Thursday, 30 July 2015

India-Pakistan: Please use the impending 

opportunity well

July 29, 2015 

Taken together the actions and the rhetoric can indicate India’s new strategic doctrine.
 Since India has not explicitly owned up to this yet, it has been variously termed as
‘disproportionate response’ in the media and as defensive offence’ by its National
 Security Adviser (NSA), Ajit Doval.
Doval used the term in a lecture immediately prior to the elections early last year
 that has belatedly has become famous for his statement: ‘You can do one Mumbai,
you will lose Baluchistan.’ The lecture itself is important in reading as India’s current
strategic doctrine.
This is a step forward from earlier regimes that were coy of setting out where they
stood on defense and security. The resulting situation was such that analysts could
 be best visualized as ‘blind men of Hindoostan’ clustered around an elephant and
using whatever came within their grasp as the strategic doctrine of the state.
Since India has not published a white paper or strategic review paper, the
situation is not materially different but the advance this time round is that the
government owns up to being tough for both political and strategic reasons.
The political reasons for this are easy to see. Prime Minister Modi in an election
speech had referred to his 56-inch chest. A tough image is therefore one that he has
self-selected to. The ruling party subscribes to cultural nationalism. This ideology has
 it that India has neglected her defenses, leading to its subjugation not only by
colonialists but also by Muslims in the medieval ages. India has grown back its muscles
 which can now be unapologetically displayed to keep Pakistan on the backfoot.
Political utility apart, there are also strategic reasons for owning up to a more proactive
 and offensive strategic doctrine. It serves a deterrent purpose. The government having
prioritized is unwilling to see it thwarted by a mega terror attack originating in Pakistan. It therefore prefers to serve notice to Pakistan on the consequences.
It also has foreign policy benefit in that it enables it to then engage Pakistan from a
 position of strength. The preceding months of exchanges of firing on the Line of
Control serve to condition Pakistan that it is no longer business-as-usual.
Alongside, if a recent Pakistani corps commanders’ conference outcome is to be
believed, Indian intelligence has been fostering trouble in both provinces bordering
Afghanistan. A media report in the UK has revealed that the MQM party in Karachi,
currently commanding the attention of a disciplining sweep in Karachi, has reportedly
 received funding from Indian sources.
In so far as these lines of strategy are to sensitize Pakistan to its soft underbelly with
 the purpose of deterrence, they appear justifiable. Having pegged Pakistan down to
 an extent, India can then afford a measured reaching out.
Its new foreign secretary has put in place the possibilities for this with his early visit
to Pakistan on being handpicked for the assignment. The policy appears to be on
course, with Mr. Modi contemplating going to Pakistan on the invite of Mr. Sharif
for the next SAARC meet. More can be expected on this in case the two meet on the sidelines of the United Nations summit in September.
The problem is in between the cup and the lip. The recent terror attack in a border
 town in Indian Punjab which left ten dead is indicative. The attack is taken as having
 Pakistani imprimatur by many in India.
If so, then its choice of target in a relatively remote location suggests strategic
messaging: that Pakistan has assets it could use more dangerously in case India
were to twist the knife Pakistan alleges India holds at its underbelly. From this point
of view, the two intelligence establishments that have no illusions of each other can now desist from a worse joust.
This would however take political control. It is clear that in Pakistan the control is with the military. The Pakistani military would likely take its cue from India.
India is aware that as an interlocutor, Mr. Sharif, continues to have the same limitations
 he had when the previous National Democratic Alliance government in Delhi had attempted
 a reaching out through the Lahore process in 1999. Therefore, India has acceded to a
meeting between the National Security Advisers and the two military operations’ heads.
A frank exchange between the two sides at this meeting—the schedule of which is not
been reached yet—can prove useful in determining political will on both sides to exercise control over their respective proxies. It can then open up possibilities at the following meeting
between the principals.
The two sides bear reminding of the Indian NSA’s speech referred to earlier. He seemed
to think that Pakistan could be deterred, saying, ‘Once they know that India has shifted
its gear from a defensive mode to defensive offence they will find that it is unaffordable
 for them.’ He went on to say that since the two sides know each others ‘tricks’, they would be able to settle.
The danger is in what he went on to say. To him, since this intelligence agency-led
tussle would not involve military engagement; there would be no nuclear threshold to
 reckon with. Since the speech was prior to his being briefed on the nuclear equations
in his new capacity as head of India’s Executive Council of the Nuclear Command
 Authority, he is now presumably has a better nuclear picture.
Hopefully, he finds his statement as a naïve underestimation of nuclear dangers.
Only in such a case will he use the opportunity of the meeting with his Pakistani
counterpart usefully, as an opportunity for both to get off the escalator or slide.
Else, whichever the metaphor chosen, the net result could well be the same.

