDF, towards the end of the twentieth century, faced another insurgent force: the

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Islamist guerrillas. The IDF in the initial stages was somewhat influenced by a mix of the British Army and pragmatism. Between 1950 and 1970, when the IDF was at the height of its conventional combat performance, its command doctrine and military strategic thought were similar to Blitzkrieg and Auftragstaktik of the Wehr­ macht, which happened to be the instrument of the Third Reich, the nemesis of the Jewish community. For this reason, probably, the Israeli military-strategic elite never openly accepted that they had been influenced by the German Way of War. Then, towards the end of the twentieth century, the IDF came under the influence of American military doctrine and concepts. Israel’s actions against the Palestinian guerrillas are characterised by a strong overdose of kinetic component. Like the Sri Lankan Armed Forces’ brutal COIN, Israeli anti-humane COIN has been suc­ cessful. This challenges the liberal argument that only humane COIN succeeds, while brutal COIN results in greater terrorism and insurgency. The struggle between Israel and the neighbouring Arab states is not merely one of Zionism versus Islam. Geography and power-politics constitute the key elements which shape this struggle. However, religious elements and religiosity definitely colour this tussle. It is to be noted that during the four wars fought with Israel between 1948 and 1973, the Arab states followed ‘secular’ conventional strategies. Since they failed in conventional war repeatedly, the Arab states have now resorted to asymmetric war covered with an outer layer of radical Islam. And finally, nuclear weapons have up to now played a negligible role in the security matrix of West Asia. Next, we move to South Asia.

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Cohen, Stuart A., ‘The Scroll or the Sword? Tensions between Judaism and Military Service in Israel’, in Stuart A. Cohen (ed.), Democratic Societies and their Armed Forces: Israel in Comparative Context (London: Frank Cass, 2000b), pp. 254–273. Cohen, Stuart A., ‘“Unlicensed” War in Jewish Tradition: Sources, Consequences and Implications’, Journal of Military Ethics, vol. 4, no. 3 (2005), pp. 198–213. Creveld, Martin van, Command in War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985). David, Steven R., ‘Democracy, Internal War and Israeli Security’, in Stuart A. Cohen (ed.), Democratic Societies and their Armed Forces: Israel in Comparative Context (London: Frank Cass, 2000), pp. 274–287. Dayan, Major-General Moshe, Diary of the Sinai Campaign 1956 (London: Sphere, 1967). Dayan, Moshe, Story of my Life (London: Sphere, 1978). Demchak, Chris C., ‘Numbers or Networks: Social Constructions of Technology and Organizational Dilemmas in IDF Modernization’, Armed Forces & Society, vol. 23, no. 2 (1996), pp. 179–208. Evron, Yair, Israel’s Nuclear Dilemma (London: Routledge, 1994). Friedman, Gil, ‘Strategic Deficiencies in National Liberation Struggles: The Case of Fatah in the al-Aqsa Intifada’, Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 31, no. 1 (Feb. 2008), pp. 41–67. Frisch, Hillel, ‘Motivation of Capabilities? Israeli Counterterrorism against Palestinian Suicide Bombings and Violence’, Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 29, no. 5 (Oct. 2006), pp. 843–869. Gabriel, Richard A. and Savage, Paul L., Crisis in Command: Mismanagement in the Army (New Delhi: Himalayan Books, 1986). Glantz, David M. and House, Jonathan M., The Battle of Kursk (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1999). Glenn, Russell W., All Glory is Fleeting: Insights from the Second Lebanon War (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2012). Hagerty, Devin T., ‘Iran: The Nuclear Quandary’, in Muthiah Alagappa (ed.), The Long Shadow: Nuclear Weapons and Security in 21st Century Asia (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 296–322. Handel, Michael I., ‘The Evolution of Israeli Strategy: The Psychology of Insecurity and the Quest for Absolute Security’, in Williamson Murray, MacGregor Knox and Alvin Bern­ stein (eds.), The Making of Strategy: Rulers, States, and War (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni­ versity Press, 1994), pp. 534–578. Haynes, Susan Turner, Chinese Nuclear Proliferation: How Global Politics is Transforming China’s Weapons Buildup and Modernization (Lincoln, NE: Potomac Books, 2016). Johnson, Rob, The Iran-Iraq War (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). Kimmerling, Baruch, ‘The Social Construction of Israel’s “National Security”’, in Stuart A. Cohen (ed.), Democratic Societies and their Armed Forces: Israel in Comparative Context (London: Frank Cass, 2000), pp. 215–253. Kober, Avi, ‘The Israel Defense Forces in the Second Lebanon War: Why the Poor Per­ formance?’, Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 31, no. 1 (2008), pp. 3–40. Kober, Avi, ‘The Rise and Fall of Israeli Operational Art: 1948–2008’, in John Andreas Olsen and Martin van Creveld (eds.), The Evolution of Operational Art: From Napoleon to the Present (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 166–194. Luttwak, Edward and Horowitz, Dan, The Israeli Army (Dehradun: Natraj, 1983). Moskos, Charles, ‘Towards a Postmodern Military?’, in Stuart A. Cohen (ed.), Democratic Societies and their Armed Forces: Israel in Comparative Context (London: Frank Cass, 2000), pp. 3–26. Olsen, John Andreas and Creveld, Martin van, ‘Introduction’, in John Andreas Olsen and Martin van Creveld (eds.), The Evolution of Operational Art: From Napoleon to the Present (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 1–8.

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Peri, Yoram, ‘The Media and the Military: From Collusion to Collision’, in Stuart A. Cohen (ed.), Democratic Societies and their Armed Forces: Israel in Comparative Context (London: Frank Cass, 2000), pp. 184–214. Pollack, Kenneth M., ‘Air Power in the Six-Day War’, Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 28, no. 3 (2005), pp. 471–503. Rothenberg, Gunther E., The Anatomy of the Israeli Army (London: Batsford1979). Roy, Kaushik, Fighting Rommel: The British Imperial Army in North Africa during the Second World War, 1941–1943 (London/New York: Routledge, 2020). Samuels, Martin, Command or Control? Command, Training and Tactics in the British and German Armies, 1888–1918 (London: Frank Cass, 1995). Schiff, Zeév, A History of the Israeli Army: 1874 to the Present (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1987). ‘Special Document: Mahmud Abbas’s Call for a Halt to the Militarization of the Intifada’, Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 32, no. 2 (2003), pp. 74–78. Stroup, Jr., Theodore G. and Wong, Leonard, ‘Re-establishing the Force: The Revolution in Military Affairs in the Human Resource and Leadership Systems’, in Stuart A. Cohen (ed.), Democratic Societies and their Armed Forces: Israel in Comparative Context (London: Frank Cass, 2000), pp. 150–171.

8 SOUTH ASIA From modern war to postmodern war

Introduction British rule in South Asia came to an end in 1947 and the subcontinent was divi­ ded into two independent states: India and Pakistan. In the post-1947 era, the dominant strategic dynamic in South Asia has been India–Pakistan rivalry just like Arab–Israel rivalry in West Asia. Pakistan is a revisionist state and it wants to cap­ ture Kashmir from India. However, Pakistan does not want to dismember India. Similarly, India, despite being the regional hegemon, has limited strategic aim. India’s policy is to retain Kashmir but not to destroy Pakistan. These factors have been primarily responsible for the repeated Limited Wars in the subcontinent. And the extra-regional superpowers played proxy roles in the background, which in turn complicated the regional security scenario. An analysis of the last 70 years of military history of the subcontinent shows the practice of limited modern industrial war in the immediate aftermath of decolonisation. And at the beginning of the new millennium this paradigm of war is now slowly giving way to the emergence of information warfare (IW). Since jointness emerged quite late in the case of the Indian and Pakistani armed forces, it makes sense to analyse the thought processes of the different branches of their militaries separately. The first section deals with conventional war and the second section focuses on unconventional war. The third section turns the spotlight on nuclear war and the last section deals with the emerging IW. Since India is the regional hegemon, most of the space in this chapter goes to this country. There are different interpretations of India’s military activities. Some scholars believe that India has no strategic tradition (Cohen and Dasgupta 2010). Others argue that this country, like China, follows an age-old traditional strategic policy which is the product of its civilisational characteristics. One of the advocates of this line of thought, the American security analyst George K. Tanham, asserts

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that India’s grand strategy is influenced by Kautilya’s mandala (circle of states) policy (Bajpai and Mattoo 1996). Another scholar, following the same culturalist line, finds that India’s grand strategy is partly influenced by the humane values inherent in India’s epic Ramayana (Rajagopalan 2006: 24–53). The third line of argument is that post-independence India has inherited elements of British statecraft (Cohen 1991). Another view is that Indian strategic culture is the product of tension between its liberal political culture and right-wing fundamentalist Hindu ethos (Cohen 2003: 36–65). Bharat Karnad, an Indian security analyst, himself a hyperrealist, in one of his books powerfully argues that Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister from 1947 to 1964, himself was a liberal realist but clothed his policy under the garb of Indian cultural value-oriented moralpolitik. And India’s traditional Hindu strategic cultural tradition does not rule out force completely from the equation (Karnad 2002). According to the noted American political scientist Stephen P. Cohen, Pakistan is a moderate Sunni Islamic state which utilises Islam to build up domestic harmony by overcoming provincial parochialism (Sindhi, Baluchi and Punjabi sub-nationalism). Moreover, the legitimacy of the Pakistan state comes from its anti-Hindu India stance, which is further strengthened by the doctrine of Islam (Cohen 2005). In a somewhat similar tune, S. Paul Kapur writes that Pakistan from its very inception suffers from a ‘jihad paradox’. Pakistan has three strategic tools: conventional forces, nuclear weapons and Islamist non-state actors. The crucial component of Pakistan’s grand strategy is to use the Islamist non-state actors offensively to advance its strategic interests against India (Kapur 2017). Truly, Pakistan’s position is ambiguous. Though it claims that it stands for the Muslims of South Asia, more Muslims live in India than in Pakistan. Since 1971, the non-state actors have become more important than conventional forces in Pakistan’s grand strategy. This transition was due to the superior conventional military power of India. The sections below show that the texture of military thought among various South Asian polities is complex. The evolution of military thought of the South Asian polities in the postcolonial period has been shaped to a great extent by geopolitics and geo-economics. Culture merely provides the outer coating of state policies.

Conventional war One quarter of Pakistan’s government spending goes to defence. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, 3 per cent of GNP went to defence (Cloughley 2008: 129). This is because a paranoid Pakistan continues to suffer from what could be termed as a ‘security complex’. This sort of high expenditure is partly responsible for Pakistan’s economic ills. Pakistan’s armed forces number more than 600,000 personnel (Cheema 2003: ix). One of the historians of the Pakistan Army cate­ gorises Pakistan as a praetorian state with military and quasi-military rule for most of its history. At present, three factors shape modern Pakistan. These are the army, America and, recently, Allah. However, under the first military ruler, Field-Marshal

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M. Ayub Khan (r. 1958–1969), there was intense antipathy towards the mullahs (Islamic religious teachers) (Nawaz 2008: xxviii, xxxi). Empathy towards the mullahs started under the reign of General Zia ul Haq (1978–88). In the Zia regime, a Pakistani Army officer named Brigadier S.K. Malik for­ mulated what he called the Koranic concept of war in a book published in 1979. The author writes that several officers of the Army Education Corps and faculty members of the Department of Islamic Studies at the University of Punjab aided in his task. Zia ul Haq himself wrote the foreword of this book and he noted that the Pakistan Army, being an instrument of the Islamic state of Pakistan, could become fully professional only after absorbing the ethos and values put forward in the Koran. In his book Malik argues that the principles of war and peace can be deduced from the holy book of Islam. The core principle of the Koran is Jihad, and Jihad advocates defensive warfare. Cruelty and revenge have no place in Jihad. Malik’s contribution lies in advocating the policy that the Pakistan state must por­ tray its wars as Jihad. The very idea that the Pakistan Army is fighting Jihad would strengthen the combat motivation of the Muslim soldiers. The faith and belief of the Muslims in the holy scriptures could, thus, be utilised in facing contemporary reality (Malik 2009). Pakistan always opted for an offensive military strategy because the country lacks adequate depth. This became a predicament for Pakistan especially after East Pakistan seceded and became Bangladesh in 1971. Even before 1971, West Paki­ stan was the political, cultural and economic core of united Pakistan. The principal lines of communication in West Pakistan run parallel and close to the IndiaPakistan border, and most of the large cities of West Pakistan are also located near the border. The India-Pakistan border runs for 1,398 miles (Cheema 2003: 3). Further, Pakistan, compared to India, is demographically and economically weak. And India’s size is huge compared to Pakistan. The heartland of India, i.e. North India, is far away from Pakistan. If anything, this disparity increased after 1971. Moreover, the Pakistani military organisation cannot sustain a long-term war. For instance, in the 1950s, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) realised that it could not carry on a conventional war beyond 17 days due to limited stocks of ammunition, spare parts and oil (Shah 2002: 167), so an attrition war vis-à-vis India does not suit Pakistan. Hence, Pakistan’s offensive strategy is forced upon it due to its structural weakness vis-à-vis its bigger neighbour, India. In contrast, India is comfortable with following a defensive strategy. Due to its larger geographical space, India is confident of absorbing a first strike by Pakistani conventional forces. Its aim is to crush the Pakistani-sponsored insurgency and then to use the armed forces to smash the intruding Pakistan Army. Mobilisation of its larger conventional forces and their subsequent concentration against Pakistan also requires a longer time period. In addition, being on the defensive allows India to retain the moral high ground in the eyes of the international community. Both the Pakistan and Indian armies’ organisational traditions can be traced to the volunteer British-led Indian Army (colonial Indian Army). The Pakistan Army, like the Indian Army, is a volunteer army. Both armies maintain the regimental

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structure of the colonial Indian Army. The Sindhi and Baluchi tribes who were not recruited in the pre-1947 colonial Indian Army remain marginal in the present-day Pakistan Army. One of the famous ‘martial races’ of British-India was the Punjabi Muslims from Salt Range. The Punjabi Muslims dominate the post-1947 Pakistan Army and they inhabit the western part of undivided British-India’s Punjab, and now Pakistan’s Punjab. The Punjabi Muslims from the Potowar Plateau (especially tribes like the Ghakkars) and Salt Range (tribes like the Awans, etc.) remain over­ represented in the Pakistan Army. After the Punjabi Muslims come the Pathans (another favourite martial race of the British) from Punjab and North-West Frontier Province (Nawaz 2008: 3–5). In 1949 there was some discussion among the Indian strategic elites about establishing a highly mechanised mobile force of about 150,000 men backed by a large reserve and a Territorial Army. In fact, Defence Secretary H.M. Patel was impressed by the Canadian military system of a light defence force designed for rapid expansion during a crisis (Kavic 1967: 83). In the end, India retained the Raj’s tradition of a large manpower-intensive, long-service volunteer army. The debate about long-service versus short-service personnel was revived again at the beginning of the twenty-first century. And like the colonial Indian Army, the post-1947 Indian Army remains dependent on the ‘martial groups’ like the Sikhs, Gurkhas and Jats (Roy 2010b: 241–56). When decolonisation occurred, very few Hindu and Muslim officers had reached senior officer positions. For instance, in 1947, the senior-most officer in the PAF was a group captain. Until the 1950s, most of the senior officers of the armed forces of India and Pakistan were British, who instilled British military ethos and tactical thinking among the professional officer corps of India and Pakistan. However, from the mid-1950s, ‘Uncle Sam’ became the principal supplier of arms and equipment for the Pakistani armed forces (Shah 2002: 46, 99–101). From its origin up to the present day, Pakistan’s grand strategy is to snatch Kashmir from India. Since India is a bigger military power, Pakistan follows a two-phase military strategy. In the first phase, it encourages Islamist insurgents within Kashmir by providing training, funds, weapons and intelligence. And when a large-scale insurgency breaks out in Kashmir, then Pakistan sends its regular military units. Thus, in the first phase we have state-supported uncon­ ventional war or sub-conventional operations, and in the second phase, a limited conventional campaign occurs. When in 1947 Pakistan-supported raiders invaded Kashmir, India used transport aircraft (mainly Dakotas) to send troops to defend Srinagar. No aerial combat occurred between the two fledgling air forces. Both the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the PAF, however, supported their respective ground forces by transporting sup­ plies for the troops stationed in far-flung, almost inaccessible, areas (Shah 2002: 64). Brigade-size operations were launched by both the Indian and Pakistan armies. Frontal regimental clashes characterised combat operations. After the First IndiaPakistan War (1947–48), one-third of Kashmir came under Pakistan’s control (Roy 2010a: 147–8).

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In 1950, after Chinese occupation of Tibet, the China threat became a reality for India. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) refused to accept the McMahon Line created by British-India (Raj) as the Sino-Indian boundary. In fact, China claimed over 40,000 square miles of territory especially in Ladakh and in the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA). At the level of grand strategy, Jawaharlal Nehru rebuffed Field-Marshal Ayub Khan’s (Pakistan’s dictator) offer of a joint defence of the subcontinent. Like Bismarck, Nehru was against any permanent bilateral mili­ tary alliance. Nehru’s China policy was a watered-down version of the Raj’s China policy. Unlike the Raj, Nehru accepted Tibet as an integral part of China. How­ ever, like the Raj, Nehru tried to bring the Himalayan states of Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim under Indian control as part of forming a glacis against the rising power of the Dragon. In 1952, an Indian military mission organised the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) into a force comprising light divisions, with 6,000 men in each division. In 1959, Nehru declared that any attack on Nepal would be considered an attack against India. He reiterated his government’s determination to defend Bhutan and Sikkim. In 1961, Sikkim proposed that a militia should be raised from the Bhutias and Lepchas for defence of the country. However, the Nehru government remained cool to this proposal. Rightly, India concluded that defence against China could be better served by the professional regular soldiers of the Indian Army rather than a half-trained lightly armed militia. The Nehru government took some steps to develop the road network along the Himalayas for improving the logistical nodes of the army units deployed along India’s northern border, but it was not enough. Further, the Indian Army’s generals erroneously believed that a conventional invasion by China across the high Himalayas was just not possible (Kavic 1967: 46–75). Just before the China-India War (October–November 1962), India’s military strategy can be dubbed as ‘Forward Policy’. It involved pushing lightly armed troops along the areas claimed by China. The scattered units of Indian troops lacked firepower and logistical support to hold themselves in case of a determined Chinese attack (Ganguly and Hagerty 2005: 27). Nehru’s policy was to bluff China. China called the bluff when it attacked India in NEFA and in Ladakh on 20 October 1962. The Indian Army started melting away in the High Himalayas. Lieutenant-General B.M. Kaul, who was the General Officer Commanding at NEFA, writes in his memoirs: ‘Our ability to reinforce due to lack of troops and roads was limited. Our troops were on restricted scale of rations and had no reserves. Clothing was scanty for the extreme cold. We were short of ammu­ nition … We did not have adequate fire support’ (Kaul 1967: 357). After the defeat of India at the hands of China, Ayub Khan assumed that India would be ‘easy meat’. And on 9 April 1965 the Pakistanis started intruding into the Rann of Kutch. After the debacle at the Rann of Kutch, India’s prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, was ready for revenge. His policy was to attack Pakistan at a place and time of India’s own choosing. On the night of 7–8 September 1965, India launched a corps-size offensive towards Chawinda in the Sialkot Sector. The aim was to

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capture the road to Sialkot and eventually cut off the Grand Trunk Road between Lahore and Rawalpindi (Cheema 2003: 71–2). In an attempt to draw away Indian military assets from the Lahore Sector, the Pakistan Army launched an offensive at Khem Karan in Punjab with its 1st Armoured Division (Ganguly and Hagerty 2005: 30). Pakistani Pattons clashed with Indian Centurions, but the result was inconclusive. The absence of a corps headquarters on the part of the Pakistan Army’s high command for controlling the 11th Infantry Division and the 1st Armoured Division resulted in the failure of the offensive (Cloughley 1999: 92–5). The truth is that both Indian and Pakistani commanders could handle brigade-sized operations but not a corps-sized (including two or more divisions) operation. Neither the Indian commanders nor their Pakistani counterparts were trained to launch combined arms manoeuvre operations like the Israelis and the Germans. This was because the trainers of the Indian and Pakistani armies, the British them­ selves in the Second World War, were unable to conduct all-arms mobile mechanised operations involving long-distance outflanking thrusts. In accordance with the British training instilled on the Indian Army during the Second World War, the Indian and Pakistani army officers were capable of launching frontal infantry attacks with artillery support. And they considered armour as an adjunct of the infantry (Barua 1999: 138–42; Murray 2010: 90–135). During the 17-day 1965 India-Pakistan War, India came under pressure from China too. On 16 September, China accused India of border violations and threatened military action. It was aimed to ease Indian military pressure on Paki­ stan. Soviet Russia, India’s emerging ally, in turn put pressure on China. As a result, on 22 September, Chinese pressure on India vanished. The Americans imposed an arms embargo. It especially hurt Pakistan because most of its weapons came from the USA while only 20 per cent of India’s arms and munitions came from the West. In response, Pakistan turned to China for arms and munitions. For China, it was good strategy to ring in India by supporting the latter’s arch-enemy Pakistan. Thus, an all-weather relationship developed between China and Pakistan (Cheema 2003: 32, 35, 72–3). As the China-Pakistan alliance emerged, India responded by moving towards the USSR. Nehru’s Non-Aligned Movement (maintaining equal distance from both the superpowers) lay dead. India’s prime minister Indira Gandhi’s grand strategy involved signing the Treaty of Friendship with the USSR on 9 August 1971. The clauses of this treaty laid down mutual cooperation and assistance in defence (Singh 2012: 60). During the 1971 War, India had no plan of dismembering West Pakistan. India’s military strategy was to remain on a strategic and tactical defensive on the western front and pursue combat operations along the eastern front (against East Pakistan/later Bangladesh). Initially, the aim was to capture some territories in East Pakistan and then set up a provisional government under the mukti yoddhas (freedom fighters under the East Pakistani Bengali Muslim leader Mujib ur Rahman). However, the rapid collapse of the Pakistani military forces in East Pakistan encouraged India to go for Dhaka (the capital) and complete occupation of East Pakistan (Jacob 1997).

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Pakistani military strategy was that the defence of East Pakistan lies in West Paki­ stan. Pakistan’s military plan was that in the case of an Indian attack on East Pakistan, a massive offensive against West India would be launched from West Pakistan. The objective was to cause attrition to India’s numerically superior conventional forces and to hold them off until the USA and China intervened in favour of Pakistan (Shah 2002: 168, 170–1; Cheema 2003: 79). Mansoor Shah, a senior PAF officer, noted the defective Pakistani grand strategy in his autobiography in the following words: ‘At the national level, therefore, we never ever really planned for victory. We only aimed at staving off our much larger enemy until someone could come along and save us’ (Shah 2002: 168). On 3 December 1971, the PAF carried out a pre-emptive attack on India. Indira Gandhi, backed by her own strong political will and Soviet support, escalated the war by ordering the Indian Navy to pursue active hostilities both in the Bay of Bengal and in the Arabian Sea. In the two previous India-Pakistan Wars, New Delhi did not order active operations by its navy in an effort to cir­ cumscribe combat within the paradigm of defensive Limited War. On 16 December 1971, Lieutenant-General A.A.K. Niazi, commander of the Pakistani forces in East Pakistan, surrendered unconditionally. On 17 December 1971, India declared a unilateral ceasefire on the western front and it was accepted by Pakistan. India was able to capture 93,000 prisoners of war, including civilian, paramilitary and military (Singh 2012: 60–1). It was independent India’s ‘finest hour’ from the military standpoint. The point to be noted is that not even Israel has been able to dismember any Arab state during the several conventional wars fought by them. The magnitude of victory was such that after 1971, Pakistan never dared to go for a conventional attack against India. General Krishnaswamy Sundarji, the bright, charismatic and bold Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) of India (1986–88), aimed to create a mobile mechanised army capable of conducting manoeuvre war (German-Israeli-style). Sundarji was much enamoured of armour. He was influenced by the German and Israeli armoured operations. The IDF’s armoured operations are discussed in detail in Chapter 7. Sundarji was also an admirer of the fast-paced war which the Mongols practiced (Sundarji 2003: ix). Indian armoured operations, even during the 1971 IndiaPakistan War, were deliberate and slow. When the Indian COAS Sam Manekshaw was asked why the Indian tanks were taking so long to attack, he replied that this was because they were Indians and not German panzer divisions (Rosen 1996: 249). When Sundarji became the COAS, an armour manual was published which replaced the previous manual that had been published in 1982. The new armour manual emphasised nocturnal operations in order to achieve deception and psy­ chological advantages over the enemy. The new manual further reiterated that tank units should be concentrated and they should utilise their mobility and firepower to achieve surprise. Speed and momentum should be maintained during attack. And quick regrouping should be done in order to exploit success to the maximum (Armour n.d.: 1–3). India’s military strategy at that time was to capture some Pakistani territory after a quick war and then to force Islamabad to come to the

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bargaining table to make concessions, especially with regard to Kashmir. In order to achieve quick penetration inside Pakistan in the case of a war, and then to hold it against Pakistani counterattacks resulting in the wearing down of the latter’s military assets, Sundarji introduced the Reorganized Army Plains Infantry Division (RAPID). These units were designed to hold and defend enclaves within enemy country and were also capable of launching counterattacks against hostile forces (Ganguly and Hagerty 2005: 73, 77–9). There have been some innovations in the tactical plane with regard to the Himalayan defence also. To give an example, in 1982 the Indian Army tested the concept of mobile defence in the mountains using sand model exercises (Singh 2012: 77). The PAF and the IAF started their careers as tactical air forces. After 1947, they had interceptors and fighter bombers. They lacked deep-strike aircraft, night fighters and long-range heavy bombers. During both the 1965 and 1971 wars, PAF’s doc­ trine was to conduct counter-air operations and to start the war by launching a pre­ emptive strike like the Luftwaffe in 1941 and the Israeli Air Force (Shah 2002: 48, 174–6). The objective was to use surprise to offset India’s larger arsenal. Both the IAF and PAF officers forcefully challenged the idea that the air force should supplement the ground forces’ land campaign. Both air forces searched for an autonomous strategic role. Air Marshal M. Asghar Khan, who commanded the PAF during the 1965 Rann of Kutch skirmish, lamented in his memoirs: Ayub Khan … understood little of air operations … In our eight years’ asso­ ciation, I had failed to convince him that in our situation, successful land operations would be rendered impossible if the Air Force did not succeed in neutralising an enemy’s Air Force. He preferred to see the Air Force as an arm of the Army, an airborne form of Artillery whose role should be to clear the way for the Infantry and Armour. (Khan 1979: 3–4) Similarly, the IAF officers argued that air power should not be conceived merely as the aerial artillery of the army. Battlefield air strikes and anti-personnel operations, they believed, were least productive for an air force (Kapila 2002: 36–7, 64). Several IAF officers engaged with the Western air power theorists like Giulio Douhet (1869–1930). Douhet focused on bombers. He argued that in modern warfare, no distinction can be made between the combatants and non-combatants. Successful offensives by ground forces have become redundant. Aerial offensive is the most efficient and economical technique of waging modern war. And the bombers will go through enemy defences. Douhet assumed that the enemy fighters would be unable to destroy the bombers. A nation with an independent longrange bomber force would start an aerial offensive against the hostile country and by bombing the enemy’s population centres and industry would destroy their morale and economy. This is the only way, claims Douhet, to win modern wars (MacIsaac 1986: 630–1).

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Air Vice Marshal Viney Kapila, who served in the headquarter of the Western Air Command in the late 1980s, argues that Douhet is wrong in arguing that air superiority will result from the bombing campaign. Rather, air superiority needs to be acquired first and only then can the bombing campaign proceed successfully. Kapila continues that the air force needs to win air superiority even to support the land forces’ ground campaign properly. He further notes that analysis of Second World War campaigns proves this point. Unlike Douhet, Kapila gives importance to the ground-support role in addition to the primary aim of achieving air super­ iority. In the aftermath of the Kargil conflict (May–July 1999), Kapila does not include city bombing as part of the IAF’s task in the case of another war with Pakistan. This is because of the absence of heavy bombers on the part of the IAF, the abundant demographic resources of South Asia (which makes life cheap) and, finally, the concept/philosophy of Limited War embedded in the Indian armed forces. Kapila notes that the IAF’s principal targets would be the hostile nation’s leadership, air power assets, C3I (command, control, communications and intelli­ gence), communication nodes, etc. The objective would be to punish the enemy in a calibrated manner but not to destroy the existence of the hostile state (Kapila 2002: 27, 40, 65–6, 83–4). Thus, Kapila’s vision is that a Limited War will be fought with new techniques. Air Commodore N.B. Singh, on the other hand, unlike Kapila, is an ardent supporter of Douhet. After analysing the Arab-Israeli wars and the two Gulf wars, he said in 2000: ‘Douhet’s doctrine of air power which is based on gaining and maintaining the “command of air” has proved itself in all the wars’ (Singh 2000: 253). For N.B. Singh the principal task of the IAF should be counter-air opera­ tions. But, while Kapila wants to attack the C3I of the enemy state, N.B. Singh prefers conducting strategic air operations deep inside enemy territory with multirole combat aircraft supported by inflight refuelling systems to destroy the enemy’s combat potential. Like Kapila, N.B. Singh accepts that the IAF can be used in fighting Limited Wars because air power can be applied more quickly than the lumbering land forces. Further, air power is more flexible and incisive than tactical nuclear weapons (Singh 2000: 255). The point to be noted is that during Opera­ tion Parakram (December 2001–June 2002), the Indian Army took three months to mobilise its forces along the India-Pakistan border, so the element of surprise was no longer there. This interval also allowed the Pakistan Army to mobilise and the USA to intervene and defuse the crisis. Modern India’s first naval theorist was a civilian (diplomat-historian) named K.M. Panikkar (1895–1963). In 1949 he argued for sea control of the Indian Ocean, claiming that India lost its independence due to the lack of a Blue Water Navy—a navy capable of controlling the Indian Ocean (Holmes et al. 2010: 23). In his framework, the Indian Navy should establish bases at Singapore, Sri Lanka and Mauritius in order to gain control over the eastern exit of the Indian Ocean, the central part of the Indian Ocean and the western exit of the Indian Ocean, respec­ tively. Harsh V. Pant, the expert on Indian maritime history, finds the influence of Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840–1914) in Panikkar’s writings (Pant 2012a: 4).

