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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

Return of the jackboot

While the ill-conceived Kargil misadventure venture was the catalyst that hastened confrontation between the members of the power troika in Pakistan, the origins of the conflict lay in Sharif's diplomatic overtures towards India and the Pakistan military leadership's discomfort with his Kashmir...

The Indian Express | Oct 15, 1999
India’s Nuclear Force Structure

Background Though the dust has settled over Pokhran and the Chagai Hills since the nuclear blasts of May 1998, their aftershocks are still reverberating round the world. The crossing of the nuclear Rubicon had propelled […]

Strategic Analysis | Sep 1, 2000
Pakistani nukes may end up in jihadi hands

No real analysis has emerged about the implications for India, particularly of the likelihood of Pakistani nuclear warheads falling into jihadi hands. Ever since Pakistan's tit-for-tat nuclear explosions at Chagai in May 1998, there has been widespread apprehension that its nuclear warheads may fall...

The Indian Express | Feb 24, 2004
Strategic Culture

Since the May 1998 Pokhran-ll nuclear tests and India's declaration of itself as a nuclear armed state, India's strategic culture is being gradually reshaped to a more resurgent and vigorous one and India has at long last launched a quest for strategic autonomy.

The Statesman | Apr 22, 2001
After Taliban – II

The number of Afghan refugees in India already runs into about 50,000 and India can ill afford another major influx. India should not get militarily involved in the conflict as that may inflame public opinion within India as well as earn the wrath of Islamic countries.

The Statesman | Oct 24, 2001
CYBERWAR: THE ROAD AHEAD

Crystalgazing : A Peep into the Future January 2015, 1000 hours. The mellow rays of the winter sun glinted off the drum major’s baton as the coloufully attired brass band marched past the Chief of […]

Combat Journal | Jul 1, 1996
Pipeline politics

The 2,200 km overland pipeline from Assaluyeh and Bandar Abbas in Iran, which would pass through Pakistan and link up with the existing HBJ pipeline in Rajasthan, is likely to cost about $3 billion.

The Statesman | May 7, 2001
Artillery’s key role in Kargil

Had longer range MBRLs such as Smerch, which has a range of 100 kilometres, been available, it would have been possible for the Indian artillery to hit Skardu from Kargil. Mortars of artillery regiments that rendered yeoman service in the Kargil conflict included 120-mm mortar and the 160-mm heavy...

Hindustan Times | Jul 23, 1999
Non-lethal weapons: Security with a humane face

Should the situation warrant the employment of the army to render aid to the civil authority, it needs to -be considered whether such a pre-condition for a graduated response from NLWs to lethal weapons should be imposed. NLWs are unlikely to ever substitute lethal weapons completely, they will only...

Strategic Analysis | Sep 5, 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.