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January 2011

Armed forces special powers act (AFSPA) by Lt Gen O P Kaushik

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Author: Lt Gen (Retd) O P Kaushik

It has to be put bluntly: If it was not for the Armed Forces Special Powers Act most of the north-east corner of India would have become freefloating nation-states embroiled in ethnic, religious and tribal wars with the fallout affecting India as happened before Bangladesh was created. India’s adversaries, particularly Pakistan and China have come to realise that unless the Indian Army is rendered hors-de-combat by ensuring that the shield under which it operates is withdrawn they will never be able to achieve the vivisection of monolithic India into tiny pieces. Having said that it is pre-eminently in the national interest that the Indian Army does not allow the recurrence of several instances of misuse that have shaken the nation’s conscience.


Future wars: operational doctrines by Lt Gen Sudhir Sharma

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Author: Lt Gen (Retd) Sudhir Sharma

Among all the ambiguities induced by the possession of nuclear weapons by two of our neighbours – Pakistan and China – there is still a clear window of opportunity for conventional warfare below the nuclear threshold. China has published tomes (demi-semi officially) that a “limited war” with India could happen. Pakistan is just rearing to go to delink Kashmir preferably with its conventional forces camouflaged in tribal salwarkameez. India does not have a policy of territorial aggrandisement but its war aim must be to liberate its own territory and break the China-Pak nexus in Jammu and Kashmir. It would be a test of India’s political military leadership to devise a strategy to achieve that aim before the nuclear boom is lowered.


Military diplomacy written by Lt Gen Aditya Singh

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Author: Lt Gen (Retd) Aditya Singh

Military diplomacy by India has hitherto been something of a curate’s egg—good in parts. A good example of what is bad is the treatment meted out by China to a very senior Indian General because he commands the defences of Jammu and Kashmir. Must we allow ourselves to be thus humiliated? Yet on the other end of the spectrum is the long-forgotten Somali experience where a coalition of armed personnel from many countries, including India, under the UN flag but overall American command, became targets of the local population for their generally uncouth behaviour. A US Blackhawk helicopter was shot down and its crew dragged around the streets of Mogadishu. When the time to withdraw came Indian troops were among the very few who were allowed to do so with all equipment intact and personnel safe - an example of the vast cache of goodwill India has, especially in the Indian Ocean Region.

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