EFEECTIVE OPERATIONAL ROLE OF THE
RESERVISTS IN BANGLADESH ARMY
Bangladesh stands in a vital geo strategic location of South Asian region. It is a densely populated country with a poor economic background. Due to her geographic location, She posses threat in terms of economy and security from her big neighbours. Foreign policy and diplomacy is the first layer of defence for Bangladesh. However, she has to maintain an appropriate size of the land force which can create credible deterrence to any invader. In the event of any hostility the land force will be substantially backed by the reservists, paramilitary forces and finally by the mass participation of the people. The doctrine of blending conventional and unconventional warfare from the outbreak of hostility will rely on popular support and civil resources to a great extent. Maintaining a sizeable reservist force to augment the present capabilities of the army to fight the aggressor, is very much suitable and feasible option for Bangladesh.
Nearly every modern nation maintains some kind of reservist structure as part of armed forces[i]. These reservists are designed to expand, augment or otherwise support the existing standing army to provide a larger total armed forces at a less cost than having the entire force on active, full-time status[ii]. Reservists retain a reservoir of trained and combat capable personnel, thereby allowing rapid mobilisation of a larger force. Budgetary constraints, smallness in size and poor economic condition of Bangladesh calls for a sustainable standing army with large reservist force which will permit her to maintain an expandable large force at much lower cost at the time of need.
Bangladesh does not have the human resource constraint for formulation a reservist force. She can maintain a big reservist force with her present economic background. More over poor economy is not only the factor to maintain a reservist. There are other reasons for maintaining a reservist force. Reinforcement of under strength regular force in war, giving training to the general people and making them concern about the national security is also some of the good reasons. Because, safeguarding the independence and national integrity is the responsibility of every one and all member of the country. Reservist policy is also designed to expand, augment and support the existing army. It also adds to the overall defence potential of the country by providing a larger force at lesser cost.
Bangladesh Army has a draft reservist policy which is yet to be implemented. As the policy come in to effect, options are to be found out to employ the reservists in the most optimal way. Reservists can be employed in a conventional way along with regular forces. On the other hand, they can also be employed by blending with the general mass in unconventional role to achieve the effect of “Total People’s War”. A detail study is required to find out the best way to employ the reservists keeping in mind the operational doctrine of Bangladesh Army.
This paper will endeavour to discuss the modalities for the effective employment of reservists in operational role during war which would include both conventional and unconventional warfare in the context of “Total People’s War”. This paper will restrict it’s analysis within Bangladesh Army only. Firstly, it will cover the various aspects of reservist policy in the context of Bangladesh. Secondly, it is going to discuss elaborately the mode of employing reservists both conventional and unconventional warfare role taking into consideration the present operational concept of Bangladesh Army and find out the suitable option for better employment of the reservists. Finally, it will analyse the possible ways to integrate reservists with regular forces and the general mass including training and logistic aspects.
The aim of this paper is to examine the options for Bangladesh to employ...
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