The Indian Army is by far one of the most battle hardened and combat rich Armed Forces in the world. However, it is also one of the most poorly equipped forces. After marking time for a decade under the previous regime, the Ministry of Defence, under the active guidance of the erstwhile Raksha Mantri, Mr Manohar Parrikar, signed as many as 110 defence contracts of an aggregated worth of Rs 1,13,995 crores besides according ‘Acceptance of Necessity” (AON) for another 101 schemes valued at Rs 2,39,000 crores.
Navies have been in continuous process of technological transformation and envelop of warfare at sea has expanded. In the 16th Century, when cannons came to be carried onboard ships, gunnery duels took place within visual range; but today the standoff capability is symbolized by Tomahawk type of missiles which can be launched at targets on land from as far as 3000 kilometers in the sea.
Japan is very much the flavour of the current Indian season. Especially when juxtaposed against China, Japan is acknowledged by New Delhi as being one of the most significant maritime players in the Indo-Pacific. Indeed, Japan’s steadily deteriorating and increasingly fractious relationship with China is a prominent marker of the general fragility of the geopolitical situation prevailing almost throughout the Indo-Pacific.
Burhan Wani, new militancy, the scourge of the stone thrower, terrorist funerals, emboldened school children resisting the CRPF, manipulated video and the like are all associated with the new Kashmir situation. For veterans of the past who saw a different dimension of the militancy it is not easy to appreciate the new threats and the dangers they spell.