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Monday September 16, 2019

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Journey Through Contemporary History

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The journey of DSA was triggered in October 2009 after the Mumbai blasts in November 2007. Those were dismal times when the nation perceived several glaring inadequacies in its defences. The idea of the Defence and Security Alert magazine grew out of that morass with a very firm desire to make the nation aware and alert to existential threats from across its multi-dimensional frontiers on the one hand and the dangers posed by Left Wing Extremism and foreign-inspired insurgencies on the other.

As a responsible media house, DSA was established by my dear friend Manvendra Singh, our Editor-in-Chief and myself to bring more awareness among citizens. For eight consecutive years, DSA has published well researched and articulated contents along with interactions with eminent Chiefs of all the three Armed Forces and many DGs of various para-military forces and today, we can say that DSA has achieved a special ranking in the domain of Defence and Security, not only in India but also globally and our coverage of the global issues has been very well noticed.

Our inaugural edition was focused on the alarming situation in the Naxal areas in the country and team DSA had cautioned about the upcoming threats from the Naxalite groups in the coming years. But unfortunately the then government did not take it very seriously and we lost hundreds of our security personnel in various attacks in the past few years.

What is acutely symptomatic of the current world situation is that largely as a blowback to the decades of policies of regime change around the globe, there are millions of ‘internally displaced’ persons and an equal number of those who have tried to seek refuge ironically in the very nations that had disrupted their lives in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and some remnants of the former Soviet Union and laid the seedbed for the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). America itself is in the throes of a racial backlash.

Geopolitics is now topsy-turvy. Russia is drifting towards Pakistan and America towards India. The threatened ‘two-and-a-half front war’ on the subcontinent is now a palpable presence and the Chinese are juggling with the possibility of more Doklams even as its ally Pakistan continues to use terror as State policy. In the Indo-Pacific region, nuclear war could erupt between the US and North Korea.

On the strategic issue of selfreliance in military hardware, the current government when it came in power in 2014 announced the Make in India policy in Defence with great pomp and show. It gave the assurances to the multi-national and Indian companies and the MSMEs in Defence and Security that all the pending procurements will be cleared very soon and their business will grow a a consequence. In the same year, the revision of the DPP was also announced. But unfortunately nothing has happened so far. The government had been beating the drum but ground realities are very different from tall claims. The Make In India policy is, more and more, taking on the contours of the ‘licenced production’ of obsolescent military equipment of yester years – the 155 mm light howitzers and the offer of shifting the F-16 production line to India. The surgical strikes at the terrorist base camps in September 2016 were ‘one of its own kind’ for the first time by the Indian Army. But that has not deterred Pakistan from launching crossborder terrorist attacks. A large number of casualties have taken place in J&K in the past one year.

The security ecosystem is gridlocked by government failure to dispel the fear of future retribution it sowed at the time of the Bofors crisis that the bureaucracy does not want to take a risk and buck the ‘single vendor syndrome’. There has been no change for the better over the past eight years of our existence. Only announcements have been made by our politicians which have actually now proved to be as fake as their political ‘jumlas’ and we all know that National Security can never be comprehensively managed by such ‘jumlas’ but by a very clear road map.

I must record my highest appreciation for our contributors. The current team DSA has made tremendous contribution in the production and stylisation of the magazine. I am overwhelmed by their efforts and dedication.

 

Jai Hind!

 


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