China’s duplicity continues
At a time when the political battles are hardening and voices are getting shrill in a political slug fest, Australian journalist Neville Maxwell has released a highly classified report which shows how Jawaharlal Nehru, then India’s Prime Minister, botched up during the Indo-China War of 1962. The release of the confidential Henderson Brooks report by Maxwell has provided further ammo to political parties, targeting the Congress and intensifying the debate on Prime Minister Nehru and Home Minister Sardar Patel as to who worked more for national security.
While the report may not contain significantly new revelations about the poor state of India’s forces during the war, it discusses “how the Army was ordered to challenge the Chinese military to a conflict it could only lose,” according to Maxwell. Sardar Patel had, in his letter to Nehru, had cautioned about the duplicity of China.
The Henderson report continues to be considered classified by the Indian Government. As late as April 2010, the Minister of Defence A.K. Antony told Parliament that the contents of the report are “not only extremely sensitive but are of current operational value.” Even now, we happen to witness incursions along the border. For India, the threat is on two fronts—western and north-east. In his column, Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch has underscored the importance of understanding the evil designs of China and how India needs to work out its strategy.
Having said that what India has to post-haste take up is military modernisation if we have to talk about defence preparedness. For this the government has to invest substantially in force modernisation. The recent scams in defence deals have kind of put brakes on the process and it is hoped that after the elections, it will get sorted out quickly, in the interest of the security of the nation.
In this issue, we have focused on a couple of technological developments that are taking place in the universities in the West, sadly though not in India. These path-breaking technologies impact the soldier on the front. The University of Florida is conducting research on how to eliminate waste and streamline the process of distributing the US Army’s legendary Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MREs). Research is underway on testing the longevity of MREs, along with first strike rations (FSRs) for front-line troops and Special Forces. The research provides a system to insure that military rations delivered to US soldiers around the world will have good quality.
Elsewhere at the Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Software Integrated Systems, along with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), are working on a programme called Transformative Apps, an effort designed to develop a family of military-relevant software apps. The programme is aimed at improving the security or information assurance technology of smartphones in order to allow for their use in rugged, tactical combat environments where there are often no fixed infrastructures such as cell towers. It is being experimented in Afghanistan.
SP’s M.A.I. endeavours to get information on technological developments from across the world in the hope that it would positively impact on the developments here, though tardy.
Jayant Baranwal Publisher & Editor-in-Chief