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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
Signing CTBT

FLAWS. "Secondly, the CTBT did not envision any linkage with time-bound nuclear disarmament. Without such a linkage, the CTBT has further legitimised the nuclear weapons of the five nuclear weapons states. The Indian representative had explained at Geneva that India could not"accept any restraints...

The Statesman | Sep 7, 2000
United Nations-II

Echoing a similar view, former Soviet - President Mikhail Gorbachov called the KOSOVO war "a disgrace to all of us who tried to build a New World Order based on political methods and a strong role for the United Nations Security CouncilInstead, we see Nato itself as supreme arbiter, using military...

The Statesman | May 16, 2002
Not by lives alone

The Army's heroic effort to recapture high-altitude mountain ridges from Pakistan-sponsored intruders in the Batalik, Kaksar and Dras areas of Kargil has highlighted the need for early acquisition and deployment of sophisticated surveillance and early warning devices and precision strike munitions...

The Indian Express | Jun 23, 1999
Chinks in the armour

Although India had established diplomatic relations with Israel under a Congress government headed by P V Narasimha Rao in 1992, the previous National Democratic Alliance government led by Atal Behari Vajpayee had warmed up to Israel like never before. Today, despite the Left's stance against...

Hard News | Jul 1, 2004
Star wars

Missile defences require an elaborate surveillance and early warning system to detect a hostile launch through military satellites and ground-based radars and suitable interceptors to destroy the incoming missile before it can reach its intended target.

The Statesman | May 14, 2001
Down memory lane: Playing the sport of kings on target, on time, everytime

When the last target had been effectively engaged, the CO smugly asked the GOC whether he would like to indicate a target. One of the six targets warranted a small 100 metres correction to move the MPI of the regiment closer to the centre of the target.

The Artillery Journal | Aug 4, 2016
India & China territorial dispute

A senior Chinese interlocutor told this analyst at a bilateral think tanks' dialogue at Bangkok in October 2009 that relations between China and India would flourish very well if India was to hand over the Dalai Lama to China even at this belated stage. In 15 to 20 years from now, China may attempt...

Indian Defence Review | Aug 4, 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

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.