A famous mountaineer once remarked, “No mountaineer ever ‘conquers’ a peak; its only sometimes that the mountain rewards the mountaineer with a passage to its peak”. Much like the above truism, it is the sense of the author that the social media is not for ‘conquering’ (read taming), the smart ones ride its awesome power and reach to achieve the ‘disproportionate’. I learnt some hard truths, while serving as the Brigade General Staff (BGS) Information Warfare at an operationally vibrant Command HQ. This article shares some reflections of the times then, and thereafter
The one thing with which I pride myself is the smile with which I am greeted by civilian employees of an institution such as Army War College (AWC) every time I visit it for a talk or a panel discussion. I invariably exchange greetings with them, even if it has to be from a distance. The inevitable question – why not with the uniformed personnel? That is because they do not have permanent presence while the civilians are there forever and can relate to personalities who have gone by.
In a joint press statement in Paris Indian PM Modi and French President Hollande announced a Government to Government (G2G) deal for 36 Dassault Rafale aircraft. This cat-out-of-the-bag deal initially confused the entire defence community. Cards were obviously kept very close to at least one chest.
The Chinese reclamation activity at some of the reefs and shoals in the South China has attracted international attention. Recent satellite pictures released by the Philippines government show dredging vessels, a network of pipes and hoses, and intense activity by small barges carrying sand for dumping at the Johnson Reef, (Philippines calls it Mabini and Chinese call it Chigua) in the Spratly Islands.
The revised Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) was promulgated by the MoD on 01 June 2013. The aim of the DPP is to expedite capital procurement and develop a robust indigenous defence industrial base by creating a level playing field for the Indian industry. While the procedures should conform to the highest standards of transparency, probity and public accountability, the Defence Production Policy (DPrP) 2011 and the Offset Policy 2012 should act as catalysts to build the Indian Defence Industry Base (DIB).
They say there is a slip between the cup and the lip. And in the case of the much trumpeted Indo-US understanding on the civilian nuclear deal, this truism has proved to be an inescapable reality.
A good leader is someone whom soldiers will follow through thick and thin because they have confidence in him as a person, in his ability and his knowledge of his job, perhaps because he looks the part, and also because his men know that they matter to him. `Brig Sir John Smyth, 15TH Ludhiana Sikhs (2 SIKH), VC, MC.
Ever since 2003 the international community has been in suspense about the possible entry of yet another member into the exclusive club of nuclear armed nations. Iran’s long isolation since 1979 and disconnect from the mainstream encouraged it to go the clandestine way and its success would have upset the equilibrium of one of the crucial regions of the world. It is therefore heartening that long drawn diplomacy and painstaking negotiations appear to have borne fruit in the form of the Iran Nuclear Deal.
SPECTRE OF SECTARIAN VIOLENCE COULD SPELL THE DOOM OF PAKISTAN
It has been a season of military protests, strange as this term may sound. India’s military community has been seething at the short shrift it is receiving at the hands of the politician-bureaucrat combine. To top it we have had some political leaders putting forth ‘educated’ views such as soldiers joining the Army for the ‘tot of happiness’ received through the peg measure. So ridiculous was the comment that I cannot mention it in full and the popular/unpopular anchor sank his head into his arms in a never before gesture.