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Why India needs a survival strategy
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Bharat Verma | Date:20 Jun , 2012 3 Comments
Bharat Verma
A former Cavalry Officer and former Editor, Indian Defence Review (IDR), and author of the books, India Under Fire: Essays on National Security, Fault Lines and Indian Armed Forces.

The Prime Minister has stated that he is willing to give three per cent of the GDP to the armed forces for their modernisation programme if needed. At best a doubtful statement. In imperial India, the Prime Minister would have declared that three per cent of the GDP is firmly allotted for the modernisation programme for the next ten years, so that the military can plan, procure, train, and organise itself. Further, he would have appointed the Chief of Defence Staff, integrated the forces for optimal war potential and ensured that the defence headquarters of the three services are integrated with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the true sense. In other words, the military would be in the national decision making loop.

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Similarly, the MoD instead of being supportive of the armed forces, have botched up and created delays and imbalance in the defence equipment procurement process. The result is that the Indian Army has no modern artillery guns, and ground-based air-defence units are expected to fight with L-60 and L-70 guns of 1970 vintage. With no night vision devices for fifty per cent of the tank fleet, the MoD is wasting the taxpayers’ money. The Indian Air Force (IAF) boasts of a few fighter aircraft but has no basic trainer to train the fighter pilots. Owing to lack of mountain radars, the IAF depends on the ITBP to report aerial incursions on the borders with China. The Indian Navy will receive the second aircraft carrier after great delay but does not have submarines in adequate numbers to provide protection to the battle carrier group.

The gullible and the escapist also overlook the simple fact – that if the Union of India is not defended, there will be nothing left to develop.

Pacifist India easily gives up modernisation of the Armed Forces on the slightest protest by the vested interests. Imperial India, on the other hand, will ensure decisive steps to secure its borders as well as the growing strategic interests.

Pacifist India is unable to handle ‘End Use Monitoring’, ‘Logistics Support Agreement’ and ‘Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement’ and thereby avoids taking vital decisions. Imperial India will discern that the modernisation programmes offer a huge market to the Western defence firms. Therefore, it will offer as part of the enticement, a friendly and clean business environment with attractive incentives such that the West cannot afford to ignore investing in the market. This simple strategy will marginalise sanction regimes and make other clauses highly negotiable. While pacifist India will raise useless debates to stall the badly-needed MMRCA, imperial India will stay the course firmly to quickly acquire the MMRCA to enhance the deep offensive capabilities of the IAF.

Unlike Pakistan, which receives weapon platforms through American aid, Indian purchases are ‘cash-and-carry’. Therefore, the only guarantee India needs to offer is assurance that it will not allow transfer of sensitive defence technologies to others. To enable this level of autonomy, the Indian market conditions have to be made extremely lucrative.

Pacifist India easily gives up modernisation of the Armed Forces on the slightest protest by the vested interests.

At the same time, attractive opportunities must be grabbed!

DRDO reportedly wanted to develop six LPDs similar to USS Trenton. The American company offered to develop the first one in the American shipyard and remaining five in India. It appears that the prevalent clerical mindset in the Indian Government balked and insisted that the first one built in the American shipyard will become too expensive and the deal fell through. However, if we had put our own engineers working side by side to develop the first LPD in the American shipyard, we would have developed enormous skills that could be transferred to the Indian shipyards, instead of reinventing the wheel. At the same time, creation of jobs in the American shipyard would have resulted in substantial goodwill. Sensible strategic ‘give-and-take’ in business yields unprecedented benefits!

…the pacifist rulers neither developed nor prepared the nation adequately for defence.

Similarly, it is reported that the French offered to transfer the Mirage factory to India at a reasonable cost since they were going to build the Rafale. The proposal was to manufacture the Mirage in India, as also service worldwide, similar old aircraft of other countries. Since there is a ban on transfer of sensitive defence technologies by the West, China steals Western technologies and reverse engineers the same. But pompous and dithering India refused an attractive deal to secure its strategic interests. In business, both sides must reap profits to enable a deal to go through quickly. But Indian pacifists are penny-wise and pound-foolish. They would rather import the laptops from the West, wasting taxpayers’ money and distribute them free as part of the despicable vote bank politics instead of acquiring skills with the help of joint ventures to manufacture them in India.

The gullible and the escapist also overlook the simple fact – that if the Union of India is not defended, there will be nothing left to develop.

On the other hand, imperial India will rise and shine in Asia.

If pacifist dominance continues unabashed, the Union will fall by the wayside within the next two decades as the surrounding authoritarian forces will succeed in imposing their will to decimate the territorial integrity of our nation. Strategic assertion, therefore, by the GenNext taking over the reins of the nation is indispensable.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

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3 thoughts on “Why India needs a survival strategy

  1. Thanks for the article.

    We need to modernise our infantry level weapons and Surveillance system because our infantry are facing our enemies on daily basis at the border, 365 days.

    We should have better weapon system than our enemies at the infantry level.

    I would like to mention that our Corporate sector should also be involved for the manufacturing of the defense equipment in line with Modiji’s make in India concept. I have confidence to our engineers and technocrats.

    ISRO may also have a greater contribution in the border area Surveillance system. We need to have defense specific satellite in the sky for Surveillance of the border.

  2. Not only India I think an endurance scheme is required for the entire south Asia along other developing countries to make out a fruitful solution of economic fall and other. Thanks for a precious notice.

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