Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

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Re: Strategic guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby vina » 07 Feb 2011 08:53

ramana wrote:Was KS S related to Gen KS Sunderji?

Well, both were Tam-Brahm and advocated India's weaponization and hence "nuclear hawks". So they were related in that sense! Not sure about blood relations . I guess the same 6 deg of separation/relations work here .

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Re: Strategic guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 07 Feb 2011 09:11


From Indo_Us Dialog e-mail list
Re: Tribute - KS - from ANI - feb 4
Posted by: "Rajkadian......
Sat Feb 5, 2011 3:12 am (PST)

Coincidentially, like Uday Bhaskar, my relationship to the late KS goes back to March 1987. I was then a gastroenterologist (the medical speciality dealing with the digestive tract) in Kansas City. Not once did he raise questions or validity of a medical doctor inquiring about the putatative Indian doctrine on strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, or the threat posed by Maoists/Naxalites( then a little considered aspect of possible conflicts arising out of the exploitative domestic economic/social/ political/ other changes that were then evolving in a complacent, regional hegemon that had little perspectives beyond South Asia).

He went out of his way to introduce me to many others in the Delhi circuit who were rightly skeptical about the bona fides of a doctor from Kansas City. He continued to do so till I last saw him in the dining room of the India Internal Center in New Delhi in November last year. He was then frail (not new), razor sharp (as expected), gracious (always), and clear of vision and voice. The Indian reluctance/tardiness to follow through on the conclusions/ recommendations drawn by him after the 1999 Kargil conflict and the 2005 Government Of India's Task Force to review Global Strategic Developments may cost New Delhi dearly. Be that as it may, the many other enduring aspects about him, e.g., his unstinted support to unknowns/suspects like myself, his personal courage of convictions (1975, his IAS career, his stance on N-weapons, and on crypto nuclear states) is a legacy worth cherishing and emulating.

Peace be on those who understand war! KS did!!

Rajesh Kadian MD FACG

Posted by: "n m" nyayamurti1
Sat Feb 5, 2011 4:15 pm (PST)









--- On Tue, 3/30/10, n m <nyayamurti1@> wrote:

From: n m <nyayamurti1@>
Subject: Re: [INDIA-US-DIALOGUE] India can't object to US sleeping with the enemy by K Subrahmanyam
To: "Krishnaswamy Subrahmanyam" <xxxxxxxxx@>
Cc: nyayamurti1@ xxxxxx
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 7:39 AM


Dear Mr. Subrahmanyam,

I hold you in high esteem and value your opinion immensely including your latest clarification. I do not disagree with you, in toto.

Despite the "atmospherics" of my comments, I agree with you by and large about fostering India-US relationship and the need for India to both engage and "congage" USA. I was compelled to make public comments owing to the serious change in direction of the relationship by the BHO administration since its inception.

In future, I will make comments personally and confidentially to you instead of posting on the forum publicly.

With my warmest personal regards,


--- On Mon, 3/29/10, Krishnaswamy Subrahmanyam <xxxxx.xxxx> wrote:

From: Krishnaswamy Subrahmanyam <xxxxx.xxxxx>
Subject: Re: [INDIA-US-DIALOGUE] India can't object to US sleeping with the enemy by K Subrahmanyam
To: INDIAUSDIALOGUE@ yahoogroups. com
Date: Monday, March 29, 2010, 10:24 PM

Dear Mr.Nyaya murti.
I have great appreciation for the Indo-Us dialogue you have been conducting.It is not my practice to enter into controversial arguments.But in this case my appreciation for the Indo-US dialogue compels me to place certain issues before you and other friends in the dialogue.

Millenia ago the venerable Bhishma told the Pandavas on his deathbed when they sought his instructions on Rajaneethit hat for a king(read State ) there are no friends and no enemies.For Kings friends and enemies arise out of circumstances.

Therefore the current US-Pakistan relations should not be viewed with reference to past history but present day realities.Obama talked about the Just war he is fighting.Against whom?Whose territory ,what targets and whose citizens are attacked and killed by the US drones.?
Who have so far attacked US homeland?
Aimal Kansi,Ramzi Yousef,and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Who are plotting against
US?Lashkhar -e-Toiba,though so far unsuccessfully ,the latest being Zazi case.
Whose nuclear weapons US is most concerned with?Not the Russian nor the Chinese,but a Pakistani weapon or dirty bomb device falling into the hands of the Jehadis.
Who are the enemies of Jehadis for whom Pakistan is a safehaven? The Crusaders.

The QDR says that ,for the first time,the way in which US will be able to handle the future wars will depend on the way in which they prevail in this war
Polls say that a majority of Pakistani population consider US as their enemy

Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and all Russian grain supplies to Germany did not halt Operation Barborossa .Molotov-Matsuoka pact did not stop the Soviet s declaring war on Japan

My interpretation of events keeps this background in mind.I shall not argue that my assessment will prove to be wholly right.But such points of view should be taken into account in national assessments

On Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 8:47 PM, n m <xxxxxx> wrote:

Nyayamurti Comments:

1. With due respect to Mr. Subramanyam, whose enemy we are talking about? You are indulging in sophistry, Mr. Subramanyam! Please, stop rationalizing just another insult from the Obama administration!
2. US has never considered Pakistan an enemy since 1947. Remember, Mr. Subramanyam, they have the status of Major Non-Nato Allies (MNNA). Pakistan was a treaty partner of the US in CENTO.
3. Duration of this co-habitation between US and Pakistan has lasted more than 6 decades.
4. Time has come for India to call spade and spade and deal with the US as a duplicitous partner!
5. Under Obama administration, the qualitative nature of India-US relationship has changed and that is a reality we have to honestly acknowledge!

India can't object to US sleeping with the enemy
March 29, 2010 09:54 IST
Tags: Pakistan Army, India, Pakistani Taliban, Pakistani Army, Pervez Musharraf

http://news. column/2010/ mar/29/india- cant-object- to-us-sleeping- with-the- enemy.htm

The US may need to develop a closer relationship with Pakistan to deal with Pakistani state-sponsored terrorism, but it should take India [ Images ] into confidence, writes K Subrahmanyam.

The Pakistan-US strategic dialogue held in Washington DC on 24-25 March has generated a mix of hope and despair in India. There is some hope in US bonafides vis-a-vis India, as the US was firm in advising Pakistan to deal with the water issue with India according to the procedure laid down in the Indus waters treaty, refused to change its stand on the Kashmir [ Images ] issue and just listened to Pakistan's case on its having a nuclear deal similar to the one
India has with the

But there is despair on the possibility of the Pakistan Army [ Images ] coming up with more tricks to avoid taking action against the Lashkar-e-Tayiba [ Images ] (LeT), considered Pakistan's asset in its strategic arsenal against India. Having persuaded the Pakistan Army to initiate action against three of the five jehadi organisations listed by President Obama [ Images ] as entities to be disrupted, dismantled and defeated, the US administration is generous with its praise of the Pakistani Army. The three are the Pakistani Taliban [ Images ], Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda.

The Pakistan Army has given no indication of its intention to act against LeT or the Haqqani network. It is particularly puzzling to the Indians that in the immediate wake of David Headley's [ Images ] plea bargain establishing the continuing operations of the LeT in India and the US, and its close links with ex-army officers and the ongoing attempts at terrorism on the US mainland by jehadis associated with LeT, the American side has chosen to adopt a muted stand on the issue of LeT.

There is a widespread view in India that just as President Pervez Musharraf [ Images ] joined the US in October 2001 in Operation Enduring Freedom to save the Taliban and al Qaeda from destruction, the present alignment of Pakistani Army policy with US policy may be designed to save and preserve the LeT and the Haqqani network for future terrorist use. Already, a representative of extremist leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an ally of Haqqani, has contacted Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai [ Images ]. Hekmatyar is a long time favourite of the Pakistan Army and the bete noire of the US.

This development raises fears that the Pakistan Army is planning to install its henchmen
in Kabul when
the Americans start drawing down their forces in Afghanistan in 2011.
The flip-flop of the Americans in respect of allowing Indian authorities access to David Headley is yet another issue which makes many Indians wonder whether we are back in the days of the Bush-Musharraf era, when the US looked away as General Musharraf gave a safe haven to the al Qaeda and Taliban, nurtured the LeT and allowed all of them to strengthen themselves.

President Obama, in his speech on 27 March, referred to the mixed record of those years and promised to hold the Pakistanis accountable. However, the US authorities, now looking away from lack of action against the LeT, would appear to indicate that the Pakistani Army may find it easy to repeat their past tricks. This is the basis of Indian despair vis-a-vis the Americans.

The US-Pakistan joint statement released at the end of the dialogue said the two leaders, Hillary Clinton [ Images ] and Shah Mohammed Qureshi, reiterated that the core foundations of this partnership are shared democratic values, mutual trust and mutual respect. The irony of this assertion could not have been lost on those present, especially the Pakistanis. It has been well publicised in the Pakistani media that General Kayani summoned all the concerned Pakistani secretaries to the government to the Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi to finalise the brief for the Washington conference.

The Army Chief recently extended the tenures of the ISI chief Shuja Pasha, present in the conference, and a number of corps commanders exercising the powers Musharraf used to have in his combined role as
Chief and President. Pakistan would appear to be back in the days of Benazir, when she provided a civilian façade to a government in which the Army wielded the real power. The Pakistani joke is that either a general sits on the chair of power or just stands behind it.

In the joint statement the United States re-affirmed its resolve to assist Pakistan to overcome socio-economic challenges by providing technical and economic assistance and to enable Pakistan to build its strengths by optimal utilisation of its considerable human and natural resources and entrepreneurial skills.

The tenor of the statement indicated a long-term US commitment to Pakistan's socio-economic development. In that event, in 2011 in the wake of the US draw-down of forces from Afghanistan, the US will be present in Pakistan with commitment to a long-term development programme and possibly a significant military assistance programme as well. In that sense the situation will be radically different from the one in 1994, when the untethered Pakistan army could walk in and establish Taliban rule in Kabul.

One expects the US will simultaneously have an equally significant political and economic presence in
Afghanistan in the withdrawal phase, with a diminishing military presence. In those circumstances, will the US permit Pakistan to reinstall Pakistan-pasand elements in dominant power in Kabul, as seemed to be envisaged in the Pakistani as well as many sections of the Indian establishment?

There is no disputing that the US has to have a strategy of developing a closer relationship with Pakistan, to deal with Pakistani state-sponsored terrorism. In spite of the 9/11 plot being hatched in Pakistan by a Pakistani and Pakistani Al Qaeda [ Images ], and LeT unsuccessfully (so far) targeting the US homeland for terroristic acts, the US has been extraordinarily patient in dealing with Pakistan, since Pakistani army-sponsored terrorism is shielded by its nuclear arsenal and its implicit threat of letting the weapons fall into the hands of terrorists.

The US strategy appears to be like that of Delilah -- sleeping with the enemy to disarm him. :mrgreen: India cannot object to that. But since India is the primary victim of Pakistani terrorism, if India is not taken into confidence in regard to their broad strategy vis-a-vis Pakistan, in the absence of cent percent trust and communication India may be compelled to act, in case there is another major terrorist provocation in ways that may not be entirely in alignment with US strategy. US authorities should bear this in mind.
K Subrahmanyam

History should be read and right lessons drawn from it. One cant say European history is for Europeans. One can take lessons from it regardless.

And see the denouement of the US actions which I highlighted!

what he saying by his examples is that no matter how much appeasement the dynamics are such that Nazis would attack Russia and Soviets attack Japan. One has to under such fundamentals.

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Re: Strategic guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby krisna » 07 Feb 2011 09:57

could not find any link suggesting any relation between them . The K stands for Krishnaswamy though.

A conversation with K Subrahmanyam (July 29, 2008)
Shivanand Kanavi: I want you start with an over view of the history of Indian nuclear weapons programme.
K Subrahmanyam: If you go back to Nehru’s writings in the 40s he recognized that it may be used (as a weapon) and then India also must have it. But at the same time he was a man of peace he wanted international peace so he was essentially he was for development of technology. But he did not overlook the fact that it had a strategic dimension. It comes out very clearly that at one point in time in 1954-55 Homi Bhabha after presiding over the Geneva conference on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, came back with great enthusiasm and proposed to Nehru that India should amend the constitution and say that it would never go nuclear. Nehru wrote back to Bhabha that he should look after physics and leave the international relations to Nehru. We will think about these things when we reach that stage. So at one point of time it was Bhabha who was a peacenik, but as they saw the two major powers accumulating more and more weapons and developing newer weapons and China going nuclear, I presume that Bhabha got converted to the view that India should also go nuclear. The selection of CANDU reactor which would produce plutonium and deputation of Sethna to France to get reprocessing technology would all show that at least in Bhabha’s mind strategic programme was very much there.
Perkovich says Nehru all the time had it in mind but those who think of Nehru as essentially a man of peace would dispute it but it is difficult to say unless personal papers of Nehru are made available. On the other hand in 1964 a few months before he died, while inaugurating the reprocessing plant he also said “come what may, we shall not make these evil things”. Once the Chinese conducted the test Bhabha was determined that India should go for it. Krishna Menon opposed Bhabha.
Once Shastri took over, he was not familiar with all these things and the first time Bhabha came to Delhi to meet him I was told that he was made to wait three days to get an appointment. He was used to an indulgent treatment by Nehru and so he was a little put off. Then Shastri appealed to UK for a nuclear umbrella against the Chinese threat. In the early 60s there was a discussion in the US whether India should be helped to become a nuclear power to neutralize China. This was even before ‘62 as they realized that China was close to building the bomb. It was supported by Dean Rusk in the State Dept but was opposed by Pentagon and McNamara. In ‘64 Bhabha was able to persuade Shastri to sanction SNEP (Subterranean Nuclear Explosion Project). In early ‘65 there was a AICC session in Durgapur and there was pressure from some Congress members K C Pant who was a young MP who said that India should go nuclear. Shastri did not want to commit himself so finally he said ‘not now’. He did not rule it out. To some extent it helped Bhabha in getting the SNEP project sanctioned and it was under SNEP that Ramanna , Chidambaram, P K Iyengar were brought into Trombay. Then Bhabha died in the accident in 1966. Sarabhai took over.
Sarabhai coming from a Gandhian background was opposed to it. He argued that we did not have enough plutonium at that time and even by ‘67 if we had enough for one test then what would you do after wards. Thus he alienated the Trombay people. The result was they boycotted Sarabhai and did not share any information with him. But Sarabhai was a gentleman and a very astute man and over a period of time he changed his mind. Not many people know about it but he himself told me the last time we met in Aug 1971 while having dinner at Ashoka Hotel five months before he died. Then the Trombay people made Purnima the Fast Pulsed Reactor using plutonium from Candu. In 1967 Indira Gandhi sent Sarabhai and L K Jha on a worldwide mission seeking nuclear security guarantee for India. They went to Russia, France, US and UK. They wanted a joint guarantee. They did not get it. In 1965 when the NPT resolution was moved we were one of the sponsors. We propounded the balancing principle viz. no more proliferation but weapon powers should negotiate give up their weapons. When the matter came up in Geneva in 1967 our delegate V C Trivedi found that something else was going on. They wanted to prevent everybody else from going nuclear but on the other hand they did not want to have any limits on what they were doing. He made powerful arguments against this NPT and they are still quoted today. To some extent the P-5 found that India was a thorn in their flesh in Geneva. In 1968 when the matter came up regarding whether we should accede to NPT (it was not debated much in the cabinet) Mrs Gandhi and her close advisors like G Parthasarathy, P N Haksar were all against it. At that time I was the director of IDSA (Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis) and conducted a crusade against the NPT that India should go nuclear. At that time there were a group of parliamentarians called Young Turks who were leftist Congressmen like Krishan Kant who were for India going nuclear. Because of that we became good friends and I used to give Krishan Kant questions to ask in the parliament.
Sarabhai knew that Kant was asking ‘my’ questions. So in 1971 during dinner he told me “Subbu you can call off your blood hound (Krishan Kant), :lol: I am going to Mururoa Atoll to witness a French nuclear test”. The Gandhian of ‘67 had changed enough to go and witness the tests. So I said “Vikram, do I draw conclusions from this”. He said you do what you like.
However till he died there was no reconciliation between him and the Trombay group. Sarabhai anyway will be remembered as the founder of our space programme. Then according to the version given to me by Ramanna in 1972 October during the convocation of IIT Bombay, Mrs Gandhi summoned Sethna and Ramanna and gave the go ahead for testing. Then they started designing the test. Preliminary work had already gone on but Sarabhai had suspended it. But Purnima reactor had give them some ideas about the behavior of neutrons and plutonium etc. Between 1972 and 74 they worked on it. Ramanna has recorded that even in 1974 people like P N Dhar and Haksar got cold feet and it was Mrs Gandhi who told them to go ahead.