Monday, 20 July 2015



Khalid Kidwai, after retiring end last year from his decade and half stewardship role in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program as head of its Strategic Plans Division, presented a holistic picture of Pakistan’s nuclear direction at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference 2015.[2] He candidly admitted that Nasr, Pakistan’s tactical nuclear missile system, was part of its ‘full spectrum’ nuclear capability buildup designed to deter conventional operations by India, along with a ‘healthy’ conventional capability balance. In his view, it was to stump Cold Start since to him nuclear weapons were an extention of conventional weapons and would be used to supplement conventional capability. He rationalized this by referring to its deterrence value in this was aimed  at closing what was to India a gap below the nuclear threshold in which it could employ its conventional advantage. His emphasis on deterrent role of nuclear capability was probed by his interlocutor, Peter Lavoy, as to whether Pakistan would dissociate itself from militant groups since such linkages were destabilizing, as they prompted India to rely on its conventional forces.  In answer, Kidwai seemed to justify the connection between the military and militants.
This prelude brings out the linkage between Pakistan’s strategic doctrine and its military doctrines – subconventional, conventional and nuclear - as also brings to fore the interaction between the doctrines – strategic and military - of the two states, India and Pakistan. Clearly then, any examination of these doctrines cannot be done in isolation but instead has to be done collectively and in their interaction with the doctrine of the other side. This paper attempts to make such an examination. It first looks at Pakistani doctrine and the Indian perspective of the doctrines. It then looks at Indian doctrines and their inter-dependence with Pakistani doctrines. It finally tries to work out the opportunities that exist for doctrinal exchanges between the two states for strategic stability, conflict management and conflict resolution.
Pakistan’s doctrines
Unlike in most states in which strategic doctrine is a governmental prerogative, Pakistan’s strategic doctrine is one made by its military. The military aims to create the conditions for resolution of the Kashmir question, which to it is one of self-determination. With military deterrence in place, politicians are to get on with resolving the issue with India. Deterrence is therefore the declaratory strategic doctrine. The manner this is worked is by nuclear deterrence covering both nuclear and conventional levels. Nuclear weapons are to make up for the conventional asymmetry with India, even if a conventional balance, though not parity, is sought to be maintained. With deterrence in place at the conventional-nuclear level, at the subconventional level, proxy war through militants is to incentivize Indian interest in resolution of the Kashmir question. Strategic doctrine is therefore not merely one of deterrence as Pakistan presents it, but of offensive deterrence, with Pakistan being offensive at the subconventional level through use of proxies and at the nuclear level by a tacit ‘first use’ doctrine.
At the nuclear level, ‘full spectrum’ capability implies having second strike capability not in the traditional invulnerable sense of a ‘boomer’, but through other measures such as vertical proliferation, dispersion, secrecy, using diesel electric submarines etc. It also has nuclear weapons and delivery systems enabling operational level and a ‘shoot and scoot … quick response’ tactical level nuclear weapons capability. Not adhering to No First Use and intending to deploy its nuclear capability in conflict, it has different options of nuclear first use. This facilitates graduated escalation, thereby incentivizing avoidance of value targeting for India. A conflict going nuclear in this manner can, with minimum damage possible, be expected to focus international attention on its earliest termination. The post conflict phase would then inevitably include pressure for resolution of the ‘root causes’ that include Kashmir.
The nuclear doctrine is easily placed in the offensive category. It does not adhere to NFU; it deploys tactical level nuclear weapons and is a warfighting nuclear doctrine. In addition, the extension of ballistic missile ranges to about 3000m with the Shaheen III is intended to cover all of India’s landmass and its island territories, including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands where Pakistan apprehends a prospective location for long range ballistic missiles and strategic submarines. Khalid Kidwai justifies this as an attempt to degrade India’s second strike capability.     
At the conventional level, the doctrine is not an offensive one. The conventional equation with India has changed over the past two decades with India having the edge of one strike corps over Pakistan. It can be argued that Pakistan’s was an offensive doctrine half a century ago, but no longer. In the 1965 War, it launched Operation Grand Slam and also the thrust by 1 Armoured Division into Khem Karan. However, in the 1971 War it was largely defensive and did not strike in the west in order to save its East, even though it could have done so in the west. In the seventies and eighties, it was credited with an offensive conventional doctrine and intent to make quick gains relying on interior lines of communication and proximity to the border of its military bases. However, conventional asymmetry under circumstance of US aid cut off in the nineties and a raging proxy war in Kashmir made resort to offensive respectively difficult and unnecessary. Pakistan’s conventional doctrine can therefore be seen to be one of defensive deterrence in that it maintains a capability to be able to blunt India’s conventional offensives, while attempting through strategic posturing to make quick gains of its own.
At the subconventional level its historical proxy war penchant easily enables characterizing of its doctrine as an offensive doctrine.  While it has for tactical reasons owing to the situation to its west restrained itself over the last decade, it has the capability to up the ante. This continues to exist due to the population in Kashmir continuing to be alienated from India to an extent. It has the capability to up the proxy war ante in India with mega terror attacks, witnessed twice over last decade. However, its alleged attempt at expanding proxy war possibilities in the Indian hinterland have not been met with any success, allegations of minority perpetrated terrorism in India being highly exaggerated. India’s subconventional response measures continuing in place and its counter infiltration posture strengthened by the LC fence have influenced Pakistan strategy (as distinct from doctrine). India has indicated no desire to settle outstanding differences Pakistan’s way and it has instead, in Pakistan’s view, subject Pakistan to a reverse proxy war. Pakistan’s subconventional doctrine has consequently shifted in its focus – temporarily – towards Afghanistan, launch pad of India’s alleged proxy war against Pakistan; but remains offensive. Even its subconventional level responses are offensive; witness Pakistan army’s tackling of terror in its west.
India’s doctrines
India’s strategic doctrine, though unwritten, can be seen to be moving from defensive deterrence to offensive deterrence and in relation to Pakistan is arguably one of compellence. India, though pledged to a bilateral and peaceful settlement to the Kashmir dispute, is unable to countenance politically the implications for sovereignty over the Valley. It has therefore had to deter Pakistan from militarily changing the status quo. However, rising power asymmetry in India’s favour and its ambitions have led to India wanting to transcend the region. It is therefore moving from offensive deterrence to compellence, visible in the deepening conventional military asymmetry, intelligence-led reversal of proxy war at the subconventional level and a variegated nuclear capability enabling both first strike potential, if it’s BMD and spy satellite capabilities are taken seriously, and an invulnerable second strike capability by decade end. Pakistan, seeing the writing on the wall and going downhill, is expected to fall into line. This bespeaks of compellence and is reflected in its military doctrines. 
Whereas its conventional capability based on counter offensive capability enabled defensive deterrence, it was unable to extend conventional deterrence to the subconventional level. The nuclear factor had intervened with Pakistan checkmating India’s conventional capability and gaining thereby impunity at the subconventional level. India’s has been a defensive subconventional level response thus far aimed at containing the proxy war. It appears to have covertly launched its proxy war in Baluchistan as early as last decade. Pakistan’s complaint found mention in the Sharm es Shaikh joint statement and has more unambiguously been repeated half decade down the line with the Pakistan army leveling a direct accusation this year.
The shift to the offensive is readily visible at the conventional level. The Cold Start doctrine was advertised as ‘proactive strategy’. The capability has been created within the pivot corps for offensive operations with integrated battle groups. Strike corps continue to practice in exercises multiple obstacle crossings along multiple axes. The shift from defensive deterrence to offensive was to end Pakistani impunity at the subcoventional level. Pakistan’s nuclear cover is given short shrift with one chief saying that they are not for warfighting but are ‘a strategic capability and that is where it should end.’[3] There is a decided nonchalance in India’s reception of Nasr. The answer to it is taken to be at the nuclear level even as offensive conventional operations envisage even strike corps operations. In one report, a strategic command (as distinct from strategic forces command) is to be operationalised, perhaps based on Central Command, for coordinating deep battles of strike corps on enemy territory.
Counter intuitively the nuclear doctrine is offensive. The NFU in the doctrine is taken as reflecting defensive deterrence. However, since NFU is merely a declaration of intent and that the doctrine envisages ‘massive’ retaliation for inflicting punitive levels of nuclear damage make it less defensive than it is advertised. Taken in relation to the conventional doctrine it is decidedly more offensive than India would admit to. As seen, the conventional doctrine is an offensive one. In light of Pakistani projections of a low nuclear threshold, there is need to pull up the nuclear threshold so as to create the necessary gap for conventional operations below the threshold. This is attempted by promising a massive counter strike, presumably counter value to any form of nuclear use against India or its troops anywhere, including on enemy territory. Therefore, the declaratory nuclear doctrine in conjunction with the offensive conventional doctrine is offensive. Together they reflect and express a strategic doctrine of compellence.
Additionally, since both the subconventional doctrine of 2006 and conventional doctrine of 2004 were revised without mention in the open domain even by way of a press release in 2010 and 2013 respectively,[4] there is no guarantee that the declaratory nuclear doctrine of 2003 continues as India’s nuclear doctrine.[5] The logic of ‘massive’ nuclear retaliation does not stand strategic scrutiny in the more likely circumstance of nuclear first use by Pakistan of lower order nuclear first use. The findings on the global climate effects of even a regional nuclear war since the doctrine was adopted in 2003 suggest that it is unimplementable (to use Admiral Bhagwat’s phrase). Therefore, it is well nigh likely that India may have an operational doctrine distinct from its declaratory doctrine. In effect, India may be contemplating a quid pro quo and quid pro quo plus response, for which it has the capability.
The doctrine-strategy link
There is apparently a doctrinal contest on between the two states. At the subconventional level, India has turned the tables on Pakistan, if Pakistan’s protestations of being on the receiving end of India’s intelligence operations are taken at face value. At the conventional level, India’s proactive doctrine has led to Pakistan reviewing its conventional counter in the exercise series Azm e Nau and going in for tactical nuclear weapons. The latter was to plug the gap between the subconventional and nuclear levels that India wanted to use for its conventional operations. At the nuclear level, both doctrines at a declaratory level continue as offensive doctrines.
India questions Pakistan’s resolve for lower order first use by continuing with its conventional exercises involving strike corps such the one this year that tested the integrated battle groups (IBG) of a pivot corps in South Western Command and a strike corps of Western Command. The exercise area being the same in general area Suratgarh and the dates in late April suggests that the two exercised together with the pivot corps providing the launch pads for the strike corps in the area captured by its IBGs.[6] This implies the strike corps, not needing to get involved in the break in battles, would be able with its complement of forces to strike deeper. This is to challenge Pakistan’s resolve to follow through on its deterrent promise of nuclear first use. Alongside, it can be imagined that the two other strike corps would also be in action and so would an assortment of pivot corps IBGs, such as Gurj Division that also practiced its paces this year.
In turn, Pakistan questions India’s threat to ‘call its bluff’ and its follow through with ‘massive’ nuclear retaliation. Pakistan’s coverage through Shaheen III of possible sites of strategic assets as far away as the Andaman and Nicobar islands is to degrade the ability and intent of ‘massive’ retaliation, thereby discouraging it. The interactivity between the two doctrines is evident. India’s ‘massive’ nuclear retaliation postulation has led to damage limitation thinking in Pakistan in its acquiring ballistic missiles of the appropriate range. The aim is perhaps to encourage a shift towards proportionate response on India’s part, thereby reducing any damage that may accrue on account of its nuclear first use. The unconsidered fallout of Pakistan’s action - advertised by no less than Khalid Kidwai as intended to deny India a second strike capability - is to make ‘massive’ nuclear retaliation appear more promising to India under the logic of ‘use them, lose them’.
More importantly, Kidwai’s reasoning betrays a gap in his cognizance of nuclear theory. He says that  this  is to ‘deny’ India a second strike capability, little realizing that this is inherently destabilizing since it would provoke India to go in instead for the ‘massive’ counter strike or indeed attempt a first strike of its own regardless at the crunch of its NFU pledge. In fact, mutually deterrence is based on mutually assured destruction ability on both sides. If one side attempts to deny the other side such an ability, it would impose pressure on the side so denied for being, to quote General Patton, ‘firstest with the mostest’ or be consider first strike (as distinct from first use).
Likewise, there is a flaw in India’s nuclear doctrine in its use of term ‘massive’ in first place. Since, as seen, such levels of attack on a nuclear power with nuclear weapons in three digits is not feasible, India by not undertaking a review of its declaratory doctrine even after a decade of its promulgation in 2003, is compounding the earlier error of inclusion of the term. If indeed it has reviewed its doctrine and has a different operational doctrine, then this lack of transparency on India’s part is leading to vertical proliferation on Pakistan’s part.
The interlocking of the doctrines of the two sides at all three levels – subconventional, conventional and nuclear – is not conducive to security for either state or the region. With Pakistan indicating that it is feeling the pinch from India’s intelligence operations, it has three options. One is to revive the Kashmiri insurgency, a problematic proposition in light of India’s control. Second, it could escalate the proxy war in Afghanistan in order to set the conditions for reverting its attention to its east. Third, it could resort to mega terror attacks, but runs the risk of India’s conventional counter. This counter need not necessarily be in the Cold Start mode, but may be infliction of harm by conventional forces to include air attacks and possible limited forays by an IBG or two with lightening retraction.
The prospects of escalation in this last scenario lend pause. Since Pakistan may not be able to respond in the air medium, being army dominated it may attempt do so on land. This could be in the Kashmir theatre so as to create a gap in the fence briefly for influx of terrorists to revive the insurgency. Its precautionary moves elsewhere could trigger the Cold Start timeline. Since Pakistan would be able to cope with IBGs by themselves, India may want to supplement with strike corps to come out on top of the engagement. Pakistan seeing this as a test of its resolve – India’s attempt at calling its bluff – it may be inclined from a future deterrence point of view to exhibit its tactical nuclear weapons. With the introduction of nuclear weapons on the battlefield, India may find itself in a commitment trap. Escalation can ensue, particularly if Pakistan also preemptively employs its Shaheen III. This may push India towards ‘massive’ nuclear retaliation, where it could otherwise have settled for proportionate retaliation under the ‘flexible’ nuclear retaliatory logic. Since nuclear confidence building measures have not proceeded to the required extent, de-escalation and exchange termination would be dependent on diplomatic resources of the international community.
Clearly, there is a case for a doctrinal exchange between India and Pakistan. Both have exhibited deficiencies in their understanding of nuclear doctrine with Khalid Kidwai not appreciating the criticality of second strike ability for stability and India promising unnecessarily a ‘massive’ nuclear retaliation and unable to step back from the commitment trap it is in even a decade since the gaffe. Pakistan’s projection of South Asia as a nuclear hotspot in its intent to go nuclear and  India’s show of nonchalance in contemplating first use by its adversary do not build confidence that  the two states are as responsible as they appear to themselves.
India cannot wait for its neighbor’s initiative. Pakistan is military ruled. It has less to lose. It is living in the past. India is the major power in the region. Its economic trajectory can certainly withstand limited war and may even stand to benefit by it, but even a limited nuclear war may be a little too much. India therefore must reconcile its strategic doctrine with its grand strategy. An economy-centric grand strategy is not in sync with a strategic doctrine of compellence. The strategic doctrine requires being tweaked to revert to deterrence, albeit offensive deterrence. This must then reflect in the military doctrines: nuclear, conventional and subconventional. The National Security Council has its task cut out.

