A fair number of our articles are devoted to analysing India’s Air Power. Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukreja has comprehensively dwelt on India’s present and future combat fleet. Drones as game changers are presented lucidly by S Gopal. Space is considered an adjunct to air power; Gp Capt AK Sachdev has analysed this aspect in relation to India’s space endeavours. IAF phased out its fleet of Canberra medium bombers in 1990. Was that a well considered decision taking into account India’s future growth as a regional and global power? The role of bombers in the air force is pithily argued by Sqn Ldr Vijainder Thakur. As aircraft exploit the air medium, air defence weapons aim to deny this freedom to aircraft and missiles. Air Marshal Anil Chopra brings forth the success of the ‘Iron Dome’ deployed by the Israelis and its role in protecting surface targets.
This issue also covers India’s ‘sub-conventional deficit’ by our special correspondent and the present state of insurgency in India’s North East region by Brig R Borthakur. Gen Vijay Oberoi has highlighted the need for a structural change in India’s higher defence management. Brig Deepak Sinha has raised the issue of India’s security strategy and doctrine being on divergent paths. Maj Gen AK Chadha has emphatically put forth the need for the military in the digitalised battle field to carve out its own ‘slice of space’ for operating successfully in such a future war scenario. Air Marshal Anil Chopra and Dr SN Misra have presented the efficacy of TOT and off sets and challenges before the defence industry. Mr Kanwal Sibal has critically assessed the evolving dynamics of Indo-US relations. Gen JS Lidder with his UN experience has looked at the need for enhancing the role of women in conflict zones. Claude Arpi has been a keen China watcher. He presents the current situation in the PLA consequent to the crackdown by the Chinese President Xi Jinping on the wide spread corruption in the Chinese PLA.The IDR has endeavoured through the range of articles to hold the interest of the serious reader of military affairs.
The Defence Budget is looked at intently to get the general emphasis of the government on security. Brig Gurmeet Kanwal has debated this lucidly. Maintaining a large standing armed force requires more than mere day-to-day support. An ill-equipped large force mired with equipment hollowness is not a guarantee for security but in a future war will be cannon fodder for the adversary. Someone will have to be held accountable to the nation for this debilitating lapse. Or take a conscious decision to reduce its size if this country cannot afford a well equipped large armed force!!! Preparing an armed force on a long-term basis requires a deeply considered perspective of its future role in the national security scheme and the road map for its implementation. The absence of a doctrine and the hesitation of establishing a single point of contact on all matters military have been well debated in this issue. Generals Harwant and Banerjee and Colonel Achutan look at the aspects of doctrine.
‘Make in India’ has been the didactic theme of this Government. It needs to be spelt out in clear terms and not left to the (mis-)interpretation of the bureaucracy. Make in India will be feasible only when the basic industrial manufacturing has notched up a number of counts and the manpower skills to go with it are matching. Currently it is more theoretical than implementable. The articles Dr Misra, Air Marshal Kukreja and Group Captain Noronha address these issues with particular reference to the aero-space industry.
Two articles relate to the major current event on PM Modi’s visit to China; the first is on Tibet and the second on the boundary issue. Cyber space is emerging the next frontier; Gen Davinder Kumar has generated an excellent discussion on the issue. Col Harjeet has looked at the implications of social media on security. As a first Claude Arpi has documented a diary highlighting prominent issues relating to China’s PLA in this first quarter. This will now be a regular feature in the print edition.Wishing all our readers a worthwhile professionally invigorating reading experience.
