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  • Professional Ethics for the Armed Forces in War and Peace

    This article looks at the current situation in the armed forces, which has been in the news for all wrong reasons recently. The author undertakes an analysis of the causes of this state of affairs and suggests that the armed forces, which were well known for their ethics and code of conduct, need to review the situation and take radical steps to ensure a return to their ethics, values and traditions.

    April 2013

    Role of Military Culture and Traditions in Building Ethics, Morals and Combat Effectiveness in Fighting Units

    Developing culture and traditions is one of the pragmatic ways of breeding ethics and moral standards in the military. These moral issues are profoundly linked to the military’s way of life and ethos, which includes discipline and esprit de corps. Although issues like developing a sense of belonging may be the theme while creating cultures, the ultimate aim is to influence a soldier into becoming an ethical team player as an instrument for winning wars. The creation and pursuit of culture establishes common values and a sense of ownership amongst the troops.

    April 2013

    Changing Socio-economic Norms and its Impact on India’s Armed Forces

    The Indian Army remains rooted in an outdated, British-inherited system that is struggling to cope with the combination of challenges posed by demands of modern warfare and a society that is undergoing a great churn. The greatest challenge has been to the famous officer–men relationship in the Indian armed forces. In the past decade, the armed forces have faced a new problem: increasing incidents of indiscipline, suicides and fratricide. Are these incidents happening because the traditional bond between officers and men, the bedrock on which the military functions, is fraying at the edges?

    April 2013

    Institutional Challenges Confronting the Indian Armed Forces: The Moral and Ethical Dimension

    The phenomenon of the apparent lowering of both personal and institutional moral and ethical standards in the armed forces is not limited to India. What is missing is an open debate on the complexities that drive the modern day profession of arms and the need for a mutually supporting relationship between the armed forces and the institutions of a democracy, especially at a time when newer forms of security threats are emerging.

    April 2013

    Ethics at the Grassroots: A Values-based Approach

    This article addresses the declining standards of morality in the armed forces and suggests measures to address it by undertaking appropriate interventions at the grassroots, unit or battalion. It traces the importance of ethics in the military, particularly in the context of the post-modern state, which grants exclusive authority to the armed forces for the use of violence. Further, it examines the state of ethics today and the challenges in codification to arrive at the basic ethical norms that need to be fostered in the military.

    April 2013

    Roots of Moral Decline in the Armed Forces: Time to Reclaim our Izzat

    The precipitate decline in moral and ethical values, as well as the steep fall in standards of private and public conduct, in recent years, has been accompanied by a concurrent erosion of values amongst India’s military personnel. Consequently, the armed forces, which were once considered exemplars of ethical conduct, discipline and decency, are rapidly slipping in the estimation of their countrymen.

    April 2013

    Naval Operations Analysis in the Indian Ocean Region A Review

    The end of the Cold War resulted in a fundamental swing from a navy designed to engage a blue water battle fleet to one focused on forward operations in littoral waters. The Cold War era had fuelled massive research and development (R&D) in design of sonars that was able to substantially minimize the uncertainties of the underwater environment. The shift of the naval theatre to the littoral waters led to a paradigm change in terms of technology requirements to retain the effectiveness of these sonars.

    January 2013

    Transformation of Indian Naval Aviation Post New Inductions

    The need for credible surveillance over the high seas forms the bedrock and foundation of infallible maritime security, and Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) is the basic input for any successful maritime operation. For the last two decades, Indian naval aviation assets have been dependant on the Ilyushin (IL), the Tuplov (TU) aircraft, the Kamov (KM) 31 and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The Fleet Air Defence has also received a fillip by the induction of the MIG 29Ks.

    January 2013

    Abhishek Gupta asked: Has Mauritius offered the lease of Agalega Islands to the Indian Navy? What does it mean for India?

    S.S. Parmar replies: There is apparently some confusion on this issue. News papers had reported that the Islands were offered during the visit of Dr. Arvin Boolell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade of the Republic of Mauritius to India during July 4-7, 2012. However, a press statement by the Mauritian High Commission had stated:

    “In the several interviews given by Minister A. Boolell to the written press, never was the issue of Agalega raised either on a stand-alone basis or as part of a trade-off for the DTA (Double Taxation Avoidance) issue. The issue was also never discussed with the Indian authorities. At no point in time did the Minister refer to any “deal” as mentioned in an article entitled “Mauritius offers India 2 Islands in effort to preserve tax treaty” in today’s edition of “The Times of India”. The said article is erroneous, misleading, false and malicious.”

    There is also no mention of the offer on the website of the Ministry of External Affairs. As per newspaper reports, the issue of handing over of the Islands in 2006 had met with stiff political resistance. The Island offer has been connected with three issues – Firstly, to avoid cancellation of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement; secondly, development as a tourist resort; and thirdly, as a strategic military base. In the first issue, Mauritius has apparently more to gain, and in the second issue – both nations could gain. The third issue would require deft political and diplomatic manoeuvring and India is unlikely to set up a military base for its own use. However, development of a military base for joint operations could be considered.

    Indian Naval Strategy in the Twenty First Century by James R. Holmes, Andrew Winner and Toshi Yoshihara

    The 44th book in the Cass Series on Naval Policy and History, this book is an academic study of India's emerging maritime strategy from a Western perspective. Not surprisingly, therefore, it attempts to offer a systematic analysis of the shadow play between Western military thought and Indian maritime traditions.

    May 2012

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