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India Needs A General, Not A Politician, For Defence Minister

Discussion in 'International Relations' started by Manmohan Yadav, Nov 24, 2014.

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  1. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    As expected, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet expansion included a new Defense Minister, as Manohar Parrikar, a former Chief Minister for the state of Goa, takes the reins from Arun Jaitley, who served as little more than a placeholder for the crucial position. Parrikar certainly embodies the resume of a politician, armed with an IIT education and extensive political experience that runs from the Legislative Assembly to the Chief Minister position.

    For the avid Comparativist, India’s recurring habit of appointing personnel with no military experience or background to the highest post in the Ministry of Defence is a peculiar question muddled with political answers. For Modi, improving the military stature of India was a priority of his campaign, from addressing equipment deficiencies to funding research and development agencies to bolster India’s growth as an arms exporter, a drastic reversal for a country that has been the largest importer of arms for years. Yet, when time came for Modi’s cabinet expansion, few have questioned Parrikar’s appointment.

    After all, Parrikar’s background follows the said phenomenon of Indian defence ministers who have had zero experience in the military. It would appear the Minister of Defence position has evolved from the point man on defence strategy and military to a stepping stone for the business-savvy in procurement of large arms deals and empty rhetoric in matters of national security. Take, for example the fact that of the 27 individuals to take up the position, only two have had military experience, a startling phenomenon that could continue to agitate the senior leaders of the military and muddle defence concerns with politics.

    To accommodate Modi’s “Make in India” campaign, the Defence Minister position seems to have been transformed into a glorified arms dealer. To have to make the rational argument that military experience is an obvious characteristic needed to guide decisions that affect the Ministry of Defence and comprehensive security strategy for the nation is worrisome to the initiatives made by the Defence Ministry in areas that span much-needed improvements to cyber security and diplomatically sensitive border conflicts.

    As a key figure and alumnus of the infamous Hindu nationalist group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Parrikar should have the skills of political schmoozing and oratory skills down pat. But for the countless security concerns that plague India and pose serious threats to the nation’s infrastructure. The growing evolution of issues, many of which are foreign to politicians, but everyday experiences for military personnel, should be more than enough to convince the upper echelon of the Modi administration to remove the political clout that has become associated with the Defence portfolio.

    For Parrikar, understanding that the vulnerabilities and politics behind security decisions are drastically different from the duties he undertook as Chief Minister of Goa is vital to the success of himself and the lofty goals that Narendra Modi has set forth for the military. While the BJP is keen and swift in adopting the economic and business policies of “model” nations, it has reduced itself to similar level of fulfilling favours when it comes to appointing Cabinet positions.
     
    sangos likes this.
  2. sam2012

    sam2012 Captain FULL MEMBER

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    So we want General VK singh as defence minister? Only thing stops is his relationship with general dalbir singh
     
  3. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    A retd General will be the worst MOD we can have.
     
  4. Anish

    Anish Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Make a strongman Home Minister.

    A strongman should not be Defence Minister.
     
  5. sangos

    sangos Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Leave it political. MoD has to provide the political leadership.There are already defence chiefs to head the services.
     
  6. Foxtrot

    Foxtrot Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Absolutely not.......then we will see all indigenous projects like Arjun, LCA, Indian bofors and many others being scrapped and we will be importing even more foreign arms and the generals will be filling their pockets.

    Tell me one +ve which Rafale does but Su30 or Su35 cannot yet we r going for 126 Rafales which is much more costlier boosting french economy and may be funding 5+ gen French fighter development.
    We r buying T90s whereas Arjun has a proven better performance....even if performance is not better, it is our duty to buy home made arms so that we stand on our own feet. But the army gens wants to fill their pocket so only 124 Arjuns while we order 3000 sub standard blind T90s in a blink of an eye.

    Having a general as a DefMin will be the icing on the cake.
     
  7. Anish

    Anish Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    now now T-90S is 15 crore and Arjun mk2 is 57 crore
     
  8. Foxtrot

    Foxtrot Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Arjun is 37 crore....not 57cr.
    We should have ordered at least 500 Arjuns otherwise the program becomes economically unsustainable and the army's not helping the cause.
     
    Manmohan Yadav likes this.
  9. sam2012

    sam2012 Captain FULL MEMBER

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    So who is the right man for this hot seat?? No Ex Service Man has ever become an defence minister in India if i'm not wrong
    what is harm in giving a try ??? for sure retd General will not be as worst as 2 longes serving defence ministers in history AK.Antony & Krishna menon

    Yes there are reservation since Gen VK singh shares very fiery relationship with Gen Dalbir singh which can impact the armed force negatively
     
  10. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    A General for MoD is recipe for coup or deterioration of political organization. preferably the best MoD can be in the lines of political lines atleast with a minimum 5 years experience as service staff.
     
  11. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    almost a dozen generals have been US presidents what about that ?
     
  12. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    We are talking of 21st Century not Nineteen or Eighteen or 20th century Presidents. And relevance is on MoD not presidents...
     
  13. Anish

    Anish Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    118 Arjun Mk2 were bought for 6600 crore.

    We have 124 Mk1 in service another 124 in order
    And 118 Mk2 in order.

    366 Arjun total so far.

    Basic unit cost is 56 crore. Add to that the billions spent on the C-17 which serve little purpose apart from transporting these overweight tanks from point A to B.
    Then the money being spent to buy new railcars as current railcars cannot carry this 68 ton tank. Then all the money being spent on operationally Service depots in FOB's.

    Let the army build up a logistics system to support this.

    T-90 apart from being far superior to the Arjun and far cheaper already has a logistics system in place thanks to the T-72
     
  14. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    A General as MOD will promote only officers of his regiment and will end up screwing armed forces completely because of his personal biases which he will carry with him to MOD.
     
  15. sam2012

    sam2012 Captain FULL MEMBER

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    100% agreed but even that was the case with AK antony & Krishna menon right?? Lt general kaul promotion and enjoying the power more than COS since he was relative of nehru in 60's

    And the Admiral Dhawan affair where seniors were overlooked , and the drama of Gen Dalbir singh

    My point is all these issues have been cropped up even civil politicians as defence minister but an ex service man is seen in suspicion

    anyways till GEN Dalbir singh is COS GEN VK Singh will not be considered for MOD since there will be turf war
     
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