Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

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Atri
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Atri » 07 Nov 2013 21:30

ramana ji,

rashtra is group of people connected by some common linking thread.
raajya or sarkar is state...

even in vedas, the word used for state is "rajya" - remember the famous mantrapushpanjali hymn of rigveda where in second verse, they speak of different types of "rajya" models and how a chakravarti is one who brings them all in one political unit from prithvi to ocean (earlier form of from mountain to ocean). even when we speak in our respective languages, we are clear of this rajya and rashtra dichotomy.

ॐ स्वस्ति साम्राज्यं भौज्यं स्वाराज्यं वैराज्यं पारमेष्ठंराज्यं महाराज्यमाधिपत्यमयं... समन्त पर्यायिस्यात सार्वभौम सार्वायुशांतार्दा परार्धात.. पृथिव्यै समुद्र पर्यन्ताया एकराळीती...

the word for nation-state is राष्ट्र-राज्य in indic languages.

ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 07 Nov 2013 21:49

OK will change to the correct nomenclature.


So one way to break a rashtra is to break the common threads holding it together

That is where de-racination comes into picture.
But I digress.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 14 Nov 2013 01:59

X-Post...

Philip wrote:Amazing! The NSA,who has the ear of the PM and PMO bemoans the insufficient budget as the reason why terror attacks are prevalent! But who is to blame for this? Surely the regime that has been ruining the country for the last 9 years?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 530728.cms

Attacks linked to low internal security budget: Shivshankar Menon
Rohan Dua, TNN | Nov 10, 2013,

CHANDIGARH: National security advisor Shivshankar Menon, on Saturday, blamed low budget allocation for internal security for the repeated terror attacks in India even as he defended the failure of intelligence saying India had foiled 54 terror bids in 2012. "The budget for internal security is just 1/7th of the defence budget. So the problem lies here," he said in Chandigarh.

Menon, however, said that "there were a lot of success in thwarting terror attempts despite a low budget for internal security". "We can't talk about individual cases of failure in states. But overall, we managed to foil about 52-54 terror attempts. I think this record is impressive," he said.

Menon was replying to a query on the Intelligence Bureau (IB) alert on Pakistan's spy agency ISI trying to fan communal tensions by reviving Khalistan radicalism and targeting Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

Menon was in Chandigarh to deliver a lecture on science and security at the 79th annual meeting of Indian Academy of Sciences at the Institute of Microbiology Technology (IMTECH) of Panjab University.

For 2013-2014, the UPA government had hiked defence allocation by 5.3% to Rs 2,03,672.1 crore while the overall allocation to the home ministry saw an increase of Rs 6,767 crore from Rs 47,681 crore in 2011-2012 to Rs 54,448 crore. According to global terrorism index, published in December 2012 by the US and Australia-based institute for economics and peace, India was among the top five countries most affected by terrorism. The other four were Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.



We are slowly coming round to the question why do we need a NSA? And what is his role and function in Indian set-up.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 16 Nov 2013 09:39

The first PM Jawahar Lal Nehru did not have a NSA. He had many Principal Secys while he marched on.
He had an inverted sense of national security. He concentrated more on onsolidating internal states in India while presenting a weak front to external states even though the threat was more from external states than internal dissensions.

The second effective PM, Lal Bahadur Shastri, if one counts out Gulzarilal Nanda, was in office too short but was very decisive. He allowed the troops to cross the Intlernational border and threaten Lahore when TSP started a irregular army attack in Kashmir. Again he had no NSA.

Mrs Gandhi also had no NSA but she had PN Haskar who was defacto in that role. Infact her second coming to power showed the lack of a NSA when she wavered on the decision to test and not attack the nascent TSP nuke capability when Israel had already set the precedent by attacking Iraq and setting back the nuke ambitions of Saddam Hussein.
Rajiv Gandhi could have used a NSA for all the muddles he was in. PVNR was his own NSa and cleared up the two major challenges:Kashmir and Khalistan terrorism. He operationalized the nukes and furthered the missile programs while keeping the West at arms length..

This brings us to ABV and the first official NSA Brajesh Mishra.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 19 Nov 2013 03:27

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_S ... sor_(India)

1)
The National Security Advisor (NSA) is the chief executive of the National Security Council (NSC), and the primary advisor to the Prime Minister of India on national and international security. It is the National Security Advisor to whom intelligence agencies such as the Research and Analysis Wing and Intelligence Bureau report, rather than directly to the prime minister. Due to such vested powers NSA is a prominent and powerful office in the bureaucracy. All the NSAs appointed since the inception of post belong to Indian Foreign Service except M. K. Narayanan who belonged to Indian Police Service.

2)
The National Security Advisor (NSA) is tasked with regularly advising the Prime Minister on all matters relating to internal and external threats to the country, and oversees strategic issues. The NSA of India also serves as the Prime Minister's Special Interlocutor on border issues with China, and frequently accompanies the Prime Minister on Foreign State visits.

3)
The directors of R&AW and IB technically report to the NSA rather than the Prime Minister directly. The NSA receives all intelligence reports and co-ordinates them to present before the Prime Minister. NSA is assisted by a Deputy NSA.


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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 19 Nov 2013 21:52

Nightwatch, 18 Nov 2013 :

India: Update: On Saturday, 16 November, Defence Minister Antony commissioned the fully refurbished aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov as India's second aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, in Severodvinsk, Russia.


Comment: India is at a decision point involving its sense of identity. The two aircraft carrier fleet is one of several metaphors for a great power vision of India's role in international affairs. Other metaphors also are military connected, including acquisition of intercontinental supersonic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missile forces. India has not yet made the decision about its leadership role past 2025.

India does not yet have the economy to support the role of a great power, but it is achievable with political and economic will. The need for a strategic decision is not yet pressing, but the discussion continues. The Indian Navy does not yet have two carrier task groups, but expects to have them after 2018 when the first Indian-built 45,000 ton carrier is in service.



So by 2018 some of the key enablers of great power will be in place while the horizon is only 2025.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 19 Nov 2013 23:23

In the above post the roles and responibilities of the NSA as currently defined are given

1) The National Security Advisor (NSA) is the chief executive of the National Security Council (NSC), and the primary advisor to the Prime Minister of India on national and international security. It is the National Security Advisor to whom intelligence agencies such as the Research and Analysis Wing and Intelligence Bureau report, rather than directly to the prime minister. Due to such vested powers NSA is a prominent and powerful office in the bureaucracy. All the NSAs appointed since the inception of post belong to Indian Foreign Service except M. K. Narayanan who belonged to Indian Police Service.



So NSA is the apex advisor of the Prime Minister on national and international security. Note he is an advisor and not the executive. So the PM is still responsible to act or not act based on the advice. The NSA job ends ones his advice is tendered. The PM and his staff through the PMO are responsbile for execution and implementation.


2)The National Security Advisor (NSA) is tasked with regularly advising the Prime Minister on all matters relating to internal and external threats to the country, and oversees strategic issues. The NSA of India also serves as the Prime Minister's Special Interlocutor on border issues with China, and frequently accompanies the Prime Minister on Foreign State visits.



