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Defence and Security

Of all the dimensions of modern warfare, the “battle of the mind” takes precedence. If we cannot win the challenge this poses, all other dimensions that support warfare like technology, armaments, strategy, tactics, will have a limited effect. In the final analysis, a positive mind is an imperative that will drive the brawn to do the unachievable

Of all the dimensions of modern warfare, the “battle of the mind” takes precedence. If we cannot win the challenge this poses, all other dimensions that support warfare like technology, armaments, strategy, tactics, will have a limited effect. In the final analysis, a positive mind is an imperative that will drive the brawn to do the unachievable

 
The areas that constituted Pakistan in 1947 were ruled by the British under different arrangements. Bengal, Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (then 'NWFP') were provinces with elected assemblies. Balochistan was governed by an appointed Commissioner; tribal areas by Political Agents; and a number of so-called princely states by Rajas under the paramountcy of the British Crown.   
 

Come New Year, India will have a new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), as the incumbent, General Dalbir Singh, is due for retirement. The very fact that the central government is yet to announce his successor has already made news. In fact, the issue will only get further politicised, just the same way Dalbir Singh's appointment was, two years ago. And it's all because of a convention that the incoming COAS (or for that matter, the new chief of Indian Navy or Indian Air Force) be announced two months in advance, in order to make the transition smooth.

 

Shipyard accidents happen, so perhaps it’s wrong to make too much of last week’s unprecedented toppling in a Mumbai dockyard of the guided-missile frigate INS Betwa, which killed two sailors and could leave one of India’s warships unsalvageable. But given the frequency with which the Indian navy is experiencing similar mishaps, the incident is a reminder that New Delhi has far to go if it’s to project credible power across the Indo-Pacific.

 

It took almost 11 years for India’s Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers to build the Brahmaputra-class (Project 16A) full-load (displacement 4,521-tonne) frigate INS Betwa, which was commissioned into the Indian Navy on July 7, 2004. Thereafter, it took more than 12 years for the same ship to tumble (or “tilt-sink”) in a Mumbai dry dock, killing and wounding sailors

It took almost 11 years for India’s Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers to build the Brahmaputra-class (Project 16A) full-load (displacement 4,521-tonne) frigate INS Betwa, which was commissioned into the Indian Navy on July 7, 2004. Thereafter, it took more than 12 years for the same ship to tumble (or “tilt-sink”) in a Mumbai dry dock, killing and wounding sailors

 

For long, air crashes in the Indian Air Force, which continue to occur with monotonous regularity, has become an ‘accepted’ norm. For the past decade the Navy’s warship and submarine fleet is being afflicted with alarming regularity by a malady of mishaps, some of which are among most horrific and unusual in the world.

 
It is accepted conventional wisdom the world over, ever since well-known military theorist, Carl Von Clausewitz, first articulated the aphorism in the late 18th century that “war is a continuation of politics by other means”.  
 
India had not sought the 1971 War. It was a conflict that was imposed on India by Pakistan and its bumbling generals. In the end, it became — and, remains — the perfect example of  statecraft, with a national leadership displaying the requisite  competence and self-assurance, optimally mobilising the nation’s intellectual, bureaucratic, diplomatic and defence resources, to accomplish the intended goals.  
 

Pathankot in the Punjab, a strategic IAF base, Uri, a sensitive Army post in the Kashmir Valley, both close to the Pakistan border, and now Nagrota, a major base of the Indian Army deep inside the Jammu region close to Jammu city, all were attacked by Islamic terrorist groups which penetrated, the inner-most security cordons.

 
It does not require the legendary Naval expert Alfred Thayer Mahan to state the obvious: That no state can ever aspire to be a sea power without indigenous fighting ship production line
 


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Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
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Senior representatives from the US, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan met in Muscat, Oman, on Monday to revive stalled peace talks with the Taliban, but the insurgent group failed to participate in the meeting being held after a year.
 
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Ruskin Bond’s first novel ‘Room on the Roof’ describes in vivid detail how life in the hills around Dehradun used to be. Bond, who is based in Landour, Mussoorie, since 1963, captured the imagination of countless readers as he painted a picture of an era gone by.
 
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India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
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Braid-chopping incidents have added to the already piled up anxieties of Kashmiris. Once again they are out on the streets, to give vent to their anger. A few persons, believed to be braid-choppers were caught hold by irate mobs at various places. They were beaten to pulp.
 
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Communist parties everywhere gather the ranks every five years to review the past, set future direction, renew political leadership and rejig organisational structure.
 
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In a move lauded worldwide, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud recently issued a royal decree allowing women to obtain driving licences.
 
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The death toll from Saturday’s twin truck bombs in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has crossed 300.
 
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On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
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Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
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Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
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Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
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As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
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Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
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