Investigate Air Cmde Khokhar’s death

Air Cmde Pervez Hamilton Khokhar’s gruesome death in a gated community in Bangalore is not some off-way crime, but may be something lot more sinister. This stalwart of the Tejas LCA programme — its former director — was still helping out, his expert advice sought to fine tune the design and in its translation to production. Those in the know say his murderers were after documents they thought he might have at his home or for information he was unwilling to part with. There have been other such incidents in the past. Such as the murder in suspicious circumstances some years back of the chief engineer as also the chief artificer in the submarine building group at Vizag, who were then involved in constructing the Arihant SSBN. The fact is a lot of engineers and scientists working on sensitive projects have been bumped off, and there’s not a murmur out of government circles. This is not the stuff for the local police to investigate but murder for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take up. Why are our people such as Khokar left vulnerable, why is there no NIA team attached to sensitive projects? Attachment of FBI agents to highly-sensitive US projects is the norm. In the UK, Special Branch agents cover critical projects. Why is there no such arrangement in India? Shouldn’t NIA be tasked with the protection of prized Indian talent? One way to cripple a country’s advance is, quite literally, to kill off its talent. The Indian Govt and NIA better get on, and stay on, the job, fast.

Posted in civil-military relations, Defence Industry, DRDO, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian democracy, Internal Security, Military Acquisitions, society, South Asia | Leave a comment

Parrikar’s Priority

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar has three things going for him. First, he has prime minister Narendra Modi’s confidence. Two, he is an IIT engineer and able to digest the technical aspects and imperatives of national security better than the generalist civil servants in the ministry of defence (MoD). And three, he may have an instinctive understanding of national security considering he was chief minister of a small coastal state with big naval presence (which, after mining and tourism, perhaps, pumps in the most money into Goa’s economy).

There are many issues he will have to deal with on an urgent basis. But nothing is more important than for this country to produce the weapons it needs. Self-sufficiency in arms has to date been mostly political rhetoric and indigenisation is reduced to passing off licence manufacture of foreign weapons systems by defence public sector units (DPSUs) as a great leap in self-reliance. Instead of the government insisting that the military assist the Indian defence industry to obtain its requirements at home, it has left it to individual services to decide whether to participate in indigenous design, development, and production schemes. Navy showed its earnest long ago with a warship and submarine design directorate.

The air force and army are way behind, with the former displaying distrust in extremis of home-made aircraft even after the Marut HF-24 showed it could be done 50 years back, and the Tejas light combat aircraft is a beautiful fighter plane. According to Pushpindar Singh, agent for Dornier, the German aviation sector was so impressed it offered to jointly develop the latter aircraft. With the lack of foresight the Indian government is known for the MoD, of course, declined just as it had done the offer by Bonn in the Sixties to co-develop the Marut! The import option has proved a bonanza for foreign defence suppliers, providing foreign countries the handle to influence Indian foreign and military policies by manipulating, especially during crises, the supply of spares.

Parrikar’s predecessor, Arun Jaitley, decided boldly on the indigenous manufacture of the Project 75i conventional submarine, rejecting MoD’s attempt to take the private sector major, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), out of the running by suggesting it move its main production base to Hazira—a techno-economic decision it was incompetent to make, had no business to try imposing on L&T, and was plainly designed to favour the low-productivity DPSU Mazgaon Dockyard Ltd (MDL), which has huffed and puffed and run up huge cost and time over-runs in assembling the French Scorpene submarine. It is hardly to be wondered that the ideologically blinkered Congress defence minister, A K Antony, didn’t see the logic of entrusting L&T producing the technically challenging Arihant-class nuclear-powered nuclear ballistic missile-firing submarine (SSBN) with the manufacture of the far simpler diesel submarine!

In any case, Jaitley’s decision to have DPSUs compete with L&T and Pipavav Shipyard, and give the winning bidder the full contract for six submarines and the freedom to choose a foreign partner (because the navy’s diffident submarine design group needs hand-holding) can be the model for Parrikar deciding to produce the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) at home and give a fillip to India’s aircraft industry. Such an industry has been prevented from emerging by the IAF preferring imported fighter planes and, another DPSU, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, like MDL, specialising in screwdriver technology, manufacturing them under licence.

