Experts Speak

  • February 19, 2018
    PM Modi’s West Asian outreach
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Palestine, the UAE and Oman, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, while briefing media had outlined that the visit would be of strategic importance in terms of energy and security...

  • February 19, 2018
    Mujahids to fuel Indo-Pak border more?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per recent reports, Pakistan is deploying several battalions of its Mujahid Regiment, along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) to infiltrate terrorists and target Indian security forces. According to intelligence sources, these Mujahid battalions are 641, 647, 654 and 655. Mujahids are equivalent to our Territorial Army and these four battalions now are permanently embodied.

  • February 19, 2018
    JeM attacks rouse MoD
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Continuing terrorist attacks, especially the recent ISI-backed JeM terrorist attack of Sunjwan Army Camp in Jammu appears to have roused the MoD into action. The Ministry okayed 1,487 cr to boost the security of Army camps on Saturday, February 12 - same day as the terrorist attack on Sunjwan Army Camp...

  • February 19, 2018
    Terrorist attack on Sunjwan military camp
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On February 10, 2018, the army camp at Sunjwan in Jammu was attacked by JeM terrorists in early hours of the morning. Sneaking in, the terrorists entered family quarters of Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and firing began at 5 AM. The encounter continued over three days resulting in the death of five army personnel including two JCOs, and seven injured including civilians. Three terrorists were killed.

  • February 19, 2018
    The Faux Pas in Maldives
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The strategic importance of Maldives to India needs no emphasis; located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives archipelago comprising 1,200 coral islands lies next to key shipping lanes which ensure uninterrupted energy supplies to countries like China, Japan and India. But happenings in the recent past indicate, Maldives has been sucked into the gravitational pull of China, away from India, just like Nepal.

  • February 19, 2018
    Perimeter security of military establishments
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Post the terrorist attack on IAF’s Patahnkot airbase on January 2, 2016, the MoD had appointed a committee headed by Lt Gen Phillip Campose, then Vice Chief of Army Staff, to review the security set-up for the military bases and suggest ways to improve it. The Committee found gaping holes in the security set up of many installations and submitted its report to the then Defence Minister in May 2016.

  • February 6, 2018
    Our views of Defence Budget 2018-19

    Lt General V K Kapoor (Retd), Editor - SP’s Land Forces

  • February 5, 2018
    Indo-ASEAN relations – Get strategic boost
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Republic Day 2018 was unique and very special with 10 leaders of ASEAN nations gracing the occasion with ASEAN completing 50 years of its formation and India completing 25 years of India-ASEAN partnership that commenced in 1992.

  • February 5, 2018
    Artificial Intelligence in Defence
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The next level of strategic cooperation between India and Japan has become apparent with the news that India and Japan are to work together to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in the defence sector.

  • February 5, 2018
    ISIS caboodle – Headed which way?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Call it ISIS, ISIL or Islamic State, the organization continues to maintain the top spot as the most dangerous terrorist organization of the world. Over 40 militant groups alleged allegiance to ISIS. These include the Boko Haram of Nigeria and the Tehrik-i-Talban (TTP) of Pakistan ranked the 4 and 6 respectively in the global ranking of the most dangerous terrorist organizations.

  • February 5, 2018
    India in Australia Group – Looking at NSG
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    January 19, 2018 saw India becoming a member of the Australia Group. The Australia Group restricts trade in materials used to make chemical and biological weapons.

  • February 5, 2018
    Coming – Long range BrahMos
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    When India successfully test-fired its nuclear capable Agni-V ICBM on January 18 this year, China had made no official statement, but after the December 2016 Agni-V test China had stated it hoped India's testing of the nuclear-capable Agni-V ICBM...

  • February 3, 2018
    Defence Budget 2018-2019
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence Budget for 2018-2019 stands at 2,96,511.41 cr (1.58 per cent of GDP).

  • January 24, 2018
    Strategic development of Chabahar Port – And its implications
    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 expanded avenues of trade...

  • January 24, 2018
    India enters Wassenaar Arrangement
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    India was admitted to the Wassenaar Arrangement on December 8, 2017. Following completion of internal procedures for joining the Arrangement...

  • January 19, 2018
    Visit of Israeli Prime Minister
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's six-day visit to India has very smoothly taken India-Israel relations to the next level.

  • January 19, 2018
    Agni V raises Chinese concerns
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    India successfully has test-fired its nuclear capable Agni-V ICBM from the Abdul Kalam island, off the coast of Odisha, on January 18. This 17m long ICBM with a payload of 1.5 tons, can transport a fusion-boosted fission weapon - nuclear device.

  • January 19, 2018
    China's aggressive moves – Will persist
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Army Chief General Bipin Rawat stated on January 12, 2018 that focus of the Army will shift to the country's border in the north as opposed to the long-standing focus on the western border.

  • January 19, 2018
    Assault Rifles, Carbines coming
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On January 16, 2018 the defence acquisitin council (DAC) headed by the Defence Minister, has cleared fast-track procurement of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,850 carbines for 3,547 cr from the global market.

  • January 19, 2018
    ISRO's centurion leap
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    ISRO launched its 100th satellite in space on January 12, 2018 as its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) successfully placed 31 satellites in two different orbits in one of the longest missions.

