According to the Press Trust of
India copy, Minister of State, Information & Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan
Singh Rathore, has clarified on the clamour and crisis over 'covert operation'
on India's surgical attack on terror camps inside Myanmar on June 9 in response
to the terrorists attack on a convoy of Indian Army on June 4 morning that left
18 soldiers dead and many injured.
He said it was not a 'covert
operation'. He said, "Experts who discussed and made objections to it did
not know the difference between overt and covert operation. It was purely a
special operation of army in Indian uniform against militants."
According to him, it was an overt
operation carried out by the Indian Army in 'army fatigues'. According him, it
was a 'special operation' in the circumstances then and announced the new, tough
approach of India to tackle insurgency.
So, what is a covert operation involving
security force of a country (obviously, opposite to it would be minus -c, i.e.,
The US defines the covert action
(operation) as, "According to National Security Act Sec. 503 (e), covert
action is, "An activity or activities of the United States Government to
influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is
intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or
acknowledged publicly." Proper covert actions are undertaken because
policymakers—not the intelligence agencies—believe that secret means are the
best way to achieve a desired end or a specific policy goal."
It further categorizes it in
propaganda, political/economic action, paramilitary operations and lethal action.
agencies covertly disseminate specific information to advance foreign policy
goals. United States law prohibits, however, the use of intelligence agencies
to influence domestic media and opinion."
Intelligence agencies covertly influence the political or economic workings of
a foreign nation."
Intelligence agencies covertly train and equip personnel to attack an adversary
or to conduct intelligence operations. These operations normally do not involve
the use of uniformed military personnel as combatants."
"Lethal Action: During times
of war or armed conflict, the U.S. may need to use covert lethal force against
enemies who pose a threat. The U.S. formally banned the use of political
assassinations in 1976."
And it differentiates a 'covert
operation' from an 'overt operation' as:
"One distinction between
covert action and other overt activities, such as traditional diplomatic or
military operations, is that U.S. officials could plausibly deny involvement in
the activity. This "plausible deniability," however, is predicated
upon the covert action remaining secret."
So, our MoS thinks on this line,
a line taken by the world's strongest military - from the United States of
Indian action in Myanmar on June
9 was a military operation carried by Army personnel in full 'army fatigue' and some
in the ruling political establishment in India, including Defence Minister Manohar
Parrikar and Mr. Rathore, are taking claim of the operation from the beginning.
And Mr. Rathore is right if we see 'overt and covert operations' as the
National Security Act of the US defines.
Further, according to Wikipedia,
that also quotes the US (the U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary of Military
and Associated Terms), main elements of a 'covert operation' are 'identity
secrecy and plausible deniability. It says, "A covert operation (also as
CoveOps or covert ops) is "an operation that is so planned and executed as
to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor."
Wikipedia further elaborates,
"It is intended to create a political effect which can have implications
in the military, intelligence or law enforcement arenas. Covert operations aim
to fulfil their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or
carried out the operation."
So, that is in line with the stated policy of the government of India on 'hot-pursuit' in Myanmar even if some political opponents (and opponents) it could not be termed a 'hot pursuit' operation.
What is a 'hot pursuit' in
'military terms' then?