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Securing India’s Strategic Space with Valour Unlimited

Pushpendra Singh

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As the fastest growing major economy, India ought to have by now achieved major power status with a permanent UNSC seat. But over a decade of ineffectual defence modernisation has led to anaemic ‘Comprehensive National Power’. Unsurprisingly therefore, the Lowy Institute’s 2019 Asia Power Index concludes that “India underachieves relative to both its size and potential”. Her ‘Act-East-Policy’ underperforms both in economic relationships and defence networks.

In this context, a galaxy of security experts with lifetimes of experience provides deep insights into “Securing India’s Strategic Space”. Without a National Security Doctrine, our strategic approach is necessarily fuzzy. Hence, dealing with China, the Afghan dilemma, great power play in Central Asia and the Indo-Pacific remain reactive and diffident. Therefore, leveraging the strategic dimensions of our maritime and airpower plus fixing our ridiculous higher defence organisation assume importance.

Vital issues of ‘Defence Preparedness, Izzat and Morale’ are another focus area. These include: reforming military intelligence; mission-oriented defence budgeting and building a sound military-industrial base to sustain our defence forces.

The striking contrast between what Defence personnel sacrifice for the Nation—unto their lives—and the paltry coppers that a niggardly Babustaan-Politico combine grudgingly concedes them, highlights the need for a Kautilya Covenant.

Despite this, time and again the dauntless courage and blood of our officers and jawans has redeemed the neglect and blunders of national leadership. As the pièce-de-résistance, we showcase the supreme valour of three PVC/MVC winners from the 1948 J&K War onwards and some battlefield vignettes of Indian Army.

Pushpendra Singh A national-level horseman, Maj Gen Pushpendra Singh sought and was commissioned into an elite and highly decorated Mountain Artillery Regiment, which he subsequently had the honour to command. He is a graduate of Staff College, Wellington and the Kalinin Military Academy, St. Petersburg, where he graduated on the Higher Command Course with Distinction. He has served as BM in CI Operations in Mizoram. As Col Q, he was instrumental in inducting a Mountain Division into the Kerang Plateau including the first Combat Team. As MG Arty in Udhampur, he validated the unconventional Artillery employment which was executed in Op Vijay, 1999.

Contents

Foreword

Preface

Contributors

Acknowledgements

Abbreviations

PART 1: India’s Geopolitical Context and Security Doctrine

1. Geopolitical Dynamics in a Multipolar World
2. National Security Doctrine and Higher Defence Management
3. Securing India’s Maritime Strategic Space Imperatives in the Indo-Pacific
4. IAF’s Strategic Aerospace Dimension
5. Civil-Military Relations and Higher Defence Organisation
6. Ghazwa-e-Hind against India Likely When US Exits Afghanistan
7. Decoding the Dragon’s Game-Plan
8. Afghanistan: The Worsening Quagmire and Emerging Contours
9. PLAAF and its Potential in Tibet
10. Comparative Strengths: PLAAF, IAF and PAF
11. Pulwama 2019: They were Mirages and They were Real

PART 2: Building Defence Capability

12. Intelligence Reforms for India to Meet Future Challenges
13. Budgeting for Defence: Beyond Mere “Apportioning” of Financial Resources
14. Military-Industrial Complex
15. The Strategic Dimension of India’s Shipbuilding Industry

PART 3: Izzat, Morale and Limitless Valour

16. From Khanwa to Rezang-La: Saga of Sacrifice Unending
17. Needed—the Kautilya Covenant
18. Beyond the Last Blue Mountain
19. “Sartaj” of the Mountain Artillery
20. Siachen: Valour Unlimited
21. Guns and Roses
22. December 11: Two Battles
23. A Deathless Hero—2/Lt Arun Khetarpal, PVC (Posthumous)
24. Hamare Sabse Bade Imam Maare Gaye

 

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