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Sunday February 23, 2020

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Budget And National Security

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Finance rules in every aspect of human existence. In economics, as we know it today, there are certain current expenses and there are certain expenses planned for the future, which sometimes become a challenge. These challenges can be countered only with advanced planning for such contingency expenses by keeping some buffer for any urgent requirement.


When the above principles are universally accepted practices in the lives of individuals, companies and nations, I fail to understand why the recently released Union Defence budget is so meager. More so, when it is generally known that the nation is facing an existential collusive threat from Pakistan and China on different fronts.

I don’t see any strong reason for this shortfall when we know that our forces immediately require fighter aircrafts, submarines, tanks, bulletproof jackets and night vision devices among other gadgets. It looks as if the 2018 Defence Budget was just prepared to fulfill a ritual as there is nothing to boost the capabilities and, hence, morale of the Indian fighting man. What is now being suggested in certain quarters is a reduction in manpower. A reduction in the teeth-to-tail ratio is the usual modus operandi. But this has to be done in the context of the larger picture.

This is not the first time that it is being sought to be done. Counterinsurgency/ counter-terror operations are manpower intensive. Immediately, after the series of nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, it had become obvious that encouraged by the possession of nuclear weapons, Pakistan would be emboldened to resort to misadventures. During the Kargil war, the NDA government, led by Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, implemented a cost reduction move which Pakistan exploited to the fullest.

Several such gaps will be created in the national security architecture by the combination of low outlay for Defence and the headlong rush to manpower reduction. We have sent a wrong message to the entire world and particularly, to our enemies. Hope that it is immediately rectified in the interest of the national security.

This edition is dedicated to the Defence Budget 2018 and the Arms Control Issues. Its contents will remain valid for a long time to come. I’m sure, dear readers, you will love to read and keep this edition in your personal library for your future reference.

In the end of my write up, I would like to share with all esteemed readers that DSA has completed a Century of the Exclusive Edition and this is the 101st Edition in your hands. Team DSA stands committed to maintain the same standards for all coming editions as in the past 100 editions.

The journey so far has been very exciting. I’m thankful to our esteemed contributors, who have been our strength and mentors to make DSA as one of the best magazine in this genre. I also remember and appreciate the contribution by all the past associates in the organisation who have devoted their efforts to shape DSA.

Happy reading!

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