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‘Heart as a Weapon’: A Fresh Approach to the Concept of Hearts and Minds

Col Vivek Chadha (Retd) is a Senior Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • November 16, 2011

    Winning hearts and minds is accepted as one of the principal components of counter insurgency (CI) strategy. The Indian government and the army have for long adopted it as a cornerstone for weaning away the population from the influence of insurgents. The strategy has been practiced with mixed results in the past. However, the recent “heart as a weapon” initiative in Jammu and Kashmir has been received favourably both by critics of security forces and by the state government. This brief compares the initiative with similar strategies in the past and analyses the reasons for its greater acceptance. It also raises the possibility of its inclusion as a WHAM component of CI strategy in the sub-conventional doctrine presently under formulation.1

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