[1]Ali Ahmed is author of India’s Doctrine Puzzle: Limiting War in South Asia (Routledge 2014), On War in South Asia and On Peace in South Asia (both CinnamonTeal 2015). He blogs at
[2] ‘A Conversation with Gen. Khalid Kidwai’, Monitor 360, Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference 2015 March 23, 2015, available at, accessed on 16 May 2015.
[3] Hans M. Kristensen ‘Indian Army Chief: Nukes Not For Warfighting’, available at
[4] Ali Ahmed, ‘Opening up the doctrinal space’, available at, accessed on 29 April 2015.
[5] Ali Ahmed,  ‘This Year’s Maneuver Season In India’, available at, accessed on 12 May 2015.

[6] Ali Ahmed, ‘What This Year’s Maneuver Season in India Tells Us’, available at, accessed on 14 May 2015.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

What Does Khalid Kidwai mean?

There is (sic), of late, there have been reports of the Nicobar, and the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, being developed as bases, potentially as strategic bases … if those bases are not covered then inadvertently Pakistan will be allowing, so to say, a second strike capability            to India within its land borders ... it is now a comprehensive coverage of any particular         land area that India might think of putting its weapons.
Khalid Kidwai, former head of Strategic Plans Division (SPD), Pakistan Army, 10).
Even though the second incumbent following Khalid Kidwai’s departure is now in the chair that Kidwai held for over a decade in Pakistan’s National Command Authority, he is not quite history yet. Kidwai acquired early notoriety for little fault of his. During the Operation Parakram period, in an interview to a couple of researchers from an Italian think tank, Kidwai had given out the broad outlines of Pakistani thinking on use of nuclear weapons.[1]
He had indicated that first use was possible and had given out Pakistani thresholds or redlines. Of the four parameters – territorial, attritional, economic and stability – he had used the term ‘large’ setbacks with three. This meant only if Pakistan lost large amount of territory or suffered large attrition to its forces or was destabilized considerably, either socially or economically, would it contemplate nuclear resort. Contrary to some Indian commentary on Pakistani redlines this exposition by Kidwai in a way set the Pakistani threshold reasonably high. The influence of Kidwai’s use of the term ‘large’ was such that on redeployment, India figured that the window for conventional operations existed below the nuclear level. This energized its formulation of what was colloquially called ‘cold start’ doctrine and which has now come to be termed the ‘proactive’ doctrine.
Kidwai, in his latest statement, has attempted to link the evolution of Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine and arsenal to India’s nuclear doctrine. In the main his thesis is that, whereas Pakistan originally had minimum credible deterrence as its nuclear doctrine, it has since shifted to full-spectrum deterrence. The implication of the former is that the arsenal is small and is largely for deterrence based on a city-busting capability. This explains Kidwai’s high threshold since counter-value targeting would require fairly high degree of provocation, such as ‘large’ loss of territory etc.
Kidwai appears to suggest that, in light of the window of conventional opportunity India espied, Pakistan had to rethink its deterrence. As it is Pakistan, by not acceding to No First Use, was already subscribing to a different notion of nuclear deterrence than India. Whereas to India nuclear weapons deterred nuclear weapons and not war itself, to Pakistan nuclear deterrence was, as with the NATO in the Cold War, to extend to cover deterrence of conventional attack also. Therefore, to stymie India’s move away from deep battle by strike corps to shallow nuclear threshold cognizant operations by Integrated Battle Groups, Pakistan was forced to go in for tactical nuclear weapons (TNW).
Kidwai goes on to challenge India’s declaratory nuclear doctrine that requires a strategic, presumably counter-value, response to any sort of nuclear first use by an adversary on it or on its troops anywhere. He seems to be arguing against a position taken by some in India that there is nothing called TNW: all nuclear weapons are strategic. This echoes the very first debate regarding nuclear weapons, whether they are a wholly different category of weapons or are they just another weapon, if of a higher order of magnitude.
This doctrinal interaction implies that if Pakistan initiates a TNW, India would be relieved of its NFU and would be liable to strike back to inflict punitive nuclear damage of unacceptable proportions. Therefore, if Pakistan was to contemplate using TNW, as evidently it does, it would require first catering for India’s strike back. This can best be by deterrence, failing which an ability for counter strike is thought necessary. Indeed the latter enables the former. An ability to degrade India’s arsenal is necessary to assure India that in case it was to strike back with its declared levels of nuclear violence, then Pakistan not only has the ability to hit back in kind but also to degrade India’s ability to continue in the exchange(s).
This, in Pakistan’s thinking, would deter India from carrying through with its doctrinal promise. This would then incentivize Indian change of thinking in favour of TNW use to counter Pakistani introduction of TNW into the conflict. While making for a nuclear conflict it still had the potential of preserving Pakistan as a state and society since TNW exchange(s) would be at the lower end of the nuclear ladder. Militarily, Pakistan would have checked India’s conventional operations by using TNW but politically also would have brought down international pressure for conflict termination. Pakistan would thus be able to survive a nuclear war of its own making and its army would have a rationale to stay atop its internal power structure claiming to have won, or at least not lost, a nuclear war. 
Kidwai, explaining the range of the Shaheen III set at 2750km, seems to suggest that India’s declaratory doctrine of ‘massive’ nuclear retaliation entails Pakistan’s placing the entire Indian landmass and now its island territories under Pakistani ballistic missile coverage. To recapitulate his phrasing: “Pakistan will be allowing, so to say, a second strike capability (italics added)to India within its land borders … (and) any particular land area that India might think of putting its weapons. The question is why does Khalid Kidwai, who has headed a nuclear war-making machine and presumably aware of nuclear theory, wish to deny India a second strike capability.
The first destabilization connotation is that intent to deny second strike capability to an adversary is suggestive of an attempt to gain first strike advantage. It is unlikely that Pakistan can entertain any such hopes in light of India’s large and variegated arsenal, presumably ably spirited away by its Strategic Force Command. Escalation will likely result in case India perceives Pakistan is readying to hit its missile sites intended for furnishing India its second strike capability. India not wanting to ‘lose them’, may likely ‘use them’ and earlier than it might have planned for.
Second, Kidwai rocks theory by not ‘allowing’ – a hubris laden word - India a second strike capability. It is often said that the Cold War remained ‘cold’ on account of mutual deterrence termed MAD (mutually assured destruction). Under the circumstance, a side would only go ‘firstest with the mostest’ (to paraphrase General Patton from a different context), if it believes that it can wrest a first strike advantage. MAD expelled any such notions; resulting in stability. Arguably, South Asia is in the MAD era with both states with both arsenals in lower three digits. Deterrence stability can be arrived at between the two states. Hopefully, Kidwai’s successor, Mazhar Jamil, knows better.
- See more at:

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Publications update - Jul 2015

