|FORCE is an 80-page monthly print magazine (with an Internet edition www.forceindia.net) on national security: defence, homeland and civil aerospace. It started in August 2003 with an edition dedicated to Indian Army operations on the Line of Control with Pakistan. Reviewing the FORCE inaugural edition, Indian national newspaper Hindustan Times wrote:
A monthly glossy magazine on national security patterned after the internationally respected Jane Defence Weekly, FORCE, combines in depth reporting with critical analyses, a rarity in Indian defence reportage. FORCE is aimed, not just at the soldier or the scholar, but also the diplomat and the arms merchants. The articles are exhaustive, and some have archival value which portends well for such a magazine.
A few months later, another Indian newspaper, Deccan Herald, reviewed FORCE. It wrote in its Books section:
FORCE covers a broad range of issues, from higher defence management to military news and features, paramilitary matters, military aviation, naval affairs, border management, diplomacy, and Pakistani and Indian perspectives. The magazine aims to package news and views like the reputed British publication, Jane’s Defence series.
By the time FORCE brought out its first anniversary special issue in July 2004, it was being read by discerning readers in India and in countries focussed on India, both as a market for defence equipment as well as a strategic partner. The reputed Washington DC-based Foreign Policy Journal wrote:
Packaged as a full colour consumer magazine, the FORCE publication demonstrates how foreign policy and security concerns are becoming more mainstream topics of discussion. FORCE’s broad approach to security is an improvement on the alarmist tone often struck in Indian newspapers and magazines. At more than a dollar per issue, FORCE costs roughly half of what Time and Newsweek cost on Indian newsstands.
As FORCE readership increased more eminent people send in their comments. Before he started contributing articles in FORCE, renowned US strategist Ashley Tellis, now a Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, United States wrote:
FORCE represents a most exciting development in Indian defence journalism. By focusing equally on strategy, equipment, operations and doctrine, it provides readers with balanced coverage of critical issues facing Indian defence policy.
(For more comments on FORCE, please see the last section)
What FORCE Writes
Today, FORCE is in its 12th year. In more than 11 years since it started, it has helped in mainstreaming national and homeland security issues, such as:
• The defence forces (Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard): doctrines, operations and procurements;
• Defence industries, both global and indigenous;
• Defence Research and Development Organisation;
• Procurements by Imports and Indigenisation;
• Emerging Technologies in Support of Revolution in Military Affairs;
• Technologies for Strategic Reach;
• Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism;
• Intelligence and Cyber Security;
• Homeland Security and Paramilitary Forces; and
• Strategic and Geo-Political issues affecting India’s security
However, in April 2014, FORCE took a strategic decision to expand its editorial by including civil aviation in the subjects it covers.
Why Civil Aviation
When FORCE started in August 2003, the core strengths of its founding editors were defence and security. Hence, they took a conscious decision to focus on their strength and consolidate the magazine. But gradually, as FORCE went from strength to strength, becoming a trusted source of information and analysis for its readers, it was felt that the time was right for expansion. Around the same time, as warfare increasingly became irregular and budgetary constraints kicked-in globally, the clean lines between defence and civil aerospace started to blur. Dual-use technologies and multirole platforms became the need of the hour. Especially in India, with disaster (both man-made and natural) becoming one of the roles of the armed forces, working alongside other government organisations, civil aviation turned into one of the pillars of national security. Just as FORCE has been giving its readers on the spot reports from the frontlines and in-depth analysis of the unfolding events, since April 2014, it has been covering civil aviation in all its perspectives: from reports to detailed features. With great pride, we announce that today, FORCE is a newsmagazine on national security and aerospace.
Who Reads FORCE
FORCE has managed to grab the right eyeballs within the government of India, and the top leadership of the services. Today, FORCE has the largest subscription base from within the three armed (Indian Army, IAF and Navy) and the Paramilitary (CRPF, BSF, ITBP and SSB) forces in India. FORCE is also read keenly in the industry, by the policy-makers, the strategic community and the general readers.
FORCE’s monthly circulation figure stands at 20,000, of which 7,725 are our subscribers. However, these figures underplay the readership of FORCE, because each unit subscription (subscription by a military unit) means a readership of at least four officers if not more.
In addition to this, FORCE, distributed by the Central News Agency (India’s leading newspaper and magazine distributors), is available on stands in important stores in several Indian cities: This information is also listed on the FORCE masthead.
The tentative readership breakdown of 20,000 (as we cannot be very sure about who is picking it up from the stands) is as follows:
Policy-makers: 2,000 copies
Ministry of Defence, including the three defence services: 6,000 copies
Indian Private Industry and Public Sector Undertakings: 1,000 copies
Indian Paramilitary forces: 1,000 copies
Foreign Missions in India: 500 copies
Think-Tanks in India and Abroad: 500 copies
Civilians: 8,000 copies