All FSI News Commentary September 10, 2020

Rethinking the Defense Doctrine of India

The security threats India faces along its borders require new strategies, and in order to manage and prevent future risks, the military needs to overhaul its traditional playbook of deterring and defending against conventional attacks says Arzan Tarapore.
A regiment of the Indian Army practices in dress uniform for Republic Day
A regiment of the Indian Army practices in dress uniform for Republic Day. Mitul Gajera, Unsplash

This op-ed by Arzan Tarapore originally appeared in The Hindu.

Over four months ago, the Chinese army entered territory that India has long considered its own, and never left. In effect, the multiple incursions have changed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and India has lost territory, at least for the time being. How could this happen?

In part, it was a failure of the warning-intelligence system. Either Indian intelligence services did not collect sufficient data of Chinese intentions and early moves, or they did not interpret it correctly, or their policy and military customers failed to take the warning seriously. Wherever the fault lay, the system apparently failed.

In part, however, the problem also lay in the Army’s concepts for defending the country’s borders. It is, as the current crisis shows, simply not postured or prepared for the type of security threat China presents. (Continue reading the full article in The Hindu.)

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An Indian Army soldier looking through a military monocular over hills in the background

U.S. Policymakers Cannot Assume the Fixity of Indian Strategic Preferences, Argues South Asia Research Scholar Arzan Tarapore

In a special report published by the National Bureau of Asian Research, Tarapore analyzes possible scenarios for India’s strategic future that expose risks and tensions in current U.S. policy.
Portrait of Arzan Tarapore and text: "Q&A with Arzan Tarapore"

Internal Balancing Will Determine India’s Relationships with the US and China, Argues APARC’s Newest Research Scholar

Indo-Pacific security expert Arzan Tarapore, whose appointment as a research scholar at APARC begins on September 1, discusses India’s military strategy, its balancing act between China and the United States, and his vision for revitalizing the Center’s research effort on South Asia.