  • Book s– 3
  • Edited book (co-editor) – 1
  • IDSA Monographs – 2, Unpublished monograph (USI) - 1
  • Book chapters – 12
  • Articles in refereed journals – 16 (Strategic Analysis – 6)
  • Articles in military journals – 25
  • Articles in other journals – 32 (EPW – 1)
  • IDSA publications – 23 (Issue Briefs – 6, Journal of Defence Studies - 16)
  • Book reviews - 36
  • Web - -   39 ; -   32;  41 ; - 30; Other - 41
  • Newspapers- 35
  • Publications while in military service (prior to Jul 2008) - 95
       1.     India’s Doctrine Puzzle: Limiting War in South Asia, New Delhi: Routledge, 2014.
          2.     On War in South Asia (CinnamonTeal, 2015)
          3.     On Peace in South Asia (CinnamonTeal, 2015)
Edited volumes
1.     Ali Ahmed, J Panda and Prashant Singh (eds.), Towards a New Asian Order, New Delhi: Shipra Publications, 2012
          1.     Reconciling Doctrines: Prerequisite for Peace in South Asia, IDSA Monograph Series No. 3, 2010
     2.     India’s Limited War Doctrine: The Structural Factor, IDSA Monograph Series No. 10, 2012
Chapters in edited volumes
1.     ‘India on the doctrinal front’, in S.N. Kile and P. Schell (eds.) Emerging Military Technologies and the Implications for Strategic Stability in the Twenty-first Century, SIPRI (forthcoming 2015)
2.     ‘Indian army doctrines’ in Harsh Pant (ed.), Doctrine Handbook (forthcoming 2015)
3.     ‘Countering Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir: Debates in Indian Army’ in Maroof Raza (ed.), Confronting Terrorism, New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2009
4.     ‘Applicability of Sub-Conventional Operations Doctrine to Counter Insurgency in Assam’, in Bhattacharya, R. and S. Pulipaka (eds.), Perilous Journey : Debates on Security and Development in Assam, New Delhi: Manohar, 2011
5.     ‘India 2030: With History as guide’ in Lele, A. and N. Goswami (eds.), Asia 2030:The Unfolding Future, New Delhi: Lancer 2011
6.     ‘India’s Nuclear Doctrine: The Military Dimension’, in Jayant Baranwal (ed.), SP’s Military Yearbook2010-11, New Delhi: SP Guide Publications, 2011
7.     ‘Indian Strategic Culture: The Pakistan Dimension’ in Indian Strategic Culture: The Pakistan dimension in Krishnappa, Bajpai et al. (eds.), India’s Grand Strategy: History, Theory, Cases, Taylor and Francis, 2014.
8.     ‘The Nuclear Domain: In Irreverence’, in Mohammed Badrul Alam, Perspectives On Nuclear Strategy Of India, And Pakistan, Kalpaz Publications, Delhi, India, 2013.
9.     ‘AFSPA in light of Humanitarian Law’ in Vivek Chadha, Armed Forces Special Powers Act: The Debate, IDSA Monograph Series No. 7, 2012.
10.  ‘UN Peacekeeping Operations: Leveraging India’s Forte’ in IDSA Task Force,  Net Security Provider: India’s Out-of-Area Contingency Operations, 2012
11.  ‘Nuclear Doctrine and Conflict’ in Krishnappa and Princy George (eds.), India’s Grand Strategy 2020 and Beyond,IDSA, Pentagon Security International, 2012.
12.  ‘India’s Nuclear Options: The military dimension’ in SP’s Military Yearbook, 2011-12, pp. 39-42.
Articles in refereed journals
1.     No first use nuclear policy: An existential crisis ahead, EPW, 49 (20), 1 May 14
Strategic Analysis
2.     Political level considerations and nuclear retaliation, Strategic Analysis, 36 (4), 2012
3.     Political Factor in Nuclear Retaliation, Strategic Analysis, 34 (1), Jan 2010.
4.     India's Response Options to Pakistani Nuclear First Use, Strategic Analysis, April 2010,  Volume: 4 Issue: 2.
5.     The Interface of Strategic and War Fighting Doctrines in the India–Pakistan Context, Strategic Analysis, 33 (5), September 2009.
6.     Towards a proactive military strategy: Cold Start and Stop, Strategic Analysis, 35 (3), May 2011.
7.     Pakistan’s Nuclear Use and Implications for India, Strategic Analysis, 34 (4), July 2010.
8.     Others
9.     The Indian Army: Borders and other such lines, Journal of Peace Studies, Vol 20, Issue 3&4, July-December 2013
10.  Cold Start: The lifecycle of a doctrine, Comparative Strategy, 31:5, 453-468
11.  ‘Internal Security Crises in Punjab, Kashmir and Jaffna: The power of moderation’, South Asian Survey,  17 : 2 (2010): 283–294 
12.  Understanding Indo-Pak Relations, Journal of International Studies, Bangladesh (BILIA), Vol 1-2, Dec 2010.
13.  Internal security crisis: The virtue of equanimity, Journal of Peace Studies, 18 (1,2), Jan-Jun 2011.
14.  Strategic Culture and Indian Self-assurance, Journal of Peace Studies, Vol. 17, Issue 2&3, April-September, 2010.
15.  Strategic Culture and Indian Self Assurance, Journal of Peace Studies, 17 (2,3), Apr-Sep 2010.
16.  L’Inde Strategique (Translated into French) (India Strategic), La renaissance de l’inde, AGIR, Paris

