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.”


Life & Work


For peace sake

India's nuclear force structure is based on a triad of land, sea, and air based forces: Prithvi-2 SRBMs and Agni-1 to 4+ IRBMs manned by the Missile Groups of the Indian Army; nuclear glide bombs under-slung on Mirage 2000 and SU-30 MKI fighter-bomber aircraft of the Indian Air Force; and, in due...

Force | Apr 5, 2017
A peace pact waiting to be made

As the foreign secretaries from India and Pakistan try this week to sustain the peace process amidst growing mutual suspicion, the Siachen question offers one potential area where recent progress could be consolidated. When demilitarisation at Siachen is finally completed, it will act as a...

Jan 16, 2006
India’s nuclear capped missiles: Role in strategic deterrence

India's nuclear force structure is known to be based on a triad: Prithvi short-range ballistic missiles and various versions of the Agni IRBM manned by the missile groups of the Indian Army; nuclear glide bombs carried underslung on hard points on fighter-bomber aircraft of the Indian Air Force;...

Geopolitics | Feb 5, 2017
Pakistan’s national security imperatives

Pakistani strategists felt that a new security consensus among these Muslim neighbours would produce numerous dividends for Pakistan and the Muslim world through organizations such as OIC and ECO. However, Indian diplomacy has achieved considerable success in trade and foreign relations ties with...

Defence Today | Jan 1, 2000
Afghanistan Imbroglio

Abdul Rashid Dostum's Northern Alliance, propped up by tacit support from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, the Central Asian Republics bordering Afghanistan, and by the physical presence of approximately 20,000 Russian troops north of Afghanistan's border, can still influence the final...

The Statesman | Nov 4, 2000
Military power

Though present apprehensions of Aziz and Mahmoud Ahmed posing a threat to Musharraf would appear to be exaggerated, they may fall out with their leader if Musharraf appears to give in and compromises with either India or the West on Pakistan's policies on major issues such as the resolution of the...

The Statesman | Oct 22, 2000
The big guns who blazed a trails of glory

Regimental reunions are a lot like joyous summer holidays — anticipated with relish, experienced with happiness and remembered with nostalgia. The recent artillery Reunion at Deolali was as memorable as the nine others that had […]

The Times of India | Apr 27, 2001
National Security

Consequent to the submission of the Kargil Review Committee Report, the Cabinet Committee on Security had appointed a Group of Ministers headed by the Home Minister to study its recommendations and advise the CCS. The GoM, in turn, appointed four task forces to carry out an in-depth analysis of the...

The Statesman | Aug 15, 2000
Militancy in Kashmir: Trends and responses

Attempts were made by the ISI to widen the arc of militancy to areas in the States bordering J&K, such as in the Dalhousie-Chamba area of Himachal Pradesh. When finally implemented, these measures will help to prevent forced migration of members of the minority community and enable the JKP and the...

The Sentinel | Sep 29, 2000


Sharpening the arsenal: India’s evolving nuclear deterrence policy

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

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

This book presents an incisive analysis of the trends and prospects of Pakistan`s proxy war and its wider ramifications. Specific recommendations focus on the pro-active military measures that are necessary to regain control over the vitiated security situation and restore normalcy.

Heroes of Kargil

This book recounts in graphic detail the raw courage under fire displayed by the young officers and heroic fight back against daunting odds. It is a tribute to the young heroes and gallant martyrs of the campaign that stirred the national consciousness like nothing else before.