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Other scholars have found the influence of British naval theorist Julian Corbett (1854–1922) on Panikkar’s theoretical framework (Holmes et al. 2010: 26–7). For Mahan, a strong navy is dependent on the maritime trade of the nation, but in 1960 Panikkar noted that industrial power and science were the two sources of strength for having a strong navy (Panikkar 1960: 114). Rather, Panikkar’s framework is similar to the eleventh-century CE Chola Blue Water Navy’s strategic doctrine. The Indian Navy is aware of the task of protecting India’s overseas commerce which flows through the Indian Ocean, which is in accordance with Philip Colomb (1831–1899), Corbett and Mahan’s assertion that the navy must protect the nation’s commercial interests and maritime commu­ nications. However, before the advent of Mahan, Corbett and Colomb, the Chola Navy’s foremost doctrinal principle was to protect the Chola Empire’s maritime trade with South-East Asia and West Asia by controlling the Malacca Strait, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep group of islands. The Chola Navy established bases in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to secure maritime communications between India and South-East Asia, and attempted to control the Malacca Straits at the eastern entry point of the Indian Ocean by launching repe­ ated amphibious expeditions against the maritime states of South-East Asia. Colomb’s assertion that the hostile navy must be blockaded in their ports was adhered to by the Chola Navy against the Cheras. Corbett highlights that since battles in the sea cannot really destroy a hostile state, at times limited land war in conjunction with maritime operations is also necessary. Littoral warfare was one of the strongpoints of the Chola Navy (Gat 1999: 205–25; Roy-Chaudhury 2000; Kulke et al. 2010). In the new millennium, the Indian Navy gets 15 per cent of the defence budget (Ladwig 2012: 25). The Maritime Military Strategy issued by India in 2007 notes that for reasons of security, the Indian Navy needs to control the choke points along the eastern and western extremities of the Indian Ocean. These choke points are the Malacca Strait and the area between the Horn of Africa and the Cape of Good Hope (Holmes et al. 2010: 26–7, 37). One may surmise that the Indian Navy has the ambition of establishing sea control over the Indian Ocean but in reality, due to limited funding, lacks the tools to do so. At times, the Indian Navy was used for displaying diplomatic solidarity to friendly nations. To give an example, during the signing of the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord on 29 July 1987, two Indian frigates were sent to Colombo on the personal request of the Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayewardene. This act represented a sym­ bolic expression of India’s solidarity with Jayewardene to dissuade a domestic coup attempt (Bhaskar 2012: 43). In 1994, New Delhi introduced its ‘Look East’ policy. One component of this grand strategy is to pursue maritime diplomacy with the polities of South-East Asia to contain the economic and political influence of China in the Eastern Indian Ocean. Strategy emerges due to an action-reaction dialectic. We could speculate that India’s Look East policy is the result of China financing the construction of Gwadar port in Pakistan as part of its strategy of encircling India (Holmes et al. 2010: 31, 57). At the tactical level, after the

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successful attack on Karachi harbour in 1971, the Indian Navy shifted from guns to missiles as its principal armaments (Menon 2012: 83). The Bangladesh Navy, unlike the Indian Navy, is a coastal force. Bangladesh has maritime boundary problems with India and Myanmar. The development of Myanmar’s naval base at Sittwe (Akyab) is of some concern for Bangladesh. Also, Dhaka needs to protect its fishery resources from foreign poachers. Between 1985 and 1997, the Bangladesh Navy caught some 50 trawlers. Further, the Bangladesh Navy has to check maritime smuggling from South-East Asia. In the 1980s, Bangladesh received several Chinese ships varying from 25-ton torpedo boats to Jianghu I-class missile frigates. During the last decade of the twentieth century, only 13 per cent of Bangladesh’s defence budget was allocated for the navy. In 2000, the Bangladesh Navy comprised four old British frigates, four large offshore patrol boats, five offshore minesweepers, eight fast-attack craft and 10 missile fastattack craft (Singh 2002: 430–3, 435). The domination of the generals in Pakistani politics resulted in the stunted growth of the Pakistan Navy. In 1958, Admiral HMS Chowdhry told the Pakistani generals that due to the heavy dependence of Pakistan on sea-borne commerce, the country would not last for more than a month if war broke out and the Indian Navy intervened (Shah 2002: 169), but nobody paid him much attention. In 1971, the Indian Navy, by cutting off the sea lines of communication between East and West Pakistan, hastened Lieutenant-General Niazi’s surrender at Dhaka.

COIN: Theory and praxis The countries of South Asia are multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic. Most of the South Asian polities face numerous insurgencies. As regards COIN, we have two views. One view argues that a harsh militarised and brutal COIN is bound to fail. A successful COIN requires an amalgam of kinetic and non-kinetic measures. COIN is more successful when minimum force is used. The key point in this approach is winning the hearts and minds of the populace (Kilcullen 2010). In contrast, from the other side, another group of scholars argue that a harsh and brutal COIN is the only way. Democracies often lose small wars because these polities cannot afford to implement a brutal militarised COIN. The case studies of South Asian insurgencies and COIN test these theories. There are two views about British COIN. One school of thought asserts that British COIN, which developed from the late nineteenth century, is humane. This is due to the fusion of practical considerations plus cultural values. Protestant Christian values and an inadequate number of troops (the thin red line) forced Britain to depend more on negotiations and compromises rather than on largescale coercion (Mockaitis 1990; Cassidy 2006). The opposing school of thought claims that British COIN has been brutal in practice (Dixon 2009: 353–81; French 2011). In fact, Douglas Porch asserts that COIN campaigns by the Western imperial powers were actually savage (Porch 2013).

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Philosophically, there was a shift in British COIN from the late nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century. While Colonel Charles Callwell (a British Army officer dubbed as Colonial Clausewitz) theorised about the use of relentless force and offensive operations to cow down the ‘barbarians’, from the 1930s, many British officers claimed that imperial policing required force alongside a package of concessions. It is to be noted that Callwell used the term Small War in his book which was published in 1896, and in the 1930s, the British officers used the term imperial policing. For instance, in 1939 Major-General Charles W. Gwynn of the British Army wrote a book on the British Empire’s COIN, which he calls imperial policing. Callwell studied those campaigns when the British and French empires were still expanding and absorbing various stateless regions in AfroAsia populated by tribes (Callwell 1990). In contrast, Gwynn was writing when the metropolitan powers, especially after the First World War, were no longer in an expansionist mode but trying to cope with rising nationalisms in different parts of their overseas empire (Gwynn 1939). In reality, at times, British COIN during the imperial heyday was quite brutal. One example is the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre at Amritsar (13 April 1919) in India, and another is the British handling of the Arabs in Palestine during the 1920s and 1930s. The British relied on both the army and the paramilitary forces for pacification of India. For COIN, India mainly relies on the paramilitary forces and only during extreme crisis the Indian Army supplements but never replaces the para­ military forces (Singh 2012: 47–8). India and Pakistan, following the British tradition, not only maintained the paramilitary units set up by the Raj but also expanded them and set up new units. At present, India maintains more than 1.1 million-strong paramilitary forces. During the first decade of the twenty-first century, Pakistan had 250,000 personnel in the paramilitary forces (Cheema 2003: 35). Several Indian Army officers call COIN Low Intensity Conflict (LIC). However, for the sake of brevity, in this book, I will use the term COIN. Lieutenant-Colonel Vivek Chadha is one of the mid-ranking Indian Army officers who has written on COIN. Chadha accepts Martin van Creveld’s assertion that future wars will mostly entail fighting insurgencies. He writes that COIN remains a people-centric method of fighting. And while victory in conventional war goes to the power deploying superior force, in COIN victory occurs only when the ideas around which the insurgency functions are delegi­ timised. Chadha writes that while terrorism is an urban affair, insurgencies generally start in the rural areas and graduate to the urban centres (Chadha 2005: 19, 21, 25, 31). Theoretically at least, British COIN managers accepted the principle of mini­ mum force. Gwynn clarifies that excessive force alienates the people and minimal force allows the insurgents to run the show. The right answer is neither minimal nor excessive force but a balanced mixture of force and non-kinetic measures. The exact amount of force to be used is situational. Gwynn further warns that military mistakes can be rectified, but when a population is antagonised due to the use of

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too much force, then it is very difficult if not impossible to retrieve the situation (Gwynn 1939: 4–5). Nick Lloyd, a modern British historian, asserts that the term ‘minimum force’ is contextual and flexible. And in order to be effective, so-called minimum force may appear to be brutal in a particular context. Lloyd goes on to argue that if Brigadier-General ‘Rex’ Dyer had failed to open fire at the civilian mob at Jallianwala Bagh on 13 April 1919, then disorder would have spread throughout India and the British would have lost control over the Raj. Thus, by killing 379 civilians (including women and children) and wounding another 1,200, Dyer restored control not only in Punjab but also in the Indian subcontinent. Further, the limited number of troops available to Dyer forced his hand to act brutally in that particular context (Lloyd 2011). This message is not lost on the postcolonial Indian Army. In order to deter and disarm the insurgents (both active and potential) without using exemplary force, one needs a large number of ‘boots on the ground’. India always deploys lightly equipped manpower-intensive COIN forces. And the concept of minimum force is accepted by the Indian Army as its guiding principle as regards COIN. The 1986 Indian manual dealing with COIN notes: ‘No more force may be used than is necessary to achieve the immediate object. This refers to the actual amount of force used and not to the number of troops employed … No reprisals. Action is preventive and not punitive’ (Counter Intelligence 1986: 237). Like Gwynn, the post-1947 Indian COIN theorists accept that anti-insurgency operations are generally long-drawn-out affairs. Initially, Indian COIN was influenced by British practices. Following the British practice of resettling the villagers in newly established model villages in Malaya from the 1950 (the so-called Brigg’s Plan), the Indian authorities uprooted the Naga villages and re-established them in new areas during 1957. The objective was to cut off the linkages between the Naga insurgents and their kith and kin in the villages. Twisting Maoist principles, the Indians were attempting to drain the sea in order to flush out the guerrillas. And these newly established villages received food from the government (Thorat 1986: 185–6). One of the cardinal principles of Indian COIN is to win over the hearts and minds of the people so that they would willingly cooperate with the security forces and provide the latter with valuable real-time intelligence and logistical help. Winning the hearts and minds of the conquered people, in the Western tra­ dition, goes back to the Renaissance scholar Machiavelli (Heuser 2010: 427–8). In Indian tradition, winning over the loyalty and sympathy of the conquered subjects through good and honest governance can be traced back to Manu and Kamandaka. Further, it is emphasised among the Indian security personnel that human rights violations must not take place, and the troops are required to behave with extreme care with the women of the disturbed areas. The Naga insurgents during 1965–66 went to Yunnan in China through Burma. China trained them and equipped them with wireless sets, AK-47s, grenades, mortars and machine-guns. The 9th Maratha Light Infantry and the 8th Assam Rifles established strong bonds with the tribes

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along the India-Burma border who provided information about the movement of the Naga insurgents between India and Burma. Another feature of Indian COIN is emphasising rigorous and realistic training exercises among the troops who will participate in action against the insurgents. Such exercises involve locating an insurgent camp in the forest and then destroying it, daily 8–10-km runs to ensure physical fitness of the troops and officers, etc. (Singh 2012: 45–9, 52–3, 75–6). In 1990, the Indian Army’s Operation Bajrang against the ULFA in Assam failed because of inadequate reconnaissance. The Indian Army learnt from this failure. Thorough reconnaissance before launching a COIN campaign is now a sine qua non (Chadha 2005: 125–7, 159, 247). The jungle fighting techniques of the Indian Army paid off well during the confrontation with the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) in Assam. ULFA got financial and military support from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan which set up camps in Bangladesh. Most of the ULFA cadres were from urban areas and they were unable to operate effectively in the jungles of Assam. This resulted in large-scale surrender of the ULFA personnel during Operation Rhino in September 1991. The establishment of the Village Defence Scheme in 1989, under which the villagers were issued weapons and given the responsibility to defend themselves against the insurgents, paid off well in Punjab. The insurgency in Punjab was successfully crushed in 1993 (Chadha 2005: 215–53). From 1989 onwards, insurgency became rampant in Kashmir. The jihadi mili­ tants followed the policy of selectively killing Hindu leaders and abducting Hindu businessmen. This resulted in a large-scale exodus of Hindus from Kashmir. Again, like the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the jihadi militants killed the pro-peace Kashmiri leaders. In the 1990s, the Indian security forces launched sev­ eral cordon-and-search operations in an attempt to wear down the insurgents. Faced with national and international criticism about the conduct of the Indian armed forces in COIN operations, India’s prime minister, Narasimha Rao, set up the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in 1993. The NHRC displays autonomy and scrutinises the COIN operations of the Indian security forces (Ganguly 2009: 81). From 1997, Indian Army officers started discussing COIN strategy with a new term: ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’. This was codified in 2006 as the Indian Army’s doctrine for sub-conventional operations (another name for COIN). The objec­ tives of this doctrine are that military strategy and tactics as regards COIN have to adjust to the requirements of the people rather than the insurgents. Minimal force should be used (not minimum force) so as not to alienate the population and create more volunteers for the insurgency (Patankar 2009: 72–3). After the 2008 Pakistan-sponsored terrorist attack on Mumbai, the Indian gov­ ernment entrusted the Indian Navy with responsibility for coastal security, which brought the State Coastal Police and Coast Guard under the operational but not administrative control of the Indian Navy. In response, the 2009 maritime doctrine of the Indian Navy attaches great importance to synergy and intelligence sharing in order to prevent another maritime terrorist attack across the Arabian Sea (Rehman

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2012: 57). In the new millennium, the Indian Navy is giving attention to coun­ tering maritime piracy in the Indian Ocean (Pant 2012b: 125–6). One civilian scholar warns that too much attention to prevent smuggling and piracy by non-state actors might reduce the combat effectiveness of the Indian Navy in conducting conventional naval war against the nuclear backdrop. Overemphasis on constabulary roles might lead to demoralisation and corruption among naval personnel (Pai 2012: 173). Pakistani COIN is brutal and highly militarised. Gwynn writes: ‘Officials of the civil government in the exercise of their duties, police, magisterial or political, have to work, when the Army is called in, in the closest co-operation with it’ (Gwynn 1939: 1). However, Pakistan deviated from this principle of British COIN. One of the crucial limitations of Pakistani COIN is the lack of coordination between the politicians and the military officers. Major-General Iskander-Al-Karim, who com­ manded the 6th Armoured Division in 1971, notes: ‘From the dissolution of the cabinet, which consisted of some notable and competent East Pakistanis, until the final fateful days of 1971, the President hardly had any contact with East Pakistani politicians. He was mostly briefed on ongoing matters by West Pakistani officials of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate and by Major-General Ghulam Umar, the National Security Chief’ (quoted from Siddiqi 2006: ix). In contrast, strict civilian oversight characterises Indian COIN. This partly explains the humane nature of Indian COIN. Brute force is the Pakistani way of conducting COIN. The use of air power as aerial artillery against the insurgents remains a characteristic feature of Pakistani COIN. On 27 March 1971, at Brahmanberia, Khaled Mosharaf’s party raised the flag of independent Bangladesh. On 29 March, the PAF attacked the ‘rebels’ under Khaled (Khaled 2013: 22–3). In 1983, Zia deployed helicopter gunships and two infantry divisions to quell the rebellion in Sind (Ganguly and Hagerty 2005: 50). This trend continued in the Pakistani security forces’ operation against the insur­ gents in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in the first decade of the new millennium. Deobandi militant groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the Pakistani Taliban, etc. consider those Muslims who do not share their beliefs to be munafiq. They target Pakistani civilian and military personnel and are now expanding their networks in FATA, KP and Punjab. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Tehrek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) started launching suicide attacks against Pakistani security and intelligence agencies (Fair 2014: 245, 255). In March 2004, units of the Pakistan Army and the Frontier Corps started an operation in South Waziristan against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Some 7,000 troops took part and used artillery and mortars to destroy civilian houses in the insurgent-dominated areas. During June, aircraft and helicopter gunships were used against suspected insurgents. In 2004, some 70,000 Pakistani troops were deployed in FATA and KP. The Pakistan Army redeployed these troops from the India-Pakistan border to Waziristan. These troops, originally trained for fast-moving conventional mechanised operations, were unable to wage anti-insurgent operations effectively. Hence their morale dropped.

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In response, the Pakistan Army initiated for these troops an eight-month-long inten­ sive training for conducting COIN tasks effectively (Cloughley 2008: 123–7, 131). The Sri Lankan Armed Forces (SLAF) are geared for COIN tasks and had suc­ cessfully destroyed the LTTE-led Tamil insurgency. And the Sri Lankan COIN was certainly not population centric. The Tamils constituted 10 per cent of Sri Lanka’s population. The SLAF followed a brutal and a harsh COIN and it was successful. Public support for the LTTE, led by Velupillai Prabhakaran, increased after the anti-Tamil riots of 1983. India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) played an important role in strengthening the LTTE (de Silva 2012: 29–30, 202). The funding for LTTE came mostly from the Tamil diaspora (Hashim 2014: 15). In May 1987, the SLAF almost defeated the LTTE and was on the verge of entering Jaffna town to smash the Tamil insurgency once and for all. However, Indian pres­ sure prevented the Sri Lankan forces from ending the war by giving the final blow to the LTTE. One Sri Lankan scholar asserts that the LTTE copied the technique of suicide bombing from two Islamic suicide bombers who attacked the US Marines barracks in Beirut on 23 October 1983. The first LTTE suicide bombing attack occurred on 5 July 1987 against the Sri Lankan troops (de Silva 2012: 1–2, 31). The Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) fought the LTTE between 1987 and 1990. The conflict was inconclusive and after V.P. Singh became prime minister, he withdrew the Indian contingent from Sri Lanka. The failure of the IPKF was due to several factors. One, it was sent initially as a peacekeeping force and not a peace enforcement force. Its job was to separate the Sri Lankan security forces from the LTTE and then disarm the insurgents. However, the LTTE personnel refused to hand over their weapons. They hid among the Tamil populace of Jaffna and started firing at the Indian troops. Surprised by a sudden mission change, the IPKF was caught in the muddle. The units were not trained in COIN tasks, and empa­ thy for the LTTE among the Tamils of Tamil Nadu prevented Delhi from order­ ing the IPKF to use a heavy-handed approach against the LTTE (Roy 2009: 241, 244). Later, the SLAF won by following a heavy-handed approach and almost destroyed Jaffna. Sometimes, harsh measures are effective. In the 1990s, the Sri Lankan Army had about 150,000 personnel, with another 50,000 in the navy and air force. Like the Indian and Pakistani armies, the per­ sonnel are volunteers. The SLAF is strongly tinged with a Sinhala-Buddhist iden­ tity. From 1991 onwards, Sri Lanka received sophisticated weapons from Israel, Pakistan and especially China (de Silva 2012: 95, 164, 212). During the late 1990s, the LTTE could field about 10,000 regular troops capable of conducting conven­ tional campaigns. Ahmed S. Hashim, a civilian security analyst, asserts that the LTTE at this stage was capable of conducting three types of wars simultaneously: terrorism, insurgency and conventional war. He categorises LTTE’s tripartite warmaking capacity as hybrid war. Sri Lankan COIN between 2006 and 2009 had three principles: kill, hold and build. General Sarath Fonseka’s aim was to kill the maximum number of LTTE leaders and cadres within LTTE-held territory and then put the area under Sri Lankan administration. Rather than population-centric, Sri Lankan COIN was enemy-centric. The aim of winning the population in the

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insurgency-ridden areas came next to the primary aim of physically eliminating the largest possible number of LTTE (enemy) personnel (Hashim 2014: 30, 32, 42–3). A first-hand experience of the COIN landscape from the ground level comes from the autobiography of Niromi de Soyza, a Tamil girl who joined the LTTE at the age of 15. Soyza writes: ‘Having been given the licence to kill by the government, the military lacked any kind of discipline, raiding Tamil houses without good reason, then taking away the men, raping the women, looting property and mur­ dering families simply because they were Tamil’ (Soyza 2012: 32). At the tactical level, the SLAF underwent tactical-cum-organisational innova­ tions. General Fonseka used small squads of eight men to move deep inside Tamil territory and attack the LTTE bases using stealth and surprise. During April 2009, the Sri Lankan Army used heavy weaponry, including multi-barrelled rocket launchers, to bombard the Tiger-held territory. Many civilians were crammed into this coastal area, and the LTTE refused to allow the civilians to escape. The LTTE was infamous for using civilians as human shields. Besides 14-year-old children being recruited as soldiers, the civilians were also conscripted by the LTTE to construct defences. The LTTE cadres also came under withering fire from the ground-attack Kfir fighters of the Sri Lankan Air Force (Hashim 2014: 9, 13, 161). In mid-May 2009, Prabhakaran, along with the top leadership of LTTE, was killed in the Nandikadal area (de Silva 2012: 196, 203). The LTTE’s strategic blunder was killing India’s prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in 1991. After this incident, India never supported the LTTE financially, militarily and morally (Hashim 2014: 35). And the LTTE lost the capacity to use Tamil Nadu as safe bases for reorganisation when facing tough pressure from the SLAF. Worse, LTTE could no longer smuggle supplies and send wounded comrades back to India. After the defection of the eastern provinces in 2004, the LTTE, suffering from man­ power shortages, had to conscript child soldiers who were not well trained (de Silva 2012: 202, 205). Finally, geography has the last say in the conflict. Sri Lanka, com­ pared to Afghanistan and Iraq, is an island with a small surface area. Iraq and Afgha­ nistan have land areas of about 437,000 and 647,000 square km, respectively. Sri Lanka’s land area is only 65,000 square km (Hashim 2014: 45). And the Tamils are concentrated only along the northern parts. When faced with conventional campaigns by the numerically superior SLAF, the LTTE lacked space to hide. And there was no porous land border available for them to escape and then launch hit-and-run attacks and conduct ambushes against the SLAF. India is near, just across the narrow Palk Strait, but it was then in no mood to allow the LTTE to reorganise itself on its soil. While Sri Lanka succeeded in curbing the Tamil insurgency, Nepal failed com­ pletely against the Maoist uprising. The Maoist armed struggle in Nepal started in February 1996. One of the most prominent leaders of the Nepali Maoist move­ ment was Nanda Kishor Pun. Revolutionary communist leaders, like film stars, have the habit of taking a new name while making their careers. For instance, Vladimir Ulyanov became Vladimir Lenin and Jughashvili became Stalin (steel). Pun was no exception and took the name Pasang. Born in 1965, Pasang started his political career as a student leader and in 1983 became a schoolteacher. Soon he

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became a member of the Unity Centre Nepal (CPN) Party and later took part in janayuddha (People’s War) organised by the Nepal Communist Party (NCP). From a military trainer, then a company commander, finally he became the Chief of the People’s Liberation Army of Nepal. Comrade Prachanda, who was the Chairman of the NCP-Maoist, claimed in 2008 that the aim of his party was to liberate Nepal from feudalism and imperialism and to act as a beacon for the exploited people all around the globe. Pasang’s Red Strides of the History for him is the preparatory document for writing the final history of military struggle of the Nepalese Maoists (Pasang 2008: Opinion). At the begin­ ning of his book Pasang noted: ‘Awaking the world in the twenty-first century, the People’s War is advancing forward ideologically and politically for a revolutionary social, economic and cultural transformation following the Chinese Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and is oriented to develop Marxism-Leninism-Maoism’ (Pasang 2008: Author’s Word). Besides Mao, Pasang himself admitted that he learnt a lot from Vo Nguyen Giap. He was known as the ‘Giap of Nepal’ (Pasang 2008: His Life). It is interesting that, like Giap, Pasang was a civilian who later transformed himself into an energetic commander of the revolutionary army which conducted a successful People’s War. In addition to Marxist military theories, Pasang also read Sun Tzu and Clausewitz alongside the two Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Nepalese Maoists had a publication department because education and propa­ ganda were considered very important in their framework. Clausewitz’s On War was translated after five months of painstaking work by one Comrade Rajan. And the Prussian’s highly charged Vom Kriege, along with General Giap’s several books, were then distributed among the revolutionary cadres (Pasang 2008: 222). Besides the work of the foreign theorists, Pasang, like Mao, notes the importance of folk songs and poetry in mobilising the peasants for the revolutionary cause and to strengthen the combat potential of his revolutionary soldiers (Pasang 2008: His Life). From a strategic perspective, for Pasang, the revolution will be complete only when the existing political norms and culture of Nepal are destroyed and with the establishment of a revolutionary politico-cultural ethos. And this would require a balanced fusion of artistic and scientific principles. Pasang continues that besides feudal and imperial exploitation by the domestic and foreign governments, barbaric security measures initiated by the government of Nepal strengthen the revolutionary upsurge (Pasang 2008: Civilization). At the tactical level, speed and surprise are the two essential elements in Pasang’s military planning. The guerrillas attacked the police when they were eating meals or in the dead of night after making a long approach march through the jungle. Generally, the lightly equipped guerrillas would start after their evening meal in the early night, march through jungle-covered hills and appear suddenly before the security checkpoints at early dawn. One finds similarity here with the Japanese jitter parties which operated in the jungle-covered landscape of Malaya and Burma during 1941–42. Tactical innovations occurred with time. Initially, in 1996, each raiding party comprised 35 men whose aim was to capture weapons and ammu­ nition from the security forces. By 1999, bigger raiding groups started to appear for

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taking on the specially equipped riot police and commando police. Each such guerrilla raiding band had 62 personnel divided into several groups: an assault group equipped with rifles, a mine group trained for blasting mines, a command group, a logistical group and a reserve group (Pasang 2008: 5–7, 10–11). Theoretically, the Nepalese Maoists advocated a global war against capitalism, but in practice they were satisfied after capturing power in November 2006. From 2007 onwards, Prachanda’s party entered the arena of parliamentary politics and the Maoist People’s Liberation Army of Nepal was subordinated and integrated with the Nepalese Army (which until 2006 was the Royal Nepal Army) by 2011. Overall, the Nepali Maoist War is a classic case of limited guerrilla war. In the end they accepted the democratic framework of the bourgeois political parties, and the lack of unity between the political parties and the king enabled the Nepali Maoists to enter the democratic political arena.

Doomsday doctrines If the light of a thousand suns suddenly arose in the sky, that splendour might be compared to the radiance of the Supreme Spirit … When I see thy vast form, reaching the sky, burning with many colours, with wide open mouths, with vast flaming eyes, my heart shakes in terror … Like the fire at the end of Time which burns all in the last day. (Bhagavad Gita 1962: 53–5)

Dr J. Oppenheimer, chief of the Manhattan Project, quoted some verses from the Bhagavad Gita when he witnessed the first atomic explosion (a plutonium device) on 16 July 1945 at Alamogordo Bombing Range in the USA. Soon after, a ‘thousand suns’ burnt at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and some feared that the end of the world and Armageddon has arrived with the advent of nuclear weapons. Initially, the USA, then the USSR, Britain and France acquired nuclear weapons. In the 1960s, nuclear weapons started spreading in Asia. In the last decade of the twentieth century, India and Pakistan had joined the nuclear club. But the ‘end of days’ for the world is yet to arrive. India’s noted civilian commentator Rajesh Rajagopalan asserts that neither Pakistan nor India has any nuclear strategy. He defines strategy as particular solu­ tions to specific problems. He continues that strategies are decisions about how force will be used if war breaks out. Nuclear strategy means how the nuclear weapons will be used in the case of actual combat. Rajagopalan is speaking about military strategy. He says that as regards nuclear weapons, due to greater political involvement, the concept of a purely military strategy is inapplicable. Even as regards nuclear doctrine (which according to him means military thinking about the nature of future wars and preparation to conduct such wars), the political per­ spective remains important (Rajagopalan 2005: 12–15, 33). One wonders, follow­ ing Clausewitz, whether there can be an independent non-nuclear military strategy because politics is the head and strategy is the tail.

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India’s nuclear capacity developed in response to the Chinese nuclear arsenal, and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal grew in response to India’s nuclear programme and the latter’s conventional superiority. Initially, Nehru had contempt for the military use of nuclear technology but Nehru’s friend, the nuclear physicist Homi J. Bhabha, wanted India to become a nuclear power. After being defeated in the 1962 Sino-Indian War and China’s nuclear test in 1964, India’s nuclear policy changed. From nuclear celibacy, India initiated the policy of nuclear ambiguity (Fair 2014: 229). Nuclear ambiguity means that the nuclear option is kept open but in a state of suspended animation, and the capacity to manufacture nuclear weap­ ons is neither expressed nor foreclosed. An American strategic analyst, Ashley J. Tellis, asserts that India’s policy of uncomfortable ambiguity arose from India’s demonstrated ability to make nuclear weapons, even as it persisted in its claims that it had no nuclear arsenal. India’s policy of nuclear ambiguity is somewhat similar to Israel’s opaque nuclear policy, which is discussed at some length in Chapter 7. India followed this policy until 1998 when it joined the nuclear club due to the pressure of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In 1998, India from a nuclearcapable state became a nuclear-weapon power. India’s nuclear policy, sums up Tellis, is somewhere between a recessed deterrent and a ready arsenal. India has no completely ready nuclear weapons that can be ordered to fire at a moment’s notice. Its force-in-being means disassembled weapons which would require much time to be fired even when ordered by the political authorities. So, India has gone for a No First Use/Strike doctrine [NFU] (Tellis 2001). Pakistan’s devastating defeat in the 1971 War forced it to go along the path of nuclearisation (Rajagopalan 2005: 41). Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto used the nuclear nationalism card to mobilise popular support for gaining political power. In 1984 India considered launching preventive air strikes (Israeli style) against the Kahuta reactor to destroy Pakistan’s evolving nuclear capabilities. In response, Pakistani leaders let it be known that in such a scenario, Pakistan would also launch air strikes against India’s nuclear facilities, which would result in the spread of lethal radioactive materials in populous areas. While the Kahuta nuclear plant uses ura­ nium, the Indian nuclear plants use the more toxic plutonium. Moreover, the Indian nuclear reactors are located near cities. Further, Kahuta was very well pro­ tected with fighters, surface-to-air missiles and balloons. Finally, both sides restrained themselves (Ganguly and Hagerty 2005: 1, 45, 56–7). India’s aspiration is to develop second-strike capability by building a triad (nuclear-weapons-equipped ground force, air force and submarines). However, India is yet to construct a robust command and communication infrastructure for its nuclear weapons. And a sub­ marine-launched ballistic missile weapon system is yet to be operationalised by India. The Pakistani nuclear doctrine did not accept the principle of ‘No First Use’. This is because Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are designed to blunt India’s conven­ tional superiority. Pakistan is afraid that if it accepts NFU, India might launch a conventional campaign using its numerically larger conventional forces and defeat Pakistan. But will Pakistan use nuclear weapons during a conventional conflict?

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Rajagopalan asserts that Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine is actually ‘first use but last resort’. In other words, Pakistan will use nuclear weapons if its security interest is threatened beyond a manageable level which threatens the very existence of the Pakistani state. Pakistan might use nuclear force if, according to Sundarji Doctrine, Indian armed forces threaten strategic locales deep inside Pakistani territory or occupy large chunks of Pakistan. Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine, like that of NATO during the Cold War era, is designed to counter both India’s conventional super­ iority as well as to act as a deterrent to India’s nuclear forces. The very inaccuracy of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles has encouraged the country to pursue city-targeting nuclear planning (Rajagopalan 2005: xiv, 43, 52–4). Several Pakistani military officers quote from the Koran to justify the possible use of nuclear weapons as terror weapons against ‘Hindu’ India (Cohen 1993). Pakistan is the eighth strongest nuclear weapons state in the world (Cheema 2003: ix). In February 2002, Pakistan’s dictator General Pervez Musharraf declared that Paki­ stan is not interested in going for a nuclear race with India. Pakistan’s aim, continued Musharraf, is to maintain a deterrent against India’s perceived massive nuclear arsenal. Rajagopalan, partly influenced by Kenneth Waltz, writes that even a small nuclear force can generate a deterrent against a larger nuclear neighbour. Further, asserts Rajagopalan, even the recessed nuclear capability of Pakistan had been able to deter India’s conven­ tional military superiority in the 1980s (Rajagopalan 2005: 49, 55). Brigadier Feroz Hassan Khan, who was associated with the Pakistani nuclear programme, writes in his book that by test launching missiles (nuclear delivery vehicles), Pakistan signalled to India its ability to use nuclear bombs if the ‘red lines’ are crossed. The missiles are named Ghazni and Ghori (the Afghan Islamic con­ querors who attacked India; see Chapter 5 for these two sultans’ activities) in order to shore up public support for the nuclear programme within Pakistan. In 2002, Pakistan defined the red lines accordingly (Khan 2013: 350–2): 1. 2.



India attacks Pakistan and conquers a large part of the country (territorial threshold). India destroys a large part of the Pakistan Army and the PAF (interestingly the Pakistan Navy is not included within the military threshold because the Pakistani security managers are landlubbers). India engages in economic strangling of Pakistan by using the Indian Navy to blockade Karachi harbour and reduces the water flow from the Indus (eco­ nomic threshold). India politically destabilises Pakistan by encouraging a large-scale insurgency in Baluchistan and Sind (domestic threshold).

Since 2004, Pakistan’s doctrine has been to wage a Limited Unconventional War under the nuclear umbrella. Pakistani strategists accept that nuclear deterrence prevents the Indians from going for an all-out conventional war, so the presence of nuclear weapons prevents India from using conventional superiority to smash Pakistan as was the case in the 1971 War. Pakistan’s nuclear strategy is to support

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the insurgencies inside India backed by nuclear deterrence. Pakistan is convinced that due to the presence of nuclear weapons, India will not be willing to launch a conventional attack in retaliation as it did in 1965. However, Pakistani doctrine emphasises that during Limited Unconventional War, the level of military violence should not escalate beyond a certain threshold which would exhaust India’s tolerance (Fair 2014: 240). Nevertheless, this very ability of Pakistan to encourage cross-border insurgencies under the nuclear umbrella has generated a curious and ironic stability-instability paradox in India-Pakistan’s relationship. The Modi gov­ ernment’s ‘hot pursuit policy’ in 2019 has somewhat discouraged Pakistan from supporting insurgencies within India on a large scale.

