THE NEWS IN PROPORTION
Firdaus Ahmed : Subcontinental Musings
Dec 19 2014
CULTURAL NATIONALISM
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Firdaus Ahmed
The increasing power and influence of veterans of the Indian army, known for their natural affinity towards the right wing regime in power, holds important implications especially when one considers the extent of its permeation into the serving structure. Firdaus Ahmed explains.
Nov 17 2014
THE POLITICS OF JUSTICE
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Firdaus Ahmed
The recent award of life sentences to the army personnel involved in the 2010 Macchil killings in J&K sends out a positive message, but there are deeper layers in the justice system that need introspection and overhaul in the pursuit of reconciliation. Firdaus Ahmed explains.
Oct 31 2014
SECURITY STRATEGY
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Firdaus Ahmed
The aggression and pace of the new government’s decisions and activities relating to national security, just as in other areas, may be due to the eagerness to prove itself different from a sloth, ineffectual predecessor. However, the image that it creates comes with its own set of risks, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
Sep 22 2014
FOREIGN POLICY
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Firdaus Ahmed
India’s foreign policy moves under the Modi government have so far been aggressive, but sustaining the heat on the external front without a resolution of critical internal and regional positions comes with its own risks, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
Aug 21 2014
FOREIGN RELATIONS
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Firdaus Ahmed
The calling off of talks between India and Pakistan is being attributed to the latter’s interactions with separatists, with an extended reference to incursions along the LoC. Firdaus Ahmed digs beyond the obvious to highlight the more likely cause behind the move.
Jun 25 2014
NUCLEAR DYNAMICS
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Firdaus Ahmed
Regardless of how it is interpreted, India’s doctrinal promise of ‘massive nuclear retaliation’ in the event of nuclear first use by the enemy would be more than strategically flawed. At a time when India is now poised to review its doctrine afresh, Firdaus Ahmed digs deeper.
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Apr 10 2014
A NUCLEAR-FREE WORLD
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Firdaus Ahmed
PM Manmohan Singh’s plans to minimise nuclear risks, as articulated at a recent conference, revolves around formulation of a ‘global no-first-use’ norm. Firdaus Ahmed points to why a practical solution is less about global norms and rests more likely on issues closer home.
Mar 17 2014
NUCLEAR DOCTRINE
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Firdaus Ahmed
The slips in the use of words in India’s official nuclear doctrine may be inadvertent but, nevertheless, point to a worrying amateurishness in the domain, says Firdaus Ahmed.
Nov 19 2013
POLITICS AND SECURITY
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Firdaus Ahmed
In his resignation, Vanzara gave no indication that obeying illegal orders bothered him. Instead, his lament is that he was used and thrown. In right-shifting India, it may next be the military's turn if the shift from Gandhinagar takes place, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
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Oct 17 2013
ARMY CULTURE
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Firdaus Ahmed
The army would like to point to low morale and push for higher pay. But as far as the troops are concerned, morale may have more to do with the way they are treated by officers, and this is what needs changing, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
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Aug 13 2013
LINE OF CONTROL
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Firdaus Ahmed
The assault at the Line of Control appears to be a well-planned ambush. It comes at a time when India and Pakistan are tentatively inching closer. It is a message not only to India but also to the Pakistani civilians keen on better relations with India, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
Feb 11 2013
MUSLIM MARGINALISATION
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Firdaus Ahmed
The refrain of late has been that a Muslim middle class is developing, implying that Muslims are beginning to do well in the country. Why, then, is it so hard to find Muslim children in elite schools, asks Firdaus Ahmed.
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Jan 22 2013
INDO-PAK TENSIONS
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Firdaus Ahmed
The gruesome beheading along the Line of Control should alert us that the intensity and the nature of the ongoing conflict with Pakistan is far worse than we are led to believe, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
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Dec 17 2012
NEW IB CHIEF
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Firdaus Ahmed
The new IB chief's track record has made it impossible for the government to ignore his claim. But for all that, there is more at stake, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
Nov 30 2012
A KARGIL MARTYR?
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Firdaus Ahmed
The story of a heroic soldier captured by the enemy and tortured to death stirred strong emotions during the Kargil war. Why, then, is there a lid of secrecy around his death, wonders Firdaus Ahmed.
Sep 10 2012
SECURITY POLICY
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Firdaus Ahmed
Outsourcing the policy-making function is bad enough, but the government should certainly not have allowed trespass on its domain by the Naresh Chandra Task Force, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
Aug 20 2012
INTERNAL SECURITY
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Firdaus Ahmed
The dark clouds gathered since the early nineties have not quite dissipated. Inevitably so, since the actions that should have been taken were never taken up, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
Jul 17 2012
TACKLING MAOISM
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Firdaus Ahmed
The right lesson from the recent Chhatisgarh encounter is that only the army can do the job. If it is politically inexpedient to use it, then there is no alternative to a peace process, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
May 23 2012
SERVICE STRENGTH
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Firdaus Ahmed
Although officially at peace, the army's theatre of operations has grown steadily. It has responded by boosting its numbers, but that has its own challenges, says Firdaus Ahmed.
Apr 05 2012
CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS
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Firdaus Ahmed
Perceiving itself as outside the policy making tent, the military tends to dig in on its views. The solution is to remove the distinction between the uniform and the safari suits, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
Feb 19 2012
CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS
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Firdaus Ahmed
The recent fracas was not merely the personal case of an officer exercising his right to grievance redress. It must be seen as a crisis in civil-military relations, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
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Jan 19 2012
THE SERVICES
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Firdaus Ahmed
The case of the Army Chief's true age is only seemingly one of an individual's besmirched honour. It is instead one in civil-military relations, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
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Dec 26 2011
DEFENCE BUREAUCRACY
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Firdaus Ahmed
Should bureaucrats working in the national security bureaucracy have a working knowledge of the defence sector, or would that just foster group-think? Firdaus Ahmed explores the question.
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Sep 11 2011
TERROR INVESTIGATIONS
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Firdaus Ahmed
Security hawks are expanding the list of terror suspects to include not just the illiterate poor, but also the well-to-do educated Muslims. Who does that leave out, asks Firdaus Ahmed.
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Aug 14 2011
NUCLEAR WEAPONS
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Firdaus Ahmed
A discussion on the upward delegation of nuclear-related decision making is needed now. The defence sector cannot be reformed in isolation of its place in national security, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
Firdaus Ahmed is a freelance writer on security affairs, and writes a monthly column on peace, security, and related issues for India Together.

 

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