Friday, May 23, 2014, Chandigarh, India
N A T I O N A L  S E C U R I T Y  F O R U M

The Tribune National Security Forum

With India at a crossroads and a new government taking charge, The Tribune has decided to set up a National Security Forum to ideate, discuss and bring clarity on the imperatives and challenges faced by the country with regard to its security and that of its billion-plus people. The purview of the forum will not be confined to military affairs but encompass the entire gamut of issues that have a bearing on the country's security, such as water, food, health, energy, technology, internal unrest and geo-strategic developments. The aim will be to identify the challenges and find ways to effectively counter these. To begin with, The Tribune will, in the coming months, carry a series of articles from experts analysing various aspects of national security and invite comments from readers. The first in the series begins today — a three-part article that sets the stage for a wider debate on national security. We welcome your comments and suggestions on the articles and the forum. Please send these to the [email protected]
— Editor-in-Chief

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


What’s wrong with our national security policy?
Lt Gen S. S. Mehta
ixtyseven years into Independence and despite four wars, including a humiliating defeat in 1962; matched by a consummate victory over Pakistan in 1971; the Kargil intrusion, the Mumbai terrorist attack, scores of insurgent and internal security movements, India remains cocooned in a yawning void between promise and delivery. If one thought India has had enough time to put the building blocks for a sound national security policy into place, one would be disappointed. On this critical issue, we remain vague and incongruous. On the contrary, it would seem that there is an inexplicable disconnect in policy makers’ minds about the linkages between National Security and National Defence.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Wanted: A National Security Commission
Lt Gen SS Mehta
he earlier article established that India does not in effect have a National Security Policy and has, as a result, bled consistently for almost 70 years without seriously attempting to staunch the bleeding. On the contrary, instead of seeking solutions or studying the models of successful countries in this upper-end seriously nation-building enterprise, we have adopted a peculiarly Indian escapism where we philosophically rationalise, even laud a patented propensity for inaction and comatose, sleep-walking stratagem in which "No decision" in itself becomes typified as a "decision" and thereby the subject of much insipid appreciation.

Friday, May 23, 2014


Defence expenditure: Get value for money
In the concluding part of the series, the writer focuses on defence expenditure and argues that it is subject to knee-jerk and lopsided accretions. Plans to modernise slip and self-reliance is given a go by. All this must change if we are looking for defence expenditure to be a catalyst for growth
Lt Gen SS Mehta
The national security policy will place exacting demands on national defence. These will inevitably guide the services towards attaining a joint, lean, mean, fleet-footed, precision firepower-enabled capability for operations on land, sea, air, underwater, space and cyberspace. The immediate challenge will be the need for an across-the-spectrum, multidimensional capability, to replace the current single- service, ponderous, and unwieldy structures, supported by archaic logistic practices. However, this paper leaves this discussion for another day and time.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

In the second in a two-part series, a former Chief Justice of India studies how Article 370 came about and why its ‘temporary’ nature does not mean it can be abrogated, modified or replaced unilaterally.

Enactment and scope of Article 370
Adarsh Sein Anand
ith the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India, jurisdiction in matters of external affairs, defence and communication was transferred to the Government of India and Union Parliament was given power to make laws for the State for the purposes of those three matters only. The Union Parliament had no jurisdiction in any other matter. Sovereignty, insofar as the internal administration of the state was concerned, remained with the ruler.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Finalise national security policy urgently
N. N. Vohra
The most urgent need for the Central Government is to secure appropriate understanding with the states for finalising an appropriate national security policy and putting in place a modern, fully coordinated security-management system which can effectively negate any arising challenge to the territorial security, unity and integrity of India.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

National Security Forum
Synergy between Centre & states a must
In the concluding part of the article on management of national security, the writer calls for the Centre to take a more proactive approach by adopting various initiatives for promoting trust and mutual understanding with the states.
N. N. Vohra
OR progressively enhancing meaningful Centre-states relations in regard to national security management it would be useful for the Central Government to also consider various possible initiatives for promoting trust and mutual understanding between New Delhi and the state capitals.