My 6th Quality Capsule On The Power Of Quality Fables

Lessons from Kargil

In end May 1999, the Pakistan army crossed the Indian Line of Control (LOC). India was shocked. And unprepared. The Pakistani army had occupied Kargil, all the way up to Tiger Hill.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces took charge to deal with the crisis. His vision was to restore the Indian LOC. What stood between him and the LOC? An unfriendly Tiger Hill. Capturing Tiger Hill at speed was his critical success factor.

What were the resources available to the Commander-in-Chief? The army, navy and air force. The army could not access the cliff – Tiger Hill. The navy was not useful in this land-locked region. The air force lacked the aircraft that had speed and agility to strike the enemy and return safely in 30 seconds.

The Commander-in-Chief was aware that snow fall will threaten the region in August. Therefore, if he did not capture Tiger Hill within the next six weeks, the forces will not be able to restore the LOC. Failure of his vision would mean that the Pakistani army will continue to occupy Kargil for the subsequent eight months, thereby legitimizing their occupation of this Indian territory.

So he scheduled his priorities. He set a strategic goal to capture Tiger Hill in the next two weeks. To accomplish this he needed tactical planning. So he leased agile aircraft from France, costing millions of dollars per sortie. It worked. The cost to meet this strategic goal was irrelevant.

Once Tiger Hill was in the control of our Indian forces, the Commander-in-Chief prioritized his schedule. He set daily milestones to be achieved by the soldiers of the army, between Tiger Hill and the LOC. This was his operational plan.

India regained its territory and restored the LOC well before the weather turned hostile.

Jai Hind.

Based on the Lessons Learned from this fable,

  • Author :

    Suresh Lulla

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