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Guest Column - Force Magazine
Time for Action
The new government can no longer ignore the issues faced by the defence forces
Lt Gen. Mukesh Sabharwal (retd)
By Lt Gen. Mukesh Sabharwal (retd)

Come May 16 and election results are likely to indicate which dispensation shall govern the country for the next five years. Irrespective of who comes to power, the defence forces ought to be prepared to categorically state their concerns and what they expect from the new government. Without going into generalisations regarding the prevailing external and internal security situation, or the probable nature of conflict in the foreseeable future, I shall straightaway discuss salient issues that should be taken up on priority. Although I shall try and confine myself to army related issues, but frankly most of them are so intertwined that they are equally applicable to all three services directly or indirectly.

Time for Action

Political Direction
According to Admiral Arun Prakash, former Chief of Naval Staff, “India’s political establishment has chosen to follow an unusual paradigm in which policymaking is assigned to the bureaucracy, while strategy is crafted by diplomats, and matters impinging on grand strategy, like nuclear deterrence or ballistic missile defence remain in the hands of scientists or technocrats. Uniquely India has not seen it fit to entrust its armed forces with any role in national security decision making”. The new government, therefore, should be urged to define national aims and objectives, issue strategic guidance, revive vital security issues that have remained stagnant for long including national security reforms.

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