Bottomline | Pravin Sawhney

Back to the Drawing Board (December 2023)
The idea of Integrated Theatre Commands has again run into problems

Tragedy in Waiting (October 2023)
With CT Ops as its primary role now, Indian Army’s capabilities for conventional conflict are getting hollowed out

Shakti Weakened India (June 2023)
The 1998 nuclear tests didn’t achieve stated purpose as they brought China, Pakistan closer

On the precipice (January 2023)
Military conflict with China is no longer a question of if, but when

The Chinese Hand (November 2021)
How Pakistan military is now an overmatch for the Indian armed forces

Standing on Lost Ground (March 2021)
India’s handling of the Ladakh situation has exposed its short-sightedness

Old Story (January 2021)
It’s time India moves beyond the so-called ‘surgical strikes’

Men Vs Machine (December 2020)
The first step towards preparing for a future war with China is to understand what war it would be

Camp Has Been Chosen (November 2020)
The cost of signing BECA will be huge and not in India’s long term interest

Game of Thrones (October 2020)
India should accept the fact the Chinese threat is permanent and work towards addressing that

The Spirit of Wuhan (September 2020)
Government needs to engage China at the highest political level

Too Little Too Late (January 2020)
For all its hype, the office of the CDS approved by the government is not what it was meant to be

The Game-Changers (October 2019)
China introduces Hypersonic Cruise Missile and Hypersonic Glide Vehicle at its National Day Parade

Face the Reality (August 2019)
India needs to take China’s recent White Paper on national defence seriously

Money For Nothing (July 2019)
Without proper appreciation of threats, defence budget will not help in defence preparedness

The Spirit Haunts (May 2019)
A year after the Wuhan summit, it is becoming clear that China bested India

No More Lip Service (February 2019)
Future and new domains of warfare demand real jointmanship at all levels

Chasing the Tail (January 2019)
Instead of cosmetic tweaking, Indian Army needs to be part of overall military reforms

Hand of Peace (December 2018)
Pakistan’s overtures to India stem not from weakness but realisation of changing geopolitics

Soldiers As Pawns (October 2018)
When the army leadership supports what the ruling political party wants, its missions make less sense, militarily

Military Coup by Other Means (August 2018)
With a rubber-stamp government in Pakistan now, India has a lot to worry

A Lot at Stake (July 2018)
Army’s professionalism is under the scanner post the video release of the 2016 surgical strikes

A Wound Too Deep (June 2018)
Major Gogoi’s incident is a proof of the erosion of value system in the army

Politically Correct (March 2018)
The lowest-ever allocation for defence in this year’s Union budget makes one thing clear — the government has no intention of starting a war

Hostage to Numbers (February 2018)
China’s increasing assertiveness on LAC will impact Indian Army’s modernisation

Keep the Bluster Aside (January 2018)
Talks are the only way to move ahead with Pakistan

Hafiz Saeed walks free (December 2017)
India’s energies should now be spent on dealing with the real bogey, the Pakistan Army

Choose Wisely (November 2017)
That’s what the IAF should do before selecting a single-engine fighter aircraft

No Shortcuts (October 2017)
Capability development needs investment of resources, time and genuine hand-holding

Lessons From Doklam (August 2017)
Serious issues deserve political and military gravitas not rhetoric

Modi Meets Trump (July 2017)
India should review its relationship with the US on the lines of NSSP

Two’s a Company (May 2017)
Between India and Pakistan, there is no room for a third party

No Child’s Play (April 2017)
Talking casually about nuclear weapons is both irresponsible and dangerous

The Big Picture in the East (March 2017)
Prime Minister Modi’s participation in the OBOR Summit can only have positive spin-offs

Sea, the Challenge (February 2017)
The second edition of Raisina Dialogue created space for the Indian perspective

Dangerous Game (January 2017)
By even talking about Agni-6, India may start a race it cannot win

Change in Guard (December 2016)
Agreeing to unconditional talks with Pakistan will be in India’s interest

