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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

Facelift for the UN

The panel has emphasised that in the age of globalisation, poverty, deprivation and mass disease are as great threats to states as terrorism and WMD. Development and human security are frontline issues and the panel has laid stress on these. The panel has reaffirmed the right of states to defend...

TOI | Dec 6, 2004
Joint air attack teams: Integration of AAH and FGA missions as a combat force multiplier

One method of achieving the necessary integration and close cooperation is by forming joint air attack teams - an idea whose time has come. The differences in speed, manoeuvrability, weapons systems and the AD threat to FGA aircraft and AAH demand careful selection of attack modes, clear delineation...

Indian Defence Review | Aug 14, 2000
Nation’s Pride-II

Dubbed "Scrupulously apolitical" the Indian army's greatest achievement since Independence is undoubtedly its monumental contribution to keeping the Indian nation united, despite strong fissiparous tendencies, strident religious fundamentalism, ethnic dissonance and externally aided insurgencies.

The Statesman | Aug 15, 2001
Indo-US Strategic partnership: A force for cooperative security in the Indo-Pacific

"In this era of strategic uncertainty, the only certainty is that Chinas rise 1s unlikely to be entirely peaceful. Chinas brazen violation of international norms in recent years, particularly its construction of military facilities on reclaimed islands in the South China Sea, and its growing...

Salute | May 5, 2016
Nuclear targeting philosophy for India

At the heart of a nation's targeting philosophy is the question: what deters? Is the adversary to be deterred by threatening his major cities with annihilation? Or, is he to be deterred by threatening decapitating strikes against his political and military leadership? Or, would he be deterred by...

Strategic Analysis | Jun 5, 2000
Lest We Forget

DECEMBER 3,1971. In the twilight of a cold winter evening, the birds were coming home to roost in the trees around Ambala airfield when the thunder of diving jets and the • noisy explosion of […]

Illustrated Weekly | Jan 26, 1982
India-Pakistan Detente Peace balks

The realisation is gradually dawning in Pakistan that it has gained nothing from half a century of conflict with India, and that while India has made rapid economic strides, Pakistan has become a basket-case economy that has to be bailed out by periodic doses of generous aid from the World Bank and...

Hard News | Oct 1, 2004
Imperative need for a comprehensive national security strategy

A comprehensively formulated National Security Strategy reflects the national will to protect and promote national interests pertaining to security and dissuades adversaries from attempting to play mischief and also provides guidance to all stakeholders on policies related to national security....

Geopolitics | Jan 5, 2017
Let the army remain apolitical

On all crucial issues, he relies on the collective wisdom of the Vice Chief of the Army Staff, the Army Commanders and his Principal Staff Officers before taking a decision. If the Indian Army has performed its tasks with the singularity of purpose and the professional competence that it has it is...

The Tribune | Oct 2, 1999

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.