Did India shoot down a Pakistani F-16 in February? This just became a big deal: The Washington Post

naveed

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Did India shoot down a Pakistani F-16 in February? This just became a big deal: The Washington Post

There are broader implications for India — and the United States



With voting underway in India’s general election, February’s Kashmir conflict is likely to weigh on the minds of voters, especially given last week’s social media uproar over the reported downing of a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet during the crisis.

The controversy flared up when a Foreign Policy article stated that the Pentagon had accounted for all of Pakistan’s F-16 jets. This report, based on anonymous statements by two U.S. Defense Department officials, contradicted the Indian air force’s (IAF) narrative of the dogfight. The IAF claims an Indian pilot shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter plane before a Pakistani missile took down his own third-generation MiG-21 warplane.

The IAF responded last week by releasing “irrefutable” evidence — including electronic signatures and radio transcripts — that Pakistan lost a fighter jet during the February aerial combat. A number of U.S. and Indian defense analysts called the evidence circumstantial. Indian media reported that a U.S. Defense Department spokesman said he was unaware of any investigation. The Pentagon, like the State Department, has yet to issue a public statement on the F-16 count, but there have been no counter-leaks contradicting the Foreign Policy report.

What happened in the India-Pakistan crisis?

The informational conflict is the latest outcome of February’s India-Pakistan crisis, which threatened to escalate to all-out war. After a Feb. 14 terrorist attack attributed to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad killed 40 paramilitaries in Indian-administered Kashmir, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced powerful domestic political incentives to follow through on his promise for vengeance against Pakistan.

Research by one of us and Hannah Haegeland suggests that the onset of international crisis stems from leaders “selecting into a crisis” because of political contexts and calculations — rather than being compelled by material conditions. Cross-border terrorist attacks targeting women and children have not triggered crises, but in this case, the proximity to the Indian national election seemed to demand retribution.

On Feb. 26, the IAF launched airstrikes against what it said were terrorist camps in Pakistan. Pakistan retaliated with fighter planes dropping their payloads in Kashmir and, in an ensuing air battle, shot down an Indian MiG-21 warplane and captured its pilot.India claims the MiG-21 pilot shot down a more advanced Pakistan F-16 fighter aircraft before his own aircraft was downed — but Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership vehemently denied this.

Why does it matter to India?

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) used the Kashmir crisis to project Modi as a strong leader against Pakistan — capitalizing on this opportunity ahead of India’s general election, which takes place from April 11 to May 19. Recent surveys suggest Modi and his party have profited from heightened nationalist sentiment with a modest but visible bump in popularity.

But these latest details about the India-Pakistan air battles threaten to discredit the BJP narrative and undermine its electoral prospects. Open-source satellite imagery suggests India did not hit any targets of consequence in the airstrikes it conducted after the terrorist attack on the paramilitaries. Additionally, reporting indicates that during the Feb. 27 air battle, friendly fire from an air-defense missile brought down an Indian military helicopter, killing six military personnel.

If the IAF did not, in fact, shoot down a Pakistani F-16, voters might conclude that India carried out airstrikes and has nothing to show for them but lost a pilot, a warplane, a helicopter and six other military personnel.

Any news that may tarnish perceptions of Indian military superiority over Pakistan isn’t good news for a government that pledged to improve India’s hard-power capabilities and punish Pakistan for its alleged support of terrorism. The research suggests material advantages — planes, weapons — are no guarantee of military effectiveness. This will no doubt raise questions both inside and outside of India about the IAF’s conventional advantage if it is unable punish a weaker adversary to reestablish deterrence. This could encourage Pakistan to behave more aggressively in a future India-Pakistan crisis. Both countries are nuclear powers, so any conflicts between the two raise deeper concerns about the risks of escalation and a mushroom cloud over the subcontinent.

Will there be fallout for the Indian military? Its competence and professionalism could also be called into questioned if it turns out military leaders knowingly defended an inaccurate position — particularly a partisan one that bolstered the BJP’s electoral narrative.

What does this controversy mean for the United States?

