Experts Speak

  • December 4, 2017
    Republic Day Parade 2018 will be special
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    That Republic Day Parade 2018 will be special is probably an understatement. Never have 10 heads of states been invited to this event, which India has done this time...

  • December 4, 2017
    Ivanka Trump boosts Indo-US relations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The 8th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), jointly hosted by the US and India and attended by 1,500 entrepreneurs, investors and eco-system supporters from 159 countries was held in Hyderabad from 28 to 30 November, 2017.

  • November 15, 2017
    India, US, Japan, Australia quadrilateral kicks off
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    November 12, 2017 witnessed the first meeting of officials of India, US, Japan and Australia meeting at Manila, giving shape to security cooperation...

  • November 15, 2017
    Continued US military assistance to Pakistan is unfortunate
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    When President Donald Trump unveiled his new Af-Pak policy on 21 August 2017 through a televised speech, he was most direct in telling Pakistan how it has been playing the double game with the US.

  • November 15, 2017
    Joint Training Doctrine
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As a follow up to the ‘Joint Doctrine, Indian Armed Forces - 2017’ in April this year, the Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) has now issued...

  • November 15, 2017
    Nirbhay-BrahMos Combo — Nemesis of adversaries
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    December 21, 2016 was bad for India when the trial test of the nuclear-capable ‘Nirbhay’ long-range cruise missile failed for the third time. According to DRDO officials, “The booster engine in Nirbhay’s first stage started working. The missile lifted off from its launcher.

  • November 15, 2017
    The Doodle of Indo-Pak talks
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Much speculation is in the air that Indo-Pak talks are round the corner and that foreign pressure will make Pakistan slowly come around. Nothing could be farther from the truth despite Pakistan’s sweet pill of granting wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him.

  • November 8, 2017
    Afghanistan via Chabahar — Strategic move
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran in May 2016, The trilateral engagement between India, Iran and Afghanistan was historic, expanding avenues of trade for India with Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Russia through the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC).

  • November 2, 2017
    Thumbs Up for the Rotary Wing – Indian Navy
    By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd)

    The Indian Navy is facing acute shortage of the Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) for replacing its aging fleet of Chetak helicopters for the frontline Frigates and Offshore Patrol Vessels with small-decks and aircraft carriers, as also for the shore based flights to extend support out at Sea for the smaller ships not designed to carry NUH.

  • October 23, 2017
    Defence Minister's Diwali in Andaman & Nicobar Command
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's two day visit to the Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC), and spending Diwali with the troops and families was a nice gesture.

  • October 17, 2017
    Visit of James Mattis — And Indo-US Defence Cooperation
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    US Secretary of Defence James Mattis arrived on a two-day visit at New Delhi on September 25 to hold talks with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. He is the first cabinet rank official under the Trump administration to visit India.

  • September 20, 2017
    Modi's Myanmar visit – And the Rohingya issue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Myanmar on September 5 for a two–day visit on his way back from the 9th BRICS Summit at Xiamen in China.

  • September 20, 2017
    Parrying ToT – US Defence firms spoof Make in India
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    It is well known that US firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing are bidding to enter the 'Make in India' initiative for supplying combat jets and military equipment to India.

  • September 20, 2017
    Indo-Japanese Strategic Partnership boosted
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Indo-Japanese relations have always been special. Even during the recent Doklam standoff, it was Japan's envoy to India Kenji Hiramatsu who said there should be no attempt to change the status quo on the ground by force; categorizing the crisis...

  • September 20, 2017
    Indo-Russian defence ties – Waning is misnomer
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Even as the armies of India and US are engaged in joint military two-week exercise 'Yudh Abhyas 2017' to hone their skills in counter insurgency and counter terror operations under a joint brigade headquarters at a military base in Washington...

  • September 13, 2017
    No Nonsense Approach of the New Defence Minister
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)

    So while the enthusiasm of the Defence Minister to interact with the Service Chiefs is most welcome and is praiseworthy, we recommend that she should pay more attention to the Department of Defence Production, the Ordnance Factory Board...

  • September 12, 2017
    Various challenges facing the new Defence Minister
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Mrs Sitharaman holding independent charge of Ministry of Commerce & Industry did have an overview of the pathetic state of equipping of the military; the chapter on defence on official website of Ministry of Commerce & Industry in 2014...

