Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

svinayak
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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby svinayak » 14 Feb 2011 02:26

See how KS has seen Indian view from 1950s.
Check how he can talk about the entire world in a very incisive manner.


Walk The Talk: On this episode of Walk The Talk, Dr K Subrahmanyam, Strategic Affairs Analyst, talks to Shekhar Gupta.

ramana
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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 16 Feb 2011 09:41

My tribute:

KS Subrahmanyam : A tribute


Ramana


K.Subrahmanyam, the doyen of Indian strategic thinkers passed away on Feb 2., 2011 at the age of 82. Since then many rich tributes have been written by those who knew him. Unlike them I did not know him face to face. I knew him by occasional e-mail only. To me he was Bishma Pitamaha and Chanakya personified due to his unwavering focus on Indian security and his vast knowledge of statecraft. He left a deep impact on my thinking about strategic matters. We don't know much about his early life except from the tributes written about him, Meera Shankar writes he was inspired as youth with Nehru's “tryst with destiny” speech. Soon after he stood first in the 1951 IAS batch at a young age. We don't know about his personal life but P.R. Chari recalls he put himself through college and took care of his siblings. All these show his humble beginnings and his sense of family. He must have been outstanding in his state cadre that he was moved to New Delhi in ten years. After that there was no looking back. Over a career spanning the next two and half decades he dominated the Indian strategic community with his clear thinking and level headed decisions on matters of national interest. He headed the IDSA for two terms. After his retirement he took up writing to educate and inform the general public about strategic matters. He was on many Track Two groups to carry dialog with interlocutors all over the world. After the Kargil war, he headed the Kargil Review Committee which led to many reforms. He was appointed to head many task forces to continue to provide the benefit of his knowledge and experience. He strode the Indian strategic scene as a colossus for fifty years. He was truly the Eminence Grise of India.


KS was encyclopedic in his knowledge and willingly shared it. He was a realist but his realism is based on Bhisma's teachings in the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata and not any recent Western thinker. He knew the writings of the different authorities in international affairs and their limited applicability to Indian situation. He was singularly driven in his quest to advance Indian interests. His forte was strategic decision making at national level way before it became a discipline. He had an innate ability to provide a balanced decision taking into account the risks and rewards together with available resources. His recommendations were clear and unambiguous. He wrote numerous books, newspaper articles and developed a body of strategic opinion. He taught without appearing to teach as Rory Medcalf recounts. And every shisya of his felt he had his undivided attention. A true mark of a guru.


The Sixties were a tumultuous decade in which India saw three wars on two borders, lost two Prime Ministers, had a massive devaluation and saw the nuclear ground shifting from beneath her feet. The question earlier in the Fifties was, when would India test and not if. The Sixties saw China race ahead with its nuclear tests and to add to the insecurity the NPT was being pushed. In those uncertain times KS emerged with a clear view of how to deal with the issues. Of his many accomplishments he had three main ones. First by advocating keeping India out of NPT he ensured the scientists had the time to develop expertise and allow the political leadership to exercise the nuclear option. Secondly by advocating intervention in East Pakistan, he ensured that the military threat on western borders is minimized. Recall in 1965 Pakistan resorted to armed force twice in Rann of Kutch and Kashmir. And thirdly supporting the Indo-US nuclear deal he envisaged the end of the sanctions in place after the 1974 test. He thus worked to ensure the tryst does not turn into a mirage.


There is no direct evidence of a grand strategy of the modern Indian Independence movement. There is no single document that describes the endeavor. However one can infer from the speeches, writings and actions of a pantheon of national leaders like Tilak, Gokhale, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jawaharlal Nehru that there were three goals of the movement. The primary goal was to end colonial rule and get rid of the British. The secondary goal was to create a modern Indian state and reclaim its status prior to the beginning of the colonial era. The tertiary goal was to prevent further fragmentation of the sub-continent.

KS belonged to the generation that implemented the second an third goals which are still a work in progress. One can understand his world view through this prism. We realize how his actions and support furthered these two goals. The support for the nuclear option is part of the creation of the modern Indian state and all the power that goes with it. Modern India was not to be subject to coercion ever again. His support for Indian interests by tilting towards Soviet Union was due to the US support for Pakistan and later China. Later when the FSU collapsed he rightly concluded that India needs to remove the US mis -perceptions which plagued the wilderness 90s. When the Bush administration offered the nuclear deal he seized the opportunity to remove the sanctions in effect since the 1974 test.


Over the last two years he was advocating the development of a knowledge economy that would develop synergy with the US to take the engagement to the next stage. He foresaw the US demographic shift would require Indian knowledge resources to retain competitiveness. He also advocated good governance as a way to reduce disparity and dissipate the million mutinies inside India. There are still a few issues to be resolved: Af-Pak connundrum, dealing with rising China with an economically spent US, new dawn in the Middle East so on and so forth.


It would be a fitting tribute to follow through these ideas and realize his resolve to ensure the tryst with destiny happens. While we remember him in words we need to be true to his teachings and develop a holistic approach to issues within India and globally to realize a better world. He will be missed and lives on through his disciples.


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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 17 Feb 2011 02:48

A few more tributes and op-eds:


Sadanand Dhume in WSJ:

India’s Strategic Trajectory in a Life

K. Subrahmanyam (1929-2011), widely regarded as the founder of strategic studies in India, died in New Delhi last week. Predictably, his passing has attracted a spate of obituaries, most of which emphasize his role as the first head of New Delhi’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, his early espousal of India’s nuclear deterrent, and his impact on a younger generation of foreign and defense policy thinkers. Two of the best are by C. Raja Mohan, the most highly regarded Indian foreign policy expert of his generation, and Rory Medcalf of the Lowy Institute in Sydney.

Subrahmanyam’s life also encapsulates just how far the U.S.-India relationship has come over the past 20 years. For decades, Subrahmanyam’s espousal of nuclear weapons—albeit in small numbers, as a minimal deterrent—and sympathy for India’s close ties with the Soviet Union made him the archetypal Indian Cold Warrior. But by the end of his life Subrahmanyam was one of the most articulate and influential voices in New Delhi arguing for a closer relationship with Washington based on a shared interest in combating the “challenges of jihadism as well as one-party authoritarianism which denies pluralism.”

The U.S.-India relationship still has some way to go before the rhetoric about it matches reality, but Subrahmanyam’s life is nonetheless a reminder of how far the two countries have come.


About the Memorial in Delhi on Feb 12th Indina Express reports:

Friends and admirers remember KS

Friends, admirers remember Subrahmanyam
Posted: Sun Feb 13 2011, 01:41 hrs
K Subrahmaniyam, India’s best known strategic expert who died earlier this month, was on Saturday fondly remembered by friends and colleagues who recounted how he was a single-man thinktank — and a formidable one at that — and how his thoughts and writings made definitive impacts on the country’s strategic policies.

At a memorial service that was attended by a large number of associates and admirers, speakers recalled his life and services and how he was the “strategic guru” at a time when the country had none else.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, retired diplomat G Parthasarathy, journalists Shekhar Gupta and Inder Malhotra, and Air Commodore Jasjit Singh were some of the people present at the meeting.

Menon also read out a message from the Prime Minister in which Manmohan Singh described Subrahmanyam as a dear friend and close advisor. The Prime Minister said he always looked forward Subrahmanyam’s views on security-related matters.
Describing him as a man of great principles, Jasjit Singh said the four years he had spent with Subrahmanyam at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) had altered the course of his life. Subrahmanyam was the man who had built IDSA over the years, heading it between 1966 and 1975 and returning as director again in 1980. And yet, when he was required to state which institution he was associated with, while accepting an appointment as Nehru Fellow at Cambridge, he had sought permission from Jasjit Singh, his successor at IDSA, to name IDSA as his institute. Singh said he had told Subrahmanyam that the entire IDSA will feel let down if he didn’t.

Retired diplomat G Parthasarathy, who has had family ties with Subrahmanyam for decades, said the the best thing about Subrahmanyam was that he always encouraged an independent viewpoint and healthy debates. Parthasarathy said this was reflected in Subrahmanyam’s family and recalled how he had once visited the family home when Subrahmanyam was engaged in a fierce debate with his grandson. “I felt odd to have stepped in to a family argument but I was told this is an everyday affair in the household,” he said.

Menon said he had acquired great respect for Subrahmanyam in the very first interaction with him way back in 1972. He said after delivering a lecture on why it was crucial for India not to cut its defence budget, Subrahmanyam had patiently heard him, then a 23-year-old, currently a completely opposite argument.

