Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Empowering National Security

- India must take a long, hard look at its aeronautical policies by Brijesh D. Jayal
As the long-awaited air force proposal for the purchase of the medium multi-role combat aircraft enters its final lap after a torturous decade, there must be considerable anxiety within air headquarters that watch this slow process unfold even as they stare at dwindling combat-aircraft force levels and safety problems with ageing fleets.
Since defence procurements attract great public attention, it was natural for the ministry of defence to approach this entire programme with due caution. The principle articulated in the foreword to the Defence Procurement Procedure is for the process to be impartial and transparent. It lays down various steps with competitors being kept abreast of respective performances at each level. As this process unfolds in slow time, however, one concern seems to rear its head. In our anxiety to keep the process clean and corruption-free, have we compromised national security interests? Put differently, the question is, impartial towards what objective and transparency at what cost?
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SRI LANKA – Need of the Hour -India should make Fresh Initiatives
V. Suryanarayan and Ashik Bonofer
Sri Lanka is at the cross roads today. Will President Mahinda Rajapakse, with his massive electoral mandate, turn his back on Sinhala majoritarianism and initiate immediate steps to apply the healing touch and introduce far reaching reforms to usher in a new political order with respect to ethnic diversity and pluralism? Will the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the most representative organisation of the Sri Lankan Tamils, revitalize itself at the grass roots level, and carry on the democratic non-violent struggle for equality and justice, both through parliamentary and extra-parliamentary means?. Will Colombo, without fear or favour, be in a position to win over the estranged international community by making necessary amends and bring those guilty of gross human rights violations to book? Coming months will provide the answer as to which direction the country will take – towards peace and reconciliation or towards continuing bitterness and conflict.
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PIONEER NEWS: A strategy to secure India
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 23:55
The recently set up Task Force with the mandate to review the national security system will achieve little unless there’s sweeping change and a new strategy.

Out of the blue, yet still welcome, the Government recently announced its first initiative in its seven years in power on national security. At first thought, it is a tinkering effort. The 14-member Task Force led by Mr Naresh Chandra has been mandated to review existing “processes, procedures and practices in the national security system and suggest measures for strengthening the national security apparatus including non-conventional areas having a bearing on the overall security situation”.

Devoid of a strategic defence and security review, the half-cock attempt will merely plug gaps, improve coordination and introduce best practices without enhancing the fundamentals of national security and providing a system which is more cost effective and delineates clear allocation of responsibility, authority and accountability. That can evolve only from a holistic strategic defence and security review which has never been undertaken in India, nor ever a National Security Strategy Document, nor even a Defence White Paper, forget the non-traditional areas of security. Incidentally China has turned out seven Defence White Papers since 1998 and other security related guidelines.
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