Here there are three more additonal roles/clarifications:
- Advisor to PM on internal and external threats
- Envoy/special interlocutor to China on border issues. No other country.
- Part of PM's delegation when visiting foreign countries. The sub text is he is there in his advisory role on national security matters and possibly as the reciever of intelligence for the PM.

3) The directors of R&AW and IB technically report to the NSA rather than the Prime Minister directly. The NSA receives all intelligence reports and co-ordinates them to present before the Prime Minister. NSA is assisted by a Deputy NSA.


In this aspect he serves as the national intelligence advisor. So he is the sole apex of the intelligence apparatus.

Now intelligence also has actionable aspects. From all above descriptions as "Advisor" etc does he have a say in how such actions are taken?

Is IB a dual reporting agency?

MHA for personnel and funds and NSA for data?

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby satya » 23 Nov 2013 21:57

Late Shri. Brijesh Mishrajee had seen the working of GoI very closely so he knew any new direction push has to come from top. Indian governance in form of PMO-Ministries -Bureaucracy is of top - down implementation with very little scope for feedback from official channels with exception of feedbacks from ruling party's groundworkers ( or in case of national security from gravy train passengers : brokers/ businessmen/industrialists/diplomats/ former colonial master ) . So to expect that MEA & MoD could & would propose any new national security initiative like Nuke tests was out of question as there was complete absence of working culture + mindset ( there were always exceptions but then these never become part of official set up ) + no control over flow of information ( going in foreign hands ) . Its with this background that NSA in indian context & texture was created . The designation of National Security Advisor had & is still causing a great deal of confusion in mind & working of the current occupant & also among Indian security policy observers . To put it simply : people think that NSA 's main function is to advise the Prime Minister . NSA was never suppose to advise the Prime Minister of India atleast . Nor was he suppose to become an active negotiator handling country's important negotiations as in case Indo-US nuclear deal & current Indo-China meetings. He was suppose to 'ensure' that the national security element in all of GoI's decision not getting compromised or get caught up in red tapes for fear of derailing the gravy train or raising the paranoia of foreign countries.
Late Shri. Mishrajee ensured for first time that India's foreign defense agreements/deals become an integral part of our national security architechture . His emphasis was on 'deals/ agreements' not on actual 'equipments' & in doing so he didn't touched the gravy train thereby ensuring minimal opposition internally & externally infact harnessed them . In the IAF's phalcon deal he got 3 countries on board working for our national security . To this date none has been able to achieve that . Where negotiations were required specially the lengthy ones , he delegated it to right people for example Shri Jaswant Singh jee with US . He did have access on regular basis to intelligence agencies but that was for twin reasons : one to ensure policy made at top getting implemented in right spirit & should an opportunity come up then increase our options ( greed too can be used to increase leverage ) . All this was achieved by him being PS-NSA & also having understood the strategic direction that BJP leadership wanted to take ( having being discussd & fine tuned over a decade ) .
I think it went in another direction when Shri. Dixit's tenure was cut short due to his sudden demise because he was only in INC who could have handled the responsibility in the same spirit ( team was right with PS-NSA-MEA:natwar singh more or less on same page ) . 3rd NSA Shri Narayanan just couldn't get it right from the beginning : confusion over his loyalty & over enthusiast but lacking capability , experience, vision . He looked at his role from eyes of a police officer. What more can explain his limited vision than being involved in daily updates over all the IB & RAW operations . Either you macro manage or micro cannot do both . In end he end up alienating most of RAW cadre & messing up our intelligence apparatus. Again NSA is not the intelligence czar proved .
Shri. Menon is no doubt better than Narayanan but his failing is his passion for negotiations & meetings : again the same problem micro managing one affair thereby making mistakes in others . Its good that we have a high level access to CCP politburo via these border talks but again its job of a negotiator not that of a NSA
Separation of PS from NSA office has done its own share of harm . First family's economic interests & views of keeping PMO under control are to be blamed for this . It could have been better handled but that is not the case so PM is left with no helping hand .
Need to go back to original concept : subtle workings with an invisible hand . To me its sign of failure that PMO-NSA' office has become a crisis management center . Crisis management at highest level is 100% political . Bureaucracy can & has & will always provide a number of responses to crisis ( they have all these thanks to countless reports being stocked up ) but decision is always political nor is there a wisdom in questioning all those reports & discussing the same points over & over again. PMO enjoys a distinctn advantage of doing course correction at any stage so there's no fear of one wrong step causing a complete failure . And why NSA has to come out and defend our anti terror mechanism & explain the budget contraints among other public discourses that sound more like internal & external developments that is the work of MHA & MEA & their babus . A head constable working in a police station knows where the problem lies & he also knows when to tell & when not to for that you don't need to be NSA unless you are doning the cap of a marketing executive for foreign defense MNCs .
The role has changed not due to change in geo-political situation but more due to internal workings of ruling party at center.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 23 Nov 2013 23:18

Satya, excellent cutting to the chase. Now that the NSA role has had three-four occupants and we had a track record to go by its imperative to redefine the NSA roles and responsibilities for the good of the country.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Paul » 24 Nov 2013 16:24

Ramana wrote:The second effective PM, Lal Bahadur Shastri, if one counts out Gulzarilal Nanda, was in office too short but was very decisive. He allowed the troops to cross the Intlernational border and threaten Lahore when TSP started a irregular army attack in Kashmir. Again he had no NSA.

His DM Y B Chavan was a very capable person who overruled the Army chief's potentially catastrophic decision to withdraw across the Basantar river. In this they cut across ranks to support Gen Harbakash Singh who was GOC Western command.

The situation unfortunately was reversed in 1971 when army did not have a aggressive Western Commanding officer KP Candeth and we lost Chaamb to Pakistan. The 1st armd Div was not even brought into battle.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 24 Nov 2013 22:12

Paul, We are talking big picture and not tactics.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 17 Dec 2013 02:04

Google books:

Rule the World the way I did

Unfortunately only limited preview of Chanakya's world view.

Incidentally he says there are six ways instead of the traditional four ways. Inaction (Asana) is there!!!

Yana is preparing for war.

He says about the six ways (page 210):

Sangraha:Peace by treaty
Vigraha: Keep them busy with war or non-war
Asana: Be watchful, silent and do nothing
Yana: Prepare for war
Samasraya: Seek protection of stronger king
Dvaidhibhava: Make peace with one while making war with another
----
I don't have the book but I think Asana is when one is confronted with a hostile & powerful state is the recommended practice.

But it has to be with strong measures to strengthen ones own state.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 19 Dec 2013 21:00

habal wrote:Again allowing the husband and children to immigrate on Trafficking visa is what bought about this event. Again India's NSA was found asleep. This is the third time that the Indian NSA has been found sleeping at the wheel. First it was M.K. Narayanan, before that Brajesh Mishra under whose watch Rabinder Singh got away, and now it is this SS Menon under whose watch the maid's family got away without being even held up at immigration.

Now if any ordinary person makes his way out of this great country, some joker sitting at immigration will ask a dozen questions in triplicate. But this highly suspiscious group going to USA on trafficking visa doesn't have any issues. So again, which country's interests does the National Security Advisor represent ? It is better to abolish this meaningless post which is just there to give an opening to external interests to ferret out their spies and assist their terrorists.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 26 Dec 2013 22:04

X_post from GDF for people to think it over...
johneeG wrote:Saars,
Please to excuse this OT post.
ravi_g wrote:{quote="johneeG"}^^^ :rotfl: The joke is on the people of dilli. It would have been much better for the people if there was another election, then people could have given a decisive verdict: either AAP or BJP.