Journal of Defence Studies
1.The 1965 Indo-Pak War: Through Today’s Lens, Journal of Defence Studies, 9:3, July 2015
2.Reconciling the AFSPA with the legal spheres, Journal of Defence Studies, 5 (2), Apr 2011.
3.India-Pakistan relations: Military diplomacy vs Strategic Engagement, Journal of Defence Studies, 5 (1), Jan 2010.
4.TNW in Nuclear First Use: The Legal Counter, Journal of Defence Studies, 5 (4), Oct 2011.
5.Military Response to a Future 26/11 – A Dissuasive Analysis, JDS, 3 (4), 2009.
6.Reconciling AFSPA with legal spheres, Journal of Defence Studies, 5 (2), April 2011.
7.India-Pakistan relations: Military diplomacy vs Strategic Engagement, Journal of Defence Studies, 5 (1), Jan 2010.
8.TNW in Nuclear First Use: The Legal Counter, Journal of Defence Studies, 5 (4), Oct 2011.
9.Military Response to a Future 26/11 – A Dissuasive Analysis, JDS, 3 (4), 2009.
10.           Reconciling AFSPA with legal spheres, Journal of Defence Studies, 5 (2), April 2011.
11.  India’s Response Options to Pakistani Nuclear First Use, Journal of Defence Studies, 4 (2), April 2010.
12.  TNW in Nuclear First Use: The Legal Factor, JDS, 5 (4), 2011.
13.  India’s conflict strategy: The legal angle, JDS, 4 (3), July 2010.
14.  Furthering No First Use in the India-Pakistan Context, JDS, 3 (3), July 2009
15.  India’s Conflict Strategy: The Legal Angle, Journal of Defence Studies, July 2010 Volume: 4 Issue: 3.
16.  Cold Start and the Sehjra Option, JDS, 4 (4), Oct 2010
Policy/Issue Briefs
17.  Revision of DSCO: Human Rights to the fore, Policy Brief, IDSA, March 2011.
18.  Reviewing India’s Nuclear Doctrine, Policy Brief, IDSA, April 24, 2009.
19.  Elevate Human Rights as the Core Organising Principle in Counter Insurgency, IDSAIssue Brief, November 2011.
20.  A Consideration of Sino-Indian Conflict, IDSA Issue Brief, October 2011.
21.  2011 and Beyond: Visualising AfPak, IDSA Issue Brief, November 2009
22.  2011 and beyond: Visualising Af-Pak, Issue Brief, IDSA, December 23, 2009.
23.  India’s Response to CBW Attack, Journal of Chemical and Biological Weapons, Oct-Dec 2008
1.     Conventional Backdrop to the Nuclear Foreground, CLAWS Scholar Warrior, Spring 2015
2.     India's forthcoming nuclear doctrine review, Aakrosh, July 2014
3.     Cold Start lite is not enough, Agni, Vol XV, No. VI, Oct-Dec 13,
4.     Rethinking India’s nuclear doctrine, Agni, Jan-Mar 2010, Vol XII, No. II, pp. 25-32.
5.     Offensive in the mountains: Mountain Strike Corps, SPs Land Forces, 8/6, Dec 11-Jan 12.
6.     Limited Nuclear Operations, SP’s Land Forces, July 2014
7.     India’s forthcoming nuclear doctrine review, Aakrosh, July 14 (forthcoming).
8.     Understanding India’s Military, Sardar, 1 (6), 2010 (Kazakhstan military magazine).
9.     Rethinking India’s Nuclear Doctrine – Agni, XII (II), Jan-Mar 2010.
10.  The Nuclear Factor in India’s Post 26/11 Military Options, Agni, XII:1, Jan-Mar 2009, pp. 50-65..
11.  Reconciling doctrinal dichotomy, Aakrosh, 13 (49), Oct 2010.
12.  Counter insurgency in the liberal perspective, Aakrosh, 13 (47), April 2010.
13.  Indian Nuclear Command and Control, Aakrosh, 14 (50), Jan 2010 (Also on IDR website, Parts 1 and 2, 12-13 Jul 2011).
14.  Limited War Thinking in India, Aakrosh, January 2010, 13 (46), p. 82-97.
15.  Rethinking the Pakistan Strategy, Geopolitics, May 2011.
16.  Tackling Terror Holistically, Conference Brochure, Security Watch India, 2009.
17.  India’s Nuclear Doctrine, Indian Defence Review, Oct-Dec 2009-12-30.
18.  Reflection on Conflict Duration, Indian Defence Review, 24.3, Jul-Sep 2009.
19.  Managing ‘Transformation’, South Asia Defence and Strategic Review, Sep-Oct 2009.
20.  Uncertain Course: India-Pak strategic doctrines and balance of power, Strategic Affairs, Aug 2009-12-30.
21.  Dealing with Two Fronts Needs Matching Capabilities, India Strategic (with V. Anand), Jan 2010
22.  The Grammar of War, Defence and Strategic Review, October 2012.
23.  Pakistan in India’s strategic perspective, Indian Journal of Social Enquiry, 1 (4), Dec 2009.
24.  Conflict Resolution in Afghanistan: India as Catalyst, IPCS Special
, December 2011.
25.  AfPak: A Strategic Opportunity for South Asia?, IPCS Special Report, Dec 2009
26.  The Army: Missing Muslim India, Mainstream, Vol L No 27, June 23, 2012
27.   Prospects for UN Peacekeeping in Afghanistan, Mainstream, Vol L, No 38, September 8, 2012,
28.  India-Pakistan: Unlocking the Status Quo, Mainstream, L:9, 18 February, 2012.
29.  Kashmir: Whither Strategy?, Mainstream, Annual 2011, Dec 23-29, 11.
30.  India-Pakistan: Advocating Accommodation, Mainstream, L: 16, April 2012.
31.  Kashmir: The Problem with the Solution, Mainstream, March 4-10, 2011.
32.  Kashmir: Whither Strategy, Mainstream, L:1, December 2011
Book Reviews
1.   The Book Review Volume XXXIX Number 2 February 2015 Global Jihad And America: The Hundred-Year War Beyond Iraq And Afghanistan By Taj Hashmi 
2.   The Book Review, Volume XXXIX Number 4 April 2015Toppling Gaddafi: Libya And The Limits Of Liberal Intervention
By Christopher S. Chivvis 
3.   The Book Review, Volume XXXIX Number 6 June 2015, Civil Wars In South Asia: State, Sovereignty, Development, Edited by Nandini Sundar and Aparna Sundar  
4.   The Book Review Volume XXXIX Number 5 May 2015 Nuclear South Asia: Keywords And Concepts By Rajesh Rajagopalan  and Atul Mishra 
5.   The Book Review / February-March 2013 of  Asian Rivalries: Conflict, Escalation, And Limitations On Two-Level Games Edited by Sumit Ganguly and William R. Thompson, Foundation Books, New Delhi, 2011
6.   The Book Review, February-March 2013 of Internal Conflicts Military Perspectives, By V.R. Raghavan (ed.) Vij Books, New Delhi, 2012
7.   The Book Review Volume XXXVIII Number 7 July 2014 When Counterinsurgency Wins: Sri Lanka’s Defeat Of The Tamil Tigers
By Ahmed S. Hashim 
8.   The Book Review Vol xxxvii No 10 October 2013 of Afghan Endgames: Strategy And Policy Choices For America’s Longest War Edited by Hy Rothstein and John Arquilla, Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, 2013,
9.   The Book Review, Vol xxxvii No 10 October 2013 of Eating Grass: The Making Of The Pakistani Bomb By Feroz Hassan Khan, Foundation Books, Delhi, 2013
10.  When More Is Less: The International Project In Afghanistan, By Astri Sukhre, Hurst & Co, London, 2011, in The Book Review, XXXVI (5), May 2012
11.  The New Protectorates: International Tutelage And The Making Of Liberal States, Edited by James Mayall , Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, C Hurst & Co,, London, 2011, in The Book Review, XXXVI (9), Sept 2012
12.  Vortex Of Conflict: US Policy Toward Afghanistan, Pakistan And Iraq, By D. Caldwell, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011 (First South Asian Edition 2012), in The Book Review, XXXVI (9), Sept 2012
13.  Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, A metahistory of the clash of civilisations: Us and them beyond Orientalism, Hurst, 2011 in Strategic Analysis, 35 (2), 2012, pp. 337-38.
14.  Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia: Crisis Behaviour and the Bomb by Sumit Ganguly and S. Paul Kapur, in Strategic Analysis, Volume: 34 Issue: 4, July 2010
15.  MJ Akbar, Tinderbox: The past and future of Pakistan, New Delhi: Harper Collins, 2011 in Strategic Analysis, 36 (1), pp. 169-170, January 2012.
16.  Stephen Cohen and Dasgupta, Arming without aiming, in JDS, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2012
17.  Armed Conflicts In South Asia 2011: The Promise And Threat Of Transformation, Edited by D. Suba Chandran and P.R. Chari, Routledge, New Delhi, 2012 in The Book Review, October 2012, 
18.  Talmiz Ahmad, Children of Abraham at War: Clash of Messianic Militarisms, in Strategic Analysis, September 2011, 35:5, 849-851
19.  K. Sheoran, Human Rights and Armed Forces in LIC, in Strategic Analysis, 35 (3) May 2011.
20.  Sumit Ganguly and David Fidler, India and Counter insurgency, in Pratividrohi, 2010, in
21.  Priyanjali Malik, India’s Nuclear Debate: Exceptionalism and the Bomb, in Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, Apr-Jun 2010
22.  Bharat Karnad, India’s Nuclear Policy, in Third Frame, Journal of Academy of Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia
23.  Shuja Nawaz, Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army and Wars Within, in  India Quarterly, July-Sep 2008
24.  Gurmeet Kanwal, Indian Army: Vision 2020, in Journal of Defence Studies, IDSA, 2 (2), Winter 2008
25.  Ayesha Jalal, Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia, in  Third Frame, 2009, pp. 159-162
26.  Bharat Karnad, India’s Nuclear Policy in Defence Management, in Defence Management, Mar 2009, and Third Frame (?), pp. 204-06
27.  Wajahat Habibullah, My Kashmir: Conflict and Prospects of Enduring Peace, in Third Frame, 2010 (?), pp. 207-09.
28.  Rajesh Rajagopalan, Fighting Like a Guerilla: The Indian Army and Counter Insurgency,  in Third Frame, 1:3, Jul-Sep 2008.
29.  Jaideep Saikia and Ekaterina Stepanova (eds.) Terrorism: Patterns of Internationalisation, in Strategic Analysis, 33 (5), Sept 2009
31.  E Sridharan, The India-Pakistan Nuclear Relationship: Theories of Deterrence and International Relations,  in IPCS,, 21 November 2008.
32.  Manpreet Sethi, Nuclear Strategy: India’s March Towards Credible Deterrence, in Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, July-Sep 09
33.  Asseri, Anti terrorism: Saudi Arabias Role In The War On Terror, in Indian Review of Books, XXXIV (2), February 2010.
34.  Praveen Swami, India, Pakistan and the Secret Jihad: The Covert War in Kashmir, 1947–2004 (New York: Routledge, 2007) in India Quarterly 65, 3 (2009): 329–343.
35.  Carey Schofield, Inside the Pakistan Army, in Purple Beret, April 2012, p. 41.
36.  Tackling Terror Holistically, Conference Brochure, Security Watch India, 2009
Foreign Policy Journal
1. Non-alignment 2.0 and India’s strategic direction, 28 May 2012
2.What this Year’s Maneuver Season in India Tells Us, 13 May 2015
3.Modi and the Military, 25 October 2014
4.Dissonance in India’s Strategic Doctrine, 23 August 2014
5.India’s Nuclear Doctrine Review: Don’t Leave It to the Hawks!, 11 July 2014
6.The Exit from ‘AfPak’: Don’t Blame Pakistan, June 2012
7.Kashmir: Preparing for a contingency, July 2012
8.South Asia: Pakistan holds the key, April 2012
9.Behind India’s Defence Budget, March 2012
10.           India and Pakistan: Missing NCBMs, February 2012
11.           India: For an introspective turn, Jan 2012
12.           India-Pakistan: Solving the ‘chicken or egg’ conundrum, Dec 2011
13.     Evaluating the China ‘threat’ thesis in India, Nov 2011
14.  Using military dangers gainfully, Oct 2011
15.  India, China and the US: The debate in India, Sept 2011
16.  The Muslim Question: An Understanding for Difficult Times, July 2011
17.  South Asia: Of war clouds and silver linings, June 2011
18.  Saving Pakistan, May 2011
19.  India-Pak: Justifiable pessimism, Apr 2011
20.  India-Pakistan: Nothing in the offing, Mar 2011
21.  Coping with Islamist Pakistan, Feb 2011
22.  AfPak: Talks as the way out, Dec 2010
23.  Towards the endgame in Afghanistan, Jul 2010
24.  The coming escalation in Obama’s war, Jun 2010
25.  Reconciling the AfPak conundrum, Apr 2010
26.  Getting Pakistan to bandwagon, Mar 2010
27.  India-Pakistan Dialogue: The Way Forward, February 2010
28.  India’s Inter strategic paradigm debate and Pakistan, Jan 2010
29.  Prospects of India-Pakistan Nuclear Confidence Building, Dec 2009
30.  India-Pakistan relations: Movement?, Nov 2009
31.  Obama and the Limitations of Conventional Strategy, Oct 2009
32.  Af-Pak: Opportunity for a Regional Initiative, Oct 2009
Web publications
1.     Doctrine in Civil-Military Relations,, 16 May 2015
2.     This year’s maneuver season in India, Eurasia Review, 12 May 2015
3.     Balancing India’s Right, The Diplomat, 15 February 2015
4.     India-Pakistan: Visualising the next round, Eurasia Review, 11 Februray 2015
5.     India and China: Nationalism and Nuclear Risk, The Diplomat 18 December 2015
6.     A More Aggressive India, The Diplomat, 10 November 2015
7.     Demystifying India’s Volte-Face on Pakistan, The Diplomat, 10 September 2014
8.     What Does India Mean By ‘Two Front’ Problem?, The Eurasia Review, 26 August 2014
9.     Limiting Nuclear War in South Asia, SP's Landforces 4/2014
10.  South Asia: Echoes From Across a Century, The Diplomat, 15 August 2015
11.  At the Conventional-Nuclear Interface,, 9 August 2014
12.  What Does India Mean By ‘Massive’ Retaliation?, Eurasia Review, 8 August 2014
13.  NRRC: For the nuclear doctrine review,, 21 June 14
14.  Diplomatic engagement in a post nuclear use environment,, 27 May 14
15.  Pakistani nuclear first use,, 23 May 14
16.  Severe indigestion from nuclear orthodoxy, The Citizen, 30 April 14
17.  India-Pakistan: Move From Cosmetic To Credible Nuclear Confidence Building Measures,, 26 Feb 14; also in Kashmir Times, India-Pakistan: Nuclear Threat.
18.  Nuclear doctrinal review of the China front,, 29 April 14.
19.  Storm in India’s nuclear teacup,, 21 April 14.
20.  India-Pakistan: Distancing the spark from the nuclear tinderbox,, 6 April 14.
Center for Land Warfare Studies,
1.Visualising Impact of Nuclear Operations at the Conventional Level, 16 Mar 2015
2.Opening up the doctrinal  space, 29 April 2015
3.Nuclear doctrine review: Three deterrence models,, 3 May
4.   The post conflict factor in nuclear decision making,, 11 Oct 13.
5.   Naval operations in an India-Pakistan context, 20 June 2012
6.   Pakistan’s military strategy: The best case scenario, 12 Jun 2011
7.   Arguing for NBC Training, 26 Aug 2011
8.   Dimensions of the MacChrystal episode, 8 July 2010
9.   India’s North East: Insurgency and Civil Services Reform, 19 April 2010
10.  Psychological opertions as key, Jan 2012
11.  Mountain Strike Corps: The nuclear dimension, Dec 2011
12.  Implications of BrahMos deployment, Oct 2011
13.  Demonstration Strikes in an India-Pakistan Scenario, 16 Feb 2010
14.  Arguing for NBC Training, Aug 2011
15.  Hatf IX and possible Indian responses, 5 May 2011
16.  The Sino-Pak ‘collusive’ threat, 31 March 2011
17.  Deterrence Stability in a Context of Strategic Instability, 11 Feb 2011
18.  Counter insurgency learning from Kashmir, 20 Jan 2011
19.  Conflict strategy for the decade ahead, 25 Dec 2010
20.  Nuclear C2: The balance agenda, 28 November 2010
21.  Appraising a Pakistani military response, 16 Oct 2010.
22.  Sociological Dimension of the ‘Transformation’  Initiative, June 2009
23.  Nuclear Use Consequences For Pakistan, Aug 2009
24.  Some Implications of the ‘Cold Start’ Doctrine, Sep 2009
25.  Building India’s Strategic Culture: A Roadmap, Oct 2009
26.  Towards A Limited War Doctrine, Nov 2009
27.  Towards a National Security Doctrine, 10 Nov 2011
28.  Kargil: Afterthoughts at the Operational Level, Dec 2009
29.  Army Deployment in Central India, Feb 2009
30.  Strategy Advocacy for Pakistan, 14 March 2010
Newspaper articles
1.        Wearing religion on their uniform sleeves, Millennium Post, 4 October 2014
Kashmir Times
2.        Kashmir and the Bomb, 29 April 12.
3.        Kashmir: More of the same, 3 July 2012.
4.        Lessons from Bandipore, 10 August 2012.
5.        AFSPA: A question of justice, 13 Feb 12
6.        Kashmir: Declaring premature victory, 4 Feb 12
7.        Acknowledging the blindspot on Kashmir, 27 Jan 2012
8.        An agenda point for the foreign secretaries, 16 June 2011
9.        Kashmir: Its now or never, 9 Dec 2011
10.     The agenda this winter, 6 Oct 2011
11.     Solving Kashmir: Is it feasible?, 19 October 2011
12.     Fixing responsibility: CI decisions and consequences, 30 Aug 2011
13.     Kashmir in the wider India-Pak scheme, 24 Aug 2011
14.     Kashmir back in the news, 10 July 2010
15.     No escaping political solution to Kashmir, 7 Aug 2010
16.     A ceasefire enabled reckoning possible, 9 Oct 2010
17.     Preliminaries towards a solution – 24 Feb 2011
18.     Domesticating the AFSPA – 28 Mar 2011
19.     A novel option for the coming summer – 13 Apr 2011
20.     India-Pakistan peace process, Tehelka, June 2011 
21.     Time not to let the guard down in Kashmir, Tehelka, 7 Nov 2011
22.     Deterrence has a shaky and brief shelf life, Tehelka, 3 Jan 12
23.     Smile but keep the powder dry, Tehelka, 10 April 2012
24.     A General’s unforgettable legacy, Tehelka, 31 May 2012
Financial World
25.     Why are Muslims missing from Army?, Financial World, 16 June 2012
26.     LWE: There’s a problem with the ‘solution’, 3 May 2012
27.     Tribal communities in the cross-hairs, Financial World, 9 July 2012
28.     To call out the army or not, Financial World - 2 Aug 12
29.     The sub-unit cries for army attention, Financial World, 27 Aug 2012
30.     Do we need a Chief Warlord? Opinion, The Financial World—Delhi, 10 Sep 12
31.     Kashmir, The Financial World, 13 Dec 2011
32.     A grand bargain for India and Pakistan, The Financial World, 20 June 2011
33.     Closed doors mean no dialogue, no peace, The Financial World, 13 Dec 2011.
Dawn (Pakistan)
34.     Time for the Grand Bargain, Oct 2011 – Dawn blog
35.     Afghanistan: Lets try peacekeeping, 19 Nov 2011 – Dawn blog
Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies
1.     Nuclear Use: Need for Thinking on Political-Level Considerations, 5 August 2014
2.     India and Pakistan: Azm-e-Nau as a Response to the Cold Start, July 2013
3.     An Indian nuclear doctrine review: A third model,, 30 April 14
4.     India, Nuclear Weapons and ‘Massive Retaliation’: The Impossibility of Limitation?,, 8 Oct 13
5.India and Pakistan: Moving Beyond CBMs, July 2012
6.     Civil-Military Relations: Questioning the VK Singh Thesis, June 2012
7.     The Missing Element in the Counter Naxal Strategy, May 2012
8.     India-Pakistan: Winds of Change, April 2012
9.     NCBMs: Scaremongering but with a purpose, Feb 2012
10.  Cold Start: One step forward, two steps back, Jan 2012
11.  AFSPA: The renewed debate, Nov 2011
12.  The direction of India’s deterrent, Sep 2011
13.  Saxena Task Force: Farewell to the Chiefs, Sep 2011
14.  Internal Security Reform: Yet another Opportunity, July 2011
15.  The Sense in Networking with Kayani, Apr 2011
16.  Implications of Indian BMD developments, Mar 2011
17.  Kashmir: A Hot Summer Ahead?, Jan 2010
18.  WikiWrecks: The US Perspective on Cold Start, Dec 2010
19.  Capping the ‘Volcano’: Indian Military Action against Pakistan?, Oct 2010
20.  AFSPA: A Practical Approach, Sep 2010
21.  J&K: Implement the Working Group Recommendations, Aug 2010
22.  General Kayani: Implications of Extension, July 2010
23.  Should India give up its NFU Doctrine?, June 2010
24.  India-Pakistan Dialogue: Going Beyond Thimpu, May 2010
25.  The New Chief and Transformation, Apr 2010
26.  India and Pakistan: Losing time, Feb 2009
27.  The Logic of the Sundarji Doctrine, Dec 2009
28.  The Obama Decision Making Model, Dec 2009
29.  The Illogic of ‘Unacceptable Damage’, Oct 2009
30.  The ‘Pause’ in India-Pakistan Dialogue, Oct 2009
31.  India's Thermonuclear Test: Bombed?, Aug 2009
32.  Talks As Strategy, Aug 2009
33.  The illogic of ‘massive’ punitive retaliation, Jul 2009
34.  Nuclear Trajectory in South Asia, Jun 2009
35.  Tackling Insurgency In Assam, May 2009
36.  The ‘Context’ of Islamism, Apr 2009
37.  Questioning ‘Compellence’ as Answer to India’s Pakistan Dilemma, Mar 2009
38.  Engaging a Reluctant Pakistan, Jan 2009
39.  Post 26/11 Strategy Recomendation For India, Dec 2008
40.  The Pay Commission Outcome as Opportunity, Oct 2008
41.  Thinking Beyond the Line of Control, Aug 2008
IDSA Website, Strategic Comments

