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Thursday, August 19, 2010

articles of firdaus at

Talk another day
Both India and Pakistan have independently concluded that they would be able to extract better concessions from the other at a later date.
National Security
July 2010

Soldiers in our own images
The multi-ethnic reality of India must find expression in its institutions, especially those charged with security. Plus, there are other reasons to broadbase recruitment further.
National Security
June 2010

Pause the mineral economy
Let the mineral wealth of Central India remain untapped until the people there acquire the capacity to negotiate the terms for its use and benefit directly from doing so.
National Security | Mining
May 2010

AFSPA: Between battle lines
Two recommendations to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act have been ignored. The Army is right to insist on its view, but there are things that can be done to improve matters.
National Security
April 2010

The government versus the military
The armed services have given a long wishlist of material to be procured, but the Defence Minister is in no hurry to accommodate them.
National Security
March 2010

Surgical strikes: Missing the mark
Some months after advocating limited and focused attacks on Pakistan-based terror camps, FICCI has a rethink. Corporate concerns and the armed forces' unpreparedness are finding common ground.
National security
January 2010

Much hullaballoo, little cause
Of course the military should be prepared for conflict. However, whether to engage in such conflict, and how, is a decision for the civilian leadership.
National security
December 2009

Our view, their view, the world-view
President Obama will raise the Kashmir issue during the PM's visit to the White House. The many views of the problem and its consequences will have to be balanced.
National security | Jammu and Kashmir
November 2009

A job for an infantryman
At best the central police and paramilitary can hold an area once it is taken back, but clearing it and handing it over to them can only be done by the Army.
National security
October 2009

The nuclear numbers game
India claims that Pakistan is stockpiling more nuclear weapons than it needs for minimum deterrence. But this could just turn out to be an excuse for it to do likewise.
National security
September 2009

Wanted: A peace movement
Arguing against the nuclear enclave and its retainers is a kind of national service, and we must press on, no matter how futile it may appear at times.
National Security | Peace
August 2009

Making Kargil serve a purpose
India has not managed to bring the troubles in Kashmir to a close. And Pakistan has not dismantled the infrastructure of terror. In effect, little has changed since Kargil.
National Security
July 2009

Looking at China, missing Pakistan
New developments in India's nuclear posture vis-a-vis China inevitably impact the Pakistani nuclear program as well. We must recognise this implicit risk.
National Security
June 2009

Inward lens for incoming government
The buzz on the global front should not distract us from pressing matters at home. This would also make our security agenda more human and less state-centric.
May 2009

Awakening the somnolent state
The common thread between our external and internal security predicaments is our approach to time. Most security issues are long-standing and seemingly interminable.
April 2009

The coming fateful decisions
The two protagonist South Asian states got their independence in the middle of the last century, and it is about time that they seize control of their mutual and intertwined destiny.
March 2009

2009: A preview of security issues
India begins 2009 from a position of strength. But how it approaches security issues in the internaland external security planes will determine how it ends the year.
January 2009

An indirect response to terror
What India does or does not do is critical to the two power centers in Pakistan. The triumph of democratic forces there cannot be done without such Indian help.
December 2008

How deep is the rot?
If Purohit's activities are only one instance of something wider, then the Army faces a real problem over the penetration of majoritarian religious ideology.
Peace and Security
November 2008

Military cooperation with the US: A mixed bag
A future government that is without the check of a strong opposition could strike out on a course that is markedly divergent from India's past record of abstinence from geo-political conflicts.
Peace and Security
October 2008

In Muslim India, an internal battle
The struggle to wrest back interpretations of Islam from the extremists could boost security, and halt the marginalisation and ghettoisation of Muslims in India.
September 2008

Mid-year chakravyuh
With the government firmly in ostrich mode on issues of internal security, and the external situation appearing complex, India awaits its Abhimanyu.
Peace and security
August 2008

Making nuclear sense
As the strategic enclave has grown, the agenda of political discourse has been usurped by 'high politics'. This has wide implications for democracy.
Peace and Security
July 2008

Is Vox Populi good enough?
In Advani's worldview, populist sorrow and re-election after the Gujarat riots amount to democratic endorsement of whatever happened, and is sufficient political accountability.
Peace and security
April 2008

Successful deterrence? Hardly.
The absence of open conflict between India and Pakistan is cited as proof that nuclear deterrence works. But there have been unacknowledged conflicts.
February 2008

Internal security agenda for the new year
The happenings in Pakistan, which have culminated in the unfortunate assassination of Benazir Bhutto, are equally portentuous for India.
January 2008

