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Saturday September 21, 2019

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

Founding Editor's View on Maoism and Terrorism

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On 16 April an important encounter took place in Chhattisgarh. A joint operation involving the CRPF and the state police was successful in eliminating nine Naxals in the Dandakaranya region of Sukma district. This is the area of Chhattisgarh where the Maoist Naxals are extremely active and have caused many casualties amongst policemen and other security forces. So in that sense it was an extremely important encounter and a successful one at that. What, however, is as important and maybe even more so in the long run, is how a UAV was used during the operation.

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India's Look East Policy

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India has an announced 'look east' policy. It was first enunciated in the 1990s when the country was being buffeted by western winds that sought to trap it in the diplomatic quagmire caused by Jammu and Kashmir. Late Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, the much underrated practitioner of statecraft, began the use of this term. He used it in terms of the need for a few constant pegs to Indian diplomatic and security interests. At that time nothing seemed to show a direction. The world had recently witnessed the end of the cold war and the emergence of new countries from the debris of the disintegrating Soviet Union was a very real reality. It was a world quite unlike anything seen in at least a couple of human generations.

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A view on new non-alignment movement, a version 2.0

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There is a belief that things of the past can remain relevant in the future, even if they need to be retooled a wee bit. Institutions, organisations, alliances, all of these of the yesteryears continue to have a relevance with a bit of retouching. Something a little more than a rouge job. In this there is an underlying assumption that says the forces which made a particular association, organisation, are still relevant decades down the line. In the world of politics, particularly of the international variety, there is a dynamism that can age even the most contemporary institutions. So it raises serious questions when some theorise on a new non-alignment movement, a version 2.0.

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Jointness: Centre-State Synergy in Counter-Terrorism Operations

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The recent incident involving the damaged Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter and the crew members leaving behind a wounded Chhattisgarh Police radio operator as they went to seek help is a prime example of an absence of jointness in the functioning of security forces, security agencies and the various states vis-a-vis the centre. A thorough enquiry is required into the incident, especially the fact that an injured trooper and a radio operator at that, could be left behind by the IAF crew. This is a grave incident that deserves the most serious attention. The gravity of the incident is both on account of the fact that an injured colleague was left behind alone, even if the crew went looking for help. As also that it reflects poorly on the functioning of central and state forces and agencies.

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Founding Editor's Updates on Land Power in India today

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1st battalion, The Assam Regiment, recently lost half a dozen of its brave soldiers in Sub-sector Hanif, in the Siachen Glacier area. They were unlucky to have been caught in an avalanche during a post link-up. The tragedy made news on the day it happened and was forgotten the following morning. The story was passed over for more tempting fare, including Vijay Diwas, national anniversary of the 1971 war.

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