1.Reopening the debate on Limited War, 29 Feb 2012
2.The Indian Army: What the stars foretell for 2012, Dec 2011
3.Tit for Tat: A Nuclear Retaliation Option, Oct 2011
4.What does Pakistan hope to achieve with Nasr?, Aug 2011
5.Afghanistan: An idea anticipating peace, June 2011
6.Pakistan’s first use in perspective, May 2011
7.Making sense of Nasr, Apr 2011
8.Ongoing revision of Indian Army doctrine, Jan 2011
9.The Arab Tumult in its wider meaning, Feb 2011
10.  Army Transformation: A radical one?, Jan 2011
11.  Political Dimensions of Limited War, March 29, 2010.
12.  The advantages of ‘Cold Start Minor’, December 13, 2010
13.  Obama’s AfPak Review should emphasise on Peace Talks with the Taliban November 23, 2010
14.  The Third Front: Military Ethics, November 4, 2010
15.  Clarifying India’s Strategic Doctrine, October 25, 2010
16.  The ‘Cold Start and Stop’ strategy, September 28, 2010
17.  Military Doctrines: Next steps, August 16, 2010
18.  Civil-Military relations: Under scan, July 14, 2010
19.  An additional dish for the India-Pakistan platter, July 5, 2010
20.  Darfur and enhancing India’s peacekeeping profile, June 2010
21.  The message from mock battles, May 7, 2010
22.  The military intelligence function in future war, February 26, 2010.
23.  Nuclear targeting caveats, April 21, 2010
24.  Ongoing revision of army doctrine, 6 Jan 2010.
25.  Nuclear implications of the two front formulation, 29 Jan 10
26.  The Army’s Subculture in the Coming Decade, December 22, 2009
27.  The Army’s decade in review, November 30, 2009
28.  India-Pakistan Conflict Outcome Probability, October 27, 2009
29.  Re-visioning the Nuclear Command Authority, September 9, 2009
30.  India’s response to the next terror attack, August 26, 2009
31.  For an Indo-Pak strategic dialogue forum, August 4, 2009
32.  The central debate in India’s civil military relations, July 6, 2009
33.  Seizing the moment: India and the ‘moderate Taliban’, June 8, 2009
34.  Exit Points and the Updation of Cold Start Doctrine, April 22, 2009
35.  Initiatives to transform the Army Officer Corps, March 5, 2009
36.  Foregrounding ‘Non-Combatant Immunity’, January 30, 2009
37.  The Post 26/11 Regional Strategic Predicament, December 3, 2008
38.  Need for clarity in India's nuclear doctrine, Oct 2008
39.  An overview of the Russo-Georgian conflict, Sep 2008
Articles in military journals (post premature retirement in 2008)

