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Late Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (Retd.) was a celebrated soldier, author, thought leader and noted strategic affairs analyst. Graduating from the National Defence Academy in March 1972, Brigadier Kanwal went on to command an Infantry Brigade along the LOC and an Artillery Regiment in Kashmir (1993-1994). He also served as Deputy Assistant Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff.

After taking voluntary retirement in 2003, Brigadier Kanwal joined the Observer Research Foundation and served at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses and Centre for Air Power Studies. He was Director of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies from 2008 to 2012. He was also the co-founder of two think tanks, Forum for Strategic Initiatives (FSI) and the South Asian Institute for Strategic Affairs (SAISA). In November 2012, he was nominated among 50 Thought Leaders by Mail Today. He was awarded the COAS Commendation Card twice. He had contributed extensively to various journals and leading newspapers, including a column in the Statesman for over two years. He was a regular speaker at well-known international think tanks and military institutions.

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“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
— THOREAU —

Honours

Life & Work

Writings

In defence of our defenders

Delay in OROP implementation could affect the morale of soldiers. The ministry of defence has repeatedly appealed against the court judgements that favour the veterans and soldiers widows- often contesting the award of paltry sums, even as the cost of litigation exceeds the amount at stake.

VAYU | Aug 5, 2015
Guarding nation’s frontiers: Need for Hi-tech aid

Though precision-guided munitions are relatively more costly than standard high-explosive shells, these 'smart' munitions are more effective since only a direct hit from a 'dumb' artillery shell can destroy a bunker.

Daily Excelsior | Sep 11, 2001
Unpredicatbility the flavour of the times

"India's response to individual incidents of terrorism had so far been predictable - calling Pakistan lame and avoiding any reaction overtly. Now, by launching surgical strikes and taking other pro-active actions, India has introduced an element of unpredictability. Pakistan can no longer be sure...

Defence & Security Alert | Jan 5, 2017
Defence Intelligence

The artillery, firing large - calibre high explosive shells and 155-mm precision strike ammunition. Though precision-guided munitions are relatively more costly than standard high explosive shells, these 'smart' munitions are more effective since only a direct hit from a 'dumb' artillery shell can...

The Statesman | Nov 20, 2000
National security council – Panacea or pipedream

National security strategy requires a holistic approach, clear concepts for determining vital national security objectives and policies, a viable framework for the successful implementation of the policies, constant monitoring of the security environment to anticipate and pre-empt or neutralize...

Combat Journal | Aug 15, 1996
United Nations-I

Since most of the conflicts that require UN intervention are in the Third World countries, these developing countries have a major stake in ensuring that the UN peace-keeping apparatus functions smoothly and impartially. The most important task facing the developing countries is to work in a united...

The Statesman | May 15, 2002
These dead men tell a gory tale

They did it because it is the Indian custom to honour the dead. The dead Pakistani soldiers were honoured despite the barbaric torture of Indian soldiers and the mutilation of the bodies of our brave men. Pakistan's nefarious aim in using mainly NLI soldiers as cannon fodder was obviously to limit...

TOI | Jul 20, 1999
The safety, honour and welfare of the men you command

Somewhere along the line, we have conveniently altered the otherwise inviolate sequence of our inspiring Academy credo and we have all but forgotten that the honour, safety and welfare of the men we command take precedence over our own needs and comforts. Not making any attempt to ameliorate their...

Oct 14, 1983
Implementation of India’s ‘No First Use’ Doctrine—Need for Some Inescapable Qualifications

Impact of Conventional Capabilities on Nuclear Doctrine For some time now a major debate has been raging in the strategic community in India (or the ‘strategic enclave’, as George Perkovich calls it in his book […]

Strategic Analysis | Apr 10, 2000

Condolences

Sharpening the arsenal: India’s evolving nuclear deterrence policy
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The essence of the defence minister's introspection was that ambiguity enhances deterrence. This view has been expressed by several nuclear strategists. Nuclear doctrines are not written in stone and are never absolutely rigid.

Indian Army Vision 2020
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Indian Army: Vision 2020 examines the threats and their changing nature, identifies the key operational commitments, makes a comparative analysis of how other modern armies are coping and offers a considered guide map for a modern fighting force that is light, lethal and wired to meet the operational challenges of the 21st century.

Pakistan’s Proxy War
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Indian Army: Vision 2020 examines the threats and their changing nature, identifies the key operational commitments, makes a comparative analysis of how other modern armies are coping and offers a considered guide map for a modern fighting force that is light, lethal and wired to meet the operational challenges of the 21st century.

Heroes of Kargil

The book “Sharpening the Arsenal: India’s Evolving Nuclear Deterrence Policy” examines the efficacy of India’s declared nuclear doctrine of credible minimum deterrence with a no first use posture and surveys the nuclear arsenals of India, China and Pakistan.