Parrikar will, however, have to first terminate the negotiations for Rafale. It is a buyer’s market and Paris can ill-afford anger and damage the prospects of French firms losing out on potential partnerships with Indian companies to produce weapons systems in toto in India. Such a decision will oxygenate the Tejas light combat aircraft programme, particularly if it is combined with the speedy approval of the upscaled Tejas Mk-II design—the Advanced MMRCA (AMMRCA) project, which has been finalised by the Aircraft Development Agency (ADA).

As in the case of the 75i submarine, it is the more efficient and capable private sector who should be lead contractor and prime integrator on the AMMRCA with ADA design and production technologies transferred to it, so that the 15-year timeline for induction is met. Indeed, the country is farther ahead in the realm of combat plane production than of diesel submarines, considering the technology is indigenous and ingested, the design is ready as are the tooling and manufacturing processes for the Tejas series. To ensure success, however, Parrikar will have to make the IAF responsible for the success of the project and bringing the AMMRCA in on time and within cost. This is a larger, truly 5th generation, warplane with the fully composite fuselage and leading edges, higher ordnance-carrying capacity, and more advanced avionics compared to the Rafale straddling the 3rd and 4th generations of fighter aircraft dating to the 1980s.

That India even shortlisted Rafale, a day-before-yesterday’s plane for tomorrow’s needs, and has made ready to spend in excess of $30 billion over the next 30 years when a home-grown alternative is available, shows how skewed the procurement system has become and which Parrikar will have to right on a war footing. He can show India’s resolve to be self-sufficient in arms and invest such vast sums, in line with Modi’s “Make in India” policy, with a design-to-delivery AMMRCA product and thus power the Indian aviation sector with private companies permitted to utilise the under-used wherewithal of the DPSUs. Or, Parrikar can funnel the `1,80,000 crore into helping Paris recover its investment in the prohibitively expensive Rafale programme that has found no other buyers and keeping the French company, Dassault, financially afloat. What makes more sense doing?

Parrikar should not be intimidated by IAF’s media orchestrated squawking about depleted combat aircraft strength, especially when there’s a ready solution the IAF is loath to pursue to meet short-term needs, namely, buying more Su-30s, MiG-29Ms, and sprucing up their spares situation. The AMMRCA at the top end and the Avro 748 medium transport replacement and the army’s requirement for 197 light helicopters in its train will help consolidate a strong aerospace sector that India has waited too long for.

[Published in New Indian Express, Nov 14, 2014,http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns/Parrikars-Priority/2014/11/14/article2521690.ece

Posted in arms exports, Asian geopolitics, civil-military relations, Defence Industry, DRDO, Europe, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Indian democracy, Indian ecobomic situation, Indian Navy, Indian Ocean, Indian Politics, Military Acquisitions, Missiles, Relations with Russia, Russia, russian assistance, russian military, South Asia, Technology transfer, Weapons, Western militaries | 12 Comments

Crisis of State — External Security

I was invited to deliver the 6th PA Ramakrishnan Lecture at the Bhatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mylapore, Chennai, Oct 5, 2014. For those who are interested, the talk and the interaction following was videographed and uploaded to Youtube and may be accessed as below:

Bharat Karnad on “Crisis of the State – India’s External Security” – 1

Bharat Karnad on “Crisis of the State – India’s External Security” – 2

Bharat Karnad on “Crisis of the State – India’s External Security” – 3

Bharat Karnad on “Crisis of the State – India’s External Security” – 4

Bharat Karnad on “Crisis of the State – India’s External Security” – 5

Posted in Afghanistan, Asian geopolitics, Central Asia, China, China military, civil-military relations, Defence Industry, disarmament, Europe, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's China Policy, India's Pakistan Policy, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian democracy, Indian Politics, Internal Security, Maldives, Military Acquisitions, Missiles, nonproliferation, Northeast Asia, Nuclear Policy & Strategy, Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan, Pakistan military, Pakistan nuclear forces, Relations with Russia, Russia, society, South Asia, South East Asia, Sri Lanka, Strategic Relations with the US & West, Technology transfer, Terrorism, Tibet, United States, US., Weapons | 4 Comments

Vietnam as India’s Pivot

Vietnam prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit has just ended with a sealing of a defence pact. That this significant accord was readied as a follow-up to the defence Memorandum of Understanding signed a scant month and half after president Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Hanoi suggests New Delhi has finally woken up to Vietnam’s seminal importance to India’s strategic well-being.

