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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

Veterans – A resource to reduce officers’ shortage

As the shortage of officers is primarily in the ranks of Captain and Major, the solution apparently lies in a revamped short-service entry scheme which offers lateral induction into civilian Jobs after five to eight years of service in the Army. It would do the budding central services officers a...

Samaan | Jan 5, 2016
Nuclear Standoff-II

The first is to clearly spell out that a nuclear strike on Indian soldiers, including those who may be within Pakistani territory during war, would be deemed to be a nuclear strike on India and would invite massive punitive nuclear retaliation. India's desire to develop a credible minimum nuclear...

The Statesman | Jan 25, 2002
Psychic warfare: Military exploitation of paranormal

Imagine psychic intelligence agents capable of remotely reading top secret files and visualising the exact layout of military installations thousands of kilometres away, reading the minds of the enemy's civilian and military leaders and altering their thought processes, even killing them through...

Daily Excelsior | Apr 4, 2000
Not merely an oil shock

The World Bank has estimated that the energy demand in India will grow at 5.3 per cent up to 2010 and at 10 per cent after that. More than 70 per cent of India's oil, that has a share of about 36 per cent in India's energy pie, is now imported.

The Tribune | Jun 15, 2004
पाक के ‘ऑपरेशन जिब्रालटर’ के उड़ा दी धज्जियाँ
Defence Monitor | Aug 17, 2015
Pakistan-Afghan relations: Challenging prospects

The foremost challenge that Afghanistan faces from Pakistan is that of trans-Durand Line hit-and-run strike operations from safe havens in Pakistan by groups like the Haqqani Network against targets in Afghanistan. "The government of Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan have endeavoured to...

CLAWS Scholar Warrior | Aug 4, 2013
Honour, glory and competence in Kashmir valley

"The crisp order was answered by an AK4/ burst from the militant in the co-driver's seat, in the general direction of the voice. One of the militants in the body of the tipper also fired a few swift bursts."Number 2 Section, Fire, the Major ordered and, taking careful aim at the Codriver, he led the...

The Artillery Journal | Aug 4, 1995
Afghanistan: India must deploy troops

Besides a stable and preferably neutral government, India's political objectives include the following: ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a base and safe haven for terrorists and radical extremists: counter Pakistan's quest for strategic depth, acquire access to Afghanistan and through...

Salute | Mar 5, 2017
PoK area residents demand Balawaristan

"Not only were the NLI soldiers used as cannon fodder, even the bodies of their dead comrades were moved at night to avoid publicity and they were mostly buried in the same civilian clothes in which they had left for the front line." Residents of the Northern Areas also claim that the wounded NLI...

The Tribune | Jun 11, 2001

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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.