  • January 19, 2018
    China's military base in Maldives
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    An article in the China Daily during 2014 stated China plans to build 18 "Strategic Support Bases" in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), outlining a blueprint for the establishment of 18 Chinese "Overseas Strategic Support Bases" like in Djibouti, Aden, Salalah, Seychelles, Gwadar in Pakistan etc.

  • January 16, 2018
    “Sentiments from a General at the occasion of Army Day”

    Lt General V K Kapoor (Retd), Editor - SP’s Land Forces

  • January 10, 2018
    Foreclosure of Army's Battlefield Management System
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per news reports of early December 2017, the MoD and the Army were looking at closing down the Battlefield Management System, despite its prototypes being developed by two Indian consortiums.

  • January 9, 2018
    Trump Twitter-bombs Pakistan
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The dawn of New Year in Pakistan was twitter-bombed by US President Donald Trump accusing Pakistan of double-dealing by saying, "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.

  • January 9, 2018
    AAD Interceptor Missile — Assisting BMD
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    India successfully tested its AAD (Advanced Area Defence) Interceptor Missile on December 28, 2017 by successfully intercepting an incoming ballistic missile.

  • January 9, 2018
    Advance Base Workshops — MoD takes control
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The government-appointed Committee of Experts (CoE) on "Enhancing Combat Capability and Rebalancing Defence Expenditure of the Armed Forces", headed by Lt Gen D B Shekatkar, had submitted its report to the Defence Minister on December 21, 2016.

  • January 9, 2018
    Neglecting welfare — Affecting soldier's morale
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    A recent editorial in a national daily titled 'An Unhappy Army' states that unflattering information on the internal "atmosphere" in the armed services is seldom made public: the bad-for-morale argument serves to keep things under wraps.

  • January 9, 2018
    Jiwani PLA base — Major strategic gain for China
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    According to a recent report in The Washington Times, China is constructing its second overseas military base in Pakistan at Jiwani in the Gulf of Oman, as part of a push for greater power projection capabilities along strategic sea routes.

  • January 9, 2018
    Defence Budget 2018-2019 — Another negative in actual terms?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence Budget 2018-2019 is to be unveiled shortly. What will be allocated to the Armed Forces is awaited with trepidation considering successive defence budgets...

  • January 8, 2018
    Visit of Israeli Prime Minister — Expectations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit India commencing January 14 next year. Though the detailed visit program has not been made public, tentatively Netanyahu will be received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Ahmedabad on January 14, attend official meeting in New Delhi...

  • January 8, 2018
    The faux pas of counter Maoist operations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per new reports of end November 2017, some 155 Maoists have been killed in the Dandakaranya region by security forces during 2017. This figure quotes the statement released by the Maoists' south sub zonal bureau just before the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week commencing December 2...

  • January 8, 2018
    The drone crash — And beyond
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    China went wild with accusations when an Indian drone recently crashed in China occupied Tibet in first week December 2017, days before the visit to India by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

  • January 8, 2018
    Army’s Battlefield Management System — Dumped?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The news about Army having foreclosed the Battlefield Management System (BMS) is appalling, especially when BMS were being developed by two Indian consortiums. Army reportedly took the step due to high costs.

  • January 8, 2018
    CPEC glitches temporary — But violence to continue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    First signs of hiccups in the nearly $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, inked during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Pakistan in April 2015...

  • January 8, 2018
    The 3D Revolution
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    From 1984, when Chuck Hall of 3D Systems Corporation developed the first working 3D printer, the 3D industry has progressed at an unbelievable pace.

  • December 11, 2017
    Trump’s Af-Pak policy and India’s role in it
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    US President Donald Trump’s televised speech unveiling his new Af-Pak policy directly nailed Pakistan in sponsoring terrorism, exposing Pakistan’s double game. As of October 18, 2016, total US military casualties in Afghanistan were 2,386 killed and 20,049 wounded, in addition to 1,173 civilian contractor fatalities.

  • December 11, 2017
    India’s Border Control — Lopsided in extreme
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    According to the Department of Border Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, India has total of 15106.7 km of land border with neighbouring countries: 3,323 km with Pakistan; 106 km with Afghanistan; 3,488 km with China; 1,751 km with Nepal; 699 km with Bhutan; 1,643 km with Myanmar, and; 4,096 km with Bangladesh.

  • December 11, 2017
    Beyond Maoist attack in Sukma
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The ghastly ambush by Maoists at Sukma on April 24 killed 25 CRPF personnel killed and wounded some. While the heart goes out to the bereaved families, serious introspection is required as apparently we have failed to learn any lessons even after the April 2010 Dantewada massacre of 76 CRPF personnel by the Maoists and loss of all their weapons.

  • December 4, 2017
    Privatizing government defence industry
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The governmental has announced some disinvestment in the governmental defence industry like 10% in HAL, which does not amount to much change.

  • 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 by inviting heads of all the 10 ASEAN states.

  • December 4, 2017
    Brazenly Open: Pakistan Army-Islamists Nexus
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    With concerted efforts by the Pakistani military to radicalize the population at large, their handling of the recent protests is hardly surprising.

  • December 4, 2017
    Hafiz Saeed — Key China-Pak asset
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In January 2017, when Qamar Javed Bajwa was appointed Pakistan's Army Chief superseding his seniors including the Zubair Mahmood Hayat, present Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee since November 2016, Pakistani scholar Ayesha Siddiqa wrote, "Even his (Bajwa's) epaulette weighs heavy.

  • 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...