This special standing of Vietnam in India’s geopolitics, incidentally, took the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and the Indian government more than a decade to appreciate—from the articulation by then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao in 1992-93 of the “Look East” policy to when his successor, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, betook himself to Hanoi in 2003 which produced the agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation. Another 11 years elapsed before the advent of the Narendra Modi government and this appreciation growing teeth.

Since 2005, I have been advocating the transfer of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile—the only one of its kind in the world—to Vietnam. In 2007, Hanoi for the first time expressed its keen interest in securing this singularly accurate and lethal weapon to defend itself and deter China from having its way in the disputed sea territories in the South China Sea—almost the whole of which Beijing claims as its own in a brazen bid for a maritime lebensraum. Lebensraum is the concept the Nazi geographer and geopolitical strategist Karl Haushofer coined in the 1930s to justify Germany’s policy of territorial aggrandisement at the expense of the Central European states, Poland and Russia. It refers to the “living space” Haushofer said a vigorous Germany needed legitimately to expand in order to increase its resources base, consolidate its strength, and realise its grand ambition. China is the Germany of the 21st Century and it has got to be stopped.

The case that China is India’s biggest challenge (not Pakistan that Indians and their government get mightily exercised about) and Vietnam is the pivotal state around which New Delhi can obtain a coalition of Asian rimland and offshore countries to ringfence China was a geostrategic scheme first articulated in my 1994 book “Future Imperilled”. So, when the newly founded National Security Advisory Board constituted during Vajpayee’s time met with MEA in the autumn of 1998 and I as member of the board, assuming the Indian diplomats were clued into the theories and practice of geopolitics, asked then foreign secretary K Raghunath why India had failed to respond to Beijing’s calculated policy of nuclear missile-arming Pakistan over the previous decade with a tit-for-tat gesture and a policy of imposing costs on China, by transferring easily nuclearisable missiles to Vietnam, Raghunath replied with practised certitude. “It is not practicable,” he said.

Fast forward 16 years and the impracticable has become Indian policy—the Modi government has decided to pass on the Brahmos missile to Hanoi which, appropriately, finds no mention in the Joint Statement issued by prime ministers Modi and Dung. These anti-ship weapons, for which there’s no counter, will be installed in shore batteries along the Vietnamese coast fronting on the Hainan Island, to deter the Chinese South Seas Fleet based there, and as sentinels for that country’s offshore claims and oil and gas exploration and drilling assets in the South China Sea, and to dissuade the Chinese navy from capturing disputed sea territories as happened in the case of the Paracel Islands.

The MEA during Manmohan Singh’s time turned aside repeated Vietnamese requests for the Brahmos by asserting that the Russian partner company in this project, NPO Maschinostroeyenia was against any such deal. It lost India traction with a strategic partner Indonesia as well, which too had asked for the Brahmos. Denied by New Delhi, Jakarta directly approached Moscow and secured the slightly derated version of the Brahmos, the Ramos. The difference with the onset of the Modi dispensation was that India rather than merely seeking Russian assent for the transfer of this cruise missile to Vietnam pushed for it.

Indeed, the MEA and the ministry of defence (MoD) bureaucrats, who in line with the Congress government’s instincts for kowtowing to Beijing routinely vetoed initiatives over the past decade by the armed forces to improve India’s relative security position vis-a-vis China by using transfers of armaments and forging military-to-military links, are now more receptive.

With the first stirrings of geopolitical common sense in the fusty corridors of the MEA and MoD, New Delhi will hopefully begin to see that Vietnam can be to India what Pakistan is to China. A Chinese nuclear missile-armed Pakistan, enabled by Beijing to grow its indigenous defence industry beyond the screwdriver technology the Indian defence PSUs are stuck at, and thus to acquire a measure of genuine self-reliance has, as per Beijing’s design, contained India to the subcontinent. India, in similar fashion, can prioritise the military build-up of Vietnam (and the Philippines, and Indonesia) as the first tier of India’s distant defence with a view to restricting Chinese options east of the Malacca Strait.

The logic behind such a policy, as I keep repeating in my writings, is that if we don’t have the stomach for a fight with China and cannot muster the will to stand up to Beijing, let’s at least arm the Vietnamese who over a thousand years have bloodied Chinese forces intruding into their country, and never shied away from a fight. It is a cost-effective means of diminishing India’s primary security threat and military challenge and, equally important, of paying Beijing back in its own coin.

