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.
Gp Capt Joseph Noronha looks at the future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles followed by Gp Capt B Menon presenting the need for developing weapon systems for the Air Force in the near future. Air Marshal PV Naik views National security in a holistic perspective.
The visit of the PM to Japan has been succulently analysed in the strategic dimension by Dr S Roy Chaudhary. The Chinese President’s visit in the first year of his term coinciding with that of the Indian PM was looked at with much anticipation, the nuances of the visit has been persuasively covered by Claude Arpi.
Lt Gen Gautam Banerjee interprets the Pakistan nuclear rhetoric in a realistic geopolitical setting.
Consequent to Boeing of USA successfully test flying a retired F 16 fighter aircraft in an unmanned mode Sqn Ldr Vijendra Thakur studied the possibility of Chinese Air Force utilising similar modification to their hordes of retired Migs.
The outcome is a surreal scenario. Maj Gen AK Chadha has ventured in to Cyberspace and looks at the military possibilities in this ‘No Man’s Land’ most comprehensively.
Our Special Correspondent has looked at two connected issues Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) and India’s Defence Industrial complex. Rear Adm AP Revi analyses the consequences of a depleting submarine fleet of the Indian Navy.
Priya Tyagi covers the latest defence news and Col Danvir Singh reports of his visit to France presenting the FREMM multi-mission Frigate by DCNS.
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.
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.
Brigadier Deepak Sinha argues for further employment of Special Forces in conflict areas dues to nuclearization of the sub-continent. Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, proposes employment of armed forces against Naxals as one solution to quickly diffuse the situation.
There is an interesting debate shaping on geopolitical and military shortcomings to deal with China. Claude Arpi argues for a geopolitical resolution, while Dr Anil Singh proposes investments in Navy infrastructure. Capt AK Sachdev analyzes the faults in indigenous Chinese helicopters and implication on Sino-Indian conflict in case the US relents over the arms embargo.
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.