SK: Why were they hesitant, because of possible sanctions from US etc.?
KS: Yes. At that time US had become friendly to China and treated us as an ally of Soviet Union so they came down on us very severely.

SK: We already had a treaty with Soviet Union!
KS: Yes and also they could not forgive us for creating Bangladesh, a new country on the map which nobody had done after 1945! The sanctions started. That time we did not know that Pakistan had started its programme and was collecting money among the Islamic states.
When Janata government came in, Morarji Desai did not like nuclear explosion and did not like Ramanna (since he had led the test). He even denied that there was any nuclear test. He continued to hold that tonnes of explosives were buried and exploded!
SK: Is it because he thought Mrs Gandhi did it merely to over awe the domestic opposition and not for any strategic reasons?
KS: Yes. At that time US was trying to persuade us to adopt full scope safe guards—that is everything should come under safe guards. Mr Shankar who was Morarji Desai’s secy was in favour of it. So he told the Americans that we will examine it. So Americans were confident that India would accept it. Sethna was opposed to full scope safe guards. Morarji had said in the parliament that Americans are proposing it and there is nothing wrong in examining it. Actually I discovered through Sethna that the proposal was originated by Shankar and not Americans. So I got a copy of the note from the Americans to Sethna which called it “Mr Shankar’s proposal”. I got a photocopy of it and brought it to the Cabinet Secretary Nirmal Mukherjee that Morarji Desai can be cited for contempt of parliament since he had said in the parliament that it was an American proposal where as it was actually Shankar’s proposal. So the Cabinet Secy took it to Morarji.

SK: Was Shankar’s proposal for the cabinet?
KS: No. It was for Indians to discuss with Americans. Thus it was buried. Then Morarji went and made a speech in the UN General Assembly saying we will not conduct any more explosions. After he had read out that portion of his speech in the cabinet a message was sent through the then president Sanjiva Reddy to drop it from his speech. But inspite of that Morarji said it in the UN and he faced a lot of opposition when he came back. He tried to wriggle out saying I said an explosion and not test etc etc. At that time Ramanna was also taken out of BARC and put in as Scientific Advisor to Defence Ministry. Of course that did a lot of good to the Defence Ministry. But the Trombay team had been dismantled. Then in 1979 I produced a report saying Pakistan is going nuclear.

SK: How did you reach that conclusion?
KS: We got intelligence information. We knew about A Q Khan coming back and starting Uranium enrichment etc. I told the cabinet secretary to take it to the five-member Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs. He did it and there was a discussion. I was not present but Nirmal Mukherjee told me since I had to write the minutes, that the decision to resume the programme was taken but it was not unanimous. Three had voted for it and two had opposed it. He asked me to guess who were the two that had opposed the programme. I said one was Morarji and that was correct but I could not figure out who was the second. It was Atal Bihari Vajpayee! H M Patel, Charan Singh and Jagjivan Ram were for going ahead with our nuclear programme.
Then the Morarji govt fell and Charan Singh came. Sethna said he can manage the whole programme himself. In fact he was trying to fill up director’s post in BARC so that Ramanna will not be able to get back but that was prevented. But when Mrs Gandhi came back she posted Ramanna back to Barc and he held both the posts. Then the programme was restarted by 1983 we were again ready.

SK: Was it for weapon testing?
KS: Yes for weapons. The shafts were sunk in Pokharan but at the last moment the Americans found out through satellites and put pressure on us. Mrs Gandhi told them to stop it at the last minute. In fact it was those shafts of 1983 that were used for tests in 1998!
In 1984 we got involved in “six nation five continents” initiative.

SK: With Rajiv Gandhi..
KS: It started with Indira Gandhi and after her assassination it continued with Rajiv Gandhi. Essentially we ourselves were advocating CTBT.

SK: But it also involved some graduated disarmament along with ban on testing.
KS: Yes. We were in the fore front of it. When Rajiv took over, in 1985 Rajiv had a very intensive discussion with a group of us and I was also involved in it. He was at that time very much opposed to our going nuclear and he was very much in tune with the 6 nation initiative.

SK: Why was he opposed to it? Was it for economic reasons of sanctions etc.?
KS: No. He was new to politics and I think he was temperamentally a man of peaceful intent. He genuinely believed that if we can avoid it then we should avoid it. For one year I had arguments with him and at one point in time I told him that “PM sir, if you won’t take this decision, one day your defence expenditure will go through the roof”. So he asked the others present about it. Some agreed and others did not. Adm. Tahiliani was also present representing the Chiefs of Staff. He said we will give you a very serious quantified answer to this. PM said OK. The committee consisted of Abdul Kalam, R Chidambaram, Gen K Sunderji (Chmn) Adm Nayyar, Air Marshal Green. That group produced a report and for the first time it said a minimum credible deterrent of about 100 war heads can be developed in about 7 years and it will cost about Rs7000 crores. Only one copy of the report was prepared and delivered to Rajiv personally by Sunderji. We don’t know what happened to it afterwards.

SK: By that time were there no reports of Pakistani programme?
KS: Yes they were there but I was not in the government so I did not know about them. Thus he essentially stopped it. For some reason his relations with Raja Ramanna also deteriorated and he did not accept Ramanna’s recommendation of making P K Iyengar his successor. He selected M R Srinivasan, who had nothing to do with the weapons programme. So at that stage it was obvious that Rajiv was not interested in pursuing the weapons programme. He went to US he had a successful meeting with Reagan there was an agreement on science and technology but I do not think he was given any promise regarding civilian nuclear reactors. He was hoping for reactors from Russia and at that time Koodunkulam was under discussion.
However I am told that research went on and Rajiv did not stop it and then in 1988 he came out with his disarmament plan and put it before the UN and then to his horror he discovered that no one took any notice of it. He came back a disillusioned man and on the day of Air Force demo at Tilpat outside Delhi he said let us go ahead. Thus in ‘89 March or so he sanctioned the weapons programme.

SK: There is also a rumour about Operation Brass tacks and some message delivered by Pakistan during that exercise that they have the bomb etc..
KS: I will come to that. Even though the weapons programme was sanctioned only in 1989 the missile programme was sanctioned in 1984-85. In fact Indira Gandhi had sanctioned it and Kalam had been brought in specially from the space programme. In 1987 when the Operation Brass tacks took place, A Q Khan gave an interview to Kuldeep Nayyar and said, “you people be careful, we have got the bomb”. During the Kargil committee hearing Mr S K Singh who was the High Commissioner in Pakistan in the 80’s told me that in Jan ‘87, he was summoned by the Minister of State of Defence of Pakistan, who told him that if India takes any action then ‘we are in a position to inflict unacceptable damage’, which is a code to say we have the nuclear weapon. Rajiv knew all that but he still tried very hard and finally in ‘89 the same man sanctioned the weapons programme. By 1990 we had not assembled many weapons but Americans came to us and said that Pakistan is threatening to use nuclear weapons against India. This was in May 1990 but in Feb ‘90 Gen Yakub Khan came to India when Kashmir was on the boil and he told I K Gujral, “if you people use too much of force in Kashmir, there will be fire from the sky and rivers of blood will flow”. I K Gujral took him to V P Singh and he repeated the same thing. He would not look people in the eye but recite it as if he has been instructed to recite it. It was interpreted by India as a nuclear threat. In May US sent a mission led by Robert Gates, the present Defence Secretary to Pakistan and they told the Pakistanis ‘be careful do not try any adventure’ (according to US version) then they came to India. Here they did not say anything but to the rest of the world they said, “we diffused a nuclear crisis between India and Pakistan”.
However in a new book two American scientists have claimed that on 26th of May, 1990 actually the Chinese conducted a nuclear test for Pakistan. So they had come to dissuade Pakistan from doing it. Instead they put out the story about India-Pakistan. So Pakistan actually had a tested nuclear weapon by 1990 and not in 1998.

SK: That test was done in Lop Nor?
KS: Yes in Lop Nor. P V Narasimha Rao continued the programme. During NPT review conference in 1995, NPT was extended indefinitely and unconditionally. PV knew that we will be left out so he wanted to conduct a test. Preparations were all made but again the Americans discovered it and they put pressure to stop it. That is a fact.

SK: How did they find it?
KS: Through satellites. So PV could not conduct the test. When Vajpayee took over PV sent him a note saying ‘I could not do it, you do it’. Vajpayee acknowledged it after PV died. In 1998 however we were able to hide it. Both sides conducted the test.

SK: There is a claim that in 1998 we conducted a thermo-nuclear test as well.
KS: That is what R Chidambaram says. :mrgreen: The problem is 1998 tests were done in shafts that were sunk in 1983. They were capable of taking only 60-70 kilo tons. It is also right in Rajasthan which may be sparsely populated compared to rest of India but it is still populated. So there is no way you can conduct a megaton test. Chidambaram says he did at 45 kilo ton but there are lots of people who question it.

SK: Post 1998 how did this inclusion of India into the club take place? The French have claimed that they were responsible for it.
KS: Within two years even the Americans started being friendly to us. We realized that US was not hostile to us during the Kargil war, when Clinton did not side with Pakistan but sided with us. Then in 2000, Clinton had a very popular visit to India. To that extent the relationship with US started improving.
There was always a feeling among the major powers of the world, excepting China, that India was not an irresponsible power that it had already conducted a nuclear test in 1974 and had not rushed to build a nuclear arsenal. The Russians, French and even the Americans knew the China-Pakistan connection. How China had helped Pakistan develop nuclear weapons etc. The Indian compulsions were known.
The French president’s advisor did tell me that they took the initiative but that was after George Bush took office. Chirac rang him up. Russians have always been well disposed towards India. I have a feeling that during Bush—Vajpayee interaction they had already started developing the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership. We were asking the Americans to show progress in three things: nuclear, space and hitech. Those discussions were going on. The American administration at that time, with Colin Powell as Secretary of State, were not so favourably inclined to take such a major quantum jump. That came about in Bush’s second term, when Condoleezza Rice became Secretary of State. They had in mind China’s dominance in Asia and the need to have some balance in Asia so when Man Mohan Singh met George W Bush in Oct 2004 during UNGA, they had a discussion but it is not quite clear whether Man Mohan Singh made any request regarding this or not. But definitely by 2005 March when Condi Rice came to India the Americans had made up their mind that they would help us in this respect. I would give a lot of credit for this to Bush and to a lesser extent to Condi Rice. These two really brought this about. Personally they were influenced by their idea of balance of power in Asia. They were not doing it because they liked us, but they were doing it for their own purposes. They could of course count on the help of France, Russia and Britain.

SK: Did Russia help us in the nuclear submarine? After all we have not designed even a conventional submarine so far.
KS: Yes they helped us with the design of compact nuclear reactor that was necessary. They are also giving us a hunter-killer nuclear sub on lease. Earlier they leased another one during Rajiv’s time. So there is no doubt there is Russian help. The PM has also publicly acknowledged it.
Our nuclear establishment is very small compared to other major powers. The Indian approach can be characterized as what we say in Tamil Nadu as that of Tirupati barber. :mrgreen: When people take their children for tonsure at Tirupati, the barber clips a few locks of one child and goes to the next one because now he has “booked” this child…Then he will take his own time to do all the things. So whether we design aircraft at HAL or this, it is the same. The only people who are a little different are the space department. Everybody else say yes to everything when they have one design team.

SK: Even the missile programme has not delivered what it promised…
KS: Yes in 1985 I asked Kalam, “with the number of people you have, will you be able to deliver this in this time frame?” He said yes, yes we will.

SK: There is one project which has never been talked about openly called “Surya”, which is an ICBM, what is its status?
KS: People have been mentioning it, but does India require an ICBM? India needs a missile which reaches Beijing and Tientsin. That is about 4000-5000 km missile. If you start designing an ICBM beyond that range, you will make the Americans wary. Are we likely to go to war with Americans? Our people talk about our submarines going to the Pacific to target China. But there is no need for it. Your submarines can be in the Bay of Bengal and with a missile of 4000-5000 km range you easily target Beijing and China.

