IDSA OCCASIONAL PAPERS

Failing to Deliver: Post-Crises Defence Reforms in India, 1998-2010

IDSA Occassional Paper No. 18
2011

This paper examines the defence reforms process in India. It begins by briefly examining previous efforts at defence reforms and the factors that led to the post-Kargil defence reform. Next it analyzes the Kargil Review Committee and its follow up, the Arun Singh Committee and describes some of the debates therein. While examining the implementation of defence reforms it then argues that despite some incremental progress they have failed the vision of their architects. This is primarily due to bureaucratic politics and the unique features of civil-military relations, which can be more accurately described as an “absent dialogue.” The penultimate section describes recent calls for re-visiting the defence reforms process but argues that without political will this is unlikely. The research methodology relies on interviews with key decision-makers, reports of the Parliamentary Standing committee and other secondary sources.

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