Now, kongis will do what they do best: govt paralysis. They'll remain inside and keep rebelling. AAP will do what it has been doing: blame kongis and lotus.

The kongi line will be: "See, you guys believed in AAP and how they failed. We always told you that we are doing a decent job. You people were fools to try alternatives. Now that alternatives have also failed. Vote us back"

AAP line will be: "Well, we always knew that kongis and lotus will not allow us to give a good govt. But, if we ran away from it, they would have blamed us anyway. So, we took the challenge and showed how both the parties are together. We need to wipe out both these parties."

Thats all, thats their line. I don't see anything coming out of this. kongis will not want to be in this relationship for long. They'll be itching to get their votebanks back from the AAP. Now, mainos may not bother about that. But, lower kongis will not like this arrangement. So, they'll keep making noises and spoiling it for the fordriwal.

If fordriwal goes after a few token corrupt guys also(just to build up his reputation), it will unravel the kongi so much more.{/quote}

No Garu the joke is on us. The backbencher Hindu Nationalist. AK-47 has clearly mentioned that 'there is no such thing as unconditional support'.

This is all a put on show to occupy mindspace of the public till GE-14 and make AK-47 look like an Arvind Gandhi. Come GE-14 and AAP will be telling people that give us he full mandate so that we cannot be hamstrung by Congress. And they will use it to go even hyper on Congress == BJP. Hedging techniques. The whole game is to create a new MMS only this time there would be a voter base too.

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” - Goebbels.

Look at the rank difference between what is committed on paper (manifesto) and what is said in their sabhas. Look at the clear distinction between the Vadara case where they kept quite before the elections. The fake cry of wolf that some of them raised during and just after counting. Pre emption is writ large.

The point is that the propaganda wing of congress is AAP. The political wing of AAP is congress. The Ungutha Chaap leaders that got elected are the new pawns in the power game. The coup was by the hi comman.

johneeG garu can you tell me of a good story where a mayavi meets his match in a Deva in the Epics thread. Need to understand how our ancestors dealt with these.


Firstly, definition of 'maya': to project what is not and to conceal what is.

There is a story of Bhasmasura, saar. He was beguiled to put his own hand(which had the power to burn down anything on which it is placed) on his own head. Bhasmasura gained power from Lord and then turned on Him after getting the boon. He was punished by his own hand.

There is a story of Sundha and Upa-Sundha. Two asura brothers who were very close to each other. They had the boon that they won't die in anyone else's hands(i.e. only they could kill each other). Apsarasa Thilothama was created to create rift between them. The two brothers ended up fighting with each other for her and then killing each other.

There is a story of Jarasandha's chief commanders: Hamsa and Dimbhaka. Hamsa and Dimbhaka were close to each other and also powerful. They were one of the reasons for Jarasandha's power. One of them was misinformed that the other died. Believing the false info, he committed suicide in grief. Then the info of suicide was conveyed to the other, who also committed suicide in grief. This was most probably the ploy of Jagadhguru Shri Krushna. Later, similar ploy was used on Dhrona. He was misinformed that his son had died. So, he committed suicide.

Then there is episode of Vamana beguiling the Bali Chakravarthi into parting with his entire empire.

Raavana's bro Kumbhakarna wanted to ask for great boons after he performed Tapasya for Lord Brahma. But, his mind was played with by Goddess Saraswathi. So, he ended up asking for the 'boon' of forever sleep. Later, Raavana had to beg Lord for some respite for his bro from the sleep.

If one carefully analyzes the Raamaayana, then Shri Raama avathaar itself is maya. The almighty, omniscient and omni-present Vishnu disguised as a simple friendly neighbourhood prince(Shri Raama). The Goddess Lakshmi(Prosperity) Herself disguised as a simple housewife(Seetha amma). Poor Raavana was fooled. Would Raavana take on them if he knew that he was going against Lord Vishnu or was kidnapping Goddess Lakshmi?

Even Bhagavatham! Poor Kamsa! He was alright. May not be the best guy around, but certainly not the worst. Then, he was revealed that he would be killed by his own nephew. And suddenly all the worst characteristics of Kamsa came out. He was ready to kill his sister. He imprisoned his newly wed sister and bro-in-law. He ended up killing his nephews. He imprisoned his father. In short, turned into a complete rascal. Then, he was killed anyway. If on the other hand, he had not heard of that prophecy, maybe he would have lived longer.

In MB, the biggest trick of Dhevas was: Karna. If Dhuryodhana had known that Karna was the bro of Paandavas, would he have gone to the war? And what does Karna do when the war starts? He sits out of the first 10 days of war! All along Dhuryodhana thought Karna was going to lead him to victory. But cometh the hour and Karna sits out citing some petty reasons. When, he does start fighting, he does not kill the Paandavas. It seems he won't kill Paandava except Arjuna. Of course, he can't kill Arjuna because Krushna Himself is protecting him. He kills Ghatothkacha whom Krushna wanted dead anyway. Before the war Lord Krushna offers Karna kingship. Karna refuses it. Why? Couldn't Karna accept the Kingship and gift it to Dhuryodhana(if he was such a good friend of Karna)?

Hindhu literature is filled with such things. Naivety or simple-mindedness is never glorified. Nor real politics discarded. It is only the modern day(Gandhian?) interpretations which seem to be shy of such readings.

Saama, Dhaana, Danda and Bhedha. According to Atri Saar, Upeksha and Maya are the two other tactics mentioned in Agni Purana. These are the basics of tactics. Moles, spies, false info(propaganda disguised as news or advises...etc), honey traps, deceptions, luring the opponents into combat by projecting weakness(i.e. feigning a retreat and then attack), using emotional athyachaar to get personal commitments, giving the opponent long rope so that he can hang himself(or atleast taint himself so much that when he is hanged no one is bothered), forging alliances with powerful friends(especially with enemies of enemies and friends of friends), breaking friendships by sowing differences(i.e. creating a situation where they compete for the same resource) or by sowing doubts that the other person is betraying them, break the alliances of opponent by offering respect, riches, power and privileges...etc.

Talk politely but wield a big stick! Thats the strategy. One can see this method adopted by Shri Rama and Yuddhishtira. A truly clever person does not project the persona of cleverness.

Both Shri Raama and Yuddhishtira carry the persona of polite civility. Their opponents take them for cowards or sissies. They underestimate them and are surprised when Rama or Yuddhishtira react with force or stratagem. The outrage of opponents is due to cognitive dissonance.

