Things that make you sick

From the New York Times….

Sharpshooters had neither protective gear, nor the high-powered telescopes that their counterparts in Western countries would most likely use in a standoff with terrorists. On Saturday afternoon, a sharpshooter who had spent over 60 hours perched outside the Taj Hotel said neither he nor his partner had fired a shot because they were not sure how to distinguish the gunmen from ordinary civilians trapped inside the hotel.

I realize that India is a poor country. But you would think that a nation that is buying an aircraft carrier for billions of dollars would be able to afford some few high powered telescopes for their commandos.

The more I read, the more I realize how difficult it was for the commandos due to their lack of equipment. Take this story from the Telegraph for example….

A group of exhausted commandos who had engaged the militants for two nights inside the cavernous hotel after their deployment, reclined exhausted in one corner of the hotel’s lobby.

They ate listlessly from lunchboxes. It was the first cooked food they had seen in three days, but they found it difficult to swallow as their nostrils were still assailed by the stench of charred flesh and choking cordite from thousands of rounds expended in battle.

Most of them had survived without food or water for nearly 60 hours, lying motionless by the side of putrefying bodies for hours waiting for the next burst of fire from the militants. “It was sickening. But there was no option,” a commando said, declining to be named.

One commando said that in the corridors above the ground floor there were corpses decaying in the city’s oppressive heat, the floors slippery with congealing blood.

On top of all their other problems, I don’t think the commandos had any good night vision equipment. I have read nothing that comes right out and says that. But in all the interviews the commandos complain about how hard it was for them to fight in the dark and in all the pictures you never see night vision equipment on the commandos.

If you think about the problems involved in hunting terrorists in the dark down hallways covered with dead bodies and at the same time not being sure how many hostages are all around you, you can understand why it took so long for them to clear the hotel.

But there is no excuse for Indian’s top commandos to be so poorly equipped. As I said before, this is a nation that is spending billions of dollars on crappy aircraft carrier that will do nothing to help India’s security (The Chinese will sink it in a heartbeat and they don’t need it to hunt pirates). To make matters worse, the Russians are making the Indians pay through the nose for the carrier.

I think it just goes to show how badly Indian’s defense budget is managed.

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