The United States also has high stakes in the F-16 controversy because of its interest in India as a rising power in Asia. Washington would no doubt have preferred to see India acquit itself well in the recent India-Pakistan conflict. National security adviser John Bolton tacitly gave a green light for India’s February retaliatory airstrikes.
Analysts think India might play a heavyweight role in the Asian balance of power if it were able to “de-hyphenate” from its western rival and “raise its gaze from Pakistan.” This might happen if the India-Pakistan conventional military asymmetry were sufficiently stark such that “Pakistan wouldn’t even dare retaliate,” as the Indian analyst Shekhar Gupta suggests.

The U.S. “Indo-Pacific Strategy” envisions India balancing against China while playing the role of a regional “net security provider” in a region that is critical to U.S. economic and strategic interests. U.S. policymakers fear that the more successful Pakistan is at trading punches with India, a more distracted India is less likely to concentrate on projecting and protecting U.S. interests in the region.

But the United States also may have an interest in seeing India become more aware of the risks of escalation in conflicts with Pakistan — as well as shortfalls in military capabilities that leave India lagging far behind China. Military analysts point to India’s notoriously lethargic procurement process, meager defense budgets, Modi’s defense indigenization campaign and dysfunctional civil-military relations as reasons for the gap between Indian military intentions and capabilities.

These criticisms include deficits in India’s air power, ammunition and “jointness” — the capability of services within the Indian military to cooperate. If the Indian government emerges sobered by the latest conflict, it might be able to surmount bureaucratic hurdles and organizational routines that constrain military adaptation, an important ingredient to seriously balancing China.

The “battle of perceptions” played heavily into the February crisis and has once again surfaced — threatening to throw a wrench into Indian and American interests alike.


 
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stoic

Minister (2k+ posts)
oh ho what a shame for india no denial from USA on the report

The Pentagon, like the State Department, has yet to issue a public statement on the F-16 count, but there have been no counter-leaks contradicting the Foreign Policy report.
 

stoic

Minister (2k+ posts)
so much for so called irrefutable evidence. everyday more embarrassment for chaddis and co

The IAF responded last week by releasing “irrefutable” evidence — including electronic signatures and radio transcripts — that Pakistan lost a fighter jet during the February aerial combat. A number of U.S. and Indian defense analysts called the evidence circumstantial.
 
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stoic

Minister (2k+ posts)
embarrassment keeps on piling for chaddis and their sympathizers. few days back a dumb-ass chaddi sympathizer on this forum was harping on about access to supposed bombing site now it has been visited they are trying to cover up their embarrassment by coming up with new pretty stupid issues.

Open-source satellite imagery suggests India did not hit any targets of consequence in the airstrikes it conducted after the terrorist attack on the paramilitaries. Additionally, reporting indicates that during the Feb. 27 air battle, friendly fire from an air-defense missile brought down an Indian military helicopter, killing six military personnel.
 

hawkinthesky111

Minister (2k+ posts)
chaddis are so ashamed that they have started innocent Pakistanis..
but what else you can expect from the heramkhoors who even can kill small kids ...
 

Nadir Bashir

Senator (1k+ posts)
The truth has already revealed by the ISPR about the facts.

But I pray that ISPR or PAF shall give proof of second aircraft downed, if possible. It is not possible in these days to hide the facts..........................I am sure that ISPR has proof of second indian aircraft downed or they might have mistaken it with IAF Helicopter which also vanished from radars of PAF............................

Secondly india is not going to serve american interests since india being a multi-ethnic society can not afford a war lasting more than 2 months.....................also most of the countries until now are not interested to interfere or create any problems in india......................................all their nationalism will flood away in first month of war............since losses will be umimagineable for them..................

If india choose a war with Pakistan, Pakistan must make sure to hit them a loss of at least 200 billions dollars at least per day which shall include destruction of port cities, major industrial hubs, oil refineries, petrochemical plants and other items making backbone of their conomy......................including any imports through sea since it should be our policy in case of war with india that all sea transportation must be stopped.............................
 

loser24x7

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Source not given
Some so-called Indian think tank "Sameer Lalwani" wrote or reproduced this opinion piece...
Sameer Lalwani (@splalwani) is a senior fellow and director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center and co-editor of Investigating Crises: South Asia’s Lessons, Evolving Dynamics, and Trajectories.
 

