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.

Happy read­ing!

Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

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