Without going into the merits or demerits of Gandhi’s statement, what is clear is that such an assertion before a foreign envoy – while keeping in mind that India at that time, and still continues to, was seeking American influence over Pakistan to clamp down on extremists groups targeting India – was not merely distasteful but smacked of naivety.

US Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer believes Indian Army’s “Cold Start Doctrine” is a “mixture of myth and reality. According to him the doctrine may never be operationalised due to “serious resource constraints”.

Roemer assessment of the doctrine, which he had cabled it on February 16, 2010, is one of the hundreds of thousands of cables leaked by the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.