Postmodern war The next wars will be fought not just on battlefields but also in the world’s com­ puters and communications systems. (Berkowitz 2003: 1)

Towards the end of the twentieth century, the USA acknowledged that a Revo­ lution in Military Affairs (RMA) was occurring due to the large-scale introduction of long-range precision weapons, computers and electronic devices. These civilian technologies are also influencing and will influence radically, argue the pundits, the dynamics of warfare. The term RMA was initially coined by a senior Russian military officer, Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, who spoke about a Military Technical Revolution (MTR), but later popularised by the American security experts. RMA is a narrower concept than Military Revolution. Military Revolution occurs over a comparatively longer period, let us say over 200–300 years, and involves massive social and cultural changes in the state-society relationship. In contrast, RMA focuses more on the technical changes occurring in the sphere of the armed forces and unfolds within a shorter time frame—i.e. two to three decades. Several RMAs and military revolutions have occurred in history. The development of the German blitzkrieg between the 1920s and 1940s is an example of RMA. The rise of Gun­ powder Warfare in West Europe between 1500 CE and 1700 CE, claim some historians, is an example of a Military Revolution (Knox and Murray 2003). Such concepts and interpretations have been challenged by a band of scholars, most notably by the famous British historian Jeremy Black (Black 2003: 1–37). Still for the sake of brevity, it is helpful to use concepts like RMA, Military Revolution, etc. The RMA which started unfolding from the late twentieth cen­ tury and is still continuing has two components: Information Warfare (IW) and Electronic Warfare (EW). IW in turn requires the replacement of the command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I) combination with command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems (C4ISR). The rise of C4ISR, in turn, has resulted in the emergence of Net-Centric Warfare (NCW). Such concepts also influence the armed forces of South Asia, especially that of India.

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According to the proponents of IW, victory in the twenty-first century will no longer depend on the number of weapon systems (tanks, aircraft and artillery) deployed but on the country’s computers, satellites and software. Information power is as important (if not more) as firepower. Control and command systems and information will be more important than firepower platforms. War will occur in five dimensions: land, air, sea, space and cyberspace. And informatisation will raise the capability of conventional arms. The new IW weapons will be advanced military satellites and miniaturised supercomputers. Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons, laser guns, electronic jamming equipment, computer viruses and com­ puter hackers are to be used to bring down hostile communication networks (Berkowitz 2003). The armed forces of India have also been bitten by the RMA bug. And the most ardent advocates of RMA within the Indian armed forces remain the IAF officers who run the most technologically advanced branch of the Indian armed forces. Air Vice-Marshal Viney Kapila (who retired in 1993), noted in 2002: The advances in Information Technology have reduced the decision making time cycle. The combination of Advance Intelligence, Surveillance, Recon­ naissance (ISR) and Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Inter-operability systems (C4I) have made it an imperative for knowledge based warfare. In this scenario, achieving asymmetry in the electromagnetic spectrum is an inescapable ingredient … It can, therefore, be stated confidently that precision munitions have redefined conventional notions of mass. (Kapila 2002: 22–3) Air Commodore N.B. Singh takes a broader view of RMA. At the beginning of the new millennium, he wrote that future wars could not be won without the air force achieving air superiority, and to achieve command of the air, the air force must have the latest technology. However, India maintains a large professional standing army. More than 60 per cent of the Indian defence budget goes to maintain military manpower, thus leaving little for force modernisation. Rather, asserts the retired air commodore, India should, like Israel, maintain a short-service army backed by a large reserve. And the present manpower-intensive Indian Army is mainly used for COIN duties. In fact, one-third of the Indian Army’s infantry regiments are deployed for COIN in Kashmir and North-East India. COIN tasks should be taken up by the police and paramilitary forces (Singh 2000: 253–4). N.B. Singh writes: ‘wars of the future can be won only by combining modern weapons with strategies appropriate to the new systems’ (Singh 2000: 254). He notes that inter-services rivalries have prevented the generation of a composite joint doctrine by the three branches of the Indian armed forces (Singh 2000: 254–5). However, in his book published in 2000, he only speaks about the IAF doctrine and not about a composite doctrine of the Indian armed forces. N.B. Singh speaks about the use of space-based satellite systems for surveillance, intelligence, communications, navigation and weather forecasting, airborne warning

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and control systems (AWACS), joint surveillance target attack radar systems (JSTARS), EW systems, remotely piloted vehicles/unmanned aerial vehicles (RPVs/ UAVs) and precision-guided munitions from combat aircraft (Singh 2000: 255–6). The Indian Army Doctrine, published in 2004, accepted the importance of RMA with special emphasis on IW. The doctrinal manual displays realism and wisdom when it states: ‘Although we may not have the wherewithal to draw full benefits from it at present, the underlying message is unambiguous—technology gives a clear edge and needs to be exploited to our advantage. We need to conceive and work towards a “homespun” RMA that meets our needs’ (Indian Army Doctrine 2004: 42). The manual emphasises that though RMA is driven by technology, doctrine, training and tactics are still important in order to implement the concept in practice (Indian Army Doctrine 2004: 43). The doctrinal manual quotes the French military theorist Ardant du Picq (1821–1870) who in his Battle Studies noted: ‘The instruments of battle are valuable only if one knows how to use them’ (quoted from Indian Army Doctrine 2004: 45). It is essential, notes the manual, to institutionalise methods for assimilating the latest technology and adapting the military organisation for the best fit. At times, we must also anticipate changes in the software of military organisation, stresses the manual, for acquiring maximum benefit from the RMA (Indian Army Doctrine 2004: 43). The Indian Army’s doctrine noted that information technology is a double-edged sword. Better communication systems in a networked environment allow the armed forces to collect, collate and analyse diverse inputs from various agencies. At the same time, such networks are also more vulnerable. What is required are both active and passive measures to protect them. The aim should be to use the tools of IW to blind and mislead enemy surveillance as part of a coordinated plan. Next, the doctrinal manual goes on to state that the use of Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Intelligence, Information, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4I2SR) systems will result in the expansion of the battlespace and compression of the time dimension. However, the commanders must note, warns the doctrinal manual, the information overload on the decision-making process. At the tactical level, notes the doctrine, the introduction of night-vision devices will make nocturnal combat more common. The doctrinal manual points out that what is required is continuous updating of the doctrine and concepts of warfare in order to go on refining the organisation and tactics of the army. The manual continues that the effects of RMA on low-intensity conflict (LIC)/asymmetric warfare waged by non-state actors needs to be given thorough attention (Indian Army Doctrine 2004: 40–4). At least some Indian military officers are thinking of linking IW with airpower and COIN. One such officer is Air Commodore A.K. Tiwary. He favours using air power integrated with IW technology for combating the insurgents. Tiwary writes: ‘Used imaginatively, employment of air power will pay rich dividends in contain­ ing and eliminating insurgency’ (Tiwary 2002: 164). He accepts being influenced by American military officers in this regard. Tiwary agrees with Admiral Richard W. Mies (who was Commander-in-Chief of US Strategic Command, 1998–2001) that intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) functions carried out by

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strategic command, control, communications and computer (C4) systems comprise the fourth leg of defence. He urges the use of electro-optical, infrared and syn­ thetic aperture radar plus electronic beam. Electro-optical systems would be func­ tioning both day and night and the synthetic aperture radar would be operable even during cloud cover and rainfall. In addition, imaging satellites, orbiting the earth above 310–620 miles, need to be used. Aerial and satellite photographs are to be used for tracking the hide-outs and movement of the insurgent bands. Tiwary continues that the proper use of air power integrated with IW technology requires the operation of a decentralised flexible command system. One finds the ghost of the German Auftragstaktik here. The operation of such a system in COIN opera­ tions would require a capital-intensive, smaller manpower-based COIN force and the latter, reiterates Tiwary, would be more effective in hunting down the insurgents (Tiwary 2002: 159–71).

Conclusion It would be simplistic to accept that British legacies characterise the military theory and praxis of India and Pakistan. Although both India and Pakistan inherited the British traditions, the armed forces of these two countries have evolved differently. While the Pakistan Army remains a politically active force, the Indian Army is a force directly subordinated to civilian bureaucratic control overseen by elected politicians. And we have seen that the conventional and unconventional military strategies of both these two countries are also different. Geography, demography, politics and economic resources are greater determinants than British military theories in the generation of military practices of these two countries. After decolonisation, the armed forces of both India and Pakistan were organised and equipped along British lines. British military theories then held sway. But, from 1960 onwards, with the decline of Britain as a global power, the armed forces of Pakistan came more and more under American influence. The 1971 IndiaPakistan War pointed out that the lack of an effective navy for maintaining con­ nections between the two wings of Pakistan was one of the principal factors behind the defeat of the Pakistani armed forces by India. In the new millennium, the Indian Navy, instead of planning to fight a Mahanian great sea battle, is focusing more on maritime diplomacy and checking piracy. Rather than Alfred Mahan, age-old traditional strategic principles more or less shape the Indian Navy’s evolving doctrinal ideas. India’s continental geopolitical needs (especially two live borders with China and Pakistan) prevent the country from pouring more resources into the naval sector. And in the case of Islamabad, the overwhelming conventional military superiority of India and the fact that the Pakistani generals are landlubbers like the Prussian generals of Germany prevent the growth of a Pakistan Navy. Unlike the Pakistan and Indian armies, the Bangladesh Army did not fight any conventional war and probably would not fight any in the future because of the massive superiority of India which surrounds Bangladesh on all the sides. But, like the Pakistan Army, the Bangladesh Army intervened in politics. One can speculate

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that since the Bangladesh Army emerged out of the Pakistan Army, the latter’s inclination to indulge in coups somehow (consciously and unconsciously) influ­ enced the Bangladesh Army’s behaviour from the mid-1970s. Weak political structures in Pakistan and Bangladesh further exacerbated the intrusion of the armies into the political processes of their respective countries. Again, as far as India is concerned, the armed forces played no important role in achieving indepen­ dence. India’s independence struggle was non-violent, while the 1971 Liberation War was central to Bangladesh’s birth. The Bengali Muslim personnel of the Pakistan Army (who later manned the armed forces of Bangladesh) played an important role in the emergence of Bangladesh. However, in the second decade of the new millennium, both the Pakistan and the Bangladesh armies have realised that intervening in politics is not worth the game and they are maintaining a distance from the democratic regimes. And despite several eyeball-to-eyeball con­ frontations, nuclearisation of the subcontinent has brought stability to the IndiaPakistan relationship by removing the possibility of conducting even Limited Conventional War, at least for the time being. The presence of nuclear weapons on both sides of the Indus from the 1990s has deterred Pakistan from initiating phase two of its military strategy: sending the Pakistan Army to bolster the insur­ gents operating inside India. With regard to RMA, credit is due to the high command of the Indian Army for not getting bowled over by the super technology of IW. Rather, the Indian Army’s doctrine in the new millennium cautiously points out that IW is no silver bullet. The Information Revolution is changing the dynamics of future war, but the doctrinal manual accepts that advanced communication technology has both positive and negative effects on humans conducting warfare. This, indeed, is a judicious assertion. Nevertheless, both India and Pakistan have failed to come up with a holistic doctrine for their armed forces. In the near future, insurgencies and COIN will continue. This chapter shows that there is no hard and fast rule for a successful COIN. Pakistani COIN is brutal but is not successful. In contrast, Sri Lankan COIN is inhumane and militarised but was very successful. Actually, an insurgency can be sustained only when a foreign power supports it. After the withdrawal of Indian support for LTTE in the after­ math of Rajiv Gandhi’s murder, the SLAF gained the upper hand against Prabha­ karan. Indian COIN has evolved from a minimum force philosophy to minimal force doctrine. Continuing Pakistani support enables the jihadis to survive in Kashmir against the Indian COIN forces. The porous border in FATA and KP allows the neo-Taliban to survive. But Sri Lanka is an island and this allowed Colombo to seal off the borders of the country. COIN theory, therefore, in order to be successful, has to be tailored to fit reality. There are no uniform guidelines for a successful COIN. The next chapter turns the focus on East and South-East Asia.

Bibliography Armour, College of Combat, Mhow (Faculty of Studies), Army A, Restricted.

204 South Asia: From modern war to postmodern war

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9 CHINA, SOUTH-EAST ASIA AND JAPAN From Maoist War to Limited War

Introduction In the first half of the nineteenth century, China was a declining power. And in the early twenty-first century, China is a rising global power. How did this shift occur? And what role did military thought play in this abrupt transition? The general view that the late Qing China experienced no evolution in military thought and practice is erroneous. Certain strands of innovative military thought emerged in late Qing China, which later culminated in the Maoist theory of guerrilla warfare. Further, Qing attempts to industrialise laid down the basis of China’s military modernisation in the twentieth century. This chapter traces the trajectory of the development of military thought in China in conjunction with other regions of the Far East such as Japan, Korea and South-East Asia. Modern China’s rise to power started with the rise of Maoism. Maoist politico-military theory reverberates across the world, especially in South-East Asia. While in the second half of the nineteenth century China was declining, Japan, as a result of the Meiji Restoration, was rising. The military rise of Japan peaked during the AsiaPacific War (1939–1945). After its defeat in the Second World War, Japan con­ centrated on economic progress. However, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Japan is showing signs of acquiring military power. And Vietnam, after its successful Maoist People’s War, remains one of the poorest nations of the world even today. The first section of this chapter deals with China and the second section con­ centrates on South-East Asia. However, I do not want to cover all the countries of this particular region; only those countries where significant developments occur­ red in the field of military thought are taken into account. For instance, as far as South-East Asia is concerned, much space is devoted to Vietnam (where Maoism registered success) but not to Malaya where the communist uprising failed.

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Cambodia is not covered at all. The next section turns the spotlight on Japan. Overall, in the Far East (which in my format includes China, Korea, South-East Asia and Japan), we see that the Maoist Revolutionary War concept, which developed in the first half of the twentieth century, is replaced with a high-tech­ nology Limited War concept at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The sections below portray how this transformation happened.

China Qing China In circa 1800, China was on a par with the most economically developed regions of West Europe. However, ‘geographical luck’ (absence of indented coastline, navigable rivers running north-south, which would enable the cheap transport of coal from the north-west to the iron-producing centres near the coast, etc.) and the lack of colonies prevented the emergence of capitalist agriculture and sub­ sequent growth of capitalism in nineteenth-century China. Economic back­ wardness was reflected in the declining military prowess which in turn enabled the ‘foreign devils’ to intrude in the ‘heavenly kingdom’. In the1840s, the population of China numbered 400 million. The peasants constituted more than 90 per cent of the population but owned only 40 per cent of the land. When they worked on rented land, they had to pay 50 per cent of their crops to the landlord. The growth of the opium trade enabled the British to ship out a large amount of silver from China. The loss of silver caused inflation in the Qing Empire, and it hit the pea­ sants badly (Tien 1992: 69, 74). Hence, peasant rebellions were endemic. Lin Zexu was appointed as the Special Commissioner of Canton in March 1839, with express orders to stop the opium trade. Lin talked about guerrilla warfare, advocating that soldiers in plain clothes and peasants with military training were to launch sudden raids against the British. The aim was not to destroy the enemy in a single confrontation but to carry out attrition warfare against the foreigners. Lin’s military thought was the prelude to the rise of the theory of Maoist guerrilla war­ fare in the first half of the twentieth century. In May 1841, the peasants of the Sanyuanli area mobilised spontaneously in response to the British looting and burning the countryside and raping the peasant women. About 15,000 peasants armed with pikes, knives and hoes attacked the British soldiers (Tien 1992: 74, 76). One could say that the Sanyuanli peasant militia was the prequel to the later Maoist peasant guerrilla force. After 1861, among the ruling elites of China, a conceptual shift occurred. They realised that they needed to come to terms with the Western presence in East Asia. The strategic elites of China wanted to modernise their country, taking into account unique Chinese customs and values. In the words of one author in the second half of the nineteenth century, the concept of a universal Confucian world empire was metamorphosed into the idea of a nation-state. However, strands of the thinking that China was still the Middle Kingdom remained (Hsu 2006: 70). Pre­ viously, the Chinese used to think that their foreign policy was an extension of the

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principles of social and political order that were manifested internally within China, so China’s foreign relations were hierarchic and non-egalitarian (Hao and Wang 2006: 143). However, it changed when a proto-foreign office was set up in 1861. The Banner Army of the Qing Empire was divided into three categories: Manchu Eight Banners, Mongolian Eight Banners and Han Eight Banners. The Manchu Eight Banners was based on the Manchu tribes who had conquered Ming China. Posts in the Banner Army were hereditary. Different coloured flags were used to identify the eight army groups. The Mongolian Eight Banner Army mainly comprised cavalry and they were badly beaten by the Nien Army in the 1860s. The Han Eight Banner Army comprised those Chinese clans who collaborated with the Manchus before the fall of the Ming Empire (Tien 1992: 71). Towards the end of the Nien War in 1868, a new kind of ground force named yung-ying (brave battalions) emerged under the Qing government. These were actually regional armies and in the next century they metastasised into warlord armies. This army numbered about 300,000 men. This force differed from the Qing Banner forces and Green Standard Army (comprising Han Chinese) in several ways. One of the characteristics of yung-ying was greater use of Western weapons. Further, these forces were based on particularist loyalties inherent in traditional Chinese society. Close personal bonds developed between the higher and lower officials and between officers and men. Army commanders personally selected the officers of the various battalions under them. Each battalion commander respon­ sible for 550 men selected their own company officers and the latter chose their platoon officers. Each platoon officer selected the 10 men they would command in their platoon (Liu and Smith 2006: 202–3). Centralised recruitment and a unified homogeneous nationwide professional officer corps were thus absent among the brave battalions. As part of the programme of enabling China to catch up with the West, the Self-Strengthening reforms initiated after the Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864) included the construction of new arsenals and shipyards and the establishment of technical schools and translation bureaus for translating Western scientific materials into Mandarin Chinese (Elman 2005: 146). However, the reforms were not enough. Traditional culture and internal rebellions were serious obstacles to implementing the programme of Westernising China. Despite the pleadings of Li Hongzhang, an ardent advocate of the SelfStrengthening movement, the Qing government refused to build railways. The conservatives argued that the construction of railways would disturb fengshui—the rules of geomancy requiring placing new structures in auspicious locations. Just before the onset of the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894, China had only one rail­ way, a short section between Tianjin, Beijing and Shanhaiguan, and China’s roads were poorly maintained; the inadequate transport network decelerated troop move­ ment, allowing the Japanese to concentrate troops and win the war. The antiWestern Boxer Uprising (1899–1900) further retarded the process of Westernisation of Qing China (Paine 2017: 24, 49, 51).

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Japan’s victory in the 1894–95 Sino-Japanese War convinced many Chinese reformers that the Self-Strengthening movement had been a failure and more farreaching effort was required. On the initiative of Sun Yat-sen (1866–1925) a small organisation was formed to overthrow the Qing and establish a republic. This organisation (later it metamorphosed into Kuomintang) initiated an uprising in 1895, which failed. Nevertheless, it was the beginning of the end for the Qing. Sun Yat-sen was a Westernised Chinese who had lived abroad for many years. Christian missionaries and their Christian converts were prominent among Sun’s supporters. Sun’s objective was to transform Chinese society and political structure with the aid of the foreigners. Sun’s strategy was to get aid from the Western powers and if it was not possible then from Japan. Sun’s main pillars of support were the secret societies, overseas Chinese and foreign countries (Gasster 2006: 463–74). Yuan Shikai, a Qing general, played a major role in Chinese politics and in the Westernisation of the Qing Army. His views and activities are worth examining in some detail. In 1895, he submitted a proposal to the Qing government for reforming the military. Yuan was not a traditional Confucian soldier-bureaucrat. He had served in Korea with the Qing Army and later was in charge of training the army units in Hebei Province. He favoured adopting Western methods. He argued for both a standing army and a reserve force. Yuan’s reform scheme had elements such as conscription and a reserve force, which were integral to the Prussian-German Army, the most advanced military organisation of the world at that time. And the administrative-tactical organisation of Yuan’s military force was a copy of the Western armies (Tien 1992: 105–7). However, some intellectuals challenged the strategy of copying and adopting the Western military formula. One such intellectual was Wei Yuan. He argued that the Western ships and naval guns were far superior to anything that the Chinese pos­ sessed, hence China could not protect the coastal sea. Modern navies enabled the Western powers to concentrate military manpower and firepower against any par­ ticular point they wanted along the coastline of China, so the Qing government could not hope to protect either China’s coastline or the ports. Rather, China should concentrate on defending the waterways, which would prevent the Wes­ tern powers from intruding inland inside the Middle Kingdom. Wei was therefore asking for an inland defence rather than a forward defence based on ports and the coastline of China. Instead of a purely military strategy, Wei took refuge in grand strategy. He advocated using diplomacy to supplement China’s weak military power and practicing a divide and rule policy against the Western powers, which had contradictory strategic and economic interests. Wei suggested that China should ally herself with Russia, France and the USA. Russia should be encouraged to attack British India to pressurise London. Further, Russia could be used to protect Korea and Manchuria against a rising Japan. And the USA and France should take care of Chinese maritime security against Britain and Japan (Tien 1992: 79–81). Wei’s grand strategy is somewhat similar to the Kautilyan policy of bheda, which is discussed in some detail in Chapter 2.

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In 1901, the Qing government ordered the provincial authorities to raise their own armies in the model of brave battalions. In 1906, the Qing government ordered that 20 per cent of the provincial revenues should be spent on financing the regional armies. Thus, the provincial governments had full control not only over the military forces but also over finance. In 1910, a rice famine resulted in major riots in Changsha and in other cities (McCord 2005a: 221). The legitimacy of the Qing Dynasty was seriously undermined due to China’s defeat in the SinoJapanese War of 1894–1895. Further, as part of the Westernisation programme of the Qing, the soldiers were given education. Hence, in the first decade of the twentieth century, the soldiers were politicised (McCord 2005b: 276–7). These popular uprisings, in addition to politicised soldiers, almost finished the legitimacy of Manchu rule. In 1911, the anti-Manchu elements brought down the Qing Dynasty. Many Qing generals controlling the regional armies, sensing that they would gain more autonomy if central government collapsed, did not try to save the dynasty. Yuan Shikai, controlling the Beiyang Army, emerged as the principal strongman of China. However, the revolutionary government had no strong military forces under its own control. Already in December 1915, General Cai E had declared independence in Yunnan Province. In 1916, Yuan declared himself Emperor of China. The warlord era had started (Tien 1992: 119–24).

Rise of Maoism War is the highest form of struggle, existing ever since the emergence of private property and social classes, for settling contradictions between classes, between nations, between states, or between political groups at given stages of their development. Mao Tse-tung 1936 (Mao 1954: 176)

The communist movement emerged in the 1920s. The Chinese Communist Party or Communist Party of China (CCP) was founded in 1921 in Shanghai. Initially it was an urban movement, but within six years it acquired a rural base. The CCP’s military arm, which later came to be known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), came into existence on 1 August 1927. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) was founded in 1949. During the 1920s, Mao Tse-tung (1893–1976) developed the theory of insur­ rection. He called it the People’s War. Unlike V.I. Lenin, Mao considered the peasants as a revolutionary force. This was a decisive break from the LeninistMarxist dogma that the peasants are anti-revolutionary while the urban proletariat is revolutionary. In 1926 Mao wrote that in an economically backward semicolonial country like China, the landlords and compradors were vassals of the international bourgeoisie who in turn were dependent on imperialism. The big landlords and the compradors were supporters of Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang/ KMT (Mao 1954: 13–14). Mao was a pragmatic person. He understood that since China was not indus­ trialised, a strong urban proletariat class was absent. The only way he could over­ throw the bourgeois-imperial enemies was to mobilise the peasants. For this reason,

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Maoist theory became popular in the backward agrarian countries of the world. Lin Piao summed up this position of the Maoists succinctly. About 80 per cent of China’s population was peasants who were suffering from imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism (comprador bourgeoisie), so they were yearning to fight against Japan and for the Red Revolution (Semmel 1981: 255). Maoism tapped into these sources of their discontent. The Maoist theory of Revolutionary War focused on the countryside rather than the cities. Lin Piao, in tune with Mao, wrote that the strategy of rapidly capturing the cities and winning the war quickly was wrong. He warned that longterm painstaking work among the peasants was necessary in order to establish revolutionary base areas in the countryside. And from these bases in the country­ side, the cities would be gradually encircled and finally captured. In order to mobilise the economically and politically backward peasants, work should be done in the bases to educate the peasantry and to improve their livelihood (Semmel 1981: 255–6). However, the role of coercion and violence cannot be marginalised for making the revolution a reality. Lin Piao notes: ‘Without a people’s army, the people have nothing’ (quoted from Semmel 1981: 257). Mao could not have agreed more. In 1928, Mao elaborated on the agrarian bases which were to function as nodes for the expanding Red Revolution. Mao pointed out that the various warlords were fighting with each other, and this seriously weakened the White regime. This would enable the Red to occupy and establish bases. However, at times, the dif­ ferent White regimes might cooperate and attempt to destroy the Red localised bases. To prevent extermination, the Reds should strengthen the party organisation and carry out agrarian reforms (Mao 1954: 64–70). Mao defined Revolutionary War in the following terms: ‘A revolutionary war is never confined within the bounds of military action. Because its purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a com­ pletely new state structure, any revolutionary war is a unity of which the con­ stituent parts, in varying importance, are military, political, economic, social, and psychological’ (Guerrilla Warfare 1963: 9). After the political, the military element is most important in the Maoist theory of People’s War; and People’s War, for Mao, is Revolutionary War. Marx had written: ‘Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one’. Following this German thinker, Mao in his down-to­ earth language noted: ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun’ (Semmel 1981: 259). Ideological indoctrination is another important aspect of Maoist military theory. Ideological indoctrination was not unique to the Maoists. The Wehrmacht was also characterised by a heavy dose of ideological indoctrination: the racist NationalSocialist ideology. In contrast, the PLA was indoctrinated to believe that it com­ prised peasants and workers in uniform (Bartov 2001; Scobell 2003: 114–15). And the revolutionary army, for Mao, would conduct Revolutionary War. This strand of thought was also adopted by the communist forces of Vietnam (Stetler 1971: 110).

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The Maoist theory of People’s War is characterised by an attritional long-term strategy based on three phases. During the first phase, which can be categorised as the period of strategic defence, the communists would build up their strength. The shift from the first stage to the second stage occurs when the communists had won over a significant portion (between 15 and 25 per cent) of the population. Mao understood the importance of ‘hearts and minds’ long before the Western COIN theorists started paying attention to this aspect. Mao noted that since guerrilla warfare is derived from the masses, without the latter’s sympathy and cooperation, the guerrillas would not be able to flourish (Guerrilla Warfare 1963: 23, 33). During the second phase, the period of strategic stalemate, the communists would carry out guerrilla attacks against the enemy (mainly KMT and to an extent against the Japanese). The first two phases are defensive in nature. In 1936 Mao had written that, at times, concrete conditions demand that the communist armies should adopt a defensive posture. Mao critiqued the Li Li-san theory of 1930 that the Red Army should always attack. Mao repeated that Li Li-san forgot that the revolutionary struggle is going to be protracted. Mao continued that defence and retreat are essential components of the People’s War. As a parallel, Leon Trotsky in 1921 had critiqued Marshal Mikhail Tukachevsky (1893–1937) and his supporters’ dogma of offence is the best strategy at all times and at all places. Trotsky called the offensive dogma (which was probably influenced by Clausewitzian thinking) a sin and unscientific. Mao rightly argued that in a big country like China, with its large population, trading space for time is a good strategy, as Russia did against Napo­ leon in 1812. If communists in China follow such a strategy, then, Mao rightly argued, the Japanese could not finish the war quickly and would be exhausted in the long run (Semmel 1981: 232–9, 248–9). Mao, like Trotsky, took a jab at the military theorists of Germany who envi­ saged a quick war and argued for a strategic offensive at all times. The German military thinkers assumed that strategic offence is inherently better than strategic defence. Mao further said that the argument stating that while conducting a stra­ tegic defence the soldiers get demoralised does not hold true for a revolutionary army. Only in the armies of the imperialist-capitalist states, with sharp class con­ tradictions, do such features arise (Semmel 1981: 238–9). Mao’s assumption that an army fighting a just cause will have personnel totally committed to the organisation is somewhat similar to the Taoist principle that an army fighting a Just War will have loyal and brave soldiers in its ranks. For more on Taoism and warfare, refer to Chapter 3. Somewhat like Clausewitz, Mao accepted the role of intangibles in the conduct of war. Mao noted that rather than weapons, superior leadership and revolutionary consciousness will decide the course of war (Egan 2018: 91). In the third phase, according to the Maoist format, the communists would go on a strategic offensive by launching aggressive guerrilla campaigns coupled with conventional attacks against the hostile forces. Mao further noted that it is essential to coordinate the operation of guerrillas with the operations of the regular armies of the communists (Guerrilla Warfare 1963: 31). After the surrender of Japan, in August 1945, Mao took the decision to transform the guerrilla-centric PLA into a

214 China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War

conventional army. By the end of 1945, the best communist troops were organised in brigades and armies (Scobell 2011: 199). Mao was influenced by traditional Chinese politico-military philosophy, V.I. Lenin and history. The concept of inevitability is inherent in all varieties of Marxism. Mao adopted the notion of inevitability from Lenin. Mao assumed that a people’s insurrection and a people’s revolution are not only natural but inevitable (Guerrilla Warfare 1963: 31). This very concept of inevitability is akin to the reli­ gious fundamentalism which characterises the apocalyptic vision of many religions like Islam. However, there is a catch. Mao accepted that besides eternal and time­ less principles, there are certain historical and contextual factors involved. Hence, Mao’s theory is more flexible than otherwise assumed. Unlike Clausewitz, Mao believed that there are certain laws of war which are susceptible to study and solution. Revolutionary War, for Mao, is a subset of war in general, and there are certain laws for Revolutionary War. And these laws are distinct from the laws of war. Mao warned that if one studies only the laws of war which are copied from the West (criticism of Clausewitz?) and applied mechanically, then defeat would surely follow. For Mao, the laws of Revolutionary War change from country to country in accordance with the socio-economic structure of the region, which has been shaped by the historical evolution of that area. Consequently, the laws of Revolutionary War need to be historically contextualised. As a theorist of Revo­ lutionary War, Mao chalked out the following steps in 1936: study war in general, Revolutionary War in particular, and finally the history of that region. The laws of war and Revolutionary War, noted Mao, could be revealed by analysing the circumstances of war, its characteristics, and its relation with other things (Mao 1954: 175–7). While formulating guerrilla tactics, Mao argued that they should be linked to surprise and deception. He wrote, almost borrowing the vocabulary of Sun Tzu, that the soldiers should avoid the solid, attack the hollow, make the enemy believe that you are coming from the east but attack him from the west (Guerrilla Warfare 1963: 34). In 1930, Mao expanded on the tactics of guerrilla warfare: ‘The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy halts, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue’ (Mao 1954: 124). The influence of Sun Tzu is clearly evident here. Sun Tzu’s maxims are attack weakness, avoid strength, be patient, etc. (Shy and Collier 1986: 823). All these elements are present in Maoist thought regarding guerrilla warfare. Confucianism, like the ancient Hindu politico-military tradition, attributes a lower status to the military officials vis-à-vis the civilian officials (Scobell 2003: 52). This justifies the CCP controlling its military wing. In December 1929, Mao warned his fellow Red revolutionaries that if the Red Army was not subordinated to the control of the party then the masses would be estranged from the movement and the CCP would become like the KMT. In order to establish strong civilian control of the party over the PLA, Mao argued for continuous criticism of the Red Army’s activities by the mass organisations of the party and also to politically edu­ cate the military personnel (Mao 1954: 106–8). Thus, as regards the civil-military

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relationship, Mao differed from Sun Tzu. While Sun Tzu supports allowing sig­ nificant autonomy to the commanders in the realm of strategy, Mao is for the party strictly controlling the military. The principle of civil superiority enshrined in ancient Hindu politico-military thought also continues to legalise postcolonial India’s policy of subordinating the military to civilian bureaucratic control. Confucius did not criticise war per se but the improper use of force, advocating the idea of Just War. Certain types of violence are sanctioned in Confucian thought. Violence by the state and by authority figures is culturally sanctioned. However, violence from below against the established order is not allowed. If a war is waged to educate, punish or restore the correct order of things, then the war is just or righteous. And waging Just War allows China to strike the enemy first. Mao absorbed these ideas. In the 1950s China developed the concept of active defence strategy. Such a strategy does not acknowledge the differences between offence and defence. Sudden first strikes are considered part of the package of active self-defence (Scobell 2003: 20–1, 34–5). Mao’s CCP won power in China for several reasons. The CCP promised the distribution of land captured from the landlords among the peasants, and as most of the PLA personnel were peasants, this measure not only attracted the peasants towards the CCP but also strengthened the combat motivation of the communist soldiers (Ven 2005: 262). Then, despite Marxist theory, Mao and his subordinates were down-to-earth realists and not idealists. Whenever possible, they deviated from the rule book in accordance with hard reality. For instance, during the Second World War, the CCP welcomed local militias, sectarian organisations, bandits and demobilised soldiers in order to build up community defence at the local level (Wou 2005: 358). The KMT’s army was destroyed by the Japanese between 1937 and 1945 in several big conventional battles. At that time, Mao’s communists were licking their wounds far away in North-West China. Despite the communist rhetoric and braggadocio, the CCP, like a jackal, was waiting in the interior of China, while the main burden of the Japanese war fell upon Chiang’s KMT. It is to be noted that during the Second World War, the principal front for the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) remained not the Pacific theatre but China. And the main threat the IJA faced in China was the KMT supported by the USA. For instance, between April 1944 and February 1945, the IJA launched the Ichigo Offensive which involved 510,000 men who battled against 700,000 nationalist soldiers (Paine 2012: 201). In 1945, after the surrender of Japan when US aid to the KMT stopped, Mao’s PLA annihilated Chiang’s depleted force in a series of conventional battles.

