The truth is that on the orders of the White House, Vajpayee had tied the IAF hand and foot and forbidden them from overflying Pakistani Air Space. The then PAF Chief is on record as saying that as the IAF did not enter Pakistani territory, what was going on was not a Pakistani concern.
Kargil was a fiasco that shows cased the vacuum in integrity and competence in both India’s military and civilian “leadership” The Air Force and artillery should have pounded the Pak positions BEFORE the infantry were ordered to retake the fortified heights. NOT after they were already within 50 yards (OR less as per eye witness accounts) from the enemy bunkers.
Kargil is a cover-up of India’s inadequacies. India lost thousands of soldiers (covered up and made out to be less than five hundred) to recover land that was India’s own to begin with. It was a failure in intelligence, in logistics (the ammunition for the artillery arrived after the soldiers had been sacrificed to recover the heights from Pakistan’s entrenched and fortified “Northern Light Infantry”.
There were no Anti-SAM decoys leading to the downing of a MiG, a chopper and the withdrawal of the Air Force), in command and control (the infantry battalions was ordered to retake the heights without air or artillery cover while even a Platoon commander knows to lay a mortar barrage and smoke screen before ordering bayonets to be fixed), and the pusillanimity of the leadership (Vajpayee, in a Nehru redux, squealed to the US and took their advise to ground the IAF and proscribe their flight over Pakistan).
At the end of the day, the poor infantry, who are “paid to die”according to India’s Neta-Babu-Millard-Cop-Crony Kleptocrats had to take the brunt.
Colonel Lalit Rai, Rtd. (VrC) with the author
My junior from the NCC came out with just four survivors and a basket full of gallantry awards from his Battalion, 1/XI GR (approx 1000 soldiers) after retaking just one of the promontories.