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Defence and Security

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
 

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.

 


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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be visiting India between 7th and 10th of April and plethoras of agreements are likely to be signed then. Among the various agreements, the two countries will be signing the defence cooperation agreement which  has been getting the most attention. 
 
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The Congress needs to come up with a more aspirational narrative than that of the BJP. The party doesn’t lack talent, but its leadership clearly lacks hunger and enthusiasm required for winning elections, writes Tridivesh Singh Maini for South Asia Monitor.
 
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Japan is a special country in several ways. For centuries, it remained isolated and disconnected with the outside world. But once it opened itself up to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854 by the use of force by Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry of the United States Navy, Japan has never looked back. Japan is a spe
 
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Recently, under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and earlier under the late Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdallah bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia has rolled out a series of women-friendly initiatives.  Recently, under the leadership of Custodian of the
 
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spotlight image No First Use as a nuclear deterrent without additional caveats should work well enough
 
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India remians the inflexible bête-noir for Pakistan, yet there are few books by Indian authors that have sought to interpret the prodigal neighbour in a holistic, informed and empathetic manner.

 
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The line that Mortimer Durand drew across a small map in 1893 has bled the Pashtun heart ever since. More than a century later both sides of that line remain restless. But the mystery behind what actually happened on 12 November 1893 has never ...

 
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What went wrong for the West in Afghanistan? Why couldn't a global coalition led by the world's preeminent military and economic power defeat "a bunch of farmers in plastic sandals on dirt bikes" in a conflict that outlasted b...

 
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Some South African generals, allied with the British forces, sought segregation from the enlisted men, all blacks, after being taken prisoners of war. The surprised German commander told them firmly that they would have to share the same quarte...

 
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