Both Raama and Yuddhishtira also realise the importance of credibility. They take great care never to promise what they cannot accomplish and never to leave unaccomplished what they have promised. They go to great pains to build a brand. Praan jaaye par vachan na jaaye... Trust is very important. Once the credibility is lost, the leadership is in doldrums. So, they never compromise on credibility. Perhaps, on some rare and extra-ordinary occasion, they may take a calculated gambit(like Raama's killing of Vaali or Yuddhishtira's killing of Dhrona), but otherwise they value their credibility. It is a battle of perceptions. Power and leadership are based on perception. You lose the battle of perception, they you lose power and leadership. You are powerful only as long as people believe you are powerful. You are a leader, only as long as people follow you. Raama and Yuddhishtira perfected this to the extent that even their opponents believed in them. Of course, to live like that means the leadership has to also have to be willing to set an example. So, Raama had to live apart from His beloved wife Seetha merely due to allegations. He could have easily ignored the public perceptions and continued. But, He didn't. He wanted to set the example. Of course, He also had long term plans to redeem the situation of Seetha amma in due course. To be able to give such leadership, one has to be able to overcome lots of mental problems. Kaama, krodha, lobha, moha, madha, mathsarya...etc. Otherwise, power corrupts. Only someone who has won himself can wield power properly. Otherwise, he'll end up harming himself and others. Generally, people first try to win the enemies. Then, they concentrate on their friends. And they never concentrate on their own self. But, a good leader first perfect himself. Then, he cleans up his house. Then, he goes after the rest.

Today, the problem is that so many people want power. But, they hardly know what to do with it. They just lust for power because of some ego boost or minor perks(like women). Most seem to want power for the sake of ego boost. And when they get power, they occupy themselves in all sorts of shady businesses. They forget that ultimately power is for the sake of welfare for people. If one cannot accomplish welfare of people, then all the power in the world is useless.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 10 Jan 2014 03:22

A good X-Post to understand what is strategy and how Britain has failed in the modern times....

Philip wrote:Britain's wars 'have no strategy’, says top military adviser
Prof Sir Hew Strachan, one of Britain’s leading military thinkers, says Britain “bungled” its involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and is guilty of “strategic failure” over Syria

........

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... viser.html


By James Kirkup, and Ben Farmer

10:00PM GMT 08 Jan 2014

Britain lacks any clear military strategy, “bungled” its involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and is guilty of “strategic failure” over Syria, a senior adviser to the Armed Forces has said.

David Cameron failed to deliver a British military intervention in Syria because of his “seat of the pants” approach to the issue, according to Prof Sir Hew Strachan.

Sir Hew, one of Britain’s leading military thinkers, has condemned the way in which recent British and American governments have approached the use of military force.

A lack of clear thinking about strategic objectives meant that the costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were mishandled, he said.

Sir Hew, Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford, has advised the Coalition on its treatment of the Armed Forces. He currently sits on the Chief of the Defence Staff’s Strategic Advisory Panel, and advises the UK Defence Academy, which trains senior officers.

He makes the observations in a book, The Direction of War, to be published next week.

The book concludes that governments on both sides of the Atlantic have little or no idea of how to achieve their long-term ends through the use of military force and those ends are often poorly defined or not defined at all.

“The understanding and meaning of strategy has got lost, confused or become stripped of meaning,” he said. “Without strategic thought (or clear understanding of strategy) our execution of war aims is inevitably bungled – we didn’t know what to do or how we wanted to do it in Iraq and Afghanistan.”


He also castigates David Cameron and Barack Obama over their handling of Syria.

The UK and US backed away from a military intervention in the Syrian conflict last year after domestic controversy.

“This criticism applies equally to the UK and US. Presently we can’t make up our minds in Syria.

“We cannot articulate how our use of military means would deliver on a political end.

“The problems both Obama and Cameron have had in Congress and in Parliament have been indicative of the loose use and understanding of strategy.”

Mr Cameron made his decision after failing to persuade the House of Commons to back intervention. Sir Hew said: “The seat of the pants way (with insufficient preparing of the press or Parliament) in which our approach to Syria was handled showed a total absence of strategic thought and is, almost, another case study in strategic failure.”

The professor’s verdict may embarrass ministers, but his analysis has been backed by senior British officers.

One said: “We as soldiers have a responsibility to ensure the options and advice we give are good and sensible material to make decisions from.

“On the statesman side, over the last 10 years, I don’t think they have been terribly clever about trying to understand the art of the possible.
“Too much has been taken for granted and not enough time taken to understand the nature of the problems we are throwing the forces into.”



However the good Professor does not clearly state what is strategy and how is strategy made.

This makes the article very confusing.


First there has to be a goal or objective.

Strategy is a series of sequential steps to achieve the objective.

The options etc the military provides are details of the steps in the strategy.

So it all goes back to the objective.
And that depends on you values.
What do you value that drives you to do something?
After FSU vanished the Anglo-Saxon West lost its values.
And hence is lost in strategic quandry.
What are teh long term objectives they want to achieve?
What are their resources?
What are their tools to realize the objectives?

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Prem » 10 Jan 2014 03:56

ramana wrote:A good X-Post to understand what is strategy and how Britain has failed in the modern times.][b]This makes the article very confusing.
So it all goes back to the objective.
And that depends on you values.
What do you value that drives you to do something?
After FSU vanished the Anglo-Saxon West lost its values.
And hence is lost in strategic quandry.
What are teh long term objectives they want to achieve?
What are their resources?
What are their tools to realize the objectives?


Gorbchov told Regan that he is going to do something terrible to You (means WEST). Regan was surpised and asked what? Gorby replied he is gonna deprive WEST of the Enemy it always seek and thiswill be his strategic victory.And darn he is turning out to be correct. He understood the imperialistic impulse of the WEST and let them act on it to remove the Mukhota. The Thigna Javier was in Early 90s was declaring NATO' right to intervene militarily anywhere in the world to protect their "interests"and promote their values. But then came Internet and war came home and in offices. World changed with Internet and old world now on deathbed. Rise of Asia, Rise of Terrroism and Financial mess now throwing away old assumptions and world moving to new paradigm.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 16 Jan 2014 05:05

Bharat Karnad:

http://bharatkarnad.com/2013/12/11/trag ... -strategy/

Tragedy of the Land Without a Strategy
Posted on December 11, 2013 by Bharat Karnad

Book review (belatedly reproduced here):
Jaswant Singh, India at Risk: Mistakes, Misconceptions and Misadventures of Security Policy [New Delhi: Rainlight-Rupa, 2013], 292 pages
Published in ‘India Today’, November 11, 2013
—————
“What is history?”, asked Edward Hallet Carr, the English historian in 1961, triggering a debate that still resonates in academic circles between the relativists who believe that all history is virtually fabrication and the empiricists who think there are irrefutable facts to contend with. Siding with the latter, Carr held that there’s such a thing as “objective historical truth”, which view was charged with imposing a narrative. With competing histories, however, “narrational imposition” belongs to those who are first out with an authoritative take.

This bit of historiography came to mind as I read the latest offering by Jaswant Singh, undoubtedly the most cerebral of our political leaders, as did a conversation I had with him soon after the May 2004 elections. Jaswant told me then that he and Strobe Tâlbott, former US Deputy Secretary of State, would be collaborating on a book on the “strategic dialogue” they had conducted over several years. I urged him not to wait for Talbott, a professional writer who can turn out a book in a trice, but to publish his account as “first draft of history” as quickly as possible. That way, I said, his would be the dominant discourse that Talbott and anybody else would have to react and respond to. Jaswant put store by Talbott’s promise; Talbott meanwhile produced his book – Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, And the Bomb by September of that year, in which account Jaswant comes out sounding smug and foppish.

