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Force Magazine - National Security and Aerospace Newsmagazine
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EDITOR'S NOTE
Letter from the Editor
Dear Readers
Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel, India’s ambassador in Israel, Pavan Kapoor remarked that, “this is the formal coming out of the relationship.” He is right. Even when India established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992, there was disbelief at the news. Working with the Times of India newspaper, I remember how the then bureau chief rang up numerous sources to make sure the news was correct.

It is creditable how Israel has always come to India’s help especially on defence issues, ranging from timely procurements, to sharing restricted technologies, to advising on operational matters especially on border management. It is anyone’s guess how we would have fared in the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan if Israel had not come to our help by providing ammunition and spares on time.

Given all this, the cover story in this issue is on India’s relations with Israel. Since plenty will be written on this issue, we bring you an exclusive from former army chief, General V.P. Malik who was the first Indian military leader to visit Israel well before the Kargil conflict. Another article by a diplomat who has served in Israel provides the readers with the historical backdrop of this unusual relationship. We also have articles and news from the vibrant Israeli defence industry which stands tall primarily because service officers work closely with the defence research and development.

Another notable feature of the month was the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump. Despite all the spin and face-saving by the bureaucracy, and personal diplomacy by Modi with his usual hugs, the meeting was on expected lines. The clear message reflected in the joint statement was that the relationship is no longer special but transactional. Trade including defence trade will be the priority.

In addition to our other regular reports and features, we have the Show Report from the Paris Air Show and two news briefs from IMDS 2017, which was held in St Petersburg. FORCE attended both shows. A detailed report on IMDS would be carried in the August issue.

Just as we were wrapping up the July edition, news came that China had intruded into Sikkim. The military stand-off continues with neither side showing signs of withdrawal of troops anytime soon. Given the heightened flare-up with Pakistan on the western front, this is a serious political, military and diplomatic crisis. We will delve into this in the coming anniversary issue of the magazine. Until then, let’s hope that things are resolved peacefully.

 

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