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Sunday November 17, 2019

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Manvendra Singh Blog - DSA's Editor-in-Chief

India's Alienated Neighbours

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Since independence in 1947 India has remained locked in a sapping bind with its neighbours over territorial matters or internal politics. The fact that local politics in all South Asian countries is influenced by relations with the neighbours is testimony to the long held belief that political separation does not necessarily mean psychological or emotional distancing. In fact the opposite is true and despite political boundaries separating countries, each still feels a perplexing connection to the other. This connection is by no means an entirely positive phenomenon wherein the other country harbours goodly feelings for its neighbour. The history of South Asia since 1947 in fact points to other direction, wherein neighbours have harmed each other only so as to spite the other.

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A face of India's Defence and Security

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A sound defence industrial base takes years of effort and investment. Effort involves putting together a vibrant and dynamic team coupled with raising the necessary infrastructure. Investment in research, hiring the brightest minds and developing cutting edge technologies produces the end result of a complete defence cycle. But all of this is only possible when the country has a well thought out long-term defence planning and vision. After all it takes a lot of time to develop the talent, put together the infrastructure, conduct the research and finally develop the state-of-the-art product. For all this to happen the country first needs to think through its national security strategy, develop a national security doctrine, both of which finally produce a national security policy.

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Editor-in-Chief view on March Edition

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War is a man’s world. The much repeated cliche has come to develop its own momentum and universal usage. It is now the common perception that wars are created and fought by men. There is a gender gap when it comes to conversations about wars, defence and security. It is commonly accepted that war is a man’s business and everything around it has a gender barrier. In perception terms women are excluded from the world of wars. But this hasn’t always been the case in societies that functioned long before the Victorian era brought its own mores into the world.

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Role of India's Defence Ministry: India's Preparedness in Defence Sector

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India’s management of its defence forces has generally been poor over the decades. Its management of the Ministry of Defence has also been pathetic. So much so that the management style can hardly be called anything but babu raj. Ministers have tended to outsource authority to the part time defence specialists. Thus adversely affecting civilian-military relations. The resentment brewing in the armed forces against the civilians is palpable. That is until the military officer gets a posting in his or her headquarter in the Ministry of Defence. For then it is apparent that that failing is not entirely of the civilian bureaucracy alone, but that its military counterpart is equally culpable for the sorry state of affairs. Some ministers had the vision and the gumption to take both bulls by the horns and steer a new course in defence management. But their tenures proved to be too short lived to provide a new direction. The latest opportunity befell the unimpeachable AK Antony and that too for the longest possible time.

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Global Army Modernisation - Changing Nature and Structure

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Although the motives and reasons for going to war have remained constant, the nature of war fighting has changed. War is no longer fought the way it was barely a couple of decades back. The use of air power has changed beyond comprehension. From the screaming dog fights of World War I to the unseen stealth fighters of the 21st century.

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