Editor-in-chief of The Indian Express Shekhar Gupta said he had never been formally associated with him in any capacity but recalled how, because of his own passion about defence related issues, he had grown up reading Subrahmanyam’s articles hidden in his textbooks. “In the eighties, Subrahmanyam was the one who was formulating strategic policies, implementing it and the only one writing about it,” he said, adding that the remarkable thing about him was his ability to keep secrets. Subrahmanyam was a columnist with The Sunday Express.

Subrahmanyam’s son, Sanjay said his father was not an academic but an intellectual. “He would always encourage us to think and test us. We could sometimes out-fact him but never out-argue him,” he said.




And from TSP!

LINK

Tries to use his methodology for TSP use.
Subrahmanyam and Davis
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mosharraf Zaidi

On February 2nd Indian strategic affairs guru, Krishnaswamy Subrahmanyam passed away at 82. Subrahmanyam or Subbu was well known among Pakistani defence thinkers and analysts. His characterisation of the East Pakistan crisis, as an “opportunity of a lifetime to cut Pakistan to size” was about as popular as his frequent characterisation of the break up of Pakistan in 1971, as one of India’s great achievements. More recently, he worked tirelessly to align India’s nuclear ambitions to the country’s relationship with the United States. At a memorial service held for him on Saturday however, no one remembered Subrahmanyam as a tormentor of Pakistan.

Instead, the memorial described a man as the godfather of long-term, strategic thinking, a factory of ideas, and a crafter of young talent. It is only natural that the substance of Subrahmanyam’s positions will be seen differently in Pakistan, than it is in India. Yet as Pakistan absorbs the “Raymond Davis” incident and goes through yet another epileptic fit about a single incident, the life and times of K Subrahmanyam might offer some insight for Pakistanis who want to live in a homeland that is peaceful, prosperous, powerful, and proud. :mrgreen:

It is not surprising that the debate over the American “diplomat” widely referred to as “Raymond Davis” is focused on the small stuff – the Vienna Convention, diplomatic immunity, Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s newfound passion, Hillary Clinton’s bad mood and US government’s angst. These kinds of distractions are exactly what the Pakistani national discourse has become very adept at. Take a single incident and derive numerous analytical angles from it.

Of course, the “Raymond Davis” incident is more than just a one-off event. For all the national pride at stake, Pakistan is not going to take the ghairat angraai to its logical conclusion. Since 1947 Pakistan has consistently made long-term strategic choices that position the country as a junior and dependent partner to the United States in this region. This continuum is not about to be changed because people are having nationalist heart attacks on TV talk shows and at anti-US rallies.

Similarly, for all the real (and contrived) outrage of the US government, Uncle Sam is not going anywhere. US troops in Afghanistan, the high-cost of the NDN and long-term US interests in South Asia will continue to require Pakistani acquiescence to the US in order for the US to continue its business in the region.

Clearly, Pakistanis cannot accept ugly (and clearly less skilled) versions of Jason Bourne :mrgreen: to drive around shooting up Pakistani citizens. It is ok to state this point forcefully and passionately. However, it is not ok to evade the context in which things are happening.

This context is complex and disturbing. There are two separate wars that are taking place in Pakistan. One is the Pakistan-versus-the-terrorists war that has ravaged the tribal areas, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The other war is the counter-terrorism war that the US is fighting against Al-Qaeda, and its affiliates, on Pakistani territory. This war is not restricted to the “Af-Pak” border. It is right across the country. Neither war is taking place without the consent and active participation of the men and women of the Pakistani military.

The first war is incomplete because it is ideologically incoherent, especially for westerners. It is not a war against all extremists. It is a war against those extremists that have declared war on Pakistan.

The second war is incomplete because it is functionally and operationally incoherent, especially if you live in Pakistan. It is not a war that has formally been declared. It is not entirely clear who and what is being used to fight the war. It is not a war that can be measured by parliaments or by body counts.

The first war is a war of the past. It is a war of the 19th century being fought by a 20th century military that is more accountable to a foreign country’s leaders than it is, to its own.

The second war is a war of the future. It is a war of the 21st century being fought with a 19th century disregard for rule of law, being fought by warriors that are accountable to no one.

This is the real world. It is the medium and possibly long term context within which a single one of possibly hundreds of American instruments of war killed two Pakistanis in the middle of a street, in broad daylight, at an intersection where no American diplomat I know, will ever wander knowingly.

We can choose to obsess about a single meeting between Husain Haqqani and Tom Donilon. Or the relative measure of Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s patriotism, versus that of the president’s. But we should be aware of what those choices represent. They represent a deliberate refusal to examine the incident within the strategic framework of Pakistan’s national security, economic and political realities. They represent an underdeveloped conception of strategy. Perhaps, more than anything else, this infatuation with petty information represents a collective cowardice to accept the present starkness of reality, and commit to altering the future.

A vision for a reality-based narrative of the future is what K Subrahmanyam has bequeathed to India. His enormous shadow lurks over India’s current strategic success, as largely as any other. Yet twenty years ago, or even ten years ago, very few Indians would have predicted the parade of honours and memorials upon his death. Throughout the cold war era, Subrahmanyam was seen as too pro-Soviet. After testing nuclear weapons in 1998, Subrahmanyam increasingly came to be known as too pro-American. At his memorial, Indian journalist Inder Malhotra pointed what is often not obvious to critics of public figures at the time. That Subrahmanyam never changed his central stance, that he was neither pro-Soviet, nor pro-American. He was simply interested in the path that offered the greatest benefits to India. He was just pro-Indian.

{I said the same about KS garu!}

This is a powerful lesson. The greatest burden carried by some of Pakistan’s most valuable strategic minds is not the substance of their perspectives, but often the labels we attach to them. Our thinkers are either too pro-American, or too pro-establishment, too closely allied with the Pakistani military, or too deeply invested in democracy. This silliness has to stop.

“Raymond Davis” is a transient story. There is a much larger and deeper discussion to be had. Being reasonable and rational and having a long-term view of the present and the future does not have to come at the cost of sentiment. Indeed, perhaps the most poignant moment at the Subrahmanyam memorial was during the final tribute, made by Subrahmanyam’s son, UCLA professor Sanjay Subrahmanyam. The professor said that his father’s realism would have made no sense, in the absence of sentiment. Sentiment, he said is what gave realism, true meaning.

In trying to understand and make sense of the “Raymond Davis” case, Pakistanis need not extinguish their sentiments. They simply need to leverage them to successfully navigate a complex future. The details of the Vienna convention are peripheral to that complexity and to the future. The question isn’t of diplomatic immunity. It is of Pakistan. How did we get here, and where do we want to go?

The writer advises governments, donors and NGOs on public policy. www.mosharrafzaidi.com


I thought I saw some tweets from this man during the memorial.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby merlin » 17 Feb 2011 11:52

Lovely tribute ramana

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 17 Feb 2011 22:08

Merlin, Thanks.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby svinayak » 18 Feb 2011 10:49

R great tribute. I am going to keep a copy on my iphone to read it often.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 18 Feb 2011 10:50

A request guys. Can we have transcript of the Walk the Talk interview of KS> I am text person and would like to analyze his message.

Thanks in advance.


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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 18 Feb 2011 21:08

RajeevK, Thanks a lot.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/702549/

‘Obama does not have much of an option but to make India its leading partner’
Shekhar Gupta Posted online: Tue Oct 26 2010, 11:35 hrs

Ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India, leading defence analyst Dr K Subrahmanyam speaks to The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta on NDTV’s Walk the Talk, on the Indo-US relationship and dealing with China.

Shekhar Gupta: I am in front of South Block and my guest is one of the longest, oldest members of this hallowed building and someone who shaped its mind on India’s strategic policy making, India’s entire worldview for more than five decades now—Dr K Subrahmanyam. The world is a very different place now... from when you came here in the ‘50s.

Dr K Subrahmanyam: Yes, very much so. When I came here, within a couple of years, we had Bulganin (Nikolai) and Khrushchev (Nikita) visiting Delhi and that was the time the Indo-Soviet relationship started developing. And that was also the time when the US’s relationship with Pakistan intensified.

Shekhar Gupta: As we talk now, in a couple of weeks, Obama’s coming. The third US president in a decade, when the previous one took 25 years. So, it’s all changed... for the better?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: Very much for the better, no doubt about that!