From People’s War to network-centric war Between Mao and Deng Xiaoping (1904–1997), China’s grand strategy registered a significant shift. While Mao was preoccupied with revolution, Deng focused on economic modernisation. However, the shift of focus from political revolutionary struggle to a policy of economic development did not lessen the frequency and

216 China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War

intensity of China’s use of force. Modern China, asserts Andrew Scobell, follows the typical Chinese defence strategy, which is an amalgam of Confucian conflictaverse defence-minded policy and a realist policy that is offensive in nature and favours military solutions to problems (Scobell 2003: 15, 38). Under Deng (paramount ruler of the PRC from 1978 to 1992), China’s military doctrine changed from Maoist People’s War to People’s War under Modern Conditions. In Deng’s strategic formulation, the era of world war was over but regional local wars were still a possibility, and future anti-aggression wars might be fought along the borders of China (Pillsbury 1998: xxii–xxiii). Further, such wars were to be limited (both in terms of objectives and scope), and the PLA was to be deployed against both foreign and domestic enemies. However, the PLA’s domestic role was to be less than it was under Mao in the 1960s, and instead of a lightly equipped large infantry force, the new doctrine emphasised a highly trained smaller PLA with significant air and naval arms. This doctrine especially developed in the aftermath of China’s 1979 Vietnam War in which the PLA fought with a large number of infantry supported by artillery. China’s air combat capability at that time welcomed was probably less than that of Vietnam (Scobell 2003: 126–7, 139, 143). In the post-Deng period, China’s military doctrine registered another shift. Post Deng military doctrine focuses on fighting Limited Wars in a high-technology environment with elite troops equipped with super-technology weapons. And the PLA is to be prepared for combat against foreign enemies in the offshore regions of China (Scobell 2003: 74–5, 137). From the 1990s, the Chinese armed forces were influenced by the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) that was being debated in the West and especially in the USA. In 1993, Andrew Marshall of RAND noted that long-range precision strikes would become the dominant operational approach. The other aspect is the role of information in warfare. These two developments, Marshall asserted, will result in RMA. Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew F. Krepinevich, who was working under Marshall, noted that RMA that embodied new technology and innovative concepts would result in a quantum leap in the combat effectiveness of the armed forces (Freedman 2015: 215–16). China’s mili­ tary forces could afford to tinker with such concepts due to the massive growth in the economic sector. With a GDP growth rate averaging 9.5 per cent per year between 1980 and 2004 and 9 per cent between 2005 and 2007, China has emerged as the world’s fourth largest economy (Sharma 2010: 1). The PLA officers paid great attention to foreign wars, especially those waged by the USA in the Gulf (1990–91) and in Kosovo (1998–99). The Chinese also read Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov’s works (Newmyer 2010: 485). Taking the materialist approach, Lieutenant-General Zheng Wenhan wrote in 1994: ‘The most impor­ tant task of military science is to study the causes of wars, the nature of wars, the relation between war and politics, economics, science, geography, etc., and to explore the laws of emergence of wars and development, so as to lay the founda­ tion for guiding wars correctly’ (quoted from Pillsbury 1998: 205). Like their Soviet big brother, the Chinese communists also believe that war is not an art but a

China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War 217

science and is guided by several permanently operating factors. Thus, the commu­ nist approach to the study of war is an empiricist-positivist Jominian one rather than an abstract Clausewitzian one (influenced by Counter-Enlightenment Aufk­ larers, translated as Romantics in English) which considers warfare as an abstract art (Gat 1989). A Chinese major-general who was Director of the Armour Department of the PLA’s General Staff noted in 1989 that modernisation of the PLA required motorisation and armouring of the ground troops. The armoured corps must pos­ sess fast-reaction quick-strike capabilities and should be able to coordinate opera­ tions with the air force. One finds the influence of the American concept of Air-Land Battle here. In the same year, another major-general of the PLA noted that the creation of advanced types of armoured force and artillery is a long process with four stages: importation, digestion, development and creation. In 1994, a colonel of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force noted that the Gulf War proves high-technology wars require non-linear operations instead of mechanical regular operations (Pillsbury 1998: 152, 178, 219). The concept of Information Warfare (IW) was first proposed in China in 1985 by a comparatively low-ranking officer of the PLA named Shen Wei Kuan (Wu 2006: 173). One of the theorists of the PLA noted that bloody wars would be replaced in the future with contestations for and confrontations of information. The chief feature of future conflicts would be deterring and blackmailing the enemy with dominance in the possession of information (Pillsbury 1998: 412). China’s Electronic Warfare (EW) modernisation is based on improving its intercept, direction finding and jamming capability. China is interested in improv­ ing imagery reconnaissance and surveillance as well as electronic intelligence (ELINT) collection. It is also trying to develop unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to serve as platforms for an improved EW capability. The PLA is developing the ability to deploy electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bombs (hard-kill capacity) to paral­ yse hostile electronic and information systems. One major-general emphasised in 1996 that in the era of RMA, combat will be decided by magic weapons. Some of the magic weapons are smart weapons, sonic weapons, plasma weapons, electromagnetic guns, mirror beam weapons, laser weapons, stealth weapons and ultrasonic wave weapons. Major-General Sun Bailin in 1996 argued for the use of nanosatellites and ant robots for destroying the hostile forces’ ‘information superhighways’ (Pillsbury 1998: 394, 407, 413–20). However, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, fewer than 2 per cent of the PLA’s officers have PhDs and only 20 per cent have degrees in science and technology. Many officers were ignorant of operating computers (Ji 2004: 97–123; Yang 2004: 125–34). And this factor seriously retards the PLA’s attempt to imple­ ment IW-oriented RMA. Improvement in the IW capability of Taiwan, with a population of 17 million, is forcing China to go down the path of IW-oriented RMA. After being defeated by Maoist forces, Chiang Kai-shek’s band took refuge in Taiwan. From 1950 onwards, Taiwanese military officers attended US academies, and US advisors came

218 China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War

to the island in large numbers, especially after the Korean War (1950–53). Until now, Taiwan has remained independent of mainland China and, like Japan, enjoys an extended American security umbrella. Reuniting Taiwan with China remains a strategic aim of the PRC, and China poses a serious threat to Taiwan. In July 1995 and in March 1996, China launched large-scale military exercises in the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan and the USA planned that in case of a Chinese invasion, Taiwan has to defend itself for two to three weeks, before US forces could come to the aid of the island in significant numbers (Ding 2004: 167–84). Taiwan is a world leader in information technology (IT). At the beginning of the new millennium, Taiwan manufactured 80 per cent of the computer chips in commercial use (Ross 1986: 55–8; Mahnken 2004: 217). The civilian leadership of Taiwan ardently supports the policy of integrating IT weapons with the defence forces. With the aid of IT-oriented RMA, Taiwan is moving from a policy of defending the island to a strategy of deterring China. The objective is to move the battlefield away from the island of Taiwan. Building a Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system is more costly than manufacturing missiles; therefore, it is better to wage IW. Taiwan is the leading producer of computer viruses. The IW strategy of Taiwan is that in the case of a Chinese attack on the island, Taiwan would attack the PLA’s software, resulting in a shutdown of the latter’s command and control set up (Mulvenon 2004: 139–65). It will be then a bloodless victory. Here, we are moving into the field of virtual reality and spectacle war or bloodless combat. Combat will be reduced to a computer game. Welcome to the world of The Matrix. Now, we turn the focus to the regions further south of Taiwan.

South-East Asia Our strategy is neither arithmetic nor trigonometric. It is quite simply the strategy of just war, of a people’s war. General Vo Nguyen Giap 1968 (quoted from Stetler 1971: 321)

In 1937 Mao had written that the revolutionary guerrilla campaign which the CCP was waging in China would have a global effect (Guerrilla Warfare 1963: 7). He was right. In Asia, the Maoist movement influenced Vietnam, Malaysia and Nepal among other countries. Nepalese communists have been discussed in Chapter 8. In Vietnam, the communist movement started under Ho Chi Minh (affectionately known as Uncle Ho) and Vo Nguyen Giap. While Ho provided political direc­ tion, Giap controlled the military operations. Mao’s writings had enormous influ­ ence on both Ho and Giap. Well versed in Chinese, Ho translated Mao’s work titled ‘On the Protracted War’ (Zhai 2005: 451). Vo Nguyen Giap, born in 1912, was a schoolteacher and became head of the Vietminh guerrilla forces in 1944 (Tanham 1962: 14–15). Giap, despite lacking professional military training, has earned his place among the pantheons of the world’s great generals. When France decided to re-establish colonial rule after the end of the Second World War, Ho’s communist forces decided to strike. In late 1946, Ho’s force of 60,000 men had only 40,000 rifles. Still, on 16 December that year, Ho’s forces

China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War 219

launched attacks on the French forces at Hanoi and other towns in Vietnam. By the spring of 1947, the Vietminh government and its forces, under pressure from the French units, had retreated to the mountainous area north of Hanoi (Tanham 1962: 9). The Vietminh, meanwhile, prepared for a long attritional war. In 1953 Giap headed the Ministry of National Defence and was also the Com­ mander-in-Chief of the army (Tanham 1962: 34), so had both operational and administrative control over the Vietminh forces. From the very beginning, he, like Mao, prepared for a very long war. Giap noted that the first task of the Communist Party was to educate, mobilise, organise and arm the whole people so that they could take part in resistance against foreign imperialism (Stetler 1971: 92). The Vietminh forces had political officers like the Red Army of the USSR. The political officers (commissars) wore uniforms and were members of the armed forces and enjoyed a privileged position vis-à-vis the military officers. The political officers carried out political propaganda while military officers concerned them­ selves with military issues (Tanham 1962: 3, 37). Giap understood the importance of discipline. He argued that even the guerrillas require strict discipline. Good dis­ cipline ensures, noted Giap, that personnel will throw themselves in the face of greatest danger if ordered to do so by their officers. However, Giap also says that the revolutionary force must have internal democracy. Giap then continues that initiative and autonomy should be granted to the junior officers so that they can take advantage of the fleeting opportunities (Stetler 1971: 112). Is Giap hinting at the Prussian-German Auftragstaktik (mission-oriented command) here? Seizing an opportune moment was part and parcel of the German Way of War and something which the Auftragstaktik command technique empha­ sises. However, in traditional Vietnamese military thought, a fundamental concept of military strategy is Thoi Co, which means taking advantage of the window of opportunity to maintain strategic initiative (Van 1977: 10). While Mao was partly influenced by traditional Chinese politico-military thought as represented by Confucius and Sun Tzu, Giap was also influenced by traditional Vietnamese military practice. Giap emphasised that in the thirteenth century when the Mongols invaded, the Vietnamese defeated them using guerrilla techniques. Giap said that the Vietnamese would conduct guerrilla war against the twentieth-century’s foreign invaders (Stetler 1971: 330). In Chapter 5 we saw that Vietnam had a premodern tradition of conducting guerrilla warfare—and Giap probably tapped into this tradition. Ground reality forced Giap, like Mao, to advocate guerrilla war. Mao had written that guerrilla war is primitive only from the technological perspective. Guerrilla war is not decided by complex mechanical devices, electronic computers and highly organised logistical structures (Guerrilla Warfare 1963: 9). Vietnam was a backward agrarian country and the communist revolutionaries had rudimentary weapons compared to the advanced weapon systems in the hands of the French occupying forces. Giap had written: ‘Guerrilla war is the war of the broad masses of an economically backward country standing up against a powerfully equipped and well trained army of aggression’ (quoted from Stetler 1971: 105). Giap drilled into

220 China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War

the heads of the communist cadres the message that in a People’s War, the material superiority of the enemy is irrelevant. Giap admitted that Vietnam is a small country with only 30 million people. During the Mongol invasions, there were only one million Vietnamese but the Mongols were beaten back. And the Amer­ icans would also be beaten back by waging an attritional guerrilla war. Time, retorted Giap, would wear the Americans out (Stetler 1971: 329–30). The jihadis of Afghanistan also emphasised in the 1980s and in the first decade of the twenty-first century that the Soviets and the Americans could be beaten because time was on the side of the Afghan guerrillas. It would be wrong to assume that the Vietminh forces were capable of con­ ducting only guerrilla warfare. The Vietminh forces were divided into three cate­ gories: regular army, regional forces and popular troops. In 1950, a division of the regular army had about 15,000 personnel. The regular army’s divisions were equipped with 120-mm heavy mortars and 75-mm artillery and Soviet anti-aircraft guns of 20-mm and 40-mm variety. The popular troops were divided into two groups: the Dan Quan and Dan Quan du Kich. Members of Dan Quan were mainly a labour force with a little military training. This group comprised persons of both sexes and they performed auxiliary military duties. Although they occasionally carried out acts of sabotage, their main functions were to collect intelligence, to serve as guards, repair the roads, build bases, fortify the villages and to act as porters for the regular military units. Personnel of the Dan Quan wore no uniforms and had no weapons except a few sabotage materials. The Dan Quan du Kich consisted of men aged between 18 and 45 and they functioned as part-time guerrillas. They were divided into batches of 8 to 15 men and elected their own leaders. One finds traces of popular democracy at work here: these units were lightly armed, they conducted occasional guerrilla attacks, and then went back to their civilian occu­ pations (Tanham 1962: 33, 41–6, 51). In November 1953, the French occupied Dien Bien Phu to protect Laos and also to encourage the Vietminh to attack a strongly fortified position. The French objective was to wear down Giap’s force in such a process: a reverse Verdun. Superior numbers and firepower allowed the Vietminh to occupy Dien Bien Phu on 8 May 1954. Direct artillery fire by the Vietminh troops proved decisive. Giap, in order to win this positional war, was willing to take casualties. He lost 15,000 men in this battle, which lasted from 31 March till 7 May 1954. The French gar­ rison in Dien Bien Phu comprised only one-fifteenth of the total number of French troops deployed in Vietnam; nevertheless, the political consequences were disastrous for the French, and Paris decided to end the struggle (Tanham 1962: 31–2). The communists understood the political primacy of the struggle well. Giap, like Mao and Lin Piao, said that war is not just a case of military matters. Military strength and military strategy cannot help to win or even to understand the strug­ gle. Giap continued that the French political defeat was followed by their military defeat at Dien Bien Phu (Stetler 1971: 328–9). The French could not offer any political package to the Vietnamese which could compete with the communists’

China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War 221

demand for complete independence. And France itself was politically fragmented as regards the policy to be followed vis-à-vis Vietnam. With regard to the political primacy in warfare, do we have Clausewitz’s ghost at Giap’s back? Clausewitz cast a long shadow even over Mao and Lin Piao. Mao drilled into the minds of his followers that without a political goal, the revolutionary guerrillas are bound to fail (Guerrilla Warfare 1963: 33). Lin Piao asserted that while building a People’s Army, primacy should be given to politics (Semmel 1981: 258). For Mao, Lin Piao and Giap, the ‘bourgeois military philosopher’ Clausewitz’s dictum ‘war is the continuation of politics by other means’ remained the cardinal principle. In Giap’s format, the American imperialists were conducting a neo-colonial aggressive war in Vietnam. As part of the imperialist strategy, they had built up a puppet government (Diem’s government) and a puppet army. In 1959, Giap wrote that North Vietnam, centred round the Red River (Tonkin) Delta, had been lib­ erated and was entering the stage of socialist revolution. However, South Vietnam, centred round the Mekong Delta and still under the control of the American lackeys, was undergoing anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggle. The objective, asserted Giap, was to unify both the Vietnams. In the end, he succeeded. In 1968, Giap said that they had twin objectives: fighting for a national cause and building socialism. And the grand strategy involved mobilising not merely the exploited workers and peasants, but also the intellectuals and the national bourgeoisie to lead the war of liberation, which is, in Giap’s words, a war of the whole people (Stetler 1971: 113, 320–1, 324). Here one finds similarity with Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci’s argument that a Red Revolution requires the fusion of the interests of the organic and traditional intellectuals. The communists succeeded in Vietnam partly due to the extensive support given by China, a fact overlooked deliberately in the writings of the Vietnamese communist ideologues. In 1961, Mao declared that China would support whole­ heartedly communist uprisings against reactionary, corrupt anti-colonial regimes (Guerrilla Warfare 1963: 8). Not only did Giap’s forces have Chinese military advi­ sors, but in some cases the major North Vietnamese military formations were also led by Chinese generals. After the January 1973 Paris Peace Accords, the objective of the Vietnamese communists was to liberate South Vietnam. In 1973, the South Vietnamese gov­ ernment troops launched a counteroffensive to reoccupy the areas occupied by the communists. Nguyen van Thieu (president of South Vietnam, 1967–1975) initi­ ated a crash modernisation programme of the armed forces of South Vietnam. His strategy was to flood the communist-held areas, smash their forces and then engage in a six-month-long pacification programme of these areas. In the words of a senior commander of the South Vietnam People’s Army, Saigon’s troops enjoyed tech­ nological superiority over the communist forces (Van 1977: 6–9). In October 1973, the Party Central Committee met and chalked out the following strategy: ‘Coordinate the political and military struggle with diplomacy … The revolu­ tionary road for the South is the road of revolutionary violence. Whatever the situation, we must firmly seize the opportune moment, maintain a course of

222 China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War

strategic offensive’ (quoted from Van 1977: 10). Influenced by Giap, the military officers of the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) understood the supreme importance of Thoi Co. In March 1974, the Central Military Committee noted that revolutionary violence through instigating a people’s uprising should be carried out. However, the communists must be prepared in case large-scale war occurs. In such a scenario, the military strategy would be to counterattack and then launch an offensive against the enemy (Van 1977: 10). In 1973, the Viet Cong had three types of forces: main force troops (heavily armed) for conducting large-scale conventional war, regional force and guerrilla militia. The latter two types of forces were to conduct hit-and-run campaigns. The strategic priority of the PAVN, therefore, was similar to that enunciated by Clau­ sewitz: destruction of the enemy formations in the field by waging big battles. It was laid down that the PAVN’s main aim was smashing the formations of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) not only in the mountains and jungle but also in the river valleys and around the cities. Once the government army was destroyed, only then could the exploited and toiling people be liberated and the districts of South Vietnam be held permanently (Van 1977: 11–12). At this stage, the Vietnamese communists’ strategy was similar to that of Mao during the Man­ churian Campaign of 1946–47. From late 1944, the PLA was slowly transitioning from guerrilla war towards conventional war. The PLA in August 1945 shifted focus from the countryside to capturing towns and cities as the PAVN would do 30 years later (Tanner 2005: 398–401). The Vietnamese communist guerrillas had come a long way from waging hitand-run attacks. Instead of primitive guerrilla war, in the early 1970s they were preparing to conduct modern high-technology manoeuvre war like a conventional army of a powerful bourgeois state. The Political Bureau and the Central Military Committee in October 1973 decided to set up mobile commands subordinated to the General Command. The mobile commands were in charge of corps (each comprising several divisions) capable of conducting large-scale manoeuvre opera­ tions. Combined-units combat training was given to these corps for conducting mobile war. The PAVN also paid attention to logistics. A massive road-building programme with the aid of conscripted labourers was initiated, and tele­ communications lines were laid down so that the political bosses in Hanoi could speak directly with the battlefield commanders at the front. Between July and October 1974, under continuous pressure from the PAVN, the ARVN was pushed back even in the Mekong Delta and the morale of their personnel fell, especially in the absence of significant American aid. During that period, 170,000 personnel deserted from the ARVN. Thieu’s pacification plan went completely awry (Van 1977: 13–17) and the stage was set for the final showdown. On 30 April 1975, Saigon fell to the communists. And the final moment of US pull-out was captured in an iconic picture of an American CH-46 helicopter taking off from the flat terrace of the American embassy in Saigon. The communist insurgency in Malaya (now Malaysia) started in 1948 with the murder of three British planters. The guerrillas were led by a young Chinese

China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War 223

named Chin Peng. He had learnt the tactics of guerrilla warfare from the British themselves, and he also studied the works of Mao. About four-fifths of Malaya was then covered with jungle. The guerrillas came out from their bases in the jungle and attacked the rubber plantations which were owned and managed by Europeans and worked by Chinese and Indian labourers. Lieutenant-General Harold Briggs from the British Indian Army introduced certain innovative steps. He established better coordination between the police and the military, hired more special branch inspectors, etc. While the Americans used Agent Orange in Vietnam, the British used the chemical defoliant sodium trichloroacetate to clean roadside vegetation from where ambushes were mounted and also to spray the clearings where the guerrillas grew their crops for food. Hence, it is arguable whether British COIN was more humane than American COIN. After 1957, the communist insurgency in Malaya lost its sting. This was due to the devolution of political power to the indigenous population. In other words, decolonisation rather than the so-called British Way of COIN settled the issue. Briggs and General Gerard Templer merely contained the situation. This was possible because the force ratio was in favour of the British. The communists had 5,000 fighters and some part-time helpers. By 1952, 30,000 Commonwealth troops and 60,000 police personnel were deployed against them. The British had deployed a large number of troops and security personnel compared to the number of insurgents in Malaya (Boot 2013: 379–81; Burleigh 2014: 190, 195). Neither the Soviets nor the Americans, as shown in Chapter 10, were able to achieve such a favourable force ratio in Afghanistan and Iraq. And this allowed an ordered transfer of power in Malaya. Moreover, unlike Ho, Chin Peng was not high on Mao’s wish list. Further, Ho had the support of the majority of the community inside Vietnam, while Chin’s bad luck was that he was leading a minority community insurrection and the majority community (Muslims) in Malaysia remained sullen spectators and often sided against him. The problem for the communists was the ethnic make-up of Malaya. Chin Peng could draw on only the two million Chinese people in Malaysia. The rest of the 5.1 million people (two and half million of whom were Malays) remained aloof. In this case, more than theory, ethnicity of a particular region determined the failure of insurgency. A communist group named Hukbalahap (short form Huk), which had fought the occupation elements of the IJA like the Vietminh during the Second World War, in 1946 started fighting the newly independent American-supported gov­ ernment of the Philippines. Most of the Huk rebels were in their early twenties and had witnessed Japanese barbarity at first hand. About one in ten Huk personnel was a woman. The men were organised in combat units, and the women func­ tioned as couriers, nurses, etc. The Huk guerrillas received some training from some of the veterans of the PLA (Valeriano and Bohannan 2006: viii; Moyar 2009: 91; Boot 2013: 401, 403; Burleigh 2014: 200). The Philippine government’s COIN strategy was successful, unlike French and American COIN in Vietnam. The basic assumption of the Philippine pro-people COIN doctrine (somewhat influenced by American COIN doctrine) was that to

224 China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War

defeat the guerrillas, the government strategy needed to integrate civil and military plans. The influence of Mao was present on Philippine COIN strategy. A COIN manual written jointly by a Philippine Army officer who fought the Huks and a US Army officer notes: ‘To continue Mao’s analogy, the quasi guerrilla might be likened to a submarine, moving freely in the sea, but drawing motive power, and much, if not most, logistic support, from an outside force—most often the gov­ ernment of a country’ (Valeriano and Bohannan 2006: 3). The security forces in the Philippines, unlike in Vietnam, wholly comprised Filipinos. The absence of a substantial number of foreigners gave the indigenous security forces legitimacy in their struggle against the insurgents. The Philippine government, like the Sri Lankan government, in the new millennium increased the size of the armed forces. In 1950, the Huks had 15,000 active fighters equipped with captured Japanese weapons and 100,000 active sympathisers out of a popula­ tion of 20 million. The Philippine Army, with 51,000 personnel, outnumbered the Huk guerrillas (Valeriano and Bohannan 2006: 1; Boot 2013: 403–4). Out­ numbering the enemy is an important principle for ensuring victory both in con­ ventional and unconventional warfare. The Philippine Army emphasised proper treatment of the peasants in order not to alienate them from the government. Those soldiers who misbehaved with the peasants were severely punished. It was Mao’s principle (guerrillas should behave properly with the peasants) turned upside down in favour of the Filipino security forces. And the Philippine Army disciplined the unruly landlords’ militias which terrorised the peasants (Moyar 2009: 100–3). Thus, the peasants were gradually being won over. The government, unlike the KMT of China, took a pro-poor-peasant stance. Military lawyers assisted the poor peasants against rich absentee landlords, which created a positive image of the army among the peasants (Boot 2013: 404). Further, from 1951, the government inves­ ted heavily on building roads and villages to improve the living conditions of the poor peasants in the countryside. Thus, unlike the Maoists of China and Nepal, the insurgents could not mobilise the poor peasants against the government. The worst limitation of the Huks was that they lacked a cohesive ideology which could have sustained the movement. Consequently, the Huk organisation underwent a threeway split: a Maoist faction, a Moscow faction and a criminal faction. Finally, the Philippine Army hit upon a series of tactical innovations. Instead of large ineffec­ tive sweeps with armour and artillery, patrols were launched in the jungles and swamps for reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. The patrols were conducted by the quasi-guerrillas who were security force personnel trained to operate like the guerrillas. The motto was similar to the COIN doctrine of the postcolonial Indian Army: to defeat the guerrillas by fighting like a guerrilla. Once the guerril­ las’ bases were located, then the Philippine Army launched large mobile units to destroy them (Averch and Koehler 1970: 28; Moyar 2009: 94, 102–3). The Phi­ lippine Army, with 70,000 personnel, is mostly a COIN force and at present is fighting the Moro insurgents at Minadanao (Banlaoi 2014: 155). Singapore, the city-state, separated from Malaysia under acrimonious circum­ stances in 1965. In the new millennium, the government spends about 5 per cent

China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War 225

of GDP annually on defence. The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are geared to deter, and if deterrence fails, to defend against any attack from its large neighbours: Malaysia in the north and Indonesia in the south. Singapore’s small population base, its IT-driven economy and high GDP, make the country a good candidate for adopting IW techniques. Singapore emphasises information security systems for protecting critical national infrastructure like public utilities, air traffic control, etc. As part of an IT-driven RMA, Singapore puts great emphasis on protecting the SAF’s C4I infrastructure against cyber terrorism and cyberattacks by hostile armed forces. Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency is willing to use dualuse technology, especially computer software, for the SAF. Singapore has plans to develop satellites for intelligence imagery and is investing heavily in UAVs (Huxley 2004: 185–208). Myanmar (Burma), unlike Singapore, could not afford an IT-driven RMA due to its poor economy and differing strategic requirements. Myanmar got its inde­ pendence in January 1948. The Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces) plays an important role both in formulating and implementing the internal and external policies of the state. In the late 1940s, Burma was wrecked by both right-wing and left-wing insurgencies like the Karen National Defence Organization (KNDO) and the Burma Communist Party (BCP), respectively. From the early 1950s, the Tat­ madaw was able to assert control in the cities but the countryside remained under control of the insurgents. Once the Maoists came to power in China in 1949, the defeated KMT troops moved into North Burma. The Tatmadaw focused on fighting foreign threats rather than the internal insurgencies. Lieutenant-Colonel Maung Maung, a General Staff Officer, who formulated the military doctrine, considered communist China as posing the biggest threat. His plan was to prepare the Tatmadaw to fight a conventional war with China with infantry divisions supported by armoured and motorised brigades. His doctrine was based on the policy of strategic denial. The Tatmadaw was to contain a full-scale Chinese inva­ sion for a few months which in turn would give time for the international multi­ national forces to appear on Burma’s soil (Myoe 2011: 16–17). In February 1953, the Tatmadaw attacked the KMT but was defeated. Inade­ quate training, a defective command and control system and a weak logistical structure went against the Tatmadaw. This defeat called for a revision of the existing military doctrine. Another factor which required a shift in the Tatmadaw’s conventional war strategy was the fact that the insurgents, instead of waging con­ ventional war, started conducting irregular warfare. The senior military officers realised that military education among the officer corps required attention. In 1957, the Tatmadaw took the decision to open a National Defence College, and the next year, Tatmadaw’s higher echelons accepted that conventional war strategy was of no use against the insurgents’ hit-and-run tactics (Myoe 2011: 17–18). However, the Tatmadaw was in no position to concentrate solely on countering internal insurgencies. The possibility of border conflicts remained because the internal insurgents were acquiring aid from external enemies. The BCP approached China and the KNDO sought arms from the KMT. Nevertheless, there was a

226 China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War

doctrinal shift from primacy of war against external enemies to countering internal enemies (insurgents). In 1959, the General Staff Office formulated some principles for defence. It was noted that continuous operations were required to keep the insurgents under pressure. The village defence system was considered worth pur­ suing. Cooperation with the police, civil servants and village militias proved to be effective in countering the insurgents. Nevertheless, public relations, collection and dissemination of battlefield/tactical and strategic intelligence, and information security aspects required radical improvements. Further, it was accepted that the government troops were prone to get ambushed (Myoe 2011: 19–20). In 1963, the General Staff Office stated that the insurgents were fighting from the villages and the government troops were unable to distinguish the insurgents from the villagers. In the same year, officers from the regional commands made the following observations about COIN. There was lack of coordination among the different regional commands, and the insurgents cleverly took refuge in the boundary area between different regional commands. Since the Tatmadaw had to deploy most of its troops for garrison duty and to secure the lines of communica­ tions, inadequate number of troops were left for pursuing the insurgents. Further, the involvement of the troops in local administration prevented them from con­ centrating on training for COIN. In fact, in 1962 the Tatmadaw had initiated a coup and captured power in Burma after displacing the civilian government. In 1964, the General Staff Office pointed out that winning the people’s support while fighting the insurgents was of utmost importance. Influenced by Maoist doctrine that the guerrillas are fish that swim in the water (people), the Tatmadaw high command noted that the guerrillas are like water buffaloes in the pond (Myoe 2011: 1, 20–22). From land now we move to sea, where China is emerging as the principal player. Until 1980, China had a coastal navy. However, economic growth is fuel­ ling China’s maritime ambition. At present, there are two contrasting maritime schools within the PRC. The ‘Neo-Mahanians’ argue that since China imports most of its energy resources through the Indian Ocean, the country must have a Blue Water Navy to establish control over this maritime space. This strand of thought at present seems to be dominating the Chinese naval establishment. In contrast, the ‘Naval Pragmatist/Integrationist’ school claims that such naval expan­ sion would result in bandwagoning among Japan, the USA and India. Better, China should go for peaceful cooperation with the maritime nations of Asia in order to ensure the free flow of its vital energy resources from West Asia (Storey 2014: 110–11). Modernisation of the navies of South-East Asia is a characteristic feature of the new millennium. The rise of a maritime threat from China, especially along the South China Sea, is one of the principal factors behind the growth of regional navies in South-East Asia. In addition, for reasons of prestige, the nation-states of this region are also acquiring warships. Classical scholars of Asia gave importance to psychological factors like passion, prestige, name, fame, etc. when explaining the rise and fall of kingdoms and empires. However, modern social science focuses

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mostly on structural rational factors (including territorial and economic gains, etc.), but neglect the role of non-material factors which influence an actor’s behaviour in the international arena. The South-East Asian polities are aware that their navies are miniscule compared to the PRC’s navy, so instead of sea control, the objective of these regional navies is sea denial. Sea control means attempting to use the sea for its own purpose. And sea denial (aim of a weaker party) means preventing or denying the use of the sea to the hostile party. In modern warfare, the instruments for sea denial are submarines, and all the South East Asian navies are investing heavily in the acquisition of these stealth underwater craft (McCaffrie 2014: 29–51). In addition, local factors like protection of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of each nation and low-intensity threats posed by piracy, among other factors, are also accelerating the growth of the regional navies (Nugent 2014: 15–28). Territorial dispute is another factor behind the growth of regional navies. For instance, Malaysia has a maritime dispute with Indonesia over the Ambalat Sea (Matthews and Lozano 2014: 59). The introduction of the 200-nautical-mile EEZ concept in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea required the Royal Malaysian Navy to upgrade its capability from coastal patrol to ocean surveillance. Malaysia has formulated a forward defensive strategy in which submarines play a crucial role (Basiron and Kia 2014: 137). In 2001, Malaysia’s defence planning made clear that the principal emphasis of the armed forces would be external and not internal security, and in 2006 it emphasised that the principal thrust of defence should be on sea and not land. Malaysia plans to transform its Brown Water Navy into a quasi-Blue Water force comprising both surface and subsurface craft (Loo 2014: 292–3). A Brown Water Navy is capable of defensive sea control in limited regions of the sea, while a Blue Water Navy is an ocean-going force. For sea control, one needs a Blue Water Navy, but for an anti-access strategy in coastal water and littoral regions, a Brown Water Navy suffices. The Green Water Navy is a coastal force. In 2009, the Indonesian Navy came up with a complex naval doctrine known as the Archipelagic Sea Defence Strategy. It has three pillars: deterrence, layered defence and sea control. Sea control in this context is different from the traditional concept of establishing control over the oceans. For Indonesian planners, sea control means not control over the oceans but the water body around the Indonesian Archipelago. Deterrence relies on naval diplomacy, naval presence and arms modernisation. The layered defence involves some borrowings from the USA’s Air-Sea Battle concept. The Indonesian Navy plans integrated land and amphibious operations. If a stronger enemy fleet intervenes, then the Indonesian Navy will activate its anti-access/area­ denial strategy with the aid of submarines (Laksmana 2014: 188–9). Among all the South-East Asian navies, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) is technologically most advanced. The RSN is practicing cyber warfare and is part of the SAF’s net­ work-centric warfare (NCW) node known as Integrated Knowledge, Command and Control umbrella. The RSN possesses stealth frigates and is planning for shifting its doctrine from sea denial to limited defensive sea control (Collin 2014: 234). And it is not only the maritime polities of South-East Asia. Japan is also threatened by the rise of Chinese naval power from the 1990s.

