Prakash Menon

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Gen Rawat’s ‘clash of civilisation’ row shows military should be seen but not heard in press

On September 15, the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat posed a question before a gathering of Delhi’s strategic community. He asked them, rhetorically, whether China’s growing engagement with Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan would lead to the rebooting of the ‘Clash of Civilisations’...

Afghanistan and Pakistan are in a strategic embrace that cannot have a happy ending

A theocratic oligarchy consisting mostly of United Nations-designated terrorists is going to hold the reins of power in Afghanistan. To oversee the formation of an ‘interim’ government, Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen. Faiz Hameed had flown to Kabul. The interim government had...

Instead of Taliban talks, India must stand up for Afghan resistance despite Panjshir fall

Kabul fell to the Taliban on 15 August 2021. On 18 August, Ahmad Massoud, the son of Ahmed Shah Massoud, appealed to the West for help from Panjshir – “No matter what happens, my mujahideen fighters and I will defend Panjshir as the last bastion...

NDA, military can learn from US how to tweak standards for women without sacrificing fitness

Gender justice in the Armed Forces won yet another round when the Supreme Court passed an interim order to allow women to take the admission exam to the National Defence Academy, or NDA, that is scheduled for 5 September this year. Kush Kalra’s writ petition...

India’s domestic politics makes China-Pakistan nexus more potent in Taliban era

The establishment of the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ on 19 August was announced through a tweet from the handle of its official spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid. The common wisdom in India is that terrorist threats to India would increase because Afghanistan will be...

Quality of India’s military leadership under test. Moral fibre can overcome political bias

The recent news of the Indian Ministry of Defence examining the selection criteria to the higher echelons of the military hierarchy took me back to what I wrote in 2017 – “India’s march to modernity will necessarily involve dismantling entrenched feudalism that privileges birth...

Stop negotiated peace settlement with Taliban right away, it’s still a terrorist group

Afghanistan is now experiencing the pangs of US withdrawal. The Taliban has unleashed a reign of terror in the areas under its control and launched large-scale military offensives that threaten major population centres. A humanitarian disaster of catastrophic proportions is unfolding, and the people of...

Deniability is Pegasus scandal’s strongest suit. And national security is the biggest price

The storm of the recent Pegasus spyware episode raging in the international and domestic media discourses could have varied consequences for diverse constituencies. The revelations, led by Amnesty International, has India keeping company with Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia,...

Why India needs a robust cyber strategy

 In October 2020, Mumbai experienced a massive power outage, with many speculating that this was the result of a cyber attack. In fact, the past few years have made it clear that there is an increasing need for India...

MoD and IDSA no longer separate. How Manohar Parrikar’s name was added to the think tank

At the recently concluded annual general body meeting of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), the flavour of the discussion was the think tank’s autonomy. The meeting discussed the resolution on renaming the institute, by affixing Manohar Parrikar...
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