Shekhar Gupta: So what are Obama’s options? Does he have his options closed, no choice?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: No, I think Obama will be developing his options. His challenges today are from two sources—one is from jihadi inspired terrorism and the other challenge is that China has become the second power of the world and is trying to catch up with the US. China is the only major country in the world that has not accepted democracy as its value system. Even Russia has. And therefore, a more powerful China expanding into Asia, South Asia, West Asia and East Asia is posing a challenge to the US and is trying to counter the influence of democratic powers. And how to deal with this challenge is something which should preoccupy Obama.

Shekhar Gupta: And when this comes up, what should Dr Manmohan Singh be telling him?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: I think they have already said that they share these value systems. The main point is, how do these democratic countries, which today form 50 per cent of the global population, counter this value system—of the two challenges of jihadism as well as one-party authoritarianism which denies pluralism. I think the only way of doing this is for them to get into a network of partnerships. Because this is not a military threat and it cannot be dealt with by a military alliance.

Shekhar Gupta: It’s also a philosophical and a political threat.

Dr K Subrahmanyam: Yes, and therefore, it is for the other democratic powers to get together and apply their combined efforts creatively to counter these challenges. And there can be a lot of cooperation among them in terms of exchange of intelligence and combined efforts to stop flow of financial resources to jihadi people. These things are quite possible. And the more democratic powers assert themselves, it will have its own impact within China because as it has been pointed out, a country which has reached this level cannot go further in innovation unless it democratises itself. Therefore, the Chinese are worried about it, the rest of the world should increase pressure on the Chinese.

Shekhar Gupta: So, if India and America come together, as you are saying they logically should, this will not be some old fashioned kind of alliance with military implications against another power, it’s a philosophical alliance to maybe moderate the conduct of another power?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: Yes, in fact the engagement of China should be intensified. Commerce and trade with China should grow. And the only way of effectively countering China’s authoritarianism is to expose the Chinese population to democracy in a more and more intensified manner.

Shekhar Gupta: So, if that is the idea, and I think that idea took root about 15 years ago and got underlined with President Clinton’s visit and is now growing, you think Obama coming in place of Bush is a setback?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: No, not at all. In fact, Bush looked at India in terms of classical balance of power and Bush’s framework was still a 20th century framework.

Shekhar Gupta: And in a manner, a bit imperialistic?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: In a manner that the US was an exceptional country and the leader of the world. I think Obama understands much more this need for a network of nations, in which all other nations will have to cooperate and that the US cannot any longer exercise its leadership vis-a-vis China unless it has a partner in terms of a knowledge reservoir, because China has got four times the population of the US. And therefore when the Chinese start producing engineers, doctors, technicians...

Shekhar Gupta: Or fighter pilots?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: I’m not so much worried about the military aspects because militarily, the US can still maintain its lead for some time to come. But the US can be number one only if it has its lead technologically and organisationally. And this cannot be done unless the US has a partner, which is equal in population with China, is democratic, pluralistic, shares the same value as the US, with which US already has a population to population relationship. Indians contribute to American growth and American technology and American organisational skills. And therefore, Obama does not have much of an option but to make India its leading partner.

Shekhar Gupta: After having lived through decades of hostility, when life was very simple—America was hostile, Soviet was an ally—how tough was it to bring about a paradigm shift?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: I would say that the shift came about in a very natural manner to the US because most of the things that happened to the US, all in a way are kind of nemesis.

Shekhar Gupta: Why nemesis?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: Well, they went and dealt with Vietnam in a particular way and it blew up on them. They allied with Pakistan to create jihadism.

Shekhar Gupta: The earlier jihad, good jihad, if I may say so. :eek:

Dr K Subrahmanyam: And the jihadism has blown up on them. For 30 years, they helped China become the factory of the world and China’s advance today is now challenging the US. And therefore, to a considerable extent, the US has turned itself against the mistakes it had perpetrated. And so far as we were concerned, we always admired the US and from the very beginning, Nehru went and addressed the US Congress, in which he pledged that if freedom was in peril and endangered, India will not stay neutral. And therefore, we didn’t have any problem in becoming friendly with the US.

Shekhar Gupta: How does our record with the ‘70s square? Our voting record on Cambodia, Afghanistan, the Prague Spring? It was quite disgraceful.

Dr K Subrahmanyam: I would only apologise or feel defensive about Prague and Hungary. Cambodia, I would still say that we were right. Supporting Pol Pot is one of the greatest disgraces for American democracy. We opposed him. Therefore, we have nothing to apologise for. Similarly, on Afghanistan, it is the Americans and the Pakistanis who have created this jihadism. We virtually stayed out of it.

Shekhar Gupta: But could we have nuanced our earlier Afghanistan policy better? In the ‘70s and the ‘80s?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: No, we tried our best. After all, when the Soviets moved into Afghanistan, which was a result of the provocation by the Pakistanis and the Americans, Indira Gandhi sent special envoys to Zia-ul-Haq—Swaran Singh went there, then Narasimha Rao went there. We tried our best to reassure the Pakistanis. But they weren’t looking for reassurance. They wanted to become a nuclear weapon power, which is the price the Americans had to pay in order to get Pakistani support. They had to look away from the Chinese arm in that. And once the Pakistanis got nuclear weapons, they didn’t want to just drop it on anybody, which is what the western strategists talk about. The Pakistanis got the derivative of nuclear weapons, which was terrorism. And they are using the derivative terrorism not only against US but against the US, UK and Europe.

Shekhar Gupta: Using the backup power of nuclear weapons?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: Deterrent power gets them the shield. And therefore, they are able to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

Shekhar Gupta: So to that extent, they were successful?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: Till today, yes, they have gotten away, but I don’t know for how long.

Shekhar Gupta: You look far ahead. I’ll ask you three questions. First of all, when could you anticipate this turn in India’s position in the world —in ‘70s, ‘60s, ‘50s, ‘90s? When could you anticipate this?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: I would say only by mid-90s.

Shekhar Gupta: And before that, when Mrs Gandhi met Reagan?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: No, that was a balancing act. Reagan was being nice to Mrs Gandhi, and at the same time permitting Pakistan to get nuclear weapons.

Shekhar Gupta: But she did break ice with him?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: There was a time when the Reagan administration was nice to Mrs Gandhi.

Shekhar Gupta: So mid-’90s is when you saw the change coming? That’s when they say Dr Subrahmanyam’s tone also changed because you led the intellectual drive, isn’t it? The third stage of the rocket of Indian foreign policy again came from you.

Dr K Subrahmanyam: All that I would say is that yes, I started writing about it but there were others as well who contributed to it.

Shekhar Gupta: And three Prime Ministers.

Dr K Subrahmanyam: Narasimha Rao, in a sense Rajiv Gandhi, but much more so Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh. Both Vajpayee (Atal Bihari) and Brajesh Mishra also contributed.

Shekhar Gupta: Now my second question, again looking ahead. You say Pakistan has been successful so far. Where do you see Pakistan with this strategy, five years or ten years from now?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: They’re playing with a venomous snake. And there is no doubt about it that one of these days, the snake is going to bite them. And the Pakistanis are going to pay a high price, when the various jihadi organisations are going to turn on the Pakistani state and the Pakistani army. One of them has already—the Pakistani Taliban. But it is only a question of time when others also do.

Shekhar Gupta: My third and last question. If you read accounts of Nehru’s conversations with Eisenhower, in one of those, Eisenhower is very worried about what the Chinese are doing in Korea...the Chinese have taken prisoners and he’s very angry about that. And Nehru makes a very interesting and prescient statement—he tells him not to be neurotic about communism. He says that the seeds of destruction lie within the ideology of communism. But for Nehru to say that in the early ‘50s was prescient.

Dr K Subrahmanyam: In a sense, Nehru was prescient. Nehru started cultivating the Soviet Union mainly because even in the early ‘50s, he saw that the Soviet Union and China will not get along with each other and therefore, if we have to have security vis-a-vis China, we had to cultivate the Soviet Union.

Shekhar Gupta: So Nehru was not an ideological fool?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: Nehru was perhaps one of the most pragmatic and realist politicians.

Shekhar Gupta: So, when there is conversation today between Dr Singh and Obama, what tone do you see it taking? Do you see some of the same conversation happening, although Obama is different from Eisenhower and Dr Singh is different from Nehru?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: I don’t think Obama has to be convinced that he’s facing a Chinese challenge. Of course, he himself has called Pakistan a state afflicted with cancer. And therefore, he doesn’t have to be convinced that he’s facing these challenges. The point is that they have got to devise ways and means of how to respond to these challenges. That will be the job before them.

Shekhar Gupta: And if you see Bob Woodward’s latest book, does it look like he has it in him?

