October 
2008

Vol 8-No. 4


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SOUTH ASIA:  NEPAL                                                                                         News Briefs



Prime Minister visits India: A Contortionist Performs   India's Concern at Deepening Sino-Nepal Relationship


                       
       (Afghanistan and Myanmar in the 
         map are not members of SAARC)

Nepal's Military Doctrine

BY CHIRAN JUNG THAPA *

Indeed, Nepal is endowed with a distinct martial potential. Known as the land of the fearless and lethal "Gurkha warriors," Nepal's martial prowess has received worldwide acclaim. This is mainly because Nepalis have fended off hostile forces with great resilience and tenacity to preserve the Sovereign and Independent status of the nation. 

 

Additionally, the worldwide recognition of Nepal's Military prowess can be attributed to the outstanding martial performance exhibited by Nepalis in numerous global battlefronts.

 

Nepal's Military Doctrine is an embodiment of Nepal's intention concerning the use of its military power in pursuit of safeguarding its National Interest and accomplishing its National Objectives. By rendering direction to the subordinate concepts like force structure, education and training, operation planning, rules of engagement, and tactics, this doctrine aims to instil a sense of purpose and provide guidance to the men and women in uniform.  

 

This Doctrine delineates the necessity of maintaining a military capability to defend and deter any hostile armed attack against Nepal's National Interest as the primary function of the Military. Essentially, it is a strategic guideline that underscores a firm resolve to guarantee military security to Nepal without any assistance from other states.  

 

The military security of Nepal is guaranteed by denying any aggressor its military objective. If confronted with an unprovoked armed aggression, Nepal's military will adopt self defensive measures in ways that it deems appropriate to dissuade and deter the hostile forces. To serve this purpose, Nepal's military will remain continually prepared for conventional as well as asymmetric confrontations. While maintaining the asymmetric capabilities in its arsenal, the military-training and preparation will be primarily geared towards mobile defence. 

 

In conformity with its strategic objective of institutionalizing peace and promoting prosperity, Nepal's Military Doctrine is peaceful and constructive in nature, and self-defensive in posture. 

 

Any unprovoked armed aggression by any State against the Sovereignty, Independence and Territorial integrity of Nepal will compel Nepal to consider the aggressor as an enemy. Any accomplice abetting the aggressor shall also be regarded as an enemy. And to defend itself from the enemy, Nepal shall employ all available national instruments to put a rapid and decisive end to hostilities and swiftly restore the status quo. 

 

To thwart the threat of military aggression, Nepal shall:

 

·        refrain from branding any state as an enemy

 

·        not employ the instrument of force in its interstate relations

 

·        not pre-emptively deploy its military against any State

 

·        not join any military alliance unless its National Interest is imperilled

 

·        not allow the stationing of foreign troops within its territory

 

·        maintain a military force capable of conducting defensive operations

 

·        consistently train its military to engage in both conventional and  asymmetric warfare

 

·        strictly adhere to the charter of the UN and international laws

 

·        continue with its commitment to assist in maintaining international security 

 

 

Under this doctrine, the following acts shall constitute as threats which will prompt a military response:

 

·        incursion into Nepali territory by any hostile foreign armed force

 

·        armed assault against the Nepali population or the Nepali armed forces by any organized armed group

 

·        armed insurgency aimed at undermining the authority of the state

 

 

In addition to its core task of guaranteeing military security, Nepal's military will be prepared to undertake a range of other operations in support of its national interest and strategic objectives. Nepal's Military will be further trained and prepared for 4 additional tasks: 

 

i) Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN): 

 

Nepal has endured a decade long brutal insurgency which pushed the nation to the brink of catastrophe. Notwithstanding the little knowledge and experience in COIN, Nepal's Armed forces were haphazardly deployed to mitigate the threat posed by the insurgents. Devoid of a proper political stratagem, however, the military response failed to yield the intended outcome. 

 

Such recurrence in the foreseeable future cannot be ruled out. Hence, effective and efficient military measures to counter such undesirable recurrences are exigent and imperative. A counter-insurgency manual will be conceived in accordance with the emerging trends in COIN, the capabilities, the needs and the past experiences of the military. Also, a new training facility will be established with the aim of equipping Nepal's armed forces with the skills necessary to engage in COIN. 

 

ii) Peace-Keeping operations (PKO):  

 

As a responsible stake holder of the international order, Nepal accords high importance to maintaining international security. Nepal's commitment to fostering international security has been manifested by its robust participation in multilateral peace keeping operations (PKO) under the aegis of the United Nations (UN). Nepal will continue to provide special peacekeeping training to its military and make further efforts to enhance its performance in PKO undertakings. To further reflect Nepal's staunch commitment to upholding international security, Nepal will strive to remain in the hierarchy of top five troop-contributing nations in UN sanctioned PKOs. 

 

iii) Disaster Relief Operations (DRO):  

 

With its logistics and mobilization capabilities, Nepal's Military has throughout its history played a pivotal role in DROs. As the likelihood of natural or man-made disaster perpetually persists, Nepal's military will be kept prepared to engage in DROs. In the aftermath of disasters, the military will be mobilized to accomplish three vital tasks: a) search and rescue operations, b) distribution of the temporary relief supplies (water, food & medicine) and c) rebuilding/reconstruction process. A special Rapid Relief Unit (RRU) will be setup within the military to develop better logistics capabilities and more efficient deliverance methods. 

 

iv) Infrastructure Building Operations (IBO):   

 

Nepal's Military has played a crucial role in the nation's development. It has been engaged in numerous infrastructure projects. With a competent supply of disciplined labour, the military has delivered on some significant infrastructure projects. During times of peace, one battalion will be specialized and dedicated to the nation's infrastructure building effort.   

 

Taking into account the multitude of tasks assigned to the military, upgrading of military's aviation assets is indispensable. The rugged terrain of the country and the lack of proper infrastructure serve as significant impediments to even the normal mobility of troops. In contingencies, when rapid deployment is warranted, mobilization is further strained and operations are acutely affected due to the proper lack of adequate aviation assets. Thus, upgrading of aviation assets is evidently the most optimal counter-measure against these setbacks. 

 

To enhance it aviation assets, Nepal will aim to increase its fleet of VTOL (vertical-take-off-and-landing) and STOL (short-take-off-and landing) aircrafts. Nepal will conduct a thorough need assessment and feasibility study prior to procuring an optimal mix of VTOL and STOL aircrafts. After procurement, special measures will be taken to minimize the downtime, increase the operability of the each aircraft and ensure an all-weather and all time flying capability. The upgraded aviation capabilities will aim to meet the "RST" (Reconnaissance, Rescue operations, Suppressive firepower and Transport) needs.

 

[Thapa lives in New York and can be reached at chiranjthap@hotmail.com]

 

 

News Briefs

 

Integration of People’s Liberation Army in six months, says President: President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, presenting the Government’s policies and programmes at the fourth session of the Parliament of the Constituent Assembly on September 10 said, "The integration and rehabilitation of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will be completed within (the) next six months to take the peace process to a logical conclusion." A day earlier, however, the Nepali Congress vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel had said that the PLA can't be integrated with the Nepali Army as the former is loyal to a political party. The Himalayan Times, September 11, 2008.

 

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