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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
___Help make this manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!___

> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> [Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
> ___Help make this manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!___

> ---------------------------------------------------------------------

> 1. This is what happens when we systematically weaken the military,
> place no emphasis on intelligence gathering, and devote virtually zero

> resources on defence R & D. Our jawans pay the ultimate price of our
> foolishness of the last fifty years.

Firstly, our hearts go out to the families of those men who have been
killed during operation vijay. I think Kargil raises some tough issues
about the state of the Indian Military as Indranil has noted above. But
think it will be more useful if Indranil is a bit more specific about
he means by "systematically weaken the military".

I don't think it is true that we have not placed enough "emphasis on
intelligence gathering". Yes, Kargil was clearly an intelligence failure

but that doesn't imply the we donot place enough emphasis on
gathering. Consider the US which over the last few years has suffered
a number of intelligence failures notably: Detonation of nuclear weapons

by India, Terrorist attacks by Osama Bin Laden, Mistaken bombing of a
pharmacetical plant in the Sudan(?), mistaken bombing of the Chinese
embassy, contiued Chinese espionage against the US, underestimation of
Milosovich's resolve in the FRY campaign and these are the failures that

we have heard of!

Historically US has suffered intelligence failures during the tet
offensive, the entry of the Chinese in the Korean war and offcourse
Harbour. How does this correlate with the emphasis the US has placed on
intelligence gathering and the resources it has set aside for that
purpose? I would say that by and large there is no correlation. US
many times more than the total indian defense budget on Intelligence
alone and yet cannot avoid intelligence failures.

This does not mean that everything is well with Indian intelligence. It
isn't. One of the reasons we can't say much about this is the
nature of Indian intelligence agencies. They are accountable to no body
outside the administrative wing of these agencies. In the past this has
led to the use of the IB to conduct political espionage and who knows
else! Clearly, one of the things we need to think about is a
oversight committee similar to the US senate committee. This has it's
pros and cons which need to be debated. There is also a need to
the different intelligence products into a coherent picture and hold
somebody accountable for doing the same. Yes, we need to continue to
invest in techinical means of intelligence gathering but we should not
forget that larger investments in this area don't neccessarily tranlate
into better intelligence as the US example shows. As I have said before
the amount of funds should be decided on a rational basis not on the
of a knee jerk reaction.

Finally, intelligence failures are inevitable. This is inherent in the
nature of ther "game". The way to minimise the damage is to prioritse
intelligence needs and focus your assets to ensure that the failure does

not occur in the critical areas.

I think the Indian army has problems but they may not neccessarily be
lack of equipment (though this is debatable). I think in some cases we
have too much old equipment which we can do without. This increases the
logistic burden and makes our forces less flexible. In other cases we
invested in weapon systems which either do the same thing or have a
overlapp in their functionality. This increases the logistic burden and
overall costs in the long run.

But I think a more serious problem is the continued use of the military
domestic policing role, everything from riot control to
to policing election booths during elections. These are better handled
the paramilitary forces with some exception for certain
operations like the one in Kargil which paramilitary forces cannot be
expected to handle. These continued oprations place great stress on the
troops and resources. Also, those with better opportunities in the
civilian sector have incentive to leave. The latter point I have
myself. Another worrisome aspect is the decline in the training budget
the armed forces. Training is cruicial even more so than equipment.
are many instances in military history where a well trained and
army has defeated a better equipped force.

To address Indranil's last point, I think it is debatable whether India
should invest in more defense R&D!!! Defense R&D involves huge
in risky projects. Moreover, the Indian armed forces do not represent a
sufficiently large market to justify these investments. This is
particularly true of the big ticket items like tanks and ships and
Why try to reinvent the wheel when soembody is willing to sell you
for a competetive price. There is the question of dependency but the
Indian experience does not seem to indicate that we have ever had to
reconsider an operation on account of fear that our suppliers would not
come through for us. In any case, there are other arrangements like
licensing etc which give us the best of both worlds. We should focus our

R&D effort on systems that are harder to come by. Specifically, I am
thinking about electronic warfare equipment. India already has an
advantage here since we have a decent electronics industry and some of
worlds best computer programmers. Such equipment will also sell well
abroad where other nations may not be willing to part with their
This is an area with great potential especially if private Indian
companies are allowed to get into the business on a competetive basis.

I hope the above has enough debating points to keep us busy for



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