Dr K Subrahmanyam: I am very positive about Obama. I think he’s a highly intellectual person and he can think through problems.

Shekhar Gupta: I can see that you’re optimistic. And I can see that you’re optimistic not just five years ahead but 10 years ahead, so hopefully we’ll have more conversations as we go ahead and hopefully everybody will still be getting wisdom from you. And as usual, following you. For 50 years, nobody in this country has been able to stay ahead of you and may it remain like that.

Transcribed by Ayushi Saxena


I miss him. I will de-construct his interview.I have some points of difference and a lot of agreement.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 19 Feb 2011 09:16

Vinay Rai writes:


Rise of India and what it means to USA:

viewtopic.php?p=1033175#p1033175

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 22 Feb 2011 09:17

National Maritime Foundation India site

Tributes to KS garu

ramana
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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 22 Feb 2011 10:10

Very good wiki article on KS garu:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K._Subrahmanyam

And another tribute

Remembering India's Kissingerr

Remembering India’s Henry Kissinger
by Mark Nichols | February 16th, 2011 |

Image

This month, on February 2, 2011, India lost one of its greatest strategic thinkers, K Subrahmanyam.

Known affectionately to many people as “Subbu,” K Subrahmanyam was considered the father of strategic studies in India. Over four decades, he helped to shape Indian foreign and defense policy in critical ways, both inside and outside of government. He was Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Defense from 1962-65; Secretary of Defense Production from 1979-80; and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee from 1977-79. He built India’s first and foremost defense policy think tank, the Institute of Defense Studies and Analysis (IDSA) and served as its director from 1966 to 1975 and again from 1980 to 1989. He was the principle author of India’s nuclear doctrine and strongly backed the India-U.S. civil nuclear agreement. After the Kargil war, he headed the Kargil Review Committee, which recommended an overhaul of India’s national security apparatus and led to the creation of several new agencies, including the National Security Advisory Board, which he chaired. After leaving government, Subrahmanyam became a contributing editor to The Economic Times and The Times of India and taught as a visiting professor at Cambridge University. Whether you agreed with him or not, he was a giant of the Indian national security establishment. Stephen Cohen of The Brookings Institution and a long time friend of Subrahmanyam said, “Subbu was a guru to me and many others, but he did not insist that I share his views, and his most endearing quality was his love of argument and debate, which irritated some, but which on balance made him a great teacher.”

On a recent trip to Delhi, I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Subrahmanyam for tea one afternoon at the Oberoi Hotel. He struck me as one of those revered elder statesmen whose impact on national policy will long be remembered by future generations. Yet I didn’t find him the least bit intimidating. He was warm and affectionate. In fact, I saw immediately why so many young people considered him a mentor. We had a wonderful and wide ranging conversation about the many challenges facing India today, from education and governance to economic reform and foreign policy. Subrahmanyam explained to me why he was such an ardent supporter of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership — more so than many of his compatriots. He believed it was key to defending Indian pluralism, secularism and democracy from what he called “a one party oligarchical system allied to jihadism” — China. Equally important, he believed the United States would need India and its vast pool of scientists, engineers, technicians, and medical personnel to compete with China and maintain its position as the world’s predominant economic power. English speaking India, with a large and growing diaspora in the U.S., was a natural partner.

Upon Subrahmanyam’s death, we have much to reflect upon, from the role of nuclear weapons to the rise of China and India’s place in the emerging international order. For sure, we need to deepen the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership, especially in the areas of education and training. This is absolutely critical. But we also need to think about how India relates to China and how the U.S. as a Pacific power relates to both. India and China still have unresolved border disputes and remain suspicious of one another. The U.S. arguably has better relations with both nations than the two have with each other. While it may be tempting for the U.S. to maintain a strategic edge by encouraging that tension, thereby “cementing its own presence in Asia as an offshore balancer,” as Kishore Mahbubani has written, it would also be prudent long term to promote cooperation among all three nations. Without appearing to meddle, the U.S. should take the lead and launch a broad-based trilateral discussion on the big issues of the day with different stakeholders from all three nations –gov’t officials, business, the military, scholars, journalists, artists and others. Such an initiative would encourage regional cooperation, reduce Chinese fears of encirclement and give the U.S. a new voice in Asia. As Subrahmanyam might say, it is an idea worth considering.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 22 Feb 2011 10:42

Oxonian Review of his book dated 2005. Very presecient.

Engaging Security the legacy of K Subrahmanyam

Priyanjali Malik.

15 June, 2005 • Issue 4.3
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Engaging Security

Priyanjali Malik

P.R. Kumaraswamy, ed.
Security Beyond Survival: Essays for K. Subrahmanyam
Sage, 2004
281 pages
ISBN 0761932674

In looking at strategic debates within India, perhaps the more surprising fact is not that K. Subrahmanyam actually speaks the language of ‘national interest’ in a land where such voices tend to be drowned out by declamations of ‘Gandhian’ and ‘Nehruvian’ ideas, but that his ideas are still considered unrepresentative even as India tries to carve out a position of global influence for itself. It’s not for lack of effort, however. Though still a controversial figure, Subrahmanyam is widely acknowledged as the doyen of Indian strategic thinking. 1 is collection, brought out on the occasion of his 75th birthday, acknowledges his efforts at pushing the Indian elite (who presume to lead debates on matters of pressing concern to the country) to engage with Indian security. Until the late 1960s, strategic studies in India was a backwater, unfrequented by the intelligentsia who tended instead to focus more on economics and development, perhaps a justifiable bias given the economic realities on the subcontinent at the time. It was also the product of the postcolonial country’s recent history, where security, until just two decades earlier, had been defined in terms of gaining independence. After 1947, parliamentarians found themselves not only having to change course from fighting against the British to running the country, but they also had to come up with foreign and security policies for an independent India (whose borders did not conform to the state whose independence they had fought for). This task was left to India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Meanwhile parliamentarians, with the help of the Indian intelligentsia, set about putting in place an administrative machinery for the new country, either by adapting old colonial structures, or creating new ones.

In hindsight, the lack of serious engagement with strategic matters at the time is breathtaking. By then, India had fought three wars with its two largest neighbours and was soon to be embroiled in a fourth. China, arguably the source of greatest Indian insecurities at the time, had slipped into the nuclear club sanctified by the conclusion in 1968 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The level of debate in response to these developments was rudimentary at best; one parliamentarian, Nath Pai, was finally driven to remark in Parliament after the first Chinese nuclear test that ‘[i]nstead of making a very dispassionate and calm assessment of the Chinese possession of this dangerous, deadly weapon, we have been indulging once again in sentimental platitudes, confusing the whole issue, and unnecessarily dragging [into the debate] Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and, for good measure, Lord Buddha and Samrat Ashoka’.1 In many ways, India was now paying the price for excessive dependence on Nehru: under his guidance, certainly up to the China débâcle, India’s defence policy was its foreign policy. Nehru, as foreign minister, had largely crafted both. After his death and especially in the wake of China’s nuclearisation, Parliament found itself forced to tread hitherto unfamiliar territory. Against this backdrop, after taking over as Director of the government-funded Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) in 1968 (a post he held until 1972, and then again from 1980 until his retirement from the Indian Administrative Service in 1987), it took some time for Subrahmanyam to stir things up. In fact, it was not until the 1990s that a coherent debate on Indian security began to take shape. In many ways, therefore, this book is a fitting tribute to a man who has worked tirelessly to jolt Indians out of their customary strategic somnolence to engage with the nitty-gritty of defending ‘India’.

Security Beyond Survival is a collection of eleven essays written by people who have interacted with Subrahmanyam over the years and who to varying degrees share his interest in seeing a proper debate on security take root and flourish in the subcontinent. The topics covered are matters on which Subrahmanyam has written on and spoken of extensively — from the broad overview of Indian security down to the fine details of India’s relationships with her neighbours. The only exception, perhaps, is the last essay, ‘A Rather Personal Biography’, by his son Sanjay. In providing a brief sketch of the man behind the reams of newsprint that bear his by-line, along with the shelves of books that have been written, co-authored or edited by him (the collection also contains a ‘select bibliography’ of Subrahmanyam’s work which alone runs to eleven pages), this essay anchors the discussion in the person behind the name, thereby bringing the review round full-circle: this is a debate carried out by individuals as individuals. And Subrahmanyam, to his credit, has always encouraged a multiplicity of voices, even if the cacophony brings forth those who do not agree with him. Even when disagreements threaten to derail consensus — as it was feared might be the case when the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), which was tasked with producing a draft nuclear doctrine after India’s nuclear tests of 1998, began its work with Subrahmanyam managing a group of thirty individuals and several large egos — he remained firm that individual opinions should not be obliterated in the need for conformity or unanimity. 1 is is as it should be. India is too large and diverse a country for any single view-point to pretend to speak for the whole population, and if there is one area where this collection fails the person it honours, it is in not providing a discordant view from a scholar who disagrees with him. It would not diminish Subrahmanyam’s contribution to Indian strategic thinking; in fact, it would be a testimonial to the reach of his work.