As regards his interaction with Talbott, Jaswant says un-illuminatingly in the “Epilogue” that he was “disconcerted” by the American’s emphasis on non-proliferation rather than the mechanics of forging good relations. But Washington had made clear its intention to cap India’s weapons capability below the credible thermonuclear level in the immediate aftermath of the 1998 tests. Hence, Jaswant’s perplexity with the “altered order of … prioritization” suggests Washington had accepted New Delhi’s framework only to initiate the dialogue. In the absence of details, such as the discussions on the negotiation strategy and tactics within the Ministry for External Affairs (MEA) he headed and between him and the National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, especially on the fallback positions, the question arises: Why was the dialogue persisted with when Talbott had upended the agreed agenda in the initial stages itself?


{After the fifth series of dialog, Talbott spoke at Stan madrassa and gave the objectives as stated above. I was suprised at lackof rebuttal from Jaswant Singh.}

This book is less a memoir than rumination by Jaswant on the nature of wars, near-wars, and other national security crises faced by the country in the last sixty-five odd years, and why the Indian government acted in most of them with characteristic confusion about ways, means, and ends. He sets up the context stimulatingly by placing New Delhi’s search for strategic autonomy in a milieu in which India is at “the epicentre of four collapsed empires” – Qing, Ottoman, British and Soviet, and “trapped between four lines” – Durand, McMahon, Line of Control, and Line of Actual Control, leading to its “strategic confinement”. This is a stunningly original interpretation that his chapters on the 1947, 1962, 1965, and 1971 conflicts and, what Jaswant calls “the destructive decades” of Indira Gandhi’s rule — narratives stitched together from published sources, partially support.

{While speaking to some BR members we had concluded that India that is Bharat was confined. Instead of Greater India we got lesser India and we need to own the geography of India and not just hope to control it.}

Ironically, it is in his consideration of the BJP coalition government’s record that he founders. If Jaswant had disclosed what really transpired at the apex level of government with respect to the Kargil border war, hijacking of Flight IC 814 to Kandahar, attack on Parliament, and Operation Parakram, and had he deconstructed the eventual decisions in terms of bureaucratic politics and the storied clashes he had on policy content and choices with Mishra, who dominated the Prime Minister’s Office (and the rest of the government), it would have fleshed out history of that period and shone a light on the dark and personalized pathways by which India’s national security policies actually get made. May be he will dilate on these aspects in his next book.

For the reader, however, the mystery deepens on many counts. How and why was the Indian Airlines plane allowed to take-off from Amritsar when – and this Jaswant doesn’t mention — the previous year a multi-agency exercise (“Sour Grapes”) was practised to prevent such hijacking by simply moving a large truck in front of the plane with commando action to follow? Jaswant’s describing his telephonic order to not “let the f****g aircraft leave” doesn’t help, because it left anyway. Or why an immediate punitive retaliatory air strike on terrorist training camps and supply depots in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in response to the attack on Parliament was discarded in favour of the largely futile and wasteful “general mobilization” for war that relied on US pressure to have effect?

Jaswant seems inconsistent on some issues. For instance, he excoriates policy crafted under public pressure but justifies negotiations with the hijackers undertaken chiefly because of the hysterical demonstrations under television glare outside 7, Race Course Road; and pleads for “restraint as a strategic asset” (with respect to Pakistan-assisted terrorist actions) without defining the limits of restraint. He has surprising things to say on nuclear matters, among them, that the 1998 N-tests were “against nuclear apartheid” (rather than to beat the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty deadline and achieve deterrence with China), tactical nuclear weapons are “illogical”, and that “a formally adopted nuclear doctrine” is absent. His oft-used metaphor of the subcontinental states emerging from the “same womb” collides with his belief that nuclear weapons use between India and Pakistan is possible, when the fact is that owing precisely to the organic links between these societies a war of annihilation was not politically feasible in the past using conventional military means; so, how likely is it in the future with nuclear weapons? With his seemingly anti-nuclear slant, moreover, he courts danger of becoming a poster boy for the nuclear Never-Never Land!

Even so, this book delves into difficult issues of war and peace, and spawns a new geostrategic perspective on Indian policy imperatives, testifying to Jaswant Singh’s intellectual fecundity and capacity for high-value forays into the over-wrought world of national security.




It might be useful to use complexity theory to study the Kandhar decision.

If one wants to know why "Sour Grapes" was not actualized, one also wants to know why the IAF took almost three weeks to get ready for Kargil, when it had just completed a huge IAF exercise in North India! The top down system with its durbari culture prevents local initaitves except in the rarest of rare cases.
But for Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh's decision to fight at Assal Uttar instead of retreating would have lost Amritsar and fractured India like Sidney Griffin's 'Crisis Games' envisaged.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Vipul » 26 Jan 2014 20:31

India has 268 think tanks but only six in top 150.

Six Indian think tanks figure among the top 150 global think tanks, according to the " 2013 Global Go To Think Tanks Report" of Pennsylvania University's Think Tanks and Civil Societies Programme (TTCSP). At 268, India had the fourth largest number of think tanks after the US 1828, China 426, and United Kingdom 287.

The seventh annual 2013 Global Think Tank Index, considered the most comprehensive ranking of the world's top think tanks was released here last week at a media event in Washington DC, hosted by the World Bank.

Regional events also took place in over 30 global cities to announce the report, which was translated into 13 languages including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.

"In the world filled with tweets and sound bites that are often superficial and politically charged, it is critical to know where to turn for sound policy proposals that address the complex policy issues that policymakers and the public face," said James McGann, director of the programme.

"This Index is designed to help identify and recognize the leading centres of excellence in public policy research around the world."

The Brookings Institution ranked top of the Global Think Tank list for the sixth consecutive year. It was followed by Chatham House (United Kingdom), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (US), Centre for Strategic and International Studies (US) and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) (Sweden).

India's Centre for Civil Society (CCS) ranked 50th on this list. It was followed by Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) (102); Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) (105), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) (107); Observer Research Foundation (114) and Development Alternatives (140).

America's Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) was ranked top among Defence and National Security Think Tanks. It was followed by RAND Corporation (US) and International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (UK).

Three Indian think tanks figured in this category. These were: Institute of Defence Studies & Analyses (38), Centre for Land Warfare Studies (48) and Observer Research Foundation (52)

Brookings Institution (US), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (US) and Chatham House (CH) (United Kingdom) were rated top three Foreign Policy and International Affairs Think Tanks.

Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies was the lone Indian think tank in this category at 54th spot.

Three Indian think tanks figured among top non-US think tanks. These were: Centre for Civil Society (CCS) (51), Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) (54) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) (81).

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 26 Jan 2014 21:59

All those think tanks come to BR for the pulse.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Vipul » 26 Jan 2014 22:30

Ramanaji, then we can safely assume that the GOI (at least the present administration) does not consult any of these think-tanks in formulating its strategies, or if they do then the think-tankers are in-spite of the well informed opinion here on BR just suggesting something which will be more in line which the GOI wants to anyway pursue.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 26 Jan 2014 22:52

GOI does not listen to outsiders. Its IAS and IFS are its think tank.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Vipul » 27 Jan 2014 01:19

Did'nt GOI did consult KS from time to time?

