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  • Sasi asked: Is it viable for India to set up military bases abroad? Which are the other countries with bases abroad and where all?

    Harinder Singh replies: A “military base” is a facility established or operated by the military or one of its branches that shelters military equipment and personnel, and facilitates training and operations, in pursuit of a country's national security objectives. More than 1,000 military bases and installations exist around the world; most of these are operated by the United States, which has a military presence in over several dozen countries (details of which can be surfed on the internet). These range from vast installations, like Guantanamo Bay, to smaller military bases or training camps, nuclear missile sites, rest and recuperation camps and refuelling stations. In addition, the US and some of its NATO allies complement this vast military presence with an even more elaborate network of port-of-call rights, and landing rights for military aircraft. In so far as India is concerned, it has traditionally engaged in defence cooperation with friendly foreign countries as an important component of the national security strategy. It encompasses visits, contacts, exchanges, exercises, port calls and training facilitation to build and maintain trust in the interests of mutual security. The Indian Navy in particular has been forging strong partnerships with a number of navies in the Indian Ocean region, the more notable ones being the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan. In this regard, India has also been engaging the island nations strategically located in the Indian Ocean region.

    Faisal asked: I am a 16 year old boy and I want to know what exactly is defense analysis and whether military analysis and defense analysis are the same thing?

    S. Kalyanaraman replies: Defence Analysis and Military Analysis are one and the same thing. The word 'defence' came to be increasingly used during the course of the 20th century, instead of the earlier preference for 'war' which is seen as indicating an offensive mentality. Thus, for instance, Ministries of War became Ministries of Defence. As a subject, Defence Analysis relates to the study of military concepts, military organisation and structures, and military technologies. Military concepts guide the use of armed forces and their weaponry as well as the strategies and tactics used in various contingencies like all-out war, limited war, intervention in a third country, counter-insurgency, peacekeeping operations, etc. Military organisation refers to how the armed forces are structured to meet the requirements laid out by a particular defence policy. And military technologies are those developed and used to increase military power.

    The message from mock battles

    Even though the respective military exercise held by Pakistan and India are about handling of respective offensive reserves, the message that emerges is that their employment is best avoided.

    May 07, 2010

    Enhanced International Cooperation Through Aided Military Training Programmes: A Study of the US Experience, with Specific Reference to South Asia

    Major powers have tried to use military training programmes, manifested through military-to-military cooperation running the gamut of training exchanges to joint exercises, to defence-related dialogues through seminars and the like, in order to engage and influence other countries in the furtherance of their strategic interests. The US model is notable for being innovative, flexible, scalable, and broad in its approach, and this has fetched it considerable dividends.

    March 2009

    RMA and India's Military Transformation

    The attitudes of the military globally towards revolution in military affairs (RMA) have largely been influenced in recent times by the US Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq which have demonstrated the technological prowess of the US military. In the former campaign the employment of Special Operations Forces (SOF) to direct precision air power was a vital component of US operations to achieve rapid success in combination with the Northern Alliance ground troops and it was perhaps the first time that the world saw a transformed US military in action.

    Winter 2008

    Role of Intuition in Military Command

    Historically, the use of intuition by commanders to anticipate events in battle to exploit fleeting opportunities has remained obscure. One likely reason is that it has not been a fashionable subject for the great military commanders to talk about, being outside the realm of a logical thought process. Recently researchers have begun to unravel the aura of mystery and give scientific explanations to intuition.

    Winter 2008

    Integrating the Indian Military:Retrospect and Prospect

    Wars are not fought only by the armed forces, but by the entire nation, the government and all its organs, the media and the people in an integrated and unified manner. The Kargil war was one such event that unified the nation. The political, diplomatic and military insights gained during the conflict have tremendous learning value for our politico-military structures and processes. It was with this purpose of learning lessons and sharpening our higher defence management that the Kargil Review Committee was formed in the aftermath of the Kargil War of 1999.

    Winter 2008

    Revamping the Military Training System

    “Victory smiles upon those who anticipate changes in the nature of war.”
    -- Giulio Douhet


    Summer 2008

    Jointness in India’s Military —What it is and What it Must Be

    Time and Space have collapsed in modern warfare. At one end, nations do not have the luxury of continuing to wage war for long durations. Apart from military, economic and domestic limitations, there is the coercive pressure of the international environment which does not permit much latitude.

    August 2007