Reality Check (September 2016)
Opening multiple fronts exposes India to grave danger

Diffident Dialogue (April 2016)
At its own party, India found itself alone and defensive

Slogans Are Not Enough (December 2015)
India needs a cogent plan to tackle China at various levels

China’s Military Diplomacy (October 2015)
With the 6th Xiangshan Forum, Beijing reaches out to the Asian countries

Folklore, Not Fact (September 2015)
Instead of a great victory, 1965 war should be remembered for lessons not learnt

Return to the Core (August 2015)
Back to basics should be the Indian Army’s mantra now

Face the Reality (July 2015)
Time India accepts that the Kargil conflict was an aberration and resulted in a pyrrhic victory

Ambitious Over-Reach (June 2015)
India’s new policy of being a global player is simply unrealistic

Common Interests (May 2015)
India needs to invest in strategic ties with the US for its own good

Sleeping With the Enemy (April 2015)
Allowing Chinese military officers at our military academies would have serious ramifications

Horse Before the Cart (March 2015)
Only a strategic defence review will put the needs of the military in perspective

Friends, Not Partners (February 2015)
India needs to sign the long-pending bilateral agreements with the US

No Line of Defence (January 2015)
Will the forthcoming visit of the PM to China change the ground reality in Indo-China relations?

The Old Fallacy (December 2014)
Ram Madhav’s book on Indo-China relations fails to provide a viable national security roadmap

The Horse Before the Cart (November 2014)
The government’s approach to national security is high on show, low on substance

Advantage China (October 2014)
Psychological victory means much more to the Chinese than military gains

Misplaced Bravado (September 2014)
PM Narendra Modi should uphold the spirit of the Simla agreement for better Indo-Pak ties

Mind Your Own Business (August 2014)
The army must focus on its primary task

Balance of Powers (July 2014)
The ratification of AP is a win-win deal for India in the long run

A Window Has Opened (June 2014)
The new government has a chance to strengthen ties with both Pakistan and Afghanistan

Prime Minister’s Men (May 2014)
The government must hand-pick service chiefs, instead of opting for the senior-most officer

No Party Politics (April 2014)
National security should be a bipartisan issue

The Lost Years (March 2014)
Defence minister A.K. Antony never took ownership of his work

Ambiguous Ambitions (February 2014)
By redefining India’s minimum deterrence, the government is going down a dangerous spiral

Highs and Lows (January 2014)
What prompted PM Manmohan Singh to sign the India-US civil nuclear deal which he calls a high point of his career?

General Talk (December 2013)
Pakistan’s new COAS Gen. Raheel Sharif will have the last word on bilateral relations

Smart Move (November 2013)
The Border Defence Cooperation agreement is a win-win for China than India

Moving Forward (October 2013)
The agreement on India-Pakistan DGMOs meeting is a breakthrough

Lessons in Leadership (September 2013)
General Stanley McChrystal’s memoirs My Share of the Task is a must read for those interested in security and defence

Pleasing China (July 2013)
Beijing has successfully tested coercive diplomacy against India

Aimless Arming (June 2013)
Modernisation is not defence minister’s only job

Too Much at Stake (May 2013)
India should not kowtow to China

Neighbour’s Interest (April 2013)
China’s desire for enhanced bilateral military cooperation should be taken seriously

Hanging by a Thread (March 2013)
Afzal Guru’s execution has rendered Indian national security more vulnerable

The Big Deal (February 2013)
Even one step by each stake-holder will make a big difference

2013 Wish List (January 2013)
Even one step by each stake-holder will make a big difference

Dragon Moves (December 2012)
With growing Chinese belligerence, India should reassess its relations with the US

Domestic Disorder (November 2012)
It’s time the army accepted the need for transparency and restored human dignity in its ranks

The Strategist (October 2012)
Brajesh Mishra made national security a government priority