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 27 Jan 2014 01:25

He is ex- IAS

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 27 Jan 2014 08:52

I am not trying to be a revisionist but the 1962 debacle was not a military defeat. Its was a political stumble. A defeated military takes about 10-20 years to recover. However in 3 years the Indian military gave a great account in 1965 and reversed the TSP myth. Six years later they liberated Bangladesh.
Even in the political field the death of Nehru in 1964 ended the political churn wrt to strategic affairs and Shastri was able to decide decisively to cross the International Border and send a military column to Lahore the Pakjab jugular.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby johneeG » 27 Jan 2014 09:08

So, Gandhi's 'ahimsa' is kept alive by dynasty. When Indhira violated ahimsa, she was gone. When Roberto violated ahimsa, he was gone. Chacha had a long stint because he never violated ahimsa. Shashtriji violated ahimsa and his stint came to an abrupt end.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby RoyG » 30 Jan 2014 00:45

Enjoy! This seminar is so much better than the first one. I'm glad that Shiv Shankar Menon has continued to support this endeavor. Research and implementation of indigenous forms of statecraft need to be carried out. Hope the next government continues to cultivate these type of research clusters.

[youtube]dTlu5mS2XYg&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

[youtube]10x_Yu0sjIE&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

[youtube]zaioNYCAEgU&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

[youtube]ge3eCR9usAE&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

[youtube]hSOm2qX7nxE&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

[youtube]AHmEi7M7qp0&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

[youtube]oqtAFxwu9og&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

[youtube]YNhtk_-bTsM&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

[youtube]2ZsdMse2cGc&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

[youtube]h9vRu4pol1o&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

[youtube]xr7ruwc7m9U&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

[youtube]v3qUDSSiSWw&list=PLrR2OTOrNPrgm3U0RKzV6e0JpJI7GGNoI[/youtube]

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 05 Feb 2014 20:57

Amber G. wrote:Singapore's Dean Mahbubani says... (From his Lecture: "Can India be Cunning"

Devyani’s return shows India’s clout, Kishore Mahbubani says

India is heading for a "geo-political sweet spot" and even the Devyani Kobragade episode reflects India's rising clout as not too long ago, the US would have brushed aside entreaties to let the Indian diplomat return home.

{Also they know they have been violating Indian hospitality and could have more severe blowback}

Delivering the IDSA K Subrahmanyam memorial lecture here on Monday, noted commentator Kishore Mahbubani said Devyani would have not have come back if the US did not attach a high strategic value to ties with India.

"The fact that Devyani returned is a signal that India has arrived. US had to face the question: Can we afford to lose India?" said Mahbubani, who is dean of the Lee Kuan Yew school of public policy in Singapore.

Mahbubani spoke of India's success in drawing a red line - the diplomat was arrested for maltreating her maid and false declarations about her salary - to argue that India needs to utilize its geo-political advantage for maximum gain.

....

The former career diplomat said India needs a "hard-headed and tough minded" approach to foreign policy in the Lee Kuan Yew-Goh Chok Tong tradition with New Delhi seeing itself as a pivot in balance of power equations.

Pointing out that the US was a lot less accommodative of France over the Dominique Strauss-Kahn incident, Mahbubani said though Devyani's arrest was a setback, India's standing rose after she was allowed to return.
<snip>

.





Youtube links:
CAN INDIA BE CUNNING? K SUBRAHMANYAM MEMORIAL LECTURE (SUBBU FORUM)

Kishore Mahabubani in Delhi:

Part I



Part II


At the core its plea for India to adopt a different tack than the current excessive obsequiousness.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby svinayak » 06 Feb 2014 10:52

ramana wrote: Singapore's Dean Mahbubani says... (From his Lecture: "Can India be Cunning"

India is heading for a "geo-political sweet spot" and even the Devyani Kobragade episode reflects India's rising clout as not too long ago, the US would have brushed aside entreaties to let the Indian diplomat return home.

"The fact that Devyani returned is a signal that India has arrived. US had to face the question: Can we afford to lose India?" said Mahbubani, who is dean of the Lee Kuan Yew school of public policy in Singapore.

Mahbubani spoke of India's success in drawing a red line - the diplomat was arrested for maltreating her maid and false declarations about her salary - to argue that India needs to utilize its geo-political advantage for maximum gain.
Kishore Mahabubani in Delhi:

Part I




He is good in figuring out that India is in a sweet spot but does not explain why or cannot explain why

India has created and kept space for itself for many decades to keep its options open. This is even at the cost of lower economic growth.
Now in 21st century India has been able to create the '360 degree balance of power'. This is my terminology.
The other term is 'Multi-dimension balance of power'

The Rise of China has been exploited by India and the change in demographics in US has created tremendous opportunities for India in the global world.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby svinayak » 06 Feb 2014 12:12

Singapore diplomats are schooled in the practice of 'Balance of Power'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_re ... _Singapore
Thus, Rajaratnam believed that maintaining a balance of power, rather than becoming a de facto vassal of some larger power, would provide Singapore with freedom to pursue an independent foreign policy. The interest in the Great Powers in Singapore would also deter the interference of regional powers.[2]

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 08 Feb 2014 23:34

National Maritime Foundation Page on eminent speakers:

http://www.maritimeindia.org/eminent-pe ... eches.html

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 18 Feb 2014 03:03

ramana wrote:
Hari Seldon wrote:Coming back to the shadow cabinet wishlisting away... which BR members would I like to see in a NaMo cabinet.... well, for starters... Bji as culture and HRD mantri, Vivek ahuja as raksha mantri, suraj saar as vitta (finance) mantri with additional charge of roads and infra, ramana garu as MEA (doubling up as NSA too, perhaps?)...

Anyway, re MMJ, LKA, Jaswant etc., its high time to shunt the octogenarians either into RS or into retirement. Keshubhai could tell them a thing or two about choosing the third alternative...



Don't know about the wishlist but you have hit upon the instability in the NSA position. Chanakaya says advisers have to be made accountable to implement their recommendations or else it will be futile. Indian NSAs have no ministerial responsiblities and this leads to a merry go round of attending Carnatic katcheries while Mumbai is burning or attending Embassy functions while diplomats are cavity searched in US.


Next govt should combine the office of NSA with MHA as the major threats are internal security for next decade.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 26 Feb 2014 06:28

putnanja wrote:An interesting article by KP Nayar in Today's telegraph ...