SK: After the cold war, the Russian weapon supplies have become uncertain. Then there is objection to American end user arrangements etc. then should we focus on domestic defence production rather than imports?
KS: People should be realistic. Even the LCA has an American engine. In short the answer is: in the world’s arms market the demand is shrinking since the cold war ended. There is not going to be a war between major powers of the world. There may be wars between say US and Iraq or Afghanistan etc even they would be only after a short duration. Therefore the armaments demand has come down. There are only three centres of armament production: US, Russia and Europe. They can incur the R&D cost and production costs only if they have a market. The right thing would be to get into co-production arrangements with Russian companies etc. The Chinese do not have access to US market, we have an advantage. Chinese can have only Russian weapons. So why don’t we build up on this advantage. To build up defence R&D and production capacities like them, would take us many years and decades and resources. We have so many other demands for resources. So commentators should have balanced idea of these things.

SK: Now that Obama administration has many non-proliferationists what do you think India should do with NPT review conference and CTBT and FMCT coming up?
KS: NPT review conference coming up. We are not going to be invited since we are not members of NPT. You might get everybody into non-proliferation regime as El Baradei has been talking about but not in the treaty, otherwise it will unravel. Others will say you are rewarding India, Pakistan and Israel for not signing up. If Obama succeeds in signing CTBT then we will be under pressure to sign it.

SK: Was it wise for Vajpayee to say in the UN that if US, China etc sign it then India will not come in the way?
KS: He had to as he was under pressure. I have a question. Under what circumstances would we need to resume the tests? If there is such a grave deterioration in the international situation at some point in future then anyway before you others would have resumed testing.

SK: Or if your weapons become obsolete..
KS: There is not much chance of weapons becoming obsolete. The scenario of you alone being called upon to resume testing while the rest of the world does not is farfetched. I cannot visualize it.

SK: There is also computer simulation and sub-kilo ton tests to improve weapon design. Do we have the capacity for it?
KS: If we do not have it then we should develop it. You have to look at your man power and how many weapons you need. You should be prepared to sign up if finally US and China ratify it first. That is not going to be tomorrow or day after. With regard to FMCT we have said we will agree provided you have a verifiable agreement. That is going to take quite some time. Are we short of plutonium? Or is the constraint in reprocessing and fabrication? In which case don’t blame the FMCT for that.

SK: We have stockpile for another 80-100 weapons.
KS: Yes we do. Americans and Russians are planning to bring down theirs to 1500. Then what do we need? So we have to have clear ideas on that.

SK: What is your view of what is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
KS: There is no way Americans can leave Afghanistan and Pakistan.

SK: Don’t you think the current Af-Pak policy is actually an exit policy?
KS: Yes but the main problem is they are trying to make Pakistanis fight the war in their own country. :(

SK: Some people say US is outsourcing IT to India and war to Pakistan…
KS: Yes but Pakistanis are also trying to play all sorts of smart games. In the process what is going to happen to Pakistan and US-Pakistan relations is very difficult to predict. When Hillary Clinton was here she made a statement which was not picked up by media. She said in the interview to NDTV that 9/11 plot was hatched in Pakistan. And the plotters are still there. All that Obama has said is that we will go after them. Pakistanis may think, like many others that Americans will tire out and go away and then they can resume their games. What they do not understand is if Americans start tightening up saying if you fight there will be money and if you don’t fight then there will be no money then what will happen, we have to see. Their economy is in shambles. So the question is how Americans will manage that aspect. Secondly Pakistanis are finding that the chaps who they raised are turning against them. It is the nature of these Jihadi organizations that they have to be against somebody or the other. They will say that Pakistani state is on the side of the Americans. So Pakistanis will have to face that too. So they cannot play a double game for too long. 8)

SK: You think they have made the choice?
KS: They are trying not to make the choice.
:lol: At present they have taken on the Pakistani Taliban and even in that there are serious questions regarding the seriousness of the fighting. They go on saying we have killed so many and still they have not got any leaders. They seem to have displaced a lot of civilians and how long can that continue? They have been very short sighted. Americans have already arranged an alternative supply line with the Russians and they are listening to the conversations of these people quietly, just as they did during 26/11. So they know what is going on. The question is who is going to outsmart whom.

SK: What do you think about what Man Mohan Singh has started?
KS: I have a feeling that you might have peace and stability with all other states: Bangaldesh and others and even with China but I doubt very much you will be able to do that with Pakistan. They are not a rational state. For them hatred of India is over powering.

SK: Don’t you think that at least in a section of people; youth, businessmen etc in Pakistan that there is feeling that peace will mean sharing prosperity on both sides etc.?
KS: That kind of middle class is not very large in Pakistan, neither has it been allowed to grow.

SK: Musharraf’s proposals looked actually reasonable.
KS: Musharraf’s proposals can be looked at even though his idea of joint management is vague, through which he wanted to tell his people that now he can control Indian Kashmir also etc. On the other hand we would say we will also have say on your side and between the two systems let us see where Kashmiris on both sides would go. :lol: But the main point is still even among the middle class the hatred of India is still very strong. So they are not ready to condemn LeT. They have subliminal sympathy.

SK: Is that because of Kashmir?
KS: No that is not because of Kashmir, in fact Kashmir is because of two-nation theory, jihadi mentality etc. I have also interacted with Pakistanis. Javed Jabbar who used to be a minister who was born in Madras, (his father was commissioner of police). He once told me, there will be no peace in South Asia till India breaks up into constituents. First of all they convinced themselves that Islam alone will unify and Hinduism cannot. It is a difficult and troubled state.

SK: If India has to become a major power it has to have economic strength and reasonable relations with its neighbours. Even China has not achieved reasonable relations with neighbours yet.
KS: What is our problem with the neighbours? So long as our relations with China and US were troubled, our neighbours took advantage of it. If you improve relations with China and US you will find that all your neighbours will adjust themselves.

SK: But is that possible? Chinese look at us as some sort of surrogates of US.
KS: It is possible. China is going to grow unless there are problems internally in China and the system changes. India will also grow. China will catch up with US in over all GDP even though they may not have per capita income. Americans want to keep up their pre-eminence in terms of military, economic and technological power. China is an aging country. US and India are not yet aging, at least for another 30 years.

SK: The issue however is America can continue its pre-eminence only if it aligns strongly with India. Only then it will have access to man power, innovation, technology etc.
KS: You are quite right. That is why US needs India and India needs US. What would be the Chinese reaction to this alliance? China and US are not going to fight with each other. It is a rivalry between the two for the top position in the world. I have seen many people say, why should we choose Americans why not Chinese after all we have a 5000 year old relationship etc etc. So I tell them, “Don’t worry about yourself but ask your son and grandson where they want to go to China or US and you will have the answer!”
Some say Harvard or Beijing. I would go even a step further. Where would you be able to build a Balaji temple or a Meenakshi temple in China, which you can in US. Democratic, English speaking and so on. Regarding China, it should be ‘if you are not friendly to us we will intensify our relationship with US. We are prepared to balance our relationship with both of you. But if you are not going to be civil to us we will intensify our collaboration with them’. So ultimately it has to be a three power game in the world. After all Russia, Japan, Europe are all aging. Even Chinese are now thinking of authorizing a second child. The kind of stupidities they have done are amazing! India does not have to worry about its rise.

Whether it is Obama or George Bush, US is not giving up ambition to build up an unrivalled military force in the world, which no single power or a combination of powers can challenge. They will always have that goal. Today 50% of the world’s military expenditure is incurred by the US and more than 50% of R&D expenditure of the world. On that I don’t think there will be any slack. I think Obama feels that dealing with all these nations, engaging them is a better strategy than confronting them. It is a sensible strategy. He is not doing it because US is overstretched. After all the reserve currency of the world is dollar. Rouble was never the reserve currency of the world!
The Americans rightly claim that they are also a soft power.

SK: Some say, perhaps the only other country that can rival US in soft power in terms of culture, movies, religions etc is India.
KS: In due course. You have the potential that is the reason why the two countries getting together is an event that is long overdue and is taking place now. It has nothing to do with Obama or anybody else, it is a natural process.

SK: So far Indian military has been quite defensive but it looks like it is modernizing now for force projection into Indian Ocean, Africa etc to defend Indian investments abroad.
KS: The Americans do not send their expeditionary force into all those countries where they own property or have business interests. They try to do it by influencing various groups in those countries. Therefore when we talk of our expansion etc we should also expand our ability to influence events in those countries. We should be able to befriend various parties, groups and interests in most of those countries. In future force projection by way of going and occupying a country is going to be less and less. Because you can defeat an army but the real problem is how do you occupy a country, as Iraq and Afghanistan show its futility. You could do it in 18th and 19th century, you could do it upto Hitler but not after that. Therefore people who talk about force projection don’t know what they are talking about. We are expanding our Navy for the security of shipping lanes, maritime terrorism, piracy etc it is not to threaten anybody.
But your economic power, your technological power commercial power those are things that make up real power. When the depression happened and America collapsed, it did not matter to China or Japan but today when American banks fail the Chinese are seriously affected. If the dollar goes down Chinese are worried. Not only that even if somebody catches flu in the US, the world has to be put on alert! That was not the case before.
There is no doubt that Americans are not only dominant but they think they are a power that can dictate terms to the rest of the world and that is objectionable. Of course that is not working. Increasingly countries are defying the Americans. We should not try to copy the “ugly American”. Already we have a reputation of doing that in our neighbourhood. That needs to be corrected. A day should come when Nepal. Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka (I am still leaving out Pakistan) would be able to have a common market even something like European Union.

SK: In fact one country which seems to be neglected in that respect is Bangladesh. In fact it is very crucial for the development of North east, Burma and our whole Look East policy.
KS: That is right but they were very nasty to us. Only now we have a new government and we should also not forget that basically it is still East Pakistan. It will take time. Most importantly India should look after her people their food security, health and education then India will automatically become a major power.

SK: Thank you very much for giving me such a lot of time despite your health. You should write books. Why should we read Stephen Cohen or George Perkovich etc as authoritative accounts on Indian affairs?
KS: Unfortunately our government does not declassify archives like Americans do, moreover when these guys come here, all our politicians, bureaucrats etc talk to them. They get much greater access to people in power than us. Besides, they also have access to the American declassified documents. :(

SK: Thanks for your valuable time and insights.

wow fantastic interview clearly mentioning the path taken by India through the years under various PMs. The problems faced during the process. Also discusses upon the relations with US and others. Very clear and to the point. Easy to understand and appreciate what he has told here. Great man indeed.

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Re: Strategic guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby arunsrinivasan » 07 Feb 2011 10:26

Sanjaya Baru: K Subrahmanyam's last column

He was a grand strategist who truly understood the power of prosperity and knowledge

His voice was faint, almost conspiratorial. “Have you heard Obama’s ‘Sputnik moment’ speech?” he asked. “This is what I have been saying. But America needs India to make the next technological leap. This is an opportunity for us to work together.”

I asked him if he would write a column. “I cannot,” he whispered, “I am not supposed to even talk. Don’t tell anyone I called. I am banned from talking or writing. You know my views. You write.”

That was a guru’s instruction. I told him I was travelling and would come and see him on my return. He passed away before I could.

Krishnaswamy Subrahmanyam (1929-2011) – alias Subbu, K Subs, Bomb Mama – India’s foremost grand strategist, author of the Indian nuclear doctrine, architect of a yet to be built Indian National Defence University, advisor to prime ministers, mentor to several generations of students of defence and security studies, spook, columnist, debator extraordinaire, etc. etc. had a thinking man’s brain that was active till the end. He died on February 2, 2011 after battling cancer for a decade.

In his “State of the Union” speech of January 25, 2011, US President Barack Obama recalled how the US was rudely awakened by Soviet Union’s technological leap forward with the launch of the Sputnik and this enthused the US to invest in research and education, helping it not just to “surpass the Soviets” but to “unleash a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs”.

“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment,” President Obama said, drawing attention to the competition from China in the field of science and technology, and added, “in a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us … invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology — an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet and create countless new jobs for our people.”

The column Mr Subrahmanyam had in mind was in fact a variation of the one he wrote for Business Standard (November 18, 2009) on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s state visit to the United States in November 2009. He had written then: “Economic recovery after the financial crisis will be marked by the emergence of new, innovative technologies. Indo-US collaboration and cooperation in these areas may lead to cost reductions and creation of new markets. In other words, India is in a position to help sustain US pre-eminence in technological and economic spheres. Unlike in 2005, this time India is in a position to offer the US a partnership of mutual benefit, which will serve both Indian and US national interests and also serve the cause of democracy. Just as the Sino-US economic partnership of the past three decades benefited both countries, till the recent economic crisis set in, and aided China’s growth, an Indo-US economic and social partnership can also be of mutual benefit to both democracies.”

Mr Subrahmanyam saw the India-US civil nuclear energy agreement as a step towards eliminating the high-tech barriers that the US had erected against India so that the two democracies could work together in the knowledge economy. As a strategic visionary, Mr Subrahmanyam came to recognise early that economic competitiveness and technological competence lie at the heart of national power in the modern world.

In his foreword to my book (Strategic Consequences of India’s Economic Performance, 2006), he wrote, “A globalised economy, with this degree of interdependence among nations, and in a balance of power strategic system, has not existed before; at least not in the industrial age. The world did not have nuclear weapons and missiles that deterred outbreak of war among major powers. Nor have we a precedent to a world where knowledge will be the currency of power. The opposition to India’s enhancement of its relationship with the US comes largely from people who are risk averse.”

I must acknowledge here a critical role that Mr Subrahmanyam played in saving the India-US civil nuclear energy cooperation agreement in March 2008. After months of trying to get the Left Front on board, the Congress party had virtually given up on the deal. On February 20, 2008 the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Joseph Biden (a leader of the Democratic Party and now US vice-president), met the PM and advised him to “conclude the nuclear deal by July-end to ensure that the US Congress approves it before the presidential election”.

Mr Biden was sure that a Democrat would be the next US president and was also sure that it was “highly unlikely that the next president would be able to present the deal in the present format”.

I found the PM most distraught because it appeared he had little political support from his party and government to go forward. Even his closest aides started advising him to put the initiative on the back burner and not risk a political crisis.

I then took the initiative, without the PM’s authorisation, to reach out to Mr Subrahmanyam to get him to build a constituency of support for the deal through the media. His voice would be heard with respect even within the government and the Congress party. He wrote a column (“Will the nuclear deal finally go ahead?” March 16, 2008. Available at: ... ahead.html) in which he warned the Congress against the perfidy of the Left when it comes to foreign policy.

