Asian Defence Review 2019
The pace at which the geo-political landscape has changed across the world since the last issue of this publication has left many breathless, as both the well-being of the planet as well as world peace are threatened. The decisions of President Trump to withdraw from two agreements entered into by the previous US Administration bear mention here. First was the decision to pull out from the Paris Agreement. For a country that had been the forerunner and championing the cause for green energy to ‘Save the Planet’; this decision has left all other signatories of the Agreement aghast. The second, more vexing one, was his decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – or the Iranian nuclear deal – and impose tighter sanctions against Iran to prevent it from pursuing its nuclear programme. The turmoil in the Persian Gulf region where drum beats of likely war between the US and Iran are getting louder by the day are a direct consequence of the actions by both the US and Iran.
Nothing has grabbed greater attention on national and international media in recent times than the Balakot strike on February 26, 2019 and the air skirmish over Nowshera a day later. Even at the time of going to press – six months after the event – the dust has not settled as Pakistan adamantly hangs on to its claims that neither did the strike by the IAF on February 26, do any damage, nor did it lose an F-16 during the air battle on February 27. Hopefully, the true story will emerge someday. What did emerge from the successful Balakot strike though is the strong message that was delivered to the ‘Deep State’: ‘Stop sponsoring terrorists who mean India harm, or we will get them’.
The Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) has been publishing the Asian Defence Review to analyse and understand the challenges that impact India’s security and offer insight into possible strategies to mitigate them. This volume, a resource base for all readers, is twelfth in the series. It aims to add to the pool of information and knowledge in the current strategic discourse that impacts the world in general, and Asia in particular.