Author: V R Raghavan
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0670049220
India and Pakistan have been locked in fierce combat to gain control of the barren heights of the Siachen glacier. The book takes a hard look at the extraordinary compulsions that have led to the impasse and explains why the glacier has become so strategically important.
For the last twenty years India and Pakistan have been locked in fierce combat to gain control of the barren heights of the Siachen glacier, located in the western Himalayas. The protracted conflict has exacted a heavy toll; many brave men have been felled and, on a rough estimate, between two and three crores of rupees are being spent daily to sustain the strife. ‘Siachen: Conflict Without End’ is the first definitive account of the costly war that has bled both the countries.
The book takes a hard look at the extraordinary compulsions that have led to the impasse and explains why the glacier has become so strategically important. It traces the historical, geopolitical background to the issue and links the China-India-Pakistan interests in the area. Using his expertise as Commanding General of Siachen and Director General of Military Operations, Lt-Gen. (retd.) V.R. Raghavan gives us a candid account of action in the ‘highest battlefield in the world’.
V.R. Raghavan traces the conflict from the seemingly innocuous mountaineering expeditions of the Pakistani military, to its abortive attempt to convert a cartographic intrusion into a military one. The glacier has witnessed some of the most ferocious battles in military history. Braving temperatures of minus 50 degrees Celsius and altitudes of 20,000 feet, soldiers have fought like men possessed to retain every inch of territory.
The author takes us behind the scenes to give a detailed account of the seven rounds of talks held between India and Pakistan and shows how, at times, political compulsions prevented a breakthrough from being achieved. Spelling out ways of conflict management and resolution, the author stresses the need for a strong political will to end the strife.
Lt-Gen. Raghavan's book traces the genesis of the centuries-old competing geopolitical interests in this region, the factors leading to and the harsh realities of the Indian Army's occupation of the Saltoro, the history of Indo-Pak engagements and the entire course of the bilateral discussions to resolve this issue. This is the first comprehensive, objective and lucid account of the confrontation in the glaciers from a person who has deep first-hand knowledge. I recommend this book as compulsory reading for all those who have serious interest in understanding Indo-Pak relations.
—N N Vohra, Former Defence Secretary, Home Secretary and Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of Inida.
General Raghavan's fascinating narrative becomes a metaphor for the larger deadlock between India and Pakistan, a contest too painful to continue, but too meaningful to end.
—Michael Krepon, Founding President, The Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This book fills a longstanding void in Indian security studies. The Siachen conflict has been discussed for almost two decades in India and abroad, but the analyses thus far have been fragmentary, anecdotal, and unsystematic, Gen, V.R. Raghavan's Siachen: Conflict Without End is the first comprehensive treatment of what is often a mystifying high-altitude war. [The] book is required reading for all those seeking to understand both the origins and the political-military factors that have prolonged this brutal struggle in the high Himalayas.
—Ashley J Tellis, author of Stability in South Asia and India's Emerging Nuclear Posture.
PART I: HISTORY
1. Geography and Explorations
2. Geopolitics of Karakorams
3. The Siachen Compulsions
4. Beginnings of the Dispute
PART II: THE MILITARY CONFLICT
5. Opening Moves
6. ‘No Place for Human Beings’
7. Adapting to High Altitude
8. Operational Doctrine for Siachen
9. Two Different Battles
10. The Logistics Battle
11. Men and Mountains
PART III: CONFLICT RESOLUTION
12. Siachen Negotiations
13. Search for Peaceful Solutions
14. Siachen and the Media
15. Honor, Valor of Just Pride
16. Seeking a Solution by Force
17. An End to the Conflict