I believe Mr Subrahmanyam’s solid backing for the nuclear agreement at a critical moment played a vital role in reviving the issue and encouraging the PM to take a tough stand. He had played a similar role, using the media, holding the Gujral government back from voting in favour of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996.

Mr Subrahmanyam was a true Bharat Ratna. He shaped policy from the outside, seeking to enhance India’s power without seeking any for himself. His views will continue to shape India’s grand strategy as India’s economy and knowledge power grow.

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Re: Strategic guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 07 Feb 2011 11:42

Wow all the up close commentators are using language from BR:
Bharat Rakshak!(CUB) Bharat Ratna! (Sanjay Baru)

For some Bay Area folks do you recall my talk on Saturday nite saying sama (reason), Dana (accommodation) as bheda (dissension) and Danda (Coercion) are ruled out due to current situation?

About the deal you guys heard what Arun had to say. It was KS who go him convinced.

The above interview posted by krisna is correct.

The worry is who will think like him and his thought process?
Did folks notice even he does not have the whole narrative? And how often Nehru-Gandhi family leaders act out Hamletian dilemmas of to nuclearise or not to nuclearise? Its a personal decision for them. It was PVNR and ABV who pushed the dilemma away by blasting the Gordian knot around Indian political minds.

About the sputnik moment:
I don't know if folks saw a youtube video I posted in Indian Interests thread on the future competetion in the world/ The big picture is by 2030 the population of India that has IQ >100 will be equal to the current population of US. Its that population that has to be empowered with education, finances and capabilities to lead the world out of the morass of the colonial three centuries.

My comment right after hearing the State of Union sputnik moment was that the original one was national security challenge to which all rallied while the current one is an economic one where there will be segments who will be winners and a lot who will be losers. As Obama showed his partisanship by his propping up banks and letting home owners whither on the underwater mortgages, he wont be able to rally the nation behind on this.

He is no Kennedy.

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Re: Strategic guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby rsharma » 07 Feb 2011 12:15

May I humbly suggest to the Mods that the title of the thread be changed from "Strategic" Guru to STRATEGY Guru..

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby krisna » 08 Feb 2011 07:51

Tribute to Shri KS-Shyamala Cowsik NSAB
A very warm, perceptive and moving tribute to a great visionary who belongs to that very rare breed, those who are irreplaceable. What I liked above all in it is the wonderful summing up of Shri. K, Subrahmanyam's overall national strategic mantra:the single-minded advocacy of national power not devoid of principle. If only we could get the powers that be to desist from the knee-jerk reactions and general bent towards soft options that complicate our foreign policy these days, whether toward Pakistan or the US or China or elsewhere, we could manage our innumerable problems much better.

Though not all of us have had the good luck of having been closely associated with Shri. K. Subrahmanyam as Cde. Uday Bhaskar has had, many of us have fond memories of him. My own favourite is of watching him, in 1980, at a special round table that I, then First Secretary (Political) in our Embassy in Washington, had organised for him at Brookings, take Richard Haas apart, gently but comprehensively. He could always remember and cite some long past example of American hypocrisy and/ or perfidy to stump their later attempts at sanctimonious preaching to us. :mrgreen: But he never lost sight of the national interest or let his personal exasperations cloud his assessment of our best policy options, whence his whole-hearted support of the India-US rapprochement during the Bush years, and of the nuclear deal as well.

I am sure that he is now busy, in Heaven, analysing the likely post-Mubarak scenario and its implications for India, the Arabs, and the rest of the world. I wish, so much, that he could share it with us.

Shyamala B. Cowsik, IFS (Retd.)
Fmr Member, National Security Advisory Board

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 08 Feb 2011 08:12

Dear Ms Cowsik, Seeing that you had the benefit of personally knowing him and his mind unlike us can you start repaying the debt you owe his mind by doing that post Mubarak analysis and its impact on India?

krisna, thanks for the interview it lit many light bulbs in my mind! Most significantly the Chola Temple guy is not candid. No wonder guruji wouldn't address the issue.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby kmkraoind » 09 Feb 2011 12:45

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 10 Feb 2011 02:38

Two tributes:

Maj Gen Dipanker Banerjee

To a Guru (KS) A Personal Tribute

To a Guru (KS): A Personal Tribute

By Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Dipankar Banerjee

We were at our Fifth Annual India-NATO Track II Dialogue when the sad news reached us of the demise of Shri K Subrahmanyam. The conference paused to pay a silent tribute to the doyen of Indian strategists. KS had inspired and taught generations of Indians how to look at the world and shape strategic choices. A true Guru in the best traditions of India.

But, in that minute’s silence my mind went back to early 1973, when I met KS for the first time at the IDSA. I was a young major with admission to study at the King’s College, London after the Staff Course at Camberley, UK and I sought his advice. He would have had a hundred things to do, but spent a better part of an hour explaining to me what to study and how to go about it. It is another story that the Indian Army then had no scheme for study leave and I could not go, but he had inspired me enough to convince me to devote time in the future to learn about war and peace beyond the mere management of conflict. It remained with me for a decade and a half.

It was in late 1987 that I joined the IDSA after the NDC Course when KS had just left charge, but was still around. My posting was under the provision of the Defence Minister’s Monday morning conference note, which KS had engineered, to spare an officer of flag rank from each service to spend time at the IDSA. For the next two decades and more he was the guiding light. His legendary patience, invariable courtesy, formidable memory, power of deep introspection and analyses have all been written about now by many people. I never saw him once lose his temper; except to some several western scholars who would confront him over some matter. In a few well chosen words and through his immense power of reasoning, he would demolish them in a couple of minutes. Yet, having seen him do that on so many occasions, I suspect that they all considered that a badge of honour and recognition.

On return from England in the late 1980s he used to come to the IDSA regularly. He would sit in a hard-back chair without a table in the Deputy Director’s office and on a clip board write out an article for the editorial pages of leading newspapers in Delhi. Shakuntala (Jasjit’s Secretary) would type it out by 1.30 pm and we waited to see it published the next day. It was his prolific writing, regular participation in conferences and seminars during this period that shaped India’s strategic thinking perhaps most of all. This is a debt that the nation can never repay.

Whenever we had the occasion to travel together to foreign lands or in India we would benefit immensely from his guidance and advice. I particularly looked forward to his comments over dinner or during travel. Some thoughts would occur to him and he would recall with total clarity decisions or events of long ago and explain them to us. Or, discuss some history of the evolution of nuclear policy that would make things easy to comprehend.

We would of course invariably ask his advice before major presentations or in forming our ideas on a particularly knotty subject. With patience and again remarkable clarity he would explain the various issues. In later years he was to suffer long from his many ailments, but I have never heard him complain once. Even on very bad days he would attend conferences and share his insights with the junior-most scholar.

In all his articulation he brought a remarkable pragmatism guided solely by national interests. He is among the very few scholars of any nationality, who has had the ability to change with the times. When the strategic environment changed or national interests so dictated, he would cut through the non-essentials and formulate strategic choices unencumbered by previous conceptions.

I have only one regret. In autumn 1999, as the Executive Director of the South Asian think tank the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, I had the occasion to organize the largest gathering of the brightest young South Asian and Chinese scholars in Sri Lanka. I invited KS to deliver the key note address and he readily agreed. In that troubled era after Kargil I was convinced that his wise words would cut through the intense regional hostility prevailing at the time and help create an environment of stability if not peace and introduce a new strategic discourse in the region. It was not to be. KS was appointed the Chair of the Kargil committee and he regretted that he would have to miss this conference as the Government of India had asked him to expedite the report.

When India emerges as a leading global influence in the near future, as it surely must, it would be KS’ contribution that would be the most significant.

Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Dipankar Banerjee
Mentor, IPCS

PC.. Chari of IPCS

HACK job

K. Subrahmanyam

By PR Chari

How does one spell out one’s recollections of an icon? When Andre Malraux passed away General de Gaulle said in Gaelic hyperbole, “Malraux is dead. France is widowed.” The obituaries pouring into the Indian newspapers echo similar sentiments after Subrahmanyam’s demise following a long battle against his worsening diabetes, cancer and heart disease. India’s strategic community is saying, “Subrahmanyam is dead. India’s strategists are widowed.”

He dominated the national security scene for some six decades. His prolific writings, his leadership of several non-official organizations, and his appointment to various official bodies ensured that. And, yet, it is worth recollecting that he was never made Defense Secretary; indeed, he was moved out of the Government in 1980, and appointed, first as Director of Indian Institute of Public Administration, and then, on his request, as Director of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses. In that capacity he was often chosen to advise the Government. Strange are the ways of the political leadership and the higher bureaucracy. The Padma Bhushan was conferred on him in later years, and that he spurned, was the Government’s way of salvaging its own conscience. But, it also informed that the Government’s Bhavans can be influenced by molding public opinion. Subrahmanyan was able to do this by his mastery over what might be called ‘campaign academics’ viz. mounting a barrage of writings and presentations in seminars and TV talk shows to hammer home a basic message. No different from Arun Shourie’s brand of ‘campaign journalism.’

Naturally, this gained for him a huge number of acolytes in the armed forces, sections of the media, academia and the Government, who admired his clear, no-nonsense, combative style of debate—no quarter asked or given. But, it also gained him a huge number of critics in these very constituencies, who believed that strategic studies— part of the social sciences— should be hospitable to opposed points of view. Like abroad, especially in Washington—the Mecca of think tanks—those in New Delhi remained divided in their appreciation of Subrahmanyam, with a fairly neat division obtaining between the official and private think tanks, and, further, between those located in South Delhi and North Delhi.

Balzac is reported to have re-read one of his earliest novels, and sighed, “What genius I had then.” This was true of Subrahmanyam. His earliest writings were his best, especially those in which he expatiated on the problems of defense administration like professionalization of the higher command set-up, lacuna in threat and intelligence assessments, defects in weapons selection and procurement issues and so on. Until then these issues were considered secret, and unsuited for public debate. He also developed Emile Benoit’s thesis to argue that expenditure on defense and development was complementary, and not competing with each other. It amounted to an argument to allocate more for defense, which was music to the ears of the concerned constituencies. The Benoit thesis was, of course, deeply flawed; it had some applicability to developed countries, but very limited applicability to developing countries.

{Looks like Chariji is a dissenter!}

Some examples can be given to illustrate Subrahmanyam’s style of ‘campaign academics’. His clarion call in July 1971 that India should exploit the revolt in East Pakistan, which began in March-April, and take advantage of ‘the opportunity of the century’ to dismember Pakistan was deeply embarrassing to Government. Why? The IDSA, being fully funded by the Ministry of Defense, was considered to be a Government mouthpiece. Several Ambassadors and High Commissioners in New Delhi immediately sought appointments with the Defense and Foreign Secretaries for clarifications. The only way Government could explain the situation was to urge that Subrahmanyam was speaking for himself, and the IDSA was an autonomous institution. Privately, however, Subrahmanyam was pulled up by K.B.Lall, then Defense Secretary.

{The solution is to cut the MOD umbilical link to IDSA and give only funds and let it be autonomous like RAND. There is a need for govt to have independent advice and not have group think. I submit that it was P.R. Chari's tenure that saw IDSA reduced to a literature survey organization which it still is.}

Another example. His devotion to the Soviet Union in the Cold War years led him to support the most extraordinary policy contortions by the Government to justify aberrant Soviet actions; then, after the Cold War and the triumph of the United States, his support of the United States was equally uncritical. Witness, his refusal to apprehend the dangers to regional and international peace after the Soviet lurch into Afghanistan. Bhabani Sen Gupta’s out-of-the-box suggestion at that juncture that Soviet adventurism required India and Pakistan to evolve a common response was laughed out of court. Witness the fact, however, that no solution has emerged yet to the Afghanistan impasse after over three decades. And, Subrahmanyam’s unqualified support to the Indo-US nuclear deal did not appreciate that what was good for India was bad for the global non-proliferation system. :( Witness, how this system suffered a body blow, and the real possibility now exists of Pakistan being similarly favored by China. :mrgreen: The point being emphasized here is that Subrahmanyam’s imbuing his own understanding to evocative terms like nationalism and realism led him into all manner of intellectual gymnastics to justify his ‘campaign academics.’

{To me the above are examples of KS's extreme/single minded devotion to Indian interests and not illusive universal peace at India's costs. If you read Luttwak's "Grand Strategy of Byzantium Empire' he shows how their policy appears inconsistent until you understand its to preserve the state through the centuries.}

Subrahmanyam has been hailed as the progenitor of India’s nuclear policy. But this debate had an earlier vintage; it can be traced back to India’s defeat in the Sino-Indian border conflict in October-November 1962 , followed by China’s first nuclear test in October 1964. An alarmed Indian Parliament had immediately debated the need for India to exercise its nuclear option in its winter session, and the then Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, being forced to make a commitment that India would consider the nuclear option. Subrahmanyam had picked up these threads later to launch his campaign for the bomb that led to the ‘peaceful nuclear explosion’ in May 1974 and the nuclear test series in May 1998. Pakistan followed, and the situation created is exactly what was predicted in an IDSA seminar in early 1980. Again, it was recognized by Bhabani Sen Gupta that, should India go nuclear, the nuclearization of Pakistan was inevitable. {This is totally wrong. Pakistan launched it bomb quest in Multan in 1972 way before India tested in 1974. Besides it turns blind eye to PRC aiding and abetting the Pakistan bomb quest. The test in May 1990 was after end of Cold War! And even at Chagai the PRC provided new bombs that worked as there was no confidence the Paki stuff worked. And recall the Pu sample despite there being no PU facilitiy in Pakistan! And US losing the sample.} Mutual nuclear deterrence between India and Pakistan would erode India’s conventional superiority—as seen during the Kargil conflict. Further, India-Pakistan hostility would not cease, but enter subterranean channels that would be difficult to counter. This tragic drama is being played out today. But, at that time, such views were deemed to be heresy, and condemned as anti-nationalist. Realism was deified as the greatest virtue, idealism became a term of abuse, and nuclear pacificism was equated with weak-mindedness.

This analysis of Subrahmanyam’s major campaigns is a professional evaluation.