Subrahmanyam himself has spoken of the need for a healthy debate in India which can produce an informed, long-term approach to strategic matters. Not only has there not been a single White Paper on defence in the country, but the one and only public report on defence matters — the Kargil Review Committee Report — has not been formally discussed in Parliament, despite the fact that the report highlights an almost total intelligence failure and emphasises the urgent need for India to engage with the implications of its and Pakistan’s overt nuclear postures after their nuclear tests of 1998. As Subrahmanyam remarks in exasperation, the country’s indifference to examining defence in any meaningful way is a means of ‘abdicating responsibility’ for supporting the armed forces in defending the nation.2 These gaps are most visible in the area of long-term policy setting, which has fallen victim to the lack of any institutionalised forum for a thorough examination of India’s interests and goals in the medium and long term. One contributor, D. Shyam Babu, goes so far as to distinguish between ‘long-term policy’ and ‘long-term thinking’ (in ‘National Security Council: Yet Another Ad Hoc Move?’), admitting that there has been little of the former in the Indian approach to national security. And long-term thinking can easily slip into a policy of postponing difficult decisions. India’s approach to nuclear policy is especially apt in this regard: the ‘option’ that existed between 1968 and 1998 was for some the embodiment of long-term thinking; harsher critics have of course referred to the ‘option’ as the absence of any policy, sheltered behind the comfortable language of restraint which allowed a postponement of any final decision on a commitment to either permanent abstention or nuclearisation.

This lack of meaningful engagement with security is reflected at the institutional and academic level. As P.R. Kumaraswamy points out in his article, ‘National Security: A Critique’, there is a serious dearth of independently- funded think-tanks in India which can be relied on to provide an ‘outside’ view to balance government thinking; most of the non-official centres and institutes that focus on strategic affairs depend to some extent on state funding and tend, however reluctantly, to get co-opted into the system. That Subrahmanyam pushed the limits of the system from the inside is no guarantee that those who follow in his footsteps will be similarly able to jog government thinking out of its comfortable and customary grooves.

In a way, Kumaraswamy throws down the gauntlet in his opening article when he laments the paucity of informed analysis in the wider strategic debate in India. For some Indians it is enough that India survives. If India is to become more than an ever ‘emerging’ power, or is to make the transition from a regional power to a global one, it will only do so on the back of a long-term engagement with security and with India’s global position as it is and not as Indians wish it to be. Yet any synergy that might develop between, on the one hand, the government and bureaucracy who shape and implement policy, and on the other, academia and the attentive public who critique these issues, is completely undermined by a culture of secrecy that dominates South Block (the building that houses the Ministries of Defence, External Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office); the resulting academic efforts remain sadly ‘uninspired’ at best. As he remarks, ‘[d]espite the prolonged nuclear debate, proliferation of scholars and unending stream of writings, two of the classic works on India’s nuclear policy have been written by Western scholars’. And it is true that scholars of India’s past, present and future nuclear posture would be well advised if pointed in the direction of George Perkovich’s India’s Nuclear Bomb and Ashley Tellis’s India’s Emerging Nuclear Posture: Between Recessed Deterrence and Ready Arsenal in furthering their understanding.

This points to a conundrum: there is evidently, as Kumaraswamy observes, a reasonable amount of discussion on some strategic topics. Yet bringing a lot of musicians together and instructing them to ‘play something’ will not produce a symphony. There is a lack of focus in Indian debates on security. As Subrahmanyam explains, in the three or four years after the ‘Tehelka’ scandal (on defence procurement) broke, much has been written about ‘Tehelka’ and the political implications of the story, but very little has actually been discussed about the defence-related ramifications of a sting that was meant to probe kick-backs in defence deals.3 This is nothing new in India. When the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was being negotiated in the mid-1990s, several rainforests-worth of newsprint were devoted to big power politics being played out in Geneva, with very little space dedicated to the strategic implications of a treaty that would potentially seriously undermine India’s nuclear ‘option’ by forever denying it the freedom to test a nuclear device. Perhaps if Indians sat down to discuss the implications of a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT), which the Vajpayee government promised to negotiate after the 1998 tests, and which is being worked out at the Conference on Disarmament at the moment, there might be grounds for hope that the Indian strategic debate is finally coming of age.

Quite apart from not pushing the government on matters of defence as they occur, there is also a curious acceptance of the government’s insistence on secrecy. The armed forces have been calling for a declassification of the histories of the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars, along with the records of the Indian Peacekeeping Force to Sri Lanka in the late 1980s. These requests have met with a stony silence, which is echoed by the complete disinterest that the strategic community displays in these matters. This is completely baffling: are the Indian armed forces expected to learn from the military histories of other nations which draw on material that has been declassified after a suitable quarantine period? Perhaps a start can be made in returning periodically to the war with China to examine what went wrong. Rajesh Rajagopalan’s essay, ‘Re-examining the “Forward Policy”’, takes a tentative step in this direction by opening the debate on whether India’s ‘forward policy’ of the early 1960s was a provocative or defensive measure. The essay raises several questions, especially in challenging the almost accepted version that India was caught completely unawares by the Chinese attack in October 1962, when in fact New Delhi had been preparing (albeit weakly) to defend against Chinese incursions along the border from 1958, after Indian intelligence reported on a Chinese road in Aksai Chin in the Western Sector of the disputed border. Yet, without access to intelligence reports and the subsequent inquiries into the failures of the war, we will never be able to look at the full picture. Forty years after the event, the need for such complete secrecy over this war is no longer defensible; nor, indeed, is the Indian public’s acquiescence in this veil of impenetrability. Indeed, Rajagopalan remarks without the slightest trace of irony that until the Chinese archives are opened up we may never know what motivated the Chinese to attack in 1962 instead of diplomatically asserting their claim to the territory earlier, in response to Indian maps showing the disputed territories as Indian. Considering the barriers to scholarly research that keep scholars out of the Indian archives, it might be more fruitful to look within our own records to see what went wrong when the warning signs were apparently visible for all to see.

Of course, the secrecy that shrouds India’s military history pales into the limpid light of day in comparison with the covertness that marks India’s nuclear policy. It is a measure of the complete lack of information that surrounds all matters nuclear that India’s nuclear tests were immediately denounced by critics as a tactic by the BJP to bolster their coalition unity and win further electoral support. In fact, in his first columns after the tests, Subrahmanyam wrote at length about how the nuclear tests of 1998 were the cumulative product of several governments’ work, going all the way back to the nuclear estate established by Jawaharlal Nehru. (It is astonishing that Indians had apparently forgotten that the country had actually crossed a fairly significant technological and military line in 1974 when it tested its first atomic device, the semantics of calling it a ‘peaceful nuclear explosion’ notwithstanding.) Not much has changed since May 1998 as far as the level of informed debate on nuclear policies is concerned, but one is not sure whether this has more to do with apathy on the part of the Indian public and strategic community, or if this reflects a continuation of the policy of secrecy by the state, or indeed, is a product of both factors.

Unfortunately, this collection does not really further this debate. There is one article on nuclear risk-reduction by Michael Krepon, but it leaves one feeling slightly cheated since he spends over half the article discussing the Cold War before admitting that the dynamics in South Asia will probably be very different from those that prevailed in the West. However, Krepon does open up the debate in pointing out that the triangular relationship of China, India and Pakistan will make it immeasurably more difficult to arrive at some sort of modus vivendi. Furthermore, managing the nuclear relationship will require a long-term engagement with confidence-building measures that cannot be limited to grand pronouncements and symbolic measures designed to ‘assuage foreign audiences that leaders in South Asia are capable of managing their differences’. It requires a commitment to staying the course and fully understanding the implications of building – and destroying – bridges of trust between the three countries. A large part of the impetus for creating these links will of course have to come from the attentive publics of these states; but for that, there needs to be an informed debate on nuclear issues. As the Kargil Review Committee Report (which was largely written by Subrahmanyam) and a subsequent internal assessment by the Army revealed (parts of this were leaked to the newsweekly Outlook), the Kargil encounter was the result of several failures, the most prominent amongst which were a colossal intelligence break-down and the sense of complacency that overt nuclearisation would guarantee a nuclear peace in the subcontinent.4 Indeed the current level of complacency, disinterest even, over India’s nuclear policies is worrying to say the least. History should not show that the debate on India’s nuclear policy was just about ‘going nuclear’; now that the rubicon has been crossed, it is imperative that India’s strategic community engage meaningfully and in a sustained fashion with the implications of this development.

