Friday, April 2, 2010


This is coolbert:

Thanks here to the tip from Boom.

In response to a much earlier Military Thoughts blog entry, some interesting stuff on a contingent of Tibetans serving in the Indian Army.

The Special Frontier Force [SFF].

A unit organized in the aftermath of the Sino-Indian war of 1962. The Aksai-Chin incursion. Chinese and Indian troops fighting it out in the "dead zone". High altitude combat along the border between communist occupied Tibet and India.

"The Special Frontier Force (SFF) was created on 14 November 1962, near the end of the Indo-China War . . . It's main goal was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Indo-China war"

A war, a short-lived but intensely fought conflict that did not go favorably for the Indian Army.

The government of India, responding to what they correctly perceived was a great danger from the militancy of Mao, organizing exiled and expatriate Tibetans into a volunteer combat unit, that unit becoming an integral part of the Indian Army.

A unit, in case of further war with China, a unit whose mission would be to wage guerrilla warfare within Tibet itself.

A unit, Tibetan exiles trained for partisan operations, financed by American [CIA] and Indian [RAW] intelligence agencies.

A unit, partisan fighters, trained in all aspects of guerrilla warfare, raids, ambushes, mining, sniping, with special emphasis on mountaineering and cold-weather operations, as befits the Tibetan plateau. Persons too, knowing the local language, the culture, able to pass as a local, etc. Persons whose basic physiology makes them VERY SUITABLE FOR HIGH-ALTITUDE, COLD-WEATHER military operations..

A unit, however, NEVER deployed as originally envisioned. Seeing only very action, limited in scope.

"SFF was never used against it's intended enemy, China. However, the unit did conduct limited cross-border reconnaissance operations, as well as highly classified raids to place sensors in the Himalayas to detect Chinese nuclear and missile tests."

A unit, however, remaining an integral part of the Indian Army, even after forty years, finding suitable missions in a variety of circumstances.

A primary mission being counter-terrorism and VIP protection.

Troops of the SFF are seen as being of unquestioned loyalty, highly reliable, an incorruptible elite that can be counted upon?

"Since the SFF consisted largely of Tibetans, they were seen as an ideal counter-terrorist force since they were not directly related to India's communal politics."

It should be realized that the unquestioned leader of the Tibetan people in exile, the Dalai Lama, discourages from a theological standpoint ANY and ALL violent resistance to Chinese despotic rule in Tibet. NOT all Tibetans, obviously, see merely passivity as the solution to the Tibetan problem. And are ready to take active measures given the right circumstances.


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