228 China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War

Japan The Anglo-French attack on Beijing in 1860 and threatening Russian moves towards Tsushima Island forced the bakufu to modernise the Japanese military system with the aid of technical experts drawn from Holland and France (Drea 2009: 1). In the 1860s, the leaders of the Satsuma, Choshu, Tosa and Hizen domains decided to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate and replace it with a regime that would speed up the programme of Westernisation. In 1868, the last Tokugawa shogun stepped down and the reformers in 1869 established a new government with the Japanese emperor as the titular head of state. The grand strategy of the Meiji government had a two-fold aim: internal/domestic restruc­ turing and foreign expansion in Korea and China to build up an empire in main­ land Asia. Domestic reforms would enable Japan to generate military power and then Japan would deploy military forces in North-East Asia against China and also deter Russian expansion from Siberia. In 1886, Tokyo Imperial University became a centre for higher Westernised learning (Paine 2017: 5, 8). Edward Drea, a historian specialising in modern Japanese military history, writes that the leaders of the Meiji Restoration followed a dual policy of eliminating feudal consciousness among its soldiery but at the same time the samurai ethos of esprit de corps and bushido were inculcated among them. In the 1860s, infantry recruits were armed with Minie rifles and close-order bayonet drills replaced samurai swordsmanship. In 1868, the imperial court established a national officers’ training school at Kyoto and the size of the private armies of the local lords were drastically reduced. During the Boshin War (1868–1869), the samurai forces armed with spears and swords, despite displaying élan and combat spirit, were defeated by the IJA. The latter comprised conscripted peasants equipped with rifles and sup­ ported by field artillery. Conscription of peasants destroyed the samurai’s monopoly of military violence. After this war, the forces of Westernisation became stronger. In 1871, the infantry conscripts’ diet changed. Rather than rice and vegetables, they were provided with a meat diet. The uniform of the soldiers was standardised. Both the officers and the men were ordered not to wear swords on their belts and the traditional samurai topknot was discarded. The personnel had to wear Westernstyle clothing along with boots. In 1874, under French supervision, the Toyama Infantry School was established. This institution taught minor tactics, marksman­ ship, bayonet practice and physical education to the junior officers. The eight­ month-long course standardised infantry doctrine and officer training in the army. By 1875, several French-designed training facilities, rifle ranges and specialised schools for ordnance, etc. were operating in Tokyo. Students who were enrolled in the Non-Commissioned Officers Academy’s 12-month (later 15-month) course graduated as corporals and became eligible for competitive examinations for enrolment at military academy (Drea 2009: 5–35). Military texts imported from the USA became popular among the officers. Japanese officers also read the works of French theoretician Antoine Henri de Jomini. In the late 1850s, Clausewitz’s On War was translated, but his theory was

China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War 229

considered by the Japanese officers (just like the German officers) as overly com­ plex. Until 1870, the IJA’s infantry tactics were based on the 1829 Dutch tactical manual. In 1873, infantry tactics were based on a French manual of 1869 (Drea 2009: 28, 33). In 1883, the General Staff established the Staff College to educate officers to lead the new Westernised army and employed several Prussians as faculty members. In 1882, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) formed its first fleet. The Meiji government modelled the fleet on the Royal Navy and the naval doctrine was influenced by Mahan. Most of his writings were translated into Japanese (Paine 2017: 8–9). In 1891, the Russian government decided to build the Trans-Siberian railway. The Japanese strategists assumed that Russia was investing huge sums and labour power to build the railway in inhospitable terrain not out of economic necessity but for achieving strategic supremacy. The completion of this transcontinental railway would enable St Petersburg to deploy and sustain a huge army in the Far East, and such a development would restructure the balance of power in favour of Russia vis-à-vis Japan. In such a scenario, it would become almost impossible for Japan to expand in Korea (Paine 2017: 10). The Russo-Japanese struggle for dominance in North-East Asia had begun. Japanese military doctrine, like that of Germany, was to engage and defeat the enemy in a decisive battle as early as possible and then a quick end to the war (Drea 2003: 11). This was because both were comparatively weak powers in terms of demography and economy compared to their potential enemies like the UK, the USA and the USSR. During the First Sino-Japanese War during 1894–1895, unlike China, Japan was able to fund the war in the same way as the Western powers by issuing domestic loans to create a national war fund to be repaid later with indemnity from a defeated China. This was possible because Japan in 1882 had established the Bank of Japan. China, lacking such Westernised financial insti­ tutions despite possessing greater wealth, could not mobilise it for waging war (Paine 2017: 8, 23). Further, the IJA enjoyed a technical edge over the Qing Army. Japan manufactured state-of-the-art artillery and magazine rifles while twothirds of the Qing Army had obsolete firearms. There was no standardisation of weapons in the Qing Army, and this harmed the accuracy and coordination of firepower of the Chinese soldiers (Fung 2005: 198–9). The Qing Army’s tactical doctrine was also faulty. At the tactical level, the Chinese infantry tactics of fighting behind the city walls was made useless by Japanese artillery, reducing such ramshackle defensive structures with impunity. Indemnity paid by a defeated China enabled Japan to initiate the rearmament programme in the 1920s (Paine 2017: 24, 42). In 1903, Japan was ready for a compromise with Russia. Tokyo offered Man­ churia to Russia in return for Korea coming under the Japanese sphere of influ­ ence, but the Russian hardliners wanted total control over Manchuria and a division of sphere of influence in Korea. This was not acceptable to Japan. Russia was on a naval building spree and after 1904 the strength of the Russian Far East­ ern Fleet, calculated the Japanese war leaders, would surpass the size of Japan’s

230 China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War

Combined Fleet. Moreover, with the completion of the Trans-Siberian railway, Russia would be able to transport troops in large numbers from European Russia to the Far East. Therefore, before the military balance shifted unfavourably for Japan, Tokyo decided on a pre-emptive war. The logic of pre-emptive war was also utilised by Hitler for launching Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. The Russo-Japanese War occurred between 1904 and 1905, and resulted in the extinction of Russian power in the Far East. At the tactical level, naval combat during the Russo-Japanese War showed that minesweepers were more potent than battleships (Paine 2017: 51, 53, 63). However, all the major navies of the world missed this development. The navies of the big powers, including that of Japan, concentrated on battleships. Japan was engaged in a full-scale war against China (especially the KMT) just before the onset of the Second World War. During the Battle of Wuhan (1938), while the IJA focused on firepower and discipline, the KMT’s Army emphasised high morale and numerical superiority. Strategically, Chiang Kai-shek wanted a stalemate in the war with Japan, while Tokyo wanted a quick victory (MacKinnon 2005: 316–17). With the attack on Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941, Japan entered the Second World War. Japan, like Nazi Germany, was conducting a Total War as regards the objectives and means of waging it. Conscription was the order of the day. The economy was geared for military production, and Japan’s aim was com­ plete annexation of China (like Hideyoshi; see Chapter 6 for details on premodern Japan’s plans for conquering China) and bringing all of South-East Asia (including India) under the Japanese Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. In the east, Japan wanted to extend its control to the Central Pacific. Japan was dependent on overseas supply for vital materials required for running the war economy. Japan imported 90 per cent of its oil and 88 per cent of the iron ore from overseas. Most of the oil came from the USA and the iron ore from China and Malaya (a British colony) (Paine 2012: 175). The US oil embargo put Japan on a serious footing. Either it should surrender its possessions in China or go to war with the Allied powers. Japan selected the second option and launched a pre-emptive strike at Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941 (Washington time). The objective was to neutralise the US fleet in Asia and quickly overrun the colonies of the West European maritime empires. By the time the US Navy (USN) would be ready for a counterattack, Japan, by consolidating its rule in the erstwhile colonies and exploiting resources, the strategic managers of Tokyo assumed, would be able to establish a self-sufficient economy which would be capable of sustaining a longdrawn-out attritional war. The Japanese militarists assumed that facing the Axis threat in both Europe and Asia, the US would probably negotiate and allow Japan to dominate Eastern Eurasia and the Western Pacific. In the initial phase of the Asia-Pacific War (1939–1945), the IJA and the IJN achieved excellent tactical-operational success due to certain factors. The Japanese soldiers fought tenaciously. This was partly due to military indoctrination which started at the level of primary schools. Surrender was considered as a great disgrace

China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War 231

not only to the soldiers but also for their families. The soldiers were taught that death in the service of the emperor was the highest possible honour. Rigorous realistic training at the level of section, platoon and regiment was another reason. Marching and tactical training was done in adverse weather. The training pro­ gramme focused on the physical fitness of the soldiers. Field exercises were made realistic by using live ammunition. Special focus was given to sniping, scouting and small-unit tactics. The soldiers were taught deception, ruses and maintenance of strict fire control during battle (Soldier’s Guide 1944: 2–3, 5–6, 11–12). This sort of training proved to be of great value for the IJA when conducting jungle warfare against the British imperial troops in Malaya and Burma during 1941–42. The lightly armed Japanese infantry armed with light machine-guns, light field artillery, mortars and grenades were able to move through the vegetation-covered countryside and repeatedly encircled the road-bound lorry-borne British imperial units equipped with heavy artillery. Unlike the Allied soldiers, the Japanese infan­ trymen could live off the land. The Japanese soldiers were frugal and were able to undertake long marches in bad terrain and in atrocious weather. This was because most of the soldiers were peasants who were accustomed to back-breaking labour associated with wet rice cultivation in Japan (Drea 2003: 79). Further, nocturnal attacks by the Japanese infantry demoralised the British soldiers (Soldier’s Guide 1944: 151, 164). The industrial weakness of Japan forced the IJA to go for light tanks, and the IJA, unlike the Wehrmacht, considered armour as infantry support units (Soldier’s Guide 1944: 171). In 1939, at Manchuria, the Red Army’s steel behemoths sma­ shed the light Japanese tanks. However, in the jungle-covered swampy terrain of Malaya, the IJA was able to achieve surprise by using the light tanks with dash and boldness. Before the Second World War, the system of education for IJN personnel was almost the same as that in the USN. The IJN’s doctrine focused on encounters with the opposing fleets in the Mahanian style. The IJN did not pay any attention to anti-submarine warfare, and it was the US submarines which, by sinking the Japanese merchantmen, severed the flow of raw materials to the industrial plants in Japan, which seriously weakened the military potential of the country during the Second World War (Goldstein and Dillon 2004: 30, 67–9). The Japanese strategists were aware of the material weakness of their country vis-à-vis the USA. Like Hitler, the Japanese war leaders tried to overcome it by emphasising willpower. The IJN considered fighting power as the product of mechanical tools, level of training and the mental strength of the personnel. Vice-Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa, who commanded the IJN during the Battle of the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf (1944), somewhat caustically noted: ‘In other words, they believed that mechanical inferiority could be covered by the troops’ efficiency and the men’s mental strength’ (quoted from Goldstein and Dillon 2004: 74). At the tactical level, the IJN had some advantages over the USN. The IJN was not blindly following the maxims of overhyped American Captain Mahan. Several tactical-organisational innovations occurred in the Japanese naval establishment.

232 China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War

Like the IJA, the IJN also eagerly sought nocturnal engagements, especially with destroyers firing torpedoes. The IJN’s preference for nocturnal engagement can be traced back to the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars. Again, in 1928, the IJN was the pioneer among the world’s navies by organising a carrier division. At that time, all the navies were stressing engagements with big battleships. Japanese naval thinking emphasised opening the battle by throwing all the available air units against the hostile carriers. And this opening engagement, believed the admirals, would decide the course of the naval combat. Japanese naval tactical thinking was therefore moving away from the big guns of the battleship to the fighter-bombers carried on the aircraft carriers. And in 1940, Admiral Yosoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the IJN’s Combined Fleet, emphasised the combined use of carrier- and land-based air forces in sea battles (Goldstein and Dillon 2004: 74, 78–9). From late 1942, thanks to American industrial strength, the IJN was over­ whelmed by the US fleet’s material superiority. In 1941, the USA’s GNP was 12 times than that of Japan (Paine 2012: 183). The Central and Southern Pacific were flooded with American aircraft and aircraft carriers. Quantitative and qualita­ tive superiorities enabled the American aircraft to rule the sky. While American submarines destroyed Japan’s overseas trade, American bombers pummelled the cities of the home island. As Japan’s industrial production started falling, the IJN was swept away from the Pacific (Frank 2010: 227–45). In such a scenario, the Japanese garrisons in the various islands of the Central and Southern Pacific could not be resupplied. The heavy firepower of the American ground force gradually overwhelmed them. When the American troops conducted amphibious landings in the various Pacific islands, the Japanese doctrine was to defend the beaches, but they were overwhelmed by massive gunfire from the American ships and groundattack aircraft. Only in the later stages at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the Japanese garrison, instead of defending the beaches, moved inland and defended the strongpoints. Ultimately, the lightly equipped fanatic Japanese infantry soldiers, despite causing casualties among the American troops, were wiped out by the heavy firepower of American troops practicing a capital-intensive war. After the Second World War, a demilitarised Japan remained under the Amer­ ican security umbrella. However, in the new millennium, the rise of China has rekindled the traditional fear in Japan about Chinese dominance of the Far East. Actually, the fear is mutual. One Chinese researcher in 1995 noted that Japan possessed the nuclear fuels and technology to manufacture 2,000 atom bombs. In exchange for promises of American extended deterrence, Japan, up to now, has not manufactured any nuclear bombs. However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s request in 2014 to reinterpret the Japanese Constitution to allow for collective self-defence might refer to the probability of Japan going nuclear in the near future in the face of rising Chinese and North Korean threats (Haynes 2016: 3). If Japan wishes, it could also produce intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). And the Japanese Navy is posing a challenge to Chinese naval dominance in East Asia (Pillsbury 1998: 93–4).

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In the 1990s, China started the programme of building a Blue Water Navy. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), unlike the Qing Navy, is no longer satisfied with coastal defence. The PLAN has identified two island chains for advanced seaward defence of China. The first chain begins in Japan and passes through the Liuqu Islands to Taiwan and then to the Philippines. The second island chain, which is 200–300km in front of the first chain, stretches from Japan’s Ogasawara-gunto Islands to the Loretto Islands and from there to the Mariana Islands (Ghosh 2012: 105). Another problem for Japan is North Korea, an ally of China. Japan, as we have seen earlier, has had a troubled relationship with Korea from the dawn of history. In 1962, North Korea adopted the Maoist concept of People’s War. Kim-Il Sung (r. 1948–94) formulated Four Military Principles: to arm the entire country, to fortify the whole country, to train the whole army as a cadre force, and moder­ nisation of weaponry and combat techniques. This was a profound shift from the Soviet doctrine to the Maoist doctrine of attritional war. Despite the fourth mili­ tary principle, more emphasis was put on political and ideological dimensions of warfare than on science and military technology. Further, in accordance with the doctrine of People’s War, North Korea planned to conduct conventional opera­ tions in conjunction with irregular warfare techniques (infiltration in the enemy homeland and assassinations of hostile leaders, etc.). However, from the 1970s, the focus shifted towards conducting conventional war and attention was given to sci­ ence and military technology. Under Kim Jong-Il (r. 1994–2011), the Korean People’s Armed Forces (KPA) focused on the primacy of offence. The approach to warfare was based on combined arms operation, battlefield mobility and improve­ ment of firepower. The purported military strategy in the case of a war was to conquer South Korea within 30 days to reunify the Korean Peninsula. In addition to modernisation, the KPA’s size is also increasing. Due to the stress on mechan­ isation, in the 1980s mechanised corps, armoured corps and artillery corps were formed. Between 1972 and 1992, the KPA’s size rose from 400,000 personnel to one million. Licensed production of Russian and Chinese defence equipment constitutes the North Korean arsenal (Singh 2005: 229–30, 232). North Korea’s nuclear capabilities date back to the 1960s. Initially, the USSR aided the North Korean nuclear programme. What is dangerous for Japan is the fact that in 2003 North Korea withdrew from the NPT, and North Korea con­ ducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013 (Haynes 2016: 19). In the 1990s, Korea test-fired Taepodong-2 missiles with a range of 6,000km (Singh 2005: 233). Such missiles could easily reach Japan. In 2003, Japan’s defence budget comprised 10.4 per cent of the national budget. Japan’s Self Defence Forces (SDF) follow a defence-oriented strategy. It has no plan to dispatch troops to regions beyond East Asia. Building a BMD system against China’s ballistic missiles is a high priority in Japanese defensive strategy. Maintain­ ing a passive defensive posture and interoperability with US forces are key princi­ ples guiding SDF. The birth rate in Japan is declining, so the introduction of IT allows Japan to maintain the SDF’s combat effectiveness with a smaller pool of

234 China, SE Asia and Japan: Maoist War to Limited War

recruits. Since Japan is a great producer of civilian computer technologies, such dual-use technologies could be used for pursuing an IT-oriented RMA (Takahashi 2004: 81–95).

Conclusion The problem of the late Qing government was that it attempted to build Wester­ nised military formations under regional/provincial control. The rise of regional armies under different generals ultimately sounded the death knell of the Qing Dynasty and marked the beginning of the warlord era. During the second half of the nineteenth century, West European states like Britain, France and Germany became the models for China and Japan. And from the late twentieth century onwards, the American military system became the model which China and Japan seemed to ape. As regards South-East Asia, their ground forces are influenced by Maoist military principles, but their navies are shaped by American concepts of warfighting. Is Total War a product of only highly developed industrialised societies? The answer is no. Because of the unlimited objectives and universal participation, the Maoist theory of Revolutionary War, despite its technological backwardness, could be categorised as Total War. One of the principal components of Maoist People’s/ Revolutionary War is guerrilla warfare. However, both Mao and Giap make it clear that guerrilla warfare by itself would not decide the course of war. The communists of Malaysia under Chin Peng failed in the 1950s because, among other things, they had no regular army at their disposal capable of conducting conven­ tional operations in synchronisation with irregular warfare waged by the guerrillas. This fact alone should warn the pundits who argue that in the twenty-first century armed irregular operators pose the greatest threat to international order and they cannot be defeated. Military thinking is influenced by ground reality. Maoist guerrilla warfare was the product of the economic and technological backwardness of China during the 1920s and 1930s. The Maoist concept of Total War emerged concurrently with the Total War (conventional, of course) in Japan. Countries like Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, from the late twentieth century, have been leading members of the IT family. Their advanced economies and low populations make them eager to adopt the IW-oriented RMA. And it marks the return of Limited War, albeit within a high-technology matrix.

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10 JIHAD.COM From modern to postmodern era

Introduction Jihad in its essence means ‘a morally just war’. Abdullah Anas 2018 (Anas 2019: x)

As this book goes to print, the Islamists are waging Jihad in various parts of Africa and Eurasia. One might argue that the great power rivalry in Central Asia, West Asia and Bashar Assad’s quasi-totalitarian polity gave rise to armed insurgencies in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, respectively. But why are Islamist insurgencies unfolding in these countries? Why is the secular Marxist variant of insurgencies not occurring in these regions? We cannot avoid the fact that the Muslim populace, in general, is exceed­ ingly religious and there are certain elements in Islam which are wide open for use by political entrepreneurs for launching Jihads. From the late twentieth century onwards, the world started experiencing what I term as the postmodern Jihad. One of the characteristics of this new Jihad is greater use of cyber tools. Moreover, foreign volunteers participate in this Jihad in larger numbers and in a much more systematic manner. But their ideology remains the same as the Jihad of the premodern era. Even in the era of, the jihadists draw inspiration, ideas and concepts from the era of classical Islam. Nevertheless, one finds in the era of postmodern Jihad greater interconnectedness across the globe about the ideas and techniques of conducting Islamic Holy War. Another characteristic of postmodern Jihad is the jihadists’ attempt to use weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The sections below analyse the origins and manifestation of this new Jihad in various parts of Asia.

Afghanistan Afghanistan is a Muslim country and about 85 per cent of the population are Sunnis. The Pathans (Pashtuns), who are Hanafi Sunni Muslims, have always

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dominated this country, comprising some 45 per cent of the population of 22 million people. The Tajiks (35 per cent) come next, while the Uzbeks number only 6 per cent (Goodson 2001: 14; Sinno 2008: 141, 143). Ahmad Shah Abdali (1723–1773), the founder of modern Afghanistan, was originally from Multan in Punjab and rose to become a general of the Persian Emperor Nadir Shah. After Nadir’s death, Ahmad was coronated by a Sufi master named Sabir Shah (Hanifi 2012: 87–8). The Afghans, like the Chechens, are organised in a clan- and tribebased society. Such an acephalous social structure, relying mostly on oral commu­ nication, generally comes under one single banner during an external invasion. The memories of large-scale Jihads are engraved in their societal consciousness through poetry and storytelling (Sinno 2008: 85). Stephen Tankel, a security analyst, offers a typology of Jihad. In his framework, there are various types of Jihad. The designation of a specific region for conducting Jihad as opposed to all territory under non-Muslim occupation or domination gives rise to Nationalist (Irredentist) Jihad. This is different from Pan Islamic Jihad. In case of Irredentist Jihad, joining the Holy War is an individual obligation for all Muslims living on the piece of land in question. And for Muslims living outside this area, joining the Irredentist Jihad is voluntary. In contrast, asserts Tankel, a Classical jihadist might focus on a specific piece of territory like the irredentist jihadist but will not stop fighting once it is liberated so long as other Muslim lands remain under non-Muslim occupation. Therefore, for a Classical jihadist, even Spain, which was once under Muslim occupation, is in need of a liberation struggle through Jihad (Tankel 2011: 35). Jihad has been rampant in Afghanistan from the late medieval era. The British called Afghanistan Yaghistan (land of insolence) due to continuous Islamic uprisings (Farivar 2009: 13). In the nineteenth century, the Raj several times attempted unsuccessfully to convert Afghanistan into a docile buffer state between czarist Russia and British India. The British fought three wars (First Anglo-Afghan War [1839–42], Second Anglo-Afghan War [1878–80] and Third Anglo Afghan War [1919]) to subdue Afghanistan. In all these wars, the Afghan monarchy’s regular forces were defeated. But, then the ulemas (Muslim religious teachers) sponta­ neously gave the call for Jihad. Faced with large-scale Islamist insurgency, the British and Indian forces had to beat a retreat every time. Besides the Pashtunwali code, which is described below, the geography of Afghanistan makes it almost impossible to hold the country under subjugation. The mountains, lack of roads and subsistence economy of the country are in no way conducive to maintaining a large army of occupation. About 85 per cent of the country’s territory is covered with mountains. Even before the British, the Mughals also found it next to impossible to hold Afghanistan from Delhi (Soviet-Afghan War 2002: 3; Roy 2015). The Pashtunwali code of the Pathans has certain elements in common with the bushido code of the samurai and the Rajput kshatradharma. The Pashtunwali code is of course unwritten but passed on generation after generation through word of mouth and examples. The different elements of this complex code are as follows: nang and tora (honour and courage), melmastia (hospitality), nenawata (seeking shelter From modern to postmodern era 241

through submission), badal (revenge), tiga (moratorium on a conflict), baramta (deposit for guarantee), tarburwali (struggle between the cousins), jirga (tribal assembly), khan and malik (tribal leader and village elder), etc. (Ruttig 2012: 104). An Afghan mujahideen provides a more romantic picture of the Pashtunwali code. Masood Farivar writes: ‘Its main tenets required showing hospitality to all, provid­ ing shelter for those in need, and retaliating against those who have wronged you. Pashtunwali made no distinction between rich and poor, landlord and peasant’ (Farivar 2009: 13). The prevalence of the concept of Jihad, a sense of individual honour and collective obligations of all the clan members (the last two elements are part of Pashtunwali culture) made the Afghans ready foot soldiers for waging Islamic Holy War (Johnson 2011: 9). During the late nineteenth century, there was a resurgence of pan-Islamic feel­ ings in North India. The Darul Ulum Deoband madrassa was established in North India in the late nineteenth century. The founders of the Deoband were concerned with the study of the hadith and the Koran for reforming the practices of the Muslim faith. The roots of the Deobandi ideology can be traced back to the writings and teachings of the seventeenth-century Sufi Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi. Sirhindi’s ideas formed the basis of the Mujaddidiyya branch of the Naqshbandiyya Sufi philosophy of Shah Wali Ullah. He was in favour of the reintroduction of the Koran and the hadith into Sufi tariqa. Shah Wali Ullah’s teachings were carried into Punjab and Afghanistan in the 1820s by his grandsons Shah Ismail and Sayyid Ahmad from North India. The Sufi tradition of the use of bait (pledge/oath) between teachers and their students shaped the Deobandi curriculum. Several ulemas who trained in the Deoband School of North India conceived of a plan to free India of British control by mobilising the North-West Frontier’s Pathan tribes as an army of liberation. This movement was called Jamaat-i-Mujahidin. This plan was discovered by the Raj in 1916. These Islamic conspirators escaped into Afghanistan. The ideolo­ gues of International Jihad thus passed from India to Afghanistan. The Deobandi scholars in the borderlands of British India and Afghanistan, through their control of mosques, influenced politics and championed the introduction of sharia laws. These scholars used print, sermons and religious directives to rally support for their cause. The madrassas established by the Deobandis along the North-West Frontier of India continue to function in the twentieth century and played an important role in educating and indoctrinating the anti-Soviet mujahideen in the 1980s and contributed to the rise of the Taliban movement in the 1990s (Haroon 2008: 47–69; Haroon 2012: 46). In 1928 and 1930, the Soviets tried to intervene in Afghanistan and set up puppet regimes (Goodson 2001: 47). Soviet intervention on a broader scale and in a much more comprehensive manner occurred in the last year of the 1970s. During Christmas 1979, when the Soviets entered Kabul and established a com­ munist puppet regime the religious scholars of Afghanistan issued a fatwa declaring that it was incumbent upon the Afghans to fight a Jihad against the ungodly imperial power occupying their country. About 80 per cent of the people of Afghanistan were illiterate, so the hold of traditional religion over them was more

