Surgical Strikes – The Multipurpose Tool for All Seasons and All Reasons

R Jayaraman

Author: R Jayaraman

Date: Mon, 2016-10-24 11:08

This surgical strike business has got a life of its own now. By itself, it was a revelation. That an army could, in such a short time, organise a wide ranging strike to neutralise and eliminate enemy personnel is a striking competency hitherto unknown. And that too the Indian army, which often is held back by a political class which prizes peace over war mongering and rightly so. India has never stood for war and it will not rely on war as an instrument of strategy. Only after the patience of the people of the country is sorely tested leading to a national consensus that “enough is enough” and a large part of the international community in concurrence of the general opinion that the enemy has crossed all limits of forbearance should such a strike be called upon. Well done India and PM Modi.

It is a great diplomatic triumph that the international community has fully endorsed and supported the Indian point of view. This is the clear, unambiguous outcome of the various visits undertaken by the PM to far off lands. All those efforts were not without strategic intent. Nor was the master stroke of the quick landing and friendly take off from Nawaz Sharif’s backyard during the PM’s return from the USA. He also was gauging the power of the generals too. This sudden, unplanned meeting showed that the PM wanted a rapprochement, not war. He was extending the golden handshake, confirming that the invitation for the oath taking ceremony in New Delhi was not grand standing, it was the first sign that India was open for business.

However, the enemy generals misread the moves and thought that they were dealing with the old congress and authors coterie (this seminar and conferences loving coterie included Mani Shankar Iyer, Arundhati Roy, Dileep Padgaonkar, some of the leading lights from Punjab and some freeloading journos who are always on the hunt for freebies and scoops) which, while dealing with great patience, did not show any strategic spine in dealing with and putting a stop to these cross border picnics which seemed to have gone on for too long a time. It appeared that Indian lives did not count for much.

The surgical strikes have been compared to the Israeli efforts. Now this is a different ballgame. The Israelis are at the other end of the spectrum. Due to their situation where they are surrounded by a hostile lot of enemy collaborators, they have to deal with speed, precision and strength. While the Indian civilizational advantage gives it the wisdom to try out peaceful means before finally doing what is needed done, Israel, no less civilisationally advantaged, lacks the numbers or the moral power to curb violence. The image of the money hungry Jew, displayed in the Shakespearean play “Merchant of Venice”, to the flexing of muscles by the powerful Jewish lobby in the US and elsewhere, makes sure that the finger on the trigger is often too un-resty. Thus, out of sheer necessity the Israeli military had to innovate the surgical strike methodology and practice it to a fine art. But then the Indian army is not used to this, and rightly so. However what needs to be done, should be done. 

“Striking activity” has not been unknown to corporate executives. In fact mergers and acquisitions have been in vogue ever since the dawn of business. Some of the voracious acquirers include GE, Walgreens, Kroger, Rubbermaid, GM, Ford, Benz and Volkswagen. Some of the biggest deals by Indian corporates include Tata Tea, Suzlon, Tata Motors, Tata Steel (Corus, the mother of all deals), Hindalco, and Vodafone. According to a report by Mr Rajat Kataria, (2010) ( ) the summary of such "striking" activities between 2006 and 2010:


Number of M & A

Total (Bn INR)

Total ( Bn USD)

Average value per deal (Bn INR)

Average value per deal ( Mn USD)








867(Including 262 private equity deals)
























Not bad for a developing economy.

Striking in Indian politics has also been known for long, the earliest manifestations being “Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram” defections. On many occasions several MLA’s / MP’s have been “kept in safe custody” to prevent predators from poaching them. Recently Mulayam Singh used this weapon in a very broad, silken way, so that the guy whose throat is getting cut is still unaware of the threat. Akhilesh apparently has to be reined in. Another news item, although, talks about the second wife being the guilty party. Lalu is another expert at this. He used this technique effectively to get Nitish on his side of the boat and they row it into the choppy waters of prohibition.

And so it goes. Surgical strike has now become the buzz word. I hope we don’t see more of it but you never know.


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Very nice blog and it is quite interesting to see the connection of surgical strike by Indian Army with mergers and acquisitions in Indian corporate to Indian Politics. I agree to the fact that Indian Army and Government of India has played their card very smartly by taking their global counterparts on their side and giving a strong lesson to our neighbour. They have also made it clear to them that chances of similar strikes in future is quite possible if situation doesn't improve. Even though there are thoughts whether there was really any strike or not, but Pakistan asking to release the videos and the panic showed by their media and policy makers itself proves that there was a definite strike. I believe going forward, India will also find strategic way to contain Pak's nuclear weapon so that any risk of mass destruction can be rules out. I wish we will not be forced for any such similar strike again in future. Stay peace around.

