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Continue shopping. Item s unavailable for purchase. Please review your cart. Jawaharlal Nehru, for example, wrote in that he did not see any significant military challenge to an independent India; the only military role he saw for the Indian Army was in suppressing the tribes of the North West Frontier, who were, in any case, too primitive to fight a modern military outside the tribal areas.
The Government of India held to its strong anti-militarism despite the reality of conflict and war that followed independence.
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Much has been made of the downgrading of the service chiefs in the protocol rank, but of greater consequence was the elevation of military science and research as essential to the long-term defence of India over the armed forces themselves. Nehru invited British physicist P. Blackett to examine the relationship between science and defence. Blackett came back with a report that called for capping Indian defence spending at two per cent of GDP and limited military modernization.
Indian defence spending decreased during the s. Of the three services, the Indian Navy received greater attention. The Indian Army, the biggest service by a wide margin, went to Congo on a UN peacekeeping mission, but was neglected overall. India had its first defence procurement scandal when buying old jeeps and experienced its first civil-military crisis when army chief K. Thimayya threatened resignation in protest of political interference in military matters. T he foremost lesson of was that India could not afford further military retrenchment. In the aftermath of military defeat, the Indian government launched a significant military expansion programme that doubled the size of the army and raised a fighting air force.
With the focus shifting North, the Indian Navy received less attention. A less recognized but close second lesson of the war was that political interference in military matters ought to be limited. The military — and especially the army — asked for and received operational and institutional autonomy, a fact most visible in the wars of and In both wars, the army chiefs explicitly asked for autonomy. Indian political leaders had been subjugating the military to effective civilian control since independence in line with standard civil-military relations practice.
This process expanded. The military was further subjugated to the civilian bureaucracy.
Arming without Aiming India's Military Modernization 2nd Revised edition
IDSA clashed repeatedly with military assessments of threats and solutions. According to K. Subrahmanyam, one of the first directors, the institute survived pressure from the military due to the protection of successive defence secretaries — civilian bureaucrats serving the defence minister. In particular, the military leadership, placed in a location away from government offices, was increasingly denied political access. T he Indian civil-military relations landscape has changed marginally since. In the eighties, there was a degree of political-military confluence in the Rajiv Gandhi government: Rajiv appointed a military buff, Arun Singh, as the minister of state for defence.
At the same time, Krishnaswami Sundarji, an exceptional officer, became the army chief. Together they launched an ambitious programme of military modernization in response to Pakistani rearmament and nuclearization. In the end, the move to pre-empt Pakistani rearmament and nuclearization failed. India is yet to emerge from this stability-instability paradox. We do not know why Rajiv Gandhi agreed to the specific kind of military modernization that occurred in the mid-eighties, but then stepped back from using this capacity in during the Brasstacks crisis.
Sundarji later wrote in a veiled work of fiction, and told his many friends that Brasstacks was the last chance India had to coerce Pakistan to accept terms. T he puzzle of Brasstacks stands in a line of similar decisions. In , India did not push the advantage of its victory in the eastern theatre to the West. Instead, New Delhi, under uberrealist Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, signed on to an equivocal agreement at Simla that committed both sides to peaceful resolution of future disputes without any enforcement measures.
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