Expansion in Indian nuclear theology
Retired Army Chief General Shankar Roychowdhury, writing in a popular security magazine, says India's nuclear doctrine must be revised to cover the additional threat of sponsored nuclear terrorism that could, as part of Pakistan's proxy war, prove to be the 'Future Shock'. Firdaus Ahmed analyses the General's views.
November 2007

The Nagaland model for Kashmir
Pakistan, under pressure in the Global War on Terror (GWOT), has restrained its hand in the proxy war. By most accounts, Kashmir appears headed towards peace. This is the right juncture to approach the issue politically, both in its external and internal plane.
Peace and Security
September 2007

This summer, at a border near you
The United Stated-led Global War on Terror is all set to come up to India's doorstep this summer, with Pakistan's move from being a 'frontline state' to becoming a theatre of war. For India, a reflexive anti-Pakistani stance or a fashionable pro-American one are not the only choices. writes
March 2007

The Indian Army: crisis within
The army has apparently delivered on its mandate of ensuring the return of an environment more conducive to law and order since more than a decade, in Kashmir. But the recent spate of suicides and fratricides within are showing that the army is under stress, a slide that the political side can and must prevent.
January 2007

Lessons from recent wars
The impact of 9/11 has brought in a greater permissibility in the use of force by states. With terrorist attacks taking their toll of innocents by design, a move away from the earlier restrictions on use of force appears defensible. Like its strategic partners, India too might act on this higher latitude for war.
Peace and Security
September 2006

Grand manoeuvre, yes, but to what end?
That Ex Sanghe Shakti concluded in the plains of Punjab without much ado indicates the determination of both India and Pakistan to keep temperatures below the now usual levels of the summer campaign in Kashmir. However, this positive should not cloud the questionable premises of Ex Sanghe Shakti.
Security | Opinions
July 2006

Politicisation and the Indian military
While agreeing with General S Padmanabhan who says in his recent book that "politicisation of the military is a self defeating exercise in a democracy," it is difficult to concede that "greed for fish and loaves of office" is how the politician would corrupt the military establishment and wrench it from its apolitical moorings.
Security | Books
April 2006

Muslim headcount: A useful controversy
The furore over the counting of minorities in the armed forces has taken attention away from what such a survey might reveal. Are the minorities adequately represented in the security services? This question too should concern secular-minded citizens.
Peace and Security
March 2006

Security agenda: 2006 and beyond
Now that political alienation has been redressed to some extent by democratic changeovers, the presence of the Army in Kashmir can be more boldly reduced. The coming year is one of many possibilities, but it will be followed by an even more important year, and the opportunities at hand now must not be lost.
Peace and Security
December 2005

Of nukes and counter-nukes
What is the threshold for Pakistan to use its nuclear weapons? Public statements by knowledgeable insiders addressing this question may only be a decoy, and at any rate the pressures of war might trigger unforeseen lower thresholds for the use of nukes. Alertness and public scrutiny are both warranted.
Peace and Security
October 2005

Second Strike and false security
In Second Strike: Arguments about Nuclear War in South Asia, Rajesh Rajagopalan articulates that ‘the probability of nuclear weapons use is less in the India-Pakistan feud'. This is comforting, and perhaps on that account, dangerous, because of the false sense of security its conclusions give rise to, says Firdaus Ahmed.
Book reviews | Security
August 2005
Political courage, and the next step
Permitting Musharraf to sell the notion that what could not be wrested from India in a decade and half long jihad has been obtained through diplomacy can help with this. Doing so would deflate the legitimacy that jihadi forces seek from their presence in Kashmir.
Peace and Security
May 2005

An illusory battleground
Among military planners, it is common to devise war games to counter any nuclear attack by enemy states. The theories put forward in such games, however, are not always grounded in reality. The peace community should alertly challenge such thinking.
Peace and Security
March 2005

- Hail to the new chief
- Preparing for the wrong war
- Special powers, mixed results
- A new security agenda
- The calculus of 'Cold start'
- Chief of Defense : Implications
- Not yet history
- A national confidence syndrome
- Missing the security target
- Lies in the name of 'security'
- Must remain 'unfinished'
- Questions in search of answers
- PM peace initiative: Much ado?
- Lessons from Baghdad
- Kashmir after Nadimarg
- Limited nuclear war, limitless anxiety
- A debt we can do without
- Arms control and disarmament
- Time for policy re-orientation
- Kashmir - the way forward
- The Indian bid for Great Powerdom
- Muslim India - A liberal perspective

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