The good news first. FORCE will resume printing from the July issue onwards. Hopefully, the worst of Covid-19 would be behind us by then and we would be on our way to recovery, despite the daunting number. Hopefully also, our collective will and efforts will pull our economy back from the precipice.
May has been a difficult month for India. As if the pandemic was not overwhelming enough, India’s national security faced a serious challenge in the form of People’s Liberation Army’s troops sauntering across our perception of the Line Actual Control, first in Ladakh, then north Sikkim and then Ladakh again. Till the time we closed this edition in the first week of June, the Chinese soldiers had been making themselves comfortable in eastern Ladakh. The talks, both at the diplomatic and the military level had not yielded much. It looks like that India will have to be prepared for a long haul here; all the while hoping that the situation does not escalate any further, or does not tempt Pakistan into adventurism. The most worrying part is that both the geography and topography does not favour India in this area.
Sure enough, the FORCE cover story is on the stand-off on the LAC. We look at the military, political and the diplomatic ramifications of the crisis, which has all the potential of spiralling out of control. It calls for not only cautiousness, but some tough decisions too. Grandstanding and perception-management will neither work, nor will be sensible to employ.
The June issue of FORCE will be digitally distributed by COGES, the organisers of Eurosatory, to its members — the global defence industry and military personnel. FORCE was media partner at this largest land systems exhibition, which, fell victim to the Pandemic. Hence, a substantive part of the issue is dedicated to evolving warfare — new land systems, technologies and philosophies — and the challenge before the Indian military. The subjects that this section addresses range from network-centric warfare, new age armour, unmanned systems and integrated air defence.
Another issue that we have focussed upon is the Tour of Duty proposal floated by the department of military affairs. Some may dismiss it as kite-flying, but often policies emerge from kite-flying. Given its far-reaching consequences, we look at both the evolution of the idea and it’s inherent flaws. Since the ostensible objective appears to be savings on the revenue budget, one will have to find another way of doing that.
Our BRI neighbour focus this month is Sri Lanka. Next month, we will look at Nepal. Apart from this are our regular reports and technology updates. See you in print next month. On that happy note, enjoy the issue. Stay safe. And let your spirits remain high.