THE NEWS IN PROPORTION
20 October 2017
Firdaus Ahmed : Subcontinental Musings
Nov 19 2013
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POLITICS AND SECURITY
The relevance of Vanzara's letter
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
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ARMY CULTURE
Soldiers, not servants
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
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LINE OF CONTROL
An ambush loaded with meaning
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
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MUSLIM MARGINALISATION
A good school for Maqbool
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
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INDO-PAK TENSIONS
The new 'normal' at the border
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
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NEW IB CHIEF
The importance of being Asif Ibrahim
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
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A KARGIL MARTYR?
The strange case of 2nd Lt. Kalia
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
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SECURITY POLICY
Reaching beyond its brief
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
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INTERNAL SECURITY
A secure minority, for a secure nation
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
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TACKLING MAOISM
The fog of jungle warfare
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
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SERVICE STRENGTH
Expanding too fast?
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
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CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS
Uncivil war in South Block
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
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CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS
An age-old lesson
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
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THE SERVICES
The 'Age' of misjudgment
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
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DEFENCE BUREAUCRACY
To specialise or not?
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
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TERROR INVESTIGATIONS
Shall we imprison everyone?
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
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NUCLEAR WEAPONS
Whose command? Whose control?
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.
Jul 19 2011
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INDO-PAK TALKS
Negotiate in good faith
India and Pakistan don't negotiate with a give-and-take approach. Instead, they hope to gain some advantage in the background while the negotiations continue. This makes the process meaningless, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
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Jun 24 2011
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MILITARY
Defence reforms: The next phase
The proposed second round of defence reforms will make the armed forces more utilisable. Nonetheless, this should not blind us to the questionable impulse behind the reforms, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
May 10 2011
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INDIAN POWER
Unity in militarism
The security establishment would like India to project its power more forcefully abroad. But to position this as an exercise in protecting the nation's internal unity stretches the imagination, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
Apr 27 2011
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GEO-POLITICS
China in the strategic debate
India needs a China policy that cannot stampede it into a premature confrontation with that putative superpower. The military too needs to be brought on board, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
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Mar 31 2011
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GEO-POLITICS
Long road still ahead
While the procedural track of talks between India and Pakistan may stay on course, nothing significant can be expected to emerge from them, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
Feb 28 2011
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GEO-POLITICS
What if Pakistan implodes?
India would do well to consider its options in light of its national interests. Loose nukes are certainly a concern, but talk of taking them out is cavalier, and we must put the brakes on that, writes Firdaus Ahmed.
Jan 31 2011
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GLOBAL AFFAIRS
Manufacture of a partner
Was India's emergence on the world stage a project of the superpower? And what is the role of the strategic community in keeping Indian and US interests convergent, wonders Firdaus Ahmed.
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Dec 24 2010
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DEFENCE POLICY
The Army's right to its opinion
The top brass doesn't agree with the State government's plan to draw-down forces in the Kashmir valley. But should the military air its view publicly, and how does that impact policy-making, wonders 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.