INDIAN DEFENCE REVIEW COMMENT :Indian Military Doctrine: An Analysis - Gp Capt Johnson Chacko
Surface Air Defence Missile Systems: Potent and Relevant - Air Marshal Anil Chopra
Force Multipliers for the IAF: Enhancing Aerial Power and Reach - Gp Capt Joseph Noronha
Modernisation of the IAF’S Helicopter Fleet - Gp Capt AK Sachdev
LCA Tejas: Still a Long Way - Air Marshal Anil Chopra
The Nuances of Air Threat and its Implications - Lt Gen VK Saxena
Integrated Simulators for Training of Mechanised Forces: The Way Ahead - Maj Gen Rajiv Narayanan
The Space Race, The Cold War - Martand Jha
Oil - Is it a Dyaing Resource? - Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukreja
Electronic Warfare: Emerging Trends in Technology - Col Subhasis Das
Will jihad kill China-Pakistan Economic Corridor!!! - RSN Singh
Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft for the IAF: A Mirage or Reality? - Gp Capt Joseph Noronha
Role of the IAF in a Two-Front War - Gp Capt AK Sachdev
Army to get its own Apaches Attack Helicopters - Lt Gen BS Pawar
Aerospace and Defence News - Priya Tyagi
Rise of China: An Enigma - Col Anil Athale
Logjam in Indigenous Aircraft Production - Prof SN Misra
Infantry’s Day as it Was - Danvir Singh
Battleground Afghanistan - Lt Gen Prakash Katoch
North Korea and South China Sea Flashpoints: Are worthwhile Options left on US Table? - Maj Gen SB Asthana
Central Armed Police Forces: Do we really care? - Rakesh Kr Sinha
To ‘Act East’, Act in the North East India First! - Col Anil Athale
The New Line-up in China’s Defense Forces - Claude Arpi
Virtual Currencies: Bitcoin as an Emerging Terror Financing Threat to India - Dr SV Raghavan
J&K: The Sacrifice of Past Generations should not go in Vain - Col Jaibans Singh
Indo-Pak War 1965: Are Commemorations Due? – Lt Gen JS Bajwa (Editor)
INDIAN DEFENCE REVIEW COMMENT
Indian Army’s Multi-Calibre Individual Weapon System – Danvir Singh
Getting More from Less: Force Multipliers for the IAF – Gp Capt Joseph Noronha
Quietly Effective, Vigilant Airborne ISR – John Kiehle
Look Beyond FDI: Laying the Right Foundation for Defence Manufacturing – Dr JP Dash
Making “Make in India” Succeed – Lt Gen Anjan Mukherjee
Restructuring Defence Procurement Procedure – Ashish Puntambekar
Airborne and Special Forces: Reassessing Role, Tasks and Organisations – Brig Deepak Sinha
The IAF and its Need for Close Air Support – Sqn Ldr Vijainder K Thakur
India: An Aerospace Power? – Gp Capt TP Srivastava
Computer Network Operations and Electronic Warfare Complementary or Competitive? – Lt Gen Davinder Kumar
Spectre of China’s Artificial Islands – Prof Swaran Singh & Dr Lilian Yamamoto
China’s Game of Territorial Claims – Lt Gen Gautam Banerjee
Aerospace and Defence News – Priya Tyagi
The Dragon’s Adventures in the Indian Ocean – Vice Admiral Anup Singh
Influence of Aerial Combat on the Development of Armoured Fighting Vehicles – Artsrun Hovhannisyan
Fifty Years Since Haji Pir – Special Correspondent
The Middle East: An Assessment – Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukreja
Climate Change in the Himalayas: A Ticking Time-Bomb? – Col CP Muthanna
Restructuring Defence Reforms for National Security – Brig Gurmeet Kanwal
Wanted A Full Spectrum Military Doctrine – Brig Amar Cheema
Reviewing India’s Foreign Policy: From Regional Power to Potential Super Power – Anant Mishra
The PLA Digest – Claude Arpi
INDIAN DEFENCE REVIEW COMMENTIndian Air Force: 2025 – Air Marshal Anil Chopra
PLAAF: Rising Challenge for the IAF – Gp Capt B Menon
Pakistan Air Force Today: Implications for India – Gp Capt B Menon
LCA Tejas: The never ending wait! – Air Marshal Anil Chopra
The IAF and its need for close Air Support – Sqn Ldr Vijainder K Thakur
Need for an Indian Marine Force – Col JK Achuthan
Taiwan – Why Shy Full Relations? – Lt Gen Prakash Katoch
India - Taiwan Relations: A Comprehensive Security Perspective – Tien-Sze Fang
BRICS: A Strategic Self Appraisal – S Rajasimman
India’s Military Might: The Real Truth – Lt Gen Amarjeet S Chabbewal
Flexible Reach: Balancing the IAF’s Air Transport Fleet – Gp Capt Joseph Noronha
Future of Rotary Wing Craft – Gp Capt AK Sachdev
Aerospace and Defence News – Priya Tyagi
No place to Hide: Latest Developments in Air Defence Missiles – Gp Capt Joseph Noronha
Will advances in UAVs Edge out Manned Aircraft? – Gp Capt AK Sachdev
What Ails India’s Defence Industrial Complex? – Lt Gen Prakash Katoch
MSMES in Defence Production: A Neglected Sector – Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukreja
Russian Domination of the Syrian Battleground – Danvir Singh
Petro-Jihadism: The Conspiracy within the Imperishable War in the Arab World – Maj Lal Ananth
Splintering Naxalism in India: Maoism or Money? – V Balasubramaniyan
During the author’s archival peregrinations on the Himalayan border, he goes into some relatively little known issues, such as the checkered history of Tawang; the British India policy towards Tibet and even the possibility for India to militarily defend the Roof of the World.
