Kargil War

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  • Topic: Kargil War, India, Indian Army
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NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL Monterey, California

THESIS
HIGH ALTITUDE WARFARE: THE KARGIL CONFLICT AND THE FUTURE by Marcus P. Acosta June 2003 Thesis Advisor: Second Reader: Peter Lavoy Douglas Porch

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Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instruction, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Washington headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, Arlington, VA 22202-4302, and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project (0704-0188) Washington DC 20503. 1. AGENCY USE ONLY (Leave blank) 2. REPORT DATE 3. REPORT TYPE AND DATES COVERED June 2003 Master’s Thesis 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE: High Altitude Warfare: The Kargil Conflict and the 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Future 6. AUTHOR(S) Marcus P. Acosta, CPT, U.S. Army 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) Naval Postgraduate School Monterey, CA 93943-5000 9. SPONSORING /MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) N/A

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11. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES The views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. 12a. DISTRIBUTION / AVAILABILITY STATEMENT 12b. DISTRIBUTION CODE Approved for public release: distribution is unlimited

13. ABSTRACT (maximum 200 words)
The unique combination of thin air, freezing temperatures, and mountainous terrain that forms the high altitude environment has resisted advances in military technology for centuries. The emergence of precision warfare has altered the nature of warfare on most of the world’s surface, yet has not significantly changed the conduct of ground combat at high altitude. The tactics that lead to victory on the high altitude battlefield have remained constant over time. This thesis examines the impact of the high altitude environment on soldiers, their weapons, and military operations, and identifies the lessons of the 1999 Kargil Conflict that are relevant to future high altitude combat. Combat at altitudes approaching 18,000 feet (5,485 m) above sea level between India and Pakistan at Kargil illustrates the timeless nature of high altitude warfare. U.S. combat experiences in the mountains of Afghanistan in 2002 parallel those of the combatants at Kargil despite the overwhelming technological advantage of U.S. forces. Trained and wellequipped light infantry is the only force capable of decisive maneuver in mountainous terrain. Heavy volumes of responsive firepower, in concert with bold maneuver, determine victory. Artillery, rather than air power, remains the preferred source of firepower to support ground maneuver.

14. SUBJECT TERMS India, Pakistan, Kargil, Afghanistan, High Altitude Warfare

15. NUMBER OF PAGES 103 16. PRICE CODE

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Approved for Public Release, Distribution is Unlimited HIGH ALTITUDE WARFARE: THE KARGIL CONFLICT AND THE FUTURE Marcus P. Acosta Captain, United States Army B.S., United States Military Academy, 1994 Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS IN...
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