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Books

Book Review - Soldier Mountaineer
A Book Review-‘Soldier Mountaineer’ by Colonels N Kumar and NN Bhatia By Lt Gen YN Sharma   The hero of this book, Col’ Bull’ Kumar, is a true-blooded Indian superhero and an acknowledged ‘icon’ of his time. The long list of gallantry and distinguished service/achievement awards, national and international, won by him bear testimony to that. A biography, in words, can scarcely recreate a true ‘feel’ of his incredible spirit and superhuman courage as also risk-taking ability that are the essence of his life. His story defies human norms and challenges conventional wisdom. It is axiomatic that human memory is fickle and attention-spans are getting shorter. Memorable deeds of role-models of earlier generations must, therefore, be preserved for posterity to inspire future generations. In this context Col NN Bhatia, a spirited ‘Kumaoni’ himself, has passionately packaged the life-story of his esteemed Regimental elder in this Book. It is a thrilling and an inspiring read. Bull was a year senior to me in the NDA in early 1950s. We had thus overlapped for three years in the Academy (JSW& Military Wings) and then kept meeting, off and on, in-service for decades. In any case his achievements in mountaineering and other adventures were admired, envied and followed by us all. Despite that, none of us could possibly have known the full spectrum, and the inside- story, of his amazing adventures. This book has been a revelation in that respect- it carries the reader through many mind-blowing experiences. A life story is a brave search into ‘someone’s soul’. Any life is a mix of many truths- to find the truth which is the ‘essence’ is the challenge. I have tried to understand the power and the process that transformed a ‘normal’ Cadet Narendra Kumar, into the superhero ‘Bull Kumar’. He was neither born or bred as a mountaineer nor selected for that purpose when he joined the Academy in 1950. During the next decade, of normal military training and service, he had acquired so much expertise in this extra-curricular activity as to lead an expedition to the Trishul peak and later climb up to 28300 feet on Everest in 1960. Thereafter he led expeditions “…to 13 of the highest Indian Himalayan peaks above 24000 feet…even after he had lost his toes to frostbite”, as also challenged the treacherous upper reaches of the mighty Indus in flimsy boats and skied down the Trishul peak. Clearly the secondary interest had become his primary passion and to seek ever higher challenges a ‘hunger’. In the same period the rest of us were struggling full-time to be good soldiers and, at best, nursed a casual hobby or two. His enviable achievements did not come easy, they were the fruits of exceptional hard work and commitment in pursuit of a ‘passion’- a ‘flaming spiritual fire’ to take on and beat any challenge. Such gifts are indeed inborn and the ensuing success is a special blessing- as acknowledged by him in the Book. But none of these can be earned without extraordinary effort and will power. We had seen early signs of those in the fierce ‘bull- charges’ in the boxing ring against all-comers, of any size or reputation. Lest this become overly hagiographic let me also focus on a soft spot. I perceived faint signs of it on Page 235- see quoted extract “…Brig ….Singh, who was inexperienced to lead … tried to run it more like a military exercise ignoring safety of team members.” I realise that this is an expert’s judgment which must be based on more information than given here. Yet, on all counts listed viz. inexperience, military style and high-risk decisions seem to be a replay/ mirror-image of Bull’s own climbing experiences, at some stage or another. He also had limited experience during initial expeditions and most of his crunch decisions were played for high- risk stakes. That is the nature of the ‘beast’- both mountaineering and military operations. That is why both are similar in so far as meticulous planning, resolute execution by the team and risk-taking are concerned. As to high-risk choices: you win some and lose others. Perhaps Jagjit was not as lucky as others, especially Bull whose record is truly blessed in this respect. We are truly proud of him and grateful to Col Bhatia for bringing his story to life in this Book (hopefully, edit-bugs will be eradicated in future editions)