The author also looks into why the Government still keeps the Henderson Brooks Report under wraps and what were Mao’s motivations for ‘teaching India a lesson’.
Throughout this series of essays, the thread remains the Tibet-India frontier in the North-East and the Indo-Chinese conflict.
The more one digs into this question, the more one discovers that the entire issue is intimately linked with the history of modern Tibet; particularly the status of the Roof of the World as a de facto independent nation.
British India had a Tibet Policy, Independent India, did not.
This led to the unfortunate events of 1962.
In this nature’s paradise, is a human hell where the lives are lost daily in pursuit of Ideology. Armed by own set of Justifications India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris battle each other to no end in sight.
Zealous young men continue to die for a cause diseased by treachery and celebrated by heroism. The territorial desire of Pakistan has cost dearly to the generations stifled in this conflict. This fight has devastated many a homes with ever widening chasm and deepening scars.
Punctuated by blood curdling violence, Kashmiris are prisoners of a historic mistake. In the ongoing series of Pakistan’s grand design to wrest control of this state, a proxy war was unleashed by them in 1989. This war still continues as I write.
The main ‘knot’ of our ‘drama’ was staged in 1950. During this ‘fateful’ year the dice of fate was thrown. There are turning points in history when it is possible for events to go one way or the other — when the tides of time seem poised between the flood and the ebb, when fate awaits our choice to strike its glorious or sombre note, and the destiny of an entire nation hangs in balance.
The year 1950 was certainly one such crucial year in the destinies of India, Tibet and China. The three nations had the choice of moving towards peace and collaboration, or tension and confrontation.
Decisions can be made with all good intentions — as in the case of Nehru who believed in an ‘eternal friendship’ with China, or with uncharitable motives of Mao. Decisions can be made out of weakness, greed, pragmatism, ignorance or fear; but once an option is excercised, consequences unfold for years and decades to follow.
In strategic terms, Tibet is critical to South Asia and South-east Asia. Rather the Tibetan plateau holds the key to the peace, security and well being of Asia, and the world as such. This study of the history of Tibet, a nation sandwiched between two giant neighbours, will enable better understanding of the geopolitics influencing the tumultuous relations between India and China, particularly in the backdrop of border disputes and recent events in Tibet.
It took 20 years for the Tibetans to renew a dialogue with the leaders in Beijing. Soon after Deng Xiaoping’s return to power in 1978, the first contacts were made. Using rare documents, this is the story of thirty years of encounters between the Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala and Beijing.
Today the stalemate continues; Beijing refuses to offer any sort of concession to the Dalai Lama’s demand for a genuine autonomy for Tibet. Just like the border ‘talks’ between India and China, the negotiations with Dharamsala have never really started.
Reading through this book one understands how the relations between India and China are inextricably linked to the status of Tibet. Further, the present unrest in Tibet renders China unstable and increasingly belligerent towards India which gave refuge to the Tibetans.