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than the influence of secular Marxism. The call by the ulema of Afghanistan to fight an anti-Soviet Jihad was spontaneous and by 1980 was supported by many Muslim countries. Several Muslim scholars also exhorted Muslims all over the world that it was their duty to fight the anti-Soviet Jihad. Such proclamations were published in Muslim newspapers which circulated in West Asia and in North African Muslim countries (Soviet-Afghan War 2002: 6; Anas 2019: 33–5). This was a new aspect of global connectivity and Jihad in the age of postmodernism. The Soviets had underestimated the national and religious zeal of the Afghans. By 1981, guerrillas sprang up in the 29 provinces of Afghanistan (Goodson 2001: 57, 59). The mujahideen in Afghanistan who fought against the Soviet forces were supported by the USA largely, and to a lesser extent by Iran and China. In 1984, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar told a journalist that he was going to use Leninist theory to fight the communists. Hekmatyar’s Hizb-i-Islami was a Pathan Islamist insurgent group. The military field commanders were assisted and kept in check by religious commissars (with madrassa training) (Sinno 2008: 97, 106, 128, 131) who, to a great extent, were the equivalent of the political commissars of the Soviet Army. Ahmad Shah Massoud, much influenced by the writings of Mao, Giap and Lenin, built an insurgent state in Panjshir Valley. He had three types of military units: motahrak (mobile groups), matanga (regionally stationed groups) and zarbati (striking force). The motahraks (equivalent to regular units of Giap) were full-time professional soldiers capable of launching conventional campaigns. (For the various types of forces organised by Giap, refer to Chapter 9.) The matanga were part-time soldiers and farmers like the village militias of Giap. These personnel functioned as military auxiliaries and received salaries and pensions. The zarbati carried out ambushes and hit-and-run attacks (like Giap’s guerrillas) (Sinno 2008: 132). The USA, through Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), equipped the anti-Soviet mujahideen groups. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-i-Islami received the largest share of Pakistani aid. About 75 per cent of the personnel of his party were Pathans from North-East Afghanistan and the Afghan refugee population in Pakistan (Goodson 2001: 61). Deserters from the Afghan security forces and weapons captured from government troops were other sources of supplies (Sinno 2008: 134–5). Surprise raids and nocturnal attacks constituted the signature tactics of the mujahideen (Soviet-Afghan War 2002: 57). The Soviets failed to build up a loyalist ‘native’ combat-effective Afghan Army. The Afghan Army, due to desertion, had been reduced from 80,000 men to 30,000 men in 1980. In January 1980, the Soviets had 85,000 soldiers in Afghani­ stan. Of them, 61,800 were in the combat units (Goodson 2001: 58; Soviet-Afghan War 2002: 12–13). The maximum number of guerrillas which the Islamist parties could deploy varied between 40,000 and 60,000 men. The territory of Afghanistan covers 252,897 square miles. The number of Soviet troops in comparison to the size of the country was thus too few to root out the Islamist insurgency. Moreover, the inadequate number of Soviet troops also prevented the Soviet 40th Army from effectively policing the Afghan-Pakistan border, which is 1,354 miles long and runs through mountain massifs. The almost impassable Suleiman Mountain Range From modern to postmodern era 243

stretches for some 435 miles along Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan. The width of this mountain range varies from 155 to 248 miles, and the height of the mountains varies from 6,500 to 11,500 feet. These mountains run parallel to each other and at several places create separate narrow dry canyons. Ground traffic moves along these canyons. Only small military units can operate in these canyons. Further, the road network of this country is abysmal. Afghanistan has some 11,806 miles of road and this means 1.86 miles of road per 38.6 square miles. Only 25 per cent of Afghanistan’s roads are paved and the rest are dirt tracks. Most of the roads are narrow with a large number of bridges and tunnels and are virtually impassable during winter. The road-bound mechanised Soviet Army was at a gross disadvantage in Afghanistan. The country’s geography is not conducive for con­ ducting large-scale conventional war (Soviet-Afghan War 2002: 1, 3, 57). In other words, the geography of Afghanistan is perfect for waging a guerrilla struggle. And through the porous Afghanistan-Pakistan border, financial and military aid reached the mujahideen. Some 35 per cent of the Soviet troops were engaged in defensive tasks: escorting convoys, guarding vital installations, etc. The rest were engaged in active antiinsurgency operations. Large combined arms operations designed to conduct offensives and pursuit failed completely against the nimble mujahideen forces. Any Soviet battalion which failed to station flank security while moving along the mountains was ambushed. A Soviet General Staff Study admitted that the Red Army had learnt nothing but forgotten everything about COIN. The Soviets in Afghanistan had forgotten the lessons they had learnt while fighting the Basmachi movement of Central Asia in the first half of the twentieth century (Soviet-Afghan War 2002: 19). Soviet COIN, like czarist Russia’s COIN and post-Soviet Russia’s COIN, was anything but brutal. Larry P. Goodson asserts that Soviet COIN policy in Afgha­ nistan could be categorised as ‘rubblisation tactics’, meaning the destruction of the villages and basic infrastructures in order to force the people to flee the country­ side. For instance, the Soviets planted 30 million mines in the Afghan countryside during their decade-long stay in the country. The Soviet harsh tactics were partly successful. By 1990, four million Afghans had migrated to Pakistan, 2.4 million to Iran and two million Afghans were internally displaced (Goodson 2001: 5, 60–1). Similarly, Ivan Arreguin-Toft asserts that the Soviets followed a barbaric strategy which involved deliberate and systematic targeting of the non-combatants and destroying their food resources and houses. In their COIN operations, the Soviets never took prisoners. The objective was to spread terror. An inadequate number of ‘boots on the ground’ to a great extent forced the Soviets to go for barbaric COIN (Arreguin-Toft 2005: 175–87). The Nazis had followed the same COIN tactics in Russia during 1941–44. Inadequate numbers of security troops, along with skewed racial beliefs, forced Berlin to follow barbaric COIN in Rusland. In the early 1980s, the Soviets in fact withdrew their Central Asian Muslim troops due to the latter’s refusal to fight in Afghanistan. This factor shows extreme religiosity among the ordinary Muslims and the feeling of belonging to one global

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umma. In February 1989, the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan. Cessation of Soviet aid in September 1991 made the Najib government’s downfall inevitable (Sinno 2008: 112, 203). With the support of Pakistan’s ISI, the Taliban captured power in 1996, taking advantage of the infighting between different Afghan mujahideen groups after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Talib is an Arabic word meaning someone who is seeking something for himself. It is derived from the word talab meaning desire. In Urdu, the word Talib is affixed with another word to clarify what is being sought. Taliban is the plural of Talib. In Pashtu (language of the Pathans), Taliban refers to students studying in the deeni madaris (Islamic religious institutions) (Matinuddin 2001: 12). In the late 1980s, after a clash with the Soviet forces, Mullah Muhammad Omar (the future leader of the Taliban) lost one of his eyes. Omar, who liked to sing ghazals (Caron 2012: 73), took the title of Amir ul-Muminin (leader of the faithful). This title emerged during the era of the second Caliph Umar (583–644) (Maher 2017: 4). Massoud himself was a patron of poetry and even in the battlefield carried a book of Hafiz or Saadi in his pocket (Anas 2019: 30). In 1996, the Taliban welcomed the Saudi terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda followers into Afghanistan. Osama needed a secure base in Afghani­ stan to escape the American special forces. Osama denounced a group of Saudi intellectuals who attempted to promote coexistence between Muslims and the USA in the aftermath of 9/11. Bin Laden critiqued moderate Islam, as it does not support Jihad (Maher 2017: 15). Abdullah Azzam, Osama’s mentor, declared in a fatwa that fighting to expel foreign occupiers from all Muslim lands is a compulsory duty for all Muslims. He and Osama waged what could be categorised as Global Jihad. For global jihadists, the USA is the main target. After 9/11, along with the USA, American allies also became targets for the global jihadists (Tankel 2011: 36). We can get a glimpse of Al-Qaeda’s finances from the fact that this organisation between 1989 and 1999 received US$200 million from non-state Arab sources (Giustozzi 2007: 97). In 2001, the Taliban had 50,000 regular soldiers and 40,000 militias compared to the Northern Alliance’s 10,000-strong militia (Moyar 2009: 192). In the same year, American air power and ground support from the Northern Alliance enabled the USA to overthrow the Taliban. However, it is another thing to occupy Afghani­ stan and establish a government of their choice, as the British had found out to their cost several times during the nineteenth century. Mullah Omar was last seen fleeing a pursuing American gunship by riding on the pylon of a Honda motorbike with his white beard flying. Probably, he was killed. Nevertheless, the Taliban survived the American occupation of Afghanistan and later emerged as the neoTaliban based mostly in North-West Pakistan. In 2006, the neo-Taliban’s annual fund was somewhere between US$25 million and US$ 40 million (Giustozzi 2007: 97). In 2006, the neo-Taliban used drug money to buy the support of many Afghan tribal leaders (Moyar 2009: 202). The opium trade in 2011 made up 50 per cent of Afghanistan’s GDP. In comparison, in Colombia during the height of Narcos’s activity, the drug trade accounted for From modern to postmodern era 245

5 per cent of GDP. The Afghan opium trade is worth US$4 billion annually and is a major source of revenue for the insurgents. Afghan heroin, the refined product of opium, is in highest demand in Europe and Asia. Afghanistan supplies more than 90 per cent of the global demand for illegal opiates (Nawa 2012: 237). Afghani­ stan’s chief export item became opium when in 1998 it surpassed Burma to become the world’s leading producer (Goodson 2001: 5). Lieutenant-General David W. Barno, commander of the US contingent in Afghanistan (2003–5), categorised the neo-Taliban’s activities as an example of Fourth Generation Warfare. Hammes, an American colonel, describes Fourth Generation War in the following words: ‘It is an evolved form of insurgency … Unlike previous generations, it does not attempt to win by defeating the enemy’s military forces. Instead, via the networks, it directly attacks the minds of enemy decision makers to destroy the enemy’s political will. Fourth-generation wars are lengthy—measured in decades rather than months or years’ (Hammes 2006: 208). Hammes’ theory has been discussed in some detail in Chapter 2. Following Hammes, Barno asserted that the neo-Taliban was using all available networks (social, political, economic and military) in order to wage their struggle against the US-led Coalition forces. For Barno, in Fourth Generation Warfare, the principal target becomes the adversary’s political establishment (including political figures) and not the hostile military formations. The party following Fourth Generation Warfare, continues Barno, puts enormous pressure on the enemy’s decision makers eventually causing them to capitulate (Giustozzi 2007: 98). Another view is that the neo-Taliban is deliberately following the strategy of war of the fleas. The mujahideen in Afghanistan followed such a strategy against the Soviet occupation force. This strategy implies fighting in the villages to pro­ voke the occupation forces to launch air strikes and doing collateral damage which weakens the legitimacy of the occupying power. According to this interpretation, the neo-Taliban is encouraging the American troops to hunt young Taliban per­ sonnel around the countryside like a dog chasing its tail and gnawing at each flea bite till it drops from exhaustion (Giustozzi 2007: 99). Robert Taber wrote a book titled War of the Flea in 1965. He argues in his work that Marxist guerrilla war emerged in response to neo-imperialism. Like Mao and Giap, Taber asserts that Marxist guerrilla war is revolutionary war as it demands a complete restructuring of the state and society. And COIN is actually, for him, an aspect of counter-revolution. Taber goes on to argue that COIN forces, even by aping the guerrillas, could not eliminate the latter. The commandos are just not natural guerrillas. The latter are historical products of state and society in the backward agrarian countries which are exploited by rich and powerful capitalist states (Taber 2002). Despite Taber’s assertion, government forces fighting like the guerrillas have achieved tolerable success in some cases, such as the Indian gov­ ernment against the Nagas, the Philippine government against the Huks, etc. We can find at least one similarity between the neo-Taliban and the Marxists revolu­ tionaries. Both parties have revolutionary aims: complete restructuring of state and society which is an aspect of Total War. While the Marxist revolutionaries want to

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establish an authoritarian communist state, the Islamists want to establish an authoritarian Islamic polity. To an extent, the neo-Taliban’s strategy has some similarities with Maoist strat­ egy. Until 2003, they established their influence in certain parts of Afghanistan. The operation of the vanguard teams in the first phase of the neo-Taliban insur­ gency programme seems to indicate that they are indeed following the first stage of the Maoist theory of insurrection. In 2002, the neo-Taliban launched cross-border raids and harassed American garrisons by launching long-distance rockets from hand held rocket launchers. Further, vanguard teams (each of them comprising between 10 and 20 insurgents) were infiltrating the Afghan countryside with the express aim of identifying villages that could provide them hospitality and support and weed out pro-Kabul elements. They carried out propaganda activities, threa­ tened the hostile elements (including family members of the police and the mili­ tary) and at times even killed them. Night letters were circulated in order to threaten the pro-establishment elements. Further, these teams identified suitable locations for storing their heavy weapons like 12.7-mm machine-guns, recoilless guns and mortars which were to be used when the level of insurgency escalated further. These teams in the sparsely populated deserted areas stayed in the small huts built by the nomads. This in turn allowed them to dupe even the loyalist villagers. In 2003, the size of these vanguard teams aiming to build up advance support in the countryside for the operation of the main units rose to between 60 and 100 men per unit. However, the bigger teams were susceptible to the Coali­ tion force’s interdiction campaign, so by 2005 the size of each of these teams was reduced to a maximum of five men. The Afghan National Army estimated that in 2007 about 135 such neo-Taliban teams were operating in the country. The manpower shortages of the Afghan security agencies, lack of roads and a total lack of reliable intelligence establishment enabled these vanguard teams to operate effi­ ciently. From 2003 to 2006, the neo-Taliban followed the second stage of Maoist theory by consolidating their base areas in Uruzgan and Helmand (Giustozzi 2007: 99–102). Again, as per Maoist theory, the neo-Taliban takes the issue of education (indoctrination) very seriously. The government-run schools in the rural areas were one of the principal targets of the neo-Taliban. However, at times it seems that they were also following Barno’s theory. From 2003, the neo-Taliban focused on the assassination of pro-Kabul elements, mostly in the administrative centres. The targets included senior clerics, doctors, judges, policemen and NGO workers, i.e. those who were collaborating with the government (Giustozzi 2007: 102–3). The neo-Taliban is also adopting the techniques of Information Warfare (IW) with alacrity. Da Mujahed Zhagh is a web magazine started by the neo-Taliban in 2004. On 18 July 2004, this magazine carried a satirical interview with Satan (represented by the USA), and in the same year published another article which uses Pathan proverbs, conversations with the elders of the tribe and the crimes committed by the foreigners. The neo-Taliban is attempting to fuse traditional Pathan culture with its radical ideology. Interestingly, the presentation is From modern to postmodern era 247

sophisticated. The neo-Taliban’s ideology is not pushed down the throats of the audience in a crude manner. Rather, the audience is invited to reflect on the message. In 2008, the neo-Taliban came up with another magazine named Al Somood (Strick Van Linschoten and Kuehn 2018: 241–7, 253). In 2006, the neo-Taliban published a layeha, which elaborates on the jihadist code of conduct: Jihad in the way of Almighty God is such a great worship (ebadat) and a great obligation that fulfilling it will bring dignity and raise up God’s testament of faith (kalima). It is clear that the goal will be achieved if it is worked towards in the light of God’s orders (ahkaam) and in the framework of the appointed principles (this layeha), so every mujahid must abide by the following rules. (Strick Van Linschoten and Kuehn 2018: 249) Some of the total 29 rules are as follows: An Afghan who is working for the infidel must be asked to accept true Islam; schoolteachers and mullahs working for the government are spreading false messages, so they should stop working or should face death; Mujahids have no right to confiscate the money and personal posses­ sions of other people; Mujahids should be honest about money and equipment, and give an account of these two items to his superiors; Mujahids should not smoke cigarettes; Mujahids should not engage in homosexual acts with boys below the age of puberty; and NGOs and schools working under government auspices are destroying Islam and should be ordered to close down, and if they refuse then they should be destroyed (Strick Van Linschoten and Kuehn 2018: 249–52). Many of these rules, especially those regarding the behaviour of the jihadi personnel, are similar to those which Mao had laid down for his guerrillas. Let us analyse the views of the subalterns, the men who actually waged Jihad on the ground. Abdullah Anas, from Algeria (a former French colony), went to fight in Afghanistan. When Algeria attempted to replace the French educational system with an indigenous one, Egypt sent many teachers and advisors. Many of these teachers were from the famous al-Azhar University. These Azharis belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood and spread the message that the revival of the Muslim umma lay in unity and a return to the original Islamic tenets. Thus, the seeds of producing jihadists had been sown. Anas became a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and an Islamist. According to him, Islamists want an Islamic ethos or framework in their society but differ about its manifestations. Some want democracy while others are against it (Anas 2019: 19–20). Anas believes ‘For Muslims, Jihad is a martial tradition with a sublime moral and ethical framework which cannot be transgressed’ (Anas 2019: x–xi). Anas elaborates that Jihad for a Muslim is as important as the Ramadan fast or the Hajj. The reward for Jihad is forgiveness for sins, salvation of one’s soul and one’s family’s souls and being honoured by God. Further, Jihad is defensive in origin and is activated, according to Anas, only when Islam is under threat. In 1984, Anas travelled to Afghanistan to help his fellow Muslims fighting the godless superpower the USSR, which had invaded Afghanistan (Anas 2019: 3, 21, 25).

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Farivar was a young Afghan who participated in the anti-Soviet Jihad, and his view of the Arab volunteer fighters is more critical. In his memoirs he writes that many Arabs volunteered to fight in Afghanistan. These young, naive, fanatically religious men, says Farivar, were drawn towards combat by the promise of eternal life. The presence of the young overzealous Arabs with their distinct culture was resented by the Afghans in general. The Arabs looked down upon the Afghans as ‘lesser Muslims’, for the latter were interested only in Afghanistan and not in the global issues confronting Islam (Farivar 2009: 4–5). While the Afghans favoured fighting a National Jihad, the Arab volunteers wanted to fight a Global Jihad. The Arabs used to say: ‘Jihad will go on until the green flag of Islam flutters over Moscow and Washington’ (Farivar 2009: 5). For them, the Jihad in Afghanistan was just the first step in their bigger and wider global struggle.

Pakistan, Central Asia and Caucasus The North-West region of Pakistan has historically been ‘badlands’ for a centralis­ ing state. This is due to two factors: geography and the social structure of the inhabitants. The geography of the North-West Frontier of Pakistan is similar to that of Afghanistan—mountains prevent easy communication even now—and the whole region is barren and inhabited by the Pathans who are organised in tribes and engaged in continuous feuding. About 17 million Pathans straggle along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The whole land is inhabited by the Pathans. This region was divided arbitrarily by the British when the Raj imposed the Durand Line in 1893 which became the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan (Goodson 2001: 14). The Pathans’ subsistence pastoral economy is supplemented by feuding and fighting. The Mughals and the British faced great difficulty in attempting to bring order in this region. One of the crucial elements in the Mughal COIN doctrine, like that of the Soviet COIN, is to destroy the economic infrastructure of the rebels. In 1667, the Yusufzais rebelled against the Mughal Empire. A Mughal force under Shamsher Singh crossed the Indus at Attock. The Yusufzais made their base at Ohind, a hilly region 16 miles above Attock. The Mughals destroyed the farms and homesteads of the Yusufzais in the Mandaur Valley. In fact, the Pathans’ tactics also did not change much with time. When an enemy detachment moved across the narrow gorge, they rolled down boulders from the mountain tops, then rushed upon the distracted enemy soldiers and engaged in close-quarter combat. In 1672, the Afridis rebelled against the Mughal Empire, and when a Mughal detachment under Muhammad Amin Khan moved against them, they rolled down stones from the mountains of Tartara to the narrow gorge below (Sarkar 1974: 17–18) and then assailed the Mughal troops in hand-to-hand combat. Mughal cavalry and heavy artillery were not much use in such a terrain against the light force structure of the enemy. The Red Army’s heavy units faced the same tactical conundrum in the narrow mountainous valleys of Afghanistan. The mujahideen would roll down stones to block the winding and narrow road across the mountains. With the From modern to postmodern era 249

Soviet mechanised column blocked, they would throw grenades and Molotov cocktails on the vehicles below. The mujahids in the mountains above rained down bullets from their AK-47s on the hapless Soviet crew as they tried to bale out of the burning vehicles (Arreguin-Toft 2005: 193–4). Pakistan is suffering from what in CIA terminology is known as the ‘blow-back effect’. From its very inception in 1947, Pakistan needed a new ideology to survive against secular India. Pakistan chose to adopt Islamic ideology, the only Islamic state in South Asia, as it portrayed itself, surviving against an aggressive Hindu India. From the very beginning Pakistan has given the call of Jihad to mobilise antiIndian insurgents, trained and financed them, and sent them to fight in Kashmir and conduct terrorist activities throughout the subcontinent. Zia ul Haq, Pakistan’s dictator who came to power after replacing Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (the democratically elected president of Pakistan) in 1977, especially, further strengthened the religious ethos in the domestic social fabric of Pakistan. Under Zia, the Islamic ethos also penetrated into the fabric of the hitherto secular Pakistan Army. Zia’s Islamisation policy is partly a reaction against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s secular policy. Zia estab­ lished a large number of deeni madaris in North-West Pakistan and these institutions received government grants. They also received aid from Saudi Arabia. In these institutions, the syllabus comprised learning the Koran by heart, correct pro­ nunciation of the Koranic verses, interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, Islamic jurisprudence, sharia and ahadis (life and decisions of the Prophet). The aim of the students was to spread the message of the Prophet. Those who completed their studies became mullahs and those who were unable to complete their studies became talibs (religious students). Such talibs later constituted the Taliban (Matinuddin 2001: 14–15). Islamabad’s support of the radical Afghan mujahideen through ISI further strengthened the position of the Islamists within Pakistan. After 9/11, when Pakistan, under American pressure, changed gears and tried to bring the Islamic insurgent network under control, the Islamist insurgents turned against the state structure. At present, Pakistan is undergoing large-scale insurgency in Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan, KP and FATA. Tehrek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Al-Qaeda and the neo-Taliban pose the greatest threat to the Pakistan state. A victory for TTP would allow this group to control not only the state but also Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical Islamic regime is the last thing the world wants. For example, in the early 1990s, Al-Qaeda operatives attempted to purchase uranium stolen from Russian reactors, but they were duped by the sellers. They were given low-grade reactor fuel that cannot be used for making a nuclear ‘dirty bomb’. Until 2001, Al-Qaeda’s technical capability was not enough to make a nuclear bomb. In September 1999, some Chechen mujahideen tried to steal a container with nuclear waste from a Soviet-era storage known as 112 Workshop. The insurgents mis­ handled the container and exposed themselves to radiation. Two of them died immediately and the third had to be hospitalised (Bodansky 2007: 142; Kapur 2009: 340; Tarzi 2012: 17). However, it remains an open question whether they or the more radical Salafi jihadist groups with their ready cash will be able to

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manufacture or buy a suitcase or apple bomb in the near future. The Arabs finance the Salafists in Pakistan and Afghanistan (Dorronsoro 2012: 31). The Salafis are extremists because of their religious conservatism and aesthetic conformity with a rigid view of classical Islam. They insist that men should keep a long and unkempt beard and wear a robe that stops near the ankle, and women in public should cover themselves with a niqab, which should reveal only the eyes. Salafism is a philosophy which seeks to revive the practices of the first three gen­ erations of Islam who are collectively known as pious predecessors. These three generations are held to constitute the golden age of authenticated and orthodox Islam. Thus, Salafism believes in progress through regression. The Salafis believe that only they constitute the saved sect. One hadith warns that Islam will splinter into various sects of deviance and heresy, and only one faction will practice true Islam and will be saved. Thus, Salafism is a redemptive philosophy based around an idealised version of Islam that enshrines both authenticity and purity (Maher 2017: 5, 7). On 10 July 2007, the Pakistan Army stormed the Red Mosque complex in Islamabad, resulting in the death of some 200 people. A large number of armed veiled women was present in this mosque. The insurgency of the Red Mosque was dissimilar to the masculine Sunni militancy. One author writes that the Red Mosque insurgency was similar to the Shiite militancy strand of Iran and Lebanon (Devji 2012: 153–5). However, the Red Mosque incident was an exceptional case in Pakistan. According to one calculation, in Pakistan one million youth are turning 18 annually and entering the labour market (Andrabi et al. 2012: 172). All of them cannot be absorbed into the job market, and they comprise the Jihad fodder. In order to combat the spread of radical Sunni Islam, General Parvez Musharraf, the dictator of Pakistan (r. 2001–8), tried to promote Sufism as a moderate brand of Islam (Shaikh 2012: 175). When Musharraf sided with the USA during the latter’s fight with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, the dictator’s popularity plummeted. This decline was evident especially from 2007 onwards (Elias 2012: 206). Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) means Army of the Pure. While Al-Qaeda speaks of a Zionist-Crusader alliance, LeT speaks of a Hindu-Zionist-Crusader alliance. LeT does not attack targets within Pakistan but conducts terrorist attacks against India; it was involved in the 2008 Mumbai attack. LeT has the dual identity of being a mis­ sionary-cum-militant organisation. In 1982, Zaki ur Rahman Lakhvi, who master­ minded the 2008 Mumbai attack from Pakistan’s Punjab, went to Paktia in Afghanistan to wage Jihad against the Soviets. He was a member of the Ahl-e-Hadith sect of Islam. He believed that the fighters of the Deobandi school of thought were not waging Jihad in accordance with the sharia. The Ahl-e-Hadith’s personnel were Salafist. In 1984, Lakhvi formed his own group and a year later, along with Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Zafar Iqbal, two teachers from the University of Engineering and Technology at Lahore in Pakistan, formed Jamaat ul Dawa (Organisation for Preaching/JuD). It was a small missionary organisation dedicated to preaching the tenets of the Ahl-e-Hadith version of Islam. Hafiz Saeed explained LeT’s philosophy. From modern to postmodern era 251

He said that Islam propounds both dawa (literal meaning invitation, Islamic mission) and Jihad. Both are equally important and inseparable. Dawa alone develops into mysticism and Jihad alone may lead to anarchy, so a fusion between dawa and Jihad is necessary to bring about changes among individuals, society and the world (Tankel 2011: 1–3, 37–8). Thus, we see that their ideology of Jihad is completely totalitarian, an ambition which the advocates of Total War nurture. LeT’s India-centric focus is also due to the fact that most of its personnel come from Pakistan’s Punjab and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), where anti-India feeling is strongest. Further, LeT is heavily dependent on the ISI for funding, and the ISI wants LeT to continue causing trouble in India’s Kashmir. LeT’s Muham­ mad Ibrahim Salaf declared that whosoever partakes in the anti-Indian Jihad in Kashmir, Allah will set him free from the fire of hell. LeT’s aim is not merely to ‘liberate’ Kashmir but then carry out its activities until the caliphate is established in South Asia (Tankel 2011: 37–8, 40–1). The LeT personnel are unemployed and underemployed educated Punjabi Sunni Muslim males. They want to wage Jihad to gain martyrdom and to protect the Kashmiri Muslims from the infidel Hindus of India (Fair 2019: 111–31). Massoud and Hekmatyar trained and armed thousands of Islamist Tajiks and sent them across the Amu Darya. In 1987, the Afghan mujahideen and even Zia ul-Haq, the then dictator of Pakistan, had plans to spread the Jihad in Soviet Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (Sinno 2008: 110–12). This did not happen, even after the Soviet collapse. But what is the future prospect of radical Islam gaining a foothold in these regions? Kazakhstan, the largest Central Asian Republic with a population of 18 million, is 1,056 miles long (north to south) and 1,064 miles wide (east to west) with Russia in the north and China in the east. In the south, it has a 1,336-mile-long border with Uzbekistan, which includes the Aral Sea, and in the west a 1,180-mile-long coastline on the Caspian Sea, thus giving it access to huge offshore reserves of oil. Further, this country’s gas and coal reserves are also huge, and uranium, titanium and gold are present in large quantities. Due to its geostrategic location and natural resources, the USA is interested in Kazakhstan. The country is overwhelmingly dependent on the Russian Christian population (36 per cent), concentrated in North Kazakhstan, for technical and military manpower requirements. Muslims constitute 43 per cent of the population. There is a resurgence of Islam and mos­ ques are now being built in large numbers with funds flowing from Saudi Arabia. To date, Kazakhstan has not given special status to Islam. Most of the Kazakh armed forces personnel are trained and equipped by the Russians. By 1995, Kazakhstan had destroyed all nuclear warheads left behind by the disintegrating USSR. Kazakhstan does not fear external aggression but internal unrest. Islamic fundamentalists are trying to move into this country. Some of the radical Islamic organisations like Hizbul Tahir, Uighur separatists etc. are operating in the Xinjiang-Uighur region of China (Singh 2005: 163–5). If not in post-Soviet Central Asia, but certainly in post-Soviet North Caucasus, radical Islam is having a field day. On 2 November 1991, Chechnya declared

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independence with the establishment of an Islamic Chechen Republic. Sufism was dominant in Chechnya and in Dagestan even in the nineteenth century. The Russian authorities failed to suppress the Sufi brotherhoods. And the Sufi Silsilas have always been political. Some of the Sufi leaders functioned both as religious gurus as well as leaders of the opposition against czarist and, later, Soviet autho­ rities. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, all the political leaders of Chechnya actively sought the support of Sufi fraternities. Sufi support played an important role during the January 1997 presidential elections in Chechnya. As a corollary, the number of mosques and madrassas is increasing by leaps and bounds in Chechnya after the Soviet collapse. In recent times, Sufism in Chechnya has acquired a Salafist component. During the First Russian-Chechen War, many Sufi leaders supported the call for Jihad (Vatchagaev 2014: 25–35). The First Russian-Chechen War lasted from December 1994 to September 1996. The Second Russian-Chechen War started in 1999 and continued until 2009. A tactical shift was evident in the Russian armed forces in between these two wars. During the First Russian-Chechen War, the Russians tried to capture Grozny with tanks and infantry but was badly mauled. This was because the Russian ground force was not prepared for urban warfare. It seems strange because the Russians had taken Berlin successfully in May 1945. During the Second RussianChechen War, Grozny was flattened with artillery and air strikes, weapons against which the Chechens had no antidote (Freedman 2017: 206). Why did the Chechen youths join the insurgency? A small salary and the pro­ mise of going to paradise if death occurs fighting the infidels (Russian troops) were the principal props behind Chechen combat motivation. Chechen tactics included extensive use of mines, hostage taking, ambushes, use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), suicide bombers (even females), use of the internet, etc. (Thomas 2005: 731–3). During the First Russian-Chechen War—and in the late eighteenth century—the Chechens’ favourite tactic was to conduct ambushes inside the forests (Gammer 2006: 20). The First Russian-Chechen War strengthened the forces of Islam in Chechnya. Islam stands for the antithesis of everything Marxist and Russian. The story of Islamic resistance to Russia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is deeply engraved in the memory and consciousness of the ordinary Chechens. The rebel leaders among the Chechens draw parallels between themselves and the past heroic leaders of the gazavat (Jihad). Islam is effective in functioning as the rallying cry in Chechnya and Dagestan. The Chechens have reason to be wary of Russian invasion of their homeland. If anything, czarist COIN was brutal. For instance, in 1785, as the czarist forces were pushing into Chechnya, large-scale village burning was normal. My Lai in Vietnam is trivial compared to czarist Russia’s villageburning programme. Furthermore, the Chechen women were distributed among the Russian officers (Gammer 2006: 21–35, 214). The Wahabis arrived in Chechnya during 1994–96 as volunteers from the Arab countries. Many were veterans of the Afghan Jihad. One of the Wahabi leaders was Samir Salih, born in a well-to-do family in Saudi Arabia and a brilliant student From modern to postmodern era 253

who went to the USA for further studies. In 1987 he participated in the antiSoviet Jihad in Afghanistan and in 1992 participated on the side of the Islamic forces during the civil war in Tajikistan. In 1995, he arrived in Chechnya and married a local woman, settled down and was killed by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in a special operation in 2002 (Gammer 2006: 214–15). The internationalisation of the Chechen Jihad intensified when veteran Arab mujahideen arrived by travelling through Georgia in October 1999. In the same month, two emissaries from the Chechen jihadis arrived at Kandahar to establish links with Osama and the Taliban. Some Pakistan Army officers were also involved in this international insurgents’ meeting. The outcome of this meeting was that the ISI established a crash training programme for 1,500 insurgents. The recruits (all were volunteers) were to come from the Caucasus, Central Asia, Pakistan, Arabia, Turkey and even Afghanistan and were to be deployed in Chechnya by 2000. October 1999 seems to be an important date as far as the globalisation of the Chechen Jihad is concerned. In that month, a Saudi High Islamic Court chaired by Sheikh Ibn Jibreen issued a fatwa. Jibreen declared that those Muslims who refuse to support Chechen Jihad will cease to be Muslim. Two groups, Jamaat al Muslimeen and Al Gammaa al Islamiyya, established by Ayman al Zawahiri (Osama’s key military commander) and Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, recruited volunteers, sent satellite radio-telephones and GPS sets to the jihadis all over the world including Chechnya (Bodansky 2007: 139–41, 144, 146). The Chechen insurgents followed the twin tactics of terrorism and guerrilla war­ fare. The bombings of apartment buildings in Moscow and other Russian cities during August–September 1999 by the Chechen terrorists resulted in the Second Russian-Chechen War (Vendina et al. 2007: 180). During this war, Russian repres­ sion caused a reduction of the nationalist element and a rise of Islamist tendencies, especially Wahabism. Moreover, the cooperation of the Qadiriyya Sufis with the Russian occupation forces allowed the Wahabis to fill the space to function as rebel opposition. Further, Chechen youths are attracted to the foreign Wahabi jihadis because they have money, weapons and combat experience. Wahabis declare that they are fighting to establish sharia and the ideals of the Prophet. They want to establish a strictly Islamic social and political order. They publicly criticise Sufism for its deviations from the path of ‘true’ Islam. The common Muslims also believe that the establishment of an Islamic state would solve all their problems. In fact, sharia is the only alternative to Russian secular laws and adat (traditional tribal laws) (Gammer 2006: 214–17). The Russian invasion and Sufi collaboration with Moscow have discredited these two alternatives in the eyes of the common Chechens. There is some evidence that the Islamist insurgents of Chechnya and Dagestan have tried to use biological weapons. In 2000, the Chechen jihadis planned a new warfighting programme codenamed Jihad 2. The objective was to use chemical or radiation weapons against transportation nets, water supply nodes and food industry outlets at Ingush and North Ossetia. Some of the Chechen insurgents also trained with gas masks in an attempt to use mustard gas or nerve gas against

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the Russian security force in Grozny (Bodansky 2007: 141–2). However, Jihad 2 did not take off. After the Second Russian-Chechen War, Russia has been successful in using locally recruited indigenous forces against the Chechen insurgents, but this policy has not been successful in Dagestan. The indigenous security forces in Chechnya are mainly local youths and ex-insurgents. Repression by the Russian security forces and the promise of a regular paid job encourage many Chechen youth to join the indigenous forces. To prove their credentials, the ex-insurgents have to kill their erstwhile comrades (active insurgents), and after such killings, the ex-insurgent-turned-indigenous force personnel have no other option but to continue fighting for the pro-Russian regime in Chechnya. In such a scenario, the ex-insurgents and their extended families are ranged against the insurgents and their wider families. Thus, the induction of indigenous forces has transformed the antiRussian insurgency in Chechnya into a Chechen civil war. But this policy of using local indigenous forces to contain the insurgents has failed in Dagestan (Souleimanov and Aliyev 2016: 392–416). This is mostly due to the inward-looking clan-based structure of Dagestani society. Dagestan is a Sunni Muslim majority autonomous republic of about three mil­ lion inhabitants. The ethnic groups present are Avars, Dargins, Kumyks, Lezgins and Laks. While Dagestan’s cities are multi-ethnic, the rural areas are mono-ethnic. Since the early 2000s, Islamic dietary and fashion norms have become increasingly widespread in this republic. After the Chechen-Dagestani jihadi incursion into Dagestan in August 1999 and subsequent terrorist attacks in Russian cities, the federal and local authorities moved against the jihadists. However, the authorities were not very successful in rooting out the jihadis. This is partly because the Dagestani clans are endogenous and practice marriages within the clan. Multiethnic marriages are rare, so the jihadis are protected by their clan members. Kinship networks and the culture of providing hospitality (an element similar to the Pashtunwali code) prevent the common people from cooperating with the security agencies. Salafi jihadist indoctrination is very high among the urban jihadists and they indulge in all sorts of indiscriminate terrorist activities (i.e. harming even Russian civilians, etc.). In fact, Salafi imams function as religious commissars in the urban jihadist groups. Salafi indoctrination emphasises umma and marginalises race and ethnicity. Ethnic ties are stronger among the rural jihadis. They accept Salafism to a lesser extent compared to their urban compatriots. Hence, the rural jihadis are less willing to practice indiscriminate violence against non-Muslims (Souleimanov 2017: 1–20). They only target government agents. Dagestan’s case seems to prove David Kilcullen’s assertion that in the postmodern era, the jihadis will move out of the mountains and target the cities (Kilcullen 2014).

