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March 2020

Not As Bad As On First Sight

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Author: Shanti Kuber

If one were to have a holistic picture of military diplomacy and view the budget from that angle, well, MEA has been allocated roughly the same numbers as last year, however from a military diplomacy point of view, allocation for aid to neighbouring countries has seen South Asia as a priority, neighbours first seems to be the policy. Allocations are a clear indication of the military diplomacy the government is focusing on. Exports of defence products to these countries would be encouraged.

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Who Done it?

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Author: Maj Gen Ashok Hukku YSM (Retd)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates that the SARS pandemic resulted in a loss of $18 billion. In respect of China, a one per cent loss due to 2019-nCoV could amount to well over $136 billion; this is not a trifling figure. The economic shock will be felt by various projects China has planned within the country and abroad. Of particular concern to Xi Jinping will be the impact on the ambitious One Belt One Road initiative that is already suffering from numerous setbacks and uncertainties.

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Melding The Many Turfs

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Author: Air Marshal Sumit Mukerji PVSM, SC, VSM (RETD)

Integration of Command HQs of the three Services needs a little thought, good foresight and a graduated creation. While it forms a part of the charter of the CDS, it is a dichotomy, because he must keep in mind that Command HQs, being the controlling source of all operational execution, does not allow him to step into this domain. Treading on the toes of the Chiefs, attempting to enforce his mandate, could result in the creation of an undesirable organisation without the desired effectiveness and all because they had to “lump it”.

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The End Of Turf Wars?

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Author: Cmde (Retd) Ranjit B Rai

Being chartered to provide integrated “single-point military advice” to the government, the CDS will have to rise above his own Service loyalties, and scrupulously and professionally prioritise conflicting inter-Service requirements in the larger interests of the nation. This aspect is far more important now, with India’s economy having dipped and the 2020-21 defence budget of Rs 3.37 lakh crore is under stress, as payment for many big ticket items like 36 Rafales from France, S-400 AA defence batteries from Russia, 155mm guns and attack Apache and heavy-lift Chinook helicopters from USA are already committed.

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Limited Access to Technology Growth Potential

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Decisions for planning defence resources including futuristic technologies require concrete analyses that breaks down the categories of major military technological inventions and innovations one by one and examines each individually. The requirement is to mitigate own vulnerabilities in areas where military technologies are changing fastest, as also creative thinking to modify tactics and operational plans to combat the adversary that has or is about to acquire advanced technologies. Ideally, this should be handled by the CDS. But CDS is severely handicapped in meeting this requirement due to limited role and power, and no lien on defence production and R&D. Government needs to seriously examine these issues.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update:

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