Letter from the Editor | November 2017

Even as the weather has started to cool down a bit, the political climate in Delhi remains close to the boiling point. And probably will remain so through the winter chill. India seems reconciled to the idea of living with two inimical neighbours with whom relations are not likely to improve. Hence, it is preparing fortifications for a long haul, through new raisings, procurements and breathing life into geopolitical ties which were afflicted by inertia, the US for instance. While all these issues find place in the November issue of FORCE, the focus is on inside the border.

The cover story this month is homeland security. We look at three internal theatres which remain restive — Left Wing Extremism, the Northeast and Kashmir — and have the potential of causing periodic grief. On the surface it appears that the government has a handle on all three. It knows what needs to be done and has started to put its well-thought out plan in the motion.

However, as our cover story highlights, the government approach to all the three internal security challenges remains driven by expediency rather than strategy. As a result, India will continue to remain vulnerable. Even more worrying is the possibility of inimical external forces exploiting these internal fault-lines, besides creating new ones. While Pakistan’s hand in Kashmir is both overt and well-recorded, both the Northeast and the LWE theatres may also throw up new challenges if we continue to be lackadaisical about these issues.

In our other stories this month is a commentary on how the discourse on India’s Cold Start Doctrine versus Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons is more rhetorical than real because both will have no role in actual war-fighting.

This month we have a series and reports and updates on Indian military and paramilitary’s on-going and future procurement plans, for instance, armoured vehicles, aerial platforms for maritime surveillance and reconnaissance, BSF’s air wing, air defence and so on.

One of FORCE correspondent’s visited BSF’s National Training Centre for Dogs in Tekanpur. It is an extremely heart-warming story about man’s best friend; a perfect antidote for cold evenings. Enjoy the good weather as long as it last!

Last Word: We had promised a detailed report on MBDA’s facilities in France and UK this month. However, as we had an opportunity to interview MBDA’s India head Loic Piedevache in this issue, the report has been pushed to December.