India also needs to capitalise on the opportunity to distance Vietnam economically from China, incentivising it with lines of credit and Indian investment to plug into the Indian economy instead. In this respect, the business delegation with Dung, hopefully, returned home with a bag full of deals. A more telling measure would be to increase manifold the Indian stake in Vietnam’s security by investing in its energy resource sector. ONGC Videsh should act quickly on Dung’s offer of new oil blocks inside the Vietnamese claimline in the South China Sea.

[Published in the New Indian Express, Oct 30, 2014 and is at http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns/Vietnam-as-Indias-Pivot/2014/10/31/article2500503.ece

Posted in arms exports, Asian geopolitics, China, China military, civil-military relations, Defence Industry, DRDO, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's China Policy, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Indian democracy, Indian ecobomic situation, Indian Navy, Indian Ocean, Japan, Missiles, Northeast Asia, Nuclear Policy & Strategy, Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan, Pakistan military, Pakistan nuclear forces, Relations with Russia, Russia, russian assistance, South Asia, South East Asia, Strategic Relations with South East Asia & Far East, Weapons | 2 Comments

Home-grown Islamic terrorism

Historically, India and Indians have never been good at reading threats or dodging dangers. Indian governments in particular have failed to be realistic in their assessment of adversaries or to anticipate difficult situations created by internal and external actors and, therefore, have fared badly in diverting and diminishing threats, generally behaving like immobilised rabbits thrown as food into python pits.

There’s a long inglorious record of this. Take an arbitrary starting point. The 12th Century king of Delhi, Prithviraj Chauhan, reacted to the rampaging Mohammad Ghori on his annual looting campaigns into Hindustan by chasing the Afghan only up to Bhatinda, before letting him get away. This happened, as the legend goes, 16 times, but on the 17th such occasion Ghori got the better of Prithviraj, putting the latter out of his misery by first gouging out his eyes, no doubt to avoid the tedium of being regularly chased only up to a certain point in eastern Punjab! The reality, however, is just as damning. Ghori was not pursued much beyond Bhatinda by Prithviraj after he defeated the Afghan raider in the First Battle of Tarain (in 1191) in the hope, no doubt, that he’d have the good sense not to return. Alas, Ghori did the next year and this time Chauhan lost the second battle and his life. The wages of misjudging an adversary, of not taking him seriously! Later, the East India Company was similarly misjudged by the landlubber Mughal dispensation until it was too late.

The trouble is New Delhi does not look beyond its nose, fails to act against threats before they become full-blown, and remains stunningly complacent and inactive until the calamity is upon the country. The habit of not thinking and acting proactively, and rarely preempting a threat or preventing a disaster or catastrophe from happening despite usually having prior information and often the means and wherewithal, and even official agencies in place, to forestall such an eventuality, has cost the nation dear. Of course, once the worst happens, official agencies bestir themselves. India has inverted the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared” to “Never be Prepared”!

Such bleak thoughts are prompted by a news report referring to the differences between the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) over whether the execrable international terrorist organisation Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) poses a threat to India and how to handle Indian Muslim youth attracted by its medievalist ideology aimed at “reviving” the 7th Century Caliphate stretching from the Levant to western India, an extended swathe of land the self-anointed khalifa, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calls, Greater Khorasan.

Typical of the overly bureaucratised Indian state, the differences have come to a head over a procedural matter of whether or not to file an FIR (First Information Report), the requirement before a police investigation can get underway. This is apparently an issue of major importance to IB and NIA, both populated by Indian Police Service officers. Talk of misplaced priorities! So, instead of working on ways to ensure that support for, and potential followers of ISIS and al-Qaeda are dealt with urgently and with dispatch and deterrent measures rolled out, inaction is spurred by irrelevant discussions on following the right procedure. The ends are thus often confused by endlessly debating the means.

The specific issue here is about FIRs being registered against extremist Islamist groups and its members to facilitate investigation into their nefarious activities. The NIA is for it, the IB supposedly fearing the effect of such a preventive measure on Muslim youth and the minority community, is against it, and home minister Rajnath Singh is being asked to adjudicate. Prima facie, this seems to be a non-issue raised by a stalwart organisation, IB, whose abject failure to process the available intelligence, alert the state police, and prevent the 28/11 seaborne raid by Pakistan-based terrorists on Mumbai led to its being stripped of the anti-terrorism/counter-terrorism role and responsibility and the NIA formed in 2009 to handle them. It has made the IB determined to show up the fledgling body in some way or the other, and the FIR issue afforded it the opportunity to paint the NIA as a bunch of mavericks with a rule-breaking bent of mind. Not sure how the menace of terrorism can be throttled without adopting irregular methods. But IB seems motivated by the desire for bureaucratic one-upmanship.

