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  • A Call for Change: Higher Defence Management in India

    A Call for Change: Higher Defence Management in India

    This monograph examines higher defence management and defence reforms in India. It deliberately coincides with Cabinet discussing the Report of Naresh Chandra Committee on defence reforms and aims to initiate a debate on higher defence management and civil-military relations.


    Juliee Sharma asked: What is India's policy and strategy to tackle the threat posed by Improvised Explosive Devices?

    Ali Ahmed replies: Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) pose a threat of two kinds: first is from terrorism targeting population, and second is IEDs aimed at causing casualties among soldiers. The two forms of IED employment by terrorists/insurgents require distinct and overlapping measures. India’s policy to tackle the threat posed by IEDs aims, firstly, at prevention. This at the political level involves mitigation of persisting conflict situations. This has both internal political and diplomatic dimensions. At the strategic level, it implies intelligence and public information. Next, since IEDs are employed in proxy war, increase in their use would imply escalation in the level of confrontation. This can be deterred through diplomatic and conventional means. At the tactical level, it means taking due precaution such as surveillance through electronic means and keeping tabs on explosive material from falling into wrong hands.

    The second element of policy is defensive. These include proper sanitisation of areas under threat through, for instance, road opening drills in counter insurgency areas, and appropriate reaction by quick reaction teams. An example at this level is the periodic IED information bulletin document in Northern Command for speedy dissemination of ‘lessons learnt.’ Third are mitigation measures to reduce casualties by timely evacuation, collecting evidence for follow up and prosecution, etc. Lastly, offensive actions to trace and destroy IED making factories, busting terror cells, etc., may be employed. These could be both military and intelligence operations.

    As far as the strategy against IEDs goes, it is situation specific and guided by the overall policy and counter terror/insurgency doctrine. Since conflict theatres in which IEDs are employed have their unique context and intricacies, strategy is dynamically individuated. There is cross learning from experiences elsewhere, including from abroad. The manner the latter is done is through appropriate doctrine, sensitisation and training.

    Dynamics of Indian Defence Technology: Indianisation, Indigenisation, Industrialisation, Integration

    The philosophy of approach toward military technology is based on purpose, vision, relevance, efficiency and performance. Being Indian in content is what needs to be added to the above! Sixty four years down the line, four battle engagements later, our defence technology story is one of unexpected miracles and unacceptable failures. It is in above context that a holistic understanding of the foundation on which the edifice of the defence industrial base of India needs to be progressively pillared becomes imperative?

    April 2011

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

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

    This paper examines the defence reforms process in India and critically examines past efforts and the factors that led to the post-Kargil defence reform. It analyzes the defence reform committees and their follow up.

    A Critical Review of Defence Procurement Procedure 2011

    In the absence of reforms in several areas, DPP-2011 may not be able to achieve its stated objectives of expeditious procurement and greater involvement of domestic industry in defence production.

    January 25, 2011

    Social Networking: Boon or Bane for the Armed Forces

    The social networking sites can be exploited by the cyber operators by infiltration and influencing the opinion where feasible. Cyber espionage has already became the cornerstone of some nations, where international cyber security agencies have reasons to believe, of state complicity in major hacking, denial of service attacks in the last couple of years. Since social networks become easy prey to such agencies, there is a need to increase awareness of defence personal about their vulnerabilities.

    October 2010

    Human Resources in Security Sector: An Integrated Model for the 21st Century

    The challenge of management of human resources may be the most profound in the security sector in the years ahead given transformations happening globally and enhancement of human potential and opportunities for individual growth. The national security sector extending from the military to private security guards denotes the plethora of skills sets required which vary from that of handling highly sophisticated and lethal missile arsenal, to commandeering large aircraft carriers and submarines to securing public space in metropolitan cities.

    October 2010

    Salient Issues Affecting Defence Manpower in India

    Manpower costs are increasingly becoming unmanageable and are driving national security planners towards thinking creatively about what used to be called ‘affordable defence’. Despite leap-frogging from third to fourth generation weapons technologies in the short span of about two decades, modern armed forces are still far from being able to effect substantive reductions in manpower by substituting fighting personnel with innovative technologies while ensuring operational effectiveness.

    October 2010

    New Zealand’s Defence White Paper 2010

    As an island country deep down in the Pacific, New Zealand’s security is under no great direct threat from any external source, though turbulence in the neighbourhood would be a matter of concern.

    November 15, 2010

    Maneesh Aggarwal asked: How an Indian can make a difference in improving India's defence systeme aganist China and Pakistan?

    Rumel Dahiya replies: Every Indian can and should make a contribution in making India a strong and prosperous country in which all of us feel secure and live harmoniously. This can be done by doing our best in which ever field of activity we are involved in. Hard working, tech savvy and productive citizens are essential for India's sustained economic growth. A strong economy will generate resources for development as well as for defence. Technological advances will contribute towards better defence systems. There are many career choices which can be made if one wants to make direct contribution towards developing defence systems, both in PSUs and in private sector. One can make innovation in any field and it will have a direct or indirect positive impact in improving India's defence potential. Obviously, no defence system is designed with an eye on a particular adversary or potential adversary.