Bipin Rawat, Service Chiefs Must Not Be Seen Propagating Defence Purchases; They Are Last Repositories Of Public Trust

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between the services and the diplomats these days. Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s lecture at the General KV Krishna Rao memorial lecture was delivered with his usual aplomb and style.

The chief is a great speaker, but parts of the lecture seemed to be rather inappropriate for someone of his stature. At one point, he was quoted as saying that “Russians are very keen on associating with the Indian Army because we are very capable. We are capable of standing for what is right for us based on our strategic thought process”. That in itself is an inexplicable statement.

The Indian Army’s thought process may be brilliant, but it still has to go through the political strategy decided by the powers that be. The decisions to buy or not buy further weapons systems from Russia — for instance, the Kamov helicopters or the space-based weaponry to which he referred also lies with the government of the day.

Pointing out that these further buys are being favoured by the army is hardly likely to help a government that has negotiated the S-400 deal and is maneuvering diplomatically to avoid sanctions threatened under Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Read More

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