Meanwhile, there are still no laws and regulations permitting close and continuous monitoring of Arab monies channelled into India by Sunni-Salafi “charitable” trusts in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates, or legal requirement by beneficiaries to verifiably account for the uses these funds are put to. It is precisely the money flooding into the southern Indian states, Kerala in particular, and Andhra Pradesh-Telangana, and Karnataka, all with sizeable minority populations, that is responsible for communalising and destabilising previously harmonious societies. The state police are well aware of the mischief underway but local politics catering indiscriminately to minority sentiment have defanged them. More frequently, however, the matter of the threat posed by ISIS and al-Qaeda working separately with Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and other such outfits is reduced, ridiculously, to breast-beating about Pakistani ploys and stratagems, ignoring altogether the malign undercurrents within Indian society that need to be checked.

Indian democracy has to respect minority views but cannot overlook the danger from spreading Wahabbi values and ideas redolent of desert Islam displacing the syncretic and moderate Sufi Islam rooted in the local environs, and the resulting virulence and violence has to be stopped at all cost. Unless it has a death wish, the Indian state cannot avoid the hard option of intrusive and intensive-extensive policing of potential hotbeds of Islamic extremism in the country, scrutinising financial flows and Internet and other electronic communications traffic, installing its agents in SIMI and similar organisations, and apprehending, detaining and dissuading troublemakers attracted to radical causes. India cannot risk taking things lightly as is its habit. For strong counter-terrorism efforts to be strangled by legalism and procedure is to mock the peril creeping up on the country.

[Published in the New Indian Express, Oct 17, 2014, at http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns/Home-grown-Islamic-Terrorism/2014/10/17/article2480912.ece

Posted in Afghanistan, Asian geopolitics, Central Asia, civil-military relations, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian democracy, Indian ecobomic situation, Indian para-military forces, indian policy -- Israel, Iran and West Asia, Indian Politics, Internal Security, Pakistan, Pakistan military, society, South Asia, Terrorism, West Asia | 1 Comment

Giving our foes the advantage

The Line of Control (LoC) dividing the Indian portion of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu & Kashmir from its Pakistan-occupied parts is, like the Line of Actual Control (LAC) separating India and China, a Cease-Fire Line (CFL).

These lines were established when the last major hostilities with these countries — the 1971 War, and the withdrawal by the Peoples Liberation Army to a more defensible and logistically maintainable line in the 1962 War — ended.

Under international law, a ceasefire line is just that — a temporary stand-still agreement terminating active military operations without prejudicing legal or other claims on territory held by either country pending a final negotiated settlement of the boundary.

Implicit in the concept of a CFL, therefore, is the sanction available to any of the parties to violate it at any time for any reason, including gaining of military or other advantage or slivers of territory to buttress its claims.This is the legal status of the LoC and LAC that both Pakistan and China respectively adhere to.India, curiously, has adopted the view that these Lines are, for all intent and purposes, international borders whose violation New Delhi will not brook.

The unilateral stance by India of the LoC as a settled border, for instance, has resulted in New Delhi rarely bringing up in international councils the disputed nature of western Kashmir and the Northern Areas, inclusive of Gilgit, Hunza, and Baltistan illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947, thereby reinforcing the Pakistani contention that the only matter remaining to be resolved is the status of Indian Kashmir.

Unquestioningly accepting the Chinese annexation of Tibet and the forcible assimilation of the Tibetan people by supporting the myth of an ‘autonomous region of Tibet’ as integral to the Chinese whole has likewise bolstered the Chinese position that peace will come when Arunachal Pradesh regarded by it as only another part of Tibet — ‘southern Tibet’ — is ceded to Beijing.

