Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal is Distinguished Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi and a Delhi-based Adjunct Fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies, Washington, D.C. He was Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), New Delhi (January 2008-March 2012), the Indian Army’s think tank. He has co-founded two Delhi-based think tanks: Forum for Strategic Initiatives (FSI) and the South Asian Institute for Strategic Affairs (SAISA).
Brig Kanwal commanded an infantry brigade in the high-altitude Gurez Sector on the LoC with Pakistan in northern Kashmir (Operation Parakram, 2001-03)and an artillery regiment in counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir Valley (Operation Rakshak, 1993-94). He has served as Deputy Assistant Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Doctrine, Organisation and Training) at HQ IDS, New Delhi; Director MO-5 in the Directorate General of Military Operations at Army Headquarters (dealing with threat, strategy and force structure); United Nations Military Observer in UNTAG, Namibia; Brigade Major of an infantry brigade and Instructor-in-Gunnery at the School of Artillery, Devlali.
He opted for voluntary retirement in December 2003 and joined the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), New Delhi, as Director, Security Studies and Senior Fellow. He has also served as Senior Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi; and, Senior Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi. He has been a Visiting Research Scholar at the Cooperative Monitoring Centre (CMC), Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, USA, and in other think tanks in London and Singapore.
Brigadier Kanwal has authored several books: “Nuclear Defence: Shaping the Arsenal”; “Indian Army: Vision 2020”; “Pakistan’s Proxy War”; “Heroes of Kargil”; “Kargil ’99: Blood, Guts and Firepower” and, “Artillery: Honour and Glory”. He has also edited and co-edited several books. His forthcoming book is entitled “India’s National Security Strategy”.
In November 2012, he was nominated among 50 Thought Leaders by Mail Today. He has contributed extensively to various journals and leading newspapers, including a column in the Statesman for over two years. He is a regular speaker at well-known international think tanks and military institutions. Education: M Phil (Strategic Studies and Management), M Sc (Defence Studies).