OP PARAKARAM : A MONUMENTAL BLUNDER

On 13th December, 2001 terrorists drove into parliament building in their vehicles carrying official stickers for entry into the complex. Lax security at the entrance failed to inspect the vehicles as was their duty. The security lapse occurred because our egoist parliamentarians considered it below their dignity to stop their vehicles and prove their identity. In the ensuing gun battle inside the complex five security personnel and all five terrorists were killed. Fall out of this attack was to cost National exchequer nearly the entire defence budget allocation for the year; approximate cost of OP PARAKARAM. More importantly it brought us within a whisker of having a nuclear conflict. Security lapse by the Delhi Police followed by the mayhem within the complex forced the Indian Military to bite the bullet instead of taking measures to discipline the wayward parliamentarians and Delhi police, both of whom were responsible for such breach in security.

DEFENCE PROCUREMENT PROCESS: THE ULTIMATE IMPEDIMENT

Weapons procurement exercise in India is like a jamboree with ring master being the Defence Secretary, who has all the powers but little or no accountability and/or responsibility for inordinate delays in acquisition, which has a direct bearing on national security.
Article was written in 2007 and highlights the plight of the three services. Ironic it may seem but Service Chiefs have no powers in as far as weapon acquisition is concerned. Political considerations and whims and fancy of Ministry of Finance and Defence Secretary combine rule the roost. I was invited to speak at United Services Institutions on the issue in 2007.

WOMEN IN THE ARMED FORCES

Issue of inducting women in Armed Forces has been debated endlessly in the country. Most intellectuals feel that it will be less than desirable on account of financial aspect keeping in view the limited tenure being offered. Perhaps there is a need to change.