{No its not. Its an unprofessional hack job after the man is dead.}

What was he like as a person? Coming from a very modest background, it may not be known that he needed to work to pay his fees and finish his post-graduation. Thereafter, after entering the IAS, he had the responsibility of getting his siblings through their education and his sisters married. All that on the very meager salary of an IAS officer during his early years in the Service. He was, in his non-professional capacity, a very warm person, and extremely helpful by nature. He was ever willing to ‘put in a word’ to help out a family member or junior colleague. His greatest virtue was that he was always willing to teach younger scholars and share with them his knowledge. Blessed with a photographic memory and a prodigious ability to read and remember, he could accurately recollect facts and opinions after decades He used this ability both to educate people and to win arguments on the seminar floor. In the initial years he would ever willing to write for anyone who might request him and without any recompense. But, he had, naturally, to limit this generosity in his later years, especially when he had started writing regularly for the newspapers.

{It means KS garu is even greater in my eyes. He was self made man and even after achieving success didnt forget like most people and helped his family members. Recall he was 22 years old when he cleared the IAS in 1951! Just a young boy hardly a man.}

My writing about Subrahmanyam has been difficult for two reasons. For one, I had succeeded him as the Director of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis in October 1975. {Very bad decison by whoever who wanted to undo the IDSA. I bet it was the jealous coterie in IAS!} It was still young, having been established in 1966.The first Director was a Major General Som Dutt. Subrahmanyam was its second Director, and I was the third. Very strangely, Subrahmanyam was re-posted to the Institute in April 1980. So, I was both his successor and predecessor in that post, which makes these recollections unavoidably subjective. But, my other difficulty is very personal. We are, or rather were, closely related. Familial linkages in India, as is well known, are much more intense than what exists in the West; hence our differences caused some distress to the family.

{Maybe the family is right! Read your colleague at IPCS Maj. Gen. Bannerjee's account that KS requested of his own to be posted at IDSA in 1980.}

How can I sum up Subrahmanyam’s legacy? The phrase most frequently heard at his cremation was ‘end of an era.’ I think this would have amused him, because it assumes that international issues stand still and are not evolving. Great events are unfolding, and need to be constantly parsed. Like what will happen when the Americans and Europeans finally leave Afghanistan. How will the interaction between China’s ‘peaceful rise’ and India’s ‘emergence’ evolve? And, the new Cold War between the United States and China shape itself?

And so on. Subrahmanyam would have loved to have led these debates. He would also have agreed that the end of an era inevitably signals the birth of a new era.

{Well he woke up the inherent genius of the Indian people and they will follow in his footsteps and use his methods and guidance on similar issues as an example. Its the end of an era and the begining of a new epoch! he has awhole trib of people who now are enlightened.}

PR Chari
Visiting Professor, IPCS

Mr. Chari,
I am sorry you have let your bloody mindedness/pettiness to interfere in your tribute to a great man. Its like all those eunuchs who disparaged the great Bhisma and they were the lesser people not him. Similarly you let your dogma cloud your mind.

One can understand having disagreements but to distort truth is not right and you stand diminished by this hack job especially after he is dead.

Pakistan would have got the nuclear weapon from the West (all their mfg facilities are from West and AQK was trained in West) or the PRC (actual bomb/s). It was a matter of time and no amount of appeasement would have changed this ground fact. For that is the way things are.

KS in his illustration of the inevitability of Nazi attack on Soviet Union despite the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and train loads of Soviet grain to Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union attack on Imperial Japan despite the Moltov-Matsuoka pact made the same point.

Its self delusion to think otherwise and when you are in charge of a nation's defence resources as you were(Secy for IAF), its borderline treason. BTW, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan also said Nehru was self deluded about PRC in 1962 and the nation suffered.
When you have responsibility you can't have delusions.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 10 Feb 2011 03:31

From the web:

Challenges to Indian Security
By K. Subrahmanyam *

It is indeed a great honour and privilege for me to be asked to deliver this memorial lecture to recall the services of the first Indian Chief of Army Staff. At that time the office was still called the Commander in Chief. I met him briefly as an IAS probationer in 1951 when he visited the Metcalfe House IAS Training School. Otherwise, I had no opportunity to meet him or interact with him. I joined the Defence Finance in 1954 and thereafter developed continuous and intense interest in India's defence. In those days some two-three years after he laid down his office you heard in the corridors of the Army Headquarters stories of his punctiliousness. "Kipper would not have approved of it" was the usual comment when there was the slightest dereliction from form or the high meticulous standards he expected in matters of decorum. I have heard it said that the he did not approve of an officer carrying the round cylindrical tin of cigarettes. It must be a flat cigarette case that fitted tidily in the side pocket of the uniform jacket.

But the story I cherish most about General Cariappa as he was then, was his encounter with Mahatma Gandhi. While undergoing the course in the Imperial Defence College in London as a major general in early 1947, General Cariappa was quoted as advocating that Jawahar Lal Nehru and Jinnah should meet to work out a solution without partitioning India and in any event division of the Indian Army should be averted. Gandhiji criticised him for a military man expressing views on politics in his weekly column in The Harijan. When General Cariappa returned to India he called on Gandhiji who was staying in the Bhangi Colony. When he reached Gandhiji's cottage, the meticulous solider took off his shoes before entering the hut. Gandhiji who knew enough about soldiering having served in the battle field in South Africa during the Zulu war, told him that his shoes were part of his uniform and therefore it was not proper to take them off. The General replied that according to the Indian tradition a person did not wear shoes in the presence of a deity, mahatmas and saints. After some polite conversation, General Cariappa came to the point. He told Gandhiji, "I cannot do my duty well by the country if I concentrate only on telling troops of nonviolence, all the time, subordinating their main task of preparing themselves efficiently to be good soldiers. So I ask you, please to give me the child's guide to knowledge-tell me please, how I can put this over, that is, the spirit of nonviolence to the troops without endangering their sense of duty to train themselves well professionally as soldiers. "Gandhiji replied, "You have asked me to tell you in tangible and concrete form how you can put over to the troops the need for nonviolence. I am still groping in the dark for the answer. I will find it and give it to you some day." You will find this story in Pyarelal's book "Mahatma Gandhi: the Last Phase". Pyarelal was Gandhiji's private secretary at the time.

This was the honest answer of the apostle of nonviolence to the first soldier of the independent India. He did not have an answer on how to defend India using nonviolence. This happened in December 1947. Next month the Mahatma was assassinated. Even as Gandhiji was searching for an answer how to use nonviolence in defence, he approved and indeed strongly supported the use of the Indian Army to defend Kashmir against Pakistani invasion. Brigadier L.P. Sen obtained Gandhiji's blessings before he flew down to Srinagar to assume his command.

It would have required enormous moral courage on the part of General Carriappa to raise the issue of nonviolence in defence with the Mahatma. It is a pity that this exchange between the Mahatma and the General had not been publicised widely. This exchange made it clear that Gandhiji who successfully practised nonviolence in the offensive mode vis a vis the British Raj which was on the defensive, had not solved the problem of application of non-violence to defence and therefore, as was demonstrated in Kashmir, was prepared to support the use of the Indian Army in defence. Even today this exchange has not been made known to most of the people in the nation. If that had happened, the wide-spread belief that Gandhian values were responsible for the neglect of defence in the earlier years of our freedom would not be there. In fact, Gandhian values and approach have been used as a convenient alibi by people who did not understand Gandhi. The Mahatma, as he himself made clear often, was not a pacifist. He always maintained that violence was better than cowardice.

I start with this exchange between General Cariappa and the Mahatma because even 53 years after our independence there is no clear understanding among our leaders, our political class, our bureaucracy, business establishment and intellectuals about the nature of the security problems India faces. This is illustrated by the fact that though India has declared itself a state with nuclear weapons and the National Security Advisory Board's nuclear doctrine has been publicised, there has been no significant debate on this vital security issue in the country among the political parties and in the parliament. So is the case with the Kargil Review Committee's report. This is the situation after this country has fought five wars. The problem with our country was not the Gandhian approach and values but our centuries old indifference to who rules us. There is a well known saying "What matters if Rama or Ravana rules". That was why a few hundred horsemen descending down the Khyber Pass could overrun the subcontinent. The East India Company could use Indians to conquer India. When Queen Victoria issued her proclamation in 1857 it was widely welcomed. Even today the same indifference permits a largely corrupt political class to be elected and deny this country the pace of growth and prosperity it deserves. An American writer has highlighted that Indians lack the tradition of strategic thinking.

Mr Altaf Gauhar an eminent Pakistani Columnist, who was information adviser to General Ayub Khan, wrote a series of articles in the Pakistani daily Nation in September and Octoberr 1999 after the Kargil War under the title "Four Wars and one Assumption". He argued that Pakistan started all the four wars under One assumption which was articulated by General Ayub Khan. The latter genuinely believed "as a general rule Hindu morale would not stand more than a couple of hard blows at the right time and place." Today Pakistani generals write about bleeding India through a thousand cuts. They have been talking about fatigue setting in the Indian Army because of its continuous deployment in counter-terrorist operations and its efficiency as a fighting force in consequence. Lt General Javed Nasir, the former head of the Inter Services Intelligence Wing wrote in early 1999 that "the Indian Army is incapable of undertaking any conventional operations at present, what to talk of enlarging conventional conflict". It was this mindset which led to the Kargil adventurism.

This country has been facing a nuclear threat arising out of China's proliferation of nuclear weapon capability to Pakistan from mid-seventies. Even as Prime Minister Moraji Desai renounced India's nuclear weapon option and nuclear testing in the UN Assembly Special Session on Disarmament in June 1978, Pakistan on October 5, 1999, in News International, the present Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Abdul Sattar, the former foreign minister, Agha Shahi and former air chief Marshal Zulfikar Ali Khan have disclosed that Pakistan conceived its nuclear weapons programme in the wake of its defeat in 1971 war and it was India-specific. They also assert that the value of Pakistani nuclear capability was illustrated on at least three occasions, in mid 1980s, in 1987 at the time of the Indian Army exercise, operation Brass Tacks, and in April-May 1990. The Kargil Review Committee Report confirms the 1987 threat officially conveyed to India through Ambassdor S.K. Singh, posted in Islamabad, and of fears of possible Pakistani nuclear strike in 1990. Yet the country's media, academia and the Parliament have not bothered to discuss the nuclear dimension of the security issue. It would appear that one of the most difficult challenges to Indian security we face is the general indifference to security on the part of our elite.

Recently the Times of India managed to obtain a copy of the History of 1965 War, compiled by a team of historians commissioned by the Ministry of Defence and put it on the internet. Though this history was ready for public release in later eighties and the Ministry of Defence and Army headquarters were keen on releasing it, its publication was vetoed by the Committee of Secretaries. This highlighted that among our bureaucracy and political leadership there is not adequate appreciation of using history of past wars, campaigns and lessons derived from them as learning aids. Even today, 37 years after the report was submitted to the government, the Henderson-Brookes Report is still being kept under lock and key. This secrecy is not attributed to concern about national security. It arises out of callous indifference to national security and laziness to go through the original document and decide whether its release would in any way adversely affect our security. Same approach is holding back the release of the history of 1971 war as well.

Such indifference to history also comes in the way of the development of correct understanding and appreciation of the adversary's mindset. In the absence of such understanding, assessments of the present and future course of actions by the adversary military leadership becomes, that much more difficult. All this arises out of a non-professional and generalist approach to national security on the part of our political and bureaucratic leadership with some rare exceptions. The Kargil Review Committee has recommended that the National Security Council, the senior bureaucracy servicing it, and the service chiefs need to be continually sensitised to assessed intelligence pertaining to national, regional and international security issues and therefore there should be periodic intelligence briefings to the Cabinet Committee on Security with all supporting staff in attendance. There is reluctance both on the part of politicians and bureaucracy to devote time and effort for the purpose. It is considered adequate if people are briefed when the need for it arises. This attitude is similar to the one exhibited by some political leaders who raised the question as to what was the threat that developed in 1998 that necessitated the nuclear tests. In this approach there is a deplorable lack of understanding that the best way of tackling a threat is to anticipate it well in advance and to be well prepared to meet it. Starting preparations to counter a threat after it has materialised is the surest way of inviting disaster. That means there is no understanding of the concept of lead time needed for preparations. This indifference to carry out regular periodic assessment of security threats on the parts of our political class and bureaucracy and communicate it to the nation is at the root of overall insensitivity of our media, academia, parliamentarians and the public at large to the problems of national security. This Indian mindset is not a secret to our adversaries. Therefore, they cannot be blamed if they attempt to exploit this weakness of ours. When I refer to bureaucracy it includes the uniformed community as well.

This tradition of not anticipating the threat in advance and not being prepared to meet it and to attempt to counter it after it had assumed serious proportions is what Air Commodore Jasjit Singh calls the Panipat Syndrome. The rulers of Delhi waited till the enemy advanced down to Panipat and then went out and gave battle. It would seem that the political and bureaucratic class of independent India had not drawn any lessons even from the three battles of Panipat, let alone the recent wars of 1948, 1965 and 1971.

Yet another serious challenges this country faces to its security is the tendency of our political class and the media, to a certain extent, to politicise issues of national security in a partisan manner. In all mature democracies, basic issues of national security are kept above party politics. If there are debates in the US on issues like the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) that is not about national security but about the nature and extent of offensive posture to be adopted to advance their foreign policy interests. In those countries since there are frequent alternating changes of parties in government and opposition, the ruling party generally keeps the opposition informed of major developments in the field of national security. In India this does not happen.

One can understand our Prime Minister keeping the development of the nuclear weapon a closely guarded secret not shareable even with their own senior cabinet colleagues. However, when the tests were conducted in May 1998 it was obvious to every well informed person, that while the credit for taking the decision to test should go to the ruling coalition, it could not have developed the weapons in the 53 days it was in office. That credit should go to those parties which provided the previous Prime Ministers. If only the ruling coalition had displayed enough grace to invite those former Prime Ministers to be present while making the announcement, the nuclear issue would not have created the controversy it did. While the previous Prime Ministers had a compulsion to keep the programme a secret, there was no reason why they could not have educated their party men on the realities of the international nuclear order. Even today no political party leadership exerts itself to educate its members and its second and third rung leaders on international and national security issues. The result of this pattern of behaviour is that the Congress party indulged in severe criticism of the nuclear tests when the maximum contribution to the developments of nuclear weapons and missiles were by Prime Ministers belonging to that party.

