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Defence and Security

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
 

Nawaz Sharif has the dubious distinction of a fractious relationship with all five Chiefs of Army Staff he has worked with, including the three that he chose himself.

 

On Tuesday, General Qamar Javed Bajwa will start his tenure as chief of army staff, the fourth individual in Pakistan to do so in the 21st century. His predecessor Gen Raheel Sharif has given Gen Bajwa an excellent platform to build on, though circumstances will also shape how the chief will be able to proceed.

 

 

Even at the best of times the Indian public remains blissfully ignorant of what happens at the Line of Control (LoC) on a daily basis. Now when the worry is about changing old currency notes for new or catering for the next meal because of lack of new currency, the LoC is far from the mind.
 

Eight years after sea-borne terrorists Ajmal Kasab and gang arrived at a landing point along the Colaba beach to strike Mumbai on November 26, coastal security management across the nine coastal states and four Union Territories has yet to fall in place. Coastal security straddles both military and police roles that make it a challenge for state governments to manage effectively. Today the police forces suffer from political interference and thereby lack professionalism, which reflects in terms of poor public security priorities. Therefore, coastal security can never figure very high on police priorities and proves a weak link in the national security matrix.

 


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