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  • Patterns of Arms Trade

    The SIPRI report on the volume of international arms transfers during 2015-19 highlights the strengths of key strategic partnerships such as Russia-India, US-Japan and China-Pakistan, reinforced by arms trade.

    March 25, 2020

    Pankaj asked: What are the different measures being taken by GoI to tackle smuggling of arms and ammunition by Naxals?

    P.V. Ramana replies: The Union government, in association with the State government(s), monitors known routes and suspected persons to deal with the smuggling of arms and ammunition by the Naxals/Maoists.

    Nuclear Arms Race in South Asia? – An Analysis

    Ever since India and Pakistan conducted their nuclear tests in 1998, it has been the favourite pastime of many analysts writing on nuclear issues to cast the strategic stability in South Asia in dark tones. This urban myth is primarily a Western invention although at times writers in the subcontinent as well have taken some part in it.

    May 2018

    DefExpo 2018: Making India a Defence Manufacturing Hub and an Exporter of Arms

    The challenge lies in demonstrating to potential importers that India, currently the world’s largest arms importer, has the capacity to manufacture and export the equipment required by their armed forces.

    April 09, 2018

    Maoists Deploying Pressure Mines

    While the intended targets of the Maoists are security forces personnel, often civilians and animals become casualties in blasts triggered by pressure mines.

    February 09, 2018

    EMP Weapons and the New Equation of War

    Besides military targets, a number of strategic civilian targets, like urban data and communication centres, stock exchanges, factories and other centres of gravity could also be attacked by e-bombs.

    October 13, 2017

    Mother of All Bombs: A New Age Weapon of Mass Destruction?

    Given the advertisement surrounding the use of MOAB, it is possible that the Trump administration is signalling to its adversaries the very lethal weapons in its arsenal and its willingness to use them.

    April 18, 2017

    21st Century Proliferation and Tracking: Tackling Arms Proliferation in the Modern Conflict Landscape

    21st Century Proliferation and Tracking: Tackling Arms Proliferation in the Modern Conflict Landscape

    Time and again, civilian masses the world over have been at the receiving end of legions of conventional weapons systems leaving destructive direct and indirect consequences in their wake. The copious arms -and their ammunition- currently in circulation range from assault rifles, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft weapons to pistols, machine guns as well as missiles, grenades and other explosive ordnances.

    June 23, 2015

    Running Low on Ammunition

    If we have no qualms about importing from other countries why cannot we buy ammunition from our own private sector companies? While restrictions could apply to production of small arms and ammunition, for large calibre arms and ammunition there is a case for permitting the private sector companies to chip in.

    April 03, 2014

    Lavanya asked: What strategies could be employed to contain the arms nexus prevalent between the separatist-extremist groups & some of the neighbouring countries?

    Vivek Chadha replies: It is a well established fact that the transfer and smuggling of arms does take place across India’s borders. This is especially an acute problem in the case of Northeast India. The challenge is accentuated because of porous borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar. It is also difficult to stop such activities due to limited control over the border areas of these countries. In some cases, there is also collusion between state and non-state agencies to smuggle arms. These arms come from weapon markets in Cambodia, Laos and are often sourced from China.

    There are two major factors which lead to the smuggling of arms. First, it takes place as a result of terrorist groups and smugglers active in the border areas exploiting it as an illegal trade to make money. Given the high profit nature of this kind of trade, the incentive to undertake gun running remains high. This is furthered because of the need for such military hardware by terrorist groups like CPI (Maoist) in the hinterland, which may not have access to sophisticated weapons, with the exception of those captured from security forces. Second, weapons smuggling is done as part of a state sponsored strategy to destabilise India.

    In both these cases, the measures required to be put in place to prevent this activity are similar. First, cooperation with countries which are not directly involved in gun running should be strengthened by way of intelligence sharing and mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties. Second, fencing along borders should be completed urgently to limit free movement. Third, there is a need to enhance the employment of electronic means for surveillance along the borders. Fourth, both the strength and capacity of border guarding forces should be enhanced to ensure that they are better equipped to stop gun running. Fifth, intelligence along border areas needs to improve. This can best be accomplished by coordination between intelligence, border guarding forces, local police and the people in the area. Sixth, stringent laws should be employed to ensure conviction through newly amended acts like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2012, which can book offenders under counter terrorism offences. Last, since the nature of this crime is international in its scope, there is a need to highlight it and build pressure upon countries in the diplomatic fora to curb the existing trend.

    Posted on January 30, 2014