In the end, this is a book about strategic issues, and as such, it does continue and fuel the debate. Perhaps the biggest tribute to Subrahmanyam’s influence and his legacy lies in the fact that the contributors to this volume span the globe, attesting to his having reached out to a wide audience. Even if, as Selig Harrison remarks (in ‘KS: A Personal Impression’), Subrahmanyam’s candidness tended to unsettle Americans, who are more comfortable with the usual polite obfuscations of most Indian diplomats, in the end, his refusal to couch his understanding of India’s ‘national interest’ in anything but the terms of realpolitik forced them to engage with this man who never believed in anything but plain-speaking. It’s not a bad legacy to reflect on.

Priyanjali Malik is a DPhil student at Merton College, Oxford, writing her dissertation on the debate over India’s nuclear policy in the 1990s. Prior to this, she worked at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London after obtaining an MPhil in International Relations from Balliol College, Oxford, in 2001. She gained her first degree in English Literature from Princeton University, where she found herself after growing up in Calcutta, India.

Notes
1. Lok Sabha Debates, 3rd Series, 35.6 (23 November 1964).
2. Author’s interview with K. Subrahmanyam, New Delhi, January 2005.
3. Ibid. The ‘Tehelka’ scandal erupted when an on-line newsportal, Tehelka, conducted a sting operation in the latter half of 2000 to expose the payoff s to politicians in arms deals. In the upheaval that followed, the Defence Minister, George Fernandes, was forced to resign as he too was implicated in ‘Operation West End’. See http://www.tehelka.com/home/20041009/ our_story.htm
4. See, Saikat Dutta, “What’s the Secret?”, Outlook, 28 February, 2005.


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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 25 Feb 2011 10:11

Global Post Tribute

Jason Overdorf:

RIP K Subrahmanyam: A Good Source Clever Wit and Good Man


RIP K. Subrahmanyam -- a good source, a clever wit, and a good man
India's Holbrooke succumbs at 82 after shaping India's foreign policy for decades

Jason Overdorf

February 3, 2011

Committed, courageous and consistent in his abiding engagement with national security and the global strategic environment for almost 50 years, K Subrahmanyam , KS or Subbu, as he was better known, who passed away on Wednesday, reports India's Economic Times newspaper. Subrahmanyam will long be remembered for his singular and distinctive contribution to 'Bharat Raksha,' the defence and protection of India and its core interests, the paper said.

I had only just met KS, when I was invited to a discussion panel at the Delhi-based Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis that he was chairing. My attendance was predicated on the event being off the record, so I didn't take notes, but I was struck by the precision of the signature KS wit, his straight shooting, and the readiness with which he had dropped his anti-US position and taken up a contrarian point of view on China -- about which he went away from his supposed stance as a hawk and preached an engagement based on "soft power."

I called him soon afterward, and I was hoping to make him a regular source. But the next time I phoned, he informed me that he was feeling too ill to talk, and I wished him good health--only to read yesterday that he never got better.

Below is the text of that last interview:

1) You mentioned that Obama has little choice but to make India America's leading partner. Why is that so? Based on current behavior, do you think the US realizes it?

Because China has become the second power in the world, and the Chinese are interested in closing the gap and becoming the number one power in the world. If the US doesn't want to lose its pre-eminent position as technological and economic power, it must race with China and keep ahead of China in knowledge generation. In order to do that, since China has 4 times the pop of the US, and has started outproducing the US in engineers and scientists, the US has got to draw on a reservoir of talent. The only reservoir of talent that is English speaking and has the same value system as the US is India.

2) How do you foresee the India-China-America-Pakistan relationship developing in the future?

It's not a four-way relationship. Actually, China in its drive for power has used North Korea as a launchpad, and armed North Korea with nuclear weapons. China has armed Pakistan with nuclear weapons, and Pakistan, in turn, protected by its nuclear shield is using its derivative, terrorism, as an instrument of politics against India, the US and Europe.

The two non-democratic forces, China's authoritarianism and Pak's fundamentalism, are allied with each other. China is the only major power in the world that is not democratic. It is a question of democratic versus anti-democratic forces. Today, half the pop of the world lives under democracy.

3) I'm interested in your idea that the Indo-US alliance vis a vis China will not be a NATO-type, deterrent-based partnership....

Those are all 20th century, bygone type of things. People must realize that the Cold War is over. Because people don't understand this, both in the American and Indian establishments, the Americans are saying you have to do this because we had this legislation in the cold war. Similarly, India says our because of our traditional stance of non-alignment, we need to remain autonomous. They need to think this through. The real question is: Is the future world order going to be governed by democratic values or one party state values.

{We see this question being asked in the Arab world from Maghreb to Gulf!}

4) It seems to me that China's success in foreign policy shows that we were naive to think that the days of realpolitik ended with the Cold War. In that context, how important are the "shared values" that both India and the US keep emphasizing?

Realpolitik is different from Cold War politics. Most of the PLA is still under the Cold War mentality. But I'm not saying contain China, I am saying intensify engagement with China. We have got democracy as our weapon. This challenge should be met by new methods. Therefore the world has got to mobilize on the values of pluralism, secularism and democracy and meet China's challenge and the jihadi challenge of Pakistan.

5) Has China changed the game for foreign policy in Asia -- and even Africa -- with its aggressive embrace of realpolitik?

That is the reason why the only way of countering China and its expansionism and at the same time generating pressure on the Chinese population ... is for the network of democratic powers to emerge and internationally press democratic values using information technology. Don't contain China, engage China. Get more Chinese tourists to your place, let them be exposed to democracy. It's not classical realpolitik.

6) How can the US and India cooperate to influence China without presenting the threatening image of encirclement or containment?

Next Obama is going to Indonesia, an Islamic country which is pluralistic and democratic. He should get Indonesia into such a network. South Africa, which has got a Mulsim population, Bangladesh, which has a Muslim population, but it's Supreme Court has struck down Islamism.....

7) Are there any concrete steps that you see as "musts" for Obama's visit to India, in order to keep the strategic partnership moving forward?

Everybody has got his own choice as what should be the must do items. Somebody thinks it's the UN Security Council, somebody thinks its the export controls.

My point is to look beyond all these steps. If you agree on the big picture, then you can tell the bureaucracies to please forget about the Cold War, please forget about the past framework that we have, and please understand that the US and other democratic nations of the worlds are partners in promoting a democratic, secular world order.




WOW! In essence he is ennuciating a blue print to defuse the Clash of Civilizations that seized Sam Huntington.

I don't know if the US took his last advice or they still fighting the Cold War windmills to CRE India? I don't think the US has let go of the Indian tilt with FSU. One can infer from lack of any substantial initiatives during that visit.

Might take another generation of US political leaders and a couple of more busts or ore Quantitative Easing. Meantime the world suffers.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby svinayak » 27 Feb 2011 02:21

ramana wrote:Global Post Tribute

India's Holbrooke succumbs at 82 after shaping India's foreign policy for decades


WOW! In essence he is ennuciating a blue print to defuse the Clash of Civilizations that seized Sam Huntington.

There are certain things he talks about which is not explanined overtly but is implicit.
The one party governing model was a cold war mfg construct to create stability. This was supported by the anglo american power to keep it simple and create a web of global alliance against the ideology of Soviet Union.

In the new era this will not work and US has to take the lead to dismantle this setup. It has started this in the middle east but will end in PRC>

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 27 Feb 2011 23:55

Can we put those vimeo videos on Youtube?