  • September 4, 2017
    Lady at the Helm of Affairs
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The challenges before the new Minister of Defence are formidable. Given her track record, the Indian armed forces are full of hope for better days ahead!

  • September 4, 2017
    Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman as Raksha Mantri
    By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd.)

    Appointment of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday, September 03, 2017 as the Defence Minister of India was welcomed as a refreshing news.

  • September 4, 2017
    New Defence Minister
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman has been appointed as the next Defence Minister. She is not the first lady holding this appointment since Indira Gandhi also held this portfolio, same as Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh Today. But she certainly is the first 'full-time' lady Defence Minister of India.

  • September 4, 2017
    President Trump's Af-Pak Policy
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Pakistan's has been playing the double game successfully all these years despite US and NATO military commanders in Afghanistan pointing out what the ground situation was; implying terrorist sanctuaries inside Pakistan must be destroyed.

  • September 4, 2017
    Selective Military Reforms – Why not holistic?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Based on recommendations of the government-appointed Lt Gen D B Shekatkar Committee "Enhancing Combat Capability and Rebalancing Defence Expenditure of the Armed Forces", government has approved 65 of the 188 Committee recommendations mainly pertain to Army that included redeploying 57,000 personnel.

  • September 4, 2017
    Doklam Pullback – Advantage Modi
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    There is no doubt that the simultaneous pullback from the Doklam standoff by the Indian Military and the PLA is advantage Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • August 22, 2017
    The Doklam Standoff
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd.)

    In all cases of boundary disputes between two countries, the sticking points evolve on the basis of historical records and differing perceptions of the boundary lines because of the inaccuracies of the old surveys and/or the mental conditionings of the people...

  • August 21, 2017
    The Doklam spill
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Never had one heard of any military in the world stooping so low as to indulge in stone-pelting.

  • August 21, 2017
    Indo-US Defence Cooperation – Geostrategic elevation
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The US Departments of Defence (DoD) and State Department, in a recent joint report to their Congress, said, "We see a growing convergence with India on our strategic outlook for the region, and we view India as an increasingly important regional security partner within and beyond the Indo-Asia-Pacific region."

  • August 11, 2017
    Confronting the Dragon
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The need of the hour is for the Indian armed forces to be prepared to meet with the challenges of a two-front war in the worst case scenario.

  • August 10, 2017
    Enhancement of Defence Budget 2017-18
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd.)

    A few days ago there was a report in the media regarding non-availability of certain categories of ammunition which was causing great concern among the Services...

  • August 10, 2017
    Rejuvenation – A Crying Need for India's Submarine Fleet
    By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd.)

    There is an emerging view that despite the approved programmes for rejuvenation, India is unlikely to have a credible submarine fleet by 2030 to match the emerging prowess of China in this segment of maritime power.

  • August 10, 2017
    Pakistan – in US terror spotlight
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The US has listed Pakistan among the nations providing "safe havens" to terrorists, saying terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and JeM continued to operate, train, organize and fundraise inside the country.

  • August 10, 2017
    China conquers Hambantota
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Sri Lanka's Hambantota port has been officially transferred to China for 99 years by the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

  • August 10, 2017
    Switching military uniforms to Khadi would be retrograde
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    According to a media reports, the Khadi Villages Industries Commission (KVIC) had requested the Armed Forces to consider using Khadi uniforms for security personnel, and the Ministry of Defence has sent specifications of military uniforms to the KVIC.

  • August 10, 2017
    Additional defence allocation of Rs 20,000 crore will only bridge partial criticalities
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per media reports, the MoD has sought an "urgent" additional allotment of Rs 20,000 crore for combat readiness of Armed Forces.

  • August 10, 2017
    UAV swarming – Needs focus
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Coinciding with China's military parade to mark the 90th birthday of the Peoples Liberation Army, China's first batch of unmanned aerial vehicles conducted live fire drills.

  • July 31, 2017
    Beyond the 18th Vijay Diwas
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    The 18th Vjay Diwas will be celebrated with the usual aplomb on July 26; wreath laying, homage and tributes to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in evicting the treacherous enemy.

  • July 31, 2017
    CPEC – China's yokel of terror
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    According to Pakistani media, there was a major attack on Pakistan Navy at Jiwani in Gwadar on June 19 when four gunmen on two bikes ambushed a vehicle of navy officers when they were on a routine round. The attackers opened indiscriminate fire killing one officer and wounding five.

