My op-ed in Mint: On overseas military deployments

The need for a policy framework for unilateral action

In today’s Mint, Sushant & I call for a policy review on overseas military deployments:

…the emerging security environment and India’s increasingly global interests are likely to make the need for such deployments more frequent. Yet the current policy is dogmatic: Foreign deployments are contingent on being part of a UN mission. This is not only untenable, it also opens the door to an abdication of responsibility to protect India’s interests.

India must be ready to act unilaterally, but only dispatch forces to theatres—such as Somalia, Afghanistan or tsunami-hit littorals on the Indian Ocean—where its interests are at stake. Guidelines need to be developed to achieve twin objectives: strategic alignment with India’s geopolitical goals and operational flexibility for military commanders. [Mint]

Get the rest at Mint.

3 thoughts on “My op-ed in Mint: On overseas military deployments”

  1. There are 2 points I would like to make

    1) there is no way that India can simply step in and step out of quagmires such as Somalia and Afghanistan. Before our troops are sent in, rules of engagement need to be set out and disengagement and withdrawl is a monster in itself. Or are you talking about flying in special forces for operations? I think putting a navy attack vessel out off the Somali coast is an adequate step.

    2) India has a massive army but it is already over stretched what with securing J&K, fighting other smaller fires and not to forget peace time operations. Unless the Indian government and defence administration can actually reform the army in terms of human resource recruitment and also making it more nimble and technologically advanced, even strategic overseas troop deployment should be avoided.

    The Indian army is simply not ready for long term engagements in Somalia, Afghanistan.

  2. I think the Indian government should send IAS commandos to deal with all our foreign policy objectives.

    We, who are descendants of Shivaji and Guru Govind Singh, experts of Guerilla war, should only rely on soft skills to diffuse the ignominy showered on us by Pakistan, control Afghanistan with roads and hospitals and let Taliban and AlQaeda knock on our doors and punish us regularly.

    No, our armed forces should not be modernised and foreign deployments? Well they would energise, educate and empower our soldiers..so that is a big no..they should continue to fight the enemies of the Nation with archaic or ill conceived equipment and policies..operational flexibility abroad is usurping the powers of the Babus posted on foreign soils..therefore forget about it..

    Geopolitics, geostrategic perspectives and geoeconomics are unknown to the powers that be and restricted to seminars and for creating a hoopla

    If all this was not enough we should gag all public debates on the holy cow and let it deliver still borns each Kargil, Mumbai or Afghanistan..

    We desperately need to change all this..but who is listening. In the meantime let us persist in raising pertinent questions and overcome our overbearing despair by hyperventilating on issues of National Interest

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