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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

Defence Intelligence

The artillery, firing large - calibre high explosive shells and 155-mm precision strike ammunition. Though precision-guided munitions are relatively more costly than standard high explosive shells, these 'smart' munitions are more effective since only a direct hit from a 'dumb' artillery shell can...

The Statesman | Nov 20, 2000
Chinese Military – I

After an extensive review of regional wars since the 1980s, the PLA leadership concluded that new means of firepower are important factors in determining the outcome of modem military operations, the degree of jointmanship and overall coordination between the different branches of the armed forces...

The Statesman | Jun 15, 2002
Pakistan’s Crisis of credibility

While the Indian estimates of Pakistani casualties were 45 officers and 704 other ranks, Sharif has stated that Pakistan "Had to suffer heavy loss of human lives which was more than even the 1965 war."Withdrawing across the Line of Control with unseemly haste, the Pakistan Army even disowned Its...

The Sentinel | Aug 22, 2000
Mission Kashmir

Most security analysts commenting on the Prime Minister's unilateral declaration of ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan have completely missed the primary motivation for the initiative - it reflects the overwhelming desire of the Kashmiri people for peace. Disgusted at...

The Statesman | Dec 3, 2000
Post-2014 instability in Afghanistan: Impact and role of regional players

The NATO-ISAF withdrawal is likely to leave a security deficit in Afghanistan, which will further add to regional instability in a region that has become known as the epicentre of fundamentalist terrorism. The willingness of regional actors to play a positive role in stabilising Afghanistan, rather...

CLAWS Scholar Warrior | Aug 4, 2014
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
Long term implications of the rise of the Islamic State for stability in West Asia

The newly proclaimed Islamic State, not recognised by any other state as yet, is also called ISIS; ISIL; and, Daesh. The US has been arming the Syrian opposition led by the Free Syrian Army for several years to fight President Assad. It now hopes the Syrian opposition will join the fight against...

Door Drishti | Aug 4, 2015
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
Limited War

The Indo-Pakistan conflicts of 1947-48, 1965 and 1971, the Falklands War, the long drawn out lran-lraq conflict, the Soviet intervention in and ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Gulf War of 1990-91 were all limited wars. Not only does the sudden outbreak of a limited war between India...

The Statesman | Dec 16, 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.