Research Papers

SFA INSIGHT SEPTEMBER 2016
SFA  INSIGHT 1 OF SEP 2016 INDIA’S COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO DISASTERS SFA  INSIGHT 2 OF SEP 2016 PROGRESS OF INDO US DTTI SFA INSIGHT 3 OF SEP 2016 FIRST CHINA AFGHANISTAN TRAIN STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS SFA INSIGHT 4 OF SEP 2016 INDIA'S CRYOGENIC ENGINE SFA INSIGHT 5 OF SEP 2016 CRISIS RESPONSE UNIT (CRU) –AFGHAN POLICE SFA INSIGHT 6 OF SEP 2016 INDIA NATIONAL BOMD DATA CENTRE SFA INSIGHT 7 OF SEP 2016 INDIAN DIPLOMATIC AND MILITARY RESPONSES TO URI ATTACK SFA INSIGHT 8 OF SEP 2016 INDIA’S DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP ADMINISTRATION SFA INSIGHT 9 OF SEP 2016 INDIA RUSSIA MILITARY TECHNICAL COOPERATION
SFA INSIGHT AUIGUST 2016
SFA INSIGHT 1 OF AUGUST 2016 ATOMIC ENERGY PRODUCTION IN INDIA – STATUS AND PLANS SFA INSIGHT 2 OF AUGUST 2016 INDIAN NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY (INDU) SFA INSIGHT 3 OF AUGUST 2016 CRIME AND CRIMINAL TRACKING NETWORK & SYSTEMS (CCTNS) SFA INSIGHT 4 OF AUGUST 2016 ADVANCED LANDINGS GROUNDS IN ALP SFA INSIGHT 5 OF AUGUST 2016 CYBER SECURITY POLICIES AND MEASURES INDIA SFA INSIGHT 6 OF AUGUST 2016 INDIAN OFFICIAL POSITION ON INDIA PAKISTAN TALKS SFA INSIGHT 7 OF AUGUST 2016 DEFENCE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK SFA INSIGHT 8 OF AUGUST 2016 MILITARY USES OF SCRAM JET SFA INSIGHT 9 OF AUGUST 2016 BRIEF ON NATIONAL SECURITY GUARDS

South Asia Security Trends

South Asia's Premier Monthly Journal on defence and security trends

South Asia Security Trends
SOUTH ASIA’S PREMIER ONLINE MONTHLY SOUTH ASIA SECURITY TRENDS: AUGUST 2019 SOFT ISSUE RELEASED BY EMAIL 2  AUGUST 2019 PDF E BOOK WITH PHOTOGRAPHS EMAILED By 5 AUGUST   Dear Madam/Sir,   White Paper China’s National Defense in the New Era   As has been the general trend, China periodically publishes White Papers on Defense. The last one on military strategy having been published in 2015, one was expected and has come about in July this year. Published by the State Council Information Office the Paper is divided in Six Chapters and provides an updated world view of development in the international security environment, China’s Defense Policy (in the New Era), missions and tasks of the armed forces, reforms in national defense and military, defense expenditure and contribution of Chinese military to peace and stability defined as the, “Future for Mankind”. The White Paper summarises developments in the sphere of national security and defense over the past few years and charts projections ahead, while those who are tuned to developments of modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) over the past half a decade or so may not find any new gems in the narration.   Please see Editorial----------   New Delhi                                                                   Rahul K Bhonsle 2 August 2019                                                                        Editor (rkbhonsle@gmail.com)   A preview of the Contents is as given below-  
  • Lead 1 - Growing Submarine Competition in the Bay of Bengal
  • Lead 2 - S 400 – Growing Indo U.S. Differences May Hamper Defence Relations
  • Lead 3 - U.S. Pakistan Relations Stuck in the Transactional Trap
  • Lead 4 - Will India Join US Led Coalition for Surveillance of Gulf Choke Points?
  Contents Preview  
  • Afghanistan: Multiple Uncertainties 13
  • Bangladesh: Diplomatic Push for Rohingya Repatriation 36
  • Growing Submarine Competition in the Bay of Bengal 44
  • Bhutan: Regional and Global Engagement 48
  • China: Improvement in Border Management 52
  • Maldives: Shadow of ISIS Legacy 70
  • Myanmar: Expanding Defense Capability, Rakhine Concerns 75
  • Nepal: Internal NCP Turmoil Continues 87
  • Pakistan: Reset Relations With US 96
  • S. Pakistan Relations Stuck in the Transactional Trap 99
  • Sri Lanka: Politics Over Terror & Defence Co-operation 110
  • India Defence: Pitching for Strong Defence Posture 113
  • Will India Join US Led Coalition for Surveillance of Gulf Choke Points? 121
  • S 400 – Growing Indo U.S. Differences May Hamper Defence Relations 186
  • Internal Security: Tightening of Laws, Continued Vigil 253
  • Kashmir: Game Plan Independence Day, State Elections 289
  • North East: Naga Talks New Beginning? 300
  • Left Wing Extremism: Continued Operations in Monsoon 315
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