Iraq-Syria I’ll see you guys in New York. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi to his American captors (Sekulow 2014: 9) From modern to postmodern era 255

Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a secular state. Radical Islam emerged only when the state was demolished during the two American attacks on Iraq. Tariq Aziz, the deputy prime minister of Saddam Hussein, declared before the Second AmericanIraq War (Second Gulf War, 2003) that if the Americans attack again, Iraq then will fight differently. During the First American-Iraq War (First Gulf War, 1991), the Iraqis attempted to fight a conventional campaign and were outclassed by quantitatively and qualitatively superior American-led Western forces. Aziz claimed that Iraq, being a modern nation-state, did not want to fight a religious war. Rather, they wanted to fight a war for the independence of Iraq against American neo-colonialism. Iraq would fight to protect its oil reserve. Aziz was not totally wrong when he spoke about the secular nature of the Saddam state. For instance, in the 1990s, Salafist tendencies emerged in Fallujah, which is a middle-sized town populated by Sunni Arabs and with many mosques. The Islamic militants bombed cinemas, music stores and destroyed television sets. Saddam’s administration turned against the Islamists with a heavy hand. After being defeated in the First AmericanIraq War, a desperate Saddam turned to Islam to establish a cohesive domestic support base. State promotion of Islam in the 1990s strengthened the Salafist ten­ dencies in towns like Fallujah (Hashim 2006: 1–2, 24–6), a city which would come to haunt the Americans after the fall of the Saddam regime. Operation Iraqi Freedom (Second American-Iraq War) started on 19 March 2003. Baghdad fell to the Coalition forces on 9 April of the same year. Too much political control over the officer corps by the Saddam regime, along with American firepower, accelerated the meltdown of the Iraqi Army. Saddam’s army comprised Sunni Arab middle-class officers, and most of the infantry was composed of Shia Arabs. When the war was going badly, some of Saddam’s officers attempted to raise the morale of the troops by portraying the struggle with the USA as a Jihad. However, this technique did not register much success. The Bush Administration failed to understand that for most Iraqis the American invasion was not liberation but merely occupation by foreign forces. In other words, the American policy makers seriously underestimated the feelings of nationalism among the Iraqis. The American occupation of Iraq gave birth to the insurgency. Until May 2003, the mid-level Baath Party functionaries were providing funds and commanders to the insurgents. After the disbanding of the Iraqi Army by the Americans in May 2003, disgruntled Iraqi officers with no prospect of a job joined the insurgency for religious and national reasons. The insurgency then spiked (Hashim 2006: 6–9, 15, 29, 33). When Al-Qaeda Iraq (AQI), the forerunner of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) or ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham), implemented draconian sharia law (requiring women to cover from head to toe, prohibiting female education, regulating the kind of food items that women could purchase, etc.), repression became intolerable. Over the imposition of draconian laws, a rift occurred between the AQI and Al-Qaeda headquarters in Pakistan, but AQI persisted in its methods. On 29 June 2014 ISIS became IS (Islamic State) (Sekulow 2014: 16; Lister 2015: 1–2). For the sake of simplicity, I will call this organisation IS.

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Abu Bakr al Baghdadi from Samarra studied Islamic history, received a doctorate from Baghdad University in the late 1990s and held a religious position in the Sunni community during the American invasion of Iraq. He joined the anti-American insurgency in Iraq, was captured in 2006 and soon released. Then, he joined the Islamic State Iraq, the predecessor of ISIS. The latter came into existence in 2013 (Sekulow 2014: 22). Islamic State (in Arabic known as Daesh) emerged from the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham. On 4 July 2014, the leader of IS, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, ascended the pulpit of the Mosul Grand Mosque and declared the establishment of the caliphate. Several days earlier, IS’s spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani announced the revival of the caliphate as the fulfilment of the promise of Allah. Adnani, in the period of Ramadan (Muslim holy month of fasting and penance), declared that the flag of tawhid (monotheism) rises while Satan and his party have fallen. He continued that the nations of kufr (disbelief) watch this development terrified. He proclaimed joyously that the khalifa (caliph) has returned despite all opposition. Baghdadi explained his group’s objectives as those that Allah created: to practice tawhid, worship him and establish his religion. Scholar Shiraz Maher writes that the IS Caliphate has dual contradictory aims. At the grand strategic level, the objective is eschatological and involves hastening the day of resurrection, yawm al-qiyama, when all of mankind will account for its action. At the spiritual level, the aim is destructive, i.e. to precipitate the end of mankind; but at the temporal level, the objective is constructive: state building (Maher 2017: 3–5). Islamic State is a Salafi-jihadist movement. The notion of a modern nation-state is considered in radical Islam as a heretical and artificial unit. Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and IS do not accept the authority of those Muslim rulers who do not rule in accordance with God’s revelations. Such rulers and their supporters are con­ sidered as infidel apostates. Constitutional politics and international systems are violently rejected by these groups (Maher 2017: 11). While Al-Qaeda wants to destroy the distant enemy (the USA), IS believes that political power first must be captured in the Middle East. However, IS is not a nationalist jihadist movement like the Taliban. Unlike the latter, IS is not restricted in its aim of eliminating the old establishment and creating a new sharia state in only one nation. IS aims to create a unified super-state (caliphate) that eliminates all borders in the Middle East and then to extend the caliphate to include India and Central Asia. While Al-Qaeda leaves the issue of state building to the future, IS considers the issue of state building as of utmost importance (Lister 2015: viii–x). Both journalists and scholars critique the Assad regime as the principal culprit for the rise of Islamic radicalism in Syria (Henin 2015; Lister 2017). Such a view is simplistic. True, the economic liberalisation policy followed by Assad from 2000 onwards fuelled discontent among the bottom layers of Syrian society (Henin 2015: 26–7). Relative deprivation, i.e. the growing gulf among the various strata of society, is definitely an important driver behind rebellions. The Arab Spring cer­ tainly encouraged the moderate elements within Syrian society to challenge the authoritarian Assad regime. Here, my main concern is not to study why the radical From modern to postmodern era 257

Islamic insurgency occurred but rather the character of their ideology and operative philosophy. During March 2011, moderate anti-government opposition started in Syria, partly influenced by the Arab Spring (Lister 2017: xi, 12). In 2011, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) emerged as the face of the anti-Assad-government insurgency. The FSA received funding from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. Taxing traders and goods in transit are sources of funds for the jihadists (Henin 2015: 20). IS makes money by selling oil, antiques and looting banks, etc. (Sekulow 2014: 24–5). According to one calculation, IS makes $2 million per day through smuggling oil from Iraq and Syria (Lister 2015: 2–3). IS arrived in Syria during April/May 2013. The semi-collapse of the Syrian state due to large-scale armed insurgency enabled IS to expand its power in North Syria, especially in the city of Raqqa, which became the capital of the organisation (Lister 2017: 1, 2, 6). There are some Syrian Salafist groups that are ideologically similar to IS, but unlike IS focus only on Syria. These Salafist groups want to wage National Jihad while the IS wages International/Global Jihad. IS declared all the Shias as takfir, who are unacceptable and can be killed. While IS recruits non-Syrians in large numbers in pursuit of its objective of Global Jihad, Jabhat al-Nusra is a Syrian organisation. The rift between IS and Jabhat al-Nusra enabled the Assad govern­ ment to survive. In late 2012, several factions from FSA joined ranks with Jabhat al-Nusra. In 2014, fighting broke out between IS and Jabhat al-Nusra. IS also focused on Iraq and captured Mosul. Then IS declared the establishment of a caliphate (Lister 2015: viii; Lister 2017: 6–8). By early 2015, some 150,000 insurgents, organised in 1,500 distinct armed groups, were fighting in Syria. According to one estimate, in September 2015, 30,000 non-Syrians had joined the Jihad in Syria. Every month, on average, some 1,500 foreigners were flooding into Syria to wage Jihad (Lister 2017: 1–2). Fru­ strated youths from the suburbs of European cities suffering from a high degree of identity crisis found refuge in participating in Jihad. For these foreigners, departure to foreign lands for joining Jihad is hijra (Henin 2015: xiii, 15). Many British men were fighting in Syria. They wanted to defend the Muslims and to fight following the path of God. Many were idealists and many considered themselves mujahid and accepted the myths churned out by the Arab Afghans (Anas 2019: xiii). Many Chechens came from North Caucasus in Russia and also from the Chechen dia­ spora in Turkey (Lister 2017: 3). Some of the foreign volunteers genuinely cared for Syria, while other volunteer fighters looked down upon the Syrians (like the Arab jihadis who displayed contempt for the Afghan jihadists) and aimed to teach them ‘true’ Islam (Anas 2019: xiii). By 2015, the FSA, whose ideology was moderate in comparison to IS, was weakened because its leadership was based outside Syria in the refugee camps of southern Turkey (Lister 2017: xi, 2). Cohesive ideology, a hierarchical command structure and strict discipline ensured greater combat effectiveness of IS’s personnel. In contrast, the FSA’s soldiers were a mix of deserters and mafia gangs (Henin 2015: 20–1).

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IS also uses terror tactics like the Mongols. A manual that IS members study is Abu Bakr Naji’s Management of Savagery, published by Al-Qaeda in 2004. In this manual, there is a section about how to be cruel and why is it necessary to be so. Naji’s main argument is that the two world wars resulted in the collapse of the Western empires and in their place came into existence the postcolonial govern­ ments. Such governments create savagery and chaos. Further, the UN and USA also attempt to keep the Arab states in line by generating artificial chaos. When nationstates fail and the Western imperialists create chaos, then IS should move in and fill the void. Further, the Islamist jihadists must bring down the Western puppet Arab states. Naji continues that the Islamists must exploit the political weaknesses of the West. And in the final struggle, which involves a clash of civilisations (Professor Samuel Huntington would have been excited), social media and advanced technol­ ogy must be used by the jihadists. At the end, the Islamists will provide security instead of Western-initiated savagery by establishing sharia (Nance 2016: 303–4). IS uses the latest technology to spread its message far and wide. Two examples will suffice. On 15 June 2014, IS released video footage of executing five unarmed Iraqi soldiers. IS used social media to spread the photographs and videos of this massacre on different sites. IS was able to instil fear in the minds of Twitter users who were following the FIFA World Cup football matches on the social networking site when they unsuspectingly downloaded gruesome photos of the massacre. Fur­ ther, IS uses examples from Islamic history to justify their actions, citing the example of Saladin who fought the Crusaders (Sekulow 2014: 34–6). IS uses machine­ gun-mounted trucks and motorbikes to launch hit-and-run attacks and suicide bom­ bers to conduct terrorist attacks. Recruitment of more than 1,000 Iraqi Army officers has given IS the capability to launch even conventional attacks (Lister 2015: xi). On 6 March 2012, France ceased to recognise the legitimacy of the Assad regime. Such international action seriously weakened the foundations of the Assad regime in Syria and motivated the jihadis further to carry on their struggle. The more Assad weakens, the greater will be the number of jihadist volunteers in front of IS’s recruiting office. The Assad regime is just surviving by portraying the image that it stands for the protection of the Shias and Christian minorities. After all, the core supporter of the Assad regime is the Alawi (a branch of Shia Islam). In 2003 there were one million Christians in Iraq and by 2015 only a quarter of that number remained in Syria (Henin 2015: 1–2, 23; Lister 2015: x). In 2014, IS ordered the Christians to convert to Islam and pay jizya (poll tax paid by the non-believers) or face death (Sekulow 2014: 37). The Sunnis of Iraq consider IS as their saviour. Funding from Iran is a pillar of support for the Assad government. A desperate Assad regime is resorting to brutal COIN just to survive. During June 2013, at Raqqa, the Syrian Air Force dropped barrel bombs over the civilian quarters (Henin 2015: 19, 22, 34). Such a policy is not going to endear the Assad regime to those Syrians even living under the brutal IS. The same applies to the air strikes which the USA started in August 2014 to destroy IS in Iraq and Syria (Lister 2015: 3). What is more dangerous is the fact that the North Caucasus-based jihadists, the China- and Pakistan-based Uighur-dominated East Turkestan Islamic Movement, From modern to postmodern era 259

and the Lebanon-based Jund al Sham are now operating in Syria and acquiring combat training. In addition, their presence in Syria gives them an opportunity to present an international face to their organisations (Lister 2014: 104).

Conclusion Many of the leaders and even in some cases foot soldiers of Jihad are quite cultured and educated urbanites. Why did they pursue such a millenarian apocalyptic struggle? Probably they cannot identify with materialist Western civilisation on an equal footing. They realise that the Islamic countries are on the back foot vis-à-vis Western countries. And far back in history, Islam had enjoyed global political, military and economic power. Therefore, they wanted to revive classical Islam by teaching the West a lesson through Jihad, and certain textual materials within the Islamic corpus definitely allow and encourage the call for Jihad. Like war in gen­ eral, Jihad is also characterised by the marginal presence of women as combatants. Despite ideological dissimilarities, at certain levels there are similarities in the military organisation of the Vietnamese communists and the Afghan mujahideen groups. In Chechnya, Syria and Iraq, the Wahabis transformed National Jihad into a Global Jihad, an objective similar to the Maoists attempting to spread communist revolution throughout the world. The absence of large-scale sustained military and financial aid from foreign governments is preventing IS, unlike the Vietnamese communists, from generating both conventional and unconventional military prowess. The West needs to understand that whatever may be the limitations of Assad’s regime, it is still better than the alternative offered by IS. IS is fighting for non-negotiable issues: spreading the caliphate across Afro-Asia and Eurasia. The West’s support of moderate Islamists is not a working option. It will weaken the Assad regime and strengthen the radical Islamists like IS. For the free world, Global Jihad (as pursued by IS) poses a more potent threat than the National Jihad (as practiced by the Taliban). And if IS wins in Syria, it will then have a domino effect on Israel, Iraq, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Pakistan. To put the moderate Islamists in power, the West needs to invade Syria as it did Iraq. At present, that is not an option in the American strategic menu.

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None of the military theorists portrayed warfare as a dystopian affair involving blood, gore, suffering and death. Rather, the theorists of warfare present the complex, messy and bloody affair which is organised violence as a sort of intellec­ tual puzzle. To add grandeur to their subject matter, the military thinkers added bits and pieces of grand philosophies and, occasionally, elements from different religions. In their defence, it can be said that, after all, these thinkers are attempting to make sense of a crude, confusing affair by categorising and classifying the different tangible and intangible elements which go into the making of warfare. How much have military theories shaped the politico-military landscape? The high priests of military thought such as Kautilya, Sun Tzu, Clausewitz and Mao understood the gulf between the tomes they generated and the ever-shifting foggy and messy actual reality. The first three of these theorists used the variable of a military genius who would be able to translate theory into victory. Kautilya depends on his vijigisu, Sun Tzu on the heaven-born general, and Clausewitz on the genius for war. Probably, for Kautilya, the vijigisu, or ideal ruler, was his pro­ tégé Chandragupta Maurya. For Clausewitz, Napoleon Bonaparte was the God of War. Mao was more straightforward and narcissist. Implicitly, in his theory, he projected himself as the strategic polymath (if this term could be used at all) who could translate his down-to-earth theoretical principles into strategic victory. In Giap’s writings, he himself appears as the mini-genius who is not as self-confident as Mao and hovers around the penumbra of military victory. Post-1945 statist military theories focus on the role of institutions (General Staff/Joint Chief of Staff, military-industrial bureaucracies, complex technological systems, etc.) as the causal variables which could translate military theory into battlefield victory. This shift from individual agency to organisation is because post-1945 military theories are mostly the products of two gigantic industrial states: the USA and the USSR, both of which are characterised by institutional bureaucracies (quasi-corporate

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bureaucracy in the case of the democratic USA and party bureaucracy in the case of the USSR). The argument of a cultural gulf between the so-called Eastern and Western Ways of Warfare is as hoary as the interpretation of the instrumental Western Way of Warfare undergoing continuous upgrade through a series of Military Revolu­ tions versus the static Eastern Way of Warfare characterised by deceit, treachery, existentialism and symbolic expression. Nazi Germany’s Total War, focusing on the extermination of the Slavs, is as existential as Al-Qaeda and IS’s existential Global Jihad against the kafirs. And the medieval Islamic steppe nomadic warfare under the Huns and the Mongols is as instrumental and statist as warfare conducted by the early modern West European polities. With regard to the acquisition of technolo­ gies (like crossbows, trebuchets, gunpowder, IT, etc.), China, Japan, Korea, SouthEast Asia, India and Ottoman Turkey have been as enthusiastic as West Europe. Where is the evidence of the cultural uniqueness of the West? One thing that this book shows beyond doubt is that the concept of a homo­ geneous, technically superior and secular battle-centric Western Way of War is a misnomer and historically erroneous. Drilled and disciplined infantry emerged in Sumer. The premodern Asian armies, which were well organised with hierarchical command set-ups, had well-crafted ORBATs. The concept of decisive battle had been invented and practiced in ancient West Asia, India and China long before the classical Greeks hit upon this idea. The Hittites, ancient Egyptians, Indians and Chinese were waging decisive battles before such concentrated combat lasting a single afternoon occurred at the battlefields of Coronea (394 BCE) and Chaeronea (338 BCE) in classical Greece. And not all the Western polities followed the battlecentric military ideology. At least the Byzantine Empire, as our analysis shows, did not follow a battle-centric strategy. And the Byzantine Empire, in particular, and the West, in general, borrowed a lot of military techniques and ideas from the ‘East’ (Asia). Further, the Assyrians, Chinese and Mongols were masters of siege warfare. Besides waging battles, premodern Chinese and Indian polities, relying on massive fortifications, also conducted long-drawn attritional positional warfare. Again, I find no justification in questioning the large size of armies given in the sources dealing with premodern China and India. Why do we always question the veracity of Eastern sources but not Western sources? Why are Arrian, Livy and Tacitus more acceptable than Rig Veda and Arthasastra? Considering the huge demographic resources and agrarian wealth of China and India, it was more than possible for the premodern Chinese and Indian polities to maintain bigger armies compared to the Roman Republic and the Byzantine Empire. It would be an example of rabid Eurocentric bias to accept that the concept of Total War emerged in the West during the nineteenth century. Several lines of thought regarding warfare which we still encounter have a long history. The same could be said about the ideas of Total War, genocide and the bipolar paradigm of Just and Unjust War. Jihad did emerge with Islam in the seventh century CE, but the roots of existential Holy War can be traced back to Judaism in the second millennium BCE. The concept of a clash between civilisations did not emerge in

264 Conclusion

the post-Cold War era, as Professor Samuel Huntington would have us believe (Huntington 1997), but in ancient Egypt during the third millennium BCE. In fact, we would not be stretching our imagination too much in arguing that the origins of Total War and its attendant idea of genocide can be traced back to Judaism in the second millennia BCE. And long before the origins of Christianity, Confucian China and Vedic India grappled with the issues of Just and Unjust War. The concepts of Holy War and Just War for all the Eurasian civilisations are probably flexible and entwined with each other. We need to move ahead of simplistic liberal ideas that all religions are peaceful, and only some bad (or power-hungry and megalomaniac) men, through deliberate misinterpretations and misinformation, have led the gullible masses into millenarian apocalyptic struggles throughout history. All religions have martial metaphors. The eschatological elements in the religions portray a continuous cosmic struggle between good and bad. Actually, all religions are exclusive. They have to be in order to maintain their separate identities. And each religion believes in its supre­ macy and accommodation only on its own terms. In fact, all religions (be it Juda­ ism or Hinduism or Christianity) contain dark elements which are evil. And such elements can be mobilised by the political-cum-military entrepreneurs by giving the call for war tinted with religious ideas. Religions, like totalitarian secular ideologies (like Nazism, Maoism, etc.), certainly strengthen the combat motivation of the personnel facing a firefight; especially when material incentives get amalga­ mated with religious values (ideological sentiments), we then have an explosive compound. My analysis shows that Buddhism in South-East Asia, Japan and Korea played an active role in organising and legitimising organised violence. And within Islam, not only Sunni Islam, but the Sufis (who have been portrayed by some ‘secular’ scholars as peace loving) also encouraged large-scale violence both in the medieval and modern eras. Some liberal secular scholars have given a positive spin to Sufism saying that it represents good Islam while Wahabism/Salafism represents bad Islam. Actually, the Sufis, as the cases of Mughal India and Chechnya show, frequently gave the call for Jihad. The Sufis could, if required, be as radical, as the Salafis and the Wahabis. Further, a religion is an open-ended instrument in the hands of both the elites and the subalterns. It could be used by the centre as a centralising ideology and also by the local and regional actors for ensuring auton­ omy from the centre. Buddhism was used in early modern Burma and Thailand to build up a centralised polity and occasionally in medieval Japan to challenge shogunate rule. Taking a longue durée approach, one can say that military doctrines have certain universal principles and also certain unique elements which are products of parti­ cular geographical factors. Again, certain similar principles and concepts evolve autonomously. Thoi Co and the concept of devolved/decentralised command emerged autonomously in medieval Mongolia, and in modern Vietnam and Ger­ many. At the same time, the different Eurasian polities borrowed from each other freely. The process is not merely of Asia copying the West. Rather, military developments (both in the spheres of theory and practice) in Eurasia have been

Conclusion 265

interlinked and are dialectical processes. For instance, the Byzantine Empire adop­ ted certain elements from Islamic steppe nomadic warfare and the nomads learnt the art of siege war from their sedentary opponents. Jeremy Black in one of his insightful books argues that the notion of RMA and the assumption that smart weapons are the driving force in war and military cap­ ability in the present century are misplaced. This is because the RMA concept fails to incorporate the multiple contexts of war. Combat and victory are constructs that are shaped by differing socio-political developments (Black 2004: xi). Black has hit the nail on the head. Just like the concept of Holy War, which exhibited regional characteristics as it spread across Asia in history, in the new millennium also, the RMA concept, though imported from the USA, reflects differing contingencies as it is being adopted in part by the various armed forces of Asia. Therefore, instead of a homogeneous cut-and-dried American RMA, we can speak of a Chinese RMA and an Indian RMA. Presently, military officers and intellectuals associated with the military think tanks in China, Singapore and India are churning out lots of articles and books on the nature of the RMA required by each of these countries’ armed forces. This trend will certainly continue in the near future. Ironically, nuclear wars have never been fought and probably will not occur, but due to the devastating nature of such weapons, a lot of ink has been spilled in analysing the politico-military thinking behind the use and non-use of nuclear bombs. Overall, despite the comments by the alarmists, there have been no mushroom clouds over a nuclear-devastated city after 1945. Neither are the nuclear forces of the Asian countries on hair-trigger alert, nor is there any serious possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons in actual warfighting. Nuclear weapons are poli­ tical bargaining chips. In fact, nuclear weapons have strengthened deterrence and reduced the scope of even conventional Limited War. Total War is out. However, Limited War by regular armies equipped with high-precision weapons under a nuclear umbrella can occur in the near future between states like North and South Korea, China and Vietnam, China and India and India and Pakistan. For military think tanks, researching on this topic remains attractive. So far, nuclear weapons are for show, i.e. for creating deterrence (symbolic expression for both sides: the owner and the opponent) and not for actual warfighting despite talk of using tactical nuclear weapons in the battlefield. The excessive destructive power of nuclear weapons and their display for creating terror makes the nuclear-equipped armed forces (especially the USA, Russia and China) display tendencies of existential and symbolic character, elements which have been associated with the hackneyed Eastern Way of Warfare. At one level, nuclear, conventional and unconventional strategies are interlinked. The presence of nuclear weapons has limited the fre­ quency and intensity of conventional wars in Asia, and at another level, the very presence of nuclear deterrence enables weaker states to challenge their stronger neighbours by supporting insurgencies. Thus, the presence of nuclear weapons ironically has produced a stability-instability paradox in inter-state relations. One can say that the very presence of nuclear weapons has indirectly accelerated the rise of insurgencies.

266 Conclusion

According to one calculation, between 1945 and 1999, 3.3 million battle deaths occurred in 25 inter-state wars around the world. In that same period, 16.2 million people died in 127 civil/intra-state wars (of which 13 were wars of decolonisation). Therefore, sub-conventional campaigns have caused five times more death than those caused by inter-state conventional wars (Hashim 2014: 26), and most of the intra-state wars are occurring in the developing world where 80 per cent of the world’s population lives (Goodson 2001: 7). Why have intra-state conflicts increased in the post-1945 era? This is because of the erosion of the idea of nationalism due to increasing globalisation. The fall of Marxism has made the expansion of capitalism the sole sustainable model in the near future, but capitalism, despite improving the standard of living, increases relative deprivation among certain sections of the population of a developing state. It is estimated that between 1999 and 2050, the population of the world will increase from 6 billion to 8.9 billion people, and population growth is highest in the developing world (Black 2004: 30–1). Rapid population growth results in intense competition for jobs and clean water and causes ethnic and religious clashes especially among the multi-ethnic and multi-religious political entities of the developing world. One scholar has pointed out that radical redistribution of wealth among the population of a state occurs only when that polity is engaged in longdrawn-out attritional war (Scheidel 2018). Those who feel left outside the ‘charmed circle’ of capitalism are aware that violence is the only way for getting a good share of the ‘cake’. The ‘have nots’ lack the weapons and the infrastructure to launch conventional wars, so they fall back on insurgencies/unconventional war­ fare. And in the face of disappearing communism, the insurgents have no secular anti-capitalist ideology in front of them so they are reverting on their primordial faith: religion. One scholar rightly says that the terrorists motivated by religion can contemplate massive acts of death and destruction as a reflection of their belief that violence is a sacramental act or a divine duty. Terrorism thus assumes a transcen­ dental dimension and its perpetrators are seemingly unconstrained by the moral or political constraints that influence secular terrorists (Hoffman 1997: 346). However, terrorists are rarely able to upgrade themselves into guerrilla forces. On the con­ trary, when the insurgents/guerrillas face enormous pressure from the state’s security forces, the former resort to terrorism. And when the state’s coercive pres­ sure on them slackens, the insurgents are able to launch both guerrilla and con­ ventional campaigns. Hence, the prevalence of intra-state wars has resulted in the voluminous generation of literature on insurgencies and COIN. Military theory is dancing to the tune of material reality. In recent times, thanks to the liberal political climate, the spread of ideas about political correctness, the welfare state and gender equality, for most academicians (who belong to the left-liberal camp) and the audio-visual media the state has emerged as the big bad wolf. The state is blamed for insurgency and all sorts of troubles which afflict humanity. Audio-visual and electronic media (including Facebook, Google, etc.), being quasi-autonomous power centres, have a vested interest in delegitimising and weakening the state in the name of liberalism and

Conclusion 267

individualism. And when there is no unitary state in a particular region due to rampant civil war (Afghanistan in the 1990s and Syria at the beginning of the twenty-first century), the liberals alongside the audio-visual and social media blame the international community. Greed, wickedness, selfishness and cowardice of the common people do not enter the equation. Common people in reality are neither good nor innocent. Most of the insurgencies in Asia are waged by Islamists and to a lesser extent by the Maoists. And there are some unique features of Islamic insurgencies. For instance, Islam, being a transnational religion with a strong proselytising ethos, can mobilise support for its Global Jihad from different corners of the planet. But there are also certain commonalities between Islamic and non-Islamic insurgencies. For instance, both the Hindu Tamil LTTE of Sri Lanka and the Islamist groups of Pakistan and Chechnya use suicide bombers. Similarly, this volume has shown that the COIN model of any particular country is more or less homogeneous and it is applied in different regions with minor variations. For instance, the Indian COIN model is applied in Kashmir, North-East India and in Sri Lanka. Similarly, the Russian COIN package is also similar in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Georgia. It is too much to ask from the armed forces of a particular country to come up with a different COIN model every time. While American COIN succeeded in the Philippines, it failed in Vietnam. British COIN succeeded in Malaya but not in Palestine. And neither British nor American COIN were very successful in Afghanistan and Iraq. Soviet COIN failed in Afgha­ nistan but succeeded in the Caucasus. Indian COIN has been tolerably successful in Kashmir and North-East India but failed in Sri Lanka. Hence, it cannot be said that the COIN of a particular country is more effective. It is also problematic to cate­ gorise a country’s COIN as humane or brutal. British COIN as practiced in Palestine and India during the first half of the twentieth century was racist and brutal. And British COIN was harsher to a degree against the Mau Mau of Kenya than the COIN model applied against the nationalists of British India. And it failed in Pales­ tine but succeeded in Malaya. Harsh Soviet COIN failed in Afghanistan but has been moderately successful in Chechnya. Charged with a high kinetic component, Sri Lankan anti-humane enemy-centric COIN succeeded against the LTTE. Hence, it would be erroneous to argue that people-centric COIN is more successful than militarised COIN. This book has shown that rather than the intrinsic nature of COIN theories, the success and failure of the insurgency depend on a host of nontheoretical factors. The premier among them are geography, historical tradition, social structure of the region, and outside support. David Kilcullen, an Australian military officer turned COIN expert, claims that a COIN package should include 20 per cent military elements and 80 per cent non-military elements (including IW techniques) (Kilcullen 2009: 263–301). Kilcullen’s inclusion of IW techniques in the COIN package is most welcome, but a more balanced appreciation of COIN strategy should be 50 per cent kinetic and 50 per cent non-kinetic elements. One scholar, Anthony Vinci, finds convergence of Al-Qaeda’s Way of War with the American Way of War as practiced during the Global War on Terror.