THE EURASIAN TIGHTROPE - India must sit up to the tide of change in Ukraine

Flashback to Ukraine in 1995. The post-Soviet government in Kiev decided that year to sell arms to Pakistan — a heresy in New Delhi’s eyes because, for decades, those very armament factories that would now make killing machines for Rawalpindi’s Army General Headquarters had guaranteed the territorial integrity and security of India against its most troublesome adversary. Unlike today, the United States of America had been unwilling, then, to supply even the most basic defence items to India. In any case, the country had no foreign exchange for such purchases: with Moscow, such equipment — indeed, like everything else — had been traded through rupee payments. Besides, the ink had not fully dried on a comprehensive report on how New Delhi should cope with the break-up of the Soviet Union, which had a finger in every Indian national pie since the 1950s. The report had been painstakingly prepared after 12 secretaries to the government of India visited Moscow to map a future of picking up pieces from the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

A high-level emissary was sent to Moscow — mind you, not to Kiev — to deal with this Ukrainian problem. As a result of that emissary’s visit, which had the stamp of the government of India at its highest level, Yevgeny Primakov travelled to Kiev in secret. Primakov was then head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, better known by its Russian acronym of SVR, the successor organization to the First Directorate of the Soviet spy agency, almost universally known by its Russian acronym, KGB. Shortly thereafter, he became Russia’s prime minister.
...
...
The dramatic result of Primakov’s dash to Kiev at New Delhi’s behest was that Ukraine’s arms deal with Pakistan at that time fell through. This columnist recalls the Ukrainian ambassador in New Delhi bitterly complaining that India would not buy weapons from Ukraine and will not allow his country to sell arms to others either.
...
...
Events that followed were like a security wish-list for India and for the future course of Indo-Russian relations. The Russians simply took control of the Ukrainian plant in Kharkov, where critical parts for the T-80 main battle tanks for Pakistan were being manufactured. India modestly contributed to this take-over despite its difficult economic situation at that time.
...
...
America’s ambition to gain control of Ukraine is nothing new. In his seminal treatise on ensuring US dominance over Eurasia in the post-Cold-War era, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, wrote as far back as 1998 that “without Ukraine Russia ceases to be empire, while with Ukraine — bought off first and subdued afterwards, it automatically turns into empire.” Brzezinski argued forcefully in this book that Ukraine must be made the Western anchor to obstruct the recreation of the Soviet Union.

All the recent events in Ukraine have the hallmarks of the Brzezinski doctrine to slice Kiev away from Moscow. The Europeans are wary of the Brzezinski doctrine, yet US and EU interests overlap when it comes to regime change in Ukraine. Buffeted by an economic crisis, which is spilling over into a political crisis in ‘new’ Europe, the EU needs a lifeline to demonstrate not merely that it is still relevant, but it also needs to assert its waning power and influence. Expanding into Ukraine will do just that. Ukrainians will realize sooner than later — just as many former socialist states in central and eastern Europe with once-thriving industrial bases did — that greater cooperation with the EU will largely be a one-way road. It will open up Ukraine’s market for western Europe’s goods and services at the cost of their own.
...
...



I dont see how KP N can caution the GOI when the Minister for Disarmament AKA has never found anything lethal suitable to procure for the Indian military. So long as UPA and Congress are in power this caution is wasted. MMS has found every oppurtunity to keep US factories running with non-lethal Indian military orders.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Klaus » 26 Feb 2014 07:40

Not sure if its been posted elsewhere: Computational reading of Neo-Clausewitzian Theory

Sometimes I wish Clausewitz had finished his book 'On War', would have been an invaluable work on the topic of totalitarianism, alongwith the other authors who wrote on the subject.

The neo-Clausewitzian position, epitomized by the writings of Colin S. Gray, is that war has one nature but many characters. Understandings of a particular character that diverges in some fundamental way from underlying logic will only lead a theorist astray.


Gray has synthesized the writings of many different general and domain-specific military theorists into a unified whole, even if some of them (such as Wylie and Clausewitz) do not mesh together perfectly. Still, the fundamental contention of the neo-Clausewitzian school —


I differ with the synthesizing approach, maybe Indian think-tanks can do better on this aspect.

Insofar as we try to achieve positive goals, an operation is an incomparably more economical way of expending military force than local battles. Soldiers are very capable of seeing the difference between operational rationalism and operational shoddiness and are much more eager to sacrifice themselves when they feel that they are on the way to achieving the ultimate goal of a war. Commanders who abuse local battles themselves give evidence of the poverty of their operational talents. What may be completely impossible on a local scale or will require incommensurate sacrifices may be achieved incidentally and much less expensively on an operational scale.


One might also view the idea of historically recurring types of weapon systems and organizations (the argument that Archer Jones makes) as abstract data types vs. particular data structures. The recurring nature of different operations of war (siege, pursuits, intelligence, attack, defense, logistics, etc) throughout history is also an argument for the idea of an abstract and unchanging idea of strategy composed of abstract and unchanging tactics and tactical subcomponents. This is also something that Jones and Hans Delbruck both tried to emphasize in their particular work, although Jones was more explicit about the idea of strategy as composite.


the way decisions are made about particular compositions and organization is, as Gray and others argue, not just about structured problem-solving but also a function of politics, morality, culture, geography, resources, technology, and the enemy. Empirically, strategy as a whole shouldn’t be assumed to represent the optimal way of solving a political problem — only the way that political intercourse manifests itself in a particular organization of violence.


Must read in full.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Atri » 06 Mar 2014 02:25

Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee in mid 80s. At his pristine best.


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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 14 May 2014 20:12

When the NSA position was created in 1998, the main challenge was to reconcile the P-5 to India's nuclear tests. Hence the NSA had to be a IFS officer for he had to run the gamut of foreign policy challenges.
However Pakistani origin terrorism was an equal challenge and the IFS background did not help the NSA as his focus was foreign policy challenges. Repeated terrorist attacks and the Kargil intrusion were some examples.

J.N. Dixit was appointed by UPA as the second NSA and again the challenge was thought to be foreign. The internal security was hived off and MKN was appointed. With Dixit's death, MKN became the full NSA. Again he concentrated on IUNCA deal and meglected internal security which ultimately led to 26/11 attack.

SS Menon was appointed as NSa and it has been an unmitigate disaster as both external and internal security was neglected with SSM running the MEA by remote control. Again Ind Muj was hicjacked by TSP and terror ran amok.

The challeneges for India are internal security due to TSP terrorism and hence the need for a non-IFS background person to be the new NSA. US has appointed retired military officers to that post and NDA can make use of such backgrounds.

The key is to integrate the CDS and remove any doubt from any challengers of the military response and the MND. All this requires a military background.

Further the NSA should have executive powers as the Principal Secy of the PM. So everyone knows he has power with the responsibility. And by being the PS to PM he is also is civilian control.

Short answer no more IFS folks for NSA for next ten years.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby RoyG » 08 Jun 2014 13:41


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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 27 Jun 2014 22:28

Thinking about it what Chanakya did was to change the nature of the Indian state from the early notions given in Brihaspati neeti and so on and so forth.
This transformed the idea of India which persists to date.

Early idea of kingdoms was they exist because of the royal dynasty.
What Chanakya did was idea that the state exists even if the dynasty changes.

That is the true contribution of Chankaya.

All that kutila stuff is rehashed Vakra Neeti, Bahuka neeti and so on.

RoyG
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby RoyG » 04 Jul 2014 18:06

Dr. Arvind Gupta of IDSA may be helping Ajit Doval with foreign policy as deputy national security adviser.

