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Thursday November 14, 2019

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

Aerospace power in South Asia - An Overview

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Air warriors are firm in their belief that wars can be won through the effective use of airpower. Their confidence is laudable, for even if that claim, belief, is exaggerated by certain degrees, there is a case for believing in the efficacy of airpower. It does tend to produce results disproportionate to its usage. There is, therefore, every reason to believe in its effectiveness during war. Amongst the key examples of the application of airpower in the Indian context is destruction of Pakistan Army’s logistics base at Muntho Dhalo during the campaign to remove intrusions in the Kargil sector. While air attacks had been launched prior to that, on pickets of troops occupying the heights, it was the destruction at Muntho Dhalo that had the desired effect on Pakistan’s ability to wage the war. It was as decisive an example as ever existed.

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Founding Editor view on India-China Balance Today

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Anniversaries are always something to savour, reminisce, enjoy and to learn from. And more so when it relates to military anniversaries. For these are occasions for the young to gain inspiration and the nation to acknowledge the sacrifices of its braves. Veterans get to be recognised on these days, these ceremonies. Even if they’re forgotten for the rest of the year. Memorials are decorated and the citizenry of India feel as one with those who aren’t with them anymore. These are essential blocks of the nation building process, one of pride and association. Alas, none of this can be said for the memories of the 1962 War.

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The rise of India as a global player

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There is much speculation about the rise of India as a global player, both within the country and outside. Expectations are that the country will grow, in every sense of the word, to claim its place on the global high table. The current economic and political glitches notwithstanding, there is belief that India will find its role, sooner rather than later. Surveys and research papers are produced to underline this expectation. But there are certain fundamentals that have yet to be addressed, let alone overcome, before the country can be considered to have become a world player.

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Founding Editor view on Gilgit-Balitstan

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The Wakhan Corridor connects India to Afghanistan. That is on the maps that India claims to represent its post-1947 boundaries. Until independence in 1947 India and Afghanistan were neighbours, just as with Iran. All that changed on 14 August with the creation of Pakistan, thereby leaving the Wakhan Corridor as the only Indian border with Afghanistan. This too changed when the Pakistan army launched the first of its many operations to wrest Jammu and Kashmir from India. The subsequent ceasefire and the later recognition of a Line of Control between the two countries has altered the boundaries between India and Afghanistan. Between Jammu and Kashmir, India and the Wakhan Corridor now lies the Northern Areas, or Gilgit-Balitstan as the area is now referred to officially.

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Welcome General Bikram

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Gen Bikram Singh is no stranger to Army Headquarters, Ministry of Defence and the generally prevailing culture of the South Block-Sena Bhawan area. And he would be the first to admit that he takes over as COAS in possibly the most trying time in the history of India’s Army. It could possibly not have been as divided and factionalised even after the defeat of 1962.

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