In their sickening game of one-upmanship, the Congress has targeted the first surgical strike (SS) that Indian government had ordered the Indian army to do in response to Pakistan's Uri provocation. Congress has moved from "prove raid happened" to "so what? we used to do surgical strikes all the time!". Talk about shifting goal posts! But that is what dim minds do when cornered into a position and finding themselves short of facts. They shift goal posts.
In any case, media has let loose some information about an operation called Ginger in 2011 which is being touted as an example of a surgical strike. It is interesting, that those people who say that surgical strikes were not an uncommon occurrence can come up with only one example. Notwithstanding, the treacherous act of giving military information in the public domain just to win some political brownie points, there are some basic issues with this new narrative that opposition politicians are trying to peddle through their friends in the media.
Worse are the idiots who think they are glorifying he army by accepting the Congress' contention that every cross border raid is an SS. They are actually insulting the Indian army that has long fought a hard, long battle with its one (political) arm tied behind its back. Allow me to elucidate.
If the newest story, operation Ginger is to be considered not a cross border raid but a surgical strike, then by the same logic we have to accept that the act by Pakistanis of beheading our soldiers was also a surgical strike by them, isnt it? So the beheading of Hemraj ji by Pakis few years back with no retaliation from our side will have also to be conceded as a successful surgical strike by the Pakis against the Indian Army, right? So are these people calling every willy nilly crossing of the border an SS, saying that Pakis regularly do surgical strikes against our army?!
It is for this reason that the distinction between a SS and a cross border raid (CBR) or an ambush mission must be made. Every cross border action cannot be a SS. Crossing over a few 100 meters into enemy territory while and anti terror operation is on cannot be called a SS, it would be hot pursuit.
We need to understand what a surgical strike is. The traditional understanding is as follows:
"A surgical strike is defined as a military attack intended to inflict damage on a specific target, with little or no collateral damage to surrounding areas.
A surgical strike is "a calculated manoeuvre to ensure you deliver maximum damage which gives a big surprise to your adversary", explained former air chief Fali Homi Major"
A surgical strike is carried out with the political backing of the highest level of the government.
A cross border raid on the other hand is a shallow raid, at infantry level with no top sanction. CBRs are carried out at the risk of the army itself. If anything went wrong the army officers would be in the dock. In case of a SS, the responsibility of the success or failure of the strike lay with the government, not only the army. This is the BIGGEST difference.
I will be surprised if Manmohan Singh was even aware of this operation Ginger! Approving it is whole another matter!
Several people quote General Bikram Singh as saying SS have happened earlier. They are only twisting the venerable General's words. He said "India has crossed the LoC before, but never at this scale." Earlier it was left to the infantry. (credit to unsubtledesi for this transcript)
What does this (Ginger) sound like? An SS sanctioned at the highest level in Delhi or a small scale, ground level infantry cross border raid.
Now the idiot argument would be an SS is an SS, scale doesn't matter. This is like saying entering someones house and scolding him is the same as entering that persons house and murdering him. Bhai...in military operations, scale is everything! Size does matter (no matter what you tell yourself to sleep better at night).
The point is, this time our boys had the sanction of the highest levels of our government to go BEHIND Pakistani positions (3-6 km in fact) and take out high value targets and hit the terror infrastructure hard. This is what the present DGMO meant when he called this current action a surgical strike and said we have never done this before. It was the scale difference Gen. Bikram Singh was talking about.
It is interesting that The Hindu, which I understand broke this story is also referring to it as a "tit-for-tat", "ambush", and a "cross border raid" in the article itself. They are themselves not sure if this was a surgical strike or an ambush or a cross border raid, all very different things! Or this is a clever game to muddy the waters and steal credit from our brave army which have successfully completed the first surgical strike and signaled a change in India's Pakistan policy.
In fact, military veterans have raised the same point. Do not call all cross border operations as surgical strikes!
In fact, check the next tweet. The officer responsible informed his senior officers apparently AFTER the strikes were done. This may have been done for plausible deniability if things had gone wrong.This is the biggest sign that this was a cross border raid with no sanction from the political leadership, thus precluding us from calling it a SS. Notably, I do not see any specific note that information was given to the government or permission sought beforehand!
So kindly stop blindly believing your political masters, and stop insulting our Indian Army by indirectly insinuating that Pakistanis have carried out several surgical strikes against India. Our Army has so far fought without political backing and only on its sheer grit and patriotism. Do not let your idiocy cloud your judgement.
Special thanks to @unsubtledesi and @cestmoiz for inspiring me to compile this writeup.