This politicisation reached its peak during the Kargil conflict and continues to this day with adverse consequences for our national security. During the previous wars in 1948, 1962, 1965 and 1971, there were failures of intelligence, assessment of intelligence as well as in policies. There was criticism of the government of the day by the opposition. Very rarely was the criticism directed against the army and individual officers, though various accounts of the campaigns do reveal serious mistakes committed including the dissolution of 4th Indian Division at Sela-Bomdila without joining battle. Yet, very rarely one saw the kind of campaign that is now being carried on in certain quarters. In a democracy, the conduct of defence in terms of policy, management and procurement must be subject to criticism. But the degree of personalisation of criticism now being generated cannot be termed as constructive. This, it would appear, is attributable to the politicisation of national security as part of extremely partisan politics. Many of those in the media are committed political activists and therefore their political commitment colours their reporting and comments. The earlier generations of media persons had their political preferences but were scrupulously objective in their reporting. Perhaps, this present phenomenon may prove to be a passing phase. Perhaps, it may not.

The Indian democracy can accept such criticisms. The only risk is our adversaries may be misled by them and indulge in adventurism. One may recall the Nazis were misled by the Oxford Union passing a resolution in the thirties that they would not fight for the king or the country. A few years later many of those Oxford graduates became the fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain about whom Churchill said "Never was so much owed by so many to so few." This kind of negative writing in our media might have led Pakistani generals to talk about the fatigue in Indian Army and initiate the Kargil adventure. Therefore, without in anyway departing from high democratic norms and abridging the freedom to report, the government and the Armed Forces have to carefully assess the impact of such reports and to take corrective action, where necessary in terms of information campagin. Transparency is the best policy and strategy. Unfortunately this is yet to be fully appreciated as is evident from the counter productive government security deletions in the Kargil report and holding back the appendices and annexures. Many of them were published documents in this country and in Pakistan.

This is an era of coalition politics and we have a coalition of over a dozen parties. Many of them are regional parties based on linguistic and even caste and communal considerations. With some rare exceptions most of the members belonging to these parties are largely interested in local issues affecting their constituencies and not very much in international and national security issues. This is understandable. Some of them become members of Parliamentary Standing Committees on defence and foreign affairs. One hopes that gives them some opportunity to widen their horizons. However, there is no institutionalised mechanism for their being able to acquire more knowledge and background in these fields. Unlike in other established democracies where there are a number of publications on foreign policy and defence issues by the Government every year outlining assessments and policies and periodic briefings, there are none in India except the routine annual reports which only give sketchy accounts of what happened in the previous year rather than what is likely to happen and what the country should be doing.

Again, in other established democracies there are think-tanks manned by specialists who have access to government information on a graded basis. Often, the think-tanks are given contracts for studies to be done for the government departments. They have to be provided all necessary information by the government to carry out such studies. In India, the government has a tradition of not even sharing the time of the day with any non-official, autonomous, academic institution. Often officials do not even share informaion with their colleagues who have a need to know.

Nor our media have many people who specialise on defence, though of late a start has been made. In the West, the defence and foreign policy establishments hand out every day so many stories, usually a tacit relationship develops between the government, its agencies and the media. Even while being critical the media in those countries does not have an adversial relationship with the government and its agencies on national security issues. This is not always the case here.

The net result of all these factors is inadequate attention to problems of national security. The responsibility for this situation rests squarely on the successive governments and the national security establishment. The NDA government began with a proclaimed commitment to national security of a much higher order than its predecessors and established a National Security Council, (NSC) a National Security Advisory Board and a Strategic Planning Group in 1998. A new beginning was made and there was a break with tradition in first setting up a Kargil Review Committee and then publishing its report. Then came the group of ministers to revamp the entire national security framework as recommended by the Kargil Review Committee. The four task forces set up by them have completed their work and submitted their reports promptly. It is expected that the group of ministers will act equally promptly and come up with their recommendations. Hopefully the country is likely to witness a progressive revamping of national security framework for the first time since independence. That is encouraging news.

But while the structures may get reformed and updated, the problem of attitudinal change towards national security is beyond the scope of this group of ministers. That is a matter for political leadership at the highest level. The media has commented that the NSC set up in 1998 had hardly met. The NSC and Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) has, with one exception, the same composition in terms of five cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister. The Secretariat for CCNS is the cabinet secretariat while for the NSC it is the NSC Secretariat.

The two bodies have however totally different roles. The CCNS is a decision making body which has to focus on current security problems. It has also to approve decisions on current equipment procurement. The NSC has an advisory and deliberating role to develop long term future oriented perspectives and to direct the ministries to come up with their policies and recommendations to the CCNS and to monitor their implementation. Because of this role the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission is also a member of the NSC. In order to play this role effectively it needs long term as well as current intelligence assessments. Its deliberations and advice on long term policies will have to be based on such assessments. It would appear from the reports that NSC has not met, that in this country, without a tradition of strategic thinking and without interest in national security on the part of our political class, it has not been found easy to get over the inertia and switch to a culture of anticipatory planning for national security. There are many reasons for it. Our intelligence agencies have not been equipped and oriented towards long term forecasting. Our foreign service is mostly geared to react to immediate events. Policy planning has never taken off in that ministry. The Joint Intelligence Committee and long term intelligence assessments have never been given due importance because of the lack of interest in anticipatory security planning. The chiefs of staffs, being operational commanders do not have adequate time for long term future oriented thinking. The Ministry of Defence has burdened itself with house keeping functions of the armed forces which are best left to them and has not been conditioned and trained to think through long term international and national security issues. Therefore, there is not sufficient awareness in the government that the country is not equipped to plan long term national security policy. At best it is equipped only to carry out short term and current national security management. This is a crucial challenge to Indian security. Because of this grave lacuna the National Security Council is not able to function after it was formally set up two years ago.

The tragedy is that even the nature of the illness has not been diagnosed. Only the symptoms are being treated. That by itself, no doubt, is to be welcomed, but it will not produce a permanent cure. The situation is likely to become further complicated with the new role we have envisaged for India as a state with nuclear weapons, an emerging economic power on high growth trajectory, a strategic partner of major powers, a global player, an aspiring permanent member of the security council and an increasingly democratising and federalising polity. We are to achieve all these objectives as an open society.

There is inadequate realisation in this country that achieving these aims will amount to a major alteration of the status quo in Asia and the world and therefore there will be a lot of resistance to it from both within and outside the country and the interaction of forces hostile to such development within and outside the country. In conceptual terms, steering India towards the goals outlined above, smoothly and safely with minimum damage is the basic security challenge to India. If that task is to be successfully tackled there has to be a long term coherent thinking on the risks and threats we are likely to face and long term planning to deal with them. Let us enumerate the threats and risks and how to deal with them briefly.

The Indian leadership accepted the need for nuclear deterrence from early eighties when Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi initiated the nuclear weapons programme in response to Pakistan-China nuclear proliferation axis which had the tacit acquiescence of the US. India declared itself a nuclear weapons state after the Shakti tests in 1998. The National Security Advisory Board has come out with a draft nuclear doctrine. In my view, understandably because I was the convenor of the Board, the doctrine is the most logical, most restrained and most economical. But it is only a draft doctrine. Strategies, policies, targeting plans, command and control, all need to be worked out. It is not enough if the country has nuclear weapons. It should be able to project credible deterrence. Deterrence involves some aspects of transparency and others of opacity. Therefore there is an urgent need to work out the correct mix. A partially visible command and control structure is an essential ingredient in deterrence. Demonstration of capabilities is yet another. A robust and secure C4-1 system is the third. A clearly ordained political and military succession is fourth. A demonstrated involvement of political leadership in command and control exercise is fifth and so on. Not only should these issues be addressed. They should be seen to be addressed.

Fortunately, if we take him at his word, General Musharraf agrees with our Prime Minister that there are no significant risks of nuclear weapons being used in war between the two countries. Logically, he follows that perception with the proposition that even large scale conventional wars are unlikely. Our recent preparedness should further reinforce this perception of his. We should continue our efforts to dissuade him from thinking about a large scale conventional war by having a visible dissuasive capability. However, General Musharraf does not rule out proxy wars. Last year in April 1999, he predicted that while nuclear and conventional wars were unlikely the probability of proxy wars was on the rise. He was in a position to assert it most knowledgeably since at that time, his mercenaries were infiltrating the Kargil heights. His attempt at 'salami slicing' in Kargil ended in disaster. Therefore India should be prepared to face proxy wars in future as it has been doing for the past 17 years. Till now and as of today the proxy war is being fought by India on the basis of ad hoc improvisation. Surely there is scope for a comprehensive and integrated strategy against proxy war waged against this country. Counter terrorism needs societal mobilisation and effective intelligence effort. Various steps in counter offensive operations will have to be thought through, the most important being in the field of information campaign.

Those who wage proxy war against this country take advantage of our weaknesses. The faultlines in our society are exploited. Our borders have been porous. Drugs, man-portable arms, terrorists, fake currency and illegal immigrants are able to pass through. Neither are our sea shores always effectively guarded. Seven tonnes of high explosives could be landed on Maharashtra coast in one instance. Our air space too was violated with impunity when arms were dropped at Purulia. This country has contributed the term 'politician-bureaucracy organised crime nexus' to political lexicon. Political cum bureaucratic corruption is rampant in the country because of the role money and muscle power play in elections. Corruption at lower levels cannot be effectively tackled when there is corruption at higher levels. A widely corrupt society cannot provide good and efficient governance. A corrupt and misgoverned polity is highly vulnerable from the point of view of national security. It is like a body affected by the AIDS disease. The immunity to resist infections drops and the body is liable to various kinds of diseases. Foreign intelligence agencies can make use of organised crime, like narcotics barons, money launderers and smugglers to infiltrate arms and terrorists. Some years ago, Pakistani press published an interview with one of their drug barons, Haji lqbal Beg, who boasted that he sends the drugs across to his friends in India who shipped it to Europe and America. A CIA report gave details of the activities of Pakistani drug barons and their transactions via India. They did not evoke much response in this country.

In 1997 in a talk in Georgia University, US Defence Secretary William Cohen said that since the US was going to build an unrivalled defence force he expected its adversaries to hit at US indirectly through international terrorism. In our case too, since we are reversing the trend of cuts in defence spending and are initiating programmes of defence modernisation, we should expect our adversaries to wage a campaign of terrorism and proxy war. The corruption and lack of good governance provide opportunities to our adversaries to exploit our vulnerabilities. Therefore there must be adequate popular awareness in the country of the fact that corruption and misgovernance are national security threats.

Cynics would argue that there is corruption all over the world including in many long established democracies. After all a company in one of the best governed countries in the world, the Bofors, indulgued in corruption in this country. The result of that corruption has been a virtual paralysis of decision making in our defence procurement for years with adverse impact on our preparedness. Those countries, however, even while having the same problem of corruption, do not have neighbours who wage proxy war and campaign of terrorism against them. Very few of them are as multiethnic, multilingual, multireligious ad multicultural as India is. Those who are corrupt and therefore look away for a consideration, from legitimate law enforcement and politicians who shield organised crime barons in exchange for large sums of black money to fund party coffers to contest elections, may not realise that their corruption amounts to treason and endangers national security. It is the duty of the state and the government to create that awareness.

As Indian economic development accelerates, one must anticipate the adversaries of India to target it and one of the ways in which it can be done is by subjecting the country's economic symbols to terrorist attacks as happened in Mumbai in March 1993. Mumbai recovered in a remarkably short time, but imagine the consequences and impact of such attacks simultaneously carried out in a number of cities of India. That would hit the business confidence of foreign investors. I do not want to convert this into a lecture on terrorism and proxy war and would only emphasise that terrorism can be directed against Indian economic development. Our long term anticipatory planning for national security must take this into account and our business community should be sensitised to this and their support be mobilised to deal with this threat.

The recent report on police reform brings out clearly how politicisation of police forces in the states has led to failure in law enforcement. I mentioned earlier how the resulting misgovernance is a grave vulnerability in our national security. But do we tell our political class this simple truth and what damage they are doing because of their wayward governance? This is not a political question but a national security issue.

The present Home Minister promised to bring out a White Paper on the activities of the Inter Services Intelligence Agency of Pakistan in this country. That was a welcome move and would have helped to sensitise our population to the threats of proxy war, terrorism and subversion they face. This would have contributed to societal mobilisation. But for reasons that are not clear or cannot be logically inferred, the publication of that White Paper has not happened. It is alleged that its publication would expose the sources of our intelligence agencies. It does not speak highly of our drafting and communicating skills if a White Paper on the activities of the ISI in this country cannot be published without revealing the sources. This again highlights the mindset which does not have a comprehensive understanding of national security and the need for societal mobilisation in defence of our security.

If we are able to initiate the process of long range future oriented assessments of threats and challenges to our national security what will be the areas of our concern? The foremost concern should be the security of our communications and the transactions in our economic institutions. There have been cases in the west where millions of dollars were robbed from banks by computer hackers. Recently after a visit to the United States the Minister Mr Mahajan said that our entire banking system could be wrecked by our adversaries if we do not take adequate precautions to protect our communications and that would be far worse than an atom bomb on a city. He was no doubt right. But unfortunately in this country there is not sufficient awareness about the need to protect our communications through encoding. Instead some vested interests are attempting to delay and derail efforts to increase the carrying capacity, the bandwidth for telephonic and computer communications. There, again, is no attempt on the part our of national security establishment to educate the population at large, both, on the need to rapidly improve our connectivity as well as the need for awareness to protect own individual communications.

If this is not done expeditiously, not only will the vulnerabilities to our economy increase in all negotiations between our economic institutions and outsiders we shall be at a disadvantage since the outside world is in a position to tap any information stored in a computer connected to internet and transmitted through telephones. Recently, France accused the US of allowing its business establishments to have access to information gained by their intelligence collection satellites meant for military purposes. I am afraid there is a lot of complacency in respect of this security challenge. It is felt that we have a large reservoir of people with skills in software engineering and we know all about it.

The revolution in military affairs (RMA) is the future of war, if and when it takes places. This is application of information and sensor technologies to improve the accuracy of weapons, obtaining real time information on the adversary and using the information superiority to protect and defend oneself and severely damage the adversary's capability to prosecute the war. One saw the application of some aspects of RMA during the Gulf and Kosova wars. But there is further scope for advances in this area. There are both offensive and defensive aspects in this field.

Arising out of these challenges is the issue of India preparing itself to meet them in terms of next generation weaponry which will incorporate information technology, microelectronics and sophisticated sensors. Today's defence production establishments under the Ministry of Defence are incapable of producing the next generation weaponry equipment. The private sector in India is today far ahead of defence production establishments in capabilities in these areas. Therefore planning to involve private sector in such defence production should start right now. Unfortunately there is not much evidence of either the Defence Ministry or the private sector being fully cognisant of the nature of problems they will be facing.

