The pincer movement, or double envelopment, is a military strategy, wherein the attacking enemy’s forces are lured into a trap by giving them initial advantage, but later the enemy’s flanks ‘re ambushed from the sides. This strategy has been successfully used by myriads of rulers in the past, Alexander being one of them. It has now been effectively used by the Indian government, to quell internal disturbances during the anti-Citizenship amendment act (CAA) protests, which were being funded by terrorist proxies of enemy nations.
What is Pincer Ambush?
The idea of pincer ambush is based on the shape of carpenter pliers. The jaws of the pliers represent the flanking troops which encircle the enemy, and attack them from the lightly defended sides. Battle of Stalingrad, is one of the most famous examples when this strategy was executed successfully by the Red Army to shock and awe the German Nazi Army in 1942.
Sun Tzu, a famous Chinese military strategist, had warned against completely surrounding the enemy while using this method of ambush, as he believed that a completely surrounded enemy fights harder. So despite this strategy being an ambush, the enemy is allowed a narrow escape route, which is nothing but a mirage. In an effort to escape from the predicament of heavy loss, the enemy gravitates towards narrow escape route, only to find that it too was a trap.
Pincer ambush to trap the faceless enemy
Since 11 December 2019 when Indian Parliament had passed Citizenship amendment act (CAA), inimical entities within the country purveyed disinformation regarding this act to incite violence in different parts of the country. It’s a well-known fact that such chaos in one of the most populated countries in the world can spiral out of control to create an absolute pandemonium, leading to consequences such as lower economic progress and destabilized government, over the long run. The fore-mentioned consequences of internal disturbances work in favour of enemy countries. Adding to Indian government’s woes was the intelligence report that terrorist organizations under the umbrella of protests against the government, had sabotaged infrastructure and killed innocents. This was a faceless enemy, who was hiding behind some agitated and mislead citizens of India, and attacking India’s democratic foundation.
It was an extremely onerous task for the Indian agencies to patiently separate rice from the chaff; the good from the evil; the citizens from the terrorist sympathizing elements.
Pincer movement strategy, is about ambushing the enemy at the right time, ergo Indian agencies and government had to patiently track the source of funds, which helped keep the protests alive, during the initial days of the protests. When the enemy was fooled into believing that they were succeeding in their attack, in this case a pressure tactic to arm-twist India government, the intel agencies hit the target with their darts. Enforcement directorate (ED) has now revealed that there’s a direct connection between anti-CAA protests and Popular Front of India (PFI), an extremist organisation with a not-so-decorous past. About 73 syndicate bank accounts were used to pump Rs120 crores or $16 million, into the anti-CAA protests. The list of people who received money from PFI includes plethora of eminent people ranging from leaders of the opposition parties like Kapil Sibal to think tanks, and lawyers like Indira Jaisingh.
PFI’s terrorist connection
Since it’s inception in 2006, Popular front of India had come under the radar of Indian intelligence agencies as on myriads of occasions PFI activists had been caught red-handed, propagating Al-Qaeda and Taliban’s ideology. PFI was also suspected to be an off-shoot of a banned terror outfit called SIMI (Students’ Islamic Movement of India). SIMI was directly funded by Pakistani spy agency, ISI, and had been involved in many terrorist attacks across India. As late as 2015, SIMI- ISI dalliance was found to have been involved in sparking riots across the country.
Indian government in the last 2 months was put on the tenter-hooks to resolve an issue, which was a non-issue to begin with. Citizenship amendment act is applicable to persecuted minorities in India’s neighbourhood, but under normal circumstances anyone who is not an Indian citizen but has lived in India for 12 years or more, can apply for Indian citizenship. Unfortunately, intentional purveying of disinformation and use of inimical entities to disrupt peace in several Indian states, was nothing but enemy’s strategy to bleed India. When the enemy uses an conventional method of subterfuge then it is justifiable on the Government’s part to use avant-garde technique to nail the enemy down. Pincer ambush has once again been successfully executed but this time not in the war-zone. Indian government is not the only government to have successfully used this military strategy to resolve an internal issue. This post by an American economist proves that the strategy is a tried and tested method across the globe, albeit, in a surreptitious manner.