  • July 31, 2017
    Malabar 2017 – Guilty conscience pricks China
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    During Malabar 2016 conducted in the Western Pacific, the Chinese media had gone ballistic alleging that the "Malabar naval exercise involving the Indian, US and Japanese navies is designed to "target" China's submarines in the East and South China Seas and to back America's Asia-Pacific rebalance strategy".

  • July 31, 2017
    Souring Iran-Pakistan relations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    The decline in Iran-Pakistan relations is continuing, the major reason being the same as in India-Pakistan and Afghanistan-Pakistan relations; Pakistan sponsored terrorism. In May this year, Iran warned Pakistan that it would hit terrorist safe havens inside Pakistan if the Pakistani Government does not confront militants who carry out cross-border attacks.

  • July 31, 2017
    Special Operations Division
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    At the recent two day Unified Commanders' Conference held on 10-11 July, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra apprised the audience that the Defence Cyber & Space Agencies and Special Operations Division (SOD) will soon become a reality.

  • July 7, 2017
    PM Modi's Historic Visit to Israel
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Prime Minister Modi's visit to Israel from July 4 to July 6 was historic being the first Prime Minister of India to visit Israel. If the Israeli paper 'Marker' wrote on June 28 "Wake up: the most important PM of the world is coming", Modi's visit...

  • July 7, 2017
    Defined Strategic Partnership boosting Make in India – but much work remains
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Defining the 'Strategic Partnership' (SP) took some 18 months after the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2016 was released. The private industry that had been waiting with baited breath, responded immediately.

  • July 7, 2017
    Another ISRO Milestone – more to follow
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    As the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket's XL variant lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota at 9.29 AM on June 23, carrying earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series weighing 712 kg and 30 co-passenger satellites...

  • July 7, 2017
    Chahabar – and US-Iran tensions
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    The trilateral engagement between India, Iran and Afghanistan during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran in May 2016 was historic, expanding avenues of trade for India with Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Russia through the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC).

  • June 30, 2017
    A Historic Meeting
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The historic meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump is expected to propel the relationship between India and the US to greater heights.

  • June 29, 2017
    Modi-Trump Meet – amidst Modi's 3-Nation Tour
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US President Donald Trump on June 26. Modi's US trip starting June 25 was part of his three-nation tour commencing with Portugal.

  • June 26, 2017
    Guardians for the Indian Navy
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    There is considerable optimism in India that the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Trump will usher in a new dawn in the relationship between India and the US.

  • June 23, 2017
    New Indigenous Bullet Proof Jacket for Forces
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    In an article titled 'Bullet Resistant Vests' in April this year, it was reported in these columns that Amrita University, Coimbatore is offering highly advanced technology bullet proof jackets (BPJs) and the proposal titled "Development of Hyper Velocity...

  • June 23, 2017
    QCG - flogging the dead horse?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    The Pakistani media is upbeat with the news that Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to continue with the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) established for talks with the Taliban in order to bring them into the reconciliation process. Obviously, Pakistan wanted to show some sort of diplomatic 'victory' after Chinese President Xi Jinping snubbed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by not granting him te customary meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Kazakhstan...

  • June 23, 2017
    AUSINDEX-17 - why should China bellyache?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    AUSINDEX-17, the joint India-Australia naval exercise was conducted from 13 to 17 June in the Indian Ocean. Every time India conducts / participates in bilateral / multilateral naval exercises in the Indo-Pacific, China goes bellyaching.

  • June 8, 2017
    PM Modi’s 4-nation tour
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on his four nation tour to Germany, Spain, Russia and France on May 29, it was reported that his main focus would be bilateral cooperation on economic (in backdrop of India having passed GST Bill...

  • June 8, 2017
    Another giant leap with GSLV Mk III
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    When India fired the high thrust cryogenic engine CE-20 launching GSLV Mk-III in its first experimental flight from Sriharikota on june 5, it was a monumental leap drawing the curtain on what the US sanctions prevented ISRO from doing in 2003, even as the US seeks strong ties with India in wake of all round Chinese aggression.

  • May 30, 2017
    Strategic Partnership Model — Game changer?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    On May 20, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley finalized the broad contours of the Strategic Partnership (SP) policy.