Nebula

MPA (400+ posts)
Sachi baat hai Allah nay izat rakh lii...aur tum apnay Rab kii Koon Koon sii naimatoon Koo jhootlao gaa. AllhumduLillah.
 

Khan125

Minister (2k+ posts)
Did India shoot down a Pakistani F-16 in February? This just became a big deal: The Washington Post

There are broader implications for India — and the United States



With voting underway in India’s general election, February’s Kashmir conflict is likely to weigh on the minds of voters, especially given last week’s social media uproar over the reported downing of a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet during the crisis.

The controversy flared up when a Foreign Policy article stated that the Pentagon had accounted for all of Pakistan’s F-16 jets. This report, based on anonymous statements by two U.S. Defense Department officials, contradicted the Indian air force’s (IAF) narrative of the dogfight. The IAF claims an Indian pilot shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter plane before a Pakistani missile took down his own third-generation MiG-21 warplane.

The IAF responded last week by releasing “irrefutable” evidence — including electronic signatures and radio transcripts — that Pakistan lost a fighter jet during the February aerial combat. A number of U.S. and Indian defense analysts called the evidence circumstantial. Indian media reported that a U.S. Defense Department spokesman said he was unaware of any investigation. The Pentagon, like the State Department, has yet to issue a public statement on the F-16 count, but there have been no counter-leaks contradicting the Foreign Policy report.

What happened in the India-Pakistan crisis?

The informational conflict is the latest outcome of February’s India-Pakistan crisis, which threatened to escalate to all-out war. After a Feb. 14 terrorist attack attributed to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad killed 40 paramilitaries in Indian-administered Kashmir, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced powerful domestic political incentives to follow through on his promise for vengeance against Pakistan.

Research by one of us and Hannah Haegeland suggests that the onset of international crisis stems from leaders “selecting into a crisis” because of political contexts and calculations — rather than being compelled by material conditions. Cross-border terrorist attacks targeting women and children have not triggered crises, but in this case, the proximity to the Indian national election seemed to demand retribution.

On Feb. 26, the IAF launched airstrikes against what it said were terrorist camps in Pakistan. Pakistan retaliated with fighter planes dropping their payloads in Kashmir and, in an ensuing air battle, shot down an Indian MiG-21 warplane and captured its pilot.India claims the MiG-21 pilot shot down a more advanced Pakistan F-16 fighter aircraft before his own aircraft was downed — but Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership vehemently denied this.

Why does it matter to India?

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) used the Kashmir crisis to project Modi as a strong leader against Pakistan — capitalizing on this opportunity ahead of India’s general election, which takes place from April 11 to May 19. Recent surveys suggest Modi and his party have profited from heightened nationalist sentiment with a modest but visible bump in popularity.

But these latest details about the India-Pakistan air battles threaten to discredit the BJP narrative and undermine its electoral prospects. Open-source satellite imagery suggests India did not hit any targets of consequence in the airstrikes it conducted after the terrorist attack on the paramilitaries. Additionally, reporting indicates that during the Feb. 27 air battle, friendly fire from an air-defense missile brought down an Indian military helicopter, killing six military personnel.

If the IAF did not, in fact, shoot down a Pakistani F-16, voters might conclude that India carried out airstrikes and has nothing to show for them but lost a pilot, a warplane, a helicopter and six other military personnel.

Any news that may tarnish perceptions of Indian military superiority over Pakistan isn’t good news for a government that pledged to improve India’s hard-power capabilities and punish Pakistan for its alleged support of terrorism. The research suggests material advantages — planes, weapons — are no guarantee of military effectiveness. This will no doubt raise questions both inside and outside of India about the IAF’s conventional advantage if it is unable punish a weaker adversary to reestablish deterrence. This could encourage Pakistan to behave more aggressively in a future India-Pakistan crisis. Both countries are nuclear powers, so any conflicts between the two raise deeper concerns about the risks of escalation and a mushroom cloud over the subcontinent.

Will there be fallout for the Indian military? Its competence and professionalism could also be called into questioned if it turns out military leaders knowingly defended an inaccurate position — particularly a partisan one that bolstered the BJP’s electoral narrative.

