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Defence and Security
In the 27th year of its continuity, the J&K proxy war is not difficult to predict. The fallout of the Uri attack and the subsequent surgical strikes could be appreciated to be mainly along the LoC or the International Border (IB).   
 

Anthony ensured that the equipping of our military came down to 1962 levels, but Parrikar, together with the present government, appears to be hell bent upon denigrating the soldiers and denying them their dues. Taking cover behind ‘mischievous bureaucrats’ can’t work anymore; responsibilities will have to be taken for such deliberate misdeeds.

 
There is a paradox here, though I cannot quite get my head around it fully. Suddenly, a host of politicians, journalists and analysts seem to have suddenly transformed themselves into a unique mix of professional surgeon and baseball player. All they seem to be talking about are the surgical strikes conducted by our Special Operations Forces (SOF) in the recent past.  
 
The fallout of the trans-border raids in an active “hot peace” environment between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir is always unpredictable, because there are just too many imponderables. The “surgical strike” by hunter-killer teams of the special forces of the Indian Army on fidayeen bases across the Line of Control in the Naugam-Hot Springs-Nangi Tekri area in Kashmir on the night of September 28/29 was one such raid.   
 

On a sunny morning a young shepherd takes his cattle across the lovely winding Namka Chu into the dense pine forests on the ridge above. The cold wind blows in from the north and the boy looks up at the steep mountain ahead of him covered by rhododendrons.

 

While perfect objective control seems an attractive goal to strive for, its attainment is neither viable nor desirable. Not viable because no clear distinction can realistically be made between the politics of civilian groups and the professionalism of the military. As Carl von Clausewitz’s famous dictum goes: “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means”.

 

A time has come to put the grim war time Chief Gen Ved Malik’s signalling: “We will fight and win with what we have” to rest. Soldiers need weapons and unqualified support in pay, allowances, societal respect and attendant prestige to uphold India's sovereignty against external threats, regardless of who the enemy is.

 
The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), announced recently, finally delivers Indian MSMEs, a growth opportunity they have long been waiting for. The advantages that MSMEs will leverage are their innovative capabilities in niche manufacturing, greater flexibility, lower overhead costs and their ability to learn and absorb new technologies quickly.  
 

The situation recently came to head with the three Service Chiefs unprecedentedly asking the Union government to withhold the implementation of the CPC for the Armed Forces until pending anomalies are resolved. Following Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's response asking the Service Chiefs to implement the new salary structure while assuring them that their grievances could be looked into later, the Services have backed off and agreed to the implementation of the current pay commission. But going by recent events, there never is a "later". 

 

Union home minister Rajnath Singh paid a belated two-day visit to Ladakh after last month’s much-publicised all-party delegation’s trip to Jammu and Kashmir. Ladakh had been forgotten in that programme.

 


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Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image A career diplomat, Chitranganee Wagiswara, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, is the first woman to be the island nation’s envoy to India. As Foreign Secretary, she was Sri Lanka’s top diplomat for 18 months before being posted to New Delhi.
 
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India has accused the United Nations Security Council and the international community of tending to ignore the terrorists ravaging Afghanistan and their backers while these forces “have stood up against one of the biggest collective military efforts in the world.”
 
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Close Canada-India collaboration in health and wellness is a journey that commenced in 2015 in Toronto, when the first major health summit was held, and ended in March 2017 in New Delhi.
 
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With weird concoction like "Beer Yoga" getting popular as the next big international fitness craze, the ancient art of inner blossoming is seemingly going topsy-turvy. And as yoga hogs the limelight on its third International Day, the loud call for saving the spirit of the ancient and modern practice can't be swept under
 
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The death of deputy superintendent Mohammed Ayub Pandith at the hands of a lynch mob highlights the dangers to the police in Kashmir today, whether from gun-wielding militants or locals disgruntled with the Indian State.
 
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Sher Bahadur Deuba has been elected Prime Minister of Nepal at an especially fragile time in the life of the 11-year-old Himalayan republic.
 
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The rapid rise of Mohammed bin Salman, from one among many princes in the al-Saud royal family to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia within a span of two years, is an unprecedented development in the history of the Kingdom.
 
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A United States fighter downed a Syrian military aircraft for the first time when it bombed a Syrian rebel faction backed by Washington.
 
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Title: Reporting Pakistan; Author: Meena Menon; Publisher: Viking/Penguin Random House; Pages: 340; Price: Rs 599

 
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  A former Indian civil servant, who is currently a professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, US spent long periods in distant villages and city slums of India. The result? A scholarly book that presen...

 
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  Title: The Exile; Author:  Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrian Levy; Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; Pages: 640; Price: Rs 699

 
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Jim Corbett was a British-Indian hunter and tracker-turned-conservationist, author and naturalist; who started off as an officer in the British army and attained the rank of a colonel. Frequently called in to kill man-eating tigers or leopards,...

 
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Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221

 
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