India has thus lost ground politically and legally vis-à-vis both Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Chinese-occupied Tibet.
Neither Pakistan nor China has made the mistake India has, and continually contest the LoC and LAC with armed intrusions, artillery duels, and indiscriminate firings, to highlight the disputed nature of these borders and to ensure their respective territorial claims are active, for fear that not doing so may, in time, accord the status quo sanctity which New Delhi desires.
Thus, frequent military eruptions on the LoC and LAC and, hence, a series of never-ending crises on the borders with Pakistan and China, are preordained with tensions being stoked by sensation-seeking 24/7 electronic media and print media, both apparently as ignorant of the meaning of CFL in international law as the ministry of external affairs (MEA).

At the root of India’s problems with the LoC and LAC is the absence in the Indian political leadership, the Indian government, and especially the MEA, of what the great theorist of geopolitics Halford Mackinder called, “the map-reading habit of mind”. The importance of expanding and safeguarding sovereign territory on land and sea is scarcely understood.
The spatial imperatives of strategy and foreign and military policy, when not reduced to military-wise nonsensical axioms, such as “not an inch of territory will be lost”, are treated as matters of political expediency.

Thus, the diffident Lal Bahadur Shastri at Tashkent, overcome by the flattery of Field Marshal Ayub Khan seeking “rahmat”, magnanimously returned to Pakistan the Haji Pir salient captured at great cost by the Indian Army in the September 1965 War, without appreciating its strategic importance as a finger sticking into Indian Kashmir and which piece of real estate has ever since been used to infiltrate militants and other undesirables to create havoc in J&K and elsewhere.
Six years later, with Bangladesh liberated, 93,000 Pakistani Prisoners of War (PoWs) as leverage, and Islamabad on its knees, a supposedly hard-headed, Indira Gandhi, instead of imposing a victor’s peace sanctioned by international law requiring the formalisation of the LoC as international border, in a fit of misplaced generosity, accepted the supplicating Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s plea that he be given time to create consensus at home for such a permanent solution.

Rather than telling Bhutto that thrusting the Indian design for peace down resisting Pakistani throats was his problem, and the price for waging war and the return of PoWs was his signature on the dotted line, Indira gave in. India still suffers due to her myopia.

One of the main consequences of such political ham-handedness even when dealt a winning hand is that the Indian military simply does not trust the elected rulers and the Indian government to do right by them and the country.
Whence, the unprecedented warning some years back by an army chief that if the Siachen Glacier is asked to be vacated of Indian troops as part of some grand compromise with Pakistan, and should the situation be exploited by the Forces Command Northern Areas of the Pakistan army to establish an armed presence there, New Delhi must not expect the Indian army to retake those forbidding heights.

The respect for geography and the spatial concerns of good strategy were at the core of British imperial policy of ‘distant defence’ based on Indian control of the Indian Ocean littoral, influence in regions stretching from the Caspian Sea to Central Asia, and the strengthening of the ‘Mongolian fringe’ to the north and the North-East.

Those geostrategics were discarded by Jawaharlal Nehru — his suspicion of geopolitics surpassing his good sense. To promote peace Tibet was not contested, nor was the taking of Aksai Chin by China, Coco Islands were gifted to Myanmar and, in 1974, the Kachchateevu Island to Sri Lanka. India has never recovered.
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[Published in the Hindustan Times, Oct 13, 2014 at  http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/analysis/giving-our-foes-the-advantage/article1-1274611.aspx

Posted in Indian Army, India's China Policy, India's Pakistan Policy, India's strategic thinking and policy, Great Power imperatives, Indian Politics, Internal Security, civil-military relations, Terrorism, Geopolitics, Asian geopolitics, China, China military, South Asia, Central Asia, Europe, West Asia, guerilla warfare, Bangladesh, Indian democracy, society, Tibet | 4 Comments

Significant weapon to be tested soon

Nirbhay — the 1,000 km subsonic cruise missile being developed in land, sea, and air versions, will undergo its second test flight on Oct 17. DRDO seniors are confident that the sensor malfunction that had marred the first test-firing has been corrected, and that this time around the missile will deliver unblemished performance. What’s most significant is that the mid course navigation of the missile by means of satellites. aircraft. etc is in place and worked well during the first flight. Prioritised, the project will soon have a lethal new BVR weapon for the Indian military, enabling neutralization of all kinds of medium distance-targets, and to otherwise keep adversary weapons platforms at bay.

Posted in Indian Army, India's strategic thinking and policy, Great Power imperatives, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, Military Acquisitions, Defence Industry, Indian Ocean, Geopolitics, Asian geopolitics, Missiles, Cyber & Space, DRDO, South Asia, Weapons | 4 Comments