Till now security planners in India were attempting to carry out their tasks on the basis of their past experience or what they learnt from the industrialised countries. Often there was a time lag in absorbing the experience of industrialised countries after analysing what would be applicable to our security environment. As mentioned earlier, our understanding of national security was not future oriented. Even in the rest of the world where countries have a strategic tradition, the common saying till recently used to be that generals were used to preparing to fight the last war. It is no longer possible to deal with the problems of national security on the basis of past experience only, though that experience is very valuable as a learning process. Today's national security challenges call for thinking ahead to anticipate which state and non-state actors entertain hostile intentions towards our state, our society and our value systems and what they are likely to do and to devise ways and means of checking them. Therefore it needs future oriented research into international, national, political, social, economic and technological developments to keep abreast with the thinking of potentially hostile state and non-state actors. This is why in other countries national defence universities have been established and scholarly research is carried out to enable the national security establishment to keep a step ahead of the potential adversaries. Unfortunately the recognition that national security today calls for high intellectual inputs and is not a routine bureaucratic management exercise by both people in uniform and civilians, is yet to develop in this country. That raises further questions of training, periodic refresher courses, updating of knowledge and information for officers in the defence and intelligence services and to the civil servants. The present culture of generalism has become outdated and counter-productive.

There will be many in this country who will ask whether all this is necessary and whether these steps will not lead us towards becoming a garrison state. I am a liberal, totally abhor violence in any form, hate the nuclear weapons and would like nothing better than a world without enemies and weapons. I am committed to a good government, democracy, equal opportunities to all, affirmative action to speed up upward mobility of hitherto disadvantaged sections of society, an equitable economic order, secular and casteless society, total elimination of corruption and maximum human rights to every one. The issue is how to move towards that world. A section of our people argue that we should set an example to promote that world. I agree wholeheartedly. However, we are not living in an island continent without the rest of the world actively impinging on us. We cannot afford to ignore the intentions of others, benign and hostile, towards us. In the Mahabharata, Bhishma, lying on his bed of arrows, while in the process of choosing the moment of his death, taught Pandavas the principles of statecraft. He told them "Nobody is anybody's friend. Nobody is anybody's enemy. It is the circumstances that make enemies and friends. "Thousands of years later Lord Palmerston, the British foreign secretary reenunciated the dictum in words which every student of international relations is taught "There is no permanent friend, there is no permanent enemy. There is only permanent interest." In fact, in this country this dictum is better understood in domestic politics but no it so much in foreign policy. Therefore, while we should try to pursue a non aggressive policy, one of good neighbourliness and of friendship and cooperation and promote the concept of 'Vasudeva Kutumbakam' (the whole world is a family) we will not be fair to one-sixth of mankind if in the name of such professed idealism we sacrifice their security, safety and interests. Very often such posturing becomes a convenient cloak for incompetence and mediocrity.

This is where the Gandhiji-Cariappa interaction is highly relevant. Gandhiji was an apostle of nonviolence and went on a fast in 1948 to compel the Government of India to release the money which was Pakistan's due. Yet, he strongly supported the Indian Army going into action to save Kashmir because he found there was no alternative to the use of violence against wanton aggression. At another point, Gandhiji said forgiveness adorned a soldier, and added, but only the strong could forgive. A mouse being torn by a cat could not claim to forgive the cat, he argued. If the world is to be reshaped and values of peace, freedom, international cooperation and justice are to be promoted only the strong can do it and not the weak. One should have a realistic assessment of the international situation as it exists not as one would like to fantasise it to be. The international community has legitimised the nuclear weapons and the use of force without declaring war. When countries are harassed by international terrorism and proxy wars, by narcotics traffic and organised crime often posing as noble causes, the international community often looks away. In trying to counter these efforts to wreck and derail our development process, no doubt, excesses often occur. There can be no disputing that they should be curbed. But that cannot be done by abdicating the basic responsibility of the state to counter and overwhelm the criminal and anarchistic forces. There are grounds to complain that the problems of use of force in a fair and just manner with restraint and effectiveness have not been addressed. But that is part of the overall problem of indifference to issues of national security, incompetence and mediocrity in governance.

It is often argued that this country should not be spending money on armaments and national security efforts before tackling our poverty. Some others are of the view that because our poor have no stake in this country, society and polity and since our politicians have to reflect the views of the constituency of the poor, they are indifferent to national security. These are superficial and illogical arguments mostly meant as alibis for 'lotus eating' attitude of our political class. It is estimated in this country some 30 per cent of the people are below poverty line and 70 per cent are above it. One would therefore expect that 70 per cent should have a stake in national security and they should be on guard that external as well as internal hostile forces do not further disrupt our economic development. Secondly, if adequate resources have not been applied on the ground on education, health, water supply, housing and job creation, it is not due to disproportionate diversion of resources to national security but due to the fact, as stated by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, only 15 paise out of every rupee spent reaches the poor. The rest is siphoned off by the politician-bureaucracy-organised crime combine, which I have already termed as one of the major national security threats. Therefore those who overlook this diversion of resources meant for poverty alleviation and provision of basic needs through corruption and ask the country to reduce its national security preparedness are only helping the continuous robbing of the poor. Very often such lobbies are assisted by funds from abroad from sources which are interested in diverting attention away from the real reason for lack of speed in eliminating poverty, namely corruption and the imperative need for our national security preparedness.

In these circumstances the responsibility for rectifying the present situation, increasing the popular awareness of the problems of national security and initiating the whole package of measures to safeguard our security and accelerate the political, social, economic and technological developments which are two sides of the coin of promoting a just social order, is with the government and particularly the NSC.

The cabinet secretariat resolution No. 281/29.6.98/TS of April 16, 1999 stated "The Central Government recognises that national security management requires integrated thinking and coordinated application of the political, military, diplomatic, scientific and technological resources of the state to protect and promote national security goals and objectives. National security in the context of the nation, needs to be viewed not only in military terms but also in terms of internal security, economic security, technological strength and foreign policy. The role of the council is to advise the Central Government on the said matters".

If the NSC is not able to fulfil the role prescribed for it, that becomes a challenge to national security. Therefore it is necessary to analyse why it has not been able to fulfil that role and what could be done to ensure that the NSC can play that role.

The NSC and CCNS have two distinct and complementary roles. The NSC has to look to the future. According to the cabinet resolution the NSC is to cover external security, security threats involving atomic energy, space and high technology, trends in the world economy and economic security threats, internal security, patterns of alienation emerging in the country, especially those with a social, communal or religious dimension, transborder crimes and intelligence coordination and tasking. Broadly, it covers the areas I had earlier enumerated as those posing security challenges.

This task of the NSC cannot be carried out without a dedicated staff which will have adequate expertise and will be able to develop holistic future-oriented perspectives and submit them for deliberations of the NSC. In the light of those deliberations, the NSC will advise different ministeries and organisations to come up with their policy reommendations. Those, in turn, will be considered by the CCNS and decisions taken thereon. Unfortunately, this has not happened and the NSC has not functioned at all in the absence of a fully developed staff support. The present NSC staff was the old JIC staff with some marginal additions. That staff has to discharge its earlier function as the intelligence assessing body at a time when failure of assessment process has been under intense criticism. Further, the same staff provided secretarial support to National Security Advisory Board, the Kargil Review Committee and the four taskforces set up to review defence management, intelligence, border management and internal security. It is quite obvious that adequate thought has not been given to develop an appropriate staff for the National Security Council to function effectively. It is therefore not surprising that the council has not been functional.

The task cannot be performed by the ministries offering their inputs and their being coordinated. The ministries are focussed on the present and are not equipped to undertake a holistic long term view of various security issues. The generalist system of civil service in this country inhibits the civil servants acquiring the required expertise in most of the ministries. The country has not developed the culture of contract research and our civil servants are not used to sharing information which is necessary to have successful contract research. In fact information handling is an area of grave weakness with our civil services. As mentioned earlier they are reluctant to share even the time of the day.

It is understandable that for a country where the political class and the bureaucracy, including the uniformed one have not developed adequate familiarity with the total concept of national security, as is evident from the NSC being formed only 52 years after independence, there will be teething troubles, various infantile ailments and adolescent problems in the development of NSC and its full effective functioning. What is worrying and of concern is that it has not even let out its first cry since its birth. The amateurish experiment of V.P. Singh set back the concept of NSC by many years. One is worried that an NSC on paper without any activity will prove fatal to future holistic national security management in this country.

There is the Sanskrit saying 'Yadha Rajas Thatha Praja'-as is the king so are the subjects. If at the topmost political level there is an attitude of casual approach to national security one cannot expect the bureaucracy, the parliament, the media and others to pay more meaningful attention to national security except when the issue is used as a political football. President Truman talked of the buck stopping in his office. In our system the buck stops with the Prime Minister. Therefore, the responsibility for the present unsatisfactory situation of casual approach to national security vests with the Prime Minister and his immediate advisers in matters of national security. I am not saying it in a spirit of criticism. I am aware that last two years, have seen many steps forward in this area including the setting up of the NSC. I am pointing out the deficiencies with a view to help, not only to diagnose the problem but to prescribe the treatment. I have some credentials in this field. I have devoted more than 40 years of my working life to advance Indian national security in a holistic manner. I have advocated and campaigned for setting up NSC for the last 30 years. I would not like to see the experiment fail. Therefore let me detail my suggestions to activate the NSC.

I have gone on record that in my view it is difficult to do justice to both the responsibilities of the offices of the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and that of National Security Adviser. However, I shall not press that point any further. Whether the chief of a government can have his utmost confidence in one or more persons is a matter no one from outside can prescribe. It has to be left to him, though my preference is clear. If he chooses to have only one person to man both posts then the work has to be organised in such a way and structure and processes of the NSC should be so devised as to ensure smooth functioning of the NSC. There are very well tried out organisational principles to deal with the problem. Today there is a well established and adequately staffed Prime Minister's office. But there is no adequately staffed NSC office under the NSA. The present NSCS, the old JIC is part of the Cabinet Secretariat. Let its old name be revived and let it focus more effectively and exclusively on intelligence assessment. That is a full time and enormously burdensome responsibility. The NSA requires independent dedicated staff to activate the NSC.

The NSC must have a regular time table to meet on a prescribed day in a fortnight at the initial stage and once a week a little later. The members of the NSC will arrange their tour programmes keeping that regular meeting in view. The NSC should have comprehensive intelligence briefing in each meeting to be followed by a discussion. The Chiefs of Staff and intelligence chiefs and the concerned secretaries should attend these meetings. These discussions should be free for all ministers and official and should not follow the cabinet procedure where the official speaks only when spoken to. It is quite possible that the discussion that follows would generate perspectives for studies, sensitise the NSC to anticipate future situations and promote more intensive interaction at the top levels of bureaucracy. At the initial stage, with a staff which is new and still to acquire expertise, it may be necessary to set up task forces to come up with studies on various issues. In this respect the recent experiment of setting up task forces is a valuable one. In about two to three years time a reasonably well trained staff will be in place. Simultaneously, a number of autonomous think-tanks have to be encouraged and research in universities on national security issues should be supported. One of the problems we have is that the national security management is not looked upon as a long term issue in which the capabilities have to be developed over a period of time. Each Cabinet looks upon it as an issue limited to its term of office. The NSC or the Prime Minister should hold regular periodic meetings once in three or four months to brief other parties in the Parliament and keep them informed through a regular supply of literature. The NSC secretariat should also ensure that when major policy statements are made they are made available to all political leaders and bureaucrats and they should be informed that that was the government's policy and no pronouncements should be made in adhoc and off the cuff remarks. Therefore, a lot more attention has to be paid to the information policy of the Government on matters related to national security.

Perhaps I will be told in our system described by Professor Gallbraith as the only functioning anarchy, all this is not possible and I am out of touch with political realities. That, in my view, is an alibi for not making the necessary effort. That is an abdication of the responsibility of the leadership. For decades I was told that India could not afford to go nuclear, mostly by people who have not taken the trouble to study the subject.

This is the right moment to start the effort to make the NSC work. Thanks mostly to efforts of this government, India is entering an era in which it is called upon to play a global role and is poised to enter into a high growth trajectory. Therefore, it is the responsibility of this government to lay strong foundations for a national security planning structure and to start training cadres who will later on man the posts in that structure. The present cadre of generalist civil servants cannot do it.

The development of the awareness to initiate the tasks constitute the core challenge to our national security. The present 'stop-go' attitude of casual approach to it in normal times, and fingerpointing at the time of crisis, has got to change by leadership efforts. Bringing about these attitudinal changes, setting up an appropriate national security planning structure and organising the training of cadres are more difficult tasks than to test the nuclear weapons in May 1998. There is no point in just listing out various security challenges if the country continues to lack the mechanism to assess the long term implications of each one of those and plan our responses to them.

These vital challenges of bringing about attitudinal changes towards our national security and taking steps to get the NSC working have been neglected far too long. The country cannot afford to continue this way much longer without paying high costs. Let me hope that the leadership will pay immediate attention to these basic challenges.

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Re: Strategic guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby RamaY » 10 Feb 2011 03:55

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 10 Feb 2011 04:17

I guess green is good, yellow is marginal and red totally atrocious?

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby RamaY » 10 Feb 2011 06:16

No Ramanaji. Was trying to put the progress of Indian Strategic Program under various PMs in a graphic.

Will post further thoughts in strategic scenarios thread ...

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 10 Feb 2011 06:53

A whole generation of people in high places have grown up with a distorted sense of what Gandhiji was all about. And this group was cultivated by US experts who massaged their ego that a new world order based on peace is about to dawn and for that India should not arm and be at the forefront of this peace crusade. It was crucial to bring in New World Order that India is weak for if it were aremd what else it could do? It was the Indian people who started the decolonization process and threatened the Anglo-Saxon supremacy dreams of Churchill.

Note how PR Chari keeps quoting Bhabani Sengutpa and where was the latter trained? And what was is contribution? He did a study in 1974 to show that India would collapse economically from sanctions if she tested.

Columbia Uty has trained a whole lot of activists who batted for the new empire.

KS garu figured through the fog the NPT all was fake system to constrain India by legalese.

These Left/Liberals who are US supported where at the forefront of ensuring India wouldn't exercise the nuke option and now they are back disparaging those who ensured that it was.

Some tribute remarked how those who earlier opposed the US are at the forefront of supporting the US.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 11 Feb 2011 00:22

Stephen Cohen is offering a tribute on Feb 14th in DC. Similar ones being offered in Delhi.

