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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

India-China strategic competition: Seeds of conflict

Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary, has written: "Of late, China has been resorting increasingly to unilateral actions seeking to alter the status quoThe Chinese side maintains that in the"Convention Between Great Britain and China relating to Sikkim and Tibet", the southern-most point identified...

Geopolitics | Aug 5, 2017
In defence of our defenders

Delay in OROP implementation could affect the morale of soldiers. The ministry of defence has repeatedly appealed against the court judgements that favour the veterans and soldiers widows- often contesting the award of paltry sums, even as the cost of litigation exceeds the amount at stake.

VAYU | Aug 5, 2015
Demilitarising Siachen: Put on Ice

According to the joint statement issued at the end of the talks, the two sides agreed to "continue their discussions with a view to resolving the Siachen issue in a peaceful manner". Unless Pakistan reviews its rigid stand on delineation of the AGPL, the Siachen conflict will remain an intractable...

Hard News | Sep 5, 2004
Lest We Forget

DECEMBER 3,1971. In the twilight of a cold winter evening, the birds were coming home to roost in the trees around Ambala airfield when the thunder of diving jets and the • noisy explosion of […]

Illustrated Weekly | Jan 26, 1982
AUTOMATED INTEGRATED TACTICAL INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM

INTRODUCTION Thu battlefield of the future will be characterised by fast flowing, mobile operation , conducted by mechanised forces in a high density electronic environment. Enemy force will be located, tracked and engaged by fire […]

Combat Journal | Aug 1, 1988
Pakistan: Six months into the jackboot

Six months after Pakistan came back under the jack boot, initial public support for the Army has waned and the people are despairing of one poor governance having been replaced by another and more authoritarian at that. Writing in Dawn, columnist Ayaz Amir said, "Since dislodging a government in...

The Sentinel | Jul 8, 2000
PITFALLS IN POLICY

No country that is not substantially self-reliant in Defence production can aspire to become a dominant military power in its region and, in due course, on the world stage. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has selected […]

Defence & Security Alert | Apr 10, 2016
The last Shangri La

Nestled between the snowcapped high-altitude mountains of the Great Himalayan Range and the Shamshabari Range in north Kashmir is the pristine Gurez Valley - probably the last remaining Shangri La since the Zanskar Valley in Ladakh was discovered a few decades ago. Spouting near Kaobal Gali, a pass...

The Tribune | Jul 22, 2004
Defence budget: Some worries

Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence has argued for long that the budgetary allocations made for defence are grossly inadequate. Former finance minister, Jaswant Singh, had created history of sorts by instituting a rolling, non-lapsable defence modernisation fund of Rs 25,000 crore in the...

The Indian Express | Feb 28, 2005

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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.