The right to de­fense

Southasia - - EDITORS MAIL -

The ef­forts of Bangladesh to ac­quire so­phis­ti­cated mil­i­tary equip­ment and forge arms deals with the U.S. are be­ing looked at with sus­pi­cion by many an­a­lysts. They seem to think that Bangladesh is amass­ing weapons for no rea­son at all as there is no threat to its sovereignty and se­cu­rity. They be­lieve that Bangladesh’s threat per­cep­tions are flawed. I am sure that all those who think along th­ese lines must be aware of the con­cept of de­ter­rence. Also, to say that the coun­try’s threat per­cep­tion is un­founded is not true. Its se­cu­rity forces have had sev­eral bor­der skir­mishes with In­dia over the last many years. Even if the chances of a full-blown war are slim, it is im­por­tant for a coun­try to keep its de­fense sys­tem up­graded and strong.

In­dia and Pak­istan are two coun­tries in the re­gion that spend hu­mungous amounts on de­fense. They are also nu­clear pow­ers and claim that they have a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of atomic war­heads. Does this mean that they are go­ing to use nu­clear weapons against each other in case of a war? Not likely. But they still spend a lot on mak­ing new weapons and up­grad­ing the ex­ist­ing ones. This is done to main­tain de­ter­rence. The same is the case with Bangladesh. While it is easy to crit­i­cize Bangladesh for not spend­ing enough on mak­ing the con­di­tion of its masses bet­ter, it would be bet­ter if those lev­el­ing such crit­i­cism com­pare the hu­man devel­op­ment in­dices of their coun­tries with that of Bangladesh.

Mo­jeeb Ulla

Dhaka, Bangladesh

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