What does this controversy mean for the United States?

The United States also has high stakes in the F-16 controversy because of its interest in India as a rising power in Asia. Washington would no doubt have preferred to see India acquit itself well in the recent India-Pakistan conflict. National security adviser John Bolton tacitly gave a green light for India’s February retaliatory airstrikes.
Analysts think India might play a heavyweight role in the Asian balance of power if it were able to “de-hyphenate” from its western rival and “raise its gaze from Pakistan.” This might happen if the India-Pakistan conventional military asymmetry were sufficiently stark such that “Pakistan wouldn’t even dare retaliate,” as the Indian analyst Shekhar Gupta suggests.

The U.S. “Indo-Pacific Strategy” envisions India balancing against China while playing the role of a regional “net security provider” in a region that is critical to U.S. economic and strategic interests. U.S. policymakers fear that the more successful Pakistan is at trading punches with India, a more distracted India is less likely to concentrate on projecting and protecting U.S. interests in the region.

But the United States also may have an interest in seeing India become more aware of the risks of escalation in conflicts with Pakistan — as well as shortfalls in military capabilities that leave India lagging far behind China. Military analysts point to India’s notoriously lethargic procurement process, meager defense budgets, Modi’s defense indigenization campaign and dysfunctional civil-military relations as reasons for the gap between Indian military intentions and capabilities.

These criticisms include deficits in India’s air power, ammunition and “jointness” — the capability of services within the Indian military to cooperate. If the Indian government emerges sobered by the latest conflict, it might be able to surmount bureaucratic hurdles and organizational routines that constrain military adaptation, an important ingredient to seriously balancing China.

The “battle of perceptions” played heavily into the February crisis and has once again surfaced — threatening to throw a wrench into Indian and American interests alike.
SU30 ki ginti karo...... ye rozana ki bk bk ab band karo.
 

Shahid Abassi

Minister (2k+ posts)
If India is telling lies then ISPR also needs to answer a few questions.
The most important is that in the video it can be easily seen that Abhi Nandan was not the only one who parachuted to the ground. Some other drops too can be seen at the same time in the same video. ISPR needs to clarify about the other drops.
 

aksh143

MPA (400+ posts)
but stupid indians would still not accept. their arrogance and ignorance is beyond limts. fake nationalism can drive one blind, and we can clearly see that in this case.
 

shaheenzafar

Councller (250+ posts)
بھارت نے پاکستانی طیارے گرانے کا اور بالاکوٹ حملے کا ایک بھی ثبوت عوام اور انٹرنیشنل میڈیا کو مہیا نہیں کیا لیکن اسکے باوجود بھی بھارتی حکومت کا دعوی یہی رہا کہ انہوں نے تین سو لوگ مارے ہیں پاکستانی طیارہ بھی گرایا ہے لیکن مودی جی لائیو جلسوں میں کہتے ہیں اپوزیشن والے بھارتی سینا کی بہادری پر شک کرتے ہیں یعنی اگر کوئی ثبوتوں کے بارے میں سوال کرے تو یہ سیدھا سادہ بھارتی سینا کی بہادری کو شک کی نگاہ سے دیکھنا ہے۔
 

shaheenzafar

Councller (250+ posts)
چوکیدار مودی نےبھارتی عوام کو ہمیشہ الو ہی سمجھا ہے اور بھارتی عوام نے اس بات پر پورا عمل کرکے دکھایا ہے کہ وہ الو ہی ہیں۔ جو مودی کی ہر بات پر یقین رکھتے ہیں ٹوئیٹر اکاونٹ یا فیس بک بھارتی عوام مودی کی بات کو ان تجزیہ نگاروں کی نظر دیکھتی ہے اور سچ مانتی ہے جو کہتے ہیں اگر جاپان میں یہ چیز ہوئی ہے تو بھارتی عوام یقین رکھے ہم کسی سے کم نہیں ہیں ہم نے پاکستان میں بھی یہی چیز کی ہے یعنی کسی بات کا یقین دلانے کے لیے کسی دوسرے ملک کا حوالہ دے دو
 
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