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  • Operational Lessons of the Wars of 21st Century

    Operational Lessons of the Wars of 21st Century

    Military capabilities matter. Countries and regions where wars have taken place have one important attribute- battle and operational experience. The monograph examines 21st century wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Georgia and Libya. New trend of cyber war is also included. Key highlights have been extracted and distilled into lessons to be learnt.


    Peace and Stability in Afghanistan: The Role of Neighbours

    The security deficit can be filled to a large extent by Afghanistan’s neighbours if they can be persuaded to accept the responsibility, including by contributing troops to a UN-mandated peacekeeping force.

    December 13, 2012

    Afghanistan: Between Hope and Despair

    As the Afghans and the world look towards a new dawn on 1 January 2015, there are some things that stand out clearly and have to be recognised by both the Afghans as well as the international community.

    October 20, 2012

    Iran factor in India’s Afghan Policy

    As India plans to stay engaged in Afghanistan beyond 2014, Iran has emerged as a critical component of India’s Afghan policy. Despite US pressures, India needs to adopt a pragmatic approach vis-à-vis Iran and engage it effectively to protect its vital security and geo-political interests in Afghanistan.

    August 24, 2012

    India’s Neighbourhood: Challenges in the Next Two Decades

    India’s Neighbourhood: Challenges in the Next Two Decades
    • Publisher: Pentagon Security International

    The chapters in the book take a prospective look at India's neighbourhood, as it may evolve by 2030. They underline the challenges that confront Indian policymakers, the opportunities that are likely to emerge, and the manner in which they should frame foreign and security policies for India, to maximise the gains and minimise the losses.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-687-9,
    • Price: ₹. 995/-
    • E-copy available

    Stabilising Afghanistan: Role of Key Regional Players

    Unless the Central Asian states, China, India, Iran, Pakistan and Russia jointly contribute towards ensuring stability, Afghanistan is likely to fall to the Taliban again or even break up.

    July 02, 2012

    Fantasising ‘Afghan Good Enough’

    Where does Pakistan figure in ‘Afghan good enough’ if Pakistan’s centrality in the Western approach is taken into account? Not working towards a ‘Pakistan good enough’ would simply mean that ‘Afghan good enough’ is not ‘good enough’.

    June 22, 2012

    Ganesh Pol asked: What are the important factors that pushed Italy to sign a long-term strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan?

    Reply: The phrase ‘long-term strategic partnership’ is tautological. Though liberally used today in international parleys and joint declarations, the term ‘strategic partnership’ is however meant to be comprehensive, all-encompassing and long-term. It is suppose to have a pre-defined road map, time-frame, with well-articulated objectives.

    Italy has had a long Afghan connection. Not only the deposed Afghan King Zahir Shah spent almost three decades in exile there, Italy also hosts an influential Afghan expat community.

    Italy, being an important member of the International Security Assistance Force [ISAF], has around 4,000 soldiers posted in Afghanistan and is the lead nation of the Regional Command – West [RC- W] of the ISAF, which is headquartered in Herat. Like the US, Germany, the UK, etc., Italy also has a Special Envoy for the Af-Pak region to coordinate its national and multilateral efforts. The current incumbent is Francesco Talò. Italian troops too have suffered casualties in Afghanistan.

    Being an EU/NATO member, signing a strategic partnership with Afghanistan is not unprecedented for Italy. Other European countries too have signed partnership agreements with Afghanistan. Recently, on May 16, Germany and Afghanistan signed a bilateral agreement in Berlin, by which the former has assured long-term military assistance to the latter. As it is evident from the recent developments like the NATO Summit in Chicago, the Western forces engaged in Afghanistan are in a withdrawal mode. However, at the same time, the contributing nations of the ISAF want to maintain close contacts with Afghanistan and assist in re-building the Afghan National Security Forces [ANSF].

    Most crucial factor, which has definitely influenced Italy, is the imminent fall-out of the impending withdrawal of the ISAF from Afghanistan. For Europe, it means a wave of Afghan refugees at its doorstep. A fresh wave of Afghan refugees may be inevitable given the fear of a Taliban takeover of Kabul and subsequent reprisal against the supporters of the current government and civilian population in a post-withdrawal scenario. Long-term factors are rise in drug trafficking from Afghanistan, terrorism, and more importantly, the operational connections of young Islamic radicals in Europe with the extremist forces with terror potential active in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region.

    Will Karzai Survive 2014?

    In times of back door diplomacy and brokerage of deals, Karzai’s political skill and experience in balancing the divergent interests of various stakeholders may assure him a role in fashioning Afghanistan’s new political arrangement.

    May 22, 2012

    The Battle for Kabul has Begun

    The planned Western draw down over the next two years is threatening to once again plunge Afghanistan into greater chaos and anarchy, with Kabul as the centre stage.

    April 18, 2012