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Monday September 16, 2019

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

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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Indian Ocean Community: Challenges and Opportunity

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The Indian Ocean as a community has not existed as a definable concept for very long. Yet it has existed in an economic sense and cultural to a point. For millennia there has been an active economic and cultural exchange between peoples living along the rim of the Indian Ocean. Ideas have travelled along the oceanic currents, propelled by the monsoon winds. ‘Asian values’ as a common denominator across the ocean begins its journey from the shores of the Indian Ocean, spreading over generations of interaction. So languages have common words across thousands of oceanic miles. Common cultural traits are found amongst people who don’t live anywhere near each other, but are in fact separated by the vast expanse of water.

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United Kingdom and India - Strategic Partnership

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India and the United Kingdom have a strangely embedded relationship. In the four centuries of official and unofficial contact the relationship has seen many turning points. Despite its many challenges the relationship has endured the tests of time. And the tests have been numerous. But the shared sense of the past and common interests in the future, ensure that the two countries cooperate and communicate in an enduring manner. The cooperation and communication is not always savoury or pleasant, but it endures and that is testimony to this bond. Hurdles of the past and of the present, have not been able to undermine the relationship. Which is its innate strength. Hurdles there are many.

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