Officer-Like-Qualities (September 2012)
The Indian Army is its own worst enemy

Learning Wrong Lessons (August 2012)
Longer the army remains enmeshed in CI ops, faster it’ll lose its conventional edge

Long Road Ahead (July 2012)
General Bikram Singh should take the middle path

Military-Politico Disconnect (June 2012)
Let’s start by educating our MPs on defence matters

Kargil Legacy (May 2012)
Even as India evicted the intruders, Pakistan Army had the last laugh

Coup That Never Was (April 2012)
The fantastical story that has set back defence reforms

Whose Honour is It? (March 2012)
General Bikram Singh will need a lot of help from the government

Self Service (January 2012)
There is no honour at the cost of the institution

War and Peace (December 2011)
India and Pakistan need to pursue realistic confidence building measures which help contain crisis

Clash of Interests (November 2011)
The army has no case for continuation of AFSPA in J&K

Kabul Express (October 2011)
The road to Afghanistan runs not just through Pakistan

Age No Bar (September 2011)
Gen. V.K. Singh should ensure that he is remembered for things other than his age

A Case for CDS (August 2011)
The government needs to push for this for its own sake

Monsoon Musings (July 2011)
Foreign policy without credible military capabilities is baloney

Bluff Masters (June 2011)
Pakistan’s nuclear spectre is a bargaining chip

Red Wall (May 2011)
Chinese presence in POK further limits India’s options in Kashmir

Dangerous Game (April 2011)
The US needs to worry more about Pakistan’s penchant for proliferation

More of the Same (March 2011)
Instead of bureaucratic parleys, India should talk to the Pakistan Army

Master Bluff (February 2011)
By conducting diplomacy on the crest of our economic well being alone, we are bluffing ourselves

Fears and Failings (January 2011)
Two thoughts to reflect

Matter of Honour (November 2010)
The malaise has penetrated so deep that it is difficult to discern the fair from the unfair at times

Afghan Chessboard (October 2010)
Instead of waiting and watching, India has to start making its moves

Musings on 7th Anniversary (August 2010)
Bureaucratic vacancies in the MoD ought to be filled with military officers

India’s Wild West (July 2010)
Time for President Obama to put Pakistan Army Chief on notice on bin Laden

Another Visit, Another Compromise (June 2010)
President Pratibha Patil plays into Chinese hands

Will Peace End? (May 2010)
Indian Army is bracing for actively violent summer on the Line of Control

All Eyes on the Chief (April 2010)
General V.K. Singh has onerous tasks ahead

The Lost Plots (March 2010)
Diplomacy Without Tangible Military Muscle is nothing more than appeasement

National (in)Security Grows (February 2010)
Government should appoint a military officer as deputy National Security Advisor

Fair Game (January 2010)
Merit alone should decide MMRCA, not political concerns

Ring in the New (December 2009)
India needs a fresh approach towards national security

Kayani Holds the Key (November 2009)
Peace with Pakistan can only be achieved through its army

Three Headline Makers (October 2009)
The government unnecessarily plays up action against the Naxals

Spectre of the Stone Age (September 2009)
US needs to pressurise Pak Army to seriously act against the terrorists

Old Technology, New Hype (August 2009)
India needs to put its nuclear-powered submarine in perspective

Wasting a Force (July 2009)
In the fight against Maoists, the CRPF should have a greater say

Rhetoric is not Security (June 2009)
Let soldiers be above politics and religion

Major Years (May 2009)
The air force chief leaves behind a rich legacy

Times have Changed (April 2009)
Army needs to be more transparent and cooperative in J&K

Kayani’s Hand (March 2009)
US’ Af-Pak review will adversely impact India

Threats Within (February 2009)
India should watch out for more 26/11 attacks

New Beginning (January 2009)
Give CRPF a chance to prove itself as a counter-insurgency force

Go Ballistic with Zardari (December 2008)
Even as nuclear weapons remain a grey area

Buddies not Servants (November 2008)
While Sahayaks are integral to the service, only army can avoid their misuse

