1. Not too far back in history, an ex-PM of the nation was at the receiving end of quite a few riles for his oft quoted statement; “Not to take a decision is a decision in itself”1 or words to that effect. This was the modus vivendi during the troubled times of coalition governments in Delhi. While we saw a categorical departure under the present dispensation when it came to handling the immediate neighborhood be it Op ZAFRAN2 or Op SNOW LEOPARD3, however when it comes to Afghanistan, the sanctimonious inaction which has been curated and coiffed to be termed…


1. Not much water has flown through the Amu Darya but more has been written on the blitzkrieg that Taliban launched to take over Afghanistan. An amorphous and amoebic non state organization is now grappling with government structures to gain legitimacy in the same world order it had shunned and rejected for last 20 years. This kakistocracy has the trappings of a starfish trying to become a spider and this very evolution may be its death knell. I had read this brilliant book by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom; The Starfish and the Spider penned in 2006 which talks of…


INERTIA IN ARMED FORCES: CLAMOUR FOR STATUS QUO

When you are finished changing, you are finished.1 -Benjamin Franklin

  1. The Indian Army, despite its preeminence as a military ground force, continues to struggle with efforts to improve its doctrine, organization, military education, leadership and infrastructure in order to meet current and future national security requirements. Discussions of force structure, manning, equipment, priorities for training/military education and necessary competencies abound, despite existing Army resolution to transform – indicate serious doubts about the Army‟s potential resilience. Arguments usually revolve around; how much more, what more will we need or how should we restructure?


PERSONAL UNCERTAINITY IN ORGANIZATION INTEREST

1.​Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines once stated the obvious; “Uncertainty creates doubt and doubt always creates fear”. The present situation fills me with trepidation as a conversation starter for last few months with me, be it in the squalor of South Block or the serenity of snow capped mountains is; “When are we getting the good news”. Had it not been for my age and a surgical procedure I could have counted down to the nine months required for giving good news to people but even with seven and a half months down, I…


1. This image above popped on the twitter today morning and for some reason made one think, for the uninitiated this is the whatsapp status of Capt Tushar Mahajan,SC (posthumous) who made the supreme sacrifice in 2016 in Pampore. The question which kept circling around the head like a bird was; what is the difference between nationalism and patriotism and what am I? The question like any military answer may have to be answered in parts and hence this little treatise on what is it we are seeking nationalism or patriotism.


1. Concept of nation state after treaty of Westphalia[1] and use of military force for protection of territorial integrity of this socio-political entity was fast eroding with fall of the Berlin Wall and even the Indian concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam[2] (Global Family) was gaining currency and traction with free trade and simplified immigration procedures fuelling an idea of world sans borders. However two events in the last twenty years have bucked this trajectory and geo-politics has taken a ‘U’ turn, first was the globalization and corporatization of terror and now the COVID pandemic.

2. The global trend line is now…


1. The pandemic has magnified the extant stressors and added new ones to life like never before. Life in the Armed Forces was not ever meant to be a bed of roses and everyone who joins knew what they were signing up for. Burn outs are taught to officers on Weapons course for the first time when they grapple with ABP (All Burnt Point); concept in theory of ballistics when all the propellant had been burnt[1], never realizing that this ABP could be applicable to humans and even individuals could reach an ABP too. What in military parlance is ABP…


1. Assassination of Gen Soleimani by US Forces in Jan 2020[1] was considered to be the beginning of the end for Quds Force and its influence in West Asia, but like most prophecies hazarded about the cesspool of West Asia this one too has come up a cropper. The influence of Quds force in Levant and especially its deep rooted control over Hamas, Hezbollah and (Harakat al-Jihād al-Islāmi fi Filastīn), known in the West as simply Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has manifested in this recent spate of rocket attacks on Israel which had been predicted by the leader of Quds…


1. The concept of narrative engineering and creation of opinions and assumptions on what you see or more importantly what you are shown is a norm. Information Warfare capabilities are gaining traction as this key arm of influence. If one were to judge the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict solely based on the coverage that’s come out of it, one may ascertain that this is the end of mechanised forces, and the same has been corroborated and the fear reinforced by armed chair experts and military intellectuals who have had no idea as a tank or ICV commander on the basic battle craft…


1. In English, the word intifada is often translated as a “rebellion” or “uprising,” but the original meaning in Arabic is closer to “shaking off” or “getting rid of” someone or something. When intifada is used in the context of the decades of fighting between the Palestinians and Israelis, it means an organized, both grassroots and politically backed uprising of local Palestinians against the Israeli military. The opposing sides already fought two such conflicts. The first one started in 1987 and ended in 1993, and the second one, far bloodier, broke out in 2000 and lasted for over four years…

Rommelesque

Scholar warrior and an autodidact

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