  • May 30, 2017
    New Defence Procurement Organization
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    According to recent media reports, government is mulling setting up a new autonomous organization, 'Defence Procurement Organization' (DPO), to be created within the MoD to deal exclusively with procurement for the Armed Forces as recommended by a committee headed by Dr Pritam Singh...

  • May 30, 2017
    Ransomware — Beware!
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    WannaCry or WannaCry 2.0 the ransomware that struck globally some 150 countries last month affected some 200,000 PCs worldwide.

  • May 30, 2017
    Empowering DIPP — or weakening defence?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Considerable confusion prevails about whether the proposed Defence Procurement Organization (DPO), as a follow up to the Dr Pritam Singh Committee recommendations, is to be 'all encompassing' in matters of defence procurement, which it actually should be.

  • May 30, 2017
    Next level Cyber War
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    The news about IAF's Sukhoi SU-30 gone missing near India-China border has been making headlines.

  • May 25, 2017
    Well begun...and miles to go — NDA@3
    By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd.)

    After what was termed as a lost decade as far as building up the strategic assets from the national security perspective, during May 2014, India witnessed the...

  • May 25, 2017
    Defence modernisation in three years of NDA rule
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd.)

    The three services had suffered prolonged neglect in respect of modernisation in the period 2004 to 2014 owing to a number of factors.

  • May 25, 2017
    NDA's achievements in defence sector in three years
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd.)

    The Modi government which completes three years on 26 May 2017 is planning to celebrate their achievements by putting out a report card giving out statistics...

  • May 25, 2017
    Defence in 3 years under NDA II
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    On May 26, 2017 the NDA II government completed three years in office. Last three years have seen India rising in economic strength and making way for greater say on the world stage.

  • May 20, 2017
    US nudges Pakistan — Wee bit only
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    The US National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has blamed Pakistan for deteriorating India-Pak relations and warned that the ties might worsen further if another "high- profile" terrorist attack emanates from across the border this year.

  • May 20, 2017
    Beyond ICJ ruling on Kulbhushan Jadhav
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    The unanimous verdict by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) staying the execution of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Yadav was on expected lines because Pakistan had violated India's right, provided under the Vienna...

  • May 20, 2017
    North Korea — Rogue supported by rogue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    As North Korea carried out another ballistic missile test, shortly after President Moon Jae-in took office in South Korea, US President Donald Trump called for "stronger sanctions" against North Korea, while China is urged restraint.

  • PM Modi's Sri Lanka visit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    When Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe came to India on a 5-day visit in April 2017, he had reiterated the invitation to Prime Minister...

  • May 18, 2017
    Expediting Defence Procurements
    By Ranjit Kumar

    India's defence acquisition framework is considered to be one of the most cumbersome, time consuming, complex and fraught with uncertainties.

  • May 15, 2017
    Strategic partnership policy — Needs speedy conclusion
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    When Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2016 was released by the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in Defexpo 2016, it was without few appendices, which were added later.

  • May 12, 2017
    GSAT-09 — Modi's gift to South Asia
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    GSAT-09 or SAS (South Asia Satellite) is the latest technological move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for integrating South Asia, a resolve he had shown at the swearing in of his government by inviting all SAARC leaders, including Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan.

  • May 12, 2017
    'Negative' defence budget - Goes more negative
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    The relationship between economy and defence is that both are dependent on each other. Defence cannot be strong without good economy...

  • April 25, 2017
    PM Modi's Israel visit — Expectations?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel on July 5-6 this year, first by any Indian Prime Minster will be a historic event of extraordinary proportions...

  • April 25, 2017
    Another joint doctrine — But who will implement?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Media is agog with headlines of "New defence doctrine to ensure Army, Navy, IAF can tackle entire spectrum of conflicts".

  • April 13, 2017
    Indo-Bangla relations at all time high — Teesta should be next step
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    The four day visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (April 7-10) has taken Indo-Bangladesh relations to an all time high.

  • April 13, 2017
    Cyber war — Where are we?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Cyber attacks in India have been on the rise over the years, particularly against government sites and Indian missions abroad despite several layers of security measures in place to protect against intrusions.

  • April 13, 2017
    Minesweepers void — Not good
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    As per media reports quoting the Parliamentary Committee for Defence, the existing fleet of six minesweeping vessels with the Indian Navy will be...

  • April 13, 2017
    China — Upping ante in Indo-Pacific
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Post the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration rejected China's claim to 'historic rights' in the South China Sea (SCS) brought up by Philippines last...