Surgical strike is strategic strike in which only intended targets are destroyed. No harm is caused to other government or public property. Recently surgical strike was carried by Indian forces across LoC in response to URI attack in which 18 Indian soldiers were ambushed by four men, who have came from Pakistan. This surgical strike was against the terrorist hideout and cannot be taken as aggression against defense forces. Even Indian DGMO informed Pakistani counterpart about the strike and ensured that matter would not be further escalated. Surgical strike can be termed as a strategic restrain, a careful method to achieve your purpose, make your point clear and at same time does not involve in any conventional war across the international border, which have the potential to cause huge economic and human loss and if further escalated may result in the use of Nuclear weapons. By carefully framing the operation, limited in time and scope and not targeting any military establishment, India has successfully kept this as strategic restrain. India has largely followed a peace approach towards Pakistan and have restrained itself from taking offensive partly due to political subservience of army and partly due to army methodology of solving out problems vies a vie bilateral talks. However, this strike gives a clear signal to Pakistani counterpart that befitting military response can be given, so they need to recalibrate their strategy towards India. This strike has long term strategic consequences. Strike was meant as a signal but does not intend to change the fundamental dynamics of relationship between India and Pakistan. It should not be seen as carte blanche with which India can impose its military superiority rather it should be seen as a deterrent that strong reply would be given if the conditions required.

Surgical strike is strategic attach with Min time period & target is fixed. Mainly this kind of strike is giving clear message to the other party. India has dine surgical strike where Indian forces had entered into Indian Territory occupied by Pakistan. The levels of tolerance have (been) crossed and this had to happen & this is voice of Indian citizen with the pride. India carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on terror launch pads across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir last night, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists and those harboring them. The announcement of the sudden action by the army. Indian army had done surgical strike in past also however this time We as India has shown courage to announce Surgical strike in front of World which will give clear message to the our neighbor as well to the world that we are enough capable to protect ourselves against the terrorism with different ways to tackle terrorism In the past, We had always approached to the world leader to take some necessary action against Pakistan for Stopping terrorism. Here Forces had adopted much calibrated approach in the strike & shown Indian Army courage with Systematic planning & Execution. The Indian diplomacy with world leader has also played vital role which will be very clear after surgical strike & comments from the world leader. If we see a Surgical Strike in broder perspective then we should admit that India had changed their position in the world with Clear diplomacy as well as Action oriented approach. The entire world has also appreciated on the surgical strike which is biggest win of Indian diplomacy. If we see the surgical strike in each field then it’s happening with Systematic manner. Example, Tata has acquired Jagquar brand & also Corous which is also one of the surgical strike in corporate world. If we see the surgical strike in political world then recently UP election has shown the political surgical strike on Opposition under the leadership of Mr. Narendra Modi In my views, surgical strike is necessary to show power with Systematic way which will give right message & Long term solution

Dear Sir, while I respect your point of view, there is also the other side to the whole " Surgical strikes prove India now has decisive leadership " rhetoric that is currently in vogue. Let us appreciate the fact that these strikes were in Army's own words "a routine exercise " that was carried out in the times of the previous leadership as well. Added to the fact that this came at time when the crucial UP elections were scheduled shows much about the intent of the government. What begs an answer is why a routine exercise by the army highlighted so much so that is was trending on social media with the #surgicalstrike for days and why people like Gurmehar Kaur who were merely exercising an opinion faced severe backlash ? This was clearly to charge the country to fanatic patriotism( as we are seeing now) and reap the benefits in UP and the other states going to polls. The aftermath of this clearly proved that the strategy paid rich dividends to the ruling party. While in their own words the aim of the strike was to deter Pakistan from attacking and prevent another Uri, the attacks and the ceasefire violations from Pakistan continue unabated albeit they have increased if I may take the liberty of saying so. While Sir, I may differ with you politically, I find the mergers and acquisitions comparison with these strikes quite riveting. Strikes like the Tata Steel Corus deal are the mark of a true business growth story and leadership. They mark the attention to finesse and details that help businesses grow and excel.

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