Letter from the Editor | April 2019

It promises to be a sizzling summer. And the electoral heat is not helping the matters. With elections spread out over the next month and half, we are likely to hear more and more about innumerable threats to India’s security and how the safety of our nation depends entirely upon the button we press when we enter the election booth.

Perhaps, never before has national security been so integral to pre-election discourse as it is this time. So all those who used to lament that national security is not a vote-winning factor which is why no political party pays attention to it, can now go in hiding. For all we know, national security may win votes in this election. Yet will continue to get limited attention span.

With this dichotomy as the background, the FORCE cover story this month looks at what has been achieved in the area of national security in the last five years and whether the cost has been worth the goods we got in the end. Divided in two parts, the first part of the cover story looks at how the government, through omission and commission, has systematically compromised India’s national security, exposing the chinks in the armour without putting in place policy and institutional mechanisms to reinforce the citadel.

The second part looks at the progressive politicisation of Indian military institutions from the military to research. This invasion of constitutional and apolitical institutions is likely to have far-reaching consequences and would further weaken our national security. As we prepare to usher in the next government, these are the issues that we must dwell upon.

Since the air strike on Balakot will continue to dominate our discourse in the months to come, we look at it afresh, both through an expert’s opinion as well as a report on newer details that have emerged. As the FORCE headline says, it truly has been a game-changer in ways we cannot fully fathom right now.

The other issue that we continue to address in FORCE is strengthening of our central armed police forces. Two officers who have served in various capacities in the CAPFs write about the urgent need to enhance both capabilities and capacities of the forces we rely upon for our internal security.

In addition to that we have our reports and features, including on the distress in the Indian civil aviation sector. Plus news from the industry as well as the services. Hopefully, we will find patches of shade under the scorching sun. All the best.


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