1.The Limited War concept and India’s conventional doctrines, Trishul (Staff College), XXII (2), Spring 2010
Infantry Journal
2.Limited War: A mental framework, Infantry, June 2012
3.One Star: The Organisational Responsibility, Infantry Journal, June 2013.
4.Understanding Internal Security, The Infantry (India), Dec 2008.
5.The Infantry: ‘At’ Peace while ‘in’ peace?, Infantry, 2009 (?)
6.Perspectives on Defence Challenges faced by India, Infantry (India), June 2011
7.Battalion Command: A Template, 2009 (?), pp. 10-13.
8.Strategic India: An Introduction, Infantry, 2012 (?), p. 13-19.
War College Journal
9.Understanding India-Pakistan relations, War College Journal, 2011
10.  Afghanistan: A Strategic Assessment, War College Journal, Autumn 2008.
11.  An Analysis of Grand Strategy in Operation Barbarossa, War College Journal, Spring 2008.
12.  Next Steps in India’s China Strategy, War College Journal, 2011, pp. 61-63.
Center for Land Warfare Studies
13.  Readings for Officers, Scholar Warrior, Center for Land Warfare Studies, Autumn 2010.
14.  Mizo Hills: Revisiting the Early Phase, Scholar Warrior, CLAWS, Autumn 2011.
15.  The Invisible dimension of modernization, CLAWS Journal, Winter 2010.
16.  A Perspective on Land Warfare Strategy, CLAWS Journal, Winter 2009.
USI Journal
17.  India’s Strategic and Military Doctrines: A Post 1971 Snapshot, USI Journal, Vol. CXXXIX, No. 578, October-December 2009.
18.  India’s Military Options in a Future 26/11 Scenario, Journal of the United Service Institution of India, Vol. CXXXIX, No. 575, January-March 2009.
19.  India’s Military Options in a Future 26/11 Scenario, USI Journal, Jan-Mar 2009.
Jungle Warfare and Counter Insurgency School Journal
20.  Jihad in Strategic Theory, Pratividrohi, Autumn 2009.
21.  Learning from the Mizo Hills Experience, Pratividrohi, 2010.
22.  Command Endeavour: The Regimental Way, Maratha Regiment Magazine, 2008.
23.  Counter insurgency in a conventional war scenario, Pratividrohi, Journal of Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, 2010.
24.  The Counter Insurgency Oeuvre, Pratividrohi,
25.  Regimental Command, Maratha 2008, Regiment Journal
Miscellaneous and light reading
1.The Army: Why Muslims are Missing?, The Aligarh Movement, May-June 2012.
2.Taking Nuclear Warfighting Seriously, IDR, 12.1, March 2012.
3.A Plan for Bonn, Outlook blog, 5 Dec 2011
4.Muslim India: Through the Security Prism, Milligazette, Jan 2009
5.Making Cold Start Doctrine work, 2010 – Tribune, 11 Oct 2010
6.In Defence of the Chief, the Two-Front war issue, 21 January 2010,
7.Defending India’s Strategic Culture, Purple Beret, 28 March 2012
8.Isreal matters, but only so much, Purple Beret 
9.Inside the Pakistan Army, Purple Beret
10.  Af-Pak endgame: Implications for Kashmir, International Business Times, 11 Aug 2011.
11.  Legal warfare: The neglected dimension, IDR, Jan 2012
12.  UN Peacekeeping: Thinking out of the box, Indian Defence Review, Feb 2012
13.  AfPak Endgame: Implications for Kashmir, International Business Times, 11 August 2011
14.  ‘Limitations of military response options to 26/11’, The Front Page, Dec 2008
15.  'Brown Sahibs' to blame for Chintalnar massacre of CRPF jawans, (a media partner of, Apr 2010.
16.  ‘India-Pakistan: Prospects of War’,, Aug 2010.
17.  ‘Kashmir: Back in the news’,,, July 2010.
18.  ‘Sukhna Scam: Additional Dimensions’,, Mar 2010.
19. What to do about Pakistan?, Sahara Time, June 11, 2011
1.   Army’s role order, July 2011
2.   Soldiering: An Indian Experience by S. Sardeshpande (Book Review) – May 2010
3.   Lessons from North Cachar, May 2010
4.   Rethink the Afghan Strategy – June 2010
5.   Indian Maritime Doctrine, IHQ of MoD (Navy) (Book Review), June 2010
6.   Action for Hyderabad, July 2010
7.   Are we pedantic? July 2010
8.   The 1947-48 War had pioneered the shape of Indian policies, Aug 2010
9.   Crisis response: Changing the contours, Sep 2010
10.     Making sense of jointness – Nov 2010
11.     Poor bloody Infanteer – Nov 2010
12.     Watch out for schism – Dec 2010
13.     India in Pakistan’s threat perception – Apr 2011
14.     Not just about them – May 2011
15.     What to do about Pakistan?, June 2011
16.     Battalion Command: A Template, Feb 2010
17.     An Infanteer’s Life, April 2009
18.     The ‘Sundarji Doctrine’ Revisited, Oct 2009
19.     The ‘New’ Vision for Indo-Pak Relations, Sep 2009
20.     A Fauji Forrest Gump, 2-16 May 2009
21.     Mentoring in the time of Shortages, July 2009
22.     Stop ‘OG’, Think ‘Purple’
Publications while in army service till 2008
Articles (2006-8)
1.      Short Wars: From Desirable to Feasible, USI Journal, Jan 2008
2.      In Tribute: A Recall of the Sundarji Doctrine, USI Journal, Apr 08
3.      An Analysis of Grand Strategy in Operation Barbarossa, War College Journal, Spring 08
4.      A Brief on Research and Analysis, Educationist, 2008
5.      The Command Challenge, Maratha Regiment Journal, 08
Book Reviews
1.      Fitzgibbon, S., Not mentioned in dispatches: The History and Mythology of the Battle of Goose Green; Cambridge, Lutterworth Press, 1995; War College Journal - Autumn 2006
2.      Raman, S., Nuclear Strategy: The Doctrine of Just War; New Delhi, Manas Publication, 2006 – USI Journal, Apr-Jun 07
3.      Singh, Jaswant, A Call to Honour, New Delhi, Rupa & Co, 2006 – Defence Management, Apr 07
4.      Musharraf, P., In the Line of Fire; New York, Simon and Shuster, 2006 – The Infantry (India), Autumn 06
5.      Bammi, Y., War Against Insurgency and Terrorism in Kashmir; Dehra Dun, Nataraj Publishers, 2007 – Pinnacle Dec 07
6.      Chandran, S., Limited War: Revisiting Kargil in the Indo Pak Conflict; Omdoa Research Press, New Delhi, 2005 – War College Journal 2007 
7.      Malik, SK, Quranic Concept of War; New Delhi, Himalayan Books, 1986 – War College Journal, 2007
8.      Rajagopalan, R., Fighting Like a Guerilla: The Indian Army and Counterinsurgency, New Delhi, Routledge, 2007; The Third Frame, Autumn 08