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Hiten » 07 Mar 2011 14:26

^^
they have been transferred to YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hNxIgfIMzw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8A0fBxn-q4

Articles posted in this thread have been collated into a single file - arranged in order of file name as saved on the HDD

http://www.scribd.com/doc/50125839/K-Su ... c-thinking

Ramana Sir, your eulogy on Page 44. Very nicely worded

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby sumeet_s » 07 Mar 2011 16:39



ramana
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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 25 Mar 2011 03:54

Two tributes in Seminar March 20111 issue

http://www.india-seminar.com/2011/619/6 ... moriam.htm


K. Subrahmanyam 1929-2011

Krishnaswami Subrahmanyam, popularly known as ‘Subbu’ or ‘K Subs’, was the most brilliant and influential strategic thinker in India during the past five decades. In his long public career, Subrahmanyam was, at different points, a distinguished civil servant, a pioneering defence intellectual, a dedicated institution builder, a prolific columnist, and an indefatigable educator of public opinion. At all times, he was a fiercely independent spokesman for what he regarded as India’s national interests. As important as his ideas was the example he set for intellectuals who have something to say to the powers that be. Most such academics and intellectuals remain unsure whether they are missing out on the payoffs of influence or have barely avoided prostituting their integrity. Subrahmanyam had no such doubts about his own role. Though an advisor to men and women in power, he resisted the seductions of office and preferred to speak his mind, if necessary in cold print.

Strategic thinking, like other forms of intellectual activity, is shaped not only by the intellect and acuity of the individual but also by the public culture of its time and place. Subrahmanyam belonged to a remarkable generation of intellectuals who came of age in Jawaharlal Nehru’s India. The range, depth, ambition and seriousness of this generation reflected both the hopes aroused by Nehru’s political and social agenda and by the disappointments stemming from their implementation and outcome. Intellectuals studying international affairs were greatly enthused by ideas of non-alignment and strategic independence, and later equally bemused by the disastrous defeat against China and the ensuing strategic isolation. It was in this context that Subrahmanyam began his long engagement with defence and security issues.

Born in Tiruchirapalli on 24 January 1929, Subrahmanyam took his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Presidency College, Madras. He went on to top the 1951 batch of the Indian Administrative Service and join the Madras cadre. After an initial stint in the panchayati raj department of the state, Subrahmanyam joined the Ministry of Defence in New Delhi. His exposure to matters of higher strategy and defence began in the immediate aftermath of the war against China in 1962. The then Defence Secretary, P.V.R. Rao, tasked Subrahmanyam with analyzing all the intelligence inputs about China provided in the run up to the war and addressing the question of how the Chinese managed to catch India off guard. Subrahmanyam’s findings were startling. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) had given ample information about Chinese military build-up in the months preceding the war. What, then, was the problem? Subrahmanyam’s answer reflected a quality that would be visible throughout his career: his refusal to remain satisfied with blaming individuals and his desire to probe the institutional weaknesses that led to such failures. Thus, he observed that whilst the IB had given inputs about Chinese build-up, its own analyses claimed that the Chinese were unlikely to resort to force majeure. The problem, he concluded, lay in asking the IB to analyze its own reports – a division of labour that was crucial to sound intelligence assessment.

After the war, Subrahmanyam was closely involved in dealing with the military aid flowing from the United States and Britain. Indeed, his disappointment at the Johnson administration’s refusal to honour its pledges would colour his views about the strategic reliability of the US. During this period, Subrahmanyam also came to the notice of the new Defence Minister, Y.B. Chavan, who was responsible for overhauling India’s security apparatus after 1962. By 1965 Subrahmanyam was coming to be known as an acute analyst of defence matters. The Director of the London-based Institute of Strategic Studies, Alastair Buchan, offered him a year-long fellowship in strategic studies at the London School of Economics. Owing to the outbreak of the India-Pakistan war in the summer of 1965, he could take up the fellowship only in the following academic year. During his stint at the LSE, Subrahmanyam wrote two papers on topics that would remain of enduring interest to him: Asian balance of power in the seventies; strategy for India for a credible posture against a nuclear adversary. :?:

On returning to India in early 1968, he joined the newly formed Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) as Director of Programmes. He immediately plunged into the debates surrounding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Subrahmanyam spearheaded a powerful intellectual campaign to prevent India from signing the NPT – a treaty that he regarded as deeply discriminating against states that had not tested nuclear weapons. His arguments and advocacy played an important role in convincing the government to desist from joining the NPT. What was more, Subrahmanyam called for India to exercise the nuclear option and enter the ranks of the key players in the international system. In the India of the late 1960s, this call for a greater dose of ‘realism’ cut sharply against the received wisdom on foreign policy.

In March 1969, Subrahmanyam was elevated to the post of Director, IDSA. In the following months and years, he managed to infuse great vigour into the institute’s research and publication – even if his colleagues were unable to match his standards of analysis and articulation. Subrahmanyam’s first moment of fame (and notoriety) came during the Bangladesh crisis of 1971. Immediately after the Pakistan Army’s crackdown on the eastern wing in March 1971, he argued in a public seminar against a policy of restraint by India. A week later he published an article in the National Herald claiming that the crisis provided India ‘an opportunity the like of which will never come again.’ These arguments were widely circulated in the Pakistani press as evidence of India’s mala fides. The embarrassment caused to the Indian government did not deter Subrahmanyam from going public with his considered views. He also prepared a secret note for the Prime Minister and Defence Minister outlining a pro-active strategy for India to cut Pakistan to size. The note was leaked, resulting in further discomfiture to the government. (Years later, I found a copy of Subrahmanyam’s closely argued note in the British National Archives.) The incident led the government to restrain Subrahmanyam’s public writings. Once the war began, he urged Y.B. Chavan to seize the strategic opportunity not just in the East but also in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. Later, he was characteristically forthright in admitting that the government did not go along with his views.

India’s decision to test a nuclear weapon in 1974 vindicated Subrahmanyam’s position on this issue. Yet he did not believe that the size and shape of the nuclear arsenal had much impact, beyond a point, on the country’s strategic posture. Indeed, when India began weaponizing its nuclear capabilities in the late 1980s, Subrahmanyam urged restraint. Here, as elsewhere, his views resisted easy categorization as hawkish or dovish. Subrahmanyam was committed to the notion that strategy was a practical and contextual activity and that if the facts changes one’s mind should follow suit.

Notwithstanding his peerless expertise and influence in defence and strategic analysis, Subrahmanyam was never appointed Defence Secretary. Part of the answer lies in his refusal to blindly toe the government’s line during the Emergency. As Home Secretary of Tamil Nadu he declined to enforce the draconian regulations promulgated by the central government. Indeed, during this period several prominent opposition leaders (from all parts of the political spectrum) found refuge in Tamil Nadu. When he returned to New Delhi in 1978, the Janata government appointed him chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. By the time Indira Gandhi returned to office, Subrahmanyam was back in the Ministry of Defence as Secretary of Defence Production. He was sent back to IDSA as Director for a second tenure – a post he held until his retirement in 1987.

Out of government service, Subrahmanyam came into his own as a trenchant and readable columnist. Part of the appeal of his writing was his penchant for pithy, witty and memorable phrases: ‘nuclear apartheid’ and ‘non-proliferation Ayatollahs’ to take but two examples. His influence on official policy waxed during the 1990s. Following the nuclear tests of 1998, he was appointed to lead the group drafting a nuclear doctrine. The next year, he was tasked to head the Kargil Review Committee. It was at his insistence that the committee’s report was redacted and published almost immediately. Subrahmanyam had for years argued against the illiberal declassification policy of the government. And when he had his chance to make a change, however limited in scope, he pushed hard for it. During the last decade of his life, Subrahmanyam’s thinking kept pace with the rapid changes in the global strategic environment wrought by America’s War on Terror, the rise of China, and the onset of the financial crisis. Sensing an alignment between the strategic objectives of India and the US, he came out in support of the nuclear deal. Towards the end, he was engaged in sketching a grand strategy for India in the 21st century.

Ever committed to building institutions and fostering a strategic community in India, Subrahmanyam continued to participate in seminars and discussions. I recall sharing the podium with him on a particularly chilly and foggy morning in the winter of 2009. When I asked after his health, he responded with a shrug: ‘one has to keep at it.’ The discussion that morning was as lively and provocative as anything he had ever written or said.

The sheer number of people who turned up for his memorial meeting was testimony to his kindness, generosity and gift of friendship – qualities that were instrumental in building up something approaching a community of defence and strategic intellectuals in this country. But if strategic studies in India is truly to prosper, it will have to hew close to K. Subrahmanyam’s intellectual patrimony: his passion, his detachment, his warmth, and his acerbity.

Srinath Raghavan


MANY years ago, an eminent Indian historian in Oxford described to me the difference between the two men he most admired: Isaiah Berlin and Jayprakash Narayan. Both were saintly, he said, not in the manner of the pseudo-spiritual sham that we have come to associate with saintliness, but Isaiah had both saintliness and a great intellect in equal measure. The same could be said of K. Subrahmanyam, who passed on earlier this month. Much has been said about his formidable intellect and his genuine modesty, while caricatured parallels to his being part of the great Tamil Brahmin tradition have been erroneously drawn. Bomb Mama, as we affectionately called him, did not easily fit into any predictable mould, and defied every attempt at situating him into a pop-sociological matrix.