268 Conclusion

Vinci writes that the USA, in order to fight effectively, is adopting Al-Qaeda’s techniques such as stealth, deception, ambushes, sudden raids, etc. that are integral elements of the Eastern Way of War. Despite similarities at the tactical level, the military-philosophic roots of Al-Qaeda and the USA are distinct. Following Christopher Coker, Vinci argues that the Islamic insurgents have an existential approach towards warfare while the West has an instrumental perspective of war­ fare. And the instrumental approach towards warfare is going to fail against those who practice an existential symbolic approach to warfare. The West needs to reinvent the soul of Achilles, the archetypical warrior who fought for the sake of honour and prestige, because warfare is the way of his life and not a means for garnering any material gains. But is this possible? Probably not, given that Western civilisation is based on rational-scientific-technocratic values. Coker and Vinci, following the Culturalist model, accept the bipolar paradigm of war: the rational and secular West following an instrumental goal-oriented approach to warfare, while the mystic Orient, bound by religious ethos, has historically followed and is still following an existential-symbolic-expressive warfare (Coker 2002; Vinci 2008: 69–88). Vinci and Coker’s assertions are a throwback to the Keegan-Hanson-Parker model. The preceding chapters have shown that such a watertight bipolar division is hoary and ahistorical. Deceit, treachery, stealth, surprise, battles and sieges are techniques common to all the warring parties of Eurasia. Deceit and treachery were present in ancient Chinese, Indian and Byzantine war making. The method of war practiced by the Ottomans, Mughals and the Ming Dynasty was as rational as that of the Macedonians, Roman Empire and Holy Roman Empire. Akbar and Oda Nobunaga were as instrumental as Charlemagne and Henry VIII. Honour, prestige and the urge to display valour were as important for the mansabdars and samurai as they were for the senators (political elite) of the Roman Republic and the knights of medieval France. Rather than culture, it is geography, social structure and economic base (material reality) that shaped and are shaping the evolution of military thought. For instance, between 1960 and 2020, both China and India have been able to move away from a manpower-intensive, infantry-centric army towards a quasi-capital-intensive, information-firepower-technology-oriented armed forces because the economies of both countries have undergone significant expansion. The extent of Maoist influence on the doctrines of the Islamist guerrillas remains questionable. One thing is certain: the techniques of stealth, deception, treachery and terrorism, which are practiced by the Islamists, are products of their material weaknesses and not cultural uniqueness. Sun Tzu and Kautilya advocated such methods as weapons of the weak. The logic behind using such techniques is highly instrumental and not symbolic-cultural. Culture is like a soft toy. You can press it in any direction and it will take shape accordingly. And this will remain so for the near future. This volume has also shown that in several cases the insurgents have been roundly defeated by statist security forces. Moreover, the cases of Mao and Giap show that when the rebels follow a mix of conventional and unconventional war

Conclusion 269

with external support, only then are they successful. Guerrilla war or terrorism by itself is not going to be successful, so the assertion by some pundits that the twenty-first century has ushered in the ‘Age of the Insurgents/Guerrillas’ is too simplistic. Anarchic times resulting in large-scale state collapse due to attack by the barbarians (non-state agents) and radical climate shift, as evident during the collapse of the Bronze Age in West Asia during 1200 BCE and the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century CE, might be returning (Grygiel 2018). Climate change due to a rise in temperature resulting from increasing exploitation of fossil fuels and increase of population, the hole in the ozone layer, increasing salinity of soil, the rise in sea level, movement of refugees (internally displaced persons) on a large scale, the fall of the sub-soil level of water, etc. are all, to an extent, evident in the twenty-first century (McMichael et al. 2017). The ‘barbarians’, as David Kilcullen warns, might be returning from the wastelands and the mountains to the megacities where most of the population will be concentrated in the near future (Kilcullen 2014). Seven years before Kilcullen, noted historian Martin van Creveld had given the clarion call: ‘In truth, the barbarians, having already passed through the gates, do not really need to invade. Inside the fortress, their number is growing day by day’ (Creveld 2008: 277). This issue seems to be serious, especially when we take into account the gradual shift of attitude towards militaries and militarism in the West, in particular, and the world, in general. Black introduces a new concept known as Revolution in Atti­ tudes towards the Military (RAM), and RAM seems to be equally if not more important than the trendy RMA concept. Focusing on Europe, Black notes that a decline in the willingness to serve in the military, both in peacetime and during war, along with the rise and spread of consumerism, feminism and democratisation, has affected not only the objectives and conduct of military operations but the very nature of military institutions. Masculinity in terms of the ability and willingness to be violent, and heroism associated with the idea of self-sacrifice and death, seem to be anachronistic modes of behaviour in the present climate. In the West, con­ scription is out of favour and volunteer service fashionable. The entry of homo­ sexuals further muddies the masculine stereotyping of the traditional military. In other words, not only is military service becoming unpopular, but Western socie­ ties are also no longer willing to accept large number of battle deaths. As Black notes, despite Western women aggressively demanding equality, there is not much enthusiasm among them to serve in the militaries as frontline soldiers. After Vietnam, American society is unwilling to see body bags returning from abroad as a result of ‘dirty wars’. The necessity to avoid large number of casualties has forced the US military to come up with machine-centric manoeuvre war concepts like Air-Land Battle, RMA, etc. (Black 2004: 13–17). The question is, how far can these concepts be used against the insurgents since COIN requires a lot of ‘boots in the ground’, and COIN, as this book has argued, is a long-term attritional game. If the insurgents hide in the cities, in order to tackle them, missiles, nuclear submarines, drones, UAVs, laser guns and sophisticated military theories will not be enough. The polities will require a large number of

270 Conclusion

infantry equipped with hand-held weapons. In contrast, the insurgents are willing to play a bloody attritional game and insurgents – both male and female – in Sri Lanka, Palestine and Chechnya are willing to carry out suicide missions. What then is the prospect for Asia? China and India are also experiencing some of the effects of feminism, demo­ cratisation, liberalism and the decline in martial masculinity. The audio-visual media and the liberal intellectual intelligentsia, especially in India, are up in arms against military expenditure and sabre rattling. They want more funds for educa­ tion, clean water, hospitals, etc. Similarly, the middle class of China now want to make more money, enjoy a higher standard of living, and have more pop music, more sex and more restaurant food. They are no longer interested in spreading Red Revolution in the erstwhile Third World through the agency of the Red Army under the CCP’s direction. In the near future we might see an explosion of literature related to RAM in China and India by non-military specialists. Liberal and feminist intellectuals in the universities are already arguing how, in the ‘brave’, new, changing world, military institutions and combat are becoming obsolete. The middle class in both these countries are not very willing to sacrifice their lives for the nation. In fact, in India, the urban, university-educated, upper-middle class are no longer willing to join the officer corps. They are gravitating more and more towards civil bureaucracy, the corporate sector and university jobs. This is striking when we remember that in the early twentieth century military service was regarded as more prestigious than civil bureaucracy. In fact, in the late twentieth century, the Indian Army suffered from an officer shortage of 13,000 (Kumar 2010). But there is a caveat. Asia is not the West. The upper-middle class of China, India and Pakistan, as in the USA and West Europe, may be shunning the military, but this provides an opportunity to the lower-middle class from small towns in these three countries to enter the officer corps. For them, as well as for the mass of peasants in these two South Asian countries and in China, service in the military offers a stable job with an attractive economic package. China, India and Pakistan, therefore, unlike the West, have no problem in maintaining and expanding, if required, a large infantry-oriented army backed by paramilitary forces. Such forces are inadequate against high-tech joint war which the USA conducted in the Gulf in 2003. However, such peasant soldiers backed by the state are adequate against the insurgents equipped with low-grade weaponry. More important, life is cheap in Asia compared to the West. Many people die due to malnutrition, hunger, dis­ ease and poverty, so the Asian militaries and their host societies are willing to absorb casualties unlike West Europe and the USA. Despite Kilcullen’s pessimistic assertion, how successful the guerrillas/insurgents will be in the cities remains questionable. At present, the Maoists in India are scattered in the countryside. Radical splintered Maoist factions in Nepal are hiding in the mountains. The Islamic Chechen guerrillas have been pushed out of Grozny by the Russian troops and local security force. And IS is being gradually pushed back from the urban centres that they once held in North Iraq and Syria. The authoritarian political structure of China has been able to shove the Islamist

Conclusion 271

separatists away to the margin. The insurgents/barbarians will definitely go on attacking the sedentary civilised states with a mix of traditional weapons (AK-47s and landmines) and new methods (which include IW techniques and cyber tech­ nology, etc.). Even though the barbarians might be knocking at our gates, state collapse in the immediate future is not evident. The post-industrial informationage polities are not going to fall like nine pins. The industrial and information-age armed forces are ready and waiting for the ‘barbarians’.

Bibliography Black, Jeremy, War and the New Disorder in the 21st Century (New York/London: Continuum, 2004). Coker, Christopher, Waging War without Warriors? The Changing Culture of Military Conflict (Boulder, CO/London: Lynne Rienner 2002). Creveld, Martin van, The Changing Face of War: Combat from the Marne to Iraq (New York: Ballantine Books, 2008). Goodson, Larry P., Afghanistan’s Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics and the Rise of the Taliban (Seattle/London: University of Washington Press, 2001). Grygiel, Jakub J., Return of the Barbarians: Confronting Non-State Actors from Ancient Rome to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). Hashim, Ahmed S., When Counterinsurgency Wins: Sri Lanka’s Defeat of the Tamil Tigers (New Delhi: Foundation Books, 2014). Hoffman, Bruce, ‘Responding to Terrorism across the Technological Spectrum’, in John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt (eds.), In Athena’s Camp: Preparing for Conflict in the Informa­ tion Age (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1997), pp. 339–367. Huntington, Samuel P., The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New Delhi: Viking, 1997). Kilcullen, David, The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the midst of a Big One (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). Kilcullen, David, Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014). Kumar, Dinesh, ‘The Officer Crisis in the Indian Military’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, vol. 33, no. 3 (2010), pp. 442–467. McMichael, Anthony, Woodward, Alistair and Muir, Cameron, Climate Change and the Health of Nations: Famines, Fevers, and the Fate of Populations (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017). Scheidel, Walter, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (Princeton, NJ/Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2018). Vinci, Anthony, ‘Becoming the Enemy: Convergence in the American and Al Qaeda Ways of Warfare’, Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 31, no. 1 (2008), pp. 69–88.


Abolqasem Ferdowsi 117–18 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi 173, 254, 256 Abu Bakr Naji’s: head of umma 101; Management of Savagery 258 Abul Fazl: Akbar Nama 122 Achaemenids 19–22, 34, 117 acharyas 31, 33, 39–40, 45, 68, 81, 118, 120 active defence strategy, concept of 215 Afghanistan 7, 32, 34, 37–40, 99: Islamic expansion in 114–22; jihad in 239–48 ahimsa (non-violence) 38, 43, 115–16 Ahuramazda 20 Air-Sea Battle concept, USA 227 Ajatasatru (King) 33 Akbar of India (Mughal emperor) 121–2, 139, 268 Al Somood magazine 247 Alexander 19, 21–2, 30, 34, 36, 62, 67 Allon, Yigal 160–1 Al-Qaeda 99, 115, 192, 244, 249–50, 256, 258, 263: techniques 268; way of war 267 Al-Qaeda Iraq (AQI) 255 American Civil War 6 Ames, Roger T. 69 ancient India society 37–40 Anonymous Byzantine Treatise on Strategy, The 82–3, 91 anti-Western Boxer Uprising (1899–1900) 209 Antonine Wall 68

Arabs 20, 78, 81, 83, 86, 88, 91, 97, 101–2, 114–17, 158, 160, 167, 250: Palestinian 157, 189, 248; Sunni 255 Archipelagic Sea Defence Strategy 227 Arjuna 14, 28, 61 Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 222 Ashoka Emperor 37–9, 43–5, 55, 142 Ashurbanipal 18 Asia-Pacific War 3 Assyria/ Assyrians 9, 12–13, 17–21, 91, 263 Auftragstaktik (mission oriented command system) 163, 175, 202, 219 Avars 78, 86, 254 Baath Party 255 Babylon 17, 19–20, 117 Bangladesh 180, 183, 188, 191–192, 203 Battle Array by Cao Mie 53 Battle of: Ankara 110; Badr (first and second) 100; Carrhae 87; Chaldiran 112, 114; Dara 87; Delhi 107; Dorostolon 79; Issus 22; Gaugamela 22; Granicus River 21; Hydaspes 30 34; Jam 112; Jiluoshan 65; Kadesh 12; Khanwa 99; Kosovo 112; Leyte Gulf 231; Megiddo 10; Mohacs 112; Nagashini 145; Panipat (first) 112, 121; Philippine Sea 231; Sekigahara 149; Tarain (first and second) 118–19; Tu Mu 68; Wuhan 230 Bedouin tribes in Mecca 100, 104, 160 Behistun Inscription 20, 37 Belisarius 80, 84, 87–8, 90

Index 273

Ben-Gurion, David 158, 161–2 Bhagavad Gita 57, 61, 196 Bhutto, Zulfiqar Ali 197 Bible 6, 13–15, 79, 97, 159 Blitzkrieg doctrine 7, 163, 165, 175, 199 Blue Water Navy 146, 186–7, 226–7, 233 Brahmin 25–6, 29, 39–40, 44, 67–8, 114, 148 Brekke, Torkel 2 Brown Water Navy 227 bushido (or budo) 4, 6–7, 140–9, 161, 228, 240 Byzantine Empire 48, 54: and Christianity 75–81; chronicles 81–90; generalship 81–90; historians 90–3; holy war 75–81; just war 75–81; military handbooks (tactical manuals) 81–93; tactical thoughts 81–90 caliph 77, 98, 114–15, 117, 128, 244 caliphate 79, 101–2, 251, 256–7, 259: Abbasid 96, 102–3 Callwell, Charles 188–9 Campaign Organization and Tactics 82, 90 Canaan 10, 13 Canaanites 14–15 Caucasus 248–54 Chachnama 114–15 Chadha, Lieutenant-Colonel Vivek 189 Chand Bardai 119 Chandragupta Maurya 30, 37, 262 Chandragupta Vikramaditya 41, 119 Chauhan, Prithviraj 118, 120, 150 Che Guevara 55 Chechens 257, 270: -Dagestani jihadi incursion 254; insurgents 253; jihad, internationalisation of 253; mujahideen 249: Russian-Chechen War (first and second) 252–4 Chechnya 251–4, 259, 264, 267, 270 Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) of India 184 Chin Peng 223, 234 Chingiz Khan 102, 109, 120 Chola Navy 187 Clausewitz, Carl von 4, 31–2, 35, 50–1, 58–62, 70–1, 102, 188, 195–6, 213–14, 221–2, 262 Cleary, Thomas 3 close air support (CAS) 174 Cohen, Stephen P. 179 command, control, communication and intelligence (C3I) 186, 199 Complete History of Yo Fei, The 69 composite bow 88, 91

Confucianism/Ruism 4, 54–5, 64, 133, 144–5, 214 Confucius 39, 51, 53–5, 57, 63, 65, 215, 219 Constantinople 75–6, 80, 93, 110, 113 conventional warfare 179–88 counterinsurgency (COIN)-Assyrian, British, Israeli, Indian, Soviet/Russian 2, 7, 31, 43, 45, 64, 81, 175, 188–96, 201–3, 213, 223–4, 226, 243, 245, 248, 252, 258, 266–7 Crusades 77, 88; see also Holy war cyber warfare 227 Cyrus 19–20, 22 Cyrus Cylinder 19 Da Mujahed Zhagh web magazine 246 daimyo 139–40, 148–9 Dao of the Military, The 63–4 Dao/Tao 54 Daoism/Taoism 54, 57–8, 64, 71, 213 Darul Ulum Deoband madrassa in North India 241 Dayan, Moshe 163, 166 Dead Sea Scrolls, The 14 Delhi Sultanate 107, 120 Deng Xiaoping 215–216 Devichandraguptam 41 dharma 26, 37, 39–40, 43 dharmayuddha 2, 25–6, 28, 37, 44–5, 50, 53, 63, 119 doomsday doctrines 196–199 Douhet, Giulio 185–6 Eastern Way of Warfare 263 Egypt 9–20, 22, 81, 113, 158, 160–1, 163–7, 169–70, 247, 263–4 Elazar, Rabbi 159–60 electromagnetic pulse weapon (EMP) 200, 217 electronic warfare (EW) 199, 217 Epic of Gilgamesh, The 17–18, 22 extended deterrence 232 Fakhr i Mudabbir: surprise attack on Hindu military bases 120 fatwa 241, 244, 253 fedayin/fedayeen 164 Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) 192 Fonseka, General Sarath 193 Fourth generation warfare 32, 245 Freedman, Lawrence 3 French Revolution 6

274 Index

Gandhi, Indira 183 Gandhi, Rajiv 194 ghazi 99, 116, 128 ghazi model 99 ghulam/mamluk 96, 101–2, 111, 114–16, 192 Giap, Vo Nguyen 7, 99, 125, 218–22, 234, 242, 245, 262, 268 Golan Heights 167 Goren, Rabbi Shlomo 159 Gramsci, Antonio: on Red Revolution 221 Great Divergence 2 Great Wall of China 68 Greece 1, 6, 11, 13, 16, 21–2, 26, 29, 44, 49, 126, 263 gross national product (GNP): China and India 2 Gunpowder Revolution 5 Gupta Empire 40–1 Gwynn, Major-General Charles W. 189 hadith 98, 241: warning about Islam 250 Hagakure (The Book of the Samurai) 148–9 Haganah 160–1 Hamas 170–2 Han Empire 57, 64–5 Handel, Michael I. 3 Hanson, Victor Davis 1 Hartwell, Nicole M. 3 Hashomer 160–1 Hattusa 12 Heike Monogatari (The Tale of the Heike) 141–2 Heuser, Beatrice 3 Hezbollah 170, 173 himsa 116 Hitler, Adolf 6 Hittites 9, 11–14, 16–18, 22, 263 Ho Chi Minh (known as Uncle Ho) 218 Holy War 14–15, 75–81, 93, 98–9, 116, 159, 239–41, 263–5; see also jihad Hsia/Xia Dynasty 49 hsing 51, 60 Hukbalahap (Huk) 223 Huns 41, 68, 77, 81, 85, 103, 118, 263 Hussein, Saddam 169–170, 255 Hyksos 11, 13 Imjin War 139–40, 144, 146, 148–9, 151 Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) 161, 170, 215, 223, 228–32 Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) 229–32 India 2–7, 14, 48–51, 55, 133, 140, 142, 146–7, 150–2, 162, 226, 230, 241, 249–50, 263, 265, 267–8, 270: ancient epics 14, 61; epic age 27–29; land grants

during post-Gupta era 138; medieval 40–2; polity and just war doctrine in ancient 37–40; premodern 68; rivalry between Pakistan 178–84, 186, 198; vedic age 12, 22, 26–27, 264 India-Pakistan War (1965) 183 Indian Air Force (IAF) 181, 185–6, 200 Indian Army 180–3, 185–6, 189–91, 200–3, 223–4, 270 Indian Navy 184, 186–8, 191–2, 198, 202 Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) 193 Indus Valley Civilisation 27 information warfare (IW) 178, 199: neoTaliban techniques of 246; origin of 217 Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) 191–2, 242, 244, 249, 251, 253 Intifada 171–2, 174 iqta/timar/jagir 102, 111, 121 Islam: Deobandi 192, 241, 250; Salafi 249–50, 252, 254–7, 264; Wahabi 252–3, 259, 264 Islamic Chechen Republic 252 Islamic expansion in South Asia 114–22 Islamic State (IS)/ISIS 255–6 Israel: conventional war in 163–7; military threat from Muslim neighbours 170–4; and nuclear weapons use 167–70; strategic doctrine 157–60 Israel (Judea) 13, 160, 172 Israeli Defence Force (IDF) 159, 166–7, 171, 173–5, 184: organised in selfcontained brigades 165; origin of 160–3 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) 192 janayuddha (People’s War) 194 Janissary 111 Japan 228–34: monarchy era in 133–8; civil war in 133–8 Japan’s Self Defence Forces (SDF) 233–4 Jauhar, sati 119, 151–2 Jayewardene, J.R. 187 Jew 13, 15, 20, 76, 79, 97–8, 158–61, 175 jihad: in Central Asia 248–54; classical 240; elements of 99; global 7, 244, 248, 257, 259, 263, 267; international 241; IraqSyria 254–59; national 248, 257, 259; see also Prophet Muhammad jihadi 7, 203, 239, 247, 249, 254, 258: Afghanistan 220; Arab 174, 257; Chechan 253; classical 240; global 244; militants 191; rural 254 jizya 98, 258 Judaea 167 Judaism 22–3, 159, 263–4

Index 275

Just War 2, 37–40, 53, 75–81, 93, 119–20, 123, 159, 213, 215, 264. see also dharmayuddha Justinian Emperor 79, 135 Kalinga 37–8 Kamandaka 5, 25, 42–5, 51, 54, 84–5, 190: Nitisara 5, 42–4, 84, 126 kamikaze 144 Kane, Thomas M. 3 Karnad, Bharat 179 Kautilya: Arthasastra 4–5, 29–37, 39, 41–5, 50, 53, 55, 57–8, 60, 67, 88–9, 92, 126, 263; Bheda policy 33, 210; policy of matsanya 42; realpolitik 29–37; yuddha 58 Keegan, John 1 Khan, Kublai 106 Khan, M. Ayub (Field Marshal) 179–180, 182 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 192 Koran 97–8, 180, 198, 241, 249 Kshatriya 26–8, 39, 67–8, 116 Kuomintang (KMT) 210–11, 213–215, 224–225, 230 Kutayuddha 2, 25–6, 29–37, 44–5, 101, 120, 123 Lao Tzu 57–8, 66 layeha 247 Leo VI’s Taktika 78–9, 82, 84, 90–2 Lewis, Mark Edward 50 Li: defined 51, 58; strategy of 51, 59 Li Li-san theory 213 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) 191–4, 203, 267 Limited War 7, 167, 178, 184, 186, 216, 234, 265 Lin Piao 212, 220–1 littoral warfare 124, 187 Liu An 63–5 Lord Shang 6, 54 Lorge, Peter 4 madrassa 241–2 Mahabharata 14, 22, 27–9, 64, 119, 121, 142, 195 Mahan, Captain Alfred Thayer 186 Mahmud Ghazni: attract ghazis from Transoxiana 116; jihad against images and idols of Hind 115–16; treatment to Ferdowsi 117 Mamluk Sultanate 113 Manchu Dynasty 70

Manchu/Qing Empire 70, 209, 211, 234: Army 229; China 208–11; invasion of Korea 152; Navy 233 mandala (circle of states) 32–3, 179 Manekshaw, Sam 184 mansabdar 120–2, 139, 268 Manu 25, 39–40, 43, 45, 54, 190 Manusmriti 39–40, 43–4 Mao Tse-tung/ Mao Zedong 7, 32, 55, 70, 169, 211 Maoism 264: rise of 207, 211–15 Maoist guerrilla warfare 208, 234 Maoist Revolutionary War 208; see also People’s War Mapam party 161 Marathas 121–2 Maritime Military Strategy 187 Marxism/communism/socialism 38, 55, 127, 195, 215, 221, 242, 266 Master Wu: classification of warfare 53 Maurice’s Strategikon 58, 78, 82, 84, 86, 88–9 Maurya Empire 30, 35, 37–8, 40–1, 142 McMahon Line 182 McNeilly, Mark 3 Mecca 97, 100, 111 Medina 97, 100, 111 Megasthenes 30, 36 Meir, Golda 166, 171 Mencius 39, 54–5, 68 Mesopotamia 16–22 Mie, Cao 61: Battle Array 53; favours unified leadership 53; instrumental approach to warfare 53; rewards and punishment for troops 54 military revolution 50, 199, 263 Military Technical Revolution (MTR) 199 Ming Empire 68–71 Mohism/Mohist 35, 66 Mongolia 68, 102–10, 123, 133, 209, 264 Mongols 3, 68, 70, 102–9, 112, 120, 124, 128, 137, 143–5, 184, 219–20, 258, 263 Mo Zi 36, 50, 54–5 Mughal Empire 81, 96, 99, 101, 105, 108, 110–14, 117, 120–2, 124, 139, 147, 240, 248, 264, 268 Muhammad Ghori 118–20, 198 mujahid/mujahideen 241–5, 247–9, 251, 253, 257, 259 mullahs (Islamic religious teachers) 180 Musharraf, Pervez 198 Muslims 34, 44, 77–9, 90–1, 96–102, 107, 110–11, 113, 115–16, 118–20, 123, 127–8, 151, 157–8, 164, 170–1, 179–81,

276 Index

183, 192, 203, 223, 239–44, 247–8, 251, 253–4, 256–7 Myceneans 13, 26 Nanda Empire: and peasant uprising in ancient India 45; Nitisara (heavy taxation) down the 43; overthrow by Chandragupta 32 Nandas 30 Nan-Taiheiki (Imagawa Ryoshun) 143 Nasser, Gamal Abdul 164 National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) 191 Nehru, Jawaharlal 152, 179, 182, 196: Non-Aligned Movement 183 neo-Confucianism: emphasised investigation of abstract 145; origin of 144 Net/Network-Centric Wafare (NCW) 199, 215–18, 227 New War 6 Nien War 209 Nile 11 ninja 148 No First Use/ Strike doctrine (NFU) 197 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) 169, 197, 233 North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) 182 Oda Nobunaga infantry 139, 144–6, 148, 268 Operational Manoeuver Group (OMG) 106 Order of Battle (ORBAT) 108, 112, 121, 127, 263 Ottoman Empire 75, 96, 99, 110–14, 160–1 Ottoman Turkey 263 Padmavati of Malik Muhammad Jaisi 151 Pakistan 7, 27, 37, 159, 170, 178, 202, 242–4, 258–9, 265, 267, 270: COIN 192; defence spending 179–82; domination of generals in politics 188; fedayeen units inside Kashmir 164; jihad in 249–54; military plan 184; limited unconventional war 198; nuclear doctrine 198; salami slicing policy 162; strategic tools 179; utilise Islam for domestic harmony 179 Pakistan Air Force (PAF) 180–1, 184–5, 192, 198 Pakistan Army 179–81, 183, 186, 192, 198, 202–3, 249–50, 253 Pakistan Navy 188, 198, 202 Palestine 9, 76, 80–1, 160–1, 164, 169, 171, 189, 267, 270

Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) 171–3 Palmach 160–2 Panchatantra 120–1 Paris Peace Accords (1973) 221 Parker, Geoffrey 1 Parthians 40, 68, 87, 89 Pasang 194–5 Pashtunwali code of the Pathans 240–1, 254 Pataliputra 30, 36 Pathans (Pashtuns) 149, 181, 239–40, 242, 244, 248 People’s Army 104, 221 People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) 222 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) 194, 196, 211, 217, 233 People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) 233 People’s Republic of China (PRC) 182 People’s War 194–5, 207, 211–13, 215–18, 220, 233 pharaoh 10–13, 22 Philip II 19 Pilgrimage to the West 69 postmodern war/warfare 3, 6, 172, 199–202 Prabhakaran, Velupillai 193–4, 203 Praecepta militaria of Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas 83, 86–8 premodern: defined 5 Prithviraj Raso 119 Prithvirajvijayamahakavya 118–19 Procopius 54, 79–81, 84, 88, 90: History of the Wars 77, 85, 87, 91 Prophet Muhammad 96–101 Qin Empire 50: Bai Qi general 52; bureaucratic militarised polity 64; collapse of overcentralised 52; Legalist philosophy of 51; warfare during 52 rabbi 159, 174 rabbinic tradition 15 Rajagopalan, Rajesh 196, 198 Rajput(s) 6, 99, 108, 115, 118–23, 133, 138, 140–1, 148–51: caltrops used by 83; kshatradharma 240; mounted knights 7 Ramayana 14, 17, 22, 27, 142, 179, 195 Rao, Narasimha 191 Reichberg, Gregory M. 3 Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) 193 Revolution in Attitudes towards the Military (RAM) 269 Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) 7, 199–201, 203, 216–18, 225, 234, 265,

Index 277

269; see also Military Technical Revolution (MTR) Rig Veda 26–7, 39, 263 Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The 69–70 Safavids 96, 110–14 Sakas/Scythians 20, 40–1, 65, 68, 118 samurai of premodern Japan 3, 6: budo or bushido 140–9; mounted knights 7; origin of 133–8; rise of 138–40; and women 149–52 Sassanid Empire 76–8, 80–1, 85 Sawyer, Ralph D. 3 sea control 186–7, 227 sea denial 227 Second World War 6 Secret History (of Procopius), The 79–80, 102, 109 Seljuq Turks 101, 110 Sennacherib 18 Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings 117 Sharia 97, 241, 249–50, 253, 255–6, 258 Shasekishu by Muju 150 Shastri, Lal Bahadur 182 Shia 113, 121, 258: Arabs 255; militants in West Asia 170; takfir, declared by IS 257; ulemas 114 shih 51, 59 Shinto/Shintoism 135, 144: active proselytisation of 136 Shivaji 122 shogun/shogunate 137, 139, 146, 148, 152, 264: Edo 147; Tokugawa 228 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) 225 Sino-Japanese War (1894–95) 210 Six Secret Teachings by Tai Kung 50, 52–53 Small War 2, 173–4, 188–9 Song Empire 67–8 South-East Asia 218–27 Sri Lankan Armed Forces (SLAF) 175, 192–194, 203 Stories of the River Banks 69 strategos 82 Subedei Bahadur 106 Sufi 107, 111, 240–1: collaboration with Moscow 253; encouraged violence in medieval and modern eras 264; Qadiriyya 253 Sufism 250, 252–3 Sun Tzu 3–4, 6, 35, 42: Art of War, The 5, 49, 55–62; limitations of 70; military philosophy before 49–55; military thought after 62–70 Sundarji doctrine 197–8 Sunni, Hanafi 239–40

Susa 16, 21 Sylloge Tacticorum (ST) 81, 90 Syse, Henrik 3 tabula rasa 4 Taiheiki 142 Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864) 209 Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, The 149–50 talib 244, 249 Taliban 99, 192, 241, 244–7, 249–50, 253, 256, 259 Tang Empire 65, 71, 83, 88, 90, 135 Tanham, George K. 178–179 Tantric Buddhism 123 Tao te Ching 57, 65–6 Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces) 225–6 technocratic-secular-rational battle-oriented military tradition 1 Tehrek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) 192, 249 Templer, General Gerard 223 Theodora Empress 80–1 Theophanes 78–1, 85–6 Theravada Buddhism 123 Thoi Co 219, 222, 264 Thucydides 6, 25, 31, 50, 79–80, 82, 118 Timur, Amir 107 Total War 6–7, 14–15, 23, 38, 99, 103, 109–10, 116, 168, 230, 234, 245, 251, 263–5 Toyotomi Hideyoshi 139 tumen 104–6 ulema 114, 240–2 umma 97, 101, 128, 244, 247, 254 United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), Assam 191 Uruk 16–18 Varley, Paul 3 Vietnam War 1 vijigisu 31–4, 43, 58, 262 Visnu Smriti (Vaisnava Dharmasastra) 42–4 Vyuhas 28, 123 Waley-Cohen, Joanna 70 Wang Chen 65–6 warfare: Asian 1; siege 50; Western 1 Water Margin, The 70 way of warfare: defined 4 weapons of mass destruction (WMD) 239 Wehrmacht 18, 60, 103, 106, 161, 166, 175, 212, 231 Xiongnu state 65

278 Index

Yahweh 13–14 Yuan Phai: The Defeat of Lanna 125–6 Zafarnamah (Sharf ud din Ali Yezdi) 107–8 Zahir ud din Muhammad Babur: Babur Nama 99, 122

Zen Buddhism 144: influence on bushido genesis 4; Tsunetomo influenced by 149 Zia ul Haq 180 Zhou Empire: decentralised polity 64 Zhu state (Zhulou) 54 Zionism 157, 161, 174–5