Infantry Journal

1.   Beget the Devil’s Own Platoon, Infantry Journal, 1993.
2.   Tips on the Reading Habit, Infantry Journal, 1993.
3.   Cohesion: Bibliographical Note, Infantry Journal, 1995.
4.   Civil-Military Relations: A Theoretical Perspective, Infantry Journal, 1997.
5.   Company Command: A Template, Infantry Journal, 2000.
6.   Whither Infantry?, Infantry Journal, 2001
7.   Drill Deadens, Infantry Journal, 2002

Combat/War College Journal

1.   On the Indian Use of Force: The Critiques Reexamined, Combat Journal, Mar 2000.
2.   SAARC – The Strategic Debate in India, Combat Journal, Mar 01
3.   Self Esteem: Room for improvement, War College Journal, 2005
4.   AOR: The CT Ops Version, War College Journal, 2005
5.   An Analysis of Grand Strategy in Operation Barbarossa, War College Journal, Spring 08
Pratividrohi (Anti Terrorism Journal of the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School)
1.   Pseudo Gang Operations, Pratividrohi, 1997
2.   Rethinking Human Rights, Pratividrohi, 2000.
3.   On Military Leadership in Counter Insurgency Operations, Pratividrohi, 1998.
4.   The Army, Media and LIC, Pratividrohi, 2002
5.   J&K: The Perspectives Contrasted, Pratividrohi, 2001
6.   Peace Enforcement: The direction of the future, Pratividrohi, 2003
7.   Offensive air power in J&K; Pratividrohi, Sep 05
8.   Peacekeeping and Peaceenforcement, Pratividrohi, 2002 

Intelligence Journal (Journal of Military Intelligence School)

1.   Society and Military Intelligence: A Sociological Perspective, Intelligence Journal, 1996-97.
2.   The Pathology of Info War, Intelligence Journal, 2004

USI Journal (United Services Institution of India)

1.   The Fauji Memsahib, USI Journal, 1999.
2.   The Doctrinal Challenge, USI Journal, Jan 2000.
3.   MONUC, USI Journal, Jan 2004
4.   Short Wars: Creating Tomorrow’s Reality, USI Journal, Jan 2008
5.   In Tribute: Recalling The ‘Sundarji Doctrine’, USI Journal, Vol. CXXXVIII, No. 571, January-March 2008.

Pinnacle (Journal of the Army Training Command)

1.   The Strategic Community, Pinnacle, Mar 2003
2.   Reflection on Military Ethos, Pinnacle, Mar 2003
3.   Revolution in Military Affairs: The Sociological Perspective, Pinnacle, Sep 03
4.   Reader’s Forum:  Short Wars; Dec 07
5. Reader’s Forum: Transformation and the Officer Corps; Spring 08 (under consideration)


1.   Recruiting Anecdotes, Maratha Journal, 1992
2.   A Professional’s Trekking Experience, Maratha Journal,1990
3.   The Trade Secret Unveiled, Infantry Day Supplement, The Statesman, Oct 27, 1999.
4.   CAMs and CBMs, Mainstream, July 23, 1994.
5.   Style of Command, CDM Journal, 2002
6.   Educating Future Army Officers, Educationist (Journal of the Army Education Corps), 2002
7.   A Brief on Research and Analysis, Educationist, 2008
8.   Command Endeavour: A Regimental Way, Maratha Journal, 2007


USI Journal

1.   Alexis Heraclitus, Self determination of minorities in International Politics, London, Frank Cass, 1991.
2.   Anthony Giddens, The Third Way: A Renewal of Social Democracy, London, Polity Press, 1998.
3.   Anthony McGrew, Paul Lewis, Global Politics, Globalisation, and the Nation State, Cambridge, Polity Press, 1992.
4.   Avnar Cohen, Israel and the Bomb, New York, Colombia University Press, 1998.
5.   Bruce Lawrence, Shattering The Myth: Islam Beyond Violence, New Jersey, Priceton University Press, 1998.
6.   Craig Baxter, ed. Government and Politics in South Asia, Boulder, Westview Press, 1987.
7.   Ethan Kapstein, Michel Mastanduno, Unipolar Politics: Realism and State Strategies After the Cold War, West Sussex, Colombia University Press, 1999.
8.   From Surprise to Reckoning: The Kargil Review Committee Report, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2000.
9.   Gwyn Prins, Strategy, Force Planning and Diplomatic/Military Operations, London, RIIA, 1998.
10.John Pimlott, Stephen Bayley, ed. The Gulf War Assessed, London, Arms and Armour, 1992.
11.Kedourie, E., Nationalism, Fourth Edition, Oxford, Blackwell, 1961.
12.Lawrence Freedman, Efraim Karsh, The Gulf Conflict 1990-91: Diplomacy and War in the New World Order, London, Faber, 1992.
13.Maroof Raza, Low Intensity Conflict: The New Dimension to India’s Military Commitment, Meerut, Kartikeya Publications, 1995.
14.Marshall Hodgson, Rethinking World History: Essays on Europe, Islam, and World History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1993.
15.  Maya Chaddha, Ethnicity, Security, and Separatism in India, New York, Colombia Univeristy Press, 1997.
16.Michel Clark, Simon Seraty, ed. New Thinking and Old Realities: America, Europe and Russia, Washington, Seven Locks, 1991.
17.MK Kaw, Bureaucracy: IAS Unmasked, Delhi, Konark, 1993.
18.Morton Halperin ed. Self Determination in the New World Order, Washington DC, Carneigie Endowment, 1992.
19.Peter Paret, Understanding War: Essays on Clausewitz and the History of Military Power, New Jersey, Princeton, 1992.
20.Stephen Van Evera, Causes of War: Power and the Roots of Conflict, New York, Cornell University Press, 1999.
21.Torbjorn Knutsen, A History of International Relations Theory, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1992.
22.Vivienne Jabri, Discourses on Violence, New York, Manchester University Press, 1996.
23.Sahadevan, P., Conflict and Peace Making in South Asia, New Delhi, Lancers Books, 2001.
24.Philpot, D., Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Modern Ideas Shaped the World, Princeton, 2001
25.Synnott, H., The  Causes and Consequences of South Asia’s Nuclear Tests, Adelphi Paper 332, London, OUP, 1999
26.Chari, PR., ed., Security and Governance in South Asia, New Delhi, Manohar, 2001
27.FitzGibbon, S., Not Mentioned in Despatches: The History and Myth of the Battle of Goose Green, Cambridge, Lutterworth Press, 2001
28.Haq, K., The South Asian Challenge, Oxford, OUP, 2002
1.   Karnad, B., Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy, New Delhi, MacMillan, 2002 - Pinnacle, Mar 03
2.   Tellis, A., India’s Emerging Nuclear Posture: Between Recessed Deterrence and Ready Arsenal, New Delhi, OUP, 2001 – Pinnacle, Sep 03
3.   Perkovich, G., India’s Nuclear Bomb, New Delhi, OUP, 1999 - Pinnacle, 2004; Trishul, Vol XIII, No 2
4.   Stephen Cohen, The Idea of Pakistan; New Delhi, OUP - War College Journal, 2005
5.   Maududi, SA, Towards Understanding Islam, New Delhi, Markazi Maktab Islami - Trishul (DSSC Journal), Spring 2005
6.   Chadha, V., Low Intensity Conflicts in India: An Analysis, New Delhi, Sage, 2005 - The Infantry (India), 2005
7.   Fitzgibbon, S., Not mentioned in dispatches: The History and Mythology of the Battle of Goose Green; Cambridge, Lutterworth Press, 1995; War College Journal - Autumn 2006
8.   Raman, Sudha, Nuclear Strategy: The Doctrine of Just War; New Delhi, Manas Publication, 2006 – USI Journal, Apr-Jun 07
9.   Singh, Jaswant, A Call to Honour, New Delhi, Rupa & Co, 2006 – Defence Management, Apr 07
10.Musharraf, P., In the Line of Fire; New York, Simon and Shuster, 2006 – The Infantry (India), Autumn 06
11.    Bammi, Y., War Against Insurgency and Terrorism in Kashmir; Dehra Dun, Nataraj Publishers, 2007 – Pinnacle Dec 07
12.     Chandran, S., Limited War: Revisiting Kargil in the Indo Pak Conflict; Omdoa Research Press, New Delhi, 2005 – War College Journal 2007 
13.     Malik, SK, Quranic Concept of War; New Delhi, Himalayan Books, 1986 – War College Journal, 2007
14.    Rajagopalan, R., Fighting Like a Guerilla: The Indian Army and Counterinsurgency, New Delhi, Routledge, 2007; The Third Frame, Autumn 08


Combat/ War College Journal

1.   Understanding Violence and Militancy, 1992.
2.   The Need for Curricular Innovation, 1999.
3.   Information War, 1999.
4.   Letter to the Editor on Bharat Karnad article, Autumn 06
5.   Dangers of Strategic Determinism, 2001

Infantry Journal

1.   Indo Pak War: The Fourth Round in On
2.   Pardon, but your Political Slip is Showing, 1999
3.   Comment on Book Review of Salman Khursheed’s ‘Beyond Terrorism’, 2003

USI Journal

1.   Need for a military archives, 1995.

CDM Journal (College of Defence Management)

1.   Directive Control: An Advocacy, 2002