Issue :   
February 2020 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:Feb' 2020


Honour Kautilyan commandments !

Jagdish N Singh

Bipin Rawat O urs is a profoundly rich ancient civilization. We have had a highly distinguished lineage of statesmen, administrators , jurists and political philosophers. The legendary Kautilya laid stress on the need for an influential, mighty military establishment in the country.
Ironically, our successive political dispensations in the post-colonial landscape have hardly cared to honour his time-tested commandments in statecraft. They have virtually neglected the defence management in the national planning.
Our military leaderships have had little say in the country’s crucial decision-making and policy formulation. Given this background, the Modi Government’s recent decision to create the post of a Chief of Defence Staff in our country and appoint former Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat in the slot is a step in the right direction.

Knowledgeable sources say it would fill in a great gap in our decision- making mechanism. All powerful states in the world today have this kind of mechanism. India has long needed it. The Kargil Review Committee had recommended the creation of CDS in 2001.

The CDS will act as the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister and permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. He would head the Department of Military Affairs within the Ministry of Defence. The CDS will look after the military training policy and establishment , cadre management and diplomacy.

The DMA is now the fifth important section in the MoD—others being Departments of Defence, Defence Production, Defence Research and Development and Ex-servicemen Welfare. The CDS will be a first among equals with our three Service Chiefs. He will consult all Service Chiefs and provide them directives . He will perform an advisory role in the Nuclear Command Authority.

The new mechanism would impart the much needed efficiency to our defence machine . New CDS General Rawat has already outlined his priorities towards creating an air defence command and common logistics support pools as part of measures to create jointness and synergy among our Army, Navy and Air Force.

It would, however, have been better if the Government had placed defence imports and procurements under the Chief of Defence Staff, not the Department of Defence headed by the Defence Secretary. India needs to keep its defence mechanism fit. Presently, it is not in a good shape. There is an acute shortage of advanced weapons with our defence forces. The CDS would know such requirements better.

Ajit Doval Also, the CDS can assess better the military activities in our neighbourhood. Intentions of China and Pakistan, with which we have had a history of arguments, do not appear to be assuring . Recently, our National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister ( and State Councillor) Wang Yi met in New Delhi. It was the 22nd round of talks between New Delhi and Beijing at the Special Representatives level. But it made little headway in resolving the Sino-Indian border dispute.
Last month, China’s powerful People’s Liberation Army had a major military drill in Tibet. China continues to claim Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet. Reports of China’s incursions in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh continue to pour in. Beijing continues to back the establishment in Islamabad on almost all fronts of diplomacy. Beijing’s stance on the issue of Kashmir, an integral part of India, has been absolutely anti-India. Beijing has supported Islamabad on the issue.

Policy of revenge

Donald Trump The new year began with an alarming note in international politics. On the order of American President Donald Trump, the American forces launched a drone attack killing the head of the elite Qods Force of the I s l a m i c R e v o l u t i o n a r y Guard Corps (IRGC) Qassem S o l e i m a n i ( and others ) in Baghdad on January 3, 2020.
Trump and his advisors accused him of killing American troops in the Middle East in the past and planning more such operations.

Qassem Soleimani On January 8, Tehran retaliated with ballistic missile attacks on the American airbases in the Iraqi cities of Ayn al-Asad and Erbil. Just a few hours afterwards, Iran’s military also shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane killing over 176 people aboard it.
In a live telecast the other day , Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared : “American corrupt presence must come to an end.. They ( Americans ) cut off the hand of our dear Soleimani . The revenge for him is to cut off America’s feet from this region.”

Benjamin Netanyahu One can well imagine what might follow if Tehran went ahead to execute its policy of revenge. Tehran is no match for Washington’s military prowess. Washington has a powerful ally in Israel in the Middle East. Iran has been threatening to wipe Israel off the world map. Israel is unlikely to sit idle if Iran went ahead with its imperial ambition. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already threatened Iran with a “crushing blow” if it attacked the Jewish state in retaliation for the US air strike that killed Soleimani. Other important countries in the region--- including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – would not like Iran to succeed.

Loving Yuan , not Quran

Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei Will the Islamic Republic of Iran under its Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei be Islamic enough to care for fellow Muslims in Xinjiang ? They have allegedly been suffering at the hands of the Chinese authorities since long, simply because they believe in the Quran , not communism. According to a study , Iran needs Yuan ( Chinese currency) and will not dare to antagonize China . The Trump administration abrogated the nuclear deal with Tehran an re-imposed sanctions on it. China (and other signatories– the European countries and Russia) should have saved the deal. But China, like others, did little barring issuing occasional statements in favour of the deal.
Iran is heavily dependent on China today. Beijing continues to buy Iranian crude oil. It is the largest buyer today. China is to invest $ 280 billion in developing Iran’s oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors. Beijing will also station its security personnel to guard Chinese projects.