Arun Prakash (for Info only, not official)

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Arun Prakash

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    ... India has, since 1998, signed “strategic partnership” agreements with 30 countries and organisations, ranging from Afghanistan and ASEAN to Uzbekistan and UAE. Since the term “strategic” in international relations implies a convergence of interests in areas of security, economics and foreign affairs, perhaps the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) needs to be more discriminating in its choice of partners lumped together in this pro-forma inventory. Ironically, the US (figuring in this list) has been in quest of a “strategic partnership” with India since 1991. ...

    Indian Express on Nov. 24, 2017, midnight

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    ... It is a reflection of our misogynist mindset that almost the first comment about Nirmala Sitharaman’s appointment as Raksha Mantri (RM) — a political double-promotion by any standards — relates to gender and is followed by the anxious query of whether a woman will be able to handle the defence portfolio. As one who participated in Indira Gandhi’s victorious 1971 Bangladesh War and observed, from a Royal Air Force base in the UK, Margaret Thatcher’s 1982 Falklands triumph, I dismiss such commentators as neanderthals. ...

    Indian Express on Sept. 13, 2017, midnight

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    ... The current week has seen the waters of the Bay of Bengal roiled by frothy wakes of warships and submarines of three navies as their jets streak across the skies. The 21st edition of exercise “Malabar” has two aircraft-carriers, a helicopter-carrier, nuclear and diesel submarines, cruisers, destroyers and maritime patrol aircraft belonging to the Indian, Japanese and US navies participating. For a week, these units, divided into “Red” and “Blue” forces will be pitted against each other in mock-combat, involving, surface, under-water and aerial warfare. Naval exercises don’t get more complex or sophisticated than Malabar-2017. For the Indian Navy (IN) it has been a long journey from professional isolation of the non-aligned era, to being the belle of the Malabar ball. Soviet patronage and naval hardware had commenced flowing in the 1960s, but since they never undertook professional interaction or exercises at sea, the IN found itself clinging to outdated NATO doctrines. ...

    Indian Express on July 13, 2017, 12:12 a.m.

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    ...In 1920, ICS officer Frank Brayne undertook the “Gurgaon experiment”, which included campaigns to eradicate open defecation, malaria, plague and rural indebtedness. Brayne tried to impose “disciplined defecation” via trench latrines and self-help, but his experiment failed. India’s population has quadrupled since 1920, and the quantum of human excreta on its landscape has, no doubt, kept pace. If we ever overcome this national ignominy, the credit will go to Narendra Modi’s vision in launching a national campaign. The success of Swachh Bharat will, however, remain contingent upon its implementation by Brayne’s Indian successors. ...

    Indian Express on June 9, 2017, 12:05 a.m.

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    ... China’s state-owned Global Times newspaper reported last month that the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN’s) second aircraft carrier, referred to as “Type 001A” is nearing completion and that another carrier, dubbed “Type 002”, is also under construction. The Type 002 represents not only a much bigger class of ship but will incorporate modern design and operational features, including a catapult and early-warning aircraft. A senior Chinese official was quoted as saying: “China needs two carrier strike groups in the Western Pacific and two in the Indian Ocean. So we need at least five to six aircraft carriers.” Other manifestations of China’s unfolding grand strategy abound. ...

    Indian Express on April 25, 2017, 12:02 a.m.

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    ... It is “Peace for our time”, declared British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on September 30, 1938, as he returned from the Munich Conference having tamely agreed to the German annexation of Czechoslovakian territories. This was to be the penultimate act of appeasement before Germany triggered World War II by invading Poland on September 1, 1939. Well before it sparked this global conflagration, Germany had provided enough evidence of its hegemonic intent and utter disdain for the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, crafted for the purpose of preventing German re-militarisation. ...

    Indian Express on March 24, 2017, 12:12 a.m.

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    ...The year 2015 saw China issue a National Military Strategy, Australia putting out a Defence White Paper and the US delivering a Military Strategy as well as a Maritime Strategy. Amidst all this glasnost, India’s national security establishment has maintained a deafening silence for 70 years. This inexplicable reticence is ascribed, by some, to India’s pacifist tradition that has now mutated into “strategic restraint”, and by others, to political disinterest and bureaucratic indifference. ...

    Indian Express on Jan. 21, 2017, 12:21 a.m.

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    ... Raksha Mantri (RM) Manohar Parrikar’s seemingly wayward remarks about India’s nuclear posture may have stirred a hornet’s nest in the media, but if they are indicative of a new-found interest in security matters amongst decision-makers, this occurrence needs to be lauded. Given their preoccupation with electoral politics, it is worrying to see how little time and mental space our political leaders devote to national security. Nowhere is this neglect more worrisome than in the area of higher defence management and the existential complexities of our nuclear deterrent. Even if he was expressing personal views, which may or may not be in consonance with state policy or media perceptions, Parrikar has broken a tradition of sphinx-like silence, wherein his two UPA predecessors rarely acknowledged the existence of India’s nuclear deterrent or even mentioned the ‘N’ word. ...

    Indian Express on Nov. 19, 2016, 12:28 a.m.