Very appropriate date as RamaY pointed out its Bhisma Ekadasi and it fitting that the modern Bhisma is remembered that day.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby RamaY » 11 Feb 2011 02:02

K. Subrahmanyam

By PR Chari
Like abroad, especially in Washington—the Mecca of think tanks—those in New Delhi remained divided in their appreciation of Subrahmanyam, with a fairly neat division obtaining between the official and private think tanks, and, further, between those located in South Delhi and North Delhi[/b].

When it comes to Indian interests, the minds in Mecca of think tanks are always petty. W.r.t Indian think tanks; why would govt and private think tanks differ? Whose interests these think tanks try to present and protect?

He also developed Emile Benoit’s thesis to argue that expenditure on defense and development was complementary, and not competing with each other. It amounted to an argument to allocate more for defense, which was music to the ears of the concerned constituencies. The Benoit thesis was, of course, deeply flawed; it had some applicability to developed countries, but very limited applicability to developing countries.

Really, then why is GOI introduced the offset clause in defense procurements? Why paying for the offset clauses (I am sure they are not free) and delays in procurement procedures?

Another example. His devotion to the Soviet Union in the Cold War years led him to support the most extraordinary policy contortions by the Government to justify aberrant Soviet actions; then, after the Cold War and the triumph of the United States, his support of the United States was equally uncritical. Witness, his refusal to apprehend the dangers to regional and international peace after the Soviet lurch into Afghanistan. Bhabani Sen Gupta’s out-of-the-box suggestion at that juncture that Soviet adventurism required India and Pakistan to evolve a common response was laughed out of court. Witness the fact, however, that no solution has emerged yet to the Afghanistan impasse after over three decades. And, Subrahmanyam’s unqualified support to the Indo-US nuclear deal did not appreciate that what was good for India was bad for the global non-proliferation system. :( Witness, how this system suffered a body blow, and the real possibility now exists of Pakistan being similarly favored by China. :mrgreen: The point being emphasized here is that Subrahmanyam’s imbuing his own understanding to evocative terms like nationalism and realism led him into all manner of intellectual gymnastics to justify his ‘campaign academics.’

Didn't history prove KS right? What is Chari garu trying to say, stick to one power even at the cost of Indian interests?

Subrahmanyam has been hailed as the progenitor of India’s nuclear policy. But this debate had an earlier vintage; it can be traced back to India’s defeat in the Sino-Indian border conflict in October-November 1962 , followed by China’s first nuclear test in October 1964. An alarmed Indian Parliament had immediately debated the need for India to exercise its nuclear option in its winter session, and the then Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, being forced to make a commitment that India would consider the nuclear option. Subrahmanyam had picked up these threads later to launch his campaign for the bomb that led to the ‘peaceful nuclear explosion’ in May 1974 and the nuclear test series in May 1998. Pakistan followed, and the situation created is exactly what was predicted in an IDSA seminar in early 1980. Again, it was recognized by Bhabani Sen Gupta that, should India go nuclear, the nuclearization of Pakistan was inevitable. Mutual nuclear deterrence between India and Pakistan would erode India’s conventional superiority—as seen during the Kargil conflict. Further, India-Pakistan hostility would not cease, but enter subterranean channels that would be difficult to counter. This tragic drama is being played out today. But, at that time, such views were deemed to be heresy, and condemned as anti-nationalist. Realism was deified as the greatest virtue, idealism became a term of abuse, and nuclear pacificism was equated with weak-mindedness.

This assumes that other powers would think same as Indian doves. This is disproved by NK, which went nuclear in spite of the non-nuclear regimes in SK and Japan. PRC/US would have allowed Pakis go nuclear no matter what as they can never compensate Pakis to maintain conventional equality.

PR Chari
Visiting Professor, IPCS

Looks like Chari garu did not like KS garu personally; and there is lot of professional jealousy. Nothing wrong.

What we know for sure thru his deeds and writings is that KS garu kept Indian Interests at heart and lived the life of Karma Yogi in the power corridors of Delhi.

I hope Chari garu goes beyond KS garu in protecting Indian Interests even at the loss of personal growth and glory. That would be the best tribute Chari garu can give to KS garu.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramdas » 11 Feb 2011 02:51


are you saying that KS convinced Arun that the nuclear deal was in the national interest ?....

Indeed, if Bharat rises to superpowerhood, KS will be remembered as the one who did the "Shuklaambaradharam Vishnum..." for this process. Hope others take this process ahead from where he left. The one thing I still do not understand about KS is why he advocated only a minimum deterrent. Vested interests can use this as a cliche to obstruct further buildup just as they used Gandhijis ahimsa as a cliche to obstruct weaponisation in the first place...

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 11 Feb 2011 04:10

The deal is good for it takes India out of the sanctions dog house. Arun has supported that in India Research site as it was announced..

The thing that was bothersome is no future proofing and calumnies.

First argument, is the govt of that time acted in supreme national interests and any future govt will also act similarly despite whatever someone else thinks if the occassion demands it

Second argument, its in the best interests of the others to ensure India doesn't need to test. Such being the case what is proven is adequate.

Third argument is a high powered group(Sunderji, Kalam, Chidambaram, Johnny Green, Nayyar) came up with the numbers and haven't felt the need to change it.

Arun then went back to look at the published data on IGMP from 1984 and came to a better understanding at the program capabilities and potential.

The book "Lightning Bolts" William Yengst helped throw some light, for physics is physics.

And a quiet satisfaction was the krisna posted interview.


About minimum you need to understand his logic.
- As long as nukes are there its essential India should also have them. (The analogy is in Mahabharata when Yuddhistir sends Arjuna to seek divya astras as the Kauravas had people with that stuff. Its only after the Pandavas have it that there is a mutual no use treaty in place until Bhisma falls)

- Once its decided to have them they should be the minimum that are needed and not more for such weapons are wasteful and take away a lot of resources not to mention complicate command and control

All these are in his F.M. Cariappa memorial lecture quoted above.

About misreading Gandhian ahimsa, please don't go by the surface reading. Nehru very clearly tells Bhabha to mind the technology and let politicians deal with politics. And even Gandhi blesses Brig. LP Sen to use force to regain Kashmir.
By appearing to be guided by Gandhian ahimsa they bought time for building the infrastructure. And when ready they tested in 1974 exactly 10 years after JLN passed away.

See PR Chari's whine about:
But, at that time, such views were deemed to be heresy, and condemned as anti-nationalist. Realism was deified as the greatest virtue, idealism became a term of abuse, and nuclear pacificism was equated with weak-mindedness.

He is speaking for all the misguided and deluded intellectuals. The same JNU which housed these guys also had M.L. Sondhi and Amitabh Matto, Matin Zuber all of whom were on first NSAB and drafted the doctrine!

KS with clear thinking has ensured the tryst happens and is not a mirage. The reason is by not signing up to the NPT, he ensured there is time for the development when needed. If they signed up no amount of sceintific brains/accomplishemnt would be helpful in overturning it. This is the realism that Chari types complain.
He was not a hawk. he wanted what was just needed.

My thoughts

The Hyde act is a place to catch all the pent up bile and hate that the US based NPA community had built up since the '74 test. So its all captured in it. Like halahal. Can't do damage outside as its captured in it (Lord Shiva's throat). Nor inside for no one has swallowed it! The Indian nuke liability law (Parvati's stranglehold) prevents the swallowing.

However its a national law, while relations are governed by bilateral treaties. Besides for next coming decades of this century, the weight of India will grow more than it was in the first decade. And its not in anyone's interests to force India on that path.

Recall that last few months many heads of states came asking for bakheesh. it will be more like that.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby svinayak » 11 Feb 2011 04:59

There are still issues which India has to take care for national interest

- Global cartels on WMD
- New global alignments for hegemony near India
- Global economy to favor Indian interest and Indian business
- Indian business has partly under the EIC and it behaves funnily
- large Indian leftist groups are still floating around without a home. they can do much damage.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby somnath » 11 Feb 2011 08:25

ramana wrote:The Hyde act is a place to catch all the pent up bile and hate that the US based NPA community had built up since the '74 test. So its all captured in it. Like halahal. Can't do damage outside as its captured in it (Lord Shiva's throat). Nor inside for no one has swallowed it! The Indian nuke liability law (Parvati's stranglehold) prevents the swallowing

OT here, but a bit surprising..The Nuke Liability Bill kicks in IF there is a nuke accident..The Hyde Act provisions (the nasty ones) kick in IF India tests...Are you suggesting that when we decide to resume testing, we should engineer an accident in a US-supplied reactor? Notwithstanding the fact that Hyde Act is US-specific, while the Nuke Liability Act covers all potential nuke partners...Confusing!

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 11 Feb 2011 09:26

WOW i knew you could come up with a convoluted scenario.
Where have i suggested something like that. You should take full credit for coming up with it.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby somnath » 11 Feb 2011 09:42

^^I was only reacting to this

The Hyde act is a place to catch all the pent up bile and hate that the US based NPA community had built up since the '74 test. So its all captured in it. Like halahal. Can't do damage outside as its captured in it (Lord Shiva's throat). Nor inside for no one has swallowed it! The Indian nuke liability law (Parvati's stranglehold) prevents the swallowing

How is the Nuke Liability an antidote to Hyde Act?

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 11 Feb 2011 10:02

Not in this thread.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Gagan » 11 Feb 2011 10:34

Did KS ever post on BR?

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramdas » 11 Feb 2011 11:50

"Second argument, its in the best interests of the others to ensure India doesn't need to test. Such being the case what is proven is adequate"

Are you saying that it is argued that fission and boosted fission weapons of upto say, 50kt yield are considered adequate ? Or is there more credible information that the TN weapons we have are now functional ?

It is this kind of minimality that is the problem. Even when you say we tested in 1974 when we were ready, there was unnecessary restraint after that. We should have weaponized then itself.

Only because of this retraint, there are all sorts of doubts of TSP overtaking us in having a larger arsenal. We should never have allowed this...but now more than ever, we need a feverish buildup in the arsenal...

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby RamaY » 11 Feb 2011 20:45

ramdas wrote:"Second argument, its in the best interests of the others to ensure India doesn't need to test. Such being the case what is proven is adequate"

Are you saying that it is argued that fission and boosted fission weapons of upto say, 50kt yield are considered adequate ? Or is there more credible information that the TN weapons we have are now functional ?

It is this kind of minimality that is the problem. Even when you say we tested in 1974 when we were ready, there was unnecessary restraint after that. We should have weaponized then itself.

Only because of this retraint, there are all sorts of doubts of TSP overtaking us in having a larger arsenal. We should never have allowed this...but now more than ever, we need a feverish buildup in the arsenal...

I think the key point is "It is in the best interests of the others to ensure India doesn't need to test".

When time is ripe, it would mean denuking land of pure.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramdas » 11 Feb 2011 21:35

Well Ramaji,

Denuking TSP is impossible when TSP has a bigger arsenal than we have .... they treasure their nukes more than we do...


Still, given what history has shown to us about the forces that are manifested as TSP, we should be very clear that putting prosperity or comprehensive national power above hard military power would be disastrous. It is not for nothing that the US and Russia still have 10000+ warheads "in storage" and will continue to do so even after commiting to reducing their forces to 1500 warheads or this matter, one hopes that maximalists like Bharat Karnad gain a total say on our nuclear policy in the near future rather than advocates of a munimum deterrent. In this as in other weapons, more is better...

Given our history, if we are to say "never again", security and military needs have to be prioritied over everything else...for this to come about requires a huge change in mindset.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ManuT » 12 Feb 2011 08:01

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 12 Feb 2011 08:57

Gagan wrote:Ramana-ji,
Did KS ever post on BR?

No Gagan. But he did read some of BRM articles brought to his attention.

ramdas, Try to see who is saying about TSP's quantities.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 12 Feb 2011 09:05



A memorial meeting will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2011
at 5 PM at the Auditorium, Chinmaya Centre, Lodhi Road.
The Vice President will lead the tributes.

The meeting will conclude by 6.45 PM.

For your information and please circulate to those who may wish to join.

the plan for sat'day - feb 12 is as follows:

1710 hrs - Vice President arrives
1715 - film clip on late KS
1725 VP leads the tributes
1735 onwards...... following will be requested to speak for ....max. eight minutes each:

inder malhotra
jasjit singh
g parthasarathy
family rep - last speaker

1830 meeting conclude

I would appreciate if Delhi folks can attend.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 12 Feb 2011 10:51

Kelkar Memorial Lecture in 2000 BY KS garu. ... ecture.htm

For others here is the link to a series of lectures:

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby sumeet_s » 12 Feb 2011 16:08

Live webcast of K. Subramanyam's memorial service in New Delhi - February 12, 2011

5.00PM IST

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Muppalla » 12 Feb 2011 18:46

sumeet_s wrote:Live webcast of K. Subramanyam's memorial service in New Delhi - February 12, 2011

5.00PM IST

It seems as per tweets, U Bhaskar has mentioned a lot of online aquaintences during his memorial lecture. I wish this is recorded and posted on Utube. A lot of tweets around KS today.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Muppalla » 12 Feb 2011 18:49

As per Nitin Pai's tweet
C Uday Bhaskar is reading short tributes from me and Ramana of Bharat Rakshak

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 12 Feb 2011 20:24

Please click on link below at 5 PM IST for live view of Dr K. Subramanyam's memorial service in New Delhi - February 12, 2011

Muppalla yes is a great honor that Bharat Rakshak is mentioned at the great man's memorial.

Hope we can get a youtube version.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Muppalla » 12 Feb 2011 20:33

ramana garu,
Smita Prakash from ANI said they will upload the recorded version of the memorial service. So we can see the whole program and listen to all the strategic gurus that attended the service.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 12 Feb 2011 20:36

So there are nationalists in the media! We should be able to discern them and not put them in the DDM bucket.

Still working on the man, his methods and his accomplishments.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby shyamd » 14 Feb 2011 01:59

10 minute video of the memorial service.

God Bless his soul.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 14 Feb 2011 02:03

Another tribute:

Thanks so much for informing about the memorial function. Unfortunately I was tied up at the office and could not attend. I have a request, though : I wrote a personal tribute to K Subs which appeared in The Hoot. I know much has been written about him but this about K Subs' amazing human qualities. Would be grateful if you could pass this on to the family and whoever else might have known him. I have mentioned incidents that few people know about. Many, many thanks. vidya ... ctionId=10

Memorial Part I

Part II:

Twitter folks say CUB at his eloquent best.

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