Here is a news clipping of what he has to say on strategic wisdom derived from Indian texts and the need to reformulate how we think of ourselves and others. They will be a good team.

http://epaper.newindianexpress.com/c/2706898

ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 05 Jul 2014 10:24

Please post full text for folks to comment and discuss

In 1992, American scholar George Tanham
stirred up a hornets’ nest when he charged
in an essay that Indians lacked tradition of
strategic thinking. Many Indian scholars
countered him pointing out India had a rich tradition
of strategic thinking quoted in venerated
ancient texts such as the Ramayana, Mahabharata,
Arthashastra, Thirukural and the Panchatantra
belonging to different ages. The Cholas,
Marathas, Rajputs and Mughals were adept at
statecraft and warfare.They would not have been
successful unless they thought strategically.
Be that as it may, the fact remains that there
was hardly any systematic study of Indian ancient
texts from the point of view of identifying
the main ingredients of Indian strategic thought.
Indian texts are still not part of global political
science or international relations discourse. Few
Indian or foreign universities teach these texts
as part of security and strategic studies. People
know Plato, Aristotle, Marx and Machiavelli but
rarely Kautilya. It is a pity considering Arthashastra
is a vast treatise on statecraft. A lot more
systematic work needs to be done by scholars,
particularly Indians, in the area. The lack
of knowledge of Sanskrit and regional
languages is a major hindrance. Authentic
translations of these texts are not available.
Archival sources have not been
tapped. But more significantly, the Indian
educational system has not placed emphasis
on the exploration of the rich Indian
traditions in strategic thinking.
The Arthashastra is one ancient such text that
is a rich treasure of strategic thinking. Written
in Sanskrit by Kautilya, also known as Chanakya,
around 321BC in Magadha, it deals extensively
with issues of state, society, economy, administration,
law and justice, internal security, defence,
diplomacy, foreign policy and warfare.
Divided in 15 books, it has 6,000sutras.The text
lay hidden for centuries and was discovered in
1905 in Karnataka. R Shamasastry was the first
person to translate the text in 1915. Today, Kangle’s
English translation is considered the most
authentic and widely used by scholars.
The Arthashastra is a practical manual of instruction
for kings. The first five books deal with
administration, while the next eight cover foreign
affairs and defence. The last two books dwell
upon miscellaneous issues.
The king is set lofty ideals—he sees his happiness
in the well-being of his subjects and offers
them yogakshema, i.e. security and well-being.
The Arthashastra was written in times when the
subcontinent was divided into a number of small
and mutually hostile states. Therefore, it was
necessary for a king to not only protect his state
but also deal with hostile kings and expand his
territory. A king could perform his functions only
if he was a strong leader with a strong intellect
and ever-ready to train himself in sciences.
Among the numerous dimensions of statecraft
developed in the Arthashastra, mention can be
made of three that would be relevant even today.
The saptanga theory of state attributes seven
prakrits or elements of the state. These are king,
his minister, the country, the fortified city, the
treasury, the army and the ally.
The theory of the
“circle of kings” or the rajamandala theory is
essentially a description of alliances a king has
to make with friendly states to deal with the enemy
state and his friends.
The Arthashastra also
delves into three kinds of powers, namely, the
power of knowledge, power of treasury and
power of army.
Four kinds of wars are described:
the kutayudha (tactical fighting),mantrayudha
(diplomatic war), prakashayudha (open war)
and tushnim yudha (secret agents’ war).
The shadgunya ascribes six attributes to foreign
policy—samdhi, vigraha, asana, yana,
sanshrya and dwedhibava,which can be translated
as making peace with a stronger king,makingwarwhen
prospering, staying quietwhen the
enemy is equal in strength,marching when possessed
of excellent qualities, seeking shelter
when depleted in power, following a dual policy
of making peace with a stronger king and war
with a weaker king. The king has four strategies
or upayas—sama (friendship), dama (gifts),
bheda (division) and danda (punishment)—in
the conduct of foreign policy.
The treatise is particularly
rich on the army’s composition, war
preparedness and war fighting. The role of intelligence
and craft of spying is well-developed and
can teach a trick or two to modern spymasters.
How relevant is the Arthashastra today? Clearly
to apply the Arthashastra to contemporary
circumstances literally is not possible. Yet there
are portions that are based on human psychology
and have universal application. For instance,
the duties of a king and the leadership qualities
described in the Arthashastra are relevant for
today’s leaders. The shadgunya provides a clear
basis of foreign policy and the seven measures
of state refer to components of national power.
There is need for a critical investigation of the
Arthashastra with an objective of making it relevant
to today’s conditions. There is also a need
to do comparative studies—compare Arthashastra
with other non-Indian texts such as Sun Tzu’s
and other Indian texts. It would bring out the
true worth of the Arthashastra and also situate
it in the body of Indian strategic thought.

In an effort to introduce the teachings of the
Arthashastra in Indian security and strategic
studies, the Institute for Defence
Studies and Analyses has recently published
some works on it and identified
Indian and foreign scholars engaged in a
deeper study of the text. National security
adviser Shivshankar Menon has
taken part in some discussions. Some enterprising
enthusiasts have set up an institute in
Mumbai to teach leadership qualities to youngsters
looking for careers in the corporate world
and politics and written popular books on the
Arthashastra. The text is being introduced in
training courses for soldiers and diplomats. But
there is no systematic effort on the part of the
establishment to revive traditions of Indian strategic
thought and answer the ridiculous charge
that we lack a culture of strategic thinking.

In popular imagination Kautilya is compared
with Machiavelli for ruthlessness and unethical
conduct. The Pakistani military studies Kautilya
to understand the supposedly devious Indian
mind. This is oversimplification and a gross distortion
of Kautilya. The perception must be rectified.
There are several other texts, many in
regional languages, that can be classified as having
rich strategic content. They must be studied
systematically and included in curricula. The
Arthashastra must be adapted to suit contemporary
realities. A new Arthashastra for contemporary
geopolitical realties should be evolved.


ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 11 Jul 2014 21:36

Atri wrote:This particular scene always has me in tears, everytime I watch it.



The final teachings of Bhishma to Yudhishthira from Shanti-Parva. Look how he strongly advises Yudhishthira to stand against the demand of partition and nip it in bud, when it arises.

Entire Shanti-Parva is an excellent glimpse at classical Hindu understanding and approach towards Politics, economics, jurisprudence and society. This "Pre-Chanakya" understanding of India of the "right-handed stream" of politics, jurisprudence and economics was put on back-burner when Chanakya developed the theories of Shukracharya and Aapaddharma (dharma during adverse times) rules of Shanti-Parva.




Chanakya Niti was also Apad Dharma to re-establish Central authority in Uttar India and reverted to normal right handed stream subsequently.

Chanakya's greater contribution is the idea of consolidating India or Bharata Rashtra. However here to he had precedents like Sahadeva's speech prior to Krishna Rayabahram where he talks of the improtance of rashtra. Prior to that we have Shankuntala putra Bharat who first had the idea of Empire in Uttara Bharat. In Chankaya's time we have case of Bimbisara of Maghdha who conqured Vidarbha and started the roll back of the 16 Mahajanpada period and ushered in th new Imperial age.


Sardar Patel is th true implementor of the Chanakya idea of consolidated India and roll back of the 600 native states and creation of the modern Republic of India.

We honor Shakuntala putra Bharat, Chanakya and Bimbisara by calling India: Bharata Ganatantra Republic.

In this Patel used the Indian Army twice : Kashmir and Hyderabad. Subsequently Nehru used Indian Army in Goa.

So Indian Army was a very important part of creating modern India.


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