Sound of Silence (October 2008)
Government should not ignore the demands of the military

Such a Long Journey (September 2008)
As details of the Indo-US nuclear deal appear, so does the devil

All the President’s Men (August 2008)
The ISI is part of the Pakistan Army and cannot be undermined

The Nuclear Trap (July 2008)
From CTBT, the focus has now shifted to FMCT

Unity in Uniform (June 2008)
Unless that happens, the bureaucrats will continue to bypass the Services

2008 Olympics is the Deadline (May 2008)
China will make India pay for its neglect

Army on the Back Foot (April 2008)
China believes in setting its own agenda

In Defence of Musharraf (March 2008)
He remains a key player who knows the Pakistan Army

A Matter of Priorities (February 2008)
India needs ballistic missile more than anti-ballistic missile system

Chinese Whispers (January 2008)

Partnership of Equals (December 2007)
Nuclear deal or not, India should forge closer military ties with the US

Downplaying Intrusion (November 2007)
Government strangely downplays unabated Chinese intrusions into India

Misplaced Scepticism (October 2007)
Media and politicians doubts about joint military exercises are unwarranted

No Longer a Debate (September 2007)
CDS will be a strategic and not a military advisor

Difficult Choices (July 2007)
India needs to be careful about it military ties with Beijing

Checking China (June 2007)
India needs to be careful about it military ties with Beijing

Holes in Indian Airspace (April 2007)
Terrorist threat from the air is a real danger

Half Steps (March 2007)
CDS and Aerospace Command are a must for modernisation

End the Status Quo (February 2007)
Continuity may be good, but it is not in national interest

Battle is Won, the War Continues (January 2007)
Despite success against terrorism, media remains a challenge

Rise and Rise (December 2006)
As Musharraf becomes more powerful, India’s options get limited

Man of Honour (November 2006)
There are high expectations from A.K. Antony

Musharraf’s Volleys (October 2006)
Once again India responds with a knee-jerk reaction

Jaswant’s Bluster (September 2006)
On Operation Parakram, Singh has been stingy with truth

Gender Bender (July 2006)
The issue of women in the army should not be reduced to mere rhetoric

New Initiative (June 2006)
In the shadow of the Indo-US agreement, China tries to engage India

Pay-Back Time (May 2006)
India needs to balance its vision with both a clear policy and capability

Playing Games (April 2006)
Pakistan tries to extract benefits from the Indo-US agreement

Leave the Army Alone (March 2006)
Religious headcount can lead to dangerous conseqeunces

Seek and Hide (February 2006)
With drift and undue secrecy India’s strategic credibility remains in a limbo

Dirty Games (January 2006)
India should not comment on Pakistan’s internal matters

Stillborn Agreement (December 2005)
The US is asking India much more than it is giving in return

Peace at Stake (November 2005)
The terrorist attacks in Delhi were in response to change of government in J&K

Devil and Deep Sea (October 2005)
By voting against Iran, India has lowered its geo-strategic stature

Banquo’s Ghost (September 2005)
Musharraf weighs down Indian moves in Afghanistan

Unhindered friendship (August 2005)
Despite 7/7, Musharraf remains close to the United States

Blinded by Love (July 2005)
For better relations with the US, India is compromising on its interests

Castles in Air (May 2005)
The Standing Committee on Defence report exposes the fog of bureaucratic thinking

Sound and Fury (April 2005)
Once again India is ready to sacrifice substance for show

The Answer Lies in BrahMose (March 2005)
While India should remain engaged with US, it should forge deeper defence ties with Russia

Security at Stake (February 2005)
Will the NSA finally do his own job?

Out of the Bush (October 2004)
For a meaningful relationship, India should not hitch its security concerns on the US bandwagon

Step by Step (September 2004)
The ceasefire in Kashmir will hold until Gen. Musharraf is done with Afghanistan

Nuke of the Matter (July 2004)
India, Pakistan successfully cross the first hurdle


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