Peacekeeping and Protection of Civilians: The Indian Air Force in the Congo

Rajesh Isser

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Peacekeeping under the United Nations flag is a most noble endeavour. India can rightly be proud of its commitment and contribution to this cause. While the Indian Army’s long-standing legacy has been extensively and well documented, IAF’s history in peacekeeping is far less known or written about. This book makes a beginning to put the record straight.

Employment of air power, dramatic and awe inspiring in all its manifestations, has been dogged by controversies of collateral damage and larger political ramifications. NATO’s use is one extreme driven by aversion to own body-bags, while UN peacekeeping represents the other end of judicious and calibrated employment. Various chapters in the book give insights into risks, pay-offs and complexities of air power in UN peacekeeping.

Protection of Civilians is a topical subject with controversial issues such as R2P and Libya likely to remain debatable for a long time to come. In future, R2P would be an issue that would need to be closely followed by all instruments of the Govt. involved in peacekeeping. This work makes an effort to put this debate in perspective and poses important questions for the country.

Rajesh Isser Air Commodore Rajesh Isser was commissioned into the Indian Air Force in 1982. An ex-NDA, he went on to fly helicopters in the IAF gathering more than 7,500 hours across the length and breadth of India. He has experienced combat in the Siachen Glacier, Sri Lanka (IPKF), the Kargil War (1999) and in the Congo.
The author has a wide experience of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief all over India, as well as in countries like Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh and DRC. He has authored many articles in various professional journals, and presented papers in many national and international seminars on diverse issues such as military diplomacy, net assessment, energy security, peacekeeping, Special Forces and operations, employment of air power, etc.

 

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