Leaked Memo: India's Military Decimated, Obsolete

General reveals that air defenses are 97% obsolete

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 28, 2012 9:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – India's military is desperately low on supplies, the world learned today, in a major embarrassment for the country. In a leaked memo, the country's military chief tells its prime minister that India's tank fleet lacks ammunition, its elite forces are "woefully short" on essential weapons, and its air defenses are "97% obsolete." The leak just happens to come as that military chief, General VK Singh, is locked in a public battle with the government over his impending mandatory retirement, the AFP reports.

Singh's memo blames the sorry state of affairs on the country's slow bureaucracy. Opposition leader Arun Jaitley jumped on the story, complaining of the "alarming situation," and saying the fact that the memo was leaked at all was "a matter of serious concern." But the defense minister has tried to quell the uproar, assuring the public that they have "taken care to speed up the modernization of the armed forces."

Indian naval officers gather on the new INS Shivalik, classed as stealth by Indian military officials and the first of its kind in the nation's fleet, at a ceremony in Mumbai, India, April 29, 2010.
Indian naval officers gather on the new INS Shivalik, classed as "stealth" by Indian military officials and the first of its kind in the nation's fleet, at a ceremony in Mumbai, India, April 29, 2010.   (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade, File)
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