He was an atheist as well as an agnostic, but enjoyed the god-imbued compositions of Carnatic music. He did not believe in God, but enjoyed the liturgical temple chants of South India. A genuine modesty and a finely evolved ethical code had replaced the absence of religion and belief in God in his life: he was never sanctimonious, never ever pompous or condescending, and was always intellectually sceptical without being cynical. Those of us with pretensions towards being democratic, in word and deed, had a lot to learn from him.

I remember the day when the news of Pokhran-II came and the editorial team of the newspaper we worked for met to discuss the editorial to be written. The room was a strange mixture of people. There were two security and defence experts, several bleeding heart liberals who believed that the nuclear tests were bad, some who had no opinion, and some others who did not care. Bomb Mama was in a minority of one, and argued his case patiently between 12 noon to 3.30 in the afternoon, and ‘lost’ the argument to the democratic majority of his colleagues. At 3.30pm a decision was taken: Siddharth Varadarajan would write the first paragraph of the edit offering an unequivocal condemnation of the nuclear tests, while Bomb Mama would write the more ‘technical’ second paragraph. He would, of course, be offered a signed piece on the front page of the paper to express his views. Each one of us knew that this was a pyrrhic victory for us, but the democratic majority was smug in its celebration of its numerical victory.

There were lesser men in the paper who tried to treat him badly – there were instances of a colleague being positively nasty and downright offensive to him. Years later, talking to him in Hyderabad about these unsavoury moments, I asked him how and why he had tolerated such behaviour. He laughed and said that he wasn’t bothered about that one rude individual because he came to work during that period to be with some of us whose company he enjoyed and whose youthful minds kept him young and inspired.

Bomb Mama loved life. If that meant drinking a stiff Vodka or two before lunch while foregoing the dessert as a small concession to his diabetes and his heart ailment, it was done without fuss and ceremony. If it meant stopping by at Krishna Sweets to pick a packet of bajjis and bakoda (the southern cousins of pakoda and bhajjis, but with very minor family resemblances) and eating them with relish with the morning coffee in the editorial meeting, even if some of the Tamilian colleagues spurned such delicacies, it was done unselfconsciously. The great edit page tradition during those days was to celebrate things, major and minor achievements, and the prime-mover of such celebrations was Bomb Mama. Not only did he suggest where we ought to go, but it was always difficult to persuade him not to pay for all of us at all times.

One winter morning, towards the end of that year, I discovered that Bomb Mama and I were the only two members of the editorial team present in office. All the others had taken leave for the day or had gone on vacation. We clinically set to bringing out the edit page for the day. Bomb Mama suggested he write the main comment, while I ought to do the other two-column comment. I was to write the first edit, while he would write the second and the third (the third was at that time the funny edit). He would write the ‘middle’ under a pen name that he often used to write middles (K.S. Ambi) while I would write the spiritual column as well. Truth be told, for that day, we even fictionalized the ‘letters to the editor’ column. :rotfl:

Despite all this extra labour, we were able to finish everything by 1.30 pm. ‘I think we must celebrate,’ said Bomb Mama, and since we both are vegetarians, I think we ought to go to Kovil in Connaught Place to eat an adai’ (a more robust form of the dosa). As we sat tucking into our adai and chutneys, Bomb Mama suddenly grew pensive and stopped eating. ‘Anything wrong, sir,’ I asked? ‘Yes, yes, very wrong,’ he said, ‘I think we ought to keep this to ourselves, the fact that we were able to finish all the work between the two of us by 1.30 pm. If the management gets to know of this, they might sack people in the name of reducing excess staffing on the edit page.:rotfl:

After moving to Hyderabad, I met Bomb Mama often, who would be visiting to give lectures at various defence establishments. Soon he had his list of favourite eating places and asked to be taken to these depending on the time of the day and the kind of meal involved. It was during one such meal, a dinner at the coffee shop of the erstwhile Viceroy Hotel that he complained of severe pain in his legs. I suggested it might be a vitamin deficiency and we set out to get neurobion tablets after dinner. A week later, he called and announced in a deadpan voice that he had cancer. His fight with cancer, his refusal to be overwhelmed by the disease and his continued celebration of life has now been recounted by several of his friends and admirers. He went on living the life he had chosen for himself on his own terms, letting neither illness nor increasing frailty deter him from doing what he liked and loved.

Bomb Mama touched the lives of so many of us in ways that are difficult to recount in a single instance. My abiding memory of him would be of March 2007, at the Habitat Centre in Delhi. A book of mine was to be released. I had sent him the invitation, but told him on the phone not to exert himself in coming for the launch, especially so because he was undergoing chemotherapy those days and was generally keeping poorly. I promised to see him the next day and bring along a copy of the book for him. As the hall filled up, I suddenly saw Bomb Mama, walking stick in hand, entering the hall. I went up to him and asked why he had taken the trouble to come all the way from Noida for this event. ‘What do you mean by trouble,’ he chuckled, ‘I had to come.’ :D

Now that he is gone, I will miss his quiet elation when he was told of our little achievements. I will miss his comments on things we wrote and published and the spirited discussions we had. I shall also miss his sentences that invariably began with ‘the point in that is…’ And I shall be looking for that empty seat next to the door the next time I write a book and it is launched. The grace, the benediction and the blessings would be missing.

Jyotirmaya Sharma


What a lucky man!

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby SSridhar » 25 Mar 2011 20:03

Ramana, that tribute by Jyotirmaya Sharma was quite moving.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 25 Mar 2011 20:52

Yeah. After reading it I found out he is Prof of political science in Uty of Hyderabad.

I am amazed at how many people KSgaru touched.
Our ArunS visited him twice and KS spoke to him for couple of hours neglecting his lunch considering his medical situation wasn't good idea.

Working on getting transcripts of his talks.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 13 Jun 2011 20:10

IDSA Page on KS garu's lectures there:

http://www.idsa.in/search/node/K%20S%20Subrahmanyam

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Samay » 13 Jun 2011 22:55

With no disrespect to KS
From wiki
On November 11, 2005, speaking on the 40th anniversary of IDSA's founding, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh singled out Subrahmanyam for his achievements:
“ Subrahmanyam's incisive writings continue to stimulate and contribute to the thinking of strategic analysis and policy makers in this vital area of national concern. We look forward to many more years of active contribution from this doyen of the strategic community in India.[17][18] ”

Incidentally, Subrahmanyam was on board an Indian Airlines flight (IC 421) on 24 August 1984 when the plane was hijacked to Lahore, Pakistan and onward to Dubai where all passengers were released without incident. Interestingly, the arrested hijackers later claimed in court that it was Subrahmanyam who "planned the entire hijacking to examine nuclear installations in Pakistan."
:rotfl:
I think he devised some method to end that hijack..

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Samay » 13 Jun 2011 23:42

I think this was not posted before

Good book

ramana
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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 14 Jun 2011 00:15

How do you read that book?

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Samay » 14 Jun 2011 00:20

Sir,I have a hard copy of it
Last edited by Samay on 14 Jun 2011 00:20, edited 1 time in total.

ramana
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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 14 Jun 2011 00:20

Oh!

Thanks, ramana

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 09 Aug 2011 23:57

many memorial lectures for KS garu are being held:

Arundhati Ghose at NIAS, Bangalore:

LINK

Brajesh Misra at Global Indian Foundation:
No text yet

but some links:

LINK

and

link

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Jamal K. Malik » 10 Aug 2011 00:28

Requiescat In Pace

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Vipul » 04 Feb 2012 01:09

On first death anniversary, one of K Subramanyam's article in today's Indian express:
India’s strategic challenges.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Hiten » 12 Aug 2013 20:51

an old, un-edited interview of the man

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qvJjIVejZc

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Atri » 12 Aug 2013 22:10

Hiten wrote:an old, un-edited interview of the man

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qvJjIVejZc


Loved his take on MKG's non-violence..

MKG solved the porblem of application of non-violence for offense but not for defence.. :D

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 06 Aug 2015 04:36

Up.

For Atri.

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby Atri » 10 Aug 2015 18:32

ramana garu, can you please point out your post about KS garu which you mentioned. thanks..

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Re: Strategy guru K Subrahmanyam passes away

Postby ramana » 10 Aug 2015 19:53

Post #3 at the top of this page.


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