Re­mem­ber­ing Kargil and strength­en­ing na­tional se­cu­rity

SP's MAI - - FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

It is 15 years since the Kargil war was fought wherein our brave soldiers evicted Pak­istani in­tru­sions. While we sa­lute the brave soldiers for their ut­most sac­ri­fices in the cause of na­tional se­cu­rity, the coun­try’s lead­er­ship has to se­ri­ously in­tro­spect on how it has es­poused the cause of the brave sol­dier, not just fight­ing in ex­treme cli­mates, but also as­sist­ing in ma­jor relief works. The sol­dier has been re­spond­ing to the call of duty with­out flinch­ing a bit, but the pow­ers that be are go­ing slow on mod­erni­sa­tion of the armed forces.

We pay trib­ute to the In­dian sol­dier. The for­mer Army Chief, Gen­eral V.P. Ma­lik who was lead­ing the In­dian Army then had stated ‘We will fight with what­ever we have’. The Gen­eral re­calls how the war, co­de­named ‘Op­er­a­tion Vi­jay’ was fought and what the lessons from Kargil re­main. In­dia needs a holis­tic na­tional se­cu­rity re­view as well as re-think­ing on the na­ture of con­flict in the new strate­gic en­vi­ron­ment and con­duct of wars.

Gen­eral (Retd) Ma­lik and Lt Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch in sep­a­rate ar­ti­cles have in­di­cated that the Kargil War was not the first time when Pak­istan ini­ti­ated a war. And we must not as­sume that it would be the last time. In­dia will re­main vul­ner­a­ble to such threats along its dis­puted bor­ders un­less it builds a cred­i­ble will and ca­pa­bil­ity to de­ter and dis­suade its ad­ver­saries. An en­dur­ing les­son of Kargil War is that for na­tional se­cu­rity, sound de­fence en­ables sound for­eign poli­cies. The na­tion and its armed forces can hope for the best; but they must re­main pre­pared for the worst.

We are proud that re­cently China in­vited SP Guide Pub­li­ca­tions to be part of the In­dian me­dia del­e­ga­tion to China on a fa­mil­iari­sa­tion trip. Lt Gen­eral (Retd) Ka­toch was part of the del­e­ga­tion rep­re­sent­ing SP Guide Pub­li­ca­tions. The del­e­ga­tion held wide-rang­ing dis­cus­sions on In­dia-China re­la­tion­ship, border dis­putes, trade, etc. Though at the in­ter­ac­tions, Chi­nese del­e­gates said they were keen on peace in the re­gion and that China will not at­tack, un­less at­tacked, these are state­ments which can be ar­gued.

In­dia now has a new Army Chief. In this is­sue, we have an ar­ti­cle on the agenda for Gen­eral Dal­bir Singh, the new Army Chief wherein the au­thor men­tions how all the three chiefs of the armed forces who now have a monthly meet­ing with the Prime Min­is­ter need to be forth­right in their views, in­clud­ing the need to in­te­grate mil­i­tary in all de­ci­sion mak­ing.

Also, we have high­lighted the three na­tion ‘Mal­abar Ex­er­cise’ in­volv­ing the navies of In­dia, USA and Ja­pan. In another ar­ti­cle, we have an ex­pert anal­y­sis on the down­ing of Malaysian Air­lines flight MH-17 and what might have caused it.

At the time of go­ing to the press, the US Sec­re­tary of State, John Kerry is vis­it­ing In­dia and has held dis­cus­sions with the Prime Min­is­ter and other min­is­ters, in­dica­tive of how the re­la­tion­ship is go­ing to be strength­ened with the im­pend­ing visit of Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi to the US and other such ex­changes. We will be car­ry­ing a de­tailed re­port on the de­vel­op­ments that have taken place dur­